Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Lurks Beneath

I think we can all agree that my front porch is one of my favorite places to be.

I love to relax on the love seat with a chilled glass of wine and my Kindle (or with a book; I can still kick it old school style).

I enjoy entertaining my friends and family from the comfortable wicker furniture, hosting Porch Nights, movie nights, and BBQ's.

I enjoy rocking away an idle morning, sipping coffee and noshing on a freshly baked croissant (from the bakery at the Hellmouth, so I guess I should amend that statement to "freshly" baked) while watching the hummingbirds visit the feeders.

My porch is lovely and peaceful and serene.

Or, it was until yesterday.

Since yesterday, I might never relax on the porch again.

Why, you ask?

Because my porch was invaded by killers, that's why.

Killers in the form of mutant spiders roughly the size of my fist. You think I'm kidding?

ACTUAL SIZE,  hand to God.

I made this disturbing discovery while watering my daisies and, while I would love to tell you that I handled the situation like a brave woman of the twenty-first century; I would totally be lying. Rather, I screamed like a ninny, called Hugh, and forced him to come home to deal with the mutant, dog-sized spider on my porch.

Which, he did. In a way that would leave me no doubt that the bastard was dead.

Research, conducted after the spider incineration, assured me that the spider was not a  Brown Recluse, which is like the most SUPER DEADLY spider in known existence, well; next to all those other poisonous spiders, I suppose, and, hellooo, Black Widow (Side note! Hugh eventually confessed that he had found a Black Widow in the garage a while back but hadn't told me because he didn't want to alarm me. I have no words).

Unfortunately, despite that research, I was unable to identify the exact specimen of our crispy-fried spider. Even more unfortunately, my research did indicate that all spiders, regardless of type, are  capable of laying like A BILLION EGGS. A BILLION. Which means that there are probably a billion baby mutant dog-sized spiders lurking somewhere on my porch, just waiting for the opportune moment to exact revenge on my family for our execution of their mother.


I will never relax on my porch again.

Also, I still smell fried spider in the air. This will no doubt incite the spider babies to attack.

I may never relax in my house again.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Pops a Rib Out

For the past week or so, I have been having a significant amount of pain in my right shoulder blade. It got to the point that I was having a hard time breathing and sleep was almost impossible. I assumed that I had pulled or strained a muscle and that it would simply improve with time, rest, and, liberal applications of chocolate.

News flash: chocolate cannot work miracles.

When that plan failed, I finally gave up and went to see my massage therapist who took one look at (feel of?) things and diagnosed me with a misplaced rib.


I didn't know that ribs could go missing.

She laughed and went into a rather involved description of how the human body is constructed and what it looks like (feels like?) when a rib decided not to play well with others. Her description of my symptoms was right on and I put myself in her capable hands for the next ninety minutes.

It. Hurt.

She really had to dig deep in order to get the job done, but, I can say with much relief; I feel 100% better today.

I'm still semi-disgusted with her graphic description of my anatomy but, at least I can breathe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Volleyball and Cheerleading Are Not the Same Thing, Coach

At volleyball practice yesterday, the coach pulled The Teeanger aside to tell her how disappointed she was that The Teenager hadn't kept the team's spirit up during the last match at Saturday's scrimmage; she depends on The Teenager to be her cheerleader.

Oh, really?

Last time I checked, my daughter had gone out for the volleyball team, not the (non-existent) cheerleading squad. And, trust me; if the school had a cheerleading squad, and if The Teenager wanted to be on that squad, she'd be on that squad. Because, I may not know my way around the volleyball court but, by God, I can throw a Herkie like no one's fucking business, and the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

The Teenager told the coach pretty much the same thing (Apple. Tree) which went over about as well as one might expect, and, while I did put forth the requisite lecture about respecting one's elders, teachers, coaches, etc., my heart wasn't really in it, because, at this point; I'm as frustrated with this whole situation as The Teenager must be.

It really is too bad that the school doesn't have a cheerleading squad; I could tell them exactly where to put the Spirit Stick.

Ready... OKAY!

Clap, clap.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Is 9:00 a.m. too Early to Take a Nap? Discuss

I'm really, really tired this morning. The weekend was busy, somewhat physically taxing, and, I didn't sleep well last night; all of which add up to what I fear will be a massively drowsy day, today.

