Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Missing Washi Tape


I have begun to explore creative journaling where I make the pages of my notebooks into a collage of different materials. I use torn scrapbooking paper, pages from old books, washi tape, printed vintage images from the internet, and stickers. I want to play with stamping next. I am loving it! 

Today was a cleaning day, but I needed to run and get some milk. Since I was out, I took a little detour to run into Hobby Lobby and "just look." I left with a package of "tattered and worn" paper (which I found out was adhesive!) and four roles of washi tape. Yes, just what I needed.

After eating dinner, I ran upstairs to my "office" and pulled out the package of paper. After I opened it and admired the beautiful colors and prints, I opened the bag for the washi tape. I wanted to create some pages to share on the Choice Literacy Instagram page.

But the washi tape was not in the bag. I went down and looked in my purse and in the car, but they were nowhere to be found. I was stumped.

I thought maybe the cashier had forgotten to place the items in my bag, so I decided to call the store. I told them my story, and the employee said yes, there were two packages of washi tape here. Someone found them and brought them inside.

I am so thankful for that customer who was honest and took them back into the store. Not everyone would have done that. It is nice to still see kindness in the world...even if it is just washi tape.

And now back to those pages!

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The time when we learn from our students...

 Although I am on Facebook, I am not friends with anyone local or with any family members. My account, with the exception of a couple college friends, is purely professional or teaching related. Whether that is a good decision or bad one, it is mine.

Today a local news page came up in my feed. As I was reading about a fire at a local pizza place, I noticed a former student had commented on it. I admit I was curious about him, so I went to his page and quickly scanned some of his posts. One of them caught my eye because it was a letter addressed to "Teachers who have ever doubted me." 

Of course I had to read it. And it broke my heart.

He said teachers knew him as "the kid who always slept in class or the kid who never turned in homework, and 'the difficult kid who would flip burgers and live on welfare'." (Quoting one of his former teachers.)

He admitted that yes, he was a high school drop out but also a kid who was currently working hard at two jobs. 

His final message was this, "So what I say to you is give everyone a fair chance at life--we all learn different, live different, do different, BECAUSE WE ARE DIFFERENT!"

Signed, the kid who you didn't bother to know.

Ouch! That hurts.

Back in January of 2020, I saw this student and wrote about him in my notebook that night. I share that page below.


Although I am a teacher, some days I do the teaching...and some days I do the learning. 

Today was one of those days.


Note: Quinten's post was public, so I feel it is OK to share here. I shared this notebook page with him on his page. He commented back and told me it made him smile...and few other things that I will keep just between teacher and student!

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

Friday, October 15, 2021

Mapless Road

 


I am a mapless road,

 

ribboning through the countryside

guiding your turn after turn after turn.

 

Blinded by the late autumn sun

and clouded by your state of confusion,

you query your destination.





Dementia is a difficult thing to live with and even harder for loved ones to accept. We know we are not far from taking the keys. Each day we pray she still finds her way.



I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

#TeachWritetober21

It's that time of year when leaves begin to fall, sweaters come out of hiding in the closet or drawers, and pumpkin spice is baked into every food product imaginable. 

But that also means it is time for #TeachWritetober21.

#TeachWritetober is a group of teacher-writers who challenge themselves to write for the month of October. No guidelines, no rules...just writing. Writing for me and only me. Writing what I want and when I want. Writing for the sheer joy of putting words on paper. Doesn't that sound wonderful?

But there is more! There is built-in support. If you don't know what to write about, each day you will get an email with an invite to write. If you already have a writing project, then that is ok too. There is an accountability sheet to help you keep track of your writing. 

Although there are no rules, I have set some goals for the month.

  • Increase joy writing - It seems as though most of my writing, when I do write, is attached to some type of commitment. I want to spend time in my notebook just for the joy of observing what is around me, capturing moments in my day, and experimenting with new muses.
  • Write five blog posts - I miss this writing space, but often wonder if blogs are becoming obsolete. I hope not, so I will plan to spend some here writing about a day in my life as a reader, a writer, and a teacher.
  • Be creative - I have recently found the joy of art journaling. I have bought some new supplies and want to try them out this month.
I try to teach my students that writing isn't all about school. That writing should be fun and playful and joyful. Maybe I need to practice telling that to myself this month.

