Saturday, March 31, 2018

Walks Bring Renewal - #SOL18 - 3/31/18



**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

**It is amazing that this is the final day of the Challenge. Out of 31 days, I managed to post 27 slices. So not everyday, but writing habits were built. It's been fun to meet new friends during this month-long challenge, as well as visit with old friends through our commenting. Thanks to everyone who has stopped once or more than once to share a comment with me. It's been great being on this journey with all of you! Congratulations to all of you who wrote each and every day.  I look forward to staying in touch on Tuesday Slice of Life.**


Today I took a walk.

The sun was shining, the birds were singing.

Signs of spring were everywhere - blooms pushing up from the soil, grass greening, streams full of rainwater rushing under bridges.

The wind was gusting through the trees, bringing fresh air to all around.

Every time I take a walk at this time of the year, my heart overflows with hope and renewal.

Wind blowing, sun shining, flowers blooming, grass greening, birds singing, streams rippling

Today I took a walk and felt renewed.







Thursday, March 29, 2018

Weather Woes - #SOL18 - 3/29/18



**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 2 remaining days!


A conversation 2 days ago:

1st person: This weather has been so depressing. Snow or rain, and gray skies forever.

2nd person (someone feeling quite full of themselves): You know, the weather this February and March really hasn't bothered me that much. I guess it's because when we were in Florida for the entire month of January, and I think I just stored up huge quantities of Vitamin D just being out in the sun everyday. It has managed to lift my spirits even on the gloomiest of days now. It's all good.


Today:

2nd person looks at the 10 day forecast:




What that same person feels like now (not quite so full of themselves):
Flummoxed!!


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Porches and Patio Fun - #SOL18 - 3/28/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 3 remaining days!

(My slice is more late than normal tonight as I just got home from the event I wanted to slice about.)

Tonight was a gathering of our Porches and Patios group. We have evolved over the years: we began as a group refining our use of technology to enhance our instructional practices in the classroom. And we always had chips and queso dip to eat, and we would gather on each others' porches or patios. Nowadays, it is far more about the food (tonight had an amazing Mexican food theme), the conversation, the learning, the laughter, and the fun.

There is no way to capture all the special, and often times hysterical, moments of our evening together, but here are a few of the conversational snippets overheard tonight:

On Voxer, is that "tap to talk"? 

Passion planner, panda planner, or bullet journal ?

Got it on Amazon - 'Something Wish' pen holder

Sketchnoting - yo need to get your head around process vs perfect

The Kids Should See This

Your name is _____, but you told me to call you 'Hot Mama'

We're going to ride fancy class with air waitresses

Anello backpack - is it a backpack or a wine carrier or both??

The 3rd piece of pie makes it

Funny thing said by teacher: 'Why are you licking your chair?'

Funny thing heard by teacher: 'Keep your balls low to the ground; it's windy today."

It's not a private school. They can't tell me what to wear.

Winky faces - what's with them? Send or not send?

You need to fix your face

Did you ever go to that jeweler?

At what point do flip flops become inappropriate?

You need to see these Kid Snippet videos

Truth

So, that's it... a random sampling of some of our conversations tonight.

Thanks for stopping by to read this silliness.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

My Brain is Energized! - #SOL18 - 3/27/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 4 remaining days!

Today, I went to Capital University, for a meeting with Dan, a faculty member in the technology department. He was bringing me up to date with the new platform I would need to use to communicate with students when my summer semester class begins in May.

As I worked with Dan and after, two thoughts were percolating in my brain:

1) I love learning. All different types of learning.
I've always had a passion for it. Being a learner energizes and enriches me as a professional and a person. Today, as I drove away from campus, I left feeling totally jazzed. My brain was firing on all cylinders, and it was exciting stuff.

2) When learning something new, I need to do, not just be told what to do.
When Dan was introducing the new platform to me, he kept demonstrating on his computer how to do it. He clicked this, then he clicked that, then this, then that... you get the picture. I had to slow him down, pull out my laptop, and have him watch as I tried to replicate some of the work he had shown. When that happened, with his guidance and scaffolding, I was able to achieve success with the tasks.

I'm really looking forward to teaching summer semester, but as I reflect on my own learning today, I will continue to look at all learners (student, pre-service teachers, adults) with whom  I work with different eyes, knowing that they have specific needs as learners as well.



