Friday, March 27, 2015


Interesting that I can find information on how to learn in an article about cheating.

This article suggests that the way to stop cheating is to create a grading system that evaluates the way students learn. 

This is the 10 criteria they suggest for learning:
Picked ten observable behaviors and named them “Disciplines of a Learner:”

1.     Asks questions

2.     Builds on other people’s ideas

3.     Uses mistakes as learning opportunities

4.     Takes criticism constructively

5.     Speaks up

6.     Welcomes a challenge

7.     Takes risks

8.     Listens with an openness to change

9.     Perseveres in tasks

10.   Decides when to lead and when to follow.

Graded on a four point scale of  4=consistently, 3=often, 2=sometimes, 1=rarely, students could set goals to improve their learning.

I looked over this list and every single one of them is something I can choose to improve.  I am great at asking questions.  Drove some of the people I worked with crazy because I would ask questions about anything and everything.  I think that is why I love books.  Books don't complain about all my questions and I find answers.

I like this way of breaking down learning into things I can turn into goals for self improvement.  I believe I already made the big radical changes in my life, now I am working on ways of improving which way I am going.  I like my work.  I enjoy my family.  I am learning new things.  I want to be better.  I can see why with this list of criteria cheating is a non-issue.  How could someone cheat at persevering?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Beans beans beans

I discovered the down side of learning how to cook.  I did a bean party and cooked three types of beans.  This is not opening them up from a can and heating it in the microwave.  I started these three the day before with soaking all night long.  Dried beans need to soak and reabsorb water.  Then I took inspiration from with their recipes.  I also considered what I had on hand.  The pinto beans I did the usual beans and hocks using the ham bone from an earlier ham dinner.  The bean has bits of ham and thickens from the bone marrow in the bone.  They turned out a little different than I expected.  DH explained that manufactures have changed the curing process which changes the flavor of the beans and hocks.  These beans I consider a main dish.  Served with corn bread makes for a yummy combination. 

The navy beans I took inspiration from the Boston baked beans idea.  I purchased molasses to go into this one along with brown sugar, ketchup, and several yummy spices.  For the half the cooking time I took the lid off so the beans would thicken up.  Had these again last night with pork chops.  The beans became a yummy side dish to replace the potatoes I usually make with pork chops.

The black beans were given a twist of lime and cilantro to become a South of the Border style dish.  At first I wasn't too impressed with this one.  Then I sampled using a Frito as a scooper.  Those beans started a party in my mouth.

I was impressed that all 3 pots of beans fit in my oven.  The downside is I now have a lot of beans.  I gave some away. I froze the rest.  The Black beans I plan to serve as a future build your own burrito dinner with our kids and their families.  I've always felt intimidated by backing beans.  In the past I've burnt them, made uneatable combinations, and undercooked them.  (We would have needed to wait to eat at midnight.  Cooked way too slow.)  Learning to cook is my long term goal this year.  After this experience, I feel like I could tackle any combination of beans.  Next step on the bean excursion, refried beans.  My daughter assures me this is easy to do.

To go with the beans I cooked baking soda biscuits.  I actually followed all the directions including the rolling out and folding.  For the first time, I understand how biscuits get all these little  layers. The tasted amazing.  Also yummy a couple of days later by popping them in the microwave for 10 seconds.  Here is the delicious recipe:
The whole folding thing really did work.  They pulled apart into layers begging to have butter added...and a bit of honey too.  Super yummy. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Every so often I feel a need to write about the many things I am grateful for.  Heavenly Father and Christ, my Savior, top the list.  Today I was contacted by 2 people that read my blog and they thanked me.  It feels nice to be appreciated.  I have another reader that reads and gives support in more ways than she will ever know.  She is an inspiration to me.  My sister helped me out of the cookie read the story go here: She takes care of our dog in the middle of the day so I don't feel so guilty leaving her home alone. 

I am thankful for car trouble.  Yep, the car wouldn't go out of park.  However, it didn't stop working until it was in our driveway.  Mechanic told my husband the trick to get it working long enough to be repaired.  It was under cost.  Woohoo.

I am thankful for traffic jams.  Time to sit quietly and sort things out.  I'm not going anywhere any way so I settle in for some quiet meditation.  I am thankful to kind drivers that let me into a busy lane.  I am fascinated that thousands of cars travel to and from work everyday with so few accidents. 

I am thankful for work.  I am a person that does much better working to get me out of my comfort zone.  I am especially blessed to work with some amazing people both student, staff, and little kids.  I love serving the little kid lunches.  They all cheer when I walk in the room.  For that moment, I feel like a rock star.  I get sweet little hugs.  It really lights up my day. 

