Catching up.

Since I last visited this space, we have had a few adventures.
Going to pick up Edie from camp was the first.
After last year’s camp closing ceremonies, Edie announced that her goal for this year was to be recognized for archery at the closing ceremony.  Which she was.  Her face as her name was called for that was absolutely beaming.  She was quite proud of herself, as were we. Is there anything better than seeing the satisfaction of your child’s face when they hit a goal they set for themselves?  She was also recognized for Dance & Lacrosse.  She was surprised by the lacrosse recognition as she doesn’t care for the sport.  I told her she didn’t have to like it to be good at it, but wasn’t it nice to know that if she wanted to play it she’d be good at it?  She was only slightly sold. 
There was a dirt road involved on the way home.
We are fans of detours that include dirt roads, especially when they include ice cream as well, which this one did.
When we got home, I had her dump her trunk down the laundry chute so I could wash everything.  My basement smelled like someone had been bathing in a pond for 3 weeks and then left all her towels out in a rainstorm.  Which pretty much was her story.
While I was switching out the loads from the washer to the dryer Saturday night, I happened to glance over and see something wriggling in a spider web that didn’t look like it belonged there.
Turns out, it didn’t.  It was a baby Eastern Ringneck snake. The tiniest little snake you’ve ever seen.
Edie really wanted to keep it, but Pat wasn’t sure if it was eating the tiny worms we brought him/her.  Also, when all of Edie’s pals came by to see her the one day she was home between adventures, the little bug catcher the snake was in didn’t get properly closed and we woke up to find Ringo gone.
Hopefully it’s made it’s way out of my house.  But if it eats bugs, then hopefully it will stay out of my eyesight.
As soon as I got Edie’s camp laundry done and my basement smelling like a basement again (a big improvement over pond water believe it or not), we took off for our last family adventure of the summer.
We headed down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to visit our friends the Dorbads.
19 month old Lincoln is cute as can be.  He also had a nasty cold he was more than generous with.  His poor mum came down with it while we were there and while Edie complained of a sore throat for a few days, I think I managed to zinc her up enough to head it off. 
I had totally forgotten that when you have a 19 month old, that’s pretty much all you do all day.
Although they are awfully cute and entertaining.
We had some great beach weather.  It was in the 80’s and thanks to some offshore winds, the water was ICE cold.  After sitting in the sun and ‘getting warm’ as my mother used to say, it was refreshing.
Also, how nice is it to get in the ocean in August and have goosebumps from the water temperature?

We wandered down to Jennette’s pier one day so Pat could fish. 
While he was up there on the pier, Edie girl & I sat on the beach nearby. We had a most fabulous chat over a coke (her) and a beer (me). 
Daddy got to fish, Edie got chocolate ice cream AND a coke and I got to sit on the beach and read not quite an entire book all day, which we all considered perfect. How to top a day like that?

By heading even farther south to Cape Hatteras National Seashore the next day.
That was the view to the left of us down the beach. 
How sweet is that?  I adore Hattaras island and that particular stretch of coastline for just that reason.
The umbrella in the distance marked the set up of a young couple near us for the day.  It was so deserted she chose to sunbathe topless.  (One of us was horrified, one of us was amused and one of us thought good for her because I’d surely burn in a most unpleasant way in some uncomfortable spots if I did that.)
We went for a stroll to collect shells and to get away from all the people.

I couldn’t help but notice that Sandy McSandster, my daughter’s beach alter ego, lives on.
That child has some sort of magnetic attraction to sand.  When she was smaller and would come in from the beach completely coated in sand, I chalked it up to her being a baby, a toddler, three, four, etc.  But now she’s 10.  And still leaves a heavy trail.  I’m surprised there’s any sand left on Hatteras Island, because the inside of my car is completely coated, as is my beach bag, the cooler and I have no doubt her entire suitcase. 

At one point, we let her go into the cooler for something, where she proceeded to coat everything in there with sand as well.  Seriously.  One hand in to grab and everything after was coated.  That beer is fresh from the cooler, after she was in it. You should have seen the one she handed her father.  He took it into the ocean to clean it off. 

I guess she’ll never outgrow it.
Which is okay, because I happen to know 40-somethings that have similar traits.  She’s in most excellent company.

Despite the fact that my child coated everything in sight in sand and our hosts were under the weather, it was a great trip.  The day we spent at Hatteras was one of the most perfect beach days I’ve ever had.  It was 80, barely a cloud in the sky, the water temp and the breeze just right.  And I got to spend a day with those two with no outside distractions besides my book.  (I’ve been plowing through “Game of Thrones”, having watched the entire show the first week Edie was at camp, I picked up the books and am now on the fourth one.)
We spent the week without television and internet.  That was week two for me, unplugged and for Edie, week four.  (She was completely unplugged while at camp.).  It might be habit forming. 
We came back Friday afternoon.  Saturday I taught a pickling class for Market Central.

We pickled peaches, green beans and cucumbers.
It was a good class if I do say so myself.
I had planned on using the Ball Pickling Mix that is all over the market this season for dill pickles.  However, due to a small oversight, there was no pickle mix on hand for the class.  A quick flip through the stack of canning & pickling cookbooks I had brought along and we selected a new one – from my trusty Food in Jars Cookbook.  We just so happened to have everything it called for on hand and so we went with it.
I’ll let you know how they turned out in a week or so when I open the jar I carried home.  I’ve yet to make anything out of that cookbook or from her websites that isn’t good, so I felt safe trying that out in a class, untested.
I do need to brag that I completely guesstimated on the amount of brine to make for those pickles and turns out my guesstimate was just enough.  Not only did I pull it out, I pulled it out perfectly.
I’m good like that.
I can’t say the same for the amount of peach brine I made, there were several quart jars left over that students took home with them.  No one seemed to be too upset about that, as the pickled peaches were a huge hit just on the smell alone and as I pointed out, when you have leftover brine, you can use it to do another batch.  I shared the recipe I came up with as a happy discovery to much rave reviews, which felt pretty darn tooting good as well.
So now we are home for a good while – school starts Wednesday and we need to settle back into that routine.  The weather today – grey, drizzly and cool – was slightly conducive towards that end.  I cleaned out the fridge and found a forgotten jar of bread & butter brine, but I also happened to have a few cukes on hand and some jalapenos from the garden that I threw in, so there was a batch of pickles made today while I was baking bread with the sourdough starter Leni shared with me.  None of us have unpacked from the beach yet – heck, Edie still has bags sitting around with camp gear all over the house, thanks to the fact that she’s slept in her own bed exactly 2 nights since we picked her up over a week ago.  It’s good to have her home, it’s good to be home and it’s good to have a few more days to collect ourselves before it all starts back up again.

One thought on “Catching up.

  1. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    We LOVED our vacation in the OBX last summer. The boys are dying to return. They go topless on the beach, but not me;)

    I'm glad camp was good for your girl. How cool to see her excel at all sorts of things–a great boost for her to launch into the school year!
    Fun reading all the news in your neck of the woods today!

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