Posted in 2017, About me, Conversation Time

Conversation Time-2

This week’s Question is:

 

When and where were you born? Describe your home, your neighborhood, and the town you grew up in.

 

I’m not exactly going to tell you where I was born, but I will totally tell you about the first place I remember every single detail about… Base Housing in New Orleans. We moved there when I was 4 and moved away when I was 8, so there are some really good memories in there.

First, the building we lived in was one of three apartment style buildings that made up one of the many horseshoes around a circular road. Inside the center of all of those horseshoes was a HUGE playground, the likes of which I wish my kids had access to these days. The buildings had condo-styled apartments, with common spaces downstairs and bedrooms upstairs, and smaller apartments that were just on top or bottom. Ours was a 3 bedroom, 2 and a half bath condo. My sister and I shared a big room on the back side of the building, my brother was in the room next to us, then the Master was on the front side of the building. There was a full bathroom in the hallway outside my parents’ room, and they had a bathroom, too (it might’ve just been a half bath, I honestly don’t remember!). There was another half bath downstairs. We had both a dining room and a breakfast nook, a living room, and foyer on the first floor. There was also a storage shed outside and to the right of the front door, AND, I believe, we were allowed two parking spaces out front (one covered and one not).

In the center of our little horseshoe was a big grassy space that was surrounded by more parking spaces. It was kind of shaped like a mushroom, so that’s what we called it. I spent more time in that grass than I did anywhere else. My best friend lived across the mushroom in the building opposite ours and another friend lived on the end of that same building. We would go out and play every day, school or no, and be outside until Thundercats came on. Then one of our parents would open the door and yell that it was time for our show and we’d all pile into that house for 30 minutes. I don’t know if it was arranged or planned, whose house we were hanging out in that day, but the other parents never had to wonder where we were at that time. We’d be out again when it was done.

The sidewalk fronted all three buildings and connected each horseshoe together, too. One side had steps that adjusted for the height of the buildings from the main street, the other side had a handicapped ramp.

During the year, the Charles Chips truck would come through the neighborhood and deliver the shipments of potato chips and cookies we looked forward to every month. My mom went to Home Interior parties and I vividly remember the stacks of petit fours I would devour while all the kids were packed into a bedroom to play or watch TV during the parties. On base, there was a bowling alley and a movie theater, both of which we frequented. My parents were in a bowling league and we used to go see movies for 50 cents during the summer, too. I saw Return of the Jedi in that that theater; The Last Unicorn, too. We’d go to the BX, which shared the parking lot with the bowling alley and movie theater, stock up on junk food, and go have a picnic in front of the front row where we could stretch out and munch food.

There was a creek across the street that we used to go craw dad fishing in, and we’d feed the craw dads to the fish in the huge tank my dad had in the living room. They were oscars as long as your forearm and they’d scare the crap out of anyone but my dad. Watching big burly guys scream and flinch when those fish came to take food out of your hand was entertaining!

So many memories I have of New Orleans and most of them surrounding that apartment. I hope yours are as happy!

Until next time,

~Tiff

Posted in 2017, About me, Growth Mindset, Motherhood, Optimum Health, Tired of being Tired, Word of the Month

My Word for the January 2017: Growth

I’ve decided, rather than pick a word for the whole year, I’m going to pick one for each month and work towards achieving that word by the end of it. I’m going to tailor my Level 10 Life towards that word, in the hopes that using that word as a focus will help me move towards achieving it.

My word for this month is 7bd1f3842c7da29a4d2e0ef6fad3dfdc.

Dictionary.com defines growth as: the act or process, or a manner of growing; development; gradual increase.

So, how does that apply to the Level 10 Life concept? Well, there are 10 areas of the L10L concept and all you have to do is apply that word to each one. Here is an example circular spread I found online (here) to show you the 10 areas:

wheel-of-life

 

Well, let’s walk through it:

Area 1- Family and Friends= Growing my relationship with my family and friends has a lot to do with interacting with them. I’m going to do this a few ways this month: dating my family, writing letters to my brother and to a friend I’ve been horrible about keeping up with, and continuing to pray for their well being each night.

