Sunday, May 22, 2016

Celebrating at Life's End

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for Hosting the Weekly #CelebrateLu!

Yesterday, I attended a beautiful celebration of the life of the wonderful lady pictured:  Carolyn Becknell.  I have the privilege of working with 3 of her daughters (2 of them directly).  Her four daughters are dedicated and strong women who reaped the benefits of many gifts from their mom.  Yesterday's celebration perfectly demonstrated how she modeled unyielding strength and dignity all the way up to the end of her life.

Each of her daughters got up and eulogized their mom in their own special way.  It started with Sherry-the daughter Hal and Carolyn adopted.  She honored her mom by reading the letter her mom wrote on the day she was adopted.  It was so special to hear the details of how Sherry came to be the daughter Carolyn and Hal had hoped for after they were first married.

Then, Saundra spoke and thanked her mom for all of the wonderful things she'd done and taught her.  Her talent was shared in her written words.  Sauni's message was sweetly delivered just matching her personality.  As I listened to her, I prayed that she could make it through.  She did it!   Anyone listening would quickly know that "Sauni Kay" loved her mom dearly.

Next, Heather, the music teacher of the family, shared her talent and love for her mom through a song she'd written.  She played the piano as she sang.  She openly shared that she'd just written the chords to go with the song at 4 am the night or morning before the celebration.  The song was beautiful and moving.

Finally, Christy shared her talent for humor yet deep thinking as she shared her "Top 10" List.  The list was sprinkled with humor (apparent in Christy's witty personality) and serious times too ending with her #1 time with Carolyn.  She shared how Carolyn comforted her daughter even though it was she who was nearing the end of life.

Our little family attended the celebration together.  It was raining and my daughter noted that it was probably raining tears because everyone was sad that Carolyn passed.  Natalie shared how she was glad Carolyn's body was still here but that her soul was now in Heaven.  I told her that I knew Carolyn was in Heaven as an angel and her spirit was learning to fly especially with the beautiful music that her children were making.

Carolyn will live on in the beauty and love of all of her daughters and their children.  Her life here making an impact on those who knew her and even those who didn't.  It was quite a celebration of her life's end.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stop Thief!

Slice of Life Tuesday @Two Writing Teachers
It keeps happening!  The Thief returns again and again,
every time taking a little more, 
a little more, 
a little more...

At first, a tiny bit gone missing noticed by few, 
questioned by some, 
uncertain for one...

More stealing happening over the years, 
the memories of us and things shared beginning to disappear...

I hate the thief!  
Wondering why we're all the target?

So much pain and sadness...
especially for one who knows every day and one who doesn't.

The dementia is taking its toll on my's wearing thin on my dad.  
She always seems to know 
but not dad.  

Dad, the strong man
But growing weary
the mood swings...the anger, 
the words that won't come for her
They are gone...the physical motions take their place
Disrupting the flow-
Of Peace and Tranquillity 
Happiness gone missing...

The latest triggers-lawn mowing, food, junk mail, and the checkbook...
She doesn't mean it.  
It's not her.  
It's. NOT. HER.

I pray for patience for the whole family.  Wishing Dementia,
the thief,
would stop the taking and pain-bringing.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Learning about Thing Link

DigitLit Sunday
Thanks to MargaretGSimon for hosting!
On Thursday, I attended the meeting at the middle school with parents and the seventh grade teachers to learn about how the students will be going one to one with Chromebooks.  It was a great learning opportunity.  I learned about how the seventh grade teachers are currently using Google Classroom and tools they added to the classroom stream to allow for digital learning assignments.

One of the assignments that I learned about is called a ThingLink.  The ThingLinks allow for students to explore a group of themed links (similar to padlet) so that the images, videos, slideshows can be viewed right within the classroom stream via the thinglink website.  It allows the creator to collect links to external sites and strategically place them throughout the image chosen for the background.

Here is my first thinglink.  It's about summer reading.

I enjoyed learning how to make it as the site had helpful video tutorials that I could watch to learn more about the product and how to use it.  I also see the potential as an inquiry project that could showcase final work of an individual or collaborative group work.  I think the possibilities are endless.  Try it out and see what you think.  Here is the link to sign up for an account.

