Saturday, March 31, 2018

{solsc} 31/31 #sol18 . So Long. Farewell.

So here we are. 31 Days of Slicing is over. For some, they won't post again until next March. And that's OK.

Keep writing.

Others will continue to slice and post on Tuesdays. And that's good.

Keep writing.

Some won't post anywhere, but they will write. I love that.

Keep writing.

Writing is important no matter when and where you do it. 

Keep writing.

I've been writing most every day since January and now it's a habit. A good habit. So tonight, inpreparation for April, I've found some new writing prompts to add to my writer's notebook pages (I HATE a blank notebook page when I sit down to write.) 

In my daily writing habit, I've discovered a few things:
  • I write better and more consistently when I write in the morning. I have a morning brain and I know that. I need to schedule the time and just write.
  • I write better when I have a plan or a prompt. So tonight, inpreparation for April, I've found some new writing prompts to add to my writer's notebook pages. I do not want to face blank notebook pages.
  • I want to start a new way of writing for me and try taking pictues and captioning them on instagram. My favorite people to follow on Instagram write more than two words to describe their pictures.
  • I really like comments and to get them, I have to visit my blogging friends and comment. This needs to be part of my daily writing habit.
  • I have quite a few other little writing projects I want to tackle: real letters to friends, starting some heritage scrapbooks and write what I know in them.
  • Tuesdays and Saturdays are must days for me to publish blog posts.
  • The daily reminder from my #TeachWrite tribe keeps me motivated to write (check them out on Facebook )
Thanks to all who commented, thanks to all who motivated. It was a wonderful month. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

{solsc} 30/31 #sol18 . Hello There (A list)

Hello There...

I am not feeling very well, so I'm going to try this list style of post

I keep writing ideas on my Pinterest board, in my notebook and on my computer but they all took too much thought today.

I wish I could write blog posts ahead of time every day. But I can't.

I love these kind of posts when I'm having trouble being prolific

I dance my fingers around on the keyboard, hoping they will work some magic...they didn't.

I sing the Writer's Block Blues the end of every March. 

I think  what I want to write tomorrow to say goodbye to this slicing challenge

I really want to write something fun and playful OR reflective about the month

I need to get my notebook ready for the month of April. I might be done slicing every day, but I am NOT done writing every day.

I should find some new prompts to help me write next week and put them on the pages of the my notebook.

I can take my notebook with me every day and hope inspiration finds me.

I like how I've begun writing prompts and writing quotes on each page of my notebook for the week. I never face a blank page.

I always write better when I keep my notebook with me.

This is an idea I found on my Pinterest board. I pin throughout the year, so when I hit writer's block like I did today, I have something I can write...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

{solsc} 29/31 #sol18 Laughable

 My Stupid sign is flashing today and here is what I'm finding laughable...

Pouty Students: There are always those students who think if they pout and give you the silent treatment it will hurt your feelings.  It doesn't it. Some days, it makes my time in the classroom better. Then, for good measure, they throw in not doing the work that has been assigned. By now I should be crying in my pillow.

Then. Let's talk about the kids who haven't done any work for three days. Today. Day 4. Your assignment is due. These guys want to know why four notecards aren't enough.

How about the kids sharing a computer and pretending to work.

Or the kid who spent nine minutes in the bathroom.

Why do I find this laughable?
Because they've been given every chance, every reminder.
Because it will come back to haunt them.
Because I love saying, "I told you so."

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

{solsc} 28/31 #sol18 Nothing is Truly Lost

I couldn't find it.

Three times I went into the basement where I knew I had put it after Christmas. I went upstairs and looked in the Christmas decorations "just in case".

I took a flashlight and did the CSI thing. I double checked the cupboard.

I just couldn't find it.

Throughout the search, my husband kept asking helpful questions like

  • Are you sure it's not upstairs? Yes! I know it is somewhere in the basement.
  • Would you have gotten rid of it? Never! It's Dad's pan. And I use it for lots of things!
  • Why didn't you leave it in the cupboard?  It's. Too. Big. And takes up way too much room.
  • Have you checked the basement again? Yes.
All of this was because he was cooking. Roast, potatoes, carrots in the oven. And he wanted the BIG pan.  

