Thursday, September 29, 2016

Making My Mom's Potato Salad

I think this potato salad is similar to German potato salad. This recipe is not exact, but is tastes so much like my Mother's that I only make and eat this potato salad. Everyone loves it, even many who say they do not like potato salad. I usually make it for a crowd so that is what I have pictured (12 potatoes). 
To make a smaller batch, simply use half as much. Sometimes Mom would use left over mashed potatoes, but I never liked it as much as using the fresh boiled, chopped potatoes.
Boil the potatoes in their jackets, until tender when you stick a fork in them. This is enough for a large crowd. Boil equal amount of eggs (12) for 7 minutes, drain and set aside to cool.

Drain and set aside to cool.

The skins will come off easily. Scrape off the skin and cut into chunks.

I use an egg slicer to cut up the eggs.

Cut one way, turn a quarter turn and cut into smaller pieces. I didn't picture this but next you cut sweet pickles into small chunks.

Combine eggs, potatoes and pickles. Pour dressing on top of the mixture and stir.

Put in a clean bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour. I usually add pepper to the top. You could garnish with olives, red peppers, etc. My family likes it very plain, no onions or peppers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Painting Flamingos in Flow

A while back a friend sent me a Ted Talk about 8 things happy people do. I watched it taking notes as it replayed. Most of the 8 actions were things I do, but one action stood out to me, it was to spend more time doing things in the state of flow. I'd not heard of flow but I recognized it. When our painting group gets together we are so focused on the task that time quickly slips from us. That is what I knew as getting in the zone or being present. Now I have a new term for that state. And I know one action that takes me there - painting.

I painted a group of flamingos, called a pat. I wanted to paint an individual flamingo, up close and personal. So I began looking for a picture of a single flamingo to paint. I found a picture from a nature calendar and tried painting these two in my 5x7 art journal.

Yesterday I found Clive 5sArt you tube video of one flamingo so I tried painting one flamingo. I was stoked to paint the flamingo, in the state of flow! Now I want to try it with a marsh background.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


It is life in a small town.
This is the 70th year for the Puxico Homecoming, sponsored by the VFW. Family and class reunions are planned, Main Street is blocked and filled with nightly carnival rides and games to keep the young at heart busy. Non profit clubs set up booths to offer chances on guns, a toy car, a toy tractor, quilts, or a tool box. A few politicians are allowed to have a stand. On the last night we stop at each booth and buy chances for these items. 

The first night begins with the contests to decide who will be Little Miss & Miss Puxico for 2016. This year honored all past queens. Mrs. Anne Smith was there to represent 1951, the picture shows winners from 1968, 1970, 1974, 1975 & 1980. 

I was a contestant in 1968 when I was 16. I remember feeling nervous and uncomfortable. I didn't get called back for a second walk around the stage. I didn't expect to win but I was disappointed. My family from Texas was visiting and they cheered for me. I remember what a difficult time I had trying to choose the clothes I wore afterward to walk up & down the midway. The whole night was an important event. Later I put the glittered fan with my number in a scrapbook and never entered another beauty contest.

The VFW Food stand includes BBQ goat, hamburger and BBQ pork. The Ladies Auxiliary sells corn dogs. The Methodist Church sells fried potato chips covered with cheese. The carnival has food stands with funnel cakes, cotton candy, candy apples and popcorn. 

I've worked in the goat burger & corn dog stands many evenings with my fellow teachers. I've sat at booths for the Puxico Library and car club selling chances to raise money for their future community efforts. 

Every night has bingo, square dancing and attendance prize drawings. The high school band boosters manage the bingo stand. It offers players a chance to rest their tired feet and win a game. The square dancers combine a kind of clog step with do si dos. A group of musicians play the old tunes, sometimes a caller directs the dancing. I noticed a change occurred several years ago. When I was a child, everyone who wasn't on the dance floor stood around watching the dancing and visiting with old friends. Nowdays people bring lawn chairs to watch the square dancing and renew friendships. The last night the music is the best and continues til early morn. Everyone is exhausted but reluctant to let go of this special week. 

