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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Curiosity is a Dog in Spring

Through the glass door

I see you roaming.

Nose up.

Then down.

I can see the ripple of smell

as you follow it like a trail.

You pause 

like you're considering,

here or there?

I wonder, what is it?

I root for those who may be scurrying

under your paws.

Do they sense you?

Your head darts around.

Changing course?

Then, all at once, the digging begins.

You maneuver 

the freshly thawed earth

expertly into a mound.

Only to be befuddled again.

Where did it go?

Your freshly dirt crusted paws

bring you to the back step.

With defeated eyes,

you await the paw washing. 

Pro pet owner tip:

We got this little paw washer from a pet store last summer. The brilliant little design works great for washing paws, particularly spring doggie paws. It sits in its appropriate spring location, at the ready. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Trash Day Poem

Two steps out
Deep breath in
The sun's smile
greets me 
and I'm distracted
by the spring air
and warmth.

Sweep here,
Wipe there,
What else?
Two steps in
one shoe slipped off
I hear a squeak.
My mind wonders
with a quick inhale
my shoe slips on.

A quickness in my step
I can see it down the street.
Grabbing the handles,
swing and tilt
I awkwardly flee
down the driveway.
Whispering, "don't fall."
Wondering, will I make it?
My heart pounding
I slowly walk back
Huh, that wasn't the garbage truck.
"Trash is out!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

A Waiting Room Poem

Waiting room
you are so awkward.
Your anticipation,
walls cruelly crowding
my inner peace.
I look around you
not letting my eyes linger
in any one corner
too long. 
Listening--who did they call?
Pausing--is anyone moving?
Wondering--was it us?
Security guard small talk
and yet 
I oblige.
At times feeling 
I might burst right out of my body
to escape it.
Anything to move.
Just get me out
of this seat!
A waiting room is a menace
with well-intentioned design
full of people
who don't want to wait. 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Thankful: SOLSC 31 of 31

As always, I’m here at the end of the month full of gratitude for the slice of life community. It’s been wonderful writing and reading. Capturing moments each day is so important. 
This year, I started capturing one second using the app that allows you to record a second per day. It then puts all your moments together. Each month, no matter how challenging it’s been, I’ve smiled at the moments I’ve captured. 
This month was no different. 

On this rainy, windy, cold, and dreary day in Michigan, I can still look over the past 31 days and smile. I can even smile at the weather because we just had snow not too long ago, according to my video! I hope everyone is filled with happiness after another SOSLC! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Sweet Treats: SOLSC 30 of 31

Tonight's dinner was a choose your own adventure. There were a few leftover options and pantry items for anyone to make their dinner dreams come true. I opted for some ramen with fresh spinach. I wanted something warm and soupy. It fit the bill. 

Then I found myself craving something sweet. Growing up, we rarely had sweet treats. My snacking as a kid was primarily chips with salsa and veggies. I liked sweet things; we just didn't have them in the house. 

As an adult and a mom, this is mostly still true. We usually have some sweet snacks for school lunches and an occasional bag of licorice hanging out in the pantry. We also almost always have fresh fruit, probably the most consistent sweet treat. 

I did that thing where you stand, staring at the fridge, waiting for things to change. Contemplating--I wanted something with chocolate, but I also wanted fruit. 

With that, I grabbed my vanilla almond yogurt, blackberries, strawberries, and some chocolate chips. That little cup of delightfulness was better than expected and better than the handful of licorice I did consider eating instead. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tea Time: SOLSC 29 of 31

It's early evening, and the air has me feeling worn down. My throat is dry. The air is cold and indecisive. It felt like a good time for tea. Not quite dinner time, too late for coffee. I ate a few strawberries while deciding what tea I would drink. I went with the mango passionfruit blend. 
My tea cupboard is a point of pride. I love having an organized cabinet.  

