Summer, summer, summertime — Part 1

It’s been quiet around here, but life is anything but — retreats, travel, bicycling, weddings — here’s a peek at the past 30 days.

On Friday, June 12, my mom and her friend Catherine traveled to St. Louis to join me for a mindfulness retreat.  Before heading to the retreat center on Friday night, we had a fun dinner at Lulu’s Local Eatery.  I had my first taste of jackfruit (just featured in Feast Mag) in Lulu’s “BBQ Jack” sandwich — sooooooo good!  I’m looking forward to purchasing canned [in brine] jackfruit from one of our international grocers to I can experiment.

After dinner, Matthew and Gabriel headed home, and the rest of our party journeyed to South County for the Awakening Joy retreat, a non-residential mindfulness retreat (based on the eponymous course and book) led by James Baraz.

My first weekend mindfulness retreat was non-residential, and my plan was for my next retreat to be residential, but even though it didn’t fit with my plan, the Awakening Joy retreat sounded too good to miss.  Between the retreat and working my way through the book, I’m learning a lot about how we can “rewire our brains for happiness.”

Anyhow, we left the retreat center on Sunday afternoon (June 14), picked up Gabriel from the garden, and drove to Iowa.  G and I spent four days with my family before flying back to St. Louis on the 18th.

I had tentative plans to pick blueberries on Friday, June 19th, but the weather had other ideas.  It had already been raining in St. Louis for most of the week, and we had another inch on that Friday alone, so I delayed until Saturday, still not sure what I’d find after all the rain.  On Friday night, we had an impromptu date night — Clementine’s for ice cream and then a walk in Lafayette Park, where the fireflies treated us to an unexpected show.

Despite my fears of a muddy, buggy mess, on Saturday I mostly found blueberries, glorious blueberries!  There was mud on the way to the bushes, but the rows between the bushes were heavily mulched and not muddy at all.  The berries were at their peak — both bigger berries and larger clusters that were ripe led to faster picking.  I picked 20 quarts in three hours.  (For comparison, my MIL and I picked a little later in the season last year and got about the same amount of berries with two pickers.)

On Sunday, June 21, we made a Father’s Day brunch for Matthew’s dad.  That evening, Matthew and I had a bicycle date night to see fireflies in Forest Park (they were good, but not better than the unplanned viewing on Friday night).

The week of June 22 brought a meeting with someone in the dietetics program at Fontbonne University and lots of prep for our CyclingSavvy course.  Friday night and Saturday (June 26 & 27) were all about CyclingSavvy.  We were blessed with amazing late-June weather (no rain and warm, but not hot), and we had a great group of students complete the course.

Sunday morning we rested (by which I mean I rested some and did some cleaning and Matthew prepped and roasted a ton of veggies!) before heading to a wedding in the afternoon and evening.  We left the reception just in time to get caught in a really bad storm (buckets of rain, hail, really strong winds, lightning, etc.) — fortunately, we’d taken the car instead of biking, but it was still really scary.  I was glad to make it home safely (of course by then the worst of it was over).

I’ll leave things there for now — but the summer fun is not over: parades, parties, weddings, and naked bike rides are still to come!


  1. Tom says:

    It has been an eventful summer (and year!!).

    Looking forward to seeing you good people next weekend.

  2. Tracy says:

    I went there almost a week later and it took me 4.5 hours but I had a 2 and a 5 year old “helping” me or rather eating the blueberries. Thanks for the info. I plan to pick next year and leave time for canning and not just freezing

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Ha — I can imagine that the two of them cut into your take a bit, not to mention the time wrangling two little people!

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