To My Fellow Slicers

31-day-streak-with-border     #SOL18 Day 31


Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. ~ Unknown.

Dear Fellow Slicers,

We made it! Thank you to each and every one of you for helping me complete this challenge.

Many days I perused your blogs in search of inspiration, and I always found a new idea, format, or topic on which to hook my keyboard. You are an amazing group of writers.

Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. I learned more about giving feedback myself. There is a big difference between commenting on the work of my students and commenting on the work of accomplished writers.

Many people in my life asked me why I was doing this challenge; they didn’t quite understand. So I found myself asking myself the questions, “What is a slice?” “What are these things I’ve been writing about?”  This is what I came up with.

S – something large or something small
L – lifted from lives of one and all
I – inspired by individuality or imitation
C – cause for concern or celebration
E – ending with a sense of accomplishment

I won’t promise, but I am going to do my best to remain part of the SOL community by posting and responding on Tuesdays. I hope to see many of you there. If not….see you next year!

Mary’s Son

sol#SOL18 Day 30          Good-Friday-Pictures

Today I am trying my hand at a 34-word story. Inspired by Kelly Gallagher and Fran Haley.

From Bethlehem to Nazareth she watched Him grow. Mary knew His life would change the world. Her Son. She silently watched as Jesus carried his cross to Calvary where He died for our salvation.

Whether you are celebrating Easter, or Passover, or nothing at all, I wish peace, and joy, and the feeling of hope that spring brings to us each year.


Play Ball!

sol  #SOL18 Day 29    Phillies

Baseball was, is, and always will be to me the best game in the world. ~ Babe Ruth

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Opening day brings me back to growing up in Philadelphia at a time when home games were only broadcast on the radio. We would listen to Richie Ashburn, By Saam, and then Harry Kalas on transistor radios sitting outside on humid summer nights. From Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park, from Mike Schmidt and Tug McGraw to Darren Daulton and John Kruk to Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, and now Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins, I have loved them all. This is my ode to Opening Day.

Grapefruit League
Boys of Summer
Heart of the Lineup
Ducks on the Pond
Curve ball
Pennant Race
Fly ball
Grand slam
Line drive
Pop fly
Play Ball!

Free Time

sol#SOL18 Day 28

Given that many of us work more than eight hours a day and five days a week, that free time is precious. ~ Michael Allen

I am free today.
I can play today.
I just don’t know what to do.

One voice says “could.”
One voice says “should.”
Which one should I listen to?

I have a “to-do” list.
But there’s things I’ve missed.
Don’t want to end up feeling blue.

So I will do a little of this
then a thing that I miss.
The best of both – it is true!


Food for Thought

sol#SOL18 Day 27

If you realized how powerful your thoughts were, you’d never think another negative thought again. ~ Natural Life

Today was our last day before Easter break. We ended the day with an assembly with two members of the Harlem Wizards. The Harlem Wizards were created in 1962 as a basketball show team to compete with the Harlem Globetrotters. We were visited by “King Arthur” Lewis and Hang Time.

These two men provided the audience with basketball tricks and positive encouragement. They had some students and faculty members (not me thank goodness) up to dance and learn basketball tricks. Once they had the crowd sufficiently riled up “King” Arthur settled the kids down and had a serious message to share with them.

Work hard – nothing is given to you. If your teacher gives you five pages to read for homework don’t just skim over it. Read it and take notes on it, so you learn what is on those pages.
Respect – those around you are your brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles. Don’t judge others by the color of their skin, their size, or how much money they have. Respect everyone.
Dream Big – don’t listen to naysayers. You can do anything if you do the work. You earn grades, playing time, and circumstances.
Spread love, joy, and happiness – love an appreciate those around you. Speak positively to them and to yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else.

“King” Arthur went on to tell some personal stories of how growing up in Baltimore, no one thought he could be able to play basketball for a variety of reasons, but with the adults in his life – his parents, coaches and his faith he got his education and did play basketball. He even wrote a book about it and self-published. It is called Is the King to Small to Play Ball?

He told the students and faculty about how his life changed in 2016 when his 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. She was out of school for a year and a half while going through treatment. He wanted to impress on the kids that we never know what life will bring us so we have to treat each other with respect and love and appreciate one another.

I know the kids loved the assembly; I hoping they got his message too. I know he gave me food for thought.

Brain Blank

sol#SOL18 Day 26

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

What to write, I just don’t know
One more day then to break I go.
You’d think I’d be happy, excited and glad.
but actually I’m feeling just a little bad.

My head is hurting, my bones feel pain
I wonder if it’s because of the predicted rain?
I’m tired and moody, a bit of a crank.
I guess that’s why I’m drawing this annoying brain blank!


