Canning History III: Unique Canning Recipes!

We can’t get through summer without publishing some canning recipes. Unless you are me. I try to do most of my canning in January and February when I am looking for a warm kitchen; mostly pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and chili base. I am a fan of Mrs. Wages and seldom use a “recipe”. I have some great canning recipes to share with you, so go grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy some canning recipes. [Did you miss Part 1? Part 2?]

Unique canning recipes

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back to school

Back to School How NOT to worry about your Kids

Here we are! It’s time for school again. It’s easy to worry about all the things our children can face attending school. But God doesn’t want us worrying. So I thought it would be a good time to share some helpful resources. I polled some blogging friends for help. (NOTE: There are some affiliate links in this post.)

Teach Your Children Truth

I’d have to say that even before praying for your children, which is highly important, we must teach them daily from the Word. Proverbs says,

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. train up a child.

Proverbs 22:6
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The History of Canning II: Don’t Mess with Botulism!

I left you last, hanging in canning history with a resurgence of canning in 1970! But we simply must head back to 1915 when Alexander Kerr teamed up with Julius Landsberger. These two gentlemen, along with many other Americans, are why “I LOVE AMERICA!” and its freedom for invention in the environment of capitalism.

Kerr had developed an idea of taking the metal canning lid and permanently attaching a “gasket”, which Landsberger had invented. Running with this idea, Kerr invented the metal disk that had the gasket attached and added the threaded ring. Thus the two-piece canning lid was born and this is what most of us use today.

You gotta get crafty

Now that you’ve all had a quick history lesson on canning, we can get to the real situation at hand- shortage of canning lids. Once COVID-19 hit and Americans seemingly retreated into their homes, it sparked a resurgence of many hobbies and one of them was canning and preserving.

This ignited a large-scale depletion of metal canning lids. Kerr or Ball canning lids, it didn’t matter, the shelves everywhere were wiped clean. Shamefully, there were folks that decided to hoard every box of canning lids they could find. That left those of us who didn’t hoard canning lids in a bit of a bind. Now, what do we do? Enter Harvest Gaurd reusable canning lids!

Now because lots of folks reading this article in the Edgerton Enterprise are Dutch, some would be terribly tempted to try re-using the old canning lids just to save a buck. DO NOT DO THAT! Canning lids are strictly meant for one-time use and you risk potentially poisoning yourself, friends, and family with clostridium botulinum. You can read about it in-depth here.

Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic, rod-shaped spore-forming bacterium that produces a protein with characteristic neurotoxicity. Under certain conditions, these organisms may grow in foods producing toxin(s). Botulism, a severe form of food poisoning results when the toxin-containing foods are ingested. Although this food illness is rare, its mortality rate is high…

https://www.fda.gov/food/laboratory-methods-food/bam-chapter-17-clostridium-botulinum

Don’t mess with food born botulism

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Food born botulism can be deadly. In 1931, at a quiet family dinner party in North Dakota, twelve people consumed some improperly canned food products and died. Yes, you read that right, D.I.E.D died! But that’s not the only outbreak, in 1977, was the largest outbreak of botulism resulting from the improper canning of jalapenos resulted in fifty-nine folks at a Mexican restaurant becoming ill with botulism. That’s gotta put a sting in their “Pure Michigan” slogan.

Mayo Clinic reports:

Signs and symptoms of foodborne botulism typically begin between 12 and 36 hours after the toxin gets into your body. But, depending on how much toxin was consumed, the start of symptoms may range from a few hours to a few days. Signs and symptoms of foodborne botulism include:

Difficulty swallowing or speaking

Dry mouth

Facial weakness on both sides of the face

Blurred or double vision

Drooping eyelids

Trouble breathing

Nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps

Paralysis

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/botulism/symptoms-causes/syc-20370262

The treatment for botulism is with an antitoxin which stops the botulism toxin from doing further damage. Whatever damage has been done to your body/systems generally takes a long time to heal and possibly may never heal. You may need to stay in the hospital or nursing home depending on the severity of the toxins damage.

Now that I’ve hopefully scared the pants off you. Every home economist reading this has given a quick and stern nod- DO NOT RE-USE CANNING LIDS!

