Thursday, October 28, 2010

What side of the fence?

If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.  (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended."

Well, I forwarded it to you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gettin' The Run Around

The school system wants to put a $25 million addition on our high school. At first glance that sounds great, doesn't it?
Well, the net gain is one - as in 1 - classroom.  It is a lovely energy efficient building, with breakout areas for the kids. If they were college kids, then breakout areas would be fine, but they are high school students who aren't allowed to be anywhere without adult supervision.  There is a huge lobby area and new administrative offices. You see why they are doing this, right? Lobby areas affect learning? Sure.
The other issue with this addition is that they have completely neglected the 40 year old - never ever been renovated - Performing Arts Wing. The wing was completed in 1963. They have had 3 coats of paint since then. No sound proofing. No acoustical improvements. They have a spotlight that isn't strong enough to reach the stage.  The whole wing is not ADA compliant. There is no ramp access to the stage - all the large instruments have to be hauled up and down stairs that are too narrow.  There are outlets that spark when the kids in the pit orchestra plug in their stand lights. The return for the HVAC is in the pit area, and when they turn the air on in the spring during rehearsals, it spews dust and smoke and God knows what else. That said, the list of other safety issues is as long as my arm.
A group of parents went to the school board and told them that the money would be better spent down in the Performing Arts Wing. We explained our reasons. We wrote letters. We talked to the newspaper. My last email from the Superintendent told me that the Performing Arts Department was included in the planning. (Really? I think not. Because if it were, we'd have a whole new music wing, thankyouverymuch.) He also told me I needed to speak with my principal. Really? H knows what I need and he told me to go to the School Board and the Superintendent.  Mr. Superintendent, I do NOT appreciate getting the run around.
Over a year ago, word came down from on high that they were going to renovate the high school. We were told that the main reason for doing the renovation was to update and improve the Performing Arts wing, update the science rooms that are at the top of that wing, and make the whole thing ADA compliant. It's there in black and white.  Somewhere along the way, the architects decided that the Performing Arts wing was too expensive to do at the same time as the classroom building. What got cut? Yes - the Performing Arts Wing.
Now they want us to believe that there will be money left after the building is complete. They will renovate the PA wing with whatever is left. Leftovers? Again?
We won't be having leftovers! 
They have messed with the wrong parents.
Neither of my children will be there to reap the benefits of this long and arduous fight. But we must pay it forward. If we don't try to get what the kids need now, they'll never get it.

How to explain it so they understand...

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college.  Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, a feeling she openly expressed.  Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.

The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.  He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew.  She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, “How is your friend Audrey doing?”

She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by.  All she takes are easy classes, she never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA.  She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast.  She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over.”

Her wise father asked his daughter, “Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0.  That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.”

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, “That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair!  I've worked really hard for my grades!  I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work!  Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree.  She played while I worked my tail off!”

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the conservative side of the fence.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

We made it!

We survived the weekend.
The Homecoming festivities were all attended and all participants from The Crossing had a marvelous time.  The parade down Main Street to the school was fun. The game was great - Our team won! The dance was Saturday. See how great they look?
LLB made quite an impression with her date, J. His eyes practically popped out of his head when she got out of the car. It was very sweet. (She does clean up pretty well.) They must have had a great time at the dance because J asked her to be his girl.  (Let me just remind all of you that if he breaks her heart, I'm sending #1 after him and there will be little mercy.  It's the mama bear thing... Ahem...)
Speaking of #1, he turned 18 yesterday! He received a video game and a new guitar for his birthday.  He is thrilled with both, but the guitar is amazing. It plays effortlessly and sounds phenomenal. 
FYI: The old hunk of junk guitar went back to Mr. who would rather use it for firewood than play it.
It was a good weekend all around.
Now, I'll take a deep breath and jump into this week...
After I have a cup of tea... and a piece of birthday cake.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's Homecoming!

It's the weekend! This means that it's homecoming - Parade and game today, dance tomorrow.
I've made chocolate covered marshmallows for the band kids. A huge thank you goes out to Bloom and Giant for their generous donations of sprinkles.  Here are the marshmallows.  They are contained... briefly! I've got to curl the ribbons and then make pretty displays. They are HUGE marshmallows! (That measuring cup in the picture is a 1/4 cup measure.)
As you know, my #1 son wanted to celebrate his birthday with his friends at tonight's game. This means that I needed cake. The only time I could get the cake was yesterday. Of course one wouldn't be enough, so I had to get two.  And of course they needed to be refrigerated.
This is what my fridge looks like - you need to be VERY careful when you open it because you just don't know what might try to jump out or escape or simply fall on your foot.  The milk is wedged in there. The rest of the shelves were full before I started, so I did some "creative fridge shelf stacking" yesterday. I think it's a sport worthy of an Olympic sanction -- or at the very least, it should be a required Mensa test.
So - it's going to be a busy, but fun weekend around here. My house, which is currently upside down, will eventually be righted and everything put back to normal. But until then - if you come to visit, push a pile aside, have a seat and enjoy the chaos!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's what day?

