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Showing posts from March, 2014

Slice of Life: Writing is a Habit (31 of 31)

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It's the  31st day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  The final day.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. Reflections Today ends the third year I have participated in the Slice of Life Challenge.  I remember the first year;  it was really all I could do to sit down to write each day.  There were days I just didn't think I'd be able to get anything down to publish.  Year two was a little better, but still sometimes just thinking of what I would write was a challenge. When I joined in year one it was because I wanted to get back into the habit of writing.  Like getting back into exercise, I struggled.  After the challenge that year my ability to stay in the habit ebbed and flowed.  There were times I was writing and times I was not.  There were times ideas came easily and times they did not. The First Challenge:  Crafting an Interesting Piece Now in year three I have a better writing habit than I did those

Slice of Life: Live First (30 of 31)

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It's the 30th day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. This morning I awoke at my daughter's apartment to the sound of an unfamiliar bird singing outside of the window.  I pulled the blind open to try to spot the bird, but couldn't see it anywhere though its song was clear, strong, and unknown to me.  I looked at the flowering dogwood across the street thinking the bird must be somewhere in there and sighed.  Today was the last day of my spring break.  In a few short hours we'd be on the road home and back to the busyness of life. Though I looked forward to seeing my students and hearing their stories tomorrow, I lamented all I had not accomplished.  I still didn't have my taxes done.  My daughter's graduation invitation wasn't done.  My house was clean, but the windows, closets, and drawers looked just as they did a week ago.  The sign tu

Slice of Life: Time with Mom (29 of 31)

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It's the  29th day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. We watched at the window until we saw them coming down the road.  Finally the car pulled into the parking spot, backed to straighten, and finally came to a rest.  The car doors opened and I raced to greet them.  Soon my mom and Jerry were on their way up the steps.  It had been three months since we'd all been together so I was thrilled when they were able to drive to my daughter's to join us for a visit. There were hellos, hugs, and laughter as they came up the stairs and entered the apartment.  "Here are some cookies for the drive home," my mom said handing me a big bag of chocolate chip cookies risen to perfection.  I eyed the mountains of sweetness and thanked her, doubting these cookies would make it that long. Jerry sat down to chat with us on the couch as Mom went into Cortney'

Slice of Life: wandering (28 of 31)

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It's the   28th day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   It's also Poetry Friday so I decided to try a little poetry for this evening.  Poetry Friday is hosted by Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading . Yesterday Stacey talked about a piece of writing that takes readers in a different direction  than they think they are headed.  I thought I'd try that with this poem. via Words on Image Tolkien Quote i start at the beginning of the path the first step a touch familiar i begin to wander enjoying all i see moving beyond the known i pause taking it all in, one discovery leads to another weaving soon i am  at a place where i must decide where to go next forward or back?   i choose and continue, before i know it i am lost straying from where i originated finally i tap  the back button and wonder how did i get he

Slice of Life: The Invention of Wings (27 of 31)

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It's the  27th day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. The problem with reading, if we can say there is one, is that its hard to sleep when you have a good book.   Last night I woke up when I heard my daughter come in from work at 11:15.  I heard the knob jiggle, the door open, and her feet tap gently across the foyer floor.  She chatted with the dog for a bit and wandered into the kitchen.  I had the alarm set to check on her so I would have awaken no matter what.  Climbing out of my heated bed I walked in the kitchen to talk with her for a bit and then headed back to my room.  My book was calling me as soon as consciousness returned to my mind.   Since I am on spring break I decided I could read for awhile as I didn't necessarily have to get up early. Picking up my Kindle I went back to reading Sue Monk Kidd 's new book:   The Invention of Wings .  I h

Slice of Life: More Time Should Be Spent Meandering (26 of 31)

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It's the  26th day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. Typically life is pretty busy and quick paced.  It seems weeks are spent racing here and hurrying there.  There is always something to be done, and never time to just stop for a bit.  This week is my spring break so I decided to put my calendar, lists, and deadlines aside to do a little meandering with my friend, Trish.  Since it is the 2 6 th, I thought I'd share my day in 6   six word stories. Every day should begin with coffee. Pie with friends delights the soul. My basket fills with fresh food. Yutzy's Farm Market Making meatballs from secret family recipe.   Plants enjoy light day and night.   Franklin Park Conservatory to see the light art of Bruce Munro Lesson:  put lists aside to meander.  

Slice of Life: Spring? Break (25 of 31)

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It's the  25th day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. Spring break shopping Would someone please tell Mother Nature it is my spring break. I should not be wearing a coat or waiting for bright sunshine. I shouldn't see white fluffy flakes falling. I want to see green feel warmth see sun because it is my SPRING break.

