Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Slice of Life Day 31-31

Sightseeing in the backseat with a 7-yr old and a 4-year old is a challenge. We went to Scottsdale to see where their dad goes to school. We went to an artsy community and did window shoppung. Going inside was too tempting for little hands. Then came a long car ride to just see the area. We did eat in an all pink Sweet Shoppe that Emma loved. But the ride was too much. At one point Adrian got mad and pinched Emma. Then he was mad @ me because I told him to stop it. He pouted and told us both he didn't like us...oh well, tomorrow is another day!

Slice of Life Day 30-31

Getting up @ 4:00 am with two chilren under 7 who only had about 5 hours of sleep due to their excitement,is not a pretty pictire. Adrian -4-slept under my feet spred out on the floor of the plane for over an hour. When he woke up he said, "I wasn't sleeping I just took a liitle nap." AZ is sunny and warm and the grandkids are wonderful and so much fun! We are having a terrific time!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 29/31 Let's Hear it for the Cats!


This will probably be my last Slice of Life since we are leaving at 5:00 a.m. with a seven year old and a four year old for Arizona for four days. My Slice of Life is all about getting ready for this trip.
We have a golden retriever and two cats to farm out for the few days we are gone. Murphy, the golden, is no problem. He has a family that has been kind of a second home to him all his life. He will feel right at home and be very spoiled when we get back. The cats are another story.

Usually, cats are easy. Just put some food and water out, have clean litter boxes and you are set to go. Not with Oliver and Nickey. Nickey is very shy. He also has a touchy stomach. If he eats the wrong thing, or if he eats too much of something he throws up immediately. So, we give him a special canned cat food and 1/2 Pepcid AC on top two times a day. Then Oliver gets dry food for fat cats...to help him thin down. He also gets preds of some sort once a day and doxycycin twice a day. Now the topper is: you can not let them eat each other's food. Which is exactly what they want to do.

So, Oliver is visiting his vet for the four days where he, too, will be spoiled like crazy. They love him there! Nickey is the only one who gets to stay home. Our wonderful neighbors will come over twice a day to fed him. They will never see him because he will go hide as soon as he hears the door open.

Well, after that packing and getting our stuff ready is easy. So, I will be back by Thursday and hope to blog again on Friday. I'll let you know how the trip with two grandkids went and how the weather in the south is, too. Happy Spring Break!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: DAY 28/31 Pass the Cell Phone, Please

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 28/31

It was noon and The Big D and I decided to have lunch in our hometown at a local restaurant. It is named after our city and known for the large portions and delicious food. We both knew we were on strict plans to not overeat. However, we could not pass up this chance to enjoy the local atmosphere.

We asked for a booth and were not disappointed. As we made ourselves comfortable, a lady who had come in right after us with a cell phone to her ear, asked to be seated by a window. The window was one of those of long ago that is ceiling to floor and spans the entire restaurant. She settled in and was in our sight range. She continued to talk on her phone. I was thinking, "I guess cell phones are nice when you have to dine alone in a strange town. It must make you feel less lonely."

Just then two men entered the dining area from outside. They walked straight to the woman's table and sat down. She continued to talk on the phone. Our waitress came and we made wise choices of a cup of soup and large salad with the dressing on the side. The group at the window table made their choices, too, all the while she continued to talk on the phone.

We got our meal and dug right in to a huge salad with ham, cheese, boiled eggs and tomatoes. Our neighboring table ate their meals also. I heard the loud sound of laughter coming from the table, but I continued to eat and discuss our plans for the day with DD. I finally looked up to see if the trio was now enjoying their conversation and meal. But, no, the two men continued to eat in silence and she was still on the phone.

As we paid our check and slipped into our jackets, I couldn't help but notice that the younger man had now left the table. The lady and one of the men were still sitting there. And, yes, she was still on the phone. I was amazed at the rudeness and the lack of community between this group of people. What a Slice of Life that was!

Friday, March 27, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 27/31 Spring Break here we come...finally!


As the sun was coming up, I was driving into work thinking of Spring Break only a few hours away. I felt like I could handle anything...just get through the day. I knew we were having a meeting to discuss a big project for the day, but how hard could that be on the day before Spring Break? Well....

