Saturday, January 31, 2009

Canning Jar Washin' Day -

Hello, All!
I have a fun, hard-workin' event to share with ya'll! Well, I'll share the pictures and memories, not the fun work of the event, since 'tis past. This past Monday, I was invited over to the Stones house, to help them wash a whole trailer load of canning jars! I eagerly accepted, because it promised to be hard work with friends, a whole long day of being in the sun, and going back some odd 80 to 100 years in our way of a'cleanin' up the glass jars. That I surely love, and so I went on over a little before 9am, and we spent 9 to 9:30 holding an adorable little baby boy goat who was all of two days old then. Little Don Juan, no pictures of him on here...but I am bound to tell ya'll that as a precursor - the Stones will be doing a post on the little dude over at their blog soon! So, be looking for that at The Redeemer Liveth! :D

From 9:30 to 10, Anna and I built ourselves a fire pit out of the ashes, and circled it with some cement bricks, and laid a square of cattle wire fence atop that, and then a galvanized cattle tub, which we filled with water from the hose. Then we assembled everything, and from 10:30am to 2:30pm (with only one break), we washed about ___(to be disclosed amount later in the post) dozen glass canning jars that were very dusty, dirty, and filled with various dead things: lizard, salamander, silverfish, roaches, disintegrating critters. Yay. Haha.

We worked out a dis-assembly line of sorts of Olivia, Anna and myself. :) Poor Emmy was not feeling well, the invalid joined us later to watch us from her sunny mound of blankets and pillows. :D Olivia carted the boxes of jars from the trailer, and took the lids off the jars, throwing them in another cart, and would put them in the utility sink that we had hot water and soap in, and Anna would wash the jars till they were sparkly clean, and set them on a table, where I would take four in one hand, and rinse them off with the hose, then carry them over to our clean sheets laid upon the grass, and set them down to dry off. I also kept the fire at a steady, even, ember hot pace to heat up the water, which was steamy, so, just close to simmering. Anna would also take water in a pitcher from the tub, and heat her sink water up, then fill the tub up more with the hose. The water got quite hot, so it only took a pitcher or two to heat up the sink. :D At any rate....we got the jars clean and in orderly rows, and only ended up with some sunburn, aching backs, water-withered hands, a few cuts(me, from breaking sticks up for the fire), one splinter(more on that later) and hot backs from them facing the fire. On the other side of it....I thoroughly enjoyed being so old-fashionedly productive. We laughed, sang, listened to Brian Regan, the whole book of Ester, and good-naturedly complained our woes that we inflicted upon ourselves by doing the job. :D Hahahaha.

'Twas a great time, and we wish ya' could've joined us. And just to wow you all with our amazing work, and hard work ethic - I give you the sum of the jars that we washed! Some pint jars, some quart, some in between, we washed 360 jars which equals 30 dozen canning jars!!! Wow. And now some pictures to visualize it for you all. The thing is...we have no pictures of ourselves hard at work, because we were....hard at work. :D Olivia has some, I believe, but my hands were either sooty, soapy, or both, so holding my camera was out of the question. These are all after we were done. So! The Canning Jar Washin' pics -


Olivia generally giving the whole company's expression of disbelief that we actually made it through all that work. I still am quite amazed myself. On the left, Anna scrubbin' the tub, and on the right, the trailer full of the empty boxes.

Our fire pit....well, our pit was in the center of those blocks in the middle, we had just banked it, so you canna' see what we did...but you get the gist of it. Twas lovely.

Our dirty water...we did dump it in the middle of the washing sessions once. :D The sink where we washed all those jars...for those of you who are wondering - they purchased new lids for canning, so that they didn't have to use the rusted ones.

Olivia throwing the empty boxes back into the trailer.

Anna washin' and scrubbin' up the tub, it was covered in soot and smoke. I love this picture of her, so not posed, and you can see the water spray coming off the side to the left! Ha! Neat!
And now! Drumroll please - The Jars!!! Ta - Daa!!! I know. Lots. We were proud.
Lined up to dry...we even had them sorted by size!

And whilst Anna finished up the tub, Olivia and I took pictures of the lovely jars, nearly dried after being in the hot 80 degree sun for a couple hours.
The very dry and dead grass of winter. Another very good reason to have the hose out by our fire pit. :D We had a hot fire going, and were surrounded only by dead grass. Didna' want to have too much fire. :) HAhaha. Fi-YAH! Oh, sorry.....
My favorite picture of the whole, blessed, entire day. And maybe even the month. Yes, those are Golden Harvest Mason Jars.
Ball Mason Jars -
And yet, more jars....these are quarts, I couldn't carry four of these in one hand, I know you needed to know that. I could only carry three.
It's amazing how a different angle, different color sheet, and sunlight will change a picture.
Oh, and yes, for most of these, I was laying down in the grass. Hey, what's dead, sharp, prickly grass on ya' after you are sooty, smoky, dirty, and wet? Umm....it's not anything then.
Boy, did they shine and shimmer in the hot sun!
A focus on the jars with Anna in the background....(I love the sheet turned up on the bottom)

And then a focus on Anna with the jars in blur. I love that smile.