Bracelet night occurs most nights to help families afford to return each evening. Special events include: Wednesday night - church in the park, Thursday - the Goatburger Classic golf tournament, Thursday night -  music fills the park, Friday morning- babies aged zero to age 2 will be judged in various categories and Friday night alumni from Puxico High School meet. Saturday is the biggest day of all with an antique tractor show, classic cars on display, a parade winding through town with the local marching band, drawing for toys at 5:00, and the crowded midway. 

I've been in the parade several times, once on the Future Homemakers' float, once holding my baby when he won in the baby contest, in classic cars, a rat rod, on a trailer with classmates for our 45th class reunion. I love waving to all the people lined up to watch as we go past, but I love watching the parade with the extended family even more. 

Afterward the streets are cleaned and things get back to normal. We know because school begins midweek.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Flamingos with Acrylics

I played with some different shades of green to complete the reeds in this picture of flamingos. The original artist, Clive, has several tutorial videos on YouTube. Here is the link for painting the flamingos.

Of course mine does not look like his, but it is a beginning for me. I always think I can paint something right over it later. One tip I learned from him was to mix the base layer with Gesso, it really covers much better.  

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Summer Reading List

I learned to read at an early age, but I was a reluctant reader in school. I don't know why, but I remember resisting the act of reading a chapter book and always used the book jackets to write my book reports. In elementary school I could score in the upper percentiles on achievement tests, but my grades did not reflect that. Teachers would make comments on my report card saying that I "must work harder". I didn't know how to work at schoolwork. I remember how much my Mom helped me study geography when I had chicken pox, missed a week of school and got behind. Now I love geography, but it was hard in 3rd grade.

My sixth grade teacher brought me adventure comic books to encourage me to read. I read the adventures of Robinson Crusoe and "Last of the Mohicans". But I didn't pursue other opportunities. The first summer, I actually was engrossed in a long book was the summer I was 12 or 13. I remember laying on  a pallet under the big oak tree in our back yard, reading and crying as I read. The book was "Gone With the Wind". It seemed to be the perfect timing between my age and the sweet summer to read a conflicted love story. Now I have shelves filled with books I love and have read most of them. There is still an occasional book that I start, but don't finish.

So you can understand why I was successful working with reluctant readers and writers. I know their frustrations of starting and reluctance to finish a task. Whenever I have the opportunity, I use activities that encourage teachers to include writing tasks with science lessons. In today's email from Project Learning Tree, I found a short list of books to encourage kids to read during the summer. I would like to share the link in hopes that the reader is challenged to encourage kids to use some of their time this summer to fall in love with reading.

Here is the first book:


Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring Awakening

NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 22: "write a poem in honor of Earth Day. This could be about your own backyard, a national park, or anything from a maple tree to a humpback whale. Happy writing!"

Gentle breezes blowing awakening all from sleep
Smells, sights, and sounds abound
Kindly celebrate our precious earth every day 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How to See the Country

NaPoWriMo Day 19 prompt: Many years ago, “didactic” poetry was very common – in other words, poetry that explicitly sought to instruct the reader in some kind of skill or knowledge, whether moral, philosophical, or practical. . . write the latter kind of “how to” poem – a didactic poem that focuses on a practical skill. Hopefully, you’ll be able to weave the concrete details of the action into a compelling verse. Also, your “practical” skill could be somewhat mythological, imaginary, or funny, 

How to see the Country

Choose roads that drive right through small towns
Count the churches as you drive through
Avoid divided highways
Fill up with gas when you start
Get more gas the first time you see it reasonably priced
Pack a cooler with ice and water
Pack a few snacks
Stop when you see a bathroom
Go a few miles further to see an historic site
Turn around when you think you missed something
Stay at a bed and breakfast
Tour a museum when you have an opportunity 
Stop to explore a site
You may not be that way ever again

Monday, April 18, 2016

Potatoes Wearing Jackets

And now for our prompt (optional, as always)! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore. 

Making potato salad for a family picnic
I told my younger cousin
I'll boil the potatoes with the jackets on

She questioned me, "Whaaat?"
She looked confused 
"What do you mean?"

