Wednesday, August 31, 2011

bragging rights

Busy evening last night for me. Varsity soccer match and the academic awards ceremony at the high school happened at just about the same time. We dropped the oldest off at the field, drove up to the school lot and then the middle kid and I went into the school.

I love the academic awards ceremonies. It is always fun to see my girls walk across the stage. Of course, this year, only one walked...well, sort of walked as she is still in that boot. The oldest, along with a large group of other seniors, couldn't attend because of the soccer game. Soccer girls=smart least at our school.

Oh well. Her big walk across a stage will be here soon enough. She will have to visit the guidance office for her certificate from last night.

Good night for both of my ladies. Straight A's last year for the middle kid and a well played half of soccer for the oldest kid.

Today I head into work with the expectation of getting a bit dirty. Good thing we are on relaxed dress code...jeans and sneakers for me today since I will be grubbing around in the warehouse gathering items for the national convention.

Wednesday. Already. Wow.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

crying wolf

I watched a bit of the news last night and some of the comments indicated a belief that the meteorologists 'cried wolf' on Hurricane Irene.

Well, perhaps, but perhaps not.  It seems they knew where the hurricane would come ashore. They didn't know how strong the winds would stay or when they would lessen. From the sounds of it, I guess the eye wall of the storm was not as defined and this fact impacted wind strength. So, what they anticipated being a category 2-3 hurricane lessened to a 1.

People did die as a result of this storm. Property damage in some areas appears to be quite severe. If the evacuation orders weren't given, would more folks have perished? Perhaps.

I don't don't mess with Mother Nature and leaving the shoreline during a hurricane seems to be a prudent thing to do.

I'm not convinced anyone was crying wolf. There is just so much that science can predict.

Monday, August 29, 2011

feeling good

The weekend was great and I feel pretty good about the week ahead. We're caught up on the housework, the laundry and the yard. I meal planned for the week and am ready to plan for September. The oldest and hubby will head north midweek for the IU visit and the soccer tournament. The rest of us will enjoy a long and lovely Labor Day weekend.

Wait. Labor Day? Really?

I guess it must be so. August flew by and we are about to enter September.

I'm over half way thru Patrick Rothfuss' huge book, "The Wise Man's Fear." I'm enjoying this one, but it is a very long read and I've been lacking the quiet time to just sit and turn those pages.

I have a Friends meeting to get ready for, the Fall Book Sale to work on and other assorted library tasks. I still haven't heard how the Herman Parish visit went.

And that is all for this Final Monday in August.  Enjoy  :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

the fine art of recognition

In my new job, I get to say thank you a lot. For every donation, big and small, we say thank you and acknowledge the donor. Often times, this thank you happens in multiple places and ways over the course of a year.

The soccer team is currently working on their annual golf outing. The outing takes place to raise money for the booster club so we can defray the cost of playing for all families. This means we go around asking for donations to support the event. Yet again, lots of thanking happening as well as lots of recognition bestowed on those folks who support us so we can support the team.

Some wonderful friends of mine stepped up and donated door prizes and our door prize coordinator sent out a lovely email encouraging our team families to support those businesses....some shops are struggling and they need local dollars to be spent in locally owned shops.  For example...why give your $5 for a fancy coffee to the Big Coffee Shop when you can get a good cup of coffee from the local family down on the Square.

Tonight is a program that the Friends paid for and the Library is hosting. A rather popular and well known children's author is visiting our Town and will appear for a reading and book signing. We had to pay for him to come. We had money set aside for this purpose and we are happy to do it, but a little recognition for our sponsorship would be great.

It would be great if we didn't have to ask to be recognized.

But that's not how it happened. I had to ask. We raise money by selling books to people and those people often ask where does the money go. A valid question in my mind. We publish an annual report and put articles in the papers about our efforts, but events like the one tonight are the big splashy happenings that really go a long way in showing the community what we are all about.

Once I brought it to the library's attention that nothing promoting the event mentioned the Friends underwriting the cost, they corrected their mistake. It's just too bad that I had to ask.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

the ankle

Well, the ankle was a major cankle by the afternoon. So, when I got home from work, we made a trip to the doctor's office. After two sets of x-rays, they thought it might have a fracture in it, so they sent us to the ortho. No fracture, but a nasty sprain, so she is in a boot for a week, then a brace for a week, then it just depends.

