__________ July 14, 2016__________

On Steroids

Hello, Friends.   I really have meant to post something personal earlier than this, but it’s been a crazy week.   We’re camping.  I typically don’t advertise when we’re on vacation – I don’t like people to know when we’re away from home – but since this is password protected, I figure it’s okay.

Camping with Family.  Camping week is always crazy, but our first day out was rather insane!!  First, we had the whole setting up and getting situated.  Then we went over and got ‘situated’ with Brian’s aunt/uncle and grandma/grandpa, who we’re camping with.  We’re actually one row over and several sites down, this year, and I *LOVE* where we are.  For some weird reason, Aunt Barb always plunks down in the wet dirt, which becomes mud if you so much as blink the direction of a rain cloud.  It’s not good when you have ten little feet!  So this is much better.  Plus a little distance between our noisies and the grandparents is nice.

Brian’s Cousin.  The next thing that happened was that Brian’s cousin came out.  We haven’t seen him in over a year.  During that time he a) found a really not-so-nice chicka to date, b) moved her into his house – simultaneously kicking his brother out, c) got her knocked up, d) got married to her in a barn with thirty people in attendance (we weren’t invited), and e) ostracized himself from his brother by way of this girl’s mouth.  And I’ve only had access to what she links him to, on FB… even that has been SO bad.  I disliked her before I even met her.  She’s not a nice girl.

Ticking Anna Off.  We went over to meet their newborn baby, and try to be nice.  The new wife was NOT friendly, was NOT kind, was NOT interested in being nice.  In fact, she was haughty and mouthy and catty.  I held the baby because Aunt Barb is so excited (first grandchild!) and I wouldn’t hurt her for the world, but…  I don’t see this ending well.  Anyhow, that night they opened a JOINT Facebook account, friended me… and promptly tagged me in photos without even asking if it was okay.  I… don’t like people posting on my FB.  Worse is posting unflattering pictures of me on my FB.  I was seriously irate.  I’m still not over it.  I’ve locked that thing down so tight… nobody’s posting anything on my FB, anymore, kthxbye.

Fun w/my Friend.  The next thing to happen was that – during lunch – my cellphone pinged, and my BFF sent a text message that she was coming out for the afternoon.  YAY!!  Except that I wasn’t expecting her, and we were supposed to be getting the jet skis to put in the lake (and tending critters).  So we split up – Brian and the boys getting the skis and feeding critters, and Lydia and I meeting up with friends to go float and have fun.  (Ethan stayed with us at the lake, too.)  It was ball – they took us to public access, which I’d never been to before (Too. many. people!!), but it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated, happily.  We brought tubes, and floated and bobbed on the waves and had a good time.  The guys ended up finishing and coming out to play with us.  Then we took her to the campground to see our set-up and show her what it’s like, out here.  I think she liked it.

Cousin Capers.  Then, barely after she left, my cousin came out for the evening to spend time with us at the lake.  Yes, all in the same day!  This is the gluten-free cousin, so we had watermelon on hand for his kids (and Rebecca brought salsa and black bean chips, since their kids are also corn-free).  We did okay, playing and having a fire, but their boys teach mine to be mouthy, and there’s a lot of un-learning the next day that we have to do.  And I don’t like it when people pretend to like me when I know they don’t.  We haven’t seen them since we had them over for New Year’s, and she’s all, “We’ve missed you sooooooo much!  The kids ask when we can see you all the time!!!”  Which… may be true, but it’s omitting the ‘cold day in Hell’ part that I know would come from her.  Just… don’t B.S. me, okay?

Monday, Monday.  For some reason, we were gone half of Monday, and I don’t even know… oh, yeah!  We had to go to Secretary of State to get new registration stickers for the jet skis, and ended up places we hadn’t ever planned on.  Some weren’t so great, some were amazing (a pub for lunch that had huge fish – SHARKS and stuff! – on the walls, and amazing food.  The boys had gizzards!).

