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Cottage Lake snow
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And yes, for the record, this is much NC-17 rated Snack here. Heh.

A herd of hippos.

Cottage Lake snow
I have had a herd of 69 blue hippos on my dining room table. I started this yesterday but didn't finish til today.

This morning, they were eyeless (note: I will NOT make any jokes about the "eyeless" gene, which is the master regulator of eye formation in Drosophila, though my spouse, who I guess has been listening to me chatter this quarter, did. Heh.) hippos.

See?
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But now, they have eyes! They're too cute, imo!

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Got all the baking done, the boxes are all ready, Perry should have distributed his, AC is not doing anythign this year (because her school decided to start finals a day earlier than in previous years, so she's got finals and won't be seeing her teachers. I hate her school.)

Here's this year's panorama shot!

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Notice that there is one hippo who faces a different way! She got cut when I distractedly used the wrong side of the cookie cutter! Ooops.

Since I didn't find out that I didn't have to do AC's teachers until after I'd started baking, there are a few extra cookies of one or two types.

For the record, for 20 boxes, because I will look at these next year to figure how many I need to bake!

-- Chocolate: 2, have leftovers
-- Walnut-caramel bars: 2
-- Cranberry bars: 3
-- Brown butter oatmeal: 4, have leftovers
-- Gooey lemon: 2, have one batch in the freezers, but should have done more
-- Pecan sandies: 3 have leftovers
-- Gingerbread: 3.5 and I do have a few hippos left!

If anyone wants it, I'll post the gingerbread recipe. I upped the spices, but it's a wonderful cut cookie recipe. Tastes pretty good, was easy to roll, didn't sit, we had zero breakage etc.

Done. I have some leftover pecans, and I bought some almonds and when I have a few minutes, I'm going to make some chai-spiced nuts... The recipe is for almonds, but I think it'll work for pecans as well. I have loads of leftover walnuts, I'll freeze those.

I also have to make and steam a Christmas pudding.

But I really love my blue hippos!

As a country...

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As a country, we are delusional. To the point that it is truly harming us, because it allows for people not to see the real issues, and instead focus on the strawmen erected by the 1%.

See: these (interactive) polling results from CNN: What it takes to get ahead

The world may be flat these days, but the path to success differs around the globe. In some countries, education and hard work are enough. In others, connections and bribes play a big role. Pew Research surveyed people and asked them which factors are absolutely necessary to get ahead in their nation.


73% of Americans think it takes hard work to get ahead, and only 18% think that belonging to a wealthy family is necessary.

It is to weep.

I won't even address the fact that only 14% of us think that being a man is necessary. But then again, I also won't address Satya Nadella's inane comments about oh hai, women, good karma is NOT asking for a raise and waiting for it to come to you!

We are truly screwed if such a small percentage of our population has realised that, at this time in history, the decks has been totally dealt against us, and that being born into wealth is truly the only mostly reliable path to it.

We so love the execeptions, the teen mom who goes on to Harvard (most are stuck in poverty, never able to move up in the world), the African American man who gets an education and ends up in a position of wealth and power despite a childhood in abject poverty, the proverbial immigrant off the boat with no money who ends up building an empire. They make good stories, wonderful (I'm sure) novels, but they don't make for good social policy, and that is what we do here. We make -or rather we allow the powerful to make- decisions and choices for our nation that name being exceptionally bright, driven, and lucky (fex) the expected median.

Backpacking trip report and photos

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A link to the flickr set of photos of our trip to the Enchantments.

New and Improved! 25 Best of the Enchantments 2014. The best, or whatever photos from the trip. A bit less overwhelming!

And this link should get you a trip report

I'm linking in this photo, and I have to find a way to add some more tags to it. Because when I went looking for photos of the Enchantments, every single person I saw was thin. There were young people and older people, but they were all thin. I guess I want people who look like me to see the photo and realise that they aren't alone. Because I was freaking out and felt absolutely ridiculous, I mean, the though that a fat person could haul their fat ass up to the Enchantments? Ridiculous.