Depends on how fast she heals. She might be able to play in two weeks time if she is wrapped and braced. Good thing the team does have a trainer as that gal can deal with the wrapping and such.

So, off to picture day she goes, all dolled up with a huge walking boot on her leg. But, thank goodness it wasn't fractured!!

The other good thing is while she is going to be on the bench for some big games, most of those teams visit us again and she will get another shot at them.

Soccer drama......gotta love it!

And I guess the earth shook for a while yesterday in some places it hasn't shaken for a very long time. Didn't feel a thing here and we have our very own famous fault line, but, I do feel for those folks on the east coast. The earth shouldn't be moving under your feet, no matter what the famous song says.

Here's to a calm, quiet and boring Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

first soccer matches of the season

The girls' first soccer matches of the season can be summed up in few words. They won both games. The middle kid rolled her ankle. It is now a cankle and quite bruised. We may be making a trip to the ortho-dude who worked on the oldest's ankle a few years back. The oldest played the second half once the score rose to 3-nil. She had fun and made a diving save to keep the other team scoreless.

So, all in all, not a bad first night, except for the cankle.

Hoping when that soccer chica wakes, things are looking better!

Monday, August 22, 2011

water cooler conversations

My office is near a coffee pot station. As folks wander around the building, they stop and refill their mugs, visit, and chit chat all day long. We don't have a true 'water cooler,' but the large java making machine outside my door takes its place and often becomes the gathering point for some interesting conversations.

Thursday I was able to overhear, without much effort as the gal was quite loud, a rant on why folks just need to take care of themselves like she and her husband do. It doesn't take a village. If you have kids, you raise them and leave the rest of 'us' alone.  Oh, and Hilary Clinton is an idiot.

Hmmmm. Now the lady she was talking to, I learned the other day, is in fact dealing with an adult child who has moved back home due to a divorce and brought along two children.  A bit of 'village' going on there in my mind.

The ranter was going on and on, and the other gal, in short order, drastically changed the topic of conversation and scurried back to her office as quick as she could.

Isolationism.  Why is it that folks think they are so independent and move through life without interaction with anyone besides a chosen few?

Yes, my three children are 'my' responsibility, but I'd be a fool to think that many, many other people haven't had a hand in their formation. In my mind, people are naive to think that it doesn't take a village to raise children into responsible, contributing adults. From teachers to soccer coaches, my kids have learned a variety of lessons from our 'village'.

You don't live in a bubble or alone on your own planet. We are all in this together, for better or worse. As my hubby said, we are 'pack' animals and we function best and are at our best when we are working together.

And I guess that lady, whether she wants to acknowledge it or not, better hope the village does a decent job on the younger generations...she might need one or two of those village kids someday.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

thursday, oh yes

I've had a good work week, but I'm very glad today is my Friday. I'm ready for a weekend where we do not have to make a road trip or spend hours at the soccer field. I'm ready for a weekend to R E L A X!!

So, happy weekend to me!

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I haven't used an alarm clock in years. Now, that is not to say that my hubby doesn't set one and I sometimes benefit from his need for chimes, birds, hoots etc. marking the hour.

But this morning, even though an accented voice chirped the hour, I rolled over and fell back to sleep. Oversleeping is not something that I do on a regular basis. Yet it sometimes happens, like an eclipse. This morning I snoozed an extra 45 minutes.

The only thing that woke me was the oldest turning on the kitchen light. I wonder how long I would have gone?

In other news, I scored a copy of Patrick Rothfuss' second novel, "The Wise Man's Fear." Even better, I scored a YA copy, so that means I can have it for 3 weeks instead of the 2 week new release time frame.

So far, it is just as engaging as "The Name of the Wind", the first novel about Kvothe.

Okay, over and out on this Wednesday! Wednesday, really? Friday will be here before I know it!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the final college tour....or saving the best for last

Hubby booked a college visit/tour for the oldest at my alma mater. They are heading north to a major Big Ten university, the home of the Hoosiers, and will see what there is to see on that campus.  It worked out perfectly as she is traveling up that way for a soccer tourney with the high school team. A few extra hours and voila....a college tour has been squeezed into her itinerary.

We completed yet another online application yesterday, or should I say, almost completed it. A few things need to be gathered and composed for it to be truly ready for submission.

It has bee quite interesting to see the differences in all of these online applications. I can understand the appeal of what is called the Common Application.

I need to contact my best bud's brother who works for the University and see about a tour after the tour. He might be able to get her into places 'off road' so to speak.

