Monday, December 31, 2012

A letter to 2012~



Dear 2012,


As characteristic, you began that dark evening at the stroke of midnight with such hope and promise as all new beginnings do; we clung to it as that of a child with a security blanket.

I imagine we were all attempting to prevail over the tragedies of 2011; the Penn State scandal, the assassination attempt on Gabby Giffords that ultimately killed 6 and wounded a dozen others and the deadliest tornadoes in the southern United States that killed hundreds. We were repeatedly disillusioned with our government with rising gas prices and our involvement in foreign issues that took billions of U.S. monies from the citizens in our own backyard to name a few.

But alas, the year was closing and the eagerness to embark upon you, 2012 came with exuberance and excitement. Fair or not, we placed on your commencement immense anticipation of transporting responses to our prayers and cheerful progressions to our dreams.

With the passing of 365 days however, I am NOT filled with hope as I desired, but rather disappointment and despair in our world. Those feelings also were encompassed by family and friends. Many have buried loved ones and struggle daily with loss and depression. Jobs have been lost but not a hint to replace- unemployment checks vanished as our government would rather engage in recreation than resolve problems.

Our paychecks are smaller as a result of exorbitant tax rates and expanding insurance costs (although most can’t afford to even undergo medical procedures without amassing major debt) yet the cost of goods continue to mount. Our world’s anger is evident as growing violence and mass killings occur that bewilder and perplex.

So 2012, your time has come to an end and our faith and optimism is now placed upon 2013. Like my loved ones, obscured deep within is the undying optimist that my world-OUR world will ring in the New Year and suddenly the obstacles will be addressed and diminished.

However, I have misplaced that childish belief that a fresh number will carry with it new-fangled ideals, but I do take comfort in these words: Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it has all come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself; how did I ever get through all of that?

God willing…

In closing, I bid you farewell 2012 and welcome 2013~



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Did you see her?




Did you see her?

Yeah, the special needs teacher who previously composed this blog on a regular basis. Most likely, her followers think she’s vanished off the face of the Earth which wouldn’t be far from the truth. 

SHE actually thought she dropped into the abyss as well, but closer to the truth; she has been cleaning, purging junk, organizing and transforming her classroom for the preparation of the precious children under her tutelage.

Existence flanked by the clear out and entrance of students was undetected and the days just rolled into one another. However, with great anticipation that first day the kids appeared where she silently questioned ‘Where in Heaven’s name did the good Lord steer the passage of her ship?’

I am familiar with the situation because that ‘her’ is me….

Fast forward to today-seven weeks later where she, or rather I, can now declare with certainty I am in love! The Cross Categorical Kindergarten I now teach is a perfect landing spot.

One of my little guys is C- who has autism and can be described as intelligent, self-serving and determined as well as warm, loving and sensitive. These qualities were never more evident on Wednesday of last week. It was dismissal so of course it was raining. As his number was called we vacated the safe domain of the building into the soft showers. At this point, he looked at me and said, 'you don't have an umbrella' to which I affirm his observations.

He reaches to his head to remove his hat and asks me to bend down as he places his hat on my head. Warmth envelops me as this petite four year old proceeds to wrap his head with his slight arm to remain dry. My heart melted and I realized every part of my being is captured.

Is it easy? By all means that is an emphatic NO! I don’t recall a point in time where I worked so intensely from the start of the school day to the final bell.  Nevertheless, the rewards have been abundant. 
 
"The journey is the reward."
Chinese Proverb

Monday, July 2, 2012

Who said you can't get anything for free!

Life through the Eyes of a Hurricane: Doggie-Dog!


The 12-Step Program

 Okay, I’m a lost and broken dog. I have a terrible confession: I have a sock fetish, which according to the dictionary means an obsessive or unhealthy preoccupation or attachment with an object.

 But there, I said it . . . and often heard that the first step in overcoming an addiction is to admit I have a problem. It is a terrible problem. I can’t get enough socks, which is even more of a problem because they aren’t my socks!

 Well, they eventually become my socks because I chew and tear so many holes in them that no one can wear the foot coverings by time I’m done with them, but that’s beside the point.

 You see, they are my family’s socks. I can’t help it and I am so ashamed of myself. Whenever I see a sock in the laundry basket I have to go grab it, stretch it until I hear that priceless sound:  ripping. AAHHHH, a sound of satisfaction! Tear it, shred it, and grate it; that is when they are at their best!

 Even though Big D has tucked them deep into the toe of the shoe, I like to get into Big Daddy’s running shoes. I stick my nose into the cavernous shoe until I can reach just a teensy-weensy thread and pull it out. Yeah, I know, the smell is pretty unpleasant and you’d think that would deter me, but I guess that indicates how desperate my dilemma is.

