Saturday, 30 June 2007

We got back on Wednesday night.

Our beautiful vacation was just long enough. I know it may seem short, but Lil'Bug really missed her Daddy and Moon Puppy. So we headed home through Wyoming and Nebraska. We drove straight through, with nap and runnin-playin' breaks.

I am glad to be home. Leaving for a bit reminds me of why I love Iowa so much. Here is my list for the week:
1) Iowa rest stops have free wi-fi.
2) Iowa rest stops are right off the road (in WY and NE often you had to pull off an exit and then drive a bit to a secluded area. They were nice, but for a couple of women folk on the road alone needing a midnight pee break, secluded is not a term to be taken lightly.
3) Iowa landscape is like a patchwork quilt of greens and yellows, like something right out of a Grant Wood landscape. WY and SD, mostly dirt and grass and sage- not to take sage for granted though, I just prefer the fertileness of greens.
4) Radio signal. There were places we drove that had nothing. Seriously nothing. I'm not saying there was nothing "worth listening to" or "nothing I liked," there was nothing. Dead air and static. It added to the vast feeling of being alone out in the big sky and wild.
5)Cell phone signal. Verizon? Can you hear me now? Not in Wyoming.
6) I did not see a single Wal-Mart our entire trip. Perhaps this is a good thing?
7) Gas prices. Lo, we are blessed in Iowa. The least I paid for gas once crossing the state line was $3.16 cents and the most was $3.99. We drove 2,560 miles. Long story short, we made it home only because we brought nothing back for our friends but stories and pictures.
8) Food. I love fresh milk, berries, and cheese. Farmer's Market here I come......ok, maybe next paycheck since the Sinclair gas station chain of Wyoming has my food money for the week.
9) This is the heart of the matter: Dear husband. I missed him more than Lil'Bug did.

And finally, this is a neat picture of a power plant in Nebraska. It looked like a space city to me.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Beautiful View

"Mama? That moose....."

That moose. Let me tell you about that moose. We FINALLY see a moose. I pull over, get the camera out, and check the batteries. We get out and walk to the fence. I get excited and take a lot of pictures. This is one of them.

Lil'Bug stands there squinching her face, turning her head side to side, and then pulls on my shirt.
"Mama," she says, "Mama, that moose is not real."

"Yes, it is baby, it's just standing really still," I reply.

"No, Mama, that moose is fake," she insists.

Guess what. It was a fake moose. A stone or bronze life size sculpture at the entrance to a University. Blah.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Heard of Bison?

Yellowstone Bison have not interbred with cattle so they are a bit different from Buffalo/Bison in other places. They are HUGE and everywhere in the park.

Grand Tetons are, "this big!"

Heh. Please don't ask Lil'Bug what Grand Tetons means. She heard the ranger tell a group of tourists and then chanted the English translation for about 30 miles. She thinks its way funnier than it is, which is about how funny I thought it was when I was 14 and my siblings, cousins, and I did the same thing to my family. I know, karma.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Our lodgings in Indian Creek Campsite and Lil'Bug's first campfire s'more

45th Parallel, Mammoth Springs

A sign marks the 45th parallel of latitude.

45th Parallel Bridge and Boiling River

"A sign near where the road crosses the Gardner River marks the 45th parallel of latitude. The 45th parallel is an imaginary line that circles the globe halfway between the equator and the North Pole. This same line passes through Minneapolis-St. Paul, Ottawa, Bordeaux, Venice, Belgrade, and the northern tip of the Japanese islands. It is, here in Yellowstone, roughly aligned with the Montana-Wyoming border."

Lil'Bug, Rox, and I took a dip after we set up camp. Wow. The current was a little scary and a lot both cold and hot, but what an amazing place to catch up with a good friend and let Lil'Bug splash and play. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures, so the one in this post is from the Yellowstone website.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

First Hike with my tyke......

This morning we went straight up a mountain side on a barely there deer trail. Lil'Bug used a hiking stick and ate Whortleberries. We encountered a marmot and people on horses. She was amazing. She took to it like a chipmunk on a log. She could keep going for hours if only I could. It was an amazing view too.

