28 May 2012

Memorial Day

Flags around the Washington Monument
Today I honor all the men and women who have given their lives for my freedoms.  Thank you for being great.

27 May 2012

In today's newspaper

Dear Editor,
The Manchester Board of Alderman and Mayor does NOT have the privilege of choosing where or how the school funds are spent.  They have the responsibility and power to approve allocation of the funds to the school district.  Period.  The sooner the Board members realize this, the sooner they can vote and get it over with.  

Rather than repeatedly calling Dr. Brennan to their meetings so that they can harass him while showing their complete ignorance in all things school related, they should be listening to their constituents.  The constituents who are repeatedly emailing, calling, and attending public hearings in large numbers to tell them that they want the tax cap to be over ridden and the school district to be funded above the mayor's proposed budget amount.

If they're not going to approve an alternate budget then they should just vote and get it done with.  Then we can start planning for the next election when can elect aldermen who care actually about our children and our schools. 

Tired of the games,

24 May 2012

Welcoming lights

I love the warm, inviting porch and interior lights in this house.  They say, "Welcome!  We're glad you're here."

23 May 2012

Wedding Pictures

We didn't have a wedding photographer.  We were young and poor (and still in college) when we got married and it just wasn't in my budget.  Add that to a little miscommunication, and well.....it just didn't happen.

I did have an amazing roommate who came and took snapshots for us on my old 35mm Pentax.  I am so grateful that I have those pictures.  Just imagine, as recently as 150 years ago most people didn't have wedding photos at all.  How sad!

All of that made me extra excited to take these photos.

21 May 2012

Part of the solution

The budget problem in our city isn't going away.  Every year we're trying to come up with ways to cut money from the school budget.  I've heard some of our elected officials claim that the citizens only want to complain, but have no suggestions for solving the problem in the long term.  So, here goes.....some ideas (some mine, some that I've heard around) for increasing city revenue.

  • Charge more for parking downtown
  • Charge more for parking during events at the Verizon
  • Charge for trash and recycling collection
  • Charge for pickup and disposal of large items (couches, carpet, etc)
  • Charge higher late fees at the library
  • Charge a business licensing fee to all businesses located in the city (even $50 would make a difference)
  • Look at old contracts and renegotiate (The city is more than willing to negotiate teacher, fire, and police contracts every single year.  Why don't they look at other contracts?)
  • Don't give tax breaks to the FisherCats so that they can install a new, fancy video screen
  • Charge admission for the city pools and Crystal Lake ($1/person isn't going to bankrupt a family for a few hours of recreation
  • Staff the city pools instead of letting the Red Cross do it
  • Have the Parks & Rec department offer activities and sports
  • Re-examine the city buses and routes.....can't remember the last time I saw more than 5 people on a full-sized bus
  • Eliminate the street sweepers
  • Eliminate food at the Board of Aldermen and Mayor meetings (I assume the city pays for that food. If not, at least it would make the meetings go faster, and require the aldermen to be in the room, paying attention to what's going on)
  • In neighborhoods that don't provide enough off-street parking for residents charge for on-street parking permits
These are just a few ideas on the city side that could increase revenue/decrease spending.

17 May 2012

A Porch Made for Relaxing

When I was in Washington D.C. I stayed in a home in the Crestwood neighborhood.  The homes were beautifully historic and well kept.  One evening I took the opportunity to enjoy the rocker on the front porch.  As I looked to the side I noticed that all the porches on the block lined up.  How perfect!  I like to imagine residents, nearly 100 years ago, chatting and with neighbors while seeking refuge from the stifling Washington summers.

Speaking of relief from summer weather....are you signing your kids up for swimming lessons this summer?  Before you do, take a look at my guide to swimming lessons.  Trust me.  I know what I'm talking about.

13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day

This year I've been hearing a lot of anti-Mother's Day chatter.  I can't get behind that.  I admit it, I like Mother's Day.  Not because I'm being celebrated but because I'm celebrating my family.  Mother's Day helps me remember that I get to be the mom of these little precious people.

And these people make me smile every day.  Yep, I'll keep Mother's Day 

12 May 2012

GoPro, Washington D.C.

Craig is mowing our lawn for the first time this year.  All of the trees have at least buds, if not new leaves on them.  It's so nice to finally be welcoming spring.

Last weekend I was in Washington D.C. for the first time ever!  It was full-on summer there.  The cherry blossoms were already gone, trees were full of leaves, and the air was thick with humidity and heat.  While the weather was a little overwhelming, the reason for going was awesome.  I attended a GoPro Workshop, taught by Wendy and Tyler of Blue Lily fame.  I learned so much, had fun making new friends, and loved that we had the opportunity to practice the new skills they taught us.

10 May 2012

Not afraid of color

The bright colors on these row houses are lovely.  They make we want to live in an urban area.

03 May 2012

Stone with scalloped roofline

I usually envision stone homes as cozy cottages, but this large home definitely owns the stone.  Aside from the stone, I also admire the tower and the ivy growing on the wall. My very favorite thing about this house is the scalloped roofline.  LOVE!

01 May 2012

Let's Get Moving

Do you worry about your kids getting enough exercise? I do. We live in a climate that isn't outdoor friendly for 4-6 months out of the year. Yikes! I try to keep my kids in at least one sportsy extracurricular activity, but sometimes there's a lag between seasons, and sometimes running the three of them around is just plain crazy.

For the next six months we'll be exercising together, as a family, for the Manchester Kids Marathon. I've written up a quick description/information post on Today's Mama.

If you live locally I hope to see you at the Marathon. If you're not near me, it's a great program that you can use with your family anywhere! Let's get moving!
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