Do you ever get to the point where you are tired of everything? I am there now. I’m thinking of possible solutions as I go. I am tired of eating the same food. I’ve got my eye on a couple of new recipes we might try soon. That will add some variety.

I’m tired of working all the time. That one is a bit trickier to fix. I love my jobs, though. The main problem is I’m tired of being tired when I go to work. To fix that, I need to put myself on a strict schedule. I know I’ll have to force myself to go to bed early enough! I’m not up all night, but it’s so easy to get distracted and stay up later than planned.

OK, done with whining…maybe I’ll take a nap!?


A Facebook friend posted something about not running over turtles in the road. It’s a sad commentary about society that posts like that are actually needed. I always try to avoid hitting anything when driving, and I can’t believe anyone would willingly hurt another creature. I shouldn’t be surprised, though. I watch the news, and I have been involved in animal rescue, so I have seen some ugly things. Those things make me sick.

Scientific studies have shown that animal cruelty is linked to violence against people. If someone abuses a defenseless animal, odds are good that a helpless human could be next, especially if the perpetrator gets away with it the first time.

I always tell my students, “Anyone who hurts an animal is no friend of mine.” I mean that, and I don’t care who it is. I will not tolerate animal cruelty. I will stand up for the weak, animal or human.



Now What?

I am already thinking about what I’ll do after this last grad class ends in June. The degree will certainly open more doors professionally like teaching dual credit classes, but my real question is: what will I study next?

I get bored quickly, and I’m not afraid to try new things, so I’ve been taking a mental inventory of my interests other than Spanish. Fortunately, I love to read, so that will serve me well in any endeavor. I spent some time browsing the MOOC database, and I found all kinds of options. The courses are free. The down side is that no credit is given. That really isn’t my major concern. I want to learn new things about a variety of topics, and I want to learn from experts. So far, I haven’t zeroed in on a class, but I’m sure I’ll find something to hold my interest. History? Forensics? Arabic? French?

Life after grad school can feel like a bit of a let down. The last two years have been filled with homework, reading and pressure. I imagine I will breathe a sigh of relief at the end of the course, but I’m not sure I’ll know what to do without a text book in my hands. I’m on my way to figuring it out! Life is a journey!


All Work and No Play

I had a chance to go to my first branding this week. This was—and still is—on my bucket list. My body pulled a fast one, and I had to stay home. I was (understandably) quite disappointed. I hope I will have another chance to experience part of the sandhills tradition.

I have realized that most of my time is spent in my books. As a matter of fact, I have read two murder mysteries in the last day and a half. I read for pleasure (obviously) as well as for my grad classes. I work during the school year and pick up extra hours at my second job in the summer. I need to do something else. Something for me. I must find a way to have fun besides reading. I will be selfish with my time when I find out exactly what I want to do for fun. I’d better figure it out fast, though, because my last grad class starts June 9. Even if I don’t figure out my fun outlet before class starts, I’ll still have July and part of August to do something….

Hermit or Happy?

Are you a social butterfly? Do you call and visit friends frequently? Do you assume everyone else enjoys company as much as you do? This may hurt, but not all of us like visits, especially unexpected ones. I don’t want to discourage people from being friendly and caring, but I have my limits. I can only tolerate so much “together time.” Let me help you understand my point of view.

I was raised in a small, quiet family. We had infrequent guests, and I enjoyed spending my spare time reading and listening to music. I recall my mom telling me to come out of my room and “be sociable.” My response was usually either, “I don’t have anything to talk about,” or “I’m reading a good book!” I relished my time alone, and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything by not having siblings. Some people have tried to tell me how “lonely” my childhood must have been—those people may mean well, but they know nothing about me. Maybe they are projecting their own feelings. As an only child, I learned to entertain myself. I didn’t have to share my toys. So? Those aren’t negatives to me! I am happy in my own company.

I get bored super fast, so after I learn something (such as when I earned my CNA license), I practice it a bit, then move on to the next challenge. If I don’t have a goal to accomplish, I will be bored. That’s one reason I usually have a book in my hand. As I’ve studied for my Master’s in Spanish these last two years, I took a class that made me understand something: I have little patience for interactional language; I generally focus on transactional language. Interactional language is pleasant chit-chat (the niceties). Transactional language is more direct to get something done. I might seem abrupt and rude sometimes, but my mind is on my to-do list. I am at my best in a classroom, whether I am a learner or a teacher. I can survive professional conferences and interact well. I think it’s because I attend one or two per year, and I truly enjoy interacting with other teachers. I get so many great ideas from my peers.

It might sound strange, but even though I belong to a few professional organizations, I am not much of a “joiner.” When given a choice between going out for a dinner with colleagues or staying home, I stay home. I never go to the Christmas parties or end-of-year festivities. I get my work done and stay to myself. Some people are offended when I choose solitude over socializing. If you are one of those people, just remember: It’s not you; it’s me. I am not rejecting you; I am celebrating my solitude. I guess I am a happy hermit.

If you want to come visit occasionally, call first. Please don’t just show up at my door unless I have told you specifically that it’s fine. I like having time after work to do nothing all by myself. I also relish quiet time with my daughter and our pets. As I get older I have found that I actually prefer the company of my pets. ­čÖé Leave this happy hermit alone. I will emerge when I feel like it!

Worst Ever

I have now convinced my doctor of something I knew long ago. I am the worst patient ever. Why? That’s easy……I have a very strong aversion to needles, so I refuse blood work. I usually don’t even step on the scale either! The nurse was a kind lady and had a good reason for getting my current weight, so I (at least) did that much today! It was a concession, however small.

After having an EKG in the office, the doctor informed me that it was normal. YEAH!!!! That made me feel better after all the “weirdness” I’ve been feeling this past week. My blood pressure was higher than she liked, and she suspects my thyroid is causing problems. Blood work would be the way to rule it out or confirm. I refused, of course. After offering me a beta blocker (which I also refused), her parting shot was, “So, what else can I NOT do for you today?”

Worst. Patient. Ever.


Writing Challenge

Writing Challenge

Today’s writing challenge topic: Have you ever taken a trip by yourself? Do you prefer to travel with people or alone?

I have done both. I don’t mind going alone. That’s what happened when I scheduled a trip to Costa Rica when I was in college. None of my friends had the money or the determination to make the trip, but I planned for a year to be able to go. It was an amazing adventure. (My mom calls me a daredevil!) I met a very nice man (Eduardo) on the plane who got us a taxi when we landed while I guarded the luggage. I hadn’t made hotel reservations, so Eduardo told the driver where I needed to be. I asked for “cheap and clean.” The hotel was in the Zona Rosa (red light district), but it was fine. I felt safe there because Pancho (clerk/receptionist) always kept an eye out for my safety. He wouldn’t let me go out alone even though I thought I was perfectly capable of protecting myself. He would find out where I wanted to go and search for another guest going the same place. I remember playing cards with Pancho and two other guests almost every night. One guest spoke Greek, Arabic and some English, another spoke Albanian and some Greek, Pancho spoke only Spanish. Luckily, I completed the circle with English and Spanish. The Albanian guy would say something in Greek which was translated into English. I then would tell Pancho what was going on. If it was a joke, the guys waited for the final translation before they laughed.

I have traveled with my older daughter. When she was about 10, we went to Puerto Rico for a week. We had a great time (if you don’t count an ear infection from the pool). We both learned a lot on that trip. It was memorable also because one of my very best pals “decided” to have a heart attack while my back was turned! I was ready to get on a flight home, but she was well enough to tell me to stay in Puerto Rico and come home as scheduled.



My older daughter went with me to Mexico. It was a difficult trip in many ways since she was a teen at the time. A teacher friend accompanied us with her granddaughter. I had invited a student along to round out the group. (His Spanish skills improved so much that week!)

My younger daughter and I have a trip planned to Europe within the next couple of years. Since we lived in Mexico for about five years, she is comfortable in the Mexican culture. Her Spanish is better than mine. We speak the language, so Spain should be awesome!

I can travel comfortably alone or with others. I would prefer to travel with people I know, but when we sign up to be part of a tour group, getting to know fellow travelers is part of the adventure. I jokingly tell people I can be packed in 10 minutes. I’m not really kidding, though!

The Chicken Chick