She also really wanted to wear hiking boots like BiL and Rox. :)

For Lil'Bug's friends who are tracking us: This is between Bozeman and Livingston, MT south of the Bridger Mountains and also near a Grizzly Bear Refuge. (Rox, if that's wrong, let me know!)

Famous Dead Guy Heads on a Mountain: 10$ please

We stopped and saw Mt. Rushmore, but they don't take credit cards and I didn't have cash. So, here is the free view from the road. Crazy horse was neat too, but again, they charged and there was not really a good place to take a free view picture.

One really neat thing was that Lil'Bug thought that the "hills" were volcanoes and she was really upset when she saw the scorched sections of controlled burn. She thought that the "'cano's" burned them and then she was scared. So anyone who thinks that a movie on the volcano at Pompiia was to advanced for her....ha.

Car picnic

Sometimes there were stretches of highway with no gas stations. We stopped every time we found one and topped off the tank just in case. Lil'Bug snacked while I gassed the car and fretted over the map. So, here is a cute picture of her; it was actually taken in Wyoming.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

South Dakota Fun Part 2

Porter sculpture park. Neat idea, neat place. Cash only. I, however, would not recommend going alone with a two year old on the RV driving tour: 1) It's not big enough to warrant driving around 2) Getting in an old RV with a creepy old guy who runs the park to drive 100 feet? Um, common sense says, "NO." Big fat NO. It's cash only and I didn't have cash, but its worth the drive up just to peek. Next time will bring witnesses, um, I mean friends.

We saw many interesting things in South Dakota, including the horizon, Wyoming, and Canada. I know, North Dakota is between, but I couldn't really tell which was which. Also, the main road is pink. The local aggregrate is pink so, thus, so is the road. And, yes, I'm pretty sure there is only one road and there are only three gas stations (about 360 miles apart from each other since that's happens to be what my full tank will drive). The map lies.

Friday, 22 June 2007

South Dakota Fun

There is no posted speed limit in South Dakota. Why? Because the long stretch of barren highway goes on forever and, if you happen to be driving with the Earth's rotation (West), it doesn't matter if you go 90 miles an hour because (like this sentence) it will still take you 15 hours to travel 380 miles with the sun in your eyes and a screaming bored to tears other words, forever.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Yum

Packing the stroller?

We are eagerly getting ready for our road trip. Packing the car has been the hardest part; what to bring, what not to bring? I have always looked in amazement at parents who pack horse their strollers just for a playdate at the park. I tried that. All I ever really needed was a few diapers and wipes, maybe a change of clothes, and me (for food source). Most of the time, the diapers stayed in the car anyway, because it was easier to change her there. Maybe it was because I used a ring sling carrier that I didn't need a stroller BUT now Lil'Bug is a bit heavier and I do find myself using the off road stroller for zoo trips and longer outings.

Do I need to pack it for this trip? Here is why I think maybe not. I think she will enjoy our hikes more if we go slow, at her pace, and really explore. With this option, we won't go farther than she can manage and if she falls asleep, then I can sling her but we won't be 3 miles in. Also, many of the paths won't be stroller friendly. The path less traveled.

But, I can pack our lunch and we can spend a whole day in the woods if I stroller her up.

I can't decide yet. It does take up soooo much room in the car. I think we will pack all else and then see.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Top 10 People

Challenge: list 10 people that influenced your life for better or worse. How did they impact who you are today?

I'm going to only list the better. I have my reasons, but mostly- I'm still doing ok on the "no complaining" challenge!

