Saturday, May 31, 2008

Horrible Football Game

Jamie had a game tonight in Somerville, MA. It wasn't as bad getting there as we thought it would be since Stepson Kenny used to live in that area and we'd been around that way before. Unfortunately, the evening went downhill fast after that. My list of crappy things: 1) It was $10 EACH to get in.....price is usually no more than $5. Good thing I happened to notice on the opposing team's website that that was the admission fee because we wouldn't have had $20 in cash with us. 2) We misjudged the time and got there an hour and 15 minutes before the game started. 3) The stadium was gorgeous, but had no bleachers for the visiting team so we had to sit with the home team fans on their side of the field. 4) We like sitting on the 50 yard line...which we did. Our seats were right below the announcer's booth. They played ear-splittingly loud music before the game and between every single play. 5) The half-time score was 24-7.......against us. 6) In the third quarter Jamie went down and stayed down.....again. In all the years she's played sports this has never happened.....and now it was twice in one season. The coaches came running out. They took a long time to assess her. She finally stood up and had to put her arms around two coaches and be helped off the field. I cried. 7) She had twisted her ankle. I was hugely pissed when she went BACK into the game with her ankle all taped up. They couldn't just let her sit? 8) In the fourth quarter it started pouring out and we could see thunder and lightening in the distance. 9) With 1:25 to play, a girl on the other team went down and didn't get back up. An ambulance was called while we all sat there in the pouring rain waiting for her to be taken off the field. Once again....I have watched Jamie play football for four years and never seen this happen, yet it's the third time in three weeks. 10) They lost the game 38-7. 11) After the game the teams went into the locker rooms and some guy on a power trip would not open up the gate that would allow us to go and see our players. We all stood there like herded cattle waiting for our daughters or girlfriends or wives to come out and stand on the other side of the gate so we could talk to them. It's standard after every game that players come and mingle with the fans and give out congratulations or condolences. The ONLY redeeming thing was that the 7 points the Freedom scored were made by Jamie. She caught a long pass and ran it in for a touchdown, then kicked her own extra point. Otherwise, it was a crappy night.

Kudos to Hubby

Many thanks to my sweet, sweet hubby. He organized for my kids to come over for brunch this morning to celebrate my birthday. He did an awesome job of keeping it a secret until the last minute. When he added "2 dozen eggs, bacon, 2 loaves of bread, etc." to the grocery list I knew something was up! Then last night he told me I had to be out of bed and dressed before 10:30 (I do confess I tend to stay in my jammies until noon if we're not going anywhere on a Saturday or Sunday) and I figured it out. He cooked and served breakfast like a short-order cook. He gave everyone a menu that coincided with my daughter's football team (Bacon Blitz, Quarterback Sneak) and they ordered whatever they wanted. It is always a great time whenever all my kids come over. Even baby Emily came. I did my best to babyproof the house ....I always babysit at her house, she never comes to mine.....and she had a great time playing with her Auntie and Uncle and Pepere. Thank you, my sweet darling. You are the best husband in the world and I love you so much!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

HOPE?

I subbed today for a special education program in the middle school called the HOPE program. It's an acronym for something, I forget what. But it's supposed to be for very emotionally challenged kids. The kids who get kicked out of regular classrooms for misbehavior. The kids who can't stay focused long enough to get anything done. It's a tough room. Sadly, I felt like a babysitter for the day. Students came in and out of the room during different periods. Most had one-on-one aides who sat with them and tried to get them to get some work done. Not much was accomplished. I had one student, A., who was in the room the entire day because he simply can't stay in a classroom and behave. Although he had plenty of work to do, he did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because he didn't want to. I kept a running timeline of what A. did during the day and it came down to "he read his book for a total of approximately ten minutes". The rest of the time he just sat. Or put his head down on his desk. Or annoyed the other students. I don't know how to deal with this. I don't have any techniques to motivate this child to do some work. I had a hard time just getting him to sit and be quiet and leave the other children alone. I felt like I'd accomplished my goal because I finished the day 1) without sending him to the principal's office and 2) without going home with a headache. It makes me sad......that there are so many kids like this who just will not make any effort to comply. Who dont' see that the future holds for them absolutely nothing if they can't even make an effort to do their schoolwork. And they have all the help they need. The teachers in this program bend over backwards to give them leeway, but they just don't care. How are these kids going to survive in society in ten years???

