Three years ago, I made a summer “bucket list” for myself and my kids. It included going to the beach, having a picnic, making this cake, and going to White Linen Night.

I went to the beach with my mom and my kids. Georgia got stung by a jellyfish and threw up, we realized a little bit too late that the beach was under an advisory for high levels of bacteria (no wonder we had the whole place to ourselves!), we all got sunburned, and when we stopped to take a picture of ourselves at the side of the road as a way to memorialize the whole horrible trip, we ended up in what was basically quicksand. I sank in up to my knees, and Ruby lost a flip-flop trying to save me.

We had a picnic. We took Popeyes out by Lake Pontchartrain, and my kids, after begging all day to go, immediately switched tacks to begging to leave almost before I had the blanket spread out: It was hot, there were too many bugs, everything was itchy, the bug spray was greasy, the sun had singled them out for special hateful treatment by shining directly in their eyes. They were back home watching YouTube videos in the air conditioning within 20 minutes, which was fine with me except that I wasn’t the one who wanted to have a damn picnic in the first place, children!

I didn’t make the cake. I still think about that cake sometimes because it sounds delicious and elegant and right up my alley, taste-wise, but I am really just too lazy to deal with the metric measurements. Yes, I know that makes me an ugly American, but I don’t really know where our kitchen scale is, and although it certainly seems like it would be a refreshing summertime cake, it’s too hot to bake a cake right now.

I think we went to White Linen Night. Maybe we didn’t. I know I bought a dress specifically for the event, but I might have decided at the last minute that I felt too fat in the dress to go. Last year, I told myself that I was going to go on a diet in June so I could fit into the dress and not look lumpy by the time White Linen Night rolled around, but then I spent all of June and July eating ice cream while lying on the sofa watching crime shows and bitching about the heat, and that is satisfying in many primal ways, but a weight loss solution it is not. At any rate, I haven’t been to White Linen Night in a while. If they changed it to Slimming Black Horizontally Striped Muumuu Night, I might consider it.

This year, my summer goals are modest.

  1. Go berry-picking. This is actually something we’ve done several summers in a row, and it’s a lot of fun, even though I don’t like blueberries that much.
  2. Go see the fireworks. Yes, it’s a pain to get out of the house and down to the river, but I still get goose bumps watching the fireworks – and even more goose bumps watching my kids watch the fireworks.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. This isn’t a weight loss thing – the produce is so good right now that it’s all I’m really craving, and my fig tree hasn’t even kicked into full gear yet. I can’t wait for fig season.
  4. Rearrange the girls’ room. With Ruby gone for most of the summer, it will be so much easier to get in there, Marie Kondo the crap out of it, and divide up the space in a way that will give Ruby more privacy and Georgia more room to play.

If I wanted to add a fifth goal, it would be to house-train the puppy, but I fear that will take more than the rest of summer, and I am trying to set myself up for success here.


Happy summer, all!