Showing posts from August, 2012

a few days and a few tanks

We spent way too much time away this summer. That's the verdict. This week, my husband is away again (for work). But I'm almost too busy to notice. We've had a house full of kids - but even more so - a CARLOAD of kids. I went through a tank of gas in less than 48 hours!
But in spite of my being sick of the Mazda, I'm having a blast. I love hearing them laugh.  Even with the constant reminder to turn down (or off) the inappropriate music (they want me to drive around blasting some really "heinous" stuff) I'm happy to be in their world. I wish that practice didn't trump day trips to the beach on days like today. But if four weeks of summer camp taught me one thing: I can go to the beach without them, but I prefer to be with them.
This time next week they'll be back in school. Back to school is a very different experience for the upper school parent than the elementary/intermediate school parent. I have to step back and let them step forward fighting…


It's times like these that I wish I had a parenting handbook. Is it too much to ask for guidance every once in a while? What would Gloria say??? How did she manage the four of us: my hippie brothers with their buddies gathering in the garage... my friend puking in our living room on New Years Eve and my sister's various boyfriends (Nicknamed things like "Biff" "The Priest" and "The Walrus")?

Despite being a parent for about fifteen years (and my own experiences as a kid), I still have so much I wish I knew. Here are a few questions:

How do I set realistic boundaries? I'd like something where my home is neither a maximum security prison and a 60's hippie love fest. My kids are good and have (so far) only made great choices. They do well and work hard in school. Can I trust them?What is fair punishment when kids do wrong? What is overdoing it? Am I too mean? Too easy? How can I get angry so quickly one day and not let things bother me as much…


I read the obituaries in my hometown paper, online, every day or so. My family has lived in a small town for generations, so I tend to recognize names. My Dad stopped getting the paper about 10 years ago, and since then my sister and I check for his friends' names. I used to call him regularly to ask "didn't you work with this person?" Now he's older, with fewer friends left, so I only call every few weeks or so with bad news.

This morning I saw something really tragic - two people with the same last name had obituaries (I opened it because he worked with someone with the same last name, but it doesn't look like they are related). It turns out it was two brothers brothers who had died within a few days of each other after a car accident last week. One would have been starting his freshman year in high school. The other, beginning his senior year.

When I read such things, I realize that I am the most fortunate woman in the world. Two healthy, happy children. A…

A USPS pick-me-up

I can't help it. I miss my kid. He's been away for 3 1/2 weeks this summer.... and, well, I miss him.

And my daughter is beyond being a teenager. She's a high schooler now and she clearly doesn't need me.

I'm disappointed that my new job isn't taking much time - the economy is bad so that I'm only working 1-2 days a week. A friend of mine e-mailed me today about her new job. It gives me hope that there is something great out there for me.

A one-day a week job wasn't my plan.

BUT something nice did happen to me today. I got a package in the mail. I'm in a yarn swap. I made something for a woman in Maryland and received a package today from a young woman in Louisiana. The max amount to spend is $20... but I fear she spent much more.

Here is a picture of my gift.

Four skeins of yarn, two bags - one of them hand-sewn (the black one in the foreground). Two sets of needles (never used any that big before), a book of patterns, a wine glass, which I'm …

New hope

I was at the High School very early this morning. The coaches and trainers were positive and helpful. Not sure if it was because the Trainer had a poster from my home town where he played baseball professionally, probably many years ago. We lamented the loss of the team and the downward economic spiral of Elmira.

I've been so apprehensive about the new year starting without a contract, (not to mention the fact that I didn't have my paperwork in by the deadline), that their friendly responses this morning came as a surprise.

Maybe the teachers have spent some time this summer, as I have, distancing themselves from the politics of the negotiations and enjoying a little family time and sunshine. Perhaps they've been reading nice books, enjoying a few beers with friends? Working on a tan?

