A Day In The Life

If I Ruled the World
July 27, 2008, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Fun Monday

I’d like to build the world a home and furnish it with love.
Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow-white turtle doves.

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

I’d like to hold it in my arms and keep it company.

I’d like to see the world for once all standing hand in hand

And hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land.

That’s the song I hear. Let the world sing today.

A song of peace that echoes on and never goes away.

Put your hand in my hand. Let’s begin today.
Put your hand in my hand. Help me find the way.

And hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land.

Visit Mommy Wizdom for more Fun Monday participants.


When I Grow Up……
July 21, 2008, 12:07 am
Filed under: Fun Monday, My Life

Careers and dreams… Irish Coffee House wants us to write about our childhood dreams and how they did or didn’t evolve into adult careers. What a great Fun Monday topic! Let’s get started.

The first thing I wanted to be was a witch. Aren’t I the cutest little thing?!! I was barely two years old, but I already had career plans. A witch has a broom, a black cat, grows herbs, cooks potions, casts spells, has a wicked cackling laugh and stars in The Wizard of Oz.  I’ve definitely met a few of those criteria. 

My next career goal was to become a pirate. Arrrrrr! This one’s easy…..I was in administrative management for a major corporation for six years. Can’t get much closer to becoming a pirate without sailing the high seas.

At the ripe old age of four, I decided to become a cowgirl. Another easy one. I’ve owned and ridden horses off and on throughout my life. And for the last 18 years as a teacher, I’ve herded children from this location to that location. I’ve cut out the onery cusses and lassoed the wild broncs. Get along little doggies!

Next, I entered my gypsy phase. Let’s see…..while I was working for that major corporation, I moved four times in six years so I guess I could easily say I wandered like a gypsy. Not to mention, I love large, jingling, tingling jewelry.

And, of course, I’ve always dreamed of being a musician. And I am!

Honestly, being a music teacher combines all of my various childhood dreams and career goals. The most important thing is knowing music makes a difference in young people’s lives. I touch the future because I teach. Wow! I love it!

No matter what the job, I’ve always taken time to stop and smell the roses!

The Most Terrific Holiday
July 13, 2008, 6:58 pm
Filed under: Family, Fun Monday, My Life

Penny asked us to write about our favorite birthday celebration for this Fun Monday assignment.  I really couldn’t think of a favorite party for myself or for anyone else.  I love all birthdays!  They are the most terrific holiday of all holidays because they honor our very existence.  Oh, I know, as I’ve gotten older I’ve moaned and groaned about the years, but deep down inside I love celebrating my birthday.  It is my own personal holiday that celebrates and honors the unique person that is me. And what better way to celebrate one’s family and friends! Everyone has his or her special personal holiday and life is a cause for celebration and joy!

As I searched for pictures to scan and post, I came across my third birthday celebration.  There are so many dear memories in this picture that it literally takes my breath away.  My Granny W. who celebrated her 90th and final birthday in 1987, is in the background outside hanging clothes on the line.  Her gardening hat is on top of her wringer washing machine.  I have my first piano and sheet music.  Granny’s wooden recipe box is sitting on a table.  And Mom made my dress from ‘eyelash’ gingham so called for the red, whispy threads that decorate the black and white checks of the material.  I don’t remember all these details from my actual third birthday.  Way too long ago!  But Mom still has Granny’s recipe box and I kept my piano until it fell apart thirty years or so after I received it. 

My dad who died two days before his 64th birthday in 2001, worked for Shipley Baking Company for thirty years. Mom usually made my birthday cakes, but I celebrated my twelfth birthday with a cake from Shipley’s. Bakery cakes were a rare treat. I remember feeling quite special sharing this huge, pink rose bedecked cake with my birthday party guests.  I always loved having a summer birth date.  We almost always celebrated outdoors with swimming parties, watermelon, cake, homemade ice cream, cookouts and other summer time activities.  And I could have my parties on my actual birthday whereas some of my friends whose birthdays fell during the school year had to wait for the nearest weekend to have parties. 

My nieces are special every day of the year.  I don’t get to spend their birthdays with them as much as I used to, but they still love making my birthday a big event.  H. likes chocolate frosting and M. likes vanilla, so my grown up birthday cakes are often quite interesting in appearance.  They just stick a random number of candles on the cake since accuracy isn’t important to their aunt at this point in her life!  M. is now 14 and H. is 12, but they still make sure I have a birthday cake and plenty of candles every year. 

We may not appreciate the celebration of passing years as much as we did when we were younger, but it is my sincere hope that you all honor yourselves on your very own personal holiday.  Life, after all, is such a precious gift and should be celebrated with joy!

A Fishing Tale
July 6, 2008, 12:54 am
Filed under: Fun Monday, Life in the South, My Life, Nature, Travel

This is my kind of Fun Monday. Olive wants us to share fishing tales. She doesn’t care if they are total fabrications or true stories. We just have to write about fish.  My story happens to be true.

