Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Straight From The Ten Year-Old

Sometimes Petunia just cracks me up.  Yesterday, she described a pair of her male classmates as “the two musketeers of annoying.”  Today, while discussing her suspicion that a third male classmate likes an exceptionally dramatic and high-maintenance female classmate, she told me that if it’s true, she “will lose all faith in his ability to make good decisions.”

Never a dull moment with that one.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Sounding a lot like a frog these days.  I have a bad head cold that I initially thought was some sort of allergies but isn't.  Ugh.  Finally at the stage where I'm starting to feel a little better but I'm hoarse as heck.  It's a good thing I'm feeling better at least since we are galloping headlong into travel soccer tryout season, starting next week!  Thing One is definitely staying put where he is.  Petunia is the big wild card: she's most likely either moving up a year or out to another club, tryouts will dictate which.  Thing Two will stay put if his team stays together at his current club, otherwise he will move to one of the two other clubs at which Petunia is trying out.  If those two both move, they will have to move together for the sake of my sanity; two clubs is bad enough, can't even imagine trying to juggle three. Plus HS soccer in the fall, should Thing One manage to make the JV team.

Anyhoo.  Had some stressful stuff going on here lately.  Terrible weather, plus a really ugly situation with the school board.  Specifically, with the ongoing teacher contract negotiations.  Not sure they are negotiating in good faith, actually pretty sure they aren't.  I've hit the point where I can't wait to get my kids the hell out of this school, which is a real shame since this is the 10th straight year I've had a kid there and I have three more yet to go.  I've already decided that this will be my last term on the Board of Education.  Petunia will be halfway through eighth grade by the time I would run for reelection (it's a K-8 school) and I will have served close to ten years by then.  Enough is enough.  I'm *really* fricking tired of being the bad guy because we observe the rules and the teacher's union representatives don't.

In other news, a dear friend more than likely has cancer, and may have something else going on as well.  He's having terrible fevers, which may or may not be related to the mass they just found in his lung.  I am absolutely beside myself about that right now, and it really gives me perspective on the ticky-tack shit the union is pulling.  I don't have the energy to deal with them right now.

Sorry this is such a downer post.  Not feeling the whole unicorns and rainbows thing right now.  On the bright side, I've recently taken up knitting (on one of those circular loom things, not knitting needles) and am about 3/4 done with a scarf, which actually looks half decent.  Proud of myself for that.  My guy friends are giving me grief about it, but no matter what stereotype anyone comes up with, pretty sure I won't fit it!  That's something at least.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Notes From The Nor’easter

One lesson we have learned over and over and OVER again: anytime a storm is forecast, fill some kitchen pitchers and a few 20 gallon tubs with water, lay in a supply of non perishable food and batteries, and do all the laundry there is before it hits.

In our very rural area, the only public utility is electricity.  Water comes from wells and homes have septic tanks, not a public sewer hookup.  No natural gas lines come out this far, either: home furnaces are fueled from individual fuel oil or propane tanks that are refilled periodically by tanker trucks.  Storms equal rain (or snow) and wind, which bring down trees or branches, which land on power lines, and that’s all she wrote.  Our homes run exclusively on electricity, which means that no power equals no water since the well pumps run on electricity.  There’s also no heat, no cooking (except in the fireplace, since no gas stoves) and no light.  Gets ugly quickly.  If you’re prepared with water, battery-operated lamps, food, firewood and heavy clothing, you can get through a winter storm, but the key is being prepared.

On the bright side, this community is awesome.  The social networks get buzzing immediately: whomever has power has everyone else over to shower and get warm and do laundry and charge devices.  

And the best part has everything to do with dumb luck, since we didn’t know enough about rural life when we bought our home to have chosen its location on purpose.  Quite the opposite, actually: the fact that it is on a main road actually concerned me when we purchased it, mostly because I was worried that the kids would run into the road when they were younger.  However, it quickly became obvious to us that “main road” equals “good” out here in the boonies.  The municipal garage is just up the road, so ours is the first road plowed (assuming we can get down the driveway to it!)  But what proved to be the definitive advantage to our location is that both the police station and the fire station are near that garage. All three of those key municipal facilities are on the same power grid, which (by that dumb luck I mentioned) we also happen to share by proximity.  Which means that every time the power goes out around here, the first priority for the power company is this town is our grid.  Which means that right now, while literally 97% of our town is currently without power according to the power company's online outage report map, I am typing this in my warm kitchen under a light that is not battery-operated.  Am I lucky?  Yes.  Am I grateful for it?  Hell yes.  Am I ready for spring?  More than you can even imagine.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Tough Lesson

My daughter Petunia is 10.  At this stage of the game, she is far more interested in dolls, art and soccer than boys, which makes me very happy.  Unfortunately, she is also an attractive, kind and friendly child (in my highly prejudiced opinion at least), which has resulted in her receiving unwanted attentions from boys her age on more than one occasion.  Nothing inappropriate, and it isn't that she doesn't like them as friends, she just has no interest in anything more (to which again I say: hallelujah.)

