Thursday, March 29, 2012

Channeling John Denver

Her bags are packed,
She's ready to go...

Heading to Nana and Grampa's house tomorrow at the crack of dawn, it's her first time on a plane all by herself.  She has everything she could possibly need, and a few things more.  I raced out to Target again at 9:45 because I decided that she needed other forms of entertainment - so a J-14 (?) mag and a container of mentos, as well as a collection of silly bands with squinkies and a puzzle book are now tucked into her backpack where she will find them on the way to the airport. 

She's nervous about being with her grandparents without the rest of her family - and a little sad to be leaving her home. She'll be excited once she gets there though, and at her age, when a week seems like an eon, she'll be back before she really knows that she's gone. 

I, however, will be lost without her. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Saga Continues

I got the go-ahead today from my doctor to remove the brace from my now-healed broken arm. At first I ripped the thing off, tugging at the black button and then frantically pulling it over my arm.  Freedom!  The arm and wrist were x-rayed again (I can't ever see much, but as long as the Doc's all good) and I was sent back to wait in the little cubicle.  A few rounds of Words with Friends later, in came my doctor, easily still in her twenties, and she spent a few minutes examining the x-rays and poking and prodding my arm. 

Her diagnoses?  Healing well.  "Don't do anything crazy," she said, and then looked quizzically at me. 

"What?" I asked, glancing around myself somewhat dis-concertedly.

"Well," she replied, "I'm thinking about what you do that would be considered crazy.  OK, no bike riding, or lifting 50 pound bags in the garden."

"Huh, I don't look like the rock climbing type?" I huffed. 

"No rock climbing then," she said with a smile.  As I headed out the door I found myself wishing she had said "No dishes!" 

Guess I'm not very crazy, I thought, as I put my brace back on and headed out to the car!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A different sort of mission today

Hosted a retirement party today at our school, and while it is a lot of work, I was very happy with the results.  Our retiree was enthusiastic, and I hope goes home feeling loved and celebrated for her years of service. Lots of lovely images stick in my mind:  seeing old friends, collaborating with a fun group, tables of teachers that I love united to say thank you.

However, this is the image that will remain with me for a while:

All heated food was being warmed or baked in our educational kitchen on the lower level of the school building.  The party was set to begin at 2:45, so we prepared everything to come out of the oven at 2:15 or so - and then we would bring the carts of food upstairs on the elevator.

My timing was terrible, I headed out the kitchen door, cart loaded, to the other end of our building where the elevator is located - a good stretch down the hall.  Seconds after I left the door, a rush of sixth graders, freshly released from classes and storming towards their lockers, came straight for me.  A kindly colleague took pity on me and guided my cart loaded with fried chicken, mini quiches, spanikopita and cocktail meatballs through the throng of children.  Like the scene from a Monty Python movie when the guy walks in front of the cart yelling, "Bring out your dead," he yelled "Coming through, Careful now, Coming through."  I was burdened by the cart and moved carefully through the "village" of our school.  The young people stared and hollered, "She's got fried chicken!" and then kept moving. 

Abandoned by my trusty guide, I pushed the cart off the elevator onto the second floor to relative peace and quiet.  I turned the corner and headed down the main hallway towards our library (again, most of the way to the other end of the building).  At this point, seventh graders were leaving their lockers and streaming toward the school's exits.  Walking by, I became aware of arms playfully reaching toward the food on the cart.  As if in a horror movie, the scene before me slowed and the flailing limbs reached for the quiches accompanied by high pitched screams of "Are those chicken wings?" and "Food!" While our students would never actually grab, I had visions of food disappearing off the cart, scavenged by the ravenous beasts that leave our building at 2:24.  I lowered my head and shoulders in determination and manuevered the cart to the library, around hallway obstacles (of the living and breathing kind), carefully monitoring the status of the food all the while. 

Later my daughter said to me, "Mom, didn't you see me waving at you?  What was all of that food?  You didn't even look up? We even hollered hello!"

Hmm, I was on a mission, I guess. We accomplished it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

In the Name of Love?

I dumped two loads of clean laundry on the couch next to me and hunkered down to fold and watch "Becoming Jane," starring Anne Hathaway.  I'm not a huge Hathaway fan...but I do love Austen.  Strains of classical music accompanied opening scenes of the traditional green English countryside.  Looking away from the scene and my folding, I realized I had a companion.  My 15 year old son had decided to finish his homework and watch with me.  Usually verboten, I allowed him to join me...

