Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Final Post

This has been a quick but long 10 weeks. I have learned a lot in this class that I will take to my future classes. Initially I didn't have a goal for Comp II except to get through the class and learn from this experience. However, once we were given the instructions to choose a topic for our final paper I realized I had another goal. My one goal for writing on the topic of my choice was to educate people on GMO. I hope I accomplished this goal.
But, right now my mind is more focused on going to California and visiting family and friends. I haven't been back for 5 years so I'm really excited.
Blessings to all of you. I had a great time in this class with everyone. Maybe I'll see some of you in future classes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The home stretch

This class is coming to a close. I've learned a lot about writing and citing. I'm looking forward to my next two weeks in California before I have to start back up for work. Since my mind is on vacation I'm not really thinking about researching any other topics. But, if I had to come up with another topic to research I think I would choose artificial sweeteners. I know enough about them that they are harmful but I would research how our body physically reacts to some of these toxins.

For the next two weeks I will be enjoying the Monterey, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, San Francisco sourdough bread (non-gmo of course) and the redwood trees. Of course I will be enjoying these things with friends and family!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blogging Experience

Blogging is a new experience for me. It definitely took an effort on my part because it is similar to journaling and I don't particularly care to journal. For me it takes a lot of effort to write and sometimes it just hurts my brain too much. It is nice to get feedback from others. It doesn't bother me when I don't get feedback because I realize we are all very busy people. I doubt I will continue blogging at the completion of this class because there wouldn't be anyone to read my blogs. I think that is the main reason people blog, so that other people can read their thoughts and opinions.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Visiting Family in North Carolina

My visit here at NC is coming to a close. I have been able to spend a whole week with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter (Elle). Elle loves to watch me work out and enjoys chewing on my resistant band!
Even though we live only four hours away I wish we lived closer. I get to visit them about four times a year, and that just doesn't seem to be enough. Babies grow and change so fast. Elle is now 9 months old and cute as a button. She just started doing an official crawl this week. Next time I visit she will probably be walking. I am thankful that they live in NC and not California, because then I would only get to see them once every five years or so. I like the idea of living close to extended family, especially because I actually like my family and enjoy spending time with them!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dinner for six

Last night I went to a neighbor’s house who was hosting a dinner for single people in her church. My friend, Connie, invited me to go since I don’t go to their church and didn’t even know about the dinner. At first I was reluctant to agree to go but I decided I could finish my schooling on Saturday. I’m really glad I went. It’s been a long time since I have been around adults only. After twenty five years of parenting (which I a still have another six years to go), it was nice to be me, an individual. I do not consider where I work to be an adult environment because the majority of the women act like ten year olds. So last night was quite refreshing. This group is being started in the hopes that we can come up with some activities to be shared with each other. So far we are planning to go mountain biking in North Carolina followed up with a visit to the hot springs. Now that sounds like fun to me. I can’t wait to go.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Unit 5

I chose to write about how school is influencing my life at this time. School gives my hope in knowing that I won’t be stuck in my current job forever. Although I enjoy working with the children I really do not enjoy working with 10 other women which the majority of those women have not matured probably past the third grade. No only that I hate feeding the children the cafeteria food which is basically void of any nutrition. Besides the fact that my educational goal will allow me a better job I am thoroughly enjoying the process. I love learning and I think I will be a bit sad when this school journey is over even though I still have at least three more years to go!

My Super Fun Day

“Hit it”, I yelled. Out of the water I popped, just like a pro. I was gliding along when I felt the sprinkles on my face. No problem, a few sprinkles never hurt anyone. Suddenly those sprinkles became a fierce downpour. Unable to keep my eyes open because of the pelting rain, I released my right hand to shield my eyes and held on tightly to the handle with my left hand, all the while my Cheshire grin never leaving my face. I didn’t want to let go because I didn’t want this ride to end. The wake got the best of me as I lost my balance and fell into the water. I reluctantly climbed into the boat praying for the rain to go away. Well, it just so happens that in Tennessee if you move a few feet in another direction you’ll be out of the rain. So we rode across the lake half a mile in the other direction and came upon blue skies and calm waters. Once again I jumped into the water, put on my skis and went for another ride. I considered slalom skiing but it had been over twenty six years since the last time I had skied. Boy was I glad that I had been diligent for the past three weeks doing my yoga and workouts. As I glided back to the dock my children’s faces showed signs of relief. I think they had visions of their mother on a kamikaze death ride never to return in one piece but I made it back safely.
It is amazing just how hungry you get from skiing. I went up to the lake house where my daughter had grilled some hamburgers (organic, of course). With my blackberry Izze in one hand and a plate with my grilled burger and some tabouli that I had made the day before (no genetically modified foods for me, thank you very much) in the other, I prepared to sit down and relax the rest of the day. I thought my day had been complete. Then, I overheard someone say cliff jumping. My ears perked up. I looked at my pastor and said, “Did you say cliff jumping”? He nodded his head and asked if I wanted to go. Heck yes! I gobbled down some food, ran inside and put my bathing suit back on.
The ride to the cliffs was about a 10 minute boat ride which was so relaxing and enjoyable. When we got to the cliffs I jumped out of the boat and looked up to observe someone taking their leap of faith. No problem, I thought, I can do this. Unbeknownst to me, not only were we going to cliff jump but we had to rock climb to get to the ledge. My arms were a bit shaky from the exertion of water skiing but I was bound and determined to get up to the top. My son was ahead of me climbing gingerly up the mountain (he’s afraid of heights). I was so proud of him for conquering this fear. I was right behind him looking for something to grab onto to propel me further while looking out for poison ivy on the cliff side. I am highly allergic to poison ivy.
Let me tell you that looking up at the cliff while in the water is a lot different from looking down at the water from the cliff’s edge. I am not afraid of heights but I am afraid of shallow waters. However, since I had seen several others before me jump and resurface, my son being one of them, I figured it was a low risk. Not only that, but the owner of the boat had a depth finder and his registered at over 75 feet. The odds were in my favor. Hanging precariously at the cliff’s edge, this time my children were cheering me on instead of begging me to stop, I jumped off. I screamed all the way down. But this scream was a victorious one. What a blast. Once wasn’t enough so I had to go back and do it again.
We got home at 9:30 that night. My kids clamored to be first in the shower. I told my son that it’s girls first. He really doesn’t like that rule since he is the only guy in the house. With the two youngest kids in bed, I poured myself a glass of red wine and sat in my rocker on my front porch reliving the events of the day. I hadn’t had that much fun in years. Oh, I knew that my body would be stiff and sore the next day but I would just consider it a reminder of a perfectly wonderful, adventurous day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hummus Recipe

