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, March 31, 2009

Dreaming and Adventure Day 13 (Washington)

Blog Prompt: Dream: A series of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. Do you dream a lot? Do you remember them when you awake? Do they leave you feeling refreshed and happy or drained? Do they have any effect on you during the day, whether you remember the contents or not?

I don’t think I dream a lot and when I do, I usually don’t remember what I dreamed about. If I do dream, I’m usually tired when I wake up. Once in awhile I have a bad dream and I wake up mad at my husband. When he gets up, I usually am grumpy and tell him about my dream and that I’m mad at him. He then reminds me that it was just a dream, and then gives me a big hug and a kiss which gets me over the “mad” and the grumpiness.

Travel Notes:

I don’t think we will do anything special today. We are leaving Kelso, WA this morning and heading to Seattle to check in our hotel. I’m on the Council for Exceptional Children’s Board of Directors and will be in meetings beginning tomorrow through Saturday. I hope that after we check into our hotel, I will be able to explore downtown Seattle a little since I won’t have any time to do this until Sunday. If we do anything fun, I’ll come back here and edit this post as well as add some pictures.

10:30pm We stopped at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center and hiked the nature trail around Silver Lake. It was really beautiful. Then we headed into Seattle. When we arrived, my friend Marci had returned from shopping so then we decided to go to lunch with her. After lunch we walked down to Pike's Peak Market and of course, I left my camera in the room. I hope to get some pictures some other time. I'm pooped now and need to rest up before my full day tomorrow.

Original image: 'Greyhounds are Very Elergant' by: Andy Chase

Problem Solving and Adventure Day 12 (Oregon)

“You have to remember: Problems can be solved. There is something you can do.” ~Jim Hensen. What are your steps to solving problems?

When I have a problems I usually:
1. Obsess about it by talking it all over in my mind and even have conversations with myself about the problem.
2. Then I think of how I want to handle it and the consequences of my actions. I try to look at positive and negative effects.
3. Then I decide how I plan on handling the situation.
4. Then I rant about it to my husband. Of course he wants to help me solve the problem (his way) and I just want him to listen. Then we usually end up arguing about it.
5. It will be a huge weight on my shoulders until I solve the problem and usually can’t do anything until it is solved.

Travel Notes:

We got up and decided to wash laundry before we checked out of the hotel. While the clothes were washing, we were able to eat breakfast. Now we have all clean clothes for the week we are in Seattle at my conference.

After the laundry was finished, we headed down the road along the Historic Columbia River Highway and stopped at the Crown Point Vista House where these nice volunteers gave us lots of useful information about what to see and where to stop. Our first waterfall we stopped at was the Latourell Falls which was gorgeous. Then we stopped at Wahkeena Falls which was nice too. But the Multnomah Falls was magnificent. If you ever get here, these were worth coming to see. There were lots of hiking trails and we wished we had more time to hike but maybe that means we will come back to visit.

After the waterfalls, we stopped at the Bonneville Dam where we we visited the fish hatchery and the sturgeon viewing center. Then at the dam we saw the fish ladders and got a tour of the power house. When we go to Cascade Locks, we crossed over the Bridge of the Gods to Washington. We started to head towards Hood River but then decided it was getting late and we needed to head towards Seattle. I finally got a chance to drive for a little while and drove until we got to the other side of Vancouver, WA. Since it was about 6:30pm, we decided to find a hotel room and stop for the night.

See more pictures on Flickr – Click HERE.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Adventure Day 11 (Oregon)

We left Boise, Idaho this morning and it was pretty cold. When we crossed over the line into Oregon, we picked up a map at the closed information center and I read that we had to have chains when posted. As soon as I looked up, there was a sign that said we must carry chains on this road. Now of course, Mr. I –follow-the-rules-to-a-T starts to get anxious because we don’t have any chains and if we get stopped, we will get a huge ticket. Since there is nothing we can do about we continue forward until we get to Baker City where we stop at a McDonalds and I ask people if they know where there is a Walmart so we can buy chains. I’m told that we would have to go to LaGrande which is about an hour away. Finally we stop at a fire station so I can ask them if they know where we can get chains. The fireman points us to a tire store around the block (Les Schwab) and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be open since it is a Sunday. Yet, as we get there, the door is open and the man is fixing flat tires for these guys and says he has the chains we need. He also said we were lucky that he had to help a semi this morning or he wouldn’t have been there for those guys or us. Then he proceeded to give us a lesson on how to put the chains on the tires (which I hope we never have to do).

