Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Griswalds meet Ebay

So. For those of you who aren't up on my husband's newest obsessions.... it's playing the keyboard. Not just playing the keyboard (which he does very well), but purchasing them. Yes, them. You see, the first keyboard that he bought at the end of last year was great, but he rapidly outgrew its capabilities. The weighted keys were nice, but he needed more functions. So, he bought himself a new(er) one (while I was out of town by the way). He did sell/barter the new one, but then I caught him spending a little too much time on Craigslist.

Turns out, you simply cannot play Queen without owning a Fender-Rhodes electric piano. Well, in that case... we need one. He planned a stop in Atlanta on our way through from visiting the parents one weekend at the end of July to see it. It was a 1973 in pretty good shape, missing the legs and cover... but we loaded it up and headed home with his new(er) toy. (As we loaded it, the neighbor of the guy selling it asked, "Hey? Is that the piano that the homeless guy left??" Yes.

Not long at all after playing with his Craigslist gem, he began surfing once again. He needed some parts. Of course he needed some parts, you can't very well play a broken piano now can you? Ebay to the rescue. Very sheepishly he asks me if I would like to go on a trip the next weekend (last weekend). We could go to Tennessee... we could see "The Lost Sea" and go through Dahlonega, he said. Uh, yeah. The Lost Sea? He didn't just find parts, he bought a whole OTHER Rhodes piano. Turns out, the one that was sitting in the rapidly filling "music room" was the parts piano after all. Sure, we can go to Tennessee. Why not. I mean, he did go through all the trouble of searching desperately on the web to try to find family-fun entertainment near Athens, Tennessee.

The boys loved it. They were on a trip to "The Lost Sea". Wow! An underground lake? A glass bottom boat? A cave? Cool! Jeff and I had a mental image of pulling into the driveway of a little shack where a man sat, shirtless and overweight in a rickety lawnchair. We expected to arrive to him yelling to his wife inside, "Go see if the boat cranks, honey! We got visitors!". Along the trip we exchanged sideways glances that exchanged all of these images without a word.

Let me tell you something about Blairsville, GA. Whatever hellish highway takes you over Blood Mountain should have a serious warning label at the bottom. I've taken that road twice. The first time, last year, I cried like a baby, begging Jeff to PLEASE PULL OVER! I don't think I've ever been so nauseous. It was hideous. This time, it was dark and I had a full tummy. I wasn't very sick, but I did have this uncontrollable panicked feeling that we were going to plummet to our death. By the time we reached the top I had my feet on the dash, but arms around me knees, and I was trying to hold in my urge to scream out. I just knew we were going to go over a cliff or hit a tree. I felt like my mom on a plane (not that I've ever witnessed it, but I've heard stories).

After a night in the Days Inn in Athens, TN, we drove through miles of soybean farms and reached the piano. In its (and Jeff's) defense, it is very nice- it has all the parts and is in great shape for being 32 years old. We loaded it up and took two very anxious boys to The Lost Sea. Again, we looked at each other with grins... Jeff's a little more sheepish than mine for taking us on this expedition. The Lost Sea was more impressive than we thought, and more crowded. There were actual people there on actual vacations... they even took credit card. The cave was very impressive, not like the tight jagged caves I have been in before but huge HUGE rooms with flat floors. It was massive in there. There were some formations, but the sheer size was amazing. The lake was alright... but not that big of a deal. The boys liked riding in a boat in a cave, though. Besides the cave they also had a glass shop, some other little shops, and the worst BBQ I have ever eaten in my entire life. But, I was very happy not to see the dirty barefoot man in my head, hoping his boat would start so that he could collect a little money in a dusty Mason Jar.

On the way up there, we ate at the Smith House for lunch. They found a gold mine directly under the building last year, which the boys loved. On the way back, (which did NOT take us over Blood Mountain, by the way), we stopped back through Dahlonega and ate at The Crimson Moon Cafe. They were getting ready for the live music later that night, but we got to hear a little while we ate. It was a much better stop through than expected! We had forgotten that Dahlonega was a college town.

So, now we have 3 keyboards (2 and some parts if you ask Jeff), but a happy husband and two satisfied children... and a wife who enjoys hiding outside the door so she can hear a pretty good Black Crowes cover by the man she loves.

