Monday, July 26, 2010

Britt Fest '10

Back in June, it was The Black Crowes with our friends Marigny and Goody. We sat up on the grassy hill at Britt Fest and listened to a bunch of songs we didn't know (but liked) and "She Talks To Angels," which is always excellent.

Then last week, we headed to hear the group Swell Season with Kai and Dana. Swell Season was outstanding. If you've never seen the movie "Once," go out and rent it. Then, imagine the two of them singing in concert. Marketa in her totally understated, sedate, Czech manner; Glen in his passionate, energetic, urgent, and sometimes even soft, Irish manner, who happens to be one of the most inspired performers I've ever seen. Singing songs like "Leave" and "When Your Mind's Made Up," and even Michelle Shocked's "Fogtown." It was breath-taking.

This week, Mick and I are headed to see the old rock band, Styx, on Wednesday night. And then Thursday night, we're taking the kids with us to see Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy, a swinging singing band that the kids love. They have a big band sound and sing great stuff like "The King of Swing."

In case you don't know, Britt Fest is this amazing, outdoor music venue in Jacksonville, Oregon. There's lawn seating right in front of the band, which costs extra, then there's a slew of seating in rows, and then there's a big grassy hill to spread a blanket and dinner on. There are also food and drink stands open at Britt Fest for the first 2/3 of the show if you want to buy there. But the best thing about Britt is its intimacy if you're in the very front row. Oh, and the gorgeous treed hills surrounding the whole arena. Yeah, it's gorgeous.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Best House Guest Yet

Look who came to town!

Back in June, we were lucky enough to have Mimi, Mick's 94-year-old grandmother, visit us here in Ashland. She flew out from Newark, Delaware, with Mick's parents on their return from a Revolutionary War trip.

When Mimi arrived, she first stayed at Kai and Dana's (as did Mike and Jan), where she spent an afternoon at OSF's production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" with me, and then attended two days of birthday parties with verve and grace. (Indi turned 9; Jude turned 6.)

Everything about Mimi is balanced: she has a tremendous amount of energy and wit; she also can relax and chill without a lot of fuss. Case in point: she let me take this picture of her lounging on the couch one evening, even when I said I hoped to use it on the blog. No problem, she says. I love a woman like that.

After a long weekend at Kai and Dana's, she went with Mick and the kids and me, as well as Mike and Jan, up to Crater Lake for a night in the Crater Lake Lodge. When we got there, IT WAS SNOWING.

After a fancy dinner and a night in the lodge, though, it was gorgeous and clear the next day.

Mick left that morning at 4:45 (yeah, 4:45 AM, folks) so he could head to Bend for a couple days of company training sessions. So Mike and Jan and the kids and Mimi and I drove around a portion of Crater Lake looking for the campground Mimi had taken her boys to fifty years ago (we never found it) and checking out the amazing Crater Lake Naturalist Center. There, they had awesome displays and videos revealing exactly how Crater Lake was formed and just what the chances are of another volcanic eruption in the chain.

From there, we drove to Bend (Redmond, actually) where Mick's company put us up in a condo at a resort. Mike and Mimi drove to see Mt. Bachelor one day (and they saw it from many sides!) while Jan and the kids and I hung out at the resort and swam. (Mick was in class.)

After a couple nights there, we all headed back to Ashland. Mike and Jan and Mimi and Dane drove together and went to the High Desert Museum outside of Bend. Aubrey and Mick and I hit the Newberry Volcanic Monument.

And Mick finally passed the kidney stone he'd been working on the past couple of days.

The next day was Father's Day. Mick and Kai and Mike (and Garth!) took in a Britt Fest concert, featuring Steve Martin's Blue Grass band.

Other than that, we just sat around having fun. We played cards with Mimi (a serious Rite of Passage for a Reynolds kid)...

Lounged on the hammock with the cousins...

Sat in the living room and played pink guitars...

And got a lotta love.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cowboy Clunkies

Here's what the cowpokes were singing (and it might help to tell you to sing it using only two or three different notes, kind of speak-singing):

In the wild west, there were cowboys who rode on horses.
On the prairie, they roasted hot dogs -- and marshmallows too-oo-oo.
In the wild west, there were cowboys who rode on horses.
On the prairie, the cowboys fought all night -- and all day.
In the wild west, in the wild west, in the wild, wild, wild, wi-i-i-ld west.

