Saturday, July 30, 2016

#celebratelu16 How do you decide what to read?

When it comes time to buy baby gifts, I always give books.  I guess it comes as no surprise to most recipients as I have always loved to read, adore a good bookstore, am a Kindle affectionado, collect old books, teach kids to read for a living, and teach wanna be grad-student reading teachers in the evenings.

Over the years, I've found some wonderful Sandra Boyton board books, like The Goodnight Book and Barnyard Dance, that I buy in multiple copies to have on hand when the occasion for a baby-book-gift arises.  

So, when I found out that I was going to be a Grammy last year, I went "hog-wild" collecting books for the little miracles that would be joining our family.  I can assure you that my granddaughter and my grandson have plenty of books!

So, when I saw this picture pop up attached to a text late yesterday, I really had to smile.  Like most kids who are immersed in books and reading, this little girl has learned to generalize the power of reading to "tasting" a few textbooks about Scala and Human Physiology, as well "tearaing apart"  some magazines, like the Better Homes and Garden sand Real Simple in the picture below.  At 10 months, she can't yet read nor even say many words;  however, she can make her needs and wants known and can find reading material no matter where it is hidden in her house!  And, she is already faced with the challenge that has shaped my life: So many books, so little time.  How do you decide what to read first?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#sol16 Warning Signs

These days,
I usually order books
On my Kindle.
It's faster, easier,
With two clicks
I'm reading.

One summer day,
So for a special "vacation" treat,
I went to a real, wonderful,
Where "real" books lined the shelves,
People thumbed through the pages
Before carrying their treasures home.
The warning signs
Confirmed what I already knew.
It was a dangerous place 
Where books were screaming
"Take me,"
My credit card was moaning
"Do you need all this?"
And I was smiling
As I remembered the joy
A wonderful bookstore
Could bring
And as I carried my 
Treasures home
Ignoring all those

Sunday, July 24, 2016

#celebratelu16: Imagination

Nestled between "normal-sized"homes on a quiet suburban street in a NYC suburb, I discovered spectacular fairy gardens!  There are gnomish homes, pebble-lined paths, tiny thyme trees, and delicate butterfly-flowers.  If you look closely, you might even find a cucumber or two purposely left behind by the fairies for the gardeners who diligently tend to the gardens.  If you listen closely late at night, you might even "hear" the tenants emerge from their lilliputian lodgings and begin their after-bedtime bedlam!  Seriously, there are FAIRY GARDENS growing and sponsoring fairy life on suburban streets after dark!

I've listened to the preschoolers who helped create the gardens talk about the emerging flowers and the need for daily careful watering.  I've discussed the potential magical powers of tiny pieces of sea glass with young gardeners who oversee the care of gardens.  I've even talked with the owner of one of the regular sized houses about the specific plants that will augment rather than detract from her magical paradise tucked on the side of the house! I'm pretty sure I heard some strange sound coming from the garden as I took out the trash late one night!

So, this morning I celebrate the magic and miracle of imagination.  While I intellectually know there is no-such-thing as "fairies," I am totally sure that imagination is the basis for creativity and problem-solving ability.  Imagination allows us envision those people and places we read about, yet never see.

Imagination needs to be nurtured, supported and cultured, just like those fairy gardens I found!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

#sol2016 Respect

I was waiting in line in McDonalds for my .99 coffee when I overheard a woman, appearing to be the manager say, "I can't believe this refrigerator door is left open again."  Her employee, who was busily managing both the line inside the store and the never ending drive up window single-handely, did not respond, but kept on working on her orders.  "Did you hear me?" she asked the food-service-worker?"  Without waiting for a response, she continued in what appeared to me to be a "put down tone" in full listening view of customers and other employees, "If this keeps happening, we're going to have to talk."  Moments later, she turned on her heel, tucked her manager-style-white shirt into her skirt and left the front of the store saying, "I'm going on break now, but I will be watching."

I wonder if the "manager" had one day worn that food-worker's uniform and stood in the front of the store taking orders and filling them in rapid fire order?  I wonder if her "attitude" was always so disrespectful?  I wonder if she every considers how her words impact others?  I wonder if she thinks about how her words might build anger in her employees?

