I missed a day! After being all careful while traveling I missed yesterday because all day I was listening to the trial and when I got home from getting kids it became clear that our friend needed some friends around so we had an impromptu party. It was time well spent.
During yesterday’s testimony I again did useful things;
- cut out and mostly sewed a new pocketbook
- cleaned out my current pocketbook (part of the reason I decided the new one was necessary)
- unpacked from the trip – going with just 2 carry ons really does cut down on the unpack task
- went to the hardware store to buy bags of rocks to finish the shed base
- stared out the window at the fog and frosting of snow slowing me down on my shed project
- cleaned the kitchen
- organized the mudroom, found a dozen pairs of gloves, far more than the “I have no gloves!!!” assertion from my children.
- dealt with an annoying car battery situation – still un resolved – but steps were taken.
- and plenty of other little things
Today I am again listening. It is getting interesting here. I’m not sure how it will turn out, politics are not easy and the stakes are high. Respect levels are falling. I’ve kept busy though
- cleaned all the spots that the builder will be working tomorrow fixing drywall
- special attention to the office, it needed some attention.
- folded all the laundry
- attempted to go work on the shed but Lars left for a meeting with the materials I needed
- swept all the floors
- minor email and facebook – I can DO things and listen but I can’t read/write and still listen well unless I’m taking notes on the thing I’m listening to
Speaking of notes, I said this during another public hearing I listened to the broadcast of; I do indeed take notes, good notes, of important things in books that I keep for a very long time. Maybe my childhood dream to be a diplomat would have been good in my skillset because I take notes as part of listening. The poor guy now who is floundering for lack of notes has my sympathy. I hope to never ever ever ever be in a position to need my notes in an investigation but I do actually page back often enough to be useful (and it is a bit of a compulsion).
I think I’m going to go finish my sewing while listening – good luck to all
I listened to the impeachment trial today. All of it. I have a feeling I might need to renew my current audiobook because this was 5 hours straight of fairly interesting talk. I also feel that as a member of the public, for whom this is being put out for, I owe it to the system to listen and bear witness.
I’m not really going to comment on the content, it was actually pretty well done, I think the two men testifying did a good job of being cool under pressure. I also think both sides were 99% respectful and while you could see what they were looking for it was done in a clean and decent way. I actually have a ton of thoughts on the process but this is not the place for any of that; as my favorite college professor would say “that is for discussing with a rum and coke on the back of a boat”.
Maybe I’m conditioned to work out or clean while listening to a book, I usually bribe myself with an hour of book while I do something I don’t like and then after an hour I go do computer work or something else. There is no pause to this though so I either listen or miss it. Since I was listening I had to keep moving so here is a list of what I did;
- finished putting away Halloween
- cleaned the Volvo
- vacuumed a ceiling fan
- organized under the sink
- got my storage room under control and tidy again
- all my normal daily thing like collecting dishes and putting pillows back on chairs
- hand sewed the last bits on a dress for this weekend
- packed a bunch for the weekend trip
- spent 5 min in each kids room picking up
- swept the upstairs
- moved a ton of odds and ends to the places they belong
I’m not positive what I’ll do tomorrow if there is more live coverage but the result of the trial might be that my house finally gets super clean and organized, I’ll just neglect my online stuff a bit. I did over 8000 steps, all in the house, I’m not joking about not stopping all day. Now I’m going to try and balance it out with some yoga
This isn’t really the place for all the writing needed for politics. I suppose it could be…. but I’m choosing to keep my political stuff for my campaign 99% on facebook on a special page just for it. It does tend to pull time away from here though, just like any topic I don’t want to post here, I end up not posting at all.
Any-hoo – life has been a little crazy. Last weekend we went to a wedding and it was one of the most pretty and well done weddings I’ve been to. Probably because it was at a resort that was in the middle of nowhere so we were there with a ton of people we know and no other agenda but hang out. The key might have been that there were actually very few wedding activities so lots of free time. The resort was built in the 40’s and 50’s and other than necessary modernizations it is a time capsule. I told the kids it would be like how grandma went on vacation when she was a little girl. There were cabins and quaint stoves and tiny cabinets and a beach and overall a mellow vibe. My kids were 3 of 10 flower children and they had a great time with the crew of kids. The dresses turned out great overall and in a group you didn’t notice any one individual.
I was absolutely worn out by the weekend and various interactions and packed us up eary to leave so we actually had time at home on Sunday. I was so tired I went to sleep at 9:30pm and woke up at 6:30am.
Contributing to the crazy of last week was a fundraiser for technology in the schools – something I totally support. We treated it like a ‘date’ and had a great time but that night led directly into the crazy weekend so it was 3 nights in a row of being ‘on’.