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Also, Perry and I were standing on a sloped slab of granite! He is NOT NOT NOT that much taller than me!

This trip was my birthday present to myself, and I'm so very thrilled about how things worked out. It was spectacular.

Bittersweet sob.

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AC and dh just left for her last first day of school.

Whimper.

How did my baby get to be a senior? It seems impossible, that the rolly polly toddler I tent to petite section de maternelle, and who had a fabulous time there, is now a great big senior starting her last year.

OTOH, one more year with that awful school.

The photo will make you think she got a new car of her own, but NSM. Heh.

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(That was easy. Dh took the photo with his phone a few minutes ago, I grabbed it from the cloud drive on the computer...)

Anyhow, seniors at her school form a mob on the hill up to the main campus, in hopes of terrifying the younger students, and dh is dropping her off to prepare for that. Perry, Linnea, and I will meet him in a bit, and, despite not having her to drop off, will brave first day traffic to get some video and wave at her. (She'll ignore us.)

Oh man. Anne-Chloe is a senior.

ETA. So we drove down, met up with dh, and drove up to the main campus, so we could see our sign wielding screaming daughter and her classmates. It was fun. Her sign said "I'd rather be sleeping!"

Recap and reflections....

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A bit of a recap and some reflections on the ride....

Man, 10000 cyclists. That's a lot, and they ranged the gamut from safe and good riders to OMG, who the hell let you on a bike. It's always interesting to see the asshole cyclists because when you do, you start to feel sympathy with motorists who complain about cyclists. :P

As for the motorists. There was a apparently one incident with the one day riders (nobody was hurt), and as I wrote we passed two accidents that may have had vehicle involvement, but aside from that and two or three assholes? Most of the motorists that passed the ride were polite, careful, and drove to maximize rider safety. That was quite nice.

For anyone who wants to see photos: if you know our last names, MarathonFoto had them up. :P

Since we didn't have sag support (my MIL or dh's aunt) following us this year, we took the bus back from Portland. OMG. The guy behind me ate at least 4 bananas. I about died. I LOATHE bananas and I'm very sensitive to their smell, it was so gross. I mentioned this one a forum I'm on and someone -bless her heart!- suggested using muscle balm or some such on my upper lip. I knew this from crime novels, where everyone carries Vicks VapoRub for icky crime scenes, but it had not occurred to me. I borrowed some of AC's chapstick and aaaaaah, the minty smell pretty much drowned out the disgusting banana!

AC, for the second year in a row, won STP Bingo overall. She had the lowest number (1), second lowest number (2), the lowest support rider number (S1). I won on pallindromes (I saw 2002 and 7007), we all independently saw highest number, I saw rider 5205, so the closest to any of our numbers, and dh saw rider 2014! Nobody got their birthday years. Heh.

So there are various groups who sponsor small teams who've fundraised (oh man, their catering is so much better than official stuff!), and just small teams. I passed a support group for "Team Nietzsche", with the giant slogan "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Thank you for the earworm, Team Nietzsche and my strength class teacher!

I still cannot beleive how well the weather turned out on day 2. From expected record highs to a high of maybe 72F!

I so enjoy my teens! They're nice kids.

I love Dave's Killer Bread. We eat it loads at home. But, um, pbjs on it? NSM. Too dry. A few places had those Costco roll ups, thank goodness. The ride is pretty much Catered by Costco!

It's Wednesday, and I'm feeling pretty recovered by now, mostly. I was able to go to spin class yesterday without too much trouble, I wasn't sore much at all. Where I still feel off: I'm more thirsty, and my sleep cycle still feels off.

