Om Namah Shivaya

Pages

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, Festivus, Boxing Day, New Year's, etc, etc, etc...did I cover them all?

Taken from Facebook - unknown origin


As the holiday's approach, or if yours is in full swing right now, I make a nation wide wish for us all...GET OVER YOURSELF.  That's right, you read it correctly, get over yourself and your holiday/religion.  It's all so silly too fight over.  This is supposed to be a joyful time of year for all holiday's involved and instead I feel as though I'm doing something criminal when I wish a "Merry Christmas!" to people I run into.  Like I'm forcing it down their throats or something.  I would love for someone to wish me a "Happy Chanukah!", I think it would be neat!  I would then wish them a "Merry Christmas" right back because we are both celebrating our separate holidays with the same lovely intention. 
  Wish me a Happy Kwanza, Boxing Day, FESTIVUS (and if you don't know what Festivus is I feel terribly sorry for you), Christmas or Chanukah; I promise I won't bite your head off with holiday negativity about equality for all or "Don't push your religion down my throat!" malarkey.  I will accept the greeting in the spirit in which it is intended and respond in kind.

I hope your holiday is just what you want and is a fabulous time filled with family, friends, and great food.  That is my wish for us all.  SO...next time you see me wish me YOUR holiday cheer because I'm wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!" 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I gave us the gift of health this holiday season; won't you join us?

About a month ago, my sister brought a fabulous product into my awareness.  It's called JuicePlus+.  I wouldn't be that surprised if some of you out there have heard of it, it's been around for quite a while, but this is the first I've heard of it and I'm hooked.

The premise is quite simple, really.  Let's face it...NONE of us really and truly get the recommended amount of fruits and veggies we need in a day to not only fuel our body but to *heal* our body and keep it healthy.  Even I, the self-proclaimed health nut of our family, can't get the recommended amount in daily.  Try as I might it just doesn't happen.  Sure, I load my grocery cart up with fruits and veggies every shopping trip and cook a considerable amount of them, but quite frankly most of the fruit (except grapes, oranges, and nectarines) gets over-ripe and gets thrown out, and most of the veggies follow the same fate even though I cook and eat more of those than fruit.  

http://www.stouttakesjuiceplus.com

So here's the question..."HOW can we get the recommended daily amount without spending a fortune and then throwing said fortune away?" 


Think about it for a second.  *If* (and this is a big if), *IF* you were to purchase enough fruits and vegetables *just for yourself* to fulfill the 17 servings (or even on the low end of 9) for one day, how much would you eat?  How much would you spend?  How much would you throw away??  Uh-huh, that's what I thought.  Here's what JuicePlus+ has too offer all of us...

(Taken directly from "The next best thing to fruits and vegetable" brochure for JuicePlus+)

"JuicePlus+ helps bridge the gap between what you *should* eat and what you *actually* eat.  JuicePlus+ is the convenient and inexpensive way to add more nutrition from fruits and vegetables to your diet, every day.  JuicePlus+ Orchard Blend is made from 7 different fruits (apple, orange, pineapple, cranberry, papaya, peaches, and acerola cherry).  JuicePlus+ Garden Blend is made from 10 different vegetables and grains (carrot, parsley, beet, kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, tomato, oat bran and brown rice bran)...Just *two* JuicePlus+ Orchard Blend and two JuicePlus+ Garden Blend capsules every day are all it takes to experience real benefits from adding more nutrition from fruits and vegetables to your diet."   

http://www.stouttakesjuiceplus.com

THIS IS NOT A VITAMIN OR A SUPPLEMENT!  It's *REAL FOOD*.  It's *WHOLE NUTRITION*.  What does this mean, you ask?  It means that JuicePlus+ not only contains a wider variety of naturally occurring vitamins than vitamin supplements, but it also contains phytonutrients and antioxidants which are ESSENTIAL to maintaining good health. 

How is it made?  They start with fresh, high quality fruits and veggies that are pesticide and contaminant free.  They juice the fruits and veggies first, then concentrate it into powders using a ..."proprietary, low-temperature process".  Why low-temperature?  Have you ever heard or used the statement "Man, those (insert vegetable of choice here) were cooked within an inch of their life!"

I have.  

It's quite simple.  When fruits and veggies are overcooked, they lose their nutritional value.  It's cooked right out of them.  Hence the low-temperature process makes sure you get all the nutrients you need to improve your health and keep you healthy.  

http://www.stouttakesjuiceplus.com

Here are some shocking (at least they were too me) results from a sampling of studies done on JuicePlus+ (which, by the way is one of the most researched products of it's kind out there). 

The following statistics are taken from my informational brochure information as an Independent Distributor of JuicePlus+, the studies will be in ( ).

