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For the last 8 years, I toiled in the salt mines of private practice, dreaming of the day when I would have a REAL vacation. (Trust me on this, young Jedi, when the on-campus interviewers tell you about their firm's belief in "balance" and the importance of leisure time, they are LYING.) Anyway, this year those dreams of leisure came true, when I left private practice to take a job with the State and used that career shift as an opportunity to take a month off in between jobs. Of course, my idea of leisure may not be the same as yours - here's how I spent my summer vacation:
THE BOOK DRIVE
For the last three years I have organized a book drive for the benefit of the library at a nearby women's prison. Last year's drive was so successful that we were able to stock TWO libraries, and I won an award. Usually running the drive meant spending my evenings and weekends sorting through the donated books and delivering them to the prison a few boxes at a time on those rare days when I could be a little late to the office. As a result, it was often a 4-month period from the beginning of the drive to the final delivery. This year, however, I was able to devote two full weeks to the collection, sorting and delivery process and got it all done at once!
This year's summer crop:
"Purple Romano," "Kentucky Blue," and "Jade" beans;
"Dusky," "Casper," and "Little Fingers" eggplants;
"Pizza," "Holy Mole," "Long Thin Cayenne," "Korean Hot," and "Lipstick" peppers;
"Super Marzano," "Beaverlodge," "Cherokee Purple," "White Currant," and "Saucy" tomatoes;
Pumpkins, Delicate and Buttercup squash
PUTTING FOOD BY . . .
I learned how to make jam and jelly (don't ask about why the strawberry sauce is "sauce" and not "jam") - Clockwise starting from center: blackberry jam, habanero jelly (peppers from last year - it's amazing how well they freeze), candied and pickled watermelon rind, strawberry sauce, pickled eggplant (really more like a tapenade) and dilled beans.
. . . AND MAKING SOME TO EAT IMMEDIATELY
I perfected my "no knead" bread.
I took a bicycle repair class from a local mechanic, Tori Bortman - here she is pointing out the attributes of the hi-tech "poke-o-meter" that she presented to me at graduation.
A TRIP TO THE COAST
Greg and I took the dogs to the beach - they played in the water, we hiked and drank beer
AND, OF COURSE, I RODE MY BIKE.
12 rides, 732 miles . . . .some with ferries