Category Archives: Share Your World

Share Your World – 2015 Week #24

What’s your favorite charitable cause and why?

St. JudeMy favorite charitable cause is the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. And the reason is easy to understand, considering the fact that not only am I a retired nurse, but I’m also a mother. What better cause could there be than an organization which is dedicated to finding cures for children and saving the lives of children? I have been very fortunate to be the mother of three healthy children and never had to worry about whether they would live to see adulthood, but just imagine if you were the parents of a child who was facing the possibility of perhaps not even surviving beyond their third or fourth birthday? So you can see why I believe this charitable cause is a very worthy one. After all, I hope to be a grandmother some day, and I’d like to take comfort in the knowledge that if one of my grandchildren were diagnosed with what is now considered to be an incurable disease that by then, it will be curable, all because of St. Jude’s.   

What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?pink

I really don’t mind wearing any color, to tell you the truth. I’ve always worn whatever color suited my mood at the time, although I have gone through periods of wearing just one certain color for weeks at a time, although I’m not really sure why that’s been, and in particular that color was black. I think I did that because black just goes with everything! But I will tell you that my favorite color to wear is pink. I’ve always adored the color pink. It’s so cheerful and it makes me happy. Did you know that the color pink evokes feelings of love, sensitivity, and tranquility? But it’s funny – I really don’t have that much pink in my wardrobe because I can never seem to find the right kinds of clothing to wear that are in the color pink. Now why do you suppose that is? There should be better pink clothing in the world, don’t you think?   

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

benjamin franklin1.  Okay – the first thing you must know about me before I tell you who my first guest would be is that I am a HUGE history buff, and my favorite era in history to study is the American Revolutionary War Era from 1775-1783. Just the fact that the thirteen American colonies, struggling for their independence from Great Britain, were able to hold their own and eventually triumph over the greatest army in the world (that being the King’s British Army) has always amazed me and filled me with a sense of American pride. I know – I’m kind of a geek, right? So, my first guest would have to be Benjamin Franklin. From what I’ve read of him, Benjamin Franklin led quite an extraordinary life. Not only was he one of our founding fathers, but he was also an inventor, diplomat, author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, civic activist, and statesman. I’d have a very long list of questions for him!

 

florence nightingale2.  Being a retired nurse, I’d absolutely have to invite Florence Nightingale as my second guest. Florence Nightingale, a celebrated English social reformer and statistician, was also the founder of modern nursing. She’s most famously known as “The Lady with the Lamp,” a name which she received after making rounds of wounded soldiers at night during the Crimean War (1853-1856). While nursing the soldiers over this period of time, Florence believed that the death rates were due to poor nutrition, lack of supplies, stale air and overworking of the soldiers. She also came to believe that most of the soldiers at the hospitals were killed by poor living conditions. It was during this time that her advocacy of the importance of sanitary living conditions for the soldiers at the hospitals was the greatest contributing factor to the reduced death rate. I would love to interview a sister nurse!

 

eleanor roosevelt3.  For my third guest, I would love to have Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States. Eleanor Roosevelt was called “The First Lady of the World” by President Harry S. Truman because of her human rights achievements. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans, and the rights of World War II refugees. During her time as First Lady, she was very outspoken, which didn’t earn her any points with the public, but she didn’t care because she stood up for what she believed in regardless. And on a few occasions, she even publicly disagreed with her husband’s policies. She was the first presidential spouse to hold press conferences, write a syndicated newspaper column, and speak at a national convention. When Franklin became partially paralyzed due to polio, it was Eleanor who persuaded him to stay in politics, and she even began to give speeches and campaign in his place. After he was elected as Governor of New York, Eleanor regularly made public appearances on his behalf. She also shaped the role of First Lady during her time as First Lady and beyond. She was a great lady and I think she would make an excellent guest.

List:  What are at least five places you’ve enjoyed visiting?

Yikes! I haven’t traveled to very many places in my life, but let’s see if I can come up with at least five.liberty bell

1.  Philadelphia, PA:  Okay, the reason for this is quite obvious. As I said, I love American history, and one of the best places to go sight-seeing, especially for history regarding the American Revolutionary War Era is Philadelphia, PA. After all, there’s Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Declaration (Graff) House, Betsy Ross House, Congress Hall, President’s House, and Society Hill. walt disney worldThere’s so much to see in Philadelphia!

2.  Disneyworld:  This was the trip of a lifetime for our family, and it was a place I had only dreamed of going to when I was a child. When the trip practically fell into our laps, I could hardly believe our luck! I’ll never forget the way I felt as we stood on the paddle boat and crossed the lake to Magic Kingdom Park, with my two girls standing on either side of me. I remember that I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as the music, “When You Wish Upon a Star” was playing all around us from the speakers which were positioned above us on the boat. We had a great time that week and made memories that will last a lifetime.cabo san lucas

3.  Cabo San Lucas, Mexico:  This was a stop on our 25th wedding anniversary Mexico cruise for my husband and me. We took this cruise with my sister and her husband and my best friend and her husband. When we first arrived at this stop, we took a ride on a glass-bottomed boat, which was quite unique. I could see all kinds of sea life! After that we were on our own and headed for the beach. I’ll never forget how blue the water was. It was absolutely breathtaking and so serene. I really hated to go back to the ship that day!

Rushmore4.  Black Hills, SD:  Our family has been to the Black Hills a few times, because it is one of our favorite places to go. There are just so many things to see in the Black Hills that I can barely begin to list all of them, but here are a few of my favorites: Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave, Deadwood, Reptile Gardens, Bear Country, and Badlands National Park.

