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Showing posts from March, 2015

Slice of Life: It Happened 31 of 31

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via Quote Valley The students, first through fifth grade, were gathered on the carpet as we talked about what they had learned from the Slice of Life Writing Challenge when A spoke up, "I just noticed the sign hanging on the bulletin board," she said. Turning around, I searched to see what she had noticed.  "Don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened," I read to the group.  The room got a little quiet.  Looking at her, I smiled.  She had invested so much heart into this challenge.  One of our fourth grade participants, she shared so many stories across our challenge. We all paused for a moment to consider the statement.  We had all learned so much during the month long challenge.  I think the students learned a lot about themselves as writers.  Many managed to write most everyday, even across spring break.  Students had taken time to share their writing and to comment. The students have learned to do so many things .  They've learn

Slice of Life Orange Juice 30 of 31

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via WikiMedia Commons Normally I start my day with coffee.  There's something about the smell of coffee filling the house that helps get the day off to the right start.  This morning, the first day back from spring break, I walked out to the kitchen and started my pot of coffee.  When I went to make my cup of coffee, it just didn't sound good.  I tried to drink it, but barely made a dent in the cup. What has happened to my morning drink?  Has it been replaced by - wait for it - orange juice?  Yep, I seem to be back in love with orange juice.  I'm really not sure what is going on exactly.  All I can tell you is that last week I picked up a bit of a virus.  After spending an entire night sick, I was able to calm my stomach with some Sprite and my grandma's old stomach remedy.  I'm not sure how it went exactly, but I have made it something like this:  a teaspoon of Sprite on crushed ice repeated again at 15 minutes.  If that stays down, gradually increase the amo

Slice of Life: No Matter How Old 29 of 31

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It's the last day of spring break, but I am feeling refreshed.  I just spent the last four days at Mom's.  While I was there I managed some good food, a fair amount of sleep, a reasonable number of card games, a bit of exercise (those hills are killer), and plenty of laughter.  While I was with her, I had to smile; it doesn't matter how old you are your mom can always make you feel ten again.   Today is her birthday.  Happiness is found in a birthday wish --- and a little advice.  So... No matter how old you are, your mom will still expect you to eat everything on your plate, consider seconds, and leave plenty of room for dessert. No matter how old you are, your mom will always worry when you are sick, suggest you wear a coat even if you don't think it's cold outside. No matter how old you are, your mom will cheer you on, hang your work on her refrigerator like its a masterpiece. No matter how old you are, your mom will tell you that

Slice of Life: To Live Near Water 28 of 31

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Today we went on a bit of an adventure.  When I had last visited my mom I had managed to find a bench with a great view to the water while on a walk one lazy afternoon.  Of course, I wasn't really sure where that bench might be, but with a few bits of logic we began to narrow the possibilities and took off to find it. We knew it had to be close.  I wasn't likely to have walked too far in this hilly place.  I always joke that I'm from the flatlands.  I'm not used to mountains.  My mom, however, assures me they are just tiny foothills.  We went down the road I figured was most likely to be the one I would have chosen to wander.   It wasn't too far from the road to my mom's house and was pretty easy to access. When we came upon a steeper than normal hill, my daughter quipped she doubted I would have gone down that hill knowing I would have to come back up it.  She had a point, but I could see water.  I knew I'd break this rule to be near the water. We v

Slice of Life: Are There Words? 27 of 31

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If spring won't come to you, go find spring.  Happiness is found in signs of spring.  Are There Words? Could there be words that haven't been written as spring waltzes into the world with brush strokes of color? Could there be new words to describe the beauty of the flowers in bloom? Could there be a way to capture the sounds of an earth, silent only days ago now bursting with life? Is it possible to find a unique way to show the whisper of water, until recently standing still? Are there words to illustrate the deepness of green, the brightness of blooms, the blue of the sky? Is there a way to ever truly capture the joy as the earth awakens from a long winter slumber? © Cathy L. Mere, 2015 For the month of March I will be participating in the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focu

Slice of Life: Six Word Slices 26 of 31

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It had to happen at some point in the Slice of Life Challenge:  six word stories.  Here are a few that tell about my day.  Lots of happiness to be found today.  (OK, maybe not the euchre defeat.)   Happiness is Found in Six Word Slices Waking up to sunshine and green. Walking on hills is more work. An afternoon walk ends in surprise. No dessert tastes like delicious cheesecake. Defeat in euchre isn't the end.   Wisconsin Badgers move onto elite eight. For the month of March I will be participating in the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading. 

