careful what you wish for. Isn't that the old saying, because you
just might get it? Our cucumbers did not survive this year so I
was hoping to find a good deal on some pickling cukes at one of the
local farm markets. The next thing I knew a family friend brought
us two grocery bags full of cucumbers. We ate some of the larger ones,
shared them with neighbors, treated the chooks to some (they love cukes)
and I made crystal pickles out of the smaller ones. Mom showed me
how to can them this week and we put up 10 pints. That in spite of
having a fire the next to last night of the process. Kind of embarrassing....but,
on one of the evenings the syrup (which has 5lbs of sugar in it) boiled
over on the stove. Well, it was hot and we were getting ready to
leave so I didn't clean it up right away. Shame on me, I forgot
about it the next day and when I put the syrup on to boil again the
spilt stuff burst into flame when it got hot enough! What a mess
to clean up. All that syrup charred to petrification, smoke black
on the stove and all the salt I dumped on the fire to put it out.
Yuck! Fortunately, there was no permanent damage to the stove and
the pickles turned out fine. Good thing, too, as our generous
friend with the cucumbers just brought us four more bags! So,
let's see, there's crystal pickles and dill pickles and bread 'n butter
pickles and garlic pickles and.....
Temperatures during the day have remained right around 80 degrees, but
it is so humid. Just right for nearly daily thunder storms.
The storms don't usually last long, but do dump an awful lot of rain.
Yesterday we received just under 2 inches in an hour. It's been
good for the weeds and they are growing at incredible rates again.
Happily, the peppers and tomatoes are doing just as well. We
started picking a few tomatoes this week. Yellow cherries and some
large yellows. The reds are just starting to get some color.
Another couple of weeks and I will be seeing tomatoes in my dreams
rather than cukes.
We went to a picnic at a friend's home this past Saturday. They
live in an old farmhouse out in the boonies. There is a small pond
where the kids caught frogs (and a small snapping turtle), paths for
quad riding and of course all the animals. The flower beds around
the house were so pretty. It's all new, but they've taken care to
make it seem like it would have years ago. There are a lot of old
fashioned plants. I brought home a bit of some of them and some
shoots off the mock orange bush. I planted that out front near the
wisteria. I hope it survives it's less than gentle uprooting and
replanting. Won't it be a show if it blooms along with the
wisteria? There was a heavy rain after supper and all the kids
turned a hill in the yard into a big mud slide. What a mess, but
they sure had a good time!
I finally sent out our order for more chicks today. We're getting
them from Welp's rather than McMurray's. The neighbor we are
splitting the order with wants Bantam Silkies and McMurray won't have
any more Bantams to ship until Spring. They were also out of some
of the others I wanted. Welp's have everything we want. The
only problem is that they ship the Cornish X Rocks on a different day
than all the others. We don't want 50 chicks, so we decided to
pass on the Rocks for now. We'll get the Buff Orpingtons, Black
Australorps and White Plymouth Rocks for now as they are all supposed to
be larger birds and good for eggs or meat. We'll get the Cornish X
Rocks that Tim wants so badly in the Spring. I can't wait.
Tim and I have been sorting through papers and getting things organized
because after much thought and prayer, we've come to the conclusion that
we have no choice but to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy. That
isn't where all your debt is erased, but rather where you pay your
debts. You just get to start over with them and payments are
arranged by the court so that you can afford them. We have been
trying to dig out on our own for so long and it seems like once you get
behind and are doing the whole "borrowing from Peter to pay
Paul" routine it just snowballs. Tim's new job has
substantially added to our income and my job, while part-time, adds
about $850 each month. We are in a position to pay our bills and
be okay.....if only we weren't so behind. That is what chapter 13
is all about. It kind of puts you back to day one with creditors
and gets the bill collectors off your back. Sigh. We hate that
things got to this point. It was a combination of our consumer
attitudes and some bad business breaks for Tim. At least we are on
the right track now, which will help us get straightened out and then
not get back into this situation again. We have no intentions of
slipping back into the old habits once we are out from under.
I'm hoping that sharing this will help even one person either avoid
getting to this point or offer hope that you can get back to a better
way of living.
I'm off to deal with the cukes.