All eight of the facilitators were assigned a grade level to work out a Case Study. We were to write the case study using any data we had. AND...it had to be done in two hours. Talk about scurrying. One of us got on the computer and looked up data. The other went through the basal to find standards. Then one of us got on the computer and typed. The other revised and read off what to type. We wrote, read, reread, rewrote....checked on data. Then we read, wrote, rewrote and reread ....checked on more data. Finally, only 15 minutes late...we were done and had it all handed in to our boss.

Now it is time to party!!! We leave for AZ on Monday morning early with two grandchildren. Glad to be done with work and take a break for a week! Sunshine, here we come!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 26/31 The Tea Party


Today started off like any other day in one of the buildings where I facilitate with teachers. It was going to be a day of co-teaching and coaching the writing workshop in the area of persuasion. After three hours I had finished the fourth and fifth grade rooms where I was working today. As I completed my post-conference with the teacher, we got onto some things she could change in the room...basically the lay out. As we were deep in discussion, she asked me if I wanted to join her for lunch in her room. Since I had only planned to work at my computer to catch up on e-mails, that sounded fantastic. So, I joined her.

When I came back with my bag lunch in my hand, I was surprised to find a candle on her small group table along with a delicate, flowered tea cup and saucer. Along side the saucer was a tiny bit of chocolate. Desert! We sat and talked about her workshop, her room arrangement, her community of writers. All the time we were sipping tea from these tiny tea cups. She then told me the story of how she had gotten her set of china from a trip to Europe many years before, bringing each piece home tucked into her suitcase.

The time slipped by and she had to rush off to pick up her students. I cleaned up the last crumbs from my sandwich and drained the last drop of tea. I glanced back at the candle, blew it out and meandered out into the hall full of eager children fresh from a romp outside.

A little bit of culture. A little bit of peace. A little bit of collaboration over a wonderful tea party. What a great Slice of Life!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: DAY 25/31 What's Your Teaching Point?


Yesterday I was in a fifth grade classroom. It is one I have worked in all year, so I know the kiddos there really well. In fact, that is one of my "try-it-out" classrooms. I try all my new ideas with those super students. Again yesterday that is what I was doing. We were working on persuasive writing.

I introduced my lesson by telling them what my Teaching Point was: TP-Writers write about things that bother or annoy them. They wrote it in their notebook as the lesson started. The link back to their work, after I modeled for them and they had a try with it with a partner, was to make their list of things that annoyed them. They were great.

Later that day, I was in the room with some visiting teachers from another grade level. I told them of my try with the Teaching Point...telling them and having them write it in the notebook. One of the students happened to still be in the room, so I asked Daniel: "What was the teaching point this morning in my lesson?" Daniel never hesitated..."Writers write about things that annoy them."

Today I was in another building, but I got an email from yesterday's classroom teacher. She said when she did her lesson the kiddos asked... "What is the Teaching Point, Mrs. G.?" I guess the GOT IT!!!

That's my Slice of Life for today!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 23/31---I'm Back!

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 23/31

Well, I missed staying with this for every day of March. I so wanted to do that...but I wanted to go to NYC more. Could not make my blackberry work in blogger mode. Oh, well...I'm back now.

Today Barb and I were able to share what we learned at PS 16 with our boss. We went through our thinking and then shared handouts and our power point. We have so many thoughts and so many things we want to try. We made so many new friends. New York is wonderful and such a friendly BIG city. We saw it all and did it all. What more can I say?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SLICE OF DAYS: DAY 18/31 Determining Importance


As a literacy teacher one of the important things we teach is how to comprehend the text. There are many ways that help us to do this: connections to our lives, our world or other text; questioning, visualizing, synthesizing, and determining importance. My Slice of Life is focusing on the strategy of determing importance.

Tomorrow I take off for New York City and a whirlwind trip for professional reasons. Okay, so there will be some pleasure mixed in with it all. But basically we will spend loads of hours bumping up what we know about literacy. From visiting a school that was recommended by our friend, Carl Anderson, in Queens to listening to the top authors at Teacher College at Columbia University, we will be filled with information to bring back.

