Sunday, March 31, 2024

Almost Is Okay #SOLC #SOL24

Another Reflective Pause invitation from James Crews using the words "No matter" from Ross Gay's poem Sorrow Is Not My Name.

It's Okay

No matter the break in my slice streak. 
No matter the things I should have done.
There is not much time together. 
Acceptance comes because
this past weekend brought blue and gray yarn, 
thousands of knits and purls away from warm hugs,
bonsai seeds to nurture, and 
and a bright bouquet of Lego wildflowers.
Side by side we chose each other -
Mother and Son.
The time spent on creating
roots and strands that will endure.
Every glance a reminder of
you and us.

I missed the last two days of slicing. I've worked hard this month not to miss a day, but once my son came home for the weekend, everything else just fell from my mind. I would remember at the end of the day, but I just did not have it in me to write. I am okay with that. 


Thursday, March 28, 2024

Which Is My True Kryptonite? #SOLC #SOL24

Thank you, Vivian Chen, for my inspiration.  I had a long day, and I almost did not slice.  

Lately, my kryptonite is a night out with my people for an event at the local vineyard.

It all started in October when I attended a wine and cupcake pairing with my husband. Cake and wine?  I am so down for that.  

A month later, we returned with your close friends for a wine and charcuterie board pairing. We talked, laughed, and lingered for as long as we could before returning to reality. 

Yikes!  In December, they had a wine and Christmas cookie pairing event.  I attended that with my gal pals.

My gal pals loved it so much we went back in February for a wine and book pairing.  That, of course, was my favorite.  Unfortunately, there is no picture for that one. How can that be? I purchased Kristin Hannah's The Women at that event.

And just yesterday we returned to actually make our own Easter charcuterie boards.  It was so delicious that my husband and friends devoured it when I got home.  

One might think that the common denominator, my kryptonite, is wine or food, but truly it is being with my people, my tribe.  We are all trying to navigate our empty nest lives and could easily be consumed by work and sorrow. This lovely vineyard, which is nestled in a quiet neighborhood, gives us a refuge for a few hours to talk and have fun while learning and tasting. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Deliberations Continue #SOLC #SOL24

While in the school lobby heading into the auditorium, a colleague stopped me to say, "This is what I miss.  Teachers excited about teaching."

I most certainly was excited. My class was getting ready for their mock trial about Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart."

The prosecution and defense were readying themselves on the stage, and the jury was seated with their clipboards.

The students were excited, too, and I have to say their teamwork and effort was amazing this year.  As we were walking, I could hear their chatter about wanting to "win" and how nervous they were.  The jury had their evidence charts copied and ready. When I entered, they were poised to start.

By the end of the period I had tears in my eyes. Why? Because...

  • the evidence they chose to prove their points was stellar
  • the explanations and connections back to their thesis were superb
  • their presentations were professional
  • the jury members were busy taking notes
  • the jury talked about the merits of both cases
  • the jury could not decide because "both sides were so good"
  • the prosecution and defense were eager for a decision and left school with hope that they might prevail 
The excitement was real, and I was so proud.  I do wonder, though, do they realize that this proves that they are indeed writers? And darn good ones!

Deliberations will continue tomorrow.  This might be our first hung jury, and that would be just perfect.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Frozen Reverie #SOLC #SOL24

I am currently reading The Wonder of Small Things: Poems of Peace and Renewal edited by James Crews.  After the first ten poems, there is a Reflective Pause and an Invitation for Writing and Reflection.  The first was to focus on a plant or animal that draws your attention and describe it in detail.  

I was immediately reminded of a cold rainy last week when I walked under our crabapple tree in the front yard.  I was in awe and felt wrapped in its embrace.

Frozen Reverie

I walked under your branches, 
looked up and was entranced.
Every single inch 
of your gnarled branches
was wrapped in a crystal crust.

I swear time stopped
and the earth hushed.

You twinkled, 
lighting up your dome,
protecting me from 
the gray sky above, 
a haven for a peaceful pause.

