Tuesday, April 30, 2024

A-Z Challenge...the letter Z



Zippity doo dah

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah zip-a-dee-aWonderful feelingWonderful Day

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah zip-a-dee-aMy oh my, what a wonderful day

This song makes me smile...but so does the end of this A-Z Challenge.

How many have this song stuck in their heads nos????

Monday, April 29, 2024

A-Z Challenge....letter Y




Maybe it is because I am starving, but yogurt with berries make me smile.  I can't eat lunch till 1:15 and I as beyond hungry.  Everyday I pack yogurt with berries for my lunch.  Since I don't have long to eat, I am the type of person that can gobble down a school lunch and our school lunch looks so yummy.  But when I eat fast, my stomach just doesn't feel right.  So I eat yogurt everyday for lunch.  

Yogurt tastes smooth and a little tart (I prefer the plain vanilla).  I add blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries to my yogurt.  On hot days, the coolness just satisfies me.  In the winter when I can't get fresh fruit, I add kiwi jello or strawberry cheesecake jello to my yogurt, this also satisfies my sweet tooth.

Yogurt makes me smile.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter X




The letter 'x' is hard to write about.  So, I kinda changed it.  I smile when I exercise!

Many years ago, I quit smoking which was difficult.  I had gotten the flu and was too sick to smoke. Hub said I hadn't smoked in over a week I should just quit.  So, I did.  BUT the temptation was still there. I joined a Zumba class.  The instructor was really fit and she made one push herself.  There was no way I could smoke and continue Zumba...so I decided to stick with Zumba.  I attend Zumba class for over 8 years.

Then the dreaded virus hit and you know the rest of the story.  I didn't start back smoking!!  YEAH for me.
But I missed exercising. 

Last year, another exercise came about that was close to me.  I started attending Dance2Fit.  I felt like my ole self again.

There is something about exercising that makes me smile!  It puts me in a great mood no matter how hard my day was.  

Friday, April 26, 2024

A-Z Challenge...letter W




When I was in middle school, we have moved back to Saltville.  My dad bought a farm.  We didn't live on the farm he purchased; it was about 30 minutes from our house.  We had cattle and raised tobacco. 

Watermelon makes me smile!  I remember in the hottest part of summer it was hay bailing time.  One had to wear long sleeves and pants or the hay would scratch you all to pieces.  A hard lesson I learned.  My grandfather would drive the tractor, and I was one of a few who would lift the hay bales up on the tractor to the people who were stacking them.  Then came the unloading part; putting the hay bales in the barn. Gosh, sweat would be dripping off of us.

After we finished bailing hay, my grandmother had us ice cold watermelon.  We would sit on the porch eating the slices of watermelon as the juice was dripping off our chins!  It was sooo good and refreshing. The watermelon would cool us off and where we were so sweaty, I would start chilling! 

Oh those hot summer hay bailing days with cold, juicy watermelon, was the best!

During the summer, I have to always purchase a couple (more than a couple, I imagine) of watermelon and eating the watermelon brings a smile to my face.

Pass the salt, please!

Thursday, April 25, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter V




'Smile you're on veggie camera'

I love vegetables more than meat.  I can do without meat, but not my veggies. In my garden, I have planted lettuce, onions, and potatoes.  I can hardly wait to get the rest of the veggies in the ground. Watching my veggies come up brings a smile to my face.

Eating veggies support my emotional well-being.  And I need all the help with my emotional well being that I can get. 

So do what Mama told you, "Eat your veggies" and smile!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A-Z Challenge....Letter U




When my daughters were younger, they loved unicorns.  Personally, I was fascinated by their colors.

The other day, I saw a few unicorns in a department store.  Memories flooded my mind, and I smiled.

I think unicorns appeal to a child’s curiosity and imagination.  For me, unicorns remind me of rainbows  with their vibrant colors.  Unicorns represent joy, goodness, happiness and peace.  But I think they also symbolize the hope for all the stardust covered dreams we long for in our lives.  

Unicorns bring a smile to my face.

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. When did you last have cancelled plans? Were you happy about that or disappointed? 

A few years ago, I had planned a surprise birthday party for ';my aunt.  My aunt got really sick, so I scrounging around trying to make sure all new and cancelling the orders. It all worked out in the end because the party was scheduled after she had gotten better.  

I don't think I was disappointed and I know I wasn't happy!  I think I was more of trying to figure out what I was going to do.

2. On a scale of 1-10 how much of a planner are you? 

1= I go where the wind takes me  
10=I've got a power point on it, no matter what it is

I am about an 8.  If it is a short trip then a 2, but if I am taking a long trip, I really need to be prepared, and I plan a week ahead of time.

3. Do you have a menu plan for the week? If so tell us one or two things that are on it. If not, what's your plan for not having a plan lol? 

Definitely Not!!  It is baseball season and with the weather constantly changing, I have no menu plans at all!

4. The Hodgepodge lands on National Bucket List Day. Do you have a bucket list? Is it written down or just in your head? What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have a list, what is one thing you'd add to a list if you did? Yes I'm going to make you think about it. 

I have a bucket list in my head.  I have a couple of things on my list.  One...I want to travel to Italy and TWO...I want to go on a cruise.  My late hub was not a traveler at all.  The girls' trip gang have been talking about taking a cruise.  I really want to do these two things.  My problem...I don't have anyone to go with and I don't want to travel by myself.

