Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Report

Spent an hour weeding the garden this morning. The beans and peas are over and done with. The lettuce is a distant memory. But those cukes and zucchinis just keep on coming and the tomatoes loom large.

I found a huge green caterpillar eating a tomato this morning. I plucked the tomato, caterpillar and all, and put it in a jar so I could show it to the Man later. I punched a hole in the lid. I don't know why. This caterpillar is my enemy. He's probably not even a caterpillar. He's probably a nematode in caterpillar clothing. He's beautiful and horrifying all at once. He needs to go, but I'm not an executioner.

The Man, on the other hand, will have no qualms sending the caterpillar to his doom. The Man speaks lovingly about how he'd like to take a shotgun to the rabbits out back (now that the rabbits are eating my flowers, I'm beginning to share the Man's zeal). He's not sentimental about critters. Or at least he talks a good game. Has the Man ever shot a rabbit or a squirrel or any living thing? No, of course not. Deep inside, the Man has a very soft heart.

But I do not believe his kindness extends to green caterpillars who eat our tomatoes.


I'm going to Chicago on Saturday and coming back Tuesday night. I'm going for the big, national library conference, where I will be a very small fish in a very big pond. I get a little nervous, thinking about how thoroughly I will be ignored as the librarians swarm around my much more famous peers. There is only one way to deal with this situation: Find the very shy people and be kind to them. We shy people need to stick together.


The children continue to sleep in. This is because they are staying up until all hours of the night. We send them upstairs to bed at a reasonable time, but they just can't stay put. Their throats are parched and dry--they must have water! Turns out that they forgot to each lunch, and now they're so, so hungry. Just a little snack?

It's time to come down hard. Only I'm going out of town, and the Man, Mr. Tough Guy, is a big talker with nothing to back it up. He sort of expects the boys will go upstairs at 8:30, brush their teeth, and settle into sleep without him even needing to bring up the subject. He gets caught up in his own projects and forgets bedtime. He decides that the boys really need to watch the big game.

But when I get back in town, I'm going to lay down the law. Serious bedtime routines will be imposed. Up at 8:3o, not to be seen until the next morning at ... 7?

Hmmm ... maybe I'll wait til we get closer to school. Because it's hard to beat a quiet morning in the garden.


If I don't get a chance to post before my trip, I'll see you next week, hopefully with all kinds of good stories about life in the big city. Wish me luck!


Pom Pom said...

You are so light-hearted and entertaining! I hope your trip to Chicago is a happy one! I loved your post today. The man has a soft heart, huh? I'm sure he does or he wouldn't have been able to attract such a lively and brilliant wife! I also like what you said about the shy people. No wonder I love reading your musings so much! Happy travels! Oh, I found Gretchen's blog and I'll figure out how to solve the posting problem. Thank you for letting me know she posted on your blog. So sweet.

Danielle said...

All bets on the caterpillar being a tobacco horn worm. He will destroy your tomatoes. And my FYS would love to have him as he becomes a rather beautiful sphinx moth. After it gets big and fat it will drill down into the dirt where will stay until emerging as a moth. Pretty cool.

Chicago is gonna rock. And librarians love you. I know this as a fact. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Heather said...

Danielle is right about the tobacco horn worm. They do become beautiful moths, but can eat every tomato you've got in a day.

Good luck in Chicago! And, no, you may not see a picture of my haircut. My vanity runs deeper than my need to share.

Tracy said...

I don't know why the librarians would swarm over fame when they could be spending their time with you and your light, clever, witty way of looking at the world. Maybe there'll be a shy librarian?!

You're lucky too ~ your kids sleep in! If my kids stay up late they still wake with the sun (7am these days) and then get real nasty. I say, enjoy your quiet mornings and deal with routines a week or two before school starts.

Enjoy Chicago for me?!

Dulce Domum said...

Have a great time in Chicago.

My DH wants to shoot cats. Which sounds a little disturbed, but they pooing on the veg patch and it's driving him to distraction.

Tina ♥ said...

Looking forward to hearing all about it Frances! :)

Gretchen Joanna said...

I used to pluck the tomato hornworms off with a clothespin, as I didn't want to touch the things. It was difficult, though, to hold the clothespin with the right degree of tension--not too little, or the worm would fall out. Not too much, can imagine the mess. And I wanted to hold that green worm long enough to get it to the chicken yard.

Gumbo Lily said...

I think that big worm is a tomato horn worm (if it's like the big green ugly guys we get sometimes) Don't let it live! It'll make more.

Best wishes on your library trip! By the way, how do I find more of your good stuff to read?


Left-Handed Housewife said...

Danielle pegged it and those of you who raised your hand in agreement with Danielle also get the prize: the critter was definitely a tobacco hornworm, and I'm with Gretchen Joanna--arm's length is definitely preferable! Yick! I didn't find any more of them, but am keeping my eyes peeled.

See you when I get back!

P.S. Jody, e-mail me and I'll give you some titles when I get back in town.

P.P.S. Tracy, thanks for your kind words. If there's one shy librarian there who's happy to see me, I'll consider the trip worthwhile!

P.P.P.S. Dulce, I think your DH and my DH would get along just fine.

Pom Pom said...

Where are you? Come back!

Gumbo Lily said...

I didn't find your email anywhere. I'm sorry if I just can't see it here, but here's mine: