Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rednecks on the Hooch

Another family adventure for the Franks' fam - we went tubing on the Hooch (or the Chattahoochie as it is formally called.) I wish I had floating pictures for you, but alas, photography was an impossible task.

First of all, there were thousands of people in Helen, Georgia. And everybody was floating! You may think it is inappropriate of me to call these people rednecks, but I am including myself in this group. I did wear jean short and a wife beater t-shirt for this float. The only thing I was missing was copious tattoos.

It is actually an enjoyable experience, but you must be prepared for long lines, hot weather, and too few restrooms. Aside from that, the water felt great in the heat, it is a really cheap way to spend the day, and sitting around in an inner tube is pretty relaxing. We heard numerous languages spoken on Saturday, so it was very international. We ate German food, because the village of Helen looks like something out of Grimm's Fairy Tales. It is very touristy, and we avoided most of that. We definitely avoided the Wicken shop - we just are not that type of family.

Probably the most surprising part of this trip was the feeling of the state fair. This is where the fair people go in August, before the fair comes to town. I was shocked at the number of floaters that smoked as they drifted down the Hooch. How do you keep cigarettes dry? Also, the Hooch tailgating parties were a little bit surprising. A flotilla of women, all bearing tattoos, floated over to a tailgate and partied in the river with their beers and cigs. And, as you continue floating down the Hooch, there are only more and more drinking opportunities from the luxury of your very own floatie! I hope my children aren't damaged by seeing too many inebriated rednecks. If so, I'm sure their exposure to them at the fair will seal the deal.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I'm Repeating Myself

I have officially hit an age where EVERYTHING new is just old stuff come back. I bought Roxy a neon shirt, and I honestly never thought the neon pseudo-Madonna in Borderline look would be back, but it is. And all the plaid shirts, like I would wear in the early 90's are very in again. I blame that one on the recession. Feel poor? Wear plaid flannel!

Lately I have been wearing big ol' nineties hair, pseudo-Slash style. Hair is a new issue for me, because I am tired of everything. I don't want to look like Slash anymore. Today I got my haircut, short in back and lengthy all around. I had this haircut when Scott and I were married that first year. I was trying to avoid the Kate Gosselin cut, and I did, but I have repeated myself again. But I think I like it - it frames my pseudo-Sarah Palin glasses.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How to Spend $100 Without Blinking

We met the teachers at middle school and elementary school today. Everything went very well. We are blessed to be at nice, well-run schools that are staffed with very professional people. Darby was quite relieved to actually be in her school, walk around, get the lay of the land. There is even a slight feeling of excitement in this girl. Roxy, my more outgoing daughter, is positively vibrating with excitement. She has a new class where the teacher decorates with frogs. Roxy thinks this is so great. She is sitting by her friend from first grade, which is so awesome. And she is right across the hall from her first grade teacher, whom she loves. Roxy's world is very rosy today.

I spent $100 without actually getting anything, hardly. I got a t-shirt for Roxy. Between joining all the PTA groups, buying meal plans, school folders, etc., I am out $100. And that does not include all the back to school shoes, clothes, supplies, etc. Momma feels broke.

With a huge sigh of relief, we are ready for the whole school thing. Let's hope it's a good year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Countdown Begins, the Ball Drops Tomorrow

Tomorrow is it - the day Darby has to set foot into middle school. She will meet her home room teacher, walk the school, and hopefully get her locker assignment. Darby's school will not give her a schedule until the first day, when there are no parents around to check it and schedule appointments with the counselor because it is all screwed up. Convenient, don't you think?

Darby is not too excited about school this year, mostly because everyone who greets her and asks about school follows their question with this statement: "Middle school? Oh, I'm sorry...". FYI, people, you are making it harder on my girl and saying you are sorry means nothing to someone who has to face middle school for three years.

My anxiety is less about her and more about me. I have a child old enough to be out of elementary school, old enough to wear a ladies size 9 shoe, old enough to have thoughts and actions I cannot control, and she is entering an independent environment where the culture does not want parent involvement, parent input, and parent guidance. The whole system is structured anti-parent and that is freaking me out. What is a helicopter mom supposed to do with these constraints?

I am reminding myself that I will have an opportunity to meet her teachers next week, but that may be a little too little, a little too late. I am preparing for the fact that her schedule will be dysfunctional. Darby will not be able to make it to some class on time, will miss her bus, and then will be the only kid in middle school without a cell phone and cannot call her mom for a ride. But I cannot project my fears on her, because Darby already has everyone she meets projecting their condolences on her. This is a vicious cycle.

Darby, you have all my love and all my concern at the moment. Almost everything is out of my control, but I am 100% in your corner, praying for a great week at middle school. Just take it one day at a time, and I will be waiting for you at home where I will give you love and ice cream.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Bowl Is Back!

Scott got his cereal bowl back tonight. The blue bowl is sitting on the ground under the Glacier sign in the picture. So many things have happened to Scottie's favorite cereal bowl from childhood - I will give you some details:

1. The bowl was stolen from our house when we were in Branson. Someone "broke in" and went to the kitchen to look for the bowl and discovered that all of our dishes are blue. Cobalt Fiesta Blue, to be exact. After a small panic, someone looked up Scott's Facebook reference to the blue bowl, the invader found it, and then the bowl was off.

2. Various staff and church members took pictures of the bowl. They photoshopped headlines onto newspapers propped up in front of the bowl, kind of like terrorists propping up current newspapers in front of their captives. They took a picture of one of our senior church members with the bowl on her head, requesting her demand for old church hymns to be sung in worship. Her face was hidden, but I know it was Sue.

3. One of our members decided that taking Scott's actual bowl on the road was a little risky, so she decided to make a stunt double. She found a brown bowl in her cabinet that was the same size, but it had a handle on it. So, after 10 hours of grinding down the handle and a paint color match at Home Depot, they had a stunt double. The day after making the bowl double, this same woman went to visit her mother in Tennessee and discovered that her own mother had four bowls exactly like Scott's cereal bowl. Oops.

4. The bowl makes a transAmerica trip with the teenagers and the youth minister. (If you did not already know, only a youth minister would go to such lengths to pull off something so bizarre.) The Cadillac Ranch in Texas, the St. Louis Arch, Colorado mountains, Arches National Park in Moab UT, Glacier National Park in MT, Tabletop Mountain in Alberta CA - we have pictures of the bowl everywhere it went. Kind of like that little garden gnome in the Travelocity commercials, Scottie's cereal bowl was a talisman for 20 juniors and seniors. And we have a scrapbook of the whole trip - people eating out of it, posing with it, jumping mountain bikes over it.

Scott is glad to have his bowl back. The painful divorce of his breakfast ritual is over. And we will be sure to take it with us on all our future trips.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Roxy's Surreal Life

I decided that it was time to look through the book bag that Roxy brought home last May. As far as art goes, I must say that I'm impressed (in a surreal way, not an impressionist way.) Maybe I should clean out the old folders and notebooks more often, but she brings home so much work from school, my mind just goes numb trying to decide what to do with it all.

The truly amazing thing about this art piece is that it does not include any puppies, kitties, pandas, horses, owls, etc. Her school supplies this year - everything has a puppy, kitty, owl, or horse on it. Yes, it's true.