Monday, January 31, 2011

...Looking Back~

I've passed 100 posts...I've noticed some people have a celebration to honor this achievement, but I hardly recognized it. However, while contemplating the how's, why's and what's of the former entries, I read through previous posts. Below is my first writing and I expect you will hold me accountable for my comittment to both my blog and to you as my readers.


ahhh, you found me~

...allow me to briefly introduce myself and my purpose if you don't already know me, which my guess is you probably don't, although you may think you might. I recently attended NCCAT which stands for North Carolina Center for Advancement of Teachers. The seminar was titled, Writing Powerful Stories. Amongst the 20 or so people who had attended we were asked what our goals were for the seminar and why we were there. Well, besides the obvious reason that it was at the beach, my favorite one actually Ocracoke Island with sand, sun and surf, I decided I needed to come out of the closet. No, not the closet you're thinking. You see, I have always considered myself a 'closet' writer. Throughout my life, I wrote poems, lyrics, stories but hardly ever shared or some, I never even wrote down for fear of being 'found out'.

But within the first hours of the seminar after being instructed to write, the following came to my mind and heart...Today I will begin to let my voice be heard…it is my voice, unlike no other, with all its imperfections, and blaring scars, it is mine to behold, so very loud and proud. The shame is absent or at least muffled, the words, though slight and minute will bellow…Today I will begin to let my voice be heard! So therefore, on May 2, 2010 I decided that whatever it was I had to say was important to someone and even if it wasn't, it was meaningful to me and isn't that cause enough?

So today after much thought and debate, this is my spot. A spot where I will be honest and awaken those threads that not many of us voice. The unvoiced feelings of growing older, of the place a family holds in every cell of my being, of experiences and for me, because I am an educator, so of being a teacher. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, a friend and the more we travel in our journey together, I hope to be a beacon.

good bye bis zum nächsten Mal


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hurricane's Life as a Dog...

Hi guys, it's me Hurricane!

Yep, I'm back because I had to share this news with you. I got my manuscript back from the publisher. I need to do some re-writes this weekend and one thing I have to change is the title.

He; whoever 'he' is, informed me there was another book or movie with that title, but what he doesn't know is it won't be as magnificent as mine! But hey, if he says 'change it' I guess I will. 

The title of my book will now be: Hurricane's Life as a Dog. Do you think it makes me sound more mature and sophisticated? You know, I am 2 and 1/3 years old now! Perhaps I have grown up a tad since the last time you heard from me.

Speaking of which, since the last time I shared, you will never believe what the cat drug in...are you ready for this?

...a cat!!!   
Hah, I got you! Yes, a finicky four-legged feline was invaded MY domain! Such disrespect!- and to think of ALL I have done for my family and this, THIS is my reward!

I still haven't gotten over the hurt feelings about this. I fear I may have to go to doggie-therapy of some sort; perhaps a support group?  If you hear of one, please let me know.

Anyway, I got off on a slight tangent there, but back to 'Mr. Vern' who sent me this critique; cri-TIQUE! that's a pretty cool word, isn't it? Ha, sounds like what I need to say to scare the bag of fur when she throws those sharp things of hers in my face; talking about rude!!!

...there I go again getting distracted. Maybe I have DDD-Doggie Distraction Disorder!
well, I'll close this up since I must get busy! But I also did want to mention Mr. Vern's comments about what  a great voice I have and I'm a good story-teller....that made me smile!  He also said I have great language and he loves how I begin my book!

I bet you are wondering how it's going to start, aren't you?

Well, you will just have to wait until my book is published and buy a copy!

Oh, and he also told me I was very photogenic; what does that mean?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


For me?

Making Smiles on Face Award:
Stop by and see Kittie, she is a sweetheart! and what a pretty award! I will display it proudly~

Goodness Gracious! My head will get so big with receiving these awards this past week; I may not fit through the door! What I DO know for certain- it is NOT a symptom of the bloating related to menopause :)

Anyway, the Stylish Blogger Award was presented to me by Tammy at
and also by Erin at
so please go check out their fantastic blogs. Great people that you will enjoy as much as I do!

The first part of the directions is as follows: Thank the individual/s that gave me the award and then proceed to tell 7 things about myself that you wouldn’t normally know through my blog. Oh Geez Louise, this should be fun!

1.) I do not know my left from my right nor can I read a map. So the basic bottom line is do not risk getting into a car with me if I don’t know where I’m going and/or you plan to give me directions.

