Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bye Grade 1

About half an hour ago I picked up Papoosie Girl from school, Grade 1 is over. Her first full year of school under her belt, the first step taken on a hopefully long path of academic endeavours.

She cried all the way home. She loves her teacher and can't bear to not see her everyday. I love her teacher too, she is everything a teacher should be, engaging, supportive, caring and concerned. There is a remote chance we might get this teacher again, but I don't want to get my hopes up or hers. Our Principal is also retiring so these last few days of school have been tough for Papoosie Girl, lots of goodbyes.

I cannot think of a better testament to our very small school than a child who cried all the way home on the last day.

I have been toying with the idea of getting my teaching certificate and after volunteering in the school and being on the Council I wonder if I have what it takes. The teachers in Papoosie Girl's school work hard with very limited means and they make the most out of what little resources the Board and the province toss their way.

I have never been a fan of teacher bashing, for the obvious reason that I don't really bash anyone - well certain celebrities beg for it, but even then I usually refrain. My preferred choice would be to get involved and make a change - make a difference.

Teacher's spend five days a week with our children, teaching them everything they can within constraints so severe I never would have believed it had I not seen it for myself. You hear people say things like, "it is easy being a teacher with holidays and summers off" or similar statements. Let me tell you if I ever thought that teachers have it easy I have long since been enlightened. They are the unsung heroes of our children's childhoods.

Best wishes to all teachers - enjoy your summer - you deserve it. Here are some quotes I came across while looking for an image. Some food for thought.

It'll be a great day when education gets all the money it wants and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy bombers. ~Author unknown, quoted in You Said a Mouthful, Ronald D. Fuchs, ed.

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. ~Kahlil Gibran

The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate "apparently ordinary" people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people. ~K. Patricia Cross

Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~Author Unknown

Monday, June 25, 2007

I cooked!

In my effort to not be such a poor meal planner I have been trying to cook large batches of things so that there is no excuse for eating six Dad's oatmeal cookies and a large glass of cold milk for lunch.

Joy asked everyone what they are making that qualifies as fresh and like many others grilled veggies are quick and easy right now. I usually add something acid like lemon juice or balsamic or red wine vinegar and some oil, sometimes olive oil and sometimes canola. I use basil, oregano, rosemary and parsley or whatever I fancy. Actually, if I am really strapped for time Kraft salad dressing - any of the vinaigrette's work well with veggies.

I made the pasta salad using the tri-coloured veggie pasta, carrots, broccoli, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and feta cheese crumbled. I ate it for lunch all week and one dinner too with some grilled chicken. Yum.

The chili is actually made with ground turkey and sometimes I make it with ground chicken. I know chili is kind of more of a winter food, but when you eat it as I do with a big bowl of nachos for dipping and use lots of fresh veggies it really is fresh! It is also low-fat and loaded with protein and veggies, it doesn't get much better than that. Well, it could if my girls would eat it.

Here is the recipe more or less:

1 package of ground turkey or chicken
1 can of chick peas
1 can white kidney beans
1 can of corn (frozen works too)
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 red pepper (any kind of pepper works)
1 sweet onion (I use Vidalia)
Chili spice (you can add extra garlic if you like)

*I brown the turkey/chicken and when it is almost done I add in the chopped pepper and onion.
*Once all sauteed I add all the cans bring it to a boil and simmer on low for about 45 minutes or so.
*Last I add a dollop of honey, the mixture of hot and sweet is really good.

My sister-in-law also adds in chopped carrots and even tofu, but I don't. You really can't go wrong it is all just a matter of taste.

I think I messed up the dates on my last two posts since they didn't show up on Google Reader for some reason. Sorry to anyone I have confused!

Monday Musings - Playing House

When we first got married I felt like we were playing house. I kept waiting for someone to out us and take away our pretend life. When I look at the photos of us in the sales trailer proudly standing beside our model of house I think what babies we were, I can't believe they sold us a house!

