When I was little, I didn’t read much because I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading. (Later we found out I was dyslexic.) But my mother would read to me a lot. We would go to the library weekly bringing home huge stacks of children’s books she would read to us all week. There were so many I can’t pick out any particular one. When I finally got to reading on my own, I would read the same four books for long stretches of time. I can remember one with a horse on it. But when I got to reading chapter books, I fell in love with the Secret Garden. After that, I moved onto the Bobsy Twins, the Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. From there, I read almost anything put in front of me unless it was an assignment.
I love food. Anyone who knows me will attest to that. I like to try new things and have a lot of standbys. But what is my favorite food? I don’t know because it depends upon where I am, the time of year, and my mood.
This is what I have come up with, in no specific order:
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Hot Cocoa
- Peppermint chocolate anything
- Caramel and marshmallow anything
- Apple pie
- Chocolate cake
I didn’t write last night because I had my granddaughters, daughter, and parents over for a birthday dinner. I made Spaghetti, salad, pickled vegetables, asparagus, German chocolate cake, and apple raisin pie. My granddaughter brought bread and pumpkin cream cake. What a feast it was, and so tasty.
I have traveled quite a bit. Not a lot on some standards, but a fair amount. I love traveling and learning and seeing new things. Bits and pieces of each trip stand out to be the best, but I cannot think of one single trip that was absolutely the best.
I would say that I enjoy traveling with my children the most. One trip that we had a lot of fun was when I had to go to Victoria, Canada, for a conference. I flew over a few days before them and had an okay time. But at the end of the conference, my kids flew up to their sister’s place, and together they drove to Seattle and took a ferry to the island and picked me up. We had a great few days there.
We were able to do some sightseeing and touristy things. We walked around the old town and checked it out and went shopping. We took a horse and buggy ride through the city. Our hotel was old, but nice and within walking distance of most of the sights.
The next day, we went to the Butchart Gardens and spent all day walking around and looking over the grand place. There was so much to see. Everything was strategically placed to be beautiful any time of year. My favorite part of these gardens was the old quarry that had parts of it built into the design. I will definitely go back.
Before boarding the ferry that would take us to the mainland, we spent the morning on a horseback ride through the forest. My horse was a pig. It reached out and ate anything and everything possible. I couldn’t keep my legs wrapped around the horse the entire time because of my knee problems, so I spent a good portion with my feet out of the stirrups. It was quite nice.
We ended the trip taking a ferry over to Vancouver and drove back to Portland. We had a lot of laughs and nice times together. My kids are the best traveling companions, and hopefully, even though they have moved out, we will continue to travel together.
Thinking about it, I am surprised that our trip to Hawaii didn’t stand out as much. We had a grand time there too. But their father, my husband, isn’t always fun to travel with.
I have had and have many goals for my life. Each goal changes as I change and grow. Different experiences also affect the goals. But I have always wanted a happy home where I could be with my kids as they needed me. That I got. Now I have become accustomed to working little and doing much, I couldn’t imagine any other way.
But just because I have met those specific goals doesn’t mean that I don’t have others. I think that we always need something to work towards – goals.
Currently my goals are to keep hiking larger trails, completing the PCT, hiking the Camino de Santiago with my daughter, hiking along Hadrian’s Wall with my son, and rafting the Grand Canyon. Those are my fun goals. I have a goal of finishing my novel, becoming an editor, opening a coffee shop/book store, and being able to work from anywhere. For my family life, I want to continue developing my food producing yards, preserve more foods to reduce our purchases, get my winter garden going in my greenhouse, and finishing the many projects in my craft room. And I have goals for my house as well – replacing the popcorn ceiling, painting my bedroom, upgrade the flooring, and put in a new range.
This is a lot to accomplish, but as my dad always says, “As long as I have projects, I can’t die.” And he is still around. So, replace projects with goals, and it works for me.
At first I thought that this post was going to be hard because I couldn’t think of any songs. I didn’t think I favor any particular one; instead, I enjoy what I am listening to at the moment. But when I started coming up with titles, I discovered that I like quite a few and will sing to them when they are on. I enjoy a range of music. I can listen to my parents favorites, silly songs like “Sneaky Snake,” many of the 80s songs, but also my children’s music.
So, the one’s that made my list:
Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers
Every Rose Has a Thorn by Poison
Country Roads by John Denver
Hate Me by Blue October
Sound of Silence by Disturbed
I Need You Now by Alias
It’s more than five, but it shows the range of music. I love songs that tell a story that I can relate to, but so does most everybody else.
