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Saturday, November 24, 2012


I am thankful.  Not just because Thursday was Thanksgiving, but always.  I'm thankful for my health, because this surgery saved my life...gave me incredible energy and added years to my life.  Today,  I took my dog, Jack, for a walk around the lake in Rocky Mount.  The trip around the lake is 1/2 mile, and I could've done a second time around except that I was a little cold (it was 47 degrees--I should've had mittens on), and Jack definitely wasn't up for a second trip!  He managed to stop at every tree, bush and post around the lake, though!

I'm thankful for my messy little house, which is less messy since I used a good chunk of my days off to clean. 

I'm thankful for Jack, the little rescue dog (half Corgi, half...Pomeranian, maybe?), and the cats, two of which are curled up with me.  (Oscar Wilde is literally on my lap between my belly and the laptop--I swear he wasn't a lapcat until I lost the weight--now there's more room for him).

I'm thankful for my family, even though I missed my mom SO much this Thanksgiving.  At least I still have her, and I know that I'll see her for Christmas.  

I'm thankful for friends, old and new.  New friends like Adria, who invited me to her parents' house for dinner Thanksgiving.  Old friends like T, on whom I went to the movies today, and Mary Caroline, whose mother is in the hospital and who needs prayers.

I'm thankful for good movies, like the one I saw today.  "Life of Pi" was terrific, and I heartily recommend it.  It is haunting and visually stunning, and it's also easily the BEST book-to-film adaptation I have ever seen.

And I'm thankful for YOU.  It's been quite the journey--and even though I don't write every day, I'm still taking this trip every day.  I have forgotten once or twice to slow down when I eat, and I've been sick as a result.  I've cooked too much for one person, and I've found myself throwing food away because I can't deal with leftovers after a day or so.  While my weight loss has stabilized at minus 127 pounds, I'm happy with where I am.  In tops, I wear anything from a medium to an extra-large, depending on the manufacturer, although mostly size large.  In pants, a size 14 is about right, although I have two pair of knit pants for school that are 8/10s.  I am happy with who I am and, for the first time in my life, how I look.

And I guess I'm pretty thankful for THAT, too.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I have spent some time reflecting on life in the past year...the choices I've made, the relationships I've had and the plans I want to make.

First, my job.  I've always loved teaching.  This semester at this new school has been really tough.  I have a group of students who are rude and disrespectful--with no understanding of how education can improve their lives.  I've tried everything without success.  As a result, I have found that I have lost some of my love of teaching--and I promised myself that when that happened, I'd leave teaching.  I am going to finish this school year and look for something else.  I have a diverse skill set--I can work in a medical office, a law office, a hospital, even a restaurant.  I can type, do spreadsheets, write well.  There are all kinds of possibilities for me, and I'm going to check them out.

Relationships.  First, I think I've figured out why things didn't work out with Whit.  He was fat.  Really fat.  As wide as he was short.  And I resented that.  I resented that I worked so hard to lose the weight, and he just ate whatever he wanted.  It's not that I dislike big men--truth is, I actually prefer a man with a little meat on his bones, but Whit was so fat that it affected our lives.  We couldn't be terribly active because he didn't have the energy.  And our sex life?  Ugh.  He wasn't healthy enough to have active sex, so it was awful.

And Kevin?  He didn't really want a relationship.  I was a diversion to keep him busy until he had his gastric bypass.  Like I've written before, he believed that when he lost weight, women would fall at his feet.  I hope that's working out for him.

And I think I owe James an apology.  I think he has an emotional disorder, so I shouldn't have disparaged him in writing.  I don't think he can help himself.  He should get some help, but that's HIS problem now...not mine.

Yesterday, I saw a former student and her mother.  She hugged me and said, "Mom, Ms. Harvey is..." I turned to her and said, "What?  Finish the sentence.  Ms. Harvey is what?"  She said, "Hot!"  I laughed and said, "Thank you.  Now, Ms. Harvey needs a man!"  They laughed.  I laughed.  But I think...I'm not sure...but I think I meant it!

Standard time is back! Yay!  I've missed it!! It'll be nice to wake up and get around in the daylight rather than in the pitch blackness I've had recently!

It's November which means that I'm writing my novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  As a result, I won't be blogging much, but I will write when I can.  

Have a great Sunday--and stay warm, wherever you are!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chinese Food, Anyone?

In losing 127 pounds, I have gained a sense of courage I never realized I was missing.  From roller coasters to plummeting fair rides, I've become pretty fearless.  I think I'd go skydiving if the opportunity arose, and I'm DYING to go horseback riding!

And it was this fearlessness that pushed me to apply for a teaching job--in CHINA.  I don't think I really thought it out completely...there's NO WAY I could go to China now.  My mom is 81 years old, and, thankfully, she's in pretty good health.  But I wouldn't forgive myself if I was on the other side of the world when she needed me most!  So I emailed the company and told them I wanted to take my name out of the running for the position. They encouraged me to apply another time--and I may.  In the meantime, a little sesame chicken should do me just fine...

Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

All's Fair...STATE Fair, That Is...

I had a great time at the NC State Fair yesterday!  I met Shannon, her grandmother Nina and Nina's significant other, Frank who drove up from Wilmington.  We were later joined by Nina's son, Frankie.  We rode rides and had so much fun!

Shannon and I rode on three rides: the "Tilt-a-Whirl", "Alien Abduction" which was a centrifugal force kind of ride that Shannon didn't like much, and "The Scrambler", which was called the "Merry Mixer" when I was a kid.  Frank and I rode on something called "The Claw" which was scary, but not as scary as the "Drop Zone" or whatever it was called that Frank, Frankie and I went on.  Above is a picture of the three of us before we went up...and up...and up.  And the photo below shows us plummeting back to earth...

I had SO much fun, although my knees are so achy today from all the walking!  But I'm so proud of myself--I walked and walked, and I rode rides I never would have ridden (because 1. I wouldn't have FIT and 2. I was too afraid).  Food-wise, I didn't do badly at all: Frank, Nina and I shared a funnel cake and Nina and I picked at an onion blossom.  The onion was delicious, but I limited myself to a few "petals" and loved it.  Nina bought me a caramel apple, which I brought home and ate some of last night, saving the rest for today.

I was fantastic yesterday--fearless, fun, food-smart and fabulous!  What a great way to be!  Happy Sunday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dinner and a Movie...

Over the weekend, thanks to my friend's generous gift, I saw "Argo".  I highly recommend this "based-on-a-true-story" film.  Ben Affleck is stepping into George Clooney's shoes and becoming the director/writer/actor, areas which seem to be his niche. 

The movie was very tightly directed--and even though I knew the outcome of the film, I still held my breath in places!  It was fantastic.  Funnier than I expected and every bit as dramatic as I hoped it would be.  Go see it!

It felt so good to be able to go to the movies!  I'm going to the NC State Fair this weekend with Shannon (James' ex-wife's granddaughter), and I can't wait.  Of course I can't eat a lot of the food at the fair, but I WILL buy a caramel apple to bring home!  (And stretch it over two meals...or so...depending on how big it is!)

