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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Refluent--Flowing Back

"And in haste the refluent ocean / Fled away from the shore and left the line of the sand-beach / Covered with waifs of the tide…." — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, 1847 

Refluent is the word of the day. I couldn't possibly put this word to use in a more effective way than Longfellow, but I will try. 

Words has flown
around my page
from pen 
from key
from me
to you
from my mind's eye
to my marked notebook
they have flowed
in the receding waves
of my heart
to the refluent winds
of my soul. 

Happy March 31st, the final day of SOSLC 2015. 

Monday, March 30, 2015


Bed cannot come
fast enough
tiring muscles
cry for rest
rubbed eyes
close spontaneously
sleep wanders
and I begin to chase her.

Can you tell I am tired this evening? My eyes will not stay open, which makes reading or doing anything at all for that matter impossible. Here's to sleep. May it come quickly.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What I Saw Today

A sunrise
A game of hide and seek
A proposal
A ring
A Yes
A kiss
Friends (Katherine, Brian, Emily and Kim)
Georgia Heard!
People writing
People listening
A friendly tech guy
A river
A statue
A fountain
People watchers
Long hallways
Smiles and

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Busy Day

Today was a busy day. My daughter turned eight. We had a birthday party at the bowling alley. It was great fun. I have been preparing for a presentation tomorrow at MRA (Michigan Reading Association). I started reading a professional book, The Reading Strategies Book by Jen Serravallo. It is and will be amazing. I touched base with the book I have been reading, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. It's been a busy but fulfilling day. I look forward to tomorrow and hopefully I will see a robin, the first robin of spring, for me.

Friday, March 27, 2015

This Girl

A little curl of hair
at the nape of your neck
spaghetti crusted cheeks
and a sauced up head
a little toothy grin
revealing pearly whites
you cheese them all up
then flash, you smile bright.

You clap and sing and dance
with your little toddled legs
One step, two step 
our fingers interlace
I lift you like a hero
spinning round and round
I'll never let you go
may you never touch the ground.

My youngest is turning eight tomorrow. Need I say more. I was thinking tonight about what a spunky toddler she was, she's still spunky, but we forget some of those years when our kids were toddling around. Life is so different now.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Today is that day. I look around the house and you can tell it has been a busy week. Report Cards, meetings, preparing for a presentation, working on an article for publication, it's been heavy. But as these things come and go it gets lighter and then heavy again. We all have days, weeks, years like this.

Today's not the day
to right all the wrongs
to fix all the leaks
to sift through all the boxes
to sweep all the dirt
to unfill the glasses
and wipe all the tears
today's not that day
it's not been for years.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Morning Drive

I was in the car on the way to work today when I saw old leaf litter blowing around in the wind. It was still a bit dark and the rain made things glisten a bit. I thought, for a second, I saw a butterfly, but it was just a leaf. This has happened to me before. Once I thought I saw a toad crossing the road on a wet leafy day, but it was just a leaf. I thought, oooo, this would make a great haiku, so I worked at it. I worked at it. I didn't like it and I still don't like any of it, but the final result is kind of humorous to me.

5   leaves are in disguise
7   as like fliterring butterflies
5   leafy wings of spring

7   drifts of colorless litter

7    a caterpillars canvas

5    stealthy littered wings

5    leaves are in disguise
7    like flittering butterflies
5    stealthy littered wings

5    flutter from the sky
7    a beautiful butterfly
5    nope, it's just a leaf

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Story of a Different Shape

I'm over halfway through Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I've been able to do a lot of reading while my kids play at the park. I love sitting in the car outside the little neighborhood school down the road while my kids play and I read. Win win! Normally I am a slow to start reader who goes fast through the rest of a book. I think a lot of people are like this. But this book is different. I am reading it really slow. I am soaking it up. Marinating in the words. I'm taking my time. Reading each verse as though it were the only verse in the story, but connecting them as I go. There are so many parts that I love and on Thursday I get to share some of those parts with some third graders. A class at my school recently read a Time For Kids magazine that talked about the book and I believe had a short interview with Woodson. One of their questions was, "How can you write a whole book in verse?" I thought this was a good question and one I would love to talk to students about, however, my kindergartners aren't quite ready to talk about a book of this breadth. We'll see how the third graders do. I am excited to share portions of this story with them and talk about how verse can tell a beautiful story. It may be shaped a little differently, but a story definitely emerges.  

