Category Archives: Writing

I’m a Lion

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As I was growing up both of my parents were heavily involved with the Delta Lions Club in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans. Every Friday night they worked Bingo, every Tuesday was either a meeting or Mom’s Po-Ke-No night (Bingo with playing cards ;). Let’s not forget the awesome Super Bowl/Federal holiday BBQs.

The social aspect wasn’t the only reason my parents were Lions. Whether it was through church, schools, my parents’ work (Army Nat’l Guard & various bank institutions) giving back to the community was a major part of our lives. I never realized it until I was an adult. I anticipated the time when I could finally join the LEO Club like my brothers and have all those great experiences. I joined as soon as I was 13 yrs old and loved every minute of it. Granted I lost touch with my fellow LEOs but the memories I have of our meetings, our activities, our state conventions & regional meetings with other clubs will stay with me forever.

I’ve always meant to join one of the local clubs, but when I was checking out their virtual presence, which is how we all remain connected these days, the Killeen Noon Lions Club had the most information available. I emailed and received a quick response from the outgoing President Lion Maureen. Being I was still in school I couldn’t attend a meeting until summer. Now you may wonder why I didn’t join an evening club, well I just contacted this club first and I relied on the warm fuzzies. I rely heavily on my warm fuzzies, they’ve never led me astray 🙂

I was inducted Tuesday, August 13, 2013. I gotta tell ya I was a total bumbling mess. As Lion Richard talked about the start of Lions by Melvin Jones and the mission of Lions around the world I sniffled & could feel the tears run down my cheeks and my neck (I missed a few when I swiped). Then they gave me & another new Lion, well new to this club, speak a few minutes. I tried to hold it together with the first few words, but lost it once I mentioned Dad, sigh….

The commitment to helping others was strong in both my parents, no doubt, and through their service was instilled in all of us kids. I’m proud to continue carrying on the tradition my dad and mom set for me and my future and community volunteer through the Killeen Noon Lions’ Club.

Summer Obsessions

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When I’m on break lately I’ve been watching tv shows I’ve heard about, but wasn’t able to watch because my dvr was otherwise occupied with at least 2 of my current obsessions on any given night. I’ve also had 2 particular movies on rotation right now as well 🙂

What have I been watching you ask that has me so obsessed:

1. Switched at Birth – If you’re a facebook friend you already know the reason I began watching this show, Blair Redford‘s character Ty. What a cutie! But then of course as many fans know he went away for a season and during that time I feel in lurve with Sean Berdy‘s character Emmett. Besides the adorable crushworthy cast, the storyline is a familiar one. Based on true events & an already made for tv movie ages ago, it’s about 2 girls who were born on the same day & switched at the hospital. After the discovery both girls deal with identity, relationships & how to cope with 2 sets of parents with different ideas of childrearing. Oh & did I add hunky Gilles Marini stars as one of the dads, sigh…..enough for continued viewing alone. Check out the link above to read more about Bey & Daphne & their “adventures” if you can call them that.

2. Dance Academy – As many who know me well know that I lurve my Australian tv show McLeod’s Daughters. As the years have gone on a lot of the actors have shown up either in bit parts in many movies & other tv shows here in the states. So a combination of Australia & another one of my longtime loves the movie Centerstage, enter teen drama Dance Academy. I’ve watched seasons 1 & 2 on netflix. Now I’m patiently waiting for the final season, 3, to make it to the US. I’ve only been able to preview 1 one of the teasers, the others are unfortunately now viewable outside of Australia 😦 Fortunately though many faces from Dance Academy will be making their debut in the new NBC summer series Camp.

3. Dark ShadowsJohnny Depp, Tim Burton & high camp dramedy soap opera remake, yes please! Anything Depp & Burton do in collaboration is an automatic yes in my book. As HBO replays Dark Shadows this past month, I’ve signed on for each viewing in addition to my own personal dvd copy. Don’t judge me.

4. Pitch Perfect – I saw this movie when it came out, because I’m such a fan of Anna Kendrick ever since I saw her in the indie film, Camp. I’m also a lover of all things Rebel Wilson, what a riot, love her as Fat Amy. When I first saw the movie I recognized one of the film’s locations as being the Greek Amphitheater on LSU’s campus. I thought “Nah,” couldn’t be, well then during the riff off in the Huey P. Long Fieldhouse & then the shot of the Music Building it was “OMG! That’s LSU!!!!!” So that movie has an even bigger place in my heart, Geaux Tigers!

