Sunday, February 22, 2009

This is worse than I thought.

How incredibly embarrassing. I haven't written since August!!! I would like to say that I have been too busy, but alas, I have had my down time and my free weekends. I suppose the real reason is that I am too absentminded. I'll have to work on that.
Anyway, though I can't remember what's happened since September, I can remember what has happened in the past few months. In December much of the Wiley clan gathered in New York for a fabulous Christmas, involving a lot of champagne thanks to Jess and a lot of cookies thanks to everybody. There were some pretty neat-o gifts and some far-out food that kept me stuffed for weeks. (Mom's been showing us all 5 seasons of the Brady Bunch- I've added a few words to my vocabulary.) PLUS I got a new camera! And that resulted in a trunkload of pictures, which I couldn't possibly put all on this website. Therefore I have come up with a pictures-only website on, just for all the great pictures. I'll still write on this, but I won't put very many pictures on. HERE is the link. (In case that doesn't work, the address is
More recently we had another get-together for Presidents' Day Weekend- and we all (meaning we, the eastern folks) got to meet Ava!!! It was such fun. I almost packed her in my duffel bag and brought her home. But I figured our house might not be suitable for an infant yet. But we have stairs to the attic now! Anyway. I think the weekend was a blast- everyone played with Ava, the girls and smallish guys got muddy and visited the dog next door, and three people received massages. And I learned to count to 100 in German. Unfortunately, no one wants to hear me complete the feat. The last time I tried it took me half an hour. But other than that, everyone was pretty happy. PLUS we celebrated Pete and Ben's birthdays, and Jenny made a three layer cake that fell apart a little bit and was made into a "swampy" moose cake, which was Ben's request. It was quite good if I must say so myself.
And Ben, being the spoilt little boy that he is, had ANOTHER birthday party on his actual birthday, and SOMEONE made him a fabulous alligator out of cupcakes and he got to watch Nanny McPhee. (The someone who made the cake was me. I am very proud of it. It took hours of frosting piping and 12 whole jelly beans. Plus 4 marshmallows. There are pictures on the picture website).
Well, since my elbows hurt from Wii boxing right now (my friends and I had a sleepover the other night- I beat the glue out of the little animated boxing opponents), I'll take a little break from this. But I'll be back soon with more stuff- I just have to wait for the next get-together of Wiley family members. By the way, I'm thinking that someone on the westerly side of the continent ought to be updating me about what's happening over in no-man's land (ahem, Grandma Barbara... I know you have time to send people pictures of sewing machine cakes... =]
TTFN- ta ta for now!

OH YES. p.s.- most of you know about my exchange program that I will be going on next year- well I got a $1500 scholarship from AFS, and one of the acceptance rules was that I had to keep a blog about my experience. So here is the link, just in case you want to peek at it.
Ciao mi familia!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Event 2: Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

