Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter O




The Ocean is My Happy Place

When I am at the ocean, my senses are engaged in new sights, smells, tastes, and sounds.  The ocean improves my overall well-being. 

Besides being away from the daily grind, there is a genuine feeling of peacefulness when I am at the ocean.  The water gives me a sense of calm and clarity.  I love sitting in the ocean and listening to the waves. Letting  the waves wash over my feet. I smile!

How can one not smile at the ocean?

Wednesday Hodgepodge


From this Side of the Pond

1. What's a skill you think everyone should have? 

Besides every day life skills (balancing bank statements, housekeeping, etc.), I think a skill everyone should have critical thinking skills.  Critical thinking skills are important because it allows you to gather knowledge, process the information, and arrive at a decision.  This is lacking today in most schools.  Students do not know how to think for themselves; they want the answers told to them. I try to explain to my students this is a skill that they need and having this skill helps to build confidence.

2. Do you have a special place or organizational system for gift wrapping? Do you still buy 'real' cards to send for birthdays, anniversaries, get-well, etc? 

Yes, I have a system for gift-wrapping.  My gift-wrapping is organized by occasions; Christmas in one section, birthday paper in another section.  I still buy 'real' cards.  I think this has become a lost art because of social media, but I enjoy getting cards so I send cards.

3. It's National Banana Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite thing to make with bananas or, if you're not a cook, your favorite thing to eat that contains banana? 

Definitely a fan.  I just like eating a 'plain ole' banana dipped in peanut butter.  I do not care for a lot of foods that contain bananas...I know that sounds strange.

4. Do you believe in second chances? Elaborate. 

It depends on the circumstances.  There would be some circumstances I could not give a second chance for example a cheating spouse or a murderer because this is a choice.

However, I do believe in second chances for some circumstances.  We all make mistakes and we need to learn from our mistakes. Some people can grown and change overtime and they deserve an opportunity for a second chance. Giving a person a second chance, gives them an opportunity to prove themselves worth.I have been given a second chance before which I am eternally grateful.

5. What is your idea of fun? 

Riding motorcycles!!  

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter N




I smile when I see people being a good neighbor.  

Today, many people have no idea who their neighbor is.  How sad is that?

Being a good neighbor is being friendly and helpful to the ones who live in your neighborhood or buildings (if living in an apartment).  You can do little things that bring a smile to your neighbor such as, bringing in their trash can, getting their paper out of the mailbox and placing it on their porch, etc. 

I live beside a widow, who is older than me, and she doesn’t drive (doesn’t own a car).  Like I have said, I put out a garden, and it is just me.  Last summer, I took a lot of veggies to my neighbor (cabbage, lettuce, green beans, potatoes, onions, squash, and tomatoes). The smile on HER face made me smile!   Being neighborly doesn’t cost anyone a thing!!

Monday, April 15, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter M



In today’s hectic, digital world, memories are sometimes pushed into the background.  Social media and the constant availability of information can prevent us (me) from immersing ourselves (myself) in our (my) memories. 

Whether it is looking at old photos, sharing stories with friends or writing in my journal, there are many ways of keeping my memories alive and increasing my feeling of happiness which makes me smile.

Memories play a key role in my happiness.  Many people are searching for the secret recipe for happiness, but part of it already lies hidden in my memories.

I am going to value the past and enjoy the fact the memories I create can stay with me and me me happy for my entire lifetime and SMILE!!

I am smiling because this is the half-way point in the A-Z Challenge!!

Saturday, April 13, 2024

A-Z Challenge...L




Lambs are fluffy, they still have their tails intact (most older sheep have their tails cut off), they are small and skinny, and they have cute little ears.

I teach in a rural area.  A couple of weeks ago, a student brought her lamb to school.  It was so adorable.  I just had to hold it!  Made me smile!!

Lambs faces are cute and their bleating is adorable. This particular lamb that I was holding had the cutest bleating sound. I watched this student feed the lamb and it was a sight to be seen.

I think this lamb made me smile because it was furry little thing and this furry little thing resembled the stuffed animals I had on my bed as a child. A smile came across my face.!

