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    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Cabins are for Me!

    I’ve made no secret of the fact that I find camping unpleasant. If I wanted to sleep on the dirty ground surrounded by wild animals, I’d throw a sleeping bag on my boys’ bedroom floor.

    That’s why I was glad our annual we-live-in-Colorado-and-should-go-to-the-mountains trip involved staying in a cabin at the YMCA of the Rockies. Aside from uncomfortable beds and one dead spider, the cabin pretty much rocked. Translation: it was clean, had running water, and some retro Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys to entertain the boys.

    The information packet we received upon checking in instructed us to dial 222 in case of emergency. I nearly called twice. Once because my laptop detected no Wi-Fi. And once because, although the cabin kitchen had a coffee maker, there was no coffee provided.

    My husband informed me these were not actual emergencies.


    The cabin also came with a “stocked” reading shelf. These were my options:

    Thankfully, I brought my own book.

    The boys spent a lot of time theorizing on whether or not a bear could get in the cabin. My favorite scenario involved the bear climbing down the chimney. We didn’t bother to point out the unlikelihood of this event because their paranoia had them cleaning up after themselves to avoid attracting bears. I may start faking bear sightings around our neighborhood to duplicate this effect.

    Willie the Heeler got to come along on this trip, and she was thrilled to be able to keep track of her herd—us. She even met two other Heelers. The first we met at the camp-sponsored Yappy Hour. All guests with pooches were invited to attend, and they even had a contest for best pet costume.

    We’d intended to bring Willie’s Native American princess costume for this event, but we forgot. Probably just as well. We think it embarrasses her. She didn’t need any further humiliation at Yappy Hour. Apparently, female Heelers don’t like each other and aren’t shy about saying so.

    All in all, the trip was a success. We took nature walks, swam, made crafts, played Bingo and had meltdowns over hiking (Monkey), mini-golf (Chunky), being left alone in the cabin (Willie), bait (Kory), no blow dryer (Evangeline), and lack of chimney access (bear), but we can’t wait to go back.

    How's your summer going? Had any vacation adventures?

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Let Me be the First to Reassure You

    I know we’re not supposed to worry about what the neighbors think. But I’m pretty sure that advice applies to comparisons over whose grass is greener and whose car is nicer and whose kid is smartest.

    For a little over a week now I’ve become increasingly concerned about what our neighbors think of my husband’s latest construction project—an elaborate turtle habitat for Roger and Molly.

    I feel compelled to knock on the doors of the folks living near us and explain to them that he is NOT building a coffin in our garage, and that every member of the family is still very much alive.

    Furthermore, this is not a sleep-during-daylight-on-your-home-soil type of situation. We all drink Coke Zero not blood, and with the possible exception of a questionable bag of sweet potatoes, we are not undead.

    However, knocking on people’s doors to tell them the above information might be termed “fishy” or “disturbing” or “wacko,” so I really think in this case a sign would be a good idea. Something in a nice friendly font that reads: We’re alive and kicking! How ‘bout you?

    Or maybe just an informational notice: Turtle habitat under construction. It is NOT a coffin.

    Or, the very subtle: No, no vampires live here. Not a one. Thanks for asking.

    I’m thinking that to make it look not quite so weird, we could put some other signs out. You’ve probably noticed the trend among roofing companies and landscapers of putting signs in yards that say: Another Quality Job by Nail in Your Foot Construction. Well, we could make a couple of those signs and stick them out there to camouflage my attempt at reassuring passersby that hubby hasn’t gone off the deep end.

    Then again, he has been working a lot of overtime lately. And there’s the talking to himself, the lab experiments in the basement, the strange smell from the closet. And, of course, the sweet potatoes that seem to be forming their own civilization.

    All coincidence, I’m sure. At least he hasn’t asked me to climb inside and lay down so he could check his measurements.

    You’ll be glad to know that Kory’s team made their deadline last Friday and now we have a week off to relax, have some family fun, and build whatever pet habitats we please. If you drive by and see a crypt in the front yard, just keep going and don’t worry. The boys have been asking for a pet zombie.