Sunday, August 13, 2017

Spoons

This is a great way to explain things and how some days are for me when I over do or have too much on my plate and have to slow down. Though my heart is good and they fixed it I still have times when because I over did I have to count my spoons and pick and choose what I will do. I have gotten much better at it as time has gone on. 


Last summer I used way more spoons than I had and it took me a long time to get back to having one spoon in reserve.


This theory applies to anyone who has an illness that is hidden like heart disease, arthritis, cancer, depression, multiple sclerosis, and many more. It is one that I think will help others understand and be able to comprehend what it feels like to walk in our shoes.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

I throw it all in my crockpot and let cook overnight, but you can simmer it for a few hours on the stove also.

Chop up 2 to 4 onions and saute, or microwave. (no oil either way)



Add 2 to 6 peppers I use red, yellow, and orange, chopped

1 1/2 - 2 cups of soaked and cooked black beans or 1 - 2can of low sodium black beans, rinsed.

Blend one can of low sodium diced tomatoes
With 2-4 cloves of garlic and add to the pot.

1 - 32 ounce carton of vegetable broth

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

Ancho Chili Powder to taste
1/2-1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Hotshot or regular pepper to taste
Onion powder and garlic powder to taste


Serve with avocado, shredded cheese, or tortilla chips.



Saturday, January 21, 2017

My Thoughts on the Inauguration and the New President



Yesterday our new president was inaugurated and for many the world turned upside down. I personally thing it is was it is and we have to give the man a chance. He was not my choice for the office, but neither was his primary opponent. I did note like either of them, so it is what it is.

I am willing to give the man a chance. I do know there are somethings on his agenda that I agree with, there are others I do not. I also know that as president he deserves my respect and a chance to prove himself.

I gave that much to the last one, for awhile, but he was not one I continued to respect and he in my opinion did things that were the worst possible things he could do for our country. I do not feel that he made the best choices for us as a whole and did not like the outcome of his health care bill. It stole things from my plan and he lied when he said things would not change.
One thing I did not do was riot and vandalize things when I did not agree with him and his actions. Many people who do not support our current president are doing just that. They are committing crimes in anger because they did not get their way. They are acting like two year olds and setting a horrid example for the children of this country.
I say like it or not, it is what it is, and we have to give our current president a chance. Now if the rest of the country would just take a deep breath and give the man a chance to prove himself, or …, rather than making harsh judgements without giving him a chance to either succeed or fail.
His choices of Retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis to head the Department of Defense and Retired Marine Corps General John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security are excellent. I think he made the right selection for both positions and to me that says he is thinking things through. I may not agree with his pick for the Department of Education, but when it comes to our countries security I cannot think of two better men to head these departments.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wanda's Tuscan White Bean Soup

I tried a soup I found on line a few years back that was really bland. I cannot remember where I found the recipe as I just noted a few ingredients and that I wanted to play with the recipe to make it more flavorful.  I liked the main ingredients, beans, carrots, and squash, but it needed some real flavor and more to it to thicken it up for our clod Alaskan's winters. I have been working to come up with a version was richer and that had some real flavor, and was thick and filling for cold winter dinners. I think this version is it.  If I were to add anything to it it would be a sweet potato or two, which I may try the next time I make this soup.

Serves 4 - 5
 We usually have a nice bowl of soup each and put away two of the 16 ounce size Ziploc twist top bowls for our lunches, depending on how hungry we are a third serving goes in the Ziploc bowl or we split it and finish off the soup.

We do not eat bread generally, but I could see serving this with a nice thick crusted Ciabatta or Coppia Ferrarese bread.

RECIPE:
      Drain and rinse 2 - 3 cans of Canelli beans (white beans) and set aside for now. You can cook up 2 to 2 1/2 cups of dried beans and drain away the water preserving a about 1 cup of the liquid. If you choose to use dry beans you can soak them overnight and cook them all day in the crock pot or you can do the quick cook method, whatever works best for you.

     Chop and saute a nice big sweet onion, using just a tiny bit of olive oil. I do mine in the big pan I use for soup as it is also my crockpot pan.

