Monday, September 5, 2011

31 for 31 9 month check-in

I realize I haven't been around for almost a month. I have failed at the low-carb thing. Work has been crazy. I am pretty sure the magnitude of my responsibilities has finally settled on my shoulders. It's only the third full week of school and I'm already sick.

That said, I am enjoying my classes, band, and staffs. They are all doing quite well. There were some major changes for band, and they seem to be adjusting just fine. My yearbook and newspaper staffs have been amazing. I'm doing the best I can with the rest!

So, it's time for a check-in. I must say, I'm doing better with this list than last year's list. And for that, I am proud of myself.

1. Stop being a lazy cook and get in the kitchen, even when I'm tired. I usually enjoy what I cook more than what I would get out.

Still doing okay with this. I tried a new recipe tonight that my sister shared with me. It wasn't a difficult meal by any means, and most of what I make isn't difficult these days. I'm glad to just get dinner on the table!

2. Make H clean the kitchen more with me after dinner.

He put up his dishes tonight, at least.

3. Be a more engaged and engaging piano instructor.

Meh, I only have one student right now and I've only seen her a couple of times this semester. She's getting better!

4. Stop being afraid to hurt certain peoples' feelings and tell them what I really think when they ask. No one spares my feelings.

I'm pretty good at being diplomatic, but still getting my point across. It's been working.

5. Read more books. Fiction, non-fiction, educational, whatever. I don't read nearly enough.
I'm in the middle of the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" and am totally hooked. I asked for "The Hunger Games" for Christmas. This is going well now!

6. Go to some concerts at the local universities. There are all these great performances and I hardly ever go. I have a DVR for a reason.


7. Finish C25K and do speedwork, then move to Bridge to 10K.

8. Sign up for and race at least 3 5K's this year.

9. Sign up for and race at least 1 10K this year. (Either 8 or 9 can be in a relay)

I tried running a few weeks ago, and it hurt like hell about 3/4 of the way through. I'm not sure that running will ever be the workout for me again. Crap.

10. Continue my journey to enjoying the smaller things in life that bring joy, i.e. sunrises/sunsets, caring for flowers, little things like that. I have noticed that I feel pure joy when taking in these very subtle but amazing things.

It sure was hard taking care of plants this summer! But, I still find myself marveling in small things. The other night I was entertained by a cicada that decided to buzz around the back patio while I let the dog out to pee. It actually sat still in my hand. I felt like a kid.

11. Learn a new instrument.

Fail. I have, however, seen lots of crazy instruments on Youtube.

12. Quit being such a nag.

Hahahahaha fail. I will, however, say that sometimes nagging is the only way to get things done around here.

13. Continue to foster my new friendships at work.

After several years of not having hardly any good friends, I finally have a nice group. We're all kind of in similar mindsets about a lot of things, and it's a very supportive group of ladies. I never thought I would have actual girlfriends again that didn't stab each other in the back most of the time.

14. Be more supportive of my husband's efforts to continue to improve his alma mater fraternity.

It's Rush Week. I have no say about it lol. Luckily, this week is Open House and I've been invited out on another night, so it won't be too bad.

15. Become a more savvy shopper.

I bought an adorable shirt at Ross today. I also got some excellent deals on a dress ($18 including shipping and there was no tax) and a skirt (also $18) from Kohl's recently. I'm getting better!

16. Save up and buy another lens for my camera (perhaps a more snazzy general zoom lens? I think so.).

Meh, after buying a little point and shoot, and realizing how little I take pictures at home, I don't really feel this is necessary.

17. Stop breaking my wedding ring.

Another fail. I still haven't gotten it fixed!

18. Prove once and for all that my school building is haunted (okay, okay, I know I can't do this but dammit, I believe!)

This might happen next month. My newspaper staff is going to do their own little "Ghost Hunter's" kind of webisode thing. Who knows???

19. Receive a glowing review when the assistant principal reviews my journalism class. (I got a glowing review on my band rehearsal first semester so I'd like to continue that pattern).

Don't know when he or she will be by.

20. Continue trying a new recipe every month.

While I don't intentionally do this, it just kind of seems to happen!

21. Be more open to trying new cuisines. I will not, however, force myself to eat organ meats or sushi. Other than that, I should try it.

I tried sushi. H gave me a piece that was just gross. I tried another piece that was just shrimp and rice, and that was better, but it was from a more reputable location. He's still not convinced. I practically gagged on the first piece because it was too big, the rice was too vinegary, it was all mushy but no matter how much I chewed it didn't get smaller!

22. Continue working to be a more stable person, and to keep a hold of my struggle with depression.

Most days I do okay. As long as I keep busy I'm usually fine with this. I tend to not dwell on it too much.

23. Continue to delight in the triumphs and successes of my students.

Still so, so easy. I was floored at the audition one of my percussionists played, one who came to me with very little music reading skills. It was awesome. I was a proud mama.

24. Do more to take care of myself. Get more massages, or haircuts, or take care of my feet more than I normally do. I'm terrible about all of this.

I've started painting my toenails regularly? I do need to go get a massage, though.

25. Take a vacation, even if it is just a small weekend trip to Dallas. No vacation in 2010 at all sucked!!!

OU-TX, baby! It's coming up. So excited.

26. Re-invest myself in strength training. I don't know why I quit, really. I was enjoying seeing the strength gains I had made.

I'm such a fickle person when it comes to working out. I'll do well for awhile, and drop off. Why can't I just make it a habit and stick with it? What the hell is wrong with me?

27. Actively save money. We don't save nearly enough.


28. Keep a cleaner house, especially my office, which is a mess at the moment.

Striving to do better. My desk is covered in tests right now, but most of the house is reasonable at the moment. It gets pretty awful during the week, though.

29. Be less hypercritical of others. I know I said in #4 that I was going to stop coddling people, but sometimes I find that I am overly critical of others, especially my husband. I am also overly critical of myself.

I'm failing at this a bit, especially the part about being overly critical of myself.

30. Finish the little projects around the house--curtains, hanging things, photos in frames, etc.

New light fixture in the bathroom! New fan in the office! I didn't do those things, but they are there! We also got a sprinkler system this summer (so awesome).

31. Continue to enjoy my new found outlook on life.

Every day is a new day. Every day comes with its own challenges and triumphs. I'm learning to appreciate it all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eager Beaver

Yesterday morning, I ran that C25K W1D1.

Today, I can barely move.

My hip HURTS. The pain is wrapping around to my back! I can't believe I'm still not ready to run. I guess I'll help keep my gym in business a little longer...I did find out, though, that they give a discount to those who have my insurance, so one of these days I'll get in there when it's staffed and get my discount! I love me a good discount.

Yesterday evening was quite eventful. After we had finished dinner, and H mowed the yard, we settled down to watch Hell's Kitchen. We knew some storms were coming and were delighted at the prospect of rain and temporary cooler temperatures. We noticed it getting a little darker, the weatherman bumped into the show to talk about a storm an hour away but said nothing about our area.

Then the power went out.

Then whatever deity you worship or Mother Nature unleashed their fury on our side of town. Holy shitballs was all I could say. It never bodes well when the power goes out BEFORE the storm hits you. It leaves you wondering, what in the hell is coming here?

We immediately went outside, being the proper Okies that we are. The gust front came through, and hard, and then the rain came. It was coming down in sheets off the house because the gutters were full. I rescued my pots before the wind could knock down my poor struggling plants. Then it got calmer. We thought it was over.

No, it wasn't over.

What we saw was violent. H came running inside (I had already stepped inside the door) and we watched from the glass door as the wind whipped around from nothing to the east, our neighbor's flagpole swaying dangerously around and around. You couldn't see across the street. The rain came in buckets and it swirled and swirled. I asked H if he thought this is what a tornado looked like.

I expected to see Al Roker in my yard, reporting about the hurricane we were having in Oklahoma.

The power was out for a couple of hours. We went out and got treats at Sonic. I forgot that they use "real ice cream" now and had to throw away half my sundae, as it was just too much for me! My stomach was imitating the swirling storm after a few minutes. We also found out that a little shopping center just north of our neighborhood experienced damage. The two occupied stores on the outside were okay...the middle store that was just about to open, well, the entire storefront collapsed somehow! It looked like stucco, so that was nuts. As it turns out, the store that was about to open was a new liquor store.

Within walking distance.

I can't decide if I should be sad or not that it is now delayed in opening. On the one hand, wine within walking distance...on the other, WINE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE!

Today was much calmer. I got a bunch of copies made at school, ate leftovers, and came home and took a nap.

Oh! I weighed myself on Friday and those four pounds were gone again. I've been good and have stayed away from the scale. I feel pretty good, albeit a bit tired today but I didn't exactly have a fitful sleep last night, and my body is obviously trying to heal from yesterday's run and the damage it caused. I hope to see the scale move down and down as school starts. I am much better about following meal plans and eating healthy lunches when I'm working! This chick likes a schedule.

Monday, August 8, 2011

C25K W1D1

Does the title sound familiar?

I decided that I should try C25K again. My hip has been feeling strong after using the elliptical at the gym, and doing squats, lunges, etc. While it was killing me when I was in class, because of all the sitting and extra driving, since then it's been feeling pretty good!

It doesn't feel too good right now, though. I'm trying to stretch it but it's such a difficult area to get to with a stretch. It was feeling fine through most of the workout, until the last couple of run sections. Since you're only supposed to do C25K every other day, I can use tomorrow to lift and stretch to continue strengthening it. I am excited that I finished without any problems.

I also felt pretty pukey after, but it was over 80 and I've never run when it was that warm! When I first started this last year, it was probably 60 out in the mornings, and the temperatures dropped drastically fast as November rolled in. I forgot how cold it was last year.

My legs and butt started itching about halfway through, though. I'll have to remember to pop an antihistamine before next time. My allergies always flare in the morning so that might be part of the itching problem. It seemed to go away when I ignored it and noticed my hip was starting to hurt. I should just punch myself in the face to distract me from all the different things going on and pay attention to that instead!

