Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Road Trip - California

So, Tom's doing some training classes (for Work) in California for two weeks. We drove over last weekend, spent this weekend sight-seeing and will drive home next weekend. During the weeks (two) the boys and I are exploring and enjoying all sorts of activities. We're in Dublin, California, about 30 miles east of San Fransisco. There is just SO MUCH to see and do here! We're actually WIPED OUT from all the running!

Here are our activities so far:

Friday 19 September - Play date, Final Pack and Load of Van, Nutcracker Auditions
Saturday 20 September - Drive from Wyoming to Lovelock, Nevada, Stride Rite Outlet
Sunday 21 September - Leisurely drive to Dublin, California (missing our freeway turn and thus getting to see the Ocean for the first time on the visit), Stride Rite Outlet, Fry's Electronics, Mall (Dinner), Grocery Shopping
Monday 22 September - Target, Dentist (Suzy - Teeth Cleaning), Goodwill (silverware and dishes for room, small side table)
Tuesday 23 September - Planning, Optometrist (Frank & Suzy), Shopping, Dentist (Tom - Teeth Cleaning), Yarn Shop
Wednesday 24 September - Joanns Superstore, Fry's Electronics, Jelly Belly Factory Tour (45 miles away)
Thursday 25 September - Oakland Museum (30 miles away) via BART (Electric Train), Laundry
Friday 26 September - Target, "Knit This, Purl That" Yarn Shop, McD's (1 hour playtime), Quilt Shop (the first on the trip), Kohl's, Dentist (Tom - Filling), Yarn Shop, Kohl's
Saturday 27 September - Bay Bridge, San Fransisco (2 Hobby Shops), Golden Gate Park, Nudists (run-away!), Golden Gate, Muir Woods, Tilden Valley Steam Trains, Spaghetti Dinner (about 100 miles round trip)
Sunday 28 September - Fry's Electronics, Northern California Renaissance Faire, Mimi's Cafe, Barnes & Nobel, Target (about 160 miles round trip)
Monday 29 September - Laundry, New Tennis Shoes (Suzy), Rest, Optometrist (Suzy, check contact fit), Dentist (Suzy, touch up to cleaning), Groceries

Still Planned:

Tuesday 30 September - Errands, Get ready for Birthday, Tires (Order)
Wednesday 1 October - Frank's 6th Birthday!
Thursday 2 October - Aquarium? Monterey Bay? Other?, Laundry
Friday 3 October - Pack, Load, Reno?
Saturday 4 October - Driving
Sunday 5 October - Arrive back in Wyoming, Unpack

Is it any wonder we're exhausted?!!? I'd wanted to go to the Winchester Mystery House today, but the boys and I are all wiped out and they've been acting up, so, I've been ditching the big outings and doing smaller things as well as spending more time in the hotel room.

I've been quite ponderous while I've been in the city. Perhaps I'll find a moment to blog about it soon.

One thing of note. You know how when you travel and you just want to go home? Well, right now, I have a sense that I just want to go and rest... in Arizona! Even though we've been living in Wyoming for 15 months, when I'm at my most tired, and people ask where I'm from, I'll instinctively say "Arizona" and when they ask for my zip code, I give them my Mesa one. If I'm coherent, I'll say "I'm from Arizona, but I've been living in Wyoming the past year now." I just can't transition to being "from" Wyoming. Somehow, I doubt I ever will.

Post Script:
No providers accept our dental or eye insurance in our area. We've actually been told "there's a shortage of doctor's here; we don't need your buisness." This was in defense of not adjusting their bills to match "usual and customary" insurance charges. So, annual eye exams, glasses, and teeth cleanings happened at the beginning of our trip. Cheaper and just plain easier here. Not to mention, we received superior service and choice of frames. :D

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Traveling by The Tree of Utah

Yesterday we began our journey from Southeastern Wyoming to Northern California. Previously, I've never been West of Salt Lake City, Utah or North of Bakersfield, California.

Pretty much as soon as we went past Salt Lake International Airport, I began to be treated to new scenery. The first clue of what was to come being the Morton Salt Plant. I've heard of "salt flats" before, but really hadn't given them much thought. Who was to know that a Salt Flat basically looks like a big field of flat snow?

What about the fact that when you walk on the field of snow, it crunches under your feet? Trying to break it up with your fingers is a tough endeavor. Better off to use your BRAND NEW shoes...

When you lick it? Yep! It tastes like salt.

But what's this? From a distance Tom thought it was a Cellular / Satellite Relay tower.

