Saturday, April 28, 2018

Celebrating All the Little Things That Make Me Happy


2. Next weekend we will open our lake trailer. Not going to lie. April was a long winter. When I should have been packing lake boxes, planting flowers and enjoying the nice weather, I was, instead, shoveling snow and wrapping in blankets for warmth.

3. Spring Flowers. I finally went this week and bought some. Created a couple of pots to put on the deck. It's not warm enough yet to plant them in the ground. But we're getting there.

4. Chloe and I have been walking again and checking out signs of spring in the neighborhood. Tulips are up. Snow crocuses are blooming. Birds are everywhere looking for food. And I think we've seen the last of the "snirt"

5. Awesome fun finds at the Dollar Tree. You have to love a store where everything is literally a dollar.

6. Subbing has been fun this week. I love making new connections with kids I didn't have in class while I taught. I also love that as soon as I walk in the door kids are asking who I'm there for. And I know they cheer because their regular teacher is gone and any sub is a good day, but I choose to smile and think they are happy I am there.

7. I think I'm finally healthy. This winter was a tough one. Flu, a major cold, sinus infection. Yuck. I am done with antibiotics!

8. Sunshine.

9. Good books and plenty of time to read them.

10. Our library's annual used book sale. I got a bag full of fun books for me and the grandkids. Bring on summer beach reading.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

#sol18 All The Plans for a Spring Day

I try not to complain, but spring has been slow in coming this year. Finally, the last couple of days showed promise. Sunshine and warmth visited and melted the last piles of snow from last week's blizzard.

After school yesterday was marvelous. The grocery store and Shopko finally had their greenhouses up, waiting for the flowers to arrive.

Chloe and I walked when I got home and the snow crocuses were up at the neighbor's.

After our walk, we hit the deck even though it wasn't really ready for us. So today we have spring chore plans:

  • Wash the deck
  • Bring the outdoor rug up
  • Chairs are good. Bring at least a couple out
  • Maybe at least a little table (for wine)
  • Buy some flowers and plant some pots
  • A little raking
  • A little planning of yard areas
  • Check out the chairs with a nap in the sun
  • Read my book
  • Check out the table height for wine. Sip a glass.
  • Enjoy

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Celebrating Little Songs of Joy

Scrolling through Facebook this morning as I always do with my first cup of coffee. It seems today my feed is full of the music of students and former students and it has started my day with a smile and a happy heart.

I can't share the first with you (but oh I wish I could).  D is a former speech kid who now is attending college and majoring in musical theatre, I think. He's part of a jazz singers group that had a concert last night and thanks to his mom posting videos, this morning I started my day with D singing Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. It's one of my favorite standards, sung by one of my favorite young men.

I also listened to a group of sisters that attend our schools. The oldest, Addie, has been a student of mine since she was an 8th grader. Simply. I love her. She makes me smile and be happy. She is such a wonderful young woman.

Yesterday I told her how much I enjoyed all the videos her family has been posting of The Sopha Sisters. The girls are playing at a folk music concert this weekend, so they've been sharing out some music. The girls also had a radio interview yesterday morning which was fun for me to listen to. I've embedded that so you can start your day with a smile too. They sing right at the beginning so you don't have to listen to the whole interview. And if you want, check out their Facebook page. There's some good music posted there too!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

#sol18 . I Am A Collector of Words

Today's Writing Quote: To write means more than putting pretty words on a page; the act of writing is to share a part of your soul with the world.

I am a collector of quotes. Of words. Other people's words. I save them everywhere my notebooks, random slips of paper, Pinterest. Truth be told, I have four different boards on Pinterest where I save words that touch my soul. I have poetic words, quotes, book quotes and writing quotes.

My love of other people's words began in ninth grade when my social studies teacher started class every day with a quote. We wrote the quote in our notebook, along with the author. The notebook was graded quarterly. If we were absent, it was our responsibility to get the quote we missed from a friend.

I don't remember him writing the quote on the board so it would be easier to write down. I just remember him standing in the door frame, arms crossed, saying the quote in whole once, in phrases once, and then again in whole. No repeats. Listen and get it.

I wish I could say I still had the notebook, but it is long gone, along with many of the memories of that time. But one quote stayed with me throughout the years. This one from Albert Camus. At the time, I loved it because I hated winter and loved summer and wanted to keep "summer me" around all the time.

I still like it for that.

But as I grew as a person it also said that I survived. I handled whatever life had to throw at me. It reminds me to find the JOY, the happiness, the good, when all around me seems to be going to hell.