I froze in place
and nothing moved.

I wanted to stay
under your friendly canopy
offering a surprising warmth
amidst a frigid drizzle,
a respite from work.

I snapped back to reality
and stepped back into the world.

I wish I took a picture while under the tree.  I should have known I would have written about it.


Monday, March 25, 2024

It Has Been Too Long #SOLC #SOL24

My evenings are always busy, and I find that I spend any spare time trying to check off as many to dos on my list as I can.

Today was different.  

I had a department meeting after school and then rushed out to get to my physical therapy appointment.  

I arrived home a bit hungry, so I decided to eat dinner right away before my tutoring session tonight. I sat down and started to think about all of the things I should get done before heading to the library:  correcting, slicing, logging food, cleaning the kitchen, etc. I could have accomplished all of that.

But, I did not.

Instead, I grabbed my book, went upstairs, and climbed under my warm fleece sheets. For the next hour, I read without stopping.  I did not pick up my phone to look at the text that came in while I read. I did not open Tik Tok.  I did not look at Facebook. I did not close my eyes to take a quick nap.

I simply got lost in the story. I sighed. I smiled. My heart beat a little faster at times.  A few tears of happiness gathered around my eyes.  I did not stop until I was done.

I closed the book and felt content.  Not because the story had a happy ending, but because, for the first time in a really long time, I did my most favorite thing since childhood before bed. I felt like I had been reunited with a long lost friend. 

I need to remember this hour and ensure that I make focused time for my relationship with books. 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Words Matter #SOLC #SOL24

I am feeling some words today, and it has me thinking about the denotations and connotations of those words.

See, my daughter is on her way to spend part of her spring break with my parents in Florida.  The spring semester is usually a hard one for me because we do not get to see Ashley for a long stretch of time.  

Since starting college, she has spent her spring break with her friend's family in Florida.  This year, their spring break was pushed a week later, and the parents did not book their stay for the same week.  That meant the girls would be staying with my parents for the week.

My first thought was I am so jealous of them, but as I thought more on the word, I realized that it had a negative connotation to it.  It did not sit right with me.  I looked it up, and I was right.  According to Merriam Webster, it means hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy and advantage.  Yikes!  I am not hostile about it.  My parents are not my rivals.

I decided to look up envious.  I like to work on word continuums with my students and look at the strength of words and the connotations associated with them.  I felt sure I would find a fitting word.  Merriam Webster defines envy as painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.  This was a bit closer, but I am not resentful or in pain per se.   

I went to the thesaurus to see if I could find another word. I found possessive, intolerant, resentful, anxious, skeptical, begrudging, covetous.  Nothing fit, and they just made me feel worse.

Then, I thought I am not naming this feeling correctly.  I know that words matter, and I certainly did not want to say something to Ashley or my parents that would make them feel bad about this time they were about to spend together.  I know that I tend to think about words too much, but it was not worth the risk. 

I also knew that I might find peace and gratitude if I could acknowledge my true feelings. I went back to the dictionary to do some more searching.  I looked up longing and then landed on yearning.  Yearning means a tender or urgent longing.  Tender felt right.  Urgent fit, too.  

It has been a while since I have spent time with Ashley.  However, I will see her in three weeks when I fly out for her sorority's Mother's Weekend.  I am excited, and since it is so close, it feels more urgent. I will have my time with her just like my parent's will have this next week with her - we will all get to make memories with her. 

Now, instead of focusing on the fact that I am not there with them, I am grateful that she will have some quality time with her grandparents.  

Words matter, not only to those they are spoken to, but also to the one who is thinking about speaking them. I feel better acknowledging the correct feeling and not making my loved ones feel bad.   

Saturday, March 23, 2024

My Safe Place #SOLC #SOL24

My friend, Marilyn Miner, introduced me to the poetry of James Crews and his "The Weekly Pause" newsletter.  Each week he sends out a poem, some thoughts, and an invitation to write and reflect. His poems always open my heart, and they allow me to think of my life and the world around me with gratitude.  