When we arrived in La Grande, we had to park on the interstate until the pass opened again. The freeway was closed so everyone just sat there and waited. We watched 3 cars try to cross the median to go the other way but they got stuck. Each one was given a ticket by the state trooper before the wrecker pulled them out and got them on the road again. We weren’t there too long before we were allowed to continue and it was an exciting ride. The road went up the mountain through the national forest and was covered in snow. The snow plows had cleared the road somewhat but it was still really slick and scary.

We stopped in Pendleton, OR for lunch. They have a huge underground and you can take a tour of the underground but it wasn’t open today. Maybe we will come back another day after my conference. We did stop at the Pendleton Mill to see their products. They are famous for their Pendleton blankets. After lunch we kept heading north and decided to go towards Portland instead of straight up to Seattle which meant going through more mountains and passes and snow. I’m glad we went along the Columbia River towards Portland because it was absolutely beautiful. The river is so wide and wild looking. There were windmills as far you can see on both sides of the highway. Don says someone must have sprinkled windmill seeds everywhere.

We drove along the Columbia River to Portland, OR and it was absolutely beautiful. The walls of the Columbia River Gorge rose above us on each side. We took the scenic highway off the interstate for about 10 miles which brought us high above the river with awesome views! We decided that we would have to come back tomorrow because it was starting to get late and we still had to find our hotel.

See more pictures on Flickr – click HERE.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Adventure Day 10 and the Sisterhood Award (Wyoming, Utah, Idaho)

We got up early this morning and breakfast at Penny’s Diner in Rawlins, WY. It was so cold and there was still ice and snow covering the roads. It was a beautiful day even though the forecast said cloudy with possible snow showers. We headed west towards Utah. When we got to Utah, we passed the Devil’s Slide which we remembered from the last time we were in this area. I got a lot of knitting done while we listened to podcasts in the car. We made it to Twin Falls, ID by 3pm which is where we thought we’d stop for the day but Don was not tired so we continued to Boise, ID. I didn’t have a lot of opportunities for picture taking so this was the best one for today.

Thanks to Creative Triplet Mom for giving me this award.

Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude! (I need to work on this)
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friendships and Adventure Day 9 (Colorado, Wyoming)

Blog prompt: Friendships. How close are you and how much fun do you have?

My husband is my best friend and we have an amazing wonderful time whenever we are together, no matter where we are. He doesn’t mind exploring and trying new adventures. Sometimes I want to see something that I had read about and it may be a good thing or a dud but he doesn’t care (and doesn’t give me a hard time if it is a dud). I have a couple of friends that I try to stay in contact with but because we travel so much, I only see my other friends about twice a year, but I do email them a lot so that helps.

Travel Notes:

We got up early this morning and saw that the wind was still blowing snow around and we couldn’t tell if it was still snowing or not. It was really dark, gloomy, and cold which meant staying in the hotel room and watching old movies after breakfast. Finally around 11:30 we noticed the sun had come out and decided to knock the snow off the car. When we noticed that the snow looked melted in the parking lot and that there were lots of vehicles on the interstate, we packed our stuff up and checked out of the hotel. We figured since bad weather was heading this way again in a couple of days we needed to get further up the road. Driving through Denver though was a nightmare due to the many accidents causing us to be in bumper to bumper traffic. Obviously people were driving too fast and then hit the ice that was still on the road under the bridges causing them to spin out and hit other cars. Once we got out of Denver, it was clear sailing up to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Then we headed west along I-80 and the scenery was awesome. I loved seeing the snow covered mountains and the windmills along the way. Then we came to Rawlins, Wyoming and decided to spend the night. We are staying at an Oak Tree Inn which looks like it caters to railroad workers. We had dinner at Penny’s Diner right next door and the food was really great. Breakfast comes free with the room and I think it will be a good breakfast. We are checking out the weather for further up the road and I just hope we don’t hit any bad snow but it looks like we can’t avoid it. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can make it to Seattle by Tuesday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Communication and Adventure Day 8 (Colorado)

