My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

About myself

This is a layout about myself that I did last August. This is for a challenge made by Karen. Check it out on Karen's Blog.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

If I were a child / I Wish I Could Learn...

Blog Prompt: If you could be child for one day, how old would you be and what would you do?

If I could be a child, I would be around 5 years old. I remember being the center of attention and loving my family so much. I didn't seem to have any worries or concerns because I was well cared for and loved. I was also very spoiled (so they tell me!) and I never wanted for anything. I would go on vacation with my parents and my 2 sisters because we very rarely got to do that. My dad worked 6 days a week in a Chinese restaurant and so we never went away except one week a year for a vacation. We usually drove to SC (from NY) to visit my aunt. I loved being with my family!

Blog Prompt: I wish I could learn..... because.....

I wish I could learn Cantonese before my dad dies. I am the only one who can not speak Chinese in my family. My parents and my sisters, who were 10 and 12 years older than me, all spoke Cantonese. When I started kindegarden, the teachers told my parents that my broken English was unacceptable and that they needed to stop speaking Chinese to me. Of course my parents trusted these educated people and so I'm the only one who can't speak Chinese. Whenever we visited relatives as I grew up, they laughed at me for not knowing what they said. I always had to have everything translated to me. It was bad enough that I was the only Chinese student in school which made me different and a target for bullying but then to be made fun of when I was with relatives was really hard for me. This caused me to resent being Chinese and I tried to be as American as I could. Now that I'm older and wiser, I embrace my uniqueness. I have more confidence and self esteem than I did growing up and I would like to find my roots. In 2000 I went to China for the first time to see the country where my father and sisters were born. It was a really wonderful feeling for me because for the first time in my life, I wasn't different! Now I want to learn the language of my father before he dies so we could have a conversation in it like I never did as a child.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Blog Prompt: How does your city celebrate this day or do you do anything special? Do you know anyone who has served in the military? If so, let us know so that we can honor all of those who serve their country.

For the first time, our neighboring town is hosting Freedom Weekend Aloft which is a hot air ball festival with rides, food, and concerts. We haven't gone yet but I'm hoping to talk my hubby into going. They expect around 50,000 people and he hates traffic, so I don't know if we will get to go.

This weekend we went to Bryson City, NC camping with 18 other friends. We did some hiking and sitting around the campfire. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the weekend. The weather was perfect too which is unusual for us since there are usually rain showers when we go there.

My father was in the Army and my father in law was in the Air Force during WWII, my cousin and brother in law were in the Army during the Vietnam War, and my husband was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. During the war my father in law was shot down and severely injured but survived. He lived for about 50 years with major things missing in his abdomen area and the doctors were never sure how he was still alive. I guess he just had a stubborn will to live. At least I know where my husband got his stubborness!

I Wish

Blog Prompt: I wish I could see...... because.....

I wish I could see my mother and sister because I didn't tell them enough that I loved them. In my heart I know they knew that I loved them but now I'm older and wiser and would love to see them face to face and tell them. I was only 14 when my sister died at 27. I was young, spoiled, and pretty self centered at the time but I was very close to her. I think that is why I don't remember much of my high school years (besides that it was 34 years ago! lol) but I think I grieved for her and worried about my parents coping. I look back now at all the sacrifices that my mother made for me and I never really appreciated it until she was gone. After I was married I told her thank you for many things but I don't think I ever really told her thanks for all of the things she taught me, gave up fore me, and caring for me as I grew up. It's been almost 18 years since she passed away but I still miss at.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Best Teacher

Blog Prompt: Describe the best teacher you ever had.

The best teacher I've ever had was Lesley Wheatley (now Lesley Quast), a professor at Furman University. She saw things in me that I didn't know was there. I was pretty shy and had very little confidence. Growing up sheltered and spoiled, I felt that I really wasn't capable of doing much but I always dreamed of being a teacher and was determined to achieve this dream. I loved every class she taught. She was so calm and assured that I wanted to model myself after her. By encouraging me to observe other teachers and have hands on experiences, it was her gentle way of teaching me. I was always in awe of her knowledge and never felt confident enough to have in depth conversations with her so I remember standing apart from the crowd that always surrounded her. Yet, she never gave up on me and always included me whenever she could. In my senior year of college, I almost gave up my dream but she would not let me and now I'm actually getting ready to retire from teaching. We still keep in touch which is amazing to me and now I'm able to talk to her with more confidence. In fact, she sent an email letting me know how far I've come since way back then and it really warmed my heart! I have won some teaching awards over the years and I have tried to thank her for all that she has done, but I'm not sure I will ever be able to show my appreciation for the chances that she has given me. All I can say is: Thank You Dr. Quast!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yucky Food

Blog Prompt: I wish I didn't have to eat...... I don't like this food because.....

