Thursday, 15 December 2016

08:08 – Barbara spent all day yesterday volunteering: 0800 through lunch helping with the move to their new quarters, a quick stop at home to shower, and all afternoon at the Friends of the Library bookstore. She’d intended to head home late-morning to meet the mattress delivery people, but she didn’t need to. About 1000, she called to tell me that Al was heading up from Winston and was about ten minutes out. He pulled in the drive about 90 seconds after her call. I hadn’t even had time to start a pot of coffee for him.

The mattress delivery truck pulled in our drive about 1130. The two guys made short work of hauling off the old one and hauling in the new one. It’s now in place, the bed is made, and everything is ready for Frances and Al’s next visit.

After Al headed home to Winston and Barbara to the FoL bookstore, I called the county ag extension office and spoke to a delightful young woman named Amy Lucas about volunteering for 4H. She told me I’d need to fill out an application, which I could find on the state site. It’s five pages long, but I understand they have to be very careful about allowing random adults to work with teens.

Amy said they would need to do a background check on me. It used to be required initially and then every five years, but now they’ve dropped that to every two years. Amy was born and raised here, and said it was embarrassing for her to have to explain to people she’s known all her life that by state law they had to undergo a detailed background check before they were allowed to volunteer.

I shouldn’t have any problem passing the background check. My most recent encounter with LE was about 30 years ago, when I got a ticket in Winston for going 40 in a 35 zone. I’ve never been arrested for, let alone convicted of, even a misdemeanor.

I had her on the phone, so I also asked Amy if they did pressure tests on pressure canners. She said they sure did, that anyone in the office was able to do those tests, and that it took about five minutes. All I need to do is bring in the lid. As it turns out, she’s a home canning enthusiast, as is her mother. She said the the county ag department had regular canning classes at the library and elsewhere and that they were also happy to do one-on-one lessons.

She asked what kind of pressure canner I had, and I told her a Presto 23-quart. She said Presto was good, as were Mirro and All-American. She said the only real difference between a $70 Presto and an All-American that sells for five times as much was that the Presto required replacing the gasket periodically while the AA didn’t use a gasket. I said that for one fifth the cost I could buy a lot of spare gaskets.

When Amy mentioned the library, I told her that Barbara had spent the morning helping move the books to the new library building and was spending the afternoon at the FoL bookstore. She said she’d stop in one day soon to meet Barbara. I mentioned that Barbara wasn’t yet sold on doing our own canning, but I wanted to can dark meat chicken and ground beef for LTS. Amy said she bet she could make Barbara a convert in short order.