Thursday, July 23, 2009


You may have taken notice that "B" is missing from my alphabetic blog title above. That's because there are no more bees on this property anymore.

The previous statement may be a bit of an exaggeration...I admit it fully. But if you'd been here this past Monday evening, you'd understand exactly what I meant. We were playing an all camp game which involves kids running everywhere (in buddies of course!). Not more than 5 minutes into the game, kids where running away from one part of camp with tears in their eyes and SCREAMING bloody murder. Turns out they had stirred up a swarm of nasty stinging insects that dwelled in the ground beneath a very thick and tall bush.

These weren't just any bees. They were the most aggressive, persistent bees I've ever seen. They were probably ground hornets because they were capable of multiple stings. Not only did they sting often and without discrimination, they would follow a person at great distance. I watched in horror as campers and staff ran sometimes more than 15 or 20 yards with the hornets still with them.

We must have emptied 15 cans of Raid on them and their home. The next day, we used a chain and a truck to pull the bush out, dumped gasoline down the hole, and set it on fire. Since then, I've seen a couple hornets flying around the area but they are usually flying solo. Nothing like the 100 we saw on Monday night. I think they were out when the hole was set on fire. They come back and fly around very confused as if to say, "I swear our bush was RIGHT here when I left!".

I hope none of you experience what we did on Monday night. I've never felt more helpless than when I watched several children being attacked by bees. I was capable of doing little to help other than to yell at them to run to the Health Center. That's right. I had to tell children to run for safety. Granted the threat could have been more dangerous, but in those moments, it was the most serious event going on in the world for those poor kids. 25 camper victims in all and between 5 and 10 staff casualties as well.

May your day be as exciting but with a less painful cause!

Keep it Real!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Can't Stop Going

I'm sure I've mentioned before on this blog, and to anyone who has personally corresponded with me lately, that it is flippin' hot in East Texas this summer. The morning news reported that we may reach a sweltering 108 degree heat index late this afternoon (cut to me taking a bomber nap in my air conditioned abode during that time!).

While I still fully intend on spending my time complaining about the heat, I'm also making an effort to turn this week's heat into a health awareness experience. In the bathroom of the camp office, there is a chart for the week where several of us are recording how much water we drink (in nalgene units of course) as well as how many times we visit the restroom due to the water intake.

Yesterday was the first day of this experience and I have to say that I am quite amazed at what happened. Beginning at 8am and ending at about 10pm, I consumed 6 nalgenes and relieved myself 12 times. I may as well have sat on the toilet and just drown my sorrows with water because it was coming out fast enough. The good news is, I felt much better than I usually do during a given day of summer camp. I was much less sluggish and had energy that lasted much longer. Six nalgenes may be unecessary but I'm going to continue to shoot for 4-5 per day.

I want to leave you with an interesting fact:

If you amounted all the urine that each human on the planet expells in a single day, it would take it 45 minutes to rush over Niagra Falls!

Keep It Real!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

They Grow Up So Fast

I had been told of the plans but I never believed it would actually happen. After years of dealing with schedules, health concerns, demanding and attention seeking pets, etc, my parents embarked last week on their first long distance road trip together in 10 years. We were lucky enough to be included on their long list of places to visit and people to see. They arrived this past Monday evening after having visited friends in Oklahoma and left this morning, headed for West Texas to visit my dad's sister. It was very nice to see them, even if in the midst of my own busy summer camp schedule.

Ever since they left this morning, I've been thinking about the role reversal that we have been experiencing in my family. It is so true that parents and children do start switching roles at some point in life....not all, but some. Here are some examples from the last two days alone:

  • My dad asked the same questions over and over. I tried to answer them patiently.
  • I had to take my mom to the camp nurse for some advice with a very minor medical question.
  • Leni and I cooked all of their meals
  • I spoke extensively with my dad before his departure regarding the route he would take today and how long it would take.
  • They arrived with a car that needed some work on it and while they were here, Leni fixed it for them.
  • While driving somewhere in the car, we looked back to see my dad asleep in the backseat
Who knows what other roles will come that will change themselves, and probably more than once. The good news is, I get to pick their nursing homes when the time comes!

Keep It Real!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

I had the great privilege of being present for an incredible presentation this past week. In celebration of our nation's freedom, my good friend, Sarah AKA "The Queen of Krunk" rapped for our campers a portion of Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech. It was amazing. Wish you'd been there.

With such an important holiday upon us, I've been thinking about how different people celebrate patriotism and liberty. I didn't get much farther than flags, grilling, and fireworks. Then I found myself on a favorite website checking out individual state and US territory mottos (can you guess the website? bet you can!). I wanted to share with you a few that stood out to me:

Kansas: "To the Stars Through Hardships" - What hardships could someone in Kansas possibly have? I've been there. Kansans don't even have so much as a hill to walk up!

Maine: "I Lead" - What? Who is the "I" and what is he or she leading?

New Hampshire: "Live Free or Die" - This is a very popular motto that many people know or have at least heard of. But is it really true? Do people in New Hampshire really fall in line behind this idea? I think a more accurate motto would probably be "Live Free or Bitch About It"

Ohio: "With God All Things Are Possible" - well done, Ohio

Oklahoma: "Labor Conquers All Things" - OK....I did not know Adolf Hitler was from Oklahoma. Learn something new every day.

Puerto Rico: "John is his Name" - someone please research this and get back to me.

Please, be safe this weekend and as often as you think about it, say a special prayer for those who are serving both here in the U.S. and overseas to protect our rights as well as those of others.

Keep It Real!