28 July 2010

Back in the Saddle

Just as I guessed, three days after we left on vacation, the construction started. I can't believe how fast things are going. The toddler room has a new door to the outside (Fire Department required they have two exits/entrances). The came in and cut through a window last week, and as of today the door was officially hung. The preschool bathroom is completely ripped apart to put in new kiddie-sized toilets. It's amazing how quickly they are working--the whole bathroom is supposed to be done by next week. Sinks are going in both preschool rooms (the holes have already been cut and the pipes are ready to go). The elementary bathrooms have been disassembled and are being reassembled hourly.

The playground has fill up to the edge of the concrete slab. So no one will be tempted to go flying off the side of the slab. Bids for the fence have been submitted, so that will likely go up next week. Equipment has been purchased, and all we have to do is get the soil and sod going, and we'll be in business. I'll post pictures on the school's website soon.

Parents are calling like crazy. While the teachers are busy creating their classrooms from scratch (shelves, furniture, lessons, etc.), I'm planning the Grand Opening celebration. I'm so excited that we have a very special guest coming for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Can't say who it is...

Other folks from the Homestead City Council and Homestead Main Street Committee are coming, too. Plus we'll have the Greater Miami Youth Symphony and the Boy Scouts there!

All in all a really crazy two-week period. We are in high gear at this point.

Spread your wings!

15 July 2010

On Vacation

So just as the construction is slated to start, and just as the fence line is going to go in, and just as the rooms are filling up, I am heading on vacation. Wasn't supposed to happen that way, but it just did. Needless to say, I will be on cell, email, and Facebook as much as possible, but I may not be able to post much. But I am so very excited to see Colby's family this week. It will nice to hang out and try to relax a bit.

Spread your wings!

14 July 2010

more updates

Everyday something new happens. We have had inspectors, parents, kids, fence-builders, playground designers, etc. out to the school this week. It's been a madhouse, but in a really, really good way.

The best news of the week was our "newborn" shower that took place on Saturday. We had over 40 people show up--parents, grandparents, kids, friends, and family. We celebrated the "birth" of the school, complete with a beautiful cake a la Elizabeth Valle. We had a great time and are all very grateful for all the wonderful, heartfelt gifts we received. The event certainly left its mark on everyone.

Now we're on to planning the Grand Opening! August 28, 2010 will be an awesome event--I've been inviting all the "dignitaries" and will send a Save the Date email post out to everyone to let you know about the details.

I've been racking my brains about what kind of cool office critter we can have. I am all for snakes and other reptiles, but that idea was quickly squashed by a couple of co-owners and parents who have a snake phobia. Then I was thinking about lizards, but was told they stink. Turtles are fine, but we have those at home. Hedgehogs would have been cool, but you need gloves to handle them (total bummer). So for the time being, I ordered a butterfly kit--I have a big net basket that comes with an order form for caterpillars. The caterpillars hang out for a few weeks in the net basket and then eventually emerge as Monarch butterflies! Should be cool for everyone watching the transformation. Then I can refill with new caterpillars and keep the little village going.

Spread your wings!

08 July 2010


We had a great donation that arrived from an angel--an upright piano. It's all set up in the entrance hallway, and kids were playing "It's a Small World" and other songs all day. How awesome to hear live music throughout the day!

The office is nearly all set. We will be receiving a second desk and miscellaneous file cabinets from another angel very soon. Then all that's left is to start hanging pictures and making it more personal.

Yet another angel is working on a mural for my door. Don't tell anyone--it's going to be unveiled on Saturday. And it will look awesome have had special properties that no other administrative door in the county has. Super, secret surprise coming your way! I'll take lots of pictures and post them.

Tomorrow I have a couple of companies coming to give us quotes for the final line of fence for the playground. Hopefully that will be put in next week and we can start working on that space.

Everything is looking pretty spiffy these days! The final angel of the day came and mowed the lawn, trimmed the sidewalk, picked up some awesome Mexican food for lunch, and poured me a glass of wine this evening...  :)

Spread your wings!

07 July 2010

With friends like these...

So this week I received an email from a former boss. Now that's not all that strange--I keep in contact with almost all of my former bosses. Can't say I have been in touch with the lady I worked for at the bakery when I was in high school or the manager at Big Lots, where I worked in college. But I do manage to keep in contact with all my former bosses from my academic posts over the years.

I've been in academia my entire professional career. And I do not believe that what I am about to reveal is unique to academic circles, but since I haven't held positions outside of that world, I cannot confirm. My email went something like this...just got back from my amazing concert tour, by the way what are you doing now that you quit your job at FIU, please buy my new recording, how are Colby and the kids, I'm working on a new commission and I need help figuring out what kind of computer monitor.

This same former boss was circling the waters for his protege when he thought I had taken a new job back last spring (before he actually knew I had moved on for sure). He was like a shark prying me for information and then following up with my then current-boss to let him know that the protege would make the perfect replacement for me...a big dumb shark with a neon sign saying "no sharks over here." He seemed to think that no one could really tell what he was up to. While he pretends to be a friend or an ally, he is really just watching for the appropriate time to strike. And unfortunately, there are people who buy into what he's selling without thinking things through. Not realizing he's a snake oil salesman and the stuff he's selling doesn't work.

Enough. Just had to get that off my chest. I'll update you on my awesome day today tomorrow, I promise!

Spread your wings!

04 July 2010

Fourth of July

I read the online version of the New York Times every morning as I'm enjoying my cafe con leche that has been fabulously made by my husband. This morning, there were two very interesting Op Ed pieces this morning that hit home in so many ways.

The first article was titled "America, Illustrated" and told about Norman Rockwell through the eyes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg of all people. There is what sounds like a great exhibition opening up that Lucas and Spielberg moderated. They speak very highly of Rockwell, who is often the joke of more experimental artists, and explain how he told visual stories. They also spoke of the way he tapped into mainstream American, small town, main streets, and the like before all the political divide. It's a lot like what is starting to happen in Homestead with Atala. We have had many people just stop by and drop off donations. They don't want anything; they just want to help. This weekend we had one family donate wood floors in the preschool rooms--please read this again, I said "donate." Unbelievable. They are beautiful and so much appreciated. Much like Normal Rockwell's America, people have been pitching in where there is a need, and it doesn't matter who you are, what you believe, or where you come from.

In the second article, "School for Brides," featured another former university professor who has found a new life outside academia. In her case, the professor worked at the College of Santa Fe, which closed a couple of years ago. A friend of mine is actually mentioned in the article--not directly, but rather is referenced as one of the professors who found academic work in other places (Singapore in his case). But the focus of the article was the transformation of a costuming professor who had worked for decades only to be laid off as the college folded. Wanting to stay in Santa Fe, she later found work at a local David's Bridal shop as a seamstress. Sounds like a leap, but she landed on her feet and really likes the work. Read the article to see how she made the transformation. It's an interesting read for anyone looking for a job--sometimes there are seemingly strange connections that can be drawn when you're willing to take a risk.

Spread your wings!

01 July 2010


We passed DERM today! 'nuff said.

Spread your wings!