Blog prompt: “Communication: The art and technique of using words effectively to impart information or ideas.” That is what we are accomplishing here. A form of communication by using words effectively to impart information. But with the advent of the computer and the shortcuts used on the computer to convey ideas and emotions it appears they are becoming more prevalent in our day to day lives, as well. How has communication changed since the computer became a household appliance?

Instead of mailing letters to family and friends, I am able to update them about my activities through email and my blog. Since I do not really like talking on the telephone, I love that I can send information to others by email. I also like using my word processor so I can write what I want to say and then look over it to make sure it is conveying the right message. I can edit the information easily (as compared to hand writing this information) and will be able to make my message clearer and concise. I also like getting messages from others in an email so that I can refer to the message as often as I need to. I think having a computer is becoming a necessity in every household.

I also started using Twitter and Plurk to communicate with many friends over the internet. This really was exciting when we traveled to new places and I got to meet my virtual friends face to face. By broadcasting where we were eating dinner and the time we would be there, people could decide if they wanted to join us or not. It makes me feel like the world is a smaller place than I imagined and that meeting new friends cancels out a lot of the ugliness I hear about on the TV and the newspapers.

Travel Notes:

This morning we woke up really early because the time here is two hours earlier than it is at home so when it was 6am here, it was 8am at home and I was really bored just sitting in the hotel room. Finally we ate some breakfast here at the hotel, and then headed to WalMart to buy supplies in case we got snowed in. We bought the essentials like: diet pepsi, chips, cookies, candy, and fruit. Then we went to the Air Force Academy and looked at their beautiful campus with the mountains as a backdrop. Then we headed to the Garden of the Gods and hiked some of the trails. It was so amazing to see the sun hit the rocks and hard to believe that a blizzard was coming. About 11am, the skies darkened and it began to snow so we headed back to the hotel. Luckily there are three nice restaurants around the hotel within walking distance. While we ate lunch, we watched the snow come down heavier and heavier. I thought it was pretty exciting! When we walked back into the hotel there was a line of people checking in because the roads were so awful. One man said he was only 40 miles from home but he was not going any farther. We will stay in our room, watch lots of TV, play on our computers and watch the snow!

You can see more pictures on Flickr - click HERE.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Art and Adventure Day 7 (Colorado)

Blog prompt: Art in its many forms. Do you feel you are artistic? Can you draw, paint or sculpt?

I was never artistic and won’t fool myself into thinking I ever will be. I cannot draw, paint, or sculpt. My older sister was the talented artist in my family, which she got from my father who was also artistic. I was the book worm of the family so no one ever expected any art tendencies from me. I really appreciate the artwork of others because I know how hard it would be to do something artistic. I guess the world needs those who are artists and those who appreciate the art.

Travel notes:

Today was spent mostly driving west. Before we got out of Kansas though, we crossed over into the Mountain Time Zone so we got an extra hour in the day. We also had to find a post office so I could buy stamps. We stopped in a town called Goodland and they had a gigantic replica of a Van Gogh painting on an easel.

Then we got into Colorado and decided to go southwest to Colorado Springs instead of Denver. We got a reservation at the Hampton Inn which was nice and then drove around town. We had wonderful views of Pike's Peak too. We ended up going to the Garden of the Gods, which was free and hiked around some of the rock formations before it got dark. Then we drove to the Cog Railway to see what the train looked like that goes up to Pike’s Peak. Then we find out that there will be blizzard conditions here so we may be snowed in here until Saturday.