We have many photos documenting buying our home and the progress of it being built. I don't think any of those photos quite capture the essence of playing house quite the way these photos do. Nor do any of us in the house the first few years.

When pregnant with Papoosie Girl I bought this adorable mint green snowsuit with paw mitts and a kitty face from The Bay. It was the first baby item I bought and I just had to have it. As soon as I got it home I put in on a stuffed dog and tried it out. Why there are no sheets on the bed is a mystery, I was cleaning them perhaps? This was the guest room that would become the nursery painted a most beautiful, soft robins egg blue with accents of sage green and cream. I was inspired by the bedding we bought and built the colour scheme around it. It is now Rosebud's room and Papoosie Girl has moved into the bedroom next door which is a shocking Pepto Bismal pink. I still love my nursery and seeing it in its former life is strange.

Papoosie Girl came home from the hospital in that same snowsuit and wore it for several months. Now we were playing house with a little doll. In the photo she is packed up and ready to leave the hospital. When I look at myself holding up that stuffed animal in the snowsuit I feel a mix of emotions. The knowledge that I have now of how my life would change forever staggers me. The me of before would never have been able to understand that. Everyone tells you life changes, you change, but those are words to be understood in the moment and moments that follow the car ride home. I remember thinking as we walked out of the hospital New Year's Eve 2000 why are they letting us leave? I kept waiting, right up until she was buckled into the car, for someone to tap us on the shoulder and stop us. Stop imposters! They put that snowsuit on a stuffed animal!

Of course we did bring her home and there she stayed, a brand new member for us to play house with and indeed we do.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My Big Fat Greek Life

As some of you know my husband is of Greek heritage. He was born in Toronto, but his parents immigrated to Canada as young adults. His Dad came first and instead of settling in Montreal with his brother he kept on to Toronto to stay with another brother. He originally landed Halifax and when we took a trip to the East Coast in our dating years, Hubby was moved to tears to imagine his father entering these very waters on his ship with $3 in his pocket.

His father is the youngest child of a mother widowed while he was still in her womb. He lived through depression, the war, the German occupation of their village, and poverty. He tended sheep and slept in fields and truthfully had no shoes. He is a master of making a meal out of nothing, a skill honed over years of surviving on what you could grow or raise yourself.

Theirs is the story that movies are made of, they came with nothing and made a wonderful life. Hubby's Dad knew his future wife as they were from the same village even though he is a few years older. Their courtship was letters back and forth and finally my Husband's Dad asked her father for permission to get married. My mother-in-law came to Canada and despite being alone with just a handful of people she knew, she got married to a man she barely knew. Today is their 45th wedding anniversary and they are a couple who know each other in a way that is almost supernatural. This lifetime together, longer than I have been alive has given them an unbreakable bond. Not that they don't bicker like the best of us and my father-in-law can drive my mother-in-law nuts sometimes, it is just that they are so connected they are unimaginable apart.

As I approach my 10th anniversary I have trouble imagining my 45th, or even 25th. That seems like so many lifetimes away. My father-in-law loves to regale me with stories and even after all this time I am not an expert at extracting myself from the conversation. He speaks of family in such a way, that is revered with such ferocity you dare not challenge his notions. When I point out that most if not all cultures revere family, he will tell me it is different with Greek people. At first this offended me, was my family not devoted to each other? Did we not love each other? My Hubby would tell me that I was being defensive or perhaps I misunderstood or something was lost in translation. And while I am certain that the value of family applies to every other culture, having first-hand experience with the Greek culture I believe it to be true in the sense that family is not only important it is the reason they take every breath.

My in-laws would do anything for us and I mean that in the most literal way. They would give until they could give no more before turning away family. I love my family and am quite sure they love me, but there is an element of self-preservation that I think would kick in at a certain point. My in-laws would drive over and get me a tissue out of the box if I asked and really think nothing of it, I asked and that is enough for them. I have had the luxury of having my children cared for, of letting a sick child stay in bed while I took the other one somewhere, homemade food, company for doctors appointments, a warm meal whenever I enter the door and in fact a key to the front door. I am family and they have accepted me fully.

