Sunday, November 30, 2008

BTW.....I Did It!

Hey I forgot to mention that I did it! One post a day for the month of November! I am so excited and plan to continue my writing practice.

It's nice to do something for myself.


Food, Food Glorious Food part 2

Here is the last 50 items from yesterday's food meme.

51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi - no thanks

53. Abalone - I love the shell and perhaps would try the meat, maybe?

54. Paneer - I love cheese and this sounds interesting.

55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - This used to be a favorite of mine on the rare occasion that I would visit McD's, now I tend to choose the double cheeseburger happy meal if I go with my kids for a special treat(they mostly like to go or the toy!)

56. Spaetzle -

57. Dirty gin martini - not a big fan of the old fashioned coctails, give me an appletini, pomegranit martini or a lemon drop and I'll say yes.

58. Beer above 8% ABV - I love beer but I don't think I've ever had an 8%ABV. I'll have to look into this, maybe something to try over the holidays.

59. Poutine -

60. Carob chips - Tried these when I went on Marilou Henner's diet. They were ok.

61. Smores - Yumm, smores in the back yard over our little fire, happy memories.

62. Sweetbreads - yuck!

63. Kaolin - This is a mineral. I didn't find any food references online so I'm guessing I have not knowingly eaten Kaolin.

64. Currywurst - Pork sausage with curry sauce...I might try it but I'm not sure I would find it pleasing.

65. Durian

66. Frogs legs

67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - We used to get elephant ears at a local bakery when I was a kid. They were so yummy! Unfortunately they don't make them anymore.

68. Haggis -

69. Fried plantain -I would totally try fried plantain.

70. Chitterlings, or andouillett - ick.

71. Gazpacho - Something I'd love to make but just haven't.

72. Caviar and blini - One Christmas it was a huge thing that we were going to have caviar. Dad picked some up at the grocery store(quality was surely quite poor) and for whatever reason we wimped out and never tried the caviar.

73. Louche absinthe - .

74. Gjetost, or brunost - sounds unappealing

75. Roadkill - NOT

76. Baijiu - maybe in a mixed drink

77. Hostess Fruit Pie - not a big fan of the fruit pie unless it's from scratch

78. Snail - no thanks

79. Lapsang souchong - sounds very interesting I would try it

80. Bellini - I've had mimosas but never bellinis, I would certainly try one if it were offered.

81. Tom yum - sounds like something I should try.

82. Eggs Benedict - Yumm

83. Pocky - Sounds so good. Anything covered with chocolate has to be good!

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant -

85. Kobe beef - Not a big red meat eater, but if it were offered I'd try some.

86. Hare - No,No, No

87. Goulash -

88. Flowers - at school in salad and on a beautiful birthday cake!

89. Horse - Why???

90. Criollo chocolate - Maybe. Not sure.

91. Spam - Yuck! all I can think of is cat or dog food when I think of spam sorry!

92. Soft shell crab - I'd love to try soft shell crab, someday!

93. Rose harissa -

94. Catfish -

95. Mole poblano -

96. Bagel and lox -

97. Lobster Thermidor - I prefer my lobster straight up with drawn butter please!

98. Polenta -tried to make this but it didn't come together .

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - Kona yes Jamaican not yet but I'd surely try a cup, thanks.

100. Snake - I don’t like them in my yard and would not want them in my tummy thanks.

After going through all these food items I've decided that I have led a very sheltered food life! I'll have to do something about that!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Meaning of Dreams

I am postponing the second half of the food meme to write about a dream that I had this past week.

I thought I would not share the dream but this morning I awoke with the feeling that I dreamt of my Mum again and I decided I should write down the dream I had earlier this week in which she had played an important role. So in my dream I went to our local new library. I think I was returning books, but I'm not sure. I went into the building and was surprised to see that it was empty and no one was there. I turned around and my Mum was standing there in front of me! I remember feeling surprised and happy to see her. She told me that they had closed down the library. She went on to say that she wanted to use her money to build a mother-in-law addition to my home. I said sure that sounds great and then off she went walking through the lawn next to the library and then over a hill. As I left the library I was buzzed by a hummingbird. It actually grazed my hair. Then my dream was over.