I wondered first how long he might stay - and next, what he was going to think about this very Austen-like story of Jane's real life.  Full of the misguided romance and tragedy that one might expect from her novels, it is a gripping story for one of my age and disposition...but for a teenage boy? 

He worked and watched for the first hour, and getting restless, I thought he was going to leave.  But, when Jane decides to elope to Scotland with her "true love" he sat up, gripped, like myself, in Jane's rebellion.  When Jane learns of the impact of their elopement on her paramour's family and decides that their love must be sacrificed, to save his family, my boy buried his head in the couch pillow. 

He is a kind of quiet kid - sometimes sharing his thoughts - more often keeping those thoughts to himself.  So, we didn't talk much after the end of the movie.  "It was ok.," he mumbled to me.  This afternoon, though, after returning home from school he totally shocked me when he asked, "Mom, is there a part two to the Jane Austen movie we watched yesterday?"  Sadly, no - that pretty much covered her brief life - but perhaps it opened his young eyes to consider the power of love - from a less-than "happily ever after" perspective. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Guilty Pleasure

I sat down in the lovely blue chair in the Lands End department of Sears this afternoon.  The girls were in the dressing room and the armload of clothes that I was carrying around was just dragging me down. We had been remarkably successful finding the "business attire" for my twelve year old to wear at her Model UN competition this coming weekend.  But, when she decided she wanted to try clothes on "just for fun, Mom," the lower back began to ache and I could feel a headache pulsing forward.

With no reason to say no, only laundry and vacuuming waiting for me at home, I sat down in the chair to wait comfortably.  A couple of rounds of Words with Friends later, I could feel my eyelids start to drift down.  Who's going to notice? I thought.  I gripped my cell phone a little tighter in one hand and let my eyes close.  I had a vague sense of shoppers walking by - perhaps an employee or two as well checking to see that I wasn't ill.

Kindly, no one disturbed me.  Some time later (I'm not sure how long) I eased back into wakefulness and my phone signaled a text.  It was Rebecca and Sophia, they wanted to show me their favorite dresses (strapless and very glamorous!) which we did not purchase - and then it was time to go.

Not sure why shopping with Tweenagers is so exhausting...Glad I got a little nap.

Friday, March 16, 2012

An Amazing Evening

Paddy Maloney, of The Chieftains, played his "tin whistle" in a merry Irish jig and gradually the rest of the band quieted until just the sharp, lilting tune pierced the ears of the audience at the Kennedy Center Concert hall.  Only then did I hear the thrumming of a regular beat keeping time with the whistle.  I  stared  at all of the instruments on stage, but not one other was playing, just the whistle.  Who was keeping time?  Where was the rhythm coming from?  A movement drew my eyes, and I glanced left. Patrick's knee was bouncing in time, my Dad's knee was bouncing in time, and my Mom's knee was as well.  It was then that I realized that the traditional Irish Folk music was working its magic on the crowd and it was feet tapping that accompanied the lone tin whistle. It wasn't much longer until we were all standing up stomping and clapping what felt like an age-old rhythm.

Rebecca said on the way home, "Mom, I could feel that music all the way to my heart!"  I could too, Rebecca, I could too.


Thursday, March 15, 2012


I am a collaborative person - I like working with others. I like sharing my ideas and I like listening to others' thoughts and ideas.  More and more these days I realize how important the collaborative relationships in my life are. 

I walk every morning, early, and I have to be honest...the only reason I get out of bed is that I know Cindy will be waiting for me.  There is no guilt - we established that early on - but there is an expectation that we will support each other in our quest to exercise.  I'm not a Jillian Michaels type of suburban mom - although Cindy probably could be - so the goal isn't to have the best looking abs in the neighborhood.  But we drag ourselves out of bed because for one of us to not go would be letting the other down.  I so appreciate Cindy's support - part exercise, part talk therapy - yep, at 5:30 in the morning.

Once a month I have the opportunity to collaborate with a special group of people - both teachers and writers - and the evening is always both entertaining and thought-provoking.  I love that we are able to talk teaching "shop" for much of the evening, without excluding anyone.  And, our passions run along similar lines, although our methodologies may differ, and what a safe place this is to think and share philosophy about teaching and schools.  Our writing, too, benefits from the safety of this group.  Constructive feedback for us seems to always start with what we enjoyed about another's writing - or what part spoke to us.  Tonight we shared favorite slices that we've posted thus far; and, like the lovely comments from slicers from around the world, the feedback from a friend and trusted colleague means so much. 