Harvest Guard and Tattler

Photo by Michele Bruxvoort

I have two great options for you to try. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any major differences so buddy up with a friend and one of you tries Tattler, and the other Harvest Guard, I personally pick up the Harvest Guard® because my Heritage Cooking Course recommended them and, of course, offered a ten percent discount to members to try them- yep, I’m Dutch.

I will enclose some YouTube videos for you to peruse as well:

I know I am testing the patience of those wanting canning recipes. I promise, next week, I will give you a bunch of great canning recipes. Also, as a little teaser, my pesky childhood neighbor boy Eugene Streekstra, now a grown man with a family, will be sharing some of his best recipes and a sneak peek at life in the wilds of Montana. Stay tuned!

The God Who Fights For You

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Psalm 34:17
God Fights for You
All images created for free by Mandy in Canva.com

Throughout the Bible we see that the godly are not exempt from troubles; however, God is always near to us. He is ever watching and He will help us through. Isaiah always shared comfort in that God was walking through those trials with us. He hears our cries and He provides what is needed as we go THROUGH the trial.

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Canning History!

Canning season is upon us! I can’t talk about canning without there being a canning history lesson. Join me as I take us on a little “canning history adventure”. So buckle up friends. Here we go in our DeLorean with Michael J. Fox, aka “Marty McFly”. Dr. Brown has set the time for 1795 and we are about to take off and drop in on Napoleon Bonaparte.

Necessity is the mother of invention

Napoleon and the current war he was fighting, soon found frustration in keeping his army of men fed. Frazzled by the constant travel, rotting food rations, molding hard bread, or no food at all, Napoleon offered a reward for any person who could invent a way to preserve food.

Roughly fifteen years later, a gentleman by the name of Nicolas Appert wins the award which was twelve thousand francs. During the previous fifteen years before winning the award, Nicolas was a chef and worked tirelessly over that time period experimenting with ways to preserve food in glass jars for easy transport.

Appert’s method was based on the premise that food stuff such as vegetables, jam and soups could be preserved by first sealing them in a jar and then holding the jar in boiling water for several hours. All the air had to be sucked out of the jar to create a vacuum which would prevent bacteria from decaying the food. The jar would then be sealed tightly with a cork, wire and sealing wax to complete the process.

https://www.famousinventors.org/nicolas-appert

Nicolas noted (I love this part) that he really didn’t understand how it works, but that it does. Don’t you just love that?! He experimented enough to know what failure was and what success was, and that he could time and time again reproduce that success.

Nicolas (like all successful people) went on to write a book (See, back then is no different from now) which became a wild bestseller. The book was called “The Art of Preserving All Kinds of Animal and Vegetable Substances for Several Years“. Oh man! Substances! Animal and vegetable substances… I got a kick out of that.

With his recent windfall of cash, between winning the money award for inventing the glass jar food preservation method and his best-selling book (No Amazon necessary!), Nicolas opened a bottling plant that preserved food for the soldiers, using his method. This bottling plant lasted one hundred years and closed in 1933.

Looking to improve the canning game

But mankind never just settles for good enough, and in 1810 enter the tin can via Peter Durrant. Recognizing that glass jars can break, he decided to make a tinned version. This version was a cast iron that can be sealed by tin. Durrant, an Englishman, kept the Royal Navy fed with his tinned meat cans.

Whether it was glass jar canning or the cast iron tinned cans, the challenge was getting the water to boil faster. Somehow someone introduced calcium chloride, which made the temperature of the water rise faster, thus cutting down the time needed for sterilization of the jars and cans from boiling water. Genius!

From there. the idea of canning spread all over the world. The USA picked up the “Ball jar” and ran with it. Here is a quick rundown of a “Who’s Who of Canning”:

  • 1812-Robert Ayars opens the first American cannery
  • 1858-John L. Mason patents the Mason jar
  • 1884-The Ball Corporation starts manufacturing glass jars for home canning
  • 1903-Alexander H. Kerr and the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation create a home canning supply business
  • 1914-Smith-Lever Act creates the official position of Home Demonstration Agent

Here’s a portion of the Smith-lever Act that created community classes:

SEC. 2. [7 U.S.C. 342] Cooperative agricultural extension work
shall consist of the development of practical applications of research
knowledge and giving of instruction and practical demonstrations of
existing or improved practices or technologies in agriculture, uses
of solar energy with respect to agriculture, home economics, and
rural energy, and subjects relating thereto to persons not attending
or resident in said colleges in the several communities, and imparting information on said subjects through demonstrations, publications, and otherwise and for the necessary printing and distribution
of information in connection with the foregoing; and this work shall
be carried on in such manner as may be mutually agreed upon by
the Secretary of Agriculture and the State agricultural college or
colleges or Territory or possession receiving the benefits of this Act.

https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/Smith-Lever%20Act.pdf

This, if I am to understand correctly, is the genesis of the Home Economist Agent that each county, of each state, has. Let’s get back to our canning timeline!