Slice of Life: Respect the Dawg (24 of 31)

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It's the  24th day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. Let's face it, the hot dog doesn't get the respect it deserves in our culture.  As kids we loved a good hot dog anytime, anywhere.  We'd pull them out of refrigerators and eat them cold right out of the bag.  They were delicious cut up and dipped in ketchup, on a bun plain, or chopped in Spaghettio's. There comes a time in our adolescence where we find out the truth about hot dogs.  Eventually the well kept secret can no longer be hidden; we find out the contents of a hot dog.  What...meat parts?  Ugh!  How did our parents let us eat them all of those years?  We feel cheated.  Lied to.  Let down.  After the truth is told, it is sometimes days, weeks, or maybe even years before we can eat a hot dog again.  Gone are the days of grabbing them cold from the fridge for a quick snack.  Gone are t

Slice of Life: Dinner à la Pinterest (23 of 31)

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It's the  23rd day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. "What's that smell?" Cassie shouted from upstairs as she got ready for work. Dinner was in the oven and I was hoping we could eat before she had to leave.  We've had a hard time getting dinner ready before she leaves in the evening.  She ends up eating late, and by herself, when she gets home.  I started dinner earlier in hopes we'd be able to eat together.  It's nice to have the opportunity to sit down as a family to dinner.  Dinner seemed to be coming along on schedule.  The potatoes were nearly done cooking and ready to mashed.  The lima beans were simmering.  The smells from the oven were beginning to permeate the house. "Is that cheese I smell cooking?" inquired John as he watched the hockey game from the couch in his Sunday attire.  If it has cheese, he might be in

Slice of Life: Spring Break! 22 of 31

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It's the  22nd day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event. It's spring break. If you are looking for me I might be writing fingers at the keyboard, cup of coffee at my side, searching for words, playing on paper. It's spring break. If you are looking for me I might be desperately avoiding wrestling with my taxes, laboring over FAFSA forms, cleaning cupboards, closets, and hidden piles, scouring floors, sinks, and windows. It's spring break. If you are looking for me I might be discovering places: meandering through the zoo , gazing at light shows , walking through the park, finding a new place to eat . It's spring break. If you are looking for me I might be putting responsibilities aside reading a new book, soaking in the sunshine (please let there be sunshine), spending time with friends and family, celebrating life!

Slice of Life: The Line Between 21 of 31

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It's the   21st day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   It's also Poetry Friday so I decided to try a little poetry for this evening.  Poetry Friday is hosted by Julie Larios at The Drift Record . The Line Between The moon stands boldly in the blue black sky not ready to say goodnight. It watches the sun begin to rise on the other side of the earth. The sun peeks above the green of the world into the white blue sky. It smiles at the moon. Seeing itself in the moon's reflection. Driving down the gray paved narrow road I watch them play. Moon greets sun. Sun greets moon. The line between                      night and day. © Cathy L. Mere

Slice of Life: Did Someone Say Tony Orlando? 20 of 31

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It's  day 20 of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  We're more than half way through 31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   There are probably things you shouldn't confess to on a blog, but here we go anyway…. Picture from Tralfaz Archives My husband likely thinks I'm crazy as I run out of the room where I am writing because I heard the name " Tony Orlando " on the television set.  Suddenly, I'm ten again.  I used to stay up so I wouldn't miss the Tony Orlando and Dawn show.  I loved to see him sing.   I can still picture the album which played over and over on the record player my parents got for me. Those were the days before reality television.  The days when you had three channels not 300.  Those were the days when you actually had to watch a show on the exact time it aired.  Though I was quite young I somehow managed to let the whole family know that was my tel

Slice of Life: Making Gravy 19 of 31

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It's  day 19 of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  We're more than half way through 31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   Before my husband and I were married I spent a lot of time at his parents' house.  His mom had a way of making everyone feel welcome in their home.   When she cooked, there might be four people in the house but, she cooked for an army.  It never mattered if someone stopped by because she always had more than enough food on the stove.  She was always ready to lend an ear, a hand, or whatever someone might need. After my husband and I got married, she would always introduce me to people as her daughter.  Somehow this just always made me feel like I was such a part of this family.   In the first years we were married, we spent a lot of time at my in-laws.  They lived close so it was easy to stop by or join them for dinner.  We joined them for dinner A LOT.  Betty, my mother

