Thursday, August 20, 2009

Well there hasn't been much of anything blog-worthy going on the past few days. At first, it was just too hot and humid to do much outside, and now it's rained and stormed off and on for the last two. A storm rolled through last night late, and actually woke me up, which was really odd, NOTHING wakes me up, lol. No matter though, the garden can use the rain after 2 weeks of heat and dry.
On Monday, I filed for my last 2 weeks of unemployment benefits. Of course, they won't let you file for an extension the same day, so I had to do that on Tuesday. After all the forms were finished, and I clicked that "process claim" button, I got the typical "please allow 2-4 weeks for processing". I go about my day and figure I won't hear anything anytime soon. Low and behold, I get up Wednsday morning and see an e-mail from the state telling me I have a message on my inbox at the ODJFS website. Yep....approved in a day for another 20 weeks of benefits.
I'm honestly not sure how to take that. Of course, I'm happy that I have this to fall back on since there is no sign of work picking up anytime soon. But, does that show the speed, accuracy, and "gettin right on it" attitude of the unemployment office? Or does that just show that "yep, another pipefitter-might as well just give him what he needs"? I'm still shocked that it went through that fast. I'm thinkin' it just shows that they know the economy sucks, and that anyone in the construction trades are pretty much screwed right now. Ah well, now I have 'till the end of January, though that much time off is going to drive me even more insane than I am now after 6 months. I sure hope things change soon. Juggling bills is getting harder and harder.
On a lighter note, I have a dinner date tonight at 6:00 that I'm pretty excited about. As some might know, I was married before Lisa. That marraige was a big mistake, and ended rather ugly. When we had met, she had a 11 month old little girl. In the 6 years we were together, that little girl knew me as daddy. Her real father was barely in the picture, just usually on holidays so she wouldn't be with me. (he and I always hated each other) After the divorce, and after Lisa and I got together, some real SHTF with my ex, and I haven't seen her daughter in nearly 10 years.
Last Friday was her birthday, her 18th to be exact. I found her on Facebook and sent her a happy birthday message, not sure if I would get anything back. Well...I did. We exchanged a few messages, and then text messages last night on my cell phone. We're meeting for dinner tonight.
I'm very excited about seeing her, but I'm really nervous too. I don't quite know what to say yet. I don't know how to answer any questions she may have. I'm just going to have to play this one by ear, and take it as it comes. I told her last night in a text message that I was nervous aboout this, and she said she felt the same way. Maybe this is why I slept so light last night. I don't know what is going to happen, and I don't know what this dinner will lead to. I do want her back in my life, and hopefully now that she is 18, I can do so without involving her mother. We'll just have to see where this leads. Wish me luck folks, I'm gonna need it! LOL

Monday, August 17, 2009

hot hot hot

Yesterday and today were incredibly hot and humid, so we decided to spend the time inside with a canner, boiling water, and dehydrator all running at the same time...makes sense eh? hahaha

We had more greens beans out back and figured we would try some pickled since we've always heard about them but never tried any. Our cucumbers aren't doing so well, but a visit to a friends got me a surprise bag full to make more pickles too. I also had a good sized basket of peppers, so those needed done too. We even got the first good picking of sweet corn. The ears are small, but still delicious. The 29 1/2 pounds of onions were dry, so Lisa braided them together, and the rest went into the dehydrator. Soooo...........we had a lot to do.

The total from yesterday and today is:

6 qt freezer bags green pepper slices

9 pts dill pickles

3pts pickled beans

1pt pickled jalepenos (i wanted to try something different)

3 pts hot wax pepper slices

8pts jalepeno slices

28 ears sweet corn into freezer

2 quart sized bags dehydrated onions

Tonight I'll be doing beets and turnips, plus there is another dehydrator full of onions to bag when they're done.

Since we planted so many potatos this year, I've been trying to think of something for storage and came up with a simple bin with mesh sides for air circulation. All made from scrap wood in the garage, a handle I had, and mesh for outdoor scucco I scavenged from a jobsite dumpster. All I had to buy was a set of hinges. It's not pretty by any means, but hey, its going to be in the basement so who cares.
Tomorrow I'm taking a day away from the garden stuff and working on other projects. I need to work on the walk-in closet I built in the prep room, and turn it into a sort-of root cellar. I need to do a bit of caulking, cover the heat vent with sheet metal, make some sort of ventalation fan, and figure a way to vent it to the outside with pvc pipe. I'll be putting hooks in the ceiling for hanging the onions, building some sort of base to put full buckets on to avoid moisture, and move the camping gear back out into the main room. We're running out of room for food storage so fast, and this is the last place we have other than converting a closet in the spare bedroom. It'll be cooler than upstairs by far, and though it won't be as convienent, it will just be for bulk and root crop storage. I'm hoping that a little of this side-job money can go to more bulk food like sugar, oats,rice, and flour. We use a lot, it less expensive in bulk, and we do tend to prep quite a bit anyway. Besides, we still havent used all of those food grade buckets we ordered a few months sense in letting 'em sit around empty.

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