On another note, my sister recently began writing on Tuesday's for SOL. She is an amazing writer and it would be minutes well spent if you have time to spare to go read her post today. It is a beauty. Click here

Monday, March 23, 2015

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts that have entered my mind today:

  1. OH NO, report cards are due Thursday.
  2. I cant' keep my eyes open.
  3. When grandma was hungry she used to say, "My bellybutton is eating a hole through to my backbone." I was hungry at the time. 
  4. Jurassic Park had a cool soundtrack, I remember listening to it multiple times in high school. 
  5. I hope no one ever sees me in these pink sweat pants.
  6. It's still too cold for sandals and dresses. :(
  7. I have a meeting tomorrow at 6 pm, ugh. 
  8. I want some fruit salad. It would taste like summer in my mouth.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Science Kind of Day

We worked (and we are still working I should say) on my son's solar panel science project today. Lucky for us it was a beautiful day outside and a great one for doing a project.
We measured the volts of three different light bulbs and the sun to compare which would put out the most voltage. Not surprisingly the sun won out! Elliot's hypothesis was that the sun would create the most voltage because it's the biggest thing ever. I thought that was cute.

Here are some photos of the fun! Oh, and the beautiful sun too. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One Single Story

We are all made
of many stories
but not all of them
are told.
Only some are public
and even some are sold.
What we believe
is often bought
and we are left,
but don't wonder.
We sit with that one story
and assume we know the other.

I wrote this almost immediately after watching a remarkable story told by Chimamanda Adichie. She beautifully explains that often we only know one story and that is dangerous. If we only know one story of our neighbor or that person from Mexico or that Nigerian we are making a dangerous mistake. We are all made of many stories and many are not told. It is our responsibility to seek out the story ourselves and lest not leave ourselves to assume, to judge, or to be told by someone else who is only aware of one story.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Untitled (Ironically)

on a cracked concrete step
I look at the
depressed flat grass
that doesn't even resemble itself,
Just recently revealed,
spokes of green are beginning to peek.
My eyes close
I imagine the smell of green
the warmth of yellow
and the beauty of pinks and oranges
glowing and reflecting on
the lake that is calling me.
Likely still glazed in a layer of ice
ducks walk on the shifting plates
fish move a little more quickly
as warmth over takes the frozen water.
I wonder about the sand.
Is it blowing?
Has it molded to the shape of the wind?
Would my footprints disrupt this dance?
I wonder, miles from this place of solitude,
my paradise.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Literacy Night

It's a down to the wire kind of night tonight. We had literacy night this evening at my school. It was great. We had students up in front of parents and families reading stories they had written. We also had a well known author Ruth McNally-Barshaw attend and show us some of her doodling expertise. She is the author of the Ellie McDoodle Books and a fun lady as you can imagine. There were book walks (kind of like a cake walk), a notebook making station and the school was filled to the brim with student writing samples. They covered lockers, walls and tables for parents to read and look through. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was happy (well, except for one crying baby). Everyone was present. I love watching the small community I work in come together for events like this. Everyone who can come, comes. They flood in the door and participate for their kids and their kids are better for it. It is the kind of community that cares deeply about its children and that shows over and over again as I continue to witness events like this and the support that accompanies them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

That Post

It's March eighteenth. A hard day for me to write. I don't know why. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe I'm a little beat down after a long several difficult weeks at school. Maybe it's none of those things and I'm just void of any significant thoughts. This challenge can be tough at times and tonight it is tough for me. Everyone has these days and I think everyone writes at least one slice about not having anything to write about. That is today for me. I hope it will be the only day I have like this. I hope I will notice more tomorrow. I know I passed many slices along my day today, but I wasn't looking, my eyes weren't open enough.

sun squinting
my eyes sealed
tears reserved
no feelings revealed
I sit and ponder
nothing settled
no words to whisper
no flower pettalled

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Seeking the Story...Part Three

On March 17, 2012 I wrote a slice for the SOLSC called Seeking the Story. On March 18, 2012 I wrote part two; a part I did not know would come. 
Today I am writing part three.

It is March 17th. It has been twenty-five years. Twenty-five. I can't believe it. Twenty-five years ago today I was twelve and scared. I was bottled up. I was letting go of the thought of feelings, but not letting them go. I was holding them, letting them settle in my heart. They have become permanent fixtures, attaching themselves to ventricles and arteries. Sitting in a little hole of sadness. One of many little holes I will accumulate as I grow-up. 

