LIVEDAILY's SparkPeople Blog LIVEDAILY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My Unexpected Absence I have osteoarthritis in basically every major joint of my body. I've been taking Celebrex for years now with no problems at all. I ran out of my prescription last Saturday, but I thought I'd be okay since I knew I would be seeing the doctor Friday morning. I have to watch the amount of Advil I take because it does elevate my blood pressure. I also have to watch the amount of other pain meds I take, because I need to be able to function. <BR> <BR> Last Sunday I woke up a little bit stif... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 18:33:32 EST March Recap and April Goals At the beginning of March I set 3 goals for myself: <BR> 1. To earn at least 1 Gold Medal, <BR> 2. To earn 2,500 fitness minutes for myself, <BR> 3. *brain fart* I can't remember!! <BR> <BR> So I earned 3 Gold Medals and 2 Silver Medals for the month of March, for a total of 327,132 steps!! And I logged 3,200 fitness minutes for the month of March. <BR> <BR> That just amazes me. I never realized I was capable of doing that!! <BR> <BR> I still haven't bought a scale, but I'm continuing... Sun, 3 Apr 2016 18:27:39 EST My Busy Weekend So, back in November I had a garage sale for 2 days. Got rid of a bunch of stuff, and was happy. Repacked what was left over, and in addition to packing things up for donation, I set aside some of the better stuff for a flea market in March. It seemed so long ago! lol <BR> <BR> Thursday was set up day. I got 2 8 foot tables, and yes, I had that much stuff. I had a large box of stuffed animals, another large box of old fashioned plastic animals, plus lots of dishes, glassware, some depr... Sun, 13 Mar 2016 19:33:01 EST February Update and March Goals At the beginning of February, I set a goal to achieve a 1,000 Fitness Minutes Award for the month of February. I was determined, and I'm happy to report that I have earned a 2,000 Fitness Minutes Award for February!! Wow, right? <BR> <BR> So, March is a little bit longer than February, so I'm thinking of aiming for 2,500 and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do that unless something unforeseen pops up. <BR> <BR> I good spark friend - thanks Elsa!! - has remotivated me to start tracking my ... Sun, 28 Feb 2016 19:37:44 EST February Goals I normally don't do this, but wanted to purposefully plan an increase in my activity levels. So, my first goal for the month of February is to earn a 1,000 Fitness Minutes award. So far, I'm 3 days for 3 days!! Yay!! I've noticed that my energy level is better, and I'm also sleeping better at night - both good results in and of themselves. <BR> <BR> My second goal for the month of February is to earn a minimum of 100 Spark Points every day. Some days are easier than others, and some day... Wed, 3 Feb 2016 17:31:05 EST Cuddles <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Cuddles was my beautiful, precious cat. I had her for about 10 years, and how we came to be together is a story. <BR> <BR> I live in an apartment complex, and many people have cats. You see them in the windows all the time. There was one kitten though, whose owner let out all the time. She was black and white, wore a collar, and everyone knew her. Then she disappeared, and we thought ... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 17:45:38 EST Happy New Year! I drove to my brother's in Virginia for Christmas. It's an 8 hour drive, and it was the first long drive I'd done since my heart surgery, so I was a little concerned with whether or not I would be okay. No worries - I was tired at the end of the day, but no more, I think, than pre- surgery. The drive itself went very well. I live in northern NJ, and common sense would dictate that I'd drive south on I-95, unless you've actually driven that route and gotten stuck in traffic around Philadel... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 15:08:21 EST Christmas Plans As many of you already know, I am moving back in with DH. The past couple of weeks have been intense packing up of things and the weekends have been a blur of moving big stuff. Today a dear college friend of DH came and helped us move many pieces of furniture. He is a good friend indeed!! <BR> <BR> I leave early tomorrow morning to drive down to my brother's in VA. My sister and her DH, who live in FL will be flying up on Tuesday. This will be the first time in a very long time that we ... Sat, 19 Dec 2015 17:49:34 EST Recap of The Busy Weekend, Knee Progress, and Thanksgiving Menu This past weekend I had a garage sale, literally IN the garage. Saturday went really, really well, and I guess I got rid of about half of what I had. On Sunday, I actually had 2 return customers who both bought more books - yay! I didn't do as well on Sunday, but the weather wasn't as nice. It was cloudy and colder. Saturday was sunny and bright, and while not warm, it wasn't raw. The first weekend of December the remaining books will be donated to my local College Women's Club. They h... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:30:30 EST Busy Weekend Ahead I've been very busy going through my basement. I live in a 2 bedroom garden apartment. It has a front door and a back door, and is an up and down. On the first floor is the kitchen, dining room , and living room. Upstairs are 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The basement is the same size as the 1st floor, and it has 26 years of "stuff" in it. I've already thrown out 8 bags of garbage; today I threw out 2 more. I've boxed up canning jars for my brother, a set of dishes for my niece, found mor... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 19:36:32 EST My School Situation - The End A dear friend recently asked me "has your school situation resolved itself yet?" <BR> I've been procrastinating about writing this blog, but here is the answer: <BR> <BR> It has. I resigned. <BR> <BR> That's the short story. The longer explanation is this: <BR> <BR> IF I had continued to fight, and gone into arbitration, it would immediately become public record. Anyone reviewing my resume, could look me up, and most likely the next thing (being the most recent) would be that I had been ... Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:23:21 EST Football Season and Doing something today A friend who knows me very well sent this to me: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> That is ME!! Yes, I yell at my tv, as if the players can actually hear me! Much like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in the infamous horse race scene, where she yells, at full volume dressed to the nines, to "move yer bloody arse!!" Hoot! <BR> <BR> I root for college football teams, but especially my alma mater, Penn State. <BR... Mon, 14 Sep 2015 15:02:21 EST A little more about me! I found this on a featured blog, and thought I would do it as well! Seems like a fun thing to share! <BR> <BR> <BR> Copy and Paste into your own blog, change the answers to suit you. <BR> <BR> Where is your cell phone? Right next to me. <BR> <BR> Spouse? Yes. Our relationship is unusual. <BR> <BR> Your hair? Natural blonde with silver highlights <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> Your mother? In heaven. <BR> <BR> Your father? Also there. <BR> <BR> Your favorite thing? Oh, so man... Sat, 5 Sep 2015 16:42:46 EST An Update on My Current Situation Tuesday afternoon, August 31, 2015, a letter was hand delivered to me from my school district. There was no knock on the door; it was simply put underneath the front door of my apartment. <BR> <BR> I have been placed on administrative leave with pay from my position as a First Grade teacher. I am prohibited from having any communication with school employees and/or parents, or enter any Board of Education facilities in the school district unless I get prior approval, in writing, from the a... Tue, 1 Sep 2015 22:29:18 EST Full Disclosure I have been dealing with a professional "hiccup" for the past 4 months. Some background: In the interests of holding teachers more accountable, the teacher evaluation rubric has been revamped in New Jersey. Each district could choose a system to use. I don't believe teachers were consulted in the creation or vetting process. The old, and the new evaluation system is highly objective; i.e., if a principal likes you, you usually get a good evaluation, and if they don't, you're screwed. <BR... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 05:34:15 EST Dear Teachers A friend of mine, well, okay, my husband, and he IS a friend, showed this to me today. It made me weepy. That could have been the result of the anesthesia still in my system(I had a minor back procedure done today and all is well) OR it touched my heart. I'd like to think it was the later! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Scroll down the page until you get to "Dear Teachers: You're Not Fooling Me" <BR> <em>26</em> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:05:52 EST The Little Red House This is a favorite story of mine and never fails to impress young children who aren't in on the "secret"! <BR> <BR> There was once upon a time a little boy named John who was tired of all his toys and tired of all his picture books and tired of all his play. "What shall I do?" he asked his mother. And his dear mother who always knew beautiful things for little boys to do, said: "You shall go on a journey and find a little red house with no doors and with a star inside." Then John's eyes ... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 06:01:55 EST A Letter to The Editor I was away last week visiting my sister. It was wonderful!! While I was there, The New York Times ran an article about severe teacher shortages in certain areas of the USA. There've been several responses, but this one, in particular, had resonance. I did not write this, but felt it worthwhile to share. <BR> <BR> "To the Editor: <BR> <BR> I am an elementary school teacher. I love working with children. I considered my vocation constructive, honorable, and a necessary part of building ... Sat, 22 Aug 2015 16:58:19 EST An Educational System "An educational system isn't worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living, but doesn't teach them how to make a life." <BR> <BR> Art <BR> Music <BR> Socialization (especially in the lower grades) <BR> Play <BR> Home Ec. <BR> Wood Shop <BR> Phys Ed and Health <BR> Library <BR> <BR> All of these things, and more, are currently endangered in our current educational system today. School is more than just Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic; always has been. Thu, 13 Aug 2015 07:59:44 EST Reading "From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. But when books are opened, you discover that you have wings." - Helen Hayes <BR> <BR> I was extremely fortunate in that I had both a mother and a father who loved to read. I saw two important adults in my life reading every day for work and pleasure. They read to me daily, and instilled in me a love for reading that is with me still. I have a memory of being a very small child sitting in my Daddy's l... Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:01:10 EST Our Children Our children are living messages we send to a time and place we will never see. Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:50:59 EST The Blueberry Story The Blueberry Story: <BR> The teacher gives the businessman a lesson <BR> <BR> “If I ran my business the way you people operate your schools, I wouldn’t be in business very long!” <BR> <BR> I stood before an auditorium filled with outraged teachers who were becoming angrier by the minute. My speech had entirely consumed their precious 90 minutes of inservice. Their initial icy glares had turned to restless agitation. You could cut the hostility with a knife. <BR> <BR> I represented... Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:25:15 EST The Important Thing "The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, <BR> as that every child should be given the wish to learn." <BR> <BR> John Lubbock Sun, 9 Aug 2015 13:10:36 EST Keep A Kind Heart One of the things I do as a classroom teacher is I read aloud to my students. I do this two different ways. One, I use a wide variety of picture books to help expose the students to good, quality fiction and also non fiction. Two, I read aloud from beginning chapter books, and I refuse to show them pictures at all, even if there are any. I counsel parents, and any one else who will listen to me, to continue to read aloud to their children, even if they are reading on their own. Just read... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 14:04:23 EST The Paradoxical Commandments This is dedicated to every teacher. Print it out and read it when things get rough this year. <BR> <em>26</em> <BR> <BR> The Paradoxical Commandments <BR> by <BR> Kent M. Keith <BR> <BR> People are illogical, unreasonable and self centered. <BR> Love them anyway. <BR> <BR> If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. <BR> Do good anyway. <BR> <BR> If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. <BR> Succeed anyway. <BR> <BR> The good you d... Fri, 7 Aug 2015 20:33:18 EST Teaching Is Not A Job I have heard this from many a teacher, "Teaching is not a job, it is a