Friday, March 31, 2023

31/31: The Best Day

Welcome to the best day of the challenge! For the past several years, I have enjoyed looking at my slices and determining categories for my writing. Some years I list a post in more than one category, but this year I forced myself to drill down to the most important category for each slice. I was surprised that  poetry had the most slices. With no further ado, here's the breakdown for this year's slices.

8 poetry posts: 3 haiku, 2 free verse, 2 book spine, 1 tricube

5 book posts (several  of the poems were about books)

4 grandchildren posts (one of the poems was about grandchildren)

3 posts that focus on slicers and comments: 

    Spotlighting 11 returning slicers on Day 11

    Spotlighting 13 new slicers on Day 13

    Stopping at just 3 comments on Day 16

3 posts about words

2 kitchen slices

2 memoir writing group posts

1 post about friends

1 post about mugs

1 "Since Last March" post for Day 1

1 "The Best Day" post for Day 31


Two posts with no comments, 

when I wrote this post, now have comments.

Thanks, fellow slicers. That's the kind of community we have.

SOL 21/31: Glimpses of Grandson Sunshine! Thanks, Debbie Lynn! 

SOL 29/31: A Gallimaufrey of Morning Activities - Thanks, Diane


The only book I purchased during March Slice of Life

I requested many books from the library that fellow slicers recommended/mentioned/authored, but I only purchased one. Trina casually mentioned Linda Rief's book at the end of her post: Day 16/31: Rambling Autobiography.

I love Linda Reif and I love poetry, so I knew that I couldn't go wrong with this book. I'm planning to explore it during Poetry Month (and probably beyond) for my Poetry Friday posts. Hats off to slicers who will post poetry every day during April! I can't keep up, but I will try to read and comment as often as I can.


I had trouble commenting on some blogger's posts this year. Did anyone else have this same problem? Someone mentioned using Jetpak which I didn't sign up for or utilize. Does this make commenting easier? 

As a long-time slicer, I have familiar friends and enjoy long term friendships with many of you. That said, I try to focus on getting around to newer bloggers too. I still remember the power of the first comment I ever received on my blog from Ruth Ayres. I scanned through my first year of slicing and found comments from bloggers (twelve years ago) that I still slice with: Girl Griot (Stacie), Stacey Shubitz, Deb Day, and Anita Ferrari. I've made many friends though this blogging community. You are too numerous to mention by name, but you know who you are. I hope I left a trail of words on your blog to let you know that I came by and listened to your stories.

If you're new to slicing, never forget the power and importance of commenting. It's how the relationships are built. They stand the test of time and fuel our commitment to writing and improving this craft. I hope to see you during the year for Tuesday Slice of Life. I'm hoping to be there more often this coming year. Who knows? I might even show up next March for year thirteen! It's because of other slicer friends that I'm still here.
This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing life.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

SOL 30/31: Tricube Poem

Springtime Dance


Tender green

Blue sky day

Joy beckons.

Yellow heads

Nod in time

Breezy wave.


Purple face

Crocus calls

Welcomes spring.

- Ramona Behnke

Early in the month, I checked to see if I would mark a significant number of blot posts during March. The closest I could come was post number one thousand, three hundred thirty-three on March 30th. 


Last week I commented on Cathy's poem, Come Out and Enjoy the Day. Then I scrolled through some of her other poetry on her blog, Poeturescapes. When I read "Softly Still," her beautiful tricube poem, I knew that I had found the perfect vehicle to mark my 1, 333rd blog post  - 1 poem, with 3 stanzas, 3 lines in each stanza and 3 syllables in each line!

This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing life.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

SOL 29/31: A Gallimaufrey of Morning Activities

Okay, I just had to use gallimaufrey again. I was inspired to explore this new-to-me word earlier this month when a fellow slicer used it. You can read all about the word in this slice from Day 8.

Welcome to my ragbag/jumble/collage/mismash/hodgepodge/ jambalaya/medley of this morning's wandering thoughts.

I solve an early morning mystery. 

The cushion (that I keep propped against the house to prevent water logging from spring rains) is in my rocking chair on the deck.  

I ask husband, "Did you put the cushion in the rocking chair?" 

"No," he replies. "Maybe you just forgot you moved it to the chair. Or maybe the grand kids moved it when they were here." 

