It’s probably obvious by now, but I generally write whatever pops into my head on these pages. Mike asked once how long it takes to write a post. The truth is I sit down, usually having thought about something on the bus, and words come out. I might tweak one or two, but for the most part how it comes out is how you see it. I would say it takes between 10-20 minutes. Nothing fancy here, people.

This morning I was feeling panicked as I realized summer is nearly over, and it feels like we have done NOTHING. Partly because the weather sucked when the summer started, so no pool or lake days, no picnics. Then the sun came out, and we squeezed in a camping trip and one night at the lake. Managed a long weekend visiting Frantz Resort in Wenatchee.

But there has been no garage cleaning out. No yard fixing. No crafting. Only one BBQ. No canning. And here’s the rub. I cannot tell you why.

All around me via the lovely social media I read about fabulous trips and projects, see people having glorious adventures with their perfect lives. Can I be the only one with no mojo this year? Who can’t manage to find the secret button for success?

Even worse, it’s not just the summer that’s lacking. 2012 has been less than stellar as a whole. We’ve had low periods before, but they usually only last a few months at most. I don’t know what to make of this prolonged suckiness. It’s a hump I can’t see to get over, and it shades even the fun times.

Things have not been great economically – more drinking options and less spending money means people are going out less and spreading it out more. That unpredictability is not pleasant, for those who think owning a bar is glamorous and full of good times. I have to say that is a huge part of this blueness – it’s not fun having to say no. No to house projects, no to movie nights, no to trips, no, no, no. It’s certainly not how we expected the year to go. Hoping things get back on track soon is really all we can do.

This is the part where I say I’m focusing on the good things, the small joys, to find my mojo. I’m finding that harder and harder. And it makes me wonder if it’s gone – what if I used it all up.

I am actually looking forward to fall – new beginnings for the kids in new schools, cozy nights inside.  Maybe that’s what I need to shake things up. And I WILL shake things up in the house, come hell or high water – things will get done. (Was that a little spark of mojo…)

It always comes back to one thing. My family. And friends. Health. And yes, the rest has been not so great. But I have to believe it will get better, even though the waiting is killing me.

In the meantime, there is still time to squeeze in a few summery things – the blackberries are ripe at Magnuson, after all. And as usual, thanks for listening.

scenic beach

I lost my camping mojo after the last trip of last year. Just didn’t think I had it in me for this summer. For the first time in many years, I didn’t stalk parks.wa.gov site 9 months out, waiting to scoop up my favorite sites.

Usually we camp 3 or 4 times in a year, so it was a bit strange not to have any trips on the docket. We watched from the sidelines while friends planned the now-regular trip to Steamboat Rock.

But then Danielle started making rumblings about doing just ONE trip. Surely we had that in us, she said. She would even find the spot. This late in the game that would be a tricky thing. So of course I had to get online and see if there was even anything decent to be had. By this time our visiting friends from Germany and Yinnie and Spike were game too, so we needed either 4 sites or 2 big enough to get cozy on.

There was 2 sites at Scenic Beach State Park. We’d been there before several years ago. It’s an easy trip – a ferry ride from downtown Seattle to Bremerton or Edmonds to Kingston, and then maybe 30 minutes driving. Not too far but seems another lifetime away.



Anytime a ferry is involved, it instantly becomes both more fun and more work – dealing with the schedules and potential wait times – but it can also mean less time driving.


The fact that it was a quintessential Seattle summer day didn’t hurt. We didn’t even bring the canopy.


By some Christmas miracle, we made the first ferry out of Seattle, and pulled up at the ranger station right behind Jim and Kathleen who’d come across at Kingston. And then there was this.






This is the view out your tent when you don’t need to put on the rainfly, something we’ve never been able to do in maybe 7 years of Seattle camping.

We were gone 4 days, not so many miles but worlds away. Friends met, kids assimilated, and we all took it down a notch. The only decisions to be made were what and when to eat and drink or go to the beach. No screens to look at. I “checked in” on the ferry, and that was it. Much laughing, talking, walking, sitting around the fire.

That’s when I remembered why we camped in the first place. Yes, it’s a boatload of work, basically bringing the contents of your house with you so you can live in the woods for a few days. But the recharging and resetting of your insides, the living at a different speed and engaging with your family and friends face to face instead of virtually – THAT is why we do it.

Already planning for next summer.