Flowers

Before I left school today for the start of the Easter break, I flipped my calendar to April and was met with this quote. I decided to put in my writer’s notebook. What evolved from that quote is today’s slice.

Day lily

I have been blessed over the course of my life with good friends. Some of my friends are perennials. They have been with me a long time, and I can count on them to be with me year after year after year. Even when I don’t see them, I know they will return like the spring flowers follow winter.

Dahlia

Then I have my friends who are the annuals. They may change from year to year but they bring their own unique beauty to the garden. Each of these friends has added to my happiness as they moved in and out of my life.

Forget-me-not

Some are more like biennials. We may not see each other every year, but when we finally do talk or meet , it is a sweet reunion

I am not a gardener; plants stay alive in my house thanks to the care my husband gives them. Yet, I love flowers! Cultivating friendships is like cultivating flowers; you need to pay attention and treat them with care. I like to think that I am more attentive to my friends.

Thank you to all of the friends in my beautiful garden of happiness. Each of you, in your own special way, have helped me blossom. You are bouquets of blessings!

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Weathering the Storm

Heartbreak is a storm of the heart. Stand strong in the winds of change. |  Roots quotes, Storm, Wind of change

Last night the strong winds were loud and the windswept rain beat on the vinyl siding. I had touble falling asleep, so I got out my trusty bluetooth headband and cued up a Calm sleep meditation to mute the constant pounding. I was starting to feel more relaxed and it wasn’t long before I was sound asleep.

That was short-lived. Around one AM, I was awakened by another round of driving rain and hammering winds. This time I put on some soothing guitar music and turned up the volume. I snuggled farther down under my covers and thought how glad I was that we don’t have any big trees near our house and that my phone was fully charged. I usually would enjoy listening to the rain lull me to sleep, but last night Mother Nature sounded angry.

This morning I was greeted by colder weather and a full moon that seemed to follow me to school. The winds were still in action (I should have used more hairspray). but the day felt calm.

I feel like we have been in one long angry storm for the last year, and now the winds are dying down, and calmness may soon be at hand. We are coming out of the storm with deeper roots. We have learned just how strong we can be. We are better equiped for the next storm.





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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Pain

Funny Body Pain Quotes. QuotesGram

Today was rough. A plethora of ailments keeps me in pain much of the time, but today everything was barking at once. I think if was mostly because of the changing weather patterns. It is cold/cool in the mornings and then warms up as the day progresses; couple that with rain, and I turn into a human barometer. I’m not going to lie; there were even a few self-pity tears.

I couldn’t decide if my knees and hips, the headache upsetting my stomach, or the lower back pain was trying hardest to get my attention, but they all acting like petulant children screaming, “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

I am not being too hard on myself today for my little pity party, because it is the weekend. I spend all week in my classroom plugging along, gathering inspiration from my students, and hiding my pain the best I can. I can figure out a way to keep moving, or I can let the pain win. Losing is not an option!

Time for a cup of tea and an early bedtime. Tomorrow will be better.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Passion

20 Awesome Quotes for Finding Your Passion In Work | by Shane Snow |  Mission.org | Medium

Man or woman, if you can get up in the morning and do what you love to do you are where you are supposed to be. Many times in my career as a teacher I had to explain or justify to others who kept telling me to apply to a public school district why I chose to teach in a Catholic school. Each time I was getting ‘advice’ from someone, they reminded me that I could be earning so much more money in public school, but I knew where I was supposed to be, and that was in Catholic Education.

Don’t get me wrong, earning more money would have make life a lot easier, and my family had to sacrifice a great deal because of my decision to remain in Catholic Education, yet I would not have changed a thing. When I look back over my 35 year (so far) career, I am certain I was in the right place – right where I was supposed to be.

I have great respect for public school teachers; they do such wonderful work and often encounter situations that are very challenging. I don’t envy their salaries because they work very very hard for that paycheck; and are the backbone of the communities they serve. My son is a public school music teacher who goes above and beyond to provide his students with experiences they will remember for a lifetime.

When my kids were trying to settle on college majors, I told them to do what they love because as adults we work a long time. If you don’t love what you do your job becomes work and nothing more. My daughter, who works in community mental health, once asked me jokingly, “Why did you tell us to do something we love instead of something that earned a lot of money?” She knew the reason, and she told her brother the same thing early in his career.

I am so thankful that I got to follow several of my passions – teaching – music – writing. Who knows what passions I may explore in the years to come. My wish for you is that you are living your passion, and if you are not – remember it is never too late!

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Women

Empowering Women Empowering Women Quotes Women Supporting | Etsy

With Women’s History Month coming to an end, I have been thinking about all the women who have inspired and supported me over my lifetime. Although each of these women each be the subject of their own blog post, I will work on that in the future.

My family – No one has inspired and supported me more than my mom. She was an gentle yet strong woman who could be counted on for a shoulder to cry on or an incredible laugh. I am thankful every day for my sister and sister’s-in-law. Each of them has contributed to who I am today. My grandmothers were both immigrants who came to the United States and worked hard and raised families – one only had one child – the other had nine. I continue to be amazed by my strong and beautiful daughter and daughter-in-law who are building loving families of their own.

