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Showing posts from 2021

Slice of Life: Back to My Sisterly Ways

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Dear Reader, I hope you won't think less of me after reading about my  duplicitous  ways... Monday "That's the sister I remember," my brother texted Monday evening just before game time.  I glanced out my car window at the fall mountain colors and had to laugh. It was a cruel move.  Flashback: Sunday Night  In our family fantasy league, I was matched against my brother in football and basketball for the week. My basketball team was taking care of themselves, but our football matchup score was 108.8 to 108.6 at the end of Sunday night football - and I was losing. Barely, but losing.  Upon close examination, I realized we each had left two spots empty on our team. In the busyness of an out-of-town trip, I had forgotten to add my kicker. While I had been hard at play, my brother, a superintendent in education, had evidently been hard at work and forgotten to add his defense. (Now you all know it isn't fair to pick on educators right now, but a sister has to do what a

Poetry Friday: Indulgence

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A road trip inspires (using that word loosely) a humorous poetry confession.  About once a year, I fall. Temptation too much for resistance. Golden Arches taunt me, call me, pull me; coaxing. Two all beef patties, special sauce, all of it, too much  to resist. Self-control doesn’t last  all year. Surrendering. Without regret. © Cathy L. Mere, 2021 It's Poetry Friday!  Today’s roundup  is hosted at Jama’s Alphabet Soup .  Stop by to enjoy some poetry and/or leave a link. 

Slice of Life: Survival Skills?

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Ahhhhh, fall. Jacket weather. Sweaters. Cool evenings. Beautiful colors. Bonfires. Candy corn and peanuts. Apples, squash, pumpkins. There's so much to love.  Grabbing my iPad, I headed out to the patio to read. The evening was perfect with a slight coolness in the air. The sun set over the field behind us coloring the sky in subtle pink, purple and yellow. Leaves of gold and red beginning to the pepper the green trees that surround our patio. The buzzing of insects finally quieted by the colder nights. Perfection! Though I came out to read, it wasn't long until the crisp fall feel got the better of me. I decided a bonfire was exactly what the moment needed. I walked to the woodpile and gathered a few logs that looked easy to get started burning, a few small sticks, and anything that looked like it might ignite. Piling it all into the bonfire pit, I tried to get the fire started. I tried. And tried. And triiiiieeeeed.  I was trying to devise a better plan - and lamenting the fa

Poetry Friday: The Season Between

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The Season Between I'm not sure  I've ever noticed the season  in between summer and fall: warm days, cool nights. I'm not sure I've ever noticed  the way summer and autumn  dance together: green leaves, grass growing. I'm not sure I've ever noticed the way the bush begins to turn: one red leaf, then two, then five. I didn't notice the change in the air, the subtle return of bonfires.  The time before  the yellow, the orange, the red. I didn't notice daylight sneaking away much earlier. The bird songs  slowly fading. The wind's return. The skittering of squirrels. Until today I hadn't noticed the season in between summer and fall. © Cathy L. Mere, 2021 It's Poetry Friday!  Today’s roundup  is hosted by Bridget Magee at  wee words for wee ones .  Stop by to enjoy some poetry and/or leave a link. 

Everyone Needs a Little Passion Planning

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The news is out. The new 2022 Passion Planners are available. I'm pretty psyched about the whole thing.  You might be asking yourself, "Why does she need a planner now that she's retired?" That's a terrific question. The answer is...I have passions to plan.  I started using the Passion Planner several years ago after a friend recommended it. I fell in love quickly with it! It really kept me organized. At the time, I used the large academic year planner. I loved the big pages, the month-at-a-glance view, the weekly layouts with times, and the ability to list big personal and professional to-dos for each week. (There was a short time they quit selling the large planners and I thought I might not live. Thankfully, that didn't last long.) In the years I used the planner, I never looked back. I loved everything about it.  Then, in the spring, I retired from teaching. Strangely - and even to my own surprise - the first thing I did was buy a new planner. I moved fro

