You wanted more beets, right?

By Mir
June 4, 2010

My my my. Y’all had a lot to say about beets. Some of your comments made me laugh out loud. It appears that no one is neutral on beets; they’re one of those love-em-or-hate-em foods for most of you. Interesting.

Naturally, I took this as a sign that you wanted a whole ‘nother post mostly about beets, so that’s what I did over at Five Full Plates. Feel the love! Or revulsion! Your choice!

What, you don’t like beets? Okay, how about a peek at this year’s garden?


The garden is slow going this year, because I got the brilliant idea in my head to grow everything from seed. That works great for things like squash and zucchini and green beans, but has proved challenging for my tomatoes and peppers; the former because… well, I don’t know why, other that they seem to keep dying, and the latter because apparently the bugs find my pepper plants delicious and keep eating them. So.

And in other news, we spent some time puttering around in the garden and then swimming, yesterday, and then last night Monkey came to me and said, “Mom, there’s a bug attached to me and he’s trying to suck out all my blood.”

I had spent the day working/laundering/packing/freaking out over everything, so I may have sighed heavily and snapped at my darling son, “Monkey, if there is something you ACTUALLY need to tell me, could you just TELL ME instead of playing games? PLEASE?”

And his little face fell as he quietly said, “But I actually DO have a blood-sucking bug attached to me.”

He had a tick, no doubt a special delivery from Licorice’s time in the garden. Now, I abhor ticks, anyway (I mean, everyone does, right? but I’ve had Lyme Disease so I like to think I hate them EXTRA), but Monkey’s “little friend” turned out to be… ummm… dangerously close to his OTHER “little friend.” THESE ARE THE PARTS OF PARENTING THEY DO NOT TELL YOU ABOUT. Ahem. He was very brave and the situation was handled. Neither of us are scarred for life. Much.

In OTHER other news, today is when I confess to you that in the midst of pinkeye and allergies and random sickness and bugs where there ought not be bugs and Prednisone fun, we are about to go on a cruise. Because my father is nice, or possibly because dementia is setting in and taking all the kids and grandkids on a cruise suddenly seemed like a GREAT idea instead of the 5th circle of hell. (I did notice, however, that we’re all in rooms VERY FAR AWAY from my dad and stepmom. I believe that is called “hedging your bets.”) Naturally we’re all terribly excited, which means that Otto and the kids are excited and I am in an anxiety spiral over packing and itineraries and OHMYGODTHEDOG, who has never been away from us, is on me like velcro every moment of every day because she knows we’re leaving her. Fun. It’s going to be an awesome trip once we GET there. Too bad that the getting there may kill me.

Just kidding! It’s going to be fine. Otto has promised to drug my coffee and throw my unconscious body onto the plane (and then the ship), if it comes to that. I am looking forward to waking up in the Caribbean.


  1. bob

    Don’t forget the sunscreen AND your passports. I hear cruises are really fun, I know y’all will live it up!

  2. Jamie

    Oooh, lucky (about the cruise, not the tick)! Have a fantastic time!

  3. daisy

    Do NOT answer the question as “Yes” if they ask if anyone has been sick with a gastrointestinal problem in the past X time. They will NOT let you on the ship if you answer “Yes”. Let’s not discuss how I know this information but just trust me.

  4. meghann

    Poor, poor Monkey. It’s like that scene with the leeches from “Stand By Me”. Ryan had a tick on his back last year, and he was traumatized enough by that, I can’t imagine it being, um, THERE.

    Have fun on your cruise, try to not get norovirus! :D

  5. Katie in MA

    Can Otto please drug my coffee and escort me to Philly first, please? Because that sounds like a *lovely* way to avoid the anxiety of traveling.

    No? FINE. Enjoy your cruise anyway and DO try to relax – you’ve earned it a bit of fun and relaxation!

  6. Ali

    My husband came to me one day and said, “Hon, Need you to look at my butt. It really itches.” I took a moment to determine if I missed the “must-look-at-your-love’s-bum-very-closely” part in the wedding vows before tackling the issue. He too had a tick near his, um, “little friend”.
    I’m willing to bet Monkey did better than the grown man who swore i would miss with the tweezers and take the wrong thing off!

  7. JennyM

    Ick, ticks. Around our neck of the woods, springtime means flowers and baby birds and nightly Tick Patrol performed on the dog. The other day at work, I found one on myself and almost barfed. Disgusting little creatures.

