The chronicles and ramblings of a stay-at-home father raising his three beautiful girls, Anya Rose, Caitlin Rose and Reegan Rose.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

GEM Fest Weekend

Every year in the third weekend of July, a small miracle transcends the quite town of Grey Eagle, MN; GEM Fest.  While some contend that GEM Fest is named after an acronym for the city and the state, I argue that it is named after the GEM of a small town that it is. 

I brought the girls up to the farm on Friday night.  Kayidance (the girls' cousin) was up at the farm from Friday afternoon until Saturday after lunch and I wanted Anya to get as much time with her as possible.  With Alicia in Vegas for the weekend, it was great to get the extra help from Grandpa and Grandma. GEM Fest activities include a volleyball tournament, a softball tournament, a tractor pull, an ice cream social, a parade and a free petting zoo.  Grandma agreed to watch the girls so Carrie, Aaron, and I could dominate the volleyball tourney.  We came in second and scored us $10 in prize money.  In the evening Hairball, a 1980s-90s hard rock cover band, performed on the small field next to downtown.  After I put the girls to bed, I went out with some of the Pohlmann's to take in the cultural event.  For a town of 285, Grey Eagle sure did draw in a good crowd for the rowdy band.  Almost 4000 fans were in attendance for the flamboyant performance.  The evening was a night of high energy rock music, testosterone fueled fights, and raging alcoholism.  Being sober, I felt like a black person in the state of North Dakota; I was all alone.  I think the city made more money off of the beer sales in one night than they do in property taxes for the year.  After a few hours I had had enough and made my way back to the car.  Just outside of the concert there was a man holding 4 empty beer pitchers wobbling down the middle of the street.  A police officer stopped the man and asked him to get out of the road.
Officer - "Where are you heading sir?"
Drunk Man - "I parked my car a few blocks away."

The next morning the girls and I went to the parade.  After gathering a full milk bucket full of candy, we visited the petting zoo and called it a day.  Grandma rode with us on the way home and noticed Anya was sitting very low in her car seat. 
Grandma - "Anya you should sit up, the buckle isn't going help."
Anya - "But it's comfortable."
Grandma - "If the police pull us over, they are going to yell at you for not sitting up."
Anya - "No they won't, they'll yell at daddy for not taking good care of us."
Bev and I couldn't help but laugh.

As usual we had a great time at the farm.  Aside from Caitlin 'helping' out Grandpa and Grandma in the barn and stepping squarely in a large pile of cow shit in her cute pink sandals and Reegan not wanting to go to bed until 11:00pm, the weekend was a success.  The girls sure do love their Grandparents.

Tip of the Day - If GEM Fest sounds like fun, go 'online' to the 'internet' with your 'computer' and go to a 'website' called 'Facebook' and 'like' GEM Fest. I know I know, it sounds like something out of Star Trek, but if it helps you remember to attend this amazing festival, it will be worth your while.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Week at the Lake

It’s that time of the year again; warm temperatures, sunny days, and spending time up at the lake.  I had always thought of our cabin as an oasis from the hustle and bustle of everyday life; a chance to get off the grid and enjoy the peace and serenity nature has to offer.  But the cabin takes on a whole new form when you load that 20x20 structure with my three Roses.  It makes for the most stressful days of relaxation a guy can handle.

On Saturday, my parents went to pick up my nephew Jack from Evansville, WI.  They had planned on bringing him up to the lake on Sunday, but my girls wouldn’t hear of it; if Jack was going up, so were they!  Anya and Caitlin rode with my parents and I brought Reegan up Monday morning.  The ride up there was awesome!  As much as I hate diapers, they’re pretty fricken sweet when I can drive three straight hours without having to listen to, “Daddy I have to go potty…Daddy, I’m prairie doggin it, Hurry!...Daddy I just wet my pants again, can we please pull over?”  Not now damnit, I’m making great time!

As much as I wanted to take it easy, the Roses are just a tad too young to be able to create their own fun in the great north woods.  They love fishing, swimming, and frog catching, but are unable to do so without direct supervision.

Yesterday morning I brought Anya, Caitlin and Jack down to the dock to go sunny fishing.  We had a dozen night crawlers and three little fishing rods, the perfect recipe for disaster… Have you ever seen that guy at the circus who attempts to spin glass plates on long those pool cue things?  That guy’s got nothing on me.  I was worming hooks, taking off fish, breaking up fights, pulling rods out of the water and trying to keep Caitlin from hooking EVERYBODY.  We caught about a dozen monsters they started tangling lines faster than I could fix.  At least they had fun, right?

Later in the day we went swimming.  We were all playing in the water for a good hour before it was time for supper.  I was taking turns throwing Anya and Jack in the air while Caitlin made mud pies on the shore.  When we went up for dinner, Anya ran into the bedroom to get changed.  A minute later Anya yells to me, “Dad check this out! Look at this silly worm!”  But it was no worm ladies and gentlemen, it was a leach.  And yes, it was where you think it was.  She plucked the ‘silly’ thing off with a smile on her face.  “You know, that slimy worm must have slid right inside my swimming suit.  What a crazy worm?!?!” After mom stepped in and helped dress the wound, Anya went to every person in the cabin and explained the situation, “Nana, I just had a silly worm by my privates.  He crawled in right past my swim suit and now I have toilet paper in my underpants to stop it from bleeding!”  “Papa, I just had a silly…”  She wasn’t the least bit scared or concerned that she was excessively bleeding, she just thought it was funny.  That’s my kind of girl.

My week at the lake was cut short as I am heading out to Denver to visit my little sister Kari.  Aside from seeing the Avett Brothers at Red Rocks, I’m not too sure what we’re going to do.  One thing is for sure, I will be enjoying the hell out of my time sans kids.

Tip of the Day: If you happen to be a frog in the clutches of my 4-year-old’s hands, don’t make the fatal mistake of trying to get away.  Did you know they sound like bubble wrap when popped? You learn something new everyday.