Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Never Running Again

     I am never running again!  Nope.  That's it.  I'm done.  100% complete.  No mas.  And this is why:  You know those people who tell you once you've faced your fear, you can accomplish anything?  They lied!  Tonight I faced my fear.  I looked him straight in his scaly little face, and I ran in the other direction.  Literally.  I hauled butt and didn't look back.  I'm calling BS to that whole "face your fears" adage.

   
     So what happened?  Well tonight while I was just running along, pushing Monkey in her stroller, about to complete my third mile when I happened to glance down, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a stick.  Keep in mind I don't have contacts anymore; I lost my last one.  So now I'm sporting glasses, and my peripheral vision is pretty much non-existent.  So all I saw when I glanced down was a stick.  A squiggly stick.  And I thought to myself, "I probably shouldn't run over this stick because Monkey was already complaining about too many bumps earlier".  So I swerved, barely missing the squiggly stick with the front tire of my jogging stroller by about 2 inches, and that's when my "squiggly stick" reared back and hissed at me!  Immediately I took off running at a pace I haven't managed in months, and in my mind all I could think was, "HOLY SHIT!  Holy Shit! That was a snake!  Not a stick!  A snake!  OMG!  We almost died!  I almost died because of a stupid squiggly stick that was really a snake!!!  Holy CRAP!  Is he chasing me?  I'm pretty sure he's chasing me!   OMG! I'm being chase by a squiggly, hissing stick!!!  Is this what adrenaline feels like?  So, right now my adrenal medulla is secreting epinephrine and norepinephrine, and that's what's causing the increased BP and increased heart rate, and this is what it feels like?  This is so cool. "  Then the panicked side came back.  "OMG! You nerd! Stop reviewing what you learned in Anatomy and RUN!!  Knees up.  Knees up! Knees UP!!!  OMG!  Why am I cold?  It's 100+ degrees out here, and I'm cold.  Oh, cool so is this what they mean by you have ice in your veins?  Omg!  If you don't shut up nerd and get your knees up that snake is going to get us!  CURSE YOU DEMON SNAKE!!!"

     Needles to say I didn't stop running until I made it safely back to the sidewalks next to my subdivision.  Even then, my eyes were still darting from side to side, scanning for the demon spawn of Hell.  Being on the sidewalk was little comfort, considering my little run-in didn't happen in the woods or when I was running through the recently torn down subdivision where the grass is unruly and hasn't been cut in a month.  Where did all this encounter take place, you ask?  On the newly paved asphalt sidewalk they created specifically for runners, the one that is near the woods, yes, but they mow it and trim it at least once a week.  That's where Mr. Demon snake decided to hang out.  With half his body on the sidewalk someone had just run past!  So that whole "they're more afraid of you than you are of them?"  Yeah, I'm calling bullshit on that one too!

Dear Reader,
    The Bored Navy Wife is currently suffering from a mental breakdown after our little adventure this evening, so she's going to go lie down now.  In a nice dark room.  Under some covers.  For a week.  In the meantime, I think it's safe to say that you won't have to suffer through another annoying attempt at a "motivational" blog about running for a long time.  You're welcome.

Sincerely,
The Demon Snake
aka "The Squiggly Stick"

P.S.  Here's a recipe:


Remember when I went back to the Eubanks Farm in Lucedale?  Well I got some yummy summer crops, and I'd like to share a few of the things I did with them.



First I sliced and pickled the jalapeños, using the same recipe I did when I pickled banana peppers.


 Next, using the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, I made Canned Tomatoes. *I don't have a formal ingredients list for this.  Because I was working in such small batch to save space, I lost count of how much I used.*



Start by gathering your jars (I used pint-sized).  Wash and dry them.  Heat jars and lids and lids in a saucepot of simmering water.  Do not boil lids.  Allow jars and lids to remain in hot water until ready for use, removing one at a time as needed.  (Or to save time and space, run them all through the dishwasher with the steam-dry option.)

Fill water bath canner half-full with hot water.  Elevate rack in canner.  Cover with lid.  Heat water to a simmer.  Keep water hot until used for processing.

Use fresh tomatoes at their peak of quality and flavor.  Use firm tomatoes free of cracks, spots and growths.  Prepare only enough for one canner lad at a time.  Wash tomatoes; drain.



Bring a large pot of water to boil, and have a large bowl of ice water ready.  Add tomatoes to boiling water, and blanch 30-60 seconds, or until skins start to crack.  Remove from boiling water and dip immediately into ice water.



Slip off the skins; trim away any green areas, and cut out core.  Leave tomatoes whole or cute into halves or quarters.

Place tomatoes in a large saucepot, adding just enough water to to cover.  Boil gently 5 minutes.



Begin removing canning jars from hot water (or dishwasher), set jar on towel-lined counter.  Add 1/4 tsp citric acid or 1 TBS lemon juice to each pint jar. (If using quart jars, simply double the amounts).

Carefully pack tomatoes into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Ladle boiling water (leftover from when you boiled the tomatoes) over the tomatoes.  Add 1/2 tsp salt to each pint jar (again, double for quart jars), if desired.

Slide a nonmetallic spatula between tomatoes and jar; press back gently on tomatoes to release trapped air bubbles.  Repeat procedure 2-3 times around inside of jar.

Wipe rim and threads of jar with a clean, damp cloth.  Remove lid from the hot water (or dishwasher).  Place lid on jar, and screw the band down evenly, just until resistance is met.  "Fingertip tight".

Set all the full jars onto the elevated rack in the water bath canner.  Lower the rack in canner.  Water level must cover the lids on the jars by 1-2 inches.  Add boiling water if necessary.  Put lid on canner.  Bring water to boil.  Process pint jars for 40 minutes (quart jars for 45 minutes).

When time's up turn off heat, remove lid.  Let canner cool 5 minutes, then remove jars and place on a dry towel to cool, about 1-2 inches apart.  Let cool 12-24 hours.  Check seal by pressing on the cent of each lid and listening for the "pop".  If not sealed properly reprocess the can.  Store jars in a cool, dry place.




After that, I made Tomato Sauce, again using the Ball Blue Book.


To make 14 pints or 7 quarts, you'll need:
45 lbs tomatoes
Ball Citric Acid or lemon juice

Wash tomatoes; drain.  Remove core and blossom ends.  Cut into quarters; simmer 20 minutes in a large sauce pot, stirring occasionally.  Puree tomatoes in a food processor.  Strain puree to remove seeds and peels.  Cook pulp in a large, uncovered sauce pot over medium-high heat until sauce thickens, stirring to prevent sticking.



 Reduce volume by 1/2.  Add 1/4 tsp citric acid or 1 TBS lemon juice to each pint jar (double for quart jars).  Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Adjust two-piece lids. Process pints 35 minutes in water bath (quarts 40 minutes).

Ta-da!


And because Monkey has been on a Lilo and Stitch kick lately, I couldn't help but think of this clip tonight.





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