I showed her the unpeeled potato.
This is how our grandma always did it
It saves time and uses more of the potato

That's too funny!
Potatoes with their jackets on
Where did that phrase begin?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Waste not

The NaPoWriMo day 17 prompt: 
find, either on your shelves or online, a specialized dictionary. This could be, for example, a dictionary of nautical terms, or woodworking terms, or geology terms. Anything, really, so long as it’s not a standard dictionary! Now write a poem that incorporates at least ten words from your specialized source.

I used a dictionary of Native Americsn terminology to write the poem below. 

Use everything, waste nothing
Bast woody fibers used to
Make cordage for baskets
Sinew from deer used as
Sewing material and bow strings
Beaver teeth used as 
Cutting tools and amulets
Quills from a porcupine used as
Decoration and weaving
Rabbit stick carved from an oak used to
Throw at small game
Ramada branches used to
make a sun shade
Spool carved from sandstone used in
Tuckahoe plants used as 
Edible roots
Sagamite made into
Hot liquid mush
Da nebo, it is finished

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Friday, April 15, 2016

Sharecroppers life

NaPoWriMo Day 15: write a poem that incorporates the idea of doubles. You could incorporate doubling into the form, for example, by writing a poem in couplets. Or you could make doubles the theme of the poem, by writing, for example, about mirrors or twins, or simply things that come in pairs. Or you could double your doublings by incorporating things-that-come-in-twos into both your subject and form.


Worked the land
To survive

Spring planting
Cotton seeds

Vegetable gardens
To survive

Summer field work
Chop weeds

Around the cotton
To survive

Pick vegetables
Can vegetables

Fall harvest
To survive

Pick the cotton
Share the money

Pack up and move
To survive

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Celebrate an Nonagenarian

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 14 prompt: try a seven-line poem called a san san, which means “three three” in Chinese (It’s also a term of art in the game Go). The san san has some things in common with the tritina, including repetition and rhyme. In particular, the san san repeats, three times, each of three terms or images. The seven lines rhyme in the pattern a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d.

Ninetieth birthdays don't happen every day
Celebrations mark the monumentous milestone
Family and friends gather to honor the nonagenarian

Purchased table decorations and tied balloons to mark the way
The dinner plates had nothing left but a rib bone
The oldest sibling was the resident authoritian

One hundred people marked the monumentous celebration!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fortune Cookie Haiku

NaPoWriMo prompt: 
The number 13 is often considered unlucky, so today I’d like to challenge you to beat the bad luck away with a poem inspired by fortune cookies. You could write a poem made up entirely of statements that predict the future (“You will meet a handsome stranger”), aphoristic statements (“The secret to getting ahead is getting started)” or just silly questions (“How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?”) Or you could use a phrase you’ve actually received in a real fortune cookie as a title or first line.

Joyous news coming
Ruby Jean made her entrance
A great neice arrived! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Index Poetry

NaPoWriMo Day 12  prompt: write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat in the style of this poem by Thomas Brendler. Happy writing!

Baby boomers, move to the suburbs 
Backyard revolutions, begin with BBQ pits
Beavers, lose their homes
Behavioral ecology, is forgotten
Being where you are, is where it's at
Bicycles, the old that is new transportation 
Biodiversity in backyards, begin with bird feeders
Bird songs, follow
Bonding, occurs between man and nature
Botanical sense of place, is the ultimate appreciation
Brain gap, starts to appear
Burial, is required
Button parks, the final resting place.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sweet Gum

NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 11: write a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does. I think of the “surprise” ending to this James Wright Poem as a model for the effect I’m hoping you’ll achieve

Sweet gum male parts flowering
Red, green and tiny
How does this camera zoom?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Found poetry

The prompt from NaPoWriMo for April 10:  write a “book spine” poem. This involves taking a look at your bookshelves, and writing down titles in order (or rearranging the titles) to create a poem. Some fun images of book spine poems can be found here.

Wandering about in the darkness
I can't make it to the Safe Haven
How will I overcome this wasteland

The Lucky Ones are already there 
They are rested, warm and jubilant
Actual Pilgrims in Paradise

Enjoying conversations around the fire
Drinking toasts
And planning the next adventure

While I trudge along in the vast expanse
Listening to screeching sounds 
I increase my pace

Continuing to cover the unknown
Can it be, is it a mirage
I see A Light in the Attic

Timely arrival
A Wedding in December

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Day 9 challenge: write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write. This might be because it expresses something very personal that makes you uncomfortable – either because of its content.