1) My husband. Please see previous posts on Dear Husband's awesomeness. We married young and I am glad. He constantly pushes me to be a better person, gently hands me paint brushes, and hugs me when I need it. He also makes Pork Ribs that make me go weak in the knees and want to chew on bones like a cave lady.
2) My daughter. I did not have any real idea what motherhood would be like. I had visions of Pottery Barn nurseries dancing in my head. Lil'Bug shattered that in the best way possible. Everyday, I wake up to a laugh and smile. Her hugs are causing global warming. She is amazing.
3) Aunt Deedle. Seriously, without Deedle, I would not be a writer. She inspires me to kick conventions and go run a pink B&B in Galveston.
4) Professor Ming Lu- she is the professor I want to be. Students called her Dragon Lady; she was tough, challenging, and spent extra time with students she felt needed or wanted it. She spent a lot of time with me. It is from her that I have an open policy of revision.
5) Professor Wolf. Pushed me to rethink revision.
6) Student # 6, row 3 of my first Composition class. That homeschool kid that started it all.
7) My sister. I am a wiser, more careful woman because of how fragile she is.
8) My Uncle Don. He was a powerful, intelligent, and stubborn man. There were things he was told he could not do; not only did he do them, but I'm pretty sure he target shot at the people who told him he couldn't.... from his firetruck. *edited to add- Aunt Deedle just informed me that he might have also dropped water balloon bombs from his airplane on those pesky naysayers. See? I told you he was cool!)*
9) That girl I once knew, the one that made me reevaluate myself as a person and an artist.
10) Oprah- Not what you think. Oprah inspires me to work on my novels. Why? Because someday, maybe someday soon, I'll finish them and she will feature them on the Book Club. Then I will have lots of money. Then we can live like JD Salinger on thousands of acres in the woods. I know, a writer should be concerned with integrity and literature and whatnot. I say phooey, write me a check Oprah.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Holiday Rooooooooad

I am packing for a trip, a long long driving trip with a restless tot. We will be without toilet for a week at the old mansion, so family meeting was called and decision was made for the two women folk to take off into the great blue yonder: Montana via Wyoming.

My favorite family vacation as a child was Yellowstone National Park with my favorite cousins. We made lots of good memories, granted that much of it was funnier than Chevy Chase's famous movie vacations.

The other part that feeds my anticipation is that I grew up with the Rockies always in view to the West, an anchor to the horizon. I always hold a special place for the Rocky Mountain Range in my heart, and there is no comparison to the overwhelming greatness I feel when driving into them on man made cut roads. So Montana, here we come!

Oh, wait. It's not that simple. I have to get the car checked, packed, and ready; the kid checked, packed, and ready; and my students/online classroom checked, packed, and ready. All this in three days. Whew. Is there room for me in the car? I hope so, I'm driving!

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Saturday, 16 June 2007

Father's Day at the Farm

He's an amazing guy. Here's the list: he can and does play almost every instrument by ear and often; he's a great cook, gardener, conversationalist, and friend; he's an "awesome" father; quite handy, if not good with shapes then good at faking it!; and most of all....he's my best friend and Lil'Bug's awesome Dad.
I could list more things that he's good at or even his Kingdom of Loathing stats, but none really speak
more of his greatness than the photos I have provided.

This Father's Day he wanted to take Lil'Bug to the local farm museum. As we toured the different era farms she gave us her input:
1700's farm- "I will not live here. I don't like tents outside."
1840's farm- "Purple Baby doesn't like it here. Mama, it's too hot."
1900's farm- "This is Ok. Where is the farm cat?"

I'm not sure what she was thinking, but her responses were more real estate oriented than we intended the family outing to be. She did get to pet a lamb, a dairy cow, a horse, and a thistle. The purple thistle was by far her favorite.

Friday, 15 June 2007

My bugs, my bugs, my bugs!

So at another one of our lively family discussions, (which is not code for "argument that I won", btw) this idea was put out for ponder: Why are we smushing cabbage caterpillars and getting excited about the pretty yellow and black caterpillar to the point of checking on it everyday? They both essentially do the same thing, right? Short answer is this- the cabbage caterpillars turn into cabbage moths and they are both decimating my crop and the pretty bug will turn into a monarch butterfly and is only and exclusively munching on milkweed. I don't eat milkweed, she can have it. They both play a part in the balance of our garden, even if it seems that the only benefit is that we are communing with our plants each day to de-bug them without chemicals.

The picture on the right is of a clutch of lacewing eggs. Neat. These are good bugs- very, very good bugs. I grew up calling lacewings "Mosquito Hawks"- they eat mosquitoes, mosquito larvae, and lots of other pesties.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Not complaining for 30 days?!

Seriously, some of my mama friends are trying this out: not complaining or gossiping for thirty days. What a challenge.

