Friday, July 9, 2010

Adventures in a Lazy Day

So this morning, at 10, I took my boys to the local playground to play again-- but not 2 minutes after getting there, they both came over to me saying the slides were too hot to touch, the metal of the swings/other parts were too hot to touch-- even the WOOD was too hot to touch!

So we decided to go on the walking path. Let me rephrase that (lol) -I- walked on the walking path. They headed immediately for the ditch at the bottom of the hill (; Made it across completely dry. We headed over to look at a culvert and everything.

Then we headed up the other hill towards the sound of children laughing.

My oldest took point, my youngest in the middle saying, "We're headed on an awesome ADVENTURE! We're going on a long, long, long journey!"

As we crested the hill, we could tell the laughter and children's voices were coming from behind one of the buildings, so we headed that way. Turns out there was another playground in the shade, and Camp Oz was having lunch there. My boys joined them for 30 minutes, my oldest recognizing a couple of the girls and my youngest enjoying the company of a whole slew of new friends.

About 15 minutes before we needed to leave, four of the boys with Camp Oz were standing on the slide, stopping anyone else from coming down. The camp leader made one of them time out by a tree by me and went on about his job of keeping an eye on the kids.

...10 minutes later, as I was getting ready to leave, I headed over to him and whispered, "Um, sir, the young man you set by the tree is still patiently waiting there."

His eyes got wide and he thanked me-- he'd forgotten the boy was there. As the only one being punished out of four, you could just -tell- that being forgotten was going to completely ruin his day. He was so happy to be allowed up and get to go play again (:

When we got back in the truck at 10:30, it was already 94 degrees!

Got some bubble gum at the local Rite Aid on our way home-- and had the worst experience with bubble gum I've EVER had in my life!!!

I was showing the boys how to blow bubbles and it popped. That's happened before. What -hasn't- is that I couldn't get it OFF my lips. We were all of 1 turn from the house, so after I parked, I headed to the bathroom and tried wiping it off with a wet paper towel-- did well for all except my actual lips. They're still raw from rubbing them so fiercely to get the gum off and my mouth was sticky for hours afterward. I'm just glad I didn't get it in my -hair-!

My boys thought it was hysterical and were way more careful with their gum than Momma was (;

Then I set up the grill and made Bacon Wrapped Chicken while the rice cooked for lunch. It turned out BEAUTIFULLY (it usually does, and it's one of my family's favorite meals!)

Recipe is stupid easy: take semi thawed chicken breasts, wrap in strips of bacon, put in tin foil like a baked potato. In the oven, bake at 350 for an hour, then unwrap them and broil for a minute or 2 to crisp the bacon. On the grill, heat 1 side, put the chicken on the other (temp will be about 350-400) at the 30 minute mark, switch around ... See moretheir positions to make sure they cook evenly, at the hour mark, unwrap them and grill them directly over the coals for about 1-2 minutes, then flip for the same amount of time, again, to crisp the bacon. Rice cooks in the same amount of time and viola! (:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Dream, A Book, and A Poem

On February 19, 1993, I dreamed that I was going to go into a thrift store I'd never been to before, and that there was a burgundy bound book there that belonged to me.

So it's July 4, 2010.

You're probably wondering how I know exactly when I had a dream.

At the time, we were living on Ft. Rucker-- the same place we went last night for the fireworks. We didn't often leave base-- let's face it-- when you live on post, you don't really -need- to leave base for anything. But on the rare occasion that we did, we went to Daleville. It probably helps that 1. That's where Erin and I were going to school, and 2. It's where all the ethnic grocery stores are.

As I was telling Mark last night, we didn't often come to Ozark. But I -do- have two memories specific to traveling to/from Ozark.

The first one is that the long stretch of road is when I first practiced driving stick shift. The second is February 20, 1993.

We were headed home and my mother stopped at a thrift store called "Ruben's". As she turned off the vehicle she said, "I've always wanted to stop here, but we never had. You don't mind if we go in, do you?"

I didn't have a problem with it. And as we walked through the door, I remembered my dream. I shrugged to myself and thought, "Well-- what harm will looking do?" So I headed over to the only section with books in it and started looking for a burgundy bound book.

There was only 1.

I picked it up, told my mother the book was mine, and bought it. Without having looked at or opened it. Or even checked to find out how much it was going to cost me.

Once we got home, I looked. It's a book of poems called Songs of the Helderberg, by Magdalene I. La Grange.

It was published on February 23rd,1893.

