Saturday, March 31, 2018

31 of 31: Thank You...


On this final day of slicing, I'm modeling my post after a post one of my students wrote:

First, I'd like to thank my mom and my sisters.
Without you and your nagging and texts and comments and encouragement, I'd have never been able to meet this challenge.


Next, I'd like to thank the Two Writing Teachers for hosting and organizing such a fabulous challenge.


I can't forget my awesome teaching partner who talked me into this challenge for the first time last year and who continued to encourage me to write again this year.


And before my time runs out and they kick me off this stage, I absolutely cannot forget to sincerely thank all my students who wrote alongside me this month. It was an unbelievable pleasure to read your slices and to know that you were right there with me.

Standing ovation

And mic drop! Think dramatic stage exit in a really stellar dress.

Friday, March 30, 2018

30 of 31: Out My Window

Out My Window

I know it's spring 
When the tree out my classroom window 
Begins to sing.

My drive this morning
An ominously large moon hovered in my rearview mirror
Perhaps a silent warning.

Dark skies hid the day's weather
So I piddled and planned and made some copies
Hoping to avoid rain and gloom together.

Finally the sun peeked through
And I took a second to notice that out my window
There was such a glorious view.

White blooms against a backdrop of blue
Green buds giving way to spring's blossom 
What a wonderful, wonderful hue.

In honor of the sun shining for the first time in the last 12 days!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

29 of 31: My Day in 6 Words

My Day in 6 Words

Waking: Hit snooze, rain drumming on roof.

Morning: Starbucks wasn't enough; needed second cup.

Lunch: Didn't eat much, student needed me.

Afternoon: Book club...lifted up by others.

Evening: Order carryout, pizza...again, secret gluttony.

Bedtime: Rain drumming on roof is hypnotizing.

Sleep: Tomorrow's Friday, student slicer breakfast awaits!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

28 of 31: Eat-It-All

My sister's husband has night class on Wednesdays, so I usually try to stop by and hang out with her and my little nephew. Today was no exception. 

My nephew greeted me, "Hi Aunt Biz, play-doh." Strapped into his highchair, he was clad in a plastic long sleeve shirt. I couldn't help but briefly say hello to my sister (isn't that always the way...ignore the adults in favor of the adorable crazy-haired toddler) and head straight over to my nephew, whom I affectionately refer to as Bug. In no time, he had me rolling balls of play-doh so that he could smash them with his tiny hands into pancakes. 

All too soon, his mama began singing the clean-up song. 

I cannot lie. I heartily chimed in at the chorus and did my part to help put the play-doh away and get going. You see my sister texted me earlier in the day asking if I wanted Chick-fil-a for dinner. 

This is not the first Wednesday we've taken Bug to Chick-fil-a. In fact, it might just be our new Wednesday night routine.

My nephew is surprisingly well behaved for a 22 month old. We sat down and he ate all his chicken nuggets and french fries. When his mama told him the french fries were all gone, he quickly proceeded to ask, "See? See?" as if he wasn't quite sure he believed his mama's story. 

Ever the friendly little guy, he said hello to the retired couple who sat down next to us. Before you know it, they had struck up a conversation, and the gentleman told my nephew that he was the train conductor at the zoo and that he hoped to see my little nephew at the zoo soon. Well, likity-split, his mama turned to Bug and asked him what a train conductor says. Without missing a beat, my sweet nephew responded emphatically, "All aboard!" We all cracked up.

Once we finished eating, and since this is not our first rodeo at Chick-fil-a, we traded the book that comes with a kid's meal for an ice cream cone with the cone on the side. Don't worry, he already had a copy of that book (have I mentioned we've been to Chick-fil-a before???). 

The highlight of my day was watching him eat a deconstructed ice-cream cone. It did not take him long to figure out how to spin the cone around in his hand as he took small bites from the top edge of the cone pausing every once in a while for a spoonful of ice-cream that immediately evoked his cherubic and hilarious brain-freeze face. Ice-cream is still a little too cold for him. 

As I sat across from him, I watched in awe as he negotiated his nibbles and suddenly realized the cone had the words, "Eat-It-All" stamped around the top. I'm not making that up. If you look closely, you might be able to make out T- ALL with the top bitten out of the ALL in the picture below. 

Heck yeah he ate it all, and I loved watching every minute of it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

27 of 31: That's What Brothers Are For!

That's what brothers are for!

I had big plans tonight. I was going to go to the gym, grade, and squeeze in a little personal reading time. This was going to be my night.

And then it rained and rained and rained. 