When I awoke it felt like she had visited me, what a nice feeling.

Any insight?


Friday, November 28, 2008

Food, Food Glorious Food!

So I found the following meme over at Thinking About and thought it would be a great idea for today's post.

Here are the rules:

Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.
So now to the foodstuffs!

1. Venison - I would try it.

2. Nettle tea - sounds like a good herbal natural remedy.

3. Huevos rancheros - I've never made huevos rancheros but I'll have to as I think 'N' would love them.

4. Steak tartare - Yes. Ordered this accidentally many years ago at a German restaurant. Not my thing.

5. Crocodile - not something I'd try

6. Black pudding - NO. NO. NO.

7. Cheese fondue -

8. Carp -

9. Borscht - never had this but I'd try it

10. Baba ghanoush - Yummy, homemade is best!

11. Calamari - fried calamari with a light batter mmmm.

12. Pho - I like Asian food so I'd try it for sure.

13. PB&J sandwich - great lunch on the weekend

14. Aloo gobi -

15. Hot dog from a street cart - Hot dog on a grill but never from a street car

16. Epoisses - No thanks

17. Black truffle - I'd love to use it in a yummy recipe.

18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - No, I like my red wine made from grapes.

19. Steamed pork buns - sounds yummy

20. Pistachio ice cream - yes but not one of my favorite flavors

21. Heirloom tomatoes - mmmmm.

22. Fresh wild berries - right of the vine from my side yard! Double mmmm

23. Foie gras - no thanks

24. Rice and beans -

25. Brawn or Head Cheese - not my thing

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - No, I like hot but not that hot!

27. Dulce de leche - sounds yummy

28. Oysters - Mmmm. Yes. Oysters on the half shell were one of my Mum's favorites for a while. When I was newly pregnant with my first child I remember indulging in this lovely treat at my Mums on Christmas eve. Yummy. Haven't had them in a long time.

29. Baklava - I’ve tried it. Just OK for me.

30. Bagna cauda- is a warm dip typical of
Piedmont, Italy. The dish, which is served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, is made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, butter, and in some parts of the region cream. Sounds like something to try!

31. Wasabi peas

32. Clam Chowder in Soudough Bowl - Yum

33. Salted Lassi -

34. Sauerkraut -

35. Root beer float - Orange float yes but never a Root Beer float

36. Cognac - not interested

37. Clotted Cream Tea - looked it up, sounds unappetizing

38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O- I've helped to make these but never actually eaten them, go figure.

39. Gumbo - would love to make this for my family.

40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat - no thanks

42. Whole insects - only if I'm on Fear Factor

43. Phaal/span -

44. Goat’s milk

45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more - no-bad memories from childhood

46. Fugu (aka pufferfish) - Not interested.

47. Chicken tikka masala - I'd try this if someone else ordered it

48. Eel

49. Kispy Kreme original glazed donut - it's like eating sugared air.

50. Sea urchin - I'm all set with that

I won’t tag anyone, but if you’re
interested, give it a try!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have had a lovely day. The morning was calm. I made the stuffing yesterday so I didn't have to rush around this morning . We watched the Macy's parade, one of my all time favorite things to do on Thanksgiving. I drank D&D coffee and ate bagels for breakfast. This was a special breakfast as it was a gift from 'n's teacher Mrs. K. Once the parade was 3/4 of the way done R and I got the turkey stuffed and in the NESCO. 'n' and I made feta artichoke dip and once that was in the oven we made apple pie. Later we watched 'N''s current favorite movie...Star Wars the Clone Wars. Throughout the movie I was up and down preparing various veggies for the Thanksgiving meal. I also made a pecan pie. We had a delicious meal and then 'N' and I brought a plate to Dad. He was thrilled. We had hoped he would come over for a while but he opted for the hand delivered plate instead. We spent some time at his house and then came home to finish cleaning the kitchen. Finally we ate pie and ice cream. The apple pie was perfect. Each piece came out of the pie plate like a dream. My usual experience is that the pieces fall apart but not today! The pecan pie was heavenly. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. What a wonderful day!

