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, May 31, 2006

Neatest Thing in Nature

The first thing that comes to mind is when we were hiking in the Smokies. My husband noticed a snake coming out of a tree stump with a mouse in his mouth. We watched him eat dinner (it had to be a "him" because his table manners were disgusting!) I have seen snakes eat in captivity but never out in the wild. This fascinated me but totally grossed out my hubby who is terrified of snakes ever since he was bit by a copperhead.

The other thing is more like a complete crash of nature with humanity. We were camping one night in the Smokies and the weather was beautiful. I went to bed around 10pm but my hubby wanted to enjoy the campfire a little longer. My hubby was sitting in those canvas lawn chairs that have cup holders in the arms so he put his beer can in the holder and ended up falling asleep. I am awakened by this awful screaming by my hubby AND something else. I fumbled with the zipper on the tent expecting to find my husband eaten by some grizzley bear or mountain lion (neither of which are found in the Smokies). I scramble out of the tent and see a black bear running in one direction and my hubby running in the other. After calming hubby down, I finally get the scoop. Since my hubby was asleep and not moving, the bear didn't realize there was a person in the chair and sneaked up to get the beer can. About the time he did, my hubby snored which scared the bear and caused the bear to scream. The snore and the bear scream woke my hubby up who then proceeded to scream along with the bear. I laughed so hard I was rolling in the dirt. Obviously we didn't get any sleep that night because hubby was scared to death and I was laughing every 5 min. when I thought about the whole scene. I still can't help laughing when I think of this!

By the way, both events happened at the same campground but in different years. Too bad I couldn't get any pictures of this because they would be priceless! Oh, by the way, we don't visit that campground very much anymore.

My Computer Space Photo

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My Computer Space

Just to set the stage, there is just my husband and me in our house, which is about 75 years old in a tiny town in South Carolina. We have no children or pets living at home with us so we should have plenty of space, but we don't. I spend most of my computer time in my "playroom" or my bedroom.

In the evenings, I'm usually in my bedroom, which has no windows because it is smack in the middle of this old house. My bed is a king size bed that raises up and down (head or feet) because my husband has a bad back and this was supposed to help but it doesn't. We also have a new big screen HDTV in our bedroom so even though I'm on my laptop and he is watching TV, we are spending quality time together.

If it is in the morning or the afternoons, I'm in the "playroom". This room began as a storage building for our junk, then became a sun room on the back of my house for my plants, and then became a "playroom" with an added wooden deck along the whole width of the house. My house was an L shape in the back so we decided to square it all in. Along the 2 walls we put windows so my plants could get plenty of sun and I could see my flowerbeds in my backyard. Then we decided to put in a tile floor because we liked tile floors. Of course my hubby had to have a hot tub, which he has always wanted and I didn't want it outside because I didn't want to go outside to use it. So, the contractor actually had to take out the wall to get the hot tub in (It's 8 ft x 8 ft and the window was only 6 ft wide.). Once we got the hot tub, I had to have a bathroom with shower added so we didn't get any carpet wet. Then I decided on patio furniture so we could sit at the table even if we are wet. Of course after that, my hubby just had to have a pool table (which we never play on more than once a year.) So, we have this huge room full of windows and pull down shades, but still have no storage space! I sit at the glass patio table in front of the windows which overlook my huge backyard and work on my computer. I especially love to sit there and watch the birds visit my water garden on the back deck. Because I find it so relaxing, I love to sit here in the early mornings and check my email, visit DSP and read the new posts, and do some scrapbooking. It's probably my favorite room in the whole house.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Out of the Ordinary

I didn't really do anything major out of the ordinary other than slept in until 5:30am instead of getting out of bed at 4:45am. I went out and did some gardening before it got too hot. I don't usually get to do this until summer vacation begins so I am excited to do some gardening now. Usually we go away every weekend so I really can't do any gardening except for the evenings during the school year and then during the week when summer vacation begins. This year, due to gas prices, we have tried to stay closer to home so I've been doing a lot more gardening on the weekends. I was pretty excited this morning when I was taking inventory of what I've already accomplished. I will get to spend more time this summer enjoying my gardens instead of dreading all the weeding. I don't know if I just started earlier this year or prepared my beds better to keep out weeds but this year seems much easier than the past. I've really spent a lot of time and money with spreading pine needles this past year which seems to have helped with the weeds. I have also planted more plants which seems to leave less space for the weeds (at least that is what I tell my hubby when I come home with more plants!). I also went out and bought more potting soil for some of my pots that needed more soil. Of course, now I have so much extra soil that I will need to buy more pots and of course more plants! Hmmm, this could be an ongoing cycle! What a wonderful relaxing day this has turned out to be!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

