We continue to be amused by the pictures we capture on the trail cam mounted by our back door. Sure, we get a bunch of nature shots, such as the deer who continue to wander through and pose photogenically.



We got a lot of pictures of us hanging out laundry and taking in laundry. We get a lot of pictures of us wandering around in pajamas with the newspaper, coffee, and the cat. We get some rather cool time-lapse sequences of M mowing the yard.

But then we get pictures like this, which make us wonder: who is that in the backyard with M, and why are they both staring at the sky?


And then we get truly goofy pictures like this.


No, I don’t usually joust with dead branches when I’m mowing. Just when I’m on my way to the brush pile.

Be prepared

M started a week of staff training at the Boy Scout overnight camp on Sunday. Since we had to drive him out to camp almost immediately after church ended on Sunday morning, I had checked with him on Saturday morning, “Do you have everything you need for camp? Do we need to buy bug spray or anything?”

He browsed through the packing list — same list he’s had for the last 6 years he’s been at this camp — and kept assuring us he was all set. We emphasized that he should be fully packed by Saturday night. He said OK. What he actually achieved by Saturday night was a pile of stuff that was only half packed, but at least it was a single pile.

Sunday morning, after church, we were getting into the car to drive to camp when he asked, “Do we have twine to hold on the poles for my mosquito netting?”


Because no, we didn’t actually have any twine left in the house. Fortunately, we pass a hardware store on the way to camp, and it was open, and we could run in to buy a ball of twine.

I can’t imagine how he’s going to do getting packed for college. It’s not going to be pretty.


I’m not going to read all the scathing dissents in yesterday’s marriage equality opinion, because I don’t feel any need to hear people who lost say nasty things about me and my marriage. However, I’ve seen various snippets, and one image just screamed out for creation. Justice Scalia would rather “hide my head in a bag” than agree with “an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach.'” I guess he missed the part that our Constitution begins with this preamble:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

But anyway — Scalia, here’s your bag.


The traditional gift for a 5th wedding anniversary is wood.  Our gift today came in the form of a Supreme Court gavel.


E and I were each at work, following along on SCOTUSblog, waiting for the decision. I started shaking when it started to come out; nervous as I’d been, I really hadn’t expected it to be the first decision of the day.


Fortunately, there was almost no time for suspense, because Lyle and Amy are super fast.


I can still hardly believe it. I haven’t read through the entire decision yet, but I think the final paragraph sums it up best:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. [The petitioners…] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

Equal dignity. Equal rights. Wow.

When we got married, 5 years ago today, only 6 states recognized our marriage.


2 years ago, when the Supreme Court brought us federal recognition, there were still only 14 states that granted us the same courtesy.


With today’s decision, I am so thrilled to color our entire country green.


What a long way we have come! Or as E put it, “If you had told me when I was growing up that America would have a black president, universal health care, and gay marriage by 2015, I would have laughed you out of the room.”


Tonight we’ll celebrate our anniversary. And then we’ll go plot out our weekend, which involves taking trash to the dump, mowing E’s mom’s lawn some time when it’s not raining, going to church, and getting M packed and off to camp to start his job. Just a typical weekend, in the life of a typical married couple. Sweet.

“Since your camp counselor job doesn’t start for another week, could you dig up the septic tank so we can get it pumped out? Oh, and can you mow the lawn first?”


He’s been really good about doing the chores, especially since I pointed out he’s doing them in exchange for borrowing my car, without needing to pay for the gas he’s been using in it.

We spent last week on vacation in DC, but my enthusiasm for writing up a travelogue got swamped by the need to catch up at work. However, I will try to hit the highlights.

Places we visited: Newseum, Air and Space Museum, American History Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, Supreme Court, Library of Congress (M only), Natural History Museum (M only), Botanic Gardens (S and E only), Cathedral of St. Matthew (S and E only), and Gettysburg. You can tell we took a divide-and-conquer approach based on who was interested in what. We didn’t bother visiting all the monuments on the Mall because we did that last year when we were down for a whirlwind college visit, and the weather this year (95 degrees and very humid) was not conducive to even more miles of walking. We also had dinner one evening with my childhood best friend and her son; it’s been 5 or 6 years since we saw each other’s children, so that was great.

Funniest moment: one evening, while M was browsing in a bookstore near the place we were staying, E and I wandered into the local Apple store so I could try out smartphones. E fended off assistance from the sales person by saying we were just looking and it was a slow process for me to plan to get a smartphone, but when I added, “I still have a flip-phone” the guy looked totally shocked and appalled. And then left us completely alone.

Most aggravating moment: the Newseum has a 9/11 exhibit that includes the top of one of the communications towers from the WTC. There were many school groups in the museum that day, mostly middle-school or early high-school age. And the kids were joking around in the exhibit, taking selfies, and writing silly comments on a computerized interface to leave comments about 9/11 memories. Intellectually, I know that none of the kids is old enough to remember 9/11, or to have felt first-hand how shocking that whole day was, and how much it changed Americans’ view of our world. And I know that groups of teens sink to the lowest common denominator; if any of the kids had been there with family instead of dozens of classmates, they’d probably have been a lot more serious. But E and I still felt both irked and old, to see them being so thoughtless about an exhibit and event that held so much emotion for all the adults.


Most personally meaningful moment: visiting the Supreme Court. This is the court that granted federal recognition to our marriage 2 years ago, and so it seemed really fitting to take a family picture out front, and have M take a picture of E and me. We hope this same court will bring nationwide recognition of gay marriages within in the next few days.


Most confrontational moment: we deliberately visited the Supreme Court on a day decisions were being handed down, in order to see (from outside the court) what the festivities looked like. Even though everyone knew it was 99.9% unlikely that any major cases, including the marriage case, would come out that day, there was still a large news media contingent, and a couple people with signs declaring that “God says marriage = 1 man + 1 woman.” Why they think their God’s opinion is relevant to the Supreme Court of a nation founded on the separation of church and state, they didn’t attempt to fit on the signs.


We appeared to be the token gay or lesbian people present, so we had fun kissing or holding hands whenever the bigots glared at us. But since it was a little too hot for much physical contact, E started just showing off her wedding ring whenever they glared at us, and that seemed to go over equally effectively. Any resemblance to giving someone the finger is, of course, entirely coincidental.


M went out with his friends last night, and we told him to be home by midnight. However, E and I were so tired that we didn’t wake up when he got home. Even the cat has finally gotten used to late-night teenage comings and goings, and didn’t wake up. But we did discover this note on the table when we got up at 5:45 this morning.


We leave him a note each morning before we leave; our notes are usually 1/3 wishing him a good day or fun with his friends, and 2/3 nagging about not spending all day on the computer, or reminders of appointments. This is the first time he’s left one for us, and it just seemed really sweet. And the fact he wanted us to say hi to the cat seemed especially amusing.


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