Monday, March 28, 2011

The Man that was Clive

The people-watching in Seattle has been amazing!  My only concern is that my darling husband, who is far better at nicknaming and recalling these memorable folks, is not with me.  I will do my best to try and paint you the picture of the freak show that is Port of Seattle: Sea-Tac Airport.

Before I can do any of that, I need to wrap up the chapter of the trip that focused on the orange hoodie-clad thirty-eight year old who is trying to "keep it real, man."  He ended up being my seat partner, with the middle seat gapping us from being even closer.  Trust me, I am not complaining about this.  Anyway, as I mentioned before I slept almost the entire flight, as did he.  The few times that the turbulence or fellow passengers woke my slumber, I looked around to make sure I was where I belonged and Clive was still there.  I've given him that name because it seems old school enough to be classic, but new school enough to make him a douche. So the plane is landing, he's still out and even after better than half of the plane has exited their rows.  He wakes with a start, a furrow of the brow and asks me,

"Does everyone get off the plane now?"

"Yea, I think we do."
Mind you I'm by the window and in order for me to leave, this fella has to get up, so I need to make this happen as smoothly and quickly as possible.

"Doesn't this go to California?"
Oh boy.  I do recall that they mentioned something about going all the way to Dallas, or maybe Fort Worth, it's all hazy at this point.  I know it was definitely a city in Texas, not California.

"I think it goes onto Texas."
A flash of clarity comes over his face.  He's seen the light.

"You may be right."
And with that, he ascends from his seat, headphones and ridiculous man-purse around his shoulders, he attempts to get about four packages from assorted overhead bins.  This would have been fine had he started this process when the five rows in front of us were getting themselves ready.  However, Clive chose the exact moment that he should have been exiting the plane via the middle row to start getting out of his seat.  At the exact same time, the elderly man who sat in the row perpendicular to us was getting out of his row, all bags in hand and ready to exit.  Clivey simple bumps this old man back into his 14B seat.  Told ya.  Tell tale signs of total douchdom.   By the time that I am stepping off of the plane, my darling unhip hippy is still trying to wrangle his luggage into order.  I'm afraid he's still lost on the ramp, caught forever between "here" and "almost there."

9:45AM - Almost to Seattle, WA

9:45 AM Pacific Time Zone
Well I have boarded and flown for the majority of my Anchorage to Seattle flight.  I remember the spiel that the flight attendants gave us about the safety features and procedures of the Boeing 737 and it’s actual take off. After that, I’m a totally blank slate.  I zonked out pretty quickly and only after counting my blessings for the lack of my middle seat partner.  I picked out the interior seat of a three-person row, and was pretty calm when my isle-seat companion arrived.  Although he had been “that guy” who angrily mouths the words of the song blasting in his ears through black earbuds and you can’t quite tell his age, mostly due to the college appropriate wardrobe that clashes with the late 30ish wrinkle lines.  Apparently there had been a lot of laughs in this guy’s past based upon the amounts of lines that formed when he would get really intense emotions over a particular lyric of a song.  Thankfully this was the only real “character building” aspect of this leg of the journey.
I am totally amazed whenever I get onto a real life plane, not a SAAB from PenAir.  Flying on these little guys is like using the last teensiest bit of toothpaste from travel-sized toothpaste tube; a small vessel that provides you with the essential usage of the full sized version, but you struggle to make it through the process.  I know that I’m no slouch when it comes to height versus other women, but I still qualify as the same fit as the average sized male with my 5’9” frame, and even I find the SAABs to lack the necessary size to make me comfortable sitting for 3-4 hours at a time.  Knees wedge between my captain’s chair and the one in front, and that’s not even when you factor in the automatic reclining feature that 30 years of use has offered the PenAir customer.  No need to bother hitting buttons when simple posture pressure will do the trick for you.  But flying to Seattle has made me feel like a queen amongst, well other royalty and their superiors I suppose since I’m in a filled cabin of other Economy passengers behind the First Class folks.  But you get the idea.
I always like flying because you can look out of the windows and if it’s during the daytime, no matter the time of year or day you’ll see the sunshine.  As I peer out of my window, that’s got the shade available for me to operate if I’d rather take the brightness down a notch, I see clouds with a few breaks scattered amongst them.  There’s something that cheers you up about seeing consistent sun after living on an island when you have to soak up the sporadic rays. It would be a much different perspective on the weather if I were a few thousand feet lower.  I would be looking up and hoping for the progression of Spring to quicken its pace.  Either way, I would be grateful for what I got.  It’s also pretty amazing to see stretches of land again.  It’s a little bit misleading flying over western Alaska on your way to Anchorage.  You see a blotch of island as you take off and then it’s all blue seas and white clouds until the peaks and valleys of land replace them.  It’s almost like a blank of confectioners sugar has been shifted on the terrain, and so you go from one constant palate of color to another.  This isn’t the landscape that I grew up on, so it’s still amazing to me.  I suppose it would be a rather sad day when flying over such majestic beauty becomes mundane.  
With the captain’s special offer for a pre-approved Visa card with bonuses for filling out an application fills my ears and I roll my eyes at how we can’t even take a flight without having commercials jammed down our throats, I think I’ll call this installment finished.  I’ll be in Seattle for a few hours; we can start boarding the Delta flight bound for Detroit at 12:30PM.  That’ll give me just enough time to spruce up my 4PM makeup and hairdo.

