WW: My top 10 songs right now

Prompt: List 10 songs that you’re loving right now.

Okay, so this is a mixture of songs, artists, and albums that are on my top list right now (which is changing almost every week, if not every day). You can click on the link to see the youtube video of the song, or a favorite song if multiple songs are indicated. In no particular order …

  1. Shake it Off by Taylor Swift – and yes, I’m totally shaking my hands while I dance in the car
  2. Harry Potter soundtrack – from any of the movies, especially 4
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe soundtrack – the soundtrack from Prince Caspian will also come up on my pandora, but this one is my fav so far
  4. Frozen soundtrack – who doesn’t want to build a snowman?
  5. The Twilight Saga soundtrack – yes, I have read the books, seen the movies, and listen to the soundtrack – the song linked was in the 4th movie
  6. Sabrina Carpenter – I’m a fan of a few of her songs
  7. Descendants soundtrack – I love the viewpoint of the story being told to from the kids of beloved characters, both good and evil. Plus, Kenny Ortega was the choreographer for the movie. I’m learning to love him in this role (previous works where he was also the choreographer and director include High School Musical series and The Cheetah Girls 2)
  8. Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding
  9. Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia – my favorite version is linked
  10. The Guild – so for those that aren’t familiar with this group, it features the characters of a web series staring Felicia Day. Especially if you play games like World of Warcraft, go find it! I’m sure you’ll get some of the references…

Honorable mention goes to any artist who got their start on Disney, such as Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez (to name a small few).

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WW: Gym Quotes

I’m trying to work out of a writing rut, so today I’m going to share sayings that were on the walls of my gym today. I went to a different gym today due to the part of town I was in. There were aspects I liked, but I found myself missing my normal gym at the same time. Change can be good some times 🙂 The first few quotes were in the main section, the last two were on the walls of the basketball courts.

push your LIMITS

YOU have what it takes

exceed all EXPECTATIONS

CHANGE your life

conquer your GOALS

BELIEVE in yourself

it’s YOUR shot

it isn’t over until you have WON

WW: 5 Places to Visit

List 5 places you want to visit.

  1. This may seem a little strange, but I want to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, the concentration camp in Poland that Anne Frank was a prisoner at, Bergen-Belsen in Germany where she died, as well as her home in Amsterdam. Back story as to how this got on the list … I first read Diary of a Young Girl in high school. At the same time, I read Jesus Freak and read about the persecution of Christians around the globe. I know it isn’t a happy place, but her story and the history of the Jewish people during World War 2 is something I enjoy reading about, specifically about Jews in hiding during the Holocaust.
  2. England – I know we can trace my family somehow to England, plus with all the rich history there, who wouldn’t want to visit it at some point in their life? Plus, its the home of Doctor Who and Harry Potter – just another plus.
  3. I’m a Disney fan so I can’t have a proper list without having the various Disney parks on it. The only ones I’ve visited are Disneyland and California Adventure, so Disneyworld will probably come first, but I’d like to be able to visit at least one park outside the US as well.
  4. China – going back to that story in #1. A missionary spoke at my church one time about a trip she had taken where they smuggled bibles into communist China. In high school, one of the jobs I saw myself doing in the future was being a missionary to China specifically. I was kind of bummed that I wasn’t able to join my friends in college when they had the opportunity to go, but visiting a country that has been on my mind since high school seems appropriate.
  5. I toss around this 5 spot to a few different places. Right now its a toss-up between Italy (think of all the wine and spaghetti!) and Australia (my parents live there right now). Another toss-up idea is actually visiting all 50 states, especially Florida, Hawaii, Washington DC, and New York, as well as places I’ve previously lived when I was like 1 years old (Washington and Idaho).

What about you? If you could go anywhere, where would you most want to visit?

WW: My inspiration

Today’s prompt: Write about someone who inspires you.

This is a hard one. I am inspired by multiple people for different reasons.

There are fictional characters like Belle in Beauty and the Beast who is able to look past the outward shell of the beast and learn to love him regardless. Or there’s Cinderella who, like myself, tries to find a way to keep dreaming and living no matter how hard live seems with the hope that one day it will get better.

There are also famous people I will never meet such as Helen Keller who overcame all odds and learned to communicate in a strange room, or Anne Frank who was trying to live a ‘normal’ life while in hiding and wrote about her time without knowledge of how famous her life would become after her death. I mean, all she did was what would seem normal to us now – she kept a diary about what she was experiencing as life unfolded. So many of us do a journal, be it in a book like Anne, or online like this blog. The environment may be different from the US, but it’d similar if we were in the Middle East. I think the reason her life became so famous is that it is (I think) one of the few remnents of Jews in hiding during WWII and what their life was like, so it opens the eyes of those of us who have never experienced that type of environment to show us life goes on.

