Satan’s Kingdom – Tubing down the Farmington River!

Ophelie, me, Cassandra, and mom

No, really. That’s what the place is called. Sadly I don’t have an pictures of the actually tubing experience, but next time I’ll bring a waterproof camera. If I go again.

Basically my family forced me to go. See, I have this fear of water if I can’t see the bottom or if there are weeds. Thankfully I could see the bottom MOST of the time, and there weren’t weeds like the kind that makes my heart race. However, the trip was not without incident.

I was the first one into the water and the current sucked me downstream before everyone else had a chance to go. This was hilarious. The water was freezing, too, so I tried to stay in the sun to keep warm. However, I couldn’t manage to stay in the center of the river! I have no idea why, but while everyone else floated through the first set of rapids under the bridge, I got sucked to the side of the bridge… and stuck.

TWICE.

In the same area. So while everyone else was floating merrily down, I was stuck and trying to get my tube off the rocks.

I managed.

Only to hit a rock, get spun backwards so I couldn’t see where I was going, go over the last rapid, and slam, back first, into a large rock under the water.

You know that pain where you almost throw up it’s so bad? Yeah. That.

Everyone though I was exaggerating when I caught up, they said I’d live, blah blah blah. Luckily the water was cold so mom said it would ice it for me.

Next rapids. Ophelie (my French sister) is now in front, goes over the center, and is flipped off her tube. We panicked, afraid she was going to drown – despite her wearing a vest like all of us – and she panicked because she couldn’t get back on. She managed to before we caught up.

After that, she and I hooked together and floated lazily downstream…

Only to get stuck on rocks as mom and Cassandra floated on by laughing at us.

The entire ride last almost three hours and it was filled with getting stuck on rocks, rapids (there were five sets even though they said THREE), and getting slammed into rocks. Thankfully the last rock I hit was huge and out of the water, and I was facing it so I used my feet to hit it and pushed off.

When we go to the end and got on the bus to go back to our car, I checked my back and this is what I saw.

My poor lower back!

OW! It’s hard to tell but it’s very clear that I was scrapped against the rough rock and dragged over it. It had to have been bleeding in the water (thank God this wasn’t the ocean!) Today it’s a very painful bruise. I’m all swollen under it from the hard hit, and sitting and laying are painful. But it’ll heal.

At least I went down the river. I didn’t think I would, but I embraced my fears and did it anyway. And I have the scars to prove it!

Summer – It’s HOT!

So technically speaking I’ve only been on summer vacation for about three weeks, and yet it seems like it’s been months. It could be due to the fact that it’s SO HOT outside I can hardly stand to go out. Thankfully my apartment complex has a pool which I have taken advantage of when it’s not completely crowded with noisy people.

In other news, I’ve gone letterboxing. Found eight boxes one day, and while I’ve planned to go out and get more on the trail that I had missed…it’s just been TOO HOT! I don’t do well in the heat. Currently all of the shades are closed in my place and it’s STILL heating up too fast. I guess that’s the downside of having massive windows!

I also have some other exciting news, but I’ll share that on this page soon. But if you’ve been on my Facebook page, you’ve seen it already.

Back to work, now!

Book Review: Boys of Summer, edited by Steve Berman

Boys of Summer is the perfect collection of short stories for a hot summer day. After reading it – particularly the last story, “Wheat, Barley, Lettuce, Fennel, Salt for Sorry, Blood for Joy,” I had the strongest urge to go swimming in the ocean.

Sadly, a pool had to suffice.

Each story looks at different aspects of summer: vacationing, working, reminiscing on school. You name it. But the one thing they all have in common? Cute gay boys looking for love.

“Bark If You Like Boys” by Sam Cameron features some characters that may be familiar to readers if they have read the authors book Mystery of the Tempest. Denny Anderson, one of the twins, has a short role.

I loved the first story in the collection, “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Swamp Thing.” It reminded me of being in Maine with my family. I liked both characters, Shane and Chase, and wish there was a full-length novel with their story. Chase is socially awkward in a way because of his love for amphibians, and Shane desperately wants to fit in. Who doesn’t know that feeling? In the end, as unlikely as it may seem, the two hit it off and discover they have other things in common.

The book is a fast read because of the short nature of the stories. It’s just enough to read one while sitting in the hot summer sun, sip on iced tea, and then go for a dip in the pool or inside to cool off before reading another one. Or you can just read them in one go.

Boys of Summer is available for sale through the Bold Strokes Books website or through Amazon.

End of the year… ups?

So my last post talked about the end of the school year and how I’ll be losing my job as well as some other things.

Well!

I have some FANTASTIC news on that front! Less than a week after school ended for me, I was offered a job! I’ll be working at a charter school in Manchester! I had my second interview on Monday and they later called to offer me the position. I’m thrilled! The school looks amazing, the curriculum is great, and everyone I met so far (even if I don’t remember everyone’s name… sorry!) has been so nice! My classroom is almost as big as the one I left, which means I don’t have to worry about my crazy book stash! I also have a CLOSET in my room to store materials! *sob*

The room does not have windows, but you know what that means? MORE WALL SPACE TO DECORATE WITH STUDENT WORK!!! And book and movie posters. WHOOO!!!! I am going to be a decorating FOOL when I get in there! I love it!

Having the school so much farther from home (35 minutes versus 5 minutes) means yes, I’ll have to get up earlier, but I can decompress on my way home and rock out to music, which is something I missed about having to drive.

I’m really looking forward to meeting my new bunch of kids. 🙂 It’s going to be an adventure!

They say when one door closes, another one opens. Well, that was definitely true in this case. I’ve been on cloud nine since Monday. And I’ve already started thinking about what I’m going to do with the kids! AHH!!