Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for The End

I know The End doesn't start with the letter Z. But what else do you think about when you think of "Z"? I think….the end, the Omega, and zebras.

I didn't think I had it in me to do this challenge. Blog everyday but Sunday was a huge challenge. I have been struggling with what to write, so most days nothing got written. This challenge made me break (hopefully) that cycle. Even when my Mama was in the hospital and later passed away, I still did the challenge…except for the letter "Q".

So when people ask me "How did you do it?" I will reply with my standard line.

Funny story about this quote: My sister D and her husband went out to eat. I was not there, but a friend of mine was. My friend texted me and told me were D was, what she was wearing and doing, etc. So I in turn would text D and say things like "I like that black shirt you are wearing" or make comment on her hair or shoes or food. Oh…my friend even sent me pictures of my sister!

My sister was totally freaking out and kept asking me "How do you know this stuff!"My reply was "It is not for you to question. Just except and embrace." My sister later told me she walked all over that restaurant looking for me and never did find me. I finally 'fessed up, but it was so much fun!

To this day, I still say this to anyone that questions me. You know, they really don't have much of a comeback with it!

Hope your month of April was enjoyable and you got a kick out of my posts. Hoping to keep the momentum going! I will leave you with this picture of a zebra made out of legos I saw at one of the zillion zoos LT go visit. Hey, have to do something that has a "Z" in it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Y is for YouTube!

Since my allergies has moved into bronchitis, YouTube will be your entertainment.

First up is Sweet Brown because Ain't Nobody Got Time for bronchitis!

Followed up with my favorite Halloween clip!

Just enjoy!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Westies Start with W Too!

Hey, y'all! It's Gavin here! Let's raise the roof with our paws!

Mom doesn't know I am on here so let's have fun!

Mom told me all about the A to Z Challenge and I knew FOR SURE she would talk about me on the "W" since she didn't do it on the "G". Well, today is W and no Westies. I am heartbroken. Even after I loved on her all morning and washer her face and everything!

So let's talk about me! I love to run and run and run. My hips hurt so I don't run as much as I used to do. But mom gives me this awesome medicine (chewy and tastes good!) and I can go on walks again! I can't jump on the bed, but mom and dad lifts me up and down so I own them!

 I always wait for mom when she goes out and works in the front yard. I seem to have a habit of wandering off. Mom says I "Jet Blue outta there" when any door is open.

I love to rub my belly on the ground! It feels so good especially after a bath…you should try it! And when you get done, keep you legs laying out behind you….HEAVEN!

After you rub all around, stretch out in the sunshine. It is toasty and makes my old joints less achy!

Backscratches are the best! Dad does a great job with his feet. I prefer when he has his tennis shoes on but, honestly, I will take anything!

I help mom and dad with the yard work and I am the neighborhood announcer letting everyone know what is going on in the neighborhood! I bark at the thunder but don't like getting wet in the rain, but I will run through the sprinkler and eat the water. Mom says I am a Diva Whack Job whatever that means!

Oops….here comes Mom. I am outta here! Love to you all and paws to the wall! Until I can steal mom's computer again….!

W is for Writing Letters

The lost art of communication in my eyes.

As I was writing thank you notes from Mama's memorial, I got to thinking how we as a society no longer sit down and write an handwritten letter or note. It seems we have moved away from being personal to being technical.

Mama was the type of woman who would sit down and write a letter to her sisters or her best friend who lived 2 hours away. She would do this almost weekly. Yes, she talked on the phone with them, but there was just something about putting pen to paper that closed a gap that an email or text message creates.

I think it has to do with the fact you sat down and took the time to write it out. That is personal. What is so personal about: BRB, LOL, TTYL, TY, WRUD? Nothing!

I received a condolence card from my high school students last week. Yes, a genuine, store bought card-not homemade. That told me they took some time to purchase this. Then EACH student wrote a little something and signed it. They didn't just sign their name. They took the time to write something heartfelt, even if it was "I am sorry". This meant more to me than anything else that has been said. Knowing they took the time to do this and write in my card moved me and touched my heart. This is what hand writing a letter does to people…it touches their heart.

My Mama jotted a little note to LT thanking him for a coffee maker and such. He was moved that she took the time to write it out and he put the note on the refrigerator to always see it. It touched his heart. That was the first thing he looked at when Mama passed away and wanted to preserve it.

Think of love notes and letters from that someone special. Those notes of appreciation that made you feel 10 feet tall. Those memories written down you can look at over and over again to relive.

That is what hand writing is about…touching hearts.

