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!

041514-sywbanner

Advertisements

Look to our Leaders

Dear Middle America,

I know your heart. I live on an arteriole of your productive farming and logging community. I am surrounded by people whose families are still reeling from mill shutdowns and farmers who scoff at the idea of a 40 hour workweek. I feel your pain. My community has been hurt by changes in our world. Spotted owl stew is still being offered up on the metaphorical menu. I hear your voice. You feel drowned out. You want the country of your grandparents back. Nostalgia is a sweet feeling. It’s the feeling I get when I look back on pictures of my kids and smile at the good old day. But we can’t go back. What we had is gone, morphed, changed, and its up to us to morph and change with it.

Sincerely,
A Fellow American

Maybe in the America of today we identify with the wrong metaphor. The idea of our country being a melting pot originated with a play of the same name in 1908. But it’s a flawed metaphor. It creates the illusion that our identities can be melted down and fused with others. That doesn’t accurately define what this country is. Maybe our country could be better described as a tapestry of rich, intertwined threads. We should exercise care in tugging on those threads, lest the whole fabric of America unravel.

We are a country of immigrants. Some of us came here by choice, some by force. Some of us were original inhabitants of this land and must be wearing a very ironic smile at the talk of taking our country back. Yet here we are, all converging on this point in time together. In light of all of this, maybe it’s time for a little history lesson.

Throughout our short history we have accepted many to our shores. In the early days of our country, citizenship was granted to “free white people” of “good moral character” with a two year residency requirement. That was changed under Adams to fifteen years and back to five under Jefferson. It’s important to remember that during this time forced immigration was occurring due to the slave trade with no prospect of citizenship to this addition to the American population.

As the years passes, our United States was flooded with wave after wave of immigrants fleeing crop failures, social unrest, industrialization, religious intolerance, pogroms, and poverty. Laws were created to admit some and deny admittance to others. Fears that our country would be undermined and taken over by the Germans, the Catholics, and the Eastern Europeans were very real. But has this happened? Have we become an arm of Germany? Has the Pope wrested control of our nation? Or have we have taken these immigrants in and incorporated them into the tapestry of America? Today the descendents of such immigrants are our professors and policemen, judges and farmers, inventors and data entry clerks, though many of their grandparents and great-grandparents began as laborers and domestics who themselves endured the ire of the citizenry. Immigration laws have changed over the years, but what hasn’t changed is the vision of America as a place where people go to belong, where their thread can be woven into history, where their children have a chance to join the great American experiment. (And who among us in not included in the “they?”)

This election has brought a lot of ugliness to the surface. People who don’t look like that handful of pilgrims fleeing religious persecution who landed at Plymouth Rock so long ago, people who are second or third generation Americans are left reeling as they are told to go back where they came from. Even in my relatively sheltered existence, the truth of the Trump effect is hitting home. People who just days ago fit into the American tapestry are looking around, wondering just who they can trust, and it’s up to many of us to hold the fabric of our collective identity together with safety pins. Just try searching the hashtag #Trumpeffect on Twitter to see what many of the people who share this country are experiencing after this election. It’s vile. The KKK is having an outright victory parade. These are dark days. How far have we sunk as a country that any of this would be okay?

News outlets are reporting that this past election had the lowest voter turnout in two decades. The nature of the election may have caused some to sit it out thinking they couldn’t stomach their choices. I’ve heard people say they couldn’t vote for Hillary because she sounded shrill or because they didn’t want to see a woman in charge. This saddens me to no end. I cringe to think that Trump’s speeches inspired the hateful supporters who were shouting “lock her up” and who threatened to exercise their second amendment rights if their candidate was not elected. Some of those people are the ones decrying the current exercise of the first.

For those of you who are watching the #notmypresident protests unfold and are crying foul, those of you who, like me, believe in the peaceful transfer of power, look at who you’ve elected. Look closely. Play devil’s advocate for a moment and consider the arguments of the other side. Think of the possibility that you’ve been hoodwinked, that maybe the version of reality that’s been trotted out before you is not what you’re going to get.