*80 million people have some form of heart disease (American Heart Association)

*1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will have cancer in his or her lifetime (National Cancer Institute) **Let me say that right here this statistic has been reached, because I know at least two other women who read my blog, and I would be the third that has had cancer**

*Over 20 million children and adults have diabetes (American Diabetes Association) **Raise your hand if you know someone with diabetes *raises hand* I do**

*64% of adults are overweight (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) **We know that's true, all you have to do is step outside your door and go to any public place.  Obesity reigns supreme and that's so, so sad**

*About 59% of adults *do not* engage in any vigorous leisure-time physical activity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) **Are you kidding me?!?!  Exercise is so important, as is proper nutrition!**






*Our national health care expenditures were 2 trillion (TWO TRILLION!!!!!!!) in 2005, or $6,700 per person (National Coalition on Health Care) **I wonder what it is NOW and I wonder if we could really, truly take back our health AND health-care system by simply taking JuicePlus+ every day**

http://www.stouttakesjuiceplus.com

NOW here are the shocking statistics ABOUT OUR CHILDREN, the *future* of this world, the generations that are supposed to propel this world forward into the future...it's scary people, and very very sad. 

*By the age of 12, an estimated 70% of our children have developed the beginning stages of hardening of the arteries (Bogalusa Heart Study) **I've been told there is *chewable* LIPITOR for children now.  How sad is that?  Do you realize that by feeding your child nothing but fast, convenient, and not-so-healthy options you are signing their death certificate?  Breaks my heart**


*1 in 3 Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes (Journal of the American Medical Association)


*1 in 4 children is obese (International Journal of Obesity) **Again; walk out your door and go to a public place.  This is true**


*Nearly 50% of obese adolescents remain obese as adults (International Journal of Obesity) **Just watch Biggest Loser**


*7% of school age children are diagnosed with ADHD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

*Over 93% of all children and adolescents *do not consume* the recommended 3 servings of vegetables per day (Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine) **Yesterday morning on Fox4 News, they ran a story on this.  It was said that teenagers consume LESS THAN ONE SERVING A DAY and shockingly boys consumed more than girls.  How can they live their best life without fruits and veggies?**

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?!?!

The US government has spent billions trying to find a cure for heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.  The conclusion??  Disease is *easier* to PREVENT THAN TO CURE.  Government recommendation?? EAT 7-13 SERVINGS OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES A DAY, yet almost no-one does.

So what does JuicePlus+ do for you?  http://www.stouttakesjuiceplus.com


It delivers key antioxidants that are actually absorbed by the body (i.e. gets into your bloodstream, a lot of vitamins don't), it reduces oxidative stress caused by free radicals (translation: it combats the bad things in our food/environment that cause us to age prematurely and develop disease).  It positively impacts markers of systemic inflammation (those of you with lupus and fibromyalgia would greatly benefit from JP+), it helps support the immune system, helps protect our DNA, and promotes cardiovascular wellness. ("Results of independent clinical research studies published in peer-reviewed journals").  


The end kicker is this...the combo of the Orchard Blend and Garden Blend for an adult is around $1.50 a day *and* if you sign up for a year you can sponsor a child (ages 4-18) FREE FOR A YEAR!!!  Who wouldn't want to give themselves the benefit of good health while giving it too their child, FOR FREE, as well??? And again I ask...can you buy all the fruits and veggies you & your family need for $1.50 A DAY?  I think not.


We all know we need to take better care of ourselves.  Our bodies are a wonderous, mysterious machine that we have yet to unlock all the secrets about.  Until we start taking better care of ourselves in terms of FEEDING OURSELVES CORRECTLY to *power* our body, to *nourish* our body, to *HEAL* our body, we will never live too our full potential.  We will never turn this world around.  We will never have a better health care system, and we will harm the future generations of children even yet too be born.


I don't know about you, but I don't want that for this world.  I don't want that for our children, for MY children.  I'm always striving to become a better version of myself, to become a healthier version of myself, and too live my best life possible.  JuicePlus+ is turning my health and that of my husband's around; won't you join us?




Sunday, November 27, 2011

Maintaining my balance while the year flies by

I can't believe it's November.  I can't believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone...#craziness.  It definitely does *not* seem like just yesterday that I was running around like crazy getting through marching season, oh no, that seems like a million years ago already.  I just can't believe that this semester is almost over and that we're rapidly approaching Christmas Break!

Ahhh!!!


Where does the time go?  Does it just slip by unnoticed until one day we look up from our cell phones, computer screens, conference calls, pile of paperwork/dishes/laundry, and notice all of a sudden that it's farking NOVEMBER?!  Or does it just move by at the pace it always has and we just have to hang on for dear life because if we don't we'll get thrown off into the stratosphere then spend the next week and a half playing catch up?*laugh*

IF you know me, you know that I lead a cram-packed life, and while many people don't understand what I do, why I do it, or exactly *how* I find my balance let me assure you I do.  I find it in the simple times like this where I'm home *early* on a Wednesday and am sitting still for an hour.  That's enough time for me to re-charge my batteries then tackle the evening to-do list to keep things running smoothly.  I also find my balance in my to-do list.  Knowing me and loving me means knowing that I am very particular in how my house and in how my life are run.  I like order, cleanliness, structure, and comfort knowing that, for the most part, things are going to pan out pretty much how I need them too.  That may not be the way I *planned* it, necessarily, but it's always goes the way it needs to go.

