Monthly Archives: June 2012

Adventures in Gardening Part 25 ~ First Pickin’s

♫ “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.” ♫

Just picked my first zucchini!  It’s a bit odd shaped, but I’m sure it will still be yummy, and I can’t wait to eat it!  There are TONS more out there growing too ~  maybe those overly gigantic leaves of theirs act as some sort of solar panels.  😉~

I also picked my first handful of lettuce and used it in the BLT’s my mom made for supper!  It was pretty tasty!  And not an ant or an aphid were to be found.  🙂~

Finally… the first blooms on my jalapeno peppers.~

And look!  My cucumbers are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and hanging down through the trellis.  That’s gonna make for some easy pickins later.  It’s not so easy however, to get them to climb properly up my trellis.  I have a feeling they are going to become somewhat of a jungle and get completely out of control over time.  But hey, as long as they yield me some delicious cukes, I’m not gonna complain!   ♫ “I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.” ♫  ~

Here are some colorful coleus that I have growing in one of my pots.  So pretty!~

And I noticed today that one of the varieties of Hosta that my mom has growing is starting to develop buds ~ looks like these are going to be a pale pinkish lavender color.  How lovely… ~

~Gardening is my therapy~

So Anyway, Moving Right Along…

I’m moving.

A short time ago it was decided that my daughter and I would move in with my mom this fall when the lease is up on our apartment.  There are a multitude of reasons for this decision, but basically what it comes down to is… family needs to be there for each other and it’ll be easier to do that if we’re all living under the same roof.  It wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but this is the first thing in 2 years that I even feel remotely sure about doing.

Not that I’m looking forward to it though…

Don’t get me wrong ~ I love my mom to pieces, we have always been very close and get along really well, but the prospect of living together again after so many years = kinda, sorta, okay… totally scares the crap out of me.  My daughter on the other hand, is so excited that she can hardly stand it.  And my mom?  Well, I think she’s excited too, but is also a bit apprehensive like I am.   All of our lives have been so discombobulated for the past few years, and we’ve each went through so many major life changes recently that to put it quite simply… it has been just really overwhelming at times.   So now to make yet another major change is a little more than scary.  But necessary.  And I do feel a sense of peace about it even amidst the “totally scares the crap out of me” part.

One of the reasons I’m sharing this tid-bit of  info here is because we are also going to be doing some updating and remodeling to my mom’s house, and I plan to live to write about it.  😉  And I’m only partly joking when I say it that way because I’m afraid it’s going to be quite an undertaking for us 3 ladies over the next several months.  Anyone who has done remodeling knows what I’m talking about…

We have already been busy at work going through many of the things in my mom’s house and deciding what to do with some of it in preparation for the updates and for our moving there.  I foresee a garage sale in our near future.  😉

But there are also many things to hold onto.  The other day for example, I sat on my mom’s bed and looked through a box of my baby clothes and outfits I wore as a child.  I’m really glad my mom held onto those, they are so precious.  And my “mini” was in there ~ a favorite little shirt/dress I wore as a toddler!

Here is an old photo of me wearing it.  Too bad this isn’t in color so you could see just how crazy my “mini” truly is with its bright pink, orange, and yellow stripped combination of colors.  Wasn’t I just the cutest little thing?  😉~

So many precious keepsakes and memories are stored at my mom’s house, and we are going to make sure there is a special place for all of those things.

She also has some awesome vintage 70’s decor that’s Dy-no-mite!  (Yeah, you won’t get that reference unless you were there ;)).

In looking through some of my mom’s old photo albums I found several photos taken of her house shortly after it was remodeled in 1976, and I thought I’d start with those as “before” pictures, but also for nostalgia sake.  I’m so glad my mom thought to take these photos…

The first room we are updating is my parent’s room which my daughter will be moving into.  She has already picked out her new carpeting ~ I don’t know why she wouldn’t want to keep the red stuff that’s already in there.  😉  Red is my mom’s favorite color…  I’m totally keeping that lamp!  I know it’s really red and kinda “out there” but I love it.  No idea where it’s gonna go, probably in the basement for a while, but we’re definitely keeping it!

~

The next room we’ll be working on is mine and my sis’s old room which is where I’m moving back into.  So weird.  My mom says there are hardwood floors under the carpet and I’m really hoping she’s right!

