Monday, December 28, 2015

Put Away the Labelmakers

Last fall a friend of mine took her little boy to be screened for preschool. After a battery of tests the screener told my friend they would put the little boy on a waiting list for the Title 1 preschool.  They also told my friend that her little boy would need services from the early childhood special education center.

According to the screener one of the tests they performed indicated the little boy did not have problem solving skills.  His mother told me that the test consisted of them taking the boy to a room that had a chair pulled away from the table.  To pass the test the child without prompting was supposed to recognize the chair was pulled out and go push it in.   Another indicator that the child needed special services was that he could not identify all the letters of the alphabet.

My friend was upset with the conclusion that her son would need special education.  I am an educator and I know the little boy.  I am angry that a screener would say this to a parent.  I don't believe that the child needs services based on what I have seen and even if he did--I don't think that a parent should be told like that.  How can you even label a 3 year old anyway?

A few days ago I was visiting my friend and her son had a snack and wanted to sit in the living room at the coffee table.  He looked around and then asked his mom where one of his play chairs were.  She replied that they were all outside and were not going to be brought in.  He looked thoughtfully around the room, then said "I know!"  Walking over to a small plastic tub full of toys, he dumped out the toys and brought the tub to the coffee table.  Flipping the tub over, he gladly sat upon it to eat his snack.  Now if that isn't problem solving, I don't know what is.

Please don't make quick decisions when labeling children.  And don't believe everything a supposed expert tells you.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A New Year Again

It's that time of year again!   Yellow busses are ubiquitous.  Little kids and big are getting up earlier and making their way to school.    Another year has begun!  

Hello Fall! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

What Not to do at your Garage Sale

A friend of mine asked if I were ready to purge my belongings and join in with her for a garage sale.  While I typically do not have garage sales, I let the delusion of making a bit of spending money guide me to say, "I'd love to!"  
Garage Sale- an event where you display junque, trash, and other sentimental artifacts from your life so that the public may come handle them only to offer you less money than the already crazy cheap price that you deemed appropriate-- or they outright reject your items completely.  

Here are some tips I picked up from experience:

1. Do not schedule your garage sale for the hottest days of summer.  
  Even if you hold it for a half day, the heat will sap your strength. The items you have displayed will heat up to searing temperatures and you risk being sued for burns when people pick it up.

2. Do not put candles in your garage sale if it is summer.  
Within a short amount of time, you will no longer have a shaped or molded candle, but you will have a blob of wax.

3. Do not begin your garage sale too early in the morning. 
While it is cooler early in the morning, it is guaranteed that your first customers will show up an hour before your opening time.

4. Do not price your items too high.  
People will not even attempt to haggle your price if it is too high to start.

5. Do not underestimate your change needs.
Have enough one dollar bills, a few fives and tens, and many many quarters, dimes, and nickels.  You will get $20 bills to pay for something that is 50 cents.

6. Do not buy your co-garage sale participant's stuff. 
You are trying to make a little money, not take home other people's junque.

7. Do not neglect to have a plan for disposing the leftovers.  
The last thing you want to do is carry everything back in your home.  Slash prices even more, use social media to advertise, be willing to donate to charity so that you avoid keeping your things.

How did I do at the garage sale you ask?   Well, I sold everything I contributed and made a little money.  Then I promptly bought some of my friend's things.  It could've been worse-- I came home with a net profit of negative $8.50 and a trunk full of new treasures to find places for in my home.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Has the mother ship arrived?  Are aliens ready to invade?  Visions of Will Smith's Independence Day flood my mind.  This picture was taken last night just a couple miles from where I was.

Actually, it was just severe weather in my neck of the woods.  The picture is of a wall cloud with rotation--trying to form a tornado.  Thankfully no tornado actually made it to the ground and there was only little wind damage.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Don't Blink, You Might Miss It!

Today, June 29th,  we will get an extra second added to our day to keep our timing with the earth's rotation.  Instead of the usual 86,400 seconds we will have 86,401 seconds to use this day.

