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For those of you wondering….I’m still here. The boys departed Friday evening late and I hope are enjoying themselves and having the experience of a lifetime on this canoe trip. Saturday and Sunday I put in heavy duty time in the garden and beat the weeds down. This week I am desperately trying to get both my issues done so that I have some breathing room for when we go to Maine next month.

Having no kids around is weird….but at least for the first couple of days so far, kind of nice. The house doesn’t look like a tornado went through it and I have not had to do copious amounts of laundry. Amazing, the washing machine and I haven’t spoken in a couple days. I bet she misses me.

The boys all left last night and by now are happily (I hope) sitting around a campfire eating dinner and laughing up a storm. They should have had most of the afternoon on the water since they split the 8 hour drive between last night and this morning.

Tom and I had a fairly productive day running some errands together with breakfast out and then gardening and doing yard work for the rest of the day. I was so busy attacking the weeds in my garden that the time just flew by and I didn’t realize how late it was until I smelled our neighbor’s dinner cooking. My tummy grumbled and we realized when we stopped that it was past 7 p.m.

We’re getting pizza and watching something on the computer… Calm, relaxing evening.

The boys will be leaving tonight instead of tomorrow. They are all packed and ready to roll. Of course it is not only raining, but pouring outside. Hopefully, their trip will not be totally rainy, although if you have to have a rainy trip, you might as well be in the water (as long as there is no lightning of course).

Today could be the day. Or tomorrow. We are still waiting to hear but folks in reality, what’s really the difference between 6 or 7 tonight and 5 am. tomorrow? Either way, by this afternoon, the boys all need to be packed, stacked and ready to roll into the great blue yonder.

This morning is the last trip to town. We are getting their snacks and any other last minute things that were missing from their lists. Later, it will be a last once over on the list and the packs to make sure that everyone has everything. Oh, and in there somewhere I have to wash and sew the final patches on the boys’ uniforms. I really, really hate that these patches change frequently — I think that they do it on purpose to make moms insane.

Another sunny day here in Vermont, which is good. It would be really nasty to be doing all of this in downpouring rain. Shhhh. I shouldn’t talk too loud I am sure.

Forty years ago today, Apollo 11 launched. It carried the astronauts that were considered the heros of our generation – Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. The Big Picture at boston.com has some awesome pictures from that mission that should not be missed. Check it out!

Sounds like something out of a romance novel, doesn’t it? In fact, its a bit of a medical miracle. There was an infant in England in 1994 who was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an inflammation which prevented her heart from functioning properly. She underwent a heart transplant but instead of removing her own heart, the doctors piggybacked the transplant heart with her own at the age of 2. This permitted the donor heart to do the work and give the girl’s heart a rest. Well, rest it did for ten years. The girl, now a teenager, began to experience symptoms of donor rejection. It became imperative that the donor heart be removed – a never before performed procedure. The donor heart was removed and something truly amazing happened, the teenager’s heart started working just fine on its own. No medication, no hospitalizations, the girl is perfectly fine, just like another other 16 year old teenager.

The story is quite amazing and can be found at CNN Health.

Tonight was “shakedown”. The boys had to have their packed dry bags and bring them with them to their meeting. Everyone emptied their bags right there on the lawn on the scout house (which is on the corner of a pretty major (in Vermont terms) intersection. What a sight to see, 5 boys and two grown men waving boxers, socks, shirts, pants, bathing suits, etc up in the air for the world to see. They went through the whole list that way….one item group at a time to make sure that everyone had everything. And then they packed it all back up again.

There are few things that we have a to re-sort like TJ’s need to bring 7 pairs of boxers for a 5 night trip but no socks and Tim thinking he only needs a bathing suit and no other shorts. Overall, pretty proud of the boys since they packed themselves and between the three of them, had everything on the list that they were supposed to have. I especially liked when TJ didn’t have something (like a pocket knife) and said that his brothers could cut the food (pepperoni) and he would just be the eater. Gotta love brothers.

So today makes it T minus 3 days and counting…………….

Today we adults had our last committee planning meeting before the Big trip. Details were worked out, maps were strewn about the counter top and plans were discussed. There is some talk of an earlier departure than Saturday morning and we leave that in the capable hands of the two adults who will be driving. If they split the trip, they would camp at a Boyscout camp along the way, which in and of itself is pretty interesting.