This was my sis’s side of the room.  These leopard curtains are still hanging in this room.  What do you think… should I keep them up when I move in?  😉

And my side…I spy with my little eye what looks like a Cher poster hanging above my bed.  I don’t remember being particularly into Cher, I was more into Shaun Cassidy.  He was so dreamy haha!  Pretty sure I still have his album laying around somewhere.  I also seem to recall having multiple posters of Luke Skywalker on my side of the room, but maybe that was later ~ not sure what year Star Wars came out.  Yep, I was a nerd even way back then!  The tapestry on the ceiling is still hanging in my old room too.  There’s also one on my sis’s side.  I’m planning to take them down when I move in, but not getting rid of them.

~

This next room was my brother’s and is where my mom will be.  This is the only room in the house that has been updated since 1976, but we’ll still be painting it and tearing out the carpet eventually.

More animal prints, they must have really been the “in” thing…~

The living room…

Whoa check out the fabric on this couch!   It’s totally “far out man” ;).   It’s long gone now, but that lamp isn’t (there’s a set actually) and it’s another thing that we aren’t going to rush into getting rid of ~ I think I may have a “thing” for old lamps.  😉  My mom has also informed me that we are keeping that shadow box which is still hanging above her current couch.   It was a wedding gift from her parents and is very special to her.  I happen to think it’s pretty cool too!  I asked her if we can set different things on/in it though (maybe some of mine) and she agreed.  🙂More of the living room.  My dad’s chair.  It has changed to different chairs over all these years, but this was always his spot.  I miss him being in it.   ♥ Just recently took down this macrame plant hanger and my sis says she wants it.  It’s all yours sis.  I’m sure she’ll do something cool with it, because she’s cool like that.  Speaking of cool, look at that cool old stand-up ashtray.  Our old TV.  Thing weighed a million pounds!  No remote control on that baby.  That’s my sis’s graduation photo ~ she still looks almost exactly the same.  No lie.~

The dining room.  Not sure if we’ll be updating that dark paneling or not because it might be too difficult/a bother right now to remove.  Maybe a coat of paint could go over it, but I don’t know yet.  My mom and I still need to discuss it and figure out what we want to do.  I really like that light fixture there too, so I’m not sure if we’ll replace it or not.  Maybe it’s not just old lamps, but old light fixtures in general that I have a “thing” for…~

This railing that sort of separates the dining room along with the stairway is all wrought iron and is probably going to stay that way for now, but we’ll see as time goes on and other updates are made…

~

The kitchen will be the biggest undertaking.  We are planning to give it a complete makeover ~ new counter tops, sink, stove, walls and flooring.  We’re not sure what we want do with the cabinets just yet though…

~

The entire house has all dark colored stain on the woodwork which along with the wrought iron really dates the general design and decor.  With new carpeting and painting throughout we’ll have to decide what we want to do about the dark stain.

This is all going to be quite time consuming and a lot of work, not to mention expensive, but I hope it can be “fun” for us too.

I want to mention here before I close, that this house was built in 1902 and was the house that my mom grew up in.  She and my dad bought the house from my grandpa when he had to go into a nursing home after a stroke, and had it remodeled.

Interesting… once my daughter moves in, that will make 4 generations of my family that have lived in this house, 5 if you count my great grandma that lived here too for a time.  Kinda cool if you think about it…

Adventures in Gardening Part 24 ~ Birds and Blooms

It was lovely outside today, so I really enjoyed my time puttering in the garden.  One of the wonderful things about gardening is that there is always something new going on each day.  Of course it’s not as much fun when there’s bad things happening like pests or diseased plants, lack of rain or too much of it and so on, but when things are good it’s just so very rewarding.

And it’s especially fun to find unexpected things!  As I was standing at my potting bench filling up my watering can, I looked up and saw this robin sitting on its nest in my mom’s lilac bush only a few feet above my head…Several days ago I had noticed a mess of grasses and twigs on top of my potting bench, but I thought it was just debris brought by the winds during one of the storms that rolled through.  How exciting that I will be having a family of robins keeping me company now while I’m gardening!  🙂

~

I keep forgetting to take photos of my peas!  We’ve just been so busy picking them and eating them up.  But today I caught myself and snapped a photo before I popped them all into my mouth (see one is missing ;)).~

My cukes are really starting to take off and are growing so nicely!

In an earlier post Adventures in Gardening Part 7 ~ Trellis Time, I shared about a little A-frame trellis I built for my cucumbers to climb on, and I’m so excited to finally have them doing just that!  I’ve got two different varieties growing up each side and then my lettuce growing underneath… An A-frame trellis is seriously an excellent idea for space saving in a small bed.