Like so many people, I fear the common things – spiders, snakes, heights… But, my biggest fear is the fear of failing. I hesitate or turn down opportunities because I don’t know if I can do what is being offered. I have dreamed up many ideas I would love to do, but let them go because the fear is debilitating at times.
I held off on hiking many years because I didn’t know where to go or how to get started. I was afraid of unknown results. Then one day after reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I decided that if I was ever going to do the things on my bucket list, I had to start and give things a try. I could no longer say someday or I wish. I had to start taking actions that would lead to the ends I wanted. I started hiking locally, and then I found out that I had family members, who had similar dreams. We started hiking and reaching some of those dreams together.
I still have those fears that grip me and hold me back at times, but I eventually find a way around them. I came to realize this year that part of my enthusiasm dropping in training was because of the fear. We had a five to six month trip planned to hike the Pacific Crest Trail hoping for a spring 2020 start. But, I slowed down on training, trips were difficult, fear gripped me when I talked about the trip. It turned out that I was afraid of failure and the unknown. I didn’t think I could be out on the trail for that long of a period and have the exertion required hiking so many days in a row. I didn’t know if I could manage to be away from home that long or what it could do to my marriage.
Now I have a new plan. That is to hike in large sections. I can still hike the PCT, but it would be done over a period of time. This summer we are planning to get at least 60 miles on the trail and in a year or so get Washington hiked in a summer or less.
I could tell you a handful of interesting bragging type of tales that would show some of my proud moments. In fact, I would have at one time. I could tell you that I was proudest bringing my children into the world. But, I’m not going to do either of these things. My proudest moment wasn’t a moment; instead it was a compilation of many.
To boil it down, my proudest moments were when I realized how great all five of the children I helped raise turned into caring responsible adults. When one had a savings account with money in it, but this child could never save before. Or, when one shows compassion to a stranger. The loving children they are now raising is pretty good proof. There are many little instances that make me proud.
Parents often worry about their children being in public because of the way the children act at home or in a parent’s presence. But, when people praise the children we know that they aren’t horrible human beings who are going to be broke or in trouble. I worried like these other parents, so the times when I see that they are doing well, I am proud. When I can brag about what my children are up to, my heart warms. When I can talk to them on a lengthy phone conversation in an adult manner, I know that I did something right. These are my proudest moments.
If I could do any job I wanted to, it would be a tossup between hiking and blogging or editing/proofreading.
I absolutely love hiking and sharing about my trips. My cousin and I have a great time twisting stories and adding some dry humor when we can to both the hike and the writing. I feel I am my truest self when I am out in nature. When I hike, I also think of things to write. My best topics come from those trips.
I also love to teach, but my most favorite part of that is working one on one with the students or collaborating with others on their projects. I love when someone gets inspired from our discussions. It is how I get inspired when my story starts to dry up too. But, another side of teaching is the grading. I don’t necessarily enjoy giving arbitrary grades to students who may or may not deserve the grade, but I do love learning new things all the time. With each paper is a new learning experience for me. Editing or proofreading would give me that type of opportunity.
“If gold rusts, what shall iron do?” Chaucer
I was writing a paper on ethics in law when I stumbled upon this quote. It makes so much sense to me especially when bringing the next sentence in: “For if a priest be foul in whom we trust, no wonder that a common man should rust” (Chaucer).
For when something held in such a high place of society goes foul, then what can we expect of lesser valued things. This goes for people too. If we have someone in high standing do something wrong, they are showing the rest of society that there are double standards and that the proper behavior isn’t valued as much.
Often politicians, actors, athletes, do something that is against the law or frowned upon. Then the kids and some of the younger adults think or say that so and so did this so it is okay. This doesn’t always get voiced, but that is what the actions are saying.
If we want better actions from society, we need better role models.
- Today is my 50th birthday.
- I love to travel.
- Hiking relieves my stress and back pain.
- I am close to my family.
- Teaching is a job I never thought I would do, but I am loving it.
- I can read several books at the same time as long as they are not too similar.
- Magical realism, young adult, and historical fiction are among my favorite genres to read.
- I typically write memoir, family fiction, creative non-fiction.
- I would love to get into editing or proofreading.
- Nature is my favorite place to be.
- I love the ocean and the forest.
- I’m a transplant Californian (but don’t tell anyone).
- I teach English, and I can’t spell (thank God for spell check).
- I love to bake breads and cook new things.
- I like to sew if the project goes quickly.
- I am always willing to try new things.
- I fear heights and failing.
- I’m somewhat reclusive. I prefer to spend time with small groups of people and not join in parties, unless it’s family.
- Hosting Thanksgiving for my large extended family is fun for me.
- My name is never on items at the gift shop or on the games on the internet.
- I have three cousins who have called me scuz, and it wasn’t an insult.