14 September 2007

The Post You've Been Dyeing to Read (and Yes, I Spelled it That Way on Purpose)

Warning: This post is so long and rambly that you will need a drink and snack before you sit down to read it. Enjoy it. I put hours and hours into it (no, I'm NOT exaggerating) so I'll be heart-broken if you skip it!

Wow...So I was going to write yesterday, but I would have had to entitle my post "Tis Thursday and the Man is STILL Not at Work... which seemed rather lame, so I threw myself into school and shopping for groovy party favor goodies for Girly-Girl's 8th birthday party tomorrow. It's going to be "a party to DYE for" . My husband wanted us to write "Come to my party and DYE" on the invites, but after a round of giggling we controlled ourselves and went with the less violent sounding earlier description. In case you haven't discerned it from my clever quotes, we'll be tie-dying shirts and doing other secret and mysterious crafts projects involving color which cannot be disclosed here in case Girly-Girl reads my blog - which she never does because she's 8 and she's not a fantastico reader and because I'm her mom and my blog is boring. Although she DOES want to read my story about Pea's faerie garden which she and her sister are dutifully helping me write and which shall be posted sometime before I die (or dye) if all goes well, which it probably won't, but I'm not complaining.

Yes. It's one of THOSE mornings (at least in my head it is).

Anyhoo (my friend Wendy from Oz says "anyhoo". I always think it's cute when she does. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's cute when I use it, but I'll never know if I don't try it, eh?), you all sound like you really want to hear about our whirlwind visit to the J-Man and Funsocksgirl. Bless your little hearts! I always wonder if my blog is turning out to be like those insipid teenage journals of my youth (those would be the journals of my classmates, not my journal which was weird and bizarre with poems about math analysis and songs about being sucked down the tub drain). You know the ones:

Dear Diary,

This morning I got up and felt yucky, but Mom made me eat oatmeal (gag!) go to school anyway. I met Jane by locker B and she told me that that Sarah said that she liked Jason now even though he gave ME the other half of his candy bar yesterday. Jason is SO cute! Whenever I am around him, I can't think about anything else! What if he ends up liking Sarah better than me? I think I'd die! (or dye)

Math was boring, boring, boring, but science was kinda funny because LuEllen spilled cabbage water all over Devon's shoes.

After school, Maurice and I hung for a while. She's a nice person and she has the prettiest auburn hair.

We had pizza and Mt. Dew for supper and then Dad wouldn't let me watch "Luke and Tina: Love in the Sixth Sense" because he wanted to watch some stupid football thing. I think we need more than one TV, don't you?

Well now I need to do my homework and go to bed. Bye!

So, anyway (or anyhoo), I'm hoping that my reports of actual events that have occured in my groovy life don't bore you tears, because then I would just die! (or dye)

Man, I am wandering all over the place, ain't I?

It definitely IS one of THOSE mornings!

And now I'm in a quandary ( it's pink inside) because I haven't the time (nor the energy) to give you a detailed recounting of the vacation in question. Besides that, I have already typed so much drivel that my blog entry is going to be too long and intimidate some of my faithful friends into skipping overmy Spetember 14th entry and going on to someone more succint like BusyMom (though she wasn't quite as concise in her entry yesterday, but trust me, that was an anomaly). And then, they will probably like BusyMom so much that they'll never come back here and my blog will grow dustbunnies and cobwebs and I'll get fat from turning to food for comfort because you've all left me! sniffle.

OK, get a grip, Groovy.

Lesse...I'm going to post the requested report in bullet form (More or less - actually I'm going to use asterisks because I like them better) to save your poor, tired brain and eyes. I mean, you're probably getting dizzy after reading all this, aren't you? I know I am.

Saturday (of Labor Day Weekend) we packed the car with camping gear and goat gear. (It was an exciting day. Oh yes.

Sunday we went to church and sang/drummed, ran home to eat, and then headed 2.5 hours away to the Blue Hill Fair. We got in free because we were showing goats and camping. Yea! I love free, don't you? We helped sell raffle tickets, Girly-Girl showed her goat (no real prizes here. Blue Hill has different rules for 8 year-olds, so it was just a "demonstration"), we saw fireworks.