This weekend was a BUST. Oh good lord, it was. Happy hour on Friday. Friends wanted to go out Friday night, so we went to the comedy club (quite fun!). Saturday was Debauchery/Gluttony day, so there was a bad lunch, a movie, and beer and pub food for dinner. Yesterday was a family lunch and H wasn't home for dinner so I ate out...again. Good lordy.

After all that gluttony on Saturday, I was really depressed yesterday. Yes, for once it was cloudy and rainy (hooray!) but that should have lifted my spirits, since it was a break from the insane heat. I was in a funk and it was hard to shake. Feeling better today.

I got all my grades back, and I got a B in my conducting seminar. I emailed my professor (no response yet) to ask why, trying not to sound like an arrogant knowitall, but because pretty much all of the feedback was really positive, so I'm not really sure where I went wrong. I had an error in my paper, that was only worth 30% of my grade, but that shouldn't have dropped me a whole letter grade! So, I'm trying to be patient and wait for an answer. It took me awhile to write the email, as I didn't want to sound like a petulant child demanding my A...but this is my only B in grad school, and it dropped me from a 4.0 to a 3.90. That's significant to me.

I also found out we're not getting step raises this year at my school because of all the budget cuts, so I'm glad I finished this program now so I can get some sort of raise, and I'll just cross fingers that H's health insurance will either stay the same or go down. His premium is off the charts.

So, back to the school today. Helping the choir/orchestra teacher get our rehearsal space back in order. Hopefully a few students will show up to help. It shouldn't take too long, and I still have other things to get in order in my other classroom, too. It takes some time prepping 5 or 6 different classes, especially classes as involved as mine. I do love it, though, and I miss it. I don't quite know what to do with myself when I have free time!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm done!

I turned everything in this morning. I'm done! Unless I'm the first person ever to not pass their comp exams for my program at the university, I'm done!

I'm celebrating Saturday night with chicken and beer. Day of Debauchery and Gluttony! Today, I'm just trying to remember how to enjoy free time, and it seems I have totally forgotten, even though it hasn't even been a full month since I started classes. It seems like ages ago that I was standing in my in-laws' kitchen, drinking beer with my BIL and watching those hilarious GI Joe psa parodies on Youtube on his phone. Who wants a body massage? Oooooooh.

Today we are getting sprinklers installed. Half my plants have been dug up to put sprinklers in the flower bed, which means I will hardly ever have to water (yay!) but I worry that in the heat, they won't bounce back. It's mostly just rose moss, but it was 102 by 11:30 this morning. 108 now. I worry that anything other than cactus will make it. Our shrubs are barely established, too. We'll see what happens. H is having them install an electric cable out to the sweet gum tree so we can put Christmas lights without having to run a cable. I've never thought of that. It seems brilliant to me! Now, if it were only December...

Poor Anchovy just doesn't understand why all these workers are in my yard and he isn't. He is a pathetic whiner when he doesn't get his way.

Since I can't seem to relax, I think I'm going to work on my journalism curriculum, since I had to abandon it when my classes started. I made it all the way through Unit 3. That's it. That's about a month's worth of materials. Back to work for me!

Monday, August 1, 2011

6,000 words later...

I'm still not done! 6,000 words! I thought this thing would be like, 15 pages. I'm on 23. Now, that's including 4 pages of works referenced, one for each question/essay I've written, but holy hell!

I actually ran into my adviser today, not surprisingly in the "M" section of the library, and discussed my timing with him. He said that there is not a real deadline on this, that it is somewhat self-paced, and after everything is turned back into him from my other teachers, and it's approved, he'll send me to the graduate college for my audit, and then after a couple of weeks, they should approve me.

Hopefully, the work I've done is satisfactory. I know the theory exam was good for a few laughs. Hopefully my adviser didn't feel that way about my history paper. He makes me a little nervous; he's too hard to read.

I don't know what happens if I don't "pass" my comp exams. Do I get to take them again? Do I not? Do they hunt me down with pitchforks and torches because I would be the first person ever to not pass? Who knows.

I have, at least, finished two of the four essays. I just finished up the works referenced pages for them. Well, almost. I just realized that I still need to figure out how to cite someone's Master's thesis that I read online through the university database. It's a little specific, you know? I hate citing stuff. I never can seem to get the form down.

Otherwise, I've had a hungry day, though it would appear that it has finally stopped. I was getting hungry every two hours. I ate a huge lunch of chicken, green beans, and a salad and I was hungry not that long after! I had some prosciutto and mozzarella, but it didn't taste very good to me, so I tossed about half of it and haven't been hungry since.

Yesterday, I was making my roasted chicken (that smelled so good) and at one point while putting the dinner together, I thought I was going to throw up and my appetite completely went away. I ate my dinner, but not very willingly, even though it tasted quite good. I think the stress was getting to me. I know it is today. My head keeps having sharp, shooting pains and I actually took a nap, something I almost never do.

I was good and didn't get the scale out of the closet. I'm not counting calories this week, either. I want to see how I do on my own eating healthy foods until I feel content.

And I'm still making chili. I don't care if it's 106 outside and the a/c won't stop running. It's depressing.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stress eater

I got my assignment yesterday morning. And then I wept at my keyboard. And then I found out that the university library is closed on weekends, so I couldn't even do the book research I needed to do in order to complete the assignments until Monday.

I was a little stressed. There was a double cheeseburger involved. No one was hurt except my pride.

I am feeling much better today. After finishing the second part of the final last night (basically a discussion of my practicum this spring, which I had to do from memory because of course it's on my work computer, which is unavailable on weekends like the library), and finding that plenty of periodicals have been scanned in online into full-text pdfs, I actually took a break and read for pleasure before bed.

I have to answer four out of seven questions (my choice) and give about three pages on them, using at least one book, two periodicals, and no more than two internet sources. The questions are along the lines of, "Discuss the history of the dichotomy of emotion vs. intellect, and why emotion has been seen as the lesser of the two, and how that has caused music education to be considered less-than necessary?"

Wow, biased much, teach? Too bad it seems that most people believe that the mutual exclusivity between intellect and emotion doesn't exist anymore. I decided to get the book Emotional Intelligence as my guide for that.

And so, it goes forward like that. I turned in my conducting analysis yesterday afternoon and spent some time with the Mahler First symphony, fourth movement. Thank goodness for the class message board and people who are keeping it up. I would be lost without them. I made sure they knew that. My theory professor is probably going to get a lot of laughs out of this analysis, but as long as I turn something in and obviously tried to grasp it, I'll get an A. The comp final is pass/fail...a little more of a daunting task, in my mind.

In other news, I gained all the weight back, except for one pound, that I lost, and I am so obviously bloated it's comical to me. I know I didn't actually gain four pounds of fat in two days, but I certainly gained it in water. I promptly took the scale and hid it in the back of the hallway closet, and vowed to not step on it until Saturday morning, after a full week of healthy eating, with no grains and no alcohol. After I finish this project, I will also be able to get my gym time in with some regularity, and will likely sweat out a few pounds at the school when I go up to put my rooms back in order!

This coming Saturday, however, is the Day of Debauchery and Gluttony. Some politician asked people to fast and pray for the future of our country, and there has been an obvious backlash. The hardcore atheist in me grabbed onto this, and immediately invited those in my friend list that I knew would appreciate it. My Catholic husband included! I plan on using that day (after a hard workout in the morning, of course) for a movie, unhealthy food, and maybe celebrating my awesomeness and finishing grad school. I must text my sister and see if she's up for the challenge.

So, dark clouds overhead, but some sun peeking through. I sure wish it would be cloudy for real. Last night, while reading, I realized how much I miss the rain. How much I miss walking outside and not having your breath taken away by the heat. The co-op put out their monthly newsletter and one farm was talking about their plans for fall plantings and I had a sudden urge to buy turnips, a vegetable I have never eaten but that surely reminds me of cooler weather. I'm making chili tomorrow, so I can kind of say "fuck you" to the sun and the heat. Fuck you, heat dome, I'm eating chili. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday Freeday

I decided to give myself a pass every week, and yesterday was my day. I had a normal breakfast, but allowed myself some Freddy's for lunch (sounded so good) and then hosted a birthday party in the evening for a friend.

The Freddy's was everything I imagined it would be. Salty, a little greasy, with that strong mustard/pickle/onion flavor they do so well. I even had a Pepsi.

Not more than 30 minutes later, I got sick and paid my dues. I was fine after that one trip, though.

In the evening, I made spicy roasted shrimp cocktail, chicken wings, and sliced up some veggies to go with hummus. Not too bad. I made some bread, too, because I figured there would be alcohol and bread helps. I only had I think one piece of it.

We were enjoying this drink H's family used to make called a "mint bucket." It's a punch bowl with lots of fruit, mint, ice, pink lemonade concentrate, ginger ale, and vodka. Lots of vodka.

About 2 hours into the party, and I got sick again. I think it was the sugar. I was fine, and then suddenly there was this hard knot in my stomach. It wasn't pleasant, to say the least. I likely didn't eat enough to counterbalance all the sugar in the drink.

Regardless, it was a fun night and a couple of my friends who had never been to my house (we don't live all that close to our people) finally got to meet the cats, the dog, and see our home, and laugh at my seashell bathroom light fixture. (For the record, I didn't pick that out, it was here when we moved in, and I plan on changing it very, very soon.)

I think a smoothie is in order this morning to replenish vitamins. I don't know what we're going to do for lunch because I didn't plan to make one. I wasn't a very good meal planner last week. I could always cook up a piece of chicken and get some veg out of the freezer. Dinner is that other party, likely, so I'll do the best I can.

Oh, and I have got to stop stepping on the scale every day. I like to see how what I eat one day affects my weight, but it starts to border on obsessive. I might put the scale away in a hard-to-reach place to keep myself away from it.

I had my last-ever graduate class on Thursday. Then I found out that I screwed up and didn't read the comprehensive exam information correctly, and still have one to go. The professor was supposed to email it to me yesterday, but my luck, it never came. I sent an email a short while ago asking if she had forgotten about me, and that I need to get this done next week as I am completely finished save for a couple assignments that are due Sunday and Tuesday. I was so angry with myself for misunderstanding and not asking for clarification, just in case. Hopefully, that will all work out, and soon, as I am ready to be done. Done-done.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why do I stop?

