34 kids, tornado & flood watches, heavy rain = camping trip?

The weekend of June 20-22, Torrin, Mira, and I all got sunburned. Torrin, being the fairest-skinned, was the worst hit. Especially in combination with his 7-year-old lack of know-how in regards to sun safety. He swears he put sunblock on that day, but his cherry-lipstick-red shoulders begged to differ. I wasn't with him; he'd gone with a group fishing that morning, which I didn't think would be a terribly fun activity for Mira. I didn't see him again until it was dark.

The first night, Thursday the 19th, we drove out to the campgrounds as planned. Then, a storm rolled up with ominous green-tinted clouds that soon spewed their soggy glory. We took the three vans full of kids back to my workplace for an impromptu sleepover at the Center.

Although the campsites were muddy, the rest of the trip fared much better. Unfortunately the set-up wasn't as well-accustomed to the kind of luminous photos that last year's camping trip yielded, but the park offered more activities and the food was better. There was a better mix of kids in attendance (i.e., not predominantly one family represented). Torrin opted not to go horseback riding, and since Mira is too little, I didn't get pictures of that particular foray. On the last day, upon our departure, I had a scare that I'd lost my camera. My loyal camera which has traveled with me to Spain, Washington DC, Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Wisconsin, not to mention tons of local stuff and my kiddos. Fortunately I found it under some damp towels smushed in the van when we got back into town, in the same condition I'd last seen it.


Some prettiness

Far from pettiness, but only one letter off...

At a public garden a few blocks from our house.


Bike Trail Critters

Do you know what kind of creature this is?

I don't. But he sure looked terrified running along the unfinished portion of the bike trail that runs part-way between where I work and where I live. The size of a smushed cat or thereabouts.

We've had lots of rain lately, so I'm guessing that's what's confusing these poor lil guys. The bike path runs adjacent to a typically barely-flowing creek. A few days later Torrin and I spied a couple of turtles a bit further north on the same trail. He was highly entertained and wanted to email a picture to his science teacher. I'm sure she'll be impressed (when I finally get around to it).


This is what happens when you take your kids to the store at 9pm.

Yeah. They sleep in the cart. But when you don't have a working vehicle, it's a treat to be able to charter a motorized trip to the grocery store without worrying about the eggs breaking on the walk or bikeride home.


Lost, Found, and Stolen

Torrin and Mira yesterday at Oak Lake
-the keys to the Festiva. Hmmm... We'll work on that one.

-TCO's satchel of tobacco. He's not a smoker but for traditional and ceremonial purposes. Is the stuff still any good six months later? I'm debating sending it to him. I found it while cleaning around my bed. After 5 years on a futon with two eggshell things to make it permissible for sleeping, I've upgraded to a real bed. Somehow a full size mattress seems a lot smaller higher off of the ground.

-3 packs of Bonbel cheeses. On Friday we walked to our neighborhood ghetto-grocery store, with the stroller, to get groceries. After we'd gotten home and I'd put away what I thought was all of the groceries, I went to collapse the stroller down to put it away I found the cheese stuck inside the pull-out canopy thing. Um. Hmmm. I wasn't about to walk back then, hungry, after a mile walk, grocery trip, day at work and 12 miles of bikeriding. I considered calling the store but chickened out. Well, we'll be back there again soon enough.


Piecing together

My little Torrin! Off away from me in another state again. He's becoming quite a well-seasoned independent dude (but still a crybaby, whiner, and a very poor loser, albeit a good big brother). This time he's up in Minnesota with my uncle. They're going to go camping, although I think they're actually doing that somewhere in Iowa.

Speaking of "little" Torrin, Friday was his last day of school. He was sent home with a massive stack of papers, including this charming little narrative:
"Today I was so mad because I forgot my belt. Cuz when I sit down I haft to pull up my pants! En when I run i pull up my pants. And when theyre pulled up they fall down" Poor kid! It's not dated but I would guess it to have been written in April or May.

We had a few good storms plow through the area lately. No tornadoes here, but nearby. We did get 70mph wind, which is almost as good as a tornado. In my neighborhood there were several uprooted mature trees which fell, onto houses and blocking streets. This picture is me yesterday at a park with one of those felled beauties.
We're going on three weeks now of No-Car-Ness. I think May 16 was the last day I drove it. I am fairly certain I still could drive it, but less certain whether I'd actually get anywhere. I'd rather ride 12 miles a day on bikes than get stranded somewhere with two kids when I'm supposed to be at work or whatever. At least if my bike were to blow a tire or something I could just walk to whereever I was going next and not have to worry about getting a tow or any nonsense like that.

In case you're wondering what's wrong with it, it's the engine. Or if you happen to know of a good used motor for a 4 cyclinder 2.2 liter Honda Civic let me know. It costs in the neighborhood of $2000 to fix at a mechanic's shop. I just can't believe a Honda engine crapped out at only 176,600 miles. My Accord was laid to raid at 188K only because someone else crashed into it and it was considered a total loss by their insurance. The thing was still running fine. My grandma's Accord, also in good running condition, was sold at about 190K. I've personally seen healthy Hondas with odometer readings over 200,000 miles and the Festiva out back is plugging away at 225K. In any case, the last time I drove it, it was dying any time I let it idle for more than a hot second. The alternator and whatnot are fine. The check engine light had been on, it's been going through more oil than usual for awhile now and I had taken it in for an engine diagnostic (they said two of the cylinders were pretty much done for).

And last of not least, a word about my slightly insane daughter. She decided to put herself to bed on the kitchen floor tonight. For her comfort, she brought a couch pillow, a blankie, and her dolly. I'm leaving her there. Heck, it's close to the bathroom, and if she wakes up in the middle of the night she always comes to me anyway.

Tagged? Who, me?

So here's the rules as to what I had to do and if you are one of my lucky 7 below then you need to also do the following:
1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Okay, here goes...Thanks, Angela...and I can't think of anyone to tag either, I think they've all been tagged. Julie? Heather?
Seven facts about me:
1) I have an eye phobia. Don't talk about touching, licking, or otherwise possibly harming eyeballs. Not even putting in contacts. Ew.
2) I am afraid of nail clippers. I will not use them on myself or my children (we use nail scissors and files if you're curious).
3) My ankles look permanently bruised just in front of the ankle joint. It's because they bend more than normal and the skin is rougher where it bends, similar to your knee or elbow.
4) I let my daughter eat a french fry off of the floor today because I didn't feel like listening to her scream about it if I didn't.
5) I get to work when I get there and I leave when I can.
6) My children are 4.5 yrs apart in age and of opposite gender, but they sleep and bathe together. I have no problem with this as long as they don't. Simplifies things for me.
7) I have missed the application deadline for the graduate program I want to do three years in a row. I do taxes during tax season. Bite me. I'll do it by the time I turn thirty.