One Year From Now

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One Year From Now. by Outside Air

Kind of sums up certain things I’ve been thinking about this year & how I want things in my life to change the next year.

Some resolutions Kari mentions in her post I’m adopting:

1. Bring my camera, not just the phone with me whenever I go anywhere.

2. Discipline over my body thing, I’m still the girl who worked her ass off to be okay with how I am physically. I’m still the girl who tried the Medifast diet early last summer & gave up 3 weeks into it, sigh….. I’m going to try & figure out some sort of balance between my love of food & being better at getting more physically active in the New Year.

3. I love the idea of going on small adventures. Doesn’t have to cost anything, but I want to take advantage of the area I live in & explore it.

4. Making time for people. I’d like to think I got better at this during 2012. Especially after my dad passed I made it a point to call my mom at least once a week. I made contact with my childhood friend again when she finally joined facebook. I’m going to be better at keeping communication up with all my family, friends (close & acquaintances).

5. Read more, I have a kindle, I need to read the books I already have on it & make room for new ones that I’ve made note of & haven’t made time for.

6. Improve my blogs. I’ve always had my personal one, but this year I began my professional one. I need to make more time in creating substantial blog posts, not just fleeting, fly by the seat of my pants entries on either blog.

7. Ooooohhhhh, financial discipline: this is a biggie. I need to do it, it’s not an option, I just need to bite the bullet & do it. I’ve seen a couple apps, online & mobile that could help in this arena, I just need to do it.

Here are the ones I’m adding:

8. Organized home. I’m going to try the 52 Week Challenge. Fingers crossed, it focuses on just one small area of the house each week to organize.

9. Build My Personal Relationship, this is still new for me, which I like, still getting to know this person better & how we work together. So that’s all I’m going to put out there for now.

10. Invest more time in becoming a better teacher. I got lucky last year. This year I’m still finding my way with my class with what works for one half & what doesn’t work. I’m committed to devoting my time to making sure these children leave me knowing that I gave them everything in my power to give them to be successful.

Here’s to a wonderful New Year

The First Thanksgiving

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It’s a little bit different today. All my siblings are here in town for the holiday. That hasn’t happened for a long time. Thanksgiving was always the short holiday we couldn’t really make it home for, so most everyone just stayed home or took short trips. Fitting since it’s not notabout what you can have but what you already have & should be thankful for.

Thanksgiving was my dad’s favorite holiday. Before I was born my family did Thanksgiving with my father’s side of the family. Things fell by the wayside and individual family units went their own separate ways. My dad always liked when we were all able to be together. If he had the choice he would’ve wanted us to be together on Thanksgiving rather than Christmas.

Time dictates everything so time only allowed us together most times at Christmas, but even then it was rare ALL 6 kids were able to be home for any holiday.

It was only recently that we all began showing up for holidays/family functions together. My brother John’s wedding, my parent’s 50th Anniversary, and most recent my father’s passing. In between we were able to get together in spurts for functions, niece’s shower & wedding.

Lemme clarify a bit, 3 of my brothers were in the military, so getting together always proved a bit challenging.

I just want to say that I’m thankful for my siblings & mother, and will always cherish our times together. Each and every day, minute & second I’m able to be around my family is precious & special. I look forward to these rare occasions more than anything else in life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Easy Beginnings

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Some thing new has been happening the last 2 months. Something’s made me very happy, not sure I want to share all that much, but every time I think about it, I get all girly happy again. I cling to this idea, those thoughts & sweet memories when work gets a little crazy. I just close my door to my classroom when I have a free 5-10 minutes & reminisce about that something.

Work has been quite crazy this last month; with meetings, conferences, data, report cards, comments, etc stress seeps in where it can. Hence those stolen moments alone in a quiet class when the kids are at lunch or in Specials.

I love my job. I love my students this year. True, I missed my kiddos from last year, but I am growing more & more fond of my kids and their quirks. One of my current students moved this week, it was also her birthday, I miss her already & her sweet nature with her classmates, she was a doll.