Area 2- Personal Growth and Development= the word is right there, people! In my case, I’m going to do this by working my way through Growth Mindset trainings and books to get as close to proficient in it as possible! I will probably have to put off starting my Masters until Summer so I can afford it, which makes me angry, but… nothing I can do about that.

Area 3- Spirituality= I need to learn how to meditate. Research and implementation will begin this week. In some ways, this can be Personal Growth, too, so there’s that!

Area 4-Finances= I suck with money, let’s just get that out, now. I pay my bills, but the rest… yeah. This will be the year that changes. On January 1st, I set up a savings account and I will put money in it every time I get paid. My goal is to have $1,000 sitting in that account for emergencies by the end of the year. I’m growing the habit of being conscious of money. I also need to get back on the coupon bandwagon. That’s another goal on my 100 things list!

Area 5- Career/Business= I’m applying that Growth Mindset to my daily life, even in my classroom. My class will be learning it with me, and I will try to take each day with the opportunity to grow in mind in my classroom. There’s so much to learn from each class. I need to remember that, too.

Area 6-Significant Other= I’m going to date my husband and spend time with him, just us!

Area 7-Fun & Recreation= I’m doing some work this winter learning about plants and seeds. You may not consider it fun, but I totally do. I’m dating my family, which is, by definition, fun. I’m also working on my 100 things list, which has a ton of fun things on it. My growth in this area is mostly in trying things and getting my backside off the couch!

Area 8- Contribution/Giving= A donation to the United Way is taken out of my paycheck every two weeks. That’s rather passive. I want to grow in this area, too. I’d like to attack the people at school, honestly. Start a “Random Acts” kind of thing where I just do something nice for a random person. I like seeing people’s faces when they are on the receiving end of it. I handed the guy I buy my newspapers from an extra $20 the other day. He’s a really nice guy who caught me in a math blunder and, instead of being a jerk about it, he was actually very gracious in his correction. I owed him some of that money, but, more importantly, I know he needs the money and I had it to spare. The smile on his face was totally worth it.

Area 9- Health/Fitness= I fell off the wagon with my health plan in the last few months and I need to get back on it. Since it’ll be easier once my schedule is back to normal, I will start this when I get back to work. I also want to hit 10K steps every day and to do that I’ll need to go for a walk every evening. There’s a really nasty weather system moving through this week, so I also need to clean up my treadmill and get it moved into the house so I can actually use it. This is my growth area here this month.

Area 10-Physical Environment= Holy cow! I need to get my physical space back in order. Something I’ve learned about depression, mostly by living it, is that when it hits you, your physical space goes to hell. My motivation for putting things away was nil for three months. At home, at school… I couldn’t keep up with it. I’m in a better place than I was, so now I’m going to tackle it. Christmas started the fix-up in my house, so now it will spread to my classroom, too. I want it all done by the end of the month.

 

 

So, there it is! My plan for my Level 10 Life with the focus of Growth this month. I’ll reflect on this when I choose next month’s word. Come play along with me!

What’s your word this month? How are you working towards accomplishing it?

Until next time!

~Tiff

 

Posted in 2017, About me, Conversation Time

Conversation Time!

 I’m going to post one of these questions every week. They’re from the article I found yesterday, so, no I’m not dreaming them up. You can find the list of them here! 
You can answer this here, in a journal, on Facebook… wherever! If you don’t know the answer, find out! 

This week’s Question: 

What is your full name? Explain why your parents gave you that name.

 

So, let’s see if I can answer this one!

My name is Tiffany Anne. My mother said she decided my name was Tiffany when she laid eyes on me after I was born. She said it just sort of… fit. Anne is also my cousin’s name. Where she found either of them, aside from the obvious, I have no idea!

TIME TO ASK HER!

 

What about you?

Until next time,

~Tiff

Posted in About me

Things you should know about me…

Sometimes, I don’t make much sense. I admit it and I’m alright with it. My husband says I’m a woman and it’s my prerogative to be contradictory. I say there’s more to it than that. I don’t know exactly what, but I know it’s more than just mammary glands and ovaries. It is with that in mind that I will warn you about the following itemized things. You’re going to see them come up, repeatedly, if you’re following along at home, so just be aware that they exist and maybe it’ll help explain why I seem to be all over the place.

