So, here I am.....

The girl that said she'd never blog. The far from computer savvy girl that is always up for a challenge despite a serious lack of time.My blog goals. Do I have blogging goals? Hmmm, I guess I should. So I pledge to be funny, lighthearted, not vent or complain to much and maybe just maybe share a crumb of wit and wisdom on occassion.I will most likely chat about etsy, my addiction and muse. the incredible artsists and friends I have found in a community that oozes with creativity, friendship, support and a home for all things handmade.You will hear me ramble about the insanity of my life including my 3 boys, ages 12, 16 and 53. Yes, that last one I am married to, but trust me, he is just as much boy as man. After 17 years of marriage I find myself raising him along with them. Then again, he would probably say the same of me at times. I will often speak of friends I would go to the ends of the earth for and a family that more often than not defines dysfunction. Then again, I strongly believe a functional family is the stuff legends are made of.I am a lover of music of all kinds and not so much the TV ( except maybe Glee). I have an addiction to handmade glass, especially venetian and lampwork beads as well as unique pottery. I have made a concerted effort to tame my jewelry fetish with my own creations which can be seen at you haven't figured out by now, I can jabber my jaws and my fingers as if someone could care what I have to say.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stuffing a Pepper

The many stages of a stuffed pepper made to perfection.

The peppers:

The meat:

The stuffed pepper:

The sauce:

Sweet Harmony:

Stay tuned for more food porn.

Banana Bread FTW!

Not that Banana Bread needs help in the win department, but OMG, it can be elevated to starlet in the Food Porn category. Feel free to indulge your own personal fantasies in your venture, I really don't think you can go wrong on this one.
Here are the simple safe sex rules of Banana Bread Porn:

Rule # 1

Start with a good fresh specimen

Rule #2

Dipping is a must. It will take you to that special place.

Rule # 3

You have to have some sizzle!

Rule #4

Don't forget to try various positions, and for Pete's sake, rollover.

Rule #5

Lean back and enjoy the happy ending!

It's an eye opening experience good for the whole family.

(yes, he'll kill me for this one, but maybe he'll learn t o comb his hair or better yet, get it cut once in awhile)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Yes, You Can Make A Difference

If you think your voice doesn't matter, you are worng. Thsi country and this state may be frustrating at times, but don't give up hope. We are still a democracy and speaking up for what you believe and voicing your concerns still matters. If you have been following my posts of the past few days, here's a perfect example. I can't help but wonder if her is referring to my very own email when he mentions hearing from Niles.
It doesn't really matter. What matters is that the people were heard. Someone listened!

Discussion on HB 1886

A bill to force school consolidations across the state was not even called in the Counties & Townships Committee yesterday, after Committee members received a flood of phone calls in opposition from superintendents and school board members across the state. Thank you for your hard work on this issue as we continue to fight this battle.

Both the Chair of the Committee, Rep. Patrick Verschoore (D-Rock Island) and another member, Rep. Richard Morthland (R-Moline) discussed their opposition to HB 1886 on video. You can view Verschoore's video

Verschoore on HB 1886 school consolidation

and Morthland's video

Morthland on HB 1886 school consolidation

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This is More Like It

This is a much more thoughtful and appreciative response to my letter (see post March 1st). I won't go so far as to say it redeems politicians in my eyes, but at least he showed some common decency and manners (an maybe even a brain)
Thank you Mr. Ramey

Ms. Johnson,

Thank you for your note. We need to take the time to scrutinize this bill and make sure the best proposal is the one that comes before the committee. House Bill 1886 will not be called in committee today. I appreciate your views on this legislation and if you have any further information on this bill I would be grateful if you passed it along to me.

Representative Randy Ramey

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Do Politicians Really Wonder Why

people can't stand them?
This is the response I received from one of the eight state representatives I contacted with my letter yesterday.
Not only is it the only response (so, I guess there's brownie points for that), but it is completely irrelevant to my letter and addresses no one of my requests.

No letter head, no greeting, no signature. Not even a note in the email referring to this attachment. That is just lame! You would think a damned page could draft a salutation at least.

The Governor’s budget for next year is a template for budget talks. There
are a number of his proposals that will not be in the final budget that
passes the legislature. I do not believe we will have enough revenue to
support the Governor’s proposed spending level have a balanced budget. I
would anticipate a much lower spending level than the Governor requested.

The House is in the process of determining the amount of revenue we
available for next year. Once that is determined we will begin the
appropriations process. The revenue available will be distributed to the
five Appropriation committees. Each committee will need to pass
legislation, or a series of bills, to the full House that does not exceed
the amount set for each.
This method of drafting a budget will ensure that we will have a balanced
budget. I am confident that these changes in the House budget process will
produce a final product that puts us on a path to eliminating our deficit in
the next four years.
The cuts necessary to balance the budget will include education. Hopefully
the education community will have both short term and long term

This makes me nauseous

A Letter to my State Representatives

I sent this letter to the pertinent people yesterday in hopes I will be heard. It's not often I speak out so boldly, but this really got under my skin.

Dear Representative/Senator

It is with immense concern that I write you. As a parent, a community member, a homeowner and a school board member, I urge you to seriously consider the ramifications of HB1886. I have equal concern over Governor Quinn’s consolidation proposal. Not only are these proposals ill conceived, they are unprecedented. Elementary and secondary education should be our highest priority. To leave such decisions to politicians and committeemen with no formal education training is absurd and dare I say, reckless.
To allow for no input from local districts, educators and citizens perpetuates the “behind closed doors” dirty politics for which our state is famous, as well as send a message to every person in the State of Illinois that those proposing this bill know in their hearts just how wrong it is.
I am a firm believer in standing up for your beliefs and that the right decision is very often not the easy one. If you truly believe your vision is best, you can withstand the ridicule of your opposition because in your heart you know you are doing the right thing. However, acting behind closed doors, stacking the deck with small, inept committees quickly pushing through serious issues shows the complete opposite. By sending this bill to a “committee of counties and townships” versus the education committee, you are doing just this. By avoiding careful consideration of studies such as “Consolidation of Schools and Districts: What the Research Says and What It Means” you are not making good, educated, informed decisions in the best interest of the whole. Instead, you are solving a long term problem with short term thinking and the cost of such short sightedness leaves the state’s budget woes to pale by comparison.

Please, I urge you to consider just a few of the ramifications of these actions.

o Consolidation should be intended to facilitate educational improvement rather than enrollment or geographical location
o Reorganization and consolidation should be initiated by local citizens and determined by a vote of the citizens
o Local citizens, school boards and the school district must have the authority to make decisions affecting the educational well-being of their community members.
o School district organization should reflect the community’s interest and values and not be dictated arbitrarily by the State
o Adjusting school districts by using the census could change school district boundaries every 10 years and vast increases in transportation costs related to these changes.

Equally, HB1886 serves no purpose but to give an arbitrary state run committee the power to force these and other ill conceived plans. I urge you to consider students, children, future leaders, our largest assets and the immense responsibility we have to them in every step of your decision making. “Students” should be the prevailing thought in every consideration, not money, debt or your political ambitions.

Please, do not let these ideas move forward in this way.


Karen Johnson