My latest post over at Chicago Moms is a bit of a rant. Check it out at: Chicago Moms Blog :)

Posted on June 28, 2009 at 04:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

First of all, I do have several new posts at Chicago Moms Blog already published or in the queue to be published soon. Please visit!

Second, after more than 5 years - this blog will be closing down. The reasons are many, and I will write about them soon. I will be porting many of the archives over to a new site that we're launching so please stay tuned :)

Last, and most importantly, I DO micro-post both on Facebook and Twitter and hope you'll join me there. I miss you, too...

Tags: Blog, Chicago, Mom, Announcement,
Posted on June 12, 2009 at 10:15 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Hattie B. Stokes Academy

April 17, 2009 | Category: Rants & Raves

The kids and parents of the Academy in Indiana that I ranted about have made a video about what the program means to them. To recap? The School Board is considering closing it and laying off its teachers. The special needs kids would be mainstreamed into already large classrooms.

Yeah. Stupid plan. Especially? Since there ISN'T A BUDGET SHORTFALL in the district - just the fear of one.

Tags: rant, recession, education, high ability, protest, parenting, family
Posted on April 17, 2009 at 03:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

I HATE how some people are using the "State of the Economy" to push their own agenda!!!

The paternalistic, 6-figure and car-allowanced, condescending School Board President of my friend's town is shutting down the academy for the gifted kids. Almost 60 kids are being sent into mainstream classes.

Two beloved teachers are losing their jobs, and being replaced by an administrator that will... well, not teach. But will be paid more than either of the teachers ever were.

Because of a budget shortfall? No.
Because of a better solution? No.

Will he accept corporate grants, parental assistance, or listen to the questions of the hurt and confused parents? No.

The program was put in by his predecessor and he's using the threat of the recession to shut it down.


I was one of those that thought having special programs for the top 3% was elitist. A luxury item.

Until I watched my little friend try to slow down his mind for "regular" first grade. And fail. And be called a problem by his teacher. And unable to socially integrate.


More info at Chicago Moms.

Tags: elite, gifted, recession, kids, parenting, rant
Posted on April 13, 2009 at 04:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink

Da Roof, Da Roof

April 06, 2009 | Category: This Old House

Hurricane Ike sucked eggs for most folks in its path, including us. It ripped off pieces of our roof like it was playing "52 pick-up" with the tiles.

As the storm raged, CD did his best to tarp off the holes but the winds were evil and against us. It rained in our dining room, destroying a wall and a bookcase. By the time the sun came back, there was mold, dust, and grime everywhere.

Allstate's disaster team showed up, looked at our old house, and wrote us a $962 check. You ever try to fix a roof with $962? Can't be done. Not without a superhero cape, industrial strength duct tape, and the ability to fly.

"It's not intended to fix your roof," said Allstate. "Your roof was old. Old roofs are excluded."

"Our roof was on top of our house," I reminded them. "And kept out the elements. Now the elements are coming and going and asking for their eggs sunny-side up."

Allstate shrugged, and left.

Allstate? Sucks.

We hired a handyman to do what he could, which wasn't much. The past 18 months have been insane. CD finally folded a kiddie paddling pool like a taco in order to get it up into the attic and placed it strategically under the patch. Then he tossed a beach ball in it.

When it's rained, he's stuck his head up into the attic. If he could see the beach ball bobbing, then it's been time to get the contraption. A strange beast CD has created from a wet/dry vac and a garden house.

No, I'm not making this up.

Bear and I have become great contraption-wranglers. This had become and official event in our home. Grabbing the vac, the big step ladder, unraveling the hose into the toilet... oh yeah, good times. Good times.

Despite our joy with the situation, we went to Home Depot last spring and got a line of credit for a new roof. All we needed to do was choose the one we wanted, and the joys of a an actual cover on the top of our house would be all ours...

Then the bad thing happened.

No, really.

We dithered.

We thought we had all summer to decide - and it seemed like a big decision. We have long thought we would someday dormer up. So buy the best quality tiles to maybe turn around and pull them off someday? But they seemed so much BETTER than the cheapest option. Oh, we went back and forth.

Here's my advice: Be ye not so stupid. Dithering is for fools! Would a PIRATE have dithered? I think not.

Because we all know what happened while we were ruminating, don't we? Banks tumbled. The housing market crashed. Then the credit crunch started.

We got a letter from Home Depot - "Dear Dithering Homeowners; you snooze, you lose. We're taking back our credit line. So there." It was signed by Dasterdly and Muttley, esq et al.

Could we have re-applied? Sure. But the new terms were North of crazy.

Home Depot? Sucks.

It was a long, wet Autumn. It's been a wet, long Winter. The moment Spring showed its face, CD headed up the extension ladder with a "Roofing for Dummies" book, tiles, roof paper, and determination.

For the past 6 weeks, this is what he has been dealing with. Dead tiles have rained down on the driveway. He's emerged each Saturday with grit on his skin and a sore back.

But for Easter? For Easter - he says we have a patched roof. He's down to the last bit. And even as it rained the other night, the inside of our house stayed dry!

Da roof, da roof ... it's a wondrous thing.

Tags: home, repair, DIY, recession, impact, credit, roof,
Posted on April 06, 2009 at 12:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Permalink