Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When the Preacher's Away, the Wife Will Play

So...I skipped church.

This never happens in my real world.  I teach small children, I show up looking presentable, I talk to all the elderly members, and then I go home and collapse every Wednesday night.  But not tonight - I'm on Preacher's Wife Vacation.  Not something that the worthy woman from Proverbs would do, but I am a rebel (tonight.)

I went to the Blue Door in OKC and saw a bluegrass group called The Greencards.  The place has no name, no sign really, but it has a blue door and really interesting groups play there.  Even without air conditioning, the show was great.  About the Greencards:  it is amazing to me that two Aussies, one Brit, and one guy from Atlanta can sound like they were all born singing country music in Tennessee.  It is also amazing that I went to a concert that actually worked  - that hasn't happened in a while.  They were very good and they sang some great stuff, including a Patti Griffin song that made me want to pull out everything I have of hers and remind myself of why I love Patti.

I spent tonight with my brother and sister-in-law and my sister.  We were reflecting about how it was twenty years ago that my brother got married.  I showed my brother's wedding photo to Darby and she cracked up because I was dressed like a compound wife, or a Duggar daughter (whichever one you pick, I got the floral dress and hairstyle to match.)  We enjoyed looking at all the wedding pics today, laughing about the things that happened, like when my cousin Kelli and Jacob got stuck in the elevator at Scott Chapel and Kelli taught Jacob inappropriate jokes to distract him.  Ah, memories...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Roadtrip Observations

1.  I drove across the hot, dry land in a black sedan.  That kind of sounds like a line from a blues song, doesn't it?  The black vehicle does me no favors when you are going to a place that is as hot as H-E- double hockey sticks.  My oldest daughter sang , "I see a black car and I want to paint it blue...", and I love it when my child knows some classic rock songs.  We owe  it all to Guitar Hero.

2.  Mississippi was especially interesting this go around.  I started counting Bingo parlors.  It was astonishing how many I found!  I also found a venue for adult male entertainment called "The Boobie Trap."  With a name like that, you have no doubts about the atmosphere...

3.  The award for the most idiotic restaurants/stores goes to...Oklahoma!  OK won this same award last time as well.  Roxy and I stood in line for over 10 minutes at a McDonald's, listening to the gentleman in front of me ask the cashier about the quality of their barbecue sauce, and then I looked down and saw he was wearing torn up, cheapo plastic shower shoes AND he had nasty toenails, too.  Roxy was watching the weird, slightly altered young man wandering the place with a "For Sale" sign duct-taped to his back.  Darby was noticing the unwashed dining tables and how many flies were congregating on them.  And then the cashier with the black hair with the white skunk stripe straight across the top of her head told me that the ice cream machine was broken.  Shocker.

So we left and headed across the street to the Wendy's/Gas Station.  I have previously had creepy experiences there, but I figured that we had no where to go but up after the McDonald's visit.  We ordered the Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosties (so yummy) and a Frostycino (very yummy and drinkable), BUT I had to pull over for Frosty triage because the stellar employees gave them to me with drippy ice cream cascading down each cup.  Nice.

4.  You can entertain Roxy for hours - no joke- with magnetic tanagrams.  It is one of those little brain-building items where you build certain pictures out of triangles, a rectangle, and a square.  The challenge is figuring out just the right placement to make the images.  Roxy is pretty good with spacial reasoning and she loves the challenges of puzzles and stuff like that, so my girl was busy, busy, busy.

5.  Darby was introduced to Weezer.  She is a fan of a couple of songs, so she was completely shocked to find that I actually own Weezer CDs from back in the day.  She does not even grasp the strange, bizarre music collection I have.  She thinks I'm a lame mom, but I know that cool moms have saved their Weezer CDs from 15 years ago.  Ha!

So we survived the roadtrip and we did not end up broken down on the side of the road (which is important when you consider the quality of I40).  Life is good, I have my family, and we are in need of a vacation!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Let's Get Sassy for Father's Day

Nothing says "I Love You" like sarcasm - Happy Father's Day, Scottie, from your retro-50s housewife!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Random Acts of Photography: The Final Post

I feel much better now! The picture card has been cleared! You can see church picnics, a reenactment of the Stand By Me movie, and a view of Atlanta from Turner field - good times.

Random Acts of Photography - The Roxy Story

Random Acts of Photography

I finally got the camera situation under control and look at what I found...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Scott's Curse of the Troubadours

Scott and I had a date last night. Yes, we actually did - babysitter and all. This is such a rare event, you would think I would have documented it with photos, but I could not. I think the last babysitter we hired was in October when he accompanied me to the Ryan Adams concert. Which brings me to the curse...

