Weather Haiku

sol#SOL 18 Day 16

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~ Hal Borland

Winter time should go
We have had enough of snow
Been too cold too long

When will Spring arrive
With its warmth and fragrant smells
Longing for the sun

Need to smell the scents
Of flowers in the garden
Comfort for the soul

Happy Birthday, Big Al!

sol #SOL 18 Day 15

Never forget who was with you from the start. ~ Anonymous


Today is my father’s birthday.

He would have been 90,

but he has been gone

for 22 years.


I often wonder if he had lived

if life would be different

or not.


Would he have overcome his


Would he have become less angry

as he aged?


I doubt it.


Our relationship has changed

over the past 22 years.

How might you ask?


I’ve grown older and wiser.

I see that life is not clear cut –

black or white.


Life is messy.


Although my greatest joy

has been being a parent,

it can really suck at times.


You do the best you can with

the hand you are dealt.

You can win, but more often

you are bluffing or folding.


My parents struggled financially,

and I think my dad was depressed –

his bourbon and water a way to self-medicate.

Who talked about depression in the 60s?

Certainly not men!


We certainly did not see eye to eye very often,

and he ruled supreme

with a heavy hand and strict rules,

But he loved us and made time

to coach baseball and attend concerts.


I’d like to think our parenting styles

are polar opposites.

While no parent is perfect, I tried

to be more caring and compassionate.

I did the best I could.


I am sure when my own children

look back they will definitely

agree they were loved, but I bet

they will think they do

a better job as parents –

give them another 25 or 30 years.


Happy Birthday, Big Al!

What My Students Wish I Knew About Them

sol#SOL Day 14

If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces,  I think we would treat each other much more gently, and with more love, patience, tolerance, and care. ~Marvin J. Ashton

A couple of months ago, I was at PAWLP’s Children’s Book Writing group.  As a writing warm-up we were asked to write a letter to ourselves as one of the characters we were developing in our story.  Mine was minimal because I have mostly been working on children’s poetry, but it got me thinking about my 7th grade students and what they might want me to know about their lives. These aren’t from one particular student, but a compilation of what letters might have looked like over the years.

Dear Mrs. DiCarne,

I wish you knew what I was like when I am alone.  I am funny. I have a great sense of humor, but I know it is difficult for you to see that each day at school. At school I am so awkward. I don’t know what to say or how to act. My social skills are lacking, but when I am alone I am not so awkward – at least not in my world. In my world, my parents understand my quirks; they don’t stare at me like I have three heads.  In my world, I am not afraid to pretend, to challenge, to voice my opinion. I am not afraid to say what I like – to be me.

When I am alone, I feel more protected – not afraid of what others may think or that I may say the wrong thing. That’s why I prefer to work alone at school.  Then I don’t have to be afraid.


Your extremely quiet student


Dear Mrs. DiCarne,

I wish you knew that I really do try to use my “inside voice” at school, but it is hard.  You see, I am the youngest of five, and at home I really have to assert myself to be heard.  Not only are there a lot of us talking at once, my siblings are always dismissing my ideas because I am “the baby.”  I hate that.

Since I am not “the baby” here at school, I want to be sure I am heard.  I know that sometimes that comes off as being pushy or bossy. I really don’t mean to sound that way; I just don’t know how else to be.


Your big mouth maven


Dear Mrs. DiCarne

I know you said my job was not to entertain the class, but I am good at it. It makes me feel good when my classmates laugh and think I am funny.  Why? You’ve seen my report card. I am not that good at anything else. I don’t want my friends to know how much I don’t know, so I use my humor as a deflection.  

I am never going to be on the honor roll or have my name called out for an award. If I promise to tone it down a little, could you let me keep on being funny?


The class clown


Have you ever wondered what your students wish you knew about them?  I probably could write at least 10 more letters if I opened my eyes, and ears, and heart and truly listened to everything they are NOT saying.

People Watching

sol#SOL 18 Day 13

Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art. ~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

I saw a woman much older than me

wearing pleather pants as tight as can be.

Her feet were tilted in stiletto boots.

Her face and botox were in cahoots.


Her hair was bleached; her skin was tan.

She was walking with a much younger man.

Everyone can dress as they like it’s true.

especially if you want others staring at you.


Her very sheer top had me shaking my head.

What more can I say?  It all has been said.

You might think I write from a place of jealousy,

But whatever happened to aging gracefully?


