Here, for no particular reason, is a video of an ant hill we discovered while poking around in the woods, which is further evidence in the mounting case against this whole “outdoors” business:

Found this back when we stayed in Bly. 🐜😱

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Giant nightmare-tower of teeming insect horrors aside, I have been having an extremely awesome summer, even though I had to spend several days pooping on a bucket during a rafting trip on the Rogue River. Said bucket is actually referred to as “the groover” (here is the apparent explanation behind the name) and the worst thing about the groover is that you’re not supposed to pee in it. Like, doing so is a serious camping party foul, because it has to be carried for the whole trip and presumably no one wants it sloshing around. Which is all fine and dandy for dudes who can whizz wherever without even looking like they’re doing anything but fiddling with their waistbands while admiring the view, but we women have to constantly scuttle off and find somewhere vaguely private to hunker and try not to pee on our foot or drop our ass in a blackberry vine, which is maddening when there’s a toilet of sorts that’s totally available but only for one function. Plus of course there’s the issue of sitting down on the damn groover to carry out a Number Two and guess what, some Number One is absolutely going to happen, I’m not some sort of Kegel magician.

The upside of accidentally-but-not-really peeing in the groover is that despite the overly intimate nature of being faced with your rafting party’s output — because you can’t not look, you know? Once you flip that lid up you’re basically committed to looking, and by day two you’re like, ah, I see the Bear-Splat Pooper has been here, and Small Nuggets, and Soft Pretzel, and then you go back to camp and helplessly indulge yourself in the world’s most disgusting guessing game — no one can definitively be blamed for the urine-related rule-breaking, unless of course they confess it on their blog, which, to be clear, I am absolutely not doing right now.

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It must be summer, because the kids are home and the house is a disaster and somebody wants a snack every 7 minutes and no one can take off a swimsuit without leaving it inside-out and sopping on the floor. But the sun is shining and I feel like every day is a grand excuse for ice cream and we have so many fun outings planned for the next couple months! But also: OMG the summer vacation bickering. MAKE. IT. STOP.

Anyway, I thought I would share some things I am enjoying lately, most of which are summer-related. I have a sidebar for this type of content plus a long-neglected second blog but the first is too time-consuming and I have forgotten the password for the second, so here we go:

The following cute dresses, which I got from Zappos. They all fit my criteria for casual summer wear: the fit is comfy, the fabric is soft, there are no zippers or fastening shenanigans, they are forgiving in the midsection (see above re: ice cream), they can be worn with a regular bra.


Marmot’s Larissa dress. This is so super cute, with the contrasting fabric on the bottom.


Toad&Co Marley dress. This isn’t the dressiest of dresses, in fact it’s basically a long t-shirt. But it somehow works, and it’s so incredibly comfortable I ordered a second one in a different color. Perfect for lounging around the house, but not so sloppy you wouldn’t wear it out and about.


KUHL Møva Aktiv dress. I am becoming devoted to KUHL, their stuff always feels nicely constructed and cute in an outdoorsy way. I usually err on going up a size with this brand. This particular dress is very comfortable and is gathered in the bust, which does something flattering I’m sure I could describe if I understood how fashion works, and also the back is all sporty and interesting while still covering bra straps.


Toad&Co Muse dress. This is another dress I love to wear around the house because it basically feels like a nightgown. This has the drape-y appeal of a maxi dress without drowning you in fabric or dragging along the ground because you’re 5’5” and spiritually opposed to wearing heels.

Now for something gross. If one of your children comes home from school with LICE during one of the very last days before summer break, and your combing/haircutting/general hand-flapping doesn’t solve the problem, this right here is what you need. In my experience you have to use it over several days because it’s hard not to miss a tiny nit here and there, but (knocks wood) I think it finally did the trick. (Thank you Leah for bringing it to my attention!)


Back to summer wear: Clarks Breeze flip flops are amazing. My mom has given me a few pairs so I have them in pink, teal, and gold. They’re sturdy and comfy AF and while they probably don’t pair well with fancy outfits they’re perfect for walking, rock-scrambling, water-navigating, backyard-lounging, and so on.

I am a huge fan of this sunscreen by Shiseido, discovered via recommendation from Noemi. I initially bought this and loved it, but it takes a million years to ship via Amazon. The “aging care” version is available via Prime and I can’t tell the difference. No white cast, no greasy finish, no yucky product-y feeling, just awesome coverage that sinks into your skin with no fragrance.


The Kan Jam game is a big hit with our family. It’s portable, really simple and action-packed, and the only downside is that it costs $40 for what essentially amounts to a Frisbee and two pieces of plastic, PLUS we swapped the game’s heavy Frisbee for the more hand-friendly one we already had. Still, very fun and a nice option for those long summer evenings.


Books! Recent reading: The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying, which was difficult and heartbreaking while also gorgeous and life-affirming; Dark Matter, which wasn’t 100% up my alley but the pace was so relentless I liked it for that aspect alone; The Nix, which is hard to describe because it’s so much more than the sum of its parts, just read it I promise it’s fantastic; Theft By Finding, which duh, David Sedaris, and also it’s so cool to watch his writing skills strengthen over time. I just started Every Heart a Doorway and it’s dreamy and lovely and oh boy I would have been obsessed with this book when I was a misfit teenage girl. Lastly, I will mention In the Words of Olympic Peninsula Authors, because my aunt worked her butt off bringing this anthology to life, and I have a short story in there.


This powder from It Cosmetics is great. For a while I was really into Glossier’s skin tint, but as the temperatures have been heating up I like having a mostly bare face. The It powder provides light coverage without feeling chalky or settling into lines, and helps tamp down on shine.


On a final note, if everything in your house is starting to smell sort of like Sweaty Unwashed Socks and Funky Boy Bedroom and Essence of Dog and you’re not really a floral-scent fan, may I recommend this deliciously woodsy candle from Paddywax? Bonus: pretentious packaging so you can be all, yeah I’m totally literary. *hides Us Weekly*

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