Monday, December 8, 2008


As I sat in our team meeting Monday morning, the school secretary came down to tell me the principal wanted to speak to me. Not unusual so I wasn't concerned. The secretary and I chatted on the way down to the office. I walked around the corner to his doorway and saw 3 top administrators waiting for me. I immediately panicked thinking that someone in my family had been seriously hurt or killed. I sat down and the principal, notorious for being unclear and idiotic in his oral communications, began a conversations with, "A math document has come to our attention..."

I had no idea about what he was talking but as the conversation progressed, I came to understand that he was talking about a 10 question worksheet I had created! There were 8 different varieties of questions but only 10 questions I had written to help prepare the students for the upcoming state achievement test!

Suddenly I felt like bombs were going off around me and I effectively lost my "wits" because I knew that what they were pursuing could lead to the loss of my job!

The admin. alleged that I had read the math test in advance of administering it and created my worksheet based upon what I had read. INSANITY! There was another teacher in the room with me the entire time! There were also 46 KIDS! No time, no desire, no chance. Totally preposterous!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Coming Back

I'm coming back! I don't know how frequently, but I'll do my best. I felt self-conscious about my last post but I've met so many people, even on Etsy, who also are trying to navigate during the best of times and the worst of times. (Rings a bell, somehow)

I'm working daily on recovery and am going to relate my story, a little at a time. This is about recycling ME. I was at a time in my life when I felt so shiny and new, felt thrown away and am now on the precipice of re-purposing myself so I invite you to share this journey with me.

I was fired from my 26 year teaching career on Friday. I've been fighting a total lie for 3 years now and it finally took away part of my soul.

In 2006 I created a worksheet containing 10 math problems-8 different concepts. I was teaching 6th grade in a school with 12 sixth grade math teachers so I gave a copy to other teachers of math in our 6th grade group. I gave this worksheet to them after our first day of state achievement testing-right after all of our students had completed the reading test. When I gave the worksheet to the teachers, it was my intention for them to use it if they wanted to or not if they didn't. The 8 questions were based upon areas of difficulty my students had experienced so it seemed that other 6th graders would also need additional practice. As I gave this worksheet to the teachers, I thought I was clearly exaggerated and outrageous when I joked to them using comments like, "Don't send this home.", "Shread this when you're done." or "Chew this up and swallow it. Destroy the evidence!"

Totally without my knowledge, my comment made one teacher uneasy and he subsequently helped create an exaggerated concern with some of the other teachers. Instead of anyone's coming to ask me about their questions concerning my comments, one of the teachers turned me in to the administration of the school.

In the meantime, the remainder of the testing week went by without incident. The Thursday before the final day of our school's testing was my birthday. As was our tradition in our 6th grade, we gathered to eat lunch together, chat, joke and MOST IMPORTANTLY eat CAKE! As usual, it was a fun and much too short time spent among "friends". Little did I know of the talk and worry among the colleagues whom I held so dear. I wouldn't find out about any problem until first thing Monday morning!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Updating Blog

I haven't been consistent with updating this blog. It's not because I'm lazy or that I don't care. I care deeply about many issues and events.

I suffer from clinical depression and severe anxiety disorder and every day can be a total struggle. Sometimes getting up in the morning is the most I can hope to accomplish. I am extremely fortunate to have a husband and family who are wholly supportive and helpful. I'm getting better but recovery is a slow and unpredictable process.

The catalyst for my illness occurred a little over 2 years ago. Our family was experiencing several personal traumatic events when I was accused and convicted of committing an offense concerning state testing (I was a teacher.) that I did not commit and thus have suffered a painful end to a career that I loved and cherished for the last 26 years.

I have felt a full gamut of emotions over these past couple of years as our family continues to contend with a wide variety of very difficult issues but this teaching issue has been excruciatingly painful for me. Knowing that I am totally innocent (there was another teacher in the room with me the entire duration of the testing period who testified that I did not do what I was accused of doing) but still be in the process of losing a career to which I was fully committed is an unspeakably difficult event.

Despite my pain I struggle with some guilt over the reaction I experienced because I know intellectually that there are far worse tragedies and and human situations than mine. I guess we just don't have control over our chemistry that we'd like to have.

Each day is a new challenge for me. I continue to fight to clear my name and my restore my former stellar reputation in the community. I struggle to forgive those who put me in this situation as they sought retaliation against me. I hope that they find peace and can continue their lives finding kindness and love instead of vindication and anger. It is then that we will have more healing souls on the Earth and continue our journey toward a better planet.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Compassion for the Environment

We have a great way to work hard for our environment. Besides the measures we take in our daily lives there is a way we can make an impact around the world.
WE can influence the entire United States of America!
WE can influence The way the United States of America interacts with the rest of the world concerning environmental policies!

WE CAN VOTE! Our new president will be instrumental in developing our policies over the next 4 years.

