Apr 30, 2009

Migrant Worker/ Small Business Owner/Broke Ass Hungry Chick Update

So the head hunters have started to call and interviews are set up which is great because yesterday was spent putting out resumes and the phone was eerily quiet - Yikes! So it was a relief to hear it ring this morning. Now I just hope the calls are coming from Northern IL and then I can exhale. The really big deal for us is this, we live in our dream house. It's an old church built in 1887 with 8" by 8" beams and limestone bricks four feet thick and it's a behemoth to take care of or even pay a heating bill in but the ceilings and the windows and the light is magnificent. And in the housing market I have no idea who would buy such a place. So even if we need to move two hours away I'm feeling a little sweaty about it.

Plus we've filled this place with stuff - lots and lots of it; paintings, toy soldiers, barbies, roller skates, couches (we have 4) and I don't know if we'd ever be able to find a house to hold all the stuff. Of course I've walked around and looked at all the stuff deciding what I'd take and what would go and surprisingly what I would take is pretty sparse. A lot of what's here is pretty specific to the house. If I had to start over in a new place with only what I couldn't part with, it'd be modern and small and functional not giant, ornate and fancy. Think Eams instead of Rococo it's easier to dust.

I am still working on my plan of word domination and it's looking quiet nice. I would share it but then you may beat me to building the Laser Beam of Debilitating Fun so I feel I must keep it to myself.

Why Ella Cracks Me Up

Also - do you know what these are?

No, not bendy straws taped to Tinkerbell socks on my five year old's feet. They're "Bird toes" duh! And they belong to this bird.

Apr 29, 2009

It's Not All Rainbows and Lollipops All the Time

Hey cool kids. So here's the news, Dan got laid off yesterday. Sure the construction industry is stinky in Northern IL, but dang it if we hadn't thought we'd gotten over the lay-off hump. So there are a few choices for us, take a job offer in a far away land where construction still exists, switch industries slightly and take a pay cut, find investors and execute my plan for world domination now. I'm shooting for the later, I'm reading all sorts of fun stuff about small business loans and grants and am hoping to meet with someone at the Illinois Small Business Development Center this week. You see here's the thing, I've spent years helping other people make their businesses successful, and since Ella was born, building and growing not for profits, I know how to do this. I just need backers. So today my blog changes.

It'll either be a diary of the beginnings of a small business, a diary of migrant worker, or a diary of a broke ass hungry chick.

Apr 28, 2009

I'm a Dog Person

My dog is so spoiled she takes the green scooby treats outside and saves them. She takes the red bone shaped ones and eats those right away and she takes the red square ones and brings them into the dinning room before deciding if she's going to eat it or stash it away under the table. I'm just saying, you have to be a fat happy dog to decide when and where to eat your treats. I'm not going anywhere in particular with this, I'm just loving my dog today.

Apr 27, 2009

Divas vs Flyin' Squirrels

I'm alive. The bout went better than I expected. We lost 107 to 227 to the Flyin' Squirrels. I think I broke my finger in the first period about five minutes in, somebody fell and hit my hand on the way down and my ring finger bent backwards, it was pretty numb for most of the game and I tried to keep lots of ice cold things on it that night (beer) but the next day after a long hot soak in the tub it swelled up and turned purple. I'm not taking it to the doctor as it still bends and I don't plan on doing anything differently and today it's less swollen - so there.

Here's me blocking the jammer with my butt (woohoo!)

Skateymates from both teams sang happy birthday to me in front of a cake at the afterbout and then I tryied to take a bite out of the side of the cake and ended up with a faceful, frosting up my nose, behind my ears, in my hair - fun stuff. The bar was great, free jukebox all night, allthough I never did get it to play any Beastie Boys, there were probably 400 songs in cue. I won a free t-shirt from the bartender (yay free stuff!)

This is me getting focused right before my big scoring jam.

There are a ton more pictures here from Moosie who is an amazing sports photographer (and by a ton I mean like about a thousand) Thank you Moosie for all you do for us and the sport. XOXO!

Apr 25, 2009


Today I am 36 and today I am going to worry about the million things that happen on bout day. The Paper valley Flyin' Squirrels are getting in their cars shortly to make the drive down. I need to wash my uniform still and I need 80 volunteers and roller girls to all come together at the same time and do something wonderful tonight for a crowd of 350 tonight. I always tell people it's like planning a wedding only with hip checks. Any number of things can go awry and have before and the amazing part is we always have fun anyway. Because here's the thing, these women work year round learning this sport and they love it so much they are willing to strain marriages and friendships and work, it is their obsession, their passion and even when the amp for the natioal anthem blows out we skate forward and sing if we have to.

