Sunday, July 25, 2010

Camping Solo

One of my personal sabbatical goals was to camp by myself with the kids this summer and I am happy to report I did that last week. Since we started camping I have heard the wonderful tales of my mother in law's solo summer camping adventures at Airline Park and Nickerson State Park on the Cape. She would camp all summer, read tons of books and found it to be so relaxing. She spoke so fondly of these times I thought "I need to try this myself!" Now, admittedly, I am not ready to be a seasonal camper. I'm afraid of bridges, don't like trolls, and don't want a sign that tells everyone my name and where I am from (see my previous post as a reference here). However, I felt I could easily do a week. I figured the Cape would be a safe location...Tim could come rescue me if need be, I have my mother, 2 sisters, and in laws there, and I know the Cape very well. Baby steps.

I ended up at Peter's Pond RV Resort in Sandwich which turned out great. It has 2 beaches on the pond, both were within walking distance of our site. We had a nice private site, there were activities during the week (bring on the BINGO!), and it was very family oriented. To try out my Camper Peep scale, I honestly did not see any Slackers or Sweats, there were one or two Serious Campers, a smattering of Helpful Regulars, and the great majority were Seasonal Folks. There were limited amounts of The Rest of Us. Still no preppy camper sightings.

T Minus 1: Timmy gave me the lowdown to prepare me. He showed me How to Light The Grill (I am afraid I will blow up in the process), How to Light the Water Heater ("It has never gone out on me"), and How To Empty the Tanks (Hi God, It's Me Kelly...Are You Kidding Me?")

Day One: I get up to make a fantastic breakfast...visions of pancakes, bacon, bagels, and OJ are dancing in my head. I go to light the grill...nothing. No spark, nothing. Huh....ok, let me try again. My upper lip begins to sweat. Mabye I'm not doing it right. Maybe the next time I push the button we will all blow up because I have had the gas on too long. Finally I call Timmy...he doesn't answer so I leave him a message through clenched teeth...that sounds something like "You NEED to call me asap...something is wrong with your STUPID grill!" Five minutes later Timmy calls back. He has me check a few things and it turns out the propane is empty. What the What?? So, I can't cook or take a shower because we have no gas or hot water?! Cue up the rain clouds. I quickly make my way to the office and cry big tears...."my husband...he's away all week...I don't know how to get the tank off the camper...can you help me?!" They promise to help. Insert the moonsoon rains. We are on a hill...with the camper on the down slope. Luckily one item on my sabbatical list is to paint more and I have brought watercolors, paper, and brushes. We hunker down and paint....for several hours...with the rain falling steadily. Mimi painted a giant flower, Jack painted a Jeep Jamboree (of course), and I painted a beach scene. The kids were so impressed with my painting skills that I felt like Picasso. Mimi told me I should get a job as a painter for my next job. I am, in no way, a great painter, but boy does positive reinforcement make you feel good. Remember to always pump up your kids...it does a world of difference no matter what age they are! Then the kids decided to paint a picture together and I moved on to a mermaid picture. This should have been a warning sign for me...my kids decideded to paint a picture together?? It only lasted about 15 minutes before the smack down ensued. I decided, despite the pouring rain, we needed to get out of the camper and take a break. So, we drove around for about 2 hours getting to know the area, and ended up getting take out since I wasn't about to grill in the pouring rain.

