Saturday, February 6, 2010

Update: Blizzard 2010

Last night at 9pm we had about 5 or 6 inches of snow on the ground. Here's what the deck looked like:

This morning at 8:45 am we had just under 2 feet of snow.
We got a little shoveling done:
Here's the back deck. We had maybe 20 inches or so:

At 10 am we were fast approaching 2 feet:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Good Nutrition

Recently my grandfather told my mother "I need meat. I'm getting older... I need good nutrition."

Like my husband's grandparents, he probably doesn't understand the reasoning behind being vegetarian. I've written about my grandfather before. He eats a ton of fruits and eats salad (though with iceberg) most every night. He's 87 and that's a good, long time to live. However, and here's where I speculate based on what I've read of health and nutrition, he has physical ailments that I believe are because of his diet. He remained active as long as he could, but about 7 years ago he became very stiff. He continues to feel stiffness and has pain in his leg that is bothersome. Maybe it's inflammation that is caused by red meat. The amount of tomatoes (lycopene), tea (high in antioxidants) and other fruits and vegetables he has eaten daily have obviously helped him live so long and healthy. But, he eats beef almost daily.

Tonight I made pizza and he wanted a hamburger. Sometimes he eats hamburgers multiple days in a row. Even when I ate meat daily hamburgers were a once a week treat and did I ever love hamburgers.

I have confessed (as if it's a secret! ha!) my vegetarian diet to some students here and there at school. They're teenagers so they think about and talk about food a lot. One asked my favorite food and I said sushi. Some kids said "ew" and I said you can just get vegetarian sushi if you don't want to eat raw fish and that led to the convo. I have mixed feelings about what I should say. On the one hand, I don't feel I should use my authority to tout vegetarianism as the best way to eat. But, on the other hand I want to be honest and in all honesty I think it is a great way to eat. I just told them I was vegetarian for a variety of reasons and told them how I took a year to give up meat slowly. I also said you can eat meat and be healthy.

Think about this: teachers use their authority to teach ethics and morality as the need is encountered in the classroom. Nothing wrong with that no matter what type f school one teaches in. Teachers also use their authority to push good nutrition, especially in the elementary school, but also in upper grades. For instance, I once overheard a principal and the cafeteria manager talking about ordering food for lunches. The manager said the kids don't care for regular milk, but will drink chocolate milk. The principal's opinion was that at least it was good they were drinking milk and not soda. It would be perfectly acceptable for the principal to express her satisfaction with the students drinking milk. The dairy industry has successfully brainwashed most of America to believe milk is a health drink. Never mind that it causes inflammation, constipation, diarrhea, acne, congestion leading to sinusitis and ENT infections, and can increase cholesterol depending on the fat content. My opinion that individuals need to evaluate whether milk works for them or not would possibly be considered overstepping my bounds. It would be considered fact, not opinion, that milk is healthy for growing teenagers and only opinion that maybe they should try living without it. It would be the same concerning meat.

I don't mean to get on my high horse about dairy. I myself have not fully given it up. We still consume cheese and I have a horrible habit of putting cream in my coffee since it's available here at my parents house. Before we moved I was using rice milk. I keep meaning to get some soy creamer, but I have mixed feelings about soy milk. Moving on.

I completed my journey to pestitarian this past August. Seafood is my next substance to conquer. I'm just not ready yet. Less dairy is always a goal, but less is not cutting out for good. Cutting out salmon and REAL sushi? Difficult. I'm not pushing myself. I may never fully give up seafood. I would certainly still cook salmon for my kids.

Get this! An older lady was subbing at S's school and after she read them a story she got to talking about how her Dr. told her she needed to stop eating red meat and only eat it once a week so she could lose weight. I don't have any clue how this topic came about...probably something with the story... but S raised her hand and told the woman that her mother is a vegetarian and is always trying to get her to be vegetarian. To my surprise, the woman told her, "You have a smart mom!" Now that is awesome.


