Finding My Bliss

I learned to knit several years ago, but I got out of the habit after I moved to Mexico.  This week, thanks to some encouraging friends, I have rediscovered my bliss.  I will admit to not being very good at knitting, but I do enjoy it.  Anything that is homemade will never be perfect.  I accept that.

My crocheting friend and I have spent a few hours plotting and scheming planning for a possible craft fair appearance later this year.  I’ll keep you updated.



This school year has been different from last year in various ways.  The main thing I have changed is my way of teaching.  I threw out my book and have been concentrating on giving students tons of comprehensible input.  They were a bit scared at first—and so was I, to be honest.  They didn’t know what to expect without a book.

I am feeling much less apprehensive as I practice using a lot more Spanish in class.  I explained the goal to the students (90% or more in Spanish) because it shouldn’t be a secret.  I have had students share their feelings about comprehensible input lately.

One student said speaking Spanish is “becoming second nature” to her.  Another told me he thinks we are meeting the goal of 90% Spanish in class.  He also shared that he is understanding almost everything!  I of course, am thrilled that my students are learning and happy.

I can’t wait to see how much the students learn (and retain) by the end of the year!  Every positive comment from them encourages me more.  For more information about comprehensible input, visit Martina Bex.




I had some time to sit and drink coffee while one of our dogs was having a dental yesterday. Chance ended up minus 13 teeth by the time the morning was over!  He’s recovering well, by the way. 

I was in a tiny town in rural Nebraska at the local gas station.  In spite of that, I was able to use not only English, but Spanish and ASL—American Sign Language!

People often give me weird looks when I say I love languages, but I truly value learning something just because it’s interesting and I can.

I was—and still am—so thrilled that I had the knowledge to communicate in ASL.  So few people in this area study it.  How lonely life must be for that kind, deaf fellow in that tiny town.  His uncle sat with us at the small, round table. He was surprised and happy when I started signing with his nephew.  I was sad that so few people ever tried.  

The next time someone gives you a strange look when you mention an uncommon interest you are passionate about, don’t let it bother you.  Your passion may lead to something wonderful.  Learning for the love of knowledge feels amazing.  Using what you have learned is truly priceless when you can make another feel less alone.

Plot Twist!

Supper was served none too soon at The Jugged Hare.  The atmosphere was pleasant, and the food was acceptable.  (With English food, I couldn’t tell what was “normal” from food that was just bland.  Maybe English food is all lacking in robust taste.  I am not sure I can offer a fair opinion until I discuss it with a friend or two in England.  I mean no offense.)


I learned several new things while Bela and the rest of the tour group went to see Mamma Mia.  Rich, an intriguing conversationalist, was kind enough to keep me company.  I learned that a “shandy” is half beer and half lemonade, for example.  I don’t drink alcohol, but I thought that was amusing.   I also learned that there was a proposed tax on “fizzy drinks.”  I was outraged!  How dare they charge more for drinking a soda than a bottle of water.  Discrimination!

After the group was done watching Mamma Mia, we (thankfully) boarded a bus to the hotel.  NO MORE WALKING!!!!  Bela was in a much better mood because she sat beside a lady who shared candy with her.  Bela and the lady had a delightful conversation while they enjoyed seeing the show (again, for both of them).

Once back at the hotel, things got hectic because our room keys had been deactivated.  Only one of us had a key that worked!  Bela was rooming with three girls from the Texas group, and they were all locked out.

Things finally got straightened out after about twenty minutes, and we were able to get in bed.  The next day I discovered that since Bela snores, she had kept the girls awake!  (I snore too, and I sleep like a rock!)  One of her roomies was epileptic, so she really needed her meds and rest time to be functional.  No problem!  We all were very considerate of students who needed accommodations.  I had originally asked if Bela could room with me, but I was told it would cost us $300 extra!  Students were four to a room while adults were two per room.

Avis, the leader for the Texas group, and I thought Bela could bunk in my roomsince it was an unplanned situation.  My roomie, however, did not feel comfortable with a student in our space even though the student was my 18-year-old daughter.  Plan B was then hatched.  My roommate was kind enough to bunk with her students’ moms so we could at least have time to figure out what would work.

Rich’s hands were tied concerning the room situation.  Final word (approval) had to come from the main office.  We thought things were fixed in London, but the drama continued even after we arrived in Paris.  Let’s just say things were finally fixed to our satisfaction after Avis and I both threw fits and refused to pay extra for the room Bela and I had to ourselves.  My former roomie got a single room (great for her!), I got to room with my girl (great for us), and Bela’s former roomies could rest (great for them!).  The point was there was no way we could have predicted the situation and/or planned for it!  Nobody was at fault.  After the rooms were decided, I could feel tension oozing away….More adventures coming soon!


After the Pax Lodge activities, we boarded our bus to find our own lunch spot.  (Bela and I spotted a Pizza Hut sign, so we went four flights below street level for some tasty food.)  There was time to spend a few pounds after lunch, so we did some shopping.  Traffic was “chockablock,” so we were a bit delayed after we met up again at the bus and proceeded on a three-hour tour.  Unlike Gilligan, we did not get stranded.  We did, however, get wet.

I learned that snapping a decent picture is nearly impossible through a window while zooming by the attraction…in the rain.  I also learned that taxis had high ceilings in them to allow men to climb in without removing their top hats.  Despite the fashions of today, tradition is tradition.

We got out near Buckingham Palace for a photo op.  Bela stayed on the bus, but I took the cameras and represented the García family.  Janet, the tour guide, and our bus driver, Noel, were very nice and helpful.  Our time in London was precisely scheduled—much to my dismay—so we spent quite a chunk of time walking.  Dear Rich, our babysitter full-time guide, walked like he was late for a fire.  By the time we arrived at our supper destination, The Jugged Hare, Bela was in tears.  Her ankle brace had rubbed a blister on her, and her hip was throbbing.  At this point, Bela was ready to go home (as in back to Nebraska).  In spite of the drama and fatigue, I took some cool pictures that I’ll share.  More later!


I found a cool car place and took Bernard Bear.


I love this building.


The queen was not in residence.