Tuesday, February 02, 2016

A Year of Thirty Days Check-In (and a Tune for Tuesday)

First, a song for your energy level on this odd rainy day in February:

The first month of my Year of Thirty Days is over. 
I finished another Whole30 and Yoga With Adriene's 30 Days of Yoga Camp. I feel pretty good, the same as I felt at the halfway point. I'm not gonna lie, though. On my first day of freedom from the Whole30, I ate a soft pretzel and drank a coconut milk stout. They were both excellent. That being said, I'm going to stick with paleo eating most of the time. I'll let you know how it goes! I want to write about how I feel now, but prior posts say it all. 

In a nutshell:
-I'm more flexible and my body feels good.
-I have an awesome morning yoga habit established.
-My skin is glowing. 
-My clothes fit better and I feel like a fly girl.  

Now... February's 30, er, 28 days. 
If you know me, you know I have two books in mind. A novel and a teacher book. I'm working on the teacher book right now, but...

...you guys, it is really hard to write a book. 

Do you ever feel like you're faking everything you've ever done? It's called Imposter Syndrome and I'm suffering from it. I heard this TED Talk from Kirsty Walker on Imposter Syndrome and it really hit home, especially as I try to write this book. 
I question everything I do and all of my past experiences. A day in the life of a negative self-talking, self-doubting person is not cool. 

The goal for February is to write for this book every single day. I have some deadlines to meet that aren't self-imposed, so I've got to put some elbow grease into this. 

In fact, I want this post to be longer, but I've already been writing for close to three hours, so I've got to go watch Freaks and Geeks for the tenth time to unwind from all of this writing. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tunes for Tuesday: Winter Weather

Today's song goes with the weather:
I think I played this song at least six times today. It was good workin' music. 

Today was gray and cold and wet. This winter hasn't been as terrible as the last two because I can make it out of the house without my face falling off, but I think it's time to bust out my sun lamp.

This one was going in today's gray rotation too:


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tunes for Tuesday: A Post for Clarence Reid

Clarence Reid died and I'm sad about it. The music he wrote prior to becoming Blowfly is why I think he's awesome, but his dirty songs always make me feel like a middle schooler, even though I didn't know about him until I was in college and the Hubs told me about how much he liked him when he was younger. And to think, I spent middle school listening to stupid Adam Sandler tapes when Blowfly existed. Pshhhhh.

Today's tune for Tuesday isn't one of his nasty songs, it's one of my favorites written by him:
The Hubs and I saw him live a few years ago and we got to meet him. He was still touring and performing in his 70s and he was still good at it. Before he got on stage, I was worried he wouldn't make it, but dang when he was up there, I was impressed. You could tell by watching him that he truly loved performing. He also serenaded me, which has never happened to me before and it made me feel cool. Afterwards, when we sat down to chat with him, he was sweet and kind and weird and I just loved him.

If you've ever been interested in Blowfly, check out the documentary. His story is one that makes me feel all the feelings:

Peace out, Clarence Reid.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Year of Thirty Days: Whole30 and Yoga Camp Halfway Point

Let's start with Yoga with Adriene's Yoga Camp. I'm on day forty-five days of non-stop yoga and I feel awesome. My back feels good, my joints feel good, and I even flew in crow pose for longer than five seconds. This thirty day Yoga Camp has been an amazing challenge so far! A new video every day this month gives me more of a reason to jump out of bed each morning. I post daily on instagram, so please check out @jheymossy for more details on how it's going. Here is one of my favorite posts from the last few weeks:
A year ago, I wasn't able to do this for very long because my hips are always tight. I'm very proud of this! Also, I do yoga in my pjs every day and not super cute yoga outfits. Just tryin' to be real! 

One thing I'm working on is putting in the time to meditate in savasana, or corpse pose. I've been extra anxious lately about a host of things, so this is an accurate portrayal of what my savasana turns into:
I'm working on it! 

Whole30 Check-In
My second Whole30 is going really well. I didn't jump too far off the deep end and into old habits after my first Whole30, so I didn't experience as many of the side effects of going off sugar this time. It's been pretty amazing this time around. I am really feeling the importance of making the right food choices this time. Here is my second Whole30 in a nutshell:
I look forward to cooking and prepping meals and most important, I'm not obsessing about if I'm losing weight or what my first meal after Whole30 will be this time around. I'm decidedly not weighing myself anymore. My clothes fit, I feel good, and I don't need the number to be lower to make me feel good about myself. It's freeing. It probably won't get me a lot of blog hits because I don't have before and after measurements or pictures. If you could scan my brain though, you'd see some vast changes! 

Also... I'm also thinking about buying a side of beef from an organic farm in the area. From Miss Vegetarian in college (who mostly subsisted on cheese and pasta and bread) to now... weird. We have a chest freezer, so it seems like a more economical way to get my grass fed beef. That ish is SO EXPENSIVE. 

Also, I tried the RX Bar Whole 30 pack this month:
I LOVE these bars! Although I'll always keep my favorite Cherry Pie Lara Bars on hand, the protein in these compliant bars can't be beat. I'm so busy that I love having these in my purse for emergency situations as opposed to the Lara Bars, which curb the hangry, but not enough. Highly recommended, despite the price. So far, I've had the pumpkin, apple, coconut, and sea salt chocolate. Coconut and sea salt chocolate win over the pumpkin and apple. They had kind of a potpourri taste to them, you know what I mean? However, I'd still eat the pumpkin or apple in an emergency. 