OK, guys, this might be TMI for you. I'll white font! I have one of those proverbial 28 day cycles. I usually start bleeding Saturday early afternoon, every freaking four weeks. Which I was expecting to do Saturday. Which did not make me happy. BUT. This was a rare occurrance of a 29 day cycle, and I didn't start until Sunday evening AFTER the ride. I was SO freaking happy about that!

Port-a-potties in July. OMG, right? No, not really. They were mostly clean... the only real problem is that it was so hot, and they had hand sanitizer in them, I'm still shocked nobody got drunk from inhaling the alcoholic fumes! :)

Perry wanted to go to racing Monday evening. It was hot out and dh and I nixed that idea. Not because we didn't think he could do it physically, but because he was still mentally tired, and no, I'm not sending a mentally tired kid to race at a velodrome on a bike with no brakes!

Monday afternoon, we cleaned our bikes. They were covered in grit! Removed wheels, cleaned pretty much everywhere except we were too lazy to remove the chain. The gear train is pretty clean aside from that, everything was at least wiped down.

Next year Perry will be in a full size bike. We will never catch up with him. Oh wait. I'm not doing this next year. Never mind!

And of course, as per tradition, both kids "turtled" once, ie fell with their feet still in their pedals. They both managed to get up by themselves. Ah, how fondly I remember the time when I'd pick up Perry, bike and all, still clipped in and right him. Yeah, NOT!

Ah well. It was fun. It was a good time with family, we'll probably do it again.

Next up: hiking trip to the Enchantments!

STP 2014 -The Full Story Day 2-

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I woke up a few times during the night. The first time because I was cold. Cold? Really? Oh whatever.

I woke up again, cold again, and I could feel the dampness. I thought about suggesting to Perry, who was sleeping outside, to go drag his sleeping bag into the gymnasium, but I was too tired and I know how hard it is to wake Perry when he's out. Back to sleep.

4am. My alarm went off, I ignored it for a bit, then got up, went to brush my teeth and pop 3 ibuprofen. I feel ok from a muscles etc standpoint, but my head still ached.

As the others stumbled to morning things, I started stuffing bags and repacking. It was still dark. Then I came up with a brilliant idea, if I may say so myself, to fix AC's seat: one of dh's cotton socks. Part can be wadded up to replace the missing gel and the whole leg part pulled over the whole saddle to keep it in place. And to follow up here, it worked! At the next big rest stop, we got some duct tape from the bike repair place to keep things from shifting around, but overall, the sock contraption was a workable solution and allowed AC to finish the ride.

That she would finish was not evident. Even though it was now chilly, and breezy, the forecast, last we had checked, was still gruesome, and AC was in a bit of a panicky, anxious state. Note that's she in good shape, had had few problems the day before, even with the heat, so it was clearly a mental problem. She was pretty depressed and weepy at breakfast, refusing to eat properly, working on convincing herself that she wasn't going to be able to finish. We tried to dispense a combination of sympathy and "sorry, there is no plan in place for you to bail, you need to finish" practicality.

Off we headed for day 2! Officially we had about 85 miles to go. The first part of the route is "rollers", then over the Columbia on the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Oregon! After that, the long slog that is US 30.

But the weather still seems to be holding as cool. There are clouds in the sky. A nice breezy tailwind. Things aren't too bad!

The Lexington rest stop came up quickly, which was nice. The rollers weren't too bad, and I think the fastest I got was about 34mph.

Weather still cool, cloudy, nice breeze, with the occasional sunbreak. I was really starting to wonder if the high had broken, or what, because this was not the morning of a day that was supposed to beat record temps. Not that anyone was complaining, of course. I don't think anyone was really daring to speak much about it, Saturday had been so very miserable for everyone.

Lewis and Clark Bridge. Always a bit nerve wracking. We check water bottle cages to make sure everything is in tight, pockets etc. There are some nasty gratings on the down that you hit going very fast and the ground is literally littered with water bottles and other things!

Grind up the bridge... this isn't my video -I wish I were that fast on the way up!- it's from some one day rider.



