My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I Can't Believe It!

Blog Prompt: I enjoy ______ now, but if anyone had told me that years ago, I would never have believed them.

The answer would be hiking. I didn't start to hike until about 15 years ago. When I was growing up I was never allowed to get dirty. My parents believed I needed to be a little lady. My family was never into any kind of exercise or outdoor activities so I never knew anything about hiking. The only people who hiked or backpacked were boy scouts that I had read about. After my hair all fell out, I started really getting into exercise and read about a hike in the local newspaper. Since my hubby always spoils me and gives me what I want, he went along with me on the hike and I've been hooked ever since.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm Different

Blog Prompt: What sets you apart from the crowd?

This is easy! I'm Loony! Loon was actually my maiden name so you can imagine what kids in school did with that. Plus I was the only Chinese kid in my classes all through school which made me stick out like a sore thumb. Kids are not kind to those who are different. Since I was called loony, I decided that I needed to get a good sense of humor which has kept me out of many "fights" growing up.

Now that I'm grown up (at least by chronological age), I am different. I seem to have a different perspective on teaching than many of my colleagues. Every year I spend a lot of time working with parents and families to help my kids be successful. My husband and I support the athletic teams even though I don't teach the kids.

I seem to have an eclectic group of friends who are very different from one another. Some times many of them clash but I get along with them all. I don't see to fit in a particular clique but have different friends to do different activities with. I have friends who just graduated from college and I have friends who are 90 years old and friends who are ages in between the two. I guess my life is a lot like the quote: "Strangers are friends I haven't met yet!"

Monday, December 18, 2006


Blog Prompt: Where do you go when you want to get away from the pressures of life, family, work, etc.?

This one is easy! I have 3 places I go (depending on my mood and what I'm able to do at the time):
1- computer for scrapping
2- books
3- hiking

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hardest Person for Gift Buying

Blog Prompt: Who is the hardest person to buy a gift for and why?

The hardest person to buy a gift for is my husband. First of all, he hardly ever says he wants or needs anything. If he ever does need anything, we usually get it then. If he ever wants anything, he usually changes his mind because he hates to spend money on himself. He is really picky about his clothes so I can't buy him any as a surprise. He collects stamps but I have no clue as to what to get him or how much things are worth. So, I have started to scrapbook some of the memories from our trips we have taken and he seems to enjoy that. I guess it will have to do!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Meme

Let's have some fun today with a Christmas meme that's making the blogging rounds:

Christmas Questionnaire

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Definitely Hot Chocolate. (Egg nog makes me shudder!)

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? No wrapping! Isn't that why God invented gift bags??

3. Colored lights or white lights on tree/house? I grew up with colored lights but now I only use white lights everywhere because it makes me think of twinkling stars.

4. Do you hang Mistletoe? No, but there are tons in my trees around the house so hubby uses it as an excuse to kiss me whenever we get out of the car to go into the house or leave the house (even though he doesn't need an excuse!).

5. When do you put your decorations up? Up until this year, I start Nov. 1 because I have so many. This year I just got lazy and ran out of time.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I really don't have one but I love chocolate kisses so during the holiday season I buy the ones that are green and red and silver wrapped.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Going to the Christmas eve candlelight service at church

8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? When my children were little, we opened all of our gifts in South Carolina on Christmas Eve. Then we drove all the way to Florida and opened gifts there on Christmas Day.

9. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What truth? I am going to write Santa right now and ask him if he forgot to tell me something.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I change the theme every couple of years when I get tired of it. For a few years it was covered in red bows, red apples, gold bells. Then I covered it in all gold: gold ornaments, gold bows, gold garland. Now I'm into glass antique ornaments and gold garland with a big gold bow on top.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it here in South Carolina. You enjoy it for a day or 2 and then it melts before it gets dirty.

12. Can you ice skate? I think so. I haven't done it in years.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No, favorite because I love them all!

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Seeing my parents in FL

15. What tops your tree? Sometimes an angel, sometimes a bow.

16. What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Going on vacation

17. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Definitely giving.

18. What is your favorite holiday dessert? NOT fruitcake! I love chocolate.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? YUM!!

21. What is your favorite Christmas special/movie? Miracle on 34th St. (original with Natalie Wood)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Using my 5 senses today

Blog Prompt: Using your 5 senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste), what will/did you experience today?

Sight: teenagers (some happy, some sad, some excited, some mad. Of course these moods can change at a moment's notice)
Sound: lots of voices (students and teachers)
Smell: lunchroom food and pizza (the kids love pizza)
Touch: Paper and pens and computer keyboard (love my computer)
Taste: Diet pepsi, everything bagels for breakfast, ramen noodles for lunch, Italian food at a fancy Italian restaurant (dinner meeting tonight)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peculiar Gift

Blog Prompt: What's the most peculiar gift you've ever received? Describe what happened when you opened it and your reaction.

I'm not sure this is so peculiar as disappointing. Back then I was disappointed but now I think I was so idealistic that I set myself up for disappointment. I was about 9 or 10 years old and all I wanted was a horse for Christmas. I prayed for one and even asked Santa Claus for one. For some reason I just KNEW that I was going to get a horse for Christmas because I believed in both God and Santa Claus. As a child, you don't think of zoning laws or real life reasoning so I told everyone that I was getting a horse for Christmas. Well, on Christmas morning, I rushed to the window to look outside in the snow. There tied up to the front railing was a Palomino horse (just like I asked for!). Unfortunately it was about 18 inches tall and made of plastic. My parents told me years later, that they wanted to get me a horse and didn't want to disappoint me but they couldn't afford one and our yard wouldn't hold a horse. At the time, I thought it was a cruel joke and was horribly disappointed. But in our family, you didn't act this way when you were given a gift, so I just smiled and thanked everyone. But I will remember that gift forever.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holiday Songs

Blog Prompt: Do you have a favorite holiday song? Which one(s) drive you crazy?

This was easy because I was actually thinking about this the other day on the way to work. My favorite one is Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. I'm not sure that is the official name but that is what I've always called it. I grew up listening to Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and Andy Williams singing Christmas songs. We used to watch the TV specials that came on hosted by them.

The one that drives me crazy is the Barking dogs barking out Jingle Bells. I actually change the radio station if that comes on.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Blog Writing Time

Blog Prompt: At what time do you normally write your blog entries? Does it make a difference in what you write?

I don't really have a set time. I prefer to write it first thing in the morning when I'm in a positive happy mood. I usually write my best in the mornings and tend to write too much or get boring in the evening. Also, if it is a tough one, I like to see it early so I'll have all day to think of a response. If I get a chance, I will try to answer during my planning periods which is at the end of the school day. But if all else fails, I get on the computer after dinner and write. I really love to read what everyone else writes and it is so relaxing to do this in the evenings. I feel like I'm part of someone's life when I read these blogs. I also worry about some people when they have trouble or feel joy when they have happiness.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Wonderful Weekend

What a wonderful weekend I'm having! I actually dreaded it because yesterday would have been my sister's 60th birthday if you had been alive. She died in 1974 when I was just a teenager but I still miss her and her birthday just makes me sad sometimes. Well, even though I love my husband to distraction, he usually isn't the most sensitive about things like this so I was pleasantly surprised how caring he was yesterday. He spent the whole day watching Christmas chick flicks on TV with me. I scrapped 2 pages and he never once complained about all the time I was on the computer. We went out for lunch and for dinner, he never once whined about what was I cooking for him. He ended up fixing himself some soup. It was a truly relaxing and fun day which was a relief because I had been dreading that day all week. So, this morning I woke up early and baked banana nut bread before he ever got up. I made 4 loaves: one for the fire dept., one for police dept., one for my hubby's office, and one just for him. Every year I make the bread for the fire and police depts. and there is never one for hubby so this year I decided to surprise him. He loved waking up to the wonderful smell!

Friday, December 08, 2006


Blog Prompt: Do you feel lucky?

I don't know if I feel lucky as much as I feel blessed. If blessed could be considered lucky then I most definitely feel lucky. I feel blessed that I wake up every morning (which beats the alternative.)I have a wonderful loving husband who shows his love in many ways. I am the healthiest person on my side of the family because lupus runs in my family. My mother and oldest sister died from it and my other sister suffers with lupus but so far I have had no symptoms of this. I think it has a lot to do with eating healthy and trying to stay physically fit. Maybe all of activities scare the lupus away. I love my job and my life and I'm financially stable at this moment. I have many friends in person and online. So when I look at everything I have, sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if this is real or a dream. I am SO lucky and blessed.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Favorite decorations.

Blog Prompt: Do you have a favorite ornament or decoration that you display at this time of year? Tell us its story!

I had trouble with this because I love all my decorations! I actually have each room done in a theme. Then I buy more at the after Christmas sales. My living room is the Santa room and I have Santas of all sizes all around the room. My dining room is my Angel room with loads of Angels all around (I figured I needed Angels around my cooking!)My office is the Christmas Toy room like drums, trains, blocks etc and my hubby's office is the Nutcracker room which he likes. I think my home looks awesome once it is decorated.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cooking abilities

Blog Prompt: Describe your cooking skills as a newlywed. If you're not yet married, describe your cooking skills when you first moved out on your own.

First of all, let me start by saying it is not MY fault!! I was spoiled growing up and then my hubby spoiled me when we got married so I'm still spoiled.

On our first date, I invited future hubby for dinner, never thinking he would accept. It was a Sunday and the blue laws were strictly enforced in the south back then. Once he accepted, I realized I was in trouble but I was so smitten I didn't tell him I didn't have any food or drink in the apartment. When we got to my apartment I fixed him a boil-in-bag lasagna (drop bag in boiling water for 5 min.)This meal served one person and I had one beer in the refrigerator. We shared the meal but I was so in love, I didn't taste a bit. I don't know why he didn't run away but he came back for another date. When we got married I didn't know how to cook any better so Don did most of the cooking. He loved to cook and dirtied about every pot in the kitchen. I knew how to make some dishes but he complained that I cooked "yankee" and he ate "southern". So, for the past 24 years we have eaten out more than we've ever cooked at home.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Favorite Winter Memory

Blog Prompt: What is your favorite winter memory?

