a friend in need.

My friend's dad had a heart attack... he is stable...major srgery will bappen Weds... she is terrified... I so understand...

Please send some prayers up for her and her family...


And so it begins...

Kids... testing my boundaries.... fun stuff.....

Today was the first full day with kids... it was good. I have some really cool kids and what I am so excited about is that the kids seem sooo excited to learn, to be there... I have a lot of planning to do for next week, but I am so motivated to get to these kids. Due to some scheduling stuff I had one student one on one today and I think it did a lot to build rapport.

On the other hand... I also had one student in tears... but... she'll be ok...I will too... no school tomorrow, but I will be working... toll booth... fun fun!

A Favor

Hello Blog readers...

I was going through some emails I got from many of you, I thought I had been doing a good job of saving a list of contact info... just for my benefit, to keep track of people who follow the blog and to see how other people with PVNS are doing.

If you have contacted me before, please reach out to me again, by emailing me at ihavePVNS@aol.com If you haven't emaile me, but look at the blog, I would also like to hear from you.

FOr my fellow PVNSers... you are not alone, I have had contact with more than 2o people... and since the statistics say 1.8 per million people have this condition, we are a growing community, here.

Today alone, I got three new emails from three new contacts. While I am sorry that other people have PVNS, I am happy to hear from people and know that people are reaching out... it is so hard to believe that other people can relate to what PVNS puts us all through...

I hope to hear from A LOT more people!


First Day of School...

I was sooooo excited to finally meet the kids today. A few have already hooked me... Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out the kids and to see their personality... today I got to see some things in a few of the kids that I was hoping to see.. but wondering if I would... I have a lot to do to get ready for what's in store for me. I am excited. Working with the kids is so much better than with adults!!!

Today I got to the gym at about 5:15... and did just cardio.... then I went to work... OH yeah... BIG news!! Today... for the first time in ... YEARS... I wore HEELS!!! Yahooooooo! I lasted with them on until about 2:00... and then switched to my flip flops... My knee has not allowed me to wear my heels in a long time.

I am heading to bed soon... so I can get up and do it tomorrow... and hopefully meet more kids!


Opening Day... tomorrow

School starts tomorrow... well technically it started Monday, but the first day with kids is tomorrow. I have been in my classroom, quite a bit, but still had quite a bit to do... that I thought I would get done today. THOUGHT being the key word. I have things that I need to sort through, materials given to me by other people. I didn't want to put it away until I had decided what to keep and what to throw...and find a place to put it to stay organized.... WELL.... this morning we had a FOUR hour staff meeting... sitting in the auditorium, listening to our leader tell us that we need to keep kids engaged and moving around... Hello? If those rules apply to kids, you should model that with adults... 4 hours was way too long to stay there... Then... we were SUPPOSED to have time to work in our classrooms... but one of my esteemed colleagues needed to meet with me ant the other people in our department..why? because she needed help with scheduling... which by the way we did last spring... and at the time she refused to do it... sooooooo... I gave up about 2 hours today dealing with it! YUCK! I was so mad at this woman.. and I could tell the two other women with me were feeling similarly...after all we spent hours on it last spring when she wasn't... so I said so... I said that I wasn't trying to be mean, but that I was frustrated because this should have been...could have been done so we could be in our classrooms... she was not happy... and I felt like telling her to take her Daisy Duke shorts wearing middle aged self and go somewhere far away... but I didn't. I stayed there... fuming... until I finally said... ok.. tell me what information you need from me, because I am leaving and going to my room. SO ... that's what happened.