With all that is going on in our world I feel fortunate and am so thankful for all that I have in my life: my wonderful family who are happy and healthy, a diagnosis and promising treatment for my Dad's chronic medical condition, a rewarding job, satisfying community volunteer work with Stand for Children, good friends, and so much more.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nanny's Bread

Today the children had a half day of school. I had the day off so I put my time to good use. After dropping off the children at school I went grocery shopping for all of our Thanksgiving supplies. I had intended to make it a quick trip but I ran into a mom from 'n's Kindergarten class. She is a lovely woman and we spent at least 20 minutes catching up as we searched for artichokes. It seems we are both making hot artichoke dips tomorrow. Anyway as I was shopping I made sure to get the ingredients to make the homemade bread that was made each year in my childhood home by my mother.

We always called the bread 'Nanny's Bread' after my grandmother.As a child I would help my mother as she lovingly worked up the bread recipe. She used a pan that belonged to her mother to prepare the milk and butter and a large metal stock pot to mix and rise the bread. Now I use my mother's metal stock pot and bread tins to make 'Nanny's Bread' .
The process always makes me feel close to my Mum. Today memories rushed back to me as I worked up her recipe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vacation Days!

Well today was my Monday and Friday! Tuesday is my first day back to school each week, so it is my Monday and this week we only have one day of school so today is also my Friday. So I'm off for 6 days. R is also off for the next 5 days. It will be so nice to have a break. We are hoping to get a jump start on holiday shopping as we have done very little so far. I'm also hoping to be able to spend some time writing some reflection posts and working on some creative projects also in preparation for the holidays.

Speaking of of the blogs I visit regularly is Sue Bleiweiss. Her work is beautiful. She has offered classes but now has started a website called Two Creative Studios check it out She started this website with another talented artist, Teri Stegmiller. They are starting a give away promotion for folks who are interested in subscribing to their e-newsletter. If your interested in the newsletter you can sign up using this link .


Monday, November 24, 2008


Well we're having some issues with 'N' in school. He is so smart and can do the work but he is not happy in school. Happy with his friends but that is about the only thing he is happy about. He is the kind of kid who has to connect to his teacher and this just has not happened yet. I'm not sure that it will happen. I know that things will not always be easy with school but I am really struggling as I watch my child struggle with his intense dislike for school this year. I could just cry! I'm communicating with his teacher. She knows how important it is for 'N' to feel connected and part of a community. She has reached out to his prior year teacher. I'm afraid it is too little too late. I just don't know. Any input from folks who have gone through this would be greatly appreciated.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


I just checked my email and imagine my surprise when I found an email from a long lost cousin. She actually hasn't been lost but we really only have contact around the holidays through Christmas cards. It's not that I don't want to have more of a relationship with her, it's just that our history is different.

Growing up my brother and I were much closer to the cousins on my mother's side of the family. I'm not entirely sure why except for the fact that I believe there was some sort of falling out in my Dad's family after his Mother died when I was about 8 or 9. I actually don't remember seeing my cousin 'D' at all as a child. I remember my mother telling me that she had spent time with 'D' as a little girl and her mother and her grandmother. Evidently they never developed a relationship.

It would be many, many years before I would see 'D'. The meeting would not be over a pleasant occasion. It turned out that her Mom was struck with Alzheimer's disease. For years we would exchange Christmas cards thinking that Aunt 'R' was sending them. It turned out that 'D' had been signing the cards for years. After my Aunt passed away we went to her wake up north of Boston. When we arrived I came face to face with 'D'. I was in my early 20's and she was most likely in her early 30's. Well I stood in front of her and it was like looking in a mirror. It was one of the most uncanny experiences I have had in my life. We could have been twins. I don't remember much more from that first meeting. Years later we would attend her wedding, she would re-connect with other cousins on Dad's side as well as my half sisters who were her age. We would continue to exchange cards but only would see each other at the infrequent wake, funeral or wedding. Family dynamics are so interesting. In another post I'll share more about the dynamics on my Mums side of the family. It was a much different experience.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thoughts of Sugar Plums

I can hardly believe that we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving and then soon after Christmas. It feels like we just started school.