 I might sleep an extra wink, stay awake to finish a movie, or let it slip by unnoticed.

What will you do with your extra second?  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Fight in Public - What would You Do?

I slipped my change into my wallet and pulled my car up to the stop sign up ahead when I heard the yelling. A young couple were walking along the side of the road about 100 yards from where I was and they were screaming at each other.

I had seen the couple on my way to the drive-thru sandwich place.  At that time they were on a hill and I could tell they were angry.  The young man was walking away from the young lady who was yelling at him.  I figured they had been at the nearby pool and were now having an argument.

But here I was a mile or so further and they were still screaming.  Making my way towards the access road, I wondered if the girl needed help or was trying to get away.  Over and over the man was screaming,  "You f--ing B*tch!"  A car on the main road pulled over and began to talk our their window to the couple.  I wondered if I should call the community police to come check out the manner and help to de escalate the situation.

When I saw the young man try to get in the back seat of the car, I thought perhaps these were friends of theirs.  Now everything would be okay, so I went on my way to complete a few errands before heading home.

I was taken by surprise when about 15 minutes later and a mile down the road I see the young couple still walking on the road, still having words.  The car that had stopped to help was nowhere in sight.

What should I do, if anything?   They seemed to be less intense--or maybe they were just tired from walking and screaming.   I saw the young lady sit down with her back towards the man.
A tiny flicker of wondering if they weren't doing this for attention flitted through my mind.

I went on home with these questions:

Do we have a moral obligation to help people who appear to be in distress?

Will a middle-age woman alone be acting wise if she stops to intervene on two raving 20 somethings?

Should police be called for a domestic verbal fight takes place on the public roadway when shootings, burglary, and assaults may be occurring?

Why do people display their inappropriate behavior?

What would you have done ?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


When people think of Americans, what do they think?

You may or may not find surprising how others think of us (Americans) in the clip below.  The question is asked "How do you distinguish Americans from others?"  Watch and see if how we see ourselves is how others see us.

Americans are plump, loud, eat hamburgers & drink a lot, don't care about how they look, and yet are positive and confident.  I think the best quote is that when you speak to an American you can smell freedom.

What kind of stereotypes might we hold on others?  (youth, religious, the poor,  Europeans, Africans, Asians, etc)

This brings me to two actions:
  • We must take a look at ourselves.  Do others see the true us?  Does how we think of ourselves align with how others see us? 
  • We must take a look at how we see others. Do we carry any stereotypes? Do our stereotypes color how we interact with others?

What stereotype of Americans do you find most surprising?

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Greek Holocaust

We've all heard of  the Holocaust- the slaughter of Jews during World War 2.  But did you realize there were additional atrocities committed in that time frame.  On June 10, 1944 a Nazi troop invaded the Greek village of Distomo and massacred everyone.  The only villagers to survive were those who were out in the fields or away from the village for the day.

This was during the occupation of Greece.  The Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria all spent time occupying Greece during the WW2 time frame.

The reason for the German Nazi's to murder this village ? Retaliation.  They were retaliating for a partisan (Greek resistance) attack upon the Nazi troop division.  They believed some of the partisan members were Distomo villagers.

So the Nazi's came to town.  They beheaded the local priest. They shot women and children. They took their bayonets to little babies in their cribs.  They killed the men, young and old alike. And if that is not enough-- the village was looted and burned before they left.

A few days later the Nazi's returned to the village, but the villagers had received a message alerting them and the surviving villagers fled to the the hills.

Read and see more about the Distomo massacre here.

 This horror reminds me  of stories that had been shared with me when I lived in Greece.  Stories that I found difficult to comprehend because they seem to be so out of my realm of experience.

A story stating that Nazi retaliation was common place. People stayed home- did not venture out unless absolutely necessary.  If something happened to a German soldier, their troops would gather the first 5 Greeks they saw and retaliated with death.  You could be merely walking down the street to buy a loaf of bread and be grabbed and shot.  This happened in a small train station village near me.

