Thursday, February 28, 2019

Celebrating January and February!

How can the first two months of 2019 be (almost) over?
I miss linking up with our Celebrate This Week group, but 
love looking back at life's joys. I have good intentions to write a celebrate post each month, but since I missed January, here I am celebrating both wintry months together.  I just realized that some of these pics are repeats from earlier posts. Oops!

Jack got his first haircut just in time for 
his 2nd birthday!
Visits to Grandma's library always
include time to hang out with the giant
bunny out front and the boy reading too!
A lovely January sunset from Slater Park!
February's snow events were unprecedented!
Glad I was home for the first one, but happy
to be out of the country for the second 
much larger snow. (More about my trip to Italy
during March's marathon month of writing slices.)
Love these Valentine Day 
pics of sweet Teddy!
Teddy always manages to head to the museums for 
some indoor fun with friends (and Mom too)!
Daughter-in-law Stefi and girlfriends
took kids (sans Dads) for a whirlwind 
week of fun in Williamsburg!
Loved my time in the exhibit
hall during NCTE 2019 in Seattle.
I showed admirable restraint - only one 
backpack and three bags filled with books!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

SOL: Exam Nightmare to the Rescue!

 
It's a familiar dream/nightmare. We find ourselves in a college classroom taking an exam for which we are woefully unprepared. For some reason, the exam room was not large enough and I was moved into a second room and then a third room. I had an extra burden because I was pulling grandson Jack in a stroller and hoping that he would stay asleep while I took the exam. 

It was a science exam and we had page after page after page of multiple choice questions. It was time for the exam to be over, but I found myself pleading with the professor for extended time. It turned out the people in the second room (right next to our room) were totally rowdy and had made it hard for me to concentrate. I was moved to another room with the professor looking on as I frantically tried to finish the exam. I remember one particular question that troubled me about breeds of dogs, certain kinds of dog beds, and fabric softeners. The data for answering the question covered four pages, front and back, and I found myself shuffling those pages over and over in an attempt to finish the exam. 

And then I found a packet of twenty-five questions that I hadn't even started. I finally finished and turned in the exam pages, only to discover that I had left grandson Jack in the first exam room. I took off to find him! 

And that's when I rolled over, looked at the window, and saw daylight around the edges of the blinds.  I recently returned from a trip to Italy. After five days of waking up in the early morning hours and being unable to go back to sleep, I had finally managed to sleep through the night. Thanks, exam nightmare for troubling my sleep and keeping me busily engaged until daybreak!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Poetry Friday: Goodbye, Paul B. Janeczko

  Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge 
is hosting this week's round-up of poetic goodness.

I was saddened this week to read of the death of Paul B. Janeczko, a teacher and writer whose words have inspired my own teaching and writing. I went to my bookshelf in search of books and found many that I've loved over the years. I can't believe that I omitted Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems from this collection (it was turned sideways on the bookshelf). It's a favorite collection and beautifully illustrated by Melissa Sweet. I love the mix of old and new poets in this anthology.

When I read the obituary, I returned to the bookshelf,  sure that I owned A Kick in the Head or A Poke in the Eye. I found this paperback copy stuffed with sticky notes from when I was teaching.

Those sticky notes were for poets who had contributed to the poetry box project that we participated in one year.
I picked up this book in a university bookstore last month while traveling with my husband. I couldn't remember if I owned it, but the price was right! When I got home, I discovered I did have a copy. So if you're interested in the book (and live in the US), let me know in your comment and I'll do a random drawing on Monday.

I went to my old notebooks in search of my NCTE 2014 notes, pretty sure I had heard Paul present at the conference. I found my notes from a session I loved, The Lessons Poetry Teaches: A Doorway into Writing (Georgia Heard, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and Paul Janeczko). Here are some of the nuggets I jotted down from Paul's presentation:

  • Unless we read poetry, we will never have our hearts broken by language.
  • Writing poetry is like playing baseball. You get out there every afternoon and everyone can do it.  
  • Poetry is really the history of our feelings.   
We've lost a wonderful light from the poetry world, but his words will always be with us. I'm off to request his new book coming out in March, The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog and Other How-to Poems.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Slice of Life: Postcards from Italy

  I'm just home from Rome
processing all that I've seen
images snapped from the bus
capture moments in time
 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Slice of Life: Snow Day #2

I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, BethKathleen, Deb, Melanie, Lanny, and Kelsey
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.
 
A two hour late start -
last night's verdict. Amended
to CLOSED this morning. 

We rarely get snow in the Seattle area, so it's a treat when it happens. And even though I'm retired, I feel a certain delight when I open the district web site to see the welcome word - CLOSED!

I know snow pics are ubiquitous, but for me
snow always calls for a celebration!
And we had 6.5 inches!
Grandson Jack enjoyed four
different outings yesterday!
A snowy twilight table setting!
(Just in case you're not familiar with our 
yearly discussion... those are 
white lights, not Christmas lights.
And I need them in 
November, December, January, AND February!)

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Poetry Friday: Kitchen Sink Marvel!

  Tabbatha Yeatts-Lonske at The Opposite of Indifference
is hosting this week's round-up of poetic goodness. 
 
a hummingbird preens
shimmering iridescence
grace for a gray day 

I was at the kitchen sink when I spotted a hummingbird on a rain-kissed leaf right outside the window. After watching for a bit, I called to Jack to join me. I did not want to leave the spot in case my movement would cause the bird to fly away. 

So I cajoled, "Jack, come to Grandma. I have something to show you. It's a hummingbird. We have to be quiet."

And he came. And I scooped him up. It took a bit for him to see what I was talking about. But he finally spotted our hummingbird. We talked about his long bill and how he was cleaning himself with his bill. We watched for several minutes, almost holding our breaths, marveling at the beauty just beyond the kitchen sink.