calling." <BR> <BR> "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." <BR> <BR> This is why. <BR> <BR> "Benevolence alone will not make a teacher, nor will learning alone do it. The gift of teaching is a peculiar talent and implies a need and a craving in the te... Thu, 6 Aug 2015 19:10:48 EST The Typical Elementary Teacher's Classroom Teachers are a wise and crafty bunch. We are continuously told that we need to have a wide variety of books and materials for the children to work with, and yet we are never provided with these materials. I cherish a walk through observation form written up by my then vice principal. Under the heading variety of materials she wrote "WOW!". <BR> <BR> I go to yard sales, garage sales, dollar stores, thrift stores. I beg for materials from friends whose children have out grown things like b... Wed, 5 Aug 2015 19:52:26 EST Perspective More to think about today: <BR> <BR> If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 25 people in his office all at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for 10 months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job. <BR> Donald D. Quinn <BR> <BR> I don't know who Mr. Quinn is, but he gets it. Tue, 4 Aug 2015 10:09:15 EST Teachers Make Too Much Money? This is an oldie, but goodie. I'm going to repeat the original, then update it! <BR> <BR> Who's ever heard someone else complain that teachers just make too much money? One wise sage said that a teacher should be paid babysitting wages. If each family paid $3.00 an hour for 5 hours, that would be $15.00. Then, there's about 20 students in each class, so $15 x 20 = $300. Then teachers work 180 days a year, so $300 x 180 = $54,000. <BR> <BR> Apparently, at the time, this was an incredibl... Mon, 3 Aug 2015 10:07:57 EST Teachers Take Responsibility I think I was given this when I first started teaching, so I've had it for 36 years. It is still pertinent today. <BR> <BR> I take responsibility for children <BR> who sneak popsicles before supper, <BR> who erase holes in math workbooks, <BR> who can never find their shoes. <BR> I take responsibility for those <BR> who stare a photographers from behind barbed wire, <BR> who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers, <BR> who never "counted potatoes... Sun, 2 Aug 2015 12:05:48 EST Yay for Teachers! Today is the first day of August. For most of the United States, teachers are beginning to gear up to return to school after the summer break. Teachers are a much maligned group of folk. I am dedicating a blog a day for the month of August in support of teachers, and to give everyone else something to think about! <BR> <BR> "In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else." <BR> <BR> Lee Iacocca Sat, 1 Aug 2015 09:52:39 EST Keeping busy So, I have been keeping busy. <BR> <BR> My Heart: I am still in recovery mode. I have been cleared to drive, and I have been getting out and about. My scarring is fading away slowly. I think the Vitamin E I put on it helps. I still haven't been cleared to begin cardio rehab, so I'm beginning to feel like a bit of a lump. But you know how nature abhors a vacuum. <BR> <BR> My sciatica: This was a severe problem years ago. Very debilitating, and what brought me to my wonderful chir... Sun, 28 Jun 2015 17:49:59 EST My Buttons It all started with a craft idea I saw about 10 or more years ago in a magazine. Some crafty person had made a pin (brooch) out of buttons. They had bought buttons all the same color and sewed them on to a circle form. I thought to myself, couldn't you make other shapes as well? So I decided to make a heart shaped pin. But I wanted the buttons to be special, so I started haunting yard sales, flea markets, and antique shops and events to find OLD buttons. Not just any old buttons, but ol... Mon, 11 May 2015 19:57:20 EST An Update! Hi everyone! It's been a month since I last told you about my health status. I've been back to the surgeons and the cardiologist, and they are both pleased with my progress so far. I still can not drive, and I still have to ride in the back seat of the car when I am in a car. That's because IF I were to be sitting in the front seat (passengers side), and the car were to be involved in an accident, if the airbag went off, it could potentially reopen my surgical site. Don't want THAT to ha... Sat, 9 May 2015 00:10:50 EST Hello Spark Friends! I have been away. Very unexpectedly. <BR> <BR> On March 25th I went in for a