Thursday, November 15

Poppin' Good!

Very happy with my exhausted self this evening! The past week has been a blur but lots of fun stuff to report. I worked a major press conference Mon/Tues, learned and helped in phase 1 of applesauce canning Wed afternoon, and actually canned my own applesauce today! A whole 32 quarts! They look almost angelic w/ the halo-like reflection.
Not too shabby for a first-timer although Nancy and her 130+quarts simply amazes me!!! WOW!!! I have my friends Janelle and Nancy to thank. I had set the goal almost two years ago to learn how to can applesauce and perhaps even jam. Last year didn't work out when I had to go back to work during canning season. This year Janelle already helped me do strawberry freezer jam from the berries we picked w/ all the kids going crazy.

The applesauce almost didn't happen w/ the marathon and work thing happening right after Nancy got us a slammin' deal on the apples from Farmer John. So my boxes of apples sat on the porch and waited for me. My gals came through and made it happen. YAHOO!

Yesterday, rather impromptu, Janelle and I optimistically thought we could get both ours done in one full swoop. We didn't get started until about 1pm and quickly discovered that it would take much longer so we just did hers til I had to head out. Luckily, our expert, Nancy, dropped in to check on our progress and give us pointers.

We planned to do mine this afternoon but Janelle's daughter got a stomach bug. Aack! However, Nancy showed up to get the job well underway! It was AWESOME!!! We got to chat and it made the process so much fun! We started at 1pm and I finished by 7:30 w/ most of it even cleaned up. As I went along, I kept hearing the best sound!

POP! The sound of one of my jars making its sealing pop meaning it's really finished and done. POP! It was like a pat-on-the-back reminder that I accomplished my goal each time!!! POP! I absolutely loved it! POP! It made me grin and feel proud of myself! POP! Simply FABULOUS! And apparently, it doesn't taste too bad - probably the bit of almond extract and cinnamon I threw in.
It's kinda funny because just last night I was telling Ryan how I needed to find something that made him feel as great as running that marathon. I've got no desire to ever run one, but I wished there was something that made me feel like that high he was on after accomplishing a major goal.

Although as I write this, I remember on Saturday night when we picked up McKay from my brother Chris and his wife Tricia after the marathon trip. It was one of those running hug lobby moments with McKay, my little love bug. He came running to meet us and his eyes were darting back and forth between me and Ryan as he tried to decide who to run too first. As he's hollering "MOM!" I was literally so thrilled that he picked me in the end.

It was like one of those strange, thoroughly satisfying moments of complete validation. The validation that he picked me! The one who endures his tantrums, wakes up whatever time he deems necessary, kisses and snuggles him when tired or hurt . . . you know the routine. It was one of those moments of clarity when the title of Mom never felt so darn good!