October is more than half over--does that seem possible?  It's going to be holiday time before we know it!  And this year, unlike last year, is going to be great...I'm feeling good about myself, my finances are going to be straightened out, and I will go home for Christmas (if not for Thanksgiving...)

I made a pot of chili over the weekend, and it's so delicious!  I always wonder why I don't cook more often!  A pot of chili provides me with about 10 meals, so it's very inexpensive, hearty and because I buy very lean ground beef, it's also good for me!  (Those kidney beans are just packed with protein!)  I had a little chili for lunch today, and then turned around and had it for dinner, too!  (It just tasted so darned good!!)

It's ALMOST Wednesday, folks!!  Have a great one!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Reason? A Season? Or a Lifetime?

Have you ever heard that saying, "People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime"?  We all have people who come into our lives and stay for a short time for whatever reason, but if we're lucky, we have those people who are our friends forever.

My friend, T, is one of those lifetime friends.  I've known him for ten years--which doesn't seem possible--and while we've had our ups and downs, I love him...and I know he loves me.  I've been really down for the past month or so because I've been having a really hard time of it financially.  This new job pays considerably less than I was making--or at least it DID until I heard today that I'm going to get my Master's level pay plus the years' experience that my license hadn't been credited with before now.  It's a difference of nearly NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS.  Yep.  NINE THOUSAND dollars, which is about 750 dollars per month!!!

Anyway, T has been so supportive and has offered to help me financially--which I didn't really want but then he asked me the magic question: was I getting, at least, to the movies?  When I told him that I really haven't been able to afford to go to the movies, he went out and bought me a gift certificate for the movie theatre!  Now THAT is a great friend.  My escape, my coping mechanism, my island is going to the movies.  And T knows that.  What's odd is that most of my friends know how much I love going to the movies, but no one has ever bought me a gift card before now.  Isn't that weird? 

But I digress.  T knows me well enough--and cares enough--to buy me the perfect gift.  And I'll use it, too!  In fact I'll probably go this weekend!  I am so grateful to have this guy in my life...I can't even find the words. I am just so glad I know him...

On the other hand, there's James--my former know, the one who said he didn't think he could be attracted to me if I lost the weight.  He was someone who was in my life for a REASON--and that reason was so that I could meet and fall in love with Shannon, his ex-wife's granddaughter.  I love her so much, and we have so much fun together.  I stayed with James much longer than I wanted to because of Shannon.  Truth is, James was--and is--the biggest loser I ever met.  He's a hoarder who lives in a dump of a house.  He's a comic book nerd, but not in a "cool, sexy" way, just in a creepy, yucky way. He's cheap, and anytime we did anything, it was because *I* was paying!  He wouldn't dream of spending any money!!  I ended things with him on August 27, and by Thanksgiving, he had met a new, super-sized woman who's way too good for him as I understand it.  She moved in with him and is now stuck because she lost her job, poor thing. Perhaps she'll find HER reason--and maybe it'll be the same as mine--Shannon.  Everyone who meets her loves her!

Anyway, today is FRIDAY...and homecoming at school, and a week before Shannon and I (and her grandmother and her boyfriend and son) are going to the State Fair!  I can't wait.

Oh, by the way, I've lost 130 pounds, and I seem to be pretty stable.  Not gaining and not losing which is fine with me.  I wear a size medium or a size large in misses, rather than the plus sizes I've worn for the past 30 years...and I feel GREAT.  James would love to see me fail at this, I'm sure, because that's who he is, but I have NO intention of failing.  I'm better than I've ever been--and I have friends who love me enough to send me to the movies.  How lucky am I?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You're Not Getting Older...You're Getting Better!

That tagline was used in an ad campaign in 1971 by Loving Care hair color.  (While I remembered the slogan, I confess I had to Google the company who used it!).  But for me tonight, that saying is more than a memory from my childhood--it's the truth!

Today, I did something I couldn't have done last year.  Or the year before.  Or for the last twenty years!  I completed a challenge course with a group of colleagues at a place in Ayden called "The Refuge."  We had a half day at school, and the intention was for us to get some relaxation and do some team building at this place.  A "light lunch" consisting of hot dogs (ugh) was served and then we were free to do whatever we wanted.  Some people played basketball, some went to yoga, and my intention was to read as I took my Kindle with me.

A group that was going to do the challenge course loaded up on the tractor wagon near the table where we were eating, and Pam, a colleague, asked me to join them.  I demurred...then changed my mind!  And am I ever so glad that I did!

Ultimately, I was more physically active today than I ever was!  I actually went over a cable spool that was suspended about 5 1/2 feet in the air!  I am a little achy tonight, but I'm also so very proud of myself.  As I came over the spool, I hugged the teacher who caught me.  And I cried.  

It's important to note that I didn't want to do the last challenge.  And the reason I didn't was because I didn't believe I could do it.  I also didn't want to depend on my coworkers to lift me over the spool, given the fact that I still think I weigh 300 pounds.  I know, in my rational mind, that I am smaller, but to feel live it...I don't really know it at all.

We posed for the photo below as a group after we all completed the challenge course.  I didn't hide behind anyone, and while I think I look a little "lumpy" in the picture (I wish I'd adjusted my shirt!), I'm proud of it, too.  

It is FRIDAY.  Hope yours is fabulous...just one more week until payday!  (In taking this job, I also took a SEVENTEEN THOUSAND dollar pay cut--and went from getting paid twice a month to once a month. I literally have $3 to my name...) But at least I have my health!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Just Another Day...Or Is It?

Yesterday, as you know, was my birthday.  And I tend to say, "Eh, it's just another day...", but the truth is, every birthday is an event.  It is.  A birthday marks the passing of a year.  It marks the gaining of wisdom (hopefully) and the loss of inhibitions.  A birthday is a beginning.  

Last night, I went to dinner with a friend to the Twisted Fork in Raleigh.  I've never been disappointed there--and I wasn't last night, either.  I ordered the "Sweet Tea Roasted Chicken".  It was a half (!) chicken that had been brined in sweet tea and then roasted to perfection.  It was moist, juicy and delicious.  The skin was brown and crisp, and it was WAY more food than I could eat.  I shared half of it with my friend who took it home.  I ate half of my half--which was plenty.  It was served with garlic mashed potatoes (which were real potatoes, and judging from the color, Yukon golds at that) and "succotash".  Their version of succotash wasn't the usual corn-and-lima-beans combination that I know--instead, it was corn, red peppers, green beans and a bit of bacon.  Delicious.  I ate half of everything and packed up the rest for dinner today!

I was comfortably "stuffed" but my friend ordered dessert (which the server used as a place for a birthday candle for me).  I took just a small bite off the end of the most decadent deep chocolate cheesecake I've ever had.  It was terrific, but amazingly rich.  I couldn't have eaten more than the bite I did eat! (I wouldn't have been able to eat it all even if I hadn't had the chicken first!  After all, sugar is not my friend, remember?)

After dinner, we stopped at World Market, my favorite store, where I used my FREE Explorer's Club birthday gift certificate worth $10 to buy two pairs of earrings!  Happy birthday to me, indeed!  The one pair had a stone that matched perfectly the sweater I was wearing!

It's Wednesday! Make it WONDERFUL!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to Meeeee!

