Sunday, July 31, 2011

To do is to be. -Descartes To be is to do. - Voltaire Do be do be do. - Frank Sinatra

I weighed 278 this morning. That's 49 pounds I've lost. Still not matching the 52 pounds the doctor's office's scales had me at. My crazy scales....

I'll post pictures tomorrow. I had a great time at Seize the Clay with Shirey, Kelly, and Darby (*waving*)

We went to play trivia again. Actually thought we did better than last time. All the other teams did even better so we didn't place, but had fun!

I'll share the painting pics tomorrow.


Today's food:
salad, hamburger patty, cheese dip, lemonade, snickers, ring pop, spaghetti, and more salad

Saturday, July 30, 2011

About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.

My friend Char (Hey Char!!) had her birthday this past week. Tonight I hosted a party to celebrate her birth!
Crowns and Leis!
Fun Umbrella Bendy Straws!
Slow Cooked (3 hours) Baked Beans
Pretty Table full of food :)

Burger Buffet I had lots of different flavors from which to pick! Ranch, Gravy, A1, Lea & Perrins, Country Bob's, Bacon & Onion, Bacon & Cheese, Bacon, Cheese, Garlic & Herb, and probably one I forgot!

I fried them all. It was too hot outside to grill. I pan fried some hot dogs too.
I sat next to Teresa. She's a new friend and I'm glad she and her husband, Paul, came tonight! We played Apples to Apples. Great Fun! Holly and Todd were hilarious!

Rockin' our tiaras! The birthday girl!

Shirey is looking great!
I'm so glad everybody came. I had a blast. Charlotte and Holly even cleaned up my kitchen. AWESOME!!! Larry and Blaine were here too, they just didn't make it into the pictures.

I'm tired :) but had a great time!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Parenting Advice from a Public School Employee

Kelly's Korner is hosting a Parenting Advice Day today. I realize I am NOT a parent. Although I have changed my share of dirty diapers, wiped up puke, and cleaned up spilt milk, kool-aid, and juice. I have been a public school employee since 1994. I subbed in every grade and every subject, taught 7th grade math and science, was a K-6 librarian, and now I'm a junior high librarian. My husband teaches Special Services and Math.

My advice is for parent's from an educational perspective.

*If you have a learning disabled or child with a physical disability. Be aware of the law and your child's rights! For example, if your child is diabetic, they need to have a 504 plan in place that outlines their special needs and how teachers are to deal with them. You are your child's best advocate! Use the internet and talk to other parents. Ask, ask, ask!

*Make sure your child takes their medicine every morning!

*If every single one of your child's teachers are having discipline problems with your child, don't just write it off as they don't like him. There is a problem. Little Johny may be wonderful for you at home but is a wild child at school.

*It is possible to have personality conflicts between a child and a teacher. Be aware of your child constantly saying they don't like a teacher and investigate. There are as many different teacher personalities as there are children. You may need to ask for your child to be moved. Take care of this the first month of school!!!! Please don't wait until April to decide it's time for a change.

*BE INVOLVED. Don't wait until report cards come out and then be shocked that Little Susie has a D in math or see that she has a NI (needs improvement) in classroom behavior.

*Don't wait until Parent Teacher Conferences to approach a teacher about a problem. Some teachers have to see 150 parents in a 6 hour period. That gives you a little over 2 minutes to say 'hi' and 'bye'. Teachers have a prep/conference period most every day. Call and make an appointment to discuss whatever it is.

*Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep and eats breakfast before school. A hungry/tired child is not ready to learn.

*If you are having problems at home. Let the school know. Children respond in different ways to stress and if a teacher is prepared it makes things a lot easier.

*If your child doesn't treat you with respect, they won't treat school employees with respect. This is a recipe for DISASTER in a public education setting! Encourage proper behavior towards adults and other students.

*There is no excuse for bad behavior. When you're told your child has been behaving badly, suggest a way to approach it and remedy it.

*Be connected to the teachers. Most have email and would rather correspond with you that way. They might even use texting or have a class website.

*Remember that sugar is easier to swallow that vinegar. Approach employees calmly and controlled (This includes secretaries, counselors, principals, lunch ladies, custodians, and librarians.) If possible, schedule a meeting. Don't just go up to school and demand a meeting. That puts the meeting on the wrong foot from the beginning!

