She lives! The electric edition

Well, I’m no better at getting back to this blog now than I have been at any time in the past year. I’m sorry.

It’s been a year of change and upheaval for me. With the job search in August/September, I had heard about a postion in a nearby town from a friend. That didn’t pan out. Then we went to Mass in another nearby town and the priest mentioned a job opening at their parish school. That lead to a 1st & 2nd interview and a “shadow day”. And while that situation progressed, I learned about an opening with my son’s school. That was the lead that finally lead to the actual job. So as of October 1st, I am the assistant cook at my son’s Catholic school. It has been a hectic, wonderful learning experience for me. I love being there and helping our head cook create the delicious, healthy meals for these children. I have learned so much and when we get back from Christmas break, I’ll be learning even more. We are a good team and have great help from a number of volunteers who come in to help serve the food, assist the kids with condiments and wipe down tables. It has been an incredible blessing to be able to do the work I enjoy with people I enjoy spending time alongside.

Ditty went as far a sections with her swim team this year. She was hoping that she wouldn’t need to go as her shoulder has been bothering her. We have been working with our chiropractor and that brought some relief. Now that swim season is over, that has brought even more relief, so I just need to encourage her to keep doing the exercises so that she doesn’t re-injure it next year. She is also preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. It’s hard to believe that she’s old enough to do this. And trying to get her behind the wheel time finished so that she can get her driver’s license. My little girl is becoming a very poised and practical young woman. We also purchased a new step-up flute for her. She has needed one for a long time (about the last 2 years), but we didn’t just snap one up. We took our time and had her play several different flutes to see which one she liked best. I’m pleased that she decided on an Azumi. Some people might get down on me for that since the Azumis are a Japanese flute, but seriously if you haven’t heard one-don’t judge me. The American school of flutes are very light and bright sounding. The Japanese school of flutes are darker and deeper in tone. Frankly, they just sound so amazingly full and rich. These aren’t words I can use with the American school of flutes, although they are pretty. While we were flute shopping, the flute specialist who was helping us also let Ditty try out a $13,000 model. If you think there is no difference except for the price tag, you would be very wrong. That flute sounded so amazingly rich and, dare I say it, delicious that if money was not an object, I would have entertained serious thoughts about getting that one. Maybe she’ll consider becoming a concert flautist so we can get that one.

BooBoo is still taking guitar. Why, I’m not sure since he hates to practice. Apparently, he just likes playing – but not an electric guitar. He chose a new accoustic guitar, made by Fender and shaped like their Stratocaster model with the cutaway body and the inline head. I seriously wanted to ask ” So, who is this girl that you’re trying to impress?”, but I didn’t. I know you’re probably amazed, so am I. He also wants to try out for track and field this spring. He had a lot of fun at the Track & Field day that the High School boys’ track team held through community ed last spring. Hopefully, he will find his sport. I’m sure there will be something out there for him to enjoy. BooBoo will also be participating in our school musical this year, but not backstage as he usually does. This year, he has chosen to be one of the actors and will be an Apostle in our school production of Godspell Jr. It should be an interesting show. I remember singing some of the music when I was in grade school at my Catholic school. Of course, we also sang some of the music from Jesus Christ Superstar. Very 1970’s indeed! 🙂

So, you may be wondering why this is “the electric edition”. Well, early this past Saturday morning, I experienced chest pains and DH brought me in to our local hospital emergency room. While I didn’t need defibrilation, they did hook up quite a few electrodes to me to monitor my heart. And because the enzyme that gets released if there is a problem with the heart takes 4-6 hours to occur in the bloodstream, they had me admitted to a hospital room for observation. In that room, they attached even more electrodes because their heart monitor uses different ones from the monitor in the E.R. I think I seriously had about a dozen of the little stickers on my chest & abdomen. If they had needed to defribrilate, I possibly would have lit up like a Christmas tree. Electro-Woman. Hmm, glad that didn’t happen. I’m 50, I don’t look good in spandex.

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Please pray for . . .

Carol and Teri and Evelyn.

Carol has been diagnosed with cancer.  The doctors believe they got all of it, but she may not be returning to work the rest of this school year.  Carol is a much loved science teacher for the middle school grades at the catholic school my children attend.  The middle schoolers enjoy all the “fun” stuff they get to do in her class.  She enjoys teaching them to explore using the scientific method.

Teri has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  She is in the midst of round 2 of her chemotherapy.  The doctors also believe they removed all of the cancer.  Teri is a family friend and a very outgoing person.  If there is a family in our school who does not know her, it’s only because she hasn’t seen them at a school event.

Evelyn was born last Friday with Down’s Syndrome.  Her parents fought bravely against a doctor who kept pushing her mother to abort her.  24 hours after Evelyn’s birth, she was diagnosed with a condition that mimics leukemia and requires much of the same treatment.  Evelyn has received 3 sessions of chemotherapy in her first week of life.  This condition is only present in some Down’s babies.  I’ve been keeping up with Evelyn’s CaringBridge site and can honestly say that she is a beautiful baby.  Her parents have their other children in our school and are active members of our parish.

Please keep these people in your prayers.

Thank you.

The Diet

“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is two weeks”   Totie Fields

Well, let’s hope that doesn’t happen to me.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about weight loss.  Mainly because I haven’t been trying to lose weight lately.  I haven’t even been trying to maintain the weight that I had lost a couple of years ago.

That needs to change. 

Today I started the first 17 day cycle of  The 17 Day Diet.  This may be the most difficult time for me.  The first cycle cuts out all sugars (except low sugar fruits), all dairy (except for probiotic yogurt & fat free/low fat cottage cheese), and all grains.

Chicken & fish will be my main dietary staples, as will lots of vegetables and 2 fruit servings each day.  Water will become my drink of choice rather than the drink I choose when there’s no more coffee in the pot or juice in the fridge.

Why go through this?  Because I’m 5’5″ tall and currently weigh in at 210 pounds.  There, I’ve said it.  I am obese and I must lose this weight to regain my health.  I’ve had back pain since last May that hasn’t gone away completely ever since that time.  I carry most of the excess weight around my middle-which any doctor will tell you is bad and can contribute to heart disease.

I hate making New Year’s resolutions to diet simply because I feel it sets you up to fail.  Think about it.  Are you done with holiday celebrations just because it’s January 2nd?  If your life is like mine, probably not.  That’s why I waited to start this diet at a time when the party circuit would be waning.  I hope that will help me to have more self control and a better attitude about the food I eat.

My goal is to lose 10 pounds per month.  If I can do this, that would mean a 50 pound weight loss by the beginning of summer here in the great, white, frozen north.  I would be down to 160 pounds, a weight I have not seen since I was pregnant with Ditty (for those who haven’t been keeping track-she’s 13 years old).

Exercise is also a part of The 17 Day Diet.  For this first cycle, the commitment is to exercise once per day, every day for 17 minutes.  And it must be aerobic exercise because that helps your body burn the weight off.  It also gets you into the habit of moving your body.  That’s important because you can’t lose weight permanently without developing an exercise habit.

So, here I go.  Wish me luck.  And if you’re the praying type, pray that I succeed.  I’d like to be around to dance at my children’s weddings and dangle the still ethereal grandkids on my knees (the kind of knees that don’t hurt because they’ve been carrying an overweight grandma around for the five minutes it took to walk from car to couch).

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I finally understand

"Among those around you, apostolic soul, you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example, you produce a first circle, and it another, and another, and another, wider each time. Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?" St. Josemarie Escriva: The Way