Monthly Archives: October 2008

Full-On Fall.

Last week I lifted my head and realized it was fall.

By that, I mean it was really fall. Not the fall that starts on the autumnal equinox, the fall-in-name-only kind of fall. I’m talking the kind of fall with kaleidoscopic leaves and that special, crisp-yet-warm way the light falls when we’re at this particular angle to the sun.

This time of year always sort of sneaks up on me, sliding and slithering around in the hall until one day it just bursts in all HELLO, DIDJA MISS ME?.

Well, yes.  Yes, Fall, I missed you quite a lot.

About the same time fall bursts in on me each year, I get a sense of urgency that the coming weekend will be the Last Nice Weekend of the Year and therefore, we must plan, schedule, and do EVERYTHING we did not do over the summer when every weekend was a nice weekend and yet we lay lolling in the air conditioning.

So.

Friday night, Laurel entered a fishing tournament.  It was cold. Damned cold, really. See, this fishing tournament was supposed to happen back in September, but seeing as how the floods, they came a-roarin’ every time our town had an event scheduled…well, the kids ended up fishing last Friday night. And it was cold. It wasn’t more than 40 degrees out there, and just about anyone can tell you that these temperate-climate fish ’round here weren’t going to bite.

And they didn’t.

But the kids were troupers and while Laurel fished — really fished — Ethan sort of flirted with it and then lost interest, choosing instead to throw things in the lake (including his big sister’s needlenose pliers).  He also tried his hand as a black cat — I don’t know what these things are called, they must have a name, but is there anyone who has been able to resist sticking their heads in one?

 fishing in 40 degrees ethan as a black cat

Saturday, Greg and I toured state parks. We didn’t exactly plan it that way. We wanted to camp at Washington State Park, but when we got there they had no more electric sites left and we didn’t have enough blankets to feel comfortable boondocking it. St. Francois State Park? Also full.  By this time dejection was setting in.  Meramec State Park, however, had 20 sites left. Renewed, we high-tailed it over hill and dale to Sullivan, Missouri, where we secured a site.

And we hiked. And it was beautiful.

CCC observation pavilion overlooking the meramec

We don’t have many more photos of our stay. We just enjoyed the evening near the fire, watched a movie in the camper, caught up with each other, and drifted off to sleep. It was only our second time in our pop-up but we absolutely LOVED it.  I did, anyway.

Sunday morning, we returned, and shaved Greg’s head so he can be Joe the Plumber for Halloween.  I’ve not convinced him to let me post photos yet, but I think he pulls it off nicely! Keep checking back!

On Gay Marriage.

Again, I don’t often talk politics here. Politics are so polarizing.

But.

California, after legalizing gay marriage, has decided to attempt a big “Just kidding!” by putting Proposition 8 on the ballot. Proposition 8, if passed, would send California right back with most of the other states — to the stone age.

To the detractors of gay marriage, I ask — Why?

Are you really threatened by the idea of two consenting homosexual adults marrying? How does this threaten your marriage at all? Why must marriage be between a man and a woman?

Yeah, I’ve heard the tired old arguments — let’s just address those, shall we?

Argument 1:  It’s a threat to the institution of marriage.

Okay, first of all, if your marriage is threatened by someone else’s marriage, you don’t HAVE a good marriage.  Mmkay?  I don’t care who gets married to whom in this world. It has no effect on me or my marriage. Also, hi, marriage is — at its heart — a contract. A legally recognized contract. ‘So,’ you say, ‘why aren’t civil unions enough?’ Simply put, it’s because civil unions do not have the same social recognition as marriage. Civil unions will likely always be seen as second class. Women, especially, should be sensitive to this, considering we were second-class citizens until relatively recent times.

Argument 2:  It’s a slippery slope. Next we’ll have polygamy! Next we’ll have women marrying boys! Or men marrying little girls! Or men marrying guinea pigs!

Um, no. These are all separate issues. There is no reason whatsoever that we cannot define marriage as a contract between two consenting adults. There. Problem solved. No polygamy, no nonconsensual marriages, no man-guinea pig partners-for-life.

Argument 3: God doesn’t like faggots.

Well, that’s just over-the-top offensive. I won’t even bother with that one.

See?  That wasn’t so hard, was it?

 


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Rare Chances.

Last night, Laurel eschewed her social studies homework in favor of a civics experience.

We stood in line for hours to see an American icon:  President Bill Clinton.

President Clinton was speaking at an Obama rally in Kirkwood. I wanted to go. How many chances does a person get in a lifetime to meet a President, past or present? And — in particular — one who has enjoyed such immense popularity?

Not many.

