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, March 25, 2010

Geocaching Fun

032410sasquatch02 Yesterday we did trail maintenance with our Turtles hiking group along the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The weather was perfect because it was a sunny and warm day. As we worked, we got to visit with some fellow hikers we haven’t seen in a long time. Due to illness and age, some of them aren’t able to do the long hard hikes anymore but this activity is just perfect for them to participate. After we finished we ate lunch at Williams Hardware Café.

While we worked though, I talked with a fellow hiker about geocaching. He has almost 2000 found on his profile so I was eager to pick his brain for tips. Thrilled to help me, we used our GPS to find a cache along the trail we were working on. I was able to learn a lot and it boosted my confidence a lot. After lunch, my hubby and I decided to try to find some more at Paris Mountain State Park. The first one we had trouble with and gave up. After finding the second one, we decided to go back and the first one another try. I’m glad we did because we found it!

I don’t take anything from the cache but I enjoy logging in and then coming back home to get on in order to log it as found. I can see how this can get addictive!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Learning Another Language

French Blog Prompt: What is the best reason for learning another language?

I think the best reason for learning another language is that it broadens my horizon. It helps me be less egocentric and realize that there are other cultures out there besides my own. With an awareness other cultures, it opens up the door for seeing other ideas and perspectives that may be different from my own. Yet, I have also noticed a lot of similarities too. Many words in different languages have the same base which helps me understand the words easier. I may not know a particular language but if I can connect to word in another language that I know, it helps me understand it easier. Since we do a lot of traveling, this really helps communication and getting around go a lot smoother. So far, I’ve learned French (8 years including high school and college), some Spanish, some Italian, and some Chinese.

I also think learning another language helps exercise the brain. Memorizing new vocabulary keeps the brain sharper. I read somewhere that learning a language can help people ward off dementia but I’m not sure about that. I like brain exercises and I like the challenge so I will continue to learn as much as I can.

Original image: 'Welcoming' by: fly

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rental House Woes

strangel (Warning – whining alert!)

Just when I thought things were looking up with the rental houses, the other shoe has dropped. I was so excited that we have a tenant in our last empty house. The heat pump has been installed and they are finishing up the wiring in the garage this week. All we have to do is turn in receipts to the insurance company and fight about getting reimbursed and then we would be done! Hooray!

Then today we get a call from the contractor. (Can you tell this is heading downhill?) He lets us know that they had to move the hot water heater from in front of the breaker box because years ago when it was installed, there were no building codes to follow. Now we have to have the electric inspected during the heat pump installation but it won’t pass code until we move the hot water heater. When they moved the hot water heater, apparently it was so old that it was rusted (can you see where this is going now?). You guessed it! It now leaks.

We now have to buy a new water heater. This is beginning to remind me of the movie The Money Pit.

We go to Lowes and price hot water heaters. I push the “help” button and wait for someone to arrive that will impart great wisdom about hot water heaters.

Instead this girl arrives talking on her cell phone. Unfortunately we were inconveniencing her and she tells the person on the phone that she has to get back to work. I really hated to interrupt her phone call at her place of business to ask her for help, which she is getting paid to do but I do.

But the actual thing that pushed me over the edge was when I asked her questions about tankless hot water heaters and her answer was to ask me a question. She asked me if I had done my research or gone online to figure out how tankless hot water heaters work because that is what I needed to do.

My husband said he saw my “claws” come out and he actually took a step back because he suddenly became afraid, very afraid!

But my manners took over and I calmly asked her to look up information on her computer and insisted on her doing her job. Even though I had no intention of buying anything from her or this store because she was useless! When I felt like I had wasted enough of her time and kept her from returning to her earlier phone call, I finally left her alone and left with a huge smile on my face.

Maybe I’m not cut out to be a landlord. Maybe I should be in charge of customer service at building supplies stores.

Original image: 'Strangling statues' by: David Sim

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lost and Found

remote Have you ever hid anything so well that you couldn't find it when you went to look for it? Did you ever find it again?

One time I lost the remote/key to my Prius. It is one of those things you must have in order to start the car. My hubby and I looked all over the house, in every room but couldn’t find them. I can’t lock the car if it is in the car so we know it wasn’t in the car. Since I was the last one to drive the car and hadn’t gone back out since, we knew it had to be somewhere on our property. I walked out to the car and checked the path to the house door but nothing. I emptied my purse and book bag on my bed. Then I took out every jacket I owned to check the pockets. After about 3 hours we gave up and put our house back in order. Later that evening, I walked back in the bedroom and there on the floor in the middle of the rug was the remote. My hubby hadn’t been in there since we stopped looking and I didn’t put it there. We figure our ghost was up to its sneaky tricks again. Once we stopped looking for it, it wasn’t fun anymore so he put it where I could find it. We never did have any other explanation for what happened.

Original image: 'New Car' by: Caitlin Regan

Friday, March 12, 2010

Memorable Move

moving Blog Prompt: Have you ever moved? What was most memorable about it? If you never have what do you think would make it memorable?

The most memorable move I remember was right before I got married. My fiancée and I lived across each other in an apartment complex and were moving to a rental house when we married the next week. He had a lot of furniture and stuff at a storage building that was going to be moved to our new house. My assistant, her husband and three teenage boys came in their truck to help us move on a Sunday afternoon. We used the security code to open the gate in order to get into the storage building property and loaded up the truck. Then when we got ready to leave, we punched in the security code to open the gate again and nothing happened. We were locked inside the property. Apparently no one told us that after 5pm, the gate can’t be opened until Monday morning. We ended up calling 911 and the police tried to contact the owners but was unable to do that. My assistant’s husband said he had the tools to dismantle the gate if the policeman could be a witness that we weren’t stealing anything. When he got the gate opened, we unloaded all of our belongings on the outside of the gate and then he put the gate back together again. My assistant and I had to sit with all the stuff while the guys made two or three trips moving it all to our house. What an experience!

On a side note:

I finished my reindeer hat and it is hideous. It looks great in the picture but I won’t dare put it on my hubby’s head to show you what it looks like when it is on his head. The pattern is very pretty but on his head, it looks like a dunce’s cap or something from a Harry Potter movie. I’ve whined about it on Plurk and Ravelry already but there is nothing to do but chalk it up to a learning experience. Next time I try a pattern, I will look at the other projects already finished and read the comments that they leave before I decide to try it. I also see why it is important to leave comments on my own projects.

Original image: 'untitled'

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Frozen Food

frozen Blog Prompt: March is National Frozen Food Month. Do you freeze your own or buy already frozen food?

The only thing I freeze is usually meat before I cook it. I like to buy packages of meat that are on sale and usually that is more than the two of us can eat. In the past, my hubby would not eat anything frozen so I solved that problem by not telling him about it. I don’t usually freeze any meals because I’ve been able to cook enough for the two of us without any leftovers. My hubby hates leftovers and will not eat them at all.

Original image: 'Frozen Peas'

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


panic Blog Prompt: Panic Day. Have you ever had a panic attack? If so how did you control it?

When I was a freshman in college, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I was a straight A student in high school and things came easy to me.

But when I attended this small private college in South Carolina, I felt like a fish out of water. All of the other students around me seemed so much smarter than me and I felt like the dunce of the school. By studying hours and hours every day and night, I was able to keep up with the others but it was hard work. School work at college was so very different than high school. I wasn’t used to studying this hard just to maintain good grades. When I failed my first test, I was crushed! Luckily the professor took pity on me and let me retake it. The reason that I failed was not because I didn’t study but because I froze from fear and couldn’t remember a single thing! This fear continued the whole first semester.

By the time final exams came, I was not eating regularly (I hated the campus food) or sleeping well. I started to have major panic attacks and had to carry a paper bag with me to help my hyperventilating. In fact, I lost 30 lbs. and was under 100 lbs. so I was put on probation (I think they were afraid that I had anorexia.) I couldn’t return after Christmas unless I weighed over 100 lbs. and was eating right. I also had to learn relaxation techniques to stop the panic. So, to get through final exams, the school made me drink peanut butter chocolate milkshakes three times a day and practice deep breathing as well as walking for exercise. These really helped me tremendously.

When I came back to school in January, I weighed over 100 lbs. and was doing much better mentally. I also think I was homesick since it was my first time ever being away from home and 800 miles was a long way. The school actually gave me a special card for my dinners to be made at the student center grill just for me. I think this caring attitude at school helped me get through my first year too.

Original image: 'don't panic!' by: Jon Moe

Friday, March 05, 2010


faces Blog Prompt: What physical feature on a person do you first react to?

Faces are important to me. That is what I look at when I have a conversation with others. I can tell by their smiles or grimaces how they are feeling. I can look in their eyes and tell if they are sincere. I can also see if they are angry, sarcastic, unhappy, or miserable. All of this can be determined by looking at people’s faces. I think that is why I hate using the phone. Phone conversations can be misconstrued or cause lots of confusion because I can’t see their faces. I have enjoyed using Skype now because I can see other people’s faces when I talk to them. The problem with that is not everyone I know uses Skype, which is a shame because it is a free program for your computer. Of course not everyone I know uses a computer either. So, I will continue to have face to face conversations as much as possible.

Original image: 'world mosaic: a tribute to flickr portraits'

Thursday, March 04, 2010

My Name

names Blog Prompt: Who chose your name? Were you named after someone else?

My parents chose my name. I’m not really sure why they chose my name other than at the last minute, they liked the name Patricia. I heard the story about how my name was supposed to be Gail but then it was changed. Patricia means noble and I like the thought of being noble. My middle name is Ruth and Ruth was my grandmother’s name. Growing up, I thought Ruth was an old fashioned name but now I like it. I like the thought of it being in the bible and that it seems like a strong name. My sister has been telling me some stories about my grandmother that I never knew and it makes me wish that I had known my grandmother better before she passed away. The stories are good though and I feel closer to her just from hearing about her.

Original image: 'red velvet cupcake madness!' by: Klara

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


dreams Blog Prompt: At what age are you too old to pursue your dreams? Or are you ever to old?

I think you are never too old to dream. Dreaming is part of living. I love having dreams and having them come true. Then I pursue new dreams. This pursuit is what makes life interesting. Sometimes it takes longer to make some dreams come true than others but I’m learning that it is fun to work at it. Sometimes the pursuit is almost as much fun as the dreaming. I wish I had known this when I was younger. I wish someone had told me this when I was younger. But then again, maybe someone did and I didn’t listen. But now I know and I’m making a list of things I want to learn or do and slowly, I’m marking the dreams off as they come true. I hope I continue to dream and pursue my dreams until the day I die.

Original image: 'A young boy dreams big dreams of what lies beyond' by: Ken Bosma

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Old Stuff

oldstuff Blog Prompt: Today is "Old Stuff Day." How can you expound on this?

I love old stuff (which you could tell if you ever came to visit my house!). Beside my hubby and me which qualifies as old stuff now that both of us are over 50 years old, we have tons of old stuff in our house. Our playroom is decorated with lots of “old stuff” that we find at yard sales, flea markets, and antique stores. “Old stuff” fascinates me! Sometimes I like to look at these things and wonder what they could say if they could talk. What kind of history have they experienced? What were times like when they were “new stuff?” “Old stuff” symbolizes wisdom, experience, and memories of good times. Even when times were hard, there were good times that can be remembered. “Old Stuff” should be saved and honored and remembered.

Original image: 'Mizener's Flea Market (Formerly Circle M) / Waterdown / Flamborough, Ontario / July, 2007' by: Bill Barber

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Prayer Shawl

BrightShawl For about a year, I have been knitting and donating prayer shawls to our Loving Threads group at church. I’ve really enjoyed knitting these and many people have even donated yarn to me for this project. Some of the yarn has been pretty bright and colorful so my shawls have been bright and colorful.

When I was a teenager, I remember having a ski jacket that was purple, pink, orange and yellow. It was so bright that it always put me in a good mood. I don’t know why but I suddenly had this urge to make a shawl with these bright colors. I usually go through my yarn stash and wait for certain color combinations to jump out at me and urge me to make into a shawl. For some reason, as much as I tried not to pick these colors, they kept standing out among the others. Even though people looked at me with raised eyebrows, I just felt compelled to make this shawl. In fact, at times, I even wondered if this shawl wasn’t just a little too bright but I continued until it was complete. My husband told me that we could only hope that maybe someone with cataracts got it and it wouldn’t be too overwhelming.

When I turned it in, everyone agreed that it was pretty bright. I didn’t find out until later that our group leader was a little worried about who would want this bright shawl.

This past Sunday when we met again, the leader told me the story about the shawl. Apparently a woman came and asked for a prayer shawl to give to a young girl just diagnosed with cancer. They went to the box where the shawls are and there on the top was my bright shawl. Immediately the woman saw it and said that was the perfect one. That was the shawl that would brighten this young girl’s life.

Maybe sometimes we need to trust that there is a reason in life for us doing certain things. Maybe that is how God sends messages to us. I see now that God knew this girl would need this shawl and knew that I was the one who needed to make it. I hope it brings her hope and comfort as well as brightness in her life.

And the next time, this feeling hits me, I hope that I have the courage to stick with it, no matter what others say! Someone may need what I need to make.