Well Color Me…..

My ramblings on the world in general and my life in particular

March 26, 2018
by Tracie
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Nexus Information

If you are interested in reading the password protected Nexus, please leave me a comment and I’ll email you the password. Those of you who are nearest and dearest to me, fandom wise will probably be able to guess the password 😉

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March 12, 2018
by Tracie
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…Ready, I Think

I want to write.  I make no secrets about that.  I also don’t write, and I don’t make any secrets about that, or excuses.  I’m lazy AF, I’m a master procrastinator, and I’m afraid.  Around 11 years ago, I started writing a YA fiction book with the hopes that it could maybe morph into a series.  ready, i thinkThen life got crazy and it just got pushed aside.  All writing of the fiction type did.  I’m not making excuses, that’s just the way it is.

I did NANWRIMO in 2013, revamping a fan fic, but that wasn’t the same, plus it sucked.  This year, I toyed with starting NANOWRIMO.  I got two paragraphs written, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Well last night, I pulled out those two paragraphs, and the stuff I started a while back a decade ago, and I realized that the couple of paragraphs would actually make a good prologue for the older stuff.

The older stuff, well it’s not great, and there are lots of grammatical errors and typos, but that’s what editing is for.  There is also a storyline in it that is supposed to be a motivating factor, but I’m not sure if i want to keep – it deals with physical abuse, and I’m not really sure if I want to go there.

But I’m thinking about writing again, and I’m ready, I think.  I’m not sure, but I’m closer to being ready than I have been in a very long time.  Writing has always been an escape for me, and honestly, in my life right now, I have a lot from which I want to escape.  I’m kind of stumped about where to share this writing.  Nobody uses LJ any longer, and nobody visits my fanfic forum either.  It’s not fanfic so I can’t put it on fanfic.net either. I know there are places out on the interwebs to share original stuff, but I’m not comfortable doing that either.  Why?  Because it’s either going to be good, and sharing it that way means it can be stolen, or more realistically, it’s going to suck and who wants to put themselves out there for ridicule!

I’m thinking I’m going to put it here, and password protect it, and if people want to read it, I’ll give them the password.  So I’m ready, I think.  I even hope.  I need an outlet.  It used to be writing, and I want it to be writing again.  I just need to begin.

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March 4, 2018
by Tracie
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…Not a Happy Traveler

I had to go on a short trip this week for work.  Now here’s the thing.  I like traveling.  I like going new places and seeing new things.  What I don’t like, however, is not being in control of my traveling.  And for this trip, I was not in control.  In short, I was not a happy traveler!

There were 8 of us traveling from Manchester NH to Syracuse NY.  Here is how the journey went.  We took a bus from New Hampshire down to Boston to fly out of Logan Airport.  Never mind that there is a perfectly lovely airport in Manchester, flights out of Boston were cheaper.  On the bus ride down to Boston, I got a message from a friend that lives in Syracuse telling me that they were expecting 10+ inches of snow on Friday.  Hmmm….we were planning on leaving Friday night.  I share the info with my fellow travelers, but they were unconcerned because the airline hasn’t issued any alerts.

The plan was, when we got to Syracuse, we were to meet a representative from the company we are partnering with, get two rental vehicles and be on our way to our Air BNB, with one of our group going to the hotel with the representative.  Why?  Well apparently the Air BNB owner has a dog and cats who are frequently in residence.  Well the representative let us know at the last second that she wouldn’t be attending, so there we are 8 people with a 7 passenger minivan and we are incredibly hungry.  So we cram 8 of us into the minivan, with one person sitting on the floor and off we go for food.

not a happy travelerAfter our meal, we dropped the one group member at the hotel and went to the Air BNB from HELL!  It claimed to have 4 bedrooms, what it had were 3 bedrooms, and a family room.  The three teenaged girls laid claim to the family room, and that left 3 bedrooms for 4 people, none of whom wished to share.  That is when yours truly ended up on a camp bed in the freaking living room.  Add to that, there is one full bath, and one half bath about the size of the average changing room in a department store. Sleep that night was non-existent as the teenagers made use of the pool table in the family room.  The pool table that was directly underneath my lovely camp bed in the lovely living room.

