Archive for July 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Backcountry. It's not a word I've ever been too familiar with until my better half found the wilderness and discovered a passion for it like never before. I knew that "back country" meant some type of a long, arduous hike. What I didn't know was that the destination was sleeping on the ground at the end of the night. After hiking all day. With 1/3 your body weight on your back. Knowing it feeds his soul and knowing that our family was in desperate need to unplug we set out for a "mom's trial run" back country trip. Saturday morning to Sunday evening was all I could spare but we were determined to make it work.

I recently mentioned my disdain for all the work associated with car camping: recreating your kitchen on a dirt floor with a picnic table; making portable bedrooms in the form of a tent and hoping you have enough marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey bars to last a minimum of one night. A fellow mom of three boys and Boy Scout Den leader told me "I look at it this way. You can go full board with an RV or go the opposite extreme and back country. Car camping was too much in the middle which was what contributed to it becoming a nuisance. Too much work because 'you might just be able to fit that in'. She recommended a back country hike that ended up in a spectacular destination accessible only by hiking it in. And I mean hiking every last bit of food, cooking items, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping bad and food for the next 2 or 3 days. All of this would be on my back??? The general rule is 25 lbs. or 1/4 your weight. I decided 100 lbs. would be close enough to my actual number on the scale so I called that bag and never looked back. I didn't want to chicken out by really thinking through this or anything crazy like that.

Saturday morning we hit the road at 8:30 a.m. and two hours later were at the Ranger station to hopefully get a backcountry permit. Trey was concerned they'd be sold out and we'd have to go elsewhere. Not a problem. No charge. This trip was starting out just fine. An hour later we were at the Ross Lake Dam trailhead parking lot.

So the hike in was just fine. A little longer than anticipated after we saw the sign indicating we were only a the halfway point when we thought we'd already gone long enough. That part was a little disconcerting. We powered on and about 2 hours later paradise was starting right back at us. This place was absolutely stunning. As you can see in the pictures, it was worth the hike. The return was a little more challenging but I'm not going to waste any space on that part of the story.

This represents everything we would need for the next 24 hours. Really.

Ready to go. Not knowing a 4-hour hike is ahead.

Almost halfway.

Ahhhhh...we've arrived.

Some fishing at dusk. Others in the campground came to this dock on fishing boats--along with their coolers and other necessities. We were a little jealous.

Cooling off and resting on our personal rock.

Our campsite from the lake's point of view.

We brought some rope along in the hopes of doing this.

One last look behind us as we leave.


Grease is the Word

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just in case you were wondering, "Grease" is the best movie ever made. Ever. There has never been a better movie before it. There has not been a better movie since. And there never will be. I have watched it at least once a year since it came out on DVD. I saw it on Broadway. I faithfully watched the reality show a couple years ago where they searched for the next Danny & Sandy to star in the Broadway revival. Believe me, if I could carry a tune and/or dance and subtract 15 years off my age, I would have been camped out in New York City waiting for my turn to wow the judges. My girlfriends knew what a nut I was about it that they threw me a Grease themed fortieth birthday party.

So back in May when I first heard about the "Grease Sing-Along" coming to select theaters this summer, I immediately contacted my high school BFF (she might love it even more than me --if that's possible) and we secured our tickets for last weekend's screening. We had the time of our lives. We did the second showing at 9:45 and the theater was only 1/4 full. It didn't matter to us. We belted our hearts out along with Danny, Sandy, the T-Birds, the Pink Ladies and the single guy (who had to be a closet "Grease" fan sitting at the end of our row. ) I'm telling ya, I was born in the wrong decade. Long live Rydell!

Teri and her sister, Needa.

Lacey and I donned our best Pink Ladies outfits. There's a story behind those scarfs.

We tried to get the manager to let us have this cardboard cut out but he was adamant that 3 others before us requested it. In retaliation, we made him take about 20 pictures of us in various poses. He still wouldn't budge.

We won the "best dressed costume contest" and got these lovely t-shirts. Never mind that we had virtually no competition.

Oh Danny!


Two down, four to go

Monday, July 5, 2010

I know that times flies even faster as we get older but I just can't fathom that one-third of my first quarter is already behind me. So far so good. I barely slept a wink the night before, got to campus 45 minutes before class started, the meters were out of order at the first parking lot and the meters were only taking cash at the second parking lot (I had spent my last $1.50 on coffee) At this point it was 7:47 so I parked on the street and hoofed it to campus and, of course, my class was on the fourth floor of the building. I sat down at the desk promptly at 8:05. Based on the professor's welcoming smile and quick forgiveness of my apology I breathed a sigh of relief. As I listened to her read the syllabus and witnessed her easy going nature I determined this was the perfect scenario for "getting my feet wet".

There are 10 of us and I am much closer to professor's age than that of my classmates. I expected that but actually sitting in the classroom and looking around was quite sobering. Surprisingly, I have felt quite comfortable and freely participate in class discussions without feeling like a complete idiot. In fact I discovered that this girl still has some is my first assignment below. I know I'm a total dork to post this but you have to understand that I only saw this particular grade TWICE in my entire college career. More on that later. Oh, the mid-term is take home and the final is OPEN BOOK. I think I'm going to like this "going back to school thing."

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What a difference a year makes

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yesterday the boys went in for their annual dental check-ups--an event that feels like "pulling teeth". (pun intended) I know the recommended schedule is bi-yearly but a lack of insurance put this on the back burner. In spite of the 15 months since their last visit, we were pleasantly surprised to hear " NO CAVITIES". However, we did hear: "time for a consult with the orthodontist." Cha-ching.

Ths is all beside the point of this post. The pediatric dentist we see always takes a picture of her patients at their cleanings and returns the previous year's photo to the child. Being that this was the first year so much time had lapsed between their visits, I was amazed at the difference in all of them. So I just had to share the respective snapshots.
This is now. Below is "then".
Those teeth that are missing are now in and this is the one being referred to an orthodontist for an overbite. He looks fine to me.
This was the first visit ever with no follow up appointments needed for this guy.
Four teeth have disappeared since this photo was snapped.

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