Friday, April 12, 2024

A- Z Challenge...letter K



Everybody can appreciate acts of kindness.  Being kind to others puts a smile on my face.  The feel-good emotion from being kind is like a ‘warm glow’.  

Why does seeing others being kind bring a smile to my face?

  1.  It is contagious.  Have you been through a drive thru and someone pays for your meal?  You, then in turn, pay for the person’s meal behind you. It is contagious. Being kind does make someone smile.

  2. Doing a kind act to make someone who is sad feel better makes me smile.  I see this a lot in the hallways at my school.  A student is sad and another student will say a kind thing and the sad student (I can tell by his/her face expression) is relieved.  This makes me smile.  

  3. Seeing someone put another person’s grocery cart away.

  4. Watching a younger boy help his grandmother in the car.

  5. At school, if another student has his/her hands full, a student will offer to help.

I am sure I miss seeing everyday acts of kindness.  Kindness comes from kindhearted people. These kind hearted people make me smile.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter J




Yes, I smile when hearing HIS name and even when I hear worship songs calling HIS name.  

My heart smiles and leaps for joy whenever I hear the name Jesus Christ.  It is such a blessing to hear the name of a selfless savior, who sacrificed everything all for the love to HIS people.  Just thinking about how much HE loves me makes me smile.  

HIS name is very powerful that it gives out positive energy.  HIS promises always come into my mind every time I hear HIS name.  It feels nice to have a father who loves me regardless of my imperfections.

Just thinking about how much HE loves me makes me smile just like now while I am writing about the letter J   JESUS.  I am smiling because the letter J stands for my beautiful savior JESUS CHRIST.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A-Z Challenge....I




Why does looking at babies make me smile?  Babies are brand new people.  If they love you, they love you with all their heart.  Their smiles and hugs have a certain honesty that makes me smile.  They make me smile because of the complete sense of innocence that they have.  They are not naive.  They do not feel anger.  Perhaps the only negative aspect they feel is a dirty diaper or hunger, but other than that, nothing.

Infants could probably be considered beings of pure bliss and joy.  

Infants are tomorrow’s people; we feel hope.  Hope is a powerful positive emotion and that makes me smile.

Wednesday Hodgepodge


From this Side of the Pond

1. Do you complete your own tax returns or hire out? Something you've found taxing lately? 

I hire out my taxes.

Taxing lately....just yesterday I had this experience.  My 5 year-old phone DIED!!!  Nothing worked and I mean I couldn't turn it on...just had a black screen.  So trying to remember passwords I had used for accounts was a complete nightmare!! My head was spinning. AND when I left I had a headache.  I had not backed up my contacts. so I lost all contact information.  Thankfully, I had photos in Google drive or I would have lost all of them.  This experience was so taxing for me.

2. It's spring (in the northern hemisphere anyway)...would you rather spend the day hiking in the great outdoors or planting a garden? Do you/will you have a garden this year? Flowers, vegetables, or a bit of both?

I would rather spend the day in my garden.  Yes, I will have a garden this year full of fresh veggies and flowers will be on my decks.

3. Do you consider yourself a patient person? In what sort of situation is patience not desirable? Are you happy with the degree of patience you have in your daily life? If not, what can you do to cultivate more of this quality in your life?

I am getting better at having patience.  I think me sitting in so many long hours with hub in his doctor appointments, really taught me patience.  Patience is not desirable when I am trying to reach a love one (especially daughter) making sure all is okay.

To cultivate more patience in my life is I need to focus on what I can control.  I can't control the red lights changing fast enough, I can't control daughter quickly texting back, etc.


4. Do you like the flavor cinnamon? If so what's your favorite something made with cinnamon? 

I like the flavor cinnamon.  I put cinnamon in my coffee sometimes.  I like apple dumplings with cinnamon.  But my favorite is a huge cinnamon bun!!

5. Learn by watching or learn by doing? Elaborate. 

Definitely learn by doing.  If I am watching someone do something, my mind wonders.  I have to get in there and do it myself!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Today begins State Testing.  It is a new test...integrated reading/writing.  The students will read a passage, answer multiple choice questions, and write a response to the prompt given.  No one has seen this test, it is completely NEW!!!  No guidelines...don't know how many passages, or how long the response should be...only heard to try and write less than 6000 characters!  A little nervous about this.  So we will see.

