Camping at Northampton Beach

I’d retrieved M from Cape Cod on Thursday because we had a weekend family camping trip already planned before she was invited on the vacation.  I’d checked out my list of recommended places to camp, and we decided on Northampton Beach on Lake Sacandaga largely because it was one of the few campgrounds that still had lakeside spaces for last Friday and Saturday night. Cute W and I really enjoyed Little Sand Point on Lake Piseco last year, but the girls wanted to try someplace new.

It was not an auspicious beginning. You may recall that it was rainy and cold on Friday. Cute W even floated the idea of cutting the camping trip to only one night, but I was like, heck no. Of course, I was as unprepared to go as I was adamant about going. I spent Friday feverishly shopping, cooking, and prepping. J had gymnastics on Friday afternoon, and Cute W didn’t want to miss too much work, so we planned to in the early evening. This turned out to be an ambitious plan. By early evening Cute W and I were throwing things into the car in a desperate race with the sun.

As we drove north, it continued to drizzle, and we noted that the cloud cover would make for an extra-dark night. Luckily, the campground was only an hour away. We’d planned to buy our wood when we arrived, but when we caught our breath and conferred en route, we realized that we had about $6 cash between us. Excellent.

But, phew! It was still daylight when we arrived, and the camp office took credit cards for their bundles of wood–kiln dried, making it pretty much the only thing dry in the place. Our campsite (#208) was lovely:


Unfortunately, the grate over the fireplace was gone. It made us wonder if all the cooler campers had known about the deficiency, and that’s why it was the only campsite that still had an open lakeside spot. Oh, well.
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Best. Mom. Ever.

Guess who drove to Cape Cod in one day yesterday?

Yep, me. M was invited for the week, but we had family stuff this weekend, so I went to fetch her.

I decided to make it a mini-vacation, complete with lobster roll and onion rings. . .

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The girls and I went to see The Giver.

We all loved the book.  I was especially excited to finally have a new release to see asap with J, because M and I had gone to see The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Catching Fire for their opening nights, but J hadn’t read the books in time (she’s since caught up with two out of three). I was a bit shocked by how empty the theater was.  Bottom line: the book’s better than the movie, but the movie didn’t ruin the book. We enjoyed it, mostly, although we all thought it would be confusing if we didn’t know the story ahead of time. And the ending was much less. . . ambivalent in the movie. Also, the lead boy was a cutie-patootie. M said, “In the book he wasn’t supposed to be attractive, but I’m totally okay with him being hot.”

But before the movie, we watched a huge pile of previews. And since my lovely daughters were fighting over custody of the popcorn and slushy, I did my best to ignore them. Instead, I focused all of my attention on the previews and took mental notes to share with you.
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Keeping Time

It was an absolutely beautiful day today, so of course M was inspired: she desperately needed to clean out her closet. Oh, man! Really?  But this was a task that I’d been nagging about for a long time, and she very politely asked me for help. So I took one for the team and spent all morning inside, pondering which artwork which needed to be saved forever and picking up picking little plastic beads out of a box full of change and Krazy gluing knick knacks.

But I loved re-discovering this little beauty (you can click on it to make the image bigger):

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My Vacation

So what does a girl do when the whole entire family is out of town? Well, I:

  • Watched Cirque Éloize and wrote a review of it. I really enjoyed the show, but it was a little bit tragic because I went All. By. Myself. I had a press pair of tickets, but I got them pretty shortly before the showtime. So then I contacted three different friends, all of whom were out of town. And then I put it as a Facebook status (#feeling pathetic), like, 3 hours before the show, and there were crickets. Well, that’s a damn shame.
  • I slept in. A lot. What’s especially comical is that our cat is usually up and meowing for food or to be let out by the crack o’ dawn, but she gradually followed my lead through the week, and this morning she was still happily snoozing between my legs at 9:15 am.

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Shopping Adventures and Misadventures

Last week involved some shopping. Oh, come on. Much as I loathe shopping, most weeks include at least some shopping, right? But since I was striking out into uncharted territory, I took some pictures along the way.