 It doesn't help that the weather has taken a turn toward overcast and gloomy; a lethal combination which always leaves me feeling lethargic and craving a pot of hot tea, a warm blanket, a roaring fire, and a nice long nap, none of which I shall be indulging in today (with the possible exception of the nap) since, in addition to the gloom and threat of rain, we have a temperature hovering in the 80's. Weather is fickle, y'all.

Also fickle? Teenaged girls. Yes, I know; you are shocked by this piece of information. You wouldn't be if you had just spent half your weekend trolling the mall in search of the perfect Homecoming dress. As it happens, we did manage to find three fabulous dresses, one for each of the girls under my care, and, we found them all at the first store we went to...the second time we went there which happened to be at the very end of the day after we had visited every other dress store in Neighboring City just to be sure that we had, really, truly, found the perfect dresses.


But, worth it; all three girls are going to look beautiful.

In volleyball news, The Teenager played a bit in Saturday's scrimmage. Her first game was at 8:30 in the morning and her last was at 3:15. Like the genius I am; I forgot to take my stadium seat which means that I spent eight hours sitting on hard bleachers without the support of a back rest. I'll let you imagine how happy that made my back muscles. And, my ass.

And now, I am going to take that nap that I mentioned above. Or, go to work. Coin toss!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Just a Boring Recap

It looks like we made it through the first week of school. I say "looks like" because it is only 9:15 on Friday morning which leaves another six hours for the week to go to Hell in a hand basket. It could happen, people. But, I choose to look on the positive side.

Last night I attended my last Back to School Night at the Middle School. I didn't get any new information which is unsurprising given the fact that I have sat through five previous Middle School Back to School Nights.

Later today, the kids are having their school pictures taken. I spent sixty-two dollars for the privilege of documenting the awkward teenage years and I feel like it was money well spent.

Tomorrow, The Teenager plays in her first scrimmage of the season. Or, "plays", I guess. We'll see.

We are planning a trip to Neighboring City on Sunday; the purchase of homecoming dresses for The Teenager and two of her friends is the mission of the day. Hopefully we will find something that suits each girl and her (mother's) budget. I can say for certain that I am not interested in spending a fortune on a dress that my daughter will wear once or, possibly, twice.

All that said: the title of this post does not lie.

The end.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bullet Points

  • The Teenager is working in the Special Needs classroom as a teacher's assistant and she LOVES it. She was happy when the opportunity presented itself (mainly because it got her out of yet another semester of P.E.) but she was also a little hesitant since she didn't have any experience working with the differently-abled. Apparently, she needn't have worried about that as the teacher assures her that she is a natural. And, I mean, she is just so enthusiastic about the kids and about the tasks that she gets to help them with; it's a very nice surprise to see her so taken with something, and I wouldn't be surprised if she decided to pursue Special Education as a career.

  • I attended the meeting for volleyball parents earlier this evening and I was very pleasant. I didn't sign up for a damn thing, but, I was pleasant.

  • At a local business, today; I spoke with the mother of a sophomore who was cut from the team, completely. She was so unhappy with the politicking; she cancelled her business's sponsorship of the Booster Club, so; I am not alone in my pettiness. Oddly, that made me feel  a titch better. But, just a titch.

  • The Man-Cub continues to enjoy the eighth grade. He is especially digging the whole football as an "upper classman" gig and made it a point to tell us that the seventh graders are "tiny". Yes, The kid who just cracked the 25th percentile for height and weight called some other kids "tiny". I was not aware that the school had recruited Lilliputians; Gulliver must be so lonely.

  • Homecoming is going to be quite early this year (September 15th) and The Teenager is worried about finding a dress. I see a shopping trip in my very near future.

  • And that's all I have.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tender Mercies

When I decided to have kids (many, many years ago), I had a very clear picture of what kind of parent I wanted to be and of how my kids' childhoods should look. I admit that it was a bit rose-colored, this picture in my head. Perhaps it was a bit old fashioned and a little unrealistic, but I was determined to make that picture into a reality, no matter what sacrifices I had to make. For the most part, I have succeeded in bringing that vision to life. It hasn't always been easy, but, it's been worth it.

Of course, as the kids have gotten older, I've had to adjust the picture in my head to account for their changing needs and developing interests, and, this hasn't always been the easiest thing to do, either. But, once again, totally worth it.

Many of the things that I wanted my kids to experience were based on the experiences that I had as a child. A lot of them revolved around time spent as a family and, especially, time spent outside. This is one of the main reasons that I started a garden when the kids were quite small; I wanted them to experience the feeling of dirt under their fingernails and of mud squishing between their toes. I wanted them to know what produce, fresh from the garden, tasted like, and to be aware of how that produce came to be.