If you are one of the many who wanted to be heard, to whom this was a protest vote in and of itself, we hear you. Let me offer this: Instead of a man who has a history of lies and evasion, who has manipulated the election, who will probably never again be seen wearing a baseball cap, who hasn’t released his tax returns… instead of this man, look to the true leaders of the common man. Bernie Sanders has a history of standing up for us, the people. Look it up. He’s still here, fighting for us. Look to Michael Moore, who predicted this win not because he supports Trump, but because he’s had his finger on the pulse of downtrodden middle America for a long, long time. I’m going to argue that we can’t have a top-down approach at this point in our country. The top has been compromised, including Donald Trump.

We are shaking the tapestry of America by exercising our first amendment right to protest. Like the flag unfurling in a tempest, it ripples and roils. When the storm dies down, we must ensure it remains intact.

I’ll leave you with the whole sonnet written by Emma Lazarus that graces the base of the Statue of Liberty:

New Colossus

statue of liberty poem

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Let’s not let it come to this:


Photo credit: On Location in Los Angeles via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

The Day After

Like many of you, I am waking up in shock. What happened? How could we have a reality TV star for president, a man who has admitted to a propensity for sexual assault, who readily sues anyone who comes in conflict with him, who lies and lies and lies and thinks his supporters are stupid. We have voted in a man who doesn’t understand science, who thinks if he sprays CFCs in a room, they will stay there, who has vowed to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. We have voted a man into the highest office in the land who has said he would torture the families of the people who wish to do us harm, who wants to bomb the hell out of ISIS. We have voted in a man who has talked about using the nuclear option. We have voted in a man who was congratulated by Vladimir Putin.

I am astounded. I wasn’t excited about a Hillary Clinton presidency, and it has nothing at all to do with emails. She’s smug and has made it appear that she deserves this. She has ties to Wall St. She plays the political game too well. She morphs into what she thinks she needs to be to accede. Personally, I wished for a more deserving first woman president, but whatever. I could have lived with her with a modicum of grumbling.

But this?

I am a science-minded, liberal leaning moderate who appreciates the differences that make up the fabric of America. I vote for people who are inclusive to everyone. I vote for people who respect science, who listen to scientists, and unfortunately that does not include Republicans. I want a president who promotes science and engineering, a Congress that will fund space exploration. I want people in power who see the impact we have on our environment and don’t look at it with dollar signs in their eyes. I vote for people who believe in stewardship, in preservation of what we have for the benefit of future generations. Our new president has threatened to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. God help us all.

I believe that the First Amendment of the Constitution, the right to free speech, free press, and freedom of and from religion, supersedes the Second. Religion has meddled way too much in politics. I know my fellow Christians have felt persecuted, and maybe that’s why they rationalize and justify voting for a man twice divorced who makes his living from casinos, a man who hosts beauty pageants of which he has bragged about walking in on contestants who are changing just to get a sophomoric glimpse at what a 10 looks like naked, a man who lies over and over again to suit his purposes. When I ask why, I hear “Pence” and  “Supreme Court.” Seems like a big gamble to me. Our new president elect has threatened to sue and silence the press.  People who are speaking out against him and his ideas are repeatedly harassed and sometimes threatened by his followers. How does that jive with 1A?

I believe in our system of government, and I stand behind the election process, though I couldn’t be more disappointed in the outcome. I think there are dark days ahead. The question is, where do we go from here?

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!

041514-sywbanner

Wordstock PDX

wp-1478406004608.jpg

Today I attended my first Wordstock PDX. I hear from others that it was the best.Despite the oil light in my car throwing my morning out of balance, I made it in plenty of time to get a good seat to hear Sherman Alexie. I’m a huge fan. His irreverent sense of humor is right up my alley. He mocks and laughs at everything. His reading of his new picture book was punctuated with stories and explanations of jokes and gestures for the radio audience. Look him up soon on OPB’s Think Out Loud. I bought his book to read to my classes.


