Canning Beans

Although the weather is springlike, it is early springlike. The wind is strong and nippy, even though the sun is strong. I am still wearing a wool scarf, a wool hat, gloves, and a parka to go for my walks. It isn’t the kind of weather to sit outside and relax in the sun! So I have been turning to indoor tasks.

The Chili Beans I canned over the winter were almost gone. We like our beans, and cook all sorts of dishes with them. I decided it was time to replenish the supply. Monday I canned seven litres of Chili Beans. Yesterday I canned 14 “pints” (500 ml jars) of Molasses Beans. It was the first time I had tried canning a full canner of smaller jars, which are stacked in the canner in two layers.

Canning requires a lot of time on my feet. I did very well with it, but yesterday my knee began to complain, and I could feel it this morning when I swung my legs over the side of the bed to arise. Time to slow down a bit I think!

I like pressure canning. It is extremely precise and time consuming, but for those of us who spend our days at home it is not really an intrusive pastime. Like bread making, it requires input at specific intervals, leaving plenty of time for other tasks over the course of the day.

I used the down time during canning to work on one of my web sites. I have finished transferring the data to a new database, which was extremely time consuming. Now I will move on to more specific design elements, like SEO, setting up statistical reports, and forms of linked social media. Always a learning curve with these things, which makes it interesting.

When the web site I am refurbishing is completed, and has gone live, I will turn my attention to another web site that needs a similar update. This should take me right into the summer as far as projects are concerned.

Terra and Lares dropped by yesterday for a short visit before they met friends for dinner. Terra showed me lots of pictures from their recent trip to a Panama resort.

Next week I will be thinking about heading to the country house, so I let Terra know that arrangements will have to be made to transport Diesel back to Terra’s house. They anticipate that Diesel is not going to be pleased about the change of residence, from being an “only cat” to one of three cats, and two dogs. I wish him well, he has been such a great companion. He cannot come north because he does not tolerate car travel well, even a short trip disorients him for quite some time. A five hour drive might do him real damage. Perhaps he will visit me again when I return to the little house for the bug season.

While Tera and Lares were here I asked Lares to assist me by fetching the ladder, accessing the attic, and bringing down the live trap. It was empty! Hooray! I had decided against trying it myself, while I am here alone. If something happened I would be in a right pickle.

An enterprising squirrel has chewed through the exterior roof trim just under the roof, and is building a nest in the roof. Sigh.

Behind the houses, across the street, there was a small forest. A developer owns the property and decided to build a seniors complex there. Last fall he brought in fellows with chain saws and a giant chipper. The forest is gone. Right now there are diggers and dump trucks working over there. Progress. Maybe, but the squirrel does not think so. She has decided to move in with us, since she was displaced from her natural habitat.

We will not share the house with a squirrel, and her planned family. She has to go. I will bait the live trap, and keep an eye on it. If I catch her, I will take her to a forest far out in the countryside, and wish her luck in her new life. Then, when next Attila visits the little house in the city, he will nail a piece of metal across the area where she chewed through the 2″ thick boards.

We seem to have a distinct animal theme here at the little house in the city! They are our most frequent and avid visitors!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

Little House in the City
0°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 8 April 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -0.3°C
Dewpoint: -10.6°C
Humidity: 46%
Wind: NE 22 gust 32 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Country House
0°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Wednesday 8 April 2015
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -0.1°C
Dewpoint: -13.6°C
Humidity: 36%
Wind: E 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -3

Quote

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.”
Joe Ancis

12 Comments

  1. “…An enterprising squirrel has chewed through the exterior roof trim just under the roof, and is building a nest in the roof. Sigh.”

    Paul came up from the basement/workshop yesterday holding a lobster trap “head” which is the twine-knitted piece that goes inside the trap to keep the bugs inside it. There was a giant hole in the “head” where squirrels had eaten thru it over the winter. A few minutes later he came up again, with another one, and he’s all a-twitter about it! I said “it is what it is Paul…” and off he went. He hates to have to re-make heads as he knits them himself and it all takes time. With almost 500 traps, knitting the heads (and there are several different kinds in one trap) is a huge job. So he’s not too enamored of our squirrel population right about now either. But it would be useless to try to catch them and relocate them, they are everywhere outside as we live next to a conservation wooded area and they probably outnumber the humans here!

  2. Poor Paul! I hope those squirrels didn’t get too many of his lobster trap “heads”. I hope he finds a way to keep them away from his traps in future! Squirrels can be so destructive.

    I don’t mind them in the trees and in the area, I don’t want them in my house! This is a first for us, with squirrels, and it is down to them being displaced by the destruction of their previous home.

    First it was chipmunks, and mice, and a bird living in the roof, and wasps nests, and now we have a squirrel trying to take up residence.

  3. Nora

    Hi Maggie,

    I have always been afraid to can! I figured I would do something and have the operation explode.