Apr 24, 2009

The End and The Beginning

This morning we gulped coffee and pop-tarts and rushed down to the school to hang out with 60 second graders. Dan and the kids planted a tree in honor of Jesse who was the mayor here in tiny town for 27 years and recently passed away. Dan grew up across the street from Jesse who ordered 600 trees planted in town, that now tower over us. We told the second graders he was like the Lorax and we put a Japanese Lilac in the school yard for him and next week they'll put a placard up with Jesse's name and Dan will serve his last week as mayor.

Apr 22, 2009

back soon

Hey kids, yep I'm still alive. It's day's before the Divas first home bout of the season and I'm swamped. We're sold out and I'll be back soon enough. I promise.

Apr 20, 2009

Just stopping in to say... nothing really.

I've got 432 things on my list of things to do today. Ok, ok actually it's like four things but it feels like 432 and so I'm going to complain about it anyway. Although actually I don't feel much like grousing at all, it would just be one more thing to do and don't want to add to the list.

Apr 18, 2009


It's supposed to be 73° today! I've been hoping for this day for months and now I'm not sure what to do with it. Short sleeves seem they should be first, then I should find some sunglasses. I have actual errands to run, a birthday party present and then the lilacs I ordered on Wednesday are at Grandma's ready to be picked up. So we'll be digging holes in the mud this afternoon and then maybe a little art in the city with pals this evening.

Apr 15, 2009

You Can Get Anything You Want

After the movie (Observe and Report - not so recommended, kind of depressing, made my stomach hurt, that's another post.) last night we went and wandered around Big Lots where you can find everything you ever wanted that you didn't even know you needed for like a dollar.

For instance shade grown, fair trade coffee pop:


or Pop with a pin up on it


The drink selections are always the funniest and last night was no exception, after I found Java Pop and ACE, I found the shelves of Hooters Energy Drink, though I thought it would be more appropriate to have Hooter's Chocolate Milk (Bad-ump bump!)


The top shelf was still full of the brunette cans,


The bottom shelf held one lone blond can. WTF Hooter drinkers?! The Blondes taste better?!


Over in the cereal isle I found


and then just before we left the store, the universe leaned over and whispered 'Wolfgang' again in my ear (it's come up in some oddly random ways this week and that's weird - thanks T.)


Last Sunday

Apr 14, 2009

On Your Marks! Get Set....

Today I am on the verge of something. I have no idea what it is. I'm waiting to see what could happen. It could just be excitement about practice tonight or nervous energy about some projects I'm working on but I feel like a shaken soda pop with the cap still on all fizzy with energy today.

Apr 13, 2009

A Jacket Accident

So I don't know if I've said it or not but Ella wants to design her own clothes. All the time she's drawing patterns and cutting them out of paper and then gluing them together and on more than one occasion I've totally busted her cutting up actual clothing so she can redesign them, including my clothes - sigh. Today when she walked up to me wearing a mermaid skirt over a fairy leotard and a pink corduroy vest resembling the corduroy blazer I sent her to school in today and I asked her what happened to the sleeves on her jacket she said "They fell off" and when I started laughing she had the nerve to get mad at me.

Apr 11, 2009


Rock Collection

I sat up last night until 3 am listing to old rock music and wondering where the Led Zeppelin of the 2000s is.  The Van Halen of 2009? The RHCP of today? Why don't we have a super rock group that is so incredible everyone knows who they are?  I know I'm old and crabbity but even my grandma knows who the Stones are, so come on!  Is it because we have too many choices and they are all available all the time? Is it because the great music machine is churning out American Idol and more dance music than ever before? Is it because rock-n-roll is dead and given way to Akon and Fergie? Or have I just been missing something in a big way because I've had me head stuck in Veggie Tale Movies and Laurie Berkner videos for a half a decade? 

Dear ineternets - who is your modern rock supergroup? Got any? Coldplay anyone? Muse? Whatcha got? 

PS If you're trying to overcome some insomnia, you should NOT sit up and listen to Led Zeppelin.  

Apr 10, 2009

My Crowded Birthday Party

The home bout I'm skating in on April 25th is almost sold out. Everyone is turning tickets and money in on Tuesday and from the sounds of it and all the scrambling there won't be any un-sold tickets left to turn in. I have a few to sell for myself and haven't yet called and friends or family. So if you want a ticket from me, let me know by Tuesday. It'll be the Divas vs the Flying Squirrels with Announcer Dick Dragon and the band Unicycle Drag Race for the half time shows (yes there are two half times LOL!) and all of this in front of a sold out crowd on my birthday. Sounds like crazy fun? It's gonna be.