Perhaps the ultimate collaboration is sharing responsibility for the care of another - be it a pet, a child, or an elderly parent.  This daily, long-term collaboration often gets short shrift in today's busy world, but it is vital to listen and share thoughts with each other about how things are going. Perhaps to facilitate this, a date night does make sense - although I resist leaving our charges - it is important to nurture the sharing and listening, the foundation for excellent collaboration. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sensory Overload

I'm sitting outside on the back porch, laptop perched on my lap and a cool seltzer water sits next to me.  Possible blog topics are slipping and sliding through my consciousness - but I haven't been able to grab onto one yet.  I'm distracted. 

The chirps, tweets, and caws of the birds around me cause my head to spin. With very little imagination, I am sitting somewhere very tropical enjoying the beautiful songs of a very diverse bird population.  I wrinkle my nose catching flavors wafting over the deck from the neighborhood around us.  Pie crust, cherry, I know cause it's in our oven, along with something curry or cumin like.  And, there is steak being grilled somewhere, possibly with a marinade.  Occasionally, the Bradford Pear tree insults me with its odor...a smell in great contrast to the delicate white blossoms that adorn its branches.  A chorus of neighborhood dogs make their presence known (fortunately my beagle is just listening); the barking punctuated by the metallic clink of bat and a ball from down in the park. The fountain in the pond has been reattached and its merry tinkle sets a relaxing tone.  A phone rings, the vague murmur of voices floats by.

I can't concentrate!  :) 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brace Myself...

The cast was removed today!  X-rays showed that my broken arm is healing pretty well, so I had a choice: new cast for the last couple of weeks, or a brace, whose bonus was that I can remove it to shower. 

No choice, as far as I'm concerned.  The itchy, peeling skin emerging from the cast has been absolutely disgusting, not to mention the waft of unwashed arm that I have occasionally gotten (although with increasing frequency in the last week.)  Remove it to shower?  I haven't been more enticed since...well, in a long time. 

The vibrating saw split the cast easily, and scissors took care of the fabric arm protector.  Freed from its captivity and my arm somewhat misshapen, I rubbed for the sheer joy of feeling sensations there.  Until I realized that I was shedding dead skin all over.  The nurse laughed and directed me to the sink for a lovely scrub with soap.  After five minutes or so she said, "Hon, you're not going to get it all off now.  It'll take a few days."  I stopped scrubbing, but ran the warm water over the arm surreptitiously for a few more minutes. 

Technology is amazing.  The nurse called to me a few seconds later saying that the brace was baking, it should be done in a few minutes and to hang tight.  HUH?  She came in then with an Exos Brace which after being heated is formed around the broken bones to provide a comfortable fit and protection from movement.  She demo'd how to get the brace on and off - and reminded me that this was essentially a removable cast - I'm still not supposed to be doing a lot with the arm.

I'll have to keep working on that.  In the meantime, if you can't find me, I'll be washing my arm.

Monday, March 12, 2012


For the last few weeks my morning walking buddy and I have felt lighter and more enthusiastic when we were walking.  By the time we reached the climax of our three miles (the top of a really big, steep hill) we could see sunrise peeking in the East, over the high rises of Arlington.  Truly, we felt we were being rewarded for being out at 5:30 and exercising!

This morning we were being punished.  It felt like 4:30 (hmm, my body thought it was 4:30) and the dark was enveloping. It was pitch black, brutally dark when I got up to walk this morning.  Except for the temperature, a balmy 43, it could have been December again. 

I have never considered myself a spring person; in fact, I love the warmth and coziness of fall.  However, I do enjoy when the mornings get brighter - and that feeling of lightness pervades everything!  I know it'll go by fast - in a few weeks there will be light again at the end of our walks.  In the meantime, we walk on.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Slow Motion

My sister had a baby girl a few weeks ago.  I stopped in to see them both this afternoon and experienced the wonderful slow motion that holding a very small baby sometimes creates.  Perhaps this sense of a time warp comes because I regret that mine are so big, so fast - and it is almost hard to believe they were ever as small as my niece is.