I used it at Christmas when the kids were home. When everyone left, I took it to downstairs.


He walked down the stairs, into the main room, walked over to the shelves, and said, "Here it is."

I swear I looked there. 3 times.

As he walked back up, me trailing behind, he says, "This ought to take off a couple of times. Maybe three or four."

Because you know, I am the Mom/Wife and I am the finder of things.

Except for the big pan.

Monday, March 26, 2018

{solsc} 26/31 #sol18 Fran

"Hey Neighbor. Fran here. Fran L.......
Just wanted to know if you wanted some T N T?"

I had to stop and think.
T N T?
Dynamite?  No...

I laughed the first time I got that call and had to ask what he meant.

Trout and Tomatoes.

Duh! Of course!

Fran was a fixture in our neighborhood. He gave away so many tomatoes I wondered if he and his wife Pat ever had enough for themselves. At his funeral last week the stories were all the same. Fran took them trout fishing, guaranteeing they would catch fish. Fran bringing tomatoes and other vegetables from his garden to share.

We often shared back with Fran and Pat. Polish sausage we brought back from Wisconsin. BBQ ribs from our smoker. But every time my husband took something over to them, be brought something back. Because as Fran explained, "We're Norwegian. If you give us something, we have to give you something back."

Greg and I and our neighbors said goodbye to Fran this week. Our summer will be a lonesome and our salads a little less tasty.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

{solsc} 25/31 #sol18 Thought on Teenagers

In my 61 years on earth, I've learned one thing well in the last couple of years. Don't argue politics on Facebook. My son posted something last night that I agree with and I wanted to respond. But I didn't. Because of not arguing politics on Facebook.

This, however, is my blog.

Great social change often starts with the young. Civil Rights. Segregation. The Viet Nam War. Rock and Roll, for heaven's sake. They have a passion for the things they believe in. They don't understand why you can't just change things that don't work. They aren't cynical yet and don't fall for the "we've always done it that way" line of BS.

I taught teenagers for 28 years. Some of the most passionate, educated, insightful people I've ever met walked through my classroom doors. And they often educated me. I talked with them about important things in their lives and listened to their answers (how many keyboard warriors have talked to a teenager since they were one?). We didn't shy away from controversial subjects and we certainly didn't scream at each other and call each other names. My only requirement was that they back up opinions with real facts, not a meme on Facebook or a sound bite taken out of context.

This is a different world than the one you grew up in. When my 30-something sons were growing up, we had fire drills and tornado drills. They didn't have to be afraid for their lives when they came to school (And if you think kids aren't afraid to come to school, you should talk to a few). By the time I retired, we had active shooter drills. I had to answer questions like, What if I'm in the bathroom? Would you really not let me in the room? What would you do, Mrs. Day? 

Teenagers grieve differently than most adults. The march yesterday started in someone's living room with a group of young people trying to figure out how to handle their grief. How to change a world the NRA has convinced that more guns are the answer to school shootings. Their solution, if you really listened to what they had to say, was to get out and VOTE. Yes, they want to change gun laws. But they are figuring out faster than some adults, that to affect change, you have to change the laws, and to change the laws, you have to change the lawmakers.

And they backed up their get out the vote message with voter registration booths scattered throughout the mall. My favorite question asked by reporters yesterday was "Are you registered to vote?" Most were registered before they came! Maybe we should start asking some adults that question before we let them talk.

To those who think that teenagers don't have or shouldn't express political thoughts. This is their world and we will expect them to lead it in a few years (There are a couple I would vote for tomorrow).  These young people who marched yesterday not only have opinions, they are backing them up with FACTS. They aren't relying on news organizations or any adults to tell them what to think. They are looking things up and backing them up. Quite frankly, I trust their opinion more than someone who relies on Breitbart News for their information.

I'll end with my own words from March 14:

"We want students to advocate for themselves. We TEACH students to advocate for themselves. We want them to come to us if they are being bullied, if someone is abusing them. We want them to tell us if they see something.

This is what they are doing.

