Monday, April 30, 2012
'Z' is for zero: I would like to be debt free, owe zero money to anyone or any place.
It would be awesome to know that the big ticket items -- house and car -- are paid for with no monthly payments, but I don't know if that will happen in the next ten to twenty years or if ever. I do know that we can at least pay off other debts, like credit cards, and have those zeros smiling at us soon!
After a school shooting leaves her middle school brother Devon dead, Caitlin has trouble making sense of it all. Devon was the one who helped the eleven year old understand the daily routines of life, and now she is struggling to understand even the simplest things. But then Caitlin has always struggled. As a child with Asperger's, Caitlin sees the world differently than the rest of her classmates and without Devon to help her understand the world, she is even more confused and lost. While her patient dad is dealing with his own grief, her teacher, Mrs. Brook, counsels Caitlin about finding closure with finesse.
I wonderful read: a real coming of age story told through an autistic child. Erskine was moved to write the novel after the shooting on the Virginia Tech campus.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
This was the first John Green book that I had read. Where have I been?!
This was the amazing story of Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. The characters are real, honest, and likable. The story is funny, moving, and incredible. I laughed. I pondered. I wondered. I cried. I loved this book. (Thanks to a fellow teacher for recommending and sharing it with me.)
It's definitely the next book you should add to your reading list. (And I see from Mr. Green's website, that the movie rights have been optioned!)
xyloses - n. - A sugar extracted from wood or straw; used in foods for diabetics
I've never liked artificial sugars like aspartame or sucrolose. I don't really know what xyloses might even taste like. I just think a sugar free life would help my system get back to a healthy state: a normal weight, less aches and pains, and more energy.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Every night after I read my daughter a bedtime story and say her prayers with her, I sing her off into slumber land. No, I don't sing a lullaby, not really, or some inspirational, soft melody. Every night we sing a version of the closing theme song from The Lawrence Welk show:
Good night, sleep tight, and pleasant dreams to you.
Make a wish, say a prayer, may all your dreams come true.
Tonight and until we meet again.
Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehn.
I really enjoy singing. I grew up singing in the school choir. I had the role of Mary Poppins, singing A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down, in a salute to Walt Disney production in the fourth grade. I sang alto in the middle school choir and both alto and tenor in the high school choir, mainly because I had great pitch and was good at harmonizing. In high school, I also started singing in my church choir.
I miss singing these days. Sometimes I feel like I have lost my voice, although I really haven't. I sing along to the radio, belt out songs with my girlfriends, especially on road trips, and giggle through songs with my daughter. I just haven't performed in any organized singing group in quite a while.
Care to hum a little tune with me?
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Guess it'll be hard to drive to Alaska and Hawaii, though!
That treehouse has long been torn down at my parents' home. My husband and I live on three acres with about two of that covered in tress with paths cut through the woods and bordered by a creek. We've talked about building a treehouse, not just for our daughter, but for us: a small space with a porch overlooking the creek. It makes me sigh and feel relaxed just thinking about it.
Monday, April 23, 2012
This is a great read by Dowell, whose Dovey Coe is one of my favorites. Janie is trying to find her way in high school, and she is longing for a "normal" experience. But her life on the farm interferes with her popularity (goat poop on her shoes!) and having no classes or interactions with her middle school friends leaves her hiding out in the library during lunch. She meets some interesting folks along the way and realizes that "normal" is what you make out of life.
From the jacket: Ten Miles Past Normal is a quirky road map for life that's full of offbeat heroes and delicious goat cheese. Maybe life's little detours are not about missing out, but about finding a new way home.
For a while, I was frequenting the health center two to three times a week in order to get in the water. I would either swim laps or participate in group water aerobics or make up my own water routine to workout. I like working out in water because you don't sweat, or at least you can't feel it if you do.
There's something relaxing about being in and around the water. But life has gotten in the way, and I don't get out to the health center at all now.
So on my bucket list, I would add "install a swimming pool in our backyard"; that way I would have easy access to swimming every day of the week!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
I would love to visit the Redwoods.
Friends who have a cabin in the Redwoods have offered for us to stay there. I am definitely ready to take them up on their offer. I can just imagine sleeping among those tremendous trees and wandering through the forest in amazement and awe.
My bags are almost packed!
'Q' is for question. I want to answer the question: what do I really want to do with my life to make a difference in this world?
I want to be in a parade again. This time, however, I want to be riding with the Model T club and to be waving to the crowd from the front seat of our 1926 Model T Ford.
My husband inherited the car from his grandfather, and it currently sits in our garage with boxes and tools and other odds and ends piled up on it and in it. The valves need to ground down and supposedly the car will be ready to crank and run. (nudge, nudge, dear husband)
I'm ready for my parade debut as an adult in my fancy old car!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
I've added "attend the opera" to my bucket list. I'm not sure what opera I would want to see, but these seems like something everyone should do at least once in their life times.
Any suggestions of what should be my first opera to attend?
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Winning the lottery could be a life changing experience. Not only could we take care of any debt that we had, we could guarantee our future. I would hope that I would be a responsible lottery winner, not one of those folks who spent it all and was bankrupt within a couple of years.
