30 April 2010

What's For Lunch?


Normally ...

Oh hell! Who am I trying to kid?? When has this blog ever been normal?

Friday's are usually a wrap-up of the week here, but y'all have been getting the play-by-play all week long. I just couldn't bring myself to post it all again. Call it denial (still having some issues coming to terms with some of what's happened this week) or just a gift to all of you, but I'm not doing it this week. So there!

Instead, I thought I'd talk about school lunch.

I've mentioned before that I often listen to The Annie & Burl Live show on Blog Talk Radio. Wednesday they had Mrs. Q from "Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project" on their show. If you have a child who eats school lunch, you really should listen to Wednesday night's show and subscribe to Mrs. Q's blog.

In an effort to shed light on the impact of school lunch nutrition on learning, Mrs. Q - an educator in a school with a high percentage of students receiving free/reduced price lunches - decided to eat school lunch every day. In her blog she documents what is served, how it tasted and often, her observations of the student reactions to lunch. Additionally, she has guest bloggers who address ways to improve the system. Mrs. Q's project inspired me to take a closer look at the school lunch program at Cam's school.

Cam's middle school serves two meals - breakfast ($1.50) before school and lunch ($2.50) over the lunch hour. Based on our income, Cam qualifies for reduced priced lunches. What this means is that his FIRST lunch costs $0.40 and then he pays full price for any seconds ... or thirds. It is not unusual for Cam to spend $25 - $30 per week on school lunches.

I was a little surprised when I downloaded the current menus. Quite honestly, the breakfast menu (which Cam NEVER purchases from because it requires a different meal card than lunch and he can't find his breakfast card) looks pretty tasty ...

The lunch menu doesn't look too bad either ...

But after reading Mrs. Q's blog, something tells me that what looks and sounds really good on the menu might not be so tasty and appealing in real life.

Remember back in the day when we were kids? When schools had kitchens and meals were cooked in the kitchen and then served by blue-haired ladies on plastic trays with real stainless steel eating utensils?? The school lunch model has changed drastically since those days.

Cam's school does not have a kitchen. Prepackaged food is trucked in daily and heated in ovens or on steam tables. Nothing is cooked on site. Although there is a full lunch available, Cam tells me most kids purchase the "Grill" items (cheeseburger, hamburger, etc.) because they are easy to store in your locker to eat later *throws up a little in my mouth* 8th graders at the middle school have an 11:00AM lunch, and school doesn't let out until 3:30PM. They get hungry after lunch.

I tried to find nutritional information on Cam's school lunches (sadly, this was the first time I even considered looking for it) and guess what?? Although the menu tells me nutritional information is available on their website, it isn't. The nutritional information page links only to nutritional information for the elementary school lunches ... and that link takes you to a blank page. Hmmm ...

Silly me ... I assumed that a Federally funded school lunch program would serve nutritious meals to our school kids. Instead, it appears they are doing little more than filling kids' bellies ... with low fiber, high sugar/fat food "stuffs".

I have options. I can choose to make Cam take his lunch, but I cannot provide nutrition for the $0.40 he pays for a school lunch. It's too bad the school lunch program can't either ...

Mrs. Q on Annie & Burl Live


29 April 2010

Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo


I had a very different post planned for today, but then I had a very different day yesterday than I had planned.

The meeting with the school?? It went surprisingly well ... I say apprehensively ...

Cam is not in danger of retention for 8th grade. His grades have been so poor this year I was concerned grade retention was inevitable, but apparently Illinois has pretty low standards. Imagine that ...

The Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) found that Cam's behaviors were a manifestation of his disability, but that the behaviors were not a result of the failure to implement the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) nor did it change his placement. I disagree with the change of placement determination, however I am letting that go for the "greater good."

We now have a more appropriate IEP in place which includes fall placement in a private, therapeutic day school at the school district's expense. Although this was the "desired" outcome, it is really difficult for me to stomach.

Cam will still be an official student of the local high school - eligible to play sports, attend prom and all other school events - but will spend at least 90 days, and likely much longer, in a small (80 total students in the school) individualized educational program, with the ultimate goal of getting him back into the general education program at his "home" school.

Cam did participate in the MDR and the transitional IEP counseling. He was treated with the utmost respect and his input was valued.

The school district has asked that I wait to tell Cam about the placement change due to concerns regarding the remainder of his school year. The neuropsych agreed. Unfortunately, I feel I am betraying Cam's trust in doing so.

