Saturday, February 27, 2010

Look what I made for future baby Conrad Scranton:

And here is the room with some easy adjustments in case I have a little future Hollynn Scranton instead! Notice both rooms have the same wall color and large furniture, leaving only bedding and drapery to be swapped for different genders. Aren't I clever?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nella's Story

Amy sent me a link here. It is the wonderful, tear jerking, story of the birth of Nella. I read the story...wiped my eyes and kept reading. Because who can stop reading when someone is willing to put themselves out there as much as Kelle did when writing about the experience of her daughter's birthday. I read the whole blog. All 2.5+ years of this woman's life. It was like finding a book series you love, going out and buying every book in the series, then staying up all night to read the whole thing. The best part? She keeps writing more. I don't get the sad feeling like when I finish a series knowing that I will never get to escape with those characters ever again in a new adventure. Kelle keeps writing and adding more characters as time goes by.

While reading her latest post today I really feel like she summarized why I am the way I am. I have ALWAYS been sarcastic. I have always had a little smart-ass response to people. When I am grumpy, my sarcasm has a mean bite to it and I seem to be able to hit people where it will hurt them the most.

Kelle says, "In the midst of my pain and sadness in life, my sarcasm often brews. I usually don't mean what I say, but I say it because it feels good and the wit it takes to concoct something halfway funny and caustic distracts the part of my brain that feels pain. And because I'm sad, I usually don't feel guilty for biting satire."

Well, in an effort to curb my sarcasm, at least a little, Kelle has inspired me to get the following book:
Perhaps with 14,000 things at my disposal, I can find more to be happy about.
After all, I believe it was Pollyanna who said, "If you look for the good in people, surely you will find it." (Even though in the movie the quote was attributed to Abraham Lincoln, he never actually said it. The movie writers just needed to attach someone to the quote to give it more meaning than if Polly's dad just said it.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

(Not) My Man Mitch

Dear Governor Daniels,
The following was posted in my local newspaper today:
"Average Indiana teachers make more money each year than average Indiana workers, Daniels said.

The governor is not opposed to that disparity, he said, but used it to frame a question he posed to those who would increase school funding through taxes.

“Why is it fair to raise taxes on lower-income people to pay for people who are better compensated?” Daniels asked.

The crowd at the convention center seemed to pause after the question.

“As you can see,” Daniels said, “I came prepared.” "

How dare you compare the salary of a degree-toting teacher with the average Indiana worker? I believe, sir, you are also a government employee. Where is your pay-cut to save education? You think I make too much? I make the same amount as my local garbage collector with a high school diploma. I hardly consider raising the taxes of everyone for the benefit of everyone to be forcing the poor to pay people who are better compensated. People are paying for a service when they pay taxes.
I voted for you this past year, believing what you claimed you could do for us in the state of Indiana. I have voted the Republican ticket my whole life. I was even a member of the Republican Student Government at Purdue University. Whoever is running against you in our next election will have my vote.
I blindly followed what you claimed you would be able to do and didn’t dig to find your hidden agenda. You may have kept the state in the black, but considering it is against the Indiana constitution to borrow money or go into debt, I don’t believe that is such an accomplishment. You merely stole from Peter (teacher retirement funds) to pay Paul.
I am assuming since you were able to send your children to private school, you cannot fathom why all people cannot do the same. Most people do not make as much money as you; especially, now that you are removing us all from our jobs. You have completely destroyed the teaching union (not that we had anything to bargain with before) and now you seek (and are nearly finished) to destroy public education.
You say that you would like the educational cuts to occur at the administrative level. Well, genius, the administrators are in charge of allocating the funding and making the cuts. Why would they cut their own jobs or salary? Instead teaching jobs are being cut, programs for children are being cut, arts programs are being removed from schools, and libraries are being closed to students. How on earth is any of this going to help our state in the long run? If literacy is so important, why are we making class sizes too large for teachers to meet the needs of all learners while reducing funding for materials and supplies? The only schools who can afford to teach their students are the ones who are not meeting AYP and being taken over by the government. Is that your plan? Reward the horrible schools by providing them money and services while you watch the four star schools fail?
You are forcing the families who care about education to seek private intuitions while public schools become a place to harbor the poor. Considering that the majority of the poor individuals are people of color, how is this agenda not a form of segregation? You are separating the wealthy elite from the poor families, creating an opportunity wedge which will result in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Who do you think will be accepted to the best colleges, the private school students or those graduating from the monstrosity that you are making public education?
And you think I make too much. Look in the mirror, Mr. Governor, and ask yourself what you are really doing to the state of Indiana.


I don't believe I have ever asked anyone to pray for me. Until today. I need anyone who believes to please pray for peace of mind. I am overwhelmed by the job situation here in Bloomington and the feeling of hopelessness that comes with it. I know there are worse things in life... I could live in Hadi for one, under rubble. But in our society, we have become accustomed to living double-income lives. Even though each of our incomes is not a lot, combined it isn't too bad. The thought of potentially living on one part-time teacher's salary (about $14,000) next year scares the shit out of me.
Anyway, I think this song sums up how I am feeling right now. I feel like I am just one more piece of bad news away from losing it.