I challenge you to hand write a letter or even a note to someone. Not only will you touch their heart, your heart will be touched too. It is personal. They can keep it. It becomes a memory, memento.

Friday, April 24, 2015

V is for Villian

Everyone has a villain to their hero: Lex Luther to Superman, Loki to Thor, The Riddler to Bat Man. You may even have a villain. Heck, you may BE the villain to someone else. If that is the case, let's get you a villain name!


My villain name is…."THE VENGEFUL UNICORN OF THE NIGHT" Doesn't sound too scary to me! LOL

What is your villain name? Leave it in the comments so we can all enjoy!!

U is for Unicorn

There is just something about a unicorn. Enjoy these unicorn funnies I found on Pinterest!





Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Tornado

Have you ever watched Wizard of Oz and thought that is what would happen if you were in a tornado? Yeah, me either. LOL 

We are heading into tornado season and we need to be prepared. Most people are not. First off…watches vs. warning:
WATCH: Keep an eye on the weather. The weather could make a tornado.
WARNING: Take cover! Tornado has been spotted

Growing up in Kansas, don't even start with the Wizard of Oz jokes, we had multiple, MULTIPLE tornados. I remember my dad taking me out, teaching me how to read the sky. I got to be a human weather vane! It was exciting to see the "finger" clouds come down and see rotation, but many miles away from me!

Heck, I used to chase those bad boys in my younger days! I think if I was better at science and math I would have been a meteorologist. If I had the cashes to do whatever I want, I would be a tornado spotter. 

Here is a favorite story about me and tornados:

It was a hot summer evening. I was working at the local drive in theater out in the entrance booth. I had both windows open it was so hot. It was Friday night, new movie night. The night before, Thursday, was the last night for the movie Twister. I thought it would be kinda weird funny to watch Twister at the movie theater but wasn't meant to be. 

The wind picked up and it was cold! I had to shut my windows because of the flying sand and how cold it was. Then the phone rang. "This is the National Weather Service and we have issued a tornado warning for your area. It is 20 miles south of your location. You need to evacuate." Heart beat picks up to pass out tempo. I used the intercom to get the owner/manager on the phone. No one was responding. Finally, they picked up and took over. 

At this point, I see the writing on the wall. I start closing out my drawer, gather my college books and papers, and pack it in ready to beat foot out of there. Atlas it wasn't meant to be. I had to hand out readmit tickets in the pouring rain with a tornado bearing down on us. Freak out is a light term for what was going on in my head!

Finally all were gone and we got in our cars and boogie hoogie out of there to the boss's house. We holed up in the basement after grabbing food, books and the cordless phone (yeah it was that long ago, no cell phones yet). I called the folks to let them know I was ok and they didn't even know what was going on!! They just went back to bed! 

Needless to say, the tornado dissipated before it got to our location and all was well. On a side note, there was a carnival on the north end of town (I was in the south part) and they had all the carnies go into the movie theater there and line the halls. I think I got the better end of the deal!

This was not my only encounter with tornados and I don't think it will be my last. I am a teacher and in the last 5 years, 3 separate times we have had to duck and cover. I made sure my kiddos were safe and sane (no freak outs allowed!) but inside I was wanting to get out there and chase them suckers! 

I think because I grew up with tornados was learned at a young age about them, how to spot them, and their destruction capability, I have a healthy respect for tornados! Does this mean I want to be IN a tornado…HECK NO! I am thankful I have not had one that close to me. Just because I want to chase one, doesn't mean I want to be in one. 

Click here to see arial pictures of the 2007 F5 tornado that ripped through the town of Greensburg, Ks. It destroyed the whole town. Click here for pictures of the destroyed town. They rebuilt and are becoming know as the "green"energy efficient town. This town is about an hour or so from my hometown. If you want to know what it was like to survive an F5 tornado, read Megan Gardiner's account here.

Have you been in a tornado? Do you live in Tornado Alley? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Soda Free, Baby!

Yep, you heard correctly! I have been soda free since December 2014. It was a monkey on my back.

I love the burn of a regular coca cola. I am even freaky enough to like my pop hot, with no ice, no refridgeration! Yes, I said "pop". You see, I am from Kansas and we called our soda drinks "pop". Then I moved to Georgia for 3 years and started to refer to it is "soda". It doesn't matter what it is called, I am free of my monkey!

I just quit cold turkey one day. I can't tell you how or why, it just happened. I tried to start in September with my students. We all came up with a bad habit we wanted to break ourselves of doing. We even tacked it on the wall as a constant reminder. Then we would revisit and see how we were doing. My kiddos were awesome keeping me accountable. They would also tempt me to get a soda, which I usually did….to their enjoyment I am sure.