This isn't an easy task, I've thought about it during the busy day. When I got home I realized I had kept a secret this very day...I suppose I can reveal it.

Vintage finds
Each one of a kind 
Should I
Which one do I like 
All so unique
Different sizes, colors and shapes
The sales lady was so helpful
Encouraging me, here try this one
I've sold the one I'm wearing three times today
Um, no, thank you
I'll take the smaller one
Using the credit card that had an overpayment
I didn't spend any cash
Walked away with a new vintage find.
And the cost was $65.55.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Peony from Childhood

NaPoWriMo prompt for today: Poets have been writing about flowers since, oh, the dawn of time. So today, I challenge you to add your own poem to this long tradition, by finding a flower, and versifying in its honor. Happy writing!

White massive
Sprawled on the
North side of our drive
Every visitor must notice the round bulbous blooms
Planted before we arrived there by previous owners 
Who planted landscapes around edges
We grew vegetables
To sustain

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Scribbled notes crinkled into submission
Tell the unknown story
Quickly burn the notes before they talk

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I'm not good at coffee

The NaPoWriMo prompt for April 6: "write a poem about food. This could be a poem about a particular food, or about your relationship to food in general. Or it could simply be a poem relating an incident that involves food, like David Ignatow’s “The Bagel”. Still not convinced? Perhaps these thirteen food poems will give you some inspiration."

I never knew so much poetry was focused on food! I was savoring every poem I read and quickly thought of my favorite dishes. I settled on my favorite coffee from Central America and my favorite brewing method, pour-over coffee.

I'm not good at coffee

Coffee requires precision
I'm not good at precision
Nor care to make the coffee

Freshly roasted coffee beans
Guatemalan beans
Express order beans online

Grind beans using burr grinder
Exactly measure
I'm not good at precision

Heat water to boiling, cool
Use exact ratio
Of coffee to hot water

I’m not good at precision
Need timer and scale
Nor care to make the coffee

I slowly pour the water
Let the water boom
I'm not at all accurate

Heck, I'll drive two plus hours
My fave coffee spot
It will be most delicious!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Better Boy Tomatoes

The prompt for April 5: spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities.

Red Monster, Goat's Beard and Golden Rave
Not one out performs Better Boy plants
Buckets of tomatoes were given
People followed me from the grocery
Just to pick beauties for their table
Or grab some for fried green tomatoes
Few others had the bountiful crop
One alone filled a round dinner plate
Canned jars of salsa and tomatoes
Enjoyed them all winter in soup dishes
No Pink Cadillac or Jelly Beans 
I'll stay true to Better Boy plants

Monday, April 4, 2016

NaPoWriMo 2016 day 4

The prompt for April 4 was to write a poem referring to T. S. Elliot’s, “The Waste Land”. In it he writes that April is the cruelest month. I feel that April brings us closer to spring-like days filled with sun.

January, you were a difficult if not cruel month
You brought illness, doctor visits and hospital stays
February, you have been a sweet, comforting month
You brought celebrations, anniversaries, warm days
March, you were easy, then challenging for everyone
You brought Easter, a new great niece and recovery
April, you’re windy, ushering storms, indeed cruel
Not the cruelest month, you won't quietly diminish

Sunday, April 3, 2016

NaPoWriMo Day 3

the prompt for day 3: write a poem in the form of a letter to fan or celebrity

Ode to Dale Evans

A woman with character

Strength, grit and beauty

Accomplished, earthy cowgirl

With courage and attitude

Dale Evans faced her world

Full of "go get em" spirit

Cowgirls forever choose right

Defending those who

Are down and out, defenseless

"Cowgirl is an attitude..."

Dale wrote, a life code

One we can use as a guide.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


The prompt for April 2, write about family.

