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!

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!