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Monday, May 30, 2016

Cassie's Journal - May 30, 2016



Memorial Day is a lot more than the first holiday weekend of the summer season for most of the people here in our little town, and while it might not seem as though I’m reporting enough of that side of the holiday here in my journal; it is a sentiment that you can’t help but feel around here – especially on the holiday Monday.

I’ll get to the Memorial Day report soon, but since this is a double-update; let’s back up and start from Sunday morning.

Tai Chi by the river was great, but it was the only quiet I had in my day pretty much until I crawled into bed last night and wrote that little blurb in my journal before crashing into nap mode.  Breakfast for twelve and juggling bathroom time as we all got ready for church was the usual couple of hours of crazy; and then I needed to meet up with Michael and get to the church for the teen praise team warm-up ahead of the holiday weekend service.  All of the work and music was fun, but it meant being too busy all morning too, and when the service went a bit long; Michael and I then needed to hurry over to the Inn to get started on the cooking for the first of the three buffets Jacob and Miranda were hosting at noon, three o’clock, and six o’clock.

I was working the full shift to close, and I’m not going to bore you with the details, but it was a hot, tough day in the kitchen; and we were pushed to the limits to keep up with a full house for every buffet.  Michael and I also worked at the fundraiser booth during our only long break; and we were sent off for that as soon as the second buffet started at three so that we could be back in time for the bulk of the second round of clean-up and to help with getting the third buffet sitting food cooked and ready to go for six o’clock.  For the fundraiser booth, having a great weather day helped a lot, and considering what the forecast for the weekend had looked like earlier last week; we’ve really lucked out!

While I worked all afternoon and evening, I missed out on all of the family fun – including the late buffet dinner at the Inn that allowed most of the working members of our family to attend too.  Speaking of family, I should mention that Michael’s visiting family had fun on Saturday and Sunday without spending a lot of time with Michael and me; but Jacob and Miranda did try to work it out so that they could spend time with his parents, sister, and her family; and had Jake, Stephanie, and Rebecca work out their breaks so that they could help with entertaining their weekend guests.  Some of Michael’s cousins also took a trip out to Quarry Lake on Sunday afternoon after attending the first buffet dinner at noon; but the oldest and youngest members of their family stayed home – or visited with old friends instead of going out to play – and Heidi was definitely not interested in climbing the rock wall or taking her baby for a ride on the zip line! ;^)

Going out to Quarry Lake or on a trail ride with my family would have been great, but that wasn’t an option for me; so I pretty much missed out on all of the family and friends fun on Sunday.  A lot of people do need to work so that everyone else can have fun on holiday weekends, though; and I’m okay with helping out now that it’s my turn to do that.  Thanks to all of the work, I don’t actually have much more to report for Sunday.  Michael and I worked until close with Jake, Stephanie, and Rebecca while Jacob and Miranda went home early to spend the evening with his family.  It was ten-thirty by the time we had the Inn cleaned and set up for Tuesday morning; and then I went home with Michael for a while.  We had a visit with everyone that was still awake and hanging out in the living room; had a bit of quiet time for two out on the front porch after that; and then I went home and pretty much went straight up to bed.  There were still a few adults and teens awake here at the time, but I’d had enough fun; and even my bedtime computing wasn’t much more than an email check and that little journal blurb before I just needed to be sleeping instead.

That brings us to my wake-up call this morning – and Ethan and Ehlana did that for me so that I wouldn’t miss out on Tai Chi by the river.  The exercise, breakfast, and rush to get ready for the day was nearly the same as it was on Sunday; and the only exception was that some of our guests also started packing for the trip home too.  Instead of needing to rush to the church, I needed to hurry to get to the parade staging area once I’d helped with the breakfast clean-up.  I was as fired up as every other band member, and that made for a very strange counter-point to the somberness of the occasion to have a small gang of teens enthusiastically getting ready for our first parade as a marching band.

