About Me

Saturday, March 19, 2016

SOL16 #19 Wanna Be

The quiet
The loud scream
From my inner self
I didn't write
I failed

This is a challenge 
To improve
Break bad habits
Learn to write daily

Climbing back on
I can't do it all
I will just start here
And try again

I'm a SOLer
Wanna be...really I am

Monday, March 14, 2016

SOL 16 #14 Spring Sports Seasons

Baseball Season 

Last week's weather gave me the itch to be outside.  It won't be long until I am sitting in my chair feet propped up, wearing my team colors, clapping my hands to cheer for the kids on the field. 
I can't wait!  

My son has dedicated some of his winter time to clinics to improve his skill.  He is ready to be on the field using his new found skills and confidence. Let's play some ball, have some fun and build some memories.

There is so much drama in Little League with the changes of age cut off dates.  I've tried to let all of that go and let my son enjoy the game because that is the point. I hope others can do the same.

Pitchers and catchers have been working out for three weeks and opening day is three weeks away.  Grab your mitt, get a ball, here we go!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

SOL16 #13 Bridal Shower Blues

Today I attended a Bridal Shower for a cousin of my husband.  This was the first shower I had been invited to in many years and I am aghast at how they have changed.  There was one game, lifting the plate and seeing who had the groom's picture and two door prizes.  

There were no get to know you games that helped the guests mingle and find ways that the knew the bride and groom.  I know the games are hokey, but they are a way to make the day fun and possibly make a new friend.  When I inquired, I was told that wasn't the way it was any more.  I must say it was a snoozer of an afternoon.

I have to plan and execute a Bridal Shower in the early fall, the bride-to-be was at the bridal shower I attended to day we had the following text message conversations.

I think she thinks I am kidding, but I am not.  The idea of sitting at a table staring at the person sitting across from talking about absolutely nothing important, just seems like the waste of a day! She doesn't want to have a traditional shower, I think bowling would be a great way to have some fun and celebrate her!  Really I do, I know you agree, right?  Maybe a Zumb-a-thon

Friday, March 11, 2016

SOL16 #11 Good Comes Out of Hard Times

Bill and I were having a conversation on Thursday. He had picked our daughter up after school, planned a playdate for our son, and still was able to get his work done.  Having flexibility at your place of work is key to family survival these days.

Not long ago, I remember having feelings of panic over this exact issue of how would we get it all done?  Would I need to hire a sitter that could drive? How would we find a way to be flexible?  Bill worked and hour away from our home and so did I.  It just seemed impossible.  Then in August 2009, Bill lost his job, at the time we were devastated.

Bill was out of work for two year before he made a decision to start his own business.  Town Line Lawn Care was born and we haven't looked back.  This job affords us huge amounts of flexibility for shuffling kids and letting the dogs out during the day.  It sucks for having common vacation time, but that is a minor detail.

We've all grown into this well oiled machine and we have all learned to be flexible.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SOL16 #9 Small Giant Steps

Small Giant Steps to Recovery
It's been a week since I made that 500 mile trip, my sister and I have taken turns sitting next to his bedside so my mom can have time with her grandchildren before they head home.  She insists on coming to the hospital everyday during the doctor's rounds to make sure she hears what they have to say. She is fierce when she listens, she peppers the doctors and nurses with questions.  This isn't her first stent in ICU, she knows she won't get information if she doesn't ask. 

The week comes to an end and my brother still hasn't woken from the coma, but they are going to move him to step down ICU because his vitals are stable.  He has a feeding tube and they are pushing protein for food.  I make the 500 mile trip back home with my kids wondering what the outcome for my brother will be in the coming months.

I call or text daily.

Finally he is awake!, he is sitting up in the bed, he is eating real food.  Such progress in a short time of three weeks.  The doctors mention rehab, my mom isn't ready for that, but the doctors say that he is, so he move to a rehab center to learn basic skills.  He learns quickly and in 8 weeks time they tell my mom he is ready to go home with lots of restrictions.

My mom and sister gather all of the sharp objects, put a special lock on the door to the basement, they gather anything that is dangerous and move it to other locations.  It's been a long road since September 19th. He's been home recovering and he has made tremendous progress so much so that they think he will be able to return to work.

Life changed that day and we will never be able to return to where we were.  That is probably a good thing.  Hopefully we have all become closer through all of this, the physical and psychological healing do not happen equally.

***There are a lot more details to this story, so many I thought it made it more boring than it already is at this length.a

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SOL16 #8 Tuesday's Rock

Today is Tuesday, my favorite day of the week.  I get to go to my favorite fitness class, Insanity.  As I am working to make my fitness goals into habits, I find that taking a small rest is not a good idea.  Last week, my 30 day challenges were on a small break.  So I took advantage and slowed down a bit.  The only thing I maintained was my Fitbit and walking more than 10,000 steps. 

I paid for my laziness in Insanity,  my push-ups were not as strong, my endurance was not as much as it had been in prior weeks.  I guess the week off from the challenges are times that I need to use more wisely and make more physical Fitness habits.

I learn something new everyday.

Monday, March 7, 2016

SOL16 #7 A Moment of Panic Turned to Brief Moment of Anger

     Panic Turned to Brief Anger

I paused momentarily taking a big breath to spur myself down the room towards my brother’s room.  My mom says, "He has made progress, they took him off the ventilator and he can breathe on his own."  This is her way of letting me know what I will see when I walk in the room. We take a few more steps toward his room she continued "They have him sedated to let him rest because they need his brain to heal.  They did not have to do surgery to control the bleeding on his brain.  His brain is not as swollen as it could have been."  She pauses right outside a room, a nurse sitting at a computer with a full view into what is probably my brother’s room.  The curtains are drawn so that only the nurse can see through the window.  My mom draws the curtain back, we step through them, I hold my gaze toward the floor.  Keeping my eyes Closed and taking a deep breath before I look up hoping this is all just a really bad dream. 

I finally raise my head and look at the bed and there he is lying in the bed.  Eyes swollen, black, road rash on his arm and head. I release the breath I was holding and realize, he doesn't look as bad as I think.

I look at mom and say, it's not as bad as when dad was here.  She nods her head in solemn agreement. I pepper her with questions about the accident, about his prognosis and what the plan is to get through this.  She responded that the doctors aren't sure how bad it is and they won't know until he wakes up out of a coma.  Coma, I think to myself and I say out loud, I thought he was sedated?  My mom wearily responds, "He is, but even when they reduce his sedation, he only thrashes about, he doesn't wake up."

I fall into the chair next to her and I said to her, "What's the plan?  Are you going to move into the Family House or are you going to travel back and forth?"  In my heart, I know her answer, she will find a way to move into the Family House and just like she did for my dad, she won't leave his side."   I think to myself, she is such an amazing human, so self-sacrificing, I'm not sure I am her daughter.  I realize at that moment how angry I am at my brother for making my mother disrupt her life, we were still devastated by the loss of dad and a grandfather.  Life just hurts sometimes. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

SOL16 #6 A Long Walk

SOL16 #6 A Long Walk

I finished my professional development with Teacher's College and headed home.  My brother had made it through those three days and was still hanging on by a thread.  There were still more questions than answers.  I got in the car, kissed my husband, and drove the 500 miles to see my brother in intensive care.

I wish I could say that this was the first 500 mile drive I had made to intensive care, but it wasn't.  I made it safely to the hospital. I pulled into the hospital and found my way to the back elevator and the 4th floor.  I didn't need to ask for help, I knew my way.  

I walked into the waiting room for intensive care and asked the volunteer at the desk if I could go back and see my brother.  After giving her the information provided by my mom, I was asked to wait. My palms were sweaty.  There were other people in the waiting room, but I didn't even notice a s I sat. I could hear every breath I took!  My hands and legs shaking almost like a shiver.  The door opened and my mom walked through the doors.  She spied me right away.

I noticed how tired she was, yet there she stood unflappable. She came over and sat next to me, as I spoke my voice cracked betraying my sarcasm.  "We have to stop meeting this way, pretty soon, they are going to give us a room with a name on it." She responded,"Yeah, we know which days they have good food in the cafeteria."  We both smiled and looked at each other, I hugged her.  She whispered "He's in bad shape."  I whispered back, "Did I come home to watch him die too?" How deeply she feels the sorry about the situation come through in the catch in her voice, "Only time will tell."  

She got up gave me her hand and we walked through the door hand-in-hand, just like when I was little.  The distance from the waiting room door to the his bed seemed the length of a marathon.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

SOL16 #5 Life-Flight and an ATV accident

Brothers' (SMH)

Living so far away from family is always hard, but some days are worse than others.

"Get up! You need to call someone at your mom's house.  I think there are pictures on Facebook of your brother in an ATV accident.  It says he was life-flighted to Ruby Memorial Hospital!"

I am not one to spring to my feet from a dead sleep.  I get out of bed blink my eyes and say what? He impatiently repeats the statement.  I reach for my phone and open Facebook, because if something has happened to my brother it will be the fastest way I get information.  He was right.  I opened Messenger and sent a Facebook Message to the cousin who lived near the crash sight.  She responded quickly with updated information.  They weren't sure if my brother was going to make it through the next day.  He had a severe brain injury, broken collarbone, broken pelvis. 

I called my mom's cell knowing she would be at the hospital, texted my sister and waited. My mom called me back, stoic as always, not hysterical in anyway.  She confirmed everything my cousin had said.  I told her, I could leave the Teacher's College Writing Professional Development and come home.  Her response, "No, finish your course, there is nothing you can do here!" I was a bit taken back at her response and she said, "Time will tell, his stats are stable for now, he is strong, he will pull through!" My response, "Are you sure?" She said "God has a plan and in my heart I know you aren't supposed to come home." I don't argue.  I hang up the phone give Bill the details and get ready for the professional development at work.  I check in with my sister almost hourly, she bares such burdens because she still lives near where we grew up.