 

5. See – I told you I haven’t been to very many places! Okay, so how’s this: “To be continued . . . ” 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Top Three Pandora's BoxLast week was a great week for me! I’ve been entering my stories/poems at the challenges over at yeahwrite.me for almost a year now, but have never won any awards, but still I continued to post my stories not just because I enjoy the challenge, but because I enjoy writing. Period. Never didEditor Pick My 68-year-old Brain I expect to win an award because all the writers are so great over there. But last week I actually won not only one, but TWO awards! Can you believe that? I was so happy that (silly me) I cried tears of joy! The first award was the “Top Three Award” in the fiction/poetry category for my poem, “Pandora’s Box.” And then, best of all, I won “Editor Pick” for my story in the nonfiction category, “My 68-Year-Old- Brain.” I’m telling you, I had to pinch myself because it just seemed like a dream to me and I thought for sure that at any minute I would wake up and find out that it really wasn’t true! I guess it just goes to show that you have to keep trying and continue to do what you love, no matter what, because that’s what will make you happy.

hope springs eternal 500There are two things that I’m looking forward to in the upcoming week. I’ve been having so much trouble with my back; as a matter of fact, this has been a chronic problem which I’ve been suffering from for years and I’ve tried everything to get rid of it – medication, physical therapy, injections, even surgery, and all to no avail. So now I’m going to visit a chiropractor and I’m keeping my fingers crossed because I’m hoping that perhaps he will have a solution. I’m just so tired of my back pain preventing me from living a normal life. Some days I can’t even sit at my piano – and if you know anything about me, you know how much I love my piano! So I pray that this will help.

The second thing is so much better because this weekend is Father’s Day! This means that my son Joe,happy father's day my daughter Sarah and my son-in-law Axel will be coming over on Sunday to help me celebrate the wonderful man who is their father, my husband Mike. He is probably the best Dad on the planet. He has always put his children first, no matter what – even before me! And that about says it all, right? He would do anything in the world for his kids just to be sure that they are safe, healthy, and happy. And that’s only one of the many reasons that I love him. We’re planning on having a barbecue in the backyard and will spend quality family time out on our deck, and hopefully our Minnesota weather will cooperate. Right now the forecast tell us there’s a 40% chance of thunderstorms, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed!

And I’d like to wish all those Dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day. And remember: Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

Cindy's signature with flower and butterfly

share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

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Share Your World – Week #22

Finish these four sentences. You can talk about yourself or be creative and write a piece of fiction. It’s up to you. Have some fun.

Complete this sentence: Never in my life have I…. Ever been unfaithful to my husband. As a matter of fact, the thought of infidelity has never even crossed my mind. Have I ever looked at another man and thought he was handsome? Sure. I’m only human, after all! But even when we were just dating, I never cheated on him by going out with another guy. I never had to because he is everything that I need and want, and I love him more with each day that passes. I know that I’m the luckiest woman in the world.

Complete this sentence:  My neighbor wants me to help her….. Rob a bank. She has it all planned out – right down to the minute. She says that all I have to do is sit in the get-away car and keep the motor running. And she and her husband will do the rest. I never did like her husband. He’s kind of a jerk, if you ask me. He claims he can’t work because of a bad back, but I’ve seen him do plenty of heavy lifting in his back yard. After they rob the bank they’re going to hop on a plane bound for South America and start a new life, leaving their three kids behind. Of course they’re all grown up now and living in different parts of the country, but I just can’t imagine leaving my family behind forever, can you? They claim that they’re going to give me 25% of the take, but I’m not going to do it. I don’t think I’m prison material.

Complete this sentence:  When I was little I wanted… To be a ballerina. I got the idea of becoming a ballerina after watching The Swan Lake Ballet on television. I thought the ballerinas were so beautiful and the way they danced so graceful. I loved how they leaped through the air and especially how they turned round and round. I also admired the costumes they wore. My parents couldn’t afford to send me to dance class, so instead, I went to the library and borrowed a book on ballet. I thought it showed everything I needed to know to dance ballet: first through fifth position of the feet and arms, plie, releve, saute, arabesque, and pirouette. And so I practiced day and night, thinking that I would become the greatest ballerina ever. I even wore my fanciest slip, pretending it was my tutu. And eventually, as all little girls’ dreams eventually do, my ballerina dream was replaced by a new dream. It wasn’t long before I wanted to become a circus performer . . . 

Complete this sentence:  Will you come here to… Clean out my sewing room? I have been meaning to clean out my sewing room for the past three years, but somehow I keep putting it off. I know – terrible, right? I keep thinking of the old adage: Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. My sewing room used to be a beautiful room, in perfect condition, and everything was in the exact place that it should be. Then one summer our future son-in-law (who is now married to our oldest daughter) needed a place to stay and my sewing room was the perfect place for him to sleep. Everything had to be moved over towards the window in order to make room for the mattress for him to sleep on. After the summer, somehow things just kept getting “thrown” into that room and now it has been turned into a junk room. I’d really like to get it back into order again so that I can start sewing quilts again, a hobby which I really enjoy. I guess I just have to buckle down and get to it. Unless, of course, YOU’D like to come over and help me clean it out? I’ll make you a wonderful cup of tea and we can spend some time getting to know each other. I think it would be a lovely day, don’t you? And you know what they say: “Many hands make light work.” 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that last week I was able to attend the 60th birthday party for a childhood friend, Mike. I’ve known him for 40 years. My husband is best friends with him and spends every Saturday with him at the gym. As a matter of fact, his wife Laurie was my very first friend ever. I met her at the age of 5. If you like, you can read about her in this story: A Friend for Life. Mike and Laurie both grew up in the same neighborhood as I did, and they had the same circle of friends as I did and they also kept in touch with them through the years. Because of this, all the old gang were there at his party. I can’t tell you how great it was to see everybody. Some of them I haven’t seen for years. As a matter of fact, one of my very first boyfriends was in attendance and I haven’t seen him for 40 years. Laurie brought me over to greet him because I didn’t even recognize him when I came in. When she reintroduced me to him, he even hugged me, saying, “Oh my gosh, Cindy! It’s so nice to see you again!” And then he introduced me to his wife, whose name was also Cindy, which I thought was really cool! He said: “Cindy, this is Cindy Devine (my maiden name, which he even remembered after all these years) She was my first (which he also remembered) girlfriend. As a matter of fact, it’s because of us being together a long time ago that Mike and Laurie eventually got married.” I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that he remembered all this. Then I told him how another old friend had recognized me after not seeing me for forty years and he said: “I’m sure it must be because you’re still so beautiful after all these years.” And wow – did that ever make me feel good! I think my husband was even a little jealous at that point! Anyway, I had so much fun reminiscing with all my old friends and the night just flew by. I was rather sad when it was time to leave the party, but so happy that I’d been able to spend time with everyone.