My favorite one was when I was in college. We had a big snow storm here in the south which is highly unusual. It was around valentine's day and my roommates and I went to the college library where there were lots of snow. We built this snowman and made him romantic by putting a rose on him and we had the best time. Boy, those were the good ol' days!

Monday, December 04, 2006

What Kind of Tree would I Be?

Blog Prompt: What kind of tree would you be?Take it seriously! Think about it and give us your reasonings. And after you've done that, follow this link: Tree Astrology, to see what tree your birth date says you are!

I think I would be a Birch tree. According to Wikipedia, they are small to medium in size which describes me. Birches are versatile trees which also describes me. I have many different talents which helps me in whatever my goal is. In Belarus, Russia, the Baltic States,Finland,and China,birch sap is drunk as a refreshing beverage, and is believed to have tonic qualities. I hope that when I meet people that I have refreshing qualities and if someone needs help, I hope I can be a "tonic" for them. Many of the First Nations of North America, prized the birch for its bark, which due to its light weight, flexibility, and the ease with which it could be stripped from fallen trees, was often used for the construction of strong, waterproof but lightweight canoes, bowls, and tipis. I also exercise and hike a lot which keeps my weight down and makes me more flexible than most people my age. Plus, I don't mind doing hard work but due to my size and strength, I can only do lightweight kinds of stuff.

According to Tree Astrology, I am:
Hazelnut Tree (the Extraordinary)
Charming, undermining, Very understanding, knows how to make an impression, active fighter for social cause, popular, moody and capricious lover, honest and tolerant partner, precise sense of judgment.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Favorite Game

Blog Prompt: Earlier in the week, we talked about favorite cartoons. Now I want to know your favorite board game, video game, or card game. And who do you usually play with?

I really don't have a favorite game but any game I play is usually by myself. My hubby doesn't usually like to play games so I usually play the games off the internet from Yahoo games or MSN games. Once I bought a computer game, called Frogger, from the old arcade game and I played that. My students loved it and I used it as a reward for them. Usually I don't have a lot of time for games because I'm either out hiking, reading a book, or on the computer to check my email or scrapbooking. I guess I'm just a boring person!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas without gifts

Blog Prompt: What if Christmas (or Chanakah, Kwanzaa, etc.) didn't require giving gifts? Would it still feel the same?

Absolutely. I love the feeling and spirit of Christmas all around. I love the excitement in the air and festive spirit that everyone has. I love the decorations, the parades, and the holiday clothes.

My family really doesn't give gifts to each other for Christmas anymore. My sister, who has lupus, lives far away and years ago asked that we not exchange gifts because it causes too much stress on her. My husband's parents have passed away and his sister and I exchange cards each year. We visit my parents each holiday season and usually pay for all of our meals during the visit so we really don't do a big gift thing.

My husband and I haven't exchanged gifts in years because he usually gets me whatever I want at the time I want it. Our philosophy is that life is too short so why wait until Christmas. What if something happened to us before Christmas and we would regret not giving something? So, we don't wait if we have the money to get what we want.

This holiday, we are taking my parents on a cruise since we had some money saved up. My hubby really wanted to go on a cruise and I really wanted to visit with my parents so we decided to combine the two "wants". Of course, we told them it was a Christmas and anniversary present or they wouldn't have come but we would have done it anyway.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tell Tale Age

Blog Prompt: How old would you say you are, if you didn't actually know your age?

Well, luckily, Chinese people always look younger than they are. My dad is 87 and still looks about 67. On that note, I would say I look about 30 instead of the forty humph uh rumph. Sorry, throat got scratchy on that last number. Of course my gray in my dark hair gives away that I'm "old" so I don't think I'd pass for under 30. Physically I feel about 30 because I lead a pretty active life.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Favorite Childhood Cartoon

Blog Prompt: What was your favorite childhood cartoon, comic, or TV show?

My favorite childhood cartoon was Underdog. Of course it was a toss up between Underdog, Dudley Do-right, and Quick Draw McGraw. The best thing about Underdog was the line: Never fear, Underdog is here! These cartoons were on early Saturday mornings and I always got up early even then. I would love to be the first one up so I could watch TV. Once my mother got up, it was time for chores and I hated that!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Traditions

Blog Prompt: Do you have any unusual holiday traditions? And/or what traditions are you looking forward to this holiday season?

When my daughters were little, we had the tradition of spending Christmas with both of our families. On Christmas eve, we spent it with my husband's family in SC. Then we drove home, packed up the car and drove all night to FL to spend Christmas day with my family. We did this for years until the girls grew up and didn't live at home anymore. Now with both of my husband's parents gone, we spend our Christmas vacation with my parents. This year we are taking them on a Christmas cruise to the Caribbean.

Another tradition is to decorate our house for Christmas. Our little town has big Christmas festivities each year. For 3 weekends, the horse and buggies from Charleston come up and give rides around the town to see the Christmas decorations. We have a parade one day and a Christmas tree lighting another day. I really love our little town. If I ever get down in the dumps, I just drive around at night and look at the decorations.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Blog Prompt: Three things you'd donate to charity right now are...
1- books (I have boxes and boxes of them)
2- clothes (I have waaaaay too many of them too and lots that don't even fit me anymore.)
3- towels and sheets (we have a shelter that needs them right now and our church is asking for this)

Today I'm also very thankful for my health! There is so much that I'm able to do because I'm healthy and see so many people with health problems that can't do all that I do.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My Favorite Movie

I had a hard time deciding which one of 2 movies was my all time favorite. I decided that To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck was it. I was going to pick Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood but since it is a seasonal movie, I chose the other one.

Unfortunately for my students and fortunately for me, our school library has this movie and I make my students watch it every year. Since my students have reading problems, I'm determined that they watch the classics, even if they can't read them. I have them watch Citizen Kane and movies made from John Steinbeck books. At least they will have exposure to these and will know what people are talking about when they mention them. I also want them to be able to say they know about it when the kids in regular classes talk about having to read it or write about it. But since some of my students have me for 4 years, they know To Kill a Mockingbird very well!

Friday, November 17, 2006

5 Accomplishments

Blog Prompt: Tell us about five accomplishments from this past week. Big or small!

1. Completed my to-do list every day.
2. Walked on the treadmill for 30 min. every morning.
3. Took a day off to go hiking with friends.
4. Cooked dinner at home 3 days this week (which is highly unusual for me!)
5. Cleaned up my office which was cluttered with the clothes I have worn all week (I am always too lazy to hang things up or put things in the wash, so they pile up and up and up!).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Future

Blog Prompt: If you had an opportunity to see your future, would you want to? Why or why not?

I would definitely like to know the future. I'm one of those people who sometimes skips to the end of the book to see how it ends. For some reason, this doesn't ruin the book for me because I enjoy seeing how they got there. Hearing the end of a movie before I see it doesn't bother me either for the same reasons. I hate surprises and like to know what is going to happen if at all possible. When I had major surgery, I wasn't scared as long as the doctor told me every little thing that I'd be going through. I would love to see what is in store for me and would understand that I couldn't do anything to change it, so I would just go with the flow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Interesting Book

Blog Prompt: The book I'm reading right now/just read is teaching me...

The book I've just finished reading is called Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox. It talks about how he has had to deal with his Parkinson's Disease and how it affected his attitude. I found the book very motivational and inspirational. I know my hubby was probably glad I finished it because it was the topic of my conversation every evening. It is a book I would recommend to others because it help you appreciate your own life and what you have. It was interesting to see how Michael J. Fox continues to live his life in a positive manner. It helped me see him as a real person instead of some famous actor.
Blog Prompt: The book I'm reading right now/just read is teaching me...

The book I've just finished reading is called Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox. It talks about how he has had to deal with his Parkinson's Disease and how it affected his attitude. I found the book very motivational and inspirational. I know my hubby was probably glad I finished it because it was the topic of my conversation every evening. It is a book I would recommend to others because it help you appreciate your own life and what you have. It was interesting to see how Michael J. Fox continues to live his life in a positive manner. It helped me see him as a real person instead of some famous actor.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Two Memories

Blog Prompt: Tell us about two memories from two years ago.

One of the best memories is that we took a trip to the Mediterranean for almost 3 weeks. We flew into Rome and spent a couple of days getting used to the time change. Then we took a cruise on the Carnival Liberty for 12 days. We actually attended the naming ceremony with Mira Sorvino as the godmother. On our trip we went to Naples, Sicily, Croatia, Venice, Barcelona, Cannes, Livorno, Florence, Pisa, and back to Rome. It was so romantic and probably the best trip I've taken so far. Then we stayed in Rome one more day before we came home.

It was also the year that I started my worm bin. We went to the Hike Inn in Georgia where they use vermiculture for all their food scraps and even use composting toilets there. After dinner, we had a little lesson in vermiculture which I thought was great. As soon as we got home, my parents and us built 2 plywood boxes for my worms. Even though my whole family thought I was crazy, they supported me in this new venture. I started out only filling up one box first and now two years later, I have both boxes full of worms. I give them most of my food scraps and lots of shredded paper. We even started one in my classroom and I'm about to start another one in my husband's courthouse. These are much smaller scale and in plastic storage containers. When done right, you don't see or smell them at all.

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Dream Home

As for the inside of my house, I wouldn't change much of it. It is a very old house (built around the 1920s). My husband's bathroom only has a tub so he uses the shower in the playroom (which is right beside his bathroom). This means he actually has 2 bathrooms (no fair!). So, I would put a shower in his bathroom. The only interior problem I have is that the house has settled (this is what I'm told) which means closet doors don't shut all the way and my tile floor has cracks in the tiles. I have paid someone to boost the house up and put things under it but after a few years, it settles again.

