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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs.....

Life on Newark-Granville Road can be very public.  Many people drive, walk, bike, run by and take notice of our activities.  Not surprising Joe and I are often asked to put political signs in our yard.  We came to a casual agreement and policy:  if the person running is a good friend or if we're working on the issue or campaign we'll put the yard sign in our yard.  We also limit the number of signs- two is pushing it. If Joe had his way there would probably be no signs.  In theory I'd probably put a number of signs as I like to engage in politics.  The key phrase being "in theory."

I hear political signs don't work, are not effective. However the perception to the public in our area is that they do work.  Better said, there is demand for signs - those running for office or leading a ballot issues are asked often for yard signs are told- they needs signs. I am sorry to miss a talk at Denison on Wed. Oct 18 4:00 pm in Knapp 204 about yard signs.   Politics on Display is the title, Yard Signs And The Politicization of Socialization of Public Spaces by Anand Sokhey '03- Denison! PhD from Ohio State and now  an Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Colorado Boulder.  If you go I hope you'll let me know and we can discuss your take-aways.  My theory is signs should inspire conversation, awareness and hopefully inspiration to vote!  Not the way I will, but just to vote.

Recently I've been asked to place one sign for the November elections.  Because it was a friend who asked, a friend who explained her reasons for running for re-election, we said yes.  I was asked to meet with another candidate to offer insights on important issues for the community.  We had a nice talk and she was very knowledgeable on a hot topic for me- sewer and water.  Sewer and water access is key to our town's sustainability/ tax base and the right thing to do- our public officials need to see this as a priority. I left our meeting wanting a yard sign for this candidate. I also like the fact we're endorsing two women in this race.  I admire all of the candidates running and am grateful for their service.  I appreciate the two candidates reached out to us and engaged us in conversation.  Consider this their reward access to our yard.  I hope you'll notice and think consider for whom and why you'll cast a ballot.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What is for dinner.....

Sunday night church we pass a grocery list down the pew. Sally whispered during the hymn "can we have mac n cheese? " I said yes and she added the supplies to the list.  I serve it with salmon cakes- a Leithauser celebratory, favorite dinner.  This worked for the week's plan as we wanted to offer- smart food and salmon is brain food.  Peter and Clare had the PSAT on the docket.  (I read the blog from the  Mom with the three kids with perfect ACT scores- she talked about serving lots of fish- legit or not, I love the concept of building confidence.  We're also celebrating Clare's selection for National Honorary Society.  The big splurge- wheel pasta- her favorite.  To round out the meal, Graters and Jenny's ice cream thanks to IGA.  I usually don't serve ice cream with fish- goes back to my grandmother- but I was in a happy place. 

Leithauser Favorite- Salmon cake, fresh broccoli, mac n cheese, with stewed tomatoes.
  And just to keep you posted on the real life happenings- Peter blew out another shoe...can't keep him in shoes.  He even tore his sock at this basketball conditioning day- running. "Planted by foot hard and rip."    Maybe my home cooking on Newark-Granville Road is the reason for his growing?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Big Red Weekend 2017....tired and energized.

What was all that happy energy about in Granville this weekend?  Three words: Big Red Weekend! And for me- Family Leadership Council!  Yes living in our alma mater's hometown gives us wonderful opportunity to connect with Denison friends returning to campus.  Weekends like this take it a whole new level.  Add my work with current (and past) family and parents and I'm all the more connected to the opportunity to engage with outstanding Denisonians.  When they're parents and classmates- wham- all is right on Newark-Granville Road.  I should be exhausted but I'm tiredly energized.

Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.  I looked around the bar at the Granville Inn to see for 1990 classmates that are also P'21, three classmates back for BRW, a handful of other great alums I'm getting to know better thanks to their return to Denison as parents, and some fun alums back for affinity reunions.  Add the spouses of many of these said folks and it is a recipe for the perfect night! A night that flew, a night that had me making my way around the bar doing my best to connect and soak in these opportunities.  This was just one block of time that was repeated.

The whole weekend was this way. On Friday, the Family Leadership Council had fifty parents participate in important meetings. What a delight and honor to have these volunteers help the college. My role is rewarding, challenging, fun, special and one I'm lucky to have.  I am resonsible for the invitation to the council and the programming. I have many partners to thank for executing a successful day.  Our goal is to deepen the relationships- the relationship of the parent to the college- they are amazing Denisonians! Also to deepen the college's relationship to the parents.  BRW FLC 2017 met its goal.

