Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The sands of time....

Well, we rounded off the end of our summer with as much camping as we could cram in! Below, Uncle teaches the girls some of the finer touches of fishing! Luci pays attention to what's being said, but doesn't have the patience that Drew does for it. After a few minutes of not catching anything, she's ready to go home!

Uncle's trophy fish!

Luci had a little more luck than Uncle!

Drew's prize!

We took our 2nd annual "Uncle Camping Trip" to Carry Falls Reservoir. Normally, we love to camp in our fifth wheel which is convenient as everything we need is packed away in bins and cupboards. If it gets hot, we have A/C...if it gets cold, we have a furnace. And it's only a few years old, so it's got a bit of luxury in it as well. In all, it is wonderful. But before we bought it (and the other 2 we had before it) we did a lot of tent camping. It was great until Drew came along. Taking a baby tenting is alright as long as the weather stays warm, but after a particularly cold night with 50 pounds of blankets on her, she decided she'd had enough and told the entire campground at midnight that she was unhappy!! That's when the camper idea was born! But anyway, we had gotten away from tent camping for this reason and hadn't done it in years. Last year, Uncle (my brother, Thadd) decided the girls were old enough and convinced us to give it another try. Last year's trip was to the Adirondacks, Raquette Lake, in a lean-to for the weekend. The girls LOVED it! So we decided to do at least one tent trip per year...with Uncle deciding the location. He despises campgrounds and loves to find out of the way places without close neighbors...usually places you can only reach by boat. This year's trip was no exception! We boated to an island (the water was low in the reservoir, so it was more like a penninsula) and set up camp in a clearing amongst the trees. The entire island was surrounded by sandy beach and it was very shallow so the kids had a ball! So did the dogs as they were allowed to roam freely. Below is a partial shot of our campsite. Uncle's tent is the small yellow one in the distance, our borrowed tent was off to the left, Julie's started out behind me (as I took this shot) but was moved twice, and Heather's tent ended up where Julie's started. All in attendance were, Dean and I and the girls, Papa, Thadd, Julie, Jim, Hannah and Ben, and Heather, Nick, Liz, Grace and Hannah. And 6 dogs total! It was a great trip! The kids never got bored as they were constantly on the beach or in the water. We brought our canoe and Uncle brought my mom's kayak and we had both my dad's boat and Jim's boat. Fishing, swimming, kayaking, napping...there was so much to do...or nothing at all!

A panoramic beach shot of Luci on the beach.

One of the favorite things to do...napping! Drew and Monty take advantage of Daddy's favorite position!

Hannah spent a little too much time on the beach without her sunblock!!!

Heather and Thadd ponder the wonders of Mother Nature..

The girls and Uncle at dusk(minus Drew, Grace, Liz and Hannah S.). The sunsets and sunrises were outstanding!

We then spent a week at Cole's Creek State Park in Waddington, NY. Drew, Luci and my neice and nephew, Sonja and Max pile on Dean! Monty and Bear get in on the action, too!

The kids get goofy with Dean's hat. Luci.




Even Bear likes it!

Drew gets snuggy with Grandpa. Their camper was a few sites away. Dan and Tina's camper was in between ours and Grandma and Grandpa's.

The girls do some hand stands in the water.

Swimming in the COLD St. Lawrence River!

Bathing beauties!

The first day of school....YAY!!! 9 whole hours of solitude for Mommy!! I just LOVE working from home! I'm lucky indeed! Luci shows us her first day outfit. She's such a cutie!

Drew's outfit...my little beauty!

How can anyone not be stunned by these two gorgeous girls???

On the second day, they began taking the bus. Here they wait for it's arrival.

Luci was SOOO excited to be taking the bus!

For the first time in 17 years, our school district started school BEFORE Labor Day. And what do we ALWAYS do on Labor Day weekend?? Well, camp, of course!!! After a much needed change in venue, we chose Meacham Lake outside of Saranac Lake to spend the long weekend. Santa Claus came early at our house when Papa surprised us with a brand new tent! It is the green and yellow one on the right. Papa's is the other one on top of the platform. Uncle stayed with Papa and the girls and Dean and I stayed in ours the first night. It was just the six of us with all our 6 dogs. Heather and her kids stayed in another site a bit away, but they came frequently to hang out at our waterfront site with us. On Saturday, Dan, Tina and the kids and Bear showed up and we made room in our huge new tent for all of them! Another great tent trip!

And this glorious scene was our view each and every morning! Beautiful!

The girls found some old birch bark on the ground and decided it looked like bacon. Here they are "cooking" the bacon, just like Daddy does it!

Papa took the girls out in the boat to do some fishing everyday. Here, Drew looks on as Papa rigs up the poles.

Luci is always posing and wants you to take her picture! Say cheese, daddy!

The lighting was just right to capture the beauty that is Drew! What a knock-out! We'll be beating the boys off with baseball bats for both of them! Ha ha!

Peek-a-boo! Peeking through a lifted tree root on our site!

L to R...Drew, Grace, Hannah and Luci. These cutie-bugs thought wading in the water was fun!

Drew shows us one of the fish she caught...a decent sized perch!

Life is strange and sometimes throws us a curveball now and again. This summer threw me a whopper which nearly damaged my heart beyond repair. But my inner strength is pretty tough and I have come back fighting! I've always said, "Nothing bad can happen that something good doesn't come of it". It's so very true! Life is indeed better than it has been and looks so promising to improve further. Anyway, I desperately needed a night away from life and my friends agreed! They took me out for a Ladie's Night! Below, Dean valiantly offers to be DD for the group of us! Thanks honey!! Complete with chauffeur's hat!

My cousin and wonderful friend Heather shows off her brand new nose ring! It suits her face very well!

L to R...our coven!! Heather, Tina, Julie and me! We started the night at Julie's house and then hit a few bars around town. It's great to have loving, LOYAL friends who will be there to the end!! True friends, indeed!

After a few...

This night had been planned all week, so I had just enough time to make....a voodoo doll!!! Ha ha!! It was very juvenile, but oh so theraputic(sp?)...and great fun as well!! A good friend hurt me very, very much and this was my closure! It kind of looks like her, too! Hee hee!

We stuck pins in her, but that got old. We drove around with her in the car, had her stuck in the sunroof as we drove, put her under the car once...but it just didn't seem like enough until....DEAN sacrifices her to the fire gods!! We put our camper in the backyard, Dan and Tina brought theirs and we had a backyard campout this past weekend. The campfire was the perfect spot for her!

And so the fire burns up this painful chapter of life and I am free to move on!! Thanks girls, for a wonderful and so much fun night! I really needed it! Burn, baby, burn!! Ha ha!!

One last thing in closing...I am stealing an idea from another friend, Jody (thanks for everything!), who uses quotes on her blog posts. I am going to leave one as well....

It is NEVER too late to live happily ever after! (Unknown to me)