Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Something that both Dash & I are pretty sad about is the fact that he can't join Boy Scouts (because of their stance on gay leaders. We were so excited when they voted to allow gay scouts, but the message then became, "you're fine till you're 18, but then you can't be trusted around children"). So when I heard about (tag line: Get skills. Be awesome.), I may have geeked the fuck out. is a website that invites kids to earn badges by completing tasks (or attaining "skills"). They can earn badges in everything from Angler to Yeti (I have no idea). When I rattled off the list to Dash, he weirdly decided to start with Baker.

His first challenge was to make & toss pizza dough:


Next was to make a character cake from scratch:

(eating said cake)

And finally, he made a quick bread. This was cheddar chili cornbread that we brought to dinner at a friends' house:

After he earned his Baker badge (and once you earn it, you can actually order a real badge that they send you! It's awesome!), he moved on to the Athlete challenges. So far he's completed play a team sport:

And run an obstacle course:

(design phase. there were water balloons involved)

And it ended the way most things do at our house, with Dash & me hurling balloons at one another and chasing one another with hoses. You can see the video here if you're inclined:

Dash is having a belt test on Friday, so we'll submit that for the martial arts challenge & he'll have earned another badge. Can't wait to see what's next! I'm agitating for Interior Designer, but it'll probably be Beekeper or something. Because why wouldn't he?

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Monday, September 2 was the first anniversary of my Father's death. (God. I see that word and I just still can't believe it applies to him.)

Anyway, by some act of serendipity, our first chance to visit my step-mom at her new digs in Santa Rosa was over Labor Day weekend, which just happened to fall on September 2. I'll be honest. I was scared. I was scared of my feelings and how I would feel being surrounded by his belongings. I was scared that being with her and without him on that day would trigger things I was unprepared for. But you know what? It was okay. Actually, it was better than okay. I loved seeing her chat with Dash, her only grandson. I loved eating her food and being babied by her, the same way they both used to baby me (and we're not talking about when I was a kid--in my family, the babying never, ever stops). I loved spending time in her bright, beautiful new home. I loved forcing her to start drinking mimosas with me way, way earlier than she would have otherwise.

It was a good visit. A fruitful visit. We got to talk about him, spend some time among his things. A tight pod of the people he loved, eating and drinking and laughing and remembering. I think he would like the way we spent our time.

Dash was excited to show Grandma some of his sweet moves.


The bunny ears thing is getting out of hand.


Dash & Grandma

Them's jes cute, that's all.

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Dash found some of Grandpa's old rings.

No, my father was not a biker. No, I'm not sure why he had so many giant skull rings. The man was full of mystery.

We got home from Grandma's the evening of September 2, so we had time to light a candle for my dad. I didn't have anything fancy for the occasion, so I decided to just write him a message on a plain votive. It says, "I love ur dumb ass." Because mourning and being hilarious are not mutually exclusive.