2014 Bucket List: #19 (Part I)

#19. Make Gramma’s angel food cake & homemade strawberry jam.

Date accomplished:  6/20/2014

Mom came and spent the day with Sweet Pea & me yesterday.  It was absolutely wonderful!  I love seeing my mother in Gramma mode.  It reminds me of her mom and my time with her.  I still think of her all the time, and really really miss her.  I wish I could describe how incredible a woman she was, but I know I couldn’t do her justice.  She’s been my role model for as long as I can remember.  She showed me (and everyone else she knew) what love means.  She was our matriarch, our teacher, our confidant.  And she made a mean angel food cake!

However, that’s what I’ll be making in Part II of this bucket list item.  Yesterday, Mom and I made strawberry jam!  Or is it jelly?  Probably jam.  I haven’t learned the difference yet, though I know there is one.

Yup – just checked the interwebs.  Definitely jam.

Anyway, Mom has made this strawberry jam since I was a kid.  It’s the same recipe that Gramma used, I believe.  It’s your basic Sure-Jell freezer jam recipe.  Talk about simple!  I’d always been intimidated by jam, for some reason.  Now that i know it’s just fruit, sugar, pectin & timing, I’ll not go back to store-bought.  Plus it’s waaaaaay more cost-effective to make your own.  Next, I’d like to learn to can cherries.  That was Mom’s favorite winter-time dessert when we were growing up.  She said it’s a bit more difficult, since it involves a pressure cooker.  Still, I’m excited!  I do need to find a good deal on a pressure cooker soon, though – cherry season won’t last much longer.

strawberry jam 2014

Further Up and Further In!

2014 Bucket List: #9

#9. Take a trip with Hubs. . . and not to visit family!

Date accomplished:  06/01/2014

Hubs and I went to the beautiful state of Colorado this past weekend.  It was for a friend’s wedding, which isn’t exactly what I had in mind for this list item, but it’s probably as close as we’re going to get this year – hahaha.  Sweet Pea took up all our vacation/expendable income for 2014!  The wedding was beautiful; I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a bride and groom more joyful.

The mountains were gorgeous!  We were able to drive around a bit, between wedding events, though I didn’t get many pictures.  We saw a lot of elk – they were everywhere!  We left for home very early Monday morning, and even saw some on the roads.  Hopefully we’ll be able to go back and enjoy the national park another time. . .do some hiking and camping.

If you’re ever looking for accommodations near Estes Park, I’d highly recommend the Saddle & Surrey.  Barbara (one of the owners) is absolutely wonderful!!  Our room was so clean and comfortable, the shower was amazing, and the breakfast (pastries) was delicious.  We’ll definitely be staying there again, when we go back!

P1010838

P1010852

P1010859

2014 Bucket List: #4

#4. Change office hours.

Date accomplished:  5/12/2014

Sweet Pea, as you know, has some pretty significant health issues.  They’ve pretty much prevented any day care options for her, and so I’ve been blessed to be able to change my office hours.  My boss is allowing me to work from the house, and part-time (at least for now).  I’m hoping that this can be a long-term solution, but am aware that my job – the entire industry, really – isn’t set up that way.

I know this is a fairly boring post, but it’s a significant impact to our lives.  I’m quite excited!

2014 Bucket List: #16

#16. Read (not re-read) one “classic.”

Date accomplished:  5/3/2014

Since Sweet Pea has joined our family, I’ve started going to the library again.  I love libraries!  With my work schedule, I was never able to get there during their hours of operation, but that’s no longer the case.

I went there to do some faxing/copying, and hadn’t thought to review the List beforehand. . .and the only book that I could remember at the time was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  I read it over a few days, when I had some unexpected travel time to kill.  I liked the story, but got bored with all the “classifying” that the protagonist did.  I freely admit skimming those portions!  Still, I’m glad I read it – it definitely captures the imagination.

Next up:  A Tale of Two Cities.