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, July 31, 2007

Photo - not scrapped yet

Blog Prompt: Take a photo you've been meaning to scrap and write your journaling for it here.

I've been meaning to take a photo of this since the momma bird started to build the next on my side porch. Then I watched her sitting there and took a photo of that. I decided to wait and get a photo of the eggs but I never saw her leave the nest to get a photo of the eggs. I noticed lately that she wasn't sitting on the nest much and wondered if she gave up. My hubby says that I probably scared her away because I showed so much interest in her. Today I brought my tall ladder over to the nest and thought I would see unopened eggs. Was I surprised when I saw the baby birds! I hope she doesn't mind that I took a picture of her babies!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Different "Hats"

Blog Prompt: How many different 'hats' will you wear today? Will you be mom, grandma, employee, employer..etc. How do you balance all of it?

1. Wife: My favorite hat to wear. I enjoyed having breakfast and lunch with my honey! I will be cooking him dinner tonight also and we will enjoy our 3 mile walk after dinner.
2. Retired teacher: I went by my old school to pick up my last pay stubs and arrange to get the last of my materials from my classroom.
3. Boss's Wife: When I go to my hubby's office, his staff treat me like I'm a queen! (which I don't expect them to do since I'm usually wearing these dirty blue jean shorts from gardening and a sweaty ol' tshirt!)
4. Volunteer: I went by the nursing home and arranged to play my accordion once a week during their lunch. (Just like a fine dining restaurant!).
5. Library User: I use the public library a lot and I'm in the middle of re-reading the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix book.
6. Gardener: I did go out and weed some of the flowerbeds this morning before going out to breakfast.
7. Web designer: I designed a web page for our rental property (My hubby has been asking me to do this for about 2 years).
8. Aunt: I keep in touch with niece and nephew through email and AIM.
9. Scrapbooker: I am trying to do a page a day and learn new skills through DSP and Digital Scrapbooking magazine.
10. Relaxed and Lazy retired person: I'm thinking about laying down and possibly taking a nap (if it happens, it happens) while I watch whatever strikes my fancy on TV.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Blog Prompt: What do you do for exercise?? And if you don't exercise, why don't you? And if you do, what is your motivation to keep going???

My hubby and I go walking for exercise. About 20 years ago, I lost all of my hair due to stress. Even now I find small bald spots on my head, which keeps me motivated to walk. Every evening, after my husband gets off work, we eat dinner and then walk 3 miles. For one thing, I am off the computer (which I'm on all of the time) and he is not in front of the TV (which is watches all of the time!). We spend the time talking about the future and what our plans are going to be. He also shares with me about his work and I used to share with him about my class (when I worked). We both look forward to that now and it has become a good habit.

I have read a lot of books on health and exercise but I think we get in a rut. My hubby has been complaining that with all of our walking and watching what we eat, he doesn't feel like he is losing weight. I just read that we need to do interval walking which would increase our losing weight. Of course, I knew this but just forgot about it. So, we are walking for 5 min. and then the next 5 min. we walk much faster. Then alternate every 5 min. I hope this helps and will let you know in the future.

We are also watching the calories we eat and try to eat healthy (but not to the point we are on a diet.) On the weekends, we eat whatever we want to and during the week, we cut out all sugar and junk food. I plan to increase the number of times I eat also (I can do that now that I have retired!). I plan to have a snack at 10 and 2 and 7. That will mean I'll be eating 6 times a day. The book says this will help kick in my metablolism. The jury is still out on that one too.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Movie that made me laugh

Blog Prompt: What was the last movie that made you really laugh? Or do you have one you've seen over and over and still makes you laugh?

I guess I'm easily amused so if we go see a comedy, I'm going to laugh. But something that makes me laugh is watching my hubby watch Ice Age. He loves that movie! I think it is all the body sounds that he can relate to but he really enjoys this. He doesn't usually let himself enjoy movies and says that some funny movies we see are "okay" but he really doesn't think many of them are as funny as advertised. But he has watched Ice Age about 3 different times and he really gets a kick out of it. I usually laugh at funny movies because I feel they are entertaining and funny and I don't try to analzye the funniness of the move! But I REALLY laugh just watching him laugh as he watches Ice Age!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Excuse Not To Work

Blog Prompt: Make up a great excuse why you can't work today.

First let me start off by telling you what has to be done today. I have to wash a load of clothes, which can only be done if I'm home. Usually I start a load even if I'm leaving the house but now we think the vent came off the dryer and has blown lint all behind the washer, dryer, and stove. I have to vaccuum all of that up but can't unless hubby is home to move the appliances since 2 of them are hooked to a gas line. So, I'm stuck babysitting the washer and dryer. I also have tons of boxes to sort through that I've brought home from work when I retired which has taken over my dining room. I also have vaccuuming to do since I've seen some dirt that I either need to sweep up or vaccuum up. It's also about time to clean the bathrooms (yuck!). I also have to make 2 phone calls that I am dreading to make since I hate talking on the phone. I also have to read a couple of library books since they are only loaned out for 14 days as new books.

