Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea
~  YS is on Fall Break this week & next week, but mine is the week after.  That's good, and that's bad.  It's good because it's going to be a nice peaceful week all to myself; it's bad because if we wanted to do something together, we can't.

~  The high school band had their first competition last Saturday, but I missed it because of a celebration.  They got a "1"...if you know anything about band competitions, you know that's the best you can get.  I saw a video of the performance, and it looked like they did an awesome job!

~  Yesterday, as I was coming home, I watched this man on his bicycle.  At first he was in the road, and I thought, "why doesn't he get on the sidewalk?" and then he did.  But then he crossed the road on the railroad tracks and slipped and fell.  I waited a second to see if he was going to get up, but he didn't.  So, I jumped out of my car, and the lady going the other way jumped out of hers, too.  We ran up and talked to him, but he really seemed out of sorts.  Then, we look up, and there are 2 trains coming out of the plant.  They're going really slow, but they are coming.  I pulled the man's bicycle off of his leg, but he couldn't get up & I wasn't about to move him.  He was moving his extremities, but I had a second of a thought:  Please don't go into cardiac arrest or stop breathing, because I don't know if I could do CPR in real life.  A woman got out of the next car, and it was someone I knew, and she's a nurse.  She asked if she needed to call 911, and I said yes.  About that time, out of nowhere, these 3 very nice looking men grab the guy and get him off of the tracks.  And they looked like they knew what they were doing.  Turns out they are Marshalls.  I stood around for a couple of minutes, but felt like I was in the way, so I told my friend that it looked like everything was under control, so I was going to leave.  The train guys ended up stopping the train and walking up to see what was going on.  I asked a police officer later what happened to him, and he said that he was transported.

~  The high school had their football game last night (which was where I was going when I saw the bike accident), but I missed it because of flute choir practice.  I went to help set up the concessions, then left.  Apparently I missed a doozy.  We won 56-0, but it wasn't without some drama.  CH runs the chains on the sidelines, and he said that at one point, one of our defensive players hit one of their players...hard.  The paper this morning said that the player went up in the air and came down upside down.   Their coach ended up coming down on the field and asked the ref if he was going to call something, to which the ref replied, "what do you want me to call?  Unnecessary roughness on a tackle in a football game?"  At that point, the coach called the ref a name and drew a flag.  Then, mama gets on the field and has to be escorted off  by a police officer. (Oh, of the police officers who works the game..he's also the school's resource officer..graduated with me and held several football records.  Small town?  You betcha!)  Apparently the officers were busy that night...they also had to go up in their stands and make sure the peace was kept.  This is the first time that we've played this team that I've heard of such conduct.  They were having a decent season up until last week when they lost.  Maybe they're just so frustrated that they have to take it out on somebody.  But...come on , people.  It's a high school football game.  As a friend of mine says, "There are kids out there dying of cancer."  It's not that important in the grand scheme of things.

~  Today is oral surgery day.  I'm ready to get this over with.  The bad thing is that I'll be without a tooth for 3+ months (can you say, "redneck"?!), but the good thing is that it's in the back of my mouth, so hopefully you won't be able to tell!

Head over to Mrs. 4444's to see how everybody's week went!


Last Saturday, we celebrated my parents' 60th Wedding Anniversary.  It was a very simple celebration with just the family.  One of my sisters and her husband hosted the event.  We brought finger foods, and visited.

 We were all there except for one of my sisters who lives in Missouri...she came down a couple of weeks ago for our Sisters' Weekend.  I know that was a tough decision for her, but I think she made right one.  I mean, if she hadn't chosen our weekend, she wouldn't have had her first pj day!  But, this isn't about her!

(Yeah, so I hijacked this picture from another sister's fb page!  Love you, Oldest sis!)

The sister that hosted the event did a very nice job.   They set up tables outside, and the setting was just gorgeous.  They live out in the woods, and their property backs up to a mountain.

