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!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back on 2007

Blog Prompt: Hard to believe we are at the end of another year already. Did your year go as you planned? How about a highlight of your resolutions and/or special events?

I can't believe how fast this year has gone by. This time last year I was still trying to process in my mind that I would retire at the end of the school year. It wasn't official until I told my principal in February. Then the rest of the school year was filled up with packing, saying good byes, cementing relationships, in addition to my regular teaching duties. This summer I taught my first college class and that was pretty thrilling because it was like a dream come true (the kind of dream you think would never happen in your lifetime!). I was so afraid that once school started I would really miss being back at work and that didn't happen. I LOVE not going to work and being committed to anything I don't want to do. I miss my friends and the students but not the paperwork and the aggravations. I think I will really enjoy being retired for a long time before I get bored. Then my dad had a stroke at the beginning of November and I was able to spend some time getting him situated after the stroke which I am so thankful for. If I had been working I would not have been able to do that. This year we also went on 4 cruises in the Caribbean which was wonderful! Again, I couldn't have done that if I had been working. In fact, I am busier now than when I worked full time. How do retired people do it?! I am very happy with this past year and hope my next year will be even better!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's Resolutions 2008

Here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2008:

1. Every day, tell my husband how much I love him
2. Read my bible every day
3. Eat healthier and exercise more
4. Cook more meals when we are at home
5. Reconnect with old friends
6. Stay in touch with relatives
7. Be more positive in my attitude toard people and events that happen in my life
8. Be more flexible when things happen
9. Organize my bills regularly
10. Throw away things that I really don't need

Friday, December 28, 2007

Time Travel

Blog Prompt: On the twenty eighth day of December I will time-travel back to
__________________

I would time travel back to my college days at Furman University. I loved being in college, living in the dorms, surrounded by friends and knowledge. As the youngest child with sisters 10 and 12 years older than me, I felt like an only child. So, living in the dorm, I was surrounded by lots of sisters, plenty of clothes to share, lots of advice and always someone to talk to. I was never lonely because I would always have someone to do something with and there was always something to do. Back in those days we weren't allowed to have sororities but I was "rush girl" with a bunch of other girls for a fraternity. This was kind of like a fraternity auxiliary group. I was also a member of the Lutheran Student Association and Council for Exceptional Children. Plus I worked in the dining hall for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so I always saw my friends (who were my family at the time). The dining hall workers were always nurturing and encouraging to me as I studied for tests and exams. In fact they were like surrogate parents to me and rejoiced whenever I did well in my academics and helped me when I was struggling. Ahhh, those were the days!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

DSP prompts 12/24-12/27

Monday’s prompt: On the twenty fourth day of December I thought about my all-time favorite commercial...
My favorite commercial is the 1971 Coca-Cola commercial featuring the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” I always felt so good when I saw this commercial. Why don't they make them like they used to? Uh oh, now I’ll be singing that song all day!

Tuesday’s prompt: On the twenty fifth day of December I just said no to...
I just said no to that one more chocolate kiss calling my name. I swear I could eat a whole bag of kisses without blinking an eye. Plus I have heard the radio talk about “mindless eating” three times today. Do you think it was directed at me?

Wednesday’s prompt: On the twenty sixth day of December I understand why...
I understand why I love my husband more and more each day! He puts up with me no matter what mood I may be in and loves me even if I’m having a bad hair day. He encourages me when I need it and celebrates all of my successes. He understands my thoughts and feelings better than I do sometimes.

Thursday’s prompt; On the twenty seventh day of December my advice to a 5 year old would be
Enjoy life and all the people in it. A 5 year old has such joy and innocence that it is a shame we lose that as we grow older. I love to see a 5 year old at the zoo or seeing Christmas lights or opening presents. It kind of makes me feel a little like a 5 year old all over again.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

On the twenty first day of December I would love to see

I would love to see snow. Unfortunately I'm here in southern FL and unless a miracle happens, it is highly unlikely. I love where we live in SC because when it snows, it only lasts a day or two and is never ugly black for months like I remember it was in NY when I was growing up. It is magical when it snows and we like to get up early in the morning to play it in. The world is quiet and soft and innocent at this time of the day. The white blanket of snow makes everything look new and wonderful. So all of you who have snow right now, enjoy it for me please!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DSP prompts 12/18-12/20

Tuesday’s prompt: On the eighteenth day of December I will have small talk (or deep conversation with ) about
I will talk to my husband about our trip home. It was really hard to decide when to leave my dad’s house because I love him and I’m afraid this is the last holiday season with him but I really really miss my home too. I wonder if any of my plants are still alive and I miss my own bed, TV, routine etc. My husband would be happy if we never went home and just wandered around the country on a whim and a prayer but I think I’m more grounded. I love my dad and stepmom but I’m tired of sleeping on their sleeper sofa in the middle of the livingroom and playing cards each night but I feel guilty for thinking this too. My wonderful husband is happy with whatever I decide so we will have this deep conversation and then make the big decision.

Wednesday’s prompt: On the nineteenth day of December I think I tried pet food when
The only pet food I ever tried has been the real food that turned into leftovers for the dog. I have never tried real pet food and don’t think I ever will. I’m a picky eater so unless it is slipped to me without me knowing it, this will never happen!

Thursday's prompt: On the twentieth day of December I will prepare
I will prepare to improve myself (body, physical health, mental health etc.) this coming year. I will eat better and use less salt (man, I LOVE salt!) and exercise more and keep a positive outlook on life. I look for the best in every person I meet and every challenge that comes my way! I look forward to a wonderful year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Which Museum Would I Visit?

On the seventeenth day of December I wanted to visit a Museum of Art OR a Museum of Natural History.

I would definitely visit the Museum of Natural History. I am not an art connoisseur and would totally embarrass myself. I like the impressionist art like Monet and some sculptures but that is about it. Once I took my husband to the Guggenheim Museum in NY because I remember going there when I was in school. The artist featured was Miro and if you have seen any Miro work, you will understand why my good ol’ country boy husband was not impressed. He spent the whole time saying our children did work like this and how could anyone spend thousands of dollars buying this junk. Then an elderly lady in a mink coat and enough jewels on her fingers to blind you turned to him and said, “Young man, I own a some of Miro’s work and they are hanging in my house!” Then my darling hubby replied, “Well lady, you got ripped off!” At that time, I grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the museum before we got thrown out. But I love Museums of Natural History and New York and Washington DC’s Smithsonian are great ones to visit. I find them totally fascinating and also safe because I know my husband won’t embarrass the dickens out of me!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hamburgers and Choices

Thursday’s prompt: On the thirteenth day of December I really wanted a hamburger with…
I love a hamburger with mushrooms and cheese on it. And of course the hamburger has to be a juicy one and not those big old dry things that taste like sawdust. The best hamburgers I ever got were in Texas because they were so big that they took up the entire plate and they were cheap! I always had to cut the monster in half just to pick it up and eat it. Boy, do those Texans know how to cook beef! Hmm, now I’m hungry and it is only 5am on a ship in the middle of the ocean with nowhere to get a burger…ahhh, but there is 24 hour room service!

Friday’s prompt: On the fourteenth day of December if I had a choice I think I would rather have a 3 day week or fifty extra dollars a week…
Definitely $50 extra since I am now retired! Boy, do I sound lazy or just spoiled?? I don’t know what I would spend the $50 on though because I can’t think of anything I want right now. I’m hoping when I read other people’s wishes I might find something I can’t live without!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Middle Name Tag

I was tagged by mom2triplets04. (and I'm so glad I have a short middle name!)

Tag Rules:
1. The players must use the letters from their middle name as facts that are relevant in your life. If you do not have a middle name, you can make one up or one you would have liked.
2. When you are tagged, you need to do a blogspot, containing your own middle name and the game facts.
3. At the end of your blogpost, you need to tag a person for every letter of your middle name as well as leaving them a comment to let them know you have tagged them.

R – rambunctious. As a child my parents were very strict and I had to be the perfect quiet little child. Now that I’m grown up, I have given myself permission to be rambunctious.
U- unique. I am very different than most people with an odd sense of humor. I am always putting my foot in my mouth.
T – timid. I am always scared to try new things and sometimes have to force myself to do things.
H- happy. I love my life and my hubby so I’m a pretty happy person. I try to keep a positive out look on life.
I’m tagging the following people: (I don't know anyone except the one for T but if I think of others, I will add them)

R
U
T- Tink2Zoe
H

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mon. - Wed. DSP prompts

Monday’s prompt: On the tenth day of December I wished that (blank) would play me in my life story movie.
I wished that Ming-Na would play me in my life story movie because she is the most beautiful Asian actress I have ever seen. She played June in the Joy Luck Club which is one of my favorite movies because a lot of the scenes remind me of what it was like for me growing up a Chinese-American in a traditional Chinese family. Of course I am not saying that I’m beautiful but if she played me, most people would think I was!

Tuesday’s prompt: On the eleventh day of December I think about how the best food comes from...
The best food comes from Italy! I always say I should have been born Italian instead of Chinese. I love all Italian food and when we went to Italy for 15 days, I was in heaven! I love pasta in any shape or form and it is my downfall. That is the main reason why I gain weight on my cruises because I hunt out the pasta and eat until I can’t eat anymore!