  1. I suffer from depression. That’s a biggie, so I’m putting it first. I’ve been on Lexapro, a mild antidepressant, for almost 5 years now. I’m pretty sure I’ve been like this my whole life, but it’s been shunted to the side for a really long time and laughed off. PMS, moody teenager, middle kid syndrome… it’s all there. It wasn’t until after my second child was born and I couldn’t stop crying over silly things like commercials about sleeping babies, that I finally said something to someone. It was my OBGYN, actually, and I hadn’t planned on saying anything. He asked me how I was doing and I burst into tears. Sure, I had a five year old and a 4 month old baby, but things weren’t BAD. He suggested a mild antidepressant, small dose. Since then, we’ve upped the dose and I’m still taking it every day. If I don’t take it, I’m cranky and weepy, so I know it’s not just me. Depression is ugly and it makes zero sense when the person going through it has a clear head. We’re fully aware of this, so pointing it out is… well, pointless. No, I don’t know what causes it. It’s not a reaction to anything going on in my life. Sometimes, things just don’t feel like they’re going in a way that will end with me a)having friends, b) having a life outside of work, and c) not being taken advantage of. I’ve been crapped on, forgotten, left out, and ignored by people who were my friends so many times that my ability to trust people with that relationship is really, really difficult. It makes me appear bitchy, or snooty, or distant. It turns people away. I get that. So, I understand that my loneliness, if you can call it that when there are two little people saying, “Mama,” every two minutes, is partly my own fault. Depression isn’t about logic. It’s about… ok, I don’t even know what it’s about. I just know that I never feel good enough to have what I do have, and a serious case of Imposter Syndrome nails me to the wall. It’s ugly. And that’s when everything in my life is going WELL! We know that’s not always the case, so you can imagine, if it’s that rough when I don’t have anything to base those things on, how much more fun it is when I do! Ugly is an understatement. The best medicine I’ve found for this problem are my friends, the ones who just expect me to show up whenever something is going on. Even if it’s just sitting around our favorite Irish Pub munching on fried mac and cheese bites and singing loudly to whatever music is playing, it’s magic to my soul.
  2. I’m always trying something to help myself out of this. I hate the depression. I hate it so much I bury it and try to deal with it on my own. There is only one or two people in my life that ever know when I’m getting nailed with it. Sometimes, I’m so good at burying it that even my husband doesn’t know. One way I deal with it is that I try to do things to head it off when I feel it coming. It never stops it completely, of course, but sometimes I can get some peace. I recently started a bullet journal system that I’ll be happy to tell you about in a later post. I’m telling you this because you’ll see me post about this neat thing that feels good internally from time to time and I want you to know where it’s coming from.
  3. I hate being disorganized. Call it Type A personality or the J in my INFJ, but chaos raises my blood pressure. I don’t fly by the seat of my pants well.I need some kind of frame for whatever I’m working on to keep it controlled and organized. I usually buy a new organizer for every project I start, too, while we’re on the subject. Yeah, I’m that nerd.
  4. I feel like I’ve missed something important if I spend a day doing nothing. It doesn’t have to be a big something, but it has to be SOMETHING. Wiping out the sink, taking out the trash, picking up the den, or planting something… it has to be SOMETHING. I need to be able to say, “I did this today.” The more “this” there is, the more successful I feel.
  5. I love animals. I can’t say no to their sweet little faces. Me walking into a pet shop is one of the hardest things I ever do on a regular basis.
  6. I’m allergic to EVERYTHING. I used to think it was just seasonal allergies, but it turns out I have at least a mild allergic reaction to EVERYTHING. This is a problem, of course. I like being outside. I like working in my garden. I like petting my cat. I like snuggling my guinea pig. I like flowers. I combat this in my classroom by having an air purifier on all the time. It really has helped, too. I can’t do that at home, because I’d need one in every room of the house, going 24/7, and that’s just not going to work with my not wanting to pay a $1,000 electric bill every month. My allergist put me on Allegra and a spray called Dymista to help regulate it, and also recommended Immunotherapy. I hate shots, but I really want to breathe like normal people, so I’m doing it. Here’s hoping I can breathe happy in a few years! As it is, the Allegra and Dymista have done a lot for my ability to breathe with only a few flare ups when I do something out of the ordinary.
  7. I am a  huge nerd. I’ve come to terms with it, though. I enjoy learning new things and I love reading books. I’ve finally hit the age where non-fiction books don’t bore me, or maybe they just write them better than they used to nowadays. Either way, Dan Jones is one of my favorite reads, lately. His writings on medieval England are very well done and engaging, on top of being filled with documentation.
  8. My kids are amazing. The inspire me in ways no one will ever fully understand. They make me want to be the best person I can be for them and make me question everything I do. That they are both independent thinkers, avid  book lovers, and generally happy kids, means I’m hopefully doing this right. I screw up, don’t get me wrong. However, they accept my apologies when I do and we work together to fix it. These two are going to be amazing women some day. Just, hopefully, not too soon…
  9. I am a card carrying member of the SCA. I joined a few years ago and I can’t imagine what I did without them. The focus of the Society for Creative Anachronism is the preservation and education of medieval life. What this means is that I get to do all the nerdy stuff I love, like learn new embroidery techniques, take up bobbin lace making, focus my gardening and use period methods to produce balms and salves, read tons of books, take out my frustrations with the world with my sword and shield, and camp outside in a canvas tent surrounded by friends and the smell of smoking fire pits.
  10. I am addicted to Pinterest. Seriously, we’re not going to talk about how many pins I have, how many boards I’ve created, or how extensive my collection of pictures of Tom Hiddleston is, ok? Just take my word for it. The good news is that I have picked up really cool things like my laundry detergent and a few cleaning tips, recipes, and craft ideas without having to buy things online! SQUEE!

