Monday, August 9, 2010

Twenty and Counting...

by Jeanne Adams

Yes, I confess.

YES, I DO want my children to go back to school. If that makes me a terrible Mama, for wanting to bring all this camp trekking and weird schedules to a close, then I'm a terrible Mama.

I want to get back on schedule.

Is that so wrong??

A few years ago, one of the office supply stores, Staples, did a television ad where the children look glum and the father is joyously loading school supplies into the cart while "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays in the background. Check it out here, on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPIIMbG9R4w

Grins. I love this. I feel this way. I'm so baaaaaaad.

Now to be fair, my eldest son is actually happy about getting back to school and to his "buds" - he doesn't get to see all of them in the summer, and certainly not every day. Everyone's been off to sleepaway camp, or visiting relatives, or traveling hither and yon. He wants to see everyone.

You can see where his priorities lie, which doesn't bode well for scholarship but sure means he'll be well socialized. Sigh. He's still got three more weeks of camp, so he's happy about that, and his daily does of his crew is forthcoming as well. The cherry on top is a new Miami Heat Backpack.

*eye roll from mom*

Best of both worlds for him though. Besides, he seems to love the whole school supply thing as much as I do. Shiny notebooks, cool backpacks, new lunchboxes...

My youngest is both excited and apprehensive. He'll be a kindergartner in the fall.

Woot! Big boy school with his brother. The only year they'll be in school together.

He's excited about the backpack and all the supplies too, but being my "shark-boy" who loves to swim, he's VERY bummed that the pool will close right after school starts. (nope, that isn't our pool. I wish it were! We belong to a neighborhood pool)

All that said, I want school to start so I can have a regular schedule. One week this summer, I drove every day to two different camps in two different parts of our county. Two boys + varied interests = two camps. By the time I got done with drop-off, got coffee and got home, it was nearly eleven. I had to pick one up at 2:30 and the other at 4:30.
While I know this can be worse for others, with more children, compare the times I listed. Do the math....and,Yep, you guessed it.

Do you think I got any writing done?

Sigh. I DID manage to eke out some pages but not at my usual steady pace.

Then Came National.

The pre-work for National was garnering babysitters, making sure there were lists for camp, including what days were swim days, what days were field trip days and what days were "normal" days.

Yikes! My poor husband doesn't usually have to deal with all this in addition to his demanding work. Between camp, power outages, huge storms, baseball tournaments that ran late due to the heat (1 a.m. late), and what to pack for lunches, he nearly pulled out what hair he has.

He appreciates me so much, now that I'm back. Grins. I think the dogs even did a happy dance when I came home since they got regular meals and there wasn't laundry piled up where they like to sleep. Grins.

(Please don't think I'm ragging on him, he did a great job under tedious circumstances, so I have to give him his props!)

Anyway, I don't remember there being this much focus on camp or summer activities when I was a kid. Did you have this? All the different sports camps? Maybe it's just that I grew up in a more rural area...I don't know.

So here as the summer closes, tell me this:

Did you go to camp?

What was your favorite camp of all time? Least favorite?

What was your favorite summer activity?

Did you go to your County or State fair?

What was your favorite thing to do at the fair?

If you have kids, are you ready for them to go back to school, or are you dreading the end of summer?

Did you have a favorite lunch box? Tell, tell....

98 comments:

Donna MacMeans said...

woohoo - I do believe the GR is mine!

Becke Davis said...

Ooooh, so close!!!

Congrats, Donna!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

He is, he is! Hey Donna! How was your weekend at the reunion?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Becke!

Donna MacMeans said...

Jeanne - I love the picture of the dancing dogs and, yes, I imagine they were thrilled to have you home.

I don't recall all the organized activities when I was that young. Everything that qualified was held at the elementary school which was in walking distance from our row house. My father used the one family car to go to work so there wasn't really a means of transportation if a variety of activities actually existed.

I remember going to camp and learning how to whittle, and when I got older - I went to Girl Scout camp every summer. I recall a summer program offered at the school- something designed to keep the neighborhood kids out of mischief. I made potholders and jumped rope.

Yes, I remember the glee of the sending my kids off at the beginning of the school year, but those days are long behind me. It's all nostalgia now.

Becke Davis said...

Hi Jeanne and Donna! Summer camp and I were not friends. I only went to a Brownie day camp, but wandered off and found a small shed that apparently housed the electrical generator or something. I peeked in the small window and saw a flashlight moving around in there and totally freaked out.

I was convinced there was, at the very least, a murderer in there. Too much Nancy Drew! My mom had to come get me, and that was the end of my summer camp experience.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna said: Yes, I remember the glee of the sending my kids off at the beginning of the school year, but those days are long behind me. It's all nostalgia now.

Grins. Well, you remember it, so you know how I'm feeling.

Did you have a fav lunchbox for school?

Donna MacMeans said...

