Life Can Change in a Instant

A week ago today my son and daughter in law, who live in Montana, were on a deck that collapsed at a memorial service. They were standing at the front of the deck when it gave way. My son was able to jump and my daughter-in-law slid and landed on her tailbone.  Thomas was wearing his work boots which may have protected his ankles. They have been checked over and are okay (battered and bruised) but others had serious injuries. One friend has a  smashed L9 vertabrae, another a broken pelvis, others broken ribs, broken arms and legs. But it could have been so much worse. No one was under the deck when it collapsed. And the church facility is also utilized by children’s groups. It might have happened when the deck was full of kids.

Here’s what my daughter in law said.

“The responders who mobilized after the collapse included past and current members of Creston Fire as well as some active and retired nurses from the community. Some of these people have not worked together on a scene in years. Some of these people have never worked on a scene together at all. And yet, everyone knew what to do and came together as though they had trained together for years. Furthermore, they did it without any of their gear. Showing up at the scene of a mass casualty event in full protective gear with all your gloves, tourniquets, bandages, and other supplies is one thing. Being thrust into action without any of that is quite another. The camp staff did begin ripping tablecloths into bandages and tourniquets and filled bags with ice. A couple of guys grabbed some of the rails from the nearby fence and nailed them up to the remaining timbers of the deck to keep anything else from falling, but for the most part, it was—because it had to be—an improvised mass casualty response for the first few minutes. That makes it even more amazing. ”

The collapse made the national news. My son is a captain in the local volunteer fire company and also an EMT. The memorial service was for one of the fire department’s own, so there were lots of firemen there. Several years ago the fire department staged a day long mass casualty training event at the Kalispell airport. This one was for real.

I am so grateful that my kids are okay and praying for the people who were injured. Life can change in a instant.

You can read more about what happened on my daughter-in-law’s blog.

 

 

A Busy, Busy Week

There’s always one week in June that’s packed. It was last week. It started on Monday with a trip to my husband’s hearing aid guy. It’s just a trip to Easton, but the appointment is thorough and long and I like to go along so I can tell Mike Canary MY experience of my husband’s state of the art (and very expensive) hearing aids. It seemed to me I was again having to repeat things two or three times so some adjustments were needed. We are finding out that hearing loss is very complicated and the aids, even with all the bells and whistles, don’t make it easier for my husband to hear in situations with more than a couple of people. Restaurants are a nightmare.

On Tuesday I helped a friend make 17 small arrangements for the annual Woman’s Club of St. Michaels luncheon that was on Wednesday. These were gifts for the incoming officers and board of directors. I always learn something about flower arranging when I work with Barb Colledge. This time it was how you determine the height of an arrangement that will go on a dining table. No higher than your fist when you place your elbow on the table.

Wednesday was the luncheon at which the club of presents its annual scholarship. This year the $6000 award was split between two deserving students from St. Michaels High School.

I did a press release and sent this photo and one of the incoming board to our local paper, The Star Democrat.

On Thursday I drove to Annapolis for a chiropractic visit and then to Costco in Glen Burnie to pick up my new glasses. Traffic over the Bay Bridge was fine both ways. This time of year that’s always a concern. It’s an hour drive (on good days) to Annapolis, so I try to fit in a visit to Trader Joe’s if I can.

On Friday was a Hats in the Garden Party at the Woman’s Club. This year I have been the co-chair of Green Thumb (the gardening group at the club ) with Carol Meholic and we made a fantastic team. We divided tasks and every monthly event went smoothly. At this party, guests were asked to wear hats they already owned or created and people voted for their favorites. These were the two winners, Joanne Buritsch and Barbara Rose.

We had lovely weather for the party in the garden behind the Woman’s Club – a garden where I spend a lot of time weeding. Almost fifty club members attended.

Saturday my husband and I helped at the Farmer’s Market in the morning and that evening there was a pot luck supper for our neighborhood association. I made a rice salad, and forgot to take pictures.

And on Sunday Laura and I and two other friends went to Center Stage to see Jazz and then out to dinner. The show was an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s book and it was too confusing to be enjoyable. But dinner after was, as always, wonderful.

This week has been much less busy. There has been time to write every day and get some yard work done early in the morning. We had a couple of very hot days and we could really use some rain, so I’m hauling the hose around. While I do that I think about the next scene I’m writing.  I’m past the middle of the book and am making steady progress.

 

Strawberry Jam or Strawberry Sauce?

A couple of weeks ago I made strawberry jam. Last year we had so much rain the strawberries weren’t abundant. And late frosts effected the peach crop, so I didn’t make peach jam either. We actually bought jam! This year the strawberries were lovely and I got a flat at the Farmers Market.

I’ve been making jam for fifty years. We had four children so I made a lot of jam. Back in the day we covered the jam with parafin wax. Occasionally a jar would get moldy under the wax and have to be discarded. Now they are put through a boiling water bath in the canning kettle for ten minutes. These jars can stay on the shelf for a couple of years.

I did two big batches of jam. Eight pints the first time. Six pints and two half pints the second time. The second batch didn’t jell. I had used SureJell and actually followed the directions to the letter.  So I reprocessed the second batch and added another packet of SureJell. They jelled a little, but not as much as they should have for jam that wouldn’t run off your toast.

I left the jars on the counter for several days as I debated about processing for a third time. I didn’t want concrete jam, so ultimately decided I would call it Strawberry Sauce and use it on ice cream when we have company.

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And in between batches of jam I was able to get my Working Writers Forum submission ready to send out. The meeting is tonight. I can’t wait to hear the always constructive critiques.

Market Paella

Last weekend the husband and I helped set up at the Farmer’s Market again. We’d had lots of rainy Saturdays, but Memorial Day Saturday had blue skies and sun. I was able to take lots of photos that I can use in the weekly MailChimp market reminder.

The chef demo was a market paella (vegetarian) made by Taylor Hale. He walked around to the vendors and collected vegetables. He made the stock from vegetable leaves and spent time prepping the veggies. The only things he brought with him were rice, spices and water.

The kettle in the back left of the photo above is the stock he made on site from vegetable leaves. I was inspired by this as I often think I’m going to use the leaves I cut from my Hakuri turnips or beets, etc. but they usually go into the compost. Now I am throwing all those things in the stock pot with some onions and maybe some leftover vegetables in the fridge and making vegetable stock.

 

I asked Taylor about what kind of rice he used and I took a photo of the bag. It’s available on Amazon. He said Bomba was an alternative paella rice. His seasoning is his own concoction. It’s called Mo’ Spanish and is available on his website as is the recipe for the green sauce he added to the samples being handed out. I bought some Mo’ Spanish and made some paella with Arborio rice which was the closest I could come with what I had in the pantry. Later in the week I made a double batch of hummus (1 can chickpeas and 1 can Cannellini beans) and used some Mo’ Spanish. The hummus was terrific.

Later in the week I made a double batch of hummus (1 can chickpeas and 1 can Cannellini beans) and used some Mo’ Spanish. The hummus was terrific and a lovely protein substitute for meat.

The market is a welcoming place for neighbors and friends to meet. Dogs, and children of all ages, are welcome.