Saturday, August 20, 2016


I'm listening to: Julien Baker
I'm reading: Shrill
I'm feeling: I don't know. Indeterminate. Fine, I guess.

Things are fine. It's hot.

The girls are getting ready for school. Skipper feels pretty comfortable, returning to the same school for the third year, confident in her academic chops and excited to see her friends again, though she's of course nervous about new teachers.

Duchess is very excited and nervous about middle school. She has said several times this week "Mom... I'm nervous about middle school!" and she announced tonight that she does, actually, care about what she wears. She was very embarrassed to tell me this, and to tell me that she wants to use her recently-established clothing budget to buy new cheap clothes made by sweatshop laborers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Last camping trip of 2016!

The girls and I ditched Cook and went on a car-camping trip. I learned some stuff: 
1) Driving still sucks.
2)  Camping is more fun when ALL your meals are prepared over the fire (preferably with no dishwashing necessary).

3) Audiobooks are awesome - preventive of carsickness in the car, promoting of peace at the campsite when the kids are bickering.
4) S'mores don't have to involve a graham cracker. In fact, it's best if they don't. (I made this when the kids were listening to audiobooks and I was left to my own devices. I didn't bring any books, and had to entertain myself with marshmallows.)
5) Sand castles can be made even when it's 60 and rainy.

6) A lot of the interactions between Skipper and Duchess play out sort of like this:
Skipper attempts to persuade Duchess to play with her. Duchess is adolescently skeptical but is eventually persuaded to participate.

It was damp, sandy, and cold. We inhaled a lot of woodsmoke and ate a lot of sand. We and all our stuff came home wet and filthy. We missed Cook. I read something recently about the effect of curated vacation photos on social media - how we are all at least a little jealous of each other's perfect vacations and feel bad about how ours seem to have a lot more whining, frustrations and missteps than other people's. Don't be jealous of mine - it was far from perfect. There was a lot of yelling and tantruming and whining and selfishness and general jerky behavior, and the weather was also quite poorly behaved. But we had such a good time that it was even worth the driving, and that's saying a lot.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ideal summer for an 11-year-old who likes to read?

I'm taking a few days off work staycationing between actual vacation trips. Skipper and I accompanied Duchess to the pool for swim team today, so I took the quasi-traditional walk-to-the-pool photo:

At the pool:

And, after the pool, the resting. I just read a thing in the New York Times about people struggling to get their children to read. This has never, ever been a problem in our house. We have the opposite problem. I say "Put the book down and...(eat your food/ talk to your friends/look where you're going/etc.)" about four times a day, on average.

Things we had to look up after our camping trip this weekend.

1) Castle by David Macaulay

2) Andy Goldsworthy

3) Tailless rodents in the Mt Hood National Forest (no rodent photo was taken; it was moving fast)

4) Do bats eat mosquitoes? (Also, how many s'mores can Duchess eat?)

And here are some bonus pictures.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hello, my dears

You have possibly thought me dead. Or retired. But no! Here are facts. FACTS.

1) I am pretty happy.

2) I am coasting, a bit. My job is not hard right now (though I am feeling unpleasantly useless at work). I'm pursuing no productive hobbies. I'm not doing anything but the minimum in terms of housekeeping or whatever other stuff adults are supposed to do to maintain basic functions. I don't know - pay bills? Dust?

3) I'm enjoying making more money -  Cook and I are both employed full-time, an unprecedented state of affairs, and feeling the weird upper-middle class dilemma of having money and no time. (Not a LOT of money, and not really no time, but you know.) I am employed through March, so I'm campaigning hard to spend part of my income in that limited time on frivolous vacations. Skipper is 100% on board and we are already planning a week in London. (Duchess will be on board, but she's off at dorks-in-the-woods camp right now and doesn't know about our plan. We're definitely going to the Tower of London.) I also think we need to step up our half-assed and unsystematic charitable giving.

4) My kids are loons. Beautiful loons.