I had a great time seeing old friends, Jeanne, thanks for asking. Also got a chance to dance away the evening to rock and roll and not techno-babble (grin).

But the real treat came when we took my sister out to Sunday brunch. The waitress mentioned that she lived in Greenhills - where I went to school. I gave her a bookmark and she - a total stranger - said she'd read my books! Wow! That was better than dessert!

Becke Davis said...

It's weird to think the beginning of the school year is off my radar now, with my kids both out of college.

They both did camp once, with their fifth grade classes, and my son also went to Space Camp (which he loved).

Come to think of it, I did have another summer camp experience. I got a job through a government grant program when I was 15 - I'd already taken 3 years of Spanish, so I qualified.

I worked for 6 weeks at a local orphanage, and then a month at their camp in Eagle River, Wisconsin. I bunked with kids my own age, even though I was an assistant counselor. Very weird set up, but a lot of fun!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke said: I was convinced there was, at the very least, a murderer in there. Too much Nancy Drew! My mom had to come get me, and that was the end of my summer camp experience.

*muffled snork* Um, I shouldn't laugh, but....SNORK! Sorry.

How funny! Waaaay too much Nancy Drew, I think. No wonder you're the Mystery Gal! Grins. Did you have a favorite lunchbox?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna said: I gave her a bookmark and she - a total stranger - said she'd read my books! Wow! That was better than dessert!

WTGo, Donna! Love it! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke said: I worked for 6 weeks at a local orphanage, and then a month at their camp in Eagle River, Wisconsin. I bunked with kids my own age, even though I was an assistant counselor. Very weird set up, but a lot of fun!

That does sound fun! I went to a couple of wilderness type camps, but nothing too major. Space Camp sounds awesome. Would love to have done that...grins.

Donna MacMeans said...

I'm not sure you could call those brown paper bags - lunchboxes (grin). But I remember looking with envy at other's beautiful lunchboxes. Only I recall they had a funny smell about them. Too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I guess.

Becke - that sounds like the birth of your passion for mysteries! You've regretted not learning who was the bearer of the flashlight and have since tried to quench that hunger with suspense and mystery novels (grin).

Becke Davis said...

Wow, Donna - that is so cool!

Jeanne - yes, I started reading mysteries at 8 or 9, and have Alfred Hitchcocked myself into a real basket case. As a kid, I would lay in bed as the stairs creaked, convinced someone was sneaking up to kill us all.

It didn't help that I was the neighborhood babysitter, often the only one awake in the house at the midnight hour. Scary stories around the campfire would have done me in, for sure! It was bad enough my brother would tell me stories about the claw scratches on the hood of the car . . .

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Heehee. Donna, I carried a lot of brown paper bags too, although my Mama would fancifully write my name on them in different ways, so I didn't mind. Grins.

After a few years, I got a metal lunchbox. It was a hand me down Barbie from my sister. I would rather have had GI Joe. Snork!

Becke Davis said...

Lunch boxes - nope, don't think I ever had one. I lived a block from school and had to walk home and eat there. By the time I went to high school, I was too cool for a lunch box. If they had made Nancy Drew lunch boxes, I would have had one of those. Or later, a Beatles one.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke said: Scary stories around the campfire would have done me in, for sure! It was bad enough my brother would tell me stories about the claw scratches on the hood of the car . . .

"The hook...it was the hook..."

Grins. Remember that one? About the man with the hook on his arm who was coming to the campfire to snatch someone away?

I could tell that with sound effects and brooding voices and scare the bats out of everyone, including myself!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke, if I see a Nancy Drew lunch box, I'm buying it for you! Haha!

I'd probably get a Scooby Do, or GI Joe or one of the Marvel characters now. Iron Man or Thor would rock!

I can't wait to see what Nancy would have chosen if she didn't already have one of her liking.

Becke Davis said...

That's the one!!! Damn, I was about to head off to bed, but now I'll have nightmares, for sure. If I hear scratching on the window, I'll know it's the GR's evil twin, come to get me!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! I know!

*shivers*

Of course, I'm heading for bed too, so I shouldn't gloat. We'll compare nightmare notes in the morning.

Grins.

Becke Davis said...

I found a cool Beatles one: http://bit.ly/bfeNWM

There's a Nancy Drew one, but it's dorky - based on the TV show, not the books: http://bit.ly/bNF5o2

Becke Davis said...

At least we'll both have some good scary story ideas in the morning. Or very strange ones!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, man, how close were you two, Becke and Donna? Congrats, Donna! The rooster was living it up at RWA last time I saw him - I suspect he's still got bags under his eyes.

Jeanne, what a fun post. Actually summer camp wasn't/isn't such a big thing in Australia. I remember spending most of my summer holidays reading romances. We always had a beach holiday too which I loved!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Hawaiian keiki (children) have abandoned their surf boards and gone back to school!

