Category Archives: Lake Life

The Scary Truth About Sisters in Horror Films — Bitch Flicks

This guest post written by Laura Power appears as part of our theme week on Sisterhood. Female siblings have been a go-to in horror films since horror films themselves. Sisters have been used as minor characters to fill in a cast: Daisy and Violet, the conjoined twins, and Elvira and Jenny Lee, the “Pinhead” twins,…

via The Scary Truth About Sisters in Horror Films — Bitch Flicks


Pontooning Powers

At the start of the summer, we got a boat — a big deal for us — and we’ve tried to put it to as much use as possible these past few months. We’ve been doing a pretty darn good job, although we’ve done a bit of traveling and have had a little weird weather. Even Roo is getting in on the action, equipped with an pretty cool life jacket we got her (Trevor refused to get a pink one with little anchors all over it, citing “safety” and other blah blah blahs, so she’s got a super boring yellow one with a “high safety rating.” blah.)

And I don’t really have a lot to say about our pontooning adventures; they’re pretty low-key (although last weekend while hanging out with my friend Lisa and her family we went over a big wave and the front end dipped into the lake and we thought we were going to sink and possibly perish, but, of course, we did not). But here are some stories of the floatings we’ve had so far.

The Power family came out for the weekend in July, and we even got Rachel to come up from Florida. Florida! Along with the human Power family, we welcomed a new canine member of the family to the boat: Cheekah, a little gray Chihuahua who, unfortunately, didn’t get to meet Roo, but they probably would have been best friends and moved to New York together to get jobs as fashion magazine interns. Or as circus performers. Or pasta makers.

Fran and Cheekah

Fran and Cheekah, queens of the pontoon

During the Power Family Weekend, we also discovered that I’m no good at taking selfies. Now, this is something I’ve known, personally, for a long time. I really don’t take selfies unless I’m making a silly face to text to Trevor, and I pretty much look silly in 99% of the selfies I take. And sometimes, I’m not even present in the picture at all:

1/3 of my face made it into this one! Success!

1/3 of my face made it into this one! And everyone else looks fantastic! Success!

But being on our boat makes me take selfies. I don’t know what it is: the fresh lake air, the wind whipping through my hair, the afternoon boat beer…It’s a mystery. But I think I’m getting better at them.

Pretty good, right?

Pretty good, right?

I'm 100% happy with this one -- my entire head is in it, along with some of my neck!

I’m 100% happy with this one — my entire face is in it, along with some of my neck!

We had a great weekend all around, and it was so good to see Rachel. She left us on Monday to drive up to Door County to visit Grandma Madel, but we got to see her for dinner on her way back down and before she left for home. Hopefully Trevor and I will visit her in November for Thanksgiving like we did last year. Maybe this year we can convince her to help us steal a shuttle and take a quick trip to the moon. Or whatever; we can also just eat some space ice-cream. Or regular ice cream, I’m not picky.

Last weekend my friend Lisa, her husband James, and two of their three kids came over for some ‘toon time (yeah, I just used the phrase “‘toon time,” judge me if you will). We had a great time swimming around and eating snacks for a few hours.

Lisa Eli and Violet

Lisa and her two fish-monkeys

And Trevor might have asked for some help driving the boat.

Eli and TrevorViolet and Trevor

And he also made some a new friend (a friend who was wearing a matching outfit, so…destiny.):

Walking on Oak Street

Trevor and Eli: co-captains and new best friends

On Sunday, it was just Trevor, Roo, and me, and we tried out our new tube. Trevor got it primarily so Roo could take breaks while swimming, since Roo’s “swimming” technique involves a lot of water eating. Lifting her up into the tube is easier than lifting her up into the boat, and if she’s in the tube while we’re swimming, she’s a bit calmer than if she was watching us from the boat. A bit.

How cute are these two? CUTE!

She looks calm, right? Well. Trevor does, at least.

And those are our pontooning tales! Are they everything you’d hoped they would be? Even better?! Good.

Trevor will be doing a lot of traveling in late August and September for work; he’s going to Florida and then to China (China!? I know, right?!), and while he’s gone I’m hosting my amazing book club babes for a nautical book club adventure and some of my high school girlfriends for a Labor Day ladies’ pontooning party. So our adventures are not yet over, although, they will likely be just as “exciting” as these were. I’ll keep you up-to-date.




The Gang Gets a Boat

Trevor and I moved out to Camp Crystal Lake three years ago — June 20, 2013 to be exact. Our first summer (a half-summer, really) we spent settling into the house and the neighborhood; the second and third, I’ve written about before, and this, our fourth summer, can now be called the Summer of the Boat! Because we got a boat! (I am not subtle, no.)