Her latest admirer is a very nice boy and they have quite literally known each other since her birth.  He's a few months older and the two of them played together as toddlers and have been in school together since kindergarten.  She came home from school one day very upset, as she'd discovered that he likes her and she didn't know what to do.  She didn't want to hurt his feelings but also wanted no part of any boy-girl anything with him.  She and I had several conversations about how to handle the situation, and she ended up writing him a very nice note explaining how she feels.  For what it's worth, the rule in our house (for all kids of all genders) has always been that you don't have to like somebody just because they like you, but you can't be mean to them about it either.

At any rate, the boy in question is now moping around school because he thinks she hates him.  Dear God and little chickens.  Petunia feels like this is her fault and is very sad.  I sat her down and told her very emphatically that it is not her job to make boys happy.  I explained that life is not all about getting what you want and that this boy needs to learn how to deal with disappointment, just as she likely will at some point when she's on the other side of something like this.  The idea that she would feel responsible in any way for his happiness, while understandable at this stage because she is a kind child, absolutely made my skin crawl.  She is not allowed to be mean, and she wasn't, but there's no way in HELL I'm allowing my girl to believe that she has to do what a boy wants because his happiness is more important than hers, and since circumstances have dictated that I have to start pounding that into her head in fifth grade, so be it.

The mother-warrior has spoken.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

I Am SO Not Ready For This

More good news: the surgery on Wednesday was uneventful and the doctor saw nothing that concerned her.  Fingers crossed that those biopsy results come back benign also.  Man, it stinks getting old.  

In other news, we were told this week that it is realistic for Thing One to look at playing Division III soccer in college, should he choose to do so.  Most likely not D1 (says his coach, who played D1 himself and also has a son playing D1 soccer now) but that’s okay since D1 soccer is like a job anyway.  Not much time for anything but school and soccer at that level.  At any rate, that was eye-opening.  The kid is a solid player but I don’t have the perspective that the coach does, so having the coach tell him he has the potential was a big deal.

As I type this, Thing One and Himself are sitting at the kitchen table looking at ID camps, which are summer camps held with the purpose of putting HS players in front of college coaches who may want to recruit them.  As part of this, they are discussing which colleges he would potentially like to attend, so he can get himself to the camps that their coaches are attending.

Yes, this year is mostly for practice and getting a feel for how ID camps work. Next summer and the summer after that will be much more important.  But still: my HS freshman is starting to think about college and that hurts my heart. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

One Down

Got some great news tonight: the biopsy results for the weird spot on my forehead came back and it’s benign.  Hallelujah.   Not cancer, no MOHS surgery needed, not even any follow-up to be done.  Just a little healing spot on my forehead now. I’m so relieved I could sing.

Surgery for removal of the uterine polyps is set for Wednesday afternoon.  Hopefully won’t be too big a deal.  Apparently I should even be able to teach taekwondo class on Thursday as scheduled as long as I take it easy, which can be arranged.  Looking forward to having that surgery over with though...ugh.  I take my usual good health for granted, so these bumps in the road seem bigger than they are. Maybe I should make gratefulness my lesson out of all of this??

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Well, This Sucks

In the last two days, I’ve had two appointments with two different doctors.  I just scheduled surgery for removal of uterine polyps for next week and I may also have a small basal cell carcinoma on my forehead (won’t know for sure until biopsy results come back.)  If it is, I need surgery for that too.  Jesus.  Both will likely end up fine but I am not happy.  What a freaking week.  And I have a school board meeting tomorrow night (contract negotiation) that will likely go half the night too.  

Growl. Snap. Snarl. 

Straight From The Ten Year-Old

Sometimes Petunia just cracks me up.  Yesterday, she described a pair of her male classmates as “the two musketeers of annoying.”  Today, wh...