Friday, March 31, 2017

Celebrating Starts & Stops - #NPM17 - 1/30

         Celebrating with Ruth Ayres and others at Discover Play Build. And starting April's poetry month. 

            Completing the 31 days of slicing for the March Slice of Life Challenge that Ruth and Stacey started so long ago. Now Ruth helps us celebrate!

            And, having the grand-girls some hours on Monday, and among other things, enjoying the new "I'm A Girl" by Yasmeen Ismail with them. Plus, a beautiful sunrise seen because I actually rose early enough one morning, and my new doors (both the same) are in, finally, among so many others, great new books donated at the bookstore. Wish you all could come by!


 April is  #NPM17 - National Poetry Month.

       "Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." 
                                                                                                                      ~Leonard Cohen

       Other things of interest:  See the page on the bar above for the Progressive Poem's schedule of poets, hosted by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem.  And, if you'd like to see what everyone is doing for Poetry Month, look HERE at Jama Rattigan's post at Jama's Alphabet Soup.
         Bridget Magee and her family have started a project in response to the chaos happening in our government. Go HERE to find out about it, to see how you can help!

              My goal for Poetry Month: TINY THINGS. My point of view may surprise you, but I'm excited to write, share, and read how everyone writes to meet their special goals for celebrating poetry month.

       I know that I won't always choose a tiny thing that's a memory. For some inexplicable reason, this memory appeared when I was brainstorming ideas for tiny things. For most Thanksgivings until I married, I celebrated with huge extended family on my mother's side. This meant the table was filled with many dishes and TWO turkeys. I was used to the jumble of people and clatter of dishes, the crowd of conversation. My father died in combat in World War II, and I stayed with his parents every summer for a few weeks, my usual connection to them. They ran a full working farm, busy and active. One year when in college, my grandmother let me know that my grandfather had to have surgery that week of Thanksgiving. I knew she would be alone; many of the rest of her family lived far away. So I went to be with her on this holiday. It's one holiday I remember vividly because of the difference from my usual holiday. But I also remember that I was happy that I went.

   A Celebration Memory:

Two Plates

Celebrating Thanksgiving
table lightly spread -
biscuits, greens and chicken,
pie and coffee.
Quiet thoughts; quiet us.
I traveled to offer company,
to have hers, too.
We sit at the kitchen table,
leave the dining room dark.
I talk about my classes, the
new ideas for teaching. She tells me
about the summer heat, that
they finally sold the cow.
Only the chickens remain.
We plan the after-dinner drive to town,
to see Grandpa in the hospital.
We’ll take pie for the nurses,
hugs and conversation for Grandpa.
And we’ll give thanks.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 30, 2017

#SOL17 - 31/31 - Poetry Friday Too!


         #SOL17 31/31 I'm writing for the March Slice of Life challenge with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Thirty-One of Thirty-One.  Thank you, Stacey, Beth, Deb, Betsy, Lanny, Kathleen, Lisa, and Melanie for helping us all arrive at THE END! I appreciate all that you have done to make the challenge a success. Happy Tenth Anniversary!

If it's the end of March, then it's also time for April and poetry month. Today on Poetry Friday, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater hosts us at The Poem Farm, a place I love to visit.

Endings today and preparation for beginnings. 

For those poetry Friday people, and others who may want to continue with poems in April:  "It is not every day that the world arranges itself into a poem"  That is what happens in April, regardless of the weather, regardless of where you live, April is Poetry Month. 

       My goal for Poetry Month: TINY THINGS. My point of view may surprise you, but I'm excited to write, share, and read everyone else's goals for celebrating poetry month. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

#SOL17 - 30/31 The Me I Used to Be, Still Am


         #SOL17 30/31 I'm writing for the March Slice of Life challenge with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Thirty of Thirty-One.  Thank you, Stacey, Beth, Deb, Betsy, Lanny, Kathleen, Lisa, and Melanie.   
                            One Day. . .