One of my former students moved also, about 2 weeks ago 😦 His mom worked at our campus for the past 2-3 yrs. She’s one of those great parents, that just get it, because she was around the teachers & kids all day long. Their last few days at school were tough. The second to last day I saw my former student out at parent pick-up, which reminded me it was getting closer. I started to tear up but was able to hold it back.

The next day however, different story. They weren’t out at parent pick-up, she was finalizing last minute things in the front office. The minute my student (they’ll always be mine) hugged me goodbye I lost it. Lost it even more when she hugged me & said “Thank you for teaching my kid.” (So crying right now too) It’s those kids & moments like this that make the crazy day-in & day-out random BS endurable.

Those kiddos are having to start over at new schools, make new friends, learning the ropes in their new towns. I’m blessed to have been a part of their young lives & will use what I learned while they were mine with all my kids, because every day is a new beginning, easy or not 🙂

Til next time.

Ideas For My Own Personal Happiness Project

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I’ve been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin lately. I gotta tell ya it seems like just what I needed in my life right now.

A few months ago I had someone in my life that wasn’t very happy with their situation. Unfortunately for me I tend to absorb all emotions around me whether they’re happy, sad, anger, excited, etc. It was to the point where I couldn’t seem to shake those emotions, I was a wreck earlier this summer. Other things besides having those emotions in close proximity factored into my mental state, say oh my current relationship status i.e. null/void/nil/nada but hey what can ya do?

I began reading The Happiness Project before I began talking with someone, professional, to guide me through getting past all those emotions I had absorbed & were letting fester, ick! It’s funny because all my assignments thus far have mirrored things in the book.

Well I’ve been doing research & came across this blog post by Chic Vegan. A lot of the things she lists are all things that were in my head, I just hadn’t been able to verbalize them or put them down on paper, so to speak. Obviously I’m going to be referring to this list as I create my own Happiness Project.

Of course I’ll post as I progress 😉

Take Shape For Life: My Week 1

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Friday, June 15, Day 1: SUCKED!!!! I was so excited to get started I think my adrenaline was pumping that morning. I posted my before picks onto facebook, because I feel like if I went ahead & did that in the beginning, I couldn’t back out & say I’m done when I hit a road bump, which I’m sure could/might happen, which I’m going to try my darndest to not let happen.

Mike & I also purged the fridge & the pantry of all things non-Darnee friendly. Hardest thing ever, but it’s helping, cuz I know I would’ve been in that cabinet on a rough day seeking out relief, sigh….

I also drank like 10 cups of water & have never gone to the restroom so much in my life, lol. By the evening when I went to Painting With A Twist I was starving & was staving off a headache. By the time the night was over I was okay & just wanted to sleep. I took 2 Advil & 2 Excedrin, yes you can do this, it’s 2 different meds, & passed out.

Saturday, June 16, Day 2: Not as bad as Friday, but then again for the hunger pangs I just took cat naps before they started. I also took a preventative Excedrin to last me through the day, which I think helped. Nothing too exciting happened on Saturday.

Sunday, June 17, Day 3: I needed to get out of the house, I woke up had my breakfast, the one day I wasn’t thrilled with the food, the eggs, I added a little seasoning to see if that would help, but it really didn’t, so I just kept trucking along. I made a shake to-go & dropped a meal bar in my purse, so I was set. I went to see Rock of Ages, which I’ve already waxed nostalgic on in Wednesday’s post. But today was not hard, cuz the line was long at the concession stand when I was going to get a bottle of water, so I just said, I can wait, cuz I already drank like 2/3 of my water by that point, lol. What was hard was Sunday night. I go over to my girlfriend’s houses & we watch True Blood on HBO. My friend Karin last night made our favorite, Chicken Broccoli Chees Casserole, so good & yummy duhlicious! Couldn’t have any. I made sure to eat my dinner before going over to the house, so I wouldn’t be tempted by whatever they had. I also brought my dessert just in case they brought out the sweets, I’d have mine ready 🙂

Monday, June 18, Day 4: Checked in with my health coach. Felt a little blah this day. I almost wanted to cry, but don’t know why, think it’s the caffiene/carb withdrawl, UGH!!! I figured out one trick to get my caffeine though. One of the recipes at a trusty Medifast website suggested making a “Float” out of one of the shakes by adding Diet coke instead of just plain old water. Well I tried it with the pudding pack they also suggested; I find Diet Coke already too sweet for my tastes, so adding it to another sugar substituted product made it extremely sweet. I had to add the rest of the coke to make the pudding part bearable, whew! But at least I got some caffeine, THANK GAWD!

