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!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Universal Studios

041 Blog Prompt - Today is Stay at Home Because You Are Well Day. What would you do today if you didn't have to go to work or things you do in your everyday week life?

This is easy because I am not at home right now doing my usual things. We are in our timeshare in Orlando and enjoying this beautiful weather. Since there is a living room and kitchen area, I’m not on the computer in the dark like I would be if I was in a hotel room while my husband sleeps. Today we will go back to Universal to ride more rides and watch more shows. We spent all day there yesterday and I rode a couple of roller coasters that were pretty scary. It closed at 6pm but we were pretty tired by then and ready to leave. Today is supposed to be as nice as yesterday so I’m glad.

original photo taken by me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pins and Needles

pins Blog Prompt - Today is Pins and Needles Day. As we gear up for the season, how will keep yourself calm and relaxed and not on pins and needles this year?

Holiday seasons are usually stressful for me because we usually go on vacation. This means packing for a variety of situations such as a cruise as well as a visit with my parents. I am having to make sure I pack Christmas gifts too. Before we leave, I have to pay all the bills and make sure the house is in order. We cut off the water in case it gets cold enough to freeze. I also have to make sure someone will pick up our mail at the post office and return any library books we have. The best way I try to stay calm is to walk. I either walk on my treadmill or we go walking in the park. For some reason I feel energized and in control after I walk which is much different than when I started.

Original image: 'Colours everywhere'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29413530@N00/3307366338
by: Petra Swaczynov√°

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving Today is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for this year.  (cross posted on Successful Teaching)

· Husband (the center of my life!)

· Family (I feel the love!)

· Good Health (I feel good!)

· Money to pay my bills (being able to pay my bills lets me do other things without worrying)

· Ability to travel and mark places off our wish list (I love traveling to new places)

· My father who will turn 90 on December 7th (after his stroke 2 years ago, I didn’t think he would make it to this age)

· Learning Mandarin (learning to speak Chinese is something I always wished I could do)

· Online friends (I feel so connected with others rather than isolated)

· Meeting online friends in person (I find this fascinating)

· Ability to help others (it makes me feel useful)

· Writing my blogs which I thoroughly enjoy (sharing my life with others)

· Teaching graduate courses for Furman in the summer. (sharing with others about my teaching experience)

· Books (to help me when I want to escape the real world)

· Laptop and internet (so I can stay connected)

· TVs (which are on at home all of the time)

· Recipes (so I can learn to make new dishes)

· Sunshine (makes me smile!)

· Music (makes me feel happy)

· Ipod (to take my mind off my misery while I exercise)

· Cell phones (with Verizon I can call family members easily)

· Toyota Prius (which now has almost 100,000 miles on it!)

· Cameras (because I love taking pictures)

· Rain (especially since we experienced a drought)

· Flowers (they make me smile!)

· Hiking (I love to experience God’s world)

Original image: Thanksgiving Centerpiece http://www.flickr.com/photos/alasam/2071941952/ by alasam

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chocolate Cake

chocolate cake Blog Prompt - Today is National Cake Day. What is your favorite cake and do you have a recipe you would make for Thanksgiving that you would like to share?

I’m not a big cake eater but my husband is. I also don’t have a great recipe to share because I usually make a Duncan Hines chocolate cake in a bundt pan and follow the directions on the box. (I’m not a great cook, yet. Notice I said yet! I’m working on it!) My husband loves chocolate cake with chocolate icing. I have a box with icing waiting for me when I get home from Christmas vacation. If I do eat a cake, I usually want chocolate.

Original image: 'Chocolate Beet Cake'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7884518@N04/2508045734 by: Mike Chaput-Branson

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Candied Yams

Blog Prompt: Do you have a recipe you would like to share yyamsou will have on Thanksgiving?

Mine is a simple one and I love to eat these. For some reason, I only make this at Thanksgiving when we are home.

CANDIED SWEET POTATOES (YAMS)

sweet potatoes
brown sugar
ground cinnamon
butter

  1. Slice sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch round slices. Arrange potatoes in a lightly greased baking dish (approx. 13”x9”x2”).
  2. Dab little slices of butter on top of each slice.
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Bake at 350 for an hour.
Original image: 'Yammies'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/48496790@N00/2060671784 by: Jill Matsuyama

Monday, November 23, 2009

Walnuts

20090107aweb Blog Prompt - Today is National Cashew Day. What form of nut do you like best? Do you like it alone or in a certain recipe? Do you have a recipe you enjoy the most with nuts in it you would like to share?

My favorite nuts are walnuts. I like pecans too but I think walnuts are sweeter. When I make banana nut bread, I put walnuts in it. When I make a salad, sometimes I like to throw chopped walnuts in it. Here is my recipe for Banana Nut Bread.

Banana Nut Bread

1 ½ c. sugar

1 ½ sticks margarine

1 ½ c. buttermilk

1 ½ tsp baking soda

2 eggs

3 cups plain flour

At least 1 c. mashed banana

1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Cream sugar and margarine.

