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Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Congaree is the last of the 7 National Parks in South Carolina that Lon needed to visit.  Today was finally the day!
The Park is about 2 hours from the house.

Wiki Bit: Congaree National Park, in central South Carolina, is a 26,276-acre (41.06 sq mi; 10,633.52 ha; 106.34 km2) United States national park. It received its official designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign launched in 1969. The park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. The lush trees growing in its floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the Eastern United States, forming one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world. The Congaree River flows through the park. About 57 percent (15,000 acres or 61 square kilometers) of the park is designated wilderness area.

Working on his Jr. Ranger Badge at the Harry Hampton Ranger Station.  We thought it might rain so we went out to the boardwalk to get that part done.  
It was about 88 degrees, overcast and cool.  A very nice time to walk the boardwalk

This is one spectacular mushroom

Checking out a spider web.

We ran into a very nice lady, she wanted to take Lon's photo when he was all kitted out with all his badges.  We said okay. She was taking 79 4th graders from Sumter to Congaree for the first time.  She said most of them had never heard of Congaree or had ever been to any national park!
She wrote a grant to get more kids into the park.  All those kids got Jr. Ranger Badges today.  They were thrilled!  The news article is in the Sumter Item. But you have to be a subscriber to read it.
On the boardwalk. There was one section that was in need of repair, so we did not do the entire loop.

Deer! We really saw a deer!  How cool is that?

And a cardinal!

So pretty, and the bugs were not terrible today

WOW.  That was the most gorgeous dragonfly I have ever seen

One of the items Lon needed to check off was a tree taller than his house. I think this qualifies.

The visitor's center is named after him.

Getting his badge!  

It was the perfect time to go to the swamp.  It was a fun day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Tonight, Thursday, May 25, we went to the Alston Middle School Awards Ceremony.  Lon did not tell us he was getting any awards until Tuesday.   I thought it was something like the A/B honor roll all four quarters. Nope, that is not an award at all.
There are lots of awards up there

Lon's first award was for being the outstanding 6th grade boy in his core elective class. There is one boy and one girl chosen from each core elective by grade.  This is really big.
His core elective is visual arts.  This is the elective path they will keep all through middle school and probably into high school.  Lon chose visual arts because he could learn a lot of different art techniques.  Things like drawing, sculpting, photography, graphic design, etc.

His next two awards were for Robotics, making the team and his third place award for the Reflections competition.

We are very proud of him!


On Friday, May 19th we skipped school and drove up to DC!

Lon got to hang out with this bestest dog buddy.
 The dog just got his wild west theme Bark Box. He was not really into the hat.  Lon liked it.

On Saturday morning we were able to see Lon's amazing cousin's ballet recital.   It was wonderful to see her dance.

Lon's first real concert.  We went to  Jiffy Lube LIVE! in Bristow Virginia to see Jimmy Buffett. Keeping a promise I made to him when I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert, without him in Seattle.
The weather was cool and overcast, but no rain in the forecast.

Yes, Lon's shirt has parrots all over it.

The view from our seats. Nice!

The beach balls were flying!  Lon was having a great time hitting them around the seats.

I had to get him a sweat shirt since he was so cold.

So far so good!

Here we go!

A reminder of where we are!

SO much fun!
Lon was given one of the beach balls.

Lon just barely made it back to the hotel room before he fell asleep.

We had a great time.   Lon and I would love to do it again. !

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sheep Shearing

On May 6th Middleton Place has their annual sheep shearing!  We always enjoy it

My magnificent parking job!  

I did take lots of scenery pictures, but I won't post many of them. I have posted a lot of them before!

He was posing for pictures, but he would not flare out his tail.  

The entire fleece. They try to get it off in one piece.

I think all children look at their mothers like that.

Sheep Shearing as it was done in colonial times. They are using shears!  The sheep were not fighting it too much.

The ladies at the end of the Stable Row were dying with Indigo.
The fire had gone out and they were not sure how to start up another fire.
Lon, the boy scout,  to the rescue!  He gathered kindling, made the log cabin with the bigger pieces of wood.
The fire was restarted, the temperature in the kettle got up to the optimal temperature to dye wool.
A good deed done for the day

We love the goats.  The brown one, we have known him since he was born, and the black one was new to us this trip.

This one never moved from this spot.

I did not get pictures of the cashmere goats I like so much. They were a bit miffed that the sheep were getting almost all the attention.  One of the girls stayed in her shed, the friendlier one did come out when I talked to her.  Petting the cashmere goats is a wonderful thing, our hands are so soft!

Only 4 gators spotted this trip.

The mini rice field is starting to grow.

okay, one beauty shot

The sundial was correct with the time!  Lon was impressed.

It was a fun afternoon at Middleton Place.

If you are wondering if I got out of the parking spot without damaging the car, I did. No scrapes or bruises on the car. Whew!

Dessert Stroll

Downtown Summerville had a new event, like Third Thursday, but with treats!  This was a Friday evening. We walked around downtown looking into the shops and getting a little treat!

Lon liked the cookies

It seemed to be a good turnout. I hope they do it again!


Lon was taking goofy pictures of Pebbles.

She is still small, but growing. and she is great with a blaster!

She is also good at Space Invaders

Pebbles is such a good kitten to put up with all of this goofiness from Lon

Lon's First Ballet

On the 23rd of April, we were invited to go watch one of our friends ballet recital
The first part was a ballet performance by the Classical Ballet Centre.  La Bayadere. It is a Russian Ballet set in India.  It was a VERY shortened version of the ballet.  If you did not know the story before hand, it was hard to follow. I looked it up on my phone at an intermission.  We just decided to enjoy the dancers.
The Sottile Theatre is beautiful!

Reading the program

The best part of the show!

We saw a crepe place across the street from the theater, but they were closed when the performance was over.  We looked up dessert places on the phone.  Kaminsky's was about 1/2 a mile away.  I thought if we were going to get a dessert, we should have a walk too.  And moving the car would be difficult.  It was a nice walk.  Kaminsky's was worth it. The best chocolate cake I have had in Charleston!

I am so glad we got invited to the ballet.   Lon enjoyed himself too.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Easter Sunday!

Happy Easter!

Getting ready to hunt Easter Eggs!

We stuffed them with fun things and chocolates.

I was not sure we were going to have the Easter Egg hunt this year as Lon is getting bigger. I was then informed that no one is too big to hunt for candy stuffed eggs!

Or too little

The kids gathered up the eggs so fast the chocolate did not have time to melt!

A few pictures of the yummies we had!

I missed the green coconut nests you could buy, so I made them. They turned out exactly like I hoped they would!

Scalloped potatoes and homemade kielbasa!

Asparagus and hollandase sauce

The main table of yummies!

we had a lot of food, but there was very little leftover!

The very end of the party. Winding down

It was a very fun day, lots of great people to help us celebrate Easter!