* Sharing my world

Thanks, Cee, for your weekly Share Your World challenge.  It’s always fun to stop and consider her questions!  Why don’t you join the fun?

Here we go:

Wanting something to quench your thirst, what would you drink?  Water, plain seltzer, and plain English Breakfast tea top my list.  Plain, room temperature water with no lemon.  When I order that at a restaurant, the server immediately asks everyone else if they want ice and lemon.  I always think that’s a bit funny.  I mean, if I order a salad, servers never ask everyone else if they want the same item.  But if I ask for my drink first, all the others have to clarify that they want ICE and/or LEMON.  Can’t figure that out.glass of water

Complete this sentence:  Never In My Life Have I…. been aware of time.  It’s a fluid construct for me.  I do make an effort to mark kids’ papers with the correct date and keep up with holidays, but for myself?  Dates and times have always run together or disappeared altogether.

If you could be given any gift what would it be?  I’d like chocolate, but I’d have to specify what kind of chocolate, because I’m picky.  I’d also love a REAL camera but that is far down our list of “things to purchase.”  And my iPhone does very well, considering.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something productive?  I pray.  I figure I’m always behind the curve on prayers, plus the enemy may try to help me sleep.  A win-win situation?

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 all the work I accomplished over the weekend.  Whew!  Also, I abandoned my compression boot over the weekend and the PT said that was fine.  I told her I went rogue from the “weaning schedule” and she was so gracious.  I thought I would get my hand slapped for that, but apparently I’m a big girl!

I am looking forward to swimming tomorrow for the first time in months.  The pool finally reopened last week (after closing on January 17!) but I needed to get an OK from the PT before doing the flutter kick.  I LOVE to swim and I hope it works out.  No thunderstorms, no more pool leaks, no nothing.

What about you?  Anything you are looking forward to?

* Sharing my world

I always look forward to Cee’s Share Your World Challenge.  Here are this week’s questions.

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.   I swam in the Relay for Life Event several years.  One year, after signing up sponsors for a 2 mile swim, I knew I was in trouble as soon as I dipped a toe in the water.  I would guess the temperature was 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but that’s just me.  Maybe it was really 40 degrees.  I did manage to swim the 2 miles, barely able to feel my arms and legs.  It was not my finest moment in the pool.  A cluster of lifeguards kept a close eye on me as I gave new meaning to the word “crawl.”  American_Cancer_Society_Relay_For_Life_Logo

Name one thing not many people know about you.  My feet can be found on Google images under “ugliest feet in the world.”  Seriously.  I may not be in the top row of images, but I’m on that page.  No, I am not telling you which row.  No, I do not wear sandals.  No, I am not happy about any of it.  HOWEVER, my PT pointed out that she has a new perspective on foot appearance after working with amputees.  I am hoping for a change in attitude, too!

What is your favorite flower?  I love roses but I mean real roses with a sweet fragrance.  When I used to walk past neighbor’s houses with roses, I sniffed each blossom I could reach without appearing too odd (more or less).  Of course, the deer put an end to all those roses.  Some folks erected tall fencing around their rose gardens, which then looked like miniature tennis courts.  Those have also disappeared.

Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv, etc.)  I would take an uncluttered home.  I have made some stabs at this, but I have years to go.  I wonder if our clutter will outlive us.  When we talked about this issue with our son and his wife, they were unperturbed.  “We’ll just get it all dumped out,” was their pragmatic approach.  I guess I could leave a box of matches in each room….

Your turn!!

* Sharing my world

Cee’s weekly Share Your World challenge comes courtesy of Ribbonr.com this week.  So glad I don’t have to think of these every week!  Here are the fun questions.

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?  Stay married and faithful.  I don’t take any credit for this.  When my dearest teaching widower met me, I was a total basket case.  I suffered from severe depression and anxiety, not to mention serious character flaws.  Instead of social skills, I had social anxiety and the mouth of a sailor. Without my husband’s tender love and the grace of God, we would not be together.

