at-home camping

our light lately
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Friday afternoon we had a big, big storm. Our power is out and may stay out for the week according to our utility company. One neighborhood to the east of us is powered back up, so I'm hopeful, but for now, I'm hanging out anywhere there's free wi-fi and air.

I've borrowed a friend's aero coffee maker, another friend's deep freeze, and with the grill, the crank radio, indoor plumbing (and hooray, the water heater still works!) and, um, the car, we're doing just fine. This is taking the idea of a stay-cation to a new level, but I'm fairly certain that gary will be going to work at first light Monday morning.

Pottery-wise, I'd planned to fire this week, but that's not happening. I'll continue to make slab pottery- platters and plates and the like. For now, though, I'm enjoying the air conditioning and comy sofas in my church's parish hall for just a few more minutes.

Have a great week, everyone!

the. worst. ever.

Our last camping trip began with a nasty cold for daddy and more work for me. This camping trip began with mild aches that I wrote off to Saturday's 5k. I laughed it off- oh, haha, you were sick last time, I'm sick this time. Then came the chills. Then the full-on-fever. Grouchy Daddy who has to do everything, including taking care of ill mama and the little boy whose behavior takes a sudden nose dive whenever his mama gets sick. We stayed less than 24 hours. Went to the doctor's office yesterday afternoon because I could tell that this wasn't a normal virus. It's not. It's strep. The z-pak is already working and I'm going to make some creamy pumpkin soup since swallowing is problematic.

Poor family. We may never camp again (mosquitoes were still a problem). But the good things were: pre-cut and stacked firewood left by either the park service or some nice campers, and my impulse to grab the iced green tea from the fridge. It heated nicely next to the fire and soothed my throat. I'll see you all next week.

family camping

Oh what fun we had on the family camp. It was busy, crazy, loud, quiet, peaceful, and nerve-wrecking all at once. Saturday night and Sunday was Bridgman solo camp- setting up, exploring a bit, hiking a little, knitting, reading, finding out that those candles I brought solely for atmosphere would actually be needed since our lantern failed to charge itself before we left town (ahem). When I camp, my goal is to live well- we always have steaks on the first night, a bottle of nice wine, something dessert-y (this time it was vanilla-soaked grilled peaches and pears over my mother's pound cake). We had baba ganoogh, a caprese salad with grape tomatoes and pearl-sized balls of fresh mozzarella, grilled corn, - YUM.

Pancake breakfast, hiking, river-exploring, more quiet reading/knitting/playing/napping time filled the day until we ran out of mosquito spray (and, ah, ice cream)and made a run to the old-fashioned general store near the campsite. That evening joined by some dear friends and their two girls. This was their first family-camping experience, so we were invested in making sure it was a good one. There was lots of mayhem in tent set-up, exploring our little site, dogs getting adjusted to each other, and mud-pie making in the "sink" around the water spigot. We had fabulous chicken and pepper fajitas with "rock-and-mole", smores, and crying exhausted kids. Monday started off with percolator coffee and "raft potatoes" which I should have taken a picture of (pan-fried potatoes and onions, scramble in some eggs and cheddar, even better with diced bacon).
We were off to the river by 9. We spent all day exploring the sand bars of the Mississippi River, finding beautiful opalescent muscle shells, rocks, driftwood, and swimming in the little pools that formed between the sand bars. Dogs swam, kids swam, mamas swam, daddies stayed in their chairs bonding over movies and rock-n-roll. The best part of all this? It all happened 20 minutes from my front door. Beautiful towering oaks and cottonwoods, temperatures hovering in the low 80s, absolutely no cell phone reception, so close to home. It was a perfect holiday weekend.