Slice of Life: Putting Things Aside 25 of 31

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Some days you work a little harder to find happiness.  Some days are a little cloudier, and we have to really look for sunshine.  Somehow a virus won the battle earlier this week, putting me behind on all of my lists.  Today I have places to be, but the things I had hoped to have accomplished need to be put aside until there is time to do them.  I know they'll wait, but wish I could've stayed on course. The change in plan, makes me have to look a little harder and search a little deeper.   Despite the lack of accompishment, I tried to look forward.  I had an appointment for a much needed haircut.  Happiness wasn't found in having someone else fight with my curls to straighten my hair.  It wasn't found in finally being able to eat something.  It wasn't found in the sight of dogwoods finally in bloom or in mountains and rolling clouds playing together in the evening sky. Tonight happiness was found in being able to set the list aside and focusing on things that matter

Slice of Life: Sleep 24 of 31

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today i didn't get to the list i had prepared full of to dos instead it seemed sleep was necessary happiness was found in a day of rest © Cathy L. Mere, 2015 For the month of March I will be participating in the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading. 

Slice of Life: Happiness is Found in Memories 23 of 31

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It was the first official day of spring break....so it was snowing. It seemed the perfect day to tackle my closet.  It was time to clear out some of the items I had been hanging onto for far too long.  I began pulling things out, sorting items into piles, and trying to begin to weed out what needed to go.  It wasn't long until I managed to get the clothing and the shoes under control, and then moved onto the bags.  Somehow I have quite a collection of old wallets and all those small cosmetic bags that are given away for free.  I'm really not sure why I hang onto them.  I could hold my year's supply of cosmetics in my hand. For me the best way to keep my closet under control is to only allow a particular amount of space for things I need.  Pants have so much room in the closet.  Shoes have a spot.  Sweaters must fit on the shelf.  I have a cloth box I use to store the wallets and bags I plan to keep.  They need to all fit inside of the container which means a few neede

Slice of Life: Heeeyyyy, Batter, Batter 22 of 31

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I know.  I know.  It's hard to believe I'm a fantasy sports fan.  Let me tell you, it's probably even harder for those who have known me forever to believe, but it's true.  Today was our fantasy baseball draft.  It was an important day as I have a championship to defend.  The Five Tool Playas are ready for action! In honor of the event, I decided to try writing a poem using Visual Poetry .   Kevin Hodgson shared the app in our Digital Maker Playground .  I've been wanting to give it a try. Today, happiness was found in the start of baseball season! For the month of March I will be participating in the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading. 

Slice of Life: Happiness Is Found in the Process 21 of 31

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It's spring break.  You'd think that would be enough to make a person happy, but honestly it is just the start of it all.  Today I met with Julie Johnson and a group of friends to get ready for the Columbus Area Writing Project's summer work.  We will be working to write about digital literacy and the way it has changed what we do as learners and teachers.  There were so many things to love about this: I was back in Ramseyer Hall where I took many of my education classes years ago.   Listening to a professor talk about the work we would be doing.  There's something about the way they talk in the academic world that I always find so interesting.   The possibility of the road ahead. There's something about trusting a process enough to know a direction is all we need to begin. Working alongside people you know will push your thinking.  Discussions that make me think and revise what I know. For the month of March I will be participating in the  March Slic

Slice of Life: The Black of Morning 20 of 31

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This morning, I'm awake to watch morning arrive.  I suppose I should wish I was still sleeping, but I love this part of the day.  There's something about the quiet of morning.  There's something about watching the world turn from night into day.  Happiness is found in the early hours of silence.   It's day 20 of the Slice of Life Challenge --- and Poetry Friday.   What's not to love about that!    Up. Up before sunrise. Up in the black of morning before the sun can begin its work of coloring the sky. Up. Up before the blue. Up when the blackness of night still blankets the beauty of the sleeping world. Up. Up before the birds. Up before their morning songs can begin to fill the air with promise. Up. Up before the people. Up before neighbors begin moving about, cars racing to familiar destinations. Up. Up in the quiet. Up in the silence before the dawn, enjoying the possibility of a day yet to come. © Cathy L. Mere For the m

