Cee’s Share Your World – Week 4

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Take a blog hop over to Cee’s Share Your World to participate:

Do you prefer juice or fruit?

I prefer fruit. I like watermelon, strawberries, and peaches, the best. Even though that is true, I eat bananas more than any other fruit. I rarely drink fruit juices.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in a mid-sized city if we are talking population, more like a big town. It was about sixty square miles and parts of it were (and probably still are) very agricultural. It has grown in population since I grew up there. I lived in a neighborhood that was once farmland and there were a couple of fields left behind where we could run and play. There was a wooded area that was a great shortcut to my grandparent’s house and the junior high school. We could ride our bikes downtown and to the pool. I walked to school until I could drive, except for the ninth grade when I rode a bus across town. That was the only year my school was too far away to walk. I lived in the same house the entire time I was growing up. I liked it well enough. I didn’t know anything different.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

Maybe a blue-gray, a nice calm color, for the first sixteen years. I had a happy enough childhood. My mother was controlling and hyper-critical, so I was very well-behaved and not much of a risk taker. I did not want to get into trouble.

Then, when I was seventeen, I got my driver’s license and a car – an almost new 1972 Super Beetle (thanks to my grandfather). Here we are looking at a color change. The paint would be a brighter blue. I wasn’t exactly a wild child after I got my car, but I had a lot more freedom and a lot more fun. (This is just a model VW in the photo. Mine was orange.)

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When I was old enough to have an opinion about the color of my bedroom, I painted the walls bright yellow with red-orange on the wood trim. That was the actual color I lived in during my childhood. I shared the room with my sister, so she gets half the credit.

Ways to Relax List: Make a list of what relaxes you and helps you feel calm.

  1. The first thing on my list is a walk outside. That usually relaxes me better than anything else. After that, it really depends on whether I am anxious or just winding down. For the most part, I think I am fairly relaxed these days. It is a matter of practicing acceptance with almost everything. If I’m not fighting with the rest of the world, life is a lot more peaceful. A little prayer and meditation every morning helps.
    2. Reading a book.
    3. Watching something funny on television, because laughing makes me feel good, and if I feel good, I relax.
    4. Editing photos.
    5. Deep breathing.
    6. Laying down on my bed can be very relaxing. It is super comfortable.

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

I am grateful for my Fitbit Charge 2 that my husband bought for me. It is helping me track my exercise (I wasn’t moving as much as I thought), my calories, and my sleep.

This week, I am looking forward to getting together with a friend of mine for tea.

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Cee’s Share Your World – Week 3

I didn’t make it to my blog at all last week. In fact, I didn’t turn my laptop on for at least five days. So, I am going to start this week, as I plan to do most Mondays, participating in Cee’s Share Your World.

  1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? I always close the closet door before getting in bed. I like it closed all of the time. My husband has other ideas.
  2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? Never. And I usually pack my own when I travel.
  3. What is your usual bedtime? I don’t always go to bed at the same time every night. It depends on whether or not my husband and I are watching television together. I tend to fall asleep around 11:30 most nights. (This post has kept me up later than usual.)