cardiac cathertization, which is where they inject a contrast dye, and then take pictures of your heart and surrounding veins. If there's a minor blockage, they automatically put in a stent. If anything, I expected to wake up to the news that they had to put in a couple of stents and that I'd need to spend the night and go home the next day. <BR> <BR> Instead, I woke up to the cardiologist telling me, "I have ba... Thu, 9 Apr 2015 16:40:04 EST Be Pro-Active About Your Health I currently take high blood pressure and thyroid medications. My doctors like to see me about every 6 months, just for a general check up along with prescription renewals. About 3 years ago, during one of these check ups, my dr and I had a conversation that went like this: <BR> <BR> Him: Listening to my heart - You have a heart murmur. <BR> Me: No I don't! <BR> Him: Listening again -gives me "the look" - Yes, you do. <BR> Me: I've NEVER, ever had a heart murmur! <BR> Him: We'll keep t... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 19:02:55 EST September Plans and Goals and New Gym So I've joined a new gym. It's called Life Time Fitness and it is truly amazing. It's like belonging to a country club/spa/elite gym, and with everything it offers, it really isn't any more expensive. It has 3 indoor pools and 4 outdoor pools. 400 pieces of cardio/ST equipment plus oodles of free weights. A dedicated yoga room, 2 exercise rooms, a gym, a rock wall, and 2 racketball courts. Fully outfitted locker rooms, hot tubs, saunas, and eucalyptis steam rooms. Awesome! <BR> <BR> T... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:26:51 EST Is It Just Too Much? I had a thought today. <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> Scarey, I know! <BR> <BR> Then I was reading another SP friends blog, and she made a comment about how she decided not to blog every day because the daily thing just got to be too much, and it resonated with me. <BR> <BR> When I come onto SP, and I LOVE Spark People, I can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours updating everything, earning points, logging in my trackers, checking my teams, responding to spark mail, reading arti... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 21:02:43 EST August Goals It's August already!! <BR> So, I've been thinking about what I want to do differently this month. I've slowly been increasing my sets of ST exercises that I do and still working up to get a small amount of cardio in every day. For the month of August I will: <BR> <BR> 1. Do 3 sets of 20 reps of calf raises. <BR> 2. Do 3 sets of 20 reps of leg abductions. <BR> 3. Do 3 sets of 20 reps of knee high leg raises. <BR> 4. Do 3 sets of 20 reps of moderate incline pushups. <BR> 5. Do 3 sets ... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 23:23:38 EST What I've Learned from BLC25 I've participated in the BLC 4 rounds in a row (BLC 20, 21, 22, 23), and then took a break for a variety of reasons and returned for BLC 25. Some observations: <BR> 1. I benefit from the commraderie of teammates. <BR> 2. I don't like being told specifically what I have to do and when I have to do it. <BR> 3. I'm an adult. I don't feel that there's a place for scolding in the BLC. We all have our weaknesses and I feel the BLC should be a place to come for support and encouragement. You ... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:23:39 EST New Meals, Yumminess, and a Nutritional Victory! First off, the yumminess! I am SO in love with this recipe that I have it once a week! Yes, it is high in fat, but it's a good fat and if you eat low fat the rest of the day, you're ok. It's easy to prepare. And it tastes so, so good!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=2755713 </link> <BR> <BR> Second, my nutritional victory. I had posted earlier about wanting to try plain yogurt. I have, and I now think that there's no way I could go back to eat... Sat, 14 Jun 2014 19:09:58 EST A Week's Worth of Meals Another BLC Challenge, this time it's for a whole week's worth of meals. So my breakfasts and dinners have been working out very well. The weather was brutally hot on Tuesday, so the salad with shrimp was perfect. Today was cooler, and eating a hot meal (the tilapia) worked out beautifully! <BR> <BR> I want to experiment with different types of yogurt. I prefer Greek yogurt, but I'm also trying to cut down on the amount of sugar that I consume. I understand that some sugar listed in