Friday, June 30, 2017

Hitched, but not without a hitch.

I looked up the origin of the phrase "without a hitch" and I couldn't find it.  I'm not really sure what a hitch is, but I know that we had a few.  The main "hitch" that we had the entire weekend was that nobody's cell phones would work and the cabins we were staying in had no landlines and were pretty far apart from each other, so we couldn't communicate but we also had a few more.

We could see the groomsmen's cabin from our cabin but not any of the rest of them.
First, the bride and groom had a blowout on the way to the park on Friday and spent 2 hours by the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance.  We did have phone service at that time and I was in contact with them and we were getting ready to head that way. (We were coming towards the park from the north and they were coming from the south).  Roadside assistance never did come but some of the relatives that were on that same road stopped and helped them. With 2 jacks they were able to lift the trailer and change the tire.

The cabins were pretty nice.  
Then on Saturday morning when we woke up, we had no electricity in the cabin.  Keep in mind that Saturday evening, I had to serve a meal to 60 people, most of which was in our refrigerator there at the cabin and I was planning to cook it all in electric crock pots.  I had a small panic attack and then got in our Suburban to drive up to the pavilion to see if there was electricity there, so that I could go ahead and put everything in the crock pots there to keep it from spoiling.  There was no electricity at the pavilion, so I walked back out and got into the car.  Then the car wouldn't start.   I tried to call my son at the campground so that he could come and get me. The call went through, but not until an hour later.  So, after a few minutes of sitting there in the car, I got out and walked to the country store of the park.  It was closed but there were 2 park rangers there, getting ready to leave.  I flagged one of them down and got him to give me a ride back to the cabin.  Then I sat down and cried for a little while.  Eventually, our son got the message and came to check on me and my husband was able to get a ride to our car and fortunately, he was able to fix it.  And then, thank God, the electricity came back on.  On Saturday evening, the rehearsal dinner mostly went as planned, but, as I mentioned in my last post, some of my relatives were texting me for directions and, of course, with no phone service, I couldn't reply, so they missed the party.  This made me very sad.

Then, on Sunday morning (wedding day!!!)  we got a knock on our door bright and early.  It was 2 of the groomsmen.  They had all started to get dressed and realized that one of them had misunderstood the phrase "yellow shirt" to mean "a blue and green plaid shirt with a tiny yellow stripe" and so they came over to bring our youngest son a different blue shirt because he was the best man and they figured he could get away with wearing a different shirt. So the shirt we bought was worn by the other groomsman and the groom was in royal blue, the best man in light blue and the rest of the groomsmen were in yellow.   It was fine.  Fortunately, we had an easygoing bride who took these kind of things in stride.  Also on Sunday, it rained right before the wedding and we had to delay it, but only for a few minutes.  I spent a great deal of energy during the wedding praying that it would not rain, but it didn't and the wedding was beautiful and wonderful.  :-)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Feeding 60 people.

I'm not sure how many people actually attended our rehearsal dinner.  Originally, there were supposed to be around 60 (including out of town and out of country relatives) but right before we left on the trip, as far as I knew, the number was supposed to be 54.  We did have a few extras that weren't in this number, but I think the final number was still in the 50s someplace.  I'm not sure.  I wish that someone had done a head count.

What we served was 5 pork loins, cooked, shredded and with barbecue sauce.
8 bottles of Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce.
120 buns.
140 drinks.
3 jars of pickles.
4 containers of Walmart coleslaw.
3 large gallon cans of green beans.
4 large bags of potato chips.
6 cakes.  (I was expecting many people who were not in the wedding to come and have cake with us after the actual dinner.  More on this later.)

What they ate:
2/3 of the pork.
2/3 of the buns (maybe)
Approximately 120 drinks.
2 jars of pickles.
1 container of coleslaw.
1/2 of the green beans.
2 of the cakes.
part of 2 bags of chips.  2 were unopened.

So to feed 50 to 60 people, you'd need
3 1/3 pork loins
Maybe 80 buns.
5 jars barbecue sauce
2 jars of pickles
2 bags of chips
1-2 packs of coleslaw.  (get this someplace other than Walmart, it was not good.)
1 gallon can of green beans.
2 cakes.
and if it is summertime in Alabama, lots of drinks.

One reason we had so much food left over is that, I had this horrible fear that I wouldn't have enough, plus apparently everyone I asked about how much food to bring also had this fear because I bought what they advised and sometimes bought less.  Thankfully, my daughter kept encouraging me to buy less not more and she was right.  Next time I really just need to listen to her.  Another reason we had so much food left over is that no one could find the pavilion where we were.  There are no maps of the park online that anyone could find, just maps to the park and then you're on your own unless you actually find the lodge or the country store and get a map of the park.  Also, there is NO PHONE SERVICE for any carrier anywhere in this park, so we couldn't contact anyone to tell them where we were or to invite them.  It was extremely frustrating.  I hated it because I really wanted several of my family members to be there and they didn't make it.  The wedding photographer and the matron of honor had put together an awesome slide show and I hate that some of my family members missed it.  :-/    Oh well.  That's life.  More about some of our wedding challenges in my next post.  Big events like this rarely go off without a hitch and this one certainly didn't.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Oldest son is married now!
The wedding was beautiful and fun.  The readings were beautiful, the sermon was really nice and personalized to them and then they walked out to Hooked on a Feeling -- the one that starts with oooga chocka.  It was fun and left everyone smiling.  Some of the bridesmaids and groomsmen danced out together and some didn't.  The last 2 did a cute little pantomime where he pretended to ask her and she said no.  It was adorable.  The wedding was delayed for a few minutes because of a little bit of rain, but then it stopped, we dried the chairs off and started the wedding.   It was great.  My daughter caught the bouquet and youngest son was the best man -- but he didn't find out that he was until the rehearsal!  

