Share Your World 8/14/17

Here are my answers to Cee’s questions for the latest Share Your World:

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time?

I keep the lights off, and the habit is so ingrained I’ve been known to turn the lights off on my poor showering husband. My dad helped create this habit with his constant reminders during my youth. I more recently read that the biggest impacts on the family electric bill come from the hot water heater and the furnace, and with low energy bulbs throughout the house, I’m not sure I really need to be so diligent about the lights.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? 

I just got back from a foodie visit with my son and daughter-in-law. I would definitely spend it trying new restaurants with friends and family.

Complete this sentence: My favorite thing to do on my cell phone is…

I don’t have a favorite. I do enjoy having a mini-computer available all the time. I enjoy taking pictures, even if I have my DSLR hanging off my shoulder. I love being connected to my family and friends. I also love being able to Google anything! I think I’d be lost without my phone at this point.

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

I just got back from a visit to Charlottesvile and DC. I was overwhelmingly inspired by walking in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers. I toured Monticello and learned about our conflicted Thomas Jefferson, who believed that all men were created equal and apparently opposed slavery, yet owned hundreds of slaves himself. I walked through the rotunda of the University of Virginia and reflected on the ideals of Jefferson that his newborn democracy should have an educated population of citizens to support it. (I am a teacher and a firm believer in public education.)

In DC, I walked through the halls of Congress in awe of the grandeur and history of the place. At the end of the tour, our guide, an older woman, related being evacuated and running from that very building in fear on 9/11 as a plane approached. She said that as she ran, she looked back over her shoulder and saw smoke rising from the Pentagon. She later learned that her husband’s office was ground zero in that attack, but shared that he had not gone to the office that day. She impressed upon us the somber knowledge that she worked in the number one terrorist target in the country, but also how important it was to show strength and not fear. I was not the only person in tears hearing that story in that great setting.

The day we were in DC was the same day the KKK rally was happening in Charlottesville. We were getting updates via Facebook, text and Twitter as we toured. It struck me that at the same time that was going on we were walking the mall in a giant crowd of people of every race and color, listening to many different languages being spoken. A rainbow of humanity was sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the same day a group of white men beat a black man with poles and another angry young man bore his car down on people standing up for the rights of all.  I read the words of Lincoln from his second inaugural address and thought that imagining the world he lived in was not as far a stretch as it should have been. And just this morning I heard echos of Reagan, Bob Dole, and Bush Jr., excerpts from speeches strongly and definitively denouncing white supremacy and the KKK, only to be saddened by the tepid response of the current resident of the White House.

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What inspired me? In the past week I walked in the footsteps of one of the authors of our founding documents. I read the words of another great leader who sought to rectify this situation. I sat on those steps and gazed out upon a mall that was the scene of a historic march for civil rights.

And I wondered, isn’t the time for KKK rallies long past?

And lest you think these outsiders represent Charlottesville, I can tell you as an outsider myself that I found the town charming, educated, and progressive, which is why that darn statue is coming down in the first place.

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Aren’t you glad you asked?


As always, thanks to Cee for the chance to share our worlds. Thanks for reading. I wish you all safety in these troubling times. We do live in a great country.

In memory of Heather Heyer.

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Share Your World – 7/31/2017

Here are my latest answers to Cee’s Share Your World questions:

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts? Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?

This is something I’m going to have to consider in a couple of weeks. I’ve been able to avoid glasses for quite some time, but things are getting a little blurry. I’ve finally made an eye appointment. I think I’ll probably choose glasses, though I’m terrible about misplacing things. Contacts are convenient, but I don’t think I’d like to stick things in my eyes. Plus, I’m pretty cheap, and contacts can be expensive.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person?

I used to love both, but we’ve gone a long time with only dogs and now have a kitten. She’s cute, cuddly, and funny, but her litter box stinks and she’s constantly slipping through my legs into rooms she’s not allowed in and outside where the dogs and cars threaten. True to cat form, she doesn’t care that I’m not a cat person. Maybe it’s a challenge for her to win me over to her side. Whatever the reason, anytime I sit still she ends up on my chest or shoulders.