I'd like to think of myself as an optimist, you know- someone who doesn't complain, but a friend once pointed out that I cross the line into "the worst kind of idealist" ie, I set impossible goals and sometimes ignore reality. On the other hand, Napoleon did not conquer most of the European world by thinking, "Maybe I'm not being realistic...." Anyway, maybe I do complain a lot, even if it's masked in amusing (hey, I think they are!) stories about our neighbor kids, neighbor adults, or local politics- it's still complaining.

I've decide to step up to the plate and support their efforts by creating a weekly gratitudes list too:
1) I am grateful that I married young and to the most amazing man, we've spent almost 1/2 our lives together and its only getting better.
2) My daughter is the happiest child and funny too. I am glad that her first words used in context were "Giggle giggle/ tickle tickle" and "quack". (Hey, that's a kids book!)
3) We live in a really cool house. I am enjoying our time here but I am happy we are moving.
4) The carrot cake I made this week was awesome (the frosting is not included in that statement).
5) I have the loveliest friends and some have wonderful children who are friends with my wonderful child.
6) I rock at Catch Phrase.
7) I have a tomato on the plant! Whoo hoo!

I'm sure that I will still be grateful for all of the above next week too. I'm grateful for that.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

The hungry caterpillar

This evening I was weeding the perennial bed that I have terribly neglected this Spring. I was delighted to find a pumpkin plant! Heh. I threw out random seeds of various squash plants here and there and gave Lil'Bug some to "plant." I was examining it with dear husband to identify which yummy squash was going to grow and we found this lovely little caterpillar. I wanted to bring him in and feed him, but dear husband made a convincing argument for it to stay AND I'm not allowed to weed that bed anymore. I might have already removed its food source, which is not pumpkin. I know what kind this one is, do you?

My Sparklies and Butterflies

I caught myself in the midst of artistic expression while picking out materials for my new bag- I caught myself trying really hard to choose muted olives and maroons BUT my eyes and heart kept being drawn to the purple butterflies. I *love* them. They remind me of this perfect day 14 or so years ago when my hair was that purple and my favorite shirt had all those blues and I had stars and sparklies in my eyes (butterflies in my stomach, heart, whatever) when I looked at my now husband. It was a good day.

My very good friend made this bag just for me. It fits my mactop and its accoutrement and a spare set of bottoms for Lil'Bug AND my wallet and such. If I leave my mactop out, it fits lunch, sunscreen, and a bottle of water wrapped in new outfit for the hippopotamus (Lil'Bug if she finds a mud puddle at the park, yo). It's awesome. It makes me smile every time I look at it. Can a bag do that?

Plastic and what I refuse to use it for

I can accept plastic houses, fake plants, toys, replacement body parts, windows, nails (both finger and construction), curtains, cars, playground bedding, tools.....this list goes on. There are lots of great uses for plastic and, recycled or not, it's a bizillion dollar industry. I have come to terms with it's pervasiveness in my life (had to with Lil'Bug's silicon "binky") BUT I still get nervous, anxious, and downright astonished when food comes with instructions to put it in the 425 degree OVEN in a freakin' plastic bag. I can't bring myself to do it, or even look in the oven when dearest husband takes over cooking duties. I can't do it because plastic should and does melt and/or catch fire and the thinner the plastic the more fragile it is- right? Then by logic plastic bags should not go in the 425 degree oven, but they do and we even have a box of "baking bags" in our pantry.

It's just not right.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

It's not easy being green

Dear husband found this awesome spider in our front yard. It's bright green and likes to drop a web and swing three inches below his hand like a little trapeze artist. Any idea what kind it is? I know its a bad picture, but I couldn't find a better picture online (since I don't know what kind it is) and the little bugger wouldn't sit still.

We find a lot of bugs, snakes, and other creepy crawlies. My husband and child both just love to pick them up and look at them.

Bee Charmers, they are. I can't wait to have actual bees. In fact, I can't wait to have an actual farm. Lil'Bug has already shown an affinity and kindness towards animals, a calmness that I hope she keeps as she grows up. Not that she's all that calm most of the time!

*edited to add* We have submitted the pictures to I do not think it is a lynx spider, but I have no idea what it is!

