Daily Prompt; Learning Style

http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt

What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEARNING.

This is one of the most difficult areas in my learning days. When I was in college, I would do the same thing as others. Highlight in my books, take notes, try to get involved with answers and questions.

I would go home in the evenings and stick my nose in the books. Ignoring everything in the house, seeing only black and white and yellow highlights. I made good grades. In fact I usually got straight A’s, but wow, did I have to cram and put most of my waking hours into those grades.

When I got divorced I bought a computer desk.desk I lugged it to the car and hoisted it into the trunk. I drove home. Huffed and puffed carrying it into the house.

I laid every board out, every screw and bolt. I got the needed tools. All was in place. Next I read the directions. Then I reread the directions.

I looked at the photos and then read the words again. I glanced at the pieces. I started remembering back to when I was in college and I learned I was not a learner by lectures, writing notes, cramming or anything else.

I was a hand’s on learner. I learned by doing. I tossed the paper aside and pulled up my big girl  pants and one by one I put the desk together. It was like putting puzzles together as a kid.

Trying a piece that looked like it may fit. Maybe having to exchange it for another piece. It took me probably twice as long as my ex would have taken, but hey, I did it. Soon I was smiling, so proud that I had a computer desk. Standing firm and strong, my computer sitting atop. I sat down and rubbed my hands along the nice, smooth wood and began typing.

Picture it & Write

http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/__picture-it-write-65/#respondbodies runningpictureitandwrite2copy-1

Two people never introduced to society. Running free, no fear of being naked. Life is simple. Eat from the ground. Make light from wood. Shelter being given by leaves and bamboo.

An innocence I wish I carried with me. But I live in civilized territory. Fear has been embedded within me. Trust was wiped off the chalkboard years ago. Erased with words of hate and prejudice, poverty and hunger.

Ashamed that my body is not perfect, hiding in cloth. Beauty from within  now determined by what others say and promote. Lock your doors, secure your car, alarms everywhere.

Fear of enjoying a midnight stroll, danger looking in corners. Jealousy the beast smolders in us, what we have is now not good enough. Eating out of boxes, microwaves for busy schedules.

Families put aside, God kicked out of homes and schools. Money out of balance. Scales showing needs verses wants, which weighs more? Education comes from books. Culture learned through a ticket.

A hand shake replaced by security. Smiling faces turned upside down. Racing here, racing there. Health has been shifted. Diabetes, high blood pressure, more heart attacks and death come too early.

Yes, my brain has been tampered with. I fear more than I know. I am no longer innocent. I lost that before I loved it. It is a miracle in itself that we as a country function as well as we do.

Our belief in what ever it may be that keeps us moving forward each day, this is what we cling to. Hope for a better day, dreams of tomorrows and memories from yesterdays. This helps us stay mentally alive.

For one day there will be a new world. A re-birth and I will once again be brand new. Innocence and living on faith will all be mine. What would it be like to go back and try to pretend that we don’t know all that we have learned? Could we do it? Could we run through the forest? Run naked with no fear? Live from the earth? Could we laugh more than we cry? Would illness surround us? Would worry be replaced with calm?

Only each of us know what we are capable of doing today. We have learned but not all we learn is good.


Sunshine Award

I was nominated by Billie over at

http://willeke73.wordpress.com for the Sunshine Award. Thanks so much Billie.sunshine-award

In Billie’s words, this is what is said about why to blog.


Today’s million dollar question on WordPress is why people blog… Funny that… wondered about that last year also!

Have you ever heard of bibliotherapy? Wikipedia describes it as ‘a therapy that uses a person’s relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words and it’s often combined with writing therapy.’

Where other people might need bibliotherapy, I consider writing a help to ease past issues like being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005. However, when I started my blog, I didn’t think writing would become some sort of therapy I would find useful and it was not the initial goal. That goal only became clear after blogging for about a year, and realising it helped me settle my relationship towards my illness and eventually, seeing things in a more realistic way.

