For years I kept journals -- in composition, spiral bound, and French graph paper books. This blog is an attempt to get back to writing and documenting the world around me using photos, newspaper headlines, and other articles.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Of berries and balance

This was not a week where I accomplished balance in my life.  I did not exercise.  I picked tons of strawberries.  I survived the late work nights by eating chocolate and drinking caffeinated coffee.  It was not a week where I did things in moderation.

Thursday morning Mom and I saw Selim off to school on the bus and then hit the road ourselves.  We didn't eat breakfast or shower.  He wanted to get to Butternut Farm to pick strawberries early, before they were picked out.  I don't think we needed to be anxious, but we had not been there for strawberries before and didn't know the set up.  Their plants are big and the rows are separated by straw.  And the berries were perfect.  In under an hour, I picked 10+ pounds of berries and Mom trumped me.

I opted not to go to karate so that I could make jam and start to prep the berries for freezing.  I made a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam.  I added a few squeezes of lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon of rose water.  Divine.  Then I made a batch of plain strawberry jam.  And sliced one big cookie sheet full of berries to freeze. 

And I still had plenty of berries to work with another day.

So yesterday I made a batch of strawberry peach jam and froze more berries.  I get satisfaction from freezing fruit.  We have eaten all the blueberries and peaches from last year.  I didn't pick enough strawberries last year to freeze.  With each bag of berries that I stack in the freezer drawer, my smile gets wider.

I've made it through week two of the night shift.  Yesterday, as I walked from the parking lot to the employee entrance, a former day shift coworker looked at me and said, "I feel so sorry for you!"  I smiled and kept walking.  Then just as I was about to enter the building, another guy walked out, saw me, and said the exact same thing.  Granted, it was a gorgeous afternoon, but it was a little weird.

There are some aspects of second shift that I love -- being able to pick strawberries in the early morning, for example.  But I am still struggling with the late hours.  Towards the end of the week, I wasn't waking up at that helps.  But I had a harder time falling asleep when I got home and I was still waking up around 5:00, then 6:00 and then up for real at 6:45.  I will be happy when my body lets me sleep for over four hours at a time.

On a totally non-related subject, when I went to Selim's classroom before the field trip on Tuesday, I stopped to look at the art work in the hallway.  I had to take a picture of Selim's name game.  What other child would define himself in terms of being a meat eater?  He self-identifies that way in contrast to me and in solidarity with his dad.  It just made me laugh.

The other piece that was up there was about the differences between being a baby and now.  When he asked for a baby photo, he said, "I need a picture of when I was a baby, but without all the face gear.  My teacher said that we can't have a picture with the face gear."  Interesting.  She would not have said that, because she wouldn't know that all his early photos have him with the feeding and ventilator tubes.  But he didn't want to have those photos displayed...I can understand that.  We chose one from when we lived in Kittery and he is about a year old.

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