Wednesday's prompt: On the twelfth day of December I remembered my favorite dream and it was...
I really don’t have a favorite dream because I can’t remember what I dream if I dream. Sometimes I remember when I first wake up and can’t wait to tell my hubby but when he wakes up, I’ve forgotten it already.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Book I Want to Read

Blog Prompt: On the sixth day of December I will pick up (a book) to read because of its
On the sixth day of December I will pick up the book When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka to read because of its educational value and interesting topic. I read about this in another blog where the teacher recommended this for the classroom so I can't wait to get home to find it. Here is what she wrote about it " When the Emperor was Divine is a story of a family that is evacuated during WWII to an internment camp. The main characters in the story are the mother, her two children (sister/daughter and brother/son) and the father. The characters names are never revealed, perhaps making it a story that is universal to all of those of Japanese ancestry, living in the United States during this time."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Something I Watched

Blog Prompt: On the fifth day of December I watched (name of show) then wished (blank)

Since I am still on my cruise (not to rub it in), I haven't watched TV in two weeks so I can't name a show but I will add something else.

On the fifth day of December I watched children on the beach in St. Thomas then wished everyone could enjoy life and nature with such innocence and wonder. This little girl thought it was Christmas and her birthday and every other holiday all rolled up in one. If I was a great photographer, I would have captured the look on her face when she put her feet in the water.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What I Shouldn't Have Eaten

Blog Prompt: On the fourth day of December it occurred to me that I shouldn't have eaten (blank) yesterday because

On the fourth day of December it occurred to me that I shouldn't have eaten 7 pieces of pizza yesterday because I will be as huge as a barrel when we get done with out cruises! Last night we did a Bioluminescence Bay kayak tour in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We left at 5pm and returned around 10:30 which means we missed our assigned dinner (and God forbid I ever miss a meal!!!). Of course I ate lunch at noon and was too excited to eat again before we left so needless to say, I was starving when I returned! And then after the pizza I just had to have a chocolate ice cream cone (the pizza buffet and ice cream station is open 24 hours!). Hmm, it is now breakfast and I'm hungry again.

Monday, December 03, 2007

What I Used to Be Called

Blog Prompt: On the third day of December I suddenly remembered that people use to call me (blank) because

On the third day of December I suddenly remembered that people use to call me Loony because my last name was Loon. I was very shy growing up and being the only Asian at my school, I was picked on a lot! Teenagers pick on anyone who is different so I was the one who was always stuffed in a locker or threatened to be beat up. I was never beat up but I was just threatened and scared a lot. Finally I got tired of it all and when this big mean ugly vicious girl came up to me and told me she was going to beat me up, I laid down on the ground and told her to go ahead! She thought I was crazy and asked why I was on the ground so I told her that she would put me here anyway so I just saved her the trouble. The gang of girls around her just looked at me with amazement and she shook her head. Then she announced that I was just "loony" and everyone better leave me alone. From that point on, I was Loony and no one bothered me! I never minded anyone calling me that and for 6 years after that, that is what students, friends, teachers, and administrators called me. Now only my internet friends call me this!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Blessings in My Life

I can’t think of anything I haven’t mentioned but there are a few things that really stand out.

• I’m so thankful for my husband because he is my best friend and I probably don’t let him know this often enough.
• I’m so thankful for my dad and step mom because I almost lost my dad this month. I know he is getting older each year (will be 88 on Dec. 7) but I don’t think I will ever be ready to lose him (I’m a daddy’s girl!)
• I’m so thankful for my health because I have seen many people on the cruise with walkers, and scooters. I wouldn’t be able to hike and walk around all these cities the way I love to do.
• I’m thankful that we have saved our money wisely the past few years (even though it was hard and we had to make sacrifices I really didn’t want to make at the time) so we can travel and do the things we want to do.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blessings of Places

Blog Prompt: What places (in your home, or state, or country, or world) are you most thankful for?

My favorite place is the play room with my big screen TV, printer, external hard drive, pool table, and hot tub. We spend most of our time in this room because it is surrounded by glass windows for me to look out in the yard at the birds and the flowers.

In my state, I am most thankful for our state parks and mountains that are close to my home. We usually buy an annual pass to the state parks because we go hiking in them so much.

In the world, I am most thankful for all the new places I’ve been and all the new places I haven’t seen yet! I love to see new places and different cultures. It makes me feel like there is so much out there and my little “world” is just the tip of the iceberg!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Invention Blessings

Blog Prompt: What inventions are you most thankful for and why?

1. The Toilet Bowl – I have traveled to enough countries without indoor plumbing and it isn’t pretty!
2. Central A/C and heat – my sister does not have central AC in NY but I would die without it in SC
3. Cruise ships – especially since I’m sitting here in the middle of the ocean writing this.
4. The internet – of course!
5. Adobe Photoshop Elements – the program I use for my digital scrapbooking
6. Computers – how did I live without one years ago????
7. Hybrid cars – I love getting 50 mpg and being able to travel

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nature's Blessings

Blog Prompt: What things in nature are you most thankful for and why?

I love the mountains and rivers the best. I love being surrounded by the forest as I hike and listen to the birds call greetings to me as I pass. I love to watch the animals scurry along the forst floor looking for food. I love looking at the greenness of the forest after a rain when everything looks shiny and new right after God is done giving hisssssss garden a bath. I love to see the rivers as they flow over rocks and form waterfalls as it travels down the mountains. I love the wildlife we see in and near the rivers such as fish, frogs, and salamanders. As we cruise in the Caribbean and enjoy the sunny beaches, I think it is a nice place to visit, but I thank God every day for my lush Blue Ridge Mountains!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Blessings of Senses

Blog Prompt: Which one of your 5 senses are you most thankful for and why?

I am most thankful for my sight. I have to have my sight to read, hike, watch TV, and play my computer. I think I could make it if I didn’t have other senses but I have to be able to see. I had Lasix surgery years ago and now I’m even more thankful for my sight. For the first time I was able to see distances without glasses that were so thick or contacts that really bothered my eyes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

DSP prompts 11/21-11/23

Wed. DSP Prompt- What sources of entertainment are you thankful for?

1. I love my computer! It is my main source of entertainment (other than my hubby of course! LOL) I use it to do my scrapbooking, play games, write letters, and keep me amused whenever I get bored.
2. My HDTV with DirecTV and Tivo. I love being able to tape shows that I am unable to watch at the time it comes on.
3. Books – I love to read and use it as an escape from my real life woes.
4. My accordion – I find it relaxing even though I don’t think I play very well.


Thurs. DSP Prompt: - What food are you thankful for?

1. Chocolate
2. Pizza
3. Ice Cream
4. Chocolate kisses
5. Garlic (I love to roast the elephant garlic and spread it on crackers)
6. Ginger (I love to slice and use in my stir fry as well as eating crystallized ginger as candy)
7. Spinach
8. Macaroni and Cheese
9. Ramen Noodles
10. Apple Pie
11. Cheddar Cheese
12. Monterrey Jack Cheese
13. Bagels
14. Happy Meals (I love the toys!)
15. Chicken
16. Rice
17. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
18. Cranberry Sauce
19. Candied yams
20. Green Bean Casserole

Fri. DSP prompt - What stores are you thankful for?

I hate to shop but the 2 stores I shop at most often are WalMart and Family Dollar because of the low prices. I don’t need a lot of clothes and since I recently retired, the clothes I have will probably last a few years. I don’t usually shop at a particular store for clothes but I buy when something jumps out and yells “Buy Me!” I like good quality items but when it doesn’t matter, these stores are the ones I get my every day items.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Comfort Blessings

Blog Prompt: What things that comfort you are you thankful for?

1. My husband - he is my main comforter next to God. I know that he will always be there for me no matter what.
2. Chocolate - need I say more?
3. My computer - when I need to vent, I write in my blog or I contact my DSP friends and I usually feel better.

I'm sorry I haven't commented much on your blogs because I'm having to go to the public library to get on the internet. Unfortunately my hubby's attention span is very short but I'm thankful that he knows how important it is for me to get "connected!"

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Blessings of Inherited Traits

Blog Prompt: What things or traits you have inherited are you thankful for?

1. I’m thankful for my good health. My father is going strong at 87 years old. He will turn 88 in 2 weeks and just suffered a stroke but he is still in better shape than most people who suffer strokes.
2. I’m thankful for my good humor. My family has been blessed with having a good sense of humor which has been great during some tough times.
3. I'm thankful for the work ethic that I've inherited from both of my parents. We were taught that working hard will pay off and now that I'm retired, I'm glad I listened to them. If I hadn't started working so early, I never would have been able to retire so early. Now we are young enough and healthy enough to enjoy our retirement.

Medicare Fraud or Taking Advantage of the Elderly?

Is it Medicare fraud or are they just taking advantage of the elderly? Let me tell you an interesting story and let you decide...

