Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jack of all Trades

Master of None

The beautiful fall weather we've been having here inspired me to plan a camping trip. I had one last picture of a maple tree, in all it's wonderful yellow glory, to load and blogger disabled picture upload for two hours. If I was really good I'd come back and add the picture, but face I'm not gonna.

Well about Tuesday last week I got the bug bad. Went and purchased a HUGE tent since our former one had really taken it's last camping trip, and started locating our camping gear which was pretty scattered due to the move. I checked out Wisconsin's DNR site and decided that Wyalusing State Park was going to be our destination. I know all this is a little crazy with two young kids and no adults, what can I say, the thought of spending the weekend in the house without a whole lot to do, had me going a little nuts. Things were a little crazy at times (mostly in the morning, which isn't out of the norm) but for the most part things went swimmingly smooth. The only real issue I had, was an inability to shower -which I REALLY wanted- after hiking and huddling up to a smoky campfire. There were decent shower houses there, and they were open, however I didn't have anywhere to stash the boys while I soaped up, that offered me any privacy. So I went a few days longer than I would have preferred without a shower.

Wyalusing State Park had a lot to do and lots of that was hiking. We hiked, not serious hard, difficult trails but certainly long. We arrived on Friday (Sonny Boy was sick, wink, wink) and set up camp in what was probably the prettiest camp site I've ever had that overlooked the Wisconsin River. We then went on a couple of short jumps to overlooks and a small cave that was only a hundred yard hike from the parking lot.

Igor and Sonny Boy near Treasure Cave

Overlook of the joining of the Wisconsin and Mississippi River
This is also the best I looked all weekend, it went downhill from here!

Sonny Boy is pointing out Wal-Mart, honestly could see it but it was a 20 min drive.

Freight Train Crossing the Wisconsin River

The color in this part of the state wasn't so good. I think we were a little late, but most of the trees seemed to be oak which just turn brown.

Big Sand Cave - this and Little Sand Cave were on the same trail about a mile and half. Ended up piggy backing Igor out the last quarter mile or so. I was exhausted.

This was Picture Rock Cave, about a half mile, done on Sunday morning.

Near Pictured Rock Cave was an eroded sandstone formation with tons of little mice running around in it. Strangle how less disgusting they are when they are out in the woods and not in your basement.
Other wildlife worth mentioning was a bald eagle that was hunting near our campsite the day we arrived and an early morning spotting of a coyote crossing the road on the park's edge. Oddly we saw no deer or waterfowl. Both might have been noteably absent due to hunting seasons. Both mornings we awoke to guns blazing in the valley and the sporting goods guy at the local Wal-Mart said there was an early deer season due to CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) in the area though I really doubt all that shooting was at deer.

Other activities that have been keeping the kids busy....ever wonder why they say T.V. rots your brain?

This was the cake I made for Mom's visit last week. I think it turned out well but I wish I could have gotten the icing smoother. The flowers were made of gumpaste. I had intended to make them a deep dark red but got this purple instead!
Thinking maybe it would pay me to take a small engine repair course lately. Before Hubby left on his long trip I asked him to look over the leaf blower as it had been acting funny, he did and pronounced it fine. Today it wasn't so fine. I've been on the phone with him tons getting a crash course in engine repair and now I have the blower taken apart to a level I'm not comfortable with and loads of leaves falling as we speak. I. Am. Not. Amused. I will try to tackle it again tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning might prove chilly as the heating contractor came this morning and started installing our new boiler. Not a quick job and gee were they LOUD, not the guys, just their working and pounding. My house also smells terrible from the glue used on the new PVC vents that go out the side my house instead of up the chimney. New fangled high efficency stuff you know. We are also putting in a high efficency hot water heater that is somehow attached to the boiler. I'm not well versed in all this stuff but hopefully it will cut our heating bills down which can be pretty tough in a 120 year old house. My biggest complaint is that the new vents look pretty ugly - might have to do some creative landscaping there, unfortunatly it's on the high side of the house and whatever I plant would need to be about 3 feet tall and tolerate dense shade.
That's all for now, off to tuck in Sonny Boy and wash off the gasoline/oil smell from the leaf blower.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trudging along...

There's not a whole lot to report right now which honestly is a good thing. All the drama of the last year seems to be put to rest (may it stay in it's grave). We have settled into a new blah normal that is wonderfully BORING.

Sonny Boy is off to school every morning. He's doing quite well but we fear he is bored out of his mind. The homework he brings home is not even remotely challenging for him and he tells us the stuff in class is the same way. Teacher conferences should be coming up soon and I'll discuss with the teacher to at least get him some more challenging reading material. Sonny Boy's math skills are going to soon surpass my own - which sadly are about a third grade level, yes I know Ms. Allen my high school math teacher's ears are burning (she's not dead so she can't spin in her grave) Sonny Boy is enjoying his stint with Cub Scouts. I'm not enjoying Cub Scouts so much, I did not realize the time commitment involved. Ugh. I think kids tend to be overscheduled most of the time now days so we try to be pretty minimal around here. It's hard though when scouts take up one evening a week and then Sonny Boy wants to do wrestiling through the Rec program that starts up in a month or so that will run two evenings a week. That's a lot of time watching 6 and 7 year old boys bounce around.

Igor is doing well and being Igor. He's developed a hilarous gesture of of slapping his forehead in disgust when you tease him. It's quite comical to see the little guy do it so of course we come up with anything we can to elicit this response from him. " Igor your shirt is on backwards" when it is obviously not - that kind of thing. He knows he's funny. A regular Yakov Smirnoff (you younger ones start googling)

Hubby left Sunday for a long sting on the east coast for work training. YUCK, yuck, and double yuck. I'll be single parenting for several weeks now. All the work with none of the fun of dating or being able to ship the kids to the spouse every other weekend. Hubby did send me a lovely picture of his feet in hotel slippers with a view of the football game on the TV between them. Jerk.

Me, I'm trudging along. My mother and a family friend just left this morning after a long weekend stay. It was fun having them around. I do not think I will encourage my mother to drive up anymore. She managed to miss an interstate exchange and was nearly two hours away before she realized it and stopped to asked directions and call me. Then she proceeded to get back on the interstate that she had just gotten off of and go even further away. When I spoke to her I told her to call me when she got to a neighboring town and I would come meet her as there are some tricky detours getting into town due to road construction. When she finally called an hour later she was even further away than the first call. AAAAAK. Anyway by now she finally bought a map (why she was traveling without one I have no idea) so I told her to call me when she reached X. I left the house going toward X and figured I'd be in X about the same time she was. Of course mom didn't call me when she reached X and we passed each other somewhere along the way. I finally had her stop in a bar parking lot and I turned around and went and found her. Well the next morning I sent Hubby to Wal-Mart and guess what mom got for her birthday a couple of weeks late? A GPS. Worrisome. Unfortunately the family friend wasn't much help on the drive as she's in her late 80's and can't see to well currently.

I'm pleased to report I've been headache free for a week now!! You don't know how much better that makes me feel. I went to my TMJ doc last week and she adjustement my mouth gaurd, wrote me a scrip for some medicine and physical therapy. The physical therapy really gets started good tomorrow but I've already been in for the inital evaluation. Mostly the change is due to having a mouth gaurd that is properly fitted and drugs that relieve some of the nightmarish clenching I do at night.

That's it for now, wonderfully busy, sane, boring, and no drama. Yay!