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Showing posts from September, 2011

Short term savings, long term idiocy

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Update:
I published the part below a little while ago, then checked Facebook and my friend who (with a PhD in Ed from Columbia U) has built her career building schools in Africa published an important link. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful and to see maybe I should be putting my efforts elsewhere? My kids can probably read and write better now than the vast majority of children on the African continent. Read this.



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And now back to the scheduled blog:


If you ask people what irks them about the district, there are lots of answers. But native residents my age remember very clearly that they closed a high school due to low enrollment right just about the time that the Township handed out a boatload of building permits (with a conservative estimate that there would be 1 kid per household in these 3, 4 and 5 bedroom houses/condos). And thus a major overcrowding problem was born. (That's the short version, not all of my readers live in 08807, and if you don't, you might …

Heading homeward

It's funny - I've lived in this house for  7 1/2 years (the longest I've lived anywhere since HS graduation). I helped design the kitchen, helped pick every color on every wall, except my daughter's room. I helped pick every piece of furniture and everything on the walls. I bought or chose (from my parents art book collection) nearly every book in the living room/family room.

But I still feel like driving to my Dad's house is going home. Once a small town girl, always a small town girl. Tonight I'll sleep in my childhood bedroom. The canopy bed is gone, but the memories are all still there. As are many of my friends. I'll see a few of them too, taking very familiar routes to get from place to place.

Formally the reason for my trip is to take my Dad to a dental appointment. He has a 3 hour appointment for bridge work and he's worried he won't get up on time (and I'm worried he shouldn't drive home if they give him pain killers). But any trip …

Cheated

Just finished a book that I read in just under 48 hours. Writing on My Forehead. It was a beautiful story and I really fell deeply into it hardly putting it down last night, even though so many generations and names of Aunts and Uncles were hard to keep track of.

I loved it...

It was about Saira, an American-born girl of Pakistani-Indian descent who lived with two distinct cultures. The American-bread culture of suburban Los Angeles, where she attends public schools juxtaposed against the conservative, yet vibrant, traditions of her parents' culture.

I was seduced into believing that this was a book praising individuality. Saira's most beloved Aunt is an "old maid" who became a professor of Literature at a women's college in Pakistan. Other than the protagonist, she is the most developed character, and certainly the most interesting. She even says in two different times that she doesn't regret her fate of an intellectual life over domestic bliss. Saira looks …

$$ in my pocket

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Bridgewater's only yarn shop is closing. Today is A Yarn For All Season's last day. Don't tell my husband, but I spent another $90. I expected deeper cuts on the final day, but still bought more than I planned. Strictly speaking I shouldn't have spent 10 cents. I have no income at the moment and no need for any of the items I bought (I didn't have a stitch counter). But now I won't buy anything knitting related for a years!

It's sad to see another Mom and Pop (or, in this case just Mom) business close. It's sad to see more evidence that our economy is going the wrong direction. It the planets were somewhat otherwise aligned I would have loved to have my own shop.

Now that I have all this yarn, all these books and a few extra needles, I look forward to knitting pretty things for my friends and family. And also.... for myself!

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By the way - last night was Back to School Night at the Middle School. I was pleasantly surprised - I liked all of C's te…

Tolerance and Forbidden Fruits

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I wrote several blogs that I didn't post this weekend. Yesterday I focused on our collective love for Forbidden Fruit (not what you think). My friend Pam wrote about this temptation for her knitting blog, In Stitches. For many of us buying something we need definitely don't need, like more yarn, is biting into a forbidden fruit. You know it's wrong but you do it anyway.  I spent the weekend knitting from yarn of the forbidden fruit (except the yarn was spun from a monastery's wool by Monks - hardly the double-F). The same day NPR had a segment on Resistance Training for temptation. It all really got thinking about the forbidden fruits of my life.

I have many!  Ice cream, Thai Food (try to resist Phad Thai - I dare you!), watching TV when I should be doing other "things", nostalgia, this blog...or simply procrastinating. And Facebook. If you are my Facebook friend, you know that's probably my biggest vice of all!

Which leads to the blog I wrote on Saturda…

Beautiful Sunny Fall Day

Before kids I hated Autumn.Dreary days that get perpetually shorter, colder and darker, and I couldn't wait for winter to get her and make things white. (When you grow up in western New York, you are used to a lot of snow).

Now I see Fall as something else. Cool nights that make it easy to sleep. "Indian summer days" when the temperature is perfect for walks, and knitting. Clean slates in the classroom when everyone is still optimistic about a new year. And my favorite of volunteer activities: Book fair (beginning at the Middle School next week, and Eisenhower on October 1st), when I can get the heads up on what's new in kids' lit and spend time selling reading to Bridgewater's kids.

Today I am heading to Michaels. No, not for yarn (not til I knit what I have in my stash). But for items to get my new business underway. More about that later. Fall is a time for new beginnings and the perfect time for second chances. My job didn't work out last Spring, but …

Driving parents crazy

About fifteen years ago my friend lost her daughter in an accident. Often when you meet people who have lost a child, they have a sense of tragedy floating about them. Not with LD. You would never know it if you met her. She is friendly, funny and kind. She gives selflessly and I am more than fortunate to have been the recipient of her generosity. She has been the Head Honchess of the Girl Scouts for this section of Bridgewater - one of the most thankless jobs on Planet Earth! In addition, she has two daughters, a husband and juggles several jobs! An all-around good egg, indeed.

So it was a little insulting that her comments at the Board of Ed last night were so misconstrued. Wonder what she said exactly? You can click here to replay last night's meeting. (Audio recording, September 13th, part 2, approximately 1 hour and 3 minutes into the recording).

If you don't feel like downloading the file and listening to the meeting, here is the Readers' Digest version: LD informed …

Updated Monday

I had a lot of things to do today. I am volunteering for several organizations. Tomorrow is my son's birthday and I am starting a business with much work ahead.

But instead of concentrating on these things, I spent four hours listening to my friend who has a crisis.

Today she called me in tears and needed me to listen to her (and I proved that my family is more dysfunctional than hers, which I hope lightened her mood). If I were still working with her, there is no way I could have done this for her. At my last job, colleagues spied on each other and noted (to the minute) how long others took for lunch, so I couldn't listen to her as I did today or I'd risk my job.

So I don't have a paid job, but no doubt about it: the "work" I'm doing IS meaningful. (Friendship isn't work, of course, but it's how I spent my "working hours" today). Even if it is only important to one person at a time!

Zen Soccer Mom

Friday I spent the entire day in self-inflicted suffering:

A friend posted something negative about stay-at-home Moms who write blogs on Facebook. I felt sorry for myself all day. Do career women really think that women who stay home should be ashamed of themselves? Apparently some do. It ruined my entire Friday.

The biggest detriment to women isn't that so many of us stay home and perform traditional roles.  It's that we are openly hostile to one another. No matter what we think, we do not need to judge one another for our circumstances. (This holds true for so many things.) Sometimes our roles are conscious choices, sometimes fate has brought us where we are. Sometimes it's a bit of both.
With all the reflection this weekend on who we were 10 years ago, I need to jump off the animosity superhighway. 10 Years Ago today I was fully on the other side of the working-mom scale. 10 years ago Saturday I was flying back from a business trip in Brussels, and I only by luck was h…

Tired already

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All I can say is "My brain is tired".

I was already worried about the flooding here. It seems to be worsening. Tonight I sat with several families who didn't know how they would get home from Tae Kwan Do. TKD is being housed in a temporary location because they are completely flooded. Now I don't only need to worry about my loved ones here - but the Susquehanna is flooding in New York and Pennsylvania - not far from my Dad and many other loved ones/family members. As I write this I am halfway listening to Obama's speech. The country is in a shambles, and I want to start a new business venture... in this economy it seems silly, but I need to try something. I am pretty left of center, but I think this plan leaves something out - not sure what it is, but it sounded like a pep rally more than a solution. Sorry, Obama...In the mean time I keep thinking: is really more than a year until the general election? I can't take that many months of the campaigning and animo…

Time well spent?

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Today I completed something I began on August 2, 2009: a Setesdals-sweater for my husband. Knit on airplanes, at soccer games (C still played then), waiting on the uncomfortable benches at Tae Kwon Do classes, at PTO meetings, and sitting with friends, drinking coffee.

It was a lot of work to put together. Many trials and errors and frogging ("rip it, rip it") stitches that didn't work. I redid the collar twice. But it's done. And it's a bit big on the shoulders - but otherwise...

IT FITS TOO!

Maybe you think hand crafts are a quaint waste of time, but if treated well, this sweater can last several generations! My kids can wear it, and so can theirs.

And my husband will have tangible proof that I care. In my life of many meaningless tasks, it's always good to do something of substance.

It's not easy being green...

especially when green = money...

The Bridgewater Raritan Regional School district has a lot of parents ranting and raving! They are pissed off... at another attempt for the District to market something in a misleading way.

Call a Spade a Spade...

We're not being green... if you mean environmentally friendly

We're being green... if you mean saving money - the DISTRICT'S money.

As I write this procrastinating parents across town are all doing the same thing. While the kids are planning their outfits, packing their backpacks and worrying about if they will like their teachers, parents are forced to do what they should have done weeks ago: filling in pages and pages of paperwork.

I know I'm not the only one doing this. How do I know? Because the website is super slllooooooooow. The website isn't designed for 6,000 procrastinators like me (in my defense - worse that being a procrastinator, I'm a disorganized mess. I printed out these forms WEEKS ago and have since l…

Monday: Absolutely!

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This week is possibly a record: I've started 3 blogs and not finished any one of them. Here's Monday's:

What not to wear: Part Deux

One of my favorite shows is Sex and the City. I love the witty women. It's like the Breakfast Club for adult women. We all have a little perfect-Charlotte, a bit of sexy-Samantha (WARNING if you think today's blog is inappropriate, this link is R-Rated), a taste of cynical-Miranda and some of Carrie_Bradshaw's perpetual self-doubt in ourselves. I think this blog echoes Carrie-Bradshaw's tone. Albeit, with a less interesting plot. So last year when I was in New York City with my friend and saw a hot pink t-shirt with "Absof---inglutely" (Mr. Big's trademark slogan) I had to get one. Besides, they were on sale....
But I rarely wear it. Let's face it, when am I *not* around kids for more than a few minutes and able to sport a PG-13 tee? 
On Monday, however, I went for a neighborhood run... and I put it on. Not 5 min…