April 2009
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Paisley inputting her own orders at the plumbing supply house, I guess we are getting the pink princess toilet.

Maria at Arron's.


Opening at the Hunterdon

Fundraiser for Acorn







At Jesse and Julie's wedding in Georgia.




On the beach for the ceremony.


Back in St Augustine.


Jesse giving us a tour of his town.


Here is Sue's account of the weekend:

So, this past weekend, we headed to GA for a friend’s wedding at the Hostel in the Forest (www.foresthostel.com). Yup, looks totally cool; very hippie-dippie; all of that.  Do you have to even ask yourself if I’m a camping kinda girl?  No, didn’t think so.  Still, I was up for it and was excited by the thought of something so different.  Camping but not camping.  The first hurdle is the flight b/c I am NOT a good flier.  I like the earth – it’s been very good to me.  Steve picked up new “nerve tonic” pills at the health food store and I’m hopeful that they’ll actually work as the first ones didn’t really nor did the Zanex (tac?) nor the Adavan…I get through the 105 minutes in the air (my psychic friend, Jeff, has repeatedly told me that neither I, nor anyone I know, will ever die in a plane crash.  His Guys won’t discuss losing limbs though or anything like that) w/o shaking or crying so yippity-doo-dah, we’re on our way.  My manager had already warned me that his daughter was in GA last weekend and the mosquitoes were bad.  Bad?  I scoff.  Hideously, horror movie-ish?  That’s more like.  We find the hostel – which the supermarket cashier had never heard of though it’s 1 mile up the road – travel the pitted, car-bottoming-out dirt road and pull into the parking area.  Ahead of us, someone else had just pulled in and had gotten out.  They proceeded to do the “Holy God Get Them Off Me!” dance.  We watched this parody of a white man on the dance floor craziness as the mosquitoes swarm the car.  Yup, swarm.  “Fresh blood!  Fresh blood!” they were all ecstatically humming.  OK, we get out of the car and haul our stuff to the main geodesic building (definitely check the web site) and the folks working there are very apologetic of the critters and are very nice and walk around with scarves over their heads and faces.  They DON’T believe in bug repellent; we do though we’re not supposed to let them see it.  We’re shown around and taken to the “Screen Hut” which will be our abode for two nights. 

 Now, I’d looked over the web site but, admittedly, hadn’t thought this whole thing through.  Our hut is not an actual treehouse like the others but an entirely screened in closet (no opaque walls – all screen except for the roof) on a raised, 4.5’ platform.  There’s a bedstead w/ a queen (?) sized mattress on it.  We’d been given seemingly clean bedding and pillows.  OK.  But then I saw the mattress.  Stained.  Obviously well used.  Ahem…And, remember I said the hut’s all screen?  Yeah, so how does the mattress stay dry during rain storms?  One begins to ponder these things quite seriously…OK, I’d agreed to stay here and I’ll stick it out.  Oh yeah, I told Steve I’ll now stay ONE night and we’ll discuss accommodations for the following night. 

 We spray up and put on our bathing suits to hit the lake.  Now, that was really pretty nice and the killers didn’t bother us while on the water.  Of course, they waited for us on shore.  Oooo, clean, fresh blood now. 

 Cutting a loooong story short, the groom, our friend Jesse, offered his home in St. Augustine , FL for the following night and we gratefully accepted.  The wedding itself was held on the beach b/c of the killers but we headed back to the hostel for the reception.  Dinner was in a screened in dining hall so that was fine.  We’d been told the bloodsuckers went away when the sun went down.  We was lied to.  Absolutely untrue.  Do not believe someone when they say an insect’s behavior will improve; it’s patently untrue.  Expect the worst and be prepared.  [Insert: Vincent Price laugh from Thriller] 

 Paisley and I go to sleep around 8:30pm as we’d been up since 4 something am.  Steve stayed for the fun.  At least, it sounded like fun b/c I could hear the karaoke going for hours – along with the constant hum of the vampires.  Steve came back and I really had to pee.  Well, I’d forgotten to spray my bottom the last time and I went out into that dark night, pointing the flashlight in the opposite direction of my natural potty (oh, yeah, compostable toilets for poops and the great outdoors for peeps).  My bottom was like a beacon for the blind.  So not pleasant I can’t even fully describe.  I had a breakdown at that point and just started crying, “I hate this!  I hate this!  I’m n-n-n-n-never going camping again!!!”  Sigh.

 The next morning I packed asap and we left for St. Augustine as soon as humanly possible.  The bites were so bad we had to give Paisley Zyrtec – and are still giving it to her.  Her face was swollen and she’s got such welts.  People at the library yesterday asked if she had smallpox.  BTW, we’re never going back.  I realize that this all happened b/c of the rain storms a couple weeks ago, standing water, laying of eggs, yada, yada, yada.  Whatever.  I know my limits and I totally went beyond them.  Idiot.

 I’m hoping you’re laughing b/c it really is all quite amusing - now.  (I’m a much better story teller in print than live.)  Things improved greatly upon our departure.  We killed the vamps that were in our car and got the heck outta Dodge.  Rather than staying at Jesse’s the next night though we went to a hotel and had a wonderful time.  Hot tub, pool, ocean, clean bedding (!), toilets (!), showers (!) – and I did take an outdoor shower at the hostel – how’s that for brave?  Or something at any rate.