I should mention that the water heater that has "never gone out" needed to be started again. I should also mention that I am afraid of fire and am such a potential fire nut that Tim calls me The Fire Marshall. So, when he told me that I had to relight the heater with a match, I almost passed out. I had him on the phone walking me through it and his first instruction is "Okay, let me just warn you that once you get it lit, there is going to be noise like a jet engine and a little fire kick back." Ah, ok...I can take cold showers for 5 days, no problem. Realizing he has scared the bejesus out of me he says "You can do this...it's not that bad!" So, I haul the kids out of the camper. Mimi was sitting near the water heater so when I blew up the camper, I wanted her to have a fair shot to run free. I had Jack hold the phone for me and this is what I ACTUALLY said to my 11 year old son "Jack, if I catch on fire, tell Daddy and then run." He nearly soiled himself and then said "ah, ok". Just as I am about to light the thing he says "Mom, wait!! If you catch on fire, should I roll you on the ground?!" It was at this moment I thought, "I may have done some damage here." I told him "I won't really catch on fire, Buddy" and then proceeded to do the sign of the cross and I lit the match. Turns out it wasn't so bad...and I DID it! I did make Tim stay on the line for about 10 minutes though in case I did it wrong and the camper self combusted. Obviously we made it out alive.

Day 2: It was a busy day! I had signed up in April for a Diamond Back Terrapin Walk on Sandy Neck, knowing how much Jack loves the turtles. I highly recommend this...you can sign up through the Sandy Neck website. For two hours, several educators taught us about the turtles that live in the area, including a red eared slider that someone got sick of having at their house and they let go in the dunes...a fresh water turtle in a salt water environment. For those who don't know, Jack has owned a red eared slider for the past 5 years (shout out...or more like a smack down to my sister Courntey) and we are all about the turtles. We got to meet a baby diamondback, dig up turtle eggs, and view their nests. After that we had lunch on Sandy Neck, went for a quick swim, and then went on a Family Canoe trip at the Green Briar Nature Center in Sandwich. We went on a canoe trip in search of turtles (of course) and frogs. We didn't catch any of the like but got a great education in pond ecology and saw a beautiful pair of swans. Then it was home for Jack's summer baseball game.

Day 2 1/2: Why do kids wake up sick and feel the need to tell you they are going to throw up instead of going directly to the toilet. I awake at 2 am to Mimi leaning over me saying "I feel like I am going to throw up!" She then proceeds to vomit on the couch/kitchen table. I move her to the bathroom and then stand in a daze wondering how to pick up her spew. I don't have any Resolve or carpet cleaning supplies. I am woefully unprepared for camper vomit. I wonder what the girl scout badge would be for camper vomit? I do the best I can with paper towels, a sponge, and some Dawn dishwashing liquid. Mimi emerges from the bathroom with vomit hanging from her hair. I quickly put it in a pony tail and send her back to bed. It's not a pretty moment.

Day 3: The sun is shining and Mimi is vomit free! She takes a shower and then Tim's mom came to the campground for the day which was so fun! Our campsite clearly brought back memories of when she camped with the kids and to have someone appreciate the camping experience was fun. We went to the pond...which has a playground that is partially submerged under water since the pond level has risen over time. So, there is Tim's Mom in her Lily Pulitizer bathing suit...hair in a perfect ponytail, sunglasses on..and she decides to go down the slide! The kids thought it was the funniest thing they have ever seen! Props to Nanny for living in the moment!! We had a great picnic lunch and then Mimi went home with Jeanne while Jack and I went home for baseball. Mimi had the pleasure of dining with her aunt and cousins and then went to a play at Harwich Jr. Theatre. Lucky Duck!