Have a great rest of the week and Enjoy Life!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

A-Z Challenge ..H


Handwritten Notes

We all live in a busy world.  Each of us has an incredible amount of items to check off our to-do-list. This is why receiving a handwritten note/thank-you card, etc. makes me smile.  This makes a huge impression on me.  I know that a person made the choice to take the time and effort of writing me a handwritten note instead of taking the easier route and typing out a note through e-mail or sending a note through a group text.

A handwritten note lets me know that I am appreciated, valuable, and worthy. It lets me know that you are willing to take the extra time and effort necessary to write a handwritten note. This makes me SMILE!

Monday, April 8, 2024

A-Z Challenge letter...G



Two years ago, I set out a garden.  It had been a very long time since hub and I planted a garden.  I had mentioned to a friend that I wanted to plant a garden and this friend came and plowed and I sat out some plants.  A week later, there was a hail storm and my garden was ruined.  BUT, I planted again!!  I loved it!!  Getting my hands in the soil and playing with dirt made me smile.  

Gardening makes me smile.  Yes, it is a form of exercise but so satisfying to me.  It is very gratifying to plant, tend, harvest, and share my own food. It is just me, so  I have a huge harvest.  I love sharing my harvest with neighbors and friends.  I call myself the ‘garden lady’.  This brings a smile to my face when seeing my plants harvest and sharing the harvest with others.  

Digging in the dirt really lifts my spirits and makes me smile!

Saturday, April 6, 2024

A-Z Challenge....F




No one can ever have too many friends.  Yes, there are friends who are closer to us than others, but they are still friends.  So many times I have felt down-in-the-dumps only to get a text or a phone call from a friend which makes me smile!

You know, people are naturally drawn to people who smile.  If you don’t have many friends, then SMILE…smiling at someone makes it easier for people to make friends.

I cherish the friends that I have.  They always bring a smile to my face!

Friday, April 5, 2024

A-Z Challenge...E



Eating Comfort Food

How we feel can dictate what we eat.  Think about it?  Have you ever been too nervous to eat (first date, job interview)?  After the nerves subsided, you were able to tuck into a comfort food.  Eating comfort foods gives us a huge boost of pleasure and makes me smile.  

I eat comfort foods because they make me smile and bring me safety; as the name implies ‘comfort’.  

Comfort food brings about a sense of nostalgia, reminding me of my childhood home or other comforting memories which brings a smile to my face.  

Thursday, April 4, 2024

A-Z Challenge....D



Drinking Coffee

I have to admit, I am definitely not a morning person, I used to be but not anymore.  Smelling coffee brewing helps me to get out of bed.  That first sip puts a smile on my face!

Coffee is as much a part of my workday as my laptop or smartphone.  I remember when I first started teaching, coffee was a shared experience.  The main office in the school had a huge coffee pot where I would bump into colleagues as I was refilling my mug for the third or fourth time. We would share a smile.

I drink a lot of coffee.  I tell you this up front because I think I know the reasons why coffee puts a smile on my face.  Coffee increases my energy levels (not that I am lazy) but there are days when I am tired and I can’t be tired because of all the stuff I need to get done. Coffee does improve my brain function ( I read that somewhere, just can’t remember where lol).  No, it doesn’t make me smarter, but helps me to stay sharp and focus more. Maybe these are the reasons coffee brings a smile to my face.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024



Who doesn’t love chocolate?  We have secret pals at school, and I love seeing a container of chocolate in my mailbox!  

I am not a fan of dark chocolate, which I have heard and read that this is the best chocolate to eat.  But as for me I love the other chocolates…the high calorie ones!

Most of us, well I did, experienced the joy of getting a piece of candy as a kid.  Chocolate was a big treat for me.  Halloween candy was collected in my costume when my little pumpkin became full and chocolate Easter Bunnies I ate the ears first.  Chomping down on a piece of candy brings back some of those happy moments and, at least for a bit, makes me happy and I smile.  Just opening a chocolate wrapper and  smelling the chocolate  makes me smile.  Sometimes, that’s all it takes to tell me that everything is alright.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. What's a talent you wish you had? 

I wish I could ice skate.  I love to watch ice skating, just their elegants and flow amazes me.