We’ve been talking about getting a boat since we moved in. That’s a big part of why we moved out here: we wanted a little lake house with a fireplace and a yard for Roo. And we use the heck out of our fireplace and pot-bellied stoves, and Roo uses the heck out of the yard (for running a course around at 1,000MPH, and also for her…other business…). But we’d not used our proximity to the lake to its full potential. Yes, we swim (even Roo, though she tries to drink all the water as she swims, which is weird and kind of gross) and we float around in tubes and on noodles. But we wanted to really use the lake. Like, use it up.

And how better to do that than with a boat? (A: there is no better way.)

So, after years of research (yes, I know I’m prone to hyperbole, but in this case I’m telling the truth [and if you know Trevor at all, then you know how truthful this is]), we got a 20 foot pontoon boat from a dealership in Volo, near the Chain O’Lakes.

As soon as we boarded, we knew it was the boat for us.

T in Captain's Seat

This feels right.

It even came with a bird. We couldn’t convince her to stay with us, though. She mentioned something about moving out West to San Diego. She has some friends out there with a nest-building business; she’s going to do inside sales for them. It sounded nice.

We almost convinced this bird to come with us, but she wanted a nice nest in San Diego instead.

Good luck, bird.

After doing the paperwork and getting the necessary registration and city stickers, we had five days until the boat would be delivered, and we needed a dock to park her. Our beach association has a pier, but boat owners are responsible for building and installing their own docks, so Trevor set to work to figure out how to do it.

He called his dad, the trusty and skilled carpenter, John Power, and secured his availability for the build and install. There was a yet-to-be-installed dock sitting on our beach, so Trevor took a look at that to get an idea of what he needed. He examined, measured, took pictures, drew schematics, and then bought his lumber (pressurized pine) and supplies (poles and augers to be screwed into the sandy lake bottom). And he and John set to work.

The Dock BuildingThere were two sections, each measuring ten feet: one that had an angled end and clipped directly to the pier, and a second section that connected to the first. The first day they measured, cut, and assembled; the second day they measured, cut, and assembled some more, and then they installed the dock in the water. They had to get it in before the boat was delivered at 3 p.m. on May 21, and they got it done with an hour to spare.

They are, in no uncertain terms, my heroes.

These men built and installed this dock.

These men built and installed this dock.

Power DockWith the dock good to go, we were ready for our boat, and it arrived right on time. We met Vince, our delivery guy, at the park district’s boat put-in area, and he unloaded it onto the lake. We picked John up at our dock and then drove around for a while so Vince could show us the ropes.

T Watches the Put In

Trevor and the very helpful Vince

Man and His Boat

A man and his boat

John, finally getting to relax after we worked him like a maniac for three days

John, finally getting to relax after we worked him like a maniac for three days

We could have driven around forever, but Vince wanted to go home so we unloaded him, and John finally had enough of us and headed back to Elgin and Fran. We tooled around for a bit longer, then finally headed in so Trevor could get some rest.

On Sunday we had perfect boat weather. My brother, Greg, was visiting a friend in our neighborhood, so he stopped by and we all went out in the morning. We included Roo, whose last adventures on a pontoon boat were two years ago in Door County — we tried to get her to swim, but she didn’t like it, and then she got very nervous to see everyone else swimming while she was on the boat. Trevor and I hoped she’d be better this second time, because it won’t be as fun this summer if she’s not hanging out with us. And she did very well — she only jumped on the bench once, she sniffed everything, she did a lot of looking out into the lake, and she split her time between the sun and the shade. I think she’s going to be just fine.

Roo Watches Water

Roo checks everything out

Roo and Engine

I’m going to teach her how to climb that ladder

T and Greg

Trevor and Greg

L and T on Boat

This is where I’m going to be all summer

T and Roo

They look very serious for people sitting on a pontoon boat — PONTOOOOOON

So now we’re boat people! I got us matching Camp Crystal Lake t-shirts at the Walker Stalker Convention this weekend (a post on that is forthcoming)…

Yes, we will wear these at the same time

Yes, we will wear these at the same time

…and we’re going to name the boat ( we have a short-list of choices, and we’ll let you know that soon enough [I wanted to name it the Mrs. Voorhees, but Trevor vetoed me]).

Now, the only thing left is to hold the lake’s biggest dance party!

Coming Soon! A Post About Trevor’s Adventure in Florida!