Recently my 87 year old dad suffered a mild stroke and after 2 days in the hospital he was sent to ManorCare rehab center in Boynton Beach, FL for 6 days (the limit that their insurance would pay). The day he got there someone came in and had him sign papers telling him about his copay responsibility. After that we asked that he not be given papers to sign without his wife being present and thought they respected our request. We realized how important it was to have a family member there because on the 5th day he was there he was asked to sign blank papers (the girl told him that she would fill all the blanks in for him when he asked for today’s date). He was even asked if he wanted to sign over all his finances into a trust fund run by the center but he refused. We asked for a copy of the completed forms and he has never received a copy of them.

On the day before his discharge, my dad was asked if he had a company in mind to come in to do some home health care and he didn’t. He didn’t even know what home health care was and what services are provided. This nurse just happened to have a friend who works for a company so she recommended her friend. The friend comes in and tells my parents that their insurance won’t pay for her services and proceeds to tell them what services my father will need and what their insurance will and won’t cover. When we asked her if the doctor is ordering these services, she said she had no idea. We asked her if she talked to my parent’s insurance company and she said no. This person, at the invitation of the rehab center, was telling my parents stuff that she had no knowledge about. Now, my parents who are in their 80s, were very confused and upset, especially when this person told them they should cancel their medical insurance and go straight Medicare! She also told them a man would call them to try to get him veteran’s benefits (she said no one knows about this law, even the VA, except this man) but they would have to sign a paper promising to sign over all checks they receive from the VA to this man! Needless to say, I told my parents this was a bad idea!

Next we are told that my dad would get a walker, a port-a-potty, and a wheelchair to be brought to his room when he would be discharged. No one could tell us if the insurance covers this equipment in full or not and they resented me asking these questions. He was not even given a quad cane, which would have been the most practical thing for him to use. We never saw a doctor’s order that said my father needed these things or when he was supposed to use them. Plus, he was never trained on how to use these things or told when he was to use them. Of course they inform my parents that he needs to buy “gliders” for the walker that costs about $30 not even knowing if he needs the walker. My parents were told the potty could be used as a seat when he takes a shower but no one even knows if it fits in their tub (it doesn’t) so they have to buy a seat for the tub. There isn’t even room to set the port-a-potty in the house other than the middle of their living room. No one came out to the house to see if the wheelchair is appropriate for the house (it isn’t because there is no room to wheel it around their tiny house). Since my stepmom can’t get it in and out of the car, the wheelchair is now in the trunk of their car (where they loaded it at the rehab center) and probably won’t even be used. The potty is out in their shed now.

At 9pm the night before his discharge, he is awakened by this strange man who is delivering this equipment. The man tells him he has to sign these papers and my father, a stroke patient who is obviously confused, half asleep, and upset, signs these papers (without any family member with him). He calls his wife and is extremely upset, which I don’t blame him so I call the nurse’s station. Nobody even knew this man had gone to my dad’s room to deliver equipment (but someone had to give him a code to let him in and a code to get out of the building). We had no idea that the wheelchair was rented for his use and we had no idea what this would cost them.

The next day I see the forms he signed that say he received training on how to use all this equipment and told about infectious diseases etc. My father says the man just delivered the stuff, had him sign this paper, and he left without giving him any training! When my father is being discharged, I ask for someone to tell him how to use the stuff, plus get the wheelchair in and out of the car (we live 700 miles away so we can’t help them with this when we go home!). I am told by the therapist that he is not entitled to physical therapy on the day he is discharged but she showed my stepmom how to take the foot rests off the chair and how to fold the chair. I asked why no one showed my dad how to use the walker but she had no answer other than to tell me he was trained when they delivered the stuff (at 9pm when my dad was half asleep?). When I asked why he needed a portapotty since he didn’t need one in the hospital or the rehab center, I was told that everyone gets one when they leave. Is this a door prize for choosing their center? If everyone gets one and many of these people don’t need one, is it any wonder that our insurance rates keep increasing?

We are also told that home health care will come to their house and a physical therapist will come to their home. My father took his own shower at home last night, fed himself, dresses himself and does everything he needs to do without any help. The left side of his face tingles and his left hand is numb and tingles. He wobbles a little when he walks (but he did that before the stroke too). We also played card games for 2 nights in a row and he is as sharp as he was before the stroke mentally. He even helped my stepmom cook dinner last night. He cut up the vegetables in small pieces with a sharp knife. Why does he need these people to come to his house? I found out that their insurance will not pay for this physical therapist to come to their house but everyone implied that they would. This of course confused my parents completely because they don’t understand why the rehab center said these people would come to their house if he didn’t need their help. Three different people told them that my father would receive services at home. Of course my parents understood this to mean that the insurance would pay for these services totally.

I found out their insurance will pay for the home health care to come out for 7 weeks for less than 35 hours per week. Someone is getting paid to provide services that my father does not need because no one has even been to his home to see what is appropriate. The rehab bought him a port-a-potty that he doesn’t need, won’t use, and isn’t even appropriate for his home. A wheelchair was rented for him (I was told by the insurance company that it is at no cost to my dad but he can keep it as long as he has this insurance) but it is so heavy, they can’t even get it in and out of the car. They can’t even use it in their house because their house is too small. My stepmom hopes that when they go out, if it is needed, they can ask complete strangers to help them get it in and out of the car. Meanwhile, this company is getting paid! No wonder our insurance rates keep increasing!

Is this normal for the elderly to be taken advantage of this way or is it just this rehab/nursing home that does business this way? I have written a letter to the director of ManorCare asking for a list of agencies that I can file a complaint with but I haven’t received this yet. If I don’t get any information from them, I will contact the Insurance Commission. My parents are not incompetent but they are easily confused and taken advantage of by all of these people and companies that want to soak them for every penny they have. This makes me furious that this goes on and hope that I can make lawmakers and regulatory agencies aware of what is going on. I know all of this complaining can’t help my parents but if this knowledge could help other elderly people, it will be worth it. I will begin my letter writing campaign to federal, state, and any licensing agencies I can complain to and hope to change this from happening.

If you have any suggestions of people I should contact, please feel free to leave your suggestions in your comment.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Furniture Blessings

Blog Prompt: What furniture are you thankful for?

There really is only one piece of furniture in my house that I absolutely love. I have a favorite rocking chair in my living room that we brought all the way to SC from Lancaster, PA. It was built by an Amish man and the workmanship is excellent. I not only love the way it looks but also the way it feels. The seat curves to fit my behind instead of the flat seats that most rockers have. It almost feels like it is hugging you. When we bought it, we had it in the back of our SUV all the way home. In fact, when my hubby was tired of driving, we spent the night sleeping at a rest area. Of course my hubby wanted to set it outside so he could lay down in the back of the SUV but I wouldn't let him. This meant that we had to sleep sitting up all night! The things you do for love.

PS: My dad is home from rehab which was a total nightmare. Stay tuned for a future blog entry titled: Why Our Insurance Rates are So High or How to Take Advantage of the Elderly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

DSP prompts week of 11/12/07

Tues. - What pets or animals are you thankful for?
We’ve always had dogs when I grew up and after I was married I had a dog, birds, and fish. Now that we travel so much, I don’t have any pets. The other day my dad was visited by a therapy dog in the rehab center the first day he was there. I was never so thankful for an animal before. It really made him feel better and I could tell. This stroke has really thrown our family for a loop but we are taking one day at a time. Hopefully he will be coming home tomorrow but that is just the beginning of our hard work I think.

Wed. - What clothing are you thankful for?
I’m really thankful for shorts and tshirts right now. We left cold weather in SC and are here in the warmth of FL. They keep complaining of a cold front coming ( low 50 degrees tomorrow and a high in the 70s) which makes us laugh. I’m sweating buckets and everyone else is wearing coats.

Thurs. - What colors are you thankful for?
I’m thankful for blue because that is my favorite color. I think I look good in blue and I think of blue as a neutral color and everything can match it. My favorite jeans are blue so whatever I can wear with them is perfect for me!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blessings of Friends

Blog Prompt: What friends are you thankful for and why?

During this bumpy time in my life, I am even more aware of all my friends who are there for me. My friends play an important part of the support system that I surround myself with which helps me have a positive outlook on life. Here are the friends that I'm thankful for:

1. Charlene - my first friend at the first school I have ever taught at and we have stayed friends since then. I don't think I would have lasted in teaching without her as a friend and a mentor. Even though we have been at different schools, we have stayed in touch and offered each other support when needed.
2. Sandy - my friend almost as long as Charlene has been. Sandy has been there during bumpy times in the early days of my marriage. She didn't tell me how to have a better marriage but was always there to listen to me complain and whine. I really valued any advice she gave me because she always made such common sense (which I have none).
3. Elizabeth - she started out as my administrator and ended up being my friend. There weren't many administrators that I trusted but I know I always can trust her (which is very important to me). During rough times of my teaching, she was always there for me without judging me but listening and suggesting ways to handle rough situations (she could sell ice cream to an eskimo!). She is a role model for me because she handles conflict situations with poise and gentleness that I hope someday I can do the same.
4. My DSP friends - all the prayers and support out there have helped my dad recover. Thank you to all of you out there!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Successful Teaching Blog:

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans



My Life of Loonyhiker Blog:

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Cash Advance Loans



I saw this on Tink's blog and just had to try it myself!

