Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Slice of Life: Sunny Made Me Do It!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, and Melanie
                    for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

While we are quite organized about our travel plans and careful about budgeting travel expenses, I just returned from an unplanned trip to DC.  When we returned in July from our first trip to see Teddy, I booked a second trip with Sara in October.  We'll be there for my son Blake's 32nd birthday, my daughter Sara's 30th birthday, and Teddy's four month mark.  I was great with this plan until Sunny disrupted it.   

It's a well-known fact in our church congregation that I love babies.  One Sunday in late July, I chatted with Sunny and her mom in the foyer before Sunday School.  When I sat down in Sunday School class, Sunny's mom tapped me on the shoulder and handed me her beautiful daughter.   I enjoyed every moment with this sweet girl.   When I handed her back, I asked her mom how old she was. "Four months," she replied.  And that's when I started scheming to fit in another trip before Teddy was four months old.  I could not let him get that big without another visit from Grandma.

We looked around and found some miles that we could combine with some cash and we made it happen.  I was even okay with a middle seat (since that's all that was available).   I left on Friday, timed my arrival so that Blake could pick me up after work and returned on Monday morning with an airport drop-off before Blake went to work.  I'm so glad that a few moments with Sunny on a Sunday morning in July convinced me that I needed to see Teddy before our planned October trip. And I'm glad for hubby's business travel that provided miles for this unplanned, but oh-so-wanted trip for this first-time Grandma to visit nine week old Teddy (and his mama and daddy too).  Was it worth it?  You bet.  I loved every precious moment!
Cuddle time with Grandma

Shoulder time with Dad
Tummy time on quilt made by Aunt Sara

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Celebrate This Week: Organized Classrooms, Liberty, & A Trip to Visit Teddy

Join us each weekend 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. 

1.  Organized classrooms
One of the benefits of retirement and subbing is the opportunity to be in many different classrooms.  Although we haven't started school yet, I've been doing some testing this past week.  I love these labeled supply cubbies.  I would have loved one of these organizers when I was teaching.  
2.  Author generosity
I recently commented to Kirby Larson on Facebook that the ARC of Liberty (that I received from Island Books for our after school book club) was snatched up at one of our summer meetings.  Look what arrived in my mailbox this week from Kirby!
I plan to finish it soon and then ship it to OK for my niece's 4th grade classroom. There's something very special about getting to read a book before the actual publication date.  
3.  A view of Mt. Rainer
Sometimes the weather and the flight paths cooperate and I can see Mount Ranier as I leave Seattle.
4.  Teddy time while Stefi enjoys a girls' day out 
My daughter-in-law was able to take advantage of my visit to spend some time with her girlfriends.  We enjoyed chocolate chip pancakes (Blake's favorite breakfast), a Costco run,
and lots of time to visit with Teddy.  Here's a pic of him in Dad's lap,
chatting with me this morning.
Smiles for Grandma!
A serious moment!
A satisfied moment!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Slice of Life: Musings from the Garage

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, and Melanie
                    for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

Last week I finally got serious about a project that I promised my husband I would work on this summer - purging boxes in the garage. I'm not finished, but I did get started and actually got rid of quite a bit of stuff (see Celebrate This Week).   Here are some random thoughts from the week.
Does it spark joy?  
I tried using this question from Marie Kondo.  But way too much of my stuff does spark joy.  At least on initial rediscovery.
Gradual release of clutter method 
I used this method with my stash of Riverbank Review magazines.
1.  Touch each issue and page through each magazine
2.  Tear out book reviews, essays, notes from the editor, interesting articles, and poetry pieces.
3.  Revisit torn out articles.
4.  Remind self that each article requires time and space to file.
5.  Winnow saved pieces to 10 or less.
Quick release of clutter method 
I used this method with my Bookbag magazines.
1.  Take a photo of favorite cover.
2.  Do not, under any circumstances, open the magazine.
2.  Walk to recycle bin.
3.  Dump magazines.
True confessions and fodder for a future blog post
1.  I kept twenty-nine articles from Riverbank Review magazines.  
2.  I kept five articles from Book Bag magazines.
Lesson learned 
The longer I work on the project on any given day, the easier it is to begin pitching. 
Wisdom from a fellow blogger 
I made this sign months ago (maybe last summer?) after reading a post from a fellow blogger who I believe credited her mother for this sage advice.  For me it trumps the "Does it spark joy?" question.
It's currently in the spare bedroom/my home office, but I'm moving this sign to the garage worktable!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Celebrate This Week: Purging, Promoting, and Sharing Pics!

Join us each weekend 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. 

