NANCYPAT1's SparkPeople Blog NANCYPAT1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Frolicking with friends and family falls under fabulous fun For the past thirty one months I have been so blessed to be included in a variety of fun events by my Jilly and her daughter Claire. Jilly is the wife of my step nephew and she has become my soul mate. She is involved in a dance troupe of Morris dancers and she has gone out of her way to include me in her fantastic journeys and adventures. She has ensured that Claire and I have time together to bond, but also has included me son Ed in their lives as well. Claire and Jilly treat Ed as if he... Mon, 17 Apr 2017 22:36:03 EST Busy week filled with ups and downs This week was really hectic. There were some awesome moments mixed in. At times, I feel like I'm living in a giant mixer. The ups and downs get jumbled together and occupy a large amount of time and while stressful at times, I guess I have to say that it's my life and I love it. <BR> <BR> There were a slew of birthdays - including the birth of my twin great, greats niece and nephew. We had a party at school for one of my aides and two of my students. We had a movie day today with Chinese ... Fri, 31 Mar 2017 19:12:58 EST Twins have arrived safely - Great-great aunt is ecstatic My great niece and her husband welcomed James Joseph and Amethyst Ann into their family. Big sister Ruby Ray is 21 months old now and excited to have two little siblings. I am so happy they moved back near me so I can spoil them all. Babies are full size despite being about a month early. All is well and I can't wait to hold them. <BR> <BR> The family moved in with the dad's mother after his father died so they will have support and help with them and I'm sure they'll need it with three... Thu, 30 Mar 2017 20:59:42 EST Miracles sometimes happen when least expected Today was an amazing day. I woke up slowly and was really dragging. I got dressed and weighed myself and discovered that even fully dressed, I had lost a pound. I had to go to the bank and the clerk told me I looked really nice today and she liked what I was wearing, but she thought that wearing my hair in a ponytail made me look younger. Both of those helped make my day terrific, but both paled in comparison to my afternoon. <BR> <BR> First, let me explain my class. I have three girls ... Tue, 21 Mar 2017 21:30:21 EST Marching toward Springtime success I have promised myself that I would start out with a positive spring in my step for spring. I was without internet for nearly two weeks and it was pretty challenging, with IEPs that I had to complete at home online. The good news was that I got them finished by going into work several hours earlier than normal and they went well. I have my class filled to the brim and am doing what I have to do to survive this challenging year. Despite having our first two snow days this week, looking at a ... Sat, 18 Mar 2017 16:08:56 EST Taking a breath of fresh air in the middle of the day This will be a short blog but I wanted to do something not related to school or working or the house or anything driving me crazy. <BR> <BR> The weather has been amazing and I am so past hoping for snow days and am thinking that getting out of school before Memorial Day sounds pretty good about now. <BR> <BR> We have had temperatures in the 50s and 60s and sunshine for the past few weeks and haven't had any hard snows that have done more than give us a two-hour delay. The countdown is look... Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:00:12 EST Saturday's strengthening thoughts It seems as though every day brings new challenges and at the same time strengthens me. This week was eventful and fun. Wednesday we had a pep rally at school and they had a bunch of activities in the gym that had students and teachers competing in crazy competitions. I knew I was not going to be a star and am by far the oldest of the teachers and mostly the younger newer teachers were the only ones willing to embarrass themselves in the silliness. We had to lie on our bellies and pull ou... Sat, 22 Oct 2016 09:59:32 EST May we live in interesting times or chaos reigns in my world My week was not exactly wonderful, but there were high points and lovely moments mixed in with the drama and low points. <BR> <BR> I will start with my venting about the low points. On Tuesday, my best friend and classroom aide was attacked by a student. She had to go to hospital and had a concussion, black eye and fat lip, as well as being kicked in chest and head and having her glasses broken. <BR> <BR> Tuesday I had an IEP mtg that went okay but my second one on Thursday was one of ... Sat, 8 Oct 2016 16:55:43 EST Flying high and swooping down low This past week has been a series of really high highs and really low lows. No , I am not talking