As September approaches I am looking forward to my kids starting their new schools. I'm not sure how it is possible that I have a daughter who is almost 15 years old, since I'm far to…

Big questions get long-winded answers

A college friend of mine is sending her kids to public school for the first time - previously they either attended prestigious private schools or were home schooled. This is her question:

How do you feel about the argument that children don't need to be standardized, but rather nurtured in the best environment to bring out their individual strengths and then as they mature they may interact with the "real" world in a more authentic and empowered way? There are lots of articles coming out now about how single sex education is better for girls/women in every area of life b/c it allows them to be more creative and define leadership and intelligence in new ways...I feel the greatest WEAKNESS of our public education is the standardization...which includes treating every child and family as a cog in the wheel...if someone is just a number and has no real say over what they can think or do, why should they care? Maybe our public system needs to get radically creative and breakou…

Savvy in Somerville (an update from Sad)

Just got back from Somerville. It was a little quiet at 11am - quiet enough for a film crew to manage shooting a commercial without much interference from the curious public (I'm not shy, I took pictures). I don't usually watch many commercials, as we DVR most shows, so I may miss an upcoming Heeley shoe ad, but if and when it runs, maybe you'll recognize Main Street?

Proud as a peacock after a fab cut from Ky (see previous post - but try this link for 75 West) I hope someone - anyone - notices I had my hair done. I see it... Ky gets my curly hair and I love the way it looks and feels!!!

After a primping, I returned to Discover Wines - and said I enjoyed the wine I had bought yesterday, but I couldn't remember what it was. No problem. He knew exactly what it was. And at about $10, I bought another bottle. He also picked out a red and white for tomorrow when I'm invited to a small barbecue. I didn't know what we will be eating, but he still found a good choice.…

Sad in Somerville

One of my main gripes about Bridgewater is its lack of a downtown. I've adopted Somerville. Besides, it's closer than much of Bridgewater to our home. Among other places, I generally shop at The Hungry Hound, Discover Wine and Alexandra's Boutique. Today I had to run an errand at the Courier News and my daughter and a friend wanted to walk around Main St. They ended up eating at Alfonso's, supporting another local family business...

Unfortunately other Mom and Pops aren't going to be there anymore. Lloyd's European Market is holding a Going Out of Business Sale, but even at 50% off, I couldn't afford much beyond a pillow. Perhaps their target audience just resides in a different zip code? They are closing just a few months after changing their business plan to a more affordable model, but still it was a step beyond what I wanted to spend.

One of my favorite places for a bagel or an omelet no longer exists, Razzle Dazzle Cafe. It's sad to see so many pla…

In the news...

My friend Pam write this about The Brass Lantern. I was already so happy that she was willing to help me with input about the yarn, but when she told me she would blog about it too, I was thrilled.

I hope that this bring a little turnaround to the store's economic state.

Response to Dick's blog

I was planning on posting a completely different blog today (that I wrote but will save for another day), but I read this on Dick Bergeron's Bridgewater Blog.

I was thinking about commenting, but I still wonder if my politicking hurts my kids. So, I'll post it here instead, where traffic mostly comes from family and friends. Here's what I thought about responding in the comments section:

In my humble opinion there are no winners here. Will a new contract restore good relations between the parties, or is this part of a wider national debate we see reflected on so many levels: California state universities cannot graduate students in 4 years because of funding. In DC and New York City we've seen battles over who should sit in the leader's chair - an educator or a fiscal manager (why not BOTH). And, of course, we've all watched Wisconsin. Here in New Jersey the suburban debate revolves around wanting top schools, but wanting lower taxes more.

Today BRHS schedules …

NIMSY headquarters

For years I've thought Bridgewater was the NIMBY headquarters of the world. (In case my dad reads this: NIMBY stands for "Not in My Backyard").

Sometimes I've been aligned with the groups declaring NIMBY, more often I've disagreed and felt that people were being too elitist. Here are recent issues you could argue were "NIMBY-ish" in no particular order:
The "Mosque" (and before that, the Indian temple)Various placement for Cell Phone towersSuggestions for turning "green spaces" into sports fields/dog walks, parks etc.Expansion of a fire station to add a meeting spacePlacement/movement of special programs in schools (ESL, AI, Special Ed)COAH housing proposals Not sure about NIMBY? My Central Jersey dot com blogger Dick Bergeron debates 18 Homes as a NIMBY-issue here. Well worth a read. 
Isn't it strange how we all see these items first how they would impact our lives, and how differently we see them when they don't? Take Green …