We needed a break in this vast (80 miles or so) field of salt flats. So, why not stop and inspect this oddity? We were greeted warmly by a barbed wire fence and "Emergency Parking Only" signs. As well as this...

"I didn't do it" says Tom while Jack shakes his finger at me...

What's going on here? Did these "pods" fall from the structure? They certainly are located regularly around it's base. What happened? What is this, Thing?!

Why, it's "The Tree of Utah", of course!

A quick internet search will procure you plenty of commentary on this piece of Modern "Art".

What we procured during this stop, was a small piece of glass / rock, some natural salt crystals, about $4.50 in change, and a Cabela's Token.

Which was quickly divided between the boys.

From the internet search, we learned that this structure is made of native materials of Utah, and was donated to the State of Utah by it's owner / creator. We also learned that the creator spent Millions of Dollars on the Tree, but didn't feel like springing for a freeway off ramp... because he didn't want people to stop and look. The State of Utah feels the same and tries to keep people from stopping (thus all the "friendly" signage nearby).

What we couldn't figure out was why we found so many coins littering the side of the roadway. Our guess is that perhaps people toss coins out to "The Tree of Life" the same way they would into a fountain or a Wishing Well. Of course, it doesn't do a whole lot of good to leave them sitting in the gravel along a deserted highway. Maybe we just stole away someone's "wishes" and maybe we granted a few wishes for my boys, for they are delighted to have pockets-full of money!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Almost Out the Door

Well, the night before a two-week road-trip and I'm actually feeling calm and pleased with myself... both a rare thing to happen just before leaving! I planned my week out and pretty much stuck to the schedule. Imagine what it would be like if I did this same thing (organizing and breaking tasks up) for other things, like Christmas or trips or projects! I could actually get things done ON TIME and at ease!? Okay, not totally at ease, as I often do, I planned too much and was wiped out ALL WEEK. Thus my absence from these forums, but, I did get things done on time, so, that IS a step in the right direction!

Here are a few pictures from this week:

Tuesday - before afternoon class-time, I took my boys and three of our neighbor-kids (also homeschooled) to the park.


With so much going on lately with Jack, Aunt Lou sent Frank his "Road to Wyoming" Quilt. He ask her to make this the last time we visited (when she gave me a quilt made in the same pattern, but called it "The Road BACK to Arizona".) Mine is full of Arizona related fabrics. For the boys, there are things representing their interests and also fabrics representing the road (and views) between Arizona and Wyoming. The boys and I selected most of the fabrics on the way home from a trip, then, I cut them into 2 1/2" strips and mailed them to my Aunt.

Jack's top is nearly done, and I'm on a mission (for my trip) to find the backing for Jack's "Road to Wyoming". I like how the boys' quilts have "kids" fabrics, but overall have a more mature feel.

The pattern for all three of these quilts is "Arkansas Crossroads". It is one of my new favorites. I LOVE how well it works with scraps.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Idea from Ravelry

I just have to mention this Yarn site my friend pointed me too. It's called Ravelry.com. It's an online group / forum / journal / inspiration for yarn-users. You can enter your projects, and how much you've done on them. You can rate the project as well as the yarn. You can enter your stash and your supplies. You can look at other peoples work and mark favorite. You can get totally sucked in and never actually WORK with your yarn!

Still, if you are interested in yarn crafts, I'd recommend you request an invitation to join Ravelry (it takes them a few days to send you an email).

That said, I was surfing Ravelry and discovered this DIVINE scarf.


I found a more detailed post on her blog.

I also found a source for the yarn, and added it up... $52! Acghk! For a SCARF!?!?

But it's so pretty...

I also found directions on the technique of creating a woven look, called Entrelac, which I've been admirring. A lady from the Knitting Circle made a headband and then a bag using this technique last winter. I'm glad to know there's a general name for the technique.

Lastly, I found this scarf pattern, using the very same yarn, just all one color instead of different skeins.

One other thing, there are so many beautiful yarns, I'd be tempted to try my own color scheme on a project like this, but I REALLY like the way her's came out.

The only thing I'd be leary of is that I haven't actually touched this yarn and they can be itchy and that would be terrible, but they can be soft and that would be LOVELY!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Knit & Crochet - Scarves

This evening I finished up two scarves. I've had them both done for weeks (or months) now, with just the ends to tie in. I needed a break tonight and sat down and did this.

