Friday, January 17, 2014

Disjointed chicken wings and other odd foodstuffs.

Do people really think when they label packages?  I mean, I'm all for telling it like it is, but you might want to soften things a bit when labeling "disjointed chicken wings."  I don't like chicken wings.  I've had them once and they were as I thought-- a lot of work and a waste of time with a lot of licking on parts that I'm not fond of licking and chewing on.  Still, the "disjointed" label would not entice me to purchase them even if I were considering retrying chicken wings.  Yuck.

You see, when I go to the store and find odd things such as this, Rachael is my text victim.  World Market is a treasure trove, as is the Bent and Dent down in Amish Country.

I've sent her a photo of Liver Pudding.

I've sent her a photo of Spotted Dick, because the thought took me to giggle like a 12 year old.  I know, real mature.

My coworker eats Digestives.

K likes Yan Yan, but Hello Pandas are her favorite.  We find those at Target in the dollar aisle and I make her sing through the store for them.  She'll always sing for Hello Pandas!

What about Happy Hippos?  I think I'll have to find some of those.  They just look too delightful to pass up!

Tabasco Spicy Chocolate?  Yuck.

There's always Vegemite.  I've heard that it is something that if you aren't from Australia, you just wouldn't understand.  I'm kind of glad that I don't understand it.

Tomato paste.  Literally.  Paste.  In a tube.

Olives stuffed with anchovies?  They are available in a can!

Vine leaves stuffed with rice?  Those come in a can, too.  Wow.  Who would have thought?

Mini Wini.  Needs no other explanation.

Currywurst.  Huh.

Wasabi Seaweed Snacks.  An 8 count pack.

Do share your weird foodness.  Any goofy things that you've spotted?  Come on Heidi, you have odd sodas to add to the list!  I know!  ;)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

PTA: The changing of the guard.

I, in all of my craziness, agreed to be PTA president two years ago.  I have 6 more months of presidency before I hand it off to another individual.

I'm really quite okay with that.

Two board members have taken on double board responsibilities this year.  Our recording secretary has also taken care of corresponding secretary duties.  Though it is unadvertised, I have been doing the responsibilities of the 2nd VP, which is creating, printing and distributing the monthly newsletter. Just the other night, I spent 5 hours typesetting it.

Obviously, I've also been doing the president gig, but also membership chair, co-chair of Birthday Book Club, co-chair of Scholastic Book Fairs, Red Ribbon Week chair, 100 Book Challenge chair, Garden Fair chair and the chair of the non-perishable food drive that benefits the area food bank that benefits many of our northeast Ohio food pantries.  I've helped with Santa Shop.  I've helped with 5th grade concessions during Santa Shop despite not having a 5th grader.

My reasoning for giving that laundry list is not to get some gold pin, but to illustrate that at some point, you must have "the birth of no."  You see someone vacating, no one steps up and you think, "Gee, that won't take very long."  It always takes longer than you thought.  You say yes to a bunch of little things and in the end, your head is spinning and you don't know which end is up.

We have what appears to be a mass exodus from our PTA board.  I just printed and distributed the latest edition of our school newsletter.  I just can't wait to see the reaction when people find out that 6 of 8 positions are open.  I did have a board member tell me last night that one of our PTA members asked why we were leaving the positions.  "Well, most of us have children that are on the edge of aging out."  "So."  Excuse me?

We have advertised that the board members are happy to be advisors to those taking the vacancies.  We've also said that we are having chair shadowing positions next year so that we may be able to efficiently hand over the PTA to a new group of volunteers.  We also have current board members that are looking at the possibility of shuffling on to beefier positions, while vacating the positions that are easier to get green members to take.

We are not doing a service to the PTA if we don't have a progressive hand-off.  Our PTA is 260+ members (though probably only 35-40 are truly regularly "active") for a school of 530+ kids.  We have 60+ staff members.  We have a lot of people who depend upon us to carry out what we've promised and even if that is just having Popcorn Fridays, it is something that we have obligated ourselves to and we will carry that out.

I think that the PTA is a grand organization.  At least in my experience at K's school, we really try to adhere to the Mission of the PTA:
To support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children.  To assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children.  To encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools of this nation.  
You'll always fall into the 80/20 rule no matter where a volunteer organization is concerned.  (80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.)  No matter what you do and no matter how you handle it, I've come to the conclusion that there will always, ALWAYS be someone dissatisfied.  Usually, the ones who feel that their child has been slighted are the very same individuals I haven't seen or heard from all year other than to complain.  Good times.

I pray that people will come forward.  They have to.  Many of us are burned out from being on board for so many years.  We have worked hard on avoiding the notion of (P)arents (T)o (A)void.  I just hope that people see that.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Valentine Rag Wreath

Take two fabrics that definitely don't go together in regard to theme.  (An Asian inspired fabric and cherries.)  Go for only color, cut into strips and voila!  A Valentine's wreath for all of $1.74.  Hooray! 

Never mind that I need to fluff a little at the top right, but from the back, you can see that everything is pretty tight to make it a really full wreath.  It took a few hours and a scant amount of materials.  It makes me happy.  A pink wreath on the door with snow all around.  Not a bad thing!