Now I would like some stuff in the backyard. My yard is the length of a football field from street to back line. I would like to get rid of the old metal shed that was here when we bought the house. It sits in the back left corner of the yard. The doors don't even slide closed right. I would like a big gardening shed in its place with shelves all around. Now, my driveway ends at the right side of the house and I would like to put up a 2 story 2 car garage there. The upstairs would be like a guest apartment with kitchenette and bathroom. My hubby would use this for his hobbies (model trains, and postcards) so he wouldn't have to clean it up every time we had company. Later, when we were old, we could hire a college kid to help us and the person could live in the apartment. Behind the garage I would like a very large green house. Then I wouldn't have to cart my plants into the house every winter and listen to hubby complain! I would also put a room over our back deck and screen it in so my hubby would sit outside with me in the summer. The mosquitoes love him and he can't enjoy the deck at all.

Ahhhh, I love dreaming!

Friday, November 10, 2006


Blog Prompt: Tell us about something FABULOUS in your life right now!

There is nothing "special" kind of fabulous going on in my life right now but there is the kind of fabulous that makes me happy today. It was fabulous just to be alive and happy today. I'm healthy. My hubby is healthy too and we have each other. We have a wonderful marriage that gets better and better every day even though we have been married 24 years. I'm able to pay my bills and there isn't anything I need that I'm not able to have right now. I can also afford luxuries if I really want them but I don't need them at this particular time. I have a bright and exciting future waiting for me (since I hope to really retire this coming June...unless I change my mind again.). Now that I think about it, I guess to sum up my "fabulous" would be to say that I'm content with my life today.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - My Blessings

Blog Prompt: You can write about any subject, but you have to think up 13 things.

I had trouble thinking of a topic and kept coming up with negative things. I thought about things that give me a headache, and things that make me mad, or things that people are rude about etc. Then I started thinking that at least I had my health to feel a headache, at least I knew the difference between right and wrong and at least I knew how to behave in public. I decided that I needed an attitude adjustment and picked the topic of My Blessings. So here they are:
a family that loves me.
good health
a job I enjoy
good friends
a new hobby
computer skills
ability to read
ability to hike
love of travel
wireless internet

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Blog Prompt: MUSIC—What are your early memories of music? What kind did you/do you prefer? Have your tastes changed over the years?

My earliest memory was of getting my first accordion. I remember meeting with the salesman in our home when I was about 4 years old. I remember trying on this tiny instrument (which at the time was huge!). It was an exciting time for my whole family and since I was the baby of the family, I was the center of attention.

I like pretty much all kinds of music except heavy metal and rap. I guess it depends on what mood I'm in and phases I go through. I usually listen to 60s oldies on the radio. On my ipod, I have country, bluegrass, oldies, broadway hits (I love Rodger and Hammerstein stuff), celtic, Christmas, some jazz (not my favorite but some of it I like), and Enya (not sure what she is listed as but I find her calming at night when I'm in a tent and it is thundering and lightning).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Turning Point

Blog Prompt: Tell us about a turning point in your life, however you define that phrase.

I had a major turning point in my life 23 years ago but it doesn't seem that long ago. I lost all of my hair which was devastating to me since I was only 24 years old. I went to many doctors and spent a lot of money to try to find out why all of a sudden I lost my hair. Since lupus runs in my family, I was afraid this was it but the tests were negative. I didn't have cancer or any known illness. One doctor told me I was just allergic to my own hair and to get used to it. One doctor asked me if I was under stress and I told him no that I wasn't. Another doctor told me that it all fell out by the roots and I would never have hair again. After thousands of dollars, one doctor told me with tears in his eyes, that he just didn't know why and I needed to accept it and move on.

Finally after giving up the medical route, my hubby talked me into joining a health spa and going daily to exercise. I started taking multivitamins and doing a lot of reflection and praying. Finally we realized that I WAS under a lot of stress and this was a reaction. I thought by being "under stress" meant like a nervous breakdown or depression which I didn't feel described me. After thinking about it I realized my circumstances put me under an extreme amount of stress and this was my body's way of coping. My husband lost his job because he refused to relocate, I had started a new job teaching at a new school, my daughter was exhibiting extreme emotional problems in school (she was finally diagnosed as bi-polar later), we had moved to a new house which caught on fire 3 months after we moved in. So, we had to move in my in-laws. Chirstmas was approaching and we didn't have our own home or much money. So, as you can see, I had been denying the stress!

Within 6 months of our own "cure", my hair started to grow back. I was doing daily exercising which I continue to do even now. We made some changes in our lifestyle which included moving into a rental house, and letting my hubby have more responsiblity withe the house and kids (which is hard for me because I'm such a control freak!). Every few years, I have stress spots on my scalp which means bald spots. I increase my exercise and do more meditation which helps.

I have tried to talk to many of my friends about stress because I feel that if I hadn't gotten a handle on this, stress would have eventually killed me. My hair loss was just the beginning. I hope my turning point can help others learn from this too.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Blog Prompt: In your area/family, how do children address adults? (exp. Mr & Mrs Smith, Miss Becky, Becky, etc.)What manners do you stress in your family and which do you let slide? (This applies to adults, too, not just children).

When I was growing up, I was always expected to address adults as Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so. I learned while going to college in SC, that professors expected to be answered with Yes/No Ma'am or Yes/No Sir. When I got married and was raising children in SC, my husband insisted that the children answered with Yes/No Ma'am or Yes/No Sir because that is the way he was brought up. I use the same response with my students because I want them to treat me this way.

I guess most of the manners that were stressed were ones we were brought up with. My major beef is when people talk with food in their mouths. It drives me crazy! I can overlook almost anything except that. It totally grosses me out to see chewed food in someone's mouth. I'm getting yucky just thinking about it!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Communicating Online

Blog Prompt: Do you find it easier to "be yourself" when communicating online with people you've never met? And without being specific, do you belong to or visit many online communities, or just this one?

I am pretty much myself whether I'm online or if I meet someone face to face. One thing I really hate is talking on the phone. I would much rather communicate by email or AIM instead of the phone. I worry alot that I'm bothering the person that I'm talking to or sometimes I can't focus on the conversation because I'm such a visual person. I am the type of person who says the truth whether on line or in person and hope that others are that way too. I guess I'm naive that way and far too trusting (according to my husband!).

I used to be on a regular chat community when my hubby was working nights. It was a group that consisted of people over 40 who were happily married. There was no sexual comments and everyone was very friendly. I probably talked to them for about 2 years until the organizer of the chat room died of diabetes and then if fizzled out.

After that, I did the forums for a hiking group but they were much more experienced that me and I felt out of place. The next thing I entered were the forums for my worm group. I started worm composting for my garden and learned a lot from this group. Then I got kind of bored with the bulletin board but not the worms. I still have the worms.

Now I'm into this digital scrapbooking and I love it! I enjoy the forums and the chats at DSP. I don't join any other website because I can't keep up with all that I like at DSP so I'm just sticking with this one group. I'm starting to know people and recognize their names. This is a hobby where I'm learning new skills and I love learning! I hope to be involved with this for many years (especially since I will really retire soon!).

Friday, November 03, 2006

First Meeting

Blog Prompt: What qualities are you drawn to when meeting someone for the first time?

When I meet someone for the first time, I'm usually drawn by their friendly personality. I like to meet someone who has a smile on their face and looks content with their life. People like this make me feel like they are sincere and I would enjoy talking to them. Most people like this have a great sense of humor and I like to be around positive people. I can usually spot someone who has a phony personality. You can spot it in their smile and in their eyes. Life is too short to be around negative people!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Queen for a Day

Blog Prompt: What would you do if you were Queen for a day?

If I was Queen for a Day, I would be pretty selfish and self serving. My hubby and I would go hiking in the mountains in the spring while the weather was around 65 degrees and sunny outside. I would have servants to carry our backpacks and food. I would also have all the money I could want and I would have servants on computers downloading all the kits that I liked from DSP. It would take me too long to do it myself and the day would end before I got all the ones I liked. These kits would be waiting for me to use in the future. Wow, after rereading this, I am almost embarrassed to let everyone see how bad I am!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Halloween Memory

Blog Prompt: Halloween memories (from last night or years ago)

This past weekend, my hubby and I went to a Halloween party in Charleston which is 200 miles away. This young teacher at my school invited us to the party that her dad throws every year. She was so excited about it and since we’ve gotten close these past 2 years, I really wanted to go and be supportive. Usually my hubby refuses to go to parties because he is kind of shy at parties. He is also a judge so at most parties, people bug him for legal advice (which he can’t legally give) or ask for help on some kind of legal trouble they are in (which he also can’t legally give) so he hates going to parties. When I asked if he would mind going, he surprised me by saying only if he got to choose the costumes. Since I didn’t really believe we would end up going, I agreed. Within the week, he had found 2 costumes at WalMart and bought them. His costume was a Latin bandit which consisted of a black shirt with ties across the chest, a long cape, a hat, and a mask. My Lady Latin bandita costume or Latin Lady Bandita costume or whatever consisted of a tight red and black very short dress with spaghetti straps with ties down the boobs, a short cape for the shoulders, leg covers over shoes that ended up looking like thigh high boots, a hat and a mask. For lack of a better description…slutty by any other name is still slutty! But I had made a bargain and I stuck to it. I had hoped to not see anyone I knew but 2 other teachers showed up besides me. Maybe they won’t say anything (because I’m known to be very conservative and proper at school!)