I am going to think of the good things. I have a house, a job (for now), clothing, heat, electricity, a blind dog, a husband, a working (needs repairs) car, good appliances, a computer, money in Sparky's savings, pretty dishes (shallow, I know), a new-to-me entertainment center, nice wedding gifts, a wonderful vacuum, weekend trips to car shows, a hot water heater... ok, I am feeling better. But I noticed that I am listing mostly stuff. I don't need stuff. I need to get over it. What do I really need to live? happiness. you can't buy that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Make some coffee...

...because this is a long video. And you need to watch it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


While I am catching up on all of my blogging, I should probably mention what is going on at our schools right now. But you know what? I am tired of talking about it, and thinking about it, and my head hurts, and my chest hurts, and there isn't anything I can do about it anyway. So... If you want to know what is going on get a newspaper. Basically we are $4.8 or so million in the hole so we are losing about 75-100 teachers, all librarians, and many other services. Unfortunately, I am at the bottom of the seniority totem pole at my school so I will not be teaching there next year. I have not gotten a Reduction in Force I don't know if I will be moved to a different school, held onto until they can find room for me, or sitting at home getting my master's degree that I cant use.
Anyway, I am pretty bitter about it all and I don't want to talk about it anymore. I wish it would all go away and everything would just be done. Tell everyone if they are fired or not so we can stop living in a state of limbo and move on with our lives.

Valentine's Day

Sparky and I kinda celebrated Valentine's Day early. On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week we had some more snow days. Wednesday we decided to go up to Indy and run some errands. Sparky got a carbon fiber welding helmet and went to all sorts of places. I got to go to Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and Sparky even went with me into Janie and Jack to daydream.
Then he took me out to eat dinner at Claddagh:
doesn't he look so happy?

He even bought me a black and blue so I could drink my childless sorrows away: 

He is a good guy. 

Home Show

Friday was another snow day, so my mom called and we headed up to Indy. for the Home Show! I hadn't been to the home show since high school when I went with my interior design class on a field trip...and they left me behind. I can't make this stuff up. This was in the days before everyone had a cell phone, so we had to contact the police, who contacted the school, who contacted the bus... and they came back to get me and my buddy.

This trip was much more enjoyable. ;o)
This is a refrigerator. It is so pretty. 
I love apron sinks:

And anarondak chairs: 

I love the bubbly glass in this outdoor fixture: 

Here is my mom getting the information about this outdoor fireplace:

And now for our tour of the house:
When you walk in the front door, you walk past a stair case into the living room with built in bookshelves: 
sofa of my dreams (toile + green = love):
See the luggage peeking behind the sofa? Here is a better look:
Now, we walk past the luggage into a little sitting area in the kitchen:
Turn slightly to the left and you are in the kitchen:
Right where I am standing to take this picture is the dining room table:
From the dining room table you can look back into the living room at the beautiful sofa:

If you walk around the corner (behind the built in book shelf shown way above) there is a small home office:

Right here is also a door into the half bath:

Now lets go upstairs. At the top of the stairs there is a lovely rec room. Check out the baseball glove seat:

In the foreground of this picture you can see a little table, here is a (somewhat) better shot of it:

I think the valances in this room are full of whimsey:
There was a boring lego boy's bedroom there. Not worth taking pictures of. And a little girl's room. It was tiny, but well painted:

Then around the staircase is a landing with a bookshelf right in front of the entry to the master bedroom and the laundry room:
Laundry room:

A creative bulletin board in the laundry room:

Master Bedroom:
Master Bathroom:


There was a mirror somewhere in the house made of old pipes:

I also really like this door:

I hope you got some good ideas!

Pacers Game

Sparky ordered tickets to go to Monster Jam for himself, my dad, and my brother-in-law Jay.
 While they went and enjoyed the monster trucks my mom and I headed over to my sisters house to help her match her clothing. No, I am not kidding. She is a 28 year old woman who does not know how to match. It is really pathetic. I finally got her able to match a pair of pants with a top and shoes. But... her boss wants her to wear suits, so throw in a blazer and she apparently forgot all of the rules about matching. Let me just say, I have a whole new respect for Stacy London from What Not to Wear. I should have taken pictures to show you all some of the stuff she was putting together...sigh. Anyway, she is all organized now and I am not afraid of running into her in public.

 Back to the story...

After he ordered the tickets, ticket master offered him two free tickets to a Pacers game! It only cost $7 for the ticket master processing fee (of course). We had really good seats...not that we watched the game, we don't really like sports. This is what we both look like after teaching all day long, going to meetings after school, then driving an hour to the game...
Our seats retail for over $150!
One of the best parts of the game (other than people watching) was the half time show. No. Not the Pacemates. There was a group of kids from some dance school that came out and danced. They were GOOD! Some of them were so tiny.
Anyway, we know why they gave away the tickets for free. The basketball game was not very exciting or interesting. They don't have any really remarkable players and they were playing some team I had never heard of. Whatever happened to Reggie Miller?