Thursday, August 31, 2006

New Tunes!

It has been a long week and it's not over yet. In fact it seems that this week had many more Mondays than it should have. Yesterday's work ended up being last night's work that caused a not too restful sleep and resulted in finally nodding off just minutes before the alarm sounded. The good news is that 320 some contract worksheets hit the buildings today, as promised and tomorrow is Friday! So it seemed really appropriate to get out of the house. We ended up at a burger joint for dinner and then happened on over to Borders to pick up the new Dylan cd. Not what I had planned, but it worked out really well for me. There is nothing that picks me up and moves me along like music. So here is what we came home with...

His choices:
Bob Dylan - Modern Times
Ramblin Jack Elliott - I Stand Alone

My choices:
Keb' Mo' - Suitcase
Dave Alvin - West of the West
Bruce Cockburn - Life Short Call Now
Sam Bush - Laps in Seven

I'm only four songs into Keb' Mo' and it's heaven. It sounds like he has come back to the good stuff that drew me to him in the first place. Ah, it doesn't get any better than this.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

An update on Martha...maybe

A few posts ago I shared the story of Martha Seroczynski's effort to continue her protest of the war in Iraq in downtown Valpo. A permit had been issued May 30th and renewed June 20th allowing her to protest. However, when she returned to renew the permit the third time she was asked for proof of insurance, which led to some political wrangling and strong arming. At least that is what it appeared to be.

This morning's Post Tribune had an update. Martha had hired a legal team and was claiming that her right of free speech was violated. Apparently she had tried to work through her insurance company and encountered some difficulties. The county attorney suggested she sign a waiver absolving them from responsibility in case of who knows what, to which Martha replied no thanks.

My initial reaction was she makes a good point. Why did the commissioners wait until three months after the initial permit was issued to require a certificate of insurance? It must have been because they were trying to throw up a road block - a legal loophole that she would not be able to navigate and therefore quit her protest. Something that had been on the books, but not enforced until now when they needed it. Those dogs.

Here's the thing. In the front porch Sunday morning print edition the last portion of the article was deleted. When I went on-line to link to the article from this post I was able to read the rest of the piece. It goes on to say that the Valparaiso Elks Club was required to show proof of insurance for its Flag Day ceremony on June 14 at the square. Those dogs?

It was a lot easier to rally behind Martha before I new the whole story, which is a shame because I support her cause. It would appear that she needs to get some insurance and move on. Soon. Before this debacle detracts from the real message she is trying to convey.

The last six sentences of the article change the entire story. And they left it out? Because they ran out of space? So now I say come on Post Tribune. What's with that?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How was your first day of school?

Tuesday was in-service with PTO in the evening; Wednesday was teacher work day with Open House in the evening; and today was the first day of school for my elementary principal husband. I don't know which woke us up at 5:15, the thunder or the alarm. The morning headlines read, "Storm Thrashes Area". He was looking for his raincoat on the way out the door, determined to get out early enough to pick up fluorescent sticky dots so kindergarten teachers could identify bus riders by color.

By the time I got to work at 7:00 it was pouring.

Naturally the rain continued until all the buses were unloaded, the children made their way to class, and the first day parents had left the parking lot. At 1:00 I got an e-mail that said "This is the first chance I have had to stop and try for lunch. I am out of shape." I shot back a quick response, "Those kids will get you into shape quickly!" That was the last I heard until around 5:30 this evening when I looked up from my desk to see his tired face rounding the corner of my office doorway.

I said, "So, how was your first day of school?"

He said, "Well, we had the usual new students that had not pre-registered. The new kindergarten teacher was elated that she had no criers; students or parents. On the other hand, one second grade student cried all through lunch. Another of the special needs students was devastated that the cafeteria no longer served ice cream; something that had previously been a highlight of his day." Yadda yadda..."and some parent parked in the road then motioned for her child to cross in front of traffic instead of getting in line like everyone else. Then she got mad when the traffic would not stop to let her pull out."

I said, "So, sounds like a pretty rough day."

He said, "Not at all. It was great! The teachers were great. The kids were great. It was a good day! My feet hurt and I am tired. What are we having for dinner?"

Then he said, "So how was your day today?"

And I said mine was all right too. You might say we got in touch with the little child in each of us...and it was good.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A New Box of Crayons

Can't you just smell them? Open the box, take a quick look at all the shiny new unused colors, and then take a big sniff. It's great! You may think I am silly, but it’s one of those comfort things for me, even at 50. Completely irresistible. A new box of crayons. Something everyone needs for the first day of school, no matter how old they are. The only thing better is a new box of crayons AND a blank piece of white paper. The possibilities are limitless.

