Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blessings of the Day

  • Recliners - I finally get to put my feet up after a busy day at school.
  • Whiteout - for fixing my gradebook (I accidentally left a student off my gradebook for the 3rd marking period.) All fixed now, and my OCD doesn't take over because it is now alphabetical.
  • Finally feeling well - no more sneezing and itchy, watery eyes
  • Netflix - Able to watch Brothers & Sisters and Curb Your Enthusiasm when there is nothing on TV. Note: There is a cool show on MOnsterQuest tonight. Some man/beast (werewolf) siting in Wisconsin and Michigan. Matt is all excited.
  • Watching the looks on students' faces when they finally understand idioms
  • Reading a good book
  • Silence

Monday, January 28, 2008


Battlefield at five
bumper to bumper - high stress
bridge opening now
chirping bird in morn'
awakes me from my slumber
good morning, robin
colors of the sea
blue sky above, waves roll in
sand between my toes

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Good Things

Father's homily today focused on original sin and our choice to go and do good things. Our world is bogged down in quite the opposite. Turn on the news tonight. What will you see? Death, war, starvation, women murdering the children, men murdering pregnant women, fires, politicians telling lies, and the list goes on. Whenever the newspaper highlights a positive story, I am sucked in, uplifted, and given a sense of renewal to try and do good. I wonder how our world would change if we didn't give front page to "bad" news. Why not focus on the good things in our nation?

Starting tomorrow I will be striving to focus on the good things. In order to make it until the middle of January, I cannot be hung up on all the negative things my kids do at school. I will not give up on them, but I need to focus on the good things. I need to refocus on the positives of the day. I need to find a positive.

My new motto: Lord, make me a blessing for someone today.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Written Photograph

On the floor next to the fireplace sits a peace lily plant in a red pot. Matt and I bought it after we decided to add some REAL plant life in our home. At the nursery, we learned that the peace lily also naturally cleans the air. We were sold! The bottom leaves are mottled brown and drooping due to the times I've forgotten to water it or forgot to open the window to let in light. New blooms are starting to sprout in the middle; it looks like I haven't forgotten the key ingredients to successful plant life in a while.

The electric heater oscillates on high near my feet. Our house has a terrible heat layout. Upstairs is dreadfully warm and downstairs feels more like an icebox. With the current temperature nearing 30 degrees, I am cozy under ther bear blanket (sometimes I call it the honey blanket just because Matt calls it the bear blanket).

The mantel is empty excpet for a mirror, one candle, and two hurricane lamps (We received these from Mr. and Mrs. Lewis for a wedding gift.). We took down all the Christmas decorations in the beginning of January, and I still have yet to dig out of the closet the rest of the decorations that are normally on display.

In a wicker basket near my recliner, I have a pad of paper for writing; however, lately, I've just been using the blog. I also have three books: Pen on Fire, The Dream Manager, and The Rhythm of Life. With the Writer's Guild on Strike, Matt has also been reading more. On the coffeetable near the coach where he lounges sits the book he is currently reading Total Access: Inside the NFL Network by Rich Eisen.

My Scholastic bag sits on the floor near the dining room table full of the papers I've put off grading. I brought them home with the hopes of tackling some of them because grades are due on Monday at 3:00 p.m. However, as soon as I finish writing, I am going to bed because I have a pounding headache. Tonight was not a productive grading night.

NOTE: The above writing prompt was from Pen on Fire. When you look at a photograph, you will only see the objects, but not the sounds or stories behind them. If I looked at picture of my living room, I'd just see a dying plant, instead of one recovering. I'd see an empty mantel, scattered books, and multiple blankets and the heater. The written photograph tells the story a picture just can't tell.

