THE TURKEY SAGA CONTINUES…

Oh! Me!  Oh! My!  Here it is, almost Thanksgiving, and I am all in a dither…or a tizzy…or bum fuddled!

If you keep up with me, you know my turkey experiences.  I have raved and raved to you about the fantastic, marvelous Jennie-O turkey that is oven ready and cooks in its own bag.  Easy as can be and that’s how I like it.  And not only easy…but delicious, too!

I have looked everywhere for my tried and true…best ever turkey, and I can not find it anywhere.  I even have a friend who has been keeping an eye out for me, too.  (Thanks, Em!)  But no luck.  I have even gone to their website to see if I could find out where they are available in our area…and they are NOT!  I even checked to see if I could have one shipped to me…they don’t do that.  (You know dry ice and all. ) Actually I was looking for two…Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am on turkey duty!

Well if that didn’t put a damper on my spirits.  Cause doing it the ‘old fashioned’ way is quite a chore for me.  But, that’s just me and my lack of culinary skills.

So, I find myself at Wal Mart last week and I asked about them.  The girl I asked said, “Yes, we have them, but they are in the back.  I’ll go get you one!”  “Make it two,” I said.  And she disappeared.  Friends, I might have done a little happy dance…I’m sure I was grinning!  The turkey fairy had smiled on me and I was going to get raves from the family on Thanksgiving Day…because you. can. not. mess that turkey up!  So, I waited and I waited and was beginning to think she had gotten stuck in the turkey freezer!

Out comes a man and asks me if I was looking for the turkeys in the bag.  I told him I was and he went over to one of the cases and pulled out a turkey.  It was NOT a Jennie-O.  It was a Butterball!    And, it was only a turkey breast.  I told him that I needed the whole turkey…and I was looking for MY brand.  He begins digging down into the bottom of that bin and he pulls out a turkey.  A Butterball!  In a Ready to cook bag.. just like the Jennie-O!  I took it and it looked very similar…so I asked him to dig one more time and get me another one.  And, he did.  The directions for this turkey are almost exactly like the other one.  No thawing…no washing…no slipping out of your hands and landing on the floor.  Just put in pan, and bake!

So, just to update you.  Can not find any of Ready to Cook in bag turkey by Jennie-O…but, found a similar looking Butterball.  I will try it on Thursday and report back to you.  Butterball usually has great turkeys…so we’ll see.  I have had four people contact me this year asking where to get one.   Sorry, folks.  but, for those in a bigger city, you may have better luck.  *****EDITED TO ADD*****A friend contacted me about a recall on some of Jennie-O products.  The list did not include whole turkeys.  So maybe that is why they are scarce.

When I am doing cooking things, I like to stay with the things I KNOW work well with my skill level.  But, I’m a brave girl and I can venture into new territory if I have to.  So wish me luck, and I’ll poll the family on Thanksgiving Day and let you know the verdict.

Hope your turkey (whatever the brand) is tasty and that your day is filled with such happiness that the memories will stay with you far into the future!  Happy Thanksgiving!

I AM RELAXING!!!

I have recently been dealing with a malady that is slowly driving me bonkers!  I don’t know if it does that to everybody who deals with this…or if it is just my own personality and quirks that is making it worse.  Anyway, let me tell you my dilemma and perhaps you can tell me if I am slowly losing the few marbles still in my possession!

I have developed a pretty severe problem of TMJD.  This is short for “Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.  It means “you hurt in front of your ear and sometimes causes headaches” according to Ms Google and Medicine Net.

I beg to differ.  When you wake up and your jaw is locked into position and you can not even open it to talk…that’s a strange feeling.  And, if you try to force it to open…you should remember there are quite a few pounds of pressure pushing against you.  They are angry and they are mean.  And, they will wait in the closed  and locked position for you to learn that if you ever wish to open your mouth in a normal way again…you are just going to have to lay back and wait till they are good and ready to move.

When they finally do choose to move again in to the motion we generally use for such things as talking and chewing…you will quickly learn that even though they are allowing you entrance to your throat again…they are not over being difficult.  You will learn you, now and forever, are at the mercy of this little joint in front of your ear.

Tiny little thing.  Think you could certainly yank that little piece into submission., huh?  Well, friends…don’t even try.  And, I tell you this becauseI did try.  I got some steroids at the doctor’s office…and by day 4, it was better.  It was sore for a few days and then it got slowly better and I thought to myself, “Tonja, you have just bypassed a big mess.  Luckily this went away.  You must be living right.”  And, I did not have much trouble…just an occasional twinge for the next 7 or 8 months.  However toward the beginning of fall last year, it began to tell me it was having anger issues again and I had best get ready because it was on its way back!  And, it was.  I went through Thanksgiving and Christmas eating a little soft food on one side of my mouth…almost breaking into tears when I would have to yawn.  My whole side of my face hurt…even up into the temples.  I was even having full blown migraines.  I finally called my dentist and they sent me to an orthodontist who works a dedicated program of help for this condition and the pain it truly causes.

I immediately set up an appointment and quickly made my first visit.  Super nice…everyone.  Extremely knowledgeable and interested in making my pain go away.  It so pays to go to a specialist when you have varying health issues…they know things about specific issues that other doctors may not know just because that is their area of expertise.

Well, they tested me…hooked me up to computers, x rayed me, gave me a thorough explanation of what was happening to me.  I thought it was all in my jaw…but it was involving my face, neck, shoulders and upper back as well.  I signed up for all they were selling.  I was in pain and I wanted out.  And, so they began.  I wear a splint over my teeth at all times…have extensive physical therapy, ultrasound therapy and laser therapy.  Whew!  A lot to throw at ya all at once, huh?  They also explained to me that it could go away for a while, but each time it came back it would be a little worse.

First thing of all was the worst thing of all.  Now you all know I don’t exaggerate!!!!!, but they had to make impressions of my bite.  Top and bottom.  You ever had that?  I have…and I hate it every time!  They get this tray designed to fit a horses mouth…

…and fill this hollowed out tray with the most gosh awful chalky smelling, thicker than toothpaste, goop.  They they expect you to open your little human mouth wide enough to fit that trough in there and bite down. I don’t know if they even think about the fact that you could ingest some of this devil goop down your throat, but rather play soothing music so you can relax and smile inside.   I didn’t…smile inside.  They took out the bottom one.  I survived.

And, here they come with the top one.  But, they didn’t have it smoothed down and neat like this…so right there where the curve is in the round of the tray…there was a little glob of goop sticking straight up.  And when it went into my mouth and suctioned around my teeth…that little blob was just touching that place in your mouth where the gag reflex is!  Oh. I Thought. I Was.GoingTo. Die….right there is that lovely little reclining bed in the little room with the dimmed lights.  I clinched my hands, I clenched my arms to my body. I clenched my butt cheeks.  I was trying to get through this because I knew it was the end.  They started wiggling and wrestling with that thing trying to remove the suction and pull it out of my mouth.  YES!!! they did it.  They inspected it.  And, then came the most dreaded words I had heard up till then…, “We’ve got to do that top one again.”  One of the f assistants caught me as I tried to ease out the door and make a run for it.  And, they did it again.  This time no little glob on top…I told em to make it smooth.  And, I willingly went back into the lion’s den and did it again!

They finished.  I left.  Stopped and bought the biggest glass of sweet tea McD’s offered and washed that experience out of my head…and mouth!  I made it!    I talked to myself all the way home.  “This is going to be fine, Tonja.  They know what to do to get you better.  No more impressions!  The worst part is over.”  They could now make me a splint for my mouth that would fix my bite and strongly urge those teeth into cooperation and make those muscles behave and let me live my life and eat steak again.