Barak O'Bama:

Hiliary Clinton:

John McCain:

We all know we must act NOW and even NOW may be too late. We can, however, do what we can we only have from this minute forward.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bullying of the Very Most Difficult Kind

They evoke in us such strong feelings.


I've only just begun. Most of us realize when we sign up for parenthood that we're signing up for quite the roller coaster of emotion. There are some days when we're strong and some when we're not. There are times when we shine as parents and times when we're shamed. It's all expected.

What's not expected is this: (don't click if you're very sensitive)

Our first inclination is to condemn the offender as being worse than the devil. Yes, these are people who commit despicable offenses. It's sickening, nauseating and the act is unforgivable but are ALL offenders worthy of these labels?

"We" are partly to blame, I believe, as a society. Mom/Dad have a baby then are shown posters declaring not to ever shake a baby, a video about successful diaper changes and nursing and if they're still breathing, sent out the door and left to fend for themselves. Some are young and ill equipped and some are ill equipped.

Mom is raging with hormones and emotions and, if Dad is present, can be confused and confounded by the changes in his life. Add drugs and/or alcohol to the mix and the results can be devastating. Then, there's post-partum depression...

Do you know a new mother? Have you known a new mother? Do you actively watch for signs that there may be problems? (Even someone who desperately wanted a child can be stricken with feelings/emotions that come totally unexpectedly.)

Does your community vote for mental health levies? Do you help to obtain those votes? Do you talk about the levies? Do you promote them?

I vote for the levies and sometimes discuss them in groups. I'm going to be more active from now on and I'm going to start looking in on new moms with regularity. I don't know of anyone who doesn't appreciate help after a birth.

Maybe one visit could make a difference-of life-of death-of horrible injury and who knows? Maybe I can hold the baby!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cars, Gas and Our Environment

I would like to extend my condolences to the oil companies who struggle to keep up with the energy demands of the United States and the exploding demands in China and India. As a small business owner, I can't help but to occasionally shed a small tear for your profits that extend only into the trillions of dollars. *I need a time-out here-I've become vaklempt*

Are we then to believe that it is the increased demands for petroleum that is driving the cost of gasoline into the stratosphere? Well, let's consider HOW WE CAN SIGNIFICANTLY LESSEN that demand and help to control costs.

1. Be mindful of everything that you consume that is petroleum based and choose, whenever possible, products that are packaged or manufactured differently. 14 plastic bags are equivalent to the petroleum it takes to drive ONE mile.

2. WALK or ride a bicycle whenever you can. We can all use the exercise. Even if we have high mileage cars with low emissions we are still emitting and consuming.

3. Be mindful of your driving errands and try to combine errands to avoid multiple trips to the same area.

4. Car pool or offer to run an errand for a neighbor or friend when you're out. Do 6 people in the same neighborhood ALL need to go to the store for soy milk at once?

5. WRITE to companies who package what you use in plastic and DEMAND that their packaging change! Frozen vegetables, for example, can be packaged in waxed cardboard boxes. In what were items packaged before plastic was invented?

6. How many baggies or Ziploc bags do you use? When can you use waxed paper, foil, reusable containers? MOST OF THE TIME! I rarely use them. I've had one box for over a year.

7. Garbage? What about paper lawn waste bags? Wrap up what you can't compost in newspaper like people did before plastic bags began to ruin our planet.

8. CLOTH diapers. (Use a diaper service if you don't have time to manage the extra laundry.)

9. TURN IT OFF! When you leave a room, turn off the lights and televisions, etc. Unplug TV's radios, computers, etc. when everyone is going to be out of the room for several hours.

10. BUY used. You'll save loads of money and help the enviromnent-no matter what. Remember, manufacturing requires energy, resources and frequently gallons and gallons of water and some chemicals.

One person practicing lesser energy consumption may not impact the price of gas much but MILLIONS and MILLIONS at a time will!

Great items to buy used offered by : vintage this ~ retro that

6 Cup Pyrex tea pot: $10.00

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Soap Nuts

I've received some questions about the soap nuts so today's article is going to be about those wonderful shells.

I purchased mine from Lullwater: because they were the best priced soapnuts I could find. (If someone finds a better price, please let us know.)

As it turns out, soap nuts are NOT just for laundry--oh no, my friends. The list goes on and on!

You can boil some in water, let it cool and use as a very mild shampoo, then rinse your hair with a vinegar/water solution and, let me tell you, your hair will be shiny and very clean!

Tie 8-10 soap nuts in a cotton bag and boil in 3 Cups of water for about 15 min. Allow the shampoo to cool. Pour into a container and use as a safe, very gentle, shampoo.

This shampoo will not lather like the commercial detergent shampoos so BE CAREFUL to only use a very small amount. ( If your hair is dried out after use, you've used too much.) Rinse your hair with equal parts water and white vinegar for a chemical free "conditioner".

Tune in! I'll be listing more uses for this great product! In the meantime, you could be putting your soapnuts in this fantastic bowl by