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I last posted!  Sorry about that.  Things at school are crazy!!  As it is, it's nearly 2am, and I should be sleeping!!  Progress reports are due today, and my principal is going to observe my third period class.  The good news is that it's my honors class, and the kids are great.  Plus we're starting Romeo & Juliet, which I just love teaching!

It's my birthday.  I'm 55.  FIFTY-FIVE.  Hard to believe, because I don't feel older than 27 or 28.  I remember my grandmother telling me that she was often surprised by the old woman in the mirror as she never felt old.  I understand that now.  

Last Monday night, I went to team trivia with a colleague from school and her roommate.  We won!  I was really on my game!  Unfortunately, I also had a "first"...I vomited.  I haven't been sick like that since the surgery, and it was really my own fault.  Hannah and I had ordered these delicious Thai chicken lettuce wraps.  If I hadn't been stupid enough to eat pizza AFTER that, I would have been all right.  We ordered a pizza--it was small--and I had a very small slice.  It was very thin, but it was still too much, and I got sick.  

I needed that, I think.  I think I had grown somewhat complacent about living with this surgery.  It taught me a valuable lesson.  I need to slow down when I eat, and I need LIMITS.  Period.

I've dated a little in the past two weeks, but I haven't felt anything "magical", so I'm still looking.  I'm really not working at it now, though, either.  I want someone I don't want to live without--not someone I can live with. :-)

Have a fabulous Tuesday--and happy birthday to me!! I'm older, hopefully wiser and more than 100 pounds lighter than I was LAST birthday!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The End of Summer and the Beginning of...?

I know I said I was taking a hiatus from dating, but I had dinner yesterday with a very nice man.  Joe brought me red roses and was an absolute gentleman.  He opened my car door, the restaurant door, helped me out of the booth at the restaurant, and so on.  He was very chatty, but it was nice to get to know him better. He and I met online, and he was quick to say how nice it was to meet someone who looked JUST like her photos.  Of course, my photos are recent!! He has met two other women (he's new to online dating)who had displayed OLD photographs. (In browsing profiles, I've seen photos that were dated 1994! Why would anyone misrepresent themselves that way?)

While we were eating, he asked to see me again, and I said yes.  We went to Long Horn Steakhouse, where I'd never been.  I ordered the parmesan-crusted chicken, which was two grilled chicken breasts COVERED with cheese, and mashed potatoes with a Caesar salad.  I ate a few bites of my salad, a small slice of the crusty wheat bread and about 2/3 of the one of the chicken breasts together with a few bites of mashed potatoes.  It was really delicious.

Joe is NOTHING like any of the men I've ever dated.  He's quite a bit older than I, VERY Southern and pretty well off financially.  Totally not my type, which may be that he IS my type completely!  I'm going to see him again and see what happens.  Why not? 

I've lost another four pounds--I'm now about 13 pounds heavier than I was in high school.  I'm probably a smaller size than high school; the weight isn't a very good indicator as I have so much loose skin.  (Ugh.  I should ask all my readers to send me a few dollars so I can pay for plastic surgery!  LOL!)  

Saturday, I went to Wilmington to spend the day with Shannon, my ex's granddaughter.  God, I love that kid!  When I was in NY last month, I bought her a Tinkerbell lamp--she loves Tink, and she loved the gift.  She and I and her grandmother, Nina, went to lunch (where Nina and I shared the greasiest fish I've ever eaten) and then to the movies to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  I won't spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't seen it, but very early on, I saw the direction in which it was going and started crying like a baby!   By the end of the movie, I had gone through four tissues and a wad of napkins!  Nina cried toward the end, too, but Shannon just seemed to enjoy herself.

I was freezing in the movie theatre.  Part of my problem is my thyroid--I have a hard time adjusting to temperature.  The other thing, of course, is that I've lost 127 pounds of padding!  I have purchased a few light wraps over the past couple months--little "cardigans" to shield myself, but I didn't take it into the movie!  I DID take it with me to the restaurant yesterday--thank goodness, because the place was freezing!  It's been super hot here the past few days, and the contrast between the outside temperature and the inside temperature is just too hard to deal with!

It's Labor Day, which means autumn isn't far behind.  I'm glad--I have some new fall clothing that I really want to wear!  And maybe if it gets a little cooler, my 4th period students will be more inclined to do some work.  I'm spending MY Labor Day working--I have quite a bit of school work to do and my house is a mess.  I hope you're spending yours doing something at least a LITTLE entertaining.  Have a great day, and as always, thanks for reading!
First-date roses!

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Handicapped Stall and Other Habits...

It's been a heck of a week!  School started on Monday, and two of my three classes (90 minutes each, we're on block schedule) are just wonderful!  The other is the worst behaved group of kids I've EVER known.  A large majority of them are repeating English 9 for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time!  I'm blessed to have a VERY proactive administration, though, and they are helping me sort things out.  Some students may even be transferred out!

After school today, I worked "gate duty" at the JV and varsity soccer games with one of my colleagues.  We have to do two duties a year, and Charetta and I are doing another game together in October.  We had fun chitchatting and I showed her my "before" picture.  She was very complimentary and said, "I can't believe you were that big.  You don't look like you were that big."  It was nice to hear, but the truth is, I WAS that big...and sometimes I still think I am.  During the gate duty, I went to the ladies' room and walked into the handicapped stall, which I used to use every time I went to the bathroom.  Why?  Because it's larger.  It allowed me room to move whereas the standard stalls never did.

Of course I don't need the larger stall anymore, but my first reaction was to walk into it--out of habit.  It got me thinking about all the things I do out of habit--including avoiding mirrors (especially those that are full length) and wincing when I see chairs with arms.  I still feel like "big Rhonda" more days than not.  When I shop, I have a really hard time picking out the right size clothing! A week or two ago, I went to Walmart and bought a $9 pair of black knit pants that are good for school.  I went to put them on Tuesday morning to wear to school.  They were a size large--12-14--and they were absolutely GIGANTIC.  I thought maybe I'm "getting better" about estimating size, as I held them up and knew immediately that they were too big! I took them back and bought a size medium--10-12--which are still a little loose but much better than the first pair!

It's a habit I need to break--I never used to try on clothing.  As long as it covered me, I was happy with it.  Now I need to seek out styles that flatter and fit well.  No more baggy clothes for this woman!

I have a VERY long day ahead of until 3:30, but there's a football game at 7:30, and it's stupid for me to go home just to turn around and go back to school! I have plenty of school work to keep me busy, though!  And I love being at a school with a good athletic program!

Have a fabulous Friday! (And enjoy the weekend!)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Celebrate the End of Summer!?

I'm sorry I haven't written all week.  Things have been so busy with school!  (And let me just say that I am THRILLED to be that busy!)

Today is the first day of school!  I've never been so happy to start a school year! I met parents and future students on Thursday evening, which was terrific, albeit a little strange.  I had one father call me "baby".  I hate it when the guy I'm DATING calls me that, let alone the parent of a student!  Oh, well...