When we left the motel to go to the party, I ran to the car because I was afraid someone was going to ask me how much I charged! When we arrived at the private drive, we met the “troll” who allowed us to enter. He was spacing cars along the dark road so we can enjoy the haunted ride. Big old spiders dropped down on our car and we met Deliverance rednecks shooting deer in the woods. Then we were escorted from our cars up the drive to the house. Along the way motorized things came out at us including an alligator from a sewer and spiders. The bushes were covered with blinking eyes. At the party, there was a fantastic band who played songs I recognized. Behind the band was a huge sailboat sail with scary movies projected on it from the house. Tied to the trees were 3 chandeliers hanging across the yard with scary figures hanging from them. Of course, there were tons of food and beverages of every kind.

Everyone seemed to go all out in costumes because the invitation read Come in costume or come naked! One man wore a foam box covered with little Froot Loop boxes, corn flake boxes, raisin bran boxes dripping in blood with plastic forks and knives embedded in them. He was a “cereal killer.” One girl wore a costume that looked like her bare butt was hanging out of her drawer and Smartie candies were glued on her butt because she was a “wise ass.” Another man was a chest of drawers with women’s underwear sticking out of them and he was a “one night stand.” Of course the cast from Gilligan’s Island was there too.

We had a wonderful evening. I was quite surprised because hubby and I worked out a code that we would say to each other when we were ready to go but neither of us had to use it. We got there at 7:30 and didn’t leave until almost 11pm. No one knew my hubby so no one bothered him and he got to really enjoy himself. I hope we get to go next year too!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Scary Time

Blog Prompt: In honor of Halloween, write about a time you were scared.

Years ago, in a house that we rented, the master bathroom was attached to my master bedroom. There was no door on the bathroom and there was wall to wall indoor outdoor carpet throughout the rooms. One day I was in the shower, which was dark because the shower curtain was dark. For some reason I was thinking about the movie Psycho, when all of a sudden the shower curtain was ripped open! I about passed out! It was my husband who had come home from work early and thought I had heard him come into the room. Of course I didn't and my imagination was running wild anyway. I was so shaken up, I had to sit down in the shower after he had turned the water off. I had shampoo in my hair and I was white as a ghost. Boy, did he feel bad! I can promise you that he has never ever done that again!

Scrapbooking Tips

Blog Prompt: Since we're all scrapbookers & photographers, let's share some of the tips we've learned. OR, if you're new to all of this, ask a question so we can leave ideas in your comments.

I've only been doing this since the end of January of this year but I've learned all I know from DSP. Since I've never been very creative, learning the art of design has been the hardest for me but I'm still working on it. The rule of thirds has been the biggest tip that I've learned and really helps make my layouts look better. The other tip that I learned was the control+g in PSE4. That groups the top layer with the bottom which makes the quick clicks work much better. I also like looking at the contests where we have to vote on things because the leader usually picks the top 10 or so and lists why she thinks it should be there. That helps me learn what I need to work on. The last thing I will mention is how I've finally narrowed the challenges down to 3 that I enter. At first I tried to enter a bunch in one week and was overwhelmed to the point of shutting down. Now I focus on the 3 challenges and look at others who use the same kit to get ideas. I love how I was worried about copying styles or ideas but everyone has encouraged me and helped me stretch my wings. I'm still learning and loving every minute of it!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Best Day of the Week

Blog Prompt: What is your favorite day of the week?

My favorite day of the week is Wednesday for many reasons. By Wednesday I know that I've made it halfway through the work week and only have 2 more days to go. Also, that is the day that most of my older students go out to work as interns so I have very few kids in class. I am able to work one on one with them and give them the attention they need. Since there are less kids, I am also able to get more paperwork done and start preparing for the next week. Overall, my students act better on Wednesdays than any other day. On Mondays they are excited about being back to school after a weekend (sometimes I am the most stable factor in their lives). Many of them also don't sleep right or eat right on weekends so it takes them a couple of days to get back into a routine. On Thursdays and Fridays, the kids are excited and hyper about the weekend and tend to get in more trouble. Wednesday is definitely the best day of the week!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Blog Prompt: TV: Scourge of the devil, necessary evil, or love it, want to marry it?

I'm definitely not a TV addict. I like it once in awhile if I'm interested in a particular show or movie but if I miss something, I'm not devastated. I like to watch Grey's Anatomy, CSI, NCIS and Criminal Minds but if I miss an episode, I have TIVO so I can watch it if I want to. Now you ask why do I have TIVO if I'm not an addict? My hubby has to get all the latest technology even if he doesn't know how to use it or ever uses it. So, when we got our new big screen HDTV in our bedroom, he got HD-Tivo (I'm really not sure what it is called) with our satellite dish. We hardly ever look at Tivo but I did watch the last episode of Grey's Anatomy at 1am when I couldn't sleep. My hubby has to turn on the TV for background noise even if he isn't watching it. He would watch it 24 hours a day if I let him but he watches things like the Travel channel, History channel, Discover channel etc. and then drives me crazy saying, "Look at this..." when I'm busy playing on my laptop. As you can tell, we have "quality" time together!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Inherited Traits

Blog Prompt: What do you see in yourself that has come from your ancestors? If you have children, what have you handed down?

When I was growing up, I swore I was not going to be like my mother but unfortunately, I have been sounding more and more like her. When my girls were growing up I heard myself say phrases that I promised would never cross my lips. But there I was saying them myself. No matter how I tried, they were there and nothing I could do stopped them. Things like: Do you think money grows on trees? I don't care if you like me but you will respect me. How many times do I have to tell you? If all the kids jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it too? and on and on. My grandparents were very strict with my parents and they were with me also. My sense of values and integrity has been handed down from generation to generation. Even though I didn't want to become just like my mother, I'm proud of the way that we have the commonality of shared values. It is times like this that I'm sorry I never told her this before she died. Maybe she is in heaven reading this and smiling.

My Favorite Art

Blog Prompt: What type of art do you like best? Do you have a favorite artist?

I think the most famous artist that I like is Monet. I like the colors and the softness in his works.

Now having said that, I also like art with a lot of detail and fine lines. Maybe it is because I have such an analytical mind that I like things well defined. When I was at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC a month ago, I liked the photos best and I liked the art work with lots of details. Even the sculptures with details appealed to me. I am not fond of modern art because I usually don't understand it and it leaves me confused. I have noticed over the years that my preferences haven't changed. I thought maybe as I get older, I would change the way I looked at art but so far this phase has lasted a long time.

Friday, October 20, 2006

5 Weekend Accomplishments

Blog Prompt: Tell us five things you plan to accomplish this weekend!

This weekend is my 25th college weekend so I have so much to do!
  1. Tonight is a reception at someone's house. 5 years ago it was so much fun to meet people I hadn't seen in so long so I'm really looking forward to tonight.
  2. Tomorrow morning is the Alumni breakfast where they also give out awards. We usually sit with a friend of mine, Arthur, who is an Alumni and he is about 89 years old. His son actually graduated with me but I used to hike with Arthur's wife before she passed away.
  3. Tomorrow at noon is the Alumni luncheon. We all sit at tables noted by the years so we can see people we graduated with. I hope it isn't too hot, no rain, and no bees! We usually have a problem with the bees if it is too hot since we eat out on the lawn of the alumni house.
  4. Tomorrow at 2pm is the big Homecoming football game! I hope we win! We have wonderful season tickets right on the 50 yard line (I'm told that is a prime spot but what do I know!)
  5. Then the big finale is the dinner at 7pm at very fancy place. We are expecting 65 people and since I'm on the reunion committee, I've very relieved to have a good turnout.

Since it said to list 5, I won't mention that by Sunday I will be relaxing, recuperating, and recovering!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Closest Female Friend

Blog Prompt: How did you meet your closest female friend?

This is hard for me because I don't really have a "closest" female friend that I spend a lot of free time with. My husband is my closest friend and every free moment is spent with him. So, to answer this prompt, I thought about my closest female friend at work.

Lisa started teaching at my school in the middle of the year when a friend of mine left for health reasons. As head of the department, I was expected to greet her and get her settled in her class. We've been friends for about 3 years and I consider myself lucky. She is an excellent teacher and supportive colleague. Whenever I need to whine, complain, let off steam, vent my frustrations, she always makes time for me even though she is extremely busy. She spends a lot of time preparing for her students in addition to being a single mother to 2 small daughters. No matter what favor I need, she is always willing to do whatever I ask her. But she never takes advantage of our friendship and is extremely professional. With her previous experiences, I value her opinion when I have to deal with certain situations. She never comes across as a know-it-all and makes me feel like my knowledge is important to her too. She is probably the only person at work that I truly feel I can count on and trust. I hope she gets to read this so she will know how much her friendship means to me!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My Favorite Era

Blog Prompt: If you could live in any era of history, what would it be, and why?

I think I would have liked to live in the Victorian Era. I love all the dresses the ladies wore. I also liked the gentility of the times. I could picture lovely dances and well mannered society. I also like the furniture that was around during that time. Of course I can't imagine living without all the modern conveniences we have today (like in door plumbing, computers, cars) but if I had to choose, this would be it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Athletic Dreams

Blog Prompt: If you were back in school and could join any extracurricular activity (no try-outs or cool kids ), which club, sport, or other activity would you choose?

When I was in school, I was always the nerd. I always had my head in a book or was making straight As but boy, did I want to be an athlete. They always seemed to be the popular kids. Instead I was a "mathlete" which means I was on the math team (at the time we were considered big nerds!) Not to mention that both of my older sisters were volleyball players and cheerleaders and were very popular. No, I did not have an athletic bone in my body. In fact I think no respectable athletic bone came within 500 feet of my body! I was the kid everyone hated to have on their team in gym and I was always the last one picked.

