Sep 22, 2011

20 year old wish comes true.

I live in the woods.

Have lived here for 23 years.

I've always thought it looks kind of "beary" here. Bears have been sighted in our area many times over the years, but never here. Never.

I'm always on the lookout for wildlife. My kitchen windows give me a wonderful view of the woods and mountains. I see lots of deer, foxes, deer, groundhogs, Canadian geese, deer, and squirrels. Never a bear.

That all changed last night. My wish came true.

We were having a lovely dinner with Smit and Janet Smith. Just sitting there visiting and enjoying some Down Home Chicken and Rice, green beans, salad, and rolls; catching up on the years gone by. The peace and laidbackness of our dinner was shattered when Bear, our miniature poodle, suddenly went crazy barking.

He almost never barks. I'm serious. He really doesn't.

He dashed back and forth between windows barking his fool head off. I was a bit embarrassed at first. Why must the dog bark when company is here? We sent Conni from the table to go see what was wrong with her dog. I really didn't care what it was...just wanted him to shut up and disappear.

Conni left the table and conversation kept going like the rude interruption never happened. All was good.

Then from the other room:
"Oh my goodness! It's a bear! It's a bear!"

Then Bear (the dog) went crazy again.

You've never seen a table full of people evacuate so quickly!

We had a bit of a traffic jam trying to get all 9 of us out the door at the same time.

(I was so excited. I so hoped Conni was right and it was a bear.)

And sure enough! There it was right beside the house where we park. A black bear! Not out in the woods; not over the neighbors fence; but right in my yard!

As we all gathered around, it ambled off into the woods. We watched it for a few minutes until it disappeared into the underbrush.

I don't know how old, how big, how heavy the bear was. I know it was not a cub. Probably a young adult. Tim said it was a good size bear for here. Down on all fours, it would've come up almost to my hip.

As we went back to our dinner, I smiled and felt pretty smug.

I have now seen a bear in the wild here at my house.

See? Wishes do come true. Some just take a while.

Sep 8, 2011

Random weekend happenings.

Angi came home for the weekend!

So good to have her around here. I love seeing the 4 kids interact. She claims that since she has no one to pester now, she has to come home and make up for it with Abe. Usually, the only way to make any headway on the pestering is for the girls to gang up on him.

I assume this is a normal question from teenage guys with lots of energy and a love for anything physical or sports-like:  "Hey! Watch. Can you do this?"

Then he'll do something like this:

Usually, one of us will try whatever it is he's doing. This time it was Angi.

Abe said she did pretty well....for a girl. She was a bit exasperated.

At breakfast, Abe was asked if he wanted "Cotten butter" or regular butter. He went for the "Cotten butter".
In case anyone wonders what the term "Cotten butter" means, here's a visual.

Cold and hard. You don't spread it on your toast. You place it around in little chunks. This is something some of my kids like. They don't eat it this way all the time, but they do like it. It is something they inherited from Joe Cotten.

On Sunday, we went up to the mountains with several friends.

We did some hiking,

...some football,

...lots of visiting, picnicking, and for Quintin and Abe, lots of jumping.  I mean LOTS of jumping.  They jump over things, onto things, into trees, over each other, etc....

I like this one.

Twin jumping beans.

No,the girls didn't try these.

Fun weekend.
Good food.
Good friends.
Good discussions.
Good memories.

Sep 3, 2011

Paper sacks and turtles.

The other day I was working in the kitchen, and since it was so gorgeous outside, I had the kitchen door wide open. As I worked, I kept hearing a papery, rattly sound. I finally went in search of it and found this sack sitting right outside the door. It hadn't been there 20 minutes earlier and since I don't shop at Giant, I just figured someone had come by the house and dropped something off for me.

I peaked inside and found (not to my surprise) a turtle. I immediately thought of Conni. She had just gotten home from babysitting and must've brought this.
It rattled around in there for an hour or so, then when I peaked out again, the bag looked like this:

...and there was no turtle.
It had gotten out all by itself. I found it on the deck under my fern.

I thought Conni had let it go, but no... the next morning, I found the thing crawling around the schoolroom! She assures me it's not a distraction from school. So, as we do school, Brer Terrapin plods around the schoolroom, making little scratchy noises.
And so goes a day in our house.

Camp Lachlan memories.

When we picked Conni up from camp, she was able to give us a tour of the grounds and lots of stories and memories for each spot.
When they are getting ready to load up and leave, the girls unload their cabin into piles out on the grass.  This is what it looks like.

Let's see..... which swim suit is mine?????

Tim getting help loading Conni's trunk.

She's going to miss this little cabin and her friends here.

Hadyn, a new friend.  Two sweet girls having to say goodbye.

Conni with Morgan and Mollie her couselors.

This is the lake.  Lots of swimming took place here, as well as bathing!

The horse riding was one of her favorites.                              Demonstrating the climbing wall.

For bathrooms, they used out-houses.  There was the "home office", "foreign office", and this one was called the "United Nations".  Two seaters!

Everywhere you look, there is a gorgeous view.  This is Jump Mountain.

This is the spot that they had morning devotions...every day for 21 days.  It was a sweet spot to Conni and loaded with good memories.  Nancy talked to the girls here every morning.  The camp verse was: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be always acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my strength and my Redeemer."
It was a little sad for her telling me about it and having to leave it.

Now this one is so funny.  She said that she gained something she's never had in her life.  A calf muscle!  We really got a kick out of that.  They walk so much and everything is either up hill or down.

This is a really cool way they keep track of who's in the lake.  Everyone has a tag.  If you are in the lake, the tag with your number on it has to be turned over.

All the campers ready for the closing ceremonies.

LeeBo, the camp owner, giving his speech.

Your name is called, you go up and receive hugs from Nancy and LeeBo, along with your awards and certificates.

Then lots of hugs and tears as the girls say goodbye to each other.  This is Madi Myers.

All the camp counselors got in a line and the campers got to go down the line on the way out and give hugs and say goodbye.

Hugging Carmen Linder, a camp counselor.

Morgan.  Conni's counselor that was in her cabin. Sweet girl.

Hard to say goodbye knowing at best, you won't see any of them until next year and maybe not even then.  She's going to miss her new friends and all the experiences she had here.  We're so thankful she could have this time at this wonderful girls camp. 

We feel like it was a wonderful experience for Conni.  We wouldn't hesitate to do it again or to recommend it to someone else.  Hope you enjoyed the little tour of Camp Lachlan in the beautiful rural countryside of Virginia.