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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where in the world is Susan?

I'll bet someone back east is going, "Now why don't (s)he write?"  (from Dances with Wolves when Timmons sees the skeleton alongside the wagon trail)


Where the heck have I been? Well, friends, I've been busier than a one-armed paperhanger with the itch. That last post nearly did me in with editing and rewrites...I felt as if I were writing the Great American Novel. Then there was a guest for a couple of days, so there was the cleaning and cooking in preparation for that.
Mark, David, Rene', and Pam...cowpokes extraordinaire!

My guest was hubby's cousin Rene', who is a year older than I am. She and David and her sister Pam, and brother Mark were really close when they were growing up. David was like their big brother. We hadn't really talked in years and, honestly, she and I didn't know a thing about each other except what we knew from other family members. And a lot of what we knew was incorrect.

We found out we had a ton of things in common, and we talked and laughed nonstop the first afternoon and evening for about ten hours! As soon as Rene' came downstairs the next morning, the first words that popped out of her mouth were, "Where did we leave off?"  So, we talked for another four or five hours until she had to leave for home. Thankfully, she and her husband only live a couple of hours away and we're planning on many more visits.

Lunchtime with the Cubbies

As soon as Rene' left, I plunged into Cub Scout Day Camp, helping herd vast numbers (well, it seemed like it) of six, seven, and eight-year-old boys through the rigors of such activities as cornhole games, whiffle ball, BB and bow and arrow target shooting, obstacle courses, craft-making, baking oatmeal cookies in an aluminum-foil-lined box in the sun (it really works!), etc. I only participated for two of the four days, but it felt like ten! Poor Nathan was so exhausted from traipsing around camp in the summer sun from 8:30 until 3:30 for three days that he missed the last day. I knew exactly how he felt. Of course, there's always cleanup duty, so today I went back to help load the enormous amount of gear and supplies that it takes to run such an event. I never knew you could get that much stuff into one van!


Nathan at lunch


















Gaige shooting the bow and racing to the finish in the foam boat regatta.


While I was there, Michelle (the Cubmaster) convinced me to take on the task of being the Trail's End popcorn sales coordinator for next year. I'm sure you've all been accosted at some point in your life by a cherub-faced Cubbie asking you to buy some popcorn. It is the only Cub Scout fund-raising event for the entire year. It is a worthwhile cause, and it helps make a lot of little boys happy by paying for such things as day camps and overnight camps and field trips, awards and patches for their achievements.

Then there is the gardening which is now becoming very time-consuming, as it usually is this time of year. The weeds are sprouting and growing like crazy, and we're starting to harvest a few things. I've pulled up all my garlic and got quite a bit for such a small space. I'm drying it for a few days before I braid it together for storage. There is nothing like garlic that you grow yourself. Today I also harvested turnips, onions, a few beans and peas and some herbs. I'm going to have a LOT of green beans to pick on Monday. A few days ago, I finally got tired of fighting the cabbage worms and picked my cabbages, even though they weren't yet full size. Better small than not at all, I suppose. 



 I used to think those little cabbage white butterflies were so pretty...not any more! Now they're my sworn enemies!!!



Along with the activities listed, I managed to squeeze in an overnight with a couple of grandkids, and several hours here and there of watching the other ones.

My writing and photography brain just isn't up to speed when I'm extra busy, and something has to suffer, so in this case it was my blog. I've also neglected a few of you and have not left comments as often as I would like, and I am sorry for that. But now that things are mostly back to normal, hopefully I will think of something interesting to write about in the coming weeks and be back to visiting all my friends and exchanging witty repartee with each and every one of you.  




39 comments:

Tattered and Lost said...

I was thinking of you today. Wondering "Where is Susan?" You know this blog world can be pretty small.

So baked any odd cakes lately? Just thought I'd ask.

Susan said...

Haha, Tattered! No, I haven't baked any odd cakes. :) But I will be making cupcakes for the youngest grandson's 2nd birthday in a couple of weeks. I think they will be fairly traditional.

I must have been feeling your thoughts while I wrote this post. Indeed, the blog world is very small sometimes.

Char said...

i agree about the cabbages - i had to give up on my dahlias as something kept eating on them too.

sounds like great and busy fun. good to hear from you.

ds said...

Yes, in fact, there was someone "back East" wondering where you were...thank you for visiting, but I am always so glad to read your posts.

Growing your own garlic sounds so cool--is it difficult (as in, does it require actual ground, or can a person use containers). There is nothing like anything that you grow yourself.

Ruth said...

No apologies, Susie - you're livin'!

I am tired just hearing about all those scout activities in the hot sun. Yikes.

We can hardly wait to harvest and braid our garlic too. So, you've grown it before? Sorry if you told us, and I forgot.

Yes, I took some closeup photos of those teensy cabbage moth eggs on Don's veggie leaves, as he was picking them off.

Yay for gardens and gardeners!

Susan said...