SCC ENGLISH: 10 Characters from 'Hamlet': 8. The Player King

SCC ENGLISH: 10 Characters from 'Hamlet': 8. The Player King: "The eighth character in our series on (relatively) minor characters in Hamlet is in fact a character in the play within the play, The Mouset..."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

10:17pm on Sunday Night - Anchorage Airport

Why not chronicle all the stepping stones of travel, the hotspots of my journey home if you will?  Let me outline it for you first:

  • 4:30PM (AK time zone) PenAir flight to Anchorage
    • Arrival in Anchorage approximately 8:30PM
  • 6:10 AM (AK time zone) Alaska Air flight to Seattle, WA
    • Arrival in Seattle approximately 10:30 AM
  • 1:15 PM (Pacific time zone) Delta flight to Detroit, MI 
    • Final destination time: 8:28 PM (Eastern time zone)
That's the plan.  As I've grown to know and expect, the best laid plans....I don't know how that quote ends.  But what I'm trying to say is that everything can be planned out really really well (see my previous blog) and there can be something that goes wrong that bumps the whole process offline.  

So as of 10:17 PM, I have made the most tricky of the legs of my trip.  I am in the proper terminal and exact gate for my flight...that'll take off in 8 hours.  Like I said, I like to be prepared.

I ate dinner here at the airport, called my husband to check in, and have set myself up on an adequately comfortable bench with my laptop downloading the 5th season of "30 Rock."

I'll check in later, much to either your enjoyment or boredom.

March 27th - On my way home

I really haven't decided what this blog is really going to mean to me.  I don't know if this is something that I will write for my own appreciation, or if I hope to share information with the Internet cosmos.  Realistically I have no followers, and that's just fine.  I really don't know that I am the type that wants to be known online as someone's whose words need to be read as soon as they pour out of my head and through my fingers.  I really don't have that much to say of any real note on a grander scale.  Of course to me, I think I'm brilliant.  Naw.  Scratch that.  I think that what is happening in my life, in my circle of life (AKA my friends and family) is important.  I try to keep a scaled focus.  I know that to those who have lost their homes in Louisiana are like, "Oh yea, well whatever you're going through, at least you have a home."  The Japanese are definitely facing far heavier burdens just today than I probably will during my entire lifetime.  I don't mean to downplay anything that I, they, or anyone else is going through, but right now my life is just a bit too chaotic and  unmanageable for my taste.

Those who know me know that I like to have a strong grip on the events and decisions that affect my life.  Quite frankly I like to be in control of most people's lives who come into contact with me on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis.  In the words of the world's most self-centered person, "I want what I want when I want it."  Not asking all that much, but then again it is all relative.

So when I find myself in situations that I cannot control 100%, due to my own previous decision or not, I feel as though my life is in the spin cycle with the rinse and repeat setting on.  I get irritable, frustrated, depressed, sad, and never jovial.  I don't find the bliss in uncertain situations.  I don't think that going to the airport, getting on a plane and arriving at a destination without a planned schedule is fun or quirky.  But that doesn't mean that I don't like an afternoon of doing nothing.  I decided to do that, so it's ok.

