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1 July 2017
I remember being very busy as a parent to 5 kids when they were little. We had diving and theater and cub scouts and Indian guides and 4H and music lessons and PTA activities (I was room mother for two classes simultaneously), and I don't know what else, but I can't hold a candle to what Laurel and Tom are doing with their 2...even with the assistance of Alice Nan and a nanny.
Yesterday was Lacie's graduation from "Safety Town," a week long program that teaches kids everything from how to cross the street safely to what to do if they are touched inappropriately. Then there was the "art show" at Bri's craft camp, then baseball practice, then driving 50 miles to Solvang to see a production of Beauty and the Beast. All this while Tom is vacating his office of 20 years and moving everything to his house, Laurel is in Arizona on business for the week and Tom is preparing a picnic for some 50 people tomorrow.
We only were part of all that, but you may never read about it because my laptop refuses to connect to the network here (though the iPhone, iPad, and tablet connect just fine--and it did just fine yesterday). Without network connection there are no photos, no way to change to a July format, and obviously no way to post anything until I get home. Also, the geriatric computer won't recognize my iPhone when it is plugged in so the only way to get photos from the phone to FTW is by posting them to Facebook, but then I can't pick them up without a network connection.
I tried eating, my usual response to stress, but that didn't seem to help.
So I'll write these entries and then, eventually...some day...find a way to add photos and post them. Don't hold your breath.
Our part in the day started at 11, when we went to the Safety Town graduation. They had set up a bunch of chairs for parents on the lawn, but only one row of adult size chairs and the rest were kids size. The adult size were all taken and I knew I could not fit in the smaller one and feared I would collapse it if I did, so resigned myself to leaning against a fence.
Alice Nan, bless her heart, went into a classroom and found a regular size chair for me.
The kids were very cute. They were divided into 4 or 5 groups, each group sang a song about safety and then each kid was given a personalized "certificate".
Amazing how proud the kids were of those certificates.
We signed Lacie out and came back to Alice Nan's for an hour or so, then off to lunch. This is "Auntie O" weekend, apparently (until Ned get here, if he does), and all Lacie was interested in was sitting with Auntie Olivia, who helped her with a puzzle sheet that the restaurant gives to kids. Eventually they had to call in the Big Guns (Grandpa) to help finish the last puzzle.
Then off to Bri's art exhibit, where she displayed the creative work she has been doing for the past week. Her teacher said she was very excited that the family was coming to see her work--and we were there en mass (7 of us).
Big deal for me -- as we were leaving, Lacie actually spoke to me for the first time. She asked if I was going to send any more Benny letters and if I could bring Benny with me next time I came. Benny was a very good idea.
Back home again and the plan was to go to Bri's softball practice, but I flaked out and went to sleep. I had planned to go order Tom's cake for tomorrow but slept too long. I just had time to get changed for the play.
We drove to Solvang, a Dutch community about 50 miles north of Santa Barbara, where Laurel grew up. Beauty and the Beast was playing at their community theater, a really nice 400 seat outdoor facility that looks like a mini Globe theater.
First, though, there was KFC in the park, and then Joe, bless him, drove me to the theater, which turned out to be only 2 blocks away (I walked back to the car afterwards).
This was our fourth time seeing the show since January. But it was very good. Some things I liked, some I didn't. It's amazing what you can do with three huge movable set pieces. Belle was wonderful, the beast sang/acted well, but needed better makeup. He looked more or less normal, but with long, messy hair so that he was more beatnik than beast. Not very scary. Gaston was better than the actor who played him in the recent Music Circus production. I didn't like the costumes for either Lumiere (who looked like he had a bean pot on his head) or Mrs. Potts -- and "Chip" ran around the stage with a cup on his head, rather than being pushed on a tea cart by his mother the way he is supposed to be.
I had one major complaint. I don't know if it was a technical glitch or a directorial choice, but the last petal on the rose is supposed to fall when the Beast collapses and is dying. In this production, it fell before there was even a fight between the Beast and Gaston.
But it was a lavish production, with wonderful choreography and despite having just seen it two days ago, I enjoyed it.
Brianna was enchanted from the start. Lacie waxed and waned, but by the exciting climax, she was wide awake and very much into it.
Afterwards Bri had her photo taken with both Gaston and the guy who runs the insane asylum where they want to take Belle's father, but Lacie was too shy and hid behind Laurel (probably what *I* would have done!).
Then was the long ride home, sitting up until 1 a.m. discussing the day, and finally collapsing. Only to wake and discover that I can't get on the internet. I'm trying to be "Zen" about it!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Waiting for the show to start
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This is entry #6705