Friday, September 2, 2011

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I feel a little bit like Santa Claus this week.  Only I’m not wearing a red suit, it’s not freezing outside, I don’t own any reindeer, and I’m not bringing anyone gifts.  But I do have a list that seems to be a mile long, and I’ve been working ever-so-diligently to get all the items checked off.


First there’s canning the droves of tomatoes that are turning a beautiful shade of red as they bask in the sunlight on one of the 20+ plants we have in our garden.  20 plants???  Yes, you read that right.  I don’t know what we were thinking a few months ago when we loaded our cart at the garden store.  The plants were so tiny and cute, so harmless.  They just needed some love and attention.  The current state of their branches - sagging under the weight from the fruit they carry - is evidence enough of the love and attention they have received the past 4 months.  I have peeled, crushed, and processed 17 pints (from 2 pickings) so far.  And there are enough of the red beauties on my counter for at least 10 more pints, though I think we’ll make some fresh salsa with them.


I just couldn’t live with only 5 bags of corn (what is currently in my freezer), so I picked up 5 dozen ears of corn at a local produce stand yesterday.  I had forgotten how quick and easy it is to prepare corn for freezing.  I got all 60 ears done in less than two hours, and came away with 10 bags of delicious sweet corn to freeze.  I think I’ll get some more – partly because I’m a fool, partly because I’m not sure 15 bags will last us a year, and partly because I can’t pass up 15 cents an ear!!  (Wow!!  I haven’t seen prices like that in YEARS!)


I also cooked up a large batch (read 1.5 gallons) of chili yesterday.  I feel a wee bit guilty about the prospect of Jared and the kids eating out the entire time I’m at the hospital with Daniel.  Yes, Jared is completely capable of cooking, and he does a great job at it.  But I know how it is to get home at 5:00 and THINK you’re going to come up with something to eat and throw it all together – oh, and keep everyone happy until it’s cooked.  Yeah, it’s not gonna happen much, if at all.  That’s where the chili comes in.  They all love it, and if it’s already cooked, there’s no excuse.  I’m going to be spending a large chunk of time today and tomorrow grating cheese, cooking tortillas, cooking pinto beans, etc. for meals like quesadillas, tacos, french bread pizza.  Quick, easy meals to throw together, thus avoiding the fast-food trap.


Jared brought up a point I hadn’t considered previously.  What are we going to do about Emily’s (and Rachel’s) hair?  Oh my goodness!  I had not thought about that.  Jared does a lot of things.  But doing girls hair is not one of them!  He assured me that he could help Emily blow dry her hair.  Thank goodness she has the most beautiful, perfect hair, because that’s all she really needs.  I guess he’ll have to send Rachel to the babysitters with a few hair elastics and beg them to do something with her hair!


There is laundry to be done, stuff to pack, schedules to prepare.  I guess you can see where this is going.  My mile-long list is keeping me distracted, preventing me from thinking too much (and then crying) about what is ahead for us.  I have been especially emotional today and find the tears to be coming more often than I would like.  What a relief it will be when we are on the other side of surgery and can look back on it as just a distant memory!

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