I know they were wary of me when Hubby first brought me around, which was well into the relationship - bringing home girlfriends is frowned upon. I am sure they longed for someone Greek for their son. I was told recently that my mother-in-law tells most people that I am Greek in every way that matters because I love her son and family dearly. I remember thinking, wow I never imagined I would be accepted like that. Let's face it I stand out in the family, an English girl with blondish hair who bristles when the conversation comes round to discussions of women's work with some of the older relatives.

The movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding is very much like my life, in an exaggerated and comedic way. When the movie came out I loved it and my brother's name is Ian which made it all the funnier. Who doesn't love John Corbett, I was smitten while being addicted to Northern Exposure - I was convinced I would name a girl Cicley if I ever had one. While the premise of the movie is getting her family to accept him and that certainly was not the case for me, this movie was funnier to me than it was to many others I am sure. A manual and code book for the non-Greek girl.

I was married in a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony, have heard about the origin of many words (I used to get so mad at then to-be Hubby when he would clean up on Jeopardy based on his knowledge of Greek), have a hard time keeping all the cousins straight since they all have the same names, explain every Easter why I still don't like lamb, have been plied with mountain tea to make me better and yes, considered Greek school for my girls.

Hubby attended Greek school every day after school his whole elementary school life. He would finish school, go home have a snack and go to Greek school from 4-7pm every day. He can speak, write and read Greek fluently, is extremely proud of his heritage and doesn't have a single Greek friend. That I have always found strange. We don't have a Greek flag waving anywhere in our house, but both my girls have several icons given to them to protect them that are safely tucked away.

The movie came out right around my birthday and Hubby gave me a doctored version with this photo on the cover. That is my head (from our wedding), but not my body - oh how I wish my waist was that small. Hubby doctored up his hair to get the right effect. I have a framed copy on our bookcase and everyone loves it, we get so many comments on it even after all this time. The only thing I left out when I scanned it was he put our names at the top, marquee style.

I could and maybe will do a post one day on all the wacky stuff, but really I think about how earnest his Dad is while telling me something or his Mom when she tells me something that I think borders on voodoo. They are simple people who made a life, own their own home, owned businesses and my Hubby's Dad completed a Grade 3 education. They put two children through university and are still helping. I would not want them to think I was making fun of them in any way. They have done more in their lives than most people could do in twenty life times and when I get cranky and sullen I feel spoiled and ungrateful when I think of what they have endured to get to where they are today.

My Big Fat Greek Life is great. It may resemble a movie sometimes - good thing it is a comedy. Even though they have no clue about my blog, I should be so lucky to be celebrating my 45th anniversary one day. Best wishes to them and everyone who manages to make this journey as a couple, to find that person whom you belong with for better or worse.

Friday, June 22, 2007


I have been trying to sort out some of our photos and travel keepsakes, I have no idea why this bothers me so much; but it does. Actually, I am in more of a pre-sort phase at the moment. I have gathered all the loose photos in the house and have put them in assortment of totes and boxes, oh how I love my totes! Some are in old fashioned sticky page albums, some are in those one dollar flip albums, many are in the sleeves from developing and others are loose much like the memories they hold.

My goal was to just get them all in one spot and then start the fun process of sorting them. While this has been stressful it has uncovered some long forgotten memories and moments.

When Hubby and I used to travel we would set up an itinerary for both us and to give to our parents so they could keep track of our travels (did they even want this?) and we would use this while planning out our vacation.

Below is what Hubby made for our honeymoon. We really are that geeky. I am not even sure who is worse because I made the plan for our trip to the East Coast in Word Perfect on the blue screen and all. I will spare you that particular pain.

