Favorite #190: Reading to Preschoolers

A photo moment with the children at Salem Lutheran Preschool.

A photo moment with the children at Salem Lutheran Preschool. Louie’s sitting on my lap.

    Building a Foundation

One of the most loving things a person can do is read to a child. Reading builds a bond and a foundation for later success through introducing vocabulary and language skills.

I recently was invited to read my children’s books at Salem Lutheran Church Preschool in Salisbury, NC. Preschoolers are a delight because they are inquisitive and not afraid to ask questions or share information about what’s going on in their lives.

The first group were the twos and threes, followed by the four-year-olds. One of the little fellas in the four-year-old class, said, “I know you.” Although he recognized me he didn’t know from where. When I explained I used to live next door to his uncle in the house with all the cars, the lightbulb went off and he said, “Oh, yeah.”

After the children settled down, we sang a song and then I read, Tired of My Bath. This book opens with John Allen telling his mom he doesn’t want to take a bath. His mom warns him if he doesn’t he’ll smell bad. John Allen finally realized he should have listened when his little dog, Louie, hides under the bed from the smell. Even though the story was about John Allen taking a bath, some of the children were eager to tell about their dogs taking a bath.

The next book I read was Tired of Being Little. In this story, John Allen discovers being little is a good thing and the moral lesson is learning to be content. After I read the story, the children and I posed for a photo with Louie. Some wanted to pet him, while others wanted to know if he was real or just pretend. I let them make up their own minds.

Both of my grandsons have been in the preschool program at Salem, so I’m aware of the well-rounded curriculum the faculty and staff provide. Not only do the children learn about the world around them through books and reading, but they also learn through field trips, creative art, music, dramatic play, group activities and devotions. Dana Robertson, the director, said, “We believe it’s important to give children opportunities to explore, experience and ask questions.” I’m glad they invite authors like me to answer some of those questions.

Thanks, Salem Lutheran Church Preschool for inviting me to read.

What experience(s) have you had reading to children? Did something funny happen? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.









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Favorite #189: Spencer Doll and Toy Museum

Dolls having a tea party at the Spencer Doll Museum.

Dolls enjoying a tea party at the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum in Spencer, NC.

A Step Back in Time

            A trip to The Spencer Doll and Toy Museum in Spencer, NC, is like taking a trip back in time. The director, Beth Nance, started the museum as a way to honor the memory of her sister, Amy Dawn Morris, who passed away at the age of twenty-one from a terminal illness. In her short lifetime, Amy had collected approximately one-hundred dolls, including the Bob Mackie designer Barbie dolls. While Amy’s collection was the catalyst for the museum, the museum today is filled with items donated or loaned from people far and wide, including dolls, toys, trucks, trains and airplanes.

The doll museum is a perfect fit for Spencer because of the town’s historical past. During the first half of the twentieth century, Southern Railway steam locomotives often stopped at the Spencer shops for repairs on their route from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. When diesel locomotives became popular, the repair shop was no longer needed, leaving the facility to stand empty for decades. Thankfully, that changed with the opening of the North Carolina Transportation Museum. The North Carolina Transportation Museum and The Spencer Doll and Toy Museum complement each other with one showcasing the history of transportation and the other showcasing the history of dolls and toys.

            Marie Norway, the event coordinator for the doll museum, schedules activities throughout the month, including author visits, birthday parties, the Downton Abbey Club, and scavenger hunts. Several weeks ago Marie invited me to read my children’s books at the museum. A few days before the scheduled event I stopped by to touch base and I’m glad I did. The Downton Abbey Club was having their weekly meeting. During that meeting I learned the club watches an episode of Downton Abbey each week, followed by a brief discussion. They also enjoy hot tea and cookies, served in an atmosphere of that time period. Marie goes all out even dressing the part.

