Sunday, March 20, 2011

Camping, the results.

This picture was on Day 1. Still smiling. After a very quick and uneventful drive to Lake Texoma, we found our campsite - close to the restrooms, close to the playground, close to the neighbors. Seriously, lots and lots of neighbors. It was a DFW Refugee camp.

Without a boat, and not intending to spend $150 for a two-hour rental, we decided to make do and have fun in other ways. And I am proud to say, we did it. Geocaching (4 sites!), hiking, fishing (for about 10 minutes), making friends at the playground, skipping rocks in the lake and evading giant spiders took up the majority of our time. Cooking - lots of Dutch Oven usage - took up the other time. What didn't take up too much time: sleeping. Four people in a four-person tent is a little squeeze, but cozy. Things we could control were great. Barking dogs, car alarms and slamming car doors in the middle of the night, not so much. After getting into the tent at 9:45, and being rudely awakened almost every hour by the other refugees, the call of nature came early. It was pitch dark and (finally) quiet when the kids decided they'd had enough tent imprisonment. The day started around 5am. Interestingly enough, days seem to last forever when you start that early. Revenge is sweet, because our kids have never been described as "quiet." Take that, Dog.

Somewhere around mid-day, the idea was broached (I'll never tell by whom) that we shouldn't spend another night in the tent. After all, a selling point of this location is its close proximity to home. After toying with the idea all day, and the looming probability of more tent-dwelling, this time starting at 7:45 instead of 9:45 (the kids were wrecked after a full day), we told them that at night-fall, we'd depart. It's very telling how readily they accepted that proposal. Apparently the night really had been that bad. By the time we'd packed up the entire campsite it was full dark - around 8:30pm - and the kids were both whining, almost sobbing - "hurry up! I'm ready to get in the car and go to sleep!"

The neighbors may have thought we were crazy. We think we were pretty smart. After all, there's no place like home - and a bed that doesn't deflate around 4am.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Camping. Most people shudder when you say that word. Everyone I know, actually, except two people. My husband, and my son. They love it. Their "Campfire" scent is my Chanel.

I embrace Camping. It will not beat me, I will prevail. AND ENJOY. It's been suggested that my naivete contributes to the optimism. If so, it's ok. Ignorance is bliss, and anticipation.

Thanks to Walmart, I will cover the germy outdoor picnic table. The dutch oven liners - I applaud your innovation. I will use you, and no lurking bacteria (from the cast iron one must never use soap on) will touch this family. Marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers? Best. food. ever. What's not to like?

Fishing? As long as I don't catch anything that has to be removed from the hook. No worries there. Sleeping? Eight years without has prepared me for the worst. Bathrooms up the hill? The extra walk will burn off those marshmallows.

No problem!! (fingers crossed!)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Modern Marvels

Did you know that a suite of appliances can easily cost as much as one of the cars currently sitting in my driveway? And how in the H@$# did I get to a stage of my life where I covet, simply love, the feel of a cool stainless steel handle in my hand? Unfortunately, not in my house. This would be in the high-end showroom of yesterday's work. For instance, why brew coffee in a pot when you can have a built-in wall coffee machine, piped with water already. At the touch of a button and insertion of coffee, bing! espresso into your cup. Alas, the salesman lamented, you still have to add the milk fresh. Sorry. A good thing, I might add, because the refrigerator made to house said milk needs to be doing it's job to justify that whopper of a price tag!

Yesterday there was also some reverent stroking of the ice machine which is constantly filled with Sonic ice. Sonic ice!! There should never be another kind. That one little stainless gem cost more than my anaesthesiologist at the last c-section, and you know which one I would pick in a head-to-head contest. However, given an extra, luxury anaesthesiologist just hanging around...Sonic ice would be divine in my daily morning ice water.

One appliance I could do without - the guilt-inducing built-in rotisserie oven. How would Walmart make payroll without our weekly rotisserie chicken purchase? So not only do you have a constant reminder that you're NOT Barefoot Contessa, but you've just put some poor deli schmuck out of a job? No thanks. One that I can get behind is the steam oven. Would we actually eat more vegetables though? I'll let you know in about 20 years, when I've finally saved enough.

This one is the granddaddy of all stoves. The pinnacle, so to speak, of having arrived in the kitchen world. You know what? After playing with it, open doors, removing grates, adjusting shelves. Really not impressed. Although being able to pick your color is pretty cool, the price tag is not. Really, too hot to handle. But I pick "Brick."