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.