He said..”.adorable”

ImageMy husband is a  man of few words. Not prone to bursts of emotion or long dialogs — he surprised me this morning when, as I passed him on my way to the coffee pot, he said “that case you made for your kindlefire is adorable”  Thats right, this guy, the Italian Stallion incarnate — said my kindle case was adorable.  How to react?  If I laughed and said “adorable?  Thats a new one for you….any other commentary this morning?” He would have clammed up and gone back to tieing his work boots.  If I thanked him and asked if it was the heart fabric or the felted trim that he liked he would have given me “the look”  and mumbled something about being hungry for scrambled eggs…

Now, truth be told, he bought me the kindle and is happy that his generosity has been rewarded with me using it DAILY , but I cant remember, in 34 years of marriage his ever spontaneously commenting on the physical attributes of anything.  No ” I like the fabric on that couch” or “your purse matches your shoes” or “that camoflauge shirt matches my camo jacket”.  Nothing, Nada. 

Cracked me up.  My kindle case is adorable.

Then, it hit.  “You should make a bunch of them and sell them”.  AAh….now I  get it.  Im retiring in a few weeks, the guy is trying to drum up income.

Gotta love him.


pre retirement

been spending a lot – A LOT- of time thinking about my upcoming retirement.  Its coming earlier than I expected, but Ive always believed you listen to your heart and you will know what is right, and my heart, in many ways is telling me to get the hell out of public education NOW.  My health was suffering, my mood was a mess and i was being jerked around every which way but loose by the district office….so, even though noone who knew me ever thought Id walk mid year — I submitted my paperwork in December for a March 1 retirement .  I have slept like a baby every night since.  With the exception of the fact that I will miss my students terribly, and hate that I am leaving things unfinished with them, I have no regrets, no second thoughts, nothing but the knowledge that it is time.

However, with my impending retirement came the most awesome thing== administration is leaving me alone.  Im not being told to take student work off the wall or put a lid on the scrap paper bin.  Im not being ordered to buy a leather sign in book or take the cardboard off the top of the wooden cabinets.  Im teaching.  Im laughing  .  My students and I are learning from each other.  Laughter and conversation fills the room.  Computers are whizzing as they research their topics for the projects.  It is reminiscent of the best years of teaching I have had.  the fools that felt they needed to tell me what to do, to make the dog and pony show pretty, have gone on to other victims , and I am left to do what I do.  Teach.  The kind of teaching that has won me awards, has graduated scores of students who have become successful members of society, that has made me sought after for committees, standard writing, curriculum planning, praxis recomendations and a myriad of other professional tasks.  It feels good to sit and watch my students discover things, question things, speak their mind.


So to the bullheaded administrators that essentially made my professional life a living hell for the past year or so, thank you.  Thank you for reminding me of what teaching is supposed to be.  I go out with my head held high, my students aware that I am making a statement about respect and honesty and the knowledge that you’re gonna miss me. 

I however, will be at the beach, or at my business, or on the couch, eating bonbons.

a little off today

feeling stressed today.  on edge, needless worry about things that are fine and do not need to be worried about……Not sure why, but I wonder…As I begin to wander back into the world of eating disorder awareness and advocacy, I sense old habits recurring — asking her if shes eaten, studying her face for telltale signs of purging, worrying about drinking.  No, I refuse to roll back into those habits.  they do noone any good — not me and certainly not my daughter…. I certainly hope these obsessive thoughts dont preclude my work in the field of advocacy.  I believe with all my being that i am supposed to be speaking out for sufferers of eating disorders, and their families.  I worry though, hoping that immersing my self in that will be harmful to myself or my daughter.  this is gonna take some working through………

real ginger, go figure.


My dad sort of slid feet first into the 21st. century.  I remember him being all excited about the year 2000– he had read just enough to worry about all the cars and computers in his beloved General Motors going kaput, or stalling on the highway.  He was worried about the security of the United States, after all, the computers hadnt been programmed to switch over to 2 in the thousands place…right?

But once it was all over and we all survived, and he tested to make sure  all the devices in his house were working, he settled in, sort of  complacent but confused  by the intelligence of  all the technology around him. 

Things had changed a bit too fast for dad, he still expected to know the people in the bank, to be able to pick up vegetables in the grocery store and pop them in his mouth without worrying about food poisoning… he expected things to taste the same, and smell the same…as they had when he was a kid.


The last thing I remember him fixating on was Ginger ale.  He’d buy only Canada Dry, because he had seen a commercial that proclaimed they made it with “real ginger.”  He’d keep a bottle in the frig “here Gregg, try some of this,its made with real ginger” ( Gregg being my son in law, married to my oldest).  He said it reminded him of years back when he used to dig up sasafrass root in the back yard and suck on it, savoring the taste of “root beer”….He actually used to do this with me growing up, and I remember the pungent smell of rootbeer on my hands after handling the piece of root.  Dad loved his ginger ale….loved his root beer.

So, today, on the couch, fighting this flu that wont either fully appear or fully go away, instead choosing daily which symptom to rain down upon me, I turned on Top Chef.  They were doing a “ginger” quick fire and spoke of the real ginger in canada dry gingerale. 

A hundred memories came flooding back, dad at the kitchen table, can of Ginger ale in his hand.  “Yep, thats good, thats real ginger. “

I miss him.  Thanks Top Chef for bringing that vision into my head today.

body image?body morph?body fixation? Or just teenage angst?

today the girls were in an uproar. the “gym teacher” had once again weighed them in an open room, people milling around, announced their weight and/or bmi outloud….made that smirky face that this 5 foot nothing little jerk makes when he is looking at adolescent females who dont meet his standard of thin. I listened, like i always do, trying to acknowledge their feelings, validate their anger at this invasion, arm them with tools for battling his badgering. Inside I am seething. what is with this guy? why does he ignore research, data, statistics that scream that this is dangerous for young women, places them at risk for bullying, self esteem issues, distorted eating?

