Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Weekend Plans

Stay tuned....

Monday, August 15, 2011

The 2011-2012 School Year Has Begun!

Today was the first day of school here and it was a busy busy day. There are always kids who show up the first day that are not registered. And most of those kids arrive without a parent, so we have to call the parent to come in and register. We try to get them pre-registered in the spring, but we always end up with a dozen or so that just won't come then, and then they are surprised (and sometimes angry) that they don't have schedules. And even more surprised (and sometimes angrier) that their parent has to come.

Then we have the schedule problems to resolve. Mass scheduling, while convenient, is not a perfect science, so we end up with kids with holes in their schedules or sometimes classes on their schedules that they've already taken. If a student took a class last spring and failed it, we may not have caught it and changed their courses for this year to allow them to retake it.

We also are still registering brand new students, and I'm still taking telephone calls from parents saying they need to come register. New student registration will slow down now, but not slow to a trickle until after Labor Day. Enlightened parents will check our website, see when we start school, and get in to register before then. Other parents who are not tech savvy, or may  not even have internet access (there are still a few in Indian Land), will have no idea. Yankee families will be surprised that we've started so early. Southern families will suspect it, but may not have actually checked.

So all that is to's general mayhem these days at school. But we have a fantastic new Principal, a new, fun and organized Guidance Counselor, and everyone is upbeat and ready to tackle whatever comes. It's been hard work but fun. I think this might be the best year we've had yet!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lifestyle Changes

Everyone goes through lifestyle changes. Usually several times in their lifetime. The changes could be the result of getting married (the new spouse might have habits worth adopting), having a baby (my mom quit smoking when she was pregnant with my brother), being done having babies (I joined Weight Watchers and lost 18 pounds and totally changed my eating habits), maybe moving to a new place, or just getting older and creakier.

Four or five years ago I joined Jazzercise and learned how to dance my way to fitness and lift weights. A few years after that I hit menopause and was too worn out and achy to jazz all the time, so I started yoga. 18 months ago I stopped eating meat. Two months ago I decided to add wild-caught fish back into my diet. A month ago I stopped drinking coffee in the morning. I thought I was stopping it altogether, and, truth be told, I haven't had any at all since I stopped, but I realize I may have some in the afternoons. The plan was to just stop turning my guts inside-out with coffee on an empty stomach. Three weeks ago I stopped drinking white wine in the evenings. It made me sleepy and then kept me awake in the middle of night. And the odd bottle would give me a raging, 3-day migraine. It turns out I like sipping cool herbal tea out my wine glasses just as much. I'm sure I won't stop drinking red in the winter, though. It's warming and good for the digestive system.

But I think probably the one change I made that has made the biggest difference in my life has been acupuncture. In March I went whining to an acupuncturist because of persistent problems with my left sciatic nerve and also bursitis in my left shoulder. She had me complete a three page questionnaire about pretty every system in my body and start whittling away at each item that was out of whack.

The first thing that went was the hip and shoulder pain. Then I began to warm up. I mean, like, my feet and hands were no longer cold. I even had a few hot flashes! Then my digestive system calmed down. Finally, my depression and anxiety began to dissipate. And now my migraines are much fewer and shorter. When I started with her in March I was taking a sleep medication, anti-depressant, anti-seizure (for persistent muscle tension), migraine medication and a statin drug for high cholesterol. Today I take the statin drug only. All in five months. I have the migraine prescription but don't use it very often. I have more energy, no anxiety, very few depression symptoms at all and my digestive system is perking along just fine. I'm back to jazzercise three times a week and yoga in-between.

I know acupuncture isn't for everyone. But for me? It's really been great. And I plan to keep it up.