Quiet #SOL20 Day 31/31

Quiet

I needed to sit with this book again this morning after learning of his passing. It is a book that captures the essence of what we need right now. Quiet.

The book reminds me to sit and look out into the world, untethered from devices. To pause and be with the dragonflies and birds. To listen and enjoy the presence of another’s company. Quiet.

To listen to the words whispering into my soul by a greater being. To pause and consider all my blessings. Quiet.

To embrace my talents and consider using them to build up the world. To take time to paint, create, laugh, smile, enjoy life. Quiet.

Thank you Tomie. For filling my life with peace, joy, and laughter through your books: Strega Nona, La Bafana, The Legend of the Poinsettia, Pancakes for Breakfast, The Art Lesson, Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, and especially Quiet.

Bonus Feature: An inspiring video about Tomie on writing Quiet

 

I accomplished the challenge and wrote daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have completed the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day. Not only did I grow as a writer but I also captured my thoughts and feelings during these ever changing times. I will miss this writing community, and know that I will be back every Tuesday!

Opening My Heart #SOL20 Day 30/31

Opening My Heart

Edward knew what it was like to say over and over again the names of those you had left behind. He knew what it was like to miss someone. And so he listened. And in his listening, his heart opened wide and then wider still. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

The quote hit me hard this afternoon with my eyes tearing up immediately – again! I came across these words this afternoon scribbled out in my reading journal. I started to think about all those who I had left behind. and now miss. Throughout this worldwide pandemic I have been having imaginary conversations with them, wondering what words of advice they would give me.

Mom: “Waste not, want not.” Mom was a product of the great depression where items were rationed. She lived on molasses sandwiches and war cake, made with items that were readily available during the war. I have a greater appreciation for all those fast food ketchup packets you left in your refrigerator for years.

Dad: “Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay, oh I believe in yesterday.” My dad loved to sing this song. And while the lyrics sound depressing, his voice is ringing in my ear and putting a warm smile on my face. I think about his joy of singing and how music always brought us through tough times.Yes, yesterday all our troubles were far away, but I do believe that we will sing our way through it!

Butsy: “Stay still, I need to capture this picture!” My aunt Ruth, nicknamed Butsy, loved to take photos. She wanted to record history and memories all the time. I am carrying on your tradition of capturing the moments of this event by writing daily in this challenge.

Dave: “It’s useless anxiety” Dave, my husband, would always be there to listen to my concerns, but then reminded me that most of my worries were useless because I could not control them. My need to control the situation would dissipate with a bear hug to remind me that all would be fine. Oh how I need your hug right now, but I can hear you whispering in my ear: useless anxiety.

I know what it is like to miss someone. And so I will listen. And in listening, my heart will open wide and then wider still.

 

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

It’s Her Birthday! #SOL20 Day 29/31

It’s Her Birthday

It’s hard for me to think that four years ago we were sitting in your living room waiting for the news. Girl? Boy? We didn’t know. We only knew that the first grand baby on both sides would be loved unconditionally.

I still recall the joy in the phone call announcing her arrival, healthy, and long! No surprise since mom and dad are both taller than 5’11”. We loved her name, her smile, her very long toes. Gosh we loved everything about this new little girl that was gracing our world.

Four years old! She is becoming her own little self. She loves to draw along with Mo, write in my journal, and listen to read alouds in my lap. She is creative, and kind, and a lover of the outdoors. She is a caring big sister and enjoys being the oldest cousin of the four. Some even say she likes being the queen bee, others say the princess. I just say she is sassy and fun and full of life!

Oh M! I love you! Happy birthday dear girl. We will celebrate properly soon!

Silly girl with ski goggles and pjs

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

Woodland Fairy Houses #SOL20 Day 28/31

Woodland Fairy Houses

The wooded path that hugs the lakeside shore has been transformed. It started a week ago when my neighbor left a few fairy garden houses on the edge of the trail. She had crafted several houses and accessories using natural materials over the winter for her grandchildren to enjoy, and thought this was as good a time as ever to let the neighbors delight in them too.

Since she placed the initial moss covered home with nearby teeny-tiny fireplace, the trail has been dotted with additional abodes. Neighborhood children are using their at home learning time to paint little rocks with words like hope and peace and placing them carefully at the base of the tree trunk. These little touches gracing the trail have added a touch of whimsy to my daily walk.

My grandsons are now enjoying the walks to see the new woodland fairy sights. They marvel at the details and look ever so carefully with the hopes of seeing a woodland fairy peeking out behind the bark table. They know that fairies are shy and won’t come out of hiding if they hear you nearby. They tip toe through the woods and keep their hands from touching the structures, an amazing feat for busy two and three year old hands.

Creativity and imagination have come alive again in our woods. The neighborhood buzzes with chatter about the excitement in the children making and viewing these creations. I marvel at the original designs and stand in hope that this new love for being outside and the creative spirit live on long past the pandemic.

