Wednesday, November 21, 2012

'twill be my theme in glory...

2 a.m. on Wednesday: awake again after 3 or 4 hours sleep on the couch, despite good resolutions.  Remembering that Wednesday this week is GARBAGE DAY (and there shall be great rejoicing), got up and got the debris out to the curb.  Cleaned out the cat-box while I was at it, because, after all, why not?  And the cat was mighty appreciative.  Temperature just above zero Fahrenheit, dead still, about an inch of clean new snow.  Quiet.

Located the blessed keys Tuesday morning first thing, thanks to beloved Daughter Unit.  These were my “spares” on a Fierce Purple nylon climbing sling (all the lanyards I saw looked suspiciously flimsy) and a couple of carabiners, one of them also Fierce Purple (church keys).  I have to unlock five doors in succession to get into my office in the morning, most of them two-handed; that is, they require one hand to turn the key and the second to pull the door handle, as pulling on the key alone damages the lock.  Two hands accounted for, we hold the purse, the book-bag, the shoe-bag in our front teeth, perhaps?  This is one of those “Meanwhile, back in Canada…” problems, obviously.

So I have a car-key for the ignition on its own, in my handbag, and a house-key on a modest ring carabiner’ed to my handbag, and duplicates of both, plus church-keys, on the around-my-neck arrangement.  The Rambler likes to be SURE.

Staff meeting consisting of some parts planning, some parts coordination of schedules, and some parts overlapping simultaneous literary criticism in portions nested one within the other like Russian dolls (well, yes, you DO have to be there…).

Read some things and wrote some things; conferred with colleagues.  Long and uplifting conversation on how we discern and play the end-game as well as possible (“fastened to a dying animal,” thank you Mr. Yeats).  We also duly deplored the outcome of the C of E General Synod re: women bishops.  I came away late afternoon for home via the Beloved Defunct Vice-Regal Person Memorial branch of the city library.  Turned in Robert Parker and Zadie Smith, and played with the catalogue for a while and checked in with young-uns via Facebook (also accessible on library computers).  Borrowed some Wendell Berry essays, some David Foster Wallace essays, a collection of Dickens’ letters, and Lemony Snicket’s Horseradish.  The last because I had a short loan Tuesday morning of The Latke That Wouldn’t Stop Screaming by the same author.  A “well, well, well” moment if not precisely an “Aha” moment.

Home at last.  Brought in the mail.  Listened to the phone messages.  Nuked some not-too-terrible frozen cannelloni, and ate them.  Had a glass of wine. Watched the news.  Fell asleep.
Now 4 a.m., and gentle thumps and bumps outside (with squeaky new-snow footsteps) indicate delivery of the newspaper.  The Wonder Cat is all we-stand-on-guard-for-thee inside the front door, so brave (such a fraud).

A funeral today (afternoon)…a lot of reading and writing and some domestic re-arrangements, I think.

And now, a cup of tea and one of the new library books, for a bit.

Monday, November 19, 2012

creeping back toward the light...

It’s 6:30.  The furnace thinks I’m now out of bed, and is kicking the temperature up to 68 F accordingly (from 64 overnight, not bad).
I’ve been up for some time – about an hour and a half.  I’ve read a National Geographic article on the Lakota people and life on the rez in South Dakota.  I’ve read quite a lot of Zadie Smith, review essays in a collection called Changing My Mind.  It’s due at the public library tomorrow.  Maybe I can figure out how to renew it on line?
I’ve taken my meds, and drunk a glass of water, and eaten two pieces of toast (home-made bread: one with peanut butter, one with honey) and made a POT of coffee from fresh-ground, and drunk most of a mug of it.
Finished the big crossword from the weekend paper.  Bundled the weekend paper into the recycle bin.  Unloaded the dishwasher from yesterday, and put odds and ends of dirty things in it.  Disassembled and cleaned my espresso pot.  Added skim milk to my shopping list. 
Considered for a bit just what I want to think of as DONE by bedtime tonight: organize my Christmas cards and list…put clean clothes away…write the better part of 50 personal notes to enclose with a seasonal charity appeal…box up some journals for transfer to a library elsewhere…clean the cat’s box…clean the email inbox!!!  Write a half dozen overdue letters…vacuum and mop the kitchen floor…clear the kitchen table, the dining-room table, and the laundry-room table.  Make a start on the pantry.  Concoct vegetable stock for soup base.  Think a bit about a meal plan for this week.
Straightened up the sofa cushions (where I slept the first part of the night last night).  Made the 187th reaffirmation of resolution not to do that again…