"No, I distinctly remember looking at the rocking chair yesterday. I could see it rocking from the kitchen window because of the wind and the cushion was not there." 

I am 100 percent positive that I did not put the cushion in the rocking chair.

I pause, think about it, and jokingly reply, "Maybe the raccoons wanted a softer sit." 

I continue my morning routine and then out of nowhere, I solve the mystery!

The pest guy was here yesterday late in the day. My husband commented to him that he was working late. It was the pest guy who picked up the cushion and tossed it in the rocking chair when he was treating the side of the house.

Nothing like a mystery solved to add some pizazz to an ordinary morning!

I climb the step ladder to pull down the bag of Grandma surprises. Today's the day to pack up the box for the grands in Utah. I have pumpkin chocolate chip bread in the freezer, cookies I baked yesterday, Super Mario figures for Teddy, and Little People characters for Ruthie and Lily. And of course, I have books! I'm hoping I can squeeze all that into a medium flat rate Priority box.

I consider using Amy's 5-4-3-2-1 format. When I reread her slice, I remember that I never looked up the Ada Limon poem she referenced. I look up "Instructions on Not Giving Up." It is exquisite. Stop now and go read it.

I snooze my alarm that reminds me to take my medicine several times because I'm writing a slice (medicine, schmedicine). 

I join Joanne for a stroll during the season of hidden treasures.

I pause for pics of sunshine and blue skies, watching the sun rise over this new day.


 The shadows falling across the kitchen floor fill me with sunshiny gladness.

I hear from the other room (CBS Mornings) that John Grisham is writing a sequel to The Firm that will be released in October. Funny how I don't really pay much attention to the news, but mention the word "book" and my ears perk up.

I share a link with fellow bibliophiles.  It's NPR's Books We Love. Click on the link and it will take you to Spine Poems: An Eclectic Collection of Found Verse for Book Lovers. Explore the tags/filters feature so you can hone in on exactly the type of books you love.

And that's all folks. . . this gallimaufrey's finished.

This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing life.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

SOL 28/31: Bookish Delights

After reading about my book club retreat, some of you have asked for our list. Here's our book club list for 2023-24, arranged by number of words in the title. Two of the three books I recommended made the cut. See if you can spot my choices on the list. I'll share my titles at the end of this post along with the other titles I voted for that did not get selected. I also share all the other books I wanted to bring. 


Each person recommends three titles or less (this rule came about because I used to bring a shopping bag full of books). I still sometimes bring more than three in case someone else is recommending a title I selected, allowing me to switch out a title.


As a general rule, I prefer fiction. However, my book club leans to nonfiction, so any year we end up with more fiction than nonfiction on the list is a win in my book. And this year we have a 7 to 5 ratio and fiction won!  


1. Caste by Isabel Wilderson

I've intended to read this one for a long time, and having it on my book club list will be just the push I need to finally read it.

2. Miseducated by Brandon P. Fleming 

3. Full Tilt by Dervia Murphy

4. The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

5. Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

6. The Golden Girls' Getaway by Judy Leigh

7. Anne of Green Gables by LM. Mongomery

I've read this one, but look forward to listening to the audiobook version by Rachel McAdams.

8. I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

9. The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake

I've also read this one. Jaima Fixsen is the niece of one of our book club members and we're hoping she'll join us via Zoom for our discussion.

AUDREY BLAKE has a split personality-- because she is the creative alter ego of Regina Sirois and Jaima Fixsen, two authors who met online in a survivor style writing contest. They live 1500 miles apart, but both are prairie girls: Jaima hails from Alberta, Canada, and Regina from the wheat fields of Kansas. Both are addicted to history, words, and stories of redoubtable women, and agree that their friendship, better and longer lasting than any other prize, is proof that good things happen in this random, crazy universe. - KCLS, About the Author

10. Who the Hell is Pansy O'Hara? by Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy 

11. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

12. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton


Did you spot my titles in this list? 

I recommended:  The Last Cuentista (Newbery and Pura Belpre award winner) and Peach Blossom Spring (historical fiction).


The book I proposed that was not chosen: Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout


The titles I voted for that didn't make the list: 

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I Must Betray You by Ruth Sepetys

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Sanditon by Jane Austen This book won for most creative presentation. Bobbi compiled a list of six books that continue this unfinished novel by Jane Austen. She proposed that we choose one of the titles that continue the story and talk about/compare the different books at our discussion.


