Sunday, March 31, 2024

SOL 31/31: Celebrating with a tricube and an acrostic!

Slicer friends,
gather round.
Story threads
connect us,
bring comfort.
day of March,

Rules for a tricube:

  • Each line contains three syllables.
  • Each stanza contains three lines.
  • Each poem contains three stanzas.
And from my archives,
an Easter acrostic 
written for NPM and SJT
in  2017.
Everlasting joy
As we praise the God who
So loved the world 
That He sent His son.
Every soul has cause to 
Rejoice!  He is risen!

-Ramona Behnke

I like noticing where my poetic impulses come from.  You'll recognize some of the words come from John 3:16 and the song "For God So Loved the World."  "He Sent His Son" is a song in our children's songbook that I love.  "Rejoice, The Lord is King" and "He Is Risen" are two favorite hymns, made even more meaningful during this Easter season.   I look forward to the glorious Easter promise of the empty tomb which assures us of the gift of the  resurrection to all, "Because He did, so can we." For those of you who are celebrating this holiday, Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2024

SOL 30/31: Rounding Up Four Weeks of Slicing

I frequently do an analysis of the topics and types of writing I've done on the last day of March. This year I'll do it a day early since tomorrow will be an Easter slice. I arrived at a significant milestone this year. I missed not one, but two days of slicing! 

I had decided that I wouldn't participate this year since I was doing a lot of traveling in March. But I made the mistake of reading a few slices two days in and decided that I needed to participate. So I jumped in on March 3rd and have now completed 28 days of writing. 

The lesson I'm taking away this year is to never let perfect be the enemy of the good. A missed day does not mean you failed at slicing. It means you missed a day and picking up again is progress in the right direction.

Here's a breakdown of topics for my 2024 slices for March:

Travel slices - 9

Friend slices -7

Books/book club slices -6

Poem slices - 5

Grandchildren slices - 4

Borrowed ideas from other slicers - 4  (Top 3 Lists, Tricube, Double Etheree, Leigh Anne's Word Buffet))

Slices about slicing - 4 

Nature slices - 3

Technical challenge slices - 2

The total does not equal 28 slices because some slices filled more than one of the above topics/categories. I have one slice that received no comments (March 16), probably because it was around the time my commenting problems began and it wasn't rescued from spam until the following day. If you have slices that received no comments, let me know. I would be happy to stop by.

This is my thirteenth year to participate in the March Slice of Life. 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.

Friday, March 29, 2024

SOL 29/31: Top Three Lists

With only three days left to slice, it seems the perfect time to share a post of Top Three Lists. I've enjoyed these lists as a way to become better acquainted with fellow slicers and make connections. I've shared thirteen in honor my thirteenth year of slicing.

Ways to Spend a Rainy Day - Read, Nap, Watch a movie

Places  - Libraries, Bookstores, Museums

Collections - Mugs, Quotes, Heart-themed Christmas Ornaments

Middle Grade Books - The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z, Three Times Lucky, Gossamer

British Crime Series - Vera, Shetland, C.B.Strike

Flowers - Daffodils, Roses, Peonies

Cookies - Double Chocolate, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Molasses Crinkles

Masterpiece Theater Series - Call the Midwives, All Creatures Great and Small, Unforgotten

Authors I Want to Hear - Ralph Fletcher, Jason Reynolds, Sharon Draper

Poets I Enjoy - Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Ted Kooser

Influential Educational Books - Lasting Impressions (Shelly Harwayne), Read Write Teach (Linda Rief), When Kids Can't Read (Kylene Beers)

Presenters - Naomi Shihab Nye, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Janet Wong (Can you tell that I love poets?)

Novels-in-Verse - Brown Girl Dreaming, Home of the Brave, Out of the Dust

This is my thirteenth year to participate in the March Slice of Life. 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 28, 2024

SOL 28/31: I Miss Having a Firm Deadline!

As a retired educator, I miss the firm deadlines I used to have for pounding out my slice. One time that I enjoyed was writing in the morning before leaving for school. I sometimes found that finishing my slice made for a later arrival at school with less time to prep for the day. 