 I’ve even been known to chase Little Daddy around the house when he’s taking his shoes off so I can grab a sliver of the cloth and help in pulling it off his foot. If I do that, then at least the taste is in my mouth and there’s a better chance I get to keep it since I put the entire sock in my jawbone and slobber all over it. They don’t like to touch it when it is coated with dribble.

 Then, I dash into my favorite upstairs hiding place: under the bed. I know, I know, I’m a big dog but I can still fit under the bed and no one comes in after me. The beauty of that is they know I have the upper hand, so they go to the cabinet in the bathroom to get a biscuit to entice me to come out. When I hear that box, I immediately go to my bed, the heck with the sock!―a quest for a later time and date. Besides, I have the best of both worlds: a biscuit AND the sock!

 Yes, it is true. I go to great lengths to feed my addiction. I follow Nee Nee up the stairs biting at her heals until she gives them up, or until I trip her. Sorry, Nee Nee! Or, I stand on my hind legs at the washer and dryer searching for strays, and park myself politely at the dryer while clothes are being folded to quickly grab one that may fall on the floor. I’m getting pretty good at Snatch-and-Go’s.
Now, if you want to know how the story finishes, go to Amazon.com to download the book Life through the Eyes of a Hurricane: Doggie-Dog! This e-book will be free for this week ONLY! (SAle ends Saturday, July 7.
So tell your friends, tell your neighbors and tell your relatives that there is something free in life.
Fellow bloggers; post the information on your blog if you want to help me promote my book~




Saturday, June 23, 2012

‘GUILTY!!…’ the jury revealed...


I refuse to display his photo as it would ‘dirty’ my blog. However, by now, I’m certain you’ve caught a glimpse of evil…the sinful face of Jerry Sandusky, although as the verdict was read he didn’t appear so haughty, did he?

Jerry—also the name of my stepfather who sexually abused me. So if you can envision the memories evoked within as the Penn State Scandal went viral in November and the case of Sandusky was brought to light.  Unknowingly with each news clip or mention of the name my heart dove into the recollection abyss.

Memories of late night fondling’s came flooding back as well as the precise moment as a teenager upon hearing the definition of a virgin and knowing in my heart of hearts that I wasn’t. Rarely was I able to leave for college without enduring a longing kiss that should only be meant for intimate partners.

The victims of Sandusky are courageous souls whose lives have been distorted and forever detoured by the sadistic and self-absorbed deeds of a once-trusted individual. I for one admire and significantly appreciate the strength each possessed to express their truths in a public forum, particularly with accusations of ulterior motives of financial gain.

In life each experience shapes us. Those of us who have endured sexual abuse know facets of our lives reflect those actions against our innocence; a lack of trust of others, depression, eating disorders and a general dis-connect to the world.

But on this day with a verdict of G-U-I-L-T-Y, justice is being served on a golden platter, and with this, may ALL the “Jerry’s” of the world rot in hell.

“Even if things don't unfold the way you expected, don't be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.”
By Daisaku Ikeda

Monday, June 11, 2012

the outsider....




Continuously the recluse

She stands alone enveloped in thought-

In the midst of a crowded room

 She peers at the swarming clusters

and desiries to be pursued, noticed.

Her protective shield composed,

Her feelings submerged within the abyss,

professing it doesn’t matter

that she exists solitary and forlorn

forever as the outsider~



“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Thoughts of You...


As my days become busy with the numerous activities of closing one school year and preparing for the opening of another, know that even though moments are filled I continue to think of you! I cast upon you the words of this Irish Blessing.

“May your days be many and your troubles be few.

May all God’s blessings descend upon you.

May peace be within you,

May your heart be strong.

May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.”


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poetry Tuesday...

Dressed in silken attire,
Skirts floating and swaying in the breeze,
Their jeweled petals flirting and toying
As they appeal to passersby.
Their fragrance demands my presence
And their beauty radiates an aura-
Delicately charming all of nature:
Flowers…


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day~


He performs a deep cleansing breath prior to extraditing the military plane. His body and soul consumed with the horrid and callous images of war. At long last, in an upright position he props himself on the cane at the peak of the stairs determined to descend autonomously. He vacantly gawks out at the nameless faces displaying patriotic signs that welcome home those remaining in his troop.