This September is our 10th anniversary and we always said we would go back to Hawaii on our 10th. Then we went to Disney World last summer so our funds are not exactly overflowing at the moment. We will go back, that I know and maybe even bring the girls. It is such a magical place and I want to share that with them. I know many people feel it is very commercial and it can be, but there is something so special and magical about Hawaii especially in the lesser known parts. You can feel the history there.

I went as a child with my father and step-mother and remember that trip so fondly, I was enchanted with the islands. While planning our honeymoon I felt compelled to return, I felt like my father was calling me there. He passed away six weeks after we got engaged at the age of 48, I will have that day burned into my mind and soul forever. Every moment, from the phone call, car drive and the hospital room is so exact in my mind I wish there was a way to erase it.

We went ahead with planning the wedding and we were married one year and one month after he passed away. It was the hardest year of my life.

Hubby's idea of a honeymoon was a long-weekend get-a-away, mine was a tad grander and was being fueled by completely irrational thoughts it seemed. I just had to go to Hawaii, there was no dissuading me and when I look back poor Hubby was so concerned for me, I can see that now. My fervor for wanting to go back to this place I visited with my father was relentless.

After much discussion (begging and pleading) he agreed to this very expensive (the money would be better spent on the mortgage) honeymoon. He loved every minute of it. The helicopter ride over the bubbling volcano, swimming with the dolphins, watching the sunrise above the clouds at Mt. Haleakala, the hypnotic beauty of the ocean, the sombre visit to Pearl Harbor - all of it.

I visited one of the hotels I stayed in as a child and walked around the grounds delighted that not much had changed. I walked on the beach my Dad and I snorkeled on and I remembered the wonder and beauty he shared with me under the ocean. I felt at peace in Hawaii for the first time since he had passed away.

My Dad was an anal, type-A person too, so I come by it naturally. As August approaches and the anniversary of his death comes near I think of him often. My brother is getting married in July and I am sad he will miss this, another child of his is getting married. Life is not fair sometimes, but oh how it moves on.

He would have been proud of my itinerary, he really would.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Meme too - Hey, that's two words

The lovely, funny, sassy and strong Alpha DogMa tagged me for this one word meme, surely a test for the long-winded me.

1 Where is your cell phone? Diaper bag
2 Relationship? Married
3 Your hair? Transition
4 Work? Nonstop
5 Your sister? Amy
6 Your favorite things? Books
7 Your dream last night? None
8 Your favorite drink? Iced Tea
9 Your dream car? Cabriolet
10 The room you're in? Small
11 Your shoes? Crocs
12 Your fears? Death
13 What do you want to be in 10 years? Traveling
14 Who did you hang out with this weekend? Family/Friends
15 What are you not good at? Disappointment
16 Muffins? Yum!
17 Wish-list item? Space
18 Where you grew up? Suburbs
19 The last thing you did? Groceries
20 What are you wearing? Capris
21 What are you not wearing? Socks
22 Your pet? None
23 Your computer? iBook
24 Your life? Nice
25 Your mood? Restless
26 Missing? Dad
27 What are you thinking about? Dinner
28 Your car? Van
29 Your kitchen? Clean
30 Your summer? Adventures
31 Your favorite color? Blue
32 Last time you laughed? Today
33 Last time you cried? Saturday
34 School? More?
35 Love? Plenty
36. Tag? Omaha Mama

Gives new meaning to choose your words carefully.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Musings - Thanks Daddy

Thanks Daddy...

