I want to cook meat on a spit. I think that's what it's called. In the movies they make it look all appealing, the meat sizzling above a bed of coals, and later the juices running as people tear into a literal hunk of meat, their fingers dripping - because of course you eat it with your hands. Think Walking Dead, when Gareth is munching away on that chunk of meat while talking to Bob. Admit it, until you KNEW it was Bob it was pretty appetizing.
There are never any veggies either. Just meat. Sometimes flasks.
If steven can drop a hunk of meat into the burning barrel and then eat it hours later, I should totally be able to do this.
Today I dropped Jordan off at summer camp. She will be gone for five nights. Five!
It's the same camp I went to as a kid, and I loved it! The time away from home, meeting new friends, trying new things, it was always the highlight of my summer.
In the spring I asked her if she still wanted to go to summer camp. Last year she pointed out to me a number of times that other kids she knew had gone to sleep-away camp, and not just to a day camp, so this spring I asked her if she still wanted to go to a sleep-away summer camp, and she jumped at it. I sent away her registration, and a few days later received a confirmation email. She excitedly chose her four activities for the week and was happy to hear that her cousin would be joining her.
As it came closer, I could tell she was nervous. She mentioned a few times recently that she'd miss me. I told her that I'd miss her too, but that I was excited for her to try something new and fun.
Today we packed up the campsite that we had been in for the last few nights, and I took Jordan to have a shower and put on clean clothes, and then we said goodbye to Steven and the other kids and she and I hopped in the car so I could drop her off at summer camp on the way home.
And she immediately burst into tears.
I'm pretty sure I never cried when I had to go to camp as a kid. Anyway, I waved Steven over for one last hug, calmed her down, told her it was for five days and she was going to have lots of fun and we wanted to hear all about it, and then she and I headed for the highway.
For the next hour, we drove along eating snacks and way too many chips, and talked about horseback riding and archery, and that it was cool that she got to spend a whole week with kids her own age doing big kid stuff, and staying up late, and hanging out with one of her favorite cousins, and cool teenager counselors instead of grumpy old parents.
When we arrived at camp we took all her stuff out of the car and made our way down to the check in area, where super-friendly staff told us where to go. Her counselor was waiting for her and led us down to her cabin where we left all her stuff.
The rest of her group was out at the playground with the other counselor, so we went to find them. Jordan held my hand the whole way, and was seriously shy and sweet. I mentioned to the girl that it was kind of funny that she was being so shy, and that in a few hours she'd shine as the goofy kid in the group.
Eventually the meeting bell rang and I left her at the door of the hall, looking worried and uncertain, and I made a break for the car. I know she'll be fine once she feels like she knows the other kids, but it was pretty hard to leave her there and drive away when she looked so worried!
This weekend I took my kids (the husband showed up a day later) and met with my larger, extended family for a weekend camping trip. It was actually our first camping trip this year (I know, weird. Normally it would have been our 3rd or 4th by now), and I was ready to camp it up.
As with any camping trip with young kids (probably older kids too I'm sure, I'm probably kidding myself by thinking that my kids' ridiculousness will end with a little age), there were highlights and lowlights. Lowlights? Lesslights? Almost burnedoutlights? Cringe-worthy moments?
Anyway, let me break it down. Let's start with the good. Because honestly, we love camping, and now that I've gone once I'm kind of mourning the fact that we didn't go sooner.
Jordan managed to sleep in the tent from dusk until dawn one whole time on our camping trip! I know! After the first two nights we were beginning to have our doubts.
Tennyson learned to ride his bike with no hands. Not like I'd do it, a split-second "quick, look! I've let go!" before grabbing back onto the handlebars and careening into a tree. No! He'd ride his bike to the top of the hill we were camping on, and then coast down it, with a little pedaling, and no hands - because Daddy told him it would be easier if he went faster. Over the course of the weekend he spent a lot of time on his bike, hands-free, and not always on hills.
Bike rides to awesome look-outs
Kids who are willing to do anything and try anything, and love all of it
Moms who can plan for and pull off packing and departing for a camping trip all while her husband is at work - including loading the bike rack. Note: ten year olds are not the best at helping to line up the trailer hitch with the trailer. "There! Good!" she says, while the hitch is six inches to the left of the trailer. Her heart was in the right place, and we eventually did it!
A husband who was dragged into summers of camping years ago, and has come to enjoy them as much as I do.
Did I mention smores?
Spending time with family we don't see nearly often enough.
My grandparents and their coffee maker, up and ready for the day before I am!
