Sunday, November 30, 2008
Last year we heard a new/old song. It starts out with the singer meeting his ex-lover in a grocery store as the snow is falling on Christmas Eve. Its a sort awkward meeting, because life has led them in different directions, and they seem to wonder: What if?
Radio stations started to play it because the song's author and singer, Dan Fogelberg, died last year. I am pretty sure I'd never heard this song before his death last year in December. I think it "counts" as a Christmas song to oldies, pop, and adult contemporary music stations, because its about a reminiscing that would have only occurred due to the mood the snowfall set on Christmas Eve.
Here are the lyrics, mostly because as I was researching this song online, I wondered exactly what they drank a toast to, and looked it up. Its a poetic song.
Met my old lover in a grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stole behind her in the frozen
And I touched her on the sleeve
She didn't recognize the face at
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her
And we laughed until we cried
Took her groceries to the checkout
The food was totalled up and bagged
Stood there lost in our
As the conversation dragged
We went to have ourselves a drink or
But couldn't find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor
And we drank it in her car
We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness but
neither one knew how
She said she'd married her an
Kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the
But she didn't like to lie
I said the years had been a friend to
And that her eyes were still as
But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I saw doubt
She said she saw me in the record
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
But the traveling was hell
We drank a toast to innocence we drank a toast
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness but
neither one knew how.
We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast
Reliving in our eloquence, another old lang syne
The beers were empty and our tongues were
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away
Just for a moment I was back in
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back
The snow turned into rain
(And now a great Sax Solo of Auld Lang Syne)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I find family gatherings that have food as the centerpiece of the event particularly stressful. What food will be there? Will I like it? Can I eat it? What if I eat too much? What if I get so hungry from skipping meals that it means I am going to binge? Is it a binge if I am really hungry?
Ah! Lots of food related stress. I have had two Thanksgivings free from purging in the last thirteen years, and I am going to count this one as another ED free Thanksgiving. To do that, I am giving myself permission to "excuse" myself without making lots excuses. I am giving myself permission to distract, to quit an unhealthy conversation or activity, and to take time out.
I am so excited for the possibility of a future Thanksgiving that will be easy and stress-free! I am thankful for this hope. I am thankful for the treatment I've gotten that can give me this perspective.
My favorite tip is this one:
Work on being flexible in your thoughts. Learn to be flexible in
guidelines for yourself,
and in expectations of yourself and others. Strive
to be flexible in what you can eat
during the holidays. Take a holiday from
self imposed criticism, rigidity, and
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I want to just throw up again and again and again, hoping to flush those bad feelings down the toilet. Just get rid of them so I will be able to feel okay with myself.
An eating disorder provides coping skills to deal with difficult situations. Its not about food. When terribly uncomfortable things happen, its my natural inclination to cope by throwing up.
Its difficult to reach out, to take several calming breaths, or to just sit with the emotion. Distractions like drinking very cold water or holding ice cubes help. But they don't sate me.
I think of the friend to call, but always find an excuse. My husband or family members don't really understand and can't help. They are usually the cause of my guilt and anxiety. Its very difficult to pray or think of helpful mantras like "Not helpful" or "I can resist" because my brain can't calm to rationality.
It sucks recovering. I know I'll feel so much better if I just do it. But I don't think I'd be able to stop again if started.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I'd like to request some new backgrounds and layout for Blogspot. I'm done with using third-party sites to dress up this blog.
Gmail just got some really lovely new themes. I especially like the Cherry Blossom and Ninja. Maybe since you all work for Google, you could share some ideas? Minima Stretch just doesn't do it for me anymore.
Maybe I need an economic depression to curb my "acquiring" habit. Dave Ramsey's plan still hasn't fully kicked in for me, though we've been loosely following it for 2 years. I have a hard time depriving myself or doing without.
In August, I participated in CruncyChicken's "Buy Nothing Challenge". It was so difficult!! I was pretty "good" during that month, with minimal restaurants, trips to the store, or even QT sodas. But on the last day of the month, my friend Amy's mom took me to Walgreens and I had a "binge". Totally. I bought 50 dollars of things so quickly.
Now that its Christmastime (according to retailers), nearly every store has a lure for me. Oooh, so'n'so would love that. Or, I love those Christmas teas. I'll buy two...
So, I will challenge myself to buy LESS now. I already am aware of the packaging of products I buy and try to by local or with recyclable packaging, but I know there is mass consumption going on in my part. Its my conscious effort to NOT do this.
One might say I've already blown it. This morning I shopped from the comfort of my computer rolly chair. I bought more from Pleat and my husband some new thermals and jeans. I've made a plan today to buy New Moon, as well as a few ingredients for Mushroom Barley Soup.
I say I haven't blown it. I could have bought lots more this morning, and I could make plans to go to the mall or Panera. I think I'll pass on those. Cap my spending.
*** Revision *** I definately shopped Landsend.com today, an hour after posting this. I got some goodies: Bra, Trousers, purple pants, and another pair of my favorite shoes from last winter, newly clearanced. Coupon code I used: COMET, PIN 7145 (free shipping through 11/25).
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I've read two series of books lately that appeal to non-traditional readers. The first was Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I am crazy about those books! So fun to read and so, so much silly fun. The second is Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. Its definitely for adolescents and young adults. I didn't' love it at first. I judged a book by its cover (and its almost cult like 15 year old girl following). I bought it at Walmart last night on a whim, when I was also purchasing Fish Oil (topic of a future post?) I curled up into my perfect cozy chair with a blanket and continued to read. I read all night, save for 1.5 hours of DWTS. I read well into the night, well past the time teachers are supposed to go to bed. Its worth it!
And it was goodbye to Cody. Though I never saw him on Disney, he was a fun actor to watch on this show! I even thought his antics were cute and his crying on the show tolerable. I guess the voting fans didn't. That's right, I haven't voted yes this season. I don't feel strongly enough. There's no Kristi, Mario, or Cheetah Girl.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
The event is held each year as a forum for science teachers to share resources, gain information from the private sector, and increase knowledge base about current topics. I attended two years ago when it was in St. Louis and the focus was on climate change. I got loads of free goodies.
We'll be presenting on notebooking in the high school science classroom. Its a technique we both used when we taught at West Jr, and that we carried into our high school classrooms. The embedded links tell you more about my philosophy of learning science, as well as on implementing this strategy in the classroom.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Here was the menu:
Monday - Black Bean Chili, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Skillet Toast Beer Bread Both the Chili and Soup were leftovers - the Chili frozen from 2 weeks ago, the Soup from Saturday
Tuesday - Apple Pork Chops with Stuffing and Caesar Salad New recipe I'd been eyeing from Kraft Magazine... Here's the link
Wednesday - Marinated Baked Salmon and Caesar Salad with Beer Bread, Pumpkin Pie
Thursday - Ham, Swiss Quiche and Pumpkin PiePrepared on Wednesday, so I could multi-task and use the oven for multiple dishes
Friday - Pretzel from Sam's for me, Sam's Pizza Slice for him (which was only an appetizer... he left for the weekend and ate a second dinner at his mom's!)
Saturday - Salad at friend's house, and a midnight snack of Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Sunday - Crock Pot Pulled Pork, Caesar Salad
So, it went pretty well last week. I am strategizing ways to improve logistics of dinner time, cut down on multiple trips to the supermarket through the week, and reduce the amount of stress associated with the phrase, "What's for dinner?".
I started planning for this week tonight. It helps me to write it down and then post it on the fridge. Here's the tentative meal plan:
Monday - Left over pulled pork sandwiches
Tuesday - Lasagna Rolls Ups (prepared 2 weeks ago when I made a traditional lasagna, then frozen)
Wednesday - Chicken Soft Tacos with homemade salsa
Thursday - Spaghetti and Meatballs (easiest recipe of the week - noodles, frozen homemade marinara or Ragu 6 Cheese Sauce, frozen meatballs from Sam's Club, mozzarella cheese)
Friday - TBA - probably HyVee Chinese take out or Buffalo Wild Wings
Another blog friend, Britt, recently posted a family favorite recipe, and a blog I often read but rarely live up to has a Meal Plan Monday forum. I haven't used the MPM site as a resource as much as I could, more of a launching point.
What's for dinner this week at chez vous?
Here's my one minute writing prompt for today:
Today's Writing Prompt: Habit
What bad habit would you like to change?
I have been trying to change my habit of biting my nails and my cuticles. I understand its a nervous habit. I have done it for as long as I can remember. This summer I bought some "nasty taste" polish. The negative reinforcement helps to some degree. Right now my nail status is: Two jaggy edges, one short nail, and the rest are growing in!
Friday, November 14, 2008
-E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Since then, I've been spying sweet potato recipes, looking for sales on canned pumpkin, and thinking about how to decorate a centerpiece. I really like being in charge of a major event such as this, and I think it has something to do with enjoying being a host and having control of the menu.
