AA Center and Life Change

Last March I walked into the AA Center with DH ready to cheer on the Dallas Stars. I was winded and hurting and when I tried to sit in the seat it was more like squeezing into a pair of Spanx while sweaty.

Embarrassed, no, that’s too nice a word. Mortified, I looked around and tried to hide my tears. Was I the biggest person on my row? Was I the only one experiencing this? It was worse than an airplane seat. Surely I wasn’t That Big.

That night I weighed myself for the first time in a year. And then I cried.

This time the crying was different. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t with my girlfriends. I was with DH. We’ve been together since 1990. He knows my weight struggle and my many sizes in one closet. But this was the first time he’d seen me hurting over the thing that has always hurt me.

It was a moment of awful and a moment of dedication to change.

Since that day I’ve lost 40 pounds. We’re at a Stars game and I fit in the seat just fine. I still have a long way to go, but I’m on the path to a healthy BMI. 

In a way I guess I have the Dallas Stars to thank for that. 😊

Really I have DH and his unwavering support and l the LCHF and Atkins groups on Facebook. 

It’s the beginning of hockey season. My goal is to be a healthy BMI by playoffs. I’ll keep you posted. 

A Political Post

Stop. I warned you in the title. If you proceed, this is a post about politics and, like all of my political posts, it’s full of opinion. My opinion because, you know, my blog.

If you know me, have followed this blog for more than ten minutes or have seen my political stumping for different candidates, it’s no secret who I’m voting for. #ImWithHer #StrongerTogether #HillaryForPres. 

I like Hillary. I respect her service to the country and I think she’s smart. Plus I’m a firm believer in government regulation of business (see Flint water crisis, climate change, Charlestown water crisis, Toledo water crisis, unregulated fracking caused earthquakes, deregulation of state university costs landing college students in massive debt, etc.). I’m a firm believer that the free market system does NOT work in health care (epipen, et al) and education (no, competition does not make public schools stronger. Every bit of research proves this.)

On top of that I think Trump is completely unqualified for the position of President of the United States, and that was before he made fun of the physically disabled reporter, Governor Bush, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Miss Universe and women he finds unattractive. Plus, I don’t think “Build that wall” is the answer to anything. 

The Republican Party has become a party I no longer recognize. But even if it hadn’t skewed so far to the right it teetered on the edge of scary and toppled over into that place at times this election season, I would still vote for Hillary. Because republicans have made it clear they want the US run by the whim of the dollar. The dollar isn’t good or bad. It’s just money. But it doesn’t take long to see the harm done when we let the dollar rule all of our decision making (see Pearson publishing and test-centric education, a slew of big pharmaceutical companies raking in giant profits while people go without meds they need because they can’t afford them, hospitals making schedules by computers to make sure they’re running at high efficiency levels even if it means patients are in danger over lack of staffing, for-profit charters bilking tax payers of millions and then shutting down with no warning, the list goes on and on and on.)

All that said, I watched about 20 minutes of last night’s debate. I watched it today because I couldn’t stomach it yesterday. 20 minutes in I was so done. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t watch a debate for no reason other than vitriol overload, but I’m there, and I know I’m not alone.

Here’s the deal: I’m a Democrat (redundant, I know). I have people in my life who I love who are Republicans. I have people in my life who I love who are Libertarians. I have people in my life who I love who swing socialist at times. And we debate. Often. About issues. And we do it without turning hateful because our differences aren’t based on hate. They’re based on political viewpoints. (If you’re reading this: hi brother dear! We’re due another long phone call!)

The Presidential election season is always tough, but this one is the worst I can remember and that shocks me because of the rampant racism of Obama’s cycles (Yes, people I love, I know you weren’t racist just because you were Republican.). I guess most of the people I knew were quick to shut the racism down in a way that hasn’t happened this time. Or maybe it’s just that we’ve spent so much time in this Real Housewives, Kardashian inspired, SnapChat crazy drama-filled world, we let this one get out of hand.

I’ve read a lot of “I’m done” posts. I even wrote a few.

But then I read something different and it inspired me.

I’m NOT done. This is my country and I LOVE politics. We the people can take the next election cycle back. We don’t have to let it go this way. 

We can make our officials run on issues not attacks.

Will we? I don’t know. 

My friend and I played a drinking game while watching the first Republican debate. I laughed at the awfulness of the personal attacks while I drank my Colorado Bulldog and patted myself on the back for supporting a different party. 