My friends – There are women who were girls when we first met, and we shared many experiences that shaped us. We may not be in touch that much, but the memories still remain. There are women I met as a young mother. We supported each other like only young mothers can.

My now – The women who are in my life now besides my steadfast family have carried me thought ups and downs. They are my closest girlfriends who I know I can trust with anything, my writing group friends – those at PAWLP and those online I feel like I know even though we have never met, and my colleagues who help me in so many different ways. Then there are the Chapter Chicks, my book club ‘sisters’ who collectively have been through almost everything – flood and fire, births and weddings, sickness and death – and through it all we have been there to support each other for almost 20 years. I could ask for a better support system.

I could write so much about each of these women and groups of women, but today I remember them each with a smile and a grateful heart.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Tired: Take Two

Strong but exhausted. | Tired mom quotes, Tired quotes, Hard quotes

What does it mean when you wake up in the morning thinking about how long it will be until you get back home and can nap or sleep? I love teaching and my classes, but there is no tired like teacher tired this year.How do you describe your fatigue?

Are you…

  • drowsy
  • weary
  • drained
  • sleepy
  • beat
  • dog-tired
  • worn-out
  • run-down
  • sapped
  • exhausted

How do I describe my tired? All of the above. Three school days until Easter Break, one is a personal day – I can make two more days, but the tired is real, and heavy, and telling me to take care of myself. That.is.all.

Goodnight

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Noticing

from: My Thoughts Are CloudsPoems for Mindfulness by Georgia Heard

Today my school reinstated our middle school clubs for the last trimester. This year my club is Poetry Workshop. Some of the students in my club chose to be there while others were assigned, so I wanted to make sure I had activities that would appeal to the reluctant writer as well as the enthusiast.

We began with a short video about poetry, and then proceeded to select notebooks which the school provided, and pens with colored ink (Dollar Store finds). Next, I shared “If I Were in Charge of the World” by Judith Viorst. The students were provided with a copy of the poem to tape into their notebooks along with a template to help them create their own version of the poem.

We then tried our hand at Zip Code or Phone # poems by writing the numbers vertically – one number on each line. The number became the number of words permitted on each line. Zero was a ‘wild card’ where poets could choose their own number of words.

I gave them a little pep talk before the bell rang and told them that poetry can be about ANYTHING! We talked about how writers and poets are ordinary people who take the time to NOTICE THE ORDINARY things they come across each day.

I closed by sharing the poem above, “Open Your Eyes” by Georgia Heard. I challenged them to open their eyes, notice the ordinary, and gather their observations for our next meeting after the Easter break.

Tonight, I think I will take my own advice and start looking more closely at the ‘ordinary’.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Tired

I didn’t sleep well last night, and I am paying the price now. Too tired for more than a quick draft of a poem.

Exhaustion sets in
when the movement
slows
down.

The day
is quick-paced
yet long.

School
has ended,
but, the work has not.

Keep pushing.
Keep grinding.
Keep doing.

BUT DON’T FORGET!!

Wind down.
Listen to your body,
to your heart.
Sleep, dream, refresh.

Tomorrow will be here
all
to
soon.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

ID Required

I belong to several Facebook writing communities, and I got this idea from Leigh Anne Eck. She is hosting a slicer party and to be invited you need to bring your “identification.” Leigh Anne used “Depending on When you Met Me” by Devon Gundry, Soul Pancake as her mentor text; I used Leigh Anne’s post as mine.

Depending on when you met me, I might have been:

  • a shy elementary student with a lisp who didn’t make the cheerleading squad
  • a Girl Scout who was a member of a competitive distance and slalom racing canoe team named Boone’s Bunnies
  • a high school bass player playing on the stage of the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia All-City Orchestra
  • a Burger King employee in an ugly orange uniform and smelling like fries
  • a young bride who married her high school sweetheart right after college and started a family a little over a year later
  • a music teacher who produced all-school musicals on a shoestring budget for 23 years
  • an ELA teacher who shares her birthday witih The National Day on Writing
  • a Nona to the most adorable four grandchildren

I love this format and may continue on my list in my notebook. Thanks Leigh Anne for the inspiration.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21

Writing What I Love

I am a writer. It took me many, many years to be able to say those words aloud or write them on a page, but it took me even longer to come to terms with what I write. As a writer I kept trying to find a format that felt comfortable while comparing myself to my writing project colleagues who were successful writers of professional books for teachers, fiction, professional articles, picture books. I tried my hand at those genres, and actually had an article published in Today’s Catholic Teacher Magazine and an essay in A Cup of Comfort for Teachers. When I stopped trying to write what I thought I ‘should’ write, I discovered what I loved to write – poetry and essays.

Poetry appeals to my senses and emotions. It’s variety of form, freedom from/of conventions, and economy of words provide me with choices and challenges that feed my writing hunger. Essays are like having a conversation with a friend.

I am sure that if I worked at it I could write professional articles or fiction, but if I stay true to the voice within me, my focus will remain on poetry and essay writing. Those are what bring me joy.

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I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge for the month of March. I will be posting every day this month. It is sponsored by twowritingteachers.org. #SOL21