A few factors:
So four take-aways. One, we're looking into doing a double fruit share next summer. It'll still be very small-batch canning, which I think is more hobbyist than money-saving, but will still scratch my itch for putting jam on my shelves. Two, this is going to be a strange winter. I didn't do rhubarb, strawberry, or blueberry jam (not counting the syrupy mis-step at the end of June) -- I always get at least one of those, my holy trinity, in by the end of July. I didn't do my Rowhouse Livin' gin, either (though I did make a rhubarb pie for myself for Mother's Day). I have maybe a half-dozen jars of jam left over from 2012, but that stock is being rapidly depleted. Late winter and early spring, 2014, are looking bleak!
Three, seriously, this estate work is taking up a ridiculous amount of time, and I'm not even one of the executors. The elderly aunt was so very generous in her financial planning, but her tangible assets were left in multiple locations and her financial assets were left in numerous accounts across several institutions. One of the greatest gifts we can give our heirs is to leave our affairs organized for them. There are so many vehicles and instruments available. The time you spend with a lawyer now will be a gift of time to your heirs after you're gone.
And four, apple butter season approaches, and the daughter reminded me just the other day that we haven't gone apple picking for a few years now. I think I'm counting down the days until my next custody Saturday. Maybe early 2014 won't be too bleak, after all.