Saturday, September 24, 2016

5 Essentials for Your Next Camping Trip or: All Rain Flies are Not Created Equal #FF

It's been a while my friends...I've missed you!
The start of the school year and the rhythm of routine have been my
focus lately. SO happy to find time to be here in my space with you.......

So..... traveling, sightseeing, exploring this beautiful land of ours, huh? 
  If you had told me two decades ago when we got married
that at some time in the future I'd sort of consider myself 
on expert on camping  - - of all things,
or that all of us would have camped clear 
across the continent in 41 states and
from the bottom of the Grand Canyon
to the edge  of a glacier, in and around
 about three dozen national parks and battlefields
and, of course, 
in high style << ahem>> at  full service camping "resorts,"
I would probably have assumed 
someone hit you over the head with a brick.
I was never a prima donna by any means
 when it came to lodging accommodations.
But setting out to travel the open road and make camp in a different
state or national park or forest on any given night ?
 Not a life sized picture I carried in my head.
However, my husband and I, avid travelers as kids  and
adults, before our own kids came along,
 quickly realized that
exploring with the family from sea to shining sea 
would not be doable at all,
if not for throwing that piece of rolled up nylon 
and a batch of sleeping bags
into the van to cross the country.
Truth is, not only is camping the affordable option 
when it comes to travel
 anywhere - - -and I mean anywhere because we've done it  - -
the advantages of camping and the benefits of travel in this way
simply cannot be lived by staying in a plush Marriott off the interstate.....
Not that that doesn't sound pretty enticing some nights, trust me.  
Speaking f which, here's my list of 
 5 Tips to Frugally Taking That Cross Country Trip 
and my column, The Top 5 Ways Changes You  

So, whether  you've camped as a kid, with your 20 something buddies 
years ago before parenthood, as a mom or dad with your own clan,
 or never ever ----here's what you need to
make an overnight or a month on the road safe and enjoyable: 
~ 1 ~

 Coleman is truly the name in outdoor gear for a reason.
 They're not the cheapest, but they are the best.
The small nuances of this personal "cabin"   
will keep you protected, dry and warm, be your
sleeping accommodations  for ever and here's the thing to keep in mind:
It costs less than one night  on the road.

 Another Coleman special.
Glacier National Park, 2011

~ 2 ~ 

Coleman lantern: LED - not propane
Whatever you do, don't get a lantern that is powered by propane
and uses those  old style mantles. Please.
If you already have an older lantern
 and you just need the mantle refills....
okay then...... here you go.

Otherwise, please make your camping trip as convenient as possible with 
this new invention called: batteries! Ha
THIS lantern throws 40 lumens of light, 
runs 175 hours and uses 4D batteries.

 It's a must-have!

.......and how cute are these mini Coleman lantern lights too?

 We gave these to my husband as a Father's Day gift this year....
LED decorator lights that actually do throw light in your yard or campsite!

~ 3 ~ 

Nope this one's not Coleman , but I truly love it and Ive had it for eons.
It's warm, water proof and sooooo comfy.
Machine washable too. 
Some nights I really feel like this sleeping bag is 
                                                   even more comfortable than my bed! 
   You might want to pick up one of these sleep pads for added
comfort in those pebble-ish, hard-ish
 campsites you'll encounter once in a while.

Coleman Silverton Tall Self Inflating Camp Pad

~ 4 ~ 

I know, I know, there's an app for that.
I'm showing how old I really am listing these as necessities.
Truth be told, they are.

Two reasons why:
A. What if you <gasp> cannot access the WWW
 from some  isolated spot?
(These spots do exist.)


B. Do you really want your kids to grow up
 not knowing how to truly navigate?

We're not talking about possessing the skills of Ferdinand Magellan, 
just the ability to open a map, 
find your location and get from point a to point b.


~ 5 ~

We've had ours for years. It seems indestructible.

