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!

Friday, June 29, 2007

My High School

Blog Prompt: What were your high school colors? Team names? Clubs you belong too? Did you graduate? What do you remember most about your graduation day?

I graduated from West Islip High School on Long Island, NY. Our colors were blue and gold and we were the Lions. I really don't remember this but I went to the school website and looked it up. High School sports didn't have as big a following on Long Island as they do down here in South Carolina. I belonged to the drama club and every year we put on about 3 productions. I really loved the musicals! I helped a lot making the sets, finding props, being an extra (I was one of the dancers in Romeo and Juliet) and turning the piano player's music. My favorite musical was Damn Yankees. The only thing about graduation day that I remember is that it took place in our football stadium (I didn't even know we had a football team!) and after about 1000 people graduated and we hurried inside the school, it poured down rain!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Teenage Meals

Blog Prompt: What typical evening meals did you eat as a teenager? Did your mother or father prepare them or did you? What was your favorite? Least favorite?

My dad was the one who cooked dinner every day and it was usually ready within 30 min. after I got home from school. We all ate together and then my dad had to leave for work. My sister cooked on Tuesdays when my dad went into work at 10am and came home early that night. She usually cooked macaroni and cheese every week! I'm not sure I had a favorite but we usually had Chinese food every night except on Tuesdays. On special holidays though my parents might cook lamb and I detested lamb. I still hate it to this day. I remember they served it with mint jelly that was bright green and I never understood why we ate something that tasted so bad you had to disguise it with this disgusting green jelly!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Teenage Music

Blog Prompt: Did you listen to a lot of music as a teenager? Did you have a stereo, radio, cd player or reel to reel? Who was your favorite music artist? Favorite song? Which one still moves you today?
The radio was my friend and music was part of my life (CD players didn't exist back then and cassette tapes were just coming into fashion)! I had been playing an accordion since I was 4 years old so this was my way of keeping in touch with what I considered "real" music. Let's face it: you couldn't play rock and roll or country music just right on an accordion! So, I taught myself how to play my sister's old guitar and my parents finally bought me a 12 string guitar. I was throroughly enthralled with John Denver! I loved all of his songs and played a lot of them on the guitar. My prom date even looked like John Denver! I was really upset when he died and I didn't realize how different his real life was compared to the imaginary life I pictured him having. I still like to listen to John Denver songs!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Childhood Television

Blog Prompt: Television.... Where would we be without television? Seriously though. Did you have a tv set while you were growing up? If not, did your neighbors or friends? If you did, what were some of the shows that were on and what were your favorites?

I remember watching TV when I was little just when color was introduced. The NBC peacock would have colorful feathers and my whole family loved to watch it (it didn't take much to amuse us!). I remember watching Lawrence Welk, Bonanza, and Walt Disney. I usually had to go to bed after Walt Disney. I didn't watch a lot of TV because if you had time to watch TV, then you had time to clean house.

Monday, June 25, 2007

After School Job

Blog Prompt: Did you have an after school job as a teenager? What kind of job was it? What were you paid? What is your best and worst memory of the job?

As soon as I was old enough, it was expected that I would work in the Chinese restaurant where my father was the maitre'd. Both of my older sisters worked there and so would I. Of course both of them understood Chinese and I didn't understand a word. I remember my middle sister even dating some of the waiters and I was so afraid my dad would fix me up with a guy who didn't speak English. I worked as a cashier and had real life training in giving change. There was no calculator that figured out the change and you had to count backwards to the amount given. Of course this went to the waiter who would catch any mistakes I made. I probably got paid an even number right above minimum wage because I believe I was paid in cash each night (which was probably under the table but what did I care at the time). I felt very awkward and had no self confidence so I truly hated the job every day I worked there, which I did 2 nights a week for 2 years. I even worked there the first summer I was home from college which was the motivation to get my own summer job 800 miles away near my college so I wouldn't have to do this every summer. I remember a cute guy coming in to pick up his take-out order and he asked me what time did I get off work. At that moment my dad was right there and said she gets off work when I tell her to and she goes home with me! Ahh, so much for romance.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My First Car

