Outside my window... we're having such lovely weather right now. I need to clean the cobwebs off the screened porch, so we can start eating out there again.
I am thinking... about Addison. I hope she had a good day at school today.
I am thankful for... my iPhone still being under warranty. It was having problems over the weekend. I took it to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, and they immediately replaced it with a brand new one.
From the kitchen... sloppy joes, bbq chopped salad, creamed corn, and chips.
I am creating... plans for the girls' first track-out in September... some camps, maybe some travel.
I am going... to enjoy having J.C. back in town this week. He was gone much of last week, and it is hard to parent Addison alone, especially with two other kids in tow.
I know I have at least a few readers who check on me when I miss a Simple Woman's Daybook Monday post, so I thought I'd just throw a quick post out here. That way you know I'm alive and kicking... at least for the moment. Right now, all of my energies are going into being the mother of an unhappy kindergartener. I should be a seasoned pro at this. I am not. I am tired. I am defeated. I am weary. I am sad.
According to Addison, she doesn't like math time. She doesn't like that they have to write when they color. Recess is too long. There are too many kids at recess. She doesn't like to fill in words in sentences. Recess is too hot. She can't always hear her teacher's voice at recess. She doesn't like being called Madison. She thinks it is strange to eat in the cafeteria. She misses her old teachers.
As far as I can tell, riding the bus is the only good part of the day. I wonder if I could just pay the bus driver to drive her around all day and give her a tablet loaded with educational videos. Could we call that kindergarten instead?
J.C.: "No. Addie will have to earn her door. She knows that."
Addison: "Yeah. I have to be good to get my door."
There are those moments in parenting where you think, "This is one of those conversations nobody ever tells you about and you can't ever imagine before you have kids." Could I have ever guessed that we would be sitting around talking about my child having to "earn her door"? What does that even mean?
The back story is that a few days ago, Addison was upstairs throwing a fit, slamming her door over and over again. J.C. calmly walked out to the garage and got a hammer. He started walking upstairs. Even though I knew he surely couldn't be going upstairs to beat her over the head with the hammer, I still couldn't help but ask what he was doing. He said, "I'm going to take away her door." He proceeded to take her bedroom door off the hinges, carry it up to the attic, and the door slamming has ceased in our house.
Yes, the kindergarten transition has been challenging. Now our child has no door. Sigh. It will get better, right? Please? Will she earn her door back before she is a brooding tween with earbuds planted firmly in her ears who needs to close the door to her room while she posts shout-outs on Instagram?
This past weekend, Elise's jump rope team had plans to perform at the Cyclo.Via Festival in Boone, NC, so we decided to make a family trip out of it. We drove up Friday afternoon with our friends the M family. Our first stop on arriving in town was the Dan'l Boone Inn which had come highly recommended by several friends. All I can say is... um... YUM... and... YUM again! The restaurant placed third in Southern Living Magazine in the reader's choice awards for country cooking restaurants. I can't even imagine how good the first and second place restaurants must be! If you ever find yourself in Boone, NC, a trip to the Dan'l Boone Inn is a must. I'm already regretting the fact that we didn't go there one morning for breakfast as well.
We had to wait a while for a table, but the gardens outside the restaurant are so lovely, we didn't mind the wait.
Of course, Elise is never without a rope.
It was getting dark as we approached the cabin we had rented. We were rambling along a gravel road, following directions like, "turn right at the little white church, then take a left after the bridge over the creek." We got to the "turn left at the tree with four blue reflectors on it" and started up the hill. Then we got to the part in the directions that said, "gun it!" I hit the gas hard, spun the wheels a bit, but made it all the way up to the cabin. The M family was behind us in their minivan. They gunned it and spun, gunned it and spun, gunned it and spun. They finally gave up and left the van parked halfway down the steep driveway. They had a bit of a hike with the suitcases, but fortunately, the cabin was great.
We put the four girls in a room with two bunk beds. That led to a late night of whispering and giggling before the start of a busy weekend. The show must go on though. The next morning, we got up and headed to Tweetsie Railroad.
Tweetsie Railroad is kind of hilarious. It is a Western theme park that opened in the 1950's. I'm pretty sure nothing has changed since then. That is part of what makes it fun though. There is definitely no "Disney Magic" happening at Tweetsie, but it is quaint, old-fashioned, hokey, and fun. Picture the Brady Bunch episode, "Ghost Town, U.S.A.", and you've got the idea.
See what I mean?
There is no shortage of fun photo ops at Tweetsie, and the kids tested all of them.