But that debate started us down this path and it did because we (including me!) viewed it as entertainment and ratings went through the roof.

The presidential race isn’t entertainment. 

We can never let it go there again or we face the worst kinds of consequences.

The Hunger Games is fiction. But at its heart is the what if. And this election season shows us at the tipping point of that what if. We should all be terrified. 

If we’re not careful, we’ll lose all that is great about our nation. And we’ll lose it because we wanted to be entertained instead of educated. If that’s what we want, that’s what we’ll get. And next time will have to be worse to keep those ratings up.

So…I’m done with that. Trump is the nominee. Hillary is the nominee. If you don’t like them, you’ve got Johnson. I know there’s another candidate but no, just no.

I’ll talk politics here some, but almost always those politics will be dictated by education because that’s how I roll.

There’s nothing new in this post, so the real people in my life from all political affiliations  aren’t going to decide to hate me because I’m a democrat. They already knew that. They knew me back in the Reagan/Bush years when I was a straight ticket R voter, too. And through it all, we’ve debated and still liked each other. 

Remember back in the olden days when that was the norm? 

Maybe the nation can get back there. But it’s up to us to make that happen.

Stop That Right Now!

I logged on to social media at 6 p.m. expecting to catch up with friends. Instead my Facebook was filled with so much negativity I thought about going on a Facebook fast until after the election.

I know so many people who post comments and want to engage in lovely respectful debate. I love that kind of thing. I try to do that on my page. I know several of my friends and loved ones have polar opposite political viewpoints, and I thank God we can debate without falling into the trap of angry diatribe.

But what I saw tonight on post after post was so rude, so hateful, so…sad, it drove me to my blog to put my thoughts down.

Here’s the deal: don’t go butting in on someone’s wall telling them how they’re wrong unless you know the person wants a lively debate there. Write your thoughts on YOUR wall instead. 

If you just can’t help yourself, be respectful. But really, you CAN help yourself. It’s easy. You just click away from that person’s post. And if they’re constantly driving you crazy with their posts you totally disagree with, go to that little upside down triangle and unfollow the person. At least until after the election is over: click, done. Two steps.

Here’s the deal: you’re not changing anyone’s opinion on Facebook. It’s just not going to happen. 

Now, if the person posts and invites your comments, totally different.

But even then keep it respectful. 

Because all this anger isn’t good for anyone.

Black & Gold

When I was in college some friends asked if I wanted to go to Rider/Old High. 

I laughed and said, “A high school football game?”

I didn’t understand.

I didn’t understand until 1994 when I started teaching at Rider. My friends said they were planning on getting to the stadium at 6 and would save seats if they could. I STILL didn’t understand. 

I should have by then since to get to Rider I’d driven through a sea of black and gold decorations and the halls had been decked out all week.

Even after the pep rally that was packed unlike anything I’d ever seen, I STILL didn’t get it. 

I mean I loved all the spirit, but it was still just a football game.

Back then we went out to eat before heading to the games. This time when I got home from school Brian asked what time I wanted to head over to the game.

I thought he was crazy. It was hours early. He said if we didn’t leave by 6 at the latest we’d be out of luck.

We left earlier and turning on to Southwest Parkway it quickly became apparent he knew what he was talking about. Wall to wall cars packed all the lanes and everyone was headed one direction. Memorial Stadium and Friday Night Lights like I’d never seen.

By the time the game started the stands were completely full and people were sitting on the grass. Across the field the sea of red and black roared. We roared back.

For the first time I understood why people talked about Rider/Old High with a sense of awe.

This year I won’t be in the stands.

It’s such a weird feeling to read about Rider/Old High, to see the videos of Mum Day with the halls so quiet and pictures of all the seniors in ‘Yote Busters and the before and during pep rally moments. To not be there.

I’d planned on driving up for the game, but I have a nasty cold. My heart is there though, and today I definitely bleed black and gold. 


Can’t wait to read the updates on Facebook. ❤️

Almost Done

My contract is signed and notarized. DH takes it with him and closes on the sale of the house tomorrow. 

Yesterday we drove around looking at neighborhoods we thought we’d be interested in. The first neighborhood was a lot like Stonelake. We liked it okay. It’s right beside our apartment.

We decided to head left down Boat Club and look there.

Golf Club Road should have been a hint, but we missed it.

Yep. Beautiful houses. Nope. Never going to live there. It was fun to drive through the neighborhoods though.


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.