While I was partying in Orlando, my chidren attended Camp Grandma in Ohio, which included rocket building at the Air Force Museum! So while I lugged home too many romance books, they lugged home rocket launchers, et al. No wonder TSA looked at us strangely!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Donna.

Hi Jeanne,
I've never been to camp, but I do hope I'll be able to experience sleeping outdoors in a tent and huddle around a fire. I've also never been to a county or state fair, but there are a bunch of street fairs here that I've been to. One of my favorites is the San Gennaro Feast. The food is the best part. I loved my Wonder Woman lunchbox. Wish I still had it.

PJ said...

Congrats on grabbing the GR, Donna!

Jeanne, it sounds like everyone welcomed you home with open arms! I love that picture of the dancing dogs. Kind of reminds me of my two when I picked them up after National. *grin*

I grew up on a lake so every summer day was like camp. We swam, boated, swam, canoed, skied, swam...you get the picture. I went to Girl Scout Day Camp when I was seven and eight then away to GS camp for two weeks, starting when I was nine. I loved going away for camp! At fourteen, I traded GS camp for a summer in Mexico as an exchange student. At fifteen, I spent the summer as a paid babysitter for my brothers while my mom took college classes (not so much fun but the $ was nice!). My sixteenth summer was the ultimate sleep-away camp: language and cultural studies in Europe. My love of travel was nurtured at a young age. ;-)

We always went to the county fair and I loved everything about it: the rides, the food, the 4-H exhibits, the concert.

I know I always had a new lunchbox each fall but I honestly don't remember any of them. Guess they just didn't make that much of an impression on me.

When my niece,nephew and grandson were little, I became camp. They would all travel to our house for two weeks in the summer. I'd make an "invitation" to send them in May, then we'd hang a huge banner over the front door to welcome them when they arrived. They (and most of the other kids in the neighborhood) would swim in our pool every day, we'd bake and cook fun stuff together, do crafts and go on lots of cool field trips. Good memories!

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Anna Sugden said...

LOl I think you're not the only Bandita who's counting down the days until school starts again. As a former teacher, I can tell you it's not something i used to count down to!

I don't remember going to camps when I lived in the US - though I do remember going to one at some point which took us into the wilds of Virginia and we saw a Civil War uniform hanging up in a cave (lovely story of two brothers on opposite sides during the war).

Summer holidays were spent at the neighbourhood pool with my pals and that was about it.

I must have had a lunchbox for my two years of school over in the States, but I don't remember it. I did get one of those lovely workman-style lunchboxes from a designer friend years later.

I've been to a few county fairs on my travels, but never a proper state fair. It's on my to-do list.

Anna Sugden said...

How lovely, Donna! We like waitresses who have such great reading taste!

Becke - I only made one trip to Brownies too. I can't remember it, but apparently I didn't think too much of Brown Owl and said so ... it was suggested that I wasn't a Brownie kinda gal *g*.

Forgot to say, Jeanne, that if I'd had a lunchbox, I'm sure it would have been a Starsky and Hutch one as I loved them!

Helen said...

Well done Donna just piped Becke for him have fun with him

Jeanne

We never had camps here in Australia that I went to or my kids although there were the occaisional Guide or Scout camp that my kids went to. We always went away to the country or beach for a holiday and then spent time at home watching heaps of TV or going to the movies etc.
I don't think you are a bad Mum I always loved the start of school holidays but am always glad when they go back to school and I can get into some routine again I love my routine LOL. I gotta say I always loved shopping for new school supplies.

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I never went to any kind of camp over the summer. I was a stay at home kind of kid. Gramdma always lived right behind us. When mother started working in the summers grandma would just come over to me. I spent most of my summers reading and I so identify with Becke, over active imagination just about did me in a couple of times and an abnormal curiosity got me in trouble as I "explored". I have had my head caught between boards, my hands and feet caught in holes and one time even my head and shoulder stuck in a culvert. I wasn't allowed to cross the road (main road up elk river) so I thought okay, I will go under it. During rains I discovered there was a huge pipe on the other side of the road that dumped water into a creek that fed the river. During a dry spell I just thought I would crawl up the pipe which was really big at my end, uh, not so big as it went under the road.

My fav lunch box was Roy Rogers, I loved Trigger.

To this day I can spend hours in Office Max, there is just something about fresh new paper and pens that I can't resist.

I hated for school to start when I had kids though. Neither of them were joiners so our summers had routine that suited us all and school messed that up big time.LOL

Dianna Love said...

Jeanne -
I think you're a normal mamma. I'm sure mine must have been thrilled when school started because we (five) were home all day the entire summer with her. It was during the era of one family car that went to work with Dad and no summer camp of any type. We were sent outdoors to find a way to entertain ourselves (when we weren't doing normal chores), which we did then spent the weekends fishing (grew up in Florida). I loved fishing. ;)

I'm amazed at any mother who gets writing done. I remember when my now-grown nieces were babies and I volunteered to watch the first one when my brother and SIL came to visit. That's what I literally did - watched that baby all day whether she was asleep or awake. I'd had big plans to do paperwork (I had a business) while I was home with her that day. Never happened. I'm clueless on how you moms get so much done AND write.