NOTE: If YOU are ever planning a fair, especially one that is primarily agricultural, you might want to consider that livestock are not particularly happy in the midst of fireworks.

BOOOM! Crackle! Whistle! Swirl!


A VERY dramatic voice is heard from the goat barn: Everybody HUG YOUR GOATS! (My girls never saw the fireworks.)

The girls had their first overnight, spending it in the camper of our friends. This should have freed Mulletman and I up for a romantic tent evening of flashlight and gingersnaps, but it didn't because A) it was FREEZING (40ºF) and B) tensions are running high because my mom is moving up and my husband is quite unsettled over the issue so he was cold as well.

Here's Girly-Girl and her good friend, Gracie after the 4-H show:

Monday involved sitting through hours of boredom as the goat showing went on and on and on and on and on. Makes me glad that I don't have a herd! We weren't showing, but our friends were and we kept them company. The girls particpiated in a livestock parade and then we headed home.

Mm wanted to leave the next day for NY, but I was tired and stressed and we kept arguing. He said if we were going to spend the whole trip mad at each other, then he didn't want to go at all (glare, snort!). I thought I didn't really care - I was so exhausted that it was difficult to care! But, by morning I had rallied. (I had also realized that if we didn't go I'd be spending a week at home with King Grumpy-Pants) so I talked to him (Can you imagine?).

He REALLY wanted to go and see the kids. Now that I'd had some sleep in my nice soft bed, I wanted to see them too, so I put on the steam and we were ready to hit the road by 11am. We took the scenic route - hills and mountains and rivers and quaint towns. By the end of the day Mulletman was no longer grouchy and we were back to our usual cheerful banter.

We camped in a BEAUTIFUL state park in Vermont. The tent sites were near the top of Mt. Philo and the grounds had the nicest, cleanest outhouse I've ever seen. It was so quiet and woodsy and, well, desserted that it had that odd a-wild-animal-could-come-out-at-any-moment-and-eat-us sort of feeling.

I kept a sharp look-out for scary animal eyes. Happily there weren't any except for the bear and the hungry wolf family that turned out to be a squirrel and a cottontail, respectively.

Oh Look! Here we are not mad at each other any more!

This would also be the incredibly dark evening where we discovered that we forgot pllows and flashlights. Ooops.

Tuesday More hills, mountains, etc. Lots of "Are we there yet? How much further? How many more exits? I have to pee!" We got to our capmground (a fancy schmancy KOA about 18 miles from the kids' apartment - I hate calling them "the kids" because they're really old now, but it takes up less tiime and space than typing "Funsocksgirl and the J-Man") around supper time.

This is when I pulled out the borrowed cell phone so I could call FSG with the happy news that we had arrived. No reception. While Mm and the girls set up the tent, I walked all over the campground. No reception. Finally I went into the office and the dude let me use his phone to call her.

Then we wolfed down some hot dogs, got BACK in the car (ugh) and drove the 30 minutes to her abode. Mm was pretty sure he remembered how to get there, but wasn't sure, so I kept pulling out the phone to see if I could get a signal. No dice. No reception anywhere. Apparently the in-laws' track phone is completely useless in the Rochester area!

Fortunately, Mm has an uncanny sense of direction and we got there with no difficulty. (Whew!)

Visit, visit, visit, then back to the VERY FAR AWAY campground to sleep on the ground in a hot, stuffy tent.

Wednesday FSG has fibromyalgia, consequently she tends to go to bed quite late and sleep late in the morning. So we explored the campground. It was a VERY fun place with an obstacle course in the woods, 2 playgrounds, a heated pool, a nice mini-golf course, video games, a miniature movie theater, a pond (which was disappointingly scummy due to the lack of rain and therefore all boat rentals were disallowed), and 3 and/or 4 wheeled cycles that could be rented. We did NOT rent them because they were insanely expensive, but they were still cool. Obviously this was a different environment from the deep wilds of the state park!