            I’m glad Marie invited me to share my books at the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum because from that experience I met a lot of interesting people and learned a little more about the importance of dolls and toys in our history. A quote on a card in one of the doll cases caught my eye. The quote was attributed to Lord Thomas Babinton MaCaulay, (1800-1859), and it said, “The study of dolls is the story of mankind.” After visiting the doll museum, I believe Lord Thomas was right. If you’re ever in the Spencer area, I hope you’ll stop by. Marie and Beth hope so, too. Only a short drive from I-85, it’s half-way between Charlotte and Greensboro. To learn more about the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum or the North Carolina Transportation Museum check out their websites.  

            What’s your favorite historical place to visit? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.









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Favorite #188: Valentine’s Day

Flowers are a great way to show you care.

A Day For Everyone

For those in a relationship, Valentines’ can be one of the best days of the year. For those not in a relationship, it can be one of the worst days. Michelle Peterson found a way to enjoy this special day last year in spite of a divorce. She sent me an email, recently, asking if she could write a guest blog about ways to enjoy Valentines’ when single. She said she found my blog through a YouTube video highlighting one of my children’s books, Tired of Being a Bully.

Michelle explained, “I’ve always enjoyed Valentines’, so after my divorce last year, I didn’t want to ignore it. I decided to make it my own. I spent the day at a museum and stopped by my favorite café. That night I read a good book and wrote in my journal. It ended being one of the most pleasant, stress free days I’ve had in a while. My desire in this blog is to inspire other singles to see Valentines’ can be a wonderful day.”

5 Ways to Make Being Single on V-Day Awesome

With V-Day almost here, you may be lamenting the fact that you aren’t in a relationship. The heart-shaped candies and the beautiful red roses may even make you feel envious of people in relationships. Instead of thinking about the fact that you are alone, why not think about the benefits of your singlehood? You are free to make your own plans, have all the time for yourself, and don’t have to deal with any unnecessary drama. What’s more, being single is scientifically good for your health.

Why should only couples have fun on Valentine’s Day? No one is stopping you from enjoying yourself, so here are five ways to make being single awesome on V-Day.

  1. Dance ‘til Your Heart’s Content

Dancing has a way of taking all your stress and worries away, plus it has some amazing health benefits too. This V-Day, break a leg and dance like no one watching you! Whether Macarena is your guilty pleasure or a particular movie has some particular dance scenes you find memorable, find the songs that make you let go of all your inhibitions.

  1. Sleep Well

What does it mean when you are single on V-Day? It means that you have the entire bed with the blankets and the pillows all to yourself! You do not have to share your bed with anyone or give up on your sleep because you cannot doze off with someone snoring loudly beside you. Sleep is extremely vital for a good quality of life, and there is no better day than V-Day to enjoy a good night’s or even a good day’s sleep. Since you are a free bird, you can even decide to sleep the entire day!


  1. Do Some Online Shopping

When you are home alone on V-Day and wondering what to do, check out some of your favorite online shops. As you are all alone, no one is around to keep a hold on your purse strings or judge your purchases. Splurge on that gorgeous black skirt or the latest video game that you have wanted forever! Retail therapy truly does help to get your spirits high when you are feeling sad about being single on Valentine’s Day.


  1. Indulge in a Bubble Bath

A bubble bath is one of the indulgences that you must try when you are alone on V-Day. You can take all the time you want, as no one will be banging on the bathroom door asking you to hurry. You can stay in there for hours relaxing in the warm water, which in turn will help enhance your mood. Pour yourself a glass of milk and carry the current book that you are reading with you to the bathroom, and now you have all the entertainment you need.


  1. Binge Watch Your Favorite Shows

Perhaps, the best thing about being single on V-Day is that you do not have to share your remote with anyone. You can finally binge watch your favorite shows without getting disturbed. You can even wear your comfortable PJs as there is no one around to complain about how worn out they are. Be it Game of Thrones or House of Cards, you can watch as many episodes as you want – just keep in mind that you have a job in the morning.

