Tuesday, September 08, 2020

September happenings

We're slammed with produce in Manitoba in August.  In July, it's a little berry jam warm up, but then by the beginning of September, there may even be frost.  So, this year has been something of a canning frenzy.  I've been canning for sharing, so my shelves are full now.  Some of it is mundane: apple sauce, chutney, cucumber pickles...and some is a surprise.  My kids found these (extremely long in the tooth) okra in a neighbourhood schoolyard garden.  They'd never seen okra before! (haha, I have eaten so much okra during my time in Kentucky and North Carolina...) So, I quickly shoved it into a jar and soon we'll try some refrigerator pickles. 
Meanwhile, I continue to write at night and whenever I can fit it in.  Here's an opinion piece I wrote for the CBC-Manitoba website.
It's fair to say that Manitoba's back to school options have left me very stressed.  We have been offered a "go back to school in person with some safety protocols" or a "withdraw your children and homeschool them."  This isn't a fair choice--we pay for our children's public education and kids with challenges can only get special needs support in school here.  It's hard to find privately and expensive.  There's no remote schooling option.  While I used to teach and hold a Master's in Education, I know when I do not have the training to meet some of my kids' needs.  So, today we sent them back.  I've been doing a lot of cooking to comfort myself.

Stuffed grape leaves from a friend's grape arbor... and pie.  Lots of apple pie from apples we picked at a neighbour's house.

Also, the hundred year old house next door has been demolished and there is excavation taking place for a new house.  There was no architectural salvage done, the shaking has been affecting our house, and the noise and motion have worn me out.  This photo taken from our dining room window is cock-eyed, but it sort of represents how I feel.  (Yes, that digger was 18" from the window.  Maybe 2 feet.  No kidding.)  This just makes me sad.
It's noisy and dusty and dangerous to sit around outside...but this is what Sadie the dog was doing before the demolition hit.  It has made me realize how much the out of doors helped us all this summer...and now who knows how long we'll be unable to use our yard again.
In an attempt to brighten up the inside, I wove this rag mat for Sadie's water bowl.  Making things makes me feel better....and keeps the stress level down.  Perhaps that's why I've been canning, knitting, weaving, baking and more...at this frenetic pace.
Stay well!  Happy and healthy new year to all who are getting ready to celebrate 5781!

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