My weekend turned out very different than what I had planned; not bad, just different. We left for VA around 4pm and arrived at the campground by 9:30pm. We got the last campsite and we could only get it for one night. Right after we got our tent set up, it started to pour down rain with high winds and thunder. But at least we were warm and dry in our tent so I just listened to my Ipod and went to sleep. The next morning we found out that 4 people on horseback were struck by lightning. The hiking trail we had planned to take had a gate closed and a padlock on it so we couldn't go on it. After that we drove to a couple of campgrounds to find a site but had no luck so we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped along the way. Unfortunately parts of the parkway were closed so we had to get off of it and ended up driving all the way home. We had a nice drive at least and the weather was beautiful.

This morning I got up early and spread 10 bales of pine straw down in my flower beds before it got hot. Then I woke my hubby for breakfast. After breakfast we decided to go see The DaVinci Code but I was disappointed because it wasn't as good as the book. The rest of the day we were just lazy and watched TV because it was so hot outside.

Who knows what we will do tomorrow. But it doesn't matter as long as my hubby and I are together. Maybe I will have time to do some scrapbooking!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Is creating "beautiful art" more important than the process of creating?

I don't know because I am definitely not an artsy person. Scrapbooking is the most creative thing I have ever done in my life and I'm just learning the process. I think the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is so true! I guess that is why getting comments on my layouts are so important to me. Some of the things that people point out that they like help me see what I need to focus on. I think in the process of creating that you end up creating beautiful art so they both go hand in hand. One cannot be more important than the other.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! We are going to Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, VA to do some hiking finally! It has rained every weekend we have tried to go camping and hiking! We are going no matter what, rain or shine! (I've already packed the car before school and I'm leaving early!) I hope the sun shines on everyone this weekend!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

My First Thoughts Each Morning

Every morning my alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button. It won't buzz again for 4 minutes so I lay back down in bed but don't go to sleep. During that 4 minutes, I have gotten in the habit of asking God to be with me during this day. I think about all the things I need to do and ask him to guide me through the day. I always thank him for all my blessings and try to name some before the alarm buzzes again. It usually puts me in a great frame of mind for the rest of the day. I usually feel energized and excited about the day. This may sound strange, but I also feel protected too. I feel like things may go wrong during the day but I know I'm not alone and things will work out. No matter what I know I'm loved. It is such a wonderful way to start the day!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Saying Goodbyes

Saying goodbyes is really hard for me. In fact, I think it is hard for my whole family because whether it is on the phone or in person, it takes 15 min. after the first "goodbye" to really get gone. My family was not a very touchy feely group so I didn't grow up with a lot of hugs until I got married. My in laws were BIG huggers and my mother in law scared me to death for months when we were dating because she had to give me a big hug every time she saw me and when we said good bye. In fact, I would make my husband (then boyfriend) go in to her house first to get the first big hug. Now I'm in a hiking group where everyone hugs hello and goodbye. So, I've learned to be a hugger. Whenever I leave my parents' home after a visit, we hug but I'm always afraid it will be the last time I see them. I keep that fear in my heart and smile bravely and just say See ya soon! Mainly with my friends though, it's more of a see ya later (whenever that may be).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My First Pet

I didn't really have a first pet, because the family dog was there before I was. My parents called her Duchess and was a AKC registered German Shepherd. She had puppies and we kept one, which was named Princess. When Princess had puppies, we kept a solid white one and named her Empress. Empress was really my dog because we grew up together. I remember one day eating an ice cream outside when I was little, and Empress stole my ice cream right out of the cone! Since I was so lonely and did not have many kids my age to play with, Empress became my playmate. We used to play tag and catch and hide-n-seek together. Sometimes I would even dress her up in real clothes and she just went along with it. When I became a teenager, she could sense my confused moods and most nights would crawl in my twin size bed to lay beside me for comfort. In fact, many times we were inseparable. When my parents would call me to do something, they'd go through the litany of names before getting to mine. The dogs names were even called before they got to mine! It was hard to leave Empress behind when I went away to college. I think it was my first year of college when we had to put her to sleep because she had uterine cancer. We had wonderful times together and great memories.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Childhood Scents

To begin with, I'm highly allergic to most fragrances so I usually can't smell anything but 2 distinct scents come to mind. They bring intense memories to this day. First, there was this strange hospital smell when my older sister died when I was in 9th grade. We were extremely close even though she was 12 years older than me. This may sound morbid, but I smelled it in our house, minutes before we got the call that she passed away. I have smelled that when I graduated high school, started college, graduated college, got married, walked at graduation for my Master's Degree, and whenever something important has happened in my life. It is comforting because I feel that my sister is with me and letting me know that she is proud of me.

