ten for tuesday {gratitude}

There’s no doubt about it, I’m a list lover! I love to create lists, revise my lists, and well, live by my lists. Heck, I could devote an entire post to my love of lists! Today’s post, however, is dedicated to the top ten things (in no particular order) I’ve been grateful for lately. And, a shout-out to my blogging buddy over at Wondering and Wandering for inspiring this post!

Number 10: I finally had the opportunity to plant a few annuals around my house. While they still look young and aren’t bountiful, they bring a smile to face as I peer out my window or sit idly by their side.

~I’m grateful to the sense of serenity that the simplicity of flowers can bring.~

Number 9: I created a my #cyberPD list. (Yes, another list!)  There are three books on my list: Disrupting Thinking, The Writing Strategies Book, and From Striving to Thriving. Disrupting Thinking arrived in the mail last week, The Writing Strategies Book will arrive this week, and From Striving to Thriving is pre-ordered and will arrive on August 9th. Since I’ve created my #cyberPD list, I’ve added two more books to my list! Imagine that, me adding to a list! I’ve added Mentor Texts, 2nd edition and Joy Write. Both of those are slated to arrive next week. Yes, reading for professional development is on my list!

~I’m grateful for budget money from my school district that allows me to purchase these books and devote my summer reading to becoming a better educator.~

Number 8: I was absolutely awestruck to find my Twitter handle on a post written by Kimberly Moran at We Are Teachers. Her post, titled 36 Twitter Accounts Teachers Should Follow, included my account along with many Twitter accounts that I’m proud to say I follow and that blog right here at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life.

~I’m grateful for my PLN and the educators I have “met”. You inspire me to be my best!.~

Number 7: Matt and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on May 25th. Twenty.six.years! It blows my mind! I can’t even believe how quickly time moves. We had a splendid dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Left Bank, and we enjoyed a delightful lunch with my mother-in-law at another favorite restaurant, The First Post.

~I’m grateful for 26 years of marital bliss. Here’s to another 26+ years!~

Number 6: I got a “big girl” camera compliments of my father. I’ve been wanting one for awhile now. My blogging buddy Molly over at Nix the Comfort Zone is partially to blame for this fancy. I love her photography. It inspires me slow down, look around, and capture the simplicity yet breath-taking aspects of nature. I also am just a wee bit anxious to use this “big girl” camera on our upcoming summer vacations. I can’t wait to capture the moments and memories that will unfold over the next few months.

~I’m grateful for gifts, the making of memories, and capturing those memories.~

Number 5: So it is, as I sit and write this post it is another rainy and cold day! While this rain has turned me into a bit of a curmudgeon, I have to admit that it has allowed me the opportunity to sit down to read and write. I am hankering for the warm sultry days of summer, but I’ve enjoyed my reading and writing moments on these rainy days.

~I’m grateful for my many passions that can fulfill my days.~

Number 4: As of this post, there are only one and a half student days left in the 2016-2017 school year. I created a list (Yes, a list! Insert a wink, wink here! ) called Cheers for This Year to help me reflect on all the reading awesomeness that went down during the last 180 +/- days. It brought a smile to my face and allowed me to create some new goals for next year.

~I’m grateful for culminations and commencements.~

Number 3: I stumbled upon a great book that I immediately downloaded onto my Kindle. It’s called Only Love Today. I swear this book is speaking directly to me. I find solace in it each night as I wrap up my day. A shout-out to Michelle @litlearningzone for tweeting about this one.

~I am grateful for books that validate my feelings and bring me comfort.~

Number 2: Matt and I gave our rabbits a “spa” treatment on Saturday. Truthfully, it was more like a wrestling match, but whatever. The boys got haircuts and all three had their nails trimmed. The boys look so cute! They look like baby rabbits. I said they got “puppy” haircuts just because I didn’t know what to call a baby rabbit. I wondered, what do you call a baby rabbit anyway? So, what’s a wonderer to do? Google it, of course! Unbeknownst to me, I learned that a male rabbit is called a buck and a female is called a doe. I think that is kind of weird, don’t you? A baby rabbit, on the other hand, is called a kit. There you have it. My boys look like kits. Um, okay…

~I’m grateful for the sense of curiosity.~

Number 1: I’m glad this post is wrapping up. My word count is way above usual and it’s truthfully more than I wanted to write and probably more than you wanted to read. Regardless, I had fun reflecting and I’m glad you came along for the ride. I heart readers and comments!