I wonder if you've used Thinglink before and for what function?  Please share in the comments below.  Thanks and happy learning!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Joy in the Busyness of the Week

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for hosting 
the #celebratelu this week at her blog

Like all educators in the field right now, as we near the end of the year, our weeks get busier and busier.  This week was full of something special to do each day!

Last day of pre-school PSR Celebration.  We've been getting up early on Sundays to get ready for pre-school PSR (religion class) to learn about God.  The children each received a certificate of completion from their teachers.  Natalie adored them and is disappointed that we're finished with class until next year.

The Baseball Parade around the city's circle!  It was so special-I could not stop smiling as Natalie was singing to anyone who would listen, "I love my city!  My city is awesome!" over and over.  I bubbled and bubbled with giggles, smiles and happy eyes...

Monday-The Inter-generational band concert between the Hudson Middle School 8th grade band and New Horizons (the band my husband joined to learn how to play the bass).  He's still going strong and making progress.  The music joyfully blended as the two bands joined together conducted by an instructor from Baldwin Wallace College.  So moving.  I gave them a standing ovation.  They sounded amazing even though they practiced together only once...

Tuesday-Another T-ball game for Nattie.  It was freezing cold at game time and part of the field was under water.  Despite the cold and mud, the kids had a ball doing their thing.  It was quite a hoot to watch the little guys and gals playing together...3 innings of joy!

Wednesday-Evening work time with my friend Rosemary.  We designed a framework and curriculum for a summer ELL K-2 reading program that will take place at two of the buildings in the district for 8 weeks.  Looking forward to training the teachers and seeing the fruits of our work at the end of summer.

Thursday-I attended a meeting at the middle school to learn about going 1-to-1 with Chromebooks for next year.  The teachers had an example of a Google Classroom Stream with various assignments.  I learned about some new tools-Thinglink, EDPuzzle, and Gizmos.  Have you heard of these?  I am looking forward to seeing more.  I know Kam will be engaged with lots of interesting learning projects next year.

Friday-I celebrated after work with some friends.  My happiest moment ended in playing dollies with Natalie.  She picked up her two friends and asked me to play.  We had conversation around the two friends going out and seeing a movie, pretend laughing at the theater, and walking home together when the movie ended.  It was so cute...I know I fell asleep with a smile on my face thinking about the joy she brings me.

Whew!  T-ball again today-wondering if the game will be cancelled...stay tuned.  Celebrating joy in the time to write and reflect on a busy week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Play Ball!

Under the bright, April sky, the Angels took to the field for their first, dramatic, three inning game of the season!  The team was all decked-out with bright red baseball caps and t's along with gray pants and black socks. They brought along their water bottles, baseball bags, and spikes.  The team's first opponent was the Oakland A's.

The coach/ump called "Play Ball!" And the team batted around the order until the ninth batter hitting cleanup cleared the bases...what a hoot!  For just three innings, seeing these little guys and gals step up to play a game most of them never did before just made everyone smile.  

Coach Gray recruited my help in keeping the bench organized.  I followed the batting order and kept the rotation flowing.  Bats, hats, helmets and mitts constantly abandoned by the next player up or down.  It was a fast moving game for sure.  

In the end, everyone enjoyed the game.  The team completed their first game...under the bright, April sky...and Nat, she had a ball!

Play Ball!
Game on, smiles
Bats slam and kids jam
Yes, Angels played their first ball game!

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Morning Wake-up Call Fibs-a Trio

Thanks to Margaret Simon for hosting
Digi-Lit Sunday

As I stretched and woke this morning, I listened to the sounds around the house.  I had to capture them quickly as I knew they would melt with the rays of the sun.  I quickly got to work, busying my fingers with tapping on the is the pay-off...three little Fibs about waking up.  And a bonus-creating with the "Poetic" app (which is a free download today!).

Waking Up

Sun peeking
Stretch, yawn...still sleeping
Yawn, stretch, eyes open- now awake!

Wake Up!

No one stirs
Morning Dove calls us!
It's time to wake up sleepy heads!

Rise and Shine

And shine!
Ready mind-
Wonder and thinking?
Heart beating, eyes blinking... it's time!

