Tag Archives: camping

Center of attention

While Little Man has taken the lime light in our life since his arrival, this weekend he also stole the hearts of many aunts, uncles, and cousins as we celebrated our annual labor day family weekend at Onaway Island.  I managed to sneak in a few action shots of others and apparently someone stole my camera for a few of me doing something physical (hard to come by these days). Here’s a few sequence of picture to play out the mean boys vs. girls badminton game we had going.

This was followed by the next generation of girls playing the guys…I should mention that there are so many flipping cousins in this family that there is sometimes there isn’t much age difference between the “generations”.

While I played a fierce game of badminton (we lost 21-19), others were off influencing my son!  Apparently, Caleb took a liking to beer bottles.  My Aunt Patti (er cousin?!?!) was taking a sip of her beer when Caleb got a serious grip on it and decided to have a taste (of the bottle, not the beer).  If his reaction and amazement by the beer bottle is any indication it looks as though his first word might be beer!

Essentially this weekend was meant for the family to get together from all over to have a fun-filled weekend where the adults and kids alike all manage to have a good time.  The next series of candid photos will offer a bit of insight as to how the weekend played out!

(This would be my 5 year-old niece pulling my 16 year-old cousin, my 8 year-old niece and my 2 1/2 year-old niece around the island in a wagon….can we say ambition!)

As you might imagine I hardly saw my son as he was quickly snuck out of my arms and passed around from person to person.  A nice little break and comfort knowing that he was always in good hands 🙂

While the weather was a bit cooler than years past (in fact this was the first time we had rain in 7 years- can’t complain about that) it gave me an opportunity to dress little man in a few adorable “Costumes” (as my brother would say)  to keep him warm, that he either didn’t fit into earlier or the warm summer didn’t cooperate with his wardrobe.  As you might gather we also discovered Caleb’s appreciation for Corn on the Cob.

As usual his personality shined through and everyone got to experience how happy, laid back, and fun it is to be around my little man.  He laughed and played in more people’s arms than I thought possible.  Little man was quite the social butterfly and trooper when it comes to roughing it, as we now have 2 camping experiences under our belt.  One via tent with big brother Diesel (where I forgot the camera and am still beating myself up about it) and one in cabin during low 60 degree weather.

Keep exploring little man, it’s a big world out there!  Thanks to all the family who offered a few kind words and snuggly arms to love up on my little man 🙂


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Filed under The Caleb Times

Road Trip: Days 1 & 2

As I may have eluded to in several posts and multiple facebook updates, the husband and I took our “bike trip” nearly 2 weeks ago down to the Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee/North Carolina border.  Unlike past bike trips, this one included a truck with trailer and bike in tow, as opposed to packing down the mistress with a materials needed for a luxurious dry camping/biking trip, and for that I am eternally grateful.

After 6 hours of driving we were still in BFI (Bum Fuck Illinois)…I believe this was the first moment of my insanity, when I just couldn’t handle seeing one more cornfield.  Instead out came my new learning module.  Here’s the evidence…


This might be the most exciting thing I’d seen, it just happened to belong to me!

Eventually we made it to my Aunt & Uncle’s house just across the TN border for the night.  We were greeted with a wonderful meal waiting for us on the table, and some quality coffee talk time before hitting the sack for the night.  We woke up early to see my aunt off for her golf tournament.  Apparently we weren’t the only ones to get up.  We sat outside for a bit and swarms of hummingbirds (literally dozens) flocked to the feeders for their AM ritual.  Now, I should warn you, I’m slightly terrified of big bugs (june bugs, moths, etc) and these are about the size of a big bug except they have really long beaks.  I swore I was going to get pelted with their beak, thus for most of the time I was frozen in a state of anxiety with these funky buzzing creatures with long beaks swarming frantically about just inches from my head.  Thankfully I had a big camera to protect my face, thus the anxiety eventually subsided.  (If you want to enlarge the pictures just double click on the image)





After hanging with the H-birds for a while we headed to the grocery store to stock the cooler.  Upon exiting the store we were greeted with the first of 3 days of rainstorms.  Driving through Nashville things came to a screeching hault.  Sirens quickly sounded and various rescue vehicle jimmy’d their way through the traffic.  We could see all the rescue squads about 50 yards in front of us, but we were on a pretty tight bend in the road and up to layer 5 of about 7 interchanges weaving their way through space.  After about an hour of staring at this


some “people” had traffic behind us diverting to a nearby exit.  We were slowly guided to back up about 200 yards to make our way to the exit.  We drove in circle for about an hour on the expressways surrounding Nashville before finding our detoured route.  We heard later via radio that a  semi had over-turned taking out all 4 lanes of traffic and crews would likely not have it cleaned up until about 2 PM (it was 11 AM), we were very happy for the diversion, but could have done without the time crimp in our schedule.