I found holding baby Laine to be a truly sensory experience.  The soft plumpness of her cheek, the wisp of blond hair on the top of her head, the sweet smell of powder and warmth, I basked in these details.  She's a squirm-er and pretty vocal about things. Not once did her eyes open, but she stretched and huffed and puffed. The sweetest meow sounds came from her mouth, and her legs pushed in and out often.  

Because she was born a few weeks early, she is very small.  When I first held her (5 lbs, 5 oz's) I was truly fearful of squishing or dropping her.  Today she is a more solid 6 lbs, 10 oz's and I had no qualms about holding her.  When I gave her back to my sister, however, my arm ached.  Out of practice, I guess. 

I could have sat there for hours watching her and talking to my sister about how crazy wonderful it is that she is a mom.  But, reality texted me - and reminded me that my own 12 and 15 year old babies were working on homework and needed help and food.  Wistfully, I handed Laine back to her mom and dad and headed back into the fray!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Unwanted Visitors

I'm in a bit of a grouchy mood.  The dog barked all night long - this means that our midnight marauder is back.  Drastic measures must be taken today.  

We have a beautiful fish pond integrated into our deck.  My husband worked tirelessly planning and implementing this lovely final project in our home renovation.  Over the last couple of years the fish pond has become his passion - in additional to a variety of beautiful water plants, he has added fish, snails and a bullfrog or two. Every spring he contemplates carefully new additions to the pond, and an annual trip to the water garden store on Father's Day ensures that the garden will add to the relaxing feel of the deck.  We didn't really anticipate there would be much trouble with the fish pond, until the neighborhood raccoon discovered its existence.

Much like the never-ending battle of man against squirrel for the bird seed, we have tried a number of methods to protect the fish pond from the devious raccoon.  When he last visited (i'm assuming it's a he) he left plants pulled up or knocked over and cracked snail shells on the side of the pond.  Fortunately it is so early in spring, he didn't damage any plants last night, their growth is still underwater.  Despite it only being March, it is time to put up my husband's final and best method for eliminating our unwanted visitor...the Coon Be-Gone, an ingenious contraption designed to shoot water like a sprinkler across the deck when anything enters within range of its motion sensor.  It's not a little sprinkle, either, it's a strong blast of moving water! We've never had to put it up this early, but I imagine that the mild winter we have had has brought the raccoon out to explore everything a little earlier than is typical.

"What about the dog? you ask.  Well, she smelled it, for sure.  And the first time we came into the kitchen and turned on the lights, I imagine the raccoon skedaddled. But did the determined beagle give up?  She knew something had been out there and she was determined to protect us...from midnight until 5:30 - when she realized she had been barking all night and it was time for her to catch some sleep.  Grrrrr.

Tonight, hopefully, the Coon-Be-Gone will take care of any visitors, the dog will have no need to defend her territory, and I will get a good night sleep.

Here's hoping! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

An Evening on My Own

There is nothing more humiliating than paying a library fine - for movies!  We just hadn't gotten them back, and wanted to watch them, so I wrote the check for 25 dollars, internally reminding myself that this money might be considered a donation to this wonderful public institution.  The librarian was very nice - said not one word to denigrate me for irresponsibility - smiled happily when our transaction was finished, and directed me to the shelf of new books that had just arrived.

With no one else waiting on me, I slowly perused the shelves of shiny spines and colorful lettering looking for familiar authors and intriguing titles.  I pulled a couple to hang on to, grabbed another one from the display table, and moved toward the self-checkout, comfortable that having done penance earlier I could take these books without a guilty conscience. 

A few minutes later I found myself in the frozen food section of Target - looking for meatless options that were both quick and easy.  Mesmerized by the lights and bright colors I wandered up and down the aisle considering the food choices available and my own wants and desires.  Finally, a PF Chang's frozen meal spoke to me, and I moved on to the Wine aisle.  There I picked a cute little purple box of wine...I couldn't wait to write that...and headed to the checkout.  Ahead - an evening at home, all by my self.

It is pretty unusual for me to have the evening with no one else around, and without having to consider anyone else's needs, and upon arriving at home I was somewhat uncertain how to proceed.  I put away the dirty dishes, then picked up the clutter left from a busy day.  Finally I opened my first book, "poured" a glass of wine, and snuggled into the comfy couch, secure in the knowledge that when I was hungry I would cook.  This was a moment to treasure.