Blog Prompt: Did you have your own car as a teenager or did you have to use the family car? What kind was it? If a family car, were you responsible to pay for the gas when you used it? How often were you allowed to use it? What restrictions, if any, were on it? If your own, did you purchase it yourself or was it a gift? How much did it cost and who paid the insurance on it?
My sister bought a red four door Chevy Malibu, brand new in 1970. My sister died when I started tenth grade and my dad drove her car until I got my driver's license. My parents paid the insurance on it and I drove my mom around in it. In my senior year, I was allowed to drive my car sometimes but I hated to use gas because I knew how hard my dad worked and hated to be a burden on him. My mom would visit friends at night and I drove her there and picked her up when she was ready to come home but I was a homebody and didn't go out at night. I also wasn't allowed out after dark unless it was a church function. When I was in my second year of college, I was allowed to have a car on campus and my parents gave me that car. Sometime during college I had to have the engine rebuilt but other than that it was in perfect shape. I had that car when I got married in 1982 and we drove it for about 6 years after that before we ever bought a new car. That car was built like a tank and had a lot of sentimental value to me. It was really hard for me to sell it but after 18 years, it was time to move on.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Learning to Drive

Blog Prompt: Did you learn to drive when you were a teenager? Who taught you? If at school, what kind of driver's ed was it? If a friend or parent, where did you go to learn? What was the worse part about learning to drive?

I learned to drive when I was in 11th grade and my father taught me. My mother was the one that I drove around for practice but that was after my father taught me the basics. Even though my mother kept renewing her license, she never drove. I never saw her drive when she was alive. My parents did pay for a driving school to teach me how to parallel park because their nerves couldn't handle it. Then I took driver's ed my senior year because it gave us a discount on our insurance but I hated that class. My teacher always made me nervous and ridiculed me because I had my license already and he thought I would act like I knew everything. I hated driving and still do so if I can get out of it I do. My husband drives most of the time when we are together unless we are on a trip and I have to give him a rest. Of course I drive to work, the grocery store, library etc. but when I'm hiking with a group, I usually carpool.

The worst part about learning to drive was when I had a learner's permit at the same time I really liked this guy. He came home with me after school and then my mom and I drove him home later. As I was backing out of his driveway, he was waving to me (or so I thought) so I waved back just as I backed into a parked cement truck. Obviously he was not "waving to me" but instead was frantically trying to get me to stop. I was so embarrassed and never had much to do with him again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

High School Best Friend

Blog Prompt: Did you have a lot of friends in high school or just one or two very close friends? What did you and your friends do for fun? Are you still in contact with any of them?

I had some friends, but only one Best Friend. Her name was Bunny and we still exchange Christmas cards once a year. Even though I couldn't attend her wedding because I was in my first year of college, my mother and sister helped Bunny make her wedding gown. Bunny drove a purple volkswagon bug and helped me learn to be happy with myself. She didn't worry about what other people thought and just worked on making herself proud of herself. Bunny lived with her divorced mother, younger brother, and single uncle. Bunny accepted me for who I was and with all the craziness in my life. At the time, my older sister had just passed away and my parents were extremely overprotective of me. We even double dated for the prom which made my parents feel better. I dont' know how I would have survived high school without Bunny.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Teenage Achievements/Mistakes

Blog Prompt: Moving on in life, as a teenager what do you feel were your greatest achievements and worse mistakes? Have these achievements and/or mistakes helped to make you a better person? Or did they hinder you as you proceeded into adulthood?

The greatest achievement I made (as I look back now, not as I saw it then) was being a good friend to others. I was always there to listen and be there for others. At the time I was lonely because I wasn't allowed to date and my parents were strict but as I look back now, I was the shoulder for both guys and girls to cry on, lean on when they needed help, or someone to depend on. I'm glad that I was there for them. I feel I was even instrumental in keeping a friend from committing suicide (which I didn't find out until 30 years later).

