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, February 29, 2008

Utterz 2/29/08

Click here to listen to my Utterz for today.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Take the Blame

Blog Prompt: Feb. 13 was Blame Someone Else Day. Have you ever blamed someone else for something you did? What happened?

I have to admit that I constantly blame my husband for a lot of things. If I can't find things, I swear he moved them (and usually 80% of the time I am right). If I leave something behind when we go somewhere, I usually blame him for rushing me (which he usually does 90% of the time). Isn't that what husbands are for? They are supposed to take the blame whether they deserve it or not just because they love you! (Or at least that is what I tell my hubby anyway!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Favorite Color to Wear

Blog Prompt: What is your favorite color to wear? How many outfits do you have with that color? Why do you wear that color?

I love to wear Blue. I love my blue jeans and any shirt that has blue in it. I feel that blue is a neutral color and anything goes with it. Almost everything I have that I wear has blue in it because I feel that dark blues make me look thinner. I also like black but with my eczema and dry skin, black shows too much and grosses people out. My students always were brushing off my shoulders so I don't wear solid darks on top, just mostly pants and skirts. Then I would wear some kind of print with blue on it as a blouse or shirt.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Self Esteem

Blog Prompt: This month is International Boost Self Esteem Month. What do you do in your life that boosts someone else’s self esteem or your own?

I think my hubby and I try to boost each other's self esteem all the time. He gets up every morning, gives me a kiss, and tells me he loves me. I always try to find a different way to tell him how much I love him. For example, "I love you more than all the grains of sand on the earth." Sometimes I'm harder on myself than others and he is always there to tell me that I'm understimating myself. In the same way, I believe that my hubby has some form of learning disability that was never diagnosed, so he gets frustrated when writing letters or filling out forms and constantly thinks he is stupid. I try to be patient with him and encourage him to be patient and take his time in doing things. I know he boosts my self esteem and I hope I do the same for him.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Robot

Blog Prompt: Feb. 7 was Love Your Robot Day. If you had a robot, what would you want this robot to do?

If I had a robot, it would take care of my house for me. By that I mean, decluttering (being smart enough to know what to keep and what not to keep) and then filing away everything neatly, pay my bills and balance my checkbook, cook our meals and clean up afterwards, do my grocery shopping, clean the bathrooms, wash and fold my clothes, and do all and any house repairs whenever necessary. I'm not asking for much am I? I think she would look like the robot on the Jetsons and I think her name was Rosie wasn't it? I could spend the rest of my time hiking, playing on the computer, reading, crocheting and doing whatever else I wanted. Oh wait, I do all of that anyway and my house doesn't get taken care of. Oops!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend Happenings

We had a nice weekend other than finding out that our oven is broken. Don says it is my fault because I started cooking again and the oven had a rebellion. It has been working fine the past 2 months. Of course I hardly used it much in the previous years but I had no problems with it at all. The gas stove and the broiler works but not the oven. We don't know what to do now because it might be cheaper to buy a new stove/oven than to try to get this one fixed. When we first moved here about fourteen years ago, we bought all new appliances. I had heard that Maytag was so wonderful so we bought all Maytag stuff: the refrigerator, the stove/oven, the washer, and the dryer. We have had to have the refrigerator fixed twice and once we repaired it ourselves. The stove has also been repaired twice and now this. I'm so disappointed because I guess I believed all those silly commercials about the lonely Maytag repairman.

Other than worrying about the oven, I worked on my taxes, played on the computer, watched old movies, read books, and crocheted most of the weekend. I didn't really accomplish much.

Today we went out hiking because I needed to get out of the house. Yesterday was such a beautiful warm day that my neighbor asked me to go walking with her in the neighborhood. After this, I couldn't wait to go hiking on the trails so we packed up our stuff and went on an adventure today. Of course the weather report said cold and cloudy in the morning and then rain showers all afternoon. I don't think I was meant to hike much though because my boot lace broke before we started and then I realized I had forgotten my water. We were on the trail around 9am and around lunch time the weather looked threatening so we came home. After we put everything away and I sat in front of the TV to watch more old movies I got from the library, the sun came out and it was beautiful all afternoon. I guess I wasn't meant to have a big day of hiking.

Now I think I will curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book, and just chill out!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Am I a Liar?

Blog Prompt: Today is George Washington’s birthday. He was known for not being able to tell a lie. Have you ever told a lie? If so, what was it? Were you ever caught?