While the water warmed, I looked for a mug. This one seemed about right. It's cute but with the right amount of sass to encourage me to write a slice, read some more, and avoid taking a nap before dinner prep begins. 
A bit of sass. 
Tea time is a quiet time. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Joy: SOLSC 28 of 31

Some things in life are a recipe for joy. For me, it is when I see members of my family at their most joyful. Today was one of those days. My youngest turned 15 today and all day long was a celebration. From top to bottom, the day was filled with smiles. 
Looking at them so happy made me feel like I might burst. Some days are just that good. 
Happiest birthday, Arie!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Making Plans: SOLSC 27 of 31

We started our day with a little family Zoom to do a mini celebration. Tomorrow, Arie will be 15! I sure do appreciate technology for this purpose. It gives us the chance to celebrate a little bit and connect even when we can't all be together, no matter the reason.

Then the major planning had to get taken care of. Shopping for the dessert and birthday meal celebration. Arie had requested a turtle cheesecake and a crab boil. So I got to work on my list. 
  • sausage
  • corn
  • onions
  • crab legs
  • seasoning
  • lemons
  • potatoes
  • butter 
  • garlic
  • dessert

Sometimes an almost 15-year-old gets lucky and all the things desired are acquired. I think I'm ready to celebrate my youngest tomorrow. What is your favorite birthday meal?

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Gift Wrap: SOLSC 26 of 31

Today I was wrapping birthday presents for my 14 soon to 15-year-old. I got to work organizing the gifts, wrapping, and taping. I found this pretty paper with a plant design and it sent me into a memory. 

When I was little, we shopped at this store called Milliken's. It was in downtown Traverse City, and at the time, it was a large department store. It had a basement where you could get things gift-wrapped. I LOVED going downstairs to watch the gift wrapping process. The sound of the paper swishing off the roll, the scrape of the scissors searing through the paper. The rolling of the tape and snapping sound of it being pulled from finger to paper. My favorite part though, the ribbon. Often the gift wrappers would double bow and double wrap with ribbon in a layering design. The craft of this whole process was mesmerizing and beautiful. 

I recall I would later find empty boxes and wrap them, perfecting my bow and ribbon designs. It was so rewarding and fun. They would become little decorations in my room until I decided I wanted to try a different style or color. One of those oddly amusing activities I found myself doing as a child. 

Friday, March 25, 2022

A Food Post: SOLSC 25 of 31

I love a good comfort food. Categorizing a food as "comfort" isn't an exact science for me. Sometimes it's about the creaminess, other times the flavor profile. Comfort also often comes from a memory, a long-loved food that reminds me of home or celebrations. 
Last night I was in the mood for something creamy and satisfying, so I made this simple and delicious Coconut Chickpeas with rice. It was dreamy, and there were leftovers, which will be even better in this case. 
Coconut Chickpeas
Credit: @themodernnonna via TikTok

Since I had some leftover rice (I always make way more rice than I need), I asked Arie if they felt like having fried rice for lunch. It was a yes, so I got started. Fried rice comes together so quickly and is so delightfully umami-full. For some crunch on the side, I air-fried some breaded cauliflower. 
Lunch was magical with a touch of Thai chili sauce and oh-so sticky sweet and sour on top. Yum!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

A Brow Mistake: SOLSC 24 of 31

When it's possible, I love to include photos in my slices. It adds a little interest and a peek into my life beyond the words. Had things gone a bit differently earlier today, perhaps I would have included a picture with the story I'm about to tell. Then again, I don't think this would have been a story I would tell had things not gone the way they did. 

My husband forgot his coffee this morning, so I made a quick run to his school to deliver the much-needed caffeination for the day. He was grateful. 

On my way home, a short five-minute drive, I decided to detour at the pharmacy. I had a couple things to pick up, and it was a good time to make the stop. 

When I got inside, I noticed some eyebrow waxing, care, and shaping cosmetics. Since high school, I've been doing my own eyebrow shaping and am pretty adept with tweezers. I don't always reach for the wax, but I decided to get a kit. This kit was one with pre-waxed strips. 

I got home and decided it was the right time to handle the crazy brow situation I had been neglecting. The kit was straightforward. I opened the strip and carefully applied it to my right brow. Pressing firmly, I prepared for the rip. It was perfect! Which only added to my confidence. Ready to repeat, I set things in motion for an equally mirrored brow on the left side. 


Swift inhale.

Adjust the mirror.

Look again. 

Disappointed sigh. 