8:30.  Bathed, dressed, ready for the day (using the term loosely).  The usual swathe of Hummers and Escalades bearing junior-elementary types to the school over the way has come and gone again.  It’s looking like a cloudless day on the way (sun just barely-barely UP).  Had a glass of juice and read today’s paper and did the easy Monday puzzles (“Japanese sash” in three letters, first letter “o” and last letter “i”), read the obits and the comics and glanced at the editorials.  Disregarded the sports section.  The National Classic next week involves only the Hated Calgaries and the Hated Torontoes, I am cheering for both of them to lose.
I think I can take this day in 20-minute lumps, if I pace myself.  So the next 20-minute lump will be Mattins.  
Midnight.  The first reading for Mattins was from I Maccabees.  It included just about my favourite Scripture verse EVER: "et cecidit elephans super ipsum, et mortuus est illic."  And the elephant fell on him.  And he died.  Well, you WOULD, wouldn’t you?
Spent a happy evening babysitting the wonder-grandbaby.  She was undeceived by her parents’ surreptitious departure to choir practice, and disposed briefly to fist-fight her grandma over the Bedtime Question, but settled down and went to sleep quite promptly anyway.
Roads were good, but fog settling in as I drove home.  Tomorrow is also a day—and I can’t find my keys.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


well this is all new territory-- I tripped on an uneven bit of sidewalk yesterday afternoon and came down like a sack of coals with my right hand under me "somehow"...a certain  amount of grazes and laceration and bruising and HURT.

Was walking at the time with Daughter Unit and Grandbaby-of-my-Heart...the walk came to an abrupt end. 

After restorative tea and visiting, I made shift to drive home where I dug out the old arthritis thumb/wrist brace.

It helped ... but early evening I departed from my lifelong I'M FINE, I'M FINE policy and went to the closest hospital. --as the HURT factor was getting just stupid.  Then, TRIAGE and all that that entails.  Eventually,  X-rays, reassurance that "nothing's broken--ice, rest, and Tylenol"...came home again and so to bed.

Drove to work this morning w//o undue awkwardness.

During the day the medicoes had another look at the films.  OOPS, they said.  Kindly get yourself back here.

So I am in plaster, or rather in fibreglass, for a fractured thumb.  Dratted cast goes nearly up to my elbow.  Six weeks.

Did I mention I don't take frustration well?  But I must admit I like the "protected" sensation....

I had a phone call from a nurse at the hospital to see whether I would need HOME CARE.....What am I, OLD?  well....I guess.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Unbridled Domesticity...

I've never been much of a fan of "household hints" -- no time, or no trust, or both.  There are a number of Domestic Stratagems I learned from my mother or my mother-in-law, my aunts, a few girl friends...but not many.  That said, I seem to have amassed a huge collection of print-out Nifty Advice.

So it is disconcerting to find suddenly I'm developing a taste for these things.  Instance.  According to the expert instructions, I concocted a "Fruit Fly Trap."  One small glass of apple cider vinegar, three drops of dishwashing detergent, set it on the kitchen counter near where I prepare fruit and vegetables.  Son of a gun, this morning, if it wasn't full of little Drosophila Melanogaster corpses.  Well, not full, but more than a few.  Bless my soul.  It worked.  What next.

Well, actually, I think I know what next.  Somebody here is recommending that vodka be substituted for water in making pie-crust.  I have pie-crust mix (home-made); I have vodka.  It almost seems...MEANT TO BE.

Perhaps I've spent too much time and effort in pickling and canning, this month...culminating today in a session with my commere in which we made Barbara Kingsolver's triple-threat recipe.  First you make a tomato-based barbecue sauce, and jar up some--not all--of it, and process it in the canner.  Then you add peaches and sugar and what not to the residue, cook it down, jar (again) just some of the new mixture, and process it in turn.  And finally additional raisins and walnuts (and we thought up some additional seasonings) produce chutney -- in rather more than the manageable volumes indicated by the recipe.

