Monday, October 03, 2011

Each Going His or Her Own Way

This past weekend we all were productive, but each person went their own way.

Ethan's Weekend:
Tom, one of Ethan's best friends, finished up his Eagle Scout project this weekend. He ran a crew of people who rebuilt the dumpster structure, put together a box to hold the rain drain tile (hose) and sand bags, and cleaned up the playground. The kids at school will be happy to find a freshly combed sandbox, free of fall leaf litter and debris that collects when then wind picks up. Tom helped with Ethan's project. Ethan said it felt good to be part of helping Tom earn that important rank. (I love it when my boy does good!) After a fairly lazy Sunday day, he attended a birthday party at Big Fun trampoline center. It was pretty cool until a person bigger than him jumped onto (into?) him. His legs still hurt. Ethan will take that in stride, but may not be back to such a place for a long while.

Ellie's Whirlwind Tour of a Weekend:
Ellie, ever the social butterfly, stuffed in a ton this weekend. On Friday after school she had me take her to Cyclocross camp in Lafeyette. It is on a beautiful campus of a small private school. This year there were a ton of great coaches so each rider had plenty of help improving his/her skills. She had lots of fun and got almost no sleep - just as expected. A bonus was the chance to get to know Marta better. She is the girl who is often on the podium with Ellie. They forged a friendship by being the only two girls in their group and by planning defenses against a silly boy who was assaulting them with grasshopper missles. Ellie found out that Marta is very funny. Marta says casually to Ellie, "hey, guess what..." "What?" Ellie replies in the voices that knows a joke is coming. "I'm naked under these clothes." After a bit of giggling, Ellie replies, "hey, guess what..." Marta offers up the obligatory, "What?" " I shower naked." And that is pretty much how it rolls. (She giggle just a bit even as she is relaying this scene.) The nights were a bit more rocky. The room where the girls were sleeping on the floor had a motion detector which meant that the lights went fully on about five times on Friday-Saturday. (The chaperones were planning to trick the sensor into thinking that no action was taking place on Saturday-Sunday morning.) Amazingly, that was an improvement over the shenanigans over in the gym where the boys were "sleeping." Imagine the reaction when boys standing full upright drop a shoe on the tummy of an unsuspecting sleeper - yeah, I'm sure it was a quiet riot for a while.

On Saturday night I arrived to swap out bikes and gear. I brought up the mountain bike Ellie is borrowing and delivered it along with the food I made for the team which included breakfast burrittos, healthy cookies and pumpkin blondes with homemade caramel sauce. I've included the recipe below. The next morning Kathy wore up the appropriate kids at about 6:30 a.m. so that they could get to Snow Mountain Ranch by 9:00 a.m. I forgot that Ellie does not like salsa, which was mixed in with the burrittos, so she skipped those, having only the healthy cookies for breakfast. Originally I had expected to stay and help at camp, only they did not need my help. This meant that I had options. I had already arranged for Ellie to ride up with Coach Kathy, but I could have taken her up myself, or met them there. I was very tempted as I wanted to see how it went, her first mountain bike race. When I asked her if she wanted me to go, or if she wanted to go alone (sort of) she said she was neutral. Earlier she said, "it's okay for me to go without you. I got this. I am old enough to do this stuff on my own." In the end, I decided not to go. I thought it would be good to cut the apron strings a little bit.

They arrived just in time for Ellie to do part of a quick loop on the trial and then line up. There were only three call-up so Ellie was able to secure the last spot on the front row. (She said it was wild to go from sleeping, to riding in a car for a long time to racing quickly.) Ellie got a good start and was in the break away right from the uphill start. Some people thought she was in the wrong gear to go, but her road skills helped out here. It took her a while to figure out how to use the gears without having to think about it too much. She was even in the lead for her group of ten riders for a while, but the lack of enough good nutrition and sleep took its toll. Eventually she came in third place and was happy with that result. She is sure the next race will go better sinces she will be well rested and fed for that one. Lots of people said to her, "You're a roadie so you will go fast on the uphills, but slow on the downhills." She is out to prove that wrong. Several of the boys placed well and now her new team is ranked 4th overall, a nice improvement from 11th place. That will make her happy.

After the race Kathy packed up the kids and headed down the mountain. I picked up Ellie at a meeting spot, had her change quickly at home and then we were off to cotillion. We even arrived with three minutes to spare. That too was a fun night. During one of the activities the students were supposed to figure out the order in which people should be introduced. The junior assistance were dressed up in parts. Ellie sported a baseball hat. Derrick, a tall Asian youth, got to wear a wig of blonde braids and Gracey was a little girl with a doll. Derrick turns to the girls and says, "Oh, today I get to be a blonde" Ellie quickly add, "I'm a blonde every day!" And they all had a laugh.

Once I picked my girl up she was pooped. She never let on how tired she was. By the time we arrived back home she was really draggin'. No one can say she wasted her weekend.

Larr's Weekend:
A main theme in my husband's life right now is meeting. He was at the school during Tom's Eagle Scout project, then over to help Karen with something she needed and finally home at the end of the evening, just after I headed out to make a delivery to Ellie. The next morning he was back at school for a long but productive meeting. He rounded out his weekend with a drive in the hills to take in the turning of the leaves. This weekend they are at their peak. We've had such good weather that the leaves have stayed on the branches, for the most part, and so Mother Nature looks quite regal these days.

Tammy's Weekend:
It is an odd time when I have so much time to myself. I was tempted to do something fun, but decided to take care of some deep cleaning that I had been putting off since the beginning of summer. I cleaned out the main bathroom and started in on my messy closet. On Sunday I cruised the internet taking in eye candy. I had a head-ache from the dust the day before and did not want to go back to it. I did finish up most of the laundry. My room is a mess with all of the piles to be sorted through, but it is a good start.

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