On Saturday, I went to lunch and the movies with Mercedez, a former student who is now at UNC Chapel Hill.  We went to Cheddars for lunch, and I ordered potato skins.  The order was BIG--I ate 3 at lunch (they were long strips--about 1/4 of a potato, maybe) because I hadn't had breakfast, gave Mercedez one and still had FOUR left over!  I had two for lunch on Sunday and two for dinner! They were delicious and loaded with cheese and crisp bacon!  I can eat anything these days, just not a LOT of anything! 

I bought some protein bars to take to school for lunch; I want to reestablish a pattern of eating right at school.  I worry about not getting enough protein, so protein bars are a viable option.

My friend, T, asked me about dating.  I'm not dating now...I want someone who's serious about dating, so I've put myself on "hiatus".  That doesn't mean forever...just for now.  I'd rather spend more time focusing on school and on myself...the lovelife stuff will take care of itself!  (I hope)!

Have a magical Monday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weddings and Shopping and School, Oh My!

Saturday, I attended the wedding of a very sweet former colleague.  Kimberly and Steve make a lovely couple, and I wish them all the happiness in the world.  (Although I really thought Steve was going to pass out during the ceremony!)  Kimberly is very petite and looked like a bride doll!  They are honeymooning in Charleston, and during their ceremony, I had a bit of an epiphany.

I want to get married again.  I do.  I don't necessarily want the white wedding thing, but I DO want to find someone with whom I can spend the rest of my life.  I'm hoping that moving to a new school--and a huge district--will help me meet Mr. Right.  I'm done playing with "Mr. Right Now".  I have a date for Wednesday evening, and if he's not right, I'm done.  I'm not going to waste any more time and energy--emotional and physical--dating men who are looking for "friends with benefits" or who are undecided about their lives and their relationships.

Okay, that addresses "weddings", now on to shopping!  I'm becoming a fashionista!  I am.  I shopped like a mad woman while I was in New York last week.  At Kohl's, I picked up a rust-colored cardigan by Apt. 9 and a lightweight mock turtle by Vera Wang for a total of $24.00!  My receipt read that I saved $109!  I also shopped at Boscov's, saving about $90 more on tops and a cute skirt.  I found a cardigan with a matching camisole at Target that were both on sale for more than 25 percent off.  As I put my new things on hangers and placed them in my closet, I became giddy!  I'm so excited to be able to wear new clothes!  SMALLER clothes.  I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating--I used to dress to cover my body; now I'm dressing to enhance it!

And finally, school.  Today is the official first day of the school year for teachers; students come back next Monday.  I look forward to it like I can't even express!  A new start with a new attitude and new clothing, I'm thrilled.  We don't all get second chances in life--so this is BIG! And I promise to enjoy every minute of it!

Have a magnificent Monday!

Oh...and here's a pic from the reception! I think I look pretty good...and I KNOW that dress is NOT something I would have even dreamed of wearing before!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm SO Excited!! And I Just Can't Hide It!

Tomorrow is my first day at my new school--and like a little kid, I'm so excited that I can't sleep!  I've met a few people, and everyone has been really nice to me. We had an in-service today on the projection system--it makes the white boards like "smart boards" but you can still write on them, too--and I have to admit that I was looking at the men in the room.  There weren't many, but it's nice to have those options! 

I also drove by a little house that's for sale.  It's VERY inexpensive--and my friend Dorothy and I are going to take a look at it tomorrow.  From the outside, it looks pretty good...there's a small broken window and it needs a little TLC, but it's really cute.  I hope it looks that good inside!  I've seen pictures online, and of course, pictures can lie...

I am SO grateful for the opportunity to continue my reinvention.  I had a phone call today from the former principal of Nash Central who moved to the middle school.  He had a last-minute opening and wanted to offer me the job.  I told him I had accepted a position, and he sounded genuinely disappointed.  He told me that if my circumstances change to call him!  It was really good for my ego, especially when he told me that he had wanted to hire me that first meeting we had when the opening wasn't even "official"!  

Still, I feel like I made the right decision in choosing South Central.  Today, I went to my storage locker and took a big load of books and other paraphernalia to school and started to set up my room.  I went tonight and picked up another load to take tomorrow.  It feels so great to be setting up a new classroom!!  And tonight, one of my former students wrote me a note on Facebook telling me how great a teacher she thinks I am.  It was super complimentary--and it brought tears to my eyes.

I'm so excited about this new beginning. If you had told me last year at this time where I would be, what I would weigh, what size I'd be wearing, I'd have told you that you were crazy!  No where in my crystal ball did I see THIS coming!

Have a FABULOUS Friday!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Greeetings from NY

I love my mother to death, but having lived alone for so long, I'm used to having my quiet time.  I don't get ANY quiet time at my mom's house.  So I'm at McDonalds, where it isn't quiet, using their free WiFi and trying to get my bearings.

I have had a stressful trip this time.  I don't know why--if it's because I have a friend with me when I'm used to traveling alone or what it is, but I really DO need my peace and quiet.  I think that's the reason I practically live at the movie theatre during the school year--a movie gives me a couple hours of quiet time with no one talking to me or expecting me to answer

We've gone out to eat for every meal since I've been here, and for some reason, I've felt sick twice.  I think I'm eating too fast.  Yesterday, we ate at a small restaurant in Ithaca called "The Piggery".  All local products, including their own farm-raised pork.  The pulled pork slider was delicious, and I was smart enough to not try to eat the bread.  I love bread, but it definitely is NOT my friend!  Last night, we went to Texas Roadhouse where I had the kids' portion of ribs: four ribs with a (way too) large portion of mashed potatoes.  I ate two of the ribs and about a third of the potatoes and was full, full, full.  

We went to Phil's Chicken for lunch today--and it was delicious.  I paced myself better, had chicken and a few bites of potato salad.  I still felt a bit off until I had hiccups.  I get hiccups almost daily, but today I felt better when they stopped.  Weird.  When I'm alone, I eat slow enough, but for some reason, I tend to eat too fast when I'm with someone.  I guess I get caught up in the conversation and forget to pay attention.

I stopped up at BOCES today, where I used to work, and saw an old friend, Kathy, and then stopped to say hi to Jeanie even though I saw her last month when I was up here.  Both ladies looked great, and we had really good chats.

I need to be patient with my mother.  I know that a time is coming when I'm going to miss ANY of our talks.  I just need to breathe!

Happy Monday!!

Friday, August 10, 2012


Sorry I haven't written much this week, but things have been crazy trying to get ready for school.  I've been inundated with paperwork--it's incredible.  I'm going in today for a new employee orientation and to work on my classroom a little, then I have a date with a new guy tonight followed by a short trip to NY Saturday.  I'll be up there from Saturday through Wednesday.

I'm excited about most of the newness going on in my life.  A new job, a new guy (maybe), new clothing, a new, new, new.  Yesterday, I stopped at my old school--well, at least it was SUPPOSED to be my old school.  Everything is different.  The library has been turned into a huge computer lab; the nurse's office is now the "CEO"s office; the teachers' mailboxes are no longer in the admin building; and the lovely welcoming blue and gold (school colors) have been replaced by a cold, sterile yellowish beige and vomit green. 