Robbed of her birthright
as firstborn
Life full of struggle 

Friday, April 1, 2016


A lune for NaPoWriMo 2016
(5-3-5 pattern of words or syllables)

Dinner with the crowd
Conversations, too

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring Tulips

Tulips blooming now
Brightly colored, reaching up
To the sun's warm glow

SOL #16 Day 31

Some numbers in my life:

2 children in my 1st grade class
3 years to earn BS in Elem Ed  
4 # principals I worked with in 29 yrs
5 years worked in the shoe factory
6 # jobs all for 1 school district
7 shoe size that used to be a 6
8 # of classic cars
9 counties assigned for work
10 years at 3rd career-Conservation Ed!
11th Gr. Lunch cost .20 hot dog & soda
12th Gr. 1st trip to NOLA
14 # Nieces & nephews
16 age got driver's license
17 age graduated High School
20 age got married
22 age started college
25 age Mom died, began teaching
29 years worked in school I graduated
34 my age we adopted our son
38 acres of land we own
44 years married
57 age earned Ed.D Ed. Leadership
$90 cost of sem. undergrad tuition 1974
$275 cost of sem. graduate tuition 2000 

Numbers do tell part of a story.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

SOL #16 Day 30

Today I felt a guiding presence in several situations that could have been disastrous.
One of those involved our beloved Golden Retriever, Ellie. I was working from home and let my dog out in the fenced in back yard. Suddenly the weather changed and I heard thunder. My dog is afraid of storms so I stopped working to check on her. I could not find her. She was not hiding in the bushes. She was not on the patio. She was not in the backyard. No gate appeared to be breached. I started looking beyond the enclosed backyard and frantically calling her name. She doesn't often come running when called. She often pays no attention to her location and wanders off. Even though she is a large dog, she is difficult to see. But I saw her in the field looking in my direction, she stopped what she was doing to listen to me call her. I ran out the gate and headed toward her location calling her name. She came running to meet me and we quickly ran toward the house safe from the approaching storm.

I was so thankful the event ended as it had. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SOL #16 Day 29

My cell phone rings and I don't recognize the phone number. I had a call earlier from a number I didn't recognize and it was from my allergist. I thought this second call might be a similar call. When I answered hello, the caller asked, "Who's this?" 
My first response was, "Who is this?" 
I heard a little laugh and the caller said, "Wrong number." Then she hung up. It must have been a wrong number, but I wondered how she knew with so few words. Was it my voice? How did I sound? What should I have said? I was thinking first she should have stated who she was. Should have told her my name? Our conversation was over before it really began. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

SOL #16 Day 28

This year, I've failed to write every day for this challenge. I just couldn't do it. I ask myself why. I told myself I was busy. I thought I didn't have anything to write about. My writing didn't measure up to what I expected. My writing seemed troubled and I don't show that to the world. So I resisted and didn't post for a few days. I feel guilty. I've read so many superb posts that have encouraged me to continue to try. So here is a post for Day 28.

We spent Easter with some of our family members. Everyone could not be there, we celebrated with those who could and remembered those members who could not attend. Everyone brought food and treats. I made cupcakes that we decorated on Saturday. I found directions on Pintrest to decorate the cupcakes to look like chicks and bunnies. They weren't exactly the same, but the little kids grinned when they say them and the cupcakes tasted great! I also took chocolate bunnies and my standby, potato salad. I took the picture book, Peep and Egg, and it read to the little guys. They sat for the story to be read a couple of times. The day was fun, we made new memories.

In the afternoon our son and his wife headed home so we visited the aunt who lives in the nursing facility. We took her an Easter basket with sugar free chocolates. She said her son brought her an Easter basket and those were the first ever! We sat together and talked about our day with the family, trying to brighten her day. It was difficult to leave. Then we visited a long time friend in the hospital. She and her husband were both surprised to see us. We sat and told stories for two hours. We had such a nice visit remembering how our lives intertwined.

At the end of the day, I could not think of a better way to have spent our day.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

SOL #16 Day 24

Some days are filled with distractions.
Some days projects get pushed aside. 
Some days nothing seems to get accomplished. 
Today was not one of those days. 
Today was filled with addressing the checklist of to do items. 
Then checking the box when each task was done. 
It felt good. 
No, it felt awesome! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

SOL #16 Day 22

"Sharing a few treasures...", written by Linda Baie and found here inspired me to write about a few treasures of my own.

