So, a sad so long to a great break. Monday some of the gang came and we had a fun day painting faces, holding chickens, driving around the yard, tools and old lawnmower disassembly, the creek and sharing laughs and chicken and dumplings. The big ones have taken over painting of the each other and the littles ones with some very interesting results, let me just say.
On Friday I pulled out the cookbooks and did some experimenting with a few Asian recipes. Rae's family came out to sample my wares and we all liked everything. Handy Man and I had it again today and most of the remains went in his lunch.
Saturday was gorgeous and this month Holy Hikes was at my favorite little spot in the road, Hemlock Cliffs. Today was a listening session with our new bishop, and between that and church I was gone most of the day.
I did get a few things accomplished. My frig and pantry are in much better shape and the laundry is caught up. It is a wild ride these next nine weeks with lots of big things happening in my classroom as usual. Hope I'm ready for it.
This weekend was the Rockfest at Red River Gorge. For some time the Captain has been climbing. As Bean's swim schedule took more and more time, Miss Bugg and her dad would go climb at a place with a climbing wall. Bean has long enjoyed fishing on the ocean with his other grandparents, which is not Bugg's cup of tea. So while he sails the deep blue she and her dad climb.
This year Bean was in D.C. the first part of the week, and was home by Wednesday to go along, and we old folks were invited to go see what this gorge and climbing entailed.
First of all, I suppose I was expecting something a bit more commercial- not so. No cell service for me and you were miles from what seems to me to be at every exit most places you go. If you needed something, better hope the little service station had it. No fast food to be seen, which has elevated a few hole in the wall joints in the area to great popularity. Our house was nice and roomy for all of us and the dogs. Bugg and I went early in the day and had some time to ourselves. A dear friend would celebrate the life of her Mom on Saturday, which also happened to be said friend's birthday. She loves cookies. I knew she would be having out of town guests, so I brought along my mixer and some new recipes for Bugg and I to try.
Our first batch was oatmeal, chocolate chip, peanut butter. Before I left early Saturday morning to get home in time for the service we also baked cherry white chocolate, toffee pecan, and chewy chocolate ginger. I threw some crafting things in the bag as well. As I've shared before, time moves on and they are much busier than before. Not only that, but they've succumbed like the rest of the world to communicating and being entertained via a techno device. I miss all the time I spent reading and doing projects with them. So we enjoyed cookie baking and then a little painting.
The first morning we headed out to climb. Well, I hadn't planned to actually put on a harness and climb a cliff face. Umm, actually I hadn't planned to climb anything at all. Clearly, I had not adequately assessed my situation. I'm thinking there is this very lovely parking lot beneath a cliff and you park and they climb and I say, "Yay, look at you." That's my job, well besides feeding them. Ahem. First you drive on these very twisty roads, but at least said roads are paved. This vertigo girl concentrates on keeping her eye on the white line. Then you turn off the very twisty paved road to a very narrow gravel road that not only twists but additionally goes straight up or straight down, while still somehow twisting. On the way, there is a random port a pot and the Captain says that is the all and there ain't no more, so I wisely decided to take advantage of the facility. As soon as I close the door, my phone dings and I have the only minute of service I had the whole trip. All the while I am seriously questioning why any rational person would think this is a road to be taken and the Captain is oohing and ahhing over how much better shape it is in than last time. Wow. Then you park
and walk, on the twisty gravel road, until you see (well, I didn't see till he pointed out this little wooden sign hidden in the weeds) the Chicka Bonita sign. Hurrah, we've arrived! Not. Now you climb up the side of the hill, and more twisting, only sometimes on a very narrow dirt path from which I would likely not survive falling from. At last, there is a cliff for climbing.
It was fun to watch the Cpt. do his thing. Pap held the "Hope this Holds" rope while Cpt. set the line.
I was a bit curious how this would go as Bean had never climbed an actual cliff. He shot right to the top.
It was bit harder for Miss Bugg who doesn't have the arm or leg reach yet that the guys do, but she makes up for it in dogged persistence and up she went right to the top, with her Gramerly cheering all the way.
Rinse, wash and repeat with Pap holding on while another line was set further down the cliff.
This was a big more challenging for Bean and I wondered if he wasn't going to get up there, but he did. Go Bean!
Since it was more challenging, I feared it might be more than my little missy could manage. There really weren't good foot or hand holds anywhere she could reach to get started, so I gave her a little push up, and she was off. The whole time she wasn't sure she would make it and her whole goal was to get the ledge she is on here. She challenged her Pap that if she got to the ledge he had to try. Once she got past this point, she had no trouble going to the top.
So a very reluctant Pap accepted the challenge and discovered he can, in fact, climb. Pooray for Pap!
Ah, goodtimes! Still remaining is to get myself back to the gravel road and home without losing my footing or my breakfast.
Later in the evening, I pulled out another craft/experiment I found on Babbble Dabble Do.
You make our fav Gak, only with chalkboard paint.
Then you decorate the blob with chalk markers.
Then you pull, stretch, and appreciate the beautiful colors.
Even Bean joined the fun.
On Friday, the men folk headed out to Indian Staircase, said to be a short but dangerous climb. In fear for Pap trying to climb while holding to a not so leash trained pooch, Bugg and I stayed home to make more cookies and watch the dogs sleep on the front porch. Thank the Lord, they all returned in one piece.
I said, "So long," and headed home early Saturday morning. It was big time!
When my kids were little, I routinely envisioned opportunities just like this. However it turns out that I raised some very independent children. My Mom is a fretter and I didn't want to be a fretter. Yeah, well I am a fretter- go figure. While I certainly wanted to be a part of their lives and them mine, I never wanted them to feel like they had to call me everyday and keep me up on every jot and tiddle. I didn't suppose that might mean that I would go longer than I like sometimes without talking to them. Now and again I have to wrestle with some envy over families who do spend copious amounts of time together and are ever sharing their escapades and undying love and gratitude for parents on social media. Well, anyway, the Captain came and taught my students about compasses, then he came again and helped with the refugee simulation and then I got to enjoy watching him do something he loves with his kids, so I am feeling grateful.
Saturday was Buttercup's Date Day and she wanted the same experience as her brother, only coconut cream pie instead of rice krispie treats. Since Blue Eyes was here the cotton candy machine arrived, and she was most interested in that.
It was a circuitious kind of day.
The mixer went round and round to make the pie.
After a little fishing trip with Pap, we rolled up some sushi which she promptly ate up. We made a extra to take home.
Some twirling practice. I think she perfected this through practice as the day went on.
Then it was time to spin and take a bath in sawdust.
One more roll to make.
While she was fishing, she paused for some collecting. Seed pods to make fairy dolls and moss she collected to make me a hot pad. Be still my heart. I'm so very thrilled at the amount of time my grandchildren spend outdoors with their wild imaginations and creativity.
Rae reported that her patio was turned into a rock museum last week. You could look and take photographs apparently, but no touching allowed- love it.
Sunday Mom celebrated her 89th birthday. I brought Giddy-Up and Missy Bugg home with me. Those two play so well together. And Missy Bugg can match Buttercup in cotton candy making.