Tag Archives: Mexico

Sunshine Blogger Award!


Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award!

I smiled with joy when, upon opening a comment, I discovered that the writer had given me the Sunshine Blogger Award! What a treat and an honor. So thank you, Jay Morris, for honoring me so. I think my readers will also like your blog, which is The Wayward Journey (link will open in a new window).

I must admit I’m embarrassed to be so late announcing this. Jay actually wrote to me at the beginning of January. However, it’s been a rough couple of months health-wise, so I am behind on many things! Now, I am feeling better, and the beautiful Gerbera daisy above heralds the beginning of spring.

The requirements for accepting this award are that I tell you seven things about myself and that I nominate ten other bloggers for the award, not to mention letting Jay know how much I appreciate his award to me.

Let’s start with the seven things about me that you may not know.

1. I’m a cat person. I like dogs and had them while I was growing up, but I adore cats. I love their independent spirits, their ability to take care of themselves when I leave for a few days, and the way they curl up in balls when they sit in my lap.

2. I’ve traveled to South Korea, Japan, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.  I lived in Korea for nearly two years and loved that wonderful country and its friendly, loving people who always had a smile for this expat. I took an eco-hike on St. Croix and learned many things about herbal medicines from the naturalist who led the hike.

3. I’ve been in every state in the Union except for Maine, Massachusetts and Alaska. I would love to visit Alaska one day. It’s been a dream for many years.

4. I have one daughter, who is 39. She is a woman of many talents. I adore her and her son, who is the light of my life. When he moved back to be with his dad during his teenage years, I missed him so much I could hardly stand it. But I am so grateful for the spending most of the first ten years of his life near him in person. We had wonderful times and still do have beautiful, warm talks and hugs when I see him!

5. My favorite color is yellow. My sofa is yellow, and the chair that goes with it has lots of yellow too. Yellow is such a sunshine color and always makes me feel great, whether it’s in my own living room or at the store buying flowers. I hope my daisies will come back this year.

6. I love gardening and I have had several wonderful combination veggie/flower gardens. Unfortunately, because of my health now, I can’t garden like I used to. However, I can do container gardening. In 2012 I had way too many containers with plants and flowers and veggies! It took me 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to water them each day. But they were beautiful.

7. It is still my dream to travel more. I would like to go to the holy healing places of Medjugore and Lourdes. Maybe God will send me a miracle healing if I go there. Of course, maybe He’ll send one even if I don’t! Next, I’d like to go to Israel. It doesn’t seem like a very safe place right now. I always pray for peace in that region. Finally, I’d like to go to Eastern Europe and see the Czech Republic and some other places. I hope one day I can achieve this dream. But if I don’t, I feel blessed and grateful for the traveling I’ve already done in my life. Many folks haven’t even been out of their home city or state.

Okay, now for the nominations.

1.  Monce Abraham is a writer who lives in India. His blog posts will really make you think. They’re not fluff at all!

2.  Lead, Learn and Live is David Kanigan’s inspirational blog.

3.  Piya Singh is an Indian Artist, currently living and working in Germany. I think you’ll like her creativity.

4.  Charlie and Tom are photographers whose work is lovely. Their blog is PhotoBotos.

5.  Shannon Elizabeth Moreno writes about her strong faith in Revelations in Writing.

6.  Marney McNall scribes her volunteer experiences in The Volunteer Fringe.

7.  Rebeca Bud has a different take on her blog: Taking the Kitchen

8.  Loolie and Poolie have a fun blog about their vacations: The Adventures of Loolie and Poolie.

9.  Dianne Gray is an award-winning Australian author. Her blog is Writing and Loving Life.

10.Speaking from the Heart is an out-of-the-box blog by a woman who is a holistic health practitioner.

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An Extraordinary Life


I intend to look like this again by June, 2012! That will be after the effects of that nasty Prednisone no longer show up in my body!

No, this blog isn’t about Steve Jobs, whose life certainly was extraordinary. The newspapers and Internet were full of pieces singing his praises today. He was an amazing man.

This blog is about me. I realized today that I’ve had an extraordinary life, and I thought I’d share some of it with you.

I was blessed to be born into a family that cared about each other and which had parents who were able to provide us with everything we needed and much of what we wanted. I never did get that Chevrolet for my high school graduation, but I was allowed to drive the family car, even after I had a wreck in it!

I’ve lived in six states, the first of which was California, where I was born and brought up in a lovely home, immaculately cared for by my mom, my grandmother and me and my two sisters. (Dad and the boys took care of the outside, of course. They mowed the lawn, painted the white fence and took the car when it needed an oil change.) That’s how it was back then. Men did men’s work and women did women’s work and rarely did the twain ever meet.

I went to college first at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. I loved it. I loved being away from home, and I loved being a college student. It was a gorgeous campus. I fell in love in my sophomore year and dropped out of school. I got to see nearly every state in the union as a result of that marriage. My daughter’s dad worked for a traveling opera company. We wound up in New Paltz, NY during the summer of 1968, just down the road from yes, you guessed it, Woodstock. But we had to work, so we couldn’t go!

Later we wound up in Florida, where we lived for most of the rest of our marriage and where my only child, a much beloved and long-awaited daughter, was born. While we were married we went to lots of Bluegrass festivals, which I never appreciated until many years later. After the opera company I worked as a telephone operator at the old fashioned switchboard and cord contraption. I used to regularly get in trouble for talking with my best friend, the coolest hippie I ever knew.

We eventually moved to California, where my husband was going to graduate school and where we finally split up in a very nasty divorce. So much pain around that divorce that I thought I’d never live through it, but somehow I did.

A few years later, I went back to finish my degree, but it hasn’t done me a whole lot of good. The best thing that came from it was being accepted to teach English to the managers of Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea almost 15 years later. Before I went to Korea I went to Mexico and after I got back, I traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chattanooga and Savannah, two very cool cities.

I eventually went back to South Korea for another 10 months. That trip didn’t work out the way I’d planned, but I wound up learning a lot in the process.

I’ve had a business burn down, an apartment catch on fire, a house flood and have been evicted once. I’ve had more financial troubles than I care to state, horrible arguments with family and now I have a chronic illness that has kept me mostly house-bound for the last eight months or so. Lots of other stuff has gone on as well.

But I’ve had an extraordinary life. I’ve had the privilege of touching people’s hearts and lives in three other countries. People I don’t even know have written to me praising my writing. God has occasionally nudged me in the right direction, and He has helped turn me around when I was going the wrong way. I’ve met some amazing people who have shared their experiences, strength and hope with me and some others who have needed mine. For most of my life I haven’t liked myself. I don’t know why. But I do know that, as Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a changin’.”

At least today they are. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t deep in despair a few days ago. I was. But today I am not, and that is the most extraordinary thing of all – I have been given the gift of being able to bounce back no matter what befalls me and whether it is an act of God or something of my own making.

I’m not saying it’s been easy. It hasn’t. But what I’ve noticed more than anything is that God is always there with me, no matter what is going on in my life. I may not always recognize it at the time, but I’ve come to realize this is true over the course of my whole life.

And you, my fair reader, are part of the many blessings I’ve had bestowed on me. Thanks for your reading, and thanks for being you! You, too, are extraordinary, even though you might not have thought of yourself as being that way.

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