Friday, November 23, 2012

I'm Still Alive . . .

Did you think I fell off the edge of the earth? Sorry, life got crazy (still is), sigh . . .

So to try to catch up . . . I think we left off as we were starting to drive home from Florida.

Sunday and Monday we spent at Fort Sumter and surrounding area. Lots of fun, some not-so-fun.  Highlights included . . .

  • the bird that dive bombed the captain of the ferry out to Fort Sumter. When the girls asked him about it, while we were waiting for the crowd to thin out, getting off the boat, he said he feeds that particular bird (named Henry) and the bird comes and attacks him if he doesn't feed him immediately. Then he let Sassy give the bird some bread.
  • met some awesome rangers, one we'd have enjoyed visiting with all day if time had allowed.
  • the girls thought the joggling board (below) was great fun.

The not so fun highlight was getting stung by yellow jackets (or hornets or . . . the jury's still out, Dad called them ground hornets but when I googled ground hornets the description didn't match so who knows . . . ) whatever they were, they HURT! Like no sting I've ever had before! We were hiking on the nature trail at the Pinckney House and one of us must have inadvertently stepped on a nest. MiniMe said "bee!" and I saw one near her face & told her to stand still, then I realized they were swarming all around us and said "no run!!!" Dad and Little Bit were ahead of us and he grabbed her hand and took off, the rest of us followed and then all of a sudden Sassy started SCREAMING and came running past me. her sweater was COVERED with them (thankfully that day was MUCH cooler than the day before had been, the day before, as you can see in the joggling board picture), we were all comfortably wearing short sleeves, the next day was chilly enough that Sassy had chosen to wear her sweater (a thick weave, thankfully) AND put her hood up (which I'd come SO close to saying, "why in the world do you have your HOOD up?" but I bit my tongue and figured, whatever floats her boat, SO thankful I did, her hood was covered too) and MiniMe was wearing an anorak (because she forgot to pack her sweater, and I carry anoraks year round in case of rain). Dad end up having to yell in Sassy's face to get her to stop screaming and stand still so he could knock a couple hornets off her face, then he took her sweater off, and told the rest of us to keep going.  Dad knocked the hornets off her sweater once we'd moved on. Mom said she had Little Bit so I focused on keeping the big girls moving till we could find a place to sit down and I could give them Apis (homeopathic for bee stings, thankfully I had my NaturoKit in my purse). Sassy had literally "run out of her shoes" (crocs) when she got stung, so mom picked them up and the ipod Sassy dropped when she took her sweater off. We got to some benches (well away from the hornets) and I got apis and crisis calm (flower essences to help calm down) into both of them (and me). By then mom & Little Bit came up. Little Bit was crying and I asked mom if she thought Little Bit had been stung and mom said she didn't know, Little Bit just kept saying "Sassy". We finally managed to calm her down enough to confirm that no, THANKFULLY, Little Bit hadn't been stung, she was just sooo worried about Sassy. That worked to our advantage, pointing out that it was worrying Little Bit was what finally got the big girls to calm down.

So once we'd dealt with all that, we went back to the ranger station to get the girls' junior rangers AND tell the ranger about the hornets (or whatever). She felt AWFUL!! And quickly closed the trail until she could get someone to go deal with them. Conveniently we'd been right by a little bridge so could easily pinpoint for her where we'd found them.

I've been stung by various bees and wasps in my life but NOTHING that hurt like these did. It was still hurting enough to be hard to sleep when I went to bed that night. Oddly enough different stings were different too. One of mine swelled up a BUNCH, the other, not at all. One on Sassy's cheek didn't swell at all the first day, but was VERY swollen the next day. The girls said theirs had stopped hurting before we went to bed, mine still hurt, but the next day, some of theirs itched and mine never did . . .very odd. But thankfully by mid-day the next day, other than Sassy's still being swollen, they weren't bothering us anymore.

So after that "excitement" we headed on home to my parents' house, and then, on home.

Right before we left on the FL trip, a friend had told us that their neighbor was planning to sell and they and thought it might be a good fit for us (they knew we'd been casually house hunting for awhile now, and had a rough idea of our "criteria") so when we got home, we made an appointment and went to look at it. While the house and lot were both smaller than we'd hoped to find, there were definitely things that made up for that . . . many that we've looked at have been short sales and would have required, if not structural repairs, eventual major remodeling to be "nice", this one is newly redone. The lot is smaller than most we've looked at but surrounded by farmland and has a nice little stream running through the back, which the girls love, so it still gives the "feel" of being in the country. And, of course, being across the street from friends has definite advantages . . . so . . . after much back and forth, we have decided to at least make an offer on the house. Of course, while there are financial savings in not going through a realtor, it means more "work" too, so we've been figuring that out, and Thanksgiving has slowed things down (and dh had some work stuff that meant lots of late nights working so that slowed us down too), but hopefully before too much longer we'll know when/if we're moving!  In the meantime, the girls and I have been working to pack things that we know we won't need for a little while if things move slowly. . . so that's what we've been up to. . . 

Even before the whole house buying thing, I'd suggested to my mom that, since we'd just spent several weeks with them, we'd just stay home and do our own thing for Thanksgiving, and while getting together with extended family is wonderful, we enjoyed our quiet Thanksgiving of "just us" this year too! Sassy and MiniMe made dinner (salad, roasted potatoes and "alpine casserole" (a stuffing-like casserole with vegetarian chicken in it) pretty much all by themselves. They were proud of themselves and everything turned out great! Last year we also ended up being just us for Thanksgiving (I don't remember why), and we started a "Thanksgiving Gratitude Tablecloth" I got an inexpensive, light colored table cloth (I'd have preferred a cloth one, but it was a last minute thing and the only thing I could find that was a light solid color was a plain tan "plastic" one), so last year, and again this year we each wrote one thing we're thankful for on the table cloth (with Sharpies) along with our names and the date. It was pretty cool to see how, last year Little Bit had done a scribble next to her thing (that I wrote, obviously) and this year she clearly printed her own name, without any help! So the girls were excited to see what they wrote last year and write this year's thankful things, it's a fun, easy tradition :) 

And today (black Friday), was another quiet, family day. We cleaned the house, visited with a friend who stopped by, did some cooking, watched some TV, did some packing, read for history, and just enjoyed a quiet day together at home :) As thankful as I am for all the great "field trip" opportunities my kids get, days like today remind me how nice it is to just STAY HOME sometimes too :) 

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