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!

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!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fantasy Camp

Blog Prompt: From racecar driving to rock stars, Dodgers camp to tossing a football with Joe Montana or playing in the Super Bowl, fantasy camps for adults make dreams come true. If you could design your own fantasy camp, what would it be like?

I would love to attend a weeklong hiking camp that is close to my home! Of course to complete the fantasy, it would have to be free or hubby wouldn't go! (He's a very frugal man!). There would be classes that specialized in all of my favorite topics. Hikes offered would be a wildflower hike, edible plants hike, tracking animals hike, identifying trees hike, scenic view hikes, waterfall hikes. Hikes would not be longer than 7 miles. There would be classes on the above topics and others on hiking techniques, hiking gear, swapping hiking stories, hiking photography, hiking scrapbooks, orienteering, using a gps, and survival techniques. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has a conference like this every 2 years but it costs money, too far away, and many hikes are pretty hard. Most people like hard hikes and I'm more interested in the topics.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Husbands are Wonderful!

Thought I would update on my weekend.

Due to a stressful week, my hubby decided to do something special for me today. This week was my first week back at work (school) and they still have not hired me an assistant yet. This means I'm doing 2 people's jobs until then. I also had the Teacher of the Year breakfast on Tuesday morning which was pretty nerve wrecking. I did not win the District Teacher of the Year but I'm quite proud that I was a Top 10 finalist out of about 5000 teachers in the district. I'm also kind of relieved too because it means that I will probably retire at the end of this year (instead of a continuing 2 year commitment if I won) AND I did not have to give any speech! I was on the news as a finalist though and in the paper the next day so of course a lot of people called and stopped me to say they wished I won (and this was stressful for me). Thursday and Friday was the first day with students and I had an irate parent at 3pm on Friday. I really needed this weekend.

Today my hubby surprised me with 2 tickets to the Flat Rock Playhouse in NC to see Thoroughly Modern Millie. I saw the movie when I was in high school! It is a wonderful musical and my hubby hates musicals but he suffered through it for me! We had to drive 90 minutes there and came back in a terrible thunderstorm but it was so worthwhile! I'm still singing the songs! I hope everyone had as great weekend as I did.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Favorite Outfit Way Back When

My favorite outfit in high school was this outfit my mother made for me. Keep in mind it was in the 70s. This outfit was a bright pink leisure suit and she painted flowers on it for me. Now that I look back, I don't know that I ever appreciated all that my mother did for me. This must have taken a lot of her time and effort but I'm not sure I ever thanked her for it. But I sure loved that suit! I wore it with these big platform shoes and boy, did I think I looked great!

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Want and I Need

Blog Prompt: Start 5 sentences with "I want..."Start 5 sentences with "I need..."
  1. I want a handful of chocolate kisses.
  2. I want a new computer, preferable the Toshiba Protege M400 which is a tablet notebook for around $2200.
  3. I want to lose 5 more lbs.
  4. I want to have nice weather tomorrow so I can go hiking.
  5. I want to have a good school year.

  1. I need a vacation (oh wait, I just got off of vacation!).
  2. I need to organize and pay my bills.
  3. I need to fold clothes.
  4. I need to work on paperwork for school on Monday.
  5. I need to finish a scrapbook page for a challenge deadline that is tomorrow.

Before Going to Bed

Blog Prompt: What are the last 10 things you did last night before bed?
10. Watched Grey's Anatomy
9. Ate some chocolate kisses.
8. Attended the Gimme Me More with Lauren Chat
7. Checked my email (home and work)
6. Got ready for bed
5. Walked 4 miles with hubby
4. Went out to dinner with friends to celebrate their son's first day of kindegarten
3. Watered my plants
2. Drove home from work
1. Finished my lesson plans for the following day

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Grocery List

Blog Prompt: What's on your grocery list right now? Anything unusual?