There are also family members that inspire me. Both my maternal grandfathers would be on the list – my mom’s dad, SFC Charles Alexander Jones, died in Vietnam during the war, fighting for something he believed in – my mom’s step-dad, SGM Donald “Roy” Sampley, died about a year ago after battling stage 4 prostate cancer for many years. As his obituary says:

“He refused to take the doctors’ suggestion to “go home, buy a recliner, and wait to die.” Instead he fought valiantly, never complaining, refusing to give in or let cancer get the best of him. He believed you had to think positively and trust in God. It was this positive and spirited attitude that the doctors attributed to keeping him alive through all the years of treatments, sicknesses, and spread of the disease…Roy continued to share his smile and positivity until his last day on this earth…His heart was bigger than his body could contain. Sarge Sampley was the biggest little man we knew; a true giant among men.”

There are other family and friends who inspire me through their stories of struggle and love – even my husband inspires me despite his struggle with his mental issues. Every day I find another source of inspiration, be a story someone shares or a picture or song that touches me. I think if we were to look at the definition of the word inspiration, then it’d be hard to go through life without finding something that had inspired us that day to keep living. I mean, think about it – is there someone or something that inspired you today? Chances are your answer would be yes. It may be  hard to find some days, but its there. I think when we stop seeing those moments of inspiration is when we take our own life, cause that is when it seems as though life will never get better.

What about you? What insipration have you found today?

WW: Feb list

Sorry this is a day late. I think I somehow floated through the day not really realizing it was Wednesday until I was lying in bed. Anyway, here is this week’s Wednesday Writing, found here: It’s a Yummy Life