Guy Fawkes Party 2007



Every years we celebrate this day for our friends from the UK. We used to hold this in the backyard of one house until the day the fire department and police department arrived. I guess the bonfire was a little too large for the subdivision to handle. So we moved it to my friend Helen's "farm" where there are acres and acres of land. Plus there is a huge lake in case the fire gets out of hand. Before the burning, Peter usually writes up a poem that we all recite together and then ol' Guy is lit and fireworks are set off. It is a wonderful reason to get together with friends!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Abilities Blessings

Blog Prompt: What things are you able to do are you thankful for?

There are so many things I am able to do that I take for granted. I didn't realize this until yesterday when my dad had a stroke and I was so worried about what he is able to do and not do. Today he has some paralysis on his left side and the doctor told him that he won't be able to go to work anymore but I'm just happy that he is still alive! I tried to imagine if this was me and what do I take for granted so here is my list:

1. The ability to take care of myself and be independent (too independent according to my husband!)
2. Hike of course!
3. Drive (my dad won't be able to drive anymore)
4. Read - I love to read (when I'm eating, riding in a car, before I go to bed)
5. Eat - I sure love to eat and since I'm going on these cruises, I will enjoy doing this!
6. Use a computer - so many people still do not know how to use a computer and I can't imagine not getting on the internet, or chatting with my family and friends
7. Teach- I think I'm pretty good at it and enjoy it. My presentation for the local literacy association staff went really well on Wednesday.
8. Retire - I'm glad I am financially able to retire while we are young enough and healthy enough to do things together.
9. Travel - I have a car that gets 50 mpg, a husband who loves to drive, and money enough to pay for our adventures.

I'm sure there are more but those are my main things!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Transportation Blessings

Blog Prompt: What modes of transportation are you thankful for?

1. Since I am "loonyhiker", I guess you can guess what my #1 thing would be...You got it! MY FEET. I don't have to change flat tires or buy gasoline for it so I try to take good care of them. We hope to hike down the Grand Canyon in the spring and people ask me why I don't ride a mule or take a boat. I don't trust those mules at all but know I can depend on my feet and I don't have any control over a boat (You don't ever want to get in a boat with me! It's not pretty!). I guess I'm just a control freak and like to have control which I do when I'm counting on my own feet.
2. Since gas prices have skyrocketed, I'm really thankful for my Toyoto Prius. We have had it for 9 months and still averaging around 50 miles to the gallon. We have put 21,000 miles on it already.
3. Of course I have to say cruise ships. We have 3 cruises booked before Christmas so I'm pretty excited. I'm already tired of being cold so I'm heading to the fun and the sun of the Caribbean!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cleaning Supply Blessings

Blog Prompt: Think of all the new things on the market since our parents were young and what they had to work with. What cleaning supplies are you thankful for?

1. Swiffer Dusters - I feel like they pick up a lot more dust instead of just spreading it through the air.
2. Vacuum - I sweep my floors and then I just run the vacuum over them too because I don't always get all the "stuff" up with the broom.
3. Plastic scrubbies - I don't know what I did without these. They sure make getting the gunk off my dishes easier when I'm doing dishes.
4. Lysol - I feel like this leaves things cleaner than just soap and water. I'm not sure it is true but my mind says so and that is good enough for me. LOL
5. Magic Erasers - they have worked wonders on marks on my wall, cleaning the white board in my classroom, and just great to use for basic cleaning.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Furman Homecoming 2007


This past weekend was homecoming at my alma mater. I helped in the alumni office a few days before and had a great time working with them. I never realized how hard they have to work to make this event go so smoothly.

credits: Ride A Dream Page Kit by Irene Alexeeva; Club Digital Sept 07 Quick Click by Lisa Carter

Jobs I Couldn't Imagine Doing!

Blog Prompt: What jobs do other people hold are you thankful for?

When I was thinking of which jobs other people do that I'm thankful for, the first ones that came to mind were all the ones that I would not do. I'm truly thankful for all the people who do these things to make my life comfortable and safe.
1. Firemen: I've had a few house fires and the firemen who have responded were professional and truly caring. They risk their lives to save people they don't even know. For that reason, twice a year I try to bake our local firemen a loaf of banana nut bread to show my appreciation.
2. Policemen: When I see the crime on the news, I'm thankful for these people who try to keep order in our semi chaotic world. They are truly underpaid for all that they go through each day. They also get a loaf of my banana nut bread twice a year (which doesn't really show how much I appreciate them!)
3. Sanitation workers: Can you imagine what the cities would be like if no one picked up garbage? Some rural places near us do not have city pick up and I watch the trash pile up in their yard until the county makes them clean it up.
4. Plumbers: I have been without water for 10 days and I hope that never happens again. I would rather be without power than water. Plumbers are worth their weight in gold!
5. Construction workers: I have tried to use a saw and it was not a pretty sight! I can't even drive a nail in straight. I guess without these people, I wouldn't have a house to live in!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Autumn Blessings

Blog Prompt: Give 3 or more reasons why you are thankful it is Autumn.

1. I'm tired of hot weather so I get to pull out my cold weather clothes. You can always add on clothes when you are cold but when it is hot and you are down to the skin, there is nothing else to take off.
2. I love the different colors of leaves and how beautiful everything looks when we are hiking.
3. Most of the weeds in my flower beds are dead and I don't have to worry about weeding every day!
4. The lawn doesn't need mowing as often which means I don't have to pay the lawn man as much.
5. Our electric bill is really lower. We don't run the air condition and my hubby won't turn on the heat unless he is freezing which isn't until January usually. He just tells me to put on more clothes!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cruisin' on the Volendam


I've been so busy being retired that I've hardly had a chance to scrap anything. Finally made myself sit down and do something because I was afraid I might be getting a little rusty. Hope you enjoyed my scrapbook page!

credit: Newsprint Dreams Page Kit by Lauren Bavin

Friday, November 02, 2007

Kitchen Item Blessings

Blog Prompt: What kitchen items are you thankful for?

Since I have retired I have actually enjoyed doing some cooking in the kitchen. For the first time I'm not rushed and tired from a long day at work. So here are the major things I can't live without.

1. Microwave - It is the greatest invention. Now that my sister is sharing some microwave recipes with me, I'm REALLY enjoying it for cooking and not just reheating or boiling water.
2. Gas stove - It is like the stove I grew up with. Since I got married we always had an electric stove until this. I like regulating the heat instantly.
3. Refrigerator - One winter we were without power for 10 days and everything in my refrigerator went bad. I don't know how the early pioneers did without refrigeration.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Family

Blog Prompts: What family members are you thankful for and why?

1. My husband - He is my best friend and soul mate and I am not complete without him. We spend all of our free time together and enjoy it totally. After 25 years it gets better and better.
2. My father - I have always been a daddy's girl and guess I always will. Even at 88 years old, he still thinks I'm his little girl and worries about me. He is so stubborn and independent but I guess I will be like him when I get older.
3. My stepmother - she is so wonderful and understanding. Whenever I get frustrated with my dad, she steps in and makes things alright. She has never treated me like a "step" and has the same values as my mother did so she fits right into our family.
4. My sister - even though we live so far apart and grew apart when I went to college, we have gotten close again. She still treats me like I'm a baby because I'm her baby sister but I guess that goes with the territory.
5. My sister-in-law - she has always been wonderful to me. When my mother passed away and my sister couldn't be there, she offered to fly down to FL to help me. I know I could always count on her if I ever needed her.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Asparagus


Blog Prompt: What's your favorite vegetable and how do you like to eat it? Or do you have a favorite dish that hides a vegetable that you don't like?

My favorite vegetable is asparagus. I love to eat it but it is so expensive. I love to steam them and just sprinkle salt on it. But I found out that after you eat it, it makes your urine smell funky!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Passing on Knowledge

Blog Prompt: In what areas do you feel you have knowledge you can pass on to others?

I feel I have a lot of knowledge in the field of teaching. Now that I've retired, I've decided to be an educational consultant. Next week I will be doing a professional development seminar for the county literacy association. I was also asked by the school district to evaluate 3 new teachers so I'm excited about that. Plus tonight I had a parent of a former student call me and ask me for advice. I'm also writing a blog called Successful Teaching which gives strategies and ideas for teachers to use in their classroom. I hope I'm able to help someone out there who is new to teaching or frustrated with their current situation.

Friday, October 26, 2007

DSP prompts week of 10/22/07

Monday 10/22 blog prompt: What is the first thing you'd go out and buy if someone handed you one million dollars?

I would buy an huge RV and a driver to take us all around the United States.

Tuesday 10/23 blog prompt: Tell us--in glorious detail--about something you're embarrassed to admit you like...

I like to swing on the swings in the playground. Of course I only do that if no one is around and can see me (other than my husband). I love to feel the air go by my face and freedom that surrounds me. I love feeling like a kid again.

Wednesday 10/24 blog prompt: Fill in the blank to make this old quote fit you: 'I _____; therefore I am.'

I hike, therefore I am. I know that doesn’t surprise many of you but it is true. I love to walk and hike. Hiking keeps me physically and emotionally fit so it is an important thing in my life. While I’m hiking I think about many things that are going on in my life and helps me sort out my priorities. I also feel very close to God when I’m out in nature and I feel that all is right with the world.

