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, July 31, 2008

What I would rather be doing...

Blog prompt: Instead of what you have to do today, what would you rather be doing?

As a retired person, I can do whatever I want to every day! So, this morning I got up early and worked on some homework for an online class I’m taking. Once it got light outside, I did a couple of hours of gardening. I dread starting the weeding and clearing, but then I really get into it and feel good about what I accomplish. After that I finally came inside and ate a late breakfast. Then we went to the park and walked 4.5 miles in the extreme heat and humidity. If it wasn’t for the ice water I brought, I would have melted! By the time we returned home from walking, we ate lunch and decided to go to the zoo. I love going to the zoo because I get to take a lot of fun pictures. We also bought our Friends of the Zoo annual pass which gets us into a lot of other zoos for free or at least a discounted price. On the way home we bought a dozen Krispie Kreme donuts which I’ve been craving for a long time. Then while we ate dinner, we had a thunderstorm (which I hate) but I loved the rain for my plants.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Olympics

Blog prompt: On this date in 1932, the Olympic games opened in Los Angeles. They'll start next week again in Beijing. How do you feel about the Olympics?

I remember when the Olympics were in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996 and we were so excited. My friend and her family were getting tickets and wanted my hubby and me to join them. So after a bunch of arranging, we got tickets to 3 different events. On July 26, 1996, we took the train from Greenville, South Carolina where we live to the beginning/end of the Marta (train) line to Atlanta. This way we didn’t have to try to find a parking space in all the crowds and it was much cheaper this way. It was a wonderful and exciting day. We even went to Centennial Olympic Park which had the world famous Fountain of Rings where water shoots out of the ground like it is dancing. The scariest thing was finding out that the very next day there was a bombing right in that park where we all stood and played. For some reason, that memory stands out stronger than any of the events of the Olympics.

I would love to see the Olympics in Beijing but the older we get, the more my husband and I hate fighting the crowds and the traffic so we will be content to watching it on TV.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To Nap or Not to Nap

Blog Prompt: To nap or not to nap? Which side of this issue are you on?

I am finding out that a 30 minute power nap is wonderfully refreshing. Since I get up at 5am each morning (my body just wakes up automatically at this time) and most of the time I don’t go to sleep until 10 or 11pm. If I get really tired, I take a 30 minute nap (I do set my watch alarm) and then I feel great. If I sleep longer than this, I have a hard time going to sleep at night or else I feel really sluggish when I wake up. The 30 minutes is just perfect for me. Of course I don’t feel the need for a nap every day so I try to just be in tune to my body.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Books in My Life

Blog Prompt: In honor of Beatrix Potter's birthday, tell us about some of the books (as a child and an adult) that you have loved over the years.

I have loved all the Harry Potter books (and movies) and now I’ve started on the Charlie Bone books. They are kind of like Harry Potter, just a little different and watered down. I also like to read the Caldecott Medal books to see why they won the award. I have to admit that I’m addicted to reading and have been since I was able to read. I love to read when I’m eating or when I’m bored or when I’m traveling and I have to read before I go to sleep or I can’t go to sleep. I have started to list all the books I’ve read or planning to read on Shelfari (I’m loonyhiker on Shelfari).

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Blog Prompt: You'll be on your honor today! Set the timer for one minute and write as much as you can about the following word: secret.

I don’t like secrets. I don’t like to keep them and I don’t like when people keep secrets from me. I really can’t keep secrets from my husband at all. If I have a present for him, I have to give it to him as soon as I can because keeping a secret practically kills me. I feel like keeping secrets from him is not being honest.

Photo credit: whisper, 2005 by Dr John2005

Off topic: I had a scare today. I couldn’t get my spacebar to work. I had to open up the onscreen keyboard for disabled people. Then I googled it and twittered ( it and plurked ( it, but couldn’t get it fixed. I was told to shake the laptop but not too hard. I was told to go buy a can of air, but I couldn’t because I’m waiting for the DirecTV man to come upgrade our receivers. I was feeling desperate and upset. Finally out of frustration, I shook the laptop pretty hard and then blew all over the keyboard. Aha! Now it works. I’m so relieved!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Toilet Paper Issue

Blog Prompt: Light-hearted or serious, take a "controversial" issue and argue your point of view. Extra points if you argue both sides!

Issue: Should Toilet Paper roll over or under on the holder?

My point of view: Toilet paper should roll over on the holder. It is easier to get and looks neater. This is the proper way that toilet paper should be positioned on the holder. If I see it put on the wrong way in my house, I need to change it immediately. But if it is different in someone else’s house, I do not feel the need to change it.

Other side: Toilet paper doesn’t unravel if it is put on this way. It looks neater. Also, who really cares how it is placed on the holder.

