NANCYPAT1's SparkPeople Blog NANCYPAT1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community So much going on and the rollercoaster continues We had a fantastic trip and got to visit another family group this summer. We got home late Friday evening and went straight to bed. Got up Saturday and went to a birthday party for my two year old great great niece. When we arrived, my great niece who lives in North Carolina opened the door. She and her husband had come to her niece's party and brought their two girls (3 1/2, and 11/2) and her other sister's daughter (7) who I hadn't seen in six years. The two year old and her twin 2 month... Tue, 25 Jul 2017 21:16:33 EST Some people call these coincidences . . . I think they are affirmations from above I wish I had a nickel for each time something on my mind one day serves as the topic of my blog or a conversation with someone or just a niggling that won't go away, is the subject of a sermon at church, an article I read, or something someone asks me about a few hours or maybe even minute later. <BR> <BR> It happened again this weekend. I wrote my blog about finding peace. All of the readings at church plus the sermon and the hymns were about peace. Even the parting blessing that the pastor... Mon, 3 Jul 2017 01:45:15 EST Finding peace and a place of hope When I find myself struggling, I've found that finding a quiet place where I can find peace within my own heart does wonders to ground me and reconnect me with hope and love. I used to think I needed to set aside a block of time that I was just too busy for. Now I realize that it can be as short a block of time as two minutes. <BR> <BR> There's a process I read about where you take tiny breaks in the middle of a stressful day. First, if possible close your eyes and take four deep, slow brea... Sun, 2 Jul 2017 02:11:22 EST Join me in jumping for joy - not only a new day but a whole new month - July Just trying to get into an upbeat mood to start another new month. My trip to spend time with family will get me off to a good start. My family eats pretty healthy meals and not a lot of junk foods. My aunt used to be horrible with having so much food when we would visit that my sister and I took to telling all visitors that each was responsible for X pieces of pastry, Y pieces of fruit, and Z sodas each day of the visit. We didn't care if it was eaten, thrown out or given to the animals but ... Sat, 1 Jul 2017 03:00:10 EST Just a quick note tonight I am pretty tired tonight and getting ready for bed. Walking the walk and sharing the journey helps me and maybe even a few others along the way. <BR> <BR> I think the MOST important part of the journey is learning to love ourselves and give ourselves permission to enjoy our food again. When we feel guilty and beat ourselves up, it isn't long before we feel defeated and deprived. When we love ourselves and enjoy the journey, we feel satisfied and satisfied with healthier foods and it's easi... Fri, 30 Jun 2017 01:54:59 EST Planning is starting to make my trip more real I made hotel reservations for our trip today. We got a pretty good deal. Normally we stay with my aunt but there are too many of us coming this time. We are also starting to pack. I have to check with the drugstore tomorrow because I have meds that need refills while I'm gone. I hope they can accommodate me. <BR> <BR> We plan to leave around midnight on the Fourth of July so we get to our destination the next morning rather than later in the day. It's so much more fun when we start ou... Thu, 29 Jun 2017 01:36:35 EST Date set for my trip changed My sister called today and asked if maybe Ed and I could change the dates of our trip. I didn't even have to take a second to know I would agree to the change, but then she gave me her reason for asking. Her son is bringing a very special woman home with her daughter. Very good chance this may be his future wife. He has been seeing her for several years and my sister met her this spring and is pretty sure that she is his chosen one. He was hoping that my son Ed and I might be able to meet... Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:31:27 EST Tried and true or tired and blue Sometimes it's just the little things that trip me up. It isn't that I don't know what I need to do, but more often than I care to admit, it is that I just don't do them. I go to bed with great plans but while I sleep my motivation seems to evaporate overnight. Some days I have the strength to find the grit that it takes to follow through but there are other days that leave me searching and browsing and unable to find the energy and strength to do it. <BR> <BR> I guess I am overestimating... Tue, 27 Jun 2017 01:39:25 EST Thinking about going on a long fast . . . NO, not stopping eating but rather a MEDIA fast. The news, television, and even comedians