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Showing posts from March, 2020

#SOL20 Day 31 Almost Normal

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Sitting outside on the front stoop with my last cup of coffee for the day.  I close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun shining down, although there’s a cool “last day of March breeze” that makes me happy I have a sweatshirt on.  The kids across the street at my neighbor's in-home daycare scream and yell their enjoyment, finally able to be outside after a long winter of being entertained inside. The big wheels rumble on the cement, and I hear them calling her name for minor annoyances. In the distance, a chainsaw whirs, cleaning up winter debris and the strong winds of last weekend. Chloe does her low throated growl at some unseen threat to our quiet but soon settles back down to sunbathing in the yard. Every now and then, she whines a bit for the walk that has become our habit. A cardinal calls to his mate and the blackbird caws loudly, probably warning other birds of Chloe's presence.  All the normal sounds of a normal spring morning. But we know

#SOL20 Day 30 I'm One Tired Woman

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I am one tired woman tonight. The first really nice day we have had. Spring fever hit hard and I needed to get ready. weekly grocery store outing car washed and vacuum deck swept deck chairs hauled out of garage and put in appropriate spots cushions for chairs carried out to appropriate chairs Deck rug lugged up from the basement and put on back deck Easter decorations outside and ready for town social distancing Easter egg hunt long walk and trash pick-up with Chloe and Greg lots of up and down stairs 8500 steps And this will do for a post tonight. 

#SOL20 Day 29 Words That Are Speaking To Me

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Let Me Grow Lovely Let me grow lovely, growing old-- So many fine things do: Laces, and ivory, and gold, And silks need not be new;  And there is healing in old trees,  Old streets a glamour hold; Why may not I, as well as these, Grow lovely, growing old?                                                          Karle Wilson Baker These words found me earlier this winter and I keep returning to them time after time. That first line, "Let me grow lovely, growing old--" has become almost a mantra in the last couple of months. I repeat it often when I feel the grumpy old lady creeping into my brain when I gripe about the weather or the quarantine. I'm working daily on  "Grow lovely, growing old" I'm trying to be more patient than when I was younger. I know everything happens in its own time and place. I move slower than I did when I was younger, but in my slower moves, I notice more--buds on the trees, tulips poking thr

#SOL20 Day 28. If This Isn't Nice...

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Uffda. It's been a week, hasn't it? Cases of coronavirus increase daily. I think in lots of places, tensions are running high and spirits are running low. I've been working really hard keeping track of all those little moments that bring me JOY. This week, I'm just going to make a list: 1. Last Saturday was a day of music and joy . We watched a couple of friends play and share their music. Then we found out that the Grand Ole Opry was live-streaming a show, so I hooked my computer up to the TV so we could watch. And because we wanted to end the night with music, we watched the last episode of Ken Burn's country music series that we recorded. 2. My weekly outing to the grocery store yielded TOILET PAPER! I don't think I've ever been so excited to buy a package of toilet paper, but after the empty shelves of a week ago, this was really nice to see. The shelves were stocked well in all areas. Our grocery store is doing an amazing job throughou

#SOL20 Day 27 Let's (not) Get Physical

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One of my favorite Facebook friends is a former student who I had in class several times during her time in our district. I love her because she is so upbeat most of the time. She makes the world a better place just by being in it. The other day, she posted this: I've been thinking about it a lot since she posted it. And, she is right! Physically, my husband and I are distancing all the time. We are careful when we have to buy groceries. We make sure we get everything we need in one trip, we avoid busy times, we keep our distance in the aisles. Other than walking the dog, we don't go anywhere else. But we haven't quit being social. In fact, in some ways, we're more social than ever. We keep in touch with family almost daily. And now, instead of just talking on the phone, we are video chatting with those we love (well, except my mom in the land of the internetless). We saw one son and his family last weekend. Had a glass of wine with the other. Tonig

