Fun Afternoon

I stepped into a third grade class, and the classroom teacher asked the students to get out their yellow writing folders. I held up my hand in a stopping motion. “We’re going to the computer lab to write today,” I announced with a flourish.

Smiles broke out, and they practically cheered. It took a few minutes and a fair amount of teacher and peer assistance to get all the passwords typed in and everyone connected. We logged on to student interactive “Theme Poetry.” Then the fun really began. Some kids had to have a teacher help them with spelling while others typed blithely away, oblivious to faulty spelling. Some teamed up with a friend, and both chose the same theme and then collaborated. Others were fiercely independent, guarding their words so no one would copy. Some wanted approval for every line they wrote. Others were content in their process and just kept writing until they completed their poems. It was fascinating to watch writers at work!

We don’t have a printer in our computer lab, so the students emailed their poems to me to print. So tomorrow we will have another fun time when they all get their published poems!

Posted in school, school and writing, SOLSC 2014 Weekly, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Pride and Joy

A great part of being part of a school staff is sharing all the big events of life with each other. After school today, five of us were squeezed into our small school office listening to our school secretary’s story of her granddaughter’s birth. Her daughter had labored for three days before “throwing in the towel” and having a C-section. She spoke so lovingly and admiringly of her daughter. She showed the “before” picture of when her daughter was VERY pregnant, and her doctor had predicted a BIG baby. Her granddaughter debuted at 20 inches and 7 pounds, 5 ounces.

A few hours after the little family came home from the hospital, her son-in-law came to her ashen-faced saying urgently that her daughter needed her. She found her daughter on the floor, bleeding. The incision had become infected and split open. They got her daughter back to the hospital where she received aggressive treatment for an as yet unidentified infection. (Ironically, she had spent the first month of the year fighting a MRSA infection after her knee replacement surgery.) She spent hours in the hospital with her daughter and hours at home caring for her granddaughter.

She showed us pictures of the sweet little baby girl with a shocking mop of dark black hair (in a side by side photo of the baby and her daddy, you could see exactly where she got it). She spoke of being lucky the little one has a good personality, making it easy to care for her, because she was so out of practice (her grandsons are 9 and 5) and so sleep deprived. But she said the baby hates getting her diaper changed and getting dressed and protests loudly. She thinks when the baby is grown she will remember grandma as the one who was the meanie that made her cry!

The two grandsons had opposite reactions to their new cousin. One touched the baby and patted her head, then he was done and off to play. The other wanted to stay with her and hold her, and begged to take pictures of her and with her. He took the camera and clicked away, even through a diaper change. Later, grandpa was looking through all the pictures. “What’s this?!? Oh-h-h, we’ve got to delete this one!”

Her daughter is finally home, but she and her other daughter are still taking care of her and the baby, too. She wonders if this little one will be an “only.” Time will tell…

Right now, life is day by day, the family all taking turns, caring for mommy and baby, trying to get back to work…but mostly helping her daughter recover to discover the joys of being a new mom.

This is the sharing that makes us a school family, that makes us community. This is life!

Posted in home and family, school, SOLSC 2014 Weekly | 1 Comment


It is just ordinary to see a bird in the trees as you are driving down the road. You only have a few seconds, though, to notice the extraordinary. A brilliant flash of red catches your eye.

“Cardinal!” your brain screeches.

“Nothing so unusual about that,” you think, “after all, it’s the state bird.”

But you are a writer, so you notice how the bird’s wings are pinned back, and the way the cardinal streaks through the air like a torpedo seeking its target.

“See?!” your brain shouts, “Extraordinary!!”

Posted in animals, reflections, SOLSC 2014 Weekly, writing | 6 Comments

March Challenge 2014

This March Challenge really has been a challenge! I haven’t been at home most of the month, but just making short pit stops to check on the house and feed the cats. This meant I was also away from my Wi-Fi! It worked out OK on weekdays when I was at school…well, sort of. I rushed to slice and post during my lunch or prep time. A few days, I stayed after school to get it done. The weekends and the days of Spring Break were a little harder. A couple of times I wrote and posted from my Kindle. I’m happy to say I made it all month, sliced every day!

Thanks to all who have read and commented throughout this month. It has been great! I was encouraged every day by writing and reading. Some days I didn’t have much time to comment, but I have read many posts every day this month. I apologize to people I missed sending a comment. There are so many amazing writers and so many interesting stories! Thank you all for sharing your writing this month!

Thanks to the TWT team for being here all the time. Thanks to all the slicers who took on supporting roles during this month, too. I look forward to continuing as part of the Tuesday slicing community. There is still so much to write about! Hope a lot of “newbies” will be back on Tuesdays. And I hope all the “oldies” stick around, too.

We have a virtual meeting place, but our sharing is real!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Writing: A Preposition Poem

On my mind
In my heart
With reflection
Through my hand
Onto the page
For me…
For you

Posted in poems, SOLSC March 2014, Uncategorized, writing | 6 Comments

Spring Snow

A fat robin sits on a high branch as
Heavy flakes of snow fall straight down
Melting away wherever they touch
The bird flies off, seeking warm shelter

The snow keeps dropping and begins
Sticking along the crests of the rooftops
Then gradually spreading down the roofs
And collecting on the tops of fences

Snow frosts the ground but rain mixes in
And there is less and less falling until
Suddenly it stops and all melts away

The fat robin returns to the tree

Posted in poems, SOLSC March 2014, Uncategorized | 4 Comments


I drove by 8259 today. It is painted a peeling dark blue…it was white with black trim. The front is plain…there was a black eagle with wings spread hanging in the space between the bedroom windows. No bushes now…there were low green bushes across the front of the house. There is a garage out back…there was a much larger back yard. Only one thing was the same…the big rock by the driveway, painted white. Other houses on the street have peeling paint, shingles missing on the roofs, and even a few with boarded up windows…the houses and yards were mostly well kept, freshly painted, filled with families proud to be first-time homeowners.

When we lived there, the house didn’t seem so small. The neighborhood had lots of kids, and we all played in each others’ yards or walked down to the corner and played in the creek that ran next to the railroad track. We had a swing set in the back yard, scene of many acts of daring and endless hours of swinging and sliding. There were horseshoe pits, site of many epic competitions, which doubled as sandboxes. One year, there was a rabbit hutch where my dad raised rabbits, which were later killed, skinned and frozen…to be passed off as fried chicken when my mom served them for dinner (didn’t fool any of us kids, though- we refused to eat it). There was a doghouse, too. We had a German shepherd who would play with my toddler brother by knocking him down as he walked and then pin him down, grinning. (Don’t feel sorry for my brother- he smiled, too.) But the dog had to find a new home in the country when he would nearly tear the down the door when he would hear our baby brother cry. Later, we had a poodle, but he was an inside dog.

I liked our house and neighborhood, but my sister remembers it more as “Little Boxes”… ticky tacky houses that all looked the same. (Although the people who lived in them did not go to University, they were blue collar, and the houses were not on the hillside like the song.) Her country-girl soul was stifled there. But actually, we both ended up liking 12071 much better…

(12071 coming soon)

Posted in home and family, memories, SOLSC March 2014 | 4 Comments