Wednesday, August 22, 2007


The homecoming "to do" list is lengthy, growing daily. We have managed to pay the house insurance, sort toys and go for Vietnamese food. Visiting our parents was fantastic, Ukaih's adjusting to the library construction- requesting holds at another branch, and we spent the afternoon with a man who left Sudan at age 5, spent 16 years in a refugee camp in Kenya, and on his fourth day in the US, joined us for a walk to the lake. Buttercup is about 75% unpacked. We adults each have a job interview this week. The kids have a new cat-sitting gig. We love having our own washing machine.

Between visiting with friends and sorting clothes now too small for the kids, we've seen a play, been wowed by examples of New Zealand's early childhood education practices and harvested enough tomatoes for a decent taco salad. In other words, we're thriving in the midst of uncertainty. It could be that yoga, television, soccer and cocktail parties are helping us through...

We weren't here to experience the unusual weather patterns this winter. No flooding or extended power outages for us in the southwest. Are atypical patterns the new norm, or have we forgotten- does it usually rain for multiple days in August? Does the temperature generally top out in the mid-70's? I'm a little worried that it's already sweater-season for me, but it means great blueberries into late August!

We spent about two hours at Mercer Slough Blueberry Farm, sampling high and low bush varieties, limiting our interactions with spiders. Assuming we can find a kitchen scale, we'd like to do a little math project. What's your best guess on the number of blueberries in 18.25 pounds? Cost per berry at $1.25/pound? Inquiring minds want to know. And not just because we're jobless and working with a tight budget.

The plan is to make freezer jam in the morning, before haircuts or a trip to Value Village. We won't be following the recipe that calls for a can of blueberry pie filling and box of raspberry Jello. We're going the old fashioned route, pectin and lemon juice. Unless someone has a more inspired suggestion?

A favorite come pumpkin season, South 47 Farm has organic, u-pick, thornless blackberries. Between resume writing, filing tax returns and thanking our long list of travel hosts, we hope to pick at least 10 pounds next week.

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