Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
I thought I might fill you in on my first month as the Town Treasurer.
It took a while but I finally received a computer to start tracking information, communication and search capabilities. I am still catching up in entering all of the account information which I am hoping to finish in the new year. Sure if I was there 5 days a week for the past month I could have gotten it all done but I am limited to Tuesday/Thursday. The pay rate also keeps me from spending too much time there!
What have I found so far? The Finance Manager that I work with is very organized, thorough, helpful and has a lot on her plate! I know she is happy I am there to help out and back her up, not to mention take on a few projects and push some key points that needed to be done. The one big project I have taken on is with the Land Use Office and driveway bonds. We have some dating back to the 1980's! What are driveway bonds you might ask? When you put in a driveway to your house, you have to install an apron(small paved portion) which connects the driveway to the town road. This apron has to be inspected by the the Land Use Office to ensure it is done properly and does not effect the town road. A bond deposit is given to ensure the apron is done and once inspected it is given back to the homeowner. For larger projects such as sub-divisions, the bond is much larger due to building roads and driveways. Well the office is a little backed up from not inspecting the aprons, a change of employees in the office and lack of time. The money is not the towns but the homeowners. I have reached out to the office to try and get the money back to the homeowners and clean up the account. The challenge is also finding the original payees since some have moved, may be a contractor or the business is no longer. This project takes time and within a month, we have already pushed out 20% of the bonds we have held. That to me is a big accomplishment! Some people were very surprised that they had money coming to them, an early Christmas present. Just by doing this project, I have felt I already felt I justified my position.
More Tales of the Town Treasurer coming after the holidays!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Strolling around in Walmart yesterday to pick up my Christmas cards I happened upon the so called "clearance" section. No roll backs anymore here, so I had to look. My daughter just got her first Barbi for her birthday, I'm o.k. with it since it was Birthday Barbi in a nice fun dress, although the high heels are a little much unless she is going out to do her work at night! Anyway, my daughter of course now likes Barbi and she comes everywhere. I was thinking maybe there was some accessory or clothes in the clearance section....nope. But what I did find was KY Derby Barbi, a special edition Barbi which had a hat and a flower dress, very nice. No price on her so I carried her around until we came to a scanner. In scanning her I was taken back at the "clearance" price of $47.56!!!! So now I had to go over to the Barbi section and see what the non-clearance prices were........$80!!!!! For a Barbi, that is completely ridiculous! Needless to say she can go back to KY and enjoy the Derby without my daughter.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
I have found myself using less chemicals around the house since I have had my daughter three years ago not only for health reasons but also for the environment. I wanted to make sure the items she touched in our home were clean but also not toxic. For some of the cleaning products, I have chosen Green Works and was satisfied with the use, smell and results. Green Works has expanded their line to include the laundry room....a chore I am very particular with on what I use to clean clothes.
Laundry seems to be never ending every week. I generally do not like to have any smell to the laundry detergent and hang my clothes out on the line as much as I can instead of using the dryer saving electricity and I just love the smell of laundry on the line. This is pretty difficult in the winter time as the jeans can stand on their own! I was given the opportunity to try Green Works Laundry Detergent and Stain Remover as an alternative to my generic detergent. What I found was with less you get more! I used the recommended amount stated on the bottle and for the tough stains like spaghetti night on my daughter's shirt. Green Works did the job and here is the other important point.....I really like the smell! It is a very light floral/citrus scent, not harsh at all. Pleasant enough to the alternative of hanging it out on the line! I also feel good about the product since it is natural plant based detergent recognized by the EPA as safe for families.
Green Works Detergent and Stain Remover has made my laundry chore a little more pleasant and peace of mind with use of a safer chemical for my family and the environment.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Clorox Green Works and received a bottle of Green Works Natural Detergent and Stain Remover to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate."
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The holidays......starting off with Thanksgiving and ending with the New Year, we are in a constant cooking, baking and eating mode. The feasting begins with the Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and what ever other traditional side you have. Mine is the green jello mold! Then you bake and bake and bake from pies to cookies to what every you get signed up for on the party train. I find myself getting out of the healthy food pattern during this season and feel a need to rope us bake in. Ronzoni has developed a pasta, Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta that benefits the whole family with lower calories and fat than traditional white pasta, and no sodium, preservatives or cholesterol.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A picture blanket representing the Yankee games she has gone to starting from when she was 6 months old to this past season. She loved it! Just in case you wanted to know, Walmart does the photo blanket and my mother-in-law trimmed the sides and back with the NY Yankee fleece material.