The part of determing importance came when I had to try to pack. Carl said to pack for cold weather AND warm weather because it could change any time...ummmm...sounds like Indiana! So, I had to narrow it down to one pair of pants, three tops, a pair of jeans and three sports tshirts or sweatshirts. Talk about determing what was really important and what was not necessary was really tough.

I am finally packed. The alarm is set for 4:45 and we will pull out of Jody's driveway and head for Indy at 6:00 a.m. I am planning on trying to blog each day I am there. So, the Slice of Life will live on in New York City!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 17/31---Where I'm From


Today was training for our Elemetary Literacy Framework or E.L.F. In the 3rd-5th grade section they talked about writers' notebooks. One of the exercises that they had everyone do was to take George Ella Lyons' poem: Where I'm From and try it out in their notebooks. Naturally, even as one of the coaches, I did it too. I thought that would make a perfect Slice of Life. Here it is:

I am from small towns
and country fields with streams running through
I'm from adventures with Ellen
And Sunday School with Sara.
I'm from tomato fields and migrant workers
The swing set in the back yard
And pony in the barn.

I'm from baby sitting jobs
And basketball games
I'm from 4-H, Girl Scouts, and Youth Group
I'm from church camp and Girl Scout camp
From ripping out stitches in skirts
And making pineapple upside down cake
From teasing Dale and Detroit cousins.

Monday, March 16, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: DAY 16/31--And a Good Book


Ordering books is sometimes an obsession with me. Today I succumbed to that obsession. I bought three new professional books. The catalogue from Stenhouse Publishers arrived this weekend. I viewed with excitement and dog-eared the pages where I found interesting books. Today I took a few moments and looked at those books closer. Yes, they were ones I really thought I wanted, maybe even needed!!

Here is what I found:

  • The CAFE Book by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser...The Sisters. It isn't out yet, but I have it on hold.

  • Reading for Real by Kathy Collins...if it is by Kathy it HAS to be good!!

  • One Child at a Time by Pat Johnson...my friend Julia N. recommended this, so I just had to get it!

Sometimes a Slice of Life is waiting for the future and a good book!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: DAY 15/31 Blessed Assurance


Being Sunday, my day revolves around attending church and adult Sunday School class. It is the highlight of my week. Today was no exception. The sermon was awesome and inspiring. Mike, our pastor, referenced one of my former professors at CBS and that brought back great memories. But the thing that hit me the most today was the music part of the worship service. Eric, our music leader, gave a background of the writer of the song: Blessesd Assurance. I had heard that story probably all my life, but today the story and the words hit me with more power for some reason.

Fanny Crosby, the author, was blinded by an incompetent doctor at six weeks of age. She went on to write over 8,000 hymns. She never complained of her blindness, instead she used it to praise God.

"Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight."
How can I complain about little things that bug me in my life. Her words give me inspiration to take a Slice of Life and turn it into praise and submission.

"Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love."

This is my Slice of Life today. To be more like this and remember who I am here for and why I am here...to completely praise HIM! "This is my story, this is my song, Praising the Savior all the day long!"

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: DAY 14/31--Making Plans


Only five more days before we take off for NYC and the Teacher College Spring Reunion. There are five of us from FWCS going this time along with seven from East Noble and two from Quincy, MI. What a great group. My Slice of Life for today is the schedule I worked on all afternoon. What great fun that was! Just another way to look forward to a wonderful four days. Today I'm dreaming next week at this time I will be experiencing.

Here it is in a nutshell:

Thursday, March 19th:

  • Fly out of Indy at 10:40
  • Arrive in NYC at 12:50
  • Go to TKTS & grab whatever is cheap
  • Eat supper @ Ellen's Stardust Diner
  • Go to the theater

Friday, March 20th

  • Take the subway to PS 16 in Queens
  • Eat lunch with the teachers & coaches
  • Leave @ around 12:30
  • Siteseeing

Saturday, March 21st

  • Be on the subway by 8:00
  • Teacher College Reunion @ Columbia University 9:00-3:00
  • Supper with Stacy

Sunday, March 22nd

  • Last minute site seeing
  • Flight leaves @ 1:20
  • Arrive in Indy at 4:00

WOW! What a Slice of Life!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: DAY 13/31--It's all about love!