1.  Made significant progress on the boxes in the garage
I donated two boxes of books to a friend's niece who is a second year teacher.  
I gifted a box of 80's vintage clothing to the thrift shop.  
I got rid of twelve years of teacher plan books.
I purged personal files from thirty plus years ago.
consolidated two boxes of keepsakes into one box.
I said goodbye to a box of Riverbank Review and Bookbag magazines.
 2.  Spent two mornings proctoring tests for our high cap and advanced math placements
That doesn't seem like much to celebrate EXCEPT that I took advantage of meeting students
new-to-me and new-to-the-district to to promote Books, Brownies & Beyond, our after school 
book club.  I set up a display of books for them to peruse as they waited for parents to pick them up and handed out the blog address for our book club. 
3.  Took this pic on a walk
4.  Snapped this pic in my front yard
5.  Received this pic of son & grandson at Saturday brunch
I hope you've had a week filled with large and small moments to celebrate.
Thanks, Ruth, for this opportunity to celebrate together.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Poetry Friday: "Book-heart"

Head over to Dori Reads for this
week's round-up of poetic goodness!
Thanks, Dori, for hosting this week.

I haven't posted since June.  Even though I'm not headed back to the classroom, almost September is a good time to renew my commitment to the Poetry Friday community.  Last spring, I discovered Book by John Agard.  I loved this distinguished history told in first person by book.  It's a delightful romp through book's development from the pictogram to the codex and ending with a conversation with its friendly rival, the ebook.  One of our 6th grade teachers ordered a class set for her early civilizations social studies class after I shared the book with her last spring.  A poem by Grace Nichols and shared in Book captures how I feel about the books I love.  You'll have to look at Book to read the entire poem, but here are the concluding lines of the poem:
"...No the books I love
get kissed and squeezed
and pressed against my heart."  
I can't resist promoting Ms. Bixby's Last Day which I just finished this week.  It's definitely one of those books that I'll kiss and squeeze and press against my heart for a long time.  I checked it out from the library, but I'm ready to purchase this one so I can highlight and kiss and squeeze to my heart's content.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Slice of Life: A Peek into my Summer Reading Stacks!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, and Melanie
                    for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

I'm a book hoarder.  It's true.  But, in my defense, I also share my hoard of books.  At our book club meeting last week, I shared the titles I had checked out from the library.  I have three more titles ready to share with some of the voracious readers in our book club.  And when my daughter comes over, she raids the bookshelf where I stash the library books.  
The stack on the left is middle grade titles.  My daughter and I started The BFG (a book neither of us has ever read) as a read aloud on our road trip to Idaho.  We need another road trip, or maybe I'll just read to her while she quilts.  Ms. Bixby's Last Day is my current read.  It was due today, but I'm willing to pay the fine so I can finish it (I can't renew it due to the many holds on it).  And the next book I'm reading from that stack is As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds which comes highly recommended by several blogger friends.    

The three books in the middle are some of the ARCs donated by Island Books, our local indie bookstore, to our book club.  


The stack on the right is adult books that I want to read.  And I left off the most important one, our September adult book club selection, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk.  It's upstairs so I can start it soon.  Other titles I want to read soon from this stack include Falling by Elisha Cooper and The Golem and the Jinni, loaned to me by a friend and recently returned to the shelf by my daughter.  


You may be wondering about the picture book, A Story for Bear.  I picked it up at the library for $4, thanks to our Friends of the Library who keep an ongoing display of books for sale.  I couldn't resist purchasing it for my grandson Teddy's collection.  It's such a celebration of the power of reading!  And the flowers?  A gift from Lance to  celebrate our anniversary last week! 


And here are my top five reads for the summer so far:  

1.  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (July's adult book club selection)
2.  Summerlost by Ally Condie
3.  Nine, Ten:  A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin  Check out her blog where teachers can share their stories of 9/11/01.
including two audiobooks:  
4.  The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
5.  Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Steveson

I'm planning on five more weeks of summer reading.  That's right, summer doesn't end for me until fall begins on September 22. Back-to-school means back to a weekly meeting schedule for our after school book club.  Soon we'll be selecting our Mock Newbery titles.   Do you have any recommendations for us?  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Celebrate This Week: Joy in the Center Median!

Join us each weekend 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. 


I did it!  I managed to get some pics of my favorite flowers of the summer.  We have a busy arterial in our small community that comes right off the freeway and leads to the freeway.  This summer, for the first time ever, we've had wildflowers growing in the center median.  I've loved them.  I've schemed about how I could get out there to photograph them.  Busy traffic on both sides and a narrow median to boot!  It wasn't going to happen.  Unless . . . I could put someone in the back seat with a camera and drive very slowly.   So this week I finally managed to remember   . . . and I had someone in the back seat . . . and I handed her my phone . . .  and I drove as slowly as possible (with my emergency flashers on) . . .  and she captured these pics for me of our glorious wildflowers that make me happy every time I drive by them!  
What brought you joy this week?