Postcard from Camp

Hello, Mudda!  Hello, Fadda!  If you get that, you’re old.  Camp Sonnystone is moving right along!

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Today we’re taking a field trip to Ellis Park to watch the horses run.  Kids are pretty good at picking the winners, actually.  I’m feeling better, but we lost a little rhythm while I was sick.

Still ahead is an Unbirthday Party, Water Balloon Blast, Rocket Launching, and finishing up PawPaw’s Scavenger Hunt.  Next week we’ll visit the zoo and the museum and there are several movies we want to watch.

Hope you’re having as much fun as we are!


My Progeny

Without these two — Michael and Melissa — the grandies would be only a dream.  You already know how much I love and respect them, and it’s nice to see them together.

Camp is going strong, but today I’ve had a sick day.  Not sure what’s going on with me, chills and sweats and sour stomach.

So I’ll get back with you tomorrow and share pics of the activities…


The Casey-Jose’s take Toy Story Land

We met up with the Jose’ family at Disney’s Old Key West, both arriving 11am.  Our room was ready!! We carried up our luggage, jabbered a little, then set out for Magic Kingdom.  We did Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, then It’s a Small World.  We stopped for some food, then went to the Haunted House, then back to Buzz for another spin.  We were set up to watch the castle wrap and fireworks, when I glanced back and saw dark clouds throwing lightning blowing in.  I made the call–we’re getting outta here.  I have sat in the rain for less, but I have learned.  When a storm hits, the place is crazy, but not only were we just there last March, we will be returning next March, so come on…

Charmed, we were getting on the bus when the storm hit.  The fireworks still went off, don’t get me wrong, and we could see part of them from our balcony, but we were dry, cool, and we got to bed to prepare for an early start in the morning.

Friday morning:  We did it, just as planned!!  The park opened at 7am, but we were walking through the turnstiles at 6:30 and went straight on to the Slinky Dog Ride.

From there we went straight over to the Alien Space Saucers,

then into Toy Story Mania…no lines!

By 9am we were enjoying breakfast at Woody’s Lunchbox!  And the humidity was beginning to seep in…

Melissa, Emma, Casey, and I stood in a long line to ride Aerosmith Rock ‘n Roller Coaster.  I hadn’t ridden that one since the grandkids arrived!  It was just as fun as I remembered, though the G-forces involved with going from 0 to 57mph in 2.8 seconds permanently ruined my hair-do… Someday I may show you the picture…but probably not.

We ended up going on Slinky Dog and Toy Story Mania again, then shopped and headed back to the resort.  We swam until they shut the pool down due to an approaching storm.  Then we hopped a bus for Disney Springs, had some supper, and bought our final souvenirs.

We started home on Saturday at 7am or so.  Birmingham is the new Atlanta–we were delayed 30minutes for some unknown reason.  Olivia was delivered to her parents safe and sound (and a little homesick, if the truth be told) by 10:30, and we were fast asleep by midnight.

Camp Sonnystone starts today!  It’s going to be a blast.




I’ve been in a blather getting ready for our quick trip…  We are leaving tomorrow morning with Olivia and crusing down to probably Ocala, where we’ll stop for the night.  Thursday we will meet up with the Jose’ Family (who are already in Orlando for the Irish Dance Nationals) at Old Key West Resort, check-in, and head directly to Magic Kingdom and stay for the Castle Wrap. Friday morning, 5am, we will be in the parking lot of Hollywood Studios to hopefully get in the park early and ride the Slinky Dog rollercoaster and Alien Saucers.   If you are a Disney fan, you know that those rides, indeed a whole new Toy Story Land, just opened on 6/30 and lines have been as long as 6 hours!!!  We’re stoked for the Adventure, and we will use our SuperCuteness to charm our way through.  Weather is supposed to be horrific, but we laugh in the face of humidity!!  We are a Disney Family!  Saturday we’ll load up Melissa, Emma, and Eliza (and Olivia, of course) to drive back to Sonnystone.  Shew!  Isn’t that Exciting?

I have laid in supplies for Camp:  all new markers and paints, brushes, and lots of wood items and canvasses.  I still have to pick up an order of play-doh and accessories and a water-balloon launcher thingy.  We’ve got fresh new cornhole boards and bags, too.  Ready for Fun.  To prepare an art area, we brought in a table from the garage, and some benches from outside, then covered them in vinyl tablecloths…

It doesn’t sound like I’ll have time to blog while we’re gone, but I will report back as soon as I can.