I need to come to grips with what high school will look like for Cam - at least until he can be transitioned into the general ed setting. There is a great deal of grief and loss in this process, and I'm just now beginning to navigate it.


I came home from Cam's meeting to a phone call on the job opportunity - I did not get the job.

As I shared with all of you, this was a public position that required I be transparent regarding my personal life ... and that is ultimately why I did not get the position. They were nice about it, saying, "Your life is in a dramatic transitional phase and our elders feel this could be detrimental to the overall fit for the position."

I cannot argue the logic, but I was (and am) disappointed.

It also clarifies priorities and pushes me a little more towards resolution of the "transitional phase."


I went back to work and received a phone call at 3:30. It was Cam's school principal and when I answered the phone I got, "Dana, we have a problem."

To make a long story short, Cam and two of his friends were chest bumping in the hallway at the end of the school day as they were gathering their things from their lockers. That time is called "advisory" and is technically still a part of the education day.

Cam was singled out, sent to the office. The other two boys walked away wondering why Cam was sent to the office for something they do every day.

Apparently there have been some issues surrounding 6th graders being "roughed up" in the hallways after school. The principal (by his own admission) had just spent time on the phone with an angry parent who was threatening to call the police if his child was "bullied" in the hallway again and had sent teachers into the hallway as additional security, then overreacted when Cam was sent to his office.

The end result? What should have been a verbal warning to all THREE boys turned into the principal telling Cam he was being suspended for the day. Yes - I am serious. And before any of you insist there must be more to the story, there isn't. I spent a great deal of time on the phone with the principal who admitted he overreacted due to having a "bad day."

The problem? Although the principal rescinded the suspension, Cam is refusing to return to school today if it means he has to talk to the principal and the principal insists on talking to Cam so that he can apologize. Cam isn't ready to hear the apology. Stalemate anyone?


28 April 2010

One of Those People


I confess ... I am one of those people.

When I get one of those "URGENT! This is very important‏" emails with instructions like:

"Do not open any message with an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,' regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which 'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer."

... and then tells me ...

"I checked Snopes, and it is for real. Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP."

I march my happy ass over to Snopes (a great urban legend resource if you have been living under a rock for 10 years are not familiar) and check for myself. 99% of the time Snopes will indicate it is an urban legend, which was true in this case.

Back in the day, I used to send emails to people telling them they were spreading urban legends but soon learned no one likes a smarty-pants. Now I just read, confirm and delete. I figure they were just trying to help out - why piss spit in their Cheerios.

I also have issues with those puzzle type emails. I got this one today:

I can't help myself. I.MUST.FIGURE.IT.OUT! Fortunately, this one was fairly easy to decipher, but I've been know to spend an hour or two a few minutes trying to figure out the system - not giving up until I've solved the puzzle. I just have to know how it's done.

I wonder what it's like to be one of those people who get these and say, "Cool! Wonder how he does that?" and then just let it go. Ahhh ... the joys of a life where puzzles don't have to be solved!

Anyone else out there that does this? C'mon! I know I'm not the only one!


27 April 2010



I've got a guest post up on Tim Wise's "Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black".

Just click the pic to find me today and every Tuesday ...


26 April 2010

Send in the Good Karma Fairies


I've got an "exciting" week ahead. This morning I am off to the orthopedist to see if he can figure out what's going on with my knee. I'm hoping this isn't a deterioration of the microfracture surgery I had done in 2004, but I've got a sneaking suspicion it might be just that.

This was not a fun surgery. It involved a great deal of pain and a long (6-8 weeks on crutches, 6 months of physical therapy) recovery time. I really don't want to experience that again ...

*UPDATE* I walked out of the orthopedist with a cortisone shot, a prescription for physical therapy and a 6-week follow-up appointment. I got to hear the "A"-word (arthritis - which makes me feel ancient) but hopefully this plan of action will keep me out of the surgical suite. This was the "best" possible outcome I could have had for this visit. I am thrilled. No! Really!


Wednesday is Cam's Manifestation Determination and Individualized Education Plan Review. This will likely be a 4-hour plus meeting assuming the school district is prepared ... which has never happened in the past.


Still no news on the job interview. Several people have told me the process is often long and drawn out, and that I shouldn't be too concerned about the delay. Waiting is always difficult.

I'll keep y'all updated and will try not to make this an aches and pains blog, although some of you might argue it always has been an aches and pains blog *grin*


25 April 2010

Sunday Secret



23 April 2010

Friday Wrap-Up


Have you noticed there hasn't been a meme here in a while? Well, unless you consider the Sunday Secrets a meme, which I guess they technically are.