I was mad... there were added stressors on top of that too... I got two new students...twins... about which I know very little... and I already have a high maintenance parent... for whom I have had to do a lot of leg work and conversations with administrators about.... so I fumed and put things away in my classroom... without sorting them... so basically I hid them, so that my room looks good... I still have a few more things to hide, but I had to leave tonight... HAD to get out of there...I need to go there early tomorrow morning... I mean.. EARLY... I want to be there by 6:15 at the latest... which means I need to be at the gym...well... if I do cardio only.... by 5..... ugh! I have hit the gym before work the last couple of days and am so glad I did... I would not have felt like going tonight, that's for sure. Oh yeah!!! A LOOOONG time ago on the blog... I wrote about a man at the gym, fondly named "Eye Candy Guy." To refresh your memories.. he is maybe in his late thirties, has distinghuished salt and pepper hair... looks like a down to earth, nice guy... adorable... and I enjoy him... I have told myself that I must never engage him in conversation or listen to him talking with anyone else... because if, IF, if he is unintelligent... that would really let me down...REALLY... and that would ruin the whole eye candy guy image... Typically he works out in the mornings... and yesterday I told my friend Sue that I wondered if he was going to be there... well.. on my way out of the gym... who happened to be parked near my vehicle, getting out of his car??? ECG (Eye candy guy!) Oh crap... what do I do... We are going to pass by each other... if I say nothing... I am being snobby... crap crap crap.... so as we approach each other, I say, "Good morning." He looked at me, smiling and said, "Morning, how are you?" Ok... phew... nothing about his intelligence was revealed in that interaction... I saw him again today... from afar again. So... the fantasy continues!

OH!!! I have to say that while the picture above is all about stress... My gal pal Sara has my back. she called tonight and we laughed... love that girl. What did we laugh about... a lot... nothing... all of the above.. just laughed... Oh yeah, I gotta post a pic of our adventure to Moosehead Lake a few weeks ago... here it is:
So... I can't say that I call all of these people my friends... they are friends..and friends of friends....and some people who are becoming friends... we all had matching t-shirts, designed by my gal Sara... Good Job S!

Ok.. I have ramled eough that I am relaxing.. I now need to pack for the gym... pick out what to wear tomorrow with the kiddos... and hit the hay!


Ok Universe...

I am letting go of some things... and trusting you...


The "Ex" factor...

It continues to amaze me how much I hold on to things...and by things I mean memories, conversations, and pain. Sometimes I am unaware of how things still impact me until something happens that causes me to have an epiphany. Confused yet? Well... we all have people from our pasts... who disappear from our lives and who resurface from time to time. Early this spring I got a couple of emails from my ex... a man that I dated and lived with for quite a while. I was skeptical of the emails, wondering what he wanted... his first email apologized for contacting me, not wanting to upset me, but he just wondered how I was doing and hoped that I was doing ok. I was ok with that, as long as he understood that any kind of contact would be limited to the computer. I wish the best for him and hope he finds happiness... he is a good person, just not right for me. Anyway...At the beginning of the week I got another email from him. Details aside, it resulted in us chatting via instant message. Our chat ended up going in unexpected directions. Relationships are hard...and ending a relationship is also difficult... and often times there is not an opportunity to discuss reasons or the dynamics of the relationship... well... I had that chance... and I was amazed at how emotional parts of our conversation made me. Why was I so emotional? Because things that hurt me at the time had continued to hurt me ... along with uncertainties about why certain things unfolded as they did... the realization that I have kept myself distanced from people, dating, because of things that happened in that relationship...things that caused insecurities... and the conversation that we had has perhaps brought some closure. Closure.... that word is something that makes me smirk... it is an overused word... and it is a word that I have used myself, often, with some other people... but... I think, for whatever reason, I felt a sense of closure... I feel like I can let go of things that I haven't been able to let go of... The conversation has helped me clarify things in my mind...and has also made me see other things in my life differently... including my motivation for certain things. People have amazing impacts on each other.

Perhaps it is time for change... from within...


New Blog Buddy...

Welcome to Tracy! She is two weeks out from surgery... I hope you are doing well. If you get a chance email me and tell me if PVNS was in your knee, if you had the open anterior and posterior synovectomy, and about your experience. My email address is: IhavePVNS@aol.com

Take Care if yourself.

Back from my favorite place...

Is this cool or what? The hummingbirds were plentiful at the campground and at this one feeder there are 7 or 8 of them trying to get to the food. They don't mind people being close to them. In fact, I was able to get a couple of them to land on my finger while they ate. I got a picture of one of them on my finger, but it is blurry, so I think that this is a better shot. Hummingbirds are so amazing... being so close and watching their little tongues dart in and out to get the food was so cool.
This is a picture of two hummingbirds around me at the same time. It was hard to stand still with them flying around. My instinct is to bat at them as if they were a large bug zooming at me.