Twenty-five years ago today my grandmother passed away. It was peaceful. There were a lot of family members gathered together. We waited as we listened to her breathe, knowing it wouldn't be long. My mom would wet a wash cloth and wipe my grandmother's lips to moisten them, they had become dry and she seemed to know this might offer her some comfort. I imagined her thanking my mom, but there was no voice left. Just breath. I often wonder if she was able to still have thoughts, hear us, think about the fact that she was in her last moments. I wonder what that must be like. 

I wasn't in the room when she took that final breath. I think she planned it that way. Waited for me to go to the gift shop with my sister. Waited for my innocent young self to leave so I wouldn't have to witness her leaving. Waited until I was holding something I would attach to her memory. A pink lily hair clip that was laying on a velvet covered table. It was in my hand when my mom came to tell us. I've never worn it, so instead of hair it holds memories. 

That memory traveled with me for a long time. I even wrote a paper about that day, tied to another significant day in my life and how memories can flood our senses so wildly, it almost feels like we are back in that moment. I am leaving photos of that paper below. If you read the links above to my other slices you will understand the significance of including it here. No pressure to read it, just here if you'd like. And a picture of the pink hair clip. :)


Below is a snapshot of the front page of the article I reference in the other slices, 
in case you were curious. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Inch Worm

I'm the only one, or so I think, who will be slicing about an inch worm this evening.

I was outside just as the sun was beginning to go down. It wasn't quite dark but it wasn't quite light either. Sun was streaming just over my air conditioning unit. No, I did not start my air conditioner yet, but it was 68 degrees where I live and that was heaven here in Michigan. But alas, it will only be 40 degrees tomorrow.

So there I am watching the sun go down as something catches my eye. A little shadow. A little curl. I look and for the first time in a long time I see an inch worm. It made a little curl of smile turn up on my face. I love noticing little bits of nature.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Whole Pie of Slices

There were many slices that arose while I was at the park with my kids today. It was our first visit this year and the sun was beaming, along with my smiling children. When we entered there were a few families, but not many. It was time for one family to leave and the little boy wasn't having it. I remember those struggles, still have them at times. Another family was telling their toddler to slow down and he ended up on his nose in a scream as the parents rushed to him. Just a scratch. Another family was munching on some McDonald's. There were bruises made here and there, polka dotted jackets and a boy trying to balance his stuffed animals on the swings. He would have it and then off they'd fall as soon as he pushed them. I heard, "Will you play with me?" I listened to turn taking and whines as some had "long" ten second waits in the line at the slide as families began pouring in. Kids of all sizes and a few adults took a whirl on the tire swing. It was joyful mostly aside from the squeals of sorrow little ones felt when it was time to go home. I had a game plan for mine.
"Hey, it's time to go!"
"Awww, really?"
"Yeah, let's take a walk on the path and then get a shamrock shake!"
While we walked there were blobs of snow and slush on the path. Luckily our feet were prepared. We saw ducks walking on the still frozen river and walked to the lookout to see all the water that was already flowing. It's amazing to see how things transform as the season changes. It also made me look at my children with a bit of a pause. They are so much bigger than the last time we took this walk so many months ago.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why Does it Always Happen at 2 AM?

"AAAaaaahhhh! Mom!"
"I'm up, I'm up! What's wrong?"

And then, there is the sound. You know what sound I'm talking about. The dreaded sound of your child getting sick. UGH!

I grab the trash can from her room, but I am too late. Double ugh.

This means:

Run some water
Child goes in the tub
I clean the bedding
The bed
Prep the bathroom
Make up a new bed
Clean, clean, sanitize, sanitize
Wash my hands about fifteen times
Pray I don't get it too

Why must these things always happen at 2 in the morning?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fast and Furious

I was driving home from dinner out with my kids when I saw my slice. A man who is homeless walking down the street. I've seen him before. There are many where we live. This is not new. It is sad. I saw him and instantly I was hit with a poem. Driving in the car is possibly the worst place to be hit with a poem when you can't pull over and voice it on your phone or write it in your notebook. Normally when a poem hits me like this I pull over and do one or the other. But, alas, this one was swirling and I just had to keep repeating it in my head, over and over. My kids tried to get my attention, they were playing with their new slime from Michael's Craft Store (I know, in the car, I must be crazy). I was shushing them LIKE CRAZY, trying to keep the words. I kept most of them, but some drifted, as he was, drifting.

