Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ten Things

Sounds kind of like the Bucket List, but a good reflective piece. Thanks, Meg, for tagging me.

1. I would like to have my grandparents' house back in Florida. The older generation could not decide how to "divide it" so they sold it. I loved that house. It is 76 steps away from the water, in a lovely part of Palm Beach, and just has so many fantastic memories. Barring that, I would like a house of my own at the shore. Something that would always be there for me whenever I wanted to escape. I won't have to rent it, worry about it, just have it.

2. I would like to be and stay a healthy weight for more than a month. No more yoyo dieting, no more gaining and losing, just staying the same weight for the rest of my life.

3. I would like to be a runner. Every time I try to run, the back of my legs hurt so badly, I have to stop. It doesn't matter how much I weight or what I run on, it always happens. I'd like to be able to run for miles and not hurt.

4. I want to be able to travel...with other people...or by myself. Usually I travel by myself since my friends have families and travel with them. The person I would LIKE to travel with HATES to fly and loves his home. He'd rather stay home. I'd rather seek and learn new things. So far I have been to four of the seven continents. I'd like to add at least two more.

5. I would like my house to be clutter free and everything working. Windows, electric outlet, rugs everything.

6. I would like for my parents to have to worry about us...even for a day...It always seems that they are worried about my brother or myself and not enjoying life the way I wish they would.

7. Writing is something I want to do. Putting together a book of great teaching practices is something I CAN do.

8. I would like to see the pyramids of Egypt.

9. Going back to Australia and Venice are two places I would to go.

10. Finding love from a man who understand and cherishes me would be the ultimate.
I have tagged:
Kymberlie (did I spell it correctly this time)
Anne Thorpe (or Doc)
Maryann M (when she has time from her second grade fun!)
Carol F
and NicoleH. (it was fun getting to know you this weekend)

Challenge person:

The reason I chose this one is because Mrs.Flora mentioned there were EAGLE fans in her life. She could be one of us!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sexy Joe recipe

From the author of the Biggest Loser Cookbook, Devin ALexander.
4 servings
331 calories
31 grams protein
43 g carbs

You can change this anyway you want.

1 lb extra lean ground chicken
1 T white vinegar
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t honey
1/2 t hot pepper sauce
2/3 c chopped yellow onion
2/3 c chopped green bell pepper
3/4 c low-sodium tomato sauce
3/4 c chili sauce
4 whole grain or whole wheat hamburger buns


In skillet cook chicken. In small bowl, combine vinegar, Worcestershire, honey, and hot pepper sauce. Whisk to blend. Set aside. Drain any liquid from the meat. Add onion, bell pepper, tomato sauce, chili sauce, chili powder, and the reserved vinegar mixture to the pan. Stir to blend. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce the heat so mixture simmers. Cook for 20 minutes, or until mixture is thickened. Spoon onto buns.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Action Plans

I know I haven't finished my 7 narratives yet, but that's okay because that is an on-going thing. Today, though, Sunday, I want to go back and think about my resolution.
Everyone should develop an action plan for every goal. For example, a healthy eating resolution may mean I need to find new recipes with sugar substitutes, drinking water rather than soda, or preparing my foods in advance. Action..moving...doing things that will make my goals become a reality.

We teach kids this all the time. Don't just SAY you're going to do something, do it. But, truthfully, do we teach them HOW do accomplish this? I remember when I told my students we were putting on a play. We made a time line, made a plan. Each day we worked towards the mini goals we had set up for ourselves so that by the time we put the play on, our stress level was fairly low. Teaching goal making and planning is very important.

So, as we start the new year, give yourself and your students a hand. Don't assume that someone somewhere they were already taught how to organize their time. They probably weren't. The earlier we start this the better.

Hey, that sounds like a plan.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tagged for Seven

Wow..Seven things to know about me. Off the top of my head:

1. I was a ranked tennis player on the junior circuit growing up.
My mother believed we should try everything growing up. I was fortunate enough to have tennis, horse back riding, ice-skating, swimming, almost anything I wanted to try, but it was at tennis that I seemed to do pretty well in. When we moved to Haddonfield, NJ, my parents joined a tennis club. Mom was patiently hitting balls to me, helping us learn the game of fairness and being graceful in winning and losing. She took my friends and I around to different tournaments throughout PA, NJ, and Delaware, not so much to get a ranking but to meet new people It was so much fun. Later, I was lucky enough to be ranked #5 in my age group and go on to play college tennis at Lynchburg College. After graduating college I was an assistant coach at Haddonfield High School. There my team went on to win the state group 2 championships a few times.

2. I was an exchange teacher in Australia.
Hands Across the Water is a program started by the local EIRC chapter in New Jersey. I was lucky enough to be picked to go to Australia five years ago. Leaving from Philadelphia, I traveled to Los Angeles and then to Sydney where we spent an overnight learning about the program. After that I flew to the Gold Coast and found myself met by the nicest family in the world, Ross and Julie Woolfe and their four children. These lovely people took javascript:void(0)me into their home for two weeks, taking me all around the area, Astonsville, and to their schools, Evanshead, where I got to teach for the two weeks. They were so wonderful.I even got to fly in a friend's plane to a nature center where I could hold a koala and see all sorts of Oz animals. After that I left the family and traveled to Cairns where I went scuba diving, snorkeling, and white water rafting. Then to Darwin to see the crocs, to the outback, Ayers Rock to hike and go hot air ballooning and stayed at a really cool hotel. After that it was down to Melbourne for some tennis, penquins and lots of wine, and then back to Sydney for a wonderful end to my month. Lots of stories to fill in at each comma and period here...lots.

3. I have a hard time finishing things I start.
Nothing new here. I am sure I have ADD. I love to start things, but there are times, and craft kits, and diets, and projects, that are unfinished all over. This is something that drives me nuts. Although when I do finish something I have to remind myself of this poem I wrote:

Events come and go
And we are extremely lucky if the event supersedes the anticipation.
The inevitable let down should be but a brief moment
For what is life to look forwards, anxiously, to that which will occur.
And to look back fondly, on that which has already happened.

4. I have an amazing sense of direction.
It doesn't matter where I am, I have already been there. Or so it seems. Many times I will be so lost but just keep driving or turn down a street and I am there. My mom hates this as she always says, "Just ask". I feel a fun and thrill in finding something myself. Yes, I bought a GPS, but I don't really believe it all he time.So far I have been on four continents and I always seem to find my way back to my corner of the earth.

5. I was a nanny in Europe for a summer.

Our neighbors behind us left the US for England, but would come back periodically to see the old neighborhood. Dave, the dad,was the owner, producer and head honcho of a discount record company in England called PYE records. One April he came back and asked me if I'd like to be a nanny to his three children for the upcoming summer.Sounded good to me. I didn't want to go back to being a counselor at camp again so this was a great alternative. So, in June I packed my trunk (yes, a trunk), tennis racket and spirit and flew to Heathrow Airport. For the first month I lived with the family outside of London, being more a houseguest than a nanny as the kids were in school and I was able to explore to my heart's content. Once in a while I would have to go on the set of a movie or tv show as the daughter of the house was an actress and needed someone over 18 to be with her. I even made it to center court Wimbledon while I was there.

After school was out, Wendy, Patti (the two daughters), Dave and I drove from England to Paris. Pat and David Jr flew as the baby was too little to make the trip in the car. The first night we spent i Paris.Then to Switzerland, over the Alps and headed for the villa in Forte di Marmi, Italy. This was to be our home for the rest of the summer. It was amazing. I was able to travel from there all over Italy, to Yugoslavia, and to Elba on a yacht. The villa had everything...a butler, maid, was across from the was a summer of incredible memories.

Dave has since died, yet I will always remember the quote at his funeral: He burned the candle at both ends, but oh, what a glow. It certainly reflected to me.

6. I caused the great Chinese Checker Marble Caper at the Pennsulia House in SeaBright, NJ
7. I was named Humanitarian of the Year for my district.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Swapping This for That

I woke up this morning thinking I should change the title of my blog, Thoughts of a Dedicated Teacher because it isn't always about teaching, but then I's more than just about teaching in a classroom sense. I am teaching myself this year to do different things. I am teaching others when I save a recipe or a way of doing something, and yes, some of it is about the classroom.So, instead of swapping this nae for something else, I decided to keep it and think of myself of more than just a four walled room teacher, but of one of the universe. After all, isn't that what I'm trying to teach my students?

I listened to a segment on the Today Show about foods to swap other foods for.
Instead of regular pasta...change to Nature's Way pasta
Instead of packaged lunch Oscar Meyer...swap for Frajita flatbread by Oscar Meyer
Instead of Jimmy Dean breakfast bowl..710 calories, fat, sugar of 2 Hershey chocolate bars choose Jimmy Dean D'Lights 230 calories
Instead of chicken potpie which is equal to 23 strips of bacon a better choice...Marie Callendar's oven baked chicken save 800 calories

So it got me thinking....instead of____ what would or could I switch?

Instead of being sick, I will be healthy.
Instead of sitting at the computer for ten minutes, I will walk.
Instead of frowning, I will smile.
Instead of not eating breakfast, I will try the Special K breakfasts for the week.
Instead of trying to do it all myself, I will ask for help.
Instead of saying YES to things I don't want to do, I will say "I'm sorry I can't help at this time, but check back with me."

What things will you swap this week?

I have joined the 50millionpound challenge with a group of people from my Plurk group. I am impressed with the information on the web site. Right now I am printing the menu for thirty days, which will start on Monday. There is also a place to put activity, journal and more. And it's all free.

Another tool I'm using is the 31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions. Today's is:
Post your written goals in places where you'll see them often-on your computer or fridge, in a picture frame on your desk, as a bookmark, and in your wallet. These reminders will help you stay focused and on track.