I wish I didn't have to eat pasta. I don't like this food because I LOVE this food! But it makes me gain weight. I could eat pasta 3 times a day every day of the week. I love it in any way, shape, or form. I like it cold or hot. It can be covered in sauce or mixed in a salad. I should have been born Italian instead of Chinese! If we go out to eat and there is something with pasta on the menu (and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg), I will probably order that dish. My hubby says I'm so predictable. For some reason, the calories go straight to the stomach! Now that I've written this stuff I'm hungry for pasta and it's only 5:35am!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Falling Asleep

Blog Prompt: What do you think about when you can't fall asleep?

When I have trouble falling asleep, usually my thoughts are all in a jumble. I start making lists of things I need to do, lists of things I want to do, lists of things I DON'T want to do, lists of things I want other people to do! I guess you get the picture. But if something has upset me earlier in the day, I start having pretend conversations and rehearsing things I want to say. Of course this just makes me even more upset. When I try to force myself not to think of these thoughts, I try to count backwards from 1000. But I usually get sidetracked and find myself going back to the other thoughts. I hate when this happens!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Free Entertainment

Blog Prompt: Tell about something you do for entertainment that doesn't cost any money.
  1. Hiking and camping! Since I bought my hiking boots 10 years ago, and my daypack about 15 years ago and my tent about 8 years ago, I don't consider that as spending any money. Of course we do use gas to get us to the trailhead but other than that we don't spend any money. AND since I have a new car that gets 50 miles to the gallon, I don't think I will count that cost.
  2. I love to garden. For me it is instant gratification because I can see the progress I have made when I weed or if I plant things. I always feel so proud when I get compliments on my garden.
  3. Playing with my worms. I have 2 huge compost bins full of worms. I feed them food scraps and shredded paper. Then when I have time, I separate the compost (worm poop) and spread it around my flowers.
  4. I love to sit in my "play room" and look through the window as the birds play in my water garden.
  5. I love to go to the library and check out books at least twice a week.
  6. My hubby and I walk about 3 miles in the local park each day. We have no phone, no computer, no TV, and no interruptions. This is 100% quality time together.
  7. I love to read. I read at breakfast, in the evenings, and I have to read before I go to sleep or I can't sleep.
  8. Listen to free podcasts that I download from Itunes.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wonderful Weekend

If you DID want to be famous, what would you like to be famous for doing?

If I was famous, I would love to be famous for being a master gardener. I'm still an amateur and learning and making lots of mistakes every day. I love to look at all these famous gardens and wish that mine could look like that. Of course I don't have a whole crew getting paid megabucks and unlimited resources to buy plants. Instead I'm doing all of this myself.

But...I had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday morning I went out and spread about 10 bales of pine needles after breakfast. When I came in for a drink, my hubby actually volunteered to trim some of the bushes for me. Then he even got the hand saw and trim dozens of limbs for me that I couldn't cut with my hand pruner. Of course there was a wedding going on across the street so I couldn't drag ethe debris to the street but that was okay. Then we took a break and went to lunch where one of my students was working and he was thrilled. After lunch I scrapped 3 pages that I've been thinking about for a couple of days and then worked on my afghan. I watched the Nascar race with my hubby in the evening (well, kind of. I read a book and crocheted at the same time).

Sunday morning I went out at 6:30am and dragged all that debris to the road. Around 7:45 I dragged my hubby out of the bed to take me to breakfast. After breakfast I went out and worked in the jungle...I mean garden for a couple of more hours. By then it had gotten too hot to do any more so I think I'm done for the weekend. This afternoon we are going to a pig roast with my hiking club at one of the hiker's homes. I learned how to make this easy-to-make great spicy dip (VERY easy or I wouldn't do it!) that I'm bringing to the party with the Frito scoops.

