Monday, August 29, 2011

Three Ring Circus

Tonight is a great night. The weather is great, a little cool. The skies are clear and full of stars which shine like bright lights. So, I'll pretend they are the lights for the circus show we witnessed tonight.

The first act consisted of the Baby Teasing Toads appearing and disappearing, materializing from nowhere. You look down and all of a sudden they are there, sometimes several of them. Look away and they disappear. This little toad is doing his rendition of flossing. {What is that thing hanging below his mouth?}

Sit back in your seats and you will see the next act, the campground Wild Cat. Wearing his black and white tuxedo coat he sits in the shadows anticipating his moves. The "Teasing Toad" sits directly in front of him, still on the stage.  Wild Cat is ready to perform. He pounces, trounces and captures the Toad. Gone...gone...gone....Wild Cat just ate the Toad!! He slouches back into the shadows, a curtain of leaves and branches closing his act.

After an intermission, the outside natural light has now dimmed. All is quiet and the crowd sits ready. It is time for the Flying Trapeze Squirrels. They are first spotted, both landing gracefully on the side of the large tree. Around and around the tree they chase each other. All becomes still and the crowd awaits. Before their very eyes, one of the Trapeze Squirrels glides through the air and lands safely on a small branch. Shortly thereafter, the second Trapeze Squirrel glides through the air and lands nearby. Soon they perform in tandem, one then the other, gliding through the bushes and trees in front of the crowd. Before it is all over, one of them lands safely on the bird feeder and closes his act with a mouthful of seed, hanging upside down by his tail, his black beady eyes bulging from his face.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brag Book Moments

Sometimes we just have to brag....This is one of those times for me. Earlier this year I wrote a blog about my son, Kenny's goal of having a race car. I wrote about how hard he worked to achieve that goal and how proud I am that he achieved it.

But Kenny went on to make me and his whole family even prouder of him with his racing ability. Saturday night he won his fifth feature event of 2011.

I'm sure he can't hear us nor see us as he races past the stands filled with fans. We filled a good portion of one row this weekend. Karin, Bill, Aaron, Andrew, Austin, Aunt Barb, Ken and I were there. Marissa and Angela's father helped in the pits because Kerry couldn't be there or they would have been in the stands, sitting on the edge of their seats like we were. Karin and Barb couldn't stay in their seats and I had to tell Barb to sit down so I could see the race. I understand their enthusiasm. As a mom, I sit nervously praying for Kenny's safety and a win along with lots of cheering. (It's probably better that Kenny can't hear me.)

This week Kenny won his heat, started in 7th place in the feature and came out on top, winning the race. By doing this, he also moved himself into first place in the points. This is a  very close race for the first place in points. He had been in third place for some time, but only two points behind the second place position when he started this race. He is now only two points ahead of the second place points person. I don't understand how all the points are earned, all I know is that my son is now in first place.

Whether he is able to stay there for the remainder of the season is yet to be seen. I am bursting with pride for him and even if he doesn't end up as the first place points person Kenny can be proud of himself. I have watched him evolve from a first time newbie behind the wheel a few years ago to a confident competitor. He keeps his cool, has patience, and works for his wins. When things go wrong, I would expect someone who has put so much work into winning to get upset, yet he doesn't. He knows things happen and he moves on. He works on the car to make it better and gives it his best the next week.

What happened last week when I wasn't there proves this. He was close to taking first place in the heat but spun out and ended up last. He started the feature in 12th of 13th cars. He worked his way up to the winner's circle, something that is hard to do. I wish I would have been there to hear the announcer for this race. I am sure he was as excited as I would have been had I been there.

I have not seen Kenny smile so much as I did on Saturday night after winning that race. He doesn't like his picture taken but he didn't seem to mind this weekend. He made me feel like a million bucks when he asked me to pose with him in the winner's circle. (The picture from my camera was blurry-darn it!)

Keep up the good work Kenny. Your whole family is proud of you, win or lose. You are a champion to us and always will be!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Late Night Visitor

Ken and I really enjoy our deck. We sit there in the mornings with our coffee when we have time before work but especially on weekends. We like to watch the birds feed, the chipmunks munch, and the squirrels gathering. It is peaceful most times when we sit there. We enjoy it in the evening after a day's work.

