Omelette du Fromage

I woke up naturally pretty early today, and made Summer an omelet out of a bunch of leftovers. Hers was the ugliest, and then mine happened to turn out the prettiest. Eaddie didn’t wake up until much later, but when I made hers, it came out looking somewhere in the middle.

Summer didn’t want to do anything, so I eventually left to shower and get ready for my first day at a new job. I spent some time trying to fix my still-leaking kitchen water lines. I couldn’t really tell where the water was coming from, but I think I mostly fixed it. Then I took a shower and got my backpack loaded before heading up to get the girls for a late lunch or early dinner with my parents.

Autumn stayed home, and the remaining three of us went to my parents’ house for fried shrimp and sweet potato. Dad was working up quite a sweat outside, as I had done earlier from the heat and humidity. We mostly finished eating before my parents made it back inside, and then visited for a little bit before heading back home.

Summer and I watched Jerry & Marge Go Large until Noah came over later in the evening and spent some time with us. Then I played some random YouTube videos on the TV until Summer went to bed. Eaddie hung out with Noah for a while after everyone else went to bed, and I tried to get to sleep really early.

I hate being the new guy again.

Grilled for Mothers

I woke up a couple minutes before my alarm and got out of bed so we could go downtown for the girls’ 5K. Summer got the others up, and we went down behind the city mall where people were gathering at the starting line. As soon as the girls were ready to queue up, I started walking back toward the car to get away from the loud music. It was a relatively small crowd, so I just didn’t want to stand around waiting all alone.

Ian spotted me as he walked up, and stopped to talk at me for the duration of the race. We watched everyone take off down El Paso, and he stood next to me as I leaned against a light pole. He didn’t really have anything useful to say, and just mirrored complaints I had been hearing for weeks.

Summer finished in good time. Eaddie was farther behind than I expected. Autumn took nearly an hour. Summer wanted to wait for the awards ceremony, which was good because Eaddie won third place in her division, and then Summer won second in hers. We dropped Autumn off at home after that, and then went to Stoby’s for some breakfast. I was quite happy with the “Blast” with the biscuit, hash browns, and all of the proteins with a side of gravy. It even came out to less than the eggs Benedict that Summer and Eaddie had.

After we ate, we went to Walmart to get everything I needed for twice-baked potatoes. Then we headed back to the house so I could cook them before dinner with my parents. Autumn left to take Adam to the Clarksville aquatic center, so we were free to enjoy ourselves. I baked some bacon and then got the potatoes into the oven before taking a shower. Then I gutted the potatoes and mashed everything together with some butter, sour cream, bacon, green onions, and cheese.

Once the potatoes were done, we loaded up and headed towards my parents’ house, with a brief stop at my house to change shirts. My parents had all kinds of stuff to grill, but none of it was ready yet. The charcoal was nearly ready though, so I raced to get things prepped and started cooking.

Julie and Kevin came over and we had steak, potatoes, squash and zucchini, corn, fried shrimp, and a couple plates full of smoked sausages that nobody touched. It was a lot of food, and it exhausted me for the day. We hung out for a little while after dinner and continued to watch some Vietnamese girl harvest bamboo shoots on YouTube. Autumn brought Adam over to deliver graduation tickets, and evidently asked if she could have a pool party for her birthday. I could have told her the pool wouldn’t be ready by then, but I guess she felt like she’d have better luck bypassing everyone else.

We ended up leaving before them, as Dad showed Adam his camera collection. We made it home and everyone went straight to their rooms. I fought sleep long enough to finish my own chores, and then it was off to bed.

Next time, I’ll use the stand mixer.

Witchy Woman

I slept way better last night, no thanks to the constant snoring that Autumn did all night long. It aggravated all of us to the point that even Eaddie woke up and yelled at her to flip over, which helped for a bit. I wanted to sleep in a bit since we didn’t plan for breakfast, but that didn’t happen. I got up and showered while the girls packed everything up, and then they loaded into the car like we were leaving, but I went to check on Mom to see if they had plans.

We ended up going to the clubhouse to play some more games until Dad finished at the convention. Then we went downtown to try and find a seat at the Local Flavor Cafe. There was very clearly a group of people outside waiting, so we went to La Familia for some Tex-Mex instead.

The food was great as always, but the already-bitchy Autumn just got worse when I called her out for ordering three bean burritos for $20 when most of the rest of us shared fajita platters for a buck less. We made it back for the matinée show, and then we headed straight home after that.

Summer hadn’t been feeling the best over the past day or two, and it just got worse as we drove home without a word, listening to a new playlist maker I tested out on YouTube Music. Once we got there, the girls unloaded and Autumn started some laundry while Eaddie played the flute for literally hours. Summer put on the first Iron Man, and then went to bed. I laid with her for a little while, but still had to finish my evening routine before going to sleep myself.

Who’s got time for that?