After driving for about 8 hours, we are pooped!
See more pictures on Flickr - Click HERE.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Homeopathy and Adventure Day 6 (Kansas)

Blog prompt: Ayurveda is the conventional Hindu system of medicine, founded chiefly on naturopathy and homeopathy. Have you ever tried an unconventional method of healing? What are your thoughts on it?

We believe that Echinacea really helps when we feel a cold coming on. It seems like the cold is gone by the next day. My father has this Chinese medicine (I couldn’t tell you the name or what it has in it) that is supposed to help on aches and bruises. I know when I was young, I badly sprained my ankle from horseback riding (that is another strange story that I won’t go into) and my ankle swelled up three times its size. My father rubbed this heated brown medicine on it and the next day, my ankle was normal. I also got a little frostbite on my feet from shoveling snow when I was a teenager and my dad rubbed this on my feet. The next day I was all better. I think there are some medicines out there that the medical community doesn’t want you to know about because it will cost them money. I also think part of what works is whether you believe it will work or not. I truly believe that mental attitude plays a big part in healing.

Travel Notes:

We went to Dutch Kitchen Restaurant for breakfast and then arrived at the Salt Museum as soon as it opened at 9am. Our tour began at 9:20 and there were 6 of us. We went 650 feet underground to see the salt mine. They also store lots of important government items as well as movie items here for safekeeping. It was a really cool tour and would recommend this to anyone in the area. We left there about 11:15 to meet Plurk friends for lunch.

We ate lunch at Roy’s Barbecue with Howie, Joel, Tom, and Jerry. The food was really tasty.

After lunch we went to the Cosmosphere and saw an IMAX movie about Dinosaurs which was really good. After that we went to the Planetarium to learn about the constellations. I really enjoyed that program and learned a lot about the stars. I hope I will be able to identify more constellations after this. Then we went to Dr. Goddard’s Lab where Howie gave a great presentation about rocketry. There was a very small crowd and I know it is hard to present to a small crowd but he was really awesome! Then we went down to the museum and saw all of the exhibits. It was amazing to see all the artifacts in this museum. A lot of the things were the real stuff and not replicas. I think the teachers in this area are so lucky to have this resource so close to them.

Then at 6:30 we met other Plurker friends at Anchor Inn. Ande (Lulubell), Shelly (HuskerFan), Kevin (KevinH) and Michelle (honeymic) had dinner with us and we had a wonderful time. It was as if we had all known each other forever because I felt so comfortable with this group. You would never have known that most of us met each other for the first time tonight.

Well, it was a full and exciting day! We will definitely have to come back for another visit because there is so much to see and do here.
More pictures on Flickr HERE

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beasts and Adventure Day 5 (Kansas)

Blog Prompt: What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts happens to man. All things are connected..." ~ Chief Seattle ~ Expand on this.

I think a lot about this when I’m hiking in the wild. I love to look around and see what kind of animals I can find. I will take time to stop to look at spiders, snails, insects, and even snakes. If we are very quiet, we might come across a deer and the gracefulness of the deer always makes me feel good inside. When we travel around the country, we like to stop at zoos and see what animals are different there than at our local zoo. When we hike in other states, we are aware of what local animals may be encountered on the trail. I like to think about their purpose is in the cycle of life. It never ceases to amaze me that everything has a purpose, no matter what size it may be.

Travel notes:

Topeka: went to the Topeka Zoo and the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site. It was pretty interesting but lots of reading and videos.

Abilene – went to the Eisenhower Library (Museum was $8 per person but the Library and grounds were free) then The Hitching Post for lunch.

Heading towards Hutchinson, the winds were so strong that Don struggled to keep our little car on the road. We watched about 6 transfer trucks topple over on the interstate and other trucks fight to stay on the road. It was a pretty scary ride.