The first I started last November and is my First "Successful" Knitting Project. Two years ago, my friends from the XRC in Arizona, tried to teach several of us to knit. I had trouble because of several things...
  1. I was using aluminum needles.
  2. I was using Fancy Fur type yarn.
  3. I was using the American, Right-Handed Method of Knitting.
So, last Fall, I went to the local Craft shop and explained this to them. They had a scarf sample that I liked. They recommended I use a more natural fiber and bamboo needles. I bought some supplies and then found KnittingHelp.com - which has great online videos. In May, I finally completed my scarf:

I made it using Karen Baumer's Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf pattern. I used a cotton yarn (Kraemer Yarns Tatamy Tweed DK) in blue and red. I started with the blue, but switched to the red at the mid-way point upon the suggestion of a knitting circle I'd been going to most weeks during the Winter and Spring. I like the variety changing the colors added and think it would be fun to do this pattern alternating colors... it's made up of triangles like the blue one you see, so, different colors for each triangle could be fun. For more info about this scarf, and to see HUNDREDS more samples, look on my site on Ravelry.com.

The second scarf I finished today is a crocheted one of my own design. I made this one to match the fleece hat I enjoyed so much last year. I'm looking forward to being a little more coordinated this winter. :D

This is the third such scarf I've made (one for me, one for Auntie, and another for me). I plan to make SEVERAL more of this exact pattern in different color ways. It's a lovely soft, warm-but-not-hot, scarf. I wore the first one a lot last winter, and kept wishing for other colors.

I use Lion Brand Yarns... Tiffany and MicroSpun Yarns. The microspun is soft and "squishy" and the Tiffany is a super-sensual fake fur type. Together they look like a fuzzy-caterpillar in the making! Certainly not the right mental image for how incredible they feel together!

I now have the yarn, and just need to get busy making them. I made my Aunt's in four (dedicated) days, so, I really could have a pile for myself by the fall.

Anyway, I was glad to finish these two projects off (funny how they've been sitting around all Summer, and a little bit of cold inspired me to get them ready to wear by weaving in the ends!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Burnin' and Smokin'

Just not in that order.

Today Tom replaced the propane tank on our grill, then lit it up and threw some meat on. He then went to talk with a neighbor and ask me to flip the meat... no big deal. The boys are playing out back, I'm doing dishes and notice a bumble bee in the house. I kill the bee, but it's not smashed, so, I'm walking it outback to show the boys... when I step out, I notice the propane tank is on fire! I send Frank to get Dad "QUICK!" and tell Jack to "get back!" and "get away!" Jack only backs up a few feet and then stands in a trance staring at the fire. I'm fumbling with the knobs, through the heat and flame, to turn off the grill. I notice Jack won't leave, so, instead of turning off the propane, I grab Jack and leave. I go right past the fire extinguisher headed for Tom, who meets me at the front door. Frank did run quick and yelled "Daddy come home quick. FIRE!" Tom was able to turn the tank off, then went to tell the neighbor we were okay, but the neighbor was already at our house with his fire extinguisher.

I was very shook up because Jack didn't respond to me and I didn't think all the things through I should have. I have realized though, that I did stop trying to turn off the gas and got Jack and I away from the fire.

Not two hours later, I'm showing off my mixer to my girlfriend. She's interested in buying a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, and I was just showing her how it works and also how I can (and do) make three loaves of bread at a time in it. For some reason (perhaps because we just escaped catastrophe with the grill) I'm having trouble with my dough. It's not quite right AND it's causing the mixer to bear-down. Next thing I know she's asking "what's that small" (the mixer was right beside her). I turned it off, but not before it was smoking and smelling awful.

So. In less than two hours, it would appear that two of my FIVE-HUNDRED-DOLLAR appliances literally burned up! One on fire and the other smoking! I was shook up and quite sad, though glad that we were all okay, and also thinking "is this a sign?" And "maybe we should check our fire extinguishers and practice fire drills."

While I was putting the boys to bed, Tom found that a new motor would cost $80-100 plus shipping (the lower priced suppliers were sold out). Then, he took the mixer apart to find it still (thirty-minutes later) smoking. He also located a thermo-sensor. He chilled the whole unit out with canned air (liquid nitrogen) and was able to get the mixer going again right away. So. In the end, it looks like we'll just have to replace the regulator (which interestingly enough has always given us trouble on this grill).

