Category Archives: Slice of Life Writing Challenge


I didn’t stay home today but I did wear red, to show solidarity with  A Day Without Women movement.

Early in my married and parenting life, if I had gone on strike today, there is a lot that would not have happened in our household. Now my husband and I share quite a bit of the household responsibilities and I am the primary bread winner.

I’m wondering what kind of strike would impact our lives the most.  If all the media outlets shut down we might have a really different kind of day. It might be quite delightful!

How about we start slow:  a Day Without Twitter?image




The hour is late – it is only 8:50 – but I live on the west coast so the clock is going to strike and my coach is going to become a pumpkin and I’m already stumbling down the stairs out of my glass slippers…

(for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about – this writing challenge every day is on east coast time so I have to post before midnight New York time!)

I’m going to let this photo speak for me tonight.  I took it out at Semiahmoo, near Birch Bay, Washington, the weekend before last and it is now my screen saver.  I am just loving it right now:



The word “idle” has negative connotations.
So I’m not going to say I’m idle.
But the pace of my weekdays is so different now
it is hard not to feel like I’m lollygagging.

First of all,
I used to get up at 5:30 and on the road before 7.
Now (!) oh my goodness, I could sleep for hours past that –
but I don’t.
I still get up early – more like 6:30 now.

leisurely mornings of coffee and kitten time,
stretching, knitting or….! writing.
And instead of packing my breakfast and eating it at work,
I sit….
and eat…..
in silence.

I’ve been leaving the house to arrive at 9,
but I don’t have enough assigned work to keep me busy,
to keep me from feeling that “i” word.

I looked up some synonyms and maybe
I should describe what I feel as “sauntering.”
I’m being given tasks I can do,
and trying to be open and aware to what I will be doing
when the time comes.

I set up my voice mail password and my file drawer.
I was loaned a better computer today
so I messed around learning Google sheets
and creating information about my “caseload.”

It won’t be long before
I’ll  be like the rest of my colleagues,
juggling plates,
wishing for a bit of calm.

But right now,
I’m unaccustomed to so much
stillness. image


imageI demolished it

the whole box

every single bit  (almost)

He admitted to eating 3

but! I ate the rest!

(I know) 😦

of course the box only holds 15

so I really only ate 2/3 of the box….

but c’mon,

that’s a whole box


Ahhh…..Girl Scout cookies

my once-a-year-chocolate-peanut-butter-Tag-along-feast!


A month ago I was walking around in the snow.  I went farther afield than I usually do, over to a silent and barren community college campus where the only noises and activity came from a rambunctious snow plow clearing parking lots.

I walked past a building where professors have their offices and saw this poster in many windows.  Often there was plant on the sill as well.  I loved seeing this message in these times and on a cold and blustery day.




imageGood bye to my old desk

I remember choosing the desk at my old job site – it was a sturdy and heavy typical “teacher’s desk.” And since I’d never really had a desk at a work site before, it was a special moment to choose it and to bring it to life in my classroom and work.  A month ago, I had to start cleaning it out, readying it for a new occupant.  Here is my little poem, ode to my desk and letter to the teacher who replaced me:

To the brave occupant of my new desk:

I bequeath the common necessities of a teacher –
the pens, pencils, post-its, paperclips
white-out, dry erase pens, stick pins, magnets, stapler and tape.

You will also find in these drawers a collection of unexpected items
especially necessary to the early childhood teacher –

band aids, star stickers, hair brush, little girl’s hair clips, matchbox car, timer,
change for the pop machine and thank you cards for parents.

I left a few folders full of useful things –
like extra nametags, photos,
an inventory of classroom supplies and recent purchases.

but I’m taking the rock.

It is amber and red and I can’t remember where or when I found it
but it’s been here ever since and I think it will be necessary
in a drawer of my new desk.




imageHello March! (prompt from Think, Write, Thursday)

I’m looking forward to your visit this year – mostly because of the extra daylight you will bring each day.  I know you will most likely do your “lion” thing but I invite you to do less with snow and rain and more with crazy breezes and playing with sunlight in the clouds.

I am already anticipating my weekends with you as friends have invited me to visit and go out for lunch.  I think my sister is hoping I’ll do some more house hunting for her which is so much fun.  I look forward to this month in the future when she and her husband are here.  We will enjoy time with my parents together.

This year, my March week days will be filled with huge unknowns as I’m in a new job and have no idea what my Mondays through Fridays will to be like.  This is a long month so lots of days for learning.

Finally, March, you are bringing in the season of Lent – always a time of reflection for me.  I’m not sure I was ready yesterday when it was Ash Wednesday but I’ll figure it out and I know you will be with me every day to give me time to think.





imageI’ve been looking forward to this month long writing challenge almost as much as I’ve been worrying about it.  I don’t know how many years I’ve been participating, not all that many, but it has become an important practice for me. I think this year it is more important than ever because I haven’t been writing much at all.  I need this little kick-start to get the juices going again.

When I reflect on why writing has been hard this year the only reason making sense is that all my creative and thoughtful juices were being used up on my job.  Not only was I being tapped to think creatively about intervention with my at-risk preschoolers, but I was working hard to sustain belief in my ability to support them.  It was physically draining as well.  I started carrying my phone around to track my “steps.”  Most days I was averaging 7000 steps in 4 hours of contact time with the kids.

But two weeks ago I found a new job and although the guilt about leaving mid-year was awful and a week of snow days prevented a graceful transition, I am finding myself on fertile ground again.  I’m doing on-line training, shadowing my new colleagues to learn this early intervention work and I have a later start in the mornings.  So…..I’m trying to write.

It is a slow thing.  But I’m doing it.  I’ll see myself here tomorrow.


It was

it was a day

the sunniest and warmest day we’ve had so far this year

and people were out and about in sandals and t shirts

and I was driving with my windows rolled down

humming to myself

and I saw them

and I wished I’d had my camera because the scene was so precious

and the color so amazing

and so I blinked just to save the picture in my mind

two children walking behind their hand holding parents

bending to gather fistfuls of dandelions

it was a day, that kind of dayimage




Sometimes when I get stuck in my writing I try to name whatever essential emotion I am feeling in the moment and then track down its source and write about it. Today, the word that popped into my head to describe how I feel right now is “stymied.”

And —- (because I love going on little word hunts thanks to my dad, he was well known to bring dictionaries and encyclopedias to the dinner table while we were growing up….)
And—- (thanks to my techy devices which make it soooooooo easy to traipse down rabbit holes and wander in wordy wonderlands…..)

I looked up the word “stymied.”  Humph!  I thought for sure it would have something to do with “sty” because when one is stymied, one certainly feels mired in mud, but no!  The word stymied (definition “a situation or problem presenting difficulties as to discourage or defeat any attempt to deal with or resolve it”) seems to have originated as a golf term.

(who wouldda thunk?)
from the Scottish word for “person who sees poorly.”

So if I am truly stymied, perhaps there is something I am not seeing. image