Speaking of the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner went well.  We had too much food.  After looking amounts up on line and making too much food for the shower, I, instead asked everyone I knew and we came up with the amounts from local, experienced cooks.  We still had too much food.  My family has been eating barbecued pork loin for 5 days.   Basically, they ate 2/3 of the food that I brought, so we must have had enough to feed 100, instead of the 60-ish people that we were trying to plan for.  I'd rather have too much than too little, but we are all really tired of barbecued pork.  

We came back to real life really quickly when we walked in the door here at home and found out that our roof leaked and our laundry room ceiling had collapsed.  I have been cleaning and doing laundry since Monday night since we use our laundry room as a family closet and all of our clothes and linens are stored in there.  

So anyway, here we are post-wedding, feeling kind of let down and kind of thinking 'what do we do now?"   Probably we need to something like declare a no spending month, clean the house thoroughly and go on a diet!  

I'll catch you all up on what else we've been up to next time I post.  Have a great day!  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Homeschool Information Page

This is what the Commonwealth of Kentucky homeschool information page looks like.  It is obviously intended to scare as many people away from homeschooling as possible.   It is crazy to me that they urge "extreme caution" for this "often overwhelming challenge"  and make sure that the parents know that they take "complete responsibility" and that there will be no state financial assistance.  Trust me, it's not that difficult, it's fun and you, too can do it.  Your family will thrive and bond and you fill find out what that "variety of academic and non-academic factors" are; better family relationships, easier time management (not being on the school's timetable), more flexibility, better education because it's tailored to the student and most of all, lots of fun with your kids.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Counting Down.

We've got the wedding coming up.  It's getting so close now!  We have so, so, so much to do!  There are so many tiny details to being in a wedding, the clothing, the shoes, the hair, the makeup and then there are all the little details of traveling, the packing, the dog-sitter, getting someone to feed the cats, and then there are so many details of cooking a meal for 60 people, the menu, the decorations, silverware, the salt and pepper, the serving spoons, the tablecloths, napkins, how to keep everything cool ... and we have ALL of that at once this week.  Throw in a doctor's appointment, a work training for my daughter, early registration for college for my son, our regular board game meeting and it gets kind of crazy.  That's where we are this week.  You should see how many lists I have been making!  It will be all worth it when it all comes together in a beautiful ceremony for a wonderful couple.  :-)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Midsummer Night's Dream.

We had a wonderful time last night watching a Midsummer Night's Dream being performed by 2 actors with the help of puppets and masks and audience members last night.  It was delightful!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Post Homeschooling.

We're in the post homeschooling phase right now.  Youngest son just had a birthday and is now 19.  He's probably going to be starting college in the fall (either college or an apprenticeship).  We've mildly tried to talk our daughter into going with him.  Her job is only in the afternoon so she can take morning classes.  We really probably need to step up the pressure because otherwise I'm afraid she'll never do it and I think that everyone needs to have some type of career skill that they can fall back on if they need it.  Meanwhile, we are trying to enjoy summer, and planning for the wedding which is in less than 2 WEEKS!

I'm on a push to try and get the kids to socialize because that can be a problem for homeschoolers especially if your homeschool group falls apart and you have to join another one for your kid's senior year, which is what happened to us.  This new group has been great and has been extremely welcoming and I kind of wish we'd just been in it the whole time.  Right now we have plans to meet with people from this group every week of the summer for either board games or Dungeons and Dragons.  I facilitate these experiences for my young adults by reserving the room at the library and staying and supervising.  I know my kids don't need me to supervise, but there are younger kids there, so for their sake, I stay and make sure no one gets into any trouble.  I'm also trying to get them to say yes to other social events which is kind of hit and miss.

I found another D&D group they could get into and they've joined that.  This one they can do without my supervision because I'm not in charge of it.  They just go to the meeting place themselves.  This is a huge step for these 2 extremely shy kids of mine.  (And no, homeschooling didn't cause it or the oldest would be shy too and he's not. So there!.)  They said no to a festival our library was having this weekend but they said yes to an event that's happening there tonight (which I will post about later).  My main focus right now is helping support them while they launch their way into the adult world.  I do think homeschooling and my particular type of helicopter parenting has made it more difficult for them to go and do things on their own, so we are all working on it together.  I also think that both of those things have made some things better for our kids and so there was a trade-off.  They are great people and we'll get through this and they'll be fine.  It's just not the same with these younger 2 as it was with the oldest.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Art Success.

Last night there was an exhibit of art from my daughter's art class.  She had 4 pieces in the exhibit and she won 3 ribbons.  In her category which was 10 to adult, she won first place, second place and best of show.  :-P

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Latest Project.

My daughter is making little crocheted dolls based on one of her manga favorites.  So far, she's made 2 heads but no bodies.  I'm not sure if she's going to make some bodies next or just make all of the heads.  :-)  Last night she said one of the creepiest things ever:  "I enjoy juggling their heads".  It was a comment on how they fit in the hand well and are soft and don't make noise when you drop them, but it sounded really weird.


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