Category Archives: Uncategorized

Currently #sol21

I love writing a “Currently” post when writer’s block strikes! I’ve started several posts about my day, but I think those ideas have to percolate a little more. I may need to spend some additional time to find the words that I need.

Currently I am…

Drinking water when I’d love a big glass of sweet tea.

Thinking about…the ice cream in the freezer.

Waiting for…my iPad to charge so I can read a book.

Dreaming about…traveling somewhere…anywhere!

Wondering…what I’m going to read next.

Needing to…spend some time on the treadmill.

Reading a draft of an assessment report.

Battling writer’s block—I’ve started and deleted three different posts.

Thankful for…friends and family who provide a listening ear.

Five Sentences About The Day #sol21

I participate in the Teach Write Time to Write workshops and a recent challenge involves writing life stories in just five sentences. I decided that I’d like to write a five sentence story about my day as a way to reflect on the day and to prepare to write my five sentence life story.

It was a sunny and warm Tuesday, but felt like another Monday after yesterday’s snow day.

My Diet Dr. Pepper slipped out of my hand and bounced off the tiled floor beside my desk this morning, but was ultimately unharmed to my relief!

One of my students, who rarely participates in our small group lessons, has been more actively engaged during the last week and now adds his voice to the group, which has put a smile on my face!

I realized that I’d left my purse at school and had to jump back in my car at 5:30 to head back to school to retrieve it, which led to a relaxing and calming drive with the radio playing.

I sat in front of the computer, typing and deleting, typing and deleting, and ultimately creating a slice!

Focusing on the wins #sol21

I’ve spent a lot of time ranting while writing and that negativity has not been good for me. While it’s been great to get some things off my chest, it seems as though everything has been a rant. After reading fellow teacher-writer Elisa Waingort’s post (you can read her post here), I decided to focus on the wins instead of the losses. This has helped me focus more on what’s positive instead of being mired down in negativity.


  1. A second grader spontaneously used a strategy to figure out how to spell a word.
  2. I’ve written every day.
  3. One of my kindergarten students started to participate during lessons and activities.
  4. I cleaned the living room carpet and it looks good!
  5. I’m ahead on lesson planning.
  6. I didn’t eat all of the chocolate pie.

My list started out small, but it’s growing steadily. Like Elisa, when times are tough, I can review my list and let those wins, whether small or large, lift my spirits.

He’s baaaack! #sol21

I’ve written about Olie the possum, who hangs out at my significant other’s house. M lives in the country and there have been raccoon, possums, deer, and even a bear in his yard during the time we’ve been together. I even named many of the critters hanging out in the backyard, from Olie the possum and Roscoe the raccoon to Bob the bear.

Olie became a frequent visitor and I’ve written about those visits before. Most recently, he came sniffing at the back sliding glass door one evening during dinner. One night, he was in the front yard under a tree with a friend when we pulled up into the driveway. One scampered away and one shot up the tree. Then, recently, M noticed a dead possum just up the lane and I figured that it was Olie and I mourned the loss of potential possum stories. I’ve found a lot to write about when it comes to this possum!

However, the other night, at dinnertime, I glanced over at the sliding glass door and there he was (I guess it was Olie-maybe we have a new possum) with his nose pressed against the glass. However, before I could grab my phone to take a picture, he’d waddled off the deck. That’s okay, though. I’m sure the next time we’re having steak and baked potatoes, he’ll be back, sniffing at the door!

I’ll admit that I was excited to see “our” possum at the back door again. I can’t wait to see what he does next and how I can turn his “adventures” into additional stories.

The Kids Baking Championship #sol21

I am addicted to the Kids Baking Championship. Yesterday, I caught a bunch of older episodes while working at home. Then, I watched two episodes last night. Last night’s episodes were from the current season. While I love watching these kids create amazing desserts, I also enjoy the camaraderie between the kids and the interactions between the kids and the two judges. Duff Goldman has always been a favorite and I love how both he and Valerie Bertinelli relate to the kids.

The hardest part is watching a child’s elimination at the end of each episode. I’m in awe of what these kids can do, especially since I couldn’t do most, if not all of the tasks they’re asked to complete. It’s so sweet when the other kids circle around the eliminated contestant to comfort and encourage them. The same holds true when one contestant is struggling to complete a task or needs an extra set of hands. Often, one child will offer to help a competitor or even just provide words of encouragement.

I think I’m drawn to this particular show because it’s not your typical cut-throat reality programming that pits people against each other, but recognizes and celebrates what competitors can achieve. It also provides some time for me to step away from busy schedules, worry, and all of the other things that clutter up my brain. Watching the Kids Baking Championship allows me to relax and get my mind off of everything, even if for just a little while. Plus, I can salivate over some incredible looking desserts!

Synonyms for Grumpy #sol21

Grouchy. Fussy. Cranky. Irritated. Irritable. Crabby. Everything that I tried to write for today’s slice reflected one of those words, or a synonym for one of those words. I like to keep my posts upbeat, but today, I found myself deleting much of what I’d written.

So, what can I do to get myself out of this state of mind? I don’t like describing myself with any of the words at the beginning of this piece. I’m not even sure why I’m grumpy. Maybe it’s because I woke up with a headache. Maybe it’s because I’m cold. Maybe it’s because I’ve gained a few pounds and am irritated with myself. Maybe it’s because I didn’t sleep well. No matter the cause, I need to snap out of this.