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?  I have been reading lawyer and criminal thrillers for the past year.  I have a bunch to review!  I also love science fiction, but that genre seems more difficult to write; I often ditch a book after a few chapters.

How often do you people watch?  Not so much.  I guess it goes back to my social weaknesses.  I bird watch, tree watch, flower watch. cloud watch, and deer watch (grrrr).

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?  Algebra!  I’m sharpening my skills as I prepare to teach middle school next year.  I’m much better than I thought, which is a relief (and which isn’t saying toooo much).  However, knowing a subject is not the same as teaching it.  I really need more tools in my math repertoire.  I’m taking an excellent online course to help in that arena:  Teaching Mathematics With Technology.  It’s not too late to join!

Friday Institute

* What did one elevator say to the other?*

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge is a cool way to start your blogging week.  Here are this week’s questions and my responses.  Feel free to join in the fun!

Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator doors work faster?  As kids, my sister and I were in perpetual competition over who could get to the elevator button first.  Now, she and I find ourselves redirecting kids who are similarly obsessed.  It DOES matter who pushes the button first!  I am still intrigued by elevator buttons, but have been depressed to discover (pun intended) that jabbing the button repeatedly doesn’t make the doors open or close any faster.  Maybe your elevators are better than mine.  Now I’m stuck on elevator memories….

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneously (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)  Our daughter-in-law does all the heavy lifting on family trips, partly so that we will actually DO something.  When my dearest teaching widower and I go alone, we veg out.  Sure, for a trip to a major city, we want to see some highlights, like the Smithsonian or Holocaust Museum, but otherwise, we drift along.

Golden Gate bridge

My copilot makes sure we keep moving!

Describe yourself in at least four uplifting words.  Um.  (That doesn’t count.)  Patient, positive, funny (see answer to joke below), & divergent.

If you had a choice, which would be your preference: salt water beaches, freshwater lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert?   My dearest widower always says he wants to get to heaven before me so he can stake out a place at the beach or mountains.  He’s afraid we’ll get stuck in the middle.  And sometime I should blog about our ski trip, which was insane.  OK, back to the question.   I love deserts, but if I want company, I’d better take the beach.

Thank you, Cee, for your fun challenges!

*  I think I’m coming down with something. 

* Phobias, anyone?

Cee’s Share Your World challenge has wonderful questions that could easily take me 1,000 words to answer!  Aren’t you glad I don’t write posts that long anymore?  Here’s my response to just one question, “Any phobias?”  Although I had experienced a couple of panic attacks earlier in my life, I didn’t know that’s what they were.  Then I suffered a panic attack at the top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa, Florida and thought I was losing my mind.

Sadly, I was on a long trek to a major driving phobia.  Eventually, just getting on a freeway or bridge caused me to faint.  Fortunately my husband was sitting next to me the last time I attempted a freeway and we managed to pull off as I blacked out.  Talk about scary.  My world shrank, fear by fear.  I struggled to navigate small back roads and had to be chauffeured by friends and family.

I suffered from this worsening phobia for 12 years.  I tried biofeedback, will power, praise and worship, and years of desperate prayers.  I felt that God was going to heal me, but when?  How?  What if I thought I was healed but passed out, killing myself and others?  Then I attended a cognitive behavior therapy workshop with Reid Wilson, director of Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center.  I knew nothing about his approach or I wouldn’t have gone.  Seriously.  But what a lifesaver that weekend was, a true answer to my prayers.  I was back on the freeway and conscious!   Since then, I’ve driven everywhere; my dearest teaching widower hardly ever gets a turn.  He was a bit anxious himself as I took my hands off the wheel and shrieked with joy while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge last year.

