Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday

1.  It's been forever since I did a "Five on Friday," but since I finally got caught up on the holidays (at least with photos) and trips, I wanted to get back into posting at least once a week.  This blog serves as a journal for me so I can know what I was doing in the past.  I've been working a lot the past couple of weeks; last week I worked all day Thursday and Friday for a friend who was out of town and this week I worked every evening for a sick friend.  I'm working all day Monday for another friend.  I also substituted teaching for a class last week and will again in a couple of weeks.  I really like just working Wednesday evenings.

2.  I'm on Medicare and getting Social Security now that I am 65.   I had been told I would not get Social Security because I am in the Missouri Public School Retirement System, and I did not pay Social Security while working full-time at Meramec for fifteen years.  However, I did work at other, mostly part-time jobs, for eighteen years so I'm getting a little Social Security.  It was kind of irritating though, when I talked to the caseworker she asked how much I was getting from my MPSRS and adjusted my SS benefits accordingly.  I don't think that is right, but I didn't have any choice and am glad at least I'm getting something.

3.  We are still watching series on TV.  Since we got Netflix we watched two years worth of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, and now we are on the third and final season of Lillyhammer.  We really have been enjoying the series while waiting for spring to come and we'll be able to be outside again and not spend so much time watching TV.  We also still watch Downton Abbey weekly and a new one called Better Call Sal.  I'm so glad these series are on now instead of everything being reality shows like in the early 2000s.  And today season three of House of Cards comes on Netflix.  Hooray!

4.  I got a call from John the other night and he and Chellie have invited us to Hilton Head the first week in September.  They rented a four-bedroom house, and Chellie's mother and partner are also coming.  It is a beautiful house and we'll get to spend a whole week with the grand girls.  We'll be vacationing a lot this summer--in June we're going to Gulf Shores, in July to Saugatuck, MI, and now the beginning of September to Hilton Head.  I'm working on losing the 12 pounds I've gained since last year.  It would be nice to swim with the grand kids this summer.

5.  I don't know if I've mentioned it on here, but I joined a Webster Swap and Sell Group on Facebook, and it's been lots of fun.  I haven't sold anything yet, mainly because I'm too lazy to take pictures and post stuff, but I'm going to start today.  I've bought lots of stuff.  Yesterday I got six little yellow soup bowls.  She was asking $35 and I asked if she would take $30 and she agreed.  I already have a big one, which I think might be a soup tureen, that matches perfectly.  Here are a couple of pictures (which I stole from Facebook), since I can't do a post without pictures. Although they look orange in the pictures, they really are a buttery yellow color:

Saturday, February 21, 2015


We ended January and began February with a trip to Florida.  Wayne's brother and his wife, Jeff and Judith, rented a cottage in Pasa Grille for the month of January and the first two weeks of February, and invited us to come down to visit.  We went on a Sat. morning and came back to St. Louis on Tuesday evening.  It was a nice get away, but it wasn't as warm as I thought it would be.  We did some sight seeing, eating and walking on the beach, but no swimming!  The sunsets there are beautiful; it seems like the whole town goes to the beach for the sunsets.  There house was less than a block, so we walked down to watch the sunsets.

The Tuesday we came home was Abbey's birthday, and the next week was my birthday, so Amy and Dave had us over for dinner that Sunday between our two birthdays.  Then the next Sunday, Kay had the Fancy Aunt Lunch for Libby, Laura and me.  It was great seeing everyone, the food was delicious, and I got lots of lovely gifts and gift cards.

Friday, February 20, 2015


January was a quiet relief after Thanksgiving and Christmas. I didn't think I was going to be working in the MAC because the regulars wanted more hours, which was fine with me. I really disliked working Fridays last semester because we couldn't go away for a long weekend. We began watching a new series on Netflix, House of Cards, which we really were enjoying. We also started taking a class again.  Then, the second week of the semester my boss from Meramec called and said they really needed me on Wednesday evenings because no one there could work with ESL(English as a Second Language) students. So I started doing that, when I wasn't helping with placement for new ESL students that I had already committed to for a few Wednesdays throughout the semester.  I'm also a substitute in the MAC and teaching ESL, so I probably will be working as much as last semester.

The 23 of January was Stephanie's birthday, so we went to Cincinnati for a long weekend. I made Stephanie a Quiet Book for her birthday, an idea I had been toying with for some time. It turned out pretty cute:

We got to Cincinnati on Friday, the 23rd, her birthday and she opened presents from us and her mom and dad.  Then, on Saturday, she had a party at the Cincinnati Children's Museum.

At the Children's Museum:

Unfortunately, Julia broke her leg at the party.  We aren't sure how exactly she did it, but she went down a slide with her dad and couldn't walk afterwards.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


I found this article this morning and it made me feel less weird for being an introvert.  

10 Myths About Introverts

By Carl King

I wrote this list in late-2008. Around that time, I was lucky enough to discover a book called, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, by Marti Laney, Psy.D. It felt like someone had written an encyclopedia entry on a rare race of people to which I belong. Not only had it explained many of my eccentricities, it helped me to redefine my entire life in a new and productive context.

Sure, anyone who knows me would say, “Duh! Why did it take you so long to realize you’re an Introvert?” It’s not that simple. The problem is that labeling someone as an Introvert is a very shallow assessment, full of common misconceptions. It’s more complex than that.

A section of Laney’s book (page 71 through page 75) maps out the human brain and explains how neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of Introverts and Extroverts. If the science behind the book is correct, it turns out that Introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. Conversely, Extroverts can’t get enough Dopamine, and they require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less blood-flow to the brain. The messages of an Extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.

Unfortunately, according to the book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.)
So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (not taken directly from the book, but based on my own life experience):

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
“You cannot escape us, and to change us would lead to your demise.” <-- I made that up. I'm a screenwriter.

It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become "normal." Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves.
Let me know your thoughts.

Books For Introverts

1.) The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World
2.) Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
3.) Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength

Boxer Day

Since Kate and the kids didn't get in until Christmas, the day after  Christmas we had the family over.  I just noticed I don't have many pictures of the middle-age kids, or Kate's kids, just the little ones.  I think the others were all upstairs playing.