I am not good at lying at all. I get red in the face, short of breath, and feel like I'm dying! So, I remember telling a lie when I was in high school. The school allowed me to leave during lunch time (all seniors could leave) to get supplies for the drama club. We were putting on a major production and we needed paint and supplies for the set. Even though the school let seniors leave, my parents did not give permission for this (which was required). I left anyway and went with my friends downtown to get this stuff and as we were walking down the sidewalk, I saw my father pass by in the car. I immediately looked away and my heart was beating so fast I knew it would jump out of my body. I forgot to mention that I had a ski jacket that was bright purple, pink, orange and white so I guess I stood out. Well, that night at dinner my father mentioned that he had seen someone wearing a coat just like mine. I did not say it was me and all I said was that someone else must have the same taste as me so they must have bought the same kind of coat. I did feel so guilty that I never left school again without my parent's permission.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Home Remedies

Blog Prompt: This month is Wise Health Care Month. Do you have any home remedies or traditions passed down that fights colds/diseases?

• Eat radishes because they have a natural antibiotic in them. I don't like them so I slice them really really thin and put it in my salad or put salt on them.
• Echinacea - If I feel a cold coming on I either drink the tea or take the capsule.
• Aloe Vera - cut off part of the plant and rub on a burn to soothe the burn.
• Accent (meat tenderizer) - put on sting (even jellyfish stings)
• Cucumber - put cool slices on puffy eyes to reduce swelling
• Exercise – gets endorphins going to fight off whatever is trying to bring you down
• Carrots – keeps your eyesight sharp (my mother always said that you never saw Bugs Bunny wearing glasses)
• Vinegar – is supposed to do all sorts of things for you
131 uses of vinegar

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Love Your Pet Day

Blog Prompt: Today is Love Your Pet Day. What is something special you could do for a pet?
If I had a pet, the most important special thing I could do for it is to spend time with it. I had a dog named Caesar whose only desire was to be with us. He was more like our baby than a dog. I also had an umbrella cockatoo who adored me. We called her Cleo and she was potty trained and only used the bathroom in her cage. She used to sit on my pillow and guard me if I took a nap. If anyone came in the room, she would spread her wings out and bark like Caesar. Both animals just craved attention and you can tell that they loved it when they got it. When we started traveling so much, I couldn't give Cleo the attention she needed and donated her to a local zoo (after I checked them out closely). In fact the head person took Cleo into her home so they could bond for a year before she went into the zoo. I was able to go visit her whenever I wanted. Caesar eventually had to be put to sleep. I really miss them both but I know that I just don't have the time to give a pet the attention that it would deserve.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I've been tagged!
I've been been TAGGED! By Dawn-in-NZ
Now, here are THE RULES...

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.
Seven random facts......

1. I have played an accordion since I was 4 years old.
2. I am going to do my first live broadcast on the internet next week (a Council for Exceptional Children’s meeting on Using Technology in the Classroom)
3. I started using Twitter to connect with other teachers. (I go by loonyhiker)
4. I started cooking dinner at home regularly (have not done that in over 20 years until now).
5. I will be going on a trip out west for about three months exploring the country and stopping whenever the mood strikes us.
6. I want to learn how to roller blade.
7. I am still in love with my husband.
I am not sure who I will tag because I did something like this not too long ago and I don’t want my “blogging friends” to slap me! I will think about it and add them on this when I can add them.

Hot Breakfast

Blog Prompt: This month is also National Hot Breakfast Month. What is your favorite hot breakfast to eat.

I don't eat a hot breakfast that often. Our version of a hot breakfast is to go to Panera Bread and get an everything bagel (sliced and toasted) with butter and unsweet tea (this is really a southern sacrilege!). But when I feel inspired, I really like to fry some eggs (over medium) and bacon. I love bacon! Of course I am so lazy that I don't really take the time to make it and right now we are on the bagel kick. When I was teaching I boiled our eggs each morning and fried bacon on the George Foreman grill. When I would leave for work, I would wake my husband up and he would eat the breakfast that I left him.

PS: There will be a lunar eclipse on Wednesday. Here is a link for more information:NASA Lunar Eclipse Home Page

Monday, February 18, 2008

Favorite Baked Good

Blog Prompt: This month is Bake for the Family Month. What is your favorite thing to bake? If you don’t bake, what is your favorite baked thing to eat.

