Monday, September 03, 2007

Status Quo

Tomorrow, I'm back at work. Colin is back to school. Sara goes off to meet her teacher (starting for real on Thursday). My mother-in-law is back from her summer in Latvia and my garden is sad.

There's something about August that always seems to kick my poor garden's ass. What is green and thriving and ready to fruit in July is crispy and blighted and bug-gnawed (and prone to rot) in August and September. I'm still harvesting plenty of tomatoes and enough beans and cucumbers, eggplant and chard for our uses, but it all looks like ass.

In a small way, in a few short weeks, when the first frost kills everything for good, it is always something of a relief. All dead. Start anew next spring. Next round in the bug wars to be planned. (Next year, I'll try putting down planks for the damn squash bugs to hide under and be caught and destroyed, theoretically, more easily than looking under each damn leaf, inevitably missing a cluster or two of eggs, which leads to the wasteland of August.

Damn bugs.

We hates them, Precioussssssss.

Still haven't regained my voice. It's been over a week and, even for someone as non-talkative as me, it's gotten old. T'will be, um, a challenge (irritating? annoying? hair-pullingly-slow?) to try to obtain medical histories via whispers and written notes. Will keep my phoning to a minimum, though, so there's that.

What else, what else? Charles heads back to grad school, so we miss him two days out of the week until the Christmas holidays.

So that's where we are, now. Back to where we were. Comforting, in a way. Looking forward to the delights of real fall in a few weeks: fresh apples, cold nights, jeans and sweaters. Hard to believe it's just a couple of weeks away.

How goes it for all of you; the start of the other side of summer?


Blogger Dumdad said...

The weather's been strange over here in Paris all summer. Cycling through the Bois de Vincennes a few weeks ago I saw that some of the trees had started to shed their leaves - it's like autumn already.

Chilly starts to the mornings as well.

Anyway, it's la rentrée today for my children. I just kissed Princess Perfect goodbye as she set off to school; Brainbox starts at 1 p.m. today for some reason.

Whither the summer?

Yes, it's withered indeed!

2:51 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...

I don't mind the end of summer becuase I do love autumn, but there is something sad about the plants drooping. It's like the world is preparing for sleep.

I hope your voice returns. It is just annoying when it hides away.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I've been taking fridays off all summer and that changes with September - I'll be back to 5 days a week. I enjoyed it so much that I'm contemplating a permanent reduced workload so I'm anticipating that returning to a full workload will be difficult.

The garden is drooping, big time. No squash bugs 'though.

I work on a University campus so I've never lost the "back to school" feeling. All the frosh hit campus today for Orientation week - they get younger every year.


7:11 AM  
Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

Fall is my very favorite season and I can't wait for it to get here. It's such a time of new beginnings in my eyes, a whole fresh slate.

I'd like to think that a lack of a voice might make your patients ask you to talk less, but I know better. Just point and shrug. Gets 'em every time!

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

Same old story, of course. Back to work this week, also starting to teach my class -- eek. First meeting is tonight; I'll let you know if they run me off campus with torches for my uppity east coast education and my lack of good midwestern common sense.

We still on for dinner on Saturday? We can either go to your place or you can come over to ours... whatever is easiest for you and Charles and the kidlets.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I envy you your garden, as crispy as it may be now. We moved into a brand new house at the end of April. It was way past time to plant veggies in Georgia. Of course, my backyard is a vast wasteland of sand, so I don't have anything to plant veg in anyway.

Fall doesn't start here for quite a while, and I could do with some cooler weather! I shall imagine a lovely crisp fall day up north!

12:29 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Depends on whether it's sunny and warm or cloudy and cool. I love the Indian Summer days but the dull cool days like today just make me want to curl up, cocoon and make soup...Way too early for that!

I notice sadly, that the sun's zenith is so much lower than in High Noon June, with all its promise of summer days yet to live.
I am reminded that the end of my favourite 6 months of the year is looming ahead. I must savour!

1:03 PM  
Blogger listie said...

I stopped watering things a week or so ago. First it was too hot to garden, now it's too late. Oh, well, there's always next year. We will, of course, do one more spray of putrid stuff to keep the deer away.

It's so strange not to have kids starting school tomorrow. For the first time in a couple of decades I haven't had to go through the new shoes, new clothes, new school supplies ritual. Feels weird.

Not that there wasn't a significant amount of money going out, mind you, for college books. Yikes! A thousand dollars gone in mere minutes. I'm thinking this book learning is highly overrated.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

I so much love the delight you take in the details of each season. I was just bemoaning how shaggy and et-up all our plants are played out they are. Bless the impulse-buy of the pansies in June, though! They are still turnin' it out.

I am more eager than I'd ever thought I would be for school to start. I'm really, really tired of our wonderful neighborhood kids.

In our yard.

Every day.

