Thursday, May 14, 2009

Grand Vacation

It is now the closing days before my 10 year old daughter and I leave on our "vacation of a lifetime". On Monday, we leave fly to Las Vegas, and on Wednesday, at 5:45 in the AM (morning, early...) we meet our group to fly to the Grand Canyon, and take a motorized raft 180 miles down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon for 7 days and nights.
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For seven days and nights it will be no buildings, no non-battery electricity, no running water (other then the river), and only campfires and flashlights and stars for light once the sun goes down. I don't think I have slept in a tent for even 3 consecutive days in the last two decades, much less camping so completely roughing it.

But then again, with out my wonderful bed, soft sheets (think Egyptian cotton), and four pillows, I am not sure I am going to be able to sleep at all anyway, so whatever.
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Why am I going? What possessed me to sign up for this?
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I love the IDEA of going down the Grand Canyon on a raft, especially since seeing some spectacular TV footage about 5 years ago on Grand Canyon rafting. My husband Carl knew this, and was always supportive - (Go ahead, Jeanne, you go....) When a group from my church announced a raft trip, I smiled at the thought of going, inquired a bit, and let the trip fill up without me.

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After all, I couldn't really leave my husband to get 4 children off to school while I traipsed around the wilderness in Arizona for over a week. Then, someone canceled. I still couldn't really go, my youngest would really miss me the entire time I was gone. Then there was another cancellation. I called Carl and said - I should take Miranda...

I have two children who are up for adventures, and two who are not. Miranda is always up for an adventure. She wants to travel, camp out, see polar bears in the wild (um, COLD...), to go to China and the city that has water for roads (Venice), and she wanted to see the grand canyon.
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Every year since the boys were in first grade, they have gone to camp Rokilio, the local Cub Scout Camp, (2 hours North) for a 3 night camp out, graduating in 6th grade to a 6 night camp out with the boy scouts in some remote camp (4 hours North) that I have never seen. Carl always takes vacation and goes with the boys, primarily so that my oldest son Tom can participate.

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Miranda's girl scout experiences, although fun, have been limited to one night overnights at the Betty Brinn Children's museum or similar, and culminated in a 2 night overnight at Camp Jellystone. (Very cool, but no lake, beach, boats, archery, or BB guns.)
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She loves going to the visitors night at Camp Rokilio, and has done so at least five times in the last seven years, to see Daddy and the boys. As she got older, we would stay for the campfires, even though it meant that I drove sleeping children home for 2 hours on country highways in the boondocks at midnight, after the campfire was over at 11:00 or so.
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So the idea of taking Miranda wasn't so far fetched, and evolved...
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By the time the boys had reached 4th grade, they have camped out a minimum of 12 days at Camp Rokilio alone, not counting other boy scout overnights. Miranda has had 3-4 nights of overnight camping other then in the backyard. This could almost even up the tally.

She might still not get to do archery or BB guns, but a helicopter trip might be a substitute. (After going 180 miles, they helicopter you out to the airport for a bumpy ride back to Las Vegas.)
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And the best part of the plan was that the group we would be traveling down the Grand Canyon with would be composed of people we knew on sight from church, (like the pastor and his wife, wonderful people) .

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I am of course excited about the scenery, the photographic possibilities, and I want to see the stars at night! But now I can't back out, and it really will be camping, and I am getting nervous. Pray for me! I guess it is a good idea that I am going with a group from church. Prayer will be part of the experience. (As will getting up early. Did I mention we start at 5:45 in the AM?)
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Oh, because I have never been to Las Vegas, on both sides of the trip we are staying in some pretty cool hotels. I wanted to go rafting with the church group, and now I am taking my daughter to sin city, Las Vegas. I took a Beth Moore Bible Study once, on Daniel. From God's magnificence (the Grand Canyon) to Babylon.
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Well if you hung in this far through the blog, I hope I kept you amused. Wish me well, and look for photos...



This is camping like I never want to do. Carl and the 3 boys have earned their polar bear awards. They camp in the snow for fun. Miranda has camped in the backyard in snow for fun.
I do not plan on camping in the snow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pink Tulips



The tulips are totally in bloom around here, violets also. The Crabapple trees are just starting to blossom, and the lillies of the valley are beginning to bloom. Spring is my favorite time!


Click on the images to see them larger. 


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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Robins eggs and Nest

nest with robin eggs by Jeanne Selep Imaging

The robin's nest photo above is from this May, 2009, and is available for sale in my on line store. The nest now has 5 eggs. (In composition, odd numbers are usually better, but I haven't gotten a photo with 5 eggs yet.) I am praying that the nest remains safe and hidden and that I get photos of the babies - in about 12 days... I hope they hatch before my trip starting May 18... The blue egg color was the deepest I've seen in robin eggs - I hope that means the robins are healthy!


Click on images to see them larger. 


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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May is here.

vintage May banner woodcut engraving
It seems that I spent much of April waiting for spring, and now spring is racing past at a fast rate. Tulips are in bloom, and once again I didn't get to the Chicago Botanical Garden in spring. (Maybe for Mother's Day? Working on it...)

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May is always a busy month, and it seems that May is arriving earlier and earlier each year.


On Wed April 29 I spent 1/2 day of volunteering at my children's Middle School ("Community Day"), then went to Church to help set up the Church Rummage Sale. real robins eggs in robin nest 

On Thursday April 30, I pinched my pinkie finger entirely through the nail, went to the Dr's office for shots and bandages... OUCH. Then I painfully entered new artworks into the Cedarburg Artist Guild's Main Street Gallery. Then, despite my husband's medical advice, that afternoon I had a booth at an art sale at a place called Le Club. (4:30-9:30 PM)


On Friday May 1st I chaperoned 7th graders at an all day field trip to the Titanic Exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Art Museum, followed by a long nap.


On Saturday May 2nd I worked 8:00 AM -3:00 PM helping out at the Crossroads Rummage Sale, then went to my niece's 1st communion service and party.

On Sunday, May 3rd - recovery from the previous week, and unpacking from the Thursday craft show. (the children unpacked from the church rummage sale, Kinex toys everywhere!)


On Monday, May 4th - More unpacking from the Thursday craft show. (But the deposit of the money from the sales is still not made...) And after school shopping for outdoor gear for my Grand Canyon Raft trip, Starting May 19! Wish me luck.

Oh, and there was a lot more running around in there. I do have children with lots of activities...
I did two art shows in the closing week of April, and I am glad now that my art show vending season is over for awhile. I've learned a lot that I hope to share someday, but for now I am just trying to dig myself out of the mess my house became while I was preparing for the shows.
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I have two more 2009 art shows I am hoping to participate in - AFTER September!!! Spring and Summer will be for creating, on-line sales and my consignment and card sales. So I say today.
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The rest of May now is prep for vacation and travel - Grand Canyon rafting here I come!
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The robin's nest photo above is from this May, and will be available in my on-line store shortly. The nest now has 5 eggs. (In composition, odd numbers are usually better, but I haven't gotten a photo with 5 eggs yet.) I am praying that the nest remains safe and hidden and that I get photos of the babies - in about 12 days... I hope they hatch before my trip.
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The banner is another find from The Cottage Hearth.
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A blog I read had an interesting blog on birds and featured one of my photos. You may enjoy checking it out here. Good bye for now, and go CREATE!