about mood swings or even MY emotions. Rather, I am talking about my classroom and the coming together of a Class. On the down side, I had a substitute aide three days this week and was short staffed the other two days with each of my aides being suddenly sick in the middle of the night and no sub taking the jobs. Also, on the down side was the weather - barometric pressure and rainstorms wrea... Sat, 1 Oct 2016 19:59:32 EST Strongly suspected I was in the eye of the hurricane, shoulda kept my mouth shut Today was one thing after another - just to spice things up, visits by a whole slew of muckety mucks from residential facility, followed by superintendent of schools, principal and assistant principal, and last but not least the state department folks from the capital. Major behavior episode, two sick kids, and a then a school evacuation drill practice. <BR> <BR> My son Ed took my step brother back to his doctor's appointment and the news was pretty grim. His colon cancer is back and it ... Wed, 31 Aug 2016 22:51:58 EST The eye of the hurricane and settling into routines It almost seems as if my class may be settling into something of a routine. They have had particularly good mornings and seem to be easier to get on task and keep on task. I have found that as I get to know the students a little better, they are getting to know me more, and therefore, we are beginning to come together a little bit. The kids and the aides are also beginning to bond and miraculously, the whole RELATIONSHIP thing has reduced behaviors significantly. RELATIONSHIP, RELATIONSHI... Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:44:40 EST CHALLENGES with a capital C - I have 173 more days to transform those challenges into success storie This past seven days of school have been some of the most challenging I have faced so far in my teaching career. The students are very diverse and very challenging. I have had major issues each day and only two of the kids haven't had at least one meltdown. My positive and upbeat attitude has been tested and my plans overturned and left in tatters. BUT . . . <BR> <BR> At the same time, I am totally committed to making this class a shining example of how amazing my students truly are. The... Sun, 28 Aug 2016 17:27:31 EST Beginnings or endings, change is challenging for me I love change in the abstract. My approach to life is to seek challenges, changes, and novel experiences. Ironically, like my students, I don't really DO change in the CONCRETE very well. I have great intentions. I seek change in my personal and professional life, but I also find that my body and my mind don't like change nearly as well as my imagination does. <BR> My body doesn't sleep well on the eve of change, my blood sugar doesn't behave even when I am eating appropriately, and my ner... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 18:03:56 EST Beginnings or endings, change is challenging for me I love change in the abstract. My approach to life is to seek challenges, changes, and novel experiences. Ironically, like my students, I don't really DO change in the CONCRETE very well. I have great intentions. I seek change in my personal and professional life, but I also find that my body and my mind don't like change nearly as well as my imagination does. <BR> My body doesn't sleep well on the eve of change, my blood sugar doesn't behave even when I am eating appropriately, and my ner... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 18:03:56 EST I feel like I have been on this journey forever I have been going through memories and photos and keepsakes most of the summer. It has been a process of healing and growth. I went back through years and years worth of treasures. One of the most fascinating things I came across was a collection of journals dating from pre 1980 through a few years ago. Many pages of them were devoted to my frustration about not being who I wished I was, especially not being thin enough or fit enough. Some of my struggles were repeated over and over again... Thu, 4 Aug 2016 10:50:47 EST Prayers please Tonight, I was checking my Facebook and my stepbrother had posted that his doctors think his colon cancer has returned. Then right after that, my son Ed came into my room to tell me he accidentally took the entire bottle of his muscle relaxer. He sets his daily medicine out in pill bottles, morning, and dinner pills are in regular pill bottles and clearly labeled as he is very conscientious. His bedtime meds are in a smaller, blue colored pill bottle (the only blue bottle he uses). Well, ... Sun, 31 Jul 2016 02:36:44 EST Busy week and lots of fun This past week has been filled with fun activities and joy. Saturday, Ed and I got our new kitties. No more got them home when a friend called to invite me to a Christian concert in the park. Of course