Share Your World 8/13/18

Cannonball! I’m jumping back in after not sharing my world for what seems like ages. If you want to play along, go here. Here are my answers to the latest questions:

A class you wish you would have taken?

Drama in high school. I enrolled and completed the first assignment, which was a pantomime. I loved it, but I was painfully shy and hated being the center of attention for even a moment, so I dropped the class and took something I probably ended up hating. I have always regretted that decision. I should have just faced my fears then and there.

Are you scared of heights?

No… and yes. I am usually not afraid of heights, but sometimes the fear will hit me out of the blue and I will get horrible vertigo. It happened to me on a cliffside hike in Zion. I let go of the chain on a wider section of the trail to take some pictures. The fear struck quickly, and I grasped backwards for the chain. I don’t think I was going anywhere, but you can’t reason with a fearful brain.

Are you a good cook? If so, do you consider yourself a chef?

I am a good cook. I am no chef. I watch chefs all the time on Food Network. They are creative artists. I have a good sense of what goes together, but given a basket of anchovies and Sour Patch Kids (for example), I’d be at a complete loss.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

My son and daughter in law are staying with us for a while so she can recover from an ACL tear before they do a run of travel nursing. It does my heart good to have them here.

As always, thanks to Cee for the chance to share our worlds! Have a great week, everybody! 041514-sywbanner


It’s a New Day (Sadly)

As I sit here on a quiet Easter morning mulling over frenetic egg hunts of the past, I find myself struggling to overcome inertia, to seize this day, to make it something new. I really liked the old. It was full of love and belonging. The new is a wide open expanse of cold disconnection, and I don’t like it.

I have somehow failed myself. I have tried to live my life in a way that prioritized the people in it, and yet I now find myself mostly on my own. How did this happen? Was it always only me? Were the participants in the mad parade being pulled along by my fervor, all the while planning their escape?

The thoughts of getting up early to make Easter treats eventually evaporate like the Oregon fog, and I sigh as I realize that Easter dinner plans for two just don’t seem worth the effort. It’s a new day, for sure.

How I long for the old.



Share Your World – 3/12/18

It’s time again for Cee’s Share Your World. Here are my latest answers:

If a distant uncle dies and you were always his favorite and leaves you $50,000 (any currency) in his will, what would you do?

The first thing I would do is pay my kids’ student loans off. They are such an unnecessary burden at the start of adult life. I would then make sure my younger two sons got an education. I would put some in savings, and finally, I would travel.

What sound or sounds do you love?

  • babies’ laughter
  • rushing rivers
  • rain (but not too much or for too long)
  • wind in the trees
  • my kids’, husband’s, mom’s and dad’s voices – sometimes I save them on voicemail just to get a nice surprise when I play them back
  • songbirds
  • bees

What’s your middle name?  Why?

Denise. I don’t know why my parents chose this name. Maybe they told me at one time. I think it was just for how it sounded with my first and last name.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

We hatched chicks in my class, and watching my third graders’ excitement when the last one pushed out of the shell was is pretty special.

As always, thanks to Cee for giving us a chance to share our worlds. Have a great week!

Share Your World – 3/5/18

Here are my answers to the latest Share Your World: 

What did you or did not like about the first place you lived without your parents?

I think I liked the freedom to do what I wanted, to leave my dishes in the sink, to clean or not clean.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

I can’t pick a favorite, so here’s my list:

  • fresh brewed coffee
  • chocolate
  • fresh baked bread
  • the smell of a baby’s head
  • vanilla anything
  • daphne
  • apple blossoms
  • blackberries
  • rivers
  • the beach
  • lemons, limes, and oranges
  • ripe quince
  • the first rain after a long dry spell


Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

After a drive up into the snowy mountains, I’m waxing nostalgic for a snowy winter. One winter snowstorm brought drifts of snow piled against my childhood home. I remember long, playful walks, tall snow boots carving paths through a surreal landscape with the dog hopping through drifts beside us. I miss the muffled, blanketed silence of a snow covered landscape, and the crisp, cold freshness of the air. I long to walk with the soft crunch of snow underfoot on a soft, moonlit night.

Do I prefer snowy winters? You bet.


What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I appreciated the sun coming out for my 10K last Saturday. I had to run on my own after my sister was called out of town for a family emergency, and I hadn’t trained quite as much as I was hoping to, so a rainy day would have soured the experience. It was a hard run, but the beautiful day made it totally worth it.

As always, thanks to Cee for the chance to share our worlds. Have a great week!


Share Your World – 1/20/18

I’ve fallen behind in my Share Your World posts thanks to a new job. Mixed blessings. 🙂 Here are my latest answers:

How do you like your eggs?

My favorite way to eat eggs is folded into an omelette around sauteed asparagus, cremini mushrooms, and pepper jack cheese with some sliced avocado on top.

Have you ever met anyone famous?

I once met a soap opera star. He came in the bakery where I worked. That’s when I realized I wasn’t one to get star-struck. To me he was just another person.

What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

I bought my own bike with one of my first paychecks. I then used it to get to work to earn more money to buy more stuff.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I appreciate my mom, who turned 75 years young last Monday.

Iron Mountain-6031
Mom and Dad at the top of Iron Mountain in the middle of a 5+ mile hike.

As always, thanks to Cee for giving us the chance to share our worlds! Have a great week, everyone.