Other Whole 30 Things I Can't Live Without this Month:
Well Fed 2 (thanks again #teamreycer)
Lacroix, Lacroix, Lacroix (or the Target Brand Lacroix in mint cucumber. New fave)
Soups and stews of all kinds to beat the winter chill
My Whole30 support group chat with my friends and sister
Wholly Guacamole minis from Costco 
Pre hardboiled eggs from Costco
Costco. Period. 

What are some of your Whole30 staples?

Last thing... what does it mean when you say you're not drinking and everyone is shocked? It means everyone asks if you're pregnant. Hmmmm, what does that say about me?

I might go full paleo or paleo(ish) when this Whole30 is over. I'm really thinking about it. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Talking About the Flint Water Crisis in Your Michigan Classroom

*Heads up! This isn't my usual Beautiful Static-y post. It's teacher-y.

I'm feeling rage about the Flint Water Crisis right now and I already know if I was still a classroom teacher, I'd be all over Google trying to find a way to make sure my students were knowledgeable on the subject.

Because I am no longer in classroom, I'm going to use the time I have this evening to create a teaching resource for those of you are using this time to grade papers, lesson plan, breathe, etc. Sorry Season Six of Parenthood on Netflix, you don't get my tears tonight. I'm writing this more quickly than usual to get it to any of my friends who would like to use it-- apologies for not teaching it first before throwing it out there. If you use it, please let me know how it goes! Feel free to change it up... you won't hurt my feelings. I suppose you can use this in classrooms outside of Michigan too!

This is a problem posing lesson. It is meant for you to start a discussion with students on this important topic in one-two class periods. Ideally, it will result in action, which looks different to every teacher. For me, it's some kind of service learning project or letter writing campaign, for others it might be a media piece, or further research. 

Grade Level: Middle and High School

Time Frame: 60-90 minutes

1. Water and You: Introduce the Lesson
Activity One:

  • In groups, ask students to list every way they use water each day where the water comes into contact with their bodies. One student can record in the group.
  • Tell the students they are all part of a family and today, the family has to decide how they want to use the water because they do not have unlimited water. They can only choose two ways. Give groups time to circle the two choices from their original list. 
  • Give groups time to share out on their choices and why they chose them. 
Activity Two: Ask students to stand up, sit down if the following is true for them.

  • I know I can take a shower or bath every day in clean water.
  • The water at my house has never made me sick.
  • I can drink the water from my faucet.
  • Elderly people, small children, and people with compromised immune systems can drink the water from my faucet.
  • My siblings and I don't have to get our blood tested after ingesting the water from my faucet.

2. How Did Flint Get Here? 
Activity One:

  • Students will put the pieces of a timeline based on this MLive slide show--How the Flint Water Crisis Emerged-- into chronological order. It details the account of how our state got to where we are today from 2014-2015. Click here for an easier way to print cards of the timeline. 
  • These cards can be sorted as a full class, with each student receiving a card and then reading them off when they are in order. You can also make several sets of the cards and the sorting can be done in groups. 

Discuss (as a class or in groups):

  • What are some of the key points that stuck out to you from this timeline?
  • How did you feel about some of the situations on the timeline?
  • What do these issues mean for Flint? Our State?
  • What actions or ideas has this issue triggered for you? 

3. Now What?
The timeline only goes up to October 15th. If technology is available, conduct a Google search with students about what is happening now. If cell phones can be used in the classroom, ask students to conduct a Google search on the topic (individually or in pairs) and report out on what is catching their eye from their news search. If technology isn't available, print a variety of articles for students to explore. There are SO MANY right now. Have students report out on what is catching their eye from the articles.

4. Take Action
I'm going to leave this one in your wise and knowledgeable hands, teacher friend. As I said at the beginning of this post, I always go the service learning or PBL route, which can take too much time if you've got a curriculum you've got to stick to. Here is a planning template I've always liked. Maybe taking action isn't appropriate for you at this time and you just wanted your students to know about what's happening. It's coo. Let me know if you do something bigger.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tunes for Tuesday: Bowie

My Top Five Favorite Bowie Songs:

1. Under Pressure
The song I listened to the most during my hardest and best year of teaching, 2011.

2. Queen Bitch
My go-to "You're a badass, you're going to have an amazing day/night/presentation/event" song.

3. Fame
My "going out" song in college

4. Space Oddity
Reminds me of my best friend, AJ.

5. Five Years
My go-to sad song.

What are yours?

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Tunes for Tuesday: Body Love

I've been spending way too much time on Spotify trying to catch up on every "Best of 2015" album. I'm all about 2016-- I just need the year to catch up on music from 2015. Too. Many. Albums. 

In the meantime... 30 Days of Yoga Camp and Whole30 #2 are well under way. I'm only a few days in, but feeling good so far. So thankful for supportive communities. 

I'm part of an online kula, or yoga community. Someone posted this video on our Facebook page and I've watched it at least ten times because I love the song and the message:
The song was made specifically for the ad by Panjabi MC. The song and the ad are badass!

I'm not traditionally "plus size" but I've always considered myself curvy, or as some of my former students used to say with love, I'm thick. I've embraced that about myself over the last few years. All of this yoga has made my body love skyrocket, especially after years of yo-yo dieting and hating myself every time I ate an Oreo or a mozzarella stick. However, I still sass myself about some of the more difficult poses, like every inversion. "You're way too thick to hoist yourself up, girl. Don't even try." Videos like this make me feel like I'll get there if I keep practicing. 
The end of week one for both challenges is quickly approaching. I'm trying to come up with the best way to update everyone on my Year of Thirty Days, so I'll be playing with some different formats this month. 

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