Puppy Duties Cause Writing Pause~ SOL#12~2017

All my daughter, Gracie, wanted for her birthday was a puppy.  She’s 24, a nurse and lives in an apartment.

“How is she going to take care of a puppy?” my husband asked.

“I don’t know,” was my response, “She’s an adult. I’m sure she can figure it out.”

I didn’t really think I’d find one and that would be the end of this idea.

Sitting down with my laptop two days before her birthday (yes, I procrastinate everything), I decided to just do a little search.  In the span of five minutes, I’d found one within two hours from our home. I texted my 25 year old son to see if he could go check it out.

“Why does Gracie need a puppy?” he asked.

“Because she wants one,” I replied in my Mother Voice.

“Geez,” he grumbled.

That same night, he bought the puppy, had to refrain from also buying the lone yellow lab left by himself, and we now had a secret to keep.

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(How did my kids turn into such dog lovers?)

Her birthday was not for two days, so I had secret puppy duties.

I didn’t sleep.  I cleaned up messes. I was on constant watch.  We snuggled. We took naps.

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No writing happened.

“I sure hope you are doing the right thing,” my skeptic husband kept shaking his head.

“Well, if she wasn’t supposed to have a puppy, it all would not have unfolded so easily,” I told him.

This, I believe.  I somehow felt Gracie’s angels nudging me to do this work and honestly, there was not a glitch in the system.  No canaries in the mineshaft.  Not a bump in the road. That’s gotta mean something, right?

“Whaddaya gonna do if she can’t take care of it?” he asked.

“I’m not going to worry about that,” but really, I was anxious.

Two days later, Gracie’s birthday arrived.  Puppy went in a box and we told Gracie it was just a box of liquor from Happy Harry’s.  She’s 24 remember. . .

She was a little surprised.

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“Well, it looks like you were right again,” admitted my husband. “I think she’s a keeper.”

“I think I had a little help,” I confessed.

(Those pesky angels.)

So, I’m out of the running for prizes on the SOL challenge for this year. That’s ok, I’ve been here before. The little breather was worth it and I’ve got some new writing material.

Life is good.

Shari 🙂

I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March.  To check out other writers, visit here.

 

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Who Are Your Secret Social Media Inspirationalists? #sol16

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The other day, I came across a facebook post by an artist I adore, Rachel Caringella.  She wrote about how there are people on social media that we follow, read their words and are deeply inspired by.  It’s almost like we can feel a connectedness to them, as if we were best friends.  We share common passions, feelings and thoughts.  To be honest, we are like-minded-souls.  We may comment or message them, but really, many of them have no idea that we even exist.

In my mind, that is perfectly okay, if it makes us happy.

I need to share out more who these amazing people are that inspire and energize me. They need to know of their healing powers.  And, I just need to say thank you. Thanking them for the work that they do, for putting their words out there.  They nourish both the heart and soul of others.  They feed the mind.  It is my obligation to say thank you.

Today, this person was Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

She posted this illustration on her twitter feed:

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It knocked me out of my chair because I am supposed to be working on a project for one of my doctoral classes that is due tomorrow.  I can’t get the words out that I want on to paper, so I keep revising my plan.  I sheepishly peered by behind me.  Was there someone watching me?  Seriously?

“Who is this lady?” I asked my laptop.  I had to know.

It’s pretty easy to do investigative work online.  You just keep clicking on the links.  It turns out, she is children’s author, illustrator, reader, Donalyn Miller fan, and even shares (for free, mind you) teacher resources for readers.

I dove into her site and tweets, marveled by her illustrations and creative work.  Her words so encouraging.

Struck by her found art, I discovered her  you tube video to share with my third graders this week for art workshop.  Her instagram page is just too much.

I got lost in her world for over an hour.

Then, her words jumped on my screen:

“My biggest piece of creativity advice for writers & illustrators (all ages): make time to PLAY.”

Ummmm. . . yeah.  That was it.  I forgot to play before digging into my work.  I know this.  Why can’t I remember it?  It would open the flow.  I know.

I pulled out my notebook, printed some images, grabbed my paper tapes (oh, how I love my paper tape), scissors, glue stick, markers and did some playing.  20 minutes later. . .

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It surely was a Happiness Day for me.  Thank you Debbie for inspiring me and reminding me to play.  Your influence will spill over this week when I introduce you to my kids at school.  And, hopefully, to others who read my words thanking you.

This week, my slices are showcasing the inspirationalists I call my friends on social media.  They don’t really know me, but, I am letting them all know that what they do matters.

Who are your secret social media inspirationalists?

Shari 🙂

I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March.  While I’ve missed a few days, I’m still in it for the long haul!  To check out other writers, visit here.

Dirty Dishes~ sol#16

 

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Knowing that your kitchen sink is adorned with the overflowing of dirty dishes causes one to linger in bed a little longer on a Saturday morning.  Even to get to the coffee maker means some dishes need to be washed. 😦  My husband snuck out of bed early to head up to work for a bit.  On any other Saturday morning, he would be helping, but today, it’s up to me.

