I was busy with family all week last week. Honestly. Brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, mother-in-law, nephews, Hubster and kids. Sooooooo busy. And then there were zombie sock monkeys to crochet…
This is exactly what it’s like to go on vacation with Hubster. I have been married to this man for almost 20 years, and he has just about damn near killed me every one of those years by taking me on vacation. I remember our honeymoon. It was a death-march through Disney World. In Montreal, he walked us up and down the mountainside of the Mont Royal cemetery, looking for some mythical passageway to the park on the other side of the hill. He never found it, and when I slipped and fell in red clay mud and ruined my best linen skirt, trying to follow him down a steep path, I nearly killed him and left him there among the crypts. And then there was the time he nearly killed my aging mother by walking her to death in the Virginia Zoo.
Anyway. A week and a half ago, the kids had a four-day holiday from school, so at the last minute, Hubster planned a trip to the Shenandoah Mountains. He and I both went to college at Virginia Tech, so we love it up there. The kids had never been, and we hadn’t had a vacation in the last couple years, so I thought, why not? It was only four days, and surely the kids would slow him down…
We headed to the Shenandoah National Park on Thursday and spent the night at the Big Meadows Lodge. Beautiful place, absolutely gorgeous. The main lodge has a large sitting room with lots of comfy chairs and couches, a roaring fire place, and a big picture window view of the mountains. While Hubster played checkers with the kids, I sat on one of the comfy couches and crocheted contentedly.
It was the last peaceful moment I had all weekend.
Before dawn the next morning, Hubster got us all up so we could hike to one of the local viewing spots and see the sun rise. The kids started complaining right off the bat, but I knew it was way too early for that yet. This was only the first of many hikes Hubster had planned for the day. When we made it to our destination and the sun came up, the kids suddenly got all ecstatic! ”WOOHOO! WE HIKED ALL THE WAY OUT HERE BEFORE THE SUN CAME UP!! IT’S SO BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL OUT HERE!! NOW CAN WE GET BREAKFAST?!”
So we hiked back to the lodge, had breakfast, packed up the car, and checked out before heading out on our next hike. Which was considerably longer and tougher than the first one. And the hikes only got longer and tougher from there.
Long story short, the kids discovered that day what I had known for two decades. Given the chance, their father will walk until every member of the family falls to the ground dead. And then he’ll keep walking, not realizing he’s left us all behind. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t love us. I know he does. But the man has to walk. And since I married him, I have to walk to. Until death do us part.
I’ll try to post pics from the trip later on in the week. As exhausting as this trip was, it was beautiful.
I am having waaaay too much fun today with my computer. Here’s one of the signs I’m putting together for the March To Keep Fear Alive. This is the fault of the Hubster, Mich, and myself, so you know who to blame.
This is the poster Princess will be carrying at the march. Now to see if I can get this printed in time for October 30th!
Huzzah! My “Fear Me” t-shirt arrived today. Zazzle did a great job with printing this one up. Here’s a pic:
And yes, those are my actual boobs inside that t-shirt. Love how the shirt fits, by the way. I can’t wait to wear this to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear!
Look what I made! The “Fear Me” t-shirt is now up for sale on Zazzle.com. After receiving many excellent suggestions as to where to donate the profits for t-shirt sales, I decided in the end to give the money to DonorsChoose.org. First, DonorsChoose.org is the charity promoted by the Colbert Report. Second, it’s a charity that supports education, and this t-shirt is about the dangers of educated women. Third, it meets the standards of accountability for the BBB. And fourth, they accept donations through PayPal, which made it easy for me to send the money straight to them, as opposed to having it come to me first and then I send it to them. (I like not having to be the middle man.)
The shirt is available in all colors, though for the red t-shirts, I obviously had to change the text color to bright orange as opposed to dark red. If you buy the shirt today, you can still get the Columbus Day sale price (14.92% of the price of the order). Just use the code 1492COLUMBUS when you check out. And remember, the profits go to a worthy cause. DonorsChoose.org lets you make donations to classrooms in need, and there are plenty of classrooms out there that need help. So go buy a t-shirt. Or skip the t-shirt and just make a donation straight to DonorsChoose.org instead. Either is all right with me!
Okay, here are the three options I’ve come up with the t-shirt I intend to wear at the rally. I can get a red t-shirt done at Zazzle.com, although it’s a very dark red, so I may end up changing the text to white. Or I might just go with the design on a black t-shirt in red lettering, or black or red lettering on a white t-shirt. But here are the basic ideas. They all use the same “Fear Me” text, just different fonts and a little artwork on the third one. Which one do you like?
So I’m going to the March to Keep Fear Alive, and decided I need to have something fun to wear. I’m not going as my greatest fear, but as the greatest fear of a lot of people I’ve met – an intelligent, aggressive woman. Now before you all get excited, no, I will not be going wearing a corset, thigh high leather boots, and carrying a whip. I know, you’re disappointed. This is a family event though, so I thought I should wear something a little more family oriented. Like a custom t-shirt to go with my favorite pair of devil horns (oh yes, I must wear my horns). Through out today and tomorrow I’ll be posting potential t-shirt designs for folks to look at and let me know what looks best. Here’s the first. most simplistic design so far…
I think it gets the basic idea across, but I want to do more with it. We’ll see what I come up with.
By the way, visit http://www.keepfearalive.com/ to find out more about the March to Keep Fear Alive on 30 October. Or if you’re like my traitor Hubster and you plan to go to a certain other event, you can visit http://www.rallytorestoresanity.com/ and pretend you’re sane. Like I would believe that.
Any way, fear me.
We spent most of the day at Norfolk Botanical Gardens today. I think I’ll let the pictures I took do the talking for today’s blog post.
A rainbow in the clouds…
Good day, sunshine!
Re-purposed fallen trees make a great kids’ trail…
No idea what species butterfly or flower these were, but they were beautiful together.
Brightly colored birdhouses on a rainy afternoon.
Time to head home.
Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday.
I know, I know. I’m running late again. I apologize. The Hubster had a paper to write this weekend for a big important conference, so my little blogging adventures kind of got pushed to the side by a double helping of weekend child-rearing activities. It’s okay though. I’m here now.
Anyway, I thought I’d talk a little about Operation Kill A Lot Of Plants, since I haven’t mentioned it in a while. So far, most of the plants are doing… okay. Not terrific, but not dead. For some reason, a few of the plants had a delayed growth spurt and are only just now graduating from sproutling to actual plant. The vegetables we planted aren’t exactly producing a bumper crop, probably because I started the seeds so late. I have been told that next year I need to start my seeds in February, which leads me to wonder where the hell I’m going to keep all those tiny plants for the two plus months I’ll have to wait until we’re past the final frost (which I have been told is on Tax Day in April). I also may have not helped things by trying to make a homemade pesticide out of apple cider vinegar, dish soap and hot sauce. That recipe came out of a gardening book I have, and I thought it would help kill the leaf eating pests we’ve been having problems with. Well it did, but it also caused the plants to shrivel up and nearly die too.
In spite of my attempts at planticide, we do have a few ears of corn coming up, but the bugs got one and now the others seem to afraid to come out of their husks. We have the odd tiny green tomato and banana pepper hanging on the plant. The herbs have done the best, though for some reason my basil took forever to hit puberty (do plants do puberty? I dunno).
The best grower by far has been the beans we planted. I have no frikkin’ clue anymore what kind of beans we’ve planted, but they grew like weeds, trailing all around the tomato cages I set up around them. We harvested about 25 pods and got enough beans out of those to feed myself and both girls one serving of beans each. They turned purple when I boiled them (the beans, not the girls), and the girls thought that was a little too weird so yours truly is the only one who would eat them. For the record, if I die suddenly in the next few days, it was probably the beans.
The rest of the yard isn’t looking too bad, except for the one side where the Hubster planted a slew of creeping juniper a few years back. I hate creeping juniper. Weeds get in there and the only way to kill them is to reach into the prickly, scratchy branches of the juniper to pull them out. I tore up my arms good this past weekend and only managed to weed about a square foot. I’ve still got another twelve square feet or so to go. Joy!
But the flower garden in the side yard looks good, as does the small herb garden in the back, plus a few other odds and ends I’ve managed not to kill over the years. Here are a few photos I took a week or so ago.
Princess, standing by the towering Russian blue sage in the side flower garden. I’ve also got some calla lilies in there, plus some daisies, yarrow and button flowers and a few other things I can’t recall the names of.
The containers of herbs on the back deck. Note the delightful chalk art the kids drew for me!
Our vegetable container garden. The big bushy thing is the beans I ate that are probably going to kill me. And next to that is our stunted corn.
A mixed pot of sunflowers, colieosus, and marigolds. Probably the weirdest combination of plants ever thrown together, but they’re doing pretty good. Nothing’s blooming yet, of course…
This is not my garden. This is Norfolk Botanical Garden, about an hour from where I live. Norfolk Botanical Garden is gorgeous. I wish I could get my yard to look even a little bit like it. Yes, they teach gardening classes there. Would they help improve my black thumb? Probably not. Drives me crazy.
Anyway, that’s what’s going on with Operation Kill A Lot Of Plants. It’s not a roaring success, but we are getting outside and digging around in the dirt, and I consider that a sign of success, even if all we manage to grow is a bunch of purple beans that kill me.
I’ve had a lousy week do to work issues, and I’m so fed up and frustrated that I can’t seem to stop snapping at my kids. I hate being the Grinch, so I decided to take a little time off from my obsessing about stuff that I can do absolutely nothing to fix and spend an evening just enjoying my girls instead. Cassie needed to make a Christmas ornament for her bus driver and Sam was in a pissy mood because Cass has all the good play jewelry and she wanted something new. So I broke out all my old beading stuff and this is what we made.
Cassie’s holiday ornament. She did most of this herself. I helped by bending the wires after she beaded them and then finishing things off by making the final loop for the hook. Otherwise, everything else is all her work.
Sam’s new necklace. I used memory wire, which holds its shape forever. That way I didn’t have to add a clasp to the ends or tie anything off. She can just slip it around her neck, but it still has an opening so the necklace will come off if it gets caught on anything. Sam picked out the beads and handed them to me. I did the stringing and finished off the ends with some needlenose pliers.
There was a lot of fussing and fighting over beads and who got Mommy’s help when, but all of that taught me a very important lesson. Doing any sort of craft thing with kids can be frustrating and stressful, but not nearly as frustrating and stressful as what some adults (who should know better) do to others. I’ll take my girls over most adults any day of the week.