A Day In The Life of a Stubbly Troll

Posts tagged ‘canning’

Yesterday We Went To Canning Class

Yesterday was Monday, 22 July, 2013.  DD and I had signed up with the Extension Office for a four day canning/freezing class.  I don’t know about her, but I’ve been looking forward to it.  Yesterday, we canned our own pint of beans, and put beans in our own quart freezer bag to put in our freezer.  I’ve canned literally thousands of cans of beans, and frozen I don’t know how many bags of beans, but freezing had escaped my memory–don’t know why, it’s so simple–so freezing was a refresher.  And I’m pretty sure Mother didn’t do it the way we did it yesterday, anyway.

We strung the beans.  ‘Bout half a bushel.  We weren’t ‘sposed to break the beans.  WHAT?  Canning beans without breaking them?  Is she crazy?  Everybody in our neck of the woods, at least, knows that beans are ‘sposed to be broken before they’re canned.  THAT’S the way they’re cooked.  Don’t want to have to take them out of the Ball jar and break them.  But she insisted that if we broke them, we’d be there til Kingdom Come.  (Nothing to do with this subject AT all, but did you’all know there is a Kingdom Come State Park in Kentucky?)  Now I know better.  There were about three of us there that were old hands at breaking beans, one with passable experience, a 14 yo, and our pastor’s wife.  With that team, a half bushel of beans could be broken in a skinny minute.  But, all things being equal, which they weren’t, we didn’t break the beans until later.  So, I found my self with the unusual job of stuffing my pint jar with unbroken beans, several of which I had to break the tops off of to make them fit in the jar.  It did make the jar look “purty”.

Our teacher explained all the ins and outs of using a pressure canner.  In went our beans, and when they came out, one of our jars was broken.  Oops, happens sometimes.  Monday we will pick up our jars, and we took our bags home.  Turns out, unlike what we did when Mother and I canned beans, you do not have to put salt in them.  Who knew?  Certainly not me.  All those beans my friend and I canned last year, had salt in them, and DD can’t eat them just like they are, as she is on a low sodium diet for her blood pressure.  And she is so young, too.  Barely in her thirties.  : (

While we were there, the soil man, as I call him (I do not know his real title) came in, and one of the other girls and I picked his brain.  She has no grass in her yard apparently, and was they were also talking about container gardening and, oh, shoot, what is it called?  It is where one takes railroad ties, or landscape timbers, or whatnot and builds a box or boxes of whatever size your property will support, fill it with good soil and compost, and garden in it.  I’ve read it is much more efficient than trying to garden in a regular garden space like I’m doing.  But on a limited income, like I am, where am I supposed to get the garden soil?  Well, anyway, the term will come to me eventually, probably at midnight!  LOLOL

I talked to him about how to get a soil sample taken of my garden, composting, organic gardening and how to make a good, easy compost bin.  He gave me literature, explained the procedure for soil sampling (only $6!), told me about a gentleman close to my house who has an organic farm and gave everyone a booklet about gardening.  He is a very nice man.

I found that my pain level ratcheted up about 5 points toward the end of our day, to the point I was having trouble walking.  My muscles around my hips, especially my left hip would suddenly  scream out and I would almost double over in pain.  Praise God, we were almost done.  I managed to get in the car, get home, and promptly fall asleep in the recliner.  DD fell asleep on the sofa.

Before we got in to settle, we went out to look at tomatoes.  We got new colanders in class.  We took one of those to put our tomatoes in.  Once they begin ripening, they pretty much go wild, and gathering them is a full-time job.  The ones that are ripe right now are small ones, but we must have between 20 and 30.  And, oh, they are soooo good.  And what few beans we have left (the deer is eating them) are beginning to come in, and one of the pepper plants has baby peppers.  So, even if we get nothing else from our garden, (it has been a hard, hard year for us), we will at least have that.