I have a few pieces that hold a special place in my heart.
This jewelry box was a gift to my Mom from my Dad. He bought it when he was stationed in Korea. I remember she kept the important
papers inside. My brother gave this to me after both our parents passed.

This library table has one edge that was replaced with a plain board, not carved like the front and other side. My Grandfather saved this table for me. It has some connection to the adoption. It is older than I am. I'm sure it has a story.

This doily was given to me by the mother of one of my students. She made it by hand. It is beautifully made. I've never seen another one like it. I always remember her children when I see the doily.

This picture was drawn by our son when he was 9 or 10. He must have loved bugs then. I remember how much he loved dinosaurs before that.

The carved donkey belonged to my Grandpa, pictured with Granny behind the donkey. I remember the donkey sat on his dresser along with a few other pieces that would not be considered collectibles. He kept everything just so.

I keep too many things. I know this because I attend estate auctions. It's an event where things such as these lose their meanings and end up becoming items filling a box to be auctioned to the highest bidder. But that is better than having family members at a standoff because each wants to be the highest bidder and they can't make concessions to give and take and share. They are only things, things that might trigger memories, but the memories of a life are what is important.

Monday, March 21, 2016

SOL #16 Day 21

Keeping the 25 year friendship going finally became too much. When they divorced we felt pulled apart by each one. It felt as though our loyalty was threatened. Relationships were strained. Gatherings meant we had to choose which to invite. Distance occurred because it was the most comfortable place. Outings became one friend with one friend, not including the other. 
Then changing jobs meant our schedules were different, often conflicting. Time spent talking on the phone became difficult. Running in to each other seemed awkward. Even calling felt uncomfortable. 
So we quietly stopped. An empty place in life. Wondering what could have been different. All that we were is gone. 

Making new friends is a challenge. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

SOL #16 Day 20

I tried another fib poem. 

Then snow
Flurries fall
On Spring's arrival
A mean trick by Mother Nature!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

SOL#16 Day 19

After a cup of coffee, I took my dog, Ellie, outside for some exercise. It was a cool morning and she felt frisky. She galloped across the field and explored the ground.  I walked behind and picked up fallen branches. In a short amount of time my fingers were getting cold and the pile of tree limbs was growing big. All the while she sniffed around. I encouraged her to head back toward the house. She galloped part of the way and caught up with me. I think she enjoyed her time and I got some yard work done. She stayed outside in the fenced in area. I went inside to have another cup of coffee. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

SOL #16 Day 18 Fib

During my research about the Fibonacci sequence, I found the sequence can be used to write poetry. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers. You can begin the sequence with number 0 or 1 and continue by adding 2 numbers together. For example, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ... The sequence sets the number of syllables or words in poetry. Most poems only make it to 6 lines. I thought it might make an interesting slice. Here is my attempt at writing a Fib.

On the patio
I can identify each one.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SPL #16 Day 15

Within a few days of warm temperatures, it happened! It looks springlike. 

The grass needs mowing. 
The rose bush sprouted leaves. 
Birds are nesting. 
People are wearing shorts and flip flops.
Green is appearing everywhere in time for St. Patrick's Day.
Tomorrow I'm teaching a teacher workshop, Marching Toward Monarchs.

Monday, March 14, 2016

SOL #16 Day 14

I've spent the past 10 years learning about specifics in nature. One aspect I've enjoyed learning is bird identification. Ten years ago, I knew very little. I remember tagging along with seasoned naturalists on an early morning hike in the forest. I was amazed how easily they could pinpoint different birds by listening to the sounds. I felt inadequate and envious. 

I began teaching students about some common backyard birds. I went on more hikes in the woods with passionate birders. I took a class with professional birders. Slowly I began picking up the intricate sounds of different birds. I taught more students and even taught birdingat  teacher workshops. 