Monday, March 26, 2018

The beauty of sharing book titles - #SOL18 - 3/26/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 5 remaining days!


There is a beauty in sharing books with others.

Like the time this January I reconnected with college friends after 40 years, and one of my favorite parts was when there was a sharing of adult book titles we loved. One of those titles actually became a book club choice for one of my book clubs the very next month after I recommended it to them!

Then there was a recent retirement luncheon when the person across the table for me asked what I was currently reading, and it evolved into everyone chiming in and sharing titles across the entire table of ten.

This past Saturday, my trainer, Tami, was talking about the Easter basket she wanted to put together for her son, M. She wanted to include some books, so she asked me for my recommendations. Luckily, I had just read the following three:


I was more than happy to recommend all three of them to her. I knew her little guy (a kindergartener) would really dig the visual nature of Baby Monkey, Private Eye.

If you don't know these books, and you read with children, they are all great. But I have to say the biggest must have of these for me is The Rabbit Listened. I read this book multiple times to capture all that it had to offer in terms of message. 

It is a children's picture book, but it would also be a great book to use with adult learners. Coaching and collaboration requires a high level of trust, and this book addresses one of the keys to developing that trust. 

Loved this book, and will be purchasing it immediately.

Since sharing books is a thing of beauty, feel free to share one or two titles you are loving as well.

Happy reading!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Savoring Time with a Lifetime Friend - #SOL18 - 3/25/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 6 remaining days!


Like most writers, I tend to have "writing territories" - today's slice is about two of those - my lifetime friend, Lisa, and my writing. 
Lisa and I have been friends since freshman year (1973) at college when we lived in the same dorm, and pledged the same sorority. An argument could be made that I haven't known her my entire lifetime, but her importance in my life for the past 45 years is immeasurable and thus feels like I've known her my entire life. We were friends in college, then lost touch for about four years, but when I moved back to Ohio in 1981, she became more than just a "friend"; for so many reasons, she is my "family", and as such, there are many stories to be told in my life that include Lisa.

Since my retirement last May, Lisa and I have made a concerted effort to explore the city, and its surrounding areas, in which we live. That entails visiting and exploring a new part of the city each time we get together.

This past Friday, we visited uptown Westerville. We found so many great independently-owned shops there, both for browsing and buying. I found one store in particular that I loved - Ohio Art Market. So many great finds, and all the products made by Ohio artists. Beautiful things.

We finally made it to lunch at about the time many people were beginning to think about early happy hours. Another one of our goals on our excursions is to eat at a restaurant that is unique to that community. Several shop owners, and some customers as well, highly recommended Asteriks. They weren't wrong! The food was delectable, and if you ever have the opportunity to eat there, don't miss out on the fried cauliflower; it truly could have been a meal all by itself!

At some point Friday, we began to reflect back on all the parts of the city we have explored together. However, both of us being 60-somethings, we couldn't remember everything we'd done; not even if we just thought about the places we have visited since I retired last May. Yikes!

I came home that day and made a decision - these outings together are too precious. I needed to create a recording of these memories for us. So, I got out a journal, looked back at the calendar on my phone, and recreated the dates/places we've visited. I plan to backtrack and get a few things written about our adventures since May, but after this, I want to take it with me each time, and have both of us contribute some of our favorite memories from the day.

I'm just using a simple journal, but I can't decide what to to title it:

  • Lisa and Karen Do Columbus (nah... a little too Debbie Does Dallas)
  • Lisa and Karen (nah... a little too Thelma and Louise)
  • Lisa and Karen's Excellent Adventures (nah... a little too Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)
  • Retirement Wanderings and Ramblings (might be in the running, but it's still too soon to settle)
Oh well... I'll leave it untitled for now, but I so look forward to much more exploring and time spent with my lifetime friend. And I look forward to recording it for posterity for our children to read and chuckle at someday. In the meantime, it will be the warehouse that stores our memories together.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cleaning Led to Revisiting Retirement - #SOL18 - 3/22/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 9 remaining days (we made it to single digits!!!).*


I've been on a cleaning binge this week. Yesterday and today I was very focused on my office space. I had already tackled this job last May when I retired, and brought all my personal teaching possessions home. I thought I had it in control, but ten months later, every inch of that work space was a disaster zone.

How much of a disaster???

