Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Life as a Dog...and Emerald Isle~

Is there a word that describes beyond excited? Like ecstatic? Ummm… maybe Euphoric? Well, that’s me today because I’m told we are heading back to the beach, Emerald Isle to be specific and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the ocean!!!

In July when we were there I didn’t even wait for the car to be unpacked before I made a mad dash through the gate on the back deck toward the sparkling sapphire water. I turned around to glance back to see if my family was following me because I wanted them to enjoy it too and they had their ‘mad’ faces on so of course, I kept on running down the beach as fast as my legs could carry me. One little girl in a bright pink polka dotted suit put her hands out trying to stop so I could play, but I just turned my head her way to indicate, ‘not now…gotta run to the end of the ocean! …but love your suit!’

But you know what? There IS no end to my ocean…it just kept going and going and going….oh no, where was my family? Well, as I turned to search for them I remembered the water…ahhh, love the water except for the taste; BLECK! That’s gross! But I reminded myself to just keep my mouth shut so I wouldn’t indulge in its bitterness. Hey, I think those waves are playing tag with me…it came and got my feet. ‘Okay, now you’re in trouble’ I bark. I run toward and it chases me back and wraps itself around my legs as if to say ‘YOU’RE IT!’

We play this game until I tire of being ‘it’ and my family finally discovers me. I’m wondering, ‘hey guys, what took you so long?’ They are so jubilant to be here, they don’t even reprimand me for my grand escape as we continue to stroll along the Oceanside with the sand collecting deep in my paws. I stop and dig my mitts into the sand and send it flailing back in a shower of particles until I plop down into the cool bed of ginger grains. I gaze up at my family to tell them, ‘AHHHHH, This is the life!’

Yeah, I remember those exceptional times and more, so it’s with great exhilaration in my heart that I observe my family collecting their things so we can embark upon our journey. Nee Nee said something about the beach being tranquil, peaceful and an invitation for the stress, whatever that is, to wash into the vast ocean, but to me, it’s a never-ending playground for fun. I love this life….

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Life as a Dog…and DQ!

Lucky Me, Lucky me, we’re going for ice cream!

If you couldn’t tell, I love ice cream and always have since I was just a pup. I’m really not sure how it started but my family informed me that they’ve been going for ‘o’ceam’ since Little Daddy was a small boy. The first time they took the little man, my boy didn’t like it; what was he thinking? How can you not love that rich smooth velvety lump of a cold refreshing treat? Oh, my gosh, YUM….

This is what sets the process in motion. Someone in my family will say, ‘We’re goin’ for Ice Cream! Get in the car!’ …well, you don’t have to tell me twice. I practically knock anyone over who moves in my passageway and if someone is in my way? ‘WATCH OUT!! Last one in is a rotten egg’ and I want to tell you, I am typically NOT the last one in. I quickly claim the front seat and make Nee Nee sit in back; Hee Hee! She will plop down in the back and mumble something about ‘a spoiled rotten dog’ under her breath. Hey, I can’t help it if she doesn’t move any faster than that. Maybe if she had four legs she’d be in motion more hastily. So I glance back to make sure my family is in their place, belts all buckled and off Big Daddy drives.

Just the thought of going to DQ gets me so energized I keep going back and forth, back and forth between the front and the back, ‘Are we there yet?’ I keep asking Nee Nee with my nuzzle in her face, and then I head to the front and give Big Daddy a Lickie Lickie on his cheek to advise him to hurry this bus up. Little Daddy tells me to ‘sit still’ but I can’t help it, I just want some ice cream. Let’s see, I think I’ll get my favorite, a vanilla cone, yep, that’s my favorite! ‘Are we there yet?’ and a Lickie Lickie to you too, Nee Nee!

We finally arrive at DQ and I jump out of the van so excitedly and pull Big Daddy across the parking lot while he gives me a stern warning, ‘Hurricane you gotta stop pulling!’ But I just can’t help it, I’m so thrilled! I can taste that silky vanilla crème in my mouth as we speak. I try to go into Dairy Queen but I’m reminded I can’t go in; I have to wait outside…THIS IS SO NOT FAIR!

So I choose a table or bench outside, which is after I get done wandering toward anyone with the soft frozen delicacy to see if anyone is willing to share. They all just pat me on the head and tell me how pretty I am which is fine and dandy but I prefer ice cream to kind words.

