Tag Archives: blueberries

Still Learning in 2010…

Taking the lead from my blogging friends, Todd Pack, Izzie Darling, and Lady Justine, here’s a list of the things I learned this year…if you want to read the full story on any of these lessons, search a keyword or click the appropriate tag in the sidebar:

1. Our dog thinks porcupine poop is dessert.

2. Hope loves Jake enough to share her toothbrush with him.

3. Homemade rolls don’t have to be “pretty” to taste good.

4. Egg cartons are not good containers to start plants indoors in.

5. Dogs love to destroy egg cartons with seedlings in them.

6. Jim’s parents are our biggest supporters.

7. Bleachers are hard things to sit on for more than a couple of hours.

8. I am really out of shape.

9. Seeing a toy from your childhood 40 years later brings you right back to that time in your life.

10. If the winter is mild enough, spinach from last year can survive.

11. Maple vinaigrette makes spinach salad a beautiful thing!

12. There’s no such thing as “too many bird feeders.”

13. Squirrels can do amazing tricks to get to a bird feeder.

14. Some people keep their toilet paper in the breadbox.

15. Mothers-in-law are often right.

16. More people in Saint John knew when the new Costco was opening than were aware of the city’s 225th birthday this year.

17. Rhubarb runs amok if left to grow unchecked.

18. Orthodontists make more per hour than most of us.

19. Sometimes plants get a lot bigger than the seed package says they will…my five-foot sunflowers ended up being seven or eight feet tall!

20. I like portobello mushroom/swiss veggie burgers.

21. Our dog enjoys eating Popsicle sticks.

22. Cosmopolitan was a literary magazine back in the early 1900’s.

23. There is only one kind of hummingbird which frequents New Brunswick: the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.

24. I love Mint Crisp M&M’s.

25. I learned what a “fisher” was, after seeing one cross the road in front of our car.

26. Before you construct a really big birdhouse, figure out where you’re going to put it and how to get it up there!

27. My dad’s a good singer, and I’m not the only one who thinks so!

28. They sell live ladybugs at Home Depot.

29. Right after you purchase twenty tomato plants, the forty you started from seed will rally.

30. Ladybugs aren’t always red with black spots…sometimes they’re brown with cream spots.

31. As long as they’re under warranty, Vogue Optical will replace glasses which have been chewed by a dog!

32. We have a cherry tree, and eight high-bush blueberries I’d never noticed before.

33. “Beaver Tails” are too expensive to buy now.

34. Hope really likes getting muddy.

35. Wallpaper is nearly impossible to find.

36. Hummingbirds are fearless.

37. The Chinese cabbage I planted is not the “head” type.

38. How to make good piecrust…the secret is lard.

39. Some people will ignore a sign that says: “Danger – Do Not Touch.”

40. Deer can be aggressive.

41. Organic broccoli often goes to seed faster than I can harvest it.

42. I love rutabaga!

43. I found out what “purslane” looks like.

44. It’s never a good idea to put a chicken burger into a toaster.

45. I don’t hate all sci-fi…I enjoy “Eureka.”

46. You can purchase a sailboat on the Internet.

47. Ripe canteloupe is not a good lunchbox food.

48. Picking things from the garden in the dark is really difficult.

49. I suck at “Musical Chairs.”

50. The blogging community is full of incredible people…I am so happy to have made their online acquaintances!

I’m looking forward to learning more in 2011!

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Little Wendy Pie-Maker…

On Friday, I was home waiting for the carpenter to come to finish installing the new drywall and tub surround in the bathroom.  I decided that since it was our Thanksgiving weekend, that I would make pies for the occasion.  The first step was the pumpkin…I went out the the garden and chose the smallest one (the only one that would fit into the microwave)…it was about 10″ tall and 8″ in diameter.

The Pumpkin...

I put it into the microwave to soften it up so I could cut it in half and scoop out the seeds…then I put it in the oven and baked it.

