Showing posts from June, 2012

Whirlwind... Wednesday, wait, um, it's Thursday?

Can't even begin to formulate prose for a blog. So here's a bullet list of what's going on.

Got a job offer at a knitting store. Am trying to decide between part and full time. Pros: Get to work with nice people, I get marketing experience and I handle yummy yarn. Cons: Compensation and commute. Have taken on an exciting freelance grant writing gig. Pros: Fun, interesting and I love to people I'm working with. (And the pay is fair.) Cons: When we get a no, I take it personally. And that, I believe, is where my prose has gone....Have been following the negotiations for the teachers union, but this week I've been otherwise occupied. I LOVED this article in Sunday's Courier. So happy to have seen actual facts, sans spin. Spent four hours at Macy's today. My husband's grandmother is dying and I was getting the kids their "funeral clothes". Never a fun task. Not sure how long she has (but not much time) but we are ready to fly out at a moments notic…

A little perspective

Yesterday I had a somewhat sarcastic Facebook status:

I don't quite get why graduating from Middle School is such a big deal in 2012 in NJ, but it is. Very proud of our C. But I was just as proud on her first day of school, before she even spoke much English... September 2003. She's made lots of friends here in Bridgewater - I'm very proud of them too!

Now I am humbled and, I'll admit it, slightly ashamed about my sarcasm. The ceremony began with a moment of silence for a girl (whom C didn't know).  Apparently she had become suddenly and severely ill a few days ago and fell into a coma. I heard that she died yesterday.

Another three children in C's grade all face major health issues (two have cancer).

A small reality check?

I'm grateful that my children are healthy and happy, and I am too quick to forget these things in our busy every day lives.

Weekend plans

Friday night rolled around and I was done. Put a fork in me. We've been rushing non-stop and at 9pm yesterday I still had dinner to make (and no turning back - I'd defrosted fish... so it was cook it or lose it. Fried cod on a Saturday night. A poor substitute for Farfar's ("Father's father", my father-in-law) freshly caught delicacy, but I didn't burn it and it didn't fall apart.

It's a beautiful weekend here. Tomorrow is Father's Day and my 17th anniversary.  Can I knit this hat for him? (Just the hat, the sweater would take me a year).

Can I knit anything in this heat? Hmmm....

I've been so stressed out about the contracts. Every day I've been discussing it with people on all sides. Last night as I was preparing dinner, I said to my husband that I was very stressed out about it. His answer:

Why is it your job to fix this? (An echo to his mother's favorite expression, "is that YOUR problem? - No!").

And he is right. I&#…

Peace Treaty?

(If you would like to sign a petition that echoes these sentiments, click here: )

Last night I came out of an event at the Middle School to find a pamphlet on my car. Its partial content is available on the BREA website. A green sheet with a mix of numbers and propaganda accompanied it, but isn't on the website (as far as I could see). I'm tired of this back and forth and the rise and fall in my blood pressure.

I'd like to make a no-frills settlement proposal. 
Healthcare:  You already agreed. Instead of fighting over who proposed what or accepted what and when, take the offer as it stands and be done with it.
Healthcare is a hard argument to win with the general public.
Salary:  Split the difference between what the BOE is offering and what the BREA wants.  (Numbers are as per the "green sheet" left on my car entitled "Dollars and Sense?"): 
Year                BREA offer               BOE offer1**   BOE offe…

Poem from a non-poet

School Daze with C:

She enters the house, in a flurry of curls, 
Pink nails clicking incessantly on a small cell
Smiling "hi, Mom" she heads for the fridge,
In the blink of an eye she's up in her room

From where did she come? I often wonder
Studious and challenging, sporty and fun
Talented and lucky, with beauty like no other
But headstrong, self-assured, too entitled

A fortunate Mom with an organized daughter
I watch her daily departure with friends, 
She's won competitions and failed at little
Too soon she'll set off on adventures unknown

Leaving a Proud Mom behind with a pile 
Of tank tops and shorts, pink, black, size small
To wash and put away...Awaiting her brief return
I sigh, think "wait, come back!" before she's even gone

Tonight is the night to show off her work
Conscientiously done every day, a journey toward high goals
Little prodding from me, it's all self-determined
For what more could parents ask? Nothing!

Window opens

2 seconds after I posted today's entry I met someone for coffee...
... and left with a freelance grant writing gig.
Not bad Karma, I'd say!


Yesterday tried to compensate for a hard day by doing my favorite feel-good things. I made homemade Chicken Soup with pastina (baby pasta) with a chicken from our favorite butcher, Hind and Fore. I broiled "her" and pulled the meat off the bones. And, as the soup simmered, my fresh multigrain bread rose in the oven.

I did something I really didn't want to do: I admitted defeat. How many of us really ever do that?

I gave up my import business. Time to face (what the men in my life have been saying for months) that this wasn't the right thing for me. I don't know what is worse, that I called it off or that they were right? I kept hearing the ABC Sports promo from the 80s with the skier crashing and the tagline "The Agony of Defeat".

But I'm not quite there yet, right? "The agony of defeat"... I prefer:

A door closes and a window opens! 
After reading Dick's blog from earlier this week I'm even more disheartened. Dick doesn't portr…

Vicarious travel, anyone?

Undress me in the Temple of Heaven is part travelogue, part memoir, part time travel. A journey worth reading, I highly recommend you get it for your summer reading. Much less sex than Shades, but long after you've forgotten that book, this book will stay with you. It's got beautiful descriptions, heartbreak, love and friendship, but also adventures in Hong Kong and all over China in the pre-internet days when getting lost meant exactly that.

The vertigo-inducing mixture of jetlag, culture shock, lust and adventure fill every page and remind me of the ying-yang pulling between homesickness and the thirst for exotic experience. The author talked about the competitive tone of the travelers, and I remember my own part in this game, complete with my arrogant condescending tone. We one upped each other with:

"Oh, they've ONLY been away for a few weeks...try LIVING with a family that doesn't speak English for a year!"Finnish sauna -  Saunas are more common in Finnis…

Lost at sea?

(Click here to see pictures and a description of MARE from 2011).

Apparently Eisenhower school is not running Ocean Week or hosting its annual MARE Carnival night (according to the BRRSD calendar, Roots and Shoots Forest Festival took place at Hillside School on a Saturday). Eisenhower's teachers don't want to run it. This frustrates me. I spend a lot of energy highlighting my perceived inequities between our two Intermediate Schools (Eisenhower and Hillside). Normally I'm bitching about class sizes and the impact that so many more kids have on the building as a whole (library, nursing, cafeteria, etc.). This "inequity" upsets me more because it is the choice of Eisenhower's staff not to run the Carnival.

Hillside School promoted Roots and Shoots at Bridgewater's Eco-Blast last month -  with no sign of Eisenhower's MARE program)... Again Hillside is doing something (albeit, something small - having a table for a few hours) but it was the teaching staf…