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Update on, Glenna, my MIL.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This is my mother-in-law, Glenna, with my granddaughter (and her great granddaughter), Isabella. Glenna is a warm and wonderful woman, full of strength and love.

She has had a hard life, but has rebounded from her many setbacks. Right now, she is in serious trouble with her health. I wrote last week about her; last Saturday, she had managed to inhale a calcium pill and was in ICU at her local hospital. She spend a couple of days in ICU, then was moved to her own room. However, that didn't last as she developed both breathing and heart issues, and she was placed back in ICU just in time for her birthday on Tuesday.

Yesterday they became very concerned about her heart and moved her to a hospital with better heart care facilities. I am pleased that she has been moved, as I did not trust the other hospital, and believe she is in a much better medical facility.

We visited her today, now that she is settled back in and she didn't look well at all. The doctor is optimistic about her recovering from the pneumonia resulting from aspirating a pill, but says she'll likely need heart surgery when she has recovered her strength.

I am also worried about my husband, Mike. His father died when he was 13 years old, and his younger brother died at 18 years old right after Mike returned home from Vietnam. Mike has a brother and his mother left in his family; his mother has been a source of strength, and a source of annoyance to him all his adult life. He did not do well when my parents died - I am not certain how to put it - cavalier maybe? He is acting a lot like my brother did before my father died... like she will get better without question. But there is a BIG question mark here. She is not strong and has a lot of health problems that could prevent her from pulling out. I wish he would make his peace with her. It can only help her gain strength and help with her healing.

The pulmonary specialist hopes to have her in her own room and to get her walking around by Wednesday. Over the course of the week, they will be doing tests to determine if she needs open heart surgery. I guess we need to take it one day at a time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BHLTHY4LIFE 4/30/2010 11:50PM

    Hi Chris,prayers of healing and positive enrergy sent your way to all. emoticon emoticonDiana emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 4/26/2010 5:48PM

    I am wishing for the best possible results for you mother-in-law -- and hoping that your husband is strong too.

I am sure that your husband finds much comfort and strength from you -- because of your warm, caring ways.


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OLDERDANDRT 4/26/2010 5:09PM

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Hope she does well.


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ROOBYBEGONIA 4/26/2010 4:46PM

    Thinking positive thoughts for you and your family during this difficult time. I hope she gets well. It's tough to watch your loved ones suffer!


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MARY1313 4/26/2010 3:34PM

    Awwww what a beautiful lady! I know what you mean about your husband. they just cannot show pain and grief. I will continue to pray for you all my friend!


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STARLASUE 4/26/2010 7:05AM

    Sending prayers and healing energy for all of you.

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    Prayers to you and your family.
My husband acted similarly when his mom was dying. His way of coping, or not coping. It's hard to watch the ones we love become ill and harder still to help guide the ones who don't know how to let go.
Thinking of you with empathy,

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CATHYGETSFIT 4/26/2010 12:33AM

    I'm so sorry to hear about your MIL. It sounds like you care for her a great deal. It is so hard to lose loved ones and I truly hope she'll get better. However, your husband needs to make peace with her and realize that she may not get better. It can be hard to face. I hope for your husband's sake as well as the family's sake that she does get better. My thoughts will be with all of you! Keep us posted on how she does.

emoticonto you and your family!

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LMB-ESQ 4/25/2010 9:23PM

    emoticon My thoughts are with you and your family. I hope your mother-in-law recovers.

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0309COOKIE 4/25/2010 8:39PM

    I will keep Glenna and Mike in my prayers.

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LN7777 4/25/2010 7:47PM

    My prayers are with your mother-in-law and husband.

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Learning to Play - Yes!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our Open House at school was about play.

One of the most important things in childhood, active play, is being lost. At home, children are spending an incredible amount of screen time at the expense of active, interactive, and creative play. Schools have completely let children down with the misguided No Children Left Behind Act, which has resulted in leaving childhood, mental health, and physical health behind. Because the testing results have economic repercussions for schools, and because these tests are not necessarily developmentally appropriate, schools have cut recess and playground time, as well as art, music and field trips, in order to have more time to drill the skills needed to pass the tests.

This is so misguided and we are developing a nation of children who are emotionally stressed with no physical outlets, and who have lost the art of play. In terms of learning, children are not passive receptacles to have information poured into. Children need to move to process, they need to explore and experience their world. In order for learning to be comprehensive and integrated, children need to be involved in the process, and for children, one of the best ways to do that is through playing.