I wrote with my students during our Slice of Life writing time in class. I wrote in my notebook and then just had to retype it onto Blogspot (often with a few revisions) after school and hit post before heading home.

On particularly busy days, I would find myself at 8;30 pm (11:30 pm East Coast time), frantically racing the clock to finish a post in time. While it gave me a sudden surge of adrenaline, I was also filled with fear that I might not make the deadline. 

Fast forward a few years to  my early retirement: My absolute favorite time to comment and write is when I find myself wide awake in the middle of the night. That works well when I don't have early morning commitments and can sleep in. But more often than not, I do have something scheduled early in the day. And I try to be finished with my slice before evening rolls around. 

For a few days, I managed to write at night for the next day. Perfect way to avoid the stress of "What will I write thinking?" lodging in the back of my mind all day. 

This morniny I went to the library and then over to my daughter's home to read with the boys and play until their lunchtime. Since arriving home two hours ago, I've whiled away the time making a quick lunch, listening to the news, commenting, and trying to write a slice. 

I think Parkinson's Law is definitely at work here. This article from Work Life defines the term for us: "Parkinson’s Law is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. The term was first coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in a humorous essay he wrote for “The Economist” in 1955." Read his original article here. I find it amusing that this term was coined the year I was born.

Just a few minutes ago, I looked at the clock and decided I would definitely finish this post by 2:30. That deadline is almost here. I posted this at 2:28 and just finished revisions at 2:36. And so, I rest my case. I am a writer who needs a firm deadline.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

SOL 27/31:How to Spend a Gray, Mizzly Day

 Wake up earlier than usual to pick up before the housekeepers come at 8 am.

Arrive at daughter's house to stay with two grand boys while eldest grand boy goes to the doctor.

Look over tax forms before husband submits them.

Begin planning page for possible trips.

Receive text that another person can't make it to book chat today. The remaining three of us decide on rescheduling rather than heading out on this gray, mizzly day.

Join husband for a run to WalMart which is surprisingly uncrowded. (Who actually runs errands on a gray, mizzly day?)

Find a can of pumpkin in the pantry for daughter who is baking pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and has no pumpkin in her pantry.

Ask husband to run it over to daughter's house.

Call a friend who is not available, but will call back later.

Text another friend.

Think about where the green cutting mat might be that daughter wants to borrow so she can begin Ollie's quilt. 

Phone daughter. We ponder the mystery of our missing, green cutting mats. I fear that mine was lost in the move to Kirkland along with my laminated posters and the How to Eat a Watermelon poem that a parent illustrated and laminated for my classroom more than fifteen years ago.

Bake oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from dough balls in the freezer. 

Eat warm cookies with a cold glass of milk.

Sashay my way through several blog posts. For some reason, some of my comments are still disappearing even when I use WordPress reader. :(

Speak sternly to self. No more dilly dallying.

Write today's post so I can reward myself with the best activity for a a gray, mizzly day:

Stretch out in recliner with cozy blanket and read!

This is my thirteenth year to participate in the March Slice of Life. 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 26, 2024

SOL 26/31: Treasures from My Book Bag

I pop by the library on Thursday to pick up books from my holds shelf. As always, I stop by the children's display of new books and pick up a few new titles. We are going to Boone for spring break with daughter, son-in-law, and the three grand boys. With no time to the preview books before our trip, I stash the book bag in the car, count the number of books to ensure I'll come back with all the books I take, and wait for a ready audience. It doesn't take long.

