a few fun things

This is a little bit how I feel about having our own milk cow: both incredulous and giddy. 

It’s not perfect (I’m mad about the cream), but it’s still pretty awesome.


What We Spent Our Money On. (New York Times) I love talking about personal budgets — the intricacies of how we save it, spend it, give it — and would freely tell all here, except, I am told, hearing people talk openly about their finances is a little bit like watching someone run around naked: horrifying, disturbing, and culturally inappropriate. So I don’t.


Here’s another fun New York Times article: the invisible greenspeople and what they do, all about the people who create the landscaping for movies, like moving whole trees(!) The backstory of art-in-the-making is, I think, maybe even better than the final product. Does everyone feel like this or am I the only one? 


I mentioned that my older son skipped our family road trip in order to go to Hawaii with his friend, a week which was, according to him, “arguably the seven best consecutive days of my life.”

photo credit: Theo

He rented a beefy motorcycle and solo toured the Kauai Coast, went on a rafting tour, and skydived. (His friend’s parachute didn’t open — GULP — and the instructor had to pull the emergency chute’s ripcord.) 


When we were hiking down the Beehive, he called to talk: six hours earlier than us, he was hiking up a mountain by himself in the pitch black to see the sunrise. There are wild boars here, he said. I don’t care, I said. I’m getting over a near-death experience myself.

Hearing his tales, I was reminded of what I’d told my kids after our Belize vacation went horribly awry. “You have your whole lives ahead of you in which to explore the world and find the best coral reefs,” we said. “When you find them, send us photos, ‘kay?” 

So then my son one-upped me and made a little video. Enjoy! 

This same time, years previous: so you’re thinking of homeschooling.., Vieques!, weekending, continued, the summer’s first trip, creamy cauliflower sauce, when the wind blew, berry almond baked oatmeal.


  • MoJo

    So fun to see you at the party. Your family adventures are inspiring and a hoot to read! I love how the quotidian is mixed with adventure in your lives. Heck, you’ve also modeled how the quotidian can be part of life’s adventures!

  • Sherry

    Loved following your family vacation, Jennifer! And loved the video of your son’s adventure in Hawaii. I lived there when I was young and go back often to visit family. I understand completely his exuberant reaction at discovering this unique place, (In my opinion, the most beautiful place on earth!)

  • KC

    That is an amazing trip. Also phooey for it being at the same time as Maine.

    In regards to earlier points in your post, I love making-of things sometimes more than the thing itself – there’s so much human in them, and a window into all these weird little worlds of specialization. (exception: when “making of” is exclusively about peoples’ “artistic processes” and they sound vaguely like 20 year old guys who think they are the hottest thing around because they’ve just discovered Nietzsche or Ayn Rand or The Creative Process.) (did you ever watch any “Making It”? I did not like the “someone gets kicked off in each round” thing – it seemed 100% unnecessary to this endeavor and I wish they’d just had a stack of artists continue and then vote on a cumulative winner at the end if they needed a winner? – and also I wanted *so much more time* with video of people doing their crafts – like, how *do* you do that kind of woodworking? And what *were* the snags and pitfalls and places where they changed direction due to varying factors, for each project?)

    (also, yes, money stuff is fascinating. There is a Swistle post on Startling Expenses and I love it, because it generally veers towards trying to recognize that peoples’ priorities *vary* and maybe that is okay to at least some degree, and it is also applicable across financial situations at least slightly more than many money-related things are: https://www.swistle.com/2012/07/17/startling-expenses/ Re: people saying exactly where all their money goes: it sometimes makes me aghast [because SERIOUSLY some peoples’ spending is scary when you highly value financial stability and money in being equal to or greater than money out] but it is so interesting, and when you get into the “why” of things, it often makes more sense [while still being somewhat aghast-y]. I haven’t read the NYT thing yet, though, because free articles per month are limited and we only just started July and while we have been considering subscribing I am really subscription-averse [although we subscribe to our local-local paper mostly to keep it alive, and to one magazine also in support of its journalistic goals, but the NYT doesn’t need us quite as much as that?]and anyway…)

  • Mavis

    1. I wish I was that age again. Well done older son. 🙂
    2. Way to go Dillion Murphy!
    3. Standing at the top of the cliff and thinking yah… I think I can project myself out far enough NOT to hit the rocks.
    3. Flight nurse or videographer who travels the world {and makes a living doing it} that’s a tough one. 4. Hands down you made the right choice choosing Hawaii over Maine. Well played.

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