Saturday, November 26, 2005

Turkey Day, oh Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had an easier time of it this year then we did over the past few years. Due to my cousin's graduation from Marine boot camp, the majority of my family wasn't in town. They were travling down to see him. So we went to visit my darling husband's family.

Because of the on going adventure of remodling, the Thanksgiving celebration was held at a friend of the family's house. It was great to see them. The best part of it all, however, was the food. My mother in law makes some of the best pies I have ever had. The thing that puts them head and shoulders above the rest is the pie crust. It's light and flaky, almost crisp. It's like you're eating strudel, not pie crust. I would have gobbled down that pie crust, except for one small thing, the pumpkin filling was very rich and filled me up.

I wish I could make a passable pie crust. I simply can not do it. My mother has tried for years. My mother in law has volunteered to help me, but I'm a little afraid to show her just how bad I am at it. When I make a pie crust, it comes out like cardboard. So I go buy the ready made pie crusts and use those. It's cheating but then you can actually eat my pies. I hate to say it, but my mother is right, if my mother in law can teach me how to make a pie crust, it would be a minor miracle. At least I can make bread and cookies. My husband has at least a few culinary reasons to keep me around. :)

My mother in law's friend has a wonderful cranberry relish that I now absolutely must find the recipie for. It's a combination of raw cranberries, oranges and something else. It tastes absolutely spectacular. When we got some of it as part of the left-overs that we carried off, I made sure it was in my lunch for work friday. It's just absolutely delicious! Just like that wonderful carrot soup. I hadn't had carrot soup before and I was a little uneasy about it. Out of politeness sake, I tried some.

I finished off that whole bowl of soup. It was amazing. Such a warm and satifying soup, who would have thought you could have made it with carrots. It was a nice, creamy soup that was amazingly well complemented by the acorn squash that was the bowl. It's another recipie that I simply must find and hang on to. Perhaps I will have to make that and serve it for a holiday dinner. I'm not decided yet.

Yes, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. This year was marvelously simple. We didn't have to run from one house to another. We had wonderful food, plesant company and charming conversation. It was definately a good day. We even got to sleep in nice and late.

Ofcourse, I did accidentally forget to call my family and wish them a happy thanksgiving. It's a good thing that there are the "belated" happy thanksgiving cards. I blame the long nap that the turkey induced. :)

Work Rant No. 4: the boss drives me nuts.

I generally like my job, except for the insane coworkers. And the idiocy of some of the parents. And the insanity of the office politics...

Well, let's say that I like teaching the kids and I hate almost everything else. That could cover most of it. The boss, who has been rather middle of the road, if not an indifferent figure in my view of the day, has added herself to the list of people who irritate me.

I have a clear understanding what Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is. It runs rampant thru my family. It is only by luck that I don't have it myself. Many of the children I work with show signs or have been diagnosed with it. I frequently use what I learned from my mother for how to cope with a child that has this disorder. It is part of the reason why people will put me in the rooms with the hard to control kids, because I manage to keep the room under control.

So, when I took a parent aside and spoke quietly with them, I made it clear to her that this was not in my capacity as an employee of the day care. I explained to her that my observation was based on my personal experience and what I've learned from my family's history of ADD. It was from one woman to another, and she understood this. This parent then spoke to the boss about the possiblity that her son had ADD.

I then get a lecture from the boss later about how I can have those conversations on my own time, but that I couldn't do so with the parents that bring their children to the center. I wasn't a lead teacher or the site director (read the boss here) and I didn't have the authority to make those statements. In my defence, I stated that I had made it quite clear that this was a personal observation and not reflecting or endorsed by my employer to the parent. At which point the boss said in a rather patronizing tone: "That may be true, but every 2 year old is a candidate for ADD."

It was more then just the tone of voice that made me angry. It was the statement itself. ADD isn't something that suddenly develops when you're of school age or when you turn three. It's a problem that is present all the time, it's a question of how the brain is working. A child with ADD will have a short attention span, have low impulse control, and seem like their "go" button is pushed all the time. They're very smart kids, usually, but they can't make themselves sit down and apply their smarts fully. They get bored half way into the project, even if it is a 10 min project.