These three active boys are more than willing to settle down with me for reading time. In fact, one of our rotating activity stations at the vacation house is, you guessed it, the reading station, with Grandma at the helm.
This book is a big hit with all the boys 
and our 7-year-old can read it independently.
The Go-Go Guys NEVER sleep! 
Here I am reading Go-Go Guys to our almost five-year-old.
He loved listening and looking at pictures from the top bunk.
I picked this one up thinking it would be great for the 2 1/2 year old.
But it is a favorite of the seven-year-old. 
With a birthday in just two weeks, our almost five-year-old loves this one 
about new friends and birthday surprises. .
He especially likes the foil and die-cut peek-a-boo pages.
 Our 2 1/2 year old could recite this one from memory 
and loved the touchy-feely pages. 
And there's a white mouse on every two page spread.
These titles are two of my personal favorites from the book bag.  
Milo Walking celebrates the wonder and possibilities of a daily walk 
with his mom.  There's No Place Like Hope is one I want to buy for my shelves.
"This sweet, rhythmic picture book is a gentle yet powerful exploration of how hope makes us loving, courageous, and connected to one another." (Amazon review)

This one's middle grade. You know why I requested it. 
I can't wait to read another delightful book by this beloved children's author!

I hope you enjoyed this stroll through some of the contents of my book bag. I am grateful for a library system that makes new books readily available and introduces me and my grands to so many wonderful titles.

Monday, March 25, 2024

SOL 25/31: A New Book Club for Me

Today's prompt came from Tammy's Sunday Coffee Share. I loved our Sunday chat over coffee (hot chocolate for me). If you're in search of an idea for writing, Tammy provides prompts at the end of each new tidbit of sharing. I chose this one.

Write about a community you are glad to be part of.

Book Chat is my new favorite book club. I was invited to join by my daughter's neighbor, Donna, via text. We hadn't yet met in person when she picked me up for my first meeting. Here's an explanation of Book Chat from our organizer, Maureen, to a recent new member:

"No book reading required! We just talk about books, ones we have heard about, ones becoming shows or movies, ones we want to read and then we share books if we happened to have read some since last we met."

Book Chat is a delightful group of women of a certain age (most of us are retired). I was delighted to learn that several members are also retired teachers like me. We meet at a local coffee shop so no one has to worry about hosting, cleaning, or providing dessert. We don't have a set date, but each meeting is set up via group text, usually with an option or two and we choose the time that fits most of the group. (Who knew a group of retired women could be so busy?) It's a very open and welcoming group. Each time I've attended, a new person has been invited to join. Since I moved to this area in July, this group is a wonderful group to poll regarding doctors, repairmen, alterations, shopping venues, places to visit, etc. When I can't attend, I send a pic of the books I would have shared. There is frequent sharing of physical books between group members. They tolerate my love of middle grade books.  I am fortunate to have found such a welcoming group of book-loving friends in my new community.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

SOL 24/31: Who You Gonna Call?

When I have tech issues, it's best not to ask my husband or my children for help. Back in the day when I had apple support (when I purchased a new computer), my children blessed the young people who sat patiently with me at the apple store to teach me the skills I needed. It was such a strain on our relationships that I preferred turning to someone outside of the family for needed technical support.

But for years, my go-to tech person has been a young man who is like a member of our family. We met him in Seattle, touched base with him a few times when he was in college, and kind of adopted him when he took a job in the Seattle area. Our nest was empty and it was fun to have someone around to keep us young, play games, watch movies, and spend holidays with us. And gigantic plus for me, he's a tech guru!

So even though we've moved from Seattle to North Carolina, Ryan is still my go-to tech genius. I share my screen and he walks me through whatever technological problem is making my life miserable. I looked at adding the jet pack app to help with my "disappearing comment problem", but it sounded too complicated for me to do on my own. So I sent Stacey's video to Ryan and we got together today. We're trying something different, using the WordPress Reader. I was successful leaving comments on a couple of WordPress blogs this way, so now I'll try it out with Two Writing Teachers daily call for slices and see if it also works for them. 

I use the WordPress Reader to leave comments instead of doing it directly on the blog entry. Once I subscribe to a blog, it's on the Reader (and yes, you can change your settings so you don't get emails notices every time someone posts). When you go to, you can find the Reader by clicking on the glasses in the bottom left corner next to your profile picture.

If it works, then I won't have to email Betsy and ask her to fish my comment out of Spam. Fingers crossed that this works. (I'm sure Ryan hopes it works too.) If not, it's back to the drawing board and another call to Ryan.  

