randy finally sent me a text from the train; he didn’t get to meet babs, but he was EIGHT FEET from her, oprah, and robert redford!  i wonder what he was doing there?  i texted randy that he shoulda jumped the stage.  i mean, yeah, he’d have been thrown out, but i’m sure he could have at least shaken babs’ hand or something before being carted off.

the train is too noisy for him to call me, so i have to wait till after nine o’clock.

anyway, you may recall that on friday we were at the down-home wildlife center there at the nathan bedford forrest state park in Tennessee.  and the lady with the southern drawl told us to watch out for turtles racing around…finally kevin spotted one of them.  he was hanging out underneath the aquarium.

and then there was yet another one, also not really moving or doing anything at all.  chillin’ inside.  i sent the photos to jim and he said that they should be out in the forest, which of course is true, but the nice lady might have been suspicious if i’d scooped them up and stuck them in my coat.

on the other hand, she probably wouldn’t have noticed, except that people weren’t exactly pouring into the center, plus she’d told us about the turtles “zooming” around, plus kevin signed the guest book so it would have been pretty easy to trace us.

ok, wait, now i realized i’ve been confused…all that stuff took place on FRIDAY…we got to the park on thursday, late in the day, and set up and decided we weren’t really hungry for dinner, so instead we went to visit jim and nan lieneke; jim is one of the shooters in the 114th, he’s very very good and got many medals, and his wife nan is really sweet and they came in their little RV along with their three dogs.  nan is the most animal-loving person i know and has rescued a staggering amount of really needy dogs.  she’s an incredibly good person.

anyway, their dogs were very cute and i wish i’d taken a picture of them – there were two scotties and a dachsund.  one of the scotties snarled at mollie, so nan kept him on his leash the entire time we were there, but he was very friendly to me.  kevin brought his bottle of whisky to share with jim, and they did a lot of chatting and drinking, and on our way back to our popup, kevin was staggering a little bit, something i don’t think i’ve ever seen him do.

here he is that night, happily munching on leftover pizza we’d brought.

friday morning, kind of cold and drizzly, so we went to the folklife center, and then kevin went off to shoot some individual things he had to shoot.  here are some of the guys also shooting – the guy on the left is bill weedman, and i hope i have a picture of him in his crazy yellow glasses he wears when shooting.  he reminds me of one of “sergeant pepper” or some old rocker.

they’re walking back from setting up their individual targets – jim is on the far left.

they shot and shot, and kevin was one of the last people to shoot on friday – he wanted to get most of his individual stuff then so he didn’t have to do a lot on saturday morning.  that guy on the right is the official guy who makes sure…what does he make sure of?  that they’re doing it all legally.  that nobody blows their fingers off or anything.  i’m not exactly sure what he was doing there.

on thursday we’d made a bread pie, out of two pieces of bread with jam in the middle, and you put it in this…well, this contraption, and you stick it in the fire and grill it for about five minutes on each side, and then you take it out and the bread is all fused together and it’s like a little jam pie, very delicious.  it’s kind of like a thing you use to make pressed sandwiches, the same principle as a waffle iron.

i had the brilliant idea of making grilled cheese sandwiches this way, so we decided we’d have them on friday night along with our freeze-dried spaghetti.  kevin had made a roaring fire, and i put the sandwich together and stuck it down in the coals…it cooked for five minutes, kevin flipped it, but then he waited a little too long to take it out of the fire.

this is the not quite as burned side.

and this is the side that turned to charcoal…

we decided to try another one, and we only put it in the fire for a couple of minutes on each side.  but it was a really really hot fire, and it ended up being burned, but not quite as charred as the first one.  i didn’t want any, but kevin snarfed it all down.

the spaghetti was delicious, by the way.  gerrick told us about a brand of freeze-dried camping food that is MOUNTAIN HOUSE brand; you just add two cups of boiling water to the bag of food and let it sit for 10 minutes and it’s really, really good.  lucikly we didn’t have to survive on burnt grilled-cheese sandwiches.

after dinner mollie was exhausted by the exciting day.

and kevin had brought along a keyboard in order to practice his piano.  yep, it was a very exciting friday night.  we sat around and read harry potter for a long time; kevin is reading it, too, but he hasn’t devoted as much time to it because of the many other things he’s busy with, so he’s only on book two now.  i’m about three pages from the end of book three.

i can’t wait for harry potter to come out!  but really, i know it won’t be as good as the books.  i mean, the movies are fantastic, but there’s just too much left out of them; i know they can’t include everything, but especially the later movies left out huge, huge important things.  i’m glad they’re dividing the last one into two movies, even though millions of things will be left out.

i haven’t been able to figure out why i’ve been so darned happy lately, but i’ve decided it’s party because of the great weather we’ve been having – it gets up into the seventies every day.  it’s all ending on saturday, though, twenty degrees colder, and kevin claims he saw a prediction of SNOW next weekend.

let’s not think about that.

ok then,

mrs. wednesday grace.