Then in December I just went cold turkey. It was like a wave came over me and I didn't crave them anymore. I know it was all the Lord's doing because I do not have that strong of a will power.
My students were shocked I have stopped and stayed off! They are constantly trying to get me to drink a soda.

Instead, I drink water. I have to be honest, I get very bored with it and will use Crystal Light Mango Peach Tea to give me a different taste. Sometimes I will drink un-sweet tea. But my favorite is Splenda sweet tea. It gives me a hint of sweetness.

On the occasions a soda craving comes a knockin', I reach for Zevia cola. You can get it at Tom Thumb or any health food store. I like the cola and the caffine-free cola. I really haven't tried the other flavors. What makes this cola special is it is made from Stevia, the better sugar alternative. I don't go crazy with it, but a 6 pack lasts me a couple of weeks or more. Just need a little something different and it makes me think I am being bad!


Have you ever tried it? Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Riding in a Car

We have all taken road trips whether as children with our parents or as parents with our children.  How do we pass the time in the car?

As a child in the 70s, we would play games like I Spy and Slug Bug. Heck, one time I wrote down the different state license tags I saw!

As an adult in 2015, we have so much technology at our fingertips.  We watch movies built into the car; phones for videos, games and social media;  iPods for music; and iPads for games.

Today I am writing my blog post from my cellphone while on the road.  I am coming home from my momma's funeral 8 hours away. LT and I have been swapping childhood stories and I have shared memories of my sweet momma.

So let's  share! What do you do to make the time pass while on a road trip?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for the Pursuit of Happiness

I am pursuing my happiness today. I hope y'all  are too!

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Oils, Essential Oils

Holy Shitake they work!!

***** Let me start by saying I am not a seller of Young Living Oils or any essential oils. I am not out to sell anything to you. Honestly I am not happy with people that bombard me and basically shove things down my throat. I WILL NOT be doing that to you. I just found something that worked for me and I want to share.  Hopefully you can share back with me!********

I take herbal medicine (when I remember) and believe in vitamins and minerals, but I have not really jumped on the essential oils bandwagon yet. I have tried Thieve's Oil which is great at detoxing the house of bacteria and germs. I diffuse this almost nightly.

I also do a little Peace and Calming on the soles of my feet with a couple of squirts of Magnesium Oil to help me sleep at night. But that is about it. My sisters have whole-heartedly jumped on the wagon. That is why I use Living Oil as opposed to others. Maybe that is why I am dragging my feet too.

Last night, I had restless leg syndrome so bad! It was the worst EVER! To let you know how bad it was, I felt like my right foot was trying to stop a run away car going down hill by pumping brakes that had no brake oil. It was pure misery for two hours!

Not to worry…I got this! I used my trusty cell phone and looked up Young Living essential oils and restless leg. I found this site and tried it out. I put two drops of Peace and Calming on the soles of my feet. I also did two drops of Lavender on each thigh and a drop on each calf. I went to bed and NEVER HAD A TWITCH! I was cured!!


Another story: My sister D had a terrible tooth ache from her mouth up to her eye socket for days. She rubbed Theive's Oil on her gums and teeth of the affected area and after 3 days, the pain was completely gone and has not returned.

WOW! What success stories, huh! So with what I have experienced and said, I will be definitely using more essential oils. I even want to have LT try it when he gets cramps in his legs and hands from fighting fires. And my dad has restless leg syndrome and cramps at night. He might benefit from this as well!

Do you use oils? What are your favorites and what are the purposes of use? I am really am wanting to get more knowledgable about it and you are my teachers!!

Why I can't sleep.

It is 4 a.m. and I've been up for at least a couple of hours with no rest in sight. I guess this may be why. I know I'm awesome, but come on, we all have to sleep sometime!

Actually I think my allergy pills had a reverse affect on me tonight! Non mi piace!!

I got will become my superpower to stay awake at work tomorrow!

What is your cure for restless/sleepless night?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Name

Did you every want to change your name? I did. When I looked up what my name meant, I am like "from the Laurel Tree"…wth? That doesn't mean anything to me. Also, I felt it wasn't as feminine as I would have liked either. There were not many "Laura's" I ran into so I took a negative connotation to my name. I got to investigating a little bit more about my name and found this:

Laurel leaves were used to crown the victors of the Olympic games and Roman emperors and has come to symbolize victory and honor. So does this mean I have to be the winner? Or I celebrate those on who have won?