Somewhere along the line, play has become associated with nonproductiveness. This is far from true. Children are developing their neural transmitters, sensory integration and proprioceptive systems at a rapid rate. They need to move! They need to play. They need to physically experience their environment, manipulate it, play with it with their whole selves, mind, body, and emotions. It is a tragedy to see children who have lost the art of play and who have become so stressed by overload with no physical outlet that they are developing stress related illnesses at younger and younger ages.

Children are natural learners, and when they can learn through play was well as through books and manipulatives, they learn with joy and become life-long learners.

At our open house, my activities were experimenting with bubbles, learning to juggle, and unicycle riding. We had a fantastic time.

This little guy liked to jump through them.

There were other activities throughout the school, art, potions, and yoga to name a few.

Now tell me those children weren't learning. There is a lot of joy to learning with our whole bodies. This is true of adults as well. As I read people's blogs, I see the joy people have as they are getting more in touch with their physical selves, learning to run, building muscles, and getting out in the world hiking, gardening, biking... the list goes on. Get out and play. Play with your children, your grandchildren, your pets and your friends. It strengthens your body, your brain, your family, your friendships, and your sense of well-being.

Experiment, taste the world, and have fun with your life. Experience the joy of play.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASTABETH 4/26/2010 4:29PM

    This looks awesome! Play allows the brain to develop creativity and problem solving skills (how to get along, how to build a block tower, how to jump through two hula hoops, etc.) that students don't get to develop when they are learning the stuff needed to pass standardized tests.

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    Wonderful blog! Playing is so important in order for children to remain interested in learning. I agree completely with your philosophy and the photos of the kids "learning while they play" are great!

I once adopted a one-year-old dog who needed a home with a 6 foot fence because he kept jumping out of his owners yard and got hit by a car. I discovered the first day that he was starved for attention and did not know how to play with people. The first thing I did was take him out in the yard and teach him to play. Two weeks later, his former owners came for a visit to see how he was adjusting. They were amazed to see that he was sitting and shaking hands on command. They said they didn't realize dogs could learn to do things like that. They left satisfied, knowing that he was in a good home where he was loved and got all the attention he needed.

All creatures (including humans) learn best when learning is fun!

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PUDLECRAZY 4/25/2010 9:09PM

    It is not a Montessori school or a Waldorf school. It was the lab school for Antioch College, starting in 1921 when Arthur Morgan was president of the college. It is based more on the principles of John Dewey - experiential learning and democracy in education. According to an early catalog the school hoped to develop "self-control and a sense of personal and social responsibility." There was to be "close, open-minded observation of the children, with a moulding of the school program to suit the children's needs, rather than forcing them to fit a rigid and articifial curriculum." Children were encouraged to progress at whatever rate natural capacity, health and vitality made possible, and still are to this day.

Comment edited on: 4/25/2010 9:12:17 PM

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WATERMELLEN 4/25/2010 8:57PM

    This blog (text and pictures) brought tears to my eyes. Children learn with joy in so many different ways if they are given the chance to do that . . . and these children ARE being given the chance to do that . . .

Your students are lucky to have you teaching them. (I know, you're thinking that you are lucky to work with the children in your school: both things are quite likely true!!)

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MARY1313 4/25/2010 2:08PM

    The childrens faces are showing intense pleasure and total absorption. They are just so into these hands on events.

The biggest mistake I've seen is that no child left behind junk. Parents have to start taking their children out away from the computers and televisions and interact with them in nature. they will never learn to interact with others from a screen or a game. I applaud you for being such an in touch and aware teacher and I know that the children you have touched with your kindness and love will take this on into other areas of thier lives. You are certainly teaching not only book stuff, but life stuff. I love it!


Comment edited on: 4/25/2010 2:10:18 PM

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VALERIEMAHA 4/25/2010 11:05AM

    What a WONDERFUL TESTIMONY to the wonder and importance of PLAY and how it segues so perfectly into LEARNNING...YES! Is this a Montessori School?

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LN7777 4/25/2010 10:21AM

    I can see you are a wonderful teacher. It is so important to make learning fun! emoticon

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LORIAPO 4/25/2010 10:16AM

    I couldn't agree more.

