Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The best thing about making French bread on a weekend is French toast later in the week. Nice thick slices of French toast, with a custardy center, covered in syrup, tasty.
I have really been slacking off this winter. Very few of the things I planned to accomplish have been. I didn't go back to bed this morning, instead I practiced belly dancing and made a to do list.
I am a list person. My sister once asked me why I wasted my time making a list, why not just get up and start working. She is not a list person. Never, since time began, has a list person successfully explained the need for a list to a nonlist person.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Car pooling

I woke up this morning trying to decide if I should drive the two hours to watch my boys compete in a scholars bowl meet. I know a good parent wouldn't even question it they would just go, but I really didn't feel like a two hour drive. After going back to sleep and waking up at 10 I was thinking clearer. Why not ask somebody to car pool? I ran through the list of parents I usually see at these things and picked out a couple I wouldn't mind riding with.
The lady I ended up riding with was actually one of the grandmothers who go to most meets. She is a nice lady and we had a good car ride. When I first approached her with this idea we thought her husband would be going too. I was picturing myself relaxing in the back seat reading. Then her husband ended up staying home. Don't get me wrong the conversation was great and we stopped to eat at Cattleman's. I had a marinated chicken salad and a slice of apple pie with cinnamon ice cream. I just missed that extra reading time. Also a car ride is the perfect time to just let your mind wander. When I start doing that with somebody else I worry that they think I'm bored and feel the need to entertain me. How do you know if the other person agrees with this being a companionable silence?
By the way we took two teams and they took first and second place.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A lovely sunday

Has it really been six days since I posted last? The last few days have been busy, so I can excuse them. Before that though I just had trouble finding any private time to post. I work Friday and Saturday nights at the skating rink. Saturday morning I work at the post office.
Yesterday in between my two Saturday jobs I went and watched two of my sons play in a basketball tournament. They played really well, I was very proud of them.
In between ball games I finished up The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory. I have read that other readers have not enjoyed this one as much as The Other Bolyen Girl, but I really did like it. I can see that this one reads a little more like a history book. So if you are in the mood for something that feels like pure fiction this book may be disappointing. If like me you like a lot of history mixed in with your fiction this is a good read. Curiously I have criticized Jean M. Auel for doing the same thing I am defending Philippa for doing.
I think the Clan Of The Cave Bear series lost their appeal when she started adding in more historical fact and lost the flow of the story. If during a story you stop and say 'wow, she really did some research here.' you may as well be reading a history book.
I had a dinner party here this afternoon. That meant grocery shopping had to be squeezed in at some point. I had planned to go Friday morning, but I ended up babysitting and driving my number 2 sister home, (two hours one way) so that day was out. I left Saturday night around 11:30 for the 45 minute drive to the store. I made it back at 2:00 a.m., put up groceries and started the brisket. It cooked for 5 hours while I slept.
This morning I woke up and made bread dough so it could rise while I was at church. If I didn't teach Sunday School I may have skipped today. The house smelled so good this morning it was hard to leave. I really needed to clean up a little bit too, but decided to just rush through it later.
After church I gave the kids left over peanut butter/chocolate candy for breakfast, yeah, we're real nutritionists here, and started rushing through the cleaning and bread baking.
The bread turned out really good. It was French bread made with half stone ground wheat flour and half white flour. The brisket juice must have leaked out on the bottom of my oven, because by the time my guest showed up the house was filling with smoke and the fire alarm was blaring. We opened up all of the doors while they poured us all a glass of white wine.
The wine was actually the reason we were having dinner. Last month on our way home from Cripple Creek we stopped at a little shop to taste some wine. We split the cost of a bottle of riesling/Chardonnay from Colorado and decided to share it over dinner. This was the first day we all could get together to drink it. My number 1 sister (ranking is done purely by birth order)and her husband weren't with us on the trip, but I rarely have anything at my house without making sure they can make it. Not only is my sister my best friend they are the most fun couple I know.
The party turned out great. We ate and drank our white wine and another bottle of red my sister had picked up. We talked and laughed for hours. My mom and brother stopped by after we had already started eating, we had plenty of food so they fixed a plate and hung out with us. My brother brought me a wine journal, which we started filling out as soon as the table was cleared. After everybody had left there were some evening hours left with nothing left to do but relax. I am going to go in and start A handmaid's tale by Margaret Atwood.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Communal family

My sister is staying with us and suffering from a massive case of insomnia. We are reaping the rewards; my house has not been this clean in ages. I always imagined having someone else stay in our house with us would get on my nerves simply because I prefer to be alone. Actually it has been very pleasant. I have started getting up earlier to have some time to myself. This has made me more productive in general. I am trying to talk her into moving in with us permanently, but she wants me to move in with her instead. We are at an impasse.
I have always saw the benefits of building a separate houses all connected to a central kitchen and having my whole family move in with me. As the years go by I like the idea more and more. We are a close family so I believe it would work. Sure we would all get on each others nerves now and again. That would be the time to retreat into our separate little houses and lock the door to the kitchen.

Friday, February 17, 2006



I was determined not to use this only as a space to vent, but not that determined so let's go.
At the skating rink last week two boys got into a fight. The instigator of this fight is what I call a passive/aggressive bully. He hits kids when they aren't looking, lies, and tries to get people in trouble. He only fights kids smaller than him, and still usually loses.