  8. JennyM

    Oh, and yay, garden! Did you know tomato plants can… re-grow? I was weeding a few weeks ago and had a couple of weeds that LOOKED like tomato plants and SMELLED like tomato plants, and I was all, “well, ok”, so I slapped some cages around them and they are definitely tomato plants and with all the rain we’ve had lately, they’re going gangbusters. The thing is, they’re growing in a part of the garden that’s never had tomatoes. I guess some bits of old tomato vines got tilled into the soil or something? Who knows what kind they are, I guess it will be Tomato Roulette. Has that happened to anyone else?

  9. steff

    Freeze the tick in case Monkey gets sick from it then they can test it! That is what we were told when our boy thought he was growing arm pit hair at 6 and loudly proclaimed “I’m a MAN”, while i was freaking out!

  10. Julie

    Probably best that you did not try the “touching a hot match to the tick” procedure that my beloved did to the one on my stomach last week! (Thanks, South Carolina!)
    So jealous about the cruise! Have a fabulous time!

  11. Megan


    Sorry. Have a slight – no really, very slight (AUUUUUGHHHHHyousaidTICK) tick phobia. It’s nothing, really, totally nothing.

    I’ll be under my desk for the rest of the day. Once I’ve thoroughly vetted it to ensure it’s a tick-free zone.

  12. Alicia

    We too are cruising VERY soon – we board the ship tomorrow in Mobile! Hope you all have a lovely time!

  13. Crisanne

    My boy has had more ticks than I can count, including a couple round the unmentionables. I generally find that spraying the shoes and ankles with heavy duty, chemical laden spray keeps them at bay. I figure at least that way it’s mostly on the shoes and socks, less on the skin.

    Enjoy your cruise!! I pray you have a fabulous time.

  14. Lori N

    Hate ticks. Dear daughter was the first to bring one home (on the back of her neck) and when she asked if removing it was going to hurt, I replied, “It’ll hurt the tick!”

    Fast forward 2 years and we now have a puppy who was a tick magnet for the first part of our spring. Yuck, yuck, yuck — but on the plus side, I am VERY good at getting ticks out now. (And so far, we’ve only found them on the dog.)

  15. Lucinda

    Cruises have the most amazing food and I know how much you enjoy trying wonderful food. Just walk everywhere instead of using the elevators. Then you won’t undo your recent weight loss.

    We went on a cruise years ago and had a great time, met very interesting people, made new friends, at tons of food, and loved letting everyone else take care of us. You will too. Enjoy!!!!

  16. divrchk

    Have a blast on the cruise! I hope Chickadee does ok with all of the sunshine but I’m sure you’ll be prepared. Everyone is going to have a blast!

  17. Karate Mom

    You know, I hate for you to stress out so much about your trip, so I think that you should send me in your place.
    Well, and Otto can stay home with you because I’m not sure that sharing a stateroom with a strange man who is married to someone else would be something that my husband would approve of. So you can just send the TWO of us in your place.
    Hey, it’s the least I can do!

  18. Annette

    We took a cruise 2 years ago and my kids think it was the best trip ever. The only thing AI didn’t like is that the kids were so busy we hardly saw them. I wanted a FAMILY vacation.

    And ticks, they like those areas…warm, moist and dark….yuck! My boys seem to always get them there.

  19. Karen

    You’ll be fine. How awesome, a family cruise to the islands… Mir, if it includes St. John, make sure you spend some time at Trunk Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. And easy for the kids to enjoy, including easy snorkeling and great beach rental hut.

    I had a very bad kennel experience once, will she be kenneled are taken care of at your home or someone elses? Kennels are the most traumatic, but some are very good at what they do.

    Have a great trip.

  20. Angela

    @JennyM, I have a rogue tomato plant in among the palm trees in my patio landscape. I can only guess that the previous owners threw a tomato in the planter to dispose of it. Otherwise I can’t imagine how it got there! The plant is bigger and happier than my other tomato plants, so it must have found just the right environment in which to thrive!

  21. Frank

    Because I am such a dork….
    when I read the bit about drugging your coffee I flashed to just about every A-Team episode where they had to find ways to drug B.A. when they flew. I laughed out loud b/c I can TOTALLY see Otto and Chickie trading winks as you sip your morning smoothie (that Otto made.. huh?) that is enhanced with some Vitamin “V” for your trip.
    Have fun!

