My Backyard.

So, let me tell you about my backyard.  Like all the other backyards in our subdivision, we are not allowed to have fences.  I guess this is to avoid property line disputes and make it seem like more friendly, communal living.  This also means if you have a dog, it must always be on a leash or you have an underground fencing system thingy ma jiggy.   Nothing freaks me out more than a dog running across their lawn, barking its head off and then abruptly stopping just shy of my meaty thigh.  I think those shock collars are mean.  Unless you use them on an unruly child.  In any case, I have been forced into walking my dog every morning around the small lake and then cleaning up her poo like I am some sort of animal lover.  Have you noticed how people treat their dogs like children?  I met a guy in the neighborhood who walks his two little yappers 9 miles a day-broken up into 4 different walks!!!!  Oh dear God!  Molly gets one walk a day, just like me.  She gets her core work out with the kids.  But truly I digress and I just wanted to show you what my backyard looks like from my back deck when the sun is starting to set.

Progress of the Pinkel’s

India is 10!!! A whole decade on this earth!  She is changing every day and growing into a lovely young lady.  She chose to decorate her cake herself.  I think its kind of a mix between a Pollock and a throw back to the Freeze Frame video.


And my little baby boy Rowen began his Little Ninja’s Karate class.

Love that he chose his samurai t-shirt to wear!


First Day of School

It’s the first day of school.  New school, new home, like a new lease on life.  She is going from a class of 12 to one of 4 classes of 24.  I am no longer driving her to school, she rides her bike to the bus stop and gets on from there.  I think, if anything, I was more nervous than she was.  And now we are into our 4th week of school and its not easy for her.  She has made friends and of course, they have already hurt her feelings.  She comes home each night with a ton of homework and a ton of attitude.  So, I guess, in general, she is just normal.

On the flip side of this, Rowen and LuLu are getting some “homeschooling” with mom.  The first two days were just fine, but well, lets just say we are learning all that life has to offer us and if that includes an occasional letter or number, then great!  This is one of their most exciting finds thus far:

It’s all apart of our Science and Nature curriculum, no really!

Day in Oscoda

We spent a day at the public beach in Oscoda.  It was an overcast chilly day, but pleasant enough.  The older ones took advantage of the playground equipment to get in touch with their inner child, yes, I know they are still kids, but….

My favorite part in this one is Eric’s head at the top of the slide.

Ending the evening with S’mores.  Then the storm came and knocked out the power.

The Remembrances of Summer

Catching up on the last vestiges of summer.  We took a week trip to our neighbor’s cottage near Oscoda, MI.  We cannot thank them enough for giving the opportunity and for being great neighbors.  They will be missed!

These photo’s are from our first couple days.  We hit the beach at Harrisville State Park and then the lighthouse just north of town.

Very few pictures are taken of me.  One reason is I am the one usually behind the camera and another, I just don’t photograph well.  Here Rowen captured me from inside the car.

The one room schoolhouse near the lighthouse.  The interior is really great, too!


Interior shots of the lighthouse.



What is valuable.

I am not sure if it’s a sense of ambivalence or just the idea that we really don;t want to think about it, but I have been avoiding to much of the 9-11 re-caps.  I know, for me, it’s not ambivalence, so I just must not want to deal with the emotions it stirs up.    Our tv is broken, and reading stories online is not the same as seeing the images, the realtime events or hearing people’s voices.  I can remember exactly where I was and what I felt.

I was laying in a hospital bed in Ann Arbor Michigan.  Eric had just gone downstairs to have the television service turned on in my room.  I was nursing my less than 24 hour daughter and eating breakfast.  The tv came on before Eric made it back and coverage of a plane striking the WTC tower.  As Eric walked in I said,” hey look at this! how does this happen?” and the second plane hit.  It’s an overwhelming feeling I felt, one that cannot be described other than complete loss. I was at a loss of words, a loss of security and bewilderment of the unknown.  the days that followed were hazy.  Numbing.

But over the course of the years, this day has come to remind me of all that is valuable, and pushed me to fear less.  It has shown me more of what I can be and less of what I was afraid to be.  It has forced me to live a bit larger. To love a bit larger.  And every year more so.  So I look forward to the next 10 years and so should you.