21 May 2007

As if we had angered the gods by our presence....

First, we lived. No one got seriously hurt (except for a few dozen unlucky woodticks and a few hundred Junebugs), and I even took some pictures. Thank you all for your concerns.

We arrived on Friday, and it was very warm and sunny and lovely. Our friends (you didn't really think V and I would just haul off and camp all by ourselves, did you?) helped us put up the tent and settle in. V loved the fact that she had oodles of space to walk wherever she liked without having to hold anyone's hand (like in a parking lot) or being redirected away from the street (like at home). She played in the dirt, she chucked rocks, she tried to take a short cut and got caught in a bunch of thorn-covered something or other. She explored binoculars and decided they were good for sucking on. She didn't even seem to mind the Junebug infestations.

The first night, we went to bed around 11:15, and the storms hit around 11:40. V was sound asleep, and didn't wake up once, except when I poked her in the ear to make sure she wasn't dead. What kind of human sleeps through thunder that shakes the ground beneath us? Or lightning so bright I could've read by it? My daughter, ladies and gentlemen.

The storm(s) raged until around 4:30, when I finally fell asleep (the tent took in water at one point, when the surrounding ground was so saturated that it was raining upwards for a bit, splashing up under the rain tarp into the tent. That was fun). V woke up at 7, all chirpy and annoying and excited to play. That first picture, above, is from that morning. In my optimistic camping stupor, I had neglected to pack enough warm clothes for the sweet girl, so I layered. Jeans, long sleeved onesie, pink summer shirt (with no warming value, but cute). And then the fashion highlight of the day: her fleece jumpsuit. Everyone wanted one of these, and not just because it was 42 degrees.

In the background you see our tent, still standing despite the wrath of mother nature. And V's jumpsuit has a hood, but apparently she stayed plenty warm under all that hair.

So day 2 was colder, but we had lots of discussions on how we all experienced the storm differently (Tony was worried about deranged murderers; I was thinking through my rusty tornado knowledge, i.e. "is that a freight-train noise, or just prolonged thunder?" and Crystal slept like V). We had french toast and sausage for breakfast (thanks, Jensens!), and V conned several people into reading to her or cuddling her (that's Nancy, K.C., and Todd. Sorry if you didn't want your photos posted, guys...).

For supper, we had ham and delicious, buttery potatos, courtesy of Shari and Fej, and then we hung out in the Giant Party Gazebo, which was modified with a tarp to keep out the freezing wind. We listened to music, had lovely conversation. About 9:30, V seemed tired enough for bed, so we said our goodnights and toddled back to the tent.

V was asleep before I even closed the zipper on the door. But I was cold. The wind seemed to sneak around every seam and cut through all four of my shirts. In my very tired state, I started worrying about toddler hypothermia. Yeah, she's asleep, but if she was in danger from cold, would she wake up? Would she fuss and complain? Or do babies just sleep even if they should be trying to warm themselves? She wouldn't let me cuddle her, and kept rolling out from under the covers. So I made an executive decision, and we came home. She slept the whole way, I cranked up the heat in the car, and made it home by 12:30. Shaun had insisted we could, after all. Oh, and what sweet, sweet comfort in my own bed.

When V and I got up on Sunday, we got back in the car and went back to the campground (it's only a little over an hour away), where we were greeted warmly by people who are probably still not fully thawed out. We missed K.C.'s famous omelets for breakfast, but got to hang out with everyone some more, and leisurely pack the tent, having slept well and warmly the night before. When our camping cohorts work up Sunday morning, it was under 40 degrees. This detail definitely made our late-night dash for home seem less pathetic and more wise.

Everyone helped us load our stuff, and we lingered into the late afternoon. V chucked some more rocks, dug in some more dirt, and wandered all over the trails. By this time she was a bit tired of walking, though, so there were several shoulder rides.

Though the weather did not cooperate, I still think V's first overnight camping adventure was a success. I hope she will come to find solace in natural places like I did when I was a child. I hope she continues to let me tag along for the ride.

