Berries and Cost-Benefit Ratios

One of the best things about summer in Maine is fresh strawberries (also, raspberries and blackberries) and fresh sweet corn on the cob. Sadly, none of these stay around for more than a couple months at best, so you have to strike while the iron is hot and make it to farmer’s markets before everyone snatches them up (especially the berries around this house…the little goddess devours them).

Or you need to go pick your own.

Pick-your-own berry farms are pretty accessible in the state, and so yesterday me and the wee deity girl went to one about a half-hour away while mom was busy at work (truthfully, it was a work day for me, too, but I work from home and I hadn’t yet gotten pages to proof, so my morning was free).

Now, certainly, my back was in agony after about an hour. My right knee, which had been sketchy for a couple weeks, wasn’t too happy either. But at around $2.25 per pound, it was worth the trip, the time and the pain, as a quart-sized container can cost around $7 at a farmer’s market. With the 18.5 pounds the goddess and I picked during our hour there, we probably got at least 10 quarts for $41, so yeah, that’s worth it. Especially when your wife can make a kick-ass strawberry sorbet, now a strawberry lemonade as well, strawberry shortcake…oh, and freezing some for smoothies as well as putting a bunch in the fridge for snacking.

My wife took one for the team and did all the slicing off of the leafy tops at home, since the little girl and I did all that time in the hot sun and sweaty humidity.

Here are a few pics:

strawberry-picking_July2013_01  My girl, doing what she does best during one of these outings…eating strawberries while I’m busy picking them. Still, I will give her credit for picking about 2 pounds worth of our haul (I think I’m being generous) as well as providing me with conversation/comic relief.


They look so sweet and innocent, these bushes…and so low to the ground and unfriendly to middle-aged bodies. Believe me, after only an hour, I can say that whatever their pay, farm laborers should be paid more, even if it means my grocery costs go up.

strawberry-picking_July2013_03This is what 18.5 pounds of fresh-picked strawberries looks like. I had them mounded pretty high in that flat. In half an hour of driving back home, only two rolled free. I may suck at a lot of things, but packing and space management aren’t two of them.

Precious Metal

When my daughter first started losing teeth, her biggest worry was whether she would also lose her very recently acquired ability to whistle. Now that she’s lost four teeth in the front of her mouth and her shrill skill is unabated, her concerns have apparently shifted.

Yesterday morning, as I’m trying to catch an extra 15 minutes of sleep on the daybed in my office while the coffee is brewing downstairs and my wife is snoozing in our room, I hear tiny feet padding up the stairs to my office.


“What, Honey?” I groan softly.

“One of my teeth is loose.”

“Okaayyyy. Is it about to come out right now? Do you need me to pull it?” I asked, hoping upon hope that the answer is no and that I can soon go back to dozing.


“Then why are you waking me up to tell me this?”

“Because I really wish it was one of my silver teeth and it isn’t.”

This is probably where it’s useful to point out that the two back teeth on the bottom left of her mouth and the same two on the bottom right all have full crowns on them and have for a couple years now. Not because she stunk at brushing or because we sucked at being parents but because it’s a common thing among kids who nurse a lot for the first couple (or few) years of life, because the milk pools in the back of their mouth overnight while they sleep, and the bacteria do a happy dance all over the teeth because of that.

My daughter doesn’t dislike those teeth. In fact, she seems to find them cool.

However, ever since we let her keep the last tooth she lost as a memento, she’s been eying those silver-capped teeth like they were made of solid platinum and asking if she can keep all four of them when they fall out.

Now she’s bummed when they aren’t the teeth that get loose.

She is not renowned for her patience.

I don’t think she has the ability or willingness to do any amateur dentistry for a self-extraction…but I’m going to make sure all my pliers are hidden away all the same.