Sunday, June 30, 2013

Motivation and obsession updates

Yeah, well, my plans to create a compost bin hasn't been going very well.  I opened up the lid yesterday after nearly a week of rain (which meant that I wasn't going outside to do anything other than going to the car or store), and found little flies flying around.  Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think my compost bin is doing very well.  

I did go up to the hill where our garden has been and where are strawberry plants are now to check on them.  I've got berries!  They're still greenish-white, but they are a nice size!  We're expecting a possible stretch of warm, sunny weather, so they may ripen nicely!  Strawberry jam, pie or shortcakes in the future?

As for my motivation for working out....let's just say that hasn't existed while we've had a long stretch of rain.  I know it's not an excuse, especially since I have a treadmill in the basement I can use.  But having the sun shining makes a lot of difference.  

I'm writing this blog post while waiting for my supper to digest.  It's a beautiful, sunny evening, not too hot and not too cold, and not even humid, so I'm planning on going for a nice walk in a few.  I've been listening to audiobooks that I borrowed from our elibrary, so I can listen to them as I drive to wherever I'm going, walk/run, or clean around the house.  I just need to remind myself that I have a limited time to listen to the book.  Perhaps that can be my motivation to at least go walk.  Time to get my sneakers on and head on out....

Monday, June 17, 2013

She was once motivated, but lost it.....

Three and a half years ago I was motivated to become healthier.  I chronicled part of my journey, and spoke about my losses, too: a friend who died at age 40 and my cousin who never made it to 40.  This was the year I turned 40 and I wanted to do something for myself that was good and healthy.

It began one fall evening when I cleaned up an area in the basement, set up our treadmill, and from there a workout area where I could do my Jillian Michaels' workouts, and run on the treadmill.  It continued on from there.  I got involved in running, and did my first 5K ever that spring.  This was the start of a healthy year-and-a-half.  I was healthy, fit, and happy.  I had clothes that were actually too big for me, and I was running regularly.

One school break I caught pneumonia.  My oldest stepson had it, then my youngest stepson and me.  We were eating lunch waiting for him to be able to get his X-Ray done for his lungs when I began shivering uncontrollably.  I can't remember ever being so sick in my life!  It truly debilitated me to the point that I went a long time without working out.  I was sent for a breathing test and was happy to find out that there was no damage done to my lungs.  The thing is the real issue wasn't my breathing like I thought.  I lost my motivation.  

I've tried periodically to get back to the workouts, but it's just not there.  I've tried just walking, like I've done before, but even though I have the desire to run, I can't get myself to commit to it.  

I've wanted to do a workout in the morning, but lately the morning is when I hurt the most.  At 43, I guess my body has caught up with my age.....or something like that.  I've developed Morton's Neuroma under my right foot, so finding the footwear and treatment to allow me to even walk normal without pain is a challenge.  

No matter how true my pain and discomfort may be, I can't help but feel like they're only excuses, and it frustrates me.  I hate having a spare tire, my once "too big" pants too tight, and not having clothes that fit me well.  At all.  I only have one pair of shorts I can wear, and it's because I just bought them this spring.  Let's just say that I'm not feeling so much like my best, and I know I need to do something about it.  I just wish I knew where to find my motivation again. 

It's almost like reinventing myself, I just don't know how to do it or into what.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

New obsession

Now that I'm finished my graduate courses and received my degree, I'm finding that I have lots of free time available to me.  I'm not an obsessive housekeeper, so keeping my house spotless is not happening, but the idea of working in my efforts at a flower bed and garden are what I'd like to get better at.

Earlier this spring, I cleaned out my flower bed.  I removed what I knew were old plants, weeds included, and left the flowering daffodils and tulip (yes one tulip).  I had some bulbs that I bought last year and didn't plant because I was too preoccupied with work and classes, but they didn't do well and rotted away instead.  One of my friends gave me a clump of sedums, which I've planted near my rickety porch (which seriously needs to be repaired, another project in the making), along some plants that grow tiny white flowers that resemble snowballs, and another plant, a bush of some sort, that seems to resemble an azalea bush.  The sedums are growing well, but as my friend explained, they don't require anything special, which means that even I could grow them.

Hubby and I picked up a clematis plant a few weeks back, but the day after I planted it we received nearly 2 weeks of constant rain.  All of the pretty pedals fell off, and I'm not sure they're going to survive.  We picked up a couple of coral bell plants, and they are growing nicely, but that's all in a flower bed that looks very empty, except for the 3 plants and weeds that won't go away.

I've been looking on line for tips to get rid of weeds, but I don't want to do anything to kill off the plants I want there.  In the meantime I've learned how important mulch is.  The problem is money is an issue, meaning I don't have the cash to spare to buy mulch and dirt, especially if I could get what I need in the woods behind my home or from discarded food from the kitchen.  

I'm obviously in the learning stages of this new venture, so when it comes to mulch, compost, and gardening, I'm quite the novice.

One of my plans for this coming week is to grab an old tote in the basement, hold on to kitchen scraps (banana peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, and fruit and vegetable discards) in the meantime, add some dirt from our discarded garden, and gather some old leaves from the woods behind the house to try my hand at composting.