I find my balance in that 30minute hot bath and 30minute workout in the morning before getting ready for work.  I find it in that first sip of the *sweet nectar of the gods* before getting in the tub.  I find it in successfully maneuvering through my day and realizing that *yes* I AM a teacher, I DO know what I'm doing, and I DO IT WELL.  Do I screw up?  Absolutely.  Do I second guess myself?  Heck yes!; but that's what it's all about.  

I found my balance this morning by getting out of bed at 3:45.  Buck woke me up at three to go out & go potty, then woke me up at 3:30 to go out again.  When I went back to bed, I pulled Lilly up for a good half hour of Lilly-snuggles only to have her kick, nudge & lick my chin, sigh, and grumble for me to rub her belly; so I got up.  It was glorious.  I took a 45minute hot bath, and did an hour of yoga, then got ready, packed my lunch, loaded up my car, and hit the road for work at 6:30am.  I'm pretty proud of myself.




The balance this afternoon/evening is jetting right after school to get home and spend some time with my dogs, (and my house), before Tim gets home from hunting and I make dinner.  I immediately slow my pace when I set foot on our driveway.  There's no rush, no pressure, no nothing when I finally get home.  Sure there's always the ever-present *to-do* list running through my brain but I'm able to push them aside for a bit and slow.*thetruck*.down.  I love it when I come home.  Buck &  Lilly are excited as all get out when I get to the door, and it's always #pinkheartsandbutterflies to see their goofy faces even if Buck's barking can be a bit much.  We have a huge reunion then start the routine.  Yes, even for my down-time there's a routine; especially when it comes to the dogs.  We have our "OH my goodness I'm so glad you're home!" moment, then we go get the mail where they can check out the front and side yards.  Usually another kissy-kissy moment as they move across to the side yard, and that's when their body language and barks change too "Ball!  Hey!  Ball time! Now! nownownownownownownow!! Ball.Ball.Ball.Ball!"

It's quite funny actually. *laugh*

Buck will then beat me to the door because *heaven forbid* I forget about him and playing B.A.Double L.  Upstairs to put stuff away, and most importantly change from the school clothes to something super comfortable.  Starting some chores next, usually laundry, then gathering up what I want to take outside with me, which at this point Buck is bouncing up and down literally salivating at the prospect of playing BALL and Lilly is barking her head off like a crazy person.  Outside for about 30min of play time, then I come back in so they run the yard, then I just get to SIT.  I try to sit for an hour.  To just rest.  To relax.  To do absolutely nothing but exactly what I want.  *Sigh*, it's lovely.  I'm currently 5minutes away from my hour being over and the first thing on my list is flipping the laundry and sweeping the basement floor.  After that I'll finish up the reindeer games, give a new workout tape a try, then take a hot bath and get ready for work.  The balance that I constantly am working on is the knowledge that if I don't get everything done it's OKAY because there's always tomorrow.  

Where do you find your balance?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

First major milestone come and gone...

One year ago yesterday I was undergoing a bi-lateral mastectomy in an effort to greatly reduce my chances of the cancer coming back, and also in hopes to get rid of all that was left as well.  I woke up in recovery groggily asking "Am I clear? What about the lymph-nodes?", it wasn't until a few hours later when Dr. Ryan came by again that I grasped the fact that he had told me numerous times "The markers were clear, there's no sign of cancer left", I was relieved.  

Now I've hit the huge milestone of being cancer free for a whole year.  My how time has flown.  I still have six months, or so, to go until I'm out of the "risk of recurrence" stage, and I can hang with that.  I think cancer learned a big lesson when it decided to invade my body...it's not coming back (at least we can hope).



So thank you for the support over the past year and a half.  Thank you for going along on this journey with me, and continuing still.  While I wished for lots of things to happen yesterday, it's okay that I celebrated the day away mostly in solitude.  Brunch with the girls was perfect in the morning, then the afternoon to myself was just fine.  I won't be selfish and say what I wish would have happened, because in truth I'm a year cancer free and that's all that matters.




So in the month of Breast Cancer Awareness please make sure to get yourself checked, and if you've already found something *please* go to your doctor and get it checked out.  Early detection saves lives and you can't fix the problem until you know what the problem is.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's all an illusion I tell you...all an illusion.