When Big D and Little D come out with the treats I sit so nicely upon command and begin devouring my chilly delight. It is so luscious and mouth-watering that I have dribble running down my chin. Oh well, that’s what Little Daddy’s leg is for; just nestle up against him real close. Ahhhh, this is a glorious, heavenly weakness of mine I never want to be without…oh no, is it all gone? Nope, got the cone remaining so I grasp it gently with my front teeth as Big D releases his grasp, then I lay on my belly with the funnel between my two front paws to conclude my feast. Chomp, Chomp…and licking my chops afterward…. YUM-MY! Then I sit patiently; maybe if I manage to look very handsome someone will share with me!?

Oh well, even if they don’t, Lucky me! I love this life…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On this day, God wants you to know....

... that it's okay to ask for help. Sometimes we get overwhelmed with the details and complexities of our lives. Sometimes we need some help to get untangled, to gain a new perspective. Ask for help. Help may come in human or divine form. It may be seen or unseen. Ask, and ye shall receive.

This feature is one I can access on a daily basis on Facebook, although I don’t, just when I’m bored enough or curious as to what God would say to me if I felt so inclined. This morning was one of those occasions when I was curious and this message appeared. Ummm… was my response because if you know anything about me it’s that I take a great deal of pride in my independence. I rarely ask for help, and once in a blue moon if ever, do I allow others to catch a glimpse of the times I am overwhelmed with details and complexities of my life. This blog has been helpful in that area to which I agreed to include unvoiced thoughts, feelings and truths. I am attempting to open up my heart, to allow others the deepest parts to be searched, known and heard. Knowingly, this takes a great deal of trust, I realize; something I’ve never been very good at in this life of mine.

Therefore, I must say publicly that the beginning of this school year has been anything but good. In fact, it has been downright miserable which I attribute a great deal of it to the significant event that took place back in June before last school year ended (see post: Safely Wrapped in a Cocoon?) As much as I’ve tried to deal with this happening, it’s still lingering in my thoughts and every cell of my being. I no longer feel safe in my environment and find myself second guessing my every move and what’s more, the motive of each person. I thought I’d cast aside those feelings and beliefs, so surprise me when they are there just as prevalent as when it happened.

In fact, the event has somewhat immobilized me to act and react to teachers and their needs and expectations of me which I hadn’t recognized and I find myself questioning my abilities. Virtually, I feel as if I’ve lost the trust of my administrator and colleagues and I don’t know how to get that safe feeling back. I’ve considered moving schools which is always up for possibility; however, this is not the time of year to do that. I’ve even looked at other employment possibilities but don’t want to react so abruptly. But what does come to mind is, I did nothing wrong and I won’t give her the satisfaction of a departure and allow her to have that kind of power over me.

My head also travels to a book I am reading titled, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s taken me awhile to muddle through this book, not because it’s difficult reading, but because I have a strong desire to understand how the reading applies to me. One story (#60) in particular did and I’ll sum it up as this: Liz was talking about her painful divorce to a group of people at the Ashram in India and someone asked her if she was going to allow her ex-husband to dictate the rest of her life as well as continue to be a strong force in her life. She referred to the situation as unresolved; an open wound that never goes away, to which she declared, ‘one of these days, this is just going to have to end!’

This is where I am with this person and that exact circumstance which sounds well and good when I am safely within my home, however when I am at school that’s a different story. It grates on me that she greets me in this lovely way and asks about me as if she truly cares about me. Really? Is she that insensitive? Does she honestly think she can berate me in front of colleagues and my admin. and I will forgive and forget?

However, for a plethora of reasons, I know I do need to forgive and forget, but remain unsure of the procedure; do I write a letter explaining myself and my feelings which I am much better at than doing it in person? Do I talk with her although I am not very good in face to face confrontation? Or do I just ask God for help? By the way, I’m soliciting help in asking your suggestion, since God did say, it was okay to ask for help~

Monday, August 23, 2010

I DECLARE a NO electronics day! YES, it really did happen....

Did you ever wake up on a given day and already feel weary and annoyed by all the racket and garble that goes on around you and you haven’t even gotten out of bed? Yesterday was one of those days. Nonetheless, I strapped on my IPod hoping to impose a sudden change in my frame of mind by walking which typically calms my psyche but all of the songs grated on me as if I was running my fingernails across a blackboard. It was just pollution to my consciousness!

Also filtering into the decision was Nicholas spent a great part of Saturday with the Disney Channel blaring and can I just tell you know that Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana just sends me into a tizzy? That false, canned laughter and over-acting of stupidity! Along with Phineus and Ferb; who really thinks kids are that foolhardy?

