Love Summer

27 07 2010





The Bachelorette Party: Didi Returns

25 07 2010

Phil was coming to help me weed my three acres, and I was excited.

If you feel anything like I do about weeding, you might wonder why I was excited.  But as I mentioned in a previous post, Phil has a certain kind of Easter-Bunny-for-Grown-Ups kind of magic.  Something interesting was bound to happen.

We started off early Sunday morning.  Granted, we began our weeding extravaganza with a trip to the gas station for supplies and some strong mimosas, but it progressed well.

Here we are with good intentions:

And good intentions we did have.

But by 10am, we were doing this:

And at noon, after a good two hours of dancing, we needed more supplies.  For “weeding the yard.”  So off we went…

This fine employee was hesitant to participate in our shopping trip photo op, but agreed on the basis that it was a "bachelorette party."

Didi has a way of turning up in the strangest places.

Watch out, kiddies, you might get more than a ball to play with!

Or do we want a beer with a little less head?

This lady said, "Oh, I used to do that!" Walk around with a spare head? Really? This was someone we wanted to know!

Beer, wine coolers, and Didi

Beer, $7.99; Wine Coolers, $3.89; Didi, PRICELESS

So, already our day was turning out to be pretty awesome.

But it got better.

Phil made some calls.

By 3:30, we were doing this:

Me and my proud future aunt-in-law

By about 5:00, we were here:

And went on to do this:

I have to admit, it’s not at all what I expected when Phil came to help me weed my yard, but then, I never do know what to expect when Phil comes to town.

I just know it’s gonna be good.





Life at the Last Minute

24 07 2010

My mom and I went to Costa Rica as a final “girls-only” trip before I get married.  We planned for months.

With 24 hours left before we had to be at the airport, Jason decided he wanted to go camping.  He really wanted to go camping.

“What else do you have to do to get ready?” he asked.  “Decide which book to take?”

Oh, the boy knows me well – in fact, I had several library books, and needed to decide if I wanted to take the higher-interest hardback or the lower-interest paperback.

We went camping.

Here is the boy, clearly eager to spend every minute with me before I left the country (every minute he wasn’t fishing, that is):

Well, we did hang out together a bit, and close to the fire because, for July, it was cold.  So here we are, the happy couple:

Surprisingly, my mom and I made it to the airport on time.  I even had time to shower.  All I forgot, in the rush the next day, was my toothbrush.  And my fleece jacket.

And for those of you who are as nerdy as I am and are therefore desperate to know: I took the hardback.





Nostalgia Comes Cheap

21 07 2010

Yesterday, I went climbing for the first time in over two years.  Jason’s friends Travis and Chuck most patiently allowed me to tag along, despite the fact that I certainly slowed the group down.  Of course, if you know anything about climbers, you know they’re always happy to have an extra belayer around.

I impressed myself by remembering how to belay.  I wasn’t sure it would come back to me naturally, but since Travis was already leading this climb, I figured I’d better do my best.  He survived, so it all worked out okay.

I was less impressed with my memory of how to actually climb the damn rock.  I did make it up a few routes, and without any serious injury to myself or poor Chuck, who was stuck belaying me as I inched up the hot rock.

During a rest in the shade, I mentioned that I had gotten a nice blood blister.

Travis looked up from his water bottle, mildly interested.

“Well,” I admitted.  “I actually got it trying to open the lock on the bathroom door on the way in, but it’s all part of the experience, right?”

The boys were decidedly not fascinated by my almost-climbing-related bump.

Okay, here it is.  I simply cannot post a how-I-climb-now without a shameless brag about how-I-used-to-climb photo.  Or two.  I apologize for my need to show off and to couch the show-offedness in a simple compare-and-contrast manner.  I really, really, really can’t help myself.

Here it is:

5 years later, 10 pounds later, 1 back surgery later, a lifetime later, these pictures are all I have of my former badass, climb anything, take a whipper and keep going, loving the slimy basalt, three nights a week in the climbing gym self.

I miss that kid.  I wouldn’t trade places with her now, but it’s sure nice to visit every once in awhile.





War Declared

17 07 2010

I came home from walking the dogs to find Chris stalking about the garage with his hands in the air, softly cooing “Come here, little beetle.  If I wanted to kill you, you’d be dead, I just want to see you.  You’re my favorite kind of beetle.  Come here, little beetle.”

He did, eventually, catch the beetle.  After conducting a short photo session, he proceeded to carry the beetle around with him as he went about his business.

Later that evening, I was reaching between couch cushions in our garage when out flew a moth.

As I approached my bed a while later, a spider jumped – jumped – off the wall towards me.

There’s nothing like living with two amateur arthropodologists.  We are currently living in an ongoing construction project, so the garage door is always open to accommodate the pile of equipment and supplies that extends into the driveway.  The windows (screenless) remain open all night to cool the very warm house.  Doors to the house remain open due to the simple fact that nobody seems concerned with closing them.