Even though I prefer fiction, I lean to essays and memoir when I read nonfiction. Since our book club leans to nonfiction, sometimes I include some in my recommended choices. 

Nonfiction books I considered:    Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott

                                                     These Precious Days by Anne Patchett

                                                     Finding Me by Viola Davis


An epistolary novel I almost recommended: Love and Saffron by Kim Fay


A book I passed on recommending (because it's almost 600 pages), but want to read:

Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark


We try to select books that are easily available at the library and in paperback. I'm holding these titles for next year (hopefully everyone won't have read them by then):

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver   Another long book, but I hope we'll read it next year when it's out in paper. The Poisonwood Bible remains one of our book club's all-time favorite titles.   


Okay, bookish friends, be careful before you ask me to share my book club list. You may get more than you bargained for! If you get this far, let me know in the comments what title you or your book club have read and loved recently.


This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing.

Monday, March 27, 2023

SOL 27/31: Book Club Retreat (not the haiku version)

I had plans for today's slice and then I found myself cleaning up my desktop, And I found this slice begun over a week ago and abandoned for a haiku because I was exhausted. I dusted off the slice, polished it a bit, and here it is! 

The haiku was the short of it. here's the long of our "used-to-be" yearly tradition (until Covid made us miss three years). I like having more details of our gathering for a future collection I might put together. Our book club has been together for twenty-five years.

 Begin with a friend's vacation place

in Leavenworth on a gorgeous sunny afternoon.






Head downtown for a German meal, a giant pretzel, 

and strolling through the charming stores,

before the best stop of the afternoon

at the local indie, A Book for All Seasons.







 Murmurs of conversation on the sunny deck,







 a walk to the bridge and back, 

and Anne's delicious baked ricotta and crostini








 round out our cozy afternoon.

Dinner preparations begin in earnest as

Coleen and Bobbi's mouthwatering soups simmer,

Suzanne preps a crisp green salad, and

Leta pulls out mouthwatering homemade rolls.

Our last three guests arrive

for a total of twelve bookish friends,

and two lovable 2-month-old babes in arms.

Dinner is served with ample time

to luxuriate in the food and the company.

Table cleared, dishwasher loaded, time to discuss 

March's book club read, The Night Watchman.

Then it's time for the most important business.

Pitch your three or fewer book choices to the group

hoping for inclusion on next year's book list.

Cast your votes. While waiting for the final tally,

enjoy Ramona's warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Books selected, host spots filled,

conversations and connections continue 

with some heading to the hot tub.   

It's a short night's sleep.

Early morning walkers capture this view.


We gather for more conversation 

and a hearty breakfast:

hot chocolate with whipped cream,

Shannon's signature fruit salad,

Becca's breakfast casserole,

and decadent Ellenos yogurt. 

We linger around the table,

savoring precious moments together

before the ride back to responsibilities 

and everyday life. 







 Our gathering

leaves us refreshed, renewed, nourished,

filled with bookish recommendations

and just one regret.

It’s never long enough!

This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

SOL 26/31: The Road Away from Home and the Road Back Home

If you grew up in a small town, then you know well the road that led you out of town. It took you to the big city. It took you to Sears for back-to- school shopping. It took you to the home of a favorite aunt and uncle. It took you to your big sister’s home and your niece and nephews. 


It took you to Super Saturdays so you could gather with other youth in your faith for morning learning (and scripture chase competitions), an afternoon activity, and the evening dance. It took you to quarterly conferences, large events that included church Sunday morning, a shared lunch and playtime with other kids, and afternoon church (not as well attended), but always part of your family’s dedicated weekend four times a year for church meetings and visiting with extended family and friends. 


It took you to the airport to pick up your big sis when she returned from BYU for the Christmas holidays. It took you to the airport for your first airplane flight at age nineteen to Portland, Oregon. It took you to the airport for a flight to the Missionary Training Center in Provo before your mission began in Hong Kong. 


It took you to Mohawk Zoo, Philbrook and Gilcrease Museums, and to see The King Family in concert. It took you to Southroads Mall. It took you to the Sesquicentennial Ball (and your brother married his date)! It took you to weekends at your best friend's house and dates with your future husband.


