Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cloud formations from yesterday morning.  Just thought they were cool.
Lots to write is a beautiful day.  Low humidity and sunny.  That is a lovely change after the last several days of extreme heat and humidity.  Temperatures were in the upper 80's with heat indexes at least 10' warmer.  Made driving bus decidedly uncomfortable.  The rain we've had has been good though.
The dehydrator is running again - with more zucchini.  This time it's shredded fairly small so I'm anxious to see how how it turns out.  I have two more to do and possibly more on the way.  Also want to try doing some tomatoes but I'd rather get ones that are large enough to can.  We will see.

Yesterday I had coffee which turned into breakfast with a gal who will hopefully become a new friend.  We visited for over 2 hours - it seemed to fly.  She goes over the road with her truck driver husband for much of the year.  She is a believer and is just a few years older than I am.  There are always some nerves when making new friendships - at least for me.  So...we will see.

On a different note last Friday we lost our Sally dog.  She was 13 years old, probably as fat as she was tall - she was pretty short so that's easy to accomplish.  She was half german shepherd and half corgi-mutt.  Had shepherd coloring, face and feet with corgi legs.  We don't know for sure what happened as she was ok when I left for route that afternoon.  I firmly believe she was hit by a vehicle even though Hubby said she looked ok.  These last few years she didn't get enough attention but she was still faithful to wag her tail and greet us when we got home - as well as serving as an alert dog - letting me know when someone had come in the driveway.  She was especially helpful with that when the boys and I lived alone after Mike died - I never worried about having someone "sneak up" on us.  We got her about a year and a half before Mike died - makes her loss a bit harder as outside of my boys who I don't count in this list she was the last "thing" we shared to go.  Sally dog and two of my cats from OK moved here to IN with us.    The cats are gone, my purple "Princess" Intrepid is gone and I sold the house we shared a year about he died.  Kinda makes it the end of an era.  None of that to say that I'm not "happy" with where my life is now - just her loss signifies more endings.  I'm not at all sure how to express that.. There was some humor in the situation though.  I got home from work to see Hubby sitting down in the shop looking completely exhausted.  This is unusual enough that I asked him if he was quitting early. (It was one of those ridiculously hot humid days). His response was "Well I've been doing something I shouldn't have to do...I'm not sure what happened - whether she got hit or if it was just old age but Sally is gone.  I just got done burying her".  My reaction - mentally was "Sally's gone - and you buried her.  Why did you have to bury Sally?  Won't we get in trouble for having Sally buried on our property? Ooh poor Bob...where is he?" followed by verbally " mean Sally dog?!? I thought you were talking about Bob's wife and it didn't make sense to me.".   Hubby laughed...thankfully Bob did also later when Hubby told him about it.   I still look for her when I get home and miss her bark of greeting.
Pressure canned corn
Cross country and canning season are upon us.  I went after work this afternoon and bought a bushel of peaches (one of the few items I purchase) to can.  Hubby really likes peaches so it is high on my "preserving list".  Am hoping to acquire tomatoes without too much cost as well as more grapes.  This year I learned to pressure can and did corn that way.  Am excited to have learned that and to have 22 pints as a result.  However before I pressure can much I will have some supplies to purchase as canning on a glass cook-top is not recommended at all - the friend who taught me had her glass cooktop shatter when she was pressure canning one year.  I really enjoy canning even though it's exhausting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to school...

Fighting the panic today...just trying to take things a step at a time.  Stretch went back to college this morning - to start his senior year.  He has training for his on-campus job for the next couple of weeks.

I picked elderberries this morning - got a couple pounds at least I think.  Filled two cooler shopping bags mostly full.  Next step is to wash and destem them.  Will set aside enough for an elderberry pie and make the rest into jelly.  If I have enough will also try to make some syrup but need to research that first.  Many of the bushes I looked at had both ripe and completely green berries on them at the same time - not really normal.  However it gives me hope to get a few more.  Took me about an hour and a half to get what I did - and a fair bit of driving around the county.  Once I got home I cleaned up the kitchen and started working on sweet corn.  I have probably 24 cups cut off the cobs sitting in the fridge waiting for me to can.  Then I have close to a cooler full sitting in the garage that hasn't been touched yet.  I figure whatever I get ready between now and Thursday morning is what will get canned.  I already have some in the freezer frozen.  Am still processing zucchini - am so thankful I found out that it is possible to dehydrate it.  What would take lots of space in the freezer processes down to a quart size jar.  And all I have to do to use it is to mix a tablespoon or two in whatever casserole I'm making...

Squirrel finally found out that he is able to take his college level public speaking course this fall.  He's been jumping through hoops trying to get information and registered.  Last Friday evening he was told the classes were full and he wouldn't be able to take it.  That was pretty disappointing - the counselor was going to see if the professor would take him in the class.  He finally found out today he would be able to take it - and he has homework due on Thursday.  This wouldn't be an issue except he doesn't have the book yet.  However the book is ordered and should be here tomorrow.

Dipstick is also back in school - he has two English classes this semester and at least two welding classes.  Hopefully he will continue to keep up with the work in English so he does acceptably.