Why do I ever stop eating like this and start eating pasta and rice again? WHY? I feel so much better this way and I always forget how much more energy I have. Last night, I could barely fall asleep. I thought I was tired, turned off the tv, and felt like I couldn't close my eyes. It took me a long while to fall asleep.

I woke up at 6:30 so I could try C25K again this morning, but the app will barely work on my phone. And the music wouldn't play, and that just won't do. I can't go without something in my brain besides my thoughts. So, after two blocks and much cursing, I turned back. I tried updating my phone, but after re-installing iTunes (because it wouldn't open because of "missing files") it said my phone was up to date. I guess it must be time to upgrade the phone. And yes, it was one of "those" mornings with technology. Blah. I will say that it was nice waking up and not feeling dead tired. I don't even remember any dreams from last night. That was nice.

I tried to find a decent workout on OnDemand, not feeling like going to the gym, but I don't think that 15 minutes of The Biggest Loser Workout is going to do much for me. I opted to lift weights and use the newly-inflated stability ball. I stuck to lower body and abs today, and maybe this evening I'll go to the gym and do some cardio.

My morning class isn't meeting right now, since half the class can't make it due to a certain school district starting earlier this year, so I have more time to work on my conducting for my afternoon class and work out in the morning, which is also nice. I'm quite looking forward to conducting, though I know I'm going to get reamed for facial expression. I do fine with angry stuff, but I want to conduct the slow, pretty movement, and it's weird just smiling through the whole thing, so I'm trying to go for "serene." We'll see how that works out. I'm at least challenging myself. It was fun playing yesterday, too.

I managed to lose about 4lbs of water weight in the last couple of days, and a lower carb diet will do that to you. We'll see how it goes from here.

Yesterdays' food:
B: a little under 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt, 1/8 cup sliced almonds, raspberries, and about a tbsp spun honey.
L: "Antipasto:" cherry tomatoes, mozz pears, prosciutto, hard salami, and bell pepper strips, water.
S: Colby Jack cheese stick.
D: "Low carb" beef stroganoff--sirloin cubes, mushrooms, onions in a mushroom/cream cheese/sour cream sauce with green beans.
DS: A huge peach

I can certainly say I got in my dairy yesterday! Hooray for calcium.

For now, I need to try and finish up this theory final. I won't be able to answer all of it, I know that for sure. But, I've tried hard and I know the person grading it will take that into account. I haven't done a lot of this stuff since undergrad...10 years ago. Use it or lose it, they say. Then lunch (breakfast today was the same as yesterday and tasty!) which will be leftovers and more green beans, and dinner is balsamic chicken and some kind of veggie. I am undecided. I was going to do a caprese salad and I might still. Just not sure.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh, dreamweav-ah...

So, last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I was hit with Beethoven-overload-insomnia. I couldn't get the 2nd movement of the Eroica out of my head...the funeral march. I finally left the bedroom and slept on the couch. For some reason, I was asleep in 10 minutes there. I think Anchovy's comforting purring at my feet helped (he's always waiting for someone to come sleep on the couch!).

After I went back to the bedroom around 5:30, I had an awful dream. I dreamed that my dad (who passed away over four and a half years ago) had gone to some church in Wichita and came back, declaring that I was "sick" and needed medication. He forced me to take some kind of pills, though they didn't seem to do anything, and held my sister and me hostage in our home. Mom was nowhere to be found. She had run away before he came back. I kept trying to call her, over and over...but my sister and I were being watched. My dad had put a recording device in our room. I only called when I knew he was asleep. At one point, I escaped, but found that there were obstacles I could not pass, and so I turned back. I finally got my mom on the phone, but she just sounded cheerful and willingly ignorant of the situation. I felt defeated, and lost, and sad.

WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!?!? I spent most of the morning trying to shake the awful feeling I woke up with, and even teared up getting in the shower thinking about it. It's no secret that losing a parent is difficult, even years later...and I can certainly say the details of my father's passing were not...optimal. However, I hadn't even thought of him in days. I just saw my mom yesterday evening, so who knows where all of this came from.

In better news, I turned a corner today in the kitchen, and am re-vamping how I eat. Yet again. I am following myself on Livestrong's myplate online, and have set myself up to lose a pound a week. A nice, reasonable number. I have decided to ditch the grains, and focus on proteins, fruits, veggies, and a little dairy instead. For example, I will have yogurt with berries and almonds in the morning, with just a little honey to sweeten. I justify the honey because it is local ;) Lunch will likely be an antipasto platter in my lunchbox, with organic cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, bell peppers, mozzarella pearls, and probably a cut-up peach, if they will ripen up a bit. I'm making beef stroganoff over green beans for dinner. Yum. That will be lunch for a couple of days.

I find it easier to eat cleaner if I ditch the rice, pasta and so forth. I always eat too much, anyway, if I make it. I have plenty of pasta in the pantry, though, nice high-protein and whole wheat pastas, for days when I feel the need for them. This isn't Atkins, folks. It's kind of my own design...sort of a mesh of Paleo/Primal and, well, "normal" eating. Alcohol will be a once or twice evening treat, not the beerfest June was. Sheesh.

I also find it easier to eat less this way. Like I said, I always overeat on the carbs, anyway, so cutting them out is an easy solution. I just have to up the veggies in their place, and I doubt that any doctor or nutritionist could argue with me that more veggies in my diet is a good thing. It's also easier for me to eat less, because I don't get as hungry. Hell, today I have lots of calories left to eat, according to myplate, and I haven't even had dinner yet! And that's breakfast, lunch, and a snack.

So, good luck to me. I am really thinking about starting C25K again, as well, and might get up early in the morning to see how the hot weather feels. It's 106 right now, so evening runs are out of the question, at least for this hot-natured woman. I quite liked running, and the peace it brought me early in the mornings. I think I could do that and use the new weights and things we have here (I need to inflate my stability ball! Husband, where are you??!) and possibly drop the gym membership and enjoy that money in other ways. Like putting it into savings for shopping when I hit my first goal!

I should set a goal for 15 pounds on my birthday. I think it will be a birthday/weightloss shopping spree. I think that's reasonable.

Off to blow up my ball!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

PMS Monster strikes again

I ate Taco Bueno yesterday. BUENO. What was I thinking? I felt awful after...but it was soooooooo tasty at the time. Meh.

I did some HHA, until my toe started stinging from the pressure and the bandaid worked off. The bandaid is really just there to make sure I don't snag it on the bedsheets, or the carpet. I also had to stop mid-way through and fix the DVD. It was dusty and skipping! So, I got about 30 minutes in of at least something.

This morning, I slept a little late and skipped a class meeting (no teacher...totally voluntary) so I could lift weights this morning and get it out of the way. I did squats (normal and wide-stance for inner thigh) with weights, lunges with weights (only 2 sets each leg as it put pressure on my toenail on the step back), calf raises, deadlifts, chest presses, chest flys, overhead press, and twists with the medicine ball.

I am tired now! I know I need to eat breakfast but I'm just not hungry.

For the rest of the day, I have to go to the school and pick up some books that I need for my theory final and my conducting class next week. Then I need to work on the Beethoven analysis and my final. I hope to get most of those done in the next two days so I can convince H to take me to see HP7 and to dinner on Saturday!

I feel the need to celebrate every small victory this month. Nine hours of graduate credit in a month is nuts. I'm not alone, at least. There are others doing all the same classes as me, but I have the comprehensive stuff on top of it (paper's done at least, and was turned in last week) so it's been a little stressful. Almost done!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So, I was all gung-ho about starting my gym routine and whatnot, right?

Yeah...I was pretty sore on Sunday, and still pretty sore yesterday. I had hoped to strap on some shoes and at least go for a walk in the evening to loosen up my muscles since it was super hot and I knew that would feel good on my aching muscles. Sounds like a good plan, yes? Especially if I was well-hydrated.

I got home from class, a trip to the tire shop, and stopping by the school to pick up some scores and was home all of 5 seconds when I injured myself. It's a small injury, and it's not really an injury-injury...but, I was wearing flip-flops, and as I stopped by my desk to drop off the scores, I bumped my big toenail on the bottom of the desk, where there is a space between the desk and floor.

Ouch! I thought. I felt the nail, and there was a little sharp ridge there. I took the dog out to pee and came back in to cut it back.

That's when I saw the blood. Plenty of it, under the nail. I split that bad boy about 1/4 inch down, almost. The height difference between the two sides was GRABBABLE. If grabbable is a word. I went into the bathroom and removed the nail polish...and the remover got into the split and yowza, that stung!

I slapped a band-aid on it to protect it from sheets, but there's no way I can put on shoes, as I'm pretty sure I'll just rip the rest of my toenail off.

I wanted to do some hip hop abs today, as I could do that without shoes on the cushy carpet, but the damn thing actually hurts today, if I put weight on it wrong.

Of course this comes in the midst of the PMS Monster that can't get full. Sheesh.

In other news, I cannot focus on the Beethoven 3rd. The first movement is definitely stuck in my head....rather, the exposition of the 1st movement. The entire first movement is 695 measures long, in my score. So, I just keep hearing the same parts over and over. It's maddening.

To make it stop, I made brownies. It was a vain attempt at distraction. It lasted 5 minutes. I can at least say that I'm enjoying this week's more relaxed schedule. I almost have too much time to get work done, and feel myself procrastinating!

I'll get back on track. My muscles should be strong enough tomorrow to be able to at least work out at home, even if I can't put on shoes. H and I bought a stability ball, a 10lb medicine ball, some weight lifting gloves, and two adjustable-weight dumbbells that can be adjusted up to 30lbs each. I tried to talk him into the set that goes to 60lbs, but he didn't think we would need it. Seeing as I'm already rowing 20lbs, it won't take me long to need more, but we can buy more weights as we go. I also want a weighted bar--those are cool!

I should try and be productive, I guess. I've just lounged most of the afternoon. Lazy me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finally going to do this

You know how you sometimes just need an "a-ha" moment to get you inspired? I had mine the other day. It wasn't exactly "inspiring," though...more like sad and depressing.

