Monday, December 7, 2009

The Greatest Gift

I am such a blessed person. I have a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally and is so willing to walk by my side through the good and the bad, the wild and crazy, and he even moves furniture when the Christmas tree is to be put up. I just spent the most delightful few days in celebration of my 63rd birthday. When I arrived home from work on Friday there was the most beautiful floral arrangement from my work colleagues (a gingerbread mixing cup with roses and greens) waiting for me. I love and respect the gals I work with and it was especially nice for them to remember me. I am lucky to have a most expert staff and great friends as well. On Friday evening, my son and his beautiful family (wife and three sons) took Vince and I to dinner. The little boys sang Happy Birthday (I am most impressed with D3 who is 18 months doing that). It was a great meal, the boys were very good, and I was surprised with a gift certificate for a pedicure and one for the movies. The greatest gift was spending time with them and enjoying their company.
Yes, I had to teach on Saturday at one of our Indian schools but the people are so nice and they work so hard. It was a great day. Late Saturday afternoon my brother and sister-in-law arrived from Minnesota to spend the rest of my birthday with me. We had some wine (have to remember it hits harder with a lapband) and then went to dinner. Again, beautiful gifts but I am so lucky to have a brother in my life (there are just the two of us) and I so appreciated their traveling to spend the day with me. We watched Marly and Me which is a real tear jerker but as we all love our dogs, it was worth the tears.
I fixed some oatmeal and coffee Sunday morning and we enjoyed the conversation. After lunch they departed for Minnesota as I had been invited to my dear friends' house for another birthday get-together. As I have been reflecting on my years, I just have to say that friends and family are the greatest gift one can have. Flowers and books and just wonderful people for whom to be so very thankful. I received cards and e-mail greetings from so many loved ones. I am just so very lucky.

I have been reading The Thread of Truth which is a sequel to A Single Thread. The author writes about women who have become close friends. I recommend these books if you haven't read them. I have been quilting (more on my other blog). I finished the Christmas quilt for our bed. It is the one that 12 of us each made a block for each other and now we have the most beautiful quilts to remind us of our friends. I am making gifts as quickly as my little fingers can stitch, listening to Christmas music as loud as Vince will allow. Work is busy and I get stressed. I have my sleep study on Wednesday this week after I see the pulminologist. I just love this time of year!
I promise to be more regular in my posts as I want to continue to care for my bloggin friends. I do believe the greatest gift is friendship. Pictures below are of D2 in the lion costume I bought for D1 nine years ago. D3 is wearing the Air Force flight suit I made for his daddy 36 years ago. And the Minnesota boys went shopping with Baba for a rose poinsetta and I just couldn't pass up the picture.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bite the Bullet

Well today I bit the bullet and while I was at the Rec, I asked Thomas to weigh me. I have been walking 3 miles every other day now for eight days. I feel so good when I am done. I am still very fatigued but I am hoping that when they get the sleeping oxygen right, that will be alleviated. Anyway, I took the leap of faith and I weighed 195 pounds. That is 70 pounds less than I weighed two years ago but now is the time for me to get in gear and take off the last 40 pounds. I really do believe if I use the band as a tool, walk as I train for the April half marathon, and eat right, I can do it by August which will be two years with the band.
I know I should look at the fact that I have weighed 195 pounds now for a very long time but I am eating healthy and not feeling deprived of some of the things I enjoy. I just have to exercise to increase my burn so that more fat will go. Considering we went on vacation and I have been under an incredible amount of stress, I think I have proven to myself that I can maintain now.
I just have to lose the last 160 sticks of butter.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Fresh Start

I got a call from the Doctor about my blood work. Interesting! Everything was fine except for my Vitamin D count. I am at 20 which is considered quite low. The doctor would like the count to be between 40 and 100. So they ordered a prescription vitamin D. Vince opted for the liquid due to the fact that the capsule was quite large. The price breaks the bank. However, low vitamin D count can contribute to weight gain, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and decreased immunity. I started with the first dose of that last night when I returned home from my visit out west.
Then today the Doctor called again. The sleep (at home) study that I did last Saturday night showed that about 20 times during the night something happened but most significant was that much of the night for three minutes at a time, my oxygenation went quite low. In simple terms, my brain is not getting enough oxygen. Lack of oxygen leads to fatigue during the day and can cause strokes. Now this was a wake up call because my grandfather and my mother (his daughter) died of stroke related causes. So now I go see a pulminologist (due to my insurance) and have a full blown sleep study. Stay tuned for these medical events. I could do a TV show with all the activities going on. The PA asked many questions about sinus infections, snoring, grinding my teeth, talking in my sleep, etc. I answered "yes" far too many times. If I can begin to go to sleep and feel rested when I awake, I will be a happy camper. The PA said I would have to start sleeping with oxygen and time will tell about a CPAP (whatever that is?).
I have set a goal for myself. One of the baseball player wives is a marathon runner and when I saw her at the wedding (see former posts), she encouraged me to enter a marathon. Now reason would tell you that this almost 63 year old non-runner thought she was crazy. She went on to tell me that many people walk marathons and that some walk 1/2 marathons. She continued by telling me that people cheer you on and everyone gets excited when you cross the finish line. Needless to say, I bit. I have always thought it would be fun to complete a 5K but as some of you know me, I never settle for less than the best, so I am opting for the 1/2 marathon. I have asked my daughter, Allison, to walk with me. She has been encouraging me to walk alot. What better way for us to go than together. She is pregnant, by the way, and just perhaps, the three of us could finish the walk together. We are planning for April. She will be seven months along and I think I could keep up with her then. I walked three miles today in 55:45. The training begins.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taking Care of #1