Well, the main reason that I can't work today is...I'm retired! I shouldn't have to do anything that I don't want to if I don't want to! There is always tomorrow. I also checked out 3 DVDs of old movies to watch and my hubby doesn't like old movies so I have to watch them while he is at work. I also have a couple of layouts to do because the deadline for the challenges are coming up. I also have to "feed the hungry layouts" because I hate to get behind since everyone is so great about leaving nice comments on mine. I guess my main excuse is that I'm just too busy to do any work!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Favorite Spot

Blog Prompt: Stand in a favorite spot in your house, garden, wherever and describe it for us in detail.

I am actually sitting in my favorite spot in the house but it is my favorite spot only in the summer because it is so hot outside right now. I am at the table with my laptop which is located in my "playroom". Since there is just my hubby and myself, both of our laptops are plugged in and left on this table. This is also the table where we eat dinner and lay mail down on and have printers and a scanner on. In front of me, against the wall is our big screen TV which we took out of bedroom to make room for the new HDTV. In the middle of the room is the pool table (which we hardly ever use unless we are entertaining). Against the wall near where I am sitting is our treadmill which I use every morning. On the other side of the room is our hot tub,which my hubby uses every morning. There are big windows behind me that look out into our deck and huge backyard. I can see my water garden (in a huge flower pot) on the deck and watch the birds come in for a drink. I really enjoy this room.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Words of Wisdom

Blog Prompt: Find a proverb or saying that you think is true.

I think the saying that has most influenced me is any versions of "What goes around comes around!" or as my mother used to say "If you pee in the air, it will come back on you!" Of course it has to do with "Do unto others as you want them to do unto you."

I try to be nice and helpful to others because at some point in time, I may need help. We have gone out of our way to drive Appalachian Trail hikers to the doctor and even given them care packages of food. People who do this are considered "trail angels" and I am banking trail angel hours so when I'm on a hike and need help, someone may be there for me. I have helped elderly neighbors when they needed to go somewhere. We have even helped strangers when it is possible and safe to do so. All of this has come back around to us so many times!

For example, a few years ago we were on a trip to Chattanooga, TN one weekend when we had a flat tire. Since my husband's back is in bad shape, we really dreaded changing this tire so we called AAA. Within minutes, this nice young couple stopped and the husband changed our tire quickly before we knew it. They even refused to let us pay them! Then we stopped at a WalMart to try to buy a new tire, but they didn't have it in stock so they called another store about 20 miles away. Luckily that store had it but it was getting late on a Saturday evening so we were very worried they would close. When we drove up to this store, we knew it was past the tire dept. closing time but went there anyway. We couldn't believe our eyes when the 2 men were waiting on us. They had stayed open just for us and changed our tire so we could be on our way. We paid for the tire but the 2 men would not take any extra money from us for their troubles. People complain about all the bad in the world but its times like this when I realize how much good there is all around us!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Advice to my younger self

Blog Prompt: What advice would you give to your younger self?

If I could go back in time to talk to myself, here is the advice that I would give:
  1. Enjoy the present instead of wishing for the future.
  2. Be a better friend than you think you already are.
  3. Don't be afraid to be yourself and be proud of what you are.
  4. Be more outgoing. Other people are as shy as you are so take the first step.
  5. Get outdoors more.
  6. Be adventuresome and don't be afraid to try new things.
  7. Appreciate your parents more because they won't be around forever.
  8. Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
  9. Don't be afraid to tell people that you don't want to do something that you aren't comfortable doing.
  10. Stop thinking that everything has to always be about you. There are other people in this world!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Blog Prompt: How many books do you have started, but not finished? Or do you only read one book at a time?

I usually read one book at a time. Even if I do not like the book, once I start reading it, I've got to finish it. I keep thinking that if I just read a little more, it will start to make sense or it will start to get better. Usually, it never does and I'm disappointed by the time I reach the ending because then I feel like I wasted my time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Trivia for the Day

Blog prompt: Share a piece of useless/interesting information with the rest of us today.

I confess that I used the internet. I really like trivia so this was fun. Of course I had to search for something that sounded interesting because all of it was very useless! So here is my bit of trivia for today. I always knew there was a great reason to eat chocolate besides the normal reasons!

"Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural substance that is reputed to stimulate the same reaction in the body as falling in love."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Future Discovery

Blog Prompt: What future discovery do you eagerly await? Why?

