Friday, May 30, 2008

A Note to My Kids Regarding Summer...

Dear Son & Daughter, There's one more week of school left, can you believe it? I know, this year has gone by so fast. Now you have a long summer of ??? to look forward to.

About that, the long summer thing... I just wanted to make sure we understand one another before the 'fun' begins. Contrary to what you may have come to understand from summers past... I, your mom, am not, I repeat NOT, your Cruise Director. It's important that you know, starting now, that should you become bored over the long hot days of summer, I am not the person to ask, "What should 'WE' do?" nor, "Where should we go?"

Let it also be know that I am not your Personal Maid. If you dirty a dish, clean it up! If you've run out of clean clothes, wash them, dry them, fold them and put them away! If you leave your crap laying around, put it away! It's really not that difficult... You see, I do stuff like this all the time... I just don't want to spend MY summer doing it EXCLUSIVELY for you.

Here's another thought to keep in mind. During the summer months it would be foolish of you to assume I am your personal chef. So when you're hungry, don't search me out to ask, "So, what's for lunch?" If you're hungry, make yourself something. There's food in there, trust me, I buy it every week! If you'd really like to put a smile on my face, make me something too, while you're at it.

Lastly, here's a role I REALLY don't want to fall into this summer.

I really detest the image of 'Drill Sergeant'. I don't wish to spend MY summer telling you what to do. I don't want to berate you for sleeping past noon every day, so don't!... If the lawn needs mowing, MOW IT!... If the trash needs to go out, TAKE IT OUT!... If something needs to be done around the house, DO IT!... Don't ask questions or give me attitude. I ask these things of you, not to make your lives miserable but to allow us to peacefully coexist in something other than utter filth and chaos.

I'm not the only person who lives in this house... We're a community of people living together, and as a community, we each need to do our part and help out our fellow Man or in this case 'Mom'.

Now, I hope we understand each other. So you two go off and have a wonderful last week of school and here's to a Great Summer.... Together!

Your Mom

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Balancing On My Soapbox

This one's for Christy, because I don't want to overflow her comment box.

Okay, I'm not even going to read the other comments on your blog before I jump into my diatribe.

First off: If you say at 36 yrs. old you're OH SO close to 40!... Well, I'm just gonna have to smack you spam-mail style. I'm 43 going on 44 and if 36 makes you ALMOST 40 then I must surely be looking at the dark side of my 40's and might as well invest in a cane and loafers.

Secondly: If that picture of you on your blog looks anything like you do today... Well, you my dear are a lovely woman who should not be fearing decrepitude.

Thirdly: DO NOT! I repeat DO NOT buy into all that the media feeds us. Movies, Books, Magazines, Commercials, Advertisers, Music, Videos... All of these things are telling us we can't be either too young, too rich, too thin or too loved. And when they say loved, they say it purely in the superficial sense.

So let's take a moment to dissect that, shall we? Hmmmm, You can never be too young. Well, if I remember back to my youth I can honestly say I have no wish to be that naive or unsure of myself again. All I need do is walk down the concourse of the nearest mall to see how awkward and downright difficult it is to be a teenager. So why does the media wish to force on us the idea that this should be what we're trying so hard to attain?

You can never be to rich. Oh c'mon, this one is SO easy! Have you glanced at the tabloids? Should we really be working towards patterning ourselves after the Britney Spears & Paris Hilton's of the world? Sure they've got money but what else? Self-esteem, Strong ethics, Moral fiber? Talent?... Yeah, I had to add the last one.

You can never be too thin. Hellooooo, Karen Carpenter? Truth is the percentage of 'healthy' model-like people in the world is very small, something like 8%... How do I know? I don't. I'm making this up! Surely you're aware that 97% of statistics are made up on the spot? One thing I do know, I don't measure the quality of the people in my life by what their scale reads. I sure hope they don't measure my qualifications as a friend by what mine does. When you think about the worlds greatest minds, poets, artists... People who have really made a positive impact, can you call to mind whether they were 'good looking' or not? Were they too heavy? Mother Theresa didn't look like a super model, that's for sure. Does that make her any less wonderful?