Another story of how Nazi's came to my in-laws village.  The village knew they were coming and ran to the hills.  Some villagers stayed back and were found dead when the village returned.  Babies and children put in outdoor ovens to bake, men and women shot. The village plundered.  My mother-in-law ( who would have been around 12-13 years old at the time) tells me that her younger brother was snatched by the Germans.  They never saw him again.  They believe he was taken to be raised German.  Or maybe that is just easier for her to think that than to believe he might have been killed.  His remains were never found, so they have hope he remained alive.

And even a slight hint that my own grandfather may have had a part in the Greek resistance.  I need to investigate this more.  He died during this time period (early 1940's) from pneumonia that he caught while walking from one village to another in winter.  That was what I had always been told until recently when I was told that he did work against the Nazi's.

Really.  People I know and love personally have experienced these things.  I can hardly fathom it because the blessed life I have led on this western hemisphere of the world.  A land that has not seen the horrors of war up close and personal in our own yard.  

It is important that these stories aren't forgotten.  As George Santayana's quote says, "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Another thing to be aware of.....

{Photo by Ethan Livengood}

A bear! A bear!   It seems in the neighboring town we have a bear on the prowl.  The picture above is a black bear sighted in the downtown area of this small town brazenly walking down the street.  Seems like he knows that we walk on the sidewalks.  A citizen snapped this picture.  Conservation agents have been notified and they are trying to locate the bear to remove it from populated areas. 

The advice given is --Don't Feed Bears!   It reminds me of an old Yogi Bear cartoon.  
The conservation site says that black bears wake up from hibernation in the spring and go searching for food. They shouldn't be confronted or given food intentionally.  Bears will remember where food is from year to year.  

The black bear is native to our state, but they were wiped out during settlement.  Only in recent years are they making a comeback.  They are more common in the southern part of the state, but have started moving north.  

I never thought that I would have to be on guard for bears, but I guess a time's a changin'.   

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Zoo Overnighter

This week I took my class and a handful of their parents to spend the night at the zoo.  It was great fun!  We went in after hours and had the whole zoo to ourselves. 

 Two zoo staff planned a program of activities for us and accompanied us as we explored the zoo.  After dark we went back out and explored again paying attention to the nocturnal animals.  Finally, exhausted yet exhilarated we headed back to the exploration outpost and hit the sack. 

 Early morning we woke and had a light breakfast ( and lots of coffee for me) and went back out to see the animals again.  This was before the zoo officially opened for the day.  

Our day ended at the stingray exhibit where we were able to pet the stingrays that came up to us.  
Our guides shared a lot of information with us and talked about conservation and how to save animals.  

It was a good trip but everyone was tired as we traveled back home 24 hours later. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I am now linked up on Bloglovin
I used to use google reader before they took that away.  I haven't really found anything that I like as well as google reader.  I am going to try bloglovin as I have seen it on many blogs.

What blog reader do you use? 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Reflecting on A-to-Z Challenge

The month of April flew by!  I made it!  I was able to post everyday with the correct letter of the alphabet except for the letter Z which was a day late.  *sigh*  Thanks to everyone who is involved with the Challenge.  You do a fabulous job!  Also thanks to everyone who stopped by and read my blog and to those who commented.  I appreciate you.  Knowing you have an audience and reading comments is so motivating.

This was my second year participating in the A to Z Challenge.  After last year's challenge, I had grand plans on proceeding with blogging in general and how to accomplish this year's challenge in a more efficient and product way.  Then life switched gears on me and interrupted my best laid plans.

My work changed and I no longer had as much time or brain power left over as I learned new job related content.  I considered dropping out of the challenge before it even began.  However, I mustered up whatever gumption I had and jumped in with both feet.

I love reading the blogs of people that I would never come across if I didn't have the A to Z Challenge. I enjoy reading about different topics, themes, and  just life & culture in general from around the US and the world. I've made some new blogging friends and have found some blogs that I will continue to follow throughout the year.   I regret not having the time to respond to every comment that was made on my blog.  I also regret not reading as many blogs as I did last year.

