Labor Day Weekend, ’13

I’m just going to go on record and tell y’all that I’m not really an Oreo kind of girl.  Oreos seem like a big waste of a cookie-eating experience, because… well… they crunch.  And they crumble.  And hygienists everywhere are shocked with the way an Oreo-fest leaves your mouth all tidy and clean.  If I’m going to eat a cookie, I want something really soft, without any filling.  I want chocolate chips or oatmeal or salted caramel or a sugar cookie with thick, cream cheese frosting.

A crunchy cookie is a waste of calories, y’all.

So this afternoon, when Hubs sat down beside me with a package of Oreos, I wrinkled my nose and went about my business.  But then…

… well…

… I kind of got a hankering for Oreos, which comes about as often as a total eclipse.

(Great.  Now I’m humming Bonnie Tyler’s song to myself.)

(“Every now and then I fall apart…”)

A thorough search of the pantry revealed that Hubs and Thing 2 had actually eaten all of the Oreos that were left in the package, and there sat my estrogen, in a moment of full-blown-crave, facing the fact that there would either be no Oreos, or I’d have to drive myself to the store for one.

And, people, it’s Labor Day, and I’ve already been to Walmart once today.  I survived it, too, which was a genuine accomplishment, as everyone and their uncle’s brother’s neighbor’s kid was in there, securing family-sized bags of chips and fishing licenses and HOW ABOUT SOME OF THESE FANCY LITTLE DONUTS WITH THE POWDERED SUGAR, MA?  Apparently, everyone but us had themselves some food-centered Labor Day plans.

Our plans included, “Buy some groceries so that we can eat this week,” because for dinner last night, I opened a can of tuna and a can of dark red kidney beans, and then I mixed them together with seasoning salt, because Old Mother Hubbard was living here.  Hubs assured me that I had reached a new low in dinner preparation, but I told him if he’d just been found after being lost in the mountains for a solid week, he might feel differently about beans and tuna.

As it turned out, he opted to scramble himself an egg, because we had a few of those in the refrigerator, right there next to the light bulb and nothing else.

We also needed Tide, because I may feel compelled to wash a load of laundry this week, and unless we wanted to start hauling garbage items out, one by one, to the dumpster, a new box of tall kitchen Hefty bags was going to be a necessity.

And then we came home and unloaded all one thousand Walmart bags, which may have been an even worse task than actually being in the super center loading our cart up.

(I’ve decided that when I win the lottery, I will hire a personal grocery shopper.  She will go hand-in-hand with my personal chef and the gardener.)

(And I imagine I’d better hire someone to do the laundry, too.)

(I think my odds of actually winning a lottery are quite low, though, seeing as how I’ve never actually purchased a lottery ticket, but I’ve never been afraid to dream.)

Anyway.

Can you tell I’m rambling?

It’s Labor Day evening, and I’ve purchased enough groceries to feed a thirteen-year-old boy for four days, which set us back more than a monthly car payment would.  And I vacuumed our entire house, because it finally dawned on me that perhaps normal people do not continue to walk on spilled, dry Life cereal until it has become a beige powder all over their hardwood floors.

(We’re all about keeping it classy around here.)

And get this!  After I labored with the vacuum cleaner, Hubs mopped!

I don’t think I’ve ever loved him more than I do right now.

The rest of our holiday weekend was just about as exciting as today was, except for Saturday.

On Friday night, I picked the boy up from school.  Sister called and invited him to head up the mountain with them, because they were going camping.  I really enjoy camping, except for all the bugs and the dirt and the nature-y things, like REAL WOLVES and JUST PICK ANY TREE FOR THE LADIES’ ROOM.

The boy could be on one of those crazy survival shows that he watches all of the time, where people float rafts down alligator-infested swamps and still have both arms intact when they get to their destination.  It took him exactly eighteen seconds to throw a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans into a backpack and head out the door, as he yelled, “I hope I see a snake!”

On Saturday, Sister’s son, Cousin K, turned eight years old.  How he’s eight is beyond me, because I swear I WAS JUST attempting to stay awake all night at the hospital, so that I could see him as soon as he was born yesterday.

Only it was really eight years’ worth of yesterdays ago now, because when you get old, time speeds itself on up.

IMG_8093

(Yes, he’s pretty stinking cute!)

Sister decided that a little birthday celebration on the mountain would be fun, so Hubs and Thing 2 and I headed up there early Saturday morning.

But not that early, because we had to stop at Starbucks first.

