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Sat. 1/23 -- NRN--How 'bout a new trend?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hi there,

This has been quite a week. I have noticed that short weeks, which are such a gift, seem to cause people to stress nad try to accomplish 5 days of activity in 4 days. This only results in a lot of grumpiness in the long run. I had the most tame week at work that I've had in a long time--because I was left alone to do the work that I am supposed to do. There was no sniping in my presence and no ugly meetings or any rudeness. I was quite isolated, but that is okay with me, knowing what the alternatives are.
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NRN is something I thought of today that I would love to see grow amongst some of us. I had internet trouble this week, leaving me with a couple of days of my typical SP stuff to try and focus on. I love all of my friends and the way that somebody new will stop by and become a new friend--and I don't want any of that to ever change. Yet, I have found myself part of a lovely, polite culture that makes us need to respond to every comment, email, goodie, post on a thread etc... I considered making a schedule of posting on blogs and pages and so on--but that defeats the purpose of exploring and finding those new, wonderful ideas. (I have decided that the Spirit leads me to some wonderful people and posts, and I love to find them!!) Anyway, I am also aware of a couple of leaders who get more emails and the like than I can imagine and I worry about them. I also know that anything special that may happen will sometimes give someone some notoriety and they get swamped. I never want anyone to "burn out" over their fun on SP because all of the thank you's and responses need a return message. As a matter of fact, I think it would be nice to let people off the hook on needing to respond. That is where "NRN"came to mind. NoResponseNeeded--it's that simple. We can put it in the title or subject or by the signature and that lets our very good friends know that we aren't expecting them to send a response to whatever action we did, we simply wanted to let them know we were thinking of them and what was on our mind. (They can still choose to answer, if they want...) I wouldn't ever use this with a new SP or team member and I wouldn't use it with a new acquaintance either. I would only use it with people who are starting to know me as well as I know myself, lol. What do you think? Is there a need for something like this? I'd hate to see people give up on their exercise or something in order to respond to a goodie I sent. I'd hate to have somebody get away from SP or the boards or teams or whatever because of that sense of responsibility. I'm curious if this could help, if it grew in public awareness and popularity.
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As for the rest of my week--rehab has been my big thing. Exercises are getting harder--my reps have been increased by 50% and I am spending at least 50% more time on my workouts. I still hurt considerably, but I am feeling like I am getting better. I saw my ortho on Tuesday and got my injection, but the results aren't as good as I had hoped for. I need to give it another week before we decide to do something else and I am trying to be patient and kind. I think I waited too long to get it any attention. I finally had the follow up to my mammo on Friday and that was not a good experience. I don't know if I am so uncomfortable with these because of my fibromyalgia, but it hurts when they do these and then, I am also fortunate enough to have to have two pictures in each position because I am so large. On the right side, it snags the scar from my gall bladder surgery and really hurts. I wasn't able to stand up long enough to do the pictures on Friday, so they lowered the machine and did it while I was in the wheelchair. It hurt enough that I am considering never having another or just cutting them off and eliminating the issue. It just doesn't seem right when I am told that most people experience no pain with these. How is that possible?
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I have done a lot of work on my timeline document for the lawyer and I also have started writing a Lenten devotional to go in a book at our church. When I get it finished, I'll share it here as a blog as well. The focus is to tell about a time when we experienced God in a mysterious way, and I have a really awesome story to share. I have about gotten caught up here, but I still have a couple of teams that I haven't checked in with in days. I have noticed many people who have 30 or so teams, and I cannot imagine how people can keep up with so many. I have seen several groups that look both interesting and helpful, but I don't want to join them and not be active. I have also started crocheting again and am working on an afghan. Several of my kids have approached me and asked for replacements or extras, so this is something long overdue. I spend enough time in the car that I should be able to whip one out in a couple of weeks. It was my friends here who planted the idea in my mind to get going again.
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This coming week should be pretty busy as well. Not only do I have a 5 day workweek with three days of rehab, but I have 2 doctor appointments, an attorney appointment, a visit to the clinic for an informational program, a trip out of town, and work on my National Boards renewal and my afghan. I want to start getting extra time in at the fitness center pool as well, but I have to have a bit of help to make that happen.
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I loved reading "The Spark" and have finally remembered the name and author of another book I own (but can't locate) that is excellent reading. It is called "Thin for Life" by Anne Fletcher. She researched a large number of people who lost a good deal of weight and maintained their loss successfully. She tells about the strategies they used to successfully maintain and that is something I have not done before. I will do it this time, though and I want to reread that book for some pointers and to refresh what I do remember. I also need to find out how to change my little icon about having bought "The Spark" to saying that I READ "The Spark." (If anyone can tell me how to do that, please drop me a line!!)
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Thanks for sticking with me this far, my friends. I have asked a few things of you in this blog--please weigh in on the "NRN" idea. I really care about everyone and enjoy your success and your friendship intensely. Have a wonderful week and shoot for your goals with all of your choices!! emoticon emoticon

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 1/24/2010 2:27PM

    I agree with the NRN, it is very time consuming to get back to everyone. I find it very difficult managing with ten teams. I have to admit I don't know how yoovie keeps up with over 900 friends, that is actually mind boggling! I have trouble keeping up with all the ones I have.