The next morning, I was up at the ass crack of dawn (remember, this is my vacation) and I go out to the kitchen to make myself an english muffin (the ketogenic diet has been relinquished for this trip) only to find the toaster is surrounded by a puddle of water.  Rather than get electrocuted, I wiped it up, made my muffin and ate my breakfast. After everyone joined me, we hashed out our new travel plans as it was decided right before bed we’d get the hell out of Dodge, or Syracuse that night to avoid the storm.

Unfortunately we couldn’t all fit on the same flight, so six people were flying out at 6:00 to Chicago, changing there and then back to Boston. Myself and another woman were flying out at 8:30 direct to Boston.  With our original travel, we would be getting in too late to get a bus back, so we booked a flight line van.  With our new travel arrangements, there was a very good chance that the two of us would get back in time to catch the bus back to New Hampshire.

We went about our day and did as much as we could, learned some very interesting and informative things. We ware also fortunate enough to visit an internship site at an Italian bakery and brought back a ton of goodies to share with our host school (and ourselves)  We said goodbye to the wonderful people at the school we were visiting and headed out.  Again, please remember there are 8 of us crammed into a 7 passenger van.  We stopped for food, and made our way back to the airport.

The first group of our intrepid band got on their flight and we prepared to wait, and then it happened. Our flight was delayed.  All thoughts of bus trips back home began to fade from my mind.  Our flight was called only 20 minutes late, and we made incredible time back to Boston.  Bus trip thoughts began to creep back into my mind when I realized that we were no longer descending, we were once again climbing, and we circled the airport for a while.  Again the bus trip thoughts were erased from my mind and we disembarked and made our way across the pavement, up a flight of stairs and into the airport.  Yes,  we were traveling on an itty bitty baby plane that was too small to pull up to the jetway.

After another hour wait, the rest of our intrepid band disembarked from their flight, retrieved their luggage and we made our way to the flight line van which was parked oh so far away 🙁  All told, I was home and in my bed by 1:30 Friday morning, and we beat the incoming storm, but what a miserable experience.

Were it up to me, we would have flown out of Manchester, or better still, we could have rented a big enough vehicle and driven. There were five adults on this trip, all of whom were licensed drivers.  We most definitely would not have stayed at the Air BNB from hell.  I am a hotel girl all the way.  I have to go on another one of these trips in April (again on my vacation). I’m hoping the experience will be a little bit more enjoyable, or once again it will be a case of color me not a happy traveler.

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February 25, 2018
by Tracie
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…Unarmed and OK With It

I made the huge mistake of posting on facebook this morning regarding the comments President Trump made about arming teachers.  He said (and this is not a direct quote, just paraphrasing here) that teachers love their students and we should be armed we love our students, and that we’d kill to protect them.  The problem with that thought process is that most school shooters are students or former students.  If a student is expelled, in my mind, he or she is still my student.  Could I potentially kill one of my students?  No, I don’t think I could.  Trained police didn’t go in to the school in Florida and start shooting.  Why do people think that I could or would?

unarmed and okay with it

Image copyright Joe Heller

Okay, suppose there are trained, armed teachers in a school and there is a school shooting.  What happens to the teacher who accidentally shoots and kills another student while trying to stop the shooter?  Are they going to be prepared to deal with the emotional fallout from killing an innocent student or co-worker?  Somehow I doubt it. What about the police who do rush into the school in the case of a school shooting and accidentally kill a teacher with a gun who was “protecting his/her students?”  How are they supposed to differentiate from school shooter or trained staff member.  I don’t think school shooters come with signs.  Oh wait, I know.  First, I’ll lock and barricade my door.  Then I’ll get the kids into the safest part of the room.  Then I’ll get out my gun which would be locked up in a secure place, then I’ll put on my day-glow orange vest that says I’m a staff member with a gun, don’t kill me.  You know, the vest that will probably be available on the internet that the school shooter will also be wearing.

Now I realize that they probably wouldn’t arm me, and it would be teacher choice.  I’ve already made my choice abundantly clear.  But suppose the teacher down the hall, who is a horrible, horrific teacher chooses to go through the proposed training and now has access to a weapon in school.  They’re proposing paying this teacher more money because of that gun.  It doesn’t matter that they are  a terrible teacher, they agreed to carry a gun so they get more money.  Yeah that makes sense to me.