I’m happy to say that I’m finally feeling better. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, but thank goodness, they’re over. So now I can get back to my regular activities, and that includes pickleball! I joined the Shoreview Area Pickleball Club which meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, and I’m really looking forward to getting back into that activity. My husband Mike also joined the club, so now this is something that we can do together. We’ve been looking for an activity that we can enjoy together for a long time and finally we’ve found it. Mike is a tennis player, so he’s had no difficulty transitioning from tennis to pickleball. As a matter of fact, he’s very good and I think he’s enjoying it more than he says that he does. I know this is true because yesterday he even ordered a paddle online. Up to that point, he was just using a standard wooden paddle, which is okay, but the one he ordered yesterday is a much better quality paddle and more expensive, and when my husband breaks down and spends more money on something, then you know he’s getting serious! But it is a great activity and the people in our club are so nice and friendly and I’ve made some wonderful friends already. Now if I could just lose some weight, I’d be really happy! I guess I need to get started on that diet I keep talking about right? All in good time . . .

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

Cindy's signature with flower and butterfly

 

 

 

 

share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

Share Your World – 2015 Week #21

Cee Neuner, the creator of the Share Your World  blogging activity, came up with a new way of doing “Share Your World” for this week. Here’s how it goes:

Begin making four lists and have at least four items on each list.  We were able to choose our lists out of the items that she gave us. And the most important thing is to have fun! Here are the lists that I chose to make:

  1. Favorite flowers
  2. Movies to cheer you up
  3. Things I want to have in my home
  4. Favorite songs

1.  FAVORITE FLOWERS:  My favorite flowers are daisies, roses, gardenias, and lilies.

Favorite Flowers

 

1. Daisies: Daisies are one of my favorite flowers for a few reasons. First of all, they are one of the first flowers to come in at spring time and here in Minnesota where the winters can be long and hard, any sign of spring is often a welcome one! Also, I love them because of their cheerfulness and their simplicity.

2. Roses: Roses are another favorite of mine for a very simple reason: what girl doesn’t like to receive roses from a guy? They were very often one of the first gifts I would receive from a suitor as a sign of his romantic interestin me. I guess they also bring back fond memories to me. But now when I receive them from my one and only love, my husband, I am still thrilled every time!

3. Gardenias: I chose gardenias for their beauty and fragrance. I also have a sentimental reason because they were my mother’s favorite flower and now that she’s gone from this life, whenever I see gardenias, I always think of her.

4. Lilies: My favorite flower of all is the lily. I love lilies – any kind of lily will do. I love them so much that they are growing in my garden, and as far as I’m concerned, there can’t be too many lilies in my garden. Their large petals are so lovely when they are fully opened. And they come in so many beautiful shades of color and are very fragrant.

2.  MOVIES TO CHEER YOU UP:  I really do enjoy watching feel-good movies. You know – the kind of movie that makes you feel all ooey-gooey inside or the kind that might even cause you to get a lump in your throat or maybe a few tears will roll down your cheeks at the end because everything turned out just the way it should have? That’s the kind of movie that I’m talking about. So let me tell you about my four favorite feel-good movies.

Dave the movie 2

1. Dave: Starring Kevin Kline. To avoid a potentially explosive scandal when the U.S. President goes into a coma, an affable temp agency owner with an uncanny resemblance (Dave), is put in his place. Co-starring Sigourney Weaver. This is a great movie with comedy, romance, and it will definitely leave you with a smile on your face.

 

father of the bride 22. Father of the Bride: Starring Steve Martin. This film is a remake of the 1950s Spencer Tracy classic. With his oldest daughter’s wedding coming up, a father (Steve Martin) finds himself reluctant to go. And it’s no wonder considering all the trouble that goes on around him. Co-starring Diane Keaton with Martin Short. Very funny and quite heartwarming.

 

mr. holland's opus 23. Mr. Holland’s Opus: Starring Richard Dreyfuss as Mr. Holland. He plays the part of a frustrated composer who, to his surprise, finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher. I’ve watched this movie over and over and I never get tired of seeing it again. But be warned – you will definitely need a box of tissues for this viewing!