If we don't listen now, will they ever come to us again?"

Saturday, March 24, 2018

{solsc} 24/31 #sol18 . Celebrating The Storm That Wasn't and other silly things

Discover. Play. Build.


All week they've been preparing us. Lots of wet heavy snow was heading our way. Rumors of 10 inches of the stuff are being whispered.


Yesterday we were upgraded to a warning from 7:00pm until about 10:00am on Saturday. 4-8 inches of snow. Then 6-10 inches. Forecasters did say this was a narrow swath of heavy snow. Around this area would be significantly less. 


By the 6:00pm news and weather, the timing had changed and so had our forecast. The storm was moving west and south of us and now our warning started at 10:00pm and would last until noon on Saturday.  The good news? Totals were expected to be in the 3-6 inch range.

I go to bed. My weather app says snow will start at 10:47pm


I woke up a little before 7:00am, fully expecting a "winter wonderland" when I put Chloe out. 
And I mean nothing. Everything looks exactly as it did yesterday.
I check road conditions. 9 miles west of us the snowplow cameras show snow covered roads. My friends and family are posting snow pictures on Facebook.


I check the weather online and our warning now extends until 4:00pm today. We're still in the 3-6 inch range with lots of wind and blowing snow.

By the time I shower, make coffee, and write this blog post, the forecast has changed again. Winter Weather Advisory and up to 2 inches of snow. No. Big. Deal.  And, oh yeah, we have a few flakes coming down.

Other things I'm celebrating:
  • Kids who welcome me every time I sub
  • Giggly freshmen girls. They annoyed me when I taught them every day, now they make me smile.
  • Not having to teach a certain kid every day
  • Subbing outside my comfort zone. This week I was in Industrial Tech and Math!
  • Baby news from a friend and baby pics from another
  • NO storm means we can go out for dinner tonight if we want!

Friday, March 23, 2018

{solsc} 23/31 #sol18 . Silly Subbing Snippet

There's always a little silliness at the beginning of class when I sub in my own high school. This is one of those silly little moments, but it made me laugh out loud. D is one of my former speech kids. He's loud, silly and likes to procrastinate working in class.  M is the sister of a favorite student., but I don't know her well yet. They've been chatting and giggling in their table group for about ten minutes. Over Clemintines :)

D: Can I go to my locker?

Me: No. Because you haven't done squat yet.

M: D. Do a squat!

D: Huh?

M: She said you hadn't done squat. Do a squat. Do 2!

D does a squat. Looks at me while I am laughing.

D: Well?

Me: Go!  (How could I say no?)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

{solsc} 22/31 #sol18 What Goes Around

I was not just a teacher of writers in my previous life, I was also a teacher of readers. And long before it was a buzzword, I believed in student choice, especially when it came to the independent books they were reading.

I was lucky as a kid because no one told me what I could and couldn't read. No one told me what genre to read, or that something was too easy or too hard for me. 

I just read.

And when I taught, whether it was 7th grade or 12th grade, I trusted students to read what they wanted, what they needed at the time. I book talked all the time, so students had some ideas and they could always ask for ideas. They usually got a stack of four or five books to choose from, based on what I knew about them.

Anyway. Flash forward to this morning.

A friend on Facebook was looking for additional copies of a book she wanted her middle school kids to read. She's looked everywhere and was not having any luck.

A former neighbor and friend of hers and a former student of mine asked how many she was looking for and then proceeded to order that amount on Amazon. It was the nicest thing I had seen on Facebook for awhile and I told her so.

She responded:

"Anything we can do as adults..."  Isn't that the best? Foster a love of reading in a student and comes back tenfold. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

{solsc} 21/31 #sol18 8th Grade Boys

While I began my career teaching seventh and eighth graders, I ended teaching high schoolers. Mostly juniors and seniors. Trust me. They grow up in the years between middle school and graduation.

But there are lots of things I forgot about middle school-- eighth-grade boys in particular. I notice them yesterday when I subbed for a teacher who taught both middle school and high school students.