State of Dinner

I had a horrible time trying to sleep again last night, but surprisingly it didn’t hurt me too bad during the day. We had breakfast and got out of the hotel, then made it down the road to The Butterfly Palace. It was a relatively short wait, but the greenhouse was a bit smaller than I expected for the size of the building. There also weren’t quite as many butterflies as I had envisioned, but it was still a good time. They had little vials of “a scoop” of orange Gatorade mixed with two quarts of water with a little fake flower on top, and we carried those around just hoping for butterflies to land on us. I had the bright idea to stick mine behind my ear, and I think I was the first one to actually attract a butterfly.

It was a really neat experience, and we watched a little short 3D film about monarchs before we made it downstairs for a tiny reptile room and a really cool mirror maze. I started really feeling the effects of my lack of sleep while the girls were looking around the gift shop, so I waited in the car until they came out. Then we started heading toward Eureka Springs, stopping in West Branson for gas, and then Reeds Spring for some lunch at Parmesan’s Pizzeria. Their tiny dining room was packed, so we waited for a table, and the pizza was worth the wait.

We finally made it to Eureka in the rain, and got checked into the hotel after a bit of a wait. They gave us a room right next to my parents, which was convenient. I bounced back and forth between our room and theirs to talk to Mom, and then Summer and I went down to the convention center to find Dad. We weren’t hungry during the dinner break, so the girls and I found a recreation area by the pool that had ping pong, mini golf, air hockey, a couple of pool tables, and some other stuff that was mostly out of order. It was actually a lot of fun, and was probably the best thing we could do to keep out of the rain.

Eventually we had to make our way back for the evening show, and Eaddie got picked as a volunteer again. The girls seemed to enjoy it enough that we thought they might actually be willing to stay another night, but then Autumn started to get cranky again as the evening progressed.

After the show, we all went downtown for a really late dinner at The Spring on Main. We actually parked right by the entrance, but I didn’t realize it was upstairs, and we walked up a couple blocks before I realized we were in the wrong place. We made our way back down, and then up the stairs into a small, mostly empty restaurant and bar. The menu gave me a little bit of sticker shock after glancing at the prices online, but I think it was worth it. Everyone was really happy with their upscale food. It all tasted really fresh and delicious, and the service would have been excellent even if we hadn’t showed up 30 minutes before closing.

Once we ate, we headed back to the room and we had to practically wrestle Autumn into the shower after over 48 hours. Summer put on Indiana Jones, and I wrapped up as quickly as I could, hoping to sleep through Autumn’s relentless snoring.

Suffer silently.

The South Will Rise Again

I had trouble getting to, and staying asleep last night. We tried to sleep in a little bit, but really didn’t. The girls got out of bed, and we had some breakfast before hitting the town. Our first stop was Ripley’s Believe It or Not! I found myself feeling like I had been out all night long, so I didn’t really enjoy myself much, but the girls thought it was neat. Then Eaddie and I drove next door to meet Summer and Autumn at Lost Treasure Minigolf. I just kept score while they played, but it was a little annoying to me that they weren’t being more competitive about it. It seemed like they were just going through the motions, but they insisted they had fun.

After golf, we drove around town a bit before stopping at Taco Bell for a small bite before our tour at the Titanic museum. The girls really enjoyed that, but again I was still just not in the mood to wander a museum reading, or even listening to a guided tour. It was neat, but I just wished I wasn’t so tired.

From there, we went back to the hotel to relax for a bit before going down the strip to the Dolly Parton Stampede. Autumn started pitching fits over the fact that I had called her out earlier in the day about eating nothing but potatoes. The show was alright, but I liked the Medieval Times show way more. Everyone got their fill, and we headed back to the inn.

While we were at Ripley’s earlier in the day, Summer had gotten a text to schedule her Model Y delivery. As soon as we got back to the inn, she got a call saying the Saturday delivery was a mistake, and they asked us to schedule next week. I got to work trying to plan around that, and then took Autumn to Walmart to pick up some things. As soon as we got back, she went outside for half an hour with a bag of potato chips, which was all the more maddening after she acted a fool all afternoon.

The girls settled into bed to some TV, and I did my best to get to sleep as quickly as possible.

This show seems seriously problematic.

Clear for Landing

We didn’t get up too early this morning, but tried to leave at a reasonable time. I went home to clean up, then brought my stuff back just as the girls were ready. We still had to get gas though, and while we were across town I stopped at my house again to try and find a phone mount.

With all that out of the way, we made our way north, stopping at the Rotary Ann and then at a Walgreens in Harrison. We made it into Branson just in time to check into the hotel, but we didn’t stay long. With today being the only day of really nice weather, we decided to go to Branson Landing where we could walk around outside.

We were pretty hungry by the time we passed through a couple stores, so we stopped at Guy Fieri’s Branson Kitchen to eat. We sat outside, right next to the ziplines, which were way noisier than they had any right to be. Summer and Autumn got some burgers that looked pretty good. Eaddie ended up getting the steak sandwich that I kind of wanted, and I got a whole rack of ribs so I could share a bit. I thought the ribs were probably the worst thing on the table, and they tasted fine, but were pretty dry and tough.

