Who Are You?

Sitting at my desk, I have a view of our street. I casually keep tabs on the neighbors as they come and go. Occasionally a stranger comes up our cul de sac street. I wonder, who are you and why are you here?

So, one day I am in my usual position when a car scoots up the road, but there is a problem right in front of our house. The road is coated with a layer of sleet and snow, plus there is a slight incline as one gets to the end of the cul de sac. That incline was too much for this car.

The back tires spun rapidly but went no where. The driver backed up a few feet. Tried the approach again. Same result. Now the driver, (a young girl wearing tennis shoes with no socks), gets out and examines the snow situation in front of her tires. No, the snow is not deep enough to stop her, so she gets back in the car to repeat her previous actions. Would you be surprised to learn that the car still did not move?

Now she has a brilliant idea of taking the floor mats out and placing them in front of the front tires. The back tires continue to spin, she moves forward an inch. Time to reassess. She hops out once again and this time puts the floor mats in front of the back tires. Once she is back in the car, she steps on the gas. There is a slight moment of hesitation, then the tires grab onto the mats and she moves forward.

She pulls into my driveway, backs out to head back down the street. She stops to collect her floor mats (which are covered in snow by now), and scoots down the street to disappear from my view.

So I am left wondering . . .

  • Why did you come up our street?
  • Where were you going?
  • Why didn’t you just back down the street?
  • Who are you?

I suppose these are questions that will never have answers.

Nonfiction 10 for 10

10 for 10 nf

I just love the days when book love is shared! Nonfiction has changed so much from when was in school (many, many, many years ago). I am so thankful for the authors who bring the world right to our classroom, living room, or any where you are reading. Here are a few titles that you might just want to pack in your bag:

pepperWhere Does Pepper Come From? And Other Fun Facts by Brigitