Do you ever plan a day with all you want to accomplish only to have it be unexpectedly hijacked? That is what happened Friday and it hasn’t quite let up. Friday was all planned with a quick trip to pick up chicken feed and shavings, a trip to Wal-Mart for various items, a dash to Lowe’s to pick up a handle for DD’s bedroom window and to scope out an exterior door to the side of the garage complete with locking handle, a stop at Costco for such necessities as coffee, toilet paper, bottled water, lettuce, and multi-vitamins, and finally a stop at Winco for the remaining groceries. While I was planning to be gone, DS was to work on schoolwork and then we would go over it when I got home.
DS went to pick up the chicken feed and shavings and then I brought him back home. So far so good! Then I ran to Wal-Mart to begin the remainder of my errands. I was waiting in line to check out and my phone buzzed. Someone sent me a text, so since I had to wait for those ahead of me, I checked to see what was needed and from who. The long awaited text had come letting me know that “Peaches are ready to glean.” This was wonderful news, however I already had plans and a full day so I immediately felt “hijacked”. As I waited in line, I began to mentally rearrange my day to see how I could make this happen. I sent a reply to the lady who had sent the message asking if they could wait until Monday, knowing there was a good chance they couldn’t. It was important that I make sure and get some because I wanted to stay on the gleaning list for future opportunities. Sure enough, I was encouraged to make sure to go on Friday, so I began to strategize and plot a plan to make this happen. I couldn’t offer Sabbath as we had church in the morning and we company in the afternoon. Sundy wasn’t an option because I was working and DH had not been out to the place to pick peaches and we had planned that he would go this year to pick with me. So Friday it was.
After a quick call to DH to explain the change of plans–not that he minded pushing back a huge weed whacking project for a few days :)–we decided we would head out after he came home from work. I also decided it would be a perfect opportunity for all of us to pick together and make the job even more quickly done. A quick call to DS rapidly nixed that idea. Long story short with DS and DD was despite being able to rearrange schoolwork for the day for DS and DD already being done with her schoolwork for the week, they were NOT going to go picking! DD was adamant that it was too hot (not quite 80°) and she was NOT going. DS decided he didn’t like his day rearranged so quickly and so he would NOT go either! Sadly, I became quite frustrated with the both of them. DS has always been my picking partner when gleaning and he had never refused before, so I was really disappointed. While not totally shocked at DD’s refusal, I was equally disappointed in her response as well. So I decided that since they might be either moving out and/or going away to college in the next few years, DH and I would just go by ourselves!
When DH drove in, I met him outside and explained the situation. He was somewhat disappointed, but we decided to just go do it together and have somet time just the two of us. I don’t think either one of us would have called it a “date” but DH certainly made the best of the situation and was a wonderful help! In less than one hour in the orchard, we gleaned four 6-gallon buckets of peaches. One of those we set asideto give to DFIL and DSIL and the other three we brought in the house to hopefully keep cool enough they wouldn’t spoil before I was able to begin processing today. By this time, DD and DS had announced they would help with the processing.
Shortly after 6 this morning, I quickly took a shower and began peeling peaches. The first bucket I chose to process turned out to be mostly “cling” peaches and had to be cut off the pits. They still tasted good, but took longer. Out of the entire bucket which canned up into 14 quart jars of peach slices, only two of the peaches were “freestone”. The first canner of 7 quarts was processed by lunch, and the second processed before I picked DD up from work this evening. After taking DS to Pathfinders tonight, we came back home and I began working on bucket #2. I quickly discovered that the second bucket of peaches was ripening and needed to be done before bed. Thankfully these were mostly “freestone” with only a few “cling”. An additional canner of 7 quarts was processed and came out of the water bath shortly after midnight.
A total of 21 quarts were processed today. DD had schoolwork this morning and then work this afternoon so was unable to help other then great moral support. DS helped with lifting as my right elbow is still giving me grief at times. He also took the peelings and pits out to his chickens to enjoy. They won’t do much with the pits, however I sure wish the pits would grow trees in all the pen area. From the second bucket I still have one mixing bowl of peaches to peel, slice, and can. Then I just have the final bucket. We will see how things go tomorrow as we have a club induction to attend tomorrow evening. I am really hoping that I will get all done well before then, but that is at least two more canners. We are very grateful for the peaches and hopefully I can add pictures later so you can see the jars.
There was one casualty today: one of my old mixing bowls, the orange one with white inside that I mix all kinds of things in from waffles to pancakes to pizza dough slipped out of DS’s hand when he took it out filled with peelings to the chicken. It fell to the ground and shattered. He came in to get grocery bags to put the pieces in and felt really bad. While I don’t like losing a mixing bowl, at least that one didn’t have super special meaning to me other than I had used it for over 20 years. It was left in a house we moved into back east and so no telling how old it was, but it was a good bowl. Still, losing it isn’t the end of the world.
And there was one bonus: we have learned that there will be apples to glean later. I am particularly interested in apples this year because I need to put up lots of applesauce. I am not sure how many apples we will get from year to year. They wondered if we would get them this year, so I can’t wait even though it will be another batch of hard work! But hard work never hurt anyone and homemade applesauce is the very best kind!