The biggest mistake I made was for always wishing for tomorrow to come. I always thought the future would be better than the here and now. I wish I had enjoyed the present at the time I was experiencing it. I try to tell teenagers today that same thing but like me, they weren't willing to believe that. I think this mistake though helped me achieve my goal of teaching. I was always striving hard to get good grades because I knew that without scholarships, I would never be able to go to college.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Childhood Pet

Blog Prompt: As a child did you have any exotic (i.e. those not indigenous to your area) or unusual pets? If not, did you have any pets at all? What kind? Did you give them standard pet names or come up with unusual and unique names?
My parents raised German Shepherds so we didn't have any exotic pets. The only thing exotic about them was their names (or it sounded like it to me). The oldest was Duchess, her daughter was Princess, and then our albino German Shepherd was Empress. Empress and I grew up together and Empress was always stealing my ice cream cone!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Blog Prompt: Did you have specified chores as a child? If so, what were they? Were you given an allowance for completing them? How much? What chores did you feel were unfair? Which ones did you enjoy the most?

I remember that I had to make my bed and clean my room before I could go play. As I got older, it was my job to wash the dinner dishes, take out the trash, and feed the dog. Keep in mind that when I was teenager, I was the only child in the house so I got stuck with it all. I also had to walk the dog in the morning, when I got home from school, after dinner, and before I went to bed. On Saturdays I had to clean the bathroom, vaccuum and mop the basement, and dust all the furniture. When it snowed in the winter, I had to help shovel the driveway (boy, I don't miss that in South Carolina!). I didn't get an allowance but if I ever wanted anything or needed anything, my parents pretty much got me whatever it was. I learned early not to take advantage of this because I worried about how hard my dad worked. My older sisters would get me things if my parents could not afford to get it for me.

I hated doing all the chores and used to think I was like Cinderella. I used to think I was being abused and used as slave labor. I had to do all those chores before I could play with my friends or go anywhere and I thought that was not fair (until I had my own kids)! Obviously I did not enjoy any of them! I still hate cleaning the house!

12 years ago I hired a maid to clean my house every other week and just recently cancelled it because I retired. My house is much messier and dirtier than it ever was!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Childhood Collection

Blog Prompt: Did you collect anything as a child? Why or why not? What was the significance of your collection and where did you procure it? Do you still have any or all of the collection now?

I believe the only things I collected as a child were books. Books were my escape to worlds that I thought I would never get to see. Both of my parents valued education and I was expected to make all As with no excuses. My father worked in a Chinese restaurant and my mother never worked a day in her life. She didn't even know how to pay bills or drive a car but she loved to read. She was a clean freak so clutter was not encouraged but collecting books was allowed. My father had one day off each week and that day was spent grocery shopping and mowing the lawn or whatever else needed to be done so there was no money for extras but I had found the public library as a small child and this was my favorite place. When I was also allowed to join the book clubs at school, I thought I had hit the jackpot and my collection grew. When I went away to college, my parents sold the house and I have no idea what happened to the books. After I got married, I found out my hubby collects books too and we have boxes and boxes of books as well as shelves of books practically in every room except the kitchen and dining room. Maybe one day I will open a used book store!

Monday, June 11, 2007

How Prices Have Changed!

Blog Prompt: How about we start out this week with a little research by finding the cost of a week's subscription to a newspaper, a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, a pound of chicken or ground beef, a gallon of gasoline, the average cost of a house, the average cost of an automobile and one item of your choosing when you were born, as well as at ages 3, 5, 10 and now.

Gallon of milk:$1.01
Lb. of ground beef:
Gallon of gas: $.25
House: $30,000
Postage stamp: $.04

Gallon of Milk:$.49
Lb. of ground beef:$.35
Gallon of gas: $.31
House: $18,200
Postal stamp: $.04

Gallon of Milk:$.95
Lb. of ground beef:
Gallon of gas: $.30
House: $20,500
Postal stamp: $.05

Gallon of Milk: $1.10
Lb. of ground beef:
Gallon of gas: $.35
Postal stamp: $.06

Newspaper: $.50
Bread: $2.29
Gallon of Milk: $2.99
Lb. of ground beef: $1. 93
Gallon of gas:$2.71
House: $150,000
Car: $25,000
Postal stamp: $.41

Those were the good old days!

