somewhere in between those two times, juana made her brand of poop and then laid out a hat trick of watery food vomit. the start of my day.
i wanted up early so i could tell myself it was safe to fill my bladder to the brim with its bottomless cup of coffee and because i wanted to finish up some tidying and light a candle. my son will ask me who is coming over whenever i light a candle. my daughter will sing, "happy to you," whenever i light a candle. but they were both still asleep.
i scrubbed the sink and counters and stove. i spot vacuumed the mystery-debris-filled floors, which i had spent much of yesterday vacuuming and steam mopping.
oliver, knowing it was a a day upon which i could not sleep in, slept in until something like 7:45am. violet, too. i warmed up day old pancakes and they largely ignored them, perhaps noticing an air of impending excitement.
i had a groupon expiring on 7/31. amy, from white rock paddle company, called to say there was a boat race going on and they had not been informed and were running quite late with being able to get to their spot and set up. our reservation was pushed from 9 to 9:30. my sister called to say woodall rogers had shut itself down to build passes over itself and she was shooting around circles and down turnpikes and running late. hey, kismet.
she arrived at 8:43. violet acted shy. oliver didn't. everyone got settled in. i peed twice in a row before leaving.
we got to the big thicket exit off mockingbird and were greeted by orange traffic cones and a bored looking cop. there were bike and foot races going on as well. everyone running from nothing. we circled down the other side of the lake and found another cop directing traffic by the bath house. he said to take the dinky road filled to the brim with a bottomless supply of people on foot and on bikes. it was slow-going. chasing all those people running slowly from nothing.
we finally got there, roughly on time. there was a porta-potty. i used it. the partially-clogged hand sanitizer dispenser shot me straight in the eye, but my daughter's got my reflexes, which means i shut my eye in the nick of time, like i was being blasted in the face with spray adhesive. i could feel the alcohol fumes wafting up.
we put on our life vests and dropped our business in a rented wet bag before abe had us crawl into a double kayak, weakling in front. i queried again about the possibility of snake encounters and thought we'd be told again to go down the creek. at the last minute, he directed us to the wide open waters of white rock lake.
there was a very pleasant breeze. a blue sky and white clouds. little droplets of water splashing from my oar and small waves down on to my legs. the breeze made it a challenge getting anywhere. it wasn't as hard as i had feared it would be, except when i would learn that brian and i were at cross-purposes. like, when i was trying to steer us away from the dead tree in the middle of the lake while he was neglecting to tell me he wanted to go close to the dead tree in the middle of the lake.
guess what. there were two different kayaks carrying dogs around on them. like, two dogs per kayak. which seems like a lot of trouble waiting to happen to me.
we went to the second marina, like abe said. brian kept taking little breaks and i kept paddling like a maniac, saying taking breaks was for the trip back. i was starting to feel the sun a little bit when the wind would decide to not blow hard enough to knock it away. still, not bad at all, considering yesterday reached a high of 105.
we got back with about 25 minutes to spare and kept going past and down into the creek and boy did it feel like we were all of a sudden somewhere entirely else. i mean, it was pretty surreal to try and realize we were out in the middle of the lake on a comparatively tiny piece of orange plastic. but toodling down those small, calm waterways with trees overhanging made it pretty hard to believe we were in the middle of dallas. we had gone down a kayaking wormhole. i kept an eye on those trees to make sure they weren't going to try and drop a snake down into our boat. that would not have been pretty. much like yesterday, when i thought i saw food smashed on the kitchen floor and my brain said to deaf ears, "that does not resemble any food you have given your children." and i peeled it partially up and started carrying it to the sink and my brain finished its puzzle and shouted the answer, "that's a salamander that ozzy has demolished and it's in your fucking hand for fuck's sake!" and i flung it and turned on the water to wash my hand and shrieked like i had been holding on to the four horsemen of the apocalypse and i stammered my feet all over the ground and across the condo and to our bedroom, still shrieking because my brain enjoyed replaying that bit where it told me what i was holding, and it was quite a mess. so.
i wonder what a summer is like in places that have summers without the sounds of a thousand cicadas chirping up in the trees. is there such a place? i love it. i can hear them now through the window.