If you would like to join me and many others for a month of writing, then check out all the information here. Come be a part of our third annual #Teachwritetober21 - where teacher-writers support other teacher-writers! 

We would love to have you!


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Harvest



This summer 
I walked a stretch of land--
open fields with 
corn planted to the north 
and beans to the south
and a new crop:
pumpkins!


Each day
the plants grew,
leaves reaching 
for the sun,
roots stretching 
deep into the soil,
the soul of the earth.

And I walked
mile after mile
after mile.


We became friends.

Those fields 
welcomed my 
return each day,
even on the hot, humid ones.
They cheered me on
for that extra mile
and stood by me when 
I wanted to quit.
.




And they reminded me 
some day soon
I would reap
what I had sown...

the harvest.







I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #SOSmagic

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Dress

Yesterday I went shopping.

And I bought a dress.

For most women, buying a dress probably isn't that big of a deal. For me, it's huge. It has been years since I have bought a dress or even worn one. This moment was an act of bravery.

At the beginning of June, I named this summer "the summer of me". I have worked hard on taking care of myself, eating better, and most importantly, moving. I began walking. Slowly at first and not very far. It was difficult because I had gained pandemic pounds, and I was utterly and completely out of shape.

It wasn't long until I began to see a difference. I was walking farther, faster, and for longer periods of time. Over the past nine weeks, I  have become stronger both physically and mentally, and I have lost some weight. I am not where I want to be, but I feel good.

Back to the dress.

As I was shopping, I rummaged through the racks of new dresses but couldn't find what I was looking for. Being short and carrying extra pounds, I always think I look "frumpy" in dresses. 

We were at the last store of the day, and I had almost given up hope. And then I found another rack of new dresses. I pulled one out, held it up to me, and thought, "Well, it's not down to my ankles, and it's not above my knees. It's black, so I know just the shoes I could wear with it."

After several minutes of walking to and from the rack and telling myself how awful I would look in this dress, I convinced myself to try it on. The dressing room was small, and it was hard to see myself in the mirror. I opened the door and went to took in a larger mirror. I stepped up on my toes and turned to look at the back. "My butt doesn't look too big." Twirling around again, I thought, "This just might work."

I walked to the entrance of the dressing rooms. A few aisles over, I saw my daughter. "Hey, Meg." I put my arms out, turned around for her to see, and raised my shoulders in that "what-do-you-think" pose. She smiled and gave me a thumbs up. I was giddy with excitement.

Yes, I bought a dress!



I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #SOSmagic

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Summer Flashback

This week was gorgeous for Indiana summer weather. Low humidity, sunny afternoons, and cool evening temperatures. Summer served up just the way I like it.

I spend a lot of time on our porches, my favorite place in my house. One night while writing on the back porch, I could hear our neighbors. Their six-month baby and two-year old were outside enjoying the unusual summer weather too. And then I heard it.

A sound.

A giggle.

A squeal of delight.

A summer flashback...to a time almost 25 years ago. I didn't realize how much I missed it. I didn't realize I would have missed it if it hadn't been for the summer weather and being called outside to write.

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

Friday, June 18, 2021

The BIG Dance #SOSMagic



I recently came across a poem from the blog Tales of the Old Forest Faeries. If you like magic, fairies, imagination, and poetry, then you might want to check it out. The writing and illustrations are stunning.

I noticed after reading the poem several times that it wasn't so much about dancing, but it was really a metaphor for life - the times when we dance like we have never danced before - the BIG moments!

And, that very night
She danced,
Like
She had never danced before
Like she knew
She would never
Dance
Like that, again.

Poem written by Athey Thompson

I began thinking about the times "I danced" in my life.  (This is truly metaphorical thinking because I don't dance!) 

My thinking turned back to my parents' divorce and the effects it had on me. I was 20 at the time, and I knew what was going on. At that age, you understand betrayal. You understand the hurt caused by actions. You understand what it means to be part of a "broken family."

