Showing posts from May, 2014

Bicycle Weather

What with pretending to be an exercise fiend in an attempt to avoid dying this Saturday during the Tour de Cure, I've neglected my cozy little blog.  Let's see...20 miles on Saturday, 7 on Monday (I took Susie along, couldn't go far), 10 miles this morning - I hardly recognize myself.  It helps, of course, that this is one of those rare times of the year here that we have PERFECT bicycling conditions - low humidity, warm but not hot temps, spring breezes - I swear, if heaven does indeed exist, this is its daily weather.

In among all that, we had Susie's birthday.  She has now reached the august age of 9, which fact - as she is the baby of the family - makes me weep uncontrollably at times.  My one consolation for her growing irrevocably bigger is that she seems to be the only one of my kids who truly enjoys bicycling.  And, last week, having watched her attempt to pedal the thrift store Huffy she had just inherited from Rachel, I realized something was amiss.

You see…

Black Bobby

We do a lot of hand-me-down/thrift store bicycles around here for the little ones; but, as the kids get bigger, it gets harder to find something that is good enough. At that point, we tend to pony up some money to buy each kid a decent new bicycle, one that will hopefully see him/her through the teen years. We've just reached that point with Rachel, who is growing like crazy and no longer fits the used bike we found for her at the thrift store last year.  We handed it down to Susie (who was happy to have an intact bicycle seat that does not require her to tie 2 plastic bags over it after a rain) and set out for the bike store to see what we could find.

You see, I had spotted a woman's bike on sale for only $250 there, when I went in to buy Brian a headlight for his Boy Scout bicycle trip.  I figured that was a good deal for a brand-new bicycle - heck, it had cost me almost that much to repair and fix up Larry's 24-year-old bike for David last month (the derailleur had sn…


Well, after much debate and lots of peering at TripAdvisor reviews of campsites, we have committed to spending a week this August in Maine, at Acadia National Park.  We were there once before, 5 years ago (and here let me pause and weep over the pictures of my children, all 5 years younger, in that beautiful place - oh, the chubby cheeks and happy smiles of the then-non-teens!); but that, my friends, was before our questionable decision to buy a popup camper.  You see, back in 2009, we indulged in the luxury of a rental cottage near Acadia; but this year?  We are opting to save 800 bucks on lodgings and spend it instead on eating out.

In other words, I'll sleep in a trailer and share a spider-filled bathroom with strangers if that means I DON'T have to cook on vacation.  Wise decision?  Discuss.

Fit Friends Are Dangerous

Over 3 inches of rain in less than 12 hours here.  At one point, it sounded as though someone was simply dumping buckets of water outside our windows. As there were no tornado warnings, we were able to sleep (or at least doze) through most of it; and now? Bright, bright sun, a washed-clean blue sky - I feel like one of those creatures stepping off the ark into a new world.

Well, except for the mud - I hate mud.

Otherwise, things are springtime gorgeous here (see picture to left for proof - that is one of the few plants in our yard that I have not managed to murder).  Brian is packing up for a Boy Scout bike trip (and, yes, he did wait until yesterday to inform me he needed both a headlight and a tail light for his bicycle, and oh yeah, he's the grubmaster for his Scout Patrol, so we had to go food shopping, etc., etc.); I'm getting ready for a trip home this weekend to see my brother's remodel of my parents' 1960s-era kitchen and to visit some old friends; Susie is mop…

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Do a lot of good for only $25 - join Glennon's Love Flash Mob over at Momastery today! You can help send a mom with cancer to the beach with her family for a week, which - as I've stated before - is an awesome idea I wouldn't have thought of myself. I'm all "Oh, help with the laundry, help with the meals," while Glennon goes directly for "Help her have some FUN!"

So, once again, I am playing plain, sensible Velma to Glennon's fun Daphne and urging you to join lots of other people in making some lives a little brighter.  Go ahead - it feels good.  And it's a lot more rewarding than getting the laundry done (again).

[Update:  We made our goal of helping five different families with the challenges they are facing. Thanks to all who participated!]