Back to the ‘normal’ week and I’m slowly getting a routine. A very odd unforeseen circumstance has come up – the sun rises directly in my face when sitting at my desk. This makes morning work really impossible until I figure out shades. The to-do list for the house is still giant but got to make that one more of a priority. I have become fond of cloudy mornings though, funny how things happen.
Knocking around in my head are all the books I’ve managed to read over the past few months, I need to get back to talking about them and my blog friend posted about her summer reads, bringing that back to the front of my brain.
I’ve gotten my gym membership straight again. We were on a pause for the move and I’m officially back as of tomorrow. Making time for a real workout is important and Vacation Mom and I need it. I’m sure all the people we annoy at the gym because we talk missed us terribly. Thank you, parents, for the good genes that even though I have not worked out properly in months, I’ve kept at a good weight just by watching my intake and being generally active.
The next project to start is garage shelving. There are still things to finish on ongoing projects but new is more fun right? I also need to get them up so I can get space in the garage before it gets cold here.
I have also regained my ‘commute’ when I drive to/from the school I get to listen to NPR. I loved tuning in to the supreme court confirmation hearings last week and I usually catch a good segment one way or the other. Today though I missed my grandmother (who I also used to call weekly while I drove) because the topic was feminism. It is a big topic to unpack and the goal if this segment was to highlight the inequality in race and feminism. That is something I would have loved to talk with her about and I’m just going to have to settle for thinking about it. Maybe posting about it sometime.
How are you all doing?
In case you ARE interested in the politics
Here is a link to my facebook if you want to read
Last year on election day I stayed up with my cousins texting each other as we watched a train wreck in slow motion.
The next day I got this shirt.
I come from a long line of women concerned with rights and freedoms. We may not always agree on every point but that is ok if you come from a place of education. Unfortunately too many times there is no education, so, when my local community needed help I was happy to “Organize, agitate and educate” I was flattered to be asked and I am glad I got the opportunity to run a positive and educational campaign.
Walking that professional and positive line is difficult. It is so tough to not use the phrase ‘math is hard…’ because some people seriously can’t tell the difference between when the cost of something tripled v the total tripling. That would be like saying that apples are now triple the price, my grocery bill is tripled! no…. your apples did. Math is hard. So far so good with keeping professional and there are some people out there truly pushing buttons.
Polls opened at 7am and close at 8pm. I’ve been so happy to work with the team of fellow volunteers. So many times I was surprised by the kindness and generosity and willingness to go the extra mile. The people I’ve met during and on the campaign have made all the difference and I think I’ve found my people here. I’m keeping optimistic. I did my best. The team did all we could. Now we wait….
Yesterday was Monday, my well-documented love of Monday persists. It is the day to put things back together or start new things. The kids happily went off to school because, for them, this is a 3 day week. They have Thursday through Monday off for Minnesota’s best made up holiday – MEA (?) weekend. It is a conference, I think, maybe hunting opens? I’m not even sure but I am just glad that random school vacations don’t mean career limiting moves.
I’m cramming what I normally do all week into 3 days but I’m also plotting what we can all do together. Sometimes they are fantastic at helping, sometimes I don’t get anything done. We will have to see… I can say my goal is to get all the winter and summer stuff swapped and maybe, just maybe, make it so a car could park in our garage. Aim high you know.
The title works a little for last weekend too. While not actually a week long, Lars left for an event in way far away South Dakota (11 hours and an entire time zone away) on Friday morning. I had Friday solo and decided to take the opportunity to do one of the local hikes that I had been meaning to do for years. There was a set of difficult people on facebook (politics.. ugh) so a few hours outside taking pictures of fall leaves was just what I needed. I did try and do something responsible by replacing the lightbulbs in my laundry room fixture and I say try because while I did get them replaced I did it wrong and actually broke the fixture… oops put that problem on the shelf for Monday…
My solo weekend was well planned to NOT be particularly solo. Friday we had a long wished for sleepover with one of Zoe’s friends. It was more work than it should have been, who thinks bringing logs from the backyard into the bedroom is a good idea? Saturday morning was not up to par for sleepover fun because we all had early things to do, she had a soccer game and we had a vote yes event. The event went well, there was a great playground but don’t you know it Fiona fell and smashed her face. Not the best exit queue but gets the others going.
