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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

After the Carnage

It’s been almost a week ago that the shelf fell down in the laundry room and we lost almost all of the produce we’d canned during the summer.  Today I finally gathered all of the surviving jars next to the sink and washed each one. Several were coated in syrup, and shards of glass glued to the outside. Don’t ask me how I discovered that…

Here are the survivors, all shiny and clean after a hot soapy bath and vinegar water rinse:

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I removed and tossed many dented rings, but the seals held on everything except three jars of apple butter. 

I appreciate all of the kind comments of sympathy. I truly feel fortunate that we have anything left of our hard work and each time I open one of the surviving jars, I’ll be a little more thankful than before. :o)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Losing the Bounty

So yesterday morning at 7:15 Jessica called me at work and this is how part of our conversation went (approximately):

J: “Mom, where did you keep the stuff you canned this summer?”

Me: “Where do I keep the stuff I canned?”

J: “Where did you keep the pickles and green beans and stuff? I know where they are now, I just want to know where they were.”

Me: “It’s all on a shelf in the laundry room, why?”

J: “No, it was on a shelf in the laundry room. Now it’s all over the floor.”

Me: “The shelf fell down?!” (Thank you, Captain Obvious!)

J: “There is broken glass, pickles, and green beans everywhere.” (Compelling reading, no?)

Yes, the shelf that Greg safely installed high up on the wall in the laundry room had too much weight hanging off the front of it (where I had hung Bradley’s full clothes hamper to get it off the floor…) and the metal supports just couldn’t handle the load. They bent almost 180 degrees, pulling the shelf out of the brackets and flat against the wall, perpendicular to where it had been.

There were jars of green beans, dill pickles, cinnamon pickles (the syrup!), and apple butter stacked neatly up there, along with extra jars and a box of miscellaneous canning supplies. Here is a snapshot of what I found when I got home:


Jess had cleaned up much of it already so I never saw the entirety of the mess. This was enough to sicken me, though. Yes, that is the cat box in the lower left-hand corner, full of fresh litter and now, dill pickles.

It took me about an hour to get through the broken glass and scattered food on the floor, mop up the syrup and bean juice, and run the Swiffer over it all to hopefully pick up all of the tiny shards of glass. That was all I had time to do before we had to leave for Jess’s and Bradley’s six-week check at the doctor’s office in Lincoln. By the time we got home early in the evening, the floor had dried with a sticky syrup-glue coating. It was just staying that way overnight. I was tired.

First thing this morning out came the bucket, rags, and scrub brush. It took almost an hour to do just the laundry room floor, but now it’s all shiny clean and our shoes don’t make that sticking, slurpy sound when we walk back there.

If I have to guess, I’d say we lost 80-90% of what we canned. There are a few jars of each thing that did not break, and a couple of empties that survived the crash. Fortunately, this loss doesn’t mean we won’t eat this winter, though it is disappointing to lose what we worked so hard on together. It all sucks, but if we look on the bright side, which I always must do, no one was standing back there when it happened, so no one got hurt. And I’m sure there would have been injuries if a person had been under that shelf when the Mason jars came tumbling down.

I still need to wash those jars that survived and put everything back where it belongs in the laundry room, and the baby is asleep, so now’s my chance. Off to work…

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Baptism Day

Baptism: The act of baptizing; the application of water to a person, as a sacrament or religious ceremony, by which he is initiated into the visible church of Christ. This is performed by immersion, sprinkling, or pouring.

Today was Bradley’s day to be officially welcomed into the body of Christ that is Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. His family and friends pledged to raise him in a Christian environment and teach him about the church, “placing into his hands the Scriptures”.

Sara and Nick, along with Jessi’s very good friends from North Dakota are his sponsors.

11-08-09 020sponsors

(From l to r: Sara, Nick, Jake, Jimmy, Marae, Brandon, Bradley, Jessica, Pastor Buch)

In a few short years he’ll be old enough to attend Sunday School and VBS, and have a part in the Christmas program. We haven’t done any of that in a long time, and this Grammy looks forward to it again. :o)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

What fun we had!

Halloween has always been one of our favorite holidays. We enjoy the costumes, the decorations, and passing out the candy.  When our kids were still young enough for trick-or-treating, Greg and I would take turns each year, one of us staying home to answer the door, the other toting the kids around town for the candy-fest.

Obviously, with our kids being 22 and 25 years old, we haven’t done the trick-or-treat thing for several years. Instead, we just enjoy the young ones who come to the door, chatting with those who aren’t too shy, and pretending to be horrified at the scary ones.

The past few years, Wyatt, Garett, and Grace have been our helpers, answering the door and giving away handfuls of candy to each trick-or-treater who came up on the porch. This year they did the same, up until time to head out into the neighborhood themselves for their first time to wander the dark streets, begging strangers for candy.

Here we are when they first arrived and were pretty cooperative about picture-taking. Wyatt is Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, the good Transformers. Garett is Bumblebee, guardian of the kid in the movie, also an Autobot, and only talks through the radio. Bradley the Cat has no idea what in the sam-hill is happening, and Grace was the Snow Princess with beautiful hair, though you can’t really see her hairdo in this picture. 

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When it was time, we met up with niece Hannah and her two young cousins, Olivia and George, who are visiting from Hawaii with their parents. Grace decided Olivia was pretty wonderful and the two of them walked and talked. We didn’t get to hear much of their conversation, but at one point Grace was heard to tell Olivia, “I live in the country.”, to which Olivia replied, “I live in the jungle!”

Here they are at their first house, getting treats from our sweet neighbor, Jo:

trick or treat

(Bradley had to stay home with Grampy.)

For awhile, Garett followed behind Olivia, clucking like a chicken. We aren’t sure why. :o)

We pass out candy for the trick-or-treaters, but I always have something else for Wyatt, Garett, and Grace. This year the big hit for Wyatt was the glow-bracelets and glow-sticks that I picked up at Dollar Tree. We’ll definitely invest in those again. Here he is using two bracelets to make himself some eyeglasses:


It was a very fun evening, and I enjoyed that little blast-from-the-past from when my kids were little. Next year, if the weather is good, little Bradley may get to go along. Oh, Grammy can’t wait!!