  • Two big black garbage bags full of papers and just stuff.
  • One large box full of school supplies - pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, binders, journals, post-it notes, pencil pouches, notepads, and much more. Far more than I could ever use in my lifetime. (Luckily, I can donate this box of supplies.)
  • A huge bag of ARCs and middle grade books ready to donate.


So, it was a productive day, my space is now clean, and I am now motivated to tackle the rest of the house.

But today, during the cleaning, I had a few emotional moments as some priceless treasures were unearthed:

  • All the retirement cards and notes I received last May to celebrate my years as an educator. Notes that were thoughtful and kind. Notes that shared how much it meant to the person that our paths had passed both personally and professionally. Notes that made me smile (and maybe made my vision a bit blurry as I got emotional). I loved rereading all those messages.
  • Many years ago, I had the good fortune to learn with the brilliant Samantha Bennett (That Workshop Book) during a coaching session in my 5th grade classroom. Sam really pushed my thinking during this experience, and made me dig deep to get to my personal beliefs and how they translated to my work with students. Today, I found the note she sent me after our time together - her words to me about our work together were priceless.
  • Right before I retired last year, I was honored with an award given to a staff member once a month in my district. I found the plaque I received when cleaning today, but the part of this that made me teary-eyed were all the nomination letters my colleagues had written for me to receive this award. I couldn't believe the both the quantity of letters written, as well as all the kind words about the impact I made. It was very humbling to read all these again.

So, yes, my office space looks great now, but to get to that place, there were some tears along the way as my cleaning led to revisiting my retirement, and reflecting back on my teaching career.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Bookends of My Day - #SOL18 - 3/21/18


**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 10 remaining days!*


Morning bookend

Our youngest daughter texted very early this morning to share she had decided she wanted to drive up from Nashville to visit us Easter weekend. We haven't seen her since Christmas, and weren't going to see her again until the end of June for a family wedding. She decided that was just too long to wait to see her family.

I couldn't be more delighted that all four of us will be together next weekend. Such a gift!


Evening bookend

After a lovely yoga class, I came home to a stuffed-up, sneezy, slightly whiny spouse. The respiratory ailment that affected so many this winter had found him. On the kitchen counter, I saw a variety of medicines lined up: Vicks, Vitamin C, Zicam, cough medicine. He was pulling out all the big guns.

After I checked with him to see how he was doing, I started in on my own preparations - the container of Clorox Wipes came out, and I've been wiping down refrigerator door handles, faucets, remote controls, other door handles, you name it. I'm truly not sure I can outrun this illness, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

Sure hope we are both feeling better by next Friday when our youngest comes to visit!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Goosebumps and tears - #SOL18 - 3/20/18




**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 11 remaining days!*


Goosebumps and tears.

I actually woke up this morning with a game plan for my slice, and then I began to skim through my Facebook feed. And my plans just flew out the window.

Goosebumps and tears.

I watched a video clip performed by two incredibly talented Broadway stars - Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt. As they sang, and the musicians accompanied them, the words and the music swelled around me.

Goosebumps and tears.

I found this clip on the "News and Guts" site, which also had the words and who sang what typed out. I did some very close reading of just those lyrics, and was so moved.

Goosebumps and tears.

I replayed the clip at least 5 times, closing my eyes and opening my ears to take it all in again and again. Every single time...

Goosebumps and tears.

And then I read the rest of the article, which showed tweets from Miranda, Platt, and Emma Gonzalez, student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who shared her reaction after hearing the clip.

Goosebumps and tears.

As this beauty has continued to surround me all day, I can't help but reflect on the fact that there is nothing beautiful about all the school shootings we have experienced, and there is nothing beautiful about all the precious lives that have been lost.

Goosebumps and tears.

But I hope that this beautiful musical mash up, together with all the voices that are being raised to change the status quo with regards to school safety and gun laws, will somehow make a difference. Until that time, I am left with...

Goosebumps and tears.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Bad Habit Help Needed - #SOL18 - 3/19/18


**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 13 remaining days!*


BAD HABIT HELP NEEDED!


Hi, I'm Karen, and I pick at my nails and hangnails.

