2003 Women's Weekend

Annual Family Women's Retreat

(No children, no men!)

Labor Day Weekend was our annual family "Women's Weekend" at the Stork's Nest. "Rain" was the operative word all weekend... however, we managed to stay dry.

We have a large 14x16 screen dining tent with plenty of room for a table and benches and some comfortable camping chairs. 

This is my neice, Kathy with her lab, Rock, and my daughters, Heather, Rene' and Stephanie

Inside, we could eat and play cards or games....it even has a light hanging from the center, over the table.

(Left to Right) My daughter, Stephanie, my niece, Kathy, and my daughters, Heather and Rene'.

My sons, Rick and Matthew...and Rick's fiancee, Melissa had hung a large tarp over the dining tent...twice...and both times it blew down when the wind tore the ropes out of the grommets.

The second time it was hung by Fred and a neighbor and past home birth client, Keith.

But when we arrived Friday night and the tarp was again down, the women put their minds to the task and came up with another solution.

We tied a polypropolene rope to one of the trees and then strung the rope through the corner grommet of the tarp. Then we tied a knot in the rope so the tarp would not slide back and forth on the rope.

Then we wove the rope up and down through all the grommets along that side...tying another knot just before the last gromment so the tarp would not slide toward the middle. and then strung it through the other corner grommet and tied the rope to another tree...this way the pressure is on the ROPE...not the tarp.

This worked famously! We did a lot of back-patting for how clever we were!

The tarp extends out over both the front and the back of the dining tent, forming a "porch" of sorts...so we could sit out on the porch and watch the rain.

Notice on the left a gas grill and another tarp (silver)....that is our "kitchen"...

...with a work space (countertop) and all the cooking utensils and pots and pans, etc. conveniently hanging above it. We tied long strings to the edges of this silver tarp and ran the strings up and over the rope we had strung between the trees for the tarp over the dining tent. Then when we pulled the strings it pulled the tarp over the kitchen up to the tarp over the dining tent! This allowed us to walk freely between the dining tent and the kitchen and even cook using the gas grill...rain or shine! 

The first time we lit the gas grill, a mouse jumped out! The momma mouse had made a nest in the grill and had recently given birth to four babies. We quickly turned the grill off and put the babies in a tin cup. The momma kept coming back to the cup, as we held it close to the ground. (She was not a bit afraid of us--or highly motivated). She would stuff one of her babies in her mouth and deposit it in a new home in the rocks around the fire ring...returning to the cup to get another one!

Notice the ground is covered with mulch, so it never even got muddy -- in spite of a deluge of rain.

In the brief moments of no rain, we were even able to build a nice fire in the fire ring!

Rock, Kathy's Lab, insisted on being in the picture! Gee, I miss my Emma!

We had planned to go canoeing on Sunday, but the rivers were all too high so they would not let anyone go out :-(

Not easily discouraged...we went horseback riding instead! (It was not raining while we were riding) 

All in all, despite the rain, we had a wonderful time!

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