Thursday 10/25 blog prompt: What books have you abandoned (without finishing) and why?

I have to admit that I haven’t abandoned any book that I was reading, no matter how bad it is. I usually think that surely the book will get better. It must have some redeeming quality and I never give up hope until I’ve read the last page. Usually I end up complaining about how I wasted my time reading that book but I never give up on it.

Friday 10/26 blog prompt: Is there something that you dream about doing? Being a dancer? Traveling around the world? Learning a new skill? Have you taken any steps toward achieving that goal?

Since I’ve recently retired, I’m in the process of fulfilling my dream of traveling. I think my short term goal is to learn how to roller blade. Two years ago I bought roller blades, pads, and a helmet. I tried it once and thought I looked ridiculous. Then I gave the excuse that I would do it when I retired because it won’t be good to teach with broken bones. Now I say it wouldn’t be great to travel with broken bones. I’m trying to get enough courage to try again. I may try it in my backyard on the grass.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

DSP prompts week of 10/16/07

Monday 10/15 blog prompt: In NO MORE than 30 words, describe your favorite food.
I love baked ziti filled with cheese and covered in meat sauce. It is served piping hot and the aroma can be smelled from far away.

Tuesday 10/16/07 blog prompt: Describe in detail an object you use every day, but don't tell us what it is.
It is rectangular in shape and sometimes provides a night light in a dark room. It is my closest companion next in line to my husband. It knows my deepest desires and fears. It may be an object but I really think it is alive and we just don’t know it.

Wednesday 10/17 blog prompt: Write one or more meaningful sentences where each consecutive word starts with the same letter as the word before it ends with.
Our respite ends soon now we enter real life! (Our cruise is ending today!)

Thursday 10/18 blog prompt: Creatively describe the weather in your area right now.
As I look at the sunny sky and feel the warmth upon my skin, I prepare for the little beads of sweat as they begin to form on my skin. My clothes begin to stick to my body and my skin begins to glow in the sunshine.

Friday, 10/19 blog prompt: Write your own tongue twister.
Pat plans on playing poorly.

Friday, October 12, 2007

7 Wonders of the World

Blog Prompt: The Seven Wonders of the World were recently agreed upon. Have you been to any of them? Which one would you most like to visit?

I have been to the Great Wall of China, Rome's Colosseum, and Mexico's Chichen Itza. All of those were great! I was in awe of standing where so many people in history have stood.

I would really like to see Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal. I remember studying about the Taj Mahal when I was in grade school and the colors and the history always fascinated me. I want to hike up to Machu Picchu because the whole story of the architecture and history amaze me. Hopefully now that I'm retired, we will get there in the near future.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Traveling Companion

Blog Prompt: Who is your favorite traveling companion? Or is there some historical figure or fictional character with whom you would like to share a trip?

My favorite traveling companion is my husband. He is so much fun to be with because when things get messed up, he always makes it into a fun adventure. Never losing his temper about stuff, whenever there is a change in our schedule or I get us lost (which is a common thing), he just finds something good about what is happening. Also when we get stranded or something terrible happens, he always has a level head and doesn't get hysterical (which I tend to do). He is firm and insistent to whomever is in charge but never nasty or threatening. This usually works in our favor.

We were stranded in Jackson Hole, WY when our luggage didn't arrive when we did. We were supposed to camp in Yellowstone so our tent, backpack, and gear was all missing. This means we had no place to stay and no clothes other than the shorts and tshirts we were wearing. We were told that if our luggage appeared they would send it to our hotel but we had no hotel because our tent was our hotel and the airport closes for the night. After talking to the airline personnel, we ended up getting a room (a pilot was kicked out and had to share a room with someone else), we had our rental car and went to a local outfitter to rent new gear. The outfitters rented us all new stuff and before we left the next day, we checked with the airport and there was our backpacks! The wonderful outfitters took back all of their stuff and refunded all of our money! It is so nice to know that there are such nice people in the world!

We showed up in Paris, France without a hotel reservation, not knowing that it was Pentecost - the busiest time there. Walking around with our rolling luggage, we hunted for a hotel. One wonderful hotel was full but got us a room at their other location. I tried to give them my credit card number to hold the room but they insisted they didn't need it and the room would be waiting on us when we got there.

God takes care of drunks and fools so since I'm the fool, my hubby must be the drunk! LOL

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mode of Travel Preference

Blog Prompt: Planes, trains, autos or boats -- which is your preferred method of travel?

I love all of them because I love to travel. Of course, all of them have their own perks.

We travel mostly by car because our new car (7 months old) gets 50 mpg. We visit my parents alot in Palm Beach, FL and my sister on Long Island, NY. I also have to go to Washington DC three times a year for meetings. Once a year our annual convention is in different places so last year was Louisville, KY and this coming year is in Boston. The best part of traveling by car is that I can pack whatever I want and not worry about weight or having to cart it from transportation to hotel and back.

We haven't done any long distance traveling by train but my hubby loves trains and we hope to go across Canada someday on a train. I have taken Amtrak from SC to FL when I was in college and it was not a good experience for a young girl who has never traveled alone before.

Boats are fantastic. We are getting ready to go on our 14th cruise so does that tell you how we feel about them? I love the all you can eat food the best!

Planes are fun because they get you from one place to the other and fast. My problem is that your bags can only way a certain weight. Since my hubby is into public transportation, we usually take a subway or metro to our hotel and wheel our suitcase behind us. I also have a backpack with my laptop, junk food, digital camera etc. so I can't pull anything else except the suitcase and backpack. I love to read or listen to my IPOD and my hubby loves to look out the window so we both enjoy the trip.

As you can tell, I'm happy with any of them as long as they take me somewhere else.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Travel Horror Story

Blog Prompt: Everyone has at least one travel 'horror' story. Share your worst experience(s) with us.

Gee, I have so many I don't know which one to pick but this is the one that comes to mind first.

Years ago, my hubby and I drove to Orlando to go to Disney World and of course we are watching our finances closely. I'm not saying my hubby is cheap but we were being frugal. This meant that we did not stay in a 5 star hotel of course but we did get a room on the second floor. I also have to mention that my hubby does not sleep with any clothes on, which has never been a problem before. (No, you really don't know where this is going so read on...)

In the middle of the night, I wake up to hear him saying in the dark, "Call the front desk and tell them we need help!" I look towards his voice and can see in the shadows that he is pushing on the door. Of course, something outside is pushing the door back towards him. Now, the wonderful wife that I am, I immediately scrunch down in the bed and pull the covers over my head.

By now, my hubby is very angry with me and whispers again to me to get my butt up and call the front desk for help because someone is trying to break in. I turn on the light and see the whole situation. I also have to warn you that when I get nervous I start to giggle and can't help it. This only makes the naked man INSIDE my room angrier so I finally call the front desk and tell them that someone is breaking in my room.

Within minutes, we hear a commotion outside and the door stays shut. My enraged hubby turns towards me and commences to fuss at me and now I really can't stop laughing. Finally, when I stop laughing and he stops yelling, I call the front desk to find out what happens.

Apparently the hotel doesn't change the card keys and this thief knew it. He uses his key to rob people while they are asleep. Luckily my hubby had put the chain on the door and heard him. The hotel had the thief in custody and was waiting for the police to arrive. Now wherever we go (even if it is a 5 star hotel), the chair goes in front of the door!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

On the Road Again


I'm still in Washington DC in meetings but had time to go through the 300 photos I took and made a scrapbook page. (This helped my stress level!). On the way here, we started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. One night we stayed at Doughton Park and another night at Peaks of Otter.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Lupus Foundation of America





"Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. Normally the body's immune system makes proteins called antibodies, to protect the body against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign materials. These foreign materials are called antigens.

In an autoimmune disorder like lupus, the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against itself. These antibodies -- called "auto-antibodies" (auto means 'self') -- cause inflammation, pain and damage in various parts of the body.

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) estimates between 1.5 - 2 million Americans have a form of lupus, but the actual number may be higher. More than 90 percent of people with lupus are women. Symptoms and diagnosis occur most often when women are in their child-bearing years, between the ages of 15 and 45."

My oldest sister died from lupus in 1974 at 27 years old and my mother passed away in 1989 from lupus. My middle sister has been diagnosed with lupus and is in and out of the hospital often. Many of my cousins also have it so I see more and more people being diagnosed with this and hope that in the near future a cure can be found. It scares me every day that I might end up with this.

Friday, October 05, 2007

October 1-5 DSP prompts

I'm sorry that I've been MIA this week, but I've been hiking and camping on my way from SC to Washington DC. To make up for it, I've done all of the prompts at once.

Mon. prompt: You can tell a lot about a person by the keys they carry. What do yours say about you?

You would be able to tell that I’m retired because the only keys I carry are my car keys, my house key, and my post office box key. I hate to be in control of anything more than that.

Tues. prompt: You can tell a lot about a woman by how she grooms her fingernails. Tell us how yours look today.

I used to bite my nails until after I was married and then finally decided to stop. My nails tend to break easily though so they are not very long. I like nail polish but I don’t have the patience to put it on as much as I would like. I have never had a manicure.

Wed. prompt: You can tell a lot about a person by the state of their desk/workspace. What does your say about you?

