A Dam Fine Day; or, Summer’s Here!

‘Long about February, the kids start asking me when we’re going to Black Canyon Reservoir (known around here as “the dam”).   Even though I live in the high desert of a landlocked state, we’ve got a great little beach less than ten minutes from my house, and it is never busy on summer weekdays.   It feels like our own little secret when we go.  Today was our first sojourn to the dam, and we had the beach all to ourselves (and our friends that met us there):
The water is still cold, so The Three Nerds were trepidatious:
But in the end, they succumbed:
Then there’s the “don’t let my arms touch the cold water” stage:
Gavin was outnumbered by girls 9-1, which is not an infrequent occurance. In fact, when he was chosen to pick an action for the “Fun To Do” song in Primary, he chose “playing with girls.” His default choice, however, is to do his boy thing alone:
Madame Chaos kept her swimsuit on long enough for me to get this photo, then it was strip-to-the-swimdiaper, her outfit of choice for the rest of the day:
This scene is how I know summer is REALLY here; with dam days, floating the river (the Payette runs lazily through our town) and swim lessons, our front porch becomes a clothesline for beach towels (and the van a sand haven) until September:
I love it!  Let the sunburns begin!


Guest Post: The Life of a Nerd

 My eldest daughter, Missy, favors us with her thoughts on Nerddom.  The piece de resistance is the movie she created, linked to at the end of this post.  Don’t miss the outtakes at the end! 

Being in GT (Gifted and Talented) gives S, T, and me many chances to ponder on the life of nerds. Whenever we see someone dinking around with batteries and motors and trying to make some sort of electrical device T says in an Australian accent, “Crikey mates! It’s a nerd in his natural habitat!”

Sadly enough, GT is not the first place I have been exposed to true nerds. Like my dad says, “If nerds were cool, our family would be the coolest.” Notice the small Star Trek ship that plays the Star Trek theme when T pushes a button. That ship is part of a collection of Star Trek Christmas ornaments our family owns and proudly displays on our Christmas tree every year. My father’s bookshelf cannot hold all of his sci-fi and fantasy books…however, one book that he does have on his shelf is a rare Star Trek log book, which he told me I could read if I was EXTREMELY careful. And, both my parents at one time knew how to speak some Klingon.

I must admit that I am not exempt from being a nerd myself. My favorite movies are the original Star Wars triliogy, and I have been a Star Trek Starfleet Command Officer for Halloween for the past two years. Shas tried again and again to save me from my nerdiness. She rolls her eyes and says, sighing, “Missy, you’re a Star Trek guy AGAIN for Halloween? Why would you want to be that? Star Trek is LAME.” But in the end, I do what I want and S is my best friend anyway, as long as I know that on the path to true and complete nerdiness I walk alone.    


Comic Book Necia

Post at fMh

I’m linking to a post I wrote over at Feminist Mormon Housewives–it is not at all the sort of post I anticipate writing here, and is not for the faint of heart (it’s about rape).  But since I’m the author I thought I’d link to it from here–if you have comments, please make them there rather than here.  Thanks.


TravelBlog III: Hobbiton

I never thought I’d get the chance to visit New Zealand–at least not in this stage of my life.    I’ve always thought of it as exotic, wild, lush, mountainous, remote–and it is all those things, and more.  We only had two and a half days in country on our way back to the States, so first we had to choose which island to visit, and then one or maybe two places to visit.  I hear from NZers that a person needs six weeks to see both islands properly, and I believe it; problem is, I don’t think I could be persuaded to leave after six weeks.  Read the rest of this entry »

Kiwi Rocks, and I Roll

What was my proudest moment at Lagoon this past weekend?

 Was it when Kiwi’s dance team placed first in the open category?

Was it when they took Overall Grand National Champion for all intermediate teams?

Was it when Kiwi got a first place for Intermediate Solo Acapella?

Was it when Kiwi got a first place for Intermediate Solo Freestyle?

Or . . .could it be, might it have just been, was it possibly that

 LIL’ SIS AND I BLEW AWAY OUR RECORD FOR ROLLOVERS ON THE ROCK-O-PLANE AT LAGOON?  101 rotations, baby, up from a mere 62!   We be rock-o-plane rollover royalty, don’tcha know.  We’ve got the Stomachs of Steel with the Linings of Lead, the Guts of Glory. You may bow.

But nice goin’, Kiwi.  You are a wonder to behold, and I’m astounded that I get to be your mom.
She’s all that and a bag of chips too!

