Monday, March 30, 2009

Educate me

I don't claim to be a mental giant when it comes to business (or anything else, for that matter).

But I'm perplexed. How is it that the federal government (i.e. the Obama administration) is able to decide who will/will not be the CEO of a large US corporation? I don't want to extrapolate this to the extreme, but if they can do that, then can they also decide who will be the manager of the speech therapy deparment at IU/Riley Hospitals? And if they can't -- why not?

And if they can? Oh. My. God.

What's the distinction? If it's about money -- well, I'm sure that my employer receives plenty of government funds. If it's about sending a message to the public -- well, healthcare is an easy target, too.

By the by, I don't really have an opinion one way or another about Rick Wagoner or his handling of GM and I'm just as sick of highly-paid executives begging for money to keep their poorly-operated business afloat as the next guy. But still... I'm concerned about the fine line between the government "bailing out" a company and the governement "running" that company. Where does it stop, exactly?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Greetings from the Sheraton

Blogging today from the lobby of the Sheraton at Keystone at the Crossing, where I am attending the Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association's annual convention.

Yes -- it is just as exciting as it sounds.

So far have only attended one session, presented by my boss.  Seemed a good idea to go.  He mentioned me a couple of times during the session which was a little odd.  I kept thinking that if I was someone else in the audience I would wonder who this Amy chick is and think that she wasn't such a big deal even though she probably does.

This little revelation says a lot about me, I think.  None of it good.

Anywho, I'm not all that excited about the presenters/sessions this year but I need the continuing ed so here I sit.  I have run into several old friends & colleagues, which is a lot of fun and most of the reason I come (continuing ed aside).

Meh.  Would rather be home with Sara.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Just had a little spontaneous minor surgery. Love that.

I have had this lump/bump on the top of my head for awhile now, but for a long time it was just sort of a curiousity -- it didn't really bother me so I forgot it was there. But over the last few weeks it's been bugging me a lot and started getting bigger. So, I decided to have it checked out.

Because have I ever mentioned that both of my parents died of cancer, and I have a three year old to raise? Yes? Just checking.

Rob informs me this AM that he'd like to come with me because he's been worried about it too. Huh. Bonus points to him for not letting on that he's worried, cause, you know... then I would have worried. (HA!)

Anyway, she looks at it & says blah blah blah, it's probably benign, blah blah blah, we can remove it if you want, blah blah blah, do you want to do it now? And next thing you know she's doing minor surgery on my head.

I mean I know it's nothing but it's still kind of fun to say that I had spontaneous minor surgery on my head.

That was about 90 minutes ago and now that thing itches like a mother. (What does that mean, anyway -- "like a mother?") I have a big iodine stain, a clump of hard, crunchy hair and a nasty yellowish spot about the size of a nickel in the middle of my head, which I am more or less hiding by this new giant headband I got at Kohl's on Sunday. Talk about your fortuitous purchases. But it was Kohls, and everything is always on sale at Kohls. Plus Sara said she wants to "share" it with me. Uh-huh.

Oh -- and did I mention IT ITCHES?

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23: The day the camel's back broke

Today is my birthday.  I am old enough now that birthdays aren't really something I care too much about.  This is not to say that I don't appreciate being remembered, as I surely do; I just don't need to feel like queen for the day.

So, the highlight of my day thus far has been a Fiber One bar that I had as a late morning snack.  Seriously.  It was good.

More importantly, today is the day that I officially became psychologically (if not bureaucratically) divorced from my job.


Because today, I forgot to pick up my child from school.

It makes me sick.  Not because she was left stranded there (Rob, in an Elaine Brenner-like moment, just seemed to know that I was going to blow it and called me ten minutes before the end of school to confirm that I had indeed dropped the ball).   But because my stupid, aggravating, meaningless job somehow trumped my daughter today.  How can that possibly be?

It's ironic in a way:  I have recently been thinking about the working mom's dilemma, how we seem to think (or perhaps have been tricked into believing) that we can have it all.  It's not true, I don't care who says otherwise.  Oh sure, we can do it all -- poorly.  We can work and keep house and cook and clean and sort mail and do laundry and make sure our kids shoes fit (more or less) and go to the teacher conferences and return phone calls and e-mails and buy birthday presents and arrange for a co-worker's baby shower have a toothbrush by the sink for our kid every night.  But we can't do it all 100% of the time, and we can't do any of it really really well.  We can't find time to spend time with our husbands enough, or see our friends enough, or do something we enjoy enough, or sleep enough, or plan enough, or relax enough, or attend work functions enough, or play with our kids enough.

We can't.  Don't let anyone tell you any different.

So today was the last straw.  I am done trying to serve two masters.  I will give face time to one, but it can't have the rest of me; it's not worth it.  I just don't care about my career -- never have, never will.  It's a paycheck.

The bottom line is this:  I can never, ever let something as trivial as a job distract me from my child again.  And I don't think that's unreasonable.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The low-down on our down-lows

Casey over at Moosh in Indy is much braver than I will ever be. Younger and snappier and cuter, too (even if she does have chubby knees).

She'll tell you all about how it sucks to have PCOS over at her blog, if you're interested. I'm not going to unload my story, but I will say that this badass of the reproductive world has evidently decided to play dirty with me.


Here's something this former academic geek just realized a couple of days ago:
The only test I've ever failed? The pregnancy test. It's strictly pass/fail, and no amount of homework can prepare you for it.

It bites, man.

Addendum:  My apologies to Casey for the salty language.  I guess you can say that she is classier than me, too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Help save my neighborhood firehouse

You can go here to read my thoughts on the matter.

Or you can just go here and sign a petition to try & help save it*.

Please, and thank you!

*Let me know if you do -- leave me a note in the comments!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Borrowed blog

Posted this today over at 6249:

I think it would be safe to say that my mom hated her kitchen.