I have friends on facebook who are pro gun.  I have friends on facebook who love to hunt and kill.  Now these friends frequently post pictures of their hobbies. That’s fine, it’s a free country, what they’re doing is legal.  All is well.  Now, I am not pro gun (for me) and I am not a hunter.  So I choose to just bypass their posts that show them participating in those activities.  They love it, that’s fine.  I don’t, that’s fine, but I RESPECT their right to do what they love and share on social media.  Why then, can’t they extend me the same courtesy.  I’m not saying we should take away their guns.  I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to hunt.  They however feel the need to come on my post and tell me how wrong I am because arming teachers would make everything all better.  Not me.  I’m unarmed and I’m okay with it.

One more little side diatribe.  I love how kids are stepping up and saying this has got to stop.  They are speaking out and letting them know that their lives matter.  All our lives do.  Many students are planning a peaceful protest/school walk out to take a stand. And many school districts are apparently talking about suspending kids that do so.  Kudos to the colleges and universities that are stepping up and saying the admission of students will not be impacted by any suspensions issued to them for protesting gun violence.

 

 

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February 17, 2018
by Tracie
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…Afraid to go to Work

I never ever thought I’d say those words.  I’ve said I don’t want to go to work, and I’ve said I hate going to work, but never ever have I said I’m afraid to go to work, until now.  There have been a lot too many school shootings in recent years, but none of them have effected me emotionally as much as the recent shooting in Florida.  Why?  It’s rather ironic, actually.  We had a faculty meeting Wednesday, and while my principal was discussing a new training our district was offering in case there was a school shooter event, there actually was a school shooter event happening.

It’s caused me to look closely at my classroom, and that’s making me even more afraid.  I am in a small room that used to be an office.  It’s approximately 12×22 and has only one way in or out.  It has three small windows, none of which are large enough to climb out through.  The only door opens out to the hallway so we can’t even blockade ourselves in, and to add insult to injury, the only way to lock the door is to go out INTO the hallway.  My closet has a bump out in it and has approximately 144 square inches of floor space.  I suppose I could cram a very skinny kid in there and afraid to go to workhide them, but what about the rest of us?

I am afraid to go to work. Both of my children work at the school where I work, and I’m afraid for them to go to work as well.  What kind of life is that?  It’s no life at all.  We shouldn’t be afraid to earn a living.  I know these shootings don’t only happen in schools, and I know there are other people that work in other industries where tragedies like this have happened.  I’m not trying to minimize the danger they may be in, but when it happens in a school it’s even more heinous.

I don’t know what the answer is.  I really don’t.  As a teacher, I don’t want to be armed.  I’m not a gun person.  Don’t get me wrong, if the average Joe wants to own a gun to go hunting, or target shooting, I don’t care.  The average Joe is also going to go about getting their gun the right way.  However, the average Joe isn’t the one stockpiling assault rifles and planning on being the next school shooter.  Stricter gun regulations aren’t going to stop criminals from getting guns.  I understand that.  Stricter background checks might.  Changing hippa regulations so that people who are mentally ill might help.  Maybe consistent licensing and background checks with a national database will help.  I don’t know.  I don’t pretend to know.

What I do know is that I am afraid to go to work, and God help me, I’m afraid that if a tragedy like that does happen, that I won’t react the right way.  I’d like to think I’d do whatever I can to save students, but I wonder if in the end, the only people I would care about are me and my own children.  That sucks.  Not that I care about my children, but that I don’t know how I would react in the event of a school shooter. I hope to God I never have to find out.

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February 13, 2018
by Tracie
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…Living the Ketogenic Lifestyle

Yep it’s time for another diet….this time, I’m trying the ketogenic diet.  I know that right now you’re either scratching your head and saying “what the heck is that?” or wondering if it’s that thing you hear about in diabetes commercials called ketoacidosis.  Let me start with a brief – VERY brief science lesson.  When a person is in ketosis, they are burning fats for brain power and body power.  It’s a good thing – especially if you’re like me and have a lot of extra body fat to burn 😉

So how does this happen?  Well it’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen over night.  You do have to change the way you’re eating.  You limit carbs in a huge way, eat moderate protein, and load up on healthy fats.  Please notice that I said HEALTHY fats.  Things like bacon and butter are okay, but you also want to consider things like nuts, avocados, salmon and olives.

