five things, august 24 edition

beach day.jpg

Summer's last stand. And for the record, that's a dolphin fin, not a shark!

1. I guess I think it's time. It's helped that it's been cool and threatening rain all week, and having middle school orientation on Thursday helped us gear up too. But maybe, just maybe, I'm starting to get ready for structure and routines again. Noreen at beauty of everyday life gives her Top Five here, and she's right. She should know! So much will change for us on Monday, for all of us. But it's all good.

2. I think I'm thinking about investing in one of these planners. Anybody have any experience with them? My friend Megan told me about them, and I'm totally intrigued. As you may remember from my "My Monday With..." post over at InspirationCOOPERATIVE, I'm a sucker for a paper calendar. I also firmly believe that the proper materials will make me better organized, eat healther, exercise regularly, enjoy cleaning, look younger (and prettier!)... well, you get the picture. They're not cheap, but look! Aren't they dear? What think you?

3. I think I'm still searching for a tote I like. Most of the ones I've really fallen in love with are too pricey. Gah. As long as I'm asking your opinion on things, what think you of this, this or this? And which would go best with my new planner?

4. I think Neel and I had the best trip down memory lane, inspired by Wednesday's post about our trip to Ithaca and champagne grapes. We were reminiscing like old people. Wait. Maybe we are old people! It was so fun to pull up the memories of that long ago trip and see how our collective thoughts agree and diverge. He remembers things I don't. And I remember things that he doesn't. Some of the same funny things stand out. Like we both remember the guy who took us out for the sail (a salty old chap) and how he held up a cell phone and said, "If I have a heart attack, use this to call for help." Of course I thought, I have no idea how to use that thing. As you know, I remember the grocery store, but he remembers helping a couple who stayed at the B&B whose windshield shattered. We moved into their room when they left. What we both remember is being at a winery when one woman who was at a tasting with us said she liked her wine with ginger ale, and the person running the tasting said "As long as people are drinking wine, I'm happy." What we both learned is that we're not B&B people. We loved the baked french toast. We just didn't love talking to people so much. Give us a gorgeous old hotel anytime, such as this one. Which is where we stayed on our last night in Ithaca. I'd love to go back sometime. What's a 10 hour drive for gorgeous hotels, a stunning lake, waterfall hikes and wineries? Hmmmmm?

5. I think the best part of my week came yesterday afternoon, after many little aggravations (including a very minor fender bender, minor yes, but still). Driving three soon-to-be seventh graders to their middle school orientation, lined up like ducklings in my backseat, they played some game called Parking Mania on the iPad, and sang along to Call Me Maybe, summer still shining in their cheeks. I dropped them off at orientation and snuck in to sit in the back. I pulled in to drop them off, and said "Okay guys here you go." They all just sat there, watching their friends stream into the auditorium where they were supposed to meet. One was worried that he was over dressed, one that he was the only one in a tee shirt. Again I said "Okay guys." Still they didn't budge. Finally I had to say, "Guys, you're supposed to get out here." They're still so young.

At orientation, 14 students spoke to us about the middle school and all sorts of stuff from lockers to schedules to after-school activities and detentions. After the kids left, the director talked to the parents about how important it is to give kids the oppportunity to fail. And that seventh grade is a great time to do that. "And about those detentions," he said. "They're not always such a bad thing. Some of our closest factulty student relationships have stemmed from detentions." He laughed. "Half the trees planted on this campus are the result of detentions!" What is my hashtag for this? #thisismylife #I'mprettyhappyaboutthat.