Saturday in CinCity. The Pickled Edition.

We spent the first three days of this week driving up and back to the lake. Drank beer with our neighbors, bought a wasp catcher, rode bikes around Kelly's Island, got sunburnt, ate fish, worked jigsaw puzzles, and HoneyHaired and I watched That Touch of Mink. Hubby fell asleep probably at the first scene. The muffler did not fall off my car, though I worry that will happen any day now before we can get it to the dealer, so while you can hear us coming up the street, you don't actually feel it in your bones. Yet.

Passed many a church and bank along the way up I-75 and in front of one of them was a sign reading, "Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.--Helen Keller." I imagine there were many inspiring messages we passed, but this one resonated with me and kept me centered my last two days at work. Thank you all for your warm thoughts and comments in my last posting. I called this morning around 5am and my patient's heart was still beating after we withdrew the ventilator yesterday evening. I pray for his peaceful release and rest for his exhausted and drained family.

Life, however, most doggedly and persistantly and miraculously, goes on.

I am going to run up to the hardware store right after this and pick up some canning supplies for my adventure into pickling and jamming. There are so many farmer's markets up north it's hard not to get the "putting by" bug and I found an older cookbook, Gardeners' Community Cookbook, which has tons of recipes I'm in the right spot to try. 

A friend at work told me yesterday that her attempt at pickling was "disgusting", but I'm in a mood for disgusting so that works out just fine. A little NPR on the radio so I can get caught up on the week's news and I'm a happy girl.

We're a one car family now which will take some adjustment and I guess some forethought and planning. Painful. CollegeGrrrrl came to the conclusion that a car payment on top of rent and school was a little too much, so she sold her car and has taken our hand-me-down car that was supposed to be HoneyHaired's before her wreck scared her away from driving and was actually my MIL's. I reckon we'll get greener and save the earth one way or the other. I still however refuse to walk to work at 5:30 in the morning per Hubby's suggestion. Crazy old man.

The Ordinary Weather of Summer

by Linda Pastan

In the ordinary weather of summer

with storms rumbling from west to east

like so many freight trains hauling

their cargo of heat and rain,

the dogs sprawl on the back steps, panting,

insects assemble at every window,

and we quarrel again, bombarding

each other with small grievances,

our tempers flashing on and off

in bursts of heat lightning.

In the cooler air of morning,

we drink our coffee amicably enough

and walk down to the sea

which seems to tremble with meaning

and into which we plunge again and again.

The days continue hot.

At dusk the shadows are as blue

as the lips of the children stained

with berries or with the chill

of too much swimming.

So we move another summer closer

to our last summer together—

a time as real and implacable as the sea

out of which we come walking

on wobbly legs as if for the first time,

drying ourselves with rough towels,

shaking the water out of our blinded eyes.

please note: photos by HoneyHaired and me. And, my husband is not really a giant, though we tell him he is.


  1. I've bicycled around Kelly's Island before - the next time we went we were slack & took the car. It really helps to ride a bike more than once every 10 years :) Although at the time I really really enjoyed it. We haven't made it up there this summer - my surgery kind of got in the way of it. Oh well, maybe I'll finally get my way & we'll go up in WINTER just to see what it's like!

    Hope your pickling is going well.

  2. Your getaway sounds wonderful to me and exactly what you needed. I am so sorry about the young man and pray the same as you for him and his family now.

    We have been a one-car family for 1-1/2 years now. When my 14-yr-old Dodge Shadow totally lost it, and the junkyard paid me $100 to haul it away (me sobbing), we thought we would see how it goes with one car. You have more of a challenge because I do not work, but I still need the car to run this household - so on "my days" my husband takes a shuttle that runs the 15 miles between our town and Salem where he works. We are lucky it is there and hope the funding stays in place. In the meantime, our one car is now paid off and we are pleased with the additional funds. And, definitely, it is the right thing to do for the Earth. :)

  3. Isn't it amazing how things (signs, for example, or books about pickling) appear at exactly the time you need them? My sympathy to the family of your patient, such a terrible vigil. Am glad you were able to get a break and enjoy a piece of summer.

    And I do love me some Linda Pastan! Thank you.

  4. I did refrigerator pickling last summer--no canning for me. Seems too worky and scary. I worry overmuch about Seal and Acid Levels and Botulism and things like that. Now, tossing some crispy fresh things into simple brine and fresh-picked herbs and letting them marinate in the fridge until you eat them up? Much less pressure. And I'm all about No Pressure.

  5. Have fun pickling, though I'd recommend not being pickled yourself while doing this.


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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)

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