Beth said...

LOL, Jeanne! I'll gladly join you in the Terrible Mama Club as I start counting down to the first day of school in June *g*

I'm of the mind that kids are happier when they have a schedule and while mine don't get bored, they do start getting cranky around the second week in August. Of course, school doesn't start until the end of August which means I get to hang out with grumpy teens for another few weeks :-)

And I always wanted a lunch box but the grade school I went to didn't have a cafeteria which meant we all walked (neighborhood school) to school in the morning, walked home for lunch, then walked back in the afternoon *g* Man, I feel old just typing that!

Deb Marlowe said...

It's hard to be productive when everything is unsettled and one day is never like the last! I'm with you Jeanne, I like the school day schedule. So much easier.

My youngest started school last week and he was ready to go. Missed his buds! We had lots of fun during break, but I think he liked the predictability too.

I had a Partridge family lunch box when I was a kid! It was a hand-me-down, but I loved it! I remember all the boys had Star Wars lunch boxes.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke said: At least we'll both have some good scary story ideas in the morning. Or very strange ones!

Mine were strange, but that's okay...I can work with strange! Grins.

Hey Becke, that Beatles lunchbox is cool!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna C said: I remember spending most of my summer holidays reading romances. We always had a beach holiday too which I loved!

What a great way to spend the summer! Grins. I used to spend it doing the summer reading competition at the library. After a while, they stopped letting me compete. Grins. They decided that as the Librarian's daughter, I ought to be an Honorary Winner every year since I pretty much outread every one in my age group. I just devoured books during the summer, so the way you describe it sounds divine!

Joan said...

Jeanne, Donna, Becke...what time did ya'll end up going to bed??!!!

I attended Girl Scout Day camp for 2.5 days. It was held in the midst of sweltering summer. I was aghast when they assigned me "Johnny Hopper" duty....cleaning up the outhouses which had HUGE Granddaddy long leg spiders!

I almost herniated when we found a snake skin and then helped cook pigs in blankets (hot dogs wrapped in canned biscuit). I kept dropping the biscuits in the dirt....picked it out and refused to eat.

So yeah, summer camp...not so much.

I used to LOVE shopping for school supplies and still get a bit nostalgic smelling the pencils and paper. I had a Flying Nun lunchbox.

And yes, we went to the State Fair. Ours starts in about 10 days and it will be the first in years that I don't have cakes and cookies out there.

Sigh...oh well....more time for corn dog eating. :-)

jo robertson said...

Ah, Jeanne, what a great and timely post! You can well imagine my giddy delight when September rolled around every year and I got to usher the kids back. Big whew!!!

When the youngest started first grade I went back to full-time teaching so September meant returning to school for me as well.

As a girl I LOVED, LOVED when school started, and it always began after Labor Day. School here now starts August 17!!! WTH is that about????

PJ said...

And yes, we went to the State Fair. Ours starts in about 10 days and it will be the first in years that I don't have cakes and cookies out there.


Joanie, you're not entering this year? Man, there are going to be some disappointed judges at that fair!

jo robertson said...

Yay, Donna! I imagine the rooster is exhausted from his trekking back and forth between Orlando and the Lair.

Dang, Becke, close, but no cigar!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kim said: rocket building at the Air Force Museum! So while I lugged home too many romance books, they lugged home rocket launchers, et al. No wonder TSA looked at us strangely!

I had to LOL at this. I got some strange looks at TSA because of the stack of books in my carry on.

I would have loved to go to rocket school, wouldn't you?

BTW, fab to see you in Orlando.

jo robertson said...

We didn't have much in the way of camp or summer activities when I was a kid. I think the stone tablets were too expensive!

But my own kids had a great summer camp when Dr. Big was working every summer for his doctorate residency. We stayed in the dorms and the campus organized college students studying to be elementary teachers into FUN CAMP. It was a great relief to me!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jane said: One of my favorites is the San Gennaro Feast. The food is the best part. I loved my Wonder Woman lunchbox. Wish I still had it.

Oooh, that sounds fun! :> And how COOL that you had a WonderWoman lunchbox. You should try a county fair sometime...

jo robertson said...

Oh, Donna! That gives me chills, thinking of a total stranger having read your books! What a thrill!

jo robertson said...

What fun to be a camp counselor, Becke! Did you do all of the outdoor activities with them? What was the most fun part?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

PJ said: My sixteenth summer was the ultimate sleep-away camp: language and cultural studies in Europe. My love of travel was nurtured at a young age. ;-)

Oh, PJ, this sounds so lovely. I adore the thought of the Welcome banner too.

