PUDLECRAZY's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=PUDLECRAZY PUDLECRAZY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Madly Approaching the End of the School Year http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5674571 The school year is always busy, but by this time of the year I'm going warp speed. <BR> <BR> We are working on our spring musical; this year it's The Jungle Book. So, in addition to keeping up with academics. we are rehearsing, building sets, and making costumes ~ wolves, elephants, monkeys, vultures, a snake, a panther, a tiger, a jackal, and a boy who needs much more than a loin cloth, partly because Mowgli is being played by a girl. I like the children to have an active role in all parts ... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:06:19 EST New Family Member, Leo = Cuteness Overload http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5671055 Two kittens showed up under our deck. Since we live out in the country, it is a place where irresponsible people dump their unwanted pets. There was a little gray kitten and a little orange kitten, but very frightened and hard to catch. The gray kitty probably came to a disastrous end, since he disappeared. One day, I came home from work to find Mike sitting in the garage with the little orange kitten. He had already named him Leo, the perfect name for little Leo the Lionhearted. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 10:13:58 EST New Family Member, Tovi http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5670706 Since last I was on Spark, two new feather and fur kids have joined our household. <BR> <BR> The sad news is that my sweet parrotlet Emmitt died while I was in San Francisco this summer. I was heartbroken; he was such a wonderful little bird. <BR> <BR> <BR> In August, little parrotlets hatched at the bird farm, so I reserved one. It was hard to wait for him, but I would go visit him when I could. He was such an adorable baby, it was hard to leave him there, but I had to wait until he grad... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 20:41:00 EST Frustrated and confused http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5670029 I decided it was time to get serious about losing my winter weight, which has been stubbornly staying happily in place around my belly all winter. This is not because I have been sedentary. With the exception of when I had the flu, I have been getting in 4 - 6 miles 5 days a week (10,000 - 15,000 steps), the other two days if and when I can, but I'm often tied up with meetings. <BR> <BR> Figuring that I had been a bit careless about my diet in terms of eating sweets and maybe larger than ne... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:43:30 EST Spring Wild Flowers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5669280 Winter was long and harsh this year, and spring late in coming. I usually find wildflowers blooming toward the end of March, so this is pretty late. I really love the first blooms of spring. Perhaps because they were so long coming, it feels like they are lifting my heart even more than usual this spring. On the last day of March, the skunk cabbage made its appearance. I love how sculptural skunk cabbage is. They look like little alien pods when they first start to unfurl their leaves. <BR> ... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:23:03 EST A Squirrel's Tale http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5488966 On the second day of school this year, the children came running to me saying, "Come quick! The kindergarteners found a baby squirrel by the sandbox!" I went to the sandbox to find a little circle of children looking at a baby red squirrel, who had apparently fallen out of a tree, curled up at the edge of the sandbox. I love these children because they were all respectful enough to just look at it, and to let an adult know that it was there. <BR> <BR> It was obvious that this baby would no... Wed, 18 Sep 2013 07:09:07 EST A Mouse's Tail ~ er, Tale http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5487946 The children in my class have been wanting a class pet and decided on a mouse. So I decided to stop at Jack's on the way to pick up my baby parrotlet on Saturday afternoon, bought a darling mouse and some mouse paraphernalia. I brought along a small wire cage to bring it back in and to keep it comfy on the trip. I picked up the baby, the kind of food he's been eating and a little happy hut, buckled his travel cage into the front seat belt and headed home. Just as I was approaching Xenia, what... Tue, 17 Sep 2013 07:03:06 EST The New Baby http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5485633 I have been being crazy busy, and had a wonderful summer before starting back to work. So far, it's been a wonderful start to the school year as well. There have been many eventful things going on, and I keep meaning to post about them, but then I don't get organized enough to post. <BR> <BR> Today's sweet event was finally being able to bring my baby parrotlet home. He finally graduated to eating on his own, so he could leave the nursery and move to his new home. <BR> <BR> <img src="ht... Sat, 14 Sep 2013 19:28:41 EST I walked how far? 3,000 miles? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5449043 I had been slacking and not getting enough exercise in the winter of 2011. I was allowing the winter weather to prevent me from driving the 8 miles to the gym on any regular schedule, resulting in extra weight and flabbiness. I decided to give myself a Christmas present and invest in a Fitbit that, while pricey, had a lot of features I like including online tracking. So in January, 2012, I started my wearing my Fitbit and tracking my walking program. At first, it was a challenge just to get ... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 16:24:31 EST Making Good Progress http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5333719 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1908420490.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Can you see mama robin up in her nest? She is nesting on the path through the woods where I walk Stella. <BR> <BR> It is great to have the warmer weather! Our walks have been so much more pleasant, not having to bundle up and deal with a bitter chill. The spring is at such a lovely juncture right now. The flowering trees are budding out, some are blooming. The forsythia, tulips, and daffodils are looking so brigh... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 06:19:21 EST Weight Gain, Stress, and Tracking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5331306 I'll bet that if I went back and read past blogs from this time of year, they would be the same. This time of year is a major stressor for me as I get children ready for the big spring musical. It is a huge production and I am responsible for it. As well as keeping my own students on track academically. This is followed by the end-of-the-year camping trip I take them on. This spring, I have had the additional responsibility of heading the hiring committee for the new teacher. <BR> <BR> Not ... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 06:42:20 EST Weekend Update and Wildflowers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5323173 This past week was H-A-R-D! I don't know why but people seemed to be at their craziest; not the quirky kind, the rude kind. I was so tired when I got home, I left the key in the ignition without completely turning the car off. I've never done that stunt before. <BR> <BR> Saturday, I had the blues. I think the anger I was feeling on Friday turned inward to depression. The end result was that I enjoyed a day of being a hermit and just tinkering with things. I did not want to go out at all or ... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 20:26:01 EST Walking the Walk http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5316378 Over spring break I was able to get back into the swing of things in terms of fitness. It started out cold, but warmed up nicely by the end of break. I got in several hikes, which includes today when I, now back at work, took my students for a spring wildflower walk <BR> <BR> My fitbit reports my progress for this week: <BR> <BR> 101,818 steps taken 145% of goal of 70,000 <BR> <BR> 188 floors climbed 269% of goal of 70 <BR> <BR> 41.83 miles tr... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 21:02:12 EST Decided to Make a Dollhouse Doll http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5313879 Meet Mahja: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/9/l799092670.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> She has a tiny flamenco guitar of course, but I couldn't find it so I gave her a basket of flowers to peddle instead. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1967777287.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> I decided to try my hand at sculpey. I made a little head, hands, and feet to attach to a wire armature so the doll would be flexible. Then I wrapped her with cloth and... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 18:20:34 EST Fitbit One Blog for Rockman and Friends http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5311089 Raul was asking about the little 'claw' at the base of my Fitbit 1. It's kind of hard to explain, so I thought I would post in pictures. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1648439190.jpg"> <BR> <BR> These are the three units. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/1/l813524542.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Now the fitbit is attached to it's little plastic case, but not in its silicon clip. Notice the little claws at the base of the plastic case. <BR> <BR>... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 08:19:57 EST A Spring Wildflower Walk ~ What Could Be Better? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5310407 The spring wildflowers are about three weeks later than last year, but hey, they were three weeks early then. <BR> <BR> It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a walk today. I hiked through the nature preserve with two of my friends, and took so many photos, that I think I will post different ones on different days. My main photography goal today was to catch the beginnings of blooms. Most of the spring wildflowers were just starting to bud. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 16:33:50 EST Staycation Day 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5308068 I haven't slept well the last couple of nights; I seem to be plagued by weird, complex, and frustrating dreams. I think it is because I just have too much on my plate and I'm struggling to keep on top of everything. <BR> <BR> My stay~cation has been involved with following up on the candidates for the teaching position at my school, arranging their guest teaching and interview times, and delegating calling their reference contacts, etc. I'm also getting all of my tax stuff prepared, and ta... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 21:14:04 EST And the Winner is...... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5306094 The late Victorian! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/4/l440591951.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> Please don't think I'm absolutely lacking in imagination when I build this. I may have to stay with the color combination of pink and gray for sentimental reasons. The house I grew up in was pink and gray. <BR> <BR> <BR> But wait; there's more! <BR> <BR> It was REALLY hard to decide because I loved them all with the exception of the traditional, mostly because it was to... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 09:00:51 EST Would Love Your Help ~ Public Opinion Poll http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5304956 I was pleased my dollhouse did well in terms of bringing in scholarship money for my sweet little school. Several people expressed interest in bidding on one next year, so I think I will build one. However, I would build it over the summer rather than when my available time is already crazily pinched, crunched, and otherwise decimated. <BR> <BR> This weekend, I have a 40% off sale I can take advantage of so I need to make a decision pretty fast. I have eclectic and eccentric taste, so I'm no... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 02:33:52 EST Yes, It's March. Yes, There's Snow. But It's Beautiful! Drop by and See. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5299306 I am home with a sore throat and ear infection today. I won't be taking any long walks, but I did need to take Stella out this morning, so I brought my camera along. I wish I could post the sounds along with the images. I love it when there is a thick layer of snow; all of the sound is muffled and soft. Just the sounds of birds chirping. <BR> <BR> I posted a lot of landscape snow photos before, so only the close-ups today. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/7/l27559... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 10:36:25 EST The Auction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5298216 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1164568109.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The Scholarship Fundraiser Gala was awesome! <BR> <BR> As I posted in my blog comparing this March with last March, it was a lot colder this year so a bit hard to decide what to wear to the event. I had this cute tunic-top that I decided would work for the event, once again bypassing my cute and elegant LBD. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1905157642.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I think I prefe... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 12:28:54 EST Happy! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5297772 The scholarship fundraiser was great and the dollhouse was very successful ~ she brought in $550! This year they put my dollhouse in the live auction and it did much better. <BR> <BR> Fun evening; I hope we met our fundraising goals. Sat, 23 Mar 2013 23:36:35 EST Last Pic of Dollhouse Before it Goes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5296458 <BR> The addition of the flower boxes really made it pop! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/3/l231433817.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wish it luck at the Scholarship Fundraiser Auction Gala tomorrow night. <BR> <BR> I have been having anxiety dreams about it. A lot of work, time, love, and expense went into building it; I hope it brings an excellent price to support scholarships. My friends who followed my blogs about this last year's donation probably remember I was dis... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 17:19:30 EST Last March/ This March http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5295461 Last March was unusually warm, this March has been unusually cold. I was looking through photos of my walks last March. On this day last year, the wild flowers were in full bloom. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/4/l445081167.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Dutch Man's Breeches <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/8/l286189143.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Hepatica <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/8/l588436296.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Blood... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 20:43:29 EST How Did This Happen? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5294221 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2113458945.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I don't know how this happened, but my darling baby boy turned 40 today. <BR> <BR> LOL! I never feel old, but I'm always shocked at how old my children are. Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:11:14 EST Fitbit and Sundries http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5291648 I think my Fitbit did finally decide to quit entirely. At least it is not registering when I check into the Fitbit site. So, there you go, Fifi! You will be WAY ahead of me in the rankings. <em>213</em> <BR> <BR> The new one is in the mail. I am not certain how long it will take to get here. For now, I will just have to take my walkies without an techno~gratification. <BR> <BR> <BR> Now that I have the dollhouse for the scholarship fundraiser completed and out of the house, I have had ... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 21:29:50 EST St. Patty's Day ~ A Good Day for Wee Folk to Do Some Roofing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5290074 With all of the other projects I have been working on, the Faerie House has been sadly neglected. Must be because it's St. Patrick's Day; the faeries decided to take matters into their own hands and fix the roof of their house. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/6/l369583699.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Armed with the tools of the trade, they tackle the roof. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/2/l3256292.jpg"> <BR> <BR> They noticed the... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 16:55:15 EST Response From Fitbit Support http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5286765 I had heard that Fitbit had great customer support and I am happy to report that I have had the same experience with them. They are great! I sent them the photo and my receipt. The Fitbit Ultra is apparently no longer available, but they will be sending me a new Fitbit One as a replacement. From what I have read about it, it tracks the same things, so no problem. <BR> <BR> Fifi and Jim ~ sorry to bust your bubbles. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> My Fitbit fell apart and can no longer stay toget... Thu, 14 Mar 2013 16:25:27 EST My Fitbit Broke! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5285625 I'm not certain what happened. While I was teaching today, my fitbit just 'exploded.' I was standing, talking to the children, and the front part of my fitbit just popped off and landed on the floor. It was a sad surprise for me, and a great opportunity for the children to take a look at waht it looks like inside. They are always fascinated with my fitbit. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1499358749.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> I've sent a note about this problem to th... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 18:37:03 EST Done! Woohooooo!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5282974 I have finally finished the dollhouse I have been making for the scholarship fundraiser! The only thing left to do is to put flowers in the window boxes, but I need to make a trip to JoAnn's to get tiny flowers to put in them. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/4/l248664920.