Not all change is good, but it IS inevitable.  So just go with it!  Have a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Rebirthday to Me, Part 2

I had such a great time on Sunday that I've had to take a couple days to decompress!  While we did go on other types of rides, this day was all about the roller coasters--and did we ride them!  We rode the Intimidator, which as I said is the highest roller coaster in the southeastern US.  The Carolina Cobra is like a slingshot where the coaster is pulled backwards and then released to go thru loops, upside down and up again before stopping and then doing it all over again backwards!  The Vortex is a stand-up coaster, which was a completely new experience for me. The Hurler was a large wooden coaster that practically lived up to its name--with tight curves and slamming dips!  The Cyclone was a yellow and purple beast that hurt my ears!  (It was so jarring that my earrings were pressed into the back of my head--ouch!)  Ricochet was a little four-person car that takes such tight corners that it feels like you're going to go careening off the track!  The NightHawk was the most intense of the coasters we rode.  In fact, Tiana wouldn't even ride it!  Her friend Sophia and I did, though.  The rider starts in a seated position, but then the seats lie flat.  And then during the ride, the prone riders go from facing the sky to facing the ground! This was especially hard over the water!  I had to close my eyes for most of the ride--it was just too much!  We did ride both the Vortex and the Carolina Cobra twice!

While we were waiting to take our second ride on the Cobra, something interesting happened.  Two large ladies were attempting to ride the coaster.  Inasmuch as we had already been in it, and I knew how small the cars were, I told Tiana that there was no way they were going to fit.  We watched as two attendants tried to press the lap restraint down so that it would lock in place.  One attendant was literally on top of the woman pushing the bar.  The ride operator asked the one woman to sit up in the car as much as possible, and then one of the attendants tried sitting on the restraint to press it into place, but their efforts were unsuccessful.  This went on for about five or six minutes.  The women finally got up and left the ride, laughing as they did.

This was a very somber moment for me.  First, I felt empathy.  These women may have been laughing on the outside, but I'm sure they weren't totally sincere in their laughter.  Additionally, it brought back my own horrible experience at Hershey Park 15 years ago when I couldn't ride the Comet wooden roller coaster because I couldn't fit in the car.  My heart broke for these ladies--and even Tiana said that the incident gave her a better understanding of how humiliated I must have felt all those years ago.  And humiliated was the right word.  I was humiliated.  It was horribly painful.  And it was also why I chose to spend my rebirthday on roller coasters.  

I think we look pretty great.  Of course, this was BEFORE the coasters!  (L-R, Tiana, me, Sophia).

I definitely will go back again--next year and every rebirthday from now on.  It was great to look like a kid feel like a kid fit in seats I never could have without this surgery.  

I spoke to Nina about having such a great time, and she reminded me that this is just the beginning.  I will have other opportunities like this one.  I'll be able to go places, to do things without restriction, without worrying about whether or not I can fit on the rides or in the plane seats or in the tiny chairs.  It's a freedom I have NEVER known.  The possibilities of life have increased exponentially for me--and I will be forever grateful!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Rebirthday to ME!!

I had an absolutely incredible time at Carowinds yesterday!! I'm yawning as I type this, though.  I got home around 12:45am and had to get up early for new teacher orientation in Greenville.  Fortunately, I didn't have to stay, so I'm home!  (The orientation was more for beginner teachers than for people new to the district.)

When we got to Carowinds, Tiana, her friend Sophia and I rode "The Intimidator", which is billed as "the tallest, fastest, and longest coaster in the Southeast".  The duration of the ride is 3 minute and 33 seconds.  It was incredible!!  Here's a "point of view" video from the front of the coaster:  

Awesome, right?  I want to write about the entire park experience, but I'm about to fall asleep! So this is part 1 of "Happy Rebirthday to me"...and I'll continue tomorrow!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Roller Coasters, Here I Come!

By the time you read this, I'll be at least on my WAY to Carowinds--if not already there, screaming my head off on a roller coaster!  I am so excited.  This day was a year in the making!  A year ago today, I went under the knife and had life-changing surgery.  It's been an amazing year of ups and downs.  Ups and downs in my personal and professional lives...and downs on the scale!

I've been through so much in the last 365 days.  I survived a hurricane, although I didn't think I would.  (Twenty-five trees fell on my property--and I swear I had PTSD as a result of living through that horror.  I was lucky enough that the only damage my cottage sustained was a tree falling on the wires to my electrical meter, which ripped the meter off the house, but the other falling trees missed the house--by less than a foot on three sides of the house--but missed it at least!)  I ended my engagement on that day, too.  He was supposed to come from Wilmington so that I wouldn't be alone, but he didn't.  Instead, he put on Facebook that he was worried about me, while NEVER calling to see if I was all right.  (Remember: this is the same guy who said he wasn't sure he could be attracted to me if I lost the weight...)  I broke up with him that evening, once the danger had passed. 

I bought a new (to me) car that reflects my personality and new body better than the old one did.  It's a bright blue 2010 Toyota Corolla--cute and economical.  I rejoined the Y and found that I don't float like I used to.  I flew home for a long weekend and made my mom happy when she saw how much weight I'd lost. I met Whit and had a pretty serious relationship with him--we dated for four months, but I ended that, too.  I went to Washington, DC with the senior class and walked all over the city--a trip I had been excluded from in previous years because I just wasn't in shape to do all the walking.  

I lost my job.  It was incredibly devastating, but I've survived--and maybe even benefited.  I have a new job with better hours, better technology and better benefits.  I feel appreciated by my administrators and coworkers already!  I met Kevin and revisited my love of trivia!  I reconnected with countless friends thanks to Facebook.  Oh, and I lost ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THREE POUNDS!  123 pounds!  That's an adult woman!  Incredible to me!

Well, it's been a year of amazing ups and downs--and I'm spending my day pursuing ups and down on the 13 roller coasters at Carowinds. Mine will be SCREAMING, but I wish for you a serene Sunday!  Thanks for reading...the second best thing to come out of this year?  YOU as my readers!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Can't Deny Photographic Evidence

Yesterday was a great day.  I went with my friend Dorothy to a former colleague's home for dinner.  Mr. Xavier and his family are from India, and the food was just delicious.  I actually ate two helpings of the vegetables--chopped potatoes, carrots, green beans and kidney beans in a fabulous curried sauce.  I never eat seconds of ANYTHING, but that's how good this dish was!  And when I left, my kind hostess packed up the leftovers for me, so I'll eat Indian food again today!

Fifty-two weeks ago today, I was waiting anxiously at Rex Hospital in Raleigh for my surgery.  I was excited but scared.  None of the things I worried about came to be--and I love the way I look today!

Dorothy and I went to Raleigh before going to dinner last night so we could recreate the original "before" picture.  You'll note that I'm wearing the same top as in my before photo.  I couldn't believe I even KEPT it! When I saw it in the closet yesterday, I was thrilled.  It fits much differently, of course, and is actually too big for daily wear, but for the photo, it was PERFECT.  For so long, I've had the "before" picture in my head--and finally, I've got a new picture to replace it.  The difference is undeniable!