The second smell is this distinct cigarette smell that enveloped my mother's body whenever I would hug or kiss her. She was a very heavy smoker all of her life so the smell oozed from her pores and was even in her clothes. When she passed away, I couldn't even give her clothes away because of the smell. Yet, I have always associated that smell as belonging to my mother. A few years ago, we were lost on some backroads and it was dark. We almost got into a bad wreck and it scared us! All of a sudden, the smell filled the car. In fact, even my hubby smelled it and recognized it. I could feel my mother's presence as if she was physically there and was afraid to look in the back seat. Yet, I was filled with sense of safety and protection. I felt that she was telling me that she would always be watching over me and taking care of me.

Maybe that is why I'm allergic to all other scents, so that I could recognize these scents and be glad!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Favorite Vacation

My favorite vacation was our trip to Italy last summer. We planned to join our friends on the inaugural cruise of the Carnival Liberty last July but we went 4 days earlier to get used to the time difference. We stayed in Rome before the cruise began. Then we went for the naming ceremony of the ship before the voyage. The itinerary was a 12 day cruise out of Rome to Naples, Croatia, Venice, Sicily, Barcelona, Cannes, Livorno (side trip to Florence and Pisa), and back to Rome. It was a fantastic trip that I had never dreamed of taking until this opportunity came up. My hubby and I don't usually agree on a lot of things (makes our 24 yr. old marriage very interesting) but we do agree that this was our favorite vacation. We would like to go back to Rome again soon because we enjoyed it so much. The food was wonderful and the atmosphere was sooooo romantic. It was magical to see all the historical places that I had grown up studying about. One day we at lunch at an outside cafe looking at the Coliseum. To stand in places that Julius Caesar once stood gives me goose bumps! At night the outdoor artists with live musicians along the streets was truly magical. Here is a layout I did for one of the challenges about My Favorite Vacation.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Childhood Play

I actually have 2 things I remember playing with that were my favorites. As for background information, I was a pretty lonely child and didn't have many kids to play with. My sisters were a lot older than me and when I got home from school we would eat dinner with my dad and then I had to practice my accordion. When I could go play, other kids were eating dinner and then it got dark. So I had to use my imagination and play by myself most of the time. My favorite toys consisted of an outdoor delight and an indoor delight.

First was a huge refrigerator box. I would imagine it was a castle and I was a princess. Somedays it would be a fairy tale cottage and I would get away from the big bad witch or wolf (depending on the day). It would be a hideway from the Indians and I was a cowgirl or the cabin of a pirate ship and I was a pirate. I just loved that box and it lasted forever (back then, time and size was pretty relative) or until my parents got tired of looking at it in the background and threw it away.

My inside treasure was my suitcase full of Legos (Boy, how they have changed in 40 years!). I would make phones and pretend I was talking to important people. Or I would pretend I was a secret agent and make all these neat gadgets. It would keep me entertained for hours. I miss things like that.

In today's world, kids don't seem to know how to use their imagination anymore. I have students write paragraphs where they have to use their imaginations and it about kills them! We have allowed them to watch so much TV and play videogames that they do not know how to expand their minds. It is really difficult to get them to dream of the future and what they hope to do with their lives. Sure, some of it may not be realistic, but reality has to begin with dreams. Oops! Sorry to get on my soapbox but I'm so worried about the children today who don't know the simple things in life. Remembering these toys brought such great memories!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

5 Favorite Words

1. panache
2. hoopla
3. giggly
4. velvet
5. gladiolas

I don't know why these are my favorite words right now, but I love how they feel when I say them. They make me smile. Of course tomorrow or the next day, these words can change!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Comfort Foods

Lately my comfort food has been chocolate kisses. This is a stressful time of year for me, which I should be used to after 25 years of teaching. It changes every few years. Here is the list over the years: chocolate graham crackers, soft pretzels, olives (low carb dieting times), sunflower seeds in shells (I thought if I had to crack them, I wouldn't eat so much!), macaroni and cheese (college years). 2 years ago when I had my hysterectomy, I was told I couldn't push, pull, lift or bend, so the only thing I could do! I ate a bag of Hershey kisses every week. No wonder I gained 20 lbs! I am still eating them to this day but not so much. Now I walk 2-3 miles a day and try to limit myself to 4 kisses per night (just to take the edge off the sugar craving)! No walking= no kisses! I wonder what food will be next?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bad habits

Boy! Do I have bad habits! I don't know where to start but I don't have an eternity to write so I will limit this to my top 10 bad habits. Boy, that would be an interesting challenge. Here they are (but not in order of importance):
1. I'm a perfectionist.
2. I am addicted to chocolate kisses lately.
3. I don't change my sheets as often as I should.
4. I play on my computer too much.
5. I'm too critical of other people.
6. I can't say no to people when they ask me to do something.
7. I internalize a lot of my anger instead of verbalizing things.
8. I love to go to social functions so I can look at other people's clothes and go home and laugh about them.
9. I tell people that I'm a terrible cook so often so they won't ever ask me to cook something for an event.
10. When I want to escape, I read a good book instead of doing things I really should do.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day weekend

My whole weekend turned out to be wonderful. One of my students gave me a Mother's Day card and told me how much she appreciated me. On Saturday I spent the day getting more pine needles and buying more flowers. Before it got dark, I planted all 10 of my new plants so I felt like I accomplished a lot. I had a quiet Mother's Day which I really appreciated. My whole family knows how much I value "my" time and let me have it. After church, I spent the rest of the morning in my flower beds. I weeded and spread 8 bales of pine straw. For lunch, my hubby ate sandwiches which made me happy since I didn't have to cook! I played on the computer and did a layout for the scrappy chat challenge. When I got finished, I talked my hubby into taking me out for an ice cream. Then I came back and played on the computer for the rest of the afternoon. For dinner, we each made whatever we wanted and watched TV together. What a wonderful day!

Friday, May 12, 2006


What superpower would I like to have? I would love to fly at high speeds like Superman. Since I love to travel, that would make traveling so much more faster. There aren't enough hours in the day for what I have to do, so if I could go anywhere in the world during the weekend, I would be in heaven! I could go visit my blogging friends after work and still be home by bedtime. If I didn't like the weather, I would be able to fly where ever the weather was beautiful. If I felt like being surrounded by snow, I could fly to where it was snowing. Of course my hubby would have to have the same power so I wouldn't be all alone on my trips.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

If I could take tomorrow off of work, I'd...

I'd go hiking! I love to hike away from the "real" world. When I start hiking, I feel all tense and excited about leaving my worries behind. I enjoy doing hikes where there are scenic moments to take my mind off how tired I start feeling. Once I get past that tired feeling and get my second wind, I really start to enjoy myself. I start paying attention to all the details around me by not just seeing the beautiful things, but smelling the air around me, hearing the noises that surround me, and feeling the breeze on my face. I start realizing that whatever was making me tense or worried, is nothing in this great miracle that God has given us. Again I remind myself, if God can do all this, how could I forget that he is taking care of me too? Suddenly, with my heart light, I don't feel a bit tired. I feel energetic and ready to face whatever life has in store for me. If I could take tomorrow off of work, I'd definitely go hiking!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I love all colors. I love tie-dye shirts because of all the colors that are mixed on at the shirts. I used to wear bright and lively colors until I had to look distinguished as head of the department at my school. Now I wear a lot of black, grays, and blues. (They also make me look slimmer, I was told!) But once I hit my home, off come the "distinguished" and on comes the comfortable crazy colored stuff. I used to have a favorite ski jacket that I wore in high school. It is splashed with purple, pink, and yellow as if someone hit it with paint balls and I still have it after 30 years. I love to wear purple which happens to be my college colors so I wear that a lot at college games. When I want to get attention, I wear bright red (which I did at my national convention, since I'm running for office). Yellows, oranges, or greens makes me smile and feel cheerful. They make me think of the newness of things.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


What is something I am optimistic about? I am optimistic that my life in the future will be interesting and worth living. A day doesn't go by that I don't feel blessed for being alive. My husband always answers people that ask how he is doing with "I'm happy to be alive!" He also mentions that there are some days better than others but not any that he would want to give back. When you live with that kind of optimism, it is hard for some of that not to rub off on you. He has always told me that if you start the day off with a positive attitude, it will be there for you all day long no matter what life throws at you, and he was absolutely right! He is such a great role model and my hero for helping me be optimistic about my future.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Music In My Life