Had to LOL about not remembering the lunchboxes. Grins. I only remember a couple.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna S: I don't remember going to camps when I lived in the US - though I do remember going to one at some point which took us into the wilds of Virginia and we saw a Civil War uniform hanging up in a cave (lovely story of two brothers on opposite sides during the war).

What a cool memory. :> Do you still have the cool lunchbox?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna S: Forgot to say, Jeanne, that if I'd had a lunchbox, I'm sure it would have been a Starsky and Hutch one as I loved them!

Oh, COOOOOL! That would have been awesome. :> I would've probably had a Quincy ME one. SNORK!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Helen said: I don't think you are a bad Mum I always loved the start of school holidays but am always glad when they go back to school and I can get into some routine again I love my routine LOL. I gotta say I always loved shopping for new school supplies.

I do love my routine, surprisingly enough. Grins. Now that I'm writing full time, and only occasionally doing some consulting or teaching, my kids schedule is my schedule. And when they are on this wacky summer camp thing - one week it ends at noon, the next week, 6:30, the next 2:30 - I can't get in a rhythym. Makes me cranky. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna said: To this day I can spend hours in Office Max, there is just something about fresh new paper and pens that I can't resist.

I know! Isn't it wonderful!? Grins.

Had to totally LOL about the culvert. I used to do stuff like that too. I got stuck up a tree once...grins.

Becke Davis said...

Anna (S.) - I don't think I was a Brownie kind of girl, either!

Becke Davis said...

Joan - I try to avoid looking at the clock when I get on one of my night owl binges! I read 100 pages of a book once I finally hit the sack.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna Love said: We were sent outdoors to find a way to entertain ourselves (when we weren't doing normal chores),

We did this too - we went out and didn't come back for hours - you could do that back then. :>

As to writing whe you're a mom, you do it by hook or by crook, when ever you can. :> Now that mine are older, it's easier, and will get even MORE effective this year with my youngest in school.

Becke Davis said...

Jo - the most fun part of that camp was making friends with my bunkmates. We had a very odd range of music, and only a cheap turntable to play it on. (This was many, many years ago.) The girl in the top bunk had a thing for Andy Williams, and to this day I can remember the words to all the songs on his Moon River album.

I rode in a kayak for the first time that summer, and in a canoe. I loved it when the other counselors - all adults - took me along on their nights off. I was hired because I could speak some Spanish, but never needed to use it.

I was a Presbyterian girl in a Catholic camp, and one of the nuns taught me to sing "Dominique" in French. Lots of great memories - and I got paid for being there!

Becke Davis said...

PJ - your summer abroad sounds idyllic!

Becke Davis said...

Dianna - I loved Roy Rogers, too, but I wasn't into horses. I think I was about five when I got hooked on that show, and when I was old enough to write, I sent him a fan letter and got an autographed picture in return. I remember been fascinated by it - my first crush! (I know, I know . . .)

TerriOsburn said...

The only thing I did during the summers as a kid was play softball and play outside. We were NEVER inside during the summer. I did do band camp in HS but I don't think that counts. :)

Kiddo spends all 10 weeks of her summer half way across the country in a county in AR that doesn't even have a traffic light. Seven weeks in and she's more than ready to come home. Happens at the same point every year.

She can't wait to get back and go back to school. Like your kiddo, mine misses her friends who she doesn't even get to talk with during the summer. I imagine in the next couple of years, things will need to be renegotiated.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beth said: I'll gladly join you in the Terrible Mama Club as I start counting down to the first day of school in June *g*

Wooot! Yippeee! Another "start the countdown now!" Mom! Yeah!

Grins. Had to LOL about walking home for lunch. I actually think that's cool.

Nancy said...

Donna, congrats on the GR!

Nancy said...

Jeanne, you make me glad I have a teenager. We still have to do haircut, school supplies, locker selection day, etc., but he's independent in a lot of ways that make like easier.

Becke Davis said...

I always liked the school supplies/school clothes shopping trip, even though they were always more expensive than I expected. And there were always random things the teacher put on the "must have" list that I couldn't find anywhere.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Deb said: I had a Partridge family lunch box when I was a kid! It was a hand-me-down, but I loved it! I remember all the boys had Star Wars lunch boxes.

Heehee! Loved those Star Wars lunch boxes. My son wants a Star Wars Lunchbox and a Silver Surfer backpack, which I don't think they make. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joan said: I used to LOVE shopping for school supplies and still get a bit nostalgic smelling the pencils and paper. I had a Flying Nun lunchbox.

Me too, Joanie. And a Flying Nun lunchbox must have be AWESOME! I loved the Flying Nun! :> Totally cool.

I know you're a fair goer and a fair baker. Not baking for the fair this year means more time to send care packages of chocolate chip cookies to languishing Banditas....hint, hint....

