Sunday, August 22, 2010


A few months ago during some rare, quiet time with Zeus we were discussing my new found love of cycling. When I started running/ralking six years ago he was uncomfortable with the car vs. pedestrian danger, as was I. Close calls from left-looking right-turners were scary but I soon learned that ultimately I, the pedestrian, was the one that had to avoid the collision because drivers simply were looking for other vehicles, not a slow-moving jogger. Over time I think Zeus got used to my jaunts on the roads.

Adding a bicycle started it all over again. He much prefers it when I am on a dedicated trail than on the road, although even those trails presented some situations that were a little dicey. Our local pyromaniac is still on the loose and the interesting fellows parked at the river keep me on my toes just as much as right-turning drivers. (I suspect that a few of the cyclists and joggers now on the trail are actually police officers on patrol.)

But back to the title of this post. During that conversation Zeus used the phrase "living on the edge" in describing me and my daughters. Although I've always considered myself to be somewhat of a chicken, I will freely admit that we are the first in line for the thriller rides at amusement parks. (Note: Disney's House of Terror will see us multiple times in October.) Athena and Eris loved his description and immediately dubbed us the "Living On The Edge Posse", LOTEP for short.

A few weeks ago one more activity was added to the LOTEP resume. kayaks. We loaded three rented kayaks into the back of a truck, headed up the canyon to a reservoir and immediately fell in love with rowing through the quiet canyons and the beautiful mountain scenery.

At one point Eris and Athena ventured further up a canyon while I hung back leisurely exploring the receding shoreline. Holy moly! I couldn't believe what was sitting on the side of the steep bank: a large tool box! Diligently, I stood guard until the girls came back. Their screams of delight at the "lake find" reverberated off those tall canyon walls! We all knew that it was a sign from Grandpa that he was with us that day enjoying the great outdoors! I suggested that each of us pick out one tool as a keepsake to take home. No way. The girls insisted that was absurd and totally against everything that we had been taught. We must take every single one of them home. And they did! Loading that large, heavy box on the back of the kayaks from the steep bank took some time and coordination, not to mention the added weight that made rowing back to the opposite shore against the wind even more difficult.

At the end of the evening we were all in agreement that kayaking was a success and that we would be doing it again, eventually with our own equipment.

Yesterday and today Eris' van was packed with kayaks and four families spent the days at a different bay (easier access) paddling on the water. Picnic lunches were eaten, a birthday was celebrated, sandy beaches were transformed into sculptures and those three kayaks were on the water for five hours straight. Even the few who are non-swimmers donned the required life preservers and cruised around the bay.

Mom told me a few nights ago that she already suspects what our next adventure is going to be.


Ummmm..... No.

To see more kayaking photos click here.


P.S. Sorry about the truck, D-Rock.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Wasps. Our neighborhood is full of them.

Wait. Not that kind of W.A.S.P. Yes, our neighborhood is brimming with those as well, but this post is about the flying, hive-making, buzzing kind.

For some strange reason wasps have been attracted to our home. Before we replaced the deck furniture they were always busy coming and going underneath the chairs where there was a perfect space for a hive. The little critters also were constantly building hives in the can lights above the table. They have been evicted from both places many times, as well as under the eaves and other odd places.

So far we have managed to coexist peacefully with no stings, a kind of detente between humans and hives. The problems begin when visitors get nervous and start swinging or swatting at them.

Zeus' brother is an experienced bee handler. Last week he kindly came over and once again removed a two inch hive out of the light over the table. Within a day those determined wasps were right back starting another one. Then I had an AHA! moment: one of those hotel shower caps that I collect would be perfect to keep them out. Oh yes, it worked.... for a day. At first they were confused and just hung around waiting for the shower to be over. Soon another hive was started, this time right next to the shower cap. Sigh.

Two days ago Little Miss led me out the front door and showed me the work of art under construction in the light fixture. I had noticed a few weeks ago that the bulb was not working. Now I know that's because two huge hives are growing daily.

The wasps are fascinating to observe and Zeus and I both hate to destroy the work that they have dutifully done. Unfortunately, I also need working lights. Hopefully brother-in-law will be here soon.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Um Um Good!

I love food, especially the foods of summer. Watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, peanut butter and crackers, grilled turkeyburgers, chicken wraps, basically anything easy to prepare that can be consumed on the run from one activity to another.

Zeus and I have enjoyed many yogurt/fruit smoothies on the deck this summer. What a treat to end a hot day! I've experimented with all kinds but my handsdown favorite has to be blueberry. Three ingredients (milk, frozen fruit and yogurt) in the blender, it just doesn't get easier than that!

Chocolate doesn't fare well in our desert heat and must be eaten quickly. To keep it safe from melting I bring it directly to my lair where it stays cool until I eat it, generally a very short period of time. Jelly rings are especially vulnerable so it's important to take care of them quickly.

Is there anything more fun than watching kids eat the foods of summer?

3.16 plus three $1 car wash tokens

Friday, August 6, 2010

The End

Divorce. It sucks. The two people involved in the failed relationship are forced to start life over. Gone is the comfortable knowledge that you are part of a team, a team that was supposed to last forever, through good times and bad.

(Settle down. Zeus and I are not getting divorced.)

The end of a friendship can sometimes be as painful as ending a marriage. Divorcing a best friend for whatever reason carries lots of risks. That best friend knows wayyyy too much because you have told BFF all your innermost secrets. Danger!

The sudden termination of a BFF leaves a huge hole for both parties involved. You wait for the phone to ring, hoping it will yet at the same time relieved that it doesn't. Gone are the long, intimate chats where thoughts, feelings and hopes are discussed.

A breakup can be sudden, loud and traumatic. Both parties know the cause and are relieved that it is over.

Sometimes a friendship has to be abandoned before it really gets off the ground. You realize that ideals, values and belief systems just simply are not meshing. A congenial parting is in order.

Other times it can be a gradual slipping away. Like a doomed marriage it begins with separation. Phone calls become less frequent and finally they just end. Holidays and birthday go unacknowledged. Names are eventually deleted from address books, cell phone contact lists and Facebook pages.

I'm not sure which method of friend-divorce is less painful. I've experienced all three. Mourning the loss and what it could have been is a part of recovery and moving on. Sigh.

Jan and I will be celebrating our 29th anniversary this month. Or is it 30?? We've been through a lot together. Tonight I am feeling grateful for her unconditional acceptance of who I am and what I believe.

Thank you, Jan.