One little bit of the strip was stuck in a small tuft of essential arch-dependent hairs. And there they went. It's been so many years since I had a brow mistake I was utterly taken aback. I quickly accepted that it would be several weeks, maybe a couple months, before regrowth. So, brow pencil it is. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

A Day of Wrestling: SOLSC 23 of 31

Today has started off as a day of wrestling. Not the, pin them to the mat kind. Instead, it's the, making my brain hurt kind. My day began with the need for some intense parenting. Then I listened to some of what I'd missed regarding the supreme court confirmation hearings of Ketanji Brown Jackson. This caused both bewilderment at some of the questions posed and was quickly replaced with awe and pride witnessing the patience and integrity of Judge Jackson. Then I wondered into thoughts of tackling the pantry today or reading my new book Culture As Weapon by Nato Thompson. Am I in the mood for mindless progress or thoughtful progress? I'm not sure. I'm sometimes just not sure about a lot of things. Do we just need to wrestle with thought and then accept that what is, is, and what isn't, isn't? 

I'm sitting here wrestling with what to focus my attention on at this moment, and the answer is not clear. There are more profound things at work here in this mind of mine. Sometimes I wonder if my intent on thinking things over, if the process of reasoning with turmoil, if it is burning away my abilities to sustain such thought. And I suppose, lucky for me, the answer is also not a sentence to some binary consequence. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Camping Dreams: SOLSC 22 of 31

In the summer of 2017, we bought our first camper. Before and during parenthood, Shawn and I had been camping in tents for 20 years. It felt like it was time to upgrade. We were so happy we did! It was a small camper but a perfect size for our young-ish kids and us. 

Now, our adult-sized kids' feet hang off the bunks, and their adult-sized clothes take up multiple spaces. We have a bigger dog than we did back then, and we'd like to take more long-distance trips. Maybe even do some completely off-grid camping with solar! We've got some camper dreams.

When I was scrolling Facebook last week, you can imagine my surprise when a near-perfect camper came across my feed from one of the groups I follow. When I say near-perfect, it checked all the boxes of what we are looking for. Not too long, but double bunks. A little more internal space, but not too big overall. I gasped.

Family-"What's wrong?"

Me-"I think I just found...the one!"

I immediately read more about the camper, so did Shawn and the kids. We all agreed it seemed like it was meant to be. I sent a message to inquire, and we determined we would pick a day after the weekend to set up a time to take a look. 

And, you can imagine my disappointment when I messaged the seller, and there have been crickets. Trying not to be too pushy, I sent another message last night. Still nothing. I had hoped today's slice would be about camping dreams fulfilled, but I guess we are still looking. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

In the Daytime: SOLSC 21 of 31

like unwrapping a paper bag
of bulbs and dust.
The crusted dirt
and earth
say hello on this path.

We walk,
with scents of new,
of sunlight,
of evaporated dew,
and trying green.

They snap,
breaking the steps,
some quiet
some crumbly.
Letting life know
we are visiting.


I took Arie out to see the snowdrops this morning. I wanted to catch them in the morning light. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Spring Reveals: SOLSC 20 of 31

 Ah, spring is official, and the day matched it perfectly. There have been some years here in Michigan where we might have had drizzle, snow, or ice on the twentieth of March. But not today. I was outside for a good portion of the day. It felt WONDERFUL! 

What did spring reveal?

BALLS! And lots of them. Cassie was so happy. 

Also, spring revealed a season's worth of Cassie' know. I was able to tackle about one-quarter of the backyard today. I'll take on another quarter tomorrow.

Then, there is the star of the show! The snowdrops! I write a slice about the snowdrops every year because they are, for me, the official sign that spring is here and warmer days are ahead. 

Cassie saw me off on my adventure into the depths of the backyard beyond her area. 

These are some of my favorite shots. 