Wants vs. Needs

sol#SOL18 Day 25

You can’t always get what you want (3x’s), but if you try sometimes well you might just find…you get what you need. ~ The Rolling Stones

I’ve been writing lately about our new normal.  My husband lost his job last June. He was lucky enough to find another employer who was absolutely wonderful when Chuck was going through his heart surgery and recovery.  The problem is the salary is significantly lower than what Chuck has been making the past few years, and unemployment benefits have run out. I teach in a parochial school, so my salary is nothing to write home about compared to my public school counterparts.

I am certainly not complaining – on the contrary – this has been a learning experience. While some lessons are harder to learn than other, some lessons are more important than others.  We have been blessed with very generous family and friends who carried us financially when we could not carry ourselves.

Now we are re-evaluating our wants and needs.  There are lots of things we have taken for granted, but without disposable income, we can’t afford right now.


Things we need:
Good health
Health insurance
Vehicles and fuel

Things that are nice and we might want but not necessary:
Daily newspaper
Premium cable channels
Dinner out
Vacation trip
New car

This is just a quick glimpse of some of our wants and needs. The point is we are paying more attention and thinking twice or three times before we make a purchase. Do we really need it now? Is important to the quality of our lives?

What really gives us happiness in our lives?
Having our bills paid each month
Good results on our blood tests and doctor visits
Spending times with our kids and grandkids
Spending time with each other – laughing quite a bit
Spending times with friends and family

So what have I learned so far?  It is OK to want things, but you shouldn’t obsess over what you want.  You should be grateful for EVERYTHING you have in your life, and the rest will just fall into place. You should continue to try to be as generous as you can to those who have less than you. Take time to notice all the good things in your life that most days we take for granted – the sunrise, the kindness of friends, the smile of a stranger.  I may not have everything I want,but I definitely have everything I need.


sol#SOL18 Day 24

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. ~ Benjamin Franklin

How early is too early to go to bed? Every night this week I have felt very tired. I am not sure if it was my fibromyalgia or the long days of standardized testing, but I have been ready to call it a night right after dinner.

Of course I can’t go to bed right after dinner! So I take my place on the couch and watch a little TV, maybe some Jeopardy or Access Hollywood or whatever my husband finally decides on after channel-surfing. Next thing you know it is 8:00. I can’t go to bed at 8:00! That is the bedtime of a toddler.

So I stay on the couch a little longer and it gets a little chilly, so I drape myself with one of the fleece blankets that makes it home on the ottoman. Big trouble! I get a little too comfortable and the next thing you know my head is bobbing and weaving until I succumb to my weariness.

For the next couple of hours I am either out cold, or I am in and out of sleep, but unable to rouse myself enough to make my way upstairs. The next thing I know it is 11:00, 12:00, or even 1:00 and I am climbing the stairs in a stupor. I make my way to the bathroom and then to bed. I set my alarm for 5:15 AM and wonder how I am evr going to get up at that hour.

If I am lucky I go right to sleep, but some nights I spend 30 minutes scrolling through social media before I close my eyes again. I wake up still feeling tired.

Next week I think I will just listen to my body and go to bed when I am tired. I’ll let you know how I make out.



sol#SOL18 Day 23        This post was inspired by Alanna Parker. I borrowed your format of sentence starters.  Thanks for the inspiration.

You were born to be real not to be perfect. ~ Unknown

I am a wife, a mother, a Nona, a teacher, a writer

I keep my circle of friends small

I wish I could have more confidence in myself

I love teaching Middle School, especially 7th graders

I dance like Molly Ringwald, or so my family tells me

I sing to my grandchildren because they are always an appreciative audience

I think people should start being kinder to one another and this world could be a better place

I really need to start taking better care of myself

I need to work on being more mindful

I should stop wasting time on social media and get more writing done

I can make a difference in the lives of my students even if it is only a small one

I make a really great grilled cheese sandwich – that and French toast are my only claim to fame in the kitchen

I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes


Happy Half Birthday

sol#SOL18 Day 22

The best is yet to be. ~ Robert Browning

Today is six months since my husband’s life-saving quadruple bypass surgery. It is hard to believe. Somedays it feels like it was yesterday, and on other days it seems like it was a lifetime ago.

Life as we knew it has definitely changed, and we are getting use to a new normal. We’ve had to learn how to accept help from other people, and that isn’t always easy, but it is always welcomed. This last Nor’easter was proof of that. A team of neighbors took turns shoveling our driveway and walkways. (My hip is still not up to shoveling)

We’ve had to cut back on things because money is tight, but those are only “things.” We have what we need, each other. We have gotten through many ups and downs over the years, and we will weather this challenge too.

I told Chuck that he would now have two birthdays each year. His own in May, and the new one he received on September 22nd. So “Happy Half Birthday” Babe.