Tuesday, February 18, 2020

#sol20 Just don't do aquasize

During a recent road-trip, I began talking about my new-found happy-place, the local YMCA.  "I don't feel embarrassed to walk on the treadmill and when I look around, there are people going slower than me!  I also like the relaxed feel of the dressing room where there is no pressure to have six-pack abs and a perfect body! I also love the pool. When I swim, I just don't feel my age as much."

"Just don't do aquasize," the driver offered as if it was a banned substance. 

"But I love aquasize and do it 3-4 times a week," I almost screamed, but realizing the kiddos were sleeping, I resisted the scream and made it a firm statement! "I get great exercise and even do some resistance and weight work in the water. It's also easy on my knees." 

"But, it's for o-o-o-o," he stopped, catching the prejudice before it came all the way out.

"It's great for old ladies," I quipped in defense of all aquacizers, some much older and some younger than me.  "This is an exercise routine I can get behind and do for a long time. I am getting older, in case you didn't notice."

Later that night I reflected on the conversation as I climbed into bed, promising myself I would do weights in the morning.  It's easy to let our preconceived ideas get in the way.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

#SOL2020 Lesson Learned

Lanny's reminder about March's Slice of Life Marathon made me feel as if I had been called into the principal's office about my lack of writing.  Clearly, I could choose to just let "the blog" rest in this new season of life; yet, this "blog" has been an important forum for saving the "small moments" of life and a way of connecting with others who process life and thinking in a similar way.

So, in a quick review of the past few months:
I learned to brush my teeth with bottled water and a "spittoon"!
I spent more time at the gym showering than exercising!
I cleaned the same corner 30 times until the dust finally settled.
I met amazing craftsmen, lived amidst chaos, wrestled with decisions.

I created a new generation graduate course while my laptop was covered with dust,
I filmed segments in a real studio after getting hair and make-up as if I was a star,
I aligned meaningful activities and video clips of student-teacher interaction,
I met producers, lived with stress, wrestled with deadlines!

I've watched my tribe of little people grow, learn, and thrive, each in their own way,
I've explained that their parents are "my babies" to disbelieving audiences,
I've read How to Track a Truck and Strega Nona more than a few times,
I've watched snow fall, Amazon trucks arrive, and Pete the Cat videos.

I've been busy, but the real reason for not writing is that it is hard to write when you get out of the daily practice of writing.  Plus, I really do have stories to share about my home renovation, course development, and my tribe. Lesson learned.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

#NCATE2019 Collecting Ideas and Books

Baltimore Harbor, November 2019
I'm surrounded by teachers
English, Reading, Writing, all Special,
Passionate enough about their profession for
Saturday morning, coffee in hand
Trucking like lemmings
To learn, to affirm, to reaffirm
From their peers.

I'm a long professed
Lifelong learner
Reader, questioner.
Assured there is no
One way to reach all.

So here I am,
Laden with 
New books.
Filled with
New ideas
Inspired by
Friends turned authors
Empowered by
Hope for our profession.

I'm grateful
To be a teacher.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

This and the Other Side

I hope on the other side,
He'll be happy,
Feel love, hope,
Let go of regret, guilt,
Be healthy,
Find peace.

One could say, "If only...."
One could think, 
"He's in a better place...."
One could feel sad,
For paths not taken,
For roads not traveled,
For happiness not shared,
"If only in this life...."

I hope on this side,
His family will
Remember the happy times,
Remember the love,
Find peace.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

sol#19 One Tile and Then Another

I'm in my office,
The only place free of construction dust.
Listening to the glorious, hopeful sound 
Of tile installation,
Scraping, tapping, 
The whir of cutting, resizing,
Wonderful sounds.

It's been 9 weeks
I could say endlessly long.
I could say hopelessly long.

Yet there are walls, now.
There are floors, now.
There is heat, now.
There is water, outside, now.