The media likes to tell us LOVE is important. Images of being lusted after, longed for, adored are everywhere you look. It's how products are sold. If I buy that perfume, every guy will want me! If I drive that car, everyone will think I'm HOT, SEXY, COOL! Christy, every human that ever lived has the very basic desire to be loved... And dear Christy, for those of us who've been through a (for lack of a better word) miserable upbringing, we long desperately for proof that we're worthy to be loved. I think, from the way you write, that you've found it. I think I found it too. It's just those ghosts from the past are always whispering in our ear, telling us we're not good enough, we're not smart enough, we're not beautiful enough. Because back when we were kids the people who were supposed to help cement our worth, we're too busy trying to deal with their own feelings of coming up short.

Christy, you said, "I wanted to have accomplished big things, like: to have figured myself out; to have found my passion and be living it." I too have been struggling with the idea of 'Making My Mark in the World'... However, I'm beginning to understand that the people who really make a difference don't necessarily set out to do so. The difference is made by those who really attend to their lives. To be the best one can be, for themselves, for their family, for their community. In so doing perhaps that's how one 'Makes their Mark'.

I'm stepping down from my soapbox now. I can be such a blow-hard at times and I've really got to spend more time to practice what I preach. Christy, I hope you find solace, pride and sense of celebration on your 36th birthday and every one thereafter. Happy Birthday!


The Bird Whisperer...

So this was our morning...

My daughter takes the dog out and witnesses a robin hitting the window of our neighbors sunroom... She says he hit it really hard! Worried about the young robin she scoops it up in her net and brings it up to the deck. She sets the net in a planter hanging from the deck where the bird sits and blinks at us all staring at it, wondering if it's going to be okay. Worried that the net might blow out of the planter, My daughter secures it with rope tied to the bird feeder. Bird continues to blink at us so of course we grab our cameras. Following a good 5 min. photo shoot, we turn to walk in the house and the robin flies out of the open net, leaving quite a mess. One glance into the net made it apparent we'd quite obviously scared the crap out of it. All are joyous the bird is going to be okay. My daughter makes a mental note to clean out her net later.
Cut to a few minutes later... Everyone gathers there things to head off to school. Walk out the front door, 'Nature Girl' wanders over to check on the baby robins in the nest at the front of the house. I step off the porch, look down and see a wing... No bird, just a wing. Remembering my daughters desire to exercise her taxidermy skills, I point the wing out to her. She decides it would be best to put the wing in a shoe box of some sort. We open the garage and search for a container. She says, "I need gloves." I look at her and jokingly say, "What, you're not going to just pick it up with your hands?" To which she replies, "Mom, taxidermists ALWAYS use gloves!" I say, "Was that on page 1 of your book?" she says, "Uh YEAH! If you don't want to like end up with diseases and stuff!"

With wing saved in garage... Yes, it's beginning... Dead things in the garage! We pile in the car and head off to school. Witnessing as we're riding along a crow being chased off by a mockingbird. My daughter says, "If that thing crashes into our car I'm going to completely freak out. Not to worry, it didn't.

On my way home from the drive to school I have to pull the car to a
stop in order to allow a gaggle of geese and their goslings the opportunity to safely cross the road... But here's the really weird part... When I get home I notice a message on the answer machine. It's from our next door neighbor. She says she found a tiny baby bird and wonders if my daughter, 'The Bird Whisperer*' might be interested in taking care of the little fellow, because she doesn't want to "just throw it out."

*My daughter aka 'Nature Girl' was coined 'The Bird Whisperer' by our neighbor after the incident when she called to have my daughter come over and help remove a bird from her garage, which seemed frightened and confused and couldn't find its way out. 'The Bird Whisperer' simply held her net up to the bird, at which point the bird stepped on the rim and held tight as my daughter carried it out of the garage so it could fly away.

So are the birds on to something? Might 'That Bird Whisperer' have some sort of
affinity with our feathered friends? Stay tuned.....

Labels: ,

Monday, May 26, 2008

6 Words of Seriousness

6 word memoir:

Struggling to figure it all out

These are 6 words which truly define me.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

6 Words - Illustrated

New tag...

My Memoir in 6 Words:

Fending off dementia while eating chocolate!


Friday, May 23, 2008

You want to What?

So I've told you a bit about the school my kids attend The New School. And I'm sure you've heard me mention that at this school, the students have the opportunity to pursue any course of study that interests them...

My daughter, my 15 yr. old sweet, delicate flower.... Yeah, not even!