The still happy couple:

As an added surprise, my youngest brother wrote a song for my parents.  He even added a flute accompaniment and gave me the honor of performing it with him:

At one part in the song, I started to glance up at my parents and it looked like my mom was getting a little emotional, so I made sure that I didn't look up again.  I would've totally lost it!  Anyway, it was a nice present for me to be able to do that for them after everything they have given all of us.
60 years is an enormous accomplishment.  It's great to see them going strong after all of these years!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. The Wednesday Hodgepodge this week falls on John Chapman's birth date.  He's more famously known as Johnny Appleseed...what's your favorite variety of apple? 

2.   When did you last say 'ick'? 
I'm not sure, but I'm guessing 7th grade???

3.   Do you think there's a generation gap?  Explain. 
I don't think there's as much between my generation and my kids' as there was between my parents' generation and mine.  

4.  What's on your computer screen saver?  Do you leave it alone or change it often? 
I have pictures from my picture album that's on my computer.  I leave it alone.

5.  If you had the attention of the entire world for two minutes, what would you say? 
Grow up & get some morals.

6.  Four fashion trends to try this fall are-brocade/jacquard (fancy printed fabrics), peplum, lace, and printed pants...which of these four would you be most likely to wear? 
Okay, I had to look up peplum, and I'm still not sure what it is.  I'd say lace because all of the others would make me look bigger than I already am.

7.  What can make your bad day better?
A call from any of my boys "just because".

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Check this out:
We finally got our new phones at my mountain school!     You know, you don't realize how much you use the phone until it's not there.  

Crazy Busy

I have been so incredibly crazy busy lately.  Work has been crazy with placements, transfers, and annual reviews that it would have been nice to have had done when I started the new school.  And, on top of that, I feel like I'm basically starting the speech program at my new school.  I've been getting to work early almost every day, and leaving  late most days.
Last week I also had community band practice on Wednesday, and then a very special practice on Thursday night.  Friday night was the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Small Town High School Band.  Thursday night we practiced a couple of songs on the field with the current band.  For the second song, one of my sisters (who was the drum major) directed next to YS.
I was a bit disappointed that there weren't very many band members from my time to show up at the reception or to participate in the half-time festivities.  5 of the 6 members of my family who were in the band were there, though.
(Me:  flute & flugelhorn, #7 sibling: french horn & drum major, #10:  trombone, #4:  trumpet, and #6:  percussion)
It was a BLAST playing in the stands, although I had forgotten how loud it gets up there.  I had never played most of the stand music, so it was interesting sight reading the pieces.  Plus, the pace was a bit faster than I remembered. Maybe it was just that it was crowded since there were extra people in the band section.  It was still pretty fun, though.
(3 "old" flautists from past bands)
I'm telling you, those that didn't participate really missed out!


Today, my baby is officially an adult.  I'm having a hard time believing that he's 18; I must be in denial!  YS was our "bonus" baby (despite what MS says, YS was NOT an accident!): we thought we had stopped after MS.  I tell people that God definitely has a sense of humor:  I just knew that MS was going to be born before my birthday that year, because I was NOT going to have a baby when I was 30.  He came late (a week after I turned 30), and then, 2 1/2 years later, we had YS.
I can't imagine life without him.  He was a 10 pound boy that I delivered naturally (not by choice!)  He has been a joy "most" of his life.  He definitely hasn't been as rowdy as the other 2, and is the most responsible of the 3 boys.
There was one time that we went to the beach.  We got in the car and were about 30 minutes down the road, when he asked, "Where are we going?"  Poor kid!  I guess by the 3rd child, you just tell him to get in the car and he does it without questioning where he's going!
(Waiting for the Olympic Torch to come through our town in SC in 1996)
 He was the one who picked out Ally; or rather Ally picked him:
He's always been such a sweetie pie:
(He said he was scared to death he was going to drop the host!  He was chosen to carry it up to the altar during his 1st Communion.)
 He tried football, but didn't like hitting people.
(The photographer told him to look mean.)
 Not to worry, he found his niche; first with the trumpet:
then switched over to the baritone after he got his braces:
He's also shown us his talent with his cooking skills:

 And responsible?  This kid wrote the book  (well, with MOST things!).  CH says he's the one we could give a checkbook to, make sure he knows how much money is in it, and he could live on his own without us worrying.
 Within the past year, we've seen another big change with him.  He's grown very confident with himself.  He has always been a "don't rock the boat" kind of person, and he still is to a certain extent.  But, he has started to voice his opinions and to be able to back it up.  He has grown into this incredibly handsome, caring, responsible, funny young man.
Happy Birthday, YS!  Oh, and, if you see this before I get to tell you:

(This is the song I used to sing to the boys when they woke up on their birthdays!)

