Sunday, October 21, 2012

Good Morning

Beautiful morning skies. They make me feel like I can look right up to heaven. 

Here's a rambly blog post on a Sunday morning in October - a little bit of this and that rattling around my brain.

Thesis update - I submitted the last bit of thesis work on Friday. Once the manuscript is submitted (which I did two weeks ago, you may recall), then the thesis committee gives the author two or three questions to answer. The response is expected to be around 10 pages.

I knew the questions were coming, and I thought I would have two weeks to compose my articulate and intelligent response. Wrong. I had 1 week. The response was due in seven short days, the same day I was scheduled to present another in-service segment to my staff of 100 teachers (which also demands a bunch of prep time). Arrgh.

Just what were these questions, you ask?

"Your thesis is a memoir set a significant number of years in the past. Please explain how you see the current narrating voice and consciousness interacting with the voice and consciousness of the you that is a character in past scenes and events. How does the present voice/consciousness control the narrative and shape a reader's understanding in a memoir of this kind? In answering these questions, please refer to the books, classes and other sources that have shaped your understanding or provided models for you to work from."

Bleh. When I first read them, I felt like I was starting out on a 30-mile hike. One step at a time, my friends. One sentence at a time.

I stressed and grumped, but 12 pages later, it's all just a memory now. The response is submitted, the presentation to my colleagues is complete.

This coming Friday (October 26), I will meet with my thesis committee at noon for the defense of my thesis. Seriously, I can't wait.

In other news, the garden is all tucked in and ready for winter. We managed to get a good 6" of maple leaves spread and covered with black plastic before the autumn rains began in earnest. The worms can work on the leaves all winter, and the plastic will keep the weeds from growing, as well as prevent the winter rains from thoroughly compacting our clay soil. Sweet dreams, little garden!

We left the kale plants bravely standing. For as much kale as I planted in the garden this year--at least eight plants in two different varieties--you would think I was passionately in love with kale. I'm not. At least, not yet. I keep hoping I will come to love this sturdy vegetable. I know it's loaded with calcium and vitamins and anti-oxidants. I truly want to love kale. So please...if you have a yummy kale recipe DO send it my way. I'm working on it. (And Dorothy, yes, you are welcome to come enjoy the kale as often as you like!)

And speaking of kale and other things that make you healthy...

The number on this scale will not tell you
- How kind you are
- How smart and talented you are
- How much you are loved

Ugh. I've regained 12 pounds since last spring. (Haha - I'm sure part of that was muscle over the summer, with all the hiking and camping, right? Ummm...probably not. I'm not seeing any muscle-y looking arms when I look in the mirror.) My clothes are getting tight, I feel bloated, and I'm craving sweets. Yesterday the scale hit my trigger point, and it was time to get into action.

Here's the plan. If I share it with you, I'm more likely to stick with it, so I'll be sending out little updates from time to time.

1. Cut out the sugar. No sweets till Christmas.
Really? Really. If I allow myself a little bit here and a little bit there, I am right back on that slippery slope. Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies, pre-Christmas holiday parties--get thee hence. There are other ways to have a good time besides putting over-processed forms of sucrose into my mouth. (And taste buds, you can just shut up and quit whining. I know you like your sugar, but seriously, my jiggly places are not thanking you. Enough all ready.)

2. Exercise every day
Since school started, my only exercise has been our Monday night yoga group and an occasional walk. All well and good, but not enough. Katie has inspired me with her instagram comments about Jillian's thirty day Shred DVD. I'm kind of whining in the corner and feeling afraid, but I went ahead and put the DVD on hold at the library. And if it's just too much, maybe I can do part of Jillian, and then some more yoga. Or a walk. We'll see. No matter what I do, it will be better than what I've been doing, which is (practically) nothing.
3. Eat better / eat less
More inspiration from Katie: salad in a jar. Whoa. Make up a week's worth of salads on Saturday. Easy to take to work for lunch. SO awesome. I made up a bunch yesterday from this recipe, although I also included an ounce of roasted chicken in each jar. (If you're interested, just google "salad in a jar" - there are a lot of different versions out there.) 
I'm also making one or two of the "liquid meals" (smoothies and soups) from Clean by Alejandro Junger, M.D. I bought the book last year and Mark and I did a two-week cleanse following his plan. I'm not doing the full elimination diet or cleanse, just using some of the principles and recipes. Trying to find some things that feel sustainable for me. 
I'm also recording what I eat on the Weight Watchers eTools again. It worked well for me when I lost weight last year, but I've let it slide since last there a correlation here?

4. Be accountable
About this time last year, I joined Katie's "healthy challenge." It works for me. I wish I was the kind of woman who could just naturally discipline myself, but I know that I do better when I am tracking my healthy choices. For the next eight weeks I'll be tracking my exercise along with my food and water consumption. Anyone want to join in? I'm committed to doing this, even if it's solo, but it's always more  fun with a buddy. The tracking forms and other information are here

And that's all for today! Have a lovely autumn Sunday, wherever you are.
(Unless you live in the southern hemisphere, in which case you're heading into spring!)   :)


Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

Hey Mom, I'll join you. Goodness knows I could stand to lose some of this baby weight. ;)

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

Oh, and congrats on having everything done for your thesis. I'll think happy thoughts for you for Friday.

Kathy Haynie said...

Thanks, Polly! It will be fun to be Healthy Challenge buddies. Anyone else want to join us?

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Part of me would really love to join you, the other part has no idea if it is realistic. I'll ask the specialist what she thinks. I am guessing not, if they do have to do another surgery, but may e there is a modified something I can try.

Annemarie said...

Wow--what great news about your thesis. Would you be willing to share it with me when it's complete? I'm sorry I didn't turn out to be as helpful an editor as I had intended--life around here got really busy. Sending a lot of love your way, friend.