Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It's possible that this is the last year of the Fearsome Foursome (ok, we don't really call them that but it sounded good tonight) theme-ing their costumes together. They've been doing this since the beginning, but there is discussion of breaking it up over gender lines. Either way, I love what this tradition has meant for our little family of friends. We've gone through 2 cycles of taking turns on who picks, and when it's your year to pick, you have to pick something that makes everyone happy. It's not always been easy, but they've done it. It's been fun charting their progress down the Street as they've grown up. The first year they got as far as the house on the corner before deciding they were done: tonight they did the whole walk and then some. In the end, it's still more about the costumes and the theme than it is about the candy. I hope that is what they remember when they are ready to take their own kids out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

surgery foot, round 2

In August, 2004, I had surgery on my right foot. I have bunyons, which I guess my whole family does, but mine were causing me to walk funny, which was putting my back out and was not a pretty scene. For the record, surgery isn't either.

There is never a good time to have foot surgery. I knew I didn't want to be on crutches in winter; if we lived in outside of the snow belt, maybe, but no way did I want to deal with ice and crutches. Spring meant not doing the dance recital that year, which was clearly not an option. Summer, well, who wants to be bannished from the beach because you can't get sand in your wound? That left fall. Not a good time either since WB was still coaching soccer, but what choice did I have? I would not be able to drive for at least a month, and was looking at 6 weeks of crutches. Can you say suck?

We got through it. I do not like being dependent on anyone, and if nothing else, it was a lesson in humility. Friends came to our rescue and picked up kids and drove me around. My mom was a rock star a couple of times, driving 2 hours to get me, 1 hour back down the road she had just come to take me to my weekly appointment, and then reversed the trip. The only comfort the whole time was that the next foot (!) would have me out of the driver's seat for less time. Well, that and my stubborness that said I was doing the May recital, no matter what.

Five years later, my right foot is doing ok. But my left is starting to scream at me regularly, and last night I noticed the skin is damaged where it rubs against my shoes. It's time. But the question again is when to do it? I love, love, love my tap dance, so no way I'm sitting this recital out. The Monday after sounds great... except it's smack dab in the middle of track season. Do I take a chance on June being as rainy and yucky as it's been? Or do I wait for August, before school starts up again, but give up the last few precious days of freedom? Complicating matters is the knowledge that I may be moving rooms again, and will most likely have a new teaching partner. Being on crutches (and pain killers) is not a great start to any new relationship.

Today my vote is sometime during the week of June 14, which is Snow Day Make Up Week. If I need to use sick days, I'd rather they come at the end of the year when my seniors have all graduated and I only have a handful of kids sticking around. That means I'll be driving by the end of June... but I also won't need to as much since WB will also be home. I'd be crutches free by mid July, meaning I could still visit WB's Auntie on the Cape, and limp my way onto the beach (I'm too cold-blooded to go in the ocean anymore anyhow, so no loss there). But tomorrow I could vote for August 23, the week before school starts, and just deal with moving and the new partner as it comes. I say again, no time is a good time to be on crutches.

If you were me, what would you do? Seriously people, I'm really asking for input on this one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Last night we helped out with the rec department's haunted house. In no way, shape, or form am I attempting to take credit for what happened; we came in the afternoon with a plate of cookies, helped take money and did a little acting, and cleaned up a little after it was over. Other people had been there all week organizing, planning, decorating... and they returned today to finish cleaning. We were a small part of the night, but the night was absolutely amazing.

There's a long history of the rec department in our small town. Most of the focus is on sports teams, but the current group is working really hard to make it equally about community. One of the neighboring towns had been doing a haunted house event for the last few years, but for some reason they weren't able to do it this year. Our rec department decided we should, and so they did. There was an afternoon session, rated G for all ages, that had some families in attendance for over an hour, talking, laughing, and spending time together. The R showing (for violence, not language or sexual content!) in the evening had many guests screaming-- and coming back for more. More than one person said it was well executed and they hoped to see it again next year.

Seeing all these people-- from our town and neighboring communities-- come together around a non sports related event was magical. It was nice to see people talking to each other, and really nice to see so many young people volunteering their time to help pull off this event. Kids and adults of all ages working together for a common (non sports related) goal... it warmed this educator's heart. This is why I do what I do.

So thanks, rec department, for trying something new, for pulling it off, and for getting all these people together. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I hope tomorrow you find better things

Today was not my best day ever. I didn't do anything wrong, really. Just living my life the only way I know how... and a bunch of things happened around me leaving me feeling defeated. I don't like that feeling.