My workspace is very cluttered because I’m lazy and like everything I need at my fingertips. I have my printer, a scanner, my laptop, my digital camera, and my external hard drive all around me. My big screen TV is in front of me and my cordless phone is behind me. Ah, isn’t life grand!

Thurs. prompt: I think you can tell a lot about a person by their laugh. Do you agree?

I only know that some people have this phony laugh that makes me not trust them. I usually like most people who know how to laugh and have a good time, but not at the expense of other people or their feelings.

Fri. prompt: You can tell a lot about a woman by her purse (and its contents). What do you think?

You would be able to tell that I would be a winner on the “Let’s Make a Deal” game show. I don’t know if it is on or if they ever show reruns of it, but Monty Hall (the emcee) would ask someone to show him a specific item, usually an odd one and he would pick someone who had it. They, in turn, would have chance to win a prize.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Quiz: Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?


You scored as a Cinderella

Your alter ego is Cinderella! You often find yourself doing a lot of housework, but if you are patient, your hard work usually pays off. You are prone to losing things, so dont rush through everything.

Quiz: Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Favorite Designer

Blog Prompt: What designer do you think best represents your current fashion stye? (You can find a list and look at some of the designers at Fashion Net)

I have to admit that I have no idea who the famous designers are so I had to go to Fashion Net. After looking at some of the designers, the closest I could get is DKNY. The clothes looked comfortable to me. Of course I'm the big WalMart or Tanger Outlet shopper so I don't really buy things according to the designer. First of all it has to look great, colorful, and jump out at me from the rack. Then when I try it on, it has to fit me (which is not easy when you are short!)and last, it has to make me look good. I don't care who the designer is if it meets these 3 criteria.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pajamas

Blog Prompt: Cotton or silk? Pajamas or nightgown or nothing at all? How does your night time fashion affect your day?

In my younger days, I used to wear nightgowns but I can't stand the thought of them bunching at my waist now. In the summer I wear big ol' cotton tie dyed t-shirts (hooray for color!) and in the winter I wear big ol' cotton tie dyed tshirts with sweat pants. And if my hubby keeps turning the heat down (to save money and he is always complaining the house is too hot), I add my hiking socks to the outfit. I have to admit that I'm no sex goddess in this outfit but at least I'm warm! It's all about comfort!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bring Back the Oldies

Blog Prompt: Bring back the oldies. What fashion would you like to see make a comeback?

I really don't have a favorite fashion that I want to come back. I guess it is because my clothes are so old that they are already back in style! Right now I'm in the basic tshirt and blue jean stage of my life and really enjoying it. I enjoyed the tie dyed shirts and bell bottom pants but not the clunky shoes which are all being worn by teens now as if they are new fashions.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Treasure Chest

Blog Prompt: Treasure Chest. Which piece of jewelry that you own, do feel is indispensible?

I actually have 2 pieces of jewelry that I do not take off (unless I have surgery which has only happened 3 times in my life). I never take off my wedding ring, or my cross necklace. I got my cross necklace when I recieved communion for the first time around 5th grade (which is many many years ago!). When I went to China many years ago I was told that I couldn't have my cross with me so I left it at home. I felt so lost without it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dinner Cruise Fashion

Blog Prompt: Fashion Guru. What is the proper attire for a dinner cruise? High heels? Flats? What kind of jewelry, if any? Colors?

I like to dress up for a dinner cruise but I also like to wear comfortable shoes because I don't want to walk around like I am drunk. I like to wear jewelry at this time also because normally I don't wear a lot of jewelry and this makes it a special occasion. As for colors, I would wear colors that flatter my body. I want to look slender and taller and if I feel like the clothes make me look that way, then I feel that way too. Nothing beats going out on the town and feeling sexy!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Missing Ingredient

Blog Prompt: I'm going to deviate from the Fashion theme today and ask if you have ever been in the middle of cooking when if you realized you were missing a key ingredient and couldn't make a dash to the store? What did you do?

I am such a terrible cook that if I was missing an ingredient and couldn't go to the store, I would just have to do without making it. I wouldn't even dare to try to substitute anything. I think years ago I remember my mother in law didn't have brown sugar and mixed molasses with regular sugar but I would be afraid to even try that.

I do remember around Christmas time, one evening I decided to bake banana bread for the fire dept. and police dept. I had everything in the mixing bowl and reached for the flour. Luckily I looked in the bag and it was full of little black bugs. I was so disgusted. My hubby had just finished drinking a beer so he wouldn't drive anywhere which means I had to go out in the cold dark (don't you feel sorry for me!). I had my pajamas on which consist of sweat pants and a sweat shirt so I put on my tennis shoes and threw on a coat since it was about 11pm and I didn't think I would see anyone I knew. I know the WalMart in the next town was open 24 hours so out to the car I go. Luckily my neighbor was getting something out of her car and said hi and asked where I was going. I told her of my dilemma and immediately she offered me the flour that she had. I gladly took it and replaced it with a new bag the next day. I love having wonderful neighbors!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fashion Baron

Blog Prompt: Fashion Baron. You are the up and coming fashion designer of the age. What kind of fashions and fabrics can we expect?

Of course I will focus on comfort such as pants that are a little stretchy and not to tight. Tops will be made of soft material also. But my main focus will be on color. After years of teaching and wearing conservative colors, I realize that we need to bring more color into people's lives. There will be more mixing of bright colors like orange, purple and green. Maybe more blues with yellows and reds. These will be worn by people of all sizes and shapes and ages. Maybe that is why a lot of people feel depressed in the winter, because there is not enough color in their world!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fashion Personality Quiz

Blog Prompt: Since we seemed to have a good time with the little fashion quiz yesterday I found another: Fashion Personality Quiz. Let's see what kind of fashion personality you have.

Woo hoo! I wanted to be a casual cutie and it was nice to find out that I am one!

You're more of Casual Cutie
Comfort is your middle name. If you're not comfortable, then why bother? You'd choose cotton and spandex over tight clothing and itchy fabric any day. You understand that to look good, you must feel good on the inside and outside. You also believe that fashion isn't necessarily the best reflection of who you are - it's what's on the inside that counts. Maybe you are in a fashion rut or just aren't sure how to spice up your look while still feeling like you're YOU underneath. Whatever it is, don't be afraid to experiment. Add bolder choices gradually, but always choose something you feel at ease in.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Paperdoll Psychology Test

Blog Prompt: Since most of this month has been about fashion, I thought it would be fun to take and post our results of the Paperdoll Psychology test.



Pure Victoria! Not bad.Though some people think of Queen Victoria's reign as repressive and prudish, it was also a time of progress. Tonight, rent "Mrs. Brown" and relax with a nice cup of tea.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stressed or Prepared?

Blog Prompt: You have an important meeting this morning. Are you running around rushed and stressed or are you prepared?

I would like to imagine that I would be prepared because I'm retired now and should have plenty of time for this. I usually like to have things ready for a meeting at least a week in advance in case I hit any snags.

Now, on the other hand, I have an important meeting scheduled for Nov. 7 and I'm starting to stress out about it. I feel like a procrastinator because I don't have anything solidly done yet but I have lots of ideas floating in my mind. I will be doing 2 hour professional development seminar for 30 people who work at the Literacy Association. I was asked to share my knowledge of teaching disabled students to the staff so they can be more effective. I have all these great thoughts but I just need to sit down and start putting in altogether.

Today's prompt was like a kick in the butt and reminded me that I need to get busy so that I will be prepared and not rushed and stressed!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Meme from ArcaneFaery

I have been tagged by ArcaneFaery. I have to list seven things about me you probably don't know.


1. Who was your first prom date?
I can't remember his name (I mean, it was a LONG time ago!) but he looked so much like John Denver and he played a guitar. At the time I loooooooved John Denver.

2. Who was your first roommate?
Marlena Davis. I had never roomed with anyone until I came to college so this was a hard adjustment for me. She wore these bangle bracelets to bed and all night long I heard them jingle jangle (until I got used to them and then I never heard them again.)

3. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
Home to NY from college in SC.


4. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
I never snuck out of the house because I was too afraid my parents would kill me!


5. Whose wedding were you in the first time?
My sister's wedding as a junior bridesmaid.


6. What was the first concert you ever went to?
Alabama when they played at the Bowery in Myrtle Beach before they ever became famous.


7. First tattoo or piercing?
Earrings when I was a child and didn't even walk. No tattoos.


And I'm supposed to tag 7 other people but here is the best I can do:
Katrina from Bits and Bobs
Mom2Triplets04 of Creative Triplet Mom
Joan of Ebears West Oz
Beachcomber of Lunar Tides

Friday, September 14, 2007

Makeup Blog Prompts for the week


I've been in the Smokies all week camping and hiking (here is a picture I took), so I played catch-up in today's post:

Tuesday blog prompt: Real Finds. Have you ever bought anything on the spur of the moment, something you weren't sure you would ever use, then realized you came home with a gem?
We go to flea markets as much as possible and my hubby believes that every piece of junk (I mean treasure) will be useful one day. He collects postcards and buys them if they are a dollar or less and then he comes home to usually find out they are worth more than that. I usually buy things that look pretty or unique so we can hang it up in our playroom. The last big thing we bought on the spur of the moment was our car. We were supposed to just go shopping to look at the Prius but within hours drove it off the car lot. We weren’t sure that we made the right decision but now 6 months later, we are really happy with our choice because it has saved us lots of gas money which means we get to travel more!