Me the Teacher
I have found myself, as of late, using this phrase a lot "It's all an illusion I tell you...all an illusion".  I use it when I'm given praise, complimented, or recognized for something positive and I'm not really sure where it came from or why it's stuck around so far but it amuses me, and I relate to it on a visceral level that I can't quite explain.  

Allow me to try...
First my hair went away
I am coming to believe, realize, *know*; whatever word you want to use there, that some profound shifts took place in me over the course of the past year as I battled breast cancer.  One in particular was the loss of my sense of beauty.  First my hair went, which I had been growing out for so long and had *finally* reached a length I loved; then they took from me what is, too me, fundamental in being a woman.  They took my girls right off my chest and put foreign objects there, in their place.  Talk about weird.  Losing that sense of beauty took me to a level of pure, oh I don't know, purse sense of self maybe?  There was no hiding who I was, what I looked like, or what I was going through.  That was me, the real me, take it or leave it. 
And then they took my girls

Now, I'm not saying that I'm hiding or anything like that; but there is a certain level of...*difference* between who I was before cancer, who I was during it, and who I am now.  So what's the illusion I speak of?  What does it mean?  Why do I say it in reference to myself?  I've come to feel that something bigger than any of us could even *begin* to comprehend is going to happen in the next few years.  I don't know what, and I certainly don't know when, but it's going to happen and when it does, we will all be revealed for who we truly are, and the true reality in which we are to live.  So this, then, this life that we are all trying to carefully craft, nurture, and direct into where we want it to be because that's where *we* see ourselves in five, ten, fifteen years down the road, are undeniably #Crazy and are living in our illusion.


In the chemo chair
I sound crazy don't I?  And maybe I am, and I'm fine with that. *laugh*  it's just that after going through something as stupid as breast cancer, it just seems all so pointless to try and control everything in my life.  It makes much more sense to enjoy what I'm doing, to do it to the fullest extent of my ability, to not sweat the small stuff, and to watch myself closer because every single choice I make effects every thing else in some way so I want to make sure it's a positive effect indeed.

Me the Drum Line/Band Director
Now, don't get me wrong and don't misunderstand.  There are certainly things I do & say that I am not proud of, and kick myself in the pants over after it's said and done...but I'm working on that.  Yet that's what we are all, really, aren't we?  Works in progress.  We're constantly evolving into, hopefully, better versions of ourselves than we were the day prior.  Whether these changes take place because *we* wanted them too, or because something happened (or didn't), or because the divine spirits that reside above decided we needed too.  We're all aiming to become the best version of ourselves we can.

Our fifth anniversary spent at chemo
That's what I want for me, for you, for my students, for my husband, my family, hell even my dogs.  I want us ALL to start living the best life we possibly can as the best possible version of ourselves that we can.  So OWN YOURSELF.  Know that every single decision you make ripples throughout this world and affects everything.  Whether it be positive, negative, big, or small; it affects us all.  

Think on it for a while.  You may just see my crazy talk has some truth too it and if not that's okay, I'm going to keep living my life the best way I know how, enjoying it the best way I know how, being thankful for everyday I get, and continue to work on becoming the best version of myself I possibly can be until the truth is revealed to all of us. 

 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Carrollton Band Day, 2011

2011 RHS Golden Eagle Drum Line and first ever PIT!
They did it again; they captured 2nd place at Carrollton in the Indoor Drum Line Competition!  We also captured 1st on the field with the Band, 2nd in the parade with the Band, and the Guard captured 2nd in indoor auxillary, and 1st in field auxillary!

They did me proud again, and it was a  successful day all around for all. :)








Lined up and ready to go!



Saturday, September 17, 2011

My labor of love

Last April I decided on what the Indoor Drum Line show was going to be.  I had the kids listen to it and then they put in their two cents...the deal was done.  It was to be an adventure and we weren't quite sure how it was going to pan out.  The first step was securing people for a front ensemble, or PIT.  I had a couple of girls jump at the chance when first presented with it, then the brother of one of the boys on the Line.  We picked up two orchestra girls along the way, and put one of the cymbal players on Timpani to finish it out.  

It was time to start rehearsing.

We hit the ground running the first Tuesday in June; meeting three days a week for three hours each day, and haven't looked back since.  We started with the "easy" piece, and I say "easy" because the only easy thing about it is that it's in 4.  The first couple of rehearsals I drove home thinking "What in goodness name am I doing?!"  There were also some days I thought "This isn't gonna work..." *laugh*  How wrong I was.  The kids are working and have worked so hard it's ridiculous and it is coming together splendidly.  One more week of rehearsal to go and then it's show time.  I'm ready...

...Almost.


