June 2, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

I had a great post planned for today in honor of my big brother's birthday...however...guess what? I am having problems with the video. So instead I thought I would empty my brain of all these random tidbits that have been floating around looking for a place to rest.

But first...this little tidbit about my dad, a camper and grilled grapefruits.

Last fall my dad called me up and said, "Guess what?"

I can never guess. So I said, "What?" He went on to tell me how someone he knew had a camper that they were getting rid of and he could have it for FREE. He thought it would be great for the whole family. My brother and his son could use it. My step brother and his family could use it. My sister and her husband could use it. And my hubby and I could use it.

Never mind that none of us go camping. My brother and his son see each other a couple of times a year. My step brother camped when he was in the boy scouts...20 years ago. My sister and her husband are in the Navy. Roughing it for a spell with no water in bug infested conditions is what they call work. I myself have had several camping experiences in my life time that all involved a lot of rain and none of which I wish to repeat.

In my married life, I have had just one foray into camping. Our best friends and their daughter joined us in Cherokee, NC in a beautiful cabin that had multiple bathrooms, a fully stocked kitchen and air conditioning. Now that was my kind of camping. Any other sleeping arrangements made away from home must include 1-a bed 2- room service or a fully stocked fridge 3-a tub...preferably one with jets.

For this reason I was a little confused as to why my dad was making such a hard sale until he got down to the real point. He wanted the camper and my mom forbid him to park it on their property. Ahha.

When he asked to park it in our yard, I did what every good daughter and loving wife would do. I referred him to my dear hubby. And he did what every good son-in-law would do. He said, "Yes." Because what else can you say to the father of your wife and the Pop Pop to your children?

So, along he came in the dark with this thing hitched to the back of his truck. He hauled it to the back of our property and parked it between the wood pile and tractor shed. And there it has sat ever since.

I suggested using it as a cabana for changing during swimming season. Don't you think that would be a great way to keep the water and mess out of the house?

When it seemed we would never get our hen house built, I suggested we convert it into a chicken mobile. Plenty of room for nesting and roosting in there. It sleeps 6 grown adults...that is a lot of hens.

Allen rejected all those ideas and firmly stated his position. It could sit for two seasons and if it had not been used by then, he would freecycle it.

Our kids have read enough Carolyn Haywood books and Boxcar Children to see the adventure in camping despite my loathe for it. And they have been dying to get inside of that thing ever since the day good old pops parked it there.

Sunday, we were lying in the hammock, enjoying the birds around us and dozing in and out, when out of no where, they came. Their brilliant idea cemented firmly in their little heads. They were going to set up the camper and go camping. Seven kids, a bucket of water and several hours later it still smelled like mold and mildew. They couldn't have been any happier.

Lest you think I am a bad mother, I put my foot down. They had to air it out for a day before I would allow them to rough it out in the wild.

So last night was the big night. They spent half the afternoon dragging sleeping bags, pillows and bears to the back of our property. We stocked up on the necessary provisions...chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows and led by flashlights they settled in for the night.

Samuel decided that he wanted to stay indoors explaining that he needed a bathroom. This, in itself, is quite a laugh because I don't recall him ever waking up to use the bathroom during the night.

Allen went out to get the others prayed up and tucked in while I took my shower and Samuel rattled on to me about SOMETHING. He decided he had to tell his Pa about it right now. I told him Pa was outside with the other kids and he would have to wait until he came back. As is the case with three year olds, he would hear none of it. "Can I go get Pa?" was his plea. I explained that it was dark and the kids had all the flashlights so he would have to make his way to the woods in the dark.

Not to be daunted, do you know what that kid said? "Mama, may I go to Pa? I promise I won't lose myself."

Who could argue with that. Off he went...just about the time Pop came in the other door. But they found each other and all was well.

Much to my surprise, there were no trips into the house at all. I expected, visits to the bathroom, drinks of water and eventually, I can't sleep I am going to my own beds. In fact, we slept all night with no interruptions. If you don't understand the significance of that read this. I may have to require the children to sleep in the camper at least one night a week. Maybe dad was on to something, after all.

In fact, we were awakened around 8 am by the sound of little hands making breakfast to serve us in the camper. They actually expected me to step foot inside of that thing! Not wanting to be known as the one who made it all fail, I pulled on my clothes, put on my face and arrived just as they finished grilling grapefruit.

Yes, I said grapefruit. And yes, it was delicious. They sprinkled it with grenadine and sugar and it caramelized over the fire. To go with, there were English muffins, peanut butter, juice and milk. Who could ask for more?

A well balanced meal served on a table cloth. Yes, a table cloth served in a camper. I didn't even see a bug in site.

Lest you think the girls had it too rough out there...I noticed both KK and Nana had their makeup on at breakfast, too. As they say the apple doesn't fall far from the Avon brochure.

Oh, wow. Here is a surprise for you. I got a little long winded and have run out of time for those little tidbits I was going to tell you about. Maybe, next time. Guess what else? My video still won't load. Maybe another time you will see the masterpiece that is the tribute to my dear brother on his 39th birthday. Happy Tuesday!


  1. I just love your blog, you are so funny!

    Happy birthday to your brother.

    I totally agree about the camping. We camped right after we first got married, and I refused to go again unless we bought a porta potty. (no pun intended)

    After that we bought a trailer.

    Oh, and you're right....I got the "bling" now what will I wear with it.

    Plllleeeeaaase post a picture of the shoes!!!! They sound adorable!!!!! (Oooh, and post the clothes too....)

    ~ Nan

  2. What a great story. It's just like homeschooled kids to be so resourceful. I'm not surprised at all that they dreamt the whole thing up and made it all come to fruition with excellence. They topped it all off with a nice breakfast for everyone. Grilled grapefruit? I've never heard of that.

    I can empathize with you on the whole camping thing. I'm a city girl through and through and I like a place to plug my blow dryer and curling into.

    My mom's side of the family likes to get together for family reunions about every 5 years. So my husband found various parks in Pennsylvania that have campsites. The beauty of that is it's cheap, they are modern cabins and everyone gets to visit each other because the cabins are all near each other. That's the kind of camping I can do, but there are no air conditioners. If you're crazy enough, you can bring one with you.

    Blessings to you!

  3. Happy Birthday to your brother. It looks like the kiddo's had a great time...they also spared the camper being freecycled for 2 more years...right? :)
    I have to have a shower every day and lots of mosquito repellent and then I am game. My hubby, not so much, we have not been camping since we got married. Unless you consider the time we slept on the living room floor in front of the gas fireplace. ha ha

  4. I am not a camper...I like my house and that is it. No outdoor roughing it for me. I need my own bed to be rested. It does look like fun though. Love the breakfast picture. Too cute.

  5. My kids love camping! We started out with a tent, then a pop up camper, and then, gasp, a motor home. Ok, it is a 1978 camper with wood panelling and yellow shag carpet, but it has a bathroom!! We thought we were really camping in style with it. But the boys think it is too nice for real "Rustic" camping. The girls and I firmly believe in having a toilet. In the camper. They would sleep all summer out in the camper if we let them.

    Funny thing is I remember how much my brothers and sister and I loved sleeping in our camper out in our backyard when we were kids. It definitely makes for good memories!

  6. Checking out the 52 weeks, and had to read this too! What a good mama & sport you are!! I don't like camping either, but have done it a few times "FOR THEM"! My kids are still shocked when I agree!