Right now, the spin cycle is on the "total screw you" setting. It was one week ago that my parents flew into Anchorage to spend a few days with my husband and I on our Spring Break vacation.  I knew previous to this that there had been some medical issues, blood in the urine and some tests, with my dad but there were very general and comforting responses to my inquiry.  Monday night, before the first card of Euchre was dealt in our hotel room, my mom introduces the concept that she has some bad news, but everything will be ok.  Oh boy.  Two concepts that don't really go together, like peanut butter and Italian bread.  According to the results of these tests, my dad has a tumor growing inside his kidney.

Is it cancerous?
How big is the tumor?
About the size of a lemon.
What can be done about it?
Complete kidney removal.
When is that going to happen?
We're not sure.
Any other symptoms?
Are you scared?
No, but a little insecure.
Is my dad going to die?
Probably not.
How long is his recovery going to be?
About three months
How are they going to remove it?
Possibly through his chest.
What the hell???
Yea, I know.
Are you sure you're not scared?
It's all God's plan.
Yea, but are you scared?
A little.
Can I come home?
We'd love to have you.
When should I come home?
I don't know.
What am I supposed to do between then and now?
I don't know.
Why is this happening to us again?
I don't know.

Fast forward to today and I'm planning my wardrobe for my trip back to Michigan.  I was called on Friday to let me know that the surgeons are going to be unavailable during the month of April, so they are going to have the surgery scheduled on Wednesday, March 30th.  I'll be flying into Anchorage tonight and then heading east throughout Sunday night and Monday. 

 I feel so much better being home and knowing when the surgery is actually going to take place.  I still don't' know what will be the end of this particular chapter in the lives of Father, Mother, and Daughter, but at least I have read the first always find out pertinent information in the first chapter of a novel.  Of course it'd be nice to have read through at least Chapter Seven; Chapter Seven is a good one for plot development and you're done with all the exposition crap.  But if my faith has taught me anything it's to pray, pray, pray and leave it in the hands of the one who is in control.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Broken?

In less than a week, I'll be heading on my first Spring Break trip since Dan and I went to Cleveland, OH.  What in the world could we possibly do to top the tropical weather of the Midwest in late March?  There's only one answer to that: balmy Anchorage.  I've got my two-piece packed and two bottles of sunscreen because I plan on getting a little sun-kissed.  But I gotta watch this fair skin.  Nothing is more awkward than trying to deal with sunburn under a parka and muffler.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I am back from my whirl-wind trip to Anchorage for the ASTE convention.  It was a great experience to get out there in the tech/ed world of innovation.  So glad to hear that teachers aren't trying to reinvent the wheel, but they're simply digitizing it.  Everything from blogs to podcasts to iMovie versions of book reports was being displayed with pride.  Who would have thought 100 years ago that in Bush Alaska there would be this type of technological advances?  Amazing.

I was proud just to have been able to make it to the event!  Friday, our island lost power - literally the entire island experienced a blackout.  We found out later that there was a short in the system - no kidding!  We were without power for close to 6 hours.  By the time they fixed everything, our flight was long gone.  Next time, add the runway lights to the backup generator.
Saturday rolls around.  We were hoping to be able to get on a flight that was schedule for 8:30pm, but due to the entire fleet of PenAir being grounded because of contaminated fuel, we were stuck for yet another day on St. Paul Island.  Sunday offered yet another opportunity for our faith to be tested.  We were put on standby for the 4:30 flight, but either way we could leave at 12:30am.  Standby means to literally standby the ticket counter because it doesn't seem to matter that a phone call says you aren't on the flight.  Our trusted leaders were at the airport and were able to be put on the 4:30, despite us being told that there was no room at the inn.  Thanks for looking out for us.  

12:30am turned into 2am take-off time and 4:15 landing into Anchorage.  We slept a few hours, cleaned ourselves up and made it to our presentation on time.  Yahoo.  I returned home on Tuesday afternoon, arriving at my from door at 9pm.  Was it worth it?  Probably not.  I could have gotten the same information in a podcast on iTunes, but the fact that I got my name and face out there was a plus.  

