Monday, September 5, 2011

My Hunter

Labor Day weekend is one of my favorite times of the summer to camp.  I hate that summer is ending and things are starting to slow down, but I really do love seeing all the hunters walking around the campground in their camo.  And of course, Kev is no different.  I’m sure that all of you know that the Bowhunt here in the Utah began a couple of weekends ago.  Often his cousin and family will come to Woodland and camp over Labor Day too.  The guys will get up early early, shower with their scent-killing soap, put on their special scent-killing deodarant, don their clean camo which has been washed in scent-killing detergent, paint their faces and head into the mountains.  They usually come back about midmorning and spend a good portion of the day with us, having an early dinner, before heading back up.  For some reason, I just think it’s a lot of fun when his world (hunting) and my world (Camperworld) combine and we’re up here together and both really excited to be here (for entirely different reasons I know, but oh well, I'll still take it).  This weekend we’re here alone, but the schedule is much the same.  He’s  been gone in the morning and evenings, but here most of the day.   Kevin doesn’t kill every year.  Bowhunter’s only have a 12% chance of actually getting game because bowhunting is so much harder than hunting with a gun.  As hard as he works at it though, he truly deserves it every season.  Maybe this will be the year.  Go Kev!
I don't know who took this picture.  I'm thinking that he set the timer and took it himself. 
Of course when I found it on the camera, I knew I had to post it, it's so awesome.  Hahaha!

Saturday afternoon Kev took the four-wheeler to go check a camera.
Brinkley was busy playing with friends so Lily was elected to go with him.
Obviously, she had to wear camo too, just in case they had to stalk.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Confessions of a Bananagramaholic

Last month while camping with my family, I talked about the new game we discovered called Bananagrams.  I really want to buy it, but since Walmart is about the only store I shop in, and they don’t sell it, I’ve been in a quandary.  After doing a little research online though, I discovered that if I combine some of the letters from two different Scrabble games then I have the EXACT same thing.  Well luckily I do own two Scrabble games so I came up this weekend with my Bananagrams game assembled and ready to play.  Kev and I played a few times the last few nights, but today, Kev decided not to hunt, so we’ve had a marathon all day.  It’s been so fun, even though out of the 20 times we’ve played, I’ve won maybe three.  And I’m no dummy.  Kev is just a whiz, and really fast.  If only we could get rid of our kids so we could play uninterrupted.  : )  Actually they’ve been pretty good, but of course when they have a question or a need, it’s me they bug, not Kevin.  Hey!  Maybe that’s why he’s always winning.  He’s not smarter.  Thanks to the girls, he can just focus better.  Figures.
Deep concentration.

I seriously won this game.  Yah!!

PS - After writing this post, I discovered that I could actually play by myself too.  And it's pretty much all I want to do.  And do you know what else I discovered?  Without Kevin as an opponent, I win every single game.  : )

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Girl, a Big Bike, and New Friends

Two of the highlights of camping are riding bikes ALL OVER the place, and making new friends.  I can’t think of any camping trip here that the girls haven’t made new friends while riding bikes, playing at the park, or swimming.  And the ultimate fun is when we get here and discover that old friends are camping, so they get a chance to catch up and reacquaint.
That’s been the case this weekend.  And these old friends came in a group of four.  Three brothers and a sister that camp a few times each summer with their grandparents.  It didn’t take long on Friday for them to hook up and they’ve been pretty inseparable since.  This year I have to watch them though.  One little boy apparently has developed a crush on Brinkley.  Understandable, yes.  But still a little unnerving - actually more for me than Kevin.  One day they were playing with Tye and Brinkley kissed him.  And this little boy muttered, “I wish I was a dog.”  Oh, my!  Really?  Luckily, at this age, it’s all just talk and fun, and no real worries.  I don’t even like to think about what is to come though!
Brinkley, Lily and Friends
One of the games they were playing yesterday was Bicycle Switch-Up.  They’d each ride a bike around the loop and then go back and switch bikes with someone else.  Well, one of the new kids that was playing had a pretty big cruiser bike.  Brinkley tried that one out and was done with the “switch-up” part.  She had found her perfect fit on two wheels.  When she finally had to give that bike back, she decided that she could and needed to ride my bike.  So, we lowered the seat and off she went.  Holy cow!  She just might need a new bike for Christmas.  She sure looks grown-up on that big girl bike!
A friend's bike.  Can she ride it?

