I Know I Had a Great Idea

Take a lesson from me. Write it down! I know a couple of days ago I had the perfect idea for this week’s slice. I wrote it in my head. I know I did. But I didn’t write it in my notebook. I didn’t write it on a scrap of paper. I just thought about it. Now I can’t remember it. Not one word. Not a ghost of an idea what it was. So I am stuck. I can’t come up with a new idea. My mind keeps trying to resurrect whatever that other idea was. Because it was perfect.

If you find it, let me know…

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One Book Leads to Another…and Another…

The debate over books vs. e-readers goes on, but to me there is no debate. I love “real” books, and I love my Kindle, too. I like magazines and newspapers. I just love reading, to put it simply. Borrowing library books on Kindle is one of my favorite things. Often I search for a specific book, but sometimes I just come across a title by chance. A recent read was the latter. And it turned into a reading spree, as I reread some books and discovered many by the same author, who wrote a lot more books than I knew.

I discovered Looking Back by Lois Lowry. In it she recounts memories from her life (Slices of Life!) and shares how they inspired the stories she wrote. Each chapter begins with a quote from one of her books and a photograph from her life. if you are looking for inspiration as a writer or words from an author to share with students, you will find them here. And maybe it will send you on a reading spree, too.

Here are some of the books I read on my Lois Lowry spree:
Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye
Crow Call
All About Sam
Autumn Street
Rabble Starkey
Gooney Bird Greene
The Giver
Number the Stars

Some I am still looking forward to:
A Summer to Die
Anastasia Krupnik
The Willoughbys

Also, more Gooney Bird, Sam, and Anastasia and maybe the other books in The Giver quartet

Posted in thoughts on books | 3 Comments

Random Observations from the Day

Here are a few things I noticed throughout the day today:

* I was the 16th voter at my polling place this morning

* A woman driving in the lane next to me this morning had a black glove on one hand and held a cigarette in that hand- no glove on the other hand, which she used on the steering wheel

* Voters were already arriving at school when I got there- one parked in the principal’s spot just as she was pulling up, and the principal waited as the person went to the front door, read the sign that directed voters to the rear of the school, and finally pulled out of her parking spot

* Only a few students had questions about voting- one student asked me again and again WHO I voted for

* Sometimes the day doesn’t go the way you were expecting it to- I was called on to sub for the sub of a fifth grade teacher on maternity leave, after several days of the class being split a few in each class throughout the school- oh, my, what a day

* My fledgling bloggers are getting more confident- though I still have two who can’t log in without help!

* After subbing, after meeting with my bloggers after school, and then a district committee meeting, a BBQ dinner is just what the doctor ordered

* At the restaurant I see a family with a daughter about three or four years old sporting a pink hearing aid (you go, girl!) and a few minutes later, I was approached by a man in a raggedy jacket with a card begging for donations because he is a deaf mute

* Relaxing on the couch with a purring cat is a calming way to end a busy day

Posted in random thoughts | 6 Comments

Do You Like Bananas?

Do you like bananas? I don’t … and I do. The plain fruit, just to peel and eat, I am not that fond of. Sliced atop a bowl of corn flakes, sprinkled with sugar, and splashed with milk, not bad. Mashed up with peanut butter and spread onto soft white bread for a sandwich, also pretty good. Layered with pudding and vanilla wafers at a hundred Southern potlucks, yummy.

I have to admit, for whatever crazy reasons, I like banana-flavored things better than eating bananas or foods with bananas in them. I suppose this started when I was a kid, with Banana Flips, Banana Turkish Taffy and Now and Laters, and the mini-bananas in Runts. And I admit, the pretend bites of baby food bananas when I was 10, feeding my baby brother, were not always just pretend.

But my all-time favorite banana flavored treat is the banana popsicle. Cold and crunchy, juicy, too, it takes you back to a summer day at the pool, standing in line in your dripping swimsuit with your sister, quarters in your hand to buy you both a treat at the concession stand…or to a day when Mom would bring you one to soothe you when you weren’t feeling well.

Maybe one of these days I will give bananas their rightful place. But this week, the cold that has been advancing and retreating over and over the last few weeks finally won, and I ended up with bronchitis. I bought a box of banana popsicles.

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Surprise! Surprise!

One evening last week, I impulsively decided to stop for some country comfort food on the way home from school. I really wallowed in that comfort, too, and ordered breakfast for supper. I was alone, yet in good company as I read a book. I noticed the couple at the table next to mine. They appeared to be a little older than me, and as I sometimes do when I see an older couple that enjoys being together, I felt a twinge of jealousy and wished my husband had lived long enough for us to grow old together. But I was absorbed in my book and my food, and I didn’t dwell on it. Later, I noticed how they each dug into their pockets (well, she dug into her purse) gathering cash together, and then had a whispered conversation with the waitress. I was a little curious. A couple of minutes later, the waitress stopped at my table. “I don’t want to hurry you at all, but whenever you get ready, you are all set. That couple (she pointed to the table next to mine) paid for your food and tip.”

The next morning, I rushed out the door so I would have time for a Starbucks run. (Since it was the week before fall break, and since I had spent the week fighting a cold…I was treating myself.) When I pulled up to the window…you won’t believe this…
“The lady in the car ahead of you paid for your coffee. Enjoy!”

Blessed twice by strangers! There is grace in the world. I am on the lookout for my turn to pass it on.

Posted in reflections, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The Good and Bad of It

Cough! Sneeze! Sniff! Cough! Cough!! I hate having a cold. But I can’ t complain too much. I made it through the day. I ate my favorite chicken soup this evening. Now I am relaxing, stretched out on the couch, with a sweet kitty stretched out beside me, napping and keeping me warm. I didn’t forget to write, and I still feel good enough to read slices and comment before I head to bed early. That’s the good and bad of it for now.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

On the Way to Sunshine

Driving along the freeway,
nearly overwhelmed by the
sea of red tail lights I followed
and the waves of white head lights
coming toward me on the other side,

I almost missed the great
transformation as night
gave way fully to the new day…
Sky that was a muted blue-gray
lightened and brightened more each moment-

I was on the way to sunshine,
but I just about missed the realization,
worrying about traffic- then the truth dawned…
A perfectly brilliant day could be mine-
I was on the way to sunshine!

Posted in poems, reflections | 6 Comments