 

the sound of music 24. The Sound of Music: Starring Julie Andrews. This is my all-time number one favorite movie. This movie is so famous that I probably don’t need to tell you the plot, but for uniformity’s sake I will. This is the story of Maria (Julie Andrews) who is a nun in an Austrian convent. She leaves the convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer who is a widower. Co-starring Christopher Plummer. Now this is the movie that I must have watched a hundred times, and I’m not kidding – remember – I’ve lived over half a century now (wow – that does sound like a long time, doesn’t it?) The first time I saw this movie was when my oldest sister Terri took me to see it for my tenth birthday and it has remained my favorite ever since. I love the music, I love the scenery, I love the drama, I love the comical moments, and I love the romance. As a matter of fact, there is a scene in the movie – the one with Maria and Captain Von Trapp in the gazebo – that I think is one of the most romantic scenes I’ve ever witnessed on the screen. If you’ve never seen this movie, then this movie is a must-see for you. You won’t regret it, I promise!

3.  FAVORITE THINGS I WANT TO HAVE IN MY HOME:

1. Big Screen TV:  Okay, I admit it. I love to watch television. But I am NOT a couch potato. Or at least, I big screen tvtry not to be. When I was disabled in 2004 I really had no choice. I was pretty much restricted to my bed or my recliner and there really wasn’t much for me to do besides watching television. Of course, that was before I rediscovered my love of writing. And it was only this last Christmas (2014) that our wonderful son Joe gave us a big screen television for a gift. Before then we were watching a 32 inch television set that was 20 years old. It was not a flat screen and it was not high definition. So, now I’ve been spoiled and I love it!

2. Recliner:  Since I love to watch my big screen television, I must have a great viewing spot, one thatrecliner is comfortable, and that perfect place is my recliner. No, I don’t like to lie on the sofa because if I do, then inevitably I fall asleep (I’m over a half-century old, remember?) And with my recliner, I can also use my heating pad to soothe my muscles and joints when my arthritis, bursitis, back pain, or fibromyalgia flares up. And those times are often enough, believe me. Not only that, it’s great for my little toy poodle Lucy because she can jump up and curl up on the foot of the recliner right between my calves or on my lap or even on the arm of the recliner (she always makes this decision for herself, of course!)

3. Desk:  Now what would a writer do without her desk? My desk is located in what we now call the deskspare room. This room used to be our oldest daughter Sarah’s room before she moved out to get married. There’s still a bed in this room just in case we ever have sleep-over guests (usually one of our children), or if my husband snores too loud and I can’t get any sleep in our bed! I enjoy going into this room because my desk is located there and it has everything I need to write, including our desktop computer which I use for all my image needs for my blogs. Sometimes I like to use my chromebook to write because then I can sit in my recliner, but often times I use the desktop computer because it is quieter in the spare room. Yes, I couldn’t do without my desk!

4. Piano:  My piano is probably my most prized possession. You’ve probably heard it all before – that My pianoowning piano has been a lifelong dream of mine and that I finally realized my dream in February of 2014, thanks to the generosity of my dear church choir director, Therese. If you’ve never read this story, you can read it here:  A Dream Come True. Being able to play music means everything to me. I can express my feelings in a way that just isn’t possible with words. When I play the piano, I feel as though I’m finally found after being lost. It’s like the music makes me feel complete, whole, finished – I can be me, just me. I guess I don’t really have the words to explain exactly how I feel when I play the piano; I only know that I love it, and I love my piano. Here’s something that I may not have mentioned in my story before: I actually named my piano “Grace” because if it were not for the grace of God and the gracious heart of my choir director, Therese, I would not own her, my most prized possession.

4.  FAVORITE SONGS:

1. Imagine by John Lennon: This was the best-selling single of his solo career. It’s one of my favorites because it talks about imagining a world at peace with no borders, no disunity of religion, no borders between races or nationalities, and to consider living in a world without being attached to possessions, but rather to focus on each other as human beings. Now that’s the world I would love to live in.

 

2. Only Time by Enya: This song is her biggest solo hit in the United States to date. She donated the earnings from the sale of that single to the Uniform Firefighters Association’s Widows’ and Children’s Fund to help the families of fire fighters in the aftermath of 9/11. This is such a beautiful song, as all of Enya’s songs are, and you can interpret it any way you choose, but I believe that it means you never know what your future holds until it is your past. Only time will tell, and in time all of your questions will be answered.

 

3. The Prayer by Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli: This song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the 1998 film Quest for Camelot. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000. This is a beautiful prayer set to music asking for He who watches over us (whoever you believe that to be) to continue to do so.

 

4. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel: This is my favorite song of all the songs I’ve ever heard. It won five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971, including Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The song became Simon & Garfunkel’s biggest hit single, and it is often considered their signature song. It became one of the most performed songs of the twentieth century, with over 50 artists, among them Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin, covering the song. It was ranked number 48 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This wonderful song is about being there for someone in their time of need; it’s about giving them comfort; and it’s about being that person’s bridge over troubled water. It’s no wonder that it’s received all the accolades that it has. And this is why it’s my favorite song of all-time.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Concert May of 2015Last week my oldest daughter Sarah invited me to attend a concert of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  She and her husband Axel had a four-performance pack of two tickets, but he was unable to attend that night’s performance, and she was thoughtful enough to ask her dear old mother. They performed at the newly opened Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul. Their performance included: Bach’s Concerto No. 1 in A Minor for Violin and Orchestra, BMV 1041; Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night) for String Orchestra, Opus 4; and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D. 485. After she invited me five days before the performance, I was so excited that I found it difficult to concentrate on anything else. It had been a long time since I’d been to an orchestra concert. And I was so happy to find that I was not disappointed. We had some of the best seats in the house – second tier, center. And the acoustics in the new Ordway Concert Hall are fabulous! But most of all, I’m grateful that I was able to spend an evening with my darling daughter Sarah. Both of my daughters are a joy to be with and I’m always happy when I’m in their company.