*For taking us to Home Depot, grocery shopping, the gas station, the car wash, for oil changes, for coffee for Mommy and all the other great places you take us when Mommy is "enjoying her peace and quiet"

*For letting us put hair bows in your hair and not yelling, "ouch" like Mommy does

*For taking us on great adventures and even when it is supposed to be educational we always have fun

*For teaching us how to throw and catch and hit even if our skills are a little shaky

*For teaching us about space, math, physics and all the stuff Mommy avoids

*For making chocolate chip pancakes every Sunday and making them in princess and frog shapes

*For getting us treats when we are out even if our idea of keeping it a secret is to blurt it out as soon as the van is in the driveway

*For letting us pick presents for Mommy even if they are a hunter green velvet tank top in size small (and for always keeping the receipts)

*For loving the homemade t-shirt with our hand prints just as much as your "Steelers Dad" shirt

*For cutting our grilled cheese sandwiches in shapes with cookie cutters

*For knowing that is OK to leave the house once in a while without 7 bags, a sweater, a hat or a drink and survive

*For working so hard so Mommy can stay home and take care of us every day

*For being the Best Dad in the whole wide world

Love Rosebud and Papoosie Girl

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday Musings - Shh I think I am becoming a b@$%h

In recent weeks, well really months I have found myself speaking up and out in a way I never have done before. If you knew me in my real life you would know I have never been one to make waves or cause a fuss. I may be a talker, but conflict has never been my speciality. I would rather lop my own arm off than start a fight with someone.

That was then. In the last little while I have not only confronted people I have engaged them in a way I have never done before with little regard for the pot I was stirring. I find myself much less tolerant of situations where there is an easy way to resolve it, I am not interested in finding a manager or consulting a guide; I want resolution and I want it now.

I have no tolerance for silly, politically correct, dancing around something conversations. I hear my voice saying things like, "what is it exactly you are trying to say?" or worse, "is there a point you are trying to make?" My frustration bubbles up so fast these days and threatens to boil over into all the burners much too often. A fellow School Council member was recently quizzing me about the discussion in the meeting they had missed, asking me over and over why didn't I bring this or that up. I finally said, "if you were so concerned you should have been at the meeting last night." I was not asked anymore questions.

I am afraid my sudden tell it like it is attitude is going to land me in big trouble soon. I recently snatched a lollipop out of Rosebud's startled mouth while visiting some family. I had been very clear that the girls were not to be eating any more candy. I have repeated asked this family member to not ply my children with cookies and candy each time they see them (which is not all that often, but often enough), offer them something else I would suggest if you really think they are hungry. So the other day I snapped and told them that each time they fill the girls pockets with treats I throw them out. To be fair this family member agreed it was just their way of getting an extra hug out of them, and has since agreed to lay off the candy.

We have so many friends with kids with fillings and the dental bills to prove it. Kids as young as 4 and 5 having root canals, silver teeth, and fillings. Is candy all to blame? Nope, the dentist cites saliva issues and high bacteria counts, but you know what - it cannot be helping. My Mom gave the girls Crocs for Easter this year in my war against unnecessary treats and my Step mom gave them Chapters gift cards. And no the Easter Bunny did not leave a trail of frozen peas, we had chocolate, plenty of it - I am just trying hard to limit the flow into the house.

I digress. I am a bitch I fear these days. No one is immune from my wrath it seems. I have adopted an attitude that enables me to speak much more freely though and not get pushed around half as much. Hubby jokes that I was sooo much easier to get along with before, but I know this is what he has always wanted for me, to find my voice and use it. When I met him I could scarcely order from a menu without checking with him first. I was recovering from a very combative relationship where I quickly learned to keep my mouth shut. I think initially, I was so relieved to be able to think and speak freely I was simply happy enough with that. Years later though I find myself wanted more, willing to step up to the conflict a wee bit more. I will never be a yeller or a fighter, it is just inherently not my nature. That doesn't mean though that I am not embracing this other side of myself. They say life's a bitch, they just haven't met me yet.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Meme too, Rhet Style

Why is it I am always the last to answer these things? Does it count that I at least do them even if it is after the fact...

It is my turn to be tagged by the explosive Blog Rhet Meme and since it was Bub & Pie who tagged me and she was my very first comment it really is fitting. I answered many of the questions in a post way back, but I will answer the questions and fill in any missing pieces. I have so enjoyed reading every one's answers and can't believe how many people have similar stories to mine. Then I am enjoying the stories that are completely different from mine too. All around fascinating stuff.

