life

Doing the Gram

I do. Most of my pictures are silly non-filtered pictures for my own enjoyment and to feel a bit younger than my years. No rhyme, reason, or vibe. Just fun. To me it is what social media should be, a stream of family silliness, with attempted cool captions and puppy sites to follow for days. The stories are newer to me, but once you hit the first in your list, you find yourself down a rabbit hole of quick moments that are not as important as a post, but important enough to make the gram. Since, my cool factor is zero, I sometimes make my story my post. Yes, I know that crosses the line. They are meant to be separated in order of importance but it is fun and games in my world, as I am not a marketing maven or even have a product to push. So, I post whenever I want no matter how many times a day. If I want to capture a memory it goes up…Yes, I could just add to my Google photo albums, but this goes back to fun and make believe relevance. While I know there are peaks of online viewing but my pics can’t wait. Obviously. My five average likes on a decent pic with a relatively snappy tag makes me pleased. Over five and I feel viral. I get a bit full of myself. No one needs that. Nope. So, I will continue to play, enjoy, watch puppies, and occasionally feel especially important when I rise above my consistent viewership, as viral cool is not truly a number (well, it is) it is also just a grandma playing the game of social media and enjoying the connection which is what started it all!

echelon, fitness, goals, health, weight loss

Nooming Part 2

I am back on Noom. I left. I did. Which makes this post worthy of a prize or an escalated Noom blogger award. 🤔 I left because I could do this on my own. Suddenly cocky with eight pounds gone. This was my inner thought and money saving idea. Suddenly after fighting since childbirth (thirty-one years ago) I could do this alone and save the money and annoying check-ins from my personal person or bot. Not sure which, but in this age of technology and with eight pounds lost, why did I care, if there is a real face with my consults? I don’t. Eight pounds lost and now eight pounds gained left to my own devices and fell through a mushroom cloud of stress and the outward “I am O.K” that I gave out to my world aka my seventh grade classroom.

I am back. Why? Noom works. There I said it. It really does for those that need their hands held while foods, friends, stress, and life let us down. Noom works.

So onward with the color system, quizzes, and chat check-ins with my mysterious coach or a brilliant bot. Again, who knows or cares. Weight loss is about buy-in, desire, cheerleaders galore, recipies or direction etc. After you find that in your form, whatever that looks like, the rest is up to you.

Thank you Noom. I have come back to shake the weight for good and reap the benefits for myself and my family which is priceless.

Now I have to learn to cook, better. Much better. Got an app for that? Readers if interested head over to Noom. No, I am not paid. It just works. Feel free to share, follow, and of course like if health and weightloss is your “jam.” Be on the lookout for more from me as I dive deep into essays on my successes and failures to keep me on the straight and narrow. And as always be prepared for the truth and a chuckle. https://www.noom.com

back pain, caregiver, education, grey hair

The Sound of Silence

The days before the actual “first day” of school are the most precious and set the tone for my mental game, as I gear up for the year. The utter silence not only in my room but throughout the hallways, only to be interrupted by teacher chatter, hugs, and rushing feet from one room or meeting to another quietly emulate a natural high as reality has not hit. Kids. Paperwork. Rules. My plans are for obvious perfection and is the bubble of  life if only for a fleeting few days. It is then that schedules sound possible, discipline will be a breeze, and dress codes sound reasonable as jean days are put on the chopping block. It’s ok, we should dress up. Then week three hits and it hits hard. Suddenly, the quiet is replaced with chaos because the moving pieces are coming fast. It is a teachers life. It is precious but mentally and physically draining on a level few others feel.