So for over two months I have been fighting feelings. Those who know me would tell you that I am a sincere person who is passionate about taking care of people and caring about others. I have even been known to speak out and get myself in trouble by making certain things are fair and trying to have the world function with truth and not politics, and people being honest and not playing games.
I have been worrying about my staff and feeling very disconnected from them because we are going twice the speed of light and never see each other, let alone collect any synergy from each other. I worry about the budget, cuts and contracts, and making certain staff has adequate time to prepare and do the job they are capable of doing for our schools.
Meantime, I haven't taken time to exercise! Now those of you who started this blog with me know that I have been a proponent of exercise since before the band. I know it is the only way that I can maintain good health, alleviate stress, and even hope to lose those extra pounds of fat. I was so committed to taking care of myself and making certain I exercised regularly. Well, that has gone out the window. It was pointed out to me today that has been my choice. I have chosen to allow other things to take the time away from taking time to exercise each day. Guess what? That is the truth!
With the risk of being philosophical, I have spent my entire life putting others before me. I admitted today that my personal opinion of myself has always been based on what others think. I have been a people pleaser for 62 years. I tried to be a perfect daughter and never disappoint my parents. I don't believe I ever measured up to my first husband's expectations (weight, intelligence, or motherhood). I attained my Doctorate because I believed it might give me a "leg up" on the world of a male dominated profession (school administration). I am writing this not to collect sympathy or kind words, but because I need to admit this to myself. I think if the truth was spoken, I have had the goal of losing weight because our society values skinny people more than obese. Yet, I have written that I am trying to change my weight so that I will be more healthy.
All in all, I am not healthy in the head. I KNOW I need to put myself first and take care of myself if I hope to be able to do unto others. I know that, but I don't walk the talk. So tonight I went to the Rec and walked for 30 minutes. I walked 1.6 miles. I plan to go to bed as soon as I finish writing this post. I have been eating better than ever before in my life but I have started to add those sweet morsels too often. I need to adhere to what I know is necessary and lay off thinking about what tastes good.
I sleep but I don't think I am resting. I need to learn to say "no" when the reality is that I can't add another thing to my schedule. I encourage my staff to do that so I guess I better start modeling what I want for them. As of today, I am really going to try to start a new chapter of taking care of me. Stay tuned for what's next.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wonderful Week

Vince and I just returned home from a wonderful week away. It was a much needed rest for me and it seems like we don't get to spend as much together as I would like. We saw beautiful fall colors on the gorgeous mountains in West Virginia and Virginia. We spent some great time in the warm sunshine in Williamsburg. This is a place that both of us love but we had never been there together. We walked the streets together and at times, I just sat in the sun and watched the people. The weather was beautiful. I especially loved our drive to the Atlantic and was absolutely awestruck by the tunnels and bridges linking us to the Delmarva Peninsula. Those of you who know me know how much I love the water.

I will add some pictures for you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Once Upon a Time. . .

It has been a very busy fall with school starting and our contracts with schools demanding hours of planning, driving to schools, and working with a lot of educators. I like the work but some things have suffered. Number one has been my exercise program! I have to start putting my health first and getting the exercise to help with the stress. There, I said it, now I need to put my tush in motion.
This past weekend I drove to Rapid City to attend the wedding of a very special young man. Eleven years ago I met Luke as an incoming Freshman at DWU. He wanted to be a teacher and came to DWU because he was recruited by the baseball coach. This was the beginning of a wonderful time in my life! I watched baseball games in the fall when it was starting to get cold, rained, and even snowed. I watched baseball games in the spring when it was still cold, snowed and rained, and the wind was blowing. I was privileged to travel with the team to the Metrodome and sit in the Twins dugout with the team. I traveled to Florida with these fine young men. I have watched them laugh with each other, learned about their superstitions, watched them win and watched them lose (both games and special friends), and shared tears with them more than once.
So, this weekend was special because some of these young men were able to come together to celebrate. Their coach, Adam, is the short guy in the back row. He is the reason these guys know each other. He is the one who recruited these fine young men. So once upon a time there was a team and today these young men are dear friends and they still make me laugh and cry and I am blessed to know each of them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tag - You're It

The rules:
1. Respond and re-work: Answer these questions on your blog. Replace one question you dislike with one of your own invention, and add another question of your own.
2. Tag some friends to play along!

1. What's your favorite article of clothing? I love a big heavy thick sweatshirt with a hood at a baseball game.
2. Who was the last person you hugged? My husband this morning before I went to work.
3. What's your favorite dinner? Steak and a sweet potato
4. What's the last thing you bought? A birthday card for Zachary
5. How's your head feeling right now? Surprisingly - pretty good!
6. What's your favorite weather? Calm and cold
7. What is your least favorite season? spring
8. What's in your purse? What's not in my purse. :) Credit cards, pens, lipstick, hand sanitizer
Not billfold, hairspray, towel
9. Say something to the person who tagged you.
10. What is your favorite dessert? ice cream with chocolate and peanuts
11. What did you want to become as a child? radio commentator
12. What do you want to be now? a change agent
13. What is your favorite song? What a Wonderful World
14. What is your favorite country/state? Michigan
15. If you could go anywhere in the world in the next hour, where would you go? Hawaii
16. What are my most challenging goals right now? Time for exercise
17. What is your five-year plan? retire and become more crafty
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? baseball
19. What show would you be a cast member of? Grey's Anatomy
20. What is your most prized possession? my family
21. Name a favorite childhood memory. summers on the farm
22. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Phillipians
23. What is your favorite quote? Be the change you want to see in the world.
24. What is your favorite book? Elm Creek series

I tag Nola, Caroline, and Helen.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Is This Me?