Trevor has been in Florida for work since last Wednesday, and he’s been so busy that I haven’t heard much from him. He has, though sent me a number of terrific photos, which has forced me to imagine a narrative for him using these images alone.

And within the next twenty-four hours, you will see that narrative here on this blog. It will be amazing.

Caterpillar in Florida

Trevor and his crew have discovered a new species of insect larvae. It eats human flesh.

How Women Directors Turn Narrative on Its Head — Bitch Flicks

This guest post written by Laura Power appears as part of our theme week on Women Directors. Marielle Heller, Miranda July, and the women directors of Jane the Virgin are infusing elements of whimsy into their work in strikingly different ways, but to similar effect. The styles they’re using affect the audience’s relationship with their…

via How Women Directors Turn Narrative on Its Head — Bitch Flicks

Five Exciting Things That Happened Over Spring Break

Tomorrow I go back to school after having a week off of classes for spring break (#springbreak2016whoohoo!). Trevor has been busy at the studio, and we weren’t able to plan any kind of a getaway, so instead, I just hung around Camp Crystal Lake with Roo and did a whole lot of nothing.

But there were a few interesting, nay, exciting things that happened. I decided that I would recount them here for you so you could get a real taste of what a fast-paced life I lead.

Number Five: The Library Stole My Heart!

Three weeks ago I picked up Stephen King’s latest collection of short fiction, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, at my local book joint, the Crystal Lake Public Library. The book was marked as a “Hot Pick,” which meant that it could only be checked out on a seven-day loan, and it couldn’t be renewed. It’s a good-sized book, coming in at just under five hundred pages, so I was disappointed when I had to return it having only read half. But moments after I dropped my copy into the “Returns” book slot, I wandered to fiction and saw that there was another copy of the same book on the Hot Picks shelf; so obviously I grabbed it. Excellent loophole, CLPL!

But this second copy was, alas, due last Saturday, and I still wasn’t finished. I had about a hundred pages left to read, but I thought, hey, that’s okay, it’s short stories and will be easy to pick up whenever I see it again. So I returned it, and figured that sometime after the semester’s end, I’d pick it back up.

But then — but then — on Monday, my first day of spring break, I went to the library to check out some movies for my week-long couch potatoing, and the book was back on the shelf. Score! But wait! I grabbed the book and was waiting to check it out when I flipped it open and saw that my book mark was right where I had left it! KWHAAAAAT???!!!!!


Yes, that’s right! Whatever wonderful human at the circulation desk checked my book back in did not remove my book mark. What a great way to start a spring break, right?! I finished the book that day and returned it, so hopefully some other lucky soul is enjoying it right now.

Number Four: Knives Are Sharp!

Thursday night I was fixing dinner (stove-top lasagne) and was having a pleasant time, just chopping up my vegetables, listening to my latest audiobook (Charlotte Brontë‘s Villette [good, good]). I was about to start sauteing (pot on the stove, olive oil heating up) but I needed to open my packet of Tofurky Italian sausage; so I got my big fat knife and plunged it in, and caught a nice chunk of my middle finger. I almost passed out (I’m weak in the stomach for all blood that is not made of corn syrup and red dye 40) and had to put dinner on hold until Trevor got home from work. And now I have this damn stupid gross cut on my finger and I’ve had to wear a rubber glove to take a shower and I don’t think my left hand has been really clean for a couple of days (there’s still blood underneath my fingernail [yeah, I know: gross]). I decided I would not include a picture of this. You’re welcome.

That should teach me to never eat Tofurky again.

Number Three: The Birds!

This jerk bird tried to break into the house:



For days I’d been hearing something flying into the window, but I always looked at the top, where birds sometimes hang out under the eaves. But I was in the kitchen filling up my coffee mug on Friday morning and this guy flew into the bottom of the window, just beak-firsted right in there. I figure he was either trying to perch on the sill (he could hold this pose for about one single second) or he was legit trying to break into the house and steal my stuff — probably all of the dryer lint, thread, and newspaper he could get his little orange beak on.

He did it a few more times and then took off somewhere else. I think he and his family will build their little cardinal home in one of our bushes, like they did last year. Maybe he was trying for a warmer kind of place inside the house rather than out, but I am not having it. It’s a slippery slope to a whole lot of horror.

Number Two: New Publication!

On Friday, the amazing website Bitch Flicks published an article I wrote for their Women Directors theme week. It’s the third one they’ve published of mine, and I love writing things for them; it’s a great excuse to do “research” and watch a bunch of great movies and t.v.