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Beach on Memorial Day

It was 80 degrees and sunny here yesterday. I decided we should go to the beach. I don't know why I thought it wouldn't be that crowded!
It looked like the middle of summer. There were tons of families with umbrellas and coolers and kids all dressed to go in the water....which a lot of people did! Even though the water off the coast of Massachusetts is FREEZING!Hubby likes taking pictures of cute little kids. This little guy had on a matching bathing suit and sun hat. I told Hubby to be careful....people will think he's a pedophile. He's hoping someday to paint a picture of a colorful, active beach scene, so he takes lots of pictures to give himself ideas.

After we walked up and down the beach....with feet in the water.....we went to the center for some fried dough.
The beach center at Salisbury in MA is very tacky. Most of the places have been there forever. There are places for fried dough, pizza, ice cream, etc. And arcades and souvinir shops. Lots of place have closed or have been torn down and brand-new condos have taken their place. There has been talk of demolishing the whole area and building brand new. As much as the place is so tacky, I love it. I'd hate to see it all changed. I think someone should come in and rebuild, but do it so that it looks just the same.

The traffic leaving the beach was terrible. Even though the sign says "entering Salisbury" we were leaving. We just thought we'd go up to Hampton Beach and skirt around the traffic, but of course it didn't work that way.
The crowds and the people were worth it to be at the beach. Hubby and I both love the ocean. It's one of the best things about living in New England....we get the ocean, the mountains, lakes....everything we need.




Monday, May 26, 2008

The Weatherman was Right!

Amazingly, the weatherman was right about this weekend. Sometimes I really think they predict a "gorgeous holiday weekend" to entice people into making plans when the weather is really going to be awful. It stimulates the economy. But in this case, the weatherman had it right. Yesterday was a beautiful day. I had volunteered to go up to the summer camp I'll be working at to do some painting. Turns out we didn't paint. The floating docks are made out of wood, and the plan was to sand them down and paint them. So many of the boards were going to have to be replaced because they were rotted it was decided it wasn't worth repairing. Instead we are going to put some kind of wood called "composite" that is kind of like a wood/plastic mix....I think! It's permanent and never has to be painted. So instead of painting, we took all the boards off the docks. I got to use an electric screw gun, which was kind of fun! While we were waiting for the decision to be made about the docks, we sat around and talked. I met the new Sports Director, Jaime. He seems like a riot and I think will liven things up around camp. When I got home, Hubby and I decided to find a state park and go spend the rest of the afternoon. We found Harold Parker State Park in Andover, MA. I think I might have actually been there before to go cross-country skiing. There's a campground and little pond called Berry Pond where you can go for day trips. It was a cute little place...lots of people there. We brought some reading material, drinks and our little grill. We read for a while in the sunshine, then took a walk along the path that led all the way around the pond, then cooked our burgers. A perfect day! It's beautiful again today and the decision has to be made.....another State Park or the beach?? Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Camping

What a beautiful day yesterday....Saturday. My parents and my sister and her husband and kids went camping for the long weekend at a campground about an hour and a half from the house. Tag and I went up to visit for the day. The campground is the nicest campground you've ever seen. http://www.mi-te-jo.com/ The owners take great pride in keeping the place clean and keeping the campers happy. My parents had tried several other campgrounds, but once they started going to Mi-Te-Jo, they were hooked on it and haven't gone anywhere else since then. We got there mid-afternoon and just sat in lawn chairs all afternoon and chatted. That's really the very best thing about camping...just sitting and doing absolutely nothing without feeling guilty about it. There's no housework, no phones, no errands. My sister had made a huge shepard's pie, so there wasn't even any reason for us to fire up the grill and cook the hamburgers we'd brought. She popped it in the oven and an hour later we ate it. After dinner we took a stroll around the campground. My parents wanted us to see the ginormous camper that we figured must go for about $250K, and the new pavilion being built on the other side of the campground. We got back and my Dad started a campfire and we sat around some more and talked until it was time to make s'mores. My brother-in-law also had hotdogs for us to roast over the fire. The best part of the day was seeing my parents relaxing and enjoying their camping. While my Dad was in the hospital and then recovering afterwards he talked a lot about camping and how he couldn't wait for summer to come so he could go. I'm hoping the long, difficult winter is over for my parents and that summer brings and end to the hard times they've had.....and brings with the new season a new time of health and happiness.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Time for a Rant