It seems there are fewer and fewer nights that we are up very late but one night around 11 pm we were sitting out there just relaxing and talking. Ken saw the big black bird feeder moving and mentioned it to me. We knew the birds were not out at that time. I immediately suspected a raccoon but since we didn't see anything other than the feeder moving, I knew I was wrong. A raccoon would have had that feeder swinging.

We talked some more and the feeder kept swaying slowing. I got the flashlight and shined it on the feeder. I could see something on the back of it but couldn't make out what it was. I continued shining the light and walking to the other end of the deck but still didn't know what I was seeing.

Ken went in and got his camera with the zoom lens. I shined the light on the feeder and he snapped away.
We were amazed when we looked in the camera and got a good look.

All summer long Ken had been telling me there were "flying squirrels" in the campground. I didn't know if he was just joking with me to see if I would believe such an idiotic thing or not. I didn't know if he was referring to regular brown and black squirrels that can jump from limb to tiny limb in a tree and seldom fall. It kind of looks like they are flying. But he wasn't kidding. There really is a "flying squirrel." They really don't fly but can glide 20-30 feet and it appears that they are flying.

He and/or one of his buddies has been to our feeder twice that we know of but we are guessing he has visited quite more often than that.

I think he is a rather peculiar looking animal, reminding me of a squirrel and a bat. He has a loose skinned body and he hung himself upside down on the feeder both nights that we saw him. He seemed to flatten his body against the metal of the feeder and it appeared that he was hanging on with his tail at first but when I saw the picture up close, I see that he was not. His tail and body appear flat. I got the picture below from the internet to show the underside of a flying squirrel.

I think I like seeing him better when he is hanging onto the feeder. He looks a little scary here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cleanliness is next to what??

Friday night while Ken worked the check in station I stayed home after work and did some laundry and some projects around the house. When I returned, I stopped and asked a campground friend to stop by our site and visit for a while since I was alone. When I got to the site, I took Clayton for a walk and my friend accompanied me.

Clayton, of course, did his business and I cleaned it up using a campground doggie bag. We returned to the site and I disposed of the bag in our trash can. We keep a plastic bottle of hand sanitizer on the back bumper of our camper right above the trash can.

I know I have a thing about washing my hands after touching yucky things but I never knew that such little creatures at this did too. He must have touched the trash can too and decided it was time to wash up.

Luckily I looked before pushing the plunger on the sanitizer or my little buddy would have been squished or I would have  been traumitized!! By the way, I think this is a tree frog. Remember when I was looking so hard for one before Ken caught one for me?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beautiful Sky

It is a beautiful day today with lots of sunshine, blue skies and white fluffy clouds.
On our way back to camp after work I enjoyed the ride by watching the clouds in the sky. Sometimes there is so much expression up there and today was one of them. I felt like a child who just lies in the grass and looks up, imagining the different shapes being formed by the clouds.
The first one that caught my eye was a bunny riding a jet ski. He was having so much fun. His long ears were strewn behind him showing me how fast he was going. His paws were holding the handlebars and he was leaning back, letting the wind hit his face.
Right behind him was an old lady with a bee hive hairdo, a big butt, in a long dress. She was lying on her stomach floating through the air. She looked like she was trying to catch the bunny ahead of her.
I smiled to myself as I enjoyed my view, thinking that this was like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with all the balloons that float overhead.
After a little while, the bunny on the jet ski started to change. He turned into a poodle. I could see his curly puffed out fur, and his long fluffy ears, and I chuckled when I saw one lone bubble right in front of his nose.  It looked like he was enjoying one of my childhood pastimes.
I briefly saw a wolf pass by with his long skinny nose, slim body and bushy tail.
Soon there appeared a cherub, full round cheeks, bare feet, in a sitting position, his round belly showing as he played a flute.
The only colors displayed in these cloud forms were white and grey with a blue background which reminded me of the black and white television  my family had when I was a child and that had satisfied me to no end. Who needs video games or phones capable of viewing movies and the internet when I have a view like I had today?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Spider web

 Your intricate pattern is like a lace curtain at a window, though your beauty is outside hanging from the edges of my flower pot to my hummingbird feeder.