And of course there was kayaking! I got to go up for a nice long ride by myself. I paddled up the river past a cabin that is up there and the person who owns the cabin had made some changes since I last paddled by. I later learned that the changes I noticed have been there for a few years. My knee has not allowed me to be comfortable enough in the kayak to be in it long enough to get there...until this year. It was great! I paddled hard all the way up there and then let the current bring me back. The weather was decent while I was there...
on the sunny days there were these magnificent white puffy clouds... gorgeous. This picture is of a couple of branches that have fallen into the river and their reflections. I have a different angle of this and it looks like a spider... the round part looks like the body of the spider and the other part looks like the teeth and front legs of it. The water was so calm that the reflections were beautiful. Mom was with me on that kayak trip... she loves looking at roots of the trees along the river and their reflections. She was impressed with these branches and their reflections.

Mom also loves the lilies that grow amongst the lily pads in the inlets and small ponds we can access with the kayaks from the river. This is a lily I saw on one of my trips and was able to get a good angle. Mom loves how delicate they are. I am so glad that we share that love of nature. When I kayak with her I like to see the river through her eyes... pausing to look at the ferns, the different shapes and sizes and shades of green... it's nice.

She sees the beauty in the simple things... I love that about her. Mom was doing pretty well with our kayak trip... we were gone long enough for dad to wonder and come check on us. He wanted to see if mom was getting too tired and offered to tow her back to the campground. She took him up on his offer because it was raining and she was afraid that she would take too long to paddle back and would get chilled. Since being sick, she has a hard time regulating her body temperature. So this is a pic of my mom...being rescued by her knight in shiny armor... I love that dad keeps a close eye on mom... and love that she does the same for him. They are so respectful of each other and thoughtful... I love them for that. It was a wonderful trip. Mom started feeling less well on Sunday, but bounced back a little yesterday. She is currently off her meds which usually means she feels a lot worse, but she has done better this time.

I followed mom and dad back to their house yesterday. When we got there I was able to help dad do a couple of things... which involved climbing up and down a small, but steep, hill near the house... I was able to do it easily! I was so excited that my knee allowed me to do that. I could not have done that last summer or even the summer before. SO I see progress...

I did not eat well while I was there. I had taken healthy food for myself... and as it worked out my food was appetizing to mom and dad... so my healthy food that would have lasted me for the duration of time I was there... didn't last long when being eaten by three of us... so... I ended up having some unhealthy choices. But... not much I could have done without making my parents feel bad... If I had gone into the grocery store (a 30 minute drive) mom would have felt bad that she had eaten my food... so I went with it. Just being together and making things as easy as possible was more important. I went to the gym last night when I got back and already went today, so I feel less guilty.. .but... feel so much better when I eat well.

Anyway, that's enough for today, I have to get ready for work... turnpike work... not school... although school starts MONDAY! UGH!


On the Road Again...Northbound!

I am heading north for one final adventure before school starts. I will leave tomorrow morning to visit my parents, who are camping in my favorite spot. I am hoping to see some moose! Mom and dad called me yesterday to make sure that I am still coming...Mom was sounding pretty good. She is in the part of her treatment where she is off the medication for a couple of weeks. So far when she has been off her meds she has felt worse than when she is on them... so we have grown to anticipate that pattern... it is a nice surprise that she is doing ok so far. That doesn't mean that she won't get sick feeling while I am there, but I would love for her to feel good. She felt bad last time when I was there that, in her words, she wasn't much company. I am happy to visit with her no matter what.

I have been in my classroom over the last couple of days. It is coming along pretty good. I moved to a new classroom and am unpacking not only my materials, but materials other teachers have given me. I am trying to weed through things I will use and things I won't. My focus will be math again this year, so other teachers have given me materials they won't be using because they are focusing on other subjects. I am sure a lot of it will be helpful. Some of it is OLD... O-L-D old. Gotta get rid of that stuff. I saw a few people at school today and everyone asked about my mom and about my knee. I was happy to report that mom has had a decent summer, considering... and that my knee has been doing well.

I can't believe summer is coming to a close.... I am looking forward to getting back into a daily routine... I think I am going to get back to going to the gym in the morning...but I am not sure yet...

Enjoy the weekend.


Isn't August supposed to be sunny?

Wow... we have had so much rain here in Maine... it has been a wet summer.... and a lot of people have been complaining about it. It hasn't bothered me a lot. I have enjoyed this summer and can't believe it is almost over.