When I went to the doctor Tuesday, I was rereading some of the information on gastric bypass surgery.  One of the statistics stayed with me: most patients lose 77 percent of their excess weight within one year.  That means that if you're 100 pounds overweight, you will probably lose 77 pounds in a year.  I was about 150 pounds overweight, which means that my weight loss was predicted to be approximately 115 pounds.  At 123 pounds lost, I'm at my target and beyond!

This surgery was without a doubt THE best thing I've ever done for myself.  And I know I've asked before, but I'm asking again.  What have you done for YOU lately?  Have a fabulous Friday!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Letting Go of Anger

I had a good time at lunch yesterday.  It would've been great except that one of my former colleagues is still angry and bitter about being laid off.  I kept trying to steer the conversation in a positive direction because she kept pushing it in a negative direction!  I left there exhausted!  For lunch, I ordered potato skins because I read online that Chili's had the best after a test of nationwide chain restaurants.  They were truly delicious!  I could only eat two of the five, but they'll reheat well for lunch (and dinner) today!  I realize that potato skins laden with cheese and bacon aren't the healthiest choice, but once in a while, they are truly satisfying. (Plus my total cholesterol is 132--which is awesome!)

I know that I was depressed for the past seven weeks.  It hurt--a lot--to lose a job I loved, especially after I had done so much for the school.  But truth be told, I didn't do it for the school.  I worked hard for the kids.  And I'll do it for the kids at my new school.  But holding anger toward ANYONE gives that person power and control over you.  And I wasn't going to give that jerk who took over Prep that much power.  He doesn't deserve it.    And my former colleague needs to remember that.  I understand that she is frustrated, but she needs to remember how HORRIBLE it's going to be there this year.  They are implementing a new, UNAPPROVED curriculum.  They are a month behind.  Their buildings are being torn apart.  They have to report back to work on the 8th, which is NINE DAYS earlier than any other school district around here (including mine--other than new teacher orientation, my first day is the 17th).  They have a longer work day.  They are going back earlier, staying later, working longer days--all with NO extra money. And their new leader--the aforementioned JERK--is not an educator and knows NOTHING about running a school.  She needs to remember these things!

And YOU need to remember this: Anger does more damage to the vessel in which it's stored than to anything it's poured upon.  Think of anger as an acid.  It eats away at you until there's nothing left.  Let go.  Let go of your anger before it destroys you.

It's Thursday.  I hope you have something to think about!  Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ups, Downs and More UPS!

Today, I'm having lunch with Renee, Dorothy, Belinda and Shannon.  Seven weeks ago yesterday, we all met at Chili's and cried about losing our jobs.  (Except Dorothy, who was laid off a year ago.) At that time, I was feeling somewhat optimistic and said, "In August, we'll be back here celebrating new jobs!"  And while I've been plagued with DOUBT these past seven weeks, my prediction came true.  All of us have been successful in finding work except Belinda who has decided to stay home awhile because her husband needs surgery.

Yesterday, I saw the doctor for my one-year post-surgical checkup.  I've lost a total of 123 pounds.  At first I thought it was 121.5 but I redid the math.  (There's a reason I teach English and not math!)  Everyone at the office was so complimentary!  And for my one-year anniversary, they gave me a certificate for a free photo sitting and portrait!  When I was big, I wouldn't have thought about using it, but I certainly will now!

After my appointment, I stopped at Kevin's to pick up my copy of The Artist, which I had let him borrow a few weeks ago.  It was good to see him--awkward but good.  He's doing very well after the surgery--much better than I did a week out--walking two miles a day and feeling pretty strong.  He definitely looks better than I did!  And yes, I still have feelings for him...real feelings.  We hugged hello and goodbye, and he asked me to let him know about my new job, so maybe...who knows?

My official anniversary date is Sunday, 8/5.  I'm going to Carowinds, an amusement park, and I'm going to ride as many rides as I can!  I haven't been able to ride for at least 15 years.  Fifteen years ago, I took my friend Sue's daughter, Amanda, to Hershey Park.  When it came time to ride the wooden roller coaster, I couldn't fit.  I was humiliated beyond belief, and that was the last time I even TRIED to go to an amusement park.  A fitting way to celebrate a 123-pound weight loss, right?  Amazingly, the physician's assistant I saw yesterday said HE spent his one-year anniversary the SAME way!

It's been seven weeks of ups and downs--depression upon getting laid off, then euphoria at the prospect of job interviews, feeling despondent when I wasn't hired and finally giddiness at finding not just "a job" but what feels like the "right job"!  What better way to celebrate than by ending the summer (I have new teacher orientation all next week) on a series of "ups and downs"--ROLLER COASTERS?!  Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reinventing Rhonda

Sorry I haven't written in a few days, but I've been busy--catching up on sleep!  I didn't realize how poorly I'd been sleeping after I was laid off.  I think I've caught up now...after days of naps and going to bed early!  I realized while I was unemployed that I was stressed, but I didn't fully realize how it was affecting my sleep!  

Today, I'm going to Raleigh to meet my friend Mary Caroline and her husband (and possibly daughter--I'm not sure if I followed that thread of the conversation) for lunch at the Twisted Fork.  They have an amazing Thai chicken salad that I love!  I saw Mary Caroline two weeks ago when I was in New York, but I haven't seen her husband in years, so it'll be a great visit!

After lunch, I'm going to my new school to meet with the department chair, to see my room and get my books.  I'm so excited!  Most teachers are already dreading the beginning of the school year, but I can't wait!  

Reinvention.  That's what I'm going through.  I'm reinventing myself.  The people at this new school don't know me, so they don't know I was fat.  They don't need to know, either, unless I choose to tell them.  I have a new body, a new outlook and now a new job.  It's really a great time for a shiny new beginning!

You don't have to wait for something monumental to happen in order to reinvent yourself.  There's no time like the present.  If there's something you want to change, change it!  You can't rewrite your history, but you CAN choose how it paints your future.  Have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Working Girl!

I got a job!  Actually, I got THREE of them!  Too funny--I had THREE job offers yesterday.  I had an interview yesterday morning--the school had actually called my friend Virginia who already HAS a job, so she gave them my name.  Within two and a half hours, they called me and offered the job!  Two hours later, the school where I interviewed on Tuesday called to offer me a position, and an hour after that, the school where I interviewed on Monday called!

I accepted the first offer--and at first, I was taken aback by the second and third offers.  However, I thought about it, prayed on it, and I feel pretty secure in my choice.  I instantly liked the English department chair and think we'll become fast friends.  This school is about 40 minutes away, and I'll definitely commute for the first few months.  I may look for another place to live, but having pets can make that search a difficult one, so we'll see.

I went out to lunch with Dorothy and her grandchildren--and she treated to celebrate my new job.  We went to Ichiban, which is a Japanese grill.  I had the teriyaki chicken with extra carrots rather than rice, which is just too filling!  I've had to show my card there in order to get the extra carrots--and the last time I was there, I had to show my ID along with the card! And of course, I only ate about half my lunch--the rest is in the refrigerator for lunch today!

I was supposed to see my doctor for my annual post-surgical check, but I had to cancel because I wasn't feeling well.  (I don't think it was lunch but it may have been the cherries I ate Wednesday night--they were delicious but fresh fruit sometimes gets me!)  I've rescheduled for Tuesday, so we'll have an "official" total for how much I've lost in a year!  I think it's around 122 pounds!