2.) I attended a school with Kindergarten through 12th grade in one building surrounded by fields.

3.) I do not like to get dirty! I don’t wash dishes without rubber gloves, I don’t touch meat loaf or anything else that is ooey or gooey; the first time my husband saw me make turkey burgers I had plastic baggies on my hands and he STILL married me!

4.) My underclothes have to match what it is I am wearing. I go to great lengths to make sure this happens. So if you ever see me face to face, I know you’ll be wondering what color my underwear happen to be.

5.) I have received only one speeding ticket in my entire life and have managed to charm my way out of perhaps 15 or so times I’ve been stopped!

6.) I have social phobia…I DO NOT like crowds or gatherings which is why I go to the store very early in the morning if I have to and decline all invitations to parties.

7.) I love thunderstorms and the sound of rain.

Now the second part of receiving these awards is to choose 15 blogs that are worthy of this award, but I cannot do that because I don’t follow ANY blog that is NOT worthy of these honors. I am very choosey who I allow in my life so if you are on the uhhh, let’s see, the LEFT, yeah, that’s my left… then consider yourself worthy of these distinguished awards.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Facts of Five.... and Menopause!

If you are a new follower let me give details of Facts of Five. It was a model I used when I taught students with special needs in a self contained classroom. I presented a category such as ‘Five Cartoons’ or ‘Five flavors of Kool-aid’ and the students had to consider an idea that fit the group. It was fun and thought generating yet in the meantime, I was able to get to know what was important to my students.

Okay class, so let’s begin our lesson~ our category today is ‘The Joys of Menopause’ yes, that’s right; joys! So allow me to begin…

1.) I have an opportunity to experience the four seasons in one day! Sometimes, it’s even all in one moment! I put on a sweater, get a hot flash and rip my sweater off and strip down to a t-shirt. I get the chills and put the sweater back on until the next flash strikes. Yep, put on the flip-flops, nope, it’s time for the boots! Jacket on, Jacket off, put it on then take it off…wash, rinse, repeat! You get the picture.

2.) Speaking of hot flashes…I get my daily exercise without really trying. Built in aerobic activity and weight lifting occurs when I’m pulling up my sleeves, pulling up my pant legs, pulling down my socks, taking on the sweater, taking off the sweater, pulling down the pant legs, pulling up my socks, bending to put on the slippers and kicking to take off the slippers, rush to get paper to fan myself, fan myself, open the door to feel the cold air, then close the door to leave it outside, turn up the thermostat, turn down the thermostat…who needs a treadmill?

3.) Night Sweats and sleeplessness…ahhh, now there is justification for a daily shower and changing into a clean pair of jammies frequently! Need I say more? Good reason to stock up on the cozy baggy garments. Besides, who would fault me for waking in the middle of the night to peel the soaked fabric from my wrinkled body? I’ll take advantage and surf the ‘net or catch up on my blogging, but then again, I could always feed my addiction of Face Book!

4.) Seriously, mood swings and irritability~ don’t blame me, blame the hormones for the rage and the sweetness, the irate behavior and about that coffee mug I threw at you? That really wasn’t me, just ‘Meno’ talking; she’s not very nice sometimes.  Ahhh, you look gorgeous today, but stay out of my way!

5.) Last, I have a manufactured excuse for forgetting with the sporadic strike-at-any-time memory loss. Hah, who can blame me if I put the milk in the cabinet and the dirty bowl in the refrigerator, or word recall? What was that word again? Now, what did I come into this room for? I know I was supposed to do something but what was it? I was gonna tell you something but I forgot…what was I telling you? Oh yeah, the joys of menopause!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

to C.A.R.A~

It's me, Angel-Kitty.  The orphange where I use to live sent NeeNee and Dad a note asking about  how I was doing. Since they've been so busy and hadn't gotten around to it I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Dear CARA,

Mom said you all had written to ask how I was doing, but golly gee, my new family has kept me so busy I have not been able to get a moment on the computer to send off a short note. At last, it’s my turn on the box; Hurray!

So, let me tell you about family. There’s my Mom and Dad. Mom or Nee Nee as we all call her; and don’t ask me why, we just do! But she is a writer and so whenever she sits at the computer to write, well, I acquire the best seat in the house; her lap! Yessiree, I curl up in a slight ball and settle in for my best nap. From time to time Hurricane, my brother will put his snout into my face to get my attention but I just tell him, ‘HEY, don’t bother me now, can’t you see I’m getting my beauty rest?’ Well, one smack with the paw and imagine that, he leaves me alone!