My darling husband is still in Anchorage, attending yet another conference until Friday.  It'll be nice to have a quiet house, but then again, I'd rather a little noise be there along with him.  A three-day work-week and then conferences on Saturday just about wraps up my week.  There will be a union meeting as well as a pep rally before the last basketball game for our SeaParrots.  Just like having an MIA husband, I like the quiet of an eventless week, but I would take the chaos 100 times over.  It means that there's a purpose for all the hard work that we put in everyday.  The joy and progress of our students, that's what I live for.  So bring on the hectic schedule - they're worth it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011 - Plan Ahead to Reschedule

I was supposed to be in Anchorage for THE technology conference for teachers in Alaska.  I should have been there for two days already.  The one thing that I have come to realize about living in the Alaskan Bush is to never assume that the best laid plans are going to actually workout that way.  You can't.  It's never because of one reason.  I have had my travel plans altered for so many reasons:

  1. No crew to fly the plane
  2. Too much fog
  3. Blizzardy conditions
  4. High Winds
  5. No power on the island = no runway lights
  6. Contaminated fuel
But this is just part of the new lifestyle.  There are a lot of things that we don't have to deal with that were pains in the neck in Michigan:

  1. Traffic jams on 96
  2. Trying to find a parking spot downtown
  3. Waiting in lines - Movies, Restaurants, DMV
  4. CROWDS at the mall
  5. Pantyhose
  6. High Heels 
  8. Paying $20 to watch a bad movie in a theater
It is an inconvenience to have to wonder about your travel plans, but the things that have been left behind are definitely worth the uncertainty.  I'm not sure if I'll make it out to our conference, but if I stay, I'll make the most of it and know that there is a reason why I was supposed to stay.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday, February 15th - Muddling Through the Middle of Meh

Don't call me a hater, but when is February going to be over?  I"m working my tail off trying to keep my Pollyanna outlook on life going.  February is the month of just, meh.  By now we're used to the weather of snow, melt, rain/ice, snow, plow, drifts, cold, wind, coats, hats, gloves, muffler, scarf, boots, trudge, slip, stumble, fall, spin, twist, and pout.  ENOUGH ALREADY!  WHERE'S SPRING???  Even the sunrise was only using half it's strength lately.

And my students are feeling it too.  They are in the middle of the slump with their boredom, their complacency, and general disdain for anything educational.  And there's nothing more that we can do as educators but keep our chins up and shove on...sometimes shove a student now and then.  Accidentally.  Sheesh.

But how do we keep up our chins?  Aren't adults allowed to fall into a slump as well?  Well sure we are.  Because are adults, we can do whatever we want to.  But who wants to be in the doldrums?? They're icky and depressing and downright awful.  So I pose the question again - what do we do? Anything that breaks up the "same old, same old."

This morning, I downloaded a bunch of old Disney songs on my iPad - juvenile, yes.  A quick listen and out of my "gray phase"?  Yes, ma'am.  So today when I am down in the muck, I will listen to a little bit of "Trashing the Camp" from Tarzan and "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story.  Don't judge me.

It also helps me out to try and mentor my poor husband, God bless him.  I'm working my tail off at trying to stay positive, keep a silver lining going at all times, and not let the blues find a home in my heart.  I find that if I use him as my motivation, I am much more successful.  Isn't it funny how we are more willing to do for others than for ourselves.  There's my silver-lining: By helping Dan, I am helping myself.  And by helping myself, my day is bright and the end of the tunnel of "meh"tunnel.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday, February 8th

Hello Dear Blogger,

Today's entry is all about me.  What I learned is what I would do if I had the house to myself.  Dan took off for his class in Anchorage and won't be returning until Sunday.  I will head out to join him on Friday for a Valentine's Day getaway, but until then, the house is mine.  Pajama party!!!

 I am able to choose whatever TV show I want to watch, when I want to watch it.  A marathon of lady-oriented shows is currently in progress on our TV.  The View, The Ellen Show, Grey's Anatomy reruns, and Biggest Loser.

DECISION #2 - SUSTENANCE I was able to choose whatever I wanted to have for dinner.  It started off with steamed veggies and a turkey sandwich.  After that, I thought a pear would sound delish, as well as two Peppermint patties.  Well balanced right?

I am torn.  Do I stay on my side of the bed or do I wear the crown and sprawl out in the middle of the bed?  Sprawling = luxury, but also more covers to wrangle with when making the bed in the morning.  Decisions, decisions.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday, February 7th

Dear Blog Reader,

Today was a pretty typical day for a Monday on St. Paul Island: the kids were tired, I was a little groggy, and a little more prodding to get work done was required.  What was different was that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel for the current novel we're reading, A Distant Enemy.  It's not that I find myself "caved in" by the novel, it's just that my students find themselves uninterested in the text.  The plot isn't as exciting as a movie, a video game, or even walking around the island and standing in front of the store.  Fair enough.  Fair enough.  Nothing really competes with scamming on AC Store patrons to a newly released student on a school day afternoon, let alone the story of another kid who could be sitting across the table from them.  I suppose I wouldn't be jumping for joy to read a story about another middle class, white girl who attends a boring school where nothing catastrophical happens.  But then again, I was that white yuppy who loved reading just about anything that a teacher put in my hand.  I trusted their opinion of literature because hey, they were the teacher. I suppose wanting a little of that in return isn't such a huge request.  But I digress...