All three products tasted different, were slightly differently hued...and MOST tasty.  So La Commere and I are wafting about this evening in an aura (or maybe MIASMA) of PICKLE and domestic accomplishment.

Enough to make anyone feel an affinity with Heloise.  Or something that starts with Hel-.  Like, perhaps, a Helgramite.  So there is a picture of a Helgramite at the head of this post.

Stay tuned for further "Helgramite's Helpful Household Hints."  Yes.

Oh while we waited for the jars, all 27 of them, to cool, we drank ginger tea and reformed the church, the entire church, root and branch, from top to bottom and from stem to gudgeon.  MOST satisfying.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Sermon for Pentecost 15

Pentecost 15, preached September 9/12
The story Mark tells in this morning’s gospel reading is one of those puzzling, difficult texts sometimes listed under “Things We Wish Jesus Hadn’t Said”//quote//.
This brief statement, true enough on the face of it, causes great controversy among Scripture scholars and teachers.  “Jesus sounds mean,” they complain.  “Jesus seems to say NO to someone who asks him for help~Jesus called a woman A DOG (a lady dog, yet?)~but then he seemed to change his mind, to reverse himself.  What’s going on.  Does Jesus change? Did Jesus MAKE A MISTAKE?”
What we need, I think, when we come to a text like this, is a premise, a first principle to start from.  I take mine from St. John Chrysostom (who after all – if nothing else – was 1600 years closer to what happened than we are).  Chrysostom says we may take it, confidently, that Jesus always knows what he is doing, always knows what he is saying, and why; he always has an agenda, an aim in view, there is a point and a purpose, a teaching and transforming purpose in everything he says and does.
What if that is true?  In this story we have three “characters” – two individuals, Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman – and one group character, the posse of disciples standing on the fringe of what is going on.  WE may forget the disciples, because they don’t say anything much out loud – but we mustn’t imagine that Jesus forgets them, not for a moment.  Jesus is always aware of ALL his listeners, their agendas, hopes, assumptions.  And he stick-handles his way through his conversations with that awareness – he teaches with that awareness.
Make no mistake, this is a teacher of teachers—when we imagine God as teacher we usually imagine how we might teach if we were God…a thunderous, uninterrupted monologue, unquestioned, complete the moment it’s uttered, indifferent to hearers/students, who of course bring no more to the situation than a row of buckets under the downspout. 
This is not how Jesus teaches – he is AWARE of what is being heard, what is being CONSTRUED, INFERRED, IMAGINED, DEBATED in his hearers’ minds.  Jesus knows about our resistance (well, I don’t think that’s so), our assumptions (oh he must have meant to say), all the furniture of our minds that IMPEDES our hearing (hearing/obeying).  We’ll hear him just fine until he demands we change our minds.  Then, whoops, no, we have our defences against that.  Jesus doesn’t HAVE to change his mind; WE DO.
This is teaching by THEATRE…what happens out loud is only part of it – the important things are happening in the minds and hearts of the onlookers.
The SP woman is a foreigner, a Gentile – therefore the disciples are hostile, contemptuous – an outsider pushing in  “HER” vs. “US”.  So when Jesus brings “dog talk” into the open,  you can imagine the disciples nodding (serve her right – and the “B” word).  WE are the children, YOU are a dog.
Jesus needs them to agree with what they THINK he said, so that he can show them it is not adequate.  Not just that this is a human being like them, a child of God, etc. (what would happen if he said that out loud?  Rebuttal, yes-but…)  He needs them to change their view of the grace of God—she’s asking for the grace of God.  And like all of us, the disciples have a zero-sum view of God’s goodness: there’s only so much of it, and if you get some there is less for me, and there will never be enough for all of us to have all we need.  So don’t waste it on FOREIGNERS.
But the economics of the grace of God is not that grudging calculating conniving economics of our lives, our work, our budgets, our politics.  It isn’t zero-sum.
He talks about bread.  Think back to all that talk in John’s Gospel about the bread of life vs. ordinary bread.  If grace, God’s goodness (and he IS God’s goodness), were like ordinary Wonder Bread, then he would be right.  But he is talking about something different, and he can only get them to see it by a piece of improvisational theatre… he has to take them by surprise, the way good theatre does.
Here is the beauty of it – he calls upon, asks of this foreign woman whom he hardly knows and who hardly knows him – he relies upon her awareness, her wits, her courage to help him in the little play he’s stage-managing.  And she comes through…she tells this little homely truth, everybody who’s ever had a baby and a dog (or a cat) in the same household knows it’s true that when the baby has dinner the dog scores, because it’s a messy, overflowing business – JUST LIKE THE GRACE OF GOD.
The problem, for the one under the table, arises when the children, those who have already been served, those who have been offered the grace of God, refuse it.  And that’s the Pharisees, and the disciples, and, too often, you and me too.  When we truly are open, are receptive to the grace of God, believe me, the crumbs fly, and everybody standing around is fed also.  Name the paradox here.
Not that we should forego it…but that we should take it in and make it into ourselves and become in our turn that nourishing love of God for those standing on the margins.  If they are not fed – it’s because WE have shut our mouths and shaken our heads. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Five: I Ask for Help

