Sunday, March 3, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

My funny valentine

I know it's a bit early, but I may want to send more of these between now and Valentine's Day.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Frank who?
Frank you for being a friend!

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Friday, February 1, 2013

5FF: Fighting the Fog

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Fibro Fog is one of the most annoying symptoms for me. I can feel perfectly fine, but have the hardest time understanding what people are trying to say to me. I have found a few things that help me focus on those foggy days.

  1. Fragrance: Inhaling either peppermint or citrus scents help wake my brain up. I keep essential oils in my classroom and take a sniff as needed. Portable, non-toxic, and I can do it as often as I would like.
  2. Music: Give me a song I can sing along to and I perk right up! I can always put on headphones if I don't want to bother anyone else. Or if I'm in the classroom at the time, the kids dance along with me!
  3. Water: I've noticed that when I get dehydrated, my brain slows down. It is hard for me to drink enough water in the classroom (after all, I can't always run to the bathroom when I need to), so I try to make sure I drink extra glasses when I first get up and at lunch time.
  4. Movement: Maria Montessori observed that the mind follows the hand. In order to be able to control our minds, we have to be able to control our bodies. To get my students focused, I give them a physical task such as washing dishes, scrubbing tables, or sewing. The same thing works for adults: find an activity that involves your hands and your mind will calm down and come into focus.
  5.  Take a break: A change is as good as a rest! A few minutes walking around after sitting in front of a computer will help you stay focused on the task at hand. I take a few minutes for some deep breathing before my students come in. It allows me to focus my mind on what I want to get done during the day before the hustle and bustle begins.
What do you do to combat the dreaded Fibro Fog?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kettlebell of the Ball

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It wasn't exactly a whim when I signed up for a beginner's kettlebell class. I read about kettlebells in the most recent issue of Oxygen magazine, and was intrigued. Naturally, I had to read all about it and in the course of my "research" discovered this class. Perfect start time (three days after I learned about the course), perfect time of day (after school with plenty of time to eat a snack and get there), easy to get to, and perfect days of the week. With that much going for me, I pretty much had to sign up for it!

I've got four classes under my belt, and the verdict so far: holy frickin smokes -this workout is kicking my tush! I don't think I have ever had such a vigorous cardio workout before in my life. And there is minimal impact on my knees, just the occasional round of jumping jacks. We are doing circuits with the kettlebells, ropes, TRX, and body weight to create a 45 minute workout that provides both cardio and strength training. It was taking me nearly twice as long to do cardio and lift weights at the gym! It has given me a huge motivation shot as far as exercising goes. I've been slacking a bit since the holidays and its been hard getting back into an exercising groove. I've not experienced any increase in Fibro symptoms since I've started. In fact, I am sleeping a bit better at night. Not going to complain about that! Learning how to move safely is keeping my brain focused, so for at least 45 minutes a day I am fog-free. And I can definitely tell that it has revved up my metabolism!

As long as I don't get injured, I foresee no problem finishing the six-week course. If I continue on past the course has yet to be decided.

Don't know anything about kettlebells? Read about them here. There are many books and videos available, but I would highly recommend you learn proper form from a real person before striking out on your own.

Have you tried anything new recently with your exercise routine?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Technical Difficulties

I will be taking a short break from the blog due to technical difficulties. Well, complete technology failure would be a more accurate description. On top of my laptop that died earlier this year, and our desktop crashing, now my tablet has ceased to function. Apparently, my name also means Death to Computers in Latin. Hopefully, I will soon have regular access to a functioning computer.

Friday, January 18, 2013

5FF: Fighting Colds

*5 Things. About Fibro. Every Friday*

I am constantly battling on the front lines of germ warfare: I work with young children. Young children who are still learning to blow their own noses, cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, and just so happen to be very affectionate. Sigh. This means I have to be on my toes to keep my immune system as healthy as possible because one thing I have learned in my first year of living with Fibro is that being sick is so much worse now. Double sigh.

Preparing for mid-year assessments happens right after the holidays, so my stress levels are up and I am particularly vulnerable. It came as no surprise when I woke up the other morning with a sore throat that would not go away after drinking lots of water. It was time to pull out my favorite home cold remedies.

  1. Hot honey & lemon: Mix 2 spoonfuls of honey with 1 spoonful of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and hot water. Feels divine on the throat, especially when you alternate sips of this hot drink with sips of icy cold water.
  2. Zicam: I start taking it as directed as soon as I know my throat is sore (and not just merely dry)
  3. Airborne: I don't take it as a daily immune booster, but when I take it in combination with Zicam, the results are almost immediate.
  4. A pot of my "Miracle Soup": chicken broth full of garlic, onions, lemon, ginger and a bit of couscous. Never fails to make me feel better!
  5. Steam: putting boiling water in a bowl with a few drops of eucalyptus oil, then carefully breathing in the steam. Sometimes, I make a tent by placing a towel over my head.
After 2 days of using these remedies, I am pleased to announce that my cold is a mere irritation now, rather than a full-blown-taken-over-my-life-and-is-making-me-and-everyone-around-me-completely-miserable illness.

What do you do to comfort yourself when you catch a cold?

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cold Comfort

I can hardly believe that I am posting a picture of my refrigerator! But yet, I am. I HATE cleaning the shelves in the fridge, so when I saw this idea on Pinterest idea (so sorry, to whomever the original poster is -I forgot to pin it but the idea is great) I knew I had to try it! Plastic place mats now line my shelves. I had to trim the back end to make it fit the depth. I tried adding bits to the side since the mat wasn't wide enough, but I didn't like the look. So far, the shelves are staying clean! And, it looks pretty so I smile now instead of cringe when I open the refrigerator door. I like being able to find things inside again, too. So much easier to stay on top of the leftovers.

I also relocated my refrigerator thermometer. Turns out I had the temperature set far colder than it needed to be! No wonder I had such a hard time defrosting meat. I just may go completely crazy and pull the fridge out & vacuum the coils. If I do, you'll know that I have completely succumbed to cleaning fever.

How do you keep your fridge organized?