I am “cured” but I use quotation marks because I’m grateful that a phobia may still raise its hairy head.  My brain occasionally thinks it is protecting me (“Pass out!  Pass out!”) and I’ve had a few panic attacks since that weekend.  My response?  Bring it on!  I am free and determined to stay that way!  If you suffer from phobias, check out Reid Wilson’s marvelous approach to anxiety disorders.

* Sharing my world

It’s time for Cee’s Share Your World challenge!  If you haven’t checked out her gorgeous site today, be sure to enjoy her photographs, tips, and other blogging challenges.  Now on to the questions.

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?   Ooh, I’d love swaths of all the colors; that would be a perfect bet to lose!  But what does it say about us that the hair on the right is called a “rainbow afro wig” and related items are for clown costumes?  Just saying.


A clown wig?

If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be?   Balance.  The correct balance between the important and the urgent.  Between my interests and those of others.  Between sleep and playing on the computer.  Between chocolate and kale.

What was one thing you learned last year that added to your life?  I learned more deeply that the opinions of others should not drive me, that I am loved just as I am, and that my identity is found in the how the Lord sees me.

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?  Oh pomegranate, pomegranate!  It’s my favorite fruit and the reason my next dental appointment will take longer.  Pomegranate juice has turned my teeth and nails pinkish.  No photos.

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 beauty of snow, even with a layer of ice under it.  I look forward to working with my kiddos and maintaining their upward trajectory.  Love to teach and learn!

* Goin’ low

Thank you, Cee, for your weekly Share Your World challenge.  And thanks for all the amazing photography that graces your site!  Here are my answers to this week’s challenge:

Would you prefer to receive a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle?  I passed a guy on a unicycle today and remembered my fond dreams of successfully riding one in a circus.  After multiple concussions and broken bones on 4-legged animals and in cars, I think I will stick with a tricycle.  Low to the ground is how I go- until I get to heaven.

What is one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?  It would be awesome if I could blog consistently!  My body has been uncooperative for a while and when I’m ailing, my mind sounds like I’m grinding the clutch in there.  If you’ve never ground the gears on a manual drive, you don’t know what you’re missing!

What was one of the highlights of 2016 for you?  My dearest teaching widower and I have shared some wonderful moments with family: our son and his wife, my sister and her husband, and our nephews and nieces.  All those meals and movie nights blend into a single warm, fuzzy memory.  That may not be a good sign.  I might need transmission fluid.

Would you prefer to fly a kite or fly in a hot air balloon?  Think low.  Years ago, my widower and I were driving through the Napa Valley in California when we caught sight of a hot air balloon zooming to the ground.  We parked and ran across the field, terrified at what we might find.  The basket was upright and a smiling threesome were sorting lines and flames and ballasts.  Maybe it’s not as dangerous as it looks.  Still, I think I’ll stay low.


* Sharing my world, thankfully

Cee’s Share Your World challenge is all about gratitude this week, a perfect match with Thanksgiving!  She made a funny comment about writers; it also applies to teachers, so check out her post for details.  What am I thankful for in:

  • My home life?  Love and peace. A life that provides a glimpse of heaven.
  • My family?   Our sweet son and his adorable wife, my precious sister and her amazing husband, and all the trillions of kiddos.  Well, it sometimes feels like there are trillions, in a good way!  We have the BEST extended family as well.
  • My blogging community?  Oh, so many kind bloggers who read and like and comment.  Wow, I am blessed.
  • My city or immediate area in which I live?  What a gorgeous place to live!  Our neighborhood is special, there’s an awesome lap pool not far away, and people are genuinely friendly.
  • The regional area in which I live?   Another positive!  We’re midway between mountains and beaches, not far from many places to hike and explore.
  • The country where you live?  I love this country, with our tapestry of folks who embrace such a wide range of beliefs.  I am thankful for our freedom and the efforts of those who seek greater freedom from prejudice and injustices which still abound.
  • Me?  I am happy in my skin and growing more so every day.  That’s a huge change from the tortured soul I used to be.
  • God.  (I added this one.)  Where would I be without the creator of all that is beautiful and good?  Where would I be without His death so that I might live?  Thank you, Jesus!  I am also grateful for our family of believers.  When we broke ground for our larger building recently, my widower and I inscribed rocks (without looking at each other’s first) which have gone into the foundation of the building. His is on the right.  What a precious man!