So, I downloaded it and started playing with the words from the first Fib...the pic above shows my result.  It's fun to play...with words and poetry on a slow, sleepy, Sunday morning.  Ironically, Margaret's post today is about Revision...I needed to revise my Fibs-I left the first lines off of them...thanks for Kat's catch-I fixed.  The importance of having a buddy read or collaborating before taking it to final publishing is key.  Thanks for this reminder Margaret!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Birds and Words

I'm celebrating with Ruth Ayers this weekend at Discover, Play, Build.  Head over and join in the celebrations.

I really dove into writing these past several weeks...I've noticed that it's made me a better listener.  I feel like I need to have a way to quickly capture words that could inspire near me or I'll forget them.  Last night was an example.  A blue jay was perched in the Japanese Cherry Tree and it was squawking up a storm.  Natalie was playing around with the iPad and since we had the patio door open, the bird did seem rather loud.

She blurted out, "Bird stop!  Stop bird! Stop."
I immediately captured her words in my enotebook and went on to write this poem...

Will the bird stop?
Stop bird, stop!
Why does the bird squawk? squawk, squawk?
What message is he sending?
Now I can see, it cat's tail bending...
Watch out! watch out!
Bird's given warning!
Watch for the cat-
Who's slinking I the morning!

So today, I'm celebrating birds and Nat's words that were inspiration for writing.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Reflection in Reverse

Happy Poetry Friday everyone!  Happy National Poetry Month too!  It's been a great month to wonder, think and reflect about words, thoughts and ideas.  Today, I wondered about what I would share for Poetry Friday.  I read the blog post by Michelle at Today's Little Ditty where today's Poetry Friday share is taking place.  I was inspired by the "Echo" idea and remembered back a long time ago when I had first written a "Reflect" poem.  After re-reading my poem and reflecting about the learning and wondering that I've been doing, I decided to revise it and do a revamp using some digital tools that I've learned about since I last wrote this poem.  So here is my "re"vision of "Reflection Day and Night":

Reflection Day and Night

Think Constructively
Examine Closely
Imagine and Hope
Wonder of Purpose
Record Thoughts, Words,
Purposely Wonder

Wonder purposely
Ideas, words, thoughts, record
Purpose of Wonder
Hope and Imagine
Closely Examine
Constructively Think

Thank you to all the poets who've been inspiring my writing and posting during National Poetry Month.  It sure has been fun to write, share and read all of the contributions being made.  A special thank you this week to Kathryn Apel and Greg Pincus for the Fib fun too.  Today's poem is not a Fib-but is a part of my regular heartbeat-always reflecting and thinking...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

7 Days-Just the Right Amount

I was thinking about the Wonder of the Day #1666-Why Are There Seven Days in a Week?  I am glad there aren't 8-woa!  I think just one more day would make the week a little bit crazy.  And I am glad there aren't 6 because one day less would mean jamming a whole lot of stuff into less.  So, I like lucky seven.  I think it's just the right amount.  So here is my #wallowinwonder poem on days of the week.

We are all so lucky
that there are seven days
just seven little days
inside of one small week.

We are all so lucky
that there are not eight days
having eight whole days
inside of one long week.

We are all so lucky
that there are not six days
having six short days
inside of one short week.

We are all so lucky
that we have seven days
just seven important days
to take one day at a time,
one day at a time,
one hour at a time,
and sometimes-
one minute
or one
just the right amount

Monday, April 11, 2016

Debit or Credit

My #wallowinwonder Day 11 is a Fib.  I wrote it in response to reading about the Wonder of the Day #115 Are Debit Cards and Credit Cards the Same?  I learned about the Fib form of poetry from Greg Pincus and Kathryn Apel via the twitter stream over the weekend.

You can read more about Fibs here at Greg Pincus' blog

Here is my Fib about Debit and Credit Cards.

Debit or Credit

Or Credit
The difference is
You have it or it's a short loan

A special thank you to @amylvpoemfarm for continued inspiration to #wallowinwonder during #NationalPoetryMonth .

A Fib Filled Weekend

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers 
for hosting the 
Tuesday Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers.

The weekend was filled with fibs (poetic Fibs)!  With it being National Poetry Month and all, I had to share the wonderful story of how all of the Fibs began.