Well, it's been busy around here.
I've been working on getting some renovations on the docket for our high school music wing. We've only had 3 coats of paint since 1963. The back wall of the auditorium is crumbling and needs to be repaired before it falls away.  The wing itself is not handicapped accessible. They have broken fixtures in the bathrooms. The spotlight in the auditorium is undersized and the light doesn't even reach the stage. The electrical outlets in the orchestra pit spark when you plug anything in to them. The list goes on.  It's Fine Arts' turn to get, you know?
In the mean time, it's marching season. We've done competitions all over the state and although it's been really really fun, the parents are getting tired. (Riding in school buses got really old really quick - like way back in September.) We've got one more parade, two more competitions, and three more football games before the first weekend in November.  (Hey, is that all?)
Homecoming is this weekend and we've got tons of fun things going this week.  It's Spirit Week - this means that they need to dress up in different outfits every day. They did Around the World day on Monday, Wild West day yesterday, and today is Wacky Wednesday.   Today I just watched them walk out the door in outfits they would have put together to wear to pre-school.  It wasn't pretty...
Speaking of Homecoming they have a parade and a game on Friday, and a dance on Saturday. LLB has a date to the dance with a very nice young man - a trumpet player who moved here from out west.  He and LLB have a lot of things in common including their instrument, their love of marching band, and their favorite food (spaghetti with sauce and cheese).  FYI: LLB's dress is adorable. She's got cute shoes and the perfect necklace and earrings to go with it. (Fear not, I will take a picture or 50 and be sure to share with you.) #1 has a date with a lovely young lady who is active in Theater. They've been friends since middle school when they were in a play together. 
Homecoming is quite an event around here. The kids have made reservations for a group of 16 to have dinner at one of the local eateries before they head off to the dance. These kids know how to make a time of it, that's for sure!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crossword Cubes Game

Crossword Cubes is a new game and I LOVE it!
You can play it alone or with friends.

It is easy to learn and fun to play -- there are 13 letter cubes.
You shake 'em up in the cup and dump 'em out.
Then you create a crossword with your cubes. 
Add up the score using the numbers on the letters - just like scrabble...
The person with the highest score wins.  See? Simple!

I spent quite some time playing this game by myself. It's perfect for when you're waiting for an appointment or for dinner to get done. I keep it on my kitchen counter so I can play it any time.  I do play it often...
Mr. and I really enjoyed this game. It was fast and fun. We decided that since it's so portable, we'd take it pretty much anywhere we might have to wait. We also thought it would make a great game for Family Game Night. 
Mr and I simply LOVE word games.  Crossword Cubes is now one of our most favorite games. 

"This post was written for Family Review Network & Marina Games who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest review"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halls Cough Drops and Give Away

Halls is the name you think of when you have a cold and you are coughing your head off. I know this. I usually cough from December until May with some form of bronchitis or another... This year, though, I've started coughing now. These arrived at the perfect time!
I don't have allergies, but Ragweed and hay fever are just starting to grip down on the country’s sinuses.  HALLS can help relieve those horrible allergy-related symptoms.

Halls is terrific for all kinds of coughs. It can quiet a cough and open your sinuses in less than 10 seconds.

I happen to like the Halls in the bag -- I keep them in the car, in my purse, in my band bag, in my cupboard, and even in my nightstand.  I like the zipper closure.

I think almost everyone I know has a halls cough drop (or10) in their purse.
They can quiet a cough in church, in school, in meetings, on the bus, in the car... anywhere!
 You can win some Halls!

All you have to do is leave a comment by Oct. 15th, and I'll draw a name out of a hat. If you win, you will receive your 10 sticks of Halls cough drops directly from the manufacturer.

 This post was written for Family Review Network and HALLS who provided the complimentary product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Want Free Candles?

Leave a comment on the post below.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Glade Scented Oil Candles

I was asked to review and GIVE AWAY  Glade Scented Oil Candles.
When it arrived and I took it out of the box, the scent was extremely strong. I got the Vanilla Lavender scented one to review.  I'll be honest -- I had my doubts! The scent was almost too much, but since I promised a review, I continued and I am really glad I did. (I was so excited to light it that I forgot to take pictures...)
The glass holder is really nice. It's wider than most votive holders. The holder comes with a metal plate in the bottom. The candle itself is magnetized - actually it's the wick holder portion of the candle that is magnetized -- a very ingenious design. You don't have to worry that the wick is going to fall over and snuff itself out!
Speaking of the holder, you can design your own and if it's chosen, you can win $10,000 and see your design in stores!  Check it out: HERE  You only have until October 31st to create your design, so hop to it! I made one - snowflakes... only because I couldn't find a ladybug. I hope they pick it, but if they don't, it's okay because maybe they picked yours.
I lit the candle and the smell was very nice -- not too strong at all. As a matter of fact it was lovely! (Yes, I was very surprised!!) I set it in my entryway to see how far the scent would travel. I could catch a hint of it in my kitchen, but since it wasn't super strong even in the entry way, it was perfect.
I liked the way it melted - it turned into a little liquid puddle. The wick put itself out after all of the wax/oil was gone - it took a few hours.   The candle burned completely and very clean - no smoky flame, no soot on the glass, no soot anywhere for that matter.  See:
The glass holder did not get particularly hot on the bottom - I think this is because of the metal liner.  It would be safe for any kind of furniture. (I put it on a stone trivet because I wasn't sure how hot it would get.)
So - if you are looking for a great way to smell up your house - try the Glade Scented Oil Candles! They are awesome! You can win one of these beauties! Just leave a comment by Oct. 8th and I'll pick a winner out of a hat. The candle will come directly from the manufacturer.
This post was written for Family Review Network and SC Johnson who provided the complimentary product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest review.