This blog represents my opinions and my opinions alone, and certainly doesn't represent the collective thoughts of any of the Boards or organizations that I serve on. Unfortunately I make all sorts of miistakes, I'm a picky eater, I can't sing and I just recently found out I have been spelling certain words in my vocabulary wrong my entire life. That being said, I still continue to muddle ever onward. Welcome.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Out Of The Car, Long-Hair!

I know that most parents think their children are the best, brightest and most beautiful, and of course, I am no exception. I like to brag about my kids. Especially when they doing something good, and not just cute-because-he's-only-seven-and-would-be-arrested-otherwise. My little guy (who recently became my middle guy) just had his hair cut after a three year hiatus. Avery decided to donate his hair to Locks of Love about three years ago, shortly after my aunt passed away from lung cancer after a lifetime of heavy smoking. Her death sparked a lengthy and likely terrifying discussion with my boys about the horrible habit of smoking. I did all the things that parents probably aren't supposed to do, including forcing my then seven- and four-year-old to watch web videos of bald chemo patients begging children to not start smoking as they had done. They cried along with the 35 year old smoker, Ben, who shared his good-byes to his young children from his hospital bed. They swore up and down they would never smoke. They had nightmares that witches and robbers were forcing them to smoke. I hope that all the consternation worked, although I'm not entirely sure it will. I remember being terrified that my dad was going to keel over any second because he smoked and was always slightly suspicious when he didn't immediately die whenever he lit a cigarette. Maybe that's why I started smoking myself while in high school. Maybe the siren song of the Salem Ultra-Light 100s was just too strong for me to resist (Could there be a worse first cigarette to smoke?). Maybe I was just too in love with the all-grown-up new sixteen year old me who was taking names and kickin' ass with a cigarette firmly in place. Maybe I was just that dumb. Who knows. I did a lot of inexplicable things when I was sixteen. And that's one of the reasons why I am so proud of my son Avery, who took my heavy-handed anti-smoking crusade and turned it into the opportunity to donate his hair to children with cancer. It hasn't been easy. He hates having his hair brushed. He really hates having people refer to him as a girl. Especially when we go to visit my parents every year in Gulf Shores, affectionately known as the Redneck Riviera, where apparently the dudes do not look like ladies. I will never forget this little girl at my parents' pool. She was, quite simply, aghast in her little Southern way when she saw Avery. "Mama! That girl doesn't have on her swimming top!" I said "No, it's okay. He's a boy. He just has long hair." She responded, indignant, "Mama! That boy's mama doesn't cut his hair!"

The stylists at the Ultimate Salon and Spa at 5713 Monona Drive give free hair cuts to people donating their hair to Locks of Love. Ask for Brynn!
And p.s. I quit smoking a long time ago.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some Meetings...

The Monona Park and Recreation Board will meet tonight at 6pm in the Community Center.

We will be wrapping up our Parks and Open Spaces Discussion, as well as reviewing our 2010 and 2011 Operating and Capital budgets.

The Monona Grove Board of Education will meet on Wednesday, August 11th at 7pm in the District Board Room, Nichols Building.

The Board will hear an update from North American Mechanical, Inc. (NAMI) on the energy efficiency of Glacial Drumlin School. We will also continue discussion on the Nichols building appraisal. The Board also has the discussion and possible approval of non-represented staff compensation and collective bargaining agreement with educational paraprofessionals as unfinished business. New business includes a preview of Brenda Clark's Professional Development Presentation and changes to the student handbook and discipline procedures.

The Monona Family Attraction and Retention Committee meets this Thursday at City Hall at 6:30pm.

We will continue to organize this year's Fall Family Festival, scheduled for September 26th, 2 to 5 pm at Winnequah Park. I am so happy to report that Andy Nath, Monona resident, librarian and musician, will perform with his band, the Banned Wagon, at this year's festival. Yeay Andy! Thank you!!

Don't forget about school registration!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Please Take A Moment To Help Create A Community Built Playground In Cottage Grove!!

From a message from Chris Uschan:

A volunteer group in Cottage Grove is working hard to raise money to build a community-built playground (much like the "dream park" in Monona). Currently, there is a $25,000 grant available from the Pepsi Refresh Project. To get the grant, the submitted project must finish in the top 10.
Today we moved from position 163 to position 62. 100 spots in 1 day.
To help the earn the $25,000 grant, people must vote every day. You can vote once from each account you have.
Here's how:
1. ) Sign up to get daily reminders through the Cottage Grove Kids Park Facebook page:
2. ) Text 100296 to Pepsi (73774)3. ) Vote online at*iphone users can search "cottage grove" at Vote once by using your Facebook account-- (then sign out), then by signing in with multiple email accountsYou can easily vote 2 to 4 times a day (Every Day).Hopefully, you can help make a difference.

Create a community-built dream playground in Cottage Grove, WI Pepsi Refresh Everything
Vote for the most refreshing ideas to win Pepsi Refresh Project grants for Neighborhoods