Taking the place of Jen today…

is me, Mel from Colorful Metaphors.  I really like Jen.  If I lived in Boulder, she would so be my BFF.  We have  lot in common.  If she ever came to Austin, I would take her to the Whole Foods Mecca and this great gluten free deli that I know about.  Anyway, while Jen is enjoying her time in sunny Florida, I’m doing a little bit of blog sitting.  .  And I have to say, I’m insanely jealous that she got to see a shuttle shot today.  There had better be some good pictures of this when she gets back.  I’m just sayin’.

So.  My guest blog post.   Well, about that.  I said yesterday that it would have substance.  Then I spent the day in 100 degree heat at a track meet and am no longer able to rub two brain cells together.  I even had a great topic in mind in honor of Jen getting to see a shuttle shot, which I am insanely jealous of.  I was going to do this lament about how our country has no goal to work toward any more, nor does it seem likely to get one any time soon.  You’d think that trying to improve our gas mileage or clean up the environment, or even stopping terrorism would band us together as a nation like we were during WWII or during the lunar program.  But it hasn’t happened, and that makes me so sad.

I got a chance to take the NASA Behind the Scenes Tour last summer when I was down there (and I really hope that Jen did as well because it is beyond cool) and was totally amazed by the stories that these people had to tell about being a part of such a historical project.  I was more than a little envious hearing about that and I have to admit that I teared up several times while hearing these stories (yes, I am a geek).  I would kick a kitten to be a part of something like that now, but there isn’t anything like it today.  And why not?  Have we really become so self absorbed as a culture that we can’t pull to together and make something bigger than ourselves?  And don’t tell me that there are better things to spend money on than the space program, because it isn’t just about going into space.  It’s about pushing ourselves as a society to make things better.  Think about it:  if we had kept to the idea of having bases on the moon, what are the odds that we would have this recycling thing figured out by now?  Not to mention long-life batteries that say a car could run on.  We don’t need anything like that around here, do we?

Well looky there.  I had some substance in me after all.  Good thing for you, because I almost gave you an ode to the Facebook quiz.

So Jen, I hope you are having fun in Florida.  I hope that you saw that shuttle shot and that you got to do the whole NASA thing.  Did I mention that I was insanely jealous of the shuttle shot?  Just thought I’d get that in.  And be sure to ride Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.  It is totally awesome!  See you when you get back!

******************************************************************

Jen here. I totally borked up setting up my guest posters (I’ll do better next time, promise!), and this didn’t post. :( I’m still working out the kinks. Mel, thanks so much for covering for me. No shuttle launch, as I’m sure you may have heard (and ohhh, do I have stories from that night!), but this post is certainly covering for me as I attempt to find the bottom of the laundry pile. You rock!

Hey! The humidity! There is none!

What is this? I believe it is called lack of humidity. I have named the humidity in Orlando “Sheldon.” Sheldon the Humidity. It was so present I felt it needed a name. He was a real pain in the butt, now known as The Gutter…as in, where all the back sweat drains. Such a pleasant sensation. Ahhh….humidity-free bliss here in Colorado.

We’re home.

I have downloaded and preliminarily sorted 585 emails.

I am staring down 1120 unread posts in Google Reader (heh…riiiiiight…ain’t gonna read ’em all).

I am on my third load of laundry.

I have picked up a book on hold from the library.

I have retrieved my dog from her week of debauchery and spoiling the woman who was watching her.

I have unpacked.

I have made iced tea.

I have roughly planned out the week, and have given thanks every 10 minutes that Tom took tomorrow off too.

I shall return shortly.

If not, send a search party, the mail probably buried me.

PlanB…from outer space

Damn. Launch scrubbed. We were already there, so we just stayed. Took the bus tour, hit the gift shops, stayed up all night. With the boys. It’s now 5am and we’re just now heading back to the hotel. We’re disappointed that we didn’t get to see the launch, but in a twisted sort of way, kinda glad we get more time in the parks. It’ll always still be “our launch.”
Wowm I really need some sleep.

wish you were here

I’ve “borrowed” Tom’s Crackberry while drives. Heh. We’re on our way to the shuttle launch. Actually, we’re just arriving. Plenty early, too. Will sleep in the car as long we can.
It’s hot here. Really, really hot. Sell your favorite child for a cold beer hot. And sweat through your clothes humid. I am such a weather wuss.
Damn, this rocks. Tom is like a little kid right now. The boys have been fantastic on rhis trip.
Enough typing. The launch awaits! And we’re here. :)

Blog party!

It’s difficult to admit, but many of my friends live in my computer, not in my neighborhood. It’s hard to get together when you live in different time zones, different countries. So I’m hosting a Blog Party, where I can gather my peeps together.

I’d have Robin come and hang out. We’d eat biscotti and drink red wine and toast the progress our children have made over the last two years. We’d toast ourselves, for making it this far and for everything we’ve done for our kids. And then we’d watch our kids play together, creating new bonds and friendships.

Melissa and Christina would be there. Beyond all we have in common with our children, the three of us are musicians. We’d play George Crumb’s Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) (1971), for electric flute, electric cello, and amplified piano, complete with blue lights, mics, and masks. I played it at my final graduate school recital; today I look at the music and am amazed I could play it once upon a time.

Dawn and her partner Laura are invited. They’d bring their sweet little dog Quinn to play with Rosie, and great stories to share. We’d keep the grownup stories for after the kids are in bed.

Jen and I would play “Name That Band Piece,” and I suspect she’d kick my butt, since she was a band director for considerably longer than I was. But I’d hold my own, because dang I know a lot of band music.

Lisa would tend bar, ’cause she has the best drinks. And the best “I teach in an inner-city school, don’t mess with me” stories.

Cursing Mama would bring snicker-doodles and teach me to knit. And curse.