Speaking of my doggie brother; I have to inform you that he gets the finest food in the house. Whenever he’s presented with his breakfast or dinner, I slide immediately in front of his bowl and begin licking the savory juice. That is such a treat! Hah, he can’t chase me away because my two legged people declare, ‘Hurricane! Leave her alone!’ so I nonchalantly glance back and gaze just long enough for him to catch the smirk on my face.

I feel such strong affection for my human brother Nicholas. His room is decorated in a tiger theme; are you familiar with the fact that I am part of the cat family? Oh, how I desire to grow up and roar like the Queen of the jungle. I am, you know, the princess, so it won’t be long now! Anyway, I sleep most every night on Nicholas’ bed and it sure is warm and cozy.

Oh my Dad, he’s funny and calls me ‘Kitty Cat’ or ‘Little Cat’ which I really don’t mind because it’s kind of a pet name just between the two of us. When I was at the shelter my formal name was Angelina Jolie, which turned into Angelina or Angel-Kitty, and now, well thanks to Dad, I have all kinds of name. When I want to be left alone, well, I ignore all of those surnames!

But Dad gets up early and works in the feeding room on his lap top or reads the newspaper and this is our time to play. I like to plop right down on his box and watch that little line move across the screen. I just don’t understand why I can’t grab it? I also like to take hold of the pencil or pen he’s using to complete his crossword puzzle and sometimes I even bat it to the floor and swipe it across the hardwood. That’s fun!

Anyway, I just wanted to fill you in on some recent happenings here. Truly, it’s never a dull moment! I’m doing great and adore my family, although my four legged brother can be such a pain at times!

I do miss you all but gosh, there’s nothing like having my own family! I pray all the kitties and doggies there at C.A.R.A get a home of their own real soon.



Saturday, January 22, 2011

In Remembrance...

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

1 Corinthians 11:28

Our local small town newspaper delivers only once a week on Wednesday. It was that day an article appeared about Meg entitled, In Remembrance written by Christine B. Dickson. I read it with melancholy as I held in mind the picture accompanying the writing piece that televised a sweet photo of Meg’s dazzling smile. It was a beautiful heartfelt essay. (read here)

More capturing than the composition was the title of the commentary as it transported me to my Lutheran upbringing. I adore the Lutheran doctrine although I don’t attend church regularly, more so, I don’t attend ‘organized’ worship but feel an immense connection to God and my spirituality. However, the words, ‘In remembrance’ brought to mind communion preparation; but specifically observing the moment we take to examine ourselves before partaking in the bread and wine.

In remembrance…what an encumbered phrase, along with it the daunting task of self-evaluation. Ummm, what are my actions and thoughts that are pleasing to God? Hopefully, my compassion and empathy of others who suffer, or my tendency to give individuals the benefit of the doubt is nice? How about my sense of humor and charm?

Or those procedures that aren’t so gratifying or delightful; I’m certain I have a few or perhaps more. Is it my critical nature or my snap judgment of others and their intentions? Or possibly the part of me that holds grudges and doesn’t forgive so easily? It is probably my intolerance for ignorance!
So let me pose this question; In remembrance…what comes to your mind?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Poetry of Old...

October, 1979

Sometimes I feel like
a piece of paper-
one side written on
then carefully folded
again and again and again
with words safely concealed
on the inside.
But, I'm not so much
like a piece of paper
because I can't be unfolded
as such so that all the
thoughts and feelings inside
are as easily revealed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

...only a memory~

After attending the funeral service for Sweet Meg today I entered a quiet house since my son went to a friend's for the afternoon. Not intending to, I leafed through some old poetry I'd written in 1977 and happened upon a perfect poem to speak of my heart.

A gentle breeze
sweeps through the playground,
swaying the swings
back and forth...
back and forth...
leaving only a memory
of the children
who once played there.

This Sweet Meg is for you,
and all the other children whose life was too short for our liking,
or our understanding...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Save a Swing for Me~

      Pink, fuchsia and silver ribbons adorn our neighborhood…

...our entrance ways

...our mailboxes

...our stop signs

...our fence posts

...our street signs

...our trees in abundance
They signify the life of Meg Wasley, a third grade student at Holly Grove Elementary; my school. When I spoke of her death on Monday to persons not living in this area they were saddened and distressed, and immediately inquired how well I knew her. Does that make a difference in my sorrow? Should it matter? I floated in and out of her classroom so I was captivated by her swift smile. I passed her in the hallway and her eyes sparkled with recognition. I encountered her at car pool where she bid me a good night.

