8/29/15

A Guilt Trip with the City of Salem

We had quite a storm last night. We were awakened at around 3:00 a.m. by a serious thunder storm. It was directly overhead judging from the loud CRACK! of lightning followed immediately by the rumble of thunder. We haven't heard a storm that close since leaving Phoenix in 1978. After that, it poured rain for quite a while. Even though we were glad for the rain, I wasn't able to get back to sleep, and so it's been kind of a heavy-lidded day for me. I did manage a short morning nap, but as I write this, I'm trying to stay awake so that, hopefully, I'll sleep better tonight. That makes four nights this week that I've awakened too early, and then not been able to get back to sleep. Oy.

Today I canned the latest CSA tomatoes and a few that came from our own plants. I'm not doing anything fancy with them now...just chopping them and canning them for soups, stews, and chili. I haven't done just plain tomatoes before, surprisingly enough, and so I'm hoping I cooked them long enough to concentrate their juices. Otherwise, I'm going to have chunky tomato juice.


The yield was five pints, and there's nothing in there but tomatoes and a little lemon juice. It was recommended that I add a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to each jar to be sure the acid level was high enough to process them safely in a boiling water bath. Apparently tomatoes are right on the borderline of being safely acidic. Bottled (rather than fresh) lemon juice, gives some control over the acid level, and helps ensure a safe jar of tomatoes.

There's always a lot of stirring and waiting when canning tomatoes, and so that gave me some time to work on the Gingerbread Square block.


I've hooped it for the last time with just a little bit left to finish.


After that, I'll move on to a couple of little projects. I need to finish up two more blocks for Lisa's quilt. They both have some embroidery. Also, I want to make an embroidered label for Erik's Vintage Tin quilt, and then we're just days away from the latest Vintage Kitchen block release. I'll finish those four small projects and then get ready for the next block in Hocuspocusville.

If you read my post from yesterday, then you know I was the unhappy recipient of a traffic ticket. This morning I wrote my "letter of explanation" in an effort to get the stiff fine of $260 (sucks in breath) reduced. If you're interested, you can read the letter I wrote to the court right here. I figured a play on their sympathies with a hefty dose of a guilt trip might get me what I want. And if not, I'm not ashamed to go down there, throw myself at somebody's feet, wrap my arms around their legs and weep uncontrollably. "Puh-leeze don't make me pay the whole fine. Puh-leeze!" If that doesn't get 'em, nothing will. They can just take their seats among the heartless bastards of the world. Am I right about that? Who's with me?

So that's about all I've done today. After this, I think I'll get back to my leaves. I can probably get at least one more made before day's end.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

NancyA said...

Oh. My. Gosh--what a great letter. Even if it doesn't help, (but who could ignore that sad plea from a quilty mother/grandmother?) you will certainly entertain the entire office! Seriously, I have to applaud your initiative--well done! And Good Luck!

Quilting Babcia said...

Well, I suppose if you were the officer's grandma that letter might do some good but since said officer was strategically placed in order to catch infractions like yours, imagine the lip-smacking of the city father's anticipating the overflowing coffers by the end of the fair! Now about your background colors on the candy embroidery, crayola? Do you heat-set the colors before starting the stitching? I like this effect a lot.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

That is a hefty fine! I hope you took frustrations out on the tomatoes as a back up to the letter. Love the gingerbread stitcheries - this is going to be so cute.

gayle said...

Good luck with your letter, because ow!!! What a fine...

Michele said...

That definitely is a big fine and I hope they take sympathy with your plea. The gingerbread house block is coming along very nicely.

SJSM said...

You can write an explanation?! Here you either pay the fine or show up to court. there is no middle ground. That being said, if the officer doesn't show (which happens frequently enough) you will likely get out of paying said fine. Showing up to court usually will lower the fine at a minimum.

Now on your tomatoes. I never considered boiling them down to thicken up the juices. My heirlooms generally fall to pieces when cooked long. But you have me thinking I could chop, strain the juice out then boiled down the juice to thicken. At that point add the tomato flesh and heat to canning temperature.

Your stitchery is coming along beautifully!

Dana Gaffney said...

After thinking about your ticket I think this could be their version of a speed trap and that's how they make money, I really hope your letter helps.

Heidi said...

Wowza ! Hope your letter works! Congrats on the ribbons!!

Barb H said...

If that letter doesn't soften the hard hearts of the city officials, nothing will. Good luck with it! I can't imagine paying such a huge fine for a simple wrong turn! And you're right--no one should spoil a blue ribbon day like yours!

Judy1522 said...

I love the letter and hope it works. They should have right turn only painted on the roadway at the very least. Since it was such a busy day and no traffic coming either way it makes you wonder what is the point of not being able to make a left turn.

Brown Family said...

I hope the letter works!

Chris said...

hmmmmmm..........given your statement about the motorcycle cop sitting there at that particular spot on the day of the fair with many out of state attendees it raises the question of whether or not he was using this to raise funds for the city.
The only ticket I ever had was in 1996 in our very little town with my infant grandson in the back seat. Going up and over a bridge the speed reduces during designated school opening/closing from 35 to 15 mph. I was coming off the bridge, braking and pulled over by a sheriff deputy. When I reached the flashing school light I was only down to 17 mph. That ticket cost me $255! I certainly do agree about the 'greedy bastard seats. I applaud your letter and hope it helps but have my reservations. The court has a bird in the hand.....

quiltzyx said...

What a great letter! I hope it does melt their mercenary hearts, a least somewhat. Good luck!

Seeing your jars of tomatoes would really put me in the mood to make some chili, if it wasn't so hot down here!

The Gingerbread is looking mighty fine indeed!

Kate said...

Good luck with your letter campaign!