  • 1915-Alexander H. Kerr is granted patent for his two-piece disposable metal canning lid
  • 1917- In steps the U.S. Department of Agriculture-pressure canning is the only safe way to process low-acid foods
  • 1943- Canning hits its peak. More than four billion cans and jars processed! WHOA!
  • 1945- Refrigeration hits the scene and all but elminates canning
  • 1970- Canning sees a resurgence with the use of home pressure-canners

Aw shucks! My word meter is loudly protesting my continuance of this fascinating timeline of canning history. Stay tuned friends! Till next week! Here is to good canned food, good friends, and a good life!

not shaken

Even in the Night, I Will Not Be Shaken

Shaken to my Core

If you knew me in my young years, you know that I could have been the Dairy Poster Child. I grew up on a family dairy farm. Once I left the farm, it seemed that there was nothing to talk about but cows. There was nothing like a tall glass of fresh milk right from the bulk tank. It’s what I missed the most, I think. It took me a while to get past the taste of pasteurized milk and I didn’t dare drink 2% milk. When I visited a friend’s home, they offered milk, I would ask, “Is it whole milk?”

So when I learned that I have osteoporosis. It was quite a shock to me. For a day or two, I really could not grasp how it could be that my bones are not strong; that I was at risk for fractures and breakage. Adding this to all my other diagnoses was more than I could bear. Like David, I cried out to God, “How long, oh Lord? I can’t take any more problems. Please no more pain.”

God Speaks

Since I had morning appointments that day, I didn’t get to sit down with the Lord until that afternoon. (Maybe that is why I was so shaken… I had not invited Him into my day yet.) Anyway, God began giving me messages all day. As I did my study with Gracefully Truthful, He said to me, “I will not leave you as an orphan. I will come to you.” (John 14:18) Thank you, Lord, for this reassurance. I began singing this song the rest of the day.

Encouragement from Friends

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”

Proverbs 16:24 NIV

They may have not known that what they shared was for me, but it was. All through the day, I received gracious words just at the right time. Have you ever seen a cross-section of a bone? It’s like a honeycomb. Unless you have osteoporosis… then it’s more like swiss cheese. See National Osteoporosis Foundation

The words of my friends were like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Friends offered up prayers. Sometimes it was just sharing a quote or scripture. They had no idea that God inspired them to share it for my purpose. That night my dear friend at Alabaster Girls post this prayer.

Father, I am loved by You, an extraordinary God, a good, good Father. Your love makes life worth living. Because of You I don’t have to be afraid of tomorrow.

You are my peace.

Thank You for Your grace that truly is sufficient to carry me through the difficult places. I don’t like the difficult places, Lord — You know that. And yet I find You there. You draw near and strengthen me. You pour out Your love on me and it quiets me, giving me strength.Help me keep my eyes on You, Lord.

In Your presence I find joy, courage, and the tenacity I need to keep moving forward.

Bless You, Lord. What a wonderful God You are.

In the Name of Jesus I pray, amen.

Nan Trammel Jones, The Alabaster Girls

But I Still Tossed and Turned for Many Nights

All these things and more I have known since my youth. I know that God will not abandon me. I know He will see me through. But I am tired and my pain has been unbearable lately. Just the pain alone was waking me up and then my mind would start running away wondering what would happen next.

One of the girls from The Alabaster Girls group had friended me earlier that week but I was not “in the mood” to talk with a new person. She was from halfway around the world. And I wasn’t sure of her connection to me at that point. She kept gently prodding me to respond to her. But I like being the encourager and I didn’t have it in me to chat with someone new. Then she sent an audio clip… She sang “Pass me not, oh gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry. While on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.” And tears came to my eyes. It was my prayer. We chatted and I shared a bit of my story. She promised to pray for me.