  1. Ginger root because I use a lot of it. The cashier never knows what it is or how to ring it up so by now I usually tell them how to do it.
  2. Garlic because I use a lot of that too.
  3. Ground Beef or Pork which I stir fry with vegetables.
  4. Apples because now that I'm back to work (school), I'm hungry all of the time!
  5. Grapes because my hubby loves them!
  6. Blueberries because they are in season and my hubby loves them too!
  7. Milk because hubby has to have a glass every morning.
  8. Half and half for hubby to make his White Russian.
  9. Chunky peanut butter for my snack during my planning period. I eat it right out of the jar with a spoon or I spread it on my apple.
  10. Vegetables: I have to see what looks fresh for my stir fry. Sometimes it is squash, or spinach, or tofu and peas, or peppers and tomatoes, or cabbage and bacon. This is served over rice.

Now I'm STARVING! Gotta run to the grocery store!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

10 Attainable Goals

I decided to write about 10 for me because I wouldn't even try to get hubby to do anything. Sometimes you can't teach an old dog new tricks! (especially if they don't want to!).

1. I will get better at digiscrapping by not being afraid to learn new techniques.
2. I will organize my bills and paperwork in the file box on a monthly basis instead of waiting 6 months later and the pile keeps falling over on to the floor.
3. I will learn to delegate more tasks to colleagues so I'm not so stressed out. Each time I do that I'm amazed that they are really glad that I've trusted them to do stuff.
4. I will exercise on a regular basis in order to relieve stress.
5. I will weed my flower beds regularly so that in the spring I'm not looking for the area that used to be my flowerbed.
6. I will keep in touch with "old" friends monthly instead of waiting for a year to pass by which makes it harder to call them because I feel so guilty.
7. I will be a better friend to all of my friends by really listening to them instead of thinking about what I'm going to say (I'm really bad about this!).
8. I will not let little things bug me and look at the big picture of what I want to accomplish instead.
9. I will look for one thing good about all of my students, even the ones that drive me crazy!
10. I will tell people I really care about that I really care about them and appreciate them in my life. (This is hard for me because I'm really not a touchy-feely person).

10 things I love

Blog Prompt: Start 10 sentences with the words "I love..."
  1. I love my husband!
  2. I love my family.
  3. I love to hike.
  4. I love learning how to digiscrap.
  5. I love teaching.
  6. I love to read.
  7. I love my laptop.
  8. I love the town where I love.
  9. I love to travel.
  10. I love gardening.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another Pet Peeve

Today I realized another pet peeve I have and thought about sharing it with you. First let me warn you that this may be all my fault because I've been in a "mood" all weekend. Yesterday it poured down rain and it made me depressed. This is my last weekend before school starts again and it is raining! So, this morning, since it cleared up, hubby agreed to go hiking with me. First we stopped at the flea market and then we did an 8 mile hike along a river, which was absolutely wonderful. But that is not my pet peeve. Here it is...

I like dogs. I've owned dogs. I'm not a dog hater. But I hate when owners do not control their dogs on hiking trails! Years ago, I was attacked by my neighbor's dog for no reason at all. He was part wolf and they say it was just natural instinct. Ever since then I've had an irrational fear around dogs that I do not know. I know it is irrational but I can't help it.

Today we came across some people with dogs, who kindly put their dogs on leashes when they approached us. They even walked between us and the dogs, which was greatly appreciated. I don't mind people bringing their dogs on hikes as long as they control them.

Further down the trail, these 2 dogs came bounding down the trail towards us with no owner in sight. It scared me to death and hubby stands in front of me to protect me (isn't he wonderful!). The owner shows up and insists that we had nothing to be afraid of because they are friendly (and I'm supposed to know that by how?).

A little further down the trail is more people. We hear them calling their dogs who were behind them. Through the woods bounds a HUGE German Shepherd, which almost mowed me down! I made an exasperated sound which irritated the owner who accused me of being the cause of this. He said that dogs are attracted to fear and it is my fault for showing fear. Since I am not a very confrontational person, I just walked on in disgust.

Maybe I'm too sensitive to this and I hope I haven't offended any of you dog owners but it affected me tremendously. I don't think some dog owners realize this. Thank you for listening to me!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

3 Items

Blog Prompt: You are going to live on this absolutely amazing island with stunning surroundings, a white beach, magnificent trees, waterfalls, no poisonous insect on it (hahaha, so no spiders or ugly thingies)'s a real paradise this island. Rich in food and water as well, so no worries on that front either.You are allowed to bring only three items from your home (something you already have).Now: what would they be and what would you do with them and what do you imagine you might create????

1. My husband because as long as I was with him, I would be happy anywhere.
2. I would bring my bible because I have to read. I love to read and if I didn't have anything to read I would go crazy. Since the bible has mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance, I would always have something to read that would interest me.
3. I would bring my swiss army knife that I take hiking with me. I could cut things to write with, to make tools with, or anything else I might need.
If I had these 3 things and all the food and water I needed, I would be happy!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My Favorite Thing

My favorite thing is my laptop. I use it for email, surfing the web for information, chatting, lesson plans, writing letters, budgeting, banking, and of course scrapbooking. It is my closest friend after my hubby. Of course it doesn't mind listening to me whine or rage. I take it with me on long trips just in case I can find someplace with free wireless internet. I can't remember life without a laptop! I tried to insert a picture of a layout that I did but blogger is not cooperating so here is the link to My Obsession.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Blog Prompt: Use the word "healing" however you want/need. What do you do to find it? Who helps you with it? Are there activities that you do to work towards healing or to heal yourself emotionally?

This was a perfect prompt for me today. Today I went with the Turtles (my hiking group) to Saluda, NC for a tubing trip down the Green River. Our 2 hour trip took about 3 hours and it was absolutely wonderful. As I drifted down the river, the sun was beaming on me and I felt so much at peace. This week has been a stressful one because I'm thinking about going back to school next week and the possibility of winning the District Teacher of the Year award. I'm feeling a lot of anxiety about maybe having to give a speech and also not being totally prepared for the first day of students. As I floated down the river, I felt God healing me from this worry and anxiety. I kept hearing a voice in my head repeating that if God is for me, who could be against me?! Getting out in nature seems to always put my problems in perspective for me. I look around me at the miracles of nature and my problems seem so small and insignificant. When I return home, I'm able to work through my problems and usually I worried for no reason. I try to always make time to get outside at least once a week.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Serious Accident

Blog Prompt: Describe the most serious illness or accident that you have had. Not accident prone? Someone else's illness/accident that significantly affected your life.

The worst accident I have ever been in was about 6 years ago. We had just got back from a camping trip and our car was still fully packed. Instead of unpacking, we decided to run to the grocery store first. Only a few blocks from my house, we had a terrible car accident. An elderly lady had a heart attack and was unconscious so her foot hit hard on the gas pedal. She shot out from a side street and we t-boned her on her passenger side. We had a Chevy Tahoe SUV which saved our lives but it wrapped her Buick around the front end of our car. She hit the bump in the middle of the road so hard, people said sparks flew out from her car and it busted her gas tank. We spun around and knocked over the stop sign. Luckily for some reason there was a lot of sand so the gas drained down into the sand instead of blowing us all up. Our airbags went off but it seemed like our car was on fire because of the dust. My hubby couldn't get out of his side so he practically threw me out of my side and crawled over the console and out my door. I never saw a fat man move so fast! Then he realized his back was hurt and laid down in the road. The fire trucks and ambulances came but I was walking around checking on the lady and calling close friends to come help us. They finally talked me into laying on the back board but hubby is so claustrophobic that he was fighting them. I told them to leave me trussed up like a turkey and go tend to my hubby.

Finally they got us in the ambulance where we could hold hands. When I asked if they were taking us to the hospital close to us (about 5 miles away), they said no that our injuries were too traumatic for us to go there and we were going to a different hospital that could handle this. Well, I knew I was okay so I thought my hubby was dying. He knew he was okay and thought I was dying! What a mess. After being xrayed and poked and prodded, a few hours later we were released. Hubby reinjured his back and would have to go to physical therapy and my knee was injured so I would have to go for physical therapy too. Unfortunately the lady never regained consciousness and died two months later. My hubby had nightmares for months after that even though the police and every one else said that there was no way he could have avoided the accident. He felt so bad but eventually time helped him get over that. Now, he flinches every time a car comes up from a side street.

Because of this, my hubby and I appreciate each other even more. It also made us realize that any day could be our last and we need to enjoy life and do the best we can to make a positive difference in the world today.

Monday, August 07, 2006

First meeting with the in-laws

Blog Prompt: How did you first meet your in-laws? Impressions?

