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, October 30, 2009

Favorite Costume

Blog Prompt: What was your favorite Halloween costume? If you went to a party tomorrow, would you wear this costume to the party?

My favorite costume was my Pinocchio costume I made during my first year of college. I actually won a prize for it. I borrowed a cute pair of red shorts and someone else gave me suspenders. Then I made a nose and a hat which was really cute. I had to make mine because I couldn’t afford to buy one. When I arrived at the costume contest in the student center, everyone else had store bought costumes and I felt really out of place. I was amazed that I had won the prize.

Original image: 'Walt Disney's Pinocchio' by: Jacob Whittaker

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Major Event

Blog Prompt: Of the major events that have happened in your lifetime, what do you feel has had the most impact on you and how?

I think marrying my husband was the event that had the most impact on my life. I knew I was in love with him when we married but it developed into true love over the years. We have become best friends and do everything together. Even though we spend a lot of time together, we still enjoy each other’s company. We are very opposite in many things like our hobbies, and food preferences, but we are the same where it counts like our values and our thoughts. We both value honesty and loyalty a lot and it is important to both of us. He knows all of my secrets and sometimes knows me better than I know myself. I look forward to growing old together.

Original image: 'Love' by: Shena Pamela

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Words to Desribe Me

Blog Prompt: Think of ads for certain products like M&M Candies "Melt in your mouth, not in your hands" or Miller Lite "Tastes great, less filling." Describe yourself (or your writing) in ten words or fewer.

Loonyhiker – love of laughter, life, and learning

Original image: 'Free Tasty Technicolor Treats Creative Commons' by: D. Sharon Pruitt

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Blog Prompt: You find out you are highly allergic to something you love. Do you give it up (no matter how hard it is) or not (and deal with the consequences of the allergy)?

I am allergic to lots of things in nature like dust, leaf mold, pollen and even animals which means I really have a problem hiking in the spring and the fall. There is no way that I would give it up and luckily I found out that if I take an allergy pill before I go hiking, the problems afterwards are not as severe. If I don’t take the pill, I might sneeze a lot or my face gets really itchy and the next morning my eyes are swelled shut. If I take the pill, I just feel a little itchy, and my eyes aren’t totally swelled shut. So I just deal with it. I’m just thankful that I’m already married and my poor hubby won’t go screaming into the forest when he sees me in the morning.

Original image: 'how kind!'

Monday, October 26, 2009

Worst Gift

Blog Prompt: What's the worst present you've ever received? How did you react and what, ultimately, did you do with the gift?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a “worst” gift. I usually am so touched that someone would give me a present that I always feel so thankful. It doesn’t matter if it is a hand made gift from a student or something that is bought from the store but if it is given from the heart, I’m happy with that. Many of my students got depressed around Christmas time because so much emphasis is focused on store bought gifts. I try to explain to them that making gifts or giving gifts of your time is okay also. If something is made and time put into the gift that makes it even more special to me. Or maybe I just love getting gifts. J

Original image: 'Gifts? Already?' by: Kasia

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Ipod

Blog Prompt: Today is Ipod Day. Do you have an Ipod or mp3 player? If so, what kind of things do you have on it? If you have music, share what genre of music you like.

I love my Ipod! In fact this is my second one because my first one died. I go everywhere with my Ipod and it has saved me from ultimate boredom in many situation. I have lots of music on it but my taste in music is so eclectic that anyone would probably be able to find something they like on it except heavy metal or rap. I even have Christmas music on it. Lately I have been listening to lots of podcasts such as NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell, Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase, lots of education podcasts, and lots of different knitting podcasts. Then depending on what mood I’m in, I have plenty to choose from. This has been great while we have worked on repairs to our rental house because it keeps my mind off the hard work and how miserable I am!

Original image: 'Mi iPod con vídeo' by: Juan Pablo Olmo

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Blog Prompt: Today is "National Nut Day." Describe what type of nuts you like to eat. Don’t forget…your favorite type may come in “creamy” or “chunky.”

I really like most nuts but especially walnuts. I like to put walnuts in my banana bread and in salads. I also eat pecans and almonds. If I eat peanut butter, I prefer it to be chunky rather than creamy. Cashews and pistachios are good too. I guess I’m just a nutty person!

Original image: 'Nuts' by: Martin LaBar

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Art Museum Visit

Blog Prompt: On this day in 1959, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art opened in New York City. Describe a time that you have been to a museum.