Vince has been listening to me fret and sputter about the amount of work I have and how hopeless I feel sometimes trying to be a "change agent". I had a nasty attitude and couldn't seem to chase away the anxiety I was feeling. This week seemed woefully tiring. Although I feel like I am chasing my tail, I think this picture portrays the sincere feeling I have. I am overwhelmed! I really believe if I could, I would climb a limb in a sunny spot and let the world spin by. I would not even watch. I would lazily daydream and let someone else get it ALL done. Meantime, there are less than 100 days until Christmas.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hello again

Oh my, I just realized it has been over two weeks since I have written anything on my blog. I have been thinking about it and I have been reading my bloggin' buddies work but I have not taken the time to write for myself. I happen to be watching over the 3 D angels this evening and have a few minutes of quiet so that I can blog.
I had a wonderful time in Michigan with my friend, Marilyn. Cathy was a most gracious hostess and it was so nice to spend time on the Lake Michigan on Labor Day. The sun was warm and I don't think I have ever been on the big lake when it was more calm. Curt is a great captain and we had a most relaxing cruise out of Muskegon Harbor south to Grand Haven and finally to the river marina. Marilyn and I also took Brach (Cathy's chocolate lab) to the beach to exercise and that was fun as well.
My nephew's wedding was so beautiful and we had a great time dancing at the reception. I feel so much more able to participate now that I have dropped the pounds. I had a new dress and felt pretty "spiffy" in it.
On Tuesday, we took a day to travel to a winery near Saugatuck and then spent the afternoon strolling the streets of Douglas and Saugatuck. It has been years since I visited these places. So much art, color, texture, and visual beauty. I really miss the western shores of Lake Michigan.
Monday it was back to reality and this week the work has come tumbling down. Many miles on the road and loads of thinking on my feet.
Oldest D had his first "real" football game last night. I guess this is an indication that he is growing up. He plays tight end and guard. It will be fun to watch him scrimmage at the university half time on Saturday.
I have started my exercise routine again now that I am back from vacation and fall is upon us. I need to kick it in gear and start working on this body again. Life is good and I will add pictures to this when I get home later tonight.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Number One Son

This is a picture of my number one son, since he is my only son, and his youngest, D3. My son was born 37 years ago today. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. He was born in the early morning. By calculation, he was three weeks late but he only weighed a little over 7 pounds so he was probably right on time. I was teaching and the school year started two days later. I went back to teaching four days later as I had not applied for medical leave and mine was the only income as my husband had left the Air Force and returned to college. My little guy became my life as I would teach all day and usually spend the evenings alone with him until he went to bed. He was the first grandchild for both my parents and R's parents. He was the only grandson my parents had and he was very special to them. I do believe they were special to him also.
He has spent his 37 years living in Michigan, Texas, California, and South Dakota. He is usually a pretty serious guy but I do know he likes to have fun. He met his wonderful wife learning to dance in college. They can jitterbug with the best of them (he flipped her even in her wedding dress). He loves to hunt and golf. He built the home his family lives in and works hard. On his birthday, I pray he will always love his wife and children as much as I love him. I wish him many more years to watch his wonderful three sons grow and become the kind of men of whom he can be proud. I am proud of him. I also wish for him patience, health, and God's richest blessings. Happy Birthday son!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Year Today

It is almost midnight and I must write a blog entry today. It was one year ago today that I was banded and yes, I do believe it was the first day of the rest of my life. I went to see Dr. Glatt yesterday and again he told me how proud he was of my success. I am half way there in my opinion but it does feel good to impress one's surgeon. He decided not to give me a fill because of my problem with some foods (chicken and bread) and the fact I have lost it more often than he would like. I have to trust his experience. He did say that because I am doing so well, I didn't need to see him again for six months unless I have a problem. I am stalled right now but the exercise routine has started again that I am fully recovered from surgery and interestingly, I have maintained and lost a little of the weight by eating right.
Guess what movie I just came home from seeing? Julia and Julia Coincidental I went to see a movie about the love of food and blogging. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend. Meryl Streep at her best, again. I do love Amy Adams also!
So as I start my second year after banding, I must set a goal or two. First, I want to continue to use exercise as a means for losing weight but also for relieving the stress of work. My goal is to exercise four or more times a week for the next six months. With fall and winter coming on that means I must see exercise as a priority and allow time for it! My second goal is to eat right, chew thoroughly, take the 30 minutes necessary to eat a meal, and lose 20 pounds by February 14th, 2010.
The clock just struck midnight and I must end this day and get some rest. Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What a difference almost a year makes

The picture on the left was taken one year ago today (August 19) about a week before my lapband surgery. The picture on the right was taken a week ago. Words cannot express my emotion. I have a long way to go but I do have to celebrate the difference.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

If it is possible . . .

I had my surgery four weeks ago yesterday and I went back to my doctor yesterday with what I thought was an infection in my right side incision. Felt hot, oozing, and just really sore! Sure enough, I am back on an antibiotic to get things under control. Ironic that the right side was not the side that had caused the problem but was, instead, the side I opted to do for cosmetic reasons. I wanted to match!
Diane did take my blood to check the white count. All levels were good which helps me know I am eating right. She did tell me I needed to get some rest. Now we all know that stress lowers ones ability to heal and I know how much stress I have going on. Exercise helps me release that but I am not feeling up to it right now. So, things aren't adding up to feeling very good.
The weather has finally warmed up to normal August temperatures and the humidity hit today. Eight of us traveled to the Strawbale Winery for the Third Annual Quilts and Vines. Doctor said I could go if I sat and relaxed more than walking around. I have to admit, I really didn't feel like doing a whole lot of walking around. There were over 400 quilts hanging on the grapevines and it is just a beautiful setting. We had a great time, but I am whipped tonight. Don't even have the energy to go upstairs and quilt.
Enough complaining for my part. Vince has been busy in his workshop. We had old cedar boards from a downed fence shoved under the deck. I showed him a picture of an Adirondack chair and he designed his own plan and has been building us some chairs. They are beautiful and are so comfortable. He is so talented and really is a craftsman. He will stain the chairs and I will take a picture to show. Now if we could just conquer the mosquitoes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A History Lesson - the people