Shells and leaves make for wonderful accessories
Rock lined path lead into a fairy home with pine needle floor

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

Fitness Friday #SOL20 Day 27/31

Fitness Friday

Last July my friend invited me to a fitness class being held at a local park. Having just been told by my doctor to be better about regular exercise I quickly joined in. I was hesitant at first but then enjoyed the way I felt about myself, and the gentle approach of the instructor. When school started I feared not having time to keep up but a 5:30am class was scheduled allowing me and several other friends to stay in shape.

Then along comes the pandemic! The facility closes and once again I feared being without a class. The sessions were my outlet and gave me a time to focus on self-care. I worried that this too would go by the wayside. Things were looking grim until our instructor reached out to announce he had created a class online and he would send along a link via zoom. (Once again I’m going to zoom, zoom, zooma, zoom!) What a relief it was to hear that I could continue my workouts, and in the comfort of my own home no less!

I love my new studio in the basement. I simply get up in the morning, unroll my mat and presto I’m ready. Besides, who wouldn’t want to work out with a view like this?

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

Questions, Thoughts, Uncertainties #SOL20 Day 26/31

Questions, Thoughts, Uncertainties

Questions, thoughts, uncertainties

Are swirling in my head

They make me feel so dizzy

I want to go to bed.

Questions, thoughts, uncertainties

Keep me awake at night

I try to sort through news reports

To determine what is right.

Questions, thoughts, uncertainties

Churn in my stomach too

The news keep changing daily

There’s little I can do.

Questions, thoughts, uncertainties

With pen in hand I write

I take a walk into the woods

And hug my kids so tight.

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

Zoom Fun #SOL20 Day 25/31

Zoom Fun

I’m gonna zoom, zoom, zooma, zoom. I’m gonna zooma, zooma, zooma, zooma, zoom.

That’s the catchy tune that pops into my head anytime someone mentions joining a zoom meeting. It’s the theme song from a PBS show originally from 1972, and then again in 1999, focused on kids issues and of course loads of laughter. I loved the show!

For the most part my current zoom meetings have been reserved for checking in with delivery of news or questions being answered. They have been filled with to do’s and next steps. Yes I have been able to see my colleagues face to face, but they lacked that connection we all crave. Until yesterday when my last zoom meeting was side tracked with tips on how to play around with zoom.

Thanks to some slicer friends I discovered I can “like” a response while someone is talking and I am muted. I learned if I am the host I have a slew of choices to make prior to entering the chat. Most importantly I discovered that I can change the background of my basement office so it appears I have escaped to some tropical island.

So thank you slicer / zoom friends for that little bit of zoom fun and learning! Once again I am singing the Zoom theme song!

I’m gonna zoom, zoom, zooma, zoom. I’m gonna zooma, zooma, zooma, zooma, zoom.

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

A Run on Grapefruit? #SOL20 Day 24/31

A Run on Grapefruit?

The two grapefruit sat in the fruit bowl needing to be eaten. I love the taste of fresh grapefruit for breakfast, filling me with thoughts of tropical places and a dose of vitamin C. This time my thoughts also turned to a recipe we enjoyed at a B & B this fall, broiled grapefruit. I immediately recalled writing down the recipe in my journal.

Combine brown sugar with freshly grated ginger. Spread on top of the grapefruit and broil for 5-7 minutes. Top with freshly grated lime peel and enjoy.

Easy enough. And bonus I had all the ingredients in the house! I decided to make it for our Sunday morning breakfast. It was as simple to make as it was to enjoy. Oh and did we enjoy it! Yummy!

I took a picture to share the idea and recipe with my siblings. A few minutes later came the response from my sister-in-law:

Oh that looks great Chris. And I don't think there is a run on grapefruit at the grocery store so I think we can all try this recipe!

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

I'm New Here: Spine Poem #SOL20 Day 23/31

I’m New Here

I’ve seen many spine poems being posted in the last few days so I thought I would try my hand at one. I searched through the limited supply of books I had on hand and created this poem.

I'm new here
Say something
All are welcome
Dreamers 
Drawn together
A perfect day

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

Sitting in a Giant Circle #SOL20 Day 21/31

I am excited to be writing daily in the March Slice of Life Challenge as hosted by Two Writing Teachers. This marks the fifth year I have participated in the 31 day challenge, writing and sharing a blog post each day.  I look forward to the growth in noticing the small moments in my life and capturing them on my blog.  I know I will be a better teacher of writers because of this work. 

Sitting in a Giant Circle

The announcement came across our neighborhood Facebook page:

How could we not consider this invite on a Friday afternoon with a rare and amazing 70 degrees day?

The walk around the neighborhood morphed into a very large circle of neighbors sitting in beach chairs, listening to music, and enjoying a Friday afternoon beverage together. Yes, we kept our distance with our circle of chairs spread apart much greater than the suggested 6 feet.

We enjoyed greetings and meetings, laughter and tears. The hour easily turned into two and then three hours. And when the raindrops fell we were graced with a rainbow spread bright across the sky. A sign perhaps that we will adapt and get through these ever changing times.