Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -Create

Joining Five Minute Friday before heading out to our camping trip!  This week’s prompt is “create”.  So, here goes:


This weekend I aim to create memories.  I am living a life with my daughter who is on borrowed time and although I certainly hope and pray she lives a long and healthy life with her transplanted heart, I also try to be cognizant of the fact that I have no guarantees.  Now, no one really has any guarantees (see this horrific story about the dad and 11 year old son who lost their lives in the Nice attack yesterday), but my awareness of this is just a bit more acute with my DD.

Many of my favorite memories from childhood are those on the road.  I didn’t always have the most pleasant of experiences at home.  My father was an alcoholic, but for some reason, when we were traveling, he was usually pretty good about staying sober.  I remember my mom reading to me (for some reason, I really remember reading Ishi one year on our way to Wyoming), listening to the AM radio as we drove through darkness on unfamiliar roads, waking up in a new place each morning.  I remember one time in Arizona waking to the braying of a wild donkey (burro?) outside of our van at a rest stop.  I remember going to museums and old ghost towns and zoos in other cities.  We did a lot of things on these trips and they always felt like an adventure.  We didn’t have super specific plans.  There were no cell phones with GPS so we went by maps and stopped at Visitor Centers.  We camped at rest stops and KOA campgrounds and state and national parks.  And all of those trips created fond memories of family.  That is what I want for my daughter.  No one’s life is all good memories.  She will have her share of hospital and medical memories that will not be great, but hopefully we can create some others that will be her true place of comfort and joy.



Summer Adventure – Camping

We (my DD and I) are going camping this weekend for the first time!  I’m a bit terrified, but luckily we are going with three other families who have all been camping before.  So, I think we should be okay.  I went to Amazon this morning and ordered a blow up mattress (I think I had to throw ours out because it had a slow leak), a sleeping bag (how did I not own a sleeping bag?!?) and a couple of lanterns (which will function as flashlights when home, which we needed for emergencies anyways).  I’m borrowing a camp chair  and a tent and will share another family’s camp stove.  I’m working my way through camping lists on Pinterest trying to make sure I don’t look like a total rookie despite being a total rookie.

We camped a lot when I was younger, but we always had a trailer or van conversion that we slept in.  We were definitely NOT tent campers.  So, we had a sink and refrigerator in the van.  We had beds.  We didn’t have to “set up” anything when we decided to pull off and sleep for the night.  I guess I was a bit spoiled.  We spent many a night in a parking lot or a rest stop or something similar.  If at a rest stop, we would get up and bust out the camp stove on a picnic table and make breakfast and then get back on the road.  I loved the way we traveled.  It was relatively simple and minimalist.  We didn’t need a ton of stuff and could pick up things along the way.  I want to capture that same simplicity for Bean.  I am trying to decide if we can take the Prius or need to pay extra for gas and take the SUV. I am leaning towards the latter just because it would give us plenty of space, dirt roads would be easier to take and we could always sleep in there if everything went to hell.  🙂

We are going to a lake and I am already paranoid about her swimming in it.  We will probably try to do more paddle boats and such to keep her dry but enjoying the water.  The water will probably be too cold for her to spend much time in it anyways.  I am sure we will have a grand old time.  I am looking forward to sharing an experience that I really enjoyed as a child her age with her and I hope I can make many memories with her out in nature!  I am also looking forward to taking books to read and not much else. No iPad, no laptop – I will take my phone, but I don’t expect to be able to use it much.  It will be nice to have a tech vacation and see what we can do!

Wish us luck!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday -Summer is Coming

Joining up at Six Word Saturday over at Show My Face.

Summer is Coming.  End in Sight.

That is basically my mantra these days.  I have four weeks left.  Three weeks at one campus and four weeks at the other.  And then I have some time “off”.  I put that in quotation marks, because although I won’t be teaching and coaching during that time, I have a lot of things I would like to get done.  But, it is so nice to not have to prep for class, go teach and grade.  It really does make a huge difference.