One thing that I never envisioned, but that quickly became our reality, was the presence of frogs in our life. Yes, frogs.

For, you see; the first year that I planted the garden, a lone frog appeared and spent the summer lazily lounging under the zucchini plants. The frog so charmed my toddler, my pre-schooler and me; we made a special little house for him by turning a terra cotta flowerpot on its side and burying it halfway in the soil. The frog seemed to appreciate our efforts and we enjoyed his company throughout the summer.

Each year after that, we had a visit from the frog, or, from his progeny. I have photos of the kids with the frogs each year (mostly the Man-Cub since The Teenager quickly lost her interest in amphibians as she gained an interest in boys and other stuff) and I sort of came to take the froggy tenant for granted.

Until this year, that is. All summer long, I waited to see "our" frog, but, he never appeared. It didn't help matters when the Cub began to spend less and less time with me in the garden, opting instead to spend his time with video games and other endeavours, and, I admit; I got a little sad. The absence of my frog was rapidly becoming a metaphor for the diminishing childhood of my offspring and this was fairly unacceptable to me. Except, I had no choice; I could no more wish an extended childhood on my kids than I could will a frog to appear, and, I had to come to terms with the facts.

My kids were outgrowing me.

And, that was ok (mostly).

After all, I have done what I vowed to do all those years ago when I first elected to have them; I gave them the experiences that I felt would build a solid foundation on which they could stand as adults. And, we had a lot of fun while building that foundation.

Of course I'm nostalgic for their babyhoods, for their toddler years, for their pre-school and elementary school years, but; I'm also looking forward to seeing where they go from here. And, I know they will always be my babies, no matter how grown-up they get.

That said, I will admit to squeeing like a schoolgirl yesterday, when the Man-Cub, who was mowing the lawn, came to the front door and demanded that I grab my camera because he had just found an old friend and wanted a picture.

There is change ahead, that can't be denied. There are discoveries to be made and places to explore and people to meet. But, there are also memories to smile over and moments in time that will be played over and over in our hearts and in the stories that we tell.

And that's exactly the way I pictured it in my head all those years ago, too.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer is Dead. Long Live Summer

The kids went back to school today. The tree in the front yard is already starting to turn color and to shed leaves. Fall fashions have taken the place of bikinis and flip-flops on store shelves, and, pre-season football is in full swing.

Summer is ovah.


Please feel free to look at some pictures while I drape myself in black and begin the mourning period.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bitter, Party of One

In case you are hanging on the edge of your seat, waiting to hear if The Teenager made the volleyball team (Hi, Mom!), allow me to put you out of your misery; she did.

It was, however, a somewhat hollow victory since the coaches made it a point to tell her that, while she made the team, she shouldn't expect to actually play.

Yes, really.

The prospect of sitting the bench for an entire season is about as palatable to The Teenager as the thought of shitting into my hands and clapping is to me, which is to say; not very.

On the bright side, The Teenager has taken the news as a challenge and vows to kick ass and take names, you know; in the event that she does get a chance to play. Her taking that attitude makes me very proud.

My attitude is slightly less positive.

For my part, I vow to sign up for absolutely NOTHING to support the team this year; no team dinner, no snacks, no traveling lunches, no nada. If my daughter is going to be a team member who never plays, then I might as well be a Team Mom who never volunteers, I mean, right?

Just think of the money I will save! Which is, perhaps, the silver lining here, because; should this season on the bench cause The Teenager to decide not to play at all next year, we will also have a lot of free time on our hands, I mean; no more open gym five days a week, ten months out of the year. No more two-a-day practices for the two weeks prior to the start of school. No more weekends interrupted by traveling to volleyball games and no more evenings spent icing down the massive bruises on the child's hipbones; bruises caused by her determination to get to each ball despite the pain involved. That is a lot of time we will be saving.

We'll be able to take a vacation! During those above-mentioned two-a-days! And, we can use all the money we save on random volleyball shit to do it!


Maybe there is no need to be bitter, after all. Awesome!

My attitude is improving, dramatically!

Whew! Dodged the bitterness bullet!
(Oh, don't kid yourself, I'm still not helping with the team this season; I may not be bitter but I can still be petty.)