Needless to say we experienced this off and on (More on than off)

We continued on for the Smoky Mountains, just over the Tennessee border we would be setting up camp for the next few days.  What we didn’t realize was that “The Dragon” (which you will hear about more in our next post) stood between us and our campground.  This wouldn’t be discovered until we were on it with a fully packed truck and motorcycle in tow.  Here’s a glimpse of “The Dragon” via truck, not too many places to turn around with the load we were carrying.

This craziness continued for a while before the heavens opened and the angels sang: North Carolinas arrival was a very happy moment.

Only 72 miles to the next beer stop! No worries, Brent came lock, stocked and barreled with his own cooler full.

Before long we were swindling our way through the loco-locals as we like to call them and finding “home” at Ironhorse campground.

That lodge did not only house us from ongoing rain, but it would also offer us one heck of a prime rib dinner and salad bar upon our arrival.  Beats camping food 🙂 So we were glutons and then tried to create a place to call home.  I believe this was me updating my facebook about chilling with Adam and Steve (our sleeping bags for you Cabella’s fans) in the Smokey Mountains!


Arriving via truck allowed us to be pretty luxurious in comparison to the folk who came in via bike with very limited resources.  We concluded our night by lying ever so comfortably on our plush air mattress, sleeping bags cozy enough to maintain my body temperature in 15 degree weather and the pitter-patter of rain drops.  The Swiss Army tent would experience her first of several moist nights…she was quite the trooper.

Stay tuned as this crazy adventure continues 🙂

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Filed under Exploring

Oh my, It’s been over a month!

So sorry to leave you all in the dark, I guess rain followed by sweltering heat would be more the case around these parts.  Welcome Frizzy hair.  Here’s a quick update of what I’ve done in the past month:

1. Got the yard ready for landscaping


2. Picked up LOTS of retaining wall block

3. Made 3, 4 hour trips to the Western side of the state in 3 consecutive weekends..Diesel did much better than I on all 3 trips!


The first weekend involved meeting our friends newborn baby boy: Colton (apparently I’m a bad friend with no pictures to share) and a party at our friends which resulted in me breaking their futon!  It seriously was all Brent’s fault.

The second weekend brought Copper Falls State Park-which entailed camping on  Memorial weekend…


We even hiked to a look out point above the tree tops.  In my opinion it took far too many stairs to get there and looking back we’d think twice about doing that again!

We had a great time as always just hangin out with our friends…

The third weekend was to celebrate Brent’s cousin’s graduation party.  The graduate needed to be escorted home at 10 pm, but apparently we thought we were pretty stellar staying out until 4 am.  The next morning we thought differently!

4.  I took a day off to plant flowers with my niece.

Who knew a kid could get this dirty?

102_1458 Never the less, it was precious!

5. Brent tackled many of the “jobs” that have been waiting for him around the house including…

laying block…



If you look closely in the first 2 of the 3 block pictures, the stairs leading up to the front door.  We didn’t like those, so that led to Brent busting up the staris and removing them.  His next project is to rebuild them using White Timber Tech and make them all pretty…

There was some block on either side of the stairs, so we added to an existing flower bed on the side of the garage

We took out the Lilac bush that was here and donated it to my parents trout farm…it was a bit too large for the spot.

I actually made a makeshift step coming out from the garage until the paver-walk gets laid.

I planted a bunch of flowers, bushes and plants and together the husband and I mulched around the entire house.


(I love this purple hydrangea)


Brent also made a slight raised bed for me in the corner with the remaining retaining wall block to add a bit more dynamics.  The plant is actually much prettier than this, but I took the picture just after a sever thunderstorm.


We are in the midst of filling and leveling the future perennial bed that will be home to our wedding arbor and wagon, as well as a few other gifts from myself and others!

And my lovely husband also replaced our old, not-my-favorite-light-outside-the-back-door with a prettier motion sensored/dusk to dawn light.

5.  Besides that there have been several neice and cousin baseball games; end of the school year parties; retirement party for my co-worker (whom I’m already lost without); the rash of summer programming including camp for 4 days, a conference, and several upcoming camps, programs and meetings; coordinating dog-sitters while my husband and I are away on work.

The fun isn’t over yet.  There are still so many more things coming, stay tuned!  I’m hoping the next post won’t be in a month!

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Filed under Daily Grind