Friday, November 21, 2014

Shouting for Joy!

  "Welcome, Baby King of the Universe - 
    By your light I see..."
                                   by Marilyn Nelson
Be sure to stop by Tapestry of Words for this week's taste of poetry love.  Thank you, Betsy, for hosting this week and for your delightful poem!

This week I popped into Island Books to see if they had Manger, Lee Bennett Hopkins new anthology of poems.  They didn't have it, but assured me they could get it in a day or two.  When it arrived yesterday, I got an email from the owner, instead of the usual phone call notifying me that the book was in.  I like to think that Roger stopped and read my copy when it arrived, and that he immediately ordered 25 copies for the store.  I'm tucking my copy into my bag for NCTE and hoping to get some autographs from poets at the convention .

If you're a crazy collector of Christmas books like me, then call your favorite indie bookstore and place your order.  I know I first read about the book here at Poetry Friday.  Whoever nudged me to request a copy, thank you.  The poems are written by the animals in celebration of the birth of the Savior's birth.  You'll fall in love with the lavish illustrations by Helen Cann.  You'll celebrate the birth of Christ with the animals and the poets.  You'll need to buy copies for all your friends!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Baker's Dozen +1 or Avoidance Techniques 101

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by
I'm a master at procrastination - read through this list to see what I'm avoiding:

 1.   Renew library books online.
 2.   Text my daughter - Does she want a gift subscription to Real Simple?
 3.   Write note to husband about Saturday's appt.
 4.   Post Sat. appt. on the calendar.
 5.   Text my brother - We're checking in daily about our exercise.
 6.   Grab a handful of chocolate chips from the top shelf in the pantry.
 7.   Order vitamins that I can't procure locally.
 8.   List the sections I need to write for tomorrow's meeting.
 9.   Clean the litter box.
10.  Bring in cat carrier from garage (so it won't be too cold for Ms. Hadley).
11.  Put a towel in the dryer so her carrier will be warm and cozy when we head to the vet.
12.  Phone Mary to confirm L's Sat. appt.
13.  Take the cat to the vet.
14.  Write my SOL.

Can you tell what I need to DO when I get back from the vet?

WRITE the sections for tomorrow's meeting.  And the purpose of the meeting?  My former principal  asked me to introduce slice of life to some of the 6th grade teachers!  So no more time for slicing, instead it's BIC (butt in chair) time.  I borrowed that acronym from Jane Yolen, but I know it's been around for awhile.

Day after tomorrow, I head to DC for my first NCTE convention.  Isn't it a shame that I never made it there while I was in the classroom?  I can't wait to bump into some of you and to attend some of your sessions!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

CELEBRATE this week!

Join us each Saturday for Celebrate this week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

Winding up my week in Oklahoma with lots of pictures -

1.  Time with family 
We celebrated Leah's 3rd birthday, and I met my newest great-nephew, Asher.

2.  More time with friends and family
Best friends since 7th grade - Jan, Susan, and me
Abby (a friend's daughter from WA attending Tulsa University)
and her roommate joined our group for dinner.
My brother didn't mind at all that he was the only guy in our group of seven.
After all he's an only brother with three sisters.  
The next morning Susan met us at the care center
for a quick visit with Patsy (Udder Mudder).
Then I made Jan stop so I could take
these pics of fall color at the airport exit.  
Here's her sublime pose . . . 
and her ridiculous pose. 
So glad she hasn't changed a bit in the almost 50 years that I've known her!

3.  Home and more gorgeous leaves 
I  loved every moment of my Oklahoma trip,
 but nothing beats coming home, 
especially to fall splendor like this.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Inspired by my friend and fellow blogger, Betsy

When I hopped on the bus, I grabbed my phone to catch up on some blog posts.  After reading just one post, Betsy's at Two Writing Teachers, I pulled out my writer's notebook instead.  And this morning I'm setting the timer for 30 minutes.  

