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Bess' Girls Camp - long post

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Over the past 25 years, the young girls in my family have spent summer weeks at my house. First it was nieces, then cousins and daughters of my childhood friends. After a while, though, they all grew up, went to college, got jobs, husbands - even children of their own. It's been mostly girls, of course, who want to come play with my toys, so after a while Himself began calling it Bess' Girls Camp. And at last we've got New Cute Little Girls (and one adorable boy) to come visit again.

This past week our precious 8 year old cousin spent 5 days with us, exploring the wild outdoors, swimming, coming to work with me (it's wonderful how many girls love to spend time in libraries, helping with story hours and putting books away) and sampling lots of crafts from my cache of supplies. (Cousin Hannah says I have the best toys of any grownup, ever!)

The best thing about having children visit is that they want to go swimming every day - (we get a little lazy now and often say "let's just take a walk) - and to get to the swimming beach we have to canoe across wide Occupacia Bay. Great exercise there - and lots of laughs, because our aqua phobic labrador Jack had to swim back and he cried all the way home. I've never seen a dog resent water as much as he does. Monday the cool water was refreshing and a little rainstorm spattered droplets on us as we paddled home, but as the nights have stayed above 70 all week, by yesterday it was bathtub temperature. Little minnows nibble at your back in the warm water and of course - we're surrounded by a ring of greenery with not another soul out there to intrude on the luxurious feeling that the whole world belongs to us.

Summertime we have lots of childrens' programs in the library so it's easy to take my own visiting cousins with me and not worry about them getting bored or me getting interrupted. I was going to be interrupted anyway. Also, if the cousin is the right age, she can join the reading club, read books, earn Book Bucks and spend them at the BookStore. The rule at my house is: you must be 7 years old before you can stay the week without your parents. I see there is a 5 year old sister who has started counting the days.

Himself is a magical man full of poetry and stories and with a voice you never forget - deep , rich, mellifluous and he will read Hans Christian Anderson stories on the back porch in the evening. He also knows all about the trees and will take a cousin for a walk in the woods and teach you how to identify them. He will even pick you up and tell you "Walk up the tree trunk so you will really know how that bark feels" He's just so cool.

But the really exciting part about staying at Bess' Girls Camp is Bess' Toys. There is Ginger Peach Preserves to be made

There is jewelry to be created

and there are babydolls to be dressed in hand knitted garments

There is also origami and drawing and real watercolor paints - but you get the idea.

Alas - a week has to come to an end sometime and it did yesterday with a gala swim with mama and aunt S and brothers and sisters and More Cousins. The house is quiet now but I believe there is another, former BGC attendee coming in this afternoon. And I believe there will be a Boy Cousin coming in August.

Happy times here in the country. Hope your campers are having a good time this summer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 7/17/2010 4:24PM

    Wow, such fun! I would have loved this as a little girl. Every summer, my girl cousins would each spend a few days at my house, and often I would go to their's and it was such fun.
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SHEILA1505 7/17/2010 12:27PM

    Bess - I am so sorry - I misunderstood!!! I thought your status was saying that you had lost Jack. Of course, I am delighted to work it out that this is not at all what you meant - you must have thought me totally dense earlier! Sorry for the "mistook"


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JLITT62 7/17/2010 11:05AM

    I wanna come to Bess's girls camp!

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MSLZZY 7/17/2010 7:35AM

    What a great auntie you are to provide all the fun and education! Your summers must be fantastic getaways for all! Have a great weekend! emoticon

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Boatloads of thanks to you all!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

To anyone who sent up prayers, wishes, good thoughts, white light - to anyone who even had an instant of sympathy for me yesterday I send you glorious enormous heart felt THANKS.

We received a reprieve yesterday. My husband's good eye isn't all that good. that one was where his first detached retina was - in 1999. It has a buckle around it and we always know there is a chance that buckle could begin to cause trouble - but till about a year ago they could correct his vision with glasses to 20/20. In 2000 his left eye retina detached 3 times in 9 weeks. The subsequent surgery left him with the ability to detect dark and light but not to really see. Since the right eye issues began to show up over the past year we've been whiplashed back and forth with dire possibilities - bullets we've been able to dodge so far, always because the retina remained flat and intact. Now there is a wrinkle in the retina caused by a condition with an enormous polysylabic name.

The good news is the first step in treatment is with drugs instead of surgery. We are going to see and pray and invision and thank God for such good medicine and be happy with all there is of gratitude in our hearts.

but never ever doubt the enormous effect you have when you support someone with your good wishes - each tiny lightening of my load helps me see the true good path into the future.
I thank each and every one of you.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 7/16/2010 7:42PM

    I will be praying for you both, that the medicine will help, and that you will both find relief for this soon.

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WEDDWT 7/16/2010 1:01PM

    When couples go thru these trials, when something precious is at risk of being lost, I think a certain gratitude is developed than cannot be achieved during the good times. As that gratitude muscle becomes stronger and stronger, life itself becomes more precious. There is sight, and then there is spiritual sight, and I think DH will always be able to see how much he loves you.
Continued prayers for you both

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JLITT62 7/16/2010 8:36AM

    I absolutely believe in the power of prayer.

Losing your sight is such a scary thought. I was born cross-eye'd, and had eye surgery at 6 months -- then again at 12 years to correct a lazy eye -- and my vision, even corrected, has never been 20/20. But it's good enough, so far, knock on wood.

I'm just writing that to say that not all eye surger is bad, obviously, but hoping it won't come to that for your DH anyway.

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MSLZZY 7/16/2010 8:07AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonGood news! I will continue to pray for you both!