These are qualities that you will see in a child as they begin to interact with their environment. You will see it at any age. Even adults exhibit the symptoms of ADD. Some people use the example of how you're channel surfing in your brain, unable to stick with one thing. Either way, you've got problems concentrating on things for a long time. Adults may have a better time controlling it, but that's only after years of effort. Children don't know how, so they're easier to diagnose.

Most 2 year olds will sit down to listen to their favorite story, or at least stay in the general area. They usually will follow simple directions or sit and play with toys for longer then 3 min at a time. They will have a fairly easy time focusing on you as you talk to them. A child with ADD is alot more on the go then your usual 2 year old.

But, because I'm not a lead teacher or the boss, I must be wrong. Never mind the multiple years I've put in to understanding this on the very real possiblity that I may have a child with ADD. Never mind the experience I've built up working with the kids with ADD, especially when no one else wants to do it where I work. Those things just don't count because I don't have the right job title or more letters after my name.

Some days, I really despise the people I work with.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rambling, rambling, and yet more rambling.

Not much in the way of "deep" thought to post here.

But I felt that I had to present something. So, you have some stream of consciousness posting from yours truly. I apologize in advance for how ever boring it may prove to be.

I'm sitting here, listening to Loreena McKennit's Elemental CD. It's just lovely, some of the most wonderful music on Earth, I am convinced, is rooted in the Irish-Celtic melodies. I am, however, biased as I am what many would call a celtophile. I have a huge facination with the Irish culture. Some day, when my husband and I can afford it, we're going to go there on a vacation.

We've discussed the possiblity of retiring someday to the hinterlands of Ireland or Scotland. Something about that part of the world makes it the beautiful and quiet place that we'd like to spend our elder years. Isn't that part of the thing that you're supposed to do when you retire? Spend some time just enjoying the company of your beloved spouse?

The day dreams that I have are small, domestic things when I'm not thinking of my writing projects, work, or something of stressful and pressing importance. Daydreaming of happy things generally doesn't happen enough, neither does the contemplating of my writing. Such is life, I suppose. I would love to some day have a nice little house on a farm where the skies are dark at night. Where it looks like velvet dusted with diamonds when the skies are clear and the moon is just this amazing orb of waxing and waning silver light. On my little farm, I'd have a garden of roses and a vegtable garden. I'd grow an orchard of apples and pears.

In the back yard there'd be a laundry line and every sunny day of the spring, summer and fall there'd be clean clothes snapping in the wind. And small children would run, laughing and playing thru them. I'd have a neat and clean kitchen hung with blue and white gingham curtians. Our good china would rest in a nice little glass fronted hutch that matched our large dining room table. That kitchen would be filled with the warm, comforting scents of good, hearty food. And the table would be a welcoming place for family and friends. The living room would have a large fireplace, like the old colonial ones. Complete with a hearth, andirons, and a firescreen of wrought iron.

In many respects, my dream house on that little farm where we'd raise wheat, corn and children, is the same house that is my grandparents' house. I spent an enormous amount of time in that house as a little girl. I've loved it dearly. I'll miss it horribly when I can no longer come back there for holidays. It's sad, because this is the same dream that my husband had in many respects a few years ago. And then, he had to give up that dream. The house that had been is grandfather's was sold after the dear man had died.

Some day, I'll give up my dream too. But we still have the memories in those houses that we've loved.

Sorry, I tend to forget...

I have this bad habit of forgetting that I have a properly working computer *and* access to the internet. I deeply and profusely apologize, dear Reader for this lapse.

That said, I am curious if my little rant about spam has recieved any spam comments attached to it... [I am checking this minor matter as I write this.] Nope, no spam comments on that one. It's a pity, I was hoping that I could post the definition of Irony as an addendum to that little rant. If it does ever happen to get a spam comment, I assure you that definition will be added.

Yes, I do have a quirky sense of humor. But I'm sure that you're starting to realize that there is occasionally some logic to it. If only I could get my dear husband to see that.

He insists that all women are insane. I'm inclined to agree with him but with one caveat... all people are insane to some degree. Thus, men are also insane.

We're still at an impasse on this one.