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!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Autobiography

Blog Prompt: If you were to write your autobiography, what would the title be? And the chapter headings? Who would write the forward and to whom would the book be dedicated?

The title would probably be: Life of Loony.
The chapters would be:
Life as a child (how it all began).
Life in high school (after my oldest sister died and how it impacted my life).
Life in college (take an overprotected youngest child and let her loose in college 800 miles away from home).
Life as a teacher (follow my career and see all my failures and successes).
Life as a wife and stepmother (see all the mistakes and joys I've had in my personal life).
Life as an adventurer and traveler (my traveling fun around the US and abroad).
Life as a hiker (hiking stories that involve rescues and snakebites).
Life during retirement (not sure what that will include because it hadn't happened yet).

The forward would be written by my fellow teachers and it would be dedicated to my hubby who has been here for me for most of my life and encouraged me to grow and be what I wanted to be.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Blog Prompt: What's your favorite way to travel? Car, plane, train, boat? What do you do while you're traveling? (Assuming you're not the driver!)

I don't have a particular favorite way to travel because I love any kind of travel. I love flying to new places and I love cruises. I've ridden subways in different cities and even the train from London to Paris through the chunnel. Of course on my weekends, we just get in the car and drive to places near us. I usually have a book or my laptop with me so I'm reading or playing on my computer. Hubby thinks I should be admiring the landscape or talking to him when he's driving so I try to do that too (so he doesn't get jealous).

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sleeping Troubles

Blog Prompt: What do you do when you have trouble sleeping? Any special techniques for counting sheep or secret family recipes for warm milk?

I don't usually have trouble sleeping. I have more trouble staying awake after 10pm (I get up at 4:45 with or without an alarm and no matter what time I go to bed). For me it is simple, because if I have trouble sleeping, I just read a book. Usually it some cheesy romantic novel (I love those happy endings). In fact, I can't go to sleep unless I've read for a few minutes first, even if I'm so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open. If I don't read, it is like I haven't brushed my teeth or gone to bathroom.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


1. Are you careful with the spines? Or do you crack your books open to make them lay flat?
I open my books as much as they will open but I don't turn them backwards inside out to crack the spines. I read a lot when I'm eating and I like for the book to lay flat but if it doesn't I find something heavy to lay across the top to hold it open.
2. Do you use bookmarks? Or do you dog-ear the corners? If you do use bookmarks, do you use those fashionable metal ones? Or paper?
If the book is mine, I tend to dog-ear the corners but if it is a library book or one I've borrowed, I always use a bookmark. I have tried the expensive fancy ones but I always lose them! I usually use paper bookmarks or scraps of paper or receipts or business cards or whatever paper I can get my hands on.
3. Do you write in your books? Ever? If you do, do you make small marks, or write in as much blank space as you can find? Pen or pencil? Highlighter? Your name on the front page?
I don't usually write in my books unless it is a textbook that I've bought. If I'm studying it or teaching from it, I usually highlight and write in pencil in the margins. But since I've started doing powerpoints, I don't write in them very much.
4. Do you toss your books on the floor? Into bookbags? Or do you treat them tenderly, with respect?
I tend to toss them in my bookbags, suitcases, or even a grocery bag because I've GOT to have a book with me whereever I go. It is like an addiction. I'm afraid I will have some free time where I can read and won't have a book with me. If I don't have a book, it is like going out without a shoe. I read in the car, on cruises, on airplanes, buses, and trains, in restaurants (I bring my hubby a newspaper), when I'm waiting in line to pay my taxes, during my break at school and definitely before I go to sleep at night.
5. Do you ever lay your book face-down, to save your place?
6. Um--water? Do you bathe with your books? Hold them with wet hands? Read out in the rain? Anything of that sort?
I read while I'm in the hot tub but I always make sure my hands are dry. I hate a wet book.
7. Are your books lined up on a bookshelf? Or crammed in any which way? Stacked on the floor?
I have so many books that they are lined on every bookshelf and then stacked on top of those books and stacked on the floor. There are also boxes of books in my attic and in a storage building. I could open a big bookstore and still have boxes of books left over.
8. Do you make a distinction--as regards book care--between hardcovers and paperbacks?
9. And, to recap? Naturally, you love all of your books, but how, exactly? Are your books loved in the battered way of a well-loved teddy bear, or like a cherished photo album or item of clothing that's used, appreciated, but carefully cared for?
I have so many books but they are like the teddy bear, because they surround my life. I have books on all subjects (fact and fiction). I never know what mood I will be in to read so I want them all around me. I hate to get rid of any books so I don't. When I die, it may be because a stack of books have fallen on me.
10. Any additional comments?
Psst. Don't tell anyone, but I think I have a book addiction problem! I've loved books since I first learned to read and can't seem to read enough. Sometimes it drives my husband crazy!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Colors in the Box

