Friday, June 27, 2014

Thankful for Birthdays and Blueberries and Blog Guest Posts

Why, why, WHY does summer vacation go by so QUICKLY? June is almost over? NooooOOOO! I'm not at all thankful for that!

I shouldn't complain; folks who work REAL jobs don't get summer vacation, as my husband likes to point out. That is now my number 1.

Moving on.

2. My son turned 19 last weekend. He's still a man-boy, but starting to lean more towards man. Sometimes. Except when he's dancing with Ruby. Or messing with his sister. Or leaving a trail of clothes all over the house.




3. My daughter's school volleyball team (same characters as her travel volleyball team) has been playing in a league for the past four Monday nights in a town an hour away. We have gone to each of the games with several of the girls in our car. They really are a great group of girls and so much fun to watch play. And listen as they talk and giggle in the backseat. This week, the last night of the league, my daughter got to play all the way around instead of her customary position on the back row, and she totally rocked it.




4. I made reservations for a little trip to the beach. This is a BIG DEAL for those of us in the middle of the country, far away from a coast of any kind. In a few weeks, we shall head off to Galveston, Texas, which is the closest beach to us and a ten hour drive. In the meantime, we have to figure out which of our cars is most likely to make it there (and back) in one piece and decide what to do with the kitties while we're gone, but it'll all work out, because WE'RE GOING TO THE BEACH!


5. I had to have an ultrasound of my ovaries this week. Nothing wrong, just a precaution by my ob/gyn since I already have that pesky breast cancer issue. I won't go into the details here, other than to say my ovaries were quite healthy, because I want you to read about the whole story right here. I'll wait.


6. Did you read it? Don't cheat, READ IT. Because it leads me to a big ol' thing of thankful: I was asked to guest post at the Wakefield Doctrine. As Joy Christi noted, I may have brought Clark's series of guest posting to a crashing halt, but I do so appreciate that he asked me. It made me feel like one of the cool kids! Thank you, Clark!

7. The blueberries are ripe! The blueberries are ripe! There is a wonderful blueberry farm about 30 miles south of here. We have picked blueberries there for about 13 years, starting when my daughter was a toddler and strapped in a stroller. I would drop blueberries on the tray and she would stuff them in her mouth while my son and I picked. 




8. My son agreed to pick with me this year. It was a beautiful morning, not too hot, with a breeze. I enjoyed listening to other pickers chatting with each other (one was going to make blueberry pancakes, one had just returned from visiting her daughter in Utah, two discussed the best way to freeze the berries). It was a delightful morning, and we came home with six pounds of blueberries, or as I call it, a good start.




9. The blueberry farm does not weigh you before and after you pick to determine how many berries you consumed while picking, which is a good thing, because I am of the pick-two-eat-one school of blueberry picking. They actually encourage you to eat berries, so you know just how flavorful and sweet they are, and they use no sprays or toxins on them, so they are safe to eat on the spot.




10. I tried a new recipe for supper tonight, and the College Boy, Mr. Picky, ATE IT AND LIKED IT! Thank you to Lisa at The Meaning of Me for pinning it (and many others that I haven't gotten to yet) for the Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake recipe! It was a hit!

You've got plenty to be thankful for and you know it. Write your post. Link it below.

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44 comments:

  1. Your wonderful son and daughter, your plan for the trip to the beach, and the blueberries!
    Sounds like a perfect summer.

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    1. Thanks, Romi! It's a good summer! I just know it will go by too fast.

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  2. Dude, you BRING the cool to the cool kids' table...and your post was HILARIOUS. I loved the attitude behind it.

    The blueberries look like SUPER fun and I'm kind of envious that you did that and had such a lot of fun with a tradition you've built over years. We have a few PYO places here, but honestly, I'd come back home having spent £20 on strawberries and be all "Now what...?!"

    #1, #1, #1, #1 - OHHHH I never got that even when I worked with kiddies. You lucky, lucky thing! Still, my job is good and I shouldn't complain. I like my job. I do. Really.

    Sounds like everything's sunshiney for you, my friend, and I'm glad :D

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    1. Aww *blush*
      Blueberries are so easy to pick. They fall off in your hand. Strawberries are no fun, because you have to bend over.
      School schedules are da bomb! Summer vacation and snow days - yessss!
      Silver linings, my friend. Silver linings :)

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  3. no! the pleasure was all ours! your Post was why Thursdays are one of the more consistently read days at the Doctrine. the goal was to have people write about everything/anything without constraints (photo above, notwithstanding), lol
    very cool
    beach! damn, is there anything better than the beach (salt water) in the Summer?

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    1. Did you like that picture I threw in of the table with the stirrups?
      Beach! Beach! It's sooo far, though. We lived at the beach for a year when we were first married, then for a month or so before we moved back here to the land-locked Ozarks. I liked it in the winter, too. Not to get in. I don't get in. I sit and watch it and walk by it and pick up shells and read.

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  4. I cheated yesterday and bought some local grown blueberries :) Picking them yourself is always way better though. I think I've missed strawberry picking this year but from what I've seen they're not all that big this year.

