School is back in session. Where has the summer gone?! Isaac was not exactly excited to get back to school though he mentioned that he did miss seeing some of his friends. I think he is secretly excited but didn’t want to admit it. I suppose this might be the year when he starts saying one thing when he really means another. We have to keep up an appearance afterall! Anyhow, Abigail is excited to start but is pretty timid about it all too.
She asked me to go over what she is supposed to do when she gets to school, where she is supposed to go, how far I will walk her and for how many days. It’s pretty sweet but pretty scary for me too!
I asked the kids a few questions this morning about their first day of school. Take a second and listen to what they had to say…
Isaac and Abigail each had some more firsts this weekend. Abigail has been practicing and practicing her whistling but has never been able to do it. Friday night, she was puffing and puffing and finally let out a few whistles. She was SO excited and kept on blowing and blowing until she could do it more reliably. She has to work some on volume yet but she is well on her way. Click the arrows below to hear some of her first whistles
Isaac hasn’t ever really tried to blow bubbles with gum much but this weekend he started. At first, he took a lot of time flattening out the gum just right and holding his mouth just right.
He blew his first bubbles on Saturday. These pics are from the same piece of gum as his first bubbles (though that might not be saying much as he would save gum for weeks if we’d let him!). By Sunday evening he was blowing bubbles with Dentyne which is not know for its bubble-ability.
We were working in the garden this weekend and had to walk by the bees a number of times. They were very active and I really enjoyed hearing the sounds of the hive. The honey flow should be done until this Fall so I don’t know what they are so busy doing. We have noticed them in great number on the corn tassels but it seems strange that they would be so active for that.
Anyhow, we need to harvest the honey soon so I will know better then how this year has gone for them. Press the arrows below to hear some sounds I recorded near the hive. You may have to adjust your volume.
We canned a bunch of green beans last night with the new pressure cooker. I really enjoy using the All-American pressure cooker for a number of reasons. It seems to come to temperature very fast. This could really be a perception thing since it has a temperature gauge.
With a normal weighted-pressure cooker without a gauge (see pic below), I always watch the pot never knowing if it is almost at pressure, if the heat is actaully climbing, etc…and, of course, a watched pot never boils. With this canner, I can see the temp and pressure as soon as it boils. I also like this canner because it does not have a rubber gasket to break down and fail. The All-American is formed in a shape such that a metal-to-metal seal is formed. It is also American made (of course) which I appreciate.
Now, the bad stuff…you have to get the lid and base of the canner lined up just right or a seal will not form and the canner will not get to pressure. We ran into this problem last night on our second load of green beans. I didn’t realize it was not sealed until it got pretty hot. I couldn’t just open it and try again (it was still very hot, even though not to pressure). We’ll recan the beans tonight since it was almost midnight when we figured it all out. We’ll just put new lids on the jars and try again.
Most times this canner seals fine but I always have to gently pry the lid from the base after it cools.
It forms a very tight seal. The manual says that a screwdriver placed just right will break the seal (and it does) but I wish I could just pop the lid off every time. It is possible that I am not aligning the lid right when I screw down the bolts that hold the lid and base together. I think that task is nearly impossible though. This is a small issue but an issue nonetheless.
Finally, the All-American is very heavy compared to other canners. This is good and bad. It has a substantial feel to it for sure. The problem is that it is not recommended for glass top stoves and it is heavy to move when full. the price is fairly high but it should last a lifetime. It just has a quiality look-and-feel which I really appreciate.
I sort of like the sounds of canning so I recorded some of what we were doing last night with the canner. I hope you enjoy this “sound-seeing tour”. Click the arrow below to hear it :