Blog Prompt: Answer the following questions:
1. If you were a crayon, which color would you want to be?
I would like to be blue because I love the color blue and it is a very popular color. A lot of people use it and is well liked. It is also a necessary color for landscapes when you put in a sky or water. I want to be popular crayon and needed I guess.
2. Which color do you think you would be regardless of what you wanted?
I think I'm more of a brown. I am more of a background color used for a base like the ground in landscape. Everything else builds on the ground and it isn't anything spectacular but it help give the foundation for other things. I try to be there for others.
3. Would you rather be used and get blunt, broken and lose your wrapper, or not be used and stay pristine?
Definitely be used and broken. I would rather live life than watch it pass me by. If that means I get a little worn from it all, it is worth it!
4. Would you rather be in a small set of crayons or a large set?
I would rather be in a small set of crayons because I think in smaller groups, you can build relationships. In larger groups you tend to be more superficial. I tend to bond with other crayons better in smaller settings.
5. Would you rather be Crayola, or a different brand?
Definitely a Crayola!! I guess I still want to be part of the "popular" crowd! I think that is part of crayon-nature. But if I wasn't, I would be okay with that too because every crayon is important if even they aren't part of the name brand crowd!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Personal Hygiene

Blog Prompt: Answer the following questions:

1. How often do you typically shower/bath?
I take a shower every other day unless I really stink or I'm really dirty (from gardening). I have eczema that really messes with my skin and in the winter my skin tends to crack. This leads to infections and problems.
2. Do you prefer showering or taking a bath?
I prefer a shower, because a bath really dries out my skin.
3. What's the longest you've ever gone w/o a shower/bath?
7 days on a camping trip in a national park with no showers. Peee U! We stunk!
4. What's your favorite personal hygiene product?
My Herbal Essence shampoo because it is the only fragance that doesn't mess with my allergies.
5. Do you shave your legs? If so how often?
No, because most Asians don't have a lot of body hair so I've never shaved my legs. When my stepdaughters (who I had since they were toddlers) needed to shave, I had to get my cheerleaders tot each them how to shave. I'm so pathetic!

Monday, February 19, 2007

My Wants

Blog Prompt: 10 things you want, but don't need.

Here are 10 things I want but they are not in any order of priority.
  1. Ipod speakers (so I don't have to use headphones all the time in the house)
  2. New truck (with automatic transmission and electric locks)
  3. Load of mulch
  4. Bales of pine needles
  5. New pocketbook
  6. Winning lottery ticket
  7. Warm spring weather
  8. Full time housekeeper to clean my house and fix all my meals (haha! this will never happen)
  9. $1000 gift certificate to a plant nursery
  10. Full time gardener to work with me in my gardens (could be married to the housekeeper!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

For Once In My Life

Blog Prompt: List all of the things that have happened to you only once in your entire life.

1. Got married
2. Graduated from college
3. Won Teacher of the Year for my school
4. Got Top 10 finalist for Teacher of the Year from my district
5. Had a hysterectomy (wooo hooo!)
6. Put a boa around my neck in Nassau (and I wasn't even drinking!)
7. Went biking in Belize
8. Walked on the Great Wall of China
9. Took a 7 day cruise down the Yangtze River before they dammed it up.
10. Went to Xian in China to see the terra cotta soldiers
11. Went to Rome, Naples, Sicily, and Venice in Italy on a cruise
12. Went to see the Pompei Ruins in Italy
13. Went to Dubrovnik, Croatia and walked the wall around the old city
14. Went to see the changing of the guard in Monaco where Princess Grace lived
15. Went to Paris, France for 7 days
16. Went to London, England for 3 days
17. Became a National Board Certified Teacher
18. Lost my mother to emphysema
19. Lost my sister to lupus
20. Retired!

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Best Quality

Blog Prompt: List the qualities you prize in yourself. Is there one quality that you consider essential to your sense of your self?

This is really hard because I was brought up not to brag about yourself but to look for the good qualities in others. I would guess that I'm honest, loyal, caring, hard working, and I never give up (which could be bad when I'm arguing with my hubby! lol). I believe never giving up has been essential to who I am today. So many times growing up I felt the odds were against me and I refused to give up. My peers felt I was different, ridiculed me, and refused to do anything with me (I was the only Chinese girl in the school so I learned to be an avid reader). My parents didn't want me to go away to college and refused to give me a dime (I paid for it all myself and made straight As). My professor, in the middle of my student teaching, told me to get out of teaching because I would never be a good teacher (I was named Teacher of the Year for my school and top 10 in the district of 5000 teachers). Friends and family told me I was marrying the wrong guy and it would never last (We are celebrating our 25 anniversary this June).

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Live Out Loud

Blog Prompt: “If you ask me what I come to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” ~ Emile Zola ~What does “living out loud” mean for you?