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    Wonderful blog. Very well said. I just can't imagine what is going to happen when the schools are so downsized the children loose this... it makes me want to cry just thinking about it. There has to be an answer...
Beautiful pictures. They make me relive my childhood!

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GRNISHADE 4/25/2010 9:35AM

    What a beautiful blog! I was happy to see the reference to adults at the end! That's exactly what I was thinking as I was going through your blog. Play is such an essential part of living!

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MICHELEB609 4/25/2010 9:29AM

    Well stated and so very true!! emoticon emoticon

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BIRDBRAIN222 4/25/2010 7:54AM

    Great blog, I love the pictures! I want to came and blow bubbles too! I love playing, my son tells me to stop embarrasing him. Of course, he's a teenager, so he thinks everything I do is embarrasing! I just commented the other day on someone else's blog how much I hate that schools are teaching to tests. Kids these days are missing out on so much! At least in my county they still have PE every day. Staying up late must have been contagious last night, I was up until 2:30. Of course my son had to wake me up at 7am. As long as I'm awakenow, I think I'm going to go out and do my bike ride and walk. It's supposed to rain this afternoon, anyhow.

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STARLASUE 4/25/2010 7:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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    You are so right.
I fear we will be producing a generation of emotionally stunted, socially withdrawn and physically unfit people. By focusing on only technical abilities for statistical/financial purpose our children have the potential loose the abilty to produce the very music, movement and art skills which make all our entertainment "progress" we enjoy so much possible.

The NCLBA has been a thorn in the side of the teachers in my family and we share the same hope that someone will listen; that you need to provide a well-rounded education to produce a whole and healthy future for these kids.

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LMB-ESQ 4/25/2010 3:12AM

    OMG... you are so right! Our poor kids... suffering and losing out because the "grown ups" are so concerned about economics. What a lot of crap. The days of just lazing around and finding play in the great outdoors "just because it's there" are gone, replaced with structure, and drills, and basic skills, and let's not forget video games! It's so sad.

It sounds like you teach in a wonderful school though. I'm glad you're able to instill something more than just basics. Love your bubble pics too! That looks like so much fun!

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Bone Density, Taiko, and Baby Quails

Friday, April 23, 2010

I blogged last month about my frustrations with being diagnosed with osteopenia in spite of years of ample amounts of calcium in my diet, running, walking, and weight lifting. You can think you are doing it all right, only to be surprised that it wasn't quite enough or that genetics are stronger than life style.

I also discussed my unhappiness with 'bone building' drugs like Fosamax and Actonel. In a nutshell, I feel like a guinea pig. In my mother's day there was the 'miracle drug' thalidamide, a sedative drug which just happened to be linked with severe birth defects - children born without arms or legs. Then there was the 'miracle' of hormone replacement therapy, which is now linked to breast cancer and does not, as it turns out, prevent heart disease. Now we have 'bone building' drugs. I started out taking them, did more research, and decided not to. From what I have learned, they do not build bone tissue, but keep bones from shedding dead bone cells as they normally do, so they become dense because old bone is not sloughed off. I am NOT recommending to anyone else that they follow this path, but for myself I am choosing a different path. Perhaps if I had severe osteoporosis or wasn't planning on living another 30 - 40 years, I might see things differently, but for now - no.

I found a skeletal specialist, who after testing my calcium and vitamin D levels, recommended I take 1000 IUs of vitamin D. I have also been doing my PT exercises for my hips which include exer-band resistance training and doing wall sits holding a 5 pound medicine ball with my knees. In addition, I have been aiming for 2-4 mile walks and getting in my 10,000 steps per day.

All of that preamble leads up to my annual appointment with my lovely doctor. The results of my dexascan showed that I have gained bone in both of my hips! No Fosamax or Acotonel. Exercise? Diet? Vitamin D? I am not certain what helped, perhaps the whole package. It doesn't matter, I'll keep doing the same thing... I am very pleased with the results.

The rest of my test results were equally pleasing. Blood pressure in the low range, LDL - low, triglycerides - low, HDL - high. Keep getting your cardio and strength training in, take your vitamins, and eat those veggies and whole grains, my friends. It works!

I took my students to see the San Jose Taiko group perform. It was fantastic. I love Taiko, but don't often have the opportunity to enjoy it. Our seats were up in the nosebleed section, but I tell you, those drums sent vibrations all the way through the theater. Incredible!