Slice of Life: J Lo Probably Doesn't Eat Chips

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As evening set, I found myself grabbing the bag of chips. Yes, this move always puts me in red alert, but I never seem to be able to stop myself. Could I grab a few chips and walk away? You'd think. Could I put them in a bowl to monitor my portion? Perhaps. Instead, however, I grab the bag.  As I sat down with the chip bag knowing the direction this would go, I had to shake my head.  I'll bet J.Lo doesn't eat chips,  I thought to myself. I'll bet she doesn't grab that Ben & Jerry's pint from the freezer. I'll bet she makes much better life choices.  Women over fifty inspire me. It seems 50 might be the sweet spot of time and wisdom for many. After years of dedication to their career path many find their way to reach their goals. Some after years of working hard, find their way to higher places and achieve their greatest success in this stage of life. Some, after raising families, decide it's time to follow a dream. Some just decide it's time for

Poetry Friday: Simple Joys

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  It's Poetry Friday!  Today’s roundup  is hosted by Catherine at Reading to the Core . Stop by to enjoy some poetry and/or leave a link. 

Blogtober

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It's October. I've changed all the air fresheners in my house to a nice fall scent, the mums have been planted, and evenings on the patio are cool and comfy. October is the perfect time for jumping. In my younger days, I loved to jump into a pile of leaves. Now that I'm older and wiser, I like to choose jumps I can hand so I think it's time for a challenge. Several years ago I stumbled upon a podcast that discussed 30 day challenges. Sadly, it escapes me now where I first heard it (and the walk to the calendar that holds the answer is much too long...ha!). Doing something for 30 days seemed doable so I took heed of the advice to make a small change for 30 days. For many months after hearing that podcast, I planned a challenge for 30 days. Sometimes the challenge helped jumpstart a new habit. Sometimes it pushed me to finish a previously avoided job. Of course, the best challenges were the ones that just added a little extra to life. I never made the goals too big, but j

Slice of Life: When You're Vintage

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It was a mistake from the minute it began.  I'll just go through these shirts that are hanging today, I told myself. I pulled them out of the closet and placed each in one of three piles: love it (very small pile), meh (it fits and it's okay, but I don't love it), buh-bye. Once the shirts were piled on the bed, I realized I should go through all of my clothes that were hanging in our tiny closet as well as the pile of shoes which desperately needed sorted and returned to their organizer. The closet is small and to do these tasks in parts, on different days, really didn't make much sense. Pulling items out of a closet is quick and usually where the trouble begins. It wasn't long until my dress pants were in sorted piles, dresses were pulled out, and shoes were out of the closet and strewn across the floor. As I looked around the room, I realized what had begun as a thirty-minute clutter clearing task for the day was now a project. There was no turning back. Quickly I

Slice of Life: It's Been a Long Time, Brood X

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The sound is incessant as the cicadas fly from tree to tree. I knew they were coming, but I guess I had forgotten what it was like. Maybe it's the first time I've had enough time to really pay attention - or maybe it's that they've interrupted my patio time. Maybe I just chose to wipe the memory from my mind. This is the fourth time I have been around for their visit. The first time I was much too small to remember, the next I was probably living the life, the last time I was quite busy with the day to day life of raising a family, and this time I'm well aware of their arrival and look forward to their quick departure.  I try to remind myself how exciting it must be to be out and about after growing and sleeping for 17 years ( learn more here ). I mean, we're all pretty excited to be out and about after being home for most of the last year due to COVID. Just multiply that joy by 17. A lot has happened since they arrived last. Facebook was just beginning in 2004

Poetry Friday: Last Days

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Well, today was Jeff's last official day. He's now officially retired. My retirement was in March. Now we step together into a new chapter. Last days...     are always first days         of something else.  © Cathy L. Mere, 2021 It's Poetry Friday!   Today's roundup  is hosted by Michelle Kogan . Stop by to enjoy some poetry and/or leave a link. 