I feel like that means to make your personal mark on this world. I feel I do that by teaching and hopefully influencing my students in a positive way. They may not like me because I'm not here to be their friend but I hope they will remember me because I've made a positive difference in their lives. I see so many teachers that say they just do their job from 8:30-3:30 and leave it all behind. I feel that in order for me to be a good teacher, I can't do that. I make phone calls home in the evenings when parents are home (they tend to be more receptive when I'm not bothering them on their job). I call home often in order to say good things so the behavior in my classes aren't a big issue. I give the students and their parents my home phone number (I have theirs so I wanted to give them mine) and no one has abused this privilege in 26 years. I have had students call me at night when they felt like running away, thinking about suicide, or were being pressured to have sex by a boyfriend. In my heart, I believe that I've been "living out loud" and I'm so thankful that God has given me the gift to teach.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Blog Prompt: How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? (Or do you?)

This morning I gave my hubby a valentine at breakfast and tonight I will make my hubby a heart shaped meat loaf. That's about it. We try to treat each other with so much love every day so Valentine's Day isn't a major holiday for us. Wait! Of course he did buy me this new lap top 2 weeks ago as my valentine's present! That was pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Changes and Keepers

Blog Prompt: List five things you’d like to change about yourself. Then list five things you wouldn’t change.

Here are the five things I'd like to change about myself:
1. my weight (I'd like to be thinner)
2. my lack of common sense
3. my inability to say no to many people who want me to do things. This causes me to be overwhelmed with "stuff" to do.
4. my lack of experience in digital scrapbooking
5. my lack of a sense of direction (I get lost very easily!)

Here are the five things I wouldn't change:
1. my life (I'm happy with what I have!)
2. my choice of career
3. my love of reading
4. my ability to use and enjoy my computer
5. my love of gardening (I find it very relaxing and rewarding)

Monday, February 12, 2007


Blog Prompt: “It’s just another manic Monday…” Write about why you like (or don’t like) Mondays.

Mondays are usually good days for me because I feel rested from the weekend. I have a whole week to get things done that I need to do so I don't feel overwhelmed. I don't worry about lesson plans for next week until Wednesday and I try to plan parent meetings for Thursdays. My students have either had fun this past weekend and can't wait to tell me about it or they are tired from all the excitement and are quiet or they were bored and are glad to be back in school. So no matter what, I can't lose. My students are usually on their best behavior on Mondays. Of course they pick up on my mood I believe so I try to be upbeat and positive on Mondays. Like Martha Stewart would say: Mondays, its a good thing.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Monumental Step

Yesterday I turned in my letter of resignation to my principal. Those of you who know me, know that I love teaching so this was pretty traumatic for me. Even though I officially retired last July, I came back to teach another year. I guess I wasn't really ready to retire last year but we (my hubby and I) have talked about it in depth for this past year. I know in my heart that I wanted to really retire at the end of this year but it is another thing to really take the step. On Wednesday we were told in a faculty meeting that we had to declare our intent about next year by Friday. Of course this meant I had no sleep on Wednesday or Thursday and agonized abgout this decision for 2 days. I don't think my hubby really expected me to do it either. Well yesterday I did and felt weepy all day.

I have so many mixed feelings about doing this. I know that I love my husband and want to spend more time together doing things so that if anything should happen, we won't have any regrets. But part of me worries about my students that I'm leaving behind, and my colleagues who seem to respect my opinion and need me. I have this fear that I will forget how to teach over time (use it or lose it philosophy). Part of me is thrilled about the thought of not having to answer to anyone (other than my hubby and vice versa). I also dread the thought of packing up and moving "stuff" I've collected over the past 26 years of teaching (do you remember that I said I was a pack rat?) I'm excited about the thought of all the adventures we will have. Yet I feel like I'm grieving too. All of these mixed emotions are very confusing too. How can I feel all those emotions all at the same time?

If the weather would just warm up so I could garden and hike and hike and hike and hike some more, I think I would feel better! lol

Friday, February 09, 2007

Words of Today

Blog Prompt: Yesterday we talked about phrases from your past. Now let's jot down some phrases from your present!List some phrases that you hear your spouse (or other family member) saying a lot. Or, for something different, take note of some of the funny things that come out of the mouths of the kids in your life!

We have had a saying in our house for years that we continue to say just about every day. "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all!" We include each other in that saying. My hubby never says bad things about especially in public. We don't cut each other down the way some couples do and I think that has helped our relationship for the past almost 25 years.