So today was spent making the final decision on what my students would be reading next.  The nail is in the coffin for a few titles, but there are some that are still up in the air.  They are:

8th Graders
High School ELA II
High School ELA I
7th Graders
Possible title for High School ELA I

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5th

Dear Blog Readers,
Working on the weekend has become a way of life for us.  I was resistant at first, but then it finally clicked that you when you ask for a change, you have to be willing to.  I know am a fan of the more consistent work schedule, only because it keeps me motivated and on task.  Anyway, today was a meeting for a grant team that I'm on and we were taught how to use some of the special techniques and tools of PhotoShop.  I'll post a collage that I created (not very complicated, but I like it) today.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Good afternoon, All

I apologize for the delay (as if anyone is reading this with baited-breath) but I ended up workout out this morning and ran out of time and energy after grading a million papers.  So that's the good news of my day: I worked out properly for the first time in a week.  I was able to get in a warm up and level one of Biggest Loser's Bootcamp series and 10 minutes of elliptical afterwards.  GO ME!

Another bonus is that I was able to spend some quality time with my 7th graders in the kitchen.  It was a two-fold bonus because I was also able to get my goodies made for our sales at the Family Fun Night.  Here are some pics for your enjoyment:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
-Steven Covey

"When people talk, listen completely.  Most people never listen."
-Ernest Hemingway

"The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.  To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others."
-Tony Robbins

Theses three quotes have one thing in common:  They are the focus for what I want my intention to be today - be a better listener.

I find myself falling into the trap of not really listening to people when they talk to me.  I think that my generation as a whole has a problem with this.  We are all amped up on multitasking and gadgets that make our lives easier because they don't require us to be as fully engaged.  I don't have to take the time to remember your phone number because it's saved into my cell phone, into my Contacts on my Gmail account, or you can always text it to me later.  I don't have to learn the social graces of listening to someone else when they give directions or specific requirements to a project because it's all written on this email that you sent me just before the meeting.   I rely more on my cell phone that brings in text messages and emails than actual voice-to-voice conversations that require me to be present.  Even as I write this blog now, I have my laptop open to about 5 different tabs containing different websites, the TV is on in the background, and my iPad has my twitter account constantly updating next to me.  And you want a piece of the remaining attention I have left?? What's so important that you have to interrupt my "work?"  Oh, sorry.  I love you too, Honey.

Dear God,

Thank you for another day that You have made.  Please help me to make the most of it.  I ask for you to help make me more present in my life and to put aside all the things that don't matter in order to make the things that do, helping and loving others, stand out and shine.


Daily Gratitude:
1.  My health - I am on the rebound from the flu
2.  Quiet mornings with coffee and juice
3.  Student emails that tell me they miss me/wish me better
4.  The snow has slowed down in Michigan
5.  My sister who is trying to get all of us together for a vacation

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hello Blog Reader,

This is written from the sickbed of one flu-patient.  And this will be the extent of my update.

Dear God,

Please help me heal and make it the best for those whom I cannot see today.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday, January 31st

Good Morning, Blog Readers!

Let me just say this about my fast yesterday.  It was easier said than done.  I ended up feeling the hunger right around 3:30pm.  I kept eyeing the clock at 6 minute intervals.  I started to lose my edge.  Then I thought, "You're only supposed to do this whole fasting thing for 18 hours.  When can I eat?  My last meal was at 11pm last night, so that means 5pm is meal time."  That's exactly what I did.  I had an open-faced turkey sandwich on homemade sourdough bread, a banana, and peppers with hummus.  It was a "clean" meal, I think, and it was quite enjoyable.  I was offered some goupy dessert by my loving husband, but I was able to decline.  Maybe it's because I had OVER OVER indulged the night before.  I went to bed around 8pm last night, exhausted.  I had made the decision to fast after I had burned 500 calories in the gym that morning.  Next time, I'll skip the workout for the fast; can't do both.  When I woke up this morning, I felt just fine.  I got ready to do my Biggest Loser workout and was only able to do the warmup. I'm so sorry Bob.  I decided that it was a combination of working out too much on a day when I was going to fast, then eating a small amount the night before and trying to workout the next morning. The bottom line is that I decided really and truly to do the fast because I had been such a horrible dieter the day before.  You can't fix yesterday's mistakes today.  So here is my plan for this week:

