Posts Tagged "outside"

5 Reasons to Protect Your Skin & 7 Things That Make Your Skin More Likely to Burn

Dear Kid,

Lecture time.

And no, you don’t get to sleep in and skip this one.

French fries are supposed to be crispy. Human skin is not. Put on more sunscreen. DearKidLoveMom.comWhile we will not (repeat NOT) call your sister a raccoon or a French fry (at least not to her face), it is clear to everyone within a 23 mile radius that she neglected to indulge in sunscreen yesterday. The glow meant we could turn off the lights last night and still see brilliantly well, but skin is not intended as an alternative light source.

To be clear. Here are 5 really good reasons not to get sun damage:

  1. Ultraviolet rays can actually alter your DNA. This is bad, because if you wanted altered DNA, you’d be a sheep.
  2. DNA damage contributes to skin cancers (yep, there are a bunch of them and they range from bad to deadly).
  3. Ultraviolet rays damage your skin and cause premature aging.
  4. You can get sunburned even on days you think are sunburn-proof. “Oh, its’ cloudy,” you say, “No need for sunscreen.” “Bah! Says the UV light.” And proceeds to burn you. According to the Mayo Clinic site, as much as 80% (that’s a lot) Of UV rays go right through clouds charring your skin (sometimes on a micro level). Think about it: you can still see on cloudy days which means light rays are not all being blocked by the aforementioned clouds.
  5. Sunburn hurts.

Things that increase your risk for sunburn:

  1. Having fair skin (obviously having unfair skin is good)
  2. Being outside (well, yeah, duh)
  3. Not wearing sunscreen—allow me to repeat: WEAR SUNSCREEN!
  4. Mixing outside with alcohol consumption
  5. Having been sunburned previously (yes, really)
  6. Tanning booths (don’t even get me started)
  7. Some medications can make your skin more likely to burn

Today’s lesson: Put. On. Sunscreen.

In case that’s confusing: Put on more sunscreen.

I’m so subtle.

Love, Mom

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Mud, Guts, and Glory. And Cold. And a Celebrity.


Dear Kid,

Last week Pi found out about the Mud, Guts, and Glory race. She felt it was too late to train for the competition, so she invited me to volunteer with her. Being the kind of Mom I am, I said yes before I found out what volunteering involved.

That is how it came to be that at extremely early in the morning o’clock I found myself sitting alone in the woods next to a pile of tires with no pen, no paper, and only 20…19…18 percent left on my phone battery. Not one of my better planned mornings.

The tire carry at Mud, Guts, and Glory 2016. Pre-race and pre-mud.

The tire carry at Mud, Guts, and Glory 2016. Pre-race and pre-mud.

I’d been assigned to the Tire Carry obstacle. Really, Pi and I had both been assigned to the Tire Carry but they were short on volunteers and moved her to the Weaver. Did I mention that one of the reasons I agreed to volunteer was to spend time with her?

There I was, by myself. At an obstacle in the middle of Stage 5 of the race. I had about half an hour until the Elite competitors began and the first one wouldn’t get to my area for an hour and a half or so. Here’s what I was thinking.

My feet are cold. Really cold. How can nature be this cold in May?

I have to find a way to entertain myself. Commune with nature. Yep, there’s nature. Still surrounded by nature. Nature doesn’t seem to be doing anything.

What do people do in nature? Try to relax. People relax in nature, right? I’m not one of those people. People paint in nature. Think about whether you’d like to paint the trees. I’m sure someone would, but not me.

15%.  Why doesn’t nature come with electrical outlets?

The race starts in 10 minutes. They won’t reach my station for more than an hour. That’s a lot of nature to contemplate.

I try harder. I look at the trees. The poison ivy climbing up the nearest one winks at me.

13 percent. 

Dear lord.

I listen to the wind in the trees. I picture a gentle breeze on a hot day. I compare that to the reality of a sub-arctic morning with a 90 mile an hour wind.

The poison ivy smirks. It doesn’t care about the cold.

Did you know that nature doesn’t come with coffee? Who invented a coffee-less nature? Coffee’s natural. There should be a Keurig around here somewhere.

Oh, great. My phone’s dead.

Then out of nowhere, colorful racers burst around the corner, running easily and enjoying the course.

Nope, that didn’t happen. Not even a little bit. I was hoping it would, but it didn’t.

I started pacing on my little platform to warm up. I felt like the polar bear at the Central Park Zoo.

Eventually, The First Runner came sliding silently down the hill.

mgg-hillSerious competitors are focused. Really, really focused. Really, really focused on competing. No small talk here. The First Runner grabbed up two tires, slung them over his shoulders and headed around the loop. At the end, he dumped the tires and off he ran. I cheered for him. He didn’t seem to need the encouragement.

Ten minutes later, runners 2 and 3 arrived. They didn’t seem to need the cheering either.

The poison ivy didn’t bother cheering. Apparently it had already computed the outcome.