It started with a nightmare. Both my boys were murdered. The only good news of the nightmare was that I awoke knowing it was only a dream, but it left me with a sick feeling all day. School was what it sometimes is-- an uphill battle to help everyone get what they need. But the draining part of my day came about because I am incapable of not speaking up when I see inequity. Part of me knows I should just leave it alone and move on: the system is what it is and one voice does not make a difference. But I don't believe that, and therefore can't pretend I do. I really do believe it takes a village to raise a child, and I am part of that village. Even if it's not my child being treated unfairly, as a citizen it's my moral responsibility to speak up. And so I tilt at the windmills... and wonder if living, working, and parenting in the same district is really the best approach. That's a lot of hats to juggle, and a lot of lines that get blurred; it seems I'm finding the blurry spaces with shocking frequency this year.

For reasons I do not understand, I then made the choice to read a book suggested to me by Little Big Sis. Fist Stick Knife Gun, by Geoffrey Canada, tells the story of inner city violence and children. He survived the Bronx, got out, and re-entered as an adult trying to make things better. His assessment in 1995 (when the book was published) that if society didn't act now-- if we didn't act-- we might lose all hope. I'd like to find out how he feels now, but my heart just couldn't take the google search tonight.

Now I am up way past my bedtime, knowing my mind is racing too fast to even contemplate sleep. I am hoping the Ben and Jerry's will help. It's awfully late to go for a walk, but that's really what I want to do. Either that or dance my way through this feeling... but that's not realistic either. Tomorrow is another day... and I could really use a day filled with better things.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

cooking up a storm

I'm not quite sure what came over me tonight, but after dinner I prepped 2 meals and planned out the rest of the week. I am typically a pretty spontaneous cook, and I blushing-ly say I do pretty well using most of our food and wasting very little. For example, last week we had boiled dinner with ham on Sunday, followed by mac and cheese with ham and broccoli and then pea soup with the ham veggies, and stock. I love doing things like that.

Today as I was getting a beef roast (from a mile up the road) and squash (from 2 miles down the road) ready for dinner, I stumbled on 2 sad peppers. This knowledge floated around my brain, and while at the grocery store I decided to saute them up with an onion and make fajitas tomorrow. Well, fajitas have become burritos, and we'll have them on Tuesday instead: I'll put them together after my meeting and they can bake while I'm dancing. Half the onions/peppers, hamburg, refrieds, and the last of a bottle of salsa; all that's left is to put them in wraps and add cheese. Boy has his last soccer game tomorrow, so potato pancakes will be quick and easy, especially since the applesauce is already made. Wenesday is spaghetti day, so I think the sauce I made with the other half of the onions/peppers/hamburg will be perfect. (It'll also use up the leftover spaghetti with garlic butter from Girly's Brian's Bistro meal.) Thursday, well, WB is at a conference and I'm scheduled to scrapbook, so I think we'll end up ordering something. Not bad for 45 minutes of work, huh?

Some weeks are a struggle to put meals together, so I'm going to enjoy the inspiration while it lasts. I think my family will, too :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

That's the way (uh huh uh huh)

I don't know why I'm singing disco. I like pop, I like soul, I like rock, but I've never liked disco. Ever. Anyhow, sitting here on the couch thinking about the weekend and all I can do is sing this stupid song from 35ish years ago...

But it was a great weekend. Got 2 loads of laundry on the line, watched the final episode of Dexter as well as this week's Runway, drove all over the state looking for (but not finding) an inflatable boat, picked 60 lbs of apples with Bestfriends, baked apple desserts, had a potluck in Dickvale, got Boy to archery and his ortho consult, moved some wood after WB cut it, and still managed to get a walk in with my wonderful neighbor. Didn't get any scrapping or stampin' done, but that's ok. Looks like the weather is about to have us working on indoor projects very, very soon.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

riddle me this?

*Why do the good days leave you almost exhausted as the bad ones?

*What is it about musicals-- their spoofs-- that makes me so happy?

*What is it about having your mom nearby (and sometimes your nanny) that makes everything less scary?

*How can someone walk 10k every other day for 3 months and have some clothes feel tighter than when she spent most afternoons sitting on the couch?

*Why does using a different keyboard make such a big difference?

*How is it that I am the only person on the planet who is deeply troubled by Wild Things becoming a movie with extra dialogue... and no longer just a treasured childhood book?

Monday, October 05, 2009

I see you!

One of the little joys of my life is waving to people while driving. I take pride in recognizing other people as they approach, even though many of my friends don't recognize me. The best part of this game is reckoning time. I see one friend on her way to work as I am heading to school; where I see her helps me realize how early or late I am. Today, I was at the stop light in town when I saw her. I think it was she who was running late, not me. Phew.

When we took our field trip to the fair, I watched our bus driver wave to every other bus driver who passed. There's a slight chance that he knew them all, but it's highly unlikely. I think it's like biker culture or trucker culture: you wave because you're part of the same club.

It always come back to belonging I guess. Even when driving.