Saturday, June 28, 2008

In Hilton Head

We drove over to Hilton Head last night. Of course, I was the first one ready, and Mark and Mike were the last ones ready to go. :) As an annual tradition, it rained on the drive. Mark and i found a great 80's radio station, and we sang and had a good time. Of course, we had to have applebottom jeans play twice. :) We had the walkie talkies that we laughed and joked on. When we stopped for food at Arby's, Mike said that we had to take katie or Michael in my car because they were about to kil each other or drive him crazy. Michael chose to ride in the cool minivan. He said he didn't know the songs we were singing which made me feel old. SOngs like Jack and Diane, it's the end of the world as we know it, cecelia, ramblin man, etc.

It took about 6 and a half hours, and that was including the accident that had the interstate closed. We exited and Mike didn't tell me he knew where we were. I was so nervous as I had no idea. We arrived around 11:30, and Grams, Morgan, and Papa were all awake waiting for us. :) The condo is just as beautiful as it was last year. Hilton Head always feels a little like home when I pull onto it. It is hard to believe that it has been 4 years since Mike and I got married here. Seems like yesterday at some times and much longer than 4 years at others. The kids seem soooo much older than they did then. Way more than 4 years worth.

I am looking forward to a relaxing week here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The survey says?

Mike and I have always done surveys of the public when we have a disagreement about something. We have surveyed on whether flowers or a gushy card are more important on V Day, what reasons people get married, etc). It is just a funny part of our lives. We have recently had some disagreements about how often married couples have sex. Of course, I think it is lower, and Mike thinks it is higher. Pretty stereotypical. So, I googled to see what I could find of course. The studies all conflict, so I thought I would do a survey here. Please pass it along to your friends. :) Also, please answer both questions because I think the gender mix will change it a lot.

See the survey to the right.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday at Camp

Today was another great day at camp. I cannot believe that we only have ONE more day. I am so sad. I love it here, and I would really love to spend the entire summer here. I have been thinking a lot about how much this place has impacted all of our lives. As a child, I really learned here and grew as a person. I think camp provides you enough freedom to learn independence, but it also has enough supervision to keep you out of trouble. Additionally, you get to conquer some fears (jumping from heights, hearing ghost stories, sleeping outside/sleeping in the dark), and you get to learn some new skills (horseback, swimming, diving, nature study, archery, riflery, etc). You might even make lifetime friends or at least learn how to make new friends and deal with annoying people too. :) I do think a week is really too short. Camp should be at least 2 weeks. It seems like everyone is just getting into the swing of things and then it is time to go home. Also, Camp Chattooga is deeply rooted in Christ. I love that my daughter and step-children are getting great exposure to not 0nly the lessons, but they are also getting exposed to some great role models.
So, this morning began again with that very loud bell dragging me out of a deep sleep. As I was getting the morning meds together, I heard two girls going to the dining hall. One said that they were safe in the pavillion the night before even though it was storming. The other girl said, "We weren't that safe. That building was made with 80 year old wood!!" I cracked up. It is funny because people don't realize I am up here, so they just say all kinds of things as they walk by. As I walked up to the dining hall, I snapped this picture. See all of the steps on the hill? I go up 68 steps to go to the dining hall. :) I figure that has to burn off at least one cup of sweet tea.
This is the path down to the pavilion and lake from the dining hall. I love this view. This is a major flashback for me from childhood.

This is a view of the dining hall from the second staff table. I call it the children's table because the director and assistant directors all eat at the other one. This table has some hilaarious conversations as most of the people at the table are in high school - and there there is Mike.

Today was a relaxing day. Not many kids coming in. We couldn't play at free time because the LITs were taking their swim test for lifeguarding. At lunch, they had ravioli and grilled cheese. Morgan asked for PB&J because she doesn't like either. She had to eat 2 bites of each before getting the sandwich. She cried but she finally ate them and the sandwich.