Preaching to myself

On the second day, I saw the writing prompt for Five Minute Fridays – “STRONG”. I wondered, “Could I write about strong bones when it was so raw to me?” In the past, I have looked through my old posts to see if there was anything I could update and share. And there it was “When I am weak, He is Strong”. As part of that post, I shared an old hymn written by Annie Johnson Flint. I didn’t know it then, but Annie was orphaned as a child, and by her teens suffered severe arthritis and was soon wheelchair-bound. I’m learning more and more that it is those who go through great trials that have the most beautiful poetry and songs. Do you know her hymn, He Giveth More Grace”. That’s the grace God is giving me.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance

When our strength has failed ere the day is half done

when we reach the end of our hoarded resources

Our Father’s full giving is only begun

He GIveth More Grace, Annie Johnson Flint

I Will Not be Shaken

Finally, I stumbled on this scripture which woke me up to realize that God has got this. I do not need to be shaken. It is quite appropriate with words like: “even at night”, “my thoughts trouble me”, “I will not be shaken”, “my whole being rejoices”, “my body rests securely”, “You will not abandon me”, “You will not allow your faithful one to see decay”.

I will bless the Lord who counsels me—
even at night when my thoughts trouble me.
I always let the Lord guide me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad
and my whole being rejoices;
my body also rests securely.
10 For you will not abandon me to Sheol;
you will not allow your faithful one to see decay.
11 You reveal the path of life to me;
in your presence is abundant joy;
at your right hand are eternal pleasures.

Psalm 16:7-8

I Need to Memorize This Verse and Quote it in my Bed at Night

Interesting that just last year, verse 11 was my verse for the year. I should have read more of the context, eh?

A Word For You

Don’t allow the old devil to get you shaken. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus for in His presence we have abundant joy!

Mandy

Once In A Blue Raccoon: Part Two

I left you last week with the story partially told of “Once In A Blue Raccoon”. Since then, if you have seen a blue raccoon, it has been at my house. In my pond. Swimming or drowning… it’s up for debate. But make a mess he or she did!

I had gone to bed around 9:30 pm, on the evening of June 9th. I left the water fountain on. Fairy lights were on as well, which I think was the major attractant to the raccoon. As if to say “Come take a dip, wreck my fountain, pull out the hose and drain the pond, leave the pump running; please.” Sigh.

In the early morning hours, after making coffee, of course, I slipped onto the deck to read and reflect when I took note that I did NOT hear my pond fountain or turtle spitter. Hmm. But I did hear a strange hum. So I sprang from my chair ran down the flight of stairs and found my pond had only inches of water left inside. The fountain lay hanging outside of the pond, the pump running with no water being pumped. The hose from the turtle spitter was completely detached.

The Crime Scene

Image by Sascha Barth from Pixabay

I didn’t realize it at first, but I was walking through the evidence. I had rushed to the aid of my poor pond pump, ran right over the body outline, and shot across the door stoop to unplug the pump electrical cord. Had I been watching where I was going I would have seen it. But I was far too concerned that my pond pump was shot.

After unplugging the pump electrical cord, I reached into the nearly empty pond and felt the pump. It was warm, but not hot, so I felt reasonably confident the pump would survive. I picked up the spitter hose that led from the pump to the spitter and reattached it. Grabbing the garden hose I began to fill up the pond.

As the pond began to fill, I let out our dog Tucker. Tucker immediately was on the case and began to sniff and sniff around the yard. Up over here and then down over there. In circles, out of circles till it dawned on me that he was following the scent of the raccoon.

As I followed Tucker following the raccoon, I could see raccoon paw prints on the driveway. They were cute, blue paw prints with splishy splashy drops alongside the footprints.

The bigger picture began to unfold as I stepped back and saw the blue body outline on the deck cement landing. Ah-ha! This is where he got out! Bet he thought he was going into some raccoon swim pool. Probably told his friends to “Wait in the shallow end where you can sit.” Then he went to the deep and got more than he bargained for. Took one big dive and hit the pump box, got scared, and tangled himself in the turtle spitter hose. And that friends, is where “the wheels fell off”- total mayhem.

Help I’m drowning and I can’t get out

Image by Andreas Hoja from Pixabay

Once the raccoon entwined himself with the hose, he probably realized it was going to be “live or die”. I’m sure a frantic swim began with raccoon arms flailing, raccoon screams, and chittering. Yanking and pulling at the hose and the fountain. Till all was disassembled and his “friends” decided trouble was afoot as the water was quickly being drained and so they promptly left.

