I know I am, even though we’ve had a mild winter so far, mild as northern Minnesota goes, anyway. I think it has something to do with all those color photos in the multitude of seed catalogs I’ve been inundated with. (Many only carry hybrids, with a smattering of “heirlooms”, and are WAY over-priced so they go to the recycle bag.) Oh well, I know I’ll be starting petunias and pansies in a month and that’s only four weeks!

I know I’m “color deprived” and thought you’d like to see some garden color mid-winter.

I got the results from the biopsies on the four bumps/spots on my arm and face. (Of course, when you see a dermatologist, they examine us old people very closely to check out all those age spots, sun-spots, lumps, and bumps we accumulate. Nothing on the three but the one I’d been concerned with, on my forearm, came back positive for squamous cell carcinoma. Luckily it isn’t a serious cancer, caught early. (I only had this one for three weeks.) But I have to go back to have more of the area removed in a month … just to be sure. So I’m glad. All your prayers helped, I’m sure! Thank you all.

It won’t be all that long before we’re busy in the garden again.

The seed business is keeping us busy as beavers this week. I’m so happy the ladies at the post offices are cheerfully handling all those bags of outgoing seeds. And the checks for the seeds go right toward paying off our last forty acres, the Big Pines forty. As we hate debt, this makes us do the happy dance! Especially as the economy seems to be heading for a cliff.

Have any of you seen any canning lids at the stores? I sure haven’t. Wow, that’s not a lid shortage; it’s a lid desert! We have plenty of lids and also a case of Harvest Guard lids, so we’ll be fine. But I sure feel for those less prepared. If you find lids in a store, latch onto them. — Jackie


  1. Walmart gets in their brand of lids but sells out quickly so keep checking. They seem to restock fairly quickly. If you have a Dollar General in your area check them for Golden Harvest. I asked about lids in mine and she brought out last year’s stock from the storeroom for me.

  2. I have enough lids on hand for this year. After that, no.
    I have been searching why lids are not being manufactured to get into stores. Have not found an answer. Maybe you can.
    Glad you caught your cancer soon. That is one word I hate, so many of my family has had it including me.

    • No, I don’t have an answer other than Rubbermaid bought out jarden, who made the lids in the past. Maybe they’ve been reworking some of the processing??? I’m glad I got it soon, too. I’m sure not a cancer fan!!!

      • Rubbermaid (Newell Brands) has had their ups and downs. And based on prior decisions of the company, items that “don’t fit” into their vision get dropped.

  3. I put out a warning last March that canning lids would be the next toilet paper. Some listened but to many did not. 😢😢

  4. Thank heavens for 2021 showing up with pretty good news for your health, yay! Now all you need is that healthy grand baby to show up too.
    And thanks to your years of Boy Scout notions (be prepared!), I have a good supply of lids, jars, and canning gadgets. So many of us are in better-off positions because of your advice.
    Which brings me to asking for advice once again…I pressure-canned small potatoes this fall, well scrubbed but with peels on. Now I read that they should have been peeled because its too risky having the skin and the potential for botulism. Do I pitch the product? Or do I open, peel, and re-can? I’m thinking it’ll make them too soft, however.
    We recently enjoyed hoarfrost here in the Des Moines area, and a fairly mild winter too. Received our blizzard yesterday, with snow and high winds but the snowplows have made life nearly normal again in a jiffy. The white blanket is pretty.
    Thanks for your package of seeds; wow am I going to have fun this spring! They are stored in the basement room where it is 50 degrees.

    • Oh heck no, Erin. I’ve canned new potatoes for years with their skins on. Anything’s possible but botulism from canned potatoes with skins on is highly unlikely. Have fun thinking of gardening!

    • From what I’ve read and listened to on you tube video, botulism is killed by the temperature of 240 degrees. Reading from my pressure cooker book, that temperature is reached at 11# in a pressure cooker, so that by the highest #s in my pressure cooker the temperature is 250 degrees; more than enough.