~

Strawberries are still continuing to grow in abundance on my one little plant.  Here is another one just starting to show the first hint of color…I simply adore strawberries. ♥

~

I also adore flowering things…

Over the years I’ve always enjoyed growing Astilbe in my shady garden areas and planted some for my mom in hers too ~ they are blooming now.  ~

Her Hosta are blooming as well.~

At one of the garden nurseries I visited earlier this spring they had a special promotion where the first 500 customers got a free plant.  Mine was this lovely begonia…~

Now, I realize that marigolds are quite ordinary and nothing special, but they are still bright and colorful, and a faithful bloomer.~

And another shot of my English lavender because it’s my favorite…~

The ants and aphids are still hanging around doing their thing, but don’t seem to be causing any real damage at the moment.  I’ve just been spraying them off with the water hose for now, but I’m keeping an eye on them…

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 23 ~ Attack of the Ants and the Aphids

Ah geez just when things seemed to be going so well…

Absolutely gorgeous day, feeling on top of the world, humming to myself as I putter around my plants, lalalala… wait!  What’s this?!  ANTS!  Tons of them!  Everywhere!  Eek!

And what do you suppose there are all crawling on?

My beloved zucchini!!!  Grrr!~

I decided to dig around a bit deeper to try and check to see just what the heck they are doing crawling all over my zucchini and noticed it’s mostly on, in, and around the blossoms.But yeah, no idea what they are doing or why…

~

So I go to my laptop and start looking stuff up on the Internet.  Conflicting information.  Something that I didn’t know ~ ants are good pollinators.  Really?  I’ve never heard that before.  Hmm.  So does that mean it’s good that they are on my zucchini?  Something about that doesn’t sound quite right to me.

Something I did already know ~ ants are a sort of aphid farmer, but when I looked around I didn’t see any aphids on my zucchini.

But I did find some on my lettuce… Looks like whole families congregating and attempting to suck the life out of my lettuce!

And sure enough… there were ants on my lettuce too.  Lots of them…Yeah, lets have us a salad shall we?  A salad of ants and aphids = YUCK!

~

I viciously sprayed them with the water hose immediately after taking these photos.  Not the right time of day for it, but there was no way I was going to let those ants and aphids just have their way with my plants for even one moment longer!

So now I need to decide what if any other actions to take.  I have my garlic pepper spray, but I don’t know if that will work.  Guess it won’t hurt to try.  I am open to any and all suggestions anyone might have…

On the bright side, I found my first cucumber!  It’s so tiny and cute!And somewhat alien looking.   😉

And there are lots of little curly tendrils developing for them to grab onto the trellis as they grow… Is it too early to start hoping for enough cukes for pickles?  🙂

Hope is always a good thing!

I also hope I win this battle in the attack of the ants and the aphids…

~Gardening is my therapy~

Adventures in Gardening Part 22

Looks like we’re finally going to get a few dry days of weather here.  Just in time for the weekend.  I know what I’m gonna be doing ~ gardening!  🙂

~

It’s so fun to see what’s new in the garden from day-to-day.  Now that the bugs have calmed down, that is ;).  When I went out to check on things today I was so excited to find a little Roma tomato growing on the vine!~

And there are blossoms on my beans!  Lots of them!~

On my bell pepper too!~

My zucchini is totally dominating this corner of my garden!  The leaves are so huge, it’s unbelievable.  When a friend stopped over today she even commented that she’d never seen them so big before.  Guess they’re happy!   I know I am!  🙂~

Remember those scraggly Impatiens I rescued?  Well it looks like they’re doing just fine in their little pot in their shady spot.~

I didn’t even know that my mom’s yellow lilies have been blooming for a while now out near her mailbox.  Guess I don’t go out front often enough, I almost missed seeing this bright lovely.~

And I thought her Mallow were long gone ~ it’s been quite a while since they’ve shown themselves in her flower bed, but I found this one blooming today.  So delicate, light and airy…~

Have a wonderful weekend and “may all your weeds be wildflowers!”

~Gardening is my therapy~

The Simple Comfort of a Cat

So warm and comforting

 her purring vibrates against my chest blending in with my own heartbeat soothing me.

Fur so thick and luxurious

with one touch my hand melts into its heavenly softness.

Our mutual affection so tender and sweet

a sudden joy catches me by surprise and then contentment.

My precious little companion

my cat.

