Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Sandwich, the Shovel, the Summer

We have had such a tumultuous summer we have often felt like staying in our cave until winter arrived~reverse hibernation. However, that would reflect an entire lack of courage, character, coping skills etc. Thus, why not sandwich some really good stuff, in between the challenges i.e. stale bread? Actually, we have found that even during tough times, life does find a way of rolling along. Many others are facing greater challenges all around us, so let us not bitch. We too must roll even though it may be a little slower and less wild and crazy than the pre-parenting days. Roll we have...

First was the dry-run, or our first time to bust out Grandpa's ole tent trailer. We spent a bit of cash having her looked at by a pro and then planned a trip, very close to town, until we knew what was involved. We had no owners manual so we were shooting in the dark each time we hit a button! So, fully stocked on Diet coke, beer, some pre-made meals, two old mutts, and a poop shovel, we set off to Bonita Lake. If you know me at all, you already know, I do not stay in designated camp grounds (my idea of hell). I could care-less about a shower and a shitter. I want peace and quiet and have no desire to listen to someone else's kids or adult conversation. Our kid makes enough noise all by himself!

So, we passed all the crowds crammed into the campgrounds like cockroaches and found a nice meadow a couple of miles away from the hub-bub. No showers, no potties, just our dirty butts in the great outdoors. Ah, the smell of good old human B.O. and a couple of foul dogs! Of course, that meant, teaching Gavin, how to take the much necessary crap in the woods. Mom's old lesson: shovel, check, plastic bag, check, tp, check, hand wipes, check. We headed up the hill and I showed him what the strategy was...avoid the weeds (never know if it's poison ivy), stay away from rocks (snakes, wasp nests etc.) and don't leave your t.p because the earth can't digest it. Gavin was a little nervous the first time, but all the events afterward, resembled a 3.5 year old pro. I think Gavin even gave Eric a few pointers! The trip was really peaceful, we all slept well (and late), ate well, hiked and enjoyed getting away. We made some friends who joined us in badminton, soccer, checkers etc. despite the Spainish/English language barriers. Two more camping trips are planned for the Fall with friends to finally use our ski boat and do some fishing. I imagine Tim is pretty happy to see us farting around with all his old toys.

Our Social Calendar;

Other outdoor family time has included raspberry picking with Mema in the Hondo valley and apple picking today-two huge boxes of Golden Delicious. The plan is to make a butt-load of turnovers...this week, yummm.

Gavin attended a friends bday party-come dressed as a Super Hero. We had nothing. Stores don't even have Halloween garb out Mema was the Hero. She whipped up the entire costume in one afternoon. Thank gosh. I don't have the patients or talent to sew...Gavin would have been screwed...

Eric and Papa have nearly finished up Gavin's custom built playset. (Sand comes this week, ladder to trap door pending.) Gavin loves it and is on it every afternoon. I can see him directly from the kitchen so the location is perfect. He picks green beans from our garden and eats them while racing down the slide.

Last but not least, our garden continues to produce AND THE HOOPHOUSE WAS APPROVED BY OUR Homeowners Association (read, retired people who like to enforce to many rules.) So, after the first frost, we shall finish what we started in May. Nights are in the low 50's, days are in the 80's so tomatoes and peppers did not produce well. But the squash, watermelons, green beans and pumpkins are going strong!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We Ain't Right Reunion 2009

Time for our annual Warren-"We Ain't Right Reunion" at my brother Phil's and his lovely wife Danette's in Pasco, Washington. We all swarmed upon the Columbia River valley last week and lounged around their mansion-of-a-house like locusts; we fed, we drank, we swam, we fed, we drank, we swam. Not sure why they so kindly offer their home each year to more than twenty of us, but am so grateful they do.

Everyone gets their own bed, espresso-or iced latte-upon request, choice of four bathrooms, pool, hot tub, basketball court and enormous manicured lawn. Oh, least I forget the huge boat for fishing, water skiing, etc. If you get drunk enough, you are certain you are at some resort in Mexico. We tested this theory, repeatedly. Eric loved the theater room for naps and violent flicks parents don't normally get to watch.
My personal goal was to relax and attempt to eat the most seafood possible in six days. We had two feedings worth really mentioning; Anthony's for an all seafood happy hour without kids and a huge home cooked seafood platter of salmon, razor clams, squid, trout and other things I never identified but ate happily. We were stuck like beached whales and loving every minute of it. Thanks to my Niece Jen and Nephew Kohner for preschooler sitting!

We had a swarm of kids so Gavin played and swam during his every waking hour. At night we shoved the kids into the theater room and blasted them with a Pixar flick. Gavin was so tired and overstimulated he crashed every night-hard, plus napped really well all week. A crowd like this and so many kids is a great deal for a country boy. He did not want to leave but also missed his digs at home.

Memorable memento's:

Carla and I hauling ass to the nearest gas station to use the toilet while Phil's septic tank was pumped-shitters full!
Laughing my ass off while Doug shot water through a water noodle from his mouth, through his crotch and out near his butt.

Watching my Dad get up early, go with the flow all day, and stay up late playing dominoes-every night.

Watching Gavin swim all week, largely on his own accord, like he had been in a pool all summer.

Getting a chance to knee-board once during this summer and not crashing or getting injured.

Playing modified baseball called "over the line" introduced by the Scott's.

Getting a recent updated list of all our genetic defects from Carla. Thanks sis. Hammer toe is the new addition. gross.

Watching Gavin open all of Carla's bday gifts-happy 52ND girl!