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Talkworthy - 4M ago
 This post is for Day 17 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.


I have been nursing a respiratory infection for a week. I've been miserable but will not be complaining here. I know at some point I will be feeling better. But where did my energy go? I haven't felt like doing anything but sitting in my favorite chair in the living room!

However, I needed a few groceries today. So I set out this morning with my list of what I needed. We were out of milk and how could we go on without a gallon of milk in the fridge! My list wasn't long so I entered the store and started collecting what I needed. It wasn't long before my feet started feeling heavy and I would need to finish. I checked off my list and headed home. Oh, but when I got home I still needed to put those groceries away!

Then I realized that I needed to do a load of laundry. So I marched down the steps to the basement, sorted the laundry, put a load in the washer and made my way back upstairs. It wouldn't be long before I needed to switch the clothes from the washer to the drier. So I made another trip downstairs and upstairs and back downstairs and upstairs to bring the load of clothes up because I needed to fold them.

So many other little things needed to get done today. Somehow I managed enough energy to do them - at least most of them. But wait! Tomorrow is Monday and I have a boxing class to go to at the gym. 
We'll see!
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Talkworthy - 4M ago
This post is for Day 16 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.

I have been thinking about revision lately.

When I was in the classroom, it was sometimes difficult to get elementary writers to revise. When first graders wrote, it was as though their words were written in concrete. Permanently etched.
Difficult to change or remove. Even more difficult to stretch by adding words and thoughts. 

When third graders wrote, they were open to thinking another way or adding descriptive words to their writing. Using mentor texts helped them see there were other ways to say things. Sharing other's writing helped them to see new ways to approach their writing.

When I worked with fifth graders, they were much more eager to recognize the ways they could improve their writing. They were more playful and interested in trying new words, extending their writing or focusing on smaller moments in their writing.

Is it because writers move from a self-centered approach to a more sophisticated way of thinking about writing? Teachers everywhere are doing outstanding jobs of supporting young writers and move them toward more independent thinking as they write. 

In my own writing, I will always find revising difficult. It's stepping away from the words and reading them as another person would. But, as writers, we are so attached to our words and thoughts.

I posted on March 14 (My Remembering Place) with the intent of continuing to work on the piece over time. On March 15, I made changes and posted the revised version. But I had not stepped very far away from the piece. I need time. I need to give my writing some space to breathe. I need to come back to my writing when the actual words do not mean so much to me. 

I will revisit the post another time in the future. I need distance. I need time. I need to be open to making those revisions that I think can be made.

How do you feel about revision? How do you put yourself in a place where revision is possible?
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This post is for Day 15 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.

My mom had a small deck outside the back door of our home with just enough room for a couple of chairs and some potted plants. She would watch the birds and rock to the warm summer breezes or sit out there to read and think. It was her quiet place.

There was a wooden railing that surrounded the deck, and my mom had placed narrow flower boxes all along the top of the railing. They were filled with red, yellow and orange begonias, purple petunias and brightly colored lantana. She always had a few hanging plants that hung above the deck. She was an excellent gardener and loved spending time on her deck. It was her flower place.

We often found her out on the deck watering the flowers or pinching off dried blossoms and leaves. Those flower boxes were treasure chests of beauty. She watched her flowers grow and tended them with care. When I joined her on the deck, we would visit and talk about her day and whatever else found its way into our conversation. It was her happy place.

One year during the early summer months she had some health issues and was admitted into the hospital. It turned out the summer was a series of time in and out of the hospital. With so much time away from home, she wasn't able to enjoy her beautiful flowers. It broke my heart when she talked about wanting to go home. I knew she wanted to just sit on her deck and enjoy her flowers.  

I spent most days with her at the hospital and I felt sad when she talked about her flowers. I promised her that I was caring for them and that they were beautiful. She ached to see them. I was determined to find a way to bring the flowers to her. So I took pictures of each beautiful plant and blossom. I had the pictures printed and put together a collage of her flowers in a clear acrylic frame. I brought the frame to the hospital and placed it on the window ledge next to her bed. 

Those days were tough. She would drift in and out of dementia. She slept a lot but I stayed to be with her. When she was alert she made sure that everyone who walked in her room (nurses, doctors, family and friends) saw her beautiful flowers. She was so proud of them. 

Towards the end of that summer she was moved to hospice and within days she was gone. My heart ached. It was difficult to go through the motions of burying my sweet mother. But there was one thing we did for her that I think would make her smile. We took those pictures from the frame and slipped them under the blanket that covered her in her resting place. I know they are with her and that means everything. I like to think that she is digging in the dirt, tending her flowers and enjoying the beautiful blooms. It is her forever place.

These days, I think she would be proud of my garden. I try to be the gardener she was. I cherish the colorful blooms that make me smile. It is my remembering place.
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This post is for Day 14 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.

My mom had a small deck just outside the back door of our home with enough room for a couple of chairs. She would often sit out there to read. It was her quiet place.

There was a railing that surrounded the deck and she had placed narrow flower boxes all along the top of the railing. She would fill them every spring with begonias and other flower treasures that she found at the nursery. She also had many hanging plants that hung above the deck. She was a really good gardener. She loved spending time on her deck. It was her flower place.

We would often find her watering the flowers or picking off a dried blossom or leaves. They were her treasures. She delighted in the beautiful colored blossoms. She watched them grow and tended them with care. It was her happy place.

One year during the early summer months she had some health issues and was admitted into the hospital. It turned out the summer was a series of time in and out of the hospital. She wasn't able to enjoy her beautiful flowers. It broke my heart when she talked about wanting to go home. I knew she wanted to just sit on her deck and enjoy her flowers.  