I hope you had some beauty revealed on this first day of spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Air Fryer Favorites: SOLSC 19 of 31

Well, we finally did it. We bought an air fryer. I've been wanting but avoiding buying one for nearly two years now. I'm not even sure why! I think it was because it felt very unnecessary. Which, would be true. 
It was a splurge, for sure. It also takes up quite a footprint on the counter. All that said, it makes darn good tater tots.
So far, the items I've made with great success are:
  • toast
  • egg rolls
  • breaded fish fillets
  • tater tots
  • sandwiches
  • roasted corn
All of which have come out delicious. 
Some things I'm hoping to try are:
  • fried pickles
  • fried cauliflower
  • fried mushrooms
  • roasted root veggies
  • roasted chick-peas
  • brussel sprouts
  • corn or lentil fritters...
and I could go on and on. 
It has definitely put a little pep in my cooking step, which I always appreciate. It also encouraged me to do some needed kitchen re-arranging, and I love the changes. So, here's to air frying my way through the week! Deliciously. 

Friday, March 18, 2022

Planting: 18 SOLSC of 31

Plants are making their way back into my life these past two months. It started with an amaryllis bulb from the holidays, an aloe plant, and then another tiny succulent. The next thing I knew, my youngest was getting into my plant craze. Now, because they are so obsessed with plants (they have five in their bedroom in just four weeks), I've been looking for more to add to other common areas of our home. 

I don't know why I waited so long to get plants back into my home. Probably because I didn't feel I had time. Something about a plant is so calming to me and helps me feel more centered. 
Two weeks ago, Arie and I went to our local market and bought this mid-size spider plant. 
I decided to split it in two since it was crowded, but I also just really wanted two plants in slightly smaller pots. 
Enter the two pots I used for splitting.
After pulling out the spider plant, I took a moment to really admire that root system. It's pretty fascinating when you think about how plants work. 

Gentle pulling led to two very intact root systems. 

Then, into their new homes! These little twins will still live close to each other, but they sort of have their own beds now. I need to hang another hook in my kitchen. Maybe I'll have a picture of their new dwelling by next week.  

Thursday, March 17, 2022

My Robin: SOLSC 17 of 31

Cassie and I went for a walk on one of the recent nice days we have had here in Michigan. It was my first no-coat-day with the temps reading a balmy 45 Fahrenheit. I had a sweatshirt on settle down. 
The air was so crisp and clean. It was dreamy. Cassie was a bit hyped, which made walking challenging. 
As we took our final loop, I was distracted by something in the periphery. Two birds flying the way they do. UP, DowN, Up, DowN. Like they were waving to me just before landing on the sleeping grass. I looked. They were robins. One stayed on the still flattened brown ground so I could snap a photo. Again, Cassie made this difficult. But, I think you can see it!
Can you?

I'll help a little. Now, do you see?
Okay, I'll zoom in.

See it now?

Yep, that little blur is what put a bright clear smile on my face. I love seeing robins this time of year. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Pi Slice: SOLSC 16 of 31

Pi Day came and went. I had all the ingredients we needed for the perfect pie to bake, but somehow, that did not happen. 
Arie decided to celebrate a couple days late. This is a triple berry pie with a star top crust. It not only came out rusticly beautiful, but it was delicious. 
A barely-slice is left, sitting in the pan, waiting for someone to devour it. I think everyone is wondering who will eat it. Does this happen in other houses? No one wants to be the one to eat the last of something, so they leave a barely-something. I think it's meant to be a kind gesture, or maybe it is a self-protective practice. It wasn't me. Either way, I think that barely-slice will be mine if it sits there much longer. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Blogging Thoughts: SOLSC 15 of 31

Over the past few days, I've been thinking about my blogs and the evolution of my blogging life. I started my first blog called "Teaching Young Writers" over ten years ago. Since then, I've had three blogs using the Blogger site service. 

In 2013, when I joined Stacey and the new team at TWT, I got introduced to WordPress. I've loved WordPress for TWT, and lately, I'm feeling pulled into organizing the other blogs in my life into one nice space on WordPress too. 

I was reading up on it last night and this morning, fighting the urge to start. Wondering, is this my way of procrastinating the other responsibilities I have today? I think it might be. Making the change will take a bit of my time and energy. Not to mention, doing it in March would be a terrible time to make the switch. Even though I may have some time and energy today, I don't have to use it for something that isn't really all that urgent. 

Do you find you do this too? You have that list of things to do, but your mind is thinking about something else, and for whatever reason, the less urgent thing feels--well--more urgent? 

I'm going to fight the urge and put this item on my calendar. Maybe if I give it a space and time all its own, the idea of it will stop nagging at my brain.