I remember going to the Guggenheim with my older sister when I was a child. I had such good memories of it that I wanted to go back with my husband and of course, he is always so good about doing what I want. Maybe it was cheaper when I was little but I thought the price of admission was kind of steep but we went ahead and paid for it anyway. The day we went, there was a Miro exhibit. I did not know anything about Miro or what kind of art but I sure do now.

According to Wikipedia:

“Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride. In numerous interviews dating from the 1930s onwards, Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeoise society, and famously declared an "assassination of painting" in favor of upsetting the visual elements of established painting.”

It was modern art to us and we saw things like a burlap bag on canvas, or a red streak of paint on canvas. Obviously to some people, they saw meaning in this art but we didn’t. My hubby kept saying out loud that our children can do better than this and how he couldn’t believe that this art work was worth thousands of dollars! This lady wearing a mink coat turned to us and said in an offended tone of voice, “I beg your pardon. I own one of these works of art.” My husband retorted, “Well, you were ripped off then!” I could not drag him out of that museum quick enough after that. I was so embarrassed and swore I would never take him to an art museum again unless I knew it was not a modern art exhibit!

We still laugh about this even though it happened many years ago!

Original image: 'Miro Foundacion Mallorca 2008 (32)' by: THOR

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Three Wishes

Blog Prompt: You bump into a genie and she offers to grant you three wishes. What are your wishes and why?

1- I had enough money to go to different schools around the world and talk about using technology tools in the classroom. I would be able to do this for free and all my travel expenses would be paid for.
2- My husband and I could go hiking in Macchu Picchu in Peru.
3- My husband and I could go to Australia and New Zealand.

Original image: 'Make a wish / Pide un deseo' by: Emilio I. Panizo

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Life

Blog Prompt: Today is Evaluate Your Life Day. Reflect about your life and tell how you think it is going so far.

I’m pretty happy with my life and all that I’ve accomplished.

Personally: I married the man of my dreams and every year gets better and better. We fought a lot the first year we were married but now we hardly argue at all. It seems like we can finish each other’s thoughts before we say them. He knows how I’m feeling before I realize that I’m feeling that way. I enjoy being with him and traveling with him.

Professionally: I had always wanted to teach and had a wonderful career in teaching. When I made Teacher of the Year for my school and top ten finalist for the district, it was the icing on the cake. Now I teach on the college level to teachers so I can share my knowledge and experiences. I love sharing what I know with others in order to help them be better at what they do. I don’t think that I’m teaching them many things new as much as sharing ideas and developing new strategies and techniques that they might be able to use in their classrooms.

I never hiked when I was growing up and now I love it. I love being outdoors and enjoying nature. I have also taken up gardening and even though I’m not good at it, I enjoy it. I have also taken up knitting and I find it so relaxing and rewarding. Along with the prayer shawls I make for my church group, I am learning to knit things for myself.

Life is good!

Original image: 'Life is good!' by: duncan c

Friday, October 16, 2009


Blog Prompt: Today is Dictionary Day. When did you start using a dictionary? Do you still use one?

I think I started using a dictionary as soon as I could read. I remember that I wanted to learn how to read every word in the dictionary and kept reading it probably until I was in Junior High. I never did understand why I was told to use a dictionary if I didn’t know how to spell a word because I had to know how to spell it in order to look it up. Even now I use an online dictionary when I need it because I have no idea where a paper one is in my house. Sometimes I will read an article or blog post where someone uses a word that I’m unsure of and I love finding out the meaning of new words. Okay, I confess, I’m a word junkie! LOL

Original image: 'Huge'

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Blog Prompt: Today is National Grouch Day. Have you ever been grouchy? How did you act?

Before I had my hysterectomy, I was grouchy a lot. Many nights I would not sleep well which made me feel miserable the next day. If I woke up in the middle of the night I would either feel very depressed or I would feel anxious about unknown impending doom. I would be so grouchy that I couldn’t stand seeing myself in the mirror. In fact, I think I would cuss myself out and that was how my day would start! Now I don’t have any days like that anymore and that is truly a relief!

Original image: 'Oscar the Grouch' by: Christa Burns

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chocolate Valentine Candy

Blog Prompt: Look around the room and pick an object. Describe the object in full detail and explain where it came from.