Monday, November 30, 2009
My daughter certainly does! So much so that she had to have her 3rd Birthday party theme of Derek Jeter this past weekend. My daughter also shares the same birthday as Mariano Rivera, who turned 40 this past Sunday. So needless to say I was busy for the past week between Thanksgiving and her Birthday. The posts in the next couple of days will be a glimpse of her party......which was memorable in many ways!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Yesterday afternoon was beautiful weather! I could not resist working outside so my daughter and I decided to spend some time in the compost pile.
I know what you might be thinking......not that fun, smelly, not your first choice to spend a sunny afternoon in. This was the only project that I had besides leaves and I can't seem to start the leaf blower. I know my husband was probably going to be covering up the compost pile with more leaves over the weekend so I needed to get as much black gold out of there!
The beginning of the week I cleaned all of the asparagus beds and phase two is covering them with some compost. My daughter and I shoveled 6 wheel barrels worth of compost, spread them on all of the asparagus beds and also on some of the baby trees planted near by. Domino, the hunter kitty of the house seemed to like the activity and ended up laying on top of the compost pile watching us. Not my choice of a comfortable spot but the sun was there and it was a good view of the activity. I would have taken a picture bu my hands were pretty dirty from the dirt....
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yesterday was my first day of Public Service as an elected official. I have been out of the working world for over three years and was excited to get back in. Let me tell you a little bit about my job.
This past election I was elected to the position Town Treasurer. I sign checks, reconcile the accounts, involved with investments and the Town Finance Manager. I basically am a backup checker to the books. There are no set hours, what ever the time is needed is what you make of it. I have a desk, no computer(yup, this is described in the next paragraph), a phone and walking into procedures that have occurred for a long period of time.
What did I find on the first day? I have no computer, everything has been written out on ledgers by hand. I plan on asking for a computer today and will take a lot of time to update much of the info in it. The Town Hall is so warm, it is stifling! Each department has their thermostat set separately and ranges around 74 degrees! I am use to having my home set at 63 and when the wood stove is going it gets up to 67 at the most. I am sure many of these employees do not have this temperature set at their homes. There are other issues which need to be addressed, probably not going to be the most popular person there and I know change is not easy but this is important to be able to run the town more efficiently and outgoing to the public. I will keep you posted on life is public office.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The state of Connecticut changed over last year from the old ballot machines to the new scanner machines to bring the state up in technology, accuracy and accountability. I among many other liked the old ballot machines due to the fact you could not get any more accurate than pushing a lever down to cast your vote. Now we have fill in the circle which brings in a lot of question on voter intention if they did not fill out the ballot correct. The scanner scans the ballot to what it thinks is correct, meaning some votes can be missed if the oval is not filled in such as using an "x" in the oval. It does not matter how many times you tell the voter to ensure accuracy, it is up to the voter to fill it in correctly. So what happens when there is a close results for a particular seat? There has to be a recount with both parties represented from the election, the Moderator and agreement on each ballot of what the voter intention was. This is a state law and should be known by the Moderator, Town Clerk(who files the results) and the Registrar of voters for either party. Now that I have given you a mini lesson in voting a recount, let me fill you in on what has happened in the town I live in.
