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About Crazy4Canning

  • Birthday 11/01/1973

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    The lovely NW
  • Interests
    Sewing, quilting, gardening, canning, healthy cooking, natural health, herbs, reading, knitting, crocheting, teaching, raising chickens!

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  1. These examples are at the forefront of my head and heart. Prudence early makes for a better bedfellow later. As we're being hit with snow here in the northwest, I'm increasingly thankful I've got boots, wool socks and many sweaters and a heating pad for my feet at night.
  2. Hello Everyone, If you want update on my situation, go to the Pssst Area and read up. However, the topic of this note is how well it pays to plan. I'm faced with a personal crisis and monies willbe quite tight for a while. If I hadn't planned a pantry or stocked food, I would be living on air. Aside from fresh fruits and veggies and whatever "grocery" items, I have enough stocked food to live comfortably for a couple of years. To my pleasant surprise, this also includes toiletries, shampoo, shave cream, OTC items like advil, etc. and bandaids, antacids, etc. I've also saved the odd bit of things so I've got lotions, soap, towels, and even yarn for hotpads, etc. I feel so blessed my 'foresight' in times of plenty is seeing me through now. Moral: Stock what you use, Use what you stock. Rotate, re-use and recycle. You never know when you'll need it. Hugs to all - C4C
  3. Did a 15# box of beans and 60 ears of corn. Yielded almost 3 dozen wide mouth pints of beans and 3 dozen +5 wmp of corn. It's been a while since I've canned, so I'm simply beat. Realized that I'm out of canned beef so I'm looking for prices on that. . . And I'm out of marinated mushrooms...and other stuff. Seems the dissertation didn't just do a number on my brain - it did a number on my pantry!!!
  4. Cat - you were right. They have chosen to interpret things in their own way. Basically, they are telling what friends they have left that I have "put them in a home and cut off all contact", when all I did was request time and space and tell the truth about the toll their choices have taken on my (our) life (lives). A family friend tried to get me to visit them with her - and when I politely declined, she said, "Well, they said you wouldn't, so fine." It rang loud and clear of the manipulation my parents have been playing for a while - if I won't bend, they will use others to get what they want. Same game that's been happening for decades. I will say that I've not had a phone call since the letter and my body is finally beginning to 'stand down'. I am aware that I am dealing with some PTSD in some form, for every time I see a car that looks similar to theirs, my heart starts to race and I panic - and every now and again, I think I see Dad in a place where I know he would never be. I know it's my subconscience processing, but it is still quite disconcerting. I also have been looking at the world through new eyes - for I see other people's parents who are the same age as mine - they're still working, healthy, making good choices, living independently . . .and I can't help but be envious yet glad for them that they have not experienced my hell. Earlier this week, I had a chance to pass on some cookware that I'd had for years - a set of stainless mixing bowls and about 5 or 6 cooking pots. I've no idea where they came from, but I'd had them a long time. I was rather taken aback by my friends' genuine enthusiasm and sincere gratefulness. My husband hit the nail on the head when he said, "You've been around negativity and critical people for so long, you've been picked clean and don't know what it's like to have someone be genuinely grateful. That's just not right." He's right. So - now begins the putting together of me. The best way I know is to do grounding things - and to process as I can (no pun intended on my name, lol).
  5. Thank you all. They have made their choices and their lives are evidence of that. I know full well I can't change them but neither will I be party to their dysfunction and hurtful words. I've even gone to far as to tell the neighbors if they see my dad lurking to call the police, for he has no business here. On a positive note - I am getting rid of two boxes in the study - one of their bills from the past six years and one of Guardianship papers. I do need to keep it, but I don't need to keep it close. It can live in the basement.