Today I also attended a 2.0 educon seminar with the fabulous Peggy George. This was a great reflection of 2.0 tools used in 2008. People from all over the world attended and contributed. Here are a few lists that were shared:
Plurk -
Twitter and Tweetdeck client for Twitter - and
Flock browser - a variation of Firefox and Chrome
Skype and Yahoo Messenger and
Diigo bookmarks
Facebook - use for connecting to other professionals and socially with friends
Wikis - a variety of wikis from Wetpaint, PBwiki and Wikispaces
MS Outlook - for email, RSS feeds, calendar features and access Google calendar events
MS Digital Image and Photoshop online to edit photos with Flickr and Photobucket to store images online - and and for blogging -
These were from Kim Caise

This list is from Peggy:
Jing (haven't created my own my have learned a lot from Jing tutorials created by others) ,
Dreamhost/wordpress , created own domain name and WordPress blog
Google apps (docs, forms, presentations, spreadsheets, notebook, reader)
Diigo Fantastic social bookmarking/social networking tool-Diigo is a powerful research tool and a knowledge-sharing community My site re Diigo information, videos, tutorials, featured blog posts:
Photo/video apps: Picasa , OneTrueMedia , BubbleShare , Skitch , Voicethread , ustream.TV http://www.ustream.TV/ (created a channel for streaming PD workshops and monthly meetings for AzTEA)
IPhone apps (gratitude journal, iQuote, Comic Touch, Ocarina, Twitterific, Facebook, Remember the Milk, Pocket Guitar/Pocket Piano, Google Apps and Voice Search)
Tweetdeck/Twitter my primary way to stay current via my awesome PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network)
Webcast Academy and EdTechTalk webcasts
RSS Feedreaders: Google Reader on both computer and iPhone, NetNewsWire/Newsgator, PageFlakes for important sites/topics, Snackr FriendFeed

It's a bit overwhelming, but if I try a few each week, I'm sure to get hooked on even more.

So, swapping this for that may not be a bad long as what you're swapping FOR will make your life better.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

9 Goals for 2009

Which means new goals, new hopes, new happiness. I've been telling everyone for days that blogging is necessary, and yet, look at me...the worst procrastinator of all.

1)Well, one of my goals is to be sure I write more in my blog. And that starts today. By posting "Blog on your blog" on my calendar, I am writing a specific goal and giving myself the time to do it. I love to write so I don't know why it's so difficult to follow my own advice. So it's on my calendar. Once a week to blog on my teacher site and to blog on my teacher challenge.

2)Now I also have to set a goal about working out. I bought a new piece of equipment which should be here in a few days so that will help. I need to start walking again. Ten minutes. Just to start. It's cold, but it will help. I wish Sunny lived here and then I'd HAVE to take her out for a walk. Ten minutes a day. Specific.

3)Spend time with family; that includes extended family as well. I need to spend time with Mom and Dad and Jeff and would like to do that once a week. Jeff is back to winter Jeff so it's a great time to take that advantage of the opportunity. Now to figure out the specifics.

4)To smile more and reach out more to others. Not to do more than I can take on, but to do more for those who can't.

5)to cut back on drinking soda. Even though it's diet, I know it's not good for me.

6)to write down what I spend. I need to start saving money for a car. A small notebook will help me look at my finances.

7)-9) will be forthcoming.

From Good Housekeeping:
Soup Diet Basic Recipe and Variations
Our recipe for the Basic Soup yields such a large quantity — to make sure you have enough to enjoy all week — that it calls for a 12-quart stockpot for preparation. If you don't have one, not to worry — the ingredients divide easily in half and the soup can be prepared in 2 large saucepans or Dutch ovens, depending on what you have in your kitchen cabinet.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Makes: 28 cups

* 1 lb. carrots, sliced
* 3 med. onions (1 1/2 lbs.), chopped (4 c.)
* 4 lg. stalks celery, sliced
* 2 lg. cloves garlic, crushed with press
* 2 cans (28 oz. each) whole tomatoes in juice
* 1/2 sm. head green cabbage (1 lb.) thinly sliced (6 c.)
* 3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and each cut into thirds
* 1 can (48 to 49 oz.) chicken broth
* 6 c. water
* Salt and pepper
* 3 med. zucchini (1 1/4 lbs.), sliced into half-moons
* 2 bags (6 oz. each) baby spinach leaves

1. Coat 12-quart stockpot (or 2 large saucepans) with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, add carrots, onions, celery, and garlic; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally.

2. Add tomatoes with their liquid, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon. Add cabbage, green beans, broth, water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high; stir in zucchini and spinach and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

Each cup: About 45 calories, 2 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g total fat (0 g saturated), 4 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 410 mg sodium.

From SparkPeople:
Happy New Year!
If you haven't yet settled on your top goals for the year, do so today. Writing down
your goals (in specific terms) means you're more likely to achieve.