*Make sure they return their library books!!! I just had to put that one in there!

Do you agree? What did I forget? Leave additional advice in the comments!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist. Franklin Jones

Today was BARGAIN DAY! We started off the day by going to Borders. They are closing and everything is marked down. I have to admit, I don't buy nearly as many "real" books since I got my Kindle.

I love my Kindle. But there is just something about browsing through the books, touching them, looking at the cover art, and reading the backs. I would still rather read on my Kindle, but I like to find the real book and then order it.

After we made our purchases, we went to McAlister's. Today was FREE TEA DAY!!!! Yes, I got sweet tea and drank every single drop! It was fresh and delicious! I don't drink it every day, so it's okay. I promise.

Spaghetti Warehouse was also hosting $5 Lasagna Day! Late lunch! I ate all the juice out of my Wedding Soup, 4 Fried Zucchini Sticks, and 3 pieces of fried cheese. I didn't eat any of my lasagna. We took it home and ate it for snack. I had 1/3 of it.

My car had been dropped off at Wal-Mart. It needed an oil change and the tires rotated and balanced. We picked it up and headed home. After Blaine worked on the yard, we went to Kroger.

I'm hosting a Birthday Party for my friend Charlotte Saturday. Happy Birthday Char!!!! I picked up some of the stuff. I'm going shopping again tomorrow. I'm making two trips because I hadn't cut all my coupons and sorted them into my binder!

I've also been pouring over recipes today. I like The Pioneer Woman Cooks because she shows pictures of what she's cooking as she makes it! So far, I've printed out The Best Lasagna. Ever and Meatloaf. I'd like cooking more if I didn't have the dishes afterward.

Please don't start suggesting I get Blaine to help. We have a deal: I do the kitchen, he does the yard. He doesn't ask me to help weed and I don't ask him to help wash dishes. It works for us!

For dinner I cooked battered fish by Gortons in the oven. I chopped it up and ate it in shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, salsa, hot sauce, and ranch. I called it Fish Taco Salad. I didn't get stuck once!

Show some blog love! It's the end of the month!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Defeat has its lessons as well as victory. Pat Buchanan

We don't let defeat keep us down! Tonight we went to Southland Gaming and Racing to play Trivia in the Juke Joint. Luckily, our friend, Shirey was able to join us!

We were in first place until the final "Jeopardy" round. You have one question that you have to get everything into correct order and you risk up to 20 points. If you get it wrong you lose your points. We got it wrong and another team got it right, so second place is great! You don't win actual cash, you get "free play" for the slot machines.

We did go up to school this morning. I went to do a little "techie" work on the school secretary's computer. I couldn't fix it. I did know who to call and have them come and fix it! (Thanks Bruce!)

Hopefully next week I'll be able to get in the library and get some work done. This will help the beginning of the year to not be so crazy!

We went to Pizza Hut for their lunch buffet. It was very distressing. I couldn't eat anything. Everything was getting stuck and I was hungry! I finally gave up. After Blaine finished we drove through Taco Bell and I got a taco, burrito, and crunchy gordita. When we got home I scraped all the "innards" out of them and just ate those. They were very tummy friendly!

I find myself avoiding bread 90% of the time. It's hard to chew and it often gets stuck. It's just not worth the risk. Pasta has to be very moist and overcooked for me to eat it. The chewier something is, the more likely it is to get stuck.

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Today's food:
Sausage Gravy, taco innards, burrito innards, crunchy gordita innards, chicken noodle soup juice, zuppa toscana juice, virgin mary, 6 oz Mt. Dew, 6 oz Pepsi, 2 Filet'o'Fish innards, and a Drumstick Ice Cream Cone.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I like children... Properly cooked :)

Today was a lazy, relaxing day. We slept late. I cooked lunch. We went to visit Blaine's parents, and we played trivia at The Flying Saucer.

I cooked corn on the cob, green beans, and Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff. Not exciting, but filling.

We left after 2 rounds (there are 3 rounds played) at trivia. It was just the two of us and we sucked! It was awful, we missed questions we should have gotten. I was getting discouraged, so we left before it got really ugly.

Not a very exciting day, but a good day.

Today's food:
Corn on the cob, beef stroganoff, chex mix, rotel, tortilla chips, grilled chicken strips, and more beef stroganoff.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

I love a Bargain!!!