We continued around the shopping center and stopped for some ice cream at Kilwins before going back to the water show at the center of it all. It was a short show with a little water and fire, and then we made our way back to the hotel for an evening of The Avengers and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Mac and cheese on top of toast? Where’s the cheese?

Mark My Words

Summer took Eaddie to school today, so I laid around for a little longer this morning. Eventually I got up and had some tacos for brunch before prepping a corned beef in the slow cooker for dinner. Then I went home to try and gather my thoughts for a bit before getting some last-minute help. I felt like I had everything pretty well organized, but I should have reached out for help sooner.

The afternoon was there soon, and the girls headed home with Autumn’s boyfriend in tow. Eaddie went to her room for most of the time, which meant I had to keep an eye on Autumn and Adam so I could call them out later.

Finally I was able to meet up with Mark at their new building, and I gained what perhaps what shouldn’t have been such a surprising level of insight. He definitely looked at things from a different angle, but I wasn’t too far off with some of the things I had considered. I found myself wishing I had involved him sooner, though I still felt like when the time comes, I’ll screw something up. My best-case-scenario is just a moving target, and it stresses me out.

When we finished talking, I headed up to Summer’s where she had just gotten home to an empty house. All the kids went to the movies, and ended up watching Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Summer and I ate our traditional corned beef, and then I got to work assembling my documentation into its final form. The girls eventually made it home and I talked to Eaddie a little bit. Autum talked to Summer while she settled into bed, and eventually everyone went to sleep.

Hey, I’m the victim here!

Downhill Climb

I had a few messages for my birthday today, as well as a couple of phone calls. We didn’t have any plans, and I got a pretty slow start to the morning. I think the large dinner last night made things a little worse, but I eventually got around. Eaddie had a recital at the high school, and then wanted to immediately leave for Tech to watch their symphonic wind ensemble perform.

Eaddie wasn’t fully prepared for her recital, which was out of the ordinary for her. Afterward, her instructor announced my birthday and had everyone in the room quickly sing Happy Birthday. It would have been so much more embarrassing at a slower tempo, but she kept it fast.

The Tech concert was really great. There were several solos, with two pieces that showcased the oboe and then the marimba players. The final piece was done in the dark with a video to accompany the music, and it was really incredible. I’m excited to hear Eaddie perform at that level after she leaves high school.

After the concert, we dropped Eaddie off and went to Walmart for dinner. We decided spaghetti would be relatively quick, easy, and delicious. I ran into Janie on our way to check out the clearance section, and I told her all about my suspension. She seemed to have a lot of frustration with a lot of the administration herself.

Summer took me to my house to get the Montego, and we met up back at her house to cook dinner. I wasn’t feeling well after a day without any food or hydration. I took a minute to recover, and then helped with dinner. She baked a chocolate cake, and since Autumn was finally home, we had her run to the store for some frosting and ice cream. She didn’t eat, but Eaddie at least came out for food.

Unconventional, but what did I expect?

Caught Between Two Cranks

It was rainy again for most of today, but I spent most of it in my office working on some Adobe troubles. It seemed really quiet otherwise, aside from a couple walks to the Support Services building. We had our usual Taco Tuesday, where a couple of the maintenance guys had beat us there. Then we saw Melinda and Matt come in as we were leaving.

I wasn’t much more successful in the afternoon, and it dragged on a little bit until quitting time. Summer said she should be out of work by five, so I thought we could visit with Mom and possibly take them to dinner. When I got to Superfast, she said she still had some work to do and that Eaddie changed her mind about going to a basketball game.

By the time I made it to Eaddie, she had changed her mind about three times, and then wanted us to take her to New China with Gavin. We were alright with that plan, but then the restaurant was closed and we wound up at Stoby’s.

We eventually made it to my parents’ house, but Mom was dozing on the couch, not feeling well. We made it to my house to trade vehicles, and then up to Summer’s where everyone wound down super fast. Autumn was out late with her boyfriend, and I called her out for parking on the opposite side of the campus during the game. I didn’t want to be up when she made it home, so I wrapped up quickly and hit the hay.

The problem is, we’re much smarter than you.

Năm Mới

Summer had to go to Morrilton this morning, so I had her take me home first. I spent some time picking up around the house a bit before getting a shower. Then I met her and the girls at CiCi’s for lunch. Autumn was going shopping afterward, so Summer took Eaddie home while I went to visit my parents for the lunar new year.

After hanging out for a bit, I went back home and stopped to see Bác Vân for a bit. She hasn’t been able to talk to Bác Trần on her iPad for some reason, but he was at the temple and unable to troubleshoot with us. She gave me some sweet rice, and then I headed back up to Summer’s for the evening.

Eaddie and Summer were watching a crime show, so I gave them some sweet rice and sat with them for a while. Then the girls went to their rooms early. I laid with Summer for a while until Autumn finally got home from shopping. Then I dawdled on the computer a bit before doping up and heading to bed really early.

The rabbit, you say?