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I decided to make a 'slate' roof. I used paint to make the slate effect and then varnished it with a satin varnish. I think the effect came out pretty well. <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 19:43:25 EST A Winter Walk in Pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5277704 We DID get a snow day yesterday, the first one my school has had in over a year. It was wonderful to have the day off because it was such an exquisite snow. The transformation of the yard and woods was magical. If it's going to be cold, I want the snow! This snow delivered. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1677546261.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Stella and I took several walks over the course of the day. I thought you might enjoy the scenery. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://pho... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 16:49:50 EST Tornado Survivors http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5275372 The featured health news article was about tornado survivors being surprisingly optimist. Apparently many of them feel that 'lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place' so they are now safe from tornados. Really??? <BR> <BR> I am a survivor of the tornado that hit Xenia, Ohio in 1973. <BR> <BR> <link>ww2.ohiohistory.org/etcetera/exhibit<BR>s/swio/pages/content/1974_tornado.htm </link> <BR> <BR> Granted, I was not in direct line of it, but i heard, felt, and saw it, and worked wit... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 05:52:11 EST On Wasting Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5272126 "Blog about the obvious (and not-so-obvious) ways you tend to waste time, and come up with a few healthier ways you can use that time to work toward your goals." <BR> <BR> Okay, this is my assignment for the day. <BR> <BR> I don't think I waste time or am ever bored; if anything I am too busy. <BR> <BR> That said, when I am very tired I may sit and watch TV with DH who watches a lot of TV, just to spend some time with him and have my feet up. There is rarely anything I want to watch, unl... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 05:45:17 EST This Weekend's Dollhouse Progress ~ With Pics. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5271507 Well, I didn't finish but I got a LOT done on the dollhouse build today. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1522198044.jpg"> <BR> <BR> First I had to gather together and organize all of my materials; dollhouse pieces, glue, blue tape, water, rags, paint and sandpaper for touch up, etc. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1337320997.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is the faux flooring I've been making myself crazy with. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 18:18:35 EST Almost Ready to Put the Dollhouse Together http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5270086 I spent a good part of the day making the flooring for the dollhouse. I am using the solid flooring that came with the house, scoring it to look like hardwood floor boards, and then applying faux flooring techniques to make it look like aged and painted wood. It has been very labor intensive, but I think they are going to look really good. <BR> <BR> My father was a scenic artist for the movies and television, and I learned quite a bit just by watching him. I feel like he is guiding my hand a... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 18:02:39 EST Too Busy! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5265555 Here it comes ~ the too busy to breathe schedule. <BR> <BR> <em>148</em> Finish the dollhouse for the fundraiser in the next two weeks. Why, oh why do I have to be such a perfectionist? <BR> <BR> <em>148</em> Help the class organize the Children's Auction scheduled for March 9. <BR> <BR> <em>148</em> Write my article for our annual professional journal in the next two weeks. <BR> <BR> <em>148</em> Prepare the class for their March concert. <BR> <BR> <em>148</em> Begin work on... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 06:22:15 EST On Our Messages to Children http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5262946 I have always loved Pablo Casals and am honored to have had the opportunity to hear him play while he was still here. He was very old; his music was vibrant and exquisite. Pablo Casals was a brilliant musician and a brilliant man, he graced the earth with his wisdom as well as his music. <BR> <BR> I love this quote: <BR> <BR> <BR> “Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two an... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 06:56:58 EST Working on the Dollhouse http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5262478 Several of my friends have been wondering when I would blog about my current dollhouse build. <BR> <BR> I have been making the kind of progress on the dollhouse I can photograph. Up until now, it has been preparing and painting the large surfaces and trim pieces, nothing really worth taking photos of. This weekend, I finally got the wallpaper up, which makes it feel so much closer to completed. <BR> <BR> I still need to make the flooring for the 2nd and 3rd floors, make the staircase, fin... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 19:26:41 EST A Winter Walk in Pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5229755 I am not one to shy away from winter walks. I love winter and snow; although just like summer, I tire of it toward the end and crave spring. <BR> <BR> Ohio weather is all over the place. Below zero one day, in the 40's the next. On Monday when I got out for this walk, the temperature had risen to the mid forties so there was a beautiful mist over the valley as the snow melted. The walk was slushy so I was glad for my Boggs which kept my feet warm and dry so I could get a long hike in. <BR> ... Wed, 30 Jan 2013 06:50:59 EST Partay! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5229188 <BR> <BR> The children insisted on celebrating Stella's birthday at school today. I made her a cupcake by freezing canned dog food in a cupcake wrapper and sticking a candle in it. The children made angel food cupcakes for the human participants. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2006455686.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The children helped her blow out the candle. And of course, no one would take a bite until after she took her first bite. Everyone sang Happy Birthday. <BR>... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 18:55:02 EST Happy 5th Birthday, Stella! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5224636 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1924568457.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When we first got her, she was a little black potato. <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1443468704.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Her silvering started on her face, so she was a little black poodle with a silver face. Cute as can be. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/4/l844862908.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/1/l915480889.... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 17:07:37 EST For the Love of Oatmeal! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5223488 Oatmeal is one of my go-to breakfasts; hot in the winter, cold in the summer. It's not that I don't eat other breakfasts, but oatmeal is one of my favorites. <BR> <BR> Steel cut oats are delicious and have a great texture, but they take longer to cook; around 30 minutes which can be a problem on work mornings. I solve this problem by cooking up a large batch on Sunday and divide it into five servings in small containers. I heat it up and add my choice of 'enhancers' each morning. It is quic... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 18:47:00 EST Such a Goofball! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5215338 Perhaps it's because I was coming down with the flu, or because I don't always read things right, or because I'm an alarmist, or because my guitar teacher did not communicate his thoughts effectively, but I was happily relieved at my last guitar class. I had been sulking all week about the thought of being turned loose from my classes because I progressed too far. There is still so much to learn, and I am not at all certain I can sustain that on my own yet. <BR> <BR> During the week, I trie... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 09:45:00 EST The Advantages of Being Sick http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5204605 I think what we have is the flu; headaches, body aches, nagging sore throat and low energy now for several days. I tend not to get fevers; instead my temperature drops to subnormal which has the same effect of chills and aches. <BR> <BR> So far, I have been treating this with all of the flu fighting, immune boosting nutrients I know of plus plenty of fluids and rest. And so far, it has been more annoying than flat out sick. I feel like I'm surfing over the top of a wave and hoping that I sta... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 07:26:26 EST Promoted but Ouch. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5203634 I suppose I should feel accomplished, but I can't help feeling a bit at a loss. <BR> <BR> I have really been enjoying my flamenco lessons for the past year and a half. I was so happy to have found a teacher who grew up playing flamenco, and who turned out to be a perfect match for my learning style. At my last lesson, he told me that I have learned all of the technique he knows to teach me and that I am playing very well. I, on the other hand, feel like a perpetual beginner and possibly alwa... Sat, 12 Jan 2013 13:05:08 EST Welcomed Back to Work http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5191153 It has been hard getting back into the swing of things. I rarely think of my age, and feel vibrant and healthy, but I do have less energy reserve than I did a decade ago. Vacation was delightful and restorative, I love my job, but going back to work takes some readjustment. While I have enough energy to stay perky during the school day, I am exhausted when the children go home. I am very glad we are ramping back slowly with 2 days this past week before starting in with 5 days on a Monday. I a... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 07:58:40 EST 3 Year Sparkversary http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5187512 I forgot to post on my Sparkversary! I joined SP on 12/27/2009, deeply sad and needing to finish losing the 30 pounds I had gained after a few years of dealing with really hard losses. <BR> <BR> By the end of the year, I had accomplished the weight goal I set for myself and have been on maintenance ever since. During that time, my weight has fluctuated some, but I have been much faster to react by shifting my diet and exercise habits to get back to my desired weight. <BR> <BR> Last January... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 05:55:56 EST January Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5180082 I posted these on the Music Makers team page but thought I would post them in my blog and try to stay accountable here. <BR> <BR> My January goals are: <BR> <BR> <em>276</em> Music ~ concentrate on some of the technique that has been eluding me in flamenco guitar and work on a new piece. I am deliberately breaking away from my repertoire for a while so I can change some incorrect hand position habits and improve my playing. <BR> <BR> Learn some new ukulele strums and fingerpicking. I ... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 18:06:59 EST Violence http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5167243 My heart is so heavy after yesterday's school shooting, it is a tragedy that is beyond comprehension. My love, compassion, and prayers go out to all of the families of the victims. Not only the families of the children and adults who died, but to everyone in the school and the community. <BR> <BR> As a parent, a teacher, and a human being, I grieve for the victims of this senseless crime. <BR> <BR> Helping our children deal with this is not easy. Children want reassurance that they will b... Sat, 15 Dec 2012 11:01:49 EST Next Dollhouse Build http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5153866 My laptop has been in the shop since Thursday. This is my first attempt at a blog from my new iPhone that my DS got for me as an early Christmas present. It is nice to see how easy it is to post pictures from. <BR> <BR> Well, after last year's fiasco with the dollhouse I built and how little it brought in at the Scholarship fundraiser, I swore I would never do that again. Then the auction committee asked me if I would consider making another dollhouse. I initially said no, but then this one... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 19:01:12 EST