I did suggest to a friend and blogger that she try the challenge this year.  She took the challenge and did an awesome job.  I enjoyed reading her blogs on the authentic life.  Her blog can be found here. 

I definitely will try to do the Challenge again next year.  Third try is the charm, right ?  This didn't work out for me this year, but my goal and plan will be to begin writing my posts early so I will have more time to read more blogs and respond.  I  also want to be able to blog on a regular basis.  Instead of setting a higher goal of blogging 3 times a week (like last year),  I will shoot for something weekly.

 One of my frustrations this year was to be able to leave a link to my blog when I commented on other blogs.  Last year I remember seeing an A-to Z Challenge blog post that explained how to do that and I was able to do it last year.  This year for some reason it didn't work  for me.  Perhaps the blogger platform changed in some way.  If anyone knows how to do that I would love to read the instructions again and try it out.

If you are reading this and did not participate this year in the A to Z Challenge -  my advice is to take the plunge next year.  You can do it!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Who sleeps at the Zoo? We do.

I'm taking my class on a trip in a couple weeks.  We are going to go to the zoo which is a couple of hours from here.   The interesting thing is that this is no ordinary trip to the zoo.  We are actually going to spend the night.  In. the. zoo.   Yes, you read that right, we are going to be sleeping in the zoo.

  1. We'll be hiking through the zoo in the evening saying good night to the animals.  We'll wake up and make the rounds to say good morning to the animals.  

I just hope that neither we nor the animals go sleepwalking during the night!  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Yesterday.   It was 24 hours ago.  It is over.  Gone. Never to return.  

Why do we continue to look at yesterday when tomorrow is up ahead?  Life is too short to dwell on the past.  Yesterday had hurts.  Yesterday had some good times and some bad times.  Yesterday is over.

Face forward and march gladly into tomorrow.   Choose to live going forward instead of always looking back.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I believe it is important to examine ourselves and to make changes as necessary to improve ourselves.  I am a very reflective person.   This year my team and I have had some challenges and opposition.  We examine ourselves.  We have made tweaks to the system.

And still the opposition comes.  It comes to undermine our character.  To devalue us.  Rarely has it been constructive criticism-- something which we can address.

It makes me wonder -  why.  Why?  Why does it continue?   I have no doubt that I have room to improve- to become better as a person.  Do I need to examine our program again and again and again to please one or two people?  Or do I do the best I can and continue to examine things regularly and just let the chips fall where they may.  

Help me Lord to be the most excellent version of myself.  Examine me and test my thoughts.  Help me to listen to all and not hear only the ones who condemn.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Worn and Weary

This is how I am feeling at the moment. Worn and weary.  It seems at work it is one step forward and 2 steps back.  It seems that just as I think things are going well something happens to jolt me into a perceived reality.  It just makes me weary.

I am looking forward to a break soon or at least the strength to endure.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vicariously exploring life

Vicariously: adjective. felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others

Yep.  When I read the blogs of others I am vicariously exploring life.  Especially during April when I make it a point to try and read many, many blogs ( thanks to A to Z Challenge)  I have the opportunity to see and experience how others do and live life.   I learn so many things and I enjoy seeing everyday stuff through someone else's eyes.

I see the struggle of writers and the pain of tumbles.  I understand what it must like be in New Zealand and how hot the desert is.  I visit gardens and examine gems.

My horizons are expanded.  Vicariously.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ubiquitous Umbros

The view from my world today is umbros.  From the late '80's through the '90's, my home had hundreds of umbros.  They were ubiquitous.  My kids lived in them.

Umbros were an English brand of athletic shorts specifically made for soccer.  No one in my home played soccer, but they loved the comfortableness of these shorts.  I liked them too because they were easy to wash, durable, and relatively inexpensive.

Is there a piece of ubiquitous clothing at your house? 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tax Check!

The view from my world today is my income tax check!

It's not much, but I am glad to get it.  My plans are to pay down some of my outstanding debt with it.
Boring, I know... but the sooner I finish paying my debts, the sooner I can do the fun things.