French Braids and Our Aunt's Pajamas

Monday, July 19, 2010

Uh-Oh on the July Goal - Another Love Letter

The Nashville Review just kindly rejected "Write in the Attic," a short-short I submitted back in May. Now I have nine other submissions out there, including a few I have to admit may have been forgotten by their recipients, but I'm hoping one of them is accepted to help me meet my monthly publishing goal. (So far, I'm six for six as of June...)

I've still got another week to go to get creative with the July aim. I'll keep you posted.

In other news, I spent the morning uploading 215 photos. I'm looking forward to providing an update or two about Mimi's visit, back yard progress, a writing shed, the M's game, and general summertime bliss.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sunshine and Science

Liauids, Solids, and Other Messy Materials is going well at ScienceWorks this week. Dane and Aubrey are attending camp with 18 other 7-10 year-olds, doing projects like "Frankenstein's Hand," "Turning Milk Into Stone," and "Watercolor Holding the Brush in Your Mouth," and having loads of messy fun.

They're having a blast, but that didn't stop Dane from skipping Wednesday's class to go with my friend Jennie and her kids for a swim. (You can do that when your mom's the instructor and camp is free!) Dane swam his heart out and caught frogs from a pond with Dominic and Rees. Jennie says there was some serious boy joy there.

The day before, Dane and Aubrey had gone home from camp with their friends Ruby and Chad for a couple hours of swimming. And tonight, Aubrey's pal Sienna is spending the night: so far the girls and Dane have made fortresses for stuffed animals and cross dressed.

Who could ask for anything more from summer?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Wood Ducks Fell From The Sky - and other campfire tales

Little baby ducks fell from the sky!

Or so it seemed...

Our second day of camping at Lake of the Woods, these little fuzzy brown ducks dropped to the ground from way up high in a pine tree at our site. One of them even fell on my shoulder. Which, I'm sorry to say, was gross. Especially if, like me, your first thought would be that the fuzzy creature was a rat.

So, seven little wood ducks, stunned from their fifty-foot drops, flopped around at the base of a giant pine tree as four kids and a mom (not me) doted over them. (I was still thinking it could've been a rat.) My friend Kerry and the kids then gently picked up the baby ducks and ran the fifty yards down to the lake to put them with a duck they believed was their mother. (I think she was.)

After they left, a final duck fell from the tree. Not on me. In a scientific experiment, I watched it.

And I'm happy to report, that little fuzzball made it's way in a diagonal beeline - confidently skirting tied-up dogs, fallen logs, and picnic bench legs - to reunite with its mama and siblings!

We had no idea these were wood ducks at the time, but had to do some research after we got home. Dane's buddy Logan made my day when he said with a huge smile, "Now I know what I'm writing about my summer on the first day back to school!"

And here's the other stuff he might also want to add...

Logan and Dane with their moss-staches.

In Kerry's big ole tent.

Fending off mosquitoes in a most fashionable way.

My dandy boy. ("Mom, can I go to water's edge?")

S'mores, of c'ores.

Cork guns and a song: sha-pa-pa-pa pa-pa! Pop!

Sharly and Cherry Pie: the baby ducks were cute,
but these are the BEST fuzzy camping pals.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Couple Slices of Heaven

Here's where the kids and I are headed for the night with my friend Kerry and her two boys: Southern Oregon's Lake of the Woods.

Here's where Mick's headed tonight, cashing in on his Father's Day gift certificate of a haircut and pedicure: Lotus Hair, Body and Soul (Baby!).

I'm dying to know if he goes for the French Pedi... And of course I'll post, if he does.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Anyone else tired of blogging?

I am.

I don't want to upload pictures, write up descriptions, or sit at the computer. I just want to teach my ScienceWorks classes, camp with my kids, go to concerts with Mick, and dream of the new yard that the Regenesis crew is sweating over every day out my back door.

I'll blog again soon. But, really? Anyone else tired of it?