Dreams Update

I realized today after viewing Ben's Blog titled Yooper Pilgrims that I have really no clue regarding anything related to computers/webpage design etc. I'm lucky enough to figure out how to use this blog with the features. I know there are more features out there because everyone's blog doesn't look like mine, so another dream I am adding to list is to learn something about web-design.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Daily Gratitude

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Watercolor painting - My seventh graders are still little kids at heart. With paint brushes in hand, they painted haigas and haikus with no behavior issues to speak of. I think this is the first.
2. Sunshine - Driving to work with the rising sun sure beats the months of grey skies in Michigan. Plus, it got rid of all the ice from yesterday.
3. My Husband - I love and appreciate how much he helps me become the best-version-of-myself. I find more things to love about him each day.
4. Time - Time to grade two classes of projects. Time to sit and work out the daily crossword puzzle, even if I didn't finish it. Time to write. Time to pray.
5. Being a Pack-Rat - I mean it. Sometimes, it is overwhelming, but other times, like today, I was able to find my haiku from fifth grade to show my students. Also, I found a copy of The Old Man and the Sea from high school. Welcome to my closets.
6. No Procrastinating Tonight - Projects to grade - DONE!!!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Open Communication

When in doubt, ask. Today, instead of assuming why my students disregarded a part of their grade, I decided to turn it into a writing assignment. I asked them. Granted, most of their responses turned out to be exactly what I was expecting, but now I'm using their own words during our discussions. I was so impressed with their openness and at times their high level thinking.

Monday, January 21, 2008

What's Your Dream?

I think it is time we start asking ourselves this question. Are we okay with the world as it stands? Are we okay with our country as it stands? Are we okay with our relationships? Are we okay with our jobs? Are we okay with how we are living our lifes? As our country reflects on the dreams Martin Luther King Jr. held for racial equality, poverty, and war, I think the time is now for us to form our own dreams for ourselves and our nation. What are your dreams? What are you going to do to accomplish those dreams? Step One: Identify the dreams you want to accomplish. Step Two: Create a plan. Step Three: Work towards your goal. Even when you encounter an obstacle keep moving forward. If you are ready to find your dreams, your first step is to read the book The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly.

My Dreams (as of 1/21/08)
1. To become a mother
2. Resume walking daily and pilates
3. Get published
4. Get Organized
5. Turn the loft into an area for my books/crafts/writing zone
6. Receive my Master's Degree
7. Forgive Denyl
8. Research family trees
9. Buy a house (with a porch)
10. Travel to Nag's Head
11. Travel to England
12. Travel to Ireland
13. Travel to Italy
14. Travel to Alaska
15. Travel to Cape Cod / B&B on the ocean
16. Travel to Boston
17. Learn to speak French
18. Travel to Montreal
19. Record family stories down in written form
20. Return to Sedona
21. Write a gluten-free cookbook
22. Read Imitation of Christ
23. Read The Bible cover to cover
24. Write daily
25. Put aside an hour a day for prayer
26. Have a Green Home
27. Go birdwatching at Back Bay Refuge at Sandbridge
28. Travel to Vancouver
29. Go Whale Watching
30. Finish the Welcome Sign (craft using wedding bowl Matt broke)

To Be Continued

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Well, the weather report miscalculated the amount of snow we were to receive. I awoke to a dusting on the grass and ice covering the cars. However, that was enough for the locals to stay in their homes. They even bypassed going to the morning Mass. I spent the day doing things I enjoy and others that I've neglected to do. After Mass, I drank my cup of coffee and read the newspaper. I baked chocolate cupcakes (gluten-free, of course) and blueberry-banana bread. I also did a deep clean of our home. Mostly, I've put off dusting stair rails and the loft until today. I relaxed in front of a fire reading my book, and watched football playoffs. I am totally relaxed, renewed, and refreshed ready for a new day. I'll leave with a quote from the homily at Mass today. "Are you doing God's will?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Winter Driving Tips

Morning News Weather Alert: Winter Storm Approaching - Winter Driving Tips
1. Clean off your car.
2. Drive slowly - especially when changing lanes.
3. I can't remember, but we had a good laugh over this one.

It is currently snowing in Virginia. I keep looking out the windows hoping to see more of it accumulate on the cars and grass. Nothing can beat the first real snowfall in Michigan when the trees are covered in snow. I remember driving down US-2 after a snowfall and being mesmorized by the flickers of light refecting off the tree limbs. Each tree was wrapped in a garland of diamonds. It was beautiful. I hope to see something that profound tomorrow morning.