After a morning a fun and excitement, we went to FSG's and just hung around chatting. Well, actually (< There's that word again. I can't escape it!) we didn't get there exactly when we planned because of the Krispy Kreme Donut adventure...

Mm, who as I mentioned before has an admirable sense of direction, thought he remembered where Krispy Kreme was located. Wouldn't it be fun to take donuts to FSG and J??? Of course it would! Never mind the facts that KK are MM's absolute favorite donuts in the whole wide world and that there are no, none, zilch, nada KKs in Maine. In other words, Mm REALLY wanted the donuts for himself. Well, he got lost and our 30 minute commute ended up being well over an hour, but now that he has it figured out I can guarantee you he will never get lost finding that particular Krispy Kreme again.

The long and short of it is that we had donuts for lunch (yes, he shared!) and ate out at a restaurant around 3:30 when we were all starving again. It was highly irregular and very fun! And so...visit, visit, visit and another night on the ground.

Thursday Strangely, I don't remember Thursday. I know it was there, but I can't for the life of me recall where we went or what we did. However, I am quite certain that went there and did it with Funsocksgirl and that the J-Man joined us after work.

I do recall that it was hot. VERY hot and that our campsite received the full afternoon sun. Ugh! It was quite the experience after nearly freezing to death at Blue Hill and in Vermont...

I am also sure that the day included the obstacle course. The girls LOVED the obstacle course! It also saw us running from the jellow jackets. They were everywhere and if you so much as had a sweet thought they were swarming you. The girls ate most of their meals in the car!

Hey...maybe this was the day we played at the playground by FSG's apartment...

Then again I recall some nail painting by the sisters. Was THAT on Thursday?

Perhaps this was the evening we rushed back so the girls could swim in the pool. It reportedly closed at "dusk" and we got back right around sunset. Mm rushed into the office to see if had time to swim or if they were going to close it any second now and we'd be wasting time getting changed.

Mm: We just got in and we'd like to swim. What time does the pool close?

Helpful Lady: Dusk.

Mm: When IS dusk? Is it now? Is it in 30 minutes? Is it in an hour?

Helpful Lady: I dunno....dusk is, um, at dusk, I guess....

Mm: (looking her in the eye) My kids want to swim NOW, do they have time to change and swim or are you going to close the pool while they're changing?

Helpful Lady: (uncomfortably. Mm can be very intimidating when he wears his "dark and threatening storm cloud" look) I dunno...I guess you can swim if you want to.

The girls swam. Mulletman and I just dipped our blue toes. Apparently "heated" is not a synonym for "warm".

And then? You guessed it; Off to sleep on the ground in a hot, stuffy tent. Actually (Dang, there it is AGAIN!), I'm using the term "sleep" rather loosely. The girls are the ones who made the beds in the tent. That is one of their camping jobs. They put me by the wall, then Silly-Head, then Girly-Girl, then Mulletman. Theoretically, this was a pleasant and cozy arrangement. In reality it was horrible. Silly-Head kept sitting up and then laying RIGHT ON TOP OF ME. I'd have to sit up to push and shove to get her back onto her own sleeping bag. This would have been much simpler if Girly0Girl would stay in HER own sleeping bag, but no, she was in Silly-Head's. It was exhausting and it is one the prime reasons why I am NOT a fan of the family bed concept. Nope, not me, not us, no way!

We tried rearranging the beds, but then I just ended up with Girly-Girl across my middle.

Need I point out to you that happened EVERY SINGLE NIGHT that we camped except for the very last night because a storm had broken the heat and it was actually (Ack!) cool enough to zip the sleeping bags. It appears that girls who are zipped up inside their cocoons do not wander at night. Aha!

Friday We played a bit around the campsite, then Mm took the girls and went to retrieve FSG so she could spend a day with us in camp. I had a blissful 2 hours of quiet while they were gone.


Then: Obstacle course, swimming in the pool, FSG gets kicked out of the pool for wearing shorts instead of a swim suit, indignant Groovy fam loads up in the car to seek on the finger lakes where FSG can swim wearing anything she darn well pleases.

