Identity Crisis

Yesterday started my first yearbook workshop as a Ranger. Not gonna lie, I experienced a bit of an identity crisis. I don’t know that I’ve ever been at this point of the year with a blank slate as far as yearbook goes. In case you didn’t know, that’s where yearbook starts. Blank screens, blank paper. No font, no shape, no words. Nothing.

At Rider helping kids come up with theme was always easy. I knew Rider inside and out. I felt Rider. I lived ROHO Nation.

Ranger Pride is new. It’s something I’ve felt from the first moments of my interview with the principal, and something that’s grown exponentially over the six weeks I’ve been in the district. But it’s still new.

Yesterday was tough.

But then the Walsworth coaches challenged my kids to look deeper, go beyond. And let me tell you about these kids. There are three of them with me. Three amazing, wonderful, creative kids who’ve never done yearbook and have spent the last few weeks learning InDesign, theme development, basic photo AND helped run picture day. They are awesome. 

Like our school.

And so here we are. Saturday. Still no theme. But we’re close. And today, I feel it. Ranger Pride. 

Today we’ll get there. I know it. And Monday, when they share their work with their staff of nine, everything changes.

Three More Days

Brian finished up the move without me. He called me from the empty house, and as his voice echoed in the livingroom we loved, I felt a tug on my heart strings. I said goodbye Sunday, complete with pictures and a shout out to the builder. Brian said goodbye to the house tonight, alone in the emptiness with all the stress of final packing. 

When he’s here on Sunday things will be better. Tonight I just feel sad. And I really miss him. 😢

I wish I could be there.

Three. Three. More. Days.

A Happy Surprise

I planned on writing a blog Friday before I left the apartment for the trek home to the Shoal Creek house one last time. 

Didn’t happen. Instead I hurried home to DH and walked into an almost empty house that still needed a little packing, and I got busy working.

If I had blogged at the apartment, it would have gone something like this:

Last trip to Wichita Falls to stay at my dream house, the home we built almost four years ago and planned on living in the rest of our lives. Feeling sad, etc., etc.

But since I didn’t blog Friday the real emotion of that day is gone, replaced with something completely different, completely unexpected.

When I hit the Wichita Falls city sign, passing the water tower and the old lot where Uncle Lynn’s used to stand before the big fire that burned it down–a fire I saw on the way home with a bus full of kids on a Rider J trip–a lightness filled my heart, a buzzy, bubbly feeling of love and laughter brought on by the knowledge that in ten minutes I’d see Brian. 

I turned into our neighborhood, surprised to see the progress of all the new house construction, slowed to 20 and saw the little Stone Lake was full, noticed a For Sale By Owner house was now up by a realtor and saw the rock yard houses–houses built at the end of the drought that made people around the US wonder if Mother Nature would destroy the town after all–still looked good for a change, which is nice because for over a year those beautiful houses looked junky with the weeds and overgrown plants. 

I passed Robert and Sally’s house, but didn’t notice if they were home or out with their big dogs and rescues like they often are. Didn’t notice because Brian was out at the corner.

Ah. Home.

But when I walked into the house, the sadness I thought I’d feel at this last goodbye wasn’t there. 

Will I miss Shoal Creek? 

Oh yeah.

But not the house.

I’ll miss the neighborhood walks around the lake and sitting beside Brian, drinking coffee on the back porch and enjoying the beauty of quiet mornings. 

But the house, mostly empty, isn’t a home. It’s like a skeleton of memories, and leaving this time is more exciting than sad. Because leaving this time means new beginnings, true new beginnings instead of this one foot in the old, one foot in the new.

I’m ready to say goodbye to Shoal Creek. A happy goodbye. That’s a nice surprise. 

Good Eats: LCHF

I thought about skipping this post. Talking about it might cause me to think about it too much and throw me off track. 

But that’s stupid because I think about it all the time anyway.

If you’ve known me for more than five minutes, you know my weight…fluctuates. 

I’ve been living a low carb lifestyle again since the end of April and I’m close to 40 pounds down. 

I don’t lose weight super fast on low carb like some people do, but I can lose a little and maintain easily.

