This is going to be a fairly random post, partially because I'm writing it in between steps in the canning process, and partially because I just don't have a whole lot to say on any one thing.
First, I have had quite a few people ask about how H. is doing. I am happy to report that she is recovering very, very well. I was able to stop giving pain medication less than a week after surgery. She just didn't need it. The swelling is still fairly significant, though her eye can open a little bit now. But her face is still so swollen that I don't want to put her glasses on her yet. It means that her eyesight is still not terrific. When we are ready to use the glasses again, I will have to take her in and have them refitted because her profile will have changed so much.
We were back at the plastic surgeon's on Friday. Everyone is thrilled with how she is healing and in another week, she will be considered sufficiently healed that she can start being more active again. That is also when we will start so fairly intensive massage along each of the incisions. Massaging them helps to break up the scar tissue and stops it from becoming the kind of scar that is bumpy and unsightly. Not something you want and certainly not on your face. I'm not entirely sure she is going to be really excited about the process, though.
She is starting to believe us when we say that her face will be smaller when it is all better. We are starting to hear her say that her cheek is little. I still see a lot of swelling, but she is beginning to perceive it as being smaller. It must feel very different. I'm still not quite ready to share a photo yet, but we're getting closer. Most remarkable is that she continues to be pleasant and happy and ready to roll with whatever life gives her. We could all stand to take a lesson from her.
Next, I'm not going to blog about Mother's Day. We celebrate it by me not making dinner, other than that, it is kind of non event. (Well, in full disclosure, the fact I don't have to get up early, direct a children's choir all morning, and strong arm mother's into singing a duet with them, is really all the celebration I need. It's just a matter of perspective.) Truly, everyday is Mother's Day. I get hugs from my children every day. I can love and take care of my children every day. I have the luxury of staying home and being their main teacher and care giver every day. These are not small things, and not to be taken for granted. The minute we create a special holiday where we are supposed to communicate all that a person means to us, we are doomed. There is no way that we can really successfully do this; someone is going to end up feeling badly or unappreciated. (And that would be both the mother and the people celebrating her. What if you do your best and it doesn't seem enough?) The whole thing is rife with misunderstanding. Wouldn't it be better if everyone just tried to show the people in their life that they care about how they appreciate them (in both big and little ways) throughout the year? Really, take the pressure off, people.
And now what everyone has been dying to hear about... the canning. (Where's that sarcasm emoticon?) I was more successful. I have just taken 7 pints out of the canner. That would be 4 pints of mango chutney, 2 pints of straight mangoes, and one mixture of the two. I had some chutney left and some fresh mango left, so decided to combine them together and see what happened. It will probably end up being a lighter tasting chutney. I was pretty happy with the mango chutney recipe I used this time around. Though instead of using ginger paste, I diced some fresh ginger. I would probably also add a chopped apple or two the next time I make it, just because the pectin in the apples will help the chutney to thicken up a little more. I may also play around with the spices a little bit. The previous recipe used curry powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It smelled wonderful and J. tried some and declared he could continue to eat the rest of the jar straight. This recipe didn't smell quite so good as it cooked. The previous recipe also added some chopped red pepper, so that might go in next time as well.
Still, this was a much successful venture, We'll be set for several dinners of chicken curry during the winter, plus I can now rest easily knowing that 3 boxes of mangoes are not sitting on my counter rotting away. There are still five mangoes left, but they weren't ripe enough to use and I have no doubt that the mango-eating children will make short work of them the second they are ripe.
One last thought about canning. (Really, I promise... at least until strawberries are ripe.) If you are new to it, be aware that there is a fairly steep learning curve. I find that even at the beginning of each canning season that the first couple of times, it all feels awkward and takes longer than it does after you've been doing it a bit. So, if it is a new skill, hang in there. It does get easier and it does go faster.
And now, it is time to end this post. If you wonder how I know when to stop writing, well, at least this time it's because the dog is throwing up.