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Archive for February, 2018

 

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Sylvia the Sloth 

On the Friday after Mardi Gras, my hubby, my mother-in-law (Mrs. Billie), Andrew and I packed up the car and drove down to Orange Beach in Alabama. Along the way, we stopped at Lambert’s Café which is “home of the throwed rolls” and had an amazing meal. Once we checked into the hotel, Andrew and I headed to the beach where we scoured the shore for seashells, relaxed on the sand, and admired its magnificent beauty.

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Barry took a picture from the hotel lobby of Andrew and me on the beach.

We all woke up early Saturday morning and ate a hearty breakfast at the hotel. Before packing up the car, Andrew and I walked along the beach and collected more seashells. Then, it was time to travel to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores where we participated in wildlife encounters. Mrs. Billie and Andrew played with the lemurs. This was the first time that Mrs. Billie had been to the zoo, and it was her first wildlife encounter. She had a blast!

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Mrs. Billie and Andrew playing with the lemurs

Afterwards, we all made our way over to the enclosure that housed two tamanduas, Xena and Titan. A tamandua is a lesser anteater. Andrew and I spent about 20 minutes interacting with them. They were both very busy, either investigating, digging, or walking around their enclosure and did not pay us too much attention.  Both of them were gentle and allowed us to pet them. Surprisingly, tamanduas have thick, coarse fur.

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Andrew petting Xena

As soon as our encounter with the tamanduas was over, the four of us walked around the rest of the zoo. Since it is not a large zoo, we were finished in about an hour. Mrs. Billie was getting tired, so she sat on a bench watching the kangaroo encounters while my hubby, Andrew, and I went to our sloth encounter.

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Sonic the Sloth

First, we met Sonic and Speedy. They are two-toed sloths who were neither speedy nor as fast as Sonic the Hedgehog. The zookeeper tried to entice them with small pieces of fruit to wake them up, and we were hopeful when Sonic looked up; however, it was brief, and he was soon back to sleep.  Sloths sleep 15 to 18 hours per day. The zookeeper told us that we could pet Sonic and Speedy; however, we would have to pet them on their backs. Apparently, sloths have poor eyesight and poor hearing. They are also closely related to anteaters. While anteaters do not have teeth, sloths do. Their fur is also thick and coarse.

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Andrew & Sylvia

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Kat & Sid

Since Sonic and Speedy decided to sleep instead of participating in our meet and greet, the zookeeper took us over to the other sloth enclosure to meet Sylvia and Sid who are also two-toed sloths. Sylvia was active and climbing on the ropes in her enclosure. My hubby, Andrew, and I pet Sylvia while she was exercising. We followed her into the room she shares with Sid. I was surprised by how fast she moved. She nestled in an elevated corner of her room to sleep. Sid slept through the entire encounter. This was a wondrous experience. Check out my Facebook page where I posted videos of Sylvia going back inside her room, as well as other pictures of our adventure in Alabama. For any of my readers interested in seeing the videos and are not on Facebook, email me, and I will send them to you via email.

Our Alabama adventure was an awesome way to end our Mardi Gras break, and it gave me the opportunity to cross off another item on my 18 for 2018 list. While I wish we could have spent more time at the beach, I am grateful for the time that we were there. It just means we need to go back for another visit. Maybe the next time we go, we can introduce my momma and daddy to the lemurs. Have you ever, dear reader, had a wildlife encounter at a zoo, a wildlife sanctuary, or in your own backyard? If so, please share in the comments. Enjoy your upcoming week. Happiness!

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~ W.B. Yeats 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So, after perusing my time logs for the last three weeks that I tracked my time (01/22, 01/29, 02/05), I made three observations.small clock

Observation #1: My work weeks are not created equal. And, neither is my personal time.

Week 3: School – Due to the two ice days the previous week, Monday changed from a professional development day with no students to a regular day of school. Tom from Kagan came to observe my teaching structure on Tuesday. I had a school-related meeting after school on both Monday and Wednesday.

Week 3: Personal – I took the day off of work on Tuesday to accompany Son #1 to the VA Hospital in New Orleans which lasted until about 11:15, so I was home before 12:30. This allowed me to complete some personal tasks and errands before picking Andrew up from school. Except for Wednesday afternoon, I picked Andrew up from either school or tennis practice every afternoon this week. Son #1 picked Andrew up for me on Wednesday afternoon because of my meeting, and the three of us met at La Caretta for dinner.  Grocery shopping on Friday evening.

Week 4: School – This was Catholic Schools Week. Mass schedule (shorter classes) on both Monday (CSW Mass) and Tuesday (CSW Faculty Breakfast). Open House on Tuesday evening. Andrew got a ride home on Tuesday afternoon, so I stayed at school to work before Open House.

Week 4: Personal – I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday which led to picking up a prescription in Mandeville that was followed by a 6:00pm meeting with Andrew at STA. Wednesday was another doctor’s appointment for me that was followed by me picking Andrew up from tennis practice. On Thursday, my mother-in-law was checked into the hospital, so Andrew and I visited with her after school. On Friday, Andrew had tennis practice, then a dermatology  appointment.  Grocery shopping on Friday evening.

Week 5: School – ACT Aspire administered on Monday and Tuesday which meant shorter class periods. NJHS meeting after school on Monday and a staff development meeting on Wednesday afternoon (missed because of my doctor’s appointment).