When we arrived in Hutchinson, I thought my car door would be ripped off when I got out of the car. We stopped by the Cosmosphere to pick up some combo tickets for the tour/activities tomorrow and got to meet Howie G. We will get to spend some time with him tomorrow. Then we went to the Polo Lounge for steaks and were thrilled when Lulubell (Ande) came there to meet us. We had a nice time visiting with her too. Luckily she followed us down the road and was able to let us know that we had a burned out tail light so we will need to find some place to get that repaired.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Adventure Day 4 (Kansas, Missouri)

We arrived in Independence, MO early enough to find a hotel. Since we had a coupon from the little green hotel coupon books, we found a room at Drury Inn in Kansas City for only $49.99. I really like this hotel because it included a complimentary cocktail hour from 5:30-7pm and a hot breakfast buffet. The room had huge flat screen TV with HD too as well as free wireless.

After checking in the hotel, we went for lunch at Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue which was supposed to be “world famous.” Our two sliced barbecue sandwiches, French fries, and drinks came to $26. Then we went to the Truman Library ($8 per person) and saw all of the exhibits in there. We spent about 2 ½ hours there. I learned a lot about Truman that I didn’t know before but I was impressed with how much in love he seemed to be with Bess (his wife).

We left the Truman Library and went to Union Station. It was a lot different than Union Station in St. Louis and Washington DC. We did see a free model train exhibit and walked around the station. The grand hall was pretty awesome to see. Across from Union Station was the Liberty Memorial in honor of those who fought in WWI.

Then we left there and drove around exploring Kansas City. We saw Arrowhead Stadium where the Kansas City Chiefs play football and Kaufmann Stadium where the Kansas City Royals play baseball. There was a lot of construction going on around the baseball stadium where they were renovating it.

We arrived back at hotel in time for free cocktails and met lots of nice people. One lady was a special education teacher so we hit it off right away. We also met a nice couple from Nebraska who were here for a weekend. Now we will rest up for traveling again tomorrow.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Adventure Day 3 (Missouri)

Today we explored St. Louis. Here are the places we went to today:

Museum of Transportation – with AAA discount, we only paid $4 admission. They had a wonderful collection of old cars (Bobby Darin’s old car, 57 Chevy, and a Dusenberg with goat skin) and lots of trains (including the world’s largest snow plow train). I like to imagine what it would have been like to travel around the country in a train like wealthy people travel today in their private jets. We even watched three men repair part of the train tracks. They were training drivers of the trolley so it wasn’t open for rides today.

Laumiere Sculpture Park – Park that was free and filled with interesting sculptures. My favorite was the giant eyeball.

Walmart – We stopped there to buy me popcorn and a small tripod for my camera. It will come in handy so we can take some pictures together. I also found postcards for only .25. I have found that Walmart is a great place to find souvenirs that are reasonably priced.

We left there and went to find the Venice Café for lunch. It was a neat looking place and very colorful but it wasn’t open for lunch. It looked kind of hippie-ish but lots of reviews on the internet recommended it. Oh well, maybe on our next visit.

Our next stop was the Hard Rock Café in Union Station to buy our bottle opener magnet. Luckily they gave me a pass for two hours free parking so we walked around Union Station. It was like a mall with a food court (where we ate lunch) but there was also a Memories Museum that had artifacts about the history of Union Station, trains, and St. Louis. It was a fantastic exhibit that was free.

When we left there, we headed to Forest Park to look for the World’s Fair Pavilion. The World’s Fair was held in St. Louis in 1904. There were so many cars but we found a place to park along the road and walked up to the Pavilion. It was a pretty building. After that, we walked over to the St. Louis Zoo which was in Forest Park. It was a huge zoo and the best part was that it was free. It was the largest zoo, next to the San Diego Zoo, that I’ve ever been to and well worth seeing. We walked through the 1904 Flight Cage that was in the World’s Fair. The Smithsonian Institute wanted to move it to Washington DC after the World’s Fair but St. Louis wouldn’t let them.

After the zoo, we drove to St. Charles which is where Lewis and Clark started their exploration. This was the state’s first Capitol. The city is located on the Missouri River. The city had a historic Main Street filled with shops and eating places.

After this, we looked for something to eat and finally agreed on Taco Bell. Now we are back at the hotel resting our sore feet and stuffing our faces with junk food! Tomorrow we are on the road again.