You are invisible until the sun shines its rays upon you. Then your sticky spun web is seen in its glory. Beautiful rectangular and square shapes are connected with your silky thread to the circular core in the center, looking something like a window shattered by a bullet.

 If I knock your artwork down, it will appear again tomorrow. Yet where is your maker, the spider? I don’t see him, only his creativity.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Things that Go Hum in the Night

Ken worked the check in station this weekend.  He worked Friday evening right after he got off work from his full time job, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning. 
I knew that by Sunday evening he would be tired and would feel like he didn’t have a fun weekend.  Therefore on Sunday morning while he fulfilled his duties, I made the bed, did the dishes and cleared the counter. I put away the parts of the spit that had been used earlier in the week when he cooked lamb and roast over an open fire. The bar and two end prongs had been sitting behind the stove all week. The bag with the remainder of the pieces was sitting on the deck underneath our little glass table. It was time to finally put it away. Then I decided to try to get as many of the campsites cleaned before he got off his Sunday morning shift so he would have more free time later in the day. As soon as a site was vacated, I pulled our green wagon with the trash barrels and shovels, litter picker uppers and rake and got it done. By the time he finished his shift at 1 pm there only about six or seven more to go.  I didn’t say anything to him about having done the sites. He saw the wagon out front and said he would wait to eat until we finished the sites. When he saw how full the barrels were, he realized I had cleaned some of the sites. We then put the barrels in the truck and drove to see how many more sites we needed to do. He was so relieved to see that there were only a few and said he would do them on Monday morning before it got hot. Sunday was now a free day for him. He thanked me many times.
We spent the afternoon and evening together.  Ken went to bed while I paid some bills online, checked email and edited a blog. “Do you hear a humming noise?” he asked from the bedroom?
“I can hear the computer running,” I answered.
“Okay, we’ll see if that is what I am hearing when you turn it off,” he replied.
When I went into the bedroom, he called me over to his side of the bed and asked me if I could hear the humming noise which I couldn’t. Remember, I have hearing aids and Ken has Superman hearing and always has.  I blew it off, went into the bathroom and took out my hearing aids in preparation for a good night’s sleep.
Before long, I was out. Ken sat up on the edge of the bed a while later and I noticed. I asked if he was okay and he just said he couldn’t get comfortable. Okay, back to sawing logs for me.
When I woke in the morning, he gave me the bad news. “We have to buy a part for the batteries on the front of the camper,” he said (or something to that effect-I am not mechanical at all but that is my comprehension of what we needed).
Ken had been up since 3 am, trying to figure out what the humming noise was that he could hear so well. It was driving him crazy. While I had my chain saw going in the bedroom, he was listening in between the snores, trying to figure out what could be humming. He got on the internet and went to to see if anyone else had experienced this strange noise. He was outside the camper in the middle of the night looking around. The noise was definitely coming from the front of the camper near the battery boxes.  
When I  took Clayton for his morning walk, Ken told me to stop by the battery boxes and be quiet and listen. He was right. There WAS a humming noise and it was coming from that area.
When I left for work, I laid a signed check on the table so he could get the part(s) he needed from Ralph’s RV store. He also mentioned something about the electrical box (again, I am not mechanical nor do I understand electrical things) so I wanted to make sure he had enough money to get this camper fixed.
Ken called me about 9:00 with the good news. The humming had stopped. He didn’t need the check I left him and it didn’t cost anywhere near what he had anticipated from reading online during the middle of the night.  He took the rug from the kitchen area, laid on the ground under the camper, checked out the battery boxes, did more research online and finally located where the humming noise came from.
In the front of our camper under the bed is a storage area. When I put the bag of spit parts in the storage area, it must have turned on the switch to the battery operated motor. This was under Ken’s side of the bed, right under his head. No wonder he couldn’t sleep. (It wouldn’t have bothered me.) All night while he was trying to sleep, this humming noise carried on right below his head.  Well, so much for helping Ken out!!