  1. What is your favorite piece of art you own?
    I don’t really have art around my house, unless you count the decorative china from my grandfather, in which case, there is your answer. The china by the way was purchased while my maternal grandfather was stationed in the Vietnam War (during which he died in combat). The china was passed down to me as oldest child when my parents came out for my wedding.
  2. What is the funniest thing you ever heard?
    My sister-in-law shared a story on Facebook about my nephew had made a comment in regards to bike seats, and I heard a school’s automated answering machine (it claimed to be a school in Australia) about students and their parents taking ownership for missing school and failing behind in schoolwork, wishing we could use messages like that here in the US. Those are the things that stand out most right now, both happening within the last few hours.
  3. What is the last thing you apologized for?
    It was probably to my husband for repeating something. I can’t honestly answer it. Oh, and to you the reader (now) for not posting this yesterday. Woops! Clearly my mind didn’t realize it was a Wednesday while I was at home.
  4. My favorite color is _____.
    Purple!!! Hands down. I like to wear it, I like it in decorating, it’s the color of grapes which makes wine… Just give me something in purple and I’m ten times more likely to like it.
  5. On a scale of 1-10, how is your health?
    Assuming 10 is the healthiest, I’m going to say 6. Yes I am considered overweight or obese if you look at my BMI, but my weight has never affected my life and I’ve been pretty healthy. I am trying to lose weight based on my choosing, not cause someone is telling me to or I have some medical issue brought on by it.
  6. If you could do today over, would you change anything?
    Other than putting more books away, I can’t think of anything I regret right now.
  7. Name a person you wish you didn’t have to deal with today.
    Not a specific name, but I wish I didn’t have to spend time at an auto repair shop instead of the gym. My speed sensor gear broke so my speedometer/odometer stopped working, so my afternoon (after work) was spent in a waiting room.
  8. What relaxes you?
    Music, books, and/or TV & movies. I like being lost in another world and escaping my own. The method I choose varies on whether I want noise or not, or even on my location. At work, I choose music so I can sing, at home I usually have music or the TV on, unless I escape to the couch to read. The only exception is right before I go to sleep, if hubby is taking a bit long to join me I’ll browse internet or play a game on the phone.
  9. What time did you go to bed last night?
    About 11:30p, which is my normal bedtime (11-11:30p lights out on a school night).
  10. What did you buy today?
    I bought a caffeinated drink for tomorrow morning as I ran out of my iced coffee, as well as milk for the house.
  11. I wish I had _____.
    Money. There are some activities I was looking forward to this month and a few things on my to buy list, due to some maintenance on my car reaching its 100,000 mile mark around the new year.
  12. How many photos did you take today?
    There are currently 17 photos sitting on my phone in an attempt for today’s photo prompt (Texture). But like any good photographer, you’ll only see the one I ultimately choose, unless I don’t like any of those, then the number will increase with a new photo subject.
  13. What book are you reading right now?
    Personal: The Isle of the Lost: A Descendent Novel by Melissa de la Cruz. It’s the book that would be a prequel to a recently made Disney Channel movie, and since I enjoyed the movie, I thought I’d read the book.Work: I’m only reading to my TK/K students, and we are reading animal opposite books (Hard and Soft, Prickly and Smooth, Tall and Short…) as well as titles such as “Do Pigs Have Stripes?”. My TK students will also have a Groundhog Day book since they don’t check out.
  14. How many hours of sleep did you get last night?
    According to my Fitbit, about 6 1/2 hours of sleep.
  15. Last thing you wanted but didn’t get.
    I wanted to renew my gym membership, but that will have to wait until next month.
  16. What mood were you in today?
    It was an okay day, nothing amazing, but nothing to put me in a sour mood either. I guess it was a normal mood.
  17. What was the last new thing you tried?
    Tonight’s dinner actually. It was a roasted veggie & goat cheese pizza and I can’t say if I’ve ever had goat cheese before. Thoughts? I could tell it wasn’t normal cheese, but it worked on the pizza.
  18. My biggest hope is _____.
    We recently asked a family friend to work on the VW bus currently sitting in our garage, and I’m hoping he agrees, as getting that out of the garage would allow my husband to work towards a handyman business he wants to start, which in turn would give him a goal to work for and hopefully help in dealing with his mental issues.
  19. What has challenged your morals?
    Heading off to college, summer camp in the summers, then moving a few states over to be closer to my boyfriend (now husband). That time away from home for the first time and being on my own definitely made me think for myself. The changing of our world also has me thinking in new ways. I guess more recently it would be a bigger interest in politics, or at least appearing more interested in it.
  20. If you won the lottery, what would you buy?
    I’d pay student loans first, and then with extra money I’d probably pay for a trip to see my parents in Australia and a Subaru Forester… If (big if) there was money left over, probably a trip to Europe or a cruise.
  21. What is the last dream you had?
    The one I would discuss publicly happened back in November. (Yes, there were some more recent ones, but they are possible stories, so I’m not leaking them yet.)
    –> There was a bear in the yard. An alligator came up and attacked the bear. My brother made a comment as we watched from the living room window (I picture us living in the marshes of southern US or Australia outback) about how the bear wasn’t defending itself correctly. I run to our mom to tell her about the fight happening, during which my brother transformed into a bear upon its death and entered battle. The alligator then turned to face the house (it had apparently been facing away this whole time) and the scene changed to me and my husband watching the attack from our living room bay window in CA, now running toward the front door as the alligator is chomping its way through the outside walls as if to attack us. I woke up in hysterics asking where our cat, Sarabi, was as I hadn’t seen her since we escaped the alligator.
  22. What are three things you need to buy?
    Constant things on the list are food and gas. Other big ticket items right now include updating my glasses and getting contacts again, a personal toy, and some decorative things for the house.
  23. Today I felt really secure knowing _____.
    I had a planning meeting for our school’s upcoming book fair, and it was nice to be complimented on the success of past book fairs and the confidence of those involved in the planning that our upcoming one would be a success as well. Its nice to hear, as its one of my most stressful times in my job.
  24. Whose life did you make a difference in today?
    I would assume the students at my school, but no immediate knowledge of that is known.
  25. What is your super power?
    I’m not sure if its really a super power, but I seem to have this uncanny ability to find positive things even in a dark situation, while keeping my innocent, child-like nature in tact.
  26. What is annoying you?
    My internet actually. It has its moments in which it will work, then not even 30 seconds later it won’t connect. Boo!
  27. What would have made today perfect?
    Leaving the auto repair shop and my car never needing maintenance again. If only …
  28. What stresses you?
    Finances right now. Enough said I think.
  29. What did you do to take advantage of this extra day this year?
    I’m not sure if I’ll do anything when the time comes. It will probably seem like a normal day, as it has done in previous leap years. The only thing leap year has an impact on is making me look at a calendar to see what days March dates fall on. Normally March 1-28 fall on the same day as Feb dates, so I known whether my birthday will be on a Sun or Mon just by looking at Feb’s calendar. But in leap years, everything is pushed, so I find myself looking at the calendar more to know if things are on Mondays, Tuesdays, or what have you.

WW: Pet Peeves

Today’s topic:

What are your top three pet peeves?

1) Work ethic/following rules-procedures

I feel this is kind of lumped together, especially at work, though I am more lax at home. People are expected to do a job. I was expected to give my best when I was growing up, be it at school or whatever, so when I see other people flaking, it annoys me. At the same time, it annoys me when hard work isn’t rewarded. No, I wasn’t the best at doing homework when I was in school, and there are areas at work I know I am not up to par on, but there are some things I know I work hard on and it hurts to think people don’t value my time or energy I put into a task.