We have about four and a half hours of rehearsal left, and one hour of warm-up/polish the day of.  It's absolutely enough time; we're going to kick this competitions' rear.  *laugh*  We're going to rock the house and that's what matters.  Yes there are things still that we need to polish and work on, and there's always something that could be better down to the very last minute.  I'm just saying that we're in a very good place and it's nice knowing that we're going to be completely prepared for our competition on Saturday.  It feels good knowing that although we did not get the amount of rehearsal time that is our due, we are prepared none the less.  Good stuff.

Here is a link to a performance of our competition show Friday at Bartle Hall at the Black Expo. There's a few wobbles and bobbles and other things to fix, it was a damn good run through and I'm proud to put it out there.  I hope you enjoy it.  Competition Show 2011

Now, if you'll excuse me I gotta get back to some work for Drum Line for Tuesday's rehearsal.  Lots to do you know...


Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm having an excellent school year so far! Are you?

My 9th school year started about a week after school let out for the summer as we dived right into Drum Line rehearsals to prepare our show for this competition season.  We put in some serious time this summer; 9 hours a week for about six or seven weeks and while I don't want to get too excited or anything because we've had MAJOR obstacles thrown in our way....but...everything seems to be falling into place.  I'm also feeling that way about my school year in general.  Maybe it's because last year I was dealing with the whole cancer bullcheezits, or maybe I'm just hitting a bit of a stride where things are starting to click for me, I don't know.  What I *do* know is that I like it.  


Our show this year, regardless of whether we place or not, is outstanding.  We've pulled off a front ensemble, and are playing three pieces, not just one.  In fact, we had to cut one piece entirely because the show was too long!  *laugh* I'm crazy.  We are pulling two late Tuesday nights in order to get extra time in before the 24th.  It's unfortunate we can't do it after school but there's such a conflict with uneven compromising that we have no other choice.  That's okay though because quite frankly at this point what I'm most stressed about is moving the pit IN and OUT as quickly as possible each time and having one or two full group rehearsals prior to competition.  I think in the grand scheme of things that's a pretty good place to be sitting.  Don't get me wrong; there are *plenty* of things to nit-pick and there will be lots of that going on these next two weeks. 



But before Carrollton we've got some dry runs of being in front of people, not playing our show granted, but parade's and the like.  It's good to get the kids out doing stuff like that before putting them on the field or the basketball court to do their show(s).  Get's their nerves out about performing in public.  We had our first appearance yesterday at KU Band Day.  The kids did great, they really stepped it up a notch or two and gave it their all.  *tear*  I can't wait for next Saturday's KC Royal Parade for them to work those last performance jitters out so then when Carrollton hits they'll be "seasoned pros" on the parade route *laugh*.  It's also a good thing that they'll have two football games for the marching show before Carrollton as well.  That should help boost their confidence come gut-check time. :) 

Mental Note: I need to figure out a public dry run of their indoor Drum Line Show...that's what I really need to do...

So we're off and running.  I told Tim my schedule for this week: Monday home around 7 after Rental Night, Tuesday home around 830 after extra/late Drum Line rehearsal, Wednesday I hope to be the early day (4pm), but we'll see.  Thursday home around 9 after Drum Line and Band rehearsal, Friday home around 10/1030 after first home football game, then Saturday is the KC Royal Parade, ending my week w/work at GC Sunday night.  I wrapped it all up in a smile and said "Love you, see you in October".  *laugh* It's crazy busy but I love it and I love them.  I hope this school year continues to be just as productive, rewarding, frustrating, and enlightening as these first few weeks have been.  

I'm sure these guys will make sure it does.  Golden Eagle Drum Line 2011, KU Band Day










Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Twas convocation eve when all through the school...

Not a Cougar was stirring, not even a mouse. Ken and his team cleaned the building with care, anticipating that many students soon would be there. The teachers were busy putting together their roomswhile visions of AYP and MAP scores danced through the school. Principal Davis in her pant suit, and the VP's in their ties, had just awoken their brains from a long summer's respite. When out on the front lawn there arose such a clatter, I ran from the band room to see what was the matter.  Away to the front mall I flew like an Eagle, tore open the front doors and saw lots of people! The sun on the gleam of the newly mown grass gave the lustre of heatwaves to objects in brass. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Marching Band, an Eagle, and a community sincere. With a smart looking Band, so big and so bright, I knew in a moment this fledgling bird would take flight. More rapid than Cougars the Marching Band they came; they whistled, and shouted, and called them by name! "Now Drum Line!  Now Trumpets! Now Piccolos, and Flags! On Baritone! On Clarinets! On Sousaphone's, and Sax! To the top of the hill! To the front of the school!  Now March away! March away! March away all!" The Band they did come like the prideful group they are; with a strut down the street you can see from afar. So down the street, the Drum Line they grooved, with the community full of joy, and the Superintendent too. And then in a twinkling we heard from the school, the cheering of students with something to proveI came out the door and turned right around, to see down the street a very large crowd. Their eyes-how they twinkled! Their smiles how merry! Their cheeks were like roses, their joy like a cherry! Their big smiles had joy and humor to share, it was hard to believe the school year was here! The games that they played, the food that they ate; the smoke from the BBQ encircled the place. They had bright shining faces and comfortably full bellies, yet everyone eyed the dessert table especially the cakes and the jellies! They were happy and content, a right jolly old group, and I laughed when I saw them, this good-vibing troupe.  A shout from the back and a Drum Line's approach, soon gave way to grooves that were above reproach.  They saluted the crowd, and went straight to their work, "Drummin' for the Cure" their duty they did not shirk.   Gazing out at the crowd, the joy all around; they nodded and felt good because this school year would be profound.  While they jammed the day away; the Band and Drum Line too, the Cheerleader's they cheered, and threw a stunt or two.   The crowd they exclaimed, as the Band marched out of sight; "Happy new school year  to all, and to all a good-night!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