When we were reunited with the boy, we were told that HE LOVES CAMPING and WHY DON’T WE EVER GO CAMPING? and I WISH I COULD LIVE IN THE MOUNTAINS LIKE A WILD MAN AND ONLY COME DOWN ONCE IN A WHILE FOR SUPPLIES.

Which is exactly how I feel about camping, except for that part where I actually stay on the mountain.

IMG_8095 IMG_8114Sister and Sister’s Husband gave Cousin K an air soft gun for his birthday, which thrilled everyone.

Namely, the boy.

IMG_8097 IMG_8115The kids all took turns shooting it, and I feel like we should apologize to the Game and Fish Department, because there are now approximately fourteen million miniature air soft pellets scattered up there.

Sister had a little cake for K, so everyone gathered around and sang Happy Birthday to him.

The fresh mountain air can make almost anything taste delicious.  This includes store-bought cake frosting, which I normally enjoy as much as I love a good Oreo.

(However, there’s not enough mountain air in existence to change my mind about bologna.)

(It’s right up there with Hubs’ opinions on tuna and kidney beans sitting together in the same bowl.)

IMG_8145 IMG_8150The kids all had a lovely time, because there was plenty of dirt to get into.

And don’t forget the cake.

IMG_8100 IMG_8096 IMG_8101 IMG_8106 IMG_8112 IMG_8121 IMG_8126 IMG_8141 IMG_8147 IMG_8148 IMG_8180Here’s our friend Scott.

IMG_8123Scott is married to my darling friend, Christy, and the answer is NO.

He is not a Robertson.

He doesn’t make duck calls.

What he does do is make bets with his brother-in-law on who can go a year without shaving.  Apparently they believe this will help them hunt the elk better.

Scott brought his bright yellow side-by-side, which Thing 2 insisted was a tractor ALL!  DAY!  LONG!  He kept screaming, “Tractor!  Tractor!  TRACT! OR!!!!”  Thing 2 has himself some love for a tractor, so Scott let him take over.

IMG_8134 IMG_8136 IMG_8241Thing 2 spent the better part of the afternoon riding in the “tractor.”  I drove him around; Scott drove him around.  Every single ride was better than a carnival to him.  He kept yelling out, “Yay!  Yay!  Tractor!”

So we put him on the four-wheeler, which he also referred to as a tractor.

IMG_8162Yes, those are some large sunglasses.  I have no idea why I once considered them to be a good investment.

IMG_8191 IMG_8185I ended up taking Cousin L and Cousin K on an enormously long four-wheeler ride.  I’m pretty sure we drove seven hundred miles.  We crossed creeks and climbed hills.  We heaved and hoe-ed over rocks.

And for a little while, I kind of thought that JUST MAYBE I might be the type who could be convinced that camping was okay, because MY WORD AT ALL OF GOD’S CREATION THAT WE SAW!

And then the thought occurred to me that I was approximately seventeen miles away from base camp, and WHAT IF A WOLF JUMPS US???  Which was exactly enough to make me appreciate the conveniences of home.

Namely, NO WOLVES AT HOME.

Of course I didn’t want to haul my camera on the four-wheeler with two kids, because I could envision multiple scenarios where we crashed and my camera broke.  So I left it behind, which turned out to be a horrible decision, because we never crashed, and we saw some stuff that would have made incredible pictures.

IMG_8163 IMG_8165 IMG_8174 IMG_8171 IMG_8267 IMG_8237 IMG_8216 IMG_8198 IMG_8196Also, it is completely possible to keep a thirteen-year-old boy occupied for hours on end with one little hatchet.

IMG_8143There are a lot of branch-less trees on the mountain today, people.  The boy is a very experienced hatchet user.

We spent the day sitting around the campfire, talking and laughing.  We hiked around; we rode four-wheelers.  We chased Thing 2, who made an honorable attempt at getting ALL of the dirt from the mountain onto his face.

Cousin K ushered Age Eight in with enormous grins and a whole lot of contentment.

(Plus?  Well, I let his little eight-year-old self drive the four-wheeler on a giant leg of our journey, so I was escalated to the status of FAVORITE AUNT EVER.)

(Until his thumb got tired, that is.)

At some point before bedtime, we loaded our little family up into the Suburban and left the others to fight off the wolves for the night.  We were going home to hot showers and real mattresses.

Thing 2 was pretty excited about all of that.

IMG_8270Happy Labor Day, everyone!

(I’m pretty certain that my Oreo-craving is officially gone now.  It just goes to prove that you can get your mind off of sugar if your blog post is long enough.)

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