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Showing posts from January, 2008

Lifestyles Of The Rich & Political

Even though I am a registered independent, I've been naturally drawn to most of the Democratic Presidential Candidate coverage. Don't get me wrong, I pay attention to the Republicans, but I go out of my way to build knowledge on the Dems.

Overall, I feel disenchanted with politics in America. I just can't envision the Republicans offering up something new and progressive, unless it's helping the rich get richer -for example, "i'll do away with income tax & the I.R.S.". To me the overwhelming majority of the candidates are all the same, Good Ol' Boys, with a small tweak in political philosophy in a desperate attempt to set them apart.

I happened upon this web article on the candidates lifestyles. It delves into their homes, net worth, and cars of choice. I still haven't figured out why I am so surprised by the information, but I guess it's just very telling when you see it in black and white.

If Bloomberg decides to enter the race, he'll m…

What Makes Me Different Vol. 4

So, aiming for the 25th of every month to do my W.M.M.D. But alas, it's January and I am bringing it back, just a few days late. You'll forgive me right?

What Makes Me Different, Or So I think!
I would rather receive a bouquet of wildflowers than roses.

My biggest distraction at night is Bravo's reality television shows.

I still feel like the last 2 Presidential Elections were UNFAIRLY won.

I feel an overwhelming sense of nurturing when I cook for others.

My good intentions are sometimes overshadowed by my lack of motivation.

I am currently volunteering as a Board Member for the year in MOMs Club.

I yearn for a President that is progressive and will be the J.F.K. of my generation.

I borrow cookbooks from the library before deciding if I must absolutely own them.

I want to become proficient in Bento Lunch making before Sj starts school in August.

I love watching J and Sj dancing to the Ariel Soundtrack, it makes me smile to see the choreography they have down!

I've become conte…

One Month Down- Conscious Spending!

Part of my resolve for the New Year is to become a conscious spender. Eek. I think it was back in November, I started loosely throwing around the term, budget. I still don't know if a budget fits into our lifestyle, but an outline for spending sure does. Honestly, we took a look at the money coming in, obligatory payments, and where the rest of our money goes.

We definitely love to eat in our family, sometimes we categorize ourselves as foodies, which ultimately leaves us spending top dollar for our groceries. We've done a fabulous job this month of eating home. I have a difficult time preparing all of our meals at home when J is out of town (which was 13 days out of 29 so far). But I have stuck to easy to prepare foods or meals that will stretch over a few days, like the Corn Chowder.

Then, we come to days like this past week. My freezer has been the go-to for lunch and dinner. Sj had waffles for lunch yesterday before school. Our dinner this evening consisted of fresh steamed …

Taking The Plunge

My decision happened rather abruptly, although I would not go as far to say that it happened on a whim. I am hardly the type to make life altering changes on a whim, but I suppose it could happen. After spending loads of time visiting elementary schools for Open Enrollment, I realized my time had come. I decided to apply to go back to school.

I mulled it over in my head for a few days. I perused the University Of Colorado, School of Education website in the middle of the night. I looked over the check list for Graduate School requirements and realized there was close to nothing holding me back from getting my Masters Degree in Literacy. The application deadline was February 1st and I decided to apply, oh around January 14th. Two weeks, plenty of time. Luckily, in this whole decision came the good fortune of not having to have taken any entrance exams, if you had a minimum G.P.A. Thank goodness, surprisingly I did.

I've considered Grad School many times over the years, but I never re…

Healing Mountains

I always seem to connect something small to a larger picture. Generally speaking, I feel like our universe seems to speak to us in ways we can choose to tune in or tune out. Obviously I prefer to tune in, read in between the lines, so to speak. Maybe it's silly or maybe I'm onto something.

Last week proved to be a very difficult week for us. We were dealing with loss and on top of it our family was separated.

