Sunday, July 06, 2008

Summertime Begins (long post)

It's been a while since I posted to this blog, so here goes...

It's the beginning of summer, and we've been having a fun time...


Ben started off the summer vacation baking a mess of cupcakes with Gail, and decorating the heck out of them...


He taste-tested them afterwards, of course...


Gail and Ben were trying to come up with art projects for the summer that would be fun, and they came up with paint-by numbers, but eh one that they got to start with was a little complex for Ben, so Gail finished it...she unwittingly found an art form that she enjoys, excels at, and that she finds relaxing...yay Gail!


Muz and D arrived the day after Ben and I got out of school, and are staying at the camp on Upper Saranac Lake that they have rented the previous 2 summers...it's delightful, and we're lucky/grateful for the chance to spend so much time with them in such a wonderful spot...


Penny and Maggie are becoming great friends...



Cedar is grateful for the break, and gets to work on his grumpy old man lectures to the 2 younger dogs..."in my day, we never horsed around on the dock..."


Muz got a wet surprise when Maggie climbed up on the 2-seater with her and Ben...


Ben's friend Phillip had a birthday party in SL at the bowling alley, and it was a good time for all...Ben's form is generally not this good, but he still had fun hurling the ball towards the pins at the end of the alley...


A triumphant toss, leaving only a couple of pins in an impossible (for a 5-year-old) split...


There was cake and pizza and fun for everyone...you know the sweaty-head...the others are (from left to right): Jacob, Joseph, Cullen, and Birthday-Boy Phillip...


Ben loves playing in swamped kayaks, it's fun and great for balance...


Muz and Gail and the dogs love hanging out on the dock down by the water...


Penny is cute and loves to sleep on people who love to hang out on the dock down by the water...


We went out on a canoe/kayak trip along Hoel/Turtle/Slang Ponds...a favorite of Ben's with a tunnel between 2 of the ponds that this year Ben was able to shoot through in both boats...Maggie rode in the kayak with D...


Ben and Penny rode in the canoe with Muz and me...it was a glorious day on the water...


We had a fun time looking for wildlife and eating cookies at the far end of Slang Pond...


Even though this was Penny's first canoe trip, she was perfect, and slept almost the entire time between my feet...yes, I do have a bizarre tan from the Crocs...


We both put in and took out at Hoel Pond, which is also one of our favored swimming spots in the Adirondacks...


Maggie was sleepy by the end of the paddle, and took advantage of the lull in the action while we loaded boats on the cars, to take a nap in Gail's CRV (she also aroma-therapied it with the odor of wet dog...bonus!)...


Ben got a nasty bite behind his ear, and wouldn't believe me that we couldn't show it to him in the mirror in the bathroom...I took this picture to show it to him, and he has a cute ear, so here it is for you to see...


Penny got back and fell asleep...hard...note the fleece blanket that we have put on the sofa to keep dogness off of them...it may even work...a little...


We have spectacular views from all over the camp, but particularly from the top of the boathouse, which is open on all sides, and a great place from which to watch the world go by, even on a rainy day...


Penny likes to sit on peoples' laps...here she is sitting on mine...


Here she is keeping Gail wet while she works on some class-prep for next semester at Paul Smiths...


Ben, again playing with the swamped kayak...


Cedar contemplating the universe from the perspective of a grumpy old cheagle...


Ben found this cool plastic tub, and thought that it would make a superb submarine...it did...


A submarine for PIRATES!!!


One night after supper, Muz and D took Ben for a paddle before his bedtime...it was a beautiful and still night on Upper Saranac...it's wonderful that he gets to spend all of this time with his grandparents, and that they can share this spot (and their love for it) with him...


We went to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake and in and amongst all of the other stuff that we did and saw, Ben played with this LED-assisted microscope (yup, that's his beautiful blue eye on the screen...probably too bright for safe scanning, but I would have done the same thing when I was his age...what are you gonna do?)...


We looked at some of the cool books and displays in the naturalists' room, a corner of the museum that is filled with skeletons and footprints, and cool books and coloring stuff...


We played a game of modified croquet, everyone had a fun time, except Maggie, who was banished, because she kept chasing/capturing/chewing the balls, which disrupted play to some extent...


Ben likes to swim naked, and we like to accumulate blackmail and future-girlfriend-embarrassing ammunition, so it works out fine for everyone...


Often by the end of the day, the dogs are too exhausted to beg while we are preparing supper, so they just collapse in the kitchen to be near the great smells...my main cooking responsibility for the summer is being the "King of the Grill", a role that suits me just fine...


We get beautiful sunrise and sunsets at camp, and with a new puppy, I am pretty much guaranteed to see each and every sunrise, so it's nice that they're so lovely...


Pirate-toast is a big deal in camp, and is often a part of Ben's breakfast...


We all went on another canoe/kayak trip the other day, this time from Floodwood down through to Follensby...Gail rode with Penny, Muz and D rode with Maggie, and I rode with Ben...it's a gorgeous paddle through a series of little ponds and narrow creeks, one of our all-time favorites in the world...


Ben is learning how to kayak, and in this picture you can see D helping him...


Penny is almost too cute...here she is...again...


Ben was playing a game with me where I would run along dragging the swamped kayak (with him in it) to build up some momentum, and then launch it into the lake in front of me, where it would sail out in the deep for a while before the bow would shoot down towards the bottom at some random moment, chucking/flipping Ben into the lake...he screamed with delight while we watched with some degree of fear as he zoomed and splashed and crunched and flipped a gazillion times (my back and shoulders felt as though gorillas had beaten me with lead pipes the following morning)...

My favorite time was when a large group from the camp next door was motoring slowly by and he sailed out, as if to meet them yelling to the heavens, "I'm the naked King of the World!!!"...good times...


He got some sweet tattoos from Cynthia, and it should be a sufficient supply to last for a few weeks...


We had some friends over on the 4th...the Buerketts with their children Autumn and Ayla, and some some friends of Ben's: Jacob and his brother Mathew...


My sister Sarah is also up visiting for a few days, and so we had a full and happy house for the 4th, although we miss Muz, who is in Japan, participating in the G8...in the above pic, you can see my sister Anti-Sarah, Rebecca Buerkett (who is starting he graduate studies and took advantage of some dockside wifi to work a bit), and Topher Buerkett...all enjoying the sun and mayhem around them after our lunch...




Flags and patriotism and hot dogs and ice-cream and swimming and dogs and lots of sun and some beer (root for the kids, various kinds for the adults) all worked together in a beautiful and simple synergy to make it a wonderful day...


The kids (and dogs) swam and swam and ran around, and after the fireworks in SL later that night Ben (and his daddy) fell asleep the instant the car door closed, and dreamt of happy boomings and friends and party food on festive plates...


Maggie was a troooper about wearing her bow-tie all day and entertaining guests, both human and canine, but she was exhausted by the end of the day...having trouble keeping her eyelids open...


None of us were fishing on this foggy morning, but I took the picture while walking Penny and Cedar, and thought it was pretty enough to include...

We're having a great time, more to come later!

Blog note: for those nerdy enough to wonder about things like that, I looked through 471 pictures on various digital cameras in camp and ended up using 47 pictures, almost exactly 10%, not by design, but because that's how it worked out...

1 comment:

herbalpagan said...

A summer with the family at a camp in the lakes of upstate NY is just so idylic that Ben will remember it for the rest of his life. A nice family and love the nekkid pics of Ben...they will make wonderful blackmail pics later in his life. lol