October 18th has been an important date in my life. I always feel its approach with a good deal of wariness. It is the Feast Day of St. Luke in the Calendar of the Saints. I had the misfortune of attending St. Luke Grammar School from kindergarten through eighth grade. The experience was very emotionally scarring. It was my mother's birthday; she would have been 74 -- she died from complications of diabetes back in 1998. It was the day our Lara lost her sight due to a series of ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunt failures when she was 18 months old, immeasurably complicating her congenital spina bifida/hydrocephalus birth defect. I was 5 month pregnant at the time with our second child (Soldier Girl). It was also the day I went to be at the hospital with my sister who was having surgery and was told by the doctor that my dear sister had ovarian cancer. I still remember my words to the doctor: "But, she's only 29 years old." I still remember the look on the doctor's face. October 18th really sucks for me.
So, to take my mind off all the bad memories, I steamed pumpkins all day. I thought I would have finished with more than 10 quarts, but that was all I managed to freeze. I made my version of Pumpkin Juice: 1 quart orange juice + 2 quarts steamed pumpkin juice + 1/2 cup sugar. Then, I have a large amount of seeds drying for planting next year, and I have a good amount soaking in salt water overnight -- I'll roast them in the morning. Roasted pumpkin seeds is a favorite Fall snack around here.
Tomorrow we'll finish splitting wood for Dad. He should now have plenty of firewood to last him for the winter.
I guess there is really something to that saying, "Busy hands make for a happy heart."