I have a basement that floods and four sweetgum trees in my yard that clog my gutters. If the gutters overflowed, a surge of water would appear underneath the drywall along the floorboards snaking its way to the drain in the unfinished part of my basement. 

So after a years of cleaning out the gutters every single weekend in the spring, I invested in gutter guards that cover the gutters allowing rain in but keeping gumballs and leaves out. They worked like a charm. I haven't cleaned gutters in over four years and couldn't be happier.

Well, I couldn't have been happier until a couple years ago when my driveway settled a bit where it met the garage and water once again found its way in and down. During a particularly hard rain, water would race down the gentle incline of my driveway and create a pool right in front of the garage. As water so often does, it would find its way under the garage door and somehow seep down the wall and into my basement once again.

So after two such leaks, I invested in a contractor who removed a section of my blacktop and replaced it with a grated channel and beautiful concrete so that the water would be funneled away from the house and thus solve all our spring leaks. I couldn't have been happier.

Well, I couldn't have been happier until I realized (too little, too late) that the grate covers would need to be unscrewed and removed in order to clean out the channel from time to time. When neglected for long enough, the leaves and grit accumulate to the point where a heavy rain would produce more water than the channel could handle. Did I mention it rained. All. Day. Today. And so water, inevitably ended up in the garage and back down in the basement, which was what I was greeted with tonight when I got home.

So I called my big brother, and he graciously offered to help me clean out my grate. He even let me borrow his industrial size Wet Dry Vacuum so that I could get as much water out of the area rug as possible before starting the fans. His only response to my request, "Of course. That's what brothers are for." 

Thank goodness for my big brother. And lesson learned: I no longer have to climb a ladder to clean out the gutters; I just have to squat down to do it!

Monday, March 26, 2018

26 of 31: I Almost Forgot

I Almost Forgot...

to slice today. In fact, if it wouldn't have been for my sister, who diligently reads my slices everyday, I would have completely missed today.

Thank goodness for sisters. 

As way of apology for the state of this slice and my forgetfulness, today was our first day back to school after a week off. Let's just say that it was a long day followed by a department meeting that ended at 4:35. I drove home in the rain, spoke to my other sister wishing her a happy birthday (thank goodness I didn't forget that), changed into workout clothes and headed to the gym.

I want to continue the workout routine that I reestablished over break. So I spent a grueling hour on the elliptical machine and treadmill, which almost made up for the number of M&Ms I've consumed from the enormous tub that Morgan purchased from Costco; it's so big, you could darn near bath in M&Ms. I've eaten more than anyone should in one sitting.

At any rate, I then met Morgan for a quick sushi dinner where we ate and discussed our plans for the week. I returned home and watched one Netflix show. I washed my face and was just retiring to bed to start a new book when I noticed the green flash of my phone indicating an unread text message. 

My sister texted wondering where the heck my slice was assuming I must have been writing it as she typed her text. 

Sadly, no, I was on my way to bed when you texted and had yet to slice. I'm too close to the end to miss a day, so that's what you get in this last minute, before-bed-post.

That being said, this slice is dedicated to my baby sister and ever faithful reader. I wouldn't have sliced today without you! 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

25 of 31: Reverse To-Do List for Real

Reverse To-Do List for Real This Time

In honor of the Reverse To-Do List, which is the list of things I've already accomplished for the day, I feel much more prepared today than yesterday.

  1. I made coffee and drank three cups.
  2. I enjoyed watching CBS Sunday Morning.
  3. I drove to my yoga studio and practiced yoga for 75 minutes.
  4. I bought spices from Penzy's Spice Shop and picked up my free "Embrace Hope" pin.
  5. I bought a purse and clutch that will work really nicely through this spring, summer, and fall and got 60% off then an additional 20% off of both. Who am I kidding? I'll probably carry the purse all year round like I have for the last 7 years. 
  6. I drove home and proceeded to switch over purses. I had to decide what to keep in there and what to take out to lighten my load. 
  7. I made myself lunch.
  8. I took out the trash.
  9. I washed the dishes by hand.
  10. I swept the floor.
  11. I mopped the kitchen floor.
  12. I showered and cleaned out the hair trap in the drain without gagging, which is my least favorite chore in the whole wide world.
  13. I completed my slice for the day and it's not even 3:00.
This does make me feel a bit better considering this is my last day of spring break and there are still a few items on my staycation to-do list that didn't get crossed off. 

Sometimes it does help though to sit back and recognize just how much you have done rather than wallowing in what you haven't!