I’ve not been able to write since Tuesday as a result of lingering thoughts in my head and in my heart of sweet Meg. No matter was more noteworthy than the death of an eight year old child; however words eluded me. The passing away of any child brings scores of questions but a petite number of answers. We want to know the ‘why’s’, the ‘how’s’ and the purpose of such a devastating occurrence; conversely it remains one of life’s countless mysteries.

I strolled through the neighborhood taking photographs to capture the images of pale crimson and gray sparkly ribbons accompanied by goose bumps on my arms and tears on my cheeks as I reminisced. Furthermore, I silently acknowledged copious parents including myself who would be whispering extra words that were more gentle and kind and embracing their children more tightly.

I recognize parents like me would be murmuring prayers of thanks to God that it wasn’t their child while in the same breath appealing for comfort for the family of Meg. I pray for solace and consolation of Meg’s family that they be armed with strength to grapple with the monumental devastation at the loss of a child; their child. May they be enveloped in a blanket of memories to soothe their heartache and ease their pain.

Rest in peace Dear Sweet Meg and save a swing for me~
Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How do you Speak?

I subscribe to a daily Bible verse through my school mail ( There are some days as a result of time, or lack thereof I don’t always get to read it, or I gloss over it quickly to appease myself that one more ‘thing’ is checked off my To-Do list.

Hold that thought for a moment and let me put in the picture for you although my husband does all the grocery shopping and most household tasks, I don’t place on him the added responsibility of selecting my make-up or other such toiletry items; I begrudgingly save all my errands to achieve at one time and preferably early in the morning. Though truthfully, my idea of shopping is to get on-line, place an order and have it delivered to my door, however this time I had to step foot in stores UGH; I despise shopping! (Read here).

So on Sunday, I meandered casually through Target focused on placing a strike-through with my sparkly pink pen priding myself in fulfilling accomplishments on the document. I turned the corner with my cart and halted before I rammed into a young teenage girl and her father seeking an item of necessity, chattering and wondering aloud the place it might be located. I swiftly offered a smile and apologized to the pair when a woman approached the duo with the ruthless expressions, ‘I told you two that it was in aisle 5. Can’t you do anything right? You’re just so stupid!’

My heart broke for the victims as she whisked off toward her destination. The words were offensive to MY ears so I couldn’t envision how the sufferers felt. I presumed it hadn’t been the first time they were her intended sufferers.

While I didn’t dwell on the incident, I did reflect on it frequently throughout my day with sadness and melancholy speculating on the long-term effects those thorns had on their being; what cuts, scratches and scars would persist?

So imagine my surprise the subsequent day upon opening the Verse of the Day to find the following words from Ephesians 4:29-

Do not use harmful words in talking. Use only helpful
words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so
that what you say will do good to those who hear you.

I pray I bear in mind this expression with each and every encounter I have moment to moment, and in the meantime, I certainly hope this verse finds its way to her door.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pages of my Life...

“Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility. "

A lot of you share yourself with your lovely photography and I feel like I look into your soul by seeing the world through your eyes. I had a desire to do the same; share a piece of myself with my scrapbooking pages. These are some recent creations of my favorite subjects; my family and friends~

This is the most recent one I finished; our July trip to Emerald Isle....

This is Susan, my best friend from college and of course, Nicholas; they became fast friends!

Antoher glimpse of our golf outing...the blank is for text I haven't gotten around to yet!

My boy, who loves to be outside...this was last year ~

He loves Ohio State being that he was born a Buckeye and often emulates the game. This particular day it was pouring down rain!

Carolina and Ohio State on the same page? Well, both deserve equal time :)

My husband and Nicholas are both runners and they compete in local 5K races~

The love of my life...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This Too Shall Pass...follow up~

I am thrilled to inform you of a revision on one of my previous blog entries I’d written awhile ago when school/work, holidays and life was overwhelming. (read here) To those who haven’t known me long, I take great pride in obtaining and maintaining inner peace. I like to transmit a sense of calm and tranquility throughout my day and am infrequently rattled by the ways of everyday life. It doesn’t insinuate a lack of caring, quite the opposite, although deep breathing and the ‘Serenity Prayer’ are my frequent companions.