Unbeknownst to me, Scott was thinking and feeling the exact same way so when he said there would be NO TV or COMPUTER for Sunday, I went a step further and declared it a NO ELECTRONICS day! Yep, you heard right! NO I-Pods! NO cell phones! NO TV! NO computers! NO PS2! NO DSI! NO nothing by way of entertainment! Although I must admit, after I made the proclamation, my mind said, ‘oh crap! …that means no Face book or writing!’ but so be it! I had to follow the rules as well.

Can I just tell you after Nicholas got over the initial shock and repetitive questions, ‘Well, what if Jordan texts me?’ ‘What does today mean?’ ‘This stinks!’ and another, ‘I hate today, don’t you Nee Nee?!’ we settled into the day filled with projects that involved NOT things, but each other. We actually talked concerning matters of the heart rather than superficial bullsh*$! Like 'what time does the golf start?', or 'what was the movie of the day?' We essentially listened when our family members spoke rather than have our headphones on and being asked once or twice, ‘did you hear what I just said?’ while removing ear plugs attached to some noise source.

When we had an afternoon thunderstorm, we lay on the bed and truly heard the thunder rumble throughout the terrain without the distortion of talking heads from the TV. The sound of the rain was exquisite and cadenced as it pressed against the leaves outside the window. Our words and laughter were melodic tunes that not only filled that place in time, but the entire day.

Nicholas rode his scooter to friends’ houses whom he has not played with in days and rather than get on any electronics, they played the board game ‘Risk’ and Nicholas came home enthralled with the afternoon. He sat on the front porch and talked with a friend and he escorted his Dad and Hurricane on a walk. We cooked out and convened on the back deck, we collectively spoke of the best part of our day. We laughed while we competed in Jenga and Yahtzee and as the day was drawing to an end, we put on our pajamas and all congregated into bed to read.

Before we knew, it was 9:00 and you know what? It was one of the unrivaled finest days we’ve had in a long time! We re-connected on a deeper level than electronics ever invites us to, and other than Jordan texting Nicholas at 4:49 and he wasn’t able to respond, he too said it was a grand day! But we did have a chuckle when he said it was easier for us because we grew up ‘that way’ and he didn’t so it was more difficult for him; Touché!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Life as a Dog...

Devil Dog? Is that what I heard, DEVIL DOG? But, but…. I thought my name was Hurricane? I guess when I wake the family up too early in the morning my name changes, but what’s a devil? I know I have a dashing spirit, mischievous moments and I can be pretty reckless at times, but gosh, that’s pretty harsh, wouldn’t you say? However if I do have some devilish ways, I am serious when I say ‘I don’t really mean to’. I try to look at the numbers on the clock very carefully but sometimes all those lines mix me up and when I see a 5 I can’t remember if is suppose to be at the front of a number or in the back; I just get so perplexed and confused.

I’m letting you know this because I got scolded this morning for waking up my family at 3:05. How was I supposed to know it is a Saturday? Gosh, I know I’m a smart dog but don’t give me that much credit; such high expectations to live up to for a dog. Anyway, on any other morning when Nee Nee turns that box on beside our cradle- I say that because I claim that bed as mine too, the container starts playing music when the numbers say 5-0-0. I want to help them get up and I know there are so happy to see me because I’ve been asleep all night so they must miss me, right? So, I gather BIG AIR, and I bound on the bed and plunk myself right down in the middle…but then they start saying, ‘You Devil Dog!’ Me? What did I do? I’m just helping…

At any rate, this morning or was it nighttime? I just get bewildered and befuddled but what I thought was a 5 was really a 3 or maybe the 5 was just in the wrong place so I took my usual dive onto the bed and plopped all 70 lbs on top of Big Daddy. He protested and called me that ‘D-name’ again and so I wanted to make him pleased therefore I gave him a couple of ‘Wet Willies’ right in his ear with my tongue; at the very least sure enough to make him smile! UH-OH, he didn’t smile, he didn’t even pat me and after that Nee Nee groaned. I tried putting my head on her pillow to let her know I was sorry, but I guess in my excitement, saliva dribbled out of my mouth and when she fluffed the cushion under her cheek, well, you can only imagine what happened next. She ‘humphed’ at me and said, ‘Hurricane, it’s Saturday!’ SO? but gosh, even though they called me a bad name, they got up out of bed and have been up with me ever since…I don’t know what this Saturday thing is all about but to me, it’s just more time to play! I love this life….

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Sister...

