Blueberries, Beads and Border Collies

This was my second  morning arriving early to the blueberry fields of Molino (pronounced Mo-LEEN-o), Florida.  The A&N Blueberry Farm ( has the tallest blueberry bushes I’ve ever seen, six to seven feet tall.  Each bush is filled with shiny, grape sized tasty gems.  Raising my bucket underneath the heavily laden branches I could almost milk the berries into the bucket.  The joke about weighing us before and after we picked was not met with laughter by the staff.  They’ve probably heard that line a million times. 

Like any place involving the public it was a good opportunity to people watch.  There were the serious pickers and the fifteen-minute and they’re done pickers, the quiet pickers and the blah-blah-blah, I like to hear myself talk, pickers.  Of course the moms with the screaming kids showed up, although the intense heat weeded them out quickly.  One young woman showed up with her three sons, she freshly showered and heavily doused in perfume.  She soon came back to the main booth, screaming and complaining.  She asked the staff if something could be done about the problem of a hornet chasing her relentlessly.  The sales lady recommended bug spray. It was only when my country raised friend turned to the mom and said the bees were attracted to her perfume that the lady realized the fault was hers.  “Boys, maybe we should come another day.  I just got out of the shower”, she said, looking at me.  My bucket was filled with twenty pounds of blueberries, my clothes were damp from sweat and the morning dew on the grass and bushes, and my hair was loosely tied back with a hair clip.  Maybe she was hoping a reality TV camera crew was going to show up and she’d be ready for her debut?

My current bead project is a seahorse amulet bag designed by Amy Loh-Kupser (  It will take a month or so to finish.  I’ll add embellishments of my own afterwards and will post a picture.

The dogs aren’t doing well in the Florida summer heat.  They pretty much lie quietly on the cool cement garage floor.  Even when released into the back yard they only run around the tall oak tree, not leaving its shade. No mid-day dog training for them.  Yesterday I made a training list of items to work on with Levi, which will ultimately result in a successful debut in the Utility ring.  We need consistent practice; more, more, and more.  He’s a willing partner; in that, I am lucky.  Bring out a dumbbell and he’s good to go.  It is no longer work for him but a game we play.  He is my second once-in-a lifetime dog.

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