Now that I've said that, if I could join any sport, I would have loved to be on the softball team. To make up for it, for the past 22 years I have supported the softball team at my schools that I teach at. Usually they are the least supported team in the whole school. Girls sports usually are not very well supported. My hubby and I are the surrogate parents for the whole team and we even try to go to away games. In fact, when many of the girls go on to play softball for college, we are invited to many of the games. We even filled in for parents day when one girl's mom couldn't make it (her dad had died and her mom was agoraphobic). Every year we are invited to the sports banquet and the team (and parents) give us gifts for supporting them (but we don't do it for the gifts). The girls usually give us a team picture which I display in my classroom each year. so, since I never could be on the team, this is the next best thing!

Monday, October 16, 2006

A New Holiday

Blog Prompt: Create a new holiday (e.g. Talk Like a Pirate Day). Include the origins and any special rituals of your day.

If I could create a holiday, I would announce "Take a Hike Day". Everyone would be excused from work or school if they had proof that they took a hike at a state park or national park or some organized trail. Rangers would stamp a card at the trail head and another ranger would stamp it whereever you came out.

Yesterday, my hubby and I hiked around Max Patch which is a mountain in western NC. The Appalachian Trail crosses right over it. Max Patch is a grassy bald and when you stand on top, you can see 360 degrees around you. We climbed up there and the views of changing leaves were magnificent. The weather was very crisp and cool (about 40F when we started but warmed up to near 60F when we were done). After hiking awhile, we started talking about how many people do not go out and enjoy nature. There is so much to see and do and enjoy outdoors that doesn't even cost a lot of money. We don't take advantage enough of what God has given us.
Then when we retire or take time to enjoy things like this, we are either too old or not in good enough health to actually do it. What a shame that so many people waste the opportunities that are out there. So, that is why I would have "Take a Hike Day".

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Pickup Truck

Blog Prompt: What sort of car do you drive? For what reason do you use it the most? (eg. work/shopping/etc) Do you like driving? Why/why not? What sort of driver are you? What condition is the car in? Any accident/anecdotes from your driving history? Do you have a picture of your car to share? (Does it need cleaning right now.....? LOL) And anything else you can think of on this topic!!! GREEN LIGHT - GO! and write!

Before I tell you about my vehicle, let me explain that I moved to SC from NY. Almost everyone in the south drives pickup trucks. Being a gardener, I just had to have a pickup truck. But my husband is a judge and I'm a teacher, so he thought I should have something with more prestige to drive but I am not going to be a snob or something that I'm not. I don't believe in doing or having things in order to pretend that I'm better or richer than others. But he felt since we lived in a little town, people look up to us and expect us to live a certain way. I don't care. Accept me for the way I am or leave me alone! I wanted a pickup truck to haul mulch, gardening tools, large items, etc. in. I only drive it to and from work which is about 20 miles a day. On the weekends we drive my hubby's Chevy Tahoe so I didn't want anything fancy. My pickup is just a small plain red Ford Ranger (not even the extended cab). I don't have cruise control or electric windows or electric locks. It's even a straight drive and not automatic which helps with gas mileage (so I'm told). It is the one thing in my life that is not cluttered because it is so small I don't let things stay in the cab. My hubby says I'm the only Chinese redneck in our little town!

As for driving, I'm a much better driver than my husband says I am but I don't like to drive. I leave most of the driving for him except if we go out and he has a drink. If he has one drink, he won't drive at all so I'm the designated driver (I don't have a drink if he has one). He says I drive like a New Yorker and I say he drives like an old lady! But I don't complain too much or he will ask me to drive, while he holds onto the door with white knuckles and criticizes everything I do! I just read a book while he drives.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Choose differently?

Blog Prompt: Would you choose differently if you could choose your occupation again? Why? How?

There is absolutely no way I would choose a different career. Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I have no regrets with my choice. In fact, I love my job and because I love it, sometimes it doesn't even feel like a job.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Clutter: How big a role does clutter play in your life? Do you worry about it at all? Why or why not?

All I can say is clutter is my middle name but should be my first name! Everything around me is cluttered. BUT I have to say it is organized clutter. On my guest bed is 2 huge piles of paid bills that need to be filed. My book shelves are full of piles of books that need to be neatly placed. I have a desk full of papers to be organized or filled out but I know which papers they are and exactly where on my desk to find them. I also have piles of "stuff" to sort through in order to throw away what I don't need to keep. Of course there are 4 piles at home, 20 boxes in the attic, 7 junk drawers in my house, and 12 piles at work. BUT at least I know where the piles are. I could win any contest for being the Clutter Queen! I think about the clutter in the back of my mind but I can't say it worries me. I have other things to worry about and this is not one of them.


Clutter: How big a role does clutter play in your life? Do you worry about it at all? Why or why not?

All I can say is clutter is my middle name but should be my first name! Everything around me is cluttered. BUT I have to say it is organized clutter. On my guest bed is 2 huge piles of paid bills that need to be filed. My book shelves are full of piles of books that need to be neatly placed. I have a desk full of papers to be organized or filled out but I know which papers they are and exactly where on my desk to find them. I also have piles of "stuff" to sort through in order to throw away what I don't need to keep. Of course there are 4 piles at home, 20 boxes in the attic, 7 junk drawers in my house, and 12 piles at work. BUT at least I know where the piles are. I could win any contest for being the Clutter Queen! I think about the clutter in the back of my mind but I can't say it worries me. I have other things to worry about and this is not one of them.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Blog Prompt: If you procrastinate, what is your most popular excuse and why?

My favorite excuse (and believe me, I have many!) is "I have plenty of time and besides, I work better under pressure!" I somehow always do what needs to be done but the stress and anxiety at the last minute has be promising to myself that next time I won't procrastinate. In fact, I make this promise a lot to myself.

I have worked really hard about making out lists and completing all of the stuff on my list each day. It kind of gives me a thrill to get everything marked off. In the morning I sometimes email my school email with things to add to my list. When I get to work, I make out the master list. I also bring it home with me in case there are things I need to complete at home. But sometimes, out of sight- out of mind once I get home. Or this is where I use THE EXCUSE.

I also have a hard time finding the fine line between procrastination and obsessive compulsive. For example, I have a big parent meeting tomorrow on a new student at 11am (I have no authority to cancel, postpone, or change this meeting). I didn't find out about this meeting until yesterday morning. I called or emailed all the participants to set up the meeting, only to find out 2 hours later that the time is changed. Then I had about 25 pages of paperwork to do but I needed something faxed to me before I could begin. I didn't get the fax until today. I really didn't mind procrastinating yesterday because I didn't want to do it but then I worried about the time factor and but today I wanted to call the person and ask why I didn't have the fax yet. I also understood that I couldn't expect this person to drop everything for me either. Now was that procrastinating and then being obsessive compulsive?? I really need to retire so I can procrastinate without needing any excuses!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

TV Program

Blog Prompt: Of all the TV programs, which one have you watched the most? Why?Is it connected in some way to your life and/or perspective?

The TV programs that I watch are purely for entertainment mostly. By the end of the day, my brain is tired and I don't want to think too much. I try to watch Grey's Anatomy (but I still haven't learned what day or time it is on so sometimes it is hit and miss for me). I love reading harlequin romances so I think this reminds me of one. The only other thing I watch is Little House on the Prairie which is on as soon as I get home from school (whenever I actually leave school on time) so I watch it while dinner is cooking. I'm just not a big TV watcher and would rather play on my computer for hours and hours and hours.

Monday, October 09, 2006

New Recipe

Blog Prompt: It's been a while since we've talked about food. Let's share recipes today or talk about seasonal foods you look forward to at this time of year.

This is the perfect prompt for me today. My sister shared with me a recipe that her kids have loved for years and I decided to try it. My hubby and I both enjoyed it so I will definitely try it again.

I prepared my meat loaf (ground beef, minced garlic, oregano, basil, egg, salt, pepper) and put it in a covered microwaveable dish. The meat loaf was molded in donut shape. I cooked it in the microwave for 10 min. at medium level. Then I covered it with cream of mushroom soup and cooked it for another 10 min. at medium level.

I served it with mashed potatoes (and we used the meat loaf soup as gravy) and 3 bean salad (drain a can of green beans, drain a can of Le Seur peas, drain a can of mushrooms, add sugar or equal and vinegar. Mix well). It was a wonderful dinner!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My Sister

Blog Prompt: describe/talk about your relationship with a sibling. Did you fight as children? Now? What similarities or differences do you have....? What do you like about them.. or anything else you want to write about them. Or, if you don't have any siblings, would you want one and why?

Let me start off by telling you that I'm the youngest of 3 girls. My sisters were 10 and 12 years older than me so I was totally spoiled and still am (even at 47 years old). My oldest sister passed away (she had lupus for 6 years) when I was 14 so for most of my life it has just been me and my middle sister. When I went away to college and got married, I drifted away from my sister even though we always knew we loved each other, we just drifted apart. With the increased use of computers and cell phones, I feel over the past few years that my sister and I have gotten so much closer. We "talk" on AOL Instant Messenger a lot and since all of our calls are free on Verizon (we're on the "In" network) we have talked a lot more. The hardest thing for me is that sometimes I think she still sees me as her "little" sister and treats me like I don't know anything. I want to yell, "Hey I'm a grown up now. I can take care of myself and make my own decisions without you giving me your opinion!" Of course as an adult, I have to step back and realize that if one of my friends made the same comment I wouldn't resent it at all and then I feel guilty. I worry about my sister a lot since she has lupus (has had it for many years) and I live 800 miles away from her but I just trust in God that he will take care of her and her family.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Favorite Quote

Blog Prompt: Share with us a favorite quote, or one that fits your life right now.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

In many situations I lack a lot of self confidence so I quote this to myself a lot as my pep talk. I have to deal with a lot of conflict as a teacher and head of the department so I spend a lot of time worrying if I'm making the right decisions and sometimes people get mad at me. I am also on a Board of Directors for an organization and sometimes I don't agree with the majority and feel a need to speak up about an issue. This scares me to death but I force myself to do it! At that time, I really quote this over and over! Inside I'm shyer and less self confident than I let other people see so I really need this a lot in my life.