Oregon!

I'm pretty sure my speed exceeded the posted 35mph. Heh.

Into the small town of Rainier, where I saw a breathtaking example of racism that I'd never noticed before.

A barber shop/salon, called Head Hunters, which ya know, is just stupid but not intrinsically offensive. Only... the painting on the wall, clearly visible where driving the highway was... a young Native American man with his hair unbound.

You'd think that a highway that follows the course of a river would be flat. Alas, it is not. Ups and downs, some of them pretty intense. Overall, the trend is upwards, I swear it is! I mean, I know that Rainier OR and PDX are the same elevation (ok, PDX is 1ft lower...) but the whole road still feels like it has an upward trend!

Overall things were going pretty well, except for dh's knees that were bothering him a bit. We were making quite decent time and pulled into the lunch stop at St Helens a bit before noon. The weather, I'll add, was still cool and overcast. Usually St Helens is a hot, full sun food stop, so this was nice.

30 miles to go.

What to say about the last thirty miles? We picked up, alas, a headwind, which I think really bugged dh, and that slowed us down a wee bit, but we were still making ok time.

I saw lightening to the north. Three bolts. Didn't hear the thunder, so it was quite far.

And then it started to rain.

A big fat drop heavy rain, that left me wondering if glasses on or glasses off was better. I should have my glasses on, but my eyesight is good enough for day time driving/biking if need be. I kept them on, but there were a few times where I wondered.

Rooster tails and OMG GRIT was the name of the game from then on in.

St John's Bridge, as usual my favourite part of the ride. The bridge itself is beautiful, and once you are over it, you are into Portland proper, the end of the ride is near, at least distance wise, and it always feels like a privilege to be able to cross such a bridge in a lane without cars!



Things slowed down considerably then. The traffic was not too horrid, but there are red lights, pedestrians, and cyclists, many of them not riding STP. Nothing awful, but we're not longer doing the same speed as on the highway. I always forget that when I'm calculating how long the last 30 miles will take, that the 5 or so from St Johns can take a lot longer than the 25 highway ones!

Dh described what happened next best, and I think he said it like this, "All of a sudden I heard 'ouch! ouch! ouch!' behind me, and I couldn't figure out what was going on, then three seconds later, the hail hit me!".

Hail.

Rilly?

That said, I'll say it now: hail and rain vs record high temps? Bring on the hail.

Dh's aunt was waiting for us at the last block! We high fived as we slowly rode it, under the finish line, picked up our finisher's badges, and onto the grass.

DONE!

Proof:
Finisher badges!

And here is the obligatory at the finish line photo, take a bit after we got in! Note that Perry is still eating....

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Day 2 stats: 85.2 miles, 12.5 mph, 6h46min on bikes!

Next post up: the recap and some extra commentary!

STP 2014 -The Full Story Day 1-

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First I must set the scene. As the week progressed towards STP, the weather reports, especially those for Oregon went from bad to worse. It was... worrisome to say the least. The thought of biking US 30 in temps in the mid 90s was actually frightening, and I had doubts as to our ability to do it at all.

Dh and I talked a bit about circumstances in which we'd call off. Since we were doing the ride unsupported, we had no good plan for failure, which is never a good thing. Though I suppose, with a credit card, there is always a solution, right?

Friday was a day of frenzied getting everything together. Dh had checked over the bikes already, so that was done, and I'd gotten camping gear together, so that was done, but there are always a zillion details to attend to. We also went into Seattle to pick Perry up at rowing camp, and to get our rider packets at REI.

At rowing camp, the instructor, who teaches PE at his school, as well as crew, told us that Perry just did not stop. Always full of energy. Which, um, we know. I mean... at his middle school continuation ceremony, the teacher who roasted Perry said exactly that. That just keeps on and on, high energy. Until, not. And then he showed a photo of Perry on the way home from a day of noxious weed pulling, sound asleep with his head on the teacher's shoulder. It was so funny. Anyhow, we took our not exhausted yet child to REI.