More like my 15 yr. old tree climbing, dirt digging, toad catching, outdoor photography 'Nature Girl' has decided to study 'TAXIDERMY'.

She ordered a book for herself, with her own money AND Everything! She's also setting up a field trip for herself and a staff member to visit a Taxidermist Studio roughly an hour drive away.

There's already talk of what part of the school she'll take over in order to hone her skills... And an old fridge in the basement will house her um, 'subjects'. As other students at the school discover my daughters new course of education, some are interested, while others are obviously repulsed. As for me? I'm most concerned with whether or not 'dead' things are going to be showing up at my house. I don't think I mind too much once they're 'stuffed' but my daughter has already had folks offering up locations of deer carcases on the side of the road, along with rodents and others creatures of that ilk.

You know, I bought her dolls when she was little... She wouldn't touch them!
I put bows in her hair... Until she was old enough to tear them out!

I purchased pink dresses and pretty things... She wore 'frog boots' and carried around a big net and a bucket!

In the delivery room, when the doctor announced, "It's a Girl!"... I had a completely different picture in my mind than the reality that is my 'little girl'... And all I can say is... Thank heaven!!! because she's so incredibly unique and wonderful and amazing and really very much her own person!... But still, I'm really concerned about where all that dead stuff is gonna go?

I pulled this photo from my archives, not to worry, this turtle is very much alive!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yeah, I'm down with all that's Tech

I added to my blog roll (check out, Christy & Amy) AND included a link you'll find if you scroll down the page...
And here's the REAL COOL part... I did it sans 'Techno Man' aka, my son.
Just call me 'Madame HTML'

Anyway, about that link... Sorry, self promotion takes precedence to 'Feeding the World'... I'm working on humility... No really, I am!

Free Rice! Click on it and if you're competitive in any way (like me), I dare you to try and stop. I was up until after midnight last night telling myself, "Just one more word... Just one more definition... Just another 1,000 grains of rice for the hungry!"

You see, it works like this:

In the middle of the FreeRice Home page you will see something like:

small means:


To play the game, click on one of the four definitions (“little,” “old,” “big,” or “yellow”) that you think is correct. If you get it right, FreeRice donates 20 grains of rice to help end hunger. In the example above, you would want to click on “little,” which means “small.” You will then get a chance to do another word the same way. You can play as long as you like and give as much rice as you like.

What's in it for you?:

Learning new vocabulary has tremendous benefits. It can help you:

  • Formulate your ideas better
  • Write better papers, emails and business letters
  • Speak more precisely and persuasively
  • Comprehend more of what you read
  • Read faster because you comprehend better
  • Get better grades in high school, college and graduate school
  • Score higher on tests like the SAT, GRE, LSAT and GMAT
  • Perform better at job interviews and conferences
  • Sell yourself, your services, and your products better
  • Be more effective and successful at your job

After you have done FreeRice for a couple of days, you may notice an odd phenomenon. Words that you have never consciously used before will begin to pop into your head while you are speaking or writing. You will feel yourself using and knowing more words.

So why are you sitting here reading this?... Go, click on the link, build your brain-power and more importantly, Feed the Hungry!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jim asks himself, "What should I wear Today?"

New post over at my other site but I ran across this and just had to find a spot for it...

When men dress themselves:

Labels: ,

Monday, May 19, 2008

TAG, Your it!

Newlywed Girl - New baby, Heading back to work soon, Always on the GO! (ya, she's got time!)

Salvation Amy - Said she was going to start back blogging, 4 posts and she's done? (maybe this'll give her a kick start.)

Extraneous Kickassery Jon - Basement woes? Sure, he can take a moment from baling and give us a peek into what makes him such a kick-ass!

This is a Test Stacie - Maybe she'll put down the camera, step out of her kayak for a moment and regale us with her wit?

House of Lime - Queen of the meme's and always with a twisted take on a mundane question.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

I've been called out... My first TAG!

The other day my husband told me I have a disease...
What kind of disease you ask? It's called: Cryptoscopophilia
Not to worry, it's not fatal or anything. It simply means I have an urge to look through the windows of homes I walk past. I wouldn't say I'm a peeping tom or anything and if you're suddenly feeling the urge to draw your drapes, well, I understand. The thing is, I'm just curious, that's all. Curious to get a glimpse into someone else's world. Perhaps that's why I also enjoy reading tags. Just like Christy, who tagged me said, "I love reading facts about other people." So, I guess I'd like to say thanks Christy for giving me the opportunity to open my drapes a little wider and allow any other fellow 'Cryptoscopophiliacs' out there, a chance to peek in my windows... Figuratively, that is.