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LOULOUBELLE2 1/24/2010 1:44PM

    NRN....is a wonderful idea but I bet people would still respond, at least I think I will. My nature is to thank people for kindnesses they do for me. .. I don't respond to the "Friends Feed" though.
Good luck at the attorney visit....I'm praying for you. Was good to see that work was
has taken a turn for the better.....I pray that it stays that way so you can teach those wonderful kids of yours.
Hugs to you and your family,

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MTNGRL 1/24/2010 1:13PM

    NRN, what a great idea. I am thinking that would be wonderful to adopt. I love reading all the blogs and often respond but I don't want people to feel the polite thing to do is say thanks. I'm going to start doing this. Of course, if someone want to respond back that is fine.
Good luck on this busy week ahead! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1/15/10 My rough week AND 8 Arthritis-Friendly Exercises

Friday, January 15, 2010


I've had an unbelieveably tough week and I want to send a ton of prayers and good wishes to all of you who have sent me prayers, messages, goodies, emails and support in lots of other ways. It will be good for me to have rehab this afternoon and a three-day weekend. Rehab is going well--I can tell by the reduced difficulty I am having in getting from the house to the car. I am not sure that I will be quite up to stuff by the end of this month, but I am sure that I will get where I need to be.
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I got an email with really important information in it. The title is "Importance of Exercise for Arthritis" and quite honestly, it has similar information to that I have read here on SP--but I know that it helps me to read the same thing many times and in many different ways. That's why I decided to share this article from "Everyday Health" with you. It can be found at:

This is the introductory page of the article and then there are several pages you can click on for detailed information:

8 Arthritis-Friendly Exercises
Importance of Exercise for Arthritis
By Michele Bloomquist

When you’re suffering from arthritis pain, perhaps the last thing you want to do is exercise. And yet, as counterintuitive as it may seem, gentle movement can make a world of difference when it comes to decreasing the pain and fatigue associated with arthritis, says Dr. Patience White, chief public health officer for the Arthritis Foundation.

The key to making the exercise habit stick is choosing a routine that fits both your physical condition and interests. Of course, always check with your physician before starting an exercise program, especially if it has been some time since you’ve been physically active. Once you get the green light, go slow — just ten or 15 minutes a day — then increase to 30 minutes a day as you build stamina, Dr. White suggests. Include at least one activity from each of these three areas: flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular. Ready? Check out these 8 arthritis-friendly workouts. They’re sure to get you going.
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I am working on things to improve the quality of my life and although I am muddling because so much is overwhelming, I do know that I will make changes in all that hurts-my body and my professional life. I wish that I was doing it more efficiently, but some things seem like they have to be messy before they get better. Anyway, that is what the weather has done for us this week, lol.

Thanks again to each and everyoe of you, my friends and support, my help and my reality!! I am so blessed.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOULOUBELLE2 1/20/2010 4:56PM

    emoticonSylvia, your doing a emoticonjob of keeping yourself steady with all that's going on around you.
So many prayers are coming your way that we know you are in good hands.........
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FUNNYGRANNY71 1/15/2010 4:45PM

    Good for you Sylvia. I am glad you are doing better. Thank you for all this good information.

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MTNGRL 1/15/2010 8:49AM

    Sylvia, thank you for the prayers and I will continue to pray for you and your situation. Thank you for the link. I hope rehab continues to be less difficult and enjoy you long weekend.

Lesley, what a beautiful prayer. I am joining you in that prayer for Sylvia. We are making a prayer chain around her.

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LESLEY444 1/15/2010 8:43AM

    You go girl. We will work on covering you in prayer!
Father, hold Sylvia close today. Ease her pain and stiffness and bless her with the strength that comes from You. Hold her close and breathe Your peace on her! Amen.
Have a wonderful day and remember who you are. A child of the King!
In HIS Grip,
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Sunday, 1/10/09 Trying again!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Howdy everyone,

I'm back in the place I was last Sunday. Everything is ready and well-planned for tomorrow and my return to work half days. I am fortunate to have a brand new wheel and tire on my wheel chair. My daughter has one more week home from college and will be there to pick me up from school and take me to therapy. I have prayed that I do good work tomorrow and can make everything great for my students.