Day 4: Jeanne dropped Mimi off around 7:15 am. I didn't sleep well all night because I thought I would sleep through the alarm. Once I picked her up, we both went back to bed until 9:30 am. Now that is more like it! This day did not turn out harminous. Does everyone's kids fight as much as mine? What am I doing wrong?! It was a virtual emotional and verbal smackdown every day and it's surprising I lasted until day 4 before I threatened to harm my children if I heard one more negative interaction. Luckily, Jack's friend happened to be on the Cape for vacation so we went and picked him up and he spent the day with us at the campground. In addition, I made plans to have my sister's three kids stay overnight. She is so good to us and takes my kids throughout the summer that I never feel I can repay her adequately. Her kids love to camp...and she and her husband do not...so this works out perfectly. We ate take out pizza, played games, went to the arcade, and made smores. By 10 they were all in bed and I was exhausted. Now my youngest niece tends to get up early...like 5:30 am early. I am, by no means, an early riser, but quite honestly, if this little girl got up at 2 am I would get up with her. She is quite possibly the cutest, sweetest kid on the planet. But then again, when she woke at 5:30 am I pretended to be deep in sleep. Cute or not...I like my sleep. I could feel her standing over me...looking at me...waiting for any movement....but I held still. She padded back to bed and within 10 minutes she was out like a light and did not wake up until almost 8:00 with the other kids. Wahoo!! We had breakfast and then went to the Woods Hole Aquarium. I will save you the details but for those going, please allot plenty of time for the trolley. Again, I love that my niece takes my hand, swinging it like no one's business. And she asks me silly questions like "What's your favorite word?" (Hers is "boobies")....and "Do you like root beer or sprite better?" I miss that age...so darn cute. And she has the cutest laugh...she could ask me to take someone out with a box cutter and I wouldn't hesitate to make her happy. We finally meet up with her parents and my parents at the Barnstable County Fair...aka...Monsoon Fest 2010. Bottom line: Fun for Kids...Sucked for Parents and Grandparents. Tim was coming down that night so we had planned to have dinner. Turns out a roll over on Rt 495 caused traffic to snarl for hours and he didn' arrive until almost 9 pm. We had a quick take out dinner and then went to bed.

Day 5: Awake to dampness but somewhat bright skies. It was 10:00 am before the troops really got up and moving. We decided to get breakfast and go to the Canal Visitor Center, which we had never been too, but had seen signs for nearby. What a great place! There were tons of people fishing off the jetty, we watched tons of boats go through the canal, and at the end of the jetty is a great beach. We searched for beach glass...came up empty handed but did find some cool shells and rocks. Afterwards we went into the visitor center and they had great information on the history of the canal and bridges on the Cape (I highly recommend a visit the next time you are in the area). We left there and decided to salvage the day and head to Tim's parents beach. They have a beautiful spot on Bass River and the kids love going there...tons of sea treasures and great swimming. Turns out, friends of ours were on the Cape too so they came over and we got caught up on what's been going on. It was lots of fun but we didn't end up heading to dinner until 9:00. During dinner Jack laid his head on the table and attempted to go to bed....in his meal. Check please!

Day 6...Time To Go Home: I awoke to the sound of pounding rain. It was so hard I thought for sure it would come through the canvas at any minute. I do know firsthand that after 3 days of constant rain, the canvas will begin to slowly drip on your head. I was hoping to avoid that again at all costs. We let the kids sleep while we packed up. Let me just say that packing wet or damp stuff is ugly. Oh, and apparently all my spider "friends" enjoy this type of weather and decided to have a send off party for me. Again, still amazed that I continue to camp. By the time the kids woke up we were ready to go! On the way home, we decided to have an early lunch at the Seafood Shanty on the side of the bridge, overlooking the canal. Fried food at its finest....and killer onion rings. We all had a fried food ache afterwards but it was well worth it! We have driven past this place forever and never stopped. There always seems to be tons of people there which in my book is an indicator that they are doing something right. If you find yourself doing that, just stop someday!

Well, I learned a few things. I am a very self sufficient person anyways but I felt pretty good about myself after camping with the kids. I also learned that my ability to hold it together without going kooky nuts on my kids for their incessant fighting is 4 days max. If I hadn't had my Mommy juice with me, it probably would have been 2 days. I also learned there are tons of things to do in your own backyard (I grew up on the Cape) that you don't even know about. Just do a little research and you will find tons of fun things to do. I did like the experience so much that I just booked another week with me and the kids at a different campground in August. I figure this is the only time I will be able to do this so I might as well take full advantage. I will be investing in some ear plugs and prozac before I go though. I also learned that I need to seriously think about going on a diet. Onion rings + Mommy Juice = A Muffin Top.

