Monthly Archives: January 2007

Rent money and volunteers

Sorry for the slack posting, but I’ve been up to my turtleneck in copywriting work, which has been keeping me busy from the time I get home until I finally give up staring at the computer until my eyes bleed copy. Eh, it pays the bills. Normally don’t knock myself out like that, but I had a rush job turn up out of nowhere.

Hey, lookee – rent!

In other news, we’ve got volunteers! Yesterday we had almost as many adults as kids in the building. Which actually had more to do with not having very many kids, but hey, I’ll take it. We got a guy who’s going to be coming in regularly on Tuesdays, our local mom-volunteer is coming in three days a week and we also signed up another outside volunteer who will also be coming in three days a week. So, go us! Wooohoooo!

Other than that, not much news aside from predictions that we will probably get snowed out again tomorrow. Big winter storm supposed to be howling off the mountainside sometime after midnight tonight. Then again, we’ve had these “storm of the century” warnings before, only to get a few lost flakes slumming around in the outlying hipper areas of town checking out the boutiques while their more committed brothers and sisters gang up to beat the crap out of the southern counties. We’ll see.

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Snow Day!

No school. Slept in. Awaiting a call from one of my copywriting clients so I can earn some rent money. Otherwise, sitting around sipping cups of green tea and surfing the web. Sweet.

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A full day of fun – director’s cut

Heh…I’m back! And I’m all rested enough to tell you about all the fun we had Saturday.

To start with, 4 Americorps and the 7 kids that self-selected from those who were eligible to come along set out around 1:30 for a tour of the mind-bogglingly ginormous Biltmore Estate. On the one hand, it was cool to see all the sights – lots of wood carving, fancy interiors and insights into how things worked “back in the day” in the servants’ quarters. It’s pretty much a given that if you live in Asheville, you’re eventually going to be expected to do The Tour.

On the other hand – stairs! OMFG. Stairs up. Stairs down. Stairs, stairs all around. We spent almost 2 hours wandering around oggling the place (the kids had those tour headsets to listen to, as well), and by the end of it we were all pooped and the kids were more than ready to go home and sit down.

One note that I found incredibly reassuring – one of the kids who we’ve been having some trouble with spent pretty much the entire trip attached to me, and by attached I mean she sought out every opportunity to speed up or hang back to where I was and link her arm through mine as we went along the tour. Nice.

We got back just at 4:30, and by the time the kids were signed out and all, it was almost 5. Hubby whisked me away for a quick burrito lunch and then back again to the community center just in time to meet up with a few other Americorps buds to chauffeur 9 young kids (we’re talking little ones, now – toddlers and up to third grade) to the movies to watch Charlotte’s Web while their parents had a celebratory graduation dinner for the conclusion of the parenting classes they’ve been holding for the last several weeks.

I was vaguely dreading it, not being very familiar with little kids, but it was actually a great deal of fun! The little kids are very “huggy” and were all incredibly well-behaved, so it all went very smoothly. Due to a slight misunderstanding, we were driven to the wrong theater at first, but we had plenty of time and reached our correct destination with a good 15 minutes to spare (which was way better than the 45 minutes I was worriedly eyeballing as we pulled up to the first theater. 45 min with nothing to do is not a fun concept when you’ve got 9 hyper little tykes and a full theater lobby.) Our little asthma sufferer, about whom we were warned and about whom I spent a great deal of time anxious about, didn’t even have a single wheeze and didn’t need his meds even once during the whole trip, which was probably as much a relief to me as it was to him.

In fact, the only sour note of the night was the fact that Charlotte dies. I’ve always hated that.

We got them all home in good time, with several kids asleep on their feet. By the time I got home it was after 9pm. Hence the “later, gator” blogging. I mean, there’s a point at which I do draw the line and that was well past it.

Anyway, it was, as I said, a full day of fun. Hopefully, I’ll not have too many more like it, though. Sleep is also good.

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A full day of fun

Long day. Long night. Remind me to tell you about it later.


(Yeah, I’ll get back to it. Just not tonight.)

Volunteering overseas

At today’s Friday Morning Meeting, we listened to a wonderful speaker who talked to us about the possibility of volunteering overseas with faith based and other groups. She and her husband (and two kids) spent three years in Israel and the West Bank back in the early nineties, supporting peace groups in their efforts to work toward a peaceful resolution to the problems in that area.

It was great to hear what it was like working with Israelis and Palestinians during that time of hope (that was right after the whole Bill Clinton/Yasser Arafat/Yitzhak Rabin group hug thing), as well as the obstacles they faced and overcame to do so.

I’ve considered going overseas to help out in any number of ways and places, but don’t think I ever will simply due to the fact that I happen to be madly in love with my cats, who I neither want to leave behind nor care to have them sit through months of quarantine in a steel cage somewhere so they can come with. So that pretty much limits me to domestic do-goodery.

Yeah, well. It’s not like there’s nothing left to work on.

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So now I’m a referee (either that, or those stripes down my shirt are tire tracks)

Well, that was fun.

Remember that fight I talked about yesterday? Well, today one of the parents came over and asked to speak to all the kids involved. My first thought was, great! We’ll all sit down around the table and hash this thing out, maybe come up with some solutions. And hey! Parental involvement – one of our goals!

Uhm, not so much. Turns out, she just wanted to take the “other girls” to task for coming around to her apt after homework club and doing whatever it is kids do when they’re feuding – ringing the doorbell and running, calling the other kid out, hanging out conspicuously, etc.

While I appreciate her frustration and share her concerns, to be honest it wasn’t exactly an appropriate way to handle this. For one thing, the activities she was upset about didn’t even happen in the club or during club time, and for another, I doubt she’d care to have the other girls’ mother coming down on her kid in her absence.

Sarah and I did our best to diffuse the situation quickly and get everyone back on track (the whole club was basically put on hold while we dealt with this, since we both had to be there, which was another inappropriate result). And to her credit, the mother was calm and civil – it’s not like we had a beatdown going on or anything. But it rather caught me by surprise, and it shouldn’t have been allowed to happen at all. If I’d known her intentions (or, you know, gotten past my initial excitement and asked more carefully), I would have tried to find another way to deal with it.

But to be honest, I feel like I was ambushed (although I doubt that was her intention), and I resent being put in that situation. This should have been between her and the other girls’ mother, and handled outside of the club. Granted, she did feel that the problem was coming from the club (it’s not – the two girls came in all prickly from the bus ride beforehand), but that still doesn’t make the club the place to deal with outside hooliganism. Especially when we have a full house of now hyper-excited and way too interested kids we are supposed to be supervising being pulled away from their homework and crammed into one room so we could keep an eye on them while we dealt with this in the next room.

Hopefully, we can work this out in a civilized manner and it won’t be an issue going forward. We’ve worked out an alternate-day attendance option we hope will diffuse the tension. Cross fingers and hope for the best.

On another note, still not doing well with direct confrontation. And holding really still to escape detection doesn’t work when the “predator” is an righteously angry mom, LOL.

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On a lighter note

When we were outside today, there was a funny, laying-down rainbow in the sky above us. Instead of being the traditional “bow” going up from the ground, over and back down, it was a half-circle centered on a spot in the sky directly above us. We called it a “lazy rainbow” (because it was lying down on the job) and enjoyed watching it as it rotated a bit around it’s central point during the time we were out there.


[Edit: turns out it’s a phenomenon called a circumzenith arc. Here’s a super cool photo of one above some trees. Wow.]