I mean really, really hated it. It wasn't very big and was in need of cleaning updating repair demolition renovation for years. Now that Rob and I are going through that process I think I understand (no no, I KNOW I understand) why Dad just never mustered up the strength to do it. There were big structural problems; a few new cabinets and shiny new linoleum would not have sufficed.

So, she lived with it: no ceiling, 45-year-old ugly flooring with the spots worn off from use, about 10 square feet of counter space, no room to move let alone work. Not that Mom was what you would have called a cooking enthusiast; no, she was more a reluctant meal provider. And provide she did, for nearly fifty years. Although her own mother had pretty mad cooking skills, my mom probably picked up most of her own recipes by meeting my dad's culinary requests: farm food. Fry it, boil it, cook it til it's done. If it starts green make sure it doesn't end that way. Bacon grease is the third essential seasoning. And if it dirties more than two pans? Well, it wouldn't dirty more than two pans, not if Mom had anything to do with it.

The kitchen though, despite its sad lot in life, was still the hub of the home. We probably spent as much time sitting in there, on those uncomfortable wooden chairs in various states of reliability, as we did in the living room. Maybe even more. Dad, having grown up spending a good deal of his childhood with his Depression-surviving grandparents, was rather reluctant to keep the heater set above 65 no matter how cold it got outside. Mom's solution? Head into the kitchen, turn on the oven & then prop it open for a few hours. I remember finding her in there one day with the gas burners on the stovetop going, too.

Yes, the house was notoriously cold.

But not the kitchen. It was also never very organized. Or tidy. Or clean, for that matter. But it never lacked for food or drink - or pens or rubber bands or screwdrivers or envelopes or gadgets or sunglasses or reading glasses or batteries or matches or just about anything else you could think of. The kitchen was indeed Mom's command center.

And so I had mixed emotions when the day came to gut it. A loved and hated space, but full of memories. When my mother-in-law offered to empty it for me I felt obliged to argue with her but secretly (or not so secretly) was relieved, because not only was this a big project, it was a big deal. When I went in there a few days later, so appreciative that I had somehow managed to escape the job, I opened up the cabinets -- the ones filled with her dishes and address books and old crocks that hadn't been used for decades -- and found nothing.

Nothing except the notes Mom left behind, scribbled on the backs of her cabinet doors: An eye chart she had to use when I was a kid. The phone number for our neighborhood paper boy -- from 1980. A list of her kids' phone numbers. A sticker with the code for a combination lock, long gone. The number for L.S. Ayres. Random names and numbers of people I never knew.

All the ephemera of her life, easily retrieved behind those doors.

And the ephemera, I couldn't part with.

So Rob, being Rob, offered to save the doors for me. Every last one. Those old, ugly doors so in need of... I don't even know what. But I'll figure it out. They're going to go up into my attic, where I'll put them back into use. Probably to start collecting my own notes and messages, my own ephemera.

Our project has moved along now, so much so that nothing remains of my mom's kitchen. Even the walls have been stripped and moved, and it takes a good bit of imagination and thinking on my part to remember where things used to be. Mom, I'm sure, would have loved it -- though more for its elevated role as hub of the home rather than its improved function for meal preparation.

No, I won't miss that kitchen. But I sure do miss the cook.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You should go there

Try Handmade
This is my favorite new site. It's like a picture book. Yes, yes -- I know there are words. But I like just scrolling through and looking at all the beautiful things.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sara at the farm

Hop on over to Sara's site for some pictures from this weekend.

Friday, March 06, 2009

My new kitchen?

Also huge. Kinda freaking me out huge.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Never mind what you've heard

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. I think in this case it's the t-shirt.

While Rob was out in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, the big snow we got melted and our alley was chockablock with mud puddles just ready for the jumping. Even this mess-avoiding Mama couldn't deny her child the pleasure of a romp through the mud.

True to form, the adventure started before we even left the house. That's when I discovered this wonderful work of art on my sister's kitchen wall. She could not have been prouder. (Relax, it's chalk.)

Here she is demonstrating her best mud-flinging moves. It took some perfecting, let me tell you.

And here she stands in all her glory. There is nothing* I don't love about this picture, and I think it might be the closest thing to the real Sara I've ever seen in a photo: hand-me-down boots two sizes too big and a Tinkerbell ringer shirt with a not-even-close-to-matching sweater she had to wear because it came from her Aunt Trish; messy hair totally blinged out with who knows how many pretties; and a cheap but highly prized white plastic cross (proclaiming "Jesus [hearts] Me" in gold letters, or course) that she picked up in Sunday school at a church we were visiting.

This is, without a doubt, every bit my kid. And I love her so much it's crazy.

*Nothing that a little better camera work on her mother's part couldn't fix... darn you, soft focus!

Sunday, March 01, 2009


There's finally an attic.  It's huge.  When the house is done I'm pretty sure my family will only see me if they make there way up there.

Starting to get anxious about the costs of finishing everything.  We are doing the buying/installation of a lot of the finishes.  Not only trim & paint & doorknobs (the doorknobs!  you can't imagine how many doorknobs are in your house) but small things like, oh... the kitchen.  So, in thinking about my attic I've resolved to do it all (caveats to follow) by either reusing or repurposing things we already have or by using thrifted items.  Lord knows we have enough random pieces of furniture and tchotchke already up there that I can make a good dent without much of an investment besides my time and a little elbow grease.  

There might have to be a couple of exceptions, like a good work table or two and a couple of ergonomic chairs as well.  But other than that, I have no real excuse for laying out a lot of money on this space.  Besides, I kind of like the challenge and will have some fun doing it.  And it seems fitting, doesn't it?  To fill my attic back up with castoffs -- only this time, with a new life!