I have been busy with work and not had a chance to continue my story about our trip. I wanted to show you a picture of my brother and cousins. The first one is of my brother, cousin Gary who was the 65th birthday boy, and me. I am the short one. My brother has my dad's vivid blue eyes and reminds me of my dad in facial expressions. However, my dad would never have dressed like John. I don't think my father owned a pair of blue jeans. Dad did have a mustache at times in his life and he preferred pink or yellow polyester slacks, shirts and ties. We actually buried dad in his blue and white cotton boxers that you could see through the pastel trousers most of his elderly life. We loved him just the way he was. My cousin Gary also looks like my Uncle Sherman that I loved.

The next picture is of Mary Lou and I. She is 6 months to the day younger than I am. When we were both a year old, Mary ran after a kitten in the driveway and my uncle accidentally ran over her. She has always had a very drawn face but is most lucky to be alive. She lives with her husband and son and was most happy to see us. She was very close to her mother who died a number of years ago and she called this past week to tell me how lonesome she gets and how much she appreciated our visit. Tugs on my heart!

My mother had one brother, Uncle Sherman and I have one brother. John is nine years younger than I am. His 54th birthday was two days after we visited Gary last week. I remember well the day he was born.

The rest of the people we visited last week are buried in Michigan. I am very interested in collecting information about my genealogy and work on it in my spare (LOL) time. Someday I hope my children want to read about their ancestors.

Last, but not least, I want to share a picture of my buddy at Coors Field in Denver a recent shot of the three Ds. We had a great SHORT baseball trip this year. We already have next year planned. D1 is an awesome big brother. D2 loves the mule and tractor and don't you just love the expression on D3?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Baba in South Dakota is Praying for Stellan

God is working in our "small world". Leslie wants us to wear orange tomorrow! This dear little one and his family are friends of my daughter and her family in Minnesota. I know God is watching over him and his family. Stellan is a precious child who is in the hearts and prayers of many. I pray that all of my blogging friends begin to pray for him and spread story far and wide. God will do the rest!

By the way, go to Leslie's post and add your post!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A History Lesson

On December 5th, 1946, I was born in Hillsdale, Michigan. My great aunt Alta lived in this house in Hillsdale. It looked much the same on this trip as I remembered it (big and very nice). I lived with my father and mother, who were teachers in Quincy, Michigan on US 12 (east Chicago). It was a very busy road as it originally was the stagecoach road between Chicago and Detroit and became the main road in the early 1900's. That house has not really changed much at all. The two windows on the lower front were the living room where I remember watching the Republican convention where Eisenhower was nominated for President in 1952. I was in Kindergarten and we had a brand new black and white TV. I wasn't able to take a picture of my grandparents' house on the farm where I spent much of my time while mom and dad were at school. It was a mile south and east of town and is now a corn field.

My other grandparents lived in Hudson where my dad had been born. We visited Hudson and here is a picture of their home. I can remember many summers sitting on the screened in porch on a glider sofa and listening to my grandfather whistling in his rocker. Their house used to be covered with a shingle type siding that looked like bricks. Grandpa always had a new Chevrolet or Buick parked under the carport that has been removed. I always slept in the bedroom at the top of the stairs or the window on the left above the living room.
I have to go to bed now so that I am ready to drive Dillon and I to Denver for our summer baseball game. More later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh the Itchies!

I have an allergy to paper tape and so when I have surgery they are alert to that. I have no rash or blisters but I do believe I am reacting to the steri-strips. The plastic surgeon performed normal suttures internally but the entire 10-12 inch incision is covered with steri-strips. New meaning for butterfly queen! I have been itching terribly for the past three days. It subsides periodically but when it is flaring it is terrible. I called the Doctor today and talked to his nurse. She was so nice and asked Vince to investigate for rash or blisters. There are none but if I scratch like a monkey I could change that. She suggested benadryl, so now I am a doped-up ape trying to scratch. I know better but you all can have sympathy while I vent. I have had itchiness when I am healing before but this is ridiculous.
Otherwise, I feel no soreness unless I roll on my side in the night and then I wake up with the pulling sensation. I have been working at home so that I can wear the surgical bra and relax when necessary. I will drive to the office tomorrow for a board meeting and then I am taking a few days off to travel to Michigan.
Actually, my brother and sister-in-law are going to drive as well. John and I have a cousin (my mothers' brothers' son) who will turn 65 on Monday. I haven't seen his dad's funeral in 1995. That is way too long for first cousins! Gary's sister, Mary Lou, is six months to the day younger than I am. Gary tells me she is not in good health so I plan to stop and see her on Sunday when Vince and I go to my early childhood stomping grounds. I want to look up some graves for details in my genealogy work. I hope someday my children appreciate my work but for now, I am having fun reconstructing some history.
I was thinking today that I lived half of my 62 years in Michigan and soon I will have lived over half of my life in South Dakota. Just wanted to let everyone know how well I am feeling and thank you for your concerns. Until. . .