I also wanted to send a thank you to Leigh Anne. She taught me to set up my posts for the month and I hadn't done that this year. Until last night . . . when I quickly set up my posts for the rest of the month. It's a quick task that makes posting so much easier. I'm so grateful for this community and all that I learn from each of you, especially since I'm a pantser (fly by the seat of my pants slicer). I love March Slice of Life, but also struggle with writing daily. Thanks to everyone who stops by and leaves encouraging comments. 

And now it's off to the rocker on the deck for some much needed Vitamin D and time to read. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 23, 2024

SOL 23/31: How does your book club select books?

 Our book club has a yearly retreat at a friend's vacation home in Leavenworth, WA. I've been a member of this book club for twenty-six years. Our retreat is usually in March, so I generally write a slice or two about it. I always have requests to share our list. 

But before I share our upcoming year of reading, I wanted to talk about our selection process. Each member of the club can suggest up to three books for the next year. We go around the room and explain our chosen titles. One of our friends creates a chart where we can list the titles each person suggests. Then each person chooses twelve titles. Early on, each person was given twelve M&Ms and we placed our M&Ms on the titles we wanted. The danger here was that you tended not to vote for a book that wasn't getting much love. Around that time, we went to a written ballot. However, we've tossed that out in recent years and now we just raise our hands for selected titles. We usually get six to eight strong titles and then have to vote again to finish filling out our calendar for the year. 

And now for this year's reading list: 

MAY - Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

JUNE  -The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

JULY - Taste by Stanley Tucci Invite a guest for dinner & discussion

AUG - Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

SEPT - Horse by Geraldine Brooks

OCT - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

NOV - Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

DEC - Howl’s Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones

JAN - More Than a Body by Lindsay Kite & Lexi Kite

FEB - Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard

MAR - Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (retreat)

APR 9 - The Women by Kristin Hannah


I'm very excited about our books for this upcoming year. Two of the titles were recommended by me. (Demon Copperhead and The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store) No, I haven't read them yet. I'm not a big fan of rereading, so I tend to read reviews and talk to trusted friends for recommendations.  Several other titles are ones I've wanted to read (HorseFinding the Mother Tree, Remarkably Bright Creatures, and The Women). Death Comes for the Archbishop is a reread for me, but it's been so long since I first read it that I look forward to reading it again. A plus for me is that there are only three nonfiction/memoir titles on the list. Some years we end up with a list that leans heavily to nonfiction. I truly prefer reading fiction. 


Share how your book club chooses titles to read. Is there a book on this list you've already read and highly recommend? Finally, is there something your book club has read recently that you loved?

Friday, March 22, 2024

SOL 22/31: Bound for the Mountains

 On the road again

 Can't believe I'm on the road again

Only slept two nights in my own bed

We can't wait to see Carolina's mountains. 

(with apologies to Willie Nelson)

Thursday, March 21, 2024

SOL 21/31 and Poetry Friday: A Double Etheree!

I'm posting late tonight. Imagine my delight to see a fix to my problem with a video from Stacey at Two Writing Teachers. I'll watch it soon. Too tired now! I hope Betsy rescues my link in time to post it to today's round-up. This post is also my offering for Poetry Friday.



my plea

ye WordPress

platform slicers!

For some weird reason

my comments disappear.

One possible fix? Check spam

folder for comments from friends like

me who yearn to support your writing.

No explanation for why this happens.

I hit submit and comments disappear.

After twelve years without this issue,

the spam folder snatches my words,

mutes my musings into its

darkness. Stop this madness, 

WordPress! Free my words

to encourage

and inspire

pals who


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

SOL 20/31: Party with Leigh Anne!

My delayed flight out of Seattle resulted in a missed connection to Greensboro that necessitated an overnight stay in the Dallas area. My niece came to my rescue and put me up for the night, but it was already past the midnight (east coast deadline) for posting when I opened my computer.

Thanks, Leigh Anne, for inviting us to this Word Bugget party. You can find more Word Buffet fun at this link. When I got to the airport, I realized that my word list was in my checked baggage! I had fun creating sentences in the context of my airport setting.



  1. mere nonsense; foolish talk or ideas.

  2. a trifle; gimcrack; gew-gaw.