Photo credit: toilet paper by lkue

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

At the Movies

Blog Prompt: With The Dark Knight setting box office records this weekend, tell us about the first movie you saw in the theater (or another movie theater story you have).

Unfortunately I can’t remember the first movie I ever saw because it was so long ago. But I can tell you about an experience in the movie theater where I kind of embarrassed my husband. We usually go to matinees because they are cheaper than at night but of course there are usually a lot of children there too on the weekends and in the summer. This happened to be a summer afternoon when we went to see some PG or G rated movie and it was pretty crowded in the theater. There were three little girls about 7 years old sitting next to me and right before the movie began, the girl right next to me kept pulling up the arm rest we shared and banging it down. I asked her to stop doing that because it was annoying and she replied that I was not her mama and she wouldn’t stop. At that point, I leaned down in her face and told her I knew I wasn’t because if I was I would teach her how to behave in public. Then I told her that if she didn’t stop, I would follow her when she left until I found the adult in charge of her and tell how badly behaved she was. I guess that did it because she whispered to her friends and they got up and moved. My husband said later that I had put my teacher voice on and not only did I get those girls quiet but I also got all the children around us to settle down and behave because no one said another word until the movie was over.

Photo credit: century theater’s by pbo31

Monday, July 21, 2008

Walking on the Moon

Blog Prompt: Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon on this date in 1969. Write a description of walking on the moon or tell us about this event if you remember it.

I was about ten years old and my whole family watched the event on a black and white TV. I thought it wasn’t real and my sister kept telling me that this was real life. I couldn’t believe that someone actually walked on the moon and kept asking if they stepped in an eye or nose or mouth because we always looked for the man in the moon. I love to see the facial features when I look at a full moon so I though the man in the moon was real and always looked down on me to help keep me safe and light up the darkness (I hated the dark even as a young child.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Road Trip Food

Blog prompt: Do you have a favorite snack to eat on a road trip?

I like to eat salty foods on a road trip. They can be pretzels, chips (I’ve been eating salt and black pepper chips lately), or sunflower seeds. My problem is that I don’t drink enough all day long and especially if we are on a road trip so we bring a cooler of diet pepsi for me and as long as I’m eating salty stuff, I’ll drink. I’m so picky that I really don’t like water and especially if it gets warm so that is why I need a cooler of soda.
Photo credit: Cape-cod by I.M. Bitter

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Feelings about Flying

Blog prompt: Today in History: In 1954, the first Boeing 707 flew. How do you feel about flying?

I used to enjoy flying because I could read, do cross stitch, and get somewhere far really fast. We also had a lot of frequent flyer points from our credit card use. Now I’m not so thrilled with flying because of the cost, and the hassle. I try to carry very little on board so I don’t get the big search at security. For some reason I am always the random person they search. Also the last time we were on a plane, I got freaked out by a situation and we haven’t been on a plane since.

We were leaving Washington DC to come back home to Greenville, SC and the plane was pretty empty. Chris Dodd recently announced his plan to run for President of the US and he was on our plane. As the flight attendant shut the plane door, this lady began to yell and scream that her luggage was not on board. After much loud discussion and a description of the luggage, the flight attendant made a few phone calls. This woman started to use profanity and yell that we would not leave until her luggage was on board. About this time, I start getting a little anxious and then my loving hubby says to me in a low voice, “If they remove her from this plane, we are getting off too. What if she put something on this plane and doesn’t want to be on here with it when it blows up!” Now I’m very anxious and practically hyperventilate at the thought. What if she was an assassin to take out a possible presidential candidate? The flight attendant finally tells her that her luggage was put on board and we take off. The plane ride was tense and quiet for the entire trip. I kept waiting for us to blow up and couldn’t read or focus on anything. Finally we arrived at the airport without any incident and I was so relieved to get off that plane. When we arrived at the baggage claim at the same time she did, there were unfriendly and unhappy men in suits waiting for her. The best thing I heard was that her luggage never did arrive because it was never put on the plane! I didn’t stick around to see if she went berserk though in case any guns were fired!

Now we drive our Toyota Prius everywhere. The cost is much cheaper, less hassles, and less anxiety!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Colors of My Week

Blog Prompt: Describe each day of the week using colors and/or sounds.

A lot depends on the kind of day I’m anticipating or how the day turns out. The color of my day can change if something good or bad happens. Otherwise I would say most of my days are a pretty shade of blue, which is my favorite color. Since retiring, I have developed a routine during the week days and know what shows are on TV and have a schedule all set out for me. I think that is what I liked about teaching because I had a schedule to follow each day. Weekends are usually gray for me because I have no routine schedule and I usually feel anxious. If something good happens during the day, my day turns to a brighter happier shade of blue but if something bad happens, my day can turn to black. Mondays may involve a sunny yellow with my blue because it is bright and happy. If I get to go hiking on Wednesdays, my day would be sunny yellow, bright blue, and a happy green. I don’t usually have many brown (bad), or black (horrible) days so when they hit, it is usually a really bad bad day.

