Showing posts from August, 2011


We are in pre-storm mode here at Casa Poppet. I've been trying for hours to clean the kitchen and cook in it simultaneously. Every few hours I stop when I've stepped on another fragment of broken glass from a dish that C accidentally smashed yesterday. I've never seen such a small object shatter so impressively! I've vacuumed multiple times - and decided it isn't worth it to put the vacuum away because I'm likely to need it in a few hours if the wind really starts howling.

The kids keep asking "when is the hurricane coming". C thinks it's all overblown media nonsense. Let's hope she's right. We do have a very hyped up media and after the "earthquake" that scared a lot of people in New Jersey but caused no noticeable damage, there is a reason to believe it's "crying wolf."

Clearly other people are heeding the warnings and hoarding EVERYTHING. We are not hamsters (let's hope we're not without water for a long …


For years my cousin has said "you should come to the Thousand Islands" to her house. Out of seven siblings only a couple didn't have houses at the Thousand Islands. My grandparents were among them. Not sure if it was the distance or the money, or that my grandfather died young (in his 50s), but there you have it.

This weekend we were supposed to go to LH's cottage. She shares a cottage with her two sisters, and all of their kids/grandkids, and visitors require a bit of scheduling.

This weekend was supposed to be our weekend. But cheer got in the way when just 2 weeks ago we were alerted that we had to be in town for a breakfast on Saturday and a game on Sunday. It made me so sad to call LH to cancel....

Since then LH fell and broke her hip which required a hip replacement! So clearly if we hadn't canceled she would have.

And if the game and her fall hadn't done us in, now there is a hurricane coming. Believe it or not the Cheer Gods still haven't cancele…

One statement says it all...

As you know I've been worried about the culture in C's new cheer team (especially after what we experienced last year, which I blogged about multiple times). Specifically I'm concerned about a rift between the girls who have been on this nationally recognized team (her new team) for years, and the new girls who, um, aren't as, um... accomplished, meaning C's former team. I was worried the new girls (including C) would be bullied by their teammates who would see they aren't be up to snuff and may cost them their winning record.

And while I might have expected this, somehow I wasn't prepared for the plain truth to come out of my daughter's mouth today:

"It's not the girls. They are fine. In fact, they are being really nice to us. It's the adults, the coaches, that hate us and don't hide it."One coach, C admitted, is somewhat nicer, but C feels that main coach hates her. Even if she doesn't it's not fun to hear.

Yesterday when…


Just checking in with my fearless readers to say that it's been a very busy week. I have so many thoughts to blog about, but life keeps getting in the way.

I spent two nights away this weekend. First with the MCM and SM family at their already-overcrowded hotel room in Wildwood and then with my sister and her family in their much roomer digs a few miles up the beach. It was lovely to be so warmly welcomed to join in other peoples' vacations! It was just N and me. Nothing like some time with my boy.

I also went on a little road trip to Carlstadt, New Jersey, where Lion Brand Yarn has opened a factory outlet. I don't associate Lion Brand with fancy yarn, although I have knit one wedding gift in their organic cotton. I made a bear too, but that was with leftover stashed yarn.  The outlet included the requisite acrylic yarns (including one gold fringe yarn that I bought), but it had several goodies from their "LB Collection" yarn that is clearly higher in quality and…

The road taken...

Twenty five years ago today (August 16th, 1985, this was written a few days ago, published on the 18th) my life completely changed course. It was a turn I would never undo. I traveled with AFS International Programs to Finland to be a foreign exchange student for a year. Everything I am, everything I have experienced came out of the choice I made to get out of my seemingly broken life and begin anew in a country I'd barely heard of, with a family so different from my own. It was worth every tear I shed and every bit of effort.

Many kids travel "on exchanges." They board airplanes, and take tours. They see the sights in Rome or Paris, maybe staying with a family for a week for a small taste of life, and then they return with a suitcase of over-priced souvenirs and some new buddies. A year is a different kind of commitment. You build a life in a new culture, immerse yourself in it, learn a new language and miss home in a very visceral way. You return with a few prized pos…

Shifting gears too soon?

Maybe it's because our class placements seem so early this year... More likely, it's because C's cheer leading practices started on August 1st... Maybe it's because I spent part of the day at the 4H-Fair, but it seems like school is just around the corner. Luckily, someone was kind enough to remind me, that we have almost a month left before September 8th comes.

My mind is shifting towards all things BRRSD. Driving past the Verizon parking lot on RT 28 I saw workers striking. I couldn't help but worry that maybe OUR TEACHERS will strike, since they are about to start the year without a contract. I know it may seem reactionary, but have you seen the poor rapport between the Union President and the BOE Negotiators? It's like War of the Roses. Except in the final scene the BRRSD's kids will be swinging from the chandelier. And they might like that! Since that means no school.

I prefer to have teachers who are happily returning to work WITH a contract. Beginni…

Bridgewater gets practical

It used to come in the middle of the night: the phone call. My husband would come home from work in New Jersey, found the school letter placement and called us while we spend the summers in his parents' home, in Europe. It would have been 7pm in NJ, but was 1am overseas. I'd awake from my slumber, turn on the computer and correspond with our friends. Who would join C, and later N too, in class that year?

As my network grew, we improved the communication. Someone would e-mail their information in the morning to us in Europe, and I'd e-mail my husband to go home at lunch and check our mailbox and call with results.

The past few years we've been home to receive the envelope.

A while back one friend started an e-vite with most parents in our elementary school. Parents RSVPed with the placement info and word spread like wildfire.

BRIDGEWATER goes high-tech:
Yesterday every parent got e-mailed a code to get the information online. Everyone found out at the same time, and …

Middle School Drama

Some dramas are all in my head. I've been worried for weeks about cheer. My daughter joined a new squad and I'm very worried that there will be "us" and "them" cliques (the original group, and the newbies). If they don't win after many winning seasons, what then? Several girls on C's old team were too-cool-for-school and refused to cheer at the games. They stood there in their too-tight uniforms and looked sexy, (not my favorite adjective for a then-12 year old!) and they couldn't be bothered to spell P-A-N-T-H-E-R-S. So there is reason to worry. C's new team has won and moved on to finals in Florida for several years in a row. It would be social suicide if THIS year they don't make it... and then my daughter and the other girls from the old team would be easy targets for the original team's disappointment.

But my daughter isn't worried, so far. In fact, she had a well-planned strategy the first few days. Stay with one or two clo…