Education in North Carolina

1 03 2014

I teach in an amazing school.

I work with fantastic teachers.

I have awesome students.

I love being a teacher.

Having said all those things, know the state of education in North Carolina is not in a good place right now.  There are THOUSANDS of teachers, students, parents, and administrators who are working their buts off and it is like moving through molasses.  We do LOTS of work and don’t really get anywhere.   The North Carolina legislature has made it dificult to be a teacher.  There are LOTS of ways they are undermining teachers: testing, tenures, 25% rule, teacher evaluation, and changing the rules for these things without any warning.

We have read lots of articles and blog posts about teachers leaving NC, teachers who need to be on public assitance in order to feed their families, and teachers who are leaving teaching all together.  I can’t write anything as eloquent as those teachers, but I do want to say to every voter in NC, think about the teachers when you vote.   While you might not feel a teacher’s  influence as quickly as you feel the influence of the people who work to collect the trash; but our influence is felt in every single person.  I remember my favorite teachers–Mrs. Smith in second grade, Mr. Kelly in tenth grade English, Miss Hodel in eleventh grade English.  I remember the teachers who later became my favorites because she made me work so hard–Mrs. Case-Reynolds in tenth grade world history and Mrs. Pasto in eleventh grade US History.  We ALL remember those teachers who inspire us, those who might have wounded us in some way, and the teachers who made us the people we are today.

I won’t be leaving, because I am working too hard to make a difference.


When Life Hands you Lemons…

27 07 2009

you curl up in a ball and cry

thow them out wish they were limes to use in Coronas

wonder what the hell you are going to do with all these damn lemons!


I know what you thought I was going to say…the whole lemonade thing.  Well, I’m really not one of those optimist types.   I’m a pessimist in disguise.   My life seems to be one giant lemon right now.   Writing about how awesome my birthday was must have been the universe’s signal to start sending in the trials of Job (sorry for all the mixing and mingling of metaphors). 

Since Tuesday (7/21) the following things have happened at chez Sunshine:

  • Minivan–Does not start.  Repair estimated to be over $1000. 
  • Oven coil–sparking and needs to be replaced
  • Vacuum–engine burning, no suction, & no back wheels making pushing actual exercise
  • Air conditioner unit–leaking water caused by a huge blockage of dust and grime.  This problem was fixed at least temporarily.  
  • Our house is a damn mess.  There is stuff every where.  People (ok, even me) drop things where ever and don’t put anything away
  • Going to have to find a part time job or even worse attempt to compete for a teaching job that I don’t really want to pay for the damn replacement minivan. 
  • I have a giant cold sore the size of Montana on my lowe lip.  It is hurting and making me irritable. 
  • Some unwanted and gross pests have returned after I thought they were gone for good. 

So things could be worse, right?   Well, with my luck right now I’d rather not see about that.  The hidden pessimist comes out.   I tried being positive and look-at-all-I-do-have on Friday and frankly it didn’t make me feel better.     I KNOW I need to thankful that everyone I love is safe and healthy and reasonalby happy…but still I am getting dragged down. 

Even doing something I love is making me think about all this negative crap.  For example, I checked out Julie & Julia by Julie Powell yesterday.  It is a great book–funny and insightful.  I am laughing out loud, that’s how great it is.   But as I read it, I think of how this woman did something.  She did something with her life.   There are those kinds of stories all over the place.  People doing what they love and making money or just being happy.   What do I have like that?   Nothing.   I’ve created nothing.   I have no discernable talent(s).   I have no drive to “become” something.   I feel stuck and all the appliances and machines in my life have only reinforced that feeling.   I’m jealous of all the greatness around me.   Petty yes.  

So, what the hell am I going to do with all these lemons?  I don’t know.   I am hoping that by writing all this down, I will look back on this week and recognize the good that came from it.

Open Letter

1 02 2009

Dear Children,

I love you.   I really, really love you.   You are funny, smart, kind and good kids.  