By the time the parade started, we were ready to go and acting more appropriately.  As usual, the bagpipers led the parade, but it also wasn’t a long parade either; so we didn’t have that much of a wait before we brought up the rear of the parade.  That was actually the best spot for our band because we then had everyone watching the parade following us to the cemetery.  At the risk of being very inappropriate, I’ll admit that I had a great time during the parade; and I’m really proud of our marching band.  I’d say there’s a lot of pride in us with our families, friends, and neighbors too; though that wasn’t displayed with any cheering or anything else overt.  This is a day for commemorating the fallen, though; so let’s not add anything else to those thoughts.

The parade did feel even more special to me, and the ceremony at the cemetery was heart-warming and poignant as the Pastors helped us to remember what it’s taken for us to have the freedoms we’re blessed with today.  This year, Michael and I did the family story time with my family; and Grandpa led the storytelling with help from Grandma and Grandma Carrie.  We only had the Rice family and Dillon with us for that while Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne went around the cemetery with the Carrington-Johnson-McEwan clan; but that just made the storytelling a bit more intimate and personal.  Most of us headed for our house after leaving the cemetery; and Michael and I helped out with getting everything loaded up and over to the park for the picnic – including walking with some of the younger kids from our collective families.

There was a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast for this afternoon, but the decision was made to take the chance that we’d dodge the rain for the picnic; and we mostly did that except for one little blast of wet that really just helped us to cool off for a few minutes – and then made things a bit hotter after that as the moisture added a bit to the humidity.  Once Michael and I were at the park, we were on-duty at the fundraiser booth for the next couple of hours.  We took that time slot so that most of our friends could enjoy the picnic lunch, but if we’d also hoped that we wouldn’t be as busy while everyone enjoyed all of the free food; that didn’t happen.  That was great for our fundraiser, since all of those sales helped to make a lot of money for the Florida trip; but it was also exhausting for us – and we were ready for a nap by the time we were relieved of duty.

There wasn’t time for that, though, and we had a late lunch and then spent another couple of hours having fun with our families before it was time to pack up and head for home so that our weekend guests could load up and hit the road for their own homes.  That kept us busy until a bit after five o’clock; and then Michael and I moved on to doing our weekend homework once everyone was gone.  We did that at his house; and then we had dinner there too with both his family and mine – a sort of pot-luck and leftovers meal that was minimal work and more fun.  I especially loved getting to spend a bit of time with Jake, Stephanie, Violet, and Dillon; but Rebecca wasn’t there because she went home with Lucas for the night after they said their goodbyes with her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins.

After dinner, Michael came home with me and we hung out in the lounge.  We watched a movie with Ethan and Ehlana; had a bit of alone time while they were having their bedtime baths; and then we helped out with getting them tucked in for the night before Michael went home at a bit after ten o’clock.  I needed to get started on my bedtime computing, family business work, and language studies then, and used a time phase to get as much work done as possible with the eleven-thirty time limit I gave myself for the work.  I got everything on my ‘must-do’ list finished tonight; but skipped a few things that could wait until tomorrow night.

The news from the work and studying isn’t interesting enough to write about, but I did have fun with a few family and friends emails.  Topping that list was the one from Dawn that let me know they got home safely – and that she hopes that her next visit will include more time hanging out together.  Rowen sent me an email too; and it’s a bit funny that we need to exchange emails on a holiday weekend when we’re too busy to spend much time together.  We will change that over the next few weeks while getting ready for and then writing our exams, but I don’t want to think about adding that to my schedule right now; so let’s not do that until needed – tomorrow.

Okay, I promised myself that I’d be sleeping by midnight, so it’s time to wrap this up.  My long weekend hasn’t exactly been the fun and games of previous years before work and other responsibilities started to get in the way of the family and friends play time; but it has been a good weekend; and I am, as always, very thankful for everything I have here in my little corner of the world.

Let’s finish this up by thinking about the brave hearts that have sacrificed all to make the lives we have here possible.  A few hours of service to our community and in remembrance once a year is not too much to ask of any of us in thanks for that ultimate gift.

Until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cassie's Journal - May 29, 2016



It’s been a really long day, and I’m exhausted; so flip the digital page as you’re reading this in my future for the double-update I’ll write tomorrow night whenever I get around to it sometime tomorrow night.