I went. It was called "Praise 'Him' in the Park." We talked and decided to go to the county fair on Wednesday since a gospel music program and play were scheduled. We went to that and I mentioned that my church was hosting a gospel and blue grass concert on Thursday night, so we went to th... Fri, 29 Jul 2016 11:43:44 EST Excitement rising, fun day Today, Ed and I went to the humane society to see what we might get tomorrow. We found plenty of kitties both big and small. We will probably get two that are already spayed or neutered and who have had their shots. I checked to make sure there were no hidden fees or any catches in the deal. We're delighted to discover that the adoptions are in fact totally free. I fell in love with every kitty in the place and so did Ed. Sadly there were no dogs that we felt would fit our household at th... Fri, 22 Jul 2016 19:01:56 EST Surprise announcement this evening This evening my son came to me to suggest an outing for this weekend. He saw a PSA about a program at the animal shelters on Saturday. They are waiving the adoption costs for animals adopted on Saturday. Ed suggested that we go looking for my new kitty/kitties and maybe even a new dog as a companion for him as his dog is also growing old. We talked to see if we are on the same page about who we would like to add to our family. He saw how deeply saddened I was by my Gray-C's death and it ... Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:12:38 EST Renew, refresh, relax, relate with relatives and play times We left on vacation at five a.m. last Monday and returned last night around ten p.m. We took our time on our way up to New Jersey. We stopped frequently to get out and walk. For years, we have rushed through our trips, trying to see how quickly and directly we could get from point A to point B. This time we enjoyed the trip. We have driven past a tourist attraction called Roadside America and I normally tease Ed about him not remembering the many times he has been (in reality, he has as ... Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:07:15 EST Much appreciated rest and restoration I am using g today to rest and relax. Tomorrow we have to. Prepare brunch for after church. We are doing eggs and sausage and three odd flavor cakes - bacon maple, pina colada, and raspberry margaritas. We got the mixes at three for a dollar and they all sound interesting and like things nobody else is likely to make. We also have gluten free cookies that actually taste good and were two boxes for a dollar - sugar and chocolate chip. Ed has three types of sausages - regular, maple flavore... Sat, 9 Jul 2016 17:30:42 EST The end of the beginning and the beginning of the end Well, I am somewhere between the end of my beginning the decluttering and the beginning of finishing up. I still have several boxes of photos and stuff to sort through and some rearranging to do, but my space is essentially uncluttered. I was able to vacuum the floors and make the beds. Ed took another load to the dump and one more for donating. Even the closets are cleared and the dressers emptied. I know the rest of the stuff is the toughest because they are the little odds and ends and ... Tue, 5 Jul 2016 16:21:39 EST Saturday is a time for regrouping and asking tough questions By Thursday afternoon, I had reached a major milestone in reorganizing. The public areas of the house were done and what is left can wait until next week. I went to a concert at church with a great band that played and sang songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s. I went to listen but once the pastor and our 90 year old parishioner got up to "cut a rug" the music and my friends lured me to the dance floor. Didn't sit out any other songs, really got a workout and had fun. We had dancers from six ... Sat, 2 Jul 2016 19:25:47 EST Sliding into home plate Three weeks of work. Classroom, Ed's "man cave" , my woman cave, the dining room turned pantry, and my bedroom have all been cleared, cleaned and rearranged. New mattress is on my bed and I love it. I still have the spare room to do and to go through the Christmas stuff and re-box it in plastic storage boxes instead of cardboard. Ed is working on the kitchen and his bedroom next week. The place looks totally different and much roomier. We shampooed carpets and upholstery and removed all... Tue, 28 Jun 2016 18:44:18 EST Tantalizing, terrific, thrifty, thriving Thursday Tuesday and Wednesday were days when I didn't get much reorganizing done. Tuesday, Ed insisted on getting me out of the house. He said he didn't like that I have not been having any fun yet this summer. I tried to tell him that my organizing IS fun AND relaxing. He felt bad so took me out for lunch and we went shopping. Yesterday, I called my niece who is the mommy of my precious Claire who is 21 