First, I’m going to have a nice cup of tea. And I don’t care what the scale said, but I’m having some chocolate. I’m not going to go overboard or anything, but chocolate makes me happy. I’m going to curl up (somewhere warm) with a book and just read. I’m going to immerse myself in something fictional-I just need to see what’s on both my physical and virtual bookshelves. I’m going to give myself time to relax and unplug. Hopefully, I’ll start describing myself with words like “content” and “cheerful” instead of “grouchy” and “fussy.”

25 Things #sol21

I saw this on the #100daysofnotebooking and BEYOND page and decided to reflect on twenty-five things that are helping me during this time. Angela Stockman posted her list on this page and it inspired me.

Twenty-five things that are helping me (in no particular order of importance):

1. My family

2. Mini cheesecake

3. Iced tea

4. The Kids Baking Championship

5. The Time To Write Group

6. UVa Men’s Basketball team

7. Cute deer pictures on the trail camera

8. Funny videos that M sends me

9. Digital puzzles

10. Takeout Chinese food

11. Jess Keating’s awesome Epic Emails

12. My favorite chair

13. North Woods Law

14. The new AirFryer

15. Naps

16. Listening to music

17. Rides on country roads

18. Amazon gift cards

19. InkJoy gel pens

20. Flair pens

21. G-2 gel pens (multicolored)

22. Blank notebooks

23. Good morning texts from M.

24. Playing cards with my grandmother

25. Mom’s homemade cookies

Considering my week #sol21

I needed some inspiration today and Kathleen Nealon’s post on the 100 Day’s of Notebooking and Beyond Facebook page was what I needed.

Five Things That Made Me Smile This Week

1. The UVa basketball game! Love this team!

2. Spending time with family always brings a smile to my face.

3. The possum is back at M’s house and he has a friend with him:)

4. One of my students reading to her dog while recording her Flipgrid video for me.

5. Reviewing silly pictures on my phone:)

4 Words To Describe My Week

1. Quiet

2. Scholarly

3. Online

4. Thoughtful

3 Things I Plan To Do This Weekend

1. Watch more UVa men’s basketball!

2. Finish the PD that I started last weekend.

3. Curl up with a good book!

2 Things I Learned This Week

1. Additional strategies to help struggling readers

2. The Air Fryer is one of the best inventions ever!

1 Goal For Next Week

To write every day!

Puzzled by my new interest in puzzles #sol21

I have never been a big fan of puzzles. I don’t know why, but I’ve never been interested in sitting down and assembling a puzzle. However, recently, while playing a game on my phone, a free Jigsaw Puzzle app was offered. For some unknown reason, I downloaded the app. I tapped on a puzzle and scrolled through the different choices that were available. There were some cute puzzles, especially those with dogs and cats. I chose a dog puzzle and started manipulating the puzzle pieces. Before too long, I had completed one puzzle and started another. There was something relaxing about only having to think about finding puzzle pieces that fit together. I was focused only on the task of creating the picture and nothing else. I also like working on the puzzles virtually. I don’t have to keep up with tiny pieces or keep the puzzle out on a table where I have to look at it constantly.

Since that day, about a week ago, I’ve opened the puzzle app whenever I’ve needed a break. I’ve completed about a half-dozen puzzles, ranging from 200-300 pieces. I don’t know if this is a long term habit, but for now, I’m enjoying this time putting puzzles together.

One Little Word #sol20

I’ve never actually gone through with selecting one little word (OLW) for the year. I think that I was always intimidated by the thought of trying to pick a perfect word. How could I choose one word to be my touchstone for the entire year? What if my OLW was really a dud? What if I realized that I’d made a horrible choice? So, I never committed to a word, but continued to envy those who did.

I hadn’t thought much about OLW when a word randomly popped into my head. That word was “confident” and I don’t know what prompted me to think of that word. I was just puttering around the house, the day after Christmas. When the word popped into my head, I started to think about that word and how it made a lot of sense to use this as my OLW for 2021. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was the perfect word for me.

I often fall victim to imposter syndrome. Maybe I shouldn’t say that I fall victim to it as much as I allow imposter syndrome to move in and take up residence. I open the door and usher it right in and allow it to stay for awhile. On more than one occasion, I’ve allowed imposter syndrome to prevent me from achieving my dreams. I need to be confident. I need to embrace confidence and use it as my armor when imposter syndrome comes knocking. I need to remember to be confident as I embrace a new year and all of the possibilities. I need to prevent things like imposter syndrome from taking root.

Soon after the realization that I actually had an OLW, I read a blog post from fellow teacher-writer Christie Wyman. Christie blogged about choosing a word of the month instead of picking one word for the entire year. Christie’s blog can be found here and after reading her wise words, I started thinking about how “confident” could be my overarching word for the year, and then I could focus on a word related to being confident. Maybe “assertive” could be a word for one month and “fearless” for another. Every month’s word would support my quest for confidence and prevent my OLW from becoming stale.

So, as 2020 nears an end, I’m ready for my OLW and it’s supporting cast of related words that I think will help me defeat my nemesis, imposter syndrome!