I'm back!

annie1992July 5, 2011

At least for now, we'll shee what life has in store for me next.

My stepson was married last May, we did the appetizer reception for 600 people. My oldest daughter married in October, I canned the 150 jars of salsa as wedding favors. Right after that I was messing around in the garage and fell and injured my knee. It didn't get better. My youngest daughter got married May 21, no salsa, thank goodness, but I did bake the wedding cake for both weddings and Elery and I made all the food for the wedding, 350 guests. Right after that, I had knee surgery and one week after I had surgery, Ashley had emergency surgery to have her appendix out. Oh, and she's pregnant, they wanted kids right away. Oh, and I got a new boss last October too, he'd like me to retire so he can replace me with his own secretary. So work is a bit odd too.

So, no garden this year, I've been pretty much laid up, but I'm recovering nicely and have a really good local farmer's market that grows all of their product. It's even organic, so they'll be getting my business.

So, I'm back, I'm thinking of canning some strawberry jam, just to kind of ease into canning season, LOL.


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Nice to see you! Here's hoping all your big challenges are behind you. I made your salsa for the first time last year. I ordered the Roma tomato mill this year so I can make much more. It arrived today. Enjoy your strawberry jam.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:29PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

Hi Annie - nice to see you or "read" you - I guess.

I'm still praying over my tomatoes - so it may be a trip to the local grower (if I can still find one among the back country housing development), but I do so want to make some more salsa.

However, I did make some nice strawberry jam. My own little strawberry patch is so pathetic, only a handful now and then. My GD and I went over to the local "U-Pick" place, and plunked down $17.00 a piece for 2 buckets of slightly over-ripe berries. I urged her to pick the smaller ones, as the larger have more water and air in them, but I noticed when we got home, that my bucket held more - smaller, firmer berries than hers.

Anyway, I got 7 nice jars of jam - yummy, and several quarts of berries for the freezer. I vow, next year I'm going to treat my own little plot a lot better - there must be a way.

I can't complain - this has been an excellent garden year. Just finished oodles of apricot sauce and plum sauce, plus plum and lime wine, oodles of fermented green beans and frozen, etc., etc.

My kitchen chores are so time consuming, that I barely can keep awake to watch the ballgames - drat!

Hang in there - if the boss fires you, who knows, it might bring a better working relationship.

Hope your knee is better - I hate to be out of commission - no one else in the family likes to garden - that would be a disaster.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 7:12AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Welcome back Annie! You have been missed.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:41AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Hey, Annie!

I haven't been around much myself (much less interesting reasons than yours), but just wanted to say hi.

Think of you often, not least of all whenever opening a jar of salsa. I THINK I canned just about the right amount last year; tomatoes should be ripening in quantity in about six weeks and I've got about ten jars left. (But there are a couple of barbecues in there, so.... could be close!)

So sorry to hear you've been having so much trouble with your knee. Hope it repairs soon and fully.


Nice to see you, too! My little strawberry patch, after doing well for two years, was pathetic for the last one or two. I decided it had gotten too crowded, so this spring I dug it all up, amended the soil, replanted about 30 plants, well spaced, and gave away about 75 more. (Sheesh, no wonder they were crowded.) But I think I should have done this last fall, or perhaps even earlier in the spring; the plants took a few weeks to settle back in, and by then didn't have time to flower and bud in a major way. At least, I'm hoping that's the problem, and that next year I'll have a nice crop again. I kept about half small (first-year) plants and about half bigger (presumably second-year) ones, and I'm hoping if I dig up half the bed every few years from now on, and be better about pinching runners, I can be sure to keep it continuously productive.

Meanwhile, the season from the farmers here was late (it was such a cool, wet spring) and short---there was only about a week or ten days of PYO at my nearest place, which I missed, and the berries for sale will be over prob. this weekend. Got to get a bunch SOON for jam and freezer.

Good news is that I also cleaned up the little raspberry patch, pruning old wood and amending soil, and it's looking gorgeous, full of little berries now, will be ripe in a few weeks.

Also I finally put my rhubarb in the ground. Had this little plant in a pot for 3 years, couldn't decide for sure where to put it; it never got big enough to harvest more than a handful, of course, but at least it hung on and I finally just put it in. Meanwhile it produced a new "baby" so I have that maturing in a pot, will plant it this fall.

