Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cooties, CraftLit, and Canning

Some random thoughts...

We've been sick. Some kind of virus-plus-strep throat (for at least one of us). Doc put the whole lot of us on antibiotics which has helped the strep-py kid. The dh and I though? Not so much. Still have sore throats and dh has been very achy and tired. Better today, though--finally! Really not looking forward to winter sickness. We've stayed pretty healthy this summer, but it seems like when the cold weather hits we're sick a lot. And of course, we pass everything around to the whole house, so. Fun. Last winter wasn't as bad as usual, though. Don't know if it's because the older kids have learned to wash their hands more (cutting down the cooties brought into the house) or if it was all the Emergen-C we took. (You can get it at your local health food store or wal-mart.) Anytime we went somewhere, we all took some. Anytime one of us started feeling bad, we all took some. And I think it really helped. Not terribly expensive compared to a trip to the dr. and subsequent prescriptions.

Do you listen to CraftLit? It's an amazing podcast that I started listening to about a year and a half ago. It's done by an English professor, who taught high school for years in New York before moving to Arizona. She does some crafty talk--she knits, spins, draws, paints, etc. Then she teaches about the chapter(s) of the book for that show which is just SO wonderful. I've learned sooo much, which has been an incredible blessing for my dormant-bookworm brain. I used to read ALL.THE.TIME. before I started having baby after baby. I let the urgent everyday stuff fill in all that time that I should have been keeping my brain sharp. Anyway. Gift this podcast a listen. It's a good thing. OH, and she's got CD compilations off all the podcasts, divided by book, in case you've got dial-up or can't otherwise listen to the downloads. You may need to e-mail her for those--I know she's taking some to SOCK SUMMIT (where she's teaching a heel techniques class and a couple podcasting classes). BONUS for listening--her gramma's banana bread recipe. Oh yeah. Made two loaves last night. Let's just say it's a hit for breakfast.

Also, Librivox. In case you want MORE BOOKS! (Sometimes one or two chapters a week on CraftLit just isn't enough.) All public domain, recorded by volunteers. Some good readers, some not so good. But FREE!

Now, canning. I've only canned a few pints of salsa a couple years back. I always think I'm going to do it, I'll can whatever produce I can find good deals on. But I never do it. I chicken out. Right now I've got pint and quart jars that I bought, lids, rings, canning salt, vinegar, a pickling mix, tons of tomatoes and cucumbers exploding all over the vines, and.....um......a freezer salsa recipe that I've already made two batches of. What's my deal? I think it's the intimidation of cooking all the salsa/slicing the cucumbers, then trying to get everything hot at the same time, jar it up without burning myself, and the really scary part? Thinking that I have to keep things STERILE in MY HOUSE. I just don't think it can be done. Too many littles. Too many older kids who like to stick their fingers in things for a taste. I dunno. Maybe I'll get the salsa all ready today, put it in a pot in the fridge, then cook and can after bedtime. Think that would work? We'll see.

In other news? A knitting-related post--coming soon!

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