I stopped in to The Loft to kill a few minutes while waiting to meet a friend for lunch, and I realized that there really isn't anything in there I can wear. If I want my size in pants, I have to order them online, and even then, it's a crapshoot. I miss being able to shop there and try on clothes there. I miss buying higher quality clothes than Old Navy and Ross.

So, I'm setting a goal. I'm usually scared of doing this kind of goal, because what happens if I don't meet it? Well, fuck the fear. If I don't hit the goal, then I will just keep going until I do.

My goal is 15 pounds by my 31st birthday. That's a short 15 weeks away.

I did manage to work out on Friday -- it was only cardio as my hip is KILLING me after sitting in awful desks and chairs for class for the last two weeks -- and yesterday. I kicked my ass yesterday, and I'm quite proud. I'm moving pretty slow today, actually. I was quite surprised at how heavy I could lift to start. I'm pretty strong considering I'm not in awesome shape. So, that's a start.

Eventually, I plan to move our diet (and yes, H is going to do this with me whether he likes it or not) into a more plant and animal protein based diet, with less dairy and fewer grains. Not totally low-carb or Primal/Paleo, but with smaller and fewer servings of those two things. With much, much less alcohol. Sweets have not been that big a deal around here, as long as I don't bake for just the two of us, so we'll keep a treat day now and then so we can have a meal that isn't "on plan" and enjoy a drink or two.

First steps will be getting a workout plan started. We have talked about turning our empty dining room into a home gym, and I think I have finally convinced H to get free weights instead of some bulky machine. I don't want to have to move that thing someday. We will also get some sort of cardio machine. I would prefer an arc trainer, as I like how they work and my knees feel better, but I could do an elliptical. We both hate treadmills, so we at least agree on something! Maybe we could get H a stationary bike for rainy/too hot/too cold days, as well. For the time being, though, I've got a gym membership and H is just going to have to suck it up and deal with the (oppressive) heat.

So, that's what's going on. I know I've said it before, but it was a wake-up call for me. Maybe H will have a similar wake-up call of his own.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Restless everything

I am feeling very restless today. My legs are bouncing around under me as I type this, it's the only thing keeping me sane right now.

The last time I remember feeling like this, I had gone off my anti-depressant and restlessness was one of the discontinuation (i.e. withdrawal) symptoms. I can't focus on anything, not even the tv. I couldn't read a book. I couldn't work on my journalism curriculum. I definitely couldn't focus on getting an outline of the development of harmoniemusik during the Classical period for my comprehensive history paper.

The only thing I can think of is hormones, because I'm not necessarily bored. I WANT to do all of these things but my brain won't stop long enough to digest whatever it is that I am doing. The other morning, I accidentally dropped my birth control pill down the sink. It's a monophasic pill, meaning the dose is the same all month long, so I just took the next one, knowing that my month would end a day earlier than usual. Today is the day when I should have had a pill but didn't. I've always been very sensitive to them, even the super low dose ones I have now, as well as pretty much any medication, aside from NSAIDs. I wonder if the early flux in hormones has something to do with it.

I feel like I'm going batty.

There. Typing actually seems to help.

In other news, I tried Peruvian food the other night and it was fantastic. A couple of ladies from a website I visit (one of whom I had met once, the other I had not met at all, aside from our online personas), invited me out for this delicious dinner. I was surprised, flattered, and a little...well, shocked. I told the one that I had not met that I was glad I hadn't found a way to alienate her, as I seem to do that so well so much of the time! She thought that was pretty funny.

Work on my journalism curriculum is going well. I've gotten through three units now, slogging through sports writing. Op-Eds are staring me in the face right now but I can't think about them. I am proud that I have been able to get fairly far ahead to get the year started. I know I won't get to work on this project at all in July.

My nine hours and comprehensive exams are looming over my head. I almost regret my history paper topic, but after being denied the first time, I felt creatively stunted and chose something else, perhaps poorly. I can't seem to wrap my mind around the earlier history of my topic, and have hit a wall with it.

My efforts to de-pee the house have not been totally in vain. I feel like I am making progress in the dining room, though we know someday, not too far into the future, we need to take out the carpet, seal the floor and put down laminate. It makes more sense in a dining room, anyway, even though it isn't being used for that purpose at this time.

This morning I sat down and made a little wishlist of all the things I would like to do to the house in the nearish future, and then my ultimate, shoot for the moon wishlist, which probably won't happen (choose a new color for the outside trim and gutters and paint it...yeah, right). I feel like some of them are pretty manageable, like putting in a new showerhead in my hallway bathroom or putting down new vent grates, as the ugly ones we have now are an eyesore. Both of these are fairly inexpensive. Some things on the list, like putting in a vent fan in the hallway bath, will require us to hire someone, but are still within reach.

At this point, I am just trying to not dread July and look forward to a possible vacation at the end, and what should be a really good school year for me. My yearbook staff has almost $3,000 to start the year (holy cow, the most we ever had before was a $14 carryover), I have great upper class group in band, and though my newspaper staff is small, they are good, and I plan on outsourcing some other work to non-staff students and let them freelance a little. The school is getting some major upgrades, like new lighting, heating, windows, and hopefully chillers, in an effort to make the building energy efficient. We're even getting school-wide wifi! I can use a laptop in my classroom! (not that I couldn't before, but cordless sure would be nice). So, I'm just trying to look forward to the good and not dread the not as good.

I feel better for having typed all this out. Less restless. Perhaps I'll bake something and that will make me feel like I accomplished at least something today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

31 for 31 check in

I'm about halfway through my 31 for 31, so I figured it was time for me to check in and see my progress. I know I'm failing miserably at some things, but others I feel like I am excelling.

Oh, and guess what--I'm not private anymore! I figured enough time had passed now to let some other stuff die down.

I also apologize for going almost a month without an update...I've been seriously enjoying my time away from work, but have definitely been keeping busy around the house. Since my June class at the university was canceled due to low enrollment, I'm free for the whole month and am getting my new journalism curriculum in order and getting a lot done around the house.

All right, here we go!

1. Stop being a lazy cook and get in the kitchen: I'm doing pretty well at this, especially since it's summer. Next month is going to be very busy for me, so I imagine there are going to be lots of sandwich nights.

2. Make H clean the kitchen more with me after dinner: I ask him to come in from time to time but I don't nag him about it. Sometimes he does stuff on his own. I've figured out, though, that if he puts away the dishes on his own, my cooking utensils are never put back in the same place!

3. Be a more engaged and engaging piano instructor: I've had exactly one lesson this summer. I was doing pretty well, though, playing duets with my students and sharing fun music stories.

4. Stop being afraid to hurt certain peoples' feelings and tell them what I really think when they ask. No one spares my feelings: Nope, no one spares my feelings. However, that's fine. I'm a tough broad, and can handle it. I've been told, at least by coworker friends, that I am very good at being diplomatic.

5. Read more books: Yay! I read a book for fun! I read Michael Crighton's Prey and loved it. I'm currently re-reading The Bachman Book series by Stephen King. Found it at a half-price books store for $6.50--that's about a penny a page.

6. Go to some concerts at the local universities: FAIL.

7. Finish C25K and do speedwork, then move to Bridge to 10K: Even bigger fail. I have given up on C25K for the time being, as I explained before.

8. Sign up for and race at least 3 5K's this year: Skipping ahead...

9. Sign up for and race at least 1 10K this year: Skipping ahead...

10. Continue my journey to enjoying the smaller things in life that bring joy: I have been enjoying watching all the wildlife in my yard. I have more toads than anyone I know. I have a poor little bald-faced cardinal that hangs around my back door but he's fun to watch. I have watched my plants grow, and I have seen beautiful sunsets and lightning. I have learned to take the time to enjoy lap-fungus (Extra) and hanging out with friends.

11. Learn a new instrument: Failure...however, hubby seemed interested in me learning euphonium, since I loved learning it in college. I didn't do anything with it, it was just fun.

12. Quit being such a nag: Trying, trying. Doing okay. Hubby's work has been pretty stressful so I'm trying to not add to that by being bitchy and naggy. It slips through sometimes, and sometimes you just have to nag or nothing gets done.

13. Continue to foster my new friendships at work: Done. It's so weird not seeing them every day!

14. Be more supportive of my husband's efforts to continue to improve his alma mater fraternity: Um, yeah, going to like 4 weddings, one of which we'll have to stay in a smallish town overnight, just for fraternity brothers. I'm doing my best to be supportive!

15. Become a more savvy shopper: I've learned the secrets of Ross and have a stack of grocery coupons. I even managed to get coupons for organic produce and berries. I rock!

16. Save up and buy another lens for my camera: Instead, I bought a small Canon elph point and shoot that I love.

17. Stop breaking my wedding ring: That same crack is there, but the stone's still in it! I hardly wear it during the summer, though.

18. Prove once and for all that my school building is haunted: Not up there at this time, however I still hear things when I am there, I am just always alone when it happens!

19. Receive a glowing review when the assistant principal reviews my journalism class: The review never happened. However, we did do these student evaluations at the end of the year and most of my kids really enjoyed beginning journalism and had a lot of nice things to say.

20. Continue trying a new recipe every month: Not actively trying, but I have made some new versions of old favorites.

21. Be more open to trying new cuisines: Um....I want to try a Peruvian place really bad, and this farm-to-table place, but I doubt that I'll be eating the chicken livers or bone marrow appetizers.

22. Continue working to be a more stable person, and to keep a hold of my struggle with depression: Most days are good, but I have my moments. I try to keep those moments at home. I can't afford to be a crazy person at work, but when I'm here alone, well, as Julia would say, "Who's to see?"

23. Continue to delight in the triumphs and successes of my students: No problem :) I have also learned to delight in their oddity, their nerddom, and the fact that they accept me, a total crazy nerd weirdo, so easily.

24. Do more to take care of myself: My arms and legs are covered in scratches and bruises. It's like I walked through a barbed wire fence and fell over. Cat scratches, fence scratches, self-inflicted nail scratches, bumps against the wall...I'm trying to take care of myself but it's not working!