months old. I was just calling to chat but she asked Ed and me to go out for lunch. We tried a... Thu, 23 Jun 2016 17:51:37 EST Magnificent Monday Making Meaning Laughing about how we impact those around us. My decluttering has gone viral in my house. Ed surprised me yesterday by making strides on HIS clutter too. I didn't ask him to do it but I came home and found he had three bags of stuff he threw out and another two of stuff to head to be donated. <BR> <BR> We also discussed some ideas to create a more usable space for the two of us. Our life has changed a lot since we first moved in together. When we first moved in together, our life was di... Mon, 20 Jun 2016 12:50:04 EST Sumptuous, satisfactory, scintillating, spectacular Saturday Okay, that may be stretching things a wee bit, but it feels that way despite the lingering sadness over my precious Gray-C dying. I know it sounds a little ridiculous to say how I feel. Before you say it isn't, let me explain. When someone you love slowly deteriorates over a long time and you are sure they are dying soon, BUT they don't, it starts to feel as if they are going to "beat the odds" and live forever. Then when they die suddenly, it is a shock. I felt it when my father became b... Sat, 18 Jun 2016 22:09:48 EST Final farewell for furry family member fresh tears Forever fighting for balance. My gracious Gray-C passed away this morning. She snuck outside last night and we found her dead this morning. She was deteriorating for the past year or so and I think she didn't want to die inside. Ed and I buried her and planted flower seeds on her grave. She was fifteen years old but I will really miss her. I am trying not to let this drag me down. She was my baby and I know I will miss her. <BR> <BR> Remember to make your life the one you are meant to li... Fri, 17 Jun 2016 11:23:33 EST Wonderful, whacky Wednesday wishing wisdom would work with whimsy My darling son Ed decided we should go out for lunch today. He wanted to look at cars to see what options might be available in our price range. He has been working sanding and sealing a friend's deck and stairs and had a few dollars in his pocket to treat me. We went for Chinese food. It is one of our favorite places and we both managed to eat relatively healthy - mostly veggies, fruit and chicken. Our fortunes seemed particularly relevant as mine said something about getting upset only i... Wed, 15 Jun 2016 19:14:14 EST Making Monday matter most - magically make miracles from mistakes Monday often is a time either for complaints or exaggerated energy. Both can be mistakes on the journey to success. You might wonder why. <BR> <BR> First let's deal with the complaint piece. Negativity is draining and saps your strength and multiples your misery. Making minute changes in attitude can bring immediate improvements in your life and the lives of those around you. The more complaining and grumbling you do the less likely you are to make REAL progress. You start to think you ar... Mon, 13 Jun 2016 15:27:14 EST Brought a smile to my heart today. I found out that my great niece's father in law died on Thursday unexpectedly. He was only 52. Ed and I went to the funeral home after church. My niece cried when she saw us because we are the only family in the state. It was so sudden, they didn't even think anyone from her side of the family would be there. Then, her husband came over and said how much it meant to him. The way he said it made me cry. He told me that at times like this, you need to look for reasons to smile and seeing me w... Sun, 12 Jun 2016 20:37:19 EST Better mood today - smiles and joy back where they belong Woke up this morning in a more reasonable mood. I suspect that being over tired and worried dragged me down yesterday. Today, we went and picked up a rental car for Ed. Then we did some shopping and split up after a quick lunch at Arby's. I tossed half the bun and enjoyed a junior roast beef sandwich. Ed headed to the shop where his car was and cleaned it out. I stopped at half a dozen different stores and walked around and enjoyed some ME time. Didn't buy much but did get raspberries for... Sat, 11 Jun 2016 17:39:32 EST Warning - venting blog - just need to let off steam without hurting anyone else This is one of those things over which I have no control...furthermore it is literally just an accident and nobody was hurt. . . BUT, for a moment or two, I just want to SCREAM. My darling son Ed was helping a friend a couple of weeks ago and broke our weed whacker. Yesterday I bought a new one and today he went to help her again. This time he wrecked his car and broke the wheel off a truck in a head-on collision. Oh, and it was his fault and he got a ticket that will cost several hundred do... Fri, 10 Jun 2016 20:22:53 EST Wow, last year five days - this year two days - classroom