Thursday blog prompt: Self-motivation. Ever get in a rut and didn't feel like you would ever get out? What did you do to pull yourself up and out?
Most of the time I tell my hubby my problem and he tries to give me suggestions on how to get out of it. Usually he comes up with something that works. A lot of times I get online and try to read inspiration emails or websites to find out about new things. I also read the paper to see if there are any new things happening locally and then talk my hubby into doing it with me. Sometimes I suggest we call some friends that we haven’t seen in awhile and invite them out to dinner.

Friday blog prompt: Beauty Secrets. What beauty secrets do you use (no matter how unusual)?
I have never been and will never be any great beauty hence, there are no beauty secrets from me. The only things I can even think of suggesting are:
• When I feel bloated or fat, I wear my shirts outside my pants or a sweatshirt.
• I heard that vertical stripes make you look thinner.
• If I’m having a bad hair day, I wear a ball cap.
• I have used Listerine in the winter to help with my dandruff because I have eczema.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Attention to Detail

Blog Prompt: Attention to Detail. When people come to your home what is the first thing you want them to see and why?

The first thing I like them to see is how big it is. My home is a very old house right downtown that was built around the 1920s. It used to be a 2 story house but the elderly couple couldn't get upstairs so they chopped off the top story. The house had one of those huge entryways with a staircase so they took out the staircase and made 30 percent of it into the foyer and the rest became the master bedroom. This means my bedroom has 3 doors: one goes to a small hallway to my hubby's bathroom and one goes out to the livingroom and another to the kitchen. I have front porch and a side porch and a back deck also. We added on a huge playroom for my hot tub, pool table, bathroom, and big screen TV. My hubby has an office for his postcards, trains, and junk he collects from flea markets and I have an office filled with books, my accordion, and school stuff. My office is also the guest room with a bathroom. We have a huge livingroom and diningroom with a bow window that I love but unfortunately we never spend any time in those 2 rooms. I really enjoy living in my house.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Fashion Facts

Blog Prompt: Fashion Facts. Over the centuries, fashions have taken dramatic changes. Do you know of any obscure fashion facts to add to our knowledge?

Footbinding was a custom practised on young females for approximately one thousand years in China, beginning in the 10th century and ending in the early 20th century. In Chinese foot binding, young girls' feet, usually at age 6 but often earlier, were wrapped in tight bandages so that they could not grow and develop normally; they would, instead, break and become highly deformed, not growing past 4-6 inches (10-15 cm). As the girl reached adulthood, her feet would remain small and dysfunctional, prone to infection, paralysis, and muscular atrophy. This was initially a common practice only in the wealthiest parts of China, particularly in areas around northern China. However, by the late Qing Dynasty, foot binding had become popular among people of all social classes except the poorest, who needed able-bodied women to work the fields. Today, it is a prominent cause of disability among some elderly Chinese women.

I couldn't resist this since I have heard that many of my ancestors had this done. I'm so glad that this has stopped being done!

Now for beach fashion facts that I've learned since I've been here at Myrtle Beach (I truly hope I don't offend anyone but these are really just my opinion and not true facts!)
The fatter a woman is, the more reason for her NOT to wear a bikini.
The fatter a man is, the more reason for him NOT to wear a tiny speedo.
If you already have a man, it doesn't matter what you wear or what you look like, they think you are sexy no matter what (ask my hubby!).
Young girls of today do not know what it is like to have flat tummies because they all have poochy tummies and aren't the least bit embarrassed about it (as seen at Hooters restaurant).
Bathing suits for women have not really changed in the past 30 years.
If you are wearing a bikini and get in the ocean with a rough surf, make sure your top is tied on tight.
If you are comfortable with what you are wearing, you will have fun on the beach!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Shoes

I am not a big shoes expert. I have one pair of black shoes with a heel that I wear with dress pants. Then I have a pair of black pumps to wear with my dresses when it is cold and a pair of black sandals with a low heel to wear with my dresses when it is warmer. I have a pair of reebok tennis shoes I wear all other times when it is cold and a pair of Teva sandals (my sister calls them Jesus sandals) that I wear when it is warmer. The only other thing I own are a pair of black rubber clogs I wear when we are camping or wading in the rivers because they are comfortable, fast drying, and lightweight. Of course I have other shoes that I haven't worn in years but I hang onto for sentimental reasons or I might someday want to wear them again. I'm kicking myself for getting rid of my 20 year old Dr. Scholl wooden sandals that I bought at Walmart for about $7 and now I want another pair and I can't find them locally (but they are on the internet for $35 plus shipping). I also used to have a pair of black stylish boots that I had for 20 years and finally threw out when we moved. Of course, here they are back in style and I don't have them anymore. Oh well, that's the way life goes.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hats

Blog Prompt: Fashionably Correct. In years past one would not be seen without a hat to complete your ensemble. Not so much these days. When and where do you think it is fashionably correct to wear a hat?

Down here in the south, it seems like it is fashionably correct to wear a hat anytime! Most people take it off inside buildings and during prayers though! Most men around here wear ball caps and now that my hair is longer, I like to wear one when I'm hiking with my pony tail sticking out. (I think it makes me look skinnier! LOL) When I taught, it was a rule that the kids had to take them off in the building and you wouldn't believe how many hats I took away! I usually warned them by asking them to take it off and of course, some would back talk and refuse to take it off so of course I would be stubborn and finally take away the hat which involved calling parents, detentions, loud voices etc. - all over a stupid ball cap!

There is one lady at church that wears the neatest biggest brightest fancy hats to match her dress outfits (I love her to death because I think it takes a really brave and self-secure woman to do this!) and I keep thinking that I wish more people would wear them so I could and not feel uncomfortable! Lots of women wear fancy hats during the football homecoming games. I have been to an outdoor anniversary party where all women had to wear hats and gloves (I really thought this was a neat idea and enjoyed it tremendously!).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Simplify Life

Blog Prompt: Simplify life. We all have them, those household items that we purchase for one thing and then end up using them for another. What items do you have that serve double duty?

I guess the one thing I use the most are Hefty ziplock bags. I use them for the following:
1. store food of course
2. ice packs
3. funnel when I'm camping
4. packing clothes (I put all my underwear in one, tops in another etc. and punch a few holes in them to let the air out. When they search the bags in the airport, all of my things stay together.)
5. store credit card receipts for tax purposes
6. hold cuttings of plants that I get from other gardeners
7. hold seashells when I go to the beach
8. protect camera in my backpack from rain

I'm sure I use them for other things too but I can't think of anymore right now.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment

Blog Prompt: Fashion Woes. What, in your opinion, is your most embarrassing fashion moment.

Gee I have so many and I have to pick the most embarrassing? I guess I was in college at the time of hip hugger bell bottoms. On the day of anyone's birthday, it was common to see them grabbed in the dining hall and thrown in the man made lake so I knew what to expect. Sure enough, that night at dinner on my birthday, a group of guys approached me and carried me out to the lake for a toss. I fought courageously and took 2 of the 4 guys in with me. (Now you ask, how heavy was I that it took 4 guys to carry me out?! I was only 100 pounds but I was scared so I fought like a tiger!) Now comes the embarrassing part. The water was around chest level and there was a wall all along the edge so when it was time to haul me out of the lake the guys took my arms to pull me out. Unfortunately all the water soaked in my blue jeans plus the duck muck was pretty deep and the guys couldn't pull me out. It took 4 guys to pull me out and there was a huge sucking sound as they pulled me out and I almost lost my pants. They had a hold of my arms so I couldn't grab my pants. It was not a pretty sight!

I did this quiz that I saw on Tink's blog. I thought it was intriguing!
How will I die?
Your Result: You will die in your sleep.
 

A peaceful departure into the next life. You are blessed with the good fortune of passing from sleep into eternity. Do not fear sleep. To dream into the next life is a rare gift.

You will die while saving someone's life.
 
You will die while having sex.
 
You will die from a terminal illness.
 
You will die of boredom.
 
You will die in a car accident.
 
You will be murdered.
 
You will die in a nuclear holocaust.
 
How will I die?
Create a Quiz

Friday, August 31, 2007

Dress Code

Blog Prompt: Now that school has started back here, the big issue is the dress code. Do you agree with having a dress code and if so, who should determine what it should be? Should it be the principal, the school board, the students, the parents, the state dept. of ed or someone else?

After teaching all these years, I'm all in favor of a dress code. We are in the business of teaching children, so shouldn't we teach them how to dress appropriately? I am not in favor of uniforms because I don't think that necessarily teaches kids how to dress appropriately, just the same. I am so sick and tired of seeing pants falling off of boy's backsides and showing 4 or 5 pairs of boxers they have on, girls showing their tummies with pierced things sticking out and more than likely many of these young girls are overweight and they roll over the waistband of their stretch pants to show even more skin...oh sorry, I'm getting agitated just thinking about it! Little girls are dressing like hoochie mamas (that's what my students called girls who were loose!). I always wondered if that was Jon Benet Ramsey's downfall. It disgusts me to watch the boys holding on to the front of their pants with one hand, while they talk on a cell phone on the other. What kind of jobs do these kids plan on getting? Even construction workers don't wear sagging pants because of the safety issue!

