Sunday, March 30, 2014

Top Ten

Top Ten Things I Love about SOLC:

1.  The comments!  They re really the most important thing for me as a writer right now I desperately need the motivation and connections.

2. The new friendships I feel as if Ive known many of you all my life and I am grateful for getting to know new writers this year.

3. The opportunity to exercise my writing muscle I dont do this by my own volition at present, so this challenge presents an opportunity to improve my skills

4.  The opportunity to be consciously introspective and to be present in the moment

5.  The awareness of the small moments in our daily life that should not be overlooked

6.  The inspiration this challenge provides to broaden the way I use writing in my life

7.  The chance to read and comment on fellow slicers posts it has been a privilege to be invited into your lives, share your experiences, marvel at your creativity

8.  The connections to other writing and reading challenges that I might join

9.  Support, affirmation, kindness, gratitude, challenges, motivation, welcome

10.  The promise of another SOLC in a year

Thank you to Stacey and all her team.  Year Three was NOT the easiest year for me as a writer I often struggled and I dont feel my writing was at its best.  But, I persevered it is a CHALLENGE after all.  I hope to continue on Tuesdays but Ive made that promise before without much success.

Thank you to all fellow slicers you enriched my life this month.
I appreciate you all more than you will know.

Heres to a beautiful spring (may the snow stop for those of you who are still buried in it), and a relaxing summer.

Until next year

Quotes of the day:

“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye...until we meet again”

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.  ~Ivy Baker Priest

Gratitude, Round 2

Today I am grateful for...

     • my younger twin sisters who turn 50 today.  They are becoming my support base, my confidants, and are fast becoming my best friends.
     • March Madness basketball - love it!
     • witnessing my dyslexic son succeed in school - yes, with some support, but mostly by himself
     • tulips
     • making deeper connections with my daughter
     • finishing the laundry and the smell of clean clothes
     • finding time to write today
     • my brother who can still make me laugh with his antics - even at our advanced age
     • having food in the cupboards, a roof over my head, money in my pocket, a family surrounding me
     • the smell of a whole chicken roasting in the oven
     • April
     • my upcoming spring break - if I can make it two more weeks
     • the end of the school year and the promise of summer
     • a day off tomorrow - if you don't count the trip to the dentist
     • the smoothies that my husband and daughter are bringing home any moment

Quote of the day:  Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. 
                                                                       ~Author Unknown

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Opening Day

Today was Opening Day for my son’s last year in Little League baseball.  It is a bittersweet day for me.  He will have played 10 years when this season is over.  As the teams filed onto the field, I was transported back to when Ben was just starting in T-ball.  I watched the little ones in their too big uniforms and too big gloves, jumping, giggling, not yet taking anything too seriously.  The parade of teams continued until, finally, the big kids marched in with their official, stylish uniforms, their serious demeanors, their team pride – Ben among them. What a trip we’ve had.  Ten seasons of practices and games in the fickle spring NM weather – bitter cold winds one day, shorts and t-shirt weather the next.  Ten years of amazing coaches who taught the game with passion, enthusiasm and kindness.  Ten years of new cleats, new gloves, new bats.  Ten years of teammates who became fast friends – if only for a few months.  I will miss all of this for sure.  I love the game and I have loved watching Ben grow as a player.  I had so hoped he would try for high school ball.

However, his passion has shifted.  Basketball has won his heart.  Now I must adapt to an indoor game, to expensive shoes, to buzzers and new rules, to the incessant bouncing of a ball in my house.  It’s OK, in the end – I want him to be happy and love his sport of choice.  But my heart will always belong to baseball and my memories of Little League will always be fond.  And I will miss it deeply, intensely, and profoundly.  In the words of the late, great Ernie Banks, “Let’s play two!”

Quote of the day:  Don't tell me about the world.  Not today.  It's springtime and they're knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball.  ~Pete Hamill

Friday, March 28, 2014

Singing a New Tune

I’ll admit it – I do NOT love this fourth grade class.  It is huge, it has been a revolving door of children moving in and leaving, it is filled with some of the most immature students I have ever taught, it does not have a supportive parent base, and all of my efforts to instill skills like respect, responsibility, effort, and listening seem to have literally fallen on deaf ears.  Sadly, I am looking forward to May.  I feel at some level I have failed this group.  On another level, I am simply frustrated that this year has been nothing but one challenge after another.
I have made few connections with my students.  I have had a short temper.  I have not taught well.
Today – however – there was a very rare bright spot.  I love to sing – and have an OK voice.  But I do not enjoy teaching music to my kids so there is little of it going on in my classroom.  This time of year we are deep into a US states and regions unit.  I love it, as I have always been a geography buff.  I decided years ago to incorporate songs from the regions into my instruction.  I don’t play an instrument – so I simply downloaded songs like “Home on the Range”, “Roll On Columbia”, “Blow Ye Winds In the Morning”, and “The Wabash Cannonball”.  These are songs most modern kids will have never heard.  I also teach “This Land is Your Land”.  We talk about the folk music movement and the activist movement.  We discuss some of the artist who sing these songs.  We learn about the lyrics of each song.  But mostly – we just sing.  When I told my kids we were going to learn some songs, they all moaned.  Oh great I thought, This will be a group who just hates this.   But, I kept upbeat.  I persevered.  I also joked that any kid who did not sing would have to do a solo.  Eyes bugged out.  “Home on the Range” was this week, along with “This Land…”  Today, they couldn’t wait to sing.  They asked about it all day.  And when we finally had a few moments, and I plugged in the iPhone and keyed up the music – they sang their hearts out.  They can’t wait to learn a new song next week.
I had to smile.  It was one of the few times this year that ALL the kids were engaged, upbeat, happy, and participating.  I’m sure there are a few lessons I should be learning here – but, for today – I’ll simply be satisfied with the warm feelings I came away with, the connections I felt, and the anticipation of more of the same in the weeks to come!

Quotes of the day: 

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons.  You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.                       ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  ~Berthold Auerbach

Thursday, March 27, 2014


A slice of my evening - better post this now cause you'll soon see why it won't get done later....

Once I post this I will be:

*helping my son get started on regular homework
*take son to baseball practice
*try to rush over to see daughter in track meet
*return to pick up son from practice
*figure out dinner - sounds like a gross take out night
*pick up said dinner
*come home, eat
* help son finish up regular homework, help son with make up homework due to the two sick days he had this week
*prepare for a meeting with my principal tomorrow
*email a couple of son's teachers
*start laundry
*grade papers
*try to squeeze in catching a bit of the U of AZ basketball game (GO CATS)
*start sub plans for next Monday
*make sure kids get to bed at a decent time (maybe, if homework doesn't take all night)

There might be more, but I just can't remember...
Ready, set, go!

Quote of the day:  Today I felt pass over me
                             A breath of wind from the wings of madness.
                                                    ~Charles Baudelaire