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, April 26, 2010

Answering Someone’s Prayer

prayer I have thought long and hard about telling this story because at first I felt angry and then embarrassed at our carelessness. Yet the more I thought about what happened, the more I think that maybe we were an answer to someone’s prayer and that miracles do happen. Sometimes they happen to me and sometimes I am instrument in someone else’s miracle.

We recently went on a cruise and one of the benefits we have for cruising so much is that they do our laundry for free. I decided to gather our clothes and turn them in to the cabin steward the next day for laundry service. Everything was put in the paper bag including my hubby’s swim trunks. I didn’t know until later that he had left a $100 bill in the zipper pocket. He likes to hide one in his pocket in case of an emergency when we are on the islands. Later he told me that he had left it in the pocket and when we got our clothes back, the money was gone. It could not have fallen out because someone had to unzip the pocket in order to get to it.

At first I was angry. I was angry that someone stole the money. I was angry at my husband for not checking his pockets before giving it to me. I was angry at myself for not checking all of the pockets before putting the clothes in the bag. Then I was embarrassed at our carelessness because it was our own fault and no one else’s fault. No, we didn’t tell anyone because it was useless to accuse anyone and would only create a fuss that couldn’t be resolved.

Then I began to think about the whole situation. What if we were an answer to someone’s prayer? What if someone was desperate for the money and prayed that a miracle would happen? What if that money was their miracle? We don’t have a lot of money but that much would not crimp our vacation. If it happened to some young newlywed couple (I remember those days of having very little money), this loss could be devastating and ruin their honeymoon. Maybe an older couple would have been deeply upset too because they are only living on their social security and they had saved up for this trip for a long time. Maybe in order to answer someone’s prayer and help them during this desperate time, we were meant to leave that money in that pocket. It is highly unusual that my hubby leaves money in his pockets and it is extremely rare that I don’t check all of the pockets. Yet on this particular day both of us did the unexpected. I like to think that maybe someone really needed that more than we did.

It gives me peace to think that maybe it wasn’t a calamity for us and that someone is out there giving thanks for this miracle that happened to them. And if we weren’t an answer to someone’s prayers, that’s okay too because God knows and that is all that counts.

Maybe your actions today may be the answers to someone’s prayers and you may never know about it. Have a great day!

(crossposted on the Successful Teaching Blog )

Original image: 'esperança - hope' by: Alexandre Eggert

Joyce Kilmer Camping Weekend

We had a fun weekend. We left Friday morning for Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest which was about a 4 hour drive. On the way up we stopped at the visitor center and the lady told us that Saturday night they were expecting hail and tornado warnings. We were the first ones to get to the campsite at Rattler Ford Campground so we set up our little orange backpacking tent . That afternoon, others began to arrive and we helped them set up their tents.

Then we went geocaching for a little while. The weathermen said it would rain Friday night but we didn’t get any that evening. We had happy hour with lots of food shared by all and then Don and I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. When it got dark Diane015 started a fire so all ten of us sat around the campfire until about 11pm. It was so much fun sharing stories. Don and I got the giggles when he poked me in the ribs as he turned over in the sleeping bag. We could hear Tom and Bev talking next door in their three room tent! About 4am it began to rain and the wind was strong but we 074stayed dry in our tent.

When I got up at 6am, it had stopped raining. In fact it looked like it would be a pretty day so all of us planned got ready to go hiking. Don  and I hiked to Falls Branch Falls where we met up with Diane and Gail. About the time we hiked out and reached our cars, it began to rain. Don and I went into Tellico Plains for lunch at the Tellicafe and we had pizza burgers. By the time we finished, it had stopped raining so we went to Bald River Falls before heading back to camp. We arrived back at camp about 5pm and it was a torrential downpour so we decided to pack up and head for home. It is a good thing we did since I found a huge puddle inside my tent and our pillows were soaked. We would have had to sleep in puddles all night long not to mention worrying about hail and tornadoes. We arrived home about 10pm and there were heavy rains which made driving pretty scary at times. I’m just glad we got home safely and woke up in our own dry bed!

You can see more pictures here: Joyce Kilmer Camping Trip

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Delicious Veggie Stew

I found this recipe online and it was great. I did change it a little bit because I didn’t have any garbanzo beans so I threw in a ½ cup of lentils but I don’t think it changed the calorie count much. I also didn’t have butternut squash so I just used yellow squash. I also left out the eggplant because it was so expensive. It must have been good though because my hubby ate two helpings of it!

veggiestew Very VERY Veggie Stew

PER SERVING (about 1 cup): 100 calories, 1g fat, 296mg sodium, 20g carbs, 6g fiber, 7g sugars, 4g protein -- POINTS® value 1*

1 1/2 cups fat-free vegetable broth
1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
One 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tomato, coarsely chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini
1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
1 cup cubed butternut squash
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil
1/3 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)

Place all the veggies and the garbanzo beans in your crock pot.
In a medium bowl, combine broth, tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, basil, cinnamon, salt, paprika, ginger, and sweetener. Mix well and pour evenly over the contents of the crock pot. Gently stir to allow the sauce to coat the veggies.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. (OR cover and cook on low for 7 - 8 hours.) If you like, add additional salt to taste. Enjoy!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Successful Teaching Awarded as a Top 50 Innovator in Education

(See the press release below! I’m so honored! Thank you ecollegefinder.)

April 12th, 2010, Philadelphia, PA – Successful Teaching has recently been honored to receive’s Education Innovator Award.  The Education Innovator Award recognizes the top 50 Internet-based resources that contribute to the advancement of learning into new and innovative formats.  By promoting the emerging trends in education, Successful Teaching facilitates such change by building on traditional techniques while embracing new tools for sharing information and encouraging the desire to learn. 

Successful Teaching epitomizes the role of an educational pioneer, as it engages students, educators and parents alike, and highlights the myriad of educational opportunities available today.  The Education Innovator Award recognizes Successful Teaching’s exploration of new educational methods, as this willingness to embrace new learning formats truly embodies the innovator spirit.  To view more about the award, visit the eCollegeFinder Education Innovator Award page.


Getting ahead in today's competitive job market requires you to advance your education and knowledge. helps students find the right online degrees, offering a wide range of Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees as well as specialized certificates and diplomas from the top accredited online colleges and universities.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Carnival Day 6 Jamaica

025 We arrived in Ocho Rios, Jamaica around 8am. Our tour ($75 per person) began at 8:15 which was the Ultimate Beach Break at Dolphin Cove and Dunn’s River Falls. First we went to the falls. They rented water shoes if you didn’t have any but we had our rubber clogs. Then we rented a locker for $8 and when you returned the lock you got $3 back. I was able to fit my whole backpack in it and there were still lots of room if I needed it. Finally we made a human chain and climbed up the 950 foot waterfall. It was a wonderful adventure and I’m glad that we did it.

052 Then we went to Dolphin Cove where there was unlimited rum punch and food along with sharks and dolphins and complimentary beach chairs. But the wind was blowing and the waves were strong so we decided not to stay on the beach. We walked along the jungle trail and I took a picture with an iguana. There were also 089 lots of golden silk spiders and webs around. It also began to rain on and off so we got on the shuttle and went to the shopping area. We were able to get our Hard Rock Café magnet. Then we walked back to the ship and had lunch on the ship.

We rested until it was time to leave the port and then get ready for formal night at dinner. We also went to the show.

I enjoyed Jamaica and I’m glad we walked up the falls but my legs and arms are sore tonight. I guess I’m just not as young as I thought I was.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Carnival Liberty Day 5 Grand Cayman

We took the tender to Grand Cayman around 9:00 and took a cab to Seven Mile Beach. The beach was wonderful and the water was clear. The cab ride cost $4 per person and wasn’t far from the ship. We found a sandy spot to drop my pack and towels and spent a lot of time in the water. It was very breezy so I didn’t notice the heat which was unfortunate since I got burnt! I don’t remember ever getting this badly burned so I will be sitting in the shade for the rest of the cruise. Around 1:00 we walked along the beach and the road back to the ship and it was only about a 35 minute walk.

When we got back to the ship we had lunch and then showered and rested before the Past Guest reception. The reception was really nice and we walked around the ship until dinner. After dinner we went to the magic show of Puck.

Tomorrow we arrive in Jamaica and I’m really excited because I’ve never been there before.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Carnival Liberty Day 4 At Sea

I got up early this morning and played on the computer. Then around 8am, Aysu (dining room hostess) talked to me for about 30 minutes. She is married to a waiter in the dining room so I heard a little about her life.

Today was a very lazy day. After breakfast in the dining room we 005walked around the track for an hour. Then I sat out on the deck and knitted until lunch time. After lunch sat on the deck for a little while but then went back to the cabin to rest until dinner. Dinner was nice and the waiters sang and danced for us.

After dinner we walked around and then went back to the cabin to watch the Time Traveler’s Wife. I got a little sunburned today so my skin was pretty hot. I hope it turns to tan by tomorrow when we reach Grand Cayman.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Carnival Liberty Day 3 Cozumel

013 We arrived in Cozumel around 8am but it was very cloudy and looked like rain. We had thought about going to Chankanaab Park which was a $10 taxi ride (for 1-4 people) and then the entrance fee was $10 per person but we changed our mind and decided to go downtown. Instead of paying the $7 taxi ride, we walked the 4 miles into town. It was a pleasant walk since it was overcast and cool. We got to town around 11:00 and looked in a lot of shops019. We found a little bar called Ambar where the beers were $1 each so we had a four beers plus nachos and cheese which came to $9. Then we walked around some more until we got hot and went back to Ambar to have a couple of more beers. Then we started to walk back to the ship  but it got really hot. We ended up walking down 2 dead end roads so we turned back to town and had a couple of beers at this place but they were $1.50 each so we back to Ambar for our dollar beers. After a few, the waiter (who looked just like Buddy Hackett) came out with two shots of blue tequila and said they were on043 the house! We enjoyed talking with the people there while we drank our beer. Since it was getting late, we ended up taking a cab back to the ship and getting back in time for dinner.

For dinner I had wild mushroom cream soup, filet mignon , and apple pie with ice cream. It was so tasty! After dinner we changed and went up on the deck to watch us leave the port. We were supposed to leave at 10pm but two people were still missing from the ship. About 10:15 we saw a car come in and drive to the ship letting the people out so we were finally able to leave.

After we left the port we ended up having pizza and ice cream before finally going to bed around 11:30pm.

It was a wonderful day (even if I ended up with a blister on my foot).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Carnival Liberty Days 1 and 2

Day 1 Embarkation

We had a wonderful embarkation in Miami. I think we were so surprised because we dreaded coming to this port. In the past, it has always been chaotic and unorganized but this time was totally different! From the time we were dropped off, it only took us 15 minutes to board the ship and get in line for lunch. I’m extremely pleased with this! At lunch we met another couple that we met on the Glory last September! 012

Our cabin is at the front of the ship right under the bridge. We have a nice porthole seeing the deck out front. I think it is a nice cabin but Don thinks it is smaller than the inside cabins we have had. I think he just doesn’t like change.

We stood out on the deck and watched them switch an anchor which was an 017exciting drama. It involved a couple of forklifts and one of them looked like a hummer forklift. Then the huge chain got caught on one of the dock cleats so that was more drama. One man told us that the anchor split last week at Half Moon Cay so they had to get a new one.

After the muster drill we met with the other people from at the aft lido bar. We met a lot of nice people and even had a quiz to take. I came in second and won some wind chimes!

We had dinner in the silver dining room and Elvis was our maître’d. The other two couples were Renee and Scotty from Ohio and Kathy and Bryce from Nashville. It was a pleasant evening.

After dinner we watched the country line dancing lessons and then walked around the ship. Before going back to our cabin, Don ate a pastrami sandwich and I ate another piece of Black Forest gateau (chocolate cake with bing cherries). It was wonderful!

Day 2 At Sea

It was a wonderful day! I ate an omelet at 7:30am and then when I woke Don up at 9am, we went to the dining room for breakfast. I had some French toast and bacon while Don had eggs benedict. After breakfast we attended the talk about shore excursions and before long, it was lunch time. After lunch we walked around the ship and just relaxed. By 4pm, we had to get ready for formal night.

The Captain’s celebration was at 5pm and we got to meet the hotel director Pier, and the head of guest relations. When the captain walked by, he did a double take because he recognized us. He spent a lot of time talking with us until he had to leave and mingle with other guests.

At dinner we had two new couples join us – Vern and Lorinda from Nova Scotia and Dale and Chris from upstate NY. They were really nice. Scotty and Renee must have gotten moved to be with their group of 9 at the later seating that they wanted. Dinner was prime rib and lobster which was fantastic. Dessert was Cherries Jubilee.

After dinner we went to the show which I always enjoy and then at 10:45 was the adult comedy show by Phat Kat. I was surprised how packed the room was! It was a funny show and I’m glad I stayed awake for it! Finally by midnight we were back in our cabin.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sunny Florida

031 We are here visiting my parents in Florida and the weather has been absolutely wonderful. The days fly by so quickly with running errands and visiting. Then my father has been cooking us dinner and making Chinese meals that I love so much.

After dinner we spend the evening playing a card game called Scat. The object is to get 31 points or 3 of a kind. Everyone starts out with 4 chips. You get as close to 31 as you can and then you knock on the table. Everyone has one last chance to get points. The lowest one loses a chip. If someone has 31 points or 3 of a kind (called scat), everyone loses a chip. When you lose all chips, you are out of the game and it is played until the last one with chips is the winner. It is so much fun to play and we get to visit while we play.

We leave in two days for our cruise. I’m so upset that my stupid rash is back. Last week the doctor put me on prednisone and gave me a prescription for some cream which I had hoped would clear it up. I finished the prednisone on Saturday and yesterday the rash returned. I hope it doesn’t get back while we are on the cruise.

Today we are heading to Ft. Lauderdale to do some shopping at the outlet mall. It should be a fun day!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Chips and Dip

fritos Weekly blog prompt: Monday is National Chip and Dip Day. What is your favorite and why?

My favorite chips are Fritos! I think I like them because they seem saltier than chips and I love salt! I love the smell and the taste too. I like to eat these with my hot cheese dip that I make. This dip is so fast and easy but oh, so fattening!

I mix 8 oz. of cream cheese, 1 c. of jalapeno slices and some juice, 1 c of corn in a bowl. Cover and put it in the microwave until melted. Stir it well.

Now I’m hungry and wanting to go find some Fritos!

Original image: 'Tuna Sandwich' by: Cliff Hutson