Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Making of an Outdoor Sister

My journal:  August 4, 2000
Kayak Trip – British Columbia, Canada.

[Things you should know:  Lacey is my sister, and Ed is my uncle, and Shane is a friend]…

Last night we camped up the road from the Chilliwack (river in BC that tried to eat me alive). We found a nice little spot up on a ledge in a clear cut just past mile marker 96. We had a great view from up there, but the campsite itself was a mess. There’s a reason it quickly became known as “Camp Serote“. We got there near dark, and were totally worn out from the days river run. We chatted a bit, then decided to head off to bed.  Lacey and Shane set up camp on the ground, I took the back of the truck, while Ed crawled off to bed in his tent.

As we were drifting off to sleep we started hearing strange noises. It was like a flying frog/bear/bird thing. It was really creepy, and kinda freaked us out because we could NOT tell what it was. We figured it was some strange bird swooping around and went to sleep.

Awhile later Lacey woke up to the sound of rocks rolling down the mountain behind us. She freaked. She litterally jumped out of her sleeping bag, directly on top of Shane. She was screaming. Hysterically. (more…)

Ten things you probably didn’t know about bees

It’s summer time.  And the bees… they’re everywhere!  You’ve heard them buzzing on a lazy day, your kids have been stung, or someone has remarked on the bees busy at flowers.  They’re everywhere… and yet so misunderstood, poor things.

Here are ten interesting facts about the wonderful creatures known as bees.

How is it that I know these things about bees?  Because I’m a certified geek, and when I’m not cooking or taking pictures, I’m thinking about bees.  And okay, so I’m studying bees for my PhD.  But whatever.

Spout these little factoids off to your kids and wow them with your worldly knowledge.  Or just take a moment to marvel out how cool these little beasties are.

1. There are between 20,000 and 30,000 species in the world. In North America there are between 3,000 and 4,000.  New species are found every year.  Really.  Every year!  It’s like Lewis and Clark or Dr. Livingstone out there in the bee-world.  “Where are most bees found,” you’re wondering?  I’ll tell you:  the deserts.  Unlike butterflies, beetles, monkeys, hummingbirds, frogs, sloths, and many, many other creatures, bees love dry heat, and are most diverse in the hot and dry places of the world. (more…)

Vintage Nature Inspired ‘Golden Books’

I’m a sucker for vintage, nature and ‘little golden books”. So you can imagine how excited I was to find these at a thrift store the other day. I didn’t realize until I got them home that two of these we’re first edition printings. SCORE! My kids love them. And pardon me while I go all Design Mom on you, but wouldn’t these be cool framed in a kids room? Ya. Maybe I really am good at home decorating..?

Smokey the Bear: The story of how “Smokey the Bear” came to be the national face of fire safety (a classic and historic read, despite how you feel about the cute little bears controversial role in fire suppression).

I Can Fly: Geared toward little kids, Isaac loves to act out the animals in this one. “Swish! I’m a fish”. “Bump bump bump, I’m a camel with a hump.”

Tommy’s Camping Adventure: Each person in Tommy’s family has a special camp job. Except Tommy. Finally he turns his nature observation skills into a camp job that helps out his whole family. I’m pretty sure Ari want’s to be Tommy with he grows up, you know, when he’s 6.

The Dreaded Nap: How to have an outside life and a well-rested child.

I got an email the other day with the following question.

I feel like I’m at a crossroads with motherhood. I’m a new mom to a 3-month old who is just now discovering the bright, beautiful world around him, and I’m finding he doesn’t sleep well outside of his crib lately, but I’m feeling really tied down to our house. How have you managed to be an “outside mom” with little ones who need a lot of sleep? … This is the major prohibitor from us having more of the types of adventures we were used to before parenthood.

Boone, NC

Ah, the Dreaded  Nap. That refreshing time during the day when your little one(s) don’t need their noses wiped or their bottoms cleaned. When their cranky attitudes are reset, and, okay, yours is reset too. The Dreaded Nap. That fickle thing that requires the right temperatures, the right lighting, the right blanket, perhaps even the right song. The Dreaded Nap is an art.  And it is a daily-activity that can’t be missed, that shouldn’t be messed with, and that so impedes being outside for longer than three hours.  Sigh.

Kristen, you are NOT alone. (more…)

Bubblology: The Art of Gigantic Bubbles

Looking for something fun and a little different to do with your kids this summer? Something that requires little work on your part, is super-cheap, and will provide hours of fun for them? I’ve got just the thing. Bubbles!

Not just any bubbles either. Really big ones. Tough ones that don’t pop if you blink. Like bubbles should be.

Here’s the recipe (Make the solution the night before and let it ‘set up’ for best results): (more…)

Unexpected Lessons from an REI Bike Clinic

The other day I attended a clinic at REI called “Basic Bike Maintenance for Women”. Did I learn about bike maintenance? Yes. Is that the point of this post? No.

To be honest, if something ever malfunctioned on my bike (tire, chain or otherwise) out on the trail, and Joe wasn’t with me, I’m not sure what I would do. Hike up a hill until I got cell service and call Joe? Look up tutorials on YouTube with my phone? Laugh my head off with my girlfriends while we fumbled our way through an hour long flat tire change? Judging by the amount of time it took us to figure out one of those fancy tire inflators the other day, I’d place my bets on the latter. I knew I needed to brush up on my maintenance skills.

So when five minutes into the workshop a woman raised her hand and said “So… how do you shift into a harder gear?”, I’m ashamed to say my initial thought hovered somewhere between annoyance and impatience. Had I stumbled into the How-to-Ride-Your-Bike workshop? Of course the instructor graciously took her question and walked her though the whole process, and while I grumbled to myself about this distraction, I noticed that several women in the room had the same question.

And suddenly I felt like a complete fool.  And a hypocrit. (more…)


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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