In the coming week, I’m looking forward to feeling better. I’ve been ill the last week and a half due to chronic medical problems, but I’m starting to come around, as you can tell since I am finally getting a The best is yet to come 2blog entry out for the first time in a while! And maybe, if I can gather enough energy, I would just love to finally clean out my sewing room – a project that I have been putting off for longer than I would care to admit. There’s more rain and thunderstorms in our Minnesota weather forecast beginning on Wednesday and going on through until Saturday, and if those predictions hold true, and if I’m feeling better, then I won’t be able to play pickleball so it will be a good time to finally get that room back to the way it should be. Then maybe I can start quilting once again. I just have to put my mind to it, that’s all. One step at a time . . .

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

Cindy's signature with flower and butterfly

 

 

 

 

share your world

 

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

 

Share Your World – 2015 Week #20

What is the most important thing that you ever learned? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school)

You’re absolutely right when you write that it’s not something that I learned in school because we all know that the best school is the school of life itself, or rather those lessons that we learn through experience. You know, I think this is a really difficult question because there are so many important lessons that I’ve learned throughout my life and I’ve lived for almost 59 years. But I think I’m going to say that the most important thing I’ve learned is the one thing that I’ve told my children ever since they were very young and I guess if I have repeated this to them umpteen times then it must be the most important thing, right? So here it is:

FAMILY MEANS EVERYTHING

FAMILY MEANS EVERYTHING

Friends will come and go throughout your life, but family will always be there for you. Therefore, stay close to your family and never let anything separate you from them. 

And I believe this with all my heart. I grew up in a family of seven children. We were poor, having been raised on welfare and in a low-income housing project, so we didn’t haven’t much. But we had each other. And we were happy. Today our parents are gone from this life, but we sisters are still close and our families still get together for the holidays. And even though we’ve had our disagreements over the years, we’ve always managed to resolve the conflicts, which served to strengthen our bonds. And I know that if I needed anything, my sisters would be there for me in a heartbeat, which they’ve already proven many times over, and I do the same for them. No, there’s nothing better than the love of your family.

What feeds your enthusiasm for life?

For me, there’s not just one thing that feeds my enthusiasm for life. First of all, I would have to give credit for this to the love of my husband and children, who always support and encourage me in everything I do. Then I’d say that my enthusiasm for life is fed by the interests that I hold. These interests include writing, which allows me to express myself enthusiasmin a way that is so satisfying and gratifying like nothing else that I know. One of the things I enjoy the most about writing is that it allows me to be exactly who I am, and who could ask for anything better than that? I also am fueled each day by my great interest and enthusiasm for learning to play the piano. I’ve only been playing the piano since January of 2014, and since I’ve only begun lessons very late in life (at age 58), you can be sure that it is something which I hold near and dear to my heart. In other words, you can believe that it’s not something that I am going to let go by the wayside, especially since it’s always been a dream of mine to play the piano. Along those same musical lines, I love to sing and always have ever since a very young age. I’ve been a member of our church choir since 1978 and I look forward to every Wednesday evening rehearsal and to singing each Sunday morning. As you can see, music plays an integral part in my life, as it has in our children’s lives, and it’s something that I would never let go.

What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane commercial or private flight?

I’d definitely have have to say that this would be my very first flight into the “wild blue yonder,” as the song says. This occurred about twenty years ago, and since then, I’ve only taken two other trips via airplane! Can you believe that? No, I airplanedon’t get around much, sad to say. My husband was attending a national convention in Philadelphia for a men’s organization of which he was a member and he invited me and my sister and her husband to join him. I had never flown before, and I was excited at the prospect but at the same time I was nervous. When it came time to board the plane, I did hesitate a moment before going through the door into the plane. Okay, so I actually stopped. I guess it was because all my bravado had temporarily left me. Then I took a deep breath and somehow my legs started moving once again. But what I remember the most was the takeoff and the speed with which the plane managed to get to before leaving the runway. I was downright giddy at that point and remember how I was giggling almost hysterically because it was just so much . . . fun! I was glad I had my wits about me enough so that I remembered to cover my mouth with my hands or else the passengers around me would have pegged me to be a crazy woman, for sure! I’d like to take another trip via airplane again some day, and maybe, just maybe I will. Who knows? So the next time you’re on a flight somewhere and you see some woman sitting there with her hands over her mouth with a wild look in her eyes, that might very well be me!

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore?

Okay, this may sound weird, considering the fact that I’ve only been on airplane three times in my life, but . . . if I could explore anything or anywhere, it would be outer space. I know, weird, huh? For some reason, I’ve always been galaxy-cluster-1e-0657-56fascinated by what lies beyond in the great unexplored territory of the vast cosmos. I’d like to know: is there life out there? And when I say life, I mean intelligent life. Did God really create only a human race (us) and place us here on this tiny planet we call Earth with no other life anywhere else in all of the umpteen undiscovered galaxies that there could be? Are we really alone? I was 12 years old when astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon on July 20, 1969. As our family gathered around the television set that evening to watch this historic event, I remember thinking how wondrous it all was. It’s not that I ever wanted to be an astronaut. But if it was safe and economical and an every day occurrence, I would absolutely book a seat on the Space Shuttle. Yes, I am very practical and well-grounded (pardon the pun).

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

grateful 5I’m grateful that I’ve been able to spend more time with my sisters playing pickleball. We’re getting better at it, although I can tell that I need more coaching on things like my serve and some of the little nuances of the game.