Eventually Pi showed up and made the day much more entertaining. She has that effect.

Michelle Warnky of American Ninja Warrior fame was the second woman we saw. She is a rock star. (This is my crazy impressed face.)

As the day went on the course, um, deteriorated. By that I mean where there had been mud, there was MUD. Where there had been slippery, there was treacherous. Where there had been sprinters, there were walkers pulling themselves along by their mud-covered fingernails. (Still, they did more than I did, so I’m not dissing.) Where there had been silence and concentration, there was conversation and camaraderie. It was fun.

The poison ivy continued to show its superior attitude. The Keurig didn’t show up. Neither did the feeling in our toes.

Still, it was a pretty cool day.

Love, Mom


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Happy Draw a Bird Day!

Dear Kid,

Today is Draw a Bird Day.

I don’t know why, but it is.

Rodney the Bird Outside Our Window offered to pose for a picture, but between my (lack of) artistic talent and his demoralized attitude, I decided it might not be a good experience for him.

The most famous of all bird-drawers is probably John James Audubon (shown in a photo on Wikipedia holding a rifle which is probably not how most people think of him). JJ went out into Nature to identify and paint birds so that he could have a society named after him.

John James Audubon went out into Nature to identify and paint birds so that he could have a society named after him.

My second favorite bird drawer is probably Charley Harper (first favorite is you when you were about 4 and drew me a picture that had a bird in it). Charley Harper went into Nature wearing a pair of 5D glasses and drew what he saw. He lived in Cincinnati which is another thing that’s good about Our City.

Charley Harper Cardinal

Still up there in the Excellent Bird Drawing category is the little guy from Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother by PD Eastman

And all the birds Dr. Seuss drew (none of which were ever spotted by John James A.).

Despite my best efforts to learn absolutely nothing about birds (what can I say? I was a rebellious twit), I love watching avian life in our backyard. I filled the birdfeeders over the weekend and the cardinal (significantly more dimensional than Charley’s version), the woodpeckers, flickers, chickadees, and other flying folk are having a marvelous time filling up at the buffet. The chipmunk family (did I tell you a family of chipmunks has moved in?) and squirrels are happily picking up whatever falls uneaten, and the rabbit is barreling through like he owns the place, checking on tables but not eating anything himself.

Spring is here.

Happy Draw a Bird Day.

Love, Mom


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Puppy Conversations | Puppy Rolls in Something Dead

Dear Kid,

When I got home last night, I said hi to Dad, and hi to the Puppy, and “What did This Dog roll in?”

Dad: He’s stinky?
Me: No…
Dad: How do you know he rolled in something?
Me: He’s. Filthy.
Dad: Really? I didn’t notice
Me: Our dog is tan and white. This animal, who has the general shape and attitude of our Puppy, is black and grey. How did you not notice?
Dad: I just didn’t. I wiped his paws when we came in from outside
Puppy: Outside? I like outside
Me: You wiped his paws. You missed his entire body but got his paws. How?? I have no words…You, little boy. Let’s get you cleaned up.
Puppy: I thought we were going outside
Me: Not at the moment. You are filthy. Come here
Puppy: What does “filthy” mean?
Me: It means you need to get cleaned up
Puppy: What is That Thing? I don’t think I like it
Me: It’s a wash cloth. It won’t hurt
Puppy: It doesn’t look like a treat
Me: Come here, baby, it’s just a washcloth
Puppy: It doesn’t smell like a treat either
Me: We need to get you cleaned up
Puppy: I think I will just sit here and stare at you
Me: I have treats
Puppy: You what?
Me: Atta boy
Puppy: I am a good boy
Me: Yes, you—holy moly, what on earth did you roll in?

The minute I touched the black on his fur, the air became perfumed. And by “perfumed” I mean stank to high heaven. Clearly, the boy had rolled in something dead. Very dead. Dead and rotting. Which had then dried on him. As I rehydrated the very dead and rotting whateveritwas, the aroma returned.

It was not (to my nose) enjoyable and it did not improve as I cleaned him.

Puppy: I am a very good sharer
Me: Mmmm
Puppy: If you want to smell this good I can show you where to roll
Me: Mmmm
Puppy: But it would be better if you left the good smell on me
Me: Um, no
Puppy: Because you’re just moving the yummy smell to the washcloth
Me: I know. I may need to burn the washcloth
Puppy: Which means I won’t smell good anymore
Me: Wow this is potent. Into the sink with you. Bathtime.
Puppy: What? How did that happen? I was being so good
Me: Laws of nature
Puppy: Laws are better when they don’t involve baths

Update: The Puppy is clean (for the moment), the washcloth is clean (for the moment), and the dead whateveritwas is still out there. Hoping Dad keeps a better eye on the baby today.

Love, Mom

Who do you know who would enjoy Puppy Conversations? Share the love

See more puppy conversations

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