The first thing I see is a box of chocolate valentine candy. I know you are asking why am I eating valentine candy in the middle of October. It is easy to understand! The reason is that my husband can’t pass up a bargain. On the way to meet my parents in Daytona Beach we passed a Russell Stover outlet store. Anyone knowing my hubby knows that he cannot pass up a Russell Stover outlet store and will practically toss me through the windshield as he brakes abruptly to get off the interstate towards the store.

When we get to the store, there is lots of candy on sale. There are chocolate Easter bunnies as well as valentine candy. We ended up getting four 1 lb. boxes of valentine candy for $9.95 which means each box was only about $2.50. The box is heart shaped and filled with assorted chocolates. The box is almost empty because he has been eating it for the past couple of days. I can’t wait until all the candy is gone because I’m trying to lose some weight and it is really hard when my hubby is eating chocolate beside me.

Yesterday we began working on one of our rental houses that is now empty. We will need to paint 4 bedrooms, 1 living room, and a bathroom. We will have to replace 4 doors because they have split or have holes in them. We prepped the walls and taped down the drop cloths and bought the ceiling paint. We had hoped to start painting but I forgot I had a 2 hour transition coop meeting so we actually didn’t get started on the house until the afternoon. Today we will buy the paint for the walls and start the actual painting. I have a feeling I will be pretty tired by the time we return home.

Original image: 'Happy Valentines Day 2005!' by: John Hritz

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Dark

Blog Prompt: Today is National Face Your Fears Day. What are you most afraid of and why?

I am really afraid of the dark and hate being alone when it gets dark. I don’t like bugs or the thought of bugs crawling on me so I picture them moving around in the dark. I also feel very anxious in complete darkness and I think it is because my cousin used to scare me when I was little about the dark and the boogey man. When we stay in a hotel, I always leave the bathroom light on and shut the door so a little light shines in the room. When we are camping, my husband starts a campfire for me before it gets dark and when I wake up at 5am, I usually sit outside with my flashlight reading until the sun comes up. I loved being in Alaska when it never got dark!

Original image: 'Crescent' by: Hamed Saber

Monday, October 12, 2009

Special Salesperson

Blog Prompt: Today is National Salesperson Day. Did you ever get treated especially nice by a salesperson? If so what did they do that was so special?

Years ago we decided to go to Big Bend National Park in Texas. We had to fly to Midlands and drive to the park. We stopped in a little town to stretch our legs and I found a tshirt that I wanted to buy but the shop didn’t have it in my size. It was a white tshirt with a picture of a tarantula on the left shoulder that almost looks real. The owner/salesperson got on the phone and called another shop who had it in my size. Then she said she would be right back and left us in her store alone. We thought she was going right next door or at least close by but then we watched her walk down the street, across the railroad tracks and then out of sight. While we waited, a long train passed by and about 10 minutes later, she returned with a tshirt in my size. I couldn’t believe that she went to all that trouble for me! Not only did she walk when she could have told us to go to that other store, but she trusted us enough to leave us alone in her store. I was amazed! It was a truly wonderful experience.

Original image: 'sold to very nice people' by: Anthony Easton

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Food Processor

On Thursday, I had a bunch of gift cards for Tanger Outlets and then for a $1 to support fighting breast cancer, I got a coupon for 25% off so I just had to buy a food processor. I had one years ago but I was too busy teaching, raising children, and enjoying life to cook. So now, I’ve decided I wanted to start cooking and trying new recipes.

The one thing I didn’t have was a food processor. First I looked at a 3 cup one but then decided I liked the features on a 7 cup one. Of course then I had to decide whether to get a Cuisinart or a Kitchen Aid but when the guy tried to show me a Kitchen Aid one, he couldn’t get it to work and the floor model was the only one available to purchase. Then since I saw the 9 cup Cuisinart would be the same price after the coupon as a 7 cup one, I decided to get it. It also has a stainless steel base which makes it so easy to clean. I have used it twice today and I already love it!

Earlier today I made 2 pans of apple crisp. Then tonight I made Braised Lentils with Spinach which was a really simple recipe. Here it is:

Braised Lentils with Spinach
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 ½ cups lentils
2 cups chicken broth
1 bag baby spinach

1. Heat oil in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add carrots, onions, celery, and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, rosemary, and pepper and cook for 1 minute.
2. Stir in lentils, broth, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
3. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, and cook stirring, until wilted.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Cake Decorating

Blog Prompt: Tomorrow is National Cake Decorating Day. If you had a birthday cake made especially for you, how would you like it to be decorated?