  6. The summer has been a whirlwind. Just when I thought I'd have time to process, I was wrong and something else happened - hence why my last post was in JUNE. In early July, my mom was moved from the Adult Care home into an assisted living facility where Dad would meet her at the end of the month. Dad was released two months early for 'good behavior' and 'work credit time' where he was able to reduce his sentence by working in the kitchen. I am very glad his sentence wasn't longer, for in the 4 months he was there, he dropped 40 pounds! Not that he didn't need to lose some weight, but it was becoming unsafe for him with regard to his health. Because there was no one else, I stepped up and helped put things away for mom in the new place - they have a studio apartment in one of the best assisted living centers in our city. I am so tremendously grateful that through state subsidy everything is being paid. They were given a bed and had other needs met so they could live comfortably. I stepped in a couple of times to help out and then the insanity of August hit. I told them I wouldn't be available for anything until after Labor Day. Towards the end of August I ended up receiving some very nasty and abusive phone calls, the last of which was full of venemous comments and insinuations that I was not a good daughter. After pacing back and forth and being agitated for a couple of hours, I calmed down and realized I had something snap inside of me - after all the time, effort, money, and tough love, they STILL weren't respecting boundaries, taking hints, and being respectful to me as a person. When my husband came home, he could see something was wrong. How is it people can suggest the most obvious things that we would have thought of ourselves had we been in a better head space? He suggested writing a letter. I went to bed and fitfully slept - and penned the letter the next morning. In a nutshell, I told my parents I needed space and time to heal, that the past few years were brutal and cost my husband and I dearly on a number of levels - and I took time to explain each one in great detail. I also added that I didn't appreciate, nor would I be accepting any more abusive phone calls and that they needed to make plans for the holidays, for we were going out of town. Now, mind you, it wasn't this abrupt, but went on for just over 4 pages - well written, clearly stated, articulate, and TO THE POINT, emphasizing that I did love them. When I let my husband read it, he suggested some minor changes, which I made. He said, "You are sending this, right? This is too powerful to sit on your hard drive." I blinked a few times, printed it and mailed it yesterday. I should have dropped it by the PO, but had stuff to do here at the house. So there it sat in the mailbox, waiting for the postman. Every time I thought about yanking it from the mailbox, I remembered those toxic messages and stopped short because my parents need to realize that a lines have been crossed and I will not be tolerating this behavior any longer. My husband also reminded me - "They don't listen. They don't respect you - they never have. You have communicated your wants and needs to them. They are driving you to this point. The lack of relationships in their life, including yours, is their choice and their problem - not yours." Yes, he got a big 'old smoochie for that. So. I do anticipate a few more vitriolic calls from them, but this needed to happen. And for the first time in years, I'm beginning to feel free and rediscovering myself and my husband. Thank you for all your listening and encouragement. You are such a gift and a blessing.
  7. You took the time and planted a seed. You've already seen the results from a few seconds of love and caring. Think of what more can be done to mold and shape that little guy's life. Hugs to you.
  8. Yes, the apartment and storage unit are DONE. What isn't done is the inevitable conversation we will have to have with Dad when he gets out about "where did all our stuff go?" But that's not my job.
  9. Ambergris, I think the texture will still be an issue, for I've done it. I'll eat them, but they are far from being at the top of my list for dinner. Good to have on hand in case of emergency, but that's it in my book. Jeepers - yes - you dont' need to boil Pressure Canned food. That is an 'old rule'. Why is it safe? You've already cooked and sealed whatever is in the jar. Imagine my eyeballs popping out of my head when Violet opened a jar of meat *in class*, fishes it out of the jar and tastes it. The logic was sound - and as long as you hear the seal break (that 'schnnnick' sound) when you open the jar, you're fine. I can't tell you how great it is to open a pint of chicken and toss it into chicken salad or something else I've pressure canned and know it's safe enough to eat right out of the jar. It's part of the reason why I preserve food. Remember, you don't have this issue with Water Bath Canning, for those are all higher acid foods. You open a jar of peaches and eat it, right? Same thing with Pressure Canning. It truly is safe. Yes - I did meet Violet when she and her boss taught a Master's of Food Preserving course a few years ago. It was great. I walked in and she greeted me with this huge smile, "Are you crazy for canning?" We had a good laugh and became fast friends. I learned so much from that class, it was amazing. Thanks for the update Violet. I'm helping individual friends can over the course of the summer and wanted to make sure nothing major had changed. I had a feeling about the Tattler lids - that's why I've not bought any yet. After my early adventures almost a decade ago of losing 2 boxes of beans to regular lids not sealing properly, I'm really hesitant to use something that might cause spoilage.