Thanks, Michelle for these great ideas. If you’d like to learn more about Michelle, check out her website, here.

How do you spend Valentine’s Day? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.







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Favorite #187: Walking My Little Dog, Molly

Enjoying a walk with Molly.

Molly enjoys our walks as much as I do.

Time Together

One day last fall while driving down Hwy-70 I saw a little grey-and-white Shih Tzu walking down the road. Since this was a remote area with no houses, I stopped and called to her. She didn’t have a collar and later I discovered she didn’t have a chip, either. After weeks of looking for her owner through proper channels without any luck, I decided to keep her.

I named her Molly because she looks like the little girl dog in my children’s books. Friends and family  who come to visit treat her like a celebrity and she likes the attention. When someone pets or talks to her, she gets excited and wags her tail.  If curled up on the couch, she flips for a belly rub. 

Ten years ago, my husband, Michael, and I adopted a little terrier from the Watauga Humane Society in Boone, NC. We were on vacation at the time and saw the little dog’s picture in the newspaper. Michael loved the movie Smokey and the Bandit, so we named him, Bandit. A terrier loves to dig, so Michael taught Bandit to find toys and bones not only outside, but inside under pillows and blankets.  They often played for hours. When Michael passed unexpectedly in 2014, Bandit seemed lost. When Bandit passed the next fall, it was like losing another part of Michael. After that I decided not to get another dog because it was just too painful. That was until Molly came along. Even my ninety-six-year-old mom thinks God sent her.

It’s amazing how a dog can change the dynamics in a household. It kind of reminds me of how a baby can do the same thing. Molly motivates me to stay on a schedule and enjoys going for walks both in the morning and the evening. If I’m a little late getting started, she’ll come sit beside me and whine. When I grab my coat, she’s standing at the door. During our walks, she sniffs the ground and observes the surroundings which include squirrels, birds and falling leaves. Her routine and her pace has helped me to slow down and enjoy the moment.

Being a caregiver for my mom can get tiring at times and stressful. My walks with Molly help to relieve some of that stress. An added bonus has been that I’ve lost ten pounds. I’ve been trying to lose ten pounds for over twenty years. Thanks, Molly.

There’s no denying the unconditional love of a dog. As I write this blog, Molly’s laying on the floor beside me. I’m glad I found Molly and I think she is, too.

How has a dog or pet changed your life? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.







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Favorite #186: Molly, the Rescue Dog

Molly and Mom enjoying a moment together.

Molly and Mom enjoying a moment together.

Home is Having Someone to Love

Three months ago as I was driving down Hwy-70 not too far from my home, I noticed a beautiful grey-and-white Shih Tzu walking along the guardrail. I couldn’t stop at the time because of traffic, so I went to the next intersection and turned around. By the time I could stop the little dog was in the weeds. I got out of the car and called to her. It took a few minutes before she trusted me enough to come.

Once in the car I took her to the Rowan Animal Clinic hoping she had a chip, but she didn’t. I advertised in the Salisbury Post and notified the Humane Society of Rowan Co. and the Rowan Co. Animal Shelter. They all said no one had called looking for a Shih Tzu. A few weeks later, when no one claimed this little dog, I made an appointment for a check-up.

When the technician at the Rowan Animal Clinic asked what I named her, I said Molly because she looks like the little girl dog in my children’s books. Everyone thought it was meant to be. Even my 96-year-old Mom thinks God sent Molly to us.

On the day of the check-up, everything went well until Dr. Lowe looked at her teeth. He said little dogs often have trouble with their teeth and not taking care of them can lead to major problems later. Not wanting Molly to have health problems, I made an appointment for cleaning. Molly not only had her teeth cleaned, but had four pulled. She’s doing really well now.

There’s no doubt in three short months Molly has brought a lot of joy into our lives. Mom’s fearful of dogs jumping on her, so in the beginning I was a little worried. I shouldn’t have worried because Molly never jumps and is very quiet. Mostly she barks at the television when she hears or see another dog. Her favorite thing to do is curl up next to Mom and go to sleep. Well, that and look out the window at the birds. 