5. Rain buckets, a drop in the bucket, couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, sweat buckets, cry buckets...which 'bucket' idiom applies to your life in some way currently? 

Sweat buckets!!  I have known since August that the Special Education Department was going to be audited this year. All records were looked out THOROUGHLY!!!  A couple of weeks ago, I was told the State Department would be at my school on Tuesday, April 23rd from 8:15 -11:00.  I have been sweating buckets.  On Tuesday, the other SPED Teacher hit a deer and was late more sweating buckets!!  As I was going to the restroom, I ran into one of the administrators and she said the lady from the state department was headed toward my classroom.  I didn't use the bathroom for the urge left me. I ran to my classroom to make sure all was in order.  I will say the lady was very nice and very professional.  What bothers me...is she kept writing and writing and not once did I hear any feedback.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

My grandsons are playing T-ball.  They are loving it!  It is so funny watching all the little ones play, all going after the same ball, running in the wrong direction, and even going in the wrong dugout.

This is the last year that all three boys will be on the same team (which I have enjoyed).

Have a great rest of the week and Enjoy Life!

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter T





When I first started planting a garden, I had no idea what I was doing.  But I love it!

I bought my tomato plants home and carried them to the designated location I had planned on setting them out.  I dug holes, planted the tomato plants, and immediately watered the plants.

Everyday, I would check the tomato plants.  I watched as the flower portion of the plant began to bloom signaling the birth of my tomatoes.  It was terrific for me, and yeah, it looked like an everyday thing; it’s not.  My garden is my store; so not everyone has the opportunity to go to the store and watch their tomatoes grow. Not only is this a blessing, but it made me smile!

My summer has many storms..even hail storms.  My tomatoes make it through.  This made me reflect on my own life.  No one can stop you from growing or moving forward in life.  My tomato plants were a perfect example of growth in the storms.

Even through the hardest of storms, I can grow.  I might get rained on, but I can still grow.!

Tomatoes …MY Tomatoes Make Me Smile!

Monday, April 22, 2024

A-Z Challenge Letter S




I have two for this one.


Let’s be clear, I DO NOT get up every morning to see the sunrise. A sunrise to me is the beginning of a new growth.  Seeing the sunrise gives me a new beginning and a new opportunity.  I am excited about the new day and thanking God for this new day and the possibilities it may hold and a chance for me to do better.  Even after the darkest nights, the sunrise tells me that light will always return and I SMILE.  


Watching the sunset is a stress reliever for me. Watching the sunset helps me to slow down (I really try !!) and enjoy the moment.  Staring at the sunset helps me to tell my brain to quit fretting over the past. The sun is setting, the day is ending, and a sense of finalization is taken over.  I smile when the sun is setting.

Saturday, April 20, 2024




I love rainbows, they are one of the first things I remember learning to draw as a child.

A rainbow makes me happy and gives me hope and comfort.  It is a symbol for a bright spot in difficult times and the promise of a new beginning.

When I see a rainbow, I immediately smile.  Maybe it is because of the cheerful colors in a rainbow’s curving arc. The colors are light, fresh, and happy. Since the colors  are so rare in a rainbow’s curving arc, I have a sense of delight in addition to bringing the promise of sunshine with the blue sky on the horizon.  Just seeing a rainbow boosts my mood. Or maybe it is because I am still hoping for that ‘pot of gold!”  

Friday, April 19, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter Q






It used to unsettle me when I had nothing to do and it was quiet.  

But now I enjoy the quietness.  I still have days when in my mind I thought I must be a little bit ‘wrong’ for enjoying the quietness. I thought the outside world was scolding me or shaming me if I was just quiet.

It took awhile for me to get that feeling of ‘wrong’ out of my head.  I began to slowly permit myself to just be me and be still and quiet. 

What I learned from being quiet was:

I had more aha moments.  My mind had time to discover ideas and stumble upon aha moments.

Being quiet is a skill.  I found calm in silence and became more comfortable in my own company.

Reduced my stress.  I began to reflect on why I was stressed and then began to distress. 

There are many noises in our world to grab our attention and convince us not to be just quiet. Each intrusion creates noise or a distraction infused into my mind that I should be doing something else. 

Sitting in complete quietness gives me time to reflect.  I feel more at peace and I smile. Quietness isn’t something to be ashamed about, but quietness gives me something to smile about. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

A-Z Challenge...Letter P



Playing with Grandsons

How can one not smile when around their grandchildren?  

My grandsons just make me feel better when I am around them.

Playing with your grandsons is a workout!!  

I love hearing their giggles and those arms around my neck telling me they love me!!  This makes my heart smile!!  

Over the past years, I have played so many make believe games…men wrestling, pretend jumping in water and swimming, dinosaurs coming, map games (where they draw a map and you have to do what each symbol is…they have to explain the symbol to me!), etc.  We play water guns, balloon toss, baseball, football, soccer, and basketball.  Not to mention the millions of books read and acting some books out!!

Playing with my grandsons reawakens the joy of when I played with my daughters…different play but same joy.  

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!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

  1. What impresses you? I am impressed by personality traits:  kindness, honesty, empathy, etc. 2.  Where are you in your family birth orde...