Okay at this point I can't really think very well about what happened between April and July. We all went to school and work and got a $50,000 grant to make a movie (WOW ZEB!!!!). So MOST of us led normalish lives. (Except for the whole house-is-a-dusty-shell part, and the baby news over in the Ganci residence-yay!, and all that other exciting new that I heard about and now forget). So let's just skip ahead to July where all the cool stuff happens. I missed most of the month, because I went to camp for 3 weeks to become a leader-in-training and all... but then I came home and immediately repacked my bags for the infamous Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. I even invited the friend with whom I'd become a leader-in-training, Abby, to come with us. What an exciting year to come. We usually leave on Wednesday evening to go to Hillsdale, NY to get our campsite set up, even though the music doesn't start until Thursday afternoon. However, it was raining so hard that we simply stayed put (this is the first time I've ever gone on Thursday!) and ate pizza at my house. Abby and Betsy (our adopted family member; Jenny's boss) slept over at my house, and the Youngs actually drove up to Hillsdale and stayed in a motel. We ended up driving up Thursday morning, we lost a hula-hoop out of the back of the truck on the way up (oh well) and it rained the whole darn time, but we finally arrived at the farm, where the roads were so muddy that no one was allowed to drive on them. Guess what? That means we couldn't drive up to the campsite and unload directly there. That means we had to carry all of our stuff up the very tall and slippery hill and across a large field to our campsite. Well, that didn't really appeal to anyone, so we carried only our tents up to begin with, and Betsy immediately decided she would set up her tent and spend the night there no matter what anyone else did. My family (mainly meaning my mother) (wow, alliteration!) was leaning heavily towards the "spend-the-whole-time-in-a-hotel" route. Well that totally ruins the whole Falcon Ridge attitude. So the Youngs showed up and we said "Oh, well we might as well set up our tents.... Oh well now that our tents are up we might as well set up the carport.... Oh, well now that the carport's set up we might as well bring up the grill..." and ended up bringing everything up. It took well over 10 trips up and down the hill with all our stuff. and guess what Abby and I got to carry? The heaviest pile of carport poles, since Mom and Betsy had the really light pile and claimed that since they were old ladies, they couldn't carry the heavy ones. Needless to say, it took us a loooong time to get back to our site. And both Abby and I ended up with bruises on our hips and shoulders from carrying this massive stack of poles. (Empathy is highly appreciated, folks). In the end, I think, it ended up being worth the bruises, though. We heard some pretty fantastic music (Crooked Still, Eddie from Ohio, Jason Spooner Trio, the Farewell Drifters, Red Molly, The Strangelings, Anthony DaCosta, The Nields, and Tracy Grammer, to name a few), and it was sunny and warm for a few hours. Unfortunately, on Sunday, the storm of the century came beating through. It was around noon, I think, since most people were grabbing a bite to eat before heading over to see Red Molly and the Farewell Drifters in a great-sounding performance at the workshop stage. Our gang was all split up in various places, which I'm not recalling all of. Abby and I were getting ice cream after our lunch when the sky suddenly turned about five shades darker and we began to hear thunder. Within about 30 seconds, it was downpouring. Well, Abby and I thought we'd just wait it out in one of the clothing vendor's tents. Well, that didn't work so well- the storm went on for at least twenty minutes, and not only was it pouring, it was incredibly windy, there was massive thunder and lightning, and golf-ball sized hail ( (<- That's a crazy video of the hailstorm). To make it worse, Abby didn't have a raincoat, and she had just gotten henna on her collarbone, so I let her borrow my raincoat, since I didn't mind getting a little wet. Okay, I got soaked, even though I only ran like ten feet into a tent with a folding chair over my head. Once it was just drizzling and it wasn't thundering so much anymore, we stepped outside the clothing vendor's tent, to see that almost all the vendor's tents were either collapsed or being put away by the vendors. The music was closed down early, and so several artists came without being able to play at all. It was a big bummer. We checked both the workshop stage (which was deserted), and the merchandise tent, where Jenny had said she might be (where the people inside told us to get out immediately because it might collapse- this is a HUGE tent, by the way). Then we headed up to the campsite where we were ushered in to the car of Ken (of Ken and Julia, friends of the Landry's, who were attending their second Falcon Ridge). In about forty-five minutes, we'd changed into dry clothes and were allowed to get out of the car and hear everyone else's stories. Julia (this is my favorite story by far) got caught by herself in the midst of the craziness after having just grabbed a crepe from a vendor called "The Skinny Pancake" (because they sell skinny pancakes). So she ran back to the skinny pancake and asked if she could camp out in their minibus to wait out the storm. They were all very nice and let her stay with them, and then they found a box of old "skinny pancake" company t-shirts. They were all wearing wet clothes, so they all changed their shirts into one of the skinny pancake shirts. So Julia, even though she was wearing a brand-new Falcon Ridge shirt, traded it for a dry one, which they let her keep. So she made some new friends, stayed in a safe, dry spot, and got a t-shirt out of the deal! How cool is that? All the other stories were kind of bland compared to that in my opinion, they all just ran back up to the campsite and hid in the car. Booooooring. Plus, Jenny had been shopping in the Merchandise tent buying cds, and had about 5 cds in her hand when the storm started up, and she had most of the kids, so she was running out with them to the campsite, when she realized she hadn't bought the cds yet. So she SET THEM DOWN!!!! Afterwards, she said to me, "I probably could have just taken them and emailed the director later and apologize for the craziness and ask how I could get the money to the artists", and I said "YES MOTHER WHY DIDN'T YOU THINK OF THAT THEN????" because we ended up with no new music at all. : ( But I probably would have done the same thing if I were her... I don't think we have the quick thinking gene... sigh. Luckily, Abby and I rode back home in Betsy's car, and Betsy had gotten some cds. So we got lucky.

So that was Falcon Ridge. It was exciting. It was fabulous. It was really, really, rainy. But it was still fun.

Busy Bee.