Occasionally I re-evaluate the blog to make sure it isn't getting stale, boring and predictable. It's easy to fall into the trap of letting someone else do the writing for you (i.e. memes). It's a heck of a lot easier than trying to come up with ideas on your own.


Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I had a job interview on Wednesday. This has been the most extensive and intrusive job interview I've ever experienced.

I definitely have the skills necessary for success in this position, but it is also a position with a very public face. The process began last week with a 45-minute phone interview.

I did well enough in the phone interview to be selected to participate in the short essay phase of the process - eleven questions that included some very personal inquiries that required a great deal of transparency when answering.

My answers earned me the opportunity for a face-to-face interview on Wednesday. I was the first interview of the remaining candidates and knew I had to set the bar high.

The challenge? Unlike a "traditional" job, there can be no secrets here. There is no division between "work Dana" and "private Dana." It's difficult to sell yourself when you need to insure all of your warts are exposed. This position, should I get it, allows me to truly make a difference in the world and dishonesty (or half-truths) would certainly eliminate me from the pool of viable candidates.

I should hear today if I was selected to move forward into the panel interview.


If you've been reading me for a while you know that I've been lucky enough to meet several bloggers. Those meeting have always required I travel to them. This week I had lunch with a blogger who has been reading me for quite some time and, along with his family, has become a friend.

He was traveling north this week and made a special effort to stop in Podunk. I don't know if y'all realize this but Podunk is a bit off the beaten path. There was something very special about having someone make the effort to come here, to meet me, and the meeting was wonderful.

I have yet to be disappointed with a single blogger meet up, and something tells me I never will. I have some of the best readers!


Favorite photos from my Project 365 blog this week?


22 April 2010

To Hug Or Not To Hug?


Hi! My name is Dana and I am a hugger.

*everyone chime in* Welcome Dana!

I haven't always been this way. It's something that seems to have taken over my life in the last 5 years or so. I've never thought much about the transition from non-hugger to hugger, it just sort of happened.

When Annie and Burl did a hugging story on their show a while back (if you aren't listening to them on Blog Talk Radio, you are missing out) discussing Jeff Ondash, a serial hugger who set a world record for most hugs in a 24-hour period - 7,777 - I started wondering what it was that sent me off the hugging deep end.

I'll admit it, hugging is a bit selfish on my part. It makes me feel good. My hope is that it makes the huggee feel good too, but I am all too aware of the creepy crawlies that occur when you are NOT a hugger and are assaulted in the arms of family, friends and strangers.

I had one of those awkward "to hug or not to hug" moments yesterday. For the first time in the almost three years that I have been blogging, a blogger - the elusive WE'RE DOOMED - came to Podunk to meet up with me! When we got out of our vehicles, he held out his hand offering it in a handshake, and I said, "Oh, I think we need to hug," and proceeded to do just that.

Based on his "posture" during the hug, I think that was a safe move on my part, but it could have just as easily gone the other way. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than giving a hug and getting feedback (only shoulders touching, huggee doing everything they can to not have full-frontal contact, the squishy arm sling, the gratuitous shoulder pat, etc.) that let's you know you've committed hugging sin.

Speaking of hugging sin, do y'all know about side-hugs? I had never heard of side-hugs until getting involved in church again. Apparently full-frontal hugs can go from friendly to sensual in the blink of an eye, therefor they are BANNED in many youth ministries and have been replaced with side-hugs with only shoulder-to-shoulder contact. Odd ...

Anyway, do tell! Are you are hugger?


21 April 2010

Ash Cloud


I've been in the midst of a disturbance on the internets. It's kind of like being a 747 at Heathrow Airport - an ash cloud overhead, grounding me from my normal flight pattern.

Now, I've been caught up in these before, but never with someone who touched so many corners of my cyberworld. When it has happened in the past, it was easy enough to just stop visiting a blog ... and that was the end of that. But this one? This one is much, much different.

This one touches Twitter, Facebook, the majority of blogs I read and a few other of my cyber haunts. It reaches outside of the cyber barrier. It hurts my heart. Yes, it bothers me, and it bothers me a great deal.

I am used to ruffling feathers. Although sometimes intentional (Hey! I'm not going to lie!), it is most often done without malice ... as was the case this time.