Here we go.

1. Go back to first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days?
Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then?

Hesitant. On a lark. These are two things that come to mind when I read my very brief first post now. Here is a bit of it:

This blog is simply for me to keep a living diary of everything wonderful and not so wonderful in our family. I was inspired by Catherine and have followed her since her first entry on Baby Center.

This will be my attempt at documenting our life.

For my sister Amy in South Korea a chance to keep track of us in a way only random rantings can.

I was writing to my sister and still am, even though she is nearing the end of her time in Seoul. I was also trying to better capture the fleeting moments - the minutia of daily life with small children. So that has been true to form. What I could have never predicted is what is has brought to me, and done for me. I had no clue of the true sense of audience or even what I was getting into really. I was following a writer I loved and found others I liked an awful lot more too and was just trying to figure out how I could be a part of it. I never dreamed anyone would care to read my blog and that is the truth.

When Catherine Newman left Baby Center I tracked her down and discovered she had a blog. I read her posts, it was just a few then and read her comments with just as much interest. These were people who I already had something in common with, we liked her writing and stories. As I started to check out the comments there were a few that stuck with me, writers I just felt very much at home reading. Bub & Pie was one of those blogs. I decided to try to start my own so I stayed up until 1am one night and poof I had a blog.

Then I stalled-big time. I kept reading my ever growing list of favourites based on Bub & Pie's Blogroll and beginning to comment. I read of blog burnout and became afraid before I even started...I kept thinking if this isn't rewarding or even fun then why do it at all? What have I done? Then I found Alpha DogMa and I felt a little less intimidated, we found each other early in our blogs and became fast bloggy friends. I was encouraged by her interest and could not get enough of her posts either. I struggled though when I read a great post on another blog and I would think this is why I don't need to write anything about anything (except about my family) since there are so many other great blogs out there, where I hear my own voice as I read the magic words.

Then Catherine (Newman) asked her reader's why they blogged and does it effect the way you parent. The answers I came up with actually helped me along in the process of blogging and helped me find my voice.

Some of the answers I came up with...

I started it to keep a living history of our family where everything feels so endless and fleeting all at once. I was completely inspired by Catherine's postings at Baby Center and her new blog. This is a slippery slope I have discovered. After reading only Catherine's posts for so many years I feel a bit like I over ate at the buffet by the gluttony of posts I am trying to read now. I read them because it is so personal and anonymous at the same time. I learn things, relate to people and generally take comfort in the fact that while we may not all be the same we all love our kids to death, are terrified daily of losing them, and generally can't even imagine life before them.

When I read great blogs like Bub and Pie, I constantly nod in agreement and say to myself I so hear you. These postings have always resonated with me in a way that nothing else ever did - kind of a kindred spirits thing without ever having met. These wonderful writers can put into words my feelings of deepest love, silliest worries, darkest thoughts and make it all seem so effortless.

So I guess the answer lies herein, blogs give you a sense of comfort that there are parents all over the planet going through the exact same thing you are going through. Reading and writing blogs heals your soul and is like a nice cool washcloth on your forehead all at the same time.

I KNOW I am a better and more mindful parent for having met these other wonderful families. I try very consciously to be more mindful and to remember we really do hold their hearts in our hands one of the most memorable lines I gleaned from Catherine.

2. Do you remember when you received your first comment? What was it like?
My first comment was from Bub & Pie on my second post aptly titled, "Blog Two" she said some wonderful things of course and I was hooked on the idea of comments. The goal of my early posts was to see if she would come back.

3. Can you point to a stage where you began to feel that your blog might be part of a conversation? Where you might be part of a larger community of interacting writers?

I think this happened for me about two months into my blog, around December 2006. There was huge dialogue happening about community and the debate about the validity of the blogging community. The fact that people were talking about it in such a way made it very clear to me that this was indeed a veritable community. I had a small, but devoted list of bloggers who visited me regularly and even though I knew I could stop at any time and disappear from the blogging world, I knew I never would. I owed my friends more than that and at that point I new I was a part of something larger.