As for my attempt at making mulch, I think I'm going to lay out some newspapers (black and white ink only) in the areas of my flower bed and between the strawberries in my "old" garden area, to hopefully kill off some of the weeds.  One site I found helpful said to add some grass clippings or compost (I'm thinking dirt for now) on top and wet the paper so it stays.  Supposedly in time it will decompose and in the meantime it will kill the weeds it is covering.

I bought a couple of tomato plants yesterday and planted them in containers.  I crumbled egg shells on the soil and watered them today with water that had coffee grounds in it.  According to another site, both egg shells and coffee grounds add important nutrients to the soil, and seeing how I got the soil from my old garden, I felt it needed a boost of nutrients.  

One more issue that I've been dealing with for years, are the weeds that seem to grow between my brings on our patio area.  Some of the weeds grow quite high if I don't pull them out first, and it looks messy.  I don't mind the moss, just the large weeds.  Yet another site I found suggested either a spray mixture of vinegar, dish soap (Dawn), and if I'm remembering right, salt.  Applied early on a dry, hot day, it's supposed to "burn" the weeds and kill them off.  Another option would be to sprinkle baking soda.  The theory on that one is that it changes the ph of the soil, making it unsuitable for weeds to grow.  We'll see what I choose to try.

If anyone, anyone at all, happens to have any tips or great ideas that I haven't come across, please feel free to share or redirect me to a site that will help me.  Any help would be appreciated.

I would have posted pictures, but it's raining.  I promise to post some soon.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Changes in the works...

Well, there is a change in where I'll be working next year.  For those of you who don't know what I was going through last year at this time, I was searching for a new teaching position.  My old school district decided to cut several teaching positions, which included me.  For obvious reasons I wasn't happy, in fact it was a difficult time in my life.  It was almost as difficult as when I learned my ex-husband was cheating on me and that my marriage was ending 17 years ago.  I did get hired by a new district by the end of June, and experienced a year teaching students in 3rd grade, as opposed to the 7th and 8th graders that I had been teaching for the past six years. It was a year of learning, not just for my students, but definitely for me as well.  My students were wonderful and so adorable.  It makes only a couple of days we're finished school, and I already miss them.  

About a month ago, I learned that I wasn't going to be teaching 3rd grade next year, however, I still had a job.  A couple of weeks ago I learned that I'll be teaching grade 4 next year, but at a different school in our district.  Fortunately, the new school won't be much further than where I've been driving already.  By the end of my last full week of school all of my things were already packed.  We finished our school year with the students Tuesday, and had a workshop yesterday.  As of noon today, all of my things are moved to my new building.  I met the staff there, and saw my new classroom.  I'm excited and looking forward to the new year already, and we're just finished school!  I'm very thankful that my oldest stepson has his license and a pickup, because with 2 trips with my car, and 1 with his pickup, the physical move is complete.

I'm thinking that one of the things that I find encouraging, is that I already have a firm idea of what is expected for 4th grade.  I know what they should have learned last year, and I'm familiar with how an elementary classroom is run, rather than the block scheduling I had been accustomed to before.  I know and understand the measurements that I must do as the year progresses, how to perform them, track them, and use them to adjust my teaching and their learning.

New beginnings.....

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Last month marked the end of a milestone for me. Three years of hard work finally paid off when I received my diploma from Saint Joseph's College for my Master of Science in Education.  I was thrilled when I submitted my last assignment, which was my final project, but it was nothing when I received my diploma in the mail. I originally planned on going to the graduation, but there were reasons that prevented me from going, which was okay.

It has taken me some time to realize that I'm finished my degree.  I now have spare time to kill, and I still get that feeling that I have something I should be doing.  A strange thing has happened, however.  When I was supposed to be working on my coursework, I was reading books for pleasure.  Now I have yet to finish a book.  I would find time to work in my garden, now the weeds are taking over.  I was in shape and used to not only go for walks, but would run and ride bike as well.  Now, I can barely get myself motivated.

For the past 16 years I have either been going to college to obtain my Bachelor's in Education, taking graduate courses to gain an endorsement in English as a Second Language, and endorsement in English for the secondary level, or  working towards my Masters.  Now that I'm finished, my routine is messed up.  I'm thinking that after all this time I need to start from the bottom up and create a whole new routine.

These past few weeks I've been acknowledged by my superintendent, principal, and colleagues, which felt pretty good, and congratulated by my family and friends.  My name appeared in our local paper announcing my achievement, and I even received a free car wash at a local gas station today.  As nice as these little tokens and acknowledgements are, I am proud of myself, and the largest reward will be this fall when my pay will be increased because of my new degree.  However, in the back of my mind, there's a little "so there!" to my ex who had said that I would never finish what I started, that I could never go to school to become a teacher, and all of those many put-downs that I put up with for nearly 10 years of our relationship.

As much as my achievements have been for ME, I have to admit that I enjoy knowing all of these years that whenever my name appeared in the paper because of an academic achievement, such as being on the Dean's List every semester of college, and my new teaching position, that the "so there!" was always loud and clear.  My motivation has always been for me and came from me, but I can't help but think that the "so there!" also played a large part in it, too.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Severe Weather!!

I know that what we've been dealing with this afternoon is NOTHING compared to what has been going on in the south, but I'm done with severe weather warnings, tornado warnings, and flash flooding warnings.  I live in NORTHERN MAINE for crying out loud!  We get severe wind chill warnings and large snow falls, but tornados?!  Our evening isn't over yet, and my nerves are already frayed!