The Canning Season Begins!

The last two weeks have been eventful. It began with my surgery. Then the wood stove was installed, which took most of a day. Then I had a medical appointment with an unmentionable test I wasn’t looking forward too. And THEN the last three days were intense and the house full of people and activity as the new heating system was installed. After the all the fellows left yesterday I found myself teary, which was odd, but I think it was just all that stress leaking out of me. For two and a half years I saw no one but Attila, and suddenly there were four days where I was with people, who were strangers to me, all day long. It has been quite a shock to the system, as it was not a gradual transition.

I slept like a log last night, all the better for the lovely clean, cool air that was circulating through the house.

This morning canning season has begun in earnest. Attila brought in cabbages from the garden, the equivalent of two medium cabbages, and three medium sized carrots as well. Time to make Coleslaw!

We participated in an online auction last week, and three of our bids won. We have to pick these items up near here, at a precise time. We have purchased a chain link garden gate, and two lots of items for plumbing, and household. What we don’t use will be donated to Value Village.

We have had to time our canning around this pickup time.

It is the beginning of the canning season, so we are a bit rusty, well, I am a bit rusty. The first thing I did was make an error, I doubled the brine, which won’t work because the vegetables have to be heated with it, and only one batch at a time can be processed. Sigh. So I boiled the brine and then divided it into two pots, one to process before the pickup, and one to process after the pickup.

We will also pickle today, green beans, and a pickling cucumber, about three jars. And a batch of Zucchini Pineapple is on the list as well, the zucchini’s are accumulating.

I feel tired but strangely invigorated at the same time.

My brother’s ashes are being laid to rest today. The location is too far away for us, so we will be there in spirit rather than in person. I think of my brother Jim often, and today am reminded of a poem that always makes me think of him.

The Listeners
By Walter de La Mare

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.



Updated on Sat, Jul 16, 10:25 AM
24 °C
A few clouds
Wind 2 E km/h
Humidity 50 %
Visibility 26 km
Sunrise 5:38 AM
Wind gust 3 km/h
Pressure 101.7 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:48 PM


“To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold.”
Archibald MacLeish
1892 – 1982

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Hi, Maggie. It’s been a while since your brother passed, hasn’t it? I’m sorry you couldn’t be there to see everyone and share in the remembrance.

Hope you don’t find the canning too taxing. Don’t want to over do, it can take a good 6 months to fully recover from surgery.

We didn’t get anymore done on the deck, unfortunately. But it’s a beautiful day with blue skies and temps around 24.

Eileen Barton

I believe your brother will know that you are with him in heart when his ashes are laid to rest. I loved the poem! So glad your new heating system was installed. Sometimes we just have to have a bit of a cry to release those pent-up emotions. Beautiful blue jay is sitting on my fence at the moment looking at me through the window probably wondering why I am not getting up to feed him. 🙂 Stay cool and take it easy.

Steve-Paul (SP) Simms

Peace to your brother, love to you both.


Maggie, we get full sun on that side of the in the afternoon. That means it’ll feel warmer than it is, which is good when the temps are so cool.

Right now, we’re talking about how best to use the small backyard space.


I love that MacLeish quote! May memories of your brother comfort you. <3