We arrived at 5 to find out that the line was already really long.  Only 3000 people would be in the main gym, and we didn’t know what number we were, but the line snaked and spiraled through the parking lot behind us. The doors were to open at 6:30, but President Clinton wasn’t speaking until 8. I wouldn’t continue to wait in line for that long for just anybody, but c’mon.  We’re talking President Clinton here. No matter what anyone says about him, I liked the man and I still do.  Count me in as a fan.

Laurel remained in high spirits during the wait, and we purchased Obama buttons:

laurel with peace sign

We were fortunate enough to get into the main auditorium, though there were no seats.  We stood for another hour waiting for Clinton’s arrival, and took in the sights — such as Claire McCaskill standing in the bleachers along the side. Laurel couldn’t see, but we were right behind the press and sound area, so people let her come up to the railing in front of them. To those who allowed the little girl to stand in front of them on the rail so she could see — thank you.  That was really cool.

laurel at obama rally

As expected, Clinton gave a rousing speech in his typical charismatic fashion. We left early — we’d both had long days, Laurel was tired and my feet were sore — but we felt just capital, knowing we’d just seen something really cool.

president clinton1

I Waited Four Years for Nothing.

Four long years.

That’s how long I’ve waited for our fridge to crap out so I could get a new one. It’s already lost its ability to properly dispense ice.

This morning I almost realized my dream. The freezer had frozen up (more than it should, see), and everything was warm and festering and we had to toss a lot of things.

Secretly thrilled, I went directly to Lowes.com and started trolling for a new refrigerator. Make it a stainless.  No, stainless-look so I can still put up my kids’ artwork.

Alas.

I married a guy who can fix this kind of thing.

Twenty minutes into my new-fridge-hunt, after I had two very viable candidates as Our Next Fridge, Greg announced that a-ha, he’d found the problem, and a-ha again, it would cost around $30 to fix.

Sigh.

My dreams of a new fridge went up in smoke.

Another October, Another Round of Pumpkins.

We usually visit the pumpkin patch about a mile from our home.

Not this year, though. See, that pumpkin patch is really crowded and has even added more parking (albeit of the muddy variety) in order to accommodate the visitors.

That’s not really our scene.

Instead, we headed south several miles, to Meert Tree Farm, where we get our Christmas tree every year.  I love this place. It’s not like these city patches and farms. This is a REAL farm, like the ones around where I grew up.  They were selling pumpkins this year, and though it may not have been their first year for pumpkins, we didn’t remember seeing them there before. 

We pulled in and the lot was mostly empty. Only 3 or 4 cars sat in the parking area. “Wow,” we thought. “This is, yes, certainly less crowded.” We piled out of the truck and climbed aboard the waiting tractor and wagon.  We were the only ones heading to the patch, and perhaps because he thought we’d be lonely, one of the family’s dogs accompanied us to the patch.

laurel with dog

It didn’t take us long to find four good-sized pumpkins in the field. Ethan whined some because the brush and weeds were almost as tall as he is, but he persevered and found a nicely-shaped pumpkin for himself:

ethan's pumpkin

“This is my pumpkin,” he seems to be saying. “There are many like it, but this one is mine.”

Laurel found one too, and even carried it herself, all the way to the corn maze. We went through the corn maze.  Well, sort of. We didn’t find our way out but walked back through the rows so we’d be out before the wagon came back to pick us up. We had places we had to be later that day, so we couldn’t stay to finish the whole thing.

laurel with pumpkin

This is the first year Ethan’s really been into Halloween.  Truthfully, he’s a little more into Christmas, and keeps asking us if it’s Christmas yet, and when we can get a tree. I think I’ve talked about the virtues of Halloween (and the fact that it comes before Christmas) enough times now that he’s getting it — he’s especially looking forward to the candy part.

At the end of the trip, there had been very little fussing, fighting, crying, and whining.  And THAT, friends, means Greg and I were still smiling:

michelle and greg

Beaming.

Well.

Someone is awfully proud of himself, as he should be.

Ethan has filled his entire potty chart, so he got to go pick out a toy car for purchase.  That’s an entire chart, folks.  That’s 60 willing trips to the potty.  Nothing to sneeze at, if you ask me. 

We went to the store and he picked out a set of four motorcycles, two of which you can see in the picture.  That’s okay with us.

ethan's completed potty chart

Filling his next chart will earn a trip to the pool.

He’s a quick study, picking up on the manipulation factor.  Last night after bedtime he came out of his room at least four times telling us he needed to go potty when he didn’t.  Still, we’re celebrating in the BoneBlog household.

Son, here’s to a lifetime of successful trips to the bathroom.  Cheers!

 

(Ethan’s runny nose courtesy of the season’s first cold)