Tattered rags
upon my head
I don't know
what others said
about me when
I was what I was
a blue collar worker
now a peddler
a walker
a person
I'm a person
but I beg for my bread.

I wanted to emphasize that he is a person. He may not feel like one. Others may not see him as one. He may feel like a walker, a zombie in this place that is so delusional to those who are homeless. A place that doesn't always take care of its people. A place that turns their eyes and thinks it will never be them. No one is born and hopes to be homeless. It happens. It is not a choice. No one would choose that life.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Am Not (I Am)

I have the day off tomorrow. Nothing could be sweeter after a week of conferences and craziness going on in my classroom right now. I was thinking today after reading a few slices about how I define myself, and realized, I don't. And, I'm okay with that.

This piece was inspired by, I-Here-Now, and Robin Sheldon, thanks for taking me in this direction.

I am not:





I am:




with a heartbeat.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sunshine Streaming

I had to laugh last night when I saw this meme on Facebook.
I can't upload the video, but hopefully you can view it via the link above. When you get to the meme, click on it and the video will play.

I thought of it again this afternoon as I saw sunlight streaming in my classroom window. I have conferences again this evening pretty late so I haven't been able to go enjoy the sunlight yet, but I plan on watching a spectacular sunset on my way home.

Here is the view from my classroom window. For now this is as good as it gets, and frankly, I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Finding the Right Keys

Last night I was tired. I had a long night of conferences, I was hungry and spent. I commented on a few slices and then sat. My husband had fallen asleep on the couch, I was sitting in the dark and feeling like I might end up the same way if I didn't do something soon. Dishes? Nah. Laundry? Nah. Reading? Maybe later. Writing? Hmm, tempting, but not sure I could put thoughts down. Then I decided I should play a little piano. Just a little. There is one song I learned about two years ago. It was a time I was trying to figure a lot of things out and I was determined to learn one of my favorite songs. Falling Slowly, by The Swell Season (AKA: Glen Hansord and Marketa Irglova). This song was featured in the movie, ONCE, which if you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it.
Back in the winter of 2013 I had my husband print off the sheet music and got to work. It took me several, several weeks to learn the song. I went measure by measure. See, I can read music and I was once a great trumpet player and learned to play piano in high school, but that doesn't make me a pianist. But I worked anyway. Slowly learning the song. I have yet to play the song perfectly without a single mistake. One day, maybe. But I think it's okay. I just love playing it.
I sat down last night and found the keys. Trying to pluck the right ones and failing at times. This is life. Some parts are pretty and some just sound down right off, but if we keep practicing, maybe one day we can get it right.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Conference Night

Ah, spring is in the air which also means it is conference week. I went outside for a few minutes this afternoon just to enjoy the fresh sunshine air that was around my head. I loved it. Kind of recharged my batteries a bit before taking on these conferences. As much as I enjoy talking to parents about their child it can be hard at times too. Being honest about struggles doesn't feel good for me or the parents. It's not that they are hearing it for the first time, but I think each time it stings a little. I am lucky to have two children that have not struggled, as of yet, in school. They have a love of learning and do their best. However, the road is not easy for everyone and I try to put myself in their shoes when talking and tread carefully.
Wish me luck that things go well. They usually do and my parents are kind and sweet this year. Not every year is like that. I can't wait to try and catch another glimmer of sun before I'm finished, but I will likely be going home in the dark tonight.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Gym

I can't believe it. I actually went and purchased a gym membership. I don't know how to feel. I have always been the kind of person that felt like, "hey, I can just do whatever at home, or run on the road, no biggie. Who needs the gym?" Well, apparently I do, cause I don't have a lot of weights and that is what I need, weight training. I have become so weak over the years, even with working out and running, I don't have the strength that I need. So my husband finally dragged me to his gym and I am a member. I don't even know when I will be able to go. I bought a book with several work out programs that there is no way I will be able to do with my schedule. I have a gym membership that I might be able to use on the weekend, seriously, what was I thinking?
Hmph, well, there goes that brilliant idea. At least it's only $10 a month.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Slice of the Moon

