***I've always been a big fan of July. I guess mostly because of my birthday (although the older I get, the less of a consideration THAT is), but also because it's the middle of summer, and the days are long and gorgeous, and the food is fresh and delicious, and I'm not even cold. I love it when I'm not even cold.
So let's see. In July we went to the fair, Abby turned 14 and I turned 41, we saw a heck of a lot of people, I just made a double batch of basil pesto from my own garden, I read a couple of real books, Johanna started Aikido and loves it, Johanna also has become the boss of the rope swing at the public pool (my dad has been great about taking her this summer, and the good news is that I don't have to watch her risk her life every time she jumps in, what, I come from a long line of very nervous people), Abby worked a very busy weekend at the neighbor's lavender farm, and... well, I'm a little stressed out at the moment because I have too much to do, but I think if you ask any woman, you'll find we're all a little stressed.
Pointless list time!
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I love love love this book. It's one of those things Abby kept bugging me and bugging me and bugging me to read, and finally she just handed me her copy, so really, what choice did I have? It's sad and beautiful and so well written and I got teary at the end. Um, and now I have it on my Kindle because that's how great it is, plus apparently it's on sale at the moment for $3.99. Recommend. Also: My imaginary son is now named Finnick Agustus. You think I'm joking, but I am not.
Looking for Alaska by John Green. So after I read The Fault In Our Stars, Abby made me read this book, and you know what? I didn't really like it. I mean, it was fine, but it didn't grip me like his other book did. Probably I should have read this one first and then I'd have enjoyed it more. No biggie, you can't win them all.
...And I've been rereading Harry Potter. I'm still on the fourth book (they're at the Quidditch World Cup) but then I started reading these other books and that was that.
Eric just tilled up our green beans because they are for sucks this year. We've managed to get like two zucchini so far, which confounds me. The tomatoes are looking good, though, and really, isn't that the important thing? I'm wondering if we're at that point where we have to give the garden a rest and manure the crap out of it (HA HA HA, that was fun to write). Any garden experts out there willing to post a comment? (I just took off that "what's this word?" whatever test thing for comments, so hopefully that makes it easier.)
So up until this year I've made tomato sauce and just froze it, but I'm getting brave in my old age, so a couple of days ago I actually canned tomatoes and now they're shelf stable and I'm kind of feeling like a big deal. I made sure to put my two tablespoons of lemon juice concentrate into each quart jar so we don't end up dying. It was easy and I want to do another box because a dozen quarts are just not enough.
Just for Eric I made Dilly Beans for the first time (it's the year of firsts) and that ended up being kind of fun. Also: It turns out 20 pounds of green beans is a lot. I made a dozen quarts and blanched and froze the rest. Um, except there was still some left so I gave a bunch to my parents. There's only so much a girl can do.
Eric likes my canning exploits in a general sort of way, but he REALLY likes my homemade pickles and went to great lengths to procure a box (one of probably two, unless he gets his way and we go insanely big this year. That's a distinct possibility because even with hoarding--i.e. I had to fight to give a jar to my grandparents--he has run out). And then he even helped me can them.
In the jam department: Blueberry and raspberry. I purposely didn't do any cherry this year, and I'm kind of wondering if that was an error in judgement.
Check this out:
Reasons My Son Is Crying. My kids are (mostly, ha) over this stage, but there's just something about seeing little kids crying for ridiculous reasons that makes me laugh.
A happier Cranky Steve story:
Steve has cats (not wild) and raccoons (wild). He is completely enamored with his baby raccoons and was telling me about how A) they're now so comfortable around him they come into his house and sit on his kitchen table and 2) one of the babies likes to grab his hand and pull on all his fingers and then lightly bite him. He's like, I'm not sure what this means, maybe he thinks we're equals? and I'm all, I'm pretty sure he's just trying to share his rabies with you, except Steve doesn't think his raccoons would have the audacity to have rabies. I don't know, it sounds sketch to me.
Things I've learned:
My husband does not appreciate when I use swear words that have to do with delicate regions of the male anatomy. My mother actually can hate something I write (I didn't previously believe that was possible). Using an online thesaurus is fun, and also you'd be surprised at what words they let you type into their search engine. Johanna is a huge fan of the 1988 Garfield cartoon series and likes to quote Garfield whenever possible. I am too old to to stay up until 11 p.m., which is what happened when I took Abby and her friend to the fair. I'm still screwed up.