  1. The difference in sizes! In one class I had a student who was at least six foot. Standing next to him most of the class period was a boy the same age who would be stretching to hit five foot.
  2. They are loud. Enough said. But so are high school boys. The seventh-grade boys who followed them, however, were not so loud.
  3. They touch everything. Even each other. They are always punching and poking each other. They get into each other's things. They touch everything!!!!
  4. They don't think they have to listen to you. But like a naughty puppy, if you speak sternly (don't yell), they settle down.
  5. They do not know how to flirt with girls. I tried to tell one that going through a girl's pencil bag and complaining how organized it was, wasn't the way to get her to like you.
  6. They are all too cool for school. 
I'm going back to sub for the same teacher today. I bet I'll be able to edit this post after school!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

{solsc} 20/31 #sol18 Rain-Washed Clouds

It must be the day for writing Paint Chip Poetry. I often used this activity when I taught Creative Writing. Today Margaret Simon shared her poetry and how she uses this activity in her classroom. If you are feeling adventurous, give it a try. I found my paint chip on Pinterest!

Waking early
Rain washed gray clouds 
Create a windy blue light
to the day

Drinking coffee
Drizzle falls teasing the tulips
up from the ground

Writing Poetry
As storm clouds gather and 
Rain brings spring to the world

Monday, March 19, 2018

{solsc} 19/31 #sol18 . Bad Slicing Day

This was a bad slicing day.

And I blame a weekend away, with no internet. That meant I didn't keep in touch with the slicing community. I didn't read any. I didn't comment until we came home last night. So today, there was really no inspiration or no connection to slicing.

I wrote in my notebook this morning, but it was not something I wanted to slice. Just thoughts about being in my hometown this weekend, family, etc.

But what do I write?

Something will come to me. I just know it.

I'll walk Chloe.
Or I'll see a tweet that will inspire a post.
I found a cool paint chip on Pinterest. It would make a great poem.

I'll write something later.

And here it is. Later.

And I've got nothing written.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

{solsc} 18/31 #sol18 Going to a Party!

Today seemed like a great day to attend Leigh Anne's favorites party (You can read about it here). We just arrived home from the Land of the Internetless (my mom's) and I just don't have much ambition to write today.  I also went to Leigh Anne's party last year so the trick will be to bring five new things this year.

Here's what I'm bringing:

1. My new writer's notebook. I love everything about it, the quote on the cover, the feel of the paper, the size of it and even the spacing of the lines. And we all know if we are going to the party, there will be lots to write about!

2. Spring bulbs for planting.  I am so done with winter and cold weather. Today there is a touch of spring in the air. My tulips are up about two inches and I can't wait for them to bloom.  I'm pretty sure from reading everyone's posts over the last couple of weeks that we are all ready for spring, so what could be better than something to plant.

3. Fudgsicles. The perfect ice cream treat. Not too big. Not too small. And what's a party without ice cream?

4. The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah. It's her new book and I haven't read it yet, but I'd sure try before the party so we could talk about it. I loved everything I've read by Hannah, so I'm pretty sure this one will be a favorite.

5.  My camera. I'd want to take party pictures of all the fun we were having and the new friends I'd make so my camera would be a necessity!

So, there they are. Five favorites for this year. Now, you know you want to. And some day, you'll need to. What will you bring to Leigh Anne's party?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

{solsc} 17/31 #sol18 . Lucky

I haven't always loved my St. Patrick's Day birthday, mostly because I always got the ugliest cakes when I was a kid. No pretty flowers puffing up on the top. Just sloppily drawn shamrocks. I've learned to embrace it (and just ask for the frosting flowers instead of shamrocks).  I'm 61 years old today and consider myself pretty lucky in life.

Here are some reasons I'm lucky this year...

1. My birthday is on St. Patrick's Day and everyone likes to celebrate it.

2. Early retirement was offered the exact year that I hit Iowa's rule of 88.

3. My husband and I are in good health and that lets us travel and enjoy this time of our life.

4. My mom is 83 and still in good health. Although she would tell you it's hell to get old, and then complain that she can't do things like she used to. Even her doctor had to tell her, "Pat, you're 83. You're going to take longer to heal and feel better when things go wrong."

