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Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

via Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet.

I have had many really good teachers in my life, but the one that comes to the forefront of my mind was my elementary school librarian – Mrs. Rayburn.  Our friendship blossomed because of an unusual situation; my elementary school had a lady come in once a week and tell bible stories in class. Because of my unusual biblical education as a Kindergartner, I often ended up in theological disputes with this little old lady. Because of that, she wouldn’t have me in the classroom when she told her bible stories, so from that point on, I spent those days in the Library with Mrs. Rayburn. I could already read in Kindergarten, and she took that ability and turned it into a serious love of literature. We began to meet before school every morning, to review the book I had taken home the night before and to get a new book for that night. I devoured everything she gave me. By the end of that year, I was already reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and other young fiction. That love of reading has never left me. In addition, Mrs. Rayburn became a fixture in my life outside of school, as I would often be invited to spend weekends at her home with her and Mr. Rayburn. You see, Mrs. Rayburn was estranged from her son, because he had embraced the very religion I was raised in. I feel really good because I helped her understand the religion more, and to become reconciled with her son after she realized it wasn’t bad, like she had been predisposed to believe. She had a real affection for me, and the feeling was mutual. She took on the role of a grandparent to me, as all my grandparents were passed on by the time I was 3 or 4 years old. I stayed in touch with her over the years, even after I moved away from Appalachia and to Cincinnati. I loved her dearly and respected what she did.

A little bit more about Inez (that’s her first name): She was a teacher in one-room schoolhouses when my parents were little. She taught my father in the 40’s in one of those schoolhouses, and she had to travel a long way each direction just to teach there. She was head librarian over several schools and often traveled from school to school visiting the libraries.

Now, as an adult and a parent, I have been volunteering in our elementary media center for three years. Every day that I’m there, helping children find literature to light up their imaginations, shelving books, setting up displays to catch their eyes, I feel Mrs. Rayburn with me. She always went above and beyond her simple duties as an educator and loved all the kids she worked with.

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Great Day!

Ladies — Today is going GREAT.

I woke up at 8:20 a.m. and actually got up out of the bed on my own, NO prodding from the hubby, and I got dressed, did my stretches, got ready to go and walked into my bedroom.  My hubby was laying there with his eyes open, and he looked really surprised that I was dressed, mp3 player and timer ready to go.  I said, “I’m outta here, hon.” and he looked really impressed.

Out the door I went.  The music was great on my mp3 player and I was walking fast…I’ve been reading on this great walking website (http://www.thewalkingsite.com/beginner.html) about short and quick strides and visualizing walking a straight line, looking straight ahead and not at the ground, etc.  Also they said the faster you swing your arms, your legs will follow and this works.  The sun was filtering through the trees, so every few steps I would emerge into a shaft of sunlight and it felt so good.  It was chilly, but the sunshine was warm.  I walked without pain for approximately half the walk.  Started to get a bit sore in the second half, but not as bad as it has been previously.  I suspect that this is because of the flexibility exercises I’ve been doing from the previously mentioned walking website.  I just felt happy to be alive, happy that I am sticking to something for the first time in years, and knowing that my husband is proud of me.

I have been working out my plan for weight loss when going in to Phase 2 of the SparkPeople program.  I have figured it out that for the first 10 or 20 lbs I need to keep my calorie intake to no more than 1720 calories per day, and I want to try to burn 200-600 calories per day.  I’m not sure how I am going to structure this, now that we are going into the lovely season of Winter here in Michigan and I am not a penguin so I don’t like being out there too long.

I am planning on making Phase 2 last 12 weeks instead of 6.  I’m going to work for 2 weeks on each of the week’s points so that I can make sure they are embedded in my mind.  I need that extra bit of reinforcement to make sure things stick. 

If I could lose 2 lbs per week, by the time I am out of Phase 2, I could have lost 24 lbs.  That would take me down to 166 lbs., and a lot closer to my first goal of 160.  Once I’m there, I am hoping to get down to 150 or 140.  I think this is a nice weight for me to be, not too skinny, I get to keep my curves that my hubby loves and still be slim enough to wear the things I really enjoy wearing. 