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Battle of the Bulge

I had Vince take this picture on Thursday so that I could make a comparison in a few weeks. I have never seen this before because I really didn't want to look at the lumps but you can see that on the left side right near the underarm there is a large bulge. Much scar tissue from previous surgery and yes, just a lot of fatty tissue and skin from losing weight. I am in very little pain but really stay ahead of it with the pain medicine. I have a drain on both sides but the right side is very light. I walked a few blocks this morning to get the blood moving. Went to Saturday Sampler at the quilt shop and after a couple of hours, I was ready to sit again.
I appreciate all the kind words from my blogging friends. I am very fortunate to have wonderful virtual and live friends. Again the hospital staff was outstanding. I even got a card signed by all who touched me in some way yesterday at the hospital before we left. From the greeter, to the OR Nurse, to the primary care nurses, they all signed it. What a place! Wanted to let you all know that I am still kicking and hope you have a wonderful weekend. Almost forgot to mention my dear husband, Vince. He is the best caregiver a person could have. I just need to tell him I love him more often so he knows how important he is to me. Lucky girl!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Here Goes

I went for my pre-op appointment this afternoon. Dr. Howard is going to try to make both sides of my back look the same. Cosmetic for one side and eliminating a point of infection for the other. I must admit the left side has begun to hurt most of the time.
Surgery again! I explained the problem a few blogs ago (May 1) and decided it was time to get it fixed. Maybe he will remove a pound or two. LOL. I doubt it but I know it will look better. I had Vince take a picture today so that I could compare the appearance in a couple of weeks.
I will be weighed in the morning at the Surgical Tower. We have to get there at 6 AM. Surgery at 7:30 AM and it will take about two hours. If all goes well, we can drive home in the afternoon. Do I sound excited? I always grow anxious at about this point. Vince says I will probably hold up the anesthesiologist with a call on my Blackberry. I don't think so.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Boys, Boating, and Baseball

Vince and I returned today from a wonderful weekend in Minnesota. We left on Thursday for Allison's house. We walked almost four miles that evening around her neighborhood in the heat and humidity and I did it.

On Friday, we took the boat out and the picture is current (yes, I mean moving water and taken on Friday). I can't believe I was bouncing around on a raft behind the boat. What fun! I also tried twice to get up on the water skis but the old bum knee (hurt snow skiing) warned me that I might want to continue my land exercise program and I had to give up. Don't have the strength I had 30 years ago. Oh well, wouldn't have even tried 50 pounds ago!

Friday night we went to the first 8 innings of a 16 inning game between the Twins and the Tigers. The Tigers won in the end but I had a delightful time watching Zachary and Garrett learn about Baba's favorite sport.

On Saturday we went into Chanhassen to the car show (Vince loved it) and the carnival. There were so many families and it was a beautiful day. After naps, we took our dinner and went to the boat. We watched the fireworks over the water. I have never been within 300 yards of the launch pad (it was on the island) and the sound and sight was breathtaking. I have a picture of the boys on their daddy's lap watching the show.

Yesterday, we took to the water again. I so miss the water as I lived in Michigan while growing up and we were always near the beach. The kids have a really nice boat and we spent from 10:30 am until 4:00 pm on the boat and swimming in the lake. The picture is of Allison and the boys bobbing together. We had such a great time.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Where did June go?

So it is already June 27th and although it is officially summer, I have yet to really feel like it has begun. Thanks to all of you who responded about Zachary. He was a trooper and until the time I left early Friday morning, he seemed to be having little pain with the throat. His voice is a different pitch but I think that is normal after throat surgery. He was taking full advantage of juices and cold treats. Can't blame him. The pictures above were taken in Michigan by Grandma Gayle of the boys.
While I was in Waconia, Allison, the boys, and I toured the new birthing environment. Nothing like it was 36 years ago, ladies. Jet spa tubs in each suite, molded sinks for the baby's first bath, WiFi for waiting moms and dads, and couches long enough for even the tallest dads. I was very impressed with the facility.

Allison asked for me to make more of the boutique burpees. We bought some fabric while I was there and I came home and whipped up 13 of the burpees. They are quite nice, very soft bamboo cotton and Allison has a knack of selecting some rather bold and bright fabrics to lay on the shoulder. I will take the completed ones back to her next week when we go up for a holiday.

Last night we went to the kick-off event for Dillon's teachers' cancer foundation. Mrs. Morgan has started a foundation to support individuals with some of the very simple things they might need when diagnosed with breast cancer, like transporation to and from treatments, etc. It is called "You'll Never Walk Alone". The quilt we donated was there and she will continue selling chances until October 17th. We have already sold over $500 of chances and I hope it brings $1000.

Today I exercised at the Rec. Mentioned to my friend that once I have done that, I can "quilt without guilt". I didn't run today as my knees are giving me some grief. Walked on the treadmill and biked for a time. Our back yard is so beautiful right now. I am inserting a picture of Vince and I in front of a clematis we planted just one year ago.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just reading the blogs

It is quiet here in the Waconia house. Allison and Kevin left for the hospital with Zachary about a half hour ago for his tonsil and adenoids surgery. I have been connecting with my blogger friends and catching up on their stories. My mind wanders as I think about our little guy going into surgery at 8:30. He has been sleeping on his back with his arms above his head for a long time, snoring. The specialist says that indicated he is trying to get more air. I would rather be walking into surgery anyday before my husband, children, or grandchildren. I think it is easier to be the patient that the waiting family.
Zachary came down to wake me this morning and we just snuggled and cuddled for a long time. He has one small freckle on his wrist and I always tell my guys those are "angel kisses". Today was the first time he heard the story. As I was telling him, I was silently praying everything goes well this morning and he handles the "hurt" afterward well.
I have memories of Kevin, at the age of five, standing in the hospital crib with high bars just shaking the crib with his crys for mommy. Both Allison and Kevin had tonsilectomys when they were preschoolers but I believe they were both older than Zachary.
Garrett and I will spend the time waiting together. He will keep me occupied with his "why" and "yup" replies. I am so lucky to have five beautiful grandsons.
I have been changin' up my exercise the last few days. I have been trying to use the beautiful outdoors for my space. I jog (just quickly putting one foot in front of the other) for 30 seconds and then walk for 30 seconds. Try to keep this up for 20 minutes. In our heat (finally) and humidity that seems to make me sweat. And that is a good thing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Down Memory Lane