5. I like the color green.

6. I have great kids who have given me wonderful grandkids.

7. I really like my daughter-in-law.

8. And the mothers of my other grandkids

9. People like it when I come back to school and sub.

10. Facebook has a "hide this post" feature. 

11. People can't read my mind some days (although facial expressions often give me away). And no one can hear what I want to say,

12. I have a lot of patience with high school kids (Especially boys. Lots of practice. But maybe this is why THEY are lucky).

13.  My voice, my story still matters.

14. I have great friends.

15. We have a place at the lake and lots of time to spend there.

16. My sisters and brother are all in the same town as my mom, so we can get together when I head home. Today they will come out with us and help celebrate my birthday.

17. Green Beer. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

{solsc} 16/31 #sol18 . Chloe Writes: Floppy Ears Suck

I hate floppy ears. I wish my ears stuck straight up. Then they would dry out and not get all sore and red and itchy. Mom wouldn't have to clean them all the time

but I do get a pretty good treat when she's done :)

And I hate having them brushed every day. Sometimes it hurts!

but I do get a pretty good treat then too :)

 I've been shaking my head a lot. Mom was cleaning them every day (and giving me treats), but they weren't getting better. Mom and Dad say it's ear infection. So now she's putting drops in my ears that really do help (and I get treats). I'm not shaking my head so much 'cuz my ears don't hurt and itch.  The best part about all of this (besides the treats) is that after the drops and after the treat, Mom lets me sit with her and she rubs my ears for a long time. That feels really good and pretty soon they don't bug me anymore.

I do get kinda sleepy when she does that. But Mom says that's OK because naps help you get better. Right?

Until the next time Mom let's me write,

Thursday, March 15, 2018

{solsc} 15/31 #sol18 . Good-Bye Old Friend

Good-bye old friend.
You filled up much faster than I thought you would.
And that's a good thing
But sad also.

I loved looking at your cover every day and
The gentle nudge you provided.

I tried to start writing in you last fall.
Beginnings, I called it.

But then I put you away again
And forgot.

January found me itching to write again.
I dug you out and made a

I dated you.

I prompted you.

I wrote.

Every day.

I filled you with
To remind me
To Write
For me
Because I needed to.

There are post-it notes scattered throughout
With inspiration for new ideas.

There are letters and rants about
and Life
That will never be read
by Anyone
But Me
And that's OK.

I wrote in you for the
Last Time.

But you are not gone.
You will be
Treasured and
Referred to
Many more times
As I continue to
Write My Life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

{solsc} #sol18 14/31 Walkout Thoughts

I first began writing a letter to students supporting their decision to walk out of schools today. But they didn't need my words to validate them. Plenty of other adults are walking with them and supporting them. The news channels are covering the walkouts and talking to the students. So this is really for adults.

Today was the #NationalSchoolWalkout where thousands of our nation's youth walked out of their schools in protest of our nation's gun laws. They aren't asking for all guns to be taken. They are asking for common sense gun laws. There is another movement out there. Pictures have been posted that share something about Walk Up instead of Walk Out. Adults telling kids what they should do instead of walking out.

  • Walk up to 17 people you wouldn't normally talk to
  • Sit at lunch with the kid who sits alone
  • Be a partner to someone who never has one
  • thank your teachers
There are different variations, but all of them are telling students what they should do instead. And these are good ideas. And I would love this to happen in the world as we know it. With adults. Not just in our schools. 

Here's my problem--ADULTS are TELLING them what to do. These walkouts are student-led and they need to know their voices are being heard. These students are afraid of dying. I know ten-year-olds who are afraid to go to school. If student voice really matters, like school officials are fond of telling us, then we should follow the lead of these students. We shouldn't tell them what to do or punish them for engaging in acts of civil disobedience.

I don't understand why adults are so surprised by this student-led movement. Most big change in this country has started with young adults. Young adults with passion and enthusiasm, who aren't afraid of the repercussions of those in charge, who aren't tied to the status quo. 

We want students to advocate for themselves. We TEACH students to advocate for themselves. We want them to come to us if they are being bullied, if someone is abusing them. We want them to tell us if they see something.