2011-2012 "Drummin' for the Cure" Tshirt is ready to order

ATTENTION PUBLIC: This year's edition of the "Drummin' for the Cure" Tshirt is ready to order!

Pricing is as follows: S-XL $20, 2X and above $25. Money raised is going towards the Golden Eagle Drum Line's goal of hosting a drum line battle to raise money for breast cancer awareness (more on that much later ;)
 
Tank tops are also available. Pricing is the same.
Oh and one more thing; I have to have at least 12 @ a time to place an order. We're taking orders now, have five on the list. Get one and help us reach our goal!
 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Matt Damon Defends Teachers against Sh!tty Reason.tv Cameraman.
 
Just to share; I have been at school for the majority of the summer having drum line rehearsal three times a week, three hours each. Since Thurs., I have been at school by seven and leaving around 330 to then go do my errands, which are mostly school related at the moment; getting home around 530 only to try and salvage my evening, after doing the evening routine, only to collapse into bed just so I can get up again at 4 to do it all over again. 

Golden Eagle Drum Line '11-'12
 

 
This is what I do, it is who I am. I love it down to my core and can't imagine doing anything else.  Many people I know sometimes don't understand the depths of my commitment to my students.  The lengths to which I will go to make sure that they are on, stay on, and continue on the path to success.  As I know this is what I will do for my own child/ren, so I know this is what I do and will continue to do for other people's children.
 
Golden Eagle Drum Line and Pit '11-'12

Having job security w/my tenure means nothing in this day and age, I've held my breath at the end of the past two school years.  Shoot, two years ago it was such a stressful situation wondering whether or not I would have a job the following year, that I had to go on anxiety meds!  
 
Really...
 
I thankfully have been off them for quite a while, but my job is still frustratingly rewarding and even though I have tenure, I will always strive to prove myself to my administrators and colleagues but most importantly to the students because they are who and what are most important.  I didn't go into teaching for the money; I went into it because it's who I am, and what I love. 
 
If that's not incentive to accept the lack of funding, and frustratingly rewarding situations I and my fellow staff members must work with and work through on a daily basis, coupled with a salary that probably doesn't accurately record our time spent not only educating other people's children but spending an inordinate amount of time with other people's children...well, then  don't know what is.
 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Visiting some things that make me glad I do what I do

made me extremely proud to be a teacher, *AND* music educator.  Always good for some inspiration.


To those in Washington dolling out our fate, take 10 minutes out of your day to watch these two clips.  Taylor Mali says it better than any of us possibly ever can, and Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir is a goose-bump inducing, breath-taking masterpiece.  Please find other solutions to our problems than crippling an already limping educational system.  We need hope, not heart-ache.  We all make a difference, that's why do what we do.  Do the right thing.  Fix it. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I plugged the coffee maker back in today

and set the timer for the first time since school's been out.  *sigh* You know it's right around the corner, starting with band camp.  See, I unplugged the coffee maker on my last day of having to be at school by 7:30 in the morning (Notice, those of you who bash us teachers about getting time off that I didn't say last day of school because *my* last day of school was four days after the official last day)...

I digress,




Anyways, I unplugged it in a symbolic gesture of knowing that I wasn't going to have to wake up to my alarm at 4:30 in the morning for a while.  It was a delicious feeling. :)  All summer long I've enjoyed plugging it in whenever I've gotten up, which for the majority of the summer has been 6 o'clock.  I think I made it to 8am once or twice this summer *laugh*.  So I plugged it back in for realizies tonight, and got it set up for the morning, programmed and everything.  I have three days of Drum Line rehearsal left, then band camp hits on Thursday and I'm off and running back into the daily grind of normal life.  I'm ready for it, of course, but there will always be that part of me that wishes it never had to end.  That I could just do Drum Line rehearsal for a few hours everyday, then spend the weekend at the pool, hang with friends, and be with Tim and the dogs.  *Heaven*

Also a far cry from last summer and I'm *more* than okay with that!  

