4 August, 2015  |   Comment

During June, I drew monsters

One of the fruits of my fits and starts was a daily monster drawing over on the Insta. It was a fun little daily thing. These days, I seem to be into smallish creative daily things.

All my silly drawings are here in one happy monstrosity.

6-1 6-2
6-3 6-4
6-5 6-6
6-7 6-8
6-9 6-10
6-11 6-12
6-13 6-14
6-15 6-16
6-17 6-18
6-19 6-20
6-21 6-22
6-23 6-24
6-25 6-26
6-27 6-28
6-29 6-30

3 August, 2015  |   1 Comment

Camp HJ – A Fortieth Birthday Adventureparty

I turned forty two weeks ago.
I thought I was cool with it, found out I wasn’t and then quickly got cool with it again.
Want to know how?
I threw a big Adventureparty.


Six months ago, I started planning. I knew I wanted a summer camp theme, I knew I wanted tube socks involved and I wanted food at the end.


I got what I wanted.
(Plus, I got to snuggle some babies.)


And with that, thirty people went on a walking clue-adventure through our small town.


The Planning
As you can imagine, there was a lot of planning. I tried to ensure that each team would hit each destination at a different time.


There were seven stops. Five stops held clues that rotated for every team, and the last stop told the campers where the party was.

Each stop was within walking distance of the first destination and had an activity, a snack or a drink for the campers to enjoy.

The Party
We met at our house and had some drinks while all the guests arrived.


Everyone got a red bandanna because head bandannas for weeks are one of summer camp’s best things. Then, I sorted campers into cabins and distributed the first clues.


I told everyone not to hurry — mostly so I wouldn’t be at the last destination until the end of the party — but apparently it’s just human nature to compete. The teams took off lickity split.


I was particular about who went on each team, trying to make sure they’d all get along and that there were a good mix of energies.


My sister and I each manned separate arts and crafts stations. The rest of the stations were self-service. At my station, campers decided on a group theme to decorate nametag canteens. After they were done, I handed them their next clue.





At my sister’s station, campers made leather bracelets and ate summer sausage snacks.


We used the picnic table behind the library for that stop.


Clare was a tough cookie, and wouldn’t give up the clue until all the holes were filled.


Except for one time.


One of the clues sent you to the alley behind Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen where I leaned a board with team clues up against a wall. It was strange to “tresspass” in public space when I was setting up the clues – I wanted the campers to feel that illicit excitement of getting away with something.




Then, a clue led campers to the wine business center where each team received a special gift.


Tube socks. TEAM TUBE SOCKS!


After they collected their tube socks and clue, campers went to a shopping cart loading area for their next clue. I know.


After campers picked up that clue, they landed at another park, one right next to the police station. Everyone got a compass and their next clue.

That last clue led everyone to our town pay phone, where they found a flyer with a url leading all the campers to the final destination.

After about an hour, about 2 miles of walking and glitter glued fingers, everyone landed at a local park. I’d hired an awesome hot dog vendor to serve weenies to all my successful campers.








I made myself a s’mores cake because I’m grown up now.


It was a lot to do by myself, but I loved the whole darn thing.
I mean, just look at me.



10 March, 2015  |   1 Comment

Lenten Update. Day 20.

We are half-way through our Lenten adventure and I am as sober as sober comes.
Still, no wine.

My skin looks great and I’m getting a lot better sleep every night.


At this point, it’s been funny to hear my brain and body whisper to me, “Okay, I get it, we’ve not had drinks for 20 days, we’re all good now. We get the point.”

Silly brain and body, that’s not the point.
We’re sacrificing here.
Forty full days.

Three cheers to my first St. Patrick’s Day without beer in a long, long time!


Sacrificing Instagram, however has been an entirely different story.
Maybe I’m using Instagram wrong, but I have found myself with nearly an extra two hours every day.

What would you do with an extra two hours every day?

With that time, I’ve started taking Barre classes, I swim at the high school. I made a few terrible pastel drawings and have a few prepared canvases ready for painting.

The pain of not knowing what everyone’s doing on Instagram is far, FAR outweighed by this luxury of time.

Beauty tip: A big part of the reason my skin looks better is that I have an extra gang of time to get places, be more considerate and think fully through the task at hand before I get started.

Am I suggesting you give up Instagram?
Heck no!

But I AM suggesting you take a closer look at the time your phone apps get.


I can’t wait to get back to Instagram. Knowing how much actual extra time I have will make me far more aware of all the time I spend there.

I relish every stinking minute I’ve gotten back.

Can you give up Instagram?

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