Saturday, September 27, 2008

Apples and Beans

If I'm not writing it's because I'm working, if I'm not working and not blogging, then I must be canning--or attending a committee meeting of some sort. Things here in the house are rather "hairball" as Chris would say. The kids are good, the marriage is good, but the astrologists would probably say that Chris' work situation is in the house of "no good." Not being astrologists, Chris and I are fervently praying for it to soon enter the house of "looking up," or even "excellent." Chris was reading through the benefits package of one of the jobs for which he is being considered and when he got to part about dental packages, I stopped him right there. We haven't had dental insurance in 4 years. "I think this job sounds wonderful!" I half-joked. He knows. It would be a good match even without the dental insurance. It could also be another 3 weeks before he hears anything either way.

So today I took to the kitchen. We have some beans left from my last batch, but even I will acknowledge that they are SPICEY. So to help out the kids, I'm doing a batch of "not spicey" black beans. And, Cortland apples are in season here in Central PA, so that means it's time for applesauce. I'll be doing one batch today, one batch later in the week.

And that's all I have time for today. I need to go stir the applesauce and check on the beans, which are in the pressure cooker.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Labor Day weekend was Canning Weekend at my Aunt and Uncle's house in Ann Arbor. I went, not so much for the canning this time, as I was already feeling badly overscheduled and had sort of just eased into the idea that I wouldn't put up much for winter this fall. I just couldn't between the Geometry Project and working at the law office and all the Volunteer stuff. But I really wanted to see my Aunts, Uncle, and Grandmother and so when I was invited, I jumped at the chance to go. I took the twins, some pint jars and lids, and we drove the 6.5 hrs to Michigan.

I had a great time. I have great relatives and they were all their usual charming, generous, witty selves. They were far more determined than I was that I go home with some great jars of my favorite things, and so I did. I came home with perfectly seasoned tomato sauce, tomato juice, medium spicey salsa (soooo good), vegetable soup, and the silly idea that maybe I could squeeze in tomato juice between Geometry assignments.

And then the craziest thing happened--the Geometry project hit a snag. I couldn't write this past weekend, but I got two bushels of tomatoes (and people kept bringing me more) and did 14 quarts of tomato soup. Tonight, against all odds, I have another 7 qts in the canner and I'm going to be in bed by 11pm. I didn't even start peeling onions until 5pm, so that was incredible progress in a short period of time. I still have another bushel left (someone else brought me another half-bushel this morning), so if they don't go bad by the weekend, we'll try for more salsa, maybe.

Assuming the Geometry cooperates, of course.

The kids are all back in school as of a week ago tomorrow. So far so good. The first PAC (like PTO) mtg is Thursday and I have my agenda done. I meet tomorrow with the Principal to go over it with him and then we hope for a good turn-out on Thursday.

Chris is enjoying his new job as a cable installer. There are still unanswered questions, but we're trying to be patient during the training phase. We both wish the job didn't involve climbing up on the pole, but it does, and he's dealing with it.

Our love/hate relationship with boys' football in State College, PA continues. It's a massive time-sucking creature that exhausts the boys almost past the point of enjoyment--almost, but most days, not quite. Most days they still enjoy it enough so that we keep going back. I'm a huge proponent of "never quit a sport, once begun, until the season is over." But State College football tests my resolve on a regular basis. Ah, well. I think we're 1/3 of the way through. On we go.