Monday, August 15, 2011

the soccer weekend

This past weekend was filled with soccer. Either the girls were on the pitch or hubby and I were charging folks to come watch their girls take the pitch. Yes, we worked the gate/admissions on Saturday for 2 hours and then yesterday for 4 hours. Each family is on the hook for 6-two hour shifts. We knocked ours out in two days. Perfect.

Working gate isn't bad, and can be quite humorous to see folks try and weasel their way out of paying the $3 to enter. Hubby and I didn't charge for the kids and of course we don't charge for players. We also had some lovely conversations with parents and grandparents from other teams. Several teams from the state south of us attend and they are always very chatty and fun to talk to.

The oldest got to play the entire second half of both games. The middle kid played too, started each game and then was rotated on and off as needed. Seemed like the coaches played everyone, which is wonderful, as once the season gets underway, some of the girls might not see much playing time.

Good weekend and the second week of school is now upon us. The weather even seems to know that the season is moving along as the temp this morning was about 65! Wow, haven't seen that number at 5:00 a.m. in a very long time.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

grilled peaches

An insert in yesterday's paper shared a recipe for a dessert featuring grilled peaches. Now, we've grilled lots of things in our household, but I've never tried peaches. They looked really good and perhaps we can give this recipe a whirl over the weekend.

I'm more than ready for my last day of the work week. After week of lots of work to do, this week has been rather slow. The calm before the storm I'm told. As things begin to ratchet up for the National Meeting, my work life will become more hectic. My boss will arrive in just about one month and we have a lot to do when he gets into the office.

Including training me on how to man a booth at a convention. I've been tapped to take on the stint at a teacher's convention in a few months. That should be interesting!

Enjoy your Thursday....and I'm ready for my weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

slogging through

Yesterday was a slog-fest. Ugh. My motivation and creativity seemed to be at an all time low. I've been tasked with rewriting two career courses in our online learning library. We needed to create a template for these classes so that future additions have a framework to follow. In their current states, both offerings are quite lengthy, very dry and difficult to read. I've read history textbooks with more flair and excitement.

I've cut. I've sliced and diced. I've moved things around. I've added text here and there. I decided they both need something else. But, what?

For now, I've settled on a Q&A section. I've come up with a series of questions we can ask folks on our Board and folks who work in the industry. Things that a student, doing career research, will really want to know.

So, maybe, after reading that, they will be intrigued enough to read the rest of the course.


I shipped both off to my boss, yet again, as this is round four of the edits, yesterday. I'm sure I will have more work to do on them today. Unless I'm saved by work of a different type!

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

reading recap

I've been a bit silent regarding what I've been reading. My TBR pile is slowly dwindling away and I need to make a trip to the library this week, but first, some brief comments about the book I just finished and the one I'm halfway through.

I finished the third Enola Holmes book by Nancy Springer. These books are a sheer delight to read. A clever mystery, a more clever heroine and wonderful writing. Our library houses these titles in the Children's section, but I think they'd go over wonderfully well in the YA section too.

Up next is a YA title, this one from Holly Black. I've read all three of Black's faerie stories and she doesn't shy away from dark, gritty themes or characters. "Red Glove" is the sequel to "White Cat."These novels are set in a world where magic is 'worked' and the 'workers' are viewed as criminals. Everyone wears gloves to keep themselves from touching each other and possibly being worked. This series is not for younger YA readers, but older ones interested in mob stories, might enjoy them. There is an organized crime element to the plots and the characters can be quite....unsavory.

After I finish the Black title, I have the final Faythe Sanders book to read from Rachel Vincent.

Then I'm out....the TBR pile will be eliminated from the nightstand. Several books have arrived on the shelves in the last few months, all monster-big novels, like the latest from George RR Martin. I need to make a list and get on the waiting list for those titles.

The first day of school went well for the kids and I spent a good portion of the late afternoon signing my name on forms and then on checks.

All is well in this corner of the world.

Monday, August 8, 2011

first day of the school year

And so it arrives, as I knew it must. Today is the first day of the new school year. Summer is over. The learning begins. My kids will be out the door and on their way back to their teachers and friends.

The first day of school is exciting and bittersweet for me this year. Lots of growing up going on around my house. Lots of changes in store for them and for us.

But, one day at a time. Graduation isn't here is months away.

