SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!!
Natalie, Marie, and anyone else who hadn't read HP7 before reading this journal entry .... um, my bad. I'm really sorry. I was so careful previously, and then just PLOPPED that information here without any kind of warning. Please, please, please don't let it ruin any part of the book for you .... and if anyone else is reading, but hasn't finished the book yet, for goodness' sake, skip the next few paragraphs!
One of the really cool things I enjoy, a lot, while blogging about the mundane parts of my life, is that some of you actually care enough to leave comments and ask questions. Which I think are fun. And interesting. And which lead me to believe that you and I have an honest rapport going here, and that you’re genuinely curious and caring about the sometimes boring and sometimes not-so-boring things that seem to happen to me and my family …. That, or I’m doing a really crappy job of explaining things and you have to ask me for clarification on a lot of things.
Um, either way’s good with me.
So, as I gab here about all our happenings, and for the most part, lay it all out there like an open book …. here are the answers to some of the recent questions:
Speaking of open books, yep, I read both HP6 and HP7 last weekend, and I’m so glad I went back and reviewed, otherwise I don’t think I would have understood, nor enjoyed, HP7 as much as I did. And let me just say, I DID. As it was, I had to go back and re-read the last few chapters again, just to make sure I fully understood every bit of the ending. My I-told-you-so was in regards to me correctly guessing that Snape was a good guy. Although technically, I don’t think he was a good guy, just that he *was* aligned with the right side, although they sure left you wondering until the very end, didn’t they? And can I just say, you GO, Neville, with your bad self, and the snake, at the end of the book!
Kim, you said you stopped at HP4 and wondered if it was worth going on. Well, my knee-jerk reaction, after I finish gasping in shock and wonderment and picking my jaw up off the floor that you actually STOPPED half-way through the series ….. is ….. OF COURSE YOU HAVE TO KEEP READING …. But, much as I hate to say it …… perhaps I should admit that if you had no desire to go on to HP5, then maybe it’s not the series for you. I can tell you that of all the books, 4 was my absolute favorite. The International Quidditch Cup, the Weasleys trying to get past the underage rule on the Goblet, the Triwizard Tournament, the Hungarian Horntail, Victor Krum and the Yule Ball, that awful Rita Skeeter, etc, etc. So the thought of stopping there and not having any curiosity about what happens next, well, that’s foreign to me. But I can also tell you that of all the books, HP5 was my least favorite. To me, it was the darkest, slowest, most plodding of the stories. But 6 and 7 were both wonderful, so well worth reading 5. I’d be curious to hear from other HP fans about which they liked best and least out of all of them, and why. Anyone? Anyone?
KimB, I’m envious that both JimMac and Betsy were fighting you for the book. My three all like to read, but none have gotten into HP like I have, despite my urging. Our rule here is they can’t see the movies until they’ve read the books -- and for the record, especially after watching HP5 in the theater last week, let me just say that the movies, wonderful though they are, cannot even begin to hold a candle …. not a flame … not a teeny tiny flicker of a flame … not the sulfur at the end of the match … to the books. Anyone who skips the books and just watches the movies is totally, 100 percent, without question, cheating themselves.
Also KimB, the days of my dotphoto white border glory are behind me. It suddenly stopped happening so I called to ask why. They said they got a new system for developing and the border was no longer an option. The csr did say they had had complaints so hopefully they would change it ….. still stinks, though. Big fat frown-y face.
Three handprints, I use Photoshop to edit my pictures. It’s the photo editing program that came with my camera, and it’s the cheap-y Elements version. I keep intending to upgrade to the “real” Photoshop, but never seem to get around to it. I crop my pictures more than I do anything else, and lighten occasionally, and sometimes will straighten or color-ize if a picture needs it … but for the most part, as far as what I consider “manipulating”, the pictures that you see on this site are as-is out of my camera. Of course, I only put up the pictures I like best, and for every good picture, I’ve probably taken twenty or thirty or a hundred crappy ones. That reminds me, it’s about time I re-sized those Alaska pictures and shared them! ::collective groan::
Pam in Michigan, so AWESOME that you’re getting a Sonic nearby! It will change your life like nothing ever has. I rate it up there with indoor plumbing, the discovery of electricity, and the birth of baby Jesus. A few of my menu favorites? Well, to be honest, 90 percent of what I buy there are drinks (one very specific drink and you darn well know what I’m talking about) but as far as food items ….. they make a very good egg and bacon breakfast burrito, the mozzarella sticks are pretty good (but make sure you get the marinara sauce, they seem to forget it a lot for us) and their onion rings are fabulous! I don’t think their grilled chicken salad is that great, and I'd much rather have an order of Tator Tots, which is to be expected, considering it’s more of a greasy spoon, and which explains the size of my ass. The kids love the Slushies, Kellen’s personal favorite are the fruit smoothies, and Brayden gives the Reesee’s Blast two big thumbs up. Be sure to let me know what you have first, and how you like it --- enjoy!