I like music that is generally never played on mainstream radio stations - guys that write and sing their own music, often times by themselves. Ryan Adams, for example. When we went to his concert in October I was just excited I got to see the guy before he left this earth because he has harmful behavior tendencies. We went to the concert and Scott hated it, but fortunately the concert was cut short after 1 hour due to Ryan's illness of flu. He rescheduled the concert and offered free tickets, but I had to pass on those because I had no Scott. Under no terms would Scott ever see him again.

So, in a desperate act of pleasing his wife, Scott got us tickets for Steve Earle. I am a Steve Earle fan, I find him very interesting and authentic, and I really wanted to see him but did not have the nerve to ask Scott to go with me. This concert was different - all acoustic, no drums, set outside in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens at Piedmont Park. The setting was perfect and I was pretty sure that Scott would not plug his ears all evening.

Everything was promising and I was enjoying the concert until about the eighth song. That is when the monsoon storm hit. We managed to duck and get under cover pretty quickly, but about a thousand people were soaked to the bone. Picture a bunch of society types, wearing their white linen shorts and carrying their wine buckets and their beach chairs - and now they are dripping wet because a huge storm system had come upon us, stretching across Georgia all the way to Alabama. Fortunately for us, the advanced society surrounding us wore undergarments. There was nothing to hid when all those richies got plastered with raindrops. If this had happened at a Braves game, it would have looked like more tailgating party antics.

They had to cancel the concert. There will be a rescheduled concert in all likelihood, but alas, another dream date dashed. Scott's curse of the troubadours seems to kick in after about eight-10 songs, which means that I get hopeful only to have the rug pulled out from under me. In another eight months, I'm due for another date/concert. I'm thinking I'll go to the movie store and rent a concert, then wait for the electricity to go out after about 8-10 songs.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Welcome to the Frat Party

Our latest outing was quite an education for the Franks' fam. We had a great time and enjoyed the excitement of the big city of Atlanta, but at the same time it was somewhat of a shocker.

We attended our first Atlanta Braves game. The baseball game was fun but the Braves could do nothing to win it. I enjoy live baseball games because they are relaxing and family oriented. The Braves organization is huge down here and they really know how to entertain the crowd. We arrived early and watched some local rock bands and a very cool Atlanta college drum line group. They have a free kids interactive game arena as well as an alley full of carnival-style games. The Braves offer great food, too.

Now, for the other side of the story, the one I wish my children did not know about: we parked in the tailgater parking lot. It was the cheapest, so we chose it. We will never choose it again, though. Just walking across the lot was somewhat like escorting your kids out of a rated R movie. It literally looked like "Old School" with Will Ferrell. My children saw their first beer bong in use. They saw about a thousand half drunk girls that forgot to wear supportive undergarments. They saw hustlers running shell games, frat boys running beer-based beanbag games, and single young people cursing like characters in mafia movies. And, as luck would have it, we managed to get seated by about 30 of them at the game. At least they did not bother to stop tailgating until the fourth inning, otherwise we would have beat it out of there much sooner. Darby thought it was entertaining when they kept trying to play crowd games like "the wave", and how they would yell semi-inappropriate things to each other.

I took a few pics, but due to technical difficulties, they are not available right now. But if you read this whole thing, I'm sure you got the picture: don't take your sweet little girls to the old ball game. If I had impressionable teenage sons, I wouldn't take them there either because you would never be able to sear the images of the frat party from their brains.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Scott Vs. Squirrels

It's time to tell a story on Scott, because I have been enjoying this unfolding drama this week from my front row seat in our piano room.

My husband is a dedicated bird feeder. He has always found ways to welcome birds to our yard, no matter where we live. Bird houses, bird feeders, etc. He loves to fill his bird feeders and he will check on them every day. We have tons of birds in our backyard and we love watching them.

But squirrels are another issue. Our squirrels are quite crafty and kind of crazy. I think they are like the ones on the car insurance commercials that try to get humans to harm themselves - they are trying to outsmart Scott. They defy death daily by scaling the house and flinging themselves onto Scott's bird feeders that Scott has tried to squirrel-proof. And the squirrels continue to find ways to beat Scott, outsmarting all of Scott's devices and guards that should prevent the squirrels from eating the birdseed.

