C is for Coffee, Camo, and Connecting {Celebrate}

November 16, 2013

A.AutumnA is for Autumn by Robert Maass I caught my eye this week. I love the brilliant pictures illustrating the beauty around us this autumn season. This book is a good mentor text for a photo book  project in a content area. It makes me think of Instagram in a book form, pictures with captions, especially with technology so prevalent in our schools.

(I love linking my thoughts with books. Here is a short, 1 minute 35 second video clip featuring the book. Very delightful!)

Yesterday, I kept thinking of the theme ‘T is for Tree’ for the 5 Minute Friday post. This morning, ‘C is for Celebrating’ began swirling in my mind while driving for an early morning basketball event. (Getting up at 4:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning should be banned. :))

C is for …

Coffee with peppermint mocha. Delicious! I have “candy coffee,” my husband’s endearing term, to waken my senses.

Carpooling basketball teens and sharing the responsibility with a fellow mom. Love saving time and gas (and hearing their stories)!

Caring and listening to first graders tell about a lost tooth, a new puppy, and playing in the leaves.

Cuddling cat laying on my lap while holding my husband’s hand  watching a TV show, hearing him say he will never give up on us.

Camo basketball shirt, a soft fit for Tim’s sensitive skin, a symbol of belonging, a commitment to teamwork.

Connecting on blogs, refreshed and ignited from stories, poems, and slices shared.

Capturing the moment, being alert to the wonders swirling around us, pausing to listen to my child’s tale, reliving the pleasure through the written word.

C is for celebrating with you!

Capturing moments throughout the week that make you smile. Share a celebration at www.ruthayreswrites.com.

Capturing moments throughout the week that make you smile. Share a celebration at http://www.ruthayreswrites.com.

SOLC: I am the Cottage

July 23, 2013

The lake view refreshes us. Sitting on the porch, we share, laugh, and relax.

The highlight of the summer for our writing group is meeting at Tammy’s lake cottage. The view is splendid and the company is delightful! Tammy and her husband, Rex, have worked hard on the property, taking a shack hidden by foliage to a quaint cabin.

The welcoming cottage, the away place.

The welcoming cottage, the away place.

We arrived Friday afternoon, chattering about our recent family events. We relaxed on the porch, looking at pictures of the Italy trip, and gathering writing ideas. Ruth, who had an unexpected event, was not able to attend. This distance did not stop her from sharing in our writing lives (and laughter).

With writing pressing upon our minds, we sat as a group and brainstormed a poem – a poem about the cottage we love. After listing ideas on the side of the page, phrases and sentences emerged in the notebook.  A poem was crafted.

The BONS are around the table, adding ideas, sparking rhythms and choice words.

The BONS are around the table, adding ideas, sparking rhythms and choice words.

I Am the Cottage

I wait for them to come…

…footsteps approaching, cares freeing as they step through the door.

I am the place away.

I hold laughter, stories, and friendship. The BONS reunite, sharing bits of life.

I feed their stomachs and souls. Pork burgers and onion-potatoes sizzling on the grill.

I am the place away.

I watch the pontoon cruise. The sunset silhouettes against the rippling water.

I am the place to dream. Wrapping them in wood-warm walls, they slip into sleep.

I am the place away.

I rouse each gently with scents of bacon, blueberry pancakes and coffee. Early light through the windows shine, pulling them back outside.

I am the cottage…

another day is beginning!

We signed our names from our spot around the kitchen table.

We signed our names from our spot around the kitchen table.

Composed by Ruth Metcalfe, Tammy Shultz, Tam Hess, Mary Helen Gensch, and nudgings from Ruth Ayres 🙂

The draft of the poem with revisions and the list of ideas on the side.

The draft of the poem with revisions and the list of ideas on the side.


SOL: Aaa-aa-aa-choo!

April 30, 2013

sols_6Warm weather.

Welcomed sunshine.

Mowers humming.


Daffodil beauties.

Shorts a sporting.

Breath of fresh air.


Nose twitching.

Eyes itching.

Medicine taken.


Loving the spring season with the warm sunshine, blue skies, and rejuvenation. Now to get the allergies under control. 🙂


Mysteries in Nature Concealed and Revealed

April 3, 2013

Dear Reader,

This book, What is in the Wild? Mysteries of Nature Concealed and Revealed, caught my eye just reading the introduction of the author and illustrator.

ear-tickling poems by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy

eye-tricking photos by Dwight Kuhn

How cool is that? Each living organism introduced encourages you to investigate. I’m not crazy about science, but they are very creative. Kids will love this book. Formations, patterns on the ground and in plants are zoomed in for examination. A full page close-up photograph reveals a mystery. A companion poem shares clues of its creatures.

It gets better. The photo page folds out to reveal another zoomed-in picture of an animal or insect accompanied by its adjacent information page. I really don’t like to get up-close and personal with any small, insect-like creature. It sends shivers down my spine. But, I am thinking of some kids right now who would have their nose buried in this book, reading and discovering. They’ll be tricked into learning something new.

Have fun with this one. I can visualize using this book as a great read aloud. I’m always looking for short texts that can be sandwiched into short time frames, like waiting in line for a specials class, a few minutes before leaving. How about an attention grabber in the middle of the day? You could read just one of the pages and it would hook them in. Think of the many possibilities there is.

Happy science sleuthing!


Savorings for reading and in writing for What is in the Wild?

  • Hybrid text
  • Riddle and word choice
  • Grabber Leads
  • Shape poems
  • Informational text – great for close reading

PES new book

(Side note: Tammy, I think I want to share this book at Summer Institute. It’s a keeper.)

SOLC: Saturday

March 23, 2013

sols_6March Saturdays have been filled with wrestling matches, teen-event driver, family visitors.

Today… I leisurely read slices.

Poems and seesaw texts delighted my thoughts.

Today… my cat snuggled asleep on my lap, twice.

His contentment mirrored mine.

Today… my son vacuumed.

Laundry was folded and finished.

Today… sunshine streamed in.

Spring said ‘Hello’.

Today… my daughter went shopping with me.

Her new shoes made her twirl with happiness.

Today… I listened and shared and listened.

Our time was delightful.

Today… I had extra time.

My heart is contented.

SOLC: Friday Night

March 22, 2013

Meeting Over –

home early

Change shoes

Laundry in –

hang clothes

Straighten room

Daughter excited –

friend over

Room cleaned

Pizza made –

paper plates

Movie in –

blanket on

Relaxation – aww!




SOLC: Where She’s From…

March 21, 2013

sols_6Tomorrow is my friend’s birthday. Each year, I try to find a fun way to say “Happy Birthday” and make her feel special. Mrs. Ball is a very giving person and loves her students immensely. Excellence is what she strives for and produces, supporting and nourishing along the way.

Her class is working through a poetry unit. They have been writing “Where I’m From” poems. She writes alongside her kids and thus created a beautiful poem. Her poem begins:

I am from favorite dolls and “Beanie Boy,”

From reading books, hours playing the stereo, and midnight boat rides.


I am from a two story house, built with love

And brothers hustling and bustling down the halls.


I am from cats that I loved, grandparents whom I’ve lost

Whose smiles and words will forever be imprinted within me.

As a gift to her, please surprise her by leaving comments on her blog about her poem. She enjoys compliments and will be elated knowing someone took the time to read her writing. I think her writing is beautiful, like she is. Thank you for taking the time to shower her with blessings this day.