The kids were a bit terrible with fighting on Saturday after we got home and my nerves were on edge from dealing with yahoo trolls on the internet, so I was a bit shouty and separated them all but had a light at the end of the tunnel – we had an afternoon outing planned with our old daycare friends. They arrived after lunch and we all went out to the girlscout haunted camp event and it was really fun. The kids pulled it together and were happy and cooperative and Jon is one of those friends that it feels like no time passes. We left the camp due to rain but had been there for 4 hours already! They stayed for some pizza and it was a fun cap to the day.
Sunday everyone actually slept in, making up a bit of sleepover sleep debt. They also played together like it was their job. So well that I called a friend to watch them so I could grocery shop because they didn’t want to leave their game. I needed to tidy and shop because Lars’s cousin was coming to town and we have not seen her (in person) for 6 years or more. Vacation Mom also saved the day by whisking in and talking them all swimming so I could get in a quick workout and finish the cleaning. Everyone needs an extra mom friend on hand! Lars got home just after his cousin arrived and the visit was fantastic. We got all the family info and played a game and had a lovely dinner. She even showed us how to use snapchat, I can’t wait to totally figure it out but it really works well as a kid distractor. The kids were good and while they ducked a few of their standard Sunday chores I’ll take it for their generally great behavior.
It was a long 3 days, I needed my Monday yesterday. Instead of just getting ahead though I decided it was time to fix all the lighting issues in the house. That is a story for tomorrow where hopefully I have a happy ending to the saga but let’s just say if you want some customer service, just drop a giant fluorescent bulb in the store.
There is something about government that I have always liked. The important buildings full of people doing important things. I’m sure that if I looked behind the curtain it would be a lot like any other business, but, a business that is GIANT and dysfunctional full of rules on top of rules and nobody is actually in charge.
In school, I learned plenty about how government worked and while I learned plenty from my text books, I learned as much from my professors. One said that elected officials absolutely love to see the people that elected them rather than a paid lobbiest, not only do they hear a more genuine opinion, they have the ability to directly do something for someone that will return votes. Just like in business, the best advertising is positive word of mouth. Not that the world does not need lobbyists – they actually know all the players and get more done overall, could not get anything done without them.
So when my school district had to find 2 million dollars to cut for the 7th year in a row I decided it was time for me personally to be that parent/voter that goes and shows up and says that we need help. Our Forest Lake district has a few things working against it;
- It is geographically giant! to pay the bus costs for this area exceeds the transportation allowance by 1 million dollars. So, we start with a million in the hole.
- Not as many bigger businesses to contribute, and, medium income housing overall contributing property taxes
- The state asked to freeze for a couple of the really bad years, but, then they didn’t cover that debt later so it’s snowballed. The per pupil ratio is fairly sad now.
I woke up early, put on a suit and heels and makeup and went with a group to visit all the people possible. We ran all over, we accidently (sorry-notsorry) blocked hallways, we skipped lunch to maximize time and I think we actually did some good. I had a feeling lunch would not happen so I packed food, I was not alone, the business manager for the district had cheese sticks in his suit pocket – score one for women, pocketbooks hold more and better food.
The day was interesting in general. The capital is grand and large and a mix of beautifully old and oddly outdated. It is full of people in suits, every person in a suit. It is mostly full of men, mostly white men, but there were plenty of women too and in positions of influence, 2 of the 6 elected people we talked to were women. Just as interesting was that the secretary/assistant/aid crew seemed to be a mix of men and women too. I fit in there with my mask of makeup and costume suit but I’m not sure I would want to become a person who needs to go often. Visiting was fun though!
To make the most of the day I used every scrap of knowledge I had about influence. I stood up when someone came in, I shook hands, I sat at the table or in the front row. Eye contact, lean in, speak in the ‘compliment sandwich’, speaking in general; something not many people actually did. I told them I was a parent, I am a voter, I am someone who wants to help but needs help. I was respectful and also straightforward. I’m proud that after every meeting I got the business suit high-five (a nod and a ‘good job’/thanks’)
Unsurprisingly I learned tons from the day. I went in with a decent understanding of our problem and left knowing what was in the works from various people. Some people are working on things I didn’t know even existed as issues, others were looking at it a totally different way. There is no perfect formula but I have more of a concept of the whole picture now, of all the pressing things that are crying out for attention. On the bright side, I left more confident in the fact that education does seem to be on everyone’s mind and they are at least saying they are working to help. I also heard that they need suggestions on what would honestly help – there were times whey they flat out said “tell me what to do specifically”
My next step will be to follow up with the people we met to thank them for their time because they were all listening and present. I will also send the info on to the parents in my groups so they can send notes on specific bills to specific people so they know that the parent sitting in front of them was representative, not just a lone voice. …I have a feeling this is how lobbyist begins…
Looking past my short term follow up I have no idea what is next but I’m open and hopeful.