I waded slowly into my twitter stream after waking up in the middle of the night.  I saw this tweet:

I am always interested in learning more about poetry so I clicked on the link that took me to Greg Pincus' blog post on "How to Write a Fib!"  I thought writing Fibs is an interesting and fun way to pack a big punch in a few words.  It's basically following a Fibonacci sequence of zero, a 1 syllable word, another 1 syllable word, 2 syllables, 3 syllables, 5 syllables and 8 syllables.  I decided to give it a go and then wrote a Fib about tweeting and when Kathryn Apel shared her Fib.

Then Kathryn tweeted a response back to me...

Then some tweets later, Greg Pincus got in on the action...

Our tweets of poetic fibbery continued with these:

 and this after seeing the weather forecast

A special thank you to Kathryn Apel and Greg Pincus for the twitterverse learning and support.

Such fun writing Fibs with Twitter Friends.  And now, the challenge!  I challenge you to write a Fib-and leave in the comments to create a new collection of Fibs with slicing friends!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Going to the Moon

Wallowing in Wonder Day 10

After, reading the Wonder of the Day, How Much Do You Weigh on the Moon?, I was inspired by a part in the last paragraph of the wonder that said, "Write a short story about what you would do on the Moon if you had the chance to go there in person. Share your story with a friend or family member."
So I thought about what it would be like to go to the moon with is the poem about The Wonder.

Going to the Moon

Going to the Moon-
You and I together!

Hanging out having fun...
No worries about weather!

We would have to think...
about how much we'd weigh!

We'd wear special boots
so we wouldn't float away...

We could run, jump and skip!
Feeling oh-so free

Playing there on the moon...
with 1/6 the pull of gravity

I'm sure we would look-
out into the vastness of space!

Yet, know that on the moon
we'd create our own little place.

A private space trip for just you and me,
Can you imagine how special it would be?

Mother and daughter together on the moon-
Do you think we could start to plan our trip soon?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Look for the Glow

I celebrate wallowing in wonder day 9.  I celebrate 39 days of writing and posting.  I celebrate supporting thoughts from bloggers, writers, tweeters, authors and friends.  I look for the glow...inspired by Wonder #1665 Sun Dogs-the glow around the sun...

Look for the Glow

When I think,
When I see,
When I look, 

Snow for the moisture of the Earth
Rest for the growth coming to birth

Slow for the spring in Spring's pace
Holding up on the flower's speed race

Noticing the slowing
But everything's still growing

When I look-
When I see
When I think...

Yes, the glow!  In the slow...
due to April snow in O-hi-o!

Thank you to Ruth for hosting the #celebratelu this week.  Also, thanks to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for creating the #walllowinwonder for #nationalpoetrymonth.  It's been fun playing and learning.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Beginning a Journey

Happy Wallow in Wonder Day 8!  Happy Poetry Friday!  Happy National Poetry Month!
So much to celebrate so much to realize.  The Wonder to Wallow about was #1664 Why Can't You Drive as Fast as You Want?  I have been thinking for almost 24 hours about this...

I was thinking of speed in the figurative way and connecting it with journeys.  I was also fortunate enough to attend the Virginia Hamilton Conference at Kent State University today.  One of the speakers I met was Illustrator, Christian Robinson.  His keynote address struck me as he shared about the journey of his life as an illustrator...

All of this wallowing in wonder lead me to...Beginning a Journey!

Beginning a journey-
you are here
Start...who helps you get up to speed?
What influences around you keep you on the right track?
Control the world through your passions
Education helps as you drive along the path
You learn confidence, command and control
Sometimes you have to follow the speed limit
Going too fast or too slow creates problems
Seek Inspiration from your surroundings
As things get busy maybe it's better to slow
As things get slow maybe it's better to move fast
Study how others do their driving, learning from their techniques
Experiment with your comfort zone
Explore driving down a different road!
And now you are here!  STOP!
Where will you go next, fast or slow?
A new journey begins...
Reflect on your previous journey...
What will you take along to make this journey better?

Thank you to all the poets who've shared ideas and inspiration with me over the past week.  I am on 39 days of writing and posting...woo-hoo!  Thank you to Laura Purdie Salas for hosting poetry Friday this week.