However, your six and four year old selves are driving me crazy.   If we are going to live in this house for the next 14-16 years, here are some friendly reminders: 

  • When I ask you to pick something up, I mean pick it up THEN, not sometime in the future or a to-be-determined date. 
  • Stay out of my craft supplies, scrap-booking materials, yarn, and basically anything else that might be piled up on my messy little space.  
  •  YOU MUST GO TO CHURCH!   Its my job to get you there and teach you something.   I don’t want to go all the time either.  Really.   It is worth it though. 
  • Please pick up your socks.   Better yet, keep them on your feet. 
  • Play nicely and stop the bickering.   Is it the cold weather and being stuck inside?  I sympathize, but seriously.
  • To the male children,  be nice to the girl.  She adores you.  
  • To the girl, STOP WHINING!   Ack.   That is why they don’t want to play with you.  
  • PLEASE, please, please use a napkin to wipe your hands & mouth at dinner, NOT your clothes.   Let’s try to not recreate the ninth century at the kitchen table, ‘kay?
  • The words please and thank you go a LONG way.  Please use them, thank you. 

Dear children, I say write this to you so our lives will be pleasant and peaceful.   I love you.   Thank you for all the things you teach me and putting up with all the quirky things I do. 


Your mother

Maybe if you’d eat more comfort food…

23 01 2009

Can I just say I feel as if I have never used WordPress before.   When did all these changes happen?   When in the world did I last write a post?   (I’m sure wordpress tells me that information…somewhere) 

As many of you know, the whole quotation is “Maybe if you would eat more comfort food, you wouldn’t need to go around shooting people.”   Hurley’s quote says a lot about why people are overweight.   Before you unsubscribe, hear me out.   I’m fat.  

In my head, I’m very comfortable with my weight, but no mirrors in my house are full length.  I will avoid pictures of my whole self at almost all costs.   I am fat.  

I have been working hard–for over a year–to get my weight down.  So far I’ve lost 55 pounds.  How much weight do I still have?  Well, weight watchers tells me I have between 95 and 105 lbs to loose.   That’s a whole lotta sticks of butter, baby.   I was going to save you the mental math, but, I chickened out  math is good for you.

Back to the quote.  I never really bothered to figure out why I was am overweight.   I never thought about it.  But really, it seems to be that rather than talking about something, I’ll eat.   Rather than solve the problems or do something about what is bothering me, I eat.   It is stuff my face (and those emotions) or shoot someone.  

So why am I talking about this?  Another great question, especially since I have another blog (that I also don’t blog on) devoted to my weightloss journey.   Two weeks ago, I realized I have been gaining and losing the SAME eight pounds for over three months.   I have been faithfully attending weight watchers, weighing in, and not thinking about it till the next Saturday.  

I’m writing it because it is about being accountable.  No, not to YOU.   To me.   I don’t want to be stuck at this current weight–although I don’t remember the last time I’ve been this weight–maybe high school???   I want to be…I’m not sure what I want to be.   I want my daughter and sons not to have weight and food issues.   I want to not start and end my day thinking about the food I would like to eat.   I want to be healthy.  I want to be thin.  I want to finish my meal and not want to eat something else, even though I don’t have room for something else.  I want to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it without food.  

I have to count my points.  I have to write down everything I eat–including the sneak attacks on the peanut butter jar.  I will have to do those things for the rest of my life.   I’m working on the comfort food or shooting people thing.   I won’t be going postal and I won’t be regaining the 55 pounds I’ve lost.   I’m working on using food for what it is for, supplying my body with energy to think, move, laugh, and enjoy life.  

I’m fat, but I am NOT staying that way.

Where has the time gone?

3 07 2008

Wow.   This blog has been neglected.   I was amazed at the new look on wordpress and the date on my last blog entry.  

Here’s the scoop: 

Summer is here.   It is hot.  Tempers flare around 4pm.  It is never pretty.   There is screaming, crying, slamming of doors, ignoring.   I’ll leave it to your imagination which of those things are me and which are  the kids!   

There has been knitting, though not much.   I’m in a knitting lull (?), duldrom (?).   It has been dishcloths, headbands, and coffee cup cozies.  Projects that can be started and finished quickly.  My bigger projects hang in limbo.   They do not talk to me.  I do not feel guilty about not knitting them.   They are just string (expensive string) with sticks.   Lately, even socks are too much of a commitment.   How crazy is that?

 My birthday is quickly approaching and I think I am having a mid-life crisis.   Ok, so hopefully its not a midlife crisis, but it certainly is a crisis.   It seems as if the world and my little microcosm I live in has gone haywire.   Gas and groceries are super expensive–hello $3.99 a gallon for MILK and GAS?    The election, the economy, my role in the family, and a so many other things seem to be stressing me out.     It seems as if there are more failures in my life (and the world) than positive events.   All of this has made me want to retreat inward and make memories with the kids and my husband.   As I do this however, I find myself getting annoyed with the little things about being a wife and a mother–and not just the laundry either.  