    It is nicer outside here than inside here. Something that annoys me. I can open the windows but it will still be nicer outside. My room was 80* yesterday. I had to have the AC on. I am dreading summer. Our weather has been going back and forth from too warm (for spring) to normal spring temps.

    I hope Diesel can make a return visit.

    Is it noisy there with the developers working?

    Squirrel problems…been there. I am happy you will relocate mama.

    x0x0x0xx

  4. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    When we lived in the small town where SS29 and family still reside we had a beautiful wooded area torn apart for a housing area. It was so sad! We use to take the dog out for a walk over there all 4 seasons and it was wonderful! Snow-laden branches bowing into a winter cave, blooms peppering the trees in spring, cool greens in high summer. Now it’s gone. 🙁

    I hope you can remove that squirrel soon. SS30 had one that kept coming in his kitchen window and it was causing a lot of damage until he was able to put a wire screen on the window.

  5. You are right Nora, pressure canning is dangerous if you don’t follow the instructions exactly. I took a university course in pressure canning, and read a lot about it before I tried it the first time. I have a great pressure canner, and now that I am used to it, it seems easy. It didn’t start out that way though!

    AC! Wow, it is snowing here. The contrast is striking. 🙂

    It is very noisy here with the construction going on close by. Since it is still chilly, and I have the heating system operating, the windows and doors remain closed up tight, which helps cut down on the noise. I imagine this will be a summer of hammers banging and workmen shouting. There are worse things!

    I am hoping to relocate that squirrel before Attila has to deal with it. He won’t have time to dilly dally along being humane, as he only has one day off and will have just driven five hours to deal the issue.j I have my fingers crossed that I will manage to relocate the animal myself.

    I grew up on a farm, and have a farmers attitude towards destructive animal behavior. When they destroy food or property, action must be taken. I am trying the most humane method first, and will put a great deal of effort into it.

  6. Nora

    Maggie,
    I am so noise sensitive that the construction would have me in a tizzy or heavily medicated! I do not envy you. To bad you could not import 10, 000 black flies and secure them in that direction! I guess the end product will be nice for seniors though. But, oh, that type of noise is brutal. At least you will know when it stops and starts.

    AC on all day. I am so glad we are on a reduced electrical program and our bill is more than reasonable. I do not abuse our electrical usage but my lungs and chest get so tight if I can not breath. I have a fan on in my room 24/7, two fans. I need circulating air.

    Hopefully you will be able to relocate mama squirrel in warmer weather. She may be nesting and going to have babies. I would take them all if I could.

  7. Reenie, the beans I can are dry navy beans, and dry kidney beans, and a few other varieties of dried beans. We buy them in 25 pound bags. We aren’t big meat eaters, too costly! So we eat a lot of beans, rice and bean dishes in particular are filling and offer a complete protein source, which is a good meat substitute.

    Pole beans are good! Maybe this summer I’ll be able to can fresh green beans, a great idea!

  8. Nora, the noise is horrid, but is of no threat to me, so I eventually tune it out. There are some very loud bangs from that heavy equipment, those shake the ground, I notice those, lol!

    That is great that you are on a reduced electrical program, we don’t have any such things here in Ontario. Hydro bills are skyrocketing here, and many people just can’t pay them anymore. And our hydro company here in Ontario was overbilling by hundreds and hundreds of dollars as well, putting some people into financial risk. They are a horrible arrogant power company, much like our present federal government, heartless.

    I have the live trap setup right now on the back veranda, where I can peek out at it frequently. I doubt I’ll catch her today, as it is blowing and snowing and sleeting and raining, “not fit for man nor beast” as they say!

    I know you would take the Nora, such a big heart. I will be trying very hard to catch her before she gives birth, I think I still have some time, she is still busy gathering materials for the nest. I have baited the trap with crackers and peanut butter, I hope she likes them!

  9. WendyNC

    “[I]t is blowing and snowing and sleeting and raining . . .” and I don’t envy you that one bit! We are now in the land of AC weather and two days ago I gave up closed shoes until sometime in October. 🙂

    Best of luck with your squirrel relocation.

  10. Nora

    Oh, Maggie….noise that vibrates like that, I, yi, yi. Always such noise pollution when developing or living close to a city. Do you think it will take months?

    There was a new apartment complex (actually a village-huge!) built up the street from us. It was well under way when we left for CA in the summer of 2013 and is still under construction but nearing an end. It’s quite impressive and guaranteed sound proof. Very pricey rent.

    We are very lucky to be on a plan where our electric bill is just $66 a month!!!!!! Hubby got it done and I am so happy because you have to have the AC on here for months during the hot weather. Being a senior can be helpful!

    I am surprised that the government there is heartless. I would not expect that of Canada.

    I hope you can catch mama before she gives birth and escort her to another home. Her menu sounds enticing!

    Wendy I could not help but notice it looks like you live in NC too!

  11. AC! Surely some of that will move north! It is supposed to be warmer by the weekend, I hope the dopey weather reports are right for a change. 🙂

    I may need all the luck I can get shifting that determined squirrel!

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