What's odd about this was that I was never angry or upset. I was frustrated that I couldn't seem to explain my side of things in a way that was beneficial to the relationship, and I was hurt when my apology went unrecognized, wondering how those words were interpreted. Did I say something wrong again, or am I just not worth the effort. But angry? Upset? Not ever even a little bit.

I feel guilty every time I comment or show up somewhere that I know this person visits wondering if my actions will be interpreted as something other than what they are - me trying to keep in touch with a friend who just happens to be a friend to us both.

I edit myself. I shy away from situations where I feel my presence might be misinterpreted or unwelcome. I try to make sure I don't put myself in a predicament where someone has to choose between the two of us because I'll feel horrible when I'm not the one chosen.

And I often wonder if this was the point all along. Maybe the intent was for me to take it personally - a very successful plan to make sure I felt just as bad as this person did when they felt wronged. Or maybe I just never mattered as much as I thought I did. Maybe they were just being nice out of some sense of obligation or good manners and I fell for it. Or maybe ...

Maybe I've missed the point entirely. I just don't know. And maybe I'll never know.

So readers, here is the dilemma. What do you do when this happens? I mean, this might as well have been my neighbor down the street as so much of our cyber worlds collide.

I don't want this to be a "they should know you better" comment fest either. You are hearing only one side of the story (and not even very much of that) and if I know anything about the other side of this story, it's that I probably know nothing about the other side of the story.

What would you do. Would you just stop visiting places you both frequent? Would you edit yourself on social media? Is there some sort of "They were here first" or "They were friends first" cyberworld protocol? How would you handle the continuous, daily, unresolved (at least for me - the other person may very well have resolution) conflict with respect and grace?


20 April 2010

I'm Not Here


Just click to find me today and every Tuesday ...


18 April 2010

Sunday Secret



16 April 2010

Friday Wrap-Up - Life Lesson Edition


I haven't had a week like this in a long time ... thank goodness! To steal a phrase from Maggie, it was a CRAPTACULAR week! I suppose I should have verified the definition of that word before using it. Or I could just go with the assumption that it is a compound word. CRAPPY + SPECTACULAR = CRAPTACULAR. My math skill are much better than my written language skills.


If you've been reading me this week, you know that I've got a Manifest Determination Review to prepare for. The date is now firm (April 28th - and we all know how much I like my dates to be firm) and I can begin to build my case. Although I was initially quite concerned about this meeting (and still am from a perspective of how we got here) I am now looking forward to the process!

I know that sounds a little goofy, but I have something going into this meeting that I've never had before - knowledge! Not only do I know exactly what to expect (and how to stop the review should they deviate from the process) but I've been researching how school district personnel prepare for these meetings - what information they are likely to present to sway the decision their way.

It's an opportunity for me to use my paralegal degree/skills and although I truly wish I wasn't using them for a situation involving Cam, I am grateful that I realized just how much "power" I do have in this situation if I just assert myself.

Maybe this was a life lesson in disguise?


I had to trade in my plate for a serving platter yesterday. What?? Well, I had a little more added to my plate and all of the things that need dealing with began to fall off, so I traded the proverbial plate in for the proverbial platter!

I've got a bit of a bum knee. I had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee about 6 years ago (after a significant softball injury). It has been much better than it was before the surgery, but never quite 100%.

The past two weeks, my knee has taken on a life of it's own. In fact, it seemed to be supporting some alien within. I couldn't ignore it any longer and went to my family physician ... who took one look at it, wrote a Rx for an anti-inflammatory (dosed through a topical patch - my first experience with that), and referred me to an orthopedist. Great!

I'm having to focus on myself - my healing - and I find that bothersome.

Another life lesson?


I'm in week 2 of my participation in the 2010 ABL Fantasy Baseball League and I'd just like to state - publicly - that I am NOT a gracious loser? I don't like to lose - so much so that I usually won't even play a game if I don't believe I have a fighting change at winning. In an attempt to work on my fear of failure, I decided to participate in this Fantasy Baseball League.

Here's the deal. I know how to play baseball. I know the rules. I know how to keep a score book (yes, the "old fashion" way). I know how to figure batting averages. I know there is an American League and a National League. And I can probably tell you the mascots of each team.

But I don't follow professional baseball players. I can't tell you who is on which team. I can't tell you who has the best batting average in the National League. I can't name any starting pitchers for any of the teams in Major League Baseball. Hell, I can't even tell you which team is an American League team and which team is a National League team. This puts me at a significant disadvantage.