Because of my background – immigrated to Ireland 10,5 years ago, diagnosed with MS 8 years ago, losing a few family members in the space of 3 years interwoven with lots of funny stories and optimism – some people suggested I should write a book about my experiences of the last 10,5 years.

In a perfect world, I would like to sit down and start writing that very book, but being a perfectionist, I thought it would be wise to check out blogging to see if I could find an audience interested in my blah-di-blahs of daily life. Granted, I really do want to write a book, but it rather scares me having to look back and go over emotions that kept me busy shortly after being diagnosed and losing family members.

Creating a blog solely dedicated to living with MS would be interesting, but quite soon after starting it, I realised that I wanted to write about much more than just MS because I am more than just my illness. I am a daughter, sister, auntie, lover of life, of art, literature, libraries, museums, photography, psychology and another gazillion other things. Writing about MS only would mean that I would have to return to issues related to it over and over again every time I wanted to write and eventually I would run out of ideas faster than I can say ‘hi’ in English. MS does give me something to think about every day, but often it is about things I would not necessarily want to share (yet). However, adding posts about life in Ireland and my love for books and literature meant that my blog would be balanced enough, as long as I created one that would clearly show my other blog posts besides those about MS. A famous saying goes like this: ‘I may have MS but MS does not have me‘ MS does not rule my day anymore, it is here in my body but I refuse to let it take over my mind and I want that to be clear in my blog.

My aim is therefore to write about times like the ones I just described. I decided to stay in Ireland after my diagnosis for several reasons which I already wrote about in other blog posts. The biggest reason was living in a country where the weather is good for me and ride on the waves of life the slow way. That is what my life is like now… moving forward slowly but utterly enjoying everything I do. Because life is too short for regrets. And for dreams that cannot come true because you think you will not have enough time to fulfill them. If you can find all of this in my blog, then woohoo! Mission accomplished!

So read. Write. Dream. Be happy. Blog. And just breathe. Simply take a step back, breathe, and before you know it a new blog post is born.

Thanks again my friend~

Chapter 1, Parkinson’s Disease Journey

English: An IMAX theatre located in the Tennes...

English: An IMAX theatre located in the Tennessee Aquarium at Chattanooga.

You notice something. You can’t quite put your finger on it but you definitely feel it in your gut. Sitting together at the kitchen table you notice a slight movement of his head. The fingers tremble slightly.

Thoughts enter your head. Is he becoming sick? Should I make a doctor’s appointment? It disappears from your view and in your mind. Life goes as planned. I help him pick out his clothes. He gets dressed and I make sure he has brushed his teeth. All is complete and I run him down to the Day Program.

This isn’t any normal day program. This is a place for adults with disabilities to hang out. Al, my brother, has the chance to feel independence. He can hang out with his buddies. He meets new friends.

He learns to play pool and how to get along with others. With him basically being with me all the time I feel it is very good for him to have friends of his own. He learns that he can get free lunches if he earns them. He sweeps the floor after lunch  or maybe he will set the table for the noon meal.

Al loves to hoard his money. His idea of money is to keep what he can and spend it on himself. Spending it on others is not in his plan. I have worked with him for years about gift giving and he did give in to my wishes but not with smiles.

Al experienced so much at his Day Program. He was able to go see a movie at the IMAX Theatre. He was able to go to Tampa and see ballgames. He went to zoos and the planetarium. There was usually a specific activity geared for learning and enjoyment each week.

The city that we lived in was so big. There were many businesses that donated tickets. The main one was the Symphonies. Al was lucky to get to hear some great music during these years.

Every afternoon when I picked him up he chattered non stop about what he did that day. I would give anything to  hear that chatter today. To see the sparkle in his eyes. To see the smiles spreading from cheek to cheek.

Al and I usually visited a flea market on Saturdays. He would beam from ear to ear if he found a coca cola item for sale. Al didn’t care if he had several of the same things at home. His mental challenges only allowed him to understand that here was something for sale with the words coke on it.