Another saying I use at home and in the classroom is "You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." My students tell me that I'm teaching them to kiss up to people and I say, whatever works! What is the harm in being nice to people? Which goes along with the saying "Kill them with kindness!" especially if its people you don't like or can't get along with. This is really hard for teenagers to do. And of course the good old saying " What goes around, comes around" which is the modern way of saying "Do unto others as you would want them to do to you." I try to remember that especially when I'm mad at people!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Words With Power

Blog Prompt: What adages, mottoes, or phrases of advice were common in your family when you were growing up? (e.g., "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." "No use crying over spilled milk." "Do what I say, not what I do.") Write about a specific incident when the phrase was used.Do those words still have any power over you?

My mother had lots of sayings but for the life of me I can't think of all of them right now. I remember how saying "if you piss in the air, it will come back on you" when she told me not to talk bad about people. My hubby prefers the saying "what goes around comes around." Of course the usual: "Because I told you so" was a big one around the house but of course now that I look back, I'm sure I asked "why" way too much!

The biggest one I remember is one that still has power over me. "Your head is in the clouds" was used by everyone talking about me because I obviously had no common sense. For some reason I can't seem to see the forest from the trees which is why I'm so thankful for my hubby. Whenever I think of some great scheme for my classroom, I always run it by him so he can help me think of logistics and important stuff. That is why I'm so successful in my classroom because he balances me out. I always have these big ideas and tend to jump in with both feet without thinking things completely through (or so I'm told) even though I think I've thought things through (phew, that was tough to say!). I plan a big party every year and thankfully my hubby helps me get ready (even though he swears he won't help every year). I want to do these great hikes and trips and hubby does all the detail planning so we always have a wonderful time whereever we go. Oh well, maybe one day I'll grow up and get my head out of the clouds but until then, I'm having a great time here in the sky!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Worst Meal

Blog Prompt: What was the worst meal you ever had?Describe it in detail! Make us taste it!

The worst meal that I've ever had (and believe me, the way I cook, I've had plenty!) has got to be leg of lamb. My parents used to cook this for dinner when I lived at home. My dad still loves to eat it even now. I hated the thought of a little lamb squealing maaaaaaaa before they killed it. Keep in mind, I have no problems with cows or pigs! I hate the texture of lamb in my mouth. The other problem is that they always served it with this green mint jelly. Now, if they have to serve lamb with something to cover up the flavor, what's wrong with this picture? And to make matters worse, I was not allowed up from the table until I finished all my food on my plate. I used to sit there picturing me old, with gray hair and wrinkles, still sitting there! Yuck!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My First Artwork

The first thing I made that I considered art was . .

I was in junior high and bored to tears one evening. I found this crewel kit that involved a needle and yard. Keep in mind that my whole family never encouraged me to do anything artsy because I was more "book smart and incapable of creating anything." This was proven by my many failures in things like sewing (my mom and sister were perfect at this) and painting or drawing (my other sister was perfect at this). I sat in my room and followed the directions to create this little frog scene on fabric. I never said anything about this to anyone because I was afraid of screwing it up. About 4 hours later I brought it out to show my family and they were stunned. Suddenly they saw me in a whole different light and it built up my self confidence tremendously.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Happy Life

My life is happy because...
I'm loved.
I'm healthy.
I feel secure.
I have a job I enjoy.
I have money to do what I want to do.
I have friends.
I have a new computer (I just HAD to put that in!).
I know that spring will be on its way (soon I hope!)
I am learning new things every day.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Blog Prompt: Some of you are just now getting winter weather, while others are right in the middle of summer. Are you looking forward to a change in season or are you enjoying it as it is? Let's talk about the weather!

I am SO ready for spring! I'm not a winter lover so I spend the whole winter wishing for warm weather. To make matters worse, it snowed yesterday so they closed schools and now we will have to make up the day. Whenever we make it up the day, it turns out that day is the most beautiful sunny warm day perfect for hiking! Since today is groundhog day, I pray that he doesn't see his shadow!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Blog Prompt: What technological discoveries are bridging the gap between generations in your family? Are you teaching your parents or are your kids teaching you?

I was the first one in my family to ever own a computer. Over the years, once my sister got a computer, we've become closer than we ever have. She is ten years older than me and when I left for college, we drifted apart. Now we talk almost once a day on Instant Messenger.

My parents are another story. They have seen me work on my laptop when I visit and watched me "talk" to my sister on IM but they have never used a computer before. My dad is 87 and my step mom is 82 so if they don't want to use one, I won't pressure them to do so. I get a lot of photos from relatives and when I visit my parents, I show them these on my computer.

I first gained most of my computer knowledge years ago from a 16 year old who attended the high school where I taught. He worked on my computer and I really respected him because if he didn't know something he admitted it. Then he would find a fix for my problem and fix it. If I needed new hardware installed, he was always willing to install it for me. His parents used to kid me that he just wanted me to buy the new stuff out on the market so he could play with it! He went on to be head of computer systems for a couple of big companies. Now he is in Arizona working but we keep in touch.