I would definitely want chocolate frosting. I really don’t care how the top looks as long as it doesn’t have candles for every year of my age. If it did, there would be so many holes in the cake that it wouldn’t look good when the candles were taken out. Also, if the candles were lit, it would cause the fire alarm to go off and that would be embarrassing. I don’t usually have cakes for my birthday because I’m not a big cake eater but this past birthday I had 2 birthday cakes on 2 different days and both of them had chocolate frosting. Here is a picture (thanks Diane for the picture!) of one of the cakes being brought to me as the dining room sang happy birthday to me. It was a wonderful birthday!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Favorite Reading Place

Blog Prompt: Where is your favorite place to read and why?

I really don’t have a favorite place because I will read anywhere. I love reading and will do it anywhere I can! Here are some of the places where I have been known to read:

1. In the car
2. On a train
3. On a bus
4. On a subway
5. On a plane
6. At the table while eating
7. In bed
8. On a couch
9. In long lines at the DMV, or to pay taxes
10. Waiting for a bus, train, etc.
11. At ballgames during half time
12. At Nascar races
13. On the trail we stop for lunch during a hike
14. Laying on the beach
15. On a cruise ship

Original image: 'On the platform, reading' by: Mo Riza

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Horrible Wyndham Experience

We are spending a few days with my parents at their Wyndham Time Share in Daytona Beach, FL and had a horrible experience with them. First of all, my parents are giving us this time share but we have no idea how the program works, how to pay the fees, how to make reservations, or anything else about the program.

At 1pm, we had an appointment with the Wyndham people and we were told this was an evaluation of the program and would last 45 minutes plus we would get $75 American Express gift card. We showed up on time to meet with a man named Jimmy. He left us alone in a small room for about 20 minutes while he found our account number and how many points we had. He proceeded to tell us that my parents wasted their money by only buying points every other year and how by just having one week every other year, we might as well just throw our money in the trash and how stupid this was. When I told him I wasn’t prepared to buy more points until I knew more about the program, he jumped down my throat to tell me that he wasn’t trying to sell me more and to get off my high horse. (Now I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable with him.)

Then we moved upstairs to a big room with lots of tables where people were meeting with sales reps. Jimmy told us to ask him questions and we asked how the program works. He told us that he wouldn’t lie to us and that Wyndham had a policy that if anyone lies, they get fired. He told me that they would contact us but I let him know that they didn’t have any contact information so how could they do this. Then he asked me to give him an email address and phone number. We asked for some written information to look at and he let us see a sample directory. Again he left us for about 10 minutes alone and then returned to ask us what questions we had. We asked for a copy of this book and he said before we left, they would give us a gift and a book. He also told us that it would take 2-3 hours to tell us about the program so we needed to wait until someone contacted us and sent us some information and also look at the book we would get when we left. When I asked him for our member number and contract number, he showed it to me and I wrote them down. Then I verified it on another paper he had and he laughed at me and told me that I was too much of a perfectionist and I needed to calm down. (That did not make me feel very happy with him.)

We sat and chatted for about 30 min. when my stepmom asked him if he could find a way to help us stay in the rooms we were in instead of having to move on the third day. He told us to go downstairs to talk to a woman named Rebecca and she would help us. When my dad asked him if Rebecca was down there today, Jimmy told him that she was. Then he asked what country we were from so I told him my father was born in China. At one point in the conversation, he made fun of the Chinese by pulling his eyes to the side so they could be “slanted.” (I was so offended that I was speechless.) At about 2pm, he leaves us alone again, without telling us where he is going or why he is leaving us. At 2:15 he stops by to say thank you, have a nice day.

Now we have been there for over an hour and we are freezing in this cold room. My 90 year old dad is shivering and he is miserable. Finally at 2:30 (90 minutes from when we arrived), I go to an office where this man is working on a computer and ask him if someone has forgotten us. He goes and gets someone who said he knew about us but he was busy. Then they send us to a room to pick up the gift we were promised. When I ask about the book that Jimmy said we would get, they said there weren’t any books and I had to call a 1-800 number to get one myself. Now we are pretty upset because we sat there for 90 min. and still had no idea how this program worked. We asked several times for Jimmy’s supervisor because obviously Jimmy lied to us but the man refused to get anyone. When my husband said he would complain to the real estate commission and the attorney general’s office about this, the man said that was a waste of time because they couldn’t do anything. We finally left because I didn’t want my father to get upset and have another stroke. Then to top it off, we go to see Rebecca about our room, and we are told that today was her day off ! (Jimmy lied again! Does this mean he will get fired?)