The end is drawing nigh. I feel it coming right around the corner. Two weeks from today it's back to the grind. This will be my 18th year in education. I really do enjoy my job. I also enjoy countdowns! I just won't be counting down these last two weeks.

I fried Blaine some bacon this morning for a BMT (Bacon, Mayo, & Tomato.) I cut up a tomato, crunched bacon on top, and topped it off with some salad dressing. I loved it!

We took a little trip to Tunica. They don't just have casinos, they also have an outlet mall! Lane Bryant is one of those stores. They have cute clothes for bigger women. Someday, I hope their stuff will be too big for me. Right now, they are my store of choice.
This is one of my favorite LB tops. Today I found it in two other colors and a SIZE SMALLER!!!
The kicker is they were 60% off!!!! That means that the two of them together cost less than what I paid for the first one! I do love a bargain!!!

We stopped by the grocery store and got the ingredients for Taco Salad.
Don't think I ate all of this. But it sure was good!

Tomorrow night is trivia night! Wanna come play with us? Flying Saucer downtown at 7pm!

If you are interested in purchasing a Boston Butt for $27 let me know. The proceeds with help send a family and their son to the Visa Nationals Gymnastics competition next month. The deadline for ordering is July 31st. They will be delivered August 5th. Leave me a comment if you are interested or just want to make a donation!

Keep the bloggy love flowing and keep signing those comments!


Today's food:
3 slices bacon, 1/3 tomato, salad dressing, kiddy size cherry slush, 6 tots, ketchup, cheese pulled loose from the bread in a grilled cheese, taco salad, and a hand full of Chex Mix!

My hair is still coming out, maybe I need different vitamins. Any suggestions? When I say coming out, I mean hand fulls. It's a little distressing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Idea of Housework Is to Sweep the Room with a Glance!

I have to admit, I didn't weigh this morning. I was so excited to be making my Zuppa Toscana, I forgot!

It was super yummy! I had everything but the Kale or Swiss Chard. I will definitely be making this again. I may even try to make a lower calorie version.

Here is the recipe:
1 pound Italian sausage (I may try it without the meat or use turkey sausage)
2 large russet baking potatoes sliced in quarters and then in 1/4 inch slices (Could be done with just one potato)
1 large chopped onion (I used the frozen, chopped onions from Kroger)
1/2 cup Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Bits (these are less fatty than real bacon)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I didn't use fresh, I have the bottled kind)
2 cups chopped kale or Swiss chard
2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth (get the fat free version) (I used more than this. I also added some bouillon. I wanted more juice and chickenier!)
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream (maybe half and half, whole milk, 2%, or skim. I'll have to test it out)

*Cook sausage in a skillet and drain on paper towels. (I used my Pampered Chef Mix'n'Chop, AWESOME!)
*Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, and garlic in a pot and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. 

*Add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste and simmer for another 10 minutes. 
*Turn to low heat; add kale and cream. Heat thoroughly and serve.

We watched the movie Secretariat this afternoon. I really enjoyed it. It was a happy ending and those are my favorites! 

As soon as the movie was over we jumped in the car and headed to Charlotte and Larry's. Charlotte needed a little help coloring her hair. I felt extremely unqualified! It is not my niche!
 I put on the rubber gloves and got to work. We had fun. I'm not sure how good I did, but we had fun!
While we were waiting the "25 minutes" there was a commercial for a new show. I'm not sure the name, I think it may be "Hillbilly Hand Fishing!" Good grief, I'm gonna have my own show someday at this rate! 
I saw this magnet on Char's fridge. I do believe it is my new motto!

We had pizza at Charlotte's and stopped for late dinner at Outback. When we got home I checked on my pot garden. I have squash blossoms!!!!!
I don't even know if there's still a cucumber plant in the pot. I didn't know squash plants were so aggressive! They are trying to curl their little feelers into one of my bushes. I have to keep freeing it!

So far I've really been enjoying my pot garden. I haven't been very successful, but I want to try again next summer! I still don't know what happened to my pepper plant. I think I need a gardening mentor to hold my hand (or trowel) and help me out! Any takers?

Thanks for all the bloggy love and for signing those comments!


