Class of 2015

Kim Senior PicAnnouncing the Graduation of


Brown County High School

May 30, 2015

Kimberly will be attending Indiana University

Majoring in Psychology

And you, our supporters, are all invited! Well, virtually invited anyway – we realize it’s unlikely any of you can make it in person.  Regardless please know that you will be in our minds on this momentous occasion as your support and encouragement has helped to make it possible. Photos will be posted following graduation.

I hope you’ll join with me in congratulating my oldest daughter who will graduate with honors, decked in the National Honor Society collar, cords for Spanish Honor Society and Thespian (drama) Honor Society, and wearing her choir medal. She will have a brief two week vacation before beginning college at Indiana University on June 13.

Kim in caseKim was the child who made me a mother 16 and a half years ago in China and she has a special place in my heart. She is smart, artistic, musical, kind and beautiful. She has a good sense of humor, is a good friend and knows how to roll with life’s punches. She says she has learned a lot from me. I’ve learned a lot from her as well.

She plans to study psychology with the goal of eventually getting her Master’s degree and becoming a therapist who works with children, incorporating music and drama in some fashion.

As you are all aware Kim is attending IU on a variety of scholarships for which we are very grateful. They do not completely cover her costs but both she and I are hoping to work (one job for her and two for me) to take care of the last $2,600. Kim will be living in the dorms for the first year and while it is not the same as setting up house she’s still in need of some items for her dorm room. We’ve added some of these things to our wish list in the event you wish to help send her off in style! She will read your good wishes if you care to comment on this post.

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Week One

I’ve been on my, no not ‘diet’, rather let’s call it a new relationship with food (the Eat to Live plan), for almost a week. I had planned to start last Monday but that evening I attended the Scholastic Stars award dinner with my daughter and the buffet dinner didn’t really align well (I did skip desert, however). So for the past 6 days I haven’t had any meat, pasta, rice, bread or alcohol and have severely limited any dairy or oils. I tried to give up coffee but it’s standardized testing week and I really needed my caffeine (that’s where the dairy came in – grabbing a tall Latte at Starbucks on the way to school one morning).

Have I lost a lot of weight? Do I feel much better? No and no. But…that’s to be expected. As I’m reminded it takes awhile for one’s body to recalibrate and get used to large quantities of low calorie/high nutrient foods like leafy greens, vegetables and fruits. I’ve read it takes 30 days to establish a new habit – or rid oneself of an old one – and a lot of the way we approach food, snacking for instance, is habit not hunger. The first few weeks is the hardest!

I was interested to see that Dr. Fuhrman had a new book out – Eat for Health – so I downloaded a copy on my kindle and started reading it on the hour long bus ride to the Academic Super Bowl competition. I think he must have written it in response to people who balked at the much more restricted regimen outlined in his book, Eat to Live, which I read and followed for several months about a year and a half ago. The new book discusses all of the same scientific and medical studies that support this way of eating for health, weight loss and longer life but it also eases you into the new way of eating at a more measured pace. If any of you are interested in checking it out I’d recommend the Eat for Health book as a good starting point. You can also check out the website: for more information and testimonials (you don’t need to buy all the kits and recipes, just read the book).
I’m not yet slim enough to fit into my nice outfit for tomorrow’s Senior Awards Night at the high school but I’m planning to be by graduation on May 30th!

PS — on another note I just realized this is blog post 401! Who knew it would last so long!

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Begin Again

There was an old man
named Michael Finnegan
He grew fat
and then grew thin again
Went on diets
and couldn’t get skin-again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Begin again.

Tomorrow we start our two weeks of standardized testing.  We’ve been pumping up the kids – lots of positive thinking, you can do it, hall decorations, pep rallies and promises of rewards. Friday afternoon when school let out we had one last meeting to go over everything and the principal offered the teachers a reward – we can wear jeans to school for the next two weeks! Everyone (except the PE teachers) was excited. Me, not so much because I’ve gained too much weight to find my jeans at all comfortable.

Teaching, I’ve decided, has not been good for my health. My blood pressure remains high, I don’t sleep enough or very well at all and I’ve easily gained 15 pounds this school year. Teaching is stressful and feeling old, fat and depressed just makes it harder.

I don’t eat breakfast (too early for me at 5 AM) and I just eat a salad for lunch 4 days out of 5.  I have early lunch (10:20) and I’m not that hungry. But I don’t leave school until after 5 PM and so once the students are gone and I’m grading or setting up labs or writing lesson plans I nibble and snack. That snacking, inactivity and late dinners have piled on the weight.

So recently I decided it was time to do something about it. And luckily for me the gym near school was having a membership drive – only $30 a month and no signing fee so I paid for a month right before spring break. I went twice, both days during break. I slow jogged on the treadmill for 40-minutes, lifted a few weights and enjoyed a 20-minute shower (oh joy).  But it was tough to make the 50-minute trip from home when I didn’t need to go out that way and I told myself I’d get into the habit of going more regularly once school started.

But once school started I was getting up at 5 AM, arriving at school by 6:30, leaving around 5:00 PM and rushing straight past the gym in a hurry to get to our hometown an hour away to pickup kids from the after school program before it closed, or from tennis, choir rehearsal or play practice. I haven’t made it back to the gym.

So like Michael Finnegan I’m going to begin again! I’m going back to the Eat to Live diet rich in fresh raw foods because when I tried it before I lost weight, slept better, stopped having headaches and lowered my blood pressure. It’s not an easy diet – especially the first six weeks and especially if you derive comfort from food. And having left other comforts (friends for instance) behind in California I guess I’ve kind of turned to food as a substitute. But it’s an ultra healthy diet, based in health and nutrition science and easier to do in the summer when there’s a plethora of fresh fruits and veggies available. And feeling healthier and lighter and being able to fit into my jeans will be the reward!

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