Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Spent the weekend in the Bay Area.

Had a wonderful time.

Drank some fabulous wine.

Visited some beautiful places.

Caught up with some old friends.

Got a firsthand look - up close - at some truly gifted photography.

Rode BART, a lot.

Experienced CalTrain.

Felt rain for the first time in months.

Ate delicious food.

Slept in one day and woke before dawn the rest.

Missed my kids.

Saw the ocean.

Was asked a couple hard questions.

Thought a lot.

Cried a little.

Came home.

Want to go back.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grammar Peeves

When did the accepted spelling of "awww" (meaning, "isn't that sweet) and "ah" (as in, "oos and ahs" become "awe"?

Last I checked, the definition of awe was: an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like (

I know it's a silly thing to pick at, but things like this drive me batty. So many blog entries, Facebook posts, and other online writings are followed by comments with this misuse. I don't recall it being such a common misspelling in the past.

It makes me crazy when I see a photo of a friend's adorable newborn followed by comments like, "Awe, she is so cute!" or a Facebook post at the end of a stressful week like, "Awe, so good to put my feet up and relax with a cold one."

Nitpicking, I know. Where's my wine?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Forehead, Meet Brick Wall

I have been so unmotivated to blog about anything for quite some time. Work has been overwhelming for sure, but I realize it's been so much more than that.

I've really been struggling with how to accept that there are things in life over which I have no control. No matter how strongly I feel about some things, and no matter how deeply they may hurt, in many cases I just have no say in the matter.

I guess the only thing I can control is how I react to things. Easier said than done.

I'm currently wrestling (and have been since last summer) with the knowledge that a child close to me is being neglected, but the line between laziness and outright neglect is so fuzzy in this case, and I live some distance from those involved. That means I feel like my hands are tied. I know from direct, personal experience in my previous capacity as a teacher and mandated reporter, that the authorities would not determine an investigation to be called for based solely on information from me.

I have tried speaking with those directly involved, but have been dismissed on multiple occasions. It's so frustrating, because what's going on is so obvious to anyone on the outside looking in. Thing is, nobody is looking in. This child has limited contact with the outside world (no preschool, no play dates, few excursions beyond the house or occasional trip to the park), so nobody else is calling the immediate family on the problem. It's just me, being meddlesome and "overreacting".

If a child was being beaten, if the parents were substance abusers, if basic physical needs were being neglected, it would be a no-brainer. That's not the case here though. It's more insidious, and it's a perfect storm of laziness, misplaced priorities, and egos.

I am not an excellent parent. My shortcomings are many, and there are a lot of things I wish I had do-overs on with regard to my kids, especially my older two. First-time parents make lots of mistakes. That's to be expected.

The situation that's causing me to lose sleep, however, is beyond the norm. There is an extremely dysfunctional family dynamic perpetuating the situation. There's a lot of rationalization and minimalization taking place. It's really sick.

It's heartbreaking to know there's a little boy out there who is missing out on so many opportunities to learn and grow and be a normal kid. He will spend years trying to make up for the delays that are already resulting from the environment in which he's being raised, and the lack of early intervention he should already be benefiting from to address some obvious, serious developmental issues. The pediatrician involved has not stepped in, primarily because the parents do a good job of responding to screening questions with the "right" answers, as opposed to accurate answers.

Another situation I've been grappling with has to do with a HUGE lie that has been perpetuated over many, many years by someone close to me. It doesn't affect me directly, but there are a lot of secondary issues that this lie touches on, and decisions made that affect me directly and indirectly - decisions that would certainly be made differently if others knew the truth.

I feel like the last 12 to 18 months has been dominated by carrying around these burdens, feeling like there are things taking place around me that I cannot control. How do I take my hands off the wheel and just let it all go? I've got to come to some kind of acceptance of this, and make peace with the knowledge that these are not my problems, even if they do affect me. I can't do anything about them.

How do you make peace with things that you know are wrong?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Resolution

After much time and thought, I've realized that my resolution for 2011 needs to be a realistic one.

So here it is:

Smile more.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Feeling HOT! HOT! HOT!

Back to the blog...

Yes, I've been off the radar for a while. Summertime in the desert just sucks the life out of me. Extreme temperatures, kids out of school and underfoot, and the busiest time of year work-wise mean June to September are not happy months for me. Don't get me wrong, I do love time with my children. It's just a challenging confluence of circumstances, and it's stressful.

I now have two preteen daughters in Middle School and one very willful three year old boy. It's a hormonal mess in my house, and it's stressful.

The budget in our state continues to assault our school funding, which directly affects my job. Schools have little money to spend, and my job depends on them spending it with my company and not another vendor. It's stressful.

Can you tell I'm a little stressed?

It was suggested to me on several occasions that I might want to find an outlet for my stress. Since punching random passers-by was not an option, I thought I might get back to a physical activity I'd previously enjoyed over a decade ago - yoga. Only now, because I live in the bowels of Hell and apparently, on some deep inner level am sad to see triple digit temperatures in the rear view mirror, I decided to try HOT yoga.

May I just say one thing?


And one more thing... no, I am not anywhere in that photo up there. I hide from cameras when I'm fully clothed and not sweating like a patron of a Turkish bath house, so I'm not about to let anyone catch a shot of me in my hot yoga class. At least, not yet. But man, if my arms and abs start to look like the ones I see in my class anytime soon, I might rethink that.

Friday, July 9, 2010

In the Thick of It. Again.

Yep, it's that time of year again.

Time for me to settle into my serious "I HATE the Desert" funk. As opposed to my less serious "I Hate the Desert" funk, in which I wallow from November to April.

There is nothing redeeming about this place. After four years, I have yet to find beauty in the desert. There are parts of the Southwestern US that are quite pretty, and some that are truly stunning.

The major metropolitan area in which I live is definitely not one of them.

I've already managed one weekend getaway several weeks ago. I traded 110+ degree desert weather for 90+ degree, steamy, sticky Miami weather. I'm sure that climate gets on one's nerves over time, but for 3 1/2 days I soaked up some humidity and drank in the lush foliage that's everywhere in south Florida.

Even the weeds are prettier in Miami.

I'm realizing that I can't make peace with the idea of a long-term future living where we live right now. Something's gotta give.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers' Day = Happy Spine

My newest baby:

My sweet husband and kidlets presented me with this dreamy office chair for Mothers' Day. After a McDonalds breakfast in bed, my daughters blindfolded me and marched me downstairs (talk about an act of trust), where Happy awaited.

Yes, I named the chair Happy.

I started working from home in July of 2008 and have spent most of the last 2 years working at a desk while sitting on a metal folding chair. Having this new high back executive throne makes my back and butt very, very happy.

I love my new perch, and I love the note my family attached to the chair:

Because you break your back every day with all you do for us, you shouldn't have to break your back at work. Happy Mothers' Day!