Of course she can!!

Here she is on my bike.  I didn't see it again the whole camping trip!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tye's Midnight Blues

Tye, the beloved pooch always camps with us and he loves it.  He knows when we start packing and is always very antsy until he gets the invitation to "kennel up" in the car, at which time he hauls butt from the front door and doesn't slow down until he's safely settled in his car seat.  Meaning his seat in the car for all you warped folks that think I may have carried this "babying him" thing a little too far. 

At Family Camp a few weeks ago he was a little whiney - lots of people and out of his element.  But at Camperworld he's a peach.  He stays in the camper when we go to the pool, but mostly lies in his basket in front of the camper waiting for the 3 or 4 times a day that we make the rounds through the campground.  He loves to watch the people go by and especially loves to watch the other pups prancing by, barking and whining a little at each.

So tired.

Oh, who's that?!
At night, he's had various accommodations.  He started off sleeping in the car/burb, but eventually was invited into the camper to sleep in the kitchen under the table.  This summer, however, Kev decided that he could no longer handle being woken by Tye shifting and turning at night and has once again banned him to the burb.  I felt sad about this at first, but Kevin assured me that "Tye loves it.  He thinks it's his own private camper."  I rolled my eyes at this until the first night I put him to bed.  Tye did indeed seem to be excited about hopping up into the burb and would immediately cozy up on his blanket and fall asleep.  And he's such a good boy.  He never barks or makes a peep until we get him out in the morning, even if it's well after the sun has come up.

This trip however, it's cooled off considerably here in the mountains.  The days are still 80, but the nights probably drop into the 40s.  The first morning we brought him in, the girls swore he was shivering from cold, which stressed me out of course.  The 2nd night Kev stayed in town, so I kept him in the camper.  Then last night Kev said he was getting up at 4am anyway to hunt, so Tye might as well stay inside.  That was all Kevin.  I didn't ask that Tye stay inside.  It was Kev's idea.

So, you can understand my confusion when Kevin wakes me up at 3:30am and is livid, seemly at me.  "Your dog better stop whining.  He's out there whining so much that he woke me up.  And he's cost me 25% of my sleep tonight!"  25% of his sleep?  How did he figure that out?  Well, we didn't go to sleep until midnight and apparently Kev was getting up at 4:30 instead of 4:00 and so Tye woke him up an hour early, which is indeed about 25% of his 4-1/2 hour slumber. 

So, whatever.  I'm just trying to figure out why Tye would be whining.  I didn't hear him, but waited and listened, and indeed after a minute he started up again.  "Well," I said, "he doesn't ever do that in the middle of the night, so he must have a problem."  So, I got up, got dressed, put shoes on.  As soon as I opened our bedroom door, Tye hopped up and started dancing and prancing toward the front door like he'd just been offered a weekend pheasant hunting trip and a steak dinner.   So, out we go into the cold of the night and sure enough, as soon as we hit the grass Tye revealed his problem.  And believe me, I could hear it and smell it way before I could see it.  Diarrhea.  Really?  So gross.  So, we wandered around for a few minutes, depositing gifts here and there.  Eventually he seemed ready to go back in, so we headed back.  He curled up in bed and was probably asleep within 30 seconds.  I on the other hand, had to go back and face Kev.

He was still in bed muttering and cursing Tye's name.  Like it was really his fault.  I actually was thinking that Tye was pretty amazing.  A lot of other mutts would have just done their business all over the floor and then Kev would have discovered at 4:30 when he stepped foot out of the bedroom.  Obviously, he's the best dog ever for being able to squeeze his little butt cheeks together and hold it until he could rouse us and get one of us to let him out.  But, I suppose that when you've just lost 25% of your night's sleep, you're not thinking clearly and rationally like that. 