I hope in the near future they will find a cure for lupus. My oldest sister died from it in 1974 and my mother had it when she died. My middle sister has it and suffers from it every day. Even my cousins have it on my mother's side but I'm the only one I know that doesn't have it. I've given my blood in hopes of finding a cure. I don't know if its the exercise or eating habits or what that has kept it from me, but I hope I will continue to avoid getting lupus so they can use my blood to find a cure. I hear of many friends and acquaintances who are being diagnosed with it and I also hope that new ways will be found to treat it until they find the cure.

Creative Juices

Blog Prompt: What helps stir your creative juices? When you're feeling like you need some inspiration, where do you go? What do you do? Who do you talk with?
First of all, I'm the least creative in my family so it takes a whole lot to stir any creative juices I might have. My mother was an expert seamstress, knitter, crafts person. My oldest sister was an excellent artist. My middle sister can sew, crochet, weave and bake fantastic stuff! Then there is me. I used to do a lot of cross stitch but the designs were already made so I didn't feel very creative at that. Other than that, digital scrapbooking is the first creative thing I've done. When I can't figure out what to do, I usually go to my Favorites folder and see what layouts I really liked and try to copy the design. I alter them a little bit to make them my own, but I feel really good about it when I'm done. I haven't gotten the design rules down yet, so I just go with what makes me feel good. That is why I save the layouts that really seem to call out to me. I figure if I like them, they must have the right design so I'll use them as a pattern. Another thing that may inspire me is when I'm out hiking and have a photographic moment. Then as I hike, I start thinking about how I want to scrap it and with what color papers and so on. My poor hubby has to listen to this conversation and of course we argue about it because he thinks he knows everything! (and I let him think that sometimes!)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lucky Number

Blog Prompt: Do you have a lucky number? Why is it lucky?

13 is actually my lucky number. I don't know why 13 is lucky for me other than people think it is unlucky and I like being the opposite of most people.

Today for instance is the first day in 3 weeks that I have actually felt better. I've had this stupid sinus infection that has lingered and made me feel miserable for every day except today, the 13th. Now I can't guarantee that tomorrow I will feel better but I'm happy for today.

I also went to Walmart at 7am to get my oil changed. Last week, I went at 8:30am and they told me it would be a 3 hour wait so I left. This morning I was the first one there and was out in 30 min. While I was there, I found 2 pairs of skorts (skirt + shorts) that I have been looking for. I wanted them to be under $10 and actually fit me (which is really hard for me to find). I had hoped to find some to bring on my cruises but I haven't been able to find any. I can't believe I found 2 that I liked today for only $9.77! Today is my lucky day!

As soon as I got home I went out to do some gardening and the weeds were very cooperative. They came right out without much pulling. My yard man was mowing my neighbor's yard and I forgot to ask him yesterday when he mowed my yard, to check out my weed eater. My hubby and I tried to start it even by putting new gas and oil in it but couldn't do it so my hubby said we would have to get it repaired. Well, after fiddling with it a little, it started right up for my yard man so we won't have to take it for repairs! It is only 10:15 and already it has been my lucky day!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Falling Creek Fantasy!

Blog Prompt: According to some, today is Pecan Pie Day. What food would you like today to celebrate?

I'm not a big sweet eater but since it is summer and hot, I would love this double scoop ice cream cone filled with Falling Creek Fantasy. That is the name of this ice cream mixture at a place called Dolly's in Brevard, NC. It is right at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest and after a hike, it is "required" that we go there for ice cream. Falling Creek Fantasy consists of cherry ice cream, chunks of maraschino cherries, and chunks of chocolate. I used to be a single scoop butter pecan fan until I ate this and love the mixture of cherries and chocolate. Yumm, now I really crave one but it is about a 90 min. drive for this and I haven't been hiking so I'll just dream about it for today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

TV Families

Blog prompt: Was your family like the Brady Bunch, the Partridge Family or the Happy Days gang? If not, who was your family like?

My family was nothing like any of them and I hated that we weren't! I watched all 3 shows and wished that my family could be just like them. My father was the one who cooked dinner every day and then went to work. My mom sewed my clothes and never wore cute dresses like the TV moms did. My parents were much older when they had me than most parents so they didn't "pal" around with my friends like the TV parents did. The TV kids always were popular and had friends but I was more shy and quiet. I wanted so much to be like them!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Moving On Up

Blog Prompt: Just like the old tv show the Jeffersons...when was the last time you felt like you were 'moving on up'?

I thought I was 'moving on up' when people outside my department starting coming to me for advice. I felt like my opinion and knowledge really meant something and I was quite honored. This past year of teaching I became a mentor to a few new teachers and it really does something to your self esteem when people come to you for advice. Hopefully people will still keep in touch with me and think I still know things even though I'm not in the classroom anymore.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Everyone Knows Me!

