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Saturday, August 8, 2009

working mom blues and the case of vbs, vomit soup and naked hippies

So i am multi tasking (or multi blogging) about my week. Yes, its been a doozey. On Monday, I was well aware that the Hucks were on. The ancient "harvesting instinct" in me took hold and compelled me out into the woods. The kids began VBS (vacation Bible School).
On Tuesday, the kids had VBS. VBS is only a mile or two - as the crow flies. That means one can drive 20 miles around or take the back way. To take the back way, you must hike a wilderness trail through the forest and cross the river where it is low by foot. I would much rather hike the kids over than to drive. Its a beautiful hike and saves on gas money. The exercise doesn't hurt either as long as you can keep the kids from getting too wet. So on Tuesday, I hiked the kids over to VBS and then cooked like a maniac to get meals prepared ahead. Then I took the kids huckleberry picking up a mountain far away. That night we had Bible Study in our home. It was a fun group and we visited late into the evening.
On Wednesday, my son woke me up at 5am to go up the mountain Huckleberry picking again. I was horrified to find out that our refrigerator had stopped working. I almost lost it. Ok, i did lose it! All the food had to be placed in coolers. I threw away the mayonnaise and the farm fresh milk which had acquired an odor. Everything felt barely cool. I rushed off to pick huckleberries up a mountain and my husband got the kids to VBS.
Since the hucks are in full swing, we knew there would be a lot of people up there. We did some off road scouting which ended up in scaling a cliff and doing some serious off road trekking. My boys are incredible scouts and it paid off well. What we didn't bargain for was the invisible visitor who was watching us from near by. My son looked down "thats predator poop" he mused "and its fresh". "Hmmmm...." I thought to myself. "Good thing its not around". A little while later my son says "I smell a bear". OK, now I was getting a little concerned. My son has had many many run ins with wild animals and if he smells a bear, there's one there. He's had many a bear encounter. So with that knowledge, we continued picking, watchfully. After we'd filled our gallon jugs and we were due to pick up the kids from VBS, we began to make our way slowly down the hill. My oldest packed my baby out since it was so steep. I lagged behind finding big drooping plants over burdened with berries that I couldn't bear to pass by. Suddenly I heard rustling behind me. I continued on. Again I lagged behind and again I stooped down to pick just a few more berries. I heard distinct rustling of weeds and this time I knew something was not far behind me. Goosebumps appeared on my arms with the feeling that I was being watched. I hurried on. After a while I figured that I was safe and began to lag again. As I bent down, I heard rustling again. Now not even a huckleberry the size of Wee Willie Winkie was going to deter me from my truck. I safely made it down leaving the invisible stalker to his berries.
After picking up my kids at VBS, we had our Mountain Mamas devotional group day at my friend Elasta womans. I was exhausted by the time I arrived there. I pulled out a container of my famous wild rice soup from the cooler it had been sitting in. Something smelled off, but I ignored it and gave Elasta Woman some helpful hints on reheating my masterpiece. Once we were all sitting down to our special meal, my daughter said "mom, something isn't right with this soup". The memory of our refrigerator not working right began to haunt me. Did the soup go bad?! Everybody assured me that the soup was probably fine. We all reassured each other. Finally, one by one, we had to acknowledge that the cream in my soup was sour. One by one, we scraped our gourmet soup into Elasta Woman's compost bucket. Oh, I was quite embarrassed and horrified. It was only then that it occurred to me that my gourmet soup shared the distinct aroma which vomit carries. Oh, I wanted to hurl. How dreadful.
When I got home, I was so exhausted I collapsed shortly thereafter and took a nice long nap. I was relieved to hear that my husband had spent the day working on our refrigerator and that it was now running. This meant that I had to wipe it all out and return anything salvageable from the coolers. It was a lot of work. Besides that gallons of huckleberries needed cleaning and freezing. What an exhausting day!
On Thursday, we had VBS and VBS parents night. By now I was so exhausted I decided it would be best to try and take it easy. I didn't accomplish much outside of showing up and watching the program.
I did, however, steal an hour or so to head off to the lake by myself. At least thats what I thought I was doing. Unfortunately, I happened upon some naked hippies. I would have snuck off minding my own business, but their dogs surrounded me barking. I had to call out to them to call off their dogs. Eventually, they got dressed, but I never was able to enjoy much of my swim. Several men sporting dreadlocks fished the shores with their now clothed women. One of them reminded me of the Geico cave man commercials. It was just a little too much for me knowing they had earlier been frolicking together nude. It also didn't help that one of the men took it upon himself to take up residence fishing where I had placed my towel, shoes and glasses. After my usual swim, I tread water wondering when he would move. Eventually he got the idea and went back to his group. I raced out of the water and up the trail feeling more stressed out than I had before I'd gotten there. Deep down, I wanted to be friendly, at least call out a friendly "hello, nice day". But how do you greet a group of people when you've just witnessed some of them naked? "Now that you're dressed, allow me to introduce myself?" I imagined telling them I was a bit of a nature biscuit myself, but the Geico commercial blared in my head along with the permanent memory of a hairy butt.
On Friday was the last day of VBS. My kids loved it and had loads of fun. By now, I was sweeping up pieces of myself off the floor. I made a big lunch for my kids. They had a friend over and I wanted it to be special for them. Then I took them all to the lake being mindful to watch for naked hippies. When we got back, I napped so hard that when the girls aunt came to pick her up I didn't know what my husband was talking about. Now I am working a 12 hour night shift. I'm just a tad bit exhausted from the weeks activities. Of course I will go home and sleep. Then I think I am doomed to head for the hucks.... one last time.....


