Archive for August, 2010

This Shirt

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

this shirt

This shirt hangs behind the bath room door. It’s an old shirt I bought Bernie over 20 years ago.

this shirt

The collar is quite worn. It’s really only a rag now. He gave it to me a while ago.

It’s full of memories. Happy times. Sad times. Worse times. Better times.

It keeps me warm when there’s a chill in the air.

It reminds me of all we’ve been through.

It makes me smile to think of all we have in our future.

this shirt

It makes him laugh when I wear it.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I love this shirt.

Canners

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

We’ve had this Presto pressure canner for a while.

canners

I don’t remember when we got it. Bernie says about 20 years ago. It can process 8 pints or quarts at a time.

canners

And if I’ve got 8 or less jars to process, this little canner does the trick in short order. When there are more than 8 jars to process I can still use this canner, and I have on many occasions, but recently I got a double-decker canner that cuts down the amount of time spent canning by allowing me to process twice as many jars at one time. It’s a huge monstrosity in comparison. I named it Franken-canner.

canners

It’s an “All American” brand canner, and the documentation says it can hold 19 pints or 14 quarts. I could only fit 16 pints in it, but I was using wide mouth jars and I imagine that’s why. But 8 pints easily fit in the bottom of it.

canners

And, after adding the second rack, 8 more pints fit on the top.

canners

I know there’s only one pint on the upper rack in that picture, but I wasn’t really canning and was only trying to give you an idea of how much these canners hold. Those green beans were some of the 10 pounds Charlotte gave us last weekend and I had already processed them, and they just agreed to model the canners for me.

I like both of these pressure canners.

canners

If you’re in the market for a pressure canner and don’t know which size would suit you best, consider how many jars you would typically be processing at one time. I think if you typically process 8 jars or less at one time, a smaller pressure canner like this Presto will work beautifully for you. It’s also less expensive than the Franken-canner. But if you typically process more than 8 jars at one time, then the Franken-canner is probably going to be a good choice for you. Keep in mind that because pressure canning requires pressure to function properly, using the Franken-canner for only 8 jars or less is not quite as efficient as using a smaller canner. Because there is less space to pressurize, the smaller canner will work a little quicker and more efficiently for smaller batches.

I also have two sizes of water bath canners.

canners

The smaller one Bernie and I bought just after we married. It processes 7 quarts or pints at a time. The larger one was gifted to me from an aunt and it processes 8 quarts or pints at a time. In all honesty, I’d have a hard time recommending the larger water bath canner over the smaller. The reason is because the difference is only one jar, but the amount of additional water required to fill and bring to a boil in the larger canner is significant. If I know I am only going to can exactly 8 jars, I use the larger canner, but I typically water bath can more than 8 jars in a day, so I tend to use the smaller canner. Did that make sense?

And since we’re on the subject of canning, I’ve been wanting to share this little book with y’all for quite a while.

canners

I have no idea when or where I found this manual – certainly it’s much older than our Presto canner, but there is no copyright date inside it. There is this little clue though:

canners

The style of this manual, combined with the “material shortages due to the present national emergency” lead me to believe it was published during World War II – probably between 1939 and 1945. I don’t know why that fascinates me, but it does. And I love that the manual let the owner know she had made an investment in good eating.

canners

Because home canning is very important.

canners

There are so many things I love about this manual and enjoy looking at, but there are a couple of pages I actually use from time to time.

canners

canners

I just love that manual. And I’d love to see the canner that came with it.

Skunk Solution

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Here’s Bernie’s solution for keeping skunks out of the yard:

no skunks sign

He thought he’d take care of bears at the same time:

no bears sign

I sure hope it works.

Unwanted Visitor

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

We’ve looked out the window a couple of times today and seen an unexpected, and rather unwelcome visitor in the backyard.

skunk

I don’t know a lot about skunks, but I do know they are usually nocturnal.

skunk

But we’ve seen this one in the yard twice today – in broad daylight.

skunk

At first we worried she may be rabid. But she’s not at all aggressive. She’s also not terribly worried with our presence.

skunk

The closer we got, the more nervous she acted. Eventually, she walked away.

skunk

We think she’s interested in making her home in a pile of brush Bernie piled up after a storm and has been meaning to mulch.

skunk

She’s really, really cute. But she can’t stay here.

skunk

She finally got tired of the photo session and went outside the fence.

skunk

But I really think she was hoping we’d leave so she could get back to snacking in the backyard and setting up house in the woodpile.

skunk

She finally started moseying off.

skunk

Even though she seemed to feel the need to turn and look threatening just one more time.

skunk

We’re going to get rid of that wood pile. And we’re going to hope she takes the hint and finds somewhere else to hang out. With dogs, chickens, and goats running around nothing good can come out of a skunk hanging around the yard.

Ever had to deal with discouraging a skunk from visiting before? We’re not interested in harming her. And we’re not interested in getting sprayed. But we are very interested in convincing her to move on.