Photo credit: ASU English Department via Foter.com / CC BY

The rest of the author talks were spread out within a few blocks, old churches and new theaters and the Portland Art Museum. The rainy day only added to the Portland dreary-weather-let’s-just-grab-a-book-and-read atmosphere. Throughout the festival, there were author pop up talks amid Andy Warhol prints in the modern art museum and book signings in the ballroom. My only complaints were that I’d left my umbrella at home and that I had to pick and choose authors to listen to.

wp-1478406057170.jpg

Oh, well. I’ll be back next year, and next time I’m bringing my book-loving friends.

My new reading list includes:

Chicago, by Brian Doyle
Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, by Ramona Ausubel
Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub
People Like You, by Margaret Malone
The Folly of Loving Life, by Monica Drake
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
Substitute, by Nicholas Baker
The Remnants, by Robert Hill

National Stress Awareness Day

I woke up this morning and checked my Twitter feed. A trending hashtag was for National Stress Awareness Day. I laughed. Oh, to have just one day dedicated to stress awareness.

I know I’m not alone in being aware of the day after day pressures in my life.

On the top of my list is parenting stress. Will my kids learn the basic human skills of communication, compassion and resilience? Will they do their best in school? What will I do when they falter? I do my best, but truth be told, there are plenty of subversive influences out there, from dramatic reality TV that feeds on the worst of human interactions to easy access to who-knows-what on the internet. My kids are of the age where I don’t sit over their shoulder any more trying to make sure they are making good choices. I trust, but I worry.

The two youngest, lovingly referred to as Goose and Maverick, are both adults now. They are watching their first presidential election unfold. Firsts should be better than this. Back in 2008, I took them to a small, local Obama rally. I was inspired by the message of hope, and I wanted them to be a part of that. They were 10 and 11. In this election, my young millennial, Goose, dove into an eager support of Bernie Sanders, even attending one of his rallies. He was inspired by Bernie’s integrity and commitment to social justice. He is now one of the disillusioned millennials. He has filled out his mail-in ballot, but refuses to vote for president. Maverick refuses to vote altogether, and no amount of motherly coaxing him to perform his civic duty will change his cynical young mind.

I have to wonder how this election will impact the already-there economic stress. I worry. I question. How can I stretch my paycheck? How will our older kids ever pay back their college loans? (How I wish we could help with that.) What will happen to my meager investments if Trump is elected president? Why is everything so expensive? Apples have always been my indicator, maybe because they are a local item. They used to be 39 cents a pound. Now you’re lucky to get them for $1.99 a pound. They have risen 410% over the past 20 years, a time frame when minimum wage only went up by 77%. And on that note, why aren’t groceries figured into the price of inflation?

Most of us worry about the financial impacts of political decisions on our lives and our children’s lives. Goose and Maverick (both employed but still living at home) haven’t committed themselves to college yet, despite being out of high school. They feel the burden of college debt and don’t want to have to deal with it. I tell them it’s worth the investment, that they will see a good return in the way of increased earnings, but I feel less and less sure about that myself. My recently-graduated daughter is saddled with a huge debt burden and has spent months searching in a job market that expects years of experience that she doesn’t yet have. My own financial worries are nothing compared to those my children will face if something is not done to equalize the economic imbalance in this country.

Then there’s societal stress. How is my country changing around me? How is the influx of people from other parts of the world contributing to that? What should my reaction be? My own husband is an immigrant. I have known many immigrants, not just from Mexico, but from Nepal and Chile. I am drawn to the stories and experiences, to seeing my country through the lens of others. I wonder at the ugliness this election has stirred up, the intolerance and willingness to make someone out as the “other.” The family from Chile escaped the dictatorship of Pinochet. One time the father recounted a story of fearing for his life as he was heading home from college in the midst of the coup and encountering armed men in the streets. I wonder if he ever thought it couldn’t happen there. The immigrants I know are good people, but I see how their arrival causes an imbalance in our society, and every imbalance seeks equilibrium. Though I lean left, I think this is a flexible issue and a necessary one to address. Maybe we need to time let the most recent additions settle, and settle in with them ourselves. We all get burned when the melting pot overflows.