Weekend news: We had a wonderful weekend in the Smokies! We went to see the synchronous fireflies which happens once a year and only 2 places in the US. Then on Friday we did a 10 mile round trip hike up Mt. LeConte (so I could get a new tshirt from the lodge and its only sold there so I have to go up there to get it!). On Saturday we were just lazy and had a cookout by the river and played in the river (aka wash the stink off!). I woke up very early Sunday morning and for an hour sat on a rock in the middle of the river and enjoyed the solitude and beauty of God's wonderful garden.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Childhood Bedroom

As a child did you have your own bedroom or did you have to share? What was it like? Did you spend a lot of time playing in there or was it reserved for sleeping?

Since I was the baby of 3 girls, I was always the odd man out. I remember my mother telling me about how at one point I had a room all to myself but I cried so much that I was moved in with one of my sisters. After that I was fine. Even when my middle sister got married, my oldest sister and I shared a room. I didn't have my own room until my oldest sister died. I remember playing a lot in my bedroom (and basement and backyard). I pretty much had the run of the house but as I've said before, I was pretty spoiled.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


You are between 5 and 10. You are going on vacation (or moving). What form of transportation was used to get there? Did it take long? And what did you do to entertain yourself while traveling?

Every summer we would go on vacation to visit my relatives in South Carolina. My dad worked in a Chinese restaurant in New York and only got one week off a year. We would pack up our car and head to the sunny south. As soon as I was able to read, I remember reading in the car. Whenever I had a book, I could get lost in fantasyland. In fact, I still am that way now and love reading whenever I'm in a car, plane, boat, or train. If I could figure out how to read and ride a bicycle at the same time I would do it!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Embarrassing Baby Story

Blog Prompt: We all have had stories told to us about our younger years. Fun, silly or embarassing things we have done. So today, think about a story that you were told about yourself that happened before you were 3 years old.

First of all, I'm glad you didn't say before you were 10 because that would have been even more embarrassing! I know my family still talks about how spoiled I was as a baby (in fact, at 47 I think I'm still spoiled!). My mother thought I wouldn't ever learn to walk or talk because my sister's carried me everywhere and I never wanted for anything. When I was little I was a daddy's girl (and I still am) but my father worked in a restaurant from 3 in the afternoon to 2 in the morning. When it was bed time, I would scream and cry and refuse to go to sleep. My sisters would walk me and rock me and do all they could to shut me up. My mother would escape to the next door neighbor's house (but she could still hear me!). They said that I was a poster child for justified child abuse. I would continue until my father came home and then I would fall asleep. They did all they could to get me tired during the day, not let me nap, everything they could think of but nothing worked.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Childhood Memory

Blog Prompt: What was your first memory as a child and why do you think it stands out in your mind?

This was hard because a few things came to mind and then I would think of another. Which one came first? I thought that my dad trying to teach me to ride a bike was the earliest but then I just remembered another one. I remember sitting in the car in the middle of the back seat between both older sisters. They both complained that I was sitting right on top of them. I guess at that age I was a cuddler and I loved to sit really close to them. Since they were 10 and 12 years older than me, I guess they wanted a little space! The other thing I remember is being on King St. with my dad running beside my little red bike trying to teach me to balance and ride solo. I'm not sure when I actually learned but I really hated when he let go. Of course that little red bike was HUGE at that time.

Something Made Me Smile

Blog Prompt: Since today is Teriffic Thursday, we need something for a positive attitude today. Tell about something that made you smile yesterday or today.

It seems like I am always behind a day with my blog lately but I hope to do better once I'm done working. Yesterday was the high school graduation. It wasn't just any graduation but it was my last graduation I would have to attend. Now, that made me smile! In fact, everyone was laughing about how happy I seeemed to be. This was my last batch of seniors and I have to admit that some of the kids were really special to me. 2 of the mentally disabled students double dated with my hubby and me last year. An autistic girl decided at the last minute not to walk at graduation because it was too much for her (and I'm proud of her for being a self advocate and making a decision that worked best for her even though it was hard to do this). Another girl, who is learning disabled, worked as an intern in my husband's court last year. They are all so appreciative of everything I have done for them these past 4 years which of course only made me want to do more for them. But it is time for all of us to grow up and move on to new adventures.