As I enjoyed my coffee, I had plenty of time to think about this one small but very SAD interaction and the many, many other sad interactions between people with different beliefs and different backgrounds and how those put-downs might be interpreted and might contribute to seeds of hate.  I thought about people in management, leadership, authority, power, and control (including teachers and administrators) whose words and actions might contribute to anger that might fester or that might even boil over into hate sometimes.  I thought about all the sadness and the violence that has filled the news lately.  I thought about how I could try to be a little kinder to everyone I meet along this path of life.  I wondered if we need to all take a page from:
                                          Arethra Franklin and give each other a little RESPECT?

Find out what it means to me

Friday, July 15, 2016

#celebratelu2016 OLW: Persistence

Today I celebrate the power of MY 2016 OLW.

"We're busier than we've ever been," 
He said, over the phone,
Yet, when I looked at him eye-to-eye,
"One unit just became available.
I am so glad you walked in when you did."
"So am I," I said to myself.

"I'm sorry, but you're denied,"
He said, over the phone,
Your ratio is just not good enough.
Your just not the best candidate.
Yet, there are other ways to get to where
I want to go.
Other paths, possibilities, formats.
I will not be deterred by, "No."

In spite of difficulty 
Those boxes sure are heavy,
Yet, I have been lifting weights,
They are heavy, but all I have to do 
Is get to the cart.
I've been preparing for this move
Even without knowing.

Finding potential
Learning from Bob the Builder, 
"Can I do this, YES, I can!"

Who knew
Could be inspired  from
Uncle Bob's Storage,
Bob, the Broker, and
Bob the Builder!!!!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#SOL2016 Soothsayers

I've been on a "blogging break" as I've dealt with hard to write about slices of life. However, this week, I've had TWO "slices with soothsayers" that left me with goosebumps as well as this "uncanny" need to write

Not long before the "fireworks" began, she looked me as if she had known me for a long, long time and started, "Honey, it's gonna be OK.  I promise you, if you believe in your whole heart, if you let your anger and hurt go, if you just put your whole trust in the Almighty, it will be just fine.  You will see the majesty of the mountains, the power of the sunrise and wrap your days in glorious sunsets." To be honest, there was a part of me that felt like laughing out loud as this person I did not know and had never talked to before seemed to "see" into my heart; but, for some reason I just let her continue. "You have to look ahead," she continued, "and not back into the past.  In the past there is sadness but your future is brighter than you can ever imagine." Throwing her hands to the heavens, she added , "I have plans for you, he says, plans for glorious days ahead!"  I nodded and thanked her for her "predictions" as I said my "Good-bye" and moved away.wondering if I had imagined that interaction or if it was real. To be quite honest, things did NOT suddenly turn around and my life did NOT suddenly become a "bed-of-roses," but for some strange reason, I get "goosebumps" as her words resonated in my head.

Then, not too many days later, as we "shared an elevator" at "self-storage" house, another soothsayer looked over to my loaded cart and questioned me, "Moving?" I nodded in response to her query and she continued. "I have to be out this week and it's the hottest week in a long time.  I have a lot of books, like you.  I was a teacher, an English teacher."  I stared down at my cart of boxes marked clearly, "BOOKS." but I said nothing, somehow I didn't need to say anything and she continued. "We may be tiny, but we are mighty and fierce," she continued, "Shakespeare was talking about us!"  And with a click of her heels, I think I saw, she was out of the elevator on her floor and I never saw her again.  In spite of the stifling heat, I had goose-bumps all over as I unloaded my cart.

Now, the truth is I have never had my "future-formally-predicted" by a paid-crystal-ball-toting fortune teller; however, this week, soothsayers seem to be finding ME in strange places and compelling me to slice about THEM!  So, because I do hope the future is as bright as SS#1 predicted and because I do hope I am as mighty as SS#2 seemed to believe from a chance encounter in an elevator, I'm slicing up their stories this summer morning!