I’m a somewhat structured person as well, especially with how I run my library. I was one of those students who always followed the rules, and I expect others too as well. So yeah, I’m totally going to yell at kids who don’t walk before school and hang out in the halls instead. And yeah, I’m going to get frustrated when I mention “no hats inside” when students come to library every week, even to the point that I’ll start being more strict and start offering penalties to students who still think they can wear them after getting on them for 2 years. And yeah, I understand students (and people) have bad days, but that doesn’t mean they are exempt from the same rules and procedures that have been in place since the beginning of the school year and the rest of the students are expected to follow.

2) Drivers

Okay, seriously, tell me who isn’t frustrated when people tailgate, swerve in and out of traffic, drive really small, don’t use turn signals and all those other little things that annoy us as we drive. When we encounter these people, hubby and I sometimes say we want them to hit a telephone pole. We don’t want them to hit a tree or another car, as that would damage a life. Hitting a telephone pole doesn’t damage a life, and it puts people to work fixing the damage. I don’t yell a lot at drivers – I keep it mostly internal as I drive. But there are times, like when I stall a manual multiple times at several stops along the way home, that I just wish someone else was driving and it can turn my mood sour, at least for a moment.

3) Hubby

Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband. This year will be our 10th year together and 7th year married. But at the same time, my husband is on the autism spectrum (un-diagnosed) and I’m still learning to understand and live with him and all his baggage that comes with that. If you have experience with a loved one (spouse/child/relative) on the spectrum or with another mental health issue, I’m sure you understand the frustration it can bring on others. And from conversations with my husband, I know he is aware of the frustration he causes me, which sets him off even more, which builds my own frustration … its like a never ending cycle! I do have to say though, there is improvement with us. For one, I’m not as clingy as I first was when we were still in our first year together. For another, I am learning to read his moods better and learning to back off. But there are still those things he does (or doesn’t do) or whatever that raises my boiling point. When that boiling point reaches full steam is when we have our fights, which opens up its own can of worms. But even those moments are starting to improve. Hey, maybe we can survive long enough to die of old age and not from killing each other 🙂

So, what’s your pet peeve???

WW: I’m Tigger

Today’s prompt:

Write something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot.

I was talking with my best friend in high school and I asked him what Disney character I reminded him of. His response? Tigger. Looking at the characteristics of Tigger, I have to say it totally makes sense to me. I mean, he is always on the go. Like him, I feel like I can’t sit still. Even on my days off, I hate just sitting around the house. Not only does my body feel like it needs something to do, it can’t stay focused on something for very long. Even as I type this, I have little pauses cause my mind gets lost in the song playing on my Pandora playlist, or something I type makes me think of another topic or a person, and I’ll go to another website to clear that thought from my mind. At work or home I have great ambitions, but the task is so daunting that I can’t stay connected after a few weeks/months. In college, I would probably rearrange my dorm at least once a semester cause I’d get bored with how things looked.

He also has a strange pronunciation of words, and I totally have my own language. Seriously, just ask my husband! And I give animals their own classification. One time in college there were some animals and I called out upon seeing them “Look! A goat!” having just spent the summer with them at my camp. Needless to say, it wasn’t a goat, but my friends sure enjoyed the moment, and it was a moment we laughed about for years later. There are even several words that I can’t say quite right (my pronunciation in parenthesis to give you an idea of how I say it – birthday (birfday) – ask (axe) – Massachusetts (Massatwoshits) – crayon (crown).

A third way we’re both alike is that we both annoy others, but we’re always there when you need us. Growing up I was always told I was childish or acted like a kid – I didn’t act my age. I laughed it off cause working with kids now, it works to my advantage cause my tastes are similar to theirs which helps me bond and think on their level. But with people my own age, its not the best thing for making friends. My actual circle of friends was pretty small – you could count it on one hand, maybe two in college. Yeah there were acquaintances that I was on good terms with like classmates, but the amount of people I’d hang out with on a daily basis was very slim. For someone who’s a social butterfly, you can imagine how much I desperately wanted a friend to hang out with on the weekends instead of feeling trapped at home. My circle of friends was always situational as well – school group, church group, college group, camp group – there was never any mixing between them. That didn’t help my chances of having someone to hang out with. Still doesn’t to be honest. Cause when I wasn’t at camp, that group was dissolved. The church group only existed while I attended that church. School/college group was only while school was in session and didn’t extend past the parking lot. I guess some people are destined to crave the company of non-family yet never receive it.

And on that sad note … Which character (Disney or other) do you feel you embody?