Weight loss has become more of an interest since I have begun this change in my life-style.  I originally started this to work on modulating my mood swings for the bipolar disorder.  I have found without doubt that this is working for that.  These changes I’m making are not only exercise and nutrition, but also being more conscious of how I spend my time and making sure that I take care of my responsibilities as a wife, mother, friend and daughter.  Now that I have proved to myself that this is really helping me emotionally and mentally, and I am starting to see the benefits of consistent exercise and controlling my urge to overeat, I am hoping that my dream of getting back to a sexy body is closer than I had been thinking.  It seemed as far away as the moon.  I figured I couldn’t even meet my basic needs, how the hell could I possibly get fit?  No self control, no determination, no dedication, etc.  But I’m finding that I still have that in me–and the momentum builds as I get up and add another day to the tally of days I have lived this new way.

I am also seeing a definite lack of “fun” in my life, and I am really thinking about what I can do to infuse some enjoyment back into my days.  I mean, hanging out with my kids is fun, but I mean “MY” kind of fun…reading, other hobbies, etc.  It is time.  I am hoping that I can really curb the internet time, and spend that time with my kids, and also making time to seize joy during my days. 

Today for instance, the house is basically straightened up.  I don’t worry too much about the living room because that is where Lola plays.  I clean that up at night before bedtime so we start fresh in the morning.  The rest of the house is straightened, beds made, etc.  Tomorrow I will need to sweep and mop in preparation for my sister’s arrival, although I doubt she really cares about such things.  I will also do a load of laundry today as well, but other than that, housework is done.  It is currently 11:30 a.m. and I do have to run around this afternoon, so my time at home is short.  I have to go to my SIL’s house for 2-3 hours this evening while Princess is attending a babysitting course with her cousin in SIL’s neighborhood.  After that I need to get some groceries in the house this evening before my sister comes tomorrow.

I think I feel a bit uneasy like I’m missing something or should be doing more.  I can’t really see what though.  I am really not in the mood to take on some huge house overhaul or anything.  No special projects other than overhauling myself.  I think I may feel a bit funny about how much time I’m spending on SparkPeople right now but I think in order to effect the changes I’m trying to effect, I need to be on there to help keep my mind focused, or my eyes on the prize, as it were.

I just spend an hour or so going through the site, reading articles, etc.  I go to My SparkPoints page and I basically go down the list and do everything and get my points — but it helps me because I am watching those videos, and reading about nutrition and health conditions, etc.  It stays with me through the day and keeps me more conscious of my health decisions.

Wow, this is long winded.  I guess I should go and live my life today.  Thanks for listening.

Today’s Inspirational Muse brought to you by:

Would I Lie To You? – Eddy & Something or other, the name is screwed up.
Shining Star – Earth, Wind & Fire
Rock Steady – The Whispers
Where Da Party At – Nelly (feat. Jagged Edge)
Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep at All – Fifth Dimension
Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
Do Me! – Bell Biv Devoe
The Power – Snap

A New Week

Hi everyone (that’s seriously every ONE because I think that’s how many are reading it LOL).

I had a GREAT weekend in Cincinnati with Kitty!  We had a blast.  There was time for long, therapeutic talks, and then we went to dinner and karaoke.  I sang a couple of great songs that were received well by the crowd.  I got hit on by two or three different guys which I found amusing.  One of them sang a song to me.  I kind of felt bad because I had to tell him I was married!  Poor guy.  I just looked pretty the other night.  I’m not sure what I did different

OTHER THAN EXERCISE AND TAKE CARE OF MYSELF FOR THREE STRAIGHT WEEKS!!!

I am feeling pretty damned good.  I have moments of hesitation and I just push them aside.  I am sticking to something and seeing almost immediate fruits of my labors has made me feel so good about myself. 

I am not losing weight with my 20 minute walks.  I did some reading on it and I am finding that “walking for fitness” experts say for weight loss you should walk 45 to 60 minutes a day.  I am DEFINITELY not up for that length of time right now and I’m not sure if I WANT to walk that long every day at one time.  If I had a treadmill….we might find I feel differently.

