Canning 2018 and 500 and 47

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First off, I have to point out this is is post number 500 on my blog!

Say whuuuuuuuuuut??

I’m not 100% sure that, if you count the posts on my blog, this will fall at exactly 500, but when I started numbering them in folders on my jump drive all those years ago, I came up with a number and then have just been counting from there.  At any rate, it’s a lot of damn posts!  🙂

So, since last time we chatted, I finished my canning!

It didn’t go quite as I had planned, however. For most of the last 15 years that I’ve been doing this, I have done it over Labor Day weekend. That not only gives me an extra “free“ day off to get it all done, it also gives me more free time, because we typically are not busy over Labor Day weekend with activities. Unfortunately, because my husband and my father-in-law didn’t get our tomatoes in until almost the end of June, they weren’t ready by Labor Day.

Thus, I couldn’t can until the third weekend of September. That is crazy! But not as crazy as the fact that we had a homecoming football game on Friday and a hockey game and a homecoming dance on Saturday. It was tough, let me tell you. With all those activities, I did not even get the first batch of anything canned until Sunday night. 😮 I ended up having to take an extra day off work, because I just couldn’t get it all in in the four days I had. But it all worked out, and I did have a lot of fun at the homecoming game and the night of the dance. Jamie actually asked a girl to homecoming this year, a cheerleader with lots of friends who all wanted to get together before the dance, and that meant he had to willingly pose for pictures.

As much as I love taking pictures of my handsome son, I had so much fun taking pictures of the girls in the group. Girls, as it turns out, enjoy having their picture taken. :p I took a ton, but I would say this one is probably my favorite.

Aren’t they just the cutest?? Oh, and the funniest part of the night was the fact that Jamie actually got her a “slap bracelet“ corsage. I happened to capture her reaction when she literally slapped it on her wrist.

It was hysterical, and all of the parents, including me, were dying. Jamie at first was a little concerned, like maybe he’d done something wrong, but she assured him that it was awesome and much easier to wear than a strap corsage. I posted the pictures on Facebook, I had a lot of moms asking me where he got it, because they thought it was pretty sweet, too.

Besides homecoming, JJ also had his first hockey game of the season. They almost won, but they ended up losing 5-4. On the bright side, JJ actually scored a goal!

One of the new dads on his team videotapes the games, and he shared the video with us. Which I have watched over and over and over… 😉

Back to canning:  I had one new thing in my favor this year. JJ’s hockey coach has been talking to me about this special pressure canner that he and his wife have but never use, and this year, he actually remembered to bring it to a practice. And what a canner it is!

I call it The Beast. It’s actually a double-layer pressure canner, and it holds 14 quart-sized jars. 😮 It definitely made spaghetti sauce go by much quicker this year. Unfortunately, I could not find what I would consider a “safe“ recipe to pressure-can salsa, so I had to do that one in the regular boiling water bath. It all worked out, though, and along with the 10 pints of raspberries JJ and I picked on that Sunday, we ended up with a very nice bounty.

I’ll tell you what, though, between all the canning and the marathon training, it was pretty exhausting. Even though I was on my feet all day for four days processing tomatoes and jam, I still managed to get all my runs in, including a very peaceful seven-mile run under a full moon that Monday.

I also did a 10-mile strength workout on Tuesday, and then I slept in a little bit and did a six-miler on Wednesday. And then, I had to get up and run 10 miles on Thursday morning before going back to work! It was hard, but I did it, and I rewarded myself with a treat that I haven’t enjoyed in many years:

OK, that picture was taken on a different day, when I woke up and discovered that Jamie had drank all my chocolate milk. :p But yeah, I totally love that sh*t. I was actually kind of addicted to it when I was pregnant with Jamie; I used to drink half a gallon a day. 😮 And then I came to realize that it really wasn’t all that good for me, so I stopped drinking it six years ago when I got healthy. I really didn’t miss it, but then a couple of weeks ago, one of my running friends, Ann, mentioned during our Saturday run that she always has a chocolate milk after a long run because the proteins and carbohydrates are supposed to be good for recovery. I decided it sounded like a good idea, so I picked some up on the way home after our 16-miler. Annnnnd…now I’m addicted again. 😮 I’ve been doing pretty good keeping it to only after my long runs or strength workouts, but I’m probably heading into dangerous territory if I don’t curb this. 😉