More Travel

I’m off to the exotic state of Utah–Kiwi is competing in the clogging Nationals!  Wish her luck.

No blog for the next few days . .. . . but when I return . . . . THE ZORB!

TravelBlog II: Sydney Stuff

If writing a personal blog could be considered an activity for the self-absorbed, then thinking that readers will be interested in your vacation photos is probably certifiably narcissistic.  Mental diagnoses aside, I have had several questions about my trip and even requests for pictures.  Maybe they were “How are you?” kind of inquiries, hoping for the vacation-photo equivalent of “Fine;” Read the rest of this entry »

TravelBlog I: She Say, “You Beautiful!”

While JP and I were in Sydney during our trip down under, I had four days on my own while he attended meetings and made presentations (translation:  he made money, I spent it).   We absolutely loved the city–it was clean, felt safe, and the people were very friendly.  In fact, one of my favorite aspects of Sydney was the people who lived and visited there, and the diversity was fantastic–I heard accents from all over the world, saw shops and restaurants with any kind of food you could want, visited a colorful gay-friendly section of town (in fact, the whole city is very tolerant) and there seemed to be something for everyone to do and enjoy. 

One of my favorite things to do as I took walks and visited sites was to note when a couple was taking photos of each other, and to offer (with gestures, in case they didn’t speak much English, which was often the case) to use their camera to snap off a few of them together.  I was never turned down, and sometimes my accent or the circumstance would prompt them to strike up a conversation.  Read the rest of this entry »

How To: Surprise Your Mom for Mother’s Day

To celebrate Mother’s Day, guest poster Madame Chaos presents the third installment in her series on the art of delightful living.  The first two installments are here and here.  Fortuitously, this piece also can be cross-linked to Rebel Holiday as the events depicted transpired on a Friday.

I believe it to be no coincidence that Mother’s Day falls in May, when many garden perennials are in their first heady flush and the annuals planted in early Spring have taken root nicely.  The beauty of flowers and the beauty of motherhood do indeed complement each other, but the truly thrifty (and unemployable) among us know that nature’s bounty exists primarily for our convenience in creating astonishing and unique gifts in record speed and on a budget.

For this particular project I had to strategize a bit–I lulled Mom into thinking that she could take a few minutes to download and review her Australia pictures while I played with the older kids in the sprinklers.   (A tip for my readers:  if you can’t distract your mom, try neutralizing her neural pathways with unrelenting whining and pestering until she either retreats, twitching, to her master bedroom closet or enters a catatonic state.  But beware, this can backfire if she decides you need a nap.  Then you’re hosed.) Read the rest of this entry »

Being Served

In his book “The Five Love Languages,” Gary Chapman asserts that people generally fall into one of five categories regarding how they feel love most powerfully.  They are Quality Time, Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.  I am very definitely an Acts of Service gal–when someone does something for me, the swell of love I feel is almost overwhelming.  Even small kindnesses make me go all gooey.

So imagine what it was like for me when a small army of people not only made it possible for me to leave my children and go to Australia and New Zealand, but did so willingly and cheerfully.  My Neighbor Extraordinaire kept G in Boy Heaven at her house all ten days AND drove him to all his teeball games; my SIL Aunt Poodle not only took Dee the whole time, but drove to Boise to pick her up and drop her off; my parents travelled three hours each way to stay for three days to take care of kids; my in-laws drove Missy to Fruitland to a doctor appointment and also babysat; my pal Kim kept LouLou for several days and I think did all her shuttling back and forth; and my BFF Charlie, after helping me clean my house before I left, stayed several days and nights with Missy, Kiwi, and Madame Chaos as well as doing all the school driving.  And, AND . . . . I came home to a meal she had prepared and left on the counter.  But then I was summoned by my kids to my sewing/craft/spare bedroom where I found that she had not only IRONED, folded, and organized all my fabric, and sorted and reorganized my photo/scrapbooking stuff, but she had reupholstered three tattered folding chairs in three different but cute and coordinating fabrics.  Then, she came over with a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake for my birthday!  How do I possibly cope with such an outpouring from so many people, who not only merrily volunteered to be my surrogate for nearly two weeks, but went far beyond the basics for both me and my children?  Maybe that sounds like a silly question (“oh, you poor thing, yes, how indeed can you cope with that?”), but, as I said, even little acts of service can overwhelm me in their communication of caring and pure feeling–such an avalanche as I have experienced will sustain me for a long, long time.

 Thank you.

Coming soon . . . travel pics and reports from our days Down Under.