As I've told many of you, a kitchen Queen is definitely what I am not. I have been doing better about actually cooking dinner during the week and it isn't anything fancy but it keeps us from starving. I have to admit that my favorite thing to bake is walnut brownies. They are straight out of the box (I like Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines) and I like to make them cakey, not fudgey. Plus I like to eat them when they are hot and fresh out of the oven. In fact, they are so hot that I can barely hold them but they practically melt in your mouth when you eat them. I say "them" because I can usually eat about 5 or 6 at a time. And since I use those no stick pans, the clean up is really easy. I may not be a fancy baker but I can definitely bake a mean brownie!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Amusement Parks

Blog Prompt: Feb. 14 was Ferris Wheel Day. Do you like to go to amusement parks? If so, what is your favorite park and favorite ride?

I used to love going to amusement parks when I was younger and we had young children. I didn't seem to mind the lines, the heat, the crowds, or the noise. We live a couple of hours away from Six Flags Over Georgia and about 90 minutes from Carowinds so we used to always go to both of them. We also liked to go to Disney World on the way to my parent's house until it got too expensive. Now that we are old(er) we don't go to any of them anymore because I can't stand the lines, the heat, the crowds, and the noise.

I used to love getting on the Tilt-a-whirl which was a ride that you turned the on the inside by leaning one way or the other to make it spin and spin and spin until you got dizzy. While you were spinning, the ride was also going around in circles.

I hated roller coasters and log flumes because I always felt like I would get killed on them. The only big one I ever rode until I was married was Space Mountain at Disney World because I had to take my glasses off (so I couldn't see anything) and I was strapped in tightly. I would ride the little mine train at Six Flags because it was more of the jerky kind of ride rather than a big up and down. Two years ago we went to Williamburg on the condition that I would ride all the roller coasters at Busch Gardens if my husband didn't complain about an educational thing. So I rode all the roller coasters and I didn't mind because I love the shoulder harness in them. Now I would ride them again as long ast there is a shoulder harness.

Until they put a shoulder harness in a log flume, you won't find me in one!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day (and a rant too!)

Blog Prompt: Today is Valentine’s Day. What was your favorite Valentine gift?

My favorite valentine gift is the one I got this year. I decided that I wanted a web cam so I can talk by video with others and maybe even try to do some podcasts. I mentioned the possibility and the next thing I know my hubby tells me to research what I want and takes me out shopping to buy it. Now I have a webcam but noone to video talk with yet. I just found out my sister doesn't have a webcam! I am on Skype now but don't know anyone to talk to so if you have a webcam or skype, I'm loonyhiker!

Tonight I'm making lasagna for dinner since this was the first meal we ever had together! Keep your fingers crossed. I got this lasagna noodles from Barilla that are "no boil."

Now for the rant:

Last August I went to the emergency room for food poisoning. When I got the bill from the doctor's office (Gastroenterology Associates) in September, it stated that Blue Cross Blue Shield denied payment so I called. I found out that it wasn't listed as emergency services but as outpatient and emergency services should have been covered. After about 4 phone calls back and forth between the doctors office and the insurance company, the girl at the doctors office said she would call and get it straightened out and refile if necessary. I asked her to let me know if there was a problem and never got any call or bill since then. Today I get a letter from a collection agency telling me that they will ruin my credit because I didn't pay.

I called the doctor's office who said they would refile but when I asked for an email address so I could send a letter to verify the phone call, she refused to give me one. The lady did say the woman in charge of collections MAY POSSIBLY call the collection agency and put it on hold. I asked that this woman call me today when she gets back from lunch and I am still waiting. I will probably call around 4:15 if I haven't heard from her yet.

I called the collection agency (Merchants Credit Association, Inc.), long distance of course, who said I had to send a letter in writing and I asked for an email address to send the letter but she refused to give me one and said I had to send it by mail (does her family members work for the postal service?). She also told me that I shouldn't worry about documentation in case I go to court because they PROBABLYwon't go to court over $236. I asked for her supervisor or the owner of the company or even her attorney but she refused to give me that information and was extremely rude! I guess I made her mad by asking for someone higher up but they are threatening to ruin my credit! Needless to say I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau online (and they even supply an email address to contact them if necessary!)

I am willing to go to court if necessary. I am tired of calling the insurance company who tells me to call the doctors office who tells me to call the insurance company and the collection agency tells me to deal with the doctors office. No one wants to give me a straight answer and I should not be penalized for this since I pay my insurance premiums and I pay my bills on time! Maybe if we go to court I can get the doctor, the doctor's office people, the insurance company and the collection agency people all in one room to get this settled!

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Different Name

Blog Prompt: Today is Get a Different Name Day. If you could have a different name, what would you want?

