Signing up for Ashleigh’s Talent Show…solc19

Ashleigh walked out the door briskly, as she heard the solid think of the door. Her mind was racing with ideas, as her friend Pyper, strode along side her.

“Well,” Pyper questioned, “Did you do it?”

Ashleigh nodded with reluctance.

“Now what?” she shook as Pyper slapped her heartily on the back and grinned a mile wide.

“Now…. the talent!”

“I already told you I am NOT talented. Not unless you want me to stand and look like a wilting plant.” Ashleigh extended her wispy arms in a downward fashion, reminiscent of a willow she had once seen in a book.

Pyper laughed out loud as she started to list the possibilities….”Well, you said you were singing, so what’ll it be. Country, pop, blues, jazz….I know RAP.”

“That is NOT singing, and NO!”

A Ball of Yarn SOLC19

She imagines herself as a ball of yarn, one that should be easy to unwind, but is wound too tight.

She is a necklace with that epic knot that won’t be untangled.

Tug it. No.

Finesse it. No.

It requires to be cut. But until then, tied, tightly binding all that is free in her. Creativity. Love. Compassion.

It is all so hard, her mind an endless to and fro, a winding of the key, an endless darkness.

Let it all go, she says. Bright skies bring happy thoughts. Kind words. Acts of generosity and self care.

Loosen her core one by one. Snap! There rebounds one tiny filament. An eternity of twine to be unwound.

Time crawls at once in the winding of events and words…

Time will slither slowly in the loosening of the tense strings she has woven..

In the end she will be useful. Helpful. Compassionate.

For now she is wound.

Blankets and other compulsions

Today I am following the path of my fellow Slice of Life bloggers, and using the format of 31 things about me. Challenge accepted.

1. I just put 5 blankets on my bed, only because there were not 6. I love blankets, even though, I admit, I am one of those “at least one foot out of the cover” people.

2. I just downloaded a coloring app, not because I have all that extra time, but FLOW is a thing, for real.

My first masterpiece (color by number) was deceptively tedious.

3. I am a reluctant leader. I like to push the envelope, because it is my journey, and though I love when people follow, I like it to be because they, too want to push themselves.

4. “Pushing myself” is an extremely mental concept – my body rejects this notion in all forms, except aging. Good job bod.

5. I love writing songs for instruction Weird Al Yankovic style. Yep, your favorite pop hit is now about written composition strategies. You are welcome 4th grade.

6. I don’t sing. This is despite the fact that I was in choir until 8th or 9th grade and they could not find a place for me because I have no ear for sound. This is why my YouTube account of writing songs has few posts and even fewer views. You have to be in my class to hear melodies like that.

7. Speaking of howling, I have a Basset and a pug. Technically both are my sister’s babies. The basset is mine when she misbehaves.

8. I dog sit as a side gig. I love my puppy homes. Something about getting to be the fun puppy aunt that brings treats and fun. You can’t over-treat a dog for a week. Like the grandma of doggy-living.

9. There is the occassional escapee. I have cried and lost sleep when a fur baby bolts. They eventually come back because – treats.

10. I am procrastinator. No parent newsletter yet for this week. I believe in immediate rest following marathon weeks, and time relaxing as much as possible.

11. I just learned a lot of this wordpress stuff and love blogging from my phone. Better use of time than Facebook, probably…

12. Inspired by Rick Riordan and JK Rowling. The worlds they create. My favorite writing allows me to learn that which I had never known. Even though I studied it in high school, college, and in teaching. Mythology. Now. I. Get. It.

13. Flamingos. This is a thing on my campus. We are in Texas. I’m not sure why.

14. My classroom is bright yellow because….they let me. I love the sunshine.

15. Naps are my favorite restorative practice. Rest is important.

16. I have a twin who is the math to my language arts. She does not teach. She and I are pretty opposite. We even purposely have different color hair to make sure we are than much less a spectacle.

17. I can spend a lot of time and money in bookstores. Obvious.


I love Awkward Yeti comics. I am.the brain. I overanalyze, which is why it is hard for me to start writing.

19. This is year 21 or 22 for me, which means I have also taught in 9 schools. Rolling stone, no moss here.

20. This is NOT easy. I find it hard to share writing….so personal.

21. Favorite Song: Wonderful World Louis Armstrong.

22. I am currently geeking out about all things “A Star is Born.” I saw it with one of my favorite people and we ugly cried like babies after a long day of 1/2 day students, 1/2 day parent conferences, on the day after Halloween. All of that aside, the performances are EVERYTHING.

23. This is a long post. Stamina in writing will be a new goal.

24. I once gave my writing to my 5th grade teacher. Later that day, I saw it in the trash. It was silly kid writing but it was my poetry collection, an original. All my favorite stickers too. I never throw student love notes away until they are no longer in my class.

25. I tried to write creatively in high school, details were my kryptonite.

26. Speaking of Kryptonite, I am a fan on Marvel and can’t wait for the next two movies – Captain Marvel and Infinity Wars 2.

27. I love all writing utensils. I am not Flair exclusive. It is an illness really.


I have an embarrassing number of books on my kindle to read, yet every paycheck I have to see what just came out.

29. I love the TV shows Burn Notice and the Masked Singer. I can’t decide if that means I want to be a spy or just possibly someone who wears a costume and sings really badly. (See #5).


Love board and brush, especially the “distressing”. They give you 2 minutes to beat up your distressed work. I need like 30 or 45.

31. I am excited about this challenge!

Lighthouse #solc19

Today I am intrigued by the image of a lighthouse. I think because my school is a LIM school and we are reviewing for our Lighthouse status this year. We have been reflecting on Lighthouses a lot and I have started to think a bit more abstractly about the concept of being a lighthouse.

Lighthouses are strong.

Lighthouses are weathered.

Lighthouses are defined by the character of their battles with an angry ocean.

The important thing about lighthouses is the light.

Lighthouses illuminate for weary travelers.

Lighthouses guide sailors in an abundant and energetic ocean.

Lighthouses create a path of beauty even in the darkest storms.

The important thing about lighthouses is the light.

Lighthouses rest when their light is not needed in the brightness of day

Lighthouses let themselves be filled with the light.

Lighthouses are not fearful of being too bright or not bright enough

The important thing about lighthouses is light.


It was a gut check moment. The kind of moment that happened a million times a day for Ashleigh. Where most people experienced these moments once in a season, for Ashleigh they happened so many times it was like a fire drill siren going off in the middle of a thunderstorm. Her emotions were running the show, and her desire to flee was unrelenting.

She rubbed her sweat soaked hands against her perfect new jeans and grabbing the pencil, she scrawled her name on the sign up sheet. “There,” she thought, “Ashleigh, 5th Grade, Ms. Nelsen’s class.” She shifted from her left foot to her right as she looked at the next column. “Talent?” She read quickly through the other entries. Laurie….singing. Tara and Audrey were doing a skit.

How on earth did she think she belonged in this show? When she had found out it was on Grandma’s birthday, and had mentioned she would like to go instead of attending the usual family gathering, Grandma had suggested maybe Ashleigh participate in the show.

“Why don’t you sing that song you love so much?” Grandma had suggested.

Of course she was referring to “High Hopes” by her favorite band Panic at the Disco. Ironic. She did feel panicked, but nowhere close to any kind of dancing.

She scrawled, “Song. Unknown.”

She shuffled away scraping her feet on the tile as she left.

“What have I gotten myself into?” Ashleigh sighed heavily as she stuck her still clammy hands into her pockets. One alarm turned off, as another took its place.