This has been a habit I've had my entire life. I've tried many remedies to cure this habit:

  • When I was younger,  I would use Sally Hansen polish to strengthen my nails. It didn't work.
  • Went to a nail salon and wore acrylic nails for years - stopped because of the expense and all the fumes and dust from the drilling each time. And I just couldn't believe that wearing acrylic all the time was good for the health of my nails.
  • Several years ago, I tried gel or shellac polish to strengthen my nails. It would be wonderful for about 7 - 9 days, and then the polish would begin to lift. As soon as I began to feel that lift, I would begin to pick again. When doing that with gel or shellac, I was also peeling off layers of my nail as well. Not good.
  • A year ago, I tried a nail salon again, this time going to improve my nails; getting a manicure with a nice coat of polish. Again, it looked good for about 7 days, but then I would need to file and re-polish at that point. Hangnails became the culprit - my nails were fine, but hangnails began to appear, and I couldn't leave those alone.
Which brings me to today, and the fact that I'd love to fix this bad habit if I can.

This is a definitely a "first world" problem for me to have. But I'm curious - if you read this post, and have had the same issue, I would love to hear how you handle it. 





Sunday, March 18, 2018

Back on the Mat - #SOL18 - 3/18/18


**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 13 remaining days!*

Come to your mat.

These were the words that welcomed me back to yoga after a 3 month absence. Between the holidays, spending the month of January in Naples, a rib injury in February that prevented me from twisting, I had to put yoga on hold for those 3 months. It was so nice to be back this morning.

Set an intention for your practice today.

As Carol, the instructor, spoke these words, it helped me bring focus to the next 75 minutes. It allowed me to be mindful about what I wanted to take away from the class. Today, I wanted to focus on balance, strength, and flexibility - both physically and mentally. The idea of knowing what you want to take away from the practice of yoga, really allows you to set a goal for achievement.

Our breath practice will be 4-7-8.

As I sat on my mat, Carol led our class in today's breath practice. Inhale for the count of 4, hold for the count of 7, and exhale for the count of 8. Becoming aware of breathing, and practicing that awareness, is a critical part of my yoga practice. This work on breathing always brings with it a sense of calm.

Listen to your body.

We were reminded several times during class, to listen to our individual bodies. If a certain move or flow was not in our comfort zone today, that was okay. Do what you can, working at your individual level.

Thank you for practicing with me today. Namaste.

As I left class today, I was so grateful for the gift of time to come to my mat, set an intention, breathe, and listen to my body.

I feel like the lessons I learned today in yoga would be very applicable to life as well.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Tribute to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day - #SOL18 - 3/17/18


**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 14 remaining days!*


My oldest daughter and I traveled to Ireland this past September to celebrate my retirement and her 30th birthday, and we had an amazing time! That trip could be multiple slices. However, on St. Patrick's Day, I decided my slice would be very visual in nature - sort of a photo essay, with some captions to share what you're seeing. I could overwhelm you with all the pictures I took, but I culled it down to a somewhat manageable amount.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Starting in the Republic of Ireland:


An overlook in Killarney

Killarney - fences made with stone

Limerick - bridges transverse the river that runs through it

Limerick - The Locke Pub.
By far, our favorite pub - music, dancing, good food.

Dingle Peninsula - Dunquin Beach

Dingle Peninsula -
View of the beach from the parking lot.
We had to hike down to the beach.

Dingle Peninsula -
a shrine for St. Brigid of Kildaire


The Cliffs of Moher in Galway

The Gap of Dunloe





Moving into Northern Ireland:


The Giant's Causeway
The Giant's Causeway



Dark Hedges 

Dunluce Castle

View from Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle


The Peace Bridge connecting Derry and Londonderry

And the rainbow after the rain -
Castlerock - Downhill Strand Beach

And now the picture that graces our fireplace mantle, courtesy of Shutterfly, serving as a wonderful memory of our trip to Ireland:






Friday, March 16, 2018

Slice of Life in Seven 6 Word Stories - #SOL18 - 3/16/18


**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 15 remaining days!*

Yesterday, Clare posted her day in seven 6 word stories. I loved the idea of 6 words describing various snippets of the day, and decided to try something like this myself today...


Starting gate - toast, paper, Jumble, book

Chilly water, body moving, heart pumping

Cleaning lady ill, my turn today

Altered for me, now fits perfectly

Reserves at library, true treasures found

Racks in basement - gorgeous clothing decisions

Brackets doing well, some teams disappoint


I may need to bring this format back another time. For someone who loves to rattle on, being concise is a good skill to practice for me!