I was feeling like a cheater and a stealer this morning because I have had a tough time coming up with my own ideas for this month's Slice of Life daily challenge. I usually go directly to commenting, looking for some idea to inspire me.

Today, I decided to read Crews' email first, and sure enough it opened my heart and mind. Poetry speaks to me and tells me I am not alone. It certainly makes feel heard without speaking, and it inspires me to create.

Yesterday, he sent out a poem titled "Safe Space" and the following invitation:  What touches that "bundle of tinder" that is your heart these days? What offers you a sense of safety and comfort when so little in life does?  

My Safe Space

Well, I will tell you -
up until I found it,
I let everything sit in this body,
bubbling until 
patience was lost,
tears were released, 
and anger took over, 
usually resulting in 
punishing myself.

Somehow, I was summoned

to open a notebook.
A blank page 
became a new day,
a fresh look,
a depository for my soul, 
generating serenity and healing.

Without judgement,
I wrote of myself,
shared my fears,
and unleashed the bubbling
in my belly,
so that I could walk 
this life with an open heart.

The pages wait to be filled
or read again, a reminder
of who I was and where I came from,
who I am and my passions, 
and who I long to be 
and the possibilities that await me.

It holds me tenderly
and opens only
for me.
A page may come loose, 
at times, but only 
with my permission.


Friday, March 22, 2024

4 things, 4 feet, 4 minutes #SOLC #SOL24

Thank you, Tammy, for inspiring me today.  Prompt:  Look around and choose 4 things within 4 ft. of you and 4 minutes to write about them.

My pink gallon water bottle to keep me hydrated and to help my body function properly.

Two plush puffins watch me write and work.

My red Vera Bradley school bag waits for me to grab some papers to correct.

My orange journal covered in monarch butterflies I started to record my journey to better health.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Moved by the Wind #SOLSC #SOL24

Moved by the Wind

As I sat at my desk,
I heard the house creaking,
the awning banging, 
and the wind pushing 
at the windows.

It is a pressing force,
an insistent force,
an intimidating force 
of nature.

As I drove up the hill,
I saw the leaves dancing,
the pine branches waving, 
and a sculpture welcoming
spectators passing by.

It is a twirling force,
an inviting force,
a beautiful force
of nature.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

It's Spring? #SOLSC #SOL24

It is spring, but...

When I got out of my car this morning, graupel (new word for me) was falling from the sky.

Upon entering the house after school, I bolted under my fleece sheets to take the chill away. Unfortunately, that squashed all of my ambition for the rest of the night. It took every ounce of ambition to slice to get me out of bed.

I am currently shivering in a chair wearing my hooded blanket writing this slice. I just could not let this glorious first day of spring slip by without commemorating it with a slice.

A picture of my hooded blanket from Amazon just in case anyone wants one for spring.


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Fun with Elfchen #SOLSC #SOL24

I love playing with poetic forms, and today, I am trying another new to me form - the Elfchen. I have seen a few slicers using this form.  It has been on my list of slice ideas for days. It seems like it should be quick, but even the short forms tend to take me forever, especially when I don't have a topic. Hey, maybe that is my topic.

are hiding
in elusive places.
The best in a 

Okay, that was quicker than expected, so I will try another one. The weather is on my mind as I heard mention of a potential snow storm Friday night. It will probably be rain, but it keeps the forecast interesting.  

a squatter, 
has violated season's
calendar lease. Evict before

I am missing my kids a little extra lately. 

brings sorrow,
but the connection
remains strong as they

Monday, March 18, 2024

A Winter Tricube #SOLSC #SOL24

Thank you, Cathy Hutter, for sharing your tricube poem and inspiring me to write my own. Here is a link to her slice featuring this poetic form. 

When I looked out the window at the end of the school day, the sun was shining. I was eager to leave, so I could get out for a walk and soak up some vitamin D. However, it was not as warm as I thought, and shortly after I set out, I wished I put on a hat and mittens.  I felt that winter was not going gently into its hibernation.

