16) What makes me happy?: Day 53.5.2

I feel that I am happy most of the time, but really I believe that I am content. My life hasn’t been difficult, but it hasn’t been easy either. I have found that who and what I have in my life make me happy much of the time. I wouldn’t change what I’ve gone through or how I’ve gone through it because I like who I am now.

Sometimes I do feel very happy and that is usually related to my family. When I get to spend one on one time with my kids, husband, or grandkids, I get a rush that is exciting because I can do so much for them or just talk to them for hours. I am excited for days before I see someone special.

Sitting out on my bench in my backyard makes me happy. Listening to the waterfall and birds, feeling the sun warm my skin, and knowing I have nothing that I absolutely have to do is pretty enjoyable too. I don’t get these days often, but when I do, they mean a lot to me.

Making or baking something for a loved one is quite exhilarating too. I get to plan and work on the project and imagine the reaction I am going to get. Then when the reaction comes, I experience it all over again.

It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. I prefer to look at the sunny side of things and find enjoyment in everything I can. Life is a lot more pleasant that way.


15)My favorite movie: Day 52.2

I have many movies I have enjoyed, but rarely do I find something to say that it is one of my favorites. For a long time, it was a tie among Footloose, Grease, and Flatliners. But I have re-watched them recently, and I find that I don’t enjoy them quite as much as I used to. I think what made them my favorite were the events surrounding them and people I watch them with.914UtF8Hc1L._AC_UY218_ML3_

Now, the first movie I think of is more the character than the movie – Groot  – Guardians of the Galaxy.  The movie was enjoyable overall, but the character meant so much to me. When we went to California Adventures last year, it was the ride I had to go on and the souvenir I had to get.

Groot has so much depth even though he only says three words – “I am Groot.” But the manner in which they were said gives context to what he is meaning. I feel those three words could be used any time I cannot think of what to say.

14) My thoughts on education: Day 51.2

This is a big topic for me. I feel strongly that the right type of education is very important. However, every one requires something just a little bit different from the next making it difficult to fit the education to the student. But as a student ages, there are ways to get the student the right type of education.

First of all, not all our high school students are or should be college bound. Get and keep the career electives in high school. Quit designing the core classes solely on what colleges want. Some students won’t need statistics and calculus.

Find engaging teachers. Teachers who want to teach because of the love of teaching not just because it’s a job or because they are good in the field. This is difficult too, but getting rid of ten-year could make that difference.

Look at the issues in a particular school district, throw away the thinking box, and look for creative solutions. There are so many problems to the education system, but doing what was always done or what everyone else is doing won’t fix it. Each community is different and needs to have an approach that works for them.

These problems and others is what has prompted me to teach a research class based on an education theme. I want my students to consider problems they see in the education system or have even faced themselves, find out what others are saying or  have done, and come up with a unique solution or a call to action that has some definition to it. Hopefully, through this we will see some form of change in the future.

13) Where will I be in 5 years?: Day 50.2

Well I hope that I will be in this house still and have a teaching, writing, or editing job. I also hope that I will be healthy enough to still be hiking. And still with my husband.

I see myself hiking more each year and finally meeting goals. Hopefully I will be back from hiking the Oregon or Washington section of the PCT.

This time in five years, I should be preparing for Thanksgiving with my family. We will be gathering at one of three houses. I would be baking breads and pies.

But my biggest place I want to be in five years is a good state of mind where I feel good about myself and what I have done.

12) Three Healthy Habits: Day 49.2

I do try to be healthy, but I have cravings and work that gets in the way of habits often. I also think that exercising is impossible to become a habit, at least for me. I can exercise everyday for  more than a year, and suddenly, I miss a day and quickly it becomes many days.  But the healthy things I do for myself are:

  • Physical therapy four days a week
  • Yoga at least one day a week
  • Eat some type of fresh produce daily

I know that these things should be done more often, and I do other things as well. But these are the things that I do without fail most of the time.

11) My favorite childhood book: Day 48.2

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.

10) My 10 Favorite Foods: Day 47.5.2

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:

  • Spaghetti
  • Shrimp
  • Lasagna
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Hot Cocoa
  • Peppermint chocolate anything
  • Caramel and marshmallow anything
  • Apple pie
  • Chocolate cake
  • Stew

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.

9) The Best Trip of My Life: Day 46.2

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.

8) Five Current Goals: Day 45.2

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.

7) My 5 Favorite Songs: Day 44.2

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.