What would you do with a windfall? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I am so lucky to have two sisters in this life.  Although once I would have called them a pain - they have grown up to be wonderful, supportive, smart, beautiful women. I don't see them everyday like I used to when we were young, but I treasure every moment I have with them.

I love my sisters! 

Do you have siblings?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Roundabouts and Roadkill

The view from my world this weekend was roundabouts and roadkill.

I took a few days away on a road trip.  In addition to the usual highlights of my trip, these two things stood out to me.   Roundabouts and roadkill.

They were everywhere.

A roundabout is a circular intersection or junction where traffic flows continuously in one direction around a central island.  Proponents say it is safer than typical intersections.  In the last few years, roundabouts have been popping up around the state.  It's the newest craze.

I like roundabouts under the following conditions:

  • They are big enough.  There is one roundabout near my home that is way too small.  You can barely get around it.  Busses have to ride the edge of the the central island to get around it. 
  • People know how to use roundabouts.  Too many people stop unnecessarily and clog up the roundabout. 

Roadkill was also prevalent on my trip.  I don't know if it is the season or the weather...but the roads were littered with the carcasses of small animals.  

Monday, April 20, 2015


Quinoa is a healthy and nutritious food.  It is high in protein, fiber and antioxidents.  You can eat quinoa for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  The following recipe is from Simply Quinoa.  I hope you will try it.  Enjoy!

Simply Quinoa
  • 1.5 cup quinoa, uncooked, soaked, and rinsed
  • 3 cups vanilla almond milk, unsweetened + 1/2 cup, divided
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch of salt
  • Toppings: fresh berries, more almond milk, and slivered almonds
  1. First begin by soaking your quinoa in water. Then strain. Place quinoa in a large sauce pan, along with 3 cups of almond milk, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 cinnamon stick, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Slice your vanilla bean down the center and scrape out the inside. Spoon into sauce pan and then add in the actually vanilla bean.
  3. Bring to a boil. Then, turn to low and cover. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. Next, add in about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of almond milk. Mix.
  4. Serve hot with additional almond milk, berries, and slivered almonds!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

It is time to PLAY!

The view from my world today is play. 

My good  friend and I are at the lake for a conference.  This is always a favorite time of the year because it is like a mini-vacation for me.  It is a time to get away from the every day routine of life. It is a change of scenery.

During the down times from the conference it is time to play.   Sometimes that means shopping!  Sometimes it is just relaxing and visiting with my friend.  Other times it is enjoying the activities that are abundant in this area.

When I take time to play, it makes me a better person.

When is the last time you played?    

Friday, April 17, 2015


My uncle is from Tyrnavos Greece which is known for their ouzo or the stronger Tsipouro.   

Ouzo is a drink that has a high alcohol content ( about 40-50%) and is usually drunk straight from a shot glass or with water or ice.  (Adding water or ice to ouzo makes this clear drink cloudy.)

Ouzo smells like and has the flavor of licorice.   It often accompanies Greek appetizers of octopus, calamari, salad, and feta cheese.    

It is best taken in small doses - the "side effects" are acting foolish and feeling nauseous.
Some Greeks will take a swig of Tsipouro for medicinal purposes.  I guess it sterilizes your insides.

Have you ever tried Ouzo? 

Thursday, April 16, 2015


The view from my world today is nightmares.

I don't often have nightmares, or at least I don't remember having them.  But there are times when I wake up and I am scared.  I usually pull up the blankets and listen carefully for unexplained noises.  Then I try to fall back asleep.

But the strangest nightmare happened to me this week.
I realized I was having a scary dream and so I wasn't truly terrified.  It was more like I was enjoying a scary movie.  In my dream, a person was plotting to kill me and so I began to yell for help.

Little did I realize, but I was actually yelling in my sleep.

I felt so embarrassed as I was brought back to the land of the awakened to find my daughter peering at me and asking me if I was ok.  "Sure" I answered.  Then she told me that she heard me yelling for help.