Have a fantastic Friday!!  Now that I have a job, I can actually begin to enjoy my summer vacation!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

Today, Kevin is having gastric bypass surgery, and last night, I ended things with him.  He has been acting strangely for weeks, and I know that it was in anticipation of this surgery.  I had had high hopes for our relationship, but I think he was keeping me at a distance so that he would be ready for "all" the women he expects to get once he's lost the weight.

I don't fully blame him.  Not completely. This surgery creates new realities.  It does.  I get much more male attention now than I've ever received!  Men's heads actually turn!  However flattering the attention, and it IS flattering, it doesn't change who I am.  I am a good person who happens to be in a smaller body than I've been in for the past 25 years.  I'm still the same person--I still have the same good heart.  Kevin once told me that his father said to him, "When you lose the weight, you're going to be a real ass****!"  I was horrified when Kevin told me that, but I think he was right.

I cried a little last night, but today, I'm fine.  I wish Kevin all the best with his surgery, and I hope he discovers that no matter your body size, a good heart is still the most important thing you can possess.

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't Worry...Be Happy!

I'm home.  I got in around 8pm last night, and I had to run out to the store to get cat food!  (The little monsters ate it all while I was gone!)My mood is much better than it was.  I had an interview this morning for a middle school position--and although my initial reaction was "ugh", I now think I want it!  The interview went well, so we'll see...

Below is a photo you may remember.  It was taken in July 2011, about a month before my surgery.

I don't know about you, but I scarcely recognize her.  Jeanie and I recreated the photo on Friday night. 
What a difference, huh?  Other than my employment situation, I'm the happiest I've ever been!  And the job thing WILL happen...wherever it is that I belong!

Have a merry Monday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I was rejected as an applicant by American Airlines, who apparently don't think (without even meeting me) I'm good enough to handle phone reservations.  And I've had three interviews for which I've been rejected, and I've submitted at least a dozen resumes, which have also been rejected.  Feeling VERY worthless.

People have been really supportive--and I do appreciate it, but this funk is swallowing me alive.  I bought a cute new purse last night--which was marked down and on sale from $48 to $22, and that cheered me up a little.  I stopped and saw Robb and Thao for a bit last night, and that cheered me up a little,too.

I just had  phone call from a local school district and have an interview on Tuesday.  That means I have one on Monday and one on Tuesday.  I'm so tired of being rejected, but I can't give up.  Like I wrote the other day, it's important to keep fighting for something you want--but damn, it's TIRING!

Have a thoughtful Thursday!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Facing the Demons...

I'm really down.  I have to admit it.  Life is really difficult right now, and in the past when life was difficult, I could turn to food.  I don't have that option anymore.  So I'm feeling it--and feeling awful.  Today, I got away from my mother for a while and went to the Christmas Tree Shoppe and to Five Below, both of which I really love.  When I came out of Five Below, I discovered I had missed a call.  It was from the Raleigh area, so I dialed it.  Forgetting that NY is hands-free cell phone wise, I found that it was someone checking a reference for a friend and former colleague.  I promptly got pulled over for driving with a cell phone.  The ticket will probably cost me $50 or more.  More crap to deal if my life isn't sucking ENOUGH right now.

No job.  No love life.  No money.  And now a ticket.  Sucks, sucks, sucks.  And I KNOW that people mean well, but I am SO tired of hearing that God has a plan.  Because whatever His plan is, it's not HELPING me right now.

Sorry to be so down, but as I said before--this blog is nothing, if not REAL.  Hope things are going better for YOU than they are for me right now...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Worth Fighting For!

When was the last time you fought for something you wanted or believed in?  I mean, really truly FOUGHT?  I used to let things go without fighting for them.  I used to decide that it was too difficult or not worth the struggle.  Whether it was a job or a relationship or a personal goal, when the going got tough, I gave up.  Of course, then I felt bad about myself for quitting, and when it came time to fight again, I just didn't have the fight in me. And thus began a vicious cycle!

Not anymore.  If I want something, I'll fight for it.  And I mean, I'll fight.  I'll risk looking like a fool if it means attaining my goal.  I'll go out on a limb until said limb is close to breaking.  I'll put my feelings out there for the world to see.  I'll take whatever risks are necessary if it's something I truly want.

Of course, one thing this requires is knowing what you truly want.  Perhaps that sounds silly or obvious, but think about it.  How many times have you THOUGHT you wanted something in life, only to find that you didn't want it once you got it.  Often, the pursuit is what we want--not the end product.  But if you find something you want, then you need to BELIEVE that it's worth fighting for. And then pull out all the stops.  Go for it.  What's the worst that can happen?  That employer who had no intention of hiring you might think you're nuts.  Or maybe he/she will be convinced to hire you.  That relationship might go south--or it might work out.  You may decide you hate living in a new place--or you may just love it.

There is no reward without some risk.  If you want it, truly WANT it, it must be worth SOME risk, right?  When I had the surgery, it was a great risk--literally, I risked my life with this major surgery.  But I've never looked back; all the bad things that "could have" happened didn't happen; and I've never felt more self-confident and attractive.  Worth fighting for?  You BET!

Have a marvelous Monday--I'll try to write again Wednesday.  It's tough to write every day with limited WiFi access!  And, as always, thanks for reading!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Positive Feedback

Well, I think the interview went well, but only time will tell.  They said that I was one of six candidates and would have an answer by the first of next week.  Cross your fingers!

After the interview, I went to meet up with Whitney, whom I've not seen in a year or more.  She looks great and is making homemade soap and other beauty products from all-natural ingredients.  She brought me a little gift bag, so the least I can do is give her products a plug!  Her website is  Check it out!

I received feedback from two readers that yesterday's post was helpful and "just what they needed" to read!  I love getting feedback from readers!  I write this blog to help myself, but if it helps others--wow!!

Whitney was really complimentary when I saw her--after all, I'm more than 120 pounds lighter than I was the last time we were together!  It felt great, but she and I discussed how my head just has not caught up with my body.  She asked if I had thought about seeing a counselor to discuss it, and I have thought about it--but this blog is my therapy!

So how did you do with your affirmations?  Did you tell yourself 12 positive things for EVERY negative thing you said or thought?  If not, you need to get busy!  Write down positive statements if you need to: I deserve to be happy.  I am a good and loving person.  I am a hard worker.  I am a great (fill in the blank).  Remember: you need 12 positives to replace ONE negative.  Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it?  So simplify things by putting the negatives out of your head!

It's Friday!  I'm going to a bridal shower tonight and then hitting the road in the morning.  This may be my last post for a week...but check back!  Have a terrific weekend; be safe, and be POSITIVE!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


A former student posted this on Facebook.  It made me laugh, and I shared it with everyone on Facebook, so I thought I'd share it here as well.

