Grandpa & Grandma's House
OK, as long as I don't have to ford any streams

On Jeniuses and City Slickers

Well that was fun!

Hanging out in my hometown again was pretty darn cool, I must say. The kids had a blast in the country, even if this picture indicates otherwise:


Hey Karl and Emma, Joey called, he wants his "Smell a Fart" look back. Heh

We were on our way to the Scandinavian Festival this particular evening and stopped to see Dad who was running a big sprayer on a bean field. When I was a kid Dad would work summers on his friend's farm, and it was always a thrill to ride with him on some huge piece of farm machinery. All three of the kids got to ride in the sprayer and thought it was about the coolest thing EVAH. I called John later to tell him about it:

Sprayer"Dad took the kids for a ride on the sprayer!"

"Lovely. Did they get exposed to any pesticides?"

"Huh? Oh, I don't think so. It was a closed cab, and the kids really enjoyed it!"

"How nice. I'm sure their deformed children will thank you."

Geez. Talk about a City Slicker! He probably would have had a coronary if he'd witnessed some of Karl's other favorite activities:Karl_danger

Karl and Emma turned 8 during our trip. Birthday_2My step-brother, Robert, came over for the festivities and started talking about our brother, Brian:

"Brian's a genius, you know."

"He is?"

"Yes. He knows everything about computers. He can fix anything on a computer. He's a genius."

"Well I'm pretty smart."

"Yeah, but he's raking in the bucks."

"OK, you've got me there."

Can you believe that? The partiality! The unfairness of it all! I spent the rest of the week cracking jokes with the family about "Brian the Genius" and how nice it would be when "The Genius" arrived for the weekend.

The Genius showed up Friday night, just in time to be my date to the Festival's wine terrace. We were joining my childhood best friend, Kay, and her husband John. Here I am with Kay, who is expecting a little boy this fall. Between her three, his two, and one on the way, they will have 6 kids. Kay, you're my hero!Kay_and_karen

We're standing in front of the pool where I worked for many years as a lifeguard. You may remember my reminisces about nearly electrocuting myself with the vacuum and how I was rescued (aka chided) by Kay's brother Rick. Well as we were standing there, who should show up? You guessed it! And he even remembered me! *giggle*

But let's get back to the wine terrace with Kay, Kay's John, and The Genius. I had high hopes that I would run into some classmates, but the truth was that I didn't recognize anyone. Kay pointed out some people that I knew, even a couple of girls that were in our class, but it's been (sigh) almost 20 years, and everyone's changed so much. I'm sure I wasn't particularly recognizable either, even though I went to great pains to return my hair to blond before arriving. (A point that The Genius rather inconsiderately called me out on. "Did you go blond for this trip?" he asked, in front of everyone. Thanks, Genius.)

After the wine terrace closed at the unspeakably early hour of 11 pm, we walked to the other end of the Festival for Community Dancing. It was fun to watch the dances, so many of which we had done as kids/teenagers. I begged Kay to dance just one dance with me for old times, but she refused, citing pregnancy and poor memory as an excuse. I tried to goad her into it by reminding her that she ALWAYS got to be the girl and I ALWAYS had to be the boy since I was taller. It cutteth no mustard. She tried to get her 15-year-old son to dance with me but I think we all can guess how that idea was received. Brian said not "no" but "Hay-ull no!" so I had to just watch.


Speaking of losers, Brian and I discussed on the way back to Dad's house that we probably fell into that category for some of the insensitive observations we made about small town living. (No Wi-Fi or Starbucks, specifically. One Starbucks would actually solve both those problems, come to think of it.) Anyway, Kay - if you're reading - our apologies. JC is a fabulous place to live and raise kids. I'm back to city living, and although I may be able to update my blog while sipping a Frappacino, so can every other suburban mom in a mid-sized city. What I CAN'T do, is give my kids this experience every August:


So if I sounded anything other than jealous, I misspoke.

We were also just one short hour from the ocean. Ah, the ocean, the powerful Pacific! How I've missed you, you beauty.Beach_blog

We also visited my only remaining grandparent. Grandma is in her 80's now, and her health isn't what it used to be, but she is just delightful to talk to.Grandma_and_kids

Our last day was spent packing, hanging out, one last cruise through the Festival, a barbecue dinner and then fireworks to end the day. At dinner I explained to Brian why I had been referring to him as a genius all week and then he said something so absolutely perfect that I couldn't have SCRIPTED better irony:

Jeniuses_1 "My friend has a T-shirt that says 'genius' but it's misspelled with a 'g'."

"Don't you mean that it's misspelled with a 'j''? Genius is spelled with a 'g', Genius."

"Whatever. And I prefer to be called 'Jenius'."

As you wish.

Here we see Jenius and Mini-Jenius, trying to figure out how to wear a hat:

I mentioned the fireworks, right? This was a highly anticipated night for my kids, who didn't get much of a 4th of July because of the rain and the Colorado ban on fireworks. They banned them because it was too dry. Did I mention the torrential downpours around the 4th of July? (Irony, so good at pointing out the irony.)

Colorado officials are jeniuses.


We flew home on Sunday, liquidless and gel-less, but otherwise hassle-less. A weather delay put us home an hour late, but the kids still got decent sleep before their first day of school, which was yesterday.

Yes, the days of bliss have arrived. My children are in school. Oh happy, happy day! Third graders. Crazy, huh?


Now let's talk quotes here for a second. I haven't quoted the entire movie yet, but all the good quotes are pretty much gone in The Princess Bride. I've switched to some Napoleon Dynamite quotes, but I think I'll just quote whatever strikes my fancy from now on. A RANDOM movie quote of the day, if you will. (And you will, won't you?) Then maybe after Christmas we'll just start right over with TPB. How's that sound?

RMQOTD (Two dollars! I want my two dollars!)