2. In one word, what's your state of mind right now? 

Right now, my state of mind is HAPPY.

3. What's the next major purchase you need to make? Will it happen this month? This year? 

I can't think of any major purchases I need to make.  Now, that I wrote that, my fingers are crossed that it holds true.

4. Tuesday (April 2nd) was National PB and J Day...did you celebrate? Is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich something you eat weekly or more? What's your favorite kind of jelly? 

Occasionally, I will eat a PB and J sandwich.  My  jelly depends on what I put jelly on.  If I put jelly on a sandwich, I like grape jelly, but if  put jelly on a biscuit I like strawberry or apple jelly.

5. Are you easily intimidated? Who or what intimidates you? 

I don't think I am easily intimidated.  What intimidates me the most is confrontations.  I like smooth sailing and I usually will not confront someone.   I just find it difficult to deal with conflict and just brush it off.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

These cuties spent the night with me on Thursday.

We colored eggs

I must have worn the twins out...they had a hard time staying awake.  

Have a great rest of the week and Enjoy Life!

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

A-to-Z Challenge




I sit on my porch a lot and I mean a lot!!!  A porch is a place to connect with family.  It is just not a place to pass through.  

Before hub passed away, we always would sit on the porch, sometimes even when it was a little cold. In the spring, summer, and fall we always would sit on the porch and sip a beer. Now, I like my beer in a glass with ice.  After drinking the beer, I eat the ice.

I enjoy a beer while sitting on my porch.  This brings a smile to my face.  Drinking a beer is a relaxing escape from the day and I enjoy it. Sometimes a visitor would stop by and I would offer him a beer while we solved all the world's problems.  A beer can create friendships and funny stories.

Society is much more health focused these days so there is less pressure to drink.  But enjoying a beer by yourself or with friends is fine with me.

Maybe one day if you drive to my neck of the woods, you will definitely see me on my porch sipping an ice cold beer.

Monday, April 1, 2024

A- Z Challenge....A

I feel like our world keeps going topsy turvy and I won't to get off.  The news is full of sadness.  Bad ' happen to good people and we question 'why'?

I need some uplI ifting and if I take the time to look around, I can find them.

My theme for the 2024 A-to-Z Challenge is:  THINGS THAT MAKE ME SMILE

Some post will be short and that is okay with me. 


A Good Book

I enjoy readingReading makes me smile.  I learn about myself and our world and far away places through reading a good book.  I think when I read a good book and other characters are facing or going through the same challenges as myself, I am able to identify with those characters.  This makes me know I am not facing or going through some challenges alone.  Sometimes I even feel better about my own life!

Reading a good book puts my brain into a pleasurable state.  Many people read to help them fall asleep but NOT ME.  Reading does not make me sleepy maybe because reading calms me down.

I do have a Kindle and I use it a lot, but I prefer to actually hold the book in my hands.  There is just something about holding a book and turning the pages that I like.

Of course, I have read some books that aren't good and I just try to finish the book thinking there has to be something good in here.  If not, I just say to myself, "Well, that was awful." 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wednesday Hodgepodge


From this Side of the Pond

1.What do you love about your life right now? 

I thank God everyday for giving me a new day.  I love spending time with my grandsons; there is nothing like it.  I love my job (part-time teaching), I love that I can do what I want to do! I love that it is almost getting time to plow my garden!

2. March 26th is National Spinach Day...are you a fan? If so, how do you like yours prepared/served? 

I like spinach on my salad, I like spinach dip but I have no idea how to prepare this dish!

3. In this current season would you say you need to spend more time looking inward or that you need to get out of your head? Tell us why. 

I spend more time looking inward. Looking inward is a tool I use to manage stress and helps me to understand myself better and see if I need to change. Looking inward helps me to recharge and be grateful for what I have.

But, on the other hand, I still have days when I need to get out of my head, which I need to stop.  I do have days/moments when I need to just let it go and quit trying to analyze everything!

4. Are you following the 'March Madness' madness? (That's US college basketball in case you're out of the loop) What's something that feels like actual madness to you right now? 

Yes!!  We have a friendly competition going between students and teachers in school.

