Monday, April 30, 2007

Hi! Remember Me?

I'm that schmuck who needs as much time to recover from a vacation as I took FOR the vacation. I'll take this opportunity to get the vacation stuff out of the way.

You should know that Bella packed her stuff "all by herself." Here is an inclusive list of what she packed in the top compartment of our suitcase:

Pink Barbie life-jacket
Large white stuffed horse
A dustpan whisk-broom
Approximately 30-odd feet of electric-green, plastic surveyor's tape, in a giant wad
A wooden spoon

I'm glad we're teaching her to pack light, and to only take the necessities.

Our first day there, we unloaded at the lake house, and absorbed a few minutes of blissful peace.
view from house long

Then we got all sunblocked-up, and took all our fishing gear, and headed for the Little Red River, to set out on a flatbottom boat and trout-fish. Unfortunately, there had been a lot of rain, and both generators at the dam were running full-blast, emptying lake-water into the river, causing it to run high and fast, so going out on a boat was out of the question. Bella was bummed, because she was already wearing her "huntin' pants" (the ones with the hot-pink embroidered butterflies on the leg) and "fishin' hat."
loafing by the Little Red

So we came back to the lake house, and got out one of the 4-wheelers, and all piled on together and went riding in the woods and up the mountain on some logging roads. Once Bella stopped looking around and lamenting, "OH, NOOO! We are lost forEVER!" because she couldn't see the house, she started having fun.

family of three

We let her explore a little creek, and that was a big hit, even if the water was COOOOOLD.
NOW she's a true Arkansan

Then we rode home into the sunset.
riding into the sunset

The next day, it was time to take Mom's boat into town to get it de-winterized and serviced. That was going to take 2 hours at least, and we really didn't have a major plan for what we would do during that time.
ready to roll

Alex couldn't stand not knowing what was happening at the river, so we drove down to Swinging Bridge again. Water was still raging. It was killing him not to have fished yet, so we went down and did a little bank fishing. Would you like to guess who landed the first trout? Um, yeah. The 4-year-old girl in the peasant blouse wielding the 3-foot-long, pink Disney Princess rod & reel hauled in a good-size rainbow trout approximately 90 seconds after her first cast. She barely got her first instruction, and had literally just sat down before she had to jump up and start reeling.

90 seconds after casting

I caught that?

There was lots more fishing and relaxing...
Gone Fishin'


...UNTIL. These racist turds from some great redneck sewer floated into our punchbowl, apparently on their lunch break from somewhere.
The Redneck Racist Turds in Our Punchbowl

Parked right in the bank-fishing area, where everyone was being nice and respectful and quiet, probably checked to make sure they saw only white faces, and then began the behavior you can read about if you click on their picture. I was horrified, and Bella learned a new word (oh, JOY), and was introduced to the concept that there are people in the world who hate other people just for the sake of hatred, because those people are different in some way from them. All I can say about these mouth-breathers is THANK GOD most people are different from them. I have never, in my life, been witness to anything so vile as the display these delightful young men put on.

I have to say, though, that my little girl figured it out pretty well, once she got over her initial shock that such people were, in her words, "in this world." It hurt my heart to have to explain to her that there are people who hate other people simply beause they have different color skin, or go to different churches, or live in different countries, or wear different clothes...she just couldn't believe it. I know that her preschool class is quite diverse, so I used that as an example while talking to her about it. I asked her if all the children in her class looked different from each other, and she agreed that they did. I asked, "Is there anyone in your class that looks kind of the same as you? Same hair, eyes, or skin color?" She thought about it, and then said, "Well, Luke kind of has the same kind of skin like I do." So then I asked her, "And do you like to play with Luke more than the other kids because of that?" The answer was an emphatic "NO! I don't like to play with Luke at ALL!" (If Luke's parents are reading this, it's not terribly personal, but apparently Luke pushes. Might wanna have a talk with him about that. Bella did clarify that it's not that she doesn't like Luke, she just won't play with him. Because of the pushing. Which is NOT COOL.) She then launched into the virtues of her two most favorite friends at school, Jada and Cherokee, until I had to steer her back on track.

Me: "What do you think about people who hate other people like that?"

Bella: "I think they probably don't love Jesus." (Bella almost never says "God." To her at this age, it's all about Jesus. Which is fine with me, as the whole Holy Trinity thing is not something I want to get into with her at this young age.)

Me: "I think you're probably right."

Bella: "But He loves them."

Me: "That's right."

Bella: "God loves all of us, even when we're bad, but it makes Him sad when we hate people."

Good girl. Now I just have to pray that she doesn't bust out with "________ IS A BAD WORD" in the middle of a crowded grocery store or something.

I had snatched her up and gotten us locked into the car with XMKids playing as soon as the ugliness started, while Alex packed up our gear. Since the knuckle-draggers ended our pleasant time, and the boat wasn't yet ready, we did our best to shake it off, and one of the best ways to do that is with hush-puppies, so we went to lunch.
hush, puppy

After lunch, we headed over and picked up the boat, and then drove by the house and picked up Delta, and put the boat straight into the water, which was like glass, and headed out.
We blew the soot out for you, Mom!

As illustrated here last week, a good time was had by all, and Alex even caught a hybrid bass without even trying hard.
Windblown Sideways (Exhausted)

family in the rearview

Captain Isabella

hybrid bass

Next day, the river was STILL high, so there was more bank-fishing, mostly by Alex as Bella explored and I took pictures.

riverside pizza

semi-feral girl


looking like you know something / (OKG: Self-Confident)

fishin' buddies

We ended that day by riding up to the top of the mountain where Diamond Bluff meets Miller's Point, looking around, and taking some photos from that great vantage point.
view from millers point

Cutting a swath

mountain path2

sunset over miller's point

sunset over greers ferry lake from millers point

There was a partial game of Jenga that night, which was aborted during Bella's turn, in mid-pull, because she could not extract from her father a promise that he would LOSE.
The Jenga game that Bella walked away from because Daddy would not promise to let her win

Our last day to play, we FINALLY got to take a boat out on the river, which is beautiful...
little red river at swinging bridge

Blue Heron on the bank of the Little Red River, at Swinging Bridge

...and where someone was growing ever-more-smug about her trout-fishing prowess.
That's Right, I'm Bad / (OKG: Lucky Winner)

After the fish stopped just jumping directly ONTO her hook, Bella got bored...
lost in thought

...ultimately resorting to an unsuccessful attempt at screaming trout onto her line.
"Hey, TROUT!  Git on mah HOOK!"   (OKG: "Mean")

Finally, The Trout-Slayer was put away...
The Trout-Slayer

...and the last fishing outing of our trip came to an end. Bella responded to my attempt at getting a final few photos of her by alternating between being coy...

...and just bustin' out The Ham AND The Cheese.
The Ham and The Cheese / (OKG:Center of Attention)

I gave up, and we came home, at which point I collapsed in a heap for the next 5 days or so.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

So Here's What Happened

So Here's What Happened
Originally uploaded by ninjapoodles.
Just click the pic of the churned-up earth and ugly rusted metal pipe for the full story so far.

Also blogged over heah.

We're apparently in some sort of Arkansas property feud, against our will. Not sure if we're the Hatfields or the McCoys, but either way, it's pretty stupid.

Friday, April 13, 2007

An Homage to Sleeping

Because really? That's all I want to do. Basically until these meds either work or are out of my system. Wellbutrin? Not working out. I'm getting off of it, because that last dosage increase made me feel awful. So I don't know what's in store. What do you do when you're depressed, but all the drugs that exist to treat that condition make you NUTS? Anyway, I'm trapped in some kind of paralytic anxiety that's shackling me to my house again . But there is FISHING coming up next week, husband-mandated trout-fishing, so a week of communing with Nature should be very healing for me. Or kill me outright. Only time will tell.

I'm off to Bella's school with Delta in tow for "Pet Show Day." Wheee. It's taking half a Xanax and a whole lot of internal patter to get me out the door (I'm not even dressed yet, so who knows if I'll make it? Set up a betting pool among your friends, join in the fun). In the meantime, here's some of my favorite sleeping shots of...well, who else?

Bella Napping on Daddy

Asleep On Her Feet


Bella tuckered traveler


Yardwork Wears A Girl Out