Wordless Wednesday

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I don’t do a ton of Wordless Wednesdays, so some of the photos below will be from more than just this past week.  But, what the heck…I have some good ones to share, so why not share them!

We started our mini-vacation at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing!  Bean posed with the snowmen…

We had a great visit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and got to see a ton of Jellyfish, big and small!

And spent some time at the beach, where there were cool weather and even cooler sights to see.

Wordless Wednesday

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

This past week was a busy one.  We started it out in Bakersfield at my in-laws and then I took the train to my mom’s for the weekend.  Not much in the way of pictures, but I did take a few:


My tray table on the train.  I love that you get to leave them down at all times (versus planes where you have to put them up for take off and landings) and the seats are so much more spacious on the train.  If it were cheaper and more convenient, I would take the train a lot more.  But, from our hometown, it only comes through at 3 a.m., so you have to take an Amtrak bus (which isn’t horrible, but it isn’t the train) then get off and switch to a train in Sacramento.  And it is also expensive if it isn’t just me traveling – the car is much cheaper and more convenient.  Especially our Prius!

We also had a chance to go out on the lake in our boat on Monday.  I must admit that I like being on the boat because of moments like this:


The problem is that when our DD is along for the ride and my hubby is fishing, these are exactly that – only moments.  I have to keep DD entertained (we did get a chance to go swimming in the lake, but it is tiring) and we’re constantly moving to new fishing spots.  If I could spend an afternoon like this, it would be the best.  But, DD had more fun this time than last time.

Enjoying_the_water Lake_girl.

Overall, it was a good day and a nice last trip to the lake before my hubby leaves for seven weeks for work.  😦  By the time he gets back, there may be no more lake left with the way the drought is going here in Nor Cal.

Lake Oroville drought

These are from a year and a half ago and it has only gotten worse since then.

So, there is my last week in some pictures.  Are you sharing on Wordless Wednesday?  Post a link in the comments below.  I’d love to come by!  Have a great week!

Stray Thoughts Sunday, Uncategorized

Stray Thoughts Sunday

Stray Thought Sundays

How is it Sunday night already?  Seriously.  I feel like it was just Thursday and although we’ve done a million things since then, I still feel like I’ve lost a day somewhere in there.

Grades are due today.  As usual, I am pushing it to the end of the line, literally.  Grading is the worst part of my job by far and the end-of-term grades are the worst of the worst.  Some students work so hard and have very little to show for it.  Others have hardly worked at all and still come out okay.  And it is hard as an instructor to not want to show that in some way.  But, all we get is a letter grade.  A single letter.  No comments.  No real way of showing what’s been done.  But, it is what it is and I have to enter them and let it be.  I get very few complaints about grades, so I feel like I’m pretty fair (other instructors complain about their students complaining and groveling all the time, but I don’t really get much of that), but it still isn’t pleasant.  And it seems so permanent.  It is a psychological thing.  But, once it is done…it is summer!  🙂

Regina Brett Summer Quote

Wordless Wednesday

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

Last Daisy meeting of the school year. She gets to add the middle of her Daisy and one petal because she memorized the Girl Scout promise and showed friendship by making a necklace and saying something nice about another Daisy. 🙂



We went for a drive to Burney Falls and this is the view overlooking the Valley on the way. It was gorgeous – a green spot in California!


On the trail to the bottom of Burney Falls.
And the beautiful falls themselves! It was breathtaking!
We went to the Silver Dollar Fair and Bean had her first pony ride. If you can’t tell, she had a GREAT time!
And she brought home quite the haul – three goldfish (they are still alive amazingly), a purple unicorn, a small stingray (we petted them at a mobile tank they had at the fair and Bean loved it), and a dolphin!
There may be more than one magical creature in this photo…what do you think?
If only she would grade my papers instead of sleeping on them.