  22. Aimee

    MAH BABY SQUASHES just made my day! LOL…

    A cruise sounds so great. I would love a cruise. I strongly suspect that you guys are going to have a fantastic time. Yes, Licorice will miss you; but I also strongly suspect that she’ll be so glad to see you when you get back that you’ll all forget about that part and just enjoy the reunion. Have fun!

  23. Crista

    Eewwww ticks! *shudder*

    On the other hand, have an awesome time on your cruise!! I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back!

  24. KarenP

    Hey no ticks around here! Lots of slugs though. Have a great time.

  25. Brigitte

    Like Frank, I also was having “A Team” flashbacks!

    I hope your BAYBEES do fine in your absence. ;-)

  26. Brigitte

    Oh, and don’t Google any videos for “Moose Ticks.” Just don’t.

  27. Mary Fran

    Nothing like hearing your toddler yell “IT HAS LEGS! IT HAS LEGS!” when looking at that black “spot” on his elbow. *shudder*. Hate ’em!

  28. Dawn

    Would it be totally selfish if me to think one thing after reading this post… Oooo! Just THINK of the blog posts that cruise is going to generate!

    Yeah. It’s all about me.

  29. Gigi

    Take this from someone who lives at the tropics by the caribbean sea bring LOTS of mosquito repelent, and I do mean lots this is mosquito season, oh and not the natural kind either, the kind ladden with chemicals that will repel anything from miles away! Malaria or yellow fever are not the problem here, dengue fever is. On the plus side, crystal clear waters and sandy white beaches!

  30. Lulu

    I too would love to wake up in the Caribbean. I haven’t even gotten my garden tilled, much less planted — your photos are a breath of hope! Here our last frost date is June 1 (really) and first frost date is Sept 1. The tomato plants on my windowsills are languishing, as am I. I’ll take any of the sunshine Chicky maybe can’t have (yowsa. and bummer.) or doesn’t want.

    And I’d never seen a tick on my outdoor dogs and cats here until about 5 years ago. That year, it became a daily absolute necessity to check for ticks before anyone came back into the house–and we used Frontline on all the 4-legs. Ever since, we now start the Frontline treatments on March 1 (well before the end of snow season) and continue until August (after harvest & into drought season). Ticks. Creepy creepy creepy.

  31. Tracy

    Aw…you are going to love the cruise. It’s going to be relaxing and full of fun-filled days. Just don’t stress over it. Everything always works out fine. I would love to dogsit for you only I’m 600 miles away. Enjoy!

  32. Dawn

    Monkey should get a medal for calmly telling you about the bug on his bits, because I’m not sure I could be that relaxed about it.

  33. Nelson's Mama

    Nelson doesn’t like to be boarded. We always try to find a responsible college student to stay with him when we travel – it’s usually a win/win situation. The student likes being on their own, it’s easy money and Nelson and his feline buddies usually makes a new friend!

  34. Little Bird

    I’m ignoring the whole subject of ticks, in fact, I’ll be trying to forget I read it at all.
    But, those pretty pretty squashes, now THOSE look lovely! Tell me you have tried making stuffed fried squash blossoms!!! Stuff them with Ricotta (you can add some chives and garlic to the cheese, and some white truffle oil if you’re feeling fancy) and dredge the stuffed flowers in flour (not sure how that will work with the whole no wheat thing… rice or potato flour?) and then fry them. Oh, they are FAB-YOU- LOUS!!!!!
    I’m also ignoring the cruise too, but only out of pure jealousy. But I do hope you have fun!!

  35. kathy

    Um, I LIVE in the Caribbean and I have an idea where you might dock. If you’d like to meet up, lmk.

  36. Kira

    Awww…the widdle baby squashes! So purty! I think tiny squashes look like little hairy…things that might have ticks near them.
    You DO know they will be baseball bats by the time you get home, right?
    Ah well. As you’re floating along, if you need help relaxing, think this to yourself: there are no ticks at sea.
    Love you, dear. Have a wonderful time. May it feed your soul.

  37. J from Ireland

    Wow I love your Dad and Step-mom. We are lucky girls because my Dad amd Mam are bringing all their kids and grandkids over to Florida this October. This is a once in a lifetime trip. All 25 of us, so excited. I hope your having a great time, Mir and family.

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