It actually kicked off on Thursday with two 90 era amazing alums back. We met their kids, soaked in their engagement and caught up around the table. Ahhhh! Then the weekend provided a number of settings for introductions, reintroductions, witness to parent/student bonds and processing and a fair amount of nostalgic reminiscing!   Life is figure eights and BRW is full of observations and this year's convergence takes it to a new level.  I remember my parents weekends so very well. How we're now here welcoming our fiends as parents, makes me smile and shake my head.  We were just students.  Empathetic nostalgia has surrounded me all weekend. Just walking chapel walk with students I could feel their happy anticipation of parent arrivals.  Driving through town seeing the packed cars with farewell hugs took me right back to that place of meloncoly.  Happy reunions and reflection of just the past few weeks and decisions to make Denison home fodder and starting point of conversations.  This moved to just great talks and analysis about why Denison is in the place it is- strong, different but similar.  Seeing and meeting our friends kids, good kids is remarkable and has an impact to inspire the blog post.

Of course being in relationship, being family allows us to reflect on what could improve, what is missing.  Energizing is the suggestions stem from care and concern. The college knows and wants to grow and evolve the right way. Our Unlocking Potential campaign is in progress and launches publicly next week....time to rest up and regroup to prepare! Things are not perfect for all and I do my best to help.  I value the trust to do so. I value the assistance of colleagues to do so.

Thanks to all who infused this state of happy exhaustion.  I didn't see everyone and I needed to see everyone for more time, deeper conversation.  Until next time Denisonians and until then I look forward to the week and the alums and parents returning to Denison and Granville, making my life on NG Road so very satisfying.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Homecoming 2017...this one is for the girls....

Homecoming 2017- Clare went with three girl friends.  Low key year. Last year we celebrated her 16th birthday on Homecoming so that required a bit more attention.  Peter skipped the activities and enjoyed an evening celebrating a friends birthday.  The pictures are beautiful and deserved the rest of the story and "why".  I use the blog to document and share our lives. I don't scrapbook any more. I do print the blog - and I want Homecoming 2017 in there when I reflect on our year.

The dress- Clare picked her dress as she has most dresses- on line.  Her mother doesn't let her wear black.  Because her mother's mother didn't let her wear black....although I do remember the black velvet dress with a scallop neckline I bought when I was a senior in high school- probably my first black dress.  I don't mind black on others, just an option and way to keep her looking beyond black.
We don't pay much for the dress.  Interesting FYI this year.  I felt it needed steamed/pressed. When I took it in on Monday....ut oh- a stain?  She tried the dress on once and some how a spot.  Three cheers for the dry cleaner. When I picked it up Friday night- stain be gone!

Shoes- Clare continues to wear the same pair of shoes she's had for three years.  Yes the first pair of high heels, first pair of formal shoes she bought.  I remember it like it was yesterday- her running in DSW to prove to me they worked.  She wears them for pictures, to get to and from places, at the actual dance- off they go, into a pile.  We find a way to make them work- even with last year's gold.

Hair and make-up....the hair is done by the fabulous hairdresser adored by many dear friends. Lucky for us a dear friend makes the appointments.  Clare likes the curls/waves- she has looked at past pictures and I love her confidence and decision.  I do her make up, nothing fancy and it is easy with her sweet face and easy attitude.  Even jewelry this year was using what we had and it all worked!

We met Clare's group at Denison for photos.  And what a lovely group- her friends are our friends, her friends' parents, our friends.  Life is good. I needed to pop by an event at 6 and the group rolled with my request.  Chapel Walk's hanging baskets and wall, the white columns of Beth Eden and steps of Swasey gave us picturesque backdrops!  How fun to powwow with her friends parents, pose for a few ourselves and toast our girlies with sparkling lemonade.  It was a hot night- this heat wave seems to be more than an Indian Summer- but the shade prevent too much melting!

Clare's small group of girl friends went out to dinner in New Albany.  She reported that they connected with a bigger group of friends at the dance and danced.  Then a post party with samores and a fire led to sleep over.  All more than we ever did, did we have Homecoming like this? Joe says it was just an after school dance in his hometown.