I am glad that I was reminded of what I should and shouldn't do in an emergency, without any injury to our family. It just shook me up quite a lot.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Little Frank Time

Lately, it feels like Jack's been getting a lot of time, and so I thought I'd spotlight Frank today. Back in July, on the 30th, we took Frank's training wheels off and took him to the local school. He'd only had this bike for about two weeks, of which he'd been asking for the training wheels to come off for like twelve or thirteen of the days.

July 31st, Erik's Grandad Russ and Grandma Pop (nicknamed because of the "popping" sound she makes with her finger in her cheek) were due to arrive. I wanted to give him the chance to ride his bike without all the extra "help" from more people watching. Plus, taking him early allowed him to show-off what he could do.

I'd read a few methods of teaching bike riding and settled on this...
  1. Wait for the child to want to remove the training wheels.
  2. Once removed, don't reinstall the training wheels.
  3. Take them to a grassy slope.
  4. Put them near the bottom of the slope, and just have them lift their feet from the ground.
  5. Slowly move the child up the hill while having them put their feet on the pedals, and eventually pedaling.
  6. Introduce steering concepts as well as safe stopping (feet down).
  7. Let the child progress, while encouraging and keeping hands off the bike.

It turns out I'd done a lot of reading for nothing. Frank pretty much took right too it. In less than 30 minutes, we were back home with a "two-wheelin' bike-ridin' boy". He's fallen three times TOTAL since that day. He loves riding his bike, and always does so with his helmet on.

Frank LOVES to ride his bike! Yeah Frank!!! :D

Friday, September 12, 2008

Homeschooling, Daytime Curfew, Civic Involvement Stuff

What a great title that is, huh?

The meeting's been set. I've talked with the Police Chief, my Hubby, the Leader of the Homeschoolers, my Mom's Group Ladies, and my Homeschooling Neighbor. It's interesting to hear so many views on one topic. Through it all, I've been trying to gather my thoughts about what I've been ask to speak on... "What Homeschoolers Are."

I'm not there to debate the law. I'm not there to debate our Civil Liberties. I'm there to give the Police Department a Positive Image of What Homeschoolers Are. So, I think I'll notify the Local Homeschooling Group, and ask for a little input from them (why they decided to homeschool, what their day is like, and how they forsee the Curfew affecting their daily routine). Then, I'll compile that data into an outline / notecards and plan to speak for 3-5 minutes.

My neighbor lady is also planning to attend. She's going to speak a bit too, on the same topic. She and I have talked together some and plan to talk some more so that when we speak to the Police, we compliment eachother.

I want to avoid having a pile of Homeschoolers attacking the Police... the Police are just trying to do their job. I also want to give the Police a positive impression of what Homeschoolers can be, as opposed to a bunch of fanatical, anti-government nuts.

I hope I'm doing this thing right. Being involved in the solution has got to be better than sitting back and complaining or fighting.


On another note, I:
  • took the kitten in for her final shot,
  • had playgroup this morning,
  • was given the Gift of a Nap this afternoon,
  • baked A LOT (2 loaves bread, new cookie recipe, banana bread muffins, and 16 rolls),
  • went on a mile-and-a-half walk,
  • had a delicious (simple) dinner of bread, cheese, and meat with juice,
  • and finally had a two-hour heart-to-heart with my friend Amy.
All-in-all, I feel like it was a VERY productive day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How did it change your life?

My friend Celise has this way of inspiring me to write... perhaps it's because she IS a Writer and I aspire to be one... or at least I like to write a lot. :D

Today she wrote "Where Were You..." about 9-11. Something about it caused this to spill out of my fingers...
I first heard about it on the radio, getting ready for work. I'm like "no big deal, it's probably a small plane, one or two people died, sad, but an accident." Then, the more the DJ's talked, I realized I was wrong. I woke my husband and told him about it. When I got to work, we turned on the news and started watching. Soon, the number of employees around the TV in one guys' office was too much, so, he moved the TV to the break room where our software development company pretty much lived for the day. What we watched was UNBELIEVABLE!

I actually went out and bought newspapers and magazines that day... before the headlines changed. I finally sensed that this was a "Big Deal" and wanted to somehow mark the time of my life "before" and "after". I have a stack of publications from anniversaries of the date too.

Just the month before, we'd taken my step-daughter, then seven, on her first plane ride. At that time, she would build whole towers with wooden blocks, then knock them down "for the fun on it". Afterward, she would completely freak out if someone even tried to knock down one of her towers. She progressed to building whole cities all around her towers. If something fell... "the people worked together to rebuild it." She was terribly upset, in large part because she'd had her first plane ride so recently. Her devastation made what I was to do so much harder!

