I was here

Communication: Journal Prompt 113

What did you learn from a recent challenge?

The last challenge that I set for myself were two things for the month of August.

One was the Veda challenge that I did back in April.  I was all excited to start it for August but the unplanned cruise happened on July 30th and I didn’t return until August 4th.  So i didn’t have a video to post on August 1-4.  I did post on the 5th I think and got caught up over that weekend.  I went until the 10th.  Then I was preparing for my great nieces to visit.  Went to Pittsburgh to pick them up on that Saturday and we left to come back on Sunday afternoon.  Well, that was the plan.   It was a LONG trip back to Maryland.  It’s so different when I travel alone versus with someone.  Although, lately, I don’t know that I can say it was that.  That 4hr drive seems to take about 5.5 hrs now.  Many more bathroom stops for me, plus the kids having to go at different times.  Unprepared with not having my own food so had to stop for food for the three of us.  Just a longer trip than planned.  The weather was bad before we left so I decided to stay overnight in a hotel in Pgh and get some sleep.  We left about 5am the next morning and was back home in Maryland about 10am, which was great for us to have the rest of the day.

Anyway….back on topic…..during the whole time I had the great nieces, I got a few clips here and there, but I had not talked to my nieces to see if it was ok to show their kids in a video so I didn’t post a video with their kids.  I would want someone to check with me first if they were my kids.

Other than having the kids here all week, I didn’t really feel like I had any content to record for a video.  I surely didn’t have quiet time to record myself answering the prompts, and even by the time I had quiet time, it was so late that I had ZERO energy.  Those kids tire me out each time they visit, but it’s fun to have them here.  Trying to keep them from tearing up everything is another story.

So I failed at Veda this month because I haven’t recorded a video since August. 10th for Veda.  Today is the 22nd.  I don’t even feel like recording another video at this point.  I have nothing really to talk about so I’m done with that for this month.  I have ideas in my head of what I would like to do, but actually doing it……hasn’t happened.

The other challenge I had for myself this month was a blogging challenge to post a new post every day for the first seven days of August.  I didn’t even post a single post.  MAJOR FAIL.  It’s hard for me to concentrate and focus on writing when my life train is so far off the tracks.  I’m dealing with a couple of different medical issues and it’s consuming my brain until I get to the other side of this.  So I haven’t been able to really write.  I know from past writing courses, they say even if you can’t find something to write about, write that.  Anything to get your mind juices flowing.  So I just opened my laptop and wrote the post titled Standstill.  That’s exactly how it was that day.

But now it seems like I am at a standstill with my writing/blogging, my vlogging, my life in general, my health, my finances, my career, my relationships, JUST EVERYTHING!

The frustration is enormous and the anxiety is off the charts.

So both challenges….FAILED.    I hate that because when I challenged myself at the beginning, I knew that I could get them both done with planning and organization.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I knew I had it in me to get them both done.

I had such high hopes at the beginning of July for August.  Then by the time the end of July came, the train came off the tracks.  I let other people disrupt my plans and I hate that I let that happen.  Totally my own fault.

I learned I can’t afford to let it happen again.

No matter the challenge, I don’t like the feeling of failure, at all.  Failure is not something that I am used to and don’t ever want to be.



Communication: Journal Prompt 112

List as many things as you can think of in your favorite color.



autumn leaves

red/orange/yellow icing for cookies/cake

a favorite sweater






Communication: Standstill

Seems I am at a standstill with my writing.

I am no longer interested in the daily prompt because I feel like I need to write something more personal, substantial than what I’ve been writing.  I may only need to take some time to review the prompts to see if anything interests me again.

But having/taking/making the time to write like I want to isn’t something that I can do in one day when my head is in all the problems of my life right now.   I need uninterrupted time and I need other things to be done/taken care of in my life before I feel free enough to write.  It’s a miracle that I’m even doing this post now but I feel as though I should explain to my handful of readers why I haven’t been posting.