Have you had troublesome nightmares lately? 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Milk Chocolate

This is the view from my world today.  Milk Chocolate.  

Yep.  Leftover goodies form Easter Sunday.

The colorfully wrapped milk chocolate eggs look innocent enough, but they cry out to me. "I am yummy! You should unwrap and eat me!"  If I eat one of them it will be a downward spiral and I will eat all of them.

I should just throw them away and not allow them to tempt me, but I hate to be wasteful.  Also I know my grandchildren will delight in the chocolate morsels.

So I guess I will hide them away behind a cabinet door and try to forget they are there for the moment.  *sigh*   It's going to be tough.

Do you have foods that tempt you? 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Finding Luck

The definition of luck is a chance happening at success.  But according to certain superstitions you can help your luck along by these five ways:   
  1. Find a four-leaf clover, have good luck.   
  2. Find a penny, pick it up.  All day long you'll have good luck. 
  3. Carry a rabbit's foot for good luck. 
  4. Cross your fingers for good luck. 
And finally ....
      5.  Luck is bound to be near ...when pigs fly  

Have a lucky day! 

Monday, April 13, 2015


My Children and I 

The view from my world today is my children.

One thing I cherish is when I am able to see all of my kids.  That doesn't happen real often because they have grown up and some live out of town.

But this last few days I have found  my joy.  All three of my children happened to be in town and I spent time with them all.  It wasn't a holiday even!

When I was a younger mom, I did not realize how much I would miss being around my kids when they got older and moved away. To be truthful, as that younger mom, there were days when I looked forward to a time when the house would be quiet and not chaotic from three adolescents living there.
Then they grew up and became adults and went on to lead their own lives.

And this older mom finds that instead of being quiet, my home is silent.  Instead of being crazy with adolescents, my house is peaceful.  Too peaceful at times.

I am overjoyed that my kids have  become responsible adults.  They are happily living out their young lives with their own families.  So when the occasion comes when all are back together again, it is a time of happiness for me.

I love my kids!  I love the people they have grown up to be!

As many people say- - blink and your children seem to grow up.  It is true.  Young mothers, I know there are times when frustration and exasperation sets in.  But mark my words-- enjoy your kids at every stage because soon you will not have them underfoot and you may find their presence is missed in later seasons of life.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Life is like a Jungle

Many different parts make up a jungle just like our lives are made up of many parts. We have parts like trees that stand up tall and strong.  Our trees are confident and sure.  We also have bushes that can be messy looking with branches going this way and that.  Vines hang in a jungle in the most interesting way.  Sometimes they just come out of nowhere  or lead to nowhere.  They hang twisted, yet are sometimes the way to get from one place to the next.  Let's not forget the underbrush, the ground cover.  This is the part that grows out-of-control and is able to take over if not tended.

Sometimes it is a struggle to see a clearly defined path.  At those times we need to either take action and force a path either by pushing things away or cutting them out.  Then we can walk the path.  Other times we may need to find alternate paths--we may get side-tracked or we may be forced to go off the path we had marked out for ourselves.

There are diverse creatures in the jungle that cross your path.  Some are known and some are unknown.  Some are blatantly visible and others covertly do their thing without you knowing.  Some creatures are scary and make you fear while others are cute, safe, expected.   The bugs in the jungle are like the events in our lives.  May different kinds. Some have six legs, others have 8 legs.  Some help us and some sting us.

Life is like a jungle.  It can get dark with everything crowding out the sun.  Our hope is in looking for the sun....find the rays that reach down from the heavens and break through the tree canopy.


Friday, April 10, 2015

In an Instant

I don't think we value our time as we should.  In an instant all can change. Things may need to be said, decisions may need to made and plans may need to change.

In an instant....

  • you may be involved in a car accident
  • you may be the victim of an assault 
  • you may win the lottery 
  • you may become ill 
  • you may meet the love of your life 

Are you valuing every instant?  Have you left nothing unsaid?  Do you have an open mind to view every second as a moment?  

