spliced slice

A week ago I was here:


sunrise in SE Alaska

this is a poem for where I am today:

suitcase filleted
souvenirs shared
catch-up phone calls made
email checked and responded to
pictures downloaded to computer
laundry done
cat cuddled many times


Enjoying connecting time

Now that I’m on vacation, it is wonderful to be able to take time with and for friends.  I am not spending every minute out and about; I am catching up on sleep, starting and finishing projects, doing some housecleaning and watching favorite shows on Netflix.  But I am treasuring moments like these:

Texts back and forth with a walking buddy – sometimes we’re able to get time together, sometimes not but our little check-ins keep us connected

Celebrating a 65th birthday with a friend with an overnight at her house, a barbecue, strawberries on ice cream, a walk in the neighborhood and a morning chat in our pj’s

Helping another friend complete a sewing project – 3 hours together, talking, laughing and feeling pride in work

A spontaneous visit from our upstairs neighbor, someone I’m still getting to know

I have had extra time for family too: longer chats with my daughter on the phone, coffee chats with my son in the morning, connecting with my sister in MN, country drives with my parents, connecting with in-laws.  I enjoy my weekends during the school year but there is nothing like the time I have in summer to catch up with what is most important.

memories of middle school – and more


I read a poem about an orange today
and was reminded of Lisa,
my best friend growing up.
My family wasn’t much for fresh fruit in lunches
but Lisa’s was, and often it was an orange.

We’d sit together,
brown paper bags between us.
I was usually eating a cheese sandwich
and she would peel her orange globe,
jamming her thumb into its belly button,
peeling back the skin,
rotating slowly with the goal
of one long spiral.

I learned the word “pith” from Lisa
and how it is good for brushing your teeth.
She’d give me sections
as we talked like the school girls we were then.
Sometimes we just sat, comfortable together.
Lisa was the strong, silent type,
a thinker, rebellious.
She was mystery,
and I was “open book.”

It surprises me how often I think of her
and wonder about her life now.
Oranges are only one thing
that bring her to mind.sol

I went out for ten minutes…

I took a ten minute walk with my camera. I didn’t drive to any place special or walk beyond the end of my block.  I just went a little ways away from home and then turned off onto a path into the woods.  I’ve been there before but not often.  The last time was in  winter.

I downloaded my pictures and noticed my walk was less than 15 minutes. Here are a few of my noticings and a poem:

10 min four      10 min two    10 min ten  IMG_0696  IMG_0675

I am always noticing leaves.

On my walks I wonder at these tender bits of greenery,
seeing each leaf distinctly from the whole bush or tree or grassy clump,
so much life before my eyes.

One by one I stop to look them over:
this one on a stalk, facing the sun,
prominent veins delicately outlined by light and shadow,
another has thorns just below its innocently upturned face,
still other leaves have fallen to the path
soon to be decimated by footfalls,
or to slowly disappear with time.

They are so populous and there are so many of the same kind
and yet I love to appreciate each one as it is in its place of appearance.
These leaves remind me of humanity – so abundant,
populating the ends of the earth,
but each person so unique
and in the world for just a fragment of time.




Sometimes my thoughts pile themselves up

like trash in the alley

and I find myself sifting, kicking, sweeping

until finally some filament catches my attention

and pausing with consideration,

I rescue what was discarded

so carelessly before.

It’s not always about the fine motor skills, or the drawing, or even the possibility of adding writing………

I did my Teacher Modeled Write all about a Mother’s Day party and I knew some of my preschool students would be inspired to draw/write about parties they have been to or wish they had been to.

I visited tables while students were working and heard stories of cake and ice cream, dinosaur themes and pinatas.  When my students were finished and reading books, I sifted through the pictures to see the work.  I came across Andy’s page and wondered about his story.  The drawing on the page consisted of a large yellow shape – mostly rectangle and some other circles inside it and some lines.  I hadn’t visited his table, my aide had been working there, so I had no idea what story these yellow lines told.

I took the picture over to Andy and asked, “Will you tell me the story of your picture?  I’m sorry I didn’t get to hear from you while you were working.”

“It’s a pinata.  That’s candy.”

“Tell me about the party with the pinata.  How did you get the candy out?”

“I hit it with a big ‘tick.  A soft, big ‘tick.”

“Did you wear a blind fold?  (nod) Did you spin around? (big nod)  Tell me what happened next.”

And Andy told me his party story.  I did ask some leading questions but our time was short and I wanted him to talk before we had to get ready for lunch.  I’ll work with him tomorrow to get some memorable details into his picture so he can retell the story again at home.

It’s taken me awhile to learn the best workshop writing experience I can give to my little ones is a talking workshop.image

mellow day

I don’t know why my students were so mellow today.   I was missing three students but they weren’t “those” students.  But of course the dynamics of play were different because the couplings of students were impacted by key players being absent.  It isn’t that I would want a mellow day everyday but it was just so pleasant.

Our caterpillars had entered their cocoons so the day began with excitement and a buzz.  Breakfast was as chatty as usual and students were finding every excuse to be out of their chairs and across the classroom to visit another table or get something off the cart.  I was worried that our morning shower was going to mean a recess in the playshed but after wiping the slides of rainwater, we were able to be out in the open.  A few students begged to play hide-and-seek which is hilarious for me because there really isn’t a good place to be hidden.  The kids go under the slide or behind an 8 inch wide post or lie down next to the picnic tables but of course I can see them or their legs.  I make a big deal about counting to ten and stomping my feet when I say “ready or not, here I come” over and over again as I hunt them down one by one, each of them collapsing into giggles when I do.

Back in the classroom, one student played cards, another few wrote stories, and some immediately put on dress up clothes for their usual scenarios.  I pulled out cardboard and glue and showed a few students how to decoupage left over quilt squares from my mom.  The hour meandered quietly with no eruptions or disputes and it was truly amazing to be in a mellow but busy atmosphere.

It would be nice to bottle such days – like the poem about the watermelon pickle – and open it every so often.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a mellow day everyday but I know that isn’t what is best to teach my little ones what they need to learn.  A little stress, a little angst – as long as I’m not the one generating or causing it – provides other important lessons.

So here’s to what tomorrow may bring.  The weather report says sun so that is all I need to make me happy – no noisy and dark playshed! image


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