The best part of the road was the Indian Nation Turnpike which shortened the drive from McAlester to Tulsa. The section we traveled was short, only about forty-one miles. That part opened in 1966. Some of the old timers in our area refused to pay the seventy-five cent toll and continued using the two lane roads, but my dad, ever a proponent of innovation and progress, loved the toll road with its two lanes on each side. He even loved stopping to pay the toll, usually making sure he had three quarters ahead of time, so he didn’t have to go through the toll booth. He even deposited his toll in all nickels once just to see how long it would take the machine to count it and open the barrier.


We had favorite stops and views along the road: the pie and burger place in Okmulgee, gas station stops for the requisite road treats, and my favorite tree which I loved to see in all the seasons of the year.


As much as I loved going to the big city, my favorite way to travel this road was going home. Indian Nation Turnpike with its roomy two lanes on each side was the final forty-one miles of the two hour trek back home after going to the big city.


I remember the time my brother and I picked up our big sis at the airport and encountered the worst fog we had ever seen on our drive home. We welcomed the four-lane highway once we reached Henryetta, feeling that we were definitely safer on this stretch of road.


I remember when I was single, teaching 6th grade, and also teaching home-study seminary (our church’s religious study class for teenagers). Suddenly I was the adult taking the youth to Super Saturday once a month at 10 am on Saturday morning, attending teacher training while the youth engaged in the afternoon activities, shopping at the mall, and then the high point of the day, the evening dance. Mostly, the teenagers climbed in the car and fell asleep. I always had a designated conversationalist to keep me awake for the drive home. The stop at Quik Trip in Glenpool for snacks helped too!


I remember trips home to visit my brother Karl and his family after we moved to the Pacific Northwest twenty-five years ago. There were two viewpoints I loved on the drive home. One occurred as you drove through a cut in the hills to see a beautiful wide panoramic view of a small valley. My best friend, Jan, says she likes to imagine her ancestors coming through these hills when they traveled in a conestoga wagon from Arkansas to Oklahoma in the late 1800s. The other view I loved was of a white farmhouse and a barn on a small hill off to the left. It was always the sign that you were almost to the McAlester exit and almost home.


I remember my last trip home in December 2018 to visit my brother when he received a cancer diagnosis. He was on a very restricted diet and true to my brother’s good nature, he did not complain. We watched Hallmark Christmas movies and relished our time together. And for the first time in a long time, I missed a year going home. 2019 passed and I was not on the road to home.


I remember a trip planned for March 2020 for a cousin reunion in Texas and then a trip to Oklahoma to see my brother and his family. And then the pandemic arrived and life as we knew it shut down. In November of 2020 my brother had surgery and died in early December. Because of the pandemic, I did not go to Oklahoma to attend his funeral. After his death, my sister-in-law moved to Stillwater to live near her son and his family. There is no longer any immediate family in the town where I grew up.


I remember traveling the road away from home and back home via the 41 miles of the Indian Nation Turnpike so well that I can pull up most of the miles in my mind’s eye. In September, I’ll fly into the Tulsa airport and head south with my best friend for our 50th high school reunion. We’ll spend the last 41 miles on the Indian Nation Turnpike. Neither one of us has any family in our hometown anymore, but we already have motel reservations. We are looking forward to visiting old friends, remembering our younger selves, and laughing at our current selves. We will also stop by Oakhill Cemetery so I can visit and remember loved ones: great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, too many cousins to count, and now a brother. He will want to hear about the reunion.


This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing.


Saturday, March 25, 2023

SOL 25/31: Mug O'Mania

One of the things I was forced to do when we downsized was to reduce my mug collection. I narrowed it down to three in the kitchen cabinet and one on the counter. Over the holidays my friend Nancy (the face on the right of the mug with the red interior) gifted me another mug. 

Nancy was partially responsible for my overgrown mug collection. When I returned to the classroom in 2005, I already knew Nancy from church and so I had a built-in friend in my work setting. Every month of my first year back in the classroom, I would find a new mug on my desk, filled with M&Ms or other chocolate treats. 

The mug with the red interior has the faces of four friends who went together to Italy in February 2019. It brings a smile to my face every time I use it. Nancy is the best gift giver ever. And that's how my "in cabinet" mug collection expanded to four over the holidays. You may notice that I also repurpose mugs as holders for pencils, pens, and markers.

Moving to the office, here are three mugs in that space: one for pens, one for markers, and more for pencils and highlighters.

