Okay, there are spiders in our tomato plants. Which is largely beneficial– except that I should say it like this: there are too many spiders in our tomato plants. And I don’t want to hear your, “I thought you weren’t afraid of spiders,” because I’m not. At the same time, I am a human being– so quite naturally I don’t want to stick my upper body into the dense mass of green that is our tomato garden, and come out covered in arachnids. I’ve been working around them for about a month now, but this morning my largesse came to an end: as I was reaching waaaaaaay in underneath one of the plants, I saw tiny movement right in front of my face. It was a spider, rearing back and aiming its gross little fangs at me– about an inch from my left eye.
That, my friends, was that. I had to call in Dave to help me dispatch some of them. Then, when Gabby and I were picking tomatoes later, we selected a few more for extinction. There are funnel spiders in the zucchini, by the way, but since they can’t sneak up on us and try to puncture our eyeballs, we have a mutual understanding.
Just, these spiders in the tomato plants: sorry, guys. As usual, one jackass has ruined it for everyone.
What I love about the summertime is the general feeling that everyone is, at least partially, on vacation. It’s the season of drinks on the patio on a Tuesday night, and of never ever having to pack lunches, and most of the things on the schedule being fun and not obligatory. Now that we’re in August, though, it’s like, “The party is over, losers!!!!!” Some of the few good things about August are the parade of birthdays (Jeff, Ezra, Janey, Pauly, my Gabbilicious, and more) and my parents’ anniversary, which is today.
Mainly, though, once we’re in the month of August, I can see nine months of alarm clocks and algebra homework staring me in the face. Booooooooo.
Gabby and I have been keeping a tally of what our garden has produced this summer. So far, among the herbs (tons) and peppers (fair) and cucumbers (so many fewer cukes this year, what’s up with that?) and the tomatoes which have just begun to present themselves– although two of the plants are currently being guarded by a pair of gigantic spiders, so Gabs and I will have to call in Dave to make it safe for us– so far our little garden has produced 38 zucchini.
I have shared many of these with my friend Joelle– once I texted her to make sure she still wanted them. Because, you know, zucchini is somehow the red-headed stepchild of the summer garden to some people. Just Google “too much zucchini” and you will find many articles which commiserate with your problem. However I have this (I guess) weird love for the zucchini, and so does Joelle, fortunately. We’ve been trading zucchini chips and zucchini bread back and forth all summer. See? How awesome is that? Why would you not want every squash your garden can produce?
I was outside this morning, checking out the garden before Gabby gets up– there’s at least one more zucchini ready to go, and I think Dave needs to come vanquish the Tomato Guards now– and I was thinking this: WHY can’t I grow a single damn strawberry? I try every year. Every year the plant looks happy as can be and never bears a single berry.
Ah well. If you come over today you can have some zucchini bread.
Yesterday during my run, I did something to my right hamstring. Fortunately my friend Michelle drove by while I was doing the Walk of Workout Shame, and she gave me a ride home. (Thanks, Michelle!!!!!!) Then I proceeded to let the screen door close on my right heel, taking out a good-sized chunk. I tried to wear regular shoes to work, but my heel was like “I don’t think so, Crazy Klutz–” so I wore sandals instead.
And then promptly opened a door which, unbeknownst to me, had the metal doorstop down, and scraped my toes open. Yes, on my right foot. (PS- I was texting photos of the progressing injury all night long. I’m such a baby/ attention whore when I hurt myself.)
I blame my mom. I get my grace direct from her.
This weekend, the gentlemen in our house drove 6 hours in one direction while the ladies drove 4 hours in the opposite direction. We had lacrosse and dance. It turned out to be the most incredible, winningest weekend ever: Cam’s team went undefeated and won their tournament, while Gabby was on top of her game and could do no wrong at her competition. (In one category, she FELL DOWN and they still gave her fourth place.) Dave and I had the most unbelievable text exchanges:
DAVE: Cam scores!!!!!
JULIE: Awesome!!!!! Gabby placed third in treble reel!
DAVE: Solid. And a WIN for Cam!!!!
JULIE: Gabby just won the treble jig!!!!
DAVE: Top seed, moving into the championship bracket!!!
JULIE: GABBY JUST QUALIFIED FOR REGIONALS IN THE HORNPIPE!!!!!!!
DAVE: BOYS WIN!!! CHAMPIONS!!!!!
……Like that. (We steadily used our caps lock more and more as you can see.) At one point Dave texted me, “I’m going to have a heart attack,” and I totally agreed. All the stars aligned for our children this weekend. It was such an incredible rush– and I’m totally bitter about missing so much excellent lacrosse, even while I’m thrilled to have been there to watch Gabby set that place on fire. It was just an excellent, amazing weekend, and we’re all still coming off the high.