I love to listen to music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I also love to hear country, bluegrass, and folk music. When I'm driving home from work, music relaxes me and helps me unwind. When I am walking on my treadmill, music gives me the energy I need to exercise. I've always had music in my life since I was little. My earliest memory of music is hearing the song "Puff the Magic Dragon" which is still one of my favorite songs. My sisters said when I had to measles, the only thing that would keep me calm was the Beatle's song "I Want to Hold Your Hand". My wonderful hubby bought me an IPOD that holds up to 5000 songs so I can hear whatever song that fits my mood. I love to play my accordion at nursing homes and watch the residents enjoy my music. I don't like performing before audiences but they always make me feel comfortable. The first thing I do when I arrive in my classroom is to turn on the radio. I would rather listen to music than watch TV any day. A day without music would be a day without sunshine for me!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Silly Joke - for all ages

Why did the yellow jacket fly with his legs crossed?
Because he was looking for a BP station!

I like this joke the best because it is the only one I can remember!

Friday, May 05, 2006

My Accomplishments

I've been overwhelmed lately with my accomplishments. In February, South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children named me Member of the Year and so, Tuesday night, my school district recognized me for winning the award. (They recognized all award winners for the year). Plus I was chosen Teacher of the Year for my school and also named one of the Top 10 finalists for District Teacher of the Year. After being interviewed, observed, and videotaped, the judges will choose a winner who will be announced in August. I have also been interviewed by the newspaper (anyone interested can read the article at I am truly honored by all these awards and I'm amazed that people think I'm worthy of them.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Blessings and Complaints

For today, being healthy makes me feel happy. There are so many things that make me happy but if I wasn't healthy enough to enjoy them, they wouldn't mean as much to me. I love to hike so I have to stay healthy. I love to read so I have to take care of my eyesight. I love learning to scrapbook so I have to be healthy so I can work on my computer. It seems like everything I like to do is connected to taking care of myself. I believe that means physically and mentally.

My biggest gripe for today (it could be different tomorrow), is that there isn't enough hours in the day to do all that I want to do. I still have flowers that need to be planted, and gardens to be watered. I need to feed my worms (I have a worm compost bin). I need to fold clothes. I need to finish paperwork for my classroom. I have lessons that I need to plan for. I need to practice my accordion. I want to play on my computer. I want to do scrapbooking. I want to read. I want to ride my bicycle. Now, my husband calls me and says he wants to take me out to dinner so I don't have to cook! He is such a wonderful hubby that I couldn't tell him, "no, I have to much that I need and want to do rather than eat dinner out with you!" so we will go out to dinner.

Well, that's enough whining! I'm going to concentrate on the good things in life!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Where Would I Like to Be Headed?

We are starting to make a wish list of where we want to travel to as soon as we retire. Right now the top of my list is a tie between two places. They are Macchu Picchu in Peru or anywhere in Australia. They are our "Have-to" places. We have these discussions about "what if we found out that we had some dreaded disease and only a short time to live...where would we go?" My wonderful husband usually says he would go whereever I want to go which makes life so easy! We thought we would put both of them up there and check out the cost for both places when the time comes. Whichever has the better price and the best weather, that is where we will go first. If I could, I would be headed to either one of those places right now! (It has been a stressful week for me, so I will just go there in my mind and enjoy myself!)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What I Should Be Doing

Right now I should be doing school paperwork instead of being on the computer. I am a morning person and this year is the first time in years that I have not had 6th and 7th period for planning. This year I have 2nd and 7th period planning, which for some reason means I am exhausted by 7th period. I get to work at 7:15 each morning which is about an hour and a half earlier than anyone else because it is the only way I can get work done. I am head of the department so I have that quiet time to get a lot of my paperwork done. By 7th period when I should be working, my brain feels fried. I am at my least productive during this time. So, to help my stress level, I get on the computer and relax.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sharing a Special Activity with My Mom

At first, when I thought about this topic, I didn't think I shared anything with my mom. But then I remembered that we made Christmas cookies together each year. We pressed the dough through an old cookie press and made different shapes. After that, we would decorate them with sprinkles. Some of these would be given away as gifts and the rest we would just eat during the Christmas season. We did this every year until I went away to college. When my daughters were old enough, I tried to continue the same tradition. We would give the police and firemen cookies for Christmas each year. Now, the girls have their own homes and I'm usually stressed out and getting behind with all my "have-to's" so I don't do this any more. Maybe I will this year.