If those things weren’t enough to worry about, there’s health care. I don’t know about you, but we are always one medical emergency away from having the rug pulled out from under us. In what is supposedly the model of democracy in the world, I find that unacceptable. We’ve personally been through medical issues that set us back significantly, and that was before the ballooning of health care costs. It took years to recover. Many of our elected officials are working hard to rectify the situation, but it’s a slow, hard-fought battle. Our own deductible has risen to $12,000 for our employer provided health care option. You may blame the ACA. I think it’s corporate greed. Wherever the fault lies, it doesn’t change the current reality. My husband recently tried to make an appointment with a doctor for an issue that included chest pain and was sent directly to the ER, only to be told after a battery of tests that it was probably esophageal spasms. I’m glad the services are there and I’m thankful it was not heart related, but I’m sure this visit might exceed our deductible. You tell me how I’m not supposed to stress.

And nobody is even discussing climate change.

Every day I turn on the T.V. or radio only to be bludgeoned by political ads of people who claim to have the answers telling me how they are going to finally fix these things. I know there are people who are trying. There are also the few who throw money at changing the whole system to suit their needs. (Oligarchy, here we come!)

I just want a little stress relief.

I made a snarky post with the hashtag National Stress Awareness Day then got up to have my coffee and face another day. What I really wanted to do was throw my smartphone against the wall, pull the covers over my head, and wake up on November 9th, hoping all of this was just a very bad dream.


If you made it through this whole thing, thanks so much for reading.

This was somehow, and I’ve forgotten how, inspired by The Daily Post’s prompt: Bludgeon

Fight or Flight

The creature peered out of the shadows, its coarse hair dripping with a viscous ooze. Its  ears were pricked and pointed forward. Predator ears, she thought involuntarily. It had a low forehead and its eyes glinted as it looked toward her, reflecting a streetlight that suddenly flickered. Her breath caught in her throat, panic rising. Adrenaline was taking effect. Keep it together, she told herself, thinking of her early days of studying the effects of the neurotransmitter on rabbits, many of which had died of shock.

The creature moved its head from side to side in a feral motion, eyes wide. She thought of all of the animal attack stories she’d ever heard. Dogs. Bears. Wolves. Should she run or stand her ground? She couldn’t remember the advice, and she didn’t know if it would apply to this unknown creature, this city dweller, this mutant. The prickling sensation was coursing through her body. All of her own hairs were alert and at attention.

Stay calm, she told herself as she eyed the creature. Think. Its gaze never left her. It exuded a coiled energy. Her own muscles were tensed, awaiting a split second command. The streetlight flickered again and then went out. She began to move ever so slowly backward down the empty street toward light. The creature rose, and she realized it had been crouched over something. It was large, larger than any dog she knew of. Could it smell her fear?

On this busy Halloween Monday, she’d been forced to park a block away and walk to the lab. She rued staying so late. Not one to believe in the supernatural, she knew even a quiet neighborhood held its very real dangers. There was no otherworldly creature who struck fear in her quite like her fellow humans. Not until now.

She stole a glance behind her, looking for a place to run. The sleepy brownstones were dark, their  Jack-O-Lantern candles long since extinguished. Any parties had succumbed to the weeknight; the costumed revelers going home to get a few hours sleep before work or school. Joyous trick-or-treaters slept in candy-induced comas, face paint staining their pillows. Not a single late-night light illuminated the building’s face.

She looked back at the creature. It had its full attention on her now, eyes trained in laser precision, ears forward. She recognized the posture from her days in the field. She had seen it in wolves, in lions. The predator on alert. She was the prey.

She knew her bipedal body was no match for the spring of four muscular legs. The human brain had adapted to use thought and reasoning to survive. To hide, to create barriers, was the hominid protection. All of the barriers were closed to her now. If she could just get to her car.

There was a sticky sloosh as the creature started moving slowly forward through the thick puddle of ooze, each foot carefully placed in front of the other. Its head was low, shoulder blades alternating a slow up and down motion with each step. Her heart pounded in her chest. Another streetlight flickered.

She could see her car now. It was halfway down the block. Still backing up slowly, she pushed the panic button on her keys. Nothing. She must still be out of range. She picked up her pace, still backing up, always keeping her eye on the creature. It moved with her, slinking in the shadows, dripping, stalking.

Suddenly it stopped, alert, its attention drawn away from her. A small black cat darted across the road and into the creature’s path. In a flurry of fur and teeth and yowls, the creature and the cat became a violent ball of primal fury.

Now was her chance. She ran.

Grabbing her keys, she fumbled for the unlock button to the Prius. No time to look back now. A sudden silence told her all she needed to know. Grabbing the door handle, she yanked it open. She was just about to slide into the seat when the creature slammed into her, knocking her to the ground. Dazed, she found herself staring up at two soulless eyes at the other end of a blood-stained muzzle. Before she could scream, she felt sharp fangs lock around her throat. She pushed the panic button again.

The horn and lights of the Prius pulsed a bored and regimented alarm. Lights flicked on in the sleepy brownstones. As the minutes ticked by, doors opened and robed, middle-aged men and women peered out into the street.

One by one, people gathered around the open-doored, beeping car. They gasped and pointed. As if a giant sumi brush had come down from above, a dark red swath of viscous blood pointed back down the road toward the lab where, if one knew what to look for, a dark shape burdened with its prey was slinking back into the shadows.


In response to The Daily Post’s prompt: Eerie

Happy Halloween!

Lose the Labels

We in the United States are stuck in a word quagmire these days, a quicksand-like atmosphere where we can’t even slog along for all the mud on our boots. Everywhere you turn, people are talking, yelling actually, and yet what is actually being said? We slap a label on something and draw lines. Don’t you dare step on the other side. We have created otherness to the point that it’s like walking in a carnival funhouse, only without the fun.

And what about these labels? Where do you and I fit in? Are you a libtard or deplorable? Are you a nasty woman? Are you sexist, racist, and a xenophobe? Are you a poot, a faketriot, a conservative, a tea bagger? What exactly do these designations mean? What are they saying about us, both the speaker and the recipient of the label?

When we label someone, we don’t have to consider their ideas. We just summarily dismiss them. What about the kernel of truth in what the “other” is saying? You know there is one. By labeling and dismissing, we are missing out on a chance for dialogue and understanding. We can’t all know everything about the issues, and many of us don’t have time to delve deeply, so we respond off the cuff, reactionarily, to maintain our personal status quo. But who is that hurting?

Beyond the initial personal sting to the recipient, it’s hurting us as a country. It’s weakening our integrity. It’s the water in our joists that softens the stability, providing the perfect substrate for the ideological termites and divisive carpenter ants to eat away at it. One day soon we will look up to find the walls are caving in. Then will we stand back and try to figure out how to fix what we’ve destroyed?

This American experiment in democracy is a beautiful thing. We all have a chance to get involved, but we have to allow others their opinion and their right to vote. We must attempt to create understanding based on logic and empathy, not divide with fear, innuendo, and intimidation.

This election is nearly over. We are all dissatisfied. Can we at least agree on that? Let’s figure out why. We were given two candidates whose character has been called into question, affecting their ability to lead. We had other choices. Whether you agree with him or not, Bernie attracted a huge following, a groundswell of support from the people, similar to Donald Trump. Unlike Trump, however, his personal ethics were never called into question. His integrity was sound. This is the type of person we should look toward to lead us as a country. It’s too late for us this time, but we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We have work to do.

How can we help good leaders rise to the top? First, get big money out of politics. The mostly unseen influence of just a few voices has given us legislators who work for them, not us. Groups like Represent Us are fighting this corporate corruption at the ground level. Second, step back and consider what people are saying, from those at the top to your neighbors and family members. Each of us has issues that are really important to us. We might need to just agree to disagree on some things because what’s really happening is that while we, the people, are distracted by our infighting, someone at the top is bankrolling lobbyists and influencing politicians, creating a country that benefits him, but not necessarily us. How do you think that will affect our future conversations?