However, prior to the holidays it felt as if life was out of control with a multitude of demands and expectations placed upon me by my perfectionist self and others. I felt as if I was suffocating beneath the weight of the boulders labeled ‘stress.’ Therefore, to endure until holiday break, I relied on a previous tried and true mantra; THIS TOO SHALL PASS~

Fast forward to this week; it’s been a typical transition back to school; the kids were excited to tell of their Christmas tales and gifts and share their snow stories while actually settling into their class routine. I possessed great energy at the beginning of the week but by Friday I was welcoming the upcoming weekend; a break from endless meetings, paperwork and a shortened ‘to do’ list.

I had an early morning conference with many participants and of course, Murphy’s Law rapped on the door with technology and the computer program involved which turned an hour meeting into two hours. I was late with my kids, blah, blah, blah….I needed to take deep breaths and regain my composure.

So, at lunch I walked to my mailbox and inside was a gift bag. My first thought was Christmas is over and it wasn’t my birthday. I opened the bag when I returned to my room and needless to say was surprised and touched by what lay inside. There was a beautiful handmade card and tucked inside the tissue paper was a box that contained a Precious Moments guy; MY little guy that conveys the message THIS TOO SHALL PASS~

Tears sprang to my eyes and I sat in amazement clutching my figurine that my dear friend Di made the effort to find and present to me; such a treasured gift. Along with the statue she granted me permission to keep Him if needed or to pass him along to others that needed His guidance and strength.

I’ve been blessed; thanks Di~

Sometimes you put up walls
not to keep people out
but to see who cares enough
to break them down.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The children...

Hurricane as an only child; didn't he look happy?
"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats."
-- English Proverb

Given the antics performed by both Hurricane and Angel-Kitty since we brought our new little one home on Dec. 23, this is proving to be truer than we could imagine.

First off, Hurricane was not exactly thrilled we brought a cat into his territory and let us know by chewing the foliage on the plants and leaving them in strategic locations of the house; namely in the entry ways and stair landings. So, no matter where you walk throughout our humble abode, AH, gosh, wonder who munched on this leaf?

What's more, he spies the cat and fires up to begin the chase; up one set of steps, down another stair, around the island throughout the dining room and what was once a puzzle on our feasting board, well let’s just say it’s not only on the counter, but on the hardwoods, in the heating grates and God knows where all the pieces are. I presume it’s no longer a 1,000 piece puzzle!

Heavens to Betsy, then when I sit at the computer to write, they both make an effort to claim space on my lap; yes, imagine a 75 pound golden retriever attempting to climb up on one’s lap…well Hurricane does undertake the task! All the while Angel-Kitty is positioned on the desktop looking down on him having a hissy fit pawing at his nose. Lovely, certainly writing will be accomplished while this bedlam is occurring.

The best of all, dinner time! I don’t know where she acquired her courage but she parks herself at the side of Hurricane’s bowl and proceeds to muscle her way to his meal. And yes, we even have pictures to prove it! Imagine that; a two pound kitty influencing Hurricane to move aside and allowing her to help herself to the juices on his food. Then she saunters off with her tail high in the air and gets underway to devour her own chow.

This pandemonium takes place in the midst of our presence. Can you imagine what happens during the times we are at work and school? Geez Louise, get me that surveillance camera!

No, never mind; ignorance is bliss!

Monday, January 3, 2011

For your listening pleasure...

Yesterday while trying to avoid preparing obligatory lesson plans to begin the new year I began purging old documents and came across this video I'd saved by Declan Galbraith.  This particular song is extremely powerful as sung by a young lad and I wanted to share it with you. If you click on the link there are more songs and it's hearing an angel.

So for your listening pleasure this day as you head back to work or begin your day; may you be blessed...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

new beginnings....

Photo from

While my first thought is to say ‘Happy New Year!’ the rational true part says, ‘Have a year that is full of whatever you desire it to be!’

Any day we rise and greet the moment could be the first day of a New Year; the beginning of 365 consecutive days and counting rather than the result of the page turning on the calendar and adding a one to the designated year.

Those are my thoughts but in having a discussion with my husband he brought a varying idea to the table, which I had to consider and actually agree. He indicated that people need to grasp onto the idea that beginning a new year such as 2010 to 2011 also brings with it renewed hopes, dreams and optimism especially for those who are suffering, down-trodden and/or lost. They need to hold on to something tangible that brings with it transformed faith or altered assurance that the next year will be an improved spirit and more gentle on the soul.

So if this is your outlook for a new beginning, bless you and may you achieve all you hope for and desire.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~   Carl Bard