Monday, September 18, 2006

Good Morning Campers!

"Good Morning Campers - if you are here for the 7:00 trip down the upper gauley please report to the outpost to sign your waivers." We signed our waivers, watched our safety video, got our life vests and helmets, hopped on the bus and we were off to whitewater raft the Upper Gauley.

"Good morning everyone. My name is Jeremy and I will be your guide. I am a really mellow guy, and I do not really cuss very much. If you hear me screaming and cussing it is because you are not working as a team and on this river you will die."

***GULP*** Did he just say die? I think he really said die!***

"Please pick up your boat and carry it down to the water." And just like that we hopped in and we were off. Jeremy gave us a lesson in what eddys looked like so we knew when we went for a swim.

Initiation was a lot of fun. We of course got really wet and as the sun had not broken through the clouds, it was kind of cold.

Insignificant was a lots o fun with a lot of surfing at the end. Half our boat went for a swim while surfing. Matt picked me up (Thanks Matt!!) And I have no idea who picked everyone else up, but we all ended up in the boat safely.

Pillow Rock was a blast and we missed the room of doom. In the event that I missed this part - the pontoon that you stick your feet under to keep you in the boat - mine was disfunctional. That is to say non-existent. So how I stayed int he boat I will never know...

Lost paddle was perfect - even Jeremy said so. Through six-pack without a problem. Although we watched a boat almost flip over - which is really bad because of all of the undercut rocks which if a swimmer gets under they will be under there for a while. One boat did have to look for their swimmer. No evac - it was all good.

Somehwere between Iron Ring and Sweet's Falls I went for a swim. I was there and then I was gone. Boat on top of me - actually running over me. It was great. No sooner did I come up I was being heaved into the boat. But what was kind of funny about it was that my life vest was coming off. Maybe I was the only one who found that remotely funny.

Sweet's Falls is supposed to be the easiest of all of the rapids... but it was our complete demise. Jeremey said we had a bad line - not enough backstroke at the top. The only thing I really remember was him yelling to get down. We all got down all right. I bent my paddle, we had a swimmer, we lost Jeremey and Mandy was knocked out cold. It surfices to say that it was DEFINATELY the scarist part of the trip.

That Mandy she is a trooper!! She hung in there and finished the river. She even "rode the bronco" and got thrown by the bronco. Good for her!!

In the end we all had fun around our bonfire (he he he - there I go again playing with fire) and laughed about it, scared one of the people who was going down the Gauley for the first time - SOLO. But I really thought Jeff was kidding when he said it was big water.

The Upper Gauley is not a joke. I kind of of thought it was hype (GASP) - no really I did. I did not realize that we (Jeff, Rick, Mandy, and I) would get worked on this river. And worked we did - but we lived to tell about it, laugh about it, and Jeff is even planning the trip for next year... for the guys... the girls are staying home.

Monday, September 11, 2006

For the Blackberry impaired...

I could not help but pass these excersies along for those of you who have Crackberryitis....

The APTA also recommends the following simple exercises:

Tap each finger with the thumb of the same hand. Repeat five times.
Alternate tapping the palm of your hand and the back of your hand against your thigh as quickly as you can. Repeat 20 times.
Open your hands and spread your fingers as far apart as possible. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.
Fold your hands together, and turn your palms away from your body as you extend your arms forward. You should only feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.
Fold your hands together, turn your palms away from your body, and extend your arms overhead. You should feel the stretch in your upper torso and shoulders to hand. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.


To K and B for helping us this weekend!! Muchly appreciated! P.S. The chair is now gone in a puff of smoke!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

But you are not a normal girl...

Alas it is true - I am not a girlie girl, much to my mother's dismay. She is still convinced that her child is out there somewhere. The one who loves to spend hours shopping. One who loves to go to Neiman Marcus and spend hours upon hours upon hours shopping? I remember when the first mega mall opened in our area there were 107 stores under one roof. Oh she was so excited, after shop #3 I was done. But no we had to go to every store; each and everyone. But I digress...

My father taught me how to drive the tractor when I was like 8. That meant I got to mow the lawn, pick up sticks and rocks, move wood, and do whatever else we could do with the tractor. Every weekend we went to the hardware store (pre-Home Depot) and earned about miter boxes, chain saws, axes, nuts, bolts, socket wrenches, sakcrete, Grape Nehi, and Chocolate Yoo-Hoo. When I as 10 he taught me how to drive a car, then he proceeded to vacate the premises and have a non-existent role in my life. Which I am happy to report, I am completely fine with. But I think that all of the non-girlie-girl activities set me up to be the anti-girlie-girl girl.

When other girls were playing with Barbie’s, I was teaching my dog to jump like a horse, building swing sets, hiking in the woods, playing in streams, throwing mud pies, and riding mini-bikes. When other girls were learning how to put on makeup - I was riding ponies, reading Natoinal Geographic , tried to figure out how things worked, playing Lacrosse, Soccer, Hoops, and flag football with the guys. I would rather be mucking a stall in the barn then go to the mall. Clothes shopping has historically meant a trip to the tack store, because they were having a horse blanket sale or something like that. Must have well dressed beasties!

At 14 I learned how to take an engine out of a car, do an oil change, and yes, be one of the guys. I got a glimpse of boys (they were boys then) that not many girl got to see. What they REALLY said about their Friday night date, what they loved and hated about girls, their hang-ups, and other various sundry things all while reading Car and Driver, Crutchfeild, or The Chronicle. Needless to say I never had pretty nails.

Through out my life, I have taken those lessons learned in various garages and it has served me well to this point. Even when at parties, my men friends will say something to me along the lines of, "But your are not a normal woman." and then go on to explain that I would rather be in a barn getting dirty then looking like a pretty girlie-girl.

But this weekend something hit my while watching The Little Giants. Would my life have been different if I were a girlie-girl?

I sure would not have been playing Dodgeball and Kickball at recess as a child, I sure would not have learned about cars or to stand my own with a mechanic who does not know me. I probably would have still learned how to ride; but I would have been the girl who just showed up to ride. My horse would have been groomed and tacked and then would be hot walked for me when I got done. I would have learned how to put on makeup. I may have even enjoyed shopping (I shudder to think!!) I would probably be devastated if someone called me a bitch. And probably countless other things...

One thing I do know, is that I would not have the life I have today. Jeff does not really seem to mind that I know more about tractors then he does. I am driven (which by default makes me a bitch BTW), successful, and most important, comfortable in my own skin. So I am not a girlie-girl... I am ok with that.


Friday, September 01, 2006

gearing up for operation "destruction"

We have finally gotten to figuring out what we are goin gto do with parts of the outside of our house. It has only taken us a year, but we are getting there. Pavers, pavers and more pavers. No more icky hill, no more flooded garage, and no more cracked pavement. The clouds parted, the sun shone, and the birds sang. YEA!!!

The den is also under mass destruction as we speak... the mantle and nearth are gone, the dry wall is cut out, and this weekend we hope to get the gas fireplace removed... to leave a huge gaping hole in the wall - but that is OK. It is forward progress....

Not sure if everything will be good for the 1st Annual Fredneck Bonfire, but if not, oh well - life is to short to not celebrate things with your friends and family. What are we celebrating you may ask....

Operation Clean Woods!!! While it may not look like we have done a lot in our woods - we have done quite a bit. And you always need an excuse for a party, so why not the fact that we have cleared one part out and actually gotten plants in the ground.

eXTReMe Tracker