Until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!

Cassie's Journal - May 28, 2016



My day started out with the early wake-up call; then I quickly got ready for the day; and then I met up with Michael at his house on the way to the Inn.  Our holiday weekend didn’t feel like a holiday at all as we got to work and started cooking breakfast for the hundreds of guests we expected to get at the buffet.  Since shopping was going to be a big part of the entertainment on Saturday; I wasn’t surprised that we had a full house for the buffet – especially when it wasn’t exactly sunny and warm this morning.

The good news is that we only had a spit or three of rain roll through this morning; and it’s been really nice for the rest of the day.  That worked out for me while I was doing my shift at the fundraiser booth at the park; but switching from working at the Inn to working the snack booth still meant that I was working – and not spending any time with my family.  I did get to see quite a few of our weekend guests – and Mom, Dad, and the twins too; but that was only when they stopped by the booth to pick up treats while playing at the park.  Due to a couple of volunteer cancellations, I ended up staying and working the booth until it was time to go back to the Inn and work the dinner rush, so other than a couple of quick breaks and a stop in at home to freshen up before going to work again; I pretty much kept busy through until the Inn closed at around ten-thirty.

The top news story for the dinner shift comes from Jenny; and it is a full-out teen drama event.  I feel bad to be writing about Peter Gallagher for the first time in a long time when it’s bad news for him, but he and Jenny haven’t been hanging out with us at all; so I just haven’t seen him around very much while they’ve been busy doing other things together.  Today was actually an example of that, since they were out at Quarry Lake this afternoon with some other friends – and had met out there so that Jenny could drive herself back to town in time for the dinner shift at the Inn.  This teen drama is all about Jenny.  I’ll cut through the double-speak, and just report that Jenny is in lust with one of the new lifeguards at Quarry Lake.  Evan Wilson is apparently the hottest guy Jenny has ever met, and she apparently ignored Peter from the moment she saw Evan.  Peter obviously wouldn’t have been happy about that; Jenny basically ignored his complaints; and fairly bluntly blew him off with a break-up that she apparently tried to rush along so she could get back to hanging out around Evan.

I love Jenny, but don’t like what she did to Peter today.  He wasn’t her match, but he’s a really great guy; cares a lot about Jenny; and didn’t deserve to get tossed aside like that – regardless of Jenny’s justifications for what she did.  Telling her any of that isn’t my business, and I’m not writing any of this to complain about her choices, since none of us are perfect; but I do think that Rebecca is going to talk with her because she feels the same way that I do.  It’s obvious that Jenny’s moved on from Peter, and it might be too late to fix things even if she hasn’t; but she should at least try to apologize for not dealing with the situation better.

While I feel for Peter, Jenny barely mentioned him; and had a surprising amount of information about Evan after only talking with him for a short while once she had her now ex-boyfriend out of the way.  Evan is a high school senior; he’ll be working at Quarry Lake for the summer; and is college-bound in August or September.  Whenever I eventually meet him, I’ll offer my own review on his ‘hot’ factor; though I have no doubt he’ll be good-looking – especially if he really is so much hotter than Peter.  I can tell you that Jenny is planning on making a lot of trips to Quarry Lake this summer now; and won’t be surprised if some camping adventures are added in to the plan despite the fact that she isn’t all that big on camping anymore.

That, by the way, is something different around our house this weekend – a lack of cousins’ interest in camping.  We did have a campfire tonight that Michael and I joined along with his family and Lucas after we closed the Inn for the night, but for some reason; Chris, Martin, Jonathan, and the rest of our older cousins don’t want to pitch tents and camp in the back yard anymore.  Ethan and Ehlana would have done that with me, but gave me a break when they know I’m putting in so much time working this weekend.  I’m glad for that, but would have camped with them anyway if they’d really wanted to do that.  The campfire was a nice way to wind down the day, but it was time to call it a night by midnight when I was falling asleep while cuddling with Michael.

I came up to my room without even helping out with the post-campfire clean-up.  A shower was necessary before Mandy would let me sleep in our bed, so I did that; and was in bed by the time that Dawn and Violet stopped in for a very short goodnight chat.  The only computing I’ve done since they left was a quick email check before getting to this update.  I’m going to be even busier tomorrow with the work around here in the morning; the church service; and working the full, triple-buffet shift at the Inn.  That’ll mean another day without much family time; but maybe I’ll make up for that a bit on Monday before they all head home again.

Okay, probably not; but you never know – it could happen that way! ;^)

What can happen right now, though, is that I can wrap this up and head to sleep.  I can’t say this has been the most-fun holiday weekend ever so far after the first day, but that can’t happen every time anyway, and I’m at least getting to spend lots of time with Michael; so it isn’t all work and no fun.  That’ll be true tomorrow too, and more fun with every extra minute of nap time I can get; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cassie's Journal - May 27, 2016



We’ve had a very long, busy day, and I’m really tired now; so let’s get right to this update so I can get it done and head off to sleep!

Tai Chi by the river was an option only because the imminent rain held off until we were indoors again.  Mom had a breakfast planning session ahead of the long weekend that I was only involved in because I needed help with the fruit and vegetable boxes deliveries after school.  Dillon was drafted for that; but most of the work that I wasn’t involved with was all about a last round of chores at home and picking up the groceries and supplies we’ll need this weekend.  Getting all of that done along with work and everything else on the schedule for today was tough; but I do know that everything did get done.  Some teens might be shocked to discover how that kind of thing can happen without their help; but I am actually aware that the world doesn’t revolve around me. ;^)

Moving along, the highlight of the school day was our afternoon work around town, and this year; it was once again our turn to help out at the cemetery.  As the oldest students there; we were mostly in charge of helping the Grade One kids.  Michael and I teamed up to do that, and we had a blast helping ‘our’ kids plant flowers and flags; along with the clean-up parts of the job.  Since we had that rain off and on this morning, that work was fairly messy; so some of us needed to hit the showers when we got back to school because we didn’t have time to go home and do that instead.  While working with the kids was the highlight of our school day, I didn’t exactly have much schooling involved in my school day because Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I were also on the crew unloading the truck for the fruit and vegetable baskets this morning, and I needed that shower because I was also on the crew helping out with the order pick-ups after school.

For the record, our full order was nearly double the first one; and that was entirely because a lot of the band members were able to sell extra boxes to visiting holiday weekend guests or send extra boxes out with family and friends that were going away for the weekend.  I had extra orders for both of those options; which is mostly why Dillon helped me out instead of Violet or Mom.  He came and picked up my order with Dad’s truck, and while I was finishing up at the school; he made deliveries to Uncle Nick and Aunt Deborah, and Uncle Mark and Aunt Grace so that they had the boxes they were taking with them for their family weekend away trips.  I have extra orders for the Rice and McEwan families, and they ordered some extras for friends too; so my order this month was closer to triple the first one.

I’m not going to drag that story out.  Dillon and I had fun doing those deliveries, but that work was a bit rushed because I needed to get to the Inn after that to help out with the dinner shift there.  The Inn was surprisingly busy, but I wasn’t there as an add-on to help out with that – I was scheduled so that Miranda could save up other teen hours for when she really needs them on Saturday and Sunday.  We didn’t have a full house at the Inn tonight, but would have if we’d still had just the original dining room available.  The work in the kitchen wasn’t particularly newsworthy either, though, so let’s move on to cover the action outside of the Inn that I missed out on while I was busy through until the Inn closed for the night.

Mom and Dad are hosting Violet’s family this weekend; though Grandma and Grandpa Rice are staying with Grandma and Grandpa instead.  Chris and Martin came here in Chris’ new, used Honda; and they’re happy to be back together again after Chris’ first year at college.  I’ll get to the family report in a minute, but let’s cover the rest of the weekend guest report first.  While the Proctor side of our clan is having an ‘away’ holiday weekend, and so is the Johnson family; Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne are hosting the McEwan clan at their house; and Michael’s family is home this weekend too.  They’re mostly here to see Jake and Stephanie for the first time since their wedding; which is mostly why Jake and Stephanie were set free from the Inn as soon as the cooking side of the rush was finished so that they could welcome his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins home when they arrived.

I went home with Michael for a short visit after we closed the Inn for the night, but the kids were in bed already and the adults were all exhausted too; so I didn’t stay long.  Michael’s cousin-in-law, Heidi, was the only adult to already be sleeping, so I didn’t get to see her either, but she’s about eight and a half months along with her second pregnancy; and the long trip was really hard on her.  Drew joked that she only agreed to come along in hopes that the trip would put her into labor early, but didn’t think it was funny when his brother, Eric, suggested that Heidi really only wanted to go into labor while here because our doctors are way hotter than her doctor back at home.  Those jokes could both turn into great baby stories for the future, but since I haven’t seen Heidi yet; I can’t tell you whether there’s any chance she’ll be ready to deliver early or not.  Stay tuned for an update on that for whenever I do get to see her this weekend.

After my short visit with Michael’s family, I came home and joined the party in the living room that was really winding down toward bedtime by then.  I’d missed out on all of the arrival work and most of the first round of storytelling, but we did still have a nice chat for a half hour or so; and then Violet, Dawn, and I had a much longer girl chat on my bed while Dillon, Chris, and Martin did a bit of video gaming in the lounge.  Dawn’s top news from home was mostly about her flying lessons and hanging out at the airport; though we talked about her school and friends too.  The things that I can talk about with Dawn seems boring by comparison to city life, but while Dawn wouldn’t trade places with me; she does understand why Violet and I both love our little town so much.

Okay, Dawn might trade places with me when it comes to Michael being my boyfriend; but only if he’d move to Woodvale! ;^)

Moving along, Violet and Dillon went to bed first; Dawn and I only talked for another twenty minutes or so after that; and then she went to bed too.  I closed the doors to the lounge then, and Chris and Martin continued to play video games for a while longer; but they’ve gone downstairs to their rooms now too.  I’ve been doing some bedtime computing since getting changed and into bed with Mandy, and while I didn’t have any family business work scheduled, there were some emails that were work-related that I could deal with; so I did.  Maybe I should have left that for next week, but I’m so used to being up late most nights right now; I just wasn’t ready to sleep yet.

That’s something I’ll likely regret by tomorrow night, since I need to be back at the Inn to help out with the breakfast buffet; and that’s also why I need to wrap this up and get started on my extended nap.  It may have been mostly a work day for me, but I did have quite a bit of fun while doing a lot of that work; so I’m only a bit sad to have missed out on the family fun that I couldn’t be here to enjoy.  That trend is going to continue tomorrow – and for the rest of the weekend; but I’ll still try to have some family and friends fun around the work.  I should get used to that anyway; since it’ll likely be quite a while before I’ll be able to take holiday weekends off from work again – if that’ll ever happen.  For all I know, Michael and I will get drafted to help at the Inn on holiday weekends for the rest of our lives!

Happy 15th Birthday, Reid!

That’s an abrupt switch, but I was about to wrap this up and remembered that I didn’t start my update with that bit of news.  With the holiday weekend fun going on, Reid didn’t try to have a big birthday party, but his girlfriend, Lily, did set up a birthday lunch for him at school that all of his friends were there for; and Reid did still have a small birthday dinner with his family, Lily, and a couple of their best friends.  Reid was mostly happy to be joining the drivers’ club after getting his learner’s permit this morning; so everything else was just a bonus compared to that achievement.  The only other bit of news I’ll mention is that Michael and Tim picked out a fairly nice gift for Reid that Rowen and I pitched in to buy for him.  Since Reid has a good chance of being the new quarterback for the team for the next two seasons; I’ll suggest that Michael and Tim might have a motive behind the gift choice, but I don’t really think they need to do things like that; since Reid is nearly as much of a football fanatic as Tim is – and he’ll be happy to have two really great wide receivers to work with on his team.

Okay, it’s definitely time to call it a night and get some sleep when my journal update includes writing anything about football in the off-season; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!