No Longer Mother's Day

Mother's Day? Oh, an 8-mile bicycle ride, 4 hours clothes shopping by myself, a nice late-afternoon nap, and presents from a husband who has finally figured out the convenience of an Amazon wish list aptly titled "Gift Ideas."  Oh, and a dozen roses. Not bad, not bad at all...

Today, however, I returned to reality: assigning schoolwork, signing the girls up for CCD next year, signing them up for band camp this summer, scrubbing the grout in the shower - all the glamorous tasks that no one can really get paid enough to do. By dinner time, I had had enough of reality and ordered pizza for Larry and the kids. Myself, I headed out to Bunko, where we had a Cinqo de Mayo theme, complete with margueritas and Costco Mexican food.

What can I say? My neighborhood knows how to party.

So now I am sitting here trying to convince myself that I will indeed get up at 6:30 AM and head out for a bike ride before it gets too hot. Because apparently I allow myself to indulge in the fantasy …

The Sound Of Silence

NO BATS. Ah, blessed quiet! I swear, by Wednesday night, it sounded as though the bats were absolutely partying up there in the attic above the girls' room.  I won't say there weren't a couple of frantic calls to my bug boyfriend the next day, seeking reassurance that the bat guys were indeed coming to put an end to my flying rodent problems.

I hope I'm not scaring him off with my neediness.

I'm spending this afternoon hanging out with AFOL's (that's Adult Fans of Legos, to you muggles).  Turns out there is a local LUG (Lego Users' Group - do I have to explain everything?) that meets once a month at a library near us; naturally, Brian was eager to check it out, which we did for the first time last month.

"Grown men playing Legos?" asked Larry.  I could see the paranoia gears starting to whir in his brain.

"I'm going with him," I said. "I'll check it out."

Turns out, we found ourselves in a room full of engineers and…

Let No Man Put Asunder

Remember the bats?  Well, the guys came back, and then they came back again; and finally they declared us bat-free.  Only, for the past couple of weeks, I've been hearing noises in the girls' bedroom wall again.  The front wall this time, near the corner, so I figured it was a mouse.

By the way, you know things have gotten bad when I'm all "Oh, it's just a mouse in the wall.  That's okay."
I did mention it a couple of times to Larry, but Larry has this weird thing where he acts as if I didn't say anything when I talk about rodents or bugs.  Really.  No "Oh, so you think we have mice again?" or "Are you sure it isn't bats?" or even "Maybe you should call the pest guy."  Sometimes I call him on his lack of response and he says, "What's there to say? You're already saying all of it."

No wonder I need my bug boyfriend, right?
So, anyway, Susie was sick for a few nights and slept in our room with me, whi…

May? Seriously?

It's raining again.  People here are starting to get a little twitchy when it rains and might even be spotted jabbing at other people with their umbrellas.  It's MAY, for heaven's sake - enough with the March blizzards and April showers.  As it is, the azaleas are blooming 3 weeks late, and if it doesn't start warming up around here, we might as well kiss tomato and basil season good-bye.

On the bright side, though, if it stays cold, I won't have to suffer the humiliation of wearing my swimsuit in public. That would be nice.

Larry and I can't decide on where to go camping this summer.  He's thinking somewhere mountainous and woodsy, with plenty of hikes to torture the children with.  The girls are begging for a beach location.  Brian wants to stay home and play with his Legos.  And I'm thinking that only a 5-star hotel will really do the trick.  One that allows campfires, of course....

Seriously?  I can't even imagine being able to get us all packed…

Telling Our Stories

Wow, time flies when you can't decide what to do about a broken oven!  Currently, I've decided that all electric stoves turn out to be pieces of crap, so I'm going to go for it and put in a gas stove.  Unfortunately, this decision changes every 5 minutes or so.  That is, every time I remember that extending the gas line to the kitchen will double the cost of the appliance...

I hate this.

Anywhoo, in between changing my mind about stove purchases, I went to see/hear Listen To Your Mother today.  I couldn't get anyone to go with me, as my blogging friends live far away and my non-blogging friends are all "Huh?" when I mention it.  So I had to sit by myself and make it look as though I really enjoyed going alone, while all around me pairs and groups of people chattered excitedly.  I'm not sure whether or not I really pulled that one off.

The show was wonderful as usual, BUT I did mind the fact that not one of the speakers had a child older than 11.  That may…