diary illos,  travel

Sketchbook Catch-up the Vacation Edition


Not too much to say here… Just the usual getting ready for a trip which is tricky when you are a freelancer and don’t really have a vacation schedule. Bug was very excited. The excitement wore off about three hours into our trip. I packed Where’s Waldo books, movies, coloring books and snacks but nothing really fought off the awfulness that is being trapped in a 5-point harness car-seat. I think we’re going to have to move her up to the booster seat soon even though she only weighs 31 pounds. Poor kid is a small fry. She’s probably going to technically still fit a car seat when she’s in high school.

Also, the lake felt wonderful. We went swimming with Bug’s older cousins the first day. It was a blast. They showed Bug how to cannonball off the dock but she never quite got it.


The next day Toby’s other brother and sister-in-law came up and showed us how real rednecks party. It was pretty fun and crazy which sort of made me feel like I was at Lake Havasu, which I’ve never been to. It also made me feel like I was in high school again which was sort of weird with a four-year-old in tow but she thought it was pretty fun.

Sunday Bug and I woke up early and explored the woods while everyone else slept. I taught her how to shoot the dinglebop things off the top of weeds. My sketch is the best way I can describe that. Later we attempted to go out to the Red Neck Yacht Club again but Bug got stung by a hornet on the dock and that pretty much ruined that. She was pretty tough though.

That evening her brave Uncle Anthony busted up the dock and attempted to drown the hornets’ nest with a big stick but they kept coming back.


The next day Toby was on a mission. He bought about five cans of some sort of bug poison, dressed up in the thickest sweatshirt he could find (which happened to be something black with hearts on it that his sister-in-law had left behind) and sprayed them one by one until he killed most of them, or at least what he thought was most of them.


But the hornets came back. So Toby spent another three hours swatting them with a broom. That eventually pissed them off enough to make them seek shelter elsewhere I guess because we were able to use the dock after that with very little hornet dive-bombing.

I also caught three fish right in a row. That was pretty cool.

And the bugs… oh the bugs. We discovered dozens of new species every day.


Everyday we swam and hung out by the lake. There wasn’t much else to do. It was lovely.


I ran out of sugar so I used maple syrup in my coffee. It’s not that great.

On Friday we had a visitor. He creeped us out by driving up the driveway, getting out and looking at something, then getting back in his truck without saying hi, and driving away. He didn’t even look at us. Then ten minutes later we heard a bunch of gunshots and I thought for sure he was out to murder us. But it turned out he was just an inspector guy that the family was expecting. Silly us. We never did figure out what the gunshots were from.

I DID swim all the way across the lake at one point. I was so proud of myself. I’d seen a 72-year-old woman do it the day before so I knew I could but when I was halfway there the wind picked up and Toby got nervous. Apparently I’m a strong swimmer because it was no big deal. I could do that everyday if I had the chance.


That’s pretty much it. Just swimming and boating and more swimming and more boating and drinking and eating and more drinking and being a mother while everyone else is drinking way too much. You know how that goes. It was fun though. I think it was good for all of us.


  • bethany

    Welcome back! Hope the mail pile is diminishing. We go camping next weekend with my fam, and alas there will be no beer, but it will still involve lakes and fishing and much swimming with cousins, which is utterly delightful. Your illos remind me to make the boys take sketchbooks and write/draw something every day. My mom made me do that once at a summer lake vacation, and the pics I drew at age 6 bring back the most intense memories! Missed you :).

  • The (Other) Bug

    I love to shoot the heads off of those grass things! It was one of my favorite things to do as a kid. Other friends would make some sort of tiara thing out of theirs, but I would shoot them!

  • Melissa

    Poor Bug! Sorry to hear she got stung by a hornet but it still sounds like it was a well-deserved relaxing vacay.

  • bethany actually

    We just realized that all those wasps/hornets/whatevers that have been hovering around our deck all summer DO have nests in our deck railing! We looked and looked and couldn’t find any, but then the other day Troy just found a couple. :-\ No stings…yet!

  • Becca

    I love the battle of the hornets (or wasps), just classic that so many hours were devoted to fighting the evil flying insects. Just love it. We’ve had a very mild summer and I’m attributing that to the very small amount of sightings of bees/hornets/wasps.

    Also, was the spider good? It is the thing about camping, you will get some sorta bug in your food – just look the other way and don’t tell the kids. On our camping trip last week a moth decided the chicken I was BBQing was a good place to land and while I did pick him off after he expired I’m sure there were some moth legs left over. Also, the morning knats love coffee – ignore and chug.

    Yay for swimming and sunbathing.

  • Kuky

    I’ve never shot a weed thing before. Never even heard of it before. And Isabelle got stung by a bee recently. Well I think it was recent. Crap memory. It’s in my sketchbook but too dark to check right now. And she totally worries about it way too much now.

  • OMSH

    Just spent some time going through your lake photos and it looks like a great time. Seeing all the time Bug is spending with a pen/crayon/paint brush in hand makes me excited to see her own style of art as she gets older.

    And as always, I LOVE your sketches!

  • Uncle George

    Hey everyone…You have no idea how tough that little four-year-old girl is. She got stung and within 30 minutes was the same old Bug, when even one of the adults who got stung too was still complaining. She’s a trouper.

    Yeah, B, I wasn’t really into the “Havasu” thing either, but it was fun to be with everyone. Three fish!!! Booyah! Nice going. I wish you guys could come back so Toby and Bug and I could go out and fish together.


  • BeachMama

    Your sketches are fabulous! I feel like I was there with you even though they were just snapshots of time. Sounds like the perfect vacation. Long drives are worth it to hang out together and have no work commitments.