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    1. Picking them off the bush and popping them in your mouth is a delight! It's especially nice to pick them when you have kids with you, because you can make them get the low ones where you have to squat down or bend over and just concentrate on getting the easy ones yourself.

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  5. Poop! My comment disappeared! But I think I am still FRIST!

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  6. Replies
    1. I was too lazy to approve them as they came in, so I did it in one fell swoop this morning.

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  7. YAY for the beach- best place in the world to be! I've lived at the beach my whole life and I couldn't live without it. I promise to come back later and read your post, but for now I'll be happy to hear you're healthy. We went blueberry picking for the first time last year and had lots of fun. I don't even like blueberries and I enjoyed myself, plus freezing a bunch of them made for a quick and easy snack that my daughter couldn't get enough of. Have a wonderful time at the beach. Can't wait to hear about that!

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    1. I was chilled to the bone most of the time we lived at the beach in Ventura. Marine layer. But this is a warm water, Texas heat beach, and it will be lovely! We haven't been there since before Hurricane Ike in 2008.
      Blueberries are so fun to pick with kids! My daughter eats them out of the freezer bag (which I just LOVE...) My son is a big fan of blueberry coffeecake.
      I'm hoping for adventures and not misadventures at the beach.

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  8. Why?! did I drop elementary ed as a major?! Summers off. Very cool:)
    Beaches are good no matter where they are. All good.
    I vow to grow blueberries first and foremost, strawberries second and raspberries, at least as the fruit goes, in the garden of my future. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. One time you can be blue and really enjoy it. LOL

    Hey, if you ever come across a recipe for blueberry cheesecake pie, share it please. Publix bakery used to make them but stopped because it wasn't "popular". They were absolute cylindrical heaven!

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    1. And that's one of the reasons I DIDN'T drop elementary ed as a major!
      Beaches are wonderful! Toes in the sand and a good book and I'm good for the week.
      In theory, I would like to have my own blueberry bushes, but since I hate gardening, it's probably best that I leave it up to professionals and go pick there. $3 a pound is totally worth it.
      I once worked at a restaurant that made a blueberry cream cheese pie that was delish. In a graham cracker crust. Layer of cream cheese mixture with blueberries baked in, covering the top of the pie like pecans in a pecan pie. Sound similar?

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  9. I love your post. My daughter-in-law is from Hammonton, NJ - the blueberry capital of the world. I've made blueberry balsamic ketchup which was good. Let me know if you want the recipe. Adult children are still our babies, aren't they?

    Val

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    1. Oooo, there's a blueberry capital of the WORLD?! I think I would like to live there! My husband is intrigued by the blueberry balsamic ketchup, so send me the recipe some time. How do you use it?

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  10. beach,beach beach,!!!!!!

    Happy Birthday College Boy!!! Mr. Persnicketty!!!

    Happy Birthday to you too Dyanne... you pushed him out...and now we know why!!! Healthy ovaries of course!!!

    We have blueberry bushes that are just starting to blossom...cant wait! Love picking them... dont have to drag on the ground to do it.

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    1. BEEEEEACH!
      That would be him. And thanks for the bday wish.
      I actually did NOT push him out. He was pulled out the trapdoor against his will.
      How many bushes do you have? I've heard it takes a good five years to get berries when you plant them. You need to borrow a short, young person to pick the low ones.

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    2. We have eight bushes at the barn and just planted four on the property above us... they do take a few years to be productive... the long term ones at the barn are quite productive and put out all season... we have chickens for the low picking!

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    3. The lady who owns the blueberry farm with her husband always says the bunnies will eat the low ones. I'm sure any snakes around appreciate the fat, blueberry stuffed bunnies in the area.

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  11. LOVED your guest post! And I am a huge fan of eating 2 and picking one for the basket. Wait... eating three then saving one. Wait...handful for me to stuff in my mouth and one for later. ;)

    Such a precious pic of you in that hat!!!

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    1. Thanks, Chris! The guest post was fun to write. I seriously did not know where it was going until it just ended up where it did.
      I possibly ate a few handfuls of berries aside from the individual ones I ate. I mean, really, you have to be sure they're going to taste good, right?
      When I asked my son if I looked stupid in the hat, he looked at me and said, "You are about the right age to start wearing something like that." Ouch!

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  12. Are you familiar with the children's book, Blueberries for Sal ? I can just imagine the kirplink, kirplank, kirplunk sounds now!

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    1. I was thinking of that book while I was picking, glad that I didn't have to worry about picking with a bear. Other than the 19 year old bear I was with, that is....

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  13. Oh, I LOVED that quinoa and black bean bake - we all did! That was a great one. So glad you tried it and it was a hit. Now I feel like a cool kid...and I am definitely not one of the cool kids.
    The pic of you at the blueberry patch with your hair blowing and the hat? Stun-ning. What a great shot.
    Yeah, June is over already and summer break is moving past me far too quickly...I'm trying not to focus on that. I'm trying to focus on how this is just the beginning of something totally different...but I don't know yet. I'd love it to be true. But who knows?