Parenting Failures, the Latest Edition

Yesterday, while shopping at The Hellmouth, I got a call from the Man-Cub's math teacher. She was organizing her classes and had noticed that the Cub was scheduled for her advanced math class rather than for the regular eighth-grade math class that she had expected him to be in. Since she was concerned about his ability to handle what is essentially a high-school level class, she pulled his most recent standardized test scores (HURL) which indicated that the Cub was proficient at the eighth-grade level, but, just barely. This discovery led her to suggest to me that we place the Cub in the regular class due to her concern that he might not be just quite ready yet for the higher level class.

I agreed with her suggestion for a number of reasons:

One: the Cub doesn't need high school math credit, he has four years of high school in which to achieve that goal.

Two: if he tanks at the class, not only will he not get high school credit, but, his GPA will plummet.

Three: I don't want him to struggle; I want him to work confidently at a level at which he excels.

Four: I trust his teacher to know what is best for him; she has worked with him since the sixth grade and she knows his strengths and his weaknesses.

The Man-Cub, as it turns out, didn't agree with this turn of events at all. In fact, he was quite upset with both me and the teacher. He really, really wanted to take the advanced class and he really, really, believes that he can do it. It must also be noted that he made no effort to hide his irritation with me for taking his teacher's side; have I no faith in him? Do I think he's stupid? Seriously; he spent the next two hours weeping in a fashion more dramatic than anything I've yet seen from his hormonally challenged teenaged sister. It was ugly.

And, I'm wavering.

Ok, not really. I still trust the teacher's gut instinct on this. I do, however, feel more than a little bit guilty about not supporting the Cub's aspirations, I mean; what does that say about me as a parent? If he believes that he can do something (anything), isn't it my job to support and encourage him? Even if his GPA does tank? And, will he always remember this as a situation in which I doubted his intelligence? Because that would break my heart.

Parenting Fail.

And, I didn't stop, there; yesterday also saw me fail in an epic way when it came to teaching my daughter the value of school spirit. See, every year, the volleyball and football teams host a car wash as a fundraiser. The kids got their tickets on Monday (well, the football team got theirs on Friday, but; that is a rant for another day); they are required to sell ten tickets at ten dollars, apiece. The Teenager has sold all of hers, mostly to friends and family. That's great, right? School spirit! Yay!

Um, yeah. Upon hearing her coach's observation about her being "barely in the running" for a spot on the team, I commanded her to hold off on turning in the ticket money until after final cuts are announced later today. Because, if she gets cut; I am returning the money to our friends and family, collecting the tickets, and returning them to the coach.

And, in that moment, I taught my daughter that pettiness trumps school spirit.

Parenting FAIL.

It's going to take years of therapy to fix this shit, is what I'm thinking. Too bad I neglected to start a therapy fund for the kids when I started their college funds.

Oh, great! Another FAIL.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Bitch Because I Care

The kids are gearing up to go back to school next week. For the Man-Cub this means forcing himself to go to bed at an hour that happens well before midnight; this is a futile attempt to retrain himself for early mornings, which; are going to kill him for the first week or so. Poor baby, that's what happens when you spend two months on the couch until 1:00 in the morning. I'm just saying.

Anyway, for The Teenager, school preparations have meant one thing: volleyball try-outs. And, this is the portion of our program wherein I leap onto my soap box to harangue coaches about the necessity of getting to know their athletes, and, specifically, what motivates them. For the record? My daughter is not motivated by having a coach tell her that she is "barely in the running" to make the team. And, while I realize that some kids might take that statement as a challenge and work extra hard to prove the coach wrong (as I suspect the coach intended); my daughter takes it as an attack on not just her athletic abilities, but, on her person as a whole. Then, she spirals down into a panic attack of self-condemnation and anxiety which leads to tears and a decided drop in self-confidence. Thanks, coach. Can I take this opportunity to tell you that you are barely in the running for a spot on Team Humanity? You might want to improve your skills if you are to make the cut.

End of soap box lecture.

Other preparations for the new school year include the purchase of supplies (done for the Cub, not so much for The Teenager) and acquiring new outfits for the first day. This will have to wait until Saturday when we have a chance to get to Neighboring City. I'm not planning to spend much on clothing, especially for the Cub, who is growing at a fast enough rate to give pause to the idea of actually purchasing pants. Or, shoes. Ok, underwear will definitely need to be purchased and I'm pretty sure that is a safe expenditure to make since he won't outgrow them anytime soon. I mean, he won't, right?

