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?