Slice of Life: This One's for the Learners 19 of 31

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M stops by my room every morning on her way to her classroom.  She usually wants to talk about a book she is reading, a post she is writing, or another new discovery in her world of learning.  Every morning I make sure I have a minute to chat with her.  She's always teaching me something, but what catches my attention most is the way she loves to learn.  She's always on the search for the next thing she is going tackle. Tonight I spent the evening with our Digital Maker local group.  The Digital Maker Playground is an online community creating around selected makes using a variety of digital tools.  As a connected community, we are learning much from one another.  Julie Johnson and I are hosting the virtual group that includes participants in a variety of locations around the world.  Every other week, we host a Digital Playground LIVE Workshop for local participants who want to have a bit of work time, the support of their peers, or just a little conversation as they crea

Slice of Life: DVR-ed 18 of 31

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I'm not a DVR fan.  For years I watched my family spend too much time in front of the television because of the DVR.  They recorded sitcom after sitcom, movie after movie, series after series.  I never knew what was going to be on the television when I would walk into the living room.  There were so many days I wished the DVR wasn't invented.  Back in the day - yes, the day when cartoons were only on Saturday morning - you watched a show when it was on TV.  It was the only way you'd get a chance to watch it.  For a long time, you couldn't record it, watch it later, or see it on demand. Of course, now the DVR allows us to record anything and watch it at our convenience.  It's a trap I've tried to stay away from in my life.  To be honest, I try not to watch too much television.  I just don't have the time to invest in a series.  There are books to be read, posts to be written, students to be ready for each day.  I want to have time for my family, for takin

Slice of Life: The Stars' Secrets 17 of 31

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Photo by Forest Wander via WikiMedia Tonight we're supposed to be able to see the Northern Lights beginning at 9:00.  I'm not much of an astronomer so I'm embarrassed to say I really wasn't even sure where to look.  Pulling the sliding glass door open, I stepped outside into the cold crisp night air.  I looked to north.  I looked to the south.  I turned in circles on my patio.  Was I looking for a cloud of light?  Was I looking for more twinkle in the sky? Gazing up into the ebony sky, I stopped turning and stood motionless.  I didn't see the Northern Lights, but I did see the beauty that takes my breath away night after night.  Looking up the stars stared back at me, shining in the night sky.  I went back inside to get my phone so I could take a picture so you could see it too, but the camera can't capture the contrast between the glistening lights and the backdrop of darkness.  We live in the country, away from the lights of the city, so the stars gli

Slice of Life: No More Silence 16 of 31

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No More Silence  Pushing the front door open I notice immediately. Something is different. The silence - gone. The sound of nothingness, endless quiet, replaced by the sweet chorus of birds, chirping happily. A melody missed for months. © Cathy L. Mere, 2015 I attempted to capture the sound with Nutshell. Turn your volume up!  For the month of March I will be participating in the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading. 

Slice of Life: She Brought Sunshine 15 of 31

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Today we took our youngest back to college.  She has been home all week for spring break.  The week went from cold and icy to sunny and warm.  Happiness was spending time with her. Waking in the morning to find her  asleep on the couch after watching her shows until late in the night. Coming home each evening  to enjoy time hanging out  with baby girl. Walks in the evening, shopping,  family dinners, cheesecake, and conversation. Home from college just for a bit; long enough to turn gray skies into sunshine. © Cathy L. Mere, 2015 For the month of March I will be participating in the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading. 