Here's a Youtube clip of San Jose Taiko:


We had a reporter from the local paper come out to photograph my leads for the play and interview the cast for an article about our upcoming musical. The children looked great in their costumes and make-up. But, even better, they are doing so well with their lines, singing, and acting. I am very pleased with their progress so far! The performances are going to be on May 7 and 8 at a quaint little opera house. It is always a tremendous amount of work, but so gratifying. I love to see the children shine and I love the sense of confidence and accomplishment they get from the performing arts.

I don't think my blog would be complete without a photo update of the baby quail that were hatched in the Younger Group classroom. They aren't our project, but our days aren't complete without oooohing and ahhhhing over the babies.

Here they are with Sockie:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILVERWITCH59 4/24/2010 11:03PM

    You sound like a smart lady to me. Avoid those drugs at all cost. Also avoid Doctors they make you sick LOL

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ASTABETH 4/24/2010 9:36AM

    That's great! It gives me some hope. I heard on the radio that one of the osteo drugs actually resulted in an increased risk of fractures, but not at the hip, where some of the studies had focused. It's nice to know that lifestyle change will do it.

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LN7777 4/24/2010 6:41AM

    Congrats on improving your health. I work in a dental office and the dentist will not do an extraction on any patient that has ever taken osteoporosis drugs because the maxilla bone will not fill in.
I never heard on Taiko and enjoyed the video.

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KATIEGLEN012 4/24/2010 3:57AM

    I am quite encouraged by your blog...I am approaching aging and bone issues in a similar way. I, too, am seeing results. Thanks for sharing.

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    Congratulations on the good news! I agree with you with respect to Fosomax, etc. They make bone appear more dense, but they do not make bones strong. There are some studies now that indicate that they may increase bone fractures!

The baby quail are adorable!

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ROOBYBEGONIA 4/24/2010 12:28AM

    I am 100% with you in being wary of these 'miracle' (which, amazingly, goes hand-in-hand with grossly expensive) drugs.

My grandmother, a retired RN, swore up and down that the onset of her multiple myeloma coincided with treatment of her high cholesterol with a one of the statins. We'll never know if she was right, but she quit taking them after six months.

Ironically, one of the treatments - actually called a 'salvage' treatment - for multiple myeloma is THALIDOMIDE. She and I spent a lot of time talking about whether or not she should agree to that treatment - she opted out because the rate of neuropathy (loss of feeling in extremities) in patients receiving that protocol was extremely high. At that point she already knew there was no cure, and she also had a form of anemia (which I was recently diagnosed with), and between the two conditions it was going to kill her. We opted for 'quality of life'.

I'm so proud of your results! Isn't it GREAT to know that your body is getting healthier because of your pro-active efforts, even if you don't know exactly which particular thing or combination of things is doing it!

Yay for you, and how could you possibly have a more positive return on your investment?

And your chicks are awesome, chick! :)

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/23/2010 11:04PM

    Congrats on your results! Amazing work.


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PENNYAN45 4/23/2010 11:00PM

    Good for you on your improved bone density! I agree that we each have to decide for ourselves what treatment we will take. Our doctors can make suggestions and give us guidance, but it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and make the final decision. So, good for you also on doing just that!


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BIRDBRAIN222 4/23/2010 11:00PM

    Congratulations on the good news!
Those quail are so cute!

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WATERMELLEN 4/23/2010 10:26PM

    What an eclectic blog!

And -- huge congrats on the bone density improvement: you figured out what YOU needed to do -- and did it!! I think ample Vitamin D is very important -- also for cancer prevention.

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JUST_TRI_IT 4/23/2010 9:56PM

    The Taiko is great! I've seen a much smaller group and loved the rhythms and the strength...

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MEOWMAMA3 4/23/2010 8:40PM

    Congratulations on the health report! That's such a relief and affirmation of all your hard work at healthy living! I've never heard of Taiko, but will go watch the video asap. I remember the days of rehearsing for performances...they are grueling but so rewarding! One year the 3 3rd grades put on a production of "Food, Glorious Food" from "Oliver" and those afternoon rehearsals in the yard were brutal, but we did great and got a standing ovation! My teaching partner at the time is still a close friend and we still reminisce, joke, and break into song over it! Your school sounds like a dream! The quail are so tiny! I love that you are teaching such awe and respect for life to your kids. They are very lucky to have you!
Enjoy a restful weekend, thanks for your well wishes and the relaxation music! I am feeling better...whatta wallop!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARY1313 4/23/2010 8:15PM

    oh great results! your instincts were right about those drugs too. MIL was on them and went to get a tooth implant and it pushed right out because of those drugs.

love the video. the closest thing I have seen like that is blue man group.

love the chicks!