All of the above happened in the last election, a seat on the Board of Education was claimed to be a recount with the Democratic candidate winning by one vote on Election Day. The recount was done officially according to state law and the count was changed where the Republican won by one vote. Two days later after the recount, the Town Clerk(D) and the Moderator(D) decided to take the keys from the Democratic Registrar and open the sealed ballots, recount and change the official recount to a tie vote due to they felt there was an error. Sealed the ballots back up, changed the number and faxed it in to the Secretary of State. A new election has been declared for the seat next Tuesday. There was no representation of the Republican party and did what they said "was nothing wrong". Do you see what was wrong here? This is how easy it is to play with the hand chosen ballots! An abuse of power, pompous attitude that they were within their right to do so and did nothing wrong and a waste of taxpayers money for another election to be held. This story went to the local news today, see the link here but the newspaper story is incorrect also! The Republicans are filing a report with the Secretary of State today for an investigation. Not the "chad" incident but darn close!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I needed a birthday present on the fly......got this neat pattern from one of my knit group buddies and managed to finish it in three evenings! A Celtic neck scarf that buttons, very cute! I am knitting another and modifying it slightly to add a little more clean lines to the end that does not have buttons on it. My mother-in-law tried it on and it looked even better on!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Whether the box says Nabisco, Keebler or a generic label, I think there is a secret agreement with all on how graham crackers are packaged.
I know I must not be the only one who has thought about this. Graham crackers are packaged in three clear or wax paper like packaging that is not resealable. When I make a pie that calls for a graham cracker crust, I will generally use a whole pack of crackers. To take one as a snack is another story. You need to put them in a zip lock to ensure freshness. Then there is that one person in the house that will open up the graham crackers to have one and put them back in the box, not using a zip lock bag. It just takes one day for the graham crackers to get soft. I am not fond of the taste of soft graham crackers. It is a waste and I end up throwing them out. How hard is it for the manufacturers to package these in something you can keep fresh? Fig newton manufacturers got the idea, it use to be the same for this product. Or do the manufacturers for graham crackers have an agreement with the zip lock bag manufacturers? Just one of those little pet peeves I have.......like shaving cream cans that leave rust marks on your tub or sink! That subject I will save for another day!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I know I am not the only one who felt that I was lending out $25 to an individual who is starting up a small business in an area of the world needed a little extra help to improve their families life via Kiva.org. My sister-in-law emailed me this article here from the NY Times and it seems that this is not the case. I do feel disappointed, taken advantage of and thinking this was such a great idea being directly involved with a person seems to be a pipe dream. Does it make Kiva.org deceiving to the public? You be the judge.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Besides two stones that I have to set again and fill a little dirt around the perimeter, my walkway is finally done! I was lucky to get my husband and our friend set the very large stones in front of the steps this past weekend, something I could not do myself. I even worked on the walked way on election day between polling time filling in the cracks with stone dust. Just a little cleanup of the left over stones back in to the rock shop and this project is fully done. Now what? I was thinking a fireplace or fire pit......my husband votes on the fireplace and I would like a fire pit.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Yesterday was an important day to send a message. If you are not happy with how your town is governed, you have to let them know and voting essential! Many residents have been very unhappy with the state of our town and the results of the election proved this point. This was the most exciting and challenging election we have had since I have lived here. We worked together as a united group having the same goal; to elected our group of candidates into office and we did it! It was not a year of who can we stick in this position just to fill the seat or no one having interest in running. These are all qualified candidates who have a vested interest in their town and want to make a difference. I have to say I fell in love with my town again. I ran for two positions in town, Town Treasurer and Zoning Board of Appeals, against two candidates who are very well known in town, well liked and respected. I only have gratitude for them and the time they have invested to these positions. Yesterday, I won both seats and today I find myself excited, nervous and content with the work that we gave to get not only me but all of us to this point.
What did we do to get us to this point? We worked for it, not one person but all of us. From fundraising efforts by selling chocolate covered bacon, walking door-to-door, giving up our homes to organizing and meetings, donating time to be available to meet us as candidates, showing our faces as much as possible. It was not about one person but all as a united front. That is what made us successful. Sure we lost a small handful of seats but they we not lost by much and the message was sent to those candidates load and clear, you do not assume you get thee seats handed to you every election, there is no entitlement. It is a privilege and an honor to serve your community and do not take it for granted.
Tuesday I spent almost all day standing in front of the polls greeting people. I did not ask them to vote for me, I know the brochures went out to everyone in town and I had my badge on stating who I was and what I was running for. Instead I chose to just say "Thank you for coming out to vote today!". Taking the time out of a busy schedule that we all have, making a choice and exercising your right which many do not have around the world. Out of all the people I stated this to, only one person gave me a snide remark, telling me I was harassing her and it should be illegal for me to be here. I know you can't please everyone and maybe she was just having a bad day. She also might not realize she is lucky she is able to speak her mind and to vote on who she wants.
