Just Heather

Math Bowl vs. Birthday: Last week, the Math Bowl competition (why, yes, I am the proud parent of a mathlete!) was canceled due to snow. I didn’t get it at all. In fact, we went out to dinner that night 20 minutes away and didn’t have a problem at all. When my daughter called to tell me it was canceled, she was devastated to tell me that it had been rescheduled for my birthday! The disappointment in her voice was so nice to hear. She truly wanted me to have a better birthday than sitting at an academic competition. What she doesn’t get is there isn’t anywhere I’d rather be than watching my children do something (and excel—1st place in district, 8th place in state) they love.

Ice Skating vs. Broken Bones: It was a grand birthday overall, let me tell you. After the Math Bowl, after dinner, after the kids were in bed I managed to drop a cabinet door on my foot while putting away their toys. It hurt, but I went to bed. By morning it was bruised, but not too bad. By noon, after a busy day, it was all kinds of purple, swollen and hurting pretty good. I, of course, waited until the next day to call the doctor. She saw me, but couldn’t decide. Doc said I would be okay to wait the weekend if I wanted and come back for x-rays if it didn’t get better. Upon finding out that I would probably have to have “bone pictures” on Monday (I didn’t), Brenia yells “But I have ice skating class on Mondays!”

Pothole vs. Landscaping: My activist opportunity of the month came after several weeks of frustration over a huge pothole in our neighborhood. I spent a month playing the apathetic game, assuming the city already knew about it. It occurred to me that maybe all 50 families affected were assuming the same thing. I visited the city’s website and learned all about the Public Works Department’s partnership with INDOT. It went on and on about the landscaping in the median and new roads. I thought that was a bit much since they couldn’t manage to maintain the current ones. I emailed the Director of Public Works about the issue over the weekend. On Sunday night, I received a response thanking me for bringing it to their attention. He said he spent the afternoon driving the city and cataloged all potholes, giving the one I referenced a Priority 1. They filled it the next morning! The cynic in me figures it was already on the books, but the political side of me wants to believe I made a difference.

Next Up: Anyone want to place bets on the winner of Reading vs. Houseworks?

This morning before my meeting at the news station, I panicked about the fact that I have never been on a job interview before. I am 30 years old and I have never had a real and actual job interview. I got all my jobs because I knew someone who knew someone, and then I became a stay at home mom.

I wonder if I can use that term now. Starting next Friday I have a job as a morning news weekly contributor on the subject of savings and coupons. I will have a 3-4 minute segment each week, primarily discussing the top 5 deals of the week and directing viewers to my own website for more information. It is basically a big advertisement for my business, only they are going to pay me.

They want to come up with a name for me and/or my show. I need something catchy, but I’m drawing a blank. I did suggest Smart Shopper or Shopping Smart, from a previous comment, which they liked but we’re still brainstorming. I also came up with Good Buy Girl, which seems fun though I don’t know if they’ll go for the Neil Simon wordplay.

I’m still kind of in shock over how quickly this is all happening. I am excited, and I’m sure the nervous part will come next week. My mom reminded me that if I can handle the national evening news, I can do this. The difference is this is live and being local actually makes it more important to my business. I have 9 more days to panic so for now I’m just enjoying the excitement—and the idea of a paycheck—not to mention the fact that my father actually seems proud of me.

I have been called a tree-hugger, a hippie and who knows what else to reference my green Earth tendencies. The funny thing is, I’m not even obsessive about it. All I do is recycle paper, plastic, metal and glass. I make a conscious effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. That’s it. Apparently, because I don’t get anything out of it (I actually pay someone to pick up my recyclables each week instead of collecting them until the scrap yard will give me a dollar), I am an obsessive green freak. Whatever.

I was actually the first in my neighborhood to participate in the pickup program. I called before we ever moved in to get it all setup. I got green buckets, filled them up and set them on the curb every two weeks. Occasionally, they would miss me and I would have to call. That’s how I found out there was no one else in my entire neighborhood of 1200 people who recycled. A few others have jumped on board and pickup is now weekly because we were filling the truck too quickly. A good sprinkling of homes in the area have their blue buckets set out each week. Mine were green. They apparently changed equipment in the 2 years it took for someone else to join the program.

Now I set my blue buckets out every most Wednesday nights. I loved my green buckets—they just seemed so representative of their purpose—but they disappeared awhile back. I thought they blew away in a storm, but recently I have noticed a house down the street sporting old, beat-up green buckets for their recycling. I know those are mine. No one else has ever had green buckets. Don’t think recycling a few of your beer bottles is going to erase your bucket-thieving karma.

Long time, no see!