I wasn't tempted by the folderol in the Hudson shop at the airport, but I simply could not resist the siren call of an overpriced Seattle Chocolate Salted Almond Bar.


  1. diagonally; obliquely: We took a shortcut and walked catawampus across the field.

It would be faster if you could walk cattywampus across airline terminals.


 (Word of the Day at

I was amused to see this Word of the Day yesterday. My folksy father often used this word.


      an unimportant but offensively presumptuous person, especially a young one.

I was unimpressed by the whippersnapper at the deli counter who had much to learn about customer relations from her older and wiser work companions. 



      10. to give oneself to the enjoyment of 

Once we are in flight, I plan to savor two squares of my Seattle Chocolate bar. (I indulged in four squares since we had waited so long on the tarmac.)



Giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation

I am hoping for a cooler environment on the airplane since my long sleeve, turtleneck top seems too cozy for the airport terminal and spring’s imminent arrival. (It was perfect once we were airborne. I even reached for a light jacket as another layer.)

Monday, March 18, 2024

SOL 18/31: Celebrating

I slept fitfully as one does when one knows the alarm will go off at 2:50 am and your ride will arrive at 3:50 am for a 6 am flight. About an hour before my alarm was set to go off, my phone was making those clicking noises indicating arriving text messages. I wondered which friend was texting in the middle of the night! I was surprised to see that American Airlines was the culprit and not a sleep-deprived friend. They were notifying me of a delay in my flight that would make it impossible for me to make my scheduled connection. My husband phoned and we scheduled a later connection. I texted and called my driver, and waited for him to respond.  Once he got back to me, I settled in for a few more hours sleep before our planned departure at 11 am.

But things were not to go as planned once again. My flight was delayed again until later in the afternoon resulting in . . . you guessed it! Another missed connection with an overnight stay before I could get home. After some back and forth with husband and daughter (I was supposed to watch the grand boys tomorrow), we decided I should just wait and leave tomorrow. Daughter scrambled to arrange child care and I showered while son sorted out a lingering confirmation that should have been cancelled. Some people say it takes a village, but for us, it takes the whole family and a friend willing to let you extend your stay for ONE MORE DAY!

Given all the changes that had to be made, you may wonder why I titled this post Celebrating!

In Spite of the Bad, I Will Count the Good

1. I was not at the airport when I learned of the delay.

2. Family members helped me with the needed changes.

3. My daughter was able to find child care for tomorrow.

4. It is another beautiful, sunny day in Seattle.

5. My friend and I packed a lunch and headed to the park.

6. I am taking my accommodating friend out to dinner this evening.

7. I will get a full night's sleep before tomorrow's mid-morning flight.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

SOL 17/31: 7 Good Things About This Week

I love reading blog posts because I can always find an idea for the days when I'm in search of a topic. I borrowed from Elisabeth's post (who borrowed from Beth) and probably a few others who have used this format. I did tweak it a bit. 7 Good Things +3 Photos. Enjoy!

Yesterday, I was unable to post on Word Press blogs which also meant that I couldn't leave my link on TWT. The problem persists, but I'll write my post and try my best to add my link to Day 17.

 7 Good Things About This Week

  1. Time in Leavenworth's independent bookstore with my book-loving friends
  2. Mountains
  3. Blossoms
  4. Sunshine
  5. Leta's homemade rolls
  6. Becca's Brownie Cookies
  7. Our annual book club retreat in Leavenworth

3 Photos From This Week 

Choosing books for another year is serious business!

Saturday, March 16, 2024

SOL 16: Tricube Poem for a Book Club Retreat

Fellow blogger, Lisa, inspired me to use a tribcube* to capture our yearly book club retreat. Some of us have been in this book club for twenty-six years. We meet at a member's family cabin in Leavenworth each March. It's a pleasure being together and choosing our books for the upcoming year.

Friends gather

Hugs abound

Laughter rules


Luscious food

Books chosen

Friendly vibes


Midnight snacks

Late night chats

Friends for keeps 


- Ramona Behnke

*Rules for a tricube:

  • Each line contains three syllables.
  • Each stanza contains three lines.
  • Each poem contains three stanzas.

