Thursday, October 06, 2011
I felt pretty sick yesterday; what seemed to be a mild cold went into my inner ear and hit me with a bad case of vertigo. I was able to make an appointment with a doctor for this morning.
Thing is, my wonderful DO quit her practice last month. It made me sad because she is gifted, a good listener, has a wonderful sense of humor, is straightforward... honestly, there was not a thing about her that I didn't like. She had recommended another DO to me, but that doctor did not have office hours on Wed. so I couldn't make an appointment. So I decided to try the doctor who took her office space.
My appointment was for 7:50 am which would give me plenty of time to have my appointment and get to work on time, if I skipped my plan period. I arrived at 6:45 and was in the office by 7:50. So far, so good. But then he didn't come and didn't come, and didn't come. After sitting there for a half an hour (no other patients this early in the morning, I'm the first) I stuck my head out of the office door to see if he was around. He was sitting in front of a computer; I waved to let him know I was there and went back in. 10 minutes later, still not there. I had to go to work so I packed up to leave.
He was just coming in as I was leaving. I told him that I had to leave to go to work. He said, "I'm sorry." I told him my appointment was at 7:50, and 40 minutes had gone by. He said, "i'm sorry." Sheesh! Not a very good first impression. Back to doctor shopping, I won't be trusting my health with someone who can't even bother being respectful enough to show up for the first appointment of the day. What if I needed more than to see if my sinus infection was bad enough I needed antibiotics?
I ended up taking over the counter antihistamines to get through the school day without keeling over. They did help to dry out my inner ear enough that I was less dizzy, but antihistamines make me drowsy, so I was yawning all day.
However, I needed to be at school for our Grandparent's Day activities. It is the first year we have tried this particular festivity. The all of the children in the school were divided into 4 groups of mixed ages, and each group (with the grandparents who could be there) rotated craft sessions in 4 different classrooms. The craft in my room was decorating cupcakes they could take to the Grandparent's Tea at the end of the school day. Yesterday, my class baked over 100 cupcakes including 24 vegan cupcakes. All of the icing was vegan. They had sprinkles, candy corn, jelly beans, and frosting to decorate with.... they were very cute cupcakes and everyone enjoyed decorating them, children and grandparents alike. It was a tiring day since I did not feel at all well, but it was fun, and very successful. I could tell that the grandparents were having a fabulous time going to all of the different crafts with their grandchildren, and were also enjoying each other's company.
Now I'm taking a nap so I can be reasonably sane and attentive at my guitar class tonight.
Tomorrow I have parent conferences in the morning, an acupuncture appointment at noon, then the afternoon to myself. Why did I forget I had the acupuncture appointment? I am certain she can do more to help my inner ear infection than that self absorbed MD.
Off to my nap to sleep off the residual antihistamines.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
This is one of those weeks where I do not have time to catch my breath. Yesterday was an 11 hour work day for me, arriving at school at 7:00 am and leaving after teaching, faculty meeting, and parent conferences at 6:00 pm. A friend arrived in from NY; we had dinner and visited after that.
Today is another 11 hour work day, teach the regular school day,a break for dinner, then a board meeting tonight. This afternoon, my class and I need to bake 100 cupcakes for Grandparent's Day celebrations tomorrow. I love cooking with my class, but it can get a bit hectic. I need to make vegan cupcakes and icing.
Tomorrow will include the Grandparent's Day activities at school, so the afternoon will be extraordinarily busy. Grandparents will arrive at 12:30. The (4) rooms will be set up for a different craft in each room and the children will circulate to all of the different rooms with their grandparents to participate in making nature art, etc. In my room, we will be decorating cupcakes that they can take to the Grandparent's Tea at the end of the school day. It will be an on-your-feet-and fast-paced-busy kind of afternoon. I plan to keep the decorating ideas pretty simple since this activity will be for nursery school through 6th grade, plus grandparents. At this point, I have no idea how many grandparents will be there, so the logistics are feeling a little stressful to me.
I will have time to go home, put my feet up for a few minutes, eat dinner, then off to my guitar lesson with Fernando. No matter how busy I am, I will not miss that part of my week.
On Friday, the children do not come to school; it is parent conference day.
Saturday morning will be my Body Pump class. Sadly, I have to miss my Wed. evening Body Pump class for the board meeting, and I had to miss Zumba yesterday for parent conferences. This is where work really interferes with my wellness plans. No matter how hard I try to preserve my fitness program and 'me' time, work encroaches in a big way once the school year gets underway.
Our illustrious governor believes that teachers, firemen, and policemen are leeches on society and should not have pay raises built into their salaries. I am here to tell you that in no way does he work this hard and he makes at least quadruple the money. Okay - I'm done being political, but it pisses me off royally.
Since we are celebrating Grandparent's Day, I thought I would share this photo with you. It is one of the great photo finds where my sister and I were going through the old photos left by my parents.
This is my great great grandfather, Jacob (pronounced Yacob) Heiserman and his brother Melchior. They were pioneers who emigrated here from Germany in 1829. My relatives as far back as I could trace were hard working and stubborn; that quality seems to have bee preserved through the generations (gee).
My gratitude for the day:
I am grateful to work with people I love. Work takes over more of my life than I wish it would, but I get to work with teachers who I love and admire, children who are squirrelly as all get out, but who are really sweet, and (mostly) parents who are supportive of their children and the school.
Monday, October 03, 2011
I know that muscle weighs more than fat, but how much more?