Plus it was a fair price to pay for a get-out-of-jail-free-card for any big purchases that may be made in the future...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Stayin' in the lines... (something Daddy was never quite good at)

Well, Asa has become completely entranced with coloring. They both love to color, so I went and bought them their own colored pencils in little metal cases, so they could take them with us on trips, to restaurants, etc. Well, Asa started on a picture two days ago, a single page in a coloring book. He has been working on it diligently... hours a day. The boy has such a hard time sitting still, but I have watched as he focuses and colors. When he starts to get antsy he will say, "I need to take a break!" and do a lap around the house or bounce on the couch, and then come back and start again. I am impressed.

Addison has learned from Asa how to color in the lines, which is awsome! He's also learned to hold his pencil correctly... although unlike Asa, he uses his left hand. I love to see them learn from each other in a way other than learning how to kick their underwear onto the top of the kitchen cabinets or teaching each other how to tie Daddy's shoe laces into a ratnest. It took Asa three days to complete his masterpiece... and he was as proud as I told him he would be!



Thursday, August 16, 2007

Habla Espanol?

At dinner tonight, we were all talking about the upcoming preschool year... the new teachers they'll have, the new friends they'll make, and that they will have Spanish class with Ms. Lizzy. Addison asked me what red was in Spanish, and I replied with rojo. I asked them what blue was in Spanish, and they both answered with azul (thank you, Dora). After a bit more discussion, Addison asked me what the Spanish word for 'sideways' was. Uhhh... I had no idea.
Sideways? Yes. Sideways. Jeff and I both shrugged our shoulders. Addison then let us know that he knew the word. He said something like "horesh-unkle". What? He was kind of mumbling and we tried to get him to repeat it. "horresh-unckle". We were puzzled. At this point, we were just trying to get him to say it clearly enough for us to look online and see if he was close. We had no clue. As they got up from the table, Jeff and I stayed and repeated the word that Addison was saying. "Horeshunkle?" Slower... horesoncle.... horisoncle.... horizontal! Well, it's not Spanish, but it does mean sideways.

(by the way, according to, the Spanish word is indirecto)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We have violins!

The boys got their new violins today! They really enjoyed the violin shop- and I really enjoyed when it was time to get them out of there. There were huge basses, cellos, and violins everywhere... and there I was with two over-energetic four year olds. Yikes. They are very excited and can't wait for Ms. Becca to show them what to do! These violins are TINY!! Addison's arms are a little shorter than Asa's, so his is a 1/32. Asa's is a 1/16. Wow!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I'm Melting!

This heat is amazing. You step outside and are hit by a curtain of heat... You can't really run and play in it! So, we're trapped indoors, for the most part... us and the kitties. As you can see, the heat is leaving us all exhausted...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

We do windows

Wow. The boys had their halos on yesterday... of course, these are the special halos with built-in amplifiers. They may have been loud, but they vacuumed, washed my windows, cleaned their room, and helped me put away clothes! Addison vaccuumed the whole downstairs and up the stairs... and thanks to Grandmomma, Asa can fold clothes all by himself. Too bad when their thirteen I'll have to beg, plead, and threaten to get them to do this kind of stuff! It'll be great ot have some grass-mowers!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Broken glass

Wow. These boys are growing up fast. Sunday morning, Asa came into our room and woke us up with a very sheepish look on his face. He stumbled around his words for a bit and then let us know that he was trying to get a bowl down all by himself to get cereal, but he *actually* (favorite word) knocked a glass down and it broke. He was really shaken up, but I thanked him for telling me and went down to clean it up. Now, it turns out that he had already eaten... he had the bowl, had poured cereal and milk in, got the spoon, all by himself. I'm not sure what the train of events was that left the glass broken on the floor...

Addison just wanted to make sure that I knew that he wanted to wait for me to fix his cereal because he didn't want to do anything like knock a glass down off the counter. He is the family brown-noser for sure.

I am just amazed that they are old enough to be doing things that I remember doing. How many of us have knocked a glass off the counter while our parents were asleep on a Sunday morning? I was just thankful that Asa isn't yet like I was... Asa came upstairs and got me. Back in the day, I just scraped up all the evidence and crammed it into the trash compactor.  The combination of glass and compactor managed to actually break a piece off of the compactor.  So, I took my brother with me to share the blame, walked to the end of the driveway, and chunked the compactor piece across the street- into McLucas' cornfield. That cornfield was a graveyard from broken evidence... the emblem off of my mom's old Crown Victoria and who knows what else. I guess my kids will have to come up with another solution. Across the street from us is a city park.