"It will go fast, now," they say.
"I hope so," I think.
"Cabinets tomorrow," they say.
"Appliances tomorrow, too," they say.
"I hope so," I think.
Hopeful words. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

#sol19 Thankful, Hopeful, Woeful!

It's been a while, but I am reminded that writing helps me put the chaos of life in perspective!

I'm thankful my house now has ceilings and walls, but not much else.  I'm told it will go fast from here however, I am not too hopeful. To be honest, sitting and trying to work or write amidst the dust and debris makes me a bit woeful! I'm hopeful it will be worth it in the end.

I'm also thankful Halloween is out of the way. It's a stressful and scary time for so many kids and the hype seems to grow each year. I'm hopeful that we will return to a focus on cute costumes and fun rather than on gruesome decorating!

I'm also hopeful for the holidays that follow All Saints Day and hopeful I can focus on gratitude and giving in the months ahead.

Thursday, October 3, 2019


I say, "Nothing has happened at the house this week?"
They say, "We are waiting for inspections
Plumbing, electrical, code violation"

I say, "How long?"
They say, "Any day now."
I think,
Wonder what that means.?

I say, "Is there anything I can do?"
They say, "Meet me on Monday morning at 7:00."
I think, "Why would you say meet me on Monday
When it is Thursday?"
I wonder if this is a lost week?
I say, "Of course."
It is a lost week.

First world problems?
Renovation problems?
Problems in Hawthorne?

I guess I am waiting.

Monday, September 30, 2019

#sol19 A little excited

I'm days away
From launching a big project at work.
I'm weeks away 
From taking a bath in this tub.
I'm months away
From paying for the walls, tile, sink and medicine cabinet!
I'm years away
From forgetting this crazy season
Of living out of a suitcase!
I'm definitely over
My unlivable house.
I'm a little bit overwhelmed
With all the decisions.
I'm a lot frustrated 
With all the setbacks.
I'm grateful
I'm not homeless. 
I'm a little excited
About the possibilities ahead.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

#sol19 Long, Hot, Showers

First world problems,
The state of my bathroom,
The condition of my kitchen.
Season of fresh starts,
New beginnings,
Looking forward,
New adventures,
Walls, floors, cabinets,
Warm, gingerbread cookies,
Long, hot showers

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Year of the Bag

Perhaps its the 60+ years of school?
Perhaps it is that inevitable change in weather that always occurs at the end of August (to return to hot and humid after school starts)?
Perhaps it is the sweaters piled high is stores?
Perhaps it is just the way it is!

September, Labor Day heralds the start of school.
In these parts, and for me, at least, it's the start of a New Year.

While I typically skip resolutions in January in favor or a OLW (one little word) for the year, I usually DO set goals that certainly resemble resolutions at this time of year.
Usually, they focused on getting organized. keeping organized, keeping better records or something along those lines.
Usually, my house is at its best this time of year.\
Usually, I have lots of prepared produce in my freezer.
Usually, my closets are cleaned and my bills/paperwork organized.
Usually, I'm more excited than scared!
Usually, I know life is about to get crazy!

This year is a little different, except my life is about to get really crazy!
My belongings are shoved into closets where they will sit for about 6 weeks.
My essential clothes, workout gear, make-up, pills, and my few "valuables" are stuffed into bags.
I have bags for each course and bags for resource books
I have bags for technology and bags for power cords and chargers.
I have bags for swimming gear and bags for workout gear.
I have bags for shorts and bags with sweatshirts and another bag for presentation wear!

I've lived through home renovation several times!
I know it will get better.
I know it will be worth it and the new tub will drain in less than 2 days.
I know the new stove will stay shut.

I've done this before.
I know there will be unforeseen problems.
I know there will be decisions to make on the spot.
I know life on the run will be challenging.
I've never felt less organized in my life and yet,
Perhaps I am ready for this new year! 
I'm calling it the Year of the Bag.

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