Un.Sol.ics.ited : Uninvited, not asked for, or done voluntarily. We have all had our share of unsolicited advice. I recently got some at the beach.
I have a 4 mos old puppy. He is not a covid dog, impulse buy or time passer. He was bred for and will be a therapy dog – correction…
Macintosh is MY therapy dog. I don’t often actually admit that detail. But that is the honest truth. He helps me, when I cannot help me. There is still a stigma about needing help, even if it’s an animal. People are not always compassionate. I… I have not always been compassionate. In fact at times I was downright terrible towards people who were struggling. I learned – how can one give compassion, when they cannot even have compassion towards themselves. It is hard to see past your own front door to help others, when you are too afraid to open it.
Yesterday at the beach, a beautiful lady came up to me and asked if I got my dog from a certain breeder. After all there are not many Irish setters around our area. I said yes. She then proceeded to tell me how she grooms and shows dogs for that particular breeder. I said “wow that is pretty cool – fancy seeing you at the same beach…” She then gave me a 3 min lecture me on my choice of harness, and how it “could be” detrimental to the growth of my dog.
The power of words … Her words hung on me like a heavy wet towel. I felt every voice inside my head rise up. Pointing out every flaw and fault in my parenting and puppy rearing. Instead of having a great day with my kids at the beach all of a sudden I just wanted to crawl inside the nearest shell and cry. I walked quietly back to my site… Trying to hold back tears.
My husband looked at me and immediately knew something was wrong. I was emotionless, stark still and trying to convince him nothing was wrong as not to ruin the day. When in all reality I felt like I was internally bleeding, while the voices in my head stood back and laughed.
When the new “beach neighbours”, left to go in the water and it was like a dam had breeched. I spewed everything onto my husband and told him how I felt. He grabbed the dog, set him in my lap, and commanded prayer.
“You are not accepting her words. You are rejecting it. I reject it.” He began in the name and blood of Jesus, right there on the beach. Now – Nothing causes more anxiety, then people publicly knowing you have an issue. I actually tried to quiet him… but he got louder – Suddenly, I felt Holy Spirit. Like a soft fleece settling inside. Cozy. I was calm and wet with tears and puppy drool. I could think clearly and although I still felt judging stares they didn’t cut with the sting of condemnation. That is the power of prayer… and love.
Then we cried out, “Lord, help us! Rescue us!” And He did! God stilled the storm, calmed the waves, and he hushed the hurricane winds to only a whisper. We were so relieved, so glad as he guided us safely to harbor in a quiet haven.Psalm 107:28-30
So how do dill pickles fit into the story… Well after looking into the empty jar at the beach and realizing we just ate the entire jar… we sighed with great remorse there were no more. I decided awhile ago, after eating the first jar, I needed the recipe for our worship leaders pickles as they were the absolute best. The email came as a photo with handwriting in margins of a print out recipe. ….Aren’t those the best kind of recipes? In the email she documented the differences she made and how exactly she makes the batch.
I have written it all out and posted them here for you all to enjoy. These are great while sitting on the beach…with or without puppy drool.
Blue Ribbon Dill pickles – K. Persia
- 7 wide-mouth quart jars, lids & rings
- fresh dill, heads & several inches of stems shaken free of bugs
- Pickling cucumber, washed, scrubbed
- 7-14 garlic cloves
- 8 1⁄2cups water
- 2 1⁄4cups white vinegar
- 1⁄2cup pickling salt
- GET ALL OF THIS GOING BEFORE FILLING THE JARS.
- Wash 7 quart jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with hot water; set aside.
- Fill canning kettle half-full with hottest tap water; set on burner over high heat.
- In a medium saucepan, fit lids and rings together, cover with water, bring to a simmer.
- In a large saucepan, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil; turn off the heat; set aside.
- FILL JARS: place a layer dill head at the bottom of each jar, along with one garlic clove (if used), then TIGHTLY load the cukes into the jar to the NECK of the jar (depending on size you may get two nice layers with a few small cukes in the top–)—squeeze cukes into the jar tightly–uniform size helps; add a extra garlic clove on top.
- Once jars are loaded, pour in the brine leaving half-inch head space in each jar.
- Add lid and ring to each jar, tightening evenly.
- Place jars into boiling canner with enough water to fully covered
- Process 5 min. Do not over process.
- Remove jars, set on a dish towel on the kitchen counter, cover with another dish towel & let cool.
- Check for seal (indented lid), label jars or lids, store in cool dark cellar or cupboard.
- Pickles are best to eat if you wait about a month or so before opening.