Today's food:
Zuppa Toscana, pizza, potato soup, Zuppa Toscana, Chex Mix

I'm getting a little frustrated with my digital scales. They aren't moving. The doctor's office says I've lost weight. The digital scales aren't moving. The manual scale now says I weigh about 7 pounds less than the digital scales. I've put Blaine on the scales and they work fine for him. ARRGGHHH!!!

Also, since the fill I'm getting stuck more often. I have to get back to chewing more and eating slower. It's like I have to retrain myself after every fill. Also after a fill, I like soup and mashed potatoes. They rarely make me stuck.  Hopefully, when school starts back, my weight loss will be kick started. 

We eat out too much and I'm not good at saying "NO, lets go home." I don't wanna cook or do the dishes. I do try to make smart menu choices.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I loved that Zuppa Toscana soup so much at Olive Garden that I found the recipe online and went to the store and bought the ingredients!

I'm going to make it tomorrow!!!! I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out!

Blaine took me back to Olive Garden for more soup today!!
I was so excited! I'm waiting for my soup! As we were leaving I noticed a car with a cool bumper sticker...
We took a little trip to Tunica. We came home with more money than we left with, so I consider that a good night! Maybe my new dress is a lucky dress! I bought it at Ross Dress for Less for $11.99

We stopped by Sonic and Kroger before coming home. Big fun tomorrow, I'll be sure to share!

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Today's food:
Chicken noodle soup, saltines, chicken pot pie, Zuppa Toscana, Cheddar Peppers, Jr Cheese Burger Deluxe, and a cherry slush

Friday, July 22, 2011

Everyone has photographic memory; some just don't have the film.

We went running around all day today! Blaine read online where Borders Bookstores are closing. We went to one of the stores in Memphis.

We got some travel magazines for 40% off and some cookbooks that were already on clearance but got an additional 10% off of those. I bought three slow cooker cookbooks, I'm wanting to use my crockpot more!

We had late lunch at Olive Garden. I had the soup and salad. I didn't eat much of the salad but had THREE bowls of the Zuppa Toscana! Right now soup is about the only thing I can eat with ease. After a fill, no matter how small, it takes time to get back to eating regular food. I did some research online and found a copycat recipe for it, I think I'm going to try it soon!

Captain America came out at the movies today. I love super hero movies! This one didn't disappoint. I enjoyed it. It wasn't stand up and clap good, but I didn't want to ask for my money back.

We headed to McAlister's for some soup. I was disappointed in their Cheddar Potato soup. It was way too thick and I got stuck. Blech! I just gave up and we left.

Marshall's and Ross Dress for Less were next on our agenda. I bought a couple of short dresses. I like to wear them over capris or shorts. Blaine did some shopping too. FYI I bought a size TWENTY dress!!! I was in size 26/28 before the surgery!!!!

After a drive by at Chick-fil-a for some of their chicken noodle soup and a peach milkshake, we headed home.

I don't know what's up for tomorrow, but we're trying to enjoy every day we have left of our summer vacation!

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Today's food:
Chicken Noodle soup, salad, Zuppa Toscana, 1/4 of a bread stick, lemonade, Cheddar Potato soup, salad, chicken noodle soup, peach milk shake, 1/2 chicken sandwich

I feel hungry all the time. I think it's just in my brain. As soon as I start to eat, I'm full. So, I just THINK I'm hungry.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What is this wet stuff falling from the sky?

It rained this evening and it was very nice. I hope others got some of the rain!

We went to Delta Market and we bought 2 dozen ears of sweet corn, 2 chocolate fried pies, and a cherry Italian Ice! It was super hot, so we didn't stay long.
We stopped by to see Blaine's parents and shared some of our corn haul with them. When we got home I decided to boil an ear of the corn. Oh my! It is sweet like candy. I ate a whole ear!

I cooked dinner tonight. I took pictures all along the way! First up was the corn!

Next was Chicken Parmigiana

Green Beans and Garlic Toast

Here's the finished product!

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Today's food: Salad, 2 ears of corn, Cherry Italian Ice, 1/2 of a Jr Sonic Burger, chips, Chicken Parmigiana, Garlic Toast, Green Beans, and a Cherry Slush.

 I am eating much slower and chewing better. It's the only way to avoid getting stuck. I can tell that my band has been tightened, but it's nothing like the other fills. This was much easier to manage. I am having to pay for visits and fills now. Yesterday's visit was $140. My insurance doesn't pay anything, yet. Maybe someday!