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~  Work:  Some people never cease to amaze me.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

~  I went to Community Band Practice on Wednesday night;  I'm surprised there aren't more people there.  We're playing one of my all-time songs:  Chorale and Shaker.  It just so happens that we played the last part of  it on the field my freshman year in high school.

~  I auditioned for a flute choir in town.  I was pretty nervous and flubbed up part of my "prepared" piece, which I wasn't prepared for.  I just knew I was going to be asked to play one of the scales that I've all of a sudden started having trouble with.  Luckily I didn't have to play that one.  (WHEW!)  I had to sight read a couple of pieces by myself, then play a duet with another player.  Guess I did okay...I'm in!  

~  I've had so many IEP meetings lately, that when I don't have to be at school at 7:15 I feel like I'm forgetting something.

~  This week was "Gator Hater" week in these parts.  There was a segment on the news warning fans to not rush the field if UT should win.  Back in '98, fans stormed the field, tore down the goalpost, and carried it onto "the Strip".  If they try to do it this year, they will be charged with aggravated criminal trespassing, and if  someone tries to get someone to storm the field, they will be charged with  "inciting a riot".  Gameday will be in town, and, to add to the excitement around the Small Town, the placekicker who will be starting this week graduated with MS.


Goodbye, Old Friend

Earlier this week, we came to the realization that it's time to say goodbye to part of our family.  We've had a 1999 White Dodge Caravan since 1999.  The car drove our family to DisneyWorld, Halloween Motorcycle Camp-out Rallies, beaches, football practices & games, baseball practices & games, soccer practices & games, and moved us from SC to Tn.  Suffice it to say, that car saw a lot of action in the 13 years it's been in service.
The van was MS' high school car, and it earned him his Senior Superlative:  Most Likely to be a TBall Dad. It was then passed down to YS after MS graduated from high school.  When given the choice to drive the van or something else, YS said he definitely wanted the van because you could carry "stuff" in it.
Last week I drove into our driveway and noticed a dark "trail" coming out into the road.  After band practice, I got a call from YS saying that the van was completely dead.  Thank our lucky stars that the Jeep (that OS had been driving when he was in college) was ready to come home after some extensive work on it.  We switched out one car for the other so YS would have something to drive to school.
CH got the call earlier this week:  it's going to cost more to fix it than it's worth, so it's time to let it go.  I don't get emotionally attached to cars:  it's just a way to carry me where I need to go.  The van was such a reliable mode of transportation:  I only remember it being the shop once, and I don't recall that it was anything major.   When I gave it to MS, there was hardly a scratch on it.  Now it has some dents & bruises (along with some of the inside coming apart where one/both of the boys left the windows open during some rains), but it was a perfect car for YS to take to the high school parking lot so he didn't have to worry about additional dents/scratches.  The Jeep should be a good replacement for him.
I guess all that's left to say is:
So long, "The Beast" aka "The Shaggin' Wagon".

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I've gotta get back in the swing of the blogging thing...especially the Hodgepodge!  This week's questions (courtesy of Joyce):

1.  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?  The NFL is back in action along with all the college teams.  Are you a fan?  Who do you root for?  If you're not a fan what do you do while the rest of America watches Saturday, Sunday, Monday night, and now Thursday night games? 
Oh, how I LOVE football!  It starts Friday night with Small Town High, and rolls into Saturday with "The Big Orange" (or, THE UT!) along with the rest of the SEC.  We're not big NFL fans, but we'll watch Green Bay to see a local guy play some ball.