Let's just say I'm not handling this fear of failure very well. I'm ready to quit rather than deal with feeling like the laughing stock of the Fantasy League. I know that no one cares that I'm a LOSER not doing well. They are focused on winning, not on berating the LOSER causing anyone else to lose.

Yes, I can see this might be a life lesson too.


Here are my two favorite photos of the week from my Project 365 blog. I can't seem to find a life lesson on this topic *grin*


15 April 2010

Daily Ethics


*NOTE* When reading this post, be aware that my use of of words like "we" and "most people," are self inclusive. If you leave a comment accusing me of being judgmental, just know that I am judging myself first.


I am fascinated with ethics. I think it's due to the fact that most people I know would consider themselves ethical, most people have a relatively strong sense of right and wrong, yet most people do things every day that that really blur those ethical lines.

I wrote a post a while back discussing when it is that being thrifty crosses the line into theft. It was interesting to see where people drew the line between saving money and stealing from merchants. It became clear that theft is subjective.

I recently read an article on CNN.com (originally published at RealSimple.com) titled 10 ethical questions, answered These aren't Enron type ethical questions - these are the little ethical questions that crop into our daily lives. I thought it might be fun to compare my ethics to those of the "experts" and to see where all of you fall on the ethics scale as well.

Q: Is it considered stealing to take pens from a bank? What about extra napkins from a fast-food restaurant?

A: While grabbing a pen isn't necessarily considered stealing, you should just ask the teller if you have any doubts. That said, one pen is OK, but enough to stock your home office isn't (the same goes for napkins). A good rule of thumb: If something feels sneaky, then it probably isn't a good idea.

I've heard people claim that merchants expect loss from actions like these, or that the free advertising they get from you using that pen or those napkins is worth far more than the items cost the merchant. Although I understand that rationalization, I think it's just that - rationalization of questionable actions.

Q: Is it unfair to move into better (open) seats at a sporting event or a concert?

A: There's no harm in seeing if you can move into a better viewing position. But before you do, make sure there's no posted policy against it. And if an usher asks to see your tickets, be prepared to move back to your original seats without argument.

This is one of my pet peeves and I can't seem to get past the idea that if you haven't paid for it (better seating at an event) you shouldn't be using it. I don't like their answer on this one. I think it's way off base.

Q: Is it OK to fantasize about someone else when I'm with my partner?

A: Any couples therapist would say that fantasies are normal, but they can become problematic if they are the only way a person can achieve intimacy with his or her spouse -- or, of course, if they lead to actual infidelity. As long as your George Clooney or Angelina Jolie musings are occasional, enjoy them. (Face it: Your chances with either of them aren't all that great, anyway.)

I'm not so sure this is as much an ethical question as it is a moral question. Relationships are one of those areas when the rules change depending on the parties involved. What is "ethical" in one relationship may be "unethical in another.

Q: If someone tells an offensive joke, is it my responsibility to speak up about it?

A: Letting such humor pass without comment not only permits the teller to be offensive to you and other people but also sends the message that you're OK with hearing such bunk. Unless the joke crosses the line into harassment territory, there's no need to beat the person up in response. A simple "I enjoy a good joke now and then, but, you know, yours was pretty offensive" will suffice.

I had this happen at work not too long ago. One of my co-workers is an Obama hater, and she's not one who is able to separate politics from the person. She forwarded me - via company email - a "joke" about Obama that was overtly racist. I was offended by it on many levels, so much so that I took the issue to HR. That was a bit passive-aggressive on my part and I should have handled it more directly as the authors suggest. This is one of those situations where inaction can appear to be support.

Q: My boss asked me to cover for him on his expense report by saying I was at a meal when I wasn't. Should I do it?

A: Your boss put you in a miserable position. Signing your name to the report makes you just as culpable should the misdeed be discovered. But if you stand up to him, you could find yourself out of a job. Bear in mind that a boss who would put you in such a predicament will probably do it again. I can't condone putting your name on the report, but the choice is yours.

I am fairly confident I would speak up with at least a, "But I wasn't there" and I'd like to say that I would then refuse to do this, but I'll admit that if I thought my job was on the line, I'd compromise my ethics.

It isn't the big ethical dilemmas that cause us grief - it's the little things - the small, decisions we must make daily that really define who we are. I have to work to do - how 'bout you?


14 April 2010

Half Empty Or Half Full?


