Biomass

It’s Saturday. That has, for many years, meant that I go for a big bike ride. But with the return of my virus and taking Thursday and Friday off this week again, I decided to skip the big ride. I tried going out by myself, but after a couple hours just felt tired and gross and it was clearly time to go home to rest.

Which I did, for several hours.

After which, this happened.

Before:
Assault the Jungle: Start
Benji rightly dubbed it “The Jungle,” an area on the side of the house (the opposite side from the Meadow of Goodness, in case you’re wondering) harboring weeds taller than myself, plus a density of weed undergrowth that cannot be overstated. I shudder to think of all the creatures living in there, too. Continue Reading...

Looking Summery

We made a water slide in our back yard over the weekend.

Summer Fun 1

Summer Fun 2

Summer Fun 3

Summer Fun 4

Summer Fun 5

It’s been about 9 or 10 months since we were able to play in water without getting hypothermia.

And, our lupines are doing fabulously — including a couple of genetic oddities.
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It feels so bizarre to have bare legs and arms out in the outside (or at all, for that matter) — and, naturally, I got my first sunburn on Saturday because I forgot about the existence of sunscreen. I remember now.

You Gotta Grow Up Some Time

And, in a way, this weekend I feel like I passed a milestone in adulthood: I mowed the grass.

Okay, don’t get me wrong. One of my chores as a high-schooler was mowing our yard, and I did it most weekends. But I used a mower where I was the engine, the kind of mower where it’s just wheels and a blade, and you know not to put anything in the blades because they will chop whatever it is to bits. The thing about this type of mower is that if you let the grass get really long, you end up doing a ton of work pushing it through that tall, thick growth. So you’re pretty motivated to keep it under control. Continue Reading...

Christmas Basket Outreach

I’m not going to talk a lot more about the political nightmare currently unfolding in New York, as the President-Elect selects appointees who go beyond “unqualified” into “unmitigated disaster” territory. As days go by and hate speech increases and we hear about white supremacy groups (I will call them what they are, not some soft-and-fuzzy euphemism like “alt-right”) celebrating Trump’s election, I have felt increasingly disheartened.

This is not how we should start our Christmas season. This is a season to come together to celebrate joy, peace, and love, to be generous and open-hearted. We in our family start thinking about our annual donations, and helping those more needy than ourselves. All of us want to draw near to family, friends, and neighbors in relationships of generosity and selflessness. Continue Reading...

When Life Gives You a Broken Oven…

…make no-bake cookies and a gigantic box space ship. At least, that’s what we did.

Two weeks ago, I mixed up a batch of coffee cake from a new recipe (which was delicious, but sadly in the kerfuffle I lost closed the tab with the recipe, alas). I turned on our oven and it made the usual gas burning sound. When I put the cake into the oven, it didn’t feel particularly hot. I figured, “It’s only 350; that’s why.” Not that I’d hang out in a 350-degree oven, or anything, but in the scheme of baking it’s just normal. Continue Reading...

Did I mention planets?

First a silly story. Benji and Ian have been looking at Wikipedia entries for bodies in the Solar System. While doing this, they encountered the term trans-Neptunian objects, which Ian explained and Benji understood as “anything out past Neptune.”

Later, we learned that there’s a new dwarf planet out in the Kuiper Belt (currently euphoneously named 2015RR245), and Benji’s comment was classic: “OH! Daddy! This must be a trans-Neptunian object!” 

After that, most of our morning was devoted to planets. Continue Reading...

Attitude

At the end of our cul-de-sac, there is a large tract of property with an adult family home on it. I’d estimate it’s a few acres of mostly grass. Well – at least, it was, until earlier this month, when a crew of construction vehicles rolled in and started work on some new houses.

This work first entailed ripping out a large screen of trees that had been planted on the edge of the property, a noisy and depressing process. The work continues to progress from there, with a great deal of extremely loud rumbling, beeping, crashing, smashing, and general noise and mess you expect from construction sites. Oh, and of course I have to mention the rumbling of trucks up and down our formerly quiet street. It’s like garbage day every day, all day, and especially intrusive and onerous when the weather is nice and we open our windows. Continue Reading...