2. What's something I'll always find in your closet?
Oh, this is easy:  clothes!  

3. Share one of your earliest memories.
I think this is a memory:  My parents moved into their current house when I was 9 months old.  I swear I remember my daddy holding me and checking out the house before we moved in.  I don't think it was a picture, because I've never come across one like it, so I'm calling it a memory.

4. What circus act best describes your week so far?
Lion tamer?  Yesterday at one of my schools, we had the Book Fair, Grandparents' Day, and DEA testing (a test that's administered on the computer in the computer lab) going on at the same time.  Ms. Principal said that after lunch she couldn't find any of the kids because nobody was where they were suppose to be.  It was definitely a 3-ring circus!

5. What's a food you disliked as a child but you love now?
Spinach and broccoli.  Okay, that's 2, but I'm feeling like an over-achiever right now!

6.  Describe your summer in three words. 
Pee, poop, and boring.  It was my job to housetrain Laika this summer since I wasn't working.  CH had a great time riding his motorcycle to Canada...while I trained his dog.

7.  Where were you on September 11, 2001? Will you do anything special to mark the day this year?
We were living in SC, and I was at school working.  I had just gone up to the office for something when the 2nd plane hit the tower.  
Yesterday, I didn't do anything special except dedicate a blog post.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Last night, I met with the "special ed ladies" from my old school.  We meet once/month for dinner at a local restaurant.  Last night was the first night that I've seen most of them since the beginning of the school year.  It was so good to catch up with what's been going on, especially since I only see 1 of them (the teacher of the gifted) on a regular basis.  She goes around to every elementary school in the county...every week.  She's at one of my schools the same day I'm there, so I get a quick "hi, how are you doing" kind of contact. was good to see everybody and catch up on what's going on.  It sounds like it's as crazy there as it is at my schools!

Hard to Believe

Is it just me, or is it hard to believe that the attacks on our nation occurred 11 years ago?  At that point, it was hard to believe that our lives would ever be considered "normal" again.  I remember talking about how sad it was going to be that our kids (and grandkids) would never know the freedoms that we had enjoyed prior to that day.  I knew it would just be a matter of time before we settled into a "new sense of normalcy", but that was a pretty scary time.  It made you realize just how vulnerable we really are, and that there's only so much we can do to protect our kids.
How could such a beautiful day turn into something so ugly and horrific?  No matter how much time passes, may we never forget.

Another Great Weekend

It finally arrived:  the weekend the ladies in my family look forward to all year long.  Sisters' Weekend!
Recap:  I have 5 sisters and 4 brothers.  Every year, my mom, sisters, and sisters-in-law have a getaway in the mountains.  no husbands, no kids; just us.  I'm not sure how long we've been at it, but it's always a good time.  Most of us make it every year, but there hasn't been a year that everybody has been there.  Maybe one of these years!
We stayed in the same cabin as last year; it's out in the middle of nowhere, so we don't have to worry about how loud we are.  There's a lot of talking and a lot of laughing.  We have a rule:  what is said at the cabin stays at the cabin.  
We pair up and take care of the meals.  Friday night, we had hotdogs, potato salad, baked beans, and S'Mores for dessert.  The original plan was to have a fire in the fire pit, but the pit turned out to be a little disappointing, so they ended up using the grill.

  We read, we talked, and we laughed.  One of my sisters proclaimed Saturday as "pajama day".  My oldest sister said that she had never had a "PJ Day" before, and it was a perfect day for it.  It rained most of the day, so we stayed in and read more and watched football games.   Oh, and we ate.  For breakfast we had an eggs benedict casserole & fruit...and mimosas.  For lunch we had a "Layered Summer Pasta Salad", then for dinner one of my sisters grilled steaks, and we had potatoes, salad, and a reduced calorie banana cream pie that was to die for!  

Sunday morning we packed up and went to a local restaurant for breakfast.
These weekends are just the best.  My oldest sister & I discovered that we wake up at night at the same time to push the covers off:  3:00.  Weird, huh?  Also, I found out that the problem I have with the heat migraines (that made me give up tennis) are shared with that sister, along with another sister.  
The bad thing about having such a great weekend is that it comes to an end.  Tomorrow is back to reality.