Picked up packets. Bought t shirts, and a key chain for Linnea who was quite vexed that, yet again, she didn't get to go.

We got to bed Friday night, tired, and for me, dreading the 4am wake up. Once the wake up is done, the only thing I really dread on the whole ride is the hill into Napavine!

I ended up waking up at 2:45, and not being able to get back to sleep. Sigh.

4am. Since I'd been awake for a while, at least I didn't feel nauseated or anything. We got out reasonably fast, with -it turns out- nothing forgotten, which is always good. Of course the Dept of Transportation had to close the 520 bridge over the lake so our trip into Seattle took a lot longer than it otherwise would, and of course the traffic to get to the starting parking lot was long and took forever.

In parked. We were leaving the car there, and it didn't take long to get the pre-ride stuff done: potty, numbers on bikes (we do that last minute in case they don't stay on for the drive!), luggage dropped off on the truck to Winlock, selfie taken...

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and....

Off we go!

It was about 6:30 am. And it was already hot. Most STP starts we've needed jackets in the early am. Not Saturday.

We passed by a bad accident even before we reached the University Bridge, on Eastlake Ave. I know there was an accident there last year as well. Anyhow, she did not look in good shape. :( I wasn't able to find any report on her condition. I felt sick to my stomach.

Onwards.

The beginning of the route is beautiful, though the Arboretum, then down next to Lake Washington, to Seward Park. Then you make a right. Straight up a steep, though short, hill. If you haven't already geared down, it's too late! Good thing we know this, we were already geared down, so up we went.

The REI stop, at 25 miles in, is the first stop. Before that however, was our first encounter with a dangerous rider: Mimi's dad. Mimi is -according to the sign on her recumbant trail-a-bike- 7 years old and she was doing her first STP. Which is awesome. Her dad's name, judging by what people were calling him, is "Asshole!" He clearly had no idea of how long his bike + Mimi's tag-along were, and it was only the skillful riding of others that prevented him from knocking two cyclists over that first time I encountered him. We saw Asshole and Mimi several times, and his riding didn't get any better. I also heard several other riders commenting about him, so it wasn't just us.

The REI stop is always fun. Two years ago, it was The 80s, so everyone had leg warmers and 80s music was playing. Last year has faded, but the theme was... polka. So yeah, when we got in the live band was playing a polka. Then they played Edelweiss, which isn't a polka, they admitted, but hey, it fits the theme! Thanks for the earworm, guys!

We made the stop short, and got out quickly. Temps were going up and not wasting any of the relatively cool morning time was important.

After the REI stop, there is a short bit of semi-rural area. That's when we saw another guy. The call of "Car BACK!" which means... car coming, get out of the effing way would sound and... he'd pull into traffic. He did this several times. A gal right behind him finally shouted at him, "Dude, don't be an asshole! Car versus you, car wins!" Everyone laughed, but it really isn't funny.

Then there was The Hill. It's not that bad of a hill, all things considered, but I think it's... the first big challenge of the ride, so has taken on mythical proportions. Conquering The Hill is an STP milestone. I suspect that has happened because that's where many people realise HOLY FUCK WHAT THE HELL DID I SIGN UP FOR? We all did it ok. At the top, dh had to stop because the clip on his shoe was stuck to his pedal. He managed to get it off -phew!- and re-tightened. He only had one screw in, but was able to get a much needed second one later in the day.

We got to Spanaway, 50 miles in, the traditional lunch stop. The Spanaway stop sucks rotten eggs. It's too hot, the lines for the potties are epic, and the food isn't always great. It was worse than usual this year in that the water lines were about 20 minutes long. That should have been remedied right away. It was awful. The temps were probably already in the 80s, the sun was beating down, and waiting for water was no fun. I had a splitting headache.

