Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Breakfast at Stately Eades Manor

Patrick's Place Setting

Treats for the Kids
Strawberries and Bagels
Kevin and Lauren went to Olive Garden in Jacksonville last night and brought us bagels from Panera. What a nice surprise for everyone!  Strawberries and some delicious coffee (compliments of Starbucks) combined with all SIX of us being home for breakfast made for the fabulous Valentine's Day treat for the mom.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Letting Go of the Guilt

The house is completely silent save the sounds from Pandora radio.  I can't even remember the last time this happened, and I'm certain I should be doing something productive - like putting away the school books that somehow were left on the sofa, vacuuming and mopping in preparation for the party Alyssa is hosting here tomorrow evening, or sorting the piles of mail that have grown up out of no where, or, God forbid, preparing tax documents for the dreaded day, or...please, stop me before I panic.

After 15 years of homeschooling and having the accompanying guilt over the disarray of my house as my constant companion, I am happy to report that my to-do list and I have finally come to a truce.  I ignore it on Fridays and it doesn't shout above the normal din on that day.  How have you accomplished this, you ask?  Simple...I leave.  That's right, I just walk away from it.  I've instituted Fine Arts Friday and the girls and I (and whoever else I can round up to join us) attempt to expand our appreciation for the arts.

While we aren't able to fill every Friday, we are becoming enthusiastic patrons of the Jacksonville Symphony's Coffee House Series, an 11am performance preceded by coffee and sweets.  December found us at the Christmas Pops Concert and the Nutcracker.  We also took in a local performance of the Messiah, which I'd been wanting to do for years.

January's schedule treated us to "Broadway to Hollywood", a collection of show tunes and popular television medleys performed by the Jax Symphony. I had purchased a twenty-five dollar "Sound Check" card that's available for students for the girls who can now attend free, and I buy a rush ticket for a pittance.  Imagine my surprise when the soprano was introduced as having had the title roll of Mary Poppins on Broadway.  And the tenor...he'd played Raul in Phantom of the Opera.  Yeah...that's right.  I heard Broadway performers sing in trade for a ten dollar bill.  I was in awe...honestly, in awe.

Last week I talked dragged Mom and Dick along for a celebration of Mozart's 256th birthday.  I had no idea he had composed "A Musical Joke".  I do now - and even to my untrained ear was laugh out loud funny in a couple of spots. 

In the mean time Victoria's birthday dream came true...an afternoon of Wicked entertainment.  My car seems to be on auto-pilot to the Times Union Performing Arts Center.  But it's okay...because I get to ignore my messy house for a few hours and listen to some of the most amazing musical scores ever written.

Join me any time on our next Fine Art Friday adventure.  We've got Brahms and the Canadian Brass coming up this month.

So, what's been your guilty pleasure as of late?