I was looking through some pictures today and found this one of me and my favorite cousin, Nancy. This was taken at the wedding of my foster sister, Shirley. Nancy is about two years younger than I am I believe. It is certainly a take on the early 50s. My mother made certain my hair hung in ringlets that were perfectly twisted around her finger. I had to sleep on those pink rubber curlers to make it work. Nancy and I have remained close our entire lives. She lives in The Woodlands near Houston. I think this picture caught my eye because I believe that was the last time until now that I could cross my legs. It is a good feeling to be able to do that.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And more on life

It has been too long since I have sat down long enough to share my thoughts. It is not good for me. I need this outlet and quite frankly, I need to take the time to share as it leads me to goal setting and dealing with daily stuff better. I have putting off going to the Rec and having Thomas weigh me. Putting it off because I have been eating at my stressors, not finding the time to exercise once a day, let alone twice as I need to for weight loss, and just avoiding the reality. I stayed the same and that has been over five weeks. I just lost 35 days of time I could have been moving down the scale but instead treading water to get by.
I do believe we finally have enough contracts in place to cover the full salaries of all of my staff. That has been a huge weight for the past three months. The economy is just rotten and it seems like in South Dakota, we have to fight for every penny to support schools and teachers. Shouldn't be that way!
The son of one of my teacher colleagues committed suicide last Friday night which brought back much emotion in another dear friend and her daughter who dealt with a suicide of their ex-husband and father. The young man was the nephew of another dear friend. I find this type of tradgedy very difficult to understand and I really don't know how to try to comfort or support those left behind.
Allison called to tell me her dad was in Tulsa with a very dear friend of ours, saying his "goodbyes". You know that saying - some people come into our lives and we are forever changed? Well, Jim was that person for me. I first met Jim and his family in 1967 when we were newly weds and moved to South Dakota and entered the military life. Jim was a most handsome man, a real teaser, and one of the kindest individuals I have known. I loved his first wife and their two young children. Jim and his wife, Annie, came to Allison's wedding in Tulsa and I was so touched that they would attend. Seeing Jim's smile erased the 20+ years gone by. Jim gave me a nickname "Mickey" because of had very long hair, put it up in a ponytail on top of my head and the hair fell out around my head like mouse ears. I can still hear him calling my name. I am so glad Randy was able to be with his family at this time. Jim entered heaven yesterday afternoon and I will forever love and remember him as a true friend.
There has been some very great news as well. Dillon's teacher, Mrs. Morgan who has been battling cancer this year, nominated him for Leadership in the People to People program and he was accepted. What an honor for him and his parents. Dillon is truly a very remarkable young man and is most deserving of this opportunity. Do I sound like a proud grandma?
I am anticipating some time off as I have completed my contract obligations until July 1 and the new year. I exercised twice yesterday and have alreadly gone once today. I must kick this NOW. Need your prayers. Oh, and I have decided that I don't have any short bandit friends as the pants won't travel.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mostly About Life

I can't believe I haven't posted as I have been reading and commenting on other blogs and just realized it has been almost 10 days since I have written on my own blog. Very fascinated with my blogging and bandit friends.
Vince and I dug up some lilac bushes on the spur of the moment on Saturday morning and then jumped in the car and drove the 300 miles to my brothers' house to give them away. Coincidently, we arrived in time to be able to attend the Gaither Vocal Band concert at the Target Center in Minneapolis. It was absolutely fantastic and brought back so many memories. The vocal talent of these people is phenomenal and it was truly an inspiration to attend.
On Sunday morning, we helped plant the five garbage bags full of lilacs. It felt so great to be outside and bending over without losing breath because the fat in the middle got in the way. We had to rush off after brunch to return to Mitchell so that I could be on campus in time to help set up for the Laptop conference our agency was hosting.
For the past two days I have been hanging out with some of the greatest people on earth, teachers. People who care about children are the best. It is always an upper for me to connect with these professional friends. The only problem has been that we have had chocolate in dishes at the registration table and I have had the munchies. Oh well, back to straight and narrow on Thursday.
My buddy, D, has been helping me and just having a blast getting to know some of my friends from Kansas and Maine who are here presenting at the conference. D has been a very great helper and people are very impressed with his ability to relate to adults. His mom and dad should be proud of him and his behavior. I know I am. The conference will be over tomorrow and then one day of visiting schools and then I go on a quilting trip.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A new version of the sisterhood of traveling pants

I am sick and tired of trying to sell my clothes that are too big for me and I have given so many away to the Salvation Army and I noticed last time I took a bunch there, they were just leaving things outside in the snow and weather and I don't think that shows much appreciation. So, I have another idea. Why not try my blogging bandits for fun! I am a professional and so my clothes do not get much wear and tear. I have four pairs of size 18 pants to send traveling. Sag Harbor stretch corduroy in a warm brown color, Chaps dark brown heavier cotton, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, and Vanessa black dress pant (not lined). I am 5'1" tall and these are the "right" length. Going to a new home. If you would like them, I will ship to you upon request. They are clean and ready to wear. For those of you who are losing, I wore these when I was in the 200 - 215 range.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I love iris