Tomorrow is “Shakedown” night where the boys will have their dry bags and contents reviewed and approved by the adult leaders to make sure that everyone is on the same page and has the necessities for the trip.

This morning we spent an hour or so in EMS gathering some necessary equipment for the boys that will hopefully make their trip a little more enjoyable and drier. Then a trip to the bookstore to find a book for oldest son, who doesn’t want to bring his Diary of Miss Jane Pittman (which is reading for English class) with him. That and there was some discussion of putting together a poker game where they would use snacks as poker chips with the deck of cards that they are allowed to bring along. Each boy is permitted to bring a zipped gallon bag of snacks for their journey. We’re shopping for snacks and any last, last minute things that we forgot or absolutely must have, on Friday.

So far, I am still sane…….

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Last evening, it was chilly. So chilly in fact that the idea of hot chocolate had appeal. We made a batch of homemade hot cocoa and well, let’s say that Tyler’s had style. The boy does love his whipped cream as you can see.

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Ahhh…. that’s good hot cocoa!!!!

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In honor of the scheduled shuttle launch this evening, countdown to the canoe trip for the boys. This means that this week will be full of “Mom, where’s my….?” “Mom, I can’t find……” or my very favorite…. “I looked everywhere and it’s gone” (Translation – I am far too lazy to look anywhere, although I did pretend to walk from room to room, claiming that I looked for it, but I swear I honestly never moved or touched ANYTHING).

The boys are headed out, for those that don’t know, to a 6 day 50 mile canoe trip to the northern woods of Maine. 7 1/2 hours worth of driving from our corner of Vermont. They are being led by two fearless adult leaders (who are also evidently blessed with “the patience of a saint” as my grandmother would have said) and the mascot dog. Their journey will be over the river and through the woods and the lake and the reservoir and will undoubtedly be the trip of a lifetime for them. They are all (5 boys in all) going for their 50 mile merit badge for scouts.

My merit badge for this trip will come from not killing (or seriously maiming) any child of mine (3 total) that cannot locate the required stuff that I know that they own, but they somehow swear has been eaten by the house prior to departing. So, I will keep you posted. Everyone was armed today with a printout of their list of required “stuff” that they have to bring. They have been warned that they need it ready by Wednesday for a “shakedown” at their last meeting before the trip. I am sure that despite the fact that they have 2 days to do this, we will all be running around like lunatics, screaming and yelling, by Wednesday afternoon and I also swear that stuff will come out of that pack before Saturday morning – requiring more yelling and screaming and tears (did I mention that all of that will be from me?)

Too often, the news is crowded with what is wrong in the world. Crime in its many ugly forms–murder, theft, burglary. Very infrequently is there ever a story about anything good – which is a shame. But in Saturday’s Rutland Herald there was an article about a hiker who found a wallet on the side of Route 7 which contained some cash, credit cards and a diamond ring. The 24-year-old, from NYC who was hiking the Long Trail spotted the wallet over the guardrail. He feared that something had happened to the wallet’s owner and there was no driver’s license in the wallet.

He was already well on his way into his trip and too far to hike all the way back to Rutland to the authorities. When he returned home one week later, he set out to find the wallet’s owner. After many tries, he was lucky enough to have a video store call the owner of the wallet, who in turn was able to reach out to the 24-year-old. After the contents of the wallet and the ring were successfully identified, the man returned the wallet by express delivery to its owner. The woman who lives a couple towns over from us, was reported to be thrilled to have her wallet and her ring back.

The man, who wouldn’t accept a monetary reward from the wallet’s owner, remarked that the good karma from doing a good deed for someone was more than enough reward.  Nice to know that there are honest people out there in the world. Nice, as a mother, to know that our children can be raised to do the right thing.

The complete story can be found here.

Today, we had a good day, a nice lunch and drive with Tom’s parents before they left back for NJ. Then I played around in the mud, quite literally, pulling weeds and planting some more. The chickens were happy for lots of weeds with mud attached to pick off all of the little bugs.

After I got done and took a shower, I noticed the beginning of the resurgence of my rash. Ugh. I just want to cry. Although it’s not itchy, just red bumps, it’s discouraging.

Evilwife on the move

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