Surprised by an offer of senior space, I take a seat
I follow moving white lights whizzing by homeward bound
I follow moving red lights bound for the city
I follow white lights, almost stationary, threading their way home.
I look around me, people sit silenced by devices in hand,
Plugged in, but not connecting.
I'm surprised by the quiet and 
the total darkness at so early an hour 
Lights twinkle at the edge of the water
Beckoning me toward evening pleasure.
The tunnel curves into the bowels of the city
The rounded face of a station beckons,
We pause at a red light
A long red light
Accompanied by the quiet rumble of radio engineers.
Finally we edge toward the face of our first stop
No one disembarks, we add one passenger
The vacuum door closes with a whoosh
We wait and watch the red lights ahead
They disappear and finally we ease forward. 
Only to stop and wait again at another red light
We move forward to 
Another stop, six get off, a few get on
We stop and wait again,
An occasional female voice breaks the silence to 
Announce the next station
As we ease forward, pulled by the light.

This draft was completed in 22 minutes.  Thanks, Betsy, for inviting me to write a poem. Your voice  was so powerful that I had no choice but to respond.  And thanks for our slow progress which provided time to reflect and write.

Keri Collins Lewis at Keri Recommends is hosting Poetry Friday today.  Thanks for hosting, Keri, during this difficult time for you.  Be sure to stop by for today's taste of poetry love.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Slow Oklahoma Morning

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by
I'm sitting at my BFF's kitchen table.  She's not up yet, but it won't be long.  Topher, her college-age son, is cooking breakfast.  We're listening to Michael Hedges ("old" new age folk), and Rusty (her German Shephard/Lab) is sitting at my feet.  He made a quick foray outside, but his pleading eyes appeared soon at the sliding door.  The arctic blast arrived as predicted with a 30 degree drop in temperature.  It's really not that arctic, but they've had practically no cool weather this fall, so 45 degrees is a big change for them.   No more time to slice because she just got up.  We have a slow, cozy morning planned, a visit to "udder mudder" (her mom),  and a late afternoon flight for me.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain...

Join us each Saturday for Celebrate this week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

So many moments to savor this week:

A cherished week long trip to Oklahoma
 Getting lost in my book on the flight
Shopping at Dillards and a road trip with my BFF to McAlester
Road tripping with Karl to Ardmore with a full moon to savor all the way home
Visiting my niece Kara's 4th grade classroom and dinner at a Mexican restaurant
Sharing meals with family and friends
Bucky and Elaine, good friends since elementary school

Dortha, good friend for 50+ years
My brother Karl and his wife Kathy
Cutest couple ever!
Blue skies and sunshine

Friday, November 7, 2014

Two 4th grade classrooms separated by 50 years!

 "Poetry is a rhythmical piece of writing that leaves
 the reader feeling that life is a little richer than before,
a little more full of wonder, beauty, or just plain delight."
-Aileen Fisher

Stop by Diane's blog at Random Noodling for this week's taste of Poetry Love. 

 We said goodbye to Percy this week and shipped the Poetry Box to its next stop in Utah.  

I'm visiting my brother in Oklahoma, and yesterday he drove me 2 1/2 hours so I could visit my niece Kara's 4th grade classroom.  My stack of books for the classroom visit included the book I was currently reading, my writer's notebook, and a picture book to share with the students.
When I shared some of the poems from my writer's notebook with them, Kara's students clamored to share a poem with me.  I was delighted with their recitation of "Fall" by Aileen Fisher The repeated phrase "the last of October" in Fisher's poem was a perfect segue into the picture book that I brought to share, In November by Cynthia Rylant, a book rich in poetic language.  

My time in Kara's classroom reminded me of my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Lewallen, who taught for 40 years and required us to memorize many poems.  I know that my life was made richer during the year I spent with her.   I wish I could share with her the joy that poetry continues to bring into my life.  She would love Poetry Friday!