Friday, September 19, 2014

Poetry Friday


Amy is hosting Poetry Friday over at The Poem Farm today. Be sure to visit and explore the many wonderful poems and poetry related posts there. Here is my offering for the day. I wrote it this afternoon in response to my hurried week and this lovely book by Rana DiOrio that reminds me to be present.


A Lesson from My Dog

Hurry, hurry, hurry
What's the rush?
Trying, trying, trying
To fit it all in.

Sometimes I resent sleep.

Sleep keeps me
From reading all the books,
Writing all the stories,
Seeing all the places,
Connecting with all the people
But,

Sleep, sleep, sleep
Is marvelous.
My exhausted body craves it
After the hurrying worrying days.

Today I crawled across the floor
To lay down with my dog.
My body thanked me
For being still.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Slice of Life




The Slice of Life Challenge was created by the people over at the blog Two Writing Teachers. The challenge is to write about some part of your day and share it each Tuesday.



As I started out on my run, I planned to go over the big blue bridges like I had the past week. I changed course though and headed towards the art center. This lead to several discoveries. There were bird shadows painted onto the sidewalk squares. That slowed me down just in time to see this poem:


There were many poems along my way and many more sights to see that were new to me. A mural that I had been wanting to find was right there in front of me when I turned a corner.

"Confluence" mural in La Crosse
I discovered a playful pair of footprints too. 

Kiss or Hug?
The sun was setting and lights were winking on as I continued on my run. Three ducks were swimming up river and lights were sparkling on the water as I passed many people enjoying the evening.

What I loved most though was running through the Moon Gate into the International Friendship Garden where we wandered earlier this summer with our exchange student. She and my daughter embodied the spirit of the garden as they posed on the Friendship Bridge.


The garden is a place dedicated to celebrating and encouraging connections between people. We were blessed to meet our student, but it is difficult knowing we won't be together again for a long time. Still, the memories brought a smile to my face.

Changing my course for the evening brought me many moments of joy and I am thankful for that.

** All of the photos are my own, but I took them before or after my run. At the time I wished for a camera, but was also glad that without it, I could just enjoy myself and be present.

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted. 

The Past Week:


All of these are books I would recommend. My favorites were Wild Things, Relish, Meet Danitra Brown, and Becoming Naomi Leon, but I really enjoyed all of them. 

The Coming Week: 

I am almost finished with the audio of Traveling with Pomegranates. I just started the ARC of Kiss Kill Vanish and I am looking forward to the release of Pig Park later this week. I am sure I will pick up a few other books over the course of the week. I wish you a wonderful week of reading.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Celebrate!

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres has a link-up on Saturdays where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every day.

Here are my celebrations from the past week in no particular order.


** I had two fantastic runs this week. One was along the Mississippi and the arts area in La Crosse. There are poems printed into the sidewalks and I took the opportunity to blend my love for running and my love for reading. It was a beautiful crisp evening and my run was pretty close to perfect. The other run was this morning with a good friend. We ran in the wetlands seeing ducks, geese, a blue heron, and many other fun birds. The company was even better than the scenery.

View of Capitol building from the race start in Madison, WI
View of the finish line from Capitol building
** My husband completed his second Ironman. I was a seasoned spectator so we were able to plot our way through. We saw his entire swim, found a sneaky spot near the bike transition, saw him twice out on the bike and many times on the run. We even found an awesome viewing spot from high up on the capitol building and watched the first two finishers arrive.

** Oh, the food! Yum. We had a fabulous breakfast in hobbit style. We ate before the swim portion of the Ironman and since we got back to the hotel so quickly, we were lucky enough to have second breakfast too. We stopped at a Korean market after cheering out on the bike course. There we bought ice cream treats, drinks and cookies. After we cheered some more at the run, we found a greek place for a late lunch. With more hours to go, we eventually stopped for Jamba Juice (the kids), coffee (my mother-in-law) and bubble tea (for me) and contentedly rested on a bench.