Cooked pumpkin...

The carpenters commented on the wonderful smell…I told them I was making pumpkin pie from scratch, and they were suitably impressed.  I also got a couple of bags each of blueberries (from our bushes) and blackberries (picked in my secret patch on the West Side) out of the freezer.  I scooped the meat out of the pumpkin…four cups of fresh pumpkin!

Unfortunately, the carpenters took about four hours to finish the bathroom…procrastination kicked in…I didn’t think it would be a good idea to make piecrust near where so much drywall dust was flying around, so I decided to wait until Saturday to make the actual pies.  I had also promised to make “West Side Wendy’s Brownies” for a reunion of my old call center workers on Saturday night.

The bathroom looked 100 times better when they were done (and they cleaned up pretty well after themselves too!).

New shower stall...yay!

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early.  After a quick breakfast, I started baking right away.  The brownies were first…two pans of deliciousness which everyone who tastes them raves about.

Brownies...yummy!

Then I started the pies.  I found a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for a pumpkin pie that used 16 oz. of pumpkin (it said it made one single crust pie)…I figured that if I doubled it, that would use all of my four cups of pumpkin, and I’d have two pies.  Wrong!  I ended up with enough filling for three big pies and one small pie!

Pumpkin pie...

 

There were also way more berries than I thought…once I had them in the bowls with the sugar and flour, I realized I’d overestimated in taking out two bags of each kind.

Blackberry pie before top crust put on...

Blueberry/Blackberry pie before top crust...

I sent Jim to the Co-Op for more lard.  Another recipe of piecrust was necessary.

Finished blueberry pie...

Finished blackberry pie...yes, that's my poor rendition of blackberries carved in the top...

Finished blueberry/blackberry pie...those are two "B"'s in the top...

So, after eight hours of baking, I ended up with two pans of brownies and eight pies: four pumpkin, two blueberry, one blackberry, and one blueberry/blackberry.  We’ll take a blueberry one to Jim’s mom’s today for our combo Thanksgiving/Devin’s birthday dinner (he turned 17 on October 4th).  On Monday, we’ll have the other blueberry one and a pumpkin one for our own Thanksgiving dinner with Kaylee, Scott and Elise.

Jim and I had fun at the reunion last night.  Not many people made it because of the holiday weekend, but the food was great (anybody who knows me knows how much I love to eat!).  It was nice to see my old co-workers, many of whom I hadn’t seen for a year.  We talked about having another gathering in February…looking forward to it!

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Where the Wild Things Are…

Tonight, we got home a little bit late because of having to stop to do errands on the way home…I made a lovely chicken stirfry for supper (featuring fresh zucchini from our garden).  By the time I’d finished dessert (more luscious blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream – https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/i-owe-it-all-to-pig-fat/), it was after 8:00, and I still had blueberries to pick.

I grabbed a plastic mixing bowl (I like to harvest stuff in mixing bowls), and went outside.  We’d had a minor blueberry boom over the last couple of days – the bushes were loaded with big, ripe berries again.  I’d been picking for about half an hour when I felt something drop down my shirt.

As I was fishing the small green inchworm out of my cleavage (I never freak out about bugs!), I saw something small and fast run across in front of my feet into the long grass beside the rhubarb…I’m hoping it was a mouse…

It was at about the halfway point that I heard the rumble of thunder in the distance.  It was getting darker, and the mosquitoes and other bugs were coming out in earnest – they were biting me through my jeans!  I continued to pick, straining to see the dark berries in the dim light.  Luckily, the storm held off…

The next sound I heard was that of a deer snorting.  For those who don’t know, deer snort as a way of telling you that you’re pissing them off…I turned nervously around, checking to see how close it was, and praying it was a doe and not the buck.  She was more than 200 feet away – nothing to worry about.  I went back to the task at hand.

Finally, I was coming down the home stretch…by now it was so dark, I was picking almost entirely by feel.  I checked the backside of the last bush, and headed for the house.

Then I saw the bats swooping around…I’m never picking that late again!!!

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I Owe It All to Pig Fat…

Item #9 on my “bucket list” reads: “Learn to make edible piecrust.” https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/my-bucket-list/  Well, I can cross that off my list, because, wonder of wonders, I actually did it last night, thanks to my friend Eleanor!  She felt sorry for me after reading this post: https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/can-she-make-a-cherry-pie/  The next day, there was an e-mail from Eleanor with a “No-Fail Piecrust Recipe” (my friend, Nancy, said she had one too, but was unable to locate it).  I was skeptical: after (unsuccessfully) attempting to make piecrust many times over the past 35 or so years, I thought I’d successfully caused every “no-fail” recipe to fail…

On our way home from work the other night, I told Jim I was going to try Eleanor’s recipe – I couldn’t remember if we had any lard or not.  Trying to be helpful, he said, “Can’t you just use shortening?” 

My reply was, “Well, ordinarily, that wouldn’t be any problem, if the recipe was for anythng besides piecrust, and it wasn’t me trying to make it…however, I think I’d better follow the recipe exactly, in this case!”

So we stopped at Giant Tiger and picked up two boxes of lard…the recipe only called for one, but I wanted a backup!

I got two boxes for good measure...

We stopped at Jim’s mom’s yesterday afternoon, and I asked her what she put in with her blueberries when she made pie.  She said she’d only made one blueberry one (her specialty is apple), but Jim’s dad had found a couple of recipes on the Internet – some used tapioca, and some used cornstarch with the sugar. 

After supper last night, I pulled out my trusty “Joy of Cooking.”  It’s never steered me wrong (except for piecrust!).  It also gave the tapioca or the cornstarch options.  I went with the cornstarch, being “fresh out” of tapioca (it’s not my favourite thing!).  I was to use 2 tbsp. of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water or fruit juice, and 2/3 to 1 cup of white sugar for every 4 cups of berries.  The berries were supposed to “cogitate” (my word)  in this mixture for at least fifteen minutes before putting them into the pieshells.

This cookbook has been my friend for more than thirty years...

I had enough berries for three pies, which was perfect because the piecrust recipe makes double shells for 3 pies!  I mixed the berries with the sugar and cornstarch mixture, and went off to make the piecrust.  I preheated the oven to 425 degrees (the recipe said 450, but my oven is HOT, and I didn’t want to burn them).

I asked one of my personal photographers (Anna, in this case) to document my pastry-making journey.  I mixed all the ingredients carefully together, using the exact amounts and method given in Eleanor’s recipe.  Not having a pastry cloth (my mom had one), I used some sheets of wax paper to roll out my dough, liberally sprinkling them and my rolling pin with flour first.  Gingerly, I started rolling the little ball of dough…wow!  It didn’t cling for dear life to the rolling pin, or fall apart into a million tiny pieces, or stubbornly refuse to become somewhat oval (all scenarios that I’ve witnessed too many times before in previous attempts).  I hesitated to say it out loud, but thought to myself, very quietly,  “I think this is actually working…”

My first rolling...

My first oval was beautiful…I rolled it carefully up on to the rolling pin, and with only a couple of minor stickings, was able to lower it into the first pie pan.  Ta-da!

Putting first crust into the pan...

First crust successfully in pan...

Trimming off the excess dough...

I did two more crusts, and put them into the pans.  I brought the fruit in, and dumped it into the waiting crusts.

Three pies ready for their top crusts...those are my dad's knees in the background...he was supervising...

Then I made three more ovals for top crusts, some more beautiful than others, but all serviceable.  I laid them on top, and squished the edges together with my thumb (I remembered vaguely that you were supposed to use a little bit of water to seal them, but decided I didn’t want to bother with that).  It was after I had the top crusts on that I remembered that “Joy of Cooking” had suggested dotting the fruit with a tablespoon or two or butter before covering it up…oh, well…my hips would certainly not miss that extra fat!