Hubby and I had been on about 4 or 5 dates when I finally met his parents. We had gone to the airshow at the local municipal airport where they had face painting artists. I had my whole face painted like a clown and I looked really cute (or so I thought at the time!). After the show we headed back towards my apartment when I was told that we would make one stop first. We stop at this house and go inside where hubby introduces me to his parents. There I stood, all sweaty, dirty, and looking like a clown. I was SO embarrassed! I don't remember what was said or what I did but I don't think I talked to him all the way to my apartment or for at least a week after that! He couldn't see that he did anything wrong and to this day, still denies that he did anything wrong! Luckily his parents loved me. For the 4 years we dated, they promised me all sorts of things if I would marry their son. Even during the first year we were married, if we had an argument, I would run to his parents and they always sided with me. Hubby complained about it and told me that I needed to run to my own parents but I didn't. I was so lucky to have wonderful in-laws! Both of them are no longer living but I still miss them.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Favorite Clothing

Blog Prompt: Do you have a favorite item of clothing? Why do you like it?How about the rest of your family? If we showed up on your doorstep, what would everyone likely be wearing?

My favorite piece of clothing is this denim shirt that I wear as a sweater. I bought it in 1996 at the Appalachian Trail Conference at Radford Univ. in Virginia. I even have that embroidered on the pocket and it has a beautiful flower on it too. It has been washed enough to wear it is nice and soft and hangs just right. Unfortunately the pocket is frayed along with the cuffs on the sleeves and the collar is worn so it is barely hanging on in the back. Hubby is kind of embarrassed when I wear it so now I can only wear it around the house or if we are camping. He just bought me a new one that has the Blue Ridge Parkway embroidered on it but it is too new, too stiff, and just doesn't hang right...yet.

Now hubby likes to sit around at home either in his underwear or with nothing on. But for work he wears a white shirt and suit and tie. He has several suits all the same style and color so it looks like he wears the same suit every day. We just hope they never stop making that suit until after he retires. If we go out after work he loves his khaki nonwrinkle shorts and a black golf shirt. He has dozens of black collared shirts and several khaki nonwrinkle shorts. They almost look like a uniform for the Dollar Store (in fact we went in there one day and a lady asked him for help!).

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Travel through my life

Blog Prompt: If you could tell the story of your life by taking someone to a half dozen places, where would you go?

I love to travel, so come with me as I tell you the story of my life. I grew up and went to high school on Long Island, NY. I went to college, got married, raised my children, and taught in Greenville, South Carolina. During my marriage, I have traveled around the US, London, Paris, China, and Italy and we also love to cruise the Caribbean. Thanks for traveling with me.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Self Indulgence

Blog Prompt: In what way do you indulge yourself?In what way do you wish you could indulge yourself?

The biggest way that I indulge myself is by having a cleaning service come in every other week to clean my house. This allows me to have time to play on the computer and go hiking when I want. I used to feel guilty about a dirty house when I was doing things that I wanted to do until an elderly hiking friend told me that I could clean my house when I get too old to do anything else (she died of cancer in her 80s). She told me life was too short to sweat the small stuff and if I could afford it, get a cleaning service and stop feeling guilty. My mother and sister were horrified that I was too "lazy" to clean my own house but I have had the same service for the past 10 years and I'm not sorry one bit! I really look forward to them coming because my house feels so good when I come home from work on those days. My hubby doesn't mind because it makes me happy and you know the old saying, "If mama's happy, everybody's happy!"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Childhood Games

Blog Prompt: Describe a childhood game you used to play. Who did you play with? Any special (ie. made-up) rules?

I don't remember playing games with any specific person. I was the youngest of three girls and both of my sisters were much older than me (10 and 12 years older) so I was old before my time. I remember spending a lot of time playing chaperone while my middle sister was dating so I didn't play a lot with kids my own age. What I remember best is playing make believe with my dolls or just by myself. I pretended I was a teacher and had a full classroom of students. I loved teaching them to read and giving grades. Since I read a lot I would pretend I was the main character of my books and act out a lot of scenes in my backyard. I used to write plays and act scenes out in my head. It's sad that kids today do not know how to pretend or use their minds. They seem to need electronic games or music or something to entertain them. I hope that young parents read this and encourage their children to pretend more with less props. It's good for the soul.