Winter speaks
its last breath,
cool and sharp. 

The wind chases
the sun's warmth;
its last day.

Leaves and feet
shuffle quick,
seeking warmth.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Vocab Matters #SOLSC #SOL24

It is inevitable (or so I think so). Every time I teach or share one of my favorite words with someone, it turns up everywhere. I may be hyperbolizing a bit, but it tends to stand out when they are words that are not used often.

After I "brought" my favorite word, ubiquitous, to Leigh Anne's party, I encountered it on three different occasions. 

About a month or two ago, I taught it to one of my tutor students.  On Friday, she told me that she was conferencing with her teacher about her writing assignment.  She had used the word ubiquitous in it, and the teacher asked, "Do you even know what that word means?"  She said she most certainly did, and when she told him what it meant, he was quite impressed.  

Then, I was talking to my son the other night, and he used it to describe the Swift/Kelce relationship being ubiquitous on social media.  Of course, he used his own pronunciation (u-bi-quish-us) just to aggravate me.  Hey, I will taking the jibing because he does have a strong command of words.  I just hope he reserves his special pronunciation for me.  

Then, this morning I was reading Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds when she used it to describe the family's "ubiquitous glossy brown curls."  

My students are always eager to share when they find our vocabulary words in their books or when they use it when they are talking to someone.  I love sharing my love for words with others, and it fills my heart with joy when they start to "own" them and take words with them.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

A Six Word Morning #SOLSC #SOL24

This morning, I spent the morning with a dear friend at the spa, and it is the most relaxed I have in a long while. After a facial, we spent two hours in their Bliss room talking, relaxing, and treating ourselves. What a blessing it was.  Here is my six word morninng.

Salt, steam, and heat equals bliss.  

Friday, March 15, 2024

Weekly Reflection in Numbers #SOLSC #SOL24

I am trying to get back to my weekly reflection, and I enjoy the structure of the 5-4-3-2-1.  I am sharing a picture of it in my notebook.  I also spent some time playing with the Phomemo mini printer my husband gave me for Christmas.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

A Word Party! I AM IN! #SOLSC #SOL24

 Thank you, Leigh Anne, for the invitation to you word buffet.  I am so excited to come.  Now, decisions, decisions!

I am excited to bring the the following words to your buffet:

Ubiquitous - present, appearing, or found everywhere.  I love the sound of this word. On the platter, I would serve cell phone candies and Dunkin' Donuts because they are both found everywhere. I also love this word because my son loves to make fun of my adoration of it by saying it with an extra syllable, and it sounds like u-bi-quish-us.

Matriculate - to enroll as a member of a body and especially of a college or university. On this platter, I would serve little graduation cap cupcakes to celebrate our calling - education. I learned this word when I entered Wheaton College.  My college years were truly transformative, and the word always stuck with me.

Mystery - a piece of fiction dealing usually with the solution of a mysterious crime. I would bring stickers of some of my favorite book covers to scatter over the buffet table. When I was a child, I was always spending time with a book. My favorites were mysteries, especially Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins.  My love of mysteries continues.  In another life, I would be an FBI profiler and try to solve serial crimes.  

Lavender - widely cultivated for its narrow aromatic leaves and spikes of lilac-purple flowers which are dried and used in sachets and from which is extracted an aromatic oil used chiefly in perfumery. I would bring some lavender candles for the table for ambience.  This word is always close by me in a variety of forms.  I have it planted around my pool. I have lavender candles, cream, soap, and oils.  It soothes my soul.

Mellifluous - sweet or musical; pleasant to hear. My final contribution would include some instrumental music to round out the event.  Music helps to calm me down and focus me on my work. I play it when I write and hum and move to the music. I get lost in whatever I am doing.  Plus, I hate cacophonous sounds (another favorite word, but not appropriate for a party); they totally stress me out.