Thursday night a friend called and unexpectedly invited us to the mountains (Winter Park) over the weekend. I imagine with out that call we would have never taken the opportunity to pick up and get out of town ourselves. Although, the mountains proved to be exactly what we needed.

We laughed a ton playing Apples To Apples. A game, I had never played before, but am tempted to run out and buy this very second. We cooked and ate together. Sj and J skied two days in a row, how amazing for them! I knit to my hearts content. Sj played and laughed with GL and her good friend, whom…

Is That My Name?

The mountains are calling...and we are coming running....

Declining Moral Fiber

From that title, you may be thinking I am on my soapbox, having been recently converted by a Presidential candidate some where further right than normal, maybe Huckabee or Romney? Don't worry folks, I am headed in a completely different direction.

This week our family was touched by a tragic accident that resulted in the loss of life. This person was living out a childhood dream, living life passionately. Millions of people don't seize the opportunity to live their life in such a manner. Maybe this is where my inner turmoil comes into play.

Often during times of crisis, I find myself turning to the web, for coverage. When I happened upon articles in various forums from reputable newspapers to message boards, I honestly was appalled and even haunted by the words written by people. I wonder why on earth would people go out of their way to write hateful and slanderous things about someone that has passed away?

I believe it's a reflection of the state of our society and even more…

Door to Door Bounty

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We've been having Door To Door Organics deliver produce to our home now for about 8 months. It's always a mini celebration in our house the day the box arrives! We like to do the vege dance, we open the bounty, take a close look at everything and enjoy it's beauty. Best of all, I walk straight past the produce department when I enter the grocery store.

In the past we were not exclusive organic fruit and vege eaters. We preferred to buy organic, but quite honestly sometimes the price just drove me away from particular organic items. With D2D we eat about 95% organic produce now, we occasionally have a craving or recipe that needs an item we didn't get in our delivery. Most weeks, we make due with what we have and avoid running to the market for a lemon and walking out $50 bucks later. I hate that, it drives me bonkers.

Here's the deal with D2D, you pick what size box you want, from itty bitty to large. If you want fruit, veges, or mixed. Then you decide how often, onc…

Sensationalism

Two young talented men lost their lives yesterday. They were both 28. The media has already caught wind of both tragedies and are running with it. To me, lost in our media craved world are the stories of their life. Talent, vision, passion, loving what you do.

May their passions shine on in their legacies.


Directed by H.L.

Politically Charged Good Music

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I'm not endorsing anyone at this point, but just passing along some information on a local event that is backing Obama, whom I consider to be a pretty damn good contender. Free @ Fox Theater, Boulder.


We Need Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a National Holiday. I've seen banners and heard comments reducing this day to a free pass from school or work. Maybe to some people it is. I believe today more than ever we need MLK's words to re-ignite the passion our country has lost under our current Presidential Administration.

Martin Luther King spoke to Civil Rights and unrest in our country in the 1950's and 1960's, but his message is universal. I feel his words offer the inspiration to bring our society out of the darkness we have succumb.

Here are five quotes from Martin Luther King Jr, that I feel speak to our current national unrest. What a brilliant man that truly deserves the honor he has been bestowed every third Monday in January.

"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

"The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small…

Confessions of a Yankee

My husband and I moved to Colorado way back in 1994, we are just a smidgen away from being considered natives. That's a joke really, people in Colorado take their "native status" way too far. I'll always be proud to represent New York. My girls on the other hand will have the Colorado native badge to wear proudly, if they choose to.

So, what do two Yankee parents do on a wintery Colorado Sunday? Why, they take their chitlins down to the National Western Stock Show. For a moment, I almost had the foresight to back out, but I decided to not let my preconceived notions ruin our experience. To top it off, I have a slight anxiety issue with large crowds, I prefer to avoid them, but yet again, I let it go.

