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Showing posts from May, 2009

Sunday reading/listening

While we head to an away game more than an hour from here (remember - Bridgewater United Con- away games means AWAY), north of Wayne, I have something for you to ponder.

Undercover at an Evangelical University was on NPR last night. I am wondering what the parents did right to have this college junior be independent enough to come up with and follow through with such a project.

Researching and writing a book in your Junior year of college is an amazing feat. I couldn't imagine coming up with or doing this project, especially when I was his age. It took a lot of advance planning, getting a book deal, applying and being accepted to the university and taking leave from Brown. A Junior Year "Abroad" indeed. It probably felt more foreign sometimes than the country I spent my junior year in where the language was unfamiliar, not to mention those strange odie-boodie dialects. Still, in many ways culturally it was much the same. I remember how much planning that year took (applic…

Saturday in BW

C wanted to have 3 friends sleep over. I have traded that for a clean car - the girls have to wash my car as payment for a "s/o". In the end "only" two are coming.

Since I haven't got time to write today. Read this! I LOVE LISA B!

Maybe, just maybe people will stop judging me for letting my daughter walk places alone.

Or, maybe they won't...

Off to supervise the grand car wash.

N gets T over no-strings. Fair? YES!

Irish eyes smiling on us

Today I attended a funeral for my parents' friend. Dr. N was a great man and I feel for this family who has lost someone very special.

The memorial service was absolutely beautiful.

Although Dr. N was an accomplished physician - and did some cool things, like was the physician for a LPGA golf tournament and for the Watkins Glen Raceway with it's world-class racing, the eulogy given by his dear friend talked mostly about his capacity for love. He talked about how Dr. N was one of the only grown men he could say "I love you" to, as most men don't say that to one another. With him it felt natural.

Dr. N loved barbershop quartets. Some of the members of his group sang an Irish prayer. It was incredibly touching. He was also a lieutenant, so there were military honors as well. He loved fly fishing - and the minister noted "Jesus hung out with a lot of fishermen". The service covered many aspects of his life but actually very little on his medical career.

Late…

Wednesday washing...

I just did something I almost never do: published a blog without editing it (see 5/24). I realized I hadn't published anything since Saturday and I wanted to get something up. Usually these things bite me in the butt...

Am back in the juxtaposition of my life: washing floors on my hands and knees while wondering about Obama's choice for Supreme Court, Sotomayor. (for any readers who are living on the moon: check out the New York Times as a NY native and judge from the area, I am sure it has more than enough information to keep you informed).

I'm thinking about a conversation I had with C yesterday in the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. I was blown away by the place - everything I loved to study in college all in a single building, but it was overcrowded hard for the kids to concentrate on the exhibit, so I'm definitely going back with the kids on another day. I told C that Pres. Obama is about to nominate someone to the Supreme Court, unbeknown to me that …

What to wear, what to do, how to be...

I've been reflecting on my writings lately, specifically on two blog entries - one about what I should or shouldn't be wearing and one about who I have become. They are both pretty harsh on myself. But looking back at who I was, I forget there is one common denominator (other than harsh). I have been always interested in women's issues. I've always thought of myself as the f-word.

Feminist.

I know what some of you are thinking: being a stay-at-home Mom and a feminist is an oxymoron. If you read Betty Friedan, you can't imagine that you can be both. And sometimes when I am making my husband's dinner (well, I guess I'd be eating it too) when I would rather eat out or when I feel like my life is consumed in endless and meaningless laundry (T does his own laundry, neither helping nor adding to the load), I wonder where my belief in equality have gone.

This morning I heard the President of NOW speak on NPR. Although I haven't been paying attention lately - and…

Memorial day saturday

Forget Mixed Feelings.

It's Saturday and I am heading to the pool.

Enjoy the weekend.

Mixed feelings

Its another one of those days when I should be on top of the world but wondering how I got to this place and feeling like life is passing me by. It's also the continuing saga of my love-hate relationship with Facebook. It's been nothing short of miraculous to be back in touch with so many people. I have well over 300 so-called friends. Some are close, some are distant. The vast majority were people I had lost and am so grateful to have found. I don't live a life where I bump into people from outside of Bridgewater very often (bumped into one of my brother's friends at a hotel in New York last summer, but that is the only one I can think of offhand). So this has been an amazing tool to be in contact with my previous lives.