As you can tell by the opening line, my amazing dinner has been cancelled. GMIL will fix it after all. The family will arrive at her house for supper, and I don't have to bring a thing. I will, however, because their family's taste buds different from my own palette, and I enjoy good Douglas recipes like Oyster Stuffing, Homemade Apple Sauce, and Sweet Potato, as well as Grandma Cooley's Sagey Stuffing which has so much sage it is the color of moss.
I really want to start our own traditions - not just schlep over Mid-Mo in our car. I suggested having my family's Christmas or Haid family Christmas at our house, in Columbia, which was not readily or enthusiastically accepted.
1. Do I use this?
2. How long has it been since I’ve used it?
3. Will I use it again?
4. Is it worth the space it takes up in my house?
5. Does it make me happy?
Cleaning a wardrobe is a tough job. I am emotionally attached to some shoes, have pleasant memories of a purse, or like the price I paid for the item. However, my t-shirt collection is a little extreme, as is my too short sweater collection (did they shrink in the wash? Is my torso getting longer?).
So, I promise myself I will get something I enjoy AFTER I accomplish this feat. I am thinking a trip to Barnes and Nobel for "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2" or calamari from Macaroni Grill.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I can be comforted a little knowing that they took depressants, not stimulants. But... it doesn't help much! Perhaps if I had been a bit more engaging they'd have reconsidered this choice? Or perhaps I could have curtailed their behavior by forbidding 2 students to be gone at once?
I suppose it was their bad decision, not mine, and at the end of the day I have very little control over the choices students make.
I can be a good role model, prepare students with factual information about consequences of negative behavior, and pray for them. It sure would be easier if someone with a background of poor choices in high school led an assembly.
Of course, high school druggies have a tendency to be mid twenties druggies, too.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Me: Um... actually I haven't carried a purse in awhile.
Me: Well, as in... I am out shopping now and my wallet, phone, and keys are in a reusable shopping bag.
Her: You are such a hippie.
Me: Me? What do you mean?
Her: The sister I know wears heels and carries a nice purse, helloooo! You are such a hippie.
So, yeah, that was a real conversation I had this weekend with my youngest sis. She also referenced me buying healthy Halloween "candy'" and using re-usable period products.
So is that my new identity? I have started to wear flats almost exclusively, but they were silver foil today and hot pink yesterday. Tomorrow's will have large jewels. But alas, quite flat. My makeup routine is getting pretty quick and bland, too. And I started to wear glasses this week. My justification is that I don't want to look hott... teachers aren't hott.
And I do want to be environmentally responsible. Can I do that in heels with a matching bag? I guess so. And she's right... the sister she knows pays close attention to her sparkly eye makeup and loves 2.5 inch heels.
I have felt a little uncomfortable about people my age or younger being called veterans. For some reason, it just felt wrong to compare them with grandfathers and great-grandfathers who fought in European wars or in the South Pacific. These guys/girls are just like me - the same age, with the same background experiences, and the same ability to choose their destiny and their life vocation.
I first experienced this discomfort about "young vets" when my former school celebrated veterans who were on staff and in the local community. Some of the people they recognized were unprofessional as a rule, and they often talked about getting drunk in Japan with buddies or made light of their duties at sea (answered phones, refilled gas tanks). It felt phony to recognize these people for service because they were not incredible citizens. I felt shocked - almost unpatriotic - that I didn't respect these guys because their demeanor was so irresponsible and their behavior disrespectful.
I reflected on those acquaintances and then my recollection of the what I thought a Veteran should be - grandfatherly, wearing a decorated cap, quiet about war stories. Not some chump drinking Mountain Dew and playing computer games! For some reason, I stopped myself and rethought my ideas. At one time, those old guys who walk with canes and act so respectfully were young guys - drinking the equivalent of our casual sugary beverage and playing silly games - making slightly irresponsible choices due to their age and a certain joie de vivre... and now these guys are old guys. Wrinkles = automatic respect, in my opinion.
My sister was a "war wife". She spent several months apart from her husband as he served overseas. She has spent many weekends serving his branch, helping in offices, and doing things that need to be done for the sake of the soldiers. Maybe because I konw her well I have had a hard time picturing her as one of those 1940s wives, patiently waiting for a letter from another continent, rationing sugar and flour, and patriotically not complaining about adjusting her life. When he was gone earlier this year, I didn't even consider her sacrifice, because again, I thought "She chose her husband, he chose his job. Both knew about their responsiblities and possibilities of service".
Bad attitude!! Comparing these two distinctly different groups of service people is inappropriate. Post-draft service people still should be treated with respect, just as I hope I am treated with respect when Teacher's Appreciation Day rolls around or parent-teacher conferences prevent me from arriving home in a timely manner. I volunteer to help at my school, totally my choice, and I believe the work I do is valuable even if it is volunteer.
So how did I develop such a bad attitude?
I guess its just misconceptions, the time I spent at a liberal university, and the only a slight impact made on my daily life due to military service. It is a lack of knowledge and lack of empathy I have. It is a few bad examples who soured the entire generation of veterans. (Why did I focus on them? Their fellow troops probably thought they were a-holes, too!)
So, on my way to work I decided to just give up my reticence towards calling people my age "veterans". Its about my misperceptions, steretypes, and ignorance. I am going to challenge myself to see things from an alternate perspective, especially as I teach young men and women who will (should, IMHO, but that's another story) enlist.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
My top considerations are:
1) Starbucks near my house
2) Barnes & Noble at the mall
3) Bass Pro near my house
I am thinking a general customer service... general sales, cashier, making people happy. I'd be happy to be surrounded by the pleasantries (and pastries) at SBux, the smell of and adventure of discovery of new books at B&N, and the sweater folding and extremely close locale of BP (and favor a discount could win with my husband).
I have a few reasons why I might not do this just this year...
1) Would not have Friday nights as date night / recoup from week night
2) Less weekend trips to visit fam and friends
3) Less "me" time - something I am just discovering I am safe with.
Anyone got good ideas for second jobs I haven't thought of? My areas of expertise are:
2)science lesson design
7) Internet research
8) grammar rehab/editorial skills
Saturday, November 8, 2008
That got me thinking about other sorts of Mean Girls - ones that go the extra mile to be nasty.
The One Upper - she always has a better story, pricier purse, a better engagement ring. She can commonly be heard uttering the words "That's great, but listen to what just happened to me..."
The Ex-Girlfriend Lurker - she can be found stalking your current beau via email, facebook, friends of family. She is untrustworthy and a menace to Happy Ever After.
The Drama Queen - You'll know her by the volume and pitch of her voice. Self-created and self-promoted misfortunes, dilemmas, and mishaps plow five steps ahead of her - so if you miss her crocodile tears and fake BBF letters, you'll notice her by wails and demands.
The Behind Your Back Talker - her passive aggressive nature seems innocent enough at first - until you are blindsided by a rumor. Watch out! She maybe be nice as pie, but her pie is poison!
The Thunder Stealer -she knows your good news before you do and announces it to the world. She is often masquerading as a One Upper - who might top your best story seconds before you tell it. Watch out for this self-esteem plummet er.
Negative Nancy - a crafty chick who also goes by Debbie Downer in some circles. No matter the occasion, she is ready with an instant woe-is-me comment or a gloomy outlook for your future plans.
Such as laundering flannel sheets, roasting butternut squash and broccoli for two very cozy soups for the chilly week,baking oatmeal cookies (see recipe below), chatting on the phone with my mom, sipping hot cocoa, and online shopping for a new coat. I am considering this coat.
Its almost as if I am doing these cozy things to compensate for lack of husband... who gives the best, coziest hugs. He'll be home from a short Hermann trip later today, and will no doubt chow down on the cookies and give me one of the aforementioned hugs.
3/4 stick Butter Flavor Crisco
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick oats, uncooked
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 chocolate chunks (or raisins)
1. Heat oven to 375°F.
Grease baking sheets with Crisco.
2. Combine Crisco, light brown sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.
3. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix into creamed mixture at low speed just until blended. Stir in raisins or chocolate.
4. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheet
5. Bake one baking sheet at a time at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then put on cooling rack.
Makes about 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Another thing - all natural. It is made of essential oils like peppermint... and it isn't nasty smelling.
If you did see it, you probably want to see it again! I love the paso doble because of its passion, precision, and drama. This is a fun dance!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
1. A 5K walk with a friend and her daughter to raise money and awareness for Refugee abnd Immigration Services
2. Begun tutoring a very bright student who frequently gets into fights at 2 am, sleeps in school, and is failing my class
3. Climbed up Capen Park Hill off of Rock Quarry Rd, which was lovely this fall season. It was a little like mountain climbing - at least as much as I have ever done!