Denise and Jennie would come early and stay late (benefit of living so close). We’d go for a hike first, just because we can. And because, when the weather cooperates, summer out here rocks.

Karin will write and perform a beautiful sacred piece that will touch our hearts and souls.

RC, Tendrils, Michelle, Cathy, Lynn and I will sit and stare at the beauty that is the Rocky Mountains. And drink wine. And laugh and have a great time. Because we can.

I want Angie and her boys to come, because I just want to give her a huge hug. My boys will take her boys off to the side of the house and teach them armpit farts. I apologize in advance.

Kelley totally needs to come, seeing as how she broke her brain and everything. Sorry about the 24 hour flight from Australia; I’ll make it up to her with a brand new pair of orange Crocs.

Chelle will come and teach me all I need to know about hosting a great porch night. And we’ll drool over Jamie Bamber together.

Jamie and I will sit and laugh and cry and rock in the corner. Only another parent of a precocious ADHD kid knows that sometimes you have to laugh to keep from screaming your everlovin’ head off.

Kate and I will sit and reminisce over the “good old days.” The days when we didn’t have kids, but went to college and thought we knew what stress was. And then want to bitch-slap our old selves.

At the end of the night, we’d have one last toast. We’d toast ourselves, for being ourselves, for the honesty we pour out onto these virtual pages. A toast to the future, to friends we have but may never meet in person, to our dreams.

A Blog Party to end all Blog Parties.

Prepping for a trip=Jen needs more wine

I hate planning for trips. No, strike that. I like planning for trips, it’s the pre-trip prep that is murder. Usually because I’m the one running around like a mad-woman, getting everything together while Tom works. At least that’s not the case this time, in no small part to me threatening to smother him in his sleep if he did.

Yesterday we lost power for a solid hour due to a storm that blew up out of nowhere. We weren’t supposed to get rain. Well, we didn’t get just rain. We got rain…hail…bigger hail…wind…power outage…tornado. No power=no idea there was a tornado. No storm sirens in town=no idea there was a tornado. Husband who is tornado obsessed (lost his house at age 12 while he was in the basement) and would love to actually see one but looked out the wrong window=no idea there was a tornado.

And all I could think as the minutes ticked by and there was still no power was: HOLY CRAP I HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO BEFORE THE TRIP AND THAT LAUNDRY ISN’T GOING TO DO ITSELF AND GOOD GOD EVERYTHING I NEED TO DO INVOLVES ELECTRICITY. And then my head stopped working and fell off, because apparently it too needs power to function. Note to self: getting an iPhone can’t come soon enough. Verizon, c’mon, offer the iPhone…soon.

When Tom and I went to Disney World three years ago for our 10th anniversary (and really, I highly recommend adults go without kids at least once), it was a piece of cake. Pack bags, leave notes on the feeding and watering of the cherubs, and get the hell outta town. Not so this trip. We must plan rests, contingency plans, Secret Service plans (grab the kid, keep low to the ground, and run like hell), and how to get J to eat anything other than mac ‘n cheese (one severely constipated kid is plenty, thankyouverymuch). Must make info cards to stick in the boys’ lanyards with “I’m lost” information. Must make date cards for the boys to hold when I take their pictures every morning. Yes, I could do without that, but it makes it tons easier to keep track of pictures for scrapbooking, and terrible as it sounds, a picture of the boys (and what they’re wearing)  every morning will help with finding them if they got lost.

Can’t forget medicines, supplements, earplugs, sunscreen (trying to find sunscreen north of Denver? Sorry, it’s in my bedroom…I tire of the lobster look). Remember the iPod, the Leapsters, the ponchos. Can’t leave without the laundry sheets (’cause inevitably someone will have a toileting accident and need to do laundry), the cell phone chargers (my cell is dying…Verizon…please! Offer the iPhone…please!), reading material for the flights.

On the bright side…don’t need a stroller or 50 pound carseat. Two lightweight boosters and that’s it.

We’re off to The Happiest Place On Earth and I couldn’t be happier. The full moon is waning (craziness will begin to cease), we’ll have backup (my parents are meeting us there and we’re going to surprise the boys), and they’re old enough to remember this trip. A’s sensory issues and ADHD are better understood. J is coming out of his shell and actually talks to people, and dude, we get to see a shuttle launch.

Family time doesn’t get any better than this.

Summer Stock Sunday

Summer Stock Sunday

Robin at Around the Island has started Summer Stock Sunday, where we can showcase our summer photos. Stunner of stunner, I actually have photos. Are they pics of the tornado that touched down a mile from your house this afternoon while your power was out? No! Amazingly not.

Last weekend we went up to Estes Park to meet with my friend Kate and her family. Kate is a fanfreakingtastic nature photographer, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll go check out her website (the last three photos under recent work are from her trip). We went hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and took pictures. She has the really, really good ones (you know, the ones by a person who knows what the heck she’s doing as opposed to making it up and hoping for the best), and I don’t have those yet. I do have the ones Tom took on our little pocket camera…because the batteries in the good camera died ten steps into the hike (banging head).

Hiking boys

These two had such a great time on this hike. Exuberant yet cautious, unusual for them. We can’t wait to go back.

view from the top

This was taken at the top of Alberta Falls. A hike. Then a climb up to the top (over and through snow). And worth every step.

pretty lady and son

Kate and her sweet son. Isn’t she beautiful? I miss her so much. We’ve been friends since freshman year of high school; we’re like sisters. I keep trying to convince her to move out here, but it seems there’s the small detail of her husband finding a job. Bleh.

familyA rare family shot. Even rarer that there was no one butting in at this prime photo location outside Estes Park.

Summer usually means gardening, or putzing around the house, enjoying the warmth. But sometimes it also means hiking. Can’t wait to go again.

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