Pet Peeves

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

  1. People should not be rude – there is never a need to be rude or cruel!
  2. I can’t stand dirty dishes in the sink. Either wash them or load them or rinse them and place them to the side BUT not in the sink.
  3. Drivers who drive slower than the speed limit.  I’m not in a hurry everywhere I go, but I like to at least go the speed limit.
  4. Cell phones in a restaurant.
  5. Cell phones being used while driving.
  6. Long lines at the grocery store (or any store) when there are plenty of registers and cashiers, but they’re simply not paying attention.
  7. Repetition.
  8. Strollers and dogs should not be in road races.
  9. People who don’t listen…really listen.
  10. Waste – Walmart double bagged everything today so instead of 2 bags with a mixed variety of items,I carried out 8 bags doubled into 4 bags with specific items divided into categories – ridiculous waste!! Or in the grocery store when I bring in my reusable bags and they start putting meats into plastic bags first or adding wine into paper bags….waste!!

Day by Day

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

First of all, there is no typical day in my life right now.  On the weekends I try to make a day seem typical. I sleep in a little bit (if you call 7:30 sleeping in).  Then I like to get up and make a protein shake.  My new favorite flavor is MOCHA. I try to motivate myself to throw on my running clothes and head out for my workout, but I can’t say that always happens.  If I stick to my plan, I am showered and headed to the beach between 9:00 and 10:00 so that I get a good parking space.  I usually settle in at the beach on either side of the fishing pier but I try to put a little distance between the pier and my because it goes so crowded near the pier.  I spend my first hour at the beach sitting – watching the people (I love people watching), reading, or just laying back and relaxing. Then I usually spend a few minutes splashing in the waves.  I don’t usually swim since so often I am by myself, but I do like to fell the waves roll in.  Then I return to my beach chair and a good book. I always bring a glass of ice that melts as the hours pass, but if I run out and get thirsty I’ll take a walk to the pier shop. A cup of ice water is only $.35 – what a deal! At some point, I usually take a walk down the beach – sometimes towards Fort Fisher and other times towards Carolina Beach. This takes about an hour.  By the time I return to my chair, I either pack up and head home for lunch or relax for another hour and then head home.

My weekend afternoons hold a bit more variety.  Sometimes I go shopping. Sometimes I do household chores.  Sometimes I sew. Sometimes I read.  Sometimes I go for a bike ride.  I do love to ride around the neighborhood and explore. When I ride over near the schools and the park, there is always so much going on. Soccer or football or baseball or track – it is such a busy place.  Near the end of summer, the Ashley band begins to practice so I get to listen as I go by. What I like best about my weekend afternoons is that they don’t have to be typical – I can make them what I want.

Then, of course, comes evening.  Not so exciting.  Unless I go to a movie, I tend to prepare some dinner and eat it on the couch in front of the national news.  And, then I watch TV, peruse Facebook, and write.  I am doing my best to write every day.

So, while no day is actually typical, that’s really how I’d like it to be. New adventures yet to come!


10. Describe your most embarrassing moment

When I was in first grade we were playing a game where one student in the class has to hide their eyes.  Another person held up an object for the rest of the class to see.  Then the first student could ask questions and tried to guess what the object was.  I got so excited at one point that without thinking I yelled out “it’s a truck.” Ms. Howard was not happy and called me out. I quickly came up with a response, “I thought he had to guess what kind of truck it was,” but the damage was done.  My face was bright red and I understood what it meant to be embarrassed.

Fortunately, I have not been embarrassed many times in life.  Usually, it comes around mis-speaking. Occasionally I’ve been embarrassed by wearing the “wrong” outfit to an event of some sort. So given that – I think the incident in first grade continues to be the most embarrassing moment in my life.

Influential Folks

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

My husband inspires me to be a better person. When I’m with him I have the ability to be more spontaneous, to be open to new ideas and adventures, and to live in the moment. I think more clearly when he is near by. I sleep better when we have spent the day together. I love dreaming together and he pushes me closer to each dream.  He has always supported everything I want to try. He’s there for me cheering me on in all that I do.

Influence doesn’t always come in large doses. My best friend, Kathy, does little things and big things, but I think it is the little things that inspire me the most. A card when I most need it.  A photo of that adorable little boy of hers. Throwing a party for my daughter when I can’t do it myself. Helping me move in and out and in and out of different places. A smile. A laugh. I have always felt like she is a better person than I am and I strive to be more like her.  She is strong and confident and a leader.  She is smart and funny and always so level headed.