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. Of course, I knew there would be lots of animals of the stock variety, cowboys, belt buckles, ironed Wranglers, plaid shirts, big ol' hats, and some pungent odors to fill the air. I knew I had nothing in my closet to even try to …

The Sauce Cravings

In the summertime when all my windows are wide open, my neighbors will sometimes ask me what I have cooking. I laugh and tell them I am making a pot of sauce. It's always when my Le Creuset is filled to the brim they can smell the aromas out my kitchen window, wafting into their yards even across the street. I believe it's the love that goes into the process of making sauce, that sends delight through the air.

Growing up, my mom made sauce what seemed like every Sunday or pretty darn close to it. The tradition in our family is to start making the sauce and meatballs in the late morning, so dinner can be on the table by 2 pm. Recipes are another thing. My mother grew up watching her mother make the sauce and meatballs every week. In turn, I grew up watching my mother make it. Who needs a recipe when life gives you the experience, the first hand knowledge. I have the closest thing to a recipe written down, but you won't find any exact measurements. It's basically an outli…

Two Blocks of Wood & Some Rope

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Santa really did a good job this year. Of course the blocks of wood and rope weren't an instant hit, with things like a scooter fighting for play time. But Sj came around and they are a blast. Mom likes to use them, too. They take me right back to my Romper Room days, but mine were green plastic.Sj is still working on mastering the art of wood block walking, so for now I've encouraged her to use them on their side. Of course in about a day or two, she'll be walking with them in the more adventurous way!

My Little Explorer

In the past I have inferred that my second child is sprinkled with a bit of mischievousness, at the tender age of one. She truly explores every inch of our house with such delight. Sometimes I wonder what exactly is in store for me when she's a bit older, a bit smarter, and more in tune with being sly.

These photos are from the last couple of days. Her sister abandoned some french toast topped with blueberries. As you can see, she was happy to have her big sister's left overs.

It almost prompted me to submit my photos to Fridgewatcher a website I frequent about once a week. People from around the world submit photos of their refrigerators, and of course I am most intrigued by the European links. I can always tell hands down when it's an American refrigerator, mainly by how stuffed to the gills it is! Just take a peek for humors sake.

Cassanova or Testosterone Induced Idiocy?

Last month, I caught a moment on the Today Show about a serial dater. This Harvard educated bozo, Paul Janka actually had a spot talking about his conquest of women. He was confident in his discussions of being a modern day casanova, complete with a spread sheet. Unfortunately this poor soul has convinced himself, he isn't hurting anyone, and that his lifestyle is innate to what men really need.

So, yeah. I've been dwelling on this whole notion of a modern day casanova for far too long now. For some men, the idea of being with one woman for the rest of their lives goes against ever fiber of their being.

I completely disagree, that probably has to do with the lack of testosterone cursing through my veins, and the obvious differences in my genitalia- for I think with my brain. With all their banter and commentary of carnal desire, blah, blah, blah, these men are missing the boat on the huge upside of monogamy.

Did I just say, upside of monogamy?

Yes, one night can be insane and pass…

Full Circle Moment

Last night we ordered out dinner. Old Chicago won out because we had a gift card and they have curbside pick up. On top of having someone prepare my dinner, I also wanted them to bring it out to my car. It just makes life so much more pleasurable to skip the going inside with the girls, hungry girls no less.

The parking lot is always a zoo at this location. Of course, when I roll up all three curbside pickup spots are taken. I park on the curb right out front and run in to tell them my name and that I have arrived. The curbside attendant was in the middle of something, so I was trying to get out of there and back into my car as soon as possible. I finally had the attention of the hostess and I gave her my name.

The hostess looked awfully familiar to me. After my frenzied state settled a bit, I took a closer look at the young girl behind the big wooden podium. Then I noticed her name.

It was one of my former fifth grade students, from about seven years ago. She lives in the same town as I…

Open Enrollment Showdown: School Choice part2

Well, the touring has ended. Being an educator with first hand knowledge of some schools in Boulder, I really had an eye opening experience through out this entire process. Officially it is not over until I receive my letter stating YES, you have a space in your first choice school!!!