So we have some moths.  We have spiders.  We have beetles.

I have witnessed, in the past, the hatching of many spider eggs.  Each one was a unique, amazing, and horrifying experience.  I have come to the conclusion that spiders’ breeding habits have evolved to take into account the fact that I am going to kill as many as I can see.  I don’t feel too bad killing every spider I see, because I figure there are a whole bunch in the proximity that I can’t see.

Jason and Chris want to save every one.

Including the black widow under the kitchen sink.

May you never live in a house with a black widow lurking under your kitchen sink.

I try, out of respect to the boys, to let these various little pets go about their business.  I’ve done a pretty good job, although that jumping spider had to go.

Then, last night, I was propped up in bed, holding my book, when I looked down and saw a scorpion.  On my rib cage.  In case you missed that: I found a scorpion nestled in the folds of my shirt on my ribcage.

I’m not typically a screamer, but I made an exception.

In came Jason, as I brushed the thing off and tried to squash it with my book.

“Don’t kill it!” hollered Jason.  “Don’t!  Don’t!  I’ll get something to catch him in, just watch him for me!”

He caught it.  He released it into the yard.

He returned and said, nonchalantly, “Shake out the pillows, they usually have friends.”

That’s it.

I have now adopted a ruthless anti-bug policy.  I’m no longer catering to the sensibilities of two grown men with the bug fascination of five year olds.  I dearly love them both, and am about to marry one, so I will do my best to conduct my war guerilla-style, with the hopes that they will not notice a significant reduction in the number of bugs they get to catch and identify.  But also in the hopes that there will be a significant reduction, in both bugs and scorpions.

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During the writing of this post, by the way, a crab-like spider crawled across the rug about six inches from my knee.  It was a casualty of war.





Just Say No

16 07 2010

Early on in our home improvement project, I offered to help Chris paint.

“I was told not to let you paint,” he responded gravely.

This is probably a good policy.

However, the project has dragged on for months longer than anticipated, and finally, my offer was accepted.  What harm could I do to some trim?  Trim that was off the walls – we’ve lost patience, not our minds.

Well, as I was slapping primer on, I realized that I hadn’t stirred the can well enough, so I stirred it some more and tried to put a second layer on the still-wet first layer.  Not good.  I tried putting it on thicker to hide my error.  Not good.  A fly landed on some wet paint and tried to shoo it away – with the paint brush.  Not good.  I called Charlie over to keep me company, and he obliged, standing next to the wet trim and shaking, filling the air with dust and hair.  Not good.  I dropped the brush, I dropped the trim, I dropped the whole project for just long enough for a thin skin to form on top of the paint in the can, I used too much paint, I used to little paint, I ate paint-splattered grapes, I wiped my nose with the back of my paint-covered hand.  None of it good.

With paint on my thigh, my elbow, in my hair, and completely covering my hands, I moved on to an interior wall.

NOT GOOD.

Oh, well, at least I’m finally helping…





The Dogs Have a Very Bad Day

16 07 2010

Charlie’s very bad day started at about 8 in the morning, but had its roots in an event that took place 6 hours earlier.

At 2am, the entire household awoke to the screaming of Chris’s dog.  I feared that she had tangled with a coyote or other wild creature and gotten the worst of it.  I guess she did, actually, but it wasn’t a coyote, and she hadn’t been harmed by tooth or claw: she chased a skunk and got a face full of its spray.  Stinking and foaming at the mouth, Porter was otherwise okay.  Jason found a recipe to rid her of the smell, and Chris gave her a bath.  The incident took place on the deck, and all the windows were open to the cool night air, so the entire house was permeated with the scent.  Charlie sniffed the air and went back to sleep.

The next day, I let Charlie out for his morning airing.  I knew what was going to happen, but I resigned myself to it.  After all, I couldn’t spend the whole day following him around.  Sure enough, when he came to get his breakfast, the odor that accompanied him proved that he had gone and rolled around in the weeds where the skunk had fled.

Charlie spent the morning locked out of the house.

I know that for some dogs, being banned to the (3 acre) yard would be no big deal on a warm summer morning.  Charlie was devastated.  With birds chirping in the trees and squirrels scampering around, Charlie remained morosely curled by the garage door.  Every time the door opened, he begged to come in.

Finally, the door opened and he was allowed to enter.

Somehow, though, instead of ending up in his bed, he found himself in the shower.  And it was on.

After the trauma of his unexpected bath, Charlie was again locked of the house to dry.

Poor dog.

Both dogs, though, have fully recovered from the attack, and it’s once again safe to breathe the air at our house.

Charlie, drying out after his bath

Porter, resting after an eventful night

"Don't Let Charlie In Please": A note for anyone coming through the door

Seriously, Jason went out to hunt the skunk. Pajamas, headlamp, flashlight and shotggun; really? Lucky for us all, he didn't find the skunk.








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