Slice of Life: Closing a Pandemic School Year

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This morning is my husband, Jeff's, last day with kids. It isn't just any last day, it's an Alice Cooper last day:   "School's out for summer, school's out forever." While Friday is his official last day, I know his last day with kids feels like the final day of his career. He retires at the end of this week. In 36 years of teaching, he's enjoyed every day with those crazy 8th graders. Thirty-six years in the same position. Thirty-six years and the only classroom move was because they tore down the old middle school and built a new one. At the beginning of this pandemic year, I encouraged him to go ahead and retire. I mean, (shhhh!) he wasn't getting any younger and the virus seemed unrelenting. "I want to see what the year brings," he said confidently and headed off to a new group students and a year of ever-changing circumstance.  This morning my phone has been buzzing with updates. I just received a video his students made, #JeffTok,

Poetry Friday: Now Dream YOUR Dream #poemsforMaryLee

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I can't think of a better way to celebrate Poetry Friday than to offer my best wishes to Mary Lee Hahn upon her retirement. It is a gift in this life to be given the opportunity to live more than one dream.  Now Dream YOUR Dream For years you have planted  the dreams others pursued, carefully tending  their fragile nature. Walking  beside  fellow travelers searching for paths to be taken, roads to travel, destinations  yet to be revealed.  Celebrating steps large  and small, nurturing tomorrows  still unknown. Now  it is your turn to chase words and moments, to savor quiet and  slow.  to discover new roads waiting for you.  Now  it is your turn      to dream. © Cathy L. Mere, 2021 It's Poetry Friday!   Today's roundup is hosted by Christie Wyman at  Wondering and Wandering . Stop by to enjoy some poetry and/or leave a link. 

Slice of Life: Be Kind to Yourself

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On Sunday, both of my daughters celebrated their first Mother's Day. It had me all nostalgic. I don't remember my first Mother's Day. Time does that.  My first plan was to write a list of things I would suggest for them in the coming years. I started thinking back to all the things I would do differently. Of course, that led me to all the things I also wouldn't change. Raising our kids was such a delight - and a lot of hard work. That's just how it is. It quickly became abundantly clear that there isn't a list of ways to perfect this motherhood thing and keep yourself afloat. Instead I think I would just have to say... Be kind to yourself.  On the days you could sleep  standing up.  when you aren't sure  the best way forward.  when you're certain you can't continue.  Be kind to yourself. There will be times when your child is sick and you'll wonder if they need a doctor. when they are challenging, and you'll wonder the best way help them grow

Slice of Life: Book Shopping...Isn't What It Used to Be

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Do you ever just catch yourself doing something and laugh at your own ridiculousness? I can make simple things hard. I can make quick jobs take forever. I can get mesmerized by craziest of side adventures. Today was one of those days where I had to chuckle at myself a bit.  Today I made my bookstore visit very 2021.  To begin, it should be noted that technology has certainly changed the way I do a lot of things. If I need a recipe, I almost always go to the internet. A simple search will result in several recipes and then I choose a favorite. It's changed the way I listen to music. Who would have guessed some day I'd hold all of my music right in my hand? Even crazier, who would have guessed I wouldn't have to own all the music to play it. Hello music subscription services. Looking for a new place to eat? Hello, YELP. Need a map? Google. I could go on for days.  Some things just aren't like they used to be. Sometimes that's a bad thing - and sometimes it's divin

National Poetry Month: Joy Awaits 30 of 30

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W e made it! This month I have been on the quest for joy. I've managed to write about a bit of joy each day.   The month has reminded me that joy is often found in the simplest of moments. Here is the final poem for National Poetry Month.  Joy Awaits Poetry books line shelves. Words tumble on pages. Placed in perfect arrangement. Arranged. Rearranged. Small moments captured. Quest for meaning. Days of dreaming. Arranged. Rearranged.  Soothes souls. Tells truths. Rights wrongs. Sings songs. Arranged. Rearranged. Syllables,  Words, Lines, Verse. Arranged. Rearranged. Poetry heals hearts.  Provides fresh starts.  Arranged. Rearranged.  Poetry.      Joy.           Found.  © Cathy L. Mere, 2021 It's Poetry Friday!  Today's roundup is hosted by Matt Forrest Esenwine at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme . Stop by to enjoy some poetry and/or leave a link.  It's National Poetry Month. This year, I selected " CHOOSE JOY " as my One Little  Word  Phrase. Since I'm on the looko

National Poetry Month: April Finale 29 of 30

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  April finale. The daffodils step aside. Tulips promenade. © Cathy L. Mere, 2021 It's National Poetry Month. This year, I selected " CHOOSE JOY " as my One Little  Word  Phrase. Since I'm on the lookout for JOY, it makes sense to share a poem each day this month about what I find. 