Then it hits. It’s a stamicane, my own word for a stampede plus hurricane. Kids making their way down our halls breaking the blissful silence. First, the utter excitement is contagious but by week three “When is fall break” is my number one on the playlist on my mind, on repeat. With break approaching, I had a literal physical break after dealing with hospice, moving my mother out of an assisted living and into another assisted living. And yes, she is thriving, thanks to hospice. Try that. For nine weeks when you must put on a happy face, everyday. This is why teaching is a young persons game. The young do not have big life issues straight out of school. I broke physically and mentally. Mrs. Tough had her comeuppance. I divided my kids, with no tears and made it to the doctor with a full on ugly cry in the waiting room. But I made it. I spent the next two days feeling guilty for missing work and now the next few days of break in recovery and enjoying the simple sound of silence. It brings me pause and a true reflection of important issues and allows me to shake off the crazy. Not my kids. All the other educational nuttiness which does not fit on one blog post alone. It is more volume based. Truly.

The quiet of break and the reflection of my first days of school brings clarity for the busy that the remainder of fall brings. My thoughts of perfection have been replaced with my pacing guide, test scores, and a newspaper to churn out. The test scores are the sad reality portion but a truth that leaves my competitive soul always hungry for more but steeped in the reality of who my students are and where can they go in this school year. It is a balancing act. Journalism keeps me happy and if I ever get social studies again as a subject area, thrilled. Hiring for 8th grade civics. Give me a call. As my wounds mend and my own inner changes readied to implement continuous healing without another major setback. I remember that in the quiet I take to heal it is my own stamina and ability to block out the storm that brings me my success on a daily basis, where it counts. With kids.

caregiver, family

The Longer Goodbye

My Miss Brenda has taken a few turns for the worse but no one prepares you for hospice or the hospice call including date of death.

I took the news calmly. But did question their all knowing practical knowledge of date and time of one’s passing. “How do you know?” “Are you sure?” “What makes you so positive?” They answered all with the confidence of seeing this before and in my head, I knew they had. Obviously.

My mom was a player in life pushing every physical limit and doing alot of damage to one’s body. Before my parents parted ways, they were quite the twosome, in their partying ways. My dad got sober. My mother. Never. So this early demise of body should not surprise, but it did.

No tears flowed after my hospice conversation. Very stoic and processing what I questioned but my strong exterior allowed me to create Frosty day, early birthday celebration, and just visits. On the otherside I was in constant contact with hospice. I knew everything at all times. Little pieces of me were breaking away as I focused on how to make the end “nice.”

A week into this personal journey hospice called again. “She improving.” “It’s a miracle.” This time I had no questions, just relief. Knowing full well that tomorrow is another day and yet another possibility of that phone call. While they predict the end of life to the minute. They do admit the miracles astound them. So, for right now My Miss Brenda is doing OK. Still under hospice care but not a patient with a date and time stamped in their file.

On my last visit. I cried. It hit me that she is alone with her TV and a bunch of health care techs and nurses. That’s it. She is alone with her thoughts and confusions and the reconciliation of her choices in life. While I am very close by, she is still alone. Driving home in tears, I realized that this is the world she built. She chose distance and still keeps me at arms length, but all her choice. When she does let me in, it is nice. It’s fleeting but it’s nice.

So me and my lady have more time. This will give both of us the time we need to truly say goodbye.

fitness, health, weight loss

Nooming…

No, this is not a paid Noom promotion. I have a handful of dedicated followers but that does not create #paidpromotion.

A girl can dream!

I began Noom about two weeks ago due to a high salt content in my diet creating havoc on my blood pressure and causing additional weight gain. I have struggled with this since July 1991 directly after my sons birth. We all have this story in a variety of shapes and sizes and the clothes to boot. So, I won’t bore you with the countless attempts with my arch nemesis Weight Watchers. Now, it does work for many and it worked once for me and I still have the sacred ten pound token saved and in written into my will. My son will cherish, I am sure. But more often than not, I cheated the system, time and time again. It was easy as they have become more holistic centered rather that weight centered. I needed a boot camp mentality instead of an it’s ok, try again tomorrow. Just me.

