SOLSC: Next Week, Kitlit Con, and A Blog Break

It’s Tuesday. Time to share a slice with others at Two Writing Teachers.

I feel like this isn’t a so much as a slice but announcement time this week.
I feel like the biggest thing for me this summer is waiting for shoulder surgery. Happy to say that by next Tuesday that will be completed. I go in on Monday. Now that I have a date, I am less anxious. I want to get this behind me. And I of course have been in full nesting mode by trying to get things completed before Monday.

In October the Eighth Annual Kidlit Con is happening in Sacramento, Ca. This is a fabulous event. It’s intimate and cozy with lots of opportunities to network. Plus Mitali Perkins is doing the keynote! And Shannon Hale will be Skyping with the crowd.

Because of surgery, I will be taking a blog break. I don’t know how much I will be able to actually type. So I have decided to be gentle with myself and not worry about blogging again until mid-late August.

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SOLSC 2014: First Trip with Grandgirl

It’s Tuesday. Time to share slices at Two Writing Teachers.


Last week my husband and I embarked on our annul Fourth of July trip to see long time family friends in Idaho. This year we took oldest grandgirl with us. It marks the first trip without her mom. She was a tad bit worried about being away from mom for four days. At nine and a half, the longest she has been two days with other grandma.

She was the best. It was a l-o-n-g eight hour car trip to Idaho. Hagerman, Idaho and the surrounding area is rural cattle, corn, hay, and recently dairy farmland. Quite the change from our daily Portland lives.

On Friday, my friend’s grandson arrived for Friday and Saturday. He’s the same age and it didn’t take long for the two of them to bond. Setting off fireworks, exploring a canal (which grand boy knew they were not supposed to go into) , finding put that flip flops don’t make good exploring shoes, and just general fun.

It made me think about the enormity of responsibility in bringing your grandchild on a trip. I wondered if I was hovering too much or too little. I thought about what an honor it was to be trusted to bring this grandgirl on a road trip ( the first of many I hope). It’s different than having your own kids with you. As I tell oldest grandgirl, “precious cargo.”

Of course, when her flip flop broke and the two were in the canal of yucky water it was difficult for grandgirl to understand what it would mean for me to have to call,her mom if something had happened. Thank goodness she didn’t find the stinging nettles.

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SOLSC14: Thoughts During an MRI


Time for a little slice of life. More are shared at Two Writing Teachers.

Last night, thanks to the advocacy of my doctor and her assistant, I had an MRI of my left shoulder. I have dealt with shoulder pain since Febraurary. I suspect from moving too many books at a time when I was re-arranging library shelves and from possibly doing planks (I was proud of myself but I wonder if my form was correct). In March, I had a round of prednisone and April, I agreed to physical therapy.

But here it is, the beginning of July and there has been no significant change, thus the MRI before the holiday weekend.

Have you been in the tube of the technology that can scan and see your insides? It’s like fitting into a lipstick tube. I am glad that being enclosed in close spaces isn’t an issue for me.

Last night, my shoulder was outfitted with a lovely cup and then my left arm Velcro strapped to my side. My right hand was given a panic button. I selected spa music to listen to while the dull pinging of the magnetic resonance did the mapping.

After being instructed to breathe shallow, we began. In between mapping segments, I was allowed to breathe deep.

This inside of the tube is ice blue. It made me wonder if the blue for it’s calming properties. Then I wondered what if there were scenes that changed during the procedure if that would help people to relax.

I could have fallen asleep in the metal cocoon until the position of the shoulder and arm started to pinch. So I began with saying the alphabet backwards in my head for distraction; the pinching continued. Soon time for some big deep breaths. The pinching wasn’t diminishing but increasing. I started guessing how long four minutes would last as the machine was mapping in four and two minute segments.

You are supposed to be still. I found that I was slightly ever so slightly moving my big toes. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. In the shoulder and now the elbow. I tried peaceful recitations in my head. At one point, I wondered if I’d have to use the panic button. Then I heard, “Great, we are all done.”

I was glad to be released. My shoulder was glad to be released( I was painful the rest of the evening).