Oh my god, I don't think I want to know.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Well, Apparently it Was Over Already

Yeah, so yesterday's plan to take the kidlets on a stargazing tour went down in flames thanks to a longer than expected road trip and a raging migraine headache. The road trip, Jana's, the headache, mine, because of course it was.

Indeed, I had no sooner hit publish on the last post when the tell-tale distortion in my peripheral vision began, and, despite an immediate application of Imitrex; the headache was full-blown within the hour.

Jana wasn't faring much better, having made an emergency trip to the bedside of her husband's grandfather, and, in the end, we agreed that a postponement was in all of our best interests.

Happily, with a nice four-hour-long nap under my belt (as well as two Excedrin Migraine tablets and enough caffeine to power an emergency generator), I was able to drag myself outside and onto the trampoline, where I nestled beside the Man-Cub to catch a few of the meteors that were streaking across the night sky. It was actually a really pleasant end to an otherwise kind of crappy day.

Can't wish for much better than that, I suppose. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Old Dog, New Tricks

This weekend has been Busy and Eventful and, it Isn't Over Yet.

The Busy: Friday evening we loaded up the truck and headed to the drive-in for the first (and likely, last) time this summer. The movies playing were both pretty bad (Total Recall and The Watch) but the weather was good, the snacks were tasty, and, Hugh's idea to use our largest boating tube in the back of the truck in place of the air mattress we usually use was a stroke of genius-comfy, cozy, and, well, large enough for all four of us.

Saturday we loaded the truck again, this time for a trip to the lake, where we spent the day tubing, sunning, swimming, soaking and, in my case, trying something new, which leads me to...

The Eventful: I tried the knee board for the first time. Yes, I threw my forty-something-year-old-body into the lake, strapped myself to a Styrofoam board and hoped for the best, and, despite my concerns to the contrary; it went pretty well. I got up on my first try and made numerous turns around the lake. I attempted to turn around backwards like the Man-Cub often does, but, well, let's just say; I'm not the Man-Cub. I didn't fall, though, in fact, when I was ready to be done (shoulders were ON FIRE!), I simply made the cutting-across-my-throat-motion that means STOP, let go of the tow rope, and, sunk down into the water, slowly. I didn't even get my hair wet, start to finish. And, yes, for me, this was eventful.

It was fun, I have to admit, and; I would do it , again. Of course, while boarding is fun and all, I still prefer to spend my time on the boat in a reclining pose, preferably with a book. And a glass of wine.

Because I like to relax, yo.

This weekend, as I've mentioned, however; has been anything but relaxing. And, as I also mentioned, it...

Isn't Over Yet: Tonight, during the peak of the Perseid Meteor showers; Jana and I are loading the kids up in Dolly the Motor home and heading high into the hills to watch the show. We have our previously-planned-for star watching snacks in order (Moon Pies, Star Crunch, Pop Rocks, Starburst, Milky Way, etc.) and we are looking forward to a late night of star gazing and fun (Bubbles mixed with glow sticks for glow-in-the-dark bubbles, according to Pinterest, which, yes; could go over really well or like a lead balloon, experimentation! Excitement!).

By the time this weekend is over, I very well might need a week to recover. Which, is how summer should be.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Ahoy, Mateys!

Despite aggressive applications of antibiotic drops, Finnigan's eye continues to show sign of irritation. The vet has suggested that allergies might be to blame so we are now flushing his eye with a sterile saline solution several times a day, which, seems to be helping.

What has helped even more, however, is the new fashion accessory that I purchased for him to wear during the day... keeps the pollens from further irritating his delicate ocular membranes as well as providing relief from the bright sunlight that streams through the windows that he is so fond of lying in.

The fact that he looks like a wicked cool cat-pirate is really just a bonus. For me, I mean; Finn actually pretty much hates the patch. I keep trying to convince him that it adds to his street cred, but, he's not really having it.

Maybe I should buy him a wooden leg and a cutlass; I bet he'd feel like a badass, then.


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Three Hundred Dollars Later...

As of 2:15 this afternoon, both of my children are officially registered for school; the checks I wrote for $135 and $131 would like to dispel the myth that a free public education exists in our society, thank you very much.

The Teenager's expenses included two college-level courses, and, while we have always planned to spend money on her higher education; I did not expect the bill to arrive quite so early. On the bright side, college credit, so, I'll quit complaining now.

Besides, it's done.

