Ouch.

Blister by MotherMe

Nasty blister from raking the garden.

Scraped knee

 

Nasty scraped knee from falling off my bike.

 

Just goes to show you that hard work and exercise are NOT all that they’re cracked up to be.

Fishy

Last night we took the girls to private swim lessons at a local convent.  I think it’s awesome that we have a convent in our town.  They also have an awesome pool.  There are two women- mother and daughter- who teach lessons there.  At $20 per kid per half-hour, it’s pricey.  But while I was paying $10 a class (per kid) for lessons at the YMCA, they learned more in this one half-hour than they did in about eight Y classes.  I consider myself way ahead.

S-almost-7 can now put her face in the water for about 35 seconds (10, really, but we count super-fast) AND swim doggy-style for several yards.  O5 can sit on the step and put her face in for a second or so, but the fact that she’s willingly putting her face in the water at all is a huge thing.  Both instructors seemed to think the girls would be swimming reasonably competently this summer.

Put Up or Shut Up

Old timey folks like to call canning and preserving the act of “putting up” food. And I’ve been putting up with a lot lately.

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Before getting the pressure canner, I mostly stuck with tomatoes and peaches. They’re pretty easy to do and readily available in our area this time of the year.

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I recently came into a collection of glass canning jars, which was very exciting. They look really cool, especially with some home-canned produce inside of them.

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A few weeks ago, we ended up with a plethora of peppers in our CSA box.

CSA peppers

I roasted them with some garlic heads from the garden, and turned them into salsa.

Roasted pepper-garlic salsa

We bought a bushel of peaches at a local market, along with three bushels of tomatoes since my garden has been (til just now) pretty much devoid of any tomato-life to speak of.

The peaches went into several recipes, including plain old peaches in syrup, spiced peaches in a honey syrup, and – my favorite – gingered peach preserves. Good lord, that stuff is like sex in a jar. Good sex in a jar.

We’ve got a nice pantry-ful of yummyness (and a freezer-full, too) that I’ve been putting up all summer and fall. I’ve kept a little list, and realized that there’s quite a lot of food here.

June

12 quarts strawberries yielded

  • 5 half-pints strawberry-rhubarb jam
  • 3 half-pints strawberry jam
  • 2 half-pints strawberry syrup
  • plus several cups of frozen strawberries

July

Blueberries: 10 1/2 pounds, all frozen

August

Peaches: 4-quart box yielded 12 cups sliced (frozen with honey syrup)

Corn: 7 ears blanched yielded 1 quart frozen kernels (we have a couple of these)

September

Tomatoes: 3 bushels yielded

  • 24 quarts sauce
  • 6 pints tomato halves
  • 4 pints and 3 half-pints diced tomatoes
  • 5 half-pints catsup
  • 4 pints and 1 half-pint sweet salsa
  • 5 pints seasoned sauce
  • 3 pints and 10 halfpints zesty roasted pepper-garlic salsa (used CSA peppers and some other jalapenos for this recipe)

Peaches: 1 bushel yielded

  • 15 pints and 4 quarts peaches in syrup
  • 7 half-pints gingered peach preserves
  • 7 pints spiced peaches
  • 7 pints summer fruit cocktail (also used 1 quart of pears for this recipe)

Pears: 4 quarts yielded

  • 6 pint jars of pear quarters in light syrup

Bushel carrots yielded 22 pounds diced blanched carrots (frozen)

If The Shoe Fits

It’s quite telling that my last NaBloPoMo post for July was actually written on August 1.  Okay, if you want to be all technical about it, it’s 1:25 AM at the moment, so I guess that’s really August 2.  Whatever.

I don’t have much to say about NaBloPoMo, other than it is amazing how a little competitiveness and a fear of public failure can motivate even the lamest blogger (ahem… you’ve found her) to churn out 31 posts in as many days.  And let’s not nit-pick about the quality of said posts, shall we?  This time, it’s the quantity that matters.

Sadly, this was definitely an exercise, and I’m not regretting that it’s over.  (So why do it?)  (A very good question.  Perhaps I shall discover the answer in a separate conversation with myself.)  But I think the CSA posts will continue, since they’re somewhat useful (and brainless, which is always helpful in matters of routine).  And hopefully there will be something besides shorn landscaping to discuss on the subject of the garden.  (As a matter of fact, the first female flower of the year bloomed on the pumpkin vine yesterday, so there’s a possibility that we might actually get some fruit!  Yay!)

(Oh, and I promise to cut out all these ridiculous parenthetical remarks.  They’re making it painfully obvious just how scatterbrained I really am.)

Not Very Inspired, I’m Afraid.

Nope, I’m not very inspired at all.  And this would refer not only to today’s blog entry, but also the wilted clump of kale that’s sitting in my crisper drawer.

In good news, I got my hair cut today and took the girls along for trims as well.  S5, who up until this afternoon was convinced that getting her hair cut would hurt, exclaimed after the fact that:

“you were right, Mama!  It didn’t hurt at all!  I love getting my hair cut!!”

And this made me feel pretty happy.  Not to mention that her hair is a million times easier to comb now that she’s got it thinned out and trimmed up.  That girl has a lot of hair.

I also finished reading a book today: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime by Mark Haddon.  It is supposed to be for a book club but I can’t make it to the discussion night, since we have soccer practice that evening.  But I read it anyway, so that when the other ladies in the book club start talking about it on our message board, I will have a bit of a clue as to what they are talking about.  That, and you can’t really go wrong in reading a book.

In sad news, the deer have visited again and, this time, took out the beautiful lily blooms.  All of them.  Even the unbloomed ones.  I’m to the point where I’m looking for venison recipes instead of kale dishes.

On the garden front, (excluding the lilies, of course, since that’s  a rather moot point now), I harvested half of the garlic, which is rather small because (I believe) the damn deer trampled the foliage before it had finished bulbing.  But it still looks palatable.  I did get quite a crop of Incheum and Chef’s Italian and am really curious to try both and see if I can spot a difference between the two varieties.  Oh, and we had a minor storm blow through, so I got to fill out an Intense Precipitation Report on CoCoRahs.  .05″ fell overnight, but 0.20″ fell between 4:45 and 5:10 PM.  So that was rather exciting.

This weekend, DH and I are sneaking away to Geneva-On-The-Lake, and we are going to sit in the swimming pool from approximately 3:05 pm until they kick us out.  And then we are going to drink our complimentary bottle of wine, which had better be good and red and not white and overly sweet.  That’s all I’m saying about that.