I can't wait to attend the party to see what other words people will bring.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Lilac Memories #SOLSC #SOL24

There are a few plants in my yard that were planted to represent memories from my childhood. There is one that was planted in a particular place because it was my favorite place to read. It is the lilac bush next to the chimney on the side of the house. Every time I walk by it, I remember.

I remember
sitting next to you
in silence
while I read 
Are You There God? It's Me Margaret.

I remember 
standing next to you
lunging forward
waiting for the rolling ball
to kick across the yard.

I remember 
the patch of grass
along the chimney,
a cushion for me
as I sat lost in story.

I remember 
the patch of dirt
worn from moving feet,
a time when children 
played for hours outside.

And now, 
in another place,
you stand 
next to a chimney
waiting for me
to come sniff your
purple blooms, 
which transport me
to another time.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Never Have I Ever...#SOLSC #SOL24

I am such a word nerd! I have always loved a good dictionary; I still have my dictionary from high school. I used to underline the words I looked up and make notes about them.  

I adore roots and affixes. There is nothing better than trying to dissect a word to discover its meanings by its parts. My language during high school was Latin, and that may have been when I feel in love with words.  

When I started teaching, I started exploring the etymology of words and idioms with my students. This week in my 8th grade class, we have been learning about Raphael Lemkin, the Polish lawyer who created the word genocide.  Now, we are exploring the two roots that make up the word. 

My TeachWrite community has a monthly challenge, and Leigh Anne Eck provides us with daily writing prompts, which are usually words or phrases.  They take me in so many directions.  It was suggested that they might help inspire me with my slicing.  The month's theme is clothing, and today's prompt was the work stiletto.  

My first thought was never have I ever worn stilettos; I would kill myself in those things.  

In keeping with what I told my students today when we were working with moody words, I looked up the word to see its official definition. I was surprised by what I found. Due to my fear of the shoe, I remained ignorant to its denotation.

According to Merriam Webster, a stiletto is a "1: slender dagger with a blade thick in proportion to its breadth, 2: a pointed instrument for piercing holes for eyelets or embroidery, and 3: STILETTO HEEL."  

Well, that makes sense.  I always thought stilettos would make a good murder weapon.  Even the word piercing in the second definition creates a foreboding mood.  Its connotation is quite in line with my gut reaction to the heels--they could in fact kill me.  

I have no experience with any of these types of stilettos, and I do not envision me wearing or using any of these forms in the future.  However, I might possibly use them in a juicy story.  

Monday, March 11, 2024

Currently... SOLSC #SOL24

Thank you to Christie Wyman for today's inspiration.  It has been a long Monday with more work for tonight, so I am trying out her "I am currently..." idea.  I have done this before but with different prompts.

I am currently...

Anticipating a day at the spa this coming Saturday with a dear friend.  Not only am I treating myself to a facial, but I will also have three hours in the Bliss area with access to a salt room, a steam room, a sauna, and mineral hot tub.  

Watching Constellation on Apple TV.  I have to admit that I am thoroughly confused by what is going on as the characters seem to be in two different dimensions or realities.

Reading The Women by Kristin Hannah.  It is set during the Vietnam War, and it is truly heartbreaking.  I love historical fiction, and Hannah's novels never disappoint.

Listening to Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds with my 7th grade students.  I love his books and poetry.  The kids seem to be enjoying it, and we are having great conversations.  

Hoping I will be able to see my son this weekend for dinner.  I grasp any opportunity I can to get some alone time with him as he is always busy with friends and his girlfriend.

Waiting for mid April. Not for spring, but to fly out to Wisconsin to spend the weekend with my daughter.  I am attending her sorority's mother's weekend for the first time.  

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Surprises Everywhere SOLSC #SOL24

The rain decided to take a break today, so I took advantage of that and took a walk around the yard and found a few surprises.  

A patch of blue found
disseminating white clouds - 
it is clear skies' turn

I spy a tiny 
nest trying  to camouflage 
upon soggy ground

A purple myrtle
bloom bursts through remnants of last
year's growth - spring is near

Then, when I came in to write.  I found another note from my son.  I thought I had found them all!