Self Care

sol#SOL18 Day 12       Today’s slice was inspired by Mandy Robek

An empty lantern provides no light.  Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly. ~Unknown

Self Care – According to Merriam-Webster – activity we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Self care is the key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.  It is not selfish; it is necessary. Why don’t we do more of it?  So today’s slice is a “to do or not to do” list – things I should do and not do to take better care of myself.

To Do

  • Write
  • Listen to music
  • Spend more time with my grandchildren
  • Massage
  • Manicure (I will finally be able to since I stopped biting my nails for Lent!)
  • Get together with a friend (I have a list.)
  • Take a nap
  • Go for a walk (That one is tricky for me right now, but I am hopeful.)
  • Brew a cup of tea
  • Keep a gratitude journal (I have one, but it is not current.)
  • Pray
  • Read

Not to Do

  • Check emails at night
  • Go to gatherings I don’t want to go to
  • Answer unfamiliar phone numbers
  • Negative self-talk
  • Try to please everyone
  • Over thinking
  • Emotional eating
  • Hang out with toxic people
  • Stress about things I cannot control
  • Compare myself to anyone else
  • Think about what could have been
  • Pass up opportunities to have fun

So there is my start – a dozen “to do” and a dozen “not to do” activities.  I am sure as I go along and start to really concentrate on taking better care of myself, my lists will become longer.  

Today I resurrected my gratitude journal and brewed a lovely cup of tea after dinner.  Can’t wait to see how much kinder I can be to myself tomorrow.

Time Traveling

sol#SOL18 Day 11                                                 the spinners


Feelings that come back are feelings that never went away. ~ Anonymous

I am celebrating the big 6-0 in October.  I can’t believe it! Well these days I can believe it because my body is always coming up with a new ache, or pain, or aliment to entertain me.  Sometimes I walk into a room and I forget why. If someone interrupts me mid-thought, that thought could be lost forever or until I remember it at a much later – totally unrelated time.

But tonight I was a time traveler.  As I sat in the audience and the Spinners took the stage I was transported back to the 1970s.  I was in high school again – reliving when I first met Chuck at age 15. I don’t think I can remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I could sing along with some of my favorite oldies almost word for word.

Could It Be I’m Falling in Love

I’ll Be Around


It’s a Shame

Rubberband Man

One of a Kind (Love Affair)

There is only one original Spinner still remaining. Henry Fambrough is 80 years old and moving much better than me I might add.  The Motown swag and style remains. The choreographed moves and the soulful harmonies brought me back to a time when life was uncomplicated.  When falling in love was simple and staying in love was expected.

For an hour and 15 minutes I tapped, and clapped, and sang along.  I almost completely forgot about my aches and pains. You see – inside this almost 60 year old body lives the heart and soul of a teenage girl.

Thank You, Colleagues

sol#SOL18 Day 10

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be grateful. ~

Dear Colleagues,

I love teaching.  I love teaching 7th grade ELA and Religion.  I love Middle School. I love teaching at OLM.

Each and every one of you is part of the reason why I love all of these things. Teaching is a challenging profession as each of you know.  We all have our good days and our “not so good” days. Yet even on my worst day, I cannot imagine doing anything else or being anywhere else than right where I am.  

This year has brought me several challenges as you know.  They were pretty big challenges and they had the potential of knocking me to the mat and being counted out.  Yet I am still standing because each of you has helped me in some way great or small.

So, thank you.

  • For taking my duty on days I was in pain
  • For picking up my students in the cafeteria so I don’t have to do the three flights of stairs
  • For covering my classes when I had to go to a doctor’s appointment
  • For the generous financial gift that helped to tide us over while Chuck was recovering from his heart surgery
  • For offering to carry my bags
  • For giving me a shoulder to cry on when the pain is so bad I can’t hold back the tears
  • For giving words of encouragement
  • For asking how I am feeling or how Chuck is doing
  • For sharing in my joys
  • For keeping me in your prayers
  • For the professional conversation revolving around students and strategies
  • For your advice when I ask for it (and when I don’t)
  • For bringing me lunch
  • For listening
  • For smiles
  • For all the other countless gifts you have given me

Some of you I have known for many, many years.  Some of you for only a short time. I feel like I have known you all for a lifetime.  You are open and caring, kind and compassionate, selfless and merciful. I am honored to call you colleagues.  I am blessed to call you friends.

**Those of you who read my blog, please share with others in the building…..