Since I was a little girl, I have always loved iris. I can remember having so many of them in the yards of my three childhood homes. A couple of years ago I order these two varieties in the mail and each year they don't disappoint me. I finally left the quilting room long enough to go and snap a picture. They are so delicate. I wished they would stay beautiful longer but as with many things, we must enjoy them while they last and stop wishing for more.
We finished quilting the top of the "rolling on" quilt yesterday. It is so beautiful and it makes me feel so good that we are doing something for someone else. I got a brainstorm in the night that Dillon could display it at the Laptop Academy in two weeks and help up sell tickets. It is in honor of his teacher who has been fighting cancer all year and is starting a foundation.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On Doc Sly

I have had an inquiry about my "pen name" or e-mail address. In 1997 I came to Dakota Wesleyan University as the Chair of the Education Department. I have always been a fan of baseball and it happened the university coach was the same age as my son and he began to rely on me to speak with prospective players and their parents about DWU. By chance, some of his earliest recruits were interested in teaching and it was a "best fit" for both of us to recruit the best and brightest. I began going to all of their games and even got to travel with them on some of their trips.
I have a doctorate in education and thus came the Doc part of my nickname. My first name is Sylvia and many times in my life people have spelled it wrong and I have found saliva, slyvia, etc. The coach and players began to call me DocSly. I have a warm up pullover with that name on the back and now I have vanity plates for my car with DOCSLY. Over the years, the players come back and have had children and so on and I must admit it is a most endearing event when one walks up and gives me a hug and says, "hi DocSly".
The coach has moved on to another "field of dreams" but I will always have a special place in my heart for the DWU baseball players of 1997-2006.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We Are Family!

We just arrived home from an absolutely wonderful three day break. Of course, I forgot the camera but I will try to reflect on our trip and give you a verbal picture. One of the most beautiful vistas in all my travels is 70 miles west of home when you drive down the hill across the Missouri River. It is especially beautiful right now because the hills on either side are green and the sky is almost always blue here on the prairie. I just love this spot.
When I was in sixth grade I memorized a poem by Edgar A. Guest that begins, "It takes a heap of living in a house to make it home." Well, we visited that place this weekend. Vince's cousin, Cleo and her husband Alan, live in Sundance, Wyoming. 348 miles west of our house on I-90. I have always wanted to have the time to really get to know them as Vince has few living relatives and he has always spoken so fondly of them. Theirs is the home Guest speaks of. It is absolutely a home full of wonderful memories and a family who really values each other. Cleo and Alan have raised a son and daughter (we got to meet them and their delightful spouses) and Gay has a daughter, Abigayl, who is the sparkle in her grand dad's eye. We could easily understand why. We had the time of our lives talking and sharing and talking some more.
They live on a hillside across the break from Sundance Mountain. We watched parasailors each morning. I also relaxed (yes, I did) watching a herd of mulies munch, lounge, and meander in their yard right outside the beautiful windows of their home. I just can't express how much it meant to me to be with family and to watch Vince become so animated about his ancestors and the information he has gleaned. Vince's parents were older when they had Vince and he was an only child. Cleo is the daughter of Vince's father's sister and has lived in Wyoming most of her life. Alan was born in Sundance as was his father. Oh, the stories he can tell. I know there are many wonderful places in our country but you just don't know country until you have visited western South Dakota and Wyoming. The Black Hills in the distance, the deer outside the window, and the vivid blue sky overhead is just a tribute to how great God is.
Cleo is a marvelous cook and we spent our time eating great meals and getting acquainted. I even was entrusted with a lap throw she has pieced and will quilt it for her this week so that she has it to use. What fun! Cleo and Alan opened their hearts and home to us and we felt so welcome.
Today we drove home through Spearfish Canyon. It is beautiful in the spring however the aspen have not yet leafed and there were small piles of snow on the peaks. We shared some time with our friends in Rapid City before heading home. Catherine and Mike gave us the news of their family and our many friends. It was just a wonderful break.
Vince is already in bed as he drove all the way over and back. We did manage to stop at two quilt shops in Rapid City and I found the fabric for my mini-quilt exchange. More on the other blog about that. Now it is time to get ready for another busy week at work. Life is good!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fill er up!

So I went to see my favorite Lapband surgeon yesterday and they put in another cc. I now have 6 ccs in the band. I keep hoping to get to that "sweet spot" everyone talks about. I still want to eat way too often and I am not always certain I am hungry or just "STRESSED"! I really wish I could let go of some of the "stuff" on my mind! Pray for me and I too will ask God to take over and let go of it.
Vince and I are driving to Wyoming tomorrow to see his cousin and her husband for the weekend. I just want to sit back and enjoy the ride across this beautiful prairie. I plan to NOT answer e-mails on my Blackberry and only answer the phone if it is family. A day off is a day off!
I went to the Rec and exercised yesterday and as soon as I complete this post, I am going again tonight. I need to go in the morning so it is done and I can't put it off because of schedule or the just plain "worn out" excuse.
Dr. Glatt was his happy self and again told me how proud he was of my progress. I was disappointed yesterday that I was only down 2 pounds since February. My goal is to drop 15 pounds before I go back in August. That will be about one year after banding and it would be 60 pounds for the year! I believe that is reasonable. I just need to work out five out every six days. Hard workout and then eat right. I think I will set another chart on the bottom for how far I am going. It seems I am motivated by those little tickers that keep moving from left to right.
On a personal note: I got measured for a new bra in Minneapolis the other day when I was with Allison. A 38! When I started this work, I wore a 44. Also, I am so thankful they now make bras in D, DD, F, G, H, etc to K cups. I can remember in the 60s and 70s when I could have used those amounts, there was no such thing. The girls (Nola's term) either fit in a teacup or you were out of luck! I feel very good in my 38G by Wacoal. Supported and one can actually see my rib cage under the shelf.
On another note: Nola, e-mail me with your address so I can send your 100th blog post surprise!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

My goodness, the time is absolutely flying by. I went to Doctor on Friday and it would appear we will seek insurance approval and get that flabby fat flap removed in June. So as not to be lopsided, we will opt for both sides at once but of course, the right side will be at our expense as there is no danger of infection on that side. It will take that long to get the paperwork passed through the insurance.