My body does not handle sugar. Not even a little. 

I know people who say the key to weight loss is simple. Calories in, calories out. Those people are so very wrong.

Even knowing what works for me–LCHF (low carb, high fat)–I still struggle. Easy is the last thing it is. But it’s easier knowing what works for me.

I was worried about the move, about the stress of living apart from Brian, about the craziness of the schedule that included constant trips back to Wichita Falls. I was worried because I’m a stress eater and my stress foods of choice are ice cream, chocolate and mashed potatoes, all of which make me gain weight if I even look at them.

But, so far, it hasn’t been a problem. (Knock on wood!)

I like the LCHF lifestyle, so it works for me, and I feel better when I stay away from sugar and foods that turn to sugar after eating them. 

The State Fair is coming up. It won’t be the first time I’ve gone to the Fair as a low carb eater, but it is the first time I’ve been living the lifestyle, not just on a diet. On diets you cheat. In a lifestyle, you don’t even think about it. I guess this year I’ll be turning away from fried foods r us and instead embracing turkey legs, barbecue and veggies. 😊 

The LCHF Facebook group and Pinterest have been invaluable. 

If you’re interested in low carb, feel free to ask questions. You can look at all the research on Atkins, Keto and LCHF with a quick Google search. I’ve been challenged about LCHF a few times on my Spark People page. I always say the same thing. When I started this in April I was on a prescription strength antacid, I was anemic, my blood pressure ran a little high and my cholesterol was high. Within two weeks of starting LCHF I no longer needed the antacid. By the end of July my blood pressure was perfect and my cholesterol was fine. My anemia was long gone. 

For me LCHF is the only answer. 😊

Shockwave and Water: ack!

A million moons ago I was sitting in a journalism adviser training with the other advisers in my district when one asked if I knew what update your Shockwave meant.I looked at her confused and said yes. It means update your Shockwave.
I could see the steam rolling off her at my words. The other adviser laughed a little and said “well, that was a smart aleck answer.”

Even more confused but now mortified also I apologized. And repeated, “but no, really, you just update the Shockwave.”
I didn’t understand the teacher’s question. She didn’t need me to say “update the shockwave” because she didn’t understand update or Shockwave. My answer wasn’t helpful at all because she didn’t understand what the computer was even asking her to do.
Kind of like me and the One Note/One Drive student/teacher collaboration space I’m trying to learn. 
I watched a YouTube video. Didn’t help. I did a tutorial. Didn’t help. I googled. Nope. 

Part of me said fine, I’m just going back to Google Drive. I know it and love it.
But the other part said simmer down there, Mary Beth. Figure it out. 

Hours later, I think I might have figured it out. We’ll see when the kids open up their first major assignment revision notes tomorrow. If they see lots of comments, yay! If not, I might cry. 

It’s kind of good this is going on. This is my Shockwave. The students are in the middle of learning news writing. They’ve never heard words like lead, transition and indirect quote. They look at me in stunned silence when I say they need to make sure the story flows from transition to quote or that their quote need to elaborate on what preceding them.

One boy even put the word water on his inverted pyramid quiz. Water. Because it flows. But that’s about all he’s got…so far.

And that’s what I feel when I’m looking at a shared story that won’t open in my shared Word space on my One Note.
Water. Or shockwave. Or WHAT THE HECK, man?!!!

I’ll figure it out. I hope!

And I hope the kids get news writing. I hope.

Shockwave. Haven’t thought of that in a long, long time. (I don’t miss Pagemaker. Not even a little bit.)

There’s some water in this picture I took in Sulphur, OK last year, so it fits.

Two Weeks

Move all at once. That’s what our insurance agent told us.

You’ll be tempted to take a little down at a time. Don’t do it, he said. 

Aug. 10th we totally ignored him and moved a little over half our house into the aprtment. And it was okay. Brian is still at home because the house is still on the market and he’s going back and forth to Lawton. He needs stuff too!

Every weekend I’ve made the trek back to the Falls and then made my way with a car load of boxes and bags back to the apartment on Sunday.

Last week it was Monday. And Monday night as I was unloading boxes, the real estate agent called. We got on offer on the house.