Nani-the-Great, my grandmother was always my hero.  I always admired how independent she was.  Not only did she raise my mom by herself, but she built a career for herself as well. She managed to create a social life; a good life.  She was active in her church and her community and really, how can anyone not be inspired by someone who does yoga at 80 years old?  Her strength and her stamina are the traits that I hope to continue to develop in myself.

My parents certainly have been great influences in my life as well. They have given me a love of family and community. They have taught me to be a giver – in my work, in my home, and in my community.  Everyone needs help sometimes and they have taught me to rise to the occasion and offer help whenever I can. Kindness matters.

Several teachers through the years have inspired me in different ways.  My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Bruner made me want to excel in handwriting and always make it perfect. My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Dent taught me accept all types of people – accepting diversity and celebrating differences is the way to live.  Mr. Haggerty, my English teacher in high school, planted creative seeds in my mind and since then I have always wanted to write. Also, in high school, Ms. Talas, my math teacher, well, she taught me math, of course.  But more than that she taught me how to be a great teacher – how to build relationships with students so that learning became fun and engaging.

That’s 10, but I think what really matters is that every day I am influenced by so many people around me. From the first “hello sunshine” in the morning to the last “I love you – good night,” each day is filled with people.  I build relationships and I love that all of them give me something I didn’t expect to receive.


8. What are 5 passions you have?

I am passionate about building relationships.  I believe that everything needs the foundation of a trusting relationship and strong communication.  I cherish my friendships.  I cherish the bonds I have with my family.  I cherish the teams I build and work with in my work.  And all of this works because I have built lasting, trusting relationships.

I am passionate about photography.  I love taking photos.  I am not all that good at it, but I visualize all sorts of photos that would be “perfect,” and I attempt to take them.  I plan strategies to get the one photo I want.  I am not good at then printing them out and doing something with them, but I still love seeking out those perfect photos.

I am passionate about beaches and sunshine and warmth and water.  I want to be near a beach always and it comforts me to know it is near by.

I am passionate about my marriage – my husband and the life we share.  I want to do more and visit more and ride more and explore more. With each year, we grow closer and our ability to communicate and connect gets better and better. I look forward to each day that lies ahead of us.

I am passionate about running.  I love determining a future race and training and running it and finding my pace. I love the feel of the finish.  And, as so many, I love when the run is over!

Dream, dream, dream

7. What is Your Dream Job and Why?

My dream job has always been to combine photography and writing and be published. And, simply because I love to write and take photos. But, because I believe we should be passionate, energetic, committed, and excited about any job we do, my current job is also my dream job.

I am a Supervisor of School Social Workers and School Counselors for a school district of 26,000 students.  I oversee the homeless and foster care programs as well as a very active Crisis Response Team. And, did I mention I love what I do? Every day presents a new challenge. Every day I have to solve problems. But many days also bring successes and joys and resolutions. I get to plan and lead and think and create and network. I mostly work with adults, but on my luckiest days, I also get to spend time with students.  And, I am super involved in so many things in the community as part of my job….I can’t even begin to list everything.

And, if I answer the question in a “right now, at this moment,if you could choose anything in the world” manner, I would say my dream job would be to own my own children’s book store.  Yes, children and young adults, not adults.  First, limiting to those ages means I don’t have to grow it to bigger than I can handle.  But, second, I want to build reading activities into the store as well.  A weekly story time for preschool aged students.  Perhaps a book club for elementary students.  Maybe a monthly poetry reading for teenagers – their own or poems they’ve read and love. I’d like to invite local writers and illustrators to work with children on their own writing and creativity. I’d like to build events that build reading communities.  I’d enjoy inviting in parents to read with their children or create a craft together that represents a favorite book. There are so many, many things I could do with a children’s book store.  Yes, indeed, I think this is my dream job!!

Tough Experiences

6. What is the hardest thing that you have ever experienced?

I can’t be honest and say that my life has been full of difficulty, so this is a hard question to answer.  Physically, training and running a marathon is quite challenging, but running a 5K Warrior Dash through the mud was definitely harder.  Both were awesome, but I really struggled with the mud and some of the obstacles. As a mom, watching my daughters grow up and stretch out has been challenging, too, but I don’t know that I could say it was hard. Moving around as a teenager, particularly, was always difficult but I can’t say any of the moves were the hardest thing ever.

I guess the hardest thing ever would be loss – especially losing people without ever having the opportunity to say good bye or pay respects in person to the family. After years of supporting lovely Emma in her fight against cancer, she eventually, at age 14 lost her battle.  I was far away and working too hard to get away for her services.  I had difficulty coping then and continue to miss her.  I have this hole in my heart that I can’t fill or patch because I don’t feel I’ve ever been given the ability to bring it to closure. I miss her.