For The Wicked…

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Y’know, I generally try to stay pretty positive on this blog; look for the silver linings and all that jazz. But can I just tell you that life was pretty miserable the other morning?!

Sure, I was sitting on the soft carpet, bundled in a fuzzy blanket and some thick wool socks, and I was soaking in the warm September sunshine as it streamed through our sliding glass door. And just outside, Mother Nature was showing off the beginnings of an absolutely gorgeous autumn day. But, thanks to a nasty flu bug, I was stuck indoors, shivering and moaning like the poster-child for some Nyquil commercial.

I had it all: the aches, the fevers, the chills, the congestion… the whole nine yards.

There was so much pressure in my sinuses it almost felt like someone was trying to pry my face off with a crowbar! And of course, I also had the sore throat, runny nose, and weepy eyes to go along with it.

I’d discovered, however, that if I sat perfectly still, with my head cocked a little to the left, and my mouth drooping open just slightly (not too much, not too little), the pressure seemed to let up a bit.

(At least my face wasn’t throbbing like the subwoofer of a high-end sound system anymore…)

And so I just sat there in the sunshine, looking incredibly intelligent, I’m sure. Eyes half-closed, breathing loudly through my mouth, shiny red nose, with soggy crumpled tissues scattered all around…

Yup.

Very intelligent, indeed.

But for the first time in days, at least I was finally warming up!

It was at that moment that the kitchen timer went off, informing me that another batch of stewed tomatoes was done pressure canning.

Just when I was starting to get comfortable!

Muttering under my breath, I slowly climbed to my feet and stumbled across the kitchen to turn off the stove and prep another round of mason jars for the canner…

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I don’t know how many jars of stewed tomatoes we finally ended up with over the course of two days (we also bottled another batch of salsa while we were at it). All I know is that, when it was all said and done, Lindsey and I had cut up a bloody ton of tomatoes, washed a bloody ton of dishes, and made a bloody big mess in the kitchen — all for the sake of preserving the harvest.

They say there’s no rest for the wicked — but if you ask me, that’s kind of a dubious assertion. If you want a more accurate maxim, I’d suggest changing it to:

There’s no rest for the gardener. Not in the months of August and September, anyways…

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