Gratefully, I didn't loose anyone in the September 11 attacks ... but in the days following, when everyone was *renewed* in their commitments to each other, I found myself wishing my husband had been there (not that he'd ever been to NY or DC), but if he had perished in one of these tragedies, life for me would have been so much easier.

Realizing you wish your husband had died in a terrorist attack, when everyone around you is Hugging-and-Kissing-and-Loving on their families, is a hard thing. So, I did what I always did in times like this... went for a "Phoenix Fix" to see my brother. I spent a long weekend with him, and made my Game Plan. I arrived back in Salt Lake on Tuesday. I filed for divorce. Quit my job. Found a Realtor and put my house on the market. While my Mom and Brother drove up and packed my entire house. On Saturday, five days later, I was on my way "back home" to Arizona.

It was an interesting time to be trying to find work. My brother (whom I was staying with) had been working as a Temporary Software Programmer... he was let go because of his "Security Threat"... ie, he was a Temp, not a regular employee. I'd always worked as an Administrative Assistant, but, couldn't find that type of work.

As luck would have it, while trying to "escape" my bad marriage, I'd started working "part-time, for-fun" as a Portrait Photographer with Lifetouch Portrait Studios (Target and JCPenny have in-store locations, and there's also a school division). When I arrived in Phoenix, it was to find a Management Position in a Portrait Studio... suddenly, *everyone* wanted pictures of their loved ones!

Anyway, that's where I was, and also where I went and what a catalyst 9-11 was for me.

Thanks again for your beautifully written memoir.
Instead of asking the same of you, I would ask, what direct impact did 9-11 have on you and your life?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who is this Kid?!?

...and what did you do with my baby?!!

He says his name is "Jack", but when I look at him, with his haircut, and a new "lumberjack" coat, and (most of all) those glasses! I can't help but wonder who this kid is!

As you know, we recently discovered that Jack needs glasses. (Take note of his chin... it's MINE! Both my boys have MY chin! I think it looks cute on them!!!) We spent two days shopping for Indestructible, Jack-Friendly Glasses...

...and then a whole week waiting for them to arrive. Jack took this picture of me with "the ones" (that I think will withstand his abuse, and he likes the bright color (orange) of). They arrived late Monday, and yesterday we went to pick up the glasses. Here Jack is putting them on for the first time...

What I think is most interesting about Jack actually putting on his first pair of Specs is that, instead of letting him look around right away and explore with them, the employee kept putting them on-and-off, fussing with the fit. Remember, this is the kid's FIRST pair of glasses, and FIRST TIME SEEING in a long time (if ever). Now that I think about it, I should have told her to lay off him for a few minutes so he could explore with them a little.

Still, he's happy to have them. Yesterday he didn't want them on too much, but new glasses usually take me a bit to get use to. Today, he had them on more than off. When ask which way he sees better, he sheepishly told me it was "with the glasses".

We've created two "homes" in our house for Jack's Glasses Case... one downstairs by the front door and one up in his room.

Today, I came up with a rhyme for him "On my face, or in my case!"

If I see Jack without his glasses, I immediately ask "Are your glasses on your face or in your case?" and he'll say "I'll go put them in my case!" then run off. At bedtime, I found the glasses neatly put away and in the right spot, so I rewarded him with a "ticket" to be used tomorrow for a reward of his choice. :D

I just wanted to say again though, who is That Kid and what happened to My Baby?!!?!?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up - Ice Cream Social Block Party

In response to a friend's post about our weekend, I had the following to say:
Weekend? What weekend?!

I planned an Ice Cream Social for our Street's First Block Party. That was Saturday at 3:33... so, spent the morning and afternoon prepping and the evening cleaning up and recovering. All for just FIVE of FORTY households to come. I was disappointed in the turnout, but I guess I have only myself to blame because I didn't officially tell people about it until Wednesday (I've been talking about it all Summer, but didn't give them the date and time until the week of)... my bad!

The good news is, I got a Bachelor Pad down the street to agree to host a Block Party for 21+ on Halloween night, AND we are planning to do Trick-or-Treating for the kids beforehand, all up and down the street. Several of the bachelor pads were all about doing something for the kids, and very happy about having a grown-up party too!

Also, the town Mayor authorized a last minute drop-off of some barricades, so I could shut the street down for the Ice Cream Social. What I didn't realize was that he also sent the Fire Department out to greet us! It was fun for the kids to climb on the truck and talk with the Firefighters while they (the firefighters) enjoyed some Ice Cream Cones (the kids had already had plenty of junk food!) I think the most fun though was when a call came in and they ran to the truck and took off with lights and siren going!

