runaway cat

today was a day that came with an extra dose of drama. justified drama that left a scar on mary claire's childhood.  

 my neighbor (a nice one) stopped me after my run and asked, "do you have (yes i have a teenage son) a little gray (yes, that is my son's car) cat?" oh thank goodness! when you have a teenage driver and a 10mph speed limit on your road,  you tend to jump to conclusions when childless neighbors approach! anyway, this is the sweetest cat loving neighbor who happened to love our crazy mean cat.  the tom cat who i can't catch to have neutered. the tom cat who is roaming the woods stealing the innocence of underage cats. getting him caught and fixed has been on my to do list.

 today would be the day! as soon as i walked in, i told mary claire she had to find and catch junebug. a little while later we were in the car , off to the vet. our cat carrier was too small for his massive self, so we used a collar and a leash. we only had to make it a whole 10 feet from the car to the vet's office door.

mary claire buckled him in for the ride. if i had known this was the last picture of junebug i would ever take, i would have tried harder.

mary claire held on tight to the cat and the leash, but once the door was open he freaked out! FREAKED! scratched her to shreds, got loose and took off for the woods.

junebug disappeared.
 gone in seconds!
vanished into the woods behind the office.
a parenting nightmare!
we looked forever! walked the street, called his name, talked to a couple (scary) people. and left the vet's office catless. with my girl beside herself upset.

 i tried to console her, "at least it wasn't molly mittenbritches!"
"at least it didn't run the other way (highway)"
"we can make awesome posters!"
"remember the cat who walked through three states to find his way home?"
"how about a sonic slush?"

in between the slush, listing junebug on the radio pet patrol, making (and laminating) posters, returning emails, phone calls and meeting with a bride... i locked my keys in the car. no worry, onstar to the rescue! except my onstar  had expired and you have to be in the car to reactivate. bennett leaves work with the truck key. 

we take the country boy pimped out truck back into town to hang posters in the hood. this cat's thug attitude will be to his advantage in this neck of the woods. every house seemed to have a chain link fence around the front yard and a "no trespassing sign" on the front door.

mary claire wanted to offer a huge reward... this long lost dog has dozens of signs all over town, plus a $500 reward. junebug's reward if found will be finally losing his testicles.

 fingers are crossed, mary claire is sending up prayers. i am not holding my breath!

camp honey cut short

our week with my mom was coming to an end when she got a phone call from south carolina. you see, years earlier, on the first day of the first camp honey, she received a similar call ~ my grandfather, her father, the most precious man, had suffered a heart attack and died. i will never forget that ride home. this call was similar,  my grandmother, my mom's mother, suffered a stroke and was being transported to the hospital. {flashbacks} my mother being her primary caregiver was hours away. a very long story and a hundred phone calls short, my grandmother was taken good care of by other family members and my mom was by her side in no time.

praise God she is doing well. she still has a ways to go. she was diagnosed with temporal arthritis. when the side effect is sudden blindness and stroke, it is always - always worrisome.

camp honey was cut a day short. but not before we squeezed all the goodie from our trip. the last thing on the agenda was the state park. i love a state park. i especially love the junior ranger program. we had big plans to make it to the parks first... but got sidetracked by dolly ;) and made it there the last day. this year the girls learned to weave on a loom. how neat is that! pretty neat ~ and hard! 

my mom and sister were at the river with the littles and i was left to weaving activity.the flier failed to mention that weaving a bookmark would require one child (for the free supplies) and one college educated adult, per child. preferably with a masters degree, because this ain't no everyday bookmark ;) i blame it on sweet ranger mary jo's instructions. if she would have just said "over and under" all would have been good in weaving world. but the extra ten weaving vocabulary words and the half dozen short cuts and accessories had the audience stunned and dazed for a few. check out the faces above... it wasn't just me. {bless her heart}

when we finally said the heck with it and went over and under,we were bookmark making machines! (manually powered) the girls got to keep the looms and weaved all the way home. because after an hour and a half, we were half way to a quarter of the way done. all that blood sweat and tears, that's going to be one special bookmark. imagine weaving a dress! 

then it was to the river to meet the others.
the kids waded and played and discovered and threw rocks and hit things with sticks and splashed 

and threw up at the picnic.... yeah, but only one. 
and it just so happened to be the really cute charming one with a turtle tattoo!

and only because honey's honey baked ham was so good he shoveled it in too fast. in fact it came back up so quick, it didn't really look like throw up (which i think was worse) one of the kids threw water on it (which made it even worse) the baby was gagging (yeah, worse) mary claire was adding her signature drama (worse) and guaranteed, no one would want any more of that million dollar glazed ham.  my sister and i don't do throw up very well... so thanks mom!

i usually get a nice posed picture of our picnic. 
i just happened to take this one before the real one and right before the accident.

really ~ this is the best behaved baby ever!
my sister reminded me that they were all this good once... then they grow ;)

so we drove home friday instead of saturday... so thankful my grandmother was doing well and so thankful for a wonderful week... minus only one day ;)

cracker barrel... kinda sorta

i described dollywood to a friend as being "sort of like a cracker barrel" except full of rides, hills and wide variety of people. despite the name name, this is such a neat theme park. so friendly, clean, rustic... sort of like a cracker barrel!

 evie was adorable. 
we guessed the duck ride was making her motion sick. 
or she was embarrassed to be riding a duck at dollywood.
 they love their honey!

my favorite gluten free treat!
dolly's kettle corn is to die for!

love-love baby evie taking cover!

thumbs up to dolly! 
we had a great time plus got in a couple days worth of exercise walking the hills!

first up...

first on the camp honey activity list was the philadelphia quarry. this place is breathtakingly beautiful! it is hidden behind a dairy farm, in the middle of the smokey mountains, at the end of a walt disney inspired forest. we were fortunate to have our action figure diver, bennett, with us. because we did not realize this is a 'dive only' quarry. meaning it is for divers only.  bringing your swimmer friends is a perk for divers.

so while our diver did his thing, we did ours. which involved a lot of commotion, a wide spread mess and plenty of happy noise. quarries echo yo know... doesn't that sound fun!?   luckily we were the only ones there besides a dive instructor and his student. which benefited the diving student, practicing his dives in a hostile environment with six hyped up kids in the water ;) we're here to serve!

i will let the two dozen pictures sum up our day. i have a few more sets that come with stories. i will have to save until the wi-fi is free ;)

my favorite picture from the day

my sister is going to kill me! but she looks great!

 the funniest set to come involves liza and the paddle board!

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