Once upon a time, I thought I would be a great mother–loving, nurturing, all that AP, granola, birkenstock wearing, crunchy stuff.   Now I know, I’m not any of those things.   Yes, of course I love my kids, but when they are 35, what will their memories of me be?   I shudder to think.    What do I remember about my mother?   Little crazy things.  I won’t write them, because I’m sure she doesn’t want the world to know all those crazy stories.   But do I want my kids to have the same memories of me–crazy stories about the wacky, silly, stupid, and lazy things I did when they were growing up?  

How can I contribute to the world and my kids if I don’t even know where I fit into any more?   Outside of the role of Mother, of course.  It is about fitting in and finding what I’m “meant” to do.  



Delivery between 9 & 1

6 03 2008

Can I tell you HOW much I despise that phrase?    Let me tell you how my day was wasted.  Ok, technically those hours were not wasted, squandered is a better term.   I did laundry, emptied the dishwasher, reloaded the dishwasher, goofed around on Ravelry.   Did I get the post office?  No.   Do I need to get to the post office?  Yes.   Will I get there today?  Doubtful.

Delivery between 9 & 1.  Ha.   The mattress arrived at 1:45.   They left and the doorbell rang.  Back again.   Wrong box spring delivered.   Lovely.    Will I buy from this particularly company again?  No, indeed we will not.   Unhappy all around–from shopping to delivery, they were one giant mess.  

I was tagged by Anne for a 6 things meme.   What the hey.  Not all of these are my random things, but they are indeed random. 

  1. My husband always says wardrove rather than wardrobe (in reference to the collection of clothes in the closet, not the piece of furniture).  It drives me bonkers.   Sometimes I think he says it that way on purpose. 
  2. Sunshine Daughter calls laundry her “hobby lobby”.   Do you think we visit a particular store often???  
  3. I love forsythia bushes.   They are my favorite springtime surprise.   I think the yellow of the flowers with the brown of the wood is so beautiful.  Then they fall off and you are left with this unsuspecting, normal-looking, green bush.    It is Clark Kent of bushes. 
  4. Sunshine Son #2 has a lisp.  He doesn’t always pronouce his “l” sound correctly.   It is cute.   It is one of those little things that I don’t want to forget.   
  5. Posts without pictures.  Did you start skimming?  I would have.   Zero pictures = BORING.  Too many pictures = way too long to load the page.   So know you know.  I’m a skimmer.  
  6. I don’t think I have gone one day without a load of laundry in some state of process.   Needing to be washed, washing, drying, needing to be folded, folding, needing to be put away.   I despise laundry–even more than deliver between 9 & 1! 

Knit something.

12 10 2007

I love to knit (thanks M for teaching me!), but (there’s always a but ya know) honestly it seems like just one more thing to do.    I feel guilty for having bought the yarn, started something and not finished what I started.  Even worse is having the yarn and nothing to do with it.  

I really need to finish this sock I have been working on since JULY (3 1/2 months for a pair of socks?).   I’m sick of my other socks.  They are good socks, warm socks, but they are so 2006 🙂 .   I’ve turned the heel and heading down the leg, so it won’t be long now.

The Leisal scarf…I just don’t even know what to say about that.   There are no directions for how long it should be, so, I guess I’ll knit on it until I run out of yarn (?).  I have another skein of the stuff, so that is at least another 200+ yards….  

Pity party, table for one?  Right here!  

Anyway, I need to find something I want to knit for me.  Something.   I don’t know what it is.  I don’t even want suggestions.   I just want to have that feeling of how fun it is to knit this.  More fun than anything else.   So much fun that I don’t read anything.  So much fun that I make dinners consisting of breakfast foods.  So much fun that clean laundry sits unfolded in baskets…wait that happens all the time.   So much fun that I knit instead of reading blogs.   I need that kind of knitting.  

Where did that knitting go?   

I know the ballband dishcloth is…simple.  Why do I knit it?  I like it.   Why do you knit shawls?  Why do you knit the same thing each week?  Why do we knit what we knit?   I like it.   My color choices are boring I know.  I am not a color person.  I don’t get color theory.  Ask me to pick colors for a sweater and honestly I would not be able to pick more than two.   They would be all matchy-matchy (maybe, if I got lucky).  

Sorry.  Once again, I feel all “open mouth, insert body”.    It seems this has been the week of that sort of thing.   I should take my own advice to my children and just keep my mouth shut.   

Maybe I just need to knit something.