Next week it is off for our big family summer camping vacation to Ocean City Maryland. Can't wait!!

An Education on Camper Peeps

Last week I camped by myself for the first time with the kids and boy, do I have a lot to say about that. But before I can get to the solo camping experience I feel I need to provide you with some baseline camping knowledge. As I see it, there are 6 main types of campers. Just to reiterate, this is my personal opinion...but I think you will see if you ever go camping, that these types are pretty universal.


1. The Slackers. Their distinguishing characteristics are 2 or more of the following: a mullet (on the husband, wife, or children, sometimes all), the mohawk (typically on the young male), children with dirty faces, and/or they wear pjs all day (again, this may be true of the husband, wife, children, or all). Typically there is at least one small child under 5 that is tough as a crip who is wreaking havoc on the entire campground while riding at a high rate of speed on his bike. These children often can be heard spewing profane language through their messed up teeth. It is clear orthodontist yet. You can usually hear Dad yelling things like "What the hell you done boy?!" or "Next time I will whoop your ass!" Their campsite is noticeable by the amount of "stuff" laying about....bikes, toys, bins of stuff, food, sheds, you name it. They really take to heart the idea of "living outside". My guess is that if you were to come across their house, it would look the same as their campsite with stuff everywhere. You would wonder "Are they having a yard sale?" but no, that's just how they live. Final note: There are typically 5 children under the age of 6 with the "oldest" being responsible for all kids while the parents sit around in their wife beaters and pjs. If the campground has a high population of Slackers, I know I am in trouble.

2. The Sweats. I call them this because they must sweat all day. Their distinquishing characteristics: they sit around a fire all day long, regardless of the 90 degree heat, wearing jeans and some sort of animal t-shirt or sweatshirt. By "animal" I mean either a wolf howling at the moon, a big buck deer looking innocent just before he gets hit between the eyes, or a Mickey Mouse logo. You typically see unisex teenagers, let's call them "Pat", that are so pale you wonder when the last time was that they saw the sun. There is usually an older man (father, grandfather, creepy uncle) who is so big it is obvious he ate a family member. They tend to disappear around dinner time because they are in search of the nearest "all you can eat buffet". These are the people who try to eat the "96-er" at the restaurant so they can get the whole meal free. For those John Candy fans think "The Great Outdoors". There is always a small population of these peeps at every campground.

3. Serious Campers. These can either be tenters or pop up peeps. They have camping down to a science and have very few possessions. Their ultimate nightmare would be to get a spot next to a Slacker. If their tent were to catch on fire, they could easily pack all their belongings in their REI backpack with room to spare. They typically wear a lot of LL Bean clothing, wear thick socks and hiking shoes even in the summer, and are thin as rails because they are either hiking or biking all day. Women who fall into this category generally don't shave very much and the guys typically have scraggly beards. You will see several serious campers at each campground.

4. The Helpful Regulars. They may be seasonal folks (see the next category for an explanation on that) but typically are folks that camp alot and have a few favorite spots that they go to throughout the year. They can be identified by two or more of the following: They have a tv outside, a kick ass grill, fancy lounge chairs, and/or any tool you could need or want. When you are banging a stake into the ground with a chain, they will run over with a mallet heavy enough to do some brain damage. They typically have bionic hearing and will pipe into any private conversation concerning attractions in the area, local directions, or campsite info. They will also provide unsoliciated information on every camper in the vicinity. You often walk away wondering what they will say about you.

5. The Seasonal Folks. These are people that have found a campground they enjoy and want to spend every weekend in the summer enjoying it. They typically have big rigs or double wides with two or more of the following: a built in screened porch/wrap around deck, a shed, landscaping that includes trolls and bridges, and/or a sign indicating their last name and their home base. Typically their home base is less than 2 hours away. They call their camper their "summer home", they take part in all of the campground events, often have their grown children or grandschildren visit, and today, take up about 80% of campgrounds.

