SciFi Mama

Adventures in raising a geeky child

Buffett was Awesome! July 12, 2010

Filed under: Daddy,Mommy,pics,summer fun — scifimama @ 11:35 am

I could spend a lot more time trying to figure out a more clever title.  Or, I could go with the simple truth. All of my highs and lows of getting and not getting tickets became obsolete Saturday afternoon.  A good friend, Tim, called with the best news.  Tim had scored 4 VIP wristbands to the concert.  Tim is a member of the National Guard who was activated on May 1st.  He’s been down on the beaches working to clean up the oil since the beginning.  I’m not sure who’s idea it was to give the National Guard guys the VIP tickets, but I can tell you they enjoyed themselves.

We took a little road trip down to Gulf Shores with a van full of Parrotheads.  Deciding what to wear was the hard part.  Something comfy, and cool, but still provide coverage so you don’t get too much sun.  I finally decided on my average beach attire: sarong, tank top, and flip flops.  Ronnie went with a Red Shirt from Think Geek and shorts.  Red was a good choice.  With his height, 6’3, and a red shirt, he was easy to spot.  Pig tails for me completed the outfit.  Being the OCD person I am, I packed extra sunblock, emergency rain ponchos (predicted 70% chance of rain), and chap stick.  I was ready for the day.

Once we got to the concert we found out what VIP wristbands meant:  We had a special barricaded off section close to the stage.  We were about 40 years from Jimmy Buffett.

That was a wonderful thing.  We were very close to the stage, with lots of room around us.  Not a lot of people were in the VIP section so there was room to dance and move without bumping into other people. We were in a larger group of other National Guard members and their guests.  But, the very best part of VIP wristbands?

That building you see?  That’s an actual bathroom.  With stall doors, sinks, everything you would expect in a bathroom.  Yes, no port a potty here.  We got the real thing.  Is it sad that a bathroom at a beach concert made us all so happy?  Ronnie and I had a great time.

The concert lasted the full hour and a half broadcast live on CMT.  Jimmy Buffett then took a 5 to 10 minute break and came back out.  He played for another 45 minutes to an hour just for the 35,000 fans on the beach.  Some people have complained on Facebook about there not being other big name acts like Kenny Chesney or The Zac Brown Band.  These people have said they were disappointed in the concert.  I can say as a Parrothead, I was going to see Jimmy.  He did have some big names: Allen Touissant and Mac McAnally and Jesse Winchester may not be names that were recognized by the average concert goer.  But, they were recognized by those who like jazz (Allen Touissant is a New Orleans musician), country fans (“Down the Road” was a hit duet by Chesney and McAnally), and we all knew the songs written by Jesse Winchester, even if we didn’t know his name before.  I can say that I was not disappointed in the least.

I yelled and screamed so much that I have no voice at all today.  Paige heard me talk and asked what happened.  I try to explain it to her.  She just looked at me and said, “Silly Mommy.  Next time remember to put your voice back in your mouth!”

 

Jimmy Buffett- For Free!! June 22, 2010

Filed under: summer fun — scifimama @ 8:36 pm

I can feel the green with envy vibes coming through my computer.  Jimmy Buffett is giving a free concert in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  That’s most definitely within driving range for us, so we’re headed to the concert.  Gulf Shores is one of the areas affected by the BP oil spill.  It’s very much a tourist summer town on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  The people and businesses down there make the vast majority of their money on the summer season.  The beaches don’t have oil on them, but people are staying away.

Jimmy Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  As a child his parents moved him a whopping 30 minutes across the state line to Mobile, Alabama.  Like most kids who grew up in Mobile, he spent quite a bit of time during the summer in Gulf Shores.  His sister Lulu owns a restaurant down there.  In an effort to get people into Gulf Shores to spend money, he’s giving a concert on Gulf Shores Beach.  For free.  Oh, and he’s bringing a few friends as well.  You may have heard of them: Kenny Chesney and The Zac Brown Band.

I’m a huge Parrothead.  Jimmy Buffett coming to the area is a huge deal for me.  Ronnie isn’t a big fan of country, but he can deal with Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band.  We’ve lined Aunt Wii up to pick up Paige from daycare and babysit that night.  We’ll have to leave early in the afternoon to get down there for the 5 PM start time.  I’ve taken the next day off from work, giving myself a 4 day weekend with the July 4th holiday observed Monday at my office.  Ronnie has to work the next day, so I’ll drive home while he tries to rest in the van.