What were you doing 5 years ago?

Five years ago we were in the midst of trying to sell our home. Always a daunting task. Especially so, when you own one of the few houses in the neighborhood without central a/c. It should also be noted that any house you sell will never look better than the day you sell it. All those nagging little home improvement tasks which are put off time and again, are at last checked off the 'to do' list in hopes your home will sell for far more than you paid for it. The freshly painted rooms, the plush new carpeting, the brightly polished fixtures? All briefly enjoyed by you until the new owners take possession. Depressing? yes! However, you're hoping that at the same time the owners of the house you're preparing to purchase are just as disappointed they won't have the opportunity to bask in the perfection that is going to be your new home.

What are/were 5 things on your to-do list today?

Gee, I'd like to say I had a host of important things to take care of which would give the reader the impression as to how indispensable I am.... However, it's a Sunday, my family is currently visiting my Mother-in-law and we attended a family graduation party, so my to-do list included such important tasks as...

  • bathing myself (success!)
  • getting my kids to drag their lazy butts out of bed (eventual success)
  • styling my daughters hair (family event, calls for helping her look her finest!)
  • remembering my camera AND the graduation gift (check!)
  • visiting & eating... eating & visiting (tough work, but somebody's gotta do it!)

What 5 snacks do you enjoy?

Wow, eerie... Wasn't I just talking about eating in the previous question? First let me explain, there's the diabetic me and the not so very disciplined me... So let me give you a sample of each.

Diabetic me:
low carb yogurt
string cheese
dark chocolate (lowers the blood sugar... Yes, it REALLY does!)

Serious lack of discipline me:
ice cream sandwich
chocolate chip cookies
bread (any kind, toasted and with butter!)
cake (chocolate, but any kind will do!)
dark chocolate (eat too much, doesn't really help control the ol' blood sugar.)

Why is it so much easier to come up with lack of discipline items than diabetic?

What 5 things would you do if you were a billionaire?

No question, I would help my friend start her dream, the Omnia Humanitas Project.

This project encompasses so many different aspects of helping people I think it includes at LEAST 5 things I could put both fiscal and physical energy towards.

What are 5 of your bad habits?
  • I'm a control freak.
  • I'm overly critical of people. Especially those in whom I sense weaknesses I know, I too, possess.
  • I lack self-discipline
  • I'm impatient
  • Spend too much time worrying about what others think of me. Probably because of that second item.

What are 5 places you've lived?
  • Santa Clarity Valley, California (several locations in this area)
  • Western Springs (Chicago suburb), Illinois (for a couple of summers)
  • Wilmington, Delaware
  • Elkton, Maryland
  • Can I add that I hope to live near the water someday?... Beach, Lake, River, doesn't matter.

What are 5 jobs you've had?
  • Sold shoes (Payless type store, first job!)
  • Slung taco's (Taco Bell, worst job EVER! Got fired because I wouldn't work with Strep throat!)
  • Dished donuts (2nd worst job EVER! Smelled like grease & cigarettes when I got off work.)
  • Built airplanes... Okay, I didn't actually touch 'said' airplane. I did however work in the aerospace industry and did everything from file, perform secretarial duties, work in the travel dept.... To eventually work on a state of the art typesetting system (a complex $150,000 machine which with a great deal of training allowed me to do pretty much the same thing I'm doing right now... Yes, I'm THAT old! But I like to think technology is just moving incredibly FAST!)
What 5 people do you want to tag?

Listen, I'd love to tag 5 people RIGHT NOW, but just now getting my lap-top up and running after having lost many of my blog links along with photos, documents and other precious stuff, I'll have to wait and post this particular answer at another time. :-(


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

But I Feel Fine...

There's a portion of road in the town I live in that travels right through the heart of what I like to refer to as 'Mayberry RFD'... The speed limit through this particular area is a painstaking crawl of 25 mph and it's strictly enforced. Along this stretch of road are some of the most beautiful Victorian Manor homes I've ever seen, which I guess alleviates some of the hassle of the slow drive.