6. The Rest of Us. I want to pause and say that just because I fall into this category in a self professed way, I don't want it to sound like I think I am better than any other group. Now that I am done with the Politically Correct Statement I will go on to describe the Rest of Us. We are typically families who enjoy the outdoors, are adventerous, like to travel, like to vacation at a reasonable expense (because that typically means you can travel more often), and enjoy "small town America" and all that it has to offer. We aren't the people who had the first Wii on the block, have an iphone, or are constantly logging on to our computer (hence the reason you haven't seen many posts from me lately). We want our children to stop relying on electronics and start using their creativity more like we did as a child. We can go two days without showering but also look great in a matter of minutes. I admit, I am at the extreme of this group. I am a preppy camper and quite honestly, I look for my kind every time I camp and I still haven't found anyone like me. I pop my collar, I wear pink, green, and seersucker, I wear pearls and skirts every day, I always have lip gloss on, and I bring 3 cute pairs of flip flops on every trip. I can also set up camp in 30 minutes...wearing all of this. For those preppy campers out there...and I know there are some...come forward!

I'm sure that the Slackers look at the Rest of Us as freaks or the Seasonal Folks shake their heads at the Helful Regulars. I haven't quite figured out the hierarchy of it all but somehow in the end, everyone co-exists peacefully while also providing entertainment (and/or annoyance) to each other. As I rate campgrounds going forward I will use these categories as a guide for how much we enjoyed the campground. You can decide which type of peep you feel most comfortable with which will help you in your selection of the right campground for you and your family.
Of course feel free to add any other type of campground peep that you have run into...would love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Camper Friends!

Well, it took 2 years but we actually got some friends to camp with us. It's not that we aren't fun...we are...it's just that none of you think camping is fun. In the minds of many people, camping = bugs, too rustic, too much work, yucky bathrooms, ugh!

Yes, there are bugs..in fact, last weekend I was almost attacked by 5 daddy long legs. Just thinking of it now makes me shudder. Just because I camp doesn't mean I like bugs and I never will. But as long as I have Timmy with me, I'll be all set. He slayed all the big, bad bugs for me.

Yes, camping is rustic. You are typically in the woods, you won't find many comforts of home, and you end up with a fair amount of pine needles in your bed. Our new camping friends brought a lamp...not a lantern. At first when my friend told me she was bringing a lamp I thought, "My camping peeps are going to laugh at me" but you know what...it actually added some ambiance to the screen house. Bring on the lamps, People!

Yes, camping is alot of work. For those that shudder at the thought of lists and organization, you likely won't make it in the camping world. Camping is a lot like living in a studio apartment....you need things that pull double duty (like a kitchen table that doubles as a bed), you need to have a place for everything, and you need to truly bring only what you need. It takes awhile to figure out what is essential vs. stuff you think you can't live without but you'll get there. And yes, my hair dryer is essential.

Oh, and the bathrooms...yes, they can be very yucky. For me, the bathrooms make or break the experience. No one wants to have a "private" moment in a public bathroom...especially one that is not very clean. No one wants to take shower in standing water....from other people's showers...but yes, it happens. It is what it is.

This weekend we stayed at the campground we have gone to the most, Adventure Bound Campground in Truro. You can't beat the location....it's 5 minutes from the National Seashore and you can visit a new beach every day. I don't love, love, love, the facilities but do love the location. We have had our ups and downs with sites...some have been great, and others have been so close to others that it gives no meaning to "reach out and touch someone". In fact, this is the campground that I encountered the Whitie Tightie Strangler (see previous post).

Despite tight quarters, last summer we stayed next to an adorable elderly couple that we wouldn't have traded for anything. For them, we brought back memories of their youth and camping with their kids and for us, it was a look forward to our future. They had a cocktail each night together and held hands. I wanted to put them in my pocket and take them home with me.