Share Your World – 1/29/2018

It’s time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

I’d have to choose REI. I’m always itching to go on an adventure, and the things that really hold me back (other than logistics) are not having the right equipment AND knowing how much it will cost to come up with it. For starters, I’d get the bike I’m always telling myself I’m going to start riding and a high end lock. (Bike theft is rampant around here.) I’d upgrade my kayak, get another one so I can take a friend, and make sure I have everything necessary to lash them onto my vehicle. (Not the friend, just the kayaks.) I would fill my cart with plenty of clothes to endure any type of weather. I’d buy hiking boots and running shoes. I’d buy a new set of skis and everything else needed for hitting the slopes. (It’s been years since I’ve been out there.) I’d buy snowshoes and cross country skis for the winter and a backpack and trekking poles for the summer. If I had these things stored at my house, I’d have no reason not to go. Where’s my shopping spree? Adventure awaits!

What is the worst thing you ate recently?

Nothing comes to mind. I generally try to stay away from things I know I won’t like. It’s a small list that includes goat cheese.

Name five things you like watching…

Ocean waves
Bees at work
Snow falling

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I appreciate feeling better. It’s been a long week of feeling ill. Now if only I could get over the lingering fatigue.

As always, thanks to Cee for the opportunity to share our worlds.

Share Your World – 1/15/18

Time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

Complete this sentence: I’m looking forward to….

Traveling somewhere, anywhere. I’m getting itchy feet, and I’ve been perusing Google flights lately. There must be a deal out there somewhere.

What is your favorite comfort snack food? 

Popcorn has always been one of my favorite snack foods. I guess it would be a comfort food, too. I have fond memories of fighting my mom for the last popcorn in the  shared bowl whilr watching a movie on the couch. (Thank goodness my sister and dad weren’t huge popcorn fans. Could have been a huge family brawl!)

My new snack food of choice is any whole grain cracker, quince paste and cheese.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

My first real job was at KFC. I was thrilled to finally be making some real money. Now I could afford a bike to get me to work AND those San Francisco Riding Gear jeans I’d been eyeballing. Such freedom! 😉

Honestly, though, I’m glad my parents encouraged me to get a job. I like the independence of working and making money.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I’ve spent 3 1/2 weeks subbing in a rambunctious kindergarten class. Through it all staff would pop in to see if there was anything I needed and to offer words of encouragement. It made the job easier.

I appreciated being appreciated. Who doesn’t?

Thanks again to Cee for the chance to share our worlds. Have a great week!


Desensitizing the USA – Trumplandia

Photo credit: Geoff Livingston on / CC BY-NC-ND

I have a confession. I used to respect the office of the president, no matter who held it. I no longer do. Respect must be earned. Even worse, I used to believe our checks and balances would get us through anything. I am questioning this now. Our Constitution is only as good as the voters who choose people to uphold it, and they seem too easily swayed by fame and “fortune,” too easily conned by an adulterous cheat who claims to uphold Christian values.

We have undergone a year-long desensitization in the U.S. toward all things ugly and mean. There is no longer any shock value to what our president says about anyone or anything, regardless of what those in the media would have us believe. For me, the shock came during the race for the presidency, where he mocked a disabled man and, in true middle-school bully manner, gave ugly nicknames to his opponents. He apparently, through his wealth and power, quashed stories of his philandering and sexual predation, but we knew. I thought right would prevail and people would choose decency. I was wrong.

Now my reaction is only sadness.

How low have we sunk as a country that we are willing to push all this man’s indecencies to the side and accept him as our leader? He’s not even a good leader. He doesn’t inspire or pull people together. His vitriolic speech and tweets divide and anger the many who disagree with his gated-community vision of the world, and guess what – they are not all people of color. He pulls on a trucker cap and speaks in an uneducated slurry of superlatives, the con man who tells us to trust him. Is this a good sell for people?

I don’t understand.

Sometimes I see Donald Trump with the eyes of a parent or a teacher. I am both. I have seen these behaviors before. Kids who are starved for attention will try with any means possible to get it, and if they are not noticed for good behavior, they will pour on the bad. I don’t think our president ever got the tough love response of ignoring the temper tantrums that would have helped him develop a deeper character. He’s a paper cutout, a simplistic, greedy man who, like a child, is all about himself. His willingness to “help” our country is only insofar as it helps or boosts him. He is not one of us, no matter how many red hats he puts on.

I long for the day when I can respect the office of the presidency once again. May that day come soon.

For my evangelical friends who believe this wolf in sheep’s clothing, let me leave this here for you. Wake up.

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;
When health is lost, something is lost;
When character is lost, all is lost.
~Billy Graham

Carve Out a Little Time

Photo via


“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”    ~Dolly Parton

I love my job. While I may not get excited to get up and leave before 7:30 in the morning, I enjoy the time I’m there and the people I’m with. I make a difference in the world, and that’s a good thing. That being said, I’m always happy to be home, to see my family, to feather my nest, create good things to eat, and share smiles and stories with the people I love.

So I don’t really understand this whole workaholic thing.

I don’t understand how making money beats making memories, or how giving your all to outsiders for 10… 12… 14 hours leaves you nothing to share with the people who love you. I understand the need to feel important and needed, just not how that need can be better filled by people who are benefiting financially from your attentions.

Living with someone who prioritizes work over family relationships takes a toll.

If you’re wondering if this is you, you can take this survey developed by Norwegian researchers called the Bergen Work Addiction Scale. Give yourself a score to each question with 1 being never and 5 being always. If you rank high, do your loved ones a favor and get some help.

  • You think of how you can free up more time to work.
  • You spend much more time working than initially intended.
  • You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression.
  • You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.
  • You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.
  • You deprioritise hobbies, leisure activities and exercise because of your work.
  • You work so much that it has influenced your health negatively.

And If you ever come back from a trip and go straight to work without unpacking your bags, it’s pretty likely you’re a workaholic.

In response to The Daily Post’s prompt: carve