The main attraction at Tweetsie, as you might imagine, is the train ride.
(Totally unrelated side-note... it was not until I saw this photo that I realized all of my kids have very, very (almost obnoxiously) bright colored sneakers. How did I not know that?)
The train ride is fun. It stops along the way for staged gun fights and bank robberies.
Is there anything more politically incorrect than this "Indian" (I realize he should be called a Native American, but in the 1950's, you know his character was created as an "Indian") with his face painted red? It is in scenes like these when you realize that Tweetsie is a true relic. I doubt this show has changed a single line, costume, or set in over 50 years.
Besides the train ride, we also took a ride on the chair lift (love the view!)
saw a couple shows, ate some fudge, and went gem stone mining.
This little guy was pretty well soaked by the time we left. He had a ball though.
The Tweetsie plans mostly came about because the little guy is a big Thomas fan, and Addie fancies herself a cowgirl these days. We had the little kids in mind as we planned the outing. It turned out the big kids had a blast too though, so what a success!
The next day was Cyclo.Via. We timed our lunch horribly and ended up having to ask the waiter to hold our table with our food on it while we ran out to watch the jump rope performance. The performance was great, but we returned to soggy, cold food. We failed proper trip planning that day.
Since our lunch was a little less than satisfying, we stopped for some ice cream before heading out of town.
After that, we left Elise with her team for their other performances and headed back home along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It is like a little drive through Heaven up there.... so beautiful.
I'm glad we took advantage of Elise's team trip to take a little weekend vacation. I think everybody had a good time.
I am hoping... that Addie had a good day at school today. She stayed up way too late all weekend, so there was potential for her to be a basketcase today.
I am hearing... Elise practicing her clarinet.
Around the house... suitcases and backpacks have exploded all over.
One of my favorite things... the cool breeze in the evenings up in the mountains, even in the height of summer. It felt so good to sleep with all the windows open.
A few plans for the rest of the week... cartooning class for Nina, tumbling for Elise and Nina, T-ball, book club, and a birthday party for Addie, and working at the ball park for me. School has started up and the activities are ramping up with it.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... a little video of JC trying out his new bike and Addie cheering him on.
This was my dream last night... anybody want to take a stab at psychoanalyzing it?
It was 6 a.m., and my manager came into my room to wake me up. She said, "You need to go cut the grass." I said, "It is 6 a.m.! It is too early to cut the grass." She looked at me like she didn't understand me at all. I turned to J.C. and said, "6:00 is too early to cut the grass, right?" He said, "Yeah. Definitely." My manager still looked completely puzzled as to why I was saying this. I then said, "Oh... I know why you don't get it. You're a happy morning person, so you've never been woken up by a neighbor mowing their grass. You don't realize how rude that is!" This seemed to make sense to her, so she just told me to cut the grass as soon as I could. I got up and looked out the window. I had a huge sloping yard with tiered gardens, fountains, vegetable gardens, etc. There was an amphitheater off behind the yard, and people were filing into the amphitheater for some sort of meeting. I had no idea what they were doing, but I surmised that it might be a homeowners association meeting. I started to get dressed but worried about people being able to see me through the windows. I asked J.C. to close the blinds for me, but he only closed two of the three. When I asked him to close the third, he said, "Oh they won't see you through that one." I was looking for something to wear through racks of clothing in the bedroom. I couldn't find what I wanted to wear, so I climbed up into a little attic-like loft above our bedroom. There was a rack full of baby life vests. I said, "Whoever lived here before us must have really been into baby water safety." I finished getting dressed and looked out the window again. Someone on a riding mower was cutting the grass. I was thrilled to get out of that job. Then, for some reason, I didn't have a car to get to work, so I decided to walk. The house was probably 10 miles from work. I decided as a short-cut, I would cut through a house. The house was unlocked, so I walked right in. It turned out they were having a 31 party, so I just pretended to be a party guest. Then it just so happened that the house belonged to somebody I knew in high school. She said, "Oh Ann! You should have rsvp'd so that I would know you were coming." I said, "Well, you didn't invite me. I was just cutting through your house on my way to work." She brought me into the living room where there were a bunch of other people from high school. I asked one of them to drive me to work.
That's about when I woke up. My first thought was, "Oh no! When we moved, I never told the kids who cut our grass that we moved. I'll have to tell the new owners to pay them!" Then I looked around and realized that I had not, in fact, moved. It was all just a dream... a very strange dream at that.
Anybody care to make heads or tails out of it? Feel free to leave a comment with your analysis.