Thanks to Martha Spong over at RevGalBlog Pals, our instructions: 

So, for this Friday Five, please list four ways you have been helped when you didn't want to ask for it and one way you had a chance to help that meant a lot to you.

This one comes awfully close to the bone, for me.

1.  A little past midway in my seminary years (the MDiv was a three-year course but it took me seven years to complete, part-time), one of my faculty advisors gave me the task of setting my Learning Goals for the year ahead.  "EH?" I said.  "Learning Goals?  What means 'Learning Goals'?  Not understanding.  Passing courses, yes.  But YOU set Learning Goals, I meet them."  She wouldn't have it.  Finally she set one for me.  "I want you to LEARN how to ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT."  Further resistance on my part.  "But it's WRONG to ask for help.  I'm supposed to do MY OWN WORK. (Besides, who'd help me?  Ha.  Nobody, is who)..."  So I was helped in the first instance by being TOLD to learn to ask for help.

2.  In the meantime, I was struggling with my tax return.  Actually, staring paralyzed at it.  I had always filled out my own tax return.  But in that particular year, I had to report a Capital Gain, and I had NO idea how to do it...I knew I was owed a rebate, so there was no problem about late payment.  But the weeks rolled by...and about October, one night, lying awake fretting, I remembered that one of my seminary classmates was a Chartered Accountant.  "ah"  I said, "I'll bet HE knows what to do with a Capital Gain.  I shall ASK for HELP."  So expecting to be yelled at for Not Knowing How, I asked.  "Yes,"  he said.  "MMM-hmmm," he said.  "Give me your papers," he said.  And that was the end of the problem, right there.  No yelling.  No scorn.  Just "MMM-hmmmm" and a nice welcome rebate cheque in due course.  Amazing.

3.  Casting a lot farther back -- I remember the summer before I started university, at the lake with a group of other young folks, splashing around in the water just off the end of the dock, I -- non-swimmer -- stepped into a deep spot and couldn't find my footing again.  (I recall it now, vividly, when I see those information features about "Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning.")  I was struggling but not saying anything, when one of the girls about six feet away asked quietly, "Are you in trouble?"  I managed to nod my head, and without any fuss she had me into the shallow water in an instant...  "No problem," she said.

4.  This last week I was confronting a funeral in the parish where I'm doing interim ministry.  At one point it looked to me as though I was responsible not just for officiating and preaching and pastoral care but also for organizing (and possibly preparing!!!) the post-funeral lunch (70 people), and the funeral leaflet, which was complex (with reluctant, unfamiliar computers and unreliable internet)...and then all in one day the parish lunch-committee reported in (returned from vacation): "We're on it" -- and the funeral family announced, "We're making the leaflet, tell us what should be in it."  And there I was, free and clear to do what I DID know how to do.  The most wonderful feeling, when somebody else just comes and cheerfully TAKES AWAY a task you don't know how to tackle.

Times when I have been helpful.  Hmm---well, I was visiting an older parishioner whose divorce settlement had not been particularly generous although her (ex)husband was very affluent...she was expressing her worry about making ends meet on what she was allowed; and I enquired about a detail of the allocation of pension benefits...and encouraged her to consult her lawyer again -- it turned out he had missed a provision that was a matter of law, NOT negotiation; her income was substantially improved and she was also paid a big chunk of "back pay" -- she seemed to think that was pretty helpful!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blessed are the dumfounded...

