Friday, April 29, 2011

Ummmm...God? What's With The Weather Lately?

Hi Everyone-

For those of you who don't live near me, we've experienced some pretty severe weather lately. The picture you see above was an ACTUAL storm cell cloud that came through Starkville about a week ago. This happened around noon on a school day so we spent several hours at school in tornado mode. (At most schools this is in the hallway with your head down against the wall and your butt in the air.) As far as I know, there was no damage here locally, although a tornado was spotted in town.

The past three weeks or so has seen more tornado sirens and watches and stuff then I can remember in the eight years I've been here put together. The day before yesterday, a really big storm system with some horrific tornadoes came through Mississippi and Alabama and leveled some towns. We were blessed. Our electricity was off from 4 PM until around 2 AM, which stunk. Coming from the Florida Keys, I'm used to not having electricity. It happens all the time. When I say all the time, I literally mean ALL the time. But here, we've lost power about 5 times in the whole time we've lived here (8 years.) The power went out because some bad storms knocked out some TVA power stations. I'm thankful that the men and women responsible for getting us all back online did such a good job. I'm ready to put those people up there with the heroes of the police and fire departments. It makes you appreciate the hardships that our ancestors had to endure without electricity.

I've said before that I'm happier here than I was in Key West from a severe weather standpoint. In Key West, it was hot all the time and there was no differentiation of seasons. Then, six months out of the year, you waited on pins and needles to see if the next hurricane was going to come and wipe you out. Here, there are tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, but you don't have long to worry about it and it's usually over pretty quickly. The amount of damage from either disaster seems about the same. But.....

To have so many of them over the past three weeks has not been fun. During this period, I'm betting there were at least 4 or 5 different times/days where we had tornado watches and warnings. I've had enough. And I'm one of those people who hasn't suffered any damage. All I had to endure was several hours with no power. Around 300 people have lost their lives due to this series of tornadoes two days ago. I'm not complaining, I'm just sayin' is all.....

My dad said that those who got hit and survived had better get some religion if they haven't already. I agree. I thought about this wonderful song called "Blessings" by Laura Story that basically says "What if the trials of this life, are your mercies in disguise? What if you need a thousand sleepless nights to know that God is near?" I know He's there. He's in large and in charge...all the time.

I wanted to touch base with everyone because some have asked how I've been doing and if we got hit. Also, I wanted people to know that although the news channels are showing lots of footage of tornado damage in Alabama....we here in Mississippi had our share as well. We are never represented well, and don't draw much attention. We're not big news to anyone but ourselves. Bottom line folks....I'm fine.

Please be in prayer for those that lost loved ones and everything they own. I can't imagine how any of that feels. But through it all, I know that God is there and some day, the situations we're going through now will make sense in the future.

Bless you all!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's All in the Collar Bone

Hi Loyal Readers (All 2 of you!)--

I'm back! Sorry to say that my life hasn't gotten any more interesting since you last read one of my posts, it's just that I'm staying busier. Unfortunately, I'm not being given any more time to get all of the stuff done. That's pretty typical, so what's keeping me going is the thought that summer will be here soon and I'll have more time to blog!

Also this summer, I will be taking a much needed (and desired) trip to Florida. I moved here to Mississippi 8 years ago and have only been back to the homeland twice. Both of those times were to go to Disney World. (Side note here...I ADORE Disney World.) I was born and raised in Key West, and lived there my whole life with the exception of the two years I spent at Mississippi State. I haven't been back to Key West since I moved and I'm looking forward to it. So we plan on going to Key West for a week and while we're in the neighborhood, go to Disney World. Afterwards, we will spend a couple of days at Cocoa Beach. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be great to see lots of old friends!

In preparation, I'm trying to get in better shape. Standing in the hot, Florida sun for hours while waiting in line for an 8 minute ride can take a toll on you. Losing some weight would help me deal with the Florida heat and and help me feel better about seeing people that remember me eight years younger. I can't control getting older, but I do have some control over looking and feeling better.

So far, so good. I've rejoined Weight Watchers and have lost 20 pounds. I'm a lifetime member of this particular cult. Before Raelynn, I lost 50 pounds in about 3 months and maintained that weight for awhile. Then, I got pregnant and well.....I'm still trying lose the baby weight from 10 years ago. Back then, I was a maniac. I ran 2 to 3 miles a day and was religious in writing down what I ate. A few years ago, I got back on the wagon and lost some weight because I was in my friend Jessica's wedding. She's totally gorgeous, young, and thin so I didn't want to embarrass her or myself by being the old, fat lady in the wedding. But I digress....

I've rejoined and learned the new program and I'm doing okay. I'm not able to run like I did before...I blame that on my age. My bones can't take it anymore. I do try to run, but it's not nearly as often as I'd like. And as for religious food journaling....I try to keep up with it. I find that the older I get, the more difficult it is to maintain that level of fanatical-ness. It's very tiring being that "on" all the time.