© Julie Rehnelt 2012

~

It might be weird to write a poem about your cat, but the other night while I was in bed trying to sleep, my mind filled with worry and dread, Baby, one of my cats came in and made herself comfortable upon my chest and these were the words that came to mind and helped calm my troubled thoughts.  Our pets have a way of comforting us in the most simplest form, but I also find it quite remarkable…

Baby ~ my snuggle bug ♥~

A while back I wrote a post Cat Crazy where I shared all about my cats.  Feel free to take a look at it if you’re interested…

Adventures in Gardening Part 21 ~ In Between the Rain

It’s been storming and raining a lot lately which makes it a bit tricky to get out in the garden, but today while there was a break in weather I went out and poked around out there for a little while and was very pleased by what I saw…

~

Man, I do love me some zucchini and was so excited to find this little bad boy shooting out from under the giant leaves of one of my zucchini plants!  There’s tons more developing too!  This makes me one happy gardener!  🙂~

And my one lone strawberry plant that I bought on impulse and stuffed into a random pot sure is happily doing its thing!  It was hard to even get all of the action going on with this little plant into one shot.  Too bad I don’t have more room in my garden so I could grow more of these.~

Everything else is doing well too and I’m just so glad.  It was rocky there for a while with the bugs bugging.  There is still evidence of them here and there, but nothing like the destruction I was dealing with earlier.  Hopefully it stays that way.

My Bee Balm got a little damaged by some of the strong winds we had a few days ago and lost one of its main stalks, but the rest of it is still blooming away beautifully…~

And my English Lavender is now blooming too.  Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE lavender?!  😉~

There are two different yellow flowering perennials that I put in for my mom ages ago and don’t remember what they are, but look at how bright and beautiful their blooms are…

Anyone recognize either of these?

~

I noticed a couple of little mushrooms growing in my garden too.  I know they’re a fungus, but they’re still pretty cute.  It’s supposed to continue raining throughout this next week, so I hope my garden isn’t getting too much moisture.  That could cause all sorts of other problems.

But I’m gonna try not to worry about the “what-ifs” of tomorrow, and for now just enjoy the beauty of the present.  🙂

~Gardening is my therapy~

Gotta Have My Pops

“Gotta have my pops” is an old slogan from the 80’s from a commercial for Corn Pops cereal, but right now the pops I gotta have isn’t cereal… it’s my actual Pops, my Dad.

Only thing is… I can’t have my Pops.  He passed away last June.  This is my first Father’s Day without him.

If he were still here he’d be acting all grumpy about Father’s Day because he wouldn’t like all the attention and fuss (but it would only be acting because even though it made him a little uncomfortable… he secretly liked all the lovins).  He’d let us kids come over and visit him for a little while and do the Father’s Day thing, and then he’d shoo us away so he could watch TV.  But I wouldn’t buy it and I’d stay, because I’m the youngest and a little pest, and I’m a rebel and don’t obey my parents.  😉

Gosh I miss him.  My world has been so different without my Papa in it.  It’s been a huge adjustment for my whole family, especially for my mom.  But we are managing.  What else can ya do except deal as best as ya can?

On his birthday last December I wrote up a post about my Dad ~ Reflections of my Pops where I shared a bunch of favorite photos and things about him, and for Father’s Day I am copying and pasting the majority of that post onto this one.  So for those of you who have been following my blog for a while and have already seen it, please forgive the repeat…

~

Below is one of my all-time favorite photos of my Dad.  It was a beautiful, perfect, summer day spent at my favorite place in Minnesota ~ Lake Superior.  Dad was skipping rocks when my mom snapped this photo of him.  The entire shoreline is littered with them, as you can see.  And that’s my daughter in the background wading in the water.  She’s 20 now so this photo is from quite a while ago, but I still remember the day.  It was a good day.  A happy time.  And my Dad looks handsome.  ♥

~

Where as the above photo was of my Dad on a warm summer day…. here is one taken during the glory of winter.  It’s also one of my favorite photos of him.  One thing about living in Minnesnowta is it SNOWS.  Sometimes a lot!  And my Dad always took such good care of clearing his walkways whenever it snowed.  He was actually quite the “ants in his pants” about it!  His hair matches the snow.  ♥   He had such a gorgeous head of hair…~

Omygosh if there is one thing I’ll always remember the most about my Dad… it’s that he LOVED riding bicycle!  He would ride miles and miles a day, all around the city ~  through downtown Minneapolis along Nicollet Avenue.  He was a common fixture around town riding his bike and people even recognized him.  He was a friendly fellow with a bright, wonderful smile.  ♥~