I need to step off the merry-go-round every so often and savor the instants.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Heating Up

The view from my world on Wednesday was heat!  I realize that temperature is relative and what is hot to one person may be perfect for another.  But we have been having temperatures in the 60's and all of a sudden Wednesday just heat up to nearly 80.  The sun was shining hard and unless you went into the share or the wind would blow a bit, the day was so warm!  
So heat is my world today. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I've had many gifts in my years.  From simple gifts such as flowers and homemade cards to extravagant gifts like diamonds, gold, and rubies. I even gifted myself one year with a new car to mark a milestone birthday.

But by far, my most precious and treasured gifts are my family. It has been a joy over the years to watch my family grow-- adding in-laws and little ones.  What started off as two has blossomed into ten.

My cup of blessings runneth over.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Feelings aren't all they're cracked up to be.   I can feel good and be happy when all of a sudden something happens or is said and my feelings plummet.

I find it important not to let my feeling dictate how I act or how my day is going.

I can feel rotten or upset or sad or cranky, but I still have to get up, go to work and face several children with a happy face and cheerful attitude.  It is not fair to them to see those negative feelings.

You know what?  I find that if I lead with the actions I want ( be happy, be cheerful, be calm) then my feelings usually follow.

That is the key to dealing with feelings.   At least in my case.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Energy ...or lack thereof

It seems that this time of year my energy decreases.  Case in point-- I did not have the energy to get this posted until later than I usual prefer.

There are three things that I can do to increase my energy level.  
  1. Eat better.  I've had too many sweets.  
  2. Sleep better.  I have been burning the candle at both ends lately. 
  3. Exercise better.   Every little but helps and something is better than nothing. 
I'll get started on the list right soon as I take a small nap.  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Time to Dye!

This is one of the important family traditions weekend.   

We hand down generation by generation our our beliefs, values, and culture with the celebration of Easter.   My parents handed them down to me, and I handed them down to my children.  Now the traditions get passed down to the grandchildren. 

Our Easter Traditions:
  • Visit the Bass Pro Easter Bunny  (this is a one one started with this generation) --  CHECK 
  • Dye the Easter Eggs-- CHECK 
  • Good Friday service--CHECK
  • Easter Egg hunt 
  • Easter Baskets 
  • Easter Church Service 
  • Easter Dinner  

I can't wait to finish the list!  

Friday, April 3, 2015

The C Word

The  view from my world today is sad, yet hopeful.  Sad because last week a friend's mother learned that she has colon cancer.  Hopeful because yesterday she was admitted to the hospital. She had surgery to eradicate the malicious cells.  Hopeful that all the cancer is gone, that it will not return, that it will leave her alone.

My friend's mother is a positive person who, no doubt,  will find some silver lining in the midst of her condition.

"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."
                                                              - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some colon cancer statistics:

  • In 2014 there were an estimated 136,830 new cases of and 50,310 deaths from colon cancer 
  • In 2011, there was an estimated 1.2 million people living with colon cancer in the United States 
  • Colon cancer is most frequently diagnosed in people age 65 - 74
  • Nearly 65% of people with colon cancer survive at least 5 years 

Thursday, April 2, 2015


"Don't freak out, but we are at the hospital. Call me later."

That text was accompanied with a photo of my grandson. He was adorned with a sling and a smile.

One call, added to the assurance of the smile in the photo, kept me out of "freaked out" mode.

It seems my grandson took a tumble off his scooter the night before. In the morning he couldn't dress without pain and tears while lifting his arm.

A trip to the doctor's office and then to the hospital for an x-ray led to the answer.

Diagnosis: Broken.  Fractured clavicle to be exact.

Goodbye baseball season (practice starts this week).

Hello button down shirts.

I'm sure the collar bone will heal fine. The hard part is going to keep this active little guy somewhat restricted for the next 4-6 weeks.