 

So, there you go. There’s more to me than this, of course, but these are the things you’re going to hear about a lot, so I thought you deserved fair warning. You’re welcome. 😉

 

Until next time!

Posted in About me

Post Number One…

This should be a biggie, one where I introduce my writing style and approximate level of ability to keep your attention, right?

No pressure.

I know I introduced myself in the About page (go ahead, check it out. It’s linked up on the top. I’ll wait. *enter elevator music*), but I wanted to tell you a bit more so you understand what you’re going to see here.

meme6497197800

First, I’m almost forty. I’m actually 38, which means I grew up in the 80’s, was a teenager in the 90’s, a college kid in the new millennium, and now I’m hitting that horribly cliche’ “middle age.” Am I experiencing that mid-life crisis? Maybe? I don’t really have time to, though, so it’ll have to wait.

3rd gradeThe good news about all of that is that I seem to have hit some prime awesomeness in terms of pop culture during each of those times. The 80’s were full of Thundercats, Saturday Morning Cartoons, safe streets to ride bikes on, music like Run DMC, the Fresh Prince, and New Kids on the Block, and popular books like Ramona Quimby and A Wrinkle in Time. The 90’s had Friends, Frazier, and Johanna Lindsey. My college years were when college grunge hit it’s peak with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The GooGoo Dolls, The Wallflowers, Hootie and the Blowfish. Music was all I had time for until I graduated, then I was thrown into Education right before the craziness started. I was there for Brain Based Learning and the shift away from QCC’s to standards, and I watched No Child Left Behind from the trenches. And now, I’m hitting  middle age with the rest of the Generation X’ers, looking around in the grocery store when Guns ‘N Roses comes on over the speaker and watching my friends become parents of high school graduates.

Professionally, I chose to follow my calling and become a teacher. I currently teach 3rd grade at an IB PYP school, trying to juggle their requirements with the state and local demands. I am, at heart, a forth or fifth grade teacher, so when I moved down to third grade two years ago, it was a bit of a shock to the system. I’m growing more comfortable with them, though, and, while it’s not my favorite thing to teach, I can handle myself well enough there. I’ve found the right resources to base my teaching weeks from, now I just have to modify them to fit the “rigor” required and then differentiate the heck out of it to match what my extremely diverse bunch can handle without becoming problematic. I host a teaching blog online at: treehouseteaching.wordpress.com