#SOL20 Day 26 My Favorite Lie

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"Mamacita! Who are you today?" A student stops, turns, and asks, "Wait. She's your mom?" And so begins, My Favorite Lie Libby and I shared a classroom for several years. She went half time after the birth of her oldest daughter and I split my time between junior high and high school. It made sense for us to share a room.  We are both early-to-school teachers and mornings could be crazy with students dropping in for one reason or another. We'd laugh and cry over bagels and coffee (or orange juice for Libby) many, many mornings. We'd joke about the youngest teacher and the oldest teacher sharing a room, she called me "old but fun", we'd share stories about her daughter and my grandkids.  At some point, she began calling my mom. Of course, a student heard that.  I got an email during class one day telling me what she'd done. "Go along with it", she said. And I did. But I never thought it would go on

#SOL20 Day 25. 2 Minute Journal

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Every once in a while, you need a fall-back post. Something quick to write while you think of a better post for tomorrow. Today is one of those days (although I'm sure I'll need more than two minutes!) Something I am grateful for today: We've talked to most of our families in the last few days and everyone is doing what they are supposed to do and are staying healthy. My 85-year old mom is even staying home and that is something. We're becoming more proficient with Facetime and Facebook Messenger calls, although some of the grandkids got a chuckle when we talked the other night. But at least we get to see them and chat! The best thing that happened today: We got some mail from one of our grandsons, which brought a smile to our faces. AND, there was toilet paper at the grocery store! Who would have thought we'd be so excited to buy a package of toilet paper! Something I did well today: I have a great pot of soup on the stove. I remembered to thank th

#SOL20 Day 24. The Lady in Gray

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She sits in her  White Plastic Lawn Chair on the front stoop. Wearing her Gray Star Dotted PJ Pants and gray polka-dotted socks (with the hole in the heel) and drinking Red Wine. Watching The World Walk By as she follows The Orders to stay home BUT Get fresh air.

#SOL20 Day 23 Fine. Whatever.

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Fine.  I'll get dressed. I don't really want to, but Whatever. Really I just want is to stay in my robe All Day. But I'll get dressed (comfortably, I might add) And, fine.  I'll join the pop-up Writing Group on Zoom.  I don't really want to. I can't think of a  Damn Thing  to say. Whatever. I'll write. Because if I don't Do It Now I might not do it At All. And then I won't get my notebook pages written and forget about A Blog Post.  Really.  I probably won't  Get Anything Done. Whatever. Does it even matter? Yes. Yes, it does! Because through this whole mess,  I've been writing and  Being Pretty Positive.  Today it is just hard to get motivated.  So. Fine. Whatever. I wrote.

#SOL20 Day 22 I'm Going to a Party!

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If you want to join in on Leigh Anne's Spring Fling, check it out here Dear Leigh Anne, I'm so happy you invited me to your Spring Fling this year. This whole quarantine thing can be kind of confining,   a pain in the rear, hard,   lonely, so getting together with friends, even virtually, is a great way to brighten up your day! I've been thinking a lot about self-care since I got your invitation. Everyone has different ways to take care of themselves, but here's what I'm bringing: Check out Moon River Music   Since this whole quarantining thing began, I've rediscovered music I love. And some new music too. I've been watching live stream concerts, DVD's that we have, specials on TV and our old albums and CDs. The music brings such JOY when I listen to it, that I just have to share. Let me know what kind of music you like. I'm sure we have it. I know for sure I'm going to bring James Taylor's new album,  American Standard.  It

#SOL20 Day 21. If This Isn't Nice...

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I've been celebrating those moments in my life for a few years now. It's the little things that make me happy. And it's those little things I want to remember. So I've resurrected my Friday Favorites, Celebrations, Gratitudes, in my new writing life.  "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."  1. The sun is shining today and that is a wonderful mood lifter. After a couple of days of dark and dreary rain, topped off with an inch and a half of snow, sunshine is just what we need. 2. A simple trip to a Target about an hour from us (everything is an hour from us, to be fair), was also a mood lifter. It was nice to get out of the house even if we did feel rebellious doing it. We found some things that weren't in stock at our hometown grocery and felt like we won the lottery. No toilet paper, but we are OK for now! 3. We took Chloe in the car with us when we went to Target. She was as excited as we were to get out of the house.