So, Kev did get up a short time later and trudged out into the cold and dark to hunt meat for the family.  And I stayed cozy and warm in bed until 7am, when I was roused again by a whining Tye.  I confess that I am a little concerned about tonight.  He doesn't seem to be completely recovered.  I may just have to sleep in the kitchen under the table with him to head off any whining that may rouse the hunter.

Update:  Tye once again slept in the kitchen, alone without me, and made it through the night just fine.  Whew!  All might be well once again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Golden Chicken

I know what you’re thinking.  What kind of a camping blog includes crockpot recipes on it?  Well, I think we established a while ago, that with my camper trailer, unlimited electricity and water, swimming pool and clubhouse, that I’m not your typical camper.  I recently joined a Facebook Group called Crock Pot girls.  It reminded me how great a crockpot is and I decided to make this trip easier on myself and try some of the recipes.  This is the one I tried tonight and it is really good.  The girls even thought it was great.  I do think that next time I would add a little garlic - real, salt or powder.  Maybe ½ teaspoon to give it a little more flavor.
1 can Golden Mushroom soup
½ c. white cooking wine or apple juice
¼ c. butter
1 pkg cream cheese (I used the Philidelphia Original Cooking Crème cause I got a load of them for 25 cent last time I was at the Poor People’s Store and it worked great)
4 Chicken Breasts
½ - ¾ t. Garlic (as I mentioned above, if you’d like)

Put chicken into pot, combine sauce and pour over chicken.  Set to low and cook for 5 hours.  Serve over angel hair pasta.  Enjoy!

This picture really doesn't do it justice.  I promise it's not at greasy as it looks.  : )

Labor Day Weekend - Yes! My Kids are Missing School

After almost a month’s hiatus, we’re back again and it feels good.  I’ve missed this place.  There have been a lot of changes at the Woodland Camperworld this summer, with a change in park managers.  We truly loved the old managers and felt that they maintained the park meticulously and with a very homey feel.  The new park managers don’t seem to be quite as particular or industrious, are a little cool and immediately started instigating changes that don’t necessarily seem to be in the park’s or the member's best interests.  I mean if it aint broke, don’t fix it, right?  So every time I leave and then return, it’s with a bit of trepidation.  I’m nervous about visible changes that I might see.  Once we get here though and get settled, it still feels like home.
When I told people we were heading up last night, I got a lot of, “What are you doing about the girls?  Are you taking them out of school?”  People seem surprised that I’d take them out for 2 days in the 2nd week.  I don’t know why.  They’re smart.  What’s a two day absence to two smarty pants like Brinkley and Lily?  Plus, I have to be able to take my kids out of school for things that I deem are important, like an occasional trip to Grandmas, the Festival of Trees, and above all, camping.  I have to camp.  And I’ve gotten so spoiled that a two or even three day weekend seems like a lot of effort for too short of an amount of time.  Their teachers should feel lucky that I’ve limited it to two days, instead of a whole week!
Besides, they’re not going to learn anything in school that is more important than what they experience up here.  Even after spending almost every day together for the past 7 years, they still can’t get enough of each other.  And that friendship is priceless and nurturing it is of utmost importance.    Today they also swam and rescued bugs from the pool, thoroughly examining each variety before delivering them safely to the grass.  They flew a kite and learned about the direction of the wind and how that can either lift the kite or slam it into the grass.  And they had plenty of home economics time, each in their own secret club house, picking berries and collecting other leaves and twigs to make their infamous Poo Stew.  And don’t worry.  For those deeply troubled by the flippant way I talk about the quality state offered education, they also spent a little time this morning reading, practicing sight words, and doing some work sheets that I requested that their teachers send home with them.  See, I’m a responsible mom after all.
Lily, catching air.

Brinks has it!
Modeling the super-cool Avatar kite she won during Wharton Wars at Family Camp.