Week 5: Personal – Since I bought a new car, Andrew was able to start driving himself to school and tennis practice. Tuesday was the only day I had to drive him to and from school. I had another doctor’s appointment on Wednesday afternoon. Grocery shopping on Friday evening.

Lesson #1: Planning is the key to not losing my mind both professionally and personally. Thankfully, I am a planner by nature. The stress comes in when juggling too many commitments on one day. Hopefully, buying the new car will lessen my load personally since Andrew can get to his practices and appointments on his own. In addition to planning, acceptance is needed with my school schedule. I have no control over the schedule; however, I have control over my content. 

Observation #2: Despite working seven days a week on schoolwork during Weeks 3 and 4 and five days during Week 5, I worked less than 50 hours each week (Week 3 – 41hrs 42 min; Week 4 – 49 hours 13 min; Week 5 – 43 hours 27 min). Lesson #2: Based on my time logs, having school-related meetings, leaving after school to either pick Andrew up from school/tennis practice, or having to go to a doctor’s appointment seems to determine how much schoolwork gets done after the bell rings at the end of the day. Also, I’m pretty much done once the sun goes down. I feel like I work all the time, and I attribute this to working on the weekends. Of course, I only have 35 students this year and more time off during the school day. This cuts down significantly on the amount of time spent on grading papers. Since Andrew can now drive, I think I will be able to work more after school and less on the weekends. Fingers crossed!

Observation #3: Interruptions are apparently a norm in both my professional and personal life. Intellectually, I was aware of the interruptions; however, until I studied my time logs, I had no idea how many there were and how they impacted my day both at work and at home. Weather, illness (developed another abscess and MIL had a mini-stroke ), my children, husband, co-workers, students, friends, acquaintances, procrastination, the phone, and the list goes on and on. Lesson #3: While interruptions can slow you down and sometimes hinder progress, they are also good reminders to take care of yourself, socialize with the people you love, and recharge. Interruptions are part of life. You can either be amenable or frustrated. Depending on what is going on in my life, I experience both feelings. For me, planning helps alleviate some of the stress attached to interruptions. Of course, interruptions probably contribute to me having to complete schoolwork on the weekends. 

So, there you have it, dear reader. I gleaned a plethora of information about myself just from keeping track of my time. Since I was on vacation, I took this past week off from tracking my time; however, I will start tracking it again tomorrow. I’m interested to see what these next three weeks will reveal about how I am spending my time, especially with Andrew driving his own vehicle. And, I’m curious to learn how the time change will affect how I spend my time in the coming months.

Have an absolutely delightful week working on whatever it is that makes you happy. Remember to remain positive even in the midst of interruptions. Happiness!

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Collected Works of C.S. Lewis 

 

 

 

 

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Kat & Michelle

#oldfriendsarethebestfriends

Over the Mardi Gras break while visiting with my fabulous friend Michelle, I finally figured out Instagram. With her guidance, I was able to create my Instagram account, gain a few followers, and even become a follower myself. Although I am still learning the ropes, it is a fairly easy social media platform to navigate, and it’s a cool way to express yourself. Pictures make me happy!

 

In other news, I weighed myself at the beginning of the week. As of 12 February 2018, I weighed in at 154 pounds. Daylight Saving Time is about 21 days away. This means more daylight which means my running shoes will be hitting the asphalt very soon. This also means that I will begin working on shedding the 18 pounds I want to lose this year. Therefore, the next three weeks leading up to the time change is preparation time for getting serious about exercising more regularly and eating clean. My preparation includes rereading Jackie Warner’s This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever) and taking a couple of action steps to be ready for the big day.

Week 1: Drink more water. Read Part 1: “This is Why You’re Fat”

Week 2: Start food journal. Read Part 2: “This is How You Eat to Get Hot and Healthy”

Week 3: Create exercise schedule. Read Part 3: “This is How You Exercise to Get Hot and Healthy”

11 March 2018: Reweigh myself. Put 18 marbles in the Pounds To Go container. Read Part 4: “This is How You Stay Hot and Healthy”

I’ll have nine months to achieve my goal. No more excuses. I’m tired of being tired and unhealthy.

For being off of work for a week, I have been quite busy. Thank goodness I had the week off to accomplish everything! I have more to share with you, dear reader; however, it will have to wait for another time. I still owe you a post on my last two weeks of time tracking. I thought for sure I would have more time to write this week, but alas, that was not the case. All in good time. Happiness!

“Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.” ~ Germany Kent

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New Car

Kat’s New Ride

On Saturday afternoon, my hubby and I purchased a brand new car for me. It is a 2017 Hyundai  Elantra Sport 6-Speed.  Buying myself a new ride means that Andrew inherited my Corolla which is a reliable used car and reasonably priced (FREE). We are both thrilled!  Car = Independence…for the both of us.

I am also thrilled that I have continued tracking my time. And, I blogged five times in the month of January. Steadily, I am chipping away at my 18 for 2018 Happiness Project. Mardi Gras break is just around the corner at which time I will share my recent observations with my time tracking.

Until next time, dear reader, stay positive, productive, and passionate about what life has to offer. Happiness!

“May you live every day of your life.” ~ Jonathan Swift

 

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