The Loot

This morning I tallied up the numbers for the canning projects undertaken since the first of September 2018, my loot. I’ve canned 141 jars of produce, 70 of which were 500 ml jars, the rest were 1 litre jars. I had to keep buying more jars!

Here is my breakdown:
green tomato mincemeat 6 500 ml
crabapple jelly 10 500 ml
apple scrap jelly 1 500 ml
apples diced 11 500 ml
tomato pepper sauce 44 500 ml
applesauce spy 12 1 litre
applesauce paula red 12 1 litre
tomatoes roma vinegar 12 1 litre
tomatoes roma lemon juice 12 1 litre
tomatoes garden citric 12 1 litre
strawberry rhubarb 2 1 litre
beef broth 7 1 litre

I don’t think anything has been forgotten, but even if it has, the shelves will slowly empty over the course of the winter, all the jars will be found, and all the contents will be eaten.

Of all the things I’ve canned this fall, my favourite is the Crabapple Jelly, it fills my mouth with the taste of summers past, industry, and the people in my life sharing things they love. It is just a bonus that these little apples were gathered from our own back yard here at Mist Cottage.

Our yard is in the process of being torn up, once again. First it was the broken water main, they dug up quite a bit of the front lawn to fix that and the soil they returned to the lawn was hard clay and pebbles, they did not do well by us. The next disruption was installing a ditch across the front of the property, right down the street, reducing our driveway by half, cutting off access to our property along the road, and draining the water from the street down into our driveway, geniuses of engineering. Now they are installing fibre optics for the new subdivision, so the neighbours are saying. So far they have only dug a deep hole in front of our Juniper tree. I am hopeful that it will survive, and that this is the only disruption to our yard. The noise is intense, but that is temporary.

The rural feel we have enjoyed at Mist Cottage is gone. Everywhere we look there are subdivisions and houses, roads and service poles. I guess that is to be expected if you buy property near environmentally protected wetland owned by a developer. It is conceivable that at some point a tall fence will surround our back yard, protecting it from the visual chaos of development. On the other hand, we might just grown accustomed to it, or newly planted trees and shrubs might effectively break the harshness of this manmade jungle.



Date: 10:00 AM EST Friday 16 November 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -3.0°C
Dew point: -4.2°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: NE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -8
Visibility: 10 km


“A book burrows into your life in a very profound way because the experience of reading is not passive.”
Erica Jong

I love my books.

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Stubblejumpers Cafe

How awful it sounds. We live in such comparative peace, but we too don’t control our surroundings. Outside our property but on the road I walk (virtually daily), if the neighbours decide to cut down trees along the ditch next to their land, there’s nothing to be done and my beautiful walk is permanently denuded on one side. When they spray pesticides on their land next to ours, which is certified organic, we can only hope no breeze carries it over for us to breathe. If they decide to do some illegal ditching that floods our land, nothing is done about it by the authorities meant to enforce the laws. The government doesn’t want to piss off the majority of farmers who, donchaknow, have practised illegal ditching for decades and to hell with their neighbours’ loss of arable land as long as they themselves can cultivate more land.

Then there’s the sky. So many jet planes now pass through our piece of sky that it’s shocking.Often we’ll see five contrails all at once, some crossing over each other. There’s something about it that leaves us feeling powerless and invaded, even here where there are no neighbours living within a mile by road and we like to believe we have gotten away from it all. There’s no getting away from it, apparently.

They say there’s no place on the planet, now, where noise created by other people can be avoided for more than 15 minutes. I think it might be true, hard to believe as it is. Surely in the northern wilderness it’s still possible to canoe on a great deep lake without hearing anyone else or their motorboat or chainsaw or horn!

I’m just grateful that in our yard we can still see the beautiful starry sky and planets and moon on clear nights, even though there’s now a bright light from a new grain elevator some four miles away, far enough – thank god – not to pollute our view. We’ve even started leaving our big yardlight off so that we can see the northern lights through the living room window.

I can well imagine how you must miss your campsite over the winter!


Steve-Paul (SP) Simms

Hmm…canning. Years ago I got canned from so many jobs, now I enjoy hiring somebody now and again just for the pleasure of canning them. As Sammy Davis Jr. said, Yes I Can. Obama developed that theme into Yes WE Can. The Pointer Sisters sang I KNOW We Can Can. The Trump administration has amended it to No You Can’t.


I’m pulling for your Juniper tree, Maggie. Noisy planes! It is the worst when a crew of planes take off from the Marine base. Their planes are SO LOUD compared to the few that leave from our international airport. The sound almost rattles the house. Fortunately this is a rare occurrence.