I was really worried about Perry at that point. He was whiny, which is not typical of him, he looked tired and red. Dh and I got a bit more hands on at managing his food and water, ie we started reminding him non stop. Eat, drink, whatever.

After more sunscreen and ibuprofen, off we went.

The area around Spanaway is an area we call the "Military stupid zone". On I5, or on these smaller roads, the whole area around JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord) is an area of bad traffic, and bad drivers. On I5, typically the traffic stops for no reason, only the right lane moves, the accidents are more numerous, and it's not a fun area to go through. On STP, it's a scary area. It was around there that a truck threatened Perry last year, and where the asses downshift their diesels in front of cyclists most often.

As we're biking... an emergency vehicle passed us, sirens blaring. Shit. Then a second. We passed the accident a few minutes later. Cyclist down, though this gal was at talking, and the situation didn't look as bad. Still, gulp.

Wanted to fill up water at McKenna mini-stop. They are out of water. We have enough to go on with, but still disconcerting.

After a bit, we got on a 14.5 mile section of bike trail. It's always hot, there is very little shade, but no cars, this year most people who were not part of the ride stayed OFF the trail. Last year there were parents with small kids, and that's always scary when you're going even slightly faster than walking speed. Which, of course, we all are.

Perry got a flat on that section. Grrr. It looked like, and this was verified when I fixed the tube after we got home, that that brand of patches isn't that great. Sigh. The other brand we have was great, but I can't figure out what it was, since there is no name or anything.

Anyhow, fixed the flat. The heat is awful, it's bright, and the water in our bottles is warm enough to make tea.

The Tenino rest stop was up next. It's run as a fundraiser by the high school basketball team, and this year? I suspect their forethought saved quite a few people from medical problems. The water there is cold, and there was plenty of it :) . There were no lines. In addition, they'd set up a line of pvc piping shooting water up 6+ feet into the air. Cold water. Many people got soaked, finally cooling down. Damp and in the shade, I felt SO much better, my headache subsided a bit.

It came back within minutes of being back out in the sun and heat, but still, I felt better.

This section was where Perry had decided he didn't need us any longer and taken off. AC did that this year. Only unlike Perry, she didn't stop to wait at the gas station at the entrance of Centralia. Sigh.

100 miles done. 20 to go. Temps are apparently around 95F. Fucking HOT.

Centralia mid-way point. We found AC waiting for us (sigh...). We got creamsicles. This is the only time I'd ever eat a creamsicle, because things taste very different when it's hot, they are cold, and you've just biked 100 miles.

We spent a bit too much time in Centralia, doing various things. We didn't feel in a major hurry, it was still brutally HOT, and we needed the rest. Eventually we headed out to Winlock.

After Chehalis, we stopped for some energy gels. Those things are gross, especially warm, but do they ever work! Dh's knees were bothering him and while I was having zero issues with fatigue, my head was still in pretty awful pain. We told the kids to go on up ahead to where we were camping, and they zipped on up ahead, soon out of sight. Gulp. My babies!

My personal bugaboo, the hill into Napavine, was next. I made it, if slowly.

Last six miles to Winlock. Rollers. Which are hills following each other, the idea being that you use the speed you get on one downhill to help you up the next. We were just outside of Napavine, about to hit the first hill when....

Flat tire. Crappity crud. It's late, we now had to change a flat, and we may not make it to Winlock in time for dinner... and who knows what is open in Winlock this late?

But then...

My phone rang. I picked up the call, thinking it might be AC or Perry in trouble, but it was my brother...

Standing by the side of the road, temps still in the 90s, I'm hot and sweating, and my poor spouse is changing my tire as...

I squee with excited excitedness because I have a brand new niece!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd have missed the call without the damn flat.

There are truly few bits of news that are as incredibly wonderful as people you love having a new baby that you get to love too.

The next six miles literally flew by. Still concerned about dinner, it's still hot, and I hoped the kids weren't worried about us, since the flat repair took some time.