To get into ketosis, you need to limit your carbs to under 50 grams a day, and these need to come from things like the leafy greens.  Failure to do so could result in some backed up plumbing, and you don’t want that, either.  To help your body switch into fat-burning mode and enter ketosis, you’ll need to eliminate all the “good stuff”.  This includes  grains, including breakfast cereals, breads, pasta, rice and granola bars; sugar in desserts, baked goods, jams, syrups and drinks; starchy vegetables, such as mashed potatoes, french fries, baked potatoes and corn; fruits; and milk and yogurt.  It’s a pretty huge list, and I’m going to be honest, some of my favorite things are on that list.  I’m not going to lie, french fries, potato chips and popcorn are 3 of my major food groups.  So I’m saying goodbye to them, but hey, I get to have bacon.  Show me a diet where you get to have bacon, or cook your eggs in butter.  They are pretty much non-existent, right? I’m also missing milk in a big way, but the addition of heavy whipping cream to my morning tea helps – a little!

So where do you get the carbs?  Your carbs come from non-starchy vegetables, including broccoli, artichokes, kale, tomatoes and mushrooms. Most non-starchy vegetables contain less than 5 g of carbs per cup, but the carb content varies among vegetables. But it’s super important to keep track of those carbs.  Log them religiously!  Actually log all your food religiously – it’s another great tool in your weight loss arsenal.

You need to include a moderate amount of protein in your diet.  This is where it’s hard for me.  I could happily eat steak all day long, but that’s not

living the ketogenic lifestyle

really moderation.  You generally want to shoot for a serving size of between 4 – 6 oz of protein per serving.  Don’t forget to take your weight and activity level into account.  If you’re an exercising demon (which I am not) you’re going to need to increase the protein a bit.  So where does the protein come from?  It’s mainly found in eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, fish and seafood. And the best part of all?  When you put your veggies on your plate, you get to top them off with a dollop of butter, or olive oil.  Stay away from the low fat stuff – it’s full of sugar.  Sugar is carbs and those kinds of carbs are NOT our friends.

Also drink lots and lots of water.  Again, you want to keep that plumbing running smoothly, don’t you?  Water is your friend.  Now there are some drawbacks to this way of eating (WOE).  As your body starts to change where it gets it’s fuel from, you can be subject to what is called keto flu.  The potential is there to feel like crap.  Some even liken it to withdrawal from an addiction.  So if you’re feeling tired, irritable, achy, nauseous, and just generally blah, your body is making the switch from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat.  Power through because the feeling will go away.  Remember to stay hydrated, you can take an electrolyte supplement or cook up some bone broth – it replaces potassium and sodium and helps to keep you hydrated.

I’m on a lot of keto groups on facebook and they are super supportive.  It’s always good to have a strong support system when you’re trying to make a change in your life.  A virtual one works well.  They are full of suggestions, recipes and support.  They’re also there to help you navigate the keto language which is a minefield of acronyms.  Just ask any one of them what BCP is and you’ll get a hundred answers.  In case you’re interested, BCP is bullet proof coffee, and it’s made with coffee (or in my case tea), heavy whipping cream, with a tablespoon of organic butter and a tablespoon of MCT oil.  Oh look another acronym.  Medium-chain triglycerides are triglycerides whose fatty acids have an aliphatic tail of 6–12 carbon atoms. The fatty acids found in MCTs are called medium-chain fatty acids.  Sorry – I just gave you another science lesson.  Anyhow, it sounds pretty disgusting, doesn’t it.  It’s not, but you have to blend it all together in a blender.  It gets all frothy and yummy.  Seriously.  When I read about it, it sounded disgusting, but it’s actually really good.  Most people start their day off with it, but I don’t.  I use it at night if I haven’t reached my fat goal for the day.

Now this blog post is not intended to replace a doctor’s advice.  ALWAYS consult your doctor before embarking on a weight loss and/or exercise program.  And if you want to learn more about a ketogenic diet, google is your friend.  But if you decide to give it a try, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

 

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