Today I've been thinking about gift giving, particularly gifts for teachers. I enjoy creating something special that shows my appreciation to not only my children's teachers but also to those teacher with whom I work. I prefer giving something hand made. This year the children have different ideas about what they would like to give their teachers. 'n' is on board for the handmade ornaments and hot cocoa and treats that we enjoy giving yet 'N' is not. 'N' prefers not to give of himself so to speak unless he feels very close to his teacher. So we've come to a compromise. 'n' will go the handmade route and 'N' will choose an appropriate gift card that is less personal but still a gift.

I'm hoping to find a new hand made ornament to create with 'n'. If you have any good ideas please drop me a line!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

1. The last band I saw live was Three and Out.

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is watching the Macy's parade and making stuffing, nothing smells better than onions and celery sauteing in butter! (if you don't celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is barely begun.

4. Thoughts of shopping fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear a smaller size!

6. Bagpipes illicit visions of funeral processions.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Star Wars/Clone Wars with 'N', tomorrow my plans include cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning and Sunday, I want to relax!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Conferences are Over!

Last night was the first night that I actually slept through the night in at least a week. I think that my mind has been working overtime as I've been preparing for meeting with the my students families over these past two weeks. Daily I have been waking up at my regular 5:30 time in the midst of strange dreams. I'm hoping with the completion of all of our meetings that my brain will quiet down and allow some peace. In the past this kind of stress has left me exhausted and often run down. I'm hoping that I will avoid any illness and plan on having a restful weekend.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Word Meme

I found this over at Julie's

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket book
2. Where is your significant other? Couch
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Gone
5. Your father? Retired
6. Your favorite thing? children
7. Your dream last night? startling
8. Your dream/goal? Security
9. The room you’re in? TV-room
10. Your hobby? Art
11. Your fear? Change
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? Wealthy
15. One of your wish list items? Kitchen floor
16. Where you grew up? Here
17. The last thing you did? type
18. What are you wearing? school clothes
19. Your T.V.? Huh? What’s on TV? Mentalist
20. Your pet? Baby (Not literally, but that’s what we call her)
21. Your computer? Helpful
22. Your mood? Quiet
23. Missing someone? No
24. Your car? Reliable
25. Something you’re not wearing? Earings
26. Favorite store? ColdwaterCreek
27. Your Summer? Short
28. Love someone? Absolutely
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Monday

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family Geneology

We are working on a couple of projects this week. 'N' is creating three entries into a 'Treasure' museum. He has to choose items that are very special to him treasures. He has to make a museum info card and be prepared to bring the items in on a designated day. The project is actually to build prior knowledge in the are of personal treasures as the children will have to write a 5 paragraph essay on a personal treasure at some point this year. It is challenging because children tend not to get so emotionally attached to objects. The other project we are working on is a family genealogy/ancestry project that includes drawing a map showing all borders and sharing about ancestors country of origin. We are working on Ireland. 'n' learned how to count to 10 in Gaelic, has drawn and painted the flag and labeled a map. It is interesting but this is almost as much work for me as it is for them. On top of all of these projects we are in the middle of writing conferences and meeting with parents. So I'm tired. Hope you all are having a good week.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


So during our art extravaganza yesterday we were experiencing crazy weather. It was very windy and rainy. It was also very warm and humid. Certainly a strange weather day. At one point in the afternoon the phone rang and it was 'R' on his way back from a videograhy consultation. He asked if we could see the rainbow. Now we were elbow deep in the printing process but we took a minute to rush outside (camera in hand) and look for this rainbow.

At first look we didn't see anything and then like magic the rainbow appeared directly over our house. It was a breathtaking sight. I tried to capture it with my camera, but the pictures pale in comparison to the real thing. What do you think?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Creativity with Wax and Shaving Cream

Today we spent a good amount of time being creative. We worked on prints. Using wax and shaving cream. I documented the process with photos check it out...

First we set up the paint and the tray.

Then 'n' added the shaving cream to the pan.

Next she used the offset spatula to spread out the shaving cream into an even layer.

Now it is time for paint.

