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, 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!