I’m also grateful that we have had more of the much-needed rain that we’ve been hoping for. It’s been pretty dry around here this spring, but now the grass is a lot greener and plants are coming up nicely. As a matter of fact, things are beginning to grow so well that I heard my husband complain just this morning: “Now I have to go and mow the lawn since we’ve gotten all this rain.” But I know that deep down inside he’s glad for it.better things are coming

Remember I said that I needed more coaching for pickleball? Well, I have joined the local pickleball club and so next week I’m looking forward to starting up with them. They meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. Not only will I get coaching, but I’ll also meet new people and make new friends, and I think that’s the best part. So I can hardly wait to begin. I think next week will be a very good week and I’m looking forward to it.

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

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share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

 

Share Your World – 2015 Week #19

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

house 1Our house is a one floor house. As a matter of fact, we’re still living in the very first house we bought, which was thirty-eight years ago, and I’d venture to guess that this will be our only house because I think that the days for changing gears and moving into a different house have passed, and we’re getting up there in age, so why move now? When I was younger, I always thought that I wanted to live in a house which had multiple levels. There was a time when we entertained the notion of moving and there were a couple of houses that I would have liked to move to which did have those multiple levels. But now that we’re senior citizens (Wow! I can’t believe I actually typed that sentence!) I’m glad that our house has only one level because my knees aren’t what they used to be and they do give me trouble going up and down the stairs sometimes. So thank goodness for our foresight and our one level house.

If you have a TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?tv 1

This Christmas, our wonderful son gave us a big screen television as a gift, which we have mounted on our living room wall. It was a much-appreciated gift because the television we had was over twenty years old, was not even a flat screen TV, and the sound wasn’t working properly. But because we couldn’t afford a new TV, we continued using it. In addition to this, he gave us a home surround system, so now we’re really set up! I was so surprised by this gift, but ever so grateful! My husband does have a smaller set downstairs in his “man-cave,” as my oldest daughter likes to call it, which he uses all the time. We also have a small TV in our bedroom which I think we rarely even turn on.

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time? Explain your answer.

turn off lightWhenever I leave a room, I always turn off the lights behind me. I don’t think about it; it is something that I do automatically. Therefore, when we’re at home during the evening, you’ll find that there’s only a light on in the rooms which we occupy at the time. There absolutely is a reason for my compulsion. When I was growing up, my father was very strict about our usage of things like electricity, heat, and water. For instance, in the winter months if we came in from outside and didn’t close the door right away, he’d say: “Close that door. We don’t need to heat up the outside.” He was, of course, referring to letting the warmth from the furnace escape from our house through the open door. And it was the same for the electricity in our house. He was adamant about turning off the lights in a room as soon as you were leaving it, no excuses. And if a light was left on in a room, he would investigate to find out who had been the culprit. So I guess you could say that being energy-efficient was something I had drilled into me.

What’s your favorite room in your home?kitchen 2

My favorite room in my home is the kitchen. I’ve chosen the kitchen not because I love to cook but rather because it always seems to be the central gathering place when our family is together. After all, it’s the place where we share all of our most important family meals and discussions. Before our children grew up and left home, we shared every dinner meal seated around the kitchen table, so I have many happy memories associated with this room. And it’s also the room where we always play games, which we almost always do whenever we get together. So there’s also been a lot of laughter and high-fiving that’s gone on in our kitchen. Yes – I’d definitely say it’s the kitchen.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

OUR APPLE TREE IN BLOOM

OUR APPLE TREE IN BLOOM

I’m grateful that we’ve finally had some rain here in Minnesota. Everything was pretty brown and dry, with fire hazard warnings being posted on a daily basis. But now with the rain that has been finally sent our way, the grass has finally turned green and the apple tree which hangs over our deck has finally blossomed. And our apple tree in bloom is a sight which I look forward to every spring.

I’m also grateful that our youngest daughter Stephanie has just completed her first year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she’s pursuing her master’s degree in music performance. I just spoke with her yesterday and she’s so happy that she’s got that first year under her belt. She’s staying most of the summer in Madison, but will be coming home at the end of July for a few weeks, so I’m really looking forward to that.

Next week I’m looking forward to beginning a class which I’m taking online through Coursera called “Marriage and the looking forwardMovies: A History.” It’s a course that studies how marriage has been depicted in the movies, in commercials, and in advertising and its studies begin from the time that movies were first produced. We even get to watch movies with this course. Sounds interesting, right? I can hardly wait. And the best part about this course is that it’s free.

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

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share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

 

Share Your World – 2015 Week #18

What type of pets do you have or want?  Or do you not want pets?

When I was growing up, we lived in a low-income housing project which did not allow us to own any kind of pets such as cats or dogs. So my father raised parakeets instead and he always chose to raise albino parakeets. He did such a great job with these parakeets, teaching them tricks and getting them to talk. How he loved those birds! I enjoyed them also, but in my heart of hearts, I always wanted to have a dog for a pet. After I was married, I finally got my wish,lucy in leaves and today I am the proud owner of the sweetest little toy poodle you’d ever want to meet. Her name is Lucy and she became part of our family in 2005 when she was eight weeks old. At that time, I had become disabled from working due to serious medical illness and my husband thought it would be a good idea to have a dog to keep me company while he was at work and the kids were at school. I was also quite depressed because having to quit work was very difficult for me. I loved my work and suddenly I found myself bedridden and no contact with the outside world. I think my little Lucy helped me with the transition and as a matter of fact, I think she helped with the healing process. Not only is she cute as a button, but she is very intelligent, fiercely loyal, and so loving. I don’t know what I’d do without her. By the way, did you know that my little Lucy is now famous? If you’d like to read about it, please click here:

Lucy Become Famous

What was or is your favorite cartoon?

gumbyOkay, so now you’ve got me. This may sound weird, but I’ve never been a big fan of cartoons. Even as a kid, I never really cared to sit down and watch cartoons! I’m not really sure why. Okay, maybe I do know why. Here it is – I think it’s because I knew that they weren’t real and that’s why I didn’t like them. I know. Sad, huh? But even as a little girl, I was always being realistic. Now don’t get me wrong – I loved fairy tales! I just didn’t like cartoons! They just never appealed to me. I did, however, like the computer animations, which in my day was Gumby. Do any of you out there remember Gumby? And Pokey. I can’t seem to remember if there were any more of those computer animations at that time, but I did like them. But as for just plain cartoons – sorry. So I wonder what the psychologists would say about that?

