This week has been one of "chilling" and recovering after the intense stress of the last few weeks. I have been doing a lot of canning (for me). I am not totally inexperienced with canning, but I have never done very much. This year I have done a LOT. You can tell canners, because during canning season, their main topic of conversation is how many bottles of ________ they put up. Realizing for yourself how much work goes into each bottle--be it cup, pint or quart, you can see why.
That said, here is my list:
6 quarts of spaghetti sauce. HOWEVER-- the big brag is that it came almost totally from my very own garden! Not only the tomatoes, but also the oregano, basil, parsley, bell peppers & onions.
3 quarts and 14 pints of pickled beets (another 3 quarts broke during processing)
7 quarts of potatoes
10 QUARTS of sliced, pickled jalepeno peppers.
If you know Mr. Prism (My Favorite Gentleman), you will know why I didn't bother with pint jars. 10 quarts is about a 2 month supply. However, all of the peppers came out of my garden, too.
BTW, it is painful to slice the tip of your finger off with the veggie slicer--but it is much @#$%^&* worse when it is in the middle of the jalepeno slicing! Don't ask me how I know this.
Wednesday was SmallDaughter's first day back at school. Preparing her for school is a different experience than when the other 2 were in public school. There is no anticipation or dread, because she doesn't understand the concept of time and things that will happen in the future. There is no big rush about back to school shopping because--1) she doesn't care about clothes at all, and 2) she still fits into all of her clothes from last year. Very mellow preparations. She does love her teacher, her "bus ladies" and her friends at school.
A "return to school" is a much less emotional event for unschoolers, too. All around me I am surrounded by hype about the excitement of packing your children away into the care of strangers and the dubious "socialization" of various more or less hostile peers. Hmmm.
We are settling into school by: canning, snuggling, reading some really excellent new book series (more on those soon), bike riding, tending the chickens, achieving a new level of championship on Pokemon (which means much more to LargeBoy than to me, but I was excited that I was with him when he achieved something that he really worked to do, and that he was excited to share with me), cooking (if I told you how excellent our last batch of brownies were, you would cry with jealousy--trust me!).
He is also coming up with lots of ideas for cool games of the future, and since his uncle is a talented programmer, who has designed several awesome i-phone game apps, I think it is very probable that at least some of his ideas will come to fruition.
BigGirl is deeply excited by the portability of her schooling--and by that I mean she is now clear across the country, assisting with 2 sweet babies to help out a Meggan in need. She has been anxiously awaiting the day when she would be big enough to go "stay", and it has finally arrived!
One of the sad things much of our culture has lost in it's quest to abolish the traditional extended family is the "stay". Growing up in my very large family, when a baby was born, surgery, illness, stress, moves or grief occured, help came, often in the form of a middle-teenage assistant.
At first they were my mom's younger siblings (My mom had done it for her older siblings). We loved having the aunts come to stay--besides being a very real help, they provided energy, excitement and a level of glamour that a "mere mom" could never hope to have!
(Just think of the glamour of being served
that most excellent breakfast in bed:
oranges--sliced glamourously in half, and cinnamon toast.
Well, maybe you had to be there, but it was glamorous as heck to me!)
I got older, and eventually it was my turn (and then my younger siblings and cousins turn) to go assist those same aunts, now that they had married and had little children. Then I recieved the assistance.
And so it goes.
It is valuable training in very real household skills and parenting, it provides true self esteem (which has nothing to do with praise, letter grades or programs, and everything to do with accomplishing or creating something that is really useful or that needs to be done.)
PLUS--She is now one of the "cool older cousins"--and that is just awesome!
Deep thought for the day:
Time flies like the wind--
Fruit flies like bananas.