Fifteen. Fifteen days until the last day. The last day of school!

This time of year is so hard. Hard for teachers. Hard for students. Hard for parents. Patience is being tried by many things – antsy kids, deadlines, grading, changes to the schedule – the list can go on and on. A person could very easily be prone to behaving badly, but what would that prove? Who would benefit from the impatience?

Instead, I am going to try and be even more patient than normal. How am I going to accomplish this? I have compiled a list of 15 things I could do for 15 minutes to help reduce the stress of these last 15 days. Some of these things could be done in school, and others can only happen after school or at home. In no particular order…

  • take a walk
  • Chai latte from Starbucks
  • meditate/breathe
  • listen to music
  • sit on the deck
  • ride the recumbent bike
  • yoga/stretching
  • take a long shower & use an aromatherapy shower steamer
  • write in my gratitude journal
  • watch a stand-up comedian
  • connect with a friend
  • read
  • pray
  • power nap
  • walk in the pool (this one is longer – have to go to the gym.)

I am thinking about putting these in a 15-block grid and choosing one a day to be my reward for keeping my cool in school. It will be like an end-of-the-year bingo game for one. Let me know if you have any tricks for holding onto your patience when it is being tested.


Today is National Moscato Day! This day was created by the Gallo Family Vineyards in 2012. When it comes to drinking wine or any alcohol for that matter, I am a lightweight. I have tried fancy red wines and dry white wines, but my palette could not grow accustomed to the tastes. It did not mature with the rest of me. I prefer light, sweet wines, and Moscato is one of my favorites!

Moscato is made from the Muscat Blanc grapes from Piedmont Italy. Believe it or not, muscat grapes are the same grapes that are used for raisins. Moscato has peachy, orangey, and nectarine flavors and is often used as a dessert wine and comes in white, red, and rose’. It is the third most popular win in the US. I guess there are many other wine drinkers with the same taste as me.

Moscato is a great summer wine. Here are a few ideas.

If you haven’t tried Moscato, put it on your shopping list and start creating sweet summer beverages. Cheers!

Pieces of Me

PIECES – This was yesterday’s writing prompt provided by on their May Writing Prompts list. If you haven’t visited them, please check them out.

It really got me thinking. What do I write about? Missing pieces? Broken pieces? Puzzle pieces? Bits & pieces? After searching for quotes about “pieces,” I landed on the one above and the idea of “pieces of me.” Then everything started to fall into place – like pieces of a puzzle.

I have been listening to “Words & Music” on Audible as well as some celebrity memoirs. What I have enjoyed hearing about the most is the people/things that influenced each of these people. They have given me a glimpse into their many “pieces.” Yoyo Ma was greatly influenced by his immigrant parents, Sting by the town he grew up in and left behind, and the list goes on. I began to think about my “pieces” and how they all fit together to create the puzzle that is me.

  • Places I Have Been – Philadelphia, Horsham – all the places I have visited in my life.
  • People I Have Loved – parents, siblings, aunts & uncles, cousins, Chuck and his family who became my family, my kids, their spouses, my grandkids, and friends from grade school, high school, college, and beyond.
  • Song Lyrics – too many to begin to even make a short list, but those of the 70s for sure.
  • Book Quotes – beginning with my favorite Nancy Drew and all those that followed that helped me garner the nickname, “Read-a-book.”
  • Places I Have Worked – Burger King, Brooks Drugs.
  • Places I Have Taught – St. James, Holy Angels, St. Catherine, St. Alphonsus, Bucks County Community College, West Chester Writing Project, Our Lady of Mercy, and all the wonderful colleagues I have had along the way.
  • Students I Have Shared Learning With – I have even taught children of former students!

This list could go on, and on, and on, but what is important is to recognize that I did not get to be here in this place being the person I am today without capturing “pieces” of every person, place, and thing that has come into my life. I wholeheartedly believe that every experience – good or bad – shapes us and helps us grow.

