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Not dead, just busy.

th-1This morning I realized it’s been nine days since I posted. That’s not good, but it’s sometimes inevitable. Times are I get too bound-up in real life and can’t find time first to come up with a topic and then to write it.

Unfortunately, I may maintain radio silence for another week or so. Blame a combination of visiting relatives (they get here Sunday and will stay for a week), everyday deadlines, some fill-in child care for two families and a couple of special projects.

And, of course, the tail-end of a particularly amazing Alaska summer.

None of those things is particularly onerous (especially the summer part). Taken together, they’ve usurped all my waking hours. Occasionally they follow me into my dreams, e.g., waking up with a start and thinking, “Is that piece due today or tomorrow? Do I have enough research to finish it? Did I ever get in touch with that specialist?”

 


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A good wash day.

Definitely turning into my mthother: I am now identifying sunny, windy days like today in terms of laundry.

For the past couple of months I’ve called every balmy and breezy morning “a good wash day.” Because that’s what it is.

This has been a particularly warm summer and DF and I have used the clothesline to the maximum. If it isn’t laundry we’re hanging out, it’s the bedclothes and pillowcases: They smell so marvelous after a few hours in the air and sun.

I’ll even cop to looking for laundry where there is none, e.g., “Is it time to do a load of towels and bathrobes?” or “Have we washed the comforter lately?” Failing that, I’ll put the bedclothes out for the second day in a row.

My mom would approve. Like us, she hardly ever used the clothes dryer. None of the adult women I knew did. Why add to the electric bill when sun and wind are free?

 


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A tomato haiku.

thThe first tomato sandwiches of the year have been enjoyed. Maybe a little too much, since the sighs I made while eating sounded nearly coital.

But dang, there’s nothing like eating a tomato that five minutes ago was on the vine in your own greenhouse.

Hence the haiku:

Just-picked tomato

Fresh bread, mayo, salt, pepper

Jersey girl heaven. 

If this were New Jersey I wouldn’t need a greenhouse – just a patch of dirt almost anywhere. My childhood neighbor had one come up in the middle of the lawn, uninvited.

 


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Putting food by.

GetAttachmentThe photo is a glimpse of harvest mania at Chez DIY. Those underachievers in the small glass dish are strawberries picked from our tiny patch, which we hope to expand in years to come.

In the bowl and large measuring cup are four quarts of raspberries that DF and I picked in an evening, quitting before we’d gotten them all. We’ve already frozen 14 quarts of the things for his oatmeal and my homemade yogurt, and also to eat the Alaska way: only partially thawed and with a big dump of sugar.

On the left are jars of jam I’d made from a previous session; it’s the second batch I’ve made this year. Seeing those jars gives me the urge to make another one.

Not that we need a third batch, or maybe even that second one; we’re still using up jam from last year. But I don’t want the backyard bounty to go to waste — and part of me doesn’t even want to give them away.

That’s the part of me that feels, every year, that primal urge: Winter is coming. Put food by.

 


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thHot enough for ya? That’s what I figured. Although recent temperatures aren’t unduly onerous except in places like Phoenix, even an 80-something day can take the starch right out of you.

That’s why this week’s giveaway is a two-pronged approach to beating the heat: a literary getaway and a cold to drink, consumed in an air-conditioned place, to go with it.

 


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