Have you ever had a "Broken" diagnosis?  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Angels (The Snowy Kind)

In 2015 many of us experienced a plethora of snow.  Too much even.  Perhaps we have seen the last snow of this season. In my world the last few fluffy flakes floated to the ground four days ago. With April dawning, we are promised warmer days ahead. 
When we do get an inch or more of  the white stuff, snow angels begin to appear in people's yards.  What fun it is to carefully find a patch of fresh snow and create the angel.  Little kids seem to get especially excited and I have seen more than a few big kids relishing their angel mark.

I'd like to think there are angels around my neighborhood all year long and when that first significant snow comes around they become visible.  

When's the last time you've made a snow angel?  


Monday, March 30, 2015

Tick Tock...

The clock is ticking
the time draws near
I better get a writin'
there's nothing to fear.

A to Z Challenge,
let's be very clear,
inspires and stretches.
It was so fun last year

I'd like to promise
posting sublime
The only thing I need
is a lot more time! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Computer Woes

My computer is still giving me woe.  I downloaded some malware a while back and I am trying to get rid of it in the least expensive way possible.

During this time I have come to a few realizations:

  1. My computer is cluttered with so many files, pictures, and folders.  I have so many things saved that I don't even know what I have.  It will take me years to go through and purge these files. Why do I save so much? 
  2. Pictures are a problem.  With digitized pictures I seem to keep every single one, not wanting to throw any out.  I have so many pictures- and they are all sentimental to me. I have pictures of all my extended family and ones of my grandparents and great grandparents from years gone by. I love the pictures, but what will happen if my computer crashes?  Should I have them printed?  Should I save them to a cloud drive--and still have my pictures hidden 
  3. My computer has become an important tool/utility in my life.  Not having access to one is difficult.  I rely on it for many things.  
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I solve my computer problems soon 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Matter of Perspective

So the other day, I ran into some friends that I haven't seen for a long while.  This husband-wife team and I used to run around in the circles, . Our kids were the same ages and we just sort of did life together,  

Then one day over time our circles began to change. While the deep friendship remained, we began to drift apart in life.   We didn't see one another as often.  As the seasons changed so did our season of life.  It was okay. It was good,  It was life.

Back to the other day-- I hadn't seen them together for a couple of years. What great joy there was as we caught up on what we were doing.  But as I left, I had a thought that has perturbed me ever since. They. looked. old.   They looked worn out and almost elderly.

When I think of my friends I see them in my mind as they were--twenty years ago.  I see us both as our younger selves. But the reality is that they are older.  And that means....that I am older too.  

I wonder if I looked old to them also.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Computer Woes

A couple of weeks ago I stupidly accidentally downloaded some malware on my computer.   Drats!
Now I have all this funky stuff going on and my browser has been hijacked.  Ergghhh!
I ran my virus protection program and it found no less than 5 trojans and it could only remove 3 of them.  
So...these are my options

  • pay a computer expert to help me heal my sick machine 
  • buy a new computer and figure out how to keep my wanted files 
  • Cry

The problem is I don't have the money available for a new computer at the moment.  I don't want to have to spend just as much probably on an expert when my computer is "old" anyway.  And crying hasn't helped.  :) 

I should have backed up my files to an online storage.  Hindsight is 20/20 it is true.  

Thankfully, I have a work lap top that I can bring home to work on.  I'm just doing a little more than work now.  

I hope your computer tales are happier.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Signed up and ready to go!

This was great fun last year and the results were many.  I wrote a lot, I learned a lot, and I met some dear friends along the way.  If you have never tried a blogging challenge, I suggest you read about this one and try the waters.
I won't say it is the easiest thing to do but it is stimulating, inspiring, and challenging.

Check it out here then join me in April! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Bad News and Good News

The Bad News is....

Although it may seem so, I have not abandoned this blog!  It's been about 6 months since my last post.  Wow!   It doesn't feel like it has been 6 months, but the calendar doesn't lie.
 My excuse is that I got a new job and have been overwhelmed with the learning curve.

The Good News is .....

I got a new job!
This is good because it will help me to better pay my bills!  It is also a job that I like and I enjoy being at!   How much better can it be?

I will try and be more regular now that I am in the swing of things at work.