4. Waited in a voting line as long as an amusement park ride - which was exciting and reminded me of a student council popularity contest.
5. Ate my first nuts EVER - in a Starbuck's Fruit and Nut bar - which is made with almonds, walnuts, pepitas, cherries, and mangoes - probably my new perfect food!
6. Did some kitchen creation in the lines of roasted broccoli, Spinach and Pancetta Lasagna, Green Been Casserole, Homemade Pizza, Pumpkin Bread, Carrot Cake, and French Bread Pizza.
7. Met one of my fav. student's mothers who was also a JC for Council F at MASC camp - but fifteen years before me!
8. Discovered I like two foods that I thought I hated: Crunch Tacos from Taco Bell and Swedish Fish. Both aren't half bad!
9. Watched the new Indiana Jones movie and thought "Seriously?! Why are their aliens in this movie?"
10. Loved me some Dancing with the Stars! Get well soon, Julianne!
Here is a re-print from a great resource with a super cheesy name - "Don't Diet - Live-it!".
Reprinted from Don't Diet, Live-it
"I can't eat this cookie! I won't eat this cookie! Oh well, maybe just one. . . Now I blew it! I may as well eating them all and start my diet again tomorrow."
We learn Black-and-White Thinking from many sources, such as our family, the dieting industry, and society. Your parents may have told you that you were "wonderful" one day, then labeled you as "bad" the next, rather than pointing out your specific strengths or weaknesses. You may have observed your mom eating excessive amounts of food one day, and starving herself the next. The dieting industry tries to convince us that eating one piece of candy will make us fat, and we get messages from our culture that if we are fat we are bad. We're left with a simplistic kind of reasoning. Good or bad. All or nothing. Always or never. Black or white. In reality, one piece of anything doesn't make anybody fat. And fat doesn't mean bad. (It may mean sad, hurt, mad, or it may be your natural body weight, but it doesn't mean bad.)
Although the motive in attempting to be at the so-called "good" extreme is to avoid the other "bad" extreme, struggling to be perfectly "good" sets us up to fail and become "bad." Depriving oneself of food eventually causes one to overeat. Excessive exercising causes burnout or injury and often leads to the inability to exercise at all. Pretending to be happy all the time and avoiding other feelings eventually leads to depression (which is often the result of pressing down your feelings). Needing to see ourselves as perfect only causes a constant feeling of inadequacy.
The most common result of perfectionism is low self-esteem. Being perfect is an impossible goal. If you objective is to be perfect - perfect eater, perfect body, perfect feelings, perfect girlfriend, perfect wife, mother, student, child - and perfection is impossible, then you have a recipe for failure.
In the early stages of healing food, weight and body issues, our Black-and-White Thinking causes difficulty because we tend to see ourselves as being either perfect or complete failures. We forget that recovery is an ongoing, ever-changing, sometimes painstakingly slow process. If we eat something we consider less than perfect, we are quick to tell ourselves, "See, this isn't working. I'll never recover." However, we guarantee that nobody (an that means nobody-okay, so we're being black-and-white!) gets into recovery and suddenly becomes a "perfect eater (or a "perfect person").
In fact, recovery is about letting go of the need to be perfect. It's also about letting go of the idea that you're a failure. It may be hard to believe, but there is a vast array of options that we call Rainbow Thinking. Rainbow thinking is the alternative to Black-and-White Thinking. It means having numerous options instead of only two. It means seeing all the colors of the rainbow instead of only black and white. It means having access to all our feelings. It strengths. It means believing that good enough is good enough!
Let's take a look at how Rainbow Thinking gives us more choices than Black-and-White Thinking. We used to think bread was a "bad" food and salad was a "good" food, and so we would attempt to eat a lot of salad and no bread (particularly in public!) Let's say this was the "black" in Black-and-White Thinking. And the "white" side of the equation? Having felt so deprived, we would eventually find ourselves downing a whole loaf of bread (particularly when alone). Then, feeling stuffed and ashamed, we vowed never to eat bread again (back to "black"). Until one day, one week, one month later, guess what happened? And so the cycle continued. It never occurred to us that we could have one sandwich, that we deserved to have one sandwich, that one sandwich would not make us fat. Being willing to have a sandwich instead of no bread, or a whole loaf of bread, is an example of Rainbow Thinking.
Just like anything new, Rainbow Thinking may be uncomfortable at first. However, after spending some time in the middle of the road getting used to being perfectly imperfect, the journey becomes much easier and more enjoyable.