Farewell Montessori

Two weeks ago, I was blinded by fury. I’m no longer mad, and can again see the benefits of the Montessori school system.
Our daughters have been on a waiting list for a local, celebrated academy. Montessori also receives high accolades for teaching and socializing children, but they have a hefty tuition whereas the academy is free. While on the wait list, we placed our children in Montessori. Our oldest daughter attended kindergarten through first grade while our youngest attended pre-K in the spring of 2010.
This past June, we received the call from the academy that our youngest had been accepted to start kindergarten. We were overjoyed! This bumped our oldest from the middle of the second page, to a prime slot on the first page of the wait list.
When I phoned the owner/teacher of Montessori, I was told since both daughters were not attending, our oldest daughter was not welcome. She feared the discussions our daughter would have with the other students, and talks we would have with the other parents. Our good fortune of attending the free academy could poison the waters of her private school.
A child who had done nothing wrong was being punished, leaving her friends and curriculum behind.
Thus our oldest was thrust into the public school system. To say my stomach was in knots would be an understatement. Her new campus was immense, complete with gym, cafeteria, media room, playgrounds, multiple grade levels, and even a school nurse. Montessori, in comparison, was a 2-room schoolhouse, intermingling grade levels from pre-K to 3rd, sharing one playground, one certified teacher and a few aides (parents).
Now that we have two weeks under our belts, I can safely say that Montessori did teach both of our daughters sound reading, math and social skills. This solid foundation will carry them well into their future. They love their new schools, are eager to learn, and have adapted well.
Things Montessori did NOT teach my children:
1) How to navigate a large campus.
2) How to establish a hot lunch account, and enter their 4-digit pin to pay for meals.
3) How to bring home school books.
4) How to do homework.
5) How to share food with your friends.
6) How to take a bus.
7) How to borrow books from the school library.
8) How to use a backpack.
9) How to hunt for ghosts in the school bathrooms.
Speaking of #9, I can’t believe Bloody Mary is still around! Who perpetuates that rumor?
• If you were a ghost, would you hang around a smelly, school bathroom?
• Have your children surprised you by adapting so well to a situation?
• Do you adjust well to change?


Filed under Arizona, Family, IMO

Reunion In Vegas

Twenty five years. That’s how much time passed between visits with my girlfriend, Wendy.
Twenty five years ago, I didn’t know it would be decades before I saw her again. I can’t even recall our last hurrah. Possibly drinks and dancing at Black Angus. Maybe an evening bbq at a friend’s house.
You might guess we reunited through FaceBook, but it was actually Flickr, where I found a recent photo of her, and MyLife (formerly Classmates dot com) where I paid $14.95 for 1 month membership and access to her contact information.
Not long after mailing her a letter and current family photo, my phone rang. It was Wendy!
♫♪♬ Reunited and it feels so good! ♫♪♬
Fast forward to Tuesday.
♫♪♬ My girlfriend’s back… ♫♪♬
Wendy, her husband, and her parents were spending a week in Vegas. By 11am, I was hugging my friend again after all these years! Wow, she was as gorgeous as ever. And tall! I don’t remember her being so tall. Her family was all so nice, and made me feel welcome.

Fashion Show Mall

Fashion Show Mall

While the men headed to the Bass Pro Shop, we ladies headed for the Fashion Show Mall. Making our way through the maze of underground parking, we scored a sweet parking spot close to one of the many entrances. Macy’s, Dillards, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, and Forever 21 called out to us, and we answered! Two hours flew by as we navigated the stores, trying on outfits here and there. Wendy scored an excellent deal at Macy’s, bagging 4 pairs of shorts and a pair of capris for $50.
For lunch, we drove to Tommy Bahama’s Cafe at Town Square.
Three Blackberry Basil Smashes, please! Actually, they said they no longer offer that cocktail, but after checking with the bartender, we were told they WOULD make them! We have a feeling they scooted over to the nearby Whole Foods for ingredients.
Tommy Bahamas lunch

Tommy Bahamas lunch

Wendy’s Mom and I had the fish tacos, and Wendy had chicken salad. The fish was blackened and spicy, with contrasting cool, crisp slaw on top. To the side was a deep fried tortilla bowl with plantains and sweet pineapple, coconut “pudding”.
Laughter and conversation flowed easily. It is amazing to pick up with dear friends right where you left off. We drank, ate, enjoyed the lovely atmosphere, and each other’s company for several hours.
I won’t let another 25 years slip away.
Wendy and Jean

Wendy & Jean

• What’s the longest you’ve gone without seeing a friend?
• Are there pictures of you on Flickr that you knew nothing about?
• Do you like flowers in your cocktail?


