You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

Today is Vermont Writes Day. A day set aside to teach students (and everyone) the importance of writing. Everyone and anyone is asked to write for seven minutes today. The sponsor of the project is the youngwritersproject.org “The aim is to get students, teachers, principals, school staff, guests and anyone else who cares to participate to write for just seven minutes.” A special website has been set up to showcase all the writing that took place. http://www.vermontwrites.ywpvt.net/ The site is being constantly updated as writers upload their writing. Check it out!

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This evening just walking in the door from high school open house for my oldest son, I got a phone call from my mom. It turns out that my dad’s cousin, Danny, passed away. He had developed prostrate cancer which spread to his bladder. Long and short of it was that over the past few weeks he had been very ill and he died Monday evening. This is truly very sad. Danny was a doll. He also was the last of what I would call my dad’s family. My uncle passed away about this time last year and that tore at my heart since as long as he was still alive, there was a part of my dad alive too. While they were not twins, they bore many resemblances and it cheered me to know that some part of my dad was still around. Now, Danny. Danny was there when my dad passed away suddenly and the last time that I saw him was at my uncle’s funeral. My heart is truly saddened, since I feel that the last part of my dad is now gone. His era, his relatives — all gone. I cried tonight for Danny, and for me, since that thread that held the line between the ethereal worlds of living and dead snapped and they are floating ever so much further apart.

I’ll miss you Danny, because you were funny as hell and could always make me smile and because you reminded me of my dad. Rest in peace.

The message on my tea bag today was:

The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment.

Pretty good message and came at a perfect time of the day. I had just come in from skiing for a bit.

Along with the rest of the East Coast, we are now forecast to get a winter storm. A “significant” winter storm. Presently, they are forecasting 8-14 inches of snow, although it is hard to get excited over this, since the last few forecasts for significant snow have been busts where we didn’t even get the low side of what they forecast as an overall storm total. Of course, since Tom will be away, this could be a significant storm since last year the biggest storm we had was while he was away and I had to go out and rescue some people that got stuck. Seems to be the way that happens. 

In any event, we’ll see what develops and I’ll keep you posted. The boys are anxious for a whopper and now they don’t wish for snow, they wish for ice since school rarely closes for a snowstorm. Ice, Ice baby……..

This will be a long week. We have company that is leaving today and more that is coming Friday. In the interim, Tom is leaving tomorrow for a business trip until Friday night. So….I get to play single mom for the week to the kids and the animals. Between those dates there are 2 piano lessons, one open house, one parent teacher conference, one play, 3 Odyssey of the Mind meetings, a boy scout meeting and a snowstorm…..keep it tuned here for what I am sure will be some interesting posts this week.

According to the dictionary “Vermonter” is defined as one born or living in Vermont. While the authors of the dictionary may stand by their definition, it definitely does not hold true in practice. If you ask anyone in Vermont what a “Vermonter” is the answer is plain and simple – someone who was born in Vermont. Not someone who lives in Vermont. No how, no way. There is a line drawn in the sand by native residents – there are Vermonters and then there are Flatlanders. Flatlanders is the term no doubt coined by Vermonters to refer to anyone who moved to Vermont from somewhere else (presumably flat – although I would guess that a transplanted Colorado resident would have issue with that). All of us transplants (and trust me in speaking with people here, most of us are transplants) know better than to try to hold yourself out as a true Vermonter. In fact, to go one step further, there is that line of thinking that maintains that in order to be a true Vermonter, you can’t even just be born here, you must actually have people here for generations – how many? Don’t know– but they are firm on that one. I recall how a Vermonter approached our neighbor who was pregnant and saw fit (Vermonters don’t hold back either) to inform her that her unborn child still wouldn’t be a Vermonter, since she would only be first generation born here.

Some would argue that these “Vermonters” are a tough bunch, that they are difficult people who seem a first glance unapproachable and unfriendly. Not true- “Vermonters” are kind, friendly and fiercely protective of their independence and the independence of their neighbors. Who would be the first to jump in to help a neighbor – no questions asked? A Vermonter, of course. Those qualities are what attracts most of us “flatlanders” to the state. Those qualities are the qualities we try so desperately to emulate as newly transplanted residents. And that, my friend, is why you can call me anything you like, as long as I get to live here with them.

