Saturday, December 23, 2006

Decisions

Sorenson said 'not this year' to my application. I am simply grateful for the speedy process and the opportunity to apply. For eight years I have said "not this year" so it makes sense Sorenson would say it to me this year.

The path is slightly clearer without the Sorenson commitment, but it is still blurry. I will be taking a few political leadership seminars in the meantime to make the path even more clear.

All the options I have are so exciting. For years it has been about later, and some days, now feels like later. (Wha??)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cookies so far

Finally in my last post for awhile (anywhere between 2 hours and a week and a half), I list the cookies so far:
Cowboy cookies (everyone loves them, but they are different from last year)
Brackle Cookies (toffee bits yum)
Fudge
Peanut Butter Bars
Chewy Ginger Cookies
Chocolate Crinkles (all gone by now- may have to make more)

Still to be cooked (time permitted):
maple walnut fudge- anyone know where to get maple flavoring?
oatmeal scotchies
chocolate chip
something with deer meat
maybe the jelly ones mom used to make
I need more butter and choc chips.

I love staying home for the holidays.

Parks News

Really I am not obsessed, I just forgot to add something to my last post on Parks. At the board meeting last week, the Director announced the next budget includes additional funding for extended pool hours (without cutting anything else or raising rates for anyone) for next summer. No specifics yet, updates to follow.

I smiled and cheered "my work here is done." Just joking- working on a Board is really satisfying.

December illness

Chris insists no one wants to hear about this, but I press on.

I had the great opportunity to interview for the Sorenson Political Leadership Program on Friday. I know acceptance into this program is very competitive and while I believe I am a strong candidate, I heard from plenty of folks that great, qualified candidates are routinely rejected given the small class sizes and geographic diversity interests. SO finally my time to convince the powers that be at Sorenson of my fitness for the program was upon me when disaster (drama, dont mind me) struck. Outwardly I am fine, but I am nauseous and sick to my stomach (and not from nerves) from a disgusting virus that swept through my house last weekend.

SO no telltale sign I am ill (red nose, stuffy nose or cough) just my inability to create saliva. I had the worst cotton mouth because I was so dehydrated. One real pet peeve I have (there are few) is when someone is speaking and needs a drink. I want to give them a drink, and there I sat answering these questions with rambling (I say incoherent) responses with dry mouth. After the interview, I told Amber I need a drink of water and she sweetly showed me the water cooler (with cups).

My best foot was not put forward, but then maybe 'twas not meant to be this year. I did delight in meeting the interviewers. I even enjoyed the question "who was the best governor of Virginia ever?" even though I had no clue (think of me meekly saying 'um...Mark Warner was a pretty good Governor'). I learned a lot from the good dialogue that ensued so I wasnt too upset. By I digress.

I told one supporter "87 applicants, 35 seats, that is not too bad of a percentage [40%], I mean I passed the bar and that percentage is about 65%." Decisions will be made this week- after I am finished reeling, I will post.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Parks & Rec Board Meeting

Last night was our monthly board meeting. Since the last meeting, I have commented during the comment period at City Council's meeting. The comments related to two issues: multi-generational indoor recreation center and collaboration with service providers to enhance youth development programming Parks & Rec offers.

A multi-generational indoor rec center is the solution for the crumbling state of the current indoor rec centers we have (Smith and Crow). Smith and Crow are wildly popular, heavily used facilities but the only repairs done on these pools in the past decade or so involves emergency repair. Smith and Crow were cutting edge facilities when they opened in the 1970s, now they are not.

The swimming programs at the schools have been cut, so the schools are no longer teaching this valuable life skill. The schools no longer use the pools attached to them so therefore the pools do not need to be attached to the school. The costs just to maintain these facilities over the next decade are skyrocketing, the inefficiencies of the building and pools contribute to the astronomical utility bills and program wide budget cuts.

City Council's 2025 vision clearly states over and over again to maintain an outstanding Parks and Recreation Department- continuing to let the indoor recreation facilities decline does not match that vision.

I am open to alternatives, the Parks & Rec department is open to alternatives besides a City funded, centrally located, cutting edge multi-generational indoor facility. If you have thought on this matter, email me or comment to the blog. We have also opened up a dialogue with a potential partner for funding and advocacy for the facility. The current facilities are deteriorating- just because a true emergency hasnt happened yet, doesnt mean we are forever immune from such things.

At the next board meeting, we have invited the Boys&Girls club to discuss youth development programming and use of Parks&Rec facilities to broaden the reach of B&G Clubs programs. I am thrilled with the innovative ways the B&GClub and Parks&Rec staff have begun to think, this potential collaboration will enhance the services currently provided by the City and the B&GClub.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Random Goings On

The household & business are a flurry of activity. Today we received a huge box of brownies from our friendly business partner- she suggests not eating them at one time since she knows from experience the after effects. Cute. Cassis is a really nice restaurant and we had a great time at Chris's work party last night. We went to another Christmas party on Friday (or was it Thursday? it is all running together)- at Sage Moon to benefit the Boys&Girls Club, I really enjoyed mingling and bidding on silent auction items (failed to get anything). Only one more party to go (officially) unless Holly and I decide to have a law firm party to distribute these brownies (so we dont eat them all).

I ran into another high school friend- at my mom's house for a Christmas work party she had. What a blast seeing him again (no insecurity seeing this person, just really pleasant). Two other people from my high school class were there as well. Mom gave me the coveted peanut butter bar recipe (hahahaha).

Chris killed two deer this weekend in his third time out hunting ever. It is helpful to have two things when husband takes up hunting a) place to go besides HOME for shall we say gutting or dressing (not sure the lingo yet) and b) a butcher who is a friend so I never have to see the product not in a white tray and plastic wrap.

One thing about killing two deer in a weekend, a household generally gets enough venison for a significant part of the year. So to celebrate the kill(s) Chris gave me a freezer for Christmas. I am happy for the freezer (I am a hoarder of food- think post depression era hoarding) but I have to wonder - is it really for me?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

passing of the torch...er..the cookie tin

Yearly my mother makes batches and batches of cookies, all kinds, ok not all kinds usually nothing that doesnt have chocolate in it (except for one kind that has a yummy jelly in it) or anything that needs to be shaped by a cookie cutter. Of course, I have all the recipes and have in the past several years given cookies to guests, colleagues, friends, you get the drift.

This year I am in the 'ville for Christmas, now mom still gets to keep Christmas dinner, but I get Christmas Eve dinner & Christmas morning! Oh happy Christmas. (let's just say having children has healed most of my Christmas angst and I am really enjoying watching Christmas through their eyes).

Well, it seems I have taken another step toward true induction into the hall of motherhood- my mother (mom) has passed me the cookie tin. All those who have EVER been to my mom's house at Christmas know about the tin, decorated with nutcrackers and very large, mom loads it full of the delicious treats she has baked and we all feast on them throughout the holidays. NOW I have it! Mom isnt even making any cookies, true heresy probably to my brother (just pass my cookies off as hers until further notice).

So what delicious treats will I bake up to celebrate this milestone? Stay tuned...

Creigh Deeds says the darndest things

I have now had the opportunity to see state Senator Creigh Deeds twice this past week. Once at the Grace Tinsely fundraiser and then last night at Left of Center meeting. He is hilarious.

Some fun quotes
1) "It is time to put the party back in Democratic Party" related to the fun time we all had at the Grace Tinsely fundraiser.

2) "If you are feeling froggy, jump" related to running for office

3) "I almost got in a fist fight with...oh dont write this down!" to the press lady noting things on her pad she responded with a cute "come on, you almost got in a fist fight" since of course the story must be newsworthy (not really).

David Toscano was at both events too, he had the highlight at the fundraiser when he presented a framed joint resolution to Grace Tinsely's daughter honoring her mother. Very moving.

Lost Coat

How does this happen? I recently got a new coat (from Old Navy-very cute) and now it is nowhere to be found. Have you seen it? I am retracing my steps. I suppose since the weather was so nice last week, I just didnt carry it with me when I left someplace. Now that it is cold and I have all these fun events to go to, I want to find my coat. Exciting stuff.

UPDATE: FOUND ONE CUTE NEW COAT!! It was in the closet. (knocking my head, 'stupid' 'stupid' 'stupid')

Friday, December 01, 2006

Temple v. UVA

In a stroke of great luck, I had the opportunity to attend the Temple v. UVA women's basketball game the other day. I also got a free t-shirt for which I am eternally grateful! It was great to see Dawn Staley at UVA again (hint...hint) and it was even better to see UVA slow down Hairston (who scored 30 points- 18 in the first half) to win the game. The seats were fantastic, really close- enough to hear the players on the floor calling out plays and the coaches yelling. It was great.

A couple of other things- the JPJ (john paul jones arena) is really cool- it will take at least one more visit for me to fully appreciate it- the entrances remind me of the football stadium, three cheers for continuity. The games are not that well attended but very reasonably priced, it is a perfect opportunity for family fun! Next time, I hope Chris and the kids can come (although the kids have been to the JPJ a lot more than mommy).