This is what they are doing.

If we don't listen now, will they ever come to us again?

And I don't believe that they are walking out just to get out of class. I'm listening to very articulate young people who have very personal reasons for wanting to upgrade to the gun laws. We teach them about their civic duty. These walkouts are putting what they are taught into action. Students don't just become well-informed citizens when they turn 18. We need to start the engagement early, so they are invested in their world when the time comes for them to vote and lead.

As I listen to these students speak today, I want you to know, I don't believe this is a one day activity. This is not a one year movement. These young adults are serious about preventing more gun deaths. They are researching and learning. They will register to vote on November 6. Many more will vote in 2020. They are leading the way. Maybe we should start listening.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

{solsc} 13/31 #sol18 To Bell or Not to Bell?

I'm having one of those days today. I just don't think I have anything to write about. I've been procrastinating, freewriting, daydreaming. Nothing. I'm taking Jennifer Laffin's Word of the Day again and writing. Today's word is BELL.

I suppose people outside of education imagine something different when they hear the word BELL. But as a teacher, when I see the word, I hear the sound.

To me, it's always been a harsh, strident sound. Not the way I wanted to start a class or end it.

A few years ago, our bell system went kerplooey, and, rather than replace it for more money than it was worth, our building went without bells.

I loved it.

We started class in a more soothing way. Come in, find your seat, and read or write (depended on the class) for ten minutes. I often joined in with the kids. Yes. I had a few who tried to come in really late, using the no bell excuse. It didn't fly. I generally didn't have to get after kids more than once.

We transitioned smoothly into each activity and were often surprised when we heard other students in the hallway moving to their next class. And yes. I had kids who tried to line up at the door five minutes before they were supposed to leave. Again. I made it clear I dismissed the class and we went by the time on my computer. I usually didn't have much trouble. Kids liked the flow of the class too and didn't want to ruin it.

I didn't need the bells.
The kids didn't need the bells.
But others did.
So the bells are back.

But at least they aren't the harsh, strident ones of my nightmares. These new bells sound similar to the NBC chimes.

And I can live with that.

Monday, March 12, 2018

{solsc} 12/31 #sol18 . Chloe Writes: They Left Me!

They left me again, you know. Just walked out of the house without me. Gave me a treat. Tucked me up on their bed. And left.

At first I didn't think it was a big deal 'cuz they didn't take suitcases and stuff. I really thought they'd be home by dinner time to feed me.



I couldn't believe it. They never forget to feed me. Not that I would have eaten it without them here, but still. Didn't they even think about me before they left?

Later, I went in and layed on the couch and snuggled into Mom's blanket. Do you know what I found?  A treat!  It was sooooo good and it did make me feel a little better, so I took a little nap.

But even I can only sleep so long, so I moved over to the other couch to look out the window and check on the neighbors. But they didn't even leave the curtain open so I could see out.

This day just gets worse and worse.

And then it got dark. I hate the dark. You never know what's creepin' around outside and I couldn't look out the window to even see. I just know that stupid cat was wandering around out there. I barked a little bit to scare it away just in case. But I quit 'cuz it didn't make me feel any better.

They finally came home and it was really, really late. I ate my dinner and then Mom went to bed.  Dad stayed up with me for a little while and we watched TV.  But not for very long 'uz he said he was tired too, so then he went to bed. I went to the kitchen and slept in my kennel then. But I sure wasn't very tired. I slept all day!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

{solsc} 11/31 #sol18 A Lovely Way to Spend a Sunday

I remember Sundays before retirement. I'd be up at 6:30, make the coffee and grab the Sunday paper. I'd read it while I drank a couple cups of coffee.

After the paper, I'd check Facebook and Twitter. But also lurking on my computer would be

  • 40+ websites to check blog posts and portfolios
  • writing drafts shared through google docs that needed feedback
  • published writing that needed to be graded
  • assignments from other classes that needed grading
  • emails from kids with questions
All day and into the night I worked on this list, slowly whittling it down. I don't think I ever finished it, but I some point I had to move on to lesson plans for the six different English classes that I taught.


I definitely had a case of the SMONDAYS.
Since I retired, Sundays are more relaxed. I don't have to hurry through the paper. There is nothing to grade. My planning looks like this now
  • two outfits for the week (jeans are always an option)
  • check my calendar  to see what's coming up for the week
  • what movie to watch in the afternoon
  • what should we fix for supper
That's it. 
And let me tell you, it's a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

{solsc} 10/31 #sol18 Of Hope and Celebration

Discover. Play. Build.

Combining Jennifer Laffin's Word of the Day Hope, which also showed up in Ruth Ayers' Celebrate  post today. Two words that definitely go together.

One of the things I hoped when I started subbing this fall, was that teachers I wasn't particularly close to would want me in their classroom. I knew my friends did, but what about the others?  And the kids. Although I knew MY kids would be glad to see me once in awhile, but I hoped that those I didn't have relationships with would give me a chance. Irrational fears, but fears just the same.

Tuesday helped put these irrational fears to rest. I came in to sub for the Ag teacher (Agriculture, Horticulture, FFA Leadership, Ag mechanics, etc). I really know nothing about these classes and was a little nervous. As I was walking down to his classroom, the Ag teacher was walking my way.

"Are you coming down to my room?" he asked.
"Oh good. When I saw you coming I hoped it was for me and not someone else! It's going to be a crazy day with a two hour late start and messed up schedule, plus the pep assembly for the girls. I was hoping I would get someone who could be flexible and go with the flow."

And there it was. That's what I hoped for when I started subbing. Teachers like me in their rooms because I take care of THEIR kids. 

Other Celebrations this week:
  • Morning hugs from my kids at school (Yep. Some high school kids still want a hug)
  • Comments like, "You should just come back to work Mrs. Day. You're here a lot anyway."
  • The power of story: Listening to the stories of Arlo Guthrie this week reminded me of the importance of keeping those family stories alive.
  • Friends who go out of their way to make you feel welcome in their home. 
  • Daylight Savings Time starts 
  • Snow Days ( I still like them and treat them like I did when I worked full time) and the best part is, I don't have to make them up !
  • Our Girls Basketball team won the 3A basketball championship last Saturday, setting several records in the process. Three of the girls also made the All-Tournament team. It was an exciting ride!
  • I don't have to give standardized tests anymore!
Ok. That's it for this week.  What are YOU celebrating?

Friday, March 9, 2018

{solsc} 9/31 #sol18 Of Early Birds and Night Owls

"Maybe you can sleep in tomorrow.  Like maybe til 8."

I chuckle.

My husband and I are TOTALLY different sleepers.

I'm an early bird.
He's a night owl.

I turn off the TV and go to sleep for seven hours.

He starts on the couch with the TV and sleeps for a couple of hours. He moves to the bed. Tosses and turns. Sleeps a couple of hours.
He wakes. Goes to the bathroom. Comes back to bed. Tosses and turns. Sleeps for a couple of hours.
Wakes. Drinks a little milk. Comes back to bed. Tosses and turns. Sleeps for a couple of hours.

This weekend's time change will throw him off.
Me. Not so much.

I like to get moving and get most of my "chores" done by noon, so I have the afternoon to do what I want. Not easy to do when he sleeps later than me. By 5:00PM, my brain shuts down and I don't want have to do anything that really requires thought.

He prefers doing his chores after work...or after supper...there ONCE was an incident of putting furniture together at about 3:00AM. He balances the checkbook, pays bills, plans trips at night. But not easy to always do when my brain has shut down for the day and I don't want to think about those things.

However, in 35 years, we've achieved a balance in our lives and make it work. I stay up later than normal when we go to concerts or are away for the weekend. He gets up early when we travel. Now that we're both retired, we can balance checkbooks, pay bills and plan trips in the afternoon, when we're both ready. 

A little give.
A little take.
A little work when we're both awake.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

{solsc} 8/31 #sol18 More Than I Expected
Sometimes, a concert is an more than the songs being played. Sometimes it's glimpse into music history, into a music family, and sometimes it's a reminder that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

And that's what Arlo Guthrie gave us last night.