Just when missing seems
strong, I find yet another
love note from my son

Saturday, March 9, 2024

My Desk Is a Warm Hug SOLSC #SOL24

Thank you, Terje, for inspiring my slice today.

I am sitting at my desk in my son's bedroom, which is now my writing room. I start most mornings here surrounded by the ghosts of the past writing with my friends from all over the country and world. I feel comfort in this room where my son grew up, and while I have painted the walls and changed the furniture, the layers of his life surround me. His bed is still here (though covered in a different comforter) for the times he comes home for a night or two.  

I wonder if I will move my desk into my daughter's room when she eventually leaves home to create her own. Just to feel closer to her.

Instead of posters of planes and trains, there are pictures and mementos of the places that remind me of our small family and the places that soothe my soul. The plush puffins and picture of the Sun Voyager sculpture in Iceland remind me of the last (and maybe only as we often travel with friends and family) trip the four of us took together.  The beauty of Iceland and this special time with the kids moved me.  Elements of the ocean remind me of my happy place next to the waves with my feet in the sand.  Pens, papers, stamps, and other writing implements wait for me to write, plan, and process all of the thoughts in my head.  

This corner of the room hugs me any time I sit down to write or work.  I can count on its embrace to ease my mind and body.  

I also love finding little pieces of my son as he always leaves something behind - a pair of socks, "poop" notes all over my desk to make me laugh, a piece of mail he did not take with him. I leave them right where they are.

I'm not sure how long we will be here in this house. It could be a long while. Or maybe not. I am waiting to see where my kids settle.

I do know that I will spend this time, my writing time, in a place that was once theirs, and there will always be pieces of them around me, literally and figuratively.


Friday, March 8, 2024

Playing with Spines SOLSC #SOL24

 Thank you to arjeha for the inspiration.  I have always been intrigued by book spine poetry, but today is the first time I have ever tried it.  

I grabbed a pile of poetry books as I had just finished tutoring a student who loves writing poetry with me.  We always have fun writing and talking about poetry, so it seemed fitting to continue having fun with books of poetry.  

My Thoughts Are Clouds.
The Wonder of Small Things
Lightning Paths
Where the Sidewalk Ends.
One Last Word
for Everyone.

Next, I chose a stack of books outside of the genres I usually read, but I have really enjoyed.

The Book of Joy -
All It Takes Is a Goal:
Steal Like an Artist.
Life in the Sloth Lane.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

I'm Sinking SOLSC #SOL24

Thursdays are my hardest day.  After school, I have rehearsal, PT, 2 tutor sessions, and then my writing group.  I start at 7:00 a.m. and end at 9:30 p.m., and while I am sitting in my chair on a Zoom with the goal to write, I AM STUCK.  

I want to write about teaching Night in my 8th grade class, but that is too emotional.

I could write about the frustration of the team's inability to help a student access curriculum, but that would rile me up.

I could write about another rainy day, but I already did that.

I might want to write about something outside, but it is pitch dark.

I could write about missing my kids, but I don't want to be sad.

I guess I could write about being stuck in a nonet poem.

to find an 
idea worthy  
of putting pen to 
paper is like standing 
in quicksand. I can't look back 
or move forward.  My mind is fixed
on one thing - getting out of this funk.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Pictures Are My Window SOLSC #SOL24

The spring semester is tough for me. It is a long stretch before I get to see my daughter at the end of April. Pictures get me through and help me feel connected to my girl who is 1,100 miles away.  

My daughter started training for a half marathon in May, and I enjoy seeing pictures of her training runs.  She amazes me with all that she does at UW-Madison: dance, work, sorority, running, cycling, and nursing school of course.  

I love walking with her on this trail along Lake Mendota, and this is a picture from her run yesterday with a haiku.

Gnarled branches reach out
shadowing your footsteps, an
eager audience



Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Rain, I Am Breaking Up with You! SOLSC #SOL24

Dear wet and rainy day💦,

    There was a time when I longed for you on those hot and dry summer days. I would even sit and watch your every drop. I loved your smell and soft plops on my face. Only thunder and lightning could pull me from your pitter patter.