  10. My friend's gramma is in her 90's. Every special visit is marked by a treat of some sort. Last weekend, she had some mini bagels with different types of cream cheese for her boys loved them and she thought Gramma would too. However, Gramma was a War Bride. She worked in the USO and since then has always thought that special events always need a sweet treat - and coffee with donuts is ALWAYS a good thing. Gramma sits down and fixes up her coffee, takes a bagel and looks at it through her coke-bottom glasses, "My dear, what have you done to this donut? It's so hard!" (picture dear Gram rapping it on the table) "Oh Gram, those are bagels. I got them for the boys." "Sure. You're not pulling one over on me - they don't make bagels this small! Looks like someone left these donuts in fryer too long. (rap, rap, rap) What did you do to the donuts?" Her sweet husband distracted Gramma and my friend set her oldest boy *running* down to the corner market to buy mini-donuts. "Sweetie, here's some money. Get whatever type of mini donuts they have! Run!" So her boy ran and came back in record time. My friend was on the phone in her home office, so her young lad (who is 13) opened the donuts and arranged them on a special plate like he'd seen his Mama do before and dealt with the situaion with the grace of a Man. He went into the dining room, "Hi, Grandma! Here are the donuts! We were playing a joke on you! (laughing) We know how much you like donuts with coffee!" He prattled on an on about the different types and put some each on her plate. With much laughter, they enjoyed the visit. After she left, and my friend posted to FB her decimated table with donut crumbs, bagel bits and used coffee and cocoa cups. Lesson? Price of the mini-donuts? About $6 Time used in distracting Gramma? About 15 minutes Value of a day with family and letting Oldest Step Up? Priceless
  11. Brilliant! I'd love to do a 'test' of different varieties of crayons. What a fun camping project for a family!
  12. Hi there, Realizing it's been a couple of years since I took my Master's Class in Food Preservation - I'm curious now about any 'new' regs like the adding of lemon juice to tomatoes, etc. Has there been anything noteworthy that we should know? I'm being asked to teach a handful of friends this summer and want to make sure I'm all up to date. Thanks!
  13. You can also buy it in bulk from brewing supply companies. I did - and shared it among people who took our canning classes. It was around $4 for a huge bag, almost 4-6 times more than what you would buy with the 'brand name' in the jar. Works the same - just cheaper!
  14. I've done this - and they are fine. I seared the patties, used hot water, and processed them accordingly. I was able to fit 5 patties in a wide mouth pint jar, perfect for the two of us. What I did notice, however, is that the meat will have a different texture. This is because the meat is ground, seared, then cooked again in the jar and then altered again when you heat it. The proteins in the meat that are usually set ONCE are set a few different times. If you can get around the texture (which for some is no biggie), I think it's a great thing to have on the shelves. I make a gravy from mushrooms soup, add a can of mushrooms, a home canned jar of green beans, and some instant potates for a super fast supper.