Absentmindedly, he reaches down to touch the leg that is no longer there. Medical personnel who led his nine month rehab had termed them phantom pains although the indignant remembering’s were anything but ghostly. Recollections of that gloomy day driving the Humvee invaded his thoughts. He and the six men accompanying him had been conducting monotonous combat operations; the ever present jokes of the enemy attempting to lighten the atmosphere.

The abrupt strike by indirect enemy fire explodes in his mind recurrently as demons of regret attack and take up residence. The final acceptable image is that of his best friend in war with a far-reaching smile though his eyes unoccupied with the effects of warfare. Those cinemas are hastily swapped by the blood spattering rain as loss of life and limb exist permanently in the interior.

He’d been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for rescuing one of his men from the burning vehicle but what hero leaves most of his men scattered across the adversary terrain of Iraq?

As he moves his remaining leg to inaugurate his descent of the flight of stairs, he apprehends that over time, his awareness of the opponents has changed; the enemy is no longer the Iraqi soldiers but the enemy is within.

As you and your loved one partake in all the activities of this Memorial Day weekend, remember to pause and give thanks to all those who gave their lives and fought for our freedom.

"Freedom isn't free"
by Anonymous

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finding my Heart's Desire...


 
It appears every year around this time, my thoughts drift toward endings. May seems naturally jam-packed with conclusions as we as teachers bid good-bye to students within our care.

This year is no different as congratulations are offered to my students graduating from elementary school and boarding upon the voyage into middle school as their bags are overflowing with worries and trepidations.

As most of you already know, I too will be launching a journey of my own back into the self-contained world where my heart’s desire resides with each and every one of those Kindergarten students with special needs. My luggage is packed as well although not with fears but great anticipation and happiness as I head for home-the precise dwelling where I belong.


“Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long as there’s a dream, there is hope. And as long as there is hope, there is joy in living.”

Anonymous

Friday, May 18, 2012

Facts of Five...


...and Weekly Re-cap~

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.

So our category for today five events to recap my week…

talking with Kindergarten and First grade....
1.)      On Monday, I had the delightful opportunity to spend the day at Chesterbrook Academy as a visiting author. The children and staff were warm and receptive as I read stories from my book- Life through the Eyes of a Hurricane” Doggie-Dog!, talked with groups of children on the writing process and shared my publishing experience. Thank you Carol Risucci for the invitation for an occasion to share and make new friends.
The Kindergarten children were inspired to write their own books which were Awesome!

2.)      My book became an E-reader on Amazon.com. Gosh, seriously, this entire experience has been tremendous. Thank you all for sharing in this! 

3.)      Nicholas participated in his final band concert as a 7th grader…Where does time go? I recall the first day he came home to practice the clarinet and with that first squeak, well, the second and third too, I wondered if he’d ever master the instrument. Well, much to my amazement and enjoyment, I relish hearing him make sweet music.
Nicholas, music teacher: Ms. Gorham, and Emily, a friend of Nicholas'

4.)      It’s official! I received my letter of transfer to my new school, Holly Springs Elementary School. This confirms my new position as a Cross-Categorical Kindergarten teacher; God is good!

5.)      Although the first week of track out has been tremendously rainy, the wet weather has prompted us to hibernate indoors with good books, writing, planning, family activities and much needed quiet times together. Life is good!
Angel-Kitty helping me scrapbook~



“Time enjoyed wasting is not wasted time!”

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Never say Never....



Technology is amazing! Although truth be told, I’m not yet certain how I feel about it, nonetheless, innovative gadgets are here to stay I presume.

I remember being exasperated with my mom for her inability to work her VHS player or the remote control that accompanied her new-fangled television. I recall the thought that reverberated in my head; how can she not stay up with the times? Why is that so difficult?

Fast forward to today where I sheepishly admit to being my mother’s daughter. I request the services of my thirteen year old to salvage the frequent damage I do to the T.V.’s as a result of my, well let’s say, lack of inherent skills in the know-how of operating a remote control. I DO know how to turn the box on and off with the POWER button; that’s good, right?

I can hear you now, why are you telling us this? Well, because I’m partaking in a movement where I will, let’s say, ‘eat my words.’ I declared I wouldn’t put my published book on an e-reader since I acclaim a personal thrill out of holding a manuscript in my hand and flipping through the pages.

AGHAST! I must tell you that on Wed, May 16 my book, Life through the Eyes of a Hurricane: Doggie-Dog! will be released on Amazon Kindle for the price of $9.99. So spread the news and enjoy the endearing and energetic Hurricane on your Kindle.

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be here consuming these parched phrases- and in the meantime a final word of warning, NEVER say NEVER!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

My sister and Mom trying to console me....