Sometimes when I’m in another room, I hear Mom talking to Molly or singing  to her in a very high-pitched voice. This scenario reminds me of the Andy Griffith episode where Thelma Lou expresses how much she loves Barney, but Barney can’t sing. Although that’s true for Mom, It doesn’t matter. Molly doesn’t care if Mom can sing or not. She just loves the attention.

One of the unexpected benefits for me has been the exercise I get from taking Molly for walks. Although she likes sleeping on the couch next to Mom, she also likes to go for walks. She looks forward to that time of day as much as I do. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or cold, she’s ready to go. As soon as I put on my coat, she’s at my feet, wagging her tail as if to say, come on. By just being herself, Molly has rescued us as much as we rescued her. It really is true what they say about rescue dogs. They seem to sense they have a second chance at life.

If you’re interested in rescuing a cat or dog, be sure to check out the Animal Shelter and Humane Society links above. They’ll be tickled to see you.

Have you ever rescued a cat or dog? What was your experience? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.






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Favorite #185: Friendship

An example of Billie enjoying life. Everyone should have a friend like Billie.

An example of Billie enjoying life. Everyone should have a friend like Billie.


 A few weeks ago, I took a trip to Mt Pleasant, SC, to visit my friend, Billie McCauley. Before she moved to Mt Pleasant, Billie lived in Edmunds, Washington. Before then, she and I were next-door neighbors in Mt Ulla, North Carolina.

The first time I met Billie was soon after my husband, Michael, and I moved in next-door. It was May 1984 and I was nine months pregnant. One day after I heard a knock on my backdoor, I looked out to see Billie standing on the back porch. She introduced herself and then handed me a tin-full of homemade chocolate-chip-cookies. I never forgot that sweet gesture.

A friendship often develops when people share a common interest and that’s what happened with Billie and I. We both taught elementary school and spent many afternoons exchanging ideas and stories of children’s antics. That was especially true when I taught music at the same school (Enochville Elementary School) as Billie. Sometimes we gave each other encouragement and sometimes we just listened. Billie says she still thinks fondly of those afternoons on her front porch. Sometimes Jim, Billie’s husband, joined in, which made for an interesting conversation from a different perspective.

When Jim passed away in 2003, I was impressed with Billie’s courage and faith as she found ways to make her life count. When I lost my husband in 2014, her example helped me to see that life is worth living even in the midst of tragedy. Some days I wanted to cover my head with a blanket and not get out of bed, but knowing God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, I knew I couldn’t give up. 

One of the ways Billie found her purpose was through crafts. She loves to sew and often makes dresses out of pillowcases for little girls in orphanages. She recently sent some of those dresses to an orphanage in Mexico. She also likes to knit and in the past has made hats and scarfs for low income children.

Even with all of her projects, she finds time for fun, playing games or putting together puzzles with friends and family. In the photo above she is enjoying a game of croquet and is quite competitive as you can imagine. She also loves to travel and this past October took a trip to Canada with her daughter, Becky, her husband, Curt, and Jim’s brother, Bill. Friends on Facebook were worried about Billie when hurricane Matthew hit Mt Pleasant, but, Billie, teasing, of course, said not to worry because she had evacuated to Canada.

During my visit to Mt Pleasant this fall, Billie and I sometimes sat on her front porch as we talked. It felt comfortable, reminding us of old times sitting on the porch in Mt Ulla. Isn’t that what friendship’s all about? Even though life and circumstances may change, friends find that comfortable place to meet, reflecting on treasured memories in the midst of moving forward.

When Billie lived in Edmunds, I flew six hours across the continental USA to visit her. Edmunds is just outside of Seattle and although there’s lots to see and do there, I’m glad Billie’s living closer now. A four-hour car ride is much cheaper than a six-hour plane ride.