Oh – a couple of different people read my aura this weekend — and universally they said I have a bluish/purple aura.  I did some research about aura colors and this is what I found.

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Blues are some of the most loving, nurturing and supportive personalities of the Life Colors. They live from their heart and emotions. Their purpose for being on the planet is to give love, to teach love and to learn that they are loved. Their priorities are love, relationships, and spirituality.

Blues are traditionally teachers, counselors, and nurses—basically the loving, nurturers and caretakers on the planet. Blues are constantly helping others. They want to make sure that everyone feels loved and accepted. People are always turning to Blues for comfort and counsel because Blues will always be there for them. They consistently provide a shoulder for others to cry on.

Blues are the most emotional personalities in the aura spectrum. They can cry at the drop of a hat. Blues cry when they are happy, hurt, angry, sad, or for no apparent reason at all. Even watching a sentimental commercial on television can bring on tears.

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Violets are the inspirational visionaries, leaders and teachers who are here to help save the planet. Most Violets feel drawn to educate the masses, to inspire higher ideals, to improve the quality of life on the planet, or to help save people, animals and the environment.

All Violets have an inner sense that they are here to do something important, that their destiny is greater than that of the average person. Most Violets have felt this way since childhood. As children, many Violets imagined becoming famous, or traveling the planet, possibly joining humanitarian causes such the Peace Corp. Many of these charismatic personalities take on roles as leaders and teachers, while other Violets prefer to reach people through music, film or other art form.

Because this era is currently the “Violet Age,” any Violets who are not accomplishing what they came here to do are experiencing an inner “push” — even an inner “earthquake.” Inner forces seem to be shaking them up and pushing them to move into action, to fulfill their life purpose. Violets know they are here to do something significant. However, they aren’t always sure what that something is or how to accomplish it.

Many Violets were taught as children that their dreams and aspirations were unrealistic, so they have lost touch with their original visions. It’s important for Violets to reconnect with their life purpose and vision, and to take action. Otherwise they will always feel unfulfilled. They will always sense something is missing from their lives. Violets need to learn to slow down long enough to listen to their inner voice and to connect with their higher vision.

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I have made a new commitment to myself and my family.  I am limiting my time on the internet starting today.  I am also limiting where I go during that limited time.  I have determined that my time on Cafemom causes me more stress than a feeling of community with other mothers.  I am considering dropping out of that site completely but I did make a couple of friends there I don’t know otherwise.  What I *did* do in the interim was drop out of almost ALL of my groups, and especially any group that has topics that cause me anger, anxiety, stress or negative feelings.  I moved that little message box with the most recent message board topics to the bottom of my page so I can’t see it if I come on to journal or read my messages.  AND the new rule is, I can only go and check on Friday morning, no other days of the week.  As far as MySpace goes, I am going to keep my account there because, again, that is how I have contact with a couple other people in my life that I like.  I will check that everyday because generally it doesn’t stress me out to go there.

I am allowing myself 1 hour in the morning and a half hour in the evening.  During that time I will get on sparkpeople and enter all my information and read health articles, etc., get support in my groups, etc.  I will go to my Bipolar support website and talk to my friends there.  I will check my email, read my d-land journals and write in my own journal.  In the evening I will enter my meds and moods into my moodtracker.

My reason for this change is to focus more on my baby and my family, and do more productive things with my time.  Last night, I colored two mandalas from a book I bought.  It’s waxy paper that when you put the pictures up on the windows and the sun shines in, it looks like stained glass.  It was fun and relaxing.  I am also thinking of getting back into crocheting. AND Reading!!!

My plans also include more structured time with Lola.  Getting outside to play, etc.

I wrote some of my friends to see if anyone wanted to have a card/board playing game night once a month.  Once I get replies from a few people I’m going to set it up.

OK – I need to go and get going on the rest of my day.  My internet time allowance is about done.

😀

Today’s Inspirational Muse Provided by:

Come Dancing – The Kinks
Promises – Eric Clapton
I Heard a Rumor – Bananarama
Dance Hall Days – Wang Chung
Cool It Now – New Edition
Ladies Night – Atomic Kitten
No One In The World – Anita Baker

TOO COOL

I found a message thread on the Challenge Message Boards and I thought it was a great idea.