Happy Friday. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spreading his Wings

"Have you got clean underwear?"

"Yes, Mom."

"How about your toothbrush?"

"Yes, MOM."

"Belt? Black shoes? Pajamas?"

"Mom,  I don't wear pajamas; I'm wearing shorts to sleep in.  And, yes, I have all of those."

"Black socks?  Will it all fit in the suitcase?  Did you remember toothpaste?  Do you think you will get hungry?  How about snacks?  Will you know what to wear, when?  Remember you must wear a white t-shirt under your dress shirts, and black socks with black pants.  Also - don't eat or drink anything from the mini-bar, it costs a fortune.  Do your homework. Don't forget to be polite, friendly, but watch out for yourself.  Watch your curfew, don't go running by yourself...I know trace qualifiers are Monday.  Pick up after yourself, don't leave the place a mess.  Be ready to go on time, shower, brush your teeth..."

What more can I tell my fifteen year-old as he heads off on a weekend field trip with DECA?  I guess these situations are a chance for him to figure things out...and he'll be fine.  It'll be me who will be a little lost this weekend.

"Do you have a wallet?  Did you put the cash in it?  Can you keep it safe?"


"I love you!"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cast Impressions, cont.

The reality is, despite my enthusiasm, having a cast is a big pain.

My mother-in-law called me a couple of days into my life with a cast.  She was calling to give me some advice.  "Ellen," she said quietly, "you will have to allow some people to help you, you know.  I broke my arm years ago, and hurt it by rolling up the car window.  I was so proud."  Her words struck a chord and my eyes welled up with tears; I was already struggling with having to ask for help.  "I've got to run.  Take care," she said and quickly hung up.  I held the phone away from my ear, a little frustrated and a lot worried. I've joked with my family about willingly giving up control of many aspects of my world - often - how happy would I be give up laundry?  The reality is, though, that my identity is wrapped up in many of those things that were going to be hard for me to do for the next six weeks.

Who knew that I would miss doing the dishes?  I'm not obsessive about having a clean kitchen, but I do like to have the dishes clean and the counters wiped up before I go to bed.  The first week and a half my family and I struggled around whose responsibility it was to do the dishes. Initially, I ran the water in the dishpan and loaded the dishwasher in the hopes that someone would take a hint.  Then, after waking up multiple mornings to dirty dishes in the sink, I began to consider other options.  I finally decided that my mother-in-law was correct, I was going to have to ask for help with this one.  If my spouse had cooked dinner (which happens daily; I know, lucky, right??) then he shouldn't have to wash dishes...and in fact, isn't it time for my fifteen and twelve year-old children to learn how to clean up the kitchen?  Aha, having a broken arm would be a good learning experience for the kids...brilliant!  So, now I have my clean kitchen in the morning when I wake up.  However, I have had to mediate the process of deciding who is washing each evening.  I know now why I have done this myself for so long...

Asking for help has never been easy.  There are a lot of things that I have just had to modify for myself in order to make them happen.  Typing, for example.  Everyone was so glad for me that I broke my left hand...I'm right-handed.  But, the reality is I don't write much - I type lots...with both hands.  The doctor asked if I was going to need any accommodations or help at work; hmm - a secretary?  Not happening.  So, my left hand perches awkwardly over the keyboard and the fingers stretch out sporadically to hit those keys on the left hand side.  I've found myself typing right-handed and resting my left hand to reduce the pressure and swelling...I'm getting better at texting, but typing one handed is slow!

The end is in sight, though.  Next week I will have this cast removed, a new set of x-rays to confirm I'm healing, and hopefully the opportunity to wash the stinky, shedding arm really well!  Then, back on with another cast for the final two weeks.  Right before spring break I should be cast free - and very appreciative for all of the help that has been given!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cast Impressions

I was always a little jealous of people who broke something and got to wear a cast.  How awesome, I'd think, to have all of that attention - from parents, from doctors, from other students.  Cool decorations really made the cast eye-catching.  I was envious that those with casts could accessorize in a way that wasn't available to me.  I managed to move out of childhood without a broken bone, much to my dismay and my parents' relief.  However, just two weeks ago I was initiated into the broken bone club - once I got over the pain and shock, I was gleeful:  A cast, at last!