are a constant barrage of input. If the input was uplifting, positive, and productive, it wouldn't be so bad, but the constant images of brutality, savagery, and corruption. I did a month long media fast about fifteen years ago and was amazed at how little I missed it. I didn't stick my head in the sand but didn't watch television or read newspapers and I found my stress levels dropping. I heard bit... Fri, 23 Jun 2017 01:44:32 EST Just about me today I have been in emotional limbo this week. I have been anxious to plan some travel but at the same time, waiting for my friend to make her plans because I know she needs me to be here for her until she goes to visit her son and his family. She is incredibly strong and would never ask for support, but as she is sorting through her son's belongings and trying to get her house ready for the memorial service that will take place as soon as she returns from the visit to her older son. I know how ... Thu, 22 Jun 2017 03:32:47 EST What to do when the scale gets stubborn Everyone is familiar with the dreaded plateau. Why does our weight loss suddenly slow down or stop completely even though we are doing everything right? There are dozens of reasons for a plateau and most of them are just a normal part of the process. When you are facing one of these dreaded slowdowns, the first thing to do is make sure you are REALLY doing everything you think you are. Ask yourself some questions. <BR> <BR> 1 - Are you measuring and tracking EVERYTHING you are eating? I... Wed, 21 Jun 2017 02:02:57 EST What do I do when the best laid plans go astray? Let me count the ways to get derailed even when we have a great plan. <BR> <BR> There is that unexpected schedule change. For me it will often be not having the chance to eat the lovely meal I planned. The alarm didn't go off, a parent comes in and needs to meet with me, a student is in mid-behavior, I have something I have to finish BEFORE the end of the day, or I am just not hungry at mealtime. <BR> <BR> What can I do to avoid getting derailed? The first solution I have found is that... Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:10:48 EST How do you start when the amount of weight to lose seems impossibly large? First of all, there is nothing that will work for everyone or that works all the time. Having said that, some things are tried and true, tested and reliably more likely to result in long term weight loss that stays off for the long run. <BR> <BR> The problem I have found for me is that while these things do work consistently, they are also really tough to do for those of us with real lives and lots of stress. This blog is going to look at some things that will help you (and me) get start... Sat, 17 Jun 2017 02:43:21 EST Magnificent, motivational, magically moving Monday Making my day mean more involves taking a closer look at myself and how I can make myself more actively involved in the world around me. <BR> <BR> Yesterday at church we had a visit from our bishop and his message was focused on outreach and taking the church out of the four walls of the church, pointing out that WE the people are the church and not just the building where we worship. We the people were reminded of our duty to reach out to and to provide help and support for those in need ... Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:53:39 EST Lifestyle changes don't mean deprivation Lifestyle changes mean finding ways to fit healthier bits and pieces together to create a LIFE filled with joy, pleasures and a rich tapestry of strength and love. It doesn't mean pigging out or starving yourself, but rather making choices and fully enjoying each bite of food. I means treats and indulgences that are fully savored and not spoiled by guilt or regrets. Those treats aren't everyday ordinary but occasions that add a little spice to your meals. <BR> <BR> Lifestyle changes don... Sat, 10 Jun 2017 12:39:27 EST Making a difference, one moment at a time I saw something the other day that really resonated with me. It suggested that instead of teaching children to be extraordinary, we should teach them to make the ordinary amazing. It is a concept I have seen and heard before but for some reason it resonates more this time. The Irish have a way of incorporating prayer into ordinary everyday activities. It is a kind of mindfulness that turns the entirety of life into an act of love and prayer. Focusing on the moment and treating each activi... Wed, 7 Jun 2017 02:28:42 EST Successful and motivational Monday I had a lazy morning but weighed myself and was down 2.8 pounds. left at noon to go to the pool after a tasty brunch. I started with an egg sandwich with half a slice of cheese and then added a dish of fruit. I spent all afternoon in the pool. I water walked, swam, did some strength training exercises - including pull ups on