Monday, 11 June 2007


MamaB: tagged me with this fun little meme :)

The game is SCATTERGORIES…it’s harder than it looks! Here are the rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They MUST be real places, names, things…NOTHING made up! If you can’t think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: D. (MamaPodkayne)

1. Famous Singer/Band: Dietaphobia

2. 4 letter word: Deep

3. Street: Division

4. Color: Deep Sea

5. Gifts/Presents: Drawings

6. Vehicle: Dodge Ram

7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Divining Rod

8. Boy Name: David

9. Girl Name: Diana

10. Movie Title: Dead Poets Society

11. Drink: Dr. Pepper

12. Occupation: Doctor of Philospohy

13. Celebrity: Dr. Dre

14. Magazine: DIY

15. U.S. City: Denver

16. Pro Sports Teams: Denver Nuggets

18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Dentist Appointment gone awry

19. Something You Throw Away: Dead Starlings

20. Things You Shout: "Dead Starlings! Oh No! Not AGAIN!"

21. Cartoon Character: Dopey

Who I am tagging: Wheelchair Mama

Cultural Appropriation

We had a lively family discussion about people appropriating other's cultural practices because they think they are "cool" or "neat." Am I way too sensitive about fake Cajun things: burnt chicken being passed off as edible and labeled "blackened" AND SNL's Cajun Man just isn't funny to me, he's obnoxious AND MARDI GRAS means FAT TUESDAY and can NOT NOT NOT happen on a Saturday!!!!!!???? On the other hand, while the subtleties are lost, many parts of the cultural practices and knowledge live on because of the common interpretation. Agh. Now I'm slipping into professor mode to over-analyze what bugs me. And bugs me it does. I don't want Lil'Bug to think those cheap mocking imitations are her heritage.

Perhaps the time for authenticity in a culture that really hasn't existed for my generation has passed and all we have is what has been melted into the pot? Maybe its been my physical removal from the geographic area? But always, when I hear the longing voice singing for Jolie Blonde or hear the distinct wind of a fiddle that reminds me of the old 45's my Popo used to play, or even the particular smell after a rain that is exactly like Christmas at Momo's, I long for something that I cannot hold on to. Something that feels like home in a way that where I am geographically never will. Perhaps this is why I am overreacting about appropriation.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Night of the Living Ladybug

We let loose the bag o' bugs last night. It was awesome and I highly recommend it as a learning experience for little ones. They were lovely little bugs, very polite, and quite grateful for the meal we shared with them. This morning, they were contentedly sleeping nestled under the pepper foliage, full bellies, dreaming of aphids. Ah, perhaps I am personifying them a bit, but they certainly looked happy in their new home.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Friday Tea Time: Nettle

Stinging Nettle tea.

Today was a good day for Mama Podkayne. I was reminded of two wonderful things in my life: family and friends. Today, I was cranky. Really really cranky. Our homeschooler group hosted garage sale Part 2 and I needed to help out (much of our downsized home decor is on the tables there with $1 stickers, so yes, I needed to help out). I did not have the patience to deal with that, school stress, AND growth spurt tot. My mother-in-law was a God-send and watched Lil'Bug the whole afternoon. Then my many mom friends, while mocking my crankiness, made me a nice warm cup of Nettle tea for to calm my frazzled nerves.

Did the tea work? Not so much the tea, but the friendship, fellowship, and family and the reminder that I have wonderful of all of the above. :) And Lil'Bug sighing in her sleep that she's glad Mama "feels better." Me too.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

What's in my refrigerator....

Coming soon to a garden near me......

Ah, yes, the yearly batch of lady bugs. We have a pretty good sized ant colony and their herd of aphids does a pretty good job on our garden. The solution? We could soak a square mile around our house with industrial poisons but 1) the neighbors refused consent and 2) just kidding, it's just not practical plus the ick factor of poisons. Instead we decided to get down and dirty with an army of lady bugs.

One more thing to note: despite our neighbors accusations, the state-wide infestation of Japanese lady-beetles was not our fault. :)

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Remember, "You are alone in the kitchen."

This week Lil'Bug learned more kitchen chemistry. You will see in her very Julia Childs like moment that she is mixing baking soda with salt with baking powder with flour (can you see the flour?); she wanted to add water to make a cake, but I gave her cider vinegar instead. It was funny! When we were done marveling at the chemical reaction, she said, "Mama, can I add water now?"
"Sure, here you go," Mama hands her and she adds a cup of water.
"Mama," she pauses reflectively, "That didn't do anything. Can we make it do the fizzy again?" Sadly, we are now out of baking soda, so not today.