25. Take a vacation, even if it is just a small weekend trip to Dallas: Done. Eureka Springs for a weekend. Slept a bunch, very relaxing.

26. Re-invest myself in strength training: I re-joined my gym and have made use of the weight machines. The leg press and abductor/adductor machines really help my hip flexor.

27. Actively save money. We don't save nearly enough: Saved, spent it on tuition and vacation.

28. Keep a cleaner house, especially my office, which is a mess at the moment: It's pretty clean around here right now, but it's because I'm always here! And, my office is back to normal, after three months of a hole in the wall and a cat peeing in the corner. Ew.

29. Be less hypercritical of others: Uh...

30. Finish the little projects around the house--curtains, hanging things, photos in frames, etc: Haven't really got any projects at this time, just trying to keep it clean!

31. Continue to enjoy my new found outlook on life: I'm doing okay with this. Currently, I'm enjoying just relaxing, which isn't something I do much during the school year. My mom told me last weekend she was glad to see me taking some time to relax, too. I guess she was worried about me :/ We get busy, though. That's just life.

So, I'm doing okay! I can't do much about the C25K issue right now, but maybe my hip will be strong enough in the fall to start running again. My sister got some of those Vibram shoes and I'm so green-eyed it's ridiculous. Other, more pressing financial matters (even more tuition) are taking precedence right now, unfortunately, so those will have to wait. In the meantime, I will try to get to the gym more than just a couple times a week (I tried Zumba last week and it was way fun!) and make it a habit so when school starts it will just be part of my routine. Hopefully.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

B: Hard-boiled egg, piece of toast, Smart Balance spread, strawberries, water
S: Animal crackers
L: Half a Subway sandwich, a serving of chips, a 1"x1" square brownie, water
D: Crockpot roast (chuck roast, cream of mushroom soup, obviously very fancy), roasted fingerling potatoes, a mess of green beans, water
DS: Banana

Haven't felt well the past few days. I slept so much this weekend, but was dizzy, exhausted, irritable, and sometimes nauseous. At first, I thought I imbibed a little too much Friday night. But the feeling continued into Sunday, and I knew I didn't have so much on Friday as to make me feel ill for two days. Then I still felt like crap yesterday, and started to get a migraine. I mentioned this to a couple of teacher friends, and they said they had the same last week.

I felt much better about myself after that! I came home yesterday, took (yet another) nap, had dinner, and started to perk up a bit. I feel much better today. I refuse to go on vacation this weekend feeling sick!

In work news, my project was fully funded Sunday afternoon. I'm so excited! My classroom will get reeds, mutes, slide/valve oil, earplugs (for the drumline, so important), and some really cool speakers for listening exercises. I can't wait! What a cool program.

My next project, as soon as I get it approved, will be to buy some textbooks for my beginning journalism class. I have one that is great, was released in 2007, and is a way better resource than what I currently have, which is basically nothing! I don't see why my principal won't be okay with this. The textbooks we had were from 1993. There aren't a lot of journalism textbooks out there that are worth anything.

Weigh-in tomorrow with WW (online). I can't help but weigh myself periodically throughout the week, and it's been all over the place. This morning it was solidly down another pound, so hopefully it will stay down for tomorrow.

Also, I might make my blog public again. I think the craziness from before has settled down.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance

Another class has graduated. Another class is moving on, while the faculty and I remain behind. This is both the joy and the curse of being a teacher. Your students are not permanent.

If you don't mind, let me share some things that were shared on Facebook and in my yearbook these last few very humbling days.

"You have been the best teacher, mentor, and friend. You are truely an amazing woman and I am SO grateful for having you these past four years." -- Yearbook editor

"You have been like a mother to me; I appreciate you pushing me through all the challenges of this year." -- band student

"Thank you. You have changed the lives of students. Again and again you make me happy that I've had the chance to know you. Thank you for changing my life." -- a senior that I never had in class, but have gotten to know well.

"I'm probably going to miss you like crazy 'cause you have always been here for me, in and outside of school. Luckily, I have two more years with you and I'll text you over the summer so you don't miss me too much. :)" -- band student

"Band was my favorite thing in high school, and I always enjoyed giving you a hard time. I'm going to miss band and all the goofy kids in it." -- band student

"There hasn't yet been an afternoon where you haven't made me smile at some point. I wish you'd been my teacher too." -- student that I told I'd wished I'd had her in my class

"You're a really great teacher! I'm glad I had you this year. Thanks for not only being a good teacher, but a great person in general. You've taught me ALOT (one word)." Newspaper editor sharing a private joke

"I enjoyed having you as my journalism teacher and I am glad I had a chance to interview and really understand who you are. At first, I thought you were mean, but you're laid back and cool. You also have good taste in music!" senior journalism student

Yes, I'm tooting my own horn. I'm proud of my students and I am proud of myself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

B: Hard boiled egg, slice of toast with Smart Balance spread
S: Low fat cheddar, 1 oz
L: (completely gross) Lean Cuisine, yummarific strawberries, 1 oz dark chocolate
D: Cooking Light Deep Dish Taco Pizza (yum!), BIG green salad w/homemade dijon dressing
S: More pizza (hey, I earned the points!)

W/O: 30 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes lower body weights, getting a feel for how strong my hip is. 4 activity points earned.

I wasn't as hungry today as yesterday. Man, I was starving yesterday. I don't think I'm eating nearly enough protein to stay satisfied. Hence the extra taco pizza after the workout! I prefer to eat lighter during the day and have a bigger meal so I don't wake up hungry. I know that goes against all those gurus that say you shouldn't eat a heavy dinner, don't eat after 7pm blah blah blah. Well, dammit, I find it nearly impossible to sleep well on an empty stomach.

Case in point: Last night, I had some roasted turkey breast, green beans, a tiny bit of jello mold and a slice of bread with some spread cheese for dinner. The dinner was mostly the green beans, about 4 oz of turkey, just a few bites of the jello and then the one piece of bread. I was hungry an hour later. I went to bed hungry, having no points left and with two days left before mine start over, I didn't want to let go of the extras that I still had left. I dreamed about zombies, and my weapon of choice was GREEN BEANS.

So, I will try to save enough points for a slightly larger dinner...and supplement with more water.

I've also decided that Lean Cuisines are gross. I used to find them tolerable, but now I just can't stand them. I might have to try those Amy's meals, for days when I have no leftovers. Luckily, for this week, I have leftovers! At least for the next three days.

Here's the taco pizza recipe. It goes great with a big ol' green salad:

CL Deep Dish Taco Pizza (adapted to my own needs and wants but still pretty much the same calorically)

1 lb ground round (I used co-op ground beef, which is pretty darn lean)
1/2 cup onion (they call for frozen, I used fresh)
2 TBSP Taco seasoning (I made my own)
1 can tomatoes with green chiles (I used Rotel), drained
1 can refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese (Kraft 2% for me)

Preheat oven to 425°F
Sautee onions and ground beef, drain if necessary. Add tomatoes and seasoning. Simmer until most of the liquid has drained.

Spread pizza dough into sprayed 9X13 pan, along the bottom and sides (mine had ripped...grrrr). Spread the taco mixture over the top. Bake for 12 minutes, then add cheese and bake for another 5. Let it rest for a couple of minutes before cutting and serving. Serves 6 healthy appetites.

***Now, I didn't read all the directions, and put the cheese on from the beginning, so I just baked it for 15 minutes total and it was fine, but my oven runs a little warmer than it says.

H declared it a keeper and so do I!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Band banquet

I just had the most fun at a band banquet, of all things. I won't go into boring details, but suffice it to say the food was good, the performances were entertaining (to say the least, I almost peed my pants laughing at one point) and the awards were hilarious. And the turnout was really good, too!

Last night, I received my Master's hood. My university will be hearing from me, however, about the Master of Music vs. Master of Fine Arts debate. Sure, the music department might be part of the fine arts department; that does not mean that I have to wear the wrong damned hood. A Master of Music is a completely different degree. We have our own (pink) hood. I didn't run into any problems (aside from having to WRITE my Master of Music in on the card because they didn't give me the option of choosing what I have earned) but others ran into irate bookstore employees. The music faculty is p'd, and rightfully so. Why offer the program if you aren't going to to recognize it?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

B: 2 small scrambled eggs (pullet eggs from the co-op), English muffin with a tiny bit of jam, OJ, B vitamin
L: LC Romano bowtie bacon thing, strawberries
S: 1 oz sharp cheddar cheese
S2: Chocolate chip cookie at faculty meeting (not worth it)
D: Asian marinated flank steak, brown rice, "asian" veggies (frozen)

Not very inspired today, though I am very much looking forward to my steak. Maybe my fatigue is iron related.

I took Callie on a long walk yesterday for some activity points and I have found that walking makes my hip sore, so I will take tonight off to rest it and hit the elliptical tomorrow, and some weights to help build strength. I guess it's the pounding the pavement that causes the soreness.

Today was my official weigh-in day (it asked me Monday what I wanted to do and I chose Wednesday because I'm least likely to be bad during the week!) and I lost just over 2 and a half pounds. I even allowed myself an adult beverage last night. My weight can fluctuate so much it's awful.

I get hooded Friday night, and I wish I could say I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to seeing my mom, sister, and sister's boyfriend and getting to go out to dinner more! At least I was able to choose a faculty member to hood me that I actually care about and who has actually been helpful to me after my undergrad, and during my career, which is nice because I haven't had much contact with any other of my former teachers!

I did find my old high school band director on Facebook this afternoon. I had no idea! I couldn't help but click the friend request button.

I wish I had some sort of insightful ending to this post, but I don't, as usual. I really can write, and I really do have thoughts in my head, but posting before I eat dinner is probably a bad idea as hunger is taking over my brain!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

B: Greek yogurt (from the co-op!), strawberries, a little bit of Grape Nuts, 8oz OJ (Surprisingly filling) B vitamin
S: Didn't need one!
L: Same as yesterday, except asparagus was the veggie of choice
S: 1 oz sharp cheddar cheese
S2: 2 small oatmeal cookies
D: Leftover chicken, a mess of green beans, some 90 second rice

Still over the daily allotment of points. Trying to get used to slightly less food. Yesterday I got a bit of a headache in the afternoon but I was just hungry all day for some reason! Today was better, though I feel like my eyes and mind are tired. I think I've had to spend too much time in front of the computer.