We hit a new low earlier this week when the squirrels outwitted Scott's bird feeding device (again) and Scott ran out the back door, hurling Darby's tennis shoes at the squirrels as they scampered up the pine trees in the back yard. I think it's time to buy Scott a BB gun so he can just relax, take aim, and fire.

Scott found some humor in this whole scenario last night when we took the girls to see "Up." The movie includes a pack of trained dogs that are constantly driven crazy by squirrels. One adorable dog is telling a joke he know about a squirrel that does not gather acorns for winter, and then dies. The joke, completely not funny, is ended with a comment by the dog saying that, "This joke is funny because the squirrel is dead!" Scott laughs, not an out-loud laugh but a private, more evil laugh. Yes, I do believe it is time for Scott to get even with the squirrels...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Georgia!

The Franks' fam has celebrated the one year Georgia anniversary this week. I have been looking back on the blog and remembering all the obstacles from a year ago. plus all the joys and heartaches. A few observations:

-My daughters have grown up - a lot. I can't believe how young they looked a year ago.

-I have matured as well. I have had to take on quite a few new tasks and roles, especially in regards to church work. I find myself to be too busy, but not dissatisfied. I needed some motivation and boy, do I have it now.

-I still feel heartache over having moved so far from family. It sneaks up on me and makes me schedule trips back to OK to be near my family. I am thankful that it is summer and we will see them soon.

-Scott is settling in to his job and feeling more and more confidence. Not overly confident, but credibly confident. I am proud of what is he doing, because this job is stretching him, challenging him, and motivating him. He is wired to need all of these things.

-I am confident with the fact that my life will never follow the pattern that I envisioned years ago. Letting go of those expectations has been a healthy thing - difficult, but now I can be blessed by letting go of those expectations and making plans to go forward.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hobby Lobby Never Changes

Since I have been living in Georgia, Hobby Lobby has been too far away to make it a regular shopping place. I avoid any and all unnecessary traffic - and Atlanta has plenty of that.

I was thrilled to see Hobby Lobby open in Kennesaw and I took the girls today. I have a giant list of things to find for VBS and Bible class. When I got inside, it was just like being back in Oklahoma. That is both good and bad...

For some reason, checking out at Hobby Lobby must be a universal challenge. You must identify every single sale item, because I have yet to meet a cashier that remembers what is on sale - and they have the flyer posted on the check-out counter. They also always have a cash register issue, the kind they always make fun of on TV where they have to get on the intercom and call for a manager who manages to show up after an inconvenient wait.

I love Hobby Lobby and I have missed Hobby Lobby, but today I remembered what comes along with Hobby Lobby: long lines, lost cashiers, and a very impatient Sheree.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Sasquatch Legacy

I have a pet peeve - cheap old flip flops. I don't like looking at them, I don't like seeing the dirt-stained footprints in them, I am a flip flop snob. My girls will always get a pair of flip flops in the summer, hopefully a pair that look slightly dressier than most so that when they put them on with a skirt they won't look like rednecks.

Today I purchased Darby's first pair of size nine flip flops. I was in shock when we were trying them on because I did not know that her shoe size had shot up that quickly. But as I reflect on my past history, thinking back to 1981, I was 10 years old and I wore size 9. Sometime in the 6th grade I got my first pair of 10s - a pair of burgundy tasseled loafers that made me look very mature and preppy. I even wore them with my Izod shirt and a grosgrain ribbon belt, a look straight out of The Facts of Life.

My foot size has always been a sore spot for me. There is nothing delicate and feminine about having honkin' big feet. And now...Darby gets to be a part in this foot circle of life. Darby, if I had thought it would have been healthy and reasonable, I would have bound your feet so they wouldn't grow. But, besides being unhealthy and unreasonable, I knew my 16 month old child would never walk if your feet were restrained. So here's to the girl who did not walk until 17 months! Enjoy your glorious honkin' big ski feet! They look much cuter with red toenail polish.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Today's Experiment

The girls and I stayed home today. We played games, watched some TV, read lots of books, ate breakfast at 10 am, and then I thought...

I really don't want to fix lunch today. I am completely out of lunch ideas. Will the girls miss lunch, because I am totally not hungry and I can fast it out?

I am proud to say that yes, they did fast it out and I did not have to fix lunch. I did not throw away any uneaten food, I did not have to let Roxy do the dishes again because we did not mess up anything.

My new goal for summer: eat a large breakfast as late as possible and fast out the lunch time. I will save some serious cash, especially when it is a stay-in-and-hibernate kind of day. I love Mondays!