SOL: Don’t Get Too Close!

Now that spring has finally started its slow reveal, we are enjoying more frequent walks with our two dogs, Reece and Dug. Being cockapoos, they are naturally inquisitive and while a bit skittish as first, they can be quite social as well.

Saturday after dinner we set out down our block for an evening stroll. Just as we approached a neighbor’s fenced yard, their little dog ran to the fence, barking aggressively. Reece, in her inquisitive, hi-do-you-want-to-be-my-friend sort of way, put her snout up to the small gap between the gate and the fence for a sniff.

It was just enough room – but not for a shared sniffing each other out, but instead enough for the other dog to grab hold of Reeces lip with all the power he had – and he had a mighty grip. None of the adults saw this coming, so it was with great panic that we finally managed to break poor Reece free from his clamped down jaws.

Bloodied and a bit in shock, we walked a little further to allow her to gather her wits about her, but we could see the blood starting to drip from her beard, so we turned around and headed for home.

Upon a tentative peek inside her upper lip we could see a pretty good sized gash. The bleeding seemed manageable, but since all she wanted to do was rub her sore mouth on the rug, the couch, and anything else soft, we knew we needed to intervene. I was very worried about infection, and since it was Saturday night, (isn’t it always the weekends when these things happen?) we decided to make the trip to the emergency vet hospital.

She checked out ok, but the vet affirmed our decision to bring her in, and she prescribed an antibiotic and anti-inflammatories for the pain.

An emergency visit on a weekend comes with a cost, but we will do whatever it takes to keep our dogs healthy. This expense was manageable fortunately, and I am greatly relieved we had the option of having a place like this to take her.

And I think Reece is happy too – twice a day she gets cheese and bread wrapped around her pills, which is a total treat. And we can’t leave Dug out of the treat giving ritual – he joyfully accepts his cheese and bread right alongside Reece!

The Benefits of Being Prepared

As I was thinking about sitting down to write my slice for this week, I took a few minutes first to begin laying out my clothes for the morning. My eye caught my one-sentence journal next to the bed, so I pulled it out to see the quote for the day.

“Follow the ‘evening-tidy-up-rule’: take ten minutes before bed to do simple tidying. This calming nightly habit helps prepare you for sleep and makes mornings more serene and pleasant.”

Who knew?

I have always had a strict habit of having things ready for the next morning. I can’t handle making clothing decisions in the rush of my morning. It is so wonderful to just reach for the hangers that are all ready and waiting for me in the darkness of my bedroom in the morning as I make my way downstairs to the shower.

This “evening-tidy-up-rule” was a new one to me though. It makes a lot of sense, especially for me, a person who feels the calm when my surroundings are straightened out, piles are organized, unnecessary items are tossed, and chaos is subdued. I never considered how this might look or feel if I did it before bedtime, and that it might better prepare me for sleep.

This reminds me a little of how I try to leave my classroom each day before I go home. There are endless tidy-up routines I could spend far too long on, but the top priorities include leaving my small group table clear and ready for the morning, putting out student book boxes, and, on the best of days, the morning message is written and ready to go.

A few minutes, whether before bed, or before I leave my classroom are worth the calmer morning I gain. Do you have routines you live by at home and/or your classroom?


#SOLC18 31/31: It’s a Wrap!

I honestly cannot believe I am posting my 31st blog post in the Slice of Life Challenge. When I started out, I questioned if I would be able to maintain the stamina to write every day for a month. Besides stamina, I had even greater concerns for what I would write about over the 31 days.

Happily I can say that both concerns, and many others I initially had, never caused a single roadblock in the journey. I had a few days when I experienced some writer’s block, but I managed to find a topic or unique post idea from others in the slicing community to keep me going.

I contemplated a few different ideas for this final post, but none really seemed to take flight. Before long, I realized the day completely got away from me, and after a late dinner with my husband, I realized I almost completely forgot to write my post!

Today was catch-up day in my classroom, since we have been on spring break this past week. It felt good to be back in my room, setting up the new April calendar, along with a few other beginning-of-the-month routines. I’m looking forward to the warmer days (goodbye, snowpants & boots!) and our month of poetry ahead. Fingers crossed for this new adventure with my kinders!