Friday, March 15, 2024

SOL 15/31: A Stroll through Slices on March 15th

I rarely write a slice ahead of time, but my book club retreat on Friday calls for me to plan ahead. I chose to glance back at my writing on March 15th through the years with an accounting of the main topics of my slices:

2012  Hope Springs Eternal - cockeyed optimist embraces new day (haiku)

2013  A Frenetic Slice - work first, then the reward

2014  Surrendering to Joy - a white flag slice or when a teacher surrenders

2015  Telling Our Story in Pics - book club retreat

2016  Cut from the Same Cloth as Uncle Frank - I don't even have an Uncle Frank!

2017  Parking Garage Blues (verse two) - Nightmare Parking at Bellevue Place

2018  Read by Numbers - How many books did I interact with in one day?

2019  A Call to Action - climate change on Poetry Friday

2020  Padlet Power - a post about being "padlet happy"

2021  I Went to Island Books - first in-person visit in over a year

2022  My RSVP - responding to Leigh Anne's invitation 

2023  Kitchen Memories - remembering the kitchen of my youth


# of Slices by Topic

Reading/ book love - 3 (no surprises there)

Poetry - 2 

Book club retreats - 2 

Memories of childhood - 1 

Adventure with a friend - 1

Classroom whistlers - 1

Padlet creations - 1

RSVP to a fellow slicer - 1 

If you'd like to read one of my more humorous slices about teaching, check out "A white flag slice" from ten years ago in Surrendering to Joy. It's just a paragraph long, but captures a joyful interlude from my classroom.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

SOL 14/31: She took me in!

On my second day in Seattle, I was exposed to Covid. We visited in someone's home for approximately two hours and she tested positive that evening. Suddenly all my plans took a nose dive. I did not want to stay with my friend who had a sore throat and cough. I did not want to stay with my friend who is leaving for Italy and a cruise right after our retreat. I did not want to expose her to the possibility that I might test positive down the road. Planned get-togethers with friends were cancelled. I think I would have just thrown in the towel and headed back home except that I have an appointment with my audiologist tomorrow morning. Oh, the challenges of our post pandemic world and the challenges of navigating medical challenges after a move.

In the middle of this quandary, I decided to call my friend, Nancy, who had Covid in January. She opened her door to me with no hesitation whatsoever. I've been here for five nights and if all goes well, I'll test negative again (no symptoms whatsoever) tomorrow morning. I'll go to my 7 am audiologist appointment and then head for the mountains for our annual book club retreat (some of us have been together for twenty-six years).

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I wanted to write about the fun Nancy and I have shared for the past few days. We've been friends for twenty-seven years. She worked with me at the middle school. We've served together in organizations at church. She's the "chocolate queen" who coordinated our mass group ordering of Ghiradelli chocolate each fall. She was part of our foursome group of friends who traveled to Italy in 2019. She's stayed in touch despite my move across the country last summer. 

We've talked, enjoyed meals together, talked, shopped, talked, watched the Academy Awards, talked, watched movies, talked, played games (Five Crowns and a new-to-me version of Rummikub with tiles played horizontally AND vertically), talked, taken walks, had late night heart-to-heart chats, and risen in the morning for more talking. She's waited patiently while I've written blog posts, commented on slices, and spent time reading the book we'll be discussing on Friday night.

I'll wind up this post with a gigantic thank you to my friend, Nancy, who took me in and made this visit unforgettable in spite of my Covid exposure. We all need friends and Nancy's one of the good ones, a definite keeper, a talker just like me!

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

SOL 13/31: Chasing Springtime!

 walking for spring blooms

pink, purple, yellow, blue skies

blissful blessedness

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

SOL 12/31: Have-To Stops in My Old Stomping Grounds

I asked my friend to pull into my old home's driveway, so I could see the house we lived in for twenty-five years before moving away the summer of 2022.  The driveway was filled with two large panel trucks, so we had to back out, past the rock wall that my friend scraped her new car on in the fall of 2020!