I very rarely eat fish.  I just don’t like the taste.  Give me shrimp, lobster, scallops, crab, oysters… I’ll eat them all, but fish I don’t like.  However, I love to go fishing.  I grew up fishing in Grandpa’s pond and fishing in the creek behind my parents’ house.  In my twenties, I lived on the coast of Virginia and Maryland and never once went fishing in the ocean even though it was something I’d always wanted to do. 

In June of 2000, I had the pleasure of vacationing in the lovely southern city of Charleston, South Carolina.  I traveled to Charleston with a male friend that I’ll call Jerk because that is what the man turned out to be. 

Charleston is a beautiful city full of southern charm and friendly people. I highly recommend it as a vacation destination. There are a multitude of plantations and gardens to tour and many historical sights to visit. Jerk and I planned the bulk of our vacation via the Net. We went armed with a list of restaurants to try and I must say the food was superb everywhere we ate. We also booked an entire day of fishing in the coastal waters with a guide service. While sitting at my computer in Arkansas, we made our fishing plans. I tried so hard to persuade Jerk to request a private fishing excursion, but he felt we should save the little bit of extra money it would cost to have the boat to ourselves. Big mistake.

The fishing trip was booked for the fourth day of the seven we spent in Charleston. It was the first cloudy day of the vacation.  We arrived at the dock nice and early, met our guide and sat on the boat waiting for the other people who would be fishing with us to show up. Our guide hustled around organizing the fishing gear. The minutes ticked by. Finally, the guide told us if the other folks didn’t show up in the next five minutes we would leave without them. Alas, the Whiners arrived and we set off almost 15 minutes late. But, hey, why should a schedule matter when you’re going fishing, right?

Now, I honestly don’t remember the name of the family who joined us on the boat.  It was a husband, wife and two kids.  I call them the Whiners because that is about all the wife and kids did all day.  I think the husband was the only one who really wanted to fish, but he couldn’t leave his family behind so we all had to put up with the whining.  The poles were too heavy, there wasn’t a bathroom on the boat, it was too hot, the bait was too icky and when it began to rain, it was too wet.  Thank goodness, Jerk and I knew what we were doing because our poor guide had no time for us.  The Whiners couldn’t bait their own hooks, cast their lines, reel in their lines or do much of anything EXCEPT WHINE.  The husband tried to help out for awhile then he just gave up and tended to his own fishing.  Luckily, I was having the time of my life because I was the only person who was catching any fish. 

I caught ten baby sharks and one fish that our guide said was a white fish. (It looked like a pale bass to me.) I was THE ONLY PERSON who caught fish the entire day. It was awesome!

A couple of notes before I conclude my fishing tale:  1. My relationship with the Jerk ended so  badly (two years later) that I destroyed all my Charleston vacation pictures.  It was a childish thing to do, but it felt right at the time.  The baby sharks I caught looked exactly like the one the man is holding in the picture above.  Some were bigger and some were smaller.  2. I released all the fish that I caught.  3. It rained off and on until the early afternoon.  At one point it rained so hard the guide took us to a public dock on an island where we sat under a large gazebo for 30-45 minutes. 

We made it back to our original starting point around 5:30 P.M.  As soon as we got in our vehicle, Jerk and I began laughing about the Whiners.  I’m telling you.  We heard some of the goofiest complaints ever!  Both of us had been thinking about the Whiner’s skits on Saturday Night Live all day.  We returned to our hotel to clean up and rest an hour or so before eating a scrumptious meal and embarking on a night tour of The Battery .  It was a perfect day.  Neither the rain nor the Whiners managed to dampen my spirit or ruin my first time to fish in the ocean!

Reunions and Quirks
June 28, 2008, 11:36 pm
Filed under: Family, Fun Monday, My Life

This is one of the busiest weekends of the summer.  The school I attended from first through twelfth grades (we didn’t have kindergarten or pre-school in the school district back then) holds its reunion every other year on the last weekend in June.  At each reunion, two classes are ‘officially’ recognized as part of the celebration.  My class, the Class of 1976, was honored along with the seniors of 1977 this year.  The school auditorium is open all day on Saturday.  The reunion committee has an archives room that people can explore and many folks bring memorabilia to share with those who attend.  In the late afternoon, there is a program during which the former students, teachers and administrators who have passed away since the previous reunion are honored.  The program is followed by a catered dinner.  The reunion is a huge deal.  Our school district was very small (my class was a large one with 21 graduates if that tells you anything).  People of all ages come from all over the place to the reunion.  We had around 300 people in attendance for the program and meal.  The oldest graduate attending was a member of the Class of 1932 and the person who traveled the farthest to attend came from San Francisco. 

Many people get together with just their classes Friday evening before the actual reunion.  My brother and I grilled steaks for our parents’ classes Friday night.  (We’ll do just about anything for a free meal.) 

My family has a reunion on Sunday and I was drafted to supply all the desserts for that event.  So, in between grilling steaks and spending most of today in the auditorium visiting with people, I’ve been baking cakes. 