Going to go to the gym here in a little bit, probably, or take the dog for a long walk. It's a very nice evening, so maybe I'll do the latter and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Here we go again...

This morning, I woke up sleepy after watching the news events unfold until late and listening to neighbors talk loudly in their yard and joined Weight Watchers.

That's right. Weight Watchers. Because I got on the scale this morning and realized that I am not watching my weight enough. They've re-done how the points work since I was a member last time, and I'm definitely going to go over today! Oh well. You get extra points for the week, anyway. You can also get activity points. Which brings me to my next point:

I re-joined my gym. It's for women, it's clean and fairly upscale, and I got a month free because they sent me a thing in the mail. I'm down with that. I think my hip can take some elliptical. It's less jarring than walking or running.

Hopefully, I'll start to feel a little better about myself when the clothes start fitting better. That's the plan. It's never good when you avoid the camera and miss out on memories because you don't like your fat face. So, here we go again with what I ate. It does help quite a bit to see it here and know that someone's reading it.

Today I ate:
B: Honey Bunches of Oats (1 cup), 8oz OJ, B vitamin and zinc
S: 1 oz Sharp Cheddar cheese
L: Leftover meatloaf, 1/2 cup leftover mashed potatoes, and about half a cup of roasted Brussels sprouts (they weren't very good--I think their time may be up!), 1 cup strawberries
S: 1 oz peanuts
S: 1 oatmeal cookie (I was really hungry today...damn cycle makes it worse)
D: PW's crispy yogurt chicken, roasted asparagus (made with co-op chicken thighs and co-op greek yogurt. Yum!)

Workout to be determined. I'm still pretty tired from not getting enough sleep, but I think I'll go later even if I just trudge through the workout. Better than nothing, I suppose.

I don't know why but I feel very Eeyore-ish today. Very ho-hum. I should be excited, and I am, inside, but I just can't seem to get that to translate into this. Maybe tomorrow I will be more energetic.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Yeah, that's right. I went to prom. And it was adorable. I never went to prom in high school, for lots of reasons, but I think if our proms had been as fun as last night's, I would have found a way to go.

One of my students had a little drama. It's sad, and funny, and so teenage-high-school-girl drama it's ridiculous. Student and ex-boyfriend have same group of friends. Ex-boyfriend is bringing new girlfriend (who also used to be an ex, before student). Girlfriend gets a hold of Student's number, and texts her really awful things. Student is very upset by this. I tell her that I will be there, and to let me know if any drama goes down so I can intervene if necessary. Evidently, the night went off with only one hitch: Girlfriend meets Student for first time, asks, "Are you Student?" Student: "Yes." Girlfriend: "You're a cheap bitch." Student. "Okay."

What is that?!?!?!??! For the record, Student was on the dance floor, livin' it up and obviously having a great time. I was proud of her for brushing that off.

Onto other things. I think I'm going to re-join my old gym down the street. It really was a nice place, and was very clean. I think now that so much has calmed down with work (downhill slide!) and June looks to be one class or none, that I will have time to get in there and get some work done. It gets so hot here so fast (and muggy) once May hits and I don't always want to work out outside. I also think that the elliptical would be great for my hip. It has been feeling pretty good the last couple of days. It felt great yesterday walking around the arts festival, but I am so out of shape it's embarrassing. I got a free month coupon in the mail, so I might head over tomorrow and just sign up.

I think I'm also going to start posting what I eat every day, to get back to the "accountable" part of this accountability blog. And at the end of this month, I will again go through my 31 goals and see how I'm doing!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Private Eye

I have decided, at least for awhile, to change my blog's status from public to private (invite only). Some drama happened this week, personal and professional, but I will discuss that only in person or through some other outlet, if you want to know about it.

However, there are some things that I do feel comfortable sharing in this venue. Beware: there will be work-related information. If that bothers you, then just click away from this page. Beware....BEWARE the posts about my job!

1. Two band students who had no re-enrolled for next year, came to me after Thursday's concert and said, "We've made a terrible mistake." They want to stay. They had too much fun playing at the concert to give it up. I think I have some good ideas for next year to make the ensemble more enjoyable for all, and they will probably like it more throughout the year, instead of just at the end.

2. I turned in my graduate project. I drove all the way there...and my project adviser wasn't in his office. I instead had a nice conversation with my graduate adviser about the project, this summer's classes, and general stuff. He informed me that the history class (that I was dreading...Bach cantatas? Really?) might not make. However, I was planning on 12 hours this summer, including a 3-hour conducting course that I don't need. He said he could put the conducting course in for the history course, if the need arises. The graduate college won't like it, but it's not my fault, he said, that the class might not make, and I shouldn't be punished for it.

3. I'm secretly hoping the history class doesn't make. Bach cantatas, people. The conducting institute, however, sounds like a much better use of my time.

4. I walk next Friday evening. I wish I could feel like I'm closing some sort of chapter on my life, but I'm not. Not yet, at least.

5. We have I think four weddings to go to this summer! Holy cow!

6. Sometimes I wish my husband had no background in music, because he thinks he knows more than I do, and that his casual twice-annual visit to listen to my group at concerts is enough to analyze their improvement. He even said that he was just as qualified as the judges we have at contest! Sometimes I wonder where he gets this stuff from. Participating in a group is not the same as going through all the coursework that I did to prepare myself for what I do. He admitted to not knowing what he's doing when helping the orchestra, but then turns around and says he's qualified to judge an ensemble that he honestly knows nothing about. I was so incredibly angry last night about that.

7. Tonight is prom. I even have a date. Three lovely ladies will be joining me for dinner (location still undecided!) in our party best and then we are going to go to the prom. The kids want their teachers there, which is so strange. I think they like to see us dressed up. It's so strange seeing them in formal gowns and tuxes after seeing them in polos and khakis for so long. I have an adorable party dress that I got at Ross for $40, retail $90. It's got a full skirt AND petticoats. I LOVE a full skirt.

8. It's Saturday, and we're going to the arts festival. I'm excited. It's supposed to be a gorgeous day...a little breezy, but it's sunny and clear right now and I'm stoked.

That's the update for now. Yes, I'm an attention whore. All blogs are. If you don't like it, then don't read it. I know there are some that enjoy my lists, and failures, and successes and that's how they keep up with my life. I appreciate those people for caring.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Unexpected gifts

Today, I received a grant from a local organization that works with high school journalism students. $500 for my newspaper program, for anything we want, in Fall of 2011. I was stunned. I had no idea there was even such a thing! Evidently, since we have had students in that program every year for at least six years, maybe more, our support of the program was noticed and they wanted to reciprocate! I was completely speechless. It made me feel like I was doing something RIGHT.

Sorry to bore anyone with my job, as I'm sure everyone gets tired of hearing about it. But, what else am I supposed to blog about? My ability to run has only been replaced with my ability to eat, it seems, and I'm definitely sure no one wants to hear about that. I don't want a food blog, anyway. Tried it. It didn't take. I think there are 11 posts on there! But, when my job takes up as many hours as it does, it tends to be a large focus in my life. Besides, hearing about the growth of my columbines I'm sure won't exactly put anyone in a tizzy, either. At least, not in any way I can think of!

Last night, I witnessed the most awful vocal music concert ever. It made me reflect upon my time in middle school choir, and I was appalled. Screaming middle schoolers, people trashing the venue, kids jumping on and off risers, talking while kids were performing, and worst of all...bad music choices for changing voices. (That rhymed. Heh) Who expects teenage boys, in all their Brady Bunch-esque voice-changing glory, to sing Let it Be well? A favorite of mine was unnervingly butchered before my very ears. I had to literally bite my tongue to keep from laughing as there were parents all around me, recording this atrocity. I spoke with my principal, as this school was using our school as their venue, and she was shocked. She was there, but working, and didn't sit in on the concert. However, she did find the bathrooms trashed. She thanked me for letting her know that at least for our students in the vocal music program, they received no discipline in middle school, thus leading to a sub-par vocal music program at my school. I feel for the director, I really do. I had no idea.

And now, a heartwarming moment: Why I love my students. This morning, right before the start of class, I looked at my few kids (state testing has rendered me with a crippled band every morning) and asked them if they would be so kind as to pick up the trash (a kid pointed and said, "Yeah, I can see it everywhere!") and make the auditorium presentable, so the custodian wouldn't have to spend an hour doing it.

In three minutes, the auditorium was spotless, and every single seat was even placed back in the up position (ours are old; once you pull them down, they stay that way unless you put them back up). I was amazed, and grateful. Not a single one of them complained. They simply asked to go wash their hands.

So, for haters who don't want to read about my job, or who seem to think that I am not qualified or good at my job, that's fine. But you know what? I think that sometimes people need to be reminded that teenagers, despite their hormonal surges of rage/fear/anxiety/depression/other crazy emotions, are kind-hearted and simply in need of good guidance and love. Haters can hate. My students, instead, will love.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I've done it again...

I've gone and gotten in "trouble" on a message board. Again. Man, I'm good.

I guess after being with H for as long as I have, I've learned to let a lot of the smaller things go. It's very Zen for me to not care about toilet seats, muddy footprints, or him leaving the sprinklers on for too long (that was actually kind of funny. He fell asleep!). I'm not saying that either of us are perfect, as everyone has annoying traits; but letting the little things go has allowed me to be a happier person.

Evidently, I'm not allowed to say that if someone else is annoyed with their husband and blasting it on a message board. We all have our days, though. I've done it, too; but, I felt no need to say, "there, there, if you just nag your husband enough, he'll stop doing the things that annoy you," because we all know, that will work.

I've also been informed that I just talk too much about teaching, and that I don't take an active interest in anything else but my job. Um, okay. It's where I spend a majority of my time, unless you count sleeping hours at home, and then home might squeeze in a victory. I don't care to discuss politics, abortion, etc. with very many people because I find the conversation often goes in circles, with everyone trying to "win" the argument. So, I stay out of it. I also find some political debates to be dreadfully boring, and nothing I can fix. I like to focus on things that my efforts are actually useful. I guess that is also not good enough for people.