So as my 9th year of teaching sits on the horizon I take a moment to set my intention(s) for the year.
  

I look forward with expectant hope, a nervous heart,
and joyous anticipation of all the things it has waiting for me and my students.  
I pray the Drum Line accomplishes what they want in the way that they want.  
In fact, I *expect* them to. 
I hope to become a better Orchestra teacher as I have a class of new students to experiment upon.


I hope to conduct the Band but will bite my tongue until it's my turn to shine.
It's not worth the fight because it's not enough time to fly.
As with any journey in life, I expect to have some frustrations and pitfalls along the way, 
but I pray for the grace to maneuver through them with strength and peace.
Lastly, I pray that my vision becomes a reality.  Please let it become a reality; 
it will be so cool when it does.




I hope that all of my teacher friends are as ready for school as I am.  I pray that they have a wonderful year and that admist all the problems we face day to day, that they find the simple joys in teaching children not just what they need to *learn* but more importantly how to be better people and how to reach *their* dreams.  They're our future; it's up to us to help them make the best possible version they can because in the end it helps us all.

I'll see you all at school!
  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The 2011-2012 "Drummin' for the Cure" shirt is ready to order!

This year's "Drummin' for the Cure" shirt is ready for ordering!  Pricing this year is as follows: $20 for sizes S-XL, $25 for 2X and above.  Monies raised is going to support the Golden Eagle Drum Line in our goal of hosting a Drum Line battle to raise monies for breast cancer, October 2012. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What a difference a year makes

      June 25th last year Tim and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary while I was bald, sick, and sitting in the Chemo chair.  What a difference a year makes.  This year we celebrated at a friend's wedding with me healthy and having a full head of hair.  Tim is my rock, my partner, my love, my best friend, my Peter.  Even though he can be incredibly frustrating and mind-boggling at times, he is my husband and knows me better than anyone, and vice versa.  I am so profoundly thankful to have him in my life and to have had his strength through breast cancer.  I look forward, hell we *both* look forward to many more years celebrating and traversing what life throws at us.  Love ya babe, let's continue this adventure.  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My weekend in the Big Apple

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit my folks in NYC (linked to whole album) this past weekend.  This was my first trip ever to the Big Apple and I was excited.  I flew out on Frontier airlines Thursday evening and by some odd twist of fate, I was in first class! or *stretch seating*, as they call it.  Arriving safe and sound in NYC later that evening, I had my first experience at the Taxi Stand and it was a lot less stressful then Chicago, I can tell you that.  Speeding away on the highway I tried to absorb as much of the sights as I could even though it was dark and I had no idea where we were going.  *laugh*  

 



I was dropped off in front of my folks apartment building where I was instantly hit with the feeling of being peered down upon by the concrete giants towering over me.  Up the elevator and down the hall brought me to their door where I was finally able to sit down and relax in comfort.  Exploring their apartment while they were making their way home from the show, revealed a cute, comfortable, and compact home just perfect for the weekend.  





The next morning dawned clear and cool so mom and I strapped on our walkin' shoes and headed to Central Park.  I had no idea that #1 they were blocks from the park, and #2 that it is so large!  We only walked a few blocks of it before having to turn around to go back and get ready for the day but seeing it made me happy that those living in concrete jungles have protected green spaces like that.  


 




After Central Park we all got dressed for the day and set out to the subway.  Pushing my father in his wheelchair because of his bum knee certainly made for a good workout while I was there, but I'm still paying for it ;)  So anyways, we made it to the subway and caught a train to Ground Zero.  What an awe inspiring area.  Seeing what is being built in it's place and how far it has progressed was awesome.  The church/chapel across the street that became a source of comfort and security for all of the workers and volunteers brought tears to my eyes.  It was very humbling and I'm glad I got to see it first hand.  



Lunch at the Amish Market then a subway ride to our next stop for the Staten Island Ferry to go see the "Big Green Lady", as I called her *laugh* was next.  That was a refreshing change of pace to ride the ferry to Staten Island and back even though it was raining outside.  It was pretty cloudy across Ellis Island and Jersey, so the pictures don't do the ol' gal justice, but she was pretty impressive to see regardless.












After our jam packed morning, we pushed dad back to the subway and back up the street to the apartment to rest up for my first real Broadway show; "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert".  IT WAS AWESOME!!!  I can't even begin to put into words how fierce, stunning, awesome, and entertaining this show was.  I was thoroughly in love with "Felicia" by the end of the night and my glitter T-strap heels were *just* the shoe for the event.  I highly recommend you go see this show, or rent the movie.  Awesome, awesome, awesome. :)


Saturday morning dawned sunny and warm and I had a date with Physique57.  I've been working out with these dvd's for quite a while now and I figured since there was a studio not far from their apartment that I would try a "live" class!  I was super stoked about the opportunity, and while it did make my muscles shake, taking the live class reiterated to me that I am *so* not a live class girl.  I much prefer my dvd's at home in my room by myself where I can work up a good sweat without lots of people around or an instructor moving my body in ways it won't move.  I was glad I took the class but probably could have slept in instead *laugh*.  
  
