SOL: Culinary Love

May 14, 2013

sols_6The past four days, I have cooked dinner for several extra persons. Chicken, pasta, salad, forks, plates, glasses.

My culinary arts lack creativity, but my family does not go hungry.

I do not enjoy reading cookbooks, trying new recipes. I prefer the familiar, the tested, tried and true dishes. This choice is not due to my taste buds. Nope, it’s due to efficiency. I am quicker with tradition.

You see, my friends, cooking is not a favorite activity. I wish for a cook more than a maid.

The past four days, I have cooked and cooked and cooked some more … and loved every minute.

Why you may ask?


My son is home from college.

My Iowan niece and nephew have moved here.

My mother wished for a home cooked meal.


Laughter and sharing and more laughter has filled our rooms. The kitchen is the central meeting place.

And I listen.

My daughter shares, giggles, reciprocates the humor of her cousin. My sons banter with their father and voice levels range. My nephew wrestles and joins in. Snippets of stories are shared. Slices of hope, support, of family ring in the air and my heart is satisfied.

The past four days, I have cooked and listened and savored. My culinary love calls for their stories and we are nourished.

SOL: BONS, I Appreciate You!

April 9, 2013

sols_6The BONS writing group began over two years ago and has been a powerful agent in each of our lives. I’m proud of each of us slicing all 31 days in March!! Whoop Whoop! :)

Today, I have been thinking of each of you, BONS. Maybe it’s because we are setting dates to meet. Maybe it’s because I’m writing my supportive thesis for my teaching evaluation. Maybe it’s just because thoughts of you brings sunshine to my day.

Ruth, you are exemplifying, real, supportive. Your leadership shines through and lifts me up. I love reflecting with you about school, about writing, about kids. The thousands of words you write inspires me to keep going.

Tam, you are endorsing, loyal, helpful. Your quiet reflection rings powerful through your masterpiece of of memories. I love your sketches, your bits of ideas sculpted into possibilities. Your perseverance and charm nudges new thoughts and makes me smile.

Ruth M (aka: the other Ruth), you are encouraging, insightful, reflective. Your poetic craft spell bounds me – every time. I love the richness of your words, savoring them over and over and over. Your calm perspective ignites ideas and sparks persistence.

Tammy, you are energizing, creative, heartful. Your stories bring out laughter and emotion. I love your adventurous spirit and welcoming friendship has taught me to stretch beyond myself. Your enthusiasm spreads and your conversations are the best!

We all bring laughter and stories. It’s contagious. Our BONd keeps us fueled for the daily writing or idea-mulling treadmill. The celebration is the key. It’s in celebrating the bits of nothing and somethings that’s at the heart of the BONS.


SOLC: Reflection: Being a Risk-taker

April 1, 2013

sols_6The Slice of Life Challenge is about committing to writing each day. It’s a commitment to think, reflect, prioritize. It’s a discipline of yourself to focus, notice, and take time. It’s a community where you can parallel posts, listen, and support. Because of the SOLC, I have learned to be a risk-taker with words. I play with words during SOL Challenge and on Tuesdays throughout the year. It’s the one place I will try something out and not be reserved.

Just like an artist, I’m in my fourth year, my fourth year of developing. Some of my friends create mentor texts for me (unknowingly) as they thread words together into an exquisite, priceless written tapestry. My work is a simpler cross-stitched piece written with pride, pleased with where I am and focusing on where I can go.

I have learned:

Thank you, Ruth and Stacey, for hosting Slice of Life Challenge at TwoWritingTeachers.

Thank you, slicers, for your encouraging comments. Christy, LeAnn (aka: elsie), and Linda, I’m in your fan club and so appreciate your many comments.

Thank you, BONS, for your daily thoughts, as we are growing together (can’t wait to see you tomorrow)!

SOLC: The Ordinary becomes Spectacular

March 27, 2013


From Two Writing Teachers, Ruth Ayres posted

Lessons from a Chairmaker


The Ordinary becomes Spectacular!

It’s moments

like these

in the classroom and in my home

that make life

so enormously special.


drives excellence.


is my passion? How

can I spark

passion? Passion

fuels the energy to keep going.

In moments of passion,

my heart thrives… reflects… adjusts….

In the moments when the ordinary becomes spectacular,

my heart soars.

How can I keep

the passion going?

When I’m tired,

am I passionate? Does

my passion weary?

I must not!

Love Ruth’s post!

Great meaning

for each day of teaching,



SOLC: Temptation

March 14, 2013


savor the sweetness

cream-filled doughnut, sprinkles on top

ice cream – any kind, any time!

Speaking without pausing


Did I really just say that?

All have consequences

due to a momentary reflux

Think, wait, and weigh the effects of my actions, words

Temptations – – momentarily satisfying

followed by hours of discipline

Is it really worth it?

SOLC: Laundry

March 13, 2013

sols_6“I love you, Mom,” my college son said, walking in with his full laundry basket.