Anonymous said...

Oh, lovely.
Sounds like you had a nice day XD

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are one serious go-getter aren't you? And my friend who lives in Montana always talks about Bear Spray. Is she making that up? If not, you should get some.

Hubby and I also wandered upon a naked hippie once in the forest. He was meditating on a rock. He did not put his clothes on. Of course, we were outside a hippie town.....

Eileen said...

Wow! What a week!
Well, you certainly know how to keep your sense of humor!
These are adventures that each on their own would be an adventure of a lifetime! And you had so many in one week!
You must be a survivor!

Great post!
Great blog!

I've got a full weekend but I'll be back to read more, everything looks so interesting!
All the best,

Blessings each day said...

Holy moly...you're like that ever ready bunny, you just keep on going, but I kind of think even he would have taken off after the first rustle in the woods!

I have the same problem with stopping myself from picking blueberries, but having read in-depth stories of too many bear maulings, I would have stealthily left the area.

How awful with your refrigerator going out like that. I've had it happen to a freezer full of food and was devastated. So glad you hubby could fix it.

Your littlest looks so adorable picking huckleberries. Have never had them...what do they taste like (please don't say chicken) and what do you use them for since you pick so many??

As for the naked hippies, they sound almost as scary as the bear!

blessings and hugs,


p.s. I decided to 'officially' join your site as a follower...can I get a huckleberry badge membership?

The imPerfect Houswife said...

I was wondering the same thing as the lady above - what do you do with the huckleberries? They sound sooooo good and if they're BETTER than blueberries, then sign me up! You had a HECK of a week!!!!! I hope you catch up on some much-needed sleep this weekend and I think it's awesome that you all go picking up in the mountains like that - what great memories that will be ~ and great pictures, too! :)

Prairie Chick said...

I grew up picking huckleberries in the BC alpine, now I'm a prairie girl and it's Saskatoon berries all the way =) I know the draw of picking when something is in season and the fatigue of crashing on the couch at night after days like that!

Muthering Heights and Other Senseless Sensibility said...

LOL, I would have died of embarrassment if I had encountered the naked hippies! LOL!

from MN said...

Hey, you can use sour milk in pancakes and muffins and such so... next time don't throw it out, mix up some batter and have a feast!

toytrkman said...

Ya, it didn't take long looking at the prices of a new refrigerator on the internet to decide that a day looking at it would be well spent. Would have been around $900 to get one like we have. And besides fixing it, I was able to clean all the dust out of the condensor and fan so it should run more efficiently too. As for what we do with the huckleberries, we eat them. Ok, she cooks with them and makes toppings and whatever else also. 7 people consume lots of food. The more food we can harvest from the woods is the less we have to buy. We do indeed carry bear spray, but it is not the pepper kind. ;-}

Heather said...

Is this adventure actually your life?! Wow, so much excitement!!

Love you all.

Becky said...

What a week! I envy that you are able to do so much. So sorry about the soup. ((hugs)) That reminds me of the time I had two girlfriends over. One of them brought over a loaf of banana bread. Just as we were getting ready to eat it I noticed it was molded. Also, we do need to say a prayer for the hippies. To be honest, it gives me a giggle.

outdoor.mom said...

you guys are such fun commenters! Thanks for all your fun words.... Huckleberries are a lot like a blueberry, except more flavorful in a tart, sweet, juicy and pungent kind of way. I use them in pancakes, muffins, desserts, etc.. Its great to have some frozen, healthy, organic fruit in the winter when it can be expensive to buy.