So, happy first day to all the teachers, the kids and the parents. Make it a great year!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

first one done

The first college application is completed, or at least the online portion is. The oldest still has to get the transcript sent and wait for the link to begin the scholarship application process. That portion will involve more time and more thought.

One down, several more to go.

I think we need to set up a spreadsheet to track what we have sent, when we sent it and other such important tidbits of information.

Hotter than Hell here. Someone needs to shut the oven door, because we are roasting.  When it is this hot, it is hard to think, eat or do much of anything....even when you are in air conditioning all day. It is like your mind knows that you shouldn't be moving in any sense of the word and everything slows down.

Last day of my work week. Tomorrow we hit the road, yet again, for another college visit. Got a call yesterday from this University confirming our arrival, which allowed us to increase our party size from 3 to 5. So, we all get to go on the tour bus!

New experiences all around. Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

the art of the conference call

I don't like speaker phones. Well, except when I'm talking to my parents. They use the speaker phone in their home to talk/listen to me and that is just fine. In the workplace, however, I'd rather not be put on a speaker phone when I call someone and I don't like to inadvertently overhear someone else's conversation because they are on speaker phone.

We had a conference call yesterday with a huge foundation committee. About 10 folks were dialed in to this 'meeting' and the  majority of them put the call on speaker. So, we had echoes and various other background noises in the call. Ugh.

Hard enough to take notes and try and determine who said what, let alone filter out the extra sounds coming through the phone line. If this was a regular event, I'd ask for a headset so I could type the notes into the computer as I listened to the conversation.

But, griping aside, the meeting went well and I now have more work to complete for this week.

In Library news, the new catalog system will be ready for use when the Library reopens tomorrow. The Friends 'catered' their lunches this week and I will no doubt get a report on that Thursday evening when we all go out to dinner. One of our Friends is moving away and we need to send her off in style. Should be a good time filled with yummy food and lots of laughter.

I'm in the downward portion of my work week and I'm ready for Friday to Roll on In.  We are off to that other big SEC school to the east of us....where the Tide Rolls In on a regular basis. This university has free tuition for the oldest because of her ACT score. So, sort of a nice perk and puts this university automatically on the short list.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

the summer that wasn't

In the summer I wish we would have had, we would have trekked to the shore and spent two weeks at the beach. I missed those treasured mornings where I could not only get up early and enjoy that first cup of coffee, but do so with my rear planted in the sand and the tide rolling in.

This summer we stuck close to home. College visits determined our weekend getaways. My new job meant I didn't have any paid time off to enjoy. A tight economy meant we needed to watch our pennies.

But, the summer that wasn't doesn't mean summer wasn't enjoyed. I love the slower pace. No homework to supervise. No project deadlines on the kitchen calendar. No hustle and bustle as two teenage girls try and get out the door looking runway ready. No yelling up the stairs to hurry along an almost teenage boy.

I love being able to grocery shop and get fresh fruits and veggies at a lower price. I love being able to see the crepe myrtles in full, bright bloom. I love going to the Square and getting a huge ice cream cone for $1. I even love the lack of soccer....for the few weeks at least!

So, the summer that wasn't was still really good. It's all good, as they say.  And the beach will be there next year.

Monday, August 1, 2011

razorback 101

We had a great time at Razorback 101. We were all very impressed by the campus, adored the town square and the student shopping/entertainment areas. The program was well run, informative and helpful.  Both girls said they went in thinking they wouldn't like any of it and came away feeling it is a really neat place. The region is beautiful, green and hilly.

So, it stays on the short list.

Summer work is almost finished for both girls. Just a bit of polishing here and there. College admission sites are now open. So, this week, in the afternoons, we will begin that process. I'm curious to see how this whole online admissions thing works, so I will be observing as these three applications go 'out'.

School starts one week from today. Eek.  The oldest's senior year is now upon us. I'm freaking out a bit about this.

Talked with my best buddy yesterday and she let me know that her second daughter, who is the same age as my oldest, has informed her she is interested in studying at the Sorbonne after her month in France. Wow. I guess she has been investigating it. Apparently she had a magnificent time in France and wants to go back. Reminded me of a lady we met here in town whose son went to St. Andrews in Scotland after a similar experience.

So, when I get to feeling misty eyed about the oldest being 6 hours away, I must remember, she could be a day away, over an ocean and in a foreign country!

Monday, here we on yet another new adventure. College application week, straight ahead!!