Monday - Day of Rest
Calories: 1200

Tuesday: Biggest Loser Boot Camp - Level 1/Elliptical (10 minutes) @ School
Calories 1350

Wednesday: Elliptical (40 minutes)@ School
Calories: 1350

Thursday: Biggest Loser Boot Camp - Level 1/Elliptical (10 minutes) @ School
Calories: 1350

Friday: Elliptical (40 minutes) @ School
Calories: 1350

Saturday: Biggest Loser Boot Camp - Level 1/Elliptical (10 minutes) @ School
Calories: 1350

Sunday: Biggest Loser Boot Camp - Level 1/Elliptical (10 minutes) @ School
Calories: 1350

Dear God,

I have felt a gap growing in my heart, Lord.  I have put my focus on other things in my life instead of on You.  I have felt myself become less satisfied in life recently and I think it's in direct relation to the amount of time I have spent close to you.  I have forgotten, or more appropriately over looked our prayer time in the mornings, and I have ignored your love during the times that I need it the most.  I am sorry for turning away from you, and the love that you offer me unconditionally.  You are the source of all the goodness in my life and yet I have stopped giving you the credit.  I ask for your help when I need it, but don't include you on the rest of my life the way that I should.  It is my goal to embrace you more, the way that you have always embraced me.  

You are the source of all that is good in my life and I wish to thank you for my amazing husband, my wonderful parents, my family and friends who support me and inspire me, my job, my home, my co-workers, my students.  These are all gifts that you have given me.  I thank you with everything that I am.

I want to praise and honor the other gift that you have given me: my body.  I have not done this lately.  I have poured unhealthy amounts of food into my body to satisfy an unknown.  When I needed to reach out to you most to save me, I turned to more food.  Please God, help me to stay mindful and present of the things that I need to do to honor the body that you have given me.  I ask you to save me from doing damage to your gift.

Please make today one filled with love and miracles.  I ask you to help make me the most effective in the lives of my students.  Many of them are feeling the emotional drain from the results of the trial.  Help me to best serve them.

Today is the day you have made.  Please help me to make the most of it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday, January 30th

Dear Blog Reader,

Today I have decided to research and implement a safe and healthy one-day fast.  I think that it would be a healthy thing for me to do mentally and physically.  I have found myself back in a binging/boredom rut and  want to try something new to change my behavior.  I keep repeating the same behavior over and over, expecting a new result.  It'll drive me crazy before the tightness of my jeans do!

Here are some reasons why I've decided to do this:
1.  It will help me to get mentally tough.  I need to learn some old fashioned discapline.  I've been workout out to the Biggest Loser's Boot Camp, but then come home and eat like I'm on death row.

2.  Give my system a break from all the garbage I seem to want to jam down my own throat.  STOP EATING $%*!@ PLEASE!

3.  There are many types of fasts.  Two that sound promising, as in my ability to carry them out, are the one-day (18 hour) liquid fast or the raw foods fast.  I am going to start with the liquid fast and if I cannot hold out for those 18 hours without sustenance, I will hit up some carrots and apple.

Here is a really webpage that has some testimonials of people who have fasted, far longer than I plan to and also the 1 to 2 days:  Testimonials

I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day Three: Oh Dear

Oh boy.  Don't even look at me.  I'm so embarrassed.  That's a lie.  I'm not embarrassed as much as I'm a little bit disappointed in myself.  I made some bad decisions last night.  I take full ownership of my decisions; I made them on my own free will.  Nobody forced me to eat two bowls of cereal AFTER dinner.  And certainly nobody jammed the extra five tootsie rolls down my throat with a Sweet and Salty Nature Valley bar chaser.  I did it.  I own it.  I accept it.  I refuse to bring my past into my present and thus creating a pattern for my future.  Today is a new day, even if it is filled with a massive case of the "B.G.s" or Bubble Guts.  See, told you I was embarrassed.

Anyways, today is another day.  I plan on rolling with the punches and attracting positive energy into my life.  I attract positivity into my life.  I am a positivity magnet!

