Posted by: brookenado | October 7, 2012

Saturday Morning Glory, or [Enter] Autumn

Dear readers,

What a week.  Brochure project due, midterm, generally scraping by the skin of my teeth; you know how it goes.  I have to say that I’m quite pleased with how my redesigned “Healthy Miami” brochure turned out, especially as this is the first time I’ve really done anything of the sort or used InDesign.  I do have a design savvy mother to thank as well for getting the ideas flowing and making it seem feasible.  From my usability tests with a few staff and faculty members, I’m feeling good about it; let’s just hope my professor agrees!

The midterm was straightforward and simple – 10 short answer and 2 essay questions (though you don’t really have to write an essay).  Again, feeling pretty confident about it so here’s hoping these feelings aren’t misplaced.

Do you know when you’ve had a crazy week, and by the end of it all you feel both exhausted and unfocused?  That’s how I felt yesterday.  My brain has been shooting in a thousand directions because it hasn’t had the chance to recenter and focus.  I’m sort of picturing the inside of my head looking like a mess of different colored wires (like when you go behind the television or computers at a workplace) which are disconnected and chewed through at some points, sending off sparks in haphazard directions…

Good thing I took a relaxing walk yesterday morning

I’m going to go ahead and blame that for my getting almost nothing concrete done yesterday.  I wrote a paragraph for a proposal for a final paper…so I got one thing done.  A paragraph.  But I did also do another preliminary search for jobs and I have to admit – it is actually quite exciting.  I’m looking forward to getting out in the world and finding a great job!  Or, at least, that is the ideal.  Looking at descriptions and locations though, I know I can do it and that’s just, well, exciting!

For those of you unfamiliar with my job aspirations, I am aiming to do something with writing and the media.  It could be a journalistic approach, or freelance (I would love to do some travel writing!), or some niche I don’t yet know about that combines writing, history, travel, food, nature (any of my many interests), etc. such as my internship did!

Eventually, I think I’d like to get into more entertainment writing.  You may guess from my past blog posts, or even my banner heading, that I have a fascination with animation.  I would love to be a writer for a cartoon show, or Disney/Pixar, even video games, etc. some day.  Think about it, the sky is the limit when it comes to animation, you can do anything!  So, that’s the dream I guess.  Shooting for the stars – or is it the moon? – and knowing that wherever I land, well, space is awesome so I’ll find my place.

It always amazes me the various shades and vibrant colors that are so naturally produced in the world – it’s truly inspiring!

My brain is finally settling a bit.  My housemate’s friend is here for the weekend while another housemate is off in New York to perform with other Miami music students at Carnegie Hall.  How cool is that?  I’m so proud of the two friends friends who are there this weekend and so excited for them (and all the students going, really)!

Continuing with the brain settling, Friday night went uptown for a bit where we stopped at a birthday party, then headed over to MIA (see  Unfortunately the heavens decided to let loose last night and after running back and forth from the first two places, then waiting a bit to get into the third, we were soaked.  It was at this point where one housemate and I decided to call it a night.  We promptly drove back to the house, got into pj’s, curled up in blankets and watched “The Lake House”.  We may have been tempted to each have a leftover piece of pizza, too…

All in all, it was a good night.  Now, have you ever tasted and/or heard of apple butter?  If not, I would highly recommend seeking out some homemade apple butter to try as soon as you can – this is the season after all!  Apple butter is simply a more concentrated form of apple sauce.  Because it is made by cooking apples in a longer and slower process, the sugar within the apples is able to caramelize giving the apple butter a more preservative quality to it.  But why the sudden switch to discussing apple butter you may ask?

Apple butter anyone?

Since Sophomore year I have been a part of a service organization on campus called Alpha Phi Omega.  What’s great about this co-ed fraternity is that it is laid back, offers a great chance to meet new people each semester and be a part of a larger organization on campus, and has some really neat service projects.

I always enjoy the chance to travel outside of Oxford for a bit ever once in a while and learn more about the surrounding area, as well as Oxford.  I’ve done projects such as signing people into the Cincinnati Comic Expo (a few weeks ago, actually), camped out in a quad on campus with other “Brothers” in cardboard boxes (homeless awareness), helped out at the animal shelter, and much more.

Well, yesterday I did another service project.  As the Apple Butter Festival is going on this weekend, I went and helped jar some freshly made apple butter.  It was so cool to see how it was prepared!  Picture a huge cauldron-like entity (similar to a witch’s cauldron) sitting over some logs of fire, being stirred from about 5-10 feet away with a very long, thick wooden stirring…thing.  Something like over 2,000 apples go into each batch where they just cook for hours.  When it was ready it had to cool a bit before we could do anything.

This is very similar to how the setup looked here –

Normally you think, “oh, take the [item name here] off of and away from the fire”, right?  Right.  So I was surprised when a guy came in with a shovel and literally moved the fire from the kettle of apple butter.  The still aflame wood was scooped up and taken to another fire.  The unconventionality and coolness of it made me smile.

Our job, then, was to jar the apple butter.  We unscrewed the lids, placed jars in boiling water and lids in another bowl of boiled water.  The stirrer from before then scooped it into a jar (this guy is actually the main adviser for AphiO), a few people up front wiped off any excess and placed the preliminary lids on top, I screwed the second part of the lid on, then passed it on to the last guy who did the final check to make sure all lids were fully closed and tight.

We made short work of it, and it was such a pleasant day (at this point) to be outside and nestled away in the fields near the woods.  I got the chance to meet one of the pledges, a Freshmen, and the driver was actually someone from one of my classes!

The Apple Butter Festival near Hueston Woods. It may look small, but everyone was having a great time and was so happy to be there. (size matters not, after all!)

Today, myself, two housemates, and housemate’s friend made our own appearance at the Apple Butter Festival.  I’d never been before and I’m glad we decided to check it out!  What’s nice about a small town is the friendliness you can just feel pouring off of everyone and in their interactions.

Kids were running around with balloon hats and kettle corn, some small alpacas were there which could be pet, there were various stands with local made products ranging from clothing to woodwork.  A local musician was playing and everyone was just having a good time.  The festival takes place at an historical house where people can walk through and see the original setup and tools used in the house, as well as for farming.

Just fetching some water, pioneer style.

And now we’re back at the house, and I am plus a large jar of apple butter.  Can’t wait to dig into it; I’m also thinking I might try baking with some of it!  Now that I’ve gone for a lovely walk this morning (it is unabashedly and beautifully Autumn now) and hit up the Apple Butter Festival this afternoon, it’s time to actually get some school work done.  Campus is beautiful in the summer, and that beauty transforms in Fall with reds, golds, oranges, and greens.  The surrounding environment in Ohio in the Fall is truly sight to behold and admire.  It’s something I had never truly witnessed until coming to school here.

Now I’ve written far too much – once again – so I will let you get on with your days as well.  Just don’t forget to go try some apple butter, it’s truly a Midwest Autumn tradition!  Enjoy the rest of your weekends readers.  Thanks for reading, cheers!  Until then…

Mischief managed

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  1. Yummy ….I love apple butter Brooke ! Looks so Autumn up there in Ohio! I have to say I really miss the season change down here in Texas. We did have cooler weather today in the 60′, but I know it will be back in the 90 ‘s this week ! I miss you lots but so enjoy your blogs. Love you so much. Keep up your studies….you are such a fascinating young lady !

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