Hi Char! I don't know how organic farmers get anything raised w/o pesticides. I'm trying not to use them, but it's hard to get a crop. I'm waiting on the leaf hoppers to get started on the beans. Ugh!

Susan said...

ds, thank you for missing me. And now I have my first clue as to where you live..."back East" somewhere. ;-}

Garlic is very easy to grow. Basically you break apart a head of garlic and stick the cloves in the ground in the fall, mulch the bed heavily if you have lots of cold weather, and then dig them up about mid-June, or whenever the green parts start falling over. I don't know if it can be grown in a container, possibly in a garage where it gets cold enough, but not much below freezing. I'll have to do some research on that.

Susan said...

Ruthie, I'm tellin' ya...that kind of livin' is about to put me under! I think I'm getting too old for such vast amounts of fun all in one week!

We did raise a small bed of garlic last year, but the planting was a little haphazard, so the size of the crop was disappointing. But I was hooked. This time I actually read the correct procedure and had a much better outcome. Y'know, if all else fails, read the directions!

Natalie said...

Seems to me you have your priorities straight.
Good to hear about your days and activities, and very nice to know you are making the time to enjoy your days and activities.

California Girl said...

Hi Sweetie! You wear me out; your work with the Scouts is always interesting and you seem to have so much fun.

I have been remiss all week too but that's because I had a friend visiting and we were all in VT together having fun.

Susan said...

Natalie, I know you understand the importance of putting family first, as do all of my friends here. After all, without our families where would we get all the heartwarming and funny stories to share with each other?

Susan said...

Cali Girl, that makes two of us being worn out!

It's good to know that you're having fun with your friend in the beautiful state of Vermont. Did you visit my favorite smallest capitol in the U.S.? I love Montpelier!

Oliag said...

Yes I missed you Susan!...but I really feel that no one should apologize for having a life too busy to blog...or for just not feeling like it for awhile...

You were lucky to have visitors who are so easy to chat with and have so much in common. I just got back from a short visit to a sister in law who is almost impossible to talk to...and I like to talk! I challenged myself to learn one new thing about her before I left...but I didn't...she just doesn't talk! I have a feeling that I would be able to talk all day to you though:)

The first thing I would tell you is that I am not sure if I could ever survive that Cub Scout camp!...thank goodness for people like you who volunteer for things like that...it sounds like lots of fun for the kids...

And I would tell you how I love your garlic header! Long ago I grew garlic and braided it and had it hanging in the kitchen for the winter...I should do it again:)

Be kind to yourself...come back whenever you have the time and energy:)...just be sure to come back:)
xo

VioletSky said...

Well, so long as you are doing some good in the world (instead of just sitting around watching soccer...)

Judy said...

It is a BUSY time of year, we all should probably take a blog vacation! I'll be patient and wait for your return.

Wanda said...

It's been on and off for me too, Susan! All the rain lately has caused a lot of extra work...weeds grow well when watered!

♥...Wanda

Deborah said...

Lucky you to have found a kindred spirit in Rene! A similar thing happened to me with my cousin's wife about a year ago and we've never looked back.

Busy-ness is good as long as you don't feel wrung out by it. don't worry about people like me, though. I'll be here whenever you find the time to post - and am certainly not keeping score about who's commmenting and who isn't. Sheesh.

steviewren said...

It sounds like your life has been packed full of fun recently. I've had my grandchildren some this summer as well.

Susan said...

Oliag, if we ever got together, there would be no shutting us up! Here's one new thing you can learn about me today (I think)...my middle name is Gail. Did I already tell you that? Anyway, it IS difficult trying to get to know someone if they never open up. Your SIL sounds like she's very reserved, or she just hates your guts and is too polite to say so! Haha, just kidding! How could anyone hate you?!!

Thank goodness I didn't have to overnight at the camp! The Boy Scouts did the whole week and they had a family camp on Friday, which Gaige begged me to do, but I just can't hack tent camping anymore. The bones are too old and I have to get up and pee too much.

Thank you for the compliment on my new header! I was out on the patio at 7 a.m. taking that picture. I wanted something new for summer and I haven't done any like that one. It kinda reminds me of your style.

Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere...I like to hear myself talk too much to stay away permanently! ;-D

Susan said...

Ah, well, Sanna, you know those soccer boys need their fans rooting all over the world! You're doing a great service for the soccer community! :-)

Susan said...

Hi Judy! Yes...busy, busy, busy! My summers are usually pretty calm, but this one is shaping up to be a hum-dinger! I think I have almost every weekend accounted for, and quite a few weekdays as well! I'll be over to visit soon.

Susan said...

Wanda, you're not just kidding! The weeds are threatening a takeover in my gardens! And I just got rid of the cabbage worms and along comes the Japanese beetles which are now eating my already pathetic roses! It's just one plague after another!

Thanks for sticking with me!

Susan said...

Hi Deborah! I wish my busy-ness had come from an awesome trip like the one you just took! But it would be nice to take the grandchildren with us. We're planning to do that after hubby retires. We're buying a travel trailer and hitting the road with them, so we can torture them just like we did our kids! haha

See ya in the funny papers!

