Stinky October Weather

It’s hot. 

If the temperature gauge on my minivan is to be believed, it’s 93 degrees in my driveway.  That’s WAY too hot for October in Virginia.

I want my sweatshirt weather back!  Waaaaah.

I’ve been waiting for the cooler weather to really stick so I can finish cleaning out the garden.  So far, not happening.  But on the up side, my tomatoes are going gangbusters.  Kind of makes me feel bad for wanting to rip them out.  It’s like they know.

I also have a bunch of garlic I want to plant.  But it’s too warm!  You’re supposed to plant garlic cloves in the fall “after the first light frost.”  Well at this rate, I’ll be planting them at Christmas.

But you know who LOVES the warm fall weather?  Stink bugs. 

Don’t have stink bugs where you live?  Consider yourself lucky.  They are as yummy as they sound.  Here’s a picture.


They are about the size of a nickel and look like little brown tanks.  They fly, but they don’t bite or sting.

Why are they called “stink bugs,” you ask?  Because they give off a lovely smell when you squash them.  It doesn’t particularly bother me, but my kids say it is the most disgusting thing ever.  Maybe I just haven’t gotten a full dose yet. 

These things have invaded the Mid-Atlantic by the millions.  This time of year, they are literally everywhere.  I can’t work in the yard without being pelted by them.  They literally fly into my head.  And I learned the hard way not to drive with the windows down right now.

They’ve turn my screened in porch into that scene from “Amityville Horror” – the one where Rod Steiger as the priest gets stuck in the bedroom where the windows fill w/flies.  (If you’re under 40, look it up.)  Anywhoooo . . .


What makes these things worse than most annoying insects is that they want to LIVE in your HOUSE.  They are little opportunists.  They wait for you to open a door & then fly in behind you.  Or they squeeze themselves through the very tiny spaces between your window screen and the frame.  Then they look for places to hide for the winter.

Here’s one in what seems to be one of their favorite places – inside my honeycomb blinds.  Try explaining that to your clean-freak mother.


So I’m REALLY ready for the real fall weather to return.  It would be my favorite season . . . if it weren’t followed by winter . . . when I’ll be complaining about how cold it is.


9/11 – Never Forget

That awful day.

If you’re at least 20-25 years old, you probably know exactly where you were, what you were doing, maybe even what you were wearing the moment you saw.  The moment you knew.  I sure do.

I was 4 months pregnant with my son.  Standing in the family room, talking on the phone with a friend.  Wearing a white t-shirt and maternity jeans.  The Today Show was on the television.  And I watched live, as the planes hit one by one.  I listened as Katie Couric struggled to make sense of the senseless.  I called my husband.  He was already at work.  Back then, at a company in Arlington, just across the Potomac River from the Pentagon.  Little did we know.

Hormonal to begin with, I could not stop crying.  My daughter, then two-and-a-half, only knew mommy cried.  A lot.  I asked my husband to come home.  He said he’d try.  We hung up.  Then plane #3 hit the Pentagon.  He called me back immediately.  Said he could see the smoke from his office.  He was leaving right then.

Another plane crashed in Pennsylvania, though we weren’t sure, at first, if it was connected.  Everyone in the Washington metro area was evacuating to the suburbs.  We have three major airports here – Dulles, Reagan National, and BWI.  And we all wondered what would be next.

Rumors abounded of other attacks.  A plane headed towards the US Capitol.   An attack at the FAA facility in my own town.  All false, thankfully.  Cell phones were down.  I had no way to get in touch with my husband.  It took him SIX hours to drive the 45 miles to home.  It was mid-afternoon before he finally walked through our door.  One of the longest days of my life.

In the days and years since, we’ve seen the constant refrain Never Forget.  I always wondered why those words – surely we WOULD never forget?  Surely we COULD never forget?  Right?

Yet here we are, twelve years later.  And our government (both sides) is attempting to align itself with the very people who did this to us.  I guess someone, with more foresight than I, saw this day coming long ago.  And adopted that slogan.  Never Forget.

I always struggle with how to remember.  What to DO.  How to honor those people who were lost that day.  Anything I might do seems inconsequential.  Or inadequate.  But then I’m reminded, as I often am, of a quote from LOTR.  It is one of the my favorite moments from FOTR.  And I share it with you now.  Today.  In honor of them.