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.



sol  #SOL18 Day 21

Silently like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem. ~William Hamilton Gibson

Sleet and freezing rain pelt the vinyl siding – changing my plans for last evening.
This morning changes to large puffy flakes then back again.
Now just a steady deluge of heavy wet flakes –
covering everything in a new white blanket.

We are in the bull’s-eye – expecting 12-18 inches.
Not going anywhere today – maybe not tomorrow either.
It’s a good day to grade papers or write lesson plans,
but wait, I have a better idea.

I will play my stay-at-home game – a little work – a little play.
While I do a load of laundry, I can have a cup of tea.
Once the dusting is done, I can work on some writing works-in-progress.
Vacuuming during commercials will allow me to watch that movie.

Fold the laundry – read a magazine
Clean off the desk in my office – take a nap
Organize my closet – call a friend
Listen to the weather report – pull the covers over my head!

Snapshot of Sunrise

sol#SOL18 Day 20       sunrise 2


Nothing is more beautiful than the lovliness of the woods before sunrise. ~ George Washington Carver.

This morning I was greated by the awakening of the sun as it stretched behind the trees.  The photo doesn’t do it justice, but it was the best I could do with my cell phone from inside my car on the way to work.

I wanted to stay, to park, and sit, and watch the sun make its grand entrance across the sky on this first day of spring.  I wanted to stay because I knew that the sun would not be visible for long as clouds are forecasted to be rolling in ahead of the fourth Nor’easter to hit this region in the past three weeks. I wanted to stay, but instead settled for catching glimpses of pink in my rearview mirror as I journyed on to school.

I am growing weary of winter, but Mother Nature doesn’t seem to care much about my feelings.  She has decided that winter is not over yet despite the date on the calendar.

Even though it might sound like a complaint and show signs of impatience, I love the change of seasons.  I cannot imagine living somewhere where I did not experience all four seasons and the natural beauty that comes with each one.

I love living in Pennsylvania!

Professional Admiration

sol#SOL18 Day 19

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back. ~ Unknown.

In honor of Women’s History Month, today’s slice is about some of the women who have influenced my professional life.  These are a sampling of women I have met and admired on my career journey thus far. To include all of them would be writing a book. A later post will be about the women who influenced my personal life.

Lucy Piotrowski – My mom is my biggest cheerleader. She went to work at a time when all my friends’ moms were still staying at home.  She went because we needed the money, but she flourished in her jobs because she was hard-working, loyal, trustworthy, and compassionate.  She taught me the value of working and taking pride in my work.

Sr. Rosathea, SSJ – She was my first music teacher in elementary school.  She instilled in me a love of music and lit that spark that carried me into the orchestra in HS and eventually on to a degree in Music Education. I can still remember being on that stage at Resurrection of Our Lord School and singing “Joy to the World” – Jeremiah was a bullfrog version.  (I know I am dating myself now!)

Sr. Clare Andrew OSF – She nurtured my love of writing and made class fun.  She helped me to believe in myself as a writer.

Sr. Clare Immaculate OSF – She scared me half to death, but she really help me up my writing game.  I even got published in the Literary Journal that year!

Sr. Maryellen O’Connell RSM – She was my principal for 12 years at St. Catherine of Siena in Horsham, PA.  She was tough. She demanded a great deal from her teaching staff, but not nearly as much as she demanded from herself.  She taught me what leadership in action looked like. She was not afraid to stand up for what she thought was in the best interest of the school and its students.  And while she was open to listening to the concerns of parents, she did not let them walk all over her teachers.

Robyn Doyle – She was the school librarian at St. Catherine’s. We worked across the hall from each other for many years.  Our working relationship soon turned into a lifelong friendship, but sticking to work – Robyn was a calming influence on me on days I was letting my emotions get the best of me.  She helped me see many situations in a different light.

Andrea (Andy) Fishman – She was the director of PAWLP when I went through the Summer Institute.  I was in awe of Andy. She was just so intelligent and confident. Andy taught me not to cut myself short (a lesson I still struggle with sometimes) because if you don’t value yourself no one else will value you either.

Mary Buckelew – She is the current director of PAWLP, but back when she was the assistant director, she encouraged me to go to grad school and get my MA in English: Writing, Teaching, and Criticism.  I was afraid, but Mary helped me take that leap. She has also provided me with many opportunities to facilitate professional development in many Delaware Valley school districts, something I love doing!

Teaching Colleagues (too numerous to list without leaving someone out) – They have taught me so many things.  

  • How to be a good team member
  • How to deal with parents
  • How to navigate technology at times.
  • How to keep a work life/home life balance
  • How to accept help when I need it
  • How to laugh at myself

PAWLP Fellows- Becoming a part of this community was life changing!  I treasure the time I spend at PAWLP events especially Continuity Saturdays, the Children’s Book Writing Group, Advanced Institute, and much more.  This is the group that keeps me going, keeps me fresh, and keeps me humble.

Teaching can be a lonely profession, or a profession filled with opportunities to be a lifelong learner.  It is up to you to decide.

A Nice Surprise

sol#SOL18 Day 18

The best things happen unexpectedly. ~Unknown

Today I went on a rare shopping trip to a department store.  The older I get, the less I enjoy shopping. I usually resort to putting my Amazon Prime membership in overdrive.  I have to say I enjoyed my little trip with my husband. We had a list of what we wanted to get, and we attacked the store in a purposeful order.  

I must admit that there were a few items purchased that were not on our original list: a great new bag for spring and another one that was too much of a good buy to pass up, and a couple of clearance shirts.

I bought each of my grandchildren a summer outfit to put in their Easter baskets.  We found and agreed on the four outfits with relatively little debate. It was great.  The checkout line was short, and the clothes were all on sale, but the best thing about the whole trip was that the store offered free gift wrap!  That is unheard of these days of cutbacks. I happily left the store with my four gifts wrapped complete with bows. Bingo!