The Oral Surgery/Heart Attack/Vegan Diet

If you meet me, you will think I’m a healthy woman. I’m 64 years old, but don’t feel that way at all. I’m always unpleasantly shocked when I glance in the mirror and think who is that person?

Now that I’ve stopped coloring my hair (I always felt uncomfortable pouring chemicals on my head….I mean really….society makes us think we need to do that?), and it’s much more salt than pepper, I do look more my age.

Many people think I’m a little younger than 64, though.  I tell them it’s because I’m immature.

Anywho, the point I’m taking a long time to make is that while I usually look healthy, on paper I’m old and unhealthy.

I’ve had 4 small strokes (TIAs), have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, some kidney craziness and have a couple of other health issues that I don’t feel like talking about here (depression type issues) and have had a kazillion surgeries.

I don’t like red meat much but love chicken and turkey, and really love desserts and junk food.  I eat healthy meals and eat crap in between.

And while I look pretty healthy, I gained a lot of weight over the years. The calories I used to burn off as a teenager and young adult now sit on me like balloons.

Okay, so at any rate, I had oral surgery over the summer, which made me not want to eat as much, so I said let’s try getting rid of sugar. I started to lose weight.

Then in September, I had a mild heart attack. Are you still with me or am I boring you to death? Another brief hospital stay, lots of tests and then bedside visits from 2 cardiologists.

They said that I have to go on a vegan diet. I immediately said okay. But it’s been a tad harder than I thought.

I stopped eating meat, which hasn’t been a hardship, and have been replacing things in my cupboards and refrigerator slowly.  Then Christmas came and I couldn’t resist the sweets and other junk foods that abound.

Now I’m eating almost 100% vegan. The one thing left to give up is cheese.

I’ve lost about 30 pounds.

Does anyone know Angela Lidden with her Oh She Glows blog/website My son’s girlfriend gave me The Oh She Glows Cookbook for Christmas. It’s available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon….that’s the Barnes and Noble link. I’m having a blast trying recipes and finding where everything is in the grocery store.  I’m still avoiding the dreaded word my cardiologist keeps using: exercise.  Shhhhhh…….I’ll tackle walking next.

I want to share a smoothie recipe of my own that I make almost every day and bring in the car as I commute to work. The first few smoothies that I tried made me want to spit them out (some I did spit out). But just throwing this stuff into a blender, I made a smoothie I love. By the way, I measure nothing, so you’ll have to figure that out for yourself if you’re interested.

Almond milk– the amount I would drink in a glass of milk

Oats – a handful or two

Flaxmeal – a heaping tablespoon

Banana – 1/2 a frozen banana (If you wait until your bananas are on the soft side and cut in half and throw in the freezer, they are sweeter)

Baby carrots – I cut 3-4 in a couple of pieces so they blend better

Frozen fruit – I bought a huge bag of frozen mixed berries. I use a tablespoon or two of those

Baby spinach – Rinse and throw in a couple of handfuls

I have a Ninja Blender (that’s really the brand name) that can make individual servings, so I blend, put the drink lid on it and off to work I go. For newbies, this combo of ingredients may sound strange, but it’s super healthy and delicious.

From start to finish it’s about 5 minutes.  Filled with nutrition and a great snack.

Tonight I’m making a new recipe from the Oh She Glows Cookbook.

I’ll let you know how it goes. And please share your recipes if you have some you love.

Peace out.



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We Need A Super Heroine

Do we need to find the missing jigsaw pieces or a superhero? I go with find a superheroine.





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My Problem With My Echo

I received an Amazon Echo as a gift from one of my kids a couple of years ago. I stared at it blankly and my son said “You don’t know what it is.” He was right. I had no clue what it was but I thought it was really cool looking.

Now I’m an Echo whiz kid, but one thing drives me crazy.

You can be rude with the Amazon Echo and it’s perfectly fine. It will be rude right back at you.

me: Alexa, please play Rolling in the Deep by Adele.  

Echo: Playing Rolling in the Deep by Adele.

me: Thank you.


I refused to stop saying please and thank you for a long time, even though being polite wasn’t programmed into the Echo. I’ve pretty much given it up now, but saying please and thank you is programmed into me. I learned social politeness as a child, by my parents, my church and my school.

Now I’m a high school teacher. Some kids are totally polite and it’s lovely. Others are either outright rude or just don’t say please and thank you. Do we blame social media? Do we blame parents or schools?

I blame the Amazon Echo.

And don’t get me started about what the Echo says when I’m talking with my friend-in-real-life Alexa.

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The Freshmen Are Coming!




Anyone out there who still remembers this movie?  The Russians are Coming, 1966


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School Supplies from Hell

I wrote this 2 years ago, but it holds true as much today as it did then. Except now I have to buy a chrome book, too. In addition to the iPad I had to buy for him for 4th grade. But those other shoppers…..


Feeding frenzy on the Serengeti? No. Back to School Sale at Staples.When a kid is going into 4th grade, there is no reason to have 2 FULL PAGES OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES NEEDED.

List:  crayons, markers or colored pencils. Must be 6 or 8 pack ONLY and must be in a box. Staples only has packs of 10 or 12 and only the crayons come in boxes.

Greek Chorus: Are you effin kidding me?

Me: Oh, no! C’mon honey, let’s find the man who works here.

Man who Works There: *sigh* Buy the big ones and leave some at home so there are only 6 in the box (I’m not making this up).

Aside: Harried mother slams her shopping cart into ours.

Me: I’m sorry.

Grandson: But she hit us. She should say she’s sorry.