    However, those days are over. You never leave me alone. It seems as though every time I wake you are showering your incessant drops all over my day, dampening it in every way.

    Your presence is no longer soft and soothing. It is a cold blanket I just can't shake.  

    Now, all I want to do is hunker under the covers in an effort to escape your and drown out your sounds with Tik Toks. I can't even pull my hands out to hold a book because they are so cold.  

    I need a break from you, please. I need more than one day of sunshine. 🌞Remember the saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"? If you have any hopes of mending these feelings of ill-will, you will go visit some of your other friends and give me some time alone.



Monday, March 4, 2024

Light Dawns on Rock Head SOLSC #SOL24

Today, I was interviewed by one of my students for our school newspaper.  

I was impressed right from the start when he said, "Good morning, how are you doing today, Mrs. Morris?"  

His questions were thoughtful, and our conversation was relaxed and enjoyable. We talked about food, travel, reading, writing, teaching, and so many other topics. I appreciated that he wanted to get to know me as a person.

It was the first question, though, that had me reeling. He asked about my children. A simple question for sure, but for some reason my final answer struck my heart. Not in a good or bad way. It was an epiphany.  I think that even he was surprised.  I would like to think that I look too young to have a son that age.  

I told him that my son was 24, but when he recapped, he just assumed that my son was still in college.  

I corrected him and said, "No, my son is a mechanical engineer."  

A mechanical engineer!  Holy crap! 

This has been the case for the past year and half, but for some reason, I still thought of him as a boy, a soccer player, a gamer, and a student. Those were all the things I had first hand knowledge of and was witness to. 

My mind may be stuck in this past because he truly is on his own and traversing a path without me walking next to him.  I hear about it, but I don't see it.

All through the day, I kept thinking Wow! Cam is a mechanical engineer!

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Sunday Prepday SOLSC #SOL24

Sundays are not fun days for me.  It always amazes me that it takes pretty much the entire day to get ready for the week ahead.  I like list poems, and I have enjoyed the ones I have read so far today.  

Sunday is not a fun day!


grocery shopping

meal prepping

lesson planning

schedule planning





with a dash of 

slicing and walking

when all I want to do is...

reading and knitting.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

A Trip Down My Slice of Life Lane SOLSC #SOL24

I found my inspiration from another slice written by Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life. She went back to look at her first slice in her first March challenge, so I did the same. Leigh Anne, I do not know whether to thank you or curse you.  

I watched One Day on Netflix last weekend, and it has had me crying for days. I made a pledge not to shed any tears this weekend. Well, that did not last long. My first slice in my first March challenge in 2021 was about letting my daughter go to her last dress rehearsal on her own because of COVID; I was left home to watch it on Zoom. The feelings of that day came rushing back to me and so did the tears.

Letting go has been hard for me. That was her last dress rehearsal (in a mask) and a few months later she left for college at the University of Wisconsin. She still dances on their club dance team, but the separation is even greater. Now, I do not have any part in her preparation rituals, and I have to watch videos of her dancing, which are blurry if I try to Zoom in to find her.

If we want to see her dance in person, it requires air travel and weekend stays. Even then, I am a spectator. My daughter is on her own doing what she loves and finding her way to a new life. Both do not really include me.  

I rarely look back at my writing. As I was scrolling through that first  challenge, I was amazed. I found myself thinking Wow! I wrote that? So much has changed in the last 3 years.  I found the last time I cooked with my grandfather, remote Mondays, a death in the neighborhood, and our first class fish.

This act gave me a greater appreciation for this slice of life community and challenge. These slices are a record of my journey. The little bits of things I see, hear, and do. A record of change and growth.  

Ashley practicing that week for her dress rehearsal. 

Thinking About Change #SOL

I have been thinking about change. It has been a part of my work life for about three years now, and it will not stop for a while. So when E...