I have been so blessed with the best Spark Teams and Spark Friends ever. I have been given the best support and the dearest kindnesses from all of you, when the people who know me and should care have not been helpful at all. My family is dear, but they are all busy, young people who have been watching me recuperate and tell them that I am better--when it hasn't been totally true. They have stood by with no clue what to say or do. Again, you have all really given me some self-esteem and smiles in muddling through what I needed most. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am blessed--maybe the luckiest person anywhere!!
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emoticon emoticon emoticon Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOULOUBELLE2 1/11/2010 4:35PM

    pray your having a good day today.........
we stand ready and willing to help in any way we can.
hugs from ME

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MTNGRL 1/11/2010 1:54PM

    Sylvia, I hope the day is going well for you. You sound very positive about this week . You have blessed all of us. It is wonderful to be needed by someone and to know that they appreciate us being there. We all muddle through life, hand in hand when we are lucky emoticon.

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SHELLPRO 1/11/2010 12:47AM

    U take care and good luck tomorrow- don't push youself too hared either! emoticon

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Top Ten Foods to Snack On

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I have been on a quest for weight loss for my entire life. One thing that I get as a result is many emails and ezines on the topic. Today, I received this and I am leaving all of the copyright information with it. I thought this was a good review and I loved the list. It confirms some of my favorites and added some new ideas for me to consider. I also am always happy when snacking is validated as appropriate. I know that I generally am hungry around 3:30-4 PM, in between lunch and dinner and at the end of my work day. I doubt that I am alone in this and I believe that it is better to plan a snack that fits in my program than to leave things up to chance. Anyway, I am sharing this article with you here, because it got me to thinking so much.

Enjoy it,
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Top 10 Foods to Snack On--an eDiets ezine dated 1/12/07

You are sitting at your desk diligently working when all of the sudden it creeps up on you out of nowhere. You had a decent breakfast and a nice lunch, but somehow it still found you -- hunger.
Lunch time feels like a lifetime ago, and dinner is still hours away. You look around and notice a brightly colored vending machine, and your stomach is doing everything it can to get you near it. You try to fight, but the growling gets more ferocious. When suddenly out of the blue, a hero comes to your side. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's super snacks to the rescue.
Snacking has earned a bad reputation. Some people are convinced good nutrition demands you limit your food intake to just three meals a day. The truth is snacking can be good for you if you make good choices. Choosing snacks that are high in fiber and low in fat, sugar and salt can help you meet your daily health and nutrition goals.
Nutritionist Susan Burke says, "Snacking is always part of a healthy diet. In fact, I recommend eating about six or seven small meals a day, that way your metabolism keeps burning calories."
Snacking does not mean you ignore portion sizes. Portion control plays a vital role in keeping calories under control. The key is to plan snacks into your meal plan. Always pack a couple of snacks so you will have something healthy to satisfy your mid-morning and mid-afternoon cravings.
eDiets provides you with all the tools to help you stay on track. Burke says, "Use your eDiets program to determine the total amount of food you need throughout the day and then use that menu to break it into six small meals. That way you don't go over your daily caloric requirements."
Healthy snacks don't have to be bland and boring. You never have to substitute taste when it comes to choosing nutritious munchies. There are countless ways to spice up your snacks and keep you satisfied. Burke recommends snacks that include protein, carbohydrates and a little fat.
"The combination snack is the best. The carbohydrates are good for some quick energy while the protein and fats provide you with a little more sustained energy."
Take a bite of these 10 super snacks that are sure to tackle your hunger pangs:
1. String cheese with strawberries
2. Ham on flatbread with peanuts
3. Cottage cheese with fruit
4. Melba Toast with peanut butter
5. Homemade bran muffin
6. Unsalted soy nuts
7. Seasonal fruits with a glass of skim milk
8. Lean turkey breast with rice crackers
9. Celery with ham and light cream cheese
10. Yogurt with fruit
Carolina Diaz-Bordon is a writer specializing in diet success, beauty and relationships.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARZATAX 1/11/2010 10:09AM

    These are great suggestions. I have alot of these items in my fridge now. I can change up my snacks a bit. Thanks.

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SCOOTERSMOM11 1/11/2010 3:03AM

  What a great list snacking is a problem for me and the combination of things on this list is wonderful..plan on referring to it often.

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LOULOUBELLE2 1/9/2010 4:08PM

    Yes I know I'm not suppose to read blogs, but I can't resist reading yours.
What a great article...would you mind if I posted this on the team?
the combinations are great, some of them I wouldn't have thought about.
thanks for sharing Sylvia.