I had a very nice day today. I spent the morning with Vince in our yard. I can't really tell you which is my favorite season. When I was in seventh grade our English teacher read us the book, The Secret Garden. I know this story is one of my favorites and I distinctly remember being able to see that garden in my imagination. I always think about that story in the springtime. Even before the snow is gone, I begin strolling around our yard and looking for the green tips of something peaking through. I love the greens of spring. I took two pictures today. One is of the ivy that grows on our brick home. Makes me sorta believe I live in a castle. The other is of the groundcover I planted six years ago that has taken over and makes a lush carpet in one of the flower beds in the yard. Helen, I found a trumpet vine and we planted it next to our fence in the back yard. We will really nurture it until it takes hold.

After church Dillon came over to spend some time with me while his younger brothers took their naps. We had fun watching the Twins play and just hanging out together. Later his mom came back with the little guys and we then went out for dinner. I am packed ready to fly to St Louis in the morning for a grant meeting and then fly home Tuesday. It seems it will be a busy week.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Needle and Thread

Some of you know that I am a quilter and knitter for fun. Do as much as I can to keep me busy and out of the food. We just had a pair of baby squirrels born in the near proximity and they have become my diversion. Vince and I have named them needle and thread. Needle first came to visit last week and I posted its (don't know if it is he or she) picture on the window outside my quilting room. He stayed for a long time and watched me smile, laugh, take its picture, and just be happy the little one is living. We knew there were two because Vince has seen both heads in near proximity. Well this afternoon when I went down our stairs, I saw them both on the front porch. Gracie, our cat, was watching them from her perch in the front window. So I now have pictures of both of them. Needle and Thread are pretty identical and are so cute. Have to share. And then don't miss the foxy lady of the house.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Two Weeks and 2 and 1/2 pounds

Well, sorta! I have been trying to eat like a normal human and not focus so much on this whole diet thing. Kinda trying to let the band be the tool and just live a regular life for two weeks. Exercise when I could, eat correct food most of the time, and try to know when I am full. Today when I went to the Rec to work out with Thomas, he had the scales out. 195.5 and body fat reading of 44%. Since surgery, I have lost a real 12% of body fat! I was pleased. I really had no idea what the scales would show this morning.

I also went to my GP today for what has been an episode with strep throat this week. No aches so the pigs haven't infected me at this point. We also talked about the plastic surgeon. Way back in 1978 I had a double reduction mammoplasty (I know you can't tell from pictures). I did put a lot of weight on there also. But at the time of the mammoplasty, I hemmoraged and had a bad port scar under my left arm. I had lived with the lump for many years until about 7 years ago, Diane sent me to a plastic surgeon to have it repaired. I am not certain that he did not make it worse but again, one lives with these things. This fall after the band surgery and a few pounds, I was fitted for a new bra and low and behold this really great bra started to interact with the back scar and when I went in for my November surgery regarding the port, I was broken wide open under the arm and would bleed regularly if I didn't have it securely bandaged. Since I have lost weight, there is a real flabby flab flap (don't know how else to explain it). Those of you who are obese know how we collect those flabby flab lumps everywhere. Long story short, we have to get this corrected before summer or I will be having problems with perspiration and such.

Enough of this, I don't know if insurance will cover this but I need a new bra again and I don't want to go through the wound business again.

Dillon and I went to MN last weekend to watch over Zachary and Garrett. We had fun!

Friday, April 17, 2009

My other blog

My quilting blog is Nola wants to win! I am so excited to give away two of my projects. Some lucky friend is going to be happy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reddirt Woman Is One of My Heroes

You Color Your Life With Vibrant Warmth
You are light hearted and have a sunny disposition. You live a life of gratitude.
You are open and adventurous. You're interested in young people and what's new in the world.

You don't carry any emotional baggage with you through life. What's done is done, and you've moved on.
You start every day fresh. You are optimistic about what's to come.

How Do You Color Your Life? Helen had this on her blog and I loved it so I had to do it for me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

101st Post - I have a gift for you!

This is my entry into Onederland posting. What a silly celebration but I so intended to live the band through this blog. I feel so blessed to have begun a blog relationship with so many wonderful people. Some bandits, some not! Doesn't matter to me as I feel you support when I write and I hope you benefit a bit from my blogging remarks.
For those of you who don't know, I have a quilting blog as well. I have just begun this creative endeavor in the past year as well. I have always been a knitter but I now enjoy the whole idea of fabric. I am a tactile person and it keeps my fingers out of my mouth and lessens my eating time, so it is beneficial.
In the quilting world, people have a giveaway on their 100th blogversary. So. . . I would like to incorporate that into my bandit world. I promise I won't send you chocolate! I will wait one week from today, April 23rd, and I will have my daughter draw from the names of all of you who comment on this blog entry. The winner will get a surprise from my quilting and knitting closets.
Sara and Beth have already entered. I love to give gifts, so here is your chance to win something from my heart! Bring on the comments!!!!! You don't have to be a bandit to win, come on there are loads of followers to comment.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wonderful Easter

Vince and I had a wonderful Easter together. We drove to Platte to have dinner with the Ringlings. They are always so kind to include us in their family holidays. It was a chance to watch our three South Dakota grandsons run around the yard searching for eggs. They had a great time. I ate a bit more than I should have in the line of sweet desserts and salads but it tasted so good. I cut back on calories today to balance the diet. Been quilting up a storm to stay out of the kitchen. Dawson is using the phone, Dayton is always smiling, and Dillon is thinking about his new game.