More pictures on Flickr: Click HERE

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hearing and Adventure Day 2 (Kentucky, Missouri)

Blog prompt: Close your eyes. Listen. What all do you hear? Can you describe it in detail? Once you opened your eyes, did what you thought you heard and actually heard coincide?

As I write this, I can hear my husband snoring and the sounds of people moving around in the room next to ours. I can also hear my computer doing whatever it needs to do to survive. I am in a dark hotel room waiting for my husband to wake up.

Travel Notes (at the end of the day):

We left Paducah, KY after eating a wonderful breakfast at the Hampton Inn. I really like the bag of goodies they give you when you leave (bottle of water, apple, muffin, energy bar, mints). Then we headed north towards Illinois. As soon as we crossed over the state line, we stopped at the visitor center and the lady manning the desk was very helpful. We had thought about staying at a Drury Inn west of downtown St. Louis but she warned us about the construction on I-64 which caused a major detour. We cancelled our reservation and decided to wait until we got to St. Louis.

We were still in Illinois as we approached St. Louis and the Gateway Arch stood out against the horizon. It was truly a magnificent sight! We decided to do a tour of the Anheuser Busch brewery first and got there in time for the 12:00 tour. The tour was free and lasted over an hour. I really enjoyed watching the Clydesdales frolic outside in their play area. We also got to see their stables which were amazingly clean. The tour ended with the opportunity to sample beer (two free 11 oz. glasses to those over 21) and bags of pretzels.

After the tour we decided to make a reservation at the Hampton Inn near the St. Louis airport and the price was extremely reasonable (cheaper and better than the one we stayed in last night). The room is much bigger and has a comfortable chair for Don to sit in while he watches TV and it also has a microwave and refrigerator in it. After checking in, we parked the car and ate dinner at Bandana’s BBQ which was right next door. We each had the lunch portion BBQ Pork plate with 2 sides for $6.99 and it was exceptional! I would definitely eat here again. The pork was so tasty and tender and the sauces come on the side.

Now we will watch TV and do our research as we plan for our day tomorrow.

More pictures on Flickr - click HERE.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Attitude and Adventure Day 1 (Kentucky)

Blog Prompt: Attitude is a state of mind or a feeling; disposition. What is your attitude today? What has affected it to make it so?

I am having a great attitude today. We begin our trip today across the US and I’m so excited. My car is packed and all the items on my list were checked off so I hope I didn’t forget anything. Of course, we feel like that we have a credit card, ID, and each other so everything else is just icing on the cake. As I write this, we have been on the road for three hours and the traffic has been pretty light and the weather has been wonderful. What more can I ask for as we travel? I love starting out on new adventures!

Travel Notes:

We crossed over into the Central Time Zone and arrived in Nashville just in time for lunch. After stopping at the Hard Rock Café to get our bottle opener magnet (I’m so disappointed that they don’t have the old guitar shapes anymore!), we walked around town. Eventually we ended up eating hot wings (Samurai and Spicy Garlic) at Hooters. Walking back to our car, we passed by Ryman Auditorium. When we left there we drove to Las Paletas which we heard have really unusual popsicles. Don bought a tangerine and I bought cantaloupe ($2.50 each). We got back on the road and before we knew it, we had crossed over the state line into Kentucky around 3pm.

We finally decided to spend the night in Paducah. Paducah is home to a Uranium Enrichment Plant owned by the US Dept. of Energy. We drove down to the waterfront which was pretty. This town in where the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers come together. The murals along the wall by the waterfront were beautiful!

Today we started in SC, drove through NC, TN, and ended up in KY. We have had a wonderful first day!

More pictures in Flickr - Click HERE.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What I Hope to Accomplish Today

Blog Prompt: What is the most important thing you have to accomplish today? What would be the consequence if it did not get done?