4. Do you think that this sense of audience or community might have affected the way you began to write?

I think the best way to describe it would be to say I was trying harder. I wanted my thoughts to be clear, well-written, entertaining and enjoyable to read. I was much more conscious of trying harder to make everything flow. My voice did not change, nor did the content. Even though I was ultimately writing for myself, I was acutely aware of the fact that I was choosing this medium and not a journal on my night table and for that reason I felt a responsibility to my readers. In that way I suppose it did affect the way I was writing.

This was an interesting process to write about. A part of me is still really surprised sometimes that I have a blog, me a person who considered it a victory when I finally mastered programming the VCR. But, I do and I am proud of it and proud of the community I am a part of now. I have met more smart, savvy, and wonderful women here than I could have ever imagined.

I expect this journey to continue for some time. I fear I get much more than I give from this exchange, that however will not deter me. And if you told me back in October 2006 it would be possible to write an entire post without mentioning my girls I would have laughed. Or, if you told me this would be a place for more than the just the shameless promotion of cuteness again I would have laughed. So ha to all that.

Edited to include a tag for Alpha DogMa...I swear I thought you were tagged already!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday Musings - PTAhhhhhh

I am member of my daughters School Council, I am in fact the Secretary. My job being to take all the minutes and distribute them and check and sort the mail. We have a meeting tonight, in an hour in fact. The girls are at Yia Yia's house so I am supposed to be eating dinner (bowl of cereal so far) and getting ready for the meeting. I am getting ready and normally while I wouldn't say I look forward to these meetings I usually don't mind going. The members are all nice people and the teachers too, the Principal is fine too. And, even if they weren't I'd never tell, I have discovered I have a real fear of Principal's in general...even if they are not mine. Ours is rather dour and not much fun and tries very hard to make all the meetings morose and even though I am all grown-up there is the way this person looks at me that makes me all want to blurt out, "I am the one who pulled the alarm!"

I got involved when Papoosie Girl was in JK, keener that I am. I wanted to help! Be involved and make a difference! The truth is we have a school population of just over 400 kids and we have a bare bones Council with five of us in positions and about four more who attend fairly regularly and help when there are events. As part of the mandate there are also two teachers who attend and are members and the Principal, there is a binder about 12 inches thick with all the rules and guidelines the Council must follow. The Board takes this very seriously, no mocking allowed at all. Not even if your comments are the tiniest bit funny.

I have no more time to give than anyone else, but I feel very strongly that in order to have a say you have to be willing to put in a bit of effort. Several of my friends are on Councils that are vibrant there are actually so many people who want positions they vote them in, and they make a huge impact on the school and greater community. While our Council is small we are mighty and we make our fund-raising dollars stretch to include, community outreach, charities here and elsewhere, relief for disasters, the school library, new AV equipment for the gym, supply teachers so the teacher/coaches can accompany their teams, graduation, confirmation and the list goes on.

So why I am I blogging with an obvious point I need to make? One of the members of Council is not attending because their son has his first soccer game tonight and they have not forwarded the pertinent information we need to make this meeting matter. We have known about the meeting for weeks so in my opinion there is no excuse. We all make an effort to attend the meetings and be prepared, how rude to waste our time when we can't make any decisions tonight based on one person's thoughtlessness.

I think I am done now. I am sure many of you have much worse PTA stories to tell. I just get very annoyed when everyone is making a concerted effort to attend these meetings and a few key players are not holding up their end of the deal.

I am off now to eat my real dinner, yummy chicken drumsticks all sticky and gooey from the oven with some rice. Yum. The cereal was my appetizer because I just could not wait a single second longer to eat, I get like that when I am hungry - all shaky and crazy and need to eat NOW.

Off to school now for the meeting, my head is already running several nicer versions of the above to share with the Council, we all need to play nice in the sandbox.