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?footies

I never wear shoes when I’m at home, whether I’m alone or with someone. And it’s not because we have gorgeous carpet that we don’t want soiled or beautiful polished wooden flooring that we’d like kept that way. Oh no, it’s not that. It’s because I just don’t like to wear shoes if I don’t have to! So the minute I come home, the first thing I do is kick off my shoes, boots, sandals, or whatever else I happen to be wearing on my feet at the time. And then I go and find a pair of my favorite footie socks to wear. I don’t usually go barefoot because for some reason my feet do tend to get cold, so that’s why I wear the footie socks. And no, I don’t like to wear just plain socks; I must wear footie socks. And believe me, I have pairs upon pairs of these socks: all different shades and colors; striped; polka-dotted; fuzzy; lacy; even sequined! Yep, I can never have enough footies!

Are you a traveler or a homebody? 

If you’ve been reading my entries for Share My World, then you know that I’ve been medically disabled since 2004, and because of this, I am usually a homebody. I have my good days and my bad days as far as my health is concerned, which suitcase 2means that I haven’t had the opportunity to travel very much in the past eleven years. It’s difficult to travel when you’re not feeling well. I am feeling better these days, though, so maybe there will be a trip in my future.  I’ve always wanted to travel to Rome, Italy and visit all the sites they have to offer such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo, Palatine Hill, and Vatican City itself. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get my wish and embark on my dream vacation to the Eternal City. As with my piano dream, I’ve learned that dreams really do come true. Therefore . . . never say never.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that I was able to finish the Writing101 course that was offered through the WordPress Blogging University during the month of April. This was a four-week write-every-day challenge which was designed to help create a writing blogging 101habit and push you as a writer, while publishing posts that meshed with your blog’s focus. We wrote every day, except for the weekends. I was able to hone my writing and blogging skills and at the same time I met a lot of great people, which was the best part of all. This was the first course that I’ve taken through WordPress and I enjoyed it so much that I’m looking forward to what they’re going to offer next. But the part that I’m really grateful for is that when I began the course, I made a pledge to myself that I would follow through with the entire course, and even though there were a few days when I floundered, I still kept pushing through, so I’m pretty proud of myself. It’s so great when you set out to reach a goal and then when you cross that finish line, it’s the best feeling in the world. So – thanks, WordPress!

This next week I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day, and I hope that all the mothers out there are, too. Two of our children, Sarah and Joe, are visiting on that day. Our youngest daughter Stephanie, is at the University of Wisconsin, so she won’t be able to make it, but I know I’ll be receiving a phone call from her. My husband’s planning our traditional Mother’s Day barbecue which we always have in our own back yard for that day. My daughter Sarah phoned me the other day to tell me that she was going shopping with our daughters’ best friends to “gather the components” for my happy mother's dayMother’s Day gift. She never can contain her excitement when it comes to giving me her Mother’s Day gift, and she always gives me something that I would never guess that she would give me and usually it’s something that she’s put a lot of thought into. One year she gave me the gift of a Mother-Daughter makeover day topped off by a Mother-Daughter photo shoot in a local park; then one year she had a professional makeup artist and beautician come to my house and give me a professional makeover (I kept thinking – Is she trying to tell me something, like I need a makeover or what?); and one year she gave me this beautiful vase that she had made herself and fired in a kiln at one of her college classes. So you see what I mean? I never know what she’ll be giving me. But most of all, I’m just looking forward to spending time with my family because that is the best gift of all.

And last, but not least, I’d like to say a few words to all the mothers out there: Remember that you do the most important job in the world and you deserve to be recognized for it. Celebrate your motherhood on this very special day. And I’d like to wish all of you: Happy Mother’s Day! 

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

Cindy's signature with flower and butterfly

 

 

 

 

share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

 

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

Share Your World – 2015 Week #17

What is your most favorite smell/scent?little girl smelling sunflower

The sense of smell is really quite fascinating. As a matter of fact, it is the only sense that has a direct connection to the brain. Okay, so I’m a nurse and I can’t help but give you a few facts – sorry about that. But did you know that according to the journal Science, people can detect at least one trillion distinct scents? Isn’t that incredible? Not only that, but we can also smell fear and disgust! These feelings are detected through sweat. The researchers found that women who smelled the “fear sweat” opened their eyes widely in a fearful expression, and women who smelled the “disgust sweat” also displayed facial expressions of disgust. Isn’t that interesting? I thought so, which is why I couldn’t help but mention it. Also, smell is the oldest sense and women have a better sense of smell than men. Maybe that’s why we love our perfumes cinnamon rollsso much, eh?