What feels like actual madness?  Where do I start?  Wars, shootings, innocent babies being left alone while their mom is on vacation, hatred toward a religion, politics, etc.

I would love to wake up one morning and hear good stories happening in America!

5. How will you celebrate the Easter/Passover holiday this year? 

I will attend church service.  Later, take Easter gifts to grandsons and then just head on home.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I am ready for a short spring break and the students are too!!

Wishing all a Blessed Easter!

Have a great rest of the week and Enjoy Life!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. Spring is officially upon us, no matter what the weather may be in your neck of the woods. Is there any 'spring cleaning' on your to-do list? What's your most dreaded task? 

A chilly, cloudy spring day.  Definitely 'spring cleaning' is on my to-do list!!  I dread cleaning the blinds because I have great difficulty taking them down and putting them back up.

2. What's something many people seem to love, but to you feels like 'watching the grass grow'? 

Golf!  I have really tried to like this sport but I think t is the most boring sport ever!!

3. Mint grows in abundance during the spring season. Are you a fan? What's your favorite food with a 'minty' flavor? 

I am a fan of mint.  My favorite drinks would be Mint Julep and and fresh mint tea.  In the summer a cool refreshing food I make is watermelon salad with mint so refreshing.

4. It's been said, 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder.' Agree or disagree? Explain. 

Agree!!!  In romance and other situations, absence makes the heart grow fonder.  In romance, I think one appreciates the other partner more when not seeing each other every day.

From experience....My family moved back to Virginia after living in Baltimore, Maryland.  I missed my grandmother so much and couldn't wait to spend my summer with her.  I think one of the reasons absence make the heart grow fonder is I was never ready to leave and always wanted to come back.

5. Are there any festive spring events in your city or town? If so, will you take advantage of them? 

No, festive spring events in my town.

6. Insert  own random thought here.  

I had a visitor at school the other day.

These two leprechauns turned 4 on March 9th.

Have a great rest of the week and Enjoy Life!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond

1. What kind of thinker are you-doer concrete thinking) analyst (analytical and abstract thinking), orator (logical thinking) inventor (imaginative thinking) or original thinker (creative)? What makes you say so? You can try this little quiz (link here) to help with your answer. 

According to the little quiz I am a doer and an original thinker both were 50%.  I do think in practical terms and I like to try and look at ideas and problems through different perspectives. My lowest score was analyst thinker which is so true. I do not like to think in abstract terms nor do I process information through codes.

2. Do you own a crock pot, air fryer, and/or instapot? Do you leave said small appliance sitting out? How often do you use it/them? Favorite thing to make in one of these? 

I do own a crock pot and an air fryer.  I leave my air fryer sitting out. I use my air fryer the most especially with the grandkids; a quick easy way to fix something for them.  My favorite thing to make in the air fryer is bacon and fresh veggies.

3. What's something you hold a strong opinion on that matters not at all in the grand scheme of things? 

I still believe that Pluto is a planet even though science is saying otherwise.

4. Describe the view from your window. 

A heavy frost is on the ground this morning.  The grass is shining.  The sky is so blue and cloudless.  The sun is shining brightly.  There are many broken tree limbs in my yard from the harsh wind a couple of days ago, and I still see patches of brown spots, but the grass is starting to turn green.

5. Do you have a favorite brand? Explain.

When wearing jeans, I love Judy Blue Jeans.  These jeans are so comfortable. I wear a lot of leggings to school and my brand is lularoe; I won't wear anything else.

These are the only two brands that I won't budge from other than that I am pretty flexible with the other brands of clothing, shoes, and accessories.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

I went on a short trip with four other girls this weekend.  First stop was Roanoke where I stayed with an ole college friend.  Four of us left from her apartment and the other friend traveled from Richmond.  We went to Luray, Virginia.  They were calling for snow and we were all so excited.

This is all the snow we saw the next morning. ugh

We went shopping, visited an art museum, ate, played games till the wee hours of the morning, and ate so much snacks and had some beverages.  It was so nice to just get a way for a few days to enjoy each other's company.

A-Z Challenge...Letter O

  O Ocean The Ocean is My Happy Place When I am at the ocean, my senses are engaged in new sights, smells, tastes, and sounds.  The ocean im...