It happens every day about this time. Things are winding down at our house. The t.v. is blaring away on some news program on Fox or a ball game of some sort. It is the time when my chores around the house are just ending and I am ready to crash. I have on my comfy sweats and fuzzy slippers and crawl onto the couch with a big glass of water. The cats are snuggled on top of the couch each facing a different direction, trying to ignore each other.

Just as I am either engrossed in my favorite novel or professional book I feel the eyes upon me. I try to pretend they are not there. I continue to read or watch the television program acting as if nothing else exists. But the eyes are still there: looking.

When I can take it no longer I look up. There he is staring at me with those big brown eyes. I know what he is saying...he doesn't have to speak. "Mom, it is time for bed. NOW!" I slowly close the book, lay it down on the table, and give him a big kiss. "Okay, Murphy, let's go to bed."

He smiles up at me, turns around on slow moving hips for his 12 year old body and heads for the bedroom. But not before being sure I am following. We go down the hall and he shuffles to his bed and with great effort gets comfortable with his back leg stretched out until it almost touches his front leg. I crawl down beside him and we snuggle. I love the smell of his golden fur. I love the feel of that warm coat. I love the way he reaches over and licks whatever he can reach on me...usually my arm or hand. We lie there for a few minutes until he gets too hot. I then kiss him goodnight, crawl into bed and continue reading by my small, bedside lamp.

One of my favorite Slices of Life is with my Murphy dog. I know our days are numbered and I do NOT take any of them for granted! I love you, Murphy!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

SOL: Day 12/31--Long Live Facebook

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 12/31

We met at the Best Western at 6:55 a.m., jumped in the van and took off for our one hour drive across the flood drenched lands of northern Indiana this morning. Our destination: All Day Conference With Carl Anderson.

Yes, I did learn tons, as I always do from him. Yes, I got to see many of my friends from all across the area. Yes, I DID buy more books. But, my Slice of Life has to be the interacting of Facebook we got today. What fun!

I am a fan of the crazy new fad that is increasing daily. I am hooked. Then Carl talks to us about adding new friends to his site. He is up to 100 now...okay, okay, so it is 101 as of tonight. The deal is, I have relatives all over the USA. Now I can see what they are doing. I have former students also all over the USA. Now I know where they are and what their lives are like after second grade. I have classmates from high school and college that I have not heard from in years. I have found them again. And, yes, I am one of the 'friends' on Carl's list!!

It was so much fun posting small message back to Carl as we drove home from the conference. It was so interesting to see who was added to my friend's list when I got home. I love that Carl says even this form of writing is part of the new digital writing world. Another real reason to write. This is a weird Slice of Life, but in our ever changing world...Long Live Facebook!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 11/31--Small Moments in the Classroom


Today was one of those days that make me happy to be working where I am doing what I do. I started the day off at a school working with a teacher on data from DIBELS. I know, it takes a special person to like that sort of thing, but I really do. Then I worked in three classrooms. After that I maneuvered around the closed roads due to flooding in our city of three rivers! (What do you expect with three rivers in the spring?) I made it to the office for lunch in time to rush to another building with my boss to do a data meeting with a new principal. The end of my day was spent in writing lessons for another unit of study: Third Grade Feature Articles.

My Slice of Life came from one of the classrooms. I was able to work with a second grade today. My favorite grade. I taught that level for many years and still miss it. I am so happy when some second grade teacher asks me in to work with her/him. Today we were beginning response to literature. They have been talking about books all year, but today we started a formal study. I worked with something I like to call: Pass The Book.

We started off talking about what we like to talk about when we talk about books. We charted our thinking. Then I read the book: SWISH! They loved it! Even if it is about "girls" playing basketball! We quickly circled up on the floor from our previous "mashed potatoes" formation. I started the process by saying, "SWISH! I loved the way the author kept me on the edge of my seat when they were about to lose the game." The book was passed and each student gave their thinking.

They then went back to their seats to make their thinking visible by writing. I pulled up next to one little boy who had written: "I liked it when they won the game." I questioned him more. Then he responded: "At first I was thinking they wouldn't win the game. But then my thinking changed because the ball was going closer and closer to the basket and I thought they would win the game."