Sorry guys, time for a rant. As if substituting isn't hard enough, the teacher today had to make it more difficult. I subbed for the eighth grade today, which is already quite a challenge. The teacher had four social studies classes and for those classes he had prepared a packet.....read the chapter, answer the questions.....easy for the kids but kept them busy. Once they settled down (and I kicked one loud-mouth out) these four classes were nice and quiet and did their work. The teacher also has a reading class. In the teacher notes, he said "I TOLD the kids they could sit in any seat they wanted for this class (as opposed to sitting in their assigned seats) and they could TALK". WHY? WHY? WHY? would you do that to a sub? This class was one hour long....do you really think 8th graders can sit and quietly talk for a whole hour???? And why waste that time? It was a READING class. How about making them READ???? And finally.....today they had "extended advisory" (advisory = homeroom for us old fogies) at the end of the day for another HOUR! They had this because the SIXTH graders had an all-team band practice in preparation for a concert. Now why the sixth grade schedule should have any impact on the eighth grade schedule I have no idea. But again....THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO. I tried to tell them they needed to use it as a study....but of course they claimed they had NO homework, NO studying, NO projects to work on and alas...NO books to read. So they just COULDN'T be quiet! They said the teacher usually lets them go outside and play football. Now is that good use of their time? I guess that's what ticks me off the most. There are teachers who literally have so much to do they can't fit it all in and get aggravated when there are assemblies and changes in schedule. They need to use every second of time they have with the kids to complete the year's curriculum. Letting a bunch of 8th graders waste TWO WHOLE HOURS out of a six hour day is ludicrous. Besides driving the substitute insane! I have to go back tomorrow. I'm subbing for 8th grade again, although thankfully for a different team. The kids today weren't too happy with me by the end of the day and I'd hate to have the same group again! If the teacher left classes where she says the kids can just "sit and talk"....the kids won't know about it. I'll make up an essay or something for them to do. I'm not spending another day like today.......I'M NOT, I'M NOT, I'M NOT!!! *stamping foot*

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blah blah blah

It's been a blah kind of week. I'm not babysitting this week....Kara took the day off on Tuesday and Doug is taking the day off on Friday. I'm having Emily withdrawals! I told the lady who calls for subs I could work Tuesday and Friday this week, so she gave me a two-day assignment today and yesterday. I'm a SPED teacher in the middle school. This SPED teacher has a full schedule....classes every period all day. I have 3-8 kids each class and we do math, science, ss, LA and reading. Yikes! This teacher has to know a little bit about everything! Thankfully there's an aide in the room who knows what the heck is going on. I think it's kind of silly to have a sub come in when there's an aide, since she knows more about what the kids are doing than I do. But apparently the aides are not supposed to do "the teacher's work". If I were an aide, I'd agree to do it if they'd give me a little extra and forget about the sub! Save a few bucks in the school system. Hubby's car wouldn't start yesterday morning. I was having nightmares in my head about having to let him take my car and I'd have to walk home from work. But we jumpstarted it, then he drove to Walmart, bought a new battery ($78) and put it into the car right there in the parking lot. He's good to go now. We haven't gotten our "economic stimulus" check yet from the government, but somehow we've already spent it six different ways. Including the new battery. My birthday is in June and hubby has set up some kind of surprise for me. On my calendar he wrote "Karen 6pm" on every Tuesday night for the whole month of June and the first two weeks of July. I have no idea what it is, and he won't give me any hints. I"m very excited to find out what it might be. Any ideas????

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Aching Back!

