We became accidental tomato farmers this summer. Raising our two dozen plants was one of my favorite activities all summer long, and since we know next to nothing about growing vegetables of any ilk, it was a Grand Experiment. Despite getting them into the ground in the last days of June, and employing questionable watering, fertilizing, and caging techniques, all of the plants are still alive! We've even enjoyed the fruits of our labor in salads this week.
For every tomato we'll harvest, an equal number have been destroyed by pests. In fact, the war against hornworms has given me an impetus to be outside in the heat and humidity, rather than crouched over the nearest AC vent. Twice a day I get out to go over the plants, taking our whole troupe with me. The kids play in the yard while I examine each leaf, but I can only spot hornworms when they're as big as my fingers. The other morning I found seven, five on our tallest plant alone! The boys fight over whose turn it is to squish them, and how they should go about it. Shoe? Bike wheel? Big stick? I'm not squeamish at all, but I'm at my limit for green, oozy caterpillar guts. When I close my eyes at night, I count hornworms! Next year we'll try neem oil. (When I find hornworms covered in braconid wasp cocoons, I leave them alone. The wasps will do our squishing job for us!)
I have been itching to make little dresses since Rae released her Geranium pattern. With the birth of Little M, I have been scratching that itch! For Z, I have been making simple skirts, using the whole width, selvedge to selvedge, of whatever fabric she chooses. (She's too big for a Geranium!) She has wanted to match Little M, and we've had such fun! She and I talk about making some Washi dresses for her, too. Daydreaming about adding to my own wardrobe, also, has made the thought of weaning Little M less bitter. I keep promising myself that once my body has stopped changing from bearing and nourishing babies, I will make myself some clothing. Although, if I could, I would bottle up the feel of chubby baby arms wrapped tightly around my neck, and put it on a shelf, for later.
My hair is the longest it's ever been, which feels like some sort of milestone. Fr. G cut my hair two years ago, right after I found out I was pregnant with Little M, and that's the last time it was cut! I keep thinking I'll get to it, but keep forgetting. I'd love to keep the length; I'm also tempted to do something drastic. It's probably best I steer clear of the stylist until I can stop dithering. For now, my new hairstyle has been a simple bun, held up by a scad of bobby pins. I shed them all over the place, reminding me of Helen de Vine, in one of my favorite books. Hmmm...maybe I'll go get that book off the shelf. I think it's time to read it again.