My journey has begun...more on this later...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Costumed Invader

After reading about the Wonder of the Day #1663 How Sweet is Honeysuckle? I thought about the nature of the plant and how it's really a predator in disguise as it's invasive and takes over gardens.  I decided to make the honeysuckle sweetness in disguise.

April showers falling, dropping on fertile ground
Helping paint nature's scene, turning from drab to bright
Spring flowers showing their blooms
Their premiere act of color and scent combined

Floating in on a breezy boat
Waiting for the first cruisers to board
Birds and bees with senses awakened
Called by nature's newness on the honeysuckle vine
Gardeners made aware, taking special care
Removing the sweetly disguised invader...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

First Emperor, Diamante

Wallowing in Wonder after reading about the First Emperor of China was great learning for me.  I thought about how Prince Zheng changed over time from first needing help to rule and eventually coined himself the First Emperor of China.  I learned so much about him.  I decide to use the Diamante Poem format.

Learner, Thinker
Planning, Organizing, Uniting
Authoritarian, Persuader, Enforcer, Conqueror
Ruling, Building, Influencing
Absolute, Confident

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Fertilizer, Appetizer?

Fertilizer, Appetizer?

Farmers plan to plant their seeds
But long before they do
They add nutrition to the soil
Mixing and tilling through

The things plants need to grow
Mixed well in advance
Helping seeds get what they need
Giving them their best chance

There are some basic nutrients
Plants need to survive and thrive
Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen
Keeping plants alive

Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium
Added to the mix
The fertilizing process,
The out-of-balance fix

Farmers use the combination
An organic and synthetic sow
Blending both so over time
Plants have a healthy place to grow

Farmers get help from animals
Use their manure as fertilizer
It seems so weird to think about
It's the future plants' appetizer!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Just. A. Kid. and a Sliced Thumb

at Two Writing Teachers for hosting
Tuesday's Slice of Life

Listening to the Cantina Band play away in the car by request, of course.  I was transported to a Star Wars moment a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.  We slowly pulled up to the stop light.  I felt so tired I wasn't sure how I got there.  (I admit I didn't sleep well last night.)
I paused with the traffic...
took a deep breath... 
imagined hanging out with the band...
but Natalie broke the musical moment with a comment-

"Mom! I have a cut on my finger!" she called out from the back as if I was the audience.

"Oh, you do?  Which one?"

She boldly shared, "MY THUMB!"

I asked if it was bleeding and how big the cut was.

Boldness turned to calm, "W-e-ll, it's just a super small cut."

I wondered aloud, "Would you like a band-aid?  I can get you one when we get home.  Or dad has this stuff called 'new skin' that we could-"

"Mom!  I'm just a kid!  A small square band-aid will do!"

"Ok, Miss Natalie, thank you for letting me know,"  I smiled and began chucklin' to myself.  'Just. a. kid.'-she knows herself well, yep, 5 going on 20!  I'm still smiling as I write this slice.  She cracks me up.  I had to share our little moment.

Glitter and Glue

Wallowing in Wonder Day 3
 A special thank you to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for hosting the Wallowing in Wonder Project.  I have warmed my writing brain with sparkles as I wondered about the Wonder of the Day from yesterday "What Makes Glitter Sparkle?".  I read through the wonder and jotted some quick notes in my notebook...I learned about who created glitter and what makes it sparkle.  I thought about how glitter can't do without the glue, they need to be partners.

So that lead me to write today's poem:

Glitter and Glue

Glitter and Glue,
Making things shine
Add shimmer and sparkle
They are partners in crime

Glitter can't work 
without Glue's sticky
Don't use too much
or your project turns icky!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Storm Chasers Work Saving Lives

Wallowing in Wonder-Day 2.

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am "Wallowing in Wonder" with other teachers and poets, lead by Author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.  We are looking at daily wonders from Wonderopolis for inspiration of daily poems.  Yesterday's wonder was all about storm chasing.  After listening to the wonder and reading through it, I jotted some notes in my notebook and then began crafting my poem.  I thought about important words and actions that relate to the work of storm chasers.  I determined the rhyme scheme for my poem and then began to draft my thoughts.