Just home after a very happy day with the Grandbaby of my Heart (so far, the ONLY Grandbaby, though that is due to change soon), and her parents...naptimes and playtimes and feedings and bath and bedtime, and in with that delightful lunch and supper, and much good conversation.

Grandbaby is in the process of shifting her schedule of eating and sleeping.  She is being gently encouraged to move to TWO substantial naps per day, away from three or more catnaps.  Homoeostasis  being still in effect, there is resistance to this benevolent request for change.  So what with that, and with being not quite six months old, and the natural challenges of the time of day between 5 pm and 7 pm (aka "Hell Hour"), Grandbaby was becoming a bit of a small BEAR by the time supper was over. 

She didn't want to jump in the Jolly Jumper, she didn't want to sit in her high-chair, she didn't want to lie on her play-mat.  There was fussery.  There were aggrieved noises.  There were small squawks of existential ennui (I presume).

So her Papa took her over to the piano, held her in the crook of one arm, and began to play Bach, mostly with one hand; sometimes he could manage the second hand for a bar or two.

First thing was she hushed TOTALLY and stopped wiggling and struggling.  Total concentration and stillness.

And then I looked at her face.  And with small regular tilts of her head, she was looking first up at the music on the music rack, and then down at the keyboard.  Then back at the music, then back at the keyboard, at her Papa's hands and what they were doing.  Back and forth, over and over, regular as a metronome.

As I said, not six months old until mid-month (and born five weeks early at that).

I have come home feeling more than somewhat staggered.  What on earth have we here???

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Friday Five becomes Saturday Six!!!

I thought of this character last night also and then forgot again while I was wrestling with format, font, etc.

I really would have liked to be Jerusha ("Judy") Abbott in Jean Webster's Daddy-Long-Legs -- self-portrait above.

NOT under any circumstances the Leslie Caron manifestation; but the girl who wrote the letters to her Mysterious Benefactor.  Oh yes.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Five: Characters for a Day

Courtesy of Paper Hangover, here's today's Friday Five...

What five characters would you switch places with for a day?  I initially read this to mean characters in books, but can use plays, movies, comic strips, cartoons, anything you'd like.  For bonus points, tell us WHY for each or some.

MaryBeth got me started with her  "Betsy" and reminded me of Understood Betsy (Dorothy Canfield Fisher) -- who went to live with country cousins, found family and found herself and her own competence.  A deeply, deeply satisfying story; I wouldn't object to being Betsy for a day!

When I was quite little, I used to try to go to sleep at night by putting together all the characters I knew into one story -- greatly puzzled that it just wouldn't work, even when they were all animals, like the Thornton W. Burgess critters and the immortal Uncle Wiggily.  A friend of mine -- her father was a publisher -- described how she and her siblings ignored Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg et al. whenever Howard W. Garis hove into view.

 The old rabbit gentleman was a bit too manic for me, but I would like to have been either the Fierce Pipsisewah or the Bad Skeezix for a day....
 My mother used to compare me to Zasu Pitts.  I'd never seen her, but I knew this was not complimentary.  Imagine my surprise when I first saw how lovely and charming she was (thanks, TCM!).  So I'd like to be Zasu Pitts for a day too.

And Lena Horne -- who wouldn't have wanted either those looks, or those pipes, or that spirit, for at least a day?  
 And who would NOT have wanted to be this gnaedige Frau, in at the very inception, and ultimately entrusted with the transcription and publication of that seminal work of military genius...Vom Kriege.  The epitaph she shares with her eminent Ehemann?  Amara Mors Amorem Non Separat.  Requiescant in pace.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Still My Refuge...

There is a page of notes here for a sermon; I have put away my little tote of groceries -- went out to retrieve jacket from a friend's house, remembered I needed MILK, got to the supermarket and found a lot of things I planned to buy on Monday already discounted, so I SCORED AGAIN -- I get absurd pleasure out of paying less than retail -- this time, about 17% on the total, with the total still big enough to earn a 5c/litre discount on gasoline on the next purchase.  Gas is 108.9 a litre at present  (4 litres to the gallon, approx.).