I was supposed to do a writing challenge for the first week of August.  Yet, here we are in the second week of August and I haven’t even written the first post of the challenge.

I need to get to the bottom of what is keeping me from writing.


Commute: Cruise #9 is in the books

Well, another cruise has been completed.  This makes my 9th cruise since 2000.  However this one was not planned by me.    But, I tell you, it pays to be ready for the spontaneity of life.  My passport was current and nearby.

A friend called less than two weeks before the sail date and asked if I could take a vacated spot, and I was ready!   Being single and childfree allowed this last minute trip to happen.  No husband to “check with”, and no kids to find babysitters for, so I was free to pack my suitcases.

This trip was on Royal Caribbean’s ship Grandeur of the Seas.  It was a five night cruise and we sailed from Baltimore to Bermuda.  I’d been to Bermuda before so I had the chance to return to Horseshoe Bay Beach with its pink sand.  Not quite as pink as the sand on a beach I went to in Hawaii, but it was a close second.  I like Horseshoe Bay Beach and whenever I’m in Bermuda, I will go there again.

We had quite a bit of rain one morning, but it cleared up and the weather was fine after that.

I finally figured out how to do panoramic photos with this latest camera.  The first few tries from a trip to Pittsburgh, I struggled with the timing but I got it right this time, so I do have a couple of those pics at the end of this video/slideshow.

Cruise #10 is coming up in a couple of months, but for 2017, I’m going to try something different for vacation/traveling.

Here are some photos from this cruise.

Communication: Journal Prompt 111 – Free and Available

What things in life do you think should be free and available to everyone?

Jobs, because everyone needs to be able to work and make their own money to do what they need and want to do.

Education, because having to pay student loans for 10 years is just ridiculous.  Or people not being able to go to college, again, is just ridiculous.

Healthcare, because the cost of getting healthy is ridiculous.

Assistance with certain things, like the law, because again, the cost of being represented in a legal case is ridiculous.


Communication: Journal Prompt 110 – Perfect Meal

In detail, tell me about what your perfect meal would be like.
>Main Course

Where would you be?


I’m such a plain (non-adventurous) eater that I would be totally satisfied with a simple meat and potatoes meal.

Barbecue ribs (or salmon),  mashed potatoes (or sweet potato), wheat bread.  I’m good.   That’s what I order when I go to Longhorn’s.

The mashed potatoes taste like the ones my mother used to make.  Love ’em.




Communication: Journal Prompt – 109 – First Job

Tell me about your first job. What did you do? How much were you paid? Who did you work with? What were they like? Did you have to wear a uniform?
If you haven’t had a job yet, write a list of ‘first jobs’ you would like and why?


My very first job was as a server.   I’m pretty sure it was just minimum wage that I was making.  I worked with other teenagers and a supervisor.  They all were cool.  We did not have to wear a uniform.

There was a summer lunch program available during  the summer for the kids in the public housing neighborhood.  We had to clean and setup the room everyday before the kids arrived, then again after they left.  We also had to wait for that white refrigerated truck that delivered the boxed meals for the kids. Everyone got excited when the white refrigerated truck showed up.  I think I used to feel the same way when the Good Humor truck showed up with the ice cream.  Once we were ready, the kids arrived at a certain time each day for lunch and we served them, and made sure every kid received a meal to eat that day.

It was an easy summer job but we got to help the kids.  I was 16 years old.  I was excited just to be able to buy my own school clothes that summer because it helped Mom from having to buy school clothes for all three kids.

Communication: Journal Prompt 107 – Languages

What other language(s) would you like to learn and why? Now go and find out how to say the following in one of the languages:

“Hello my name is (blank). I am (blank) years old. I live in (blank) with (blank) and I enjoy (blank), (blank), and (blank). Some of my favorite foods are (blank).”

Now introduce yourself to your journal in your new language. Action: This week, take one step towards learning your language of choice.


I mentioned this in another post already…

Italian–already started lessons, want to finish and visit Italy again and be able to understand the locals.

French–had classes years ago.  Need a refresher.

Spanish–had classes years ago.  Second language in the US, need to know how to communicate with Spanish-speaking people.

Chinese–since they pretty much run things commercially in the world, need to know how to communicate with them.  I think it would help in commerce and economics, which was my major 100 years ago.


Italian translation, thanks to Google Translator. 🙂

“Ciao il mio nome è Annie. Sono 51 anni. Io vivo in America. Mi piace la cottura, la fotografia, la scrittura e viaggiare. Alcuni dei miei cibi preferiti sono patate e cheeseburger”

French translation:

“Bonjour mon nom est Annie. Je suis âgé de 51 ans. Je vis en Amérique. J’apprécie la cuisson, la photographie, l’écriture et les voyages. Certains de mes aliments préférés sont les pommes de terre et cheeseburgers”

Spanish translation:

“Hola mi nombre es Annie. Tengo 51 años. Vivo en los Estados Unidos. Me gusta hornear, la fotografía, la escritura y los viajes. Algunos de mis comidas favoritas son las patatas y hamburguesas”

Chinese translation:


“Nǐ hǎo, wǒ jiào ānnī, wǒ 51 suì. Wǒ zhù zài měiguó. Wǒ xǐhuān hōngbèi, shèyǐng, xiězuò hé lǚxíng. Wǒ de yīxiē zuì xǐhuān de shíwù shì tǔdòu hé gānlào”

Communication: Journal Prompt 106 – Fears

Tell me about one of your fears. Where does it come from? What happens to you physically and emotionally when you are feeling the fear? How does this fear hold you back?
How could you challenge it? Write about how your life would improve after overcoming the fear.

One of my fears is being stuck or parked on a hill.  I remember when we would be in Mom’s blue car, coming from Giant Eagle in Braddock Hills.  There’s a hill that you have to take to come out of the shopping center out onto the main road, Yost Blvd.  It there was traffic coming up Yost and we had to wait on that ramp, I would just about lose it.  Even though I knew my mother had her foot on the brake as we waiting for the car to pass us by, just knowing the feeling of the car drifting back for a couple of seconds as she took her foot off the brake and onto the gas pedal used to just freak me out.  I always thought we were going to fall down the ramp.

Another hill I remember….we were going to visit someone who lived in North Braddock and their house was on a hill.  If Mom parked on the hill and said ‘stay in the car’, I couldn’t do it.  I was too scared the car was going to fall down the hill.  I would rather get out of the car and go with her or sit on the sidewalk, porch, anywhere.  Or just stand and wait.  I was not about to be sitting in the car on a hill just waiting to die.

I know, drama.

The only way the fear holds me back is I try my best not to park on a hill, but now that I know how to drive and park on a hill, I’m not as scared.  I would still prefer flat land, please.  Thank you!


Communication: Journal Prompt 105 – Area

What do you like about the area where you live?

It’s quiet at night.  There’s the usual activity of people coming and going but nothing where I am worried about coming home late at night, or worried about my car being outside, or worried about people who don’t live here lurking around.

It’s a new community and the people seem cool so far.  I only know my immediate neighbors but I watch out the window every now and then to see who comes and goes, and which car they get in and out of and which townhouse they go in and out of.  Just out of curiosity to be aware of my surroundings at the beginning.  Now I could identify the people in our row and in the two buildings across the street.  You never know what you’re going to get in a new community since it was not already established.  Luckily I have decent neighbors on both sides of me so I’m very grateful for that.

It’s accessible to everything and every place I need to get to, except work. It’s about 30 minutes to the airport and the cruise terminal.  It’s about 15 minutes to 95.  It takes me about an hour to get to work though.  I debated about whether or not to take this community over one that was closer to work but in an area I didn’t really want to live in.  Real estate people always say location, location, location are the three key things to finding a house, but I’m glad I chose the neighborhood over proximity to work.  I can deal with a longer drive if I like the neighborhood.