We're keeping track of our snowfall. I predict 30". Others are more skeptical. I think it's just wishful thinking on their part. It's not that I WANT to shovel 30", but it's just that following weather forecaster Mr. Foot, it seems most likely.
Here is our snow meter Will made this morning:

Basically, we'll be having blizzard conditions here in MD and it's pretty exciting but also scary. The forecasters have used the word "paralyzing" when discussing this storm's impact on the region. It's a huge storm and it'll be VERY cold Sunday so roads will not be clear of snow and ice for quite a while. It started snowing here about 10:30 today and 45 minutes north, where I teach, about noon. We drove home in flurries which were not sticking to the road, only making it wet, so I was very relieved. We got out of school 2 hours early. It's good we didn't miss a day, but for the goal of actually teaching, only a handful of my students actually accomplished anything today. Who knows where we'll be back to school because more snow is predicted for Wednesday and then another storm next weekend! Lots of plans are yet to be ruined including S's first ever Father-Daughter Snow Ball at school. She's been very excited. Also our trip to NC next weekend may not be happening either.

It's very beautiful out my window. Peaceful looking. Birds at the feeder. I would not want to be out driving in it, though. We have plenty of Rice Milk for Hot Chocolate, marshmallows, chocolate chips to make cookies... two fridges and two pantries of food. Yes, we're stocked and ready. I hope we don't lose power!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Foots Forecast is calling for a Historic Snow Event this weekend. I'm not as excited about this snow as I was in December. It'll be nice if we get time off school, but truthfully the only reason I'm happy about that is so I won't have to drive the commute. Other than that, I like teaching and would like to be there. Photography is already dragging because most of the class hasn't brought in the fee and therefore hasn't begun shooting with film. Sigh. I'll have to push myself to get outside. The girls would like to sled again. I still haven't gotten snow pants, so I'll have to borrow my brothers. I'll help shovel, of course, but there are more adults than there are shovels, so it's not like I'm really needed. My dad and Will can take care of it. I'm not looking forward to being stuck at home. I won't be able to make an appointment to have my dress altered like I need to. Snow ruined last weekend when I was supposed to go out with my sister for her bachelorette night. That is probably the reason I'm feeling less than thrilled. I should focus on getting something done with my time snowed in. I could edit and order prints from Snapfish. That's something I never seem to have time to do. I could work on the kids scrapbooks more. I want to get them up to date. I just don't feel enthused about any of it.

And that brings me to the real issue at hand: Seasonal Affective Disorder. I am depressed. Not that I'm unable to function and be happy enough during the day, but enough that it's interfering with my life. I snap at the kids and I dread being in the car with them. I lost it today on the highway... screamed at them. I tried calling Will when I felt I couldn't take it anymore because they wouldn't shut the hell up, but he didn't answer and that's when I went berserk. I saw the Dr. last Friday and am taking Zoloft since Sunday, but it hasn't kicked in yet. The last four years in NC I didn't have this issue with SAD. I think exercising regularly through each winter really helped. I miss the Y so much. It was more than just exercising. It was being around other women, too. I just don't have the time or opportunities to de-stress and unwind here. The commute is the problem and one of my biggest stressers right now. It would be wonderful if I didn't have to have the kids in the car, but there's no way to get around it. I just hope the drugs kick in within another week because... I hate feeling this way and my kids hate it too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kids Incorporated

Did you know Jennifer Love Hewitt did this?

What about Stacy, I mean Fergie?

Kids Incorporated was one of my favorite TV shows growing up. All of my Skipper dolls looked like Fergie in the last video: fluffy, long blond hair with big bangs, short skirts, bright colored clothes. I loved her look. I wanted to look like that when I became a teenager. When I told my mother that, she said I'd wear whatever was in style because styles change. At five years old I couldn't really imagine that.
Fergie has certainly changed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

That's so gay

I'm not completely sure how to handle that put-down in my classroom other than to remind the students to always be respectful. I frown on all name-calling no matter how "fun" they say it all is. What really bothers me, though, is when kids call each other fags or faggots or homo or gay. I like Wanda Sykes' commercial that addresses the bigotry that such name-calling perpetuates.

Today a student said he realized it offends millions of people across the country. I told him it offends ME and therefore needs to stop in this classroom.

Teachers, what, if anything, do you do about the gay put-down? I don't want to ignore it because it does bother me.