Saturday, February 1, 2014

Three more weeks.

Our children have not attended a full week of school since that last week before Christmas break.

We had two weeks off for winter break.

We had three additional days off (Jan 6-8) because of Polar Vortex 1.  January 6 & 7 was - 12 F.  Yipe.  On the third day, the buses didn't start.  I've already complained about the lack of common sense with that one.

We had the 17th off because of city wide in-service.

We had the 20th off for MLK.  A great day off and it should be off.

We had the 24th off because it was a tad cold.  The same thing goes for the 27th.  I think we could have been at school those two days and I'm not the only one who thinks that.

We had January 28-29 off because of Polar Vortex 2.  It was -10.8 F.  Yes.  Way too cold.

Now we have February 5 off for a Teacher Work Day.

We have Valentine's Day off, well, because we do.  The calendar doesn't list a good reason why, but I'm thinking that it is a conference compensation day.

February 17th is off for President's Day.

So that means that if all of the Polar Vortexes (is that plural form correct?) stay where they live and the school doesn't decide to cancel for a 2 MPH breeze, our first FULL week of school since the week of December 20 will be February 24 - 28.

I can't be the only parent who finds that crazy.  The end.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Calamity Days: Are we raising soft kids?

Most of the nation is in calamity day central.  This morning it was -10.8 F.  Now that is cold!  Add a windchill warning that is over at noon TOMORROW and we'll just say, the nose hairs are sticking together rather efficiently when breathing in through the nostrils while outside.

I have to ask though, are we raising soft children?

The first days of January gave us three days off in a row.  The first two days were beyond cold.  We were at -12 F.  I get it.  Too cold to go out.  On the third day, many school districts were out not because of the cold specifically, but because the buses wouldn't start.  Now, I'm thinking that if buses hadn't been started in over 2 weeks that someone would have the forethought to go start them BEFORE school was due back in session that next day.  Alas, they did not and that error chopped off another calamity day.

We didn't have school Friday.  They said it was cold and while it was cold, it wasn't non-functional.  We had no school yesterday.  When I went to work, it was 30 degrees.  It started lowering, but by the time the kids would have gotten out of school, it was still 20.  (Yes, I know.  Add a windchill reading to that.)  At any rate, in our area, these kids could have gone to school those two days.

Our children haven't been to school for a full week since the week before Christmas break started.

I was speaking to the retired principal of K's elementary.  I told him that I thought we were raising soft kids and he agreed.  When we went to school, we went regardless.

There was snow to my waist and we went.  We didn't call off unless the city that I'm currently living in called off and they never called off.  If they called off, you knew that it was a don't-leave-your-house day.  Throw whatever you have in a pot for soup and hope for the best.

If it was cold, you just put on more layers.

I remember being on 2 hour delay once because we had an ice storm while the leaves were still on the trees.  Much of the city was without power, but we still went to school.

Even Kent State didn't call off when we had a shooter running around.  They also didn't call off when it was -25 F (-50 F with windchill.)  They delayed classes.  You know what?  We survived it.

The suburbs have busing.  The kids go from their house to the bus to the building.  They have very little outdoor exposure.  25% of our kids are bussed.  Very few kids walk.  (We don't when it is this cold.)  Most are driven to school in warm cars and dropped within 15 - 20 feet from the door to a geothermal heated building.

We went to school in the heat.  It was hot and we weren't allowed to wear sandals or flip flops or shorts.  The windows were opened and the janitor mowed the lawn as you were trying to learn.  We survived, yet there are times that schools are closed because the AC is out.

Now obviously, there are different conditions for everything.  Acceptable road conditions for NE Ohio are different than in Williamsburg.  Acceptable cold is different in NE Ohio than it is in Georgia.

It just seems that the schools are bowing to the worry that they will be sued by parents who are afraid that their kids might get a little cold or a little sweaty.

Use calamity days.  Use them when needed.  Use weather forecasts.  However, be reasonable with it. At this rate, our kids will be in school until July.

ETA:  We have tomorrow off, too.  Right now at 8:30 PM, it is - 1.5 F and it is only getting colder.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Meet Leia.

She's around here somewhere.  

 She's under here.
 There she is.
 Come on, Leia.

 Maybe this toy will coax her out.


 "I love my people.  I just like to keep them on their toes."

Speaking of toes, she happens to be polydactyl.  (She has 6 toes on each of her front feet rather than the usual 4.)  It makes her sort of a Hemingway cat.  He had a fondness for the polydactyls.  Though the only true Hemingway cats live at his residence in Key West.  There are about 60 of them.  

Kitty scratches.  Ahhhh.

So, who is Leia?  Leia (formerly known as Betsie) is a 9 month old tuxedo kitten that we adopted from a local Pet Smart.  She is very bendy.  We are used to a lethargic 12 1/2 pound Maine Coon.  She is not 12 1/2 pounds.  She is not lethargic.  She is not a biter.  She is a licker.  She'll lick you to death.  She is a climber.  Smudge was not a climber.  She was a defiant pooper.  She was a horrible biter.  Frankly, Smudge was not a good cat at all.

Leia is quite an extreme switch for us.

She's still trying to find her way.  She's trying to make herself comfortable.  We sat together as a family last night and hand fed her.  All Hubs wanted for his birthday to have some good quality family bonding time with Leia.  That seemed to really help.  While we slept, Leia ate the entire bowl of food, drank half a bowl of water, knocked down a gate, a Christmas center piece, a bunch of stuff off the top of the work bench and had herself squirreled away in between the floor joists of the basement ceiling.

She had a busy night.  The previous morning, Hubs found her in one of the work bench drawers.  Inside the drawer.  Only the black fur of the tail hung out to give indication of where she was at.

She is stealth-like.  She is super quiet, except that we did put a bell on her.  With all of the adventures she had last night, I'm surprised that none of us woke up.

She's starting to warm up to the family.  She's starting to feel at home.  I think it'll all be okay.  :)