Saturday, September 26, 2015

Scared and Excited!

We had our ghost walk last night...I was looking for a little more history, the walk in Huntsville has so much more local info.  I guess Decatur just isn't that interesting.  They could have pointed out how I was born there or something.

Today, Jake drove himself to town to hang out with friends for several hours and then drove back home. That was about 900 times more scary than last night.  hahahaha!

Tonight, Matt is a Battle of the Bands, which is broadcast live online.  He is giddy, he's so excited and his inner 17 year old Matt is riding the waves.  Playing in a battle at the COUNTY FAIR.  And they are the closing act.  I hope they win, we could use $100.  Ha!  That never changes, extra cash is always handy at 17 or 42.

This afternoon while I just happened to be stalking Jake to be sure he had not driven into a ditch in town as well, getting groceries (almond milk and arugula are groceries!) I saw...The Girl in the Spider's Web!  The Stieg Larsson 'Millennium' series is being continued by another author, since Stieg  managed to give himself a heart attack and die.  I grabbed it right away (from the library), I can not wait to see what Lisbeth is up to, she's my favorite protagonist. And I will, right after I finish my other giddy-inducing find, the newest Department Q book! Also, in Scandinavian crime novels worth reading I like Johan Theorin.

I have been downloading podcasts all afternoon for our drive to the island coming up.  Probably more podcasts than we can listen to, even if we drove there by way of Wisconsin.  Yay!  Kurt is being a whiner because it's a long drive.  I'll have none of that on my vacation!  Though really, I'd rather all be driving to Disney!  I still need a bathing suit, though I am starting to think it will be too cold for sea bathing.  I did find my sun hat today, well, Matt did.  That's one of the 5 things on my list of lost stuff.  I swear, this house moves things you need.  My stuff most of all.  Garh.

And, that's it!  I am off to watch The Battle of the Bands, though I hope it's more lively than the usual gig. They don't dance around or even have big hair anything, really.  They just play and the singing guy sings.  People clap and dance, but I doubt they will be on the LIVE BROADCAST.  He's called 3 times.  I feel a little bad about not going, but...noise and strangers.  I am seriously the worst band wife. hahaha

Oh, I did make a funny the last gig.
Why does the bass player get laid more than the drummer?
Because by the time all the drums get loaded up, the girl is sober again.

Plus, she has to drive her own car because there's no room.   So, sober is a good thing, but...not for the drummer. hehehehehe

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Autumn!

Just a few things from the month.

Matt and I have been walking at the refuge again.  I am about to start biking it!

We went and had a fun double date with Kurt and Katy, we are trying the whole 'no kids' angle to hanging out.  We realized we have all known each other for 11 years and never once have we done anything non kid-centric.
We had martinis and sushi (my idea was Arby's, so...not QUITE in non-kid mode yet)

Downtown, the Slide the City folks were gearing up

we caught some of this concert cutting through the park

The city has repurposed retired newspaper bins as little free libraries.  Katy and I scoured all we passed.  :)

We walked to the Old Town Beer Exchange

Crabbie's!  I LOVE this brand of cider, 100x more than any other I have tried.  But I could not find it anywhere, so I just didn't drink anything other than my beloved Red Stag. I am so happy and it's $10 a 4-pack!

So you go pick out the beer you want to try from a HUGE list and they put it in glasses called a flight.
Then you stand around and taste them and discuss which is better.
Here's the thing-I hate beer.  It's like coffee.  It does not matter what flavors you add, it tastes like coffee.
Maybe they are bitter and I don't like that whang.  I don't really think too much about it, both beverages are super easy to avoid!  I would have really gone for a Crabbies, though!

Chat, chat, chat.

Crabbies!  I love Kurt.  :)  He had them make me a special no-share glass!

Spoiler Alert: she can drive now.
The bit about getting her permit is later on, but I don't feel like wrestling the photos.
She's put about 5 hours in behind the wheel in the past week.  Talks NONSTOP and tends to veer, but handles traffic like a pro now.

The hay bale people are going up in town!  It's really nearly Fall!

This was pretty yummy!

My sweet boy.

It's happening!

I wanted to tag this "Ben, Chandler, Emily and Britney."  :)  I am so glad there's another round of sweet girls and beloved baby brother in the homeschool group.  Makes leaving it a little easier.

Shakalaka for Elan's 15th

Off to get yogurt!

Met up with the Bothwells one afternoon at Hays.

Lots of late summer storms

The new van did it!  Check engine light on.  Then off.  No reason.

More storm clouds

Recently spent a whole week without my wedding ring because I could not find it anywhere.
Hitchhiker, the mouse, sits just to the left of my laptop.  It was so absurdly funny to see it just on his head.  I had flipped the seats in the van looking for it.  ha!

Do not steal our DMV pen

After a LONG wait-but only about 1/5 of the wait at Decatur, Chan got called back just in time for lunch!
They kicked her out-no, first they SLAMMED the door between the waiting area and the testing area and I was trying to decide which chair to use to batter the door down when she came bopping around the corner from parts unknown.
We went to get lunch and went back and she finished up the test with a 100%.  Well, 80% since it stops testing you once you answer 24 questions correctly.  No one does better than 80.

She started driving on the way home, after we were out of traffic I pulled into a church parking lot and she drove around and around and around.

Poor Ben

We have some fun stuff lined up!  Hanging out with Granddad on Friday, ghost walk that night, LONG hike Monday to the Big Tree and then-our fall vacation starts later next week! That's coming up fast and I am so excited!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

SCSP Blue Hole and Rock Island

 Labor Day was Wild Swim day.  Except we didn't actually swim...

We started out at South Cumberland at the VC to pick up Chan's headlamp.  It wasn't there!

So we headed out to Greeter Falls, where we just were last week, and took the side trail to Blue Hole to check it out.  It's a nice swimming hole, I bet after a good rain it will be even better.




It's a super easy .5 mile each way trail.  Lots of families with younger kids down there, yay!

Ben wanted to hike and climb around on rocks and maybe swim.  So we headed toward Rock Island State Park, about an hour away.

We pulled off at a TWRA canoe put-in/takeout point on a tiny side road and waded around for half an hour.

I was attacked by tadpole/crawdad critters, but they refused to come back out once I got Matt over to ID them.  They looked like tiny horseshoe crabs!  I was too busy screaming to get a shot of them.

We have since ID'd them as tadpole shrimp!!

I used to do creek wades to educate people on what makes a creek safe to get in.
I will do a quickie here.  If there are leeches or mosquito larvae, don't go in it.  Of course look for glass and sharp rocks. Clear, moving water is always better for wading than still water or water filled with tannic acid (basically tea-colored from fallen leaves)
Crawdads, dragonfly, small fish, darters and snails all indicate good water.  Caddisfly larvae, which look like little rock cairns, indicate the cleanest water of all.


the creek was metaled, I love that shiny stuff!

Loads of little fossils!

This is awesome!

Canoe path down

We headed back out, stopped to get a cache.  Matt lost his sunglasses and is squinting at me, he swears he's not glaring.  I really can't tell the difference.

At Rock Island, there were 1.6 million people at the falls, so we went on down to the swim beach to poke around.  We have not been there when it was warm out!

I am doing the Vulcan thing, which is actually Jewish and I worry at times I am pissing off a higher power.  Then I realize symbols are only what you believe them to be.

Ah, the long long legs I always wanted!

We saw zero snakes, so make do with this stick sighting.

This was pretty awesome, it's a fire pit to go with the picnic pavilion!

We headed back toward the falls and it had cleared out considerably.
So we walked down to play on the rocks!

There's a dammed lake that wraps around Rock Island, so we were in a canyon below the dam itself, but the higher lake parallels the canyon.  If that makes sense.  So the water from the lake pushes through the rock in several places making unusual waterfalls for our area.  They don't tumble over a precipice from a stream, they fall out from weaker rock somewhere in the face of the canyon wall.

The steps down are also a waterfall!

Lots of rocks, I was so sweaty and hot from climbing around that my glasses kept fogging over.

We played around until sunset and headed back up.  The gates close at 7:30, so it was good timing.