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 7/3/17

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

For your main meal do you prefer sweet and sour, hot and spicy, spicy and sweet, bitter, salty, bland or other?

Anything but bland. I used to love spicy, but now the heat irritates the back of my throat to the point of feeling like it’s closing, so I’ve had to tone the spice down quite a bit. I enjoy anything with complex flavors, but bland leaves me wanting more (and rifling through the cupboards for salty, sweet, etc).

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

Oh, in my bedroom, much to my husband’s dismay. Fortunately (or unfortunately) we don’t have people coming over very often. That fact should leave me plenty of time to tackle the previous hide, but it’s still there. It’s an organization thing. Overwhelming = avoidance.

What daily habit would you like to introduce to your life?

I would like to re-introduce daily workouts to my life. I’ve lost some of my hard-won fitness lately. Every day I commit to going for a run and every day I put it off for everything else. (And I have plenty of time right now. No excuses!)

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?  

I’d be the ringmaster. I have 4 kids. I’ve had plenty of practice.

Although, on second thought, I’ve been practicing on the tightrope a lot lately.

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 friends who keep me connected to my sanity.

I recently got the crossbars for the top of my new car, so this week I look forward to hitting the water with my kayak.


Thanks again to Cee for a chance to share our worlds.

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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 2/28/17

Here are my latest responses to Cee’s Share Your World. If you would like to play along, click here.

Ever ran out of gas in your vehicle?

Not while I was driving. We ran out of gas less than a mile from the gas station when my husband was driving, and on the freeway, no less. You can imagine the bickering that came from that incident.

That being said, I’ve come close. When I was driving Sunshine on our cross-country trip to college, the gas light came on. At night. In the desert. In the middle of nowhere. It was me and three kids in the car, Needles, California was the next thing on the map, and it was nowhere in sight. Finally, lights blinked in the distant darkness, and with a twisting in my gut, I coasted into the nearest gas station, thanking my lucky stars. I am now careful to fill up when it gets around 3/4 empty.

Which are better: black or green olives?

I’ve finally jumped onto the olive bandwagon somewhat after eschewing them for most of my life. I prefer black to green, though I really like a couple of chopped kalamatas on a salad.

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore?

I would explore foreign lands and cultures. I find it really interesting to see the way our different experiences intersect and how other people have learned to adapt to their situations.

Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes?

This is a long one, but it’s always been one of my favorites. I tend to be a sideline sort of person, so it pushes me to put myself out there beyond my relatively close comfort zone.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.  ~Theodore Roosevelt

And this one about being an authentic person has always stuck with me.


Photo credit: R J Ruppenthal via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

This quote about just doing the right thing and being who you are also really speaks to me.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Here’s another. (Don’t get me going on quotes!) It’s highly applicable to our current political situation.

What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Last week I pulled out my drawing pencils and sketch book. I haven’t played around with them for a while, but some art therapy is needed at this time in my life. Like so many other things, this hobby is a combination of work-in-progress and steep learning curve. My fantasy is to paint a giant masterpiece on canvas, something that others would relate to. Haha. For right now I will content myself with trying to figure out how to draw non-Picasso-like faces and symmetrical eyes. But I am grateful for this hobby.

The second part of this question is much harder to answer.

I don’t ever look forward to the week of daylight savings time. I think I dread it more than the dentist, if that’s possible. It stems from not being a morning person and having a relatively early-morning job. I guess I could look forward to my internal clock eventually catching up.


Wishing you all a great week!

As always, thanks to Cee for this wonderful opportunity to write!

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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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