Today was our first scheduled "clean up" day at camp. So fun and exciting to actually be back at the camp and to see some of my friends from last summer. Sadly, a lot of the staff has moved on....their college years are over and they have to get "real" jobs. It just makes me feel even older! Luckily for us, the camp is able to get a landscaper in to do a lot of the heavy raking. There was still lots to do though. While most of the kids went and did even more raking, I opened up my Art room. In Hebrew it's "UMUNUT". Pronounced oominooot. But I say "I'm a nut". It fits. As always, the art room needed some serious sweeping. We get little furry visitors all winter long who leave their "deposits" everywhere, as well as many, many chewed up acorns. The room is lined with shelves which all have to be swept. It took me about two hours to sweep them off then sweep off the floor. I finished just in time for lunch, but didn't finish my first slice of pizza before families started arriving for open house and we began giving tours. I ended out taking about four families around. We saw the waterfront, the boat house, the nurse's office, the Moadon (Rec Hall), the Art room, playground, tennis courts, basketball courts, dodgeball court and ball field. Also the bathrooms and bunks. It's a day camp, so they don't sleep in the bunks...they just change in them and leave their stuff there. It was fun to talk to new families and see the excitement on the kids' faces when they saw the camp and I talked about all the fun they would have. When the families were all gone, it was time to put in the docks...the most dreaded duty at camp simply because they weigh a ton. They're in sections, and each section needs to be carried down the beach and into the water. Usually I avoid this task, since I"m the "old lady" of the camp and there are usually many fine strapping young people to do the job. But this year, all our strapping young people have been replaced by .....shall we say.....less robust people (think 98 pound weakling). So this year I decided to help and finally realized just how horribly out of shape I am. I helped with two and literally thought I was having a heart attack. I gave in and went back up on the beach and raked the leaves that were left after all the young folk had moved each section of dock. Sigh.......... We finished just as it started raining. As soon as I got home I got in a hot tub of water and took some Ibuprofen. But I know I'll be moaning and groaning getting out of bed tomorrow morning.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Scary Moments

We went today to watch daughter Jamie play her football game. It was fun and exciting as usual....and they won. But there was a moment, as there have been several times in the past, when the game became scary rather than fun. The quarterback threw a beautiful pass to Jamie, and as she reached out to grab it, she got clobbered. She usually bounces back up but this time, she stayed down. It's eerie the hush that falls over the stands when a player stays lying on the field while the rest of her team is running back to the huddle. I stayed standing - I had jumped up to applaud what I thought was going to be an outstanding catch - with my eyes trained on my daughter as coaches ran out on the field to check her. The moments got longer and scarier when she didn't get up right away. My heart stayed in my throat while the coach leaned over her, assessing the problem. Eventually, she sat up, then stood and moved to the sidelines. I was able to breath again. The funny part is...she knows me. As soon as she could talk she asked one of her team-mates to locate me in the stands and make sure I was still sitting in my seat and wasn't sprinting out onto the field. I've learned however, to keep my cool. I've watched Jamie play sports for over 20 years...every season, year round....soccer, basketball, softball and now football....hundreds and maybe thousands of games. And I've learned that it's not cool for "mom" to run out until she knows for sure she's needed. I realized this when she was about 9, playing soccer and she got hit straight in the face with a kicked ball that knocked her right off her feet. I ran over and was greeted with an indignant "mooo-oom!!!" She actually had the ball mark on her face, but didn't want me to fuss ....she just didn't want to be embarrassed in front of her friends. So I stayed in my seat....Jamie went back into the game...and they won. The scariest part however, was later in the fourth quarter, when a girl from the other team went down, did not get up, and was carted away in an ambulance. I hope that's something I never see happening to my own daughter.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pepere Babysits

Last night was babysitting night for Memere and Pepere. Unfortunately we did not have the camera, which was a shame because there would have been some priceless pictures! It was son Doug's 30th birthday yesterday (30!!!! WHAT???) so he and his brothers and sisters went out to a minor league ball game and then out to eat. Tag and I have been wanting to go over and babysit because Tag really gets no time with Emily. So we volunteered and went over about 4 o'clock to spend some time with her before she went to bed. Emily put on quite a show for her Pepere. He hadn't really seen her crawl too much yet, and hadn't seen her pull herself up to stand. She not only did all that, but she showed him how she can climb all the way up the stairs.....over and over and over again! Pepere said he was quite tired by the end of that! Tag brought his guitar and Emily just loves it. Of course, it's more fun to bang on it and listen to the hollow wooden sound it makes than it is to play it....it's hard to strum the strings when you're only 9 months old. But she watched in fascination while he played. He gave her a little background music while she was eating and there were several times when I had to call her attention back to her food....which is pretty unusual for Emily! She really kept us entertained and we hated to put her to bed. She only went in a little late....but that's what Memere and Pepere are for!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just Stuff

