Thirteen years ago everyone 10 and up in the Muir family tried a hike up to Camp Muir on Mount Rainier in Washington. Camp Muir is the base camp for assaults on the summit of Rainier. It is a 4 mile hike from Paradise, but gains 4500 feet in that time. You have to cross the Muir Snow field. It is a great thing for the brave to do on a beautiful day. It can be treacherous if there is no visibility. There are crevasses on the perimeter of the snow fields. I was in pretty good shape because I had been jogging 5 miles a day. But I was practically dragging Megan and Jeff up. It is pretty hard to drag people up hill. That gravity thing! We didn't make it. I remember when Megan just sat down and refused to move. I tried to motivate her by telling her that at Camp Muir there was a big party going on and they were barbecuing hot dogs and hamburgers and best of all they had Slurpees. It didn't work! I was pretty disappointed because I felt that I was ready to go, but Bob had to stay with the kids and I did not want to go alone. Remember the treacherous crevasses. Fast forward two years. Bob took Megan and Jeff on a hike to Camp Muir while I stayed in the lodge with John who was 8 years old and Joe who was only about 2 months old. They were gone so long that I contacted the park ranger and was gearing up for a search and rescue. They finally made it back. It just took them a long time but they made it to the camp!
Bob and I are going to Washington this summer with Joe and John. John mentioned to Bob that he would like to make the hike this year. Maybe John is in shape for this but I let that jogging 5 miles a day go a long time ago. It is going to take a minor miracle for me to be in shape enough to do that climb in that altitude. Bob and Joe are going to have to do some training also. Well, I guess it is a good thing that my true age as defined by a quiz I just took on Facebook was 21-30 or else I might be in trouble just thinking about this.
I took this picture of Joe holding our new antenna and told him that I was debating on titling this post Beam Me up Scottie or Earth to Starship Enterprise. His comment was, "Why do you want Scottie to beat you up?" Hence the title. Joe is a Star Wars nerd not a Trekkie.
Well, it doesn't matter, Star Wars or Star Trek, with this antenna we should be able to contact the mother-ship. We started out with smaller antennas for the digital transition but we could never get a great signal and we could never get channel 8, the ABC channel, which is the only channel I watch regularly, if you could call 16 episodes a year of Lost regular. So we tried increasingly larger and larger sizes until we picked up this monstrosity. So much for buying one of those cute little inconspicuous digital antennas. So now I know that we truly are the only people in our neighborhood who refuse to pay for cable or dish. If there were any others like us we would surely know because they certainly could not hide it.
Before I came to Texas I had never heard of Groom's Cake. At Texas wedding receptions there are two cakes. One is the traditional white cake with white frosting, painstakingly beautiful and delicate, called the Bride's Cake, and then there is the groom's cake. I know that in other parts of the country where this tradition is alive the groom's cake is kind of a joke. I think on Steel Magnolias the GC was made in the shape of an Armadillo. I have heard that in Hawaii the groom's cake has prunes baked into it so it is more of a fruit cake. But in Texas the GC is a spectacularly rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and decked with shaved chocolate and chocolate covered strawberries. It is absolutely to die for! So today when I was in Kroger picking up a few groceries I noticed that Blue Bell had come up with a new flavor of ice cream which has been appropriately named Groom's Cake. It has a chocolate ice cream base(always a good start)with chunks of chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and swirls of strawberry syrup. It tastes as good as the description. Believe me when I say you are going to want to go out and buy yourself a half gallon. I have to apologize to all of you unlucky people who live too far away from Texas to get Blue Bell. But be assured, there is still a lot of room in Texas for when you are ready to move.
Today I went out to Breckenridge park to help chaperone the Bear Cub Scouts at twilight camp. They are such cute and fun boys. We started getting calls from other parents who were at home watching the news that a huge thunderstorm was heading our way. I got my group of cubs in the mini van and started going home but the weather worsened. I think almost every cub's parent called me at least twice on my way home as I was driving through increasingly tornadic weather. I finally had to just tell them that I was going to find a safe place to pull over and let the storm pass but I had to stop talking on the phone and concentrate on the road. As I put the phone down I came across the first downed tree. The boys started freaking out a little but I told them it wasn't allowed. I told them to stop talking about a tornado because there wasn't going to be a tornado, hail maybe, but no tornado. Then we drove around about three more large downed trees before I headed south on the 75 frontage road. I was kind of grateful to be getting back to civilization, but then I had to drive around two more downed trees. I had made up my mind not to go on the freeway because I heard from the parents that there were several 18 wheelers that had been blown over in the storm. At this point the sky was looking less green but the rain started coming down so hard that I could hardly see all of the trees I was needing to avoid. I pulled into McDonald's on Campbell and 75. I bought all of the boys an ice cream cone. At this point the boys decided that this was about as much fun as they had ever had. They ate their cones, played on the play land, and called parents. I waited about 15 minutes to let the major rain pass. When we went back out to the car it was pretty amazing how much more calm the weather was. I dropped each boy off at home to grateful parents.
The good thing about the storm is that I am not going to have to water dry spots in the lawn for 3 or 4 days. I am probably not going to have to go to Twilight Camp tomorrow to fill in for parents taking their sons to baseball games. It will be at least 3 days before the fields dry out enough for play.
Joe joined the Cottonwood Park swim team yesterday. When I picked him up after his hour long practice he told me he didn't think he should make it the next day. He told me that he threw up, that his head hurt and that he was exhausted. You know you have had a strenuous workout if you puke! I told him that I thought the problem was that he was hungry. No, it was more than that. I got him a chicken leg and a taco and some mashed potatoes. He ate this and had some water. Amazingly, he felt immediately better. We analyzed his breakfast that day and the deficit was pretty evident to see. Cocoa puffs and milk. This morning we did a better job. He had an english muffin, an egg and a little canadian bacon.
When I picked him up today he was feeling great! He did more laps and he is learning better technique. I think the next time he pukes after a work out will be when he is practicing water-polo in 9th grade.
My friend Anndi told me about the Senior Prank this year. The last day of classes, before finals the seniors at RHS threw an early morning Hayride and Tex-Western Party in the parking lot for all of the underclass mates. They decorated the parking lot with hay bails. They barbecued hot dogs and had country music blaring. I heard the Seniors got to the parking lot at about 3:00 AM to get the whole party set up. The best part of this prank is that no one got arrested. I love the idea of a surprise party on the part of the seniors. Great job class of 2009!
I went to Spring Creek this morning to do a little PTA work. While there the 6th grade had their final walk to school. They met at one of the sixth graders homes and walked to school and entered into the first grade doors. All of the students lined the halls and clapped and cheered and high 5'ved the big kids. The walk ended at the 6th grade class doors with the 6th graders chanting cheers for themselves in preparation for the 6th grade-faculty volleyball game. Good luck faculty. You are going to need it.