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Earth Day and Celebrating a College that Wouldn't Die

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Antioch College was established in 1852, in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was, from the onset, a co-educational college, a very unusual occurrence at the time. During the antebellum period, Antioch students were usually abolitionists. Horace Mann, the first president of Antioch,encouraged this sentiment at the college. Mann believed that the students should work hard to contribute to the moral fabric of society, stating, "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." This became the motto of Antioch College.

Antioch College was a forerunner in liberal arts education. Students were expected to be active participants not only in their own learning, but the governance of the college. Coretta Scott King, Stephen Jay Gould, and Virginia Hamilton are some of the illustrious graduates of Antioch.

In 1978, a decision was made for Antioch to become a university and satellite campuses were developed in California, Washington, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The administrators became less and less interested in the parent campus in the tiny town in Ohio, and started funneling funds into its campuses and programs on the east and west coasts, and ran the Yellow Springs campus bankrupt.

They shut the doors of the buildings two years ago, closing the buildings without shutting off the water and draining the pipes, leaving them to decay with pipes that burst after a winter of freezing, flooding the historic buildings.

This was a very sad occurrence for everyone associated with the college, the entire town which had been built around the college, and for the alumni, not to mention the students.

After a long, bitter battle, Antioch College made history again when the Antioch Alumni Association bought the college back from the University. There has been a lot of activity on campus, as volunteers and new employees work to repair buildings, revitalize the grounds, and bring campus back to life, to welcome a new batch of creative, energetic, free thinking Antioch College students in another year and a half.

Today, on Earth Day, students from our school, which used to be the lab school for Antioch College, went to celebrate with the new administration and plant flowers to beautify the campus. Honestly, I was teary much of the time - so happy to see the revitalization of my alma mater. It is exciting to see what a group of determined people can do - so many people had expected Antioch College to roll over and die. In fact, I looked up Antioch University on Wikipedia - it referred to Antioch College as 'the now defunct Antioch College.'

It is not in the hearts, souls, or characters of Antioch College alumni to throw in the towel and give up. We are creative and independent thinkers, fighters, and not people inclined to accept things as they are. I am so proud of the Alumni Association for all that it has accomplished!

This was a very happy Earth Day - a double celebration.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/23/2010 8:54PM

    Wow! What a refreshing story amid today's big, impersonal world! I'm really happy for you. I hope many of your kids will grow up to attend the new and improved, original Antioch! emoticon

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~MISS_TEA~ 4/23/2010 8:32PM

    How great! Thanks for sharing. In fact I have been looking more and more closely at Antioch to transfer to. Knowing you were/are a part of this institution makes me even more interested in it. Thanks for some of the background of the college. I am glad I know some more about it :).

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PENNYAN45 4/23/2010 2:20PM

    This was a great story - with a happy ending!

Thanks for the story - AND the photos!


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OLDERDANDRT 4/23/2010 10:34AM

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Earth Day! How great to resurrect your Alma MAter. emoticon

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SUNNY332 4/23/2010 9:24AM

    Awesome. I loved reading this story and enjoyed looking at the photos.

Thanks so much.

Have a Fantastic Friday, my Friend.


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VALERIEMAHA 4/23/2010 8:27AM

    ...just ANOTHER reason to add to the many of why I feel such a special connection to you -- AN ANTIOCH GRAD!!! I've always held a special place in my spirit for the Antioch philosophy. And I didn't know that Horace Mann was the first prez!

A moving story by an extraordinary woman...QUE VIVA ANTIOCH!!!

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KATIEGLEN012 4/23/2010 6:45AM

    Being kind to the earth...whether it is its history or its people is such a grand thing. How lovely that the campus will be restored and to be a part of a group that wants to do it.

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ROOBYBEGONIA 4/23/2010 2:19AM

    How awesome! The alumni lived up to the challenge completely. Lovely, lovely story! :)

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BIRDBRAIN222 4/22/2010 11:17PM

    Great blog, glad it had a happy ending.