Tuesday night we had a signed contract. (It’s a contingency contract, so hopefully it’s smooth sailing.)

In two weeks if everything goes as expected, my husband and dog will be with me in Ft. Worth and life will feel a little more normal. 

Today felt bittersweet as I loaded the car up with more boxes. I love my house. But we have the plans. We can build it again some day. 😊

Two weeks. I can’t wait.

*Brian’s customer who follow the blog: don’t freak out. He’s still going to work two-three days a week in Wichita Falls. 


What I envisioned Metroplex living would be like:

OMG! More stuff to do, restaurants to try, museums to explore.

What it’s really been: OMG, thank God I’m home, sleep now.

Doesn’t matter WHERE they are, the first three weeks of school are always exhausting! 😊

A Night Owl Returns

I moved to Ft. Worth part-time Aug. 10. Instantly my night owl self disappeared and in bed and asleep by 10 p.m. Mary Beth became the norm.

That’s over now. 

It’s 10:44 and I want to do Zumba, write a chapter in my WIP, watch the news, read my book.

I don’t want to sleep.

This is going to make for a trying morning.

Someone asked me earlier today how things were going. I said good. Things finally feel normal. 

I guess sleepy mornings might be part of that. 😊

Proud to Call Wichita Falls Home

“Mom, are you on Facebook?”
That’s how I found out about the shooting of two young women on their way home from school last Friday
I was packing to go home to Wichita Falls, and I hadn’t been on social media all day. I stopped getting news alerts months ago. When DD shared what social media posts said, my stomach dropped.
By the time I got home, more facts were known and most Wichita Falls media outlets were covering the story, so facts were readily available, and people knew one of the victims had died.
My heart hurt as I thought about what kids all over Wichita Falls were going through. After 22 years in the classroom, I think about my kids first.
I’m in town almost every weekend because my father-in-law has terminal cancer and I want to spend time with him, my mother-in-law and my parents. The trips home are usually fast, 12 hours of laundry and visits with family then back to Ft. Worth and preparing for the week.
I couldn’t wait for this holiday weekend with its real time. DH and I are apart most of the time right now. This weekend would be different.

And it was definitely different this time. My former student Missy White wrote a column that speaks greatly to what many Wichitans were feeling, Patrick Johnston’s TRN coverage kept us up to date on facts, KFDX even used Facebook Live to report and a former student Dewey Cooper kept up to date with his own coverage of the event using social media in a way that showed me the future of breaking news journalism.
But being aware of what was going on and what people were thinking and feeling wasn’t the biggest difference of this weekend.
Watching the community rally around the families of the victims reminded me of how special Wichita Falls is. Seeing the lines at Sam’s and comments on the gofundme pages and the community action to support McNiel and all the students and staff hurting, reading posts about church youth pastors opening doors to be there for kids on days where camping trips and fun vacations had been planned, reading as responses were planned for Tuesday’s return to school, all of it brought home how beautiful Wichita Falls is. How a town of over 100,000 can feel small. How people care, even when they don’t know you.
I’ve read so many posts by people about how proud they are of the town and the surrounding areas. This is another one of those posts.
There are a million conversations that need to take place as people dissect the events of last Friday, but for now, I simply pray for those hurting and for the response teams working to help people deal with that pain.
What happened Friday is awful. It’s devastating. But the response made me proud to call Wichita Falls home, even though I live somewhere else now.

Friday Night Lights

I thought Friday Night Lights might be different here. Nope.

I guess it’s true about Texas and high school football. Everywhere you go the stands are filled with fans and the players are on the fields. Cheerleaders cheer, dance teams dance, players play and spirit groups keep spirits up. Alma maters are played and fight songs performed and the fans chant traditional sayings that keep people on their feet.

Since it’s late summer in Texas the night air blows hot and sticky. Lucky for us last week a storm blew through, and while that meant an hour-long lightning delay, it also meant a nice cool breeze blowing for the duration of the game.

I love high school football. I thought it might be different, but it’s not.

I’m a fan for life.

And while I still bleed black and gold, adding purple to the mix is a good thing. ❤️

the new view