(I am currently in Arlington, VA and it is pouring down rain!!!! Hopefully we are going to try to get to see something at the Ford Theater this afternoon and go to the new National Portrait Gallery. Have a nice weekend y'all!)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

5 minute writing

Blog Prompt: Let go and write whatever!!! But only for five minutes. After that put your pen, errrr, your fingers down and don't go back to fix anything!

I am here at work and the kids are working quietly so I decided to work on my blog. Even though I'm at work, my brain is preparing for my trip to Washington DC this weekend. I hope the weather is nice but I don't think it will be. We leave on Thurs. night and I come back home on Sunday. I will be in meetings all weekend but it is fun to get away. I'm on the national Board of Directors for Council for Exceptional Children so this is our board meeting. There are 20 of us from all around the US who meet in DC twice a year and then at the national convention (in Louisville, KY this coming April). My husband is going with me because we don't sleep apart. He will be wandering around the Smithsonian museums while I'm hard at work. Then I will hear all about his adventures in the evenings and wish I could be with him. Well, my 5 minutes is up in about 15 seconds so I will end there and dream some more about this weekend!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My Relationship

Blog Prompt: Celebrate your relationship with someone in your life. It doesn't have to be a spouse, it could be kids, parents, or even the mail carrier that waves to you everyday!

What can I say that I haven't said about my hubby yet. I love him and think I couldn't love him any more than I do but each day I find out that I love him a little more than I did the day before. He is my best friend and not only do I love him, but I trust him totally. I have no doubt that he would give his life for me if necessary and I would do the same for him. We have been married 24 years but it doesn't seem like that long. We enjoy being together and sharing wonderful memories together. Sometimes it scares me to think that someday we may have to live life without each other but I don't dwell on it. We have only slept apart on 2 separate occasions in 24 years and spend most of our free time together. I look forward to all the many days we have together.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Autumn Feelings

Blog Prompt: Use the autumn words given to write about.

Next to spring, autumn is my favorite season. After a long hot summer, I really enjoy the cool crispness in the air. I love the beautiful colors of the changing leaves. I am so tired of wearing my spring and summer clothes that I look forward to storing them and pulling out my autumn and winter clothes. I enjoy the smell of burning firewood from people's fireplaces. I love the cool weather because it means my hubby is not too hot to cuddle with me. He is like my own little private heater that doesn't have to be plugged in! Even though he complains that my feet are like ice cubes, he cuddles with me in the middle of the night when he notices that I am cold. Since Christmas is my favorite holiday, autumn always fills me with anticipation that Christmas is coming soon. Hiking during autumn is magical too because nature is filled with exciting changes. The forest is filled with color and it is the perfect weather to hike in because you aren't too hot or too cold. Just writing about this makes me wish I was out hiking instead of working (oops! you caught me, I'm really not working at this very moment even though I should be!).

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sleeping Well

Blog Prompt: "I'll sleep well tonight because..."

My hubby and I helped a friend in need this morning.
My college won their football game and we were there to watch the win.
My hubby loves me and I love him.
I am in good health.
I feel satisfied with my life.
I know that God loves me.
I know that no matter what happens in my life, I am loved.
I am a good teacher.
I am a good person.
I've done the best I could today to be the best person I could be.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Your prompt is "release". Take that word however you like, and write.

This song reminds me of an old song called "Please Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck. As I reach the end of my teaching career, this song is becoming my mantra. I truly love teaching and am glad that I became a teacher. I don't have any regrets about my choice of career. Even though I officially retired in July, I am back teaching on a year to year contract. When I first agreed to retire, I had no idea that I would be chosen as Teacher of the Year for the upcoming year so I felt an obligation to return at least another year. Plus, there is a huge shortage of special ed teachers nationwide. At the time my hubby and I talked about retiring, I'm not sure in my mind that I was really really ready to retire so I was quite relieved to come back. Now mentally I believe I am ready to stop teaching but I have so many mixed feelings. My students really need me and I feel that I have a lot of good ideas still but I have so many other things I want to do while I'm still young enough to do them. So I guess I wish that these mixed feelings would "release" me so that I would not worry about leaving teaching and feeling guilty about leaving my students who need me.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Famous Person

Blog Prompt: What famous person would you like to meet? Why?

I would like to meet Bill Cosby. I think he is a great comedian and seems really down to earth. In his TV show, I think he tried to send a message to kids regardless of their race or culture. I think he would also be a great conversationalist and we could talk about the good and bad things about the educational system of today.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Gift

Blog Prompt: What gift do you wish you could give (if reality was not a factor) to the most important person in your life?

This is really hard because my hubby is the most important person in my life and he never wants anything special. If either of us really wants anything and we can afford it, we get it then and don't wait for any special occasion. But, since you say that reality is not a factor, I would get us tickets to ride the train from one side of Canada to the other side through the mountains. The ticket would let us get on and off as we wished. Right now, time and money is a factor but hopefully in the near future (when I decide to quit teaching), we will do this trip. He talks a lot about this and really wants to do it so I would do everything I could to make this possible.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Blog Prompt: If you could have a designer come into a room of your house and redecorate it for you, which room would it be and what would you ask them for?

I would ask them to come in and redecorate my husband's office. It is the first room you enter from the side of the house (no one uses the front door into the foyer!). When we bought the house 10 years ago, the elderly lady had just put in new pink carpet and a new custom made drapes (paisley print with green and pink in it). She used this room as her living room and closed off the rest of the house other than the bedroom and kitchen. I just don't like pink in my husband's office (I know this is a sexist remark but I just can't help it). We have 2 wooden bookshelves with glass doors that are jammed packed. Other books are boxed and waiting in the attic for a place to live. I would love to see wall to wall wooden book shelves (maybe cherry stained) that reach from almost ceiling to floor. Above the bookshelves, I would love to see an electric train going around the perimeter of the room because my hubby collects electric trains. And I would love to see the carpet taken out and a neutral beige kind of color put in to go with all the wood. And I would love to have my appreciate all this hard work and notice that changes were made!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I've been tagged!

Thanks to Sharia (should I be saying thanks?) Here are the rules:I list 5 weird (odd?) things about myself and then list 5 friends (these are the people being 'tagged' by me). Each of them does the same thing and tags someone else - 5 someone elses.

1. I love to get up before the sun does.
2. I can drink beer with any type of food (chocolate, donuts, cookies, dinner, you name it)
3. I grow worms.
4. I read a lot in the car instead of watching the scenery.
5. I play the accordion (I think it is becoming an endangered instrument).

1. zephanee
2. Heather
3. Trish
4. Rusheika
5. Angela (girlwithacamera)
3. Trish

Night Owl or Morning Person?

Are you a night owl or a morning person or something in between? Do you know when this habit began in your life? Do you think people’s sleep patterns are really a part of who they are (like hair color) or can be changed with circumstances?

I'm definitely a morning person. I get up around 4:30 or 5:00am and I go to bed around 10pm. Watching the sun come up makes me feel renewed and energized! When we travel, I don't mind driving early in the morning even if it is dark because I know that the sky will only get lighter. If I drive in the evening as it gets dark, my body shuts down and yells, "Bedtime!"

I don't know how this habit began but I remember growing up and loving to get up before everyone else. I loved the quiet time early in the morning before anyone else "stirred the waters." When I worked in college, I offered to work breakfast hours in the dining hall because I was up anyway. I am at school an hour before I have to be because I get so much done early in the morning. When we go camping, I sit outside the tent in the dark early in the morning, waiting to greet the sun.

I don't think circumstances would change this type of habit. I could perform differently if I had to (like getting a third shift job) but I do not think I would perform to the best of my ability. I am most efficient and effective according to my biological clock. I also try to take this into account in my teaching because sometimes my students are not their most effective in my first period class but by their seventh period class, they are clicking right along. I wonder if all bosses took this into account, whether the world would be a different place...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Things to do and see in South Carolina

If you came to visit South Carolina some things you wouldn't want to miss are:

1. Congaree Swamp National Park - beautiful wetlands and swamp area
2. Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens - our state botanical garden is here and its beautiful.
3. Darlington Speedway - NASCAR race track in our state (everyone needs to experience a NASCAR race, at least once)
4. Mountain Bridge Wilderness State Park - beautiful scenery
5. World of Energy (at the Oconee Nuclear Station) - Visitor center with interactive exhibits dealing with energy and its free!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Guilty Pleasures

Blog prompt: So, what are your guilty pleasures?

I really can't think of many because I usually don't feel guilty for most of the things I do. I try to enjoy life and not "sweat the small stuff." Keep in mind that the following list only causes guilt for maybe a few minutes...and poof! the guilt is gone.

  1. Eating chocolate kisses when we are trying to watch what we eat. (I do watch it...all the way as it reaches my mouth!)
  2. Playing on the computer (email, scrapping, etc.) when I have a ton of housework to do.
  3. Taking off from work to go hiking. (I'm calling in sick next. Wed. because it is my birthday and I'm going hiking with my friends.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Busting at the Seams!

Blog Prompt: Do you prefer to collect and save things or live sparsely, getting rid of things regularly?

I am the Queen of pack rats! I love to collect and save things because you never know when you might need something. I have teaching material collected over the past 26 years and dread retiring this year because I plan to leave a lot of it behind. Luckily my hubby is a worse collector than I am so he doesn't complain about me. The 2 of us live in a house that has about 4500 square feet and we constantly complain that there isn't enough storage. We have an outside shed for yard stuff and a full attic (our contractor friend complains that we have too much weight up there and the ceiling will collapse around us!). We also rent a storage building to store "treasures" in because we go to flea markets and yard sales and buy lots of stuff that someday we might need. I have clothes from high school (30 years ago) and hubby has bills and papers from his first marriage (29 years ago). I figure we won't clean anything out but when we die, it will be someone else's problem!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

5 Teachers

Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

I am going to list 5 people or groups who have taught me something worthwhile but they are not in any order of priority.