To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have picked out this concert, but Arlo is was on my husband's music bucket list. He's been a fan of Guthrie's for over fifty years. The concert was about two and half hours away, so of course we went.

This tour was a dream of Woody Guthrie's, a family band, so to speak, so joining Arlo were his kids. They were not a disappointment. But it was the stories told between songs that made the story songs so meaningful. Who knew that Woody Guthrie sang a song called Deportee back in the '20's. It certainly resonated with the crowd last night.

He sang/talked Alice's Restaurant with lots of new material and bits of wisdom. The most important lesson, sing/speak loud before the "collectors" come to get you. He sang old blues songs of the friends of his father's (a history lesson in itself) telling us he first heard it and tried to sing it at thirteen (you can't sing the blues at thirteen).

Before singing This Land is Your Land, he shared that when he started a new school they sang this song to start the day, and he didn't know the words to it! It was just one of those songs dad sang at home. He didn't know everyone knew it! So Woody told him to get his guitar and taught him first to play it and then taught him the lyrics. It was magical to hear him sing it.

But, I leave you with the encore. Because it was the message of the night. The words are Woody's, the music are Arlo's, the wish is everyone's

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

{solsc} 7/31 #sol18 . I Got The Music In Me

I can't sing (well)
I don't play an instrument (although I played clarinet in 5-8 grades)
But it doesn't stop me from loving music.

I often wake in the morning with a song going through my head. Sometimes it happens during the day because of something I've heard. Right now, of course, I have the song I Got The Music in Me going through my head because my daughter-in-law shared the video on Facebook last night and I watched it this morning (it's also the inspiration for this post).

My husband, our sons, our daughter-in-law are all the same way. We love the music.  My husband's favorite Christmas gifts to buy each year are the CDs he finds for the boys and our daughter-in-law. While I do the rest of the shopping, he spends days and days looking for just the right music gifts. He's usually spot on in his choices as evidenced in the sharing of the music between "the kids".

Last summer my husband and some friends went to several concerts of "old timers" who were touring around our area. Each concert was amazing in its own unique way and we'd drive home singing the songs of our youth.

We're starting "Tour 2018" today with a trip to Iowa City to see Arlo Guthrie. We've found the set list he usually plays, listened to a few songs to get us in the mood, and most importantly, put the address of the venue in the car navigation system!

I'm sure tomorrow's post will be about the concert. In the meantime, how about sharing your favorite songs or favorite concerts with me. I've got some tour dates to fill!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

{solsc} 6/31 #sol18 . 3 Things

One of the things I've been doing this year to keep myself writing every day is to write prompts on the pages of my notebook., then, if I can't think of anything to write about, I'm not facing a blank page. The prompts have sparked more than a few ideas. This prompt was "Three Things I Can't Go Without"

1. Morning Coffee. I always have at least two cups. K-cups are my go to on the mornings that I sub. Green Mountain Breakfast Blend and McDonald's are my go-tos on these mornings. Just black. No flavors. And since the high school where I sun has a Keurig in the lounge, I always have a k-cup with me just in case I want one more cup when I get to school.

On those mornings when I don't have to go to work, I make a full pot. Often, I make a flavored coffee (usually from Door County Coffee). I love to sit back and read or write while enjoying these brews. My current favorites are Highlander Grog, Jamaican Me Crazy, and Cranberry Orange Muffin, although that third position changes frequently.

2.  The Lake. I have always had places in my life that soothe my soul. Places where I feel balanced no matter what is going on in my life. There is something so peaceful about sitting beside water and listening to its rhythm. It slows down life, so we appreciate what we have.  I'm counting the days now until we can open the trailer.

3. Family and Friends Although I'm somewhat of an introvert, small close groups are an important part of my life. I need those connections as much as I need

3B) Alone time. I also need that time with no one around to figure out my world, enjoy myself, and recharge my batteries.

So, there you are. Three essential things in my life. What are yours?

3/17 I'm So Lucky

  I'm so lucky to have a birthday on St. Patrick's Day☘️ Everyone likes to celebrate my birthday (even if they don't like green ...