i said we could turn around after we saw what was around the bend, but it just kept on bending. we saw two turtles turtle-bathing on our way back out. we got to the part where you paddle under mockingbird and it was like someone had opened the floodgate on the gays-in-boats pen. the first one, the one that tipped me off to the gays, kept heading straight for us and we titled off to our right-hand sides at the last minute. the man in front appeared to be asian-ish and was sitting still, holding his paddle. and i said, "these things sure are hard to steer!" and the guy in back said in a voice that was kind of exasperated with first guy, "he's the one who was doing it," or something like that. and then i think he bickered at guy number one a little more after we passed. and then it was canoe after canoe of muscly men without shirts under their life jackets, punctuated by one of them removing his top before putting on the life jacket and i wasn't sure where i was supposed to be looking, so i looked at my hand to see if it was holding a vodka&7 with cherries and lime, because that's what it holds at the gay clubs.
by the time we got back to shore and had abe haul us out of the water, i had already begun my plans to purchase a double kayak. there are singles on craigslist in the $300 range. some are even inflatable and come in a bag, but i'm not really sure how that works.
the only thing i did not enjoy about the experience was the constant attempts by my life jacket to strangle me by the throat. it just wasn't pleasant, i won't lie.
that was part one of our day.
we returned home, found my sister slicing apples for little people, bid her adieu and i took to simmering 1.5 pounds of bulk bin organic pinto beans. they eventually became my grandmother's pinto beans, using the worcestershire sauce i had made last night. while violet and brian napped and oliver refused to nap, i mixed up a bowl of peanut butter dough and a bowl of chocolate dough and put my hands together to make isa chandra moskowitz's chocolate peanut butter pillows and boy were those a miracle. i saved two of the peanut butter balls and they made the cutest little twin cookies for gluten-free brian and he just couldn't understand how they were flour-free and i think that meant he didn't believe me. like, i had forgotten there really was flour in there. and i mildly panicked a couple of times thinking he might be right. but he wasn't.
i hosed off in the purple shower and let my hair run free.
i was making this bounty because annette, marianne, and claire were coming over to swim. and then, there they were. marianne and annette have been living the camp gladiator life and were in good shape to begin with, so they were both strutting about in bikinis this summer. i hid in my matronly, skirted one piece, which i loathe more each summer i am left to wear it. but whatever. it was a pool party.
we splashed around for a bit and the little girls snacked on the cherries i had pitted for them (on sale for $2.99/lb organic!) and the grapes i had quartered for them. oliver jumped off the side of the pool and did not get the snack because he had declared himself not hungry enough to eat the bread from which he had eaten the ketchup and mustard earlier in the afternoon.
we climbed out of the luxuriousness of the cool pool water to dry off and head upstairs for the beans, mixed with annette's famous quinoa salad and boy howdy was it deliciousness. then the ladies all hunkered down and pretended we weren't eating two chocolate peanut butter pillows apiece each time claire entered the room. somewhere along the way, violet has been taught what a cookie is and she was hollering, "COOKIE! COOKIE! COOKIE!" and i told her to hush it and eat her beans and she could have a cookie after she turns three.
eventually, all three children did eat their beans and quinoa. oliver got a cookie and did that routine where he acts like a little wide-eyed, cookie-eating chipmunk.
annette left go to the outskirts of denton to pick her son up from his father. marianne stayed a little longer so claire could play in the rainey-ellis ultra grand toy store. my goodness, we have a lot of toys.
after they left, oliver created a lego house and then extrapolated that to new equipment for the little gym, which meant he propped up the ends of gym mats against a variety of chairs and stools, draped the sides with scarves, and dismantled this frustrating wooden brain teasing puzzle in the middle. oh, and he sent home claire with a leafy branch, a bottle cap, and some change he found by the pool so that she'd have a piggy bank. that child is something else.
today was lovely. it was filled with vitamin D and worthwhile things and people i can depend on. i liked it.
lord help keep me from resting my worn out head on those peanut butter pillows. i'll get chocolate in my hair.
photo courtesy of ppk.net.