Whenever I get a new friend I pour through their facebook page, checking out their info (what they've been doing since I last saw them in 1985, where are they working, did they dare put their home address, etc.) and looking at their pictures. Some…

Big on intentions, slow on progress

I volunteer for a couple of organizations in a couple of capacities. One position is directly related to my former work, another is because no one else wanted to do it and I felt like I could do it.

Unfortunately I haven't been keeping up with these jobs, and they are weighing on me like a house. One thing I started in November and dropped all together - the paperwork somewhere on the tower of papers on my desk - starting back up would require me to clear off my desk. In fact I am typing this on my laptop at the kitchen table since I have too much stuff cluttering the area where it lives.

Now it's a beautiful day. I have a meeting with the co-presidents of this organization at 1pm. Her e-mail said, "My blackberry says that we are meeting at 1pm on Thursday." I wanted to tell her blackberry that I don't feel like meeting, but I responded that I'd be there. That should give me plenty of time to finish what I should have done 3 weeks ago (3 months ago???) but her…

A message from 1972

No matter what we get out of this

I know we'll never forget

Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

If you were there with the rest of us, then you know that last night wasn't your average school concert.

Where else does the principal accompany the school's orchestra, the new Vice Principal take up an instrument SPECIFICALLY to join the orchestra and an entire gym of 5th and 6th graders rock out together to end an orchestra concert?

When does orchestra ever get the "cool factor"? Not often!

Man, it sure did last night. The orchestra teacher said that she planned this as a farewell concert in case the budget didn't pass, and 5th and 6th grade music programs were cut. "I wanted to go out with a bang!"

The budget passed, so it was a musical celebration instead.

It brought back memories for me. Deep, meaningful memories. Years of lessons in school (that I hardly practiced for - so there's a pang of regret) and countless orchestra and choir practices, concerts e…

Head spinning...

Click here to enjoy a song while you read today's blog!

How can you tell me, you're lonely, and say for that the sun don't shine?
Let me take you by the hand and take you through the streets of London,
I'll show something to make you change your mind

My head is spinning. We just got an e-mail with the option for a tournament this weekend. Between now and the last day of school there is something extra on the calendar every day but 2 days! One some of those days there are extra tid-bits just to throw a wrench into the pot like "T in London".

"T in London" is a bummer for me. I am pretty well traveled - been in most of Western Europe, and about 40 US states and 2 Canadian provinces, plus Japan, but I have never been to London and I've always wanted to go. My Dad was raised there and I've heard how wonderful it is for my whole life. This was my chance! It would have meant outsourcing everything kid-related for 3 days, and I was tempted to do that, …

Monday

Spent the morning in the kitchen. The afternoon in the living room and will spend the evening carting kids.

Not much to report therefore, but I have changed the coloring on the blog. Everyone needs a change once in a while...

Enjoy!

Bridgewater Soccer Mom's Swimsuit Edition: What Not to Wear

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Next weekend it starts. We joined a pool club and it opens on Friday. We resisted for many years but decided it was time to stop living off the generosity of others. Also, for several years I spent the majority of the summer at my in-laws with the kids. This year we are only going for a couple of weeks, so we're going to need somewhere to go. But this weekend I started to panic.
The first time I visited this pool as a guest of others I wore a very small bikini that wasn't too revealing, but still showed enough to shock my hostess. I remember her gasping, saying it might fall off my curvy figure (not her words, but that was the gist). Nothing is more painful than watching your hostess's shocked expression at your swimsuit.

I bought it with two good friends who sang praises until I dropped the $100 on this gooooorgeous bikini. Granted we were in Spain at the time, and maybe the sangria was part of the decision process...? At time of purchase, I thought I looked like a Roman Go…

Proud to be living here

Earlier this week an accident turned into a nightmare for one Bridgewater family. They watched their house burn, while firefighters fought the blaze bravely. It was devastating and I highly doubt that anything will be salvaged, even though lots of the house "looks OK". Smoke, ash and water damage got everything that fire didn't. Neighbors and onlookers watched in horror as the home went up in smoke and flames.

The firefighters (mostly men, but at least two women!!) were valiant volunteers. They came quickly, in huge numbers, and stayed for several hours. Firetrucks spread over 1/4 mile. It reminded me of the St. Patty's day parade when I ask myself each year "how many firetrucks ARE there in Somerset County?"

Once the firetrucks left and the crowd that had gathered on nearby lawns disbursed, neighbors gathered. One neighbor brought pizza, others pooled drinks, and they brought whatever we thought might be needed: toothbrushes, clothes for the first few days, …

Soccer Wars - Episode IV a New Hope

A Long Time Ago

On a Soccer Field

Far, Far Away...

Ever feel like you are in Star Wars - the original movie? What I mean is, you think it is the beginning of this new story, only to learn that the saga started long before?

That's what I felt like today - thrown in the midst of a war that has long been raging while I have been living in another galaxy (or the soccer equivalent thereof).

This week our team was thrown into the mix. It felt like when I watched the newest Star Wars movies (Episodes 1-3, with Natalie Portman as Carrie Fisher's mother). Beyond the very obvious Yoda and his crew, I never could tell who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. Today I can't really tell now whose side to believe either.

And as with a good Star Wars plot, someone had warned me of eminent attack, but I didn't believe.

Just when I thought Soccer Wars couldn't get much worse... another surprise was thrown into the mix, and I said some very inappropriate things within the earshot o…

A tale of two soccer leagues

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Bridgewater currently has two travel soccer leagues. C is on Bridgewater United (aka "Epic") the Bridgewater Rec Department's travel soccer organization. She has been very happy with Bridgewater United, but doesn't like one of the four coaches. We have 18 girls and four coaches - a head coach and 3 assistants.

A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, C said she wanted to join BSA (Bridgewater Soccer Association).

Shoot me now! One year ago this week she was deciding between "Epic" and BSA. She tried out for both, and after much deliberation, chose "Epic", which became Bridgewater United. Both organizations sent "FAQ's" home last week promoting their programs.

She has been happy there all year. She has made new friends and the team has coalesced from a group of girls with very different sporting backgrounds to a team. Had she joined BSA she would have been an outsider coming in to an already formed group.

Maybe your daughters or sons are c…

Lilacs

It's Mothers' Day and I spent the morning cutting lilacs from the beautiful ring of bushes that makes a u-shape around their property. They have grown from the size of bushes to trees taller than the my parents' white ranch house. When we opened all the windows you could smell their beautiful scent in every room. Mom grew them in 3 colors. Very light purple, a darker purple and the color of light red wine. The leaves are bight green and everywhere, providing my dad privacy. I've been thinking all day how she would have loved to see the fruits of her labors in these gorgeous bushes.

We brought some to her grave and to Nonny, too. I remember Mom bringing her Dad (then later her Mom) flowers when she was healthy as those lilacs. We didn't have time to take care of the weeds around the gravestones, which she would have liked, but maybe I'll get to it next time I'm home.

I brought a huge bunch home. They didn't like the car ride and look unhappy and wilted, …

Reading

This posted before I even wrote it. I apologize if you were just e-mailed a blank page (some of my readers subscribe via e-mail).

Anyway, I read this great op-ed about Bristol on my sister's facebook page and I had to post it.

If you haven't figured it out, I'm as pro-choice as they come and think that the Republican's choice of Palin cost them the election. I have wanted a woman in office my whole life - just not a woman like her who has achieved her goals through her looks and luck, and clearly not intellectual abilities.

Someone in McCain's inner circle dropped the ball when they didn't properly vet the proposed candidate. Even my father who voted for such gems as Nixon, Reagan and Bush-41 stopped considering McCain after it was a McCain-Palin ticket. Wink-wink...

There are lots of things that my beautiful daughter has done before her friends: first with a tv in her room, first with a cell phone, one of the first to read several "banned" books (Are yo…

Teacher Appreciation Week

I know I promised a blog about soccer... you're not getting one today either... I disappoint my kids with this kind of stuff every day, so why shouldn't my readers get a taste of it too from time to time.

Today's topic is teacher appreciation. We did a lot of fun things for Miss Teacher this week - collected toys for her new dog, kids brought in letters and flowers... and today there was a class party where we did the same thing to her that she does for the kids when they are student of the week. Ending with everyone giving her a compliment. The game I planned backfired, but that just shows I know nothing about elementary school kids.

I wanted to do something a bit more meaningful than the usual gifties. So I wrote a letter of recommendation to the Superintendent praising all she has done for N this year. It might not help her much career-wise, but now I formally have told her employers what I think... and for once they received a kudos letter from a parent and not someone b…

Careful what you wish for...

Today I remembered sitting in my Dad's Pontiac Parisienne waiting for him to finish at the gym. I sat in the red plush interior dreaming about the day I would be free to drive where ever I wanted. I also remember wondering if I'd ever be alone in a car with a boy... I yearned to drive and to be alone with a boy (not necessarily in that order).

I had to laugh today thinking how funny it sounded to dream about being able to drive.

Nowadays it seems that from morning to night I spend my time driving people places. My kids to school. My dad to Wegmans. My fat butt to the gym (it's getting to be big enough to count as a separate passenger). Pick up the kids from school. Pick up their friends and drive everyone plus the kitchen sink to soccer practice. Tonight was a triple header - first TKD, then soccer, then Wegmans, then home.

I wish I could reach back into my youthful self to find again that yearning to drive.

These days being alone in the car with my boyfriend (ie my husband)…

knew knits

It's a busy day in Lake Woebegone.

Grandpa is going home this weekend. He has been a huge help although today the dog pooped where he shouldn't have upstairs and Dad stepped in it and tracked it across the house. In my ever-present mindset of "not letting things bother me" I did my best to breathe deeply (well, figuratively at least) and count to ten before I sent him out for his walk (Grandpa's walk - the dog was sent to his cage) so I could clean up the mess.

T is ready to give the dog to Grandpa as a parting gift... don't think the kids will let him, though.

After washing the floors twice, I have taken it easy this afternoon. T has been to the doctor and has scheduled some procedures to check out something. I am so relieved that he is finally taking this step. Seconding guessing what it could be can be very tiring and for years my regular requests that he get it looked at have gone unheeded.

N had the NJASK this week. He couldn't sleep Sunday night, but he…

Facebook

I had a crappy evening. Not the worst in the world - but for dinner I had chicken marsala, salad and a side of humiliation.

When I got home from this wasted benefit dinner, someone a lost friend found me on Facebook. I was thrilled. I have spent a lot of time trying to find her, to no avail.

It's good to keep things into perspective. As PM teasing me and mortifing his coworker (PM thought he was being funny, but I was humiliated), CH was remembering me and found me online.

Breathe in, breathe out. Focus on the good stuff! It'll all be OK!

PS - Am working on another blog, but haven't finished it... about the two travel soccer options in town... after all, that is what soccer Moms write about, right??? Coming soon...

Fighting other people's battles...

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(With International Students - the Mini-UN of my youth)

When I was in college I wanted to be a diplomat. I still dream about it. Unfortunately I am afraid I am too old, and my life too child-centered to start this path. But it's still in me somewhere...

Every once in a while someone does something to someone else that I think is wrong. Let's face it, that happens pretty much daily - if I look for injustice, I'm sure I can find it every minute - but every few weeks or so something happens within my little world that upsets me to the point that I want to take action and engage myself in the issue.

Recently I called a relative to inform her that her child had done something inappropriate. It totally backfired.

A few weeks before that I attempted to "fix" something at the martial arts school where my kids take classes. Again, backfired.

Nearly 100% of the time when I try to fix something like this, it backfires.

This week I got myself worked up about how mean one child was…

Sweating the small stuff

Well, my new leaf lasted about 2 days. On Wednesday I lost all patience over a lost shin guard. Typical me! Blasphemy and anger.

I sweated the small stuff. By Wednesday I couldn't help it! It's my own fault. We are overbooked. It's impossible not to sweat small stuff because life gets overwhelmed by it.

On Thursday, more small stuff, one time I was able to breathe in and out and not explode. Another time I yelled... but just a little.

Now it's Friday - I just got back from Philadelphia, the first of two trips I am chaperoning this month - and tomorrow I'm leading (with my faithful partner in crime, M) the girl scout troop's camping trip. Chance of showers all weekend... but I'm not going to sweat it! Will just have to follow the Scandinavian saying "there is no such thing as bad weather - just bad clothes".

It's the weekend and I must relax a bit. My body and soul crave it. So to treat myself, we're blowing off the evening's activities …