The Fun Keeps Going

Wow!  I don't know that I've ever had a month that was so full of such fun things!
Last night was one of the things I've been working toward since I bought my flute.  I was a bit nervous driving over:  what if I couldn't cut it?  What if the music is too hard?  What if I end up looking like I don't know what I'm doing?
I had no reason to question any of it.  Even though there were parts that I didn't get the first time, I wasn't the only one, and I got it the next time.  We had a total of 5 flutes last night; I made sure to sit in the last chair for comfort.  It was weird sitting there:  I don't think I've ever played the 2nd flute part in my life.  I kept having to turn my stand and chair to the left instead of the right.
At the break, the lady who sits in the 1st chair turned around and asked me about joining the flute choir in town.  So, I guess I didn't do quite that badly!  There's an informational meeting tonight; then there will be a try-out before practice begins.
At the end of practice, the lady who was sitting in the first chair for the 2nd flute part said that she is going to be out of town the week that we are having a couple of concerts, so she asked if I would take over the top spot for 2nd flutes.  Of course, there are only 2 of us left, but she didn't ask the other person!
So...between music and camping, it looks like I'm getting ready for that empty nest!

Me, Oh My!

How do I even begin to talk about the weekend?  It was the best weekend I've had in a long time.  I guess I should start at the beginning:
Friday night was the Small Town High School's first regular season home football game, not counting the Kick-Off Classic. You know what that means:  An evening of wrapping burgers and CH running up and down the sidelines with the chains.   It was so awesome seeing YS in his new position:
Saturday morning I took Laika to the vet to be boarded for the weekend, then took Pepper & Ally to my parents' house for the weekend.  Then, CH, YS, & I hit the road.  We have some friends who own some land in the mountains.  CH met this group of friends from riding motorcycles, and I met them through him.  It had been about 10 years since I'd seen most of them...10 years too long.  To be perfectly honest, there are times when I feel a bit left out since all of them ride motorcycles and have a lot of stories to tell about good times they've shared.  And, they've known each other a lot longer than I've known them.  They do their best to make sure I feel like I belong, and it is funny to listen to the stories.
We got there Saturday afternoon, and the view was just breathtaking:
I started to help CH & YS set up our camp, but there was a group who was waiting for us to get there so they could go to a local winery.  The host of the weekend "made" me go with them.  Yep, he had to twist my arm really hard.  

 Someone bought a couple of bottles of wine, and we sat on the porch and drank wine, ate cheese & bread, and watched the rainstorm.
(There's outdoor seating just to the left of the tarp.)
We went back to camp, ate brats, and enjoyed the company and the view:

Sunday involved more visiting and a lot of laughter. 

 And, as usual, the guys found something that had to be fixed:
 We watched a storm roll through the valley:

 I trusted the host to take YS for a ride around his property:
YS got a lesson in firearms from his dad:
(He did quite well!)
The camper looked great with the mountains as the backdrop:
 YS was undefeated with this game (until someone beat him later that night!)
We had a couple of dogs who enjoyed the bones from a pork butt/shoulder that was smoked for Sunday dinner:

And then we experienced a downpour.  The cook made the decision to wait until the rain stopped before we could eat, so there was more visiting and, of course, more laughter.

And then came the worst part of the weekend:  packing up and saying bye:
Some had to leave early:  Florida left first, followed by Michigan and Manitoba.  Next was Texas, then Ohio.  NC left after that.  After most of the campsite was cleaned up, we hit the road, leaving Missouri behind with the hosts, who are from NC. Our friends' land was the perfect spot for all of us to get together.  We didn't have to worry about how loud we were, and the guys (and some of the girls) could do "guy things".  They had the most amazing outhouse that was clean and almost like a real bathroom (minus the flush!).
(Cute, huh?  Complete with a motion sensor light on the inside so you can see at night.  The best part:  it didn't smell!)

On our way home, we went through a little town that was having a big celebration over the weekend.    We thought about stopping, but I felt dirty and tired, so we decided to save that for another day. it's back to reality.  Clothes have to be washed, and Laika will have to be picked up tomorrow afternoon.  But what a GREAT weekend!

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