Monday, August 29, 2016

Kid's gotta camp

So then there's this guy, off to 5th grade camp:

They were supposed to limit themselves to one bag of bedding (his has his huge, honkin' rainboots and old shoes in as well) and one bag of old clothes. I told him everything should come home dirty and he looked at me like I had four heads. 

"Liam. You'll be there until Friday. Every pair of skivvies should get worn. Every shirt should get worn. You have rain gear in there if you need it and socks for every day. Things had better get worn!"

Carrie tried to bet me $1 that he wouldn't brush his teeth all week. I informed her that, "just because YOU went a whole week without brushing doesn't mean HE will. Plus, he has his fun flossing thing that he's excited about, so he'll probably brush. "
"I know. That's why I only bet $1. I'm strategic."

*Shudder* Anyway.

They wanted all 5th graders to be dropped off and organized in the high school parking lot and the buses and cargo truck of their Stuff left from there. We've gotten the text saying they've arrived safely at camp and we can't wait to hear the stories of all the fun outdoor activities they'll be doing. 

It took five buses and a Penske truck to get them outta there. Pray for cooperative weather and passion for learning!

How Not to Start a Vacation

So this is the kid who saves her first visit to the ER until we're A) out of network, B) out of state, C) on vacation, or D) all of the above. 

Since, I can't print it upside down anywhere, the answer is just plain old D. 

We left on a Thursday morning to head to the Outer Banks. We spent one night in a hotel en route and then finished off our trip on Friday morning. We made it to Lainie's at noon on Friday. 

By 4:30 PM we were in the ER after a stop in to Urgent Care where we were told that A) they didn't have a pediatric care person and B) based on her symptoms she'd need an ultrasound which they also didn't have so C) report to ER a few miles down the beach.


We inform the ER staff that she's presenting with severe lower right abdominal pain and vomiting so they prep her, do a urine test, get a port in so they can draw blood (and during which we confirmed she is related to her PaPa and Hinrew as she passed out and thrashed around) and ordered an ultrasound. They didn't find any infection in her urine, though she was dehydrated (big surprise to anyone who knows her. Not.) so they ran a bag of fluids, which made her cold. They didn't find an elevated white blood cell count. They didn't find anything enlarged or in any way out of the ordinary during the ultrasound. Based on all of that, they released her and told us to return in several hours if she started a fever, which she also didn't have, or if the pain intensified.

Well, the pain did intensify and had her begging to go back to the ER, which is something I never thought would come out of her mouth especially once she was reminded that they've have to stick her again. It hadn't been anywhere near the timetable they'd told us, either, so cooler heads prevailed and we got some Advil into her for a little while before it came back up, too. She finally got some sleep at around one AM and slept through the rest of the night. She was kept on a clear diet for 24 hours and then some, but she was very much her old self. I'm sure the ocean helped.

I can't say enough good things about the staff. Everyone was calm, friendly, reassuring- everything you want someone to be towards a scared, hurting kid. They all loved her, as she was as sweet and funny as she could be given the circumstances, including telling her male nurse that he smelled good, which tickled him to no end.  

The general consensus seems to be "hormone dump", which freaked her out because she thought that it would hurt like that every single time from here on out. She hasn't officially started anything yet, but Those in the Know are hedging bets on fairly soon and that it won't be that bad again. 

If she hijacks MY cycle, I'm sticking her with the ER bill...


Oops, this was supposed to go in the post farther down. Oh well, think of it as foreknowledge instead of a PS. 

Those of you who keep a weather eye on the horizon will have been aware that lots of us in Ohio and Michigan and Indiana have been spending extra time lately in our basements or bathrooms. We've had several tornado watches and a few warnings and some crazy storms after a summer of very little rain.

The grass went from sharp and stabby to lush and darn-we-gotta-mow-again (we haven't mowed since the weekend before the Christmas in July party- can't complain!) and so have the weeds! The garden isn't really complaining, either, including Damon's Revived Green Bean:

We have a tomato thicket:

And zinnias, determinedly holding on:

Lo and behold, we got a pepper:

And the eggplants are merrily producing:

And because I can't resist, here are some sky pictures after one of our storm cells:

Come on over and play in our basement with us! The kids even got to spend an entire night down there because the warning kept extending later and later in the night. Liam was kinda freaked out, Damon rolled with it the way he mostly rolls with everything, and Carrie was downright cheerful until we told her she'd be sleeping with her brothers. 