Now comes the fun part...the swirl

Next we make the print.

And the final print...
from this...

To this..

To see the final hand made cards and the wax print process you'll have to tune in tomorrow!


Friday, November 14, 2008


When did you first go to church? What are your earliest memories?

So we went to church as a family beginning when I was a young child. My mother was a devout Catholic with a Jesuit Priest for an older brother as well as five other devout siblings and my father was madly in love with my mother so he joined her in her faith. He was raised as a Catholic and went to Parochial schools until high school but as a young adult he lived a rather wild life uncomplicated by Sunday worship. Anyway back to my memories. As I was saying we all went to church together each Sunday. My mother, father, brother and myself would get dressed in our Sunday best and go to mass. Most often when I was very young we would go to the 8am mass. I remember that we would sit either in the first pew or the third pew. We always entered the church through the side door and sat in the pews that were closest to the door. I remember being fascinated by the people. I loved watching them as they filed into the church through that door. Families, elderly, young adults all in the same building to worship God. I was also fascinated by the shoes. Sitting in the front pew I had a birds eye view on the footwear of the parish. Strange don't you think? I also loved the ritual and structure of the mass. There was comfort in the sameness every week, in the knowing of what would come next. As we came of age to go to Sunday school our weekly mass attendance depended on our Sunday School schedule. I remember walking over to the parish center for class after mass and my parents would spend that hour socializing in the parish hall. After class there would be time for milk and donuts in the hall. It was all very pleasant.

For a time when I was a young teenager I helped out in the Parish Center office, helping Sr. Jeremy who ran the education program. Then as a 16 year old I worked in the Rectory helping to count the collections each week. It was a wonderful job at the time. We had a personable and social Pastor who's brother helped each Sunday. There was breakfast to eat and special snacks of crunchy bacon and donuts from the kitchen. Mary was the cook on Sundays. She was a love. Very much a grandmother figure. I'm not sure how long I had been working in that position when our beloved Pastor had a breakdown of some sort and was sent away and replaced by a different sort of Pastor. The new Pastor had been in the service and had an edge to him. The camaraderie that had existed on Sundays changed drastically. Mary was let go. I have vague memories of the pastor being unkind to her. Shortly after that she passed away. It was a very sad time. Not long after that I left my Sunday 'job'.

As an older teenager and young adult we went to church as a family less regularly but still often. When I moved out and in with 'R' I would get up on Sundays and drive down to pick up my Mum so we could go to the 11:30 mass together and then I would spend the day at her home doing homework, helping to make dinner and just catching up after the week. That lasted for a while, but after my Uncle 'B'(the priest) died she stopped going to church and so did I. It was too sad, too hard, too emotional, just too much to manage. When my children were born they were baptised in my church. When my MIL passed away she was buried from my church and I tried to go back to church, thinking it would help with the healing. Then my Mum died. She was buried from my church. I tried to go back again with my 'n' in the baby Bjorn. I stopped going to church. It was too sad, too hard, too emotional, just too much to manage.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

So today is my Friday because I'm taking tomorrow off so I thought I'd try out the following Fiday Fill In post. we go!
1. My favorite food seasoning is garlic.
2. The ocean is music to my ears.
3. Lucky is having a healthy wonderful family.
4. Education is something I take very seriously.
5. Many people are thrilled to have witnessed history during this past election cycle.
6. Childrens clothes were the last thing I bought at the store.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having a Stella and wathching the game, tomorrow my plans include taking Dad for work and Sunday, I want to make some new mono wax print cards!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fuzz Ball

Well we recieved a package over the weekend. 'N' was very excited and immediately claimed the little critter. It is a hand made toy from Fluffy Flowers. Go check out the blog and all the cute hand made items. Now 'N' , who has an affinity for stuffed animals wants a bunch for Christmas!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Well it's nice to have a day off in the middle of the week. It seems to me that this holiday is just a day off to most people. I was so pleased that 'n's teacher had the children reflect on the veteran's in their lives and bring in memorabilia and stories to share with classmates to mark the special day. My children's great grandfather is a Navy veteran. He never spoke of his military career but we do have a couple of pieces of memorabilia that 'n' shared at school on Monday. Growing up I knew that virtually all of my uncles were veterans. I think we had Navy, Marine and Air Force all represented. For many years I kept a small black and white picture of my uncle and his fellow marines in my wallet. It was special to me although I'm not sure why. I've always been curious about the wars our country had endured. I've felt like I had a connection with those solders in the black and white documentaries that are so often run on PBS and the History channel. I am so thankful for the service of our troops now and in the past. I pray for the safe return of all of our men and women serving our country abroad. May God bless them and keep them safe in the palm of his hand.


