Thursday, April 24, 2008


As I've mentioned in the past, Jman is involved in scouting. A few weekends ago he had his Webelos Do Your Best competition/camping outing. This outing gives the different scouts from across our district a chance to shine, to show off their camping skills, and a few other things as well. They are judged on their campsite (safety aspects, neatness, creativity in set-up, etc), their den flags, and on their den yell. It is like the Superbowl of cub scouts.
Jman had been looking forward to going with his dad for this fun-filled weekend. Hubby had even scheduled off for the Friday they were to leave so that they could get an early start...only Hubby decided to stop in at work to tie up some loose ends..then the phone rang as he was walking out the door. I think everyone can guess where this is leading....Hubby ended up getting called into work that night, which left Jman without his camping buddy and me to break the news to him.
So, Jman came home from school, tossed his backpack on a chair, looked around and asked "Where's Dad?"
When I explained to him that his dad was not going to be able to take him camping that night, J's face dropped. The disappointment was written across his face. I tried to brighten it up for him a bit, explaining that dad would be able to come to the campsite tomorrow and that I would be able to take him instead. This did not brighten his mood much, although when I mentioned that I was ready to go as soon as he changed out of his school clothes he did perk up a bit. After all, if he had to wait for his dad, it would have been hours before they could go.
So off we went. When we arrived at the campsite, I told Jman that he was going to be completely responsible for our tent, since I had never set it up before. It was quite comical watching him, and 2 of his buddies try to set up the tent. None of them were quite tall enough to attach the poles and clips together at the top, they didn't realize that the poles and clips were color coded, and J spent the first 15 minutes using the directions for the rain cover as the directions for the set-up of the tent. With a little help from me, they were finally able to get it up.
Then it was time to get the water. Jman volunteered to be quartermaster for the camp, which meant he had to lug the water from one of the 2 spigots in camp...all which were at least 1000m away! Poor soul, he had to get enough water for cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, and for the fire patrol. Normally there would be at least another scout to help, but he was coming the next morning, leaving J in the lurch. So, I stepped up to help my boy, after all, they are not allowed to leave the immediate campsite without a buddy and this buddy had strong muscles good for carrying buckets of water!
By the time camp was set up, dinner was served, clean-up was done, and schedules were distributed for the next day, it 10pm and time for bed. Jman and I headed to the tent. We both were amazed at how clear the sky was and how many stars we could see - we could even see mars. As we were pointing out the constellations in the sky, we saw a shooting star go by, a first for both of us. It was a nice ending to our day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Forgive me for not posting...I have plenty to say, but am currently surrounded by sea of sadness. Within this past 2 week, I've had quite a bit of negative news around me. Two folks I know died from complications of cancer - a caring mother of teenagers and an 12 year old brilliant little girl. I also found out that one of the kindest women who works at the college with me is having to take a leave of absence to treat breast cancer while my cubicle sharing co-worker (and friend) received a phone call this morning with the news that her father has stomach cancer. What made it tougher was that she turned to me for answers (due to my medical background and my knowledge of cancer from personal experiences), and the information she had to share with me was not positive. How do you tell your friend that her father sounds like he is terminal? Obviously, I didn't, but my face probably gave something away. She even said to my boss, "the first thing through my mind when my mother told me was to ask Dawn so I would know what was going on..what to expect".
So forgive me. I do have some wonderful scouting camping stories to share, but right now, I just can't.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

dinner guest

My neighbor and I often call each other if one can not meet our children at the bus stop, with the other one bringing the children to her house. Recently, my neighbor's 7 year old came over because his mom was at the hospital with one of the other children. He was going to stay through dinner, which is not usual. So when I spoke with his mom, I asked if she thought he would eat the plain chicken cutlets (which I was making with him in mind), couscous, and edamame. She assured me that he was a good eater and would definitely eat it all.
So, we sat down for dinner, Jman, neighbor boy, and myself. As we eat, neighbor boy starts complaining that the chicken doesn't taste good, that his chicken is "wet", that it is going to make him throw-up. He keeps saying that, while my son insists that neighbor boy is crazy, that this meal "is actually good, unlike some of mom's food". I start to worry that maybe he got a piece that was not cooked completely, so I check it out. Nope, cooked perfectly, moist and tender. Then I realize what the problem is -neighbor boy often eats processed chicken nuggets as he meal. He doesn't know what non-processed food tastes like!
Well, we finish dinner, the boys go to play, then bam!....he throws up. Come to find out, his brother was sick the week before with the very same thing. It wasn't my food, it was a virus!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Would someone please finish my taxes for me? I have them sitting on my table, 90% of the way completed, yet I can not motivate myself to finish them. The deadline is fast approaching and they need to be done since, for the first time ever, we owe taxes this year. That's probably why I am reluctant to complete them. If I had money coming back to me, they would have been done as soon as my tax documents where in my hands. As it is now, I am procrastinating on paying back my "interest free loan" from the government....hehe