Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Slice of Life: My Airport Run with Dustin Hoffman

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

I am awake from 3-4 am anticipating an early morning run to the airport.  I finally manage to get back to sleep.  The radio comes on, jarring me from a deep sleep.  I pop out of bed, refresh the Alaska page, and see that my kids' red-eye flight will arrive 35 minutes early.  No time to dilly dally.  I throw on yesterday's clothes, hop in the car and settle in for the 20 minute drive to the airport.  My biggest surprise of the morning is how many people are also on the road before 6 am.  The drive flies by and in no time, I find myself in the loading/unloading zone - waiting.  Periodically, a loudspeaker announces that "no waiting" is allowed and that cars may be ticketed or towed.  I try to keep an eye out for the airport police, but it's difficult because Dustin Hoffman is in the car with me!

I just spent the past twenty minutes with him, and he's still entertaining me.  I'm captivated by his reading of the audiobook Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan.  The target audience (ages 6-10) is younger than my usual middle grade focus, but I've totally enjoyed this audiobook. I requested it when I noticed it on the Notable Children's Recordings - 2016, (and that it was read by Dustin Hoffman).  The theatrical adventures of Appleblossom and her siblings make me happy to hop in the car, even for short errands.  

Take a look at the award winning recordings for 2016 and treat yourself to an audiobook.  I get them from the public library.  Even though I don't spend a lot of time in the car, it's one of my favorite ways to get around to some of the books on my WTR (want to read) list.  Next up on my list, The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Turnage.  I've loved enjoying the adventures of Mo and Dale in the two previous audiobooks.  If you haven't listened to Three Times Lucky, start there and prepare to be entertained by two additional sequels! 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Celebrate This Week - A Post of a Special Number!

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.  Sara's stack of possibilities for beach reading (before weeding) for her trip to Hawaii!
Like mother, like daughter.
Our toughest travel decisions are always which books to pack!
2.  Neighborhood connections!
Our mailboxes were broken into over the weekend.  In the process of scheduling the replacement of our locks, I communicated with the entire lane.  And then each of them had to stop by to pick up their new keys and pay their part of the repair bill.  
It felt a bit like Halloween as I walked to the door
with the container of keys in plastic bags to distribute.
We need to get together more often!

3.  This blue sky as I left daughter's house on Tuesday!

4.  These cookie bars that traveled with me to school on Friday!  
It was fun to share with my former colleagues as I substituted in sixth grade.
I squeezed in a picture book (Mother Bruce) and shared a poem for Poetry Friday!

5.  My 500th post!  
It's an amazing journey to write with my online friends.
My life as a writer was born on my blog and is

 nurtured by your comments and ongoing support.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Poetry Friday


 for this week's roundup of poetry love.
Thanks for hosting,Tricia!

Selecting a  favorite for my bag
Hoping for time to share
I'm off to a Friday in 6th grade land
But first I need some more sleep!

This is what happens when you face insomnia at 3 am.  I wander over to my bookcase of professional books and pull an old favorite off the shelf.  I'll be substituting in a team teaching situation today, so I don't know if I can squeeze in a poem for Poetry Friday.  But fingers crossed, I'm ready with a personal favorite, Linda Reif's 100 Quickwrites!  I flip the book open to "February Air" (p. 88), then notice "Charlotte's Web" (p. 92), or maybe I can use "Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant To Whom It May Concern" (p. 96) which would tie in with their social justice unit.  If you've never explored Linda Reif's delightful book of quick writes, head to your favorite indie bookstore and  treat yourself and your students to this book (recommended for grades 5 and up)!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Slice of Life: Our 3rd Dinner Guest!

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

Dinner's ready!  So why am I tearing into the package we just bought at Michaels?  My daughter wonders why this can't wait until we've eaten dinner.  But our Thai takeout will have to wait.  I must include our third guest.  

My daughter gave her to me several years ago.  She sat propped on top of the bookcase for awhile until I finally put her in the car so I could frame her.  She traveled there for several months and during one frenzied car clean out was carried into the house and misplaced.  I recently found her again. So when daughter invited me over for a mother daughter sleepover, I started a bag of things to take to her house:  the sweater that needed a button, the gift that needed a frame, books I wanted to share, her Christmas picture books that still needed a note from me...

We stopped by her house before heading out to do some errands and you guessed it, she was carried in.  So rather than abandon hope of finally framing her, I insisted we stop by to retrieve her before picking up our Thai takeout dinner.  We stopped by Michaels and I wandered the aisles of frames,  finally deciding on a white frame since all the brown frames weren't quite right.  I was surprised by the price, 24.99!  But daughter assured me she could pull up a 40% off coupon on her phone.  

As we headed for the checkout, we discovered one more spot with tabletop frames and there, on the bottom shelf, I found the perfect frame for $10.99 (and we could still use the 40% off coupon)!  

When you find the perfect frame, dinner can wait!  And that's why I took off the cellophane wrap, removed the back, discovered the print was a bit too big, trimmed the white excess, and inserted the picture - all before opening any white takeout cartons or taking a single bite of our delicious Thai dinner.  After all she was our honored guest!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Celebrate This Week: My Favorite Colors - Yellow, Yellow, BLUE!

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.  My friend, Coleen, bought daffodils for me which
provided much needed sunshine  during a mostly gray week.
2.  We discovered this dapper duck decked out in a yellow slicker
at one of our parks.  I know he was in Tuesday's SOL, 
but I think he's worth celebrating twice!

3.  A Friday phone call from Blake and Stefi announced that our  first grandchild is a BOY!   Love the FB announcement:  
"Baby BOY Behnke coming in with a roar - ultrasound tech
said he is measuring big and is VERY active #ohboy"  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Slice of Life: Triumphing Over Darkness

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


How to Brighten January's Dark Days

Use the extra darkness for cozy reading time.
Cook large pots of soup to accompany cozy reading time.
Keep the white lights burning on the deck for as long as you need them!

















Watch happy movies.
Scroll through pics of spring color from last year.
Brighten the mantle with white lights, greenery, and cheery snowmen!










Smile.
Be grateful your dark days don't include several feet of snow.
Savor the jewels on the trees!
















Walk outside on the sunny days, the gray days, and even the rainy days.
Buy daffodils at the grocery store.
Celebrate the whimsical!









Saturday, January 23, 2016

Celebrate This Week: Authors and Flights Home and Bears, and Moonshots!

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.  A new bear!
Sometimes a new stuffed animal just claims your heart.  Wendy and I 
were exploring shops before dinner last Saturday when this little guy
whispered to me that he was the perfect size for my church bag.
I can't wait for Imi to meet him at church tomorrow. 

2.  Author event on Tuesday - Gretchen Rubin at the Seattle Public Library!
It was a crazy rainy day, but Sara still wanted to go.  Gretchen graciously
signed our books after her presentation and even posed for this pic with us.

3.  Blake's flight home from NY to DC on Friday morning!  
Stefi is glad he's home to weather the blizzard with her.

4.  Mystical moon shot!
I was running errands on Friday evening
as dusk fell when I spotted a breathtaking moon.
My i-phone shot doesn't do it justice, but it was gorgeous.
You have to know that we haven't had many clear night skies lately,
or maybe it's just that I'm rarely out after dusk!