Saturday, June 30, 2012

Vacation the First & Second & The End

Yes, yes, the title it is unclear. You'll understand momentarily. I should have titled it:
Vacation The End: Worst Photos Ever
After days of lovely weather, and many golden vacation shots depicting peace in the forest and love and goodwill toward all Learkind, this happened:
It was an enchanting visit to two picturesque towns: Cashiers, NC and Highlands, NC. When we arrived in Highlands, and I laid eyes on this gorgeous church, I whipped out my camera. Visions of a family shot in front of the gardens danced through my head. whirr-whirr-clunk What? No! whirr-whirr-clunk.
Shake, shake, exclaim, accuse, bemoan. The lens was jammed. Somewhere along the line, while I was frantically baiting hooks and warning of the dangers of flying hooks, *someone* got their paws on my camera, and allowed sand into the lens. Before you think "Phoenix, gotta be Phoenix" let me assure you, it was, in fact, The Ghost Child, He Who is Responsible for All Bad Things. Shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, I was assured that No Child of Mine Would Have Wrought Such a Curse Upon My Camera.
Fast forward to Vacation the Second.
Vacation the First ended, we were home for one day, and then Rick & I took off solo for an anniversary weekend in Charleston, SC. Thanks to a mutually-beneficial trade with our neighbor and friend Rachael, we got a vacation from our vacation.
But if you think I can share lovely vacation photos of the lovely city of Charles Town, let me assure you, it will not happen.
What did happen was this. My bff Google recommended a few home remedies for clearing the lens, and I tried them. We were relaxing on the patio of the fantastic Mills House hotel in the historic Holy City (I wondered all weekend *why* Charleston is called the Holy City.), and I fooled around with my lens remedies. Warning: Please don't try this at home. It is only successful when well-marinated by local brews on a kids-free vacation. You were warned.
 Nope, not it.
 Nope, not it.
 Oops, even worse.
 Wait! Look! It's clear! Yahooooo!
 Oh crud. It's back.
 But look! In the dark of night, you can't tell!
And this concludes all parts of all vacations. Having no reliable photography device was kind of freeing. We walked and roamed and enjoyed ourselves immensely. It was decided, yet again (we decide this every time we go there), that Charleston is the place for us. We honeymooned there 16 years ago, on the nearby Isle of Palms, and though Rick travels to Charleston every 2 months on business, I have only been back once. Charming Charleston... you were a much-needed break from real life...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Vacation the First: Part 2

After a full day of hiking...
 (And whoever said fishing is a relaxing, quiet activity never baited hooks for kids. Fishing with us resembles the activity level of a hot-dog eating contest: continual frenzy, squealing and lost bait! It was like a game show where the timer was always buzzing. Worm! Worm! I need a worm! Hurrrrry, he's catching my fiiiish!!! They cast their lines within inches of one another, adding quite the competitive edge. Those fish were ranged just below the water, watching the show.)
 and reading...
The sun began to set on our unplugged day. 
With no TV, and no computers, the end came slowly. The evening was punctuated with a few small squeals, and pointing fingers...
 A few last bounces and leg-crushers...
 And finally, silence.
 One small boy, down for the count.
 One big boy finds an empty spot...
 Softly, softly
 The day had permission...
to end.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vacation the First: Part 1

Bad Creek Foothills
"Thanks for the life lesson!" she said with a cheery smile.
"That's what I'm here for!" I grinned back.
Ah, the simple joys of parenting. Such an easy task, isn't it? Almost never fraught with frustrations or challenges. Certainly not grounds for therapy or inner reflection.
Can you tell this is going to be a vacation post? No? Have you not vacationed with a pack of monkeys, yourself? Even my words will not be image enough. Some friends frequently call and tell me "how cute" these posts are, and I'm like "Seriously? Cute?! I was having such a hard day and it was all I could do to make it civil & fit for public consumption!" Spinning a yarn, yo. Even my rough days look like gold, kids, gold!
Vacation Part 1 was a family trip, to the lovely Lake Jocassee, located in the utmost corner of SC, right at the border of NC and the Nantahala National Forest. This was the Family Unplugged part, where there was no tv, computer, movies, or technology. What there WAS, in abundance, was the beautiful outdoors, and some stellar weather.
Please to see my golden photos:
The view from the lake house deck
Look who we brought along!

What photo shoot is complete without the Kids Jumping Into Water segment?!
Phoenix... fake out! He didn't get in that water all week.
Rick's survival guide to vacationing in the wilderness. Liquor and cigars. Hello watermelon!

Just 2 miles away (up, down and around the steep mountain drive), we had a nice hike along this trail. Suitable for children, to be sure.

We were on the lookout for wildlife, and luckily spotted only a box turtle. Whew! Recently spotted wildlife, by Rick's friend, and the lake house owner: 3 bears, and some wild boar - on the property!
Follow the blue marks to stay on the trail. Don't argue about who spotted the blue mark first.
You all know that I did.
Phoenix on moss.
 To be continued...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

On the eve of adventure

This is my official "out of office" memo. You know, since you're like, my office. Or something. Well, whatever, I feel like I can't just up and go anywhere without the appropriate notice given. You're on notice! (I love Colbert)
So when I return from whence I goeth, you will know and see and we will be joyful. Or something. That's the point, right? A friend once told me that he looked up the definition of "fun" and it was listed as: a departure from the ordinary.
Well, amen to that!
Depart, we will.
Ordinary, we will not.
Mmmm-wah, see ya when I see ya!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Time

How this book has been around since 1999, and never run into me, I do not know. I should browse the young adult section more.
Nevertheless, read this. Today. It's short, ya'll, even if I do have speed-reading superpowers.
When I finished it, I was teary-eyed and sighed: "That is one of the sweetest books I have ever read..."

the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky
(even if you saw the movie, you know what I will say. Movie, schmovie.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Scenes of Summer

Some days I feel quite super-mom-ish, and we have projects we work on. I organize the table for a craft and stand around directing and overseeing. Craft Instructor, don't you know. Other times they have an idea in mind, and I search and scrape together the necessary random objects. But most days, the ideas and collecting and preparing are their own, and the results are fairly entertaining. And I try to be a big girl and not mind the messes, since they are after all, on Summer Break. On other days all together, I work on my own projects and only hear their noises in the background. I keep my spidey-sense tuned for sounds that appear unsafe. Like, hanging over the stairwell. Or microwaving things that should not perhaps be microwaved. Or mysterious bumps from the garage that sound suspiciously like someone climbing a wall or a pipe attached to a wall. Spidey-sense, wall-climbing has been detected!
Here are the scenes of the First Three Weeks, wonder which activities were sponsored by B?!

Host your own Auburn picnic today! We have props.

Oddly, his "gell" bias is nowhere in sight when it comes to paint. He had to have  pink like his best friend.
You know you want a cereal-box backpack. Admit it. Then you, too, can have your cabinet full of bags of cereal. 

This lean-to is still in the driveway. I can't dismantle that type of creativity. Sorry neighbors! Welcome, hobo!

This awesome racetrack is not still in the driveway. I've overcome being The Crusher, remember?
At our house, we eat hummus with our shades on. 
Mr. Cutie-Smartie-Pants.