But back to the facilities...our friends had to use the restrooms since they were tent camping and they said the bathrooms weren't pretty. Our water hose broke and Mimi & I had to shower in the restroom. We got our own firsthand look at "the situation". Yuck! We didn't take our shoes off...although not sure how much that helped us since we were ankle deep in everyone's dirty shower water. Unfortunatley, their drainage system isn't the best. And then once you dried off and tried to put your clothes on, your feet were still wet and you couldn't let your pants drag in the water. I think after this weekend I could join Cirque de Solei. I now have incredible contortion skills. You know what, though...that's how camping goes. You are in public restrooms...these things happen.

But on the upside, we had such a fun weekend! The first night our friends had arrived before us, chilled the beers, and even had take out pizza waiting. We eagerly made our plans for the next day and decided to check out a beach in Yankee magazine rated "best beach in Truro"...Longnook Beach. We had a great breakfast, made picnic lunches, and headed out. The beach should actually be called Good Luck To You Beach because it is set about 20 feet below the sand dunes. Breathtaking views....neck breaking walk. We made our way down with 5 kids and two jeep loads of stuff. The water was numbingly cold but just a product of the time of year. The weather was so beautiful it didn't matter much. At one point we took great pleasure in watching people trying to get back up to parking lot until it hit us that we would have to do that too. We delayed as much as we could and finally made our way up at about 6 pm. I think snails could have passed us...it was silly "stupit". It turns out, this is why people went down with just a towel and a chair. It took awhile but we made it out alive.

We made dinner at the campsite, played games, and just enjoyed our two families getting together. The next day it was off to a new beach. Little tip for you folks...don't unpack 5 kids and 2 jeeps until you are sure that the beach is good. Turns out the first beach we went to was drowning in seaweed and smelled like swamp water. I'm pretty sure we were the show for the day. The kids were yelling at us, we were sweaty, we had way too much stuff....it wasn't pretty. We ended up at Cold Storage Beach on the bayside which was great! Around 5:00 we packed up and headed back to the campground to get ready for P-Town. The shuttle stops right in front of the campground so we hopped on that, found a great restarant to accomodate our herd (The Waterford) and then watched the fireworks from the pier. When we got back we lit sparklers, put the kids to bed, and played more games. Another great night with great friends.

On our last day we went to the Wellfleet 5th of July parade which was cute although note for next year...get there early to get a spot in the shade. We almost self combusted. We had already decided to spend the day and were glad we did as we heard the Cape traffic was backed up to Orleans at 10 am! We had lunch at Macs Seafood overlooking the harbor and then headed off to the Audobon Society.....such a beautiful place...minus the green heads. This was probably our only glitch in the whole weekend. We got bitten alive and when we walked out to the ocean to take a swim, we didn't think about the tide coming in. We came back to our stuff swimming in the water...car keys, wallets, cell phones, cameras, clothes. Not pretty. But we recovered with some ice cream and by the time we left, the traffic was gone!

I wish we could have friends camp with us all the time. The kids all had buddies and spent more time trying to make up fun rather than asking us what they could do. Kids just need a bouncy ball and some space and they will play for hours. It brought me back to my youth when I would leave in the morning to play with friends and just come back for meals.

We also had friends to play with and we loved it. Nothing better than adult play dates! We played cards, stayed up too late, and had alot of fun. You can't ask for much more than that! Thanks to Karen, Peter, and the kids for camping with us - we loved it!

As for the Outer Cape, I highly recommend the area for camping because there is so much to do. You can try a new beach every day, go riding in your jeep on the dunes (when the darn piping plovers aren't nesting), go to the Wellfleet Drive-In, enjoy the artsy Provincetown community, check out the quaint towns of Truro and Wellfleet, go kayaking on Gull Pond in Wellfleet, and enjoy the beautiful walks at the Audobon Society. It's a very relaxing part of the Cape and reminds me of growing up. It's as if time stood still for this part of the Cape....either that or they have got the simple life down pat. There are two other campgrounds that I hear are nice that we haven't been too, if you interested in checking them out. North of Highland Campground is a tent only campground and you can walk to Coast Guard Beach in Truro from there. Also there is Atlantic Oaks Campground in Eastham that backs up to the bike trail. If you check them out, let us know how they are!