Finally, I have arrived at the Fun Monday part of my post.  Lisa of Lisa’s Chaos wants us to talk about our quirks.  I’ll be honest with you.  I looked up obsessive-compulsive behavior before I began my post because I kept thinking my quirks sounded a little OCD.  Regardless, here they are:

1.   I simply have to wear earrings.  I wear them when I’m mowing, gardening, hauling hay, or just    sitting around doing nothing.  On the very rare occasion that I forget to adorn my ears, I keep rubbing my ear lobes until they are red.  I’ve actually begun keeping a pair of earrings in my purse because the last time I was running late for school and forgot to put earrings on, my students commented throughout the day about my red ears. 

2.   I love pillows.  I have fifteen pillows on my bed.  I sleep with six of the pillows and the other nine are decorative.  I have a pillow ritual.  One of the sleeping pillows is for Jasper who sleeps at my side.  Then I have two stacks of two pillows each and I center the fifth pillow on those stacks for me.  The nine decorative pillows are put on the bed and taken off the bed in a specific order.  (This sounds so bizarre it makes me cringe, but it’s the truth!)

3.   I cannot stand when someone erases everything off a blackboard or whiteboard except for one little spot.  This was a real problem when I was in college.  When a professor left a little swirl of a letter or part of a number on the board, I could not effectively concentrate on the lecture.  I would obsess about that little doodle remaining on the board.  Many times I got up and erased the offending mark myself.  If I was in a large lecture hall with hundreds of other students, I was too embarrassed to erase the board so I squirmed and wiggled and usually ended up having to get the lecture notes from a fellow student.  As an adult, the mark left on the board still irritates me, but my ability to focus on the subject matter is much better.   

Ok, I’ve totally revealed myself as a complete weirdo which is really making me squirm in my desk chair, but I’m wearing earrings, my board is completely erased and all my pillows are in order so I guess I’ll survive.  Check out more quirks at Lisa’s

The Other Side
June 22, 2008, 11:14 pm
Filed under: Family, Fun Monday, My Life

Another Fun Monday has arrived! The Hula Girl asked us to show and tell about articles of clothing. Stuff that we’ve hung on to for one reason or another over time.

These are my daddy’s boots. He was a cowboy through and through. He bought me my first horse when I was six and we rode a lot together over the years. When Daddy died in 2001, Mom asked if I wanted his boots. They normally sit on a little bench in my living room, but I put them on top of my entertainment center for a better picture.

When I was a little girl, Daddy’s family drew names for Christmas gift giving. One of my cousins got my name one year when she was just learning to sew. She made this apron for me. The trim is tiny black rickrack. It has three little pockets across the bottom. I wore this apron when I “cooked” and I also loved wearing it when I colored. For some reason, I liked taking all my crayons out of the box and putting them in the apron pockets.

Now, I apologize to The Hula Girl for straying away from clothes, but I really wanted to show everyone the other side of my porch. Last Monday I posted about the invisible walls of my screened porch.  This Monday I want you to get the interior view.

The porch runs the entire length of my house and is approximately half the width of my house. As you can see, I have a lot of room on my porch! There are screen doors at each end. This shot is facing west to the front entrance to my house.  The door into the house is on the left. And there is Jasper sitting behind the green chair at the table. You can see his doggie door on the bottom right side of the screen door.

I have two large cabinets on the porch. One is painted red and contains a collection of pottery and antique mixing bowls. This white cabinet originally had doors at the top. One door broke so I took them both off. I really like the open shelves much better.

This shot is taken from the front door of the porch toward the east end.  You can’t really tell in the pictures, but there are small spaces between the boards of the floor so I can just bring my garden hose right up on the porch and spray the floor down for the ‘heavy’ cleaning I do two or three times a year.  The rest of the time I use a broom.  You can see some wet spots on the floor because I just finished major cleaning.    And the white paint streaks on the floor are from when I painted the doors of my kitchen cabinets.  I had newspapers laid down, but I still managed to get paint where it shouldn’t have been.  Oh, well, it adds to the character.  Hope you enjoyed my boots, apron and  porch tour!

Invisible Walls
June 15, 2008, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Fun Monday, Life in the South, Nature

The Prytz Family wants to see our walls for this Fun Monday assignment. I have some lovely white walls in my home and those that aren’t white are a pale shade of brown called sycamore bark. The color has absolutely no resemblance to actual sycamore bark, but there you go.

I tend to drift during the month of June. No schedule. No bells. No students. No structure. I do, however, eventually get to the point which is my front porch. A lovely place to drift with virtually invisible walls.

Yikers! Not invisible and rather hard on the eyes. Let me try again.

Ah……much better. I had to open the door and zoom in a bit. A view from the west end of the porch which is also the front entrance to my house. And now for those invisible walls…..

Idyllic. Can’t you just feel yourself relaxing and drifting……..

Kick back and watch the birds at the feeders and squirrels running along the fence. How about a glass of iced tea?

You gotta admit…..I have a whole new meaning for just sitting and staring at the walls.