The Storm Before the Calm

Tomorrow we leave for the UK. We will be there for a nice long visit and doing some things we only dreamed we would ever do; like attending a live (mostly) Monty Python performance, walking the Welsh coast, and seeing our son perform Shakespeare in Oxford. I am beyond excited.

But tomorrow is another day. Today is last minute stuff: trips to the bank, looong holds waiting to deal with impenetrable insurance bureaucracy, wrapping one last batch of caramels, cleaning the chicken coop, putting up some elderberry honey vinegar. You know, stuff like that. And of course there was a break for pastrami sandwiches at Wexler’s Deli downtown.BBQUm . . . . the sandwich didn’t hang around long enough to snap a picture. So the photo above is actually from the nearby¬†Smoke City Market (woot for the San Fernando Valley) which also does a serious pastrami.

So now I’ve decided to populate this post with photos, such as the one above, that I like but haven’t found a home anywhere yet, like on Facebook or on my¬†Instagram feed.apple_rosemary_jellyHere is some apple rosemary jelly I made with apples and rosemary from my garden. I was really happy to put some of our summer garden in jar so I could revisit this season at another time . . . The past month has been a whirlwind of jam making: white peach basil, plum rose, strawberry pinot noir, aprium, etc. But now, I am happy to put a lid on all the jam-making and get out and about in the world.

I love the finality of leaving on a plane. Once those doors close, that’s it. No more errands to run or things to get ready – you’re done. Stressing done. Make do with what you’ve got at that point and/or improvise from there. It’s a kind of new start. Liberating.pippi_playingAt this point I’m looking forward to those flying feelings, but I’m not there yet. Miles to go before I hit the road, really. So no more sitting at a computer for me – these feets were made for hiking in Wales. But first maybe I should put some lotion on them . . .feetinjeansBest wishes for a happy and safe summer from NerdHaven West! And special thanks to Jesse and Kerry (and their loveable rottweiler, “Tony”) who will be manning the homestead while we are gone. I’ll be posting from the road.



My CSA Box: Blueberries

One berry, two berry, pick me a blueberry, as they say in Jamberry. This past weekend I had one berry, two berry, eight pounds of blueberries. I made a special order from my CSA – a typical box dosn’t just come with eight pounds of blueberries. Eight pounds was overwhelming for about a minute. And now they are all used up – just like that. Continue reading

The Road Taken

Today I did not write a summary judgment motion. I did not teach a college course. I did not give calm and kind counsel to ten women taking their first steps to extricate themselves from domestic violence.

What I did today was: make pomegranate jelly. It took the better part of the day – the most productive part of the day. And really, I should include the time to juice those suckers – so two hours of a previous day gets added in as well. And what I have to show for it is: 8 jars of jelly. It’s fairly tasty and the product of our backyard tree – genuine product of Nerdhaven Farms. But still . . . is this all there is?

As I was . . . jelling (i.e., stirring, jell testing, failing jell test, stirring, repeat until loco), I thought of a friend of mine – a law school classmate. He was loving his work as a litigator, even starting his own firm. We had an ongoing conversation about work/life balance. Him having, um, none; and me desperately seeking more – litigation and marriage/parenting being diametrically opposing missions.

I remember him saying how it made no sense for him to do housework, cooking, errands, or whatever, because his time was better spent working, where he earned money to pay people to do those things for him and still came out with a sizable profit. I was repulsed when I tried to imagine living my life that way. I felt he was paying someone to live his life for him.

I wanted to be involved in my whole life – like putting my own damn laundry away. At least I would know where my clothes were and I wouldn’t put my sweater – the favorite one that my husband brought me back from Iceland – in the dryer (have I had experiences with house cleaners? Yes.) I wanted to approach my life from a participant’s standpoint, not from a supervisor’s standpoint. No surprise then that I left that firm and took a few years of Mom-time with my then toddler.

Now several years later, I chose the Mom road again and I am very pleased about it. I know what stuff I have and where it is (for the most part) and how to clean it. That’s not to say I don’t look back: let’s take a moment to acknowledge this housewife business can be totally tedious. But as I think about it, there is very little more tedious (sometimes) than lawyering.

What I am glad about now is I am dealing with the simple, daily consequences of my family’s life. We wear clothes. I wash them. We make messes. I clean them. We own things. I take care of them. We (well, one of us) eats a PBJ almost daily. I make pomegranate jelly. And, because I am my own damn supervisor, I also make chocolate chip cookies just cuz I feel like it: