Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tabasco, Turbulence and Tylenol

This past weekend, my little family took our first camping trip in our very own camper. I spent a better part of the preceding week readying us, the camper and all the stuff you need when you camp...food, bedding, clothing for all types of weather, things to cook with, things to eat on, games to play (indoor & outdoor), books to read, hiking boots, bike helmets, extra batteries, marshmallows, basically one third of the contents of our home. Whew! It took a whole week to get ready and I still forgot some things. Nothing that ruined the experience, but just would have made it a little more enjoyable...like all the ingredients for two of the three dinners, a really good can opener and Tabasco. The Tabasco wasn't specifically for all of us, just my husband. But if I hadn't heard, "This would be really good with just a little Tabasco" during every meal, then my weekend would have been just perfect. It's the little things that make us all happy.

My hubbie did a great job driving the truck and towing the camper. That's a manly thing and I wouldn't be able to do so well, I am sure. The place where we headed is a straight shot west of us, just under two hours away. You might not know this but Western Maryland is very hilly, bordering on mountainous the farther you go. The "hills" have long ascents. And obviously on the other side, very fast descents, especially when you are being chased by, I mean, pulling a 2 1/2 ton camper. I can be a nervous traveller, but usually only for air travel. The meter of my nerves is located in the palms of my hands. By that I mean, my palms sweat. This pretty little feminine quality strikes during landings, take-offs, turbulence, when the plane flies circles over the runway too many times, and while listening to vague, cryptic announcements coming from the cockpit. Just look at my hands to see if you should be nervous too. They glisten with sweat. And I can't control it. But we weren't in a plane. So everything should be grand riding along in the extended cab, right? Right, until I notice the palm sweat. Then I realize we are careening down Sideling Hill with our weekend home barreling down right behind us. No one else seems to mind these circumstances, just my palms. My heart rate is normal. My breathing stable. I was actually singing along with the radio at the very moment when the perspiration gates opened. As I said, I can't control it. Once the road leveled out, the hand-sweating stopped and all was grand again in the extended cab.

On to the camping part of the weekend. We arrive to a heavily wooded, picturesque state park surrounding a beautiful lake. There is a slight fall chill in the air. We set up camp, take a short hike around the lake, explore a bit, have the one dinner I remembered to bring, roast marshmallows over the fire, go to bed listening to crickets and bull frogs. Wonderful. Skip forward to 2:00 a.m. I wake to the sounds of crying and falling rain. Who's that? Oh, my oldest son, disoriented and burning up. Yep...fever. And it's raining. Tylenol gets us all back to sleep. But when we wake, it's still raining...hard and my son still has fever. And they, the rain and the fever, continue all day. We spend the entire day, all four of us, in a space significantly less than 150 livable square feet. And you know what, we had a great time! We played cards and games, read books (aloud and to ourselves), napped, snacked, dosed with Tylenol every four hours, built Legos (okay I didn't do that) and generally had a super relaxing, enjoyable time.

And guess what else? We got to do it all again for much of the next day. Yep...it was still raining the next morning. We did get out and hike again because it wasn't raining quite so hard and the fever was down. By mid afternoon, the sun came out. The sky was that bright brilliant blue that comes just as the last of the rain clouds are blown away. We spent the last few hours of daylight sitting on the lake's beach watching the boys make sand volcanoes, dams, and trenches. Wonderful, again.

We all agreed that our first camping trip was a success. The conditions were far from ideal. One of us was sick. The meals weren't the sumptuous, fire-kissed morsels I planned. The weather was cold and wet. But we all loved it and can't wait to go again!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What do braces, gall bladders & stinkhorns have in common?

Tricky one, huh? The answer: me. From that list, I am done with the first one, may be losing the second one and can't get rid of the third one. And here is more of the randomness that is my life:

Yes, I got my braces removed (you may not have known I had them). Gone now. Yea! I love my teeth!
I am trying to keep my gall bladder happy...I think it's having a mid-life crisis and is no longer doing what gall bladders do
Our family is waging war against the advance of creepy, phallic stinkhorns from our backyard..the kids no longer enter the backyard due to the smell they emit. Nice.

What else have I been up to? Let's see...
stocking the camper, getting ready for our first trip
volunteering at the kids' school...washing my hands alot!
did my first photographer's assistant job at a wedding...very fun!
waiting for UPS to delivery my studio lighting gear...portraits anyone?

I'll be back here again soon!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Can Do Random Too

Since I have been too busy and otherwise uncreative in my own right on my blog recently, I am following Joyce's lead in answering some random questions. Feel free to join in on my comments or on your own blog. Here goes...

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?

First of all, I didn't know people called it "Wowmart". Secondly, I really don't like that place...I know there are bargains galore but I would rather spend a bit more and not experience the place. There...I said it.

2. What is something that people are currently "into" that you just don't get or appreciate?

Obama - not the man, but what he is doing. There...I said that too. Don't hate me for being honest.

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel "ho-hum" about?

Two things...blogging and camping!

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?

O Holy Night

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:

Some real food on the side.

6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences):

Joyce's answer is best. (Ooops...Does that mean I didn't answer that question in my own voice?)

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?

Donielle..pronounced with a long "o". This was my dad's pick...Mom thought I would turn out with questionable morals if I had this name. I am happy with the one they gave me...I don't look like a Donielle.

8. What in your life are you waiting for?

For time to slow down.

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?

I ordered it from an online camera shop! New gear!

10. Today--what song represents you?

This one's hard...I got nothing.

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?

It reconfirmed my love of and my desire to write, my love of photography, and my snide sense of humor.

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you're wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you're feeling today?

I chose my favorite jeans...it's cooler today and I am happy to be wearing them again. Always feel right in a good pair of jeans.

Happy Thursday!