Showing posts from October, 2013


Still no idea what actually went wrong with my back yesterday, but after lots of drugs and the heating pad, I am better today.  Still very tender and not overly mobile, but nothing like the pain of yesterday. 

At least I had already gone to the library before the store, so I've been listening to audio books while resting.  Aren't they just one of the best inventions ever?  I had intended to listen to them while canning today, but that would not be a good idea.  While I can now GET downstairs, I certainly can't stand for hours.  Or sit, for that matter.  Basically the cats and I have spent the last 24 hours sprawled on the bed.  Personally, I don't know what they see in it.

One thing the back pain has prompted me to do is to deal with annoyances that can be fixed.  I can't always control my back, but I really do have control over other things.  I've been in a book club on and off for 10-15 years.  It formed, went on, fell apart, took a hiatus, reformed a few yea…

Toni's Universal Law of Back Pain

If your back is going to go out, it will be in a humongous when you are at the very farthest point from the door, your car will be in the farthest spot, and you will have Valium in your purse but no pill cutter.

Almost There

18 pints of fresh tomato soup are cooling off in the pressure canner now, which is almost the end of the tomatoes.  And frees up a box:
I think the wink is because now I'm wondering if he also felt the need to be in there when it was full of tomatoes.  I wash them and peel them, of course, but after spending all day making tomato soup, the last thing I want to think about is a cat sitting on them.

I still have a few green tomatoes, and at least 30 pounds of frozen tomatoes, but I could use another 20 pounds to make tomato soup later in the week and be done with canning for the year, or I could just can tomatoes in the pressure canner which could take up slightly more than 20 pounds of tomatoes.  The end is in sight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


In spite of the 100 books-a-year goal, I rarely post about books.  Possibly because I'm pushing so hard to get through 100 books a year.  This year, thanks to the back, I hit my goal pretty early, so now I can pick anything. 

Interestingly, I thought reading (or listening to) more books would make me more tolerant of "lesser" books, but it didn't.  It has made me more willing to explore new authors or genres, but actually MORE intolerant of bad writing.  I have even stopped canning in order to rip disks out of our new 5-cd-changer because the book was so bad.  But occasionally there is one that surprises or delights me, and a few of the latest:

All Creatures Great And Small.  Every guy I ever dated in the 1990s seemed to have this book. I don't know why exactly, but it's true.  And when EVERYONE is reading something, that has generally meant I'm not going to like it, so I had ignored this book.  Then Andy and I watched some of the old British TV series of …

And We Have.....

a SECOND batch of green tomato salsa, to follow up on Monday's canned tomatoes and double batch of chunky basil pasta sauce.  Unfortunately,

there are still lots and lots and lots of tomatoes.  I keep telling myself that the overabundance is really a GOOD thing because between my father's illness and my back issues, I didn't do much canning last year, and our summers are only going to get hotter and hotter, making it harder to grow a garden every year, but I am still getting a bit tired of the tomatoes.  Most of my tomato plants are actually still alive, but we're not discussing that. 

Since I canned yesterday and had a miserable back day on Tuesday, I'm not canning today.  I have physical therapy at noon, and I'm guessing it will be one of those painful working-out-the-kinks sessions.  So maybe the tomatoes and I will spend some time together over the weekend.  Or maybe I have enough room in the freezer for more red ones and can ignore the silly things unti…


....and I don't have jury duty!  The jury system is a great thing, it's even an interesting process, but it still doesn't mean I want to be there.

I did have to go in yesterday, and I have to say that I was impressed with my fellow jurors.  No one WANTS to be there, but aside from two people who sounded like they were trying to get removed, during the questioning everyone really did take the process very seriously.  I was lucky enough to be at the end of the line for my particular panel--which meant that for me to be impaneled as a juror would have required the dismissal of 41 other jurors, which I think might have resulted in a mistrial--so I got to watch the process without really being involved.  Unfortunately, it meant two hours of sitting on the hard benches in the back, but at least I was saved from two additional hours on that bench by some sort of hiccup in the trial while we were on break, and we were sent home shortly before noon, and I spent the re…

Things I Have Learned From Facebook

*  One may have barely been able to pass high school, but given a Facebook or Twitter account, everyone is an expert on everything from medicine to economics.

*  Only the most foolish "news" stories get "buzz" on Facebook.  Miley Cyrus is STILL all over Facebook, but I had to check the BBC to read about the death of one of the last remaining SS officers.

* Something called "Breaking Bad" is ending or has ended, and this has some sort of huge impact on people's lives.  We, the unaware, seem to be able to carry on, though.........

*  The only way to continue to like some people is to NOT be connected to them on Facebook.

*  Being related is no reason to maintain a relationship with anyone.  People who make your skin crawl are people who make your skin crawl.

You Know You've Gotten Obsessed With the Garden When......

*  You have to take a picture of the perfect red bell pepper you grew before you can eat it:
* You check the weather more for the sake of how warm the garden will be than for how warm the house will be

*  Your spouse understands completely when you explain you can't buy any refrigerated groceries right now because the pepper harvest has taken up all the space............
* Finding a new green tomato salsa recipe is a cause for serious celebration.

* It isn't "fall" or "autumn" at your house but "canning season"

Things I Have Just Learned To Live With

*  Just because everyone else's garden froze last week doesn't necessarily mean mine isn't still going strong.

*  When trying a new canning recipe, it's always a good idea to have a few extra jars ready.  Especially when the recipe says idiotic things like "cook until thick."

*  There are times when I will use TWICE the number of jars a canning recipe says I will.  While it may indeed be a time for rampant cursing, it isn't a cause for panic.

*  If I had decided to plant only part of my tomato starts, I would probably have had very few actually producing.  Deciding to plant ALL of them seems to inspire a competitive streak in them for overproducing.  There is nothing in between. 

*  NOT planting zucchini has made me very popular with my other gardening friends, and has landed us with more zucchini than when we grow the silly stuff.

*  A refrigerator is much bigger in the store than it is during harvest season.

*  Living in Idaho doesn't actually guar…

An Early Frost Predicted.....

An unexpected frost warning tonight combined with high winds meant the garden couldn't be covered, so after physical therapy, I harvested what was left.  Even after our friend picking on Tuesday and me picking yesterday, there were still an amazing number of ripe tomatoes, which are just sprawled all over the counters or in the freezer now.

Oh yeah--I'm ready for the garden to die..........