     Shred 2 or 3 big carrots and toss them in with the sauteed onion in your soup pan.

      Chop 3-4 small baby white potatoes that you have scrubbed. (I leave the peels on, but that is optional) and add them to the sauteed onion and carrots mix.

    Cut a small to medium size butternut squash or sweet pumpkin, roughly 2 cups 3 cups, into 1" pieces, and add to the pot.

Put the following in the blender. I use my Vitamix.

    2   8-oz containers of vegetable broth, or if you prefer chicken broth.
    1 - 1 1/2 cans of beans, this thickens the broth.
    1 cup of water or the cup of liquid you reserved from cooking the dried beans.
    4+ cloves of garlic, peeled.
   1-3 tsps or more of each of the following spices: ( I cook by taste and some people like it milder than we do.)
          Italian Seasoning
          Rosemary
          Sage
          Oregano
          Basil
     Pepper to taste (I use Hot Shot, a red and black pepper mix.)
   
Blend well and add to the crockpot.

Add the beans that were set aside and let it cook overnight.

I usually put it together after dinner and let it cook all night and the next day until we are ready for dinner. It is a nice thick soup and very filling.

I used the Loss It App to figure out the following:

 344 calories
0.5 g Total Fat
106.1 mg Sodium
44 g Carbs
4.7 g Protein

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thoughts on Election 2016

I do not understand people who are reacting so violently to the election. I supported Gary Johnson and he lost, end of story. So what if Donald Trump won. It is what it is and we will deal with it. It is not the end of the world and no one died.

I for one am very grateful that Hillary did not win. I personally think that she would be worse for the country. She in my opinion was the worse of two evils and we would be going to hell in a hand basket faster with her in office than we have with Obama in office.

I did not have a mental breakdown and cry or march on the highway screaming he is not my president when Obama won. I personally was not at all happy the first time he won and even less happy the second time. He lied, he screwed up our insurance plans. You know the ones that WOULD NOT CHANGE; yet have had significant changes and loss of benefits. 

People need to accept that the public has spoken and the Electoral College has determined that Trump is our next president. They may not like it, but they have to live with it.

All these people who are over reacting and being all dramatic about leaving the country, and how it is the end of our country need to get over themselves. It is what it is and life goes on.  We do not always get our way, we do not all need a ribbon just because we participated, and we are going to have our feelings hurt on occasion, that's just life. GET OVER IT!

Life will go on, and people will adjust and may be, just maybe Trump will fix things.

I for one would love it if he got rid of welfare, or put strict limits of six months to one year and only twice in a lifetime on welfare.  Another limit should be that we will pay for up to two children, if you have more that is your problem, not ours. It is not the government's or my job to support you.  Also, states should work together to stop people from moving from state to state to keep collecting benefits when their benefits run out in one state.

I like Ben Carson's plan for insurance much better than Ovomit's garbage plan.  It puts responsibility back on the people where it belongs, not on the government. 

I think everyone just needs to grow up and put on his or her big girl panties and deal with it. The election is over and Trump won. It doesn't matter if you like it or not. It is a done deal and now you have to live with it. Get over yourself.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Retirement

I found this draft that I wrote in 2011 and never posted. As I read it now I know I made the right decision.  I am happy that I retired when I did. I still sub, but there is no stress or very little if there is.  I still feel lighter and less pressured. I may not have all the benefits of being a full time teacher, but I have all the joys of teaching without the stress. I am still contributing to my annuities and still earning a paycheck. I get the best of both worlds and I  get to pick and choose when I work.  Some weeks I sub full time, others I don't sub at all. I get to go to lunch with friends, or sleep in and travel. I am very happy that I retired because if I had not I would not be the person I am today, more relaxed, healthier, happier, and still enjoying teaching.

"I turned in my retirement papers to the school district this week and it felt wonderful. I felt as if a load was lifted off my shoulders. I was lighter.  The end is in sight. There are 74 more teacher days until the end of the school year.  I am ready.  I can do this. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I am running toward it on air.  My principal wished me well and congratulated me on retiring. She said she wishes she could retire but she is young and has many more years to go.

I felt the tension in my body release it was like a  breath of fresh air blew though.  I did not realize how tense I was until I felt the release.  It was calming and transformitive.  I should have done this before now.

I am going through my school books and files and clearing things out.  Making piles to pass on to new teachers I know and to share with other teachers.  I also have tons that is heading toward the recycle bin.  There are books going to the second hand bookstore or the thrift store as well.  Some may become altered books or journals for me or someone else.  Others may find their way to another home or classroom and some may end up in the landfills or be used as kindling for a fire, but no matter what route they travel they have served me well.

My next step is to mail in my papers to the state so I can get paid in my retirement. Yes it is a pay cut, but we will survive.  I can always sub if the urge takes me, or get another job. There are many options out there, quilt stores, book stores, private school, tutoring, quilting, who knows where the path will lead. God knocked and I answered.  He said it was time to close this door, so I am sure he will open another for me when the time is right.  Until then I will just float through the rest of this school year and see where the pat shall lead.

Several students are sad that I am leaving and some asked me to stay another year until they graduate, but they also understand that I need to move one with my life. It is time for a change and retiring is the right step. 

The one thing I do know is that retiring is the right thing for me at this point in time."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Teachers need to be treated with more respect and higher salaries.

After reading a few articles including: http://www.pe.com/articles/education-782341-teachers-teaching.html I wrote a response to the author.

Josh, I can truly understand what you are saying,. I retired after 27+ years of teaching.  I was tired of jumping through hoops and playing games. The amount of paperwork kept increasing and the time to teach seemed to be shrinking due to the increase in hoops.  Too much time is spent having to parent students because their parents do not parent. More money is spent on sports than in the classroom and parents and community members are more likely to raise an uproar over a cut to hockey or football than teacher cuts or elective class cuts. Many parents get more upset over a snow day than a failing a grade because heaven forbid they have to find a babysitter.  Parents do not come to conferences and even if thy do they talk the talk, but do not walk the walk.  Kids who do not have money for basic school supplies come in wearing $100+ shoes and have money for the junk food machines or the latest phone, which many teachers cannot afford. I had students who asked me for change for a hundred dollar bill and they were surprised I did not have change as I was a teacher I made the big bucks. HAHA! Big bucks, I wish.  The community does not realize the money we put out for recertification, classes to recertify, and for classroom supplies.  They seem to think it is all there and that we don't really work that hard as we get summers off. They have not been there when  we are at school at midnight making copies or grading papers or writing IEPs for special ed students, or at home doing many of these activities.  They seem to think our job is SO EASY. Cuts raise class sizes which make teaching more of a wrestling match as we have to deal with crowd control rather than teach. I have been in 6th grade classrooms with 36+ students where you had to ask students to stand up and push in their chairs so you could get to the student who needed help.  I have been in classrooms with 35+ high school students many of whom were hyperactive boys with no room to move so they are bothering everyone around them and I have spent more time trying to   deal with behavior issues than I have trying to teach them to write a sentence. Students who are highly gifted and students who are so severely handicapped they need constant one-on-one care crowded into small rooms with inadequate heating, lighting, and too few textbooks do not make for a good learning environment. It simply becomes babysitting. a few years back my husband had a class of students who simply wanted to play. They weren't interested in learning, or doing anything that could be considered work.  They came to school simply to socialize and play. These were 8th graders.  They were so far behind in school that they have no hope of getting a diploma and graduating and will probably drop out.  It is sad to see how the future of our country has been hung out to dry with all the cuts to education. We are failing our country and our kids. Our governments, country, state, and city need to wake up and see that they are not helping our kids, they are hurting them. I think we need to institute a uniform policy, and allow corporal punishment in some cases as well as fully fund education and limit class sizes in all grades to 20 students.  We also need to stop all this social emotional learning garbage and go back to a more rigorous and basic curriculum of reading, writing, and arithmetic with science, art and music and stop all the crap about we will hurt their feelings. I also think we need to tighten the reins of welfare but that topic is for another day.

Spoons

This is a great way to explain things and how some days are for me when I over do or have too much on my plate and have to slow down. Thoug...