I thought this was hysterical when they pulled up, and I didn't even know why there was a bear. I especially liked the guy in yellow's outfit. I later found out that the bear comes from a story about a girl counselor who called her boyfriend at the boys' camp and said there was a bear. Apparently, she just wanted the boy to come over to see her and there really was no bear.

Mike went to Walmart to get some infirmary supplies (man we go through some band-aids and ice packs here). He was also asked by Morgan to see if they had any hawaaiin stuff for the dance. Not onlly did he find a grass skirt, but he also found bubble makers and a hat for himself.

Morgan and her friend Emma. Delaney let her borrow the lai.

Morgan and Katie at the dance.

The balls flying at the dance.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday at Camp

Another great day in the mountains. The bell woke me sharply at 7:45 (did I mention that it is loud)? Now that Mike is a maintenance man instead of a cook, he stays in bed after the bell. When he was a cook, he had to be up early. He put new screens on two doors and one window yesterday, and he also fixed my latch on my medicine cabinet. Today, he is replacing more screens. He said that these had been there for a while. So, the LITs came and filled up my cooler and took out my trash. I didn't have any kids forget to take their medicine for the breakfast meal, so that was nice. If they forget, then I have to go chase them down in the dining hall. Breakfast was cereal, and you got to pick your kind. I had Lucky Charms. YUM. I hadn't had those in years.

I ended up being in the infirmary most of the morning because I had a steady trickle of kids. When I did the inspections, I was in complete shock over Wahi (the cabin Morgan is in). It was SPOTLESS. I don't think a professional crew could have made it look better. I was truly amazed, especially since Morgan, also known as the mess creator, is in that cabin. I asked the counselors what they did to get them to get it that clean, and they said that the kids wake up early at 7 to clean and get this...MORGAN is leading the pack!!!! Whoaaaaaa..... I had to sit down after that one. :) For some reason, Katie, who is much neater than Morgan, has a messy cabin. They aren't worthy of the dirty sock, but it hasn't looked very good any of the days. As I was doing inspections, I heard that there was a copperhead in the lake. Lovely. They chopped its head off. As I was walking to Opa, I heard this noise beside me. I look over, and Lena the pregnant pig is digging in the dirt. Too funny. She scared me to death. She is supposed to have her piglets next week. I so wish it would be while we are here. The girls would love it.

I read my book a lot in the morning. I am reading Phantom Prey by John Stanford. So far, it is pretty good. I have read all of the Lucas Davenport books in the series.

For lunch, we had chicken sandwiches. They weren't Chick Fil A, but they were pretty good. After lunch, it was rest time. I decided that I needed to catch up on my blog, so I worked on that. Right before free swim, a girl came in and had been stung by a scorpion. I didn't know that a there were "Georgia scorpions" that have a sting like a bee. It scared me when they carried her in, but a quick google told me that they weren't poisonous. At free swim, I went down and watched for a while. I got a video of Morgan getting blobbed. Then, I blobbed and dove on the board and flipped off the platform. I am still sore from Tuesday, so I didn't do too much after that. Morgan took a video of me.:)

Dinner was hot dogs, and it was camp out night. When I was a camper here, we actually camped out.Now, they get a choice of camping out or sleeping in the pavilion. If they stay in the pavilion, they get to watch a movie. Last night, it was Finding Nemo. Before they sleep out though, they have a campfire, sing song, and this year they had Indian leg wrestling competitions between the counselors. The kids cheered on their counselors. Then, marshmallows were roasted and smores were made.

I had a group of girls who needed to take night meds or needed band-aids and such, so I went back to the infirmary. About an hour or so later, it started thundering and lightening. Mike and I looked up the storm on the weather channel, and it looked like we were going to get a lot. We hung out on the porch (it is screened in) for a while listening to the rain (and laughing a little at the lightening and then the immediate screams from the pavilion. Of course, it hasn't rained in forever, but it had to rain during the camp out. I love sleeping in the rain though - especially in a cabin. However, Mike had the fan blowing directly on us and I got pretty cold. All in all, another fantastic day.