So, I’ve been to therapy sessions for 5 weeks.    A good majority of the pain is better.  But there are still issues with the ear and the headaches.  The girls there are so kind and caring and they go out of their way to make things pleasant…except for the impressions.  I kid…maybe I don’t.   On the fourth week, the doctor seemed to think perhaps I needed some different kind of splint that coerced more of my teeth to get involved with this program and make me well.  “Cool!” I thought.  “I’ve already had impressions, so there’s not that to do again.  Thank you, sweet Jesus!”.  They kept my splint and I figured they would just fix it and give it back.  And, I started on my merry way to the therapy room.  It is about an hour massage and though it is painful at times, I can tell it is working what needs to be working and it is very relaxing.  Three girls have worked with me and they are the tops.

But, one of them …and I won’t call any names here….they are all just so lovely.   But she really did try to pull a fast one.  I was headed to the therapy room and she slyly said, “Mrs Tonja, come right over here first, we need to…” and then I faded away, because it looked as if her mouth was making the words ***do more impressions***.  And, I knew that was not in the plans I had made for me that day. I stopped and looked at this sweet dear young lady and thought…surely she is mixed up bad.  I already have done impressions.  She beckoned me closer.  And, I caught a whiff of devils goop mixed with chalk.  She was actually holding it in her hands and smiling at me all sweetly like.  “Just sit right here and we’ll get his taken care of and get on with your therapy.”  I sat…I reclined and we did the bottom one.  OK…done.  Then the top.  I told her about smoothing it down. ( Cause even though she does this every single day, I had a better way she should know of!)  She put in the top one and I clenched and shook and shivered and through all that, I heard her voice coming through saying,” Relax your lower jaw, Mrs. Tonja.”  I thought I was.  “Mrs. Tonja RELAX your jaw. “ For the life of me, I could not get my lower jaw to do anything but what it darn well pleased.  I pulled on it…she was trying to get the goop out and I pulled my jaw and moved it and she said “RELAX it.” Well, You could have hit me with a hammer, but my jaw was not in an obedient mood…and I could not help it.  The TMJD devil got in there and just would not turn loose.  She laughed and said “come on and relax.” UH UH!  was not happening!   All I could think of was that this tray was going to be cemented to my teeth and I would have to have it chiseled  off and who knows what else and HOW COULD I RELAX?  I still don’t know how she got that horse trough out of my mouth , but she did.  I was really trying to relax my jaw as best as I could, but it was just one strong force after another!  Ask her…she’ll tell you she was ready to slap me!  Not really! 

So, I am this far in treatment and don’t know what the next step will be.  I can hear the bones moving against each other…which is an unnerving sound at best.  At least it’s not crackling like crumbling up paper anymore.  Don’t know where the next steps will lead me…possibly even surgery.  But, I’m committed to this program.  It makes so much sense and is quite logical from my  limited medical knowledge.  I will follow it through!

As long as there are no more impressions!!!!  Thanks sweet girls for serving me with your kindness and mercy!

I added some information here, because I am at heart a teacher.  I love to convey knowledge.  I never knew TMJD was this involved.  This is just a short synopsis, but I urge you that if you are having trouble in any of these areas to perhaps consider this help.  I am not a doctor, so I can make no claims except what it is doing for me.  And, the caring and consideration of the staff involved is tops.  If you should perhaps want to know the name of this doctor, I would be happy to share it with you privately.  He is local, but I did not ask permission to use his name.

                                     INFO ON TMJD

The temporomandibular joint is more commonly referred to as the TMJ joint, but what is TMJ? This joint is actually located at the base of the skull in front of the ear structure and connects the lower jaw (mandible) with the upper jaw (maxilla). Unlike most joints located in the body, the TMJ is unique in its structure, composed of a rounded protrusion of the mandible that sits against an indentation in the skull, and a disc-like structure made of a soft bone called cartilage found in between the two bones (articular disc).

These three parts of the TMJ are held together by ligaments originating from different parts of the head and neck to support the jaw and guide its movements. Several muscles are connected to those ligaments, and many aid in the motion of the lower jaw.

How Does it Work?

The TMJ works in two ways to open your mouth: The first way is like a hinge to simply open and close the mouth, just like a hinge on a door. The second way is a sliding motion called translation, wherein your lower jaw moves down and forward. This motion helps the TMJ to move backward and forward and from side to side for actions such as eating, yawning and singing – some of the most common.