So, how do I know that I've arrived at my goal weight? Yes, I do weigh...almost everyday. This is something that I don't usually like to do. But when you are working so hard, seeing that number going down is a good motivator to keep up the work. I told someone one time that the way you know that you're skinny is that you collar bone becomes more prominent. Think about it.... when you see pictures of people that you think are "in shape" you can see their collar bone. I don't notice it as much on guys, so I'm guess I'm really talking about women here.

So then I started thinking....when was the last time I saw my collar bone? I mean, I can feel it...I know it's there. When I look in the mirror, I don't see it. It doesn't look like that area is covered in a layer of fat, but it doesn't look clear to me. Which led me to thinking.....

Have I ever been able to see my collar bone? I started looking in my old photo collar bone. Now, this could be either due to the fact that I wore very modest clothing in my younger days or the fact that I'm not genetically inclined to having an obvious collar bone. I'm hoping that it's the first, not the latter. I don't want to be anorexic or anything, I'd just like to get down to the single digits in clothing size and be able to see a clearly define collar bone.

In looking online for pictures, I found some people posting that they couldn't believe their collar bone was showing...that they didn't think they were that thin....oh please.....don't complain about being "too thin." I have a magnet on my fridge that says, "You can never be too thin, too rich, or have too many cookies."

Enough said.....

I'm off to write down what I ate for dinner tonight and to look....again....for my missing collar bone. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 1, 2011

You're Quirky Is Just Another Name for "You're Really Weird."