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  4. Do you like to use post-it notes? When I was in college, I used post-it notes in my text books for studying. Now, I rarely use them. I don’t think we have them in the house.
  5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Handwritten letters are a real pleasure to receive. It takes some extra effort to write a letter and place it in the mail. I think the last letter I wrote on paper was around 2006. I wrote a letter to my husband’s Aunt Amanda. It is possible that I wrote to her once or twice since then, but I especially remember the first letter I sent her. I send note cards with some regularity to family members.
  6. Any phobias? These two phobias are rather common. Claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces. Acrophobia – fear of heights. I have experienced claustrophobia or maybe agoraphobia that caused me to have a panic attack. It was the 2011 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, which is held on Broad Street. As night began to fall, the crowd was gathering around the main event – Compagnie Transe Express circus – an aerial acrobatic and musical performance. The front of the crowd stopped in place, while the rear of the crowd kept moving forward. I was somewhere in the middle. As the people pushed and shoved, I began to feel fear rising. I calmly told my husband that I had to get out of there NOW. He tried to reassure me that everything was okay several times, but it was to no avail. I was certain that I was trapped and about to be trampled. I couldn’t breathe. It is really difficult to explain the terror of the moment. My husband finally knew he had no choice and he pushed through the mob calling out: Woman having a panic attack! Woman having a panic attack! We made it out to a clearing on a side street. Obviously, I wasn’t as trapped as I believed.  I never did see the performance. Thankfully, I don’t have panic attacks anymore.
  7. How tall are you? Five feet tall. Call me Stretch. I have to do a lot of that to reach things in places most people take for granted.time-illusion-xor-2-gp-watermark

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Cee’s Share Your World – Wk #1

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Would you prefer to receive a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle?

I already own a bicycle, so I’m all set. A tricycle made for an adult seems like more cycle than I care to pedal, especially up a hill. There are a lot of hills around here. I think motorcycles can be fun, but the traffic where I live is a nightmare, so no thank you. I really prefer to walk.

What is one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?

I’d like to improve at photography, from composition to taking and developing raw images.

What was one of the highlights of 2016 for you?

Vacationing in Maine with our family was absolutely one of the highlights of 2016. Those two little people in the photo are my grandsons. Even though the clouds have mostly blocked any sunshine, it was a hot day.

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Would you prefer to fly a kite or fly in a hot air balloon?

Fly a kite. My husband and I both own kites. He used to have a stunt kite. They are a lot of fun. This year, we bought an inexpensive kite to fly with our grandsons. They loved it.

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

Our son and his wife flew in for a visit over the New Year weekend. Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons came over and we celebrated Christmas on Saturday. Sunday, we went to a local restaurant to watch the Patriot’s game – they won. We celebrated with two desserts. Our daughter-in-law made a Devil’s Food cake with a caramel buttercream frosting one night. It was delicious. Our daughter made dinner on Monday night and served cannoli. Yummy. If you read last week’s Share Your World, you might remember that baked goods are my guilty pleasure and I ate all of it. I am grateful for everything, except the five pounds I gained.

This week, I am looking forward to returning to a normal diet.

This was our Maine retreat. I have noticed that if I open my post in the Reader, the featured image is not part of my post, so I am placing it at the end of the post, as well.

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Participating in Cee’s Share Your World.

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Cee’s Share Your World – Week 52

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Click here to participate in: Cee’s Share Your World.

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor? 

My favorite ice cream flavor is Vanilla Bean. It used to be chocolate, but now it runs a close second. Every summer we go to a local place that has soft serve, and I get a vanilla chocolate twist. I eat ice cream almost every single day.

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to? 

A luxury condo in the city and a house on the beach.

Have you ever been drunk?

Yes. I used to enjoy the feeling. Then I didn’t. Sometimes it was fun. Sometimes it wasn’t. I no longer drink alcohol.

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Complete this sentence: My favorite supposedly guilty pleasure is… 

Baked goods. Chocolate brownie sundae from Clyde’s (a local restaurant). Chocolate cake. Tiramisu. Creme brulee. Peach cobbler. Chocolate chip cookies. I rarely keep baked goods in the house. I love to indulge once in a while.

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

Last week I spent one day in Washington, D.C. with my friend, Kindred Spirit. We visited the Basilica and the Botanical Gardens. It was a long day of walking and picture taking. Spending the day with a good friend, no matter where we go, is always a reason to feel grateful. (The photo is the Capitol building.)

This week, our son and his wife are flying in to visit for Christmas.

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Share Your World #50

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It has been a long time since I participated in Cee’s Share Your World. I always enjoyed it, and I am going to try to make it a habit on my new blog – this blog. I need writing habits. Thanks, Cee, for the fun prompts.

