Showing posts from January, 2013

School budget woes

Our town, like many others, is currently looking at a large school budget deficit.  I do not mean in the hundred thousands, I mean in the many millions.  Considering I live in the county with the highest property taxes in the US, though my town is considered "reasonable" - only in comparison to the absurd taxes other towns around us pay, somehow we find ourselves with a budget deficit.  I cannot say enough about the wonderful school system my children are in.  It is all that I would design a school system to be - diverse, well rounded between academics and non-academic development, clean, safe and staffed with teachers that to date have just touched my children's development as much as they have touched my heart for their relationships with my kids.

The deficit comes from the pension plan that teachers' get.  This is a quandary - our teachers are very well paid (as they should be) - and have a pension plan that is the envy of pretty much every person in this town.  W…

Jackie O (oh Jackie)

I have found a really good book club -- it is virtual (though the cocktails usually associated with in person book clubs would be nice Kris) and it is really only one other person.  The reason I find it good is because we usually like and dislike the same books and actually read them and discuss them.  I mean there is nothing quite like reading a book and then sharing that with another person.  I am a total bibliophile. The cocktails in any other book club I tried led to less talk about the book, or my small pet peeve people who never read any part of the book.  I mean why not just say let's get drinks and not a book club. 

Our recent book club selection is "Mrs. Kennedy and Me" - it is written by the Secret Service agent who was assigned to her detail when she was First Lady.  I must admit I do not worship at the Kennedy altar like so many do.  I have come to respect the difficult JFK presidency, Bay of Pigs/Cuban Missile Crisis/Soviets everywhere trying to push for grea…

Can you hear the people sing?

I recently took my 8 year old son, along with my wonderful friend and her 8 year old daughter (aka my son's good bud), to see Le Mis.  It was not his first viewing, we had seen a production at our local high school (his then 4 1/2 year old brother lasted about 30 min but my then 6 year old lasted through 2 1/2 hours of it).  

I had loved the play on Broadway - the music is wonderful if you like musicals, the stage was amazing live and most of all there is the story.  The story of a man driven to steal a loaf of bread, driven to survive a harrowing imprisonment, driven to change and most of all driven from start to finish to be more than 24601.  

My friend and I were bit nervous about taking our kids - you know there is a scene where a young boy is killed, point blanc - but since both of them were familiar with the story we thought it would be ok.  They were not as traumatized by that scene, my friend and I weeped openly and I used her box of tissues freely, as we thought - they were…

On aging...

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” 
― Robert Frost

I recently spent a day in a hospital with my mother and her husband.  My Mom is in her early 70s and he is 80.  I am not sure when my mother got to be 71 - I mean she was 45 forever in my mind, before she actually was that age and way after - and then all of a sudden as I see her with him, and as they struggle with moving I noticed she shrunk a little and sped to her 70s.  She is an active can't sit still type so she is very energetic but I see her wince a little when she wakes up and notice that she carries around a pill case that well is filled with a lifetime of hard work that beat up the body.  

My stepfather's hospital roommate was 82 and his wife 81. This couple had great energy between them.  Since it was a whole day, and if you have ever been in a hospital visiting or as a patient you know time drags on (and that weird hospital smell well - yeah - you got it - eww).  My stepfather slept a lot, which …

Goodbye 2012... hard to believe

How will we remember 2012?  I have been thinking about this for the past few days?  If you, like me, know that watching the news is usually depressing yet cannot help yourself because you are a current events junkie (goes hand in hand with my being a history junkie too...child of Communist bloc parents so politics were my bedtime story since I can remember) you may recall this year by all the tragedies.  There were man made tragedies (like Newtown, CT) and natural disasters (Hurricane Sandy) and the usual murder, mayhem, wars and other items that the print and tv media called "news" deems worthy of spending the majority of their time on.

That would be a depressing way to go into a new year.  It is not that we should all not acknowledge all of these terrible events, what could we learn from them, how could we handle them better, is there a prevention?  It is not that no matter how hard we may try this year will always touch our hearts as the year that so many small children we…