Saturday, August 25, 2012

The July Campsite

Every year, my son and I go camping.  We used to have a BIG RV, then had a double wide trailer on a lot.  I was happy to sell the RV because it was a lot of work for me with the just the 2 of us.  And towing a car.  Once I ended up on a dead-end street and had to call a tow truck to come unhitch the car, turn me around and hitch the car back up!  Simply because I couldn't do ALL that and watch a 2 year old at the same time.  OK, and I didn't really want to do all that.   I was a bit sad to sell the trailer (which I la-la-loved), but when School Boy started kindergarten it didn't make sense anymore to pay for a seasonal lot, especially since my schedule is more toward the "shoulder" season.  So, we downsized to tents a few years ago, are mobile, and hit the road at least once during the summer.  Sometimes close to home, other times - a bit of a drive.  This type of camping takes up ALOT of space in your car - air mattresses, sleeping bags, tents, dishes, coolers, all kinds of stuff. We are getting better and better at it though - we are pretty organized!  
And it is a ton of work for me.  I often think I am simply TOO tired to make the effort, but I know it is worth it.  This summer, School Boy REALLY wanted to see his cousins.  What is a Momma to do?  So, I told him - yes, we could go, but he had to be good in the car and help around the campsite.  It is a 12 hour trip, so being good in the car is important and he doesn't watch TV or read books in the car.  Sleep is good though.  Ummm, otherwise he is talking to me non-stops and expects me to answer.
And helping around the campsite?  NO PROBLEM!  At the age of 9 he is ALL about helping.  Yup - it takes at least 3X longer to let him "help" and might involve spills or whatever, but that is ok.  I give him lots of praise and he is happy, happy, happy to help.  Makes my tea, washes the dishes, hauls the water, digs the trenches around the tents, etc.  Basically, I just figure about 1/2 of our day will be around the campsite.  Works for me.  I actually read a novel!  Wow!

I will write more later about our great week of camping.  But I just wanted to add this - it POURED (and I mean buckets) 2X while we were there.  And our LL Bean, King Pine Dome Tent (which I can't recommend enough!!!!) did not leak - not ONE drop.  Seriously!  Our picnic table tent is just meant as a cover.  And our little tent is our "supply" tent that we keep our clothes, etc. inside of (packed in big plastic totes).  The supply tent leaked a little bit.  But the sleeping tent - got to love LL Bean (guaranteed not to leak).  I was laying there, looking up at the rain fly and thinking - if that thing starts to leak, we are going to get soaked.  I was wishing that maybe I had put up a rain tarp afterall.  But it did NOT leak.  Phew!  The King Pine Dome tent is nice because it has a small screen "porch" on the front, which is great for keeping your chairs out from the weather overnight and an extra tote.  The tent and our cookstove our the 2 most expensive items we have for camping - most everything else we pick up at the end of season sales.  And goofy, little camping items make GREAT stocking stuffers.  
So, that is an update.  To be continued....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On the Water

He has that DNA genetics in his blood - happiest out on the water.   The story is that my grandfather had the fastest boat in harbor back in the day, and that is how he caught my grandmother's eye (in the late 1800's).  Lots of fishermen in my family too.  I guess that is what happens when you grow up on the water.  My little wharf rat.   I love it that he is standing on the stool rung to see.  These are the kinds of photos that make you smile in the years to come.  Heading 120 degrees just to the left of the red buoy coming into the harbor.  "Red, Right, Return" (keep the red buoy on the right hand side when returning to the harbor).  I am full of little sayings like this.

My little captain.  Not even phased by the other boat traffic in the area.  He is happy.  That makes me happy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A cool walk in the fog

While so much of the country suffers from severe heat, here along the coast of Atlantic Canada we often dress in layers - it cools off at night!  My son and I took this photo of ourselves using the self timer one early evening last week - look at us - mid-August and he is wearing a sweatshirt and winter vest - but shorts too.  Yup, a mish-mash of weather to be  sure.  Fog is common.  When I sleep at night I can often hear the fog horn's call drifting through my window.  On this day we were were careful to not go directly in front of the fog horn because trust me, it doesn't softly drift when you are right in front of it - more like blow you off the cliff!  We call fog our "spa" weather, ha ha.  Oh - and look how long-legged my boy is getting!  
Here is a photo of the sun trying to break through.

The flowers are pretty.  I like to take close up photos when I don't have time to doodle them on the spot.  I like all the details - the variety of leaf shapes, the way the petals bend backwards, etc.
So many of the flowers that I doodled in mid-July have now gone by and had to be cut back.  Oh - and there is a weed in this sketch too (top right), but I like its' funky shape.  I often feel like I don't have the time to be creative, but everyone has time to doodle.  I like a pigma pen because then I can go back and add water color if I want too.  Plus - it is good for my son to see me doodle and hear me laugh at my own efforts when I really mess up (you should see my pitiful attempts at drawing a horse!) - because then he is inspired to draw himself and isn't overly self-critical.  But anyway - the fading flowers are a good indicator that summer is racing by.

And here is a photo of that fog horn.  I wrote a poem about it last year - let me look in my notes and see if I can find it for another post!  I love how this light house is tethered to the rocks and have taken many photos of these cables.  For some reason they fascinate me.
Before that fog horn, there was a fog bell.  It weighs 2000 pounds and was made in 1907 (I think that is the right info anyway).

The lightkeeper's house - from when it was a tended lighthouse.  It has been bordered up and empty for the past several years.  Before that it was leased as an inn.  Except you have to go up/down MANY stairs to get there... and the fog horn would be your pillow.  Now, exciting news, there is an artist in residence for 3 months.  I have no idea what kind of art this artist is working on, but it is good to know that the place is once again occupied.

The many steps - it looks like they have the old freight "train working again though to carry supplies up and down.

A slice of my life this summer.  I was dead, tired on my feet this day, but... time goes by quickly.  Yes, it was an effort to go, but what fun we had!  And when we got home we had hot chocolate and warmed up (and I got to put my feet up)!
Self-portrait of the 2 of us.  Life is good.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Bouquet

Believe me, I am taking photos of my life, but there seems to be little time to actually sit down and organize anything, my thoughts, my photos, a blog post.  Where is the slowdown button?  Here it is mid-August already!  Goodness.
Anyway, my son and I made this bouquet as part of a local fund-raiser.  We decided to go with white and yellow, because many of our own flowers are white and yellow and then we went to the flower shop and got more white & yellows to mix into the bunch, plus some greenery.  In this photo you can see the yellow flowers growing off to the side (and we have money plant there too).
My son loved this little project and the end result - I had to tell him mid-way through not to get too attached because we were donating this arrangement!  We went to the Dollar Store to buy some butterfly things which we glued to shish-ka-bob sticks with a glue gun.  Hard to see in the photo, but they are there.  We named our arrangement "Butterflys in the Garden".
Just a quick post this morning.  That is all.  I am going to try to get back into the groove of blogging.  I miss it.  I miss my readers - are you still out there?  Everyone having a good summer?  I want to share our little, daily life tidbits.  It is the small things that make life good.  So there you go - a small project that we were able to enjoy together in order to help our community.  Life is good!