What is your favorite smell? What memory does it remind you of?

Is it the ocean? I love the smell of salt air. But, I wonder, would this be true without the entire experience? The sound of the waves, the seagulls squawking, dolphins breaking the surface, walking where the surf meets the sand, the overwhelming expanse of water and sky, the horizon at dawn and dusk. That list could go on and on. I love this smell because it reminds me of growing up and my grandparents.

My grandparents felt like my rock when I was growing up. They offered unconditional love. At least it felt that way. That is rare. They made impossible things seem possible. Salt air reminds me of the room they rented for our entire family in Mr. Cook’s Victorian home in Cape May, New Jersey, from the time I was a toddler until hurricanes kept pushing us up the coastline to Sea Isle and then Ocean City. It reminds me of the house my grandparents built at the Jersey shore when I was about eleven-years-old. It reminds me of sandcastles and carefree times. I associate the ocean with peace of mind and an inner joy that I do not feel anywhere else.

What type of pet do you have or want to have?

I have an Old English Sheepdog. His name is Strider and he is thirteen-years-old. That is him in the photo with the soccer ball. It is his favorite game. We now use basketballs because they don’t have all that foam he might swallow. He is a clown.

His companion, Laura, died last year. That is her in the snow in the feature photo, weirdly cropped by my WP theme. She was the most perfect pet I have ever loved. She came to live with us when she was two-years-old. The breeder had shaved her practically bald. She loved to fetch a ball. She never met a person she didn’t like. She had the sweetest personality. She could make you feel like the sun was shining when you were sitting under a thunder cloud.

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The Day Laura Came To Live With Us

Sheepdogs are irresistible. They are funny and loyal to their people. Make no mistake; all of that hair is a lot of work. When Strider dies (it is inevitable), we are going to resist the urge to get another dog. We are dog lovers, but we did not get ours until our son went to college. Turns out, they give him asthma. He hasn’t had one healthy visit home in thirteen years. We have had cats and fish. No offense to those who love them, but I have no desire to get either again. No desire for birds or reptiles either. There is nothing like an Old English Sheepdog.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I am usually early, but not by too much. I believe in showing up on time. It might seem like a little thing, I think it shows that I care about the people I am meeting or the event I am attending. However, better late than never, if I am not punctual.  

For recharging, would you rather meditate, swim, walk, listen to music, write, read, yoga, qigong other?

This is a tough question. I don’t know what recharges me. I used to feel energized when we lived in Philadelphia. I loved that city. A good walk in the city recharged me. I used to walk almost five miles a day, just for love of the city. It was like my muse. Poetry would write itself as I walked. There was always something interesting to photograph. But now that I live in suburban hell, a walk wears me out. It is terribly boring to walk around my community. Half a mile and I am over it. I am going to head into Washington, D.C. next week, and I am looking forward to it, but it is not the same as being in Philly or Boston.

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

I am grateful that I found Kevita Sparkling Lemon Cayenne probiotic drink in a case. I love it, and I have been buying it one bottle at a time in the cafe. It’s a fun beverage – fizzy, not too sweet, and it has kick. Yay, I now have a refrigerator stocked with it.

I am looking forward to my new dishwasher arriving Thursday. The current dishwasher, which is barely three-years-old, died about a month ago. A repairman came out and said an electrical component had burned out. He had to order the part, and then he would return to fix it – $300.00. Cheaper than a new one. No word from the repairman after two weeks, so we gave him a call. It turns out that he couldn’t order the part; he would have to order a whole wiring harness – more like the cost of a new dishwasher. It would have been nice if he had called to inform us, but he made up his mind that we would not want to do that. He was right, but we didn’t know about it, so we were doing nothing – except dishes and more dishes. Armed with knowledge, we went shopping two weeks ago and found a lovely Bosch. Although I didn’t mind washing the dishes a month ago, I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to the new arrival.

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