And what about the J, you ask? –Oh, she had her annual well-check just before we left. Her pediatrician thinks she’ll be at least 5′-7″. How. Unexpected. Is THAT.
I’ve said it before: it’s fun to watch the kids do their thing, no matter what the outcome. But it’s freaking WAAAAAAAAAAAAY AWESOME to watch them win.
I want to ask this question: how many people have to die senselessly before we enact laws to protect us all– not from those responsible gun owners, but from monsters like this? When will we stop screaming “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and notice that, in other countries where gun control is stricter, these acts are not prevalent? At what point is a “crazy drifter-” which is EXACTLY how I just heard the latest mass murdering gunman described on the news– not going to be given access to weapons with which he can kill many people in the blink of an eye? When will we make that correlation? When will the knee-jerk reaction stop and common sense kick in?
This breaks my heart. We need change. We need more structure. We. Need. Stronger. Gun. Laws.
Things I love about the teenage boys I drive to and from lacrosse:
- their passionate, ongoing discussion of lacrosse gear
- their jokes- some of which I am somehow not supposed to hear or understand, despite being a sentient being 3 feet away
- their crazy shorts
- their offhand, polite “Thanks, Mrs. D,” as they load out of the car and lope toward the field
Things I do not love about the teenage boys I drive to and from lacrosse:
- that wall of sweaty funk that hits you in the face, about 10 seconds after they get back into the car. Oh my God.
I woke up the J this morning for swimming lessons. She rolled over, yawned and stretched, opened her eyes and saw me. “Oh, good morning, Mommy! I’m happy to see you!” she said, and held out her arms for a hug.
Guinness, after his triumphant and rather traumatizing capture of a baby rabbit in our yard last week, has had another win in his incessant guarding of our yard against all tiny animals evil invaders. Behold the text conversation I had with Gabby last night:
JULIE: See you in a few kiddo. Love you.
GABBY: KK [Here she texted a million hearts and smilies, because she’s 11]
GABBY: Oh btw guinness caught a full grown finch
Got that? Guinness freaking snatched a bird out of the air. When I got home, the kids were all in a thrilled panic– scrambling to tell me how amazing/ horrifying it was, and describing in detail every millisecond of the Animal Planet-style attack they had witnessed, and telling me how the dog pranced around the yard afterward like a gladiator, bird in mouth.
My knee is bothering me after a tough workout yesterday, so instead of running I took Guinness for a long walk early this morning. Watching him strut down the sidewalk, looking confidently around him, challenging all comers, I remembered the frightened, stressed-out dog we adopted almost three years ago, and how I used to have to pick him up and carry him home when too many leaves blew across his path. Now that little guy thinks the neighborhood is his to command. Which is great– just, you know, maybe a little less Wild Kingdom around here might be nice too.
- First of all, if you get bored reading this, you can head over to Goop, where my favorite dried cornstalk Gwyneth Paltrow is teaching us all the proper way to yawn. I love her so so much.
- We threw a surprise retirement party for my mom on Sunday. It was so gratifying to see how many people came to thank her for everything she’s done. Plus, five Irish-Italian siblings kept it a secret from her for months, which is actually amazing.
- Remember how I lost my Fitbit in Virginia? And I’ve been all despondent ever since? Well, thank God, Dave got tired of me musing whether any of my steps actually counted anymore, and got me a new one. It’s embarrassing, how attached I am to this thing.
- Did I tell you that Cammy was pulled up to JV for a tournament over the weekend? Did I tell you that he performed exactly the function the coaches needed from him (provide a pair of fresh midfielder legs to advance the play) and was just rock-solid? Also I might have a tiny amount of bias.
- Addie J is really sensitive to mosquito bites, and she is just covered in them right now. She’s taken Benadryl and we’ve used cortisone cream on the bites themselves. We tried mashed peppermint leaves, mashed basil leaves, and vinegar– two of those didn’t work and one left a burn on her skin. Any other ideas?
- My brother-in-law texted me yesterday, looking for free dates for his son’s birthday party. Because I was in the middle of a viewing of Magic Mike XXL (review: so good! It was about friendship and supporting each other’s dreams, and celebrating women instead of objectifying them. Also, Channing Tatum dance moves), I was unavailable to respond until later– when I realized it is the middle of July and then promptly panicked, because oh my God now I have to do stuff for the fall and I’m not finished ignoring my summer to-do list yet!!!!!
- Today, a very Happy Birthday goes out to my wonderful mother-in-law, Kathy. Thank you for everything you do for the kids, and for us, and for me. I hope your kitchen renovation magically completes itself today, while you’re at work. Love you!!!!!