Along the route to my home I pass a grand old Funeral Home, it's housed in the largest Victorian of them all. As I passed the home today, (crawling along behind a county truck who took the 25 mph speed limit presumably so much to heart, the driver decided not to top 20) I noticed 3 men standing in front of the funeral home in their standard issue dark suits affixed with name badges. They were quite obviously preparing for the next gathering of grieving family and friends. Side note here, I don't have much use for the funeral industry. Books I've read lead me to believe the majority prey on the emotions of their clients for profit. As for me, freeze dry my body, break it into pieces and use it to fertilize a tree or something... On second thought I've never been very good with plants, so just incinerate me and let the ashes fall where they may... I'll be dead, trust me, I won't care.

So back to the purpose of this post... As I'm crawling along in my car one of the funeral directors makes eye contact with me (YES, I was going THAT slow!)... It was the creepiest look EVER and it didn't help matters any that I was returning home from a doctor's appointment. I'd swear the only way to interpret the look this man, in his black suit and badge gave me was, "You're next!" or "See you soon!" or "I've got my eye on you!" or "Stop on in, I've got a sweet deal for you on the 'Meet Your Maker' package." The latter proposed in a very dour, ominous, prepare to meet your doom kind of way.... I wanted to shout out, "No REALLY, I feel FINE!"

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 12, 2008

Perched on the edge of destruction

Several years ago my husband built a beautiful birdhouse. The walls are constructed in a 'Lincoln Log' fashion and individual cedar shingles adorn the roof. It resembles a miniature doll house, one in which any bird might be proud to nurture it's young.

When we moved to our new home, roughly 4 1/2 yrs. ago, the sturdy handmade bird house was secured to the underside of our second story deck. If one positions themselves carefully against the family room windows they might catch a glance of one, of the many bird families who have inhabited the house over the passing seasons. A few years ago we had a family of Robin's take up residence in a nest just next to the house and witnessed the chicks as they took their first tentative flights off the deck. By furnishing the birds a place to raise their young, they, in turn, provide our family with a perspective on our own struggle to raise strong, independent, individuals. Ones who grow wings strong enough to carry them through their first tremulous flight and eventually through high winds. Much like the wind that buffets my windows at this very moment.

This all leads me to a call I received from our next door neighbor last week. She informed me that our birdhouse was hanging askew and appeared might fall. I made a mental note to let my husband and daughter know about it that evening. I had assumed one of the hooks had just worked it's way out of the eye bolt attached to the deck. Later my daughter informed me it was much more precarious than I had presumed. It seems the seasons had taken it's toll on the little birdhouse my husband built. The main support across the roof had come loose and the house was dangling from the 3" or so of beam still attached to the front of the house. Worse yet, there currently resided a family of chickadees whose babies we surmised, weren't near enough prepared to leave the nest. Add to it the added fear that any disturbance of the nest by humans, might result in the parents never coming back to care for their young. We decided to leave the house alone and hope for the best.

Then the wind kicked up! Last evening the winds began to roar and the skies threatened to pour. While on our way home from our Mother's Day festivities, thoughts turned to the little house barely suspended below our deck. We knew there was no way of insuring the safety of the little lives it clutched so tenuously. Upon inspection my husband and daughter decided human intervention was imperative. The quickly devised a shelf, attached it to the deck just below the base of the birdhouse. Upon doing so, the mother fled. Once the house was secured the worrying began as to whether or not the mother bird would return to her young. Nature is a fickle mistress. Fight or flight is ingrained in all creatures. What makes one animal willing to give its life for its young, while another will merely abandoned her brood and start over again? We just had to wait and see which was the stronger of the instincts in this little creature.

I'm happy to report this morning we saw the male chickadee perched on our deck rail. He glanced our way as my daughter and I sat eating our breakfast, just behind the sliding glass door. In an instant he flew down below the deck and into the dilapidated birdhouse, perched safely on its wooden base. I'm guessing the mother was nestled inside keeping her young safe from the wind, rain and cold.

Once we're certain the Chickadees are matured and have moved on, we'll remove the birdhouse. Perhaps a new one will be made to replace it. I hope so, not only for the sake of future hatchlings but because it's a hobby my daughter and my husband enjoy taking part in together. Time spent that makes me think about the fragile wings of a baby bird growing stronger every day as the parents keep it warm, provide nourishment and give it time to grow.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 09, 2008

Planting Party

Life has been SO busy lately that I completely forgot to mention the 'Planting Party' my friend Lori and I hosted last week.