We drove past other homes that are no longer inhabited by friends we once knew who have also moved away.

We drove past the school where I taught for nine years. Still planning to pop by and say hello to a few friends who are still there from when I retired nine years ago.

We stopped by (or called) three friends' houses to drop off some of my pumpkin chocolate chip bread. No one was home or answered our calls. The bread's in the freezer. I'll take it to the book club retreat this weekend. The friend I'm staying with used to love this bread, but she's now gluten free.

I asked for a drive down Island Crest Way to see the daffodils.

We drove by the local library, but didn't stop in.  

I picked up bagels at my favorite bagel shop.

I did two loops around Mercerdale Park with another friend. It was very windy!

The best stop today was in a shop I frequented for 25 years. The current owner had students in our school system back in the day. While there were several employees on the premises, I was desirous of the services of one specific person. The checkout counter had chocolates crafted by the mom of a former student. Can you guess where I was? Au Courant for a haircut from my favorite hairdresser.  

We stopped by Home Goods where we perused almost every aisle, but bought nothing.

We made a stop at Trader Joe's.

We went to Bellevue Square and did a bit of shopping. I purchased several tops with the encouragement of a certain friend.

We visited Din Tai Fong for an early dinner. Since I was with my gluten free friend, I had to eat all ten of the beautifully crafted Xia Long Bao. They are rather small.

And now my friend is waiting for me to finish this post so we can play games. Last night she walloped me in a game of Five Crowns. Tonight, we're playing Rummikub. Cross your fingers I'm the lucky one tonight!

This is my thirteenth year to participate in the March Slice of Life. 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.

Monday, March 11, 2024

SOL 11/31: Dinner and a Bookstore

When I arranged to meet Mimi one evening during Roots Tech, I asked if we could do dinner and a bookstore. Dinner was delicious, but the high point of the evening was definitely the stop at Weller Book Works, a bookshop established in 1929 with rare, used, and new books.  When my friend picked me up for dinner, she mentioned that The King's English Bookshop (our first choice) closed at 6 pm. 

Weller Book Works was a wonderful place to amble and suggest books to each other. I love going to bookstores with fellow bibliophiles. Just wandering the aisles is a great way to share books you've loved. One book she recommended was Wallace the Brave by Will Henry, for fans of Calvin and Hobbes and classic comics from the past. We didn't see it, so I recorded it in the Notes on my phone. I snapped pics of several other books to remind me to request them from the library. I'm not sure if they were all recommended by Mimi or if they just appealed to me.







Mimi is the daughter of a friend, but I love seeing her when I'm in Utah. She loves books, is currently writing a young adult novel and shares books on an Instagram account. She's also a member of a long-standing book club. We snapped this pic of us in the bookstore to send to her mom.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

SOL 10/31: Seattle Getaway

Day1: Smooth plane ride bodes well for my first trip back to Seattle after moving to NC

Day 2: Covid exposure 

Day 3: Friend and I visit Island Books, Terra Bella, & her local library where I score a copy of The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store (928 holds on 206 copies) from the Ready Reads shelf!

Day 4: Power outage at friend's place (and she's not there), but reachable by phone with sure knowledge of location of two flashlights 

Day 5: Return ride to friend's place forgets me after Sunday morning service. No worries, my host comes to the rescue! 

Tomorrow will be better, right?

This is my thirteenth year to participate in the March Slice of Life. 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.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

SOL 9/31: Why I Slice

1. To enjoy friends from all over the world

2. To expand my world view

3. To uncover new poets, authors, books, music, podcasts, and so much more

4. To explore my favorite passions: books, bookstores, libraries, grand kids, cookies, cats, poetry, ... (to name a few)

5. To expose myself to the passions of other people

6. To connect with the world of education

7. To laugh more

8. To be inspired in my writing journey 

9. To bond with online friends

This is my first draft list (I may have tweaked a verb or two), in the order that I thought of them. There are many more reasons why I participate in this community, but I limited myself to nine in honor of this ninth day of March. Heartfelt gratitude to each of you, my fellow slicers! 

This is my thirteenth year to participate in the March Slice of Life. 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.