Monday, March 28, 2005

OH! OH! Over here!!!!!

To all the wealthy people who read my blog:
May I suggest that you invest in a Tim Horton's franchise? Perhaps on Rte 342? Or right outside the Ft. Drum gates? It would be a license to print money :)

Stay safe, guys

Yesterday, the 2nd Brigade of the 78th Division (2/78 TSB for those of you who speak the language) left for Iraq.

Our very good friend Bill is going with them. Stay safe, big guy.

Friday, March 25, 2005

My first interview!!

Dana of Note-It Posts has invited me to play the blog interview game! I will answer the five questions that she has posed of me, and I invite other miniature rose readers to join in on the fun. Here are the rules:
Leave me a comment saying "interview me". The first five people to respond will be the next participants, and will update their respective sites with the answers to the five questions that I will pose. Include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions (original or borrowed, n'importe quoi.)

And onto Dana's questions!

1. Exactly how many ponchos do you think you'll end up making before the obsession runs out?
I completed #4 today. I have enough Lion Brand Homespun to make one more of the Coming Home Poncho. I've promised myself that I will stop there and get back to quilting - my fabric stash is ever so patient. I know that I'm kidding myself. There are more ponchos to be made!
This morning, while sipping my first cuppa coffee, I had a vision of hostessing a stitch-and-bitch session, after which a whole lotta uppity poncho-clad women would storm the next board of education meeting. The budget would be tweaked, kings of obfuscation would meekly resign, and my son's teacher would no longer be in the line of fire for insane budget cuts.

2. Your son is seven years old now. What has been the hardest age so far, and why?
Potty training (between the ages of three and four) was excruciating. William was a late talker, which made the process all the more frustrating. I will never potty-train another human being in my life!

3. What did your family think of your moving to the United States?
At first, my dad didn't believe that I was serious. I believe he thought I was being "childish and impulsive" when I returned from a two-week trip to Louisiana and announced that I was going to move there. My mom understood the necessity of the move, given my working situation at the time. I had a good job - I was a Public Health Nurse - but layoffs were looming, I had no seniority, and I really wasn't using my degree or my skills to their best advantage. The relationship between my union and management was strained at best, toxic at worst, and I hated it. I went to work at a non-unionized hospital (Beauregard Memorial Hospital in DeRidder, LA) and loved it. There was an aura of mutual respect between labor and management that I had never experienced in a unionized environment.

My parents definitely didn't believe me when I told them that I intended to marry Steve. There was some hurt and shock along the way, but time heals all wounds. Eventually, they accepted my choices. Now, I think they like Steve more than they like me.

4. What is your most embarrassing addiction?

I can't stop at just one!
Ponchos, obviously. The Manolo Shoe Blog. The wedding announcements in the New York Times. Other bitchy blogs which snipe at celebrities. Potato chips.

5. Which children's song did you hear and/or sing TOO MANY TIMES when your son was little? You know, the one that if you heard it just once more you'd lose it?
That would be the theme song from Stanley.
However I am eternally grateful for the existence of Stanley and all of the Playhouse Disney crew. The computer room is situated in a part of the house that is shut off from where the TV was. On the morning of September 11th, and in the dark days that followed, Stanley kept my son occupied and far away from the television. It was a horrible day for everyone, of course, but my mother-in-law worked on the 34th floor of the North Tower. It was fortuitous that Stanley distracted my son from the terrible images and from my anxiety, terror and grief. (My mother-in-law made it out of the building safely, by the way.)
To this day, the opening notes of Stanley's theme song bring back the terrible visceral memories of that morning.

Holy smokes I'm verbose!!

Thanks for the questions, Dana!

Monday, March 21, 2005

I can't bear it! She's making another poncho! What will The Manolo say? Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The fine line

There's a fine line between hobby and obsession. I had a running start, and I hurdled that line like an Olympian.

When St. Martha of Nutley strolled out of prison on March 4th, I was captivated by the poncho she wore. I did a google search but couldn't find any poncho patterns which replicated the poncho.

A few days later, my sweet husband returned from a one year assignment in South Korea, and the poncho was forgotten.
On Monday, while cleaning out the junk mail folder of my hotmail account, I spied an email from the Mary Maxim company announcing the arrival of the Martha poncho kit. It appears that I was not the only one obsessed intrigued by this new garment. Mary Maxim was deluged by requests for the pattern. So, too, was Lion Brand yarn.

Off to market I traipsed for four skeins of Lion Brand Homespun and a 9 mm crochet hook. A few hours of obsessive crafting later, and voila! I was part of the leading edge of a cultural phenomenon. Yes, I've already started to make another poncho. Don't look at me like that. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I'm jumping on the bandwagon and turning this into a knitting blog! Here's my first poncho, a miniature rose original design using Red Heart Light and Lofty in sage. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Indian River Education Association AD

Reaching out across the net, using newzjunky.

More to come ...

Word of the day

Today, boys and girls, let's add the word obfuscate to our vocabularies. The art of obfuscation is one that the business manager of the Indian River Central School District has clearly been practicing.

Yesterday, a meeting was held on post to discuss the impending budget cuts. Prior to the start of the meeting, forms were passed around, and participants were asked to write down any questions that they might have. A promise was made: "We're here until all of your questions are answered." The promise was not kept. I know this, because my question was not addressed.

The business manager began his remarks by saying something to the effect of, "everyone wants to know, 'who screwed up?' and the answer is, no-one. This was inevitable." He proceeded to cite a few figures and statistics, and endeavoured to explain how the district lost its qualification for heavily impacted federal aid. By the end of the meeting, the business manager was actually blaming Osama bin Laden for the budgetary shortfall. Obfuscation at its best. He should be working for Fox News.

My question was specific and dealt with the school tax rates within the district. I asked the business manager if a rate increase was a possibility, given to relatively low rate of taxation as compared with the New York state average. The business manager proceeded to describe the geographic boundaries of the school district and the lack of business therein. Because really, after seven years of living in the area, why would a dumb hausfrau notice such things? My actual question was not answered, but I got the impression that the peons of the district were too poor to be able to handle any increase in the school tax levy.

So, when this dumb hausfrau came home, she fired up the computer and started playing with Google. Up popped the website for the New York State Office of Real Property. A few clicks later, the 2002 school levy rates for all of Jefferson County was at my fingertips. Internet, I love you!

The latest figures available are from 2002. The Town of Pamelia is divided amongst four different school districts: General Brown, Lafargeville, Watertown, and Indian River. Half of my road falls into the General Brown District, and half falls into Indian River. So, we're comparing apples to apples.

In 2002, the Apportion Rate for Equalization was 93.60 for all school districts. The school tax rate per $1000 appraised value was $13.76 for both General Brown and Lafargeville. For Watertown, it was $14.06. For Indian River, it was $6.52

These numbers don't make sense to me. I suspect that there is a larger pattern of figures which do not add up.

To be continued ..

Monday, March 14, 2005


The Greatest Canadian Hero has been honoured with the new dollar coin.

It's a beautiful tribute to Terry Fox. I cannot believe it's been twenty-five years since the Marathon of Hope. I can still hear the tv commercial jingle in my head - "Run Terry run, leave your troubles behind you .. in the wind and the sun, run Terry run."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

In no hurry to replace the television ..

although, evidently, I am missing out on some groundbreaking television. The best quote out of this NY Times article is "The fact that someone drew blood on a crafting show? It's exactly what the show should be."

Do you ever just look around and say, either the whole world is on drugs, or I am? Craft Corner Deathmatch? A cable channel exclusively dedicated to all quilting, all the time?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Good money after bad, redux

I've never worked in the operating room, but I don't think it would be a good thing if, in the middle of a major operation, water started pouring through the light fixtures in the ceiling. The source of the water? An overflowing toilet upstairs.

That's what happened at Kingston General Hospital last week. Oh, and they found black mould in the pediatrics wing. Not to worry, they say. It wasn't toxic mould.

According to the article in The Whig-Standard, the idea of building a new facility is being entertained. Of course, several studies will have to be carried out. The suits will drink coffee, look at some pretty Powerpoint presentations .. and the walls will continue to crumble around them. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Happy Birthday to my Big Brother! Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

As Canadian as possible under the circumstances - the "Canada" table I put together for the Multicultural Fair at my son's school. Posted by Hello


Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, who knows a thing or two about international relations, has penned an open letter to Dr. Condoleeza Rice.

Yeah. What he said.

Riddle of the day

Steve, this one is for you!

Question: What do Martha Stewart and Hudson Hawk have in common?

Answer: Neither could get a decent cappucino upon their release from prison.

Word of the day

The word of the day is expendable. This is what has been bouncing around in my head for the past 2 days.

Yesterday, while volunteering at the school, I had a chance to chat with another military spouse. The conversation quickly turned to the comings and goings of our respective husbands, the hostilities encountered when dealing with the military medical system, and, of course, Iraq.

Sherry said that the hardest part of the past few years was coming to the realization that "we" ~ soldiers and their families ~ are simply expendable.


That word says it all.