While I was driving today picking up children, I got to thinking about friends from college. Probably because we are immersed in visitors this month (which is nice), the thoughts of some people that we haven’t seen in a while came to mind. There was a core group of us that did lots of things together –from hanging out at school and partying in the bars afterward to dinners and movies, concerts, skiing weekends and canoe/camping trips. Some of the really good memories that I have are of those friends and those nights/days/weekends that we spent together. All the laughter (some of it never-ending, we laughed sometimes so long and so much that it actually hurt), all the camaraderie and all the friendship. We, as a group, have seen each other through weddings, children, deaths of parents–we have laughed and cried together and grown stronger for it. Some of these friends we see often and are fortunate that our families get along so well that we can do that and some, regrettably, we see not so often. I am very proud to say that while I don’t see all of them as often as any of us would like, they are lifelong friends nonetheless. I am, the person I am today, in good part due to the bonds that were furnished with those people so long ago – I am in part, the sum of those relationships.  We have a sign in our house, which we believe fits perfectly “It takes a long time to grow old friends” we are lucky to have some of the best old friends in the book.

Tom and I tried to put together a “Big Chill” weekend (minus the dead guy) a couple years ago and it just didn’t pan out. We thought and still do think, that with a big house in the country, it would be cool to host our college friends and their kids for a weekend of reminiscing and fun. Maybe we’ll put our thinking caps on this spring during mud season (when there’s really not much else to do anyway) and try to come up with a plan to do that end of summer/fall this year.

This is something I found online at businesspundit.com and I just had to share. Thanks guys for the great laugh:

Always Check Your Child’s Homework Before it Gets Turned In

A first grade girl handed in the drawing below for a homework assignment.

growup












After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be very clear on my child’s illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This photo is of me selling a shovel.

Mrs. Harrington

Just goes to show that kids really do and say the darndest things……

As I sit here working, I am really cold. I don’t know why, it’s not that cold out (okay so it is that cold out – but not compared to how cold it has been). All day I have had this bone chilling cold feeling which I cannot shake even sitting here by the fire. So I made myself a cup of tea. As I was steeping the tea, I noticed the tea bag label had a saying on it:

The soul is projection. Represent it. 

So – now in addition to my chilly feeling, I have to figure out what the heck that means. Why? Because it’s in my nature. It is a message put there for a reason — what is it?

This week’s schedule is all out of whack. The boys (2 of them) have midterms which means that they have 1/2 days and no school some days and a completely crazy schedule this week. What does this mean to me, you might ask? Well, it means that my days consist basically of mornings until Friday and then I might as well just take that day off and get some work around the house done instead since both of them are off.

It is cold here, hovering around zero. I was reading that last weekend was a problem for Vermont ski resorts because one of the mountains that does night skiing canceled its night skiing due to the cold. That somehow got translated by media in the states south of here that ski resorts in Vermont were closing because of the cold. Who heard of such a thing?!?? Vermonters aren’t afraid of a little cold (or a lot of cold for that matter) — just look at the way my kids (who aren’t even real Vermonters) dress to go outside. As my youngest son put it — it’s not even negative out, what are they talking about it’s cold?

We had a houseful of friends this weekend for the holiday and it was a lot of fun. One of them inquired if I posted to the blog over the weekend or when there was company. My answer was that I usually do afterward but not during the weekend, first – because I usually don’t have the time, we are usually doing something far more fun; and second – because there is usually not enough quiet time to sit down and think about what to write. So, we are an empty house again this evening until next weekend when the next batch of company arrives. January is a busy month here at the T’s house.

What’s so special about tomorrow, January 20th? The inauguration of the First Black President you may say. Well, that is true, but that’s not what I was talking about. Tomorrow starts free makeup. Yes, free makeup. A class action settlement in the matter Azizian, et al. v. Federated Department Stores, Inc., et al.,Docket No. 4:03-CV-03359-SBA set forth that as a part of the class action settlement, anyone who purchased specific makeup from one of the listed department stores  from May 29, 1994 through July 16, 2003 is entitled to $25 worth of free makeup starting tomorrow. For a complete list of the stores and the makeup please check the website, www.cosmeticsettlement.com

Evilwife on the move

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