First, Hannaford has bowed to the massive grocery competition yet again. When grocery stores starting cropping up hither, thither, and yon around my house, I was not particularly psyched. I have to make a pretty major schlep to buy crafts or office supplies, but the grocery stores are practically stacked on top of each other. Historically, Hannaford’s been my favorite. When I first moved to the area with my teensy baby, there was a Hannaford and a Price Chopper near me, and I made a list of the items I bought most often, checked prices at both places, and started going to Hannaford because the prices were cheaper. But it morphed into the nostalgic favorite, especially when I can drag my 12-year-old to the store and the cashiers and baggers greet her by name and recall the good ol’ days when she fit into my baby carrier, while she smiles, puzzled, and refrains from rolling her eyes. So when they decided to renovate the place, I was bummed. I used to know where everything was. I used to be able to zip through there like it was a game show.  And now they’ve got shopping online, which just makes me worry that they’re not doing well in the face of all of this competition.

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The Long Week Ends

I dropped Cute W, M, & J at the airport this morning. They are going to visit Grandma & Grandpa in Kansas City. This is the third time I’ve had a summer vacation-from-the-family. Airplane tickets are expensive, and who are we kidding? For Grandma & Grandpa, it’s really all about the grandkids, anyway. Usually I have vague ideas ahead of time that I’ll do something huge like write a novel or host a Girls Night Out slumber party, and then I just end up catching up on laundry and vacuuming. We’ll see how it goes.

In any case, I was pretty much ready to drop-kick J onto an airplane by this morning. Seriously.

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Long Week

Hey! Deb and I are going to be on Newschannel 13‘s Live at Noon TODAY talking about great Capital District summer traditions happening this weekend.

What else is going on? Well, with the combination of her big sister away at camp, her BFF on vacation, and zero camps, J is bored, bored, bored. Twice this week she’s announced that she’s bored before 8 am! My answer to that is, “You’re not allowed to be bored if it’s before 8 am or if your room is messy.”

Needless to say, sweet J is makin’ her mama cray-cray.
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Camp Scully

It’s been a month already since we had our camping weekend at Camp Scully, and somehow I managed to skip actually publishing this post. So here are some pictures. Camp Scully is a day and overnight camp located right in North Greenbush. We didn’t go there for campy-camp, but it was such a lovely little spot that I thought I should document and share.

They’ve just built a couple of new cabins–here’s what one looks like inside:


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Hair Watch 2014

We’re due for an update on M’s hair after the Gala Head Shaving Event back in April. Here’s the current status:



When M’s hair was first shaved, she literally scared me a couple of times when I’d caught a glimpse of her and briefly thought that there was a young man in my house. I’m not even kidding. Once I gasped out loud and had to cover it up.

But it’s funny, because right now, her shock of super-blond hair standing straight up on her head looks so much more like her Bad-Ass personality than that sleek, bouncy ponytail that I once loved. Yes, it was pretty. Prettier than average, even. But nothing extraordinary. This punky ‘do captures the M of this spring and summer perfectly, just as much as that shiny dome was the perfect illustration of the gutsy shave when it happened.

But it also feels like the hair’s been pretty slow to grow back. At the end of the school year, M reported that everyone else who’d gotten their head shaved had grown enough hair that it had flopped down, lying flat against their heads instead of standing up like her little crop of wheatgrass.

Before we went on vacation, I called to set up hair appointments for all the girls in the family (you know I hate to get my hair cut, but it has to be done occasionally). When I first called, I’d expected the typical several-weeks-out wait, but apparently a summer slowdown was in the works. When the receptionist told me that we were welcome to come in just a few days later, my response was, “Uh-oh. I’m not sure if we’ll have enough hair to cut in a few days. We needed those extra weeks, I think.”

Sure enough, the stylist took one skeptical look at M and advised us to reschedule the appointment for early fall. But it’s getting there! M’s heading off to overnight camp for the week starting tomorrow, and I think the standing-up era is almost over. I’m actually going to miss this hair!  But meanwhile, we’re hoping that we can turn it into some super-stylish pixie for the beginning of school.