Another fun component of HC is photo watching for us on Facebook and Instagram- woo hoo.  I love seeing the picture locations, dress selections.  My kids don't "date" so I don't have any "creative"invites or big groups and that is just fine.  Life on Newark-Granville Road embracing Clare's approach to a fun night out with friends- what isn't to love.  It seems hard to believe we're actually well into this. Clare is a junior, turning 17 this year. I feel like she was just  toddler and I was looking for the babysitters pictures!  Life on Newark-Granville Road embracing Clare's approach to a fun night out with friends- what isn't to love.




Friday, September 22, 2017

Ankle Diaries...back to PT!

So I have not been blogging much about the ankle!?  The last official update was here it is late September. And yes, I'm still working on recovery and full range of motion.

Current state- not letting ankle slow me down. I'm golfing, hiking, working, traveling....but I'm not back to me.  Going down stairs is the hardest.  Once I get going I'll do pretty well and not feel much discomfort.  I'm doing it all in comfortable shoes.  I have put small heels and even once great wedges on but not for long.

At a late spring appointment with my doctor I was encouraged to try something different. He thought I should be making more process. My approved PT had ended and I wasn't contacted to keep going with the Athletico team. I took the suggestion and moved to the PT group affiliated with my doctor's office.  I liked the care and new approach to my recovery.  I made progress and enjoyed the exercises.  That PT ended, the approved time frame and I was told- insurance or Workers Comp would not approve more and I hit plateau.  "All the best, time would help, keep up the progress on my own."

Wow. Hmph I didn't feel ready.  I asked a friend with experience in this world and and found some coaching.  The advice was to keep seeking care, he agreed with my gut and the advice I'd picked up along the way- there was more hard work to be done.  He recommended additional PT and a provider in New Albany.  I talked to him about my disappointment in not taking more ownership.  I didn't know much about the healing process and let the professionals guide me.  I talked to my boss about the challenge of being my own advocate without being a specialist.  However as I think about it  I know how to set a goal and facilitate progress- why didn't I do that in this case.  I did a bit but not enough!

My life on Newark- Granville Road is back in PT. PT with very focused stretches, exercises and care to break down the scar tissue and build motion in the ankle.  PT that started with questions and goal setting. I am committed to the daily work that this will require.  I'm glad to be back in yoga, adding work Pilate's and my cardio and strength at Maximum Fitness.  All of this is fine but PT is still a key part of the equation for me.  Six week, six weeks and I'll tell you more. In the mean time I'm finding time for PT.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More nights like this......

Joe and I LOVE family nights.  We LOVE family trips and dinners.  We also have always loved our time and our nights out.  So we're considering ourselves lucky to have two nights this weekend that have given us impromptu nights for ourselves.  Friday night was the driving range and dinner on the patio.  Bonus we joined a great couple and enjoyed dinner together.  This afternoon we played 9, then 10 and 18- just the of us....with a bonus....cart!  We went to the store and picked up dinner and cocktail hour supplies. The kids don't have school so they are in long weekend mode, the weekend's weather has put me in a summer feeling (it is the last weekend before Fall officially starts) so we're relaxed and happy and not feeling the usual Sunday night stressers.  Life on Newark-Granville Road tonight, just the two of us with scotch, appetizers and dinner on the stove (or in the instapot!) and we love to say....we thought there would be more nights like this.  

So where are the kids?  Sally- lucky Sally is in Chicago with great new neighbors/friends- making incredible memories.  Peter is with friends and Clare is babysitting.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Book Club 2017-18 A game

Not a game at all- serious stuff! Serious reading for what will be important and good discussion. Proud to host this wonderful group of women in my home to select our books for the year.  Read along with us, join our group. My life on Newark-Granville Road is all the better with Discussing Books at CVL in my life!

Oct- The Age of Innocence
Nov Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opioid Epidemic
Dec-Bad Feminist: Essays
Jan- Beneath a Marbled Sky
Feb-Underground Railroad
Mar- Underground Fugue
April Rent Collector
May- Small Great Things
June- The Hate U Give
July- Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta
Aug- The Girl in Hyacinth Blue

And so many other recommended books shared.  Want the full list and details- send me a message!
Thanks to all that attended, recommended, shared great food and company tonight!!  And those that texted or reached out that could not be with us- we appreciate the effort!  Happy Reading!