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PAPERS!

I realize that there are bigger issues I should be worried about, but this gigantic pile of papers I had to fill out really is getting to me. Every year the school sends home one page of info about my kids, already filled out, for me to correct and send back. They also send me more than a dozen pages asking the SAME info over and over again that I then must sign and sometimes have my spouse also sign and sometimes even my little second grader. I have three kids and there’s about an hour per kid to fill out. I did two last night and one this morning. I have no idea if my kids ate or put good things in their lunches or brushed their hair or teeth…not just this morning, but last night, too. It is all-encompassing, this paper duty.

Yes, I know it’s not just “the school” sending these things. Some of it is from the not-associated-legally-but-still-at-the-school after care program, some of it is from my kids extracurriculars, some of it is from individual teachers. But the stuff in the district packet, that stuff? I shouldn’t have to write my kids name and particulars on every freaking page. The first page has all the details, I corrected them, the rest should just be a page of tick boxes: can we take your kids photos? are you living in temporary conditions? do you need federal aid for lunches? And then send those forms that legitimately need info home with the kids that need them later. This waste of paper and waste of our time needs to stop.

AIE.

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Rose is weird.

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Why does she so love sitting like a person? Look at her cute bat ear! They go way way up when she’s super happy. 🙂

Neighbor Bread

Here’s the story: on Wednesday morning, I went to my friend Stephanie J’s house for coffee. She served the MOST DELICIOUS coffee cake EVER. It turned out to be a recipe one of the neighbor’s had given her…and she had used figs that another neighbor had given her to make it. Wednesday night I was over at the (recipe) neighbor’s house for a wine tasting party and asked for the recipe. She laughed and introduced me to Debbie, who is her “neighbor” at work who had given HER the recipe.  Hence the name Neighbor Bread. So I posted about it to facebook and this recipe now has a following. I’m posting it here in slightly edited form (It was originally sent in to a newspaper and “my” copy of it has the newspaper bit at the top, with bits crossed out, underlined, and whited out & written over, with copious notes at the bottom.).

Neighbor Bread

AKA Fresh Fig Bread with Sherry

Spread the slices with cream cheese or butter and serve at breakfast or teatime, or for dessert.  Moist, sweet, and lightly perfumed, fig bread goes well with tea, apple juice, or sherry.

 

1 ½ cups stemmed and coarsely

chopped ripe dark or light figs

1 teaspoon  each ground cinnamon and baking soda
¼ cup dry sherry ½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg and salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts ½ cup salad oil
2 large eggs

Combine figs and sherry; let stand at least 15 minutes. Mix together flour, walnuts, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.

In a mixer bowl, beat sugar, oil, and eggs to mix. Blend in flour mixture; gently stir in figs and sherry. Pour batter into a well-greased 5×9 inch loaf pan. Bake in 350 degree oven until bread feels firm when gently pressed in center, about 1 ¼ hours. Let cool in pan 10 MIN. Invert onto rack to cool. Slice to serve. To store, wrap airtight and keep at room temperature up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes about a 2-pound loaf, or 12 servings. —Lee Jordan, Concord, California.

Notes on page from Connie (as passed on from her friend Debbie):

-can substitute port for sherry (or marsala)

-if using “cooking sherry” omit the salt

-place wax paper along bottom of pan & grease generously

-takes about 16-17 small figs, or 2 cups untrimmed figs

-can substitute pears for figs (takes about 3 pears- peel them)

-maybe add extra yolk if using pears.


Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

What I’m doing this year

People are asking, so here we go:

  1. I didn’t “quit” the PTA, despite how gleeful I might be about stepping down from President-status. I’m still going to Student Health Advisory Committee meetings and am acting as a Council Delegate for at least the middle school PTA (and I’ve offered to do the same for the elementary school, since I’m already going to be there and be writing up reports, may as well kill two birds with one stone, right?). I’m still on the Staff/Teacher Appreciation committees and bringing food up for those days and also doing the Flex Day and 93 and Up Party at the middle school, and heck, I’ll probably even chaperon some field trips and dances while I’m at it. But I’m not on any Executive Board this year and really, that is a lot of work/time/mental stress I’m “skipping out” on.
  2. What am I doing? To sum it up quickly: writing and exercising and organizing.
  3. Oh, you want details? Okay, here goes:
    1. Writing: I have a few novels that are nearing the end of Draft One that I’d like to see actually finish Draft One and move on into Draft Two and Ready for Human Consumption/Editing sometime this year. Also a dozen or so poems that are probably finished, but need Eyes and Sending Off.
    2. Exercising: I’m trying to lose about 90 pounds (a number which I find horrifying). I’m a stress eater/drinker. Boy, have the last few years been full of stress. (Joy, too, but still a lot of stress.) Plus I have been taking multiple medicines that have been shown to cause weight gain as a side effect.  So I’m starting with restorative yoga one day a week, strength training a couple days, aerobics a couple days, and a couple days off because I can’t keep it up if I don’t take time off for rest.
    3. Organizing: I’m a pseudo-hoarder. I occasionally watch those shows on TV and think “Oh, thank God I’m not THAT bad!” while I have boxes and boxes of things carefully labelled and awaiting sorting/filing/recycling. I love labeling things, but throwing things out or recycling them? AIE. I’d rather die. What if I need something out of that pile?!?!? No, really, I’d rather scrapbook them and move on, but barring time and energy to complete those tasks, I’ve labelled and boxed things up and now my house is impressively full. So my plan is to start going through the boxes and start tossing/recycling things that no longer have meaning to my family. Once that part is done, I’d like to get back into scrapbooking things again. I like scrapbooking; it’s just time consuming and I have been far too busy with working for money and working for the good of our schools and our church to get that kind of thing done. So part of my time this year will be catching up on that.
    4. Extras: singing in the church choir & ladies ensemble, helping out on the kitchen crew one weekend a month, playing with the church ensemble and playing piano/clarinet solos/duets for Special Music or Offertory, helping out with kids crafts/social time at church, maybe starting up a book club again, helping out with Cub scouts and Boy scouts, helping people figure out their computers and smart phones, writing blog posts, and updating Facebook. You know, the usual. 🙂