Here is Katie diving from the top platform.

Morgan getting blobbed

Mike blobbing a counselor

Me diving (inward dive)

Me diving (back dive)

Me doing a back flip off of the top platform

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday at Camp

Morning 2 - Tuesday. I knew this day was going to be busy when a child was sick at the dining hall as soon as I arrived for breakfast. Poor thing had a stomach ache. She stayed in the infirmary with me until the beginning of the first class. It was a steady stream after that of some bee stings, headaches, cuts, etc. I did inspections, but then I was in the cabin the rest of the morning. I read, so it was very relaxing even though I had a lot of kids coming in. One little girl was so sad and homesick. I talked to her for a while, and she seemed much better when she left. I hope she enjoys the rest of the week. I want her to be able to have as great of a time as I did here.

For lunch, we had peanut butter and jelly. This made me nervous as there is one girl who is very allergic to peanuts. She made it through it fine. After lunch, I read during rest hour. I even logged in and checked email as it was the first time I could get to the internet from the infirmary. Mike has been moved from cook to maintenance guy. He got the internet working, so I liked this change. He has adapted well, and he even has a maintenance man cup. Now, whenever I ask for something, he asks if I put in a work order. He did bring me breakfast this morning too when I had the sick camper and couldn't stay

After rest hour, I went to the lake to swim. I did some back dives, back flips, dives, and even attempted an inward (it was ugly). I was chicken to do a back flip from the top dock, but I eventually did it. It was fun. THEN, it was time to change to the older girl, and the counselors blob first. Mike and I got to blob with the counselors. We had a blast. The girls love getting to go high.

After that, several of the counselors were playing around on the boards. It was fun. A girl got a bloody nose then, so I went back to the infirmary. I got the dinner meds ready and fixed my hair (or tried to anyway). For dinner, we had hamburgers. I asked for cheese at the window, and I don't think the kitchen staff liked that very much. Oh well. Who eats a hamburger without cheese (well, Morgan does but she is 9). I read for a while, and then I went down to watch the kids play watermelon knocker (we called it greased watermelon when I was a kid). They coated the watermelon with crisco and threw it into the lake. The girls were on two teams and had to try to get it to the other side.

They also had relay races, canoe races, treading water contests, biggest splash, and water fun fights. Some girls weren't feeling well, so I went back to the cabin. Mike was invited to go to the boys' camp to play poker with the counselors over there. I read and relaxed. What a fantastic day. I love looking out from the infirmary and seeing the beauty. It is so gorgeous here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday at Camp

Monday morning, the bell rang at 7:45. The bell is right next to the infirmary, so I always hear it. That is good. It isn't like my alarm clock that I can turn up. The LIT's (Leaders in Trainng) come and fill my water cooler with ice water so that the kids have good cold water to take their medss with and take my trash out first thing in the morning. I know that I have to get up immediately and unlock the door, so it gets me going.

Then, I get dressed and get ready for the day and prepare all of the meds for the campers for the before breakfast meds. I sweep the porch (and more if there is time). The campers come down the hill cabin by cabin, and it takes me back to when I was a camper here. It was always so fun to walk together as a group singing cabin songs.

After breakfast, there are 3 classes. I do cabin inspections during the first class. My mom thinks this is hysterical. I rate each cabin on how well they sweep the pavement, clean the showers and toilets, clean the bathroom floor, sweep the stairs and floor in the cabin, pick up their clothes, and sweep under the beds. The winner gets the Golden Dustpan. Today, waoka got it.

After the 3 classes, the kids go back to their cabins for about 30 minutes before lunch. I get the lunch meds ready at this time. Today lunch was ham or turkey sandwiches. After lunch is my favorite time -Rest hour. It is quiet and still and wonderful. I think we should get rest hour at work. :)

After rest hour is free swim and then free time (or the opposite for the older girls). Today, they did a swim test to see who is allowed in the deep parts of the lake. After free time, I get the dinner meds ready, and then they go to dinner.