I always wished I had a more interesting name instead of Patricia. I was called Patricia whenever I was in trouble and grew up with being called Patty by my family. My middle name was Ruth which was my grandmother's name and I never really liked it because it made me think of old ladies (like my grandmother). I tried being different by spelling my name differently: Patty, Patti, Pattie, or Trish (no one ever called me that). Then before I was married I was called Loony (Loon was my maiden name) and finally I decided that Pat sounded more adult-like so I go by Pat now.

If I could change my name I think I would like a name like Brigitte or Sabrina because I think they sound interesting and adventurous.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Blog Prompt: Today is Lincoln’s birthday and he was known as “Honest Abe.” How do you feel about honesty? Is there ever a time it is alright not to be honest?

Honesty is one of the most important things to me. I would rather someone say to my face that they don't like me than act friendly to me and stab me in the back. My husband and I trust each other totally because we know that we will always be honest with each other. (Sometimes it makes me mad when he says he doesn't like what I'm wearing.)I told my students that it is more important that they are honest with me than anything else. I would rather them tell me that they just didn't do their homework than tell me the dog ate it. I tend to go berserk when I find out they lied to me.

I have to admit that I'm not perfect and I have told my share of lies but I really hope they were lies in order to not hurt someone's feelings. I never meant to lie and I usually ended up feeling so guilty that I would confess. My family always can tell if I'm lying. I can't look at them and I get all flustered and my hands start shaking.

So don't worry, friends, I won't lie to least not on purpose.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Umbrella Day

Blog Prompt: Feb. 10 was Umbrella Day. Do you use an umbrella? If so, describe your favorite umbrella. (Is it a plain one or a fancy one? What design does it have?)

I have to be honest, but I hate using umbrellas. By the time I get it open and get to the car, then I have to close it and find a place to put it where it won't make everything wet, I'm soaked. If I get it before I get out of the car, then I have to open it before I get my stuff out and when I try to reach for my stuff, the umbrella gets caught in the roof and door and I look like a remake of an I Love Lucy show! Once I had a huge blue and white golf umbrella that I won when I somehow crashed a golf party (that is another long story) and it was almost as tall as me and my students used to tease me that it would cover the whole class in a rainstorm. Of course I didn't use it much because it was just too big. I do have a small black compact umbrella that I bring with me on trips in case we will be out in the rain walking for a long time. But I never actually take it with me because then I don't want to have to carry it if the rain stops. I guess the bottom line is that I'm just too lazy.

Friday, February 08, 2008

In Honor of Potato Lover's Month

Blog Prompt: This month is Potato Lover’s Month. Describe your favorite way of cooking potatoes.

I have to admit that I'm not a very creative cook so my choices of cooked potatoes are very limited but I guess they are all my favorites since they are the only way I know how to cook them.

1- mashed with lots of butter and garlic
2- boiled served with butter.
3- cooked (I guess they can't be considered baked) - in ziplock bag in microwave
4- baked in the oven
5- frozen french fries - follow directions and bake in the oven or toaster oven.

Here are the 2 projects I just finished yesterday:

Prayer Shawl:

Scarf (I don't know who this is for but I liked the yarn that I got on sale after Christmas. There wasn't enough to make anything but a scarf.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

My Neighbors

Blog Prompt: Today is Greet Your Neighbor Day. Describe your neighbors.

First I have to tell you how we ended up here, in this little town, much like Andy Griffith's Mayberry. My husband's good friend, David (friends since they were in their early twenties) lives next door. David's wife, Fran calls and tells me that the house next door to them is up for auction and so are the antiques inside so we had to come to the auction (Don loves antiques). We decided we wanted the pretty oval pictures in the foyer and I told Don to bid on them. We discussed the house too and we both liked it but we were in the middle of remodeling our house on the other side of town. While I went next door to visit with Fran, David and Don stayed at the auction. After it was all over, we ended up winning the bid on the house (which I'm not sure how that all worked out but somehow it all did).

After we get the house, I met some of the neighbors that live in the 5 houses across the street. At one house, there is an elderly couple and I find out that he is one of the pastors at my church! One neighbor is the mother of a good friend that I went to college with. The elderly lady directly across the street is the mother of an acquaintance that we've known for a long time. So, I didn't feel like I moved into a new neighborhood and immediately bonded with my neighbors.