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MARY1313 4/22/2010 10:41PM

    CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!! Wonderful come back story and great to know you are all fighting to keep something so worth while alive, to mould further minds with wonderful attitudes like yours, of giving back to society!


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PUDLECRAZY 4/22/2010 10:36PM

    Thank you. I am still very unhappy about the middle part of the story.

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DOR2BFIT 4/22/2010 10:21PM

    Love a happy ending/beginning emoticon emoticon

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AQUAJANE 4/22/2010 10:00PM

    Great way to celebrate Earth Day! emoticon

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MARYMAC45 4/22/2010 9:04PM

    Hi Chris, When I was out and about this am after my workout, I stopped by the garden center and picked up the blueberry plants. The little sticker in the pot says, PATIO BLUEBERRIES, very generic. I've been planting a garden for 40 years, none over the past 3 years due to illness. But I never planted blueberries, so this is a first. We will see how they do. We will just use 1/6 of the garden this year, not up to all the weeding. It is only 20' by 25'. Good enough for some salad greens, cukes, radishes, string beans, tomatoes, herbs and a couple of squash. I already have rhubarb and strawberries. That will keep me busy. I have 2 mulch piles going all year long, so I have plenty of compost to work into the soil. I'll talk to you again. Have a great weekend!

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WATERMELLEN 4/22/2010 8:57PM

    Very very moving . . . what a beautiful story and a beautiful campus.

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SATYAGRAHA 4/22/2010 8:35PM

    What a great story and what a beautiful way to spend your Earth Day! emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 4/22/2010 8:06PM

    I'm so glad you mentioned that you had written this blog... CONGRATULATIONS to you and those who celebrated this special day together :) Happy, peaceful Earth Day.

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MARYMAC45 4/22/2010 7:46PM

    Great blog, wonderful school. Enjoy EARTH DAY!!!
I got my garden ready for planting.

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Compassion and Genuine Love

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"It seems that when some people talk of compassion, they have the notion that it entails a total disregard or even a sacrificing of one’s own interests. This is not the case. In fact, genuine love should first be directed at oneself – if we do not love ourselves, how can we love others?"

- Dalai Lama

This has been my meditation for today. It is a balance I have gotten better with over the years, but all too often I have given too much of my time to others at the expense of not having the time to follow my own pursuits. Days like today are examples of things veering off course... days when I work 11 hours on a week that I have to work a 6 day work week. I love the school where I teach and work extremely hard to ensure that it is the best possible learning environment for children. My job entails being both a teacher and an administrator as well serving on committees. Sometimes I do not draw the line of where school ends and my personal life begins, in fact, sometimes my personal life all but disappears. Things that center me, music, time with family and friends, hikes in the woods, get lost in the shuffle. This is always a big mistake which, over and over again, I discover I have made after my world spins out of control. I become tired, stressed, and cranky - the antithesis of the effective and creative person I strive to be. I have to be diligent in recognizing the signs that I am becoming too driven at work so I can back off and restructure my priorities to include the kind of time I need to feed my soul and regenerate.

I also think of this meditation when I read some of the blogs written by people in pain, who are feeling like they are worthless, relying on the ideas of others for their sense of self worth. There were years when I felt like that, years that I am glad I have been able to learn from and move forward into a comfortable and cozy relationship with who I am. I am glad for the features of this site that create an atmosphere where people can reach out for support and find it among kind and generous people, people who can affirm that self worth is not dependent upon the judgement of others.

I wasn't going to blog today because I am physically and emotionally exhausted, but I am glad I did. I love my walking meditations, but my walk this morning was a different kind of walk, listening to music and setting my mental tone for the day with song. My meditation seems to have taken written form instead; and it was these thoughts I wanted to share with you.

Genuine self love is the source of the greater love you can share with others.

The gift of time for yourself is the source of having the calm center that enables you to truly have time for others.

Be kind and generous to yourself, and offer yourself patience and forgiveness when you feel self critical. Find the time and space in your life to do the things you love. Keep your body strong and be tender with your heart and soul.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/23/2010 8:59PM

    Beautiful blog! We teachers often get so wrapped up in school that there is no line between personal life and career. You seem to have invested lots of time and introspection into your well-being, something I'm learning to do for myself here at SparkPeople. So, teach, you're a role model for the teacher too!
Thanks for being you! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 4/22/2010 8:58PM

    That water lily is exquisite -- I can almost smell it!