What Can Happen to the TMJ?

Like any other joint in the body, the TMJ can be fractured, swell and become sore, causing limited movement of the lower jaw and pain radiating to the head and neck area. A fracture to the actual articular disc is rare, but it can be displaced, causing severe pain and swelling. Unlike other joints such as knees and hips, arthritis of the TMJ is very rare, and hard to treat with anti-inflammatory drugs alone.

You can find loads more info on google to familiarize your self with this condition.

 

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BANANA BREAD

I am beyond happy to be a Lulu to my sweet Levi!  We have such fun together and I love to make his wishes come true….within reason, of course.

He had stayed with me one Friday while he was sick and had to be out of school.  We rested and did a few fun things and watched some cartoons and just had a sweet day.  So, it was in this frame of mind, that I heard his latest request.

Levi, “Lulu, can you make banana bread?

Lulu…..”Yes, I have made banana bread before.  Would you like me to make you some?

Levi……”Well, yes, I would.  But, I would like you to make enough so I can take it to share with my friends at school, too.  And, the other first grade teachers too!”

Lulu…..”Well, that’s a lot of banana bread, Levi!

Levi…..”But, you can do, can’t you, Lulu?”

Lulu….”Yes, Little Man, I will do that for you.”

Levi…..”Can we make it right now?”

Lulu…..Well, first I’ll have to buy some bananas and let them get really ripe.  Then we can make it.”

And, that’s what I did.  I bought bananas and set them on the cabinet to ripen.  Every morning when he came to the house before school, he would ask if they were ready yet.  Then Suzanne bought me a big bag of bananas from school.  So we had plenty of very ripe bananas now!

Yesterday, I gathered all the supplies and made 4 loaves of banana bread!  UMMM!  It smelled so good!  I called Levi and told him I had it ready.  Since Suzanne was taking him to school today, she came by to pick it up to take to school when she went.  By the time they got here, I had cut into one loaf to make sure it was edible!  Oh!  And it was!  Suzanne loved it, Don loved it and I loved it.  Levi took a bite.  He didn’t say anything.  He put it down and went on about his business.  Strange, I thought.

Well, I wrapped it all up and got it ready for Suzanne to take.

Levi….”Thank you, Lulu.  I am going to share it with my friends tomorrow.  And the other teachers in first grade.”

When I went back inside, I saw the piece I had cut for him…uneaten.  Hmmmm.

I may or may not have eaten it…since it was already cut and all.

Later on that evening, Suzanne called me and she told me again how good the bread was.  Then she said, “But, Levi was not too fond of it.”

Lulu…..”Well, I thought he liked banana nut bread…isn’t that why he asked me to make him some?”

She asked him if he liked it and he said he liked it just a little bit.

Lulu…”Levi, why did you ask me to make it if you did not even know if you liked it?”

Levi….”Well, see…I was watching Mickey Mouse Club and Mickey and his friends were going somewhere.  So they asked Clarabelle the Cow to make them some banana bread to take with them to share with their friends!  And, I thought that was a good idea!”

Lulu…”Let me get this straight…you never tasted banana nut bread before…but since Clarabelle made some for Mickey and his friends to share…you thought I should make some for you to share.”

Levi…”Right!” ” I just thought it sounded like a nice thing to do.”

(Oh, my, does he think of his Lulu when he sees Clarabelle the Cow?   No.  Surely not!)

 

UPDATE…Today…

This morning when Levi came I asked him about the banana bread.

Levi…..It was great, Lulu.  I got to be the waiter and give it to my friends.  Then I got to take Mrs. Mann and Mrs. Mayes some…and Mrs. Jones.”

Lulu…..”What about Mrs. Brown?  

Levi…..”Well, she got her own piece!”

Lulu….”Did your friends like it?”

Levi…..Well, Cal and Winston sure did!  They wanted another piece!  But, Grayson said he did not like it.  I whispered to him, ‘That’s OK…I don’t like it either!”

And, so the banana bread story ends.  Isn’t it funny how we think we are doing things for one reason and it turns out that we did it for something entirely different?  

You never know where and when inspiration will strike.  Levi had a great idea…even if it did come from a cartoon.  He seized on that thought and applied it to his little world.  That makes me very happy.  How thoughtful it was for him to carry that idea on to the next step.  I pray his heart is always attuned to making others happy and finding ways to bless his friends. I wonder if we are as in touch when God whispers in our ear a way in which we can be a blessing!

However…before I bake anything for him again…I’ll make sure he knows what it is I’m making!

 

 

SQUIRRELS and BATS

Squirrels and bats…bats and squirrels…anyway you say it its just not a pleasing combination.  Now, squirrels, I have watched playfully running and jumping from tree to tree, scurrying round the tree trunk chasing a friend….even trying to figure out my bird feeder…unsuccessfully, I may add. They can be amusing.  Dogs like them…and so do little boys.  Then there are bats…bats….NO,  there is nothing I can say good about them…except they dine on mosquitos!  And, that one took his dying breath along side my driveway a year or so back…and Levi was able to see what a bat looked like up close.  No, we didn’t touch it!

Several, SEVERAL, months back, I heard running over my head.  Tiny little steps.  I thought they were on the roof.  They were not.  They got louder and louder. At odd times during the day, I would hear them.  Still not knowing they were inside.  Scratching…by tiny little claws…close to me, but hidden.  And, it was then I realized there was not an attic separating them from me…there was only a ceiling between us.  Scratching the floor…you know how a dog will find something in the grass and he will scratch  really fast for a few seconds then stop and sniff…then scratch again.  Like that.  It was freaky. I would hit the ceiling where they were…which was around my dining table…and they stopped.  I went back to bed after closing all the air vents in my bedroom…just in case one of them tried to gain access.  I told Don when he got home and he said he “never heard them so it must not be true…I was hearing things.” !!??!!!?  And, for sure…sometimes I wander over to the crazy side for a visit…but I wasn’t visiting when I heard this.  A few more nights, I’d hear the same thing.  He was never around when it happened.  Then I heard thumping.  What could they be doing?  Do squirrels thump their tails or something?  Or were they engaged in frisky play that would result in a litter of little squirrels doing their homework in my attic?  This happened over and over for months!

I fussed….I fumed…I complained….I even nagged…it’s possible I did even worse, too.  I wanted them out.  And, today was not soon enough.  Yesterday was better, but it was gone and that made me madder!

Finally, he called a man with a catchy name who came out and checked into it for us.  He gave us definitive news.  We had squirrels in our attic and a nice community of bats, as well.  Living peaceably together in MY attic.  “Get them out!”  says I.  He responds that he can surely get them out….the ones he can find.  But, he finishes with the statement that there is nothing he can do to KEEP them out.   That’s not his job.  He’ll GET them out…but that’s the extent of it.  Then if their grandma and fourteen second cousins come back the next night…he would have to come back.  And, then he reminded us of this archaic law of the land.  IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO KILL BATS.  Did you know that?  Well it is.  So to get them out, he would have to lure them out of a device and then fix said device so they could not get back in.   But, that still was not his job.  We were on our own.  This nice man did get a 4 foot rattlesnake out of my garage once.  But when I told him recently that my yard person saw 3 Copperheads under the wooden shed in the backyard, he did not offer to come and rescue me once again.  But, he said, if they were able to make it up onto the porch or into the garage..call him!  THAT’s his job!

There is not someone here in our town that will get monsters out of the attic and prevent them from returning.  No one in our fair city offers this service.  So Don found a company out of Marietta, Georgia that does this very thing…gets ’em out and keeps ’em out.  And, they happen to have a man stationed in Panama City, FL.

The Bat Man comes to our house and makes the acquaintance of all those residing upstairs.  Then he shows us where they are entering and leaving.  The bats in one place…the squirrels another.  They have managed to hone in on a wonderful setup…if you are a bat or a squirrel.  We have those louvered vents all along the house and they are made of metal.  So the trap he has will not work.  He has to rig up something to get them out…and then cover all the louvers.  Because he cannot break the law and kill them.   Then he will clean the attic and fumigate.  And all will be well.  He worked for 2 weeks.  He set traps for the squirrels that I could hear snapping shut during the night!  To trap the bats he made traps that looked like big black garbage bag flags flying from all the vents of my house.  So classy!

The squirrel family…the wayward brother…always bringing girls home with him…creep4

The Mom who was the lookout in case the bats crossed the line…

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The Head of the Crime Syndicate…Mr.. Whiskers…

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And, Bob, the playful sibling…..

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These were the only ones I could capture on camera…

And here are the Bats….Dad…keeping the whole house under observation…

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The 3 worthless brothers who just ‘hung around’ all day…

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And, the babies, they tucked in gently every night while they all left to frolic in the moonlight!

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Finally, we were told all the bats were out and cleaning would commence…followed by disinfection.  The cleaning out, I did not see..but after the disinfection…I had to leave town.  It was chemical laden and drifted down into the people part of the house.  It actually made me physically sick.  Thank goodness I had a little cottage at the beach to hold up in for a few days.  And, I did.  With my sister.  It was nice.  However the television was not working so we had to entertain each other with singing and dancing and skits and plays. I prefer TV.  But I digress.

I came home and the smell was still there.  But different…actually, it was worse…lots worse.  The Bat Man came back…said a couple of the brothers had hidden out under the insulation and he had to take care of that.  He did.  I had a day or two of peace.  Then Don had to leave on a trip last Thursday.  By Saturday… that most awful smell was back in my house…again it made me physically ill.  Don walked in from his trip and caught a whiff!  He called the Bat Man before he even put his suitcase away.  He came the next day.  3 squirrels and 1 bat, had been trapped inside, but had succumbed to the elements and chose the attic as their final resting place.  Not fine with me.  He got them out…I lit every candle I had.   By morning all evidence of death was erased.  Gotta buy some more candles!

And, now its been a week.  If I hear a limb or a pinecone hit the roof…I go into panic mode.  But, so far, so good.  After I picked up all the scrap metal netting and screws out of the yards and out of the pool…hopefully all traces of this horrid event will fade from my memory.

But, remember  year or so back when the chimney sweeps (little birds) got into my fireplaces and laid nests?  You may not, but I distinctly remember them because they would chose 2 o’clock in the morning to teach their little ones to sing. Their chirping sounding like squawks.  It echoed and reverberated throughout the house.  It was spooky. We told them to leave and made lots of noise.  We watched a lot of them fly out.  We gave them plenty of warnings.  And then lit a fire.  They didn’t comeback.  But, wire netting is covering all the chimneys now, too…just in case!

Stay away, critters.  We do not deal nicely with unwelcomed guests!

And I betcha Don believes me next time I hear something in the attic!  If he doesn’t, I have The Bat Man on speed dial!

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO IN 45 HOURS?

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Beaches are for sunshine and warm breezes and cool drinks and playing in the water…and sunshine.  But, when God sees fit to water his creation, there’s still lots of fun to be had.

First thing…sit in the only spot of sun on the porch and watch as the clouds roll in…

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Ask your Mom to go get doughnuts for breakfast…cause doughnuts can make any disappointment so much easier to bear!

While you wait for your Mom and your Lulu to get ready…why not rearrange the toy shelf?  Everything out…and everything back in again.  But better suited to my liking!  Good job, Levi!

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Mom… Where would you like to go?

Levi...Wal Mart!  Wal Mart!

Mom…But we are not buying any toys…

Levi…I just want to look and see all the things they have in there!

Mom…OK…here we go!

Lulu...Oh, My!  Wal Mart?  Really?

Thank goodness for umbrellas!

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First we look at all the toys…ALL the toys.   Then we find a cooler for our lemonade stand (Coming soon).

Lulu...I need some keys!