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    1. I had a little more cooked quinoa on hand than the recipe called for, so I threw in an extra can of beans and a little more enchilada sauce and made a 9x13 pan plus enough to go in an 8" square foil pan that I put in the freezer.
      YOU ARE TOTALLY A COOL KID!
      I don't usually love pictures of myself, but I really like that one, too! Thank you! I wish I had taken just one more, because it would have shown the look on my son's face when he realized he was picking and I was taking selfies!
      You are really going to have to spill it about the totally different. You're making me crazy! If it's something you want, then I'm hoping it comes true for you.

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    2. Ah, yes I know...sorry! All in due time.

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  14. Can 't tell you how many times I have tried to grow blueberries in NE Kansas. Just can't make it happen. Those look so good to me!

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    1. Well, drive a few hours and pick some with me!

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  15. Replies
    1. Hey! I checked all my folders and in box and shizz and this is all I have from you. Gahh!

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  16. SUMMERTIME...I am feeling such a bittersweet love this year...wish I can stay home and hang with the Kiddies too...but it is what it is. Enjoy the summer, the beach, a happy birthday to your son and the blueberry farm sounded fun...:)

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    1. Thanks, Marisa! It's been a great summer so far and I plan for that streak to continue!

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  17. This is one of the BEST lists I've ever read! And not just because I was IN it, but thank you! That post was SOOO funny, even more funny on the Doctrine. Not sure why, but I think you know, it just WAS more funny to see your ovaries on The Doctrine! Did Clark decide whether Lefty and Righty were Scots, Rogers, or Clarks? They look pretty Scotian! hahaha but I have an amateur eye for that sort of thing.
    I have a man-boy as well, he'll turn 19 in 2 short weeks, but he sadly is leaning more toward BOY these days. He's fighting the Man side tooth and nail! And he is a picky eater, too. Hopefully they'll both grow to love more food, and make healthy choices.
    The blueberry farm sounds amazing! Especially being able to eat them, my kids would probably cost them some money. We may have to look into that, we're heading to Michigan end of next week, I'll bet we could find one somewhere!
    Have fun at the beach! We live near Chicago, but our beaches are gross. The day the water is finally warm enough to swim? Mid-Julyish, the NEXT DAY all the beaches are closed because the eColi count is too high. Gross! Hopefully you won't have to deal with that ;)

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    1. The ovary on the right is a pain in the ass, so it must be a Clark :)
      The man-boy thing leans from one direction to the other and can change course on a dime.
      I'm pretty sure I cost them money when I go there! I eat a lot while I pick. Think your family will enjoy picking blueberries on their vacation? Because mine wouldn't.
      Yeah, I don't think I'd want to swim in Lake Michigan so much. We haven't been to Galveston since Hurricane Ike. The place we stay lost its roof, so it will be interesting to see how much remodeling has been done as a result (it kind of needed it).

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  18. As I commented on Clark's blog, your guest post was hilarious.

    The blueberries look delicious. I love blueberries. I grew up eating them in a bowl with some cream.
    Reminds me that I should at least go to the farmer's market soon.

    That recipe looks REALLY good. Maybe I will have to make it for Jak and I soon. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, go get fresh blueberries as soon as possible!
      Thanks for the compliment! It was fun to write. FUN WITH OVARIES!
      The quinoa recipe is fantastic! So glad Lisa pinned it! I will definitely make it again, maybe play around with it a little and add different beans and maybe black olives or something.

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  19. Love those blueberries! I can't believe summer is almost over either. I guess it's not really but the end of June always makes me feel like it's slipping away!

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    1. It seems to go fast after the 4th of July. At least this year, we are starting our school year two weeks later than we usually do. I think my daughter goes back around August 26.

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  20. Beaach!!! You must be looking so forward to it. And blueberries - mmm mmm. Nothing beats seasonal fruit (it's pretty scarce up here...although it's hot enough now for farmer's markets and little sandy local beachs too).
    I had a scare with my pregnancy and had 5 of THOSE kind of ultrasounds (along with the normal ones too, at least). Glad you are doing fine.
    That quinoa recipe looks super delish. I'm going to gather up the stuff and make it later this week!

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    1. SOOOO looking forward to the beach! I can sit with my toes in the sand and read and watch the water for hours and hours and hours without getting bored. If only there were wifi....
      There is nothing like popping blueberries, warm from the sun, right into your mouth as you pick. So delicious!
      I had one of THOSE kind of ultrasounds with my second pregnancy, and that was early on. FIVE? Poor you! At least with the one I had with my daughter, it was just a straight shot, so to speak. Jabbing left and right to look at each ovary was no barrel of monkeys.
      Oh, try the quinoa recipe! It was really yummy! I've been trying several quinoa recipes recently and this is one of the best.

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  21. Ohhhh!!! I'm so sorry to hear about the cancer thing! I'm happy that your ovaries are healthy though! LOL at the thankful for your man-boy. I can totally see what you mean. I think about people in my life that I've watched grow to that point and past it and you described it to a tee. :) I can't believe the beach is 10 hours away! It does make for a nice road trip though!

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