I participated in my school's Secret Santa game last week. Each morning for 3 morning, the special ed kids deliver our small gifts.
I always open mine and read the clue in front of one of my classes and they help me try to figure out who my Secret Santa is.
On the fourth day we all meet at a popular local restaurant and take turns going around the table trying to guess who our Secret Santa is. If we guess right, we get our big gift. If not, then we have to wait until everyone is done for a second chance.
I guessed mine right away. Suzanne is our newest English teacher and I'm also her mentor.
For the background, I used the wrapping paper from one of the gifts.
In the top right is a thank you from the person I had. She also gave me a poinsettia plant. So thoughtful! She had a hard time with my clues and it took her a few tries. Here they are: 1. You can see me in the Berlin Daily Sun. 2. Or you can see me in the Berlin Dairy Bar. 3. If you still haven't figured out who I am, look for me in the Berlin Dance Studio.
Do you get it? My name is spelled out in the last three letter of Berlin and and first two letters of the next word. For example, Berlin Daily Sun.
Found a blog called Soul Journaling by Sarah Whitmire. She has a 22-day program to help journalers stretch their artistic legs.
My legs need stretching so I decided to try her suggestions.
I started by gluing on pages from an old book.
When that was dry, I took a permanent marker and completed this sentence, "Today I feel..." over and over all over the page.
Then I Gessoed lightly over letting a couple of the words show through.
After that I sponged a little metalic purple on top.
Then she wanted us to find a picture of something that represents our armor. How do we protect ourselves against the everyday issues that try to steal our creativity and ruin our day? She used a knight but that didn't feel right for me. Instead, I thought about it and realized that I just keep smiling and that gives me strength. I found the picture of the woman and cut out a big smile to put on her face.
I was in the cellar this morning and saw this old tin.
I opened it up and this is what I saw:
A bunch of old letters I wrote to my husband and he wrote to me. Some are from before we were married. Others are from after we'd been married about 5 years and he went to Alaska to work for about 7 weeks. Some are even letters from his mom and grandmother to him at that time.
There was also an embarrassingly horrible poem I wrote for Gary and my eighth-grade graduation card from St. Patrick's Grammar School in 1963.
The large picture was scrunched in the bottom. It's my high school graduation picture containing all 250 of us. I looked for myself but couldn't find me. The high school I graduated from is the same one I now teach at but it's in a newer building. Each graduating class now has only about 100-125 students. Our city has decreased that much!
I'm so mad at myself for not taking better care of that photo! But thrilled to find these treasures. Look at the old stamps! Can you see that some of the ones from Gary are upside down? That meant something at the time. I love you? I miss you? Something like that, anyway. Does anybody remember?
I'm happy with the ten pounds I've lost. I've been eating my regular foods only in smaller portions (well, most of the time!) so I haven't felt deprived. I've been walking at night which is something I always do, anyway.
I'm hoping I can maintain this because it's natural to me. Sure, I could have gone on a real diet, you know, one of those programs that spells out every meal for you, but once I was done, I know I'd just go back to my regular eating and put the weight back on.
Occasionally, I'll update my weight here just to keep myself in line and maybe analyze my food intake.
Sure, I could have lost another ten pounds and looked like the trim girls I see every day at school, but I'm not a teenager. I'm sixty, almost sixty-one, and I feel really good right now so this seems like the right weight for me to be happy. Food, after all, is part of my happiness, and if I'm satisfied with what I'm eating, I won't over indulge looking for satisfaction.
All my clothes fit again and I'm not winded when I run upstairs. I'd say that is success!
WEIGHT: 157.0 BREAKFAST: 1 slice of homemade toast with I Can't Believe it's Not Butter (ICBINB) and seafood salad, a banana, and a glass of skim milk SNACK: 6 Triscuit Crisps with natural peanut butter LUNCH: seafood salad in homemade WW bread, carrot sticks, and an apple SUPPER: Gary made it. A Spamwich: fried Spam, fried egg, american cheese in a WW Deli Flat, a glass of skim milk EXERCISE: only twice around the block because it started pouring so I ran for about a quarter of a mile to get back home
BREAKFAST: 2 slices of WW toast with SB, a banana, and a glass of skim milk
SNACK: tortilla chips with a salsa dip
SUPPER: Thanksgiving leftovers: hot turkey sandwich on homemade WW bread with SB, mashed potatoes, squash, stuffing, broccoli with a bit of cheese sauce. 2 glasses of merlot.
