sheianna: (Default)

Long weekend! Camping at cousin Mary Lee's was... interesting. I really do not like the Eddie Bauer tent that we used (one that the kids gave us when they got their popup camper). If you have the rain fly on, it blocks the side screened windows so there's no air flow through them and the clear plastic panels at the top magnify the sunlight making it a furnace inside during the day. Mainly though I don't like the way it's taller at one end than at the other. (needless to say, I was on the short side!) Our old tent was about 6 feet tall in the center and the sides were of equal height. It had large screened windows that could be closed (the ones on the EB tent can't). It may not have been as fancy as the EB tent but it was a much more logical & practical design. We knew that there would be no shade regardless of where we pitched the tent but we hadn't taken into consideration that where we did set up, we were very close to the automatic security light (a necessity in such a rural area) which meant that there was way too much light at night. I'm thinking next time we should set up on the opposite side of the house where, hopefully, the building will block at least some of the light.

The weather was extremely hot but for the most part we had a nice breeze. The best time was sitting in the shade under the Cottonwood tree reading or just talking, enjoying the wind blowing through the branches. Very peaceful.

As usual, we brought way too much food. We had planned on having Mary eat with us; she planned on feeding us. We certainly weren't going to refuse the steaks and salads she'd bought (especially since she's on such a limited budget, even more so than we are) but did insist that we'd do the burgers we brought the following night. She even picked up some packets of gourmet coffee that we fixed the first morning.

We had a wonderful time hanging out with the horses (and dogs... one is hers - Boomer, a basset hound; the other three are her son's. He lives in a trailer home up near the road on her property with his girlfriend and daughter. He has a rottweiler mix named Zeus, a mixed breed of the Australian shepherd variety - Alice?- and a deaf puppy named Daisy who is an adorable little nuisance!) We helped out with feeding the horses and Scot even did a little bit of riding. He's way out of practice and admits that he needs some lessons before he can do any trail riding. I was almost convinced to try riding but it was so hot that I chickened out. Maybe next time... I know I need lessons first! We had a lot of fun watching the yearling colt kicking up his heels after being let out of his box stall for some exercise. His name is ... Steve. Yeah, Steve. That's what happens when you let a 3 year old girl name a new foal. She stated that if it was a girl she would name it Princess. When they told her it was a boy, they expected her to name him Prince or King or something similar. Instead she thought about it and announced that "I think I'll name him Steve." o_O I've at least learned the names of the stallions... the gorgeous pale brown and white paint is named Pokey (they've had him since he was a yearling and his person is the son, Mike. Apparently when they were out looking at horses to buy, Pokey walked up to Mike and laid his head on Mike's shoulder. Mike announced that he wanted this horse! He has really good bloodlines and was what they were looking for so they bought him.) Pokey is one of the calmest, gentlest stallions I've ever seen. A beautiful horse with a wonderful temperament who makes gorgeous foals.The other stallion is named Zippy. Another very nice looking horse... but then all of Mary's horses are beautiful, even the old paint mare, Madge. (actually her name is Magic but Madge suits her better now that she's such an old girl, 26 years old)

Sunday night we sat in the backyard watching a panorama of fireworks from 5 different areas who did theirs on the 3rd. Some were partially hidden by the tree line but it was still very satisfying and we didn't have to put up with crowds or traffic to see them. We didn't really try to watch more on the night of the 4th since Mary had to be up by 5 to deal with chores before heading for work. We had to leave early too so we could be in Plainwell by 7:30 to babysit for our grandkids. That was a fun 2 days! We watched movies, played outside and generally had a great time. Emily helped clean up the backyard on Tuesday (lots of mess from the fireworks they did at their 4th of July party) and rode her bike. She wasn't too happy that we wouldn't let her ride further down the street, but Bryce wanted to follow her and at not quite 2, he's just too young! She was a big help when it came time for Bryce to take his nap the first day. It wasn't until she told him it was nap time that he finally agreed to lay down without fussing about it. The second day we set up the sprinkler and they had a blast running through it. No problem getting Bryce to take his nap that day! He was totally tuckered out!

At any rate, it was a great 4 days though totally exhausting. We spent most of Thursday recuperating! We'll probably go camping at Mary's again although I'm thinking it would be better just to do it for one night rather than two. Scot really can't afford to be away from his computer (and schoolwork) for longer than that. It didn't matter this time since it was a holiday weekend and he had internet access at the kids but being away for 2 nights would put him too far behind on his required participation. Who knows, maybe next time they'll actually convince me to give riding a try. ~_^
sheianna: (indigo dragon)

Technically the weekend isn't any longer but we are going to be away from home for an additional 2 days. My daugher called this afternoon to ask if we would be able to babysit Tuesday and Wednesday. We, of course, said yes. Bryce is sick again and can't go to daycare. Every time Jenn works in the nursery at their church Bryce ends up getting sick. She's finally decided that enough is enough and is going to tell them she can't do it anymore. It obviously isn't a healthy place and she can't keep risking her son's health.