Speaking of my eating habits, I have mentioned several times that canning weekend is the one weekend when I completely throw all my healthy habits out the window. This year was no exception! Saturday night we enjoyed spaghetti and meatballs with bruschetta caprese, then Sunday was beef quesadillas, and Monday was homemade biscuits with jelly or local honey (literally local–like, a mile down the road!).

I make some pretty awesome biscuits, if I do say so myself. I had plenty, I assure you.

I skipped my weigh-in last week, because I just didn’t want to deal with it. This past weekend was our last long run for the marathon: 16 miles for me, and 20 miles for Jennifer and Ann. JJ had a hockey tournament, and with the alteration of our schedule, it was just easier for me to not track. So I didn’t. :p We went out after Saturday night’s game, and I had a delicious hamburger with onion rings, as well as a frozen coffee drink with way too much Kahlúa. Not the best for me, but it tasted good. 🙂

Sunday was the final day of the hockey tournament, and JJ had a 9:30 a.m. consolation game, since his team had lost all their games. They lost that one too, although they definitely played well and did their best. After the game, I took JJ out for breakfast because he had worked hard all weekend and deserved it. I had an omelette and pancakes and shared some of JJ’s hashbrowns, and I didn’t track any of it. Instead, I sat and ate my breakfast while JJ instructed me on the finer points of hockey strategy using jelly and sugar packets and creamer cups.

You can laugh, but the visual aids really helped, and I learned a lot! And we both had a great time.

So after almost 2 weeks of not tracking my food and barely paying attention to it, I weighed in on Monday morning.

Up a little over a pound. Honestly, I was happy with that. I’m still only about half a pound from my goal range, and after 10 days of excess, that’s really pretty good. I’m sure the 55 miles I ran last week probably helped keep my bad eating in check on the scale.

This week, I am back to tracking, and although I have completed my longest run of marathon training, I’m not technically in taper yet. The Hanson’s plan does not have you “taper down“ your miles until 10 days before the race, so I still ran six days this week, including 10 miles both Tuesday and Thursday morning. And I will do it again next week, too! I don’t know what I will do with myself with all the free time I’ll have after this marathon. :p

In other news…Thursday was my 47th birthday. For fun, I posted a couple pictures on Facebook: my high school senior pictures were taken just a couple weeks before I turned 17, and I compared it to my official blogging and social media profile picture that was taken a couple months before my 47th birthday.

Obviously, there are plenty of differences to be seen, but I like to think you can still tell him the same girl. 🙂 I chuckle when I look at the 17-year-old me and think about the plans she had for her future. That future turned out nothing like she had planned… it’s way better!

I’m pretty proud of person I’ve become, not just as far as my looks and health go, but in what I have accomplished and the positive impacts that I have tried to make on the world.  Here’s hoping that your number 48 gives me many more opportunities to do even better things!

Thanks for reading!

1 thought on “Canning 2018 and 500 and 47

  1. Cindy R

    Happy Birthday! I hope you had a terrific day and will have a wonderful year ahead! Your son has turned into such a handsome young man. His date and her friends look like a great group of girls–I loved seeing what they were wearing! It seems on the internet the dresses get skimpier and skimpier–so it was nice to see Jamie’s group of friends looking like young ladies! I want one of your biscuits–they all look so perfect and melt-in-your-mouth delicious smeared with butter and fresh jelly–yum! I hear you on the tracking. I’m back to it as well I tried a few different diet plans over the summer, but realize being mindful about the types of food I’m eating, portion size, with daily movement/exercise mixed in is the best equation for losing weight and maintaining my weight–why does it always seem to be so hard?


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