What is a Planting Party you ask? Well, it's something I read about years ago in Better Homes & Garden Magazine. As spring approached I remembered the article and asked Lori if she'd be interested in hosting one together... And because A) I didn't feel like cleaning... and B) Lori's home sits on the Elk Neck River (gorgeous views)... I suggested we hold the party at her house. I know, I'm such a good friend.

Anyway, I made invitations and we invited a bunch of close friends from Art Space, the clay studio where I used to work. The guests were completely confused by the invitations because they'd never heard of a 'Planting Party' before and assumed they were being invited over to help Lori plant her garden. They thought they were being asked to provide flowers for this task. The guests who responded with an emphatic yes, before understanding the logistics are considered 'Keepers'.

Here's the way the party works:
Each guest brings a flat of flowers or greenery, annuals or perennials.
Each guest also brings any manner of containers, hanging baskets, pots, window boxes.
Each guest may also want to bring a trowel and garden gloves.
The host(s) supply the potting soil.

I also provided fragrant hand soap, nail brushes and lotion which I purchased at the $ store.
Once everyone is gathered together the planting begins. One could worry that you might be saddled with 10 flats of geraniums but the choices for our party were n
umerous and even though we'd hosted this party for a group of potters (think plethora of hand thrown clay pots) there were flowers left over.
Once the planting is complete, everyone gets washed up for lunch.

As the hosts of the party, Lori and I provided all the food... However, a pot-luck would work well too. For our particular party we had hoped to eat outside on the deck, looking out over the river... Unfortunately the weather was dark and dismal, sloppy and r
ainy (we set up our planting station on 2 long tables just inside the garage)... The weather turned out to be perfect for our newly planted flowers which received a gentle first watering by Mother Nature herself.

For food we served 'Chinese Chicken Salad' with rolls and Lori made an delicious Curried, Fruited Rice. There was a lovely fruit platter and I made a Tropical Waldorf style Trifle which received rave reviews.

After the food we all sat around and visited. There were roughly 10 of us, if I remember correctly. I'm still angry at myself for forgetting my camera. The party started at 11 am and I think the last guests left around 3 pm. Each with their own pots and containers filled with the flowers shared by friends. Here's some pics of my container... I took these this morning and am thrilled to see how everything is growing with such gusto!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

More Weirdness on the Web...

*Image from my t-shirt, I put it on in order to take a picture of me in it but when I looked in the bathroom mirror it appeared backwards (duh!) and seemed to read as an odd spelling of 'Boobs', so I decided to go this route.

First let me state that I am a HUGE fan of the blog Dooce and it's author Heather B. Armstrong. I've been reading this particular blog even before I knew what blogging was. How so, you ask? I was studying interior design and searching on the web as to how one might install recessed lighting in a plaster and lathe ceiling and BAM!... There, in all its glory were the painstaking details of the kitchen that Heather and her husband gutted and refurbished in their craftsman style home. The thing was, it wasn't written in a sterile manner, nor a 'Handyman's' guide on 'How To'... It was written with great humor and angst. I myself had lived through a kitchen remodel whilst pregnant and I could completely relate!

I fell hard for Heather, I want to hang-out with Heather, I want to be able to write and photograph like Heather.... and I've got the 'Dooce' t-shirt to prove it (though I wish it was made in a slightly bigger size) ... In fact, Dooce is the first blog I read every day (she unfortunately takes weekends off.) I'm sure many of the 100's of thousands who read her blog relate to Heather in different ways. I myself being a 'recovering Mormon' see great humor and truth in much of what she 'calls out' on this particular subject. I too have the 10 yr. old mentality in which God is going to cast me out for no longer closing my eyes when I'm surrounded with people in prayer.

"And one time during a prayer I let my eyes slip open and was immediately struck with a panic that THE LORD WOULD KNOW. And he was right now sending my sleeping bag from the Celestial level of heaven all the way down to the Telestial level where I and all the rapists and murderers and women who wore revealing tank tops would spend the rest of our eternity."

From today's post Wed. May 7th 2008 - We're back in the will!

