I have more time off with my darling Little Red… which means we have FAR less money to spend on fun things.
It’s the slow season at work and I know it may get worse, so I’ve been canning like a lunatic doomsayers… but oh well… my pantry kicks ass AND takes names. I look at it and feel like I could qualify for an episode of Hoarders, food storage division.
I look in my pantry and see this… which was 2 weeks and two batches of jalapeno jelly ago.
Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. I could feed an army, or at the very least; my little family.
I had a comment come buzzing into my phone last night, one from the dreaded Thomas’s little girl. I’m heartsick over her reading any and all of the details of my own nightmare with him, but also a little relieved that she’s clearly taken after her mother. I had a horrible father, and though my mother did her best to safeguard my “picker” I’ve chosen poorly more times than I can count. I hope that her unfortunate stumble upon the details will further her resolve to choose someone worthy of such a beautiful girl. My prayers have always included her, but I hope now she knows too that it’s only in defense of the unsuspecting victims that I crusade against him, tirelessly. I hear from a new broken heart on a daily basis at times, and it’s for that reason and that reason alone that I refuse to fall silent.
Phew… all that aside, my life continues to be a source of joy and a fountain of bliss-filled moments that surprise my jaded heart. My boyfriend impresses me on a daily basis, and because of his influence, our lives have only continued to be more and more joyful. I treasure him with my whole soul.
As a result of such a wonderful relationship blossoming, my garden was a treasure trove of veg this year. I’m going to torture all of you with pictures because it’s just too beautiful to keep to myself.
Behold… the fruits of our labor.
I’m not sure who I planted all of this for, yet again… but my freezer is full and my pantry is bulging. Two things that make a single mommy sleep a little easier at night.
Got corn? I sure do! I canned what I could for my darling girl (9 pints!) and gave the rest away. I don’t do the farmer’s market anymore, and it’s been so much more wonderful to share my harvest with my friends and family.
My fingerling potato harvest was truly overwhelming this year. Pound upon pound of rose finn apple, ruby crescent, etc… all safely tucked into my mama’s root cellar for the winter. These will be a pleasant treat in the middle of our snowy cold winter wonderland.
The real reason I grow an acre of vegetables is for the tomatoes, and my rainbow of tangy treasures are simply amazing this season. I’ve made so many batches of marinara and have so many more to can. My flats runneth over, literally.
Black Krim & Speckled Roman, my to favorite varieties. I have roughly 400 pounds left, which will be used for Christmas cases of marinara for my mama and Superman’s mama, who has become a dear friend of mine. Gifts of love come wrapped in mason jars when they come from me.
Tangy spicy sweet Aunt Ruby’s German Green salsa, the best I’ve ever made. This is precisely the reason I spend so many hours weeding, watering and weaving my least favorite bits of yarn into makeshift trellises in the garden. Each bite makes every second worthwhile.
Each pumpkin is like a trophy in my garden, as I’ve tried unsuccessfully to have a pumpkin patch for years. They’re in varying stages of ripening, and are so beautiful I hate to carve them… if it weren’t for my delicious pumpkin seeds that are consumed in minutes after they come crackling out of the oven.
As I wait for the latest batch of jars to come out of the canner, I knit myself into a blissful state of domestic joy. My someday sister-in-law just had the most beautiful baby girl, and I am delighted to have tiny treasures roll off my needles again. I am so happy it’s sickening, I know this. I saw a dear friend today, my sweet Miss Classy- and we planned an evening of homemade soup, good red wine and a night of fun movies and knitting for Halloween. If I never do Halloween at the bar again, I can die happy. The joy of an evening of girl time, my favorite hobbies and sharing the delights of a summer’s hard work in the garden; makes for a perfect holiday. Missing my son doesn’t get easier, but finding joy in the little moments full of my favorite things, makes the season as welcome as can be. When he does come home, and when things are better; I will be the person he can be proud of and recognize as the mama who raised him. I hope that’s sooner than later, but I’ve given up being angry about it. It is, what it is, and hopefully someday will be something more wonderful.
I found him a costume… which is hilarious and perfect and irresistible. My daughter begged me not to buy it, saying he was wonderful enough that he didn’t need the outfit. I bought it anyway. He tried it on, which was cry-until-you-pee-your-pants funny. He has to leave for work before Halloween so he wont get to wear it, but at least he knows that I believe in his superhero status to the point I thought he needed the outfit. He rebuilt my fence last week after the wind knocked it down and I asked him where his cape was… he answered by blowing me a kiss and telling me to get in out of the cold weather. I canned jam with his amazing mother while his brother helped him rebuild my fence… just one more moment made perfect by the most amazing man I’ve ever known. My boyfriend, my superhero.
My momma has this stone in her garden, which is full of a million beautiful flowers. I took a picture the other day when I read it for what must be the millionth time. I’ve reminded myself of who I am this year, and have struggled to become the woman I recognize when I look in the mirror. I’ve fostered my favorite habits and have washed my hands of the bad ones. I’ve been a better friend. I’m a better daughter. I’m proud to say I’m a better mother than the idiot who got on a plane to Puerto Rico and used to send cup-of-noodles with my daughter to school for lunch. Clinging to what makes me different, makes me better, happier and a helluva lot more fun to be around. My happiness makes the people around me, happier.
Happy Fall, my dear friends. I’ve written less and lived more and I appreciate the hilarious emails I’ve gotten begging me to get back to the keyboard. I appreciate the love and support and will probably get more writing done with less time spent in the garden, but I’m not interested in ranting anymore. I’m determined to bring sunshine into the days of the people I love, and pride into the people who love me.
Many blessings & happy fall!