Laundry has been a topic I have written about in the past, in a post and in my mind’s notebook. It’s a recurring topic because much time is invested in this chore. Laundry. Just saying the name brings an array of feelings, thoughts, and sighs.

I want to say much time is invested in completing this chore. But completion is the issue – It’s. NEVER. done.

I’ve decided I don’t hate the chore. I find myself thinking about the person and praying for them too. The music in the room cheers my heart and brings energy.  I just like to check things off my list.  Laundry even gets a “did that” line through it most Saturdays.

But completed – hardly!

SOLC: Wave and Smile

March 10, 2013

sols_6After dropping my son off at the middle school, I headed to school. Coming to the four-way stop, I noticed a familiar truck. His business logo was on the side. He often drops his daughter off at school the same time I do. A routine activity for both of us.

This time, he waved. He waved and he smiled. So did his daughter. They are acquaintances, but I was still surprised by his kind gesture. On a morning where I was not fully ready, their actions spurred a smile on my face and a cheer in my heart.

A wave – something so simple yet powerful. I couldn’t believe the positive serotonin flowing through my veins.

I decided to reciprocate the action on the next person I saw. On the lone road, a van was waiting to pull out. With a big smile, I waved. The lady looked at me, so I kept waving. Finally, a smile crossed her face.

I’m sure the lady was wondering who I was and why I waved. It didn’t matter. What did matter was the spark of joy I passed on to someone else.

Try it. Wave at someone and smile.

SOLC: March is my New Year’s Eve

March 3, 2013

Join in the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers

I love March! It’s renewal time. Most people make New Year’s resolutions. That day is March 1st for me. Renewal means to start new again – a fresh start. Green is springing, birds are chirping, and the sun is shining. It’s time to keep going!

My reflection began when I read Diana from One Literacy Coach. Her truth of “This post took me months to write” prompted a spontaneous nod of understanding from me. I’ve missed her voice, but I totally understand.

I’ve missed my voice too. It has not been there. Notes are in various notebooks. Books have been read. Thoughts have been tucked away in my mental file. Like Diana, I’ve attributed my job change as effecting my writing. Changing from a writing coach to a Title I Reading Interventionist and Coordinator supervising four assistants and monitoring numerous children’s reading progress shifted my focus. Data and RtI meetings bombard my life, replacing my first love of reading books to children. I love to hook kids. I love to connect great reads with aspiring minds and show them the possibilities of writing like the author. I love inspiring teachers to teach with quality, rich texts. This job shift has effected me and my writing life.

This reflection prompted five written slices yesterday. (I know. I’ll still be looking at each day, but when an idea or memory hits, I’m going to write.) I found seventeen books to blog (Can you believe it! Where have I been?) and wrote five more reviews. (Remember – I was sitting on wooden bleachers for seven hours at the wrestling match yesterday. I had to do something to keep my stomach from knotting.)

Renewal. March. SOLC. This is my time (and yours) to begin again capturing my mind-full-of-thoughts to play with words and create.

Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution

January 28, 2013

Dear BONS,

It’s January and I have been thinking about goals, a New Year’s resolution of sorts. I know Ruth has shared her goals with us. Any others? Me – I’m going to set a time limit for myself to write daily instead of just being arbitrary about it. So I find it fitting that the book Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller happened to catch my eye. It’s super cute and Tammy, I think your first graders would like it. Tam, your gran kids would enjoy it too.

Squirrel wants to know what a resolution is, so he goes to the best place ever to research it – the LIBRARY. Of course, my favorite place! The definition he finds is as follows:

A resolution is a promise you make to yourself to be better or to help yourself.

As squirrel thinks of resolutions for herself, she helps others along the way. In the end, her friends remind her of how she helped them in their time of need.

Isn’t this a great book to share with a class and talk about community building and how each person in the class can help support the goals for the class? I also thought of you with the encouragement to keep writing. So hooray for writing!

Resolved to create,


Savorings for reading and in writing for Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution:

  • Bucket Filling -“I resolve to help someone every day!
  • Apostrophe usage – contractions vs. possessive
  • Narrative weaving of thoughts/feelings
  • Community Building
  • Library reference :)

The Urge

April 1, 2012

It’s 11: 48 p.m. and I’m writing. I was snuggling in to sleep, gently relaxing when … I didn’t post. Yep, I was nearly asleep and realized I had forgotten something. It’s writing. I did read a few posts today and commented. I am not sure if I will keep writing daily, but I’m back in the swing of it. I have several books to post and am anxious to savor a several more this week during Spring Break.

I read my post about Elizabeth to my mom today. She loved it and asked for a copy. She has the picture already displayed, but I know the words were a gift. I don’t think I would have written that piece if it hadn’t been for Jessica Whitmore writing her piece about her son. I know there was another lady who wrote about her son and how to answer the question, “Do you have children?” (Sorry; it’s late. I’ll look it up tomorrow and link.) So many times I would read a post and an idea would come. I learned how to strike out a word to show my thinking from Christy Rush-Levine. I learned much from you all and will continue to do so on Tuesdays. See you then!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers