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Casa L, Bridgewater's finest B&B is officially closed for renovations. Guests nearly constantly since Spring Break.... can someone come and take care of ME now?
We just got rid of the final batch of guests for this portion of guest-season (I guess around here ANYTIME qualifies). But right now I am really itching to feel like someone wants to take care of me and not the other way around. In January T had his accident and needed nearly round the clock care until mid-February (he didn't drive for more than 4 weeks), then in March my MIL and niece arrived. A week after they left, my Dad arrived for two months. During his stay we had two sets of "other guests" - the daughter of his best friend from England, then my sister and her two kids (they slept at the Marriott since the rooms were all full at our Inn). A week and two days after he left, a family of four came and stayed with us. They left about 20 minutes ago.

In addition I have hosted …

It's so important to...

If you ask my MIL what my biggest fault is, I think she would answer "Poppet can't say no." I know she finds many, many other faults in me - but this presumed fault is the subject of today's blog.

She would probably be right. I am constantly working to try to make everyone happy and rarely working toward my own happiness. When I do, I usually end up ruining other people's plans and then feeling guilty for wanting to do something for myself.

This week has been about making other people happy. Sometimes I can make them happy, but usually it comes at a price - often being my own feelings.

I like that I try to please others, however I have to learn balance. I need to also learn to be happy in doing something for myself without feeling GUILTY. 

Yesterday I gave in. I laid in deck chair. I read the New York Times.

But I was still worrying about my husband, the dog and our guests. I was even worrying about my friends who are fantastic vacations - wondering if they ar…

Sick puppy

I love to call someone a sick puppy when they tell a dirty joke. Yes, I like an inappropriate joke from time to time. Just don't tell anyone, OK?

But this kind of sick puppy is not cool. My poor puppy has been spewing "bad poopies" since yesterday. We haven't taken him to the vet (denial - yes) and I have spent the past 24 hours counting to ten whenever I see a certain person who gave doggie a chicken bone the night before said diarrhea emerged. The last time we took the pup to the vet, a large argument ensued over the cost of fixing Puppy's leg... in the end I took care of him and he did just fine. So although this breaks my heart, I'm trying to fix him with bland food, rice, TLC and water.

All I can do now is say a little prayer. I'm a believer in medicine over prayer - sorry, believing friends - but today since I am not taking poor Puppy to the vet I will have to try other methods. You are welcome to say a prayer, do a rain dance or think chicken soup…

Last day of school

Today is the last day of school! Summer vacation starts at about 1:30pm. In the fall C will start school at about 7:25, N will start at 9:05. Yes - that is a 2 1/2 hour difference. Lots of Moms in Bridgewater (and presumably all over the country) do this, but it will be my first time. I can imagine how productive I'll be during that timeframe, but let's be honest....


I'm very sad about my son graduating from 4th grade... despite many a blogpost that might make you think otherwise I really LOVE his elementary school. I dropped the ball on teacher's gifts, so I am off to pull something out of my &^*( last minute again this year.

As I am writing this N just realized that he left his backpack at T's house.... So instead of breakfast, N is pouring dry cereal into a baggy so he can eat it in the car on the way to pick it up....

TGFTLDOS (Thank God for the Last Day of School).

big regrets and small ones

big regret: white tile kitchen floor and black dog - bad combo

small regret: that i no longer have kids to send to our great elementary school next fall

big regret: that i tried to run with diego (in 90 degree heat)

small regret: that i am soooooo far from my weight goal and time is running out

big regret: that i didn't realize that the pool opened a few hours ago

small regret: that my bikini doesn't fit as well as it could

big regret: that i didn't buy anything for dinner

small regret: that i said named names when talking badly about someone this afternoon to a teacher (she agreed)

big regret: that i didn't fix the a/c already (it works a little upstairs and fine downstairs - if you would like to donate to the air conditioning cause, send me an e-mail)

small regret: that i nearly poisoned diego this afternoon

big regret: that i just realized c is waiting to be picked up

small regret: that i am posting this without rereading... and breaking the no drinking sangria and …

Broken Record

I started this blog after trying to get my C into E-language arts and math. One of the biggest and most consistent complaints of the district are how it doesn't meet the needs of bright non-AI-level kids. There is simply not enough enrichment for above-average, Lake Wobegone-kids. (There isn't enough "enrichment" for average and challenged kids either, but I'll save that for another blog. The most effective across-the-board enrichment I've seen was when C was in 2nd grade. That's 4 years ago.).

Of course this blog got me nowhere in that arena, but it has been an effective forum for venting in many areas.

Again we have received two letters both rejecting C into Algebra and E-Language Arts. This time her math was in the 95th percentile, her writing was in the 95th percentile (her reading was 85th). She did fine in e-math this year, and last year her score was 1 percentile LOWER.

It is disheartening to read the district's second to last paragraph stating…

Reflection

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Fifteen years ago today I was the princess bride with the white dress and a halo of midsummer flowers, in lieu of a lace veil, crowning my black curls. Planning my wedding took all of 4 phone calls/in person visits. I'd known for most of my life where I wanted the service and where I wanted the reception. My Mom picked a wedding cake, and my sister went with me to pick the flowers. Bold colors - red and blue. I couldn't tell you any names beyond roses and star-gazer lilies, but the florist still remembers us!! The weather cooperated if you call sunny, humid and 95F agreeable.

Now I see that planning a wedding is an exercise in compromise; the most important skill in my married life. Each day I find that I am still giving and taking. The gift registry? Very practical - just as we live today - dishes that are fine for every day and fancy use. Even planning daily dinners - "who likes potatoes and who wants pasta?" uses the same skills as picking what we would serve the…

Getting what you want

I got what I wanted - or what I thought I wanted for N- today.

N will have an IEP (individualized education program) starting next year. Basically he'll be in co-teaching but they will help him with small things through the day - he'll be in the regular curriculum for all subjects all day. I started this because of his atrocious writing - apparently poor spelling and writing isn't enough to get an IEP. It was a lose-win. He wasn't poor enough to show that he has a learning disability, but he still gets an IEP for other issues. He completed their testing and they found that while he is weak, he only falls below "within normal range" in spelling. What I wanted was a program tailored to his needs. I have it, but without the writing focus, which they don't think he needs, so is it still a win?

I got a lot of compliments on what a wonderful boy we have! Everyone who tested him commented on how pleasant, how funny, how engaging he is. I knew that.... I just am …

The road

"Hold on to Sixteen as long as you can, changes coming round real soon  make us women and men"
I know the way to Bridgewater from my Western New York hometown very well. I can tell you where's the good coffee and where are the grossest toilets (hint: Wegmans has very clean johns in Johnson City, NY). I've certainly clocked the miles after seven years in New Jersey. No matter whom I drive or which path I take I always blast the tunes. And my mind always wanders back to my childhood.

This weekend I heard John Mellancamp and was thinking about favorite line from my favorite JCM song, quoted above. The song in general is very reflective of my upbringing in a small town. Even though it lies in the Northeast, culturally my hometown could have been Indiana and the small town mentality rings true of "E-town".

I've been holding onto sixteen for a long time. So have my high school friends. Is that why we're still friends?  Perhaps if you hold too much to the …

Bad sportsmanship is never the best game plan

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Am I looking for a soccer scholarship for my daughter? NO! I want her to learn sportsmanship from being part of a team. I think her coaches are teaching her just that.

Today C saw firsthand an example of BAD sportsmanship. And bad referee skills. Poor sportsmanship is like porn: you know it when you see it!

Today C's team played Wanaque Thunder, the only undefended team in our flight. The game ended in a tie, thanks in part to C's great goal! But the goal isn't what I'll remember about the game in a few years. I'll remember these snotty 11 and 12 year old girls we played. KS was kicked in the calf so badly you could see the marks from the other team's cleat for at least an hour after the game. Wanaque huddled together on the field and laughed at KS while waiting for her to be carried off the field. Our girls were on a knee, as is the general practice, the other girls flatly refused even when our SAGE parent yelled, "HEY GIRLS, in Bridgewater when someone ge…

Checking out of the B&B

Upstairs Grandpa G is quietly packing. He's been with us since the weekend after Easter. Before that my MIL and niece were here for all of Spring Break. Our next guests arrive on the last day of school for just under a week. That means Casa L will have had guests from March 26th through June 28th (minus 10 days).

Grandpa G is very easy to host. As long as I make coffee in the morning, he usually requires little during the day. And he is happy to help out. He practically adopts the dishwasher as his territory and he helps do laundry without me asking. He doesn't care that I'm messy. (I'm sure he'd prefer it if I were neat but I'm not stressing all the time about it when he's here- he sees that my life is very busy). His long stays have helped him assimilated into our lives here. Everyone in our lives knows him here - and almost everyone enjoys him.

This trip I think N got a lot out of having Grandpa G here: Grandpa saw N pass his blackbelt testing, he played…

Enjoying it while it lasts...

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Yesterday I helped in the elementary school library for one of the last times. My son has library only once or twice more before the last day of school. I'll be so sad. In so many ways helping in the library was a major part of the journey that lead to this blog and opened up to me the world of Board of Ed meetings and educational policy issues that have really been a huge focus for me through the past three years. If only we had won our original fight then... we would have lost them now anyway!

Today I spent the day at my daughter's Graduation Carnival. I'm full of cotton candy sugar. Sticky and gross, but happy that I spent the day laughing with my friends. Next a walk with my friend - looking for somewhere where we can sit and have coffee too.

Tomorrow - Liberty Science Center with my boy, the future scientist/inventor. I'm looking forward to it.

Last night I was with new friends. Tonight it's my final time at the elementary school's PTO dinner. It's a G…

Bridgewater pros and cons

One of my readers is considering moving to Bridgewater, NJ. For her and for others who found my blog looking for my opinion on this community, I have put together my own short list. These are some of my favorite and least favorite things about my current home.

We moved here in 2003 because of the seemingly unique blend of great schools and relatively low taxes. Our decision was also influenced by an article on Bridgewater we saw in the New York Times titled If You're Thinking of Moving to Bridgewater. (NB: it's old so you may have to sign up with an account to read it). The schools are no longer the top schools that they were and the tax base has changed so that the local people pay more and businesses are paying less. But much of what they right still rings true.

Do I put pros or cons first? I'll start with ambivalence.

Ambivalent (having feelings that contradict one another) reasons (both pro and con): The schools. I have sung the praises of our kids' school(s) for …

A perfect weekend

Everybody needs a little time away
I heard her say
From each other
Even lovers need a holiday
Far away from each other
-Chicago

It was great to be away and it was great to come home - until reality set in about an hour ago...

It's back to life, back to reality here in at Casa Poppet. I'm trying to book our tickets to see my in-laws. It is expensive and complicated. No matter which flights I choose I am guaranteed to disappoint! My niece has apparently picked her vacation week based on the guestimated dates I gave several weeks ago. When I went to find flights to match these dates today, they are sold out. The flights we usually take - and booked the last time we flew - are no longer flying. It's more complicated than I remember. I can't please everyone! This time it looks like no matter which flight I choose EVERYONE will dislike it. No one likes a 7 hour layover......

I wanted to blog about how invigorating the weekend was. On Friday I spent a few hours with one of m…

Memorial Day

My family is not a military family. We have several members who have served in various armed forces in various capacities, but no one close to me has either been a soldier in war (Dad was in undeclared war as a medical officer) or a lifetime military person. So for me Memorial Day is more a concept of national pride and thanks, than a day spent mourning my relatives.

But today I was reminded that I have had plenty of people whom I love who were lost in other ways. One of them was very violent. So it seems almost ironic that BP (my friend, not the company) called me on Memorial Day to tell me that she was watching a painful reenactment of the murder of our friend, Yngve Raustein. The program, called Unequal Justice, was designed as a push for clemency for one of the three teens involved in his murder. (The other two have served their time and been released). It brought me back to a difficult time in my life. I felt so horribly guilty that our American society is so violent and the vict…