Tuesday, July 19, 2011


We're back from our trip Up North, which as far as Stella is concerned, is an actual specific location rather than just a general location. Stella likes to tell random details of our lives to strangers, but she starts floundering when they ask questions to which she doesn't know the answers, like this recent exchange:

Stella, running up to random person, but always a woman, because she's not so hot on the guys: "We're going Up North today!"
Random woman: "Oh, how nice! Where up north?"
Stella, thinking hello, didn't you hear what I said?: "Um...Up North!"
Random woman: "Yes, but where  up north?"
Stella, speaking slowly and firmly because this woman is at best hard of hearing, and at worst not very bright, clearly wishing she had picked a different random strange to bless with the details of her life: "We. Are. Going. UP. NORTH!"

Two cuties
And let me tell you, UP NORTH! there are a lot of mosquitoes. Even after immersing ourselves in enough DEET to give a full-grown deer seizures, we got bit to pieces. The poor baby was basically a big delicious cream puff for the mosquitoes, delivered right to their front door. Whenever we opened the car door to go anywhere, dozens of mosquitoes would fly into the car, and the car would violently lunge from one side of the road to the other, as we tried to drive and smack all the mosquitoes in the car at the same time.

But it was worth the mosquitoes. We were lucky enough  to stay at the trailer of David's brother-in-law (as described in the most recent post), which is on a lovely piece of land that borders a branch of the Embarass River. (For those of you not from Wisconsin, that is the actual name of the river. It's not a joke.) Stella and David did quite a bit of fishing on the river, and managed to catch a little fish every three or four minutes. This turned out great because a five year old, or at least our five year old, just does not have the attention span to sit and patiently fish for any decent span of time. Anyone who has ADHD should come and fish in this river, because it delivers instant gratification.

You might need a
magnifying glass to see it,
but there is indeed a fish
on that line.
And of course there was marshmallow roasting. Stella is a huge fan of the idea of roasting marshmallows, and she loves ingesting the sugar, but she's wary of the campfire. So she selects a very long stick, then stands as far away from the campfire as she can -- possibly in the next county -- and waves the marshmallow in the general vicinity of the campfire for a good six or possibly even eight seconds, then declares the marshmallow "nice and gooey." If Al Gore know how much fuel we used to lift the core temperature of that marshmallow by three degrees, he would not be happy. Quite possibly he would revoke our Prius privileges.

Now we're back home and re-immersed in urban life. We had a great little vacation, but it was also nice to come back. The mosquitoes are not nearly so bad in town, which means I don't have to worry about the kids shrivelling down to dried husks from mosquito-induced loss of blood. The mosquitoes in town are not nearly as persistent as the ones Up North, and I'm not really sure why. It could be because of the relative lack of mosquito habitat here in town, or a slightly different climate. Or it might just be that the mosquitoes here are not as persistent because they have a bad case of ADHD.

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