After a year and a half, I finally achieved my target weight. Over the last month, I have put 4-5 pounds back on. Here are the variables:
1. School is back in session, so stress is back on. It has been a pleasant year so far, but it is in my nature to work hard at what I do; plus I have many responsibilities at work beyond teaching, including being on the board and on committees. Even though I am being very conscientious about keeping stress levels low, they are there regardless.
2. Sleep has been an issue... nothing new. I am not a good sleeper and it doesn't take much for me to get off track with falling asleep and staying asleep.
3. I have been consistent with exercise all summer and so far, carried it into the fall. Part of this exercise has been to attend Body Pump twice a week since July. It is a barbell workout, with some mat work for abs, that targets all large muscle groups. I have worked my way up to doing most of the workout with 20 pounds on my barbell. I have been very pleased with how my muscles have responded. The marshmallowy consistency that was my arms and legs has mostly been replaced by firmer muscle mass.
4. I have been snacking a bit at work when I give the children a snack. While it is not an unhealthy snack, it tends to be something like graham crackers. I need to replace that with an apple and peanut butter maybe.
5. It is cooler weather, and I do crave more carbs when the temperatures drop. I still am eating a healthy diet, but probably should go back to tracking my food for a reality check.
Looking at the weight gain, I know I am more muscular... I can see it and feel it. But, there is the return of the muffin top and those lovely new jeans I got this summer are a bit tight in the middle. I can't fool myself there, those are fat cells at work.
The question is, if I AM putting on more muscle and reducing fat, and my weight is settling a little hight than my initial target weight, should I adjust my target weight to a bit more than I had originally planned? I am wondering if perhaps a more useful measure of healthy weight after reaching our weight goals should rely less on the scale and more on if things become snug around the tummy. What are your thoughts?
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Okay, after a week of 24/7 camping with my class, staying up late for an excellent concert, waking up early and going to Body Pump, followed by singing and playing for two hours with my best friend and singing partner, I am certifiably whipped.
The Tommy Emmanuel concert was amazing. I have heard him before on CD, but not in person. I have always liked the way flamenco guitarists use their guitars as percussion as well as stringed instruments. Tommy Emmanuel is not a flamenco player, more like an Australian Leo Kotke. But he plays some incredible percussion on this guitar.
He has a couple of newer guitars that aren't as beat up, but the ones he plays percussion on display their wear proudly.
As often happens when I listen to amazing guitar players, I am both inspired and discouraged. I wanted to toss my guitar in the dumpster, then realized I love my guitar so much so I'd better throw myself in the dumpster instead. Well, of course I'm not REALLY going to do that. I have to remember that most of these artists have been playing since they were children, and I have been playing for 4 years. It does make me a wistful that I waited to long to learn.
I was happy to run into my first guitar teacher at the concert. I haven't seen him for several years, only a couple of times since he advanced me on to a different teacher. It was very nice to see him and I was surprised what a tight and warm hug he gave me. After these years have gone by, I didn't know if he would even recognize me. He was very pleased that I have continued playing.
I did not include the flower pictures from my walks at ecocamp in my previous blogs, but thought you might enjoy them.
Now to put my feet up for the evening.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
It is a beautiful autumn day in the nature preserve. The children are out on an all day hike with their naturalists, so this gorgeous day is MINE! I took a long meditative walk this morning and brought my camera along to capture some of the fall beauty.
There are some giant puffballs right outside the dining hall. Actually, when they are fresh and white through and through, puffballs are delicious! These are past their prime, and in the nature preserve. Not to mention, even if they were perfectly ready for eating, I would never pick and eat mushrooms when the children are around.
These shelf mushrooms make me think of sweet, departed Eleanor. The striations, ruffles, and coloring are not unlike those of a barred rock chicken.
These are a really pretty color shelf mushroom.
And these are so tiny! I kept the pine cone in the photo for scale. They look like tine parasols for fairies.
This amanita is exquisite, but highly poisonous. I was very happy to find it on my walk today.
The foliage is just beginning to turn, the pale yellows are the first colors to make their appearance. There is a golden glow to the woods.
The aroma is earthy and sensual. Fall is my favorite season for its overload on the senses. The colors are amazing, the aroma is intoxicating, and there is a slight chill to the air that feels perfect when the breeze caresses skin.
"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. " ~e.e. cummings
This is the venerable old osage orange tree, now long dead, but still the favorite climbing tree for children and adults alike. My children loved to climb this tree 30 years ago when we went for hikes in the nature preserve. It is a testament to its strength and endurance that even though it is no longer alive, it still brings pure joy to children with its perfect climbing branches.
Close up of the climbing tree's bark.
"The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,
Our nature preserve had a glorious, lush, and magical pine forest. It was a place where I used to love to go to lie down on a soft bed of pine needles and gaze up at the tops of the pines, gracefully swaying on the lightest of breezes, and drink in the rich aroma of pine that permeated the air.
4 years ago, Hurricane Ike blew through and wreaked chaos in the pine forest. So many of the lovely old pines were toppled.
Where once great pines stood, it is now open enough to encourage the growth of understory that could never have survived in the old standing pine forest.
It was a bittersweet visit to the old pine forest... like the loss of an old friend, yet still a ghost of its old life yet left.
This was a peaceful and pleasant day. With the children out on the trail with their naturalist all day, I had time to revel in this fall day, and visit my old friends of the forest.
My favorite kid quote of the day:
I LOVE ego-camp!
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