Sarah, yes! There is a Sonic close, perhaps not walking-distance-close, but within a mile or so of our new house. Although not as big a criterion as the school itself, I won’t pretend it didn’t make me happy to know that. Alas, it's a fifteen minute drive to Target, but I guess we can't have it all. (sigh)
Snappz, your comment about personally driving up my site counter was funny. To be honest, the site counter is moving more slowly, and I’m getting fewer comments these past few weeks. Either everyone else is busy reading HP7 as well, or I’m antagonizing (or boring) people much more quickly than I used to.
And finally, thanks to all of you for your well-wishes and congratulations on the house. I’m still holding a little bitty tiny part of my breath until the final “t” is crossed and “i” is dotted and we’ve signed on the bottom line, but I suppose this is the part of the process that seems to drag on the longest, isn’t it? I just want to finish it and finalize it and know that it’s mine, mine, all mine, and as soon as we sign the papers, I can go over and dance naked in the living room if I want to because it’s ALL MINE! But of course I won’t do that because the renters will still be living there, so they might see me …. And … just, ewwwwwww. But you know what I mean.
I probably do sound a little OCD about this school district, don’t I? I’m sure part of it **is** sentimentality, seeing as how pretty much every single person in my family for the last three generations has gone there, so I want my kids to go there, too. But I think also, the proof is in the pudding, in that if so many people are transferring their kids into the district that they had to shut down the transfer program to control student population, that just shows that either we’re all a bunch of idiots, or it truly is a good school and lots of people recognize that and want in.
Yes, George, you must physically live in the district, owning a rent house doesn’t count. (Don’t think we didn’t try that route!) And yes, you’re correct, those of you who mentioned my kids won’t be in elementary school much longer, so why am I so uptight about it? This year will in fact be Brayden’s final year of elementary (5th grade around here). The beauty of where we’re going, or at least what *I* loved about my old school, is that it’s what I call a stand-alone school district. I’m sure there’s a more scientific-educational term, but what I mean by that is there are no “feeder” schools. The elementary school is next door to the middle school, which is next door to the high school. At the end of the school year, the outgoing 5th grade students simply walk across the street and start middle school all together. Same thing for the kids starting high school. It’s not like most places, where you have two or three elementary schools merging together for middle school, and then two or three middle schools merging, and then high school graduating classes with three or four hundred people. Around here in Georgia, depending on district zoning, you might go to elementary school with this group of kids, and then they can re-zone the district, and you start middle school with a bunch of kids you don’t even know. Plus, the area is developing so rapidly that they're building new schools and constantly re-zoning, so kids who were zoned for our elementary school one year are re-zoned for a different elementary school the next, even though they live in the exact same house. It's happened twice to kids in our elementary school in the five years we've been in Georgia.
The school our kids will be attending in OK, you start at, and stay at, unless you move or decide to transfer out. The majority of students, however, once they start, stay there until they graduate. It even has something called a “Twelve-Year Club” for the kids who’ve gone to school together from the first through twelfth grade. And, the class sizes are small. Not Amish-school small, where the entire school fits in a one-room schoolhouse, or anything like that, but about a third or fourth the size of your average high school. My graduating class had 70 kids. Of those 70, 20 of us had been together since first grade. Of the remaining 50, probably half had been there since some point in elementary school. I don’t think there are many opportunities in life to forge those kinds of long-term friendships …. I’m 40 years old, and I love that some of the coolest people in my life, besides my family, have known me since I was five or six years old. Some kids hated it, to be sure, but I loved it and hope my kids will love it too.
So, blah blah, enough about that.
Oh, but Rita, you were right on about the cost of real estate in that part of the country. If you combine the total cost of our Georgia house, plus the cost of the yellow OK house, PLUS the cost of the house we just bought … it STILL wouldn’t be as much as what our friends recently paid for a single family home in Northern Virginia. So it’s all relative, right? And I’m sorry you feel stuck there, but we visited on Spring Break, and it’s really a lovely part of the country you live in. (Does that make you feel any better? At all? No? Well, sorry, I tried.)
Ok, so, I think that’s it. For now, anyway. No more open-book baring of my soul, at least until I feel like sharing a little bit more. Unless the site counter and comments continue to go down in the meantime …. Then I’ll know .. Sharing = BAD.