put to bed for the summer Actually, it was much easier than last year because of the efforts my son Ed and I invested last year. Ed helped me three days and I worked a full week. This year he helped half a day today and I spent two full days after the last paid day. Shredded three bags this year and more than a dozen last year. I also discarded about six bags of trash compared to dozens last year. <BR> <BR> I feel so free. My big goal for the rest of this month is to purge my house of a lot of excess "stuff", aft... Wed, 8 Jun 2016 20:06:18 EST Sitting alone in my classroom in the quiet School is over, the kids are gone, most of the teachers, aides, cooks, etc. are gone, the school is a bit eerie. I like the feel of it, but there is a sadness that lingers. There are echoes of the joyous voices during the last week of school. There are remnants of projects completed and graded. There are some marks on the walls, dents in the washer, and scuffs on the floors. Our custodians will have the marks removed, the dents undented, and the scuffs polished off before we return in Augus... Mon, 6 Jun 2016 12:07:43 EST Denouement - The Aftermath of the School Year Student's last day was Friday. End of the year ceremonies tomorrow, starting with Prayer at the Flag Pole at seven and then back to my classroom and packing up, purging, prepping for next year. Then, summer may start. Another year of major changes as neither of this year's aides will be with me. The good news is that my best friend and aide I have worked with for twelve years except this year, WILL be in my room. Good chance that it will be different next year but this year turned out to be... Sun, 5 Jun 2016 21:12:03 EST May maybe magnificent if only my head and my heart and my students make it possible I am convinced I can make it through the next week or so, but no amount of juggling, loving and planning seems to be letting that happen. <BR> <BR> My trip to the amusement park was really nice. My student and I agreed that if I wouldn't push him to ride the roller coasters, he wouldn't object to my .taking breaks to sit down in the shade when I needed to. We walked a lot and rode about half a dozen rides (train and boat, and such). We had a great time and the entire trip was nice. Only real... Sat, 28 May 2016 16:41:11 EST Wonderful weekend working with whimsy I am spending time with my books and gospel music on. I love this channel, only ads are for the musicians and groups playing so I can absorb it without having the troubled world intrude. It is free channel on my Dish TV - The Gaither Music channel - 276 (a paid advertising channel) but it blesses me. Some of the shows are OLD, some current and everything in between. Elvis, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Alabama, Statler Brothers, Mark Lowry, and dozens more. <BR> <BR> The injuries continue to be so... Sat, 21 May 2016 23:37:35 EST I thought APRIL showers brought May flowers - NOT more miserable rain We have had about 25 out of the past 27 days of rain, even some SNOW on Sunday morning. Midmorning, today we went out as a class to see something NEW and amazing in the sky above - first there was this blanket of blue and then there was a shiny yellow thing and a VERY few fluffy white cotton balls up there too. Still pretty chilly when we went out but we were afraid to wait until later because it might be a figment of our imagination or something. It was heavenly. Thu, 19 May 2016 12:04:49 EST Spring Break and a breather Spring break is here and I am taking a much needed breather.I am not sure I would have made it through one more day much less a few more weeks without this break. No school work, no homebound students, nothing except recharging my batteries and playing catch up on home and family. <BR> <BR> Last couple of weeks were rough. Some of my students get VERY anxious around holidays and their behaviors escalate. My aides get short fused and I have a ton of extra demands without the pressures th... Sat, 26 Mar 2016 17:01:44 EST Spring Break and a breather Spring break is here and I am taking a much needed breather.I am not sure I would have made it through one more day much less a few more weeks without this break. No school work, no homebound students, nothing except recharging my batteries and playing catch up on home and family. <BR> <BR> Last couple of weeks were rough. Some of my students get VERY anxious around holidays and their behaviors escalate. My aides get short fused and I have a ton of extra demands without the pressures th... Sat, 26 Mar 2016 17:01:43 EST Middle of a Friday Another week down and the weekend rapidly approaching - finally figured out my schedule for the next few weeks - school M-F until 3:30, Tutor student A from 3:45-4:45 M-F, Student B from 4:45- 7:45 M,W, and Student C from 5:00-7:00 T, TH, and