1. My family - I have learned to love, laugh, and forgive.

2. My husband - he has so much common sense (and growing up I was always told that I had none) that he keeps me grounded. He has taught me to think things through before reacting. Being a judge, he never makes a sudden rash decision and he has taught me to really look at things closely before making a decision.

3. My class- over 26 years I learn something new from them on a daily basis. I learn how to deal with other people and look at things from their perspective. It is so much fun to see life through young people's eyes.

4. My former principal - he taught me how to take a leadership role and do it to the best of my ability. He trusted that I could do certain things (that I never had done before) and I did them because I did not want to disappoint him. Many times I was quite surprised at my own accomplishments and the faith he had in me.

5. My assistant principal - She can sell ice cream to an eskimo (which I tell her all of the time!). She is the Queen of Tact and Diplomacy even if there is a major problem. She can handle any situation and not lose her cool. I have learned so much after being in meetings with her and watching her in action. Many times I've been in situations and thought first about how would she handle it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Hero

Blog Prompt: Do you have a hero in your life? Why would you call them that?

I think my dad is my hero. He came to the US alone from China when he was around 11 years old. He came across by boat and landed in Vancouver. From there he took a train to Boston where he joined his father. At this time, he did not speak or understand the English language and saw this as a big adventure. It is so hard for me to imagine this because I have been so sheltered and protected. He must have been so mature for his age and when I see 11 year olds now I try to imagine them traveling around the world alone. Coming to America was an important event in his life and for his family. He fought for the US in WWII and has great pride in being an American citizen. He has instilled in me a pride in being an American because of all the things he had to go through to come to the US. I'm so proud of him for all that he has accomplished so far in his life.

Monday, September 18, 2006

An Insignificant Memory

Blog prompts: What fragments of your past stay with you even though they seem insignificant?

I remember watching a hockey game with my friend and her family who were big NY Ranger fans. Since my family were not really into sports it fascinated me to be around people who were. Sometimes when I'm in a crowd watching other people, that memory creeps into my head. I think that is the earliest memory I have of enjoying watching other people (not in a perverted strange way of course!). When we are at parties or even at the flea market, I have more fun just watching how people are dressed or interact with each other. When we go on a cruise, I can spend hours just observing people and being entertained this way. Of course this just tells you how easily amused I am!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Greatest Gift

Blog Prompt: What has been the greatest gift (apart from life itself and if you have children, apart from them!) that you have ever received? It doesn't have to be of great worth or cost, but is of greatest worth to you, and why do you treasure this gift? Who gave it to you and under what circumstances? Was it expected, if so did it meet expectations or was it a complete suprise?

I think the greatest gift I have gotten (apart from being married to my hubby of course) is my hubby agreeing to go on a tour of China. At the time, it cost a lot of money so he had to make a lot of sacrifices for the year so we could afford to go. I have never been there even though my father and sisters had been born there. I never dreamed that I would ever get to go to China and be able to picture some of the things that my father had told me stories about. We spent almost 30 days there and visited Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Xian, a 7 day cruise down the Yangtze River, and Hong Kong. It was the best trip I had ever gone on. I'm glad I got to go there while my dad is still alive so we could talk about the different places or things that happened. Sometimes he would explain to me why people did certain things because of the culture. My dad has not been to China since 1949 when he had to get my mom and 2 sisters out before the Communists attacked. Words can't really describe the scenery and culture that we experienced but the whole trip was magical!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Name Acrostic

Since the example was for my first name, I'll use my username.

Outgoing (sometimes)
Young at heart
Early riser

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happiness for Today

Blog Prompt: What is your happiness today?

I am so excited about having an author, Marion Lazan, come speak to my class in February. This summer I got an email from our Media Specialist to let her know if I was interested in an author coming to speak to my class. There are 2 other schools in our local area that will be having her speak also so I jumped on the wagon too. The book is called Four Perfect Pebbles, A Holocaust Story by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan. This unforgettable memoir recalls the devastating years that shaped Mrs. Lazan's childhood. Even though I was making preparations for this (consisting of a lot of emails between the other schools and myself), it still seemed far into the future. Imagine my surprise today when I had a message to call Mrs. Lazan about her upcoming visit. I was so thrilled to be able to personally speak to her and find out that she lives on Long Island where I grew up and went to high school. Plus, she was so friendly and personable that it was hard for me to believe that I was speaking to a well known author. She kept telling me to call her if I needed anything from her and that she was sending me lots of information to prepare my kids for her visit. This was the highlight of my day!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One Day Without Consequences

Blog Prompt: If you could live one day without consequences, what would you do? Would you get a tattoo just to see what it was like? What other things would you try?

This is really hard for me because I am such a scaredy cat and I think of the consequences for everything. (It must be because I'm a teacher and my hubby is a judge!). Every time I think of doing something, and then I think of the consequences that would NOT apply but I still can't picture myself doing that because I just can't get rid of the consequences. Even if they didn't apply, I still would know that they should and the guilt would destroy me! So finally, after all of this anguish and hair pulling I finally came up with something.

I would eat the biggest, tenderest, juiciest medium rare steak I could find. I would also eat lots of garlic mashed potatoes. After that, I would have a huge banana split made with butter pecan, black cherry, and pistachio ice cream (I hate those boring traditional banana splits my hubby gets!). I would not worry about all the weight I'm gaining or the water or I'm retaining or that people probably think I'm a pig! I would just savor every morsel without any guilt!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Upcoming Author Visit

For those of you who know me, I'm always working on a big project each school year. One year I decided to teach my students how to mat and frame pictures. Now we have a business called "Friendly Framers" so we can raise money to buy groceries to cook with. Another year we had worms. We compost with worms and have lots of fertilizer for the flowers around the school not to mention fishing worms for the janitors. This year I found out that we have an opportunity for an author to come speak to our students and I jumped on it. Now I have to find a way to buy a classroom set of the books. I hope to read the book and study about the Holocaust in January and the author will visit us in February. The book is Four Perfect Pebbles, A Holocaust Story.
by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan. Marion Blumenthal Lazan travels around the country to talk to students. I hope to invite my student's parents also. The author is willing to autograph all of the books if we deliver them to her hotel the night before. Then I want to have the students scrap about this visit, their feelings, and what they have learned about this whole unit. I also want to work on activities to supplement the book so I will be pretty busy before January. I'm really excited about this and have been smiling about all the things I can do with this!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where was I when...

I had just started my new job at a new school and had barely learned everyone's names. Another teacher across the hall knocked on my classroom door and told me to quickly turn on the TV because somebody took out the World Trade Center. I couldn't believe it! Instantly, I was concerned about my niece and brother in law who worked in Manhattan. I told the class to be quiet as we watched the horror on TV. I immediately called my sister who said she hadn't heard from her husband or her daughter so I told her that I would call back every 30 minutes since she couldn't get through to anyone. I don't know how in the world I was able to get in touch with her. Then I called my husband who fussed at me for calling NY because they were asking people not to tie up the phone lines but I told him that I didn't care. I kept calling and getting an update and hanging up quickly. We finally heard around 1pm that my niece was okay and was getting rides home to Long Island. We didn't find out until that evening that my brother in law was fine and was trying to get home.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Sentence in a Book

Blog Prompt: Take a book, close your eyes and open it at a page (with your eyes still closed) point to any sentence in the book. Open your eyes and then write down the sentence/paragraph you pointed to. Write your thoughts on this sentence/paragraph.

"One could argue that I got exactly what I wanted, and just what I deserved. " from There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale by Sean Astin (who played Sam Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings). I am really enjoying this book and can hardly put it down! I decided to pick the last sentence on what ever page I picked and this was it.

My husband has this saying that drives me crazy sometimes which is so close to this sentence. He says, "Mean what you say and say what you mean." My daughter was bad about getting mad and saying things she ended up regretting. If she was bad, we told her to straighten up or we wouldn't go to the (zoo or wherever) and she would get mad and say she didn't want to go anyway. So, we wouldn't go no matter what. That really made her mad later because she really didn't mean it but we had to teach her a lesson early in life. She had to learn that she had to watch her little smart mouth!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

What I Will Not Do

Blog Prompt: What activities and/or chores will you NOT do?

  1. I will NEVER cheat on my husband.
  2. I will not sleep apart from husband. (We've only slept apart twice in 24 years and only because we had no choice.)
  3. I will not try to get on Fear Factor.
  4. I will not go bungee jumping.
  5. I will not go rock climbing.
  6. I will not go skydiving.
  7. I will not streak through the neighborhood (for those of you too young to know that means "running naked").
  8. I will not accept phone calls from students or their parents after 9pm.
  9. I will not talk behind people's backs.
  10. I will not feel guilty for the choices other people make (my daughters have made some bad choices but that doesn't mean I'm a bad mother.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Fortune Cookie

Blog Prompt: You can write your own fortune or tell a story of one that came true or didn't. What comes to you? What are your fortune cookie memories and imaginings?

If I opened up my fortune cookie, I hope I would find the following long fortune:

You will finish up a stressful job by next year (I plan to really retire at the end of the school year...maybe), and do a lot of traveling (My hubby can't wait to retire when I do so we can travel around the country and to other countries). You will have no financial worries by next year (I might win the lottery!).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Eating Out

Blog Prompt: Where do you like to go to eat out? What do you order? Any stories of a special night out?