My family noticed and began to ask how I could identify different birds. I was proud, I enjoy learning about God's creatures This afternoon I was outside and thought I heard a familiar bird. I carefully moved around the tree to locate the songbird. Then I got my phone, opened the IBird app and typed in the bird I thought I was hearing. The colors were wrong and the neumonic was not right, but the information suggested a similar bird, often confused with it. I typed in that bird and realized it was the bird I was hearing and seeing! I heard then spotted a Rose-breasted Grosbeak! All by myself! 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

SOL #16 Day 13

Today I read several interesting posts about grey hair. I was interested because I hsve wrestled with my hair color for so many years. I hated to see the silver show up so quickly after color, it seemed to be noticeable to me in a week. About 11 years ago an 8th grade student was standing at my desk as I wrote her a note. She ask, "Mrs. Holloway, how did you get that silver in your hair?" I laughed, it was time to make an appointment for the beauty shop.

I hated the unnatural colors that my hair reflected in some light. I often changed colors, trying to settle on a flattering one. My natural hair was dark brown but I used shades of red hair color for years. I didn't want to be one of those little old ladies with fake looking hair, so I tried highlights. They kept getting lighter so I would have the beautician add lowlights. It was getting complicated and expensive and time consuming. And I was always asking for something different and never quite satisfied. 

Finally I decided I was old enough to own the grey. In November I ask my hairdresser, a former student, to help me go grey. She has helped the long process by blending some grey into the lighter color of my current hair. I have to her been since December but recently made an appointment because they have a new product that will help the blonder ends I new have blend with my 2 inch silver/grey roots. That way maybe I won't have to cut off my bob. It is almost long enough to put up & I'd dread to growing it out again.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

SOL #16 Day 12

Busy weekend
On the go
Doing, going

Busy Friday
Up at 6:00 am for a presentation at 8:00 am, clean up at 9:30, load vehicle, visit conference booths, at 11:00 travel 5 hours toward home.
6:00 pm attend club meeting, 7:30 dinner, 8:30 grocery shop, do a load of laundry.

Busy Saturday
Up at 6:00 am, make coffee, drink a cup and prepare 2 quiche pies for a shower brunch, wash fruit, head to shower by 9:30, clean up at noon, load dishes and head home, take gift to a birthday party at 1:00 pm, arrive home by 3 ready to relax a bit, walk the dog, do dishes, sort medicine in the tray for the week, cook dinner, catch up on a Big Bang Theory, read, write and go to bed.

Busy weekend
On the go
Doing, going

Friday, March 11, 2016

SOL #16 Day 11

I failed to post a slice yesterday. I packed, prepared for a presentation, joined a coworker and traveled 5 hours. Once there we met 4 other coworkers for dinner and conversation. They helped us set up our room for an 8:00 am presentation. We expected 50 to 70 attendees, so we really wanted to have our 8 learning centers in place.

We headed to our room around 9:30. I tried to write a slice but the internet wasn't cooperating, I didn't have anything to write and I finally gave up at 11:00 pm my time. I showered and went right to sleep. 

Today, now that the presentation is over I'm not stressed! We had a great crowd of 62 early childhood educators. They participated and shared their learning! 

I'm reminded of the phrase our small town newspaper columnist added to the end of each column, "A good time was had by all." 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SOL #16 Day 9

In the many years of living, here are a few things I've learned:

“When one door closes, another one opens.” New opportunities await.
“This, too shall pass.” Even at the darkest times
“You can't fish in a watermelon patch. But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to.” Roger Miller
To make decisions based on my values and beliefs. It's all you have, really
To let go, even when it hurts. 
To listen to children, even if they only want to talk about television
To give your all, you will be glad you did.
To speak up. I've heard the squeaking wheel gets the grease.
To accept that the problem can't always be fixed.
No one is perfect.
The good die young.
Travel while you have your health.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SOL # 16 Day 8

Inspiration has not arrived but i think I know why. I'll try to write a tribute to a young man  - a former student, coworker and friend.

Young, vibrant one day.
In the wrong place one day.

Friendly, industrious one day.
In the wrong time one day.

Horse trainer one day.
Empty saddle one day.

Father of two one day.
No grandfather one day.

Son, brother and husband one day.
Gone too soon one day.


Monday, March 7, 2016

SOL # 16 Day 7

I've procrastinated writing a post all day, I'm not sure why. I only know I'm running out of time, it's getting late. 