Next year: strawberry-rhubarb jam from my own yard!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 4:18PM
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Bejay, the boss COULD fire me, if he wanted to, but he won't. I've been here 33 years and he has to run for election next year, that would look really bad to a small county of voters, many of whom I am related to and many more that I'm friends with. He just kind of takes away anything interesting that I usually do and has me relegated to secretarial and menial tasks, hoping I'll get bored or disgusted and retire. Thankfully, I stayed on the county's old defined benefit plan, so I can retire at 80% of my wages and Elery has insurance, so I could just switch to that. How fortuitous when true love comes with insurance, LOL.

Zabby, the strawberry season was late and short here too, and the asparagus was nearly a month late. Crazy wet and cold spring but now it's hot and humid, like a greenhouse, and the plants are loving it.

thanks, Dave and Seedmama!

I'm going to the farm after work, I have a tree that fell onto my fenceline and I'm taking the loppers out to see how much I can repair. A REAL farmer would have a chain saw, but I don't so it's hand tools and barbed wire. I walked to work today for the first time since surgery and my knee aches a little, but it's not bad, so I'm coming right long!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 4:56PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

Hellooo!! Glad to have you back!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:44AM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Goodness, Girl ! You have had more than your share of things to do. So sorry to hear about your knee. This getting older is NOT for wimps !
You take care and don't over do it with that knee.
Congratulations, again, Grandma !!
I still only have the one. He is nearly 7. He is 2 handfuls ! So smart, though. Very handsome. Just would like a girl, too ! I want to buy dolls and play tea party, all those kinds of things. I need a girl !
Work is insane. Guess you know I work at the extension office now... I am Program Assistant for the Master Food Preservers. I have a lot of responsibility. Also will soon be working on a low income project. Teaching them how to preserve foods. Some have been taught to grow gardens. We will also get a lot of free produce from local orchards and farmers. I got some donated jars. Pomona's is amazing, too. They are the kindest people there. They are sending me pectin to use in my low income project !! This is win/win situation. We can use no or low sugar. Plus, so can the low income people. Will be so much cheaper and healthier for them. Oh, I am SO excited about this.
I teach food preservation and food safety. I help train new MFP volunteers, do the clerical work, teach a lot of classes, etc. Never thought I would get paid to do such a great thing. Just perfect for my love of food preserving ! My husband says I am so busy I am like a whirlwind ! There are so many places requesting classes that I am having a hard time keeping up. I do send volunteers to teach some of them. At least I have some help. We also have a phone "hotline" that is staffed daily during the week with volunteers. We have gauge testing clinics usually one per week or every 2 weeks, at least. There are also jam and bread camps. They go out to the fields, get the berries and make freezer jam and bread in a bag. They take home freezer jam and homemade bread ! So much fun. This is one busy extension office. I am so happy to be a part of this.

So glad to have you back, Annie !!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 1:46PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


It's great to hear about your recent exploits, too! You ARE a whirlwind. I'm so glad your local community is getting the benefit of your experience and knowledge.

who has her first jam of the season macerating away downstairs right now

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:38AM
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CA Kate

Hi, Annie! I haven't been around much either. It seems that life has gotten in the way of visiting the forums. Sorry to hear about you messing up your knee.

The only things I've managed to do is experiment with a bit bowl of fresh lemons from a neighbor's tree. Accidentally made some really great Lemon Liquour and some lemon salt. That's it!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 4:43PM
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shammierock(5blue water/MI)

Hi Annie, I haven't been on here lately either, but I'm glad to see you're back.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:00PM
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Hi Annie. Sorry I'm late but glad to see you around again!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:12AM
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I guess I am later but I am really glad to see you back also Annie. One of the things I always do is to first look at who posted the comment - before I even read them.
In the "old days" I always looked for Linda Lou, Ken R. and Reading Lady Carol, and of course ANNIE.
Hope the trials of life are conquerable and that you have a great fall and Christmas Season. And yes, I am still eating "Annie's Salsa" and it is so labeled on the jar.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 4:30PM
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