Hourglass of Life

One thing I know for sure is that my hourglass has more sand on the bottom than on the top. This realization is not meant to be maudlin or overly sentimental; it is a fact. Another thing I know for sure is that my vision of life has gotten clearer (and not just because I had cataract surgery on both eyes). Here are just a few of my “visions.”

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Yes, I have heard this all my life, but now that I am older, and people around me are getting sick and/or dying, it is really hitting home. Losing parents and aunts and uncles is very sad, but losing contemporaries is sobering. It reminds me that living every day and staying in the moment is even more important.

It is okay to say, “No.” I have been a people pleaser for most of my life. This often resulted in me being overworked, stressed out, or frustrated. There was no one to blame but myself. Now, I guard my time and energy and only commit to things that are important to me.

Not all people are meant to stay in your life. Over the years I have had many “friends” with whom I thought I would have long-lasting relationships. That isn’t how life works though. I use to be sad that I had not remained close with some of my friends, but I realize now that each person comes into our lives at a certain time for a certain reason. Not all are meant to be with us for a lifetime, and that’s okay.

Do what you love. So much of life is taken up with responsibilities and “have-to-do” moments. Not everything on the “have-to-do” list is of equal importance. It’s okay if I let the less important things go and do what is really important – spending time with my husband watching sports, reading, or writing.

The creation of this list is still a work in progress because every new day is an opportunity to see life through a different lens. The closer your focus, the clearer the view.

Post-op Day 1

Yesterday I had a cholecystectomy or in easier terms – my gallbladder removed. After having an excruciating gallbladder attack on New Year’s night, I couldn’t gamble on not having another attack before school ends in June, so I decided to extend my Easter break by three days and get it taken care of sooner rather than later.

Anesthesia has worn off
Head is clearer
So is the pain
Not unbearable – just
making its presence known

Coughing is tricky
Placing abdominal pressure
A necessary precaution
Changing positions
Done gingerly
No sudden movements

Dietary delicacies
Crackers and chicken broth
Jello and oatmeal
Tea and ginger ale
Keeps nausea away

Short term annoyances
For long term gains and
Maybe some fried calamari!

The Last Day

Every year that I complete the SOLSC I am amazed.

  • Amazed that has provided this opportunity for so many years
  • Amazed that I wrote every day for 31 days
  • Amazed at the variety of writers who participate in this challenge from near and far
  • Amazed at how much I learn from other slicers
  • Amazed at how much in common I have with other slicers

Every year when I get to this day I make a promise to myself that I will post weekly on SOLSC, and I usually fall short. This year I am not making any promises. This year I will be hopeful.

  • Hopeful that I will continue to notice the small things
  • Hopeful that I will see some of the challenge participants on Tuesdays
  • Hopeful that I can carve out time to write each day

Thank you to for this wonderful platform and to all of you who read my posts, and liked or commented on them. I truly appreciate it.

Until next time…

Painfully Planning

Next week I am having my gallbladder removed. I will be out of school for three days and then the Easter break begins. The surgery was strategically planned so that I would miss the least amount of days of school since I was already out six weeks with a total knee replacement. I am anxious to have the surgery so that I won’t have to worry about having another excruciating attack because a random gallstone decided to stand in front of the bile duct. (TMI?)

Today, however, I have anxiety. I am trying to get three days’ worth of plans together for my sub and not leave everything for Friday afternoon. Planning isn’t usually stress-inducing for me because the plans are in my head, and if they don’t all get onto the paper exactly right, I still know what I should be doing. When a sub is coming in though, everything does need to be on the page because for as great as our subs are, they can’t read my mind!

The plans are written and will be reviewed tomorrow before printing. Handouts need to be copied, and assignments need to be uploaded to Google Classroom. Directions have been given for every schedule change next week and any computer tab that needs to be open. It’s not really lesson planning that is most stressful, but it is all of the little routine things that I do each day that I worry about. You know – taking attendance, lunch orders, visitors to the class (next week there are two scheduled), teacher duties – I am sure I am forgetting something.