I spent most days with her and I felt sad when she talked about her flowers. I promised her that I was caring for them and that they were beautiful. She ached to see them. I had to find a way to bring the flowers to her. So I took pictures of each beautiful blossom on each bright green plant. I had the pictures developed and put together a collage of her flowers in a clear acrylic frame. I brought them to the hospital and placed them on the window ledge next to her bed. 

Those days were tough. She was in and out of dementia. But when she was alert she made sure that everyone who walked in her room (nurses, doctors, family and friends) saw her beautiful flowers. She was so proud of them. 

Towards the end of the summer she was moved to hospice and within days she was gone. My heart ached. It was difficult to go through the motions of burying my sweet mother. But there was one thing we did for her that I think would make her smile. We took those pictures from the frame and slipped them under the blanket that covered her in the coffin. I know they are with her and that means everything. Wherever she is, I hope she is tending her flowers and enjoying the beautiful blossoms. 

These days, I think she would be proud of my garden. I try to be the gardener she was. I cherish the colorful blooms that make me smile. It is my remembering place.
 
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This post is for Day 13 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.


The flu crud has reached our house. I was the last to take it on. I know I will feel better soon but I just want to sleep through the day and night.

Tight breathing
Heavy weight sitting on my chest
Headache that pounds
A voice that is rough and low and scratchy
Coughing that keeps me from sleep

Life on hold
Until meds kick in
And restful sleep comes.
 
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This post is for Day 12 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.


I grabbed my spring jacket and stepped out the door eager to look for the signs of spring. Here's a collection of my thoughts as I took in this beautiful day.


Look closely and you will see the early signs of spring.

     a sudden greening of the grass

     spring bulbs reaching for the sun

     trees bursting with buds

     birds darting through the trees

     shadows made by the sun

     neighbors stepping out of their winter caves

     spring is here
   
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This post is for Day 11 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.

I have a pillow in my living room. It's stitched with the words Live, Laugh, Love. I'm using that today as a framework for my post. Not feeling so creative today. Maybe this structure will help. What structures have you found helpful?

Live
Live for the rainbow after the storm.
Live with joy and gratefulness.
Live with devotion and curiosity.
Live for warm breezes after a chilly winter.

Laugh
Laugh with children and family.
Laugh even when it's hard
Laugh at the silly moments that happen.
Laugh at your own mistakes.


Love
Love friends and family
Love sunshine and blossoms
Love blue skies and the green forest.
Love the world.



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Talkworthy - 4M ago
This post is for Day 10 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.

I went to the gym this morning. I had a great workout. Now that I am home with a cup of coffee (and my water bottle) sitting next to me, I am thinking about the word "push" and how it comes into play during my workouts. I am not an athlete and never have been. My goal is to get and stay healthy. (I will turn 70 this summer.) My workouts don't match the athletes at the gym but I am making progress.

I start my workout knowing that I want to push myself today. I have health goals in mind and I know what I need to do to get there. I begin a treadmill workout and think about my plan for this portion of my gym time. I walk at a quick pace to get my heart rate up a bit. My goal involves me running at nearly double that walking pace for 30-45 seconds and then bringing it back to my brisk walking pace. My heart rate jumps up and I am pushing - 20 seconds - 30 seconds - 45 seconds before I drop back to a walking pace. Then I repeat.

I recently started this "running" routine. I know it will take me awhile to build this routine into my workouts. It will take time and effort to raise my walking/running pace but it will happen. I have no doubt.

I am wondering this morning about the learners in our classrooms. It's easy for them to sit passively and perform what is asked of them. But is the "push" something that comes from inside when they shift from a passive to an active learner?

Do they believe that their efforts will make a difference? 
Have they set goals for their learning?
Do they understand that it takes time?
Do they know that there will be setbacks?
Can athletes (and gym folks like me) teach them about learning?
 
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This post is for Day 9 of the 2019 Slice of Life Challenge. Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community of writers together to share our writing in the month of March.

We change the time tonight and spring forward. These days our clocks will automatically jump to the next hour in the middle of the night. While I hate losing an hour of sleep, I can hear the whisper of spring and it makes me smile. Today, the sun is shining and it will be nearly 50 degrees. I sense new beginnings in the air. Spring comes in whispers.

In my garden, I see green tips of daffodils and crocuses pushing through the dark earth. The peonies are sending their dart red shoots into the air. I can count on my perennials to be the first to wish me a happy spring. I walk the yard picking up pine cones that have dropped from the tree at the corner of our house.

I have been receiving seed and bulb catalogs in the mail. I turn the pages with wonder at the beautiful colors of spring and summer blooms. I notice a spring sale at the local nursery. I may have to make a trip there today. I am itching to get started in my garden. I begin to plan the annuals that I'll want to plant. Always dahlias. Surely some coleus (the beautiful pink and green ones I found last year). Large green ferns nestled under the trees.

It's time to arrange the stones in my garden. They are a collection of unusual stones that my husband has collected and that one special stone - a piece of petrified wood that used to be in my dad's garden. It sits in my garden now as an instigator of memories.

I'll put out the hummingbird feeders soon. The hummingbirds should start showing up in April as they migrate from the south. I love watching out my window as they come to feed. Tiny visitors with their whirring wings hovering at the feeder as they drink the nectar I have made for them.

I dig out my garden gloves, shovels and rakes that sat in the corner of the garage all winter. The air whispers of spring. The birds chirp and spread their melodies through the air. And I am ready for sunshine and warm breezes. Spring brings me new beginnings and that annual itch to dig in the dirt.


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