Another good thing was that we started a Cultural Potluck. My pregnant Mexican neighbor wanted REAL Chinese Food. (What you need to know is that there really isn't any GOOD Chinese or Mexican food here, so, if you want something tasty you have to figure out how to make it or find someone who already knows.) The Chinese and Mongolian ladies each made some food, and a few others of us did too. On Sunday, we had the potluck (which I started out bummed about, because EVERYONE was 30 minutes late arriving). It turned out well though, and we're already planning our Mexican Potluck for October. That one will probably be in my house because we could / should / may have snow and or REALLY COLD temperatures by then!

So. I would have liked to see more people at the Ice Cream Social on Saturday, but it DID lead to some good connections on Sunday, with three future get-togethers set for October.

If you couldn't tell, I'm really trying to activate my neighborhood and create a Sense of Community here! :D
One other thing... brilliant me! I forgot to take pictures of our eating events! All that work and no pictures to show for it! :P

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Supersauraus Boys

When I first wrote about our new friends, I had no idea how right I was. We get along FABULOUSLY and spend SO MUCH time together! I really enjoy it, but I am aware that we have to split up just so we can get things done! We all really enjoy visiting together though, and usually see or talk several times a day.

Last week, Jack was with Tom for the day. This gave Frank some one-on-one time with Jacob. (They are both having to learn how to play nicely with their siblings at the same time as their friends... when they get together, they want to be exclusive with one another.)

I took Frank and Jacob to the local College, for the Dinosaur exhibit.

While there, our local "Superheros" decided to "stop the stairway from collapsing!"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Small Town Politics

This is what I'm Pondering today...

The Short Story
After attending three City Council Meeting (in the past three weeks) the Chief of Police approached me about participating in some Police Meetings on Implementing a new law in the city. I don't know if I should.

The Long Story
Two weeks ago Frank and I went to a City Council meeting, just to see what there was to see.

Turns out, there was a fury of debate going on about a proposed Daytime Curfew Ordinance. There were a lot of Homeschooling families there opposing it because they feel it infringes on Civil Liberties and also, it has the potential to inconvenience them and their children. After trying (unsuccessfully) to find the local Homeschooling group (through people and internet searches), I met them for the first time at a City Council Meeting - kinda funny, I think.

In any case, last night, the Ordinance passed the City Council (by a 7-1 vote). After wards, the Police Chief ask me if someone from the Homeschooling group would like to participate in the meetings within the Police Department, as they determine how to implement this new law. I was excited, saying I didn't know, but I thought that, yes, the Homeschoolers would want to be involved. I gave him my contact information. Boy. Was I wrong! I thought the Homeschoolers would lynch me for suggesting it! They were in-your-face-mad because "the Police Chief doesn't care what we think!"

Now. I must admit that I am VERY new to politics, but I want to believe the best of people. Passing the law may not have been what I or the Homeschoolers wanted, but it's a law now. So, wouldn't it be helpful to be involved as the proceed with implementing it?

Tom wants me to "stay out of it", fearing reprecussions against me or our property and potential ostrecizing from the local Homeschooling group. I think that being a part of the solution is good, but I also remember more that one occassion when my Mom was run off the road after taking firm stands at City Council Meetings (in Victorville, California, then population about 15,000). So, I know that there may be truth in what Tom says.

As I mentioned before, for the first time - in.my.life - I can see how I could be involved, for good, in Civic things.

It's just so bewildering to me. Particiapte with the Police and risk being Ostricized. Don't participate, and wonder what I might have been able to do to help. Also, there's just a raw curiosity in me to know how things like this (the City and Police Meetings) work.

Ever since moving to Wyoming, I do move more cautiously, because this is "a small town" and things work "differently" here than in a big city. Everyone knows everyone. So, I try to be less bold and definat and more patient and understanding.

Right now though, I'm just not sure which way to go with this. I mean, if the Homeschoolers did get upset with me, and not allow us to participate, then we probably don't want to associate with them anyway.

I do know that the Homeschoolers are talking with the Home Schoolers Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about pursuing this Ordinance in a Court of Law. So, they are working on correcting the problem themselves, but, in the meantime, this is a Law in our town now, and being involved in how it is implemented seems better than just fighting it.

Thanks for listening to me ramble. I just don't know what I should do (participate, fight, sit-down-and-shut-up). You're input and insights would be appreciated!