Pie with top crust on...

Before I put them in the oven, I knew that I should make some holes in the top crust to let steam escape…I might as well do something artsy!

My pretty flower pie...

I even had some pastry left over, so I did what my mom used to do, and made little sugar pies in pot pie pans: a little melted butter, some white sugar, and lots of cinnamon. 

I put all the pies in the oven, setting the pans on cookie sheets in case there was any filling overflow.  They were to be cooked for ten minutes at the higher temperature, and then for 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

I spent the next hour running back and forth to the oven, checking, rotating pies from top to bottom rack and back, and from left to right side.  Near the end of the cooking time, I realized my folly in not sealing the crusts together with water: there were blueberry rivers running across my preventative cookie sheets (thank goodness I did that – otherwise that goop would have been in my oven burners).  The stuff was burning on the cookie sheets, and smoking like crazy.  I turned the oven fan on to prevent the smoke alarms going off, and pulled the finished pies out of the oven.

Jim and I “tested” one of the sugar pies while the big ones were cooling…the pastry was really good – not too dry, but a little bit flaky.

I’ll be serving the blueberry pies tonight when we have Jim’s parents and his favourite aunt over for supper…I can’t wait to taste them! 

My beautiful finished pie...

For all my piecrust-challenged sisters out there, here is Eleanor’s (courtesy of Canadian Living magazine) recipe:

NEVER FAIL PASTRY

Lard based pastry- can take a lot of handling, makes a large quantity that can be stored in fridge of freezer.

5 cups all purpose flour or 6 cups pastry flour

1 TBSP salt

1 pound lard

1 egg

1 TBSP vinegar

In a large mixing bowl combine flour and salt, cut lard until mix resembles coarse crumbs.

In a mixing bowl combine egg and vinegar, add enough water to make 1 cup. Gradually pour liquid over flour mixture until dough clings together, press into ball.

Pastry maybe rolled out immediately or wrapped and stored in fridge for 2 weeks, or can be frozen. Makes 6 pie shells or 3 double crusts.

Enjoy!

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Crazy Eights…

Since this is my 88th post, I am focussing on the number “8” today:

1. Jim and I started going out on May 8, 2008.  It seems like we’ve known each other forever!

Jim and I - Winter 2009 in our yard...

2. My birthday is July 17th – 1  + 7 = 8.  I am one of eight cousins on my mom’s side of the family.  I moved to Canada when I was eight years old.

3. We have lived in “our” house for one year and 8 months.  We still love it as much as the day we moved in on November 29, 2008

Our house (not our vehicle)...

4. Anna celebrated her 16th birthday on Tuesday, which is divisible by 8 (16, not Tuesday)She was born (eight days late) in the eighth month of 1994, and weighed 10 lbs., 8 1/2 oz. (no epidural – OUCH!).  That baby grew to be 5′8” tall.

My Sweet 16 Girl: Anna...

 

5. Our new living room furniture was also delivered on Tuesday.  There were 8 pieces: couch, loveseat, chair, ottoman, recliner, coffee table, and two end tables.  There is now seating for 8 people in our living room (if somebody sits on the ottoman).  It was about 8 seconds after the delivery guys left that we discovered the 8 cm. (about 3 inches for the Americans) rip in the top corner of the couch (they came and exchanged the couch the next day).

This is our new furniture (we got different tables though)...

6. When I came to the bookstore yesterday, there were 8 boxes of books waiting to be put away (I did five of them).  There were also five boxes of books to evaluate – it was basically junk – I kept only 8 books out of the whole bunch!

