Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

This is Day 14 of the 2018 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaaPlease join us this month on our writing journey. Today's prompt is 10 Things that make you happy.

Okay, finally an easy prompt. With all the fussing and complaining you hear today about how messed up everything is, regardless of what side of the fence you're on, it should still be easy enough to list ten things that make you happy.

It doesn't have to be huge or outstanding. It doesn't even have to cost money. It could be as simple as a hot cup of coffee on a cool morning, or your dog or cat greeting you at the door. There are so many things I could list, but here are what first came to mindin no particular order.
  1. Going to the beach
  2. Potatoes (my favorite food)
  3. Hearing the birds sing
  4. Going for a walk on a beautiful day
  5. A glass of chilled Chardonnay
  6. Watching it snow
  7. Hanging out with friends
  8. Head butts from our cat
  9. A warm blanket
  10. Cool sheets
  11. Bonus: My husband, but that is a given after 30+ years together.
This is a random sampling of things that make me happy. What makes you happy?


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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Let It Snow...Or Not

This is Day 13 of the 2018 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaaPlease join us this month on our writing journey. Today's prompt is Let it snow (or not).

If you live in the South you understand this concept very well. If you're from the North and think it never snows here, it does. It is just not as predictable here. With modern technology and advanced forecasting, most weather sources will give a 10-day forecast. Unlike years ago, when we had one forecast which we either got in the morning paper or saw on the daily weather report on TV, we now have weather news that is updated 24/7. 

What that means is that the forecast fluctuates more than a politician's double-talk. What you read this morning may not be true by lunch time. So when you look at the long-range forecast and see the "S-word" (snow), don't start making or cancelling plans based on that. The snow will likely be in and out of the forecast many times before you actually get the snow...or not.

Snow is indeed in the forecast for the day of this post. By the time it is up, we will know whether we got snow or not.

Update: We got SNOW!




Santa, is that you?



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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Lessons Learned

This is Day 12 of the 2018 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaaPlease join us this month on our writing journey. Today's prompt is What I learned in school.

School is a place of learning, and that is not limited to what we glean from textbooks. We learn about life and how to function with others. Some of those lessons are harder than the scholarly endeavors.

My Brain in School!
Things I learned:
  • That it is not easy being the new kid in school, and not everyone will be your friend.
  • Not to raise your hand to answer a question. Getting the answer wrong is not a big deal for most, but I was embarrassed and did not raise my hand after that. I think I was in the second grade at the time.
  • I could not sing. We had a music teacher at the school where I was the new kid. She made everyone memorize and sing the "hymn of the month". Solo! More embarrassment. Fortunately, it was only that one year then I guess she retired.
  • Not all teachers are good teachers. I had one teacher who taught math and probably science. He said anyone who would stay after class would get the answers to the next day's math test. I was not good at math, so of course I stayed. The tests in the other class was pre-recorded and we had pieces of paper numbered down the side and four columns of circles. He played the tape of the questions and gave four choices. We filled in the corresponding circle.
  • My history teacher dictated sentences and told us what to underline. The tests were the exactly what he dictated, so if you were good at memorization, you passed the tests. I passed the tests. What did I learn?
  • I learned that extra credit is very helpful if you are doing poorly in math. Often it counted as a test; you do it and you get 100%. Win!

    Many people complain about the quality of education in our public school systems and there may or may not be justification, I don't know. What I do know is that most of the above experiences were in a private, Christian school, which I attended for five years. The school was growing and each year they added another grade. At the end of the 10th grade, I made the decision I was going back to public school, and there was a senior high school just a couple miles from my house that I could drive to.
What I learned there?
  • I learned that I could choose classes. I had never had that option before. We were told what the classes were and we took them all, which is why I learned to type at 14 and had three years of French.
  • I learned that if you were late getting back from lunch, the good parking spaces were taken and you had to park at the swimming pool.
  • I learned that didn't like accounting, and after all my years of typing (I was good and fast), that manual typewriters made it look like I couldn't type at all. It was embarrassing to get a mediocre grade in something I was really good at.
  • I learned that I loved shorthand, and was good at it, too. 

Lest it sound as if I did not learn anything, I got the basics in math by the end of the 5th grade, and my typing skills helped keep me employed for 19+ years. I even had occasion to use my rusty middle school French to order some pastries in a small French bakery. I did not enjoy school, but I never failed a class and got through it with a reasonable education.

What was your school experience like? Feel free to share in the comments if you wish.


If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Fetch Me Some Grog!

This is Day 11 of the 2018 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaaPlease join us this month on our writing journey. Today's prompt is All for me grog.

What is Grog? Originally grog was a drink made with rum and water which came about when the British Admiral Sir Edward Vernon ordered all Naval rum to be watered down. 

The men, accustomed to drinking their rum straight, were, of course, upset but rather than mutiny, however, they named the watered down rum "Grog" after the Admiral. 

His nickname was Old Grog from the grogram coat he always wore. Grogram is a coarse fabric made from silk and wool, and stiffened with gum, which seemed particularly fitting for the Admiral.

The British Navy wasn't alone in it's fondness for grog; many mariners, including pirates, carried a blend of sugar-water, rum and lime juice to help prevent scurvy.

Today grog generally refers to any alcoholic beverage.

I did, however, discover a recipe for a drink called grog that contains lime juice, brown sugar, rum and water. You can find the exact recipe at thedrinkblog.com.  

What is your favorite Grog?



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Friday, January 12, 2018

High Tide

This is Day 10 of the 2018 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaaPlease join us this month on our writing journey. Today's prompt is Hi, low...in, out.


My very first thought when I saw today's prompt are Tides. What exactly are tides anyway?
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of Earth.
Spending time at the beach will get you to thinking about the tides for various reasons such as fishing, swimming and sunbathing, games, jogging, sand castles and tidal pools.

The tides are high when the moon is either directly over head where you are, or directly overhead on the exact opposite side of the earth. It works differently in each place. When the moon is overhead at your location, the moon's gravity is essentially pulling the water toward it. The opposite is true when the moon is overhead on the opposite side of the earth from you. The moon's gravity is pulling the earth away from the water on that side. There is a graphic here that shows this.

What I knew about tides from my beach trips was that there were both high and low tides twice a day, and that the moon affects the tides. Now I know more of how that works. Any coastal town will experience a high tide about every 12 hours and 25 minutes. If you are interested, you can find tide charts at any bait and tackle shop on the beach or just search online for tide charts.

Now let's stroll along the beach and enjoy The Tide Is High by Blondie.







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