Just a boy and his dog

Triskal really is more like a piece of furniture than a pet. We step around her and over her and clean up after her and feed her and take her out, but she rarely gets the true attention she deserves. Here she is, just lappin' it up:

Come on over and give some love to the sweetest old doggie in the house! She's ten and a half and is having a rough summer with this heat and humidity. She still thinks she's much younger than she actually is, and began bounding after me Saturday when I was weeding after some more rain. Then her joints reminded her exactly how old she is and she began hobbling along, poor old thing! She never complains, though, which is more than I can say for the rest of us.

Somebody's been eating apples

I know, I know. Not a vacation post or a now-we're-into-our-school-routine post, but another flora post? Come on!

So we took a wander around the property after the storm(s)* and found this:

There were also plenty of leaves that had been munched. We decided we'd be detectives and investigate further. Here's who we found:

Will the guilty party please stop eating everything!?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Visiting Miss Maudie

I love Maudie's House Rules. We've talked about them at our house, so I wanted to make sure I got a picture of it for the blog (for future reference). Feel free to click on the picture to see it larger.

We always have a nice visit with our Miss Maudie, my Nana's sister. She has just turned 87 and is as much as a hoot as always. She recently joined Facebook, though her email was giving her trouble. That's what Dada and Hinrew are examining while the kids exclaim over their bounty of glow sticks she'd gifted them with. 

We love you, Maudie! Thanks again for taking us out to eat!

Vacation in a Bowl (AKA Throw Muggin Under the Bus)

Blame Muggin for the tastiness you see before you. She coined the mixture of angel food cake, strawberries and Extreme Moose Tracks "Vacation in a Bowl."

I blame her (and let's be fair; Booty Treats, Mike's Hard Black Cherry Lemonade, Fudge Rounds, and peach moscato all were contributing factors themselves...) for the realization when I got home that when I told Lainie I usually weighed one thing and discovered I was five pounds beyond that on the scale that, "oops, I lied!" 

Eh, it was vacation. And it was worth every bite. Every time we had it. Which was more than once. And more than twice. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


So sorry for the following hodge-podge mashup of back to school in the middle of late-to-the-blog vacation anecdotes. I still have to do the Wright Brothers' Memorial post, so keep on me about it or it'll get left behind. My laptop is old (Windows Vista, anyone) and threatens to overheat, so this is all you get for today. Enjoy!

Jolly Roger on Jockey's Ridge

Some of you know that Dada's been bitten by the auction bug. He found the above Jolly Roger kite at an auction and we actually remembered to take it to the beach with us.

 There was a sticky moment when we were ready to head to dinner with Maudie and wanted to hit Jockey's Ridge afterwards and needed the kite... and a piece was missing.

 After searching high and low, we stuffed the kite into the car and had to leave or we'd be late for our dinner date with the birthday girl (Miss Maudie turned 87 and was taking us out to dinner!). As we pulled out of the driveway and headed down the street, Dada's eagle eyes spotted the missing support in the driveway. Amazingly, it was intact, so we popped it into the car and proceeded with our evening.

Liam was very into the whole kite-flying experience. The rest of us enjoyed the sand, the zillions of other kites, the sunset. 

(I don't remember what Lainie's shirt advertised, but the back reads, "Don't ask locals for directions... they're lost one colony already!")

Rest and Relaxation

I don't even know how he still does this, but here's the Damonater, worn out from the beach. He turns into one of those pillbugs who burp and toot through the outtakes of "A Bug's Life" that had me in tears, those rolypoly bugs that the kids used to play with at the old bus stop, like a comma.  

Sound asleep in the middle of the beach house's living room, despite everything going on around him. And I swear his head is tucked under the arm of that chair!

And then there's Thing One in HER comfy reading spot back home:

They remind me of my favorite childhood book by Dr. Seuss, Sleep Book:

Have shut off their voices.
They've all gone to bed
In the beds of their choices.

They're sleeping in bushes. They're sleeping in crannies.
Some on their stomachs, and some on their fannies.

They also remind me of Billy Joel, who sings something about, "people tell you you can't sleep alone in a strange place, then they tell you you can't sleep with somebody else. Ah but sooner or later you sleep in your own space; either way it's okay- you wake up with yourself!"

Something along those lines. It's from "My Life" and I take no credit for any of it. 

I love sleeping.

Morning Light. Yes. Again.

As always, feel free to skip the nature posts if they're not your thing. Now that school has begun, I'm tweaking schedules and missing my early morning time with my birdies and morning light as I'm now making lunches, rousing kids, double checking paperwork, setting my coffee down again, you get the idea.

I tried to sneak a donut with my coffee one of those last mornings of summer:

Haha, as you can see, that didn't work well at all. So I looked around and stealthily swiped the camera lens with my shirt like you're never supposed to do and then took this:

I was delighted with the streaky sunbeams and took the rest of these.

And some other ones, but I'll only show you these last two of the noisy geese landing in the field across the street: