What in the blue blazes? Part 3

May 31, 2007

What fun we had…there was heart pounding extreme water sports…

Yeah, only Elizabeth was brave enough, I sat that one out.

In the afternoons the men would drag out the “Washer Pitch”. This is something completely foreign to me, I had never heard of it until moving to SC Pennsylvania. It’s basically two narrow boards with 3 holes in each one. You have large washers that you pitch into the holes. I still have no idea how the scoring goes. I know that you can take other opponents points away. It’s all very confusing, but very fun to listen to the heckling. It’s a “gentlemen’s sport”. I remember last year when I asked if I could play, you would’ve thought I had three heads the way they looked at me. I was told to go get the other set out of the garage and have the Aunts play with me.

Now, as I mentioned in previous posts, my husbands family is a bit nutty. I fit right in. When we are camping, everyone tends to get real silly, especially…Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob is “that” Uncle. You know the one. He tells really awful jokes, all the kids think he’s weird. He’s the best. He has an imaginary dog named Spot. He will whistle and call Spot when it’s time to go to bed at night. Uncle Bob insisted that Spot slept in our tent to keep the bears away. When it’s 80 degrees out he complains that he’s chilly and needs a coat. He informed me that he forgot to pack his snow shovel in case it snowed. At one point during the weekend he was walking around with clothes pins clipped all over his beard. And every year at Sunday Night Story Telling, he retells the famous Hoss’s Diarrhea incident. It never changes, but also never fails to have everyone just roaring with laughter.

Here’s Uncle Bob taking my picture with his “camera” while I take a picture of him with mine. He gets the best photos…

OK on to Sunday Night, our featured entertainment is a new group (formed last year). The Upper Horse Valley Gang. Let me tell you, these guys are talented. Not just anyone can play in this group. It took Uncle Bob years and years of practice and discipline to play “the pot”. Please, take a few minutes and check this out. It’s really quite silly.

Upper Horse Valley Gang’s #1 hit single

Even worse…someone brought a karaoke machine this year and three of the guys decided they could sing…Elvira. We were all just about rolling in the grass listening to them. I laughed so hard I had tears coming down my face. Enjoy!

Elvira…well sort of

Maybe if you’re all good boys and girls, you can come along too. Oh and did I mention all the knitting I got done while I was there? NO??? Well perhaps that will be in the next post. 😉


Part 2

May 30, 2007

Well sleepy heads, it’s time to roll out…what’s that smell? Is it…bacon?

Why yes! Yes it IS bacon AND sausage AND eggs AND potatoes AND toast.

Let me tell you something folks…these men don’t mess around when it comes to cooking. They have a very serious set up. And not anyone can just sidle on up to the camp fire and start cooking…even my husband is merely a Junior Chef in training.
It starts with “the breakfast table” which is more like an altar. Then they begin to bring out their offerings and pile them high.

Then they begin cooking the food, the delicious aromas waft across camp.

Waiting for breakfast has been known to drive some campers a bit wacky.

Then on Sunday the big chicken cook off begins.

I was a guest commentator last year, but this year Uncle Bob held the “microphone”. Cooks were questioned about technique, the weather, proper coal temperature, even secret recipes…of course they would divulge nothing.
Then Uncle Bob turned the “microphone” to the spectators to get their take on this fierce competition.

Sometimes it’s fun to just sit back and listen to the competitors heckle each other, “Better turn that chicken Bob, yer burnin’ it.” “You’d better get that second rack closer to the coals or its never gonna be done on time Gary.” “Now George, watch it, you know Freda hates dried out chicken.”

They really are ruthless, but the end result is simply mouth watering. I can tell you I would WALK to camp for a campfire breakfast. It’s so good, these guys have been doing this for years, and boy do they know what they are doing. The fire is tended to all day and at any given moment you can find someone cooking a hamburger, roasting a hotdog, or toasting a marshmallow. Mmmmm!

Come on back tomorrow for all the crazy fun that went on.

Memorial Day Weekend (Part 1)

May 29, 2007

Oh my goodness! I needed this past weekend. I had no idea how badly…apparently the Monkey and my hubby did. Hee hee, I have been rather grumpy as of late. We went up to my husband’s Uncle’s Cabin up in the Blue Mountains this weekend and it was just wonderful. We had so much fun, his family is really great…and very nutty. There are many great “camp traditions” that were new to me last summer, and now that I’m married, and a family member, I got to partake of some of the weirdness. Because of the many pictures, this will broken up into parts so you will have to check back each day for more. Let’s get started with Day 1.

Welcome to Six Point Lake. Would you like the grand tour? Down this path leads to a roofed dock that has 5 , yes 5 porch swings and two picnic tables. You can take a leisurely ride on the pontoon boat, or if you are feeling more like some exercise, you can take out one of the two paddleboats. The fun thing to do is to plan ahead (hubby) and be in cahoots with someone on the dock (Uncle Gary) so you take some poor unsuspecting soul (me last year) out in the paddle boat. Then engage them in conversation so they don’t realize how close you are getting to the aerator (giant fountain in the middle of the lake) then at the proper moment, the partner in crime sitting on the dock (Uncle Gary) flips the switch and the aerator turns on soaking you thoroughly. Oh yes, very funny…..when it happens to someone else!
We finally got to use our wedding present from my parents…finally. It’s really great, did just fine during two downpours.
Oh boy did I get picked on for being able to set up the tent all by myself and in just ten minutes too. I was called ‘Ol Mountain Woman and HillBilly. You see they all camp in RV’s. I grew up tent camping. My parents took us kids camping every summer because it’s a cheap vacation when you have 4 kids. My dad and I did a lot camping together too. We really roughed it. Some of my favorite vacations were spent with him in some remote state park. I remember camping a couple of times were you just walked in, cleared a spot and pitched your tent. No facilities whatsoever. Great fun! See? Campers, thats where the Aunt’s and Uncles park their campers. I am standing in the parking space right in front of Uncle Gary and Aunt Virginia’s cabin.

Here is the great pavilion. It’s attached to the garage. It reminds me of a State Park or something. It just looks so professional. Did I mention that Uncle Gary is a retired contractor? Each family has their own picnic table and there is a tiny bench at the end of each picnic table for you to put your picnic basket on with all of your paper goods and condiments. Very cool.

Right over here is where most all of the sillyness goes on. Right around that fire pit. That is also the birth place of some fantastic campfire breakfasts and some really, really, fantastic chicken (check back tomorrow for those).
Well I think that’s enough for today…stop by tomorrow for the gourmet experiences that occured over the weekend! Tomorrow’s theme…campfire food.

The Greenhouse

May 23, 2007

Let me preface this post by apologizing to anyone with dial up. It is very heavy on photos, but I just couldn’t help myself.

Yesterday, after I came home from work, I was out watering my garden when the Monkey approached me and said, in that way that children do, “Boy, I sure wish we could go to the greenhouse.” Then of course she looked at me with that, I’m checking you out to see if your going to go for it, glance. “Yeah…okay, let’s go.” I thought to myself, “Ah, excellent blog fodder.” and grabbed my camera. So we slapped on our sunhats and the Monkey grabbed her parasol and we walked to the greenhouse.

The greenhouse is a short distance from our house, most definitely within walking distance, but certainly not if you are going to be coming home with a lot of plants. Which we often do when my mom comes to visit. It was one of my favorite places to go shortly after I moved here last year, but then, I seemed to forget about it. It’s open year round, but for some reason I never remember it until my mom visits. Shall we……?

That building in the upper left is new this year and next to it is a very large koi pond. They are beautiful…and BIG! They also sell the smaller version for those of us with smaller ponds.

This is one of the best greenhouses I have ever visited. They have everything, and I mean everything you would need for a garden: flower, vegetable, aquatic, or otherwise. A lot of the local landscape companies purchase from there, including my place of employment. The monkey and I always have to visit their windchime gallery and make a little noise. They have the most beautiful (and expensive) windchimes. The baritone chimes are over $300, but oh the sound they make. I am saving up for their “Chapel” chimes, $132. They carry several brands and all of them are just wonderfully tuned. And for those of us with champagne tastes and ginger ale budgets, they do have some cheaper windchimes that sound nice as well.

The greenhouse is run by an Amish family. They employ many of the local Amish girls nearby. It is a very large facility made up of a main building that is filled with your tools, pots and containers, fertilizers and plant food; then there is the aquatic gardening wing, the arborarium (trees), garden furniture, statuary and pottery, 4 HUGE greenhouses, outside they have all of your organic matter and your stones (ranging from sand to boulders). And I’m sure there are many other areas I am forgetting. Anyway, it’s big. On to the flowers!

Here is a shot from inside one of the houses, I wish I had taken a picture with the monkey in the shot for perspective.

They have a little room inside one of the greenhouses that is filled with African violets and carnivorous plants. The monkey and I were trying unsuccessfully to get one of the Venus fly traps to eat our fingers. I really love this shot of the monkey.


This little gentleman really reminded us of a certain little blog namesake we know.

Here are our artsy fartsy shots that the monkey and I took of each other. I like the shot of Monkey best…I have a dimple in my elbow…ugh.

We found this little sentinel standing guard. He just looked so serious.

They have beautiful hanging baskets.

OK, here is a link to all of my gratuitous flowers shots, in all colors, shapes and sizes.

And so, after we had had our fill of flowers and planning gardens that most likely will never happen…we walked home.

And found our neighbor outside ironing, he had just taken some shirts back into the house when I snapped this photo……hmmm, ok.

Ooh! Been Tagged!

May 18, 2007

OK, the nitty gritty first.

I was tagged by the wonderfully charming, Brigitte

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

So without further ado, 8 random facts about me, I hope you learn something new.

1. My graduating class was approximately 98 people. My daughter will be attending a high school where the average graduating class is 600. This scares the crap out of me, but doesn’t phase her a bit.

2. I absolutely HATE going outside after a heavy rain because I HATE the smell of dead worms and I HATE all the little dead worms that are EVERYWHERE! BLECH! Fresh spring rain smell my foot!

3. When I was a child my very best friend in the world was a 94 year old woman named Candace. She was the coolest. She told the best stories. She would have me decorate her house for her for Christmas and she had the very best old ornaments. She was my mom’s boss’s sister. I would visit her nearly every day after school. She had a fantastic doll collection that she left me after she passed away. Not weird china dolls but amazingly costumed dolls collected from all over the world. Every now and then I get them out and cry over them. After she died, my parents bought her house and it was the house I grew up in.

4. I cannot go anywhere with out my chapstick, otherwise I lick my lips until they are good and chapped.

5. I have been to Canada, Mexico, Maine, Kentucky, NY, PA, Virginia, Texas, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. I would like to go to Ireland.

6. My husband has not sent me flowers since the day before he proposed. This is a point of constant ribbing between us. It is all good humored…but damn it, send me some freakin’ flowers!

7. I watch Gray’s Anatomy. It is the only TV I watch. I love Bailey, everyone else is just annoying me right now.

8. I have always laughed at women who say their biological clock is ticking…um, but yesterday I woke up and realized I will be 28 in two months and I have been saying I have plenty of time to have more children for the past 8 years. I only have 2 more years before they put me on the “risk pregnancy” list…um yeah, it’s ticking and now I am so freaking out!

edit: The lovely ladies I have tagged are as follows: Polly, Amy, Chris, Jane, Adelle, Pooch, Bonne Marie, and Cynthia

Summer Camp!

May 17, 2007

The Monkey will be attending her very first summer camp this year and she is very excited and yet a little nervous as well. This will be her very first stay away from home that is not at a grandparents or other family members. I have so many great memories from both Girl Scout Camp and Delta Lake Bible Camp. I loved arts and crafts. I loved the nature hikes. I…yes, I’m weird, I even loved the food. I remember singing really silly songs around campfires. I remember swimming in the lake…even going “polar bear” swimming, which was really cool. We got up at 5:00 am and went swimming, the air temp was so much cooler than the water that the lake felt like bath water. And of course the best part yet…a whole week without parents! Weeeeee!

Anyway, to help ease her fears and get her psyched for camp we are having a contest! Leave us a comment, for the Monkey, telling about your favorite summer camp experience or your best summer camp advice. The contest will end on Friday June 1st at 5:00 pm (eastern daylight time) and the randomly selected winner will win….are you ready for this great prize?

A smores kit: chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers. MmmmmHhhmmm!

Grrrrr, technology.

May 16, 2007

Yesterday I noticed that our webmail was crawling down to an absolute stand still so I wasn’t surprised to receive the email at 6:00 pm telling us to be sure and get all of our email before 11:00 pm (talk about short notice) as they are having server problems and will be immediately switching over to a new server. Whew, how was that for a run on sentence.

So, to Aunt Brenda, Brigitte, and Amanda…thanks so much for the lovely comments. To anyone else whose email has been lost in the great abyss, please resend. Thanks guys!