Oh, and for corn dog eating too. GRINS!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: You can well imagine my giddy delight when September rolled around every year and I got to usher the kids back. Big whew!!!


Jo, I thought about you when I made the comment that it was probably SO much worse for people with more kids...grins.

I don't know what the earlier start times are about. I know that some schools in budget-pinched districts actually gambled with the snow day thing and put off start times. We go back the last week in August, before Labor Day.

So, do you remember a fav lunchbox you had, or one one of your kids had that they just adored?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: We didn't have much in the way of camp or summer activities when I was a kid. I think the stone tablets were too expensive!

Snork. Yeah, right. You're not THAT old, Jo! Grins. Love that you got a break in the summer even with Dr. Big working on his doctorate. That's cool!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke said: I read 100 pages of a book once I finally hit the sack.

Really? Wow! It was after two...we were baaaaad girls last night! Then again, you two don't have to get up and get kids to camp, so it might not have been so bad for you! For me, 7:30 came waaaaaay tooo early.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke said: I think I was about five when I got hooked on that show, and when I was old enough to write, I sent him a fan letter and got an autographed picture in return. I remember been fascinated by it - my first crush! (I know, I know . . .)

That's so fun! do you still have the autographed picture? grins. And way cool on kayaking and camp and all that. It sounds like such fun.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terri said: She can't wait to get back and go back to school. Like your kiddo, mine misses her friends who she doesn't even get to talk with during the summer. I imagine in the next couple of years, things will need to be renegotiated.

Yeah, I'm betting she isn't going to want to go to the back of beyond when she hits the upper teen years. :> Band Camp in HS doesn't really count, I don't think, because it's hot, you're not really having "fun" and there aren't activities other than marching!

Nancy and I have had several discussions about the un-fun of band camp! hahaha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke said: And there were always random things the teacher put on the "must have" list that I couldn't find anywhere

I know! It's like a scavenger hunt. Then again, I never mind prowling through Staples, Office Depot, Target...it's fun.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, you have to go look at the early morning comments. We were talking about you....grins.

Joan said...

PJ said Joanie, you're not entering this year? Man, there are going to be some disappointed judges at that fair!

Sadly, I don't think so. As with many exhibits in recent years, the baking one and the textile ones are really low in numbers. Not enough people into the "home crafts"

I don't miss spending the money and next year I might jump back in but kind of enjoying not killing myself then lugging it all out to the Fairgrounds.

Michele Benard said...

14 days and counting my children go back on the 23 that is two weeks not that I'm counting ha ha. I cna't wait my oldest is in 5th and youngest is starting Kindergarten so the will both be in all day that is all day to myself me doing the happy dance. our schools hours changed it starts at 9:15 and gets out at 3:45 plus the time on the bus no arguing, fighting quiet time.

Becke Davis said...

Jeanne - I wish I did have that autographed picture, and all the others I collected as a child. I had a very random collection: Dorothy Provine, Rick Nelson, Roy Rogers, Van Williams, the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies, Dobie Gillis - can't remember who else.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Michele B said: I can't wait. my oldest is in 5th and youngest is starting Kindergarten so the will both be in all day. that is all day to myself, me doing the happy dance.

Hey Michele! You have the same age spread I do with my boys! :> And I'm SO doing the happy dance about alllll daaaayyyyy schoooolll schedules! WOOOHOOO!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Becke said: I wish I did have that autographed picture, and all the others I collected as a child.

Oh, too bad! Those would be so fun to go through now. :> Dobie Gillis! How cool!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joan said: I don't miss spending the money and next year I might jump back in but kind of enjoying not killing myself then lugging it all out to the Fairgrounds.

I wouldn't like that part either, Joanie. And right now, all my money's going to promoting Deadly Little Secrets or college funds. Grins.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I went back and looked at the early comments. Alas, but I did not have a lunchbox. I had lunch money.

If I'd had a lunchbox, however, it probably would've been Superman. Or The Lone Ranger (I got to meet Clayton Moore, a lovely man, when he appeared at an appliance store opening here many years ago). Wonder Woman didn't get the respect back then that she does today. I don't remember ever seeing a WW lunchbox, though it's good to know they were out there.

My favorite super-heroine was the Silver Age Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara, a librarian turned heroine. I don't think she ever had a lunchbox, though.

I hope to acquire Batgirl Barbie at DragonCon some year.

I went to Girl Scout camp for two weeks after 5th grade and was wretchedly homesick. Plus that lake they wanted us to swim in was freakin' COLD. Not a happy memory, unfortunately.

Those who are into Nancy Drew should check out Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak, a fascinating study of Nancy Drew, series books, and working women from the 1920s to 1960s or so.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: My favorite super-heroine was the Silver Age Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara, a librarian turned heroine. I don't think she ever had a lunchbox, though.

They missed an opportunity then. I'd'a bought one! grins.