  • Anyone who could make it around the world in 80 days, clearly didn’t stop to visit family. Christmas alone took us 6.
  • Through a series of gluten free trials and challenges, it would appear that all 3 of our children are celiac. Updates to come when I have more time.
  • The chicken pox vaccine doesn’t work for shit.
  • Sick days plus holiday break makes for a very, very long 3 weeks.
  • The love of baths is clearly genetic. The wonders of an oatmeal bath have created yet another addict.
  • 9-year-olds do not know how to read in a tub without soaking the book.
  • I, however, have successfully read 5 books in the tub since Christmas.
  • Speaking of books, I once told my uncle that I would love to own James Whitcomb Riley books, but they are too expensive in our flea markets. Though I haven’t seen him for several years, I just received my 6th book in the mail from him this week. Also, though I don’t remember ever mentioning that I wanted to find Alice of Old Vincennes (my hometown), he sent an antique copy last month!
  • It’s Girl Scout cookie time! And my cookie mom will be out of town when the orders are due!
  • Also, the internets have suddenly decided that I don’t need to receive any email from said cookie mom.
  • Gluten free diet + sneaky child who loves to climb=very cranky, glutened child who doesn’t seem to understand cause & effect
  • Molars really hurt on the way in, poor baby!

Well, it came as no surprise to hear that Edgerrin James had signed a deal with another team. The surprise—dare I say shock—came when I heard which team. When I first heard he was in talks with the Cardinals I honestly thought it was a joke. When I realized he was actually in Arizona, I figured he just wanted everyone in the NFL to know he was shopping. When I heard he signed a deal with them, my jaw nearly hit the floor.

The Cardinals? Is he freaking kidding me?! They are the absolute epitome of a non-competitor. What, exactly, does he think he will gain there? Does he really expect to put up big numbers on a team that was dead last in rushing this year? He can’t go it alone. Maybe, as my dad said, it’s all a matter of “show me the money,” but I can’t imagine being happy raking in the big bucks on a bad team. Especially when most of your salary will be eaten up in personal travel expenses so you can get out of Arizona. It’s called the Desert Southwest for a reason. I’m thinking the big fish/small pond scenario has some allure to it.

We have no shortage of talent around here, though holding onto them with the current salary cap has proven to be a challenge. I’m starting to think the loss of Larry Tripplett and David Thornton will be more detrimental than losing the Edge. Just when we were really building a defense—showing some actual talent in that area—the team is dismantling. We’ve built these guys into marketable players, but now we can’t afford them. It would appear as if we’re protecting a bit of our salary room to renegotiate with Dwight Freeney, who will be a free agent next off-season.

We’ve struggled with defense for years. To come so far only to have it ripped apart isn’t good for the level of play or team morale. On the other hand, losing Edgerrin changes our game. We don’t just rely on the yards. We rely on his run game to setup the play action Peyton does so well. I’m just not sure anyone else can pull that off quite the same. Dominic Rhodes showed a lot of promise when James was out in 2001 so we shall see. We’ll have to pick someone up in the draft to help him out, seeing as James Mungro is also a free agent this year. Though what caliber player we could draft as low as we’ll be placed remains to be seen.

It all sucks, though not as much as rumors of our special teams’ loss. That one will devastate me. Mike Vanderjagt is hands down the single hottest player in the NFL, possibly in all of professional sports—and he’s Canadian to boot! He is NFL’s most accurate kicker, the Colts’ leading scorer, and an all around great guy. He would be a fantastic loss to not only the team, but our entire community. It may very well split my loyalties.

I’ve always been a hometown fan. Not in a fair-weather fan, they’re-undefeated-don’t-I-own-something-blue kind of way. Rain or shine, I’ll watch week after week—football and basketball. When the chips are down, I’ll still cheer them on, but as the team gets shipped all across the country a la Pacers Y2K I just may have to follow some of my boys. I can only console myself with the knowledge that they weren’t purposefully dismantled like the Eastern Conference champion Pacers. We just don’t have the cap room to keep it together.

  • The trip to my parents’ house is much longer with a 1-hour stop at Old Navy.
  • I should never be turned loose at Old Navy when they are having massive clearance sales.
  • Indiana’s new interstate speed limit goes a long way towards making up lost time.
  • Traveling during bedtime does not necessarily indicate that my girls will actually sleep in the car—even when naps are skipped to improve this possibility.
  • Skipping naps? So not a good idea. Ever.
  • Someone who loathes remixes should never listen to Club Mix Hour on the radio—unless, of course, the only other options are country music stations.
  • I grew up in the one of the biggest redneck, hicktowns in America. This has nothing to do with my trip, other than I am reminded when I spend more than 5 minutes in my hometown.