* Dusting off my blogging mojo

Hmm.  My blogging mojo disappeared between health challenges, work, and a mini-vacation.  I am trying to restore it, so thanks again to Cee for her wonderful challenges.   Yes, I just completed this challenge for LAST week, but now I’m on a roll.

What are you really glad you did yesterday?  I scheduled a post for today so I didn’t wake up with old mojo-less stuff on my blog.  Oh yeah!  I am so pleased with myself!  I already have a spiffy new post ready to pop out at 12:05 AM!  Woohoo!  I feel that mojo!

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?  I love multiple levels so I can toss everything upstairs when people come over.  Cleaning hack: use crime scene tape to keep folks from wandering.

crime scene.jpg

Have you done something you truly want to do today?   Yes!  I went swimming. I prayed a lot.  I ate gobs of chocolate.

What plans did you have as a teenager that didn’t happen? Are you happy it didn’t work out that way?  I wanted to die and I’m sooooooooooooooooo glad that none of my attempts succeeded.  I am more than happy about that!

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 a quick but fun trip to the Virginia mountains with our son and his wife last weekend.  We laughed a lot, ate a lot, and they patiently sat in the car while I took photos.  I am now looking forward to a women’s retreat this weekend.  I will be shot if I pull out my phone, so no photos from that adventure.

* Cee’s Share your World challenge

Cee is such an inspiration to me and although I am WAAAY late in this week’s SYW challenge, here goes.  Thanks to Chris from 61 Musings for the questions!

If you wanted to de-clutter where you live, what room / space would you start with?  (And why, if you’re feel like admitting to it.)  After I retired from fulltime teaching (don’t ask me how I have ended up teaching full time again!), I created a “teacher supply” room for all the essentials which I couldn’t give up.  True, I left a massive amount of teaching supplies at my last school, but I couldn’t relinquish everything.  For a month or so, this space was reasonable by my low standards, but now it could be featured on Hoarders reality TV.  It’s impossible to walk from one side of the rom to another without falling over.  No, I am not including a photo.  I DO want to reclaim the room but the tyranny of the urgent (lesson plans, eating pomegranates, etc.) keeps me stirring the pot of debris.

If you want to remember something important, how do you do it (sticky note on the fridge, string around your finger, etc.), and does it work?  I have to write something on my hand in indelible ink.  I remember going to a pharmacy staring at the letter Q on my hand.  I found other things to buy, of course, but nothing beginning with a Q.  As I waited in a long line, I chatted to folks around me and explained my dilemma: I needed this for school tomorrow.  What a helpful group they were!  Q-tips were on everyone’s mind.  Quarters or a quarter of something, quarts of something, quills (I had those, thank you).  What do you think it was? 

teacher with Q.jpg

If you could create a one room retreat just for yourself, what would be the most important sense to emphasize:  sight (bright natural light, dim light, etc.), hearing (silence, music, fountain, etc.), smell (candles, incense, etc), touch (wood, stone, soft fabrics, etc.), or taste (herbal tea, fresh fruit, etc.)?  Definitely touch.  I want to feel fuzzy blankets or comforters, furry teddy bears, a soft couch, and my cuddly teaching widower.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?  On my father’s side, I am afraid they would be horrific people, having perpetrated generations of alcoholic, crazy, and violent folks.  On my mother’s side, they would be poor folks with broken relationships and alcoholism.  I’d rather not talk to any of them.

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 feeling HEALTHY and returning to the swimming pool.  I am looking forward to a women’s retreat next weekend, knowing that we will experience the power of the Holy Spirit!  Woohoo!