Thursday, April 17, 2014
The school year is always busy, but by this time of the year I'm going warp speed.
We are working on our spring musical; this year it's The Jungle Book. So, in addition to keeping up with academics. we are rehearsing, building sets, and making costumes ~ wolves, elephants, monkeys, vultures, a snake, a panther, a tiger, a jackal, and a boy who needs much more than a loin cloth, partly because Mowgli is being played by a girl. I like the children to have an active role in all parts of production, so in addition to building flats and sets, I am teaching them to cut out the patterns, pin, and use a sewing machine to make their costumes. They are doing a great job and the performance is going to be awesome!
Working on Flats
Shere Khan's Costume is Done
Next week, we spend our school days at the theater, and that Friday is opening night. Everyone is pumped.
If that was all we were doing, that would be busy enough, but with faculty meeting and parent conferences this week, and board meeting and committee meetings, I have put in two 12 hours days, as well as two days of 'regular' hours which included trips to the fabric store after school.
No rest this Saturday. The great news is that we got a garden grant from Whole Foods to help with the cost of our school farm garden and chicken coop. As part of the grant, we need to have a Garden Party (should be fun) and Whole Foods will send a representative to grill hot dogs and vegetarian hot dogs, and provide other snacks for the party. We will be making stepping stones for the garden as one of our activities.
We hatched chicks in an incubator in the kindergarten. They are so stinkin' cute!
I saw this idea on Facebook and thought it might be a fun activity for the children at the garden party. If I get it together to get the materials, I'll make it one of the available activities.
Because I have been so tied up with meetings, I have not been able to get my step goal in. I've been getting in walks when I can, though. I suspect next week I'll get my steps while in working in the theater and rehearsing the children.
So 6 weeks left to go. In addition to the spring musical, we have a swimming field trip, a concert field trip (Black Violin ~ looks exciting!), spring testing, our own band/orchestra concert, graduation, and our three day end of the school year camping trip.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I canů.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Two kittens showed up under our deck. Since we live out in the country, it is a place where irresponsible people dump their unwanted pets. There was a little gray kitten and a little orange kitten, but very frightened and hard to catch. The gray kitty probably came to a disastrous end, since he disappeared. One day, I came home from work to find Mike sitting in the garage with the little orange kitten. He had already named him Leo, the perfect name for little Leo the Lionhearted.
Poor baby has skin and bones, terrified, and had a huge abscess that covered most of his head.
With extensive medical care, and good nutrition, his health was quickly restored. He went from a lethargic, depressed looking kitty, to a spunky playful one. The ball he is playing with is one that my niece knit for Stella.
Even Stella knew he needed extra TLC.
Both Leo and Tovi are very close to the same age. They started bonding right away. Leo loves to stretch out on the couch next to Tovi's house, and Tovi will go over to talk to him. Now that Leo is a 'teenager' he sometimes gets a little overstimulated by Tovi. I never leave them alone together.
He's not fully grown yet, but he is getting big! One of his favorite toys is a rocking chair. He can spend hours carrying his toys onto the rocker, and making the chair rock.
Love that kitten!
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Since last I was on Spark, two new feather and fur kids have joined our household.
The sad news is that my sweet parrotlet Emmitt died while I was in San Francisco this summer. I was heartbroken; he was such a wonderful little bird.
In August, little parrotlets hatched at the bird farm, so I reserved one. It was hard to wait for him, but I would go visit him when I could. He was such an adorable baby, it was hard to leave him there, but I had to wait until he graduated to solid foods.
See what I mean?
Now he is 8 months old and a cuddle bug. He loves to snuggle into my hair while I'm reading, and loves to give me kisses.
He is already becoming a good talker. So far he has "pretty bird." "good boy," "what's up?" and "night night" in his repertoire. I think I hear him practicing "bye bye" but he hasn't said it very clearly yet.
Tovi and I just went back to the bird farm and bought a little Easter basket for him.
It's filled with all kinds of fun stuff for a mini parrot!