Today is Thursday......which means it's almost Friday...thank God! It's been kind of a blah week. Monday I subbed for special ed at the middle school. It was fine.....three or four kids in each period and doing math and Language Arts. Unfortunately, the math was too hard for me but I went to a math teacher down the hall and she helped me! Does anyone know how to find the volume of a cylinder? I do! Tuesday I babysat in the morning...always a pleasure! In the afternoon, though, I had to go to the dentist. It was the second visit for him to do work to put in three crowns. Last time he did two teeth in 45 minutes, so I figured for the one final tooth, maybe 30 minutes? It was well over an hour. I thought the drilling would never end. That's a long time to stay white-knuckled. It always wipes me out so I kind of vegged for the rest of the afternoon. Wednesday I did not get called in to sub. I was kind of mad because I found out today that a secretary was out and they'd called in another sub. Her name is Maryann and I worked with her last week and she's a very nice lady but she pisses me off because she's taking the secretarial sub jobs I like to do! Not fair to dislike her because of that....but I do. So I spent the day cleaning, cross-stitching and shopping...which I can ill afford to do. I only bought some plastic chairs to sit outside with. I live in a condo building but it has nice grassy grounds and we've been using them. In fact, we had a BBQ supper last night to break in the new chairs. Hubby is nervous they'll get stolen......if they do, it'll be an $18 lesson for me. But I made him a bet they'd still be there by the end of the summer. Today subbing in special ed again. And tonight hubby and I are babysitting. He doesn't get to see the baby very often and misses her tremendously, so we told son and DIL that we'd be happy to babysit any time. We'll get there early enough to have about 2 hours before she goes to bed. And tomorrow I babysit in the morning. I love babysitting on Fridays. It makes me think my week ends on Thursday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Two Things I Learned

I learned two things this weekend. #1 - My dad is a square dance caller. He's done it for over 30 years. For about 10 or 12 years he and my mom ran Square Dance Weekends. They'd rent out a little bed and breakfast and 20 or 30 couples would go for a weekend of good food, square dancing and fun. One of their favorite things at these weekends were skits. After the dance on Saturday night they'd all get into their jammies and be comfy and meet back in the dance hall where anyone who wanted to could put on a skit. For years my Dad wanted all the skits put onto one video so they could be watched in one sitting. For his 70th birthday we decided to do it. We got all his videotapes and converted them to DVD. Then I spent hours editing the DVDs, finally making four DVDs of skits. I made nice labels and jewel cases for them and gave them to him for his birthday. I was delighted to have given him such a personal gift.

Sunday night he called and said the DVDs wouldn't play on his player. I couldn't figure out the problem since they played on my player. We told him we'd come up Monday night to look at it with no idea whatsoever what the problem could be. For no reason I can think of except for desperation, I called Best Buy, thinking maybe there was some kind of setting on my Dad's DVD player that could be changed to allow the DVD to play. When I called, I got the "Geek Squad"....you know those guys who drive around in the little Volkswagon Bugs? He asked me what kind of "media" I had used....huh? Turns out he meant what kind of DVD, and I had to go look but I told him I used a DVD -R. He said most DVD players will play only on kind of DVD...either -R or +R. I had no idea there were two different kinds. I ran over to Staples, picked up a box of +R DVDs and quickly burned one of the movies. We went up to my parents' house and voila! It worked!

So now the only problem is I have to re-burn all those DVDs! Hubby can do them at work in about 5 minutes per copy, so...not a big deal!

#2 - Daughter Jamie sent me a picture message on my phone showing a picture of her making a touchdown from her game on Saturday that was published in the Manchester Union Leader. Hubby was kind enough to go out and try to buy a copy...but after going to every convenience store and supermarket in town, he was not able to find a copy. So Monday we decided to try the library, figuring we could photocopy the picture. We went to the rack labeled "Manchester Union Leader" and they had Monday, Saturday, Friday, Thursday, etc. No Sunday! I thought maybe they kept them behind the desk for some reason so I went up and asked the librarian. Turns out the Manchester Union Leader is called the "New Hamphsire News" on Sundays! WHY????? Hubby saw that newspaper at each store he went to but had no idea it was the same paper. The Librarian did have it, we got the photocopy and we're happy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Busy Weekend