Yesterday was one of those days. One where the highs were high and the lows were low. Of course highs are usually high and lows are usually low, but it sounded good when I wrote it.

The chaos actually started Monday. We had a "situation" at work late Friday afternoon. Our payroll administrator gave her 2-week notice. Everyone knew she was retiring this year (she's been with the company 20 years), but that wasn't supposed to happen until June and the thought was that she would give at least 8-weeks notice. Instead, she decided to give back what she been given.

Understand that although I work for a company that employs more than 500 people, job openings are few and far between. People stay at my company forever and the company doesn't let anyone go - even when performance is well below acceptable. I was looking forward to the payroll administrator job vacancy - it's a job I'm qualified for and was a significant promotion.

Unfortunately, my employer didn't announce the vacancy and decided to promote the receptionist to the payroll administrator job. Yes ... the RECEPTIONIST. Now, I understand business and business decisions. I get that sometimes people who are less qualified for promotions are given them for the greater good of the company. But this decision was so "out there" that it really bothered me ... and I went to my supervisor (the CFO) Tuesday morning and voiced my frustration.

The result? I was told in a round about way to get over and get back to my job. The decision was made. That's the way the company works. Get used to it. Not what I wanted to hear but at least it clarified where I stood.

Then lunch rolled around ...

A few weeks ago I applied for a job with an employer that I've wanted to work for for quite some time. A phone interview was scheduled for yesterday at 12:30. The 20 minute phone interview extended to 35 minutes and went extremely well. I moved into round 2 of the interview process which requires I submit answer to 10 short essay questions (communication - written and verbal - is a HUGE component of this position).

This development more than made up for the disappointment of the "underhanded" promotion I just dealt with. Although I am in no way assured of getting the position, it was validation that I really don't have to just "get over" unethical treatment from my current employer - that I have skills that are valuable and desirable.

Then came the afternoon ...

I received an email from Cam's school principal - Cam was given in-school suspension (ISS) for too many office referrals. Last week he received 6 office referrals - 2 for talking/laughing in class and 4 for not doing classwork during the class period (not disrupting the class, just not doing anything while being quiet). An accumulation of 5 office referrals necessitates an ISS.

Normally, this would not be an issue, however it was the 11th day this school year that Cam has received either ISS or OSS (out of school suspension) and in the land of IEPs and special education, this is a magic number. Once a special education student has served 11 days of suspension, Federal law mandates a "Manifestation Determination" hearing be held.

In a nutshell, this is a hearing to determine if the behavior that has caused the ISS and/or OSS for 10 consecutive, or cumulative, days is a manifestation of the child's disability. This is - and isn't - a big deal. This is not a hearing in front of the board of education, but rather one held with the IEP team, but the results of the hearing (either a yes or a no) determine the next steps that must be taken, and those can be as simple as IEP modifications, or as significant as a change in school placement.

Add to that pressure a short time-frame to prepare -10 days - and I'm under the gun to perform. I've decided to handle the Manifestation Determination hearing on my own (with support from my parent advocate and Cam's neuropsych), but should the results of the hearing be "No" (the behavior is NOT a manifestation of the disability), I will appeal and I will need to hire an attorney. Not sure how I'll make that happen, but it has to.

So, how has your week been? Has the new moon phase created chaos for you?? I can blame it on the moon, right? Than I don't have to take any responsibility ...


13 April 2010

Guest Blogging


If you *click* it, they will come ...

... and it's the only way you'll find me today!


12 April 2010



Quick little blurb before I get started. Beginning Tomorrow, and every Tuesday until she takes my privileges away, I will be posting over at Real Live Lesbian. Lynn, likely in a Sunday morning haze, offered me a weekly gig . Not to worry - no ego growth here! Lynn recently started a new job and is running a little short on blogging time. The gig gives me an opportunity to write to a different audience and will hopefully introduce you guys to some new blogs/bloggers that you might have missed.


Dreams. I don't care what parents say, they all have them for their child(ren). Sure, you'll hear a lot of, "I don't care what he does or who he loves, I just want him to be happy," but guess what? They're lying ...

Here's the deal. As parents, we do want our children to be happy, but we want them to be happy by our standards. What I mean when I say "I don't care what he does or who he loves, I just want him to be happy," is really, "I don't care what Cam does (when he finishes his bachelor's degree) or who he loves (that will always treat him with dignity and respect), I just want him to be happy (meeting my personal and professional expectations)."