Elliot was riding as fast as she could from the family use area of the campground, all the way down the path to the park center, when she hit a rut, lost control of her bike, and slid to a stop in the gravel. She managed to get rid of the pesky skin on one side of her face, as well as her elbow, her knee, her side, etc. In the words of the kids - "she was bleeding everywhere!" I thought the top of her foot was bleeding too, but it wasn't. It was just the blood dripping off her face. It was a little traumatic, and I'll admit, I was glad I didn't see it. Of course, this was the hill that we had told the kids repeatedly to ride down with their brakes on, not to pedal as fast as she could to get maximum speed. Saddest little thing ever. Oh wait, Mitchell's story is coming. It's equally as sad.
Tennyson managed to wipe out the day before at the bottom of this hill, just before heading up, and launch himself on top of his handlebars, digging one into his groin area. He assures me that nothing important was hit, but still. It hurts.
Tennyson walked over a point in a wooden platformed path that led from the spirit sands down to the river. He had followed closely behind his older sister and cousin, who had likely only roused the hidden nest of bees from their slumber, and when Tennyson went down the steps over top of them they were up and ready to go. Luckily, he was only stung once. But still, it hurt a lot, and there was much crying and trauma.
Mitchell was behind Tennyson. By now the bees were awake, and he came screaming back up the path with no less than six bee stings in him. He was holding tightly to his arm and screaming unintelligibly, and I thought at first that he had fallen down the stairs and broken or hurt his arm. Eventually we made out: "I walked through a flock of bees and they stung me all over my body!" Happily, Tennyson and the two girls were at the bottom of the path, and the rest of us were at the top, separated only by a bazillion angry bees, which were buzzing around a dropped hat, which Steven managed to run in and grab, getting stung only a couple of times, before leading the three older kids off to the side and up the hill through the bush, where they met back up with the rest of us. Also happily, miles from the trail head, in a cellular dead zone, we found that our kids were indeed not allergic to bee stings.
Jordan spent her first three camping nights in a tent. Except that she got scared and showed back up in the camper halfway through the first two nights. The first night she crawled in with me, the second night - Elliot.
But despite the few camping mishaps, the family time outweighs the bumps and bruises. And once the tears are dried and the scrapes stop bleeding, those are the stories they can't wait to tell anyway.
My kids love going. They bring books and colouring stuff and bikes and outdoor things, and leave the electronics at home, and they love it! They definitely have more energy than me and Steven, and it's all we can do to keep up sometimes, but it's awesome. I can't wait for the next trip.
I need to blog about Mitchell's eye exam experience later, but it'll take a minute to type it out, plus it's kind of funny so I want to do it justice. You'll have to wait.
You meaning me. Because I'm the only one who still comes here. Because every once in a while I'll go back and read my own blog for an hour and laugh at how ridiculously clever I am.
It's true. It's a total vanity blog.
I have 11 weeks until the Manitoba Marathon. I'll be running the half. I was supposed to start my 12 week training program last Monday, but I kind of didn't, because I had the super fun sore throat that only shows up in the mornings, which makes morning runs kind of sucky, and THEN that sore throat turned into Strep Throat on Wednesday night, and that's good for a week of laying on the couch long after the antibiotics have done their thing, insisting I am too sick to complete even the most menial tasks, never mind running.
This has been the worst running winter ever. Last year I'd have been at the track here and there, keeping at least some level of physical ability. This year I have worked almost every day, and there has been no track. After Christmas I got into the habit of getting up most mornings a week and spending 30 or 40 minutes on the treadmill, until I entered the deep, dark period I like to call "I've been sick for months."
Do you find this in your home? This has been the worst winter! Between colds, flus, the crap I coughed up for weeks, strep throat and an ear infection (like I'm a five year old!!), it's been (for months), this cycle where I feel super crummy, and then aaaaalmost get better, then get a little worse, then a little better, then a little worse, etc. Of course, when I feel the least bit less-than-the-picture-of-health, I convince myself that I'd be way better off sleeping an extra 30 minutes, instead of at least just walking on the treadmill.
It's true. I can talk myself out of anything very easily. It's a gift.
Today I did not work. I told myself that it would be a perfect opportunity to go for a run during the day when it was a little warmer, and the sun was out so I wouldn't trip over badgers on my route.
That's never happened, but I do have this fear of wildlife when I do my countryish route before the sun comes up. One never knows.
Anyway, I made it the entire three miles without walking! I was very happy. The last mile was a lot of swearing at myself for considering walking, and it worked! I almost died. I was sweating like I just did 8 miles on an afternoon in July, but it's a start! Now, I only have to add ten miles to that in eleven weeks.