Today we worked on our porch which has been a long and labor intensive project. Part of the reason has been because my husband has been sick so much that we can only work on it when he is feeling well. Today the doctor called and told us that the blood work from Friday shows that he has thyroid problems and will need to take some medicine. Thank goodness we finally know the cause of his misery. After looking up the symptoms, it seems he has a classic case and seems pretty easy to treat. I’m so relieved to know something. Of course, my hubby hates that he will have to take medicine because he hates taking anything. I told him that it was better than finding out he has diabetes (which his whole family has) or emphysema (from many years of smoking but hasn’t smoked in 13 years). I guess today was a blue, brown, getting bluer day.

Photo credit: full spectrum by mdezemery

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Expensive Christmas Item

Blog Prompt: What's the most expensive item on your Christmas list today?

I would really like to have an 32gb Iphone which costs over $500. I know that right now we can’t afford it so I really haven’t talked about it much or my hubby will go out of the way to try to get it for me. I even thought about getting an 80gb Ipod because my 20gb Ipod is so old that it doesn’t show videos. Of course that is about $260 so again, not in our budget at this time. I guess I shouldn’t complain because I am getting my new gas range sometime next week.

Photo credit: iphone – I got the key by BlaCkbirD

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Perfect Summer Day (even though snakes were involved!)

Blog Prompt: Describe your perfect summer day.

This was the perfect prompt for me today because today was my perfect summer day. My hiking group was taking a break from hiking today to go tubing. We went to the Green River in Saluda, North Carolina. When we got up this morning, it was overcast and a little breezy so I was afraid it wouldn’t be a good day to go tubing. We packed a picnic lunch and went to meet the group anyway. We got there around 10:15 and it had warmed up and became sunny as well so I was relieved. We all grabbed our lunches and sat by the river to eat and enjoy the day. We couldn’t get on the river until noon because they don’t open the dam up river until a certain time and you don’t want to try tubing when the water is low. While we sat on rocks sticking out of the water, someone yelled, “Snake!” Right out of the rocks came this snake! Needless to say, we had our fill of the lunch spot and went back up to the shack that sells tubes. Soon we all paid our money ($7 for a 2 hour ride) and got our tubes but we still had to wait about 15 minutes before we could leave. They told us when the water covered a certain rock it was time to go so we all watched the rock. I brought my digital camera and kept it in a double Ziploc bag when we went over the rapids. Twelve of us floated down the river and enjoyed spinning off the rocks when we got to the fun parts. It got so hot at times I had to keep throwing water on my legs and arms. I did see about 5 snakes along the bank. At one time my hubby and I were holding on together until he saw the snake. Then he almost dumped me out of the tube and ended up accidentally pushing me straight into the snake. Luckily I pulled my legs all the way on top of the tube and practically over my head when the tube hit the branch with the snake on it. The tube bounced off the branch and spun away with me screaming. The others said when they headed towards the same branch that snake was hissing! After that I made sure I stayed away from the banks and only held onto my hubby’s tube when the water was calm. Everyone had a blast and we enjoyed visiting with each other as we floated down the river. It was relaxing at times and exciting at times too. By the time we got to the “get out” point, I was tired and glad to get out of the water. This was a perfect summer day.

Blog Award!

I have received a very special BLOG AWARD from my friend Tink of Tink’s Tribulations. Thank you SO very much Tink! This was a really neat surprise after I got back from a day of tubing down the river.

The rules of the award are:
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls you've nominated

Stephani’s Serendipity - she is a really neat person to get to know and does great movie reviews.
Beth Nixon Blogging - gives away a lot of wonderful freebies and I love to read her blog.

Amanda’s Blog: Reflections - I enjoyed following her pregnancy and watching the baby grow up now.

Daily Dwelling - lives in Germany and reconnected me with a friend who now lives in France, but we taught together in SC. She has 3 small children and I love to read about what they are up to.

Creative Triplet Mom - an amazing mom with triplets. Need I say more?

The Pages of Our Crazy Life - her family is so interesting to follow that I can't wait to read her blog when she updates.

Latest Updates from Scraps of Mind - gives great tips on scrapbooking. They are easy to understand and well worth the read!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Good Stories

Blog Prompt: What kind of stories do you like best? Tear-jerkers? Happy endings? Unexpected twists? Or all of the above?

I like all of the above as long as it is a good story. I don’t mind as long as the story is interesting, there is great character development, and it all ties together. I hate reading a story hoping that things will get better and then feel like I wasted my time reading it. I cannot put a book down once I start reading it; no matter how bad it is because I’m always hoping that it will get better. I like tear jerkers only if it is a happy ending. Stories that make me feel depressed give me insomnia so I don’t like them. I like unexpected twists because I usually figure out how the story will end and then I’m pleasantly surprised when it ends differently. The unexpected twists sometimes keep me on the edge of my seat and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I guess I just like a good story, no matter what kind it is.

Photo credit: Day 106 – I am a librarian by cindiann

Monday, July 07, 2008


Blog Prompt: If someone asked for your advice on life, what ONE WORD would you choose to share with them and why?

I had a couple of words that first came to mind but if I had to choose only one, I would say: HONESTY. I think everything else can be built on honesty. A person’s integrity is built on honesty. People respect me because they know that if I say something, I am honest and wouldn’t say something that I know is untrue. I know that I am a control freak and when I’m in a situation that makes me anxious, I am honest with everyone involved that I want to be more flexible and may need some help with this. Just by being honest about my feelings sometimes helps me cope with a situation. Honesty leads to trust and if I can’t trust someone, I usually don’t want to be around them. So I think Being Honest would be the best advice I could give someone.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Freedom to Me

DSP Prompt: In America today we celebrate Independence Day. What does freedom mean to you?

Freedom means everything to me. In 2000, my husband and I took a 30 day tour of China. After seeing how the people live there under Communist government, I am even more thankful for living in America. People were so oppressed and frightened there. We could not talk to any local people for fear they would be arrested because they did not have clearance to talk to us. Before we went there we knew that we could not bring our Bible or anything religious. In fact, I was advised to take my cross necklace off and I’ve worn that ever since I was a teenager. Since I am Chinese (even though I was born in America and never had been to China) and my husband is Caucasian, we took us longer to get checked into a hotel each time because they do not allow Americans to take Chinese women up to their rooms. This meant we had to show our marriage license and answer questions. The Three Rivers Gorge Dam was being built while we were on the tour and we took a 7 day cruise down the Yangtze River. Whenever we stopped, our guide asked local people (ones who were given clearance) how they felt about losing their homes due to the dam and all of them had the same canned answer, “We are glad they are doing this. Our life will be better.” We were warned never to look the police (the military) in the eyes on the street and also told that they had the authority to enter our hotel rooms, drag us out of the shower naked, in order to interrogate us if they want. I felt very tense while I was there because of all these restrictions and warnings. Now, keep in mind, the scenery was awesome and so were the historical places we saw but this other stuff overshadowed it.

When I returned to America, I wanted to kiss the ground. I actually tear up now when I hear large groups sing our national anthem. I’m thankful that I’m free to:
Speak to whomever I want to.
Have rights that the police can’t ignore.
Own my own home and car.
Free to spend the night with anyone I want to (but of course I only want to be with my husband!)
Go wherever I want to if I have the money to pay for it.
Be anything I want to be.

After this trip, I realize how thankful I am that I live in America with all its faults and problems. God Bless America!

Photo credit: St. Louis 4th of July by Creativity + Timothy K. Hamilton

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

World UFO Day Brings Memories

Blog Prompt: Today is World UFO Day. How do you feel about that?

This prompt reminded me of a trip we had taken to Roswell, New Mexico. We had gone to Big Bend National Park and Carlsbad Cavern National Park so we decided to head up to Roswell, New Mexico. Before the UFO museum, we went by a WalMart which was very unique to this town. Outside the store was a bus stop that included a bench seat surrounded by plastic walls with aliens painted on them. It was really cute. Inside the Walmart we found lots of alien stuff but the best thing was an 8 foot tall inflatable green alien. He was magnificent and I had to have him. Luckily he packed down into a box that we were able to carry onto the plane with us when we headed home to South Carolina. Whenever we have a party, he usually comes out of the box, inflates, and joins us for a good time.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Impulsive Moment

DSP prompt: What's the most spontaneous or impulsive thing you've ever done?

One of the craziest things I’ve ever done was when we were on a cruise. One of the stops was in Nassau and we went to a garden and some kind of show. In the show the man had a huge snake and at the end asked for people who would hold the snake around their neck. Now keep in mind that I was not drinking at all and I’m really not an impulsive person. I am also very afraid of snakes. The next thing I know is that I’m up there with him and he puts this snake (I think it was a boa constrictor) around my neck. When it started moving and I jumped, the man warned me not to move or it could end up bad. By that time I was ready for him to get the snake off of me. I have searched for the picture I have of it but I can’t find it anywhere and I know it is here somewhere. When I find it, I will post it. You can see the look of terror in my face!