So tomorrow I will sit in the principals office, armed with paperwork from NEDA, and explain, once again, that this can not be tolerated. that shaming young people isnt acceptable. I mean, why does this jerk think kids HATE gym? Its not because they dont like movement or competition or physical activity, its because they know whos gonna get picked last, ostracized for not being able to do the pull ups or the mile or whatever random activity they choose to put in front of them. when I was in school, in the seventies, we dreaded the “shower”, the speedy dash through water and out, brush through the hair, bra and panties pulled over still damp skin. Jeans, shirt, socks ,shoes, jewelry, makeup….but we loved gym. we lined up, we “skinned the cat” and learned interpretive dance. we conquered the pummel horse and the parallel bars. My Junior High gym teacher, Mrs. Knox, a model and athlete from the minute she broke the birth canal, cajoled, prodded, pushed us until we did it, period. I never remember her mentioning my weight ( above average ), my athletic ability ( below average) or my lack of speed. I do remember her calling me out if I didnt have the correct gym uniform on, or if I was late getting out of the locker room. No one, I mean no one, sat out gym unless it was, you know , “that time” and we had cramps…..

Gym was one more class. It had nothing to do with embarassment, self esteem or compliance. It was gym.
So tomorrow is gonna be one of those days. One of those “Advocacy” days. Should be a hoot.

that was unexpected

Going through a particularly strange time at work. Took my concerns, and the reason I am retiring in March, which is something NO good teacher ever does ( except me, and dont ever assume Im not a good teacher) to my suprientendant yesterday. I had told myself that if he refused to see me I was “taking it to the paper”, ready to tell the world about just how bad public education had become. But he didnt refuse. His secretary contacted me 10 minutes after I sent the original email asking for a meeting and offered me two dates to choose from. I chose the first one. Got to the meeting 2 minutes late ( one wrong turn in elesmere and you’re screwed) and was greeted by my suprientendent and our professional development head, they both had fresh white tablets and I had a two inch binder emblazened with the name of the person who is causing my early retreat from education. they sat on one side of the table , I on the other. Interestingly enough, the chair I was to sit in was cocked invitingly towards me — not pushed under the table. I notice those kind of things, it was like “hey cindy, come on in, sit down, chew the fat awhile”. His conference table is about 30 inches wide. Narrow. when you sit and face him you are maybe 18 inches away from his face if you lean in for effect. when I leaned in, he did not lean away. I noticed that too.

So after reminding him that we go way back, I sat on a committee that did not hire him for a principals job, we cried together at the funeral for a child… I told him, in no uncertain terms why I was leaving our district. I was going on two assumptions: either he knew how i had been treated and thought it was ok, or he didnt know. either way I had something to say.

He didnt know.

the suprientendent of the second biggest district in our state has the audacity to delegate work to his trusted staff and then doesnt micromanage them. Refreshing. However, in this case, unfortunate. His staff person has been bullying people for the past several years, ending the conversation with “and dont contact ______ or anyone else. I am the point person on this”.

This time, she picked the wrong person to bully. I am not your bitch, bitch.

And he apologized. the Suprientendant of the second largest district in our state apologized. Sincerely, i think.

That was unexpected. Refreshing.

About mommarocksstash
Im a wife, a mom, an awesome grammy…a teacher, a seamstress, fiber artist and art director. A scientist, an advocate. busy busy cindy.
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It really is all about the message…

I had a rather unpleasant experience with an unnamed organization dedicated to supporting families in the fight against eating disorders. I and this unnamed org. had spoken for months, and i repeat MONTHS about my taking on a leadership role, they were looking for new blood, someone with similar principles and ideas , but with new ideas and energy. I fit the bill. Until, alas, when I attended the national conference and was told “dont introduce yourself as a board member, we havent told everyone yet” my bubble burst and I realized that the last thing I needed was to become involved with a group whose major concern was “appearances”, not advocacy.
So I moved on, mutually agreed upon decision: this wasnt gonna work.

Today I read a posting on facebook regarding BMI testing in schools. Damn, why is this still considered a good idea? Why does it sound like a good thing to have kids announce their weight or bmi in front of a crowd? Are you kidding me?

So anyway, the old advocacy beast reared its head again. I am retiring from public education in March, which gives me the perfect opportunity to start banging on doors to advocate for eating disorder awareness. And since I havent found a “club” ( I never was a clique chick) that I fit in with, I guess I will have to begin on my own… any takers?

buh bye Christmas

So, when i tell people about our Christmas break, theyve been saying , wow, sorry everyone was sick, or “did you get a break at all?” or “next year will be better’….but I really don’t get it. The way I see it, it was a wonderful break. All the kids and grandkids were here for Christmas dinner and massive present opening, everyone called and sent pictures and we went shopping a few times. Ava hugged me and said “I love you gram’, Ryan burst into the room in his storm trooper costume and announced he was “saving” me, Jax spent almost every day here since he was sick and his mom and dad had to work, and sweet Amelia laughed and crawled in hugged like no one else in the world. The guys all wore their ugly Christmas sweaters, Drew even went home and got his since he forgot to wear it… they played in the snow, they ate cookies and candy canes…..it was a wonderful wonderful week.
Sure, Jax had pneumonia, mom was a bit of a mess, Ryan and Amelia got sick and I had a mix up at the studio, but it was a wonderful week, full of family and support and laughter.

Ill take that anytime.