I remember the lake at camp being so cold it would turn your lips blue and make your teeth chatter. Probably part of the reason I STILL don't like a lake swim. Brrrrr!

I'll have to check that book out, I loved Nancy Drew! Hey Becke! We'll both have to scour B&N and get this Nancy Drew book, Nancy N recommended. Grins.

PJ said...

I remember the lake at camp being so cold it would turn your lips blue and make your teeth chatter. Probably part of the reason I STILL don't like a lake swim. Brrrrr!

Growing up in Michigan, I thought all lakes were like that. I still remember our first trip to Florida (I was 9) and being confused by a Gulf of Mexico that felt like bath water! lol!

Julie Hurwitz said...

From kindergarten through 4th grade, I went to a local day camp. Then after 5th grade, my parents sent me to Wisconsin for overnight camp for 4 weeks. It was an experiment. But I loved it. I begged to stay for 8 weeks.

In fact, I begged to go for 8 weeks every year for the next 5 years until my last year as a camper, they finally relented and let me stay all eight weeks.

I still have such wonderful memories of Camp Birch Trail in Minong, Wisconsin on Lake Pokegama.

Just last summer, the camp had a 50th anniversary and invited campers from all eras to participate. I wish I'd been able to go back and see all the things that were the same and all the things that had changed.

My last year, they put all the oldest campers in one big cabin instead of several smaller ones. So we had 30 15-year-olds in a cabin. We called it the Tamarack Mansion or TM for short. 30+ years later, the Tamarack Mansion still exists. That just sends shivers up my spine. :)

Sarah Simas said...

I remember my mom signing my brothers and I up for summer day camp every year. LOL She was probably happy dancing about it, too!

This summer consisted of driving my son to speech therapy 4days a week for 6weeks. It was 88 miles round trip. *sigh* So good for him, but made long days for me. Since my kiddos are so young, swim lessons, trips to the city park, and visiting w/ either of the gmas were the flavor of the day.

My girl starts Kindergarten next Monday and I'm so happy! Happy for her and happy for me to only have one left at home! LOL Thanks for the fun post. It definitely made me smile!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Julie H said: I still have such wonderful memories of Camp Birch Trail in Minong, Wisconsin on Lake Pokegama.

Oh, man, this is COOL! I wish I'd had that kind of experience. I got a week or two of sleepaway camp here and there, but nothing like that. :> What a confidence builder.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Sarah S said: My girl starts Kindergarten next Monday and I'm so happy! Happy for her and happy for me to only have one left at home! LOL Thanks for the fun post. It definitely made me smile!

*happy dancing* with you Sarah! :> And wow on the 88 miles. That's a haul. Good for you though since it will make all the difference in your little one's confidence. One of my BFF's daughters had speech issues and went to speech therapy between K and grade 1. A reticent child, shy and introverted in K, she blossomed in Grade 1 to a talker, a doer and a much happier child. Hope it works as well for you!

So what kind of lunch box will your Kindergartner carry off to school?

Keira Soleore said...

Yes, I went to summer camp this year (RWA) while my daughter went to the grandparents' camp. Win! Win! Win! for the grandparents, daughter, and hubby and I.

Summer means every schedule's out of whack. We even manage more playdates during the school year than when school's supposedly out.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Becke Davis said...
Dianna - I loved Roy Rogers, too, but I wasn't into horses. I think I was about five when I got hooked on that show, and when I was old enough to write, I sent him a fan letter and got an autographed picture in return. I remember been fascinated by it - my first crush! (I know, I know . . .)


Hey Becke, Roy Rogers was a hotty for his time and I think Clint Black looks just like him! I did love Trigger though, when I was little mother said when I went to bed at night Roy was on one side, Trigger the other side and Bullet at my feet, I had a very, very vivid imagination,. LOL

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Keira said: Summer means every schedule's out of whack. We even manage more playdates during the school year than when school's supposedly out.

I know! What's up with that? We did too. It's that schedule thing again, I think. When you actually HAVE one, you can fit things IN it!

As to the RWA Summer Camp - wasn't it FUN? The only downside was that I never got to see YOU, Ms. K!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Dianna said: I did love Trigger though, when I was little mother said when I went to bed at night Roy was on one side, Trigger the other side and Bullet at my feet, I had a very, very vivid imagination,. LOL

That's so fun! I used to pile all the stuffed animals on my bed and sleep in amongst them. My oldest does the exact same thing, though I never told him about it. :> I didn't get to watch much Roy and Trigger, but I sure loved the Lone Ranger, Tonto and Silver, so I can somewhat relate. Grins.

Debra Key Newhouse said...