** Classes at school have been going very well. I have shared some great books with students, The Pigeon Needs a Bath, The Adventures of Beekle and Naked! along with What Do You Do With an Idea? and Meet Danitra Brown. I have enjoyed getting to know the new students and reconnecting with the others. I especially liked meeting my tech crew for the first time and preparing for our first video announcements. The tech crew students are always so eager to create.

** My daughter typically plays singles in tennis, but it was a treat to get to see her play doubles this week. It's just always a treat to see her play, but her teammate was also a librarian's daughter. That made me giggle.


** A book celebration this week was reading Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature. I laughed out loud and had so much fun while reading it.


** My husband and I got to hike for a little while in a nearby forest. This is a really nice time of the year with pleasantly cool temperatures. Our hike would have been a tad longer, but we got a call from my daughter saying that we had an exchange student coordinator at our house and had we forgotten she was coming? Yup. We had. I was sad that she had to wait for us, but truly, I was glad I had forgotten or we wouldn't have hiked and I would have spent time cleaning when the house was actually fine.

I hope you had some great things to celebrate this week.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted. 

The Past Week:



Last week was the first week of school, a visit from my mother-in-law and my husband's Ironman race, so not a lot of reading was happening. The books I read were great though. I listened to The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and had a lot of fun. I didn't know what I was getting into, but enjoyed the vampires and the very interesting storyline. What Does it Mean to Be Present? is a fantastic picture book about be conscious of the moment you are inhabiting and appreciating that time and space. It was a good reminder for me and I think it will be meaningful to many readers both young and older. Many thoughts from the book popped into my head during my very busy week.

The Coming Week:

Currently Reading

I am listening to the memoir and reading the other too the old-fashioned way. I am not sure what else I will be reading, but I am almost finished with these three so will surely grab a few other titles during the week. By the way, Wild Things! is freakishly good. 

I hope you have an excellent week of reading.




Saturday, September 6, 2014

Celebrate!

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres has a link-up on Saturdays where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every day.

Here are my celebrations from the past week in no particular order.

* Today while I was out on my run, I heard a band playing so I wandered in that direction. There was a charity walk going on (Stepping Out in Pink) and a local university band was playing to support the walkers. It was a fun atmosphere to be around and I also bumped into one of my students and his family.

Photo credit: Punk Toad via Flickr http://bit.ly/1lNQgqQ CC Attribution License 2.0

* Another thing that added to my run was that I was running in La Crosse while my daughter was at orchestra. I don't often run there and it is always a treat to be able to run over the big blue bridges across the Mississippi.

* We finished our first full week of school! Lessons went smoothly and there were way more smiles than tears from all concerned. That is always a good thing.

* My mother-in-law arrived safely and is here to witness my husband's second Ironman race. She went to our exchange student's soccer game, watched my daughter's tennis match and got to see her march in the band at the high school football game too.

* I get to see my son today as we are traveling to Madison for the Ironman and that's where he goes to college.

I hope your week has had many good things in it to celebrate. Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Slice of Life




The Slice of Life Challenge was created by the people over at the blog Two Writing Teachers. The challenge is to write about some part of your day and share it each Tuesday.

Today was the first day of school and I arrived with a smile. It was energizing to see the many shining faces streaming into the building. There were lots of hugs and squeals as friends found each other.

This year I had determined that I want to spend more time listening to others - both staff and students. That's not an easy thing though. It's especially difficult in the early days when there are so many procedures to explain and demonstrate. I found it challenging to make space for students to do more of the talking. It wasn't perfection, but my voice is doing okay after nine classes so I must have been quiet at least a little bit of the time.

The other goal I have is to be brave and encourage students to do the same. I want us all to be more willing to take creative risks and even be willing to fail at things as we learn together. 

Remembering to see myself as a learner within this community of learners will be the first step to meeting both of these goals. Wish me luck.