Not a bad day -- diocesan event at the cathedral this morning.  Diocesan synod coming up in October.  Delegates have been told they MUST attend a diocesan "Conversation on Human Sexuality" or they will not be permitted to attend.  (One might possibly discern a "win/win" choice, here -- but that would be sort of low and unworthy, alas.)

Survived the meeting, trying not to reflect that no house-cleaning was happening, nor was chutney being confected, nor cucumbers dilled, during the three hours we spent together.  The situation was mitigated by the presence of #2 Son Unit, in his role as  a delegate from Most Holy and Undivided.  We were in different Small Groups, but had time for a light lunch afterward during which we talked and talked and waved our arms at each other and agreed on a great many points.  This was deeply gratifying.

Then I decided to slide up to St. Curious Too in search of errant jacket, see paragraph above...not finding it, of course -- I did manage to remember where I'd left it, and then sloped along home by a new route, thereby managing to enjoy a small 'splore of the country-side, punctuated by a delicious and not over-priced ice cream cone.

Despite heavy clouds during the day, the sky is clear now, moon and stars prettily in evidence.  But it's not very warm.  In fact I was greeted upon awakening this morning by an unaccustomed voice -- "It is! It is! the furnace's opening roar" (with apologies to Lord Byron).

Tomorrow, basing the sermon on the Whole Armor of God.  Alternative Title: "If it weren't for the honour of the thing, I'd just as soon have Kevlar, thank you."  (Not really.)  I'm going to invite reflection on how we put on things, some of them material, some of them not, in order to be able to do what otherwise daunts us into paralysis -- or flight...what is protective, what confers responsibility, what motivates and focuses us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

something attempted, something done

Well, it's been kind of a fun day in the Interim Ministry department.  A lovely long confab with Marvelous Deacon filled the late morning hour...then Lunch and Lectionary with M Deacon and Fab Traveling Companion over Solomon, and the Temple, and the power of incense to knock clergy on their backs, and the status of "furriners'" prayers, and the whole armour of God, and the ever-lovin' bread of life YET AGAIN, and "Who you gonna call?" and all like that, all interspersed with munching on our own Desperately Healthy lunches.

Oh and during lunch -- phone calls.  St. Curious Too has more dang-nab phones -- land lines -- on the premises than any church I've ever entered.  So far I haven't found any phones in the washrooms, but EVERYWHERE else.  In consequence I had a fine conversation with a Victim Services lady in Herring-Choker Province, where they are fixing to incarcerate a young man found in possession of items stolen from the premises of St. Curious Too, back when (before my time).  Would we like to fill out a VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT prior to his sentencing?  So that has come, by email.  And then a call from a young man in search of a baptismal certificate.

Fortunately, I was able to tell him that it was on my desk and will be in the mail within 24 hours.  He and I had had previous conversations about the Catch-22 situation he was facing, and we with him: "We can't issue you a certificate because we do not have the baptismal register under our eye.  Nor can you be re-baptized, because we know you were baptized.  But we do not know that in a form or to a degree which permits us to issue a certificate.  But you can't be re-baptized, because" and a-la-main left, and around we go again.  

About the fourth circuit of the problem I bethought me of the old Book of Common Prayer, with its wise and pragmatic and pastoral provision for when the circumstances of a prior baptism are not clear enough to satisfy the priest.  Not its only liturgical recognition that STUFF HAPPENS, and the stuff that HAS happened, is quite likely to happen again, so let us have a nifty little ceremony, here, just to cover that eventuality.

The Book of Alternative Services sounds pretty raw by comparison -- coming out of an era when I guess we were still somewhat convinced that "nothing could go wrong go wrong go wrong go wrong go wrong"  because we were all so clever and right-minded...

As it turned out, the Archives of Prairie Province had the register in question, and produced us a splendid document attesting to what is in the record, so our young man should be able to stand up and godfather his Roman Catholic friend's baby, and all's well all around.

And then, finally, a home communion visit with healing prayer for the couple who are filling my life with vegetables, after the manner of retired Prairie farmers of Slavic heritage.

Tomorrow -- day off -- will be a perfect ORGY of sugar, salt, vinegar, and Mason jars.  About six kinds of pickles, and chili sauce.