#SOL20 Day 20. Chloe Writes: The New Normal

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Whaaaattt?  They're home again? All day? Especially Mom. It's been a long time since she's been gone all day. Even Dad doesn't leave every day. I'm missing my naps. Wait! She's getting dressed! Maybe she's going to leave! Or, maybe she's taking me somewhere. Yippee! I love going in the car. It's always someplace fun when we go. Well, almost always... Nope. She's wrapped up in her furry blanket again. Dang it. Dad's up. But he's not doing anything either. Maybe if I grab a ball and look really cute. Or my rope. Nope. That's not working either. What the heck are they home for if they're not going to play with me? I better stay awake just in case.

#SOL20 Day 19 But You Can Wear Those to the Store!

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”Congratulations.” I’m puzzled. “For what?” “You wore real clothes all day today!” I knew that staying in my robe ‘til noon and then changing into pajama pants and a sweatshirt was not going to cut it, But REALLY! I was wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Not much difference. “But you can wear those to the store!” FYI. I DO NOT wear pajama pants out in public—-well maybe at the lake, but that’s different. I always change out of my pajama pants and into jeans when I have to go out.  I just change right back when I get home. Doesn’t he notice anything?

#SOL20 Day 18. Birthday to Remember

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At 63, I've had my share of memorable birthdays. The first one I remember, I was really young, 3 or 4 maybe. My dad brought home a birthday cake with a doll in the center and the cake formed its dress. I don't remember anything else. I don't know if others were there. I really don't know how old I was. I just remember looking at that cake. When I was 8 or 9, my grandparents picked me up from school on my birthday. They were going to buy me new shoes for birthday. As I opened the door, my tights flew out onto the street and started rolling up the street. Now, why Grandma had me take my tights off and put on socks, I haven't a clue. All I remember was crying because I lost them and my grandpa racing up the street after them. When I was 40, my husband threw a surprise party for me. The house was full of family and friends when I came home from speech contest. It was so fun. But the best part of the night was the speech kids who kept showing up at the

#SOL20 Day 17. Things I Love About My Life

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Today I turn 63. I don't feel much different than I did at 40. In fact, a few things have shocked me lately. I am one of the "older Americans" at risk for Covid19 I can shop early at some of the stores that are doing special hours for the "elderly" So I decided today I needed to make a list of the things I love about life right now! Senior discounts. First Tuesday of the month at the pharmacy, hotel discounts, movie theatre discounts... Early bird specials! Being retired. I can plan my days just how I like. And if I don't get my list done? Well, there's always tomorrow. People think because I'm old, I'm wise. I'm not. They just think I am. My hubby and I are the "cute" old couple now. Technology. I grew up with party lines. Now I can Facetime with a friend across the world and my grandkids! Also, technology--the internet makes connecting to the world so easy. And who doesn't need connections of any kind to

#SOL20 Day 16. Signs of Spring

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It's dark and dreary here in NE Iowa. Ugh. And it sure doesn't help anyone's mood in this time of "that which will not be named". But, it is a good time to spring clean--which I'll do if I can get myself on a schedule! And of course, we have to look outside for those signs of spring we've been waiting for all winter! So I was pretty happy checking on my tulips today. They are doing pretty well, even though they've been snowed on twice. Maybe they're like the robins and have to be snowed on three times before they'll bloom! Almost all the "snirt" piles are gone around town. This little one is one of the few we have left in our yard. A few more warmish days and they will be gone. The mud will be here. But the "snirt" will be gone. And inside the house? The geranium that I saved last fall and brought in has buds on it. It means the sun is getting warmer (when it shines) and the weather is getting

#SOL20 Day 15. If This Isn't Nice...

