28 August 2010

The Lake

I am so behind that I can't even remember how the saying goes about "... the behinder I get." Whatever. We went to the lake two weeks ago - no, scratch that - we got BACK from the lake two weeks ago.

Wow, really? Where did August run off to?

Ok I don't have time to ponder that, so here is a bit of a photo journal from the lake...

The view outside our back door...

Morning Mist...

What he did. ALL DAY EVERY DAY...

Every day looked JUST like this...

And every evening looked like this...

We saw wildlife...

And an unusually friendly duck adopted us - two days in a row. She hung out with us and followed our boat whenever we moved away from her. Cute. And creepy at the same time...

Our girls each had fun in their own way. One wanted to do nothing but fish - a chip off the old block, if you ask me. She got up early and spent all day on the boat...

She also swam off the boat a couple of times, until I showed her that photo of the snapping turtle...

Our other daughter slept half the day and spent the other half doing her artwork out on the dock. When she wasn't watching TV...

We kayaked...

And Grandma and Grandpa came to spend a couple of days with us...

Grandma kayaked...

And Grandpa caught the prize fish of the week...

As always, the week was over much too soon...

We plan to live on a lake one day. It's perhaps the primary common goal of our marriage. Who knows when or if we'll ever be able to afford it, but you have to have goals, right?

And don't tell me it wouldn't be a vacation every day of the year. Covering my ears and not listening.

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

21 August 2010

Happy Birthday...

... to my husband's dad who turns 70 today.

And as of Monday, I will be back online from my blogging fast.

I have SO much to share! :)

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

06 August 2010

Another Vacation

"What's this?" you ask. "Another vacation?" "A three-week road trip with your kids wasn't enough?"

Well, as fun as it was, it was anything but relaxing. I wouldn't classify it as a vacation, but rather,... a DEATH MARCH.

Ok, not really.

But it was far from restful. In fact, sleep deprivation was the order of the day. Of EVERY day.

For the next week, our family is hunkering down to spend some quiet and relaxing time together. I will be taking a self-imposed break from you, my beloved internet. I'm not sure I can survive without you, but I'll do my best.

And I can't promise I won't cheat and check in on you. But I'll try not to. I'm thinking of it as a fast - a fast from all that is electronic. And from anything remotely resembling a car. I think I've had enough car travel this summer to last a good, long while.

So until next weekend... signing off, friends. Have a good week!

(P.S. - Except for Twitter. Phones don't count. :P)

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

05 August 2010


This will be a menagerie of thoughts, so bear with me.

On Monday, my son and I visited the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, which was more like a cross between a really cool hike and a very natural zoo. It was a few miles west of Tucson, AZ, and I would highly recommend it, if you're ever out that way. We saw scorpions, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and zillions of different varieties of cactus plants.

(Have I mentioned that I HATE the word "cacti?" I prefer the term, "cactus plants." "Cacti" just doesn't work for me.)

See the CACTUS PLANTS in the background?

On Tuesday, I flew back home to Maine. It was clear most of the way, so I got a little reverse-tour of our road trip, which was very cool. I could see where the desert ended and the prairie began (eastern New Mexico and Colorado) and where the prairie ended and the trees began (eastern Kansas).

*NOTE* Where the trees begin, there also, the humidity begins. Just sayin.

Understand that by the time I was flying over the Maine coast, the trees were as thick as... well, I could say as thick as tourists, but I suppose that would be unkind. Oh well, there, I said it. You get the idea. There is no more land to see, only trees. And when I stepped off the plane, the stifling humidity proved me right. That, and the fact that all my hair stood up on end and saluted the moisture in the air. The way life should be!

* * *

A side note about my flight home...

First, my husband had so many air miles, that he got me a free ticket. Not only that, he got me a free ticket flying FIRST CLASS. Yeah, you know you're jealous. It was heaven. Understand, I had to take three flights to make it all free, but the longest one, from Phoenix to Philadelphia, was the one where I flew first class. Picture this: leg room. And not having to breathe in the breath (or body odor) of the person sitting next to you. And not having to bump elbows for 5 hours. And getting real food. HOT food. FREE food. Ah, the food. We even had our own restroom up there.

