Thursday, October 29, 2015

Awards Day

Today I went to J.C. Magill--twice!--to see the girls get their awards for the first nine weeks of school:

From her place at a lunchroom table with her class, Elyse spots me among the other parents.

Elyse's teacher, Ms. Redd

Ms. Redd getting ready to call up her students

Elyse shakes hands with the principal

Elyse holds up her award

Jessica's teacher, Mrs. Banks, calls Jessica's name

Jessica shakes hands with the principal

Jessica with her classmates

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekend Getaway

This weekend, Elyse spent Saturday and Sunday with Granny and Pa, while Jessica and Mommy and Daddy (or Anna and Chris, as everyone besides our children call us, or Anna and I, as I refer to us) went on a drive up into the mountains.

We drove up US 441 (my favorite route) through north Georgia, stopping at the Tallulah Point Overlook in Tallulah Falls to look at the gorge and various rustic knickknacks, and buy snacks:

and then we went up into North Carolina, our drive slowing to a crawl as we went through Franklin's downtown Halloween festival, and then stopped for lunch at the Haywood Smokehouse in Dillsboro (it was the Dillsboro Smokehouse when I stopped there two years ago on a similar drive). The barbecue was fantastic. Unfortunately, none of us took any pictures of the building or the food or us eating it.

After that, we drove through Cherokee, NC, and into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (or GSMNP for short), where we walked around the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the Mountain Farm Museum for about an hour:

(Jessica took this picture of me taking a picture of her.)

We then drove up into GSMNP, stopping a couple of times at scenic overlooks:

and then we stopped at Newfound Gap at the North Carolina/Tennessee border, where we walked around and explored the Rockefeller Memorial for a while:

Jessica and Anna walked about a tenth of a mile on the Appalachian Trail:

Jessica found a rock with a hole in it that was just right for her arm:

(I suspect the hole wasn't actually made for that purpose, however.)

From here, we drove a bit north with the intention of going out the north end of the park, through Gatlinburg, and into Pigeon Forge for supper. However, the traffic came to a virtual standstill--in the space of twenty minutes, we only went one mile, which meant it would take us three hours to make it out of the park at that point. So, we turned around and drove many, many miles to our hotel in Cornelia, Georgia; it was pretty far away, but the closest place I could find a decently-priced room at this time of year (what with all the fall leaf-watchers and all).

The next morning we spent some time walking around the (basically deserted) downtown area of Cornelia. I was very happy to learn that Jessica shares my love of exploring small towns:

(All the pictures of Anna and me were taken by Jessica with her own camera. Thanks, Jessica!)

After that, we headed for home, stopped for lunch (and a bit of looking around) at the Mall of Georgia, and picked up Elyse around 3:00.

It was a wonderful trip, even if a little too short. I can't wait to go on our next one!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Baby Bluebird Bath Time

Here are some pictures I made a few days ago of a bluebird family taking a bath in our back yard:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Camp Meriwether

This weekend, Mommy, Jessica, and Elyse went on a Girl Scouts camping trip to Camp Meriwether in Luthersville, Georgia, about a two-hour drive from home. It was Elyse's first year there, but Mommy and Jessica's third.

Here are some pictures from their weekend:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Daddy's Not-So-Excellent Adventure

I don't want to make too big of a deal out of this, but I had to spend several hours in the emergency room at the hospital this afternoon and evening. (And in the interest of accuracy, I'm going to pull back the curtain for a minute and admit that I'm writing this two weeks after the fact, so when I say "this afternoon," I actually mean two weeks ago. I often create the posts here on Planet Burdett days or weeks after the event, but write about it as if it just happened and put the date of the event on the post to give the impression that I'm on top of things.)

I met my friend Pearl for lunch at Lenox, and while we were there I started to feel not so good. As I was driving home, I started to feel really not so good; in fact, I had such an unbearable pain in my side I had to pull into a parking lot and get up and walk around a bit. I went in (to a Walmart Market, for whatever that detail is worth) and used the bathroom, but that didn't help.

By the time I got home, I knew something was really wrong, so I called my parents and asked them to take my to the ER.

Well, to make a long story not drag on too much longer, I had a kidney stone. The pain was awful, but, fortunately for me, it subsided after only a couple of hours. They sent me home with pain meds and said it would eventually pass.

Which, since I'm writing this from the future (it's actually October 16 as I type this), I can say that it did. I had pain off and on for a couple of days, sometimes pretty bad, but compared to some stories I've heard, my experience was fairly mild. I'm grateful for that.

Unfortunately, having had one kidney stone, I'm now at an increased risk for it to happen again. I'll keep you informed.