Blog Prompt: Is there a place you go where 'everybody knows your name'?
We eat at a local restaurant called Coach House pretty regularly. When we arrive, they usually have our unsweet teas ready for us and the waitress asks us if we want our regular stuff. If we have dinner there, sometimes the owner sends free desserts to us (and they are all homemade and to die for!). My department knows that this is my favorite restaurant so they threw me a surprise retirement party there and the restaurant staff even joined in and other customers clapped for me. It almost feels like home!

Friday, July 06, 2007


Blog Prompt: Do you wear makeup? Love it or hate it? If you do wear it, is it for you or other people?

I only wear mascara and eyeliner and if I ever remember (about 5 days out of the year) I will put on a little lipstick. Because of my allergies, I can't wear foundations or lotions on my face because my skin is so sensitive. I used to wear eye shadow, but I always thought it made me look like a clown. I didn't start wearing mascara and eyeliner until about 21 years ago when I had lost all my hair except my eyebrows and eyelashes. Being Chinese, I feel my eyes look so little and I like to make them look bigger with the eyeliner. Of course if I'm going hiking or working around the house, I don't put anything on. When I started dating my hubby, I never wore any kind of makeup and he still fell in love with me.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Beauty seen as a child vs. adult

Blog Prompt: How have your ideas of what is beautiful changed since you were a child?

When I was a child, I thought only store bought clothes were beautiful. At the time, my mother made most of my clothes. Other kids had name brand fancy clothes but not me. I used to tell my mother about some of them and she would try her best to make the same things for me. I even used to cut out pictures from magazines or store flyers to show her. Even though the home made clothes were close, they were not the same. Now that I look back as an adult, I see beauty in the love of my mother in trying to give me what I wanted. I realize now that we couldn't afford all of those clothes and how much time and sacrifices my parents made so that I could have what I did have. That love for me is what I think beautiful is now.

I also thought curly hair was the most beautiful hair ever, especially hair that was as dark as mine. I was the only Chinese girl in any of my classes and since I was the oddball, I was made fun of most of the time. Now as an adult, I see things much differently. Years ago I lost all of my hair and told it would never grow back (but they were wrong). Now I just appreciate having hair and I don't care if it is curly or straight or even what color it is. I don't mind now that I'm the different one in a crowd because I am proud of my heritage.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Favorite Patriotic Song

Blog Prompt: Do you have a favorite patriotic song? Share it with us...we'd love to hear it!

I think my favorite patriotic song is Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA. When we went to China 7 years ago for a month tour, I really missed the US and that song ran through my head a lot. China was a great place to visit but there was no place like home. We take so much for granted in our country while people in other countries don't have the freedoms and quality of life that we have. It made me look at my own country with different eyes and I truly feel lucky to live here. I have tried to share this with my students and hope that someday they will come to appreciate the US the way that I do. So whenever I hear this song, I get kind of misty eyed and choked up but it is my favorite patriotic song.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Definition of Beauty

Blog Prompt: Define the idea of beauty -- physical, artistic, natural, whatever...just talk about what you think is beautiful.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." This saying first appeared in the 3rd century BC in Greek.The person who is widely credited with coining the saying in its current form is Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (née Hamilton), who wrote many books, often under the pseudonym of 'The Duchess'. In Molly Bawn, 1878, there's the line "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

This is definitely true in my house because my hubby and I have the hardest time agreeing on what would look beautiful in our home. You can count the decorations in our house and know how many times we've agreed on that. Nothing goes up that we both don't agree on so this can cause some heated discussion on the definition of beauty.

I love to see the natural beauty of our earth when I go hiking. It seems like everything around me is a miracle and I have such a small part in the big scheme of things. Sometimes when I hike I will come upon a magnificent view that will just take my breath away. It might be a mountain, or a blooming flower or a waterfall. I think even watching a bee at work is beautiful. I love to see the earth after a soft warm rain. Everything looks so shiny and fresh. We have so much beauty that surrounds us and many people don't take the time to look around them and enjoy life.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Blog Prompt: Today is World UFO day. What do you think UFOs are? Do you believe in little green men?

I'm not sure that I know or that anyone knows. I'm sure there are unidentified flying objects but it could be atmospheric or government stuff. I don't think I believe in little green men but I like to wonder if there are other universes out there with living beings. Are they bigger or smaller than us? Are they like us or strange creatures like in the movies? I remember seeing movies back when I was young about the future and thought many things were impossible. I can't believe how much of that future has happened in my lifetime. Surely the people who make up this stuff have a foundation somewhere like a hint of the truth or knowledge of things in the wroks. Who would have thought computers would be in almost every household? Who would have imagined that cars would be able to park themselves? Who would have thought phones could be cell phones and show pictures? But then again, I even wonder what insects think about us or what do birds think when they watch us? I know, I'm just loony! I don't have any answers but I sure do have lots of questions!