Women Directors Screen Shot

This should probably be number one on my list of exciting things, but since I wrote and submitted the article before spring break, I didn’t want to give it the prime spot.

Number One: Signage!

Trevor got me a Camp Crystal Lake sign for the house!



For those who don’t know how exciting this is, let me tell you: this is very exciting.

Because we live on a lake and a lot of the houses were originally vacation cabins, many have lake house “names.” Some people give their house a straight forward name (“The Fort” is one of our neighbors), and some people make up puns based on their last names. People get really into this and hang signs — some simple, some elaborate.

And of course as soon as we moved here, we knew we had to get a sign for Camp Crystal Lake. Because we live on CAMP CRYSTAL LAKE HOLY CRAP! (if you don’t know why this is so exciting, please read this and know that I have very strong feelings about these movies [all of which I own and maybe I will loan them to you one at a time]).

And now we have a sign! Trevor’s going to treat it to make sure it won’t warp or crack in the weather, and then we’ll bolt it to the garage for everyone to see. I am so happy.


And that’s it! Of course, there are some other things that happened this week, and some things that I learned, but these didn’t make the list because they weren’t that interesting. Things such as, there is a limit to how much grading one human being can do in a week; it’s a good idea to leave the house at least once per day, just to make sure you haven’t napped through the zombie apocalypse; ice cream is delicious; and showers are great but don’t have to be taken every day.

And now, I will leave you to finish my lesson plan for my morning class and remember that I have a closet full of clothes that are not the same t-shirt and jeans I have been wearing for eight days (not literally the same: variations on a theme [well, maybe the jeans are the same]).

Have a good week!

Space Powers

This week we’re in Florida to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with Rachel, and thus far, the holiday has been a success.

That’s mostly because in the 24 hours we’ve been here, we’ve been with Rae, and that alone is great; but it’s also because we just got back from spending the day hanging out at the Kennedy Space Center, where Rae works. Specifically, she works in the Center for Space Education doing digital learning programming for students all over the country. A big part of what she does is working on videos for the students–some are pre-recorded and some are live video chats. She teaches them about science and space and does cool experiments. Today, she showed us around her studio.


Rae and a weird little astronaut


Rae adjusts the green screen (I mean, LOOK! TREVOR IS ON THE MOON!)


So many Trevors! SO MANY TREVORS!

T. and I got frozen on the infrared camera

After the studio tour, Rae gave us another tour, this time of the entire visitors’ center. And it was so cool.

We went on a ride that simulated a space shuttle launch, we saw the actual Atlantis shuttle, a giant slide illustrating glide slope (thanks, Rae, for reminding me what it was called), tons of models, replicas, and videos, and an emotional and quite perfect memorial to the astronauts of the Challenger and Columbia disasters.


And the afternoon wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to the gift shop. And it was absolutely worth it, because Rachel got this picture:


Trevor is such a bargain!

We left the park and went to Cocoa Village to meet up with Rae’s friend; we ate dinner, stopped to get wine and beer for Thanksgiving, and now we’re relaxing (I am contemplating bed, T. is reclined on the couch, and Rae is chopping onions in preparation of the stuffing she’ll make to bring to Duarte Family Thanksgiving tomorrow.

We’ll have more from Florida later this weekend, but until then, happy Thanksgiving, you wonderful people!

Happy Thanksgiving from space!



We got our first snowfall of the winter at Camp Crystal Lake, and it’s pretty, and it’s cold, and it makes me happy that I went to the grocery store last night to stock up on provisions (cheese, pizza, ginger beer [don’t worry, we already had cookies so I didn’t need to pick up more cookies (although it’s insane to think that there could be too many cookies, so I should have gotten more just in case, I might need to bake some cookies today)]) and to the library to get a copy of The Shining.

The only other things I might need are a robot teacher to do my grading, and a robot maid to clean our bathrooms and do the laundry while I eat cookies and watch The Shining. But I don’t know if that’s likely, so I’ll grade some papers and reward myself with a nice, terrifying dose of The Overlook Hotel once I’m finished.

The other creatures in the house are hogging the heating vents:

Roo the Heat HogAnd taking a break from playing Call of Duty to shovel snow. I don’t have a picture of Trevor shoveling or playing CoD, but here’s a picture of our garden bed:

Snowy Garden Bed

Snow. Snow. Snow. Snow.

So I hope all of you are inside and have your own stock of pizza, ginger beer, cheese, and cookies. Stay warm and cozy, and have a happy Saturday!