Hey Duchess. Nothing important to add. But as a grandma, I'm excited my little Leila is going to start Kindergarten. I just sent some money to my kid to help buy school uniforms and school supplies. She's going to a Charter School, so that's very exciting for all of us. She'll already know many of the students and teachers since this was the Catholic Pre-School for Gifted Children she had attended the past two years. She's very excited as she thinks all of her teeth will fall out and she'll get money for it. LOL Her dad and other grandparents aren't from this country, so money is something that seems to be mentioned a lot. Her mother, the one who fights for human rights, is not money oriented at all. Oh well, that's all. Just wanted to make sure I stopped by to say hello :-)......The Contessa

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Debra said: She's very excited as she thinks all of her teeth will fall out and she'll get money for it.

Snork! How funny that she thinks that! :>

Hey Contessa D! So glad you're feeling better. Glad you stopped by.

Cassondra said...

Woooooot Donna!

The rooster comes home to roost!

Cassondra said...

Great blog Jeanne!

I did not go to camp. I was supposed to go to FFA camp in high school, because I got elected to an office, but our advisors did not want to go to camp the second week of camp. They wanted to go the first week of camp. And the second week of camp was the only one set up for girls to attend (hardly any girls were in FFA then).

So, alas, never went to camp. Don't think I missed much though. I taught ropes courses at girl scout camps for years and was so glad that I got to climb into my nice comfy truck and drive myself home to my nice comfy bed at night. They were sleeping outside with the creepy crawlies and the humidity. Can I do that? Yes, I can. Do I want to do that for fun? No. I. Do. Not.

'nuff said.

Cassondra said...

Oh, and the answer to one of your other questions.

No, I didn't do all of this stuff in the summer. I guess because I grew up on a farm and we worked on the farm, outside in the garden, or with the cattle and hay and tobacco all summer. It was a long way to town, and honestly in my small town there just wasn't much "stuff" to do like camps and such. Other kids went to 4-h camp, but I never ended up doing that either.

I had long summer evenings to sit outside and stare at the stars, watch the lightning bugs flicker and listen to the frogs on the pond. *sigh* I miss those long evenings when I had no demands on me other than to go to bed when I got sleepy. I did a lot of thinking then.

I have been considering, of late, that I have a hard time sparking my muse to action because I have no time to be still like that. And I can't figure out how to make that happen in a world where I can't catch up with the laundry, let alone anything else.

Sometimes I wonder if it's good for kids to do that much stuff--to be that busy. I'm not a parent so I have no idea. But I do know that those long, still evenings are when I learned to ask hard questions and think about the answers. I'm glad I had those and wasn't running all over. Different personalities might thrive with the busy-ness though. And in particular if it's sports camp (and I know you have an athletically talented son) ya gotta have the coaching and the team there, yaknow?

Sarah Simas said...

Thanks, Jeanne! We're sure hoping his speech keeps progressing. :) He's been in speech since he was 17months old. At three, he's come so far!

My gal shocked me! I thought she'd be hot-to-trot for a Disney Princess lunch box, but NO! She opted for a Hello Kitty. It's so odd as doesn't own anything HK. She declared her back pack had to match. LOL Proof positive you never can assume anything. :)

I was kind of bummed about the non-princess choice. I found the cutest metal one- even had three of them on it. The box totally brought me back to my school days! :) I think mine was Strawberry Shortcake.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: They were sleeping outside with the creepy crawlies and the humidity. Can I do that? Yes, I can. Do I want to do that for fun? No. I. Do. Not.


Hahah! Neither do I. My DH says, "Oh we should take the boys camping!" I smile and say "YOU can take teh boys camping.." Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: I have been considering, of late, that I have a hard time sparking my muse to action because I have no time to be still like that. And I can't figure out how to make that happen in a world where I can't catch up with the laundry, let alone anything else.

I love how you put this, Cassondra, and about the still evenings and thinking. Had to LOL about the laundry too. :> I'm so far behind the clean things are unfolding themselves.

As to stillness, you have to make time for it in today's world, I think. I used to hate the thought of deliberatly meditating, but now, I do it nearly every day. Otherwise, I'm never still, or quiet or just "there." Deepak Chophra says we are always "human goings and human doings and we need to stop and just be humans, being."

He's so right!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Sarah S said: She opted for a Hello Kitty. It's so odd as doesn't own anything HK. She declared her back pack had to match.

But of course! Grins. It's the early version of the shoes/handbag thing. Hahaha!

Strawberry shortcake would have been cool. And so would the Princesses. My neighbor's girls both have princess dress up outfits. I sometimes see them out and about in the "castle courtyard" of their backyard, parading about and deigning to recognize their lowly subjects. Grins.

Nancy said...

Dianna, did you see the video version of "Happy Trails" Roy Rogers and Clint Black recorded together? Very cool.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, I didn't see that, but I'm gonna go see if it's on Youtube. Grins. I love Youtube!

I'm off for bed everyone! I stayed up waaaaay too late last night giggling with Donna and Becke.

Grins.

Thanks for playing and laughing with me today! Love the lunchboxes!