As I wrote this post and looked for images to go along with it, I found what I think is the original quote (I'm going to investigate a little more). And I smiled. Because this is the quote I will hang on to for the rest of my life.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Celebrating Survivors

Today's writing quote: The Universe is not made of atoms. It's made of tiny stories.

I subbed three days at our alternative high school this week. Most of these students I've had before when they were in "regular" school. It didn't work for them. 

They all have stories.

Was abused for 5 years
By. His. Mom.
(I don't understand how moms can do that.)
But he survived.
His scars don't show, but they do have names.

Handles life with
snark and
He has a right to be angry
To hate the woman

But he is a survivor
He's starting a new life
with new people
and determination.

Wandered off her path and
Ran with a bad crowd
She was an angry ass she says
Even though her family
Was behind her and
Tried to pull her
Back to the path.

Counts sober days
While most around her
Count down to graduation
She'll make that milestone too.

Tells me
Every. Day. Is. Hard.
Sometimes every hour.
But she is a survivor
With a new attitude
That keeps her wandering
From her new path

Saturday, April 7, 2018


LIfe has been good for this old retired teacher--although I don't feel old and I've been subbing a lot, so sometimes I don't feel retired. Wait! Yes, I do. There's no bag of grading and planning coming home with me every day :)  This week's celebrations were easy to find and you'll probably hear more about them in the weeks to come.

1. A former student and speech kid texted me the other day and invited me to a reception in which she will be receiving a Congressional Merit Award. I had no idea what this award was but told her I'd be honored. This is a student who has kept in touch with me throughout the school year. She filled me in on speech happenings, even thanking me at the end of the season for my part in her speech career. I haven't seen her to ask about this award, but if it's this, I'm incredibly honored that she asked me to attend.

2, Twice in the last couple of weeks I've been asked to sub in classrooms because the kids asked for me and teachers were more than willing to have me. It's nice. When I taught full time I often didn't ask for specific subs, just took the luck of the draw. Although, in my 28 years, there were a couple that I specifically asked that they NOT sub in my room. And it was because of the way the kids talked about them. They were generally unfair and tried to impose their own rules in a room where they really didn't know the kids. I'm glad that the kids know me well enough and still want me to sub in their room.

3. Turning 60 is a big birthday in our friend group the last year or two and unless you plan your own party like I did, our group is going to plan you a surprise party. Last October, we dressed as hippies and surprised the birthday girl and took her out on the town,

Tonight, we're all traveling about an hour from me (much longer for some) to surprise another friend. He owns his own exterminator company, so we had shirts made for the occasion (and yes. A couple of us will dress as bugs). We also have gray afro wigs to match his curly hair.

He doesn't know we're coming.
He doesn't know some others are coming.
He definitely doesn't know about the shirts and the wigs.

Should be fun!

Today's writing quote: "Make notes--I've lost more material than I've ever written. Contrary to popular opinion, it's not still up there in one's brain. It's in outer space and it ain't ever coming back."   Judith Guest

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

#sol18 . Daydreaming of My Favorite Place

Today's Writing Quote:
There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; Sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.
                                                                      ~~E Hemingway~~

I love any space by water. 
I find myself most at peace, 
most relaxed, 
more me, 
when water is part of my view.

The sound of the waves
The fresh smell,
Warm breezes, and
Campfire conversations

I love our little trailer with
sagging floorboards
grandkid stained carpet
I don't need perfect here.

as I sit wrapped in a blanket
waiting for snowfall and
freezing temps
I dream
Warm temps
Gentle breezes

Monday, April 2, 2018

This Is How It Starts

"Don't be afraid to write crap because crap makes great fertilizer." ~~ Jessica Brody

And, this is the point in my writing year where I find it hard to continue. After I staggered to the end of the March slicing challenge my brain says, "No More. I have nothing left to blog about."

I didn't write yesterday.

I almost didn't write today.

The procrastinating starts easily enough. "I'm just going to skip today."
One day doesn't matter.

But then tomorrow comes.
I'll write later after I ____________________ (fill in the blank)

Only later never comes.

And before you know it, a week, a month passed. And you haven't written a word.

So, that's why I'm writing now. Publishing now. Crap though it is.
I need to start filling up notebook pages again.
Crap though they are. Because somewhere in the lines I wrote today will be the beginnings of a poem or a slice of life. Someday I'll look back and be glad that I took the time to write.

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 ...