The most important thing I plan to do today is to prepare for our trip. I hope to finish getting my clothes packed and the car packed. I have a list of things to pack and do and then another list of things not to forget to do in case I lose the first list. I know that no matter how efficient I try to be, I will forget something or forget to do something. I have heard that it is good to forget something because that means you will return home safely. Then I start to worry that I won’t forget to do something and will that mean that I won’t return home safely? You can’t purposely forget something or then it wouldn’t be “forgetting.” All of this planning makes me anxious.

If I don’t get it done, then our trip is delayed and I get to have these feelings even longer. I get to the point where I just want to get in the car and go! I’m sick of lists and I’m sick of worrying which takes the fun out of going on a trip. These feelings make me cranky which cause me to pick arguments with my husband for no reason and then he becomes cranky. When we finally leave for the trip, we will both be in a bad mood and that is not the best way to leave for a vacation. So, I have got to do what I need to do today so this trip is not delayed any longer.

Original image: 'Post-mission manifest' by: adam greenfield

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Anger Management

“Anger Management involves a system of psychological therapeutic techniques and exercises by which one with excessive anger can reduce the triggers, degrees, and effects of an angered emotional state.” ~Self Improvement Complete Dictionary. What form does your anger management take?

When I get angry I usually like to walk or work while I mutter to myself all the injustices that have been heaped upon me. Of course I usually don’t get angry often, hence the lack of exercise and productivity that takes place in my life. It usually takes a lot to make me angry and then it is usually because I have stored up all the petty little annoyances until they build up like a giant snowball. One person told me one time that I stuck all the petty little annoyances into a closet until it gets so full that the door finally bursts open and can’t hold any more. Now if I get enraged, I usually end up crying and no one wants to be around me if I’m angry crying. One time I was so mad at school that I ended up ranting to an assistant principal but I started off by telling him that I was so angry and I would end up crying and he would do best just by letting me get this out or I would explode. He actually looked scared while I was ranting but he didn’t run.

Original image: 'Anger' by: Evan Leeson

Monday, March 16, 2009

What It Means to Be Me

"To be nobody but myself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting." ~ E. E. Cummings ~ What does it mean to be YOU?

Wow! It’s amazing how parts of my life intersect. I wrote a post for my Successful Teaching blog this weekend about trying to be me and then I read this quote and prompt. Please click here to see what I wrote about Growing Up Chinese in an American World. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Image: Women’s Benevolent Association in New York – Museum of Chinese in America

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chocolate Graham Crackers

Blog Prompt: Touch something close to you. Write about it, the texture, color, shape, etc.

I am sitting here with chocolate graham crackers in front of me. They are long rectangular shapes sitting on a circular white paper plate. I love chocolate graham crackers! I don’t like the plain or honey ones; just these chocolate ones. Since they are pretty dry, I usually have something to drink with them. They also have a lot of crumbs when I eat them so I like to break them in smaller pieces on the plate before I eat a bite of them. It also amazes me how hard they are to find sometimes and I wonder if lots of other people like them too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Blog Prompt: Take a book or dictionary, hold it closed with the spine in your lap. Now remove your hands and let it fall open. Close your eyes and place a finger on the page. What is the closest word to your finger? Write a paragraph around that word.

I’m reading the book Knit Two by Kate Jacobs which is a novel about A Friday Night Knitting Club so I’m so relieved my finger touched the word “yarn.”

I am a beginner knitter so I’ve been trying to read books (fiction and non fiction) and listen to podcasts about knitting. I want to eventually be able to knit these beautiful sweaters that I see but it is far into the future before that happens. The big topic in most of the books and podcasts are about yarn. I never realized there were so many different weights, textures, and fibers dealing with yarn. I went into my first yarn store a couple of months ago (which is very different from a hobby/craft store) and felt like I was Alice in Wonderland who fell down the rabbit hole. I had never seen so many colors and felt so many different skeins of yarn. It was quite magical. Right now I am mostly buying Red Heart yarn from Wal-Mart because I feel it is reasonably priced and easy to get more of as we travel around the country. I have seen some yarn that cost over $30 for a skein but I don’t foresee me spending that kind of money on yarn. I love going to my Monday night knitting group to see the yarn that others are using and hear them talk about the different yarns. It seems like different yarns have different personalities. I hope someday to become friends with other yarns too.

Original image: 'YIP: 02.11.09' by: meg

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Achievements: Yesterday and Today

Tuesday’s blog prompt: Achievement connotes accomplishment of something noteworthy, after much effort and often in spite of obstacles and discouragements. What do you feel is your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is being a teacher and making a difference in someone’s life. I have met former students who have told me that I influenced their lives and it makes me feel so proud of what they have done with their lives because I believed in them and taught them so much. When they were in my class, all of my students had to write “I am a Born Winner” on their papers before I would accept them. Many have told me that it has helped them later on in their life. Even when I was a little girl, I had always wanted to be a teacher and continue to teach now on the university level to other teachers. My husband told me the other day that he thinks all teachers just have it in their blood and will never stop teaching until they die. I wanted to share a message on facebook that I got this morning from the parent of a former student:

“It is so great to touch base with you! You look comfortable in that lounge chair! Hope all is well with you. You would be so proud of David. My husband John and I went to see him preach this weekend. I was in awe to see how good he was and how he seemed to move the congregation. I'm just so proud. HE'S a BORN WINNER.!!!
My husband would love to meet you. He's CTE director of … County Schools. He has told me many times that he wished he had a few Mrs Hensleys at …. High. I told him there's only one!
We have 4 more years till retirement. He has said many times he would quit if it weren't for the kids. You would not believe the stuff he has to put up with! I often tell him ,"Well, Mrs Hensley would do this or that" He will say ,"Thats a great idea!"…
So glad David found you!
I will always love you for what all you did for David. And thats the truth!"

Wednesday’s prompt: Now is the time to ask yourself what you intend to accomplish today. Write it down and then follow up later in your post as to what on your list, if any, you did.

Here is what I hope to do today but they are not listed in any particular order:
(those in italics are completed)

1. Weed flower beds (completed by 9:30am)
2. Buy pine needles and spread them (after 2 trips to Lowes - completed by 2:30pm)
3. Wash clothes (completed by 2:30pm)
4. Fold clothes
5. Knit (completed by 11am)
6. Read (completed by 11am)
7. Work on presentation (completed by 11am)
8. Go buy some more yarn
9. Start packing for trip
10. Read blogs in Google Reader (completed by 3:15pm)

Also in the day I have completed the following which was not on the list at the beginning of today:
Went to Post Office
Went to Burger King for lunch
Dragged brush to the street
Cooked dinner
Washed dinner dishes

Original image: 'Smart Board Technology in Jay's Classroom'

Monday, March 09, 2009

Open Mind

Blog Prompt: An open mind is a good place to start. Stay open to everything. The more that you see, hear, and experience, the more connections you’ll make. ~Jim Henson. What is your mind open to?

I try to keep an open mind to most things.

I try to read books that are different from what I usually read. I try to eat new foods but I really don’t like to. My husband tends to call me a picky eater.

When I get in an argument with someone, I try to keep an open mind and see it from their side which is hard. I really don’t like when I have to make a decision and I can see both sides of the situation.

I also try to keep an open mind about traveling. My husband really likes to explore and go to places we have never been but sometimes I get a little nervous about it. If it was up to him, we would sell our house and travel all of the time but I need the security of a home. I try to keep an open mind and convince myself that we will have a good time wherever we end up and we usually do. My fears would keep us from doing and seeing a lot of fun stuff so I’m glad I have him to push me when I need it.

I try to keep an open mind about what I am able to do. It is so easy to say “I can’t” do something. When I was growing up, I was so spoiled because my family did so much for me that I saw it as their oping that I couldn’t do anything right. This defeatist attitude could have kept me from doing a lot of things that I wanted to do like becoming a teacher but I wouldn’t let it. Now when opportunities come my way and my heart says “I can’t,” my brain asks if I mean “I can’t” or “I won’t” which are two very different things. I think that is why I have had so many wonderful experiences and I hope I can continue to have them!

Original image: 'Brain cell(s)' by: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier