Saturday, August 22, 2009

Life with John...

Once again, John mercilessly exploits Jessica's gullibility.

A couple of his favorites...

"It was sliced so thin it only had one side."
  • "My peripheral vision is so good I can see my own ears."

"The bottle says I should have used gloves." -pretending to read off a foot lotion bottle!

He claims he does it to entertain me... I think he's entertaining himself. Either way, it's funny and it only makes me love him more.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Canning 2009 - Round 1

John and I completed Round 1 of our annual canning. We purchased a full bag of roasted extra hot chilies this year from Wagner's. Processing those (removing skins and most of the seeds) took about two hours and resulted in 9 cups that we used in our salsa recipe, plus 26 cups we froze for future use. We canned 11 pints of very hot salsa and 2 quarts of dilly beans.

This year we did the actual canning in the front garden. We simply connected the grill's propane tank to our camp stove. While researching pressure canning for future projects, we stumbled on a notation about water bath canning on ceramic and flat glass cooktops that basically said we'd be risking cracking our stovetop. We can't seem to remember if we had the new stove during canning last year, but if we did, we got lucky. I actually preferred doing the process outside - it kept the house a lot cooler.

Much of the salsa has been allocated away as gifts. We figure we will make 2-3 more batches once more of our tomatoes come in. We will most likely try pickles again. I'm hoping to can some savory jellies, too. We've purchased a pressure cooker/canner and are planning to experiment in canning soup as well.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sam's Visit

I'm sorry we weren't better about blogging Sam's visit. We were so busy trying to cram in all the different activities like camping, visiting the zoo, movies, books, riding, art projects, board games and swimming with the dogs that we just didn't really have time for the computer.

We managed to do many things. We got our portraits taken and even made cookies Sam's last day here. We played countless games of Uno, Mancala, and Find It. We snuck in a few rounds of Sorry! too. I'm not sure what Sam's favorite thing was, but I know mine... I loved riding with Sam. It was such a cool experience for me to be able to share something I love so much with him, and to have him enjoy it with me. I found myself missing him on back when I went for a ride today.

We had a GREAT 4th of July. We started with a big breakfast, then went for a ride up to the Gilman Tunnels and then to Cabezon Peak where we snacked. When we got home, we cleaned up and went out to dinner at one of the local Chinese restaurants, which Sam loved. After dinner we came home and had a brief rainshower that resulted in a HUGE rainbow, which we viewed from the back patio. Then we treated ourselves to a home fireworks display and observed the various other fireworks provided by neighbors and the larger city shows in the distance. We saw many beautiful things and had a full day!

After a week at Zoo camp, Sam attended a week of Aquarium camp. He made many art projects and studied Piranha. The last day of camp I met him at afternoon snack and we attended the eel feeding together. He learned so much at these summer camps!

We took the next week for just the two of us. We spent one day at the zoo. Sam acted as the tour guide and we managed to see just about everything without referring to a map. On the way to the zoo, I ended up behind a horsetrailer. The angle the horse was at in the trailer made for an optical illusion that made it look like the horse had no head. Sam thought it was pretty funny that I thought the trailer was carrying only a "Horse Butt" and somehow that theme carried on through our entire visit at the zoo. Every animal we saw chose to turn so that we had a great view of its butt, and not much more. With perserverance, we got a number of really impressinve pictures (not of butts).

On our flight back to PA, Sam and I build a scrapbook with all the pictures we took during his visit. He selected from the MANY photos we had, and even selected special papers, pens, and stickers from the craft store for his project. He used decorative scissors and glittery pens. We managed to build the entire scrapbook, complete with accent images and captions together with about an hour to spare.
I'm looking forward to next summer!