F. Wasn't sure how I was going to be able to fit them all in and I CAN'T and WON'T do it beyond Christmas because I will definitely burn out completely. <BR> <BR> I put on some weight over the Thanksgiving holiday (about 5 pounds) but am halfway back... Fri, 4 Dec 2015 11:41:32 EST Just a few minutes of me time It has been months since I have blogged - school started and then WHAM. . . school REALLY took hold. It has been a challenging year for me and I have been doing a second job - doing homebound instruction for several students who cannot come to school. The money is nice, the hours leave me weary and the students are EXTREMELY challenging. I don't mind so much the ones who are aggressive especially because they come with LARGE, usually MALE staff who remain in the room while we work, however... Tue, 1 Dec 2015 12:01:02 EST Middle of the day - break and lunch I am already having a great week. I go to the dentist for a cleaning on my bottom teeth and for him to check out the new teeth. I don't expect any surprises. So far I have been able to eat such interesting things as CORN ON THE COB, a NUT bar, and a peach without cutting it into slices - It has been at least 15 years since I BIT into a piece of fruit without slicing it up. I am also not having any pain so it will be nice when the bottom teeth are shiny clean too. <BR> <BR> The students h... Tue, 25 Aug 2015 12:00:30 EST Unbelievable change in ME I just stumbled upon some pictures we took two days before I started my dental work. I then snapped some photos - totally impromptu and without dressing up or anything of today with my teeth. I knew I looked better, but I was TOTALLY SHOCKED at the difference between the two sets of pictures. I haven't been able to transfer them from my Kindle to my computer yet so I can't show them to you, but I literally wanted to cry from how much different I look. I didn't realize how DRAMATIC the cha... Sat, 22 Aug 2015 20:27:21 EST End of DAY ONE - and teeth are installed Had a wonderful day today - got up very early because I couldn't sleep. Got online and then headed to school. When I got the kids off the bus, there were only 4 of my 6. Two of the most challenging students were absent today. The other kids were amazing. They liked the changes I have made to the room. They were enthusiastic about the new Ipads we will have this year. They were really excited about the cooking that we will be doing this year. The aides were great with the kids and quit... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 20:37:48 EST Just a quick blog I am up early and have to leave soon for the first day of school for the students. I feel like I am more prepared than I have been in several years. I am a little disappointed that I wasn't able to get my teeth yesterday. They fit great when the dentist tried them, but he removed them and made some adjustments and then could not get them back into my mouth. We are both hopeful that he will be more successful today. I have decided that everything will be okay and that this year will be am... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:19:08 EST Vacation - where did the time go? It seems like yesterday we were on vacation in North Carolina but actually we have been home for a couple of weeks and I have been through a lot of mouth work. From feeling and looking like I had been hit in the face with a baseball bat to a dull ache has been an improvement. Today I went to church and was greeted with open arms. Sadly one of my favorite parishoners was not there because he got his arm stuck in a hay rake (one of those BIG claw-like machine that is used to rake and bale ha... Sun, 26 Jul 2015 23:24:27 EST Rainy Days sometimes get me down . . . but not today. It is pouring rain and they have flood warnings out for our area and t-storms are expected but I am in a really good mood this morning. <BR> <BR> I shoulda, coulda, woulda known that there would be a letdown after school was finally done for the year - it has basically taken another whole week to get rid of the leftover exhaustion. I woke this morning feeling better and a bit more energetic. I have been resting and swimming, and not accomplishing much of the long list of "t... Sat, 27 Jun 2015 10:14:13 EST Where has time gone? Why didn't I notice when it went flying by? I am just checking in to let everyone know I am here. The excitement of the end of school is starting to slip away a bit, now the complete and utter exhaustion of the year is setting in and I am recharging my batteries. I am not DOWN, just taking time to allow myself to catch up with myself. <BR> <BR> After purging my classroom this past week, I am hoping that instead of wishing my next year away and struggling to keep my head above water, I will be able to be PRESENT in my life. I am try... Sat, 20 Jun 2015 06:55:58 EST