"The dragonfly is symbol of renewal, positive force and the power of life in general; also a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity, a creature of the wind, it represents change. And as a dragonfly lives a short life, it knows it must live its life to the fullest"
Initially my blog was about my kayaking adventures - but I have decided to include other events, photos, and day to day activities and thoughts at times. A "Bunch" of stuff. Glad you're here. Your comments are welcome.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camping - a get together

Friday 7/23/10 through Sunday 7/25/10 - What a get together this turned out to be!

I was off work on Friday, so I got the last minute items ready for the camping weekend. Went to King's to get the hotdogs, chicken wings and other things we needed. After I got the grub, and had packed the car, except for the cooler, I had some time, so I worked on my rug hooking a little. I remembered that I had forgot to buy the buns for the hotdogs and hamburgers, so I went back to Kings. I'm glad it's only a couple of miles from my house. Sharon had also left work earlier than planned, so she and Jessica got to the house about 2:00. She drove her truck so she could transport her new kayak.

After we checked in at the park office, the first thing we did when we got to the cabin was decide who gets which bunk. Renee got first choice, then "toes" Jessica. After that was decided, we unpacked the cars and got everything organized on the extra bunk we used as our counter top. During the stay, Jessica changed her mind about the bunk, the first one was above me and was questionable, so she picked the one above her mom, that was too hot and close to the light bulb, then the top one above the AC was too close to ceiling or something. So, we took the stuff off the lower bunk near the AC and she had a good night's sleep.

We made sandwiches for lunch, while the AC was cooling down the cabin. Jessica is stuffing down some of her rice krispy/marshmellow treats she fixed just for the camping trip. (Delicious Jess, thanks!!)

After lunch, Sharon and Jessica took their kayak out. The water was very calm. The people in cabin #4 next to us had their motor boat tied up at the small landing spot, so I asked them if they could tie it over just to give us room to launch our kayaks. The man was nice and later that day tied his boat over a bit, but it was still not good enough, so we found a little space further down to enter the water.

Renee' watching Sharon and Jessica in the kayak, and laughing.

Later that afternoon, Sharon and Jessica and I started a game of stitchopoly, during which we took several breaks. Renee' said she didn't want to play a game with us. I really don't like monopoly, but the "stitching" words made it a little more interesting to me.
We cooked hotdogs on the griddle on the Coleman stove, cut up onions, set the picnic table, and then I discovered I had baked beans that I could not open, so I went and asked the man in #4 if they had one we could borrow. He said he only lived a few miles from there and was going home to feed his dogs and would bring us back one - like I said a nice man. (I still think he should not have docked his boat where he did, but we made it, really - doesn't there have to be one little thing that isn't quite right??)
It was almost dark when we finished our supper, the crickets and night creatures were chirping, the breeze was just right and the moon was huge, giving enough light to see the water glistening.

Everybody made their way to and from the facilities,
We finished our game. I lost, went bankrupt, had to mortgage my property, give it to Sharon, and I believe Sharon was the winner. (Leave a comment if I'm wrong Jessica and Sharon).
Renee' brought her bear, the one Aunt Nancy gave her. Jessica had brought her bear to sleep with also. I said, "Oh no, I forgot to bring my little lamb" and you can guess, Renee' let me sleep with her bear. (The second night, she slept with it.)
We were in our bunks by 12:30. Nobody could go to sleep, it was like a slumber party. Jessica thought she saw something crawling on Sharon's covers - of course the lights came on, a search was made, nothing found, but then we were really not sleepy. Renee' and Sharon read by a night light, and after a few "goodnight John Boys" we were off to dream land, at least I was!

Sharon was able to take this picture - a yellow butterfly which, like my dragonfly, is their kayaking symbol. There were two on the bush, while Jessica was kayaking. Pretty cool.

Saturday, 7-24-10:

Up early enough to see the sun rise and the water looked like glass. Jessica and I decided to fishing so we went to the store for our fishing worms.

Jessica fishing from her kayak. I stood on the bank and tried a little fishing while Jessica really enjoyed herself. I threw back all the ones I caught, just about the size to be called minnows. One of her fish dropped into her kayak and she let out a squeal. I wondered about trying to fish from kayak - you know, hooks and inflatable kayaks might not be a good mix!
After about an hour, we were getting hungry, so we headed back to the cabin for some breakfast. I thought surely Sharon would have us a four-course meal prepared, but she and Renee' were sleeping so peacefully. So, about 9:30 I fried bacon and eggs, instant grits, milk/OJ, pretty good breakfast. You even have to wash dishes in the mountains.
At 10:30 I was fishing from my kayak, pretty okay. If the water had less current, it may have been a little better - or maybe I need an anchor! Concentrating on not letting the hook accidentally hit the kayak, and trying to watch the cork and stay out it's way at the same time was rather challenging. Besides, the fish weren't biting and it was so hot. Sharon was in her kayak and Jessica was swimming all over the place. Naps would be coming up soon for sure.
Back on the porch, it was shady and a nice breeze was keeping me from melting in the heat. We were talking about lunch, and got the picnic table prepared for lunch. Marilyn and Seth came by and shortly after, my friend Barbara came. Sharon made up the hamburgers, and Seth agreed (promise I didn't threaten him) to start the charcoal and to cook. I hate to admit it, but since we had such a good chef, we decided to go ahead and cook the hamburgers and the hotdogs and the chicken wings - left overs were be just fine. Next time Seth might get a contract before taking on "starting the charcoal". We had the hotdogs, then the hamburgers. Marilyn brought some home grown tomatoes - yum. Barbara brought me some cherries, which I have never had and they are really good. (In fact, I brought some to work and am munching on them as I work on my blog.) Barbara came by to see how it was because she and some of her grandkids maybe are coming to camp in September and will be staying in #4. After lunch, Barbara had to leave.

Chef Seth lighting the charcoal. Sharon preparing the hamburger. On second thought, I believe that makes Sharon the chef! Sorry Seth, you have to be the chief cook.

Thought I would get some hints about how to use charcoal from Seth. Bottom line "you gotta be patient" - Marilyn heard that and laughed out loud - "Now you know where I got it from," she said to Seth. Okay, okay, I have to be patient! Let the fluid soak into the charcoal, then wait for the charcoal to turn grey, don't put the food on after the first few flames! I think I know how now, tune in to next camping entry, I'll let you know (unless Seth shows up - or somebody else offers to do the cooking)

After slaving over the hot grill in the 100 degree temps, Seth finally got to eat his lunch, poor baby. Really, THANKS much Seth, you made it a perfect meal.
Sharon washing her hands. We have a wash bowl and a rinse bowl.
Seth cleaning the grill (above and beyond, Seth!)

Nothing makes me happier than to see Renee' happy. Marilyn used my life vest - and - my shoes. Silly girl, she don't want to touch the scary things on the bottom of the lake. She commented on how the life vest gave her cleavage. I told her yeah, until you get old and then it gives you more crevices! Another funny memory.

Renee' and I sat under the trees while everyone went swimming. I heard a car pull in, and was surprised to see Mom and Dad. They came to see the place and agreed the road to the cabin really did feel like the mountains. Renee' entertained them while I went down to take a few pictures of everybody in the water.

They had already eaten so missed out on the delicious leftovers we had.

"The shoes"
A great day, I have to say! (I have more swimming photos, so will add later)
After everyone left, the four of us rested a little while. Then we decided to actually get in the lake. Renee' wore some shorts that Sharon brought, and just wore what I had on. Swimming will double as a washing machine and shower! We put on our life vests and had a wonderful time. Thank goodness Marilyn left my shoes, I had to wear them (silly me). Of course, Renee' wore her's.

"Come on Nae, we're going swimming" - I love to see her laughing and happy.

Renee' is showing me how to do it.

Renee' and me floating. I'm holding onto her hand for safety (mine!)

We ate some leftovers when we got back. We were all too exhausted to play games. In fact, I don't even think there were any "goodnight john boys". Renee' and Sharon read their books for a short time, but Jessica and I were out in a second.

Sunday 7/25/10:

Slept until about 7:00, later than I planned, so I missed the first sunlight on the lake. After a cup of coffee, Jessica and I packed some junky snacks and water (my cigs), and took the kayaks out for over an hour. The water was like mirrors, the reflections perfect, it was beautiful. We saw a snake, at least that what I think it was, and according to Jessica it was big as one you might find in the jungle. She wanted to take a closer look, but it didn't take a lot of "come on Jesse, it might get in your kayak" before she paddled to catch up with me. I threw one of my black jelly beans in the water (not my favorite flavor). Jessica asked "what was that?" I said a black jelly bean. Well, I had about four wonderful jelly beans in my mouth and she so casually says, "You know Nana they make a jelly bean that is vomit flavor." If only I could swim! I may have tipped her over. I told her "Jessica, not while I've got them in my mouth!!" She said, "Oh sorry Nana, but they do." We laughed and continued with our memory making time.
After we got back, Sharon and I decided to go kayaking. Jessica was tired, so she and Renee' slept.
We would paddle a ways, float and drift, talk, and just sit. Eat animal cookies and jelly beans.
We were sitting in the shade near the bank, everything was so quiet, calm and peaceful. I told Sharon, 'You know sweetie, I can't believe my life is so good. After all the bad things, you know?" Sharon is not one to mince words and easily speaks her mind, and she said "You didn't have any way to go but up." "How true", I said, and "I've got to remember to write that in my journal". We both laughed - making more wonderful memories.

Sharon held the camera up and after a few tries, got a couple of neat pictures while we were kayaking.
We took our kayaks from the lake to the cabin. Jessica cut the watermelon and we ate. I can't beleive I forgot to get pictures. The watermelon was so sweet and juicy, no seeds.
We packed up the cars, Sharon swept the cabin. They took the trash to the dumpster while I turned in the key.
When I started camping, I also began a journal. Everyone wrote an entry (except Mom and Dad, I forgot to ask them; they left too soon), but the entries are just for me to read. I don't believe I will include them in my blog.
GREAT TIME EVERYBODY - Thanks so much for coming to see me and Renee' at our mountain home.