The park at Canandaigua lake was gorgeous and refreshing. It was very sunny and hot, but there was a strong wind to keep it breathable. The sand beach was "locked", but everyone else was going around the gates to swim and sun themselves, so we were daring lawbreakers and joined them. The wind was whipping up so many waves that it felt like we were at the ocean!

J-Man joined us back at camp for pancakes and bacon and yellow jacket dodging as well as another round of the obstacle course. Then the playground and finally the Great Minigolf Championship of the World. J-Man came in first and FSG came in last with the rest of sandwiched in between. Truthfully, Silly-Head would have been last, but the scorekeeper (that would be moi) cut her quite a bit of slack. There were no lights on the course, so we played the last 2-3 holes in the dark. We LOVE challenges!

Saturday The J-Man was off work (Yea!!) so we all headed over to the Strong Museum of Play which is the absolute BEST children's museum in the world, bar none. If you ever get over to Rochester, NY you MUST go there! There are so many fun things to do and there's a train ride and a lovely carousel that only cost 50¢ per ride for the kiddies; parents (and adult siblings) are free! How fun is that?

After so much amusement, we needed some good food, so we went to Cracker Barrel which we also don't have in Maine (grumble, grumble). It was awesome! Then it was off to the apartment to watch the ever enthralling "The Incredible Mr. Limpit"

It just doesn't get any better than that.

Then another night in the tent. I might mention here that I have given up any and all dreams of ever hiking the Appalachian Trail. I think I could stand the days and days and days and days of hiking and weird food and no showers, but that sleeping on the ground every night would kill me! Unless I took 2 Benedryl every night.

I took 2 on this night because I was so incredibly strung-out and exhausted. It was the only night on the whole trip that I slept from start to finish (helped by the cooler temps).

This has led me to the conclusion that sleeping effectively on the ground requires 3 things: 1.) cool temps, 2.) sheer exhaustion, and 3.) drugs.

Remember that next time YOU camp!

This blog entry is suddenly being interrupted by life. The phone keeps ringing. The kids are just starting their chores at 10:00am, I have appointments, there are still party prep activities to be completed. I'm calling apartment possibilities for my Mom to hopefully secure a home for her and side-step the horrific cat conundrum (2 folks here are allergic and she wants to bring her kitties with her, so she has to either ditch the cats and move in with us or get her own place before we bring her up which she can't do because she's a zillion miles away so I have to do it for her) and I desparately want to just can school for the day but I can't because we are WAAAAAAAY behind with no catch-up in sight. As it stands right now we may be having school on Christmas Day. Gag! Because, before the vacation of which I am currently apprising you, we only had 3 whole days of school. However, I did count the museum trip as a field trip, so that makes 4. 4 out of 175 and we'll miss 4 days next week (trip to see Scout graduate in KY) and probably a week in October (moving Mom up to Maine) and then we'll probably miss a whole 'nother week because I'll be in the asylum.


But because I love you all (Mwa!) and because I am so darned committed, I WILL finish this stinkin' entry before MM gets home tonight (God willing).

OK, I'm back. Executive decision has been made: I'm too stressed to try school. We'll just do it Sunday afternoon. I know that's s'posed to be our day of rest, but we'll pray alot between lessons, alright?

Right now I'm going to finish this blog entry because blogging is therapeutic and I NEED therapy right now. ;-)
Back to our story...

Sunday we awoke to the sound of rain. This would have been no big deal except that we needed to pack everything up before church...

Fortunately, we had good attitudes. The rain settled down to a light constant sprinkle and with some patience, we were able to get the car loaded up in good time. Then Mm drove us over to the bathrooms to shower before church. That's when I realized that my back was itchy, REALLY itchy. A peek in the mirror revealed that, oh joy, I was having a reaction to all that fun sunshine the day before. Stupid allergy!

We showered and changed and raided Tim Horton's. We would have gone to Cracker Barrell, but we feared it would take too long and we'd be late to church. Phooey!