When you look at my mugs you can deduce some important things about me:

I like cats, friends, travel, chocolate, bookstores, words (savor was my one little word in 2014 and I bought this mug on a book club retreat), Mary Engelbreit. and the color yellow. And sometimes I can be a bit bossy (I'm in charge here)!

I'm not a coffe drinker, but I love a cup of rich hot chocolate (dark, please), a steaming cup of herbal tea and a mug o' milk to accompany warm cookies.

This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing.

Friday, March 24, 2023

SOL 24/31: Just Visiting

We made a commitment to stay friends even though we left behind the tie (Islander Middle School) that made us friends in the first place. One of us retired in  2013, one in 2014, and the last one in 2016. Sometimes we watch a movie together. Sometimes we save an episode of a favorite show (Call the Midwives) to watch together. Sometimes we go out for a meal. But mostly we just visit. One time we had a getaway together at the family cabin that belongs to one of the group. But mostly we just visit. We talk about taking a trip together, maybe to Canada. But mostly we just visit.

During the pandemic, we had more than a few meals outside while we visited. One time when it felt too cold and rainy to meet outside, we met in a covered parking garage (which was not filled with cars), wrapped ourselves in blankets, spaced ourselves 6 feet apart, with hot drinks in hand, all for the purpose of visiting. 

Today we celebrated a significant birthday for one of our group. We started at a bookstore before making our way to an Italian restaurant. We complained while we walked a few stores away and across the street. I think the sunny, mild weather we enjoyed for a few days earlier in the week made us think that our cold weather was finished. Not so! But we were delighted that our chosen restaurant had a fireplace and delicious food. 

Next stop was my daughter's house to see two of the grand boys. Last stop was my house for cake and candles (one for each decade). Our two cake slices were from Deru, with slices so ample we that we got eight servings from each slice. In case you're wondering . . . we had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Only one of us still lives in the same community where we worked together. One moved south. one moved north, and one stayed put. You may find yourself wondering how we manage to keep this friendship thriving. It's one simple little trick. Each time we're together, we pull out our calendars and schedule our next gathering. It may not be fancy, but each time we gather (my OLW for 2023),we spend most of our time . . . (you guessed it!) . . .  just visiting.

This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

SOL 23/31: Thursday Morning Fun

I watched two of the grandsons this morning while my daughter volunteered in big brother's kindergarten classroom. We started out the morning by playing Alphabet Search. Robby scattered the alphabet disks all around the house. Then he would reach into a mug, pull out a popsicle stick with a letter printed on it, and off we would go in search of the letter. Once we found matching disks and popsicle sticks, we would think of words that started with that sound. 

Alphabet disks

Then we built with Duplos. Little brother Ollie is beginning to enjoy this process too. We built the Observation Tower for the airport. Ollie played with wheeled vehicles and built towers.

Soon it was time for morning snack - strawberries, toast with jam, and milk.

After that we read books. Most of the books were packed in a bag ready to return to the libraary. Robby pulled out a favorite, Wee Hee Hee: A Collection of Pretty Funny Jokes and Pictures. I was amazed that he knew the answers to most of the jokes. His favorite one: "Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the road? He didn't have the guts." Check out the size of this book.

Our final activity of the morning, suggested by little brother Ollie, was playing with play dough. Before we knew it, Mom was home and it was time to go to the library. And we did all that in just two hours. 

This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

SOL 22/31: I Did It!

New learning beckons

Just signed up to learn to strum

Ukulele fun!

This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

SOL 21/31: Glimpses of Grandson Sunshine!

Two of my grandsons arrived this morning with their mom after dropping big brother off at kindergarten. It was rainy and cloudy so they stopped by for a visit. I enjoy these mornings when they pop by with their mom. She made hot chocolate for the two of us. Unfortunately, our days of not including the boys in this indulgence are over. Both boys wanted to join us in our sipping tradition.

Ollie (20 months) was quite vocal about wanting some hot chocolate and not interested in the morning snack in front of him. I tried reading poetry to him. He kept saying, "Back, so I continued flipping back through the book, thinking he wanted to see a certain page again. But when we reached the title page, he replied, "All done."

Jack came over on Sunday afternoon, delighted to share the Irish dancing he had learned in kindergarten for St. Patrick's Day.