Enter Noom. It is pricey. Very, and still not boot camp. But worth every penny. It keeps me accountable in a way like no other. While the Noom coach is not saying “get off you ass” or “close that refrigerator door.” I hear those phrases as they are subtlety weaved into our daily text exchange. The program is designed to teach, applaud, and turn you around if floundering on a dime. It is based around the psychology of eating through a series of daily lessons and charting foods based on colors and overall calorie content. Green=Good, Yellow=So, so, Red=Watch it! This stop sign method works for me as it is easy. The focus lies in the color groups but you have a calorie bar at the top. My limit is 1400 calories. I have only gone over by sixty on one day and it was with a green food. I felt fine with that decision. All while inputting my meals in the dashboard app, as well. This measures my sodium. I must stay under 1500 MG a day. Side note, a simple salad at Pei Wei is a challenge but it can be done. Sodium lives everywhere and this is a challenge. But my goals have been met with one or two days slightly over. Truly on good foods, that I learned to take out of my arsenal. Good bye chicken thighs and roast turkey breast. Who knew? Hello Mrs. Dash and low sodium Ezekiel bread. It is sprouted, must be frozen, pricey, but worth it. It gives me bread without the extra preservatives. Overall, very pleased but it is work and if you are not ready to work. Don’t do it. I was ready.

Two weeks later down 5 pounds and 8 ounces. Everything counts. Will I continue? You betcha. Is it still hard? Eh, getting into the good habits for this thing called health, so much easier. Is it better than Weight Watchers? For me, yes. No one has the right answers but if you want success you will find what works!

Please note I would do paid ads, thank you very much, because we all need another fifty something with grey hair to save the day on the great mascara debate. Sure we do. But seriously, just message me!

book

Stress Combative

About Things. 

Chapter 1

Once upon a time a little girl was born into chaos. Loving chaos. But chaos. A million years later, I like to think that it was just too much love, and only one child. Sharing was not an option, in this scenario, and agreeing on my fate was not an option. Sounds odd parents and grandparents surrounding a baby bassinet wondering who would be the best parental figure. The players in this mini-drama were my grandparents and my parents, the latter more like Romeo and Juliet, soon to part ways, and both addicted to alcohol. Spoiler. Great people. Just lost in their own lives and trying to make it on their own. Plus me. It was too much and that gave the opening for my Silvia and Sam to swoop in and care for me. Best idea ever. I am in their debt. I had the raisers, the friends, the playmates, and the biological parents lost in their own lives. Complicated. Yes. Awful. No. This is my beginning. My stories. My life. And now onto the characters…

anxiety, caregiver, life

This Thing Called Life…

My days recently go from thinking of island life to going back to work. Now, I teach, so I have a few weeks of torture left. My mom has entered hospice. While that no longer brings me to a new level of panic, it does bring to light on what she can no longer accomplish that she once did with ease. Enter panic and the reality that our time is finite. This mixed with my recent back recovery and a few extra non-needed pounds. I am a mess who wants nothing more than to not be someone’s burden when there is more life to lead.

So while I have undergone weight gain and loss in my life. My consistent yo-yo has never been for any other reason than vanity and on the flip side, my love of food. Today is different I am now taking the time to read labels, give up salt, sugar, and the bad carbs. I am a new leafy eater with a side of protein. Right now I am cooking chicken and turkey to freeze for later in the coming weeks. I think they call this food prepping. I call this a forced chance to write. My goal is twenty pounds but I would be great with fifteen, as it might be enough to release the extra burden of stressors, I now feel truly caring for a parent who cannot take care of themselves.

The weight is heavy and mixed with everyday life almost too much as everything is out of my control. So I am going to learn to cook, meal prep, eat well for the first time in my life. I can control that. My exercise will be daily walking at 5:30 am to set me up for a successful school year, and I can control (not enjoy) those early hours. I will mix in meditation and restorative yoga as I heal and focus on our relationship as mother/daughter and probably write and focus on my grandson. It helps. Alot.