the diving platform. Then I did an hour-long water aerobics class. I ended up after five lovely hours with a soak in the therapy pool. It felt so wonderful to be ... Mon, 5 Jun 2017 20:00:56 EST Smiling Sunday setting the stage for a successful summer This weekend my son and I set the stage for a sensational summer of success. <BR> <BR> I keep trying new things to help move me toward a successful and relaxing summer. I need to focus on me and recharging my batteries. <BR> <BR> The first step is always FOOD. I am kind of picky and my son does the cooking so we had to shop with a specific goal in mind. We looked for various proteins to add to salads as a few years ago we ate mostly salads and I found it really easy to avoid overeating... Sun, 4 Jun 2017 23:15:50 EST Icing on my summer cake I just found out that after all the shuffling that goes on each year with personnel changes, my two aides will be back in my classroom again next year. We worked together so well in especially trying times this year. The past several years, there was an element of discord and negativity that made my job super stressful. Despite the stress of this year, it paled in comparison to the past couple of years. The working relationships can make or break us. This shined a bright light on the imp... Fri, 2 Jun 2017 12:33:17 EST Learning my lessons or the REAL secret to success and weight loss You might think that as a teacher, I would learn my lessons more easily than others. Well, you'd be wrong. I seem to be struggling to find my path over and over again, just like in Groundhog Day. I have old journals from 1970's to today and each time I fall down, I get right back up. The weirdest thing is that each time I have been successful in losing weight, the journey has been unique. Some things are basics that I found helpful always, but other things are totally different. To start... Thu, 1 Jun 2017 11:33:14 EST A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders The school year is over and all that is left is the cleanup and organizing of my room. I hate being rushed and prefer to move at my own speed. I like doing the cleanup after the rest of the school is nearly empty. I don't like to have much help because I don't want others influencing my decisions about what to keep and what to discard. So tomorrow my son and I will come in together and work on the room. I may finish tomorrow or I might come back one or two more days because I want to get ... Tue, 30 May 2017 21:54:42 EST Serenity Sunday and starting down the final stretch of the school year A sense of peace surrounded me today at church and continues to stay with me. Yesterday evening I spent with my friend and her mother. Ed went with me and we spent several hours with them and my friend's great granddaughter who is three years old. The visit was filled with love and support and because the three-year-old doesn't yet know that her favorite uncle has died, the conversation was kept to memories and positive messages. We enjoyed the silliness of a three-year-old with a huge i... Sun, 21 May 2017 18:30:38 EST When blessings come packaged as tragedies Sometimes in our lives were suffer great tragedies and at some later date, after we finally recover and rebuild our lives, another tragedy occurs. Then, we are able to share our journey and help guide others through theirs. When my son died years ago, my friend and her son wrapped me in love and support and helped guide me through my devastation with knowledge she had gained when her husband and her brother died. Now, her son has died and I am blessed to be able to reach out to her and wra... Sat, 20 May 2017 13:12:44 EST Moving forward through the tears I have so much on my plate for the next month. I am determined to move forward with purpose and strength. I can see my way clearly despite the tears and sadness. I am not denying the pain or the sadness, I am recognizing that destroying myself won't help anyone. Suck it up Buttercup sums up my decision. I need to move forward, not backward. I need to take care of my life and honor my sister with living my life to the fullest. Laughing, crying, dancing, loving, embracing all that life o... Sun, 30 Apr 2017 17:20:15 EST Bittersweet moment in time It has now been a week since I learned of my sister's death, her memorial service is this afternoon. I am three thousand miles away and I am feeling wave after wave of memories and sadness, laughter and gladness. My sister was a great woman, full of contradictions and conundrums. She had an open heart and open door policy. She was eternally loving and a rapid fighter for whatever she thought was right. She stood up for the underdog and challenged authorities when she thought they were wro... Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:43:19 EST 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