Someone asked me if the rain has bothered my knee... It is a good question... When he asked me that question I paused because I hadn't really thought about it. I hadn't noticed it feeling bad... so I don't think that the rain has made my knee feel worse. I just got back from spending a couple of days at Moosehead Lake with friends and it rained... and rained more.... and then rained some more... we got outside a little despite the weather... and my knee didn't bother me. I did walk up and down a pretty steep hill a few times a day and thought that would bother my knee, but it didn't. It made me aware of my endurance, or lack there of... but my knee felt pretty good.

This is probably more information than people need to know. But... the task that still seems to challenge me is standing up after sitting on the toilet. I am trying to figure out if it is physically challenging or mentally... when my knee was at its worst... that was perhaps the most painful/difficult part... I had even rigged a rope in my old bathroom to help me pull myself up... my mom said that's when she knew I was hurting... when she came to my house, saw the rope/strap and asked me why it was there. But it is still something that I am acutely aware of... other things I do without calculation...

Oh yeah... this weekend I was able to do something I haven't done in a long time. I sat on the floor and played a game of cards. We sat in a circle and I had to sit with my legs crossed and I could do it. After a while I had to reposition myself... but I was ablt to be on the floor for maybe 45 minutes without pain... any soreness was cured with minimal stretching... I was excited... I have been reluctant to get ont he floor because getting back up is not easy and sitting with my legs crossed has been hard... until now... I also sat in a chair with my left leg bent under my right leg... another position I have not been in for a long time.

So I still see progress, but still see areas where I hope I improve.

Have you been watching the Olympics?

Opening ceremonies were beautiful. I couldn't stay up to watch all of the athletes walking out, but the beginning was beautiful. We all watched it while we were at Moosehead. It was kind of cool to watch it with so many people. I suppose that is one of the goals of the Olympics... to bring people together. I enjoy the Olympics. I wish there was less talking.... but I like the stories on individual athletes...and I like learning about the culture of the host country, but I could do with more action and less chatting when it comes to the actual competitions. Favorite events for the summer Olympics?? Diving... gymnastics...and one event that gets little coverage... white water kayaking.

That's all for today... I am trying to motivate myself to get to the gym before I go to work. I can do it I can do it...


Two miles

I worked two shifts this weekend on the tolls... On Saturday I worked from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. then went back in at 10 Sat. night until 6 Saturday morning. I was pretty tired after that. I didn't sleep much because my body wondered what was going on.

I had made a deal with myself... if I got called to go in to work a shift I would say yes... no matter what. I didn't follow through with that deal today. I didn't sleep well last night at at 6:15 this morning my phone rang and I was asked to fill a 7-3 shift today at a plaza that is 20 miles from here... I probably should have said yes, but I said no.

My body has been feeling good. I have been working out regularly and am feeling strong. But after working this weekend my body felt achy and I felt like I needed a day to be at home. Had I worked today I doubt I would have gone to the gym... and I had a great workout at the gym today... which I needed. So... I feel a bit guilty about not taking the shift, but I am glad I had the day to myself. I really didn't do too much. I did some writing and then went to the gym.

Since finding out that I don't currently have PVNS I have been hitting the gym pretty hard. I have returned to weight training and it's amazing how much different it makes me feel. I feel like I can hold my body up better...

My left quad is still weaker than the right, but it is getting better. I have been using the weight machines at the gym and I have been doing all of them one leg at a time. Most of them are designed to do both legs at once, but I find I can really do better if I do one leg at a time. I focus more on my form and more on going at a slow pace. I think I will be able to increase the weight that I have been doing soon... I am trying to remember to only increase things 10% a week, like my doctor told me.

I did the elliptical today too... and I went at a pretty slow pace. I did 2 miles in 30 minutes. 4 mph... which is not a great pace, but... I am trying to be more zen about my thinking and to remember that it wasn't long ago that the elliptical didn't even recognize me as being there... I was nonexistent to that machine because I was not strong enough to make it work fast enough. January 23 I was ecstatic because I had done a half mile on that thing.... and it was Dec. 8 that I was thrilled because I had done 5 minutes without the machine thinking I had paused... so... I am happy with 2 miles...it's progress... and today as I was ellipticalling (not really a word!) I thought about that and about how I need to do more of that... being happy with progress and less concerned with what I can't yet do...

This entry is going to be cut short... my neighbor just turned on the grill and I am going to cook me some chicken for dinner...

Later Gators!

My Favorite Place

My Favorite Place