I am sure my next few or more blogs will be about my Miss Brenda. Of course liberties will be taken as that’s what I do. Take a story and try to see the lighter side of this thing called life. Follow along.

family, granparent life, grey hair, life

Thirty-four Years of Bliss

When you only feel thirty-four years old, how can I have been married for thirty-four years? Is this possible? Please note the bliss is relative based on the day and recently the price of gas. But the fact that we have withstood trials and tribulations for over three decades creates a moment of pure reflection and wonder. Are we truly kindred spirits or do we just not give up. I believe the latter. Even soul mates drift apart. Marriage is work. Yes, we have our moments of romance but those are interrupted by the reality of day to day life.

After the decades you start floundering for gifts. Even cards quite don’t say it perfectly. As a family we have it all and the extraneous stuff is just stuff for instagram moments. You know, the nauseating ones, that make you feel like the posters are that happy daily. Nope. Don’t get me wrong I love jewelry and any fancy gift but often reality wins. This year I came up with a BBQ for the win and a special gift of family. Let me explain the latter as you understand the concept of the BBQ.

Well, it started with a trip to Prescott and no gift or card for me, the wife. I disguised my anger and kept up with the day. Then I saw my gift. He is three and my buddy. Day made. Anniversary made. All forgiven. We had a fabulous weekend of family, church, and getting to be part of our buddies baby to grown up room transistion. I love to spoil everyone I know. It’s my thing. Years ago the hubs parents bought our nursery and the big boy room furniture. Just because. We did the same. Just because. So, no jewelery or fancy new bag. Just the reality of life in the best possible way!

chronic pain, fitness, goals, sugar-free

Sugar-free and Me

I have tried alot of methods to lose weight and some have worked. Actually, worked well. Of course, mixed with an active lifestyle. One that failed not once but twice was keto. Not me. But with my recent health setback and literally from active to a coach potato by necessity, I need some change. I needed some research both to keep me busy and my own convincing to take the plunge, well the second plunge. I did this once with success and just went off. No reason. It was easy and felt great. So here we go…sugar-free is me…is now born.

My reasoning is completely to decrease inflammation. Which is still present. The absence of sugar is key as the white stuff spikes inflammation. Bye. Now, I could bore you with data. But not my style. Just enjoy my meandering stories and real life messages. Saying ciao is hard. I had pizza last night and quietly chewed our breakup story. I am ready. My life in the absence of pain will win and be my constant reminder along with societies vast array of sugar free choices if a sauce or an ice cream is truly needed. As for bread hello, ezkiel…and I love it. In moderation. I am good but it will be tough. I began today and promptly ordered supplements for sauces and chips. Sauces from Primal and G Hughes, carrots, cottage cheese instead of flavored yogurt, and Rx bars instead of premier protein etc, etc, etc. Just a bit of shopping adds combined with some everyday needs will make this tasty life without misery. #goals

On any road taken no one is perfect and I will not be. Nope. I will travel, learn, explore, investigate, concoct recipies until I get this right.

And I will…

education, family, retirement

80 Points!

In a teachers life this is a happy dance. I have choices. Kinda. I am not quite ready for retirement but yet I am. The freedom sounds enticing but I still want to teach. I doubt this will leave my soul. So, here we go again, options for a life after I am starting to pursue. My online Outschool acceptance/classroom is up to date but I no ideas for a class as of yet. None. Next up, interviewing for online tutoring to hopefully start this summer and keep it going throughout my final decision to stay or go. Hoping my three followers will guide me with possible class ideas that will entice kids into extra classes outside of the school day. If you have kids, know them etc. etc. Please share what type of classes that woukd interest you and yours. Below is my Outschool dashboard. Please send me your ideas.

Thanks in advance!

https://outschool.com/parents/97d6cb8e-35f2-4cc2-a888-32db5b15410e?signup=true&utm_campaign=share_parent_link