As for me, my favorite smell is cinnamon. It could be that it reminds me of my days growing up when my Mom would make cinnamon rolls. It was always one of our favorite treats and it wasn’t something that she did very often, but when she did, it was so special. Usually she’d bake these yummy treats on Saturday morning because on Sundays there simply wasn’t enough time because of church. The sweet aroma of the cinnamon in those rolls as they baked in the oven would waft from the kitchen all throughout the house, and if you happened to be sleeping at the time, it woke you up for sure! And now, whenever I smell cinnamon, my first thought is often of my mother and those long ago days of my youth when life was so much simpler.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself? dippity do

When I was younger, I wore my hair long, a little past my shoulders. I have naturally curly hair and believe me, that was not always easy to manage, especially thirty years ago when that type of hair was not “stylish.” I actually used to sleep in huge rollers after using “Dippity-Do” hair gel just to get my hair manageable! Then after I was married, and while my husband was away for a weekend camping trip with his friends, I decided that I’d had enough of all the fuss and muss of my hair, so I went to the hair salon and did the deed. I had them cut it short. I really liked my new haircut, but I was a little apprehensive about curly hairwhat my fairly new husband was going to have to say about it because I knew that he loved my longer hair. Believe me, he was plenty shocked when he walked through the door to our apartment that Sunday evening. He could hardly believe that I’d gone ahead and done such a thing without telling him about it first. It took him quite a while to get used to my new “do.” But gradually he did, and since then, I’ve never looked back. I’ve worn my hair short ever since. It’s a lot easier to manage. All I have to do is wash and wear, and the curls lay quite nicely with a shorter style. My oldest daughter Sarah has also been blessed with my curls, and she wears her hair longer, but she’s younger and she really knows how to work with her curls.

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

Oh, this question is without a doubt one of the easiest questions I have ever answered in this forum. I am definitely a planner. And I’ve always been a planner for as far back as I can remember. When I was young, I was always the one to spontaneousthink of which games we were going to play, whose house we were going to play at, what time we would get together, etc. And everyone wanted me be the planner. I don’t know if it was because it was easier for them or if it was because they figured that things went smoother when I was. I’m not bragging; it’s simply the way it was. And I think that because I was designated this role from an early age, I continued on in this way up until now. Now that’s not to say that I don’t like being spontaneous from time to time, because I do. I do like – as a matter of fact – I enjoy surprises and doing things off the cuff. And so, my dear husband Mike, if you are reading this (and I hope you are because you do read my blog from time to time) I could use a little more spontaneity in my life, so don’t be afraid to throw some in, okay? 🙂

pickleball 2What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Oh my! I am so happy that you asked this question this week because now I can tell you what my new favorite outdoor activity is because I just began doing it a week ago and it’s so exciting! Or at least for me it is. First of all, let me tell you that I am not, nor have I ever been, any kind of athlete whatsoever. Ever since my youth, I was always the last one chosen to be on any kind of team because I was always the slowest runner. Sad, but true. I have the shortest legs and no speed whatsoever. So I’ve never really gotten into any kind of sport because I was never very good at it. But last Saturday my sisters introduced me to a new sport that yours truly can actually participate in. It’s called “pickleball.” Ever hear of it? Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and pingpong. It’s played with a paddle and a wiffle ball on a short court, which is great for me because it means you don’t have topickleball 1 run as far as you would if you were playing tennis, which I’ve tried before and did not succeed at doing. Anyway, I’ve been having a marvelous time playing and since playing last Saturday, I have played five days out of seven so far! Isn’t that amazing? What’s even more amazing is that my back, which has previously given me so many problems with severe pain to the point where I never thought I’d be able to play such a game, hasn’t even bothered me! Go figure! So, if you’re looking for a neat little sport to try out, then you really should give pickleball a whirl. The other day, I wrote a blog post about this new experience which is more in-depth, so if you’d like to read it, I’ve included a link here:

My Favorite Outdoor Activity

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My new pickleball racket

My new pickleball racket

I am truly grateful to my sisters Diane and Terri for introducing me to my brand new favorite outdoor activity of pickleball. I’ve had so much fun playing pickleball with them. We’ve also introduced the game to one of our other sisters, Marge (did I tell you that I have five sisters?) and she also now has pickleball fever! This means we only have two sisters to go! 🙂 Not only have I had a “ball” playing, but as I mentioned earlier, my back pain is gone, which has been like a miracle to me. It’s also been a source of wonderful exercise for me, something which I know that I’ve needed to incorporate into my life for quite some time now. I’m also hopeful that maybe now I can lose some more weight, which to me, would be just icing on the cake. So, thanks, dear Sisters! You’re the best! But watch out, Sisters – by the end of the summer, I’m going to be the best pickleball player ever, and then you’ll be sorry that you taught me how to play . . . 🙂

I finished the Writing101 course that WordPress offered in April, which means that I’m looking forward to just relaxing this week with no real deadlines as far as my writing or blogging is concerned. It’s always nice to take a course and do your best, but it’s even nicer when you’re finished and not to have to worry about a deadline.thunderstorm picture

I’m also looking forward to more summer-like weather here in Minnesota. We’re scheduled to receive some rain and even some thunderstorms in the upcoming week, but we can use the rain. And guess what? I love thunderstorms. Yes, it’s true. As long as the weather sunny day at parkisn’t too threatening, and when I say threatening, I mean damaging high winds or even worse – tornadoes, then I don’t mind a good little thunderstorm. And that’s one more smell that I really love – the smell of rain. My husband claims that he can’t smell the rain when it’s coming, but I can, and I love that smell of the rain right before it arrives. And what’s even better is the smell after it rains. And right now everything needs a little greening up, so I say, “Bring on the rain.” But I hope that a few days of sunshine are thrown in next week, too! Because that means we can play some pickleball! 🙂

So now you know a little more about me.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

Cindy's signature with flower and butterfly

 

 

 

 

share your world

 

This post is presented as part of the Share Your World Challenge. If you’d like to be part of this great activity, please click here:

 

Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

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