Olivia spending her time taking pictures, as well. And playing with her little kitty.
Lid and ring evidence of how many jars we washed.
Some crisp, dry grass in the cart.
A rusty lid separated from it's rusty companions.
Olivia's lens...I really like this shot. Anyone want to guess what she is shooting in the lens?
Some dead grass clinging to a screw on the underside of the cart.
Where Olivia's little kitty - Dandelion was watching me with supreme attack interests in mind. Soon after I took this picture, she scooted underneath a bench to get away from me. This is my second favorite shot of the day. :D (btw, she is looking at me through the cart wheel spokes)
I followed her over to the bench, and became chew toy material. Quite willingly, actually, because it didn't hurt, but then was instructed to not let her do that. My talking went something like this - "HahaHA! She's biting my finger, awww,look!...ahhaha...owie, hahaha, OWIE! Careful, Dandelion!...What? Oh. Really. Sorry....ok....bad, Dandelion, bad....NO! BAD! STOP!" I decided to let Olivia correct her instead. :D
I went to visit the goats -
In which they thought that my camera was some sort of food, and wanted to get as close as possible to taste it.
And cut off their oxygen supply just to get closer to the little zoomy thing connected to my face.
But to no avail, they were not able to touch it. Due to my protectiveness....when I left, their sad and not-bemused baas followed me all the way back to the fire pit. :D Heeehee.
Some oranges clinging to dying leaves...this is what the goaties really wanted. :)
Sweet Anna's head. She had straw in her hair, which I thought was so cute...so I took a picture, of course!
And we decided that if they make all those expensive volcanic ash soaps and scrubs, then we should get some benefit by walking around in it for hours, and running it through our hands. :D I got some neat shots of it...'twas Anna's idea. These are her hands.
Oooooh....ack! Thhwbbtt! Dusty!!!
We had lots of ash. :)
Anna tending the fire with the pitchfork. My head shadow is on her head....haha. Strange.
The propane torch = our fire lighter.
In which Anna turned into a pyromaniac and decided to wreak revenge upon the boxes that gave us all those jars. Burn, baby, burn....BURN! Heh, heh, heh.
A very contented Mr. Bingley on the boardwalk.

Stretching out appealingly for some scratchy tummy time. Gotta' love those eyes.
And - we come back to our only major injury of the day. Olivia's scream sent us all flying for the back porch, where we were relieved that the splinter did not go up and IN, but in and OVER. Olivia skimmed her food into a sharp splinter that she so bravely dug out with a hook and tweezers. I'm so proud of you for doing it, Livvy! It was long, but she got it out! It had her on crutches for the rest of the day, though. :(
And a shot when I got home - here is a very tired, cold, sooty, soapy, dirty, and happy little girl that had a great day with some of her best friends. :D The reason I was cold is that we um....went swimming. I know. In January. It had froze two nights the week before, rained a couple days before, and was in the 50's at night. We were so hot at 12, that we wanted to swim...but at 4pm, it was basically a 50 degree mountain stream kind of cold. So shockingly cold that you would get out and jump in, and your eyes would go huge, you would start to shiver, and the only way to get warm would be to move around. Really cold. No joke. But...you wouldn't really know unless you put your hand in a cup of ice water, and thought of yourself in a bathing suit, then - you get the picture. Olivia got in up to her waist, and Anna and I all the way because I pulled Anna in, and then...this was SO funny... Anna was walking the rim of the above ground pool, with a bucket, trying to soak me for splashing her, and she lost her balance and fell in! Her expression was way beyond hysterical...she was stunned with the cold, and clambered out as quickly as possible! It was great...I think laughing warmed me up for like 25 seconds. Then we got out.

All in all - I am so grateful that the Stones allowed me a day over at their place! Thanks for the food, laughter, Reeses pieces, swimming, goat following, wellie-wearing, SBFSB watching, popcorn-eating, singing, trampoline jumping, fire stoking, jar-washin', friend huggin', basically having fun-all-around-day! Oh, and dish-washing with a best friend who was concerned about my headache...which actually, was the only down part of the day, other than Olivia's injury. And that was over by the next morning. :D

Stone family, I love you all so, SO much, and thanks for the invite to be old-fashioned! YAY for us! God bless.

Hey, all blog readers - ya'll take care, and be family - come 'round to the blog often!

Grateful for a glorious Savior,
~ Jean Marie

3 comments:

Becca Elizabeth said...

Jars Jars Jars everywhere!
Looks like you guys worked hard.
Phew! Makes me tired looking at it ;) You are so creative with your shots!
Love ya!
Three Cheers for Jams!
~the girl who hopes a blog post will be done,by our creative Jean,of the lovely jam

Kimberly said...

Awww, dear Jean . . . I love looking through your pics. :)

Emily Stone said...

Glad you had such a jolly time, Jean.
It was kinda funny after Olivia got that splinter out of her foot... here's what happened.
She came hobbling out of the porch and yelled triumphantly, "I JUST SAVED MOMMY AND DADDY MONEY!" (because, you see, mom was thinking she was going to have to take her to the doctor's office!) That was cute when she said that.
Love ya Jean and thanks for coming over last night and Friday! :D
~ME