He’s not exactly “smiling” here, but I adore this silly expression on his face!  This picture was taken on one of his birthdays some years ago.  Clearly he is being silly about the new hat and gloves he received.  And see how he’s in his pajamas?  That is another thing about my Dad ~ whenever he was at home and not planning on going out anywhere, he was always in his jammies.  As my Mom and I were going through some of his things a while back, I asked for a couple sets of his jammies that we came across.  I’m wearing them as I write this.  ♥~

Here is another precious photo.  This was taken at my daughter’s graduation in 2010.  My Dad was very involved in my daughter’s life.  He was such a good Papa.  Over the years as she was growing up, he rarely missed a program, concert or recital of hers.  ♥~

I love this one of my adorable parents being cute and cozy on my brother’s couch.  They were married for 52 years.  ♥~

If I had a halfway decent recent photo of my Dad and I together, I would post it next, but I don’t, so this one will have to do.  It’s from another Duluth/Lake Superior trip  The little boy in it with us is my punk nephew.  I could have cropped him out to make it a photo of just me and my Pops, but when I did that and used it as my Facebook profile picture, my nephew cried foul so I left him in this time.  😉~

Thanks for letting me share a bit about my Pops on this Father’s Day.  I love him and miss him more than I can say..

♥ ♥ ♥

Strawberry Pie Fiasco

I swear this pie is absolutely delicious despite how it looks.

~

In my humble opinion, this is the yummiest recipe for strawberry pie on the entire planet.  I’ve used it many times over the years ~ even though this time I slightly failed at it.  😉   It’s from a very old flyer from Berry Hill Farm where I usually get my strawberries…Of course I realize at this angle you can’t see/read the full recipe, but don’t worry… if you’re brave enough to want to try it after reading this post, I will certainly share it with you.  😉

~

These lovelies are not from Berry Hill however, because they had a very short season this year and I was not able to get any from them, but theirs are just as luscious.  These are some of my left over strawberries from canning the other day…~

I am a big lazy cheater (pooped out from all of my heavy labor canning) and bought a ready made crust ~ don’t judge me.  This shortbread crust goes perfectly with this recipe.  Look there’s even a photo of a strawberry pie on the packaging to prove it.  😉~

The first step of this recipe is to make a glaze.  After hurting my weak girlie hands again using my sis’s dumb potato masher, I mixed the mashed strawberries with water, sugar, and cornstarch, and stirred constantly (and forever) over medium heat bringing it all to a boil.  And then set it aside to cool.~

Next I whipped some cream cheese to soften it and spread it in the bottom of my lazy cheater’s pie crust.~

Then I started filling the rest of the crust up with berries.  The recipe calls for whole strawberries, but I halve mine because it’s easier to eat and to cut with my fork.  🙂  I arranged them somewhat haphazardly I know…~

Once the glaze cooled a bit I poured it over the top.~

But it wasn’t cooled enough and I filled the crust too high with strawberries so it made quite a mess and started leaking out onto the edges of the crust.  Whoops!But it was yummy as I swiped the excess up with my finger!  I totally grossed out my daughter by “double swiping” but I had to because it was leaking all over.  😉

~

It’s supposed to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours, but we wanted to eat it sooo bad that we just couldn’t wait that long.~

And when you cut into a pie before it’s set… messy things happen.~

Oh well, cover it up with a bunch of whipped cream and no one will be able to tell the difference.  😉   It tasted amazing even if it was a mess!

~

Doing the Can-Can ~ Making Jam-Jam

Earlier this spring while we were busy at work building my garden box, my sis and I talked about canning some strawberry rhubarb jam once the season rolled around.  She is the one who taught me how to can so many years ago and it had been such a long time since we canned together.  So we asked our mom if we could use her kitchen for the production (and believe me, if you’ve ever canned… you know it is indeed quite a “production”) and she agreed.  Moms and big sisters are the best ~ especially mine!  ♥

As the rhubarb in my sis’s yard ripened, we waited anxiously for email updates from Berry Hill Farm where we usually get our berries, to hear when their strawberries would be ready for picking.  On the day the email arrived we quickly decided on which day we would have our canning adventures.  I say “quickly” because sometimes the season is short and the window of opportunity can easily pass you by.  And it did.  😦  Even though we made our plan to get our strawberries on the 4th day after the berries would be ready, we received another email from the farm saying they were pretty much all done.  What?!  Talk about disappointment.