When I was 22, I began dating Dave, my husband. I was friends with his sister, but I really didn't remember him growing up. He was four years older than me, so we were never in the same school. When I was in junior high, he was in high school, when I was high school, he was away at college. Our paths only really crossed when he would answer the phone and not his sister my message.

When he entered my life, I knew it was not a coincidence. God knew what I needed before I even did. God handed me a family when my own family was struggling to put the pieces back together. I am forever grateful for His gift.

Next month I will celebrate my 31st anniversary. Thirty-one years ago...I danced like I had never danced before.

And I'm still dancing.

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A School Year Reflection #SOSMagic

I finished up my 14th school year last Friday. It was a year like no other, yet it went so much better than what any of imagined. Back in August we were "mantra-ing"--just give us two weeks. We wanted two weeks to introduce ourselves to our new students and establish some sort of relationship before we went virtual, which we just knew was going to happen.

Well, it didn't.

We were face-to-face the entire time (minus 7 days the first of the year plus snow days). Believe it or not, some new due-to-COVID practices we actually found out we liked and will continue next year. These include later and staggered start times, clear backpacks, and one-way hallways.

I am looking forward to summer so that I can reflect, relax, and rejuvenate. And I do not feel bad for wanting those things. This year took its toll on everyone, and there is no room for guilt.


I went in to school yesterday to pack up the rest of my room for summer cleaning. Although the room looks very similar, I am in awe of it’s contrast to last year.

Last year I had a time limit to get in and get out;
this year I lingered with my thoughts and memories.
Last year was full of sadness and fear of the unknown;
this year was full of hope and excitement about what all we accomplished.
Last year was void of goodbyes;
this year was full of pictures and hugs and fun memories.
Last year I walked out with tears;
this year I walked out with a smile!



I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #SOSmagic

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Remember and Embrace #SOSMagic


It's 10:30 Tuesday morning of the last week of school. It is my prep period, so I have no students and my 70s rock playing on my Pandora station.

Students are beginning the first phase of locker clean-out, and the sound of giggles and lockers shutting echoes their way down the hall and into my room. 

I smile and remember...

    ...the final writing in their notebooks,

    ...the end-of-the-year activities,

    ...the stolen moments of going outside,

    ...the surprising discovery of a missing book,

    ...the awards,

    ...the year-end video,

    ...the smiles and laughter,

    ...the anticipation of summer, 

    ...the hugs goodbye.

I remember what all we missed last May. I smile and open my arms and my heart to embrace these next three days.


I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Lessons from Motherhood #SOSMagic



This is Mother's Day Weekend, and I have been blessed as a mother for 28 years. I was handed a bundle of life at the age of 28 and I was scared to death. As we went along, we bumbled, we failed, we loved, and we learned parenting moment by moment. 

Lessons from Motherhood
  1. Being a stay-at-home mom is joyful.
  2. Labor can be long.
  3. Postpartum depression is real.
  4. Babies can eat cereal before six months.
  5. Napping is essential.
  6. Finding a schedule that works...really works.
  7. A child for each hand is the perfect fit.
  8. Raising boys is different than raising girls.
  9. Eating (and liking) Gerber's Dutch Apple Dessert is nothing to be ashamed of.
  10. It's really OK if they eat the same thing for days and days.
  11. Yes, you can memorize Good Night Moon.
  12. They will know when you skip pages.
  13. The next stage is always the best stage.
  14. And yes, you will be ready for it.
  15. Kindergarten teachers will take over being the most important person in their life.
  16. But your place in line will move back up; I promise.
  17. Preschool potty talk and middle school mouth do eventually go away.
  18. A kiss and a Band-Aid eventually quit working.
  19. Middle school is a time to let go for a while.
  20. Yes, one of these days you're gonna miss "this".
  21. High school and "blink of an eye" is a true metaphor.
  22. Love for each child is equal, yet different.
  23. Sleepless nights never really go away - no matter how old they are.
  24. Saying I love you may look different than what you want it to be.
  25. Giving them wings and roots are a gift.
  26. It may take them a while to understand this.
  27. Adult children can finally become your friends.
  28. Motherhood is a joy and a celebration.