Truly it was an idyllic morning.  I was walking through the William and Mary Campus - a light dusting of snow covered the cobblestones - and the sun glistened in the early morning sky.  I felt young, like the college co-ed that I had been over twenty years ago.  Contemplating the great minds that have called Williamsburg and the W and M campus home, I know I was daydreaming about intellectual greats and infinite possibilities.  Moving with vigor, I started across a crosswalk, only to pull up short when I realized a tow truck was coming by.  The abrupt change in motion, caused by the slippery cobblestones caused my feet to slip out in front and my body to slam down on my left arm.  Sensitive to the passing truck, and mortified, I leaped up (insisting to the driver that I was ok) and kept walking toward the building where I was meeting a friend.  Once there, the consensus was injured, and a trip to the ER was in order.

Later, in the Emergency Room, my arm was splinted and a fracture was confirmed.  It was touch and go there for a while, the doctor couldn't see anything broken.  But the radiologist confirmed a break - and the Dr. determined a cast would be necessary, once the swelling went down.  How exciting!  A cast, at last.  I selected a lovely royal blue (school colors, of course) and picked up a gold pen for students to write on it.  Finally I had a cast!

Tomorrow's episode:  The downside!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Very Productive Day

I don't enjoy being mad.  In fact, I go to great lengths to avoid getting angry, but perhaps I should re-think that. Something this morning caused me to feel great tension and frustration.  I couldn't do anything about the situation so I:
-removed the dust from all of the flat surfaces in my house
-cleaned two bathrooms
-vacuumed every single dustbunny I could find
-wiped down all of the kitchen counters
-put away all of the dishes
-helped the kids clean their rooms
-took oldest child shopping for necessities
-took youngest child shopping for necessities (separately)
-washed and folded 6 loads of laundry (there is one left)

 I'm exhausted, but proud of my productivity.  Do I feel any better?  Not yet, but perhaps after an episode of watching Mr. Carstens and Mrs. Hughes on Downton Abby, I might feel like I lived up to their standards!  Certainly Lady Mary couldn't have accomplished what I did today. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Nail Biter...

When he was young, I loved going to basketball games.  We moms would sit on the bleachers and watch the exciting parts; well, we would talk mostly and would cheer when the ball was shot near the hoop.  He called me out one day early in his second season though.  "Mom, you don't see any of the game - all you do is talk to the other moms." 

Guiltily, I realized he was correct, so I worked to stay more focused on the games.  However, I have to admit, the joy I took in going to his games was both from watching him on the court and from spending time talking to the other moms about raising boys. 

He's fifteen now, and we are just home from the first game in the playoffs, and this was an incredible game.  We moms didn't have a chance to talk to each other, the intensity of the game was relentless.  Gasping and cheering, we were totally focused on our boys on the court - incredible shots and the wrenching misses,  fouls called by the refs and the fouls missed by the refs, and the raw energy pulsing up and down the court. 

Gone are the sweet little boys who looked so cute chasing the ball down the court.  Replacing them are lithe and lanky young men seriously implementing the team's mission.  I still do love going to his games: the chance to visit with other moms is invaluable, especially at this age.  But we moms are more often gripped by the incredible athleticism, fluid collaboration, and great sportsmanship on the court that shows how much these young men have grown.

They Won.  Championship Game, next weekend.  Whoo HOO!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Back in the Saddle

So many activities are just easy to pick up and do - even after months of not doing them.  How often have you heard, "It's like riding a bicycle, you never forget how to do it."  However, I'm finding myself a little rusty and a lot apprehensive that, as I begin this month of daily writing, I have forgotten how to do it.  Am I up to the Slice of Life Challenge?

Oh, I have written in the last 11 months, but not much that I could call slice-worthy.  My writing has tended more along the lines of field trip slips and shopping lists, letters to parents and justification memos, or thank you notes and evites. I'm out of practice.  Delving once again into the details of daily living, thinking about and considering details that might disappear in light of the whole day, but sparkle when explored up close, this is writing for the Slice of Life Challenge - really, how exciting to be poised to try this again.   

What makes the Slice of Life so enticing?  The feedback that on occasion magically appears at the end of my post - the connections, the agreements, the polite disagreements - YOU are the reason that I am picking up the figurative pen, again, to try the SoL!  Thanks to Tracey, Mary, and Leah and all the rest of the slicers who will motivate me to share wee details of the days of our lives through their thoughtful comments - and get back into the daily writing habit.