Hopefully, I will hear before the holiday weekend in order to figure out our next steps.

Posted in SOLSC2014, Summer | Tagged , | 4 Comments

SOLSC: Dance with Abandon

20140618-202404.jpgTuesday was yesterday and slices are shared at Two Writing Teachers.  Here’s mine a day late.

School doors closed for summer last Friday.  But I am still here.  I am completing an independent project that I procrastinated  for too long to complete by June 20.

“Dance with Abandon” has been my phrase since Friday night when a group of co-workers met for a final school year hurrah. One co-worker plays harmonica in a blues band and Friday night the band was cooking up some great music.  We all danced and my fitbit recorded a whopping 13,000+ steps.  A stranger told me the harmonica was “national label worthy.” We closed the place.

So I have been thinking about dancing with abandon since then.  I need to do more dancing with abandon. It felt good to dance so why not weekly, daily mini-dance parties to get all the tension out.  I certainly left the school year on the dance floor Friday night.

This summer I will dance with abandon every day I can.  I will make my grand girl dance with me when she’s around. I will make my husband dance. Will you cyber dance with abandon with me?  You are invited.


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SOLSC: End of Year



Yes, I’m a day late. Every Tuesday, I share a slice at Two Writing Teachers.
And this pic? Well, it was in February when we had snow days. We are now paying those snow days back.

Yesterday, was supposed to be our last day of school, now On Friday we will bid adieu to our students.
We will also say good-bye to eight staff people. I am happy for them all. They are off to new adventures and challenges in teaching. But it’s difficult.

It’s difficult to say good-bye to your co-worker for our first year of PreK Story.
It’s difficult to say good-bye to the first year teacher who needs to move because she was a long term sub for a teacher on leave(she got a continuing contract at another school though).
It’s difficult to say good-by to a co-worker who’s been there ten years.
It’s difficult to say good-by to another co-worker who’s wicked sense of humor will be missed.
It’s difficult to say good-by to all.

It never fails that the school year ends with that feeling of loss.

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SOLS14: Another Week, Another School Shooting


It’s Tuesday. Time to share our slices at Two Writing Teachers.

Today another school shooting. This time at the high school my GrandGirl’s half-sister attends. So close to home. So scary to think that children and teens are growing up in a world where violence is common place.

It isn’t just about guns, knives, or mental illness. It’s about respect for living things; in this case humans. It’s about accepting the difference in others and finding common ground.

will it
end? Each week
another school
a shooting. How many
more must die? Innocence lost.
What happened to the value of
human lives, of respect, of loving
one another? Children deserve safe places.

What’s your slice?

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SOL2014: Used Book Fair

It’s Tuesday and time to share a slice at Two Writing Teachers.

Today is the first of three days for the used book fair. See that round table in the center? When I began the morning, it was full of activity and coloring books.

Last week, I went to my principal with a bit do a whine. I worried I had made a grave error in judgement about this used book fair. I forged on, sorting probably close to one thousand books into groups.

We priced the books a quarter for paperback and fifty cents for the hardbacks. As I looked at the set up, yesterday I wondered how we would sell them.

Today, however, it’s possible they will all sell. Watching students select books for their younger siblings or older was the best. Plus that sneaky math comes into play as they count out their change.

I wished I could have photoed the first grader who selected twenty books and paid five dollars. His smile was priceless.

A teacher approached me with stories of students buying Disney books because they know how much she loves Walt Disney.

There was the student who purchased an old hardback copy of Many Moons by James Thurber. When I told her that I liked the story she responded with how much she loved the illustrations.

Another student bought a hardback copy of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She’s saving it until September for her mom’s birthday.

But my favorite was the first grade boy who thought the Scholastic book fair was better than the used book fair. I told him that is was a garage sale for books and that the fun is finding hidden treasures. As he looked and found a couple of books, he told me that I was right, there were treasures.

I hope the next two days continue to bring in excited students finding treasures. And of cours, I pulled a box of books to buy for the library.

Posted in Books, SOLSC2014 | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments