71 Days

What I did during my summer vacation…

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Day 25 – Riverbanks Zoo ROCKS! Go There.

Okay, Cola. is hot — as I detailed ad nauseum yesterday, and it was still hot today. I can wear more deodorant, and I’m so glad I went. We had a SUPER time at the zoo with my zoo crew. After a great visit (lots of pictures below), I thought it would be good to make some recommendations for others who visit. I haven’t been in about 6 or 7 years, and there were lots of changes, many more interactive exhibits that let you have lots of contact with the animals. Jamie had her super lemongrass hand sanitizer (which smells great) so we could pet, feed and touch the animals without fear of botulism, giraffe colds or other exotic ailments.

1) Go see the giraffes – the BEST, but bring your own lettuce (Romaine I think). Jamie paid $4 for a large handful to feed to the giraffes — we could have eaten a couple of salads and still fed the giraffes for the same amount of money. The giraffe feeding was definitely the highlight of the day.

2) Skip the dinosaur 3-d movie if your kids are sensitive to loud noises.  Jamie took Lance and he said it was too loud after 30 seconds.

3) Go in the morning — even though it was hot, the animals were out earlier in the morning — we saw lions out at 9:30 and I didn’t expect to see in the heat.

4) Go see the birds and feed them the nectar (worth the $2). I don’t think you can bring your own – where do you buy nectar anyway? I may have gotten over my slight fear of birds when her creepy little claws landed on my hand (maybe not). Again, thankful for Jamie’s hand sanitizer.

5) Skip the gorilla exhibit. He looks like a muscular, hairy, possibly a little dumb man (that I might have dated in the distant past) on display for our amusement, but I could be overly sensitive.

I am so thankful Jamie decided to bring Katie and me! Super fun.

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Day 23 – Columbia is Satan’s belly button

As hot as his belly button anyway. Katie and I are hanging out with Jamie, Lance. and Anabelle in Claussen’s Inn in Five Points. We walked around, shopped a little and sweated like a crew of roofers rolling out tarpaper. Of course, I can sweat gracefully and somehow look adorable with giant sweaty pits and wet clumps of hair sticking to my neck. Can you visualize (or better yet smellualize) the loveliness?
I think I’ve established that a) it’s really hot and b) I sweat a lot! But on to the more fun part. I had a great time with Katie; she’s been fun and a great help with the little ones. Anabelle and I had some serious sweaty bonding as carried her all over Five Points. We even went to Andy’s Deli and Andy serves a super astronaut sandwich with his special dipping sauce — yum. It was great seeing a familiar face from my days at Carolina and hear Andy call Katie, “my dear,” and Lance, “my friend.” I certainly never imagined 25 years ago that I’d take my daughter to eat at Andy’s.
We also saw the Hootie statue (silver loopy thing Lance really liked on Hootie Blvd,
Tomorrow we’re off to the zoo! Can’t




Day 22 – “crazy as a bag full of cats”

From the movie Avengers I went to see tonight with Jeff and Katie and I got to use Cinebarre passes I won at teacher mentor training. Yippee — since I still haven’t gotten paid for being a mentor.
Okay. My Winey self is gone and I’ll be thankful to have the best job in the school (+summer off) and to go to fun movies with Jeff and Katie. I’m especially excited that Katie, Jamie and the kids are going to the Columbia Zoo tomorrow. If I were a superhero I think I would free all of the gorillas in captivity. I haven’t seen gorillas in years; I wonder if I’ll still feel the same way. Will report back tomorrow.

Day 21 – On Happiness

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

My ongoing quest for summer wonderfulness is really the universal quest we all have for happiness. I’ve found a big part of that is recognizing my own happiness when it is basically sitting in my lap, and taking that milisecond to pause and say, “wow, I am really happy,” without worrying about the other shoe dropping or whatever potential crisis is right around the corner.

The Happiness Project

I read a great book on this topic a few years ago: The Happiness Project (which I requested from the library to reread). The author, Gretchen Rubin,  has a new book out, Happier at Home that I’m looking forward to reading. If you go to the happiness project website (link at logo above), you can even start a project in your community — I think it’s more introspective work than group work, but it would make a good book for a book club (hint hint to my 2 book clubs).

My happy moment for the day: Jake, “I like how you repurposed the KFC box mom. It’s for compost, right.” I think it was only a little sarcastic, and I’m putting it in my happy column — he has definitely learned from his mom that you don’t throw everything away. Even if my KFC compost bucket serves its purpose for only a week (it’s lined with a plastic bag, so it won’t totally dissolve), then it will be more degraded and it has more usefulness. Jake is also filling my bucket (another inspirational book for children) by finally writing thank you notes for his many graduation gifts. Friends, look for them in your mailboxes any time now! I hope all of my reader friends can think of at least one happy moment from today!
Read more athttp://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/happiness.html#

Day 21 – need a new adventure

Top news: Jeff has a partial tear in his ligament which will require 3 weeks of physical therapy and NOT surgery! After a weekend of crutches, ice and pain, this was good news. He’ll be out of work at least this week and part of next but so much better than surgery and 6 weeks out.


Meanwhile I’m getting a little (translate a lot) bored with crafting, beaching and cleaning my house. I’m looking for an adventure that is cheap, fun and will give me some fodder for the blog machine I’m working on becoming. Or should my adventure be more interior? And really who wants to read that?
I need some help to figure our what direction my summer should flow. I’d love some input from my friends, especially non-teachers. I have 50 days left of summer to enjoy…want to make them the nifty fifty.

Day 20 – Blueberry Festival & Old Friends

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First of all, Jeff’s foot is still very painful, and we’re hoping to get to the podiatrist tomorrow to figure out what he’ll need to do next. But while he’s watching all of Netflix offerings, Katie and I had a fun-filled day. (Jake was working at T.W. Graham’s.) We began our day with some laundry detergent making with the help of Emma and Katie. At Johnna’s suggestion, I also started making D.I.Y. detergent kits which include all of the ingredients and directions to make 2 gallons of detergent.

We had a great lunch at mom and dad’s and celebrated some of my parents’ friends’ (or is it friends’ parents?) 50th anniversary! The Kanehl Family spent a lot of time with our family when we lived on Lake Moultrie, and it has been 30 (that’s right 3-0) years since we’ve seen them. They moved to Indiana and we’ve all gone our separate ways, but it was nice to see everyone. Strangely enough, my friend Kathy is an assistant principal in North Carolina, but began as a librarian — we kindred spirits are always fluttering around each other!

After a 4-hour lunch (and I did bring Jeff back a plate of shrimp AND anniversary cake), we headed to the Blueberry Festival to listen to music and hang out with all of the hippies (many of whom are also in my family.) Jimmy and Jo took some of my laundry detergent and lots of their vegetables to the Blueberry Festival today and sold 1 DIY Laundry Fairy Kit – my first kit sale, so yippee!

We were joined by Jamie, Lance and Anabelle and had a great time listening to music and watching lots of children (Jamie’s, Karen’s, mine and Jimmy’s) play, dance and eat Wabi Sabi tomatoes and watermelon. I even had a great freckle-loving dragonfly land on my shoulder for a picture. We all are a little more sunburnt, tired and dirty than we were when we started, but had a great time.  You know you had a great day when you MUST wash your filthy feet when you come home!

Day 19 – Foot Noises = Not Good

After two days spent driving to Clemson and back, we got home yesterday, did some unpacking, reacquainting ourselves with the dogs, and a little slug time. We did have a grand plan of moving some of our clams from nursery to grow-out bags. Not a very time-intensive process, but necessary, and you need to do it in 2 days – get the nursery bags on day 1, replant on day 2. So Jake, Jeff and I went down to the dock yesterday with the intention of retrieving some nursery clams. The road to hell is paved with good intentions – a depressing mantra, but sometimes so fitting. Jeff was walking with our basket of wetsuits, slicker pants and our filled Roo cups (love our 25 cent fountain drink refills), when he stopped suddenly, dropped everything and grabbed a table. He was obviously in a lot of pain, but I wasn’t sure why. He asked me if I heard that pop, but I didn’t. That made me a little squeamish – audible body sounds not digestion-related are a bit scary. So, long story short – we headed to Nasson, talked to his podiatrist, and Jeff is on crutches with a very painful foot and he’s seeing the podiatrist Monday. It’s either a hairline fracture or more likely (from my Internet research) a ruptured tendon. YUCK.

Extremely Frustrating for him and us as we had great plans to sail either today or tomorrow for a few days, with a stay-over at the City Marina downtown and a Riverdogs game. That plan might need to be delayed, but I’m determined to do some sailing and so is Jeff.

So Jeff’s on the couch, and I’m trying to be a better nurse.  I need Yoda’s inspiring, “there is no try, only do.” But I’m probably a worse Jedi knight than nurse…. On the humorous side, I think I’ll print some of these cards (at left)  for Jeff when we have answers to all of the questions.

I am looking forward to the Blueberry Festival in McClellanville tomorrow. Jeff will be crutching it or staying home, but I’m going with some very old friends of ours from childhood who are making a special trip from North Carolina to see the bands at the festival. Should be fun!

Illustration: http://inspirationfromtribulation.com/the-greatest-tip-for-those-recovering-from-surgery/

Day 18 – places I’ve been today

Matt’s Pizza
Stef’s house
Big red sofa (now, finally)


Day 17 – We have been orientated!

We attended our Bridge to Clemson orientation until 5:30 today and are exhausted but ready for Jake’s big move August 17th.





Day 16 – Pendleton Square

20120620-222422.jpgMy first red-headed day and we spent most of it on the road to Clemson and Pendleton for Jake’s orientation at Tri-County Tech’s bridge program. So many changes since Jeff’s first year here 29 years ago but he still finds his way around with his super tiger senses.
We also got the super bonus of seeing Matt and Lauren and Lauren’s parents for dinner on the Pendleton Square. Lauren’s been a great friend for many years and it is wonderfully comforting to know she and Matt are close by when Jake is 4 hours away from us in only 2 months. As Matt said a few weeks ago, they’ll have bail money; I hope it’s not necessary but what great friends to offer.
We got to see their new shop (also on the square) and some of Matt’s beautiful woodwork both in progress and completed. He is truly talented and I love hearing him talk about his work.
McClellan Woodworks has also begun making beautiful Carolina Eco Caskets (www.carolinaecocaskets.com). I would gladly buy a casket from them and it makes perfect sense to have a lower cost, locally-made, earth-friendly casket. I would encourage anyone interested to talk to Matt or Lauren about it and I’m bringing home lots of information if anyone would like to peruse. Just another way to support small business and choose to leave behind beautiful memories instead of a big bill for your family.
We hope to get to see the McClellans more after Lauren finishes her masters in August –woot woot Lauren.
Hope to have lots of pics of Jake tomorrow as he gets ready to start the upstate part of his life.




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