After I drafted, I thought about how it sounded.  I noticed it had lots of action words and those words made it sound exciting.  I re-read it again to see if I had the right words in the right place, and I did some changing around.  I'm sharing my final draft with you...what do you think?

Storm Chasers Work Saving Lives

Looking out the window,
Knowing what I see
A big flash of light
Shining bright in the night!

Seeing the lightning,
Mind filling with worries
A chill down my spine
Hair standing on end at 10 after 9!

Flashing of lightning
Means crashing was next!
Leading me to wonder,
how far was the thunder?

Thinking of scientists...
studying storms' habits
Teaming up and giving storms chase,
Learning together to determine storm's place!

Chasers study for warning
to tell the people early!
Cities sounding the alarm!
Prevent storms doing harm!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Inspired by Green-ness

Ruth Ayers Writes-Celebrating This Week

With April 1 beginning the kick-off to National Poetry Month and just completing the Slice of Life Story Challenge, I feel inspired to continue writing.  I may not be posting every day but I am going for the daily writing.  I am celebrating inspiration today because there is much going around.

First, I read Carrie's slice about Spring poems she wrote with her class.  She shared a new book title, 
When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Julie Morstead.  She shared a form of two by two words to create nine-word poems.  I thought this would be a great way to help students create poetry about springtime happenings.

Next, I was inspired by Carol, inviting participation in poetrylicious offerings...which I joined in yesterday.  I jumped in on the #poetryfriday link up.  There is so much wonderful writing happening around us.  I read many poems yesterday, each creating imagery to be savored in the soul.

Then, I connected with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and her idea of wallowing in the daily wonder from She's keeping the "daily wonder" with her all day and using it to inspire a poem she'll share the next day on her blog, The Poem Farm.  She invited others to join I am!

Finally, yesterday's wonder was about whether the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

As a result of all these connections, here is my poem...inspired by yesterday's wonder...
My surroundings glow with green-ness.  I feel so blessed to be where I am.

Inspired Green-ness
By Amy Rudd

Grass greener?
Bird's-eye view...
No way!
Appreciating mine!

Focus instead
Eyes here
Greenly views
Near perfect 

So grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities in my life.  Won't you celebrate green-ness with me?

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Me I Am Today

for hosting Poetry Friday

The Me I Am Today-Always, Sometimes, Never

I am the clock, slowly ticking or quickly moving-always I am the clock
I am the rug, softly supporting or gently warming-always I am the rug
I am the fireplace, steady and strong, ready to warm a heart or hands-always I am the fireplace
I am the coffee table, holding collections of things-books, puzzles, snacks, consistently there for others-always I am the coffee table

I am the light, dimly glowing or brightly burning, resting or working-sometimes I am the light
I am the toys, lifelessly resting or jointly at play, bringing others together, sometimes I am the toys
I am the stereo, joyful and happy, eager to add beats of energy-sometimes I am the stereo
I am the portraits, smiling away the day, knowing smiles are contagious, passing them along-sometimes I am the portraits

I am the unlit candle, coldly waiting for the spark-never the unlit candle
I am the worn door latch, repeatedly off the track or forgetfully making connections-never the worn door latch
I am the unopened door, holding shut on possibilities-I am never the unopened door
I am the window shade, blocking out the light, keeping things dark-I am never the window shade

These things and more always, sometimes, never describe the me I am today!

**A special thank you to Alan Wright who inspired this poem with his Slice of Life Post I am!  You can read more about the inspiration for this idea here.

**Another thank you to Carol Varsalona for sharing about joining in on Poetry Friday through her "Poetrylicious Announcement"

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Playbook Reflection

Slice 31

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers 

On the day before the 9th Annual SOLSC began, I drafted my playbook...
"Kicking off the 9th Annual Slice of Life Challenge, I will be writing and posting to my blog daily every day for the month of March.  I have only completed the challenge once in four years so my plan is to start off with a playbook...I was inspired by the

Lebron James Family Foundation Playbook 

So here is my playbook for the month.  I will:

  • Live like a writer (notice details, capture them in special ways and use for ideas)
  • Appreciate every day moments 
  • Become a stronger teacher of writing (a big goal for me)
  • Find a rhythm (try to draft, slice and comment at the same time every day)
  • Reflect on the process
I look forward to the goal of completing the slice of life challenge at the end of the month."
and 31 days later I'm reflecting!  Thinking about key points from the playbook...
I know I lived like a writer, I noticed many juicy details, savored them and cooked up some great slices of my own.
I learned to appreciate every day moments even more.
I think I became better at writing.
However, I don't think I found a rhythm, but I do my best writing in the morning.

I read so many great slices about wonderful and sad times, ideas and parts of the community's lives.  Thanks to all the slicers who left me comments-they inspire and connect me by creating webs within the web.  I appreciate the teachers who organized the challenge-Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Deb, Beth and Kathleen.  I thank you for the work you have done make this happen.  I appreciate the volunteers who've helped out too.  It's all about togetherness-rowing in the same direction!  We made it through!

created using Bitstrips App

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Revising the Garden

Slice 30

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers 

Clean up, clean up, everybody, the song goes.  I witnessed many neighbors contributing to the clean up process in their yards as the beautiful weather stopped by for a short visit.  I heard tractors starting up, leaf blowers humming and hoses washing things down.  Jumping in on the process, Natalie and I worked at cleaning out the day lily garden yesterday.

We began the process by gathering our equipment-garden gloves, rakes, scoops, and yard waste bags.  We familiarized ourselves with our garden patch after its long winter's rest.  We tromped through the thick, wet soil and made our way to the corner where we began pulling out the crunchy oak leaves that added to the mulch blanket.  Swish after swish, we combed through the tangled mess.  After half way through, the garden had worn Natalie down and she gave up, running off to play at the swings.  Who could blame her?  This was hard work.
I knew I would triumph over the leaf litter and kept it going.  I noticed weeds were beginning to pop up-so I pulled them out before they began the early take over and squatting where they aren't allowed.  I noticed early risers-flagging attention to where lilies will soon begin to grow.  I noticed trumpet vines that have to go...but I had to stay focused on today's work!

Seven bags later, I finished the job.  I gave a final browse over the area and realized there's still more to be done...but for today, the revising process ended.  

As I reflected on this slice, it reminded me of the work writers do when they revise.  Gathering tools, getting the birds eye view of the piece, narrowing the focus, taking out and achieve the finished piece-realizing sometimes (most times) it will need multiple re-works to get it just right.  Revising means a lot of hard work and a lot of time to get it to the place of near perfection.  
What do you think?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Meet Our New Family Member

Slice 29

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers 

The Bear Promise
My Bear is Special
I brought it to Life.
I chose it.
I stuffed it.
Now I am taking it home.
Best friends are forever
So I promise right now
To make my bear my #1 Pal!

As our Spring Break began, we scheduled little mini trips and things to do since we're staying home this year.  Our day out yesterday was a trek to the mall.  Of course, Nat's favorite place is Build a Bear so we stopped in to make a new friend.  

Since I pay more attention to writing and poems now, I noted the promise poem on the wall which I shared above.  I wonder how many parents read it to their children (although I did see some adults making stuffies!) when they go to the BAB store.

Since we were going to pick out a bear, I noted the steps in its creation:
Step 1:  pick out the stuffy you like (they were having a special on Star Wars items).

Step 2:  With the help of the kind stuffing specialist, bring your new friend to life-add the stuff and fluff-add more if you like a muscular friend.  Stepping on the pedal, bringing the machine to life.  

Step 3:  Add a sound-we decided not to this time.  We wanted Han to make his own sounds.

Step 4:  Add a heart-rub it between your hands, give it a kiss, hold it to your cheek so it has lots of smiles, rub it on your tummy so it never goes hungry and rub it on your funny bone so it gives lots of laughs!  Pop it into the belly of your bear.  Add the identification strip from the tag of your bear so it could be scanned and connected back to you if it ever got lost.  Then, sew it up.

Step 5:  Take the bear to the wash station and give it a fluffing bath.

Step 6:  Pick out its new outfit.  Of course Han Solo has to have a "Han Solo" outfit and boots.  We decided not to get the blaster...

Step 7:  Create the birth certificate-it is the birth of a toy after all.  Using the computer, we scanned his tag, added the details and clicked enter.  Our new baby bear was ready to go.

Considering Han has been with us a whole 24 hours, he's already one of the family!