2. Add eggs and beat.

3. Add flour, soda and buttermilk.

4. Add mashed bananas and nuts

5. Line bottom of greased loaf pans with waxed paper.

6. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

7. Cool in pans.

8. Remove and wrap with tin foil.

9. Makes 2 loaves and freezes well.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Preparing for the Weekend

weekend Blog Prompt - Its Friday and what do you usually do on a Friday to gear up for the weekend??

The best part of being retired is that I don’t have to wait in anticipation for the weekend. Every day can be a weekend day for me! The main thing that I do on the weekend is leave dinner plans up to my husband. I cook breakfast and dinner on the weekdays but leave the cooking up to him on the weekends. This usually means that we go out for breakfast. Since it is football season and there are lots of college football games on, I am sent out to get KFC hotwings, or Little Caesar’s pizza for dinner. If it is after football season, we try to go hiking on the weekend with my hiking group. So this means on Fridays, I gather our hiking gear together so we aren’t running around looking for stuff on Saturday morning. I try to lay out our hiking clothes and then I make sure I have stuff together for our lunch. It is nice not having to wait for weekends to happen!

Original image: 'Preview of a Splash'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8381313@N08/4037920271 by: Chris Willis

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Recycling

recycle Blog Prompt - It's America Recycles Day. How do you recycle in your home?

Our city used to have a recycling service pick up our recycling every week but I guess it wasn’t cost efficient for them. We had a box for our cans, bottles and papers which I thought was wonderful. Since they have done away with them, I try to recycle as much as I can. I actually use my aluminum cans at the bottom of deep flower pots to take up space. My annuals don’t usually have deep roots and don’t need soil to go all the way to the bottom of the pot so this helps me use less soil and makes the pot lighter to move. All of my paper and food scraps go into my worm bin. I use the compost (worm poop) in my flower beds in the spring to fertilize my plants which I think has really helped them do better than any artificial fertilizer. There isn’t a recycling center close to our home so that is the best I can do right now.

Original image: 'SpectrumG00109_www.lumaxart.com'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22177648@N06/2137735126 by: Scott Maxwell

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mickey Mouse

mickeymouse Blog Prompt - Today is Mickey Mouse's Birthday. Do you have a favorite Disney character?

Mickey Mouse was always my favorite character. He was cute and everyone seemed to love him which is the way I wanted to be when I grew up. He also seemed smart and capable. One year we took our children to Disney World when they were little and they loved the parade. When we looked around, we were missing our youngest daughter. My husband thought I had her and I thought he had her but I guess she slipped away while we were watching the parade. We were frantic and was searching everywhere! Finally we found her! She was in the parade holding Mickey Mouse’s hand, just waving to everyone. They said they knew a parent would be looking for her and that was the best place for her to be seen! I loved Mickey Mouse even more that day!

Original image: 'Walter Elias Disney and his friends'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/61932307@N00/2539093650 by: Avrajyoti Mitra

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Buttons, Zippers and Bread

zippers Monday’s Blog Prompt - Today is Button Day. Do you prefer buttons or zippers or none at all??

I like zippers better because I’m always popping off a button and I hate sewing them on. Also, I feel warmer when I can zip something up rather than wearing something that buttons. Of course when I’m knitting I don’t like either because so far, I have no idea how to add them on a sweater. The only sweater I have made had neither and tied at the waist. Eventually I will move up to adding buttons because I think those will be easier to add on then a zipper.

Tuesday’s Blog Prompt - Today is Homemade Bread Day. Do you have a great recipe for bread to share or do you prefer to buy it already made at the store?

I have never baked bread before but I love the smell of it and I love to eat warm fresh baked bread. My sister bakes a lot of bread stuff which tastes awesome! She makes these yeast rolls to die for! At Easter time, she makes these doughboys where you put the Easter egg in the middle and they looks so cute. They are almost too cute to eat. Now

Original image: 'which one?'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33953253@N00/3304032405 by: caro sheridan

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mom’s Lunch

lunchbox Blog Prompt - Today is Pack Your Mom's Lunch Day. What would you pack in your mom's lunch box for her?

I don’t ever remember my mother eating lunch. In fact I don’t remember her eating much of anything outside of dinner. She loved her coffee though. I do remember her wanting a potato knish when we were out shopping. I also remember late at night she would ask my father to stop and get her a sandwich at the diner on the way home from work. She loved to eat pastrami on rye. So if I packed her lunch, this is what I would include: a pastrami sandwich on rye bread, a potato knish, and a thermos of coffee.

Original image: 'Laptop Lunch # 1--May 21'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/91524358@N00/2512503611 by: April

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Refrigerator

fridge2 Blog Prompt - Today is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Is there anything in your fridge right now that needs to be cleaned out?

I have been really lucky about the food in my refrigerator. Since we travel so much our refrigerator does not have a lot of old food. While we are home I try to use all the items that might go out of date or expire. If I have any meat that is frozen, I will cook them for dinner before we go on a trip. Anything not cooked up usually is thrown away or given away before we leave on a trip. When we get home from a trip, I can buy all fresh things.

Picture: My refrigerator covered with magnets from our travels

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran’s Day

veteransday Blog Prompt - Today is Veterans Day in the USA. Tell me about someone in your family who was in the military or someone you know.