And, so we get an up close and personal lesson in key making!

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5 keys later..we set off to find something else interesting…Look at this!  A bicycle just for Lulu!

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Here and there we go…all over the store.  Suzanne found a great way to keep Levi under control!

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Levi and I decide we need some white cheddar popcorn and chocolate chip cookies…you know…rainy day food!

So, we check out and head to the car…popcorn, cookies, m&m’s, and cooler in tow!

Levi...Look!  It’s not raining now!

Suzanne…I think it’s time for a smoothie!

Levi...I think it’s time for McDonald’s.

And, so we go to both.  Suze and I have a smoothie and Levi has a Happy Meal!

We stopped at the paint store and Suzanne did a little touch up painting in the house!  Thanks, Suze!

Back to the Sandcastle to wait for Pa and Uncle Ian…they are dropping in to spend the night on the way to Las Vegas.  Pa likes to fly out of PCB.

And, once we visit a few minutes…it’s off to Boondocks for a great meal!  Levi managed to get Pa’s hat from him and proceeded to wear it all night!  Levi and Uncle Ian having too much fun!

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Levi and Pa and Uncle Ian decide to stop at Pier Park and let Levi ride some of the fun rides there…but Suze and Lulu sit it out in the car.  We’ve had a busy day.  We get tired…but Levi never does!

To tie up the night, we stop for ice cream and sno cones!  YUMMY!

Up the next morning, we wash sheets and towels, tidy up,  and hurry home for an important meeting .

BACK UP A DAY…

A few pics from our first day.   First we went to the Frank Brown Water Park and soaked up lots of sun and fun!  The day was perfect!  Not too hot…cool breeze…a little cloudy.  Just like we ordered.

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After a quick shower back at the Sandcastle, we set out on a search for supper.  Every place was crowded.  Somehow…and I’m still not sure how…we ended up at a little local place.  There was live music, folks dancing and having a ball!  There was even a pool the kids could swim in during dinner!  We sat outside…and laughed and laughed and laughed!  We decided that even though the place was not crowded…and we had to wait over an hour for our food…we’d make the best of it and enjoy being together!  And, we did!  When we finally got out food…it was delicious!

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And, since no one likes to go to bed on time at the beach…Suze and Levi took a few spins on the go-carts.  Me?  I was safer just watching from the sidelines!

Sweet fun on a quick 45 hours at the beach!  A huge amount of fun in a short amount of time!  Hey…you just gotta cram that fun in  in the time you have!  And, we did!

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See you soon, Sancastle!

 

 

BOOGALOO CAMP… 2017

 

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And…once again   Boogaloo Camp is history… for this year.  Oh, but the memories will keep us happy until it’s time to do it again!

***Lots of pics here, but it’s all about the documentation***

Joy and I arrived at The Sandcastle on Monday and spent two days watching the rain pour and pour and pour!  Which wasn’t too bad.  Gave us a great chance to catch up and just spend time together.  We did manage to get to the grocery store.  I had chicken salad to make…which is a tradition at BC….and Joy wanted Potato Salad, too…so we did that, too!  The girls and boys arrived on Wednesday!  Fun was just waiting to happen.

We started off with me explaining to the boys what a Scavenger Hunt was.  And, then I gave them a list of things to be looking for all week…such as a red straw, a throw away cup with writing, a rectangle shaped napkin, a smooth rock, a lea with two colors, a ticket stub, etc.  They did great. They stayed busy everywhere we went looking for those 12 items!

Another continuing project we did was weaving.  I tore up an old canvas and used just the frame.  We tied jute on tip and bottom .  Then we learned about weaving…under, over, under, over….then over, under, over, under.  They caught on pretty quickly.  We even used some palm fronds and drift wood and finished off by tying on some shells they found with holes in them!

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That tropical storm didn’t bother us…we saw a break in the weather and made a beeline for the Panama City Beach Pier!  One of our little campers wasn’t sure if it would be sturdy enough for us to walk on, but soon those fears gave way to fun!  This was probably not the best time to go walking on a pier.  Winds, we found out later were at 40-45 mph!  We were blown sideways by that mighty wind!  The boys had a ball!  But, us girls, had mighty tangles in our hair!  Oh my!