7. We got home from getting groceries just after 8 p.m. last night (we spent $80-something at Superstore).  I noticed that I now have 8 sunflowers open in the garden.  I left Jim and the kids to put the groceries away, and rushed outside to pick blueberries.  When I first went out, there was an 8-point buck standing in our field (that’s only the second time I’ve seen a buck out there).  There were a couple of does too.  In the front field, a flock of Canada geese were feasting on bugs stirred up by the recent haying activity.  I picked the blueberries, which took an hour…it’s a minor miracle that I didn’t spill them as I swatted at the approximately 800 bugs which insisted on flying up my back and down my pants!

This guy is like the buck I saw...

8. Proposition 8 was defeated in California yesterday!  Jim and I and our many gay friends are all very happy about that…gay marriage has been legal in Canada for several years (it was legal in 8 out of 10 provinces and in 1 of 3 territories from court decisions beginning in 2003 until July 20, 2005, when the Civil Marriage Act legalized same-sex marriages nationwide).  It’s about time the U.S. stepped into the 21st century!  My friend, Nancy, wrote her blog post about that today: http://nancygedney.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/hooray-prop-8-is-dead/

Gay Pride Flag...

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Of Birthdays, Bieber, Balloons, Beans, and Blueberry Pancakes…

Last Saturday was the day my youngest daughter, Hope, elected to celebrate her 12th birthday…she isn’t actually twelve until the 31st, but since that weekend is a holiday weekend in Canada, she often has trouble getting people to come to her party (Anna has the same problem with her August 3rd birthday).

On Monday, Jim took Hope to Sobeys to order her special photo cake…she is crazy about a young singer from Ontario called Justin Bieber…you may have heard of him.  He sings that song that keeps getting stuck in my head: “Baby, baby, baby, ohhhh!” Anna Photoshopped a picture of Hope and her teen idol together…this is what Hope wanted on her cake.

Anna's Photoshopped Picture of Justin and Hope...

Hope had invited about seven or eight friends to her party…I asked her to confirm how many were coming Saturday morning before I bought the food.  She was disappointed to find that only three girls were able to make it…”Having my birthday in the summer sucks!” she declared miserably.  I had to agree with her…mine is July 17th…I almost never had kids I knew from school at my parties…

We went to town to pick up the snacks and the cake.  Hope decided to have takeout pizza from Greco instead of the tacos she’d asked for originally…I was fine with that…it was deadly hot on Saturday, and I really wasn’t excited about cooking.  Anna helpfully reminded me of Hope’s allergic reaction to Greco pizza a few years before, after we’d already decided to get it…I decided we could risk it…the allergy had happened after repeated consumption over a period of weeks.

We got the chips, pop, ice cream, and Smore makings.  The cake was gorgeous (and not really expensive)!

The cake...

After we got back, I picked some blueberries.  Then I went on an expedition in the yard to find some good marshmallow-roasting sticks…wading through the thistles in our front field, I came to a likely-looking bush.  Whoops…don’t think so!  They were wild roses…a little prickly.  I went to the side yard, where there was some dead wood on an old apple tree…perfect!  I cut several sticks, and cautioned the kids not to wreck them…good sticks are hard to find!

While I was outside, Hope busied herself blowing up balloons…her oldest sister, Kaylee, hates them: “I’m going to chase Kaylee around with them when she gets here,” Hope said.  Such a loving sister…

The party was set to start at four…Jim and I went to pick up the pizza…the guests arrived while we were gone.

We arrived back to find out that one of Hope’s friends had issues with eating cheese…I felt bad because I didn’t know…she said she’d just pick it off the pizza.  We all ate pizza and garlic fingers (the adults took theirs out on the deck where it was quieter).

After supper, Hope opened her presents…quite a haul considering the small guest list…she’s in town spending her birthday money as we speak!  She pretended to be surprised when she opened her cellphone (we’d picked it up on Thursday – she’d been using it constantly since then).  The girls had a great time batting the balloons around the living room at each other.