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MTNGRL 1/9/2010 2:18PM

    What a great list. I am going to copy it and post it by the fridge. I need more lean protein in my diet. Thanks!

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KRSTJUMP03 1/9/2010 12:43PM

    yum...never thought of strawberrys and string cheese before. Thanks for posting!

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SIGISHAWA 1/9/2010 12:41PM

    This is GREAT! Snacks are my vice - - that's where I blow my good eating habits. Snacks and dessert :/

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SASSIECAS 1/9/2010 12:34PM

    Those all sound wonderful and are similar to the snacks I eat. Thanks for posting this!

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Tuesday 1/5 Why? I deserve far better.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I used to love every minute I spent at my school and my job was the best place to be. I am in trouble because things changed. I had one of the worst possible days today and besides being immoral and unfair, it was cruel. I fussed a bit on my team chatting thread, but this is how my day unfolrded:

My boss brought me a copy of a schedule that was made for me as a revision to my current one, before I came back to work. I asked her if they followed any of the new directives we were given and she gave me a blank look. Now, it is importnat for you to understand that it is a big part of my job to select my students and I have specific rules on how that should happen. Also, in the past, I have been willing to use my time like prep and lunch to see extra students because there is always more need than I have time. However, I am returning to work far less than at 100% and I'm in a wheel chair. Of course no one cares that there is no heat in the little room I teach in--it was planned as a food pantry and not a classroom. Care to guess how my arthritis and body accepted that for the morning?

The schedule increased my student load some and I have already been seeing some 50 students daily when I am only supposed to see the average for my building (which is 24, I think). I had to sit down with this atrocity and rewrite it, making small groups actually small and following the rules as given to us. I then shared the new one--my boss had left the building even though she had said she's be there in the morning and at the other school in the afternoon. I explained all of the changes that I made and why they were done and I also explained how I used as much of their work as I could. I left to travel to the other building--I am the only reading teacher being required to travel and I am the only one with a disability. Make your own assumption here, I have.

My wheel chair got trapped at the door and my left wheel went flat. I called the other building and told them that I'd be late because we were going to stop and air it up. We got to the other school and found out that the wheel didn't hold the air and was damaged. I called the office from my little unheated wroom in this building and got the principal to let her know I couldn't travel around the building because I can't walk--let alone carrying all of those things from one place to another. I spent my very cold afternoon working on the schedule for this part of my day. I had to desperately go to the restroom, so I "rode" my desk chair down the hall where the door was propped open. (It was below zero weather today here.)

I came back to check my email and read the really rude and insulting emails from my co-workers at the other building. I was so hurt that I made sure my new schedule now gives me time for lunch, for a prep period and travel time--shich I haven't taken in 5 years. I am also going to give the intermediate teachers my schedule blocks when I am going to see each grade level and if they won't let their kids come because they cannot work with me, I guess they won't see me. My husband and son came to get me, they pushed me in my desk chair to the outside door and supported me to the car.

The repair place couldn't fix the tire today, so I am going to have to call in sick tomorrow. I had a rude question about when the kids were going to get service on one of the emails--"it had better be tomorrow." I am so hurt because of this nastiness that I don't know how to react or feel. All I ever wanted to do was my job and now, I just feel really hurt and taken advantage of. I wrote a response but the server went down at the second school and the emails didn't get to the right people--and won't until my machine goes into a school with the server and network up and running.

I think I am doing the right thing--I have to take care of me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAISEYDUCK 1/7/2010 4:12PM

    It sounds like the only thing you did wrong was to put up with your situation for far too long. I'm glad you've decided not to take the bs anymore... good for you! I'm so sorry you are being treated in this manner - makes me wonder what else might be going on that you aren't aware of. I truly hope this all gets worked out and you can get back to the business of helping the kids without all this nonsense as a distraction! I'm keeping you in my prayers...

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MTNGRL 1/6/2010 11:37AM

    Sylvia, you most certainly have to take care of yourself. I was wondering how they can get away without accommodating you disability. It isn't even like you are asking what any other worker would want. A reasonable schedule, with the students who should be there, in a room conducive to working and learning. You do deserve far, far better! Hugs, Emily

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MARZATAX 1/6/2010 11:07AM

    I'm so sorry. People who have never experienced a disability can be so insensitive. You are doing the right thing because it makes you happy. However,you can only give so much. You are right to take care of yourself first. If you don't, you will never be able to give the kids 100% of your attention. This school is fortunate that you are not pursuing your rights under the ADA regarding reasonable accommodations for your disability now - they are not being reasonable in accommodating you. Best wishes - Sue

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