Susan said...

Hi steviewren! It has been very busy around here and will be that way most of the summer, but that's okay. Summer isn't my favorite time of the year...the heat just oppresses me, so busyness will make it go faster. Luckily, here in Ohio, summers don't last as long as they do in your part of the country. :-} On the downside of that the winters are much longer! :-{

dutchbaby said...

I think it's fantastic that you have a fun cousin a couple of hours away. So fun to yakity yak hour after hour.

It sounds like you and I are cut from the same cloth. I used to volunteer so much at the kids' school that my family threated to tie lead anchors on my wrists so that I couldn't raise my hand.

About a year ago, my husband fell prey to the puppy-dog eyes of a cub scout and bought an unbelievable amount of popcorn from him. And he's allergic to corn! It took months and months for us to finish the last bag. It was delish though!

You've inspired me; I'm going to try to grow garlic. It sounds like they are just as easy to grow as potatoes. Do they require a lot of space? How many cloves should I plant for one braid?

dutchbaby said...

Oops, make that threatened.

Susan said...

dutchbaby, it's hard to say NO when they get that pleading look in their eyes that says you're their last chance. It's been a while since I did much volunteering, so it's about time I start giving back again.

Tell your husband the next time a Cubbie looks at him with puppy dog eyes, to just give him a cash donation. They like that, too. :)

With garlic, you can have as big or small a space as you want. I just bought several heads at the grocery store and broke them apart. Next time I won't bother planting the small inner ones, because their size is relevant to the finished product...small. So you stick each clove butt down in the soil about 3 inches and about 6 inches apart until you run out. I had mine in about a 2 X 4 foot raised bed. You might want to check a gardening site for the depth in your area, also when to plant. It's so easy. I don't know why I haven't been doing this all along!

JackeeG4glamorous said...

How long do the garlic cloves last- dried and braided?

Thanks for your comment on my blog about my girls. They are pretty aren't they?

summer is so busy, the blogs suffer! We miss you when you are gone for awhile!

The Bumbles said...

Oooo - I have a post idea for you. You could teach all us brown thumbs how to garden! You could share timely posts explaining when and how to plant and care for various flowers and veggies! And then we could report back with links to our posts of photo evidence of our progress. And by "our" I mean Andy.

So glad your real world time was filled with fun activity - as it should be!

stacybuckeye said...

Well, you have been busy! I love when family visits and it sounds like you had such a fun time meeting old/new family :) The time with the cub scouts looks fun too. And I can never resist a cub face asking me to buy popcorn!

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

Wow, you HAVE been busier than a one-armed paper hanger with an itch!! (I LOVE that!!). Glad you survived!

Hi! I just wanted to drop by and thank you for visiting and following my blog. I really, really appreciate it! I'm following you back, cheers!!

Susan said...

Hi, Jackee! You know, I have no idea how long the braids last because I've never done it before! In fact, I'll have to find a pictorial online to give me some pointers. I'm guessing it's a little more difficult than braiding hair as there are a lot more "sections".

Thank you for missing me!

Susan said...

Molly, you have a really great idea, and I know it's part of your secret plan to finally get me to form my own PLAN for my blog, isn't it? Admit it, you know it's true! And, of course, you also know that I have an extreme allergy to plans! ;-} I'm not sure I'm any better at gardening than any other folks on here, but I'll give it some thought.

Susan said...

Hi Stacy! You're so right! My brain has been so foggy that I haven't been able to concentrate on answering your Tuesday quizzes, so now I'm even more hopelessly behind. I know I'll start playing again, even if it's just for the fun of it.

The Bumbles said...

I like your blog just the way you run it now! I just selfishly want someone to lay out all those garden instructions for me so I can put Andy to work (shhh - don't tell him that). I envision something like what Candace at Beth Fish Reads does for Cooking (which I never have anything to contribute to either - but it is fun to read all the interesting posts). You don't need to be an expert - you just need to show how you do things. Maybe others would have their own tips to share with you! Not me of course ;0)

Susan said...

Hi there, AFANM! I'm not sure what to call you...Anything? Naked Man? Except I know you're a woman, so that doesn't work. Hmmmmm....

Thanks! You're the only one that noticed my hometown homily. My family uses that one a lot.

I wasn't sure whether to comment or not, since you have SO MANY followers! But I love your sense of humor, so I will be visiting and commenting. Cheers to you!

Susan said...

Haha, Molly, you got caught lurking! You're such a sweetie-pie! Thank you! But, really, I wish I could form a plan. Oh yeah, that's the easy part...it's sticking with it that's hard.

If I had known you wanted a gardening tutorial, I should have started a couple of months ago.

Cindy said...

Welcome back! I look to your blog for a reprieve, but this post is wearing me out! What happened to the lazy days of summer?

Susan said...

Cindy, I think the lazy days of summer got all hazy from the sweat I was wiping off my brow! I'm tired. I need to lie down.