Monday, November 10, 2008


So I am going to my Stand for Children Strategy Team meeting tonight. One of our standard agenda items include a focus for the evening. Tonight I will be presenting the focus that K, our organizer, and I came up with in a conversation last week. I thought it might be interesting to share it with you all today and see if I get any responses.

To set the stage I'd like to share the following quote:

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." -Barack Obama

On Tuesday, November 4th we lived through history. Many moments made up that day and will be remembered for generations to come. What was your one moment that you will not forget?

For me the moment took place on Wednesday morning as 'N' and I sat on the couch together watching morning television. We listened together as President Elect Obama's acceptance speech was played. Without looking at me my son said 'Mom do you have tears in your eyes?' I had tears in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks. The significance of the outcome of our presidential election was clear to me and my 10 year old. This is the moment I will always remember.

What is your moment from November 4th? Please leave a comment with your moment or a link to your post if you choose to create one.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Family Fun!

So my new goal is to make sure we complete at least one family fun activity every weekend. For a long time we have not made this a priority, not because it isn't important but after a busy week of school, work and other responsibilities we are all just tired. No excuse, I know! My eldest child also prefers just to be home visiting and playing with his neighbor friend. My youngest just likes to be with us or have friends over. So when we suggest a family outing it is met with some resistance. Sigh! I think I have found the trick. Yesterday both kids played with friends until 3:30 and then we went out for a night of family bowling and an early dinner.

So bowling turned out to be loads of fun! We decided to use the bumper lanes after our last bowling adventure that turned out to be frustrating for all of the family. We played girls against the boys and the prize was choice of dinner restaurant. We are all equally talented or not talented in the bowling arena so the match up was even enough. Well the boys won and the decision was that we would go to Red Robin.

But when we got there the line was way too long! So we decided to go to our local 99 Restaurant.

We ended up waiting for ten minutes and then we were seated. We all had some yummy food. It was a great end to our family adventure.

Hey if you have any good Family Fun ideas in the greater New England Area please leave me a message!


Saturday, November 8, 2008


So I am so excited for several reasons:

First, I made it through the first week of posting every day! This is the longest stretch I have gone posting daily so I am happy to be developing a writing practice. I have decided that I am going to write what I can and leave judgment aside. It's not the quantity it is the quality and the practice that is important.

Second, last week I entered several give away raffles through a 'virtual home show'. I actually won two prizes. One is from Julie at The other item is a handmade toy from Felicia at

I can't wait to get my treasures in the mail. Go check out these ladies! Their work is so cool. They may actually inspire me to get back into my artistic endeavors.

Third, my conferences for next week week are done! This is thanks to fine collaboration with 'S' my teaching partner.

All is good and now I'm off to go bowling with the family.


Friday, November 7, 2008


Well first a letter update(see yesterday's post). I left the letter for the Dr. at the office. I ran it by a couple of my co workers at school and they thought he should be made aware of his poor behavior. So I did it. I hope it doesn't have ramifications for my father's care.

So after much venting and discussion about the Dr letter and 'N's parent teacher conference, which is a post for another day, I had a very productive day! I spent much of the morning completing my Curriculum at a Glance for the am and pm class. I used our Omnibus reference to add more specific information. It was a relatively quick process. Then from about 12:30 to 2:30 my teaching partner, 'S' and I worked on conferences together. At our school we have conferences with parents twice a year with informal daily connections at drop off and pick up times. Our conferences consist of a page long, typed page that gives parents our observations about their child and how he or she is managing in our classroom. Today was a true collaboration. Working together made the process go quickly and really allowed for an enjoyable afternoon. This is the first year that we have decided to write conferences in this fashion. It was great to be able to talk to someone about the children and bounce ideas off of each other. As we talked, I typed and in the end we had five very distinct conferences that were thoughtful and well written and completely finished! Most likely on our own we would have completed two or three in that amount of time. We were both very excited with our productive afternoon and thrilled that we won't have to write conferences over the weekend! Yay!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

HELP! Opinions please, Advise wanted!