18 May 2007

We're going camping.

She's over 1 1/2 now, so I've decide to pack her, a borrowed tent, some 30 year old foam mattresses, a bag of diapers and a few clothes, and a jar of peanut butter into the old Mazda and go out to the wilds of a Minnesota State Park. For two nights. Shaun keeps pointing out that we don't have to stay for two nights, if everything goes horribly wrong. But I've already paid for two nights, so I'm pretty sure it would take a tornado to get me to leave.

We'll see. Sometimes V can be very tornado like.

So in the next three hours before we leave, this is what is left to do:
1. Bathe. Both of us. Because we don't want to scare off any exciting wildlife with our stench.
2. Find a tarp to put under the tent so the moisture of this park doesn't all soak into our sanctuary-like dwelling.
3. Roll up bedding so it's not impossible to tote to the campsite.
4. Take a nap.
5. Put the kid in the car and drive 81.3 miles.
6. Enjoy.
I'll be back Sunday with what will hopefully be a joyful and entertaining run-down of the weekend excitement. Wish us luck.

08 May 2007

Laundry time

This is the season's first two loads of laundry to be hung on our backyard line. My favorite part is that almost everything in this picture was either a gift, thrifted, or made by me. Of course the beautiful spring day I chose to hang out laundry also caused the neighborhood sugarbeets to rot all to heck, so things smelled somewhat skunk-like. But it seems as if the clothes have escaped fairly unscathed.

My dear stalkers...

Hi, stalker friends. Those of you who want to hear back from me who don't use Blogger should include in your comment some way to reach you: Pete and Laurie, for example, I know you commented ages ago, and we love and miss you and have your wedding picture on our fridge, but we don't have a way to reach you.

And Sam? I hope you're my former student Sam, and not some one I forgot I dated at one time...but I can't find a way to reach you, either.

If you are squeamish about leaving a blogpost comment that includes an e-mail address, well, you can reach me at johnsonnumber9 (at) yahoo (dot) com. [edited to take out creepy rant...please disregard...]
For those of you not stalking me or who already know how to reach me, here's a picture, because what's the point of a post without a picture? This one is from the zoo, too, and her t-shirt has a little chick and a broken egg, and says "You crack me up." And she does crack me up, all the time.


Ah, meine liebchens....it is finals week here at Casa Languishing, and that means three things: grading, grading, and wishing I was drunk. But it also means I have cleaned the stove, scrubbed the sink, and am eyeing the bathroom: anything to get away from the giant pile of essays I have to read before Monday.

And also it means I must blog! Of course! First, some thrift store triumphs: I paid less than $5 for the two of these beautiful, size-appropriate baby outfits, still on their original hangers. The pink one still has tags with washing instructions and "mostly permanent press" labels. I estimate it's from the late 50's. Mary Poppins, on the other hand, is a fabulous pinafore style...oh, mercy. The picture makes my heart pitter-pat. Now I just need to figure out how to wash them without having their 50 year old threads disintegrate, and I'll be set. Or V will be set, any way.

And yes, that is our Christmas tree serving as a display stand. No, I didn't take these pictures five months ago. We are rapidly approaching the point where we will just leave the sucker up, because it's close enough to next Christmas.

Sigh. My poor child is going to be so messed up.

In other news, we went to the zoo a couple of weeks ago, and I got pictures of my favorite bird ever. If I could, I would have 5 or 6 of these in my backyard. In the interest of not further alienating the neighbors, though, I guess I'll just go to the zoo and pretend.

Aren't they startlingly lovely? The one on the top is eating dippin' dots, we think. The breakfast of champions.

And here is blurry proof that the cousins are starting to play together: here's V and Cousin WDK, checking out the spiders, much to Uncle Brad's chagrin.

That's our last couple of weeks in a concise, interesting post. Note the larger size of the vintage baby clothes photos. A girl's gotta have priorities, you know?