Saturday, September 12, 2009

And Finally....

To let all of you know. Larry and I are moving! We did get the apartment that we could afford and are STILL waiting to sign the contract **grumble, grumble** but we've been assured that it is ours and were given the tentative date on when we would be able to move in.

It will most likely be available this coming Saturday or Sunday. I started packing Thursday and believe it or not, I'm nearly finished. I'm dragging my feet about doing anything else, since the front room is almost bursting with boxes and I still have to pack our linens, our bedroom and wash all our laundry before I can pack it.

On a sad note, Lars and I will NOT be able to afford internet for the first 3 months after we move, so I might only be able to get on when we come over to my mother-in-law's on Saturdays to do our laundry. Life will be veeeerry different. No cable, no internet. But it should be good. It'll force me to get out and take walks now that it's almost cool enough to do so again, and now that I know where everything is, I can finish my high school scrapbook, start on our wedding scrapbook, and keep up on Jonathan's scrapbook. I just need to find a dining table to fit in our eating nook so I can lay all the stuff out. I'll also need to get a baby gate to keep the paper-eater away from all my goodies. =0

I'm not excited anymore. I got tired of waiting to hear back from the apartments, so the anticipation wore off before it even had a chance to begin. Since it's only a week away, it doesn't seem real. I've lived with my in-laws so long, I've almost forgotten what it feels like to be independent.

I think I'm just spoiled being able to flip on the tv whenever I want. I love being able to hand over the baby when he's tired of me and Lars isn't able to watch him due to making lesson plans. At college I never had cable or a computer with internet, but I had a big social life. Oy. My world revolves around a child who doesn't walk or talk. I have a feeling I'm very near losing my sanity thinking about all the empty sound I'll be living with...

I know this will be good, but now that it's actually happening, all I can think about are the things I have to leave behind. All of the sudden, living here doesn't seem so bad- until someone does something that makes me crazy, which is often....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Canned Labor Day

I had a very long day yesterday. It was full of errand running, sugar, and cranky baby noises.
First off, I got up and took care of the baby. Then I had a big bucket full of filthy jars that I was given from Sally English (who sold us our fruit and lent me her boiler to can) that I laid out on the lawn to hose down. I needed to pick up lids and rings to seal in the fruit, but I didn't have the cash to do so and had a couple returns I needed to take back to Ross so I could get the money. (Have I mentioned how much I hate moving and only because it makes wallets so blasted tight for a few months before and after?) So after feeding Jonathan again, we all hopped in the car and drove to Ross to return the goods and then drove to the super Walmart in Pico Rivera.

When we got to the canning section in Walmart, we realized that we didn't really know the size of lids we needed since there were so many different brands and a few different sizes. I could definitely tell it was that time of year again. The section was so picked over that there were no rings left and not enough of the size of lids we thought we'd need. Since Walmart sells that stuff so cheap, we bought two flats of quart jars that had lids and rings. I just needed to wash and sanitize them after I got home. (And they sell boilers for $18.98 so I'll definitely be able to afford that later. All the others I've seen have been upwards of $80. Talk about a bargain!)

We pulled up into our driveway, only to realize I forgot to remind Lars we needed to stop by Stater Bros. for a couple bags of ice to finish the blanching process, so we hopped in the car and he ran in to buy those.

When we got home again, Jonathan had been miserable right before we left Walmart, so we spent some time with him while I set up the kitchen and boiled the jars and lids. I fed the child again and put him down for a nap. I was beat because I haven't been sleeping very well the last week since Jonathan's been up late, even if he does sleep in. I crawled in my bed with the baby and flipped on the a/c for us both and closed my eyes. Lars came in to join us 10 minutes later, which was wonderful. I miss family naptime.

Around an hour later, we all got up, fed the baby again, and put him in the tv room to watch the Disney channel so Lars could do his lessons and I could start on the peaches. I called my stepmom to make sure I knew what to do and got to work. I made a giant batch of the syrup and put it in a bowl. Jonathan had a very hard time due to the fact that I had to get the peaches blanched, out of the boiling water and into the ice water and skinned before I could tend to him. Every time he had a meltdown, it would be right in the middle of one of those processes. If I tried to do it on a day while Lars was at school it would've been even harder, albeit, Lars was doing his lesson plans most of the time.

I forgot to lay Jonathan down for his evening nap in time since I was trying to hurry and finish the box of peaches and didn't end up putting him down until around 8:30. I thought for sure he would sleep through the night after crying all day from being lonely and bored, but my gut told me he would wake up in an hour or two, so I worked to finish the rest of the peaches. I was right. At a quarter to 10, Jonathan woke up and I discovered that some of the sealed lids had popped because someone touched them before they had a chance to cool over night. I was miffed. But I was going to be up for awhile, so I turned on the boiler again and waited another million years for the water to get to a rolling boil.

Around midnight, I knew Jonathan and I were both ready to sleep, even if he didn't realize it and the tired's hadn't hit me. I got Jonathan ready for bed (again), did my nighttime routine, and we had family prayer. I knew if we laid down together in a dark area he would settle. So I pulled out the scriptures and read to him. Before the end of the short chapter, he dropped off to sleep. It was very sweet. I don't get a chance to get him to fall asleep like that very often, so it made me feel successful as a mother. I had a hard time being away from my baby even thought I could still see and hear him. I don't know how working moms do it day in and day out.

Start with a box of peaches. (This is only a little over half the box since I forgot to take a picture before I started.)

Blanch 6-8 peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and place in a bowl of ice water. Promptly slough off skin before ice melts and peaches are still warm. Cut in half, remove pit and place in a jar. Use melon baller to remove red walls of peach insides. Slice into pieces directly into jar. Shake jar to help pieces lay tightly together to get as much in as possible. Use a soup ladle to spoon syrup mixture in jar over peaches. Fill with syrup until there's about a quarter of an inch left before the neck of jar. (You need that room for the peaches to expand and not boil over.) Boil lid, dry and place on top of jar immediately while still warm to help seal better. Twist ring over top of lid tightly.

First two jars finished and waiting to go into the boiler. Put 2-6 jars (depending on size) into boiler and submerse for 25-30 minutes. Don't start the timer until jars are completely covered with water and lid to boiler is on. Promptly remove or peaches will start to cook.

25 pounds of peaches, 10 hours, and 15 jars later, I'm finished and waiting to do pears this weekend.

I'm really pleased with myself. I knew that it would be simple, but a long arduous process. I didn't realize how easy it would be to actually do it by myself, but also how hard it would be on me emotionally to leave my son to cry by himself all day long. They better be darn good peaches is all I'm saying!