Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Morning to Myself

Does anyone want to take a guess as to what's in this 5 gallon bucket?  Don't gag.  It's not vomit.

Well, I'm just going to come out and tell you.  In a minute.

First, I want to tell you that the other day, a friend of mine (thank you, thank you, thank you!) came over to my house at 9:20 in the morning and loaded all three of  my children in our van and took them away.  She had my permission, of course.  She took them to the children's museum in town and then to the park to play AND have a picnic lunch.  Yes, she is a dear.

You should have seen the dance of celebration that erupted from Sam and Sadie as she pulled in the driveway.  Poor Miriam really had no idea what was going on.  She brought them back about four hours later.  I racked my brain for days trying to decide the best way to fill my time while they were gone.  I knew I would chose to stay home because I am rarely, rarely, rarely home all by myself.

But, what would I do?  Work?  Sleep?  Read?  Blog?  Clip coupons?  Sit in front of the TV and stare?  I'm not one to take a long bath or do my toe nails or anything like that.  I am one who likes to feel productive and likes being productive without umpteen interruptions.  So, here's what I did.  I'm sorry if you don't care.  I'm going to tell you anyway.

I stripped the kids beds and washed all their sheets and blankets and hung them out to dry (it was a beautiful day).  I did two additional loads of laundry.

I reorganized the pantry, pulling all of the full jars to the front and within reach, boxed up several large boxes of empty jars, and removed 31 jars of outdated home-canned food (most from 2008- I was a spazz that year).

I organized the smoke house (our attic) and put all the boxes of jars together.

I dumped all the contents of the outdated jars into a five gallon bucket (ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!).  I won't even feed this stuff to the chickens.  There were outdated pickled beets (we have plenty from 2009), old barbecue sauce, old chutney, old sweet and sour cucumbers and even 2 quarts of green tomato curry from 2007.  Then, I washed all the jars and boxed them up, too. (They're being boxed up just to make the pantry easier to keep organized- I'm not going to quit canning or anything silly like that.)

I got three bags together of stuff to donate, got the mail and then...

I laid on the couch and read for a whole hour in peace and quiet.

It was wonderful.  Oh.  Did I forget to mention that I cried a little when they first left?

Yeah, I'm weird like that. Pin It


  1. Hooray for a morning home alone! They come so few and far between, don't they? I'm glad you were productive, but also had time to veg on the sofa with a good book. What a great day!

  2. You managed to fit in a bit of everything! Nice... And I can't believe you let glorious pickled beets go bad! ;/

  3. Oh. You mean you're supposed to throw out home canned stuff after a specified amount of time? I thought that as long as the seal was good, the food was fine... (Last I checked, we're not dead.)

  4. That sounds like an awful lot of "work" to get done in just three hours! But I so well remember how eeeaaazzy it seemed to be to get things done when you could concentrate on just that job and not have any interruptions!

    It's so interesting to note that most stay-at-home moms (or maybe I should say ones like us) would choose to "work" if they had "free" time at home. I just don't know if that's a good thing . . . or bad. :o) But because I know it made you feel better, it was definitely a GOOD thing!

  5. I almost hurled when I saw that photo... I in fact had to clean up vomit last night... Thanks for the lovely reminder!

    Hey... that's what friends are for right?

  6. Four whole hours to yourself? I wouldn't know what to do with myself. Sounds like you were very productive. I'm boxing up empty jars too. They seem to be taking over the pantry.

  7. You sure packed a lot into your four hours! I am afraid I am more liberal with my canning dates...to say the least. I am glad you also squeezed in some reading time for yourself.

  8. I so value those moments when I am left alone in my own house. They are few and far between, and I, like you NEVER know what to do with them. Glad you were productive and took some time to relax too!

  9. I love time like that... Good for you for getting so much accomplished AND taking time for yourself!

  10. I'm with MamaJJ. Last week I popped open some bread and butter pickles from 2006. They were delicious :)

    Hooray for a child-free morning! And I cry, too. It's so strange that we look forward to being alone but then can't wait to have them back!

  11. This gave me a laugh and took me back a few years to when I was "chosen" to help Great Grandma clean out her cellar and freezer. The canned pears and tomatoes were only about 15 years old and the unknown meat in the bottom of the freezer was marked at about 10 years old!

  12. Way to go, girl!! (Could you spare some of that extra energy!)

  13. You did so well - I'm impressed! What a productive time & you were still able to slip in a bit or relaxation as well!

  14. i'm SO glad you posted this! i've been trying to figure out what to do with the old (OLD!, like circa 1998) food that was left in the basement of the house we bought back in October. i would just throw the whole she-bang away...except that the food (the gross, discolored, old OLD food) just so happens to be stored in the most BEAUTIFUL mason jars.

    any tips on cleaning?
    and can you add this stuff to a compost bin?

  15. j...,
    I agree- it's time you pitched the contents of those jars:-). If you're talking about compost for your garden/flower beds, go ahead a chuck the icky stuff in. If it's something your chickens would get into, maybe not.

    As far as cleaning them, just soak them in hot soapy water for awhile and then go at them with old fashioned elbow grease. I bet they'll come clean easier than you think:-).

    Oh, and you may want a clothespin for your nose. Good luck:-)!


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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