Here's the hummus recipe I made earlier this week.

1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

That’s it! It is so easy and yummy.

Fayed, S. (n.d.). Hummus. Retrieved on June 5, 2010 from

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Insult upon injury

Someone told me today about a project from President Obama that is underway. He is building a mosque right next to ground zero. And guess what? He wants to have the grand opening on September 11, 2010. I actually didn't believe that what I was hearing was truth. I mean, come on, that seems to be quite insensitive to all the families that lost loved ones on 9/11. Well, of course I had to Google the information and yes it is true. This really makes me mad and sad. I realize that not all Muslims are terrorists but I still believe that this is not in the best interest of our country. I suppose this could be a very hot topic but I'm willing to step out on a limb and post my thoughts.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Well, summer is off to a great start. I have my first official garden planted and I can't wait til I can walk outside and pull a cucumber or a tomato right off the vine. I planted some unusual varieties of tomatoes and cukes which I hope will grow just so I can try them.
I got a call from my brother yesterday. He has offered to fly me out to California this summer for my mother's 75th birthday!!! I'm so excited. I have not been to CA for about four years now and I can't wait to see family and friends and the ocean! The timing is perfect too because it is right after this term is over and right before I start work up in late July. One of my previous professors lives in San Jose, CA and she told me to look her up next time I'm in the area. I think I will! How cool would that be to actually meet one of the Kaplan profs face to face.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Two days left:

I only have two days left of work before summer vacation starts. I'm really looking forward to relaxing and having some fun with my children. Of course there is Kaplan schooling to be done. Look out summer here I come!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Google Reader

Wow, I am having so much fun learning new things through my experience at Kaplan and particularly through Comp II. The latest being the addition of "Google Reader". I did not even know this existed. It's a good thing that Google Reader is a requirement for this class because I do not think I would have taken the time to explore this avenue otherwise. I think my electronic capabilities are getting closer and closer to that of my children! Well, maybe not but at least I am not afraid to learn new things.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Okay, since I bragged about being the grandmother of one beautiful granddaughter I thought I should post a picture of Elle.

May 14, 2010

A bit of excitement:
Yesterday when I got off work I came home and went into my office and immediately started working on my schooling. As I was typing away I heard a lot of commotion in the front room. All three dogs were barking and three of my children were audibly upset. I went out to investigate the uproar and found out there was a toothless man standing at my front door (there are actually quite a few toothless people here in Tennessee). He asked if I would open the door to talk. For safety reasons I chose not to open the door to him. With dogs still barking I tried to communicate with him through the door. He said he was homeless and could he mow my lawn for money. I said no thank you; I have teenagers that do the chores. He left and we prayed that he wouldn’t come back.
All this excitement reminded me of a time fourteen years ago, when I lived in San Jose, California, we experienced a similar situation. One day, with a 9 month old child on my hip, I made my way to the front door to lock it. I generally keep my doors locked when I am inside with my children. I guess I do not like surprises. Well, as I turned the corner to lock the door, there on my porch stood a crazy looking man with a chainsaw in his hands. Visions of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” entered my mind (even though I never saw the movie). I asked him if he needed help and he asked if he could saw the logs in my side yard for me for some money. I quickly gave him five dollars and then locked the door. I would like to suggest to anyone reading this that if a crazy man comes to your door asking for money don’t give it to him, especially if he is brandishing a chainsaw!
He proceeded to flail his chainsaw while cutting wood on the cement, both of which are dangerous ways of operate a chainsaw. When he tired of cutting wood he removed a machete from his truck and started to edge my lawn. A crazy man with a chainsaw and machete is a bad combination.
I called my next door neighbor Bill and asked if he would please come and talk to the man and get rid of him. Bill came out and it took 45 minutes of deliberation for the man to finally leave. This was the first time I prayed that a scary man would never return to our house.
At least the man at our door yesterday approached our house weaponless.