I’ve never been one to fret about going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.  I know I should as it’s certainly not a pleasant way to start the day by peering into the sink wondering where the wash cloth is.  My mother would be horrified, although, I’ve also heard her say that she often wishes she could ignore the sink dishes and go straight to bed.  She has a lot of German in her, so I understand.

Her mother ironed sheets.

It doesn’t bother anyone else in the household enough to do them before bed, so why should I be concerned?  I ask for help, sometimes, and I get ridiculous excuses:

“I’m charging my phone right now.” (24 year old son)

“Actually, I was just going to watch this hunting show. How about after?” (husband)

“But, I didn’t dirty any of them.” (23 year old daughter)

“I was just about to take a nap.” (20 year old son)

“I don’t even live here anymore!” (26 year old daughter)

“Are there any scraps on those plates?” (dog – Sandy)

I will hear my Grandma Killian’s voice, “Oh, the hell with it,” and I just leave them.

I guess I have more Irish in me than German.

I have not decided if it’s a good trait or not.

Shari 🙂

Image above is from https://www.etsy.com/market/dirty_dishes.  I think I need to buy it as a reminder.

I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March.  While I’ve missed a few days, I’m still in it for the long haul!  To check out other writers, visit here.

 

Migration To My Sanctuary #sol16

I could begin this as my boo-hoo tale of how my coffee spilled all over my writing desk ruining papers, a binder and several books.  But, there is great light in this dark tale.  The coffee stained desk was parked in my bedroom, the “winter writing space”.  Today, as the temperature climbed to near 50 degrees, the mess on my desk pushed me to clean up and migrate up to my three season Sanctuary above the garage.

The space heater was hauled in to warm it up a tad and then the move was on.  A few hours later, my soul welled up.  I sat, savoring the gratefulness I have for my husband who made sure that when we added on to our house, I’d have my own space. Love that man.

Let me tell you about my Sanctuary.

My writing desk is really just one of those cheap white tables that fold up – you’ve used them for graduations and garage sales.  Straight from Walmart.  I need lots of space on my desk to spread out as I tend to need several books at hand when I write.  I cover the table with a quilt, hand stitched years ago when my children were small.  Scraps of fabric found their way into this quilt from some of the dresses I made my girls when they were small.  Yeah. Heart stuff here.

Atop the quilt sits a statue of my guardian angel who reminds me to be fearless.  I discovered her years ago in a thrift shop. There’s a story. Feathers are also here – reminders of angels surrounding me.  Quotes and pictures of family adorn my bulletin board for inspiration and to fill my heart with joy.  I have a flower pot filled with fodder (quips and clippings) from random places that I can pull to prompt writing – my hatching station.  I need to write about that.

In the corner is my personal library and my comfy chair I bought myself for my birthday last year. When you turn 50, you can buy yourself presents.  Note to self:  write about the library.

Behind my writing table is my art journaling table.  If I am stuck for writing, I scoot over to art journal.  This clears my mind and always, something appears that needs to be written down.  Like magic.  It’s the angels, I know.

I didn’t even show you my sewing corner.  It’s a mess over there. 🙂

This room.  Days get lost up here.

Where creativity runs free and the muses reside.

A safe haven from the world out there.

My sacred space.

 

Doodle Revolution #sol16

I’m in a little bit of a doodle frenzy lately.

The Doodle Revolution arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago and I’m kinda hooked on doodling my to-do lists, school notes, and reflections on my day.  It seems the visuals stick in my head a little more than just written text.

So, this morning, I doodled a flow chart doodle of how I would LIKE my day to go – of course this is all speculation and open to diversions.  Like lesson plans, we must leave room for intuitive moments of flow that nudge us down a different path.  As enjoyable as side trips are, eventually, we need to get back on course in order to accomplish what we intend to accomplish.

After reflecting on my intended plans for the day, I probably would have had time to complete all of my tasks, but, the house was quiet, so my bed called me over for a nap (I forgot to draw that in – it’s really not a productive event though).  I also got lost commenting on Slice of Life stories for a tad bit of time (so many inspirational pieces out there).  Oh, and I researched Donald  Trump for a bit to affirm my belief of why he should not be president. (This was easy work.)  I also spent some time digging around for snacks and trying to decide if I should bake something but I didn’t because I figured I’d eat it all because no one else is home.  So, I ate chocolate chips.

Sigh. Smile.

Life is good.

 

 

 

 

 

Shaken ~ By A Coffee Shop Employee

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I’m blessed to be able to travel to Ohio a couple of times a year for training at Ohio State University for my job as a literacy coach.  I travel alone and to be honest, I love spending time with myself alone.  The traveling is a bonus.

The mornings in Ohio are glorious.  Temperatures about 30 degrees warmer than MInnesota, the sun rises and warms the sky to wrap around you and just fill you with bliss.  My rental car, a spiffy little Chevy Cruz (a change from my big Trailblazer)  hugs the curves of the road as I drive about 15 miles to my destination.  The radio stays set at 104.9, The River, a Christian radio station that touches my soul each morning.  Yum.  Life is good.