National Poetry Month: Afternoon Ride 28 of 30

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  Afternoon Ride pedal,  pedal,  go. follow the trail. enjoy  paths of green. afternoon  bike  ride. railway reimagined.  © Cathy L. Mere, 2021  It's National Poetry Month. This year, I selected " CHOOSE JOY " as my One Little  Word  Phrase. Since I'm on the lookout for JOY, it makes sense to share a poem each day this month about what I find. 

National Poetry Month: Morning Radiance 27 of 30

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Well, I awoke just after sunrise to find the moon still hanging and the sky returned to blue. Moon was in my backyard now and shining brighter than bright. It had managed to radiate an entire extra sphere of light that doubled it in size. I couldn't get a good picture with my phone, but trust me it was glorious. I think moon must have decided to wait on sun's return so I thought I'd continue their game in today's poem. Check out yesterday's Evening Show  for last night's game. Morning Radiance  "I'm ready to play,"      sun says to moon. As she returns to the sky      not a moment too soon. "I've had some good sleep,      and I see you're still here. Let's play a game      that will bring the world cheer." Moon stayed awake      just for this chance. The two look at each other      and start the grand dance. "Let's play Shine,"      says sun as she rises. "I can do that,"      says moon, full of surpris

National Poetry Month: Evening Show 26 of 30

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  It's always something to see the full moon rise in the blue sky of evening. It's National Poetry Month. This year, I selected " CHOOSE JOY " as my One Little  Word  Phrase. Since I'm on the lookout for JOY, it makes sense to share a poem each day this month about what I find.  Evening Show "Play with me sun,"      the moon pleads from afar. Shining so bright,      it feels like a star. "Let's share the blue sky,"      moon says with a grin. As her circle of light      takes night for a spin. The sun smiles brightly,     i n orange and in red "It's been a long day,      I'm going to bed."  © Cathy L. Mere, 2021

National Poetry Month: To Paint a Day 25 of 30

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  To Paint a Day dawn breaks.     opportunity abounds. blank canvas     a waits the first stroke. the artist     pauses to consider a color palette     of possibility. © Cathy L. Mere, 2021  Photo by  Mohamed Nohassi  on  Unsplash It's National Poetry Month. This year, I selected " CHOOSE JOY " as my One Little  Word  Phrase. Since I'm on the lookout for JOY, it makes sense to share a poem each day this month about what I find. 

National Poetry Month: The Rumor Among Trees 24 of 30

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  Weeping Cherry was the first to know,      a s it witnessed spring's final, fluffy white snow.  With vigor it shook its soft pink blooms,      a nd said goodbye to the gray and the gloom.  It shared the good news with Crimson King,       who swayed with delight and started to sing.  For the occasion she'd saved a perfect red dress,      w ith green all around, she was sure to impress.  Crimson told Sugar, and they cackled with glee      a t the anticipation of what would soon be.  Sugar Maple smiled, as she looked down,      a t the beautiful flowers that covered the ground.  Old Oak watched the celebration with a steady eye;      s he noted the warmth and the bright blue sky.  The rumor among trees was most definitely true      s he reassured all as the gentle breeze blew.  The flowers heard Oak confirm the good news,      t hey started to waltz in their finest of hues.  The birds added music to Earth's morning song      f or the wise old oak had never been wrong.  The t

National Poetry Month: Pause 23 of 30

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  Pause Go ahead. Reset. Reboot. Breathe. Recharge. Restart. Unwind. Renew. Refresh. Relax. Rediscover. Revive. Center.  Revitalize.  Rejuvenate. Be. © Cathy L. Mere, 2021 It's Poetry Friday!   Today's roundup is hosted by Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core .  Stop by to enjoy some poetry and/or leave a link.  It's National Poetry Month. This year, I selected " CHOOSE JOY " as my One Little  Word  Phrase. Since I'm on the lookout for JOY, it makes sense to share a poem each day this month about what I find.