Unexpected day off today. The blueberries are finis, the last day was yesterday. I spent all last Saturday and Sunday driving the shuttle van from the main farm to the blueberry field, a five-minute drive one-way. Yesterday I worked in the market in the morning and drove the van in the afternoon. Last weekend I drove a sleek brand-new 14-passenger rental van, but yesterday I had the older van, the one with the funny gearshift. (“Um, we’re going backwards,” is not something you want your passengers to have to point out to you.) We’re into the cukes-and-tomatoes part of summer and the market had lots of them, plus basil, scallions, squash, Swiss chard, kale, cabbage, corn and peaches.
Here at home, I harvested a few green beans and had them with dinner the other night. There will be more to come, hopefully a lot more. So far, 15 plants aren’t producing the amount of beans I thought they would. Not sure if it’s something I did wrong. There is a step you’re supposed to do with beans that I didn’t do, but I can’t quite remember what it is right now. I also have baby tomatoes. No groundhog sightings recently. Perhaps they went to Wisconsin to eat Paul Ryan’s car.
Last week was a nice week. The kids and I went grocery shopping together on Monday or Tuesday and it was actually kind of fun. Prior to that, we went to the library and got some summer reading.
Oh hey, speaking of foxes, I saw the same fox cross the road in front of me three times while driving the shuttle. I also seemed to always have cardinals swooping right past the windshield. Crazy critters.
We also had more pool days, including some Friday night pizza with friends, and some play dates at the house. I had some beers with friends a couple times which was much needed! I spent a lot of time doing some paperwork that had to get done, and ran a bunch of errands including an oil change and mailing two items that randomly sold from eBay and Poshmark. Slowly, my to-do list is shrinking a little, and my plan is to take a week, maybe the first week of August, and have a staycation in which my nonworking hours are spent totally doing only things I feel like doing. Reading. Gardening. Taking walks. Perhaps use one of my spa gift cards I still have. Along with doing stuff with the kids of course. But no paperwork or errands or appointments.
We’ve had some good meals lately. Thursday night, with the green beans, I made chicken adobo: chicken rubbed with adobo spice mix and grilled on the stove top, served with homemade rice-a-roni (actually, all rice, no roni). It was so good! I remember friends making this for us at a shore house a long time ago, and I think it’s a Katy Wolk-Stanley (Nonconsumer Advocate) staple too. I saw the spice in bulk at Mom’s Organic Market a while ago and got some. Mmm, not too spicy, just delicious. The chicken was organic, from Wegmans.
I overcooked the beans a little. I’m thinking that they were so small and tender that they didn’t need that much cooking.
I also made more parmigiano-peppercorn ranch dressing and had that with chicken piccata in a salad a night or two. And as a snack with carrots another day. Yum.
Fourth of July, I made deviled eggs. I think I ate them all, eventually.
Another use for my parsley plant (this is plant number 2, after I killed one).
We were just lazy on the 4th, eventually making it to the pool, bringing McDonald’s 😦 to eat there. Later we had “rolled” ice cream for the first time at a local joint, and finally fireworks.
The cats, Penn and Teller, have made themselves at home here and, without sounding sappy, honestly have brought us a lot of joy.
Young Mr. Aidan McGuire has been having some adventures: going to the pool by himself or just with a friend, going to Atlantic City with a friend and his family, biking on his own to soccer practice at the park for the first time. He graciously puts up with his parents bugging him on his cell phone to ascertain his whereabouts and remind him to do x, y and z.
What to do with this lovely day off? Pool? Movies? Clean the house from top to bottom? All I can say for sure right now is that I have a strong, strong hankering for crabs for dinner.
I started a book about Jim Jones and Jonestown and it is addictive. I might just read that all day. I never did finish The Ocean at the End of the Lane, need to get back to that too.
In quieter moments the past couple weeks, I’ve been pondering grad school, future jobs, what to do, what to do… I have some ideas. Still sort of torn between two paths: making food/food access/farming/gardening my main job, or having a “regular” (decent-paying) day job and keeping the other stuff as my hobby/mission/source of satisfaction. With the kids getting older, it’s easier to see now that I will have a decent amount of extra time to do things on the side. When they were young, it was hard to believe that this time would come. I don’t know. There’s arguments to be made both ways. I think with the stability of a regular job, I’d feel more free to pursue some of my more, shall we say, radical ideas on the side. All of this is of course wrapped up with where we are going to end up living, which is still unsettled. I think the one thing I can say that I know for sure now is that I don’t want to be home all day. The idea of home-based enterprise — growing food, making certain supplies like soap, selling stuff online, and/or doing freelance work like editing at home — was very appealing to me for a long time. I still believe in working towards self-sufficiency, but I think working outside the home is always going to be part of the mix for me. It’s too isolating to be at home all the time. (Duh, you might say, but if anyone could do it, it’d be this introvert.) Unless we move to an ecovillage or something…