It is times like these that I wish I had a job where I could just call out sick and not have to worry about anything but feeling better. That being said, I couldn’t imagine being anything but a teacher.

Morning Gymnastics

This morning I watched an exercise workout while sitting in my car waiting for it to warm up. It wasn’t on my phone or my tablet. It was in the arborvitae that line the far end of my back yard.

A dark figure caught my eye as it moved from behind the thick branches to a more visible limb. I wasn’t sure what it was because it was being back lit by the morning sunlight. It wasn’t until I saw a bushy tail flash by did I realize it was a squirrel. Not just one, but two squirrels.

They were scampering through the arborvitae like it was a jungle gym at the playground – quickly moving from branch to branch, from being in plain sight to disappearing in a flash. They were certainly getting their cardio in this morning.

Most mornings I just jump in the car and go, but today my back windshield was icy causing me to take some extra time. Normally, I would jump on my phone and scroll in situations like this. I am glad that for whatever reason, I took notice. It made me think about how much I must be missing in nature, in the world around me, in life in general because I am always in such a rush. What other gifts are awaiting me? Time to slow down and notice.

Happy Birthday, Lady Gaga

I will be the first one to admit that I was not always a Lady Gaga fan. The meat dress and her “Born This Way” entrance in an egg at the 2011 Grammy awards left me perplexed, yet the more I listened to her music the more I liked her.

The remake of A Star is Born introduced me to a whole new dimension of LG. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Bradley Cooper was in the movie – and oh, their duet!

After learning her story and a little about who she was under the shocking outfits and stage productions, I was hooked. Lady Gaga truly has a musical gift, but more than that she has a generous heart. She is always sending messages of self-acceptance. She is a champion of the LGBTQ+ community and mental health awareness. She walks the talk.

Gaga spreads a message of kindness, and she leads by example. Here are just a few.

2012 – Lady Gaga Pledges $1 Million for Hurricane Sandy Relief

2017 – Lady Gaga donates $1million’ to victims of hurricanes that tore through the US and Caribbean

2021 – One Last Time – concert with Tony Bennett – “Tony, we’re all so grateful to have witnessed your talent, your generosity, your creativity, and your kindness, and your service throughout all these years. Mr. Bennett, it would be my honor to escort you off the stage.”

2021 – The Power of Kindness Video – Lady Gaga discusses kindness, mental health and the journey to self-acceptance with a group of young people in a new short film.

2022 – Lady Gaga Discreetly Helped SZA Get Up on Stage With Her Crutches at the Grammys

2022 – ‘I got you’: Lady Gaga praised for touching moment with Liza Minnelli during Oscars ceremony.

2023 – Lady Gaga took a moment to lend a hand to a photographer who fell down on the red carpet.

So, on the occasion of her 37th birthday, I am wishing Lady Gaga a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Keep living your best life and inspiring others.

Operation Attic Purge

The last Saturday of every month is Operation Attic Purge. My daughter and son-in-law spend a few hours bringing down “stuff” from the attic for my husband and I to look at and hopefully get rid of. This weekend we tackled the loads of luggage that have been accumulated over the years.

Honestly, I had no idea how many suitcases and duffle bags were making their home up there…so many!!

I did know these were up there. Our first “adult” suitcases. We bought this “his and her” hard shell Samsonite luggage to go on our honeymoon. I think I may have had the smaller hard shell before then, but rounded out the set for the big trip. If I remember correctly, these suitcases only made one other airplane trip, and that was to St. Louis the spring following our wedding. It was a visit to see my brother and sister-in-law and their new baby girl. The luggage languished in the basement of our first home and in the attic of our current home never to cross the Pennsylvania state line again. They were replaced with soft-sided suitcases.

We ended up donating the salvageable ones (Samsonite included), keeping a few, and sending some to the trash can. We talked about the memories surrounding many of the bags and then let them go. It was a very productive purge.