  15. It is now the middle of June. Whoosh. As most of you know, early April saw my mom placed in a Adult Foster Home. She protested and caused waves, tried to manipulate people and circumstances, complained, and tried to blame me. Meanwhile, I had to sort through their apartment. It took me much longer than I thought it would – one bedroom of the two bedroom apartment was literally packed to the ceiling with boxes – most of which had items that were slated for donation. In a nutshell, I saved the important stuff. I saved their clothes, their Christian books and teaching dvds and some entertainment dvds. I saved the china and some ‘pretties’ from the china cabinet that I knew were family heirlooms. I also saved some things for a kitchen, including a very expensive water filter, should they have a small apartment within the next year. Unfortunately, the rest had such a horrible smell – and we were so limited on space, the Guardian had to have an estate company come through and liquidate. It was a blessing, for there was no way I could save all their things and move them – and clean the apartment. They did all that – and I was grateful. Now, had the Guardian or a Professional Service done the cleaning, aside from ‘personals’ like clothes or a specific item, it all would have been sold. Everything that had value would have been sold – and I was grateful I could keep the things I did. May saw us tackle the storage unit. This was a 10x12x14 unit that I could not do without my husband’s help, for my dad had stuff stacked to the ceiling like a monkey puzzle. There was furniture and boxes weaseled inside each other that when you moved one thing, it all came tumbing down. More than once, my husband commented, “Well, whatever is in here will fall, so if it’s breakable, I guess we’ll know in a hurry.” I did find family photo albums, negatives and slides that I need to archive – all of which need sorting – something to be done during the winter or a vacation day. However, well over 95% of what was so sacred in that storage unit was literally junk. Some boxes hadn’t been unpacked in over a decade, some even longer. I can’t believe the attachment to useless stuff. The bad news is that as a result of all the dust, mice poo and mold, my allergies that had already kicked up and by the end of the storage unit cleaning, I had upper respiratory bronchitis that required two different sets of antibiotics and two different inhalers. My husband also needed antibiotics for a wicked cold and sinus infection. We are both well now, thankfully. Last week, however, the hooey hit the fan. Mom kept calling and blowing up my voicemail - bothering me about what I had saved and just in general being a brat. Finally, the Guardian had a chat with her about all of her possessions and the beater cars. After the conversation, Mom called me quite emotional demanding to know why I let things happen. I assured her that whatever help I received was a blessing and reminded her about the smelly items – the overwhelming smell of trash, mouse poo, dirt, cooking odors, rancid oil, ketones, and adult diapers that permeated everything because of the state of the house. (For lack of better description, my husband and I are dubbing the smell, ‘It’, for It is largely indescribable and cannot be removed from clothes, shoes, hair, or other items. It sticks around and has burned Itself into our subconsciousness.) I assured her that we kept what we could but it wasn’t a lot – their possessions are in a tarp shed in our driveway. Dad’s tools are in a tarp shed behind our garage. She was in tears – lamenting and blaming me for throwing their stuff away. At the time, there was nothing I could say or do – I just let her rant. She was acting out due to anger and hurt. The next day, however, she called and apologized. I was secretly wondering if the health care staff had slipped her a valium or some thorazine. She said she prayed and God gave her peace. She said she realized how hard it had been on me – and that it was because of me that so many things got saved. Before I could blink, however, in the next breath, she was demanding to know itemizations again. I did thank her for the apology and assured her it had not been a pleasant journey for me – it made me sick, took time away from my home and husband, and even searching for a job. And – no- it did not give me joy to go through my parents’ possessions with them still alive. We did ‘make peace’, though I’m not lowering my guard. I’ve simply been through too much to step back into the abuse cycle. I am still dealing with the excess from the storage shed – I had to toss a bunch of files into boxes and leave them on my porch for recycling day. That is being cleared out this week and I will have my porch back. How will I celebrate? I will buy a new patio set. Total – my husband and I made 25 truckloads to Donation. At the apartment, we filled 4 dumpsters and 8 recycling bins. A separate list for another post is all the junk we found. If there is any advice I could leave anyone with – it’s this: Don’t accumulate what you don’t use. Rotate your groceries. If you don’t use something inside of a couple of years – why are you keeping it? This can apply to clothes, furniture, anything that causes clutter. Make everything have a place and put everything in its place. The plus side from all this? I’ve been so active, I’ve been running my butt off. I have an entire tote of clothes I can wear that I’ve not been able to fit in years.
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