Thanks, Billie, for bringing me chocolate-chip-cookies so many years ago and thanks for being my friend.  

Since returning home from Mt Pleasant, I’ve thought a lot about friendship. Friendship, like marriage, must be important to God because there are many references in the Bible on that topic. Here are a few of my favorites:

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9. (NIV)

A friend loveth at all times … Proverbs 17:17. (KJV)

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)

 What does friendship mean to you? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.






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Favorite #184: America the Beautiful

From sea to shining sea ...

… from sea to shining sea.

Respect, Compassion, Brotherhood

During the years I taught elementary school music, one of my favorite months was November. I loved singing patriotic songs for Veterans Day and later in the month singing songs about turkeys, American history and the first Thanksgiving.

Katherine Lee Bates wrote the words to America the Beautiful after a trip to Pikes Peak in Colorado, near the end of the 19th century. Only one road to the top, it was so narrow the horse and wagon almost fell off the mountain. After she arrived at the top, the view was so inspiring, Katherine thought the risk was worth it. When my students learned what inspired her to write America the Beautiful, they loved visualizing the sights she saw. Phrases such as “amber waves of grain” and “fruited plain” sometimes produced puzzled looks. I kept a book on hand in my classroom with photos to help them understand.

Katherine Lee Bates believed Americans had a fundamental faith in brotherhood.  Speeches dating back to the late 19th century of leaders of that day include quotes that America is great because America is good.  In my opinion that goodness was founded on a moral belief of kindness, compassion and respect for others that we are neglecting to teach our young people today. Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake forgave you. Ephesians 4:32, KJV

My dad was a World War II Veteran, landing on the beaches of Normandy, later marching into France and Germany. He taught me the importance of patriotism and respect. As a teacher, I passed that on to my students. It breaks my heart to see the division within our country. If my dad was alive, it would break his heart, too. Although America is struggling, hopefully we can find our way back. Our children are looking to us for guidance. Let’s not let them down.

America the Beautiful

by Katherine Lee Bates

Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,

For purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain.

America! America! God shed his grace on thee.

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.

What do you think makes America great? Leave your comments below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com









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Favorite #183: Aspiring Author, Alicia Hartley (Part 2)

Alicia having a great day at West Rowan.

Alicia, having a great day with friends at West Rowan High School.

                         Alicia’s Guest Blog

I met Alicia Hartley a few months ago when she moved from Hiddenite to Mt Ulla, NC. After talking with her, I soon learned she was nervous about leaving Alexander Central High and starting her junior year at West Rowan. When she expressed an interest in creative writing and a desire to be an author someday, I suggested she write a guest blog about moving. Excited about the opportunity, in her first blog she shared about missing her friends and French teacher. She also shared that she had been looking forward to a class trip to France, but would miss it because of the move. Now that she’s had time to adjust, I hope, like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much she likes her new home and West Rowan.

My friends are great and I still get to see them very often. I went out for dinner with them last night and even as I’m typing this we’re working out a way to hang out later today. They haven’t forgotten me- which was one of my major concerns with moving. The internet is a beautiful thing and it allows me to keep in contact with them daily. I’ve even made a few new friends. I sit at a table in psychology, which is my favorite class by far, with two really nice and funny girls. There’s a kid in my math and American History class that watches and reads most of the stuff I do, and more as well. My lunch block overlaps with that of my friends, so we talk to each other then, too. The school doesn’t have French and I was too late to take it online, but I can keep practicing with various websites, and my friends, who I convinced to take French, practice with me frequently. I was also too late for the college course, but it will be available to me next year. I’m also getting into better shape. The school decided to put me into a workout class to make up for the holes in my schedule for what I couldn’t take. It was scary at first because I didn’t know the first thing about lifting weights or working out in general, but it’s not that bad, and it’s good for me. I probably need the exercise, I’m a bit of a couch potato. I’ve also found some excellent opportunities for little peeks into the world of being an author. You see, I want to be a novelist when I’m older. My landlady is an amazing woman who writes children’s books. Another little fact, this is her blog. I’ve given her feedback on some things and now I’m doing this, making a guest blog entry. I never in a million years would have dreamed that I’d have this opportunity at sixteen. This will look spectacular when I have to fill out college applications, and when I go to pitch an idea for a book to publishers, having a published author in my credentials will up my chances significantly.

So yeah. I live farther away from my sister, and I don’t see my friends as often. I’m not going to France, and I have to wait to take higher levels of French. But I made new friends. I explored a few things and broadened my horizons. Who’s to say I can’t go to France on my own one day? I have opportunities to explore the author world before I dedicate my life to it. I’m healthier. My room is cooler. I own more books. I write more. My teachers are really nice. I have more opportunities and things that I can do with my writing here. I live closer to places with things that I can do. I would say that I like my new school, (West Rowan High School). I certainly don’t dislike it. Life is about experience, and I’m experiencing a lot more things here than I ever would have been able to in Alexander County. Moving is hard, that much is true, but it doesn’t have to be bad.

While moving to a new community and school can be difficult, especially for teens, as we can see with Alicia it can be rewarding. Not only did she make new friends, but she tapped into interests she hadn’t explored before. Someday when Alicia’s a famous writer I hope she’ll look back and remember this time in her life with a smile. If you’d like to read the first part of Alicia’s blog, click here.

What has been your experience with moving? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.








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Favorite #182: Aspiring creative writer, Alicia Hartley

Aspiring creative writer and author, Alicia, enjoying a moment at home.

Aspiring creative writer and author, Alicia Hartley, enjoying a moment at home.

Alicia’s Guest Blog

Earlier this summer I met a young lady named Alicia Hartley. Alicia moved from Hiddenite to Mt Ulla, NC and is now attending West Rowan High School. An aspiring writer, she reminds me of another West student who chose that same career path. Jacki Huntington graduated  from high school in 2007, planning to pursue a degree in journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. She received that degree in 2011. As any writer knows, journalism is not an easy career choice, but after many twists and turns, Jacki moved to New York City and is now a video producer.

I shared Jacki’s story hoping to give Alicia encouragement. When I asked her if she would like to be a guest blogger, exploring what it’s like to leave behind friends and start over at a new school, she was excited. She thought this was the perfect chance to get experience as a writer on a national platform. Following are her thoughts on the transition.

Moving is hard. It’s hard for a million different reasons. It’s especially hard if you’ve lived in the same small town for nearly as long as you can remember. Not long after I turned five, my mom moved my sister and I to Hiddenite, NC. It’s a tiny town in a tiny county. Alexander County is a small place located in the foothills of North Carolina. I lived there, with some minor moves, from kindergarten to my sophomore year of high school at Alexander Central. For those of you unfamiliar with high schools and what their years are called, that’s tenth grade. Long time, right? There was one high school in the entire county. Everyone knows everyone. I was established as a good student and I had good friends and an excellent church family. Granted, I didn’t have many friends, but I’ve always preferred quality over quantity. I’ve always loved to learn, but I never really had anything that totally clicked with me until I hit the high school, either. I had a wonderful theater family, and my French class was organizing a trip to France that I was dying to go on. I saw my friends every day. My sister and nephew lived next door and I saw them very often. I’d babysit my nephew when she needed me to. I had it made in this tiny town. I was even signed up to take college level courses. But it didn’t last.

Due to unforeseen circumstances this year, Alicia’s mom had to move. To keep Alicia from changing schools in the middle of her sophomore year, she let Alicia stay at her older sister’s house. This is how Alicia describes that time.