So anyone who has read here for a while will know that I manage my Dad's health care. For anyone new the back story is as follows:

Mum passed away almost 8 years ago. This precipitated a 3 or maybe 4 year on and off again bout with significant binge drinking sprinkled on top of his regular alcohol abuse. He was in the hospital at least twice and the alcohol abuse damaged his brain and created physical problems that have had lasting effects. After the last hospital stay he spent several weeks in a nursing home rehab. (It solidified my desire to never have him in a nursing home if I can possibly help it) After this extended stay in the rehab he has maintained his sobriety. Thank God! Anyway the point of this brief history is to tell you that I have been the primary person that has set up and made sure that Dad kept his Dr's appointments. I have been his advocate and done research and looked for answers.

So back to today...Dad has been diagnosed with Krohns disease. It has taken his Dr over a year to come to this diagnosis even though I had asked about the disease at least a year ago. Dad has gone through months of on and off antibiotics and twice a month appointments at the Dr's office. You can well imagine the scheduling nightmare that this could be but we did it or rather I did it with occasional help from my SIL. Now Dad is on a new med that needs to be monitored. We scheduled an appointment for follow up after much back and forth with the office. The appointment was to be facilitated by SIL. Turns out she got sick and had to cancel the appointment. She made a new appointment for Jan.

So now to tonight...I received a phone call from Dr. He began the conversation by saying to me "you blew off your father's appointment" ! Well you could have knocked me over with a feather. I assured him that I did not 'blow off' the appointment that actually my SIL who was to bring Dad to the appointment was ill that day and rescheduled. He went on to say that he had to rearrange other appointments to fit Dad into his schedule. I went on to explain to him that I work 30 hours a week and that scheduling with him is very difficult. That I had talked to the people in his office about getting blood work done. I couldn't believe the conversation. I am still in shock.

I wrote a letter and now I'm not sure if I should deliver the letter when I go to pick up lab slips or if that will somehow compromise my father's care in this office.

Dear Dr. ;

I am writing to you regarding our phone conversation this evening. You began our conversation by saying that I “blew off” my fathers appointment. You went on to say that you had to reschedule other appointments to accommodate my father. While I appreciate this; it truly is not my problem or my father’s problem and is certainly something that doctors do all the time to care for their neediest patients.
First I want to say that I found both your tone and words unprofessional and disrespectful. Had you communicated with your staff you would have known that several conversation had taken place to schedule an appointment for my father and that the appointment was cancelled due to the fact that my sister-in –law, his ride to the appointment, was ill. Considering that his immune system could be compromised due to his medication she chose to be cautious. I understand that the new medicines require monitoring. This is something that I mentioned during several of the conversations that I had with your staff. I suggested having the blood work done but that was not indicated in the information that they had. At the time when I was speaking with them Jean was on vacation and therefore scheduling was even more difficult.
I am a professional woman who manages a young family, a 30 hour per week teaching position, community advocacy work as well as the care of my father; including his medical and financial needs. I have been advocating for my father since my mother’s death almost eight years ago. The fact that you would suggest through your tone and words that I do not understand or care about the ramifications of my father’s condition and his medications is shocking. In order to continue our collaboration in my father’s health care I would expect to be treated respectfully and in a professional manner.


So what do you think? Should I deliver the letter or just print it and burn it in the fireplace? I really do feel that he should be called on his behavior.


So yesterday we were all on top of the world at work. Over the last few months we had been following the presidential race closely and were quite concerned about what could happen. We hugged and cheered. It's like a weight has been lifted off of our shoulders. There is a sense of hopefulness.