Needless to say, this is not the end of it. I will be contacting some people when I get home. Maybe I am unreasonable and it won’t change the way I was treated, but maybe it will help other people. There was no excuse for the way we were treated. Not to mention that I am paying for a program that I totally do not understand and they refuse to explain it to me but I know they will insist on getting their money each year!

Thanks for listening to me rant. Now for my DSP blog prompt:

Blog Prompt: You've been hired as a writer for "Late Show with David Letterman." Your first assignment is to come up with a witty, nonpolitical Top Ten list for him to read on air.

Top Ten Things I Enjoy Doing in Retirement
10. Talk about former students (not mentioning names of course!)
9. Visit with other teachers, knowing that I don’t have to do all that work anymore!
8. Write in a blog about my feelings without worrying about what my boss will say
7. Garden if I feel like
6. Hike when the weather is perfect
5. Read when I get bored
4. Knit instead of doing chores
3. Play on my computer whenever I want to
2. Travel wherever I want to go
1. Doing what I want, whenever I want to (Boy, do I love being retired!)

Original image: 'It's good to be the king' by: Larry & Teddy (nee Schlueter) Page

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Yesterday or Tomorrow

Blog Prompt: If you had to choose between yesterday and tomorrow, which would you pick and why?

I would definitely pick tomorrow because I already know how yesterday turned out. I like new adventures and fresh starts. I figure there is always tomorrow which can be a brighter and better day. If I messed up today, I can start over tomorrow with another chance. (Of course, now I’m hearing that Annie song – Tomorrow, Tomorrow…)

Original image: '# 5 Motivational poster (A good wave day)' by: Martino Franchi

Monday, October 05, 2009

My Office

Blog Prompt: Today is Improve Your Office Day. How would you improve your office?

I would not have to improve my office because I have the perfect office in my own home. My office is in the room we call the “playroom” and I sit beside my hubby as he works on his laptop. We have a printer and a scanner on the table with our laptops. We are both facing the big screen TV and the kitchen is just a few steps away. When we get tired of working, we can get in the hot tub, play pool, or walk on the treadmill. All of these things are in the same room with us. All around us are huge windows to our back yard. I get plenty of natural light from these windows and I have a beautiful scene to look at when I want. On the back deck is my water garden that is frequently visited by lots of birds, squirrels, and even a cat now and then. What more could I want?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Guardian Angel

Blog prompt: Today is Guardian Angel’s Day. Did you ever feel like a guardian angel was watching over you? If so, what happened?

I think God works overtime with me and has a guardian angel watching over me a lot because I have had many times where things could have been a lot worse than what they were. They could be little things like losing my camera on a cruise ship but someone finding it and turning it in to bigger things like surviving a terrible car accident.

In 2000, we were in a terrible accident that ended up with one person who died. This elderly lady had a heart attack at the wheel of her car and ran a stop sign as we came down the road. My husband refractured his back which continues to cause him pain and my knee must have had some nerve damage because I don’t have a lot of feeling around the skin on my knee. But we could have died and we didn’t. When the lady came across the hump in the road, it made a hole in her gas tank. As we spun around and around together, both cars ended up on the corner beside a gas station where we took out a stop sign. The firemen told us that her gas leaked straight down into the sand on that corner so we didn’t blow up. But the amazing thing is that everyone who has been on that corner does not remember ever seeing any sand there before. I’m so glad God was watching out for us!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Famous Musician

Blog Prompt: You're taking a business trip and, as luck would have it, you're upgraded to first class—something you've never done before. As you sit down in your new, more comfortable chair, you notice that the person sitting next to you is a famous musician. Who is it and what do you talk about?

I would love to be sitting next to Amy Grant. She actually attended the same university I did (Furman University) for awhile and a lot of us used to hang out at her dorm room and listen to her sing. We weren’t close friends or anything but she was a super nice person back then and really down to earth. From what I see and read about her in the entertainment news, I don’t think she has changed much. I love to know more about people’s families and hobbies and every day life so that is what I would ask her about. I would like to know more about what she does when she isn’t busy with singing and rehearsing. For me, it makes the famous person more real.

Original image: 'Amy Grant' by: Beth Allan