Slice #4 Marching 4th Offering a Little Help

Offering a Little Help!

Are you a support staff?  I am and if you are I know you know that moment  you walk in a classroom, and the schedule has been changed. A student who arrives promptly on time is late and you call their room and their teachers says, "Soggy Paper" is taking a little longer than I thought!" The teachers looks at the clock and the look of dread comes over their face.   The voice on the phone is panicked. I want you to know it's okay! I understand that a class with 24 young students can quickly go of course on days when special things are taking place or even when the kids are really into whatever is going on in the moment. 

When I ask you, if there is anything I can do for you, I mean it.  I know how overwhelmed and busy you are with report cards, writing prompts, math check-ins, notebooks for everything.  I kinda miss reviewing my own. (Don't smack me :)) If the student is supposed to come see me and you are doing something like "Soggy Paper", if I can come to your room to support you I will.  I can teach reading everywhere, reading is in everything we do.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

SOL16 #3 Cheering on the Struggling Reader

 My thinking when I see my struggling readers who have lost hope!  We look at success often, but they need to be reminded about where they were and how far they have come!
The reading pals in my room, because sometimes
 it is easier to read to something warm and fuzzy

Cheering the Struggling Reader

When you walk into the reading room, 
I believe in you.
I know there are things 
You need to learn 
You will learn them, 

When you walk into the reading room,
I believe in you.
I see you as a whole person
You aren't just your struggles
You are your successes

When you walk into the reading room,
I want to make you believe in you
I know you make comparisons
I see the furrowed brow 
You work hard at what comes easy for others
You are your hard work

When you walk into the reading room,
You will one day see
The amazing person
Who has discovered the code
Who can read their fill
One-Step-At-A Time

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SOL16 #2 Motivation=Habit

SOL#2 Motivation=Habit

Writing and physical fitness fall in the same category of not my favorite things to do.  They are however things I need to do.  For me it is all in how I measure success.  In writing, it's if my piece is as good as someone else's and in fitness it's the dreaded scale. One of Ruth Ayres articles she muses about ways to make writing a habit. She used a quote from Jim Ryun to start her article: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. Then she goes on to compare writing to running: 

"This might seem as overwhelming as running a 5K for 30 straight days. But what if it is possible to develop a writing habit? Unlike running for an inexperienced runner, writing isn't something we have to build up to. You can decide to start writing, and there will be no physical pain."

Both of these areas require sustained focus.  One hour at the gym and it takes me forever to write something I feel is publishable.  One day a week, TUESDAY, there is this instructor who is really into fitness, not just for himself, but for his wife, family and everyone he meets. He is MOTIVATED and it's a HABIT. 

I met him about a year ago because I had the courage as an unfit person to walk through the doors to of all things an Synergy class where he encouraged me to try his Insanity class at the local gym. I fell out of that new habit I was trying to form. Each time he saw me, at the grocery story or at a school function he engaged me in conversation, he had such patience. I reflected about what was getting in my way.  I think I am a bit afraid of being fit. I haven't been fit for a really long time. It took me a while to make a decision because I don't want to fail or be a nuisance. Now that I am back on track building new fitness habits, I am part of his challenge groups, and now doing the 21-Day-Fix.  I can hear what he says in my head when I am working out on my own.  Planning my meals. No Excuses. Walk Through the door. Find your Focus. Get to the next level. Reach your next goal!

I know I can do this writing challenge.  I like to write, I need to find time. That is always the excuse.  So I will alter his words above just a little and fight my way to the end of my March physical fitness challenge and the writing challenge. No Excuses. Open the Computer. Find your Focus. Get to the next level. Define your Writing Goal!

Steve, if you read this, I did a total of 36 Jumping-Burpee-Jacks last night with both legs going out from the plank each time!  Thanks for all you do!

#ihavetodoitmyself #havetogetoutofmyownway #findingphysicalandmentalfitness

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Slice #1 A 30 (+1) Day Challenge

30 (+1) Day Challenges...I'm Ready

It's that time of year where I pick up on my blog again and participate in the "Slice of Life" challenge hosted by the "Two Writing Teachers" blog.  I like that this is a 31 day challenge.  I'm into that type of challenge for 2016.  
So far this year, I have successfully completed the 30-Day-Plank Challenge in January, Squat Challenge in February, and I'm thinking Lunge Challenge in March (I'll let you know).  I do well with adding one thing at a time so that I don't become overwhelmed. I  am trying to take the no excuse approach to exercise and writing this year. So I am raising a glass, of water, to toast the beginning of a new 30 days in fitness and writing! Cheers !