I love the feeling that I've accomplished things and can actually see it. I have a feeling this will be a great week and I'm in such a good mood. Not to mention that I will be retired in 11 more work days! (Had to slip that in. In fact I try to slip the number in every conversation I'm having! I'm probably getting obnoxious about it but I don't care! lol)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Money, Power, or Fame

Blog Prompt: Which is least important to you--money, power, fame--and why?

Fame is the least important to me. I guess I'm kind of shy which is why I love the internet. I don't have to come face to face with people and can just be myself. When I'm around people I worry that I'm talking to much or I look stupid or I sound stupid. (You get the picture.) Money is important because I like to eat and travel and read and play on my computer. Without money I couldn't do those things. Power in the way of control is important to me. I'm a control freak and I have to plan in detail about things. I have lists to make sure I do the things that need to be done. I have to know the plan before hand or I go crazy so when my husband wants to do things spur of the moment, I get antsy. Since I will never be famous, I'm happy that fame is the least important to me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

This Week's Good Thing

Blog Prompt: Tell about something that made you feel good this week.

I was feeling whine-y yesterday and grumping about my bad day on Tuesday to my assistant early before school started. I was worried about what kind of day it would be when my friend came in to say good morning. All of a sudden she puts a gift bag on my desk and a card. She just decided to give me a gift and thank me for being her friend. Inside was a glass jar full of ...chocolate kisses! Now folks, you can't beat a load of chocolate kisses when you are feeling blah! I ate them all day long! Can you believe how sweet she is? All year long she is dropping little gifts on my desk and I just don't think she knows how much they mean to me. She is always so thoughtful and caring and I wish I could be that way. I want to be and think about giving little gifts like that but I never actually do it. She is always giving little gifts and getting cards for people to make their day brighter. I'm so thankful that God brought her into my circle of friends!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

5 Annoying Things

Blog Prompt: List the 5 things that annoy you the most. If you are like me, this can change from day to day, but tell me the recent annoyances that have just gotten on your nerves.
  1. People who don't show up on time. I was told to expect the pine needle delivery truck between 2 and 4 pm so I got off from work early and waited for them. At 4:30, I called the boss who apologized and said they were on their way. At 5pm, I called again and asked from what state were they leaving from. He said they would be there in ten minutes. At 5:30, I called and said that they could keep them, but I was tired of waiting. The boss insisted they were nearby and would be there in about ten minutes. Finally at 5:50 they showed up. I could barely speak to the person who of course blamed it on the boss.
  2. Inconsiderate people in parking lots. As I drive down the aisle to look for a parking space, there are usually people who walk right down the middle of the aisle blocking your car.
  3. People who pee on public toilet seats without cleaning it up. Enough said.
  4. Litter bugs. I have seen people throw trash on the ground without even thinking of picking it up and throwing it away.
  5. TV commercial volume. The commercials come on between shows so you have to lower the volume. Then when the show comes back on you have to raise the volume.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Friend Qualities

Blog Prompt: What is most important to you in a friend--loyalty, generosity, honesty--why?

I think honesty is most important to me. If I know my friend is honest, this leads to trust which is extremely important to me. I think that is why the only person I really trust with my whole heart is my husband. He is also my best friend. I know that he will be honest with me, even if it hurts. I can always count on him to be there for me. I know he will not lie or cheat on me. We have both been let down by people and agree that honesty is what makes our marriage so wonderful (going on 25 years this June). I think loyalty and generosity comes after honesty because honesty has to be established first, at least for me.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Foolish Thing

Blog Prompt: What do you think is the most foolish thing you’ve done in your life?

This was hard because I've done so many foolish things in my life! My hubby and I were actually debating this yesterday when we were hiking. It's amazing how different our views were on this. I think the most foolish thing we've done was many years ago we went on a tour in Thailand with complete strangers. I found this ad in a paper that said this company would take us to the Bridge Over the River Kwai for a really cheap price. (I know, you get what you pay for!). This lady we met and the two of us get in van with 3 young people we didn't know. They barely spoke English and we didn't speak any Thai. So, they took us to a couple of stores we didn't want to go and finally took us to the Bridge. On the way back, they took us to a couple of more stores we didn't want to shop at. Finally they took us back to the hotel. Now that I look back, I think how stupid it was to get in a van with complete strangers in a foreign country with no one knowing where we were going or who we were with. The hotel saw us arrive back and then warned us about doing this because some women at the time were being kidnapped and being sold into slavery. The only thing that saved us was that maybe we were old and fat and ugly. LOL

Above is a layout:
about what I did yesterday for Mother's Day. It was a glorious wonderful day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dreaming of the Mountains

Blog Prompt: Where would you prefer to be right now--mountains, desert, beach--and why?