I am co-planning a fund raiser with my Student Council members and the High School basketball team.  It's been a lot of fun getting to work with these students on a different level.  They're all good kids and I appreciate all the efforts that they put into these projects.  Last night I asked them to attend a Community Meeting.  There was a lot of good information, but took a lot longer than I had anticipated.  Not all of the topics were things that the kids found interesting, nor should they have.  Budgets for the radio station is not high on their list of priorities.  But they were troopers none the less.  I feel as though the few slices of pizza and cans of Coke I bribed them with were not sufficient for their time, but there's always next time.


Dear God,

Thank you for this day.  There are so many things to be thankful for: my loving husband, my home, my job, my supportive family, and wonderful friends.  Today I would like to thank you for my students.  Despite times of struggle to understand them, to have them understand me, they are a good group of kids.  They like to be challenged even if they don't know that they do.  They challenge me to be a better person.  They challenge me to look at this in a different way.  For the things they teach me, I am truly grateful.

Today I ask for you to make me better than yesterday.  Give me the gifts to be able to be more compassionate, more loving, more empathetic to others.  Please help me to forgive those who are difficult to forgive.  What I find difficult to forgive in them, I find difficult to forgive in myself.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day Three: Choice

Life is all about choices the choices we make.  That's what the buy in the diabetes commercial said.  But he's right, even if his body doesn't know how to regulate sugar.  We may not be able to dictate everything in our life, but we do get to choose how we respond to the situations we face.

Another bright and sunshiny morning!  Who am I kidding?  I get up so early, and the sun sleeps in so late that there is barely enough time allowed for a sunny morning up here.  But we go with it don't, we?  What else can you do but turn that frown upside down?  I choose to love the idea that my morning is longer because that's my favorite time of the day.  Choice made.

I was able to get up early and workout this morning.  I actually made the decision to stay at home and do my Biggest Loser workout instead of going out to use the elliptical at the school.  It had more to do with wanting the extra 10 minutes to relax afterwards than the workout itself.  But!  The point is that I worked out; I did levels one and two of the Biggest Loser Cardio DVD.

I think I enjoyed it more because I made the CHOICE to workout with it instead of feeling as though that was my only option.  The truth of the matter is everyday I get to make a choice about my workout.  I can choose to get my behind up and moving early and head down to the gym.  I have the choice to workout in my living room to amazingly effective DVDs.  I also have the choice to sleep in for another hour and half.  I think that option A or B are the only ones that would leave me feeling fulfilled at the end of the day.  Choice made.

I wanted to try and do something new each week.  This week I challenged myself to drink only water, tea, or coffee.  I should let you know that I don't drink pop anyways, so it's not that big of an accomplishment.  The big issue is that I like to drink either apple or orange juice - from Walmart, powdered mix.  I really wanted to try and kick that habit.  Well that's a lie.  I didn't really want to kick it, just reduce it.  I went all day without drinking any, until the last 20 minutes of my day.  I NEEDED my apple juice.  My rationalization was that I drank approximately 60 ounces of fluids LESS than if I got to drink my apple juice and it' was ok.  So maybe I need to make a different choice for my change of the week.  I'll keep you posted.

Daily Prayer:

Dear God,
Thank you for another day.  Thank you for my home that keeps me warm, my body that keeps me going, my job that fulfills me, my family that supports me, my friends that encourage me, and my husband who helps me enjoy it all.
I ask for your love and guidance today to make it the best day.  Help keep me strong and mindful to help guide the lives of the students I work with, if only to let them know that they are valued in my eyes.  Keep my heart full of love and void of judgement or darkness.
Please bless our meetings today to make them productive and build community amongst the members.  Keeps us safe on our journeys to and from school.  Keep my friends and family safe today, and send your angels to protect them.
I ask a special request for all my friends on SparkPeople who are traveling along the journey of improved health.  Help us all to make the best decisions to make us our best.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day Two: Back to the Basics

And good day to you!  So today has started out very nicely.  Last night, we were given the good news that because of the continuation of a blizzard warning, we would have a delayed start to the school day.  SLEEP IN!