I step outside
I step inside
I look one more time
I step back outside
Fresh cool air hits my lungs
It is welcomed.
There is a gleam
A sheen
On the glaze of ice
That encases the snow
On my front yard
The glittering sparkle
Shines brightly
From the moonlight.
I smile
Its light hits my eyes
I feel the sparkle in me
It is a slice of the moon
Saying hello
And goodnight.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Poetry Pulse

I've noticed something. I haven't written much poetry in many months, but since the challenge started I've written a poem almost everyday. I think this is interesting. I think when the chance to write opens itself up, poetry is my go to. I find this interesting because most of my writing these days is education related, writing related, article related, not poetry related. But, poetry is my love. It is what I breathe whether I write it or not. It is me. I love that this side of me has a place to go. That I can find something each day to write a slice of poetry. It makes me so happy, calms me a bit, makes me feel complete in my imperfection.
I'm reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson right now and pg. 20 keep lingering in my mind. I can't stop thinking about it, 

"Somewhere in my brain
each laugh, tear and lullaby
becomes a memory."

I feel this poem. I feel this verse. It is the core of me and has been for a long time. And here it is, on these pages, resonating in my mind and heart.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sweet Disposition

Observations from my day in poem form.

Sweet disposition
sunshine streams
with parallel icy glares
surrendered smiles
white lies
sly grins
to be actual
perfection seeking
sad eyes
staring in stress
little strength to give
frustration melted
into tears
dancing in a puddle
on her cheek...
this isn't fair.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Tonight while doing dishes I was listening and jamming out to my favorite music. Now I sit here, listening again to my Spotify playlist and lines ring through my ears. I can't help but write some of them down along with portions of lyrics and my own twist.

I get lost in my mind
while lies shake the dirt
like a gardener
but I am not a robot
I am a warrior
in this tower
I take a walk
and what do you know
I'm a king
I'm a lionheart
howlin' for you
young blood
say it, just say it
little secrets
punching in a dream
I'm delirious
and sweet sick
tried and tired
I lay me down
I sleep
as you push me down
and cry for the one's I love.

I was reminded today at how much I love poetry. How there are no rules. How I can write whatever I want and it's meaning may only be for me, it doesn't matter. I love it. It's for me. No one needs to get it, I get it.

Inspirational credit goes to:

The Naked and Famous
The Black Keys
The Mowgli’s
Passion Pit
Steve Aoki
Of Monsters and Men
The Head and the Heart
The Tallest Man on Earth
Marina and the Diamonds

Bronze Radio Return

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Groundhog Day

"Don't live the same year 75 times and call it a life."  --Robin Sharma

I've been having a hard year. There, I said it. We all have times like this. I find myself in a pattern lately, a hard pattern. I don't think I am feeling sorry for myself, but I think I feel sorry about my circumstances, which I can't seem to change. So I am setting out to do something else. I am setting a goal to live each day a little better than the one I left behind. My One Little Word this year is, OPEN. I will be open to change. Open to possibility. I will be open to making each day better. Even if it is just an extra smile. I tried that today. "Just smile more," I thought to myself. I did. It was good. It was a little better.

A state
of consciousness,
but not all
and untimely.
We live among
the days,
along for a ride.
But the ferris wheel
goes high,
wind in my hair,
I can't help but smile

Monday, March 2, 2015


It was haircut day!

We took the day off school to head back home from my parent's house today. That meant we had a little time this afternoon for some kid haircuts.
My son is soon to be a ten year old and my daughter will be eight this month. Wow, were they ever spunky. I think there were seven rounds of the quiet game played by both of them, they even included Ryan, our haircut professional, a few times. Hilarious! He did not win.
What's funny about the quiet game? Well, when my kids play they constantly say, "pause...(insert conversation), unpause." Each game session has several of these moments. It isn't really the quiet game when it is paused and unpaused constantly, but it is pretty funny.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

An Apple Pie Visit

We are visiting my parents this weekend. They live in Michigan, but it is about a four hour drive, so we don't make the trip very often during the school year. When we do visit, my parents do a good job trying to fit in as much fun for my kids as possible. There is a sledding hill in the backyard, lots of snow, sewing, ping pong and today there was pie making. My daughter really wanted to make a pie. So, my mom made sure it would happen and let her do all the fun parts. Here is a photo progression from start to finish.

 She chopped all those apples to the left.

 Fluting the crust

 Making the crumble.

 Ready for the oven.

Pretty delicious too.