We had a wonderful, but very busy, weekend. Friday night we went to an open mic called Five Star Friday. We enjoy going to these and hearing new people. Often there are the "regulars" but there are always new people. Tag and I sang "The Circle Game" by Joanie Mitchell, and "Grandma's Feather Bed" by John Denver. Tag accompanied both on his ukulele. His friend Don has come with us the last two times and he sang while Tag accompanied him on guitar. It was an enjoyable evening. Saturday was a crazy day. We got up early and made food for my Dad's birthday party. I made stuffed mushrooms and Tag made sushi...his first attempt. Both came out pretty well. We had to run around a bit before we got to my parents' house.....we picked up a cake at Market Basket and my father's chicken wings at Walmart. We got there around noon and had a really fun day with all my family. Poor little Emily though....her Mom couldn't be there so she came with just my son. She's just started getting some stranger anxiety and she got really upset at the houseful of strange people. It took her a little while to calm down, but she did finally settle in and we all had fun with her. My dad enjoyed his party...his brother was here from Arizona so that made it more special. After the party we went up to Manchester to watch Jamie play football. It was another blowout game 68-0. It's fun to have a blowout when you're on the winning side! Jamie caught a phenomenal pass and ran it in for a touchdown. She also kicked about 5 extra points. My son Nicholas and his girlfriend Kelly were there, which made it that much more fun. Sunday was Mother's Day, but since we'd seen the whole family Saturday, it was decided that that would "count" for our Mother's Day visit. So hubby Tag indulged me the whole day and made my Mother's Day very special. It was so gorgeous out we decided to go out, so he went online and found Winnekinni Castle in Haverhill which had hiking trails. We went there and hiked for over two hours! It was the perfect weather...sunny but cool. There's a lake in the middle - Kenoza Lake - and we walked all the way around it. After that we were going to visit his mother, who lives in Westford, which just happens to be the town where the best ice cream place is...Kimball's. So we HAD to go there! Then we visited his mother and then went home to watch the Survivor finale. At my request, Tag made my favorite fried chicken for supper, and I had an enjoyable three hours watching my favorite show. I was very disappointed at the outcome though! I'd like to know exactly who voted for Parvati and why! I was rooting for Cerie, and when she got voted out I was sure it would be Amanda who would win. Oh well.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mom Song

Yesterday at my Mom's house my sister told me about this video on YouTube. It's called the "Mom Song" and it is hilarious. I'm sorry I couldn't figure out how to get the video to run here on the blog site, but click this link and watch. This is my "Happy Mother's Day" gift to everyone! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6P2w5GkXmU&feature=related

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reality TV

Time for another look at my reality TV shows: Beauty and the Geek - Thank GOD Joe was finally voted out. He has to be the grossest and most annoying one on the show. Besides all his other problems, he talks with his eyes closed and that's just weird. I'll be happy to hear the last of Cara's little cutesy-girl voice. Next week is the season finale and I'm hoping for Leticia and Matt to win because they seem to sincerely care for each other. Survivor - What in the world is the matter with those guys? How can they keep getting blind-sided? Why would you keep trusting people???? Of those left, I hope Cerie wins....she seems to be the most devious and is running the game from behind the scenes. The finale is Sunday night and I'll be snuggling in for a blissful three hours of pure Survivor. What a great Mother's Day Gift! American Idol - Ohhh.....poor Jason left. I know he was cute and everything but he couldn't sing! I've heard better performances at Open Mic nights. And what was happening to him at the end? He seemed to be totally losing it. He said he was relieved to be off because they have to learn three songs and he didn't think he could do it. Geez, what does he think he's going to have to do when he goes on tour? I'm hoping David Archuletta wins because I think he has the most extraordinary voice. Props to my hubby who picked him and Syesha at the very beginning. I suck cause I picked Michael Johns and Ramielle Malubay. All these reality shows are done this week! What the HELL am I going to do?? I'm hoping my very favorite, The Amazing Race, is back for another season soon. And the summer shows "America's Got Talent" and "American Inventor" should be back. Survivor Update: OH MY GOD! Erik truly gets the title of dumbest Survivor EVER!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Emily

video

It's so cool to see the little pumpkin do new things! Hard to imagine that nine months ago she couldn't even see...never mind crawl, stand up, clap her hands, wave bye-bye, and dance!

video

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hot Topic

Here is my answer to the hot topic question in our newspaper this week: Should children be allowed to carry their cell phones in school? Children should absolutely NOT be allowed to have cell phones in school. I am a substitute teacher and they are the bane of our existence. Students have them out constantly to text each other, check the time, check their messages, and do not pay attention in the classroom. They should leave them at home. The worst part is, I've worked at the high school in a secretarial position and have had parents stand in front of me and call their child while they are in the classroom to let them know they're being dismissed. Principals and secretaries are over-run with paperwork when students are referred for discipline. There are too many other things that staff have to focus on rather than spend any extra time dealing with cell phone issues. When a staff member sees a cell phone, whether being used or not, they should be able to confiscate it and make the parent come in and pay a fine before they can get it back.

Manchester Freedom win 70-8!


