We just got back Friday from our 3-day hunting and camping trip to our family's cabin in "Woody Woods." (Inherited from Great Uncle Woody.) We had so much fun! I have always loved being outdoors. I love camping, hiking, boating, pretty much anything that gets me outside and in the fresh air. You can't beat Woody Woods because it is in East Texas near the town of Crockett and it is part of the Davy Crockett National Forest. The best part is that our cabin (that Ben and my uncle Dwight built) is air conditioned! We bring a generator out and have a window unit. This is absolutely necessary if you plan to camp out in mid-July in TEXAS!! Even with the window unit, the cabin reached almost 80 degrees during the heat of the day.
Ben always says he feels recharged after a trip to the Woods and I'm inclined to agree. When he was hunting in the evening and I had already put Jackson down for the night in the cabin, I'd sit out on the deck and enjoy the cool night air and listen to the night sounds of the woods, so peaceful! You can't really see the stars through the huge forest of pine trees, but when it gets completely dark, I could see the golden yellow ball of the almost full moon. The smell of the pine trees is intoxicating and there is no more relaxing sound than the breeze rustling through the trees.
I will be grateful when Ben and Dwight finish the bathroom of our cabin though. I just don't think a person can be more vulnerable than in the squatting position at the unfortunate pitch-black hour of 3 am, bare bum exposed for some animal or insect to attack, frantically trying to get the task completed before peeing on your feet. Thank goodness for baby wipes. Whoever invented them is a genius for many reasons, in my opinion! I guess I'll learn my lesson next time and not wear flip flops! I am always prepared for the fashion police to come and arrest me for not matching. It is one of my compulsions, I am afraid. ;)
Ben shot a pig this trip, so of course he was elated! But that gave me the gloriously disgusting job of helping him skin it, since we made the trip just the two of us (and Jackson). I am proud that Ben is such a great hunter, and I guess if he can provide for our family by shooting an animal, the least I can do is learn how to prepare it. We got two backstraps and 4 hams off that pig. We came home and Ben immediately cut one of the backstraps up into pork chops. We breaded them and had them last night with mashed potatoes and corn. What a yummy meal! Tomorrow we will have the traditional pig barbeque out at Sara and Dwight's with one of the hams. A fun family gathering and congratulatory celebration for the shooter (Plus a chance for the shooter to tell his pig shooting story for a large captive audience.), which is sometimes Dwight, sometimes Ben!
Jackson and I had a lot of quality one-on-one time while Daddy was out hunting, which resulted in Jackson learning a new trick: clapping. Jack thinks it is a fun game to drop his bites on the floor and watch Lady eagerly gobble them up. My discouraging no-no's and frowns are not working, so we tried a new approach. Every time Jackson puts a bite in his mouth, I clap and say "Yeah!" The cutest thing is that now EVERY time Jack eats a bite, he claps and says his version of "Yeah!" and he fusses at me if I don't join him. He seems to be saying, "Mom, what is the deal? You made up this game! You are supposed to be excited here!"
Jackson has also started playing along when we practice animal sounds now. I will ask him what sound an animal makes, and then make the sound myself, then he will try to repeat the sound I made. My favorite is the duck "quack." He can't quite figure out how I make the "kw" sound, so he says, "Pap, pap, pap." Also, the monkey's "ooo-ooo-ooo" sound is very similar to the sound Forrest Gump hears when his mother is upstairs with the school master.
Cute little Jack story: As you now, Ben always doubts the obvious gifts our son has, and has not believed my story about Jackson touching my nose when I ask him "Where's mommy's nose?" As usual, Jackson will display his talent for me and very few other people, so Ben hadn't seen it with his own two eyes and kept proclaiming it a coincidence. However, on our camping trip, I was holding Jack and Ben was standing in front of us, and Ben asked Jackson, "Where's Daddy's nose?" Jackson looked very carefully at him, then turned to me, and slowly stretched out his little pointer finger and touched MOMMY'S nose! We laughed and laughed!