Happy Fourth of July!  Be careful with those sparklers!



Master Plan for Retirement

I was reading a blog today written by a woman who hasn’t yet retired.  She feels that a person should take the first few years of retirement to just “find themselves” before making a Master Plan.

As we were making arrangements for Casey’s retirement, there were so many things to consider financially and those were our priority.  Once we had that all figured out, we tried to imagine what it would be like to be so free from obligations and commitments…and it looked kinda scary.  We decided we needed something to do, especially Casey, who has to always be busy, or so I thought.

We bought the travel trailer, agreeing that we would spend winters in a warmer clime, as well as visit faraway places at our leisure.  We were pie-eyed and bought brand-new, against our own better judgment, because we pictured ourselves boondocking in the belly of the deserts and the tip-tops of the mountains.  We made elaborate plans for 6-week-long meanderings and researched all fifty states for attractions.  We camped Lexington, KY Horse Park, Smokemont in the Smokies, short, fun trips.  We took a week and went to Santa Fe and Taos, and vowed to return when we had more time.

Then, he retired, December 16, 2016, after 44 years with INDOT.  We spent 3-4 months getting the pensions and annuities and such flowing and took off on our first long trip in March, 2017, to Dauphin Island, AL.  When we returned, we started in with the garden, the kids, the house, etc.   In October (2017) we took the trailer down to WDW for a week, staying at Fort Wilderness Campground, where I wish we could afford to live.  We returned to Florida in March, 2018 and finished up at WDW for another week, then headed home.  Except for a couple of week-enders to Harmonie, that’s it.

In the meantime, we’ve adjusted to spending a Lot of Time Together.  We were never the kind of couple who did everything together.  In fact, I sort of smirked at girls who always have to include their husbands in the conversation and look at them adoringly, giggling at their every bad joke.  We went our own ways, meeting up at suppertime, and bedtime to discuss what needed to be discussed.

So I thought I knew what he would want to do.   But he is Much more laid-back that I ever realized.  After all those years of rising early, I am shocked that he sleeps until he feels like getting up.  He stays busy, but doesn’t mind watching cowboy movies for hours.  We are attached at the hip, and I love it.  I giggle at his bad jokes, and often look at him adoringly.  Smirk away.  (However, if you call me, I won’t make you talk to him…I draw the line there.)

But now the roof is leaking (in several spots, actually).  The “check engine” light has been flashing on the tow vehicle.  We both need some expensive dental work done.  I hear some folks talk about how great the economy is, but I see food and gas prices going up, up, up.  I don’t want to whine, but…

In addition to all of that, we just don’t feel that traveling in the trailer is a priority anymore.  Disney still is, of course, and I have reserves to spend a month or so in FL this coming winter.  Otherwise, we are more than content to stay home and do whatever, and right now that involves fixing things.

I’m not sure we would have benefited from just taking this time to “find ourselves’, because I think you will have to do that with or without a Plan.  Just be Aware that whatever Your Plan is, it will change.

We have found ourselves closer and, (gag) more in love with each other and our life together.  We found out we’re a “we”.  We’re also pretty photogenic…


Quick post before I go frolic…

The sun returned yesterday, revealing a layer of dust covering the Sonnystone interiors.  I have to keep my eyes on the screen to avoid pangs of guilt, but I’m going to ignore it and go play outside.

Successful Rummage Sale-ing yesterday…

Drum and Rain Stick — $4

!!! Complete, hardly-used Disney Trivia game!!!   $1

The best yet…we spotted this little ensemble sitting at the curb with a sign reading “free”… uh-huh, into the sedan it went.  I need some cushions and a little touch-up of the table, but doesn’t it look snazzy?  Did I mention Free?

The rains have been tough on the pool, but my pool-boy is preparing it for my barge…

Oldest grandie, Emma, will be participating in the Irish Dance National Competition on the 4th of July in Orlando.  We are taking Olivia along to meet up with the entire Jose’ clan and spend a couple of days at  Disney World.  I mean, we’re there, right?  No way we’ll pass up a chance to ride the new Slinky Dog Dash and Space Saucers.  Melissa, Emma, and Eliza will then ride back to Eville with us.

We’ve made a first draft of plans for Camp Sonnystone 2018, coming up July 9-14 with closing ceremonies the 15th.  There are going to be some exciting new additions to our usual Fun.  You will definitely want to stay tuned…in fact, you might want to come and visit!

Uh-oh, just saw the dust again…gotta get outside…