I am thankful for service people.  Those wonderful individuals that nobody pay attention to but make my world just a little better.  The fellow that looked over the car I returned to get my car, the security people at work that stay watchful so we can relax and learn in the classroom, the lady the makes our copies, the chef that makes our lunches....yes we are blessed with a chef at our school.  Lunches are often spectacular. 

I am blessed every day in so many different ways I lose count.  That's ok, I will have many more blessings tomorrow.  I remind myself that I don't need to put a limit on blessings and not counting them all leaves more to count later. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Takes energy

Emotional healing takes energy.  Refusing to heal takes more energy.  Giving up puts a massive hole in the human energy storage bank.  Try doing situps....lots of them.  Then feel your body when you say, "I give up."  What little energy is left vanishes.  I forget easily how hard the tough work can be.  I imagine myself being productive then feel terribly frustrated when I can barely get off the couch because my body is so exhausted.  I want to sleep but the mind and the body are not on the same page or blanket.  Shutting down intrusive thoughts takes more energy.  Keeping secrets takes a constant drain of energy that leaves me wondering what it feels like to feel energized.  The ebb and flow of energy makes more and more sense as I study and learn about how the body responds to stress and relaxing.  My body happens to go way past the slow down after a peak in stress.  My body goes clear into half conscious.  Pacing myself is vital.  I am so tempted to work like crazy when my energy goes up causing my energy levels to plummet again.  Mind, body, emotions, spirit each claim their bit of energy.  I'm tired and can't sleep.  I plan all sorts of things to accomplish and can barely get up the stairs.  It would be great if my emotions would calm down and let my body use some of that energy to accomplish what my busy little mind thinks up.  Heavy sigh...I've been aware of this problem since I was in high school and for all my work and study, I still can't strike that precarious balance. 

Have a beautiful day.

Hoping for a break through

Monday, March 23, 2015

Awfulizing vs Minimizing

Every once in a while I put a subject of a post that I plan to write later.  This one has hung out in my drafts folder for a long time.  I think it needs light of writing to review why I felt it was important to share this.

Awfulizing - refers to an irrational and dramatic thought pattern, characterized by the tendency to overestimate the potential seriousness or negative consequences of events, situations, or perceived threats.
Chicken Little...."The sky is falling, the sky is falling it hit me on the head."

Minimizing -
: to make (something bad or not wanted) as small as possible
: to treat or describe (something) as smaller or less important than it is

Being pushed down the stairs is no big deal just a childish stunt.  Everybody gets hurt sometime.

Both patterns of thought damage authenticity. Exaggerating or dismissing truth leads to a lessening of ones own story in life.  I did both of these.  I would tell my counselor my boss was mad at me so I was about to loose my job and my world would totally fall apart.  No, I just pissed off my boss.  Not great but not the end of the world.  When I talked about what happened to me as a child I shrugged of going hungry night after night as no big deal.  Yet the damage it did to me emotional was much larger than I gave it credit.  My story needed to be acknowledged; not awfulizing and not minimizing.  My truth belonged to me and deserved respect from me.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Do I really believe?

My sister and I found our ways back on to the same road to healthy years of not communicating when I was in my 40's.  It wasn't until I was in counseling and I talked about not remembering she understood my behavior.  We read some of the same blogs that wrote about narcissists.  We backed each other up and validated that we really saw what we saw and heard what we heard.  We walk and talk once a week in what we call Sister Therapy.  We share memories that no one else knows and both shared the worst with the same counselor.  My sister challenges me to continue towards healthy.  This post is no exception. 

Do I really believe that Christ was sent here by a loving Heavenly Father to save me?  Do I really believe that I can be forgiven for a past I resist remembering? 


I've hit rock bottom and Christ is the Rock at the bottom. 

Do I really believe I will be protected on this Earth? 

NO.  I have many examples in the scripture that teaches me that good people do incredibly dumb stuff.  Good people suffer at the hands of stubborn pharaohs and jealous siblings.  Suffering is part of our existence.  Feeling physical and emotional pain is part of why we are hear.  I live in the desert filled with pokey things and stickers.  I am reminded daily that life is harsh sometimes. 

Do I really believe that my prayers will be answered? 


Usually not the way I expect.  I get an answer faster if I ask the right question. 

My research into shame is affecting me physically as well as emotionally.  My body is feeling the strain of my delving into a part that my counselors tried to probe.  My deep agonizing feeling of shame. 

Do I really believe my faith in Christ will help me with my shame and find healing from this soul destroying malady?

I hope so.