Okay guys. I could come up with five gajillion reasons why I haven't written since last year. Reasons like, I'm fifteen, so I get up at noon and go to bed at midnight, and do mostly nothing in between (Oooh, it's going to hurt when school starts.) Or reasons like I'm going into sophomore year with a darn heavy workload, including an A.P. European History class. So I'm spending all my spare time studying (ha, ha). Or reasons like our house is under massive construction and we live in a giant dusty shell. Our fridge is in the living room and my entire room is packed up for the next five months and we only have power half the time anyway, what with all the jackhammering and chainsawing and all. But I'm sure you're all not very sympathetic at all and are thinking at this very moment "oh, she's just too self-absorbed, if I were writing this blog I would write in it once a week, without fail". I really do apologize for the many-month span between entries, and I promise not to make any more false promises. (That was not a false promise.) Really. All I'm promising to do is write in the blog. I will do it. I'm just not going to promise how often. But hey, before this, you were getting nothing, right? And this is better than nothing.

But now I must tell you about the goings-on of the last six (seven? eight? nine?) months. Actually I'm just going to start in April because that's as far back as my memory spans. All descendants of Barb and Richard (including the pair themselves) traveled to the single corner of the country where nobody in our family lives: the good humid southeast. Actually, Barbara's friend Dean showed up for a few days as well, lugging his crystal ball with him in his little red convertible. We all spent a fabulous April vacation "celebrating Barbara's 60th birthday" on Sanibel Island, Florida (really, we just enjoyed the beach, but we gave her presents to make her feel better.) There were A LOT of pictures of birds. And A LOT of shells (credit to Olivia, who repeatedly got up at ungodly hours in the morning to go shell hunting).

Check out those pictures, though. Can you say goooooooor-geous? The baby alligator was in the pond right outside the place we were staying. It was crazy. And we went on this cruise where we saw the dolphins, they jumped alongside our boat for a good half hour! It made me want to be a dolphin. Also on the cruise I got a free Sprite for knowing the chemical formula for photosynthesis. Not to brag or anything. See the picture of the beach where the moon is up? That was our first night on Sanibel Island (actually, it was just Zeb and the Landrys, the rest of the clan had yet to arrive), and it was beautiful out with a full moon and everything, and the water was incredibly warm, so we played frisbee into the beach by moonlight. It was awesome.

Okay, I'm going to continue with our next event in a new post, because otherwise all the pictures would get mixed up and you all would be very confused. So I'm trying to save your confusedness. Here goes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Georiga's 6th Birthday!!!!!

Our little Georgia is growing up- she is six years old now! At her Halloween-themed birthday party, she recieved a very exciting present- the American Girl doll named Kit. Now all three girls (actually, four if you count me) have American Girl dolls to play with! Olivia and Sage were pretty excited about Kit too, because who wouldn't love a new playmate for their dolls? After our dinner of giant slices of pizza from the PIzza Shark, Georgia was also pretty excited about the cake Jenny's family provided; instead of the classic homemade cake, Jen took the store-bought route and bought a Carvel's ice cream cake in the shape of a pumpkin with bright orange frosting. It was deliciouso!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Crew! and high school.

Hey guys! So now we have all begun the new school year, except for those lucky few who don't have to worry about school anymore. This year I began high school, and the one thing I have to say is that it is HUGE. And SO much better than middle school! (But don't tell Olivia, because that's where she's headed next year!) This semester I'm taking writing, history, Latin, and honors geometry. I love all my classes except geometry- we have a t'ai-chi obsessed philosophical teacher who ought to be teaching at university level. I find it extraordinarily hard to understand even half of what he is talking about because he goes off on ramblings about the history of the lunch bell or his typing program he has at his house. This year, I also started crew, which is very hard but pretty fun. I get killer blisters on both my hands and feet and bruises on my shoulders (from carrying the boats). However, I also get to go outside and row every day, and I made a lot of friends from other classes through crew already. At regattas, we got 6th out of 13 as our best placing, but one of our other boats got 3rd and our women's varsity eight got a gold and a silver. PICTURE TIME!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jess's Lake House

As if we hadn't had enough lake during the week at Mimi's, Jess kindly invited us to stay at her lake house, stopping at Katie's for a Woodstock Fair night. Katie, Zac, the Landrys, the Youngs, and Pete all got together for a lovely day and a half of waterskiing (well, only John and Dennis were able to get up and stay up, but the rest of us tried) and tubing.

Mimi's Lake House

Once again, the Landry family traveled a whole twenty minutes with a carload of gear to spend a week at Meredith's lake house. For those of you who don't know, or simply can't remember, Mimi is Jenny's friend from college who we see periodically and spend a week at her lake house every summer. This year, the Youngs joined us for a day as well!