Right now I would love to be in the mountains hiking. I am not a beach or desert person because I can't take the heat. I don't sweat very much and just get overheated, red faced, and almost pass out. I'm not a sun worshipper. Lupus runs in the family and the doctors recommended that I stay out of the sun as much as possible. Of course I garden, so I get my share of the sun.

It has been a stressful week and I don't see things getting any better. I only have 17 more work days until I retire but they are chock full of "stuff I gotta do"! I have final exams coming up so I also need to make the exams and review sheets. On top of that, my students don't want to be here and behavior is not the best. I also have to pack up 28 years of teaching and find a place to store the "stuff" (not junk, as my hubby calls it). So, I'm thinking of escaping to the beautiful mountains in my mind.

I would love to be in the mountains no matter what the weather is. On sunny days, everything looks so wonderful and fresh in the spring. New buds are starting and the earth's rebirth is all around. I feel so alive and in awe of God's creation. None of my trivial problems seem important when I look at all that God has done. I believe if he can perform all these miracles in nature, I know he is taking good care of me and I just need to trust him enough to let it happen, his way and not my way.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Mom

Blog Prompt: Describe your relationship with your mom or a mother figure.

Growing up, I didn't like my mother. I loved her but I didn't like her. She was stricter than all my friend's moms. She was older than the other moms too. I didn't think she was beautiful like the other younger moms either. She yelled at me when I did wrong. She was home when I got home from school and knew everything I did and who I was with. All of the other kids in high school were drinking, smoking, dating since they were 12, having sex (so they said), and just having fun! I wasn't allowed to do any of those things. Can you imagine!

I was excited about going 800 miles away to college and getting away from my mom. I ended up writing to her almost every day for the four years I was in college and she saved all of those letters. I also called home every weekend for all four years too.

When I got married, my mother made my wedding gown and it was beautiful. I then found myself going to my mom for all sorts of advice. She helped me when I was angry with my children or when I was upset about life. I counted on all of the knowledge that I resented as a young girl.

When she passed away in 1989, I was devastated. I hope she knew how much I loved her. I didn't tell her enough or tell how much and wish I did. Even though we ended each phone call with saying I Love You, I wonder why I didn't say or do more. I hope everyone who has a mother doesn't just say the words but really show you mean it while you can.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

TV Mothers

Blog Prompt: Since Mother's Day is approaching, who do you think was the best TV mom and why?
  1. Donna Reed
  2. Caroline on Little House on the Prairie
  3. Mother on Father Knows Best
  4. Mother on Happy Days
  5. Mother on the Partridge Family
  6. Mother on Family Ties

    Those are the mothers I enjoyed watching on TV. I am having a hard time picking the best but I remember wishing my mom was one of those. Since my father was 40 when I was born, people would think my parents were my grandparents. I wanted a young mother like my friends had. If I had to choose one, I would pick the mother of the Partridge Family. She always seemed like one of the kids but still the adult. I thought she was cool and would be a lot of fun to be around.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What Makes Me Feel Safe

Blog Prompt: What Makes You Feel Safe?

1. My husband. Whenever I am with him, I feel loved and secure. He encourages me to do the things I want to do even if I’m feeling too scared to do it. His unconditional love gives me the strength to enjoy life to the fullest.
2. Light. Some of you know that I am scared of the dark if I’m alone. As long as I’m with someone, I don’t mind the dark as much.
3. Financial Stability. I have to be able to pay my bills and not worry about this. I had to do too much of this early in our marriage and maybe this worry is for young people. I’m getting too old to have to deal with this worry.
4. Knowledge. I can’t stand not knowing what is going to happen. I am such a type “A” personality that I can’t stand not knowing what to expect. I have to have organization or I feel off balanced.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Blog Prompt: What do you think about ghosts?

I believe that there are spirits that tend to make themselves known at different times in my life.