We have 4 cats, two yellow parent cats, and two yellow baby kittens.  The kittens were born on May 31.  Mr. Wiggles looks like his father, Stinker, and Luna looks like her mother, Little Girl.  The kittens are hysterical.  Right now, I have a kitten clinging onto the chair, peering at me.  They are into EVERYthing.  Luna races around the house like she has a jet in her rear end, and the two of them kitten fight constantly.  We have our own WWC Smackdown in our house and it is hilarious to watch.  Awhile ago, Luna was in a soda box (all the soda cans were out), and Mr. Wiggles was at the closed end trying to get her.  They are nothing if not goofy!  Never a dull moment around here.

DD is quitting smoking.   She is normally a wicked witch in the morning anyway.  However, do any of you remember Duck and Cover training when you were young?  I know most of you might not even know what Duck and Cover is.  That’s OK, history is not taught in school these days, nor is reading, writing, arithmetic, or any other useful subject such as art, music, physical education ( football and basketball don’t count), oh, and let’s not forget science and geography.  It’s not your fault, so don’t feel badly.  But let me say one thing about history–those who don’t study history are destined to repeat it.   Anyway, back to DD and her smoking.  Her first day was Saturday.  Today is her 4th day.  The mornings are Duck and Cover, until nicotine patch kicks in, then things calm down some.  But she’s still struggling quite a bit with the withdrawal of the 800 other things that are put in cigarettes to keep people addicted and make them die.  She’s doing well, all things considered.

Turns out DD isn’t wearing a patch today–that’s why D&C has been an all day thing since she got up.  She is trying to go w/o the patch.  I admire her will power, but would like to keep my head.  I must admit, she does seem to have calmed down some, but I am hedging my bets, so to speak……

I have grief counseling today.  The counselor is coming to the house.  My father died the beginning of March.  He was in a great nursing home, and the last thing I expected was that he die of nursing home negligence, but there you go.  I hate those commercials on TV, where the lawyers beg people to sue nursing homes for negligence.  (Apparently the patch hasn’t kicked in yet!)  They give the impression that every single person in every single nursing home is being abused.  It ain’t so.  Daddy was in an excellent home.  There were minor little things that weren’t abuse, just my preferences of things that they did or didn’t do.  But, I put him there because I couldn’t take care of him anymore.  Some things, like putting sweats on him during the day that had pajama written on them in big letters, instead of his uniforms that he wore everyday, I said don’t do anymore, and they didn’t.  They shouldn’t have done that anyway, but that WASN’T abuse.  Just annoying.  THEY could get him to take a bath twice a week.  WE couldn’t get him to take a bath for a month or more.  Pajamas in the daytime is a small thing for a clean father.  See what I mean?

My first nursing job was probably one of the best Long Term Care Facilities in the world.  They are not supposed to be called nursing homes.  We even had excellent staffing.  But “loved ones” would come in, (and I use that term loosely) once every six months or so and start ragging on us about the bed not being made up properly, or a spot of dirt on mom’s face, or dad not being in bed already, or whatever.  Excuse me, but if you can take care of them better, then YOU take them home, and do it YOURSELF.  You don’t come to visit, so obviously you don’t give a rat’s rear end about them (no offense to the rat, mind you), and when you do, all you do is piss and moan.  If we’re doing such a horrible job, DO IT YOURSELF!

I applied for a nursing job at one nursing home, and I read the state inspection sheet as I was waiting.  I won’t mention the horrible stuff I read.  I waited for the interview, because I was thinking I could make a difference.  When I went in for the interview, I saw one pitiful looking resident slumped in a wheel chair, all by herself.  I was interviewed by two nurses, and I was not impressed by them, either.  I got the job, alright.  But I got up, walked out the door, and never looked back.  One person was not going to be able to make a difference.  It would have been like trying to empty the ocean one eye dropper at a time.  It just wasn’t going to happen.  THAT was a LTC Facility a lawyer needed to tear into.

Well, I think that is all my musings, or rantings, or whatever you want to call it, for today.  I have a friend to talk to on FB before my counselor gets here.