I try to keep the blog without expressing my opinion on hot button topics like politics, religion, and some current events.  No matter what you feel or think about what’s happened, the concert is a great idea to get some business down there.  There was some grumbling on Facebook yesterday about how this should be taking place at ground zero in Louisiana.  Gulf Shores businesses are just as empty as anywhere else because of the spill.  Any other area is welcome to do the same thing.  Louisiana has some big name artists that came from there, I’m hoping they’ll help out.  If you can’t make the concert, you can watch it live, with no commercials on CMT.  Gulf Shores City Council is hoping to bring in more concerts over the summer to increase tourism.  There will be a special concert t-shirt designed and sold at the concert and online to raise money for the local businesses.  And if you can go, tickets are required, even though it’s free.  They go on sale tomorrow morning at Ticketmaster.

 

Summer Bowling June 2, 2010

Filed under: bowling,summer fun — scifimama @ 8:29 pm

It’s going good.  We’ve been a couple of times now.  While we get the lane rental free, we still have to pay for shoe rental.  By checking out a local sporting goods store, I realized how much cheaper it would be to buy our own.  Shoe rental at the bowling alley is $4.63 for a pair of shoes.  Academy Sports has shoes for $19.99 a pair.  I really tried to squeeze my feet into the $9.97 clearanced shoes, but they were a full size too small.  Shoes for Paige would need to be special ordered online and are a bit more expensive.  Overall, I think it would be beneficial to buy them for her, especially since her feet seem to have stopped growing for the moment.

We’ve made a standing date with a few other families to get together a set night.  It’s nice for the adults as well as the kids.  The kids get to play with each other and bowl when they remember it’s their turn.  Us adults get to watch the kids and talk.  That’s right, actual adult conversation.  And it doesn’t revolve around just work or kids, we can talk about lots more things.  The bowling alley is loud enough that most other people can’t hear us.  And the managers are pretty smart.  They keep us all together at one end of the alley away from the other bowlers.  We bought the family pass so up to 4 adults can bowl for free as well as the kids.  Our bowling alley never checks the names of the bowlers, so we could have others bowl who aren’t listed on the coupon.  So far that hasn’t happened, as most of the regular adult bowlers can make it.

If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time.  Check it out here.

 

More Free Summer Fun May 22, 2010

Filed under: summer fun — scifimama @ 12:41 pm

I’m one of those parents who likes to keep their kid occupied and active during the summer.  I also don’t want to pay for a lot of activities if i don’t have to.  What can I say?  I’m frugal.  That just sounds so much better then cheap, don’t you think?  But realistically, there’s lots of things out there to do that cost little to no money.  Don’t get me wrong, we do some things that require payments, like ballet and possibly gymnastics.

I’ve already told you about the free summer bowling. Our area is close enough we can go to the beach, another great free activity.  We don’t have a pool, but several friends live in apartments and have offered unlimited access to their community pools.  And one of my favorite places for free summer fun: the library.

Every library system is different, of course.  Google your local library system and start checking it out.  Ours offers Kids Crafts Saturdays.  The brilliant thing is that it rotates each week.  One branch has it this week, then a different branch next week.  We can do different crafts at different branches every week.  In two weeks they’ll kick off their summer reading program.  The kick off is always great.  There’s crafts, games, and lots of free stuff.  Area restaurants and businesses get involved.  Last year we got coupons for free miniature golf, free AAA baseball tickets, free kids meal at Applebee’s, and lots of other things.  During the course of the reading program there will be other activities as well.  Then, at the end of the summer the grand finale will be a blast.  They’ll open up one of the museums for free entry and have stations set up for kids to do things all over the museum.  Aside from all of that, you’ll still get the regular great benefit of the library: you’ll get new books to read all summer long. What could be better?

 

Kids Bowl Free May 18, 2010

Filed under: bowling,summer fun — scifimama @ 9:09 pm

Nope, not a trick.  Click here to find a bowling alley in your area.  Of course there are restrictions.  My local alley only offers it on weekdays before 8 PM.  Each child can bowl 2 free games each day.  Also, there is an option for parents to sign up for their own bowling.  For $24.95 parents can sign up for 2 games each day as well.  I definitely encourage everyone to sign up, at least for the free kids bowling.  Nothing like cheap summer fun!