Which leads me to 'Today'... The morning talk show, to be exact. This morning the show did a piece on 'Mommy Bloggers' and Heather Armstrong was featured in an interview. Here's where the weirdness comes in... I was so excited to see this interview because it felt as though my own sister was taking part. I felt nervous for her, I critiqued what she was wearing, I wanted to give Kathy Lee a swift kick when 'she who knows nothing about blogging' began saying it made her uncomfortable. I also felt the interview was over far too quickly.

How strange it is, this thing, that is blogging. I know more intimate details of the lives of the people I read about than I do most of my family members, ie. Parents, Brother, Sisters. I relate and sympathize with the joys and the pains of these individuals. We know little truth of the celebrities who are featured within the pages of People and Us type magazines. Most items are sensationalized by a money hungry media. Frankly, I have little use for the gossip those publications condone. But a person who manages the daily up's and down's of life and writes honestly and well of the humor found therein? Well, that's someone I can relate to.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Thursday evening I had the distinct pleasure of attending the opera with a group from The New School. The Grand Opera House often extends invitations to the school for dress rehearsal night of a new production. The last opera I tagged along for was 'The Pirates of Penzance'. I'm not a huge opera fan but I LOVE theatre productions so I'll take a live show any way I can get it, especially if it's free!

Now, when I say I had the 'distinct pleasure' of attending the opera on Thursday, I say it merely because of the company in which I shared. As far as this particular opera... Well, let's just say that 'Little Women' was (I believe) NEVER intended to be set entirely to song, especially the operatic kind. I'm reluctant to critique the production too harshly as I'm not much of an expert on opera but frankly, it hurt my head... And since I was in the company of friends who have studied music who had pretty much the same impression... Well, 'nuff said.

On Friday I had the even GREATER pleasure of attending a play put on by the students and staff of The New School. Now of course I'm going to be quite biased here and gush about how excellent this entire production was... However, I'd never be able to write about it as eloquently as my friend Amy... Who, I should add, is also a parent at The New School. However biased we may be, I urge you to go to her site and read the review of 'What the North Wind Saw'... The pictures I took can be found here.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Online Madness

You've most likely heard me mention the unique, wonderful and amazing place my kids go to school. It's called The New School and our family considers itself so fortunate to have found a place where our kids can become educated not in just the basics but are challenged to become Responsible, Independent, Compassionate and Articulate individuals.

This week, The New School was featured on a front page article in the local newspaper, The News Journal. Earlier in the year, The New School was approached by 'Delaware Today Magazine - The New School on the block' to feature the school in their Education Review issue. A News Journal reporter was intrigued by the article and contacted TNS for an interview. The New School is democratic, which means the members, including students, make decisions regarding their school. The notion of the school being publicized in the newspaper was something the students and staff discussed in school meeting and ultimately decided might be 'good' for the school. Very few people are familiar with the idea of a Democratic Education. Many haven't heard of 'Summer Hill' or 'Sudbury Valley' and this article might show people struggling with traditional education that their are other options.

The article appeared on Wednesday and the comments over at the Delaware Online website have reached 351 at this point. Some of the comments have been from folks intrigued or confused by how a child could achieve an education without the measure of tests and grades. Some find it difficult to believe that a child would WANT to learn anything when not forced to do so. Parents and students of TNS have been posting answers to those questions.

Now I come to the point of why I'm even blogging about this... The Haters or Trolls as we've been referring to some of the folks who've posted comments regarding the article. There are people out in cyberspace who seemingly have nothing better to do with their time than attack and malign. It's so terribly disheartening to read hate filled comments from people, who know nothing about the students of this school and their achievements... Nothing about the staff who treat each and every student with respect and love... Nothing about the parents, who before TNS ,wrung their hands in despair as they watched their once bright and happy children become broken and sad by a system rife with frustrated teachers, hours of homework, docked recesses, bullies and labels of ADD.

It's astounding to me, the stones one can hurl at complete strangers, hidden behind the anonymity of a computer screen. It saddens me that there is so much anger based simply on choice made by another parent, regarding the well-being of their own child. One thing I've learned from this experience... It reinforces the choice my husband and I made to send our kids to The New School... Because I know for a fact that the education they're receiving will result in them being caring, thoughtful individuals who would never consider slinging stones behind a computer screen.

Labels: ,