Dear Mom,

 Another Mother’s Day is upon us, although I don’t need a designated Hallmark day to extend what’s in my heart for you.

 We’ve had our ebbs and flows as life habitually does; moments we’ve been inseparable and times I’ve imposed distance between us as I’ve struggled to discover my wings and stand on my own two feet. At these times of aloofness, you cast a net beneath me with mounted undetectable tethers to hold me up.

 As your daughter, I’ve fragmented your heart a time or two when you’ve permitted me occasions to discover where I begin and you end. During phases of my life, I’ve separated myself as I’ve struggled with adversity and events of existence within this world but ultimately, you were at the end of the journey with outstretched arms.

 We share many commonalities cementing the bond between us: our love of ice cream, sports, board games, compassion for animals and enjoyment of reading. We have mutual deep empathy for others as well as attitudes toward life, including our strong relationship with God whom we allow to guide and direct our lives.

 Mom, you probably already know my intense love for you since I don’t need an occasion to express this to you. But if ever you doubt, I’m glad to nudge with a reminder-

Happy Mother's Day and I love you!


“The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.”

By Erich Fromm

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Sunshine Award...


Thanks to my friend Tina at Bringing Along OCD for nominating me for The Sunshine Award. I am both honored and grateful and accept this with gratitude. Thanks Tina! I invite you to go visit her very honest blog in living life with OCD.

Here are the rules for this blog award if you are nominated:

·    Include the award logo in a post or on your blog (see the flower photo above)
·   Answer 10 questions about yourself.
·    Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.
·    Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know that they have been nominated.
·  Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

So here are 10 things about me:

What are your favorite things to do? I enjoy writing, reading, scrapbooking and photography

Where would you most like to travel? I’m not a traveler, but if/when I do, it’s to the beach.

Who would you most like to meet who is still living? Tennessee Vols Coach, Pat Summitt

Who would you most like to meet who has passed away? Anne Frank

What do you think is the hardest thing to do? Watching loved ones suffer be it emotionally, physically or mentally and not be able to do a darn thing!

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Diet Dr. Pepper (cold) or Island Coconut coffee (hot)

What is your favorite charity? Organizations that support Domestic Violence and Child Welfare

What are you proud of? I’m most proud of to be a good wife, mother and person in spite of the experiences I’ve endured.

What ambition do you still have? I want to live at the beach and continue to publish books as well as open my own scrapbooking store.

What is your favorite flower? Purple Irises, Pale Pink Roses

Now I'm suppose to nominate fellow bloggers that are worthy of this award, but truth be told, ALL my fellow bloggers are competent therefore I nominate each and every one of you to accept this award and answer the questions so I can learn about each of you as you've learned about me! 

"Friends are God’s way of taking care of us."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Three Things I Think I Think...Reflections on the A to Z Challenge~


This is the designated day to offer feedback and reflections on the A to Z Challenge so I thought I’d do it in the format of ‘Three Things I Think I Think…’
So here I go…

1.)   I think the A to Z Challenge sponsored by these amazing people is one of my favorite events; this is the second year in which I participated. It allowed me the freedom to consider and implement my own theme within parameters of the proceedings. With that being said, I enjoyed the flexibility as well as the challenge to be creative as I desired to be on any given day!

2.)  I think it is a wonderful thing that so many bloggers participated in this event; WOW! Almost 2,000! Can you imagine? The premise and goal was to visit as many bloggers as possible. Let’s see 1,900 divided by 30 days is approximately 63.3 blogs per day. At the beginning, I thought, I can do that; no problem. But as the days wore on and time constraints interfered, well, I lost steam. So, this brings me to my next point…

3.)  I think it’s impossible to try and visit each blog although as I said, I tried. One of the things I discovered is that I have my interests and genre of blogs I enjoy visiting and definite ones I have no interest in pursuing, therefore, I think one of the suggestions I have for next year is when individuals sign up, you do so by putting yourself into categories that describes your blog. These may be fantasy, cooking, paranormal, writing hints, book reviews, photography, or all about life. You could sign up under one or more groups. This will permit two things- it allows all bloggers to venture into the categories we have an interest and two, it saves times because there are certain directions/blogs I will not even waste my time with reading. 

 In closing, it was wonderful and I made new friends and found new ‘homes’ so I cast out a huge thank you to the promoters of this event! And if you didn’t participate this year, perhaps it’s a challenge you might be willing to embark upon and I’d encourage you to do so!
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
By Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, May 3, 2012

National Prayer Day~


Every now and then when I pause to pray I begin rambling and my thoughts spew out completely jumbled and muddled. I’m certain this is not significant to God nor a hindrance to my prayers being answered, yet I end up wondering if I mentioned all that I sought to specify in my devotions.
Therefore, in honor of National Prayer Day I’d like to share with you something I was given years ago by my friend Susan (Thanks ShamWow!). I thought it might be helpful for you as well.


1.) Our thumb is nearest us. So let us begin our prayers by praying for those closest to us. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."

2.) The index finger is our pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, caregivers, and ministers. They need our support, and they need wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in our prayers.

3.) The middle finger is the tallest finger. It can remind us of our leaders. Pray for our president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance.

4.) The next finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It can remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble, or in pain. They need our prayers day and night. We cannot pray too much for them.

5.) And lastly, our pinkie, our little finger - the smallest finger of all, which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Our pinkie can remind us to pray for ourselves. By the time we have prayed for the other four groups, our own needs can be put into proper perspective, and we will be able to pray for ourselves more effectively.



"Pray, and let God worry."
by Martin Luther


Monday, April 30, 2012

"Z" is for Zero, Zilch....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge~


Sporadically, modern life throws us into a bottomless murky abyss through ceaseless demands and obligations, loss of a loved one or a job, faced with a life threatening illness, financial forfeiture and constraints with hundreds more of equally demoralizing stressors.
….nada, the well is empty and you have reached the end of your rope.
Of course, we don’t all become destitute or consider suicide as a way out; although I’m certain if you are like me at the time it feels as if this is how you may end up since your world is caving in on you. Hopefully you are assured in your heart of hearts that this period of nothingness will not continue forever.
During these times, we all are walking wounded be it financially, emotionally, physically or spiritually.  But when we have nothing left where do we turn? Many turn to prayer or reach out to a friend or loved one to fill their reserves.
What are your options when there’s zero, zilch left in your tank?
“Nothing lasts forever, I think that’s the easiest lesson we all learn in the hardest way.”
By Elaine Kirby



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flowers for Leontien....

Flowers for Leontien


A fellow blogger, Leontien is battling cancer so Nancy has organized an event that was to take place yesterday for bloggers to post Flowers for Leontien on their blog.


With the A to Z Challenge happening, my flowers for Leontien was delayed to take place today with no less significance.



Leontien, I pray for strength and healing....



May God heal your body and soul.
May your pain cease,
May your strength increase,
May your fears be released,
May blessings, love, and joy surround you.
Amen.



...thinking of you Leontien...



Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Y" is for Yesterday...

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge~



The span of our lifetime is a conglomeration of days-
Often connected with what we tag as memories,
nostalgia, or the good ol’ days…
Memories of yesterday loiter within my mind
conjuring up all that was left behind.
Although remnants remain in the rearview mirror,
Yesterday lays the substance of our todays
as the door swings in silence
sealed on our residual times.

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that's why we call it the present. "

by Winnie the Pooh 



Friday, April 27, 2012

"X" is for Xerox...

perceptions + quotes + reality +
A to Z Challenge~

 

Do you recall as a child when a classmate or friend arrived in school with a new-fangled toy such as Mr. Potato Head or Gumby that you just had to own it? Or how about in junior high when all the girls were sporting a lunch box with David Cassidy on the front, oh la lah well, each teeny-bopper was begging their mother or father to buy the container. How about that psychedelic tye-dye t-shirt, you wanted one didn’t you?
No doubt, if you happened to be the usual adolescent you consumed your formidable years aspiring to be identical to each and every person in your school-an identical being.  This desire to replicate each creature in your presence was critical to the development and acceptance of self. I know personally I hoped to be a carbon copy of my friends because it was cool and ensured acceptance within society, or at least the society of my own educational environment.
I wonder, was it an exact moment or a gradual process when I ceased to hope to be more than a counterfeit of my friends be it their property, their personality or their mannerisms?  Though recognizing it’s a challenging period developing into the person you were meant to be and almost certainly we all spend a lifetime emerging into our personhood.
Quite simply, although not a simple process, we are a work in progress and not a xerox copy.
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. "

~e.e. cummings

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"W" is for Whispers...

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge~


Her life resembles a whisper,
with soft and gentle hands-
though concealing a sword to strike
impending aches of the open-air .
Her soul rides the temperate breezes
concealing the sorrow using shrouds of snow.
She embraces the act of living
with profound consideration and reflection.
Her spirit seeks strength through
the stream of gratitude
while silencing critics.
She soars on the wings of butterflies
and murmurs hopefulness and compassion
with a tender kiss of adoration.

"Let not thy will roar, when they power can but whisper."
by Thomas Fuller