Thursday, March 15, 2018

There Isn't Any Ice Part 2 - #SOL18 - 3/15/18


**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 16 remaining days!*


Last Wednesday

Husband: The new refrigerator looks great. Can't wait to start using it.

Wife: We have to let it cool for 24 hours before putting anything in, or it might spoil. Then, we have to throw away the first 3 fill-ups of the ice container, and throw away at least 3 gallons of water to get the filter working, and the water clear.


Last Saturday

Husband: Why are we still using bottled water, and where the heck is the ice? There isn't any in this compartment.

Wife: I'm truly not sure what happened with the ice or the water. The ice container filled up once, I emptied it, and we haven't had any ice since then. I've filled about 3 gallons a day for the last 4 days, and the water is still murky, and not fit to drink.

Husband: I think "we" should do something about that.


Monday

Ring/ Ring!

Wife (talking to the appliance department of the big box store where the refrigerator was purchased): That is correct. No ice has been made since the first batch, and the water is still filled with residue.

Wednesday? Great, I'll plan on being there then.


Wednesday

Wife: Thanks for coming to check out the refrigerator. I'm hoping you will have some answers and be able to solve these problems for us.

Two service guys: No problem. This is probably just an easy fix.

45 minutes later...

Two service guys: Ma'am, we can't figure out what is going on with the ice or the water. It just doesn't make any sense. We've been told to offer to put in an order for a new refrigerator if we couldn't fix this one. Would that be okay?

Wife: I would certainly appreciate that.


Thursday (today)

Cell phone ringing...

Big Box assistant manager: Ma'am, it is my understanding that your new refrigerator isn't working. I see that you have requested a new refrigerator because your water filter and ice maker are not working. 

Wife: Yes, that is correct. I was told you would be replacing the refrigerator that just got here last Wednesday.

Assistant Manager: Yes, I just talked to my manager, and we can do that for you. Unfortunately, we don't have any more of this brand in our store or our warehouse. The soonest we can get one for you is the end of March, beginning of April. Would that be okay?

Wife: No, it's not perfect, but I can live with it since, at least, the refrigerator items are staying cold. But here is what I'm wondering - we have been very inconvenienced by this situation because we are buying bottled water and bags of ice to replace what the refrigerator we've already paid for isn't doing for us. I'm wondering if you and your manager would consider compensating us in some way for this - price off the refrigerator, gift cards to your store, something that says you believe in customer service.

Assistant Manager: I will talk to my manager, and get back to you, but I don't think it's unreasonable for us to take off $___  from the amount you paid, and reimburse you for that.

Wife: I would truly appreciate that. Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you both about this compensation, and when the refrigerator is in and ready for delivery.

And that is how "we" handled the situation. ;) Will keep you posted on the outcome, but it might not be until April.

(And for anyone who wants to see how we came to this situation in the first place, feel free to check out this post.)


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy and Hopeful - #SOL18 - 3/14/18


**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 17 remaining days!*


Happy.
Hopeful.


On my most recent trip to the grocery store, I noticed at the front of the store in the floral department some items that made me feel happy and hopeful. They usually have fun bouquets of flowers to look at, but very rarely do I feel a need to buy.

Happy. This bouquet of flowers changed that for me. I looked at this arrangement, and it made me feel happy. I loved the color combinations of white, pink, and yellow with the greenery there as well. I knew I wanted to put it on our entryway table so that I could see it multiple times a day while sitting in "my spot" on the couch, as well as all the times my path takes me by this table on a daily basis. So far, for the 48 hours they have been on that table, I find myself smiling every single time I walk by this bouquet.


Hopeful. I'm not sure what made me continue to look at the floral offerings, but I saw these branches of forsythia, also. I knew as I waited for the buds to bloom, and then when the blooms begin to open, I would feel so hopeful. Hopeful because warmer months are headed our way,  and hopeful because of all the outdoor activities that change of seasons signifies.

So, while the weather outside is cold and contains flurries, I am inside my home feeling incredibly happy and hopeful.





(The only downside about the forsythia - not getting to hear the "Click, Hiss, Whoosh" that leads to my cozy fire. It makes it too hot. So for now, I'm enjoying the forsythia. When it's done blooming, I will go back to enjoying the fireplace again.)









Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Hair Day! #SOL18 -- 3/13/18


**I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 18 remaining days!*



Hair day

One of my favorite days of the month

New color

New cut

Head massage during the shampoo

Head massaged again

as brush rolled and turned

rolled and turned

Eyes closed to appreciate all this relaxation 

One of my favorite days of the month...

Hair day!


**As I wrote this post, I chuckled. Hair days and pedicures tend to make an appearance every year during this Challenge! ;) **

Monday, March 12, 2018

Back to Reading! - #SOL18 - 3/12/18




I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 19 remaining days!*


As I've referred to in other posts, I have spent a lot of time with enjoyable, easy adult reading in the past few months, with a few great book club selections thrown in as well. But I began to realize it's mid-March, I will soon be teaching a children's literature class to pre-service teachers this May, and I haven't really spent any time recently with children's books. It was time for me to get a bit serious.

In the kidlit world, there are many classrooms and bloggers who participate each Monday in the It's Monday, What Are You Reading? challenge. This is my hybrid of that, as well as my slice for the day.

Here are four books I read this past week, and absolutely loved. I will most definitely be sharing all four of these with my college students this May:

The Word Collector and Be Kind are both picture books that appeal to the goodness in all of us.
Be Kind approaches what it means to truly be kind, even when the situation might not be comfortable. It would elicit great conversation with students.
The Word Collector, at first glance, is definitely a book about wonderful words, and the joy of collecting them. It would definitely be an asset in a word study investigation. But at a closer view, this book is also about sharing and making others feel good by freely giving to them something you love.

Greetings from Witness Protection and Stella Diaz has Something to Say are both chapter books. Once I began reading each of them, I couldn't put them down.
Greetings from Witness Protection is a great suspenseful read, but it also deals with the idea of belonging, and how difficult that is for some people. I was also delighted that it addressed some of the downsides of social media when it comes to protecting your identity. Finally, the artifacts that let us know what the bad guys are up to, are ingenious - lots of great inferring ahead for readers of this book! This would be a great book for middle grade and middle school readers.
Stella Diaz is definitely more of a transitional chapter book (though Amazon cites it as a middle grade read). Regardless, this is a book that would be a great read aloud in class. Stella is actually Mexican-American, but is caught between the two worlds. She is not fluent at all in Spanish (which can make it difficult to converse with some of her relatives), but her English requires her to see a speech therapist, and results in her not feeling confident about sharing in class. Again, a great book about belonging and trying to fit in at school. I can only imagine the wonderful conversations this book would encourage.

I have a stack of 16 more books on my coffee table; hopefully, I will have more to share next week. Until then, happy reading to all!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Grocery Store Sundays - #SOL18 - 3/11/18

 **I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

*During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 20 remaining days!*


Wow, I've seen you here 4 weeks in a row. Why are you still doing your grocery shopping on the weekend?

My friend stopped me at the grocery store today to ask this question, and it caught me off-guard, and gave pause for reflection.

For the past 20-something years, I have usually been at the grocery store, doing our weekly shopping, every Sunday.

So, why now, when I'm retired and can be more flexible, am I still shopping on Sunday?

The only answer I can think of - habit.

Habit dictates that I plan out a week of menus starting on Sunday, and going through the following Saturday (ok, who am I kidding - there is never cooking done at our house on a Saturday!)

Once I plan the menus, then I organize my grocery list around those meals. But if the menus begin on Sunday, then I need to be at the store that day to have the freshest possible ingredients for the week. I also tend to be a better cook on Sunday when there's more time, and I've always liked the idea of having planned meals for Monday and Tuesday, then heading to leftovers for Wed - Fri.

I wish I could be more a free-wheeling person when it comes to dinners. But Sunday seems to be the beginning of the cooking week for me, and so I guess Sunday will continue to be grocery shopping day as well.

Habits can be hard to break.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Cues in Learning - #SOL18 - 3/10/18


 **I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 21 days remaining!

**Staring with a 'mea culpa' - I did not post yesterday. I had multiple things I could have written about, some of them quite fun, but I had an unsettled feeling about sharing anything yesterday. I don't know why; I lost my focus? I lost my desire? All I know is that I woke up this morning determined to begin again. So here we go!**

I am really thinking hard this morning about nonverbal and physical cues when it comes to learning.

Well, that was certainly a feminine way of sharing, "Please, no deeper on that leg press, please." 

These are being a little thug-like - telling me to, "Get the h*** out of there!"