I tried to teach him about running out of room and not buying the same thing over and over. We made some progress but even today now that he has ventured into the classic car collections, he still has the same desires but we try to work through them.

We always made a point to go out to eat on Sundays. We usually went for supper for his convenience. Al is very structured in his routine. I could count on a bad day if I tried to change things around. He had to have a nap each day. So on Sundays it was routine to get up and go to church. Go home and get something light for lunch. He would watch his TV programs until 2:30 pm and then it was his nap time.

He would sleep until 5pm and then he was up and ready to go to supper. I was always amazed at how he had an internal alarm clock. He knew when it was time to rise in the mornings or from naps with his own built-in clock.

He loved to go to a restaurant called Dutch Heritage. You have to understand one thing about Al. I started caring for him when he was the age of 51 years old. Because he had disabilities and mental challenges his whole life he wasn’t along so many times when the family went out to eat.

It wasn’t, I hope, that Mom and Dad didn’t want him along. I believe that Al just liked time by himself. He had some on going  issues with his Dad and I think he enjoyed the freedom of making his own decisions when he was alone.

So the Dutch Heritage was a huge buffet type restaurant. At first when we arrived there I got up from my seat to start selecting my food and Al sat there. I asked, “What are you doing bud? Aren’t you coming?”

He replied, “I don’t know what to do. I am scared.”  He started to cry and then it dawned on me he had never been to a buffet before. I sat back down and taught him all about buffet style and after our first visit to the place I never had to teach him again when we returned.

He took so much pride in choosing his own foods. I sit here and smile as I think back to how he would fill his plate. It didn’t matter how many times we visited, he ate in the same order. His food was arranged the same each time. He would get ham, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw and mashed potatoes and one big roll.

He only went up to fill his plate once. I think he always thought that if he went back twice he or I would have to pay a second time. After our meals were eaten, the waitress would always come around and ask what dessert we wished for. Once again Al would look me in the eye with his starry eyes and with big pride beaming from his soul, he would make his own choice.

Always the same though out of all the choices. Cherry pie with ice-cream on top. Oh those Sunday memories I have with him. Seeing him learning and enjoying freedom of choice were some of the best times I ever had.


Chapter 14

The next morning Henry popped out of bed. He was ready to start the day. He got dressed

English: Old-School Barber Shop. Defiantly ana...

and then went to the kitchen for breakfast. He was surprised to see his mom standing over the stove.

Carol said, ” I thought I would give you a little something extra for your big day and cook you breakfast”.

“Wow mom, this is a real surprise. You sure aren’t going to hear any arguing coming from me”. Henry said. His mom smiled at him and turned back to her fried eggs. She made it a little extra by adding a thick slice of fried bologna. She put the finished plate in front of him and Henry grabbed a glass of milk. “Sure smells good mom. Thanks a lot”.

He dug in and she left the room. After eating he went in and did his hair and yelling bye to his mom he left the house. He drove to the opposite side of town until he saw a nice looking motel.

After parking he went in and asked for a room. ” I need a special room for tonight. I am getting married today. I have cash”. The clerk smiled and had Henry fill out some paper work. He took the groom’s money and then handed him the room key.

Henry decided he better check the room out. He opened the door and flipped the lights on. Nice big bed and looks clean. He turned around and walked out feeling satisfied this would work.

He drove back into town and stopped at a small jewelry store. Once at the counter he asked, ” Do you have any plain bands? I need a gold band”. The clerk showed him a few styles and Henry decided on one that had engraved flowers on it. ” I will take this but first, how much is it”? The clerk told him and Henry smiled. “Yes, I will take this one. Do you have one of those boxes to put it in”?

The salesman smiled and after collecting the money he placed the ring in a black box and put it in a sack. Handing it to Henry the clerk smiled and said, ” Good luck son”.

