Tick Country

July 5th, 2019

Week 27: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

Day 29: Summer vacation with 4-year-olds

We live in tick country. Specifically, deer tick country — the carriers of Lyme Disease as well as some other really lovely, deadly viruses. We hate ticks. And by “we,” I mean absolutely everyone except the chickens, who think they are delicious. So crunchy!

This week my daughter came home from her nature camp with a tick in a plastic baggie, labeled with her name, the date, and the time. It had been in her neck — a place I definitely coated with DEET. I also sent her to camp with an outfit specifically saturated in permethrin, a hardcore, flower-based spray that is lethal to ticks but hopefully not toxic to humans. The ticks do not care.

There is nothing that makes one more appreciative of the lack of control humans have over their lives than a tick. I have gotten more relaxed about the tick thing since I first moved to Vermont, but the sight of a teensy tinsy baby tick that is barely visible to the human eye still gives me the willies. While we do tick checks every night after bath, that fucker was tiny. Would I even see it if I were the one doing the tick check?

Aside from the ticks, this summer camp is a dream come true. I frequently find myself envious of my children’s childhood, and this is a good example. When I was a kid, I went to a 4H sleepover camp where we were death-marched to the lake to swim at dawn in an activity they cleverly rebranded as “Polar Bear Club.” We also had to learn to ride horses, which, fine, but I was more of an art-shack girl.

This week, my kids are at BEEC doing “Nature Explorers Camp.” BEEC is a wonderful place in the deep woods of Brattleboro that offers all kinds of educational and social programs to encourage people to get outside and learn respect and awe and wonder for nature. The property is connected by trails that wind through the woods and down a sloping meadow to an old farm. It’s positively dreamy. (Check it out.)

They love it, but of course, their favorite part of the morning is the water slide: a giant piece of plastic on a steep hill, wet down with a hose. Forget about fancy theme parks. This is livin’ in Vermont.

What I’m eating

Fresh local farm strawberries with mascarpone whipped cream. Life is short.

What I’m listening to

Just listened to an episode of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend about the reality of gender pronouns: Pronoun Power. “How a functional piece of grammar says so much about the fight for gender equality and better representation for non binary and trans people.” Really insightful. 

What I’m reading

Written for The Fold Mag by a friend in LA and gave me so much pause for thought: Childfreeness: Jessica Taft Langdon On Being Child-Free By Circumstance

In the New York Times:

Want to be Less Racist? Move to Hawaii

And also this, which, okay, is a little mean spirited, but so cheeky: Oh, to Be Ivanka!

What I’m working on

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