I think you can take any connotation. For me, both would work! I do crave power and feel my way is the right way (thank you for that gene dad. Oh and my other two sisters have it as well!). On the other hand, I am a great cheerleader for my students, LT, friends and family.

 Knowing myself, and being strictly honest, I think I will have to take the meaning of my name as I want to be the winner, winner, chicken dinner. I do crave the notoriety, the congratulations, the "look at me" a winner is awarded. I would cheer you on and support and celebrate your victory, but if it was a contest between you and I, I would like to think I would be a gracious winner in public. I do not mean to sound conceited because that is the last thing I feel. Nor do I feel confident I WOULD even win!

As I have aged I have found it is pretty awesome to have an uncommon name. It is not every day you hear "Laura" being called. It stands out and you don't think…oh there's another one I can ignore it. It is more like, hey what does a Laura look like? I have also embraced it as feminine. It is how you look at it and respond to it that makes it yours.

The other name I want to touch on is my West Highland Terrier, Gavin. Before he came home with me I searched Scottish baby name book at a local Barnes and Noble. "Gavin" means "very white". It hit me that is what my baby will be...a White Westie! Little did I know he would be all boy and loves to get dirty, muddy, stinky and if he can pull it off he will rub against the fence and get the stain on his fur as well. I should have went with something "doggish" like Champ, or Scooter, or Chief. Oh, well. He is a Gavin because he is more than a dog or pet, he is my fur baby and I wanted him to have a real name. I am weird, but this is me being honest.

What does your name mean? Does it fit who you are?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Minions!

Hello, my name is Laura and I am a Minion-a-holic! I am out of control for minions!!

I love to watch Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. I watch video clips on YouTube. Heck I even have them at school where I WORK!

Students and I decorated my school door
 as a Minion for
Red Ribbon Week.
 It is now hanging on the wall.
Check out the minions that
students gave me
this year!
I even have Minions at home! This little guy talks, makes sounds and is movable! Yay!

Everyone needs a superhero. I love Wonder Woman (and feel like I am a Wonder Woman many days). What better way to feel than combine the two! 

Heck, even Gavin is in on it. He loves to lay on my Minion blanket. Yes, I even have a blanket with Minions. I will not confess to having or not having Minion sheets. I will let you make your own decisions! LOL

You would think I have it bad, but you should see LT's collection of fire firefighter paraphernalia!

Do you still have any stuffed animals or anything "childish" you still have hanging around? Anything that brings you joy? Share with me!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Lots of Stuff!!

There are too many things I could write about for "L". So I thought, why chose just one…make a list!

For your perusing enjoyment, here is a list of things I would write about for the letter "L". These are things that have meaning to me, or I love.

1. Lotion made by my Mama. Actually I plan to make some tonight!
2. Love- obviously
3. Lists! I love to make lists and see them marked off too!
4. Lazy Sundays!
5. Listening to music or even LT playing the guitar

6. LT!! I already wrote about him here.
7. Listening to the rain or wind in the leaves
8. LEAVES! I just love fall!!
9. Laughter
10. Lightening. Just watching it is awe-inspiring

Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Keep Calm and...

We all have seen these posters. We all have made our own (hence the one above)!

So my question to you is…what would your poster say? Tell me in the comments.

Keep Calm and…

Sunday, April 12, 2015

J is for Journey

We are all on a journey. Take time to look around while on the journey. There is more to life than working or focusing on the negative. It is a beautiful journey even in the bad times.

Remember even though the sun is shining, there are shadows amongst the trees, but all is beautiful. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I is for "It's OK"

I have found myself repeating these words today. And you know what.'s ok!

We go through life and encounter good things and bad , obstacles and revelations, triumphs and defeats, yet through it all we survive  and thrive.

We are flexible and can bend with the times. I like the analogy we are like strong oak trees. We bend in the  storm but do not break.  We get some dings and small limbs take a hit but are still standing  and living.

Today was my oak day as will be the rest of the week.  I will have LT and family standing together supporting each other. 

It's ok to be emotional. It's  ok to grieve and laugh. It's ok to keep living. It's ok my mama is no longer in pain and can finally see and hear and be happy.  It's ok,  mama you went Home.

You went from love, to love. We are gonna be ok.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Humor

Humor definitely  is the best medicine.  We need to laugh and smile more.  It's supposed to give us endorphins or some such stuff. 

All I know is I love to laugh and make people laugh. I want to share some of my favorite laughs and in return you learn a little about me and my sick humor.