What smart thinking for a seven year old. Naturally, I had him write that on his paper and made him famous at sharing time. Little Slices of Life can be found anywhere!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 10/31--A Breath of Fresh Air on a Rainy Day

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 10/31

Today was the last Beginning Writers Workshop for our district. We have met three times over the year. It is so inspiring to see teachers get excited about teaching again. Several little memories stuck with me today as we bid farewell to these educators.

First of all, this morning Mindy was teaching about narrative writing. I have heard her do this lesson many times. I was there when we all developed them several years ago. Still, I never fail to still learn from them. What she said today was about personal narratives. She talked about them being nonfiction. I knew they were, but it never really registered with me. She said, "The reason we write personal narratives is so people can connect with them." Reading the blogs today, I understood that statement more than ever. I read the blogs and the ones I enjoy most are those in which I connect!

Next, we went into two classrooms to have teachers model writers workshop...one primary and one intermediate. I went with the intermediate teachers. Jen was modeling persuasive writing. After the workshop we went out and she debriefed with us. In the debriefing time, she made the comment that her journey started three years ago when she went to a Beginning Writers Workshop just like this one. It hit me how the circle keeps going...now she is modeling and teaching others what she learned.

Last of all, Mindy and I gathered the evaluations at the end of the day when everyone had left. We sat at a back table and read each one. It was so encouraging to read their comments. To hear a teacher say that even after teaching for many years it was great to be enthused about it again. To hear young teachers say they could hardly wait to get back into the classroom and try things they had seen.

On this otherwise rainy day, it is a breath of fresh air to participate in such a learning Slice of Life!

Monday, March 9, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 9/31--It started with endings


I started my day in a third grade classroom. The students have been writing all year. After talking with the teacher about my visit to their room, we decided that these writers needed to work on endings. She said they just kind of stopped and then wrote: THE END.

I pulled an ending lesson from Ralph and JoAnn's Craft Lessons. It was a simple lesson, but had the punch these writers needed. I sent them off to work on their current projects, or to go back into their notebooks and find something in which they could work on an ending. They all got busy as soon as they got to their seats. The teacher and I settled in to conference with various students.

The first boy I worked with was writing a story about going to the theater with his family. They had gotten their early and he suggested they go out to eat until the show started. He ended the story with a feeling of happiness with the wonderful day he spent.

The next boy was making a list in a journal of things he wanted. His title was: 'I want a'. When I glanced at the front of the journal I noticed it was a poetry journal. After his long list of things he wanted: computer, wii, X box.... he said: I really want it...please, please, please! What a great poem.

A girl I worked with was doing a "How-To" piece. She was writing 'How to play the wii'. The girl next to her said her mom wanted to get her one, but she didn't know how to play it. I confessed I didn't either. D. told us the way to pick a game and exactly how to play it. I suggested she just write what she told us. For her ending she was going to use: Go play and be happy!

So many genres! Such great writers! What a Slice of Life!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day8/31--Good-byes are Tough!

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 8/31--Saying Good-bye

Today was rainy all day long. With the springing ahead of the clocks, it made it tough to get up for church and Sunday school. However, we had a combined service and that made it easier since it was the late service time we went to today. It was awesome to see everyone at the same time. The music and sermon were inspiring and motivating.

Then later that day I went back to church. This time it was not something I enjoy. One of my friends and fellow Sunday School class member passed away on Friday. The viewing was today. He was such a quiet, easy-going man that was always there for you. His smile and concern were apparent. We stood in line about an hour to get to the front of the line. That is how popular and respected he was.

He will be missed by so many. His place in the class will always be empty in my opinion. I know he is in a better place and is finally at peace. Still, that doesn't help our missing him here. I am just so thankful he knew the Lord and we all know we will be able to see him again! Good-byes are a Slice of Life we don't really like!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 7/31--Things aren't always what you plan!


Rainy, cloudy, with a chance of storms. That is what I would say if I were the weather forecaster. It is warm and that makes it almost worth the cloudy, rainy day. A perfect day for cleaning. That is what I did all morning: clean the back bedroom, dust everything and vacuum the floors. Then we took some time off to go out for lunch.