Then it was time for cake…Hope requested “Justin’s head.”  I cut carefully around his haircut…Hope winced as I sliced under his chin.  She stuffed the whole piece in her mouth at once!  Her friends, most of whom were not Bieber fans, took turns poking his chest with a sparkler…mean girls!

Hope and Justin's head...

Justin's head disappears...

Kaylee had requested some veggies from our garden…I took her and Scott outside and harvested some salad greens, some chives, some peas, and gave them a bag of green/yellow/purple beans I’d picked the night before.

I played with Elise a little bit before they went home…her hair and teeth are coming in nicely…can’t believe she’ll be a year old in September!

Elise...ten-and-a-half months old...

Hope and her friends played on the trampoline, and then Jim lit a bonfire in the firepit for them to do the Smores.  They weren’t outside very long before deciding to come in.  Up to Hope’s room they went to giggle and do what tween girls do…paint each other’s nails, and listen to bad music too loud!

I stayed up way too late writing my blog, and went upstairs to bed about 12:30.  I told the girls they would need to settle down, since I was going to bed.  About 1 a.m., there was a knock on my door…Hope reported that the girl with cheese problems didn’t feel well and her dad was coming to get her.  I heard the dad arrive (Jake barked) but fell asleep after that…I have no idea what time the girls finally conked out… 

Hope called me on the intercom at 9 a.m. Saturday morning: “What are you making us for breakfast?”  I felt like a truck had been driving over me…rolling back and forth, repeatedly, the entire night…

After consultation with the remaining two party guests, Hope elected pancakes and hash browns for breakfast.  I dragged my butt downstairs in my jammies to prepare their feast.  Opening the fridge to get the milk, I saw the blueberries I’d picked the day before…I’d surprise the girls and put them in the pancakes!

Pancake Batter...

That went over like a lead balloon: “They’re kinda sour, Mom,” said Hope.  I thought they were amazing!

Blueberry Pancakes...yummy!

During breakfast, Hope informed me that one of the girls needed a drive home…luckily, the other girl lived close by.  I decided to ask her mom if she’d mind dropping her off.

When 11:00 came, the mom arrived, and she said she’d drive the extra kid…good thing, because Jim wasn’t up yet…

After the kids were gone, our Sunday went back to normal…got the dishwasher and the laundry started…Anna and Hope went back to their usual arguing…

Anna’s 16th birthday is the next one…don’t know if she’s having a party or not…can’t wait…

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Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!…

I have to preface this post by saying that I’ve never been a very observant person…

I used to watch “Gomer Pyle, USMC” every day after school…I loved it when Gomer said: “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!”  I’ve had a few surprises this week:

"Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!"

On Monday, I went out to read on the deck…the sun was out, and it was very hot, so I took a lawn chair down under the trees in the back yard.  I looked up and was startled to see loads of beautiful ripe cherries hanging from a tree that I had been saying all this spring I was going to Google to find out what kind it was!  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I ran in the house and got all three girls and brought them outside to show them!  Then I got a bowl and started picking all I could reach (Hope helped for a while, but the other two went back to their laptops).  I got a good-sized bowlful, but could see lots more higher up.  Off I went to the garage in search of a ladder.  There was a big wooden stepladder, but it was behind a bunch of stuff.  Being the lazy sort, I grabbed the small 2-step ladder off the wall.  Setting it up in a level place in the grass under the tree, I mounted the first step. It was at that point that I made my second discovery…my balance at age 49 is shot!  I looked like one of those blowup punching Charlies we used to have when we were kids.  I didn’t fall off the ladder, but that’s because I didn’t venture any higher than the first step (I blamed it on the wind)!  Totally defeated, I put the ladder away and took my bowl of cherries into the house.  “What are you going to do with them?” Jim asked.  “I guess we’ll just eat them,” I said dejectedly.  There weren’t enough to make a pie or anything (and that’s assuming I could make piecrust, which I can’t).  The discovery prompted me to check on the progress of the wild red raspberries beside the back deck…they were ready too…I ate them all!