I think there should be a committee of students, parents, school personnel, and business people who decide what the dress code should be. This way everyone can have input into what and why. I don't think there is any way to please all of the people all of the time, but I think it is time for someone to do something!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Blog Prompt: Just call me nosy Rosy! I had to defrost my freezer this month in hopes of repairing it, which we did. It amazed me to find stuff in there that I had forgotten about! Name 5 things in your freezer right now.

1. brown and serve sausage
2. wine glasses
3. pork marinated in special bbq sauce
4. chicken thighs
5. blue plastic block filled with water for my small cooler

(I told my hubby about the prompt and he said I should have also asked how many people had to go look first! LOL He couldn't name 5 things. His list was more like ice cubes, sausage, and air)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More Herbs, Less Salt Day

Blog Prompt: Today is More Herbs, Less Salt Day. What herb(s) do you like in your food?

I like to cook with garlic and ginger root. I do a lot of stir fry stuff so this really flavors my food. They are the main things that I use but sometimes in my meat loaf I will add basil and oregano. Of course I don't really like cooking much but since I've retired, I've been cooking more at home. Maybe I will learn to be a better cook from reading other people's blogs about the herbs they use.

Now it is time to get ready for a day of hiking. I'm going to the Blue Ridge Parkway with a group to pick blueberries. I hate blueberries but my hubby loves them, so... the things you do for love!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Serious Illness

Blog Prompt: Describe the most serious illness you have ever had.

I have been very lucky in my life (knock on wood!). The most serious illness I've ever had was the food poisoning episode from last week. It hit me so suddenly and involved so much blood and dehydration that it scared me pretty bad. I felt like I was going to die! I know it scared my husband pretty bad also because he didn't leave my side for 2 days. After going to the emergency room (the first time I've ever been there because I was sick), the doctors told me that there was nothing they could do for me and that it had to "run its course" and I needed to stay hydrated. They considered admitting me but I talked them out of it since they couldn't give me anything, I was too cheap to pay the high expenses for them to watch me!

Thank goodness my hubby is such a wonderful caregiver whenever I am sick because I know as long as he is there, I will be taken care of. I had no appetite and didn't want to drink anything but he badgered and nagged me so that I would eat and drink in order to get well. I've been very tired this week and not up to par so I didn't even get to do any hiking for the past week. I have been taking a little nap before lunch and after lunch. Now that I'm feeling so much better, we have started back walking our 3 miles in the evening (at a slower pace than usual) and I will go hiking tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

10 Favorite Words

Blog Prompt: What are your 10 favorite words.

These are not in order of favorite-ness though:
1. retirement
2. health
3. love
4. chocolate
5. salt
6. hiking
7. sunny
8. internet
9. camera
10. family

Friday, August 24, 2007

Food I Could Never Give up!

Blog Prompt: One food you would never give up is salt.

At first I thought this would be easy but after I started thinking about items, I realized that I would probably be able to give it up. I finally narrowed it down to salt. I love salt! I love food with salt on it and I put salt on practically everything. I can't imagine life without salt. When I was younger, I loved to pour salt in the palm of my hand and lick it off. (Hope that doesn't gross anyone out!) In fact, have you ever baked a cake and forgotten to put salt in it? It is horrible! Salt is probably the most important food in the world! Thank goodness I don't have high blood pressure because I can't imagine what I would do if they told me I couldn't have salt.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hoodie Hoo Day

Blog Prompt: Thurs. Aug. 23 is Southern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day -- Long awaited by our Southern-half friends, this is the day to go outdoors at high noon and yell "Hoodie-Hoo" to chase winter and make ready for spring. Do you do something traditional during a specific season (like spring cleaning for example)? If so, what do you do?

When I was growing up my mother made us do spring and fall cleaning (watching drapes, windows, carpets, and all the heavy duty yucky stuff) so out of rebellion, I don't do any of that stuff. My drapes probably have cobwebs all over them and when I get in the mood, I vacuum them. The windows get washed when they are so dirty, I can't see out of them. I call a professional carpet cleaner to do the carpet every other year whether it needs it or not. All other stuff is ignored!

The only thing I really do is switch clothes. I have a clothes closet and in the fall, my spring clothes go in there and vice versa. Also every spring, I go and buy loads of plants even though I know I will kill half of them before summer is over. Every fall I buy truckloads of mulch and pine needles and complain about why in the world I ever considered this endeavor and if I ever think of this again I hope someone kicks me in the butt!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Book Are You?




You're To Kill a Mockingbird!

by Harper Lee

Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have
changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've
also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to
persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you,
but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you
whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

This was great because this is one of my all time favorite book and movie!

Be an Angel Day

Blog Prompt: Wed. Aug 22 is Be an Angel Day. Tell something nice you could do for someone today.

My neighbor just had a mastectomy and a hysterectomy so she is left with little energy and going through chemo. If she would let me, I would go to her house and do all those little chores you put off every day. I would clean her bathrooms, vacuum, dust, empty trash, wash dishes (all those chores that are actually waiting for me here at home!) I would even run to the grocery store to get things she needed (I hate going grocery shopping).

Monday, August 20, 2007

3 People I Emailed

Blog Prompt: Name three people you last e-mailed, and why.

  1. Group email to the Turtles (hiking group): our leader is away in NY so I am the back up leader. An email goes out every Sunday evening reminding them where our Wed. hike is and what we will be doing. This Wed. we are doing trail maintenance at a state park which is our way of "giving back" for all the wonderful trails we hike on.
  2. The teacher who took my place: she wanted some things I developed on the computer to use in the classroom so the transition to a new teacher wouldn't be so bad. I miss the kids already but I don't miss the actual paperwork!
  3. Glynis: to give her a blogger award. She is really on the ball with the blogger prompts and leads this the month before I do. I was thrilled to get this award from Tink who lead the prompts the month after me. What a trio we are!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Happenings


I want to start off by thanking Tink for this blogger award! I'm so honored! What a great email to get when I got home this weekend!

I also want to give 2 others this award who have been very diligent in doing the daily blog prompts and I find really interesting to read:
Now I have to go and do the laundry from this weekend's camping trip. We went to the lake to visit my sister in law and her husband. They have this magnificent large motor home and they go all out (it was wonderful having breakfast and dinner cooked for me!) but I think they had a hard time understanding that we like our tent! LOL

Friday, August 17, 2007

5 Things Around My Computer

Blog Prompt: Name five things lying around your computer.
  1. TV remote control
  2. Can of Diet Pepsi (It is 100 degrees outside!)
  3. Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Read a chapter, take a break, play on computer and then go back to reading)
  4. Printer
  5. External Hard Drive

What can I say, I'm a geek!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis

Blog Prompt: Aug 16 is the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Do you know who Elvis is? If so, what was your favorite movie? Are you a big fan of his? Why or why not?

I grew up watching Elvis movies because my oldest sister loved Elvis! My favorite movie was Blue Hawaii and I could watch it over and over. I love the songs and the sweet romance and the fact that it takes place in Hawaii (where I've never been before). I'm not a big fan of his other than I like to watch his movies. I remember near the end of his life that I had thought he was just a big fat drug addict. It was such a waste that he abused his body so much when he seemed to have so much so I don't think I would still be a fan if he was alive today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Relaxation

Blog Prompt: Aug 15 is National Relaxation Day. Tell what things you see, hear or do that relaxes you.

  1. Reading: I love to read when I'm eating (which sometimes drives my hubby crazy!) but I find it very relaxing.
  2. Music: especially when I'm driving (which tends to stress me out a little).
  3. Hiking: I makes me glad to be alive. It puts any problems I have into perspective and I'm not stressed out anymore.
  4. Browing layouts in DSP Gallery: I love to look at the techniques used, the stories told, the photos used, the colors used.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Childhood Sound

Blog Prompt: Describe a 'sound' from your childhood. What was it? When did you hear it? What does it bring to mind?

Yesterday as my hubby and I walked in the park for our evening exercise, I heard the music of an ice cream truck. Immediately that brought back some memories of childhood. I didn't get to buy ice cream much from the ice cream truck (called Mr. Softee) but when I did, it was a big deal! I used to get a cone that was called Mickey Mouse (nonpareils were used as the ears, and a cherry for the nose).

Another time I remember staying at my aunt's house during the summer one time when I was about 8 years old. There were 6 kids much older than I was and when they went to work, I was left alone with my aunt and uncle, who did not speak any English. Of course, I didn't speak any Chinese so this was a challenging time for me. I was a little lonely, bored, and scared but I had my books with me so I knew I would be alright. My aunt brought me in this huge tray full of hard candy that tasted like coconut so I was happy as I read the morning away. In the afternoon, she came and took my hand and made me go outside. I was a little confused until I heard the ice cream truck. With a huge smile on her face, she handed me some money and let me buy ice cream. When everyone came home from work, I realized that I had a wonderful day and it didn't matter that we couldn't speak each other's language, we still communicated!