EXERCISE: Just up and down the stairs to do laundry. I was going to go out for a walk but when I opened the door, I saw the following so I grabbed my camera, took a picture, then shut the door and sat down!
WEIGHT: 156.0 I like it but it won't last long after all I ate today!
BREAKFAST: Gary made it. 2 fried eggs, 2 slices of bacon, 2 pieces of homemade WW toast with SB on it and a glass of skim milk. SNACK: a few tortilla chips with a hot spinach and artichoke dip that Danielle made. DINNER: turkey, corn, squash with brown sugar and butter, broccoli with cheese sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, with gravy over everything. Two homemade white rolls with real butter. A small piece of chocolate cream pie that my mother-in-law made, a glass of skim milk. 2 glasses of merlot.
EXERCISE: vacuuming, cooking, cleaning, rearranging, and a walk around the block for about a mile.
WEIGHT: 156.7 BREAKFAST: 1 slice of homemade WW toast with shrimp salad, a banana, and a glass of skim milk SNACK: popcorn LUNCH: lean ham in a WW Deli Flat with canola mayo. Carrot sticks, raw string beans, and an apple SUPPER: hamburger on a WW Deli Flat with American cheese, canola mayo, and hot pepper relish, coleslaw, skim milk SNACK: a few pieces of crud EXERCISE: 45 minutes around the block
WEIGHT: 157.6 BREAKFAST: 1 slice of homemade WW toast with SB, canola mayo, and lean ham, a banana, and skim milk SNACK: popcorn LUNCH: lean ham on a WW Deli Flat with canola mayo, raw string beans, carrot sticks SUPPER: a hamburger on a WW Deli Flat with canola mayo, American cheese, and hot pepper relish. Cole slaw, glass of skim milk SNACK: a few Triscuits with the leftover tuna dip EXERCISE: around the block for a half hour
I've had this page done for a few days but couldn't find a time to photograph it when the sun was out. By the time I get home from school, the sun is already behind the mountain. It's a sad time of year!
BREAKFAST: omelette with green peppers, caramelized onions, 1 slice of bacon, and cheese and 2 slices of homemade WW toast, a banana, and a glass of apple cider
SNACK: More Triscuits than I should have had with a dip I made from leftover tuna salad, cream cheese with chives, sour cream and Knorr vegetable soup. 2 Margaritas with Dottie. These are so good. It's a good thing I don't drink them very often because they're high in calories. To make a batch: 12 ounces of tequilla (I used Jose Cuervo Especiale), 1 can of frozen limeaid, 1 can of 7-up (I used diet...big deal!), and 1 bottle of Carona beer.
SUPPER: Gary made this: 2 fried eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 pieces of my homemade WW toast. EXERCISE: After Dottie left I went for my usual walk and stayed out a full hour in the 30 degree temps. Beautiful!
BREAKFAST: 1 slice of homemade WW toast, SB, seafood salad, a banana, and a glass of milk. SNACK: 6 Triscuit Crisps with natural peanut butter LUNCH: Seafood salad on a WW Deli Flat, raw string beans, an apple SUPPER: Low Fat cream of mushroom soup with skim milk and tuna on 2 slices of homemade WW toast, leftover carrots from Monday, and a glass of skim milk. EXERCISE: After school it was beautiful so I walked to the PO to mail the Reporter to my mom, stopped at the bank, then walked up Main Street to the Library, then back home. (And all that way, carrying a bag with 4 books in it!) It felt wonderful! SNACK: I got hungry about 7:30 and had 5 pieces of crud (cheese curds)
Had a good week: Kylie came to visit! The first prompt I gave the kids for their nature journals was to focus on something in nature and find a way to connect it to their lives.
The second day they had to sketch and journal about something beautiful and something ugly. The third day we went for a long walk and settled at a park. They had to find one thing and make a list of anything else that is the same color. Then they had to write a poem using as many of those color words as possible.
The fourth day found us walking down a snowmobile trail. Once we found a place to write, they had to pick something and tell what it looked, smelled, tasted, felt, and sounded like. then let that lead into a poem.
On the fifth day, they had to write an acrostic poem using the letters of their name. I used my maiden name, for a change since I've done this many time before with my poetry kids. They had to find a connection between nature and their own lives.
On the last day, we climbed quite a ways up a mountain before finding a place to sit and write about endings in nature and endings in their lives.
BREAKFAST: 1 slice of homemade WW toast with SB and seafood salad, a banana, and a glass of skim milk
LUNCH: seafood salad in my homemade WW bread, raw string beans.
SNACK: 3 pieces of crud. This is pronounced "crut" with a french accent. The meat market near us occasionally gets it from Canada and some came in today. It's cheese curds, I guess. It tastes sort of like mozzarella but has a drier texture and a more buttery flavor. Love it!
SUPPER: Chicken breast with Vidalia onion dressing poured on top for the last half hour of baking, baked potato with SB (I even ate the skin and put SB and sour cream in it. Not the best but so good!), carrots, and a glass of skim milk. EXERCISE: a brisk 45 minute walk plus I jogged twice to the store.
WEIGHT: 157.1 Obviously, the manicotti hasn't caught up to me, yet!
BREAKFAST: 2 pieces of WW toast with Smart Balance, 1/2 slice of bacon, 1/2 slice of Swiss cheese, and a fried egg on each. Glass of skim milk
SUPPER: We went to Hooligan's in No. Conway. I had a haddock sandwich on WW bread with tartar sauce, lettuce and tomatoes. I also had potato salad on Gary's lettuce and tomatoes and a glass of merlot BEVERAGE: After supper we went to Horsefeathers where my brother-in-law was playing in a reunion show of a band he was in back in the 70s called Them Fargo Brothers. We got there about 7 and stayed until 12:30 and I had 3 cape codders (vodka and cranberry juice)
EXERCISE: Nothing specific but I did laundry and cleaning before we left. Our hotel was about a quarter mile from where the show was and we walked it several times. And we danced! We don't do that very often.
WEIGHT: 157.9 BREAKFAST: 1/2 WW English muffin with Smart Balance, canola mayo, and ham, a banana, and a glass of milk. SNACK: 1 bite of chocolate cake LUNCH: Natural turkey breast in a WW Deli Flat with canola mayo, a cup of smartfood popcorn, and an apple SNACK: 3 Triscuits with ham and cheese and a glass of merlot SUPPER: We went to Mary's Pizza Parlor and I had a large manicotti with two meatballs and a glass of chianti. I'm not looking forward to getting on the scale tomorrow! EXERCISE: 45 minute walk around the block.
WEIGHT: 160.0 I'm not happy! But, I know the last few days have not really been conducive to losing weight. BREAKFAST: 1 piece of WW homemade toast with Smart Balance, canola mayo, and ham, a banana, and a glass of skim milk. SNACK: This was bad! My third block kids have been working on cookbooks and today they had to bring in one of the recipes that they'd made. I took tiny pieces of the following: calzone roll-up (this was delish!), lemon crispy cookies, magic bars (butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, and I don't know what else but it was good), pumpkin muffins (Yum!), cheesecake (This didn't set too well but the edges were fine), and a chocolate-banana smoothie (surprisingly good!)
LUNCH: Yes, I still ate lunch! Ham on a WW Deli Flat with canola mayo, an apple
SUPPER: pork chops, potatoes, and carrots. A glass of skim milk
EXERCISE: When I got home from school I walked to the Post Office. A good half of the walk was uphill. It took me about a half hour.
WEIGHT: Day off today so I ate before remembering to weigh myself.
BREAKFAST: 1 piece homemade WW bread, toasted, with Smart Balance, canola mayo, and Vriginia Baked Ham, a banana, and skim milk LUNCH: At the Muddy Moose restaurant in No. Conway. Southwest wrap: spicy chicken breast, black bean salsa, rice, veggies in a sun-dried tomato wrap, coleslaw. SNACK: a few Triscuits with a little dip and a glass of merlot with Dottie. SUPPER: Dottie brought over some hotdogs and rolls and coleslaw so we had those. I put canola mayo and relish on mine. I didn't have any coleslaw but I did have another 1/2 glass of merlot. EXERCISE: 1/2 hour around the block and running after Kylie at the playground.