I felt bad as I glanced back at coach and thought about all those people squeezed in there like cattle. Yeah, I felt their pain. I feel their pain on every other flight I take in my life. I felt their pain on the OTHER two flights I took that day. I felt their pain for a moment, and then I turned back, snuggled down in my HUGE chair and just LOVED it.

I have to add, too, that my husband did this as a surprise, and WOO - I owe him BIG.

The second thing was that when I was in Philadelphia riding the shuttle from one terminal to the other, I stood next to a very young couple, maybe just out of high school. I could hear everything they were saying, and at one point, the boy said to the girl in all seriousness, "So what if I become a pilot?" The girl pondered this for a moment and then said back, in all seriousness, "Well, then we'd fly free!"

I don't know why this struck me as humorous. It just seemed so innocent. I smiled at them after hearing it, and they both looked at me as though I'd caught them talking about sex.

* * *

The past two days have been spent dealing with all the fallout of being away from home for three weeks. Laundry, house cleaning, pulling clingy pets off my being, etc. The two days have also been spent pondering the fact that my son is now living 3000 miles away.

I have watched the process of him moving into his apartment via Skype and text messages. I so wanted to be there, but commitments here in Maine demanded that I be back home before his move-in date. As a meddling, doting mom, I found that hard to bear, though it was probably best for us both.

While I was gone, my dear husband held down the fort, as it were. He cleaned up after a dog that was sick for several days, watered all my beloved flowers, and generally kept things in order. He was so good to the gardens, in fact, that I came home to a jungle. I don't even recognize the place, nor do I know what to do with it. Weeds, anyone? I am comforted by the fact that in just under three months, it will all be dead and frozen anyway. If I can hold out that long, I won't have to deal with those weeds.

I think I can wait.

I KNOW I can wait.

One thing to love about winter, right?

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

01 August 2010

Blue and Yellow Chaos

I went to Ikea today for the 3rd time in my life. The first was more than 20 years ago, when I was living in the D.C. area. All I remember about it was that it was a long drive south from Arlington, the parking lot was never-ending, and there was nothing I wanted or needed because I was still living with my parents.

The second time was when we lived in San Diego. At least I think it was Ikea. I have a vague memory of being in another yellow and blue store like that, with a maze-like layout, and my kids were scrambling around me in toddler chaos.

I have nothing against Ikea, but we don't have one in Maine, so I never even think about it. Last week while I was making the long drive out here to desert-land, my son called me, positively giddy, and told me he'd discovered Ikea. He told me he could buy everything he would ever need right in that one store. So I knew an Ikea visit was in my immediate future.

We went there today and it was as cool and as awful as I expected. Oh, the colors! The options! The low prices! The funky names! It was like Sam's Club, but about twice as big, much more crowded, and in Swedish. But... oh, the maze. The throngs of people. The crowded aisles. The options. Yes, the options were both a positive AND a negative. For my OCD son, more than one option is the greatest thing ever, as well as a sure source of incredible stress.

We were in Ikea for two hours and forty-five minutes. TWO HOURS AND FORTY FIVE MINUTES. When we got through the check out, they had a whole new area with hot dogs, pizza, and cinnamon rolls. Yes, we were famished and indulged in all that junk food. We scarfed it down without apologies. In fact, all the tables were full so we sat on our cart. Yes, really. I didn't care. It was like we'd just run a marathon; a marathon that cost us over $300.00.

Then we headed for the door, but couldn't find it. We started meandering down another hallway with our carts full of purchases, and came to a dead end. We turned around and found out the exit was on the other side of the cinnamon rolls. We'd rushed right past it in our hunger frenzy.

My son was right. We got pretty much everything he needed for his new apartment out here. And if we hadn't, he could have just moved into Ikea. I'm not sure anyone would have noticed.

At this rate, my next visit to Ikea should be in about 10 years. I should be fully recovered by then.

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes