All the things: Olympics, summer, libraries, hilarity

Did y'all know that (apparently many years ago) the USPS officially decreed that they would no longer put a comma between city and state on address labels? I did not know this, and recently, when a friend and I were drafting invites for a bridal shower we're hosting, I said "Doesn't there need to be a comma between City and State?" and she said, "Honey, the USPS stopped doing that decades ago. Librarians know these things."

And I was and remain appalled because that's just not right-like visually, that's just NUTS. I mean, I adopted the damn Oxford comma, but NO COMMA between City and State? Ain't no way. And so T looked it up for me, and fortunately this nonsense is ONLY a USPS thing, not a worldwide grammar thing, and I am just so grateful I could weep.

I just wanted to share that.

Anyway, tomorrow marks Day 1 of no camp but seemingly infinite time before school resumes, and the boys are sleeping in another fort that uses all of our kitchen table chairs (6) plus two TV trays and 90% of the sheets in our home plus sleeping bags, light sabers, glass water glasses and more.

I would say that this arrangement doesn't bode well for a restful tomorrow, but then again, does it really matter?! We have little planned. At least they fell asleep before I did so that I could tuck a pillow under each of their heads and make sure they weren't suffocating in their sleeping bags. 

Summer is starting to feel long. We've been sweating for a lifetime, and I've set a new record of pizza for dinner in any given week: 4 times. The me of ten years ago is quivering with vexation and perceived failure. The me of today is holding up a gold trophy bestowed upon Self for including multiple fruits and veggies alongside each and every pie.

In my defense, the pizzas came from four different places, including two gold star joints. We are now totally certain about which pizza sucks and which pizza doesn't. A+ in pizza study.

The Olympics were, by and large, delightful, but I cheered the closing ceremony tonight because I simply cannot stay up through the 11pm - 12am hour for even a single additional night. I'm 40 people; that time has passed. 

I believe that other than Ryan D'bag Lochte and his misguided posse, our athletes comported themselves in lovely fashion. Really, the Olympics is such a grand coming together of talent and sportsmanship. I love the Games. Until next time!

Do y'all know that during the past two weeks, a dream of mine has come true? My darling husband agreed that we could turn our formal living room (never used for that purpose) into a library!! As the incredible construction has taken place, Jack and I have been nerding out to beat sixty. We ordered a one million pound Oxford dictionary and were literally chagrined when it was not delivered yesterday as promised.

UNTIL a kindly neighbor who had received said tome walked it over, and we cheered. 

Literally. Look at Jack's face!

"Jack, do you want to look up the first word?" I asked, hoping he'd say no.

"Oh yes, Mom. I will look up.....Indonesia." 

What the hell? Why? I mean, great but where did that come from?

Anyway, if you don't know, Indonesia is part of the Malay archipelago. And so marked our foray into the kazillion page book, a tiny, tidy J eternally ticked by Indonesia. We have all taken a pact to mark our initial, IN THE NEATEST HANDWRITING POSSIBLE, by each and every word we look up forevermore.

I'm so thrilled with and proud of this new room that we will all love but especially Jack and me. Oliver's primary response so far has been, "I don't love the knobs you chose. Why couldn't you have gotten neon green ones?"

OMG, I feel SO lucky. We weren't really supposed to put anything on the shelves until Tuesday, but for the love of patience, we waited five whole days and the paint has simply got to be hard enough by now. It's going to be so much fun to fill these.

OMG, I feel SO lucky. We weren't really supposed to put anything on the shelves until Tuesday, but for the love of patience, we waited five whole days and the paint has simply got to be hard enough by now. It's going to be so much fun to fill these.

I love these little family traditions. They're the glue, really, the threads we weave together over the years that make family durable over time, even when times are tough. Like possibly the coming weeks.

We have also resurrected Pi Guy and Roach and the games we play with them.

Pi Guy, in case you've forgotten, is a wire man clothed in a Pi jumper and trousers that Jack made in art a couple years ago during his preoccupation with Pi. Periodically, he'll put Pi Guy somewhere ridiculous, like suspended from my shower head or from a shirt in my closet, and I'll counter by seating Pi Guy on Jack's toilet or hanging precipitously from his headboard. 

This is an utterly delightful game.

In true Oliver fashion, he plays this game with an entirely too realistic rubber roach that my aunt Renee sent him. She knew exactly how much Oliver would adore this roach, and adore it he does. I awoke recently to find said roach sitting on top of the water glass on my nightstand. I put roach on Ol's bathroom faucet. He tossed it onto my rug. 

revolting and, mercifully, fake

revolting and, mercifully, fake

Tonight I made the boys dinner and then T made us dinner, and then he and I watched two episodes of The Americans (we are slightly obsessed), and now we're going to bed, and all is well. 

I cannot tell y'all how much I love okra. And shrimp. 

For levity, food

What a week. What a sad, troubling week. America, there is work to be done. 

I'm tired and soon to bed, but y'all, I cannot even handle the beauty and flavor of summer produce. It just doesn't get better than this. And my garden this year? In a yard that actually receives all-day sun? Well, it's a winning combo.

Every day I pick handfuls of fresh tomatoes and herbs and yesterday plucked some zucchini blossoms and a dainty eggplant for a grilled pizza. 

Little makes me feel as warm and full as eating tomatoes still warm from the sun. This salad that I made up last summer is a great way to use some -and also summer peaches- and is as good as I remembered. 

Who said okra? My okra plants are thriving but are not yet ready to feed me the amount I want, so I supplemented today with these beauties. I cannot even talk about how much I love smothered okra nor about just how much of it I can eat at any one sitting. #havemercy #watchout 

I might eat your face if it were in this pot!

bacon + okra = win

bacon + okra = win

And then there's this guy, just livin' the life.

I hope you're well. Remember, it is so tremendous to read, educate ourselves, and use our voices to stand up for what's right. Have a good conversation, challenge a friend or colleague, hold others in the light!

Okra, plums, ricotta, bacon, wild children

The boys and I returned to the Dupont farmers market yesterday for the first time in way too long. I don't think I've ever missed so many summer Sundays there. They sampled everything and enjoyed a Pleasant Pops fix while I ate three, hot-off-the-press market tacos from Chaia. These were, and always are, spectacular; an amazing, satisfying breakfast to be sure.

the market taco trio from Chaia: carrots, mushrooms, okra/corn

the market taco trio from Chaia: carrots, mushrooms, okra/corn

We returned home laden with bags: Italian plums; okra; tomatillos; tomatoes; rhubarb; and extra popsicles for the freezer. Last night, to top some steaks, I made a roasted tomatillo, sweet pepper and habanero salsa, and today, I've stewed up ricotta and smothered okra and will soon make a plum tart.

Isn't everything gorgeous?

Italian prune and president plums

Italian prune and president plums

smothered okra

smothered okra

This morning, Ol returned home from a terrific slumber party in typical fashion: wild-eyed, over-tired, Tasmanian devil'ish. He and Jack proceeded to beat the tar out of each other for hours on end -happily for the most part- before crashing at 3pm. It will be so great for them to get back to school and a routine. I'm looking forward to it too.

Baseball season picked up again today, and Jack looked so handsome in his new white pants: he's a twig of epic proportion, and I adore him. He and Tom's dad are flying to Colorado tomorrow for a hiking trip up Mt. Ebert, "the tallest 14er" as I've just learned. 

Off to eat. Hope you are all well and enjoying this last day of August.