Tuesday Traipsing.  Tuesday we were gone, too.  It was dance night, and we were Craigslisting a mattress, so everyone came to dance class.  There were some kewl exercises that were going on for them to see, too.  Anyhow, we got a beautiful pillow-top (on both sides) mattress for the camper.  Why?  Because Owen no longer fits in the crib, and Ethan and Aaron no longer fit in the tiny top bunks.  So we had to put down the table, and needed a mattress to sleep on it.  It’s HIGH UP!!!  I feel like the ‘Princess & the Pea’!  But it’s so comfy, and really nice – no smells or stains or anything at all.

Wednesday Weirdness.  Wednesday we were supposed to enjoy camping until 3pm, when we’d go (tend critters and) pick up Lydia’s BFF for the afternoon, right?  Easy, peasy.  Except the little rash Isaac had gotten picking blackberries last Friday had grown three times the size it was, and was bubbling up, with red running away from the fist-size infection (complete with blisters!).  So off to Urgent Care we went, and spent the morning at the doctor.  Apparently he got into poison Sumac… and because of the size of the affected area (and the blistering, and our being in a lake all week), they’ve put him on steroids.  He’s already looking better, but that was a mess.  And because of afternoon storms being predicted (which never manifested), we cancelled with LBFF and had a lovely time at the lake, the rest of the day, ourselves.

Causing Qwest Trouble.  Thursday we were supposed to have a Qwest meeting.  The plan was to work on our hiking badge, together, and do a hike as a group.  I got the location on Wednesday night, and also saw that two of the ladies had backed out  – one with a ‘migraine’ and one with a ‘cold’.  (?!?)  Another had other plans, all along.  But I got on-line to check out the location and get directions, and come to find out, it’s a paved railroad-to-bike trail.  Flat, thru farmland, extending from Grand Rapids to Muskegon (40 some miles or more).  Which means no terrain changes, no shade, and linear – whatever we walked, we’d have to turn around and walk back.  On flat, hot pavement at 2pm in July.  Um…. that’s not hiking.  And I’ve never been one to mince words, so that’s what I explained when I said we wouldn’t be going, after all.  Because that wasn’t appealing, or an actual hike.  When I got back on this morning?  The last lady’s child came down with a ‘fever’, and she backed out, too… leaving just the leader to do it.  I feel like SUCH a troublemaker!!  But the fact is, I don’t make up fake excuses for things.  I’d rather be honest.  This venue and it’s conditions weren’t for us.

Today!  Anyhow, we ended up working on both our ‘Leave No Trace’ and ‘hiking’ badges today by hiking the Sassafrass Trail.  It was shady and pine-scented in the trees, and we had a wonderful time on an actual hike.  We also *finally* got to ride the jet skis!  It’s taken all week!  And we had s’mores (vegan sh’mallows) on the fire… it was almost like a REAL camp day, with no massive errands and away time!

My Mom.  My mom is out here.  Well… she’s not camping, but she’s parked her jet skis out front at the campground.  We saw her the first day, in the water, but were on a bike ride, so it wasn’t an actual encounter.  Mostly they put their pontoon in across the lake, boat over, and get their jet skis, here.  I don’t care, so long as they leave us alone.  But today she did a ‘walk around the campground’ and “Oh, look who’s CAMPING!!!” thing real loud… followed by an equally loud, “Don’t worry, we won’t bother you!“.  Oh, ugh, get over yourself, Mom.  Anyhow, she had Pop, my sister, her three girls, my brother’s toddlers, and a dog in tow.  What. A. Mess.  Glad that they didn’t stop, and I won’t deny it!

Computer Time.  I just don’t have the time to get on-line this week.  I’m trying, but… we’re on vacation.  And while I have stuff semi-lined-up, most of it is not really finished, and I’m running into problems.  Nevermind me – I try my best.  But wOw, I got on last night (to look up the hike venue mess), and apparently there’s a Pokemon nightmare that’s erupted?  Weirdness!!  People are idiots, you do realize this, right?

Anyhow, I have to go.  It’s late, skeeters are nipping my ankles, and I have a guy who wants to rendezvous with that new mattress… so I suppose it’s time to call it a night!

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