We were actually baking carrot cake from scratch. It turned out yummy. Unfortunately the vanilla in the frosting had turned a bit and Lil'Bug's reaction to it was, "It smells like Grandpa! Grandpa is not food." Indeed, it did smell quite a bit like cologne, but the alcohol settled out of it overnight in the fridge and it was an amazing and yet healthy cake (ok, maybe not the butter and cream cheese frosting part) that we will make again soon.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Fishing With Worms

Last weekend we went fishing. Lil'Bug wanted her own fishing pole, but neither she nor we liked any of the kids plastic versions, nor did we like the prospect of little one flinging a real metal pole with a hook around. While contemplating the dilemma, she discovered the fish scoop nets, the short ones with the wooden handle. Perfect!

She put the worm in the net and submerged it over the side of the canoe. She had a blast! This is definitely going to be a regular activity this summer. I was initially wary of the small boat and a very active tot squirming all over, but she has great balance and listens well. On previous trips we have seen Blue Heron, Painted Turtles, Canadian geese, ducks, more ducks, and oh, then there were ducks. Lil'Bug loves ducks. This weekend, after the flooding receded a bit, there wasn't much wildlife but future outings will undoubtedly add to our catalogue of animal pictures.

Maybe, just maybe, she'll even catch a fish......

Friday, 1 June 2007

Friday Tea Time

I know, everyone else does Thursday tea time, but today is a tea day for me. I will have Chocolate Hazelnut decaf. The last thing I need today is caffine. In fact, I need a nap.

Tuesday a few of my homeschool mama friends checked out local parks. We're looking for a "good" park, but the problem is that everyone has a different idea of what "good" means. Ah, the nuances of words. So good means all of the following: not far (gas is expensive here), modern bathrooms, shade, no water feature, and kid friendly play equipment (you'd be surprised how unkid friendly some of our local park's play structures are). Sounds simple, but its not. Crowd control is also an issue, especially in the summer.

Tuesday's park choice was overrun with public school buses so Plan B was enacted. Park B was ok, but there were mean little boys who were mean to and said rude things to Lil'Bug and that pretty much ruined it for her. Beautiful view though, the bathrooms were the gaping hole in the ground stinky camp toilets kind. Ugh. So we're off to find a better option. Hopefully one on the bike trails. Hear that Mama B? I just thought of there one that connects to the "park by my house"'s bike trail?

Thursday was much better. The park was awesome: connects to nearby bike trails, is shaded, nice bathrooms, and Lily had fun. Of course there was an encounter with a Queen Ant (neat) and the parking was on street, but neither were so terrible that the park gets a bad grade from me. I think we will go there sometimes for fun, not on a park day. That's high praise!

Baking Bread

When Lil'Bug wakes up from her nap we are going to attempt to make bread (Husband usually does the baking here, I'm just learning!). She's been really eager to help me with cooking lately and she's quite attentive. Today she helped me mop the kitchen, which is no small feat, and after asked if she could help me cook as a reward for helping. We made chocolate chip pancakes. They were not even yummy enough for an almost three year old! Ugh. I need to accelerate learning to cook. How hard should it be to mix pancake mix with water!!!!

It's raining here. She has so much energy that it gets a little wild when we can't go outside to run it off, so baking bread it is. Does anybody have a kid friendly bread recipe that's not banana or pumpkin that you could share with me? I'm going to try the no knead bread that was in the NY Times, but I'll let you know how that turns out. I need something really simple.

Not so wordless Friday.....

This should have been posted for wordless Wednesday, I know. I'm still getting the hang of this blogging thing.

This, my friends, is a Leopard Slug from our garden. My dear husband was moving bricks when he discovered this monster! It was HUGE. Is still huge. We released it back near the brick pile. Lil'Bug wanted to touch it but not really. Finally we convinced her and she thought it was, "awesome." That's her hand holding it (with daddy's help, of course).

Indeed. I took the pictures. Dear husband and child spent quite a bit of time scrubbing Leopard Slug slime from their hands. Not me, I got to play with digital pictures! :)