Other things going on in my life:
1. I think my pansies not only re-seeded themselves (great!), but they hybridized on their own, which freaks me out just a little bit.

2. I've gone a week without soda. And I'm feeling fine.

3. I donated blood and had an absolutely awful reaction to it. Bruised, sore arm, horrible mood swings, and a fatigue like I've not felt in a long time all followed the butchering. It might be my last time to donate. And I feel very, very sad about that.

4. I am so, so ready for our Eureka Springs vacation.

5. I was called "creepy" by one of my students. I don't think I'm creepy at all...maybe just delightfully socially awkward? Yeah, that's the ticket...

Thank goodness I'm finally at a point in my life where I have a good group of friends that listens to me talk about my job (and I, in turn, listen to them talk about theirs), who make freaked out faces when looking at my mangled arm, and who evidently coddle me. Without them, I would probably be a bigger train wreck than I already am.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

5 years

Our 5th anniversary is coming up, and I managed to snag us a lovely room at a little B&B in Eureka Springs for the event. It's not a huge vacation, but it's a weekend away, and will give me the chance to re-charge and re-connect before classes begin this summer for me.

By the way, I have 4 classes this summer. Only one of them is in June. Gulp. The June class is about Bach cantatas. I can't exactly say I'm chomping at the bit for that one...but, evidently having a Master's is supposed to do something for my career, so I have to go.

I think I'm going to wear sneakers at the hooding. Seriously. Maybe sparkly ones, then they could maybe be called "formal attire." I know that me walking in the ceremony means something to someone, I'm just not sure that person is me. I get that it's a big deal, I'm the only person in my immediate family with a Master's (I don't know if anyone in my family has one) but I don't feel like I've accomplished anything that impressive. Plus, when I walk, I'll still have 12 hours plus comprehensive exams, so I'm far from finished; it's simply a formality. I feel like maybe part of the reason why I'm not excited about commencement is that I'm not "done," and that feeling is kind of being robbed from me by having to walk prematurely. I don't know, I think I'm just nuts.

My hip has been feeling a little better lately. I know the warmer weather has helped. Driving long distances for various school events has not! I think I can walk pretty reasonable distances now, so I'm looking at 5K walks and things to participate in as a goal, since I probably won't get to run any races this year, at least, not this summer, as I'll be pretty busy. I might be updating that goal to reflect my choice.

I also have a few other observations: I can no longer enjoy soda. Coke especially. It makes me feel really icky (technical term) and like I need to throw up. Other sodas just taste too sweet. And they all upset my stomach! I guess it's my body's way of saying, hey, there's too much sugar in there for you! Today I was enjoying an Arnold Palmer--1/2 unsweet iced tea, 1/2 lemonade. I think mine had a little more on the tea side of things, but it was refreshing and much lower in sugar than soda or Kool-Aid (H's current new favorite drink. I think he's 7 today). However, I have to be careful of these, too, as the caffeine in the tea bothers me, too! I guess this is what it means to get older: giving up the things you like because your body can't handle them anymore.

Like late nights of heavy drinking.

That's the update. I can't say my dietary habits have been stellar. However, I'm making a conscious effort to eat more veggies and to leave the sweets at work alone. It's not that hard, as long as I'm prepared. I think the nicer weather (when the state, you know, isn't on fire) will allow me to take some evening walks with the dog, or on my own. School is winding down, and I just have a few more events to prepare for (ending my graduate project, state solo/ensemble, 2 concerts, a band banquet, a yearbook distribution/signing party, final newspaper/blog....aye yai yai) and I can close the book on this semester. This very insanely busy semester.

I was going to put in a photo of a lovely flower from my garden, but I can't find my camera cord. Dang. Well, it was pink, and it was pretty. And it would have summed up this post nicely. Because it was pink, and it was pretty.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Temporary Name Change

If you see my name change to "Ripley," it's for a zombie apocalypse blog my newspaper students are writing as a creative writing project. Evidently, I am the "woman," a common zombie movie character.

And yes, I will die in the story. But not until near the end. I have a feeling I will end up sacrificing myself for "the kid."

Honestly, I think the whole thing is hilarious. It's really cute. Maybe I'll post the link once they get going. And 10 points to Gryffindor if you can name the movie where my character name came from!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Winner winner, chicken dinner

Last night, I decided to make fried chicken with some of the chicken I got from the Co-Op last month. I noticed some very obvious differences between free-range chicken, and regular store-bought chicken, that I thought I should share.

1. The co-op chicken felt dry. There was NO fat on it, anywhere, whatsoever. Store chicken feels slimy to me. This chicken was firm, fatless, and the skin was very firm and you could feel every bump.

2. The flesh of the co-op chicken was very firm when cooked. H called it "gamey." The wings did not pull apart easily. This doesn't bother me.

3. The flavor of the chicken itself is stronger.

I think the most obvious difference was the uncooked chicken, and how firm it was to the touch and how dry feeling. It was completely different than what I have grown used to.

I didn't talk about it before, but I have also cooked with ground beef and pork sausage from the co-op, and there were differences there, as well. Again, no fat. The sausage left the pan dry. It was the strangest thing. Great on biscuits. The ground beef left no moisture or fat in the pan, either. This has definitely been a learning experience with cooking for me!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Things for which I am grateful

1. Friday happy hours. Being able to re-hash the week and events with co-workers is really nice for me. Even though it's always the same group (and I love them) I appreciate this break at the end of the week.

2. My husband, who appreciates my need for space, and isn't clingy.

3. Students who let me know that they like having me as a teacher, vocally or through other means. There are very specific examples that I will keep to myself, as I do not feel like tearing up too much this evening.

4. The Wii and all the Mario games. I just ordered the Mario All-Stars game for my Wii and I am uber-excited about playing Mario 2. I'm seriously going to look up walkthroughs to help me through the things I couldn't pass as a kid.

5. Having a newspaper staff that wants to take risks and that is okay with fact, they welcome it. They want to stir the pot, and I am proud of them.

6. Having a mentor that actually lets me know that he is proud of me, and who is proud to hood me at the commencement ceremonies in May where I feel like I am walking for no reason, since I still have to finish a full third of my program this summer.

7. A supportive sister who always calls me even though I almost never call her. I am a terrible communicator with family members and she just barrels through that and forces me to talk, which is something I need.

8. A mother who doesn't interfere with my life. Ever.

9. Pasta and wine.

10. The ability to grow things. Even though some creature keeps digging in my flower pots. Seeing things that I planted last year bloom today makes my heart burst with pride because I didn't kill the dianthus, even though I thought I did.

I don't know why I feel it is necessary to have this outpouring of affection for various things, I just do. A lot in my life has been negative lately, and I'm trying to move beyond that, and focus on some good things in my life.

Yes, I'm fat. But people in my life love me regardless.

I am self-critical to the point of being an emotional masochist. I am still loved even though I may not always love myself. (Seriously, I replay things over and over and over in my's painful and yet I still do it, anytime I do something that is possibly offensive, hurtful, controversial, or just plain stupid...over and over and over.)

My house is a mess. The cats and dog do not complain.

I take too long to grade assignments and am often a scattered mess this time of year with all the things I have to do. But, my students do not shun or disown me. In fact, they ask me more often if they can help, how my day is going, or just make it a point to talk to me, an act for which I am forever grateful.

I am always in a constant state of trying to love myself. Are others as self-critical as I am? I am very happy with the person I am, but I can't let the little slip-ups go. I must agonize over them, and scrutinize them until I exhaust myself with the possibilities of what I could have done. My husband just lets things go. I wish I could do that; I know he doesn't understand why I can't. I don't even know.

So, tell me: Am I an emotional masochist, or do others suffer over their mistakes to the point of detriment?

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's April? Wait, what?

Time flies, evidently.

Since you last heard from me, I have judged at the regional speech and debate tournament, had both outside faucets replaced (and subsequently, a hole cut in my office wall), enjoyed a lazy spring break, saw numerous movies, gone to a band contest, had some sort of awful virus, two-stepped in a gay country bar in sequined shoes, saw a local production of Ain't Misbehavin', had an allergic reaction to some Febreeze-scented Swiffer dusters, and cried over weight gain. Oh, and I cut up a pineapple for the first time in...forever.

So, it's been busy. Today I just got back from a newspaper conference and contest. My kids were great! One had a flat tire on the way to the university, though, and so we had to take the long way back on his donut. It more than doubled our time back. Ouch. However, it was bound to happen at some point. What can you do when you can't afford to pay for transportation and the school has no buses?

While at the conference today, I found out I actually have a reader. One besides my sister, that is! I promised her an update, so here it is.

Last weekend, I got this hair-brained idea that I should try bike-riding as a means of weight loss (this was after crying over my temporary salt-alcohol-induced weight gain from a busy and fun weekend). The only bike I have here is H's. I thought I would try that.

Now, H is only a few inches taller than me, and honestly, our legs are the same length. It would seem that his bike would be fine for me.

It would seem that way. Too bad things aren't always what they seem.

The damned thing was way too tall. I felt like I was trying to mount a horse. I hurt my lady parts trying to shift in the seat so my feet could touch the ground when I leaned. I held myself up against the big brick planter to balance and when I tried to pedal, just my toes were on the pedals when they were all the way down.

How the hell does my husband ride this bike??!?!?

He wants to take me to Tar-Jay to buy a cheap-o bike so I can see if I like it or not. We'll see how it goes.

Before I go, though, I would like to share a site with you. It's called Curve Appeal. I was looking at it this morning and decided to share it with some friends who are also a bit "curvy" and I'm sure some of the people who read this site are, too. It's not totally safe for work, so you might either view with the screen away from your office door or at home! It was a nice exercise in body acceptance, though, which is something I am still working on.

I posed that question to my friends: how can someone who is so comfortable with WHO they are be so uncomfortable with HOW they look? I have finally made it to a point in my life where I actually like myself. I really do. And most of the time I'm okay with my shape. But some Some days are rough. I hate that I am in a body that just won't let go of weight, and a body that gets injured easily when I do make a strong effort to exercise. This is my lot in life, I suppose.