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SHEILA1505 7/16/2010 7:06AM

    Continuing to keep you in my thoughts and communications with my Universe. Hoping the meds prove successful and all will be well.

with love and hugs

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Requesting your prayers, please

Thursday, July 15, 2010

my precious husband has very fragile vision. One eye is pretty much blind - it sees light and dark. The other is now having trouble. Please if you pray, ask that his eyes heal and his vision stays. We will weather any storm, but prayer is such a miracle that we'd like to have yours with us as we face what's up ahead.

Thank you so much, my spark friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEDDWT 7/15/2010 4:30PM


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JLITT62 7/15/2010 3:46PM

    Prayers happily and freely given.

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EPIPHANYANGEL 7/15/2010 2:54PM

    Prayers and emoticon emoticon

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250STRONG 7/15/2010 10:51AM

    positive thoughts

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DAISY443 7/15/2010 8:09AM

    Prayers and emoticon

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    Will do. "May the peace of God rule in your heart through Christ Jesus our Lord."

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ELLENB10 7/15/2010 7:32AM


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102633 7/15/2010 7:21AM

    Heavenly Father, May the desires of this lady and her husband be granted according to Your Will. We pray for healing of the eyes and the restoration of vision for this dear man. If Your will does not bring this restoration of sight, we pray that Your grace be sufficient to help them to live thru each and every day with the conditions that you have granted. We pray this in the mighty and holy name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.


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SHEILA1505 7/15/2010 6:55AM

    You are in my thoughts - asking the Universe to protect you both

Hugs and love

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MSLZZY 7/15/2010 6:50AM

    My prayers are with you! emoticon

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JACKSMIMI2 7/15/2010 6:25AM

    I will keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers.

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MRE1956 7/15/2010 5:54AM

    emoticon for you and your husband .....

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MGAYLE 7/15/2010 5:53AM

    Good morning and consider this done. I am asking God to heal my vision as well. I know that God is able and He hears our prayers.
Be encouraged!
Dr. G

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I just Thought I was busy ... what did I know?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Now it's crazier busy instead of just plain old crazy busy. summertime is the busy time at work and in the middle of summer (next week) we have our final board meeting of the year. this year there is a Big Issue that has to be faced. It's really big - but it's not an obstacle - just something that has to be worked around and worked with and will take time and money. a problem but one with a solution.

I have a small house guest this week - our 8 year old cousin (believe me, it's pretty easy to become a cousin here in rural Virginia - nigh 'bout everybody is a cousin somehow) is visiting for the week. Our place has long been known as a vacation spot for children because I have the kind of job where I can take reading kids to work with me. They love to put books away and help get the crafts ready for story times. They can also curl up in a chair with a newly discovered treasure and read for sweet uninterrupted hours. Lunchtime is easy with packed sandwiches on the river bank or only a walk away to several restaurants. After work we can go swimming in the river before the sun sets and dinner is always eaten on the porch.

Besides - I have the coolest toys. Good quality art tools and knitting tools and three spinning wheels and access to a fine ceramic shop where, if you stay long enough, we can make something to take home to mama. Most of the time little girls come to stay so after a while my husband began calling it Bess' Girls Camp. but little girls grow up and we haven't had any youglings in the family for over 6 years. Happily, it looks like we have a new crop now.

and this new little girl is a knitter!! woo woo. We're already making little stuffed bunnies and kitties.

It's fun being busy and the only way I can manage The Weight Thing in this hectic month is to cut sweets out of my life and double up on fruits -- which are abundantly delicious right now - in spite of a drought that has ravaged the farms around here. That drought, and it's accompanying heatwave, really sapped my mental creativity - one reason added to the aforementioned business that has made me fall so silent on this blog. I've been even worse on my knitting blog - with posts only maybe every other week.

But life is good even if it is so hectic - this is all fun stuff. I'm using the tools in James A Ray's book Harmonic Wealth to help keep me focused and on track - not just with health issues but with all the things I want to tend to. And one of these days I'll have synthesized some of all this excitement and be able to talk about it. For the mean time, though - I'm wishing all my Spark Friends the most joy filled summer ... or winter ... they can possibly have!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 7/14/2010 7:22AM


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JLITT62 7/13/2010 9:47AM

    Sounds like a crazy good time, tho. Enjoy!

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SHEILA1505 7/13/2010 9:28AM

    And while you're filling yourself with healthy food and fruit instead of sweet things, I'm sure your litte cousin is happily benefitting too. You make your Camp sound most inviting ...... :))

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/13/2010 8:03AM

    Your 'camp' sounds like a heavenly place! I may have to claim kinship.....LOL

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EFELL123 7/13/2010 7:12AM

    It sounds like you have a great plan for controlling your sweet tooth and a fun job! I need to get out and buy some new produce today to keep my fridge stocked with good choices.

(Any tips for getting my 7 year old to read more!)


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Just a quick pop in

Thursday, July 08, 2010

to say I did 2 brisk miles at the gym yesterday in spite of the ferocious heat. well - the gym is moderately air conditioned. they don't keep it way down, but it's fresh enough to help you feel like moving. Today, in just minutes, I will do my 2 miles outdoors - because one of the things I want to do more of is Be Where I Am. I live in one of the most beautiful natural places and I work all day indoors. I need to feel a little more like I'm a part of my natural surroundings.

today it's back to the city for more doctor stuff for Himself. This is always a mixed situation. We wish that he had strong healthy eyes but we absolutely love having a day out of the routine to spend together going somewhere. go figure. He and I have ALWAYS had fun in a car.

A day in the city is always a challenge food wise - but I'm psyched up for it.

Hugs to you all. I'll be back to scatter spark goodies around in a day or two. Won 100 goodie points today on the log-in wheel.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 7/8/2010 7:32AM

    Have a safe happy journey
See you back soon

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