FB_IMG_1451760610908Personally, I am a wife and mother of two lovely daughters. My oldest is 8 and going into third grade next year, the other is 4 and will be in Kindergarten. I had a miscarriage in the middle, and that’s with me all the time, too. Both of my girls are scary-smart. I like to think it’s because I don’t dumb anything down for them. I answer their questions without modifying vocabulary and then explain what the words mean when they’re confused. I share my geekiness with them and they’ve caught most of my nerdy-bugs, too. Their favorite thing to do is read. Their choices in TV shows are mostly fantasy or sci-fi based (Transformers and My Little Pony are the current biggies), and I refuse to restrict them based on their gender. I defend my oldest’s right to be a huge fan of Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers as much as I support my youngest and her love of all things My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop. They both love doing hands on Science experiments and playing outside. They could be a little more socially adept, I think, but I’m not sure they’re ever going to be the most popular kids in school. I’m ok with that, honestly, I just hope they are, too. My husband is a mechanical engineering consultant in the airline industry. He’s really into RC racing and model building, when he’s not glued to the latest release of Fallout or puzzling out how to fix a problem he’s working on at work while he’s in the shower. My oldest tends to be more like him, mechanically minded and loving a good puzzle. My youngest tends to be more like me, a little flighty and loving a good story.

12238124_10207732773146300_5255079534844794916_oAside from all of that, I joined the Society for Creative Anachronism a few years ago. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an educational society that works very hard to recreate the medieval period (between the years 500 and 1700 AD) and promote the cultures that existed during that period. I am an Apprentice to a wonderful Laurel, who gives me advice and assistance with all things Arts & Science related. I am also her Protege, as she is so amazing, she’s a double peer! That she has also just stepped down as Queen and is now a Countess, as well as recently becoming the Dean of a new college in our Royal University, just backs all of that up. I am also the Reeve for my local Shire (that means I’m the Treasurer), as well as the Youth Marshal (that means I teach the little ones how to fight). On the Kingdom Level, I have recently taken over as Kingdom Social Media Officer, running both the Kingdom Page and Group for the Kingdom of Meridies. When I’m not working my tail off, I love teaching people how to do basic embroidery stitches and sharing my recent knowledge of the Bayeaux stitch, as well. I like teaching people about herbs and balms that were used and available during this period, too. I like to think I’m modeling my SCAdian life after what a Medieval lady would’ve been responsible for as head of her husband’s household. My persona is firmly entrenched in the middle 14th century, so there’s a lot of technology and knowledge to work around! You can read all about my Medieval Life at: laurinthescadian.wordpress.com

13177970_10153607186842896_7785350505295987532_nAlso, I am the Track Director the Swords and Sorcery Track (Fantasy, people!) of JordanCon, a small fan convention dedicated to the memory and celebration of the life of author Robert Jordan. The convention offers a ton of exciting things to do for a weekend in April and my track, which actually has very little to do with Jordan’s work, is just one small piece of the puzzle! While it only takes up one weekend of my life, it’s a great deal of work for months before and after the convention itself. Talking to authors, organizing the schedule, hashing out topics of conversations, and making sure I’ve packed the weekend with interesting panels is just a small part of my job! I also moderate most of the panels in my track room all weekend and get dressed up in Cosplay at least once before the weekend is out! It’s a ton of fun and I really enjoy working on it every year! I just finished my 8th year as staff of that convention. I have been there since the beginning! Mwahahaha! You can find more information about the convention here: JordanCon.org   and read my blog about it here: jordanconscififantasy.wordpress.com

When I’m not doing all of that, I love reading and writing. I have a story in my head all the time, you see, and sometimes I find myself happy with the ones in other people’s heads, too! My job with JordanCon gives me a lot of people to talk to about books and writing and I enjoy every minute! I’m presently working on editing a story I’m writing about a modern King Arthur as well as a serial that I will be posting on my writing blog soon that is a tale about ghosts in Savannah, Georgia! I love getting my ideas out of my head in creative ways and really love reading other people’s stuff, too! You can read stuff I’ve posted online about things I’ve written or read here: fangeekwritings.wordpress.com

So, that’s the large part of my life. It certainly has taken up a huge chunk of this page! Aside from all of that, there are little blips on my calendar like playing BUNCO once a month with some lovely ladies, and photography, which is something I love stealing my husband’s computer to do! While that is, by no means, everything I’m into, it should give you a nice heads up about the craziness that this blog will attempt to rein in. Here’s hoping WordPress can handle it all! 🙂

Until next time,

~Tiff