Tuesday, June 29, 2010



I have been working on unpacking slowly. Getting ready to do laundry.

Looked outside and saw some tomatos that needed to be harvested. Yellow and red make light red to pink tomato juice. Only two quarts but I will have to can this way I guess.

Also outside were trees and trees full of wild plums. The birds didn't get them this year. So the boys and I picked two large bowls full. They are cooked and ready to make into juice to freeze. I will make jelly later.

Wild Plum Preserves
5 cups pitted, tart plums (about 2 1/2 pounds)
4 cups sugar
1 cup water

Sterilize canning jars. Combine all ingredients. Bring slowly to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly almost to the jellying point, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath at 5,000 feet.

Lunch was bacon, white cheese and yellow tomato sandwiches on toast.

One of them may be getting sick.


My camera lasted until Saturday. But died after that so I missed a lot of photo ops.

We left Wed June 23 at 5:15am. We made it 7.2 miles before the boys had to go to the bathroom so you can see how the trip went. My sister and parents had left at 5am in a different car. So we were in contact often and stayed at the same hotel the first night. The boys were very excited. I will be adding the beginning photos later as they were left on a laptop in NC.

Family reunion in KY was wonderful and my grand sons got to meet many cousins that they didn't know they had.

Each night bats would pour out of the metal gutters on the lodge and fill the sky and dance around us. The kids screamed and laughed as did we.

The boys and I took a LONG hike the last morning and found a rock wall with a large cave in it.

We left on Sunday and drove to NC to see my son. First time since coming back from the sand box. He sure looked good. Loved playing with the grand kids and they loved seeing their cousins.

My son lives at the edge of 400 acres of forest. His fence was loaded with huge blackberries. While the kids swam, we picked a large bowl to make a blackberry pie.

Then Tuesday we got up early and went to the beach in Wilmington. This was so much fun. The waves were just right for body surfing which we did all day as well as feeding the seagulls. The kids fed most of their lunches to the gulls. We brought home many shells. No one slept on the way back to my son's home. We were listening to my little grand daughter tell stories about a "baby pider" (spider)...it was so much fun.

Everyone was tired when we returned.

My daughter in law was ill while we were there so we didn't get to see much of her so I feel thaat we missed out on a lot.

Before we knew it, we were saying good byes in the front yard and heading to AR.

We stopped at Athens Pizza in Swannanoa NC for the best pizza I have ever eaten in my entire life. It had 5 cheeses.

While pumping gas we found an amazing cool moth!!

We had to stop overnight because I was too tired. We got good sleep though and finally made it to AR and got camp set up in time to take two classes on snakes and bats. Our site was beautiful and secluded and was on the lake.

The next day began 2 days of diamond hunting and swimming at the parks water park, visiting Indian villiages for artifacts and fake expensive toys, and we also met a wonderful woman selling snow cones in her front yard as well as ice blocks and home grown plants. She had relocated with Katrina and was very home sick. I praised her on her home business and wished her luck.

Sitting at the water park on Sunday evening, I was exhausted and the boys looked tired too. I asked them if they wanted to go home a day early. They did. I asked them what their favorite part of vacation was....it was anything with water. Cool water like the ocean and the water park. Not the lake which was as warm as bathwater.

Each day we cooked our food over the fire. Marinated basalmic/ginger chicken breasts with baked beans and corn on the cob, or smoked sausage with baked sweet potatos, ribs, green beans and corn bread. Yum.

And of course smores.

So now the kings of the mountain and I are home safely and I am unpacking while they watch movies. Tomorrow we are going to another water park. But we are already talking about next years vacation....it will involve many many water parks!

Monday, June 28, 2010



Sunday, June 13, 2010


Day 1
Tx--leaving at 5am
To Dickson, TN...stop for the night and meet up with sis and mom and dad.

Day 2-5am
Leave Dickson and drive to Prestonsburg, KY for family reunion
Reunion is Thursday - Sunday am.

Day 5am-Day 5 pm
Leave Prestonsburg, KY and drive to Sanford,NC--to see my boy, daughter in law and grandbabies! wooohooo

Day 6...hang out and watch the kids swim

Day 7...leave at the crack of dawn for the ocean...spend the day building sand castles and playing in the waves! Come back to the boy's house and cook out steaks on the grill and probably watch the kids swim some more

Day 8..shop for the remainder of the trip..take advantage of on base shopping.

Day 9..get up early and head off toward Arkansas..Daisy State Park where we will swim, play on the play ground and hike through the woods. We will work on CubScout camping patches and belt loops.

Stay at Daisy Day 10-13

In the mornings after a light breakfast, we will go to Crater of Diamonds State Park and hunt for diamonds until it gets too hot.

Then we will come back to camp and make a wonderful lunch and hit the clear lake to swim. Maybe do some fishing and when it cools off in the evening we will start the fire and cook a large hearty dinner over the fire including homemade bread each night, grilled pork chops, smoked sausage, tacos or pups in blankets, some kind of potatos cooked in the fire, whole onions cooked in the fire and hopefully fresh corn on the cob.

Some events: Underwater Discovery
June 26, 2010
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Need to cool off? Join Park Interpreter Seth for a rare opportunity to view the underwater life at Lake Greeson. Space is limited; register in advance at the visitor center. Admission: $10.50 adults, $6.50 children

June 26, 2010 Owl Prowl
8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Owls are very beneficial to our ecosystem here at Daisy State Park. Arkansas is home to three common owls. Join Park Interpreter Seth to learn more about these fascinating creatures.
Admission: Free

June 26, 2010 Sunset Lake Cruise
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Take a leisurely cruise around scenic Lake Greeson. Learn about the history of the lake while visiting exciting points of interests such as Chimney Rock and Narrows Dam. Bring your sunglasses, a cool drink, and your camera. Lake Greeson is a beautiful place to make memories! Sign up at the visitor center.
Admission: $8.50 adults, $4.50 children ages 6-12

Night time will be stories told around the fire and smores.

I learned from last falls camping trip...at night the boxes go into the truck to avoid racoon intrusion.

Day 13; If there is any money left, we will leave from Murfreesboro and head south and may stop at home to unload and do laundry and shower and stay one night.

Day 14: Then on for a day trip to Austin, TX to see the bats fly. We might get a room N of town and possibly head over to Shaffers Bend Recreational Area to swim and then come home. (all depends on $)

I think I have to be back at work on July 1.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


We finally focused on what books to take with us on vacation. With 1000 books in front of them, the choices were very hard. But we finally got it done. About 50 books each stuffed into back packs.

Picked pink, yellow and red tomotoes today as well as peppers.

Dill is heading up.

And the guinea babies are really growing! As they walked across the field with mommy and daddys, one of them took off and flew a few feet!

Thursday, June 10, 2010