Monthly Archives: July 2009

One Week + Two Houseboats + 17 people

One Week + Two Houseboats + 17 people

Click here for a look at my links to my comprehensive packing list, personal packing list & menu plan.

This summer I decided to plan a week long summer trip on a houseboat. I selected Beaver Creek Marina at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky because it was a very large body of water (1255 miles of shoreline) with plenty of room to explore and it was only about a six hour drive from our home. On the trip were a total of five adults and 12 teenagers so we decided to go for two houseboats that sleep 10 people each. We also wanted a ski boat for daily activities. While surfing the web I came across a company that seemed to have decent prices but I decided to call a few other places. The company that I decided to rent from had an awesome internet special of about $800 per boat for a Monday PM through Friday AM rental period. This is a great deal because their published rates are about three times as much! The ski boat rental was about the same rate as both boats combined.

The boat provided the opportunity to pretty much move in with just your toothbrush, clothing and food. Did I say “JUST” food? This is a whole other chapter! Aboard the boat; a full kitchen, linens for the beds, dishes for eating and cooking, a grill with propane, 2 very large ice chests and even an optional hot tub. The furniture was nice and in addition to an indoor dining table (and living room), there was a patio set on the deck. Everything was very clean and well taken care of.
Driving the boat was an adventure! Before we left the Marina, we all watched a video that taught us a little bit about driving the boat and operating the boat in general. I would have liked a little more instruction but it all worked out well! The biggest problem was finding a place on shore that we could tie up to (boulders and trees), especially since we had two houseboats. We managed this with minor stress and event. Leaving our little areas was also filled with a bit of low grade stress and some yelling but it all worked out and we didn’t lose any of our deposit and no one was injured!
During the day we took in sun on the top deck (the roof of the houseboat), we floated around in the water, we swam or paddled (on an inflatable boat with paddles) to islands or other shores, we water skied, went knee boarding , wakeboarding and inner tubing. There were card games, reading times and writing times. There’s an opportunity for EVERYONE to enjoy themselves on a houseboat trip!
We were required to run the generator for about 10 hours per day so during this time we cooked and ran the air conditioner. This is also prime time to take showers because the water gets heated. Our group didn’t take showers all week long! We taught the kids to take lake showers. Yes, you lather up and then jump off the top of the roof or slide down the water slide. YES! We had a waterslide! The most difficult part is shaving. Plus it’s like taking a bath with 20 of your closest friends. If this isn’t your thing (but trust me, it feels amazing), there were two bathrooms aboard the boat, including one with a shower. It’s a good thing we took lake showers because just with our cooking and cleaning our fresh water tank went dry on one of the boats on the last day. This would have been easily rectified by returning to the marina but we didn’t want to since it was our last day and the other boat still had fresh water.
In addition to our unconventional showering practices, we slept on the roof of the houseboats despite the 5 double sized beds on the boat. It’s beautiful sleeping outside! You have no idea how many stars there are until you do that! Even if you don’t live in the city, there are still trillions more stars than you even know! The first night was a bit dewy so we woke up with some moisture on our sleeping bags (yes, you have to bring your own sleeping bags). The second night we were as dry as a bone. The third night there had been a rain storm all day so the roof was pretty wet. Five of us slept up top anyway. We watched a glorious lightening storm in the distance as we fell asleep. A couple hours later the storm was upon us and we had to retreat indoors. The final night there were three of us who slept outside. A storm rolled in during the early hours of the morning but there was no lightening and we were under a canopy since there were only three of us, so we remained outdoors. This was also a beautiful experience.
I used Marinas International for booking the boats and they were wonderful! We were well taken care of from the moment I called them for information. I have not been paid or compensated in any way to tell you about my trip. I just thought this information might be helpful for others.

Garden Box Summer

Garden Box Summer

My garden box experiment is going well! Even with crappy soil I’ve had a great summer of veggies. My cucumbers and zucchinis seem to be radioactive! They are so big! My green beans are done so I got some more in the ground about 2 weeks ago and they’re growing quickly. It’s about time for tomatoes and boy do I have plans for them! Next year I probably won’t grow lettuce; it takes so much water to rinse it and get all of the bugs and dirt off. We’ll see after the next batch – I’m going to try soaking it. I had to replant my pepper plants. Only about 3 plants survived after I purged that section of weeds…maybe I pulled up more pepper plants than weeds? Next month I expect some corn and carrots! I’m not sure whats going to happen to the broccoli.

I’m beginning to think ahead to next year and what I’ll plant then… I can’t wait! Why am I rushing to next summer already? I saw mums at the grocery store yesterday! MUMS!!! A sure sign of fall, which is a sure sign of winter!!
Dear Mums,
I think you are beautiful and I love having you in my garden but I hate what you represent!
Kat

My Petting Zoo Approach

My Petting Zoo Approach

This week I spent some time at a fabulous petting zoo of sorts – I met almost every single one of my favorite bloggers. I pet their perfectly magnificent hair, I touched the lovely silk on their dress sleeves, I shook their perfectly moisturized hands, and I grasped their shoulders in an authentic hug. It was like being at a wild animal park where bloggers can run free in their natural habitat and then some are set aside behind bars where you can walk up and look at them and point and talk about them and still yet, others are in a corral where you can reach out and touch them with the thrill that their mighty roar might tear your chest in half or their bite may rip your arm off. I LOVED it!

My reaction to the women whose lives I’ve spent hours peering into over the last few years was very different from how some of my new buddies reacted. They were timid and unwilling to jump up and introduce themselves; they’d point out different people that they enjoyed reading about and say they hadn’t worked up the courage yet and then others would say that they had indeed finally introduced themselves to this person or that person.

Meanwhile, I would walk up to the person and introduce myself, ask about their dog or their job search or their new home. The reason I read blogs is because they are real and the people are real. If this is the case, why wouldn’t that person want to meet me and why wouldn’t I want to meet them? They aren’t any better or more fabulous than I am otherwise I would read about them and not of them. Most of the bloggers were warm and a pleasure to meet and for that I will continue to peer into their lives and pour out my own.

I didn’t really meet any of the unapproachable, “better than sliced bread” kind of women I’ve heard so much about. Perhaps it’s because of the quality of person I choose to connect with online. Not to say that there weren’t plenty of women who looked to be unapproachable or snooty but I didn’t introduce myself and neither did they. There was no need, I don’t read their blogs and since we didn’t have a connection in Real Life, I won’t for the time being. However, there’s always next year in New York!

As much as I ohh’ed and ahh’ed over these “internets,” the mega bloggers were equally ohh’ing and ahh’ing over Carson Kressley and others. Carson and the gang did nothing for my curiosity or enjoyment; it was all about the bloggers!

To the lovely ladies at Blogher 2009; I am not sorry I treated Blogher as a zoo (at least I didn’t compare it to a freak show!). I’ve enjoyed every opportunity that I’ve taken to interact with you In Real Life, I’ve appreciated the moments that you became a human to me and that your stories became authentic and tangible. Thank you.

Unconditional Love – Rerun 8/16/07

Unconditional Love – Rerun 8/16/07

This morning I woke up early to get ready for work yet I was still running late. In my haste, I made a peanut butter sandwich and set it on the counter and ran back upstairs to grab my shoes and socks. As I raced back downstairs my dog stood at the bottom smacking her tongue on the roof of her mouth and licking her lips…classic peanut butter mouth. I scolded her loudly as I rounded the corner into the kitchen to be sure my reprimanding was well deserved. It was.

As she lay down beside the back door and stared at me in my rant, I said, “All I do is get up and go to work all day just so that I can give you a nice place to live, food for your meals, medicine when you are sick, an occasional bath and an expensive dog park membership. All I ask for in return is that you give me unconditional love and don’t steal my sandwich! Do you understand how hungry I am?” Then, I realized I sounded like my mom except really ridiculous because it was about a peanut butter sandwich and I was talking to my dog.

 

Tangerine Nightmares

Tangerine Nightmares

Good Morning!

The week disappeared so quickly but I do feel like it was a well spent weekend; I was able to spend quality time with my hubby J and a few of my “Indiana friends” (Drunk Dialin’ Momma, Chandra and Camp Guy) and I picked up a beautiful bottle of Blackberry wine while wine tasting.

J and I went to the drive-in movies and lucky me, I got an interesting show in the bathroom. When is it okay to go out in public and not wear a bra?

A woman wearing head to toe tangerine was coming out of the stall next to mine. She has now has a felony hijacking charge against my brain. I cannot get the terrible image out of my head. Is it okay to not wear a bra to the drive-in movies and still wear a shirt that proves you aren’t wearing one?

Summer Flowers

Summer Flowers

One of my most favorite things about having gardens is that I have fresh flowers inside AND outside and I didn’t have to buy them at the grocery store! They are from my very own garden! Every year I add new flowers so that I can have a beautiful assortment for my home and my desk at work. What are some that I should consider for next year? I’m starting to plan for the planters now!

I’m getting super excited for BlogHer! Email me or leave a comment if you want to meet up. What parties are you attending? Is it possible to visit them all?

The Best Part of the Kiosk is Not Dealing With DMV Employees

The Best Part of the Kiosk is Not Dealing With DMV Employees

My apologies to all BMV/DMV employees!

Tonight I stopped by the BMV around 9pm (that’s the DMV for all people who live in normal states – they like to try to be different here with things like BMV and holding out on Daylight Saving Time), and had a super experience. The registration on my car and my trailer expires tomorrow.
Right inside the door they had a self serve machine that looks a lot like an ATM but it only has the ability to TAKE your money. I stepped up with my driver’s license # and the last 4 of my social security number and I was able to renew my registration in 45 seconds flat! This included printing time for TWO registrations!
Sadly, next month when I jump another year closer to 30 I’ll have to renew my driver’s license and I know that waiting in line for that privilege will take FOREVER! Especially when comparing it to my most recent BMV trip.

 

Houseboat Vacation

Houseboat Vacation

I just got back from a week of living aboard a houseboat with 12 high school students! It was so much fun!

This was my 8th houseboat trip but my first one to Lake Cumberland in Kentucky and my first time aboard a little bit of a luxurious houseboat! It was also my first houseboat trip as an adult. A full blown adult. I had such a great time but I do remember being one of the teens on the trip and I must say that it was much better back in the day.

When I was 13 I went on my first houseboat trip with my church youth group and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was for that reason that I kept coming back. I turned 14 on that trip and I remember we had a charter bus full of high school students and four houseboats for a week. The next summer I rode in the old church van which had no air conditioning – making a drive through the Mohave Desert miserable. To remedy this, our youth director armed each of us with a water gun. He placed giant 5 gallon water coolers at the end of each seating row. It was so fun! Waaay better than a charter bus!

No charter bus this time and no water gun fight en route but still a splashing good time!

My Tuesday Garden Update

My Tuesday Garden Update

Do you see all of my beautiful veggies? We’ve enjoyed green beans a few nights and we’ll continue to do so this week. Our house is buzzing with activity and Jay and I are merely passing one another on our ways our and in.

Here are my three boxes this week:

The red, white and blue purple flowers were put in place for the 4th of July party but I’m leaving them for the affect they have in the candle light at night.

I love these flowers! They are buds on my cucumber plant but I think they might be the prettiest, most delicate flowers in my garden right now.