Go to school now, kids.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

Fall! I love fall! Fresh apples and crunchy leaves underfoot and sweaters and crisp morning air! My favorite season. It always seems so full of possibility.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dumdad- We're having the start of the autumn color change, too, but right on schedule. It just seemed such a short summer for us.

Beth- That's it. Lovely but sort of sad.

Karen- Ouch. That's too bad that you have to return to 5 days a week. As a part-timer, I heartily endorse working fewer days a week. Life's too short.

Rotten- My voice came back a bit!!! Enough to squeak and squawk and dictate rather than write my chart notes (oh, thank heavens).

Ariella- Can't wait to hear all about your class! (And I hate to break it to you, but you seem to be adopting some midwestern sensibilities.) I'll email you re: Saturday. Should be good.

Jen- Oh, that would sadden me not to have the garden to shake my fist at. Wasteland of sand, huh. I'm guessing you're eying trucks full of compost and topsoil.

Ruth- I love the grey cocooning days (it's the residual Pacific Northwesterner in me) spent making soup, as long as there aren't too many of them. And, yes. Too early by several weeks.

Listie- The rallying cry of us idiot gardeners: Always Next Year! I'm looking forward to hearing how the putrid stuff works. Need to trot around and wrap the trunks of the saplings I planted and then do more coyote piss spraying. Will give me something to do after the massive planting of the bulbs.

This was our first year of 2 kids with school lists. My head was spinning. Still need more warm clothes but we've got a few weeks yet before the first flurries fly.

Jocelyn- Where I'm originally from, in Portland, OR, pansies were tender perennials. You make me giggle with your shooing the 'wonderful neighborhood kids' off to school. I can see how that'd be very wearing to have them set up camp in your yard.

Teri- Mmmmmm. And hot, spicy, sipping drinks....

8:44 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Ditto to everything you said about your garden, except for the "freeze" part--we are in the midst of planting our fall garden. What a relief to rip out all the blighted, bug-eaten, sun-scalded, fried stuff that we called a summer crop. :-)

Some things, of course, stay until the frost well and truly kills them, which is about Thanksgiving.

I have given all my squash seeds to my friend L2. She is responsible for squash production. I'm not going to do it anymore, because it's too crazy-making! If it ain't one thing, it's another.

It is now impossible to get anything accomplished in Athens because the "kids" are back (!).

9:13 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jamie- You always make me feel better. You are so right. The squashes are completely crazy-making. Some year, I'll just come to my senses and just buy them at the farmer's market rather than watching them grow as children and then fizzle before reaching adulthood.

Does L2 have any secrets or is she just overflowing with patience and masochism?

10:14 AM  
Blogger Udge said...

it's already almost winter here: I've had the central heating on since mid-week, and the Bavarian Alps have already had 50cm (19 ins) of snow. Summer? I've long since forgotten what that was.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Cool summer here, too. I **loved** it even though I had to wear jackets and sweaters in July and August.

I did mean that my tomato crop was pretty piss poor, but for some reason the tomatoes that actual farmers grew and that were available at the farmers' market seemed reasonably abundant.

I just hope that this doesn't mean that we're going to get snow in October.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

Hope you completely recover your voice. I won't comment on the state of the garden as I am so clueless about it.

I look forward to all those things about the fall that you speak about and football :).

Sorry I haven't been around much as I have been busy and workplace has started blocking access to blogger comments. So now downtime at work (which is very little these days) can't be used to comment on blogs. Oh well thats the way it goes. :)

9:18 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

It has been muggy and buggy in Michigan! I'm enjoying the fact that I am now getting daily walks, walking Rachel to and from school. However, I feel gross and bitten up when we return. It's just so odd to be eaten up by mosquitos in the morning! Yesterday morning there was fog, which was pretty cool and kind of indicated to me that fall is on its way. The spiderwebs looked really cool, all white and well defined. I wish I would have grabbed the camera!

10:14 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Udge- I've been noticing your falling temperatures with dismay. To me, September should still have some nice warm days, with October being when things get a bit nippy and you start turning on the heat. Brrrrrr.

Rozanne- That is strange, indeed. Too bad about the tomatoes. Hope the apples will be good. Snow in October is just too soon in my book. Especially for Portland.

Sanjay- That's a pity about work. I use my down time to comment, too. Fortunately, they've not had a problem with it. Charles and I watched a bit of football last night. Was nice.

Colleen- We've had a ton of mosquitoes here, too, with all the rain of the past few weeks. Before that, not too bad at all. I love fog.

11:35 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I'm excited about the Fall cover. Fall and Spring are my two favorite seasons. So you know I'm happy for about 2-3 months out of the year with the weather and the way the outdoors look.

I can't wait to read about next year's bug wars. Is that weird?

12:30 PM  
Blogger Lioness said...

See, now I really am mad - because I wrote a comment for this post as well! And this time I can't even remember what I wrote, other than it was perfectly brilliant.

It is war now!

11:55 AM  

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