My sister, Dawn who is two years older wrote an e-mail today stating that she was ready for another blog entry. She evidently likes my writing, which is a good thing, and of course I wanted to indulge her. What? Garsh Darn-it, here we are just on the precipice of mid-life and she is STILL telling me what to do! And the worst part is I STILL do what she says! So here I am writing a blog entry because my sister said so…as a result it got me thinking about all the things I had to do as a youngster because ‘my sister said so’.

Oh boy, there were so many instances; you see she took it upon herself to be MY boss! She would probably claim she was being a ‘caretaker’ …same thing; just a euphemism, but being the youngest of five, EVERYONE seemed to be my boss! Further I felt I could never escape it or her…but don’t worry, she’d tell you the same thing herself so I’m not revealing any deep dark secret here. I have committed to memory the occasion I was in third or fourth grade and I had ‘on purpose’ forgotten my school book since I hadn’t done my homework. Therefore while we were standing in the kitchen and the bus was blaring its horn she yelled at me to go get my math book with the incomplete work tucked inside. I emphatically said ‘NO!’ so she pushed me toward my curtailed job and I hit my forehead on the corner of the table and needed stitches…the good part? I didn’t have to go to school without my unfinished homework!

Another time we were amusing ourselves with our baby dolls on the back patio and I wanted to rock mine to sleep and being the baby sister, Dawnie’s child sized rocking chair was there for the taking. I sat down and started swaying and singing to my baby, and she told me to ‘Get Up!’ Well, my baby wasn’t quite asleep yet, so I stayed put and kept on serenading my young one. Well, I could tell in the tone of my sister’s voice she wasn’t going to say, ‘oh gosh then, I’ll just wait until you are done…’ No, that wasn’t in her so she demanded again with her hands on her hips and her brow furrowed as her lips pursed together puckered out, shouting, ‘GET UP!’ and I repeatedly told her I wanted to sing my baby to sleep. To this day I have no idea what bravery crawled into me, but I remember picking up that rocking chair and dashing around the back yard as fast as my little legs could carry me rushing from her as she was shaking her fist at me. Unfortunately, I was running with the furniture and my baby doll so I was definitely at a disadvantage therefore I made a cut to the right and when I couldn’t escape her wrath, I put the chair down and bounded over it; or at least I attempted to leap over it and landed on my arm. Of course, I cried and blamed her because it was ALWAYS her fault (I’m no dummy!) and spent the next six months in a cast up to my shoulder. (Picture below to prove it!)

Seriously, a sliver of examples, BUT a true depiction of our growing up, I love my sister, and what’s more I admire her. She has an incredible heart of kindness and would give the shirt off her back for those less fortunate. She has adopted four children as a single parent and continues to give when she has nothing left to offer. I want to shake her at times because she sticks her neck out repeatedly and then gets hurt so deeply and I end up aching for her, although she keeps plugging away when I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.

My sister is a teacher who is extremely smart in the area of life, knows what she likes and doesn’t like and says what is on her mind. She doesn’t let people get the best of her, well, most of the time and her unbelievable strength carries her through distressed times only to do it all over again. So yeah, I continue to be the little sister whose big sister still can tell her what to do, but whom else would I have to tell me what to do? Never mind, don’t answer that! ...the line starts here!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Life as a Dog and the 12 Step Program!

Okay, I have a terrible confession: I’m a lost and broken dog! I have a sock fetish which according to the dictionary means an obsessive or unhealthy preoccupation or attachment with an object.

But there, I said it and often heard that the first step in overcoming an addiction is to admit I have a problem. It is a terrible problem. I can’t get enough socks which is even more of a problem because they aren’t my socks! Well, they eventually become my socks because I chew and tear so many holes in them that no one can wear the foot coverings by time I’m done with them, but that’s beside the problem. You see, they are my family’s socks. I can’t help myself and am so ashamed. Whenever I see a sock in the laundry basket I have to go grab it, stretch it until I hear that priceless sound of it ripping; AAHHHH, a sound of satisfaction! Rip it, shred it, grate it; that is when they are at their best!

I like to get into Big Daddy’s running shoes and even though he has tucked them deep into the toe of the shoe, I stick my nose in until I can reach just a teensy-weensy thread and pull it out. Yeah, I know, the smell is pretty unpleasant and you’d think that would deter me, but I guess that tells you how desperate my dilemma is.

I’ve even been known to chase Little Daddy around the house when he’s taking his shoes off so I can grab a sliver of the cloth and help in pulling it off his foot. If I do that, then at least the taste is in my mouth and there’s a better chance I can keep it since I put the entire sock in my jaw and slobber all over it. They don’t like to touch it when it is coated with dribble. Then, I dash into my favorite hiding place; under the bed. I know, I know, I’m a big dog but I can still fit under the bed and no one comes in after me. The beauty of that is they know I have the upper hand so they go to the cabinet in the bathroom, get a biscuit to entice me to come out. When I hear that box, I immediately go to my bed, the heck with the sock! …a quest for a later time and date. Besides, I have the best of both worlds; a biscuit AND the sock!

Yes, it is true. I go to great lengths to feed my addiction; I follow Nee Nee up the stairs biting at her heals until she gives them up, or until I trip her. Or, I stand on my hind legs at the washer and dryer searching for strays, otherwise I park myself politely at the dryer while clothes are being folded to quickly grab one that may fall on the floor. I’m getting’ pretty good at ‘Snatch-and-Go’s’.

So while I’ve admitted my compulsion I don't think I'm ready to follow Step 6 OR Step 7 quite yet; were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character and humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings …ummm, should I? …NAAAHHHHH, I like socks too much! I love this life…

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I detest, abhor, and despise shopping!!!! What’s more, I loathe it, abominate it and intensely dislike it…so did you get the picture, right?

So today while Nicholas was occupied at a friend’s house Scott and I decided to venture out in search of a new and necessary pair of running shoes for both of us, which really would amount to just walking into the store, asking for the tried and true shoe we already claim to the ‘the one for us’ and fork over the money. Simple, easy…I can do that! Besides it would give us rare time to be together and essentially be able to talk without interruption, or not talk and actually enjoy the quiet.

Okay, so I made the necessary mental preparations, sucked it up and reluctantly, off we went. First off, do you know how many crazy drivers are out there on a Saturday afternoon? ALL OF THEM!!! Drivers on their cell phones weaving in and out of traffic, speeders who race to get by and then suddenly cut you so they can make their exit, and then the bozo who stopped in the middle of the interstate to let someone merge; really? Please, just take me home!

However, we were already out so I was determined to make the best of it. We had a lovely lunch at the Village Draft House and where else could we watch golf, football, Little League baseball AND Nascar all at once? The company and the food were beyond exceptional. In truth I was quite fine staying there, then getting back into the safety of our vehicle and going home, but the shoes? Well, sorry to say we hadn’t even started…

As a result, the first store…people just get out of my way and let me find what I want. Geez Louise, why do people meander in front of you, stop and stare at something like there is not a soul behind them? Or take up an entire aisle when they are ‘just waiting!’ If you are just waiting, then go wait outside! UGH!! After probing for anyone capable of getting what we need, they do not have our sizes. Okay, you are a shoe store; specifically a running shoe store and you don’t have a common size? Off to the next place, nope, no 8’s there either. What is so obsolete about a size 8?

God forbid, we get back on the highway and I take my imaginary stance of gripping tightly to the passenger side arm rest and checking my make-believe brake; all is well…until we are waiting to make a left turn and a woman almost hits a man in the crosswalk because she’s, YEP! On her cell phone…God please take me home. Next store, no size 8 for Scott and no Brooks Ariel for me, get back in the car, strap in as if heading into battle and stop at the next establishment. Walk in. Ask the man in an exasperated tone and nope! No 8 for Scott and no Brooks Ariel for me. Trudge back to the car, get in and we both looked at each other and said, ‘LET’S GO HOME!

Once home we basked in the glory of the internet where a size 8 in Nike are plentiful and a size 8 Brooks Ariel are bountiful, and the most paramount? They will deliver them directly to my door and I don’t even have to get into a car to reap the benefits!

I HATE SHOPPING!  did I mention that?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

...just wondering!

If you are a follower, you know in June I had a difficult time saying ‘good-bye’ to an amazing group of 5th grade students entrusted to me. They were all fantastic kids who made such great strides academically and confidence-wise. Although I was reluctant because I get attached to my kids, I felt they were prepared to take on the world of middle school.

After twenty-four days, I find I'm questioning myself as I’m discovering that a handful is having trouble adjusting to the rigors of the curriculum and the services appear lacking. I don’t proclaim to know what goes on in a middle school as my 28 years of teaching are strictly restricted to elementary school, so one might tell me to ‘stick to what I know’ which is NOT middle school. However, compassion and caring should know no bounds and I am wondering what I could have done differently. Did I push them enough? Did I make them independent so they could be without me? Did I care too much to allow them to think that all teachers would replicate my practices?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I will tell you these are the matters I am currently mulling over and wondering ultimately who loses in the end?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Life as a Dog!