I am currently keeping track of my miles walked anyway, and I found the one to “Walk from Hobbiton to Rivendell” (Lord of the Rings theme), and there’s a website that has the milestones marked out for you so you know where you are at what mile you’ve walked to.  Not only can you do the first leg of the trip to Rivendell, but you can follow characters of the Fellowship all through the story, and when you get to the end, you can walk the whole way home with the hobbits!!

This is really neat and a twist to what I’ve already been doing.  So every day when I do my morning journal entry, on the right side of the screen I have a widget for this, and I’m going to post how many miles I am at, and the last milestone I passed. 

I also was intrigued by the 100 crunches each day challenge, and I am thinking that would be awesome, but I don’t know if I can handle 100 to start with.  I didn’t want to commit to it and not be able to stick to it (like my yoga challenge, which is proving really hard for me).  So I am thinking I will try 50 per day.  I can do this while hanging out with my little one watching TV in the afternoon. 

And the best one is going to be giving up soda.  Or should I say the Hardest?  It will be very rewarding in my weight loss plans, so I just need to make that motivational collage to put up to give me something to look at when Dr. Pepper is beckoning me to come and find him. LOL. 

So at this point, as my ROUTINE stuff everyday, I am doing my 20 minutes of fast walking each morning, then strength training on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, and yoga if I can every evening.  I am going to kick up the walking to 30 minutes after a month or so of walking and I can work myself up to it.

And these are my small “challenges” right now:

3 Day Mini Challenge – Yoga 3 days in a row
50 Crunches Per Day – no end date – just trying to create a streak and see how long I can go.
No Soda Challenge – no end date – just trying to create a streak and see how long I can go (this has to start tomorrow since I already had pop today)

I’m trying not to do too much.  What is cool is that the walking, daily stretching and strength training are all done very first thing, before Hubby even goes to work.  So it’s not overwhelming me to add the other things to do during the day.  If I had to be responsible for myself to do all of the morning exercise AND my personal challenges without Hubby’s support, then I don’t think I could handle it.

My Hubby is so awesome.  The last two days in a row, he has nudged me out of bed.  Is that not AWESOME?!

And this day is going great.  I have finished 95% of all my goals for the day — I still need to do the yoga, crunches, and do another load of laundry.  We are pleased.

Good Intentions for the Day

I am accomplishing my goal items first thing today instead of feeling scattered all day.  One of those things is to journal. 

I woke up singing one of the kiddie songs from the Noggin channel this morning.  Soooo a stay-at-home-mom.

Gosh, I wish I had something really important and profound to share, but I don’t.  I’m really, truly drawing a blank.

Today I’m going to be in day 2 of my Mini Challenge – to do Yoga 3 days in a row.  I did do it last night.  It was good…I really need to stop stopping stuff that feels good and is good for me.  What’s with that?

Other than my health goals, today I am going to sort my laundry.  I keep putting that off.  I’m not sure what else, but I think I might allow myself a couple of hours of playing video games.  I do enjoy it.

I will also play with my daughter today.  I think I’ll bring out the play-dough.

Oh, something cute — when I was doing my stretching before and after my walk today, Lola was trying to imitate what I was doing.  Maybe I’ll make a yogi out of her yet!

I need to go upstairs and get cleaned up.  I’m all sweaty from my 10th day of walking 2 miles in 20 minutes!  Who rocks?  I rock, I know.

I also feel like I want to get a book out and read today, too.  Maybe that will happen a bit also.

I’m going now.  I’m sorry for the lack of real information!  I love all ya’ll though.

Today’s Inspirational Muse Brought To You By:

Jumpin’ Jumpin’ – Destiny’s Child
Scream – Michael Jackson
Cars – Gary Numan

Good morning

It’s 8:34 a.m. and I haven’t walked yet.  Hubby is outside taking apart a plow mount because someone bought one of our plows and is coming to pick it up today.  That money is going to help us with some of the issues we are having financially.  We are also still selling the truck but have gotten very little response for it for some reason.  I think we are going to park it by TayTay’s house, they get a lot of traffic down there by her house. 

