“Organic” Lip Balm

Everyone has one….the dreaded junk drawer.  Well, I just pulled out the most vilest of things from ours.  Lip balm.

I’m not sure where this came from, but there it was, handy, and  organic (no petroleum!), and holding the promise to make my lips just a bit more kissable…. so I liberally slathered some on.

And proceeded to dance  around the kitched shouting “Ewwwwww!  Gross. Grody (really!)  Ewwwww. Ewwwww!” as I fought my way to the kleenex box.  And then it dawned on me just why this particular balm was so repulsive.   “I think it has PATCHOULI in it….it’s just GOT to have patchouli in it”.  To which Mark responded, “Oh yeah….I tried that the other night and it was nasty!”  Now, Mark and I share a reflexively negative reaction to all things patchouli and have gone to great lengths in our lives to avoid it (not easy living in Boulder).

Which begs two questions:  1.  How did this make it into our house, and 2. Why, when Mark tried it the other night and found it equally nasty, did he put it BACK IN THE DRAWER?

I may never know the answer to these great mysteries, but I CAN whole heartedly recommend that you avoid this particular nastiness in lip balm.  Unless you are, of course, a fan of patchouli, in which case I hope you’ll give fair warning before planting that hello kiss on my cheek!

First Grade Censor

My task today as volunteer in the 1st grade was to pre-view old National Geographics and remove any potentially objectionable material before the kiddos embarked on a collage project.

Despite the overtones of censorship of such a fine magazine, I could also understand that 1) the kids don’t necessarily need to be exposed to bloody war scenes and 2) kids will be kids and boobs in a collage could be just become a big joke instead of the cultural experience of the picture while whole in the magazine.

I was struck, though, when a little girl came up to me with a “real simple” magazine and told me that she had found an “inappropriate picture” (her words).  The picture was part of an advertisement for soap, and showed a man and a woman engaging in the most innocent of smooches.  No passion here, folks, just a peck. Their eyes may not have even been closed.  I should have just shut up, but before I could take that wise approach, I asked why the picture was inappropriate.  The little girl replied that the class shouldn’t be looking at things like this because “it could teach us stuff”.  I left it at that, but couldn’t help but wonder:  what on earth ARE we teaching our kids if they see an innocent kiss between two adults as inappropriate.  It seems as if we are in danger of censoring, well, life!

Those of you who know us well know that we don’t believe in deprivation camping.  We believe in a fine red wine, steak on the grill, dessert smackdowns, queen air mattresses, and down comforters.  Until recently, we also camped a whopping ONCE every year.  The sleep deprivation, despite the down, was just too much for momma DINK to handle.

Well, in 2010, we took all this luxury camping to the next level.  Pop-up.  And not your basic 2 double-beds tent-on-wheels kind of pop up.  We are talking 2 king beds (with flannel sheets and down comforters, of course), power lift, furnace, hot water heater, 3 burner stove, full Yakima rack on top, outdoor shower, refrigerator, bump-out dinette, and a loo.

Long back in January of last year, Mark, Junior, and I wandered down to the Ketelson Camper sale….just to look.  Knowing full well that we hardly ever “just look”.  Two months later, we hauled our new baby home with Mark’s aging Land Rover. (Yep, you guessed it….new car in his future, but that story about a half acre of car will wait for another day).  In early April we were on our way to our first pop-up camping trip to the Pawnee National Grasslands (REALLY glad we had that furnace)…and we never looked back.

The final tally? Twenty-five nights.  We camped in Wyoming twice, for 11 nights over two trips at Buffalo Creek, Mesa Verde National Park, and Sand Dunes National Park.

We camped with neighbors, friends, old and new, and friends of our friends’ friends (all 60+ of them at the annual BC pilgrimage).  We camped with the dog,always brought our mountain bikes, and despite my whole-grain leanings almost always had half a cooler full of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows.  In short, we had some amazing DINK adventures this year and we can’t wait to hit the road again in a few short months!  Give us a ring, and come along!

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The Trampoline Philosopher

I worked from home yesterday, to give Junior a much-needed break from the endless holiday break play-dates, ski camps, and YMCA care. I got a nice break, too, when I spent a few minutes on the trampoline with him (it IS 60 degrees here in Boulder, CO after all).

During a little tramp snuggle time, we were looking up at the most beautiful tree, in the most beautiful afternoon light, when Junior asked me what the future of that tree looked like to me. I told him, “I’d like to see all the dead limbs trimmed and gone”. His future for that tree?

Mom, I’d like to see all the dead stuff grow back. It might grow back as dead, or it might grow back alive. It should be whatever it’s supposed to be!

Where does he come up with this stuff, my little trampoline philosopher?

The DINKS are back…..

After more than 18 months’ hiatus, we’ve decided that the DINKS have been hibernating (on the web at least) for too long.  The last year has been a bit insane, with a change in jobs for MaryBeth, a whole new grade for Junior, the constant debate about whether one kid is enough (it IS, thank you very much) or if Junior should have someone to share the love, 25 nights of camping in the new popup, ski team, 2 seasons of little league, a new mountain bike for Mom, the death of a much beloved dog, an ever-growing garden, and the coming and going of three, yes 3, “wives” to help us out.

While we are not necessarily any wiser, we are older.  And we’ve decided that this blog is the best way to memorialize the happenings in our little family….heaven knows we’ll never make a scrapbook!

So….we won’t promise daily posts, or even weekly posts, but we hope you’ll subscribe, or re-subscribe, and learn a bit more about life in the world of DINKS…with Kids.

On one of our many 2010 camping adventures


Westward Ho!

The “girls” have a sitter for the weekend, and Mark and Junior and I are on our way to Steamboat Springs.

Mark is running the Steamboat Half Marathon tomorrow, but we also plan to make the most of a nice long weekend with a trip to Strawberry Hot Springs and some geocaching. I loaded up the GPS and the iPhone with all kinds of caches. Our first find was about 1.5 hours into the drive. What a great way to stretch your legs!


Junior really wanted a buzz cut.  Or so he told me.  And the barber.

So, he got one.  Then he cried.  He wouldn’t let me take an “after” picture.  Though he did claim two hours later that it was starting grow out already!

Junior gets a Buzz Cut