Annual camping trip, day 1… Arrival.

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*this post written and saved while away from the internet, it was published once we arrived back home. Therefore dates and references are not accurate to the publish date.*

We left home at 2am this morning. After 4 road / ramp closures and detours to get back on the right route, and stopping for lunch, we made what Google maps called a 8.5 hr trip in around 11 hrs. all and all, not to bad.

We like to camp in what is called ‘overflow’ camping, it’s in a campground. and there’s no reservations. First come first serve only, the only restrictions are that you can only stay for two weeks max, and you can’t build a fire if the forest you are in has fire restrictions. Hubster was worried about getting our spot. I listened to him worry about getting our preferred spot for 11 hrs. Not my idea of a fun drive. (Not to mention that somehow all ramp closures were some how, my fault.)

Anyway, we made it to the campground at about 1 this afternoon, and low and behold, our spot is available. YAY!! We backed the trailer in (yes, we camp with a trailer, don’t hate on me.) and got it leveled. I set to getting the trailer cleaned up and organized, beds made, food put away, so that we can live in here for the next week. Hubster rounded up the kids and set out gathering fire wood (yes, we gather and cut dead wood to burn, instead of buying firewood.)

After I have camp mostly set up (not totally, but  mostly, and Hubster has hauled in 3 large trees to be cut up and burned he sets about getting the fishing gear ready… Kid 1 opts out of first day fishing and chooses to stay at camp with me, but Kid 2 and Kid 3 are loaded up to go get water and go fishing.

Kid 1 and I finish setting up camp, setting up chairs and prepping for dinner. Once those chores are done we played a few games before she decided to take the hatchet out and chop the smaller branches off the trees they hauled in while I worked on writing some.

I have little doubts we will all sleep well tonight, my only question is did I get enough blankets on all the beds?

Road Trip, the end of the saga…

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On Tuesday,  I spent a great deal of the day working at MIL’s house, we replaced the locks on her doors, repaired one door where it had been kicked in and the frame shattered.  I epoxyed windows shut that had been broken into  until the mechanism that opened them was useless. Basically, I was working on securing her house sot hat it was harder for people to break in. As MIL has a problem with her sister’s family breaking in and stealing things or just moving their criminal selves into her home.

That afternoon I worked on cleaning up the trailer and securing things for the trip home. We took SIL and her kids out to dinner that evening, in a town an hour away, to Applebee’s. We had a great time, and the kids watched a little bit of tv before going to bed that night.

On Wednesday, we hooked the trailer back to the truck, cleaned up the mess we had made and headed home. We discovered that a lot of truck stops have RV dumps on our way home so we were able to empty the almost full tanks on the trailer without hauling it all the way home. We stopped again at Andersons pea soup. and continued south.

We were about in Sacramento when I pulled off my glasses to clean them and the frames broke. I didn’t have my old pair with us, I spent the rest of the trip not able to see more than 4 feet in front of me clearly. Not something I recommend.

Hubster, in his infinite wisdom, decided that we could make it up the Grapevine (steep mountain pass just north of LA) to the Flying J truck stop with just barely enough gas to get there if it were flat ground. 3 miles from the station the truck ran out of gas.. (DUH!) we were not even to get the truck and trailer completely off the road, and the far right two lanes on the highway are reserved for semi’s. We panicked for just a moment, I admit it. We didn’t know who to call, until Hubster remembered Onstar. (yeah, I admit, I was tired it was like 9pm and I had been on the road most of the day) We hit the emergency button and they called us a tow truck, initially just for gas, and a Highway patrol officer , because we really weren’t in a safe area. Hubster and I discussed which would be safer for us and the kids, to get out of the vehicle and stand at the side of the road in 40 degree weather, where if the truck got hit it could slam into us, or to stay in the vehicle where we had airbags and seatbelts, plus, the residual heat of the day. We finally decided that the safest option was in the truck, with seatbelts on and hazards flashing.

The DPS officer arrived, he had his lights lit, and the trucks started going around us as they passed. But the officer told Hubster that there was no way he was going to let anyone stand on the traffic side of the vehicle to put gas in, we were going to have to be towed, at least off the interstate.

The tow truck arrived after a 25 minute wait. Faster than the estimate of 30 minutes, and towed us up the road to the next exit and then added the gas, we were able to make it to gas station 3 miles up the road. Argh. I chewed Hubster out about his habit of running down to the last ounce of gas hunting for something 2 cents cheaper a gallon.

We continued our trip home and actually made it in about 4:15am Thursday morning. by the time we got the kids in, and in bed, and all the things we had to get done finished, it was 5am before we were able to go to bed for a few hours.

The second leg of our trip, the part where we were going to go see my family on the other end of the state got delayed for a month or so, my grandfather caught the flu, and was very ill, he is improving but I didn’t want to risk taking the cold that my kids have to him, especially when he is so weak.

home… exausted and lots to do.

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we are home. and I have been grocery shopping already (I let us run out of a lot of things before we left) I still have to unload most of the stuff from the truck though.. not fun. and the laundry… but with our power plan I can’t start laundry till after 7 so I am not in a hurry for that.

We are also starting 2 weeks off school for fall break, I think to keep from going out of my mind I may put the kids to work. Let’s call it Fall Cleaning…

Family Visit

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going well, got to spend a good deal of time with my father, and some of the extended family. Planning on doing more of the same tomorrow, and Sunday before heading to home on Sunday evening. Hubster and I will probably take turns driving that 6 hrs home late at night, while the kidlets sleep.

busy busy

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been staying busy between 2 real days of school and the rest 3 hr days this week, then the kids will be out of school for 2 weeks for “fall break” I was planning on going across the state to visit family the second week of the kids break, because the hubster would be out of town anyway, but I got notice that I have a meeting there this saturday that I really need to make, so after some discussion. We will be going this afternoon, and staying till Monday morning. This was decided yesterday, so I have been busy packing and getting our family of 5 ready for the trip. This is no mean feat.

About to embark

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on a 3 week episode of single parenting. We do this at least once every year, as Hubby goes to his National Guard Annual Training. Sometimes more for other training, whether with the military, or his civilian job. I like to use this time to get some major work done around the place. Spring cleaning type, clean out and re-arrange the garage, clean out the kids room, while getting rid of stuff.  Without hubby here to distract us, or interrupt us with *urgent* trips to the store for what ever frivolity, um, really important crap, um, item, he has thought up this time. I can get something accomplished, and some of the crap he refuses to throw away, gone, without him noticing.

Plus, I have the the trip that my older kids will be taking with  my mom this summer to use as a bribe, um, incentive, to help, if they work well enough, I will give them spending money for the trip. See, aren’t I a mean, um,  an enterprising mom?

Conflicted

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my family has been trying to plan a group trip for about a year… where my mother, sister and her family, and me and my family all take a trip together. We have yet to manage to schedule it. Then, in January, my sister, the drama queen, and I had a difference of opinions. She felt she got to treat me like shit under her shoes, and I felt I didn’t have to put up with being treated like that. Anyway, I had about determined then that said “family trip” would probably never happen.

In March, because my father asked, we called a truce, and have been getting along since. No big problems…

Last week my mother called me, tells me that Sis is telling her that I am just not interested in going on the family trip, but would I let the two of them take my girls, (not all 3 of my kids, just the two oldest, grrr.) Or I was welcome to go, and if we wanted, we could all (mom, my sis and her daughter, me and my 3 kids) pile into my truck, and share gas and motel rooms. I was considering both, till today.

This afternoon I called my sister, for the first time in a couple of weeks, to see how things are going with her, she didn’t have a lot to say to me, but while I was on the phone, she proceeded to have a screaming, cursing shit fit at her husband. This only served to remind me why I have no desire to spend more than 30 mins to an hour in her company, much less days.

Now I am trying to figure out how to tell my mother that despite my desire to go, not only will I not be making the trip, but I am unwilling to expose my children to the disrespect and general anger at the world that surrounds my sister.

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