The first comment was made by my trainer, Tami, today, after I had done squats, and then was on the leg press machine, with an immensely increased weight load. The body parts being defined as talking to her in a feminine way - my knees.

The latter comment was Tami referring to my groin muscles talking when doing some hip work on the table.

The thing that fascinates me about both of these comments is Tami got her feedback by having her hands on different parts of my body as I was doing my squats, leg presses, and hip work. She knew that my knees were protesting a bit, but were able to continue to get just a little bit deeper each time. However, during the hip work, there came a point where I could barely get my leg off the table. It was such a struggle - that earned the "thug-like" moniker.

None of this information came because I told her; she just paid attention, and checked in on my progress in multiple ways. She could both feel and see when I tired and my form began to deteriorate.

Which really had me paying attention to all the other training we did together today. When she wanted me to modify my posture or alignment, she would gently nudge me at the spot that needed readjustment. When she wanted me to work harder, I realized she puts her hand on my shoulder. When she wants me to stop an exercise or activity, she has a touch for that as well.

She always models what she would like me to do first, but then her teaching cues for me become far more non-verbal.

Just a little over 3 years of working with Tami, and I realize there is much she continues to teach me about modeling, scaffolding, nonverbal cues, and so much more.






Thursday, March 8, 2018

Click Hiss Whoosh - #SOL18 - 3/8/18


 **I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 23 days remaining!


*Click Hiss Whoosh*

7:30 AM - I'm so toasty warm, curled up in my favorite easy chair reading the paper, doing the Jumble, and catching up on my online reading.

*Click Hiss Whoosh*

10:30 AM - I just got back from water aerobics, and I need to warm up from the cold, snowy weather outside as I begin to brainstorm possibilities for my Slice of Life post today.

*Click Hiss Whoosh*

3:30 PM - I've finally showered for the day, and I'm ready to curl up with the new book I just got from the library. The warmth envelopes me and I may have fallen asleep, a quick power nap before the evening begins.

*Click Hiss Whoosh*

8:00 PM - Time to settle in for the evening. My husband and I are watching a show we've DVRed, and, within five minutes, I hear some snoring beside me. M has fallen asleep in his chair, all comfortable and cozy warm.

*Click Hiss Whoosh*

These are my favorite sounds since getting back from a month in Florida this January. Hearing them means my gas fireplace is being turned on with the remote, gas escapes, and then the fire starts to roar.

One of the best investments in our home the past two years is this remote fireplace gas insert and starter. I find myself using it continually throughout each day. It brings me so much pleasure to just click and get warmth.

Time to go and...

*Click Hiss Whoosh*

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Out of My Comfort Zone - #SOL18 -- 3/7/18



 **I'm so grateful to the #SOL community for welcoming me each and every time I post a slice. Thank you so very much to the team at Two Writing Teachers for coordinating and hosting this slicing community for the entire month of March for the Slice of Life Challenge. You all rock!!**

During this year's challenge, my plan is to reflect on a slice of my life from that day, or the day before, and write about it. No theme to tie my writing together this year, no plans ahead of time.  Just glimpses into slices of my days. Not having a plan is a very uncomfortable place for me, both as a person and a writer, so fingers crossed for the 24 days remaining!

I am truly out of my comfort zone today.

As an educator, as a mom, as a friend, as a relative -- I love it when people can reach out and ask me for assistance or help. I think nothing of it. I actually cherish those moments when people trust me with a request like that.

So why, when I reached out today to two different sources about possible professional opportunities, did it make me feel so uncomfortable? Like wearing a wool sweater without a shirt or cami on underneath - all itchy inside.

I've reached out to other educators about professional assistance before - many times - and I didn't feel this discomfort.

Which has me reflecting on the discomfort I'm feeling today, and WHY it feels so out of my comfort zone. Here's what I've decided for now - I think it depends on the level of interaction and trust I have with an individual. The more someone knows me as a person and a professional, the less risk it takes to be vulnerable with them. I know that's not rocket science, but it was a big aha for me.

I'm still out of my comfort zone, but I did it, and we'll see what happens from here. I read recently that we do our best learning when we're in a zone of discomfort, so hopefully I will be learning a great deal from these experiences!

And again, it makes me think of teachers and students. Our students need to feel that interaction and trust with their teachers to be able to clearly ask for assistance when needed. Food for thought...