yog... Wed, 28 May 2014 22:32:42 EST 5 Dinner Meals for the Week Ahead Yes, you guessed it. This is another challenge for the BLC. I've spent a good bit of time thinking about this. One of my problems is when I get home at the end of the day, I really don't feel like cooking, which is a conundrum. I love to cook, and I have to eat, and I want to eat healthy food. I tend to make batches of things and eat the same thing every day, but for this challenge I wanted to try to stretch a bit. <BR> <BR> Dinner #1 - Filet mignon steak, baked potato with butter, gree... Mon, 26 May 2014 17:29:31 EST 5 Breakfast meals for The Week Ahead For our weekend challenge in the BLC, we have to plan 5 breakfast meals for the upcoming week. I LOVE breakfast!! <BR> <BR> Breakfast #1: 1 cup of blueberries, 1/3 cup of Kellog's Bran Buds, 1 single container of Fage Peach Fruyo Greek yogurt (yum!!) <BR> <BR> Breakfast #2: 4 oz. Tropicana Trop 50 Red Orange juice, 1 rounded teaspoon of sugar free orange Benefiber, 1 rounded serving scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder, 1 1/2 cups cold water. I love this because I don't have to use my blende... Fri, 23 May 2014 19:15:24 EST Meal Plan for May 11 - 17, 2014 As part of our WEC this week in BLC, we had to write out our meal plan for 4 days next week. I almost never plan my meals in advance, because I never know what I'll be in the mood to eat on any particular day. I always make sure that I have plenty of options though! So the days I picked are Tuesday, May 13 - Friday, May 16: <BR> <BR> I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch during the week. It's just easier that way for me, and it's food I enjoy. <BR> <BR> Breakfast: 2 hard boiled ... Sat, 10 May 2014 22:36:22 EST CICO for the First Week of BLC CICO, for those of who who don't know, means "calories in-calories out". It's a report you can find under your "my trackers" tab. SP calls it a calorie differential, and it's just one more way for you to keep track of your numbers. Each number means something different: <BR> #1 - calories eaten <BR> #2 - Your BMR (basic metabolic rate) <BR> #3 - calories burned through exercise <BR> #4 - total of BMR + calories burned <BR> #5 - the difference <BR> <BR> Ideally, you want it to be a negativ... Wed, 7 May 2014 17:46:56 EST My First BLC25 Fitness Test One of the objectives for this weekend's challenge in the BLC25 was to do a fitness test. This test will be repeated in week 6 and week 12 of the BLC. A goal is to improve your results. There were four parts to the fitness test: <BR> <BR> 1. Push Up Test: How many can you do in 1 minute? I did modified push ups on the wall and I did 25 in one minute. <BR> <BR> 2. Crunch Test: How many crunches can you do in 1 minute? I did 21. <BR> <BR> 3. One mile walking test: How long does it... Sun, 4 May 2014 12:39:21 EST BLC25 Goals I have several goals for the BLC25: <BR> 1. Regain control over my eating by tracking EVERYTHING that I eat and drink, and staying within the guidelines that SP has set. <BR> 2. Increase my fitness level. I had slacked off on this something awful, just only doing exercises that my PT had given me when I first got out of the hospital back in September!! <BR> 3. Start going back to the gym. I went twice last week, and it felt pretty good! I want to go to the gym a minimum of 3 times a week... Thu, 1 May 2014 22:48:19 EST March Recap and April Goals March was my month to get back into the swing of things. I think I did fairly well. I almost earned a 2,000 Fitness Minute in the month of March! Thank you Spark Activity Tracker!! <BR> <BR> April Goals: <BR> 1. Join the BLC again. <BR> 2. Earn 2,000 Fitness Minutes in the month. <BR> 3. Walk at least 5,000 steps a day. <BR> 4. Make a date with the gym! <BR> <BR> I can do this!! <BR> <em>244</em> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 22:52:13 EST It's Girl Scout Cookie Time Again!! I've been through every stage of GS Cookie-ness. I used to BE a GS. I've sold GS cookies. I was a GS Leader, at one time to THREE troops at the same time. I've been a GS cookie indulger. <BR> <BR> Today, I became a GS Cookie Supporter. <BR> <BR> Everywhere I went today, there they were! Where I live, they set up stands outside of grocery stores and shops instead of selling door to door, like we used to do back in the day. I didn't want to get any cookies. Well, I really did, but don'... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 17:24:58 EST