Filed under Friends, Las Vegas, Nevada, Shopping, Travel, Vegas

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I want to poop through my feet. Yes, seriously, I do. Not the mamby-pamby pads you stick to the soles of your feet, but a big, hearty, detoxifying dump in a foot bath. You’ll have to wait for the Ugly to see the pictures!
1. Being told by hubby, “Sure I’ll watch Pearl!”, so I could sneak away for a pedicure and detoxifying foot bath.
2. Having a gift certificate for treatment at a local salon.
3. Having a salon customer cancel, and I fill their spot immediately!
4. Looking cute in my new Isaac Mizrahi plaid Target dress on sale for $17.99.
1. Being told I can’t have the ionic foot bath because I’m pregnant. (I’m NOT pregnant!)
2. Crotchety Mildred taking an hour per foot on my pedicure, and running out of time before applying paint!
3. Not being given a towel for my lap, thus giving the salon an upskirt show.
4. Not having a private room to foot-poop in privacy.
1. What came out of my feet.

I think, technically, I only peed through my feet.
2. What has come out of other people’s feet!

These are some hearty foot dumps!
• Have you pooped through your feet?
• Would you poop through your feet?

Originally published 09/27/08 on MySpace.


Filed under Humor

FaceBook Fan Pages

• Do you have a FaceBook Fan Page?
• Do you have any tips for making the most out of a fan page?
• What are some of your favorite pages?
Some of my favorite pages are:

TommyBahama NeimanMarcus ChelseaHandler RuPaul MonkeyWitch Wanderlust



A FaceBook Fan Page allows you to update and interact with “fans” while keeping your personal profile private.
When you are ready to create a Fan Page, visit FaceBook’s Create A Page.

Complete the fields.
Your Fan Page picture can safely be 200 pixels wide by 600 pixels long.
Once uploaded, set your thumbnail pic by selecting the pencil icon on the upper right corner of your main page photo.

Fan Pages can have a landing page. A landing page is the first page visitors see.
To insert jpgs and/or links on your landing page, you will need to install Static FBML. This FB application allows html to work on your page(s).
From your main fan page, choose, “Edit Page”. Scroll down to, “More Applications”, and click, “Choose More”. Search the Apps for Static FBML. Here is the direct link: Static FBML. Click, “Add To Page”.
Your fan page will now have a new tab titled, “FMBL+”. From your main fan page, again select, “Edit Page”. Static FBML will now have it’s own place under Apps.

Choose, “edit” to rename the tab and insert your html.
I named my tab, “Welcome”, and created a landing page jpg that is 757 pixels x 522 pixels. I chose not to link it to my website so I would not redirect potential fans as soon as they had found my page.
As an added note, when I hosted my landing page jpg at Photobucket, the html did not work, and my image was a broken link. After much frustration, I uploaded the jpg to my wordpress site (under Media), and the link did work.

Return once again to the main page of your fan page, and select, “Edit Page”. Time to edit your wall settings. Here you can choose your landing page, and select whether fans can post videos, photos or links.

Now you are ready to promote your fan page. From your main fan page, you can share the link to your personal profile, or suggest to friends.
Create your Fan Page Badge to display on your website. From your main page/edit page, “Promote With FaceBook” badge is in the right column. Insert the html on your website.
Use the Networked Blogs app. to automatically post links to your latest blog.
Once you have 25 fans, you can change the url of your page to something more personalized. Find that setting here; scroll to the bottom, and Set A User Name for your pages.


Filed under How To, IMO

Interview Tag

I was nervous to sit down with World Renowned Reporter, *Megan.