Cherries...

Last night, Jim and I watched a British sitcom he downloads called “The IT Crowd.”  One of the major characters is getting a massage when something totally unexpected happens…I knew something was going to happen, but never would have suspected that in a million years…the title of the episode is “Something Happened” if you want to find it yourself…be prepared to laugh yourself silly!

The IT Crowd...

Tomorrow is Jim’s 48th birthday.  Anna and Brianna had hatched a plan last night – they wanted me to get Jim out of the house so they could make him a birthday cake with fondant icing – they’d seen a video on how to do it, and wanted to try it.  Today was the day.  I offered to take Jim to see a movie – it was “Reel Deal” day – only $5.99 per ticket.  We decided on “Inception.”  The folks at rottentomatoes.com gave it an 85%, and I’m always in the mood to watch Leonardo DiCaprio (Joseph Gordon Leavitt was in it too – the funny kid from Third Rock From the Sun).  Jim also wanted to show me some of the new furniture he’d been looking at for the living room.

Joseph Gordon Leavitt in a scene from one of my favourite movies...500 Days of Summer...

We were getting ready to go, when Jim looked out the window and noticed that some of the leaves on the flowering crab were kind of yellow.  It has been really dry, so I suggested that perhaps the weather had something to do with it.  I said I’d check them out while I was waiting for him.  “Hmmm…don’t know whether that’s dryness, or some sort of crabapple tree disease…I’ll have to Google this,” I thought.  At that precise moment, I glanced over at the eight bushes lined up beside the crabapple tree…they were covered with berries that looked strangely familiar…one of them was blue!  I yelled at Jim, “No way…these are blueberries!  And not wild ones, either!”  I called him over to see the berries, which were huge.  I’ve never seen high-bush blueberries before, and these would not present a problem to pick without a ladder!  Did I mention I’ve never met a berry I didn’t like?

We got in the van as I babbled excitedly about all the blueberries I would be able to put in the freezer.  I made plans to go and pick blackberries at my favourite secret spot on our next holidays in August (we’ll have some blackberries in our patch beside the rhubarb, but not enough to satisfy my appetite for them).

Blackberries...

We were halfway down the road when I realized I’d forgotten my cell phone.  We were at the theatre when Jim remembered he hadn’t brought his insulin – no chocolate for him!  We got a popcorn to share, and Jim bought a big diet Coke (I never get a drink at the movies – it just makes me have to pee!).  I munched on some Junior Mints too.

Junior Mints..."They're Delicious!"

The movie was okay, although it was very confusing, and there was a lot of violence!  There was no expense spared in production costs for sure!  Jim liked the “science fictiony” aspect of it.  It had good-looking guys, and a couple of laughs, so I was good too.

After the movie, we stopped at a couple of furniture stores.  One saleswoman confided that she’s lost 40 lbs. when she first started working there…maybe I should look into a job selling furniture…

I wasn’t impressed with most of what we saw…it all looked the same to me…I think that’s why I like old stuff, because it’s unique.  I did like a couple of accent chairs.  We didn’t buy anything today.

The couches we saw were boring, like this one...

On the way home, Anna called (on Jim’s phone).  She wanted to know where we were – she said the fondant project had been a “huge fail.”  I mentioned that I had predicted that…

When we got home, Anna put frozen pizza in the oven, and I went out to the garden to gather greens for a salad.  Jim made his famous garlic bread.  When everyone had their fill, the girls brought out the cake…I wish I’d thought to take a picture.  The fondant was green, and covered a two-layer white cake, with buttercream frosting under the fondant.  They had spelled Jim’s name in bubble fondant letters on the top.  Anna told me the fondant had stuck to everything…Brianna’s hands were stained green!  We ate the cake anyway…it was good!

As I was getting ready to hit “publish” for this post, a big earwig crawled up onto my mouse hand.

These guys are all over our house...

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

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