Driving to our destination, I began to feel funny. Maybe I was just hungry. Maybe it was because I had exercised while hungry and exercised HARD. Maybe I was getting the bug everyone around me has been experiencing. I was starved so the grilled chicken salad tasted great and I scarfed it down. Still didn't feel the best. We made a couple more stops and then got home.

My next project was to tackle all the lessons I had to prepare for next week's classes. I have four lessons and two collaborations on Monday. Not an easy schedule. I have them all listed out. I need to prepare a whole unit of study for persuasive writing for some 4th and 5th grades. I need to review Acuity data for 4th grade. I need to work on an author study and some how-to books. All just for Monday! My stomach tightens up just thinking about it.

I think I will begin with the Author Study and How-to books...then take a nap. Everything's better after a nap! My Slice of Life is that sometimes things don't work out the way you had planned them to work out!

Friday, March 6, 2009

SLICE OF LIFE: Day 6/31--Debbie Miller Visits


Today was the day we had been waiting for! The weather was perfect: partly cloudy with the sun peeking through and in the high 60s. For northern Indiana, that was about the best for which we could hope. I got up early and had butterflies already. I rushed out of the house with my bottle of water and got to the school by 7:20. That's early for me! Everything was already in place: chairs to fit over 40 people, overhead in case she needed it and the visiting classrooms looked terrific.

At about 7:55 here she came walking up the hallway with Starbuck coffee container in her hand and that big smile on her face. I knew we could do it! Today was the day Debbie Miller came to visit our elementary school to model Reading Workshop in front of 40+ teachers.

The students were wonderful, so smart. They opened up and shared their thinking. Thinking that they didn't even know they had. From working with J. with her funking little braids all over her head, to coaxing M. into talking when he wasn't sure he wanted to, she brought enthusiasm back into the lives of many teachers.

This Slice of Life was a once in a life time slice. One that will live on with many of us for years to come. One that will change lives all over northern Indiana. There is now a huge Debbie Miller fan club in the All Write!!! area.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Slice of Life: 5/31

Here is northern Indiana the weather is turning to feel like spring. The air is warmer and the breeze is strong. A new sign of spring this year is ISTEP in the spring. That is our state-wide assessment test. Normally, we take it in the fall as soon as we get back to school from summer vacation. This year is the first time for grades three--to five in our elementary schools to be tested. The stress is showing!

Today I worked in three classrooms. The relief for the fifth graders to talk about something besides testing was evident. They were working on persuasive pieces. The teacher handed out samples of persuasive writing. The students gathered into groups, each with a different sample to peruse. I listened in on one group. It was made up of one boy and three girls. They took a few minutes to read the piece first. It was about lowering the driving age. Something these 10-year-olds took seriously.

They were to look at some guiding questions. The discussion began. They all agreed with what the article was mostly about, but when it came to the issue or main point, they weren't quite sure. Some wanted to include the fact that drunk driving in adults was a reason to have younger drivers. Some wanted to include that more wrecks by adults was a reason. They each told their points of view. Finally, they decided to not list reasons just yet. The question of how do you know was easy for them because they were used to siting the text.

As the class came back together for their sharing time you could hear the buzz of discussion. Several wanted to tell why they thought their particular piece was unfair. One girl said, "I agreed with most of it, but this one part was way off, in my opinion."

Yes, these were 10-year-olds. I feel these fifth graders did fine on the ISTEP test, but the more important issue is: they will do fine in LIFE!!! What a Slice of Life and the future that was today!!! Thanks, Mrs. Barney's class for sharing with me!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009



Today Ruth and I talked about our blogs. We discussed what we might blog about and had several ideas. Coming home from Warsaw and the conference with Debbie Miller, I kept going over and over my ideas. I had learned so much from Debbie that it would be easy to share some of that learning. That was definitely a Slice of Life! I saw so many friends that I hadn't connected with for ages, too. That also was a Slice of Life! But, like many of my writing topics, I just kept coming back to the same one. So, that is what I'm going with today!

The conference was held in a huge high school...with the students there. The truth is, we never really saw them much. How in the world did they do that? We had around 250 people at the conference. It was packed. In that 250 group there were probably about five men. The rest, of course, were women. Not surprising for an elementary teaching group.

This is not usually a problem until one event...restroom break. The lines to the women's restroom are always LONG. The men's restroom is ALWAYS short! Today it really wasn't that bad. I figure some women were adventurous and found one farther away from the main lobby. Good for them.