With this latest round of neuropsych testing, and some great discussions with a couple of people that I served with at the food bank (a husband/wife team - husband is the principal at the county juvenile detention center - wife works in administration for a technical trade school) I realized that it was time for me to come to terms with the idea that Cam might not follow a "traditional" educational path.

Don't get me wrong, I expect him to do his best in whatever path he follows, but I had a moment this weekend where I realized that his best might not (and should not) equate to my best.

I think as parents we all want our kids to do better than we did. In my case that means I want Cam to go to college after he completes high school rather than "wasting" his life, waiting until he is 42 to complete a college degree (like I did).

But what if that is not Cam's dream? What if Cam just isn't ready to make the transition to college out of high school? Is it right for me to bombard him with my expectations, thus setting him up for failure?

Yes, Cam needs nurturing and direction. But I think, more than that, Cam needs to see there are choices. My job as a parent is to insure he has the skills to make good choices (the best ones for him), and the skills to recover from the bad choices he will inevitably make.

It's difficult to let go of those parental dreams - to come to terms with the fact that a child might not do what you think is best for them but rather what they think is best for themselves - and to then truly support their dreams.

Damn teenagers ...


11 April 2010

Sunday Secret



09 April 2010

Friday Wrap-Up


I'm guest posting again today, this time over at Lynn's (Real Live Lesbian's) place. Go! Read! Well ... after you are done here. Priorities and all you know ...

Actually, I hijacked her blog because she forgot to rescind my access many moons ago. Let that be a lesson to any of the rest of you who dare to offer me a chance to guest blog! I feel like I've spent more time this week writing elsewhere than I have here ... maybe because I have!


I had one of those moments this week where a blog post I wrote - one that I'd have never guessed would get much, if any, of a reaction - had a very unintended (and hurtful) consequence. I don't like being hurt by anyone, but it's even worse when I am the one doling out the hurt, especially when it's unintended.

After attempting to justify my position and explain why my post shouldn't have been hurtful, I pulled my head out of my ass and did what I should have done from the beginning - I apologized.

Unfortunately, I think the idiocy of my initial attempts at justification outweighed the sincerity of my apology, not because my apology was at all insincere, but because my idiocy was immense. It now appears that what I thought was a promising friendship is now likely damaged beyond repair.

I don't like life lessons like that ...


Remember Friday Fill-Ins???

And here we go ....

1. In 1992, I was finishing up my 12-month tour in Korea and learning that the best cure for a hangover was a shot of tequila with a Mountain Dew chaser.

2. There is nothing worse than fake laughter and smiles.

3. Do what you will, with what you find, where you find it.

4. Free to be me is where I'd like to be.

5. The trees and flowers are telling me nothing you silly! Trees and flowers can't talk!.

6. Spring in Podunk is the winter that just keeps going on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to grocery shopping (it was payday yesterday), tomorrow my plans include volunteering at the food bank with Cam and Sunday, I want to well not really want to, but have to, got to husband's house to borrow some tools to fix the headlight on my car ... again!


Favorite photos from my Project 365 blog this week?


07 April 2010

Random Dozen


... because I'm functioning on very little sleep and would prefer to not have to think too much ...

1. Define a great relationship.

I cannot begin to tell you how ironic this question is at this particular moment in my life.
In my perfect world a great relationship is built on communication, trust, mutual respect, understanding, empathy, loyalty and unconditional love - communication being the foundation of all of those other qualities and likely the most difficult component to master.

2. Why is it called a "drive-through" if you have to stop? (Real question: What was the last food/drink you purchased at a drive-through?)

Let's see, last Sunday morning (laundry day), McDonald's #1 (Egg McMuffin) with a large coffee - 1 Splenda, 2 creams. They like me at McDonald's because I know what I want when I get to the speaker and I answer all of their questions (i.e. "What would you like in your coffee?") before they even have to ask them. I take great pride in my drive-through efficiency. Matt-Man would be so proud!

3. As I type this, the Butler Bulldogs are getting ready to play in the NCAA championship game. Every Hoosier is hysterical about this except me. So in honor of the Bulldogs ... what is your favorite breed of dog? (I tried.)

I am partial to Golden Retrievers - loyal and loving - two of the qualities I look for in all relationships!

4. If you had to move to a state besides the one you currently live in, where would you move?

Probably Washington. The older I get the more I realize the value of family ... and I miss mine!

5. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

I was tempted to go for the "I wouldn't change anything because then I wouldn't be me" spiel, but the truth is there is one thing I really don't like about me and I believe it would have been a non-issue had my upbringing been different. I wish I had grown up receiving unconditional love.