Anyways, after that we all had a date with a theater legend, Mr. Tony Walton.  In case you didn't know, my dad's kind of a big deal in the theater world and is writing a book about Mr. Walton which is why they are in New York right now.  So we moseyed over to Tony's impressive apartment in a grand old apartment building where I got to meet the legend, along with three of his friends;

"Mr. Oscar" 
 












"Miss Emmy", 
 












 and the other "Tony's". 
Mr. Walton was an incredibly kind and warm man and I enjoyed listening to his stories as he and my dad chatted.  







After our date with a theater legend, we had a quick lunch at a neighborhood eatery then mom took me to the grocery store.  *Honest moment here...* This experience reinforced to me that I can't ever live in a big city like NYC.  That grocery store really pushed me to my limit.  I feel I move pretty quickly around our grocery store but I move at a snails pace compared to the New Yorkers with their little half baskets zipping around.  I can't count the number of people that I probably ticked off as I got in their way trying to maneuver through the close packed aisles.  I think this is also where my exhaustion level peaked.  We'd already had a full morning of maneuvering the streets and subway with dad and his chair, then through the grocery store, then walking the groceries home down the street to the apartment, up the elevator and down the hall to put them away.  I was worn out by the time we were done but wanted to go to the art fair @ Lincoln Center so off mom and I went.
 
Whew.  We should've stayed at the apartment instead.  We got over to Lincoln Center and it became pretty apparent to me pretty quickly that I was fading...*fast*.  Mom generously realized this when I didn't want to do any shopping and quickly took me home so I could take a nap before the Mary Poppins show that evening.  Second trip into Times Square that evening, and that was more than enough.  The crush of people is ridiculous and the feeling of being hemmed in by tall concrete giants is a touch overwhelming for this midwest, open sky kind of girl.  A little souvenir shopping and a long walk back through the mass of people brought us to Mary Poppins.  Unfortunately for Mary she did not capture my attention like Priscilla did, but it was still a good show.  


Sunday morning we went to the High Line which is a garden walk-way if you will.  From what mom and dad told me it used to be an elevated train, went defunct, then the city wanted to tear it down and some citizens bought it instead and transformed it into a nice walkway with sunning benches, a water area for kids, native/wild grasses & plants, and a shaded tunnel area to get out of the sun.  We dropped dad off and went walking around the Garment District, which was also the Meat packing district? Not sure, I get confused.  Anways, we walked around past all the big wig fashion stores (Diane Von Furstenburg, Alexander McQueen, etc, etc) and I quickly realized that not only were these things not my style at all, but *way* out of my price range.  I'll admit I got a touch irritated because I was bit by the shopping bug and it wasn't being appeased so we went and picked up dad and pushed our way *back* to the subway (oh my back is aching just remembering *laugh*) to go back Uptown to the street fair off of 86th street.

 

Finally some shopping I could afford!  I meandered up and down the street fair a couple of times looking at all the booths while mom and dad enjoyed some lunch and watched the people trying on straw hats.  (Blog forthcoming) I picked up four dresses, four necklaces, two pairs of earrings, and had some fantastic sweet potato fries.  We made our way back to the apartment (via cab this time) to rest up for dinner at dad's favorite restaurant in Greenwich (sp?) Village.  Fabulous food in a quaint little restaurant rounded out the day then a victory lap on the subway finished up the evening.  


Monday morning mom and I walked along a different side of Central Park to 5th avenue to see the Plaza Hotel, St. Paul (or maybe it was Patrick)'s cathedral, Rockefeller square and the like.  After about an hour or so I had to give u.  I was hot, my back was crunched, and I had fully reached my saturation point with all the people so I pleaded with mom to go back to the apartment.  A short run through another grocery store then the drugstore where we bought some Tiger Balm patches and back to the apartment we went.  I plastered all 5 of those suckers on, made myself a nice little bed on the floor and was promptly asleep.  


After a jam-packed and turbulent flight, we touched down in KC right before they shut down the airport and diverted all remaining flights to Saint Louis.  *Thank you to our former Navy pilot who "beat the storm" to get us to KC!*  Tim was waiting for me in the terminal and it was so nice to see his smiling face.  I couldn't stop smiling the whole way home as I looked up at the wide open sky and the trees rushing by on the highway.  Buck and Lilly joyously welcomed me back into the fold and I think I've finally recovered from my whirlwind trip.

Thanks a million to my folks for flying me out there and entertaining me for the weekend.  I had a great time and will come again to visit...but not live.  I'm a midwest girl at heart.  Love ya!