The rest of my afternoon was errand running. As I was entering Target, a little face caught my eye. It was a young girl, probably close to 18 months-old. She caught my eye because she reminded my so much of my 24 year-old daughter (whose birthday happens to be today). There was such a stark similarity I had to stop and take a second, and even third look. I was so struck  by it that the memory of that moment stayed with me for the remainder of the day. I have pictures of my daughter as a little girl, but there is something altogether different, and much more impactful, about an experience like this. For me, it was almost like being back in time, even if for just a moment. Part of me wanted to approach her and say hello, but I think that would have broken the spell. Just seeing her and having that memory for myself was enough.



#SOLC18 30/31: Moments in Time

Recently I have been watching documentaries on 9/11. That day, along with many others in my lifetime are etched in my memory forever. Some are more deeply seeded in my mind, while others are events that may not have been life-impacting, but carried enough significance to remain in my memory.

The day Elvis Presley died I was in grade school.

The day Mt. St. Helens erupted in Washington, blowing enough ash into Montana that school was cancelled for a week. I was 12 years-old.

The day John Lennon was shot. This was the first assassination of a public figure I experienced.

The day the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just after take-off. This was quite vivid, as I was living away from home for the first time in Washington, DC. I remember everyone was driving with their lights on in remembrance of the team who died.

The day of the Oklahoma City bombing. Little did I know this would not be the last such horrific bombing of a public building I would witness in my lifetime.

The day of the mass shooting at Columbine High School. This sort of horrific event was incomprehensible to me. Like the Oklahoma City bombing, I don’t think any of us could imagine this would not be the last of its kind.

The day Princess Diana died. So, so sad.

There were of course more historical events after this, many that carry great sadness. However, I can say that in my own life, the years after these tragic events occurred were filled with many of my happiest moments. Marriage, the birth of children, and all of life’s comings and goings while raising a family.

There is much to be celebrated in life, and much to be mourned. That is the balance of the life we live.



#SOLC18 29/31: I Would Rather…

I would rather…..                                                                     ….instead of 

drink white wine                                                                      red wine

get up early                                                                                stay up late

make piles                                                                                 put everything away

own a dog                                                                                  own a cat

vacccum                                                                                     dust

read a book                                                                               watch a movie

be alone                                                                                     be at a party

be the passenger                                                                    be the driver

bake cookies                                                                            make dinner

have a pedicure                                                                      have a manicure

walk                                                                                             run





#SOLC18 28/31: Tick-Tock Goes the Clock of Spring Break

A brief update from yesterday’s post:

I am happy to report that my Mr. Fix-It husband had very little trouble managing to get the not-quite-the-right-size-for-each-other poles to slide together, and from there we were a force to be reckoned with. In less than half an hour, our IKEA rolling cart was complete!

Now the decision of where it goes…. He has his ideas. I have mine. For now, we have negotiated a space in the mudroom until some place better makes itself known.

Meanwhile, I am sadly at the half-way point of spring break week. Sadder still, I don’t feel like I have even begun to check off all that I want to accomplish in these precious days at home. It is a challenge for me to stay focused and not get off task with mindless, pointless distractions: I think I’ll bake some _____; I probably should straighten out _____; This _____ has really been bugging me for a while..I should take care of it. The list of distractions is relentless, and at times I feel powerless against it!

If this is your spring break week, how are you spending the week? Is your to-do list dwindling, or are you, like me, fighting the demons of distractedness?

#SOLC18 27/31: Some Assembly Required

While in Portland earlier this month, we made the trek to IKEA. While I didn’t have a list of things I needed, I knew I would walk out with at least a few items that would be handy, decorative, or just plain fun.

My friend showed me a 3-tiered rolling cart that she already had two of in her house, and today they were marked down to a mere $25.00. I bit. Why not? I was certain I would find just the right place for this great organizational tool.

Today was unpack & assemble day.

It’s you and me, rolling cart…I can do this. I will not be intimidated.

Slowly, I unpacked all 21 metal pieces and small bag of nuts, bolts and screws. I found the Phillips screwdriver I would need, and I set in to conquer the project.

Step 1: (These are my words, as IKEA directions are strictly pictorial) Take the 4 long pole things, and slide smaller opening end of one tube into slightly larger opening end of another tube. Repeat.

Taking said tube in one hand, I proceed to slide the smaller opening into the other tube.

Like butter.

Taking the other two tubes in hand, I follow the same procedure.

Not butter. Not even close. Small opening definitely not fitting into slightly bigger opening. Not even close.

Just my luck.

Fingers crossed my husband has the remedy we need.

To be continued…