A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life's an Adventure.

Hard to believe...

that the school year reaches the 25% mark this Thursday. I'm still learning students' names, for pete's sake.

It's been crazy.

First, some bragging. I'm still hitting the gym regularly (most weeks 3-4 times a week for 1.5 hours a pop) and doing WW. Loss is up to 37 pounds on the scale, but I know the fat loss is greater and compensated by muscle development. Under there. Somewhere.

They say when you weight train you get "definition." True. So true. I have muscles. Am particularly proud of my biceps. Nice definition between my new biceps and the packets of fat that still hang below my arms. Sheesh.

It's OK, though. I see evidence that things are shrinking up. Long sleeves that were snug two or three months ago are hanging off me now. My hope is that by going slowly (and 37 pounds in 10 months is plenty slow) the skin will continue to shrink.

My fondest goal right now. Arms.

Artist's Way has been a life-changing experience. Transformational, as I had been advised. With school starting I've run into lots of old friends who have not seen me for several months. "You're different," is what they usually say. One old friend said I look "radiant," and another that I "sparkle".

Sparkle covers it. I feel like a little 4th of July sparkler has been lit inside. Sometimes it sputters, but most of the time it energizes me.

Very cool.

I got my webcam set up on Skype so that I can visit with my son and his wife in Japan. Not as often as I'd hoped (it's hard enough to coordinate our schedules when we're in the same state; halfway around the world is really tough) but it's worth the effort to see them so happy and doing so well.

My principal has been allowing me to attend some inspiring staff development activities. An ESL session with Kate Kinsella and an RtI with Randy Sprick. Both very inspirational but verdict's out whether this burned-out teacher can be re-ignited.

I've had some terrific adventures lately. Took my brother and sister-in-law into Hollywood to see "Opening Night: The Improvised Musical" at a comedy theater called iO West. Best laugh I've had in a long time and well worth the effort. And very easy. Theater is on Hollywood Blvd and Cosmo. Turn onto Cosmo and turn your car over to the valet. Have your ticket validated by security at the door (everybody is carded, which is strangely flattering when you're pushing 60) and it's only $5.00. $10 for Opening Night also gets you the rest of the evening. I don't drink, but rumor has it that the bar is a good one if you do. We'll be doing that again.

THE most exciting thing I'm doing, though, is an 8-week writing workshop with teacher Jack Grapes in Los Angeles. My son recommended him and I'm learning about great teaching as well as how to be a better writer. It's been an unbelievable experience. I hit the Pacific Coast Highway immediately after my staff meeting on Tuesday and drive down the coast to west LA. Takes about 1.5 hours (love the drive, although it will start getting dark soon so it won't quite be the same). Then I get to hear 2.5 hours of the most fantastic student writing ever. It's a thrill and a privilege to be in class with these writers. I don't even care than I'm barely keeping up on the tail end.

I've LOVED the weather the last couple of weeks. Overcast and rainy. Better than Santa Ana winds any time. Just wishing I could tuck inside for a couple of months and sew, stitch and clean my filthy house. Between my writing assignments, working out at the gym and family and friends I seem to run out of steam and time, sometimes at the same time.

That will be about it for now. Looking ahead to yard work, hardscape improvements, house cleaning. Oh, the photos? Nothing special. I just think blogs without pictures can be pretty boring so I added one with one of the Monarchs I released this year. I think over a dozen this year. The milkweed is germinating everywhere and we are just letting it grow. The more milkweed, the more cats we can support. Not a bad-looking plant, either.

Oh, and Christmas is coming to Disneyland. Got there a couple of times for HalloweenTime.

One of my favorite times to be there. OH! And I had a special adventure! I was chosen to be the guest director of the Disneyland Band for their Town Square performance. I got to sit in a director's chair and announce songs in between trading jokes with Toby the bass trombone player. It gave me a chance to tell him that he was my dad's favorite musician in the park, something I've been wanting to do since Dad died last June. For my efforts I got the rare and much coveted Disneyland Band button for my collection.

Sometimes life is just too sweet, isn't it?


vEr0n!c@ said...

Glad to hear you've been doing great. The writing workshop sounds interesting. I'd love to read more about it. Sounds like you had fun being a guest director :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it's such a happy fall for you. Hugs from the East Coast.

Chiloe said...

We can see you did loose a big amount of weight on your picture and you look so pretty and so young.

I wish I could have gone with you to see Halloween in Disneyland.

You are so lucky to be able to scrap with your mom and sister. I envy you . :-)