Church was lovely, then lunch with the kids Funsocksgirl and the J-Man. They presented Girly-Girl with her birthday present...no wait, that was on Saturday; She wore her present (a pretty little dress) on Sunday to church. Oh well, I'm confused yet I shall plow on because I'm rather disinclined to rewrite everything to accomodate my boo-boo. Sunday was when they gave me MY birthday present (mine is in November. It saved them postage, OK?) - a lovely, LOVELY sweater.

Here's Girly-Girl and her dress of happy purpleness:

Hugs, Kisses, well-wishes and off we went. We took a different route, drove straight through (though we stopped in MA for supper at Cracker Barrell!) and got home by midnight. We've spent the rest of this week catching up and planning for the aforementioned awesome birthday party of death dyeing and colorfulness.

Next on the docket? We (that would be Mm and I. It was too expensive to bring the girlies) are off on Tuesday for KY to enjoy Scout's graduation from IET at Ft. Knox.

I probably won't post again until after that trip.


Unless I need more therapy!


Anonymous said...

"Dusk is at dusk", heh.

Have a safe trip!

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Oh what fun! Love the invitations! LOL! You are a funny silly thing!

Karen said...

oooh, you just reminded me why I don't camp. This body does not rest on the ground. I ache sleeping in my own bed. The ground would render me immobile. Ok, so would not breathing because my CPAP isn't battery-powered.

What a busy time (oh, and I'm a HUGE fan of Cracer Barrel, but I'd have to go to Utah or Idaho to eat at one. Maybe someday they'll come to Washington).

Good luck with the Mom thing. Is there anyone around who could keep her little furry monsters for her until she finds a place? Tolerant neighbors?

By the way, your post is GREAT with brownies! ;)

Unknown said...

I just love it that you are so transparent! and not to worry -- I will come visit you at the asylum! LOL

I would never have skipped this post! It was sheer joy reading it even though I did experience dizziness at certain points!

I feel behind with our school year already too. We did a late vacation this year and got a late start!

I'm so sorry to learn that FSG has fibromyalgia! My aunt suffers from that as well. Fatigue fatigue fatigue! I've read it's a form of arthritis but of the muscles rather than the joints??? I should google it.

Have a safe trip to Scout's graduation. I know you all must be proud. I will await the post about that trip.

groovyoldlady said...

Oh see, BusyMom even leaves succint comments!

Karen, see my happy remarks re: the cats of spoildom on WW (in the bar...)

Pam and Michelle, You are both cuddly-bears and I love you for reading and commenting. I am so moved that there is an actual (There's that stupid word again!) tear in my eye!

Michelle (wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, and striving to be a Proverbs 31 woman) said...

Ok, now I need therapy! WHEW! I'm headed over to BusyMom's site :)
JK...what fun...but, I will not let me my son see this site, because then he will be mad about our homeschool schedule :) (Not that he would read it even if I let him see it...no offense! :) )
I wonder what the post after the Ft. Knox will bring?! I will fill up my coffee cup for that one, too!

groovyoldlady said...

Hi Michelle who is all that stuff and more! Come back soon. I may not be here, but your cheerful smile will brighten the room for anyone else who is also here at the same time...without me. Unless of course, I AM here, in which case I'll shut up and let you talk 'cause I've said quite enough!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the holiday of a lifetime. Can't wait to hear how many people 'dyed' at the party. I also love the 'dusk is at dusk' comment. Some people are just so incredibly helpful, aren't they?

Corn Dog said...

That camp ground sounds like so much fun, except for the actual sleeping in the tent. I agree with MM, nothing better than Krispy Kreme. YUMMMMM! AND I love Cracker Barrel too. What a fun post! Glad you all had a good time.

Carole Burant said...

Well darn it...I've now reached the end of your post and for the life of me I can't remember what was at the start, it's been so long! LOL Oh Groovy, you are an absolute riot...it's not just any blog that I would spend half an hour reading a post ya know! hehe Sounds like quite a fun trip except for not sleeping well in the tent...no doubt the others all slept like babies right?? lol xoxo