Then after realizing he could stand in the water (this probably has described a few of us at the lake-we’ll say no more), calm returned, and with some exhaustion, he pulled himself out and laid on the patio cement landing. Let’s mark this as Crime Scene one and two. Pond and patio landing.

Crime Scene three will be the wandering trail on the grass, as the raccoon contemplated his near fate and vowed to never swim in the pond again. Crime Scene four will be the paw prints on the cement driveway leading up to the stoop under the patio.

That leaves us with Crime Scene five. Crime Scene five is another place of rest. Foot paw prints on the driveway leading up to the stoop. This is where our miscreant sits and eats my cat’s cat food, as he realizes his fur is blue… BLUE?! How in heaven’s name did I get blue fur? Ah… life choices have a way of catching up to us, sometimes leaving a mark- or dye in this case.

Book’em Danno

Image by waldiwkl from Pixabay

I hope the raccoon community got a good laugh as he returned home to the tree. But as I am reading about raccoons, they, like opossums, live a solitary life; getting together for spring rituals and then parting company. We humans mostly see mother raccoons and their kits.

I imagine he hid till dark and then headed for the nearest creek to begin the vigorous fur scrubbing to get the blue out of his fur. I and the rest of the house got a good laugh out of my raccoon tale. It’s good to have something to laugh about when the stuff of the world is so serious!

Till next time friends! Here is to good food, good friends, and a good dye job!

foot care feature

Foot Care – How to Have Healthy, Happy Feet

We don’t often think about foot care until the pain is excruciating. I recently have acquired an issue with my feet. I suspected that RA was affecting my healthy, happy feet. So did my rheumatologist. There’s a thing called Rheumatoid Nodules. RA can cause painful nodules to develop on various parts of the body, including the feet. I visited my orthopedic specialist. He suspects a neuroma of the foot. “A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.” My orthopedic specialist focuses on knees and shoulders; so he has referred me to a foot specialist. So… we wait. {story of my life}

In the meantime, I started looking for ways to relieve the pain. My knees have been pretty painful as well so one evening I decided to take an Epson salt bath. It always relieves some of my Ra and Fibro pain. I was pleasantly surprised the next day that my foot pain was relieved as well… at least for the day. Then I purchased some Metatarsal gel footpads. These were very comfortable. Once I started walking, I never really felt them in my shoe. However, at the end of the day. I had a painful sore at the edge of the pad and between my toes where the hook had been. I only wore them one evening and the next day.

Foot Care Handbook

It turned out that NetGalley, the source I use for reviewing new books, had a new book by a reflexologist, Stephanie Tourles. It is a Foot Care Handbook. I downloaded the book to see if it might have some good advice for me. It’s a neat little handbook with five chapters.

Chapter 1 Greet Your Feet: Foot Care Basics

What would your feet tell you if they could speak to you? Probably something like, “You’re killing me! Quit wearing those ridiculous shoes!” There are basic things we should be doing for the health of your feet and, consequently, the rest of your body. Stephanie shares these basics with you and how to do them.

Did you know that you should be able to move each toe individually? It was news to me. I can only move my big toe separate from the others. I’m going to try to work on changing that!

Chapter 2: Foot Care Fitness: Stretching and Strengthening

Foot Fitness? Sure! Stephanie offers several great stretches and exercises for your feet. Foot care will relieve your pain in just a short time, I can tell you they are simple and profitable exercises.

Chapter 3: Foot Massage to Relax and Revive

The benefits of foot massage include reducing stress and anxiety, soothing the nervous system, and boosting circulation while minimizing any swelling. There’s more but I know this… It is helping my foot issues without having to get injections or surgery. A very good benefit.

She offers a recipe or two for homemade massage creams with essential oils! I didn’t have all the ingredients so I made do with what I had for the time being. Mary Kay’s Mint Energizing For Feet and Legs. Feels so good and relaxing, too.

Chapter 4: An Introduction to Foot Reflexology

I’ve always found it interesting that there are pressure points in your foot that create paths to all other parts of your body. Stephanie gives a great introduction to reflexology in this chapter. You might find you can relieve a lot of your pain and other issues if to study this chapter.