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If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?

Gourmet kitchen
Hardwood floors
Big, fenced yard with established shade/fruit trees.

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

I am inspired by my youthful parents who, in their 70s, are still up for a hike up a mountain or down (and up) a switchback trail to get lakeside to a national gem.

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Mom and Dad at the top of Iron Mountain in the middle of a 5+ mile hike.
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Mom and Dad (left) heading down to the boat dock at Crater Lake.

Once again, thanks to Cee for the chance to share our worlds! Wishing everyone cooler weather than I’m experiencing this week!

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Share Your World – 7/24/17

List some of your favorites types of teas.

  • Sencha Green Tea (great for a cold, by the way)
  • Chai, iced or hot
  • Earl Grey made with a crushed cardamom pod

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Yield

What are a couple of things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

Well, I’m pretty good at hiding bad days, unfortunately, but if they were there to let me vent, or just to have a warm, nonjudgmental body to sit next to (think Pooh and Piglet), that would be wonderful.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?   Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

If we’re dreaming, I’d probably be a gymnast or figure skater. OR I might want try an ultramarathon or go mountain biking. Sadly, reality keeps me grounded. 🙂

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for my baby, who turned 19 yesterday. What a joy he’s been in my life!

Next week I look forward to not having any plans. 🙂


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

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Share Your World 7/10/17

Here are my answers to the latest Share Your World questions:

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

I’d love to say I spend my rainy days immersed in a good book, but I’m more likely to be found on my laptop. I’ve recently discovered Lightroom, so I spend a lot of time on my pictures. If it’s not that, I might be writing or playing Civilization.

List at least five favorite treats. (They do not have to be sugary).

  • Good dark chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Sushi
  • French fries (or potatoes in any form, actually)
  • Black licorice
  • Candied ginger

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Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

We usually end up at Silver Falls State Park. It’s beautiful and relatively close. We may end up at the Columbia River Gorge, but it’s a bit of a drive by comparison. Both places are very popular and as a result are usually crowded, but they are popular because they are beautiful.

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You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?

Someone who tells good stories.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for my sister. We hiked to Tamolich Pool with two of her kids yesterday. We’re planning another two hikes for the upcoming week, so I’ll be looking forward to that.

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

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Share Your World 6-26-17

Here are my latest answers to Cee’s Share Your World:

What goal are you working on now? 

I have a list. In my end-of-the-school-year-thrilled-to-be-on-vacation frenzy, I decided on a bunch of projects instead of touring the world. I mean, how much fun is that? My goal is to work my way through the list, and I’m about halfway there – lots of painting and refreshing the house. Anyway, I’m a compulsive starter and inconsistent finisher, so every time I finish a project, I feel a little better about myself. This is my goal. To finish what I’ve started.

Here’s my list so far:

  • Repainting the walls
  • Painting the trim
  • Painting an Ikea bookshelf (tough job, not recommended)
  • Making a quilted wall hanging for my newly painted wall
  • Painting and reupholstering an old table set, the ripped vinyl (70s) seat of which I fell off of recently while using it to hang curtains (only bruised my ego)
  • Hanging curtains
  • DIYing the wine bottles that have been sitting on my counter for two months into planters
  • Staining the woodwork in my bathroom
  • Tiling the guest bathroom floor
  • Changing the shower head
  • SORTING PHOTOS (27 years worth! And I was/am an avid photographer!)

There are so many projects I could add. I have a pile of plates and shards I’ve been collecting to make mosaics, but for now, I think I’d better stick to the list.

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What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again?

When my kids were young, we used to go to the local festival. My daughter was about 8 and wanted to ride on the Gravitron, the ride that is entirely enclosed and whirls you around like a salad spinner to the blaring music of 70s acid rock. I didn’t think she should go alone. We would go together. It would be fun.

Once it started up, I thought I was going to die. I literally spent the whole time praying that I would make it through, while all the young people were sliding up and down the walls having the time of their life! God answered my prayers, and I stumbled out the door, only to head to the nearest bench, pleading for my husband to just take the kids and leave me there for a while. Lesson learned.

Did you choose your profession or did it choose you?

Both. There are a lot of people in my extended family who are teachers. I think there is a mix of patience and curiosity that runs through the family that is conducive to the job. I came to the profession later in life, and part of the decision was that the work schedule would coincide with my kids’ school schedules.

Have you ever gotten lost?

Haha. Yes. Once I went to the coast by myself. I drove south along the coastline, then looked for a shortcut home. (This was back in the era of paper maps.) I found a road that looked like it went through the middle of what was a rather long loop, so I took it. It ended up being a gravel road through the coastal mountains in the middle of nowhere, and I, a young woman in an older car driving in the evening, seriously questioned my judgment at some point. I guess I was not really lost, except in the fact that I didn’t know where I was at any point on that gravel road, but it had to come out somewhere.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for phone calls from my eldest son that cut through lonely days.

I look forward to finishing up my painting projects and retiring the paintbrushes for a while.


Thanks as always to Cee for the chance to write about my world. 🙂 Have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July, my fellow Americans! Wishing a great weekend to everyone else!

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Share Your World – 5/29/17

Here are my answers to this week’s questions for Cee’s Share Your World:

What is the most famous landmark or building you have ever seen?

The one that comes to mind is the one we can’t forget. Remember the Alamo!

Do you like long vacation or lots of mini-vacations?

That’s a tough question. Lots of mini-vacations satisfy the urge for adventure, yet time and distance become limiting factors when it comes to exploring new places. Long vacations let you travel farther and dig in to the local culture. If I could only choose one, it would grudgingly be quantity over novelty, only because I get restless and need to hit the road after being home for a while.

What is your favorite National or State Park?

Another tough question! We just got back from a trip to Utah’s National Parks, and we were discussing this very question. Mine used to be Yosemite, but I’ve had to add the Grand Canyon and Zion, as well as Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I guess I can’t pick a favorite. I’m just grateful for the foresight of those who thought to preserve these areas for us.

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Zion National Park
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Grand Teton National Park

What is your fantasy vacation?

Anywhere I can be outdoors with relatively good weather, beautiful scenery, and no crowds. Oh, and it should have lots of good, local restaurant options.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful for the time spent with my husband exploring yet another corner of the world. I look forward to summer and a long vacation from teaching.


Thanks to Cee for giving us a chance to share our worlds. Wishing you all happy adventures in your vacation travels! Have a great week!

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Share Your World 3/13/17

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

Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

Confession time. I do not push the button multiple times. I’m not a type-A personality by any stretch. Instead, I’ve been known to stand outside an elevator waiting and waiting, only to find out I didn’t push hard enough in the first place. (Slightly embarrassing when someone walks up and thinks you’ve pushed it.)

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

I used to love spontaneity. When my husband and I were first married, we would head out on a whim for any type of grand adventure. Then we had kids, and became saddled with diapers and clothes and snacks and bedtimes, only to have those replaced with school schedules and activities. We tried to be as spontaneous as all of that allows, but hauling kids along requires lots of planning. I’ve become even more of a planner lately, after landing at ideal locations only to find a row of No Vacancy signs at all of the desirable hotels. Even successful camping requires a reservation anymore!

So, life, you win. I’m now a planner.

Describe yourself in at least four uplifting words.

Creative

Faithful

Thoughtful

Kind

If you had a choice which would be your preference salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert? 

Give me a kayak and a fresh water lake, and I’m a happy camper!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful for sun. I have been living in the Oregon of my youth lately – days upon days of dismal, rainy weather. Sunday was sunny, so we grabbed our things (spontaneously) and headed to the coast, where it was warm enough to eat lunch outside! (And if you are from Oregon, you know how rare that is in March.)

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I look forward to the weather warming up, the sun coming out, the flowers emerging, and kicking my exercise program back into gear.


Thanks to Cee for another chance to write! Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

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Share Your World – #48

It’s time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. If you’d like to play along, click here. I’m a bit late getting it out this week, but here are my answers:

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?  