He decided to go hang out at the garage for a little bit. He still needed to get a hair cut but that wasn’t going to take long. The wedding was at four. He had some time to kill. He walked in and his buddies said, “Where ya been? We haven’t seen you lately”? ” Hey Henry, we thought you went and died or something”.

“Nah, I have just been busy. Between the two jobs and spending time with Jane my time just slips by too fast”, Henry said. The guys stopped what they were doing since it was almost lunch time

and they each grabbed a bottle of pop. Sitting down at the bench they played catch-up.

“You all know I am getting married today don’t you”? Henry asked them.

“What? You’re getting married”? “Well you old dog you. You are going to go and get yourself hitched up”. ” Are you crazy fool? Getting married”?

They all laughed and asked about the details. Henry explained and then their break was over. For awhile Henry followed them to the cars they were working on. He watched until a customer came in and then said, ” Well I guess I will be getting out of here. I have things to do and people to see”. All the guys yelled bye to him and wished him good luck.

He felt his pants pocket making sure the box was still there. He looked up at the courthouse clock and decided to go ahead and get his hair cut. The barber shop was one of two in town. Both of them were small. His mom had always brought him to this place so he just continued to come. He remembered always being so fascinated with the barber shop pole. The red stripes going round and round.

He walked in and there was only one customer a head of him. He waved hello with his hand and the barber said, ” Hey Henry, nice to see you. You are next bud. Just have a seat”.

Henry sat down and picked up one of the few car magazines and sifted through it. He was about through all the photos and heard his name being called. ” So what you been up to since the last time I saw you Henry”?

“I have two jobs now Al. I still work at the grocery store. I also got a part-time job over at the bowling alley setting pins”.

“Well you know what they say. A busy mind stays out of trouble”, Al said with laughter.  Henry relaxed as his hair was being cut. The barber finished and was brushing talcum powder on his neck when Henry said, ” I am getting married today. Today is my last day for being a single guy”.

As Al was taking his money for the cut he wished Henry a good life. Well, everything was done now. He drove home and decided to take a bath and just hang around the house. He thought about taking a nap.

He was pleased to see his dad was mowing the yard when he pulled up. His dad waved at him and Henry waving back went on into the house. His mom was napping on the couch. The house smelled clean. He went to the refrigerator and got him a cold pop and saw that the kitchen table was set up for the wedding food.

He walked quietly passed his mom and went and started running his bath water. He shaved while his water was filling and then went and got some clean clothes out. Locking the bathroom door he sunk into the tub and thought, this is it  Henry. This is the big day. Today the girl I love will become my wife. I am the happiest guy alive.

Daily Prompt; This is Your Life/ The Daily Post

Lord lovelace bridge


If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover

I would choose not to read a book about my entire life. Why do this? Ruin the ending? Do I want to know when I am going to leave this good earth? Do I want to still make choices and errors in my life?

The errors no, but how do we learn if do not make mistakes. I don’t want to know if I am going to get cancer, or get hit on the highways. This gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

I am the one who will not get those special expensive tests to see what I may die of. First of all they are not accurate. They do not report that you will die from this or that. I think I would drive myself crazy knowing my ending ahead of time.

Our purpose here in earth in my view, is to live a life pleasing to God. To let others know about God. If I knew I was dying, would I become obsessed with myself instead of bringing others to the Lord?

Would I say forget everything. Let me live and let me die. Give me all of those cookies I fight so hard to not eat. May I have that piece of cake with all those sugary flowers on top?

I believe for me, I would lose respect for myself and my fellow-man. I may give up my hope for life, and I may quit trying so hard to continue to live a good life. By good life I don’t mean riches. I mean by your inner heart and soul.

How would you change if you knew you were dying within one year. Would you go to those enemies and spill your guts and say all of your I’m sorry’s?  Have you made your peace with your maker? If you died tomorrow, let’s say, are you satisfied with where you think you are going?

No, my answer is definitely a no. I don’t want to know anything ahead of time. And by the way, if you read my book start to finish, don’t tell me about it.