Slice of Life: A Tune for Tuesday

It's  day 18 of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  We're more than half way through 31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   I'm enjoying a young blog called  The Lead Goose  by  Scott Jones .  On Tuesdays Scott always shares a tune and a story.  I'm not sure if the idea originates on his blog, but it is the first place I have seen it.  As I was driving to school today I heard the song, Happy by Pharrell Williams.  I don't know what it is about this song, but it makes me happy.   I doubt anyone can listen to it without starting to feel the happiness rise from her/his toes.  I knew as soon as I heard it the day would be filled with happiness.  The Happiness of a Stinky Lunch I hurried to get my lunch and get back to the classroom after recess duty.  I was looking forward to our Slice of Life lunch.  It would be nice to have extra time to chat with students participating in our Slice

Slice of Life: Henry and Mudge Limericks 17 of 31

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It's  day 17 of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  We're more than half way through 31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   Since it's St. Patrick's Day, and I needed to write something my students might enjoy, I decided to create a few limericks about Henry and Mudge.  We've been enjoying these books by Cynthia Rylant for a few weeks now. There once was a very young boy, He wanted a dog not a toy. He begged and he cried. He tried and he tried. The pet would bring him great joy There once was a mom and a dad, Who said a friend for Henry wouldn't be bad. They got him a pet. A dog, you can bet. For all of this, Henry was glad. There was once a dog named Mudge. For a treat, he didn't want fudge. It was crackers to eat. For his favorite treat. On that, he just wouldn't budge. On another note, my first grade niece wrote a Slice of Life about me .  She named m

Slice of Life: The City 16 of 31

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It's  day 16 of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  We're half way through 31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   The weather was warmer and the sun was shining yesterday.  Jeff and I decided it was the perfect day to go the city for dinner. The City Skyscrapers rise, creating ladders, reaching to touch the cloudless blue. Horns shout, tires screech, cars buzz, buses roar, racing on pavement. Cement paths guide visitors, meandering, bustling, shuffling, here and there. Restaurants pepper the maze of buildings, filling the air with irresistible smells to entice. Museums sprinkle the streets sharing history, art, culture, breathing life. Alive, it calls us. New discoveries await in the city. © Cathy L. Mere

Slice of Life: Love, Peace, Cookies 15 of 31

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It's  day 15th of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   Today I'm writing about Girl Scout Cookies.  Here's a poem I wrote about them in 2012 Slice of Life Challenge:   Girl Scout Cookies . Returning from dinner I spot them in the freezer.  A box of peanut butter Girl Scout cookies are tucked on the shelf calling my name.  If they were meant to be hidden, someone should do a better job.  Besides you can't stash from a stasher.  I know how to find any piece of hidden chocolate within miles of my home. Reaching in I grab a cookie.  Okay.  I grab two cookies.  Okay.  Let's not talk about it.  Who can resist a Tagalong?  Besides, they're only here for such a limited time.  These are the things I tell myself as I reach into the box. This year I purchased cookies from my niece.  She delivered them with this lovely post-it, "Love.  Peace.  Cook

Slice of Life: Which Sky? 14 of 31

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It's the   fourteenth day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   It's also Poetry Friday so I decided to try a little poetry for this evening.  Poetry Friday is hosted by Kara at Rogue Anthropologist .   Which sky catches your attention? You gaze, motionless. Is it the sky at dawn as the sun rises slowly, resting on the horizon to say good morning, then painting the light blue sky in strokes of pink and yellow? Is it the sky at noon, as the sun radiates from above, high in the sky, yellow ball of fire heating the world, surrounded by crystal blue all around? Is it the sky at dusk, the sun sinks slowly, resting on fields, saying goodnight, turning soft clouds from white to red and purple and blue? Is it the sky at night as the moon rises into the blackness, hanging high in the sky, the stars twinkling their silent sym

Slice of Life: 13 is a Lucky Number (13 of 31)

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It's the   thirteenth day of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   Well some people might consider 13 an unlucky number, but I disagree.  Today is my dad's birthday.  Yes, it's the 13th so that makes me consider 13 a gift.  I'm a little late getting this post in because I've been out celebrating my dad's birthday with him.  Here are 13 things I love about my dad: 13.  I don't have to clean my house when he comes over. 12.  He loves to drive.  I don't. 11.  He knows music like nobody's business.  On a recent road trip I tested his knowledge using Pandora's decade stations.  He was impressive naming artists and songs from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. 10.  He has fun wherever he goes.  He can go with the flow in any situation. 9.  He can have fun just sitting around the living room and hanging out with the family. 8.  He has ro

