Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Today was another lazy day hanging out at the cabin. Our tradition is that on the last day of vacation, we eat ice cream for breakfast, but we were never able to bring any here because the stores were too far away. (It melts in the heat, you know) We had packed fixings for s’mores, but never had a campfire, so Mrs. GT made everyone microwave s’mores for breakfast. Mr. GT went for an early walk and we all went down to the swimming creek by 9:30, before it got too hot. The kids swam, Mr. GT built a channel and dam out of rocks, Mrs. GT and Pepper went crayfishing, Banana Boy swam and sat on his towel, swam and sat on his towel. Daisy pounded crumbled shale into clay. Even Sunshine did more than stand in the shallows holding Mr. GT’s hand and he sat on a big, flat rock making his own little rock pile and dipping in the edge of the creek.

It was noon before we felt done, and we were glad to come back to eat lunch. Rose Bud declared herself STARVING (all she’d eaten was two s’mores for breakfast) and made everyone lunch. They did a good job cleaning up the leftovers.

Sunshine lay down for a nap. Pepper, Mr. & Mrs. GT played Monopoly. Pepper is a formidable opponent, despite not having ever really played “big” Monopoly. She was quite the real estate tycoon! Even so, Mr. GT won (as Pepper said he ALWAYS does). The other 3 kids watched Shrek and Cool Runnings (about the Jamaican Bobsled team that went to the Olympics).

We’ve had frequent power outages here, albeit only for seconds at a time. Today, Rose Bud came screeching out of the bedroom during the movie. The power had gone out, the TV had shut off and the bobsled had just crashed. “Everyone is lying there all still! Daddy! You have to fix the DVD player!!!!” I think the sledders lived, but it was a scary moment!

After nap/movie/game time, the kids packed up their suitcases and Daisy, Oreo and Mr. GT cleaned out the back of the van and packed it up again. I cleaned the kitchen and Daisy helped. Rose Bud was thrilled to do chores from a list and busily went around completing things on the check-out checklist, keeping the rest of us on task. Pepper, exhausted from her Monopoly loss, moped on her bed. After I passed out frozen mini Heath bars to the good workers, she emerged and begged for a chore. We let her sweep the bathrooms. Banana Boy collected all the wastebaskets and Sunshine helped Mr. GT take out the trash and clean and bleach the kitchen wastebasket.

We were just getting supper started when Mary and her nephews drove down to weed-whack. The kids have been begging me all week to see Oreo’s kittens, who were only a week old when we got here. They were out in the horse barn inside the pasture fence, so there was nothing I could do to help them out. I said they had to ask Mary. So Rose Bud elected herself this evening and went over to ask. Of course, Mary was happy to get them, so she and Rose Bud walked out to the barn. RB came back carrying a large dishpan with a towel in it and four teeny, black kittens! Their eyes are just open and they don’t even walk well yet. They fall over when they try. They had the cutest little tails and teeny tiny claws!

The kids were absolutely charmed and it made their whole week to finally see and hold the kittens. Kittens are always a popular attraction for visitors here and Mary likes them to be handled and used to people. The mother, Oreo, is the calmest cat I’ve ever seen. She walked right by us out to the barn while the kids held her babies. About 10 minutes later she came back and mewed once at them. She plunked herself down in the dishpan to nurse and nursed away like we weren’t even there. Sunshine was even screeching and poking at her occasionally from Rose Bud’s lap (he’s slippery and hard to keep ahold of!). It didn’t phase her a bit. When it was time to put them back, Rose Bud picked up the whole dishpan, Oreo, kittens and all, and carried them all the way back to the barn. Oreo rode along, nursing as they went. What a cat!

After that the kids petted the horses and then we finally went in to finish making supper. We had leftover breakfast sausage, leftover green beans, leftover rice and 4 eggs. I threw the whole thing together with a little chili powder and some cheese slices and the kids declared it the best meal they’d had all week. “Why don’t you make this at home, Mom???”

Everyone showered and we finished what cleaning we could do tonight. Mr. GT, RB and Daisy watched “The Gods Must Be Crazy” and roared with laughter. Pepper, BB and I read some American Revolution and Sunshine went to bed.

Tomorrow we leave early for our long, long drive home. In Rose Bud’s parting words from where she signed the guestbook, “This was a fun vacation.”

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