I toured five schools in total. All of the schools look superb in print. Awards, achievements, high test scores, Boulder is the mecca of outstanding education. But then, after visiting the schools, I could see what sets them apart. How they are all so unique and diverse in their offerings.

The two neighborhood schools, which are not focus schools that I toured have a seal of approval from the school district to parents to kids. One of the tours was led by two fifth graders on the student council. Obviously their perspectives are very relative to being 10 years old, but the problem was could I relate to a 10 year old, is that the perspective I needed from a school tour? I am not sure if a tour by two kids w…

Make Me Melt!

It's funny how a 4 year old can just melt your heart. As we were settling in and the girls were about to fall asleep, this came out of no where.

Sj: Do you know what my favorite word is?

Mom & Dad: No, what is your favorite word?

I'm preparing for Princess, Christmas, Birthday.....

Sj: FAMILY, because it makes me so happy. I love my family so much.

I mean does it get any better than that?

Good Night!

Maybe My Day Isn't So Bad...

I've got a bad case of being overworked. I mean, not like I've been digging ditches all day and didn't get a bathroom or lunch break. More like, I went to Boulder to check out schools three times this week, my hubby has been away for a week, and all that rolled up into one makes me ready for the weekend. Plus the girls are anticipating some daddy time to expel some pent up, mommy has been in control all week energy.

Then I happen upon a peculiar blurb when I am reading my email. And I realize my week hasn't been so bad after all, both my children are safe and in my house with me. Pat my back, I think I deserve a good mom medal of honor.

Girl Left at Chuck E. Cheese for 2 Days!!!!

Here's the short of it, whatever clueless idiot that was in charge of this poor 2 year old girl, left her at C.E.C. The police picked her up on a Saturday and finally the dad called the police when he saw her photo on the news on MONDAY!!! Yes, it's true, full article here.

Now, this did …

Thursday Thirteen: Second Edition

Thirteen More Reasons To Smile:
Walking into a school that feels like home.
Hot water on demand.
Not one runny nose under this roof (knock on wood).
A friend that cooks you dinner, takes your child to a movie & dinner, and watches her yet again-so I can neurotically tour a gazillion schools while my hubby is out of town.
Email notification my book on hold is waiting for me at the library.
Tomorrow is Friday.
Watching Sj & GL actively engage in play together, today it was cooking in their play kitchen.
The gorgeous orchid I received for my birthday is still blooming.
A new baby boy in our family.
J is coming home from the east coast tonight!
I actually envisioned myself back in the classroom teaching again.
My daily chai tea.
Curbing spending, ten days going strong. Gosh, I hope that's not premature. Ha!

Yes, You Are Definitely Mine!

Having a 4 year old, I feel many whispers through out the day, which are like subtle reminders convincing me that the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. Let's take for example her recent phase, where Sj is consumed with a particular doll or stuffed animal and their accompanying accessories. She makes up a ziploc bag of accessories, with play food, ribbons, adoption certificates, and toys for her toys. Trust me she knows exactly what is in each bag. It's rather odd to me.

But then I realize, I don't even get to the Post Office with out toting an armful of things myself. I mean, how could I possibly run through the drop off box with out 10 wipes, 3 diapers, a water bottle for each of us, snacks, and a change of clothes. Or if it's cold, the mandatory extra gloves and hat in case are car breaks down (my 2004 car that is). You know the Post Office is about a half mile from my home in the center of town. But none the less, I tote things around like I was travel…

NIAGARA MOHAWK

It's shortly after dinner, we are beginning to settle down for the evening. The girls are about to get into their pajamas. I wishfully look forward to some alone time, after the whole bedtime ritual as I head up the stairs. But as I am turning down the upstairs hallway, I give a quick glance back downstairs.

A surge comes through me. My voice disturbs the calm that was just upon us moments ago.

I loudly call out, "NIAGRA MOHAWK!"