Apr 9, 2009

Diary of a Mayor's Wife - Drowning in Stubborn

Shortly after building the new high school it became obvious the grade of the large field surrounding it was incorrect. The neighborhood to the North was flooding every time it rained. Dan consulted with experts and brought it to the attention of the school board who's answer went something like; "Of course the retention pond is fine, there's never any water in it after it rains" to which someone should've knocked their heads together until they realized a retention pond should be full after it rains not the neighborhood's yards next to the retention pond.

The village on behalf of the residents asked the school to get it fixed. In the normal scheme of construction, the school board would contact the general contractor and the general contractor would make the sub-contractor that did the grading fix it, or at the least back charge them for the work, but that didn't happen. The school board hired an out of state general contractor who did some creative paperwork allowing him to subcontract everything for the lowest non-union bid possible and the sub-contractors were long gone by the time the bricks were falling off and the neighborhood was flooding. Besides the school board didn't want to admit it was their fault or try to contact the general contractor anyway and instead waved their butts in the general direction of the neighborhood next to them.

Dan offered a compromise telling the school board, it was going to cost the village and the school board both at least $10,000.00 each in lawyer fees to argue about who would fix it and so he would just take the $10,000.00 and set it aside for the regrading of the school's field and the school board could pitch in their $10,000.00 and that's would cover the cost to fix it. The school board decided that being right was way more important than actually fixing anything or saving the taxpayers any money or being good neighbors and again waved their butts in the face of everyone.

The local news paper hasn't covered any of this. Perhaps it is too hard to make it to the meetings, with all that showing up places, finding out what is happening and writing stuff. In the mean time our neighbors called our house every time it rained to complain that it'd been years and still their yards become ponds when it rained. After every single call Dan would get his coat and boots on and go look at the water and share in their frustration. The two boards
are still arguing over who should fix it but now we are done taking the neighbor's calls.

Apr 8, 2009

Diary of a Mayor's Wife

My husband is the mayor of our little town and yesterday he didn't get re-elected. Yes, we knew it was coming. For lots of reasons, we knew it was coming and really Dan was thinking he didn't even have time to go out and get signatures so his name would be on the ballot, but one cold Sunday in four below weather he tromped around and got them anyway and that was the extent of it really. He's been working too hard lately to campaign. A few yard signs and a debate (that he totally kicked butt at) a few postcards and that was it really. We didn't have the time or energy or some days the desire to put much more than that into it.

When he ran originally, four years ago, we had a website, buttons, yard signs, press releases, walk pieces, informational handouts and Dan knocked on every door in town and talked nonstop about the things he wanted to do. This year the new kid ran that same campaign Dan did the first time around and we watched him tirelessly do it, knowing it would work.

There's lots of feelings here today, the first of course is being proud of what Dan has done. I've watched him work endless hours, reading every municipal periodical cover to cover and attending every function and meeting he could always thinking of the village first, staying up worrying about budgets, answering phone calls and looking at potholes at all hours of the night. Literally serving his neighbors at every waking moment even when he knew he couldn't make the popular decision. Too many in the past have made the choices that made them popular and Dan swept up that mess and made the hard decisions* that put us back on track. I'm so proud to say, in the last four years he's accomplished every single one of the things he set out to do, or was on track to accomplish them. It's up to the next person and the next board to finish it up and follow through. So today I hope.

Dan also doesn't sing his own songs, he never will, he's that type of fella. He'll do you a favor but you may never figure out it was he that did it. This isn't good if you’re in politics, you must have a media machine behind you and he didn't for reason I may explore later** but I digress. If you are in politics you must never do a good deed without letting everyone know you did and then never letting them forget it. It's the ego building part of the job and my husband has never needed that part, he's just always wanted to serve his neighbors and do what is right.

So anyway the next set of feelings that briefly wash over me are a terrible prediction that the new guy fails and the whole things falls to pieces without Dan. Then I say "Nah-na-na-nah nah, told you so!" After all, isn't that what everyone projects when they leave a job or an organization they gave so much too? Sounds childish, and it is. I realize that I still have to live here and if the whole village goes bankrupt any outstanding bonds will just get added to MY tax bill and I won't be able to afford to flush my toilet anymore. So reality sets in and I hope the new guy is much smarter than I give him credit for. I just can't help but be worried. The fella's been to TWO board meetings EVER. Yes, EVER in the short five years he's lived here. But here I am falling into all the million things I've been screaming in my head about for the last few weeks and it's not going to do any good. It's time too look forward again and hope.

