Monthly Archives: June 2011

Starring Abby Starlight

Abby went to Germany night at school dressed up like Gretel. This video cracks me up. But it also reminds me why I have to have my daughter-daddy time. Abby is right in front of the camera, and somehow Zach still manages to steal the show:

So here’s a li’l tribute to my girl:

(just for clarification, at the end of the video- neither of my children like me filming them. ESPECIALLY when they are playing together and actually getting along.)


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Dangerous Adventures in the Chuckanut Jungle

There is no such place as Clayton Beach. It’s a trick. Zach and I tried to find it but couldn’t. The trails we followed took us over train tracks on a blind corner, down  steep rooted muddy ledges, and eventually within 3 feet of a cliff that offered certain death-by-barnacled-beach-rocks. Danger danger danger, every step of the way. It’s a miracle we made it out of there alive.

Heeyyy. Wait a tick. Maybe this isn’t a trick beach at all. Perhaps it’s something far more sinister. Was all that danger there on purpose? Who knows, but it’s possible we  just escaped from the mouth of a real live tourist trap.

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Lopez Island Magic

Saturday afternoon I packed up my bike and took a ferry to Lopez Island. It was as spontaneous as it gets, so when I stepped off the boat at around 7pm, I had no map, no reservations, and 9 bucks. I love this kind of stuff.

After riding for a couple hours, these were the things that stuck out:

1) Light, sweet, clean air.

2) Silence- I heard the sound of an entire field of cows chewing grass.

3) Brilliant views of the San Juan islands and old forests and endless fields of wildflowers.

4) No neighborhoods. Just neighbors. Every car that passed, without exception, every driver waved. No joke.

i loooove my bike

It was almost 9pm and I still needed to find a place to sleep. I took a road next to a forest, and not too far into the woods i saw a couple cliffs up near the tree tops, maybe 80-100 feet high. The top looked like it might flatten out a bit, so I stashed my bike, took my bag and went to get a better look. There were some steep little deer trails that I took to the rocky area, where the real climbing started. There was a rock wall about 35-45 feet high, and as vertical as anything I’ve ever attempted to climb without a harness. At this point I knew I wouldn’t have enough daylight to go back for the tent, so I was thankful to find a relatively easy route up. There were rocks to grab onto so I wasn’t really freaked out, but still- it was a good challenge to climb this thing.

a long way up

When I made it to the top I was completely stoked. It was a conquest with an unbelievable reward. There were a few tiers of long, flat rocks, about 6 feet wide, that were covered in 8 inches of soft, completely dry yellow moss. I picked a ledge that was out of view from the road. It was a scene from a fairy tale. Below me there was a giant field of white and yellow flowers, then a rolling forest hill with beach cove bookends, then the water, the islands, and a pale orange sky. I bet natives camped here. This was a powerful place.

south view from camp

Birds were singing songs I’d never heard. Frogs joined in as the sun went down. Then the moon set, the stars came out, the frogs went silent again, and the only sound came from a flock of birds that had spread out throughout the forest. They sang like a chorus, in harmony with note to note precision. The song sounded like a cross between rippling water and a ufo shooting lasers. Trippy.

The whole scene was so amazing that I didn’t want to sleep. I watched the Big Dipper slowly work its way around the North Star. I heard a pod of breaching orca whales, splashing their way down the west coast of the island. This night was sacred and profound. Maybe I should just leave it at that.

I spent Sunday wandering around the island, exploring and writing and picking up rocks on the beach. I was completely lost until just before my ferry ride back. I didn’t have a clue where I was. But of course the road showed up, just in time to lead me back home. How could it not? If there was any lesson here, it was this: fate will take care of you every chance it gets. Not only will it take care of you, it will enchant you- sometimes with stuff like the road back home, and other times with starlight and moss and clifftop orca symphonies.


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auction figures

see that mushroom? it's actually a plate of butterscotch chocolate chip walnut cookies. on a jelly belly stem! and yes, the gnome was included. score!

Last night was our 3rd aution in a little over a month. This one was a dessert auction at Abby and Zach’s school. For the last 10 minutes we puppy guarded the items we wanted. Let’s be honest. We weren’t trying to raise funds for the PTA. We were fighting for our dessert.

these cookies are wild animals with their mouths full of m&ms. so is our son.


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Cereal Killers- 7 Cereal Box Characters Who Could MESS YOU UP

Most cereal box characters are sweet and harmless. You’ve got your Trix Rabbits, your Toucan Sams, the Apple Jacks Kids… And then there are the others. I picked out what I think are the 7 most dangerous of all.  Here they are, in no particular order:

Cap’n Crunch– This guy has been battling sog monsters for decades. Decades! Battling monsters! Has he ever lost, even once?





Lucky– According to my daughter, leprechauns are creepy. “They’re little, they’re sneaky, and they’re always sticking their tiny heads in your windows.” They also have magical powers bestowed by Irish faeries. Now take these traits and put them into a paranoid leprechaun who thinks that everyone is out to get him. I think Lucky’s about to snap crackle and pop (see what I did there?). Blimey! Watch yer back.


Tony the Tiger– Honestly, do you really believe he’s a vegetarian?





Dig ‘m– Sugar Smacks, Honey Smacks… Doesn’t matter. I think Dig ’em looks suspiciously like a golden dart frog. Brawling would not be worth the risk.





Frankenberry– He’s made of metal. He wears chain link suspenders. He could possibly be related to a bear killer… And even if he attacked you and you tried to fight back and punch him in the neck, you’d probably just bust up your hand on a bolt or something.




Mr. T- I pity the fool who tries to take on the T. ‘Nuff said.





 Cookie Jarvis– This wizard can turn chocolate chip cookies (made by a dog food company nonetheless) into an acceptable breakfast option. That kind of power is usually reserved for superheroes. Don’t mess with the Jarvis. There might be nothin’ left of you but crumbs.

Did I forget any? Well don’t be shy now. Let’s hear it!

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Meet Mr. Slug

mr. slug takes a nap (i think)

When Zachy came into the house asking for a tupperware container and holding his hand out in front of him, I knew the Munson family was about to expand. I was hoping he had caught a lady bug. No such luck. It was a slug. Mr. Slug.

I was totally fine with the idea. A little grossed out that it was suctioned to his wrist, but I could handle a short term guest.  What I could not handle was the idea of Mr. Slug in our Tupperware. No way. Tupperware is for lunch boxes. Not for slugs. If I gave him one, I would think of that slug every time I used any of those containers.

I cut up a half gallon carton of soymilk and Zach gave Mr. Slug something resembling his original habitat. The dirt was great because it soaked up some of the milk that he would have been swimming in. The leaves were a nice touch, because when Mr. Slug went under them I wouldn’t have to look at him.

When Zach was finished playing with him, he came into the kitchen and found the Oreos and starting putting his sluggy little hands in the package. Siiick. There goes the whole row. We should have taken those Oreo’s right then and there, and put them in the carton so that Mr. Slug could have cookies and milk. But instead I put them in a container and sent them to school in Zach’s lunch box. Just kidding. After sending Zach to wash his hands, I totally spaced and ate the Oreos. I really don’t want to think about this ever again.


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