Over the years, i've gotten some pretty good scars from everyday activities around the homestead. In the spring my arms and legs are always covered in scratches from raspberry and blackberry picking. Year round, i have little cuts and scraps from chicken wire, barbed wire, and goat fencing. My hands are usually blistered and callused from shoveling compost/manure and working in the garden.
Casper my wethered male goat has caused many bruises to my calves and thighs. This is usually caused by a quick flick of his head when i'm giving him hay, not a malicious attack. Those darn horns inflict a pretty nasty bruise without him even trying. If i had known how dangerous they were i would probably have de-horned him. He's has gotten me a couple times pretty good.
This week i've been working on processing apples. i've been canning apple sauce and pie filling using my water bath canner. i always boil the jars in the water bath canner before filling them. In the past i've sustained some pretty nasty burns from the apple sauce itself. When it starts boiling, it will often erupt randomly similar to a volcano and spew hot out apple sauce everywhere. i have a decent sized scar on my inner wrist from making aple sauce last year. i lifted the lid to stir it, and a large bubble of apple sauce explodes and landed on my arm.
Having learned my lesson last year, i made sure my arms were covered this year. i wore long sleeves and because it was a bit chilly that morning i also had on a sweater that fits snuggly on my arms. i wasn't too worried about getting burned again.
However, it wasn't the apple sauce that got me this time, it was the boiling water. i typically do most of my canning in pint jars, because i was gifted about 100 of them a few years back. They are the perfect size for applesauce. This time i was also making pie filling, and my recipe called for quart jars. So i used my big canner and had it full of quart jars and boiling water.
When i went to take a jar out of the canner, i didn't consider the extra weight it would take to lift it out and dump it. So as i attempted to empty the boiling water from the jar it splashed up into my face, immediately burning me and causing me to lose my grip on the jar. The jar fell forward, and all that boiling water came rushing out onto my arm, and literally down my sleeve. It took my brain a couple seconds to really register what had just happened, and then it took another few seconds to remove the tight fitting sweater which was scalding hot and stuck to my arm.
Once i got the sweater off, i immediately put my arm under cold water and tried to 'wash' away the scalding water. The top layer of my skin was literally rubbing off, i knew then that it was going to be pretty bad. :(
i took this picture a few minutes after i was burned. The blister is now doubled in size, and the light pink area is now a dark red. Thankfully, it is mostly a 1st degree burn with second degree in the area where the scalding water pooled inside my sweater. i also had some minor blistering near my wrist, but the worst of it is at the bottom. It could have been a lot worse!
Despite the nasty burn, i still finished my canning that day and am getting ready to start another batch of apple sauce today. i am however, taking extra precautions and wishing i had some protective gear to wear.