I typically, on a good-weather day, will drive into town and workout at the school, utilizing their fabulous elliptical machine and free weights.  The other thing that makes me love working out at this time of day is that nobody else is there, and I'm allowed to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and say whatever I want.  I have a hard time not talking to myself in order to keep my attention span going.  When the other teachers are working out, I find it hard to concentrate on the book that I'm reading on my iPad.  I also do my daily prayer, out loud, in the morning while on the elliptical.  So as you can see, I've got myself quite the personalized nook going on down there.

Well when then weather doesn't allow me to get out there before they plow, I must dust off my old Biggest Loser DVDs and get my body moving in ways that I usually don't.  Last week I worked out to the Biggest Loser Cardio workout and couldn't walk without a constant reminder that I didn't stretch enough.  Well I just finished that same workout today and then some.  I hope that spending a little more time working the ol' hamstrings and stretching them out that I'll have less pain this week.  I keep forgetting that I'm not 20 anymore.  Sheesh.

I have decided to set weekly goals for myself.  I will establish my workout schedule this week for both good and poor weather, and then add one new challenge for the week.  So here we go:

Monday: Biggest Loser Cardio: 1, 2, and Cool Down
Tuesday: Biggest Loser Cardio: 1, 2, and Cool Down/Elliptical 30 mins
Wednesday Biggest Loser Sculpt: 1, 2, and Cool Down/Elliptical 30 mins
Thursday Biggest Loser Cardio: 1, 2, and Cool Down/Elliptical 30 mins
Friday Biggest Loser Cardio: 1, 2, and Cool Down/Elliptical 30 mins
Saturday Biggest Loser Sculpt: 1,2, and Cool Down Elliptical 30 mins
Sunday Elliptical Biggest Loser Cardio: 1, 2, and Cool Down 30 mins

My goal this week is to drink only pure water, green tea, or coffee.  WISH ME LUCK!

Daily Prayer:

Dear God,

I thank you for today and the blessings that you have already given to us.  Thank you for a warm home to wait out the hazardous weather.  I thank you for this body that I am putting through the workout ringer; I ask so much of it every day.  Please help me to think of it as the gift you have given me to carry out your work.  I am thankful for a restful weekend.  You have given me so many gifts; I ask that you help me to utilize them fully.
Today I ask you to please guide me so that I keep love in my heart, I am slow to judge because you never know what someone has gone through.    Please keep us safe as we go through our daily tasks and extend your love to all our friends and family.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day One: Setting My Purpose

What is my purpose?  Isn't that the question that we ask ourselves whenever we're unsure of ourselves.  But who are we supposed to ask?  Surely there is someone in charge that can provide some guidance.

I've attempted to seek the answer to this question in many different places, but haven't found myself any closer to satisfied than if I hadn't bothered at all.  So today, I declare myself adequate enough to answer this for myself.

My purpose is to be the best version of myself that I was created to be.  In a nutshell.

In an effort to help myself be the best version of myself that I was created to be, I have decided to start this blog.  The purpose of this blog is to document my efforts and their results.

  1. It may not seem like it's an "effort," but because it's something that will help me/challenge me to be a better version of myself, today I have decided to hunker down for the day.  I usually go into town and workout at the school, burning an adequate amount of calories.  I have decided not to do this today for two reasons:
    1. It will challenge me to focus on my healthy eating habits.  I have noticed that I have been eating more than what my body needs, simply because it's there or I'm bored.  A whole day at home will let me enjoy the quiet.
    2. The wind has been blowing like crazy all night and I'm frankly not looking forward to going out in that.
  2. I have planned out my meals and feel really confident in my abilities to keep true to the menu.  
  3. Emailing my MIL.  I made a New Year's Resolution to email her more.  I feel that it's important for my husband to call her so that relationship is maintained, but a few emails a week from her DIL is just what our relationship needs.
  4. Setting up this blog.
  5. Investigating the new Windsor Pilate's program - I miss my pilates, I have to admit.  

Daily Prayer:

Dear God,
Thank you for today and the possibilities that it will bring.  I thank you for a warm house to shelter me from this blustery weather.  I ask for you to help make me a stronger, more loving, and healthier person today than I was yesterday.  You have given me the tools to improve myself, this blog and friends to inspire me.  Today is a day focused on rejuvenation and reflection to make ourselves prepared for the new week.  I ask for you to guide me so that I can take full advantage of this opportunity.  I also ask you to help keep me focused on my goal of healthy eating.  You are what I need to nurture, comfort, and sustain me; not empty calories.

Please fill me with light and love; cast out the darkness.  I put my troubles on your altar to be forever altered.