The Domestic Queen of Hazel Green: or how my pickles cost me $500.00

Recently I quit my job to stay home and take care of my new mini-business… Raising pullets and selling my over abundance of eggs.  Well the job doesn’t take up my whole day so I cleaned up my house.  That took a bit longer than a day.  😉  Anyway, once that had been done I worked in my garden and then got the idea that I wanted to start canning to save money.  After all, I had a well house full of mason jars, an antique “Maid of Honor” pressure canner (from the 40’s I think), and some *”sploodge” pickles of unknown vintage, that probably need a decent burial.

My first project was cherry preserves.  Cherries went on sale for 99 cents a pound and I love cherry preserves.  That worked out very well, so I went on to try Kosher Dill Pickles.

But let me back up, you’ll  recall I mentioned the pressure canner?  Well, I found parts for it online and then needed to test the pressure gauge at the State University Cooperative Extension office.  This is a free service BTW.  Anyway, they happen to be right across the street from the county co-op market so I payed them a visit too.  The vendors there are such friendly people and so I got to talking about canning pickles, and the kind lady said, “You don’t want these cukes, they were picked yesterday.  I didn’t get to pick more for today because of the rain.  Come back tomorrow and I will have you some fresh ones for your pickles!”  Seems that old ‘cukes’ make ‘holla’ pickles.  Who knew?

So, yesterday on my way back into Huntsville I picked up my supplies at the grocery, went to the co-op and got my fresh ‘cukes’, and then began the search for fresh dill heads.  No deal.  In the whole of the Tennessee Valley there is not one grocer or vegetable stand that has fresh Dill Seed?  Well maybe one, but the instructions were a bit confused:

“Get back on the hi-way and go to the Wal-Mart exit, get off and turn left and CJ’s (I think it was CJ’s I am a bit hazy on that point) it’s under the overpass ya’know, by the bridge?  Well not really under the overpass, but,  ya’know?”

Taking bad directions, and then following them, was a big mistake…

I got lost.

So, I looked for a chance to turn around and get back to the ‘hi-way’ and seeing the “NO U-TURN” sign I went further down to an intersection that turned into a regional park.   I stopped in the left hand turn lane, tried to see the oncoming traffic (no deal) and proceeded to get the front end of my Santa Fe sheared right off by a huge black pick-up truck!  I watched helplessly as my car’s front bumper and grill went flying down the road.  Meanwhile, the lady in the black pickup (It was a lady because I saw the shock on her face as we connected) went sailing into a ditch, narrowly missing a light pole I might add.

So there I sit, car stalled, and trying to gather my whits.  I try to re-start the car and get off the road but it keeps stalling.  I tried to get out, but my door won’t open.  So great, since I am stuck for the moment, I dial 911 to report the accident.  Literally less than a minute goes by and there are two police cars, a fire truck, and two ambulances at the scene.  The police pushed me out of the road and I crawled over the console to get out on the passenger side.

Now this is the interesting part.  The lady I hit is out of the truck and standing by the side of the road head bowed,  hands folded, and praying.  The police are asking me if I am hurt, and I said, “No, just angry.”  and one says, “Don’t be, accidents happen and no one was hurt.”  Later the tow truck guy shows up and says to me, “Don’t be mad, just pray.  When Satan tries to ruin it for us just pray and God will take care of it.”  Suddenly I was more calm because I realized he was right.

I came here to “live life more abundantly” and to get my spiritual life more aligned with God’s plan for me. Then at the first stumbling block I get angry?  The tow truck guy was right.  I needed to pray.  My prayer life is rusty and it was a feeble attempt, but my intent was honest.  Oh yes, and before the tow truck guy left, I thanked him for reminding me of what I already knew.

Now being covered by a  better spirit I went home and made my pickles right away.  Why?  Because “Old cukes make holla pickles.”  So OK you ask, how did they get to be $5oo.oo pickles?


That’s the cost of the insurance deductible on my car!

* Sploodge = Very old canned peaches:   Reference from the story “Holesby Louis Sachar

3 thoughts on “The Domestic Queen of Hazel Green: or how my pickles cost me $500.00

  1. Sara George says:


    Your blog is beautifully done and so funny but it is also sad that your pickles cost you that much. But wasn’t that neat how the driver reminded you who is really in charge.

    If you would like to go to lunch one day next week, I will come to Hazel Green to get you. I would love to learn more about your experiences in the big city.

    I think you have the makings of a book if all your stories are as well written as this one. Call me and let’s talk about a time to go to lunch. We need to do it before school starts.

  2. Scarlett says:

    Oh that is so awesome! The $500 pickles reminded me of a “free cat.” Ya think? After spaying, shots, etc. those “free” cats cost, what $1,000?
    Homestead Hugs, Scarlett

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