~I’m grateful for the Slice of Life writing community.~

~~~~~

sol

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This & That

March was the month of
writing
    publishing,
writing,
    reading,
writing,
    commenting
all on the BLOG!

Then it came to a sudden halt, STOP! And April arrived.

No longer am I wondering what do I write. No longer I am wondering which rough draft do I dust off. No longer am I wondering what post to publish. No longer am I frequenting my favorite blogs or discovering new ones. What to do with my time, what to do! Then I realized I missed a little of this and a little of that!

I missed this One Line a Day journal.

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In theory, I am to add one little line a day in the journal over a period of five years. In March, did this happen? Not so much. My line a day turned into 15 lines on one day to make up for the deficit. ~sigh!

I missed these training journals.

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This cute little Fit Happens journal is where I jot down what I eat and how my regiment of cross training is going. So, how’s that working for me? It’s not. I’ve been eating way more junk than I should and my cross training has drifted away. On a good note, I have been tracking my training runs in this Believe Training Journal, but I haven’t been filling in any of the other areas of the journal. ~sigh!

I missed this catch-all journal, my personal journal.

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During March I only used this journal for planning blog posts for the Slice of Life Story Challenge. It was a dumping zone of randomness that captured my ideas for the blog. I’m ready to resurrect this journal and get back into my daily writing and doodling.

I missed that reading I would do at the end of the day.

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Two books have been somewhat patiently waiting for me. One Amazing Elephant has been quietly slumbering on my night stand while The Sun Is Also a Star was summoned back to the public library. I’m happy to report that the latter is back in my hands.

April is here and I’m finding a new balance. I’m learning, however, this is how we roll in life. A little of this, a little of that, and everything in between.

~~~~~

sol

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Thanks!

The journey

Has been long

And enjoyable.

Nothing feels better than crossing the finish line!

Keep on writing is my hope for you.

See you on Tuesday????

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A sincere thank you to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for hosting the Slice of Life Story Challenge again this year. Your dedication is inspiring.

Thank you to all the slicers who joined the community. I enjoyed reading what you shared day in and day out. Surrounding myself with this community of writers has enriched my writing and my creativity.

Last but not least, it is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank those who visited my blog and took time to share comments. Your comments and kind words were my motivation and kept me writing! Thank you for cheering me on and crossing the finish line with me!

~~~~~

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What’s Good Wednesday

Dear Miss Cutie,

A brilliant shade of orange,

I seek you out in the grocery store.

You are petite, refreshing, and oh-so-sweet.

Sometimes I find you tucked away

in my lunch bag

with a smile on your face,

knowing the happiness you bring.

So easy to peel

for fingers big or small.

Your tiny little wedges

plop right in my mouth.

Your juices whet my whistle.

No mess,

no fuss.

Thanks for being a perfect snack,

and a healthy treat,

a delight to everyone you meet.

Love,

Amy

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Today’s poem is called an epistolary poem. Epistolary means written as friendly letter. Ode to my mentor text The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary for a plethora of ideas!

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Take-away Tuesday

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These two little books by Austin Kleon are a quick read that I enjoyed reading during the Slice of Life Story Challenge. In both books, the writing style is structured and informative while the artwork is fun and whimsical. Kleon is also the author of Newspaper Blackout where I got the inspiration for my post from Sunday.

In Kleon’s book, Steal Like an Artist, all I could think about was the connection to what we teachers and writers use, mentor texts. Basically, Kleon advocates that you get your inspiration and creativity from those around you, but then make it your own.

Here are some of my take-aways from Steal Like an ArtistShow Your Work:

  • Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.
  • An artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artist collect selectively.
  • Carry a notebook and a pen with you wherever you go. Get used to pulling it out and jotting down your thoughts and observations. Copy your favorite passages out of books. Record over heard conversations. Doodle when you’re on the phone.
  • Keep a swipe file. It’s just what it sounds like-a file to keep track of the stuff you’ve swiped from others. See something worth stealing? Put it in the swipe file. Need a little inspiration? Open up the swipe file.
  • Keep two desks. One is an “analog” desk and one is a “digital” desk. The analog desk contains markers, pens, pens, paper, etc. The digital desk houses the computer and other devices.
  • Surround your self with books and objects you love. Tape things to the wall and create your own world.
  • Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another place among people that think differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brain works harder.
  • “The trick is not caring what everybody thinks of you and just caring about what the right people think of you.” ~Brian Michael Bendis
  • You can’t count on success; you can only leave open the possibility for it, and be ready to jump on and take the ride when it comes for you.

So there you go! If you need to add another book to your never ending stack of books to read, you should definitely grab both of these.

Happy Reading!