Slice of Life: Managing Commenting 14 of 31

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Sometimes when you don't know where to begin, it's easier to just not begin at all.  That's how I feel about commenting this year in the challenge.  It's so overwhelming.  There are so many blogs I want to visit everyday, but there just isn't the time.  This year I am hosting a school group of students participating in Slice of Life.  I want to get to their blogs to comment.  Additionally I have numerous friends, both local and across the internet, I know I want to find time to read.  Of course, I know there are new blogs waiting to be discovered as well, but with over 200 people posting every day where does one begin? My personal rule is to comment on at least three blogs anytime I participate in a collaborative blogging event.  This year I've wrestled with several plans, but still worry about all that I am missing.  Today I decided to make a plan that I could stick with for the final two weeks of the challenge.  I took the groups I know I don't want to

Poetry Friday: A Million Sunrises

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It's Poetry Friday!  Stop by Author Amok  where Laura hosts today's parade of wondrous words. A Million Sunrises A million sunrises wouldn't be enough to see all the colors, hues of pink, shades of purple, tints of yellow, or the way  they change the blue of the morning sky. A million sunrises, each welcoming a new day, full of possibility, as the earth comes to life in quiet careful steps. A million sunrises, a new gift waiting to be unwrapped, would never be enough, yet each one takes our breath away. We will never see a million sunrises, but if we could we would pause  at each like we had never seen anything like it before. © Cathy L. Mere, 2015 

Slice of Life: Happiness is Found in Celebration 13 of 31

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Here we go!  It's time for the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading.  How this man made it through my teenage years, I have no idea.  Today we helped Dad celebrate his birthday with dinner at Melts.  Melts gives new meaning to grilled cheese, and my dad gives his own meaning to the word dad.  I am grateful to have a dad who loves random drives, coffee shops and hanging out.  He's taught me to kick back and has been the perfect grandpa for our kids  (well, usually...that's a long story).  Happy birthday, Pop.  Happiness is celebrating the best dad a girl could ask for in this life.

Slice of Life: Is There a Good Busy? 12 of 31

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Here we go!  It's time for the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading.  I'm a list person.  Making lists is nearly as fun as crossing things off.  There might be nearly a dozen list apps on my phone.  I scratch lists on napkins, scrap paper, and post-its.  Making grocery lists, to-do lists, and idea lists are just some of the ways I like to keep myself moving.  When I'm busy, a list helps me get things done. My family often jokes that I will always have a list because before I finish one list, I'm already writing another.  It's crazy, but I like to be busy.  While many search for balance, I think sometimes the best things in life happen when we are a little out of balance; when we're givin

Slice of Life: A Glimpse 11 of 31

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Here we go!  It's time for the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading.  Temperatures dip, gray skies, flakes gently falling, covering the world, winter white. I watch. Snow piles stand in parking lots, along roads. Movement slows, plow trucks race about. I wait. Clean snow turns brown.  The cold,  endless, holds strong. I wonder. The temperatures  begin to rise. Snow slowly starts  to melt. I hope. The snow tries  to stay, but the rain pushes it away. I dream. Skies  turn blue. The sun rises; makes everything  brighter. I smile. Winter tries to hang on... but spring has another idea. I wish. The grass fields reappear. The earth

Slice of Life: Happiness is Daylight Savings Time? 10 of 31

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Here we go!  It's time for the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading.  THRUMP,  THRUMP,  THRUMP.  My alarm bellows loudly across the bedroom.  I'm already in the kitchen making coffee.  My husband calls jokingly from the bedroom, "Why do you set an alarm clock?" as he pushes the button to stop the sound which is getting louder and faster.   It's true.  I'm a morning person.  To be honest, I don't even know why I set alarm.  I guess I'm just sure the one morning I don't set an alarm will be the morning I sleep later than I should.   If I want to accomplish anything in my day it needs to be done early.  I always try to get my hardest work and thinking done while the day is you

Slice of Life: Make Lemonade 9 of 31

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Here we go!  It's time for the  March Slice of Life Challenge  hosted at  Two Writing Teachers .  It will be a busy month of writing, commenting, and learning with this community.  This year I've decided to try to  focus my writing around happiness .  Stop by  today's link up  to join the conversation or find some great reading.  Maybe it was the warmer temperatures.  Maybe it was the sunshine.  Maybe it was the fact that I hadn't had a soda for nearly three months, but today I found happiness. Let me explain. For some time, my daughter worked to get me to quit drinking diet pop.  She preached about the problems with drinking so much diet.  "The artificial sweeteners aren't good for you," she said.  Every time I poured a drink of diet soda, she had another reason I shouldn't be drinking it.  I knew she was right, but every one needs a vise or two and I was quite sure there were worse habits I could have. One day I poured the fizzy brown l