A Kingly Moment

While in Maine it's hard not to think of the master storyteller, Stephen King. If you've read any of his books, you know how many of his stories are set in his native state. Of course, considering how large the state is I doubted I'd run into him. Still, I must admit I thought of him once or twice.

I know his wife is also a writer, but I have to admit I hadn't given her much thought until I happened to stumble across her at a book signing in Sherman's Bookstore in Bar Harbor. Now I don't usually buy hardcover books because I find them unweildy and more than a tad bit pricey, but temptation got the better of me for once. I picked up a copy of Candles Burning and paid for it before approaching the author for a signature. Not only did she sign the book, she even agreed to a picture! Very gracious.


On the way home I finally got a chance to begin reading the book, which is a collaboration of sorts between Tabitha King and the late Michael McDowell. It's a ghost story but not in the traditional sense. I would consider it more of a story about a girl with a strange psychic ability. In all honesty it was a bit slow now and again. I'm not sure if this was because of the beyond-the-grave collaboration or if it's a style both authors normally fall into. As I've never picked up a Tabitha King book I just don't know.

Even if the book doesn't make my favorite list, it stays on the keeper shelf just because it was personalized by Stephen King's wife while I was on vacation in Maine.

Pictures of Maine

A pretty lighthouse as seen from the tour boat out of Bass Harbor, Maine.


My Aunt and her granddaughter. I really posted this picture so
you see the rocky shoreline, though. Isn't it gorgeous?



Family Photo from Within Acadia National Park.
One of the very first stops after the Visitor's Center.

A somewhat sandy beach. You can see the rocky
shoreline behind us, though.



My son caught this huge snapping turtle while fishing off the
dock right in front of our cabin. Freaky as this is, it was made worse
by the fact the kids had been swimming just on the other side of the dock.


The Little Man and His First Starfish

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According to the Stars....

Cancer:
Astrological researchers have found that the Moon, the ruler of Cancer, is prominent in the charts of the great writers of our time. This year, with Jupiter in Scorpio, the stars support your projects, lift your spirits, and line your wallet.

Taken from Astrology for Writers, Editors and Filmmakers

Parties

Well, it's done. We successfully pulled off two parties on Saturday. It was crazy and a little bit chaotic for the host and hostess (that would be the hubby and me), but it was also a lot of fun.

First we held a small "Meet the Baby" baby shower for my sister's firstborn son. Christian is now 5 weeks old and hardly weighs anything at all. He's only gained a few ounces and is all arms and legs. I have a feeling he may turn out like his daddy, tall and thin!

Although there were more people at the baby shower than I had anticipated, there were still too many missing family members. I had one person call with a legitimate reason for not showing up--I wouldn't have missed my kid's playoff game either. The rest of the family just kind of sucks. There's a whole history of treating my brothers and sisters like this. Sometimes I'd really like to say, "Hello--Not our fault our parents divorced and the rest of you are too damn immature to get over it!" Of course I try to keep the peace, though, and end up saying mum.

Which is really weird. I'm not exactly known for keeping my mouth shut.

My sister didn't get very much either. I think four or five little gift bags. Of course, she already had a shower on her mom's side and got lots of goodies there. It should also be noted a small percentage of my dad's family went to that first shower despite the fact my ex-step-mom was there. But then these are the few people in my dad's family who understand it's not about my dad and his ex-wives, it's about us kids, my sister and her baby in this instance.

Do you detect some barely repressed resentment? Yeah, me, too.

Family sucks.

But not always.

Unlike my sister's baby shower, my dad's retirement party was a raging success. Lots of people, most of which were the family members who couldn't be bothered to come to the baby shower. My dad received several cards and a couple of wrapped gifts. A few old friends showed up to share a beer or a half dozen with him. We even ended up renting some silly fight off the pay-per-view channels. Horseshoes, a bonfire and a buffet of food rounded off the evening.

While most of our guests left before midnight, we had a few people staying the night with us. That group stayed up almost until the crack of dawn. Ken made it to 1:30. Somehow I outlasted him but by 3:00 am Jessica and I were beat and finally threw in the towel. The other three (LeAnn, Troy, and my brother Jake) stayed out at the bonfire until 5:00 am. CRAZY!!!

I didn't learn until the next morning that my brother, who had promised to spend the night, had grabbed my hubby's bike and rode home in the predawn hours. This wasn't exactly the smartest thing to do after drinking all night but it was better than walking the three miles through woods, which he had originally thought of doing.

Brothers!

After getting a few hours sleep we grabbed some breakfast and then started the clean up. It didn't take nearly as long as I had feared. In fact, I even got in a mini-nap before taking the kids to see Pirates of the Carribean II.

The movie was really good but it totally leaves you hanging. Number 3 needs to be released as soon as possible!

What a Weekend

I realize it's Friday and this weekend will be starting in just a few short hours but the title of this post refers to last weekend.

We were scheduled to leave Saturday around noon to go camping so I thought it wouldn't be a big deal to allow my oldest son to have a guest Friday night and my youngest son to go spend the evening with his cousin. In all honesty, it wasn't a big deal. Our house guest was incredibly well-behaved and well-mannered (kudos to his parents!). My youngest son had a blast at a bonfire complete with fireworks and marshmellows.

After taking our house guest home and picking up our youngest and our nephew, we left the house on Saturday by 11:30. A whole half hour ahead of schedule! Miracles do happen.

I had asked to take my nephew with us because he's going through a rough time with his parents' divorce and I was hoping the trip would help distract him. I must admit I was a bit nervous about taking this extra little person with us but all went well. The kids played well together with only a few minor arguments, in and out of the water.

Sunday dawned bright and beautiful. Unfortunately it not only brought sunshine and warmth, it brought the flu. Yes, the flu. Of course at the time we didn't realize it was the flu. When my youngest started throwing up I assumed he had eaten too much junk food the day before, then I worried it was heat exhaustion (the camper doesn't have air and it was HOT in there the night before), then I worried he was allergic to the pond water he had gone swimming in the day before. Not once did I think "great, he has the flu."

Hello. Not flu season.

He stopped throwing up in the afternoon and ate a little bit. Even went swimming later that night--giving weight to my heat exhaustion theory. He livened right up in the water and seemed fine. He even watched the fireworks that night.

Sidenote: My sister had come up for the fireworks show and took her little guy home with her. He had asked for her the night before and I doubted he'd do well staying another night with us. Poor baby.

Monday the puking started all over again. Okay, so it must have been the pond water, right? After all, his dad gets plugged up everytime he goes swimming in a pond or lake. The little guy has always had allergy problems, so allergies seemed a reasonable culprit. Especially when the puking stopped mid-afternoon again.

Wouldn't you know that night my stomach started turning. By morning, I was the one throwing up outside the camper in a garbage can. Not pretty. I felt so bad for the people sleeping in the tent next to our site. I finally managed to get things under control and could help the hubby break down camp. We were about halfway done repacking the camper when our oldest gets sick.

Although the campground was only an hour and a half away, that was the longest ride home. Flu + bumpy roads = feeling really shitty.

Luckily the thing seemed to run its course in two days. I ended up extending my long weekend by another day but I much rather would have been at work. I think my boys would have rather gone to daycare.

Let's hope we've seen the last of it. Considering we have two parties at our house tomorrow (a baby shower and a retirement party later that evening), my hubby doesn't have time to get sick!