Summertime happiness

Summer. While in some ways it is still in full force — warm weather and sunny days — it is also on its way out. My company has half day Fridays during the summer and we only have 3 left for this year. Somehow that makes me want to slow down the clock and enjoy every moment of every half day Friday. Once Labor Day hits, we return to a full five-day work week, and it just makes life different. Those extra daytime hours you get back during the summer makes things that much brighter, shinier, and it feels like a longer weekend.

Our summer has been mellow and yet full of change and growth. In my opinion, it’s just how it should be. We have completed a ton of projects around our house and yard, strategized for which upcoming projects have a higher priority or what we should shell out some green in order to proactively fix or repair certain things. We have sat in the sun, done our fair share of grilling, eating seasonal berries and tomatoes, exploring artisan fairs and farmers markets, oh I could go on.

Summer is my favorite time of year. The days are long, the sun is out, it is warm, if not just downright HOT. Freckles begin to populate on my arms, face, and back. There is just a healthy glow that surrounds everyone, not to mention the happiness that exudes almost everyone (especially in Oregon where sunshine is in shortage for nine months out of the year). During the winter I burrow inside and read a book. In the summer I bask in the sun while I read and take cat naps between chapters. What is not to love about that? As with any season of the year, summer is a time of transformation, and I appreciate all the precious moments I have had this summer with Chris, at work, with family (even if it is via text or Facetime). Life is good. I have no complaints.

What do you love about summer?

Fresh grown tomatoes

I have just grown my first tomatoes. 

I know I am light years behind most folks, especially Barbara Kingsolver, who wrote “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” but you see I never really liked tomatoes too much. Yes, I like some ketchup for my fries, I enjoy a tasty red sauce, and of course there is whatever tops my pizza, but raw tomatoes were never my thing. Until recently. I cannot remember what the turning point was this summer, but I started eating cherry tomatoes with mozzarella, basil, and olive oil. Yes, I know it is called caprese salad. But, you see, I always had caprese sans tomatoes, and now I have the complete shabang. Maybe I’m a late bloomer.

In June of this summer I purchased a tomato starter at our local farmer’s market. I was excited for all the bounty it would bring us this summer. It is called “Oregon Spring” and was developed by Oregon State University. My $3 starter has yielded 3 tomatoes. As a late bloomer to tomatoes, and as a non-green thumb, I am stoked. Although I have to confess, Chris has watered them every day, so really he should be the proud farmer.

As you can see from the first photo, the first tomato is ready, and we cut into it last night. While some of you may say it is a sin to put it into a caprese salad, remember that I am a late bloomer. Baby steps. I still have to learn what varieties are good to grow for what types of eating, just like what types of wine are best to drink with which foods. Ah, there is so much to learn in the world, right?

I am off to gloat about my bounty, however small it may be.