The final Thursday, and the final "me I used to be", although parts are still happening.

           When I taught, I taught at a school that valued trips. Every class from the youngest on took extended trips in the fall and the spring. The very youngest's extensions were only till dinnertime on that given one day. Time away increased as students grew older. By the time they became my middle schoolers (6, 7, 8) we went for about a week in the fall and 10 days to two weeks in the spring. I've traveled a lot with my family too, especially when my children were older, but the most primitive trips were those with students to Mexico and Costa Rica. Yes, we traveled far into the state of Sonora, Mexico and we drove and we camped. One time we were so tired at arrival, we simply threw our sleeping bags on the ground and slept. I remember being thrilled some of the time to be able to grab a garden hose to wash my hair. I could write a lot about adventures we had in cities, too, but it is the focused nature trips that thrilled me. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

#SOL17 - 29/31 - Water, Water Everywhere


SOL17 #29/31 - 
      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Twenty-Nine of Thirty-One of the Slice of Life Challenge in March.  Thank you, Stacey, Beth, Deb, Betsy, Lanny, Kathleen, Lisa, and Melanie.  

                                Two Days To Go!

              And, Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy.  

      Some say that our planet "earth" might better have been named "water". Seventy-one percent of the earth is covered with water. 97 1/2  percent of that is salt water.  In the 2 1/2  percent fresh water, only 0.3 % of that is in liquid form. 

      I shared books that touched on the need for water here on March 19th, and today share two books that speak of the curiosity of people around water:  both touching on eco-systems.  

          Through passion, people learn to persist. They have questions about so much because it’s fascinating. They find ways around obstacles. If this doesn’t work, then this!  This story shows that was the path of Eugenie Clark, the woman scientist who broke barriers in science and in knowledge about sharks because she was so in love with this subject and the question of its stereotypes.  From an early age when she raced to the New York aquarium and shared her knowledge to the time she founded the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, she explored sharks. The book is arranged as Genie grew up with small pictures of notes showing her discoveries, like “Sharks are complex.”  There is an author’s note with more information, and a “more about sharks” page. The illustrations are predominantly watery as you can imagine and mysterious in that murky world. The ocean is shown as you might imagine, dark and deep with shadowy shark shapes and other plants and creatures and there is always Genie “swimming with the sharks!” 

          I'm happy to find this at my library because it just came out a couple of weeks ago. This book swishes water again as Kate Messner has chosen to show a pond from above and below. A young boy and his mother glide around the pond in a canoe as they look. The words and illustrations show what is over and under the pond. In brief words, quite a bit of information is shared, from whirligig beetles that skate on the surface to the patient heron that waits for his bite of a quicksilver minnow. Twenty animals are included, and additional information about them and the ecosystem that is a pond is in the backmatter.  As readers glide through their time on the pond, the pages darken, and night with its stars and the quiet movements of some nocturnal animals find the canoe gliding home.

      There are more wonderful books that connect and teach us about water and its inhabitants, from microscopic to enormous. I hope you find one of these or another in order to learn what most interests you.

Monday, March 27, 2017

#SOL17 - 28/31 - House Ghosts


         #SOL17 28/31 I'm writing for the March Slice of Life challenge with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Twenty-Eight of Thirty-One.  Thank you, Stacey, Beth, Deb, Betsy, Lanny, Kathleen, Lisa, and Melanie.   

I read all kinds of essays/columns, poems, too that are like slices, an author's musings about small things. Somewhere in my mind as I was pondering Sunday’s post about the word “slice”, I remembered a mention of "house ghosts." I don't mean those old houses and sometimes hotels that have claims to hauntings, but the definition of ghosts that haunt one’s memories. 

          Years ago, my husband and I were browsing a furniture store looking for a new chair for our family room. We discovered this small sofa in the bargain room, a bit larger than a chair, but the color and the price was good. Plus, it was so soft and felt very comfortable. We actually managed to fit it into the back of our jeep and took it home. I never thought it would hold so many memories.  Of course, there are other ghosts hovering, the one that holds a special brown coffee cup and that one that lies beside me under a blue comforter. There are the babies that slept with a blue and white checked blanket, and the mother who stitched a star quilt in the guest bedroom. Yes, they’re all here, keeping me good company, just like the brown sofa. 
Arvie with Ingrid, reading favorites!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Monday Reading #SOL17-27/31 - All About The Kids

    I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Twenty-Seven of Thirty-One.     #tweet SOL17


Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!        tweet #IMWAYR

         "We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today." Stacia Tauscher        Here are four stories that celebrate  children who are thoughtful and silly, resilient and joyful. 

       This brief book has been on a shelf for a long time, and when someone mentioned it, I knew I should read it now. The beautiful thread running through the story comes from Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Hope Is The Thing With Feathers.” A loving family has had their heartache with lost babies, and Frannie, the young eleven-year-old tells the story that includes her older brother Sean who’s deaf, a friend Samatha who brings up interesting religious questions, and a few classmates who are not always nice create the setting in which Frannie lives and in which she begins to look at things in a new way. Much seems normal, kids being kids, some play, scenes at school, family meals. A new boy who looks white arrives (this is a segregated community) and adds to the way Frannie looks at others. He claims he doesn’t belong across the bridge (where the white people live and go to school). And with his long hair, he takes on the name Jesus. Adding more pepper to the pot of a story is what Jacqueline Woodson does so well, and this boy certainly adds that spice.   The book is divided into four parts in which each one reveals the feelings and hopes of Frannie and others in her life. As a read aloud, this will start some great conversations.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

SOLC17 26/31 - "SLICING"

SOLC #21/31 - 
      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community on Day Twenty-Six of Thirty-One of the Slice of Life Challenge in March.  Thank you Stacey, Beth, Deb, Betsy, Lanny, Kathleen, Lisa, and Melanie.  

       Perhaps someone has written about this topic, I'm not sure. I was playing around with what to share today and thought I would see what I could brainstorm about "slices".

       I'll draw for my giveaway last Wednesday later in the day and notify the winner!

Friday, March 24, 2017

SOL17 - 25/31 And Celebrating Action

         SOLC17 25/31 Thanks for the March Slice of Life challenge with the Two Writing Teachers community.  

         Today I also celebrate with Ruth Ayres and others at Discover Play Build. It's a good way to end the week sharing our celebrations.

           When a hard thing happens, sometimes it's equally hard to celebrate. Over the recent months, my neighborhood has had several cars stolen, and a couple of break-ins. One happened about three weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon! It was sunny, people were out and about walking dogs, visiting neighbors, and kids were playing. I actually saw them, a group of what seemed to be young boys who were running by but in the middle of my front yard. I had gone to get a drink of water and glanced out the window. I didn't think anything but "silly teenagers". They might have been older than teens, but that's what I thought. A couple of hours later my group neighborhood e-mail posted that these boys had broken into the home about a block away, kicked in the side door, did some damage inside, but took nothing. The woman who lives there later shared that she was out and had her laptop with her, owns no TV, so there wasn't much evidently that they wanted except "quick" grabs. Or perhaps it was a dare?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Poetry Friday & #Sol17 - 24/31 - New Morning

Number twenty-four of thirty-one, over two-thirds through the month of the Two Writing Teachers March Challenge.

And today, celebrate Poetry Friday with 
Catherine Flynn at Reading To The Core who's our lovely host. This time she's sharing a new book by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, illustrations by Ekua Holmes. The title is Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. Be sure to read her post about it and then visit others who are sharing poetry too.

       I've mentioned the weather in my posts more than once these past months. We've had unusually warm and dry weather, and although we live in a semi-arid climate, we've set records this year for the lack of moisture. But, our news is that a storm is actually moving in and I'm supposed to wake up to snow or rain and cold. It'll certainly be a differently-dressed me tomorrow! Here's a poem I wrote about this kind of day.