Has wind block "panels" and 20K BTUs of cooking power.
Comes with a hose to easily  attach to your mini  propane tank

In addition to the above,
 here's my list of 5 personal essentials you might like to consider
bringing along on the next camping trip.

Happy Camping!!

Top 5 Reasons Travel Changes You!

 Wyoming Sunset: 
"Happy" Five Minute Friday

5 Movies You Should  Definitely See Before  Taking That Cross Country Trip


I'm happy to join the weekly #5faves linkup
 Please click over to peruse many bloggers' favorites...
  and thank you, Bonnie and DeBalino, for hosting!

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

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Until next time

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Beginnings and Endings and a Longing for Home

Here I am, after mommying and homeschooling for sixteen years,
  in my house alone......
which happens once every never,
but looks to be a  regular thing these days.
Thinking  I should be tapping out some profundity,
 thinking after "graduating"
two kids from homeschool to brick and mortar school,
 immersing in  alphabetical order to algebra,  
  Peloponnesian War to  piano lessons,
Latin adverbs to literary devices,
Shakespeare to  Seurat ,
and wow.....sooooo much more.....
 I thought I'd be a rambling tangled train wreck of emotion
on this day.
With them gone.
Seems taking a few years to talk yourself into getting used to something
does actually work. Huh.

The reality is....   we're all ready for the transition....which, in our case...I kinda see as a  moving forward of life..... I do.
 We've made our decision
It's a solid one for them and we're prepared....
at least tangibly prepared.
Emotionally prepared? Not really.  Not me. Not fully.

The journey of homeschooling....? There aren't words to describe
the positivity, the impact, the generous ways in which the homeschool journey led us to
grab life, live it fully our way on our terms, according to our schedules.
My kids wouldn't be who they are now, young people
 making their way in the secular world, without the experiences
of everyday family, everyday academics, everyday faith, everyday theater,
everyday sports, everyday music.
Everyday presence of each other.

I'm not used to this now...this scattering of people in my household.
I'm not used to being here with them there
  and being needed in different ways after all these years.
Way back in the days when home meant bathing and nursing babies,
 cuddling on the couch with picture books, crafting for the liturgical season,
baking chocolate chip cookies just for the heck of it....then gradually,
phonics, then multiplication, then world geography,
 then sentence diagramming,
then soccer practice, 
then costume making for the latest community play,
then, before you knew it, comparison of FDR's policies
 to Woodrow Wilson's....
and on and on.........until the complexity could be overwhelming.
But we were together and we conquered it. 
And not just the curriculum.
As they get bigger so do their problems and   
now, home means something different.
It's  being present and soothing hurts and sitting around a dinner
table marred by the painting and the nicks and cracks of many years
of meals and talks.
It's the chauffeuring and the togetherness.
It's the juggling of emotions and the navigating through the intense
rough days, weeks, moments when your child is hit
with bad news, tragic news, as ours was this summer.   
It's not the everydayness of lessons anymore but it is the constancy of
safety, support and unconditional love.

It's the thoughtful little things that matter most, that are the hardest.
 Creating home is the work of life and love, tangible and intangible.
 Image result for home themed blog post dividers shabby blogs
As an aside, I have to say 
 my husband told me recently  he hopes I don't discontinue blogging, since originally,
I began my home on the web as  a home education-related space. 
Wow, the thought to stop blogging because the kids are in school 
 never, ever occurred to me  
Yeah, this was an all-things-home-education space 
once upon a time....but 
gradually my  post themes  flowed into other areas..... 
And almost immediately after beginning the blog
I began  writing more and more memoir, my true passion for writing.
Then family, faith, crafts, travel....until I developed
what some highly successful bloggers would probably call 
a train wreck!
No, there's not one "niche"  here....
 life doesn't  compartmentalize all neat and clean into one category......
and I've found that my blog doesn't either
So....... I'm staying.

Image result for home themed blog post dividers shabby blogs

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

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   If not, just enter your email address here
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Until next time