My hubby and I go out to eat way too much! There is just 2 of us now and we like such different things that going out to eat means we both get what we want. We eat at this place called Coach House so much that as soon as we enter, they are getting our iced teas ready to bring to the table. For breakfast, they ask if we want our usual. At dinner, they recite what we are ordering with us. (I get the Pecan Sesame Chicken with coleslaw and beets. Hubby gets the Chicken Souvlaki with no rice, but extra salad.). We are such creatures of habit. Lately we have been really saving money by going to McDonalds and eating for under $6. I get a hamburger happy meal for $2.39 and hubby gets a chicken sandwich ($1), side salad ($1), and a small drink ($1). Boy, I'm such a cheap date!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Child - right now

Blog Prompt: Consider what you love about your child RIGHT NOW. What are his/her unique blessings and talents TODAY? How has being in this particular child's life changed YOUR life?

Today my youngest daughter (30 years old) stopped by my school to visit me. I haven't seen her for a couple of months even though we've talked on the phone. I was so impressed on how mature she seemed. You see, for years we have dealt with her bipolar issues and I've worried tremendously about her. Sometimes we talk every day and other times it may be weeks before we talk again. I was so relieved to see how well she was doing as well as feeling proud of her. Many of you might not think that is a big thing, but we have learned to take one day at a time. That is how this child has changed my life. I am a big planner. I plan my day, my week, my vacations, my future summers, my life, and sometimes try to do that with other people in my life too. Years ago, I luckily found a group called the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill which gave me so much support and understanding. If it hadn't been for them, I don't know where my family would be today. People who had gone through what I have took the time to tell me that I needed to stop trying to get my daughter to live my life as I wanted her to do. I needed to let her live her life on her own terms and be happy for the successes she made. I needed to learn to take one day at a time. I still struggle with this but I understand the importance of it too. God meant for her to be in my life.

Monday, September 04, 2006

100 Words

Blog Prompt: Write 100 words. No more, no less. Any subject,

I had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. On Saturday after we went out for breakfast, I worked on a couple of layouts for upcoming challenges. That afternoon we went to a funeral for a friend’s mother. After the funeral we went to a Furman football game. We changed in the car instead of going home. We won the football game but it was close. On Sunday we went to the flea market and then the Apple Festival in Hendersonville. Today we went to the movies to see The World Trade Center which was very moving. I really enjoyed the movie.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Blog Prompt: Tell how you feel about water - playing in it, seeing it, using it. Talk about various bodies of water you have seen and an experience or feeling.

I like to drink water but it has to be ice cold. Of course this is a problem when I'm hiking so I have to freeze my water bottles. Of course after hiking miles, when I am dying of thirst, I will drink the water even if it is room temperature but I don't like it at all. In fact, my hubby has to tell me to drink water once it gets warm and I take small sips. Yuck!

I like to swim in my friend's swimming pool but the chlorine affects my skin because I have eczema. It sometimes makes me itchy. Our hot tub is great in the winter when I'm always cold and hubby keeps our house so cold but again, I have the issue with the chlorine. I'm not a big fan of the hot tub in the summer when I'm hot. (Going through the "change" means I'm either very hot or very cold but there is no middle ground!)

I like to look at the ocean but never get past my knees. I used to love the ocean and grew up on Long Island where we constantly went to the beach. I even took a marine biology course in high school. But ever since I was almost eaten by sharks, I've given the ocean a wide berth! My hubby and I were newly married and in love. Of course we had no money but we bought one of those floating air mattresses. We were hanging over it and deep in conversation when the current swept us far away from the beach. People on the beach looked very tiny. Hubby started humming "Jaws" and then noticed no one else was in the water. He jumps off the float and says something to me as he swims away. I didn't hear him so I yelled what? He screams again: SHARK! I'm still hanging on this float and notice fins circling me so close I can touch them. I don't remember anything else except that I'm on the beach (with the float under my arm of course!) watching hubby swim to the shore looking behind him for me. I'm yelling that I'm up on the beach. The lifeguards run up to us and practically cuss us out! They had been whistling and yelling at us for 10 min. thinking we would be eaten. They say that I practically walked on water and outswam my hubby with one arm (because I had the float in the other) but I don't remember that. Well, no more ocean for us!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What I Learned This Summer

Blog Prompt: What did you get out of summer this year? Did you learn anything? Do anything new?

I spent a lot of quality time with my friends. The people I hike with are all ages and I'm one of the youngest. The oldest is near 90. All of these people value life so much and I enjoy listening to their wisdom and experiences. I feel like they have a handle on what is meaningful because they have learned the hard way. One of my friends, who is in her 80s, just lost her husband and I am seeing all that she is having to go through. A couple of others have cancer but still meeting life head on. I'm seeing that I'm moving closer to accepting retirement because there is so much to do and not enough time to do all that I want to do. I want to take life by the horns like they are and experience life, not just watch it from the sidelines!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Gravestone

Blog Prompt: For what would you like to be remembered after you have gone? If you died tomorrow, what could they put on your gravestone?

I think I would like someone to put: She made a difference! I think that is my major goal in life is to touch lives and make a difference. I hope over the years I have made a difference in the lives of my students, their families, and anybody else that I may have had a chance to influence.

Giving and Getting Loved

Blog Prompt: What do you do to let others know you love them?What do others do that make you feel loved?

I try to help them in any way possible, even if it means I have to make sacrifices. When I start to whine (to myself that is), I usually try to ask myself what would I want if the roles were reversed.

I feel loved when people want to be around me and make me feel that I'm valuable to them and their lives. I love to feel needed I guess.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ron Clark

Blog Prompt: Has there been anyone that you've encountered in your life (however briefly), that you wish you had gotten to know better?

At one of Council for Exceptional Children conferences, I was able to hear Ron Clark speak. He was Disney's American Teacher of the Year in 2000 and was even honored by President Clinton at the White House on 3 separate occasions. He wrote a book called The Essential 55 (a NY Times best seller) which is a wonderful book for teachers to read. I use a lot of his ideas in my class and was truly motivated by him. His energy and love for teaching really came out during his speech. He was constantly moving around the stage and was full of life. What a great role model to have as a teacher. I would have liked to have a small group gathering to talk to him some more about his ideas. He was very inspiring!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Control Freak

I am one and I know it! I can't believe my score was so low!

You Are 76% Control Freak
You are a pretty major control freak, though you may not know it.While your confidence is inspiring, your bossy ways tend to scare people off.


Through some research, I looked up zarf in the Urban Dictionary and this is what was given:

Zarf: those little cardboard thingies they put around your cup of coffee at starbucks. They call it a cup-sleeve, but it actually is called a zarf.

I guess the zarf has evolved over the ages to this. What is the world coming to?!

sentence: The zarf keeps me from burning my hand on my coffee cup.

Random Acts of Kindness

Blog Prompt: If you were able to, what 3 random acts of kindness would you do where no one would know that you did it?

1) I would like to go to an elderly person's home where the person is having some physical challenges and weed their flower beds and maybe plant some flowers.
2) I would like to know about a struggling college student who is strapped financially and pay some money towards their tuition. (I was once a struggling college student!)
3) I would like to go to the hospital where people are in comas and read aloud to them each day.

I came up with this question because I really want my students to think of this also. I want them to start learning to be good citizens and think of other people, not just to get recognition but because it is the right thing to do. If I can get them to think of these things, maybe someone will actually do something which is like a ripple in a pond and maybe make a difference in our world.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Where I Live

Blog Prompt: What do you like best and least about where you live?

I love my little town because it is little! It is a small community and everyone knows just about everyone. I feel very safe and comfortable here. If I ever need anything, I know the people in the community would be there for me.

The problem with living in a small town is that everyone knows everyone and everything about you. There are no secrets from anyone and everyone knows your business. Sometimes you find out information about yourself that even you didn't know!

But I wouldn't trade living here for anything else in the world!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Education

Blog Prompt: What did you study in school, or what was a favorite subject? Did you receive your education somewhere other than school?

I have always loved school and couldn't get enough of it. As soon as I was able to, I even took summer enrichment courses while others took remedial classes. I just loved to learn and still do. I still love to take courses but I don't have enough time. I hope once I retire, I can take all those courses I never had time to take.

A lot of my education though occurred through experience. All of that book learning is very different from real life. Through teaching, I think my students have taught me about real life as much as I have taught them about book learning. When I graduated from college, I had these fantasies about changing the world. I had a black and white view of how things should be. Now after teaching for 25 years, I have to laugh about how naive I was back then. The world is not in black and white. There are many times it is in many colors. Many times there is no right or wrong answer. I have learned that having an open mind and being flexible is much more important than being right. If I only knew then what I know now...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Trading Places

Blog Prompt: If you could trade places with someone, who would it be and why?

If I could trade places with someone, I would want to trade with my husband but only for one day and it needs to be on a Monday. I would love for him to see how hard I work all day. He is always telling me that I should quit teaching and get a "real" job. I get up at 4:45AM, walk on the treadmill, get ready for work, fix our breakfast and wash dishes before I leave for work. I am head of the department so I have hardly any time all day to take a breath! They still have not hired me an assistant even though I see 60 self contained special ed students each day (but they are working on it they say!). After school, I rush home to start dinner (if I don't have to stop at the grocery store on the way home). After dinner, I wash the dishes and take the garbage cans down to the street. He hates to do this! Then we walk 4 miles at a local park. On Mondays, I also try to fold the 3 loads of wash that I've usually let stack up since I hate folding clothes. He would live out of the laundry basket and be happy. By 9pm, I'm pooped!

My hubby on the other hand, gets up about 6:30, gets in the hot tub, visits with a friend before he gets to work at 8:30 (he is a judge). He has 8 people who work for him so he just has to sign papers and talk to lots of people. He gets to leave for lunch. He can come and go as he pleases since he is the boss. He comes home, eats dinner, goes walking with me, and then plops in front of the big screen TV and complains about how hard he has worked all day!

Yup, I want to trade places with him for just one day!