My sister came to my rescue. I had a play coming up in a matter of weeks, I had my friends, my cat, my nephew and my sister. I had so many things that needed me in Alexander County. I lived with my sister from the end of December to the middle of summer. The original plan had been for Mom to get a place in Alexander County so that I wouldn’t have to change schools, and everything I had established would stay established. Well, the plan changed. Mom, instead found a place in Rowan County.

 I went to visit her one weekend, and we went and explored Salisbury a bit.  I told her that I liked the area. She took that as me saying that I loved Salisbury and wanted to stay there until my dying days. So, she started planning for us to live in Rowan County, nearly an hour away from everything I knew and loved.  I was leaving behind my friends, my church, my theater family, my opportunities for college courses and a chance to go to France. My French teacher nearly cried when I told her I was moving, and so did I. I didn’t want to leave everything behind. I may have been more than a bit bitter about the whole ordeal, but I’m sixteen and that’s understandable, I think.

As you can see, Alicia went through a lot of changes this past year. If you’d like to see how Alicia adapted to her new environment, what lessons she’s learned, and if she’s made friends at West Rowan, check out her guest blog in a few weeks.

Did you ever have to move during a developmental time in your life? What lessons did you learn? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com.








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Favorite #181: Disneyworld

Excited to be at Magic Kingdom. Can't wait to see Mickey Mouse.

Wearing our matching shirts, we were excited to visit Disneyworld and couldn’t wait to see Mickey and Minnie.

The Best Day Ever

This past Labor Day weekend, I took a much anticipated trip to Disneyworld with my family and a few friends.  In anticipation, we obtained fast passes for our favorite Disney rides and events, and made sure we had plenty of sunscreen, snacks, and money. Our reservations were at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, Fla., only ten minutes from Disney, so we were pumped and excited.

As everyone knows things don’t always go as planned on vacation, but little did we expect what happened the first day. In the midst of pouring down rain, without warning, our friend’s car broke down just north of Savannah, Georgia on I-95. Fortunately for us, we were able to get another car and by 10:00 the next morning we were on our way to see Mickey.

My first visit to Disneyworld was in 1972 when I was in college. The Magic Kingdom was the only theme park open at the time, but even with just one park, I was amazed and in awe, especially of Cinderella’s Castle. Of course, I don’t want to take anything away from seeing Disneyworld through the eyes of my grandchildren. I loved seeing their faces when a character walked by, or shook their hand, or gave them a kiss. One of the most delightful experiences was with Ariel. She was really sweet and patient as my grandkids posed for pictures with her.

One of my favorite events of the week was the breakfast at the Polynesian Hotel. Not only was the food amazing, but many of the characters were there, including Mickey and Minnie. They signed autographs and spent time talking to the children, even including them in a march around the room. In the eyes of the children, Mickey and Minnie were the stars, but, why not? After all there wouldn’t be a Disneyworld without Mickey and Minnie and their creator, Walt Disney.   

A big hit for everyone (big and small) was the Safari Ride in an open-air vehicle at Animal Kingdom. A rough path/road through jungle, rocks and waterfalls with wild and not so wild animals in their natural habitat, made the adventure feel just like a real African safari. The giraffes came right up to the vehicle and seemed to pose for pictures with the silliest of expressions.

We stayed until closing at Magic Kingdom, and although tired at the end of the day, our experience was so worth it. We saw the parade in the afternoon and the 2016 Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks that night. My son-in-law said the fireworks were the best he had ever seen.

Our week came to a close on Thursday night with Mickey’s Backyard Bar-b-que. Set in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, the bar-b-que took place at an outdoor pavilion, with plenty of food and entertainment, such as line dancing, live music and a cowboy doing rope tricks.

Thanks, Disneyworld for a wonderful week with friends and family we won’t soon forget.

Disneyworld is known far and wide as a place where dreams come true. Congratulations to Baylie Hain. Her dream came true this week after being accepted into the Disney College Program for the upcoming semester. Way to go, Baylie.

What’s your favorite thing to do or see at Disneyworld? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email dicysm@yahoo.com







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