Lazy Man's Canning

My husband recently learned this trick from a colleague. I've tried it...and love it. It's so easy...and is a terrific way to keep up with the Romas that keep pouring in. Anytime a recipe calls for canned tomatoes, I will thaw in a pan of warm water, chop, etc...great for chili!

1.)Wash, cut off stem,
2.)Place in boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until skins start to look a little wrinkled.
3.)Using a slotted spoon, scoop into an ice bath.
4.)Remove skin.
5.)Place in freezer bags, squeeze out air. Freeze! (I have the "Frisper"...a machine that sucks most of the air out.)

Keep your fingers crossed that Earl goes out to sea...otherwise we will be eating lots of fried green tomatoes! (not to mention dealing with some pretty nasty weather).


Doesn't Someone Want to Hire Me to Be a Stay at Home Mom?

Maybe Oprah should do an experiment on this. I would be GLAD to volunteer. Ok, so technically I wouldn't be a stay at home mom...my kids are going off to 1st and 6th grades. But...I could do all the mommyish things I need to...like go to school at lunchtime to eat with my daughter...like all of the other stay at home moms in my community. Believe me, my girly reminds me frequently that I'm not there. I could organize this unorganized chaos I call home. Peel the wallpaper, paint the bathroom, cook fabulous meals, run a forgotten piece of homework to school. After 19 years in my current teaching job, I am so melancholy to go back and leave behind what I have soaked up all summer. Believe me, I know I am SOOOO lucky to have that time with the kids and my husband(also a teacher). Just one year...that's all I want. If someone could just do me the teeny tiny favor of paying my mortgage for that year, I would be most grateful. :) Dream on, Dream on......


I've had her longer than...

I've had my cat Maggie since my first year teaching. I got her in February of that year. She's a Valentine's Baby.I worked at a clothing store in college, and she was at the pet store next door. She was the color of a Hershey bar...only fluffier. I checked on her daily. Then she was gone. I inquired. She was in the back with a double eye infection.. They made me a deal. If I would take her home and nurse her back to health I could HAVE her. Done deal. I put her ointment in daily. When she finally opened her eyes, she looked up at me from her perch on my chest like she owed me her life. We were in love.
Fast forward...this will be my 19th year teaching. Yup. She's an old lady. I had her in my first apartment. It was also the year I met my husband. Although we were just coworkers at the time:) We've lived through many years of mischief. Of bringing home 2 babies...now 6 and 11...of new apartments...new houses...and then a few weeks ago 2 seizures. She tried to get outside...something she has always been petrified of. I think she was close to dying...she knew it. But oddly enough she seems fine now. Slower. More reserved. But hungry...and loving. Maybe she had a virus or something. We are prepared just in case...but I will miss my girl. She sure has seen me through a lifetime. How blessed to have unconditional love.

My hubs took this pic of me on the floor with Maggie. I spend a lot of time there these days. She has become a bit spoiled by it. School starts soon. I'll miss checking on her 100 times a day. Maybe she'll get some rest.


Summer...Absorbing All of It

I had to go outside and take these pictures yesterday. School will be starting in 2-3 weeks, and I am starting to get depressed. I'll be returning to my 6th grade position for the 19th year! My husband will be returning to his 5th grade position for the 17th year. I am so sad to see summer go though. We are soooo lucky to spend time with our children. Yesterday I had to take myself out of the cleaning and Ebaying to suck up some sunshine and absorb all of the loveliness around me to get a quick pick me up.


Look What We Made!

Grew the lavender...

Picked the lavender...

Stripped the lavender...what good kids!

Stamped the bag...

Filled the bags...

Aren't they cute! We have grown lavender forever, but have never harvested it other than to put it in a vase. It really became a family affair. My husband and I harvested it, the kids(6 and 11) helped strip the fragrant buds. I stamped and filled the bags. We plan on wrapping them up in clear cello bags with a pretty tag/ribbon. I'll be sure to post a picture when done. It's a nice feeling having a little homegrown/homemade gift to give. We also grow without chemicals or pesticides, so it's a "pure" gift. Lavender keeps moths away, and also helps with insomnia.
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