I started this blog so that I could speak freely and anonymously about politics without alienating any of my neighbors and it's grown into a place to talk to my pals, a document of our lives, a hub of news for my family, a daily ritual, a window to you all, and a great piece of entertainment for myself. Dare I say I'm a little freer to say what I want now; though I may just leave it all behind and move forward. Revisiting and wallowing in the nitty-gritty may just make me a bitter person when really I should let go and enjoy the extra free time we'll have, the loss of stress and celebrate where we've been and continue to hope great things for us all. For now, we’ll go back to quietly sitting on the front porch sipping margaritas, watching the parade, all the while remembering how strange it is to be in the parade.

* Some of them weren't such hard decisions but you would be blown away if I told you... well, hell I can tell you now! Dan actually had citizens call and ask him if he could tell the police to stop hanging around outside the bar at 2am because they're scaring the bar patrons from driving home. First of all downtown is only two blocks long and the police station IS downtown and secondly REALLY?! REALLY?! They may have well asked him for an actual “get out of jail free card” it caused quite a ruckus around town when of course he told them no.

** The big daily news paper didn’t even realize there was a Village President race here until the results came in. The three-way Village President race wasn’t on the sample ballot, and the village board members who were listed in yesterday’s news weren’t up for re-election. Apparently no body bothered to actually check with the board of elections.

Apr 6, 2009


I woke up to the flutter of wings in a swirl of dream thinking of angels and hearing spring time up close above the bed. Realizing a bird was flying over me and yelling for Dan I hoped it would be an easy ordeal, with Dan opening up the front doors and the little thing flying right out but as usual it opted for bashing itself on each of the windows in our home, none except the tiniest of which actually open and the little thing missing freedom altogether. Dan and I set to work to wear the bird out, Dan with a long stick and I with a silk dress found on the floor, white with black polka dots and red roses. Dan waving at one end of the house and I waving the small dress at the balcony, the exhausted bird flying between the two largest pieces of stained glass in the house, I was resigned to being up early all hopes of crawling back under the covers and finding the dream I couldn't remember had flown. Finally exhausted and bruised the little bird landed in the sill next to my computer and Dan gently picked him up in a sheet and brought him out the front door and set him on the stoop. It flew away.

Apr 5, 2009

Things that Ella Says that Probably Make More Sense Her Way:

My dear daughter brushes her teeth with
"tooth taste."

Yesterday instead of eating 2 plain ol hard boiled eggs at lunch we had FOUR very fancy "doubled eggs."

Today we are going on a family date to the "movie feeder" where we will consume Monster vs Aliens.

Apr 4, 2009

All My Fun Revolves Around Food

Dan went running off to the remote regions of Northern IL with his pals today to play war games so Ella and I have the day to ourselves. We are kicking it off by catching up on our junkie TV and ranch flavored provisions. Later we may round out the day with fort making and fancy culinary feats (deviled eggs.) Dan may be home by then, it depends on how cool the games are and how rampant he feels like running. I am a tad bummed though as we had a couple of invitations form pals that are running some rampant of their own tonight, but alas we try to ration our already sparse baby sitter situation out so that we aren't overextending our resources.

I wish we had a babysitting service around here so that I could just call 1-800-POPPINS any old afternoon and by evening a delightful but stern, background-checked, lady would drop in with her umbrella to sing and dance with kiddo for enough hours that Dan and I could go gambling, or watch some stand up comedy, or eat some sushi or rent a limo and stick our heads out the top and yell "Woooohooo!" as we drive around town downing Champaigne and caviar or ranch flavored snacks and Miller High Life.

Apr 2, 2009

I Love You Man

Totally funny movie. Left the theater feeling happy and joking around with my date. Four stars!

Apr 1, 2009

Rules of Thumb

I read the entire book and these were the tidbits so unforgettable I felt the need to share them:

Getting Thoroughly Acquainted: It takes 30 hours of conversation to know whether your really like someone. Be wary of anyone who invites you only to places where you can't chat, such as movies, plays or concerts. - B. Bell

Home Run Sponsorship: Putting $1,000.00 behind a sporting event will generate about the same exposure as $10,000 in advertising. -The Wall Street Journal

Blowing Bubbles: One cup of laundry detergent per gallon of water makes spectacular soap for blowing bubbles. - Rulesofthumb.org

Hot Tub Overflow: Soaking in a hot tub adds two to three pints or perspiration per hour per person to the water. - Phil Tomlinson