Still not the main problem. At the end of the day, long after lunch, I decided it was time to hit the little girl's room one last time. I ventured in and did my thing. As I was zipping up my pants a voice called out: "Would you please pass some toilet paper to me?" A hand came out of no where under the side of the stall. I gasped and said, "Are you right beside me?" A weak voice said back, "Yes, right here. See my hand?"

I quickly pulled off a big wad and slipped it into the out stretched palm. "There you go," I told her. Then I heard, "Here you go. I have some, too." It was the person on her other side.

Ruth said in her blog, that it was the little things in life that made a difference. I must say I agree with that motto. Sometimes you never know how much the little things mean until they are not there!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Slice of Life: Day 3/31

Spring Break for our school system is one month away. Last night we made a decision about what we would do for it. Now we are busy setting into motion those plans with action. We are going to be traveling via air to Arizona with two of our grandchildren. Sound good? Let me tell you more!

First of all, our son is going to school in Arizona to become a chef. He is doing terrific and we are very proud of him. However, his two children, ages seven and four, are living here with their mother. That is why we decided to take them with us to visit. The problem is: they have never flown!

We have the flight...four hours. We have the animals taken care of...well, mostly. Now we just have to get ready mentally for the trip with two kids! We will spend four days there and then fly back alone. The kids are going to stay and come back later with their dad. The trip will be exciting for them and for us to spend all that time with them!

What an interesting slice of life this will be!

Monday, March 2, 2009


Slice of Life: Day 2/31

Today was one of those sunny days that make you wish you were anywhere except inside a room with no windows. That is you wish you were outside experiencing the sunshine until you step outside and realize it is freezing out there. That is how I felt as I left the office to head home tonight.

I left earlier than I normally do, so I was already planning my time before I had to get busy with supper, exercises and other routines. I guess I was day dreaming and driving the same route I usually take home on days I am at the office. Working in a big city (big for me) and living over 30 minutes away, gives me plenty of time to daydream. The problem was, I was earlier than normal and there was more traffic.

I had just turned north to head for the major interstate when it happened. Or I should say, when it almost happened. The road takes a huge fork and half the traffic goes east and the other half goes west. I wanted to go west, but I wanted to be on the far right side of the road. I do this every time I drive on this highway. This time I swerved over to the right side and I heard it. LOUD! A long, loud car horn. Who in the world is doing that? I thought as I continued to be in my own little world of what to have for supper.

I had looked in my mirror. I had looked behind me. I really did NOT see anyone back there. Then I realized he was honking at ME! Can you believe it? A big white truck with a dark-haired man frowning at me was right there. Right where I thought I could easily slide into. I did continue to slip into the lane, I was 3/4 of the way in anyway. What else could I do? I turned, raised my hand as if to say, "Sorry" and kept driving. He followed me for a few blocks and then went to another lane and off to his life.

Slices of life come upon us instantly sometimes. It was just a slice, but it could have been so much worse. I vowed I would be more careful and keep my mind on my driving. But it was a sunny day and I did have lots to plan for. Oh, well, it made a good slice of life story anyway!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Here's my first posting answering the challenge of The Two Writing Teachers.
Walking groggily into the kitchen this Sunday morning, my husband greeted me with: "We are all set for the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta this summer. I sent in the applications and $60 for the registration!" Talk about something changing you life in an instant!
Yes, we have done this six-mile race on July 4th for about 15 years. Yes, we did talk about it before he sent it in. Yes, it is something that I NEED to do. Still, now I am committed to begin running so I am ready for the race. As I look out my window at the cold, still winter sky, I wonder if I can be ready by July 4th to run six miles. I know I have done it in the past, but I am over 60 now...that makes a difference.
Still as the clouds fill the light blue sky with threats of rain or even snow, I am visualizing, hoping, dreaming of the days ahead when the sun will be blazing and I will be wishing for a day like today. A day to have a cooler breeze in order to have a more comfortable run.
I won't start training today. I will start thinking about training today. I am making the commitment and preparing my mind, if not my body, for the challenge that lies ahead.
July 4, 2009
Atlanta, Georgia