Tuesday, June 19, Day 5: Still a little eh, but plugging along.

Wednesday, June 20, Day 6: I scheduled a massage for today. It was wonderful. I love to get pampered. The place up the road from my school, Encore Day Spa, has a great therapist, she’s a sweetheart & does a great job! Highly recommend it 🙂

Thursday, June 21, Day 7: I woke up nauseous. Funny considering the past three nights I didn’t feel hungry at all. I tried drinking water, that didn’t help, I tried a shake to see if that would settle my tummy, not a chance. Then I did something I’m not proud of but I’m not sorry for either I cheated, I went to Sonic & got a strawberry slush. Thankfully this slush had some sprite in it cuz my tummy settled within the next 10 minutes. I also was craving sushi, so I went & got a California roll. All not on plan 😦 Oh well. Like I said I’m not sorry. I’m not going to deprive myself. I’m going to stick to the plan as best I can & if I happen to slip, knowing me & my willpower, I’m just going to keep pushing through.

Weight loss: 243.6lbs down to 239.0lbs (4.6lbs)

New Chapters of Life’s Journey

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As I was evaluating my blog recently, I realized the appearance was a little “Debbie Downer” & of late I’ve had too much of that around me. So I decided to make a change hence the bright & colorful new theme you see here.

It’s pretty fitting too since not only am I updating my online presence I am also changing my physical presentation. I need the outward to resemble the inside a bit better. After witnessing 2 ladies at work lose a significant amount of weight on the Medifast weight loss plan through their Take Shape For Life program I finally made the jump.

Nicole, who also happened to be one of my students’ mom & a coworker, is my health coach, ie diet pest 😉 She came over today to help me place my first order & talk about the program with me. Seeing as I started blogging to share my few & far between adventures I’m going to obviously share this adventure, I will include photos to prove the journey.

Once I get my package next week let the fun begin!

Nails

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I’ve been getting acrylic nails off & on since college. In Baton Rouge there’s was this one place next to Delchamp’s on Highland & College. Loved them, they got me hooked. Then I had them removed for a little bit. See I go through phases where I love the nails, love how they look & since I talk with my hands it’s definitely a fun look.

I lived in Marksville, LA for about 4 years before moving to Texas & let’s just say I was less than impressed with the nail salons there. My mom goes to the one I tried & I just don’t see how she does it. It’s like musical chairs, not just one person works on you, I no like that!

Enter 2005, Killeen, TX. I visited Perfection nails with my sister-in-law. I was talked into the solar nails, a new thing in nail trends. They go on just like the acrylics, but they are buffed & polished & there was no drying time, seriously!! These nails changed my life. I personally like the french white tips (ie solid white) like white out white tips & the palest pink for the nail beds. I’ve seen the “natural” tips & it just makes me think the nails are dirty.

Since then I’ve tried other salons here in town & I just don’t like the job they do. I’ve gone with friends who wanted to try new places, so I was a good friend & tagged along. Good heavens what these people did to my nails, was sooooo not happy. I always went back to Perfection. Now I’m a loyal customer. I adore Michelle who does awesome amazing pedicures & can pretty much do any toenail design you show her. I myself have been the recipient of the following designs: spider & it’s web, Frankenstein, vampires, mummies, 80’s pop color patchwork, a variety of flowers, abstract lines, etc. Michelle is da bomb.

As for the nails, I’ve had awesome nail techs & not so awesome. The ones who stay know my nails & that I’m sen-si-tive 😦 I hate it when my favorites leave or move, suuuuuuucks having to try out new ones. Or even worse when you find one you like & they are always busy when you do the walk-in. Well one guy who did my nails twice before I got my favorite one back was awful. He nagged me about getting a new set, but then would tell me I only needed one color cuz he wanted to save me money, really?!?! Gawd! So finally 2 weeks ago I went in & got my new favorite again & have succumbed to just making the appointments with him.

Today I had my first appointment, Yay! Fresh new nails & a pedicure that resulted in what’s below. How awesome are those toes, I mean really, totally ready for summer now!! On the downward slope at school, it’s time for it to be over & done, get my summer on. Til then I can rock these purty toes!!

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