After dinner, the older girls went to the mud pit, and the younger girls played an underground railroad game. There was a jail and a safe place. There were angels who could free the people in jail. If you were in jail, you got sprayed with water. If you sat down in a group of at least 2, then the counselors couldn't tag you. Only one person was told where the safe place was, and you could only tell one person. The idea was for this information to slowly get through all of the people. It went pretty slowly until one girl yelled it out. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday at Camp (Opening Day)

Morgan's bunk bed

We didn't get up until almost 9. There was no bell. hmmm... no breakfast either...hmmm...Morgan suggests McDonald's.

We went into Clarksville for McDonald’s breakfast (Morgan’s request), and then we went to Rite Aid for some supplied (popsicles, tweezers, band-aids). We went to lunch at the boys camp, but we didn’t eat cause we were full. We got Michael and Chris dropped off, and we went back to the girls’ camp. Before camp started, Katie and Morgan found a copperhead snake right outside of the infirmary. Lovely. The counselors chopped its head off. Nice.

The spot of the snake
About 30% of the campers have medicine they take every day. WOW. Joanie, a nurse wh0 helps the first day 0f each session, came and helped me get all of the meds captured. She has a great system that helps give out the meds. Basically, you put a piece of paper for each kid and then put a paper medicine cup on top of it with the child's name on the bottom. Then, you have the kids come take them and flip the cup back upside down. At a glance, you can easily see who has taken meds and who hasn't.

The cabins here are two story. The first floor is the bathroom, and then upstairs there is a counselor area and a camper area.

In each cabin, they put a sign up for each year that lists all of the campers for the summer. I have found my name on three signs.

Keego 1982

Zonta 1983

OPA 1984

We had chicken fingers for dinner. YUM...and I didn't even have to cook them. Love it. Didn't even have to go through a drive through or microwave. Love it.

After dinner, the cabins dressed in cabin colors and made a human knot. They then did some worship and taked about goals for the week. Then, it was lights out!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday - Arrival at Camp Chattooga

The lake at camp

I arrived in the North Georgia mountains late Friday night. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Cornelia for about 6 hours. $10 an hour for sleep. Not bad. I woke up and drove the remaining 35 minutes to camp and picked Morgan up. I checked in with the camp nurse from the previous week, and she told me about the broken arm and the many scrapes from the mud pit. The Gorge requires a more treacherous path now than in years past because the man who owns that part of the land had trouble with some people going down into the gorge. So, now, it is much harder and longer. Bummer.

Morgan and I went to Helen, GA and walked around the little shops. We ate at Huddle House, and it took FOREVER only to get the wrong order. Bummer. We had a blast looking at the little stores , and we went into the Hansel and Gretel Candy Store twice. :) I remember going there as a kid when we would go to Helen for our day trip. We used to get $5 to spend in the store.
Mike, Chris, Katie, and Michael met us in Helen. We went tubing and had a great time. When we went over one of the waterfalls, Morgan was completely dumped out of her tube. It was hysterical. Morgan, Katie, and I went down together. We olnly got stuck once. Mike and Michael went together (we had to split off because 5 people was way too many and Michael and Katie were fighting). When we got to the end, the kids didn’t want to get out of the water. We went to eat at a restaurant in Helen. It was a little German and Italian place. I ordered some ravioli as an appetizer because were were all pretty hungry. As I am ordering it, I realize that Morgan, Michael, and Katiee won't eat it. So, I also order chips and salsa. When the chips and salsa come, Michael says, "Yum, I am going to eat these German chips." Mike and I cracked up.

We got back to camp around 5:30 or so. We cleaned up, unpacked, etc. Chris says, "Oh yeah, this place doesn't have air conditioning." that was funny.