Slice of Life: Please Forgive Me 12 of 31

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It's  day 12th of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   I stare at the clothes hanging in my closet.  "Who picked all of this out," I ask myself pretending not to know the answer.  Reaching the bottom rod, I grab a pair of black pants.  That keeps it simple; everything goes with black.  Then I stare at the shirts:  purple, blue, black, purple, pink, blue, purple, black.  My closet is a giant bruise.  There's nothing I want to wear in this closet, but I have to find something.  It's still below freezing outside so my options are limited.  I push hangers from left to right, then right to left, searching carefully between shirts as if I might find some hidden treasure to solve my problem. Knowing I can't stand in my closet all day I try to make a decision.  "Did I wear that shirt already this week?" I ask under my breath.  Pausing as if

Slice of Life: A Writer's Lunch 11 of 31

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It's  day eleven of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   Here we are viewing a tutorial on how to add images to your blog. When I told my class about the Slice of Life Challenge, they were quick to jump into the game .  I wasn't sure how first graders would handle a challenge, but I decided to dive in with them.  We developed a plan for the challenge and the kids dove right into it.  As part of our plan, we decided to meet every Tuesday for lunch in the classroom.  Our days are busy with learning so we weren't sure we would be able to find time during our day to talk about the challenge.  Lunch on Tuesday's would allow us to check in with each other.   Today was Tuesday.  It was the Slice of Life Challenge lunch day!  After recess, the students who were buying went to the cafeteria to get their lunches.  Our packers set up the tables and starte

Slice of Life: Time Change 10 of 31

It's  day ten of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   Time Change 6:00 a.m. feels like five 8:00 p.m. feels like ten wanting a nap needing a nap hungry at the wrong times tired so tired moving the clock back jet lag  in your own backyard.  

Slice of Life: Spring Symphony 9 of 31

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It's  day nine of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   I went out early this morning to enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures.  The push and pull between winter and spring was obvious.  The ducks, back in their nesting places, were dealing with the ice still covering the ponds.  The confused seagulls filled the parking lots once again.  The irises pushed up among the decaying leaves of fall were not far from the lingering snow near the trees.  The neighbors snow fence still stood ready though the patio furniture was displayed at the store.  Reese's Eggs fill the shelves.  Surely Spring is near.   Last year during Slice of Life I wrote, Have You Seen Her? after a beautiful surprise snow covered the ground.  This year, I'm a bit done with snow and am hoping for spring so I wrote this: Spring Symphony The concert was in days and everyone was wor

Slice of Life: Sacred Time 8 of 31

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It's  day eight of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   This morning I woke up to light peeking in my window.  For a minute I wrestled with myself.  "Why am I still in bed," I wondered.  "I'll be late for school."  Glancing at the clock I realized it was already a little after seven.  Then a wave of relief poured over me as I realized it was Saturday.  I contemplated going back to sleep, but once my eyes open my head starts to spin.  I grabbed my computer and moved toward the living room. I've managed few parameters in my life when it comes to time, but Saturday mornings have become one of them.  Quietly I tiptoed out of my room and into the kitchen.  Opening the cupboard I reached for the coffee to bring the day to life.  The smell quickly drifted into the living room.  Reaching for a cup I filled it with the steamy black liquid, added

Slice of Poetry: Night Gift 7 of 31

Poetry and story.  Perfect!  Last night I came home from a long day to a stunning night sky.  I wished I were a painter and could paint it.  I wished I were a photographer with a lens big enough to capture the light.  I am neither so I thought I'd try a poem.  It's  day seven of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   It is also Poetry Friday so stop by Reflections on the Teche for words, words, words.   Night Gift the dark sky seems so far away a black so dark quiet peaceful waiting the crescent moon aglow in the cloudless sky reflecting light to earth suspended radiant resting the stars shimmer in my country sky watching me watch them heedful luminous knowing away from the lights they dazzle shimmering softly silent glorious captivating sparkling diamonds contrasting the charcoal sky tell me I'm home content delighted belongi

Slice of Life: Indoor Recess Blues 6 of 31

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It's  day six of the March Slice of Life Challenge .  31 days of writing.   Thanks to the amazing  Two Writing Teachers team  for all of their support in this event.   Finger knitting Photo via WikiMedia Commons Betsssssy It's been quite a winter.  I've learned the meaning of polar vortex and hardly consider 32 degrees fahrenheit cold anymore.  I've also refined my understanding of winter warning vs. winter advisory.  Things you really don't want to know.  While we are used to snow on occasion in Ohio, it usually snows, melts, snows, melts.  It seems, this year however, we've had snow on the ground most days since December.  Needless to say we've been indoors for recess through most of January and February.  We've added new games to our classroom, located different kinds of paper for crafting, and purchased coloring books to add excitement to these days inside.  Still, we all have the indoor recess blues. I was really out of tricks and then I stu