I slept like a log last night, with the exception of the nightly bathroom run.  I am going to have to go to the doctor to talk about this frequency of going to the bathroom.  It’s been a problem since pregnancy.  I hate having to get up at 4 in the morning and go potty, but I can’t sleep with a full bladder (or the feeling of it) and who knows, I could dream I’m going to the bathroom and end up having an accident!  LOL.  I slept so hard last night that I didn’t hear my husband get up this morning.  Crazy, huh?

I’ve been all prolific with the writings, and I haven’t gotten any comments since the 24th.  Where did everyone go? I’m going to have to check my sitemeter to see if anyone is stopping by.

Back to the exercise – I guess I’m going to get my exercise today because I’m going to be doing yard work.  Right?  OK, OK, I’ll go walking.  After TayTay and Princess get up, I’ll go.  I am not quite up to pushing Lola in the stroller for a mile. 

I’m all over the place today!  I’m sorry.  Hopefully you can follow along.

I’ll be honest with you, I’m still very sleepy.

Last night, Hubby had to work a bit late.  He’s supposed to get off at 8:00 p.m., but he got home around 10:00 last night.  He came and picked me up and took me for a drive in the Jeep with the top down, because we’re running out of nights to do that before winter hits.  We parked at the high school and looked up at the starry sky for a while, the stars were plenteous, and the little vapour trails of small clouds made it look like a dream. 

We came home after a half hour, and you would think we would have went straight to bed.  Not so.  We messed around on our computers until 12:30.  We are so bad.  The combination of a very active day and a late bedtime explains sleeping so hard and the zombie feeling this morning.  I’d give good money to be back in bed.  But Lola would not like that.

My intentions for today are: get the yard all ready for fall/winter; bring Princess’s old (yet in great shape) art easel inside for Ms. Lola — it has a chalkboard on one side, and a clippy area for art paper to paint.  I also pulled out her paint cups.  They have the little funnelly things that go on top of them so that kids dont get too much paint on their brush, and then they have plastic lids to keep the paint when not in use.  I need to get some tempera paints.  I think she is really going to enjoy that.  Let’s see what else — I think I will have a little “me” time today if I can — a hot bath and a book to read.  But I have to get someone to clean out the tub.  I’d do it but it KILLS my back. 

Side note – I cleaned my house yesterday.  Why is it a pigstye this morning?

Princess’s school pictures came back yesterday. Oh, My God — they look like modeling head shots.  When I get a scan of it, I’ll share with you.  You will freak out.

What else do I need to do today…Hm…

Oh, looks like today is strength training day.  Just about 10-15 minutes. 

I would feel much better and get the momentum going if I would just go get my exercise.  Let me see what I can do.  Bye bye, everyone.

Today’s Inspirational Muse Provided Courtesy of:

I Want Her – Keith Sweat
Keep It Comin’ – Keith Sweat
Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest
Come Dancing – The Kinks
It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over – Lenny Kravitz
Love Will Conquer All – Lionel Richie

Walk from Hobbiton to Rivendell Challenge

This is my entry for my mile markers for the Hobbiton to Rivendell Challenge.  If I put every milestone on the side bar of my page you’ll never see anything else, so I am only going to keep 2 or 3 milestones at the most there.  The rest are going to be on this page.

Here’s the history of my journey with Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Strider & The Elves…

10.24.2007: Mile 41 – “And NOW to bed!” Pippin says, when BLACK RIDER is heard again (approx. 9 p.m.). ELVES arrive, RIDER leaves, and Frodo & Co. continue with Elves.
10.18.2007: Mile 32 – Road ahead runs fairly straight and level.  Behind them it curves slightly.  BLACK RIDER APPEARS.  Sam and Pippin hide in a hollow.  Frodo hides behind a tree.  I hide with Frodo (LOL).
10.16.2007: Mile 29 – Road zig-zigs to top of a steep bank and goes down for the last time. Can see across Woody End to the River. **WE STOP TO REST, EAT, and REST more! Sun beginning to get low as we go down the hill.
10.9.2007Mile 18 – Reached location of first night’s camp with the Hobbits
10.3.2007  Mile 5 – Reached Tookland