Yes, life IS short.  But it is ALSO terrifying and confusing!  Have you ever come close to a goal only to feel a sense of dread? When you're so close to having whatever you've dreamed of...and you hit a wall?  Not literally, of course, but metaphorically.  Maybe you've wanted that dream job.  Now it looks like you might actually get it, and suddenly you're filled with dread and self-doubt.  Maybe it's a great relationship--you've finally met someone with whom you have so much in common, someone who makes you laugh, someone with whom you have a real connection--that someone you were beginning to believe didn't exist.  And what do you do?  Do you embrace the new relationship?  Or do you push him/her away?  Maybe you're dieting...and within five pounds of your goal weight when you self-sabotage and start eating everything in sight.

Fear pushes us in strange directions.  When I was teaching seniors, I saw them self-sabotage time and time again.  They were close to graduation when they would suddenly stop doing what they were supposed to do in order to complete graduation requirements.  It was more than "senioritis" was fear.  Fear of the next step, of college or the work force.  Fear of the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood.  When I used to diet, I would lose weight, get uncomfortable with male attention and eat to put the "safety weight" back on.  I self-sabotaged all the time. 

Why do we self-sabotage?  I think that in part it's habit.  We are so used to NOT having what we want that we don't know what to do with it when we finally get it.  But I think that a larger part of it is that we don't believe we DESERVE the goal.  It's as if we unconsciously think, I don't deserve that dream job.  I don't deserve this wonderful woman (or man).  I don't deserve to be thin and happy.

But you DO deserve it.  I once read that for every negative thing we hear or think, we have to hear or think TWELVE positive things to wipe out the effect of the negative.  TWELVE!  Imagine how many negative things you said or thought today...and start turning them around by replacing them with positive affirmations.  You deserve to be happy.  Please believe that in your heart.
Today is my interview.  1pm EDT.  Stop wherever you are and ask for intervention on my behalf.  Please...I need to teach--it's who I am!!  Have a thankful, thought-filled, POSITIVE Thursday!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Great Day!

I had such a great Tuesday! Of course, getting the call about the job interview was wonderful, but even better things happened after that!

First, I had lunch with Tracynda, a former student, with her darling brother, Trace (also a former student) and Tracynda's sweet little boy, Neko.  Tracynda's husband, Ryan (also a former student) joined us a little later as well!  Neko is nearly two and just the cutest thing!  He was shy at first, but when he warmed up, he came right across the table to kiss me.  And he kissed me.  And kissed me.  And kissed me!  Such a little sweetie!  Kids like me--they always have.  I'd like to think it's because they can tell what kind of heart I have!  Kids don't get caught up with the superficial stuff--they either like you or they don't.  I had two chicken taquitos for lunch--not much, and they WERE fried, but delicious, and I don't eat fried foods very often.

After lunch, I went to the grocery store because I was making dinner for my "friend".  I'm just going to call him "him" to give him some privacy.  I drove to his house and made "grandma's chicken", which is this amazingly decadent oven-fried chicken using butter and bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  It's not at ALL heart healthy, but it IS delicious, and I don't eat it often. I can only eat a small piece, anyway.  "He" loved it--had two pieces and I made enough so that we both will have it for lunch and/or dinner today!  After dinner, we watched "The Godfather", which I've never seen. (I know--the movie-holic that I am hasn't seen a classic like that!!)  We didn't finish it because it was late and it's a long movie, but it was really nice cuddling up with him and watching the movie--a great ending to a really great day.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror at his house--and was taken aback at how small I am, particularly through the hips which was always my largest area.  I'm really an "average" sized woman.  I know I've written about this before, but my head STILL hasn't caught up with my body when it comes to self-image.  On one level, I know I'm a lot smaller than I was, but on another, I still feel so fat.  I was truly surprised to see how small my stomach and hips are because I still have that "before" photo in my head!

I hope that you have a wonderful Wednesday.  Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Good News Tuesday!

I just had a call for an interview on Thursday!  I had posted--five minutes earlier--on Facebook for my prayer warrior friends to pray for me.  Five minutes!  Of course, it may have been the email I sent telling the principal that my friend and former colleague Whitney works for him and would highly recommend me.  Or maybe it was the fact that I had made plans to go home on Thursday!

Still, I'm encouraged.   I need a teaching job.  I could afford to live on unemployment, but I don't want to.  I want to teach.  I NEED to teach.  It's who I am!

I'm making dinner for a friend tonight...wish me luck.  I'm usually a great cook, but nerves are nerves!  But an evening of movies, laughs and good food is just what I need!

Have a terrific Tuesday...mine is off to a good start!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Just Another Manic Monday...

Happy Monday, everyone.  It's my hope that today I'll hear from a few schools...I've sent out a bunch of resumes, and most schools were closed last week, so...

I saw "Ted" was funny, offensive sometimes but also really kind of sweet.  I needed a mindless movie that would let me giggle, and "Ted" truly fit the bill.  It was also super hot yesterday--my car's thermometer read "111" when we came out of the theatre, so it was a good, cool place to be, anyway!

Somehow, I gained 4 pounds between Thursday and Saturday.  (Gas?  Water weight?) But when I weighed in Sunday, it was gone.  Funny, because I really felt heavier!  Bloated and uncomfortable with just FOUR extra pounds.  It's "funny" because I don't ever remember feeling like I was gaining weight before the surgery--I just wore stretchy clothing and kept on eating.  This 4-pound gain alarmed me a little--I hadn't really eaten anything terrible--roast chicken and a little potato salad, mostly.  Still, four pounds in three days?  Whatever it was is gone though, and I weighed in yesterday at the same weight as Thursday.  (And I actually "felt" it was gone.)

It's strange to be THAT in touch with my body--but also really great.  I don't ever want to gain back the weight I've lost, and if I can be that aware, I don't think it will be a problem!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone...and cross your fingers that I get some interviews! (And of course, a J-O-B!)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

In a State of Flux

I woke up this morning not knowing what day it was.  This is what happens to teachers in the summer.  We live so "Monday through Friday" that we lose track of the days during the summer!

I'm up earlier than I like to be because something I ate forced the issue.  I woke up with a stomachache and after two trips into the bathroom, I'm feeling better and will try to go back to sleep after I write this.  

I received an invitation to a "lingerie shower" for one of my former colleagues for next Friday.  I'd love to go, but I'm not sure if I can afford to buy a gift.  I have to wait a week before unemployment starts, so I'm not sure when the money will even start.  I've never collected unemployment in my life, so I really don't know how things work.  And as a rule, lingerie is expensive!

My mother really wants me to come to New York for another visit--to the point where she's offered to pay for the gas to get me there.  I'm torn--I want to go see her, but I'd like to have a job when I do.  Additionally, I'd hate to get up there just to get asked for an interview down here.  I'd just have to turn around and come back.  My mom had suggested early August, but I have jury duty on August 5th.  I have an annual recheck exam at my surgeon's office on July 19th, and a friend is having surgery on the 25th, and I'd like to be here for that.  If I DO get a job, the start date is probably August 17th.  I'm really hoping that I'll hear about a job this coming week--cross your fingers for me, please!

I went back to the dating website and cancelled my profile--again.  I really don't want to even think about dating right now.  First, I'm not over you-know-who and second, I am really hoping he and I can "fix" things eventually.  Sometimes you have to fight for what you want, and sometimes you have to be patient and hope that it will work out.  

Have a super Saturday.  Saturday?  Yep, it's Saturday--I checked the calendar!