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

Sunday, April 25, 2021

A Neighborhood Grocery Store

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic


My husband and I recently were talking about "life before Walmart." I know, not really an interesting topic, but it took us on the road of "Do you remember..." which is always full of fun.

Saturday, we went to a little restaurant for breakfast that happens to be in the building of a neighborhood grocery store when we were growing up. This poem-ish piece is a result of our thoughts, our memories, and our laughter about when life was so much simpler.



Do you remember 

when our neighborhoods

were dotted with 

little grocery stores

and our moms would 

send us to buy a loaf of bread

or a gallon of milk?


Do you remember 

when we would go in

and walk the candy section

deciding what to buy 

with the coins we found 

in the couch cushions

or the money we received

for returning soda bottles?


Do you remember 

walking back to the deli

and buying the best-tasting

bologna and American cheese ever?


Do you remember 

reaching down into

the ice chest for a 

cold drink after

passing the newspapers?


Do you remember 

the time before Walmart

when life seemed 

so much simpler?

Grandma's Legacy

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

There was a time when picture quilts were popular. Pictures would be printed on fabric and stitched into quilts blocks. I have made several of these but two will always be special to me. One was a 50th-anniversary quilt for my mother and father-in-law, and the other is my grandmother's grandchildren.

We gave this quilt to my grandmother for Christmas one year. She had 18 grandchildren, and I took a baby picture and current picture and put them side by side. She loved this quilt almost as much as she loved her grandchildren. When she passed, the quilt was to come back to me. For some reason, the quilt cannot be found. We think the bag it was in might have been mistaken for a give-away bag. I have no idea where it is. 

I'm the third and fourth on the top row!

my grandmother's love
her forever legacy
patchwork memory


Check out the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Friday, April 23, 2021

Quilts by Nikki Giovanni #PoetryFriday

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

Many moons ago, I found two quilt tops at a yard sale; I'm not even sure "quilt top" would be the best description of it. The small squares are haphazardly pieced (most of the corners do not match!) and are made of a variety of fabrics from stripes to gingham to pillow ticking to madras plaid to chambray and duck cloth. You name it, and it is in there. One of the quilts is draped over a rocker on our front porch and the other is draped over the door of a 100+-year-old cabinet. 

I always felt sorry for these quilts because they never become anything. For that reason, I have paired this quilt with a poem written by Nikki Giovanni.




Quilts

Like a fading piece of cloth
I am a failure

No longer do I cover tables filled with food and laughter
My seams are frayed my hems falling my strength no longer able
To hold the hot and cold

I wish for those first days
When just woven I could keep water
From seeping through
Repelled stains with the tightness of my weave
Dazzled the sunlight with my
Reflection

(You can read the entire poem here.)

Check out all of the Poetry Friday posts at Catherine's blog, Reading to the Core.

Check out the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Summer Days

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

I live in the "Watermelon Capital of the World". Summer days remind me of swimming, playing outside until dark, and eating watermelon. I made this watermelon quilt for a theme basket for our summer church picnic. It was quite the hit! I paired this quilt with an acrostic poem, taking me right to those hot, summer watermelon days!



Summer Days


Waiting anxiously for summer days

Anticipating picnics, pools, and play.

Time to go outside while

Everyone gathers in the neighborhood,

Running 'til dark, catching fireflies.

Mom brings out cold watermelon, and

Everyone bites into a slice,

Leaving juice running down

Our chins.

Nothing like the days of summer.



Check out the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Paper Hearts

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

Today as my students were testing and I was moniroting around my room, I stopped at my bookshelf. I realized I had not used a spine poem for my Patchwork Poetry project. I found the book Paper Hearts and knew just the quilt I was going to pair it with.

I made this heart quilt for a college friend's baby. This was in the late '80s, and pink and green were a favorite combination of mine.





Unlocked 
paper hearts,
flutter,
soar,
piecing me together.


Check out the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

The Kidlit Progressive Poems Stops Here Today!