We started a 100 piece puzzle (too hard!) of guinea pigs. We're in that awkward spot right now, the 24 piece puzzles are no longer challenging, but 100 piece puzzles are overwhelming. Grandma started it and Grandpa finished it. 

I love this pic of Jack reading to Ollie. 

Jack and Robby (almost four) love listening to podcasts. They have long enjoyed Circle Round, Brain On, and have recently added Spyology Squad to their favorites. Jack has decided that he wants to make a podcast and he and Robby have already made cover art for their upcoming stories.

"The Missing Monster" by Jack

 "The Missing Giant" by Robby
(We might have a series here.)

When Sara saw the finished guinea pig puzzle on the table this morning, she retrieved a 500 piece puzzle of national parks and started it. Ollie crawled up in a chair to help out. I picked three puzzles for him from the cubby: a vehicle puzzle with knobs and two Discovery Toy puzzles from when my children were little with poke-out holes from the back. Ollie called out the names and numbers of items in the pieces as he put them in. And when we finished the third puzzle, he chanted his favorite phrase, "All done."

Daughter captured this pic of Robby and Ollie "fishing" together this morning.

I can't resist sharing a Robby story from last week. Sara was looking through the community center brochure with the boys and circling classes they might be interested in. Robby asked her to explain the Beginning Piano class. Sara told him that it would teach him how to play the piano. 

Robby confidently replied, "You mean better than I already do?" 

There's never a dull moment with three grand boys and their own special brand of sunshine!

Monday, March 20, 2023

SOL 20/31: Sunday Night Giggles

When hubby and I were watching TV Sunday evening, I noticed some of the Easter decor missing from the mantle. There are some open spots in the animal lineup. I spot Yellow Duck with the backward baseball cap keeping watch on Main Street.

I scan the family room. No one is in the bird basket. No one is in the book basket. No one is on the coffee table or the couch or the hearth. I may have to call grandson Jack tomorrow for clues to where the other stuffies have gone. I may need to look downstairs. He was here Sunday afternoon and may be the guilty culprit who took a few stuffies on a Sunday afternoon excursion.

Sunday evening show finished, I come out from under my cozy blanket and push away the footstool, ready to head to bed. And that's when I get the giggles!

For there on the family room carpet, just out of my line of vision when I put my feet up, are three runaway bunnies. I leave the returning to the mantle for Monday morning. Maybe grandsons and I will write The Adventures of Three Runaway Bunnies. Stay tuned. They will be here Friday morning. Our lineup may stay perfectly aligned until then. Who knows what mayhem three boys, three runaway bunnies, and a touch of imagination will create?

Sunday, March 19, 2023

SOL 19/31: Book Connections

One of our grandsons was here for a visit this afternoon. When asked about the books he wanted to read, he wanted to read Halloween books. So we went upstairs to where I have the seasonal books on a special shelf. He chose four favorites.

Then it was my turn to choose a book from the basket of books currently checked out from the library.

I was just a few words in when I knew this was a poetic book. When I turned to the last page, I discovered the music for this book/song by internationally renowned Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie. It's a " letter celebrating seasons, place, Indigenous traditions, and community. Of summer flowers turning fields to sun, and hearts filled with drumbeats, Read it. Sing it. Share it." 

These words from the book jacket resonated with me because Aunt Nan and Uncle Jim often took us to the Tulsa Powwow at Mohawk Park in the 60s. I can still hear the drums, the singers, the shuffling feet, and see the beautiful costumes of the native dancers.

When we finished the book, I asked Jack to guess which animal from the book we saw yesterday on our drive home from the retreat. We started at the beginning of the book, looking for animals on each page. 











When we passed buffalo on the drive home, I immediately broke into the chant from my high school days: "Go, you mighty buffaloes, go, go, go!" We were the Buffs. 

Once I shared the buffalo pics with Jack, we looked at the song lyrics at the end of the book. I commented that maybe his dad would play it for us. Grandpa suggested that we ask Siri to play it and sure enough, quick as a wink, we were listening to the song by Cree singer/songwriter/author, Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Still This Love Goes On prompted these connections: 1) a memory from my childhood, 2) sharing of yesterday's buffalo sighting, and 3) listening to the song by Buffy Sainte-Marie. This song/book, beautifully illustrated by Julie Flett, will encourage you to think about the people and places you love most. It would be interesting to pair it with All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Mike Wimmer for a companion book study.