  5. Jackie, so glad the cancer spots were caught and removed! I’ll still keep you in my prayers. My Dad’s Mom died from skin cancer, he had spots removed as he got older and so has my younger sister. I don’t have any (so far, thank God). I have a few wide mouth canning lids packs but am going to be hunting for more. I got mine from an Amazon seller and they look to be in good shape but I want the reusable ones if I can find them. First to save on cost and second to discarding the used lids just strikes me as wast. Stay well!

    • Prayers are always very welcome! Mom and Dad both had lots of bumps, spots and tags and lived into their mid-nineties. I’m hoping. Harvest Guard still has reusable lids. Buy them direct from the company.

    • Like Jackie, I use Harvest Guard. I want to recommend their canning video, how to use their lids and how to make sure your product is canned. My reusable lids appeared sucked down, but you must make sure by removing the ring and picking up the jar by the lid outsides. Many reusable lids I use are in the sucked-down position before I even start to use them. It doesn’t work to think the pressure cooking has worked, leave the ring on, and put the product on the shelf in storage–when the lids may well not be sucked down at all. These are excellent lids, but you have to do it right.

  6. Hi, Jackie. I am happy your health is better than it could be. I have to say that I left the Indiana Wilderness Edge for 2 weeks in Florida and it is great. High 60s are expected for my 1st week and 70s for the second. Warm, green heaven. Thinking of you.

  7. Hey, Jackie…. you aren’t kidding about the seed catalogs coming out. Expensive and
    It seems like 95% hybrid. Thank you for Seed Treasures! So glad about your ‘spots. That’s good news.

  8. I have lids and jars but wasn’t able to can much in 2020 due to health reasons. Maybe this year. So glad to hear your good news about your tests even though one was cancer but it is treatable. I worked at the West MI Cancer Center and I saw a lot of people that their cancer wasn’t discovered at an early stage. My advice to anyone is don’t let it go, get in and get it checked.

    • Amen Ruth!! Way back 12 years ago, when I went for my 5 year check in with my oncologist for the Merkle Cell Carcinoma that was removed from my elbow (the size of a match head), he told me he had not had another patient with that type of cancer survive. I’m glad he told me AFTER the five years instead of at the onset!! And no sign of it since, and that was 16 years.

  9. If I could sell skin moles that were precancer or cancerous I would be a rich woman. As it is, I just have lots of divots where they are cut out but I’m still kicking! LOL Good luck with your “spots”.
    I normally order a sleeve of 345 canning lids from Lehmans but they are sold out for 2020 and not taking orders at this time. But keep checking back. They are very good quality. http://www.lehmans.com
    Otherwise we will just be dehydrating this summer. Does anyone use a food saver? Is it worth the time?

    • Heck JH, you and me both! Those plaques, sun spots, age spots, moles etc run in our family. So I’m sure I’ll have more removed in the future. Oh well, better than the option, for sure!
      I’ve got plenty of lids but I haven’t seen any in the stores since April.

  10. Praise God! Happy to hear about your biopsies. I know what you mean about the dermatologist, but at my last visit he told me I can start coming once a year instead of twice. I have had quite a few of the mohs surgeries and am happy to have a break. I just had my friend pick me up a case of lids while she was in Pa. There’s an Amish bulk store we like to go to that carries them. That’s what got me through this year. I was at an Ace hardware before Christmas and couldn’t believe all the jars they had. I figure if you can’t find lids buying some cases of jars will have to do.

    • Seriously, I think the company (now Rubbermaid, after buying out the maker of Kerr and Ball jars/lids) is just selling jars with lids as folks are desperate to buy lids!! Lucky you for being able to have a friend pick up a case. I know a lot of people are getting real scared about not being able to find them.

      • I had the same thought too, Jackie. I knew there was going to be a shortage come last fall as all those folks who planted gardens for the first time in the spring were going to have to do something once everything was ready to be harvested in the fall. But I thought by now, Newell would have increased production of supplies.

        Here in western Canada there are lots of jars but a shortage of lids. If a person wants lids, they need to buy the case of jars that come with them. A lot of folks don’t need jars, just lids. I hate to be cynical but I have been around long enough to know how companies use manipulative tactics just to increase sales and profits. A good idea to snap up any lids you can find. I am not sure if the stock will increase come the summer. once gardens start to need harvesting.

  11. Around here all you find is the plastic lids for dry stuff. And some boxes of jars/lids. That is Walmart and not all the near Walmarts ( I have 4 in a 25 mile radius around my house) have them. Haven’t really looked very hard, only when I am picking things up. I buy them way ahead of time.

    kathy in MS

      • You know, so many put their trust in the grocery store, “It’ll always be there.” Well, maybe not. Our country needs to move back to self-reliance, and dependence on God, and relationship with small community. I’m speaking to me, as well.

    • Yep, me too! I do wish they would have just cut the one out deeper so I didn’t have to go back and have it re-done. It’s sort of like cutting the tail off a lamb, a little at a time. And it’s a waste of a day, going the 100 miles down and then 100 miles back. (Plus all the lidocaine injections and stitching up, of course!)

  12. Glad you got a semi-good report at the doctors. I checked for lids at Menards and Walmart on Monday and not a one either place. Both had some boxes of jelly jars and Menards had a few boxes of half gallon jars. Walmart also had a single box of regular pints and two boxes of quarts. Fortunately, I don’t need jars or lids but I keep checking. I want (not need) a box of wide mouth pints and a few boxes of wide mouth lids and regular lids but I’ll manage without them.

    • Me too, LeeAnn. When we came back from the dermatologist we stopped at Menards for LED lights and I checked; not a jar or lid. WalMart had a couple of boxes of pints and half pints; no lids. I don’t need lids or jars but keep watch for friends who do.

  13. Glad to hear such great news on the biopsies Jackie! Yes tired of winter here in Michigan too. Itching to get those seeds started. Lids are very scarce here too. I was finally able to submit an order to Lehmans for some reusable lids, but those are backordered too I believe. I do have a hefty supply to I’m not desperate but like you I feel for those who are. Thank you for the update!

  14. Great news on your biopsies! I’ve found a few lids, mostly large mouth, sporadically at the local grocery & once at walmart.
    Winter doldrums are definitely here but at least the days are getting longer.

    • Yes they are! We did the happy dance when we realized it was 5 PM and still light out! It doesn’t take much to make us happy.

  15. I am so relieved for your health news!

    Got tons of lids and bought Harvest Guard ones too. Great!! People always ask why I want to be prepared….then when they aren’t and I am, I say…THIS is why. :) Some never learn though…..

  16. So glad your news is “mostly good”! And manageable! I have been able to score a couple of sleeve/cases of lids at our local Walmart, so while they are scarce they do exist. I will be splitting the kids with my daughter and we are anxiously awaiting our seed and book order from you! One book is a birthday present for my daughter 😊 I couldn’t be happier that she’s carrying on the family tradition of self sufficiency.

    • Lucky you! I haven’t seen a single box of any type of lids at any of the stores around here since April. It’s great your daughter is headed down the self sufficiency pathway!!

  17. I visited the little Amish grocery store that I go to when I am in the area this week and she had the large flats left over from last fall limit two packages and the regular size two dozen in a package for 7.50 and said she sure hated to charge that much but they were not making much on them I believed her and thought when the order from large size came they would be more expensive, (I am sure they will be) there was a limit of two on the regular size too but two dozen in a package. I snatched up the limit on each. I am concerned about the availability of seed this spring. just have to wait and see. Ann

  18. That’s why I started dehydrating. Although it prefer a canning jar, any glass jar will do. And I have plenty.

    • I use the few glass jars I buy occasional foods in to store my dehydrated stuff in. And I also have a antique canning jar collection I use for that too. Waste not; want not!

    • Last summer I did a lot of trial dehydrating using just the sunshine. You really need over one hundred degrees for days at a time for success! We have that here in far north California every, single summer! I had so much excess vegetables that I experimented with onions, apples, squash, and potatoes. I got Christmas money from my dad, so I’m going to invest in a dehydrator.

  19. I looked at the Fergus Falls Fleet farm today for lids…none there. Cases of jars/lids tho, and a note saying they expected to receive lids eventually. Glad some of your news was good, and that the other spot is treatable.
    Katherine Jordahl

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