I bought the book 3 days before it turned 100.

So it's been in storage for over a decade. I just came across it two weeks ago. And as we passed Ruben's Thrift Store, I remembered it.

And for the fourth of July, I would like to share one of her poems, that was read before M. H. Backley Post, No 198. G. A. R., on Memorial Day, 1890 at Prospect Hill Cementary, Guilderland, NY.

The Tried and True

by Magdalene I La. Grange

We come to-day remembering the loved, the tried,
and the true,
To deck the place, where lie in pace, the boys
who wore the blue;
Our boys who died that we might live in rest and
peace to-day,
Who shouldered arms at war's alarms and marched
to join the fray,
They saw the dreadful bayonets, the heard the can-
nons roar,
They fought like brave our land to save-- and they
marched home no more;
They died, --they rest in tranquil peace --and we
our tributes pay,
The flowers fair we place with care o'er where our
soldiers lay,
We love those heroes, every-one, they well deserve
our praise,
Nor can be said of our dear dead enough of thank-
ful lays;
They bore the sublime part of life and duties call
They knew the end but did not bend when their
resolve was made;
'Tis well that we remember now, and give all
honor due,
For as to-day we bend to pray, our hearts are
made more true.
But, friends, there lives to-day somwhere, it may
be at your side,
A hero true who wears the blue-- a heart both
brave and tried--
For oft the path of human life that upward leads
to God,
Is danger bound more than the ground our dear
loved soldiers trod;
They knew the fray would not be long, the battle
soon be o'er,
Eternal life would crown the strife if they returned
no more;
But, oh, the ones who war to-day, their lives a
battle field,
'Gainst sin are they to fight and pray nor ever dare
to yield;
And all through life the strife remains, on guard
they ever stand,
Nor pause to rest till they are blest in the eternal
Oh, shed sweet flow'rs on those who live, the flow'rs
of love and praise,
Though heroes, they when in the fray find many
darkened days;
Yes, praise the living, tried and true, they stand
on every side,
Their battle call the ones who fall, their field the
whole world wide;
And then at last when we are called to answer
heaven's roll,
The echo clear, "aye! I am here!" will roll from
soul to soul.

Ft. Rucker Freedom Fest 2010

So when I went to the shire meeting the last Sunday of June, a couple of my friend mentioned that Ft. Rucker would be doing their Freedom Fest on Saturday.

Saturday morning, I looked up Ft. Rucker's flyer for the event.

We decided we were headed out for about 5. Stopped at the bank for a bit of cash for the Children's Fun Zone.

They had the parking divided up pretty smart-- put Ozark parking closer to Ozark, same for Enterprise, etc. We didn't have to walk very far to get into the Fest. Then, before deciding on any activities, we walked around the entire thing first.

The first thing we came to was a tribute to the soldiers from Alabama and Florida that have died in current war.

Then we visited the helicopters.

I love how excited they get when they're in the cockpit.

My boys love getting to see the helicopter and pretend to be pilots (:

See? Proof that I was there too (;

This one was amazing-- though you weren't allowed in the cockpit.

If you look really carefully, you can see him looking at me through the hole.
This one had a really interesting top and some cool hats.

Then we got to see a really cool old time fire truck!

And of course, after 30 minutes of walking through the helicopters and hearing kids honking the horn...MY children would be the only ones who discover how to operate the crank siren (lol).

Then we took a break in the shade.

Before heading to the Kid Zone. And that was a -great- deal! $16 for both of the boys for unlimited rides.

We started with the slide and then the wealth of bouncer houses.

Mark got tired of carrying -2- pair of shoes (; So he stuffed my youngest's into my oldest's. The kids got a kick out of it.

The boys favorite bounce house (:

Then we took a break in the shade for a bit of icecream and goodies.

A moth stopped to share the moment with us.

It's a wonder sometimes how nice it is to just sit in the grass in the shade and have a bit to cool off.

Those sausages had been tempting him since the first time we passed through (:

Prognosis: MMMmm!

Then we took the boys through 'boot camp' (:

After that, we took our chair to find a place to sit for the fireworks.

After a minute of sitting and listening to the music, my guys headed back to the bounce area and I enjoyed the music and a good book until it got too dark to read.

We entertained (and were entertained by) our little boys for the next hour. And shortly after 9, the fireworks started (:

They had some truly -amazing- fireworks! Flowers, peace signs, dolphins, planets, smiley faces! If I hadn't seen them, I wouldn't have known they could that!