Since we are spending Sunday and Monday night out at our cousin's farm (Yay! Horses!) and Jenn and Jeff's home is on our way back home, we'll just be packing up early on Tuesday (say, around 6 am) so we can make it to the kid's no later than 7:30, when Jenn needs to leave for work. Rather than heading home after Jeff gets off work at 3:30pm Tuesday, we agreed that it made more sense for us just to stay the night and save an extra round trip out there. We're going to have our air bed and bedding with us anyway and Emily had really wanted us to stay another night the last time we babysat for them so we'll just have to pack twice as many clothes, more reading material and a couple movies (I would really love to watch Avatar on their huge screen TV and Emily has requested The Incredibles)  and bring Scot's laptop after all so he can do his schoolwork. Maybe Jenn will even be able to take some time Tuesday evening to tutor him a bit on his algebra. (She's not just good at it, she LOVES algebra and she's always been very good at tutoring too.) I'm still trying to work out if I can manage to carry enough of my morning and evening meds in my pill minder without having to put both in the same compartment. I had really wanted to find a double one (14 compartments) but wasn't able to find one that wasn't ridiculously overpriced. Guess I'll just have to pick up a second one if we're going to have more of these multiple days away from home. (not likely since Scot can't be without internet for more than a day... the holiday being the exception since they aren't expected to do any schoolwork on the 4th anyway) Anyway, it should be interesting. Might even be fun as long as Bryce is on the mend by then. Hopefully he'll be feeling a bit better by Tuesday.
sheianna: (Default)
Hubby and I had a great time last weekend babysitting our grandkids up at their place while our daughter, son in law and his mom made a trip to Detroit for a Tiger's baseball game. (I think Jeff's dad probably had to work or he'd have gone too...) I'd been somewhat unsure how things were going to go since Bryce (not quite 2 yet) hasn't been around us all that much and Jenn had been giving us warnings that he's reached the Terrible Two stage a bit early. As it turns out, he was a perfect little angel, no fussing (except when Emily decided it was ok to tease him... she was soon corrected on that count) and wanted to be with Grandpa all the time! We had great fun watching movies, playing outside, setting up their Slip and Slide - which had a hole in it that Grandpa fixed (well enough to be usable) with some duct tape. Emily asked what duct tape was and after telling her that it was good for fixing a lot of things, she proceeded to point out various items in her room (a picture frame, her dresser...) and ask if they broke, could you fix them with duct tape. Yes, but they probably wouldn't look very good and wood glue would probably work better. *giggle* She picked up so quickly on the Handyman's Helpers many uses!

I'm starting to get excited about going out to cousin Mary Lee's for the Fourth. We've decided that we'll go out Sunday and stay 'til Tuesday morning. I just hope that the weather will cooperate and not be unbearably hot or rainy. Hopefully we'll be able to set the tent (or tents) up in the backyard to let them air out before we go. Keeping Scot from packing our entire kitchen is going to be a bit of an issue. He's decided that since we have electric available, we should take our extra drip coffee maker since "it's faster than the percolator." I'm not so sure about it since the carafe is glass and that just doesn't seem like a good idea to me. (Now if he wanted to take the one we use every day with it's metal thermal carafe, I wouldn't mind nearly as much). At least he's agreed that our battery powered camping lights will be good enough for reading "in bed". I'll just put some new batteries in my book light for me. Happily, both sunblock and insect repellent are on sale this week, as I'm going to need both! I'm hoping that I can convince him that we can jury rig a shade structure with one of our many tarps and the extra tent poles we have (we don't throw those out when a tent becomes too old to use unless the poles themselves are broken) and that we don't need to spend money we really can't be certain we can afford right now on a quick set screen house. We still have no idea when we'll be getting the State tax return or when/if he'll be getting any money from the student loans overages (or even if there will be extra this term) and we have to keep in mind that we have a $120 license plate to buy before the month is out! And this is the month our garbage bill is due for the quarter. This one really ticks me off since we're paying the same high price as a customer who has a larger bin that they fill to overflowing every week yet our smaller bin is generally not even half full. I really wish I could find a provider who charged by volume rather than just a set rate! Oh well...

I got a nice amount of raspberries off the bushes this morning, about a pint or so, I'd guess. The bushes are loaded again this year and again, there are far too many that I can't get to. Scot deciding that the area that I had used as the path to some of the inner bushes was a perfect place to dump a bunch of scrap wood means that I now have no way at all of reaching the inner berries but since he's the big raspberry fan, it's his loss! I also did the tiny bit of planting that I'm doing this year. I had pepper and bean seeds left from last year and started the pepper inside. I put a couple tiny seedling peppers in yesterday (I'm holding out the other two that came up until they're a bit bigger) and planted a row of beans this morning. I seriously doubt that we're going to get much off them since I'm getting such a late start (although the beans should do well into the fall as long as we don't have an early hard frost). I'd given up on doing an actual garden since we never got around to thinning out the berry bushes, removing the dozens and dozens of excess Rose of Sharons that are making a jungle of the garden plot or cutting down the numerous "weed" trees that are trying to take over the fence line. On the other hand, I already had the pepper and bean seeds and couldn't see letting them just sit around another year. If they grow and produce veg, fine. If not, it was still good exercise for me.

Misc: Incongruous occurrence for the day... listening to the guys doing construction a couple houses down singing along with Brittany Spears. o_O


sheianna: (Default)

August 2011

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