In addition to the registration fees, I spent an additional fifty bucks on school supplies for the Man-Cub. The Teenager's supply list won't be available until after the first day of school, so, I have two weeks to find another vein to bleed dry  save for that expense. Unfortunately, volleyball two-a-days have started and sports physicals don't come cheap.

So, of course, now is the perfect time for my vacuum cleaner to shit the bed, for our garage door opener to go on strike, and, for my roots to become horrifyingly obvious.

A money tree suddenly growing like a magic beanstalk in the backyard would be welcome right about now, is what I'm saying.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Almost as Predicted

Our trek to the Corn Festival went pretty much the way I had expected; we arrived early and stayed briefly. In addition to those two elements, the experience was made even more pleasurable when we received golf-cart chauffeur service from the VIP parking lot to a very shady area wherein we were able to set up our chairs, away from the broiling sun.

This location made for a most pleasant visit, and, with all-we-could-eat corn, bottomless cups of soda (proceeds from which served as a fund raiser for our local fire department), humungous bags of freshly popped kettle corn, cotton candy, and, an opportunity to watch the Man-Cub play in a giant hamster-ball; it turned out to be a pretty awesome day.

Once we were all festivaled out, Mom and I went shopping while Dad relaxed at the house. The Teenager and her friends continued to roam the festival and the Man-Cub fulfilled a life-long ambition to visit the Hooters in Neighboring City.

Yes, really.

Ok, fine, maybe it wasn't his life-long ambition, but, he has been wanting to go for quite some time, (like, since puberty began to have it's way with him). Luckily for him, Chris offered to take him and Darren while on a tow run and, the rest is fanboy history.

He can now say, "Hooters? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt". Like, for real; Chris bought him a t-shirt. His corruption of my child is complete.

Anyway, the Cub made it home from the Den of Iniquity in plenty of time to watch the final event of the Corn Fest; the fireworks. We watched them from the back porch and can honestly say that we felt like we had fully participated in this year's festival.

No heat stroke required.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Ain't Nothing But a Good Time

It's Corn Festival weekend here in Petticoat Junction and that usually means one thing: time spent on the porch, avoiding the crowds, heat, chaos and traffic caused by an influx of 20,000 extra people into a town with a normal population under 6,000.

This year, however, my parents are in town and are somewhat determined to make a brief appearance at the festival, mainly to peruse the vendor booths and to eat an ear-or two- of fresh, local corn. And, while I am not usually up for the challenge; I figure that we can get an early start, thus avoiding the worst part of the heat as well as the larger crowd of people who are mostly interested in the evening concert. If so, we can get our window-shopping and corn-eating accomplished and still be back on the porch well before lunch.

Then, we will spend the remainder of the day watching the hummingbirds flock to the feeders, reading, visiting, and enjoying the peace and quiet that can only be found on the porch. At least until the concert starts, that is. And, the fireworks. But, other than that? Peace. Pure peace.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

I Don't Sweat, I Glow

It is a well-known fact in these parts that; once Stampede has passed, winter immediately follows. I'm thinking Mother Nature failed to get the memo this year because, Stampede ended days ago and, yet, it is HOT.

The high today was 89° which felt more like 189° because of a pressure front that is sitting directly over Petticoat Junction, threatening rain but never quite delivering, and; if I sweat much more, I am likely to float away on a river of my own bodily secretions (Awesome visual, no?).

I'm not really complaining, mind you; I actually prefer to be hot rather than cold, but, still, pit-stains are attractive on no one, I don't care who you are.

Also not complaining about the heat would be my garden, which has produced a massive crop of green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapenos in recent days. Since I am still drinking S(ass)y Water, the cucumbers are somewhat more welcome than they might have been in years past and I am always up for tomatoes, so; I am enjoying the bounty. I would, however, like to have seen a few more beets, as; that harvest is looking rather puny compared to the last two summer's production.

Anyway, we are enjoying the vegetables. Oh, except for the Cub, who is currently enjoying the junk food buffet provided for him by The Pod People. If Facebook photos are any indication, the couple (formerly known as my parents) are also encouraging the Cub to pursue dangerous hobbies that may-or may not-involve the handling of wild reptiles.

And, while I can't prove it; I suspect that he hasn't changed his shirt since I left him in Mayberry on Monday.

He and that reptile might share a common aroma, is what I'm thinking.

But, hey! No visible pit-stains, so; he's slightly ahead of his mother when it comes to personal hygiene.