right now

right now

Sep 22, 2009

Get it together, Girl!

When I look back on my day today, I shudder to think what a stranger would make of me. Just when I was getting decent at juggling gardening along with my parenting skills, school (mine) gets thrown in the mix! The whole day I went from activity to activity absent-mindedly, jittery, accident prone... to an onlooker I must have seemed like an addict or maybe someone who had consumed 30 or so lattes back to back!

It started well enough, got up, got both kids and myself ready to go by 7:15. On the way out the door I realize I have the perfect crew to get rid of my excess veggies... a-ha!... the Master Gardener class students! So I head back and pile eggplant and peppers in a shallow box and head to school. Upon arrival, I attempt to juggle the box along with my coffee and bag, of course spilling stuff in the stairwell. When I plunk the box down to "oooh's" & "ahhhh's" I feel somewhat better, but at the same time think to myself "don't these people garden?" lol!!

(Veggies pawned off on my classmates!)

Afterwards I pick up my youngest and head home to deal with yet more peppers...

13.5 lbs of them!!!

(these are destined for the freezer, I gave up after slicing 6 lbs!)

Yikes, where do they all come from??? Anyway, my husband gets home at about 2:30 pm and agrees to take care of the kids, bath, dinner, etc, so I set about getting to work canning jalapenos. About halfway through gloved mama slicing peppers, he gets a call that he has to go back to work. Now I am trying to handle pepper oils and boil water and sterilize jars on the back deck (propane burner this time!) all while my kids are tearing through the house demanding dinner. I am trying to hurry since I have already been at it for 2 hours at this point, and promply try to pull jars out of boiling water using an inappropriate utensil and spill boiling water all over my hand and arm and toe! Ten minutes later I spill vinegar on my dog. The event culminated in my removing canned peppers to a flat cutting board, walking through the house with them when 2 of them started to slide... instead of letting it crash to the floor, I grab one with my hand and the other is wedged between my elbow and side of torso. Yeah, serious burns all over my body... someone please remind me that this is supposed to be fun and rewarding! I looked like a poster child for an anti-home canning campaign. Del Monte or Libby would love me to show why their products are "superior"! I am starting to wonder myself: I mean, hey, we can get a vat of pickled jalapenos at S@m's Club for like 5 bucks!!! One would never know I actually have experience at this endeavor...

(pepper rings this time, too lazy to scorch and peel them all)

(the end result: pickled & whole frozen jalapenos... I gave up slicing after an hour!)

Well, at least I can say canning season went "out with a bang"! And it's a good thing I don't drink martinis while canning... can you imagine? Or maybe I should start....! Well, one can of Solarcaine later, I can now reflect on my day. I think I will remember this one for awhile. Maybe next year I will actually get everyone out of the house on canning days. I cannot wait to get these kids in bed.... 15 more minutes!

Yesterday, I actually got my whole garden fall-planted except for my onions, garlic & shallots. I am sure I will write about that tomorrow, that is, if my fingers haven't blistered and fallen off! :)


  1. Oh, for heaven's sake Erin. I hope you are OK. I have never been a multi-tasker, so I know how you felt. And it seems as though when one thing goes wrong, everything that follows also goes wrong. I vaguely remember canning at midnight, after everyone else was in bed....no distractions.

  2. Vinegar on the dog. You had me from there.

    The cans are beautiful...and you did remember to wear gloves this time...just imagine if you hadn't. ;)

  3. Erin, dear, you need a canning intervention. Enough already! Pull those blasted pepper plants out and throw them in the compost. Need I say next year don't plant so many?

    Seriously, canning can be dangerous. (Just ask your dog. You know, the one who smells like a pickle.) I truly hope you're okay.

  4. Slow down, take a deep breath and pull the pepper plants. I mean, really, how many jars of peppers do you need? (says she who has 6 more pints of salsa processing even now) I do hope you're okay. Take it easy.

  5. Oh, man. Well, I think my desire for trying canning has ceased! LOL

    Your peppers look delicious, and I bet your classmates will be totally geared up to grow veggies after seeing your lot!

  6. Ribbit, that was the high point of the day - knowing that I at least wore gloves and glasses, lol! And guess what? The peppers were pulled out - there were more peppers I saw after I threw the plants into the wheelbarrow but I just walked away from them....! Note to self: only 2 or 3 plants next year, not 6 !!

  7. Oh you poor thing. I hope your burns are feeling better.

    Yes, only 2 or 3 plants next year...or maybe none since it appears you have enough peppers preserved to get you through the next 2 years!

  8. Goodness Erin! You do have a lot going on! Wouldn't it be nice if all of us bloggers lived close and we could help each other out?

    I hope that today goes much better for you. :) Hope the burns are better too.

  9. Hi Erin,
    Ouch, ouch and OUCH! This is my first post/comment on your blog...
    Been reading your posts off and on for a couple of months - found you on Mama Pea's - A Home Grown Journal and was excited to see that you are actually in the South...So your gardening is a little more like mine in north GA. I'm curious to know what all you planted in your fall garden. Last night after work I planted turnip greens, mustard, kale and spinach and broccoli. Still have lettuce, arugula and peas I may try. I actually felt like it was pretty late (since I planned to do all this much earlier this month) but figured, why not go ahead - it certainly still is warm and humid. We have had lots of flooding in this area - made the national news (near Chattanooga) so the ground is nice and damp and warm. We'll see what happens.
    Hope your burns aren't too serious and won't cause you too much pain. I can relate to the frustration of parenting and trying to get other things done - but now that my sons are 27 and 30, I can say to you, enjoy these years! LOL
    Have a blessed day! Vivian

  10. Can I be your neighbor???? LOL

    Those jalapenos look beautiful! I love them on everything, and of course stuffed with cream cheese!

  11. Lovely photos, makes me want to garden and can :) although unfortunate that you got burned, it was fun to read :) Best wishes ! :)

  12. Hi Vivian! Thanks for visiting my blog. This fall I planted lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, and will be putting in shallots, garlic & onions next month. I know collards and brussels sprouts do well too here in the south, but they are not my thing, lol! ABW, thanks for the visit and comment, and of course you can be my neighbor! Elkirbster, glad I could give you a laugh :) !!!