 

Our fun, FREE weekend June 1, 2009

Filed under: friends,pics,summer fun — scifimama @ 5:51 pm

Summer fun is here and in our town, that means some cool, free stuff. If you haven’t checked out your local library summer reading program, you should. And fast. Our library kicked off Saturday with some arts & crafts fun. This years theme is Be Creative. They let kids be creative by making shakers, sun visors, and notepads. They also had a bean bag toss game setup and volunteers were giving tattoos. We were joined by my friend Lisa and her daughters Celeste & Aaliyah.

Here Celeste models her new tattoo.


Paige and Aaliyah make sun visors.


At the end Max came out to greet everyone. Paige gave him a high five.


They have some nice giveaways for the readers. We got a certificate for a free kids kup from Smoothie King, a free kids meal at Applebees, and a voucher for a free kids ticket to a local minor league ball game, with discounted tickets for Mom & Dad. The finale this year is held at a local art museum. Free admission for the family, and scheduled kids events as well. We have some good stuff to do and all of it free, for almost free. Our library does a great summer program! You should check out yours.

Sunday we went to one of the best free attractions in our area: the beach. We’re not on the beach, but are within a 30 minute drive of a beautiful, clean beach.

Let’s go, Mommy!


Paige & Daddy swimming.


A very serious builder.


Thanks to SPF 50 all of us came home without a burn. We only stayed out about 2 and a half hours. We didn’t want to overdo it. After looking at my burnt crispy coworkers today, I’m glad we kept it short.

We definitely had a fun weekend. Other than a little bit of gas to get where we wanted to go, the entire weekend was free. I’m on the lookout for other free stuff over the summer. With school out there’s plenty going on. The trick is to find what you like to do, at a time where you can do it. Most of the fun things I’ve found are during the workday, when I’m, well, at work. Weekend stuff is a bit harder to find, but you can.

On a side note, please forgive the sporadic postings. My coworkers had warned me that I’m taking a very time intensive class. Shortening it from an entire semester to a summer mini semester makes it that much harder. I’m enjoying the class, so don’t get me wrong. But we average a full chapter each class. Before class I need to have read the chapter & done the assigned problems to help understand. Then, after class, there’s a problem to do in our ongoing project. Portions of the project are due almost every class. If you notice, most of my posts are done between 7:45 and 8:30 pm. I do them just after Paige goes to bed. I leave for class at 7:30 and get home about 10:30 or so. I just can’t find the time to post while in class (probably a good thing) and I’m doing homework most other nights. I’ll figure it out. Just remember, it will all be over on July 23rd. That’s when I take my final.

 

Our Garden April 5, 2009

Filed under: Family,pics,summer fun — scifimama @ 9:05 pm

We decided this year that we wanted to do a garden. It’s something we can do together & get us out of the house. Besides, with the economy going south, and fresh veggies getting higher & higher, it will be easier on our checking account. At least hopefully it will be.

The garden hadn’t been used in about 3 years, so it was a bit overgrown.


Paige was ready to help us pull up all the grass.


We kept the rosemary bush as well as the Jasmine. Everything else came out, including a lot of the top soil.


Once we got everything cleaned out, it was time to add in some manure & potting soil. Ronnie formed the rows up into hills. This way Paige could see where she could walk and where she couldn’t. She has pink gloves, pink trowel, & a pink sunhat. She’s all ready to help out in the garden. We wanted to make sure she could clearly see where not to walk. Paige got to help plant the jalapenos with Daddy & Paw Paw. (Paw Paw & Aunt Maria stopped by at just the right time to help out.)


I think the end result turned out pretty nice. Well, OK, the intermediate result.

We planted jalapenos, green bell peppers, cucumber, roma & grape tomatoes, okra, corn, & zucchini. We tried to pick some of the items we use the most. And things we thought we could grow in our little backyard garden. We’re not so sure about the corn, but we’re giving it a shot. I’m not going to tell you that we’re all organic. We did use organic potting soil & manure. But we’re using Miracle Grow LiquiFeed every 2 weeks. I’m guessing that doesn’t count as being all organic.

Anyone else out there planting a garden this year?

 

 
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