So...I've been away for a week or so...I apologize. Again, I blame work. I tend to spend 13 hour days at work and then come home and have about an hour to get dinner ready and help Raelynn with homework before she goes to bed. After that, I have about an hour and a half until I crash. I literally fall asleep almost every night sitting on the couch with my grading pen in my hand. This is your tax dollars at work people. But today, I'm not at school. David's aunt died and I'll be going to her funeral in just a bit. On to today's topic: quirks. Their like belly buttons and opinions....everyone has them and they're better left unshared. But not me..right? I'm an open book. I was standing in my closet picking out the clothes I'll wear to the funeral later and that's when this blog topic came to me. Here's a brief list of the quirks that I'm willing to share. There are others, but like I said.....those are better left unshared. 1) Closed Doors- At both schools I've worked at, it was required that your classroom door be closed and locked at all times for safety reasons. As a result, even when the kids aren't there and I'm working (which like I stated earlier, is ALL the time) I can't have the door open. It makes me feel vulnerable. This works to my detriment because since the door is locked, I have to get up and answer the door each time someone comes by. Some days, that's a lot. (I'm not complaining....I enjoy the company!) Another time it's not so great is when the air conditioning isn't working and I'm sweltering, I have a hard time keeping the door open to let in the cooler air. This may not seem quirky, but I'm the opposite at home. I don't like doors closed at home. (The exception here is the bathroom, of course. If you have kids then you know that the door doesn't stay shut long. Those kids will find you and not leave you alone.) Everyday, Mr. Riley, the custodian in my building, will sweep my floor and ask as he leaves, "Do you want the door shut, Mrs. Rosamond?" My daily answer: "Yes....I've got issues." 2) Barefoot- I like going barefoot. Except for when my feet will get dirty. And it doesn't matter if you try hard to keep your floor clean, after you've walked around for just a moment, your feet will start to feel dirty. So, what I do is get comfy on the couch, bed, chair ,etc....take off my shoes and then put them back on as soon as I get up. Right now, that's what I'm doing as I type this. 3) Closed-in Shoes- Maybe this one is related to #2. Coming from the Florida Keys and its constant hot weather, I wore sandals most of the time. When I moved to Mississippi I had quite the collection of Birkenstocks and Tevas. The weather here is a little cooler at times, but I have a problem wearing traditional flats. I can wear sneakers and stuff....I mean dressy shoes that you'd wear with a skirt or something. I don't like how my feet feel in closed in shoes. My solution is to wear mules. Closed in shoes in the front and open in the back. Which leads to the next quirk. 4) Wearing Mules with Dresses or Skirts- I think wearing mules with a skirt or dress looks ridiculous on me. I think it's something to do with going barefoot with these shoes. When I wear mules with slacks, I wear trouser socks. I don't do hose so that becomes a problem as to what to wear with the dress or skirt in cooler weather. My solution: Don't wear skirts or dresses in cooler weather. 5) Tomatoes- As a kid, I didn't like tomatoes raw or cooked. I would pick out stewed tomatoes from soup and stuff. I would, however, eat pasta with tomato sauce. As an adult, my taste buds have changed. I like tomatoes. But....I don't like regular tomato soup. I prefer a creamy tomato soup. I don't like tomato juice. (Don't get me wrong, I'll eat or drink either but I'm talking about my preferences here...) I do enjoy spicy tomato juice, such as Bloody Mary mix. I take the mix and add Tabasco, celery salt, and worcestershire sauce. The same goes for V8. I don't care for the regular kind, I like the spicy kind. 6) Accessories- As soon as I come home from being somewhere, I take off my watch and wedding ring and put them in a fish-shaped dish on my kitchen counter. It feels weird to wear them around. As soon as I leave the house, I put them both on. It feels weird to not have them on when I'm outside of my house. 7) Clocks- There is a clock in each room in my house including the bathroom and my closet. I need to know what time it is. It bothers me to see adults that don't wear watches, especially at work. My father-in-law doesn't wear a watch. Ever. I'm not even sure he has one. I'm guessing he uses his cell phone to tell time, but that's another thing that bugs me about people. 8) Pencils- I don't like mechanical pencils or the ones that have the leads on plastic tips that you take out and reload at the top. I like a good wooden pencil that is sharp. Really sharp. I don't like blunt pencils. And I don't like writing in pen. And when writing in pencil, I like there to be a nice eraser on top. 9) Scratchy Elbows-I don't like the feeling of having my elbows be scratchy, so I apply Neutrogena Hand Cream on them nightly. This is the best concentrated lotion in the world. It even says so on the bottle. 10) Long Sleeve Shirts- I am hot-natured. I always get hot when I wear long sleeves. As a result, I don't own very many long sleeve shirts and I won't wear a sweatshirt unless it is very cold and I'm going to be outside for a considerable amount of time. I figure that if it's cold enough outside for long sleeves and you work indoors, won't the inside be heated? And if it is, why would you need long sleeves? 11) Paperclips- I like the jumbo sized paperclips, not the small ones. I think this stems from the fact that I'm a teacher with a ton of papers and the small clips don't hold the papers. I also don't like paperclips that are coated in plastic or the ones that aren't traditionally shaped. I'm all about cute stuff, but paperclips shouldn't be swirl shaped. That's just wrong. 12) Clean Hands- I'm not one of those OCD types that washes their hands obsessively, but I don't like having dirty hands, very similar to dirty feet. My classroom in Florida had a sink in the room and it was great for this quirk. The room I'm in now doesn't have a sink. This bothers me. I know about GermX and all, but we all know that it's not the same feeling as washing your hands. 13) Safeguard Soap- My favorite soap scent is Safeguard. Kroger keeps it in their bathrooms. They also sell it in hand pump sizes. I have not found Safeguard in body wash size. I'm not even sure they make it. I think it's an antibacterial soap meant for hand washing. Until I find it, I'm enjoying how that soap smells after I wash my hands. 14) Ice- I don't know if this is considered a quirk or not, but I like to know that I have access to ice if I'm going to be somewhere for an extended amount of time. I have this ginormous insulated cup that I fill with ice every day and take to school. Drinks don't taste good just from the fridge. I like my cold drinks over ice. 15) Milk on Ice- I don't like milk on ice, nor do I like iced coffee. 16) Coffee- I don't like regular coffee. I like the expensive caramel coffee drinks that I can't spell correctly (I think it's "maccihito??") that cost $5 a pop. I also like the same coffee frozen. Just not over ice. 17) Getting My Teeth Cleaned- So going to the dentist is scarier than getting a mammogram. Up until the last year or so, I've always considered myself as one of those people with pretty good teeth. I must admit that I don't floss as much as I should, but I do believe in regular visits to the dentist. My teeth are a little sensitive as I've gotten older (who knew that you could brush your teeth TOO hard and it would wear away your gums? Really?) so when I go to the dentist I'm pretty uptight. One of the things they do when you get a cleaning is they use this sandy paste stuff to buff your teeth. What's quirky is that when the hygienist stops to refill her instrument or to use the oral vacuum cleaner to get rid of your spit, I take advantage of the down time. I crunch ithe paste between my teeth. I imagine that it's the closest thing I'll get to eating sand. Not that I want to eat sand or anything. I just like the feeling of the grit crunching between my teeth. 18) The Fan and The Blanket- When I go to sleep, I like to be cool. I'm not a person that deals with heat so well. As luck would have it, my bedroom is in the coolest part of the house. In the winter time this isn't so great. But.....I've gotten very used to sleeping with the ceiling fan on. There's something about the sound of the fan and the constant moving of air that I need to sleep. In the winter, I will put extra blankets on my bed because it will be cold so I'll be warm, and then I'll crank up the fan in case I get too hot from the blankets. Like somehow the combination of these two things will cancel each other out and I'll have the perfect sleeping temperature. 19) Lip Balm- I don't know why, but I have to put on a layer of lip balm every night before I go to bed, regardless of the temperature or the condition of my lips. I don't do this during the day. 20) Vibrate AND Ring- My phone is always set to vibrate and ring. What's weird is that if it doesn't vibrate I can't hear it and if it doesn't ring I can't feel it so I'll never know when people are calling. It doesn't help that I'm hard of hearing..... 21) Captions and Subtitles- Since I was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease several years ago and lost a significant amount of hearing in my left ear, I have to watch movies with the subtitles on. It really bugs me that some movies on DVD don't have this option and that it's not available in the movie theater. I also don't have it on my TV but I think that if I did, I'd be irritated because it seems that when I have seen it on TV, the captions and the person speaking aren't in sync. I almost can't understand what is being said on TV unless it's on. This is just the tip of the iceberg of my quirks. I figure most of these are harmless enough. I may dig deeper and share some more another time. You can bet that when I do, I won't be wearing shoes or a watch, and there will be an iced drink (not coffee or milk) in front of me with my clock right next to it. Toodles!