H has offered to take me out to dinner to celebrate my students' and my success, and because he "felt like doing something" tonight. Whatever that means.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Teared up at this...

Yesterday, at a regular Friday happy hour, a coworker shared a story about a mutual student of ours.

(A little background: this student's mom really isn't in the picture, and he has basically no respect for his step mother, and is not afraid to say that. While I find that sad, I understand.)

Yesterday, he told my coworker that she is like a second mom to him. And that I am like his first mom.

I'm actually a little teary writing this. Yesterday, during our last advisory class, the students were to "reflect" on the advisory experience, and discuss likes, dislikes, and any potential information they would like to cover in the future. When I asked them what they liked about the class, they all said that they liked me the most. Later, in another class, a student decorated a post-it with her name, and that she <3's me, and stuck it on my monitor.

It was a good day.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The emotional roller coaster that is my job

A few weeks ago, I was so far down in a funk at work due to a bunch of toxic events going on, and today, I'm on cloud 9.

Yesterday, at solo and ensemble contest, I had the most kids ever go, and they did amazingly. 1 freshman (remember the kid who's honor band experience I completely screwed up by getting the performance time wrong? Yeah, that same kid) is going to state with his incredibly difficult tenor sax solo. The judge had so many nice things to say about how talented this kid is; not that I didn't know that, but the kid needs to hear it! In the past, when he was just a 7th grader, his previous teacher reamed him for getting a II on his solo. Seriously. A 7th grader got reamed for that. It completely tainted his experience with this contest. I hope this makes up for that!

In addition, I had 4 other Superior ratings (not state eligible as they did not memorize their music, but that's okay), 3 Excellent ratings (including a first-ever sax quartet) and 1 good rating.

One of my Superior-rated kids had his music for four days. He said last semester he wanted to do a solo. I made him a copy, he never got it, then was ineligible FOREVER. Last week, I realized hey, this kid can go. "Hey, kid, are you going to contest?" "Oh yeah...I'll get my music next week!" And so, he had Tuesday through Friday to put it together himself, and with the accompanist, and he got a freaking Superior. He thought he was going to get a much worse score. I'm so glad he got to go. He'll be a senior next year, and I think now that he knows what it's about and how good it feels to go and do well, and after he reads his sheet he is also going to be on cloud 9, I think he'll go for a more difficult piece and memorize it AND be eligible. Huge steps, man.

I somehow have to re-focus myself on our upcoming large group contest on Tuesday. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. They have put together some great music and when they are "on," it's really, really good. They don't know about the graduate project that they have been a part of all semester, but I think it has made a difference. Hopefully the scores will reflect that!

In other news...ever heard of a tonsil stone (tonsilloliths )? Yeah, now I have. Annoying little bastards. I have one in my throat and despite my best efforts to see and remove it (gag, literally) I can't. I have decided that I have an undersized oral cavity and a tongue that is too large for the space. I cannot get to my tonsils like the people in the YouTube videos who successfully remove theirs.

Yes, I realize that it is gross that I watched those videos...I like gross things. I find them entertaining and somewhat hilarious. But dammit, I feel like something's stuck in my throat (because it is) and it's driving me nuts! I really don't want to have to go to an ENT for a damn tonsil stone.

Oh, and still no working out. I might have to see a physical therapist or something. My sister's got hers from a previous car accident and she recommended them, so I might have to check it out.

Otherwise, I'm saving for a vacation, the yearbook is done, and I've got a spaghetti supper AND a band banquet to plan! There's a lot left in the school year for me, including a band contest at UCO, State, 2 newspaper issues, plus all my baby journalist stuff. I have bulbs about to bloom out front and a ton of yardwork to do, but I'm happy again!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

31 for 31 2-month check

So....yeah. I've been around. Working my ass off. Well, I wish I really were working my ass off, then I wouldn't have to lose a couple of pounds to get back to where I was pre-injury! That's right. I still can't run. I tried working out (HHA) on Monday, and Tuesday was a bit sore...and it's just progressed this week. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I wish I could go back in time and not run after tweaking that muscle. I had no idea it was going to be like this. Maybe I should see someone about it. H keeps telling me to do that, but you know how people are with doctors...

I thought I would go through my 31 for 31 and see how I'm doing. I know some things are going well and some aren't (like the whole running three 5K's and a 10K), so let's do a check up, shall we?

1. Stop being a lazy cook and get in the kitchen, even when I'm tired. I usually enjoy what I cook more than what I would get out.

Well, this has gone okay. I'm trying to be better about this. I cooked a lot when we were snowed in, that's for sure!

2. Make H clean the kitchen more with me after dinner.

Doing all right here, as well. He hasn't complained and I'm not complaining when it doesn't get cleaned. I figure I could put my energy to better use than nagging.

3. Be a more engaged and engaging piano instructor.

Hahaha I've had so few lessons due to kids being sick, me being sick, and the weather, I can't even say yet.

4. Stop being afraid to hurt certain peoples' feelings and tell them what I really think when they ask. No one spares my feelings.

I have failed at this. I'm pretty passive-aggressive. There was a whole thing going on for the last two weeks and I should have said something more direct, and I didn't. I chose, instead, to be diplomatic and professional. However, that person has burned a bridge with both myself AND my students.

5. Read more books. Fiction, non-fiction, educational, whatever. I don't read nearly enough.

Hahaha again. When was I planning on doing this? Hmm.

6. Go to some concerts at the local universities. There are all these great performances and I hardly ever go. I have a DVR for a reason.

There haven't really been any performances at times when I could go.

7. Finish C25K and do speedwork, then move to Bridge to 10K.

8. Sign up for and race at least 3 5K's this year.

9. Sign up for and race at least 1 10K this year. (Either 8 or 9 can be in a relay)


10. Continue my journey to enjoying the smaller things in life that bring joy, i.e. sunrises/sunsets, caring for flowers, little things like that. I have noticed that I feel pure joy when taking in these very subtle but amazing things.

I am always working on this. I've seen some beautiful moonrises recently, and the bulbs I planted are actually growing. Yesterday I was driving to the music store, and I saw daffodils blooming along the roadside. I felt at peace.

11. Learn a new instrument.

I still need to take in my clarinet and get it checked out. My sax is in good working condition, so maybe I'll focus on that.

12. Quit being such a nag.

This is a constant battle for me. Since so much of what I do at work is deadline-focused, I'm always having to get on someone's case about getting something done.

13. Continue to foster my new friendships at work. 

Doing very well with this! I've invited them to come out to a girl's night soon, with a group of ladies that I meet with for dinner. Dancing? I think so.

14. Be more supportive of my husband's efforts to continue to improve his alma mater fraternity. 

Well, this coming Saturday I'm going to his annual formal...that's supportive. I also have not complained about him being gone for things all the time.

15. Become a more savvy shopper.

I've been very good about this. I have acquired some cute pieces from Ross, and splurged a little on a dress from Boden. The dress fits perfectly, and it was worth the extra. But, I haven't gone overboard and have kept my finances in check.

16. Save up and buy another lens for my camera (perhaps a more snazzy general zoom lens? I think so.).

I might put this money toward a vacation first.

17. Stop breaking my wedding ring.

FAIL. It's currently broken. Again.

18. Prove once and for all that my school building is haunted (okay, okay, I know I can't do this but dammit, I believe!)

Haven't had any weird occurrences lately.

19. Receive a glowing review when the assistant principal reviews my journalism class. (I got a glowing review on my band rehearsal first semester so I'd like to continue that pattern).

I emailed my principal to see when he wanted to do this and I haven't heard back yet.

20. Continue trying a new recipe every month.

I've tried lots of new things! Some things were recipes, some things were made up in my head.

21. Be more open to trying new cuisines. I will not, however, force myself to eat organ meats or sushi. Other than that, I should try it.

I'm currently drooling over this local restaurant that serves food straight from the farm, and serves things like quail, rabbit, bison, and organic everything. I'm so ready to try it.

22. Continue working to be a more stable person, and to keep a hold of my struggle with depression. 

The above mentioned bridge-burner commented on how calm I am about everything. Though I am done with that person, I'll take that comment as a compliment. 

23. Continue to delight in the triumphs and successes of my students.

This is an easy one! The other day, after hearing back their rehearsal on the recorder, I had to hold back a tear or two because my band kids have come so, so far. My newspaper staff for next year has all these plans of greatness, my yearbook staff has put together an amazing book. My web design kids put together these videos for the talent show that I never even thought they could do. I like #23.

24. Do more to take care of myself. Get more massages, or haircuts, or take care of my feet more than I normally do. I'm terrible about all of this.

FAIL. I am getting a haircut on Friday, though.

25. Take a vacation, even if it is just a small weekend trip to Dallas. No vacation in 2010 at all sucked!!!

Currently in the works. I want to go to San Antonio! I am saving as much as I can for this.

26. Re-invest myself in strength training. I don't know why I quit, really. I was enjoying seeing the strength gains I had made.


27. Actively save money. We don't save nearly enough.

Saving for vacation. I make so little money.

28. Keep a cleaner house, especially my office, which is a mess at the moment.

Successes and failures here. 

29. Be less hypercritical of others. I know I said in #4 that I was going to stop coddling people, but sometimes I find that I am overly critical of others, especially my husband. I am also overly critical of myself.

Sometimes you have to be hypercritical. I keep my criticism as positive as possible, so as not to beat my students down. H can take the criticism. So can I (when I criticize myself, at least).

30. Finish the little projects around the house--curtains, hanging things, photos in frames, etc.

Success! We finally hung my office curtain. The cat room now has pictures on the wall and table, and so does my office. Next we need to hang my jewelry box somewhere, and my bulbs are growing furiously. 

31. Continue to enjoy my new found outlook on life. 

For the most part, success here. I have a lot to be thankful for, though February has been a drag with the weather the way it was, and the work event that pulled me down into some pretty dark places. I'm hoping that March will bring me happier days.

I think I'm doing better than last year. I think the work friendships and the delighting in my students' achievements are my favorite two goals at this point, because they are so fun!