She looked like she meant business when she sat down with her notepad in hand.
I only hoped I’d be up for the questions she would pose.
MEGAN: If you could travel to one place in the world and you had to leave today, where would you be headed and why?
ME: Oh my gosh, I have to leave right now? I’m not even packed! I guess I’d better fly to Los Angeles and hope my sister can pick me up. I might be able to fit into some of her clothes. Oh heck, I’ve got charge cards. Sure, I’m ready. Where’s my ride?
MEGAN:No, you insolant boob. It was merely a hypothetical question. Care to try again?
ME: Oh, ok. Anywhere in the world….
MEGAN: Tick tock, Jean. Step it up.
ME: You know what? I’m still gonna say my sister’s house. She just recently moved, and I haven’t even seen the place. So, yes, I think I’ll fly into Los Angeles.
MEGAN: Fine. Good. Los Angeles. Next question: What are your talents, and what are some of the areas in which you wish you had talent but do not?
ME: I think I’m talented with PhotoShop. I can also google really quickly to get answers to my husband’s obscure questions. I pretty successfully juggle being a Mom, a wife, and a business owner. I wish I could ride a horse. Naw, I don’t really wish that! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!!! My husband would wish that for me! I wish my talent was getting in shape and staying there. Does that qualify?
MEGAN: Sure, that qualifies. I’m sure you speak for many who wish they had the talent of … ahem… health. ::: rolls eyes ::: Next question: What do you love the most about your life and why?
ME: I love the flexibility of my work schedule!! Love, love, love it! Seriously, I work about 2 weeks out of the month. I’m a graphic designer, and create (or change) ads one week. The next week I put on my publisher hat, and get our magazines ready to print. So, during my off-time, I get to spoil my children with lots of attention! Plus, we work out of our house, so we, Tom & the kids and I, have a lot of quality time together.
MEGAN: Finally, I think you’re letting us see the real you! Question number 4: What are you most afraid of?
ME: I hope this doesn’t sound silly, but my biggest fear is home invasion. I check all the doors each night, and make sure the gates are closed. I check on my daughters in their beds. I just want us all to be safe, in our home. It’s a scary world out there, and a shame these thoughts have to enter my head.
MEGAN: Amen. Ok, let’s end on a lighter note. My final question is, what is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
ME: Just one? I’ve got a few. Hard to narrow ’em down. Let’s see… Well, for starters, I was in high school, but away on a debate tournament. There were a whole bunch of us sitting around, laughing and joking. Well, one guy was SO FUNNY, I literally lost control of my bladder! I had to run to the bathroom and freshen up as best I could. Another time, I was on a date. The guy and I had decided to snuggle in the back of his car. I must have been tired, and fell asleep. Know what woke me up? The sound of my own fart!
MEGAN: I’m afraid that’s all we have time for, Jean. Thank you.
If you’d like to be interviewed, please say Interview Me in the comments. I will send you five questions specific to you.

*Megan is a lovely friend who no longer blogs. This post was originally published February 8, 2008 on MySpace.


Filed under Friends, Humor, Tags, Games, Quizzes

Fiverr Review

Fiverr is a new site where you can offer or purchase services for $5.00. Fiverr makes money by keeping $1 of every sale. There is no fee to open an account, and no fee for placing an ad.
Offering your services is simple. Just fill in the blank.

Within 24 hours of placing my ad for photoshop services, I received four job offers.
• Job One ~ Create a banner for a website.
This client was easy to work with. He provided a sample, dimensions, favorite colors, and a vision for his end product. I created his banner and allowed for two revisions. He liked both samples, and asked if he could hire me to create an entirely different look for $5.00. I declined, but he contacted me a week later, saying he liked my work the best, and hired me for one more revision.
• Job Two ~ Create a button for a website.
It was a little trickier understanding what this client needed. He directed me to two “iffy” websites. One site had multiple pop-up windows, and the other was a blank template. He finally sent me a jpg of what he wanted, which I easily recreated. This is a good time to note that Fiverr is not responsible for any viruses you may download.
• Job Three ~ Photoshop a sign.
The client provided one of his real estate listings, asking me to change the business signage. I didn’t feel I could do so believably, so I turned down this offer.
• Job Four ~ Create 5 banners.
This client wanted 5 banners in various sizes for her gecko related website. She really expected more than what I was offering, so I turned her down.

One year ago, I paid CartoonMe $5.11 to cartoon me, and to be frank, it stunk. (Original post here.)
I thought I’d try my luck at Fiverr.
I browsed the ads, found an artist, placed my order, and paid through Paypal.

The artist’s ad promised completion of work within 4 days. She contacted me immediately and shared that she was extremely busy. Five days after placing my order, she claimed her Paypal account was frozen, and canceled my job.
My second artist offered to transform me into a Spongebob character. One day later, well under the deadline date, Beck sent me this work of art.

I love it!
If you want to hire Beck, click here. For all the ins and outs of Fiverr, check out their website here.
• Can you see yourself using Fiverr?
• Can you see yourself as a Spongebob character?


Filed under IMO, Photoshop, Shopping

All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

If Crunchy Betty jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?
No, but when Crunchy Betty puts food on her face, you want to follow suit!
The genius behind Crunchy Betty is brunette beauty, Leslie. Leslie woos us with succulent photos, fascinating facts, and the benefits of bypassing our mouths and smearing food directly onto our skin.
Now before you peel that banana and do a face plant, I recommend you check out her site for honest to goodness recipes.
The glistening goo on my face is equal parts honey and almond oil with a droplet of Vitamin E oil. After rinsing, I glowed like a nubile virgin. My goopy face is now on display at the Gallery of Crunchy Betties.
Get your cameras ready and head to your kitchen or pantry.
• What food will you put on your face?
• Is that your head next to mine in the gallery?


Filed under Crafts, Humor, Recipes