I love nuts. I grew up eating peanut butter on just about everything. Though I’ve given that up, I still get nuts almost daily. A good trail mix is my go-to snack. Trader Joe’s sell some delicious ones. Oatmeal is better sprinkled with pecans or almonds, and there are usually nuts in my homemade biscotti. Pad Thai and pipian verde are a couple of favorite nutty main dishes. And who could forget pine nut laden pesto? Yum!

If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?

At this point, it might be a Shakespearean tragedy.

 Who talks real sense to you?

I have a friend from college who has always been my grounding force. We don’t talk too often anymore, unfortunately, but I know she will kindly and firmly question my more insane decision making processes. 🙂

Do you have a favorite board game?

Settlers of Catan. If you haven’t played it, you should. We played 3 consecutive games on Thanksgiving and each time beat the reigning champion strategist, my younger brother, much to our delight.

 

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am immensely grateful for a peaceful Thanksgiving devoid of political talk.

I don’t know if I look forward to decorating and baking right now, but I do look forward to seeing a decorated house and smelling fresh-baked cookies.



Thanks again to Cee for a fun writing challenge. Wishing you all a wonderful week!

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SYW #46

It’s time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. If you would like to play along, click here. Here are my contributions to this week’s questions:

Are you a traveler or a homebody? 

I am definitely a traveler. My parents raised us on road trips. I get antsy when I’m home for too long. My favorite book for a long time was Blue Highways, by William Least Heat Moon. I have another that I’m still in the middle of reading called A Voyage Long and Strange that is a curious mix of history-seeking and adventure. Give me a prepaid visa, a car, and a map. I’m outta here. 🙂

What kind of TV commercial would you like to make? Describe it.

I would love to make a commercial promoting small, local businesses. I live in a town dominated by a Super WalMart and many fast food joints. Interspersed are some really good family-run restaurants and small shops, plus an artist’s guild that sells local art. But there are many empty buildings lining our downtown.

I think I’d film each of these owners and ask them what local support means to them. I’d focus my camera on the character that each of these places brings to my town. I’d encourage everyone to buy local and keep the money in our community.

Describe yourself in a word that starts with the first letter of your name.

Curious.

List some fun things for a rainy day.

Playing games with my family. Baking! Curling up with a good book and hot chocolate. Hitting the gym.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful that we have freedom of speech.

I look forward to putting together my annual cookie baskets to take to my family at Thanksgiving.


Thank you again, Cee, for this wonderful challenge. It’s been hard writing this week. I’m glad I have this.

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SYW #45

It’s time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. If you would like to play along, click here. Here are my responses to this week’s questions:

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE:  does not  have to be a sentence.)

Observe, love, laugh, listen, appreciate, always forgive

Where do you like to vacation?

Anywhere and everywhere. Cities, beaches, state and national parks. The world is so big and there is so much to explore. I’ve never understood wanting to go back to the same place year after year.

Candy factories (sweets or treats including chocolate) of the entire world have become one and will now be making only one kind of candy. Which kind, if you were calling the shots?

Though I would dearly miss caramel, I couldn’t live without dark chocolate.

Complete this sentence: Something that anyone can do that will guarantee my smile is… 

Offer to help. With anything. I’ll probably say no, I’m fine, I’ve got it covered, but your offer will mean the world to me, and if you manage to push your way in, I probably won’t be all that upset.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Though my weekend was full and I’m tired as a result, I’m grateful that I had a chance to attend Wordstock PDX (A 4 hour drive on Saturday) and the final performance of my talented brother’s zombie opera (another 4 hour drive yesterday). I’m pooped!

This week is full of civic duty. I’m scheduled for jury duty on Thursday, and I look forward to casting my ballot today or tomorrow. (I kind of like to vote on Election Day.) This year especially, I’m hoping for a good outcome and a peaceful transfer of power. Hang on, I’m consulting my Magic 8 Ball

And it said, “Yes, definitely”


Thanks again to Cee for hosting this fun writing challenge. Have a great week!

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