A few of you have mentioned to me that this blog inspired you to camp with your families. Try it out by yourselves...baby steps...and then let's go camping together!

Housekeeping Details

A few of you have asked some technical questions that unfortunately I'm not sure I am equipped to answer since I am a new blogger. So, I thought I would throw it out to everyone and hopefully we can help each other:

Q: How do I post a comment?
A: At the end of each post is a hyperlink that says "post a comment". When you click on that I thought you could magically enter a comment. However, I think you might have to log into your account (gmail, yahoo, etc). For those that have successfully done it, can you share with others how to post a comment? It is different for me as an administrator so I don't want to give the wrong info.

Q: Can I get an automated email each time you update the blog so I don't have to keep remembering to check back?
A: Yes, I added an email subscription link on the left hand nav. Just fill in your info and it will email you each time I update it. If, for some reason, that won't work, just let me know and I can add your email behind the scenes so you get an update.

Q. Is it hard to set up a blog?
A: Absolutely not! If I can do it, you can do it! Believe me! Just go to www.blogspot.com and it walks you through the simple process. So far, two of my friends have started blogs after reading this. I love, love, love it!!

Let me know what other questions you have and hopefully we can all help each other figure it out!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Go Naked or Get Glossy?

I was sitting in a meeting a few years ago and had this moment of absolute panic hit me. I had forgotten to put on make up that day. I literally froze in terror. I couldn't look at anyone, I mumbled, I started sweating so bad I smelled like an Italian sub. In hindsight, a few years ago I probably wasn't looking that bad. By today's standards, holy Lord, call the Make Up Police! Since I have been on my sabbatical, I haven't put much make up on. First, I was working from home all day and no one saw me. It was liberating actually. I was wearing yoga pants and a fresh face every day. I would occasionally have to go to a school event or baseball game and would throw on some blush and lip gloss. I felt very "fresh faced" and "dewey". God only knows how I really looked. I even went to my friend's house for a get together without any make up on. Not that I planned it...I just totally forgot to put it on. They either thought "Is she sick?" or "Man, this sabbatical isn't doing her any favors". Imagine forgetting to put your "face" on ? This was quite a moment for me. I am all about looking put together. It's part of the outfit really. And here I was going naked. Is this progress or stupidity?



Maybe that isn't a stretch for you. It's not like I'm a glamour shot wanna be but there's a reason that make up was invented. There's a time and a place for it. I am not a natural beauty and I admire those that are. But there is something appealing about just being yourself. I think it goes along with my "living in Vermont" fantasy. We will live on a farm with a fantastic farm house, a barn, and a pond filled with turtles and frogs. We will grow our own fruits and veggies. We will have a barn filled with animals, especially horses, goats, piglets, and barn kitties. Side note: God will magically feed them all and clean up after them. We will spend our days enjoying nature, loving the animals, and living simply. I won't wear make up because this lifestyle will make me naturally beautiful. Snap out of it!! Have you seen women that live in Vermont?? No offense, but they look hard. Life has taken a toll on them. The weather, the animals, working on the farm..it's not easy. I have since gone back to putting on make up when I feel it matters. Like school events. I don't want my kids to be scarred. "Remember the day Mom showed up looking like a hobo?" No one wants that. So now I put make up when I feel it will make a difference...or when I have to talk to people for more than a few minutes. But I don't care what I look like at the bus stop, when I am exercising, when I am hanging out at home. It's okay to be me. Baby steps. So, what's your take on wearing make up? Do you wear it all the time or are you more of an au natural kind of gal?