Tuesday, July 23, 2013


If Tommy wasn’t a Boy Scout, I might never learn to pitch a tent because my husband refuses to camp with me.  He fears I’ll make him do all the work.  In Boy Scouts, the boys have to do all the work so I’m good to go now!

Eric finds birding boring.  Tommy signed up for Bird Study two years ago and now he wants to finish it.  Since summer started we’ve gone biking and kayaking together and identified at least 10 birds.  He needs 20 birds for the badge.  You know what that means?  Tommy and I are going hiking soon.

No Scout becomes an Eagle Scout without completing Family Life.  And no Scout earns Family Life without doing laundry.  Tommy earned Family Life; I made sure of it.

It’s come to my attention that making lists is a girl thing.  Not a boy thing.  However, making lists is an important life skill.  So when it was time to pack for Philmont, do you know the first thing Bobby did?  He made a list.  It’s a start and I’ll take it.

Ga-Ga, Murder & Mafia
I still haven’t figured out what the rules of play are but one thing is for certain – when the boys are playing Ga-Ga, Murder & Mafia they are unplugged.

Boy Scouts leave their electronics behind when they go camping, including cameras.  And as much as I would like to see some of the places they go without me, the stories they come home with are even better.   

Beef Jerky
Personally, I won’t touch the stuff but at least I know Tommy won’t starve on the trail as long as he has a bag of beef jerky.

Less is More
When Tommy came home from Seabase with a bag full of laundry, I knew he didn’t over pack – he took only what he needed.  Isn’t that how traveling should be? 

Speaking of Scouting          
Boys Scouts speak all the time.  They speak at weekly meetings; they speak at Court of Honor; they speak to one another when they are camping.  In fact, you’d be surprised how much a boy has to say when you don’t ask them, “how was your day?”

Earning Merit Badges is fun and they look good too.  Even Tommy thinks his uniform looks better with 13 badges adorning it.  And I think the look of pride on his face every time he earns a new badge is beautiful.  But badge or no badge, the real merits of Scouting are the experiences gained every time the boys are camping, hiking, biking, skiing, rafting, caving, volunteering, orienteering or just plain cheering.  No one can take that away from them; they earned it.    

Monday, July 1, 2013


Control has nothing to do with the hand you are dealt in life especially when you are playing cards. On this particular night I am playing Apples to Apples with 4 of my nieces and nephews and my 3 kids.  On my left is my nephew Ian and on my right is my son Tommy and we are having a great time betting our wits against each other.  What newbies don’t know is that Apples to Apples is really a Personality Test.  In other words, it doesn’t matter how many green cards you win throughout the game, it only matters what the cards say in the end.  

We must have played an hour or more by the time some mom said time for bed.  But before everyone scattered, we each took a turn reading our hand.  Tonight’s tally was especially fun:

My son Tommy won the game with the following cards:   Busy, Absurd, Wild, Boisterous, Cute and Emotional.  (I think he couldn’t have been happier with his sum total.)

I got POWERFUL, Dead and  Unreal (I was pumped when I won Powerful first; when I got Dead and Unreal, Ian told me that made me a Dictator. Hummmm.)

My husband got: Smart, Glorious, Meek, (Again, hummmmmmmmmmm.)          
As it turns out, my daughter is Talented, Stunning, Perfect, TWISTED (BTW, she used to win cards like Sweet, Cute, Playful and Happy.)

And it didn’t matter that that my 18-year old son Bobby joined the game late; in short order he picked up: Fabulous and Sharp.  (You know, “every girl’s crazy about a sharp-dressed man” and how the cards new that, I don’t know.)

Angela won Creative.   If you are handed only one card in life, I would argue that CREATIVE is the best.

Little six-year Dominique picked up Frightening.  Even she laughed out loud.  And her brother Xavier won Fresh and Loud then squealed with delight I’m sure imagining what his mother would think of them apples.

And finally, Ian, the nephew on my left, got: FILTHY, Primitive, Idiotic.

Ian didn’t win but judging by the look on his FILTHY face, you wouldn’t know it.  Instead, you would have thought he won the grand prize.  Ian has a wry sense of humor and understands irony well as does the rest of this bunch.

I love Apples to Apples because in a world where we are constantly trying to find ourselves it really is written in the cards.  You just have to play it and read it for yourself.