Greek Chorus: Are you effin kidding me?

And that got us through item #1. Then…

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Enough Is Enough

Really?  My car has apparently now become a bee’s nest.

FYI – it isn’t the greatest photo because I was freaking out a little and wanted to make sure that these two (and the others flying around them) were definitely on the outside. Note Angry Bee #1 in lower left corner and Angry Bee #2 in upper right corner.  It is not on the tree in the background.  It is viciously attacking my driver-side window.  Ok I’m being a baby.

So is my car doubling as a bee apartment complex now?  I don’t think so.

It’s EVICTION time.



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Here We Go Again

bee on windshield

What is going on with my windshield?

Have I turned into an insect Über driver?


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What’s Up With Profile Pics?

Even on WordPress/Gravatar I worry about my profile pic.  I started out as a duck. That’s not exactly true.  I have always been a human.  But I started out with a profile pic of a duck, thinking that my blog will be anonymous.  The anonymity lasted about a week, but the duck stayed longer.

Here was, and still is, my dilemma.  Have people associated me with a duck?  If I post and change my photo will readers still know who I am or will they drop me like a hotduck?  I mean a hotcake?

At some point, I decided to be a human on my blog.  I couldn’t quite bring myself to be really me, so I used a cool filter that I’ve already forgotten where I found,  so you see a version of me with what at the time was a new haircut/style.

It’s only a couple of years old, but already doesn’t look like me.  Even without the filter.

What do you do?  I see a lot of people with old photos, or cartoon photos, or flowers. How and why did you pick those?  Do you feel it’s too arrogant to post a pic of yourself as your profile photo?  Do you not like how you look?

Let’s face it.  No one says “Wow here’s an idea.  I’ll find my worst picture ever and make that my profile pic.”  Which, now that I think of it, would be kind of fun.  But only if someone else did it.  I’m way too insecure for that.

How often do you change your photo?  And why?  These aren’t rhetorical questions, I really want to know.

On social media, it’s completely different for me.  I change my profile and cover photos on Facebook all the time.  Sometimes they are me, sometimes they are of a place I’ve visited, sometimes they are a saying.  Like GO ARMY BEAT NAVY.

On Google at work, I made my profile pic a crazy photo of me at my baptism.

My cousin calls this Baby Count Dracula.

I think this is hysterical and wonder why my parents ever chose the one where I’m thinking WHAAAAAAA?  But for my non-English speaking students, it’s easy to find my page.  If they spell Knowles wrong (the kn combination tends to throw non-English speakers for a loop), they can still find me.  A unique baby picture is not the one most teachers choose as their profile pic on Google.

Sidenote: One thing I hate about getting older is driver license photos.  The photo I thought was horrid eight years ago looks great to me now.

To change or not change one’s profile pic…..that is the question.


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The World Is Divided Into Two

Sometimes, when I’m driving my husband crazy, I think the world is divided into two halves.  Those who have ADHD and those who live with those wild, crazy and fun-loving people who don’t.  You can tell which half I belong to.

It can be so frustrating to be on either side of this equation.  It feels liberating to me to leave for work and get in my car and go wherever I’m intending to go and actually have everything I need with me.  I don’t even mind going back inside once for my keys.  I’ll roll my eyes when going back again for my phone.  I’m furious at myself when I have to make my third trip back for my travel mug of coffee. Then I’m disgusted with myself when I’m at work and realize my lunch bag is on the kitchen table at home.

So imagine how my husband feels?  Actually, I can’t.  It was probably cute on our first couple of dates.  And an eccentricity which wasn’t a big deal until we lived together.  I bet he can count on one hand the number of times he has had to go back into the house because he has forgotten something.  His ability to get everything together in one shot is rather annoying, actually.

By the way, I’m just referring to walking to the car, getting in it, turning it on (if I haven’t left the keys inside) and then realizing something that I need, like my phone/bag/lunch bag/coffee/work papers/gloves/brain are still inside.

On my commute, I have a traffic light that I use as my last opportunity to turn around and return to the house to get something I left.  Literally the point of no return.

My husband frequently tells me to make a list.  Like I would remember to:

  1. Make the list
  2. Read the list
  3. Remember the list

Right now I am visualizing the ADD/ADHD readers nodding their heads and saying Yesssss!  And the family members of the ADD/ADHD wonderful people, sighing and thinking how even reading this is putting them in a bad mood.

Oh I’m assuming that everyone knows that ADD is attention deficit disorder and ADHD is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  I think I’m in the first category.  I can sit still for 45 minutes to an hour.  While mentally going through everything I’ve forgotten.

I’m getting a little better.  Forget my iPhone, though.  I rarely remember to put anything in the calendar on the phone. Unless it’s something that repeats daily.  Like my noon prayer. But even with the home calendar, it’s a challenge to remember walking from one room to the next what I want to jot down on the kitchen calendar.

I never did remember what I was supposed to do a couple of weeks ago on the 11th.  But I haven’t received any phone calls so I guess I’m in the clear.

One of my colleagues is now raising his hand “My turn, my turn.”  He will recount that every single period that we teach together, almost every single day, before I leave the room he says :

ColleagueDo you have your keys? Do you have your bag? Do you have your coffee? Do you have your phone?


To all family members, friends and colleagues of ADD/ADHD people, thank you for your patience.  Or for however much patience you are able to summon.

We don’t do it on purpose.


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A Twist On My Car Adventures

This is a good news/bad news post.


Good News:  My car hasn’t been hit in at least two weeks.


grasshopper on windshield


Bad News:  Now it’s being eaten.


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