Yesterday there was an extremely successful pickle canning, thanks to:
1 - Tons of cucumbers,
2 - Seriously, as big as my hand! (See the comparison?)
3 - Target canning equipment, which has been so much better than I would've thought
4 - A happy kitchen, looking out on a reorganized porch (more on that later in the post)
5+6 - Coffee (always a must-have for me!) and a new apron from my great friend, Amanda.
Ben and I tasted the pickles a little later that evening, and they are delicious (Ben said even better than store-bought!). We devoured the first jar so fast, we are now glad we have six more pints of them in the pantry!
I was also feeling inspired to reorganize our porch. Since summer has been drawing to a close (although I'm not believing it quite yet...), our porch has kind of become a little...straggly. My plants have mostly died since our last vacation, and the deck has become somewhat of a shelf for all the last minute things I drop there and neglect to put away later on. SO, it was most definitely time for a clean-up! I think it's much better, and mostly because it feels so much better - cleaner, less haphazard, and more shabby-chic (at least I hope so!).
1+2 - Before photos: Not proud of these...
3,4,5,6 - Salvation Army purchases to organize/decorate the porch
7 - All for $13.29! (everything else I used was what we already had around)
8-13 - The "afters", plus curtains from our closet and tie-backs made from dishtowels... I had to work with had we had!
Once again, I'm reminded of an article I read in Psychology Today a few weeks ago, that an unexpected source of happiness is to do something with our hands. Psychologists have actually found this effective as a source of therapy - to have their clients begin pottery, art, writing, journaling, playing piano, etc. You can read more about it here. It makes sense to me, though - after a full day of doing something productive, I feel more completed myself, more at peace with my life (but maybe it's also because I don't have to trip over the things on my porch anymore!).