Not long after Tovi joined our family, a kitten adopted us, but he gets his own blog post.
Tune in next time!
Friday, April 11, 2014
I decided it was time to get serious about losing my winter weight, which has been stubbornly staying happily in place around my belly all winter. This is not because I have been sedentary. With the exception of when I had the flu, I have been getting in 4 - 6 miles 5 days a week (10,000 - 15,000 steps), the other two days if and when I can, but I'm often tied up with meetings.
Figuring that I had been a bit careless about my diet in terms of eating sweets and maybe larger than necessary portions, I decided to get back to nutritional tracking and up the exercise a bit ~ not a lot. I have been eating vegetarian, and several days a week vegan, and working with the challenges of getting enough magnesium, potassium, and calcium. I cannot eat soy because of breast cancer risk in my family, so that adds one more challenge. I'm mentioning this because I track my food before I eat it to see if I am getting the nutrients I need, plus researching the best ways to get protein and minerals. My diet has been rich with leafy green veggies, orange veggies, peas, beets, bananas, apples, oranges; some days getting 10 or more servings of freggies a day. After struggling to get enough protein, I have added protein powder to my green smoothies, to boost protein and minerals in my diet.
I did eat some chicken today and a little piece of corned beef this week, to see if that made any difference in my protein and mineral count. Actually, it didn't ~ but I needed to experiment.
I have been eating a LOT of food, but also trying to lower my calorie consumption with the goal of losing those 5 winter pounds. My caloric recommendation on Spark is 1200 - 1550 calories per day. So I have been staying in the lower range, 1200 - 1300 per day, and getting in 5 - 7 miles at least 6 days a week. My weight loss goal was to lose a pound a week.
What floored me, was after a week of a very nutritious, careful diet, and wonderful walks on mostly beautiful days, not only did I not shed a pound, I gained a pounds.
Some people have suggested that it is muscle weight. It's not. It is muffin top enhancing fat. A friend suggested I was not getting enough calories, yet I am working on reaching the lower end of my calorie recommendation and cleaning up my nutrition.
So what's going on here? Ideas, anyone?
Whatever happens with my weight, I am healthy and content with my life. I will keep tracking and exercising. In the grand scheme of life, this is a very tiny aggravation. I thought you might enjoy this pic of someone who is undauntable. I took this photo on one of my walks. It was 9 F degrees, with wind chills of up to 30 below. This robin was happily taking a bath in the river. Inspiring, right?
Okay, this is an add on to this blog. I was taking my evening walk and noticing that the moon is almost full. I often gain a little weight during the full moon. So I looked it up. This article is interesting:
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Winter was long and harsh this year, and spring late in coming. I usually find wildflowers blooming toward the end of March, so this is pretty late. I really love the first blooms of spring. Perhaps because they were so long coming, it feels like they are lifting my heart even more than usual this spring. On the last day of March, the skunk cabbage made its appearance. I love how sculptural skunk cabbage is. They look like little alien pods when they first start to unfurl their leaves.
Quite a few wildflowers were blooming this past Monday. Bloodroot flowers are like bright shiny stars.
One of my favorite early wildflowers is hepatica. It is such as sweet flower which dots the woods with blooms of many hues, white, pale pink, deep pink, blue, lavender, and deep purple. These were some lovely blue hepatica.
I found many trout lilies that were either pre-bud or just budding. I had pretty much given up on seeing any of these bright yellow beauties on this walk, thinking I would have to wait until this weekend to see any. But there were several in bloom at the base of an old moss covered log.
There were so very early, and very tiny, trillium. I'm not certain what the name of this particular trillium is. Feel free to post the name in comments if you know.
The toad trillium was almost, but not quite blooming yet, though. Encouraged by finding two trout lilies in bloom, I searched a little harder for a toad trillium in bloom, but without success. For this one, I WILL have to wait until this weekend.
And last, but not least, the sweet Dutchman's breeches. Many were not ready to bloom yet, but there was a nice display of blooms though out my walk.
What a lovely soul reviving walk!
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