Monday, August 24, 2009

Taking a break

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest” ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

GASP!!! That was me coming up for air!
It has been so incredibly busy here. The canning seems to never end…as hot and tiring as that can be, it is a good thing.

I froze 30 more pints of corn, and canned 24.5 pints of salsa, 16 pints of hot pepper mustard, 7.5 pints of strawberry jalapeno sauce, 7 pints of hot dog relish, and 11 pints & 3 quarts of bread and butter pickles. It continued on and I added 6.5 pints of green tomato relish, five ½ pints of orange jelly, 19 ½ quarts of pickled hot peppers, 4 pints of green tomato salsa, 7 quarts & 24.5 pints of green beans, 18.5 pints of tomato soup, and 12 quarts of crushed tomatoes to the shelves. It has been a very busy 2 1/2 weeks! At one point I got so tired of it that I gave a bunch of cucumbers to the pigs. I should feel bad for wasting them but they were rather large and I would have had to take all those seeds out and make relish and I just wasn't up for it.
Football practice was a nightly thing. I thought I would have all this free time to knit…hahaha! My old neighbor’s son is in football too. We sat on the bleachers watching them and gabbing away. Now son is doing the two-a-day which means I drop him off at 6:30 AM and pick him up at 3:30 PM. I sat holding his helmet one day and saw this sticker. It reads " helmet system can protect you from serious brain and/or neck injuries including paralysis or death. To avoid these risks, do not engage in the sport of football." What a happy sticker.

Along with canning and chauffeuring, I also took some time to take the kids to the fair. They had a new company handling the rides and there were more/different rides so the kids were happy. I went into look at the judging and got annoyed. In the baby afghans there was a two strand worsted weight crocheted shell stitch one vs a worsted weight knit lace (can't remember the pattern). As I can do both and know the difficulty of them I was amazed to see the crocheted one took first place! Of course you were not allowed to pick them up and look for errors so maybe the lace had some mistakes. I would still have picked the lace one. I found solace in a blooming onion.
With all this driving it was bound to happen... #2 daughter and I came upon a bear. He was definitely not interested in us and sauntered away into the woods. Although beautiful to look at in their natural environment I don’t want them near my animals. Last week we had a bobcat come down out of the woods and snatch a chicken with #1 daughter standing right there hanging up laundry. She was only 20 feet away and it was oblivious to her. I don't think she will have to worry about seeing one again as she moved to Philly this past weekend.

Today while driving it was all turkeys. They are coming out of the woods and into the road. I stopped in the middle of the road for three different flocks and saw two flocks in peoples yards.
Knitting/spinning/crocheting is almost non exist but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We picked a bunch more cucumbers tonight and are planning on picking the last of the beans tomorrow afternoon. Then it is on to elderberry jelly and sauerkraut. The squash can go into the root cellar and then we are done...I think.
Tomorrow I get a slight reprieve in the morning (coolest part of the day) to go to #2 sons first scrimmage, which I would not miss for the world. Then-as if things could get better-Saturday there is a local fiber festival at Fort Delaware in Narrowsburg, NY. I can't wait, a day of sitting and spinning and fiber, that is what a would call really taking a break.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


"In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom." ~ Barbara Costikyan

My mom wasn't much for a simmering pot as she hated to cook but she loved to bake - the bread, the pies and the cakes oh my! Seventeen years ago when I moved back home I was a size 3..............let's just say I am not anymore. She taught me to can so she has been on my mind a lot as canning season goes into overdrive.

We did all of our canning at her house. We had our own system down pat and it was hard at first to find a way of doing things solo. I persevered and it may not be perfect but my new way is starting to work for me. I got another 14.5 pints green tomato relish, 20 pints of salsa, 16 pints of bread and butter pickles, 5 pints of chili sauce and 5 pints of strawberry/jalapeno sauce done. A friend was able to get me two boxes of paste tomatoes ($21/box!!!) and I have one more box to finish up. I think today's canning will be more chili sauce and salsa. Sir T loves him some salsa. Where as I had no interest in canning (other than eating it) when I was a kid, my daughters and my nephews are very interested, slicing, stirring and measuring. The younger ones help for a bit, then leave only to come back later and help some more. Mom would love that they are involved and even if they don't do it later in life I hope they will look back and remember it fondly.

Another thing that popped up to remind me of my mother this week is what she called the Mystery Lily. I went looking for more info and found it is also known as the Magic Lily, Resurrection Lily, Hardy Amaryllis, or Naked Lady. As the flower gardens have been sadly neglected this year, its sudden appearance made me sit back and realize how many flowers in my garden are from her.
And because I have Mom on my mind and because her favorite color was yellow and because the knit list was talking about the Apple Blossom Cardigan so much that I had to take 5 and go check it out on Ravelry and because I just so happened to have some yellow yarn laying around...I started the cardigan and I am done with 2 of 6 repeats on the lace section. Canning is getting in the way of it's completion.However, #2 son has football practice nightly now so my knitting will increase significantly as I sit there watching him.