Chapter 5 Common Foot Problems, Uncommon Remedies

Here Stephanie talks about most of the common foot problems and offers suggestions on how to deal with them. An investment of $10-15 could save you lots of dollars for surgery and doctor visits.

Mandy

UPDATE: Finally, two weeks later, I saw the foot specialist. The massage and exercises must have helped because he said my movement was good. No stiffness in the ankle. He decided I wouldn’t even need an injection between my toes. (PTL!) He gave me a Hapad shoe insert to try and sent me on my way… well until six weeks is up.

PS. Wide size shoes have been a great help for me

I live in Skechers! Here are the ones I love! the STATEMENTS are very flexible. You can actually fold them! The GetAways have awesome memory foam support at the ball of your feet.



Foot Care Handbook

This book is set to publish in December 2021, but you can order in advance now.

I would like to thank Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. I have given my review freely and with honesty.

Once In A Blue Raccoon…

You might be asking yourself, “Hmm… Once in a Blue Raccoon?” What kind of recipe exchange is this? Well, friends, today it is not recipes, it’s a story. And yes, it very definitely is about a blue raccoon. Truly, if you see a blue raccoon it belongs to me; rather it has been at my home.

How does a raccoon get blue? Well, for the most part, it was very easy for the raccoon’s fur to turn blue. But getting the blue out of his/her fur, well, that’s another matter altogether. But thankfully, I do not have to concern myself over getting the blue dye out. Trying to bathe a wild raccoon to rid him or herself of blue-dyed fur would probably prove to be a daunting task. I would be up for the said task. If you’ve raised children, then the relation to raccoons probably isn’t much of a leap. I say that chuckling because as I help raise my grandson, there are days I wonder if he isn’t a part raccoon.

Raccoons equal mischief…

I told you way back, many articles ago, that I helped my DNR Wildlife Rehabilitator friend raise two batches of raccoon kits. I’ve had some experience feeding raccoons and you can always count on the following :

  • It will be very messy
  • Lots of reaching, grabbing, patting
  • Chewing with mouths open
  • Eyes looking everywhere else but their plate
  • Dumping over of all dishes
  • Touching someone else’s food
  • Growling

There. Have I not described what happens when you teach a baby through early toddler years to eat? Maybe not such much the growling. That comes from the adult supervisor- grr! Well, we have to laugh, don’t we? Life gets pretty serious and we must find our humor in everyday life and living it.

Here is the part where we enter the story of “Once In A Blue Raccoon”… not to be confused with the movie “The Blue Lagoon”. There is no Brooke Shields in my story, just some mischievous raccoon who was temporarily turned blue for his indiscretions.

Pipestone County Sherriff’s Report

Photo by Michele Bruxvoort

You won’t see this story listed under the “Pipestone County Sherriff’s Report”, but it should have. The offenses?

  1. Trespassing
  2. Criminal Mischief
  3. Indecent exposure
  4. Vandalism

First, you must know that last year we installed a small pond under our patio. A very nice little pond with a turtle spitter, fountain, hosta’s, rocks, and various other flora. A nice windchime and this year’s new addition… solar fairy lights. All very peaceful and relaxing.

In order to stop having to drain the pond every 3 weeks to scrub the walls and clean off the water tubbing and fountain to free them of algae, I found this handy product called “Nature’s Blue Pond Dye“. Note it said “Pond”. It acts as a shield, preventing the light from penetrating and growing the algae. After receiving this dye I read the directions. Okay, this is concentrated. I need to be careful. Done.

Carefully leaning over the flora, I turned the cap off and tried to gently… GENTLY pour just a little when SPLASH! Out came a good fourth of a cup. NUTS! In seconds the pump pulled the blue dye into the fountain and like a Fourth of July color salute, my fountain shot out the most intense patriotic blue. My eyes quickly switched to the turtle spitter and he too began to spit forth a stream of patriotic blue! I gave a quick salute to the color show. It was Memorial Day weekend, so I felt justified in my patriotic display of blue.

And now, the rest of the story

I had gone to bed at 9:30 pm, on the evening of June 9th. I left the water fountain on. Fairy lights were on as well, which I think was the major attractant to the raccoon. As if to say “Come take a dip, wreck my fountain, pull out the hose and drain the pond leaving the pump running please.” Sigh.

Okay, friends, I will have to leave you in suspense! Till next time. Here is to good food, good friends and interesting life!