No, it’s not very original but what would you expect from me, as I’m only a dog. I am a Golden Retriever, whatever that is because all I know is I’m a dog! But whenever I take walks in the ‘hood, people pat me and tell me what a beautiful dog I am. Anyway, I was born October 23, 2008 in Chapel Hill, NC which must be good because my family loves this school called UNC and I guess it’s in Chapel Hill? My owners, Big Daddy, Little Daddy and Nee Nee sometimes say they’d like to trade places with me but I really don’t know why, but maybe you can tell me after I tell you stories from my life. Maybe I can sneak on here from time to time and tell stories of my place in this family!

Yesterday Big Daddy was running this machine across the carpets and I don’t know what it is for but it has a light on the front and when he rolls it toward me and the loud noise it makes, ‘VROOM, VROOOOM…’ scares me half to death so I bark at it a lot to tell it to stay away. He says, ‘Hurricane!’ …that’s my name by the way. ‘It’s not going to hurt you!’ … but I run at it and try to bite it anyway because I can’t be too sure!’ Anyway, all of a sudden, it stopped! Big D. leaned down and flipped a switch and jiggled at something in the wall but it wouldn’t come back on…dead! I’m so glad I finally killed it-for my family’s sake! He sat on the floor which is always my invitation to sit in his lap. I’ve been doing that since I was a puppy and I get patted on my belly, around my ears, on top of my head…ohhh, it feels so good. I never want him to stop. When he does I put my nose under his hand and swing it back up so he’ll keep going. AHHHAHHHH!! I could do this all day long! But this time, he just said, ‘Hurricane, outta my way!’ ...OUCH, that hurts! So I lay my head on the floor and give him my sad puppy dog look where I raise my eyebrows ever so slightly and stare at them….it gets them every time. Big D. stoked my ears for a few seconds. I guess it is better than nothing!

Okay, so back to the contraption with the glow on the front….Big D started taking it apart and oh my gosh, all my hair started coming out of it! When did my beautiful butterscotch hair come out? Big D kept saying over and over with each new bunch, ‘Hurricane, this is all your hair!’ I tell you, we sat there for 25 minutes while he pulled tufts of my fur out of every nook and cranny in that device and he put it all in a trash...boy, do I sure feel naked!*

Well, I hear Nee Nee coming down the stairs so I better end this for now, but this isn’t the last from me… I think I like this life!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Facts of Five....

“Ready? …time for Facts of Five!”

When I was teaching a special needs self-contained class of 3-5th graders we began each day with calendar, singing, and Facts of Five. I had a laminated giant hand posted on the wall where the kids would come up and write their answers based on a category I assigned. Some topics were fun like Disney characters or flavors of bubble gum but some categories were more ‘educational’ such as five things to say to a bully or ways to help your family. Regardless of the theme, it was a grand way to generate conversation and share information about each other.

‘So today one and all, our focus: Five Things you could NOT live without…and I’ll go first and they are certainly not in order of preference.’

1.) Curling Iron…If you’ve ever seen me upon waking, my hair truly has a mind of its own and proceeds to go every direction possible and then some, so in order to make it ‘behave’ it requires the standard wash and dry PLUS the curling iron to get it to have any kind of ‘poof’! Besides, I’m vain and if my hair looks bad, I feel bad.

2.) MP3 Player…Music is beyond a doubt the key to my soul. Whatever my mood or emotional status, music supplies the words and thoughts when I’m unable to unearth suitable language. Music gives me energy and serves as a companion to tackle an array of tasks.

3.) Words…I think this goes without saying but since the beginning of time, written and spoken words enable us to connect with others; good, bad or indifferent. Words provide us with entertainment, expression, affiliation and directions to navigate the world around us.

4.) Photos…certainly the basis of my scrapbooking habit, okay, YES, addiction. Photos take us to our past through memories and moments of time; joyous or disastrous, serene or ruinous that are molded and sculpted into our current being. Snapshots are a depiction of both the ‘seen and unseen’.

5.) Cross Necklace…this simple piece of jewelry keeps me honest and true to myself, plus it serves as a token that there is a deity, namely God out in the universe that is much bigger than myself. The cross is symbolic that regardless of the struggles in my life, I’m not alone, nor am I singular in my vast fears and anxieties, my undertakings or accomplishments.

What are the five things on your list?