20) Earliest childhood memory: Day 57.2

I have many little snippets of memory from when I was between two and four. That is a time when we lived in southern California. It was a location very different from my present location, where I grew up, in many ways. But it is a dream that stands out as a complete full memory of my early years. Sometime when I was young, I dreamed that we were being attacked by bees, and when they stung they left holes in us. The only safe place was to climb on top of the picnic table that my grandfather made. It was in the southern California yard. I could picture it well. There was the block fence that separated the yard from my dad’s junkyard, our swing set, the play house, a large tree, and grass. I would run from the house and jump off the steps to get to the picnic table as quickly as possible. I had this dream many times over the years, and it’s probably why I was so afraid of bees.

19) A confession: Day 56.5.2

I have been thinking and thinking and I haven’t come up with a confession for the challenge. I have very personal confessions to make, but they will never appear here.

I know that many people make a confession like a personal statement. But, I can’t come up with one of those either.

It is you get what you get. I am pretty open, so I don’t have a lot to confess.

I do make bold unsupported statements when talking with others without really thinking things through. I don’t even truly believe the statement before I make it, but it comes tumbling out of my mouth. I often have to remind myself that I only know a person or event as I have witnessed it or them. The rest is not supported. Yet, I continue to make these stupid statements. It is like my mouth has a mind of its own and it enjoys making a fool of myself.

18) If I won the lottery…: Day 55.2

If I won the lottery, I would pay off my bills, invest, keep working as I am, and hike during the warm months. I would keep working as I am because I enjoy it and I don’t have a lot of hours or hard work. I would be able to let my husband retire to support him as he did me when I was going to school.

I would be able to hike the way I want to and get the lighter weight gear. I would be able to travel the world with my kids and do some of the bucket list things that take more money. I would be able to remodel my house and get more yard work done.

I would donate money to cancer patients as I wanted the Cancer Warriors to be able to do.

I hope that I would stay humble and kind.

17) What makes me sad?: Day 54.2

I don’t get sad often. I do cry at a lot of things and get momentarily sad; however, I don’t really get sad most of the time. The death of a loved one or a pet are what gets me down.  I have seen enough death as most of us have. And, I will see more.   So I focus on other things.

I don’t think I want to discuss any more because it is just a fact of life that none of us want to go through.

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.