When my days as a SAHM were numbered, I was fortunate to find work at the neighborhood elementary school. It was close to home and I loved being around the kids. After six years as the school secretary I moved to the Curriculum and Instruction Department in the Administrative Building. The money was a little better, but it was a step away from the school and boy did I miss the kids. It was difficult at times to see that what I did really made a difference. My school invited me back each year to read at Christmas and as a guest at Honor’s Breakfast. Being the one who kept track of student data I would periodically see the names of the students as they made their way through the grades. Two years ago the last group graduated and I felt as though I took a step even farther away.

This summer I moved to a distant land called the Business Office. I always felt that people in the administrative offices should spend a little time each year in the schools. It’s important to look into the eyes of those who we are responsible for – a gentle reminder of why we are here. The farther away I get, the more important it seems to be.

The first day of school is Thursday and I can’t help feeling a little blue. Today I felt the need more than ever to stick my face in a box of crayons. So…

…here they are! Sixteen wonderful colors in a familiar green and gold box. Count them, five boxes – one for each of my co-workers in the Business Office, and one for me, of course. Although we can’t be where the kids are on the first day of school, each of us will have that exciting feeling of opening that new box of crayons and remembering…wonder if anyone else will take a sniff?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Something I would like to have seen...

There was this newspaper article a couple of weeks back about the Pentagon buying Gummi Army Guys from the Albanese Candy Factory in Hobart (Merrillville outlet is a great place to buy candy in bulk) and placing them on the desks of the D.C. politicos prior to a vote, hoping to encourage them to move in the “right” direction.

Today, while visiting the North West Indiana Coalition Against the Iraq War website, I found this little home project to do with children.

What if the Albanese Candy Factory put this little message on the bag of Gummi Army Guys?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What's With That?

So in today’s Post Tribune there is an article about Martha Seroczynski’s request for an extension from the Porter County Board of Commissioners to protest the war in Iraq. Apparently the initial request was granted in June for 30 days, said protest to occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The article states:
“Commissioner John Evans, R-North District, told Seroczynski that county policy requires her to show proof her homeowner’s insurance will cover her for any accident or injury that might result from the protest, thus clearing the county of any liability.” Board President Bob Harper, D-Center District, countered. “It’s a freedom of speech issue.”

Looks like there was some wrangling at this point – Seroczynski said she was asking simply to protest on the sidewalks in and around the courthouse, not on the grounds. One of the commissioners asked who owned the sidewalks. A couple others said they didn’t even think she needed permission to protest. Another said that “The right of free speech is not unconditional; the government has the right to place reasonable time, manner and place.”

Seroczynksi pressed forward saying, “Are you denying me my right?”

At that point it was decided that permission could be granted with the stipulation that proof of insurance be provided before protesting, which received a unanimous response.

In the end it appears that the group, “likely four people total, will conduct their protests on Wednesdays only because time constraints have made it difficult for everybody to also gather on Mondays and Fridays”. It sounds like there’s a real need here for the commissioners to be concerned. What’s with that?

The last time we drove through the intersection of Ridge Road and Route 41 there were about a half dozen protestors at the memorial with signs that encouraged motorists to honk if they agreed that the troops should be brought home. You could hear the horns honking. Some shouted ugliness instead. It was an open exchange. It was raising awareness. It was showing concern. It was agreeing to disagree. It’s important to have that right, even if it is only Martha and her three compatriots. What would become of us if there was no voice of opposition? Well done, Martha.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Forward to pay attention to...IBC

Most e-mails that are forwarded to me end up in the trash. I don't even open them - just hit the big X and move on. This one that was sent to me last week caught my attention and I have not been able to shake it.

The subject line said FW: IBC

This was the message:

Hey All,
I have never heard of this. It is important. Please pass this on to raise awareness about this silent killer.

Kelly is a friend of mine and she cared enough about me to send a warning about Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I had never heard of it, nor did three of my friends at work. The clip below warns that cases have been misdiagnosed since they may first appear to be a simple insect bite. It is a fast growing cancer and early diagnosis is extremely important. Often, a tumor cannot be felt, and may not be seen on a mammogram. The diagnosis is based on the results of the biopsy and the doctor's clinical judgment.

If you have not heard about Inflammatory Breast Cancer, please take a minute to watch this clip:

Click here to view the clip that was attached.

If you would like more information, here are some sites to check out...

National Cancer Institute

The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support

As they say in the Forwards...THIS IS TOO IMPORTANT TO DELETE...please read this!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Happy in Hawaii

Kind of looks like a picture on a postcard, doesn't it? Those two happy souls were joined together on the island of Oahu, July 20th. They are home now and making a new life together, complete with grocery lists and laundry...and loving every minute of it. It doesn't get much better than this for my daughter and her husband! Isn’t love grand?

But wait! There's more! Guess what other happy couple are now empty nesters, sans kids and cats. That's right, no more cats. None. Finito. Zip, zero, zilch. Just me, my honey and the dog.

And life is good.