Welcome to today's stop on the Kitlit Progressive Poem trail. Here is the poem thus far, including my pick from Robyn Hood Black.

I’m a case of kindness – come and catch me if you can!

Easily contagious – sharing smiles is my plan.

I'll spread my joy both far and wide

As a force of nature, I’ll be undenied. 


Words like, "how can I help?" will bloom in the street.

A new girl along on the playground – let’s meet, let’s meet!

We can jump-skip together in a double-dutch round.

Over, under, jump and wonder, touch the ground.


Friends can be found when you open a door.

Side by side, let’s walk through, there’s a world to explore.

We’ll hike through a forest of towering trees.

Find a stream we can follow while we bask in the breeze.


Pull off our shoes and socks, dip our toes in the icy spring water

When you’re with friends, there’s no have to or oughter.

What could we make with leaves and litter?

Let's find pine needles, turn into vine knitters.


We'll lie on our backs and find shapes in the sky.

We giggle together: See the bird! Now we fly?

Inspired by nature, our imaginations soar.

Follow that humpback! Here, take an oar.



I wanted to turn it back toward the kindness that we found in the first stanza. That became too difficult, so I continued with the imagination. (I truly hope someone more experienced than I am can do that!) Since the friends are grabbing an oar, I thought I would send them into the imaginary sea.


Here are my two choices for  Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town:


We paddle and paddle to the island we see.


or


Ahh! Here comes a wave--let's hold on tight!

Thank you all for your contributions! I look forward to seeing where our poem goes in these last nine days.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Reagan's Quilt

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

There is nothing like a handmade gift stitched from the heart.

Throughout my quilting life, I gave away more quilts than I kept. Baby quilts were my favorite although many times I didn't get them finished before the babies were born. And the friend or relative whose delivery was timely...well, they just lucked out.

Twenty years ago, a dear high school friend of mine (and an EJD) had a baby, and she was the recipient of one of my quilts. It is actually my favorite of all the baby quilts I have made. The pattern is called Baby Bricks, and it was made out of 1930's reproduction fabrics--pastel colors with fun, whimsical prints. I used cotton batting which gave it an antique look, which I adore.

When I decided on my poetry project, I knew I wanted to feature this quilt, but I only had one picture of it, which was taken on an old Kodak camera. I messaged my friend and asked if she had any pictures of it. I can't tell you the joy I felt knowing that she actually still had the quilt, AND it hadn't fallen apart! As her husband finished taking the photos to send to me, he said, "This is irreplaceable." 

And so are friends!

I paired this quilt with a Nonet poem, a nine-lined poem with an additional syllable in each line. I tried to give the appearance of brick steps.


Reagan's Quilt

A

baby,

a blessing,

a gift from God.

Twenty years ago,

you wrapped her in this gift,

a gift from my hands and heart.

The tiny steps on baby bricks

mark the beginning of her journey.


A big thank you to all of those at Two Writing Teachers for creating and supporting a community for teacher-writers. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

A Single Irish Chain

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

After the four-patch block, the nine-patch would be considered the next easiest pattern. Although the nine-patch is simple to piece, when combined with other patterned blocks or even alternating with a plain block, wonderful quilts can be made. The Irish Chain is one of those patterns. I made this baby quilt for a cousin of mine about 20 years ago. This is a picture of an old picture, so the quality is not good.

I chose to pair this nine-patch quilt with a Tricube poem - a three stanza poem of three lines with three syllables each. A little play with the number nine!



A nine-patch--
simplicity
at its best,

lights and darks
alternate
a plain block

to create
a single 
Irish chain.




This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Crazy Quilt - A Found Poem

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.


I have never been a fan of crazy quilts. Instead of geometric patches arranged in patterns, crazy quilts are made irregular shapes and a variety of fabrics, often made of velvets and silks. They also have a Victorian influence, which is also not my "cup of tea."

I am a huge fan of found poetry, and I have a large collection of snippets from magazines. Although I don't like the irregularity in crazy quilts, I love playing with words and phrases to create found poems. Today I combine writing with quilting in this "crazy" found poem.






 The Kidlit Progressive Poem continues on. You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All