I notice all of the lights that have been carelessly left on, after our departure from that space. Dining room light, Kitchen- main light, pendant light above the sink, stove light, living room floor lamp, wall sconce (with compact fluorescent- wipe my brow), hall light downstairs, bathroom light downstairs. All these lights were on two other floors of the house. What a waste.

My husband leaves lights on in our house like a trail of bread crumbs leading a path through the woods. I can tell you exactly where he has been and what types of activities h…

Hanging Out with Tom & Katie

"Wow, I think this is the most spectacular view I have ever seen, and no less it's from your walk in closet," I chimed with delight. The grounds were immaculately kept and as you would imagine the hills were rolling off into the distance. It reminded me of Tuscany. I could almost smell the flowers up into the third floor closet, in this palatial estate.

The feeling inside was a bit frenzied. We were getting ready for dinner out on the town. Katie was sitting in front of the mirror, giving her beautiful self, a quick touch up and adorning herself with some pearls. My brain was working over time to estimate the size of this closet I was standing in, which off I hand, I would have to approximate the size of my living room or better yet, the size of my entire living space main level.

Oh and by the way, yes-Katie, as in Katie Holmes-Cruise.

Katie asked me to hand Tom a blue light weight corduroy shirt that was just pressed by the butler, it was in arm's reach. I walked into …

A Good Omen, Indeed!

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I had a really strange experience with this bumper sticker in September. It was everywhere I turned, Berry Patch Farms, a red light near my house, and on the car in front of me at the bank drive through. It even prompted me to write this, Bumpersticker Omen! Now, I can agree, it was an omen, a good omen, indeed.

Fast forward to January and the political scene is blowing up. I love all the hoopla in a presidential election year. I am personally disappointed in myself that I have not re-registered as a Democrat. I've always been registered as an Independent.I am going to miss out on Colorado's Primaries Caucus (I stand rightly corrected), which really bums me out. Although I still don't have a personal front runner for the Democratic Party. I just know deep down, anyone other than a white man would be a refreshing change.

And more realistically, anyone other than a intellectually challenged Texan, would be a really refreshing change.

Take it or leave it, for what it is.

I am thr…

Back Country Dish Duty, Anyone?

Alright now that I am back in my body, my haven't showered in a few days body, here's the update on the situation. My darling-dear-fabulous-wouldn't-trade-him-hubby, pushed back his flight one day. Amazing what 24 hours will do for relief in the I can't get any more stressed than this department. Although, I think he secretly feared I'd be shacking up at the St.Julian in Boulder and getting room service galore! Instead, we all stayed home and dealt with the problems at hand.

We called in three plumbers, to give us their professional opinion on the situation. The estimates ranged greatly, as well as the options for what to do. Only one of the guys had plumbers' butt potential, so I immediately left the vicinity when he was about to kneel down. Ha!

Anyway, the short of it is, we need a new water heating system. Our current system has been phased out because it was deemed hazardous, oh about 10 years ago. Yeah, not sure how that news makes me feel still. Have we bee…

Not So Happy, New Year!

Yesterday my brain was busy racing with ideas for my fist post of the new year. I thought it would contain grandiose resolutions and be brimming with feel good notions, so I could welcome 2008 on a positive note. I imagined casually lingering over my thoughts, typing away, with a hot chai in hand, the girls busy with their dad!

Instead, when my dear hubby was putting our new artificial tree into the crawlspace, he found some water on the floor....

Not just a puddle, but a good amount of water. Enough to soak the orange shag rug remnant that was left in there years ago.

Turns out our water heater has been leaking for quite sometime. Well, at least a week or two. And guess what today is? A National Holiday. Everyone is home, enjoying the weekday off. And me, not enjoying the stress.

On top of the holiday and NO hot water (which isn't sooo bad-for now!) we have an unusual size water heater. It's in our crawlspace, so we can't just walk into Lowe's or Home Depot, pick out a sh…