Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note (between bites :0) to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. What a great day dedicated solely to remembering what we have to be thankful for! Life seems to be a continual ride on the waves full of highs and lows. Here's hoping that in your life the highs are more frequent and far more memorable than the lows.

Don't eat too much (gotta save some for leftovers!)

~later, tw

Monday, November 23, 2009

The official start...

... or kick-off to the holiday season began this weekend. Gerry and I raced over to Spokane to celebrate my brother-in-law's (or is it brother's-in-law...I've nailed the plural but now the possessive is apparently going to give me grief!) birthday. Like so many of our friends and siblings, Lyle has reached the milestone of having survived 50 years on this planet and he did so with the grace and (especially) humor that we've come to expect from him.

The party may have been small but what it lacked in numbers it more than made up for with love and laughter and general best wishes for him on the occasion. Margo (his wife and my sister) had put together a casual event and though their was another family situation that arose during the week, she somehow managed to maintain the "surprise" factor! We arrived in the afternoon, our impending arrival unbeknownst to Lyle, in time for a wonderful luncheon and party.

While I provided Lyle with my traditional gift of pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins (twice the number now!), Gerry filled Lyle's reading shelf with two series of books. His daughter gifted him with a new coffee-maker and a super-size mug she made herself while his brother and sister-in-law gave a basket of assorted coffees (I think there was some collusion on that gift!) My nephew and his buddy (who has really been unofficially adopted by Lyle and Margo and is now a true member of the family) gave Lyle a certificate good for one full day (as to be determined by Lye) of "slave" holiday labor. The boys offered to provide decorating services for the holiday and nobody knows how to decorate like Lyle does! Although this really is an amazing gift, I think Lyle should have held out for put up AND take down service!
But the most fabulous gift was from my sister Margo. She made for him an amazing photo quilt sure to physically provide warmth but also remembrances of past times sure to warm his heart. It was an incredible stroll down memory lane.

It makes me sad when I think of my friends and family who would rather forget that they're having a birthday at I often say, "consider the alternative" to having a birthday. I'm a pretty sentimental gal - I love looking at the photos, remembering and reviewing the past good times, but would I want to be 30 again? While I might want to have the energy I seemed to possess then, at 30 I was chasing a toddler, pre-schooler and starting Sarah off to school. I was volunteering at PTA carnivals and Brownies and while it was "fun while it lasted" I don't want to go back. I'm quite content being 51 years old (at least I'm pretty sure that's how old I am - I'm not that great at calculating it since I was born in a year ending in 8 and those of you who know me know what a challenge it is for me to work with the number "8"!)

We've celebrated many 50th birthdays in the past couple of years and there are certainly more to come. I hope everyone enjoys reaching this milestone as Gerry did, as I did, as Lyle did.

~later, tw

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interesting "Lesson Plan"

Before my focus completely shifts to "holiday mode," I couldn't resist the chance to comment on this story out of North Carolina:

"N.C. school selling test scores to raise funds" (

It seems that the chocolate sale was a dismal flop, so the Rosewood Middle School of Goldsboro, North Carolina decided to try something really different.

Now having dreaded, participated and basically survived 15 years of elementary and secondary school fundraising, I'm all for innovative ideas that "tap" into the checkbooks and wallets of our parents and communities. I hated the labor-intensive carnivals, the not-so-environmentally-friendly (yet ever so successful) gift wrap sales, tracked literally hundreds of thousands of cookies for the Girl Scouts and popcorn for the Boy Scouts, and attempted to sell rather expensive tickets to a "no dinner" dinner. But this one beats all!

For a mere $20, your child can purchase twenty test points towards his or her grade (in 10 point increments they can use these points to elevate two of their test scores). Wow! There's a lesson that I'm not convinced we need to teach our kids: money really DOES buy everything!

I've heard in the past months about programs where schools might actually PAY children to attend classes, as if getting an education was their JOB. The problem with this scenario is that it tends to reinforce a child's concept of "what's in it for me?" Hard work, an education, and the opportunies that comes with that knowledge is of no value to this generation.

If these kids attempt this exact same approach to their college education, they will be dismissed. I would imagine that would be grounds for some soft of lawsuit against the administrators of Rosewood Middle School. I hope the kids can find someone who actually earned their law degree (rather than buying it).

~later, tw