Camp Nana

Ginny is making her way to Portland to visit her childhood friends and family, so Camp Nana was done one person. And her smiling face was missed.

Max and Abby began the day by making their own wind chimes. We used mini pie tins (thanks, Pat) from a family dinner dessert, as the top piece. Holes were poked in the tin and in the center… a cute old bell. Hollow little tubes were added and various accouterments such as old keys and some moon charms until the chimes were just right in sound and sight.

Unfortunately, I did not think to snap a photo while we were working on them, Kerri did get a couple photo of the chimes which found a new home from the eave of their patio cover.

We barely had time to run a couple of rehearsals for our end of summer program (cloaked in secrecy as always) until the kids had to leave for karate. But, before our time was up, we managed to conjure up a very tasty lemon supreme cake topped with the family favorite French white icing for Max and Abby to contribute to their dinner time.

Swim Meets

I really do enjoy the swim meets  There’s something about the smell of sunscreen and pizza and hot dogs.  Brightly colored canopies and sun shelters dot the area, housing swimmers playing card games and snacking on strawberries and cucumber slices.  Giggles are abundant and amidst all of the chaos, relays and medleys kick off the evening activities.  Jeffry and Kerri always put in more than their required volunteer time – Jeffry manning the concession stand at home meets as a fundraiser for the Indian Ridge Swim Team.  Kerri is on her feet for three and four hours at a time, donning an old favorite hat of her late father in law, and rounding up six to ten year old kids of every size and shape and color, all in navy blue swim attire,  and lining them up for their events.

The afternoons are hot.  The atmosphere is hectic.  The announcements and the kids are loud.  And it is 100% fulfilling.  It lifts my soul, no matter how tired and sweaty I feel.

Camp Nana 2019 Ready, Set, GO!

The three campers (known as Nana’s Camp Squad) all have many summer activities this year.  We are squeezing in mini-camp sessions as we navigate through swimming, gymnastics, dance, karate and summer travel.  And today was our kick-off with a morning movie of HOP at our new favorite Galaxy Luxury Theater on the far east side of town.

EB’s destiny was to take over the role of the Easter Bunny, as had been his father’s and his father’s before him.  But his heart was set on becoming a drummer instead. And I have to admit, he was darned good at it!  In fact, the most enjoyable parts of this movie for me, were the drumming scenes.  Image result for hop the movie EB drumming with the blind singers

The campers were invited to bring their own bunnies along to enjoy the movie with us.  Ginny and Abby stuck their bunny’s butts in the cup holders and would every once in a while “feed” the bunnies a kernel of popcorn or a skittles candy.

(Max had his bunny, Chocolate,  in a “sleeping bag” while Abby’s bunny, Strawberry, and Ginny’s namesake bunny, Ginny, were more of the come as you are dress code.)  Once in a while, Ginny would lean over and give me a short explanation of why the mouse did this or the chick did that.  It made for a very sweet and enjoyable morning.

Ginny was off to gymnastics with mommy and baby brother, so Max and Abby and I headed over to McDonalds to get some energy expended and a few calories under our belts. 

The Pima County Public Libraries are all giving away one free book to any teen or child stopping by this week, to encourage summer reading.  Max and Abby need no encouragement as they have their noses in a book often; but hey, who doesn’t love a free book?  They perused the books and made their choices and began reading their new material while walking out of the library door.  I had to remind them that reading while walking could be dangerous!  They took a minute to strike a library pose before departing the area.

Home for some quiet time and a game of Uno Attack while I gear up for a fun project on another Camp Nana day!

 

DAY 1 Vacation

Surprising how quickly 5 a.m. comes when you finally get to sleep around 2 a.m.   What is even more surprising is that I feel awake enough to finish the last-minute packing and alert enough to call Mr. Uber.  The line at Tucson International was hella long – one of my bags was overweight by 1.5 pounds.  Because I am too cheap (and too SANE) to pay $100 overweight fee, I wrestled the plastic protective cover from my huge bag, removing the packing cube which is labeled “BEACH”, wrestled the big bag cover back on the huge piece of luggage and proceeded to go thru the entire routine with the normal sized bag. Placing the packing cube (yes, everything IS in packing cubes and properly labeled BEACH, BOOBIES, BOOTIE, FOOTIES – I think you get the idea) in the normal sized bag only to find that I had to expand that bag and the protective cover would no longer fit;  all the while holding up the very long line.  Yes yes.  I am one of those people – at least for today.

The best laid plans … 

Going thru security was a breeze because I am now a priority one known traveler (courtesy of Homeland Security, 45 minutes of questioning and $75)!  When I got my approval letter in the mail, I kinda felt a little like Steve Martin …

“The new phone book’s here… I’m a somebody now.”

And now ready to board in Phoenix to arrive in Austin just in time for my sister, Robyn to question my choice of taking eight pairs of shoes and my great niece, Alina to entertain me for the evening.  And speaking of which, I find this at the airport!

 

nice.

Followed up by sweet little grand (great?) niece, Alina.

Precious.

how to spoil your grandkids …

in only 173 steps…well, practically.

Max and Abby are normally at my home a couple of days a week.  They have grown bored with the same old sand table and their outdoor toys were for the younger ones.  I had the brilliant idea of making them a little “clubhouse”.  Shouldn’t be difficult.  After all, I have put together those vinyl sheds before and thought that would be the most durable and affordable way to go.  AmazonSmile.com to the rescue.  Free delivery and they put it right at the front of your garage door.  Easy peasy – right?

Not so fast, my friend.

Picking out the shed was fine.  Then, I got it into my head to buy this base grid to construct the shed on top.  Brilliant!

And after taking great pride on seeing how the entire 8×8 grid looked and just how well the level sat … I realized that the ground was too hard and even if it wasn’t, I had installed the entire grid (wait for it) UPSIDE DOWN!  Back on go the gloves and each grid piece is “unlocked” from another and stacked up for another day.  Back to my accounting work.

It’s Saturday!  I have half a ton of landscape sand being delivered.  One of the hazards of not owning a truck is paying $20 for the sand and $49 for the delivery.  The delivery, I soon discovered, only covered it being dumped on the driveway or curb.  Well, that wasn’t going to fly as I do not own a wheelbarrow not to mention my back issues!  Could you wheel it to the backyard for $50?  Heck ya, they could.  Then, as one guy loaded his own wheelbarrow, I queried of the other, Could you lay a foundation of the sand and then assemble the grid and fill with the rest of the sand?  $100 good?   Oh, hell ya, it was good!

Apparently, I needed to also tell them that it had to be leveled.  Sometimes, just when you think things are going well …

Turns out that being uneven was not the worst of it.  After laying the shed floor over the sand filled uneven grid, walking on the “floor” produced a lovely sound like sandpaper grating against your teeth.  That would aggravate my OCD for years.  So, thinking that the weight of the structure itself would get rid of that problem, I commenced to putting up all the walls by myself.  Not really difficult, but a little heavy and awkward for one person to deal with.  Using my patio lights as my guide around 10 pm, I began construction.  Looked great!  Everything was aligned and fastened together and ready to begin the roofing.

Except for that teeth gritting stomach turning noise was still there.   That grid and sandy base had to go.  Well, Scarlett, tomorrow’s another day.

The next morning I am up and taking the entire thing down to the ground again.  Third time should be (and was) the charm.  The following weekend, my handyman, David to the rescue.  He surmised the situation, trying his best to contain his somewhat judgemental head shaking; made a list and off to Lowe’s he went.  Back a bit later and in a couple of hours built a perfect base of 2×6 lumber and treated plywood.

Yeah, I will admit that another $390 later for lumber, nails, plywood and labor may now seem like the better idea.  So it was level and made no sandy sounds in my teeth and so it only took about 30 minutes to install all the walls (again).  Kind of surprising how much easier that part goes when the base for the structure is level and sturdy.  David worked the next day constructing the roof and inside beams.  Installed the double doors as well as an extra window I bought to give the kiddies more light and ventilation.  Then it was my turn.

They have their art center with color pencils and water-color paint, lots of papers and books to work their designs.  Legos and Barbies.  A clock since their school teaches the kids how to tell time on such a non digital contraption!  They have whiteboards and a rod with clips to hang important artwork and documents (one of which is titled “secret codes”).  A couple of wires to hang artwork needing to dry.  And 4 adorable battery LED lights that hang from the roof beams and turn on and off with the slightest of tugs.

Max and Abby love playing in the clubhouse.  I think it is going to entertain them for at least a couple of years.  And when they tire of it …

SHE shed!

Image result for she shed