My daughter asked me what voting was about since she saw me going to all sorts of meetings, standing outside the voting area and hearing all of the talk. The simplest way to give her the answer was classic.....freedom of choice. "What's choice?" she asked, good question. "I have grapes and I have apples for you to have for a snack, which would you like to have today?", she replied "Grapes because I love grapes". That is making a choice on how you feel. She understood in the simplest terms.
I encourage everyone to give back to your community in some way, teach our children about the process and not everything is handed to them easily, stay true to your beliefs and listen to others.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Yesterday I picked up my daughter from Nursery school and found another surprise in her cubby. It was a craft project they did stringing Lifesavers and Fruit Loops on a piece of yarn. I understand that they wanted to work with co-ordination and the concept but do not understand why they used the candy! This candy can be a choking hazard for a young child and again I had to explain to my daughter why she could not have it. Another introduction of a candy item at her school in which she s not able to have. I am sure there are other items that could have been used. Another addition to a delicate subject that will be talked about in the next meeting. Can't wait to see what the Halloween party will bring!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I thought I was only going to need a few boards replaced on my back steps. Once my friend started to rip them out, one thing lead to another and all of it has to be built back up. 75 years on most of the wood with some of it being rebuilt a little shabby, it is due. The best picture is the last of the post that has crept over to the edge, never even noticed it! It is suppose to be in line with the beam below, quite the difference. There was also a beam under the deck that was not sitting on anything, floating in air. Scary what you can uncover.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
They seem to go hand in hand here. I am seeing it more as a parent than ever before. Halloween candy, Christmas candy, Easter Candy, Valentine's Day candy....surprised there is no 4th of July candy or Labor Day candy. They obviously have not marketed or advertised those well just yet, I am sure they are constantly trying to figure out how to do so. "They" being the candy manufacturer's of course.
I am bringing this subject up again since as a parent I am not happy about how people seem to think it is o.k. to give children as young as 2 years old candy and not think twice of why it is bad for them. I know this is just the beginning for when my daughter goes to public school and is involved with sharing food or offered to what ever is brought in to the class room. Right now, there really needs to be a precedent set early for healthy eating habits. This can only help giving them the power to make better decisions in eating and why. To me, nursery school is not only a fun time for children but also reinforcement of good habits. I can see this will be a mission for me on the next two years serving the board at this co-op.
Got any good candy, junk food or how you have dealt with this situation? Would love to hear it! We already have the Twinkie episode listed below, which would enrage me also!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
My daughter just started Nursery school this September, a very exciting time for all of us. She had a rocky start but has adapted and is now starting to enjoy her time there. Of course there are all sorts of things new to us such as snack time, daily routines and since it is a co-op, other commitments. What I did not expect was a situation I ran into this past Tuesday.
I picked my daughter up from school and found in her cubby what looked like to be a craft they did. It was a lollipop that had a napkin tied around it to look like a ghost, fast drawn on it. I was not sure if this was brought in for snack or actually a craft done by then. When I went to get my daughter, she immediately told me about the lollipop and wanted to eat it. Before this, she had no idea what these were and has not had ANY candy yet, she is not even three years old! I am trying to keep the candy/sugar on the low side. I was not happy to be put in this position by the school, trying to explain to her why she needs to eat lunch and this was a treat.
So why does this bother me so much? The fact the school has a no candy policy for snack time, that they were involved and candy is not needed to be given to children especially that young! There are so many studies on obesity and eating habits, candy does not need to be introduced as a healthy eating habit. I understand there will be times when I am not there at school or at a friends home that this will happen. But at Nursery school, completely unacceptable! Maybe someone needs to be a leader, step up to the plate and say "Wake up!". Here is where this completely surprises me as I am in the minority, many moms do it and think nothing of it. After all, Halloween is symbolized by candy, and you have your kids dress up, wouldn't you give them the candy also? Trick or Treat? Silly me to think that a treat can also be a cookie, fruit or even gold fish crackers!
I am still thinking about how to confront them on this and really feel I need to, even though I am not the majority.