Now after many years, the elderly lady directly across the street has passed away but I still miss her. Her house has been empty since she died. My pastor and his wife moved to a retirement subdivision where she died two years ago. David and Fran bought their house and they rent it out. My college friend's mom still lives there and we laugh because we hardly see each other unless we are invited to a party of a mutual friend or some social gathering.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pay a Compliment Day

Blog Prompt: Today is Pay a Compliment Day. Who would you compliment today and why?

I paid a compliment to my husband as soon as he woke up because I love him so much.
I paid a compliment to the girl who served our bagel at Panera because she is always so friendly and welcoming when we come in.
I paid a compliment to my old boss because she looked like she had lost weight.
I paid a compliment to a friend because she altered two pairs of pants for me and they were perfect.
We are going out with some friends for dinner so I will make sure I compliment them tonight.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Weather Forecast of My Day

Blog Prompt: Today is National Weatherperson's Day. Describe your day as if you were a weatherperson using weather words.

Today will be partly sunny with intermittent clouds. No rain is expected.

I am healthy and happy so that accounts for the sunny part. We went and got the oil changed in the car and made a reservation for the Grand Canyon campground. Now we just have to get off our lazy butts and drop it off at the post office. I’ve spent most of the day playing on the computer, crocheting, and reading a book wish is extremely relaxing! The intermittent clouds mean that I have to balance the checkbook and wash the bathrooms today and I keep putting them off. Nothing major bad is happening so there is no rain expected.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Standing Up for What is Right

Blog Prompt: Rosa Park’s birthday. She is the one during who refused to sit in the back of the bus just because of her race. Have you ever stood up for something you felt was right? Or do you know someone who has? Tell about this.

Last year I had a 17 year old tenth grade student with down's syndrome pull the fire alarm at school. He has never done anything like this before so I was really shocked to find out that he did it. This was the second year I had him and thought he was actually doing well in my classroom so I felt responsible when this happened. I was in the process of teaching him job skills and he was working for the janitor sweeping the main hall way when he decided to pull the alarm and was caught on video. The principal was so mad that she wanted him arrested. I know that he knew it was wrong but I really believed that he didn't understand the consequences so I was upset about the thought of him being arrested. The boy's mother was super supportive of everything I've done for her son and I hated for her to have to deal with his being arrested. Luckily, after lots of talking to the assistant principal and the school resource officer, they agreed with me that he should not be arrested. Of course, this put me at the top of the principal's bad list!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Computer Time: Organizing is the name of the game!

I've been busy on my computer this weekend. I decided to move most of my bookmarks onto I'm exhausted but I feel rather good about doing some organizing there because it was getting annoying every time I hit my Favorites button.

I also went into Shelfari and added the books I plan to read. I had originally had them all in an excel list that I never really looked at. I'm hoping that Shelfari will make it easier for me to decide what book to read next.

I have to admit I spent most of the weekend stuffing my face with all the junk food I had planned for the Super Bowl. Instead of waiting for the game, we spent the whole day nibbling on the "stuff"! Now I feel sick because I've eaten so much and I haven't even made the brownies or the apple turnovers yet.

Friday, February 01, 2008

My "Groundhog Day"

Blog Prompt: Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day. Do you remember that Bill Murray movie where he wakes up to the same day over and over? If it was you, describe the day you would want to repeat over and over.

I know many of you would expect me to tell about a hiking day but I'm going to surprise you and try to imagine the perfect day without hiking.

Imagine a beautiful spring day as I tell you the day I wouldn't mind repeating over and over again. First I would wake up with the sun just beginning to rise and it would be warm enough to sit on my back deck with a cup of hot tea. After that, I would do some gardening while it was still cool but not cold outside. There wouldn't be a lot of weeds and it would be more maintenance gardening than hard gardening. I would walk around my yard and have meaningful conversation with my flowers. My hubby would wake up and we would go out for breakfast. When we returned he would have projects to keep him busy so I could do what I liked. I would do a little crocheting because my housework was finished the day before. We would go out to lunch, do any necessary errands and return home to work on our own projects. It would be too hot to work anymore outside so I would spend this time creating some scrapbook pages, reading blogs, and playing on my computer. By this time I would cook a fabulous dinner which my hubby would declare was the best I had ever cooked (I'm not a good cook so this in itself would be a miracle!) and then he would offer to wash the dishes. After dinner we would enjoy some time in our hot tub and talk about our day. I would then sit outside on the deck again either reading or playing on my computer enjoying the beautiful sunset. My hubby and I would then watch a couple of wonderful movies together while eating popcorn. By this time it is bedtime and I would fall asleep with wonderful thoughts in my head.