When we got in, we biked to the elementary school. A quick look at the field showed our red tent set up.

Instead of finding what we could have, ie two teens flopped on the grass eating the free pretzels, we found a tent all set up, sleeping pads blown up, and sleeping bags fluffed. And the kids, having done that, eating pretzels. I am so proud of them, they thought to pick up our luggage and made camp. It may seem obvious, but with teens? You never know.

120 miles, 13.4 mph average, 9h18min on the bike.

But we have a small problem. AC had a cushy gel seat on her bike. Last Tuesday -note that STP is Saturday- she points out that the lycra cover of her seat is torn. The seat is too old to find a direct replacement, and that's a pretty major equipment change very late in the game. We decided to just go, after all, it was just a tear in the lycra. However, now, we have a problem: the lycra continued tearing, and she lost the hunk of foam at the front of the saddle, straight down to the plastic frame. We need to figure something out, because the bike is not ridable under those conditions. Still, first, dinner.

Dinner presented a challenge. We went down to the Senior Center. I'd purchased dinner, breakfast, and camping vouchers for all four of us last February, but... huh. They show dh, and the kids paid for but not me. We have no cash (long story, but dh swapped out his wallet and didn't put the cash in the bike bag), so no way to buy me dinner. I'm looking at these old ladies and going I did this for three people there is NO WAY I didn't get it for all four of us. Since they'd apparently had LOADS of problems this year, she let me in. I checked when I got home and yes, I had paid for all of them. They marked me as paid. I did, but I'll still send a thank you note with a donation for letting me in, on my word that I really had paid. Which I think they did because....

Mine wasn't the only effed up registration... they ran out of food, both that evening and breakfast the next day. People were quite pissed, but it seems like there was some serious miscommunication between the Senior Center and the guy from the school district who arranges everything. The ladies didn't want to feed anyone from the elem school, saying we hadn't pre-registered, but only the people from the HS had. Which was not the case. It was a bit of a mess.

It was hot, people were testy, but they managed to get people mostly fed. Alas, unlike previous years (we've eaten there 5 times), this year they put bell peppers in the tomato sauce, so ew gross, I got as much sauce off the pasta as I could and ate the pasta as plain as possible with loads of salt.

And during dinner, bro texted a photo of my niece!

Cold shower after dinner, brr, then off to collapse in the tent. Perry opted to sleep outside. It was still hot, there was barely a breeze, but we were so tired we all feel asleep quickly, having set the alarm for 4am. The plan was to get up early and attempt to beat the worse of the heat into Portland.

He survied middle school.

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WP_20140612_11_12_04_ProWe did find a nice tshirt, in a pretty dark plum, that looked nice with his black pants and the -left hanging open- button shirt.

The school had pretty yellow rose boutonnieres for the boys (and corsages for the girls). Alas they gave them to the kids before the breakfast and after eating Perry went to play basketball. His rose looked rather on the wilted withered side by the time the ceremony started.

It was great, though. The class is small -46 students- and faculty said a bit about each student, and it was mostly hilarious. Remembering the bad puns, the terrible jokes, the pranks, the funny habits, and also the accomplishments. It was so clear that the teachers both knew and liked the kids. The audience laughed a lot.

Of course every time a vocabulary word was used, the kids all made an ooh-ah! noise!

Anyhow, he's all continuated, and will be in OMG 9th grade next year. OMG. 9th grade.

We survived middle school. Here's hoping we make it through high school as well!

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His yellow rose boutonniere is totally wrecked and he is bright red. From the basketball game. Sigh... He could be so cute, he looks completely disheveled.

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Chapter 34 Rewrite

Addiction (NC-17)

Strawberries (NC-17)

Second Life (NC-17)

Rosa canina (PG-13)

In Silence (NC-17)

Original Fic

Frangipane, Cancer, and Chicken Noodle Soup

That Evening

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