My daughter plays football on an all-women's team. She's always wanted to play football but I discouraged it while she was in high school because she would have had to play with the boys. Right after college she found this women's league and started playing...this is her fourth season. www.manchesterfreedom.com

It's a tremendous amount of work for her but also a lot of fun. They play full tackle with all the same rules as the men's professional football league. My hubby Tag and I have followed her around to most of her away games and would never miss a home game.

This week's game was in Portland, ME, about and hour and a half from our house. We always use any kind of traveling as an excuse to visit a new area. We had planned on going up early afternoon and browsing around Portland for the afternoon before finding a nice dinner and then going to the game at 6:30. Of course the weather didn't cooperate and it was raining all morning.....all weekend as a matter of fact! So we left a little later than we had planned and got up to Portland about 4:30.

We only had a little time to browse before we found a nice little pubby-kind of place called the Old Port where we had some New England Clam "Chowdah" and some fish and chips.

It was just misting out when we got to the game. We realized immediately that the Maine team was going to be overpowered.....they only had 16 active players. I think Manchester got 3 or 4 touchdowns in the first quarter. During part of the game it started pouring out, but I am an old hand at watching sports ....about 25 years now starting with oldest son Doug's Little League games....and we had dressed appropriately with warm coats, sweatshirts, mittens, hats, scarves, raincoats, and umbrella. Hubby had even brought along some hot chocolate.

As we realized the score was getting out of hand, we just had more and more fun. The girls became laid back and were joking on the sidelines, and the coaches took the opportunity to allow girls to play different positions than they normally would. It was a fun game despite the rain, which tapered off and stopped around the third quarter.

I'm so glad my daughter still plays sports.....I'd miss the lights, the excitement, the cheers and the "bleacher butt."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cookies!!

Yesterday I made four batches of chocolate chip cookies. That's about 16 dozen. The bag says each batch makes 5 dozen, but that's if you make the cookies bite-sized. I think I did pretty good getting 4 dozen out of each batch. I made the cookies for my friend Tracy who is running the bake sale at a walk-a-thon for Breast Cancer. Last year she walked but it took up so much of her free time in order to train for it, she didn't think she could do that again....so she donated her time in another way by organizing the bake sale. Because it was for the bake sale, I made little bags of six cookies each, tied with a pink ribbon. My friend Gail also donated a couple dozen peanut butter cookies and I wrapped those up as well. I was a very good girl....I only ate the bits and pieces that broke off from some of the cookies....and I didn't break them on purpose! My house still smells like baking..........mmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sad News

After a perfectly lovely day of visiting yesterday with all the ladies in my family, I came home and later got a call from my Mom saying her last remaining sister, My Aunt Ceil, had passed away unexpectedly. Aunt Ceil lived in Ohio so we didn't see her much, but when we did we enjoyed her company tremendously. She was in her 80's but had seemed to be going strong. Her passing was quite a surprise.

I guess I'd like to write this posting more about my Mom than my Aunt Ceil. My mom has had a very tough year.....or year and a half actually. A year ago last fall my Mom lost her sister Terry. My mom and Terry had gotten very close.....Terry had been camping with my Mom and Dad for the past several years and it was a terrible blow. Last June, my mother's twin sister, Dottie, passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Another terrible blow. Because their father had also died of pancreatic cancer, she was advised to be screened by an oncologist. At that visit they found a lump on her breast which turned out to be cancerous. She then went through four months of chemo and six weeks of radiation. During her radiation, by Dad underwent triple by-pass surgery. And now her last sister has passed away.
Despite all the trials and tribulations, my mom has remained optimistic and strong. She continued her exercise regime at Curves all during the time she was undergoing chemo and radiation, her and my dad went on their planned 50th Wedding Anniversary cruise right in the middle of her chemo treatments and she went to her radiation treatments every morning before spending the day at the hospital when my Dad had her surgery. She's never complained and never fallen into crying "woe is me". She says, "You have to play the cards you're dealt," and she continues on.
Next Sunday is Mother's Day. I wish there was some way I could let my Mother know what a wonderful Mother she truly is.....because she is my inspiration. She shows me every day how to be a strong, confident woman. She shows me how to weather every storm with dignity. Her 50 years with my Dad has shown me the right way to enjoy a marriage. I hope she's around for a long, long time because even though I'm an adult woman, I need her. I need her to keep me strong, to keep me confident, and to continue to remind me of how to be a wonderful wife.