But we would not be thwarted.  We decided to call around and found strawberries elsewhere.  Cheaper and organic!  Although that’s a great thing, that’s not to say we won’t try again next year to still get them from Berry Hill because even though their strawberries aren’t organic, they are local and family owned, and that’s what we want to support.  I’ve been going to Berry Hill for my strawberries for over 10 years and I’m not about to stop now.

Our canning day arrived with a boom.  Boom meaning… a thunderstorm.  What a wonderful way to wake up (or go to sleep for that matter ~ thunderstorms are one of my favorite things ♥) and I swear even my coffee tasted better while I was sipping it and listening to the thunder.  😉

But it presented a bit of a problem when it came time to leave my apartment and head over to my mom’s.  I left while there was a slight break in the rain, but just as I was getting onto the freeway it started to hail.  And hard.  Driving 60 mph in the hail = yikes!   Luckily when it really started pounding against my windshield I came upon an overpass, so I pulled over for a little while underneath it and waited until the hail stopped.

I was about halfway to my mom’s when she called to tell me that her power was out.  Power out?  Wait, how are we going to can?  She said she had called the power company and they told her it was expected to be out for the next 3 hours.  Ugh.  Canning takes a long time, so 3 hours is a huge delay.  But what can ya do?  Just gotta go with the flow I guess.  Yep, that’s about the only option.  I can’t control the weather, and although I’m pretty talented… I definitely can’t repair power lines.  It’d be pretty bad-ass if I could though wouldn’t it?   😉

But even though it felt a bit like the universe was conspiring against us, we did eventually do the can-can and made some jam-jam…

~

First off, we filled up my mom’s dishwasher.  This is the fastest and easiest way I know of to clean all of the jars and keep them piping hot until we’re ready to fill them up with the “good stuff.”  This is not exactly sterilizing them as is recommended for canning, but it has always worked fine for me to do it this way.~

Feast your eyes on these beautiful red ripened strawberries!  Too many of them to count ended up in our tummies along the way because they were simply too delicious to resist!~

My sis was out battling the thunderstorm and picking rhubarb out of her yard before she met me over at my mom’s.  What a trooper.~

And she was in charge of chopping up the rhubarb too…~

I was in charge of preparing the strawberries (and eating them ;)).  Except I was doing it wrong.  I was wasting way too much of the berry by just haphazardly chopping their heads off.  I have strawberry corer thingy, but I forgot it at home, and because we were already three hours behind and had TWELVE pounds of strawberries to do, I guess I was just being hasty.But after my sis pointed it out and made me feel guilty by showing me the error of my ways, I was much more careful (and slower) and did the rest properly.~

Then I had to mash them all up.  But my sis’s potato masher totally sucked and my mom didn’t have one, so it wasn’t very fun and I more than kinda hurt my girlie hands.~

After I finished wrestling with my sis’s potato masher and she finished chopping up all the rhubarb, we dumped it all into a pan, and then added some lemon juice… some pectin,and some sparkly sugar.~

And speaking of sugar, here’s our huge 10 pound bag of sugar…which still wasn’t even enough sugar for all the jam we were planning to make.

~

After bringing the jam to a boil for 1 minute, it was time to ladle it into the jars, which was my job…and my sis’s job was to put on the lids…~

Then it was time to give them a nice hot bath.~

Give me 10 minutes on the clock please (for some reason I just heard the voice of Richard Dawson from the Family Feud as I typed that).~

Ding!  Time’s up!~

Now to let them cool…~

After all was said and done, we had 50 jars!!!We put our jam in all different various sized jars from 4oz to 8oz.  I like the little 4oz size for gift giving.  🙂

~

My sis found a recipe for rhubarb orange jam that she wanted to try too, so we made some of that in addition to the strawberry rhubarb.  It tastes amazing and has definitely become one of my new favorites!

It was storming all day which was perfect for canning, but not so good for taking photos.  Between the darkness of the skies and the dim lighting in my mom’s kitchen, I had to use the flash on the camera, so I’m not real crazy about how they turned out.  :/

~

Except this last one ~ it finished storming as we were finishing our canning and we had a beautiful sunset to end our day with…~

Even after canning 50 jars of jam, and eating tons along the way, we still had left-over strawberries.  I’m using some to make a strawberry pie and my sis is freezing some to use later for her delicious smoothies.  I love strawberry season!

🙂