Each morning in Columbus, on my way to training,  I swing by a Caribou Coffee shop for a large dark decaf, two shots of hazelnut syrup and steamed, whipped skim milk. ( M-m-m-m, just writing that makes me miss Ohio)  The drive through line always long, so I end up parking my car and walking inside to order.

One particular day, after placing my order and paying, I slide along the counter to wait at the end for my drink to be ready for pick up.  The gal who takes the order is never the maker of the order. She gives the order to this big, burly, 20 something year old guy who does all the coffee fixings.  I’m watching him and waiting, hoping he gets it right.

He hands me my cup and states, “Here’s your coffee.”

“Yay!” I’m rejoicing.  Happy day!  Life can begin now!

Then. . . I think, and I ask, “Is it decaf?” just to be sure.  I’ve been handed a regular coffee before, after a decaf request, and my body and mind do not sit well downing all that unintentional caffeine, so I NEED to double check.  Always.

“What?” he asks, looking at me confused.

“Is it decaf?” I ask again, a little clearer and a little louder.  Maybe he has a hearing problem, I don’t know.

He looks at me strange, then glances over at the gal who took the order and she says to him, “Yes, it’s decaf.”

He then, reports to me, “Yes, it’s decaf.”

“Thank you!” I tell him and I smile, taking my coffee and heading towards to door, all happy and warm inside.  Life is wonderful!

How could a morning be any better than this?  A perfect coffee, amazing weather, and an opportunity for me to engage in trainings that expand my mind and connect with other literacy coaches?  Honestly, I am so lucky!

Upon approaching the door, I then, hear the burly man say to the ordering gal, “Is this decaf???” in this loud, mimicing, obnoxious voice.

I stop dead in my tracks.  Jolted, I look over at him and he’s chuckling to her.  She looks at me with a “I don’t know him,” look.

What? I caught that.

Seriously?  In shock, I have trouble making my feet go forward.

My mind is asking, “Did that just happen?”

I am shaken.

As I walk to my car, stunned over this episode of pure disrespect for another’s well being, I almost forget where I am, what time it is and what I am doing there.  I manage to get inside the car and just sit there for a moment.  I take some deep breaths.

And then, I cry.

For Pete’s Sake.

“Really, Shar? You are going to let some idiot allow to enter your state of mind and wreck the flow of glorious love you are feeling?  What’s wrong with you?  He is not worth your energy or thoughts!  Shake this off!  Get a grip!”

I’m angry at myself for letting others affect me in this way.  I thought I had moved beyond this.  I’m an adult.  I can take a little criticism.  But, it’s the years of teasing in my elementary and early high school years that come flooding back.  Once a target for teasing, if that thorn is not yanked out, a little brushing up against it causes all the pain to come rushing back.  The pain is raw.

Or, (my mind running rampant now) is it that fact that I’m not some cute little young thing? I’m a middle aged, late 40ish, woman, who means nothing to this younger generation.  Ignored, unnoticed and unappreciated.  I’ll bet he would not mimic a cute 20 year old, like my daughters Gracie or Lauren.

I hate how the mind works in these situations.

I then realize that I have to write this down.  These disturbances within us are cause for a deeper exploration.  I don’t want to lose it, as uncomfortable as it is, I need to get to the root of why this stranger’s remarks can hurt me in such a way.

I drive to my training site and sit down next to a friend.  She asks how I am.  My story creeps out of me.  She looks at me with feelings of empathy and pain and tries to lift my spirits as women friends do.  “What an jerk,” she reassures me.  Then she asks, “Did you say something to him?  You should have, you know.”

Ughhh.  I know.  Now I’m even more perturbed with myself because I could not be calm enough to take a stand and say something in defense of myself.  What’s wrong with me?  I’m a mature, strong person?  Dang.  Double Dang.  I missed a major opportunity to practice standing up for myself. I’m so weak, I tell myself.

And then, this amazing thing happens.

Our topic of study in training that day?  Persuasive writing.  We dig into our memories of unjust acts towards us, how we might make the world a better place for all and putting our words on paper for the appropriate audience to make changes where change is due.

Boy, did I have stuff to write.

The Caribou Coffee shop manager was going to receive a letter from me explaining my experience.  I voiced how I did not want this nimbusul fired, but that I just wanted to make sure that they trained all their employees to treat their customers with the utmost dignity and respect.  For heaven’s sakes, the coffee shop people are often the first humans others speak to in the morning.  Their energy emits a tone for the entire day!  It should be their JOB to spread light to all they come into contact with!

Synchronicity again. The occasion happened to ready me for several opportunities, not just persuasive writing.  But, to examine what is deep inside of me that needs to be healed, and to awaken me to the fact that I need to work on wordage to stand up for myself and for others when unkind acts take place (without being a bitch ~ there is a line, you know.  However, Madonna says you have to be a bitch to get things done).

All I know is, I refuse to be a wimp anymore.  I will build my character.  Grow.  Teach others what it means to be kind and have compassion.

Maybe those idiots just don’t know. . .

Maybe their lives are far worse off than our own.

Sadly, because of their ignorance, I now, will get my coffee from Starbucks.