So 'L' is for lottery. I guess I need to actually buy a ticket if I expect to win!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Book 19: Shine by Lauren Myracle
When her best friend is attacked, Cat retreats into herself, blowing off all of her other friends. But she is determined to find out why someone would have committed a hate crime against her gay friend, Patrick. Set in the mountains of NC, Myracle weaves a coming-of-age story involving poverty, drugs, and intolerance.
Definitely one you will not put down until you have finished it.
As I got older (and wiser), I realized that a dozen kids would be a whole bunch of work! So in my mid-twenties, I reasoned that four or five kids sounded like a much better number. When my first marriage ended with no children, I had no idea if there were kids in my future.
But the idea of having a child was still on my bucket list.
When I married in 2001, we weren't in any rush to have children, but by our late 30's, we realized that we might want to try to see if that kid thing would actually work! In 2006, at almost 38 and 39 years old, we had a kid, most likely our only kid.
And while it's not a whole softball team, she's wonderful!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I added a few things to my list over the next few years and wrote dates next to items that I accomplished. On January 1, 2001, I added Marry Joe (It couldn't hurt) to my bucket list.
Joe is my high school sweetheart from the late 1980s. After high school through college and early adulthood, we talked infrequently, catching up on each others' lives every now and again. In November of 2000, he actually called me after probably almost four years of very little communication with one another and asked me out on a date. By March, we were officially dating, and that October 2001 we were married.
Somehow I guess I knew that January that we were meant to be together, so why not add it to my bucket list. It makes all those teenaged scrawlings of Mrs. Joe Lastname seem not so silly now.
And marrying Joe didn't hurt it all.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I know it's not my problem this year, but it still concerns me. While I was only in charge of testing for two years at my school, I did a darn good job. Ask most any teacher or staffer at my school. Most people were pleased with how it all turned out on a daily basis and overall.
I have the confidence that this year's test coordinator will do a fine job of making it all happen the way it should. It may not be exactly how I would have done it or on my self-imposed time frame or with my flare or passion. But testing will happen. It's just still in my blood.
Once a test coordinator, always a test coordinator.
Monday, April 9, 2012
We don't live in a historic home, though. The kind of house we want would be pre-Civil War and probably need lots of work and updates. He says we'd probably kill each other trying to restore or rehabilitate an old property. I don't think so, though. I think we would love and care for and raise our old house so that it would be with us for a long time. (Photo: Bracebridge Hall, Edgecombe County, NC)
G is for grandma. I want to be a grandma some day.
Okay, so this isn't really something on my list that I have any control over. I can always travel to places that I want to visit. I can always go back to school, get more education, and get a different job. I can write, act, sing, any of the actionable items on my list.
I cannot make myself a grandma. But I see the wonderful relationship between my daughter and my mother, the love and kindness, the curiosity, the generations between them. I remember my own relationships with my grandmothers, especially Granny, my paternal grandmother, and I want to be the old woman doting on my granddaughter, taking her to the Pizza Inn, helping her plant flowers in the garden, reading her stories.
Great memories to make in the future.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
I grew up with lots of fresh foods at the table. My dad always plotted out at least a 20x20 spot for planting vegetables: tomatoes (large and cherry), butter beans, peppers (red and green, sweet and hot), okra, pole beans, carrots, potatoes. And there was always a short row where I was allowed to plant flowers, usually zinnias.
I would love to be able to plant and maintain a REAL vegetable garden at some point in my life. While a big 20x20 plot isn't in my future this summer, maybe my daughter and I will attempt to plant a few seeds and a few hills of something.
Fresh food. It's what's for dinner!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
I really want to take a late summer or an early fall trip up through the New England states. I think the cooler temperatures and the beautiful scenery would be just what this gal would love! While I have been to Boston for another ALA conference, we didn't really have time to go sightseeing. (The fact that it was mid-January and snowing didn't help either!) I want to visit the lighthouses of Maine and eat some lobster. I want to see the incredible foliage of Vermont. I want to learn more about Paul Revere in Massachusetts. I want to walk the historic campus of Yale University in Connecticut.
I should call my travel agent!
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
I've been writing short stories and story ideas for years, but I've never had the guts to put anything together to submit for publication. Other than a few professional articles, I know that I need to pull some of my short stories and submit them to magazines, journals, papers, somewhere for publication. Ultimately, I would love to see the short stories put together in a book. I've also been writing stories, chapters about my Southern girl upbringing that I would like to see put together in a book.
So B is for Book. Maybe you would read it!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
For the Blogging A-Z Challenge, I decided to pick a theme: my bucket list. I found my list that I wrote over 12 years ago and realize that I have accomplished many of the items on the list. So I'll certainly be revising the list as I go. Here's one of the items still on my bucket list:
Lots of people put travel on their lists of things they want to do before they die. I want to go to Alaska. I think it would be incredible to travel to the 49th state, especially to fly into Anchorage or Juneau and explore the state and then head to port to take an Alaskan cruise. At least two of my good friends have gone on Alaskan trips with their husbands. They came back with gorgeous photographs of the landscape and enthusiastic stories of their travels. So an Alaskan trip and cruise make my bucket list.
Anybody ready to book a trip with me?!