There are so many interesting writers, I feel it's a struggle for me to be that creative. I'm finding it difficult to concentrate and write comments on their posts.
Hopefully tomorrow I will be more engaged.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

SOL#16 Day 6

Today I was slow getting started. About 8 I had two cups of coffee, then made breakfast. I was waiting for it to warm up before going outside. I should have gone to church. I workied on some art pages and finally realized my dog was ready to get outside, I thought it was warmer so I put on a jacket and took her out. While she explored I raked leaves and swept out the garage floor. I made fresh coffee, by then it was time to move some things. I should have taken Aleve. I rolled 5 wheels & tires to a different shed, swept more, etc. I did so much physical work, afterward I curled up in a blanket to ease my pain. After a brief rest, I made dinner. Now I'm taking that Aleve.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

SOL#16 Day 5

Today was a busy day for me. The weather was beautiful and sunny so I took my dog for a walk. She was happy. Then I had to drive an hour for a 3 hour nature art class. We used watercolors to create a sunset. Participants ranged in skills from beginning to seasoned. I fit sonewhere in the middle. I work at a different pace than most. I tend to jump in quickly and make changes as I go. Sometimes I get frustrated waiting for the group. I can understand those children who fidget or get off track because I do the same thing. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

SOL #16 Day 4

Stressing - about what to write. It's getting late in the day. I'm going to visit an aunt in the hospital. I hope I get this done in time.

Thankful - for other writers who share their ideas. Without them I would be really stuck.

Waiting - my husband called at 4 to ask if I wanted to visit our aunt and said he would like to leave at 5. I stopped what I was doing (painting the walls, put everything away and got ready)

Watching - My grandma always said "a Watchpot never boils". I know she was right. As soon as I leave my waiting station by the front door so I can see the sunshine and our drive, he will drive up.

Listening - I hear the door now.

Gotta run

Thursday, March 3, 2016

SOL Day 3

Last night my husband and I went out for dinner. Only on Wednesdays the BBQ place has chicken. I can't eat pork or beef so I don't like to go and smell the delicious BBQ when I can't have any. Since it was Wednesday, we extended a mid week grocery buying trip to include dinner. My BBQ chicken was good. 

While we were enjoying our food, I overheard a family sitting a few booths away. One little guy kept said, "Hey, Dad! Watch This! I heard him repeat the phrase again and again. I wanted to see what he was doing. I even went to the restroom, walking past their booth, to see if I could get a glimpse of him in action. To my dismay I saw nothing but the Mom eyeing me as I returned to our table. 

At least, I thought, his phrase would make a great story starter!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SOL 16 Day 2

I've a goal to write picture books for children. For the past three years, I have been taking actions to achieve my goal.
  • I'm a part of an online writing group, 12x12 or PbidMo. I have three notebooks full of ideas, beginnings. 
  • Within that group I found my way to join a writers critique group. I review their stories and offer comments. I stalled. It got harder for me to make constructive comments. I submitted one complete story for them to critique. They offered lots of helpful comments.  I stalled. 
  • I joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I registered for a conference this summer. 
Still, my goal is to write a children's picture book.

I'm so excited (and proud for her) to learn that one of my former 3rd grade students just published her picture book: Hey, Mom!

Hey, Mom!

Yesterday I purchased the sweetest book, Peep and Egg, written by a member of the critique group.
 Peep and Egg

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

SOL 16 Day 1

I decided to play the game from this web site:

 to let others know a bit about me. 

If you had a magic wand what would you wish for? Three wishes
I've always wished for a magic wand to clean up the piles of trash, eyesores that make me sad as I drive around the USA.

I'd use that wand to uplift children living in poverty, give them a warm home, good food and a hot bath. 

What did you want to become in the childhood?
I wanted to be a cowgirl, but I've never even owned a horse. Once when I rode with some friends I got thrown off into a barb wire fence and cut my hand. Not something that would happen to a good cowgirl, like Dale Evans. Grandma wanted me to be a nurse, but I had a weak stomach and would faint at the sight of blood. I decided to become a teacher. I made this dream come true. I love the 39 years I have spent in the field of education.

#SOL 2018 Day 31 Thank you, slicers.