Nosy Neighbor

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers.  Won’t you consider joining in? 

Nosy Neighbor

When I moved to the lake almost three years ago I never thought I’d be one of those nosy neighbors. You know, that person who is constantly looking out the window watching the neighborhood with a watchful eye. Yes, I’ve turned into that annoying one that is worrying over every little thing out of place in our lakefront community.

This time it was a couple that I hadn’t seen before. They were sitting on the ice, rather still and in an odd position. I was trying to enjoy some vacation reading but I was distracted by their lack of movement. One was craning his neck all the time, the other sitting like a lump, seemingly frozen to the ice. I watched and waited hoping they’d move on but an hour later they still sat there without a care in the world. I even picked up my binoculars to sneak a peek but that only heightened my curiosity.

Were they stuck? Frozen to the ice? Paralyzed? I only wondered.

I was startled back to reality with a ding of a text coming in. It was my neighbor.

I was glad to hear I wasn’t the only nosy one in the neighborhood!

Footnote: The swan soon left their frozen perch – seemingly unscathed.




Sharing is Caring

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers by sharing my slice of life post. Won’t you consider joining in?

Sharing is Caring

My cousin Jinny was best known for her cooking, and even better known for delivering homemade meals to anyone who was in need. I was once a recipient of her generosity when 25 years ago my dad (her first cousin) was diagnosed with cancer. Every Wednesday for his five months of treatments Jinny arrived at my door with cowboy stew and her famous haystack cookies. I will never forget her simple and giving ways.

Jinny passed away last week and I was reminded of her wonderful sweet noodle haystack cookies. I dug out the recipe, grabbed the ingredients at the store and made plans to stir up a batch of cookies on Sunday afternoon when I would be having my first of many sleepovers with one of my grandchildren. Maddie arrived at 1pm and by 1:30 we were mixing and stirring up our own haystack cookies. We made enough to nibble on for our afternoon snack as well as some extras to share with my kids. It was my way to pay tribute to Jinny and remind us all of a life well lived. A life dedicated to caring and loving her family.

Thank you Jinny for sharing and caring for so many of us!

Jinny’s Haystack Cookies


Diary of a Perfect Birthday

It’s Tuesday and I’m sharing my slice of life post with the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers.  Take a peek and consider joining in!


Diary of a Perfect Birthday

6:45: I slept in late and awoke to the sun shining in my bedroom window.  I spotted several bluebirds perched on the branches.  I smiled thinking that it was my 60th birthday and I was greeted with the bluebirds of happiness on this special day. It’s not often that I enjoy the comforts of my sunny bedroom and warm down-filled bedding, but today I luxuriated in the knowledge that I could stay put for a bit of time.  It was quite elegant to snuggle under the covers enjoying the quiet of the morning, reading and watching the birds. It was a peaceful way to enter this special day.  A day that promised to be filled with all sorts of busy-ness and to dos.

7:30: The smell of homemade waffles filled the air as I made my way down the stairs.  My daughter Sarah greeted me with a happy birthday wish.  The first wish of many that day I was sure.

9:00: Since my first “appointment” for the day wasn’t until noon, I decided to take a few minutes to write a few overdue thank you notes.  Writing personalized notes to friends and family reminds me of the power of the written word.

10:00: My afternoon was to be spent crafting with my siblings, scheduled time out of the house so that the decorating could begin without me hanging around. I gathered my painting supplies and chose my clothes for the day.  I started to wonder what the mystery theme would be for the big surprise party to come.

11:15: I enjoyed a quick snack before showering, leaving my hair damp for the impending haircut and style.

12:05: My hairdresser arrived at the house for a rare in home appointment.


I knew I wanted to get my haircut and blow out for the party and my kids wanted me to get it styled to match the secret-to-me theme of the party.  My mind was spinning with guesses as Rachel pinned and curled my hair.  “Am I going to a 50’s party?’ “A sock hop?” “I know… Downton Abbey!”  My guess was confirmed by my daughters and I started to grow even more excited about the evening. Would they dress me as Mary, or Cora, or the elderly Countess of Grantham?  I would have to wait to find out!

2:15: I rushed out the door to head to my sister’s art studio to enjoy some crafting time with my siblings.  I had thought I’d be there by 2:00, but my styling took a little longer than expected.  By the time I unpacked my supplies I barely had time to work on any project, but I enjoyed the time playing with paints and chatting with my siblings.

4:00: Next thing I knew it was time to clean up our projects. My sister Kathy was treating me to a pedicure, not just any old pedicure, rather one with hot rock massages and paraffin wax dips.  Ahhh… I was as chill as a cucumber.

5:35: I pulled into my garage and was directed to head straight to my best friend’s house next door.  A glass of champagne was handed to me as I was shown the dress and accouterments laid before me.  I put on the fringe and sequined bedazzled dress, added the pearls and rhinestone headband, donned the long black gloves and sparkling jewelry and walked out the door to head home to greet my fans. I felt a lot younger than sixty for sure!

7:00: The guests arrived all bedecked in appropriate garb.  There were pearls galore,

more fringe than ever imaginable, and fur coats aplenty.  My log cabin was transformed to the English manor for the evening, thanks to my kids.  Tea cups were filled with soup, fine china held cheese and crackers, and cocktail glasses held cocktails of course!  Laughter was easy as we waited for turns at the make shift photo booth with props at the ready.  It was a night filled with easy conversation, loads of smiles, and memories for sure.  I didn’t want the night to end but by 11:00 the guests said their goodbyes.

11:30:  With everyone gone I took one last look around and smiled.  My day was full and exhausting but memorable. Turning sixty isn’t that bad after all.


My children (the hosts) and me



Writing Joy

Writing Joy

Every Tuesday for the last several years I have written and posted a slice of life story on my blog.  I also link that blog post to the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers. Both of these habits were initiated in an effort to improve as a teacher of writing, with the thought that you can’t teach writing without being a writer yourself.  In the many years since I began blogging, I have grown in my understanding of writing and more importantly I have gained a deeper sense of empathy for the writers in front of me in the classroom.

So here it is another Monday night and once again I am struggling with coming up with writing a cohesive post. It seems to be a common struggle lately. I could list a load of reasons for not spending the time on my writing, and that wouldn’t matter.  What matters is the underlying reason: I haven’t been prioritizing my writing.  Writing has become a task to accomplish on Monday night and I judge it is reflected in the end product, my Tuesday posts.  I am writing without purpose (my OLW).  I am writing without joy.

I think we all know students who appear unmotivated to write.  I wonder if, like me, they too don’t know why they are writing or who they are writing for.  Like me, they may go through the motions because they don’t have a purpose in writing.  If those students are like me, they just might need to be given a spark to get the joy back.  For me, my spark comes from a renewed commitment to living my life with writers eyes.  Taking note of the small moments happening around me and then recording those times in my writers notebook.  Simply put, I need to live a writerly life. I need to live with my eyes wide open, appreciating each moment and taking the time to jot down those moments in my writing notebook.  That’s where I find my writing joy!

How about you?  How do you keep the joy and find purpose in writing?


I am so appreciative of the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers. Take a peek and consider joining in!