I have grown so weary of feeling like I always have to "earn" love and friendship - wondering what it is I'll screw up "this time" that will push people away - always questioning if I really am deserving of love and friendship. I can't imagine (really - I can't) what it would be like to know and believe - without a doubt - that I was good enough.

6. Who's the funniest person you know?

In "real" life? Wow ... I don't know any people that I would describe as funny. If that's not telling, I'm not sure what is.

If we include know like in the blog sense know, I could easily say Jay. He regularly cracks me up not only in his blog posts, but on Twitter as well.

7. Did you get enough sleep last night?

No. Since moving into the apartment four months ago, insomnia has been my constant companion. I fall asleep fairly easy, but wake up three, four ... sometimes even more times each night. I cannot remember the last time I slept through even a 3-hour stretch of time.

8. What's the first thing you thought about this morning?

When I officially got out of bed, or the first time I woke up "in the morning" (2:13 AM)? When I got out of bed my first thought was COFFEE. At 2:13 AM I was considering ways I might be able to repair a situation that took an unexpected - and completely undesired - turn yesterday.

9. Grilled or Fried? --HONESTLY

Grilled ... with only a rare exception. I like my meat to taste like the meat it is, not the coating it's covered in.

10. Are you afraid of the dark?

Ummm ... I do have night-lights in all of my rooms.

11.When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Most of you already know this - my first career choice was an attorney. Then I had the silly notion that I could make a living in music performance. When reality smacked me up along side the head I changed my college major to engineering.

That worked until I dropped out of college, gave up on dreams and opted for practicality, focusing on a career in something I was actually good at - accounting.

Then I dared to dream again and considered a medical career but was too afraid I'd fail and let go of that dream. When I finally went back to college (at 40), I did pursue the initial dream (kind of) and completed my degree in paralegal studies. And where am I now? Back in my comfort zone doing something I'm good at (accounting) but have absolutely no passion for.

12. If you had one word to describe yourself , what would you choose?

Simple, as in childlike: exhibiting childlike simplicity and credulity; "childlike trust"; "dewy-eyed innocence"; "listened in round-eyed wonder" ... not simple as in dim-witted: lacking mental capacity and subtlety ... although some might disagree with that.


06 April 2010

I'm Not Here


I'm covering for Doc over at You Just Keep On Believing That. He took spring break and decided to be a slacker, getting a bunch of us to post for him.

Go! Now!! I'm writing about religion with a little different spin than you might expect!

Are you still here??


04 April 2010

Sunday Secret



02 April 2010

Friday Wrap-Up


Good Friday. I always thought that was kind of redundant - aren't all Fridays good? I suppose this one would be better if I had the day off, or even half the day off, but no! My (Catholic) employer doesn't recognize Good Friday for it's employees, but every single one of the "family" took today off.

This is actually kind of a funny story. My employer has a policy stating that sick time can only be taken in 4-hour increments and vacation can only be taken in 8-hour increments. Well, two years ago some YAHOO decided to complain that the only way they could take the entire day of Good Friday off was to take a full vacation day and that wasn't fair because everyone got paid for the half-day holiday. Can you see where this is going? That's right! My employer decided to make the day a full working day so that no one would "lose" a half-day vacation if they took it off. *grumble*


I've had an extra teen in my house most of this week (spring break). Cam's girlfriend - who lives about 50 miles from us - is visiting. She's splitting her time between our house and her cousin's (one of Cam's friends) house. I must say I think it's a bit odd that she spent her birthday (Wednesday) and will be spending Easter with us. I just can't imagine shipping my kid off - voluntarily - for their birthday and for a major holiday.

Not to worry, I made cupcakes (with candles) for her birthday and picked up an extra Easter basket for her ... but still ...


I'm going to be guest blogging over at You Just Keep On Believing That on Tuesday. Doc is going on vacation and recruited a handful of us to try to boost his stats entertain his readers while he is on vacation. I'll admit - I'm a wee bit nervous. The bar gets raised a bit when your words find their way to another blogger's home.


It was a mediocre week over at my Project 365 blog. I think I underestimated the commitment of a picture a day when I took that on. I'm a quarter of the way through the year and I feel like my photos should be getting better but instead I find they are ... mehhhh ...

*shrugs* Oh well, I guess I should take some pride in the fact that I have held true to posting a picture a day, right??