~~~~~

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Date Day

Two Sundays ago Matt decided to take me on a date. A real date that was just us, not a trip to the gym for a workout or out for a training run for our upcoming race. A real date!

As you can see from the photo, the sky was a brilliant crystal clear blue and the snow was still on the ground from our March Madness blizzard. The air was crisp and cool. It was a perfect day to go to the Dissolve Float Spa, and, well, float!

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So what is floating???? That is what I was wondering when Matt told me about it. Basically you get in a “pod” the is filled with epson salt and warm water and you float. Honestly, it reminds me of a tanning bed only with water and without the harmful lights.

Truthfully I’m not one for a massage. Something about having a stranger rub his or her hands all over your barely dressed body just is not me. But the floating, that’s a different story. It’s therapeutic, it’s warm, and it’s peaceful. It’s also surprising how you just float in the water. My session was for an entire hour and it was just what I needed to break the winter blues. It did take me several minutes to settle into my float, but once I truly relaxed I enjoyed it. I think that the next time I go for a float the experience will be even better since I know what to anticipate.

After our float we headed out for brunch. We went to a new restaurant called The Handsome Cab. Our good friends introduced us to it a few weeks ago and Matt and I really enjoyed it. When he saw they offered a brunch, he made the reservations.

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We started off with a cheese tray and Matt ordered the European Staycation wine flight. I had a refreshing Lady in Red to drink.

Then our meal arrived. Matt had Lox Toast Points. His entree was cured smoked salmon, shredded potato leeks, tomato, and caper cream cheese. My entree was a bit more simplistic. I ordered the Eggs Benedict Oscar. It was two poached eggs on top of a delicious Maryland crab cake. It was amazing!

We had a delightful afternoon and I’m thankful that Matt planned this time just for us. I am looking forward to doing something similar again soon!

~~~~~

 

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This or That

Today I’d like to play a little game. It’s called This or That. I hope you’ll play along too by adding a thought or maybe even by adding a scenario.

The hostess seated us and handed us the menus. After looking over the menu I decide to order an appetizer and a salad. I also told the waitress I would have a Coke. She said that they only had Pepsi products would that be okay? Even though I’m clearly a Coke girl I said, “Sure, I’ll take that,” ~bummer

What’s your preference? This or that: Coke or Pepsi?

Mine says MacBook. His says Dell. They say opposites attract, right? I’ll take this MacBook any day over that Dell PC.

How about you? This or that: Apple or PC?

Yes, it’s true I’m an Apple girl to the core (pun intended). Of course, I have this wonderful phone called an iPhone. Please don’t tell me you have that Samsung Galaxy.

And your choice is? This or that: iPhone or well, not an iPhone?

The release date was February 14th and arrive it did on February 14th. I tore open the box and held it in my hands. The smell of fresh paper. The delicate sound of opening the hard cover. The rough edges of the paper. The brilliant illustrations the came to life. The personalized autograph from the author. A book, a real book. This book will always have more meaning than that Kindle.

What would your fondness be? This or that: a book or a Kindle?

He likes coffee. I don’t, but I’ll take a chocolate cake donut any day! This makes Dunkin Donuts a perfect compromise that Starbucks can’t deliver.

Do you have a favorite? This or that: Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks?

I always go there with a list. Stick to the list, I tell myself, don’t spend too much. The store is clean, it’s organized, and it’s calm. I love it there. Of course this is Target. I try not to go to that Wal-Mart unless it’s necessary.

Your liking? This or that: Target or Wal-Mart?

Last but not least, I’ve blogged on both platforms. I bet you know where I’m going with this one. Yes, I’m a WordPress snob. I think what gives WordPress the edge is the WordPress app. Making comments, replying to others, and adding other WordPress blogs to the reader makes this platform work seamlessly. It’s a feature I believe that Blogger doesn’t have.

Which one do you prefer? This or that: WordPress or Blogger?

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