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For all the news of coronavirus and the cancellations because of it, I've still managed to find some pretty nice things in my world. I think it's going to be more important than ever to keep track of joyful moments.  The best of the week was, of course, our son getting engaged. His fiance is a great addition to our family and she makes my son extremely happy. Which makes my husband and I very happy. I'm not sure I've quit smiling since Thursday! We left our son's and went to check out the lake. We had to see what the snow situation was. Almost all of it is gone! That means lake time is not far away. We also met with lake friends, fixed dinner together and had a great visit! It was so good to be with them and just have a fun night. Today I spent fixing chicken and noodles and Amish Friendship bread . Definitely comfort foods, but it seemed liked comfort has been called for! Our governor has called for schools to be closed for a month.

#SOL20 Day 14

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I walked around the corner, pushing my cart. There she worked on emptying boxes of their contents. But those contents never made the shelves. It wasn't gold or the newest iPhone she was unpacking. It was hand sanitizer. Now I carry a little bottle of this liquid gold all the time. It's a must in my purse and my school bag. I'm a SUB. I cover classes for sick people! Usually, I can buy a three-pack of purse size bottles at the dollar store when I need them. Not anymore. So I was pretty excited when I saw this poor woman trying to stock the shelves. There were only three of us. And we all only wanted a bottle apiece. In fact, she handed me this HUGE bottle. I handed it back and told her I really only wanted one of the smaller ones. It broke my heart when she turned to all of us and thanked us for being polite and not being greedy. What in the hell has happened to our world?

#SOL20 Day 13 Happy Day

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It started with: It ended with: Our youngest son proposed last night . And we couldn’t be happier! I’ll let the wine bar write my post today!

#SOL20 Day 12

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Really. The last 24 hours in this world have been crazy! With all the cancellations of major events, my husband and I seriously considered cancelling weekend plans. Our sons even called to check and make sure we were comfortable coming out. Oldest son and family are in the thick of strep and RSV. 40 years old and he has RSV. Definitely not going there. But the youngest. He’s healthy. And has a special event going on. Small, private, important. So we’ll go. He called to let us know that he checked with everyone invited and told them if they even thought they were sick, to stay home! We are staying in a hotel with many, many wrestlers and their families, all prepared for a conference tournament this weekend. It was cancelled just as we got on the elevator to go to our room. I‘Be never seen so many sad faces. I feel sorry for them. But I think it’s for the best.

#SOL20 Day 11 Reasons

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Reasons I Put Off Writing Today It was dark this morning when I got up Chloe was still sleeping and I didn't want to wake her up with my typing I couldn't hold on to my coffee cup and type at the same time The sun came out and shone in my eyes I needed a nap I needed a Hallmark movie My husband was home I had laundry to do I couldn't find my favorite pen to notebook Chloe wanted to play outside My blanket and chair were just too comfortable I couldn't think of anything to write about

#SOL20 Day 10 Can You Sub Today?

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Once in a while, my easy mornings are erased by a phone call... The Call:  My phone rings at about 6:40am. I'm usually awake, not up yet, but awake. All those years of getting up early for school don't just disappear. And old habits are hard to break. It's often a crapshoot. The secretary doesn't always tell me who I'd be covering for until I've said I'm available. Getting Ready:  I can ready myself for the day pretty quickly when I need to. Shower, Chloe outside, one cup of coffee, get dressed, grab my stuff and go. Now it does help that I prepare for the week on Sundays. My bag is packed, I have outfits picked out for the week, and I have some grab and go breakfast items ready. There are mornings, though, when I think, "Why the heck did I say yes?" School Welcome:  Once I get to school, I'm good to go. My attitude changes during the five-block drive. Greetings always make me smile. Kids always ask, "Who are you here for

#SOL20 Day 9

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Lazing around on a  Rainy Monday morning. Reading,  Writing, Dozing. Taking a shower on a Rainy Monday morning. Washing, Dreaming,  Planning. Making breakfast on a  Rainy Monday morning. Stirring,  Chopping, Eating. Checking my phone on a  Rainy Monday morning. Oh No! It's school.  Need me to sub.  Get there as quick as I can! Drying hair Putting on make-up Getting Dressed. Grab the bag Don't forget your keys Crap.  Forgot to grab the umbrella On a rainy Monday morning. And because the song keeps going through my head, check out the Carpenters singing Rainy Days and Mondays