Before we could settle into our celebration we had to get through our state inspection for re licensing. The licenser comes to inspect once every three years. The last time they came I was not teaching, just assisting in the afternoon when my children were at school. So yesterday was my first experience having a state person come in and observe. In general my morning class is great but it is preschool and anything can happen and it did. I won't go into too many details. Our director put it best; she said it was like a Mr. Magoo cartoon; as Mr. Magoo is walking along with clouds of craziness left in his wake. In the end the licenser was very complimentary. She specifically commented on my class saying how well the children played together without much assistance and how they all knew what to do during clean up time. My teaching partner and I were just amazed. I have to say I don't think I have been as tired as I was yesterday afternoon when the inspection came to an end. Thank heavens that is over. Now we move on to conferences!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I cried tears of joy this morning as I watched post election coverage with my son N.

I feel like I can breathe again and that there is hope for us yet!

Even question One went the way we needed it to go in MA 70% voted NO sending a clear message to our legislators.

More later. Now I'm off to school and our re certification visit from the state. (YIKES)


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day! Please Vote!

So one of our local TV station is asking it's viewers if they are excited to vote or just ready for the entire process to be done.

While I am happy to have the anxiety of not knowing be over I am even more thrilled to be voting today in this historic Presidential election. No matter which way the election goes we will be making history. We will either have a President of color or a woman Vice President.

I will be sending positive energy for a good result.

God Bless America

Peace, Hope and Change!






Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve!

Well I think this might be the most important presidential election that I have lived through. I can say with certainty that I am more concerned about the outcome of this race than any other race in which I have voted. I believe that Sen. Obama will be the catalyst for change that we need. I have come to realize that as passionate as I am about Sen Obama that there are people who are equally passionate about Sen McCain. It amazes me that our country can be so divided. I just hope that people will vote on the issues.

In 'n' s second grade classroom they conducted a vote. McCain won. He actually took the entire grade. I was truly surprised. Certainly this means that there are more pro McCain families in the second grade families. I just asked 'n' why people were voting for McCain and she thought it was because the kids thought that Obama didn't like America and that he smoked. Very interesting.

I'm also very interested in our state election, in particular Question 1. I'm hoping for a strong NO vote. Well by this time tomorrow we will be preparing to watch as the polls close. I hope that our country and commonwealth do what is best for all citizens. We shall see.



Sunday, November 2, 2008

4 Things Meme

So I found this Meme over at Karyns blog. Here goes

Four things I did today:(I'm taking the liberty of sharing what I did yesterday as it is early yet)

1. Held a Vote No on 1 sign at local interesection

2. Waved at Vote No supporters

3. Was flipped off by at least one Vote Yes person(can you believe that?)

4. Took a nap

Four things on my to-do list:

1. Buy a birthday gift

2. Get supplies for lunches

3. Do my nails

4. Make a Drs appointment for Dad

Four of my guilty pleasures:

1. reading blogs

2. television

3. Politics

4. coffee

Four random facts about me:

1. I love organization in my documents and on my computer, to the point of obsession(folders and binders are my friends :).

2. I despise wrinkles in clothing and iron everything.

3. I go to bed thinking about the first cup of coffee that I will enjoy the next morning.

4. I am a Reiki practitioner.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November-Writing Month!

So this is the first entry in my month long commitment to writing every day. I think I'll probably just write about what I usually write about and maybe throw in some Reflection writing. What do you all think? Any ideas on how to start a serious writing practice? I'd love your input.

So last night was Halloween. The kids were very excited. I tried to stay home to hand out candy, but they really wanted me to walk around with them even though 'R' was walking too. We walked most of the neighborhood. It was chilly being so close to the ocean. Last year it was much more mild, but I shouldn't complain because we didn't have to wear winter coats. So there were a few children out with their families but not as many as we have seen in the past. All the people were very pleasant. Although I must comment on one house. It was one of the very large homes right on the ocean and it had a McCain Palin sign hanging on their bar for all the children and parents to see as the children trick or treated. YUCK! Oh well everyone is entitled to their opinions.

So I'm off to hold Vote No on 1 signs for a couple of hours today. Visibility is important at this late stage in the game. I'll let you know if anything interesting happens.


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