Outside of the Infirmary

The cute mat in the infirmary

The kitchen in the infirmary

Of course, Morgan, Katie, and Michael went exploring, and we couldn't find them. We were relieved when we found out they went to the lodge. Mike and Chris were looking in the woodss for them. We managed to survive the night even though it was musical beds. Katie ended up in Morgan’s bed which caused Morgan to come into our bed. This made Chris go into Katie’s bed. Fun, Fun..

Friday, June 6, 2008

Childless Week 2008

With Morgan gone to camp, I had 6 whole days of childlessness. I was also husbandless for 2 days and in-law-less for the week. In case you didn't compute, that meant that I was ALL ALONE in my house for the first time in a very long time. ALLLL alone. It was heavenly. I went to Friday's with people from work on Monday night. I went to Bern's with potential clients on Tuesday night (YUM - Bern's rocks). On Wednesday, we went to Tijuana Flats to hear Jay play (he rocked), and we went to Travis and Lisa's house to swim.

Thursday night, I did laundry and packed. Friday night, I drove almost all of the day to camp (Cornelia). I arrived around 1am. I listened to Jimmy Buffett's Swine Not book on tape on the drive. The voice was so soothing that I almot fell asleep several times. I had to get out and run around the car at one point.

All in all, it was a great childless week. I needed some mommy time. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Funniest Divorce Story EVER

While we were out with a perspective client, this one person tells the best story ever. Basically, her ex-husband had his leg amputated, and he had an artificial leg. He usually had a spare, and a friend of theirs painted SF 49's on it because she was a huge 49's fan. He wasn't so much, but he want along with it for her. Each year, they went to New Orleans to see the 49's play the Saints. One year, they are there, and the husband has on the leg that has the SF 49's painted on it. She says, "honey, take off your leg. They are giving autographs." He actually hands her the leg, and the players actually sign it. Now, the story is pretty good even until now. But it gets better. When they get a divorce, she gets the leg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He didn't really like the 49's, so she got the leg.

Monday, June 2, 2008

One Year Smoke Free

WOW....what a difference a year makes. A year ago, I wss off to volunteer as the camp nurse for the second year. At camp, you obviously cannot smoke. As I did the year before, I quit for the week. The first year, I actually thought I would quit for good. I didn't make it but 4 weeks. Last year, I planned to just make it through the week. However, I kept going. As soon as we finished the NINE hour drive, we met friends at a bar (I was childless for the week). I remember crying because I wanted one so badly. I kept thinking that if I made it on that long roadtrip, I could make it longer. How crazy is that. I cried in a bar because I wanted a cigarette!!! Today, that seem crazy, but at the time it took everything I had to not smoke. For the next 8 weeks, it was really, really hard. Every day brought struggles. Once I made it to two months, I knew there was no going back. I still had occassional times where it was hard from monthss 2 - 4, but it lessened every day. Months 4 - 6 brought odd urges and weird dreams occassionally, but it wasn't hard to keep going. Month 6 - 12 were a breeze. Never even struggled. Yes, sometimes it smelled good. Yes, I occassionally walk outside for no reason and then realize why. But, the effort required at this point is NOTHING. If you are trying to quit, just focus on the first 2 months. Patches, gum, food, drink, whatever, just make it for the first 8 weeks. Get a counter and see how fast the cigarettes not smoked and the money saved change. I cannot believe that I would have smoked over 8500 cigarettes in this last year if I had not quit.

I feel SO much better this year. Obviously, running and exercise is easier, but it iss much more than that. Life is more relaxing. I can sit and watch a whole movie with my daughter cudding with me. I am not constantly worrying about it. When we went to Busch Gardens, I am not alway thinking about when I can have another or about getting them wet.

of course, on the day that my quit counter flipped to a year, my computer died. I was bummed, but my co-workers went to happy hour with me to celebrate (it was childless week 2008). We went to Friday's and had a really cool waiter a great time.