We cannot draw from an empty well.

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WINGSOFCHANGE 4/22/2010 4:18PM

    Thank you for posting such an insightful blog! Your timing was perfect for me, as it's just what I needed to read.

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PENNYAN45 4/22/2010 1:28AM

    Your meditation today - and your message - is a valuable one for all of us.
We all must take good care of ourselves.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PRIDEL 4/21/2010 10:48PM

    I'm glad you took time for yourself today as well as took time to write this blog. It was great and it sounds like you are a great teacher too. I hope your students appreciate you. I do.

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KINGDOMHEIR 4/21/2010 2:02PM

    Wow! I think that was just what I was needing today. For me, God always seems to direct me exactly where I need to be at any given moment to read, see, hear, say just the right thing. I have been so stretched the past few weeks I believe I lost myself & have just been going through the motions. I thank you & I thank God for allowing you to express yourself with words this time around.

Blessings, m emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 4/21/2010 12:07PM

    You do have a wonderful way with words. Thank you for such a stirring blog.



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VALERIEMAHA 4/21/2010 7:35AM

    Ahhhh...you said it SO well:

"Be kind and generous to yourself, and offer yourself patience and forgiveness when you feel self critical. Find the time and space in your life to do the things you love. Keep your body strong and be tender with your heart and soul."

Bowing in gratitude,

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STARLASUE 4/21/2010 7:21AM

    Greay blog! Thanks

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LUVSBULLDOGS 4/21/2010 12:57AM

    Good message.

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HEALTHYDIANAMB 4/21/2010 12:32AM

    emoticonChris for sharing that beautifully written blog with us. I know I am really working hard to love myself,as I sometimes do have issues with my self value,because of my heart condition.If only I had not gotten on that horse that threw me off,I wouldn't be in this condition I am in. The if and only if I dah,dah,dah. I know I have to accept the cards I have been dealt and go on,somedays I just wanna cry and make all the neagative go away and be back the way I was prior to this. Thanks to SP I have been finding myself more positve and able to except myself for who I am,such a great feeling! emoticonDiana emoticon emoticon

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MARY1313 4/20/2010 11:29PM

    How right you are that we must first love ourselves. We are so critical of ourselves, us women. We are so much harder and push ourselves so much harder than what we expect of others. I have learned to like being with myself. that is huge for me as I have always had either kids or a husband. but now, It's just Mary, and it's kind of nice!

Your centering made me think of my centering, and thus, what goes around comes around!


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BILLTMAN 4/20/2010 11:24PM

    Nicely written blog. I found it interesting that you said that one of the things that helps you to be centered, besides music, is a hikes in the woods. I'm sure that you know that Beethoven often got ideas for melodies while walking in the woods. Those walks in the woods, just you and your thoughts, can be very peaceful and at the same time can allow you to be very creative. I'm glad you decided to go ahead and write even though you were exhausted. You are truly an inspiration.

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ROOBYBEGONIA 4/20/2010 11:10PM

    It can be so difficult to remember to keep our own 'tank' full while we are fulfilling the needs of our family, doing our jobs well, and working for community.

Excellent blog post. :)

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    well said my friend, well said. Take care emoticon you earned it

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BIRDBRAIN222 4/20/2010 10:24PM

    Good blog. I try to make sure I have some time for myself each week or I have trouble dealing with the stress in my life. I have a special needs child and an ill husband, not to mention my own health problems. I have to make sure I make the time to read the bible and study for meetings (we go to a sign language congregation.) I also need my bird time, I call it my bird therapy, just me and the birds out in nature. I think birds are God's best invention!

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HOPERISING 4/20/2010 10:06PM

    These were lovely thoughts today. I'm glad you took the time from your hectic schedule to write. I'm one of those people who tends to give too much of myself... and gee, now that I stop and think, I'm doing it even now... taking on the NVSS project, the portrait project for my clients, plus my full time job, homeschooling my boys, getting Dale tested for an IEP, appointments with therapists, dentists... This blog was an excellent reminder for me today. Thanks!

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LMB-ESQ 4/20/2010 9:46PM

    Well, I'm glad you blogged - beautifully written! But get some rest now! You deserve it! emoticon

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