photo p1_zpsc8a7232f.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p2_zpse73671a0.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p3_zps456abd62.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p5_zps95486d0f.png  photo j2_zpsc3f43514.png  photo p4_zps481d5f13.png

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Our little camping trip.

If you know my husband, you know he loves to camp.  I guess that goes back to his Boy Scout days.  Peter likes to camp too.  So typically when there is any camping done in our family, it's the boys.  And when they camp the girls stay home, get mani/pedis, go out to dinner, and sleep in our own comfortable beds.

Dan has been talking about going camping as a family for ages.  And I finally said, "Fine, we can go but you are going to have to plan it because I have no idea where to start."   Thanks to Covid-19 Dan has some extra vacation days so on Friday we headed to the Linville Gorge located in the Pisgah National Forest.

There's a place near the gorge that has camping sites located on a very bumpy dirt road (Old N 105) along the gorge.  There are pull-offs (or spaces they have created to pull your car off the road into the woods.) These pull-offs are located along this road randomly depending on the conditions of the woods.  There are no reservations and it's first come first served. (You can also camp in the gorge but that requires a very long hike down into the gorge with all of your camping equipment.  Dan would have loved to do that but I told him he would need a new wife for that.)

Luckily we found a space and the area in the woods around it was nice.  PLEASE NOTE: this is literally camping in the woods - not a campground so there were no facilities.  And this is exactly what Dan wanted.

We got all of our gear unpacked, pitched our tents, gathered wood from the forest to help start the fire (we did bring some real firewood that we did not have to find and chop ourselves but needed kindling), and then took a quick hike to Wiseman's View Scenic Overlook to check out the gorge.

Then we came back and made dinner.  We cooked hotdogs over a little camp stove and they were delicious.  I was starving and the hotdogs hit the spot.  Then we got to work making the fire because Sarah wanted to make s'mores.

We sat around the fire all evening, talking, tending the fire, and eating s'mores.  It was really nice family time - no phones, no tvs, no distractions.

We went to sleep around midnight and were up around 7:30. We let the kids sleep until 8:30. We made coffee and had pop tarts (I guess we could have brought eggs and bacon but that seemed like a lot of work!) And our camp stove is tiny so breakfast would have been complicated.

After breakfast, we broke the camp down and took another quick hike to see the waterfalls.  However, it was starting to rain so we didn't go to the main lookout spot because it was further away.  Plus for 10:30 in the morning, the trails were already very crowded.

I would like to point out here that we were really roughing it!  As I mentioned, there were no facilities which is code for NO TOILET.  So we made our own camp toilet.  Dan cut the bottom out of a 5-gallon paint bucket and we purchased a $6 toilet seat from Lowes.  And taaaaaadaaaaaaa:

So we had all the comforts of home!  Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

Here are some pictures from our 24-hour camping adventure:

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 24th already?

Is it already Wednesday?  Yikes?  How did that happen?  Mid March to mid May passed so very slowly so now I'm left wondering how it got to be June 24th so quickly.

I guess actually having some things to do makes the time pass.  We've had dental and doctor appointments keeping us very busy. I had to have an MRI (regularly scheduled due to my MS) and Sarah has had to have some dental work done that is keeping us on our toes. Peter has been having socially distanced football workouts which I think is the only thing keeping him sane these days and the only thing keeping Sarah sane is the fact that we can finally get her driver's license!

The governor passed the bill saying that those who have met all the driving requirements can get their license without the in-car test.  Although we will have to go back at some point in the future to get that (which will seem very strange given that she will have already been driving alone.)  We have an appointment at the DMV on Tuesday morning and she is counting the days - literally.  She actually made one of those paper ring chains that you make in preschool to countdown and has been removing a ring daily.  It's kind of cute how excited she is!

We celebrated Father's Day on Sunday with Mass, gifts and cards and lunch of steak and baked potatoes with my mom and brother.  And in the evening Dan and I had a beer at Goose and Monkey Brewery - socially distanced of course.

And in one final note, I purchased a cute little sunflower.  I was excited when I noticed our resident yellow finch couple delighted in it as much as I did.

If you look closely you can see the female sitting on the top left of the plant and the male sitting on the top right of the plant (as you are looking at this picture).

What I was not as happy about is the fact that they ate every single seed out of this plant and totally killed it!  And left a bunch of discarded sunflower seed shells all over the table to boot!

I hope they enjoyed their sunflower buffet!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Colonoscopy update and a weekend report.

I survived the colonoscopy!

It actually wasn't that bad.  On Thursday I was hungry pretty early in the morning but I think that was more of a mental thing.  I never eat breakfast so I just powered through that, had broth at lunch, went shopping for football cleats with Peter, got a large Diet Dr. Pepper from McDonald's as a treat, and then began the clean out.

It was just as I had expected.  Drinking the 64 ounces of Gatorade combined with a whole bottle of Miralax in 8 ounce increments every 20 minutes was very doable. I did have to set the alarm on my phone so I wouldn't forget.  I started that process at 4:00 and by 5:30, let's just say - things were starting to move.

I was able to get a little sleep and thankfully wasn't up and down too much during the night.  I did have to set my alarm for 3:30 am so I could get up and drink the 10 ounce bottle of magnesium citrate.  To me, this was the worst part.  That stuff was disgusting.  It was very thick and it was very tart/sour and not exactly what you would like to be drinking in the middle of the night. 

I was able to get a little sleep after drinking that and then was up at 5:30 to shower and get ready to be at the doctor's office for my 7:00 am check in.

My appointment was at 7:30 and they took me back right on time (a benefit of being the first colonoscopy of the day!) and before I knew it I was under.

Also, before I knew it I was awake.  As in, I woke up before they were done!

One minute I was out and the next minute I groggily opened my eyes and the room was dark.  The nurse anesthetist was standing by my shoulder and I could hear him talking to the doctor who was um, how shall I put this - still working....

I was very groggy and I remember thinking to myself, I should probably tell them I'm awake but before I could say anything, it was over.  I think I was probably awake 1 or 2 minutes before they were done. 

I got a clean report and don't have to do that again for ten years!

Dan and I tried First Watch for brunch. I got a pesto chicken quinoa power bowl.  It was yummy!

We ran an errand and were home by 10:30.  Dan did the yard work and I did a few things around the house and then on Friday night we went with the kids, my mom, and my brother to our traditional end of school dinner celebration to Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse.

The official last day of school should have been the previous Friday and we would have celebrated then except Peter was still in pain from his wisdom tooth surgery AND the restaurant had not opened up yet.  So waiting another week was fine. And school had already been out several weeks so when we went wasn't really an issue. 

Our chef was extremely good.  And we were the only ones at the table due to the limitations on seating so we got all of his undivided attention.  And the waitress seemed to only be waiting on two tables so she was very attentive as well.  It was a really nice night with the family!

On Saturday we decided to take a hike along the Yadkin River. The weather was beautiful - sunny and warm and not humid.

On Saturday evening, we grilled steaks.  Correction - Peter grilled steaks.  He has decided he wants to learn how to be a good griller so when he goes to college he can man the grill at tailgate parties.

He made his own spice rub, asked us each how we wanted our steaks cooked and did a very good job!  He is officially hired!

On Sunday, we had socially distanced Mass again and then had lunch at my mom's house.  And on Sunday evening Dan and I headed back to Goose and the Monkey (a new brewery) for a socially distant beer.

And just like that - our weekend was over.

Oh - and for anyone wondering - I lost FIVE pounds doing the colonoscopy prep!  But don't worry that I'm wasting away over here.  As on Monday morning, I had gained all five of those pounds back plus one EXTRA one!  Oh well...

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Prep Day!

The next 24 hours should be lots of fun!


Because at 7:00 AM tomorrow, I will be pulling in to the parking lot of Digestive Health Specialists for my very first colonoscopy!  Oh, the joys of turning 50 - peri-menopause, aching joints, sagging skin, crows feet, the inability to get up from the ground without a lot of effort and an equal amount of grunting, and colonoscopies!

I am currently sipping on peppermint tea because as much as I love coffee, there is no way I am able to drink it without cream.  And I am already looking forward to my lunch of broth with a tasty dessert of  lemon Italian ice.  My mouth is watering already.

And then at 4:00 PM I get to drink 64 ounces of Gatorade mixed with a whole bottle of Miralax and that's when the real fun begins! 

I also apparently get to set my alarm for 3:30 AM to make sure I wake up and drink a whole bottle of magnesium citrate.  I got the lemon flavored in case you were wondering.  Sarah and I decided that would be less disgusting that the cherry and grape flavors Walgreens also had to offer.

I am less concerned with the process of getting the actual colonoscopy since I'll be asleep for it than I am of being hungry this entire day.  I'm trying to focus on a full day of eating tomorrow instead of an entire day of not eating today because Dan and I will be going out for brunch after the procedure AND we are doing our traditional end of year dinner at Tokyo Japanese restaurant tomorrow night with the family.  It's nice to have something to look forward to.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Our socially distant weird but sort of normal weekend.

We had a nice weekend!  On Saturday we grilled out burgers.  Peter wanted to be in charge of the grill so he handled the meat while I took care of the french fries.  I hauled out the Fry Daddy from the basement and actually fried the french fries instead of baking them.  So good and yes, I'm still gaining weight instead of losing any.  Why do you ask?

On Sunday we went to Mass INSIDE our church which was nice because the car thermometer was reading 81 degrees at 9:30 as we were driving to church so an outdoor Mass would have been miserable. 

We had to wear masks and use hand sanitizers before we entered the sanctuary, and the ushers seated everyone so we couldn't sit in our "normal" spot.  Everyone has a normal spot at church, right?  It's not just us being weird, is it?

And they left a pew empty between each pew with people.  And we were 6 feet apart from the next family beside us and the Eucharistic Ministers brought communion to us and they used hand sanitizer between distributing to each family and it was all very weird but at least it's another step closer to normal church.  Which probably won't be normal for another year or two.  .....sigh...

After church we headed to my mom's for lunch to do our family birthday celebration for Sarah.  My brother grilled out steaks and mom fixed twice baked potatoes and salad and it was all delicious!  And mom made a birthday cake for Sarah and we sang and opened presents. 

And then on Sunday evening Dan and I went to a brewery for a beer!  Our governor won't allow bars to open but he has allowed breweries and wineries to open.  A new brewery in Lexington opened in March right before everything had to close down so we went and enjoyed an adult beverage!

And that was our socially distant weird but sort of normal weekend.