He threw a hockey puck at the back of another kid's head. This other kid is sitting in a chair texting when he is hit. He then does what most jr. high boys would do and throws the puck back. The instigator then attacks him physically. He once again does what most boys would do and starts kicking the instigator's ass.
Now of course this is not the fault of the boy who threw the puck first or who threw the first punch. At first it was the fault of the other boy. The instigator's mother, we'll call her b.f.D.G., goes to the home of the first boy and starts to chew him out. Until his mother comes out and lines her out. Okay, she can't bully this kid, so who's fault will it be. Now it is the fault of another boy that was there. His parents are quiet immigrants who don't speak English.
He manipulated and intimidated this fight into existence from his seat. He could do this because he is a powerful gang leader. Most Saturday nights you will find him and his friends sitting at a small town skating rink texting girls. That is one lame ass gang.

Last night at a board meeting she told lied repeatedly, flat out making things up at some points. It came down to the fact that I was a horrible manager because I wouldn't kick out every kid that doesn't get along with her son. Luckily in a small town reputations will usually speak for themselves, so no one took her seriously. With people like her in town though it makes it hard for anyone to step out and try to help the youth, because it is just setting yourself up as a target.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Surprise party

My oldest son is in the eighth grade. Tomorrow is his birthday,and all the celebration he wants is to go to the movies. That part of him growing up is great. I'd rather go to the movies than have a party for a bunch of little kids any day. That said, I am still a little sad at him being to grown up to take cupcakes for school. The other night I was lying in bed remembering how when he was little he wanted the same dirt cakes with worms every year. The last few years he has just had me order pizza for his class at lunch time, but now he thinks he is even too old for that.
That night I decided I needed one more party before high school. I would make dirt cupcakes and surprise him at school. Tonight after everyone went to sleep I was frosting them. Wouldn't you know it he picked tonight to wake up and wander into the kitchen. "Those better not show up at school" He said with a scowl. Luckily I hadn't started adding the worms or dirt yet, those will still be a surprise.

Monday, February 13, 2006

'My kids are perfect'

We are in the middle of an epidemic in my parts. Since time began there have always been a few of those parents with that 'my children can do no wrong' mentality, but over the last 15 years it has infected an increasing number of people around here. Personally I would rather see the avian flu.
My next statement is just a personal opinion that is based on having been a child and knowing several children. So if it is totally wrong based on your own children then you, of course, are the exception. Any parent who believes their children would never lie to them is a fool. There are ranges of lies. From the 'honestly I didn't steal your car and transport drugs' to 'yeah, I put the laundry in the dryer already' then running to do it as soon as the phone is hung up. Personally, I still use that second one today. Somewhere in this range are most people. Oddly, the children of these infected parents are usually at the far end of the lying scale, the scary end.
On a day to day basis it doesn't bother anyone else. Let them live in their delusional world if it makes them happy. Oh, but when something goes wrong it can't be their kid's fault so they start looking for someone to blame.
The problem with that is that they always seem to key in on kids who don't have the family structure to support them. To shut them up society is happy to let the children of immigrants or disfunctional families take the blame. Very sad, and wrong.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

An Adam's reference

A proud parenting moment happened last night.

Son: "Time is an illusion, bedtime doubly so."

Yes, I'm raising him right.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I have said many times that teachers are underpaid. Until this year though I don't think I really meant it. One day a friend of mine and I figured up what she made an hour. We took into consideration all of the time she spent getting projects ready at home and grading papers. Hourly it came to a little over two dollars an hour. Whenever a certain rush regurgitator would start talking about teachers being overpaid I would bring up this example. Still I don't think I had ever stopped to look at the profession itself enough to really mean it.
Over the last few weeks other school board members and I have been talking to teachers from different districts about what makes a good administrator. Most of them have said something to the effect that what they need is a leader and a motivator to help them to continue to grow and become better teachers. How many of us would think to say that is what kind of a boss we want? I have much more respect for the profession of educators now than I did a month ago.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Getting up early sucks

I made it three miles tonight. That is how far I usually walked before I got sick. This is the first time I made it that far since then. My back hurt by the time I got home.
I am not a morning person. On school mornings I get up knowing I can climb back in bed after the children are off. Tomorrow I have to get up at 6:30 while they sleep late. School is having a late start in the morning and I have to go to Leoti, figures.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Random thoughts

I am glad the weekend is over so I can rest. For people who work weekends Mondays are great. Today I made cupcakes that looked like kittens. They were very cute. I watched both of my sons compete in a scholars bowl match, they did an excellent job.
On Thursday I took a six hour trip, one way, with the rest of the school board. We stayed the night in Wichita on the way. Not a good place to stop for the night, we still had to wake early and finish the drive, Emporia would have been much more sensible. I was surprised at how much fun I had on this trip.
My sister and I gave a tea party for my nieces birthdays on Sunday. It was fun. I always forget how tired 15 little girls can make a person.
I didn't really get excited about the game this weekend. I usually do even if I don't really care who wins. I didn't even make any food. My son made his chicken wings, which rock, so we didn't starve. Oddly, I didn't even drink a beer.