In addition, a separation of church and state would be nice, not just from a constitutional standpoint, but from the view of those who don’t toe the line with the conservative right. Some of us who have been silenced by our own faith-based organizations really believe in the tenets of Christianity, especially that of loving our neighbor as ourselves, even if that neighbor is gay or Muslim or fears for their child’s safety when they walk out the door in the morning. Sticking fingers into politics sullies the message and highlights any and all hypocrisy. Is that the light you mean to shine?

This is our country. We are fellow Americans. Our citizenship, our day to day struggles define who we are. We are not more or less American based on the number of flags we wave or whether we kneel during the national anthem in quiet protest. We can fight injustices without fighting each other.

Let’s unite these United States.

Are you with me?


Side note: My son just informed me that John Cena scored a 36 on his ACT. Wow!

Share Your World – #43

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

What are you really glad you did yesterday?

Yesterday I cooked. And cooked. And cooked.

My husband and father are going on their annual hunting trip to Eastern Oregon and my small contribution to their meals has transitioned into me being their main supplier of good eats. They like it and that makes me happy, but it is a lot of work.

When I opened my giant Mexican cookbook to search for a chile colorado recipe, I thought (again) how fun it would be to open a restaurant. By the end of the night reality had struck its familiar blow, reminding me that I probably didn’t have the stamina to do this day after day. Toward the end of my cooking marathon, my son reminded me of the Food Network show Restaurant Impossible and how brutally hard it is to be in the restaurant business. I guess I’ll settle for cooking for friends and family.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

I’d trade my one story for a two story in a heartbeat. I grew up in a house with a basement. As my kids have grown in our own small, one-story house, I’ve come to realize the advantage to having a separate floor for them to gather with their friends to play games and watch movies. There’s the added benefit of daily workouts as I’d travel up and down the stairs. (Thankfully, I’m in good health with no knee issues.)

Have you done something you truly want to do today?

The day is young! I’ll get back to you on that.

What plans did you have as a teenager that didn’t happen? Are you happy it didn’t work out that way?

I was a dreamer as a teen. I think my biggest goal was to move to Colorado and be the country girl John Denver made me believe I was. I was going to live a simple life and spend a lot of time skiing. Alas, my dreams didn’t come true, but the alternative with my husband and four kids has been pretty wonderful.

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

I was just grateful to get through last week. Sometimes that’s as good as it gets.

This week I look forward to spending some time on my writing.


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

041514-sywbanner

Share Your World #38

Here’s another Share Your World entry. If you want to play along, click here. Here are my responses:

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? 

I’m a definite hugger with family and close friends. With people I don’t see all the time, I’m more reserved. I’ve always wanted to be that sweet woman who wraps you in her warm embrace. Alas, not me.

I am, however, a die-hard tree-hugger. 😉

What is your least favorite Candy?

Whoppers. Yuck.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

Anything that involves my friends and family, whether it’s cooking dinner together, talking, playing games, or an outing. The cameraderie is what makes it fun.

List of Favorite Smells: What smells do you love? Whether it’s vanilla scented candles or the smell of coffee in the morning or the smell of a fresh spring rain…make a list of all the things you love for a little aromatherapy.

  • coffee smells lingering in the house when I walk back in
  • fresh baked bread
  • rivers
  • baby heads
  • oranges, though I’d rather smell than eat them
  • blackberries on the vine
  • the mouldy leaf scent of autumn
  • apples and cinnamon
  • the smell of ozone after a rain
  • daphne
  • wisteria
  • baking brownies
  • the forest
  • the salty sea air

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 last week’s rain. Welcome back, old friend.

I look forward to visiting with an old college friend this weekend.



Thanks again, Cee, for hosting this fun writing challenge.

041514-sywbanner