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We stopped at a restaurant just outside the pier, Hook’d, and had delicious fish tacos!  The rain held off, but the wind continued to blow!

Up early the next morning and an art project to start.  We tried to do tie dye last year, but, ran out of time.  But, we got it in this year!  The boys designed their own shirts.  They decided on the design they wanted and picked their own colors.  Us girls all made us one, too.  We had to let them set overnight…so we began another project…String Art.  We had previously hammered nails into a circle on a slab of wood.  The boys then used all different color string to wrap the nails and come up with their version of a beach ball!  Looks pretty good!

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And, here’s how the shirt making turned out…

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We took a little trip over to Destin, because I wanted the boys to  experience the fun of eating at LuLu’s.  (In case you don’t know, this is a restaurant owned by Jimmy Buffett’s sister.  It’s on the water, and all open air.  Their is a big sandy playground for the children complete with water play, and bungee jumping .  The boys loved it!  We all did, actually!

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We stopped and did some very minor shopping…you know…two little boys…not what they wanted to do…whines and “let’s go!”.  Back home the girls took the boys for a walk out on the beach…almost dark.

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Then they stopped for ice cream.  Joy and I stayed home and rested!

Bright and early the next morning…we started another art project…this time we made candles.  We decided on color…and scent…and containers.  John Thomas was the instigator of this fun idea!  The boys were amazed that they could actually make their own candles.   They measured and leveled, added wicks, and leveled again!   And, boy did they ever smell good.

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The sun was out in full force and it would have been terrible not to have enjoyed some sunshine and swimming!  So off we went to the PC Water Park…which has a wonderful facility for younger children!  It’s the boy’s favorite place to go.  We spent several hours there.  And, SURPRISE !!!!…our Lori showed up!  We had missed her, but her work wouldn’t allow her to be with us all week.  But, there were 2 happy boys when she showed up!  She lightens up all our lives!

And, after showers, we all went out to BoonDocks for a delicious meal!

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And with that, we had to begin gathering up supplies…cleaning up…

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…and preparing to leave the next morning!

A FEW MORE PICS…

The boys had a pillow to color and went about their work diligently.

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Levi made a very interesting color choice on his and I complimented him and said, “Levi, I like how you are using your artistic eye!”  He turned and look at me…did this…

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and said, “Actually, Lulu, I have 2 artistic eyes, don’t you know!”  So you do, my Little Man…so you do!

I taught them to play Old Maid…that was lots of fun!

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John Thomas looking cute in his new outfit…

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I bought the boys some cute shorts and painted them a shirt to match…

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Another fun project was a little tedious…on my part.  I made pics of the boys in the same location.  We then had them printed.  I taped the picture to a stack of 6 square Duplo Blocks, then carefully cut apart the picture between each block with an exacto knife.  Then I handed the boys a jumble of pieces and they had to put themselves and their cousin together.  Then is was so funny to put the wrong legs or the wrong arms on the other person!  Picture Blocks!

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They each have a set, and can take each other home and play together whenever they like!  We used one rectangular block on the bottom so they would stand side by side.

John Thomas designed, painted and lettered the Boogaloo Camp sign at top of this post!

PaPa Clyde…we were thinking of you while we were gone…

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Scavenger Hunt went well…they found all on their list and both won prizes!

And, of course, Thomas’ Doughnuts was visited quite often!  

I could go on and on here about the blessings we have and the memories we made on this trip!  But, I’m going to leave it here with just this thought.  Every good thing…every happy thought…every burst of laughter…every sweet hug…every goodnight kiss…and every Good Morning…is a gift from Almighty God.  He causes His favor to rest on us all.  He gives us more than we deserve.  He sends His love to us in so many ways.  I praise Him and honor Him and thank Him for this beautiful week!

“It is God who has given us these times of joy.”  Psalms 81:4

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