My sister passed away when I started 10th grade and we were very close even though she was 12 years older than me. At the time I remember a very sickly hospital smell that I only associate with her death. I have never smelled in again in the hospital or any medical center. During important events in my life (high school graduation, college graduation, wedding etc. ) I have had that smell appear again and I'm the only one who can smell it. When I was younger, it scared me but now it doesn't. I believe my sister was there to share in these special times.

I believe there is a spirit attached to my house (the former owner died of cancer in my house). I have been awakened to someone's breath on my left cheek as I lay in bed even though my hubby sleeps on my right side. Things get missing and then we find them in an unlikely place and I'm sure the mischievous spirit is messing with my mind. We think the spirit protected us from up-to-no-good kitchen painters. All of the bulbs in the lights dimmed to where the orange element was the only thing glowing. In the livingroom the lights were so bright you couldn't stand in there. Immediately we called an electrician who came out to check so we wouldn't have a fire but he said this was impossible because a 60 watt bulb can only burn 60 watts. It scared the painters so bad that they left and wouldn't return. Right after they left the house, all the bulbs returned to normal and this hasn't ever happened again. That was about 8 years ago. I'm not scared though because if he wanted to hurt us, he would have a long time ago. We've lived in this house for almost 12 years.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Favorite Cartoon/Comic Strip Character

Blog Prompt: Who are your 5 Favorite Comic/Cartoon characters?
  1. Casper the Friendly Ghost - since I'm afraid of the dark, I always hoped there was a Casper out there to take care of me
  2. Charlie Brown - I always felt sorry for him
  3. Garfield - I love his attitude!
  4. Ziggy - I'm a sucker for a sad story.
  5. Cathy - I can relate to a lot of her situations.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

5 Dishes

Blog Prompt: You have heard that the President and his wife of an obscure country is coming to visit and picked you (and your family if you want) to have dinner with. You can decide to cook for them or order in or take them out. What 5 dishes would you want them to taste? They can be any part of a meal (appetizers, main dish, vegetables, salads, desserts) or all of one type (all deserts for example).

I am not a good cook, in fact I'm not much of a cook at all. I don't enjoy cooking but can if I have to. That being said, I would definitely take them out for dinner or order in for the main dishes. The 5 dishes I would want them to taste would be:
  1. Pasta salad (I use tri colored rotini, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, olives, oregano, basil, red cider vinegar, salt)
  2. Fried Green Tomatoes (I never had them before I married my hubby but I love them! These would have to be cooked by someone else.)
  3. Baked Ziti or Lasagna with lots of cheese (Have be cooked by someone else!)
  4. Kentucky Fried Chicken Hot Wings that are freshly cooked.
  5. Ice Cream Banana Split (Baskin Robbins with the following ice cream: Cherry Jubilee, Jamoca, Butter Pecan)
Okay, now I have to go to work and I just finished a bowl of cereal but I'm SO hungry all of a sudden!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Important Occupations

Blog Prompt: You have been appointed the head of the Department of Labor and plan to set salaries according to how important an occupation is. What do you think are the top 5 most important occupations?

  1. Dentist/Doctor - if you ever had a toothache or backache, you would agree!
  2. Police - Every world needs law and order.
  3. Sanitation Workers - Definite must!
  4. Farmers - I like to eat even more than I like hiking!
  5. Comedians (Life isn't worth anything if you can't laugh about it, right?)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

5 Must See Places

Blog Prompt: You won the travel lotto! You will get an all expense paid trip for you and your family to 5 places anywhere in the world. List the 5 "Must See" places in the world you would go see.

  1. A month-long tour of China. I went in 2000 and went to Beijing, Shanghai, 7 day cruise down the Yangtze river and the new dam (before it all was filled with water), Xian, and Hong Kong. It was fantastic and I would do it again in a heart beat!
  2. Macchu Picchu in Peru. I would love to hike up the Inca Trail
  3. A tour of Greece - it looks magical and I've never been there. I'd love to see all the ruins that I've studied about it college.
  4. Ireland and Scotland - I love the accents; I love looking at pictures of the scenery; I want to see the castles; and I love bagpipes!
  5. New Zealand - I loved Lord of the Rings; I heard they don't have poisonous snakes; it looks magical; and it is as far away from home as I can get without leaving the earth.