I have had many family members who served in the military. My father served in the Army during World War II. He likes to reminisce about his army days and we enjoy listening to them. It is interesting to hear his stories about his experiences in Italy and Africa. He never talks about the hard times but I can only imagine how hard it must have been for him as a young Chinese man who arrived in America a few years earlier. He loved America so much that he was willing to fight for our country. He still tells us how wonderful America is and that people today just don’t appreciate it as much as they should.

Original image: 'Veterans Memorial'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29534978@N00/1973416821 by: Robert Anthony Provost

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street

BigBird Blog Prompt - Sesame Street debuted in 1969. Did you or your kids watch Sesame Street and who is your favorite character?

I was in elementary school at that time but my parents really didn’t encourage me to watch TV too much. I remember when my niece was small, I think she watched that a lot. When my children were small I had them watch Sesame Street because I felt it was educational. I’m not sure I had a favorite character but the one that stands out the most is Big Bird. Now that I’m an adult, I love to see the new Elmo toys that come out. It is hard to believe how different toys are from when I was a child. My husband always joked at work by saying Thank You, Thank You very much like Elvis so his staff bought him an Elvis Elmo that says that!

Original image: 'Sesame Place'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/23508701@N00/2690838597 by: Steve Winton

Monday, November 09, 2009

Parade Day

Blog Day - Today is Parade Day. Do you like parades? Have you participated in a parade?

I like parades but I hate the hassle of finding parking spaces and fighting the cold for Christmas parades so we don’t do them much anymore. My friend had an antique car that he drove in the Corn Festival parade each summer. I’m not sure if it was a Model A or a Model T but it was a Model something kind of car. Since he owned a local psychiatric hospital, he thought it would be good to advertise for the hospital and be in the parade. His wife hated to ride in the parade so she asked me to go in her place so every year I rode in the parade with her husband and we through candy out to the people along the parade route. I thought it was exciting and a lot of fun but he eventually sold his car so we don’t do that anymore.

Picture taken by me at our local Christmas parade. This is our state senator who is also a close friend and next door neighbor!

Friday, November 06, 2009

My Favorite Magazine

Blog Prompt - Now that I've covered all the sweet things this week, tell me about the magazine you would be reading while eating your candy or donut. It's Magazine Day today.

I don’t read many magazines anymore. I used to love them but now I read them mostly online. Since we retired, we really cut back on the number of subscriptions we read. Also, while we are traveling for months at a time, they really clog up our mail box. Then when I went to the library to check out some issues, they reeked of perfume so bad that I could barely breathe so I returned them quickly. The last magazine I think I read was a Backpacker magazine. I love the articles and the pictures in that.

Original image: 'Magazine stack'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7105595@N05/2278115499 by: Ian MacKenzie

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Favorite Doughnut

Blog Prompt - Today is National Donut Day and describe to me your favorite donut.

My favorite doughnut is a Krispie Kreme chocolate glazed doughnut. I especially love to get them when they are hot. If you drive by the store and the doughnuts are fresh and hot, they have a light on in the window that says, “Hot Now!” My mouth is watering as I describe it to you. When it is hot, it melts in your mouth!

Original image: 'krispy kreme doughnuts'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66716906@N00/107640624 by: Jana Mills

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

My Favorite Sandwich and Candy

Blog Prompt - Today is the birthday of John Montague, the creator of the sandwich. Describe in great detail your favorite sandwich.

This is pretty boring but my favorite sandwich is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had one every day that I went to school and I never got sick other than when I had the mumps in elementary school. I had 100% attendance in junior high and high school. My parents hated to take me to a restaurant to eat because I always wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When we go hiking, I love to brink a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

Blog Prompt - Today is National Candy Day. If you didn't have to worry about all the bad things candy stands for (fattening, sugar, bad for your teeth,etc.), what would you eat and how much?

If I didn’t worry about how many calories and how fattening it was, I would eat Hershey’s chocolate kisses with almonds all day long. I love these things. They don’t seem that sweet and I love the almonds. When I had a hysterectomy and couldn’t do anything for weeks, I ate about a bag a day. No wonder I gained so much weight!

Original image: 'Chocolate Kiss'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/80081757@N00/102357466 by: Alyson Hurt

Monday, November 02, 2009

Cookie Monster’s Birthday

Blog Prompt - Today is Cookie Monster's birthday!! He is described voracious monster and one of the main characters on Sesame Street and has an insatiable appetite. As his name implies, his primary craving is cookies, but he can (and often does) consume anything and everything, from apples and pie to letters, flatware, and hubcaps. Usually when he eats something, he makes loud munching noises, usually like "AWWWWM-num-num-num-num..." What do you have in common with him?

I am currently on Pecan Sandies kick. I love them and I know they are fattening but they are soooo good. I have had this pack of cookies unopened for about 2 weeks now but I finally opened them. Once I open them, I have to eat them all up in about 2 days. My hubby doesn’t like them as much as I do. He likes candy better. Now, he would be the perfect cookie monster because he goes overboard when he eats sweets.

Original image: 'Soft Molasses Cookies (Recipe)'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/79759097@N00/63778658 by: Ruthie Hansen