Saturday, March 04, 2006

Winter Camping and Weekend Fun

PawPaw and I went camping last night on our land out in the country. The difference this time is that there is now a road through the property and right up to the campsite. The last time we camped there we had to carry our camping supplies down a hill and then up another. That included carrying firewood. We didn't get there last night until it was dark, but since we were in PawPaw's jeep, it didn't matter. We got the fire started and just enjoyed sitting there on the hill breathing in the fresh air and looking out at the countryside all around us. We listened to a pack of coyotes bark and howl. If you've never heard the sound of coyotes, it's kinda spooky sounding at times. This morning we listened to what sounded like dozens of wild turkeys gobbling and clucking.

Dinner was delicious. I had gone by Publix and bought stew beef, onions, potatoes and carrots. So I made beef stew. I brought my large cast iron skillet, and we cooked the stew directly on the fire. Yum! We wrapped a couple rolls in aluminum foil and placed them next to the fire to warm. Cooking out over a fire make food taste so good. We had brought all the ingredients for s'mores just in case either of the kids and their families could come visit for awhile. However, Scalawag is sick again, and Stinkeroo needed to get the kids to bed early. So I now had graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars stashed away for the next camping trip.

After dinner we set up the tent and got everything ready for bed. Then we just sat out by the fire and talked for a long time. We boiled water and made hot chocolate for PawPaw and herbal tea for me. Soooo relaxing. Then we went to bed. The temperature was in the mid-twenties last night -- and I felt it. I've never slept with a hat on, but last night I did. Not only did I sleep with a hat on, but I pulled it down so it entirely covered my face - but my nose was still cold! My sleeping bag is supposedly a 20 degree bag, and PawPaw's is a 15-degree bag. But we both were cold. However, it wasn't an unbearable cold.

For the first couple hours I was warm except for my butt. I could NOT get my rear warm! I finally decided that the only explanation is that my last minute necessary visit behind a tree before bed cooled it off and it took awhile for it to regain some heat. Does that even make sense? But why else would that be the only part of me that was cold? Finally the cold shifted to my feet, and I was warm except for my feet. So the night was filled with restless sleep. But the sun dawned beautifully, and we both felt great despite a less than perfect night's sleep.

We got out the cast iron skillet again for breakfast - bacon with onions and green peppers and hash brown potatoes. I tried canned biscuits again -- and out of the ten biscuits, we were able to salvage four that were not burned to a crisp or still doughy. So breakfast was wonderful, too. And the coffee we made over the fire -- absolutely perfect. After walking around the land for awhile, we packed everything up again.

We spent all morning and early afternoon burning brush piles on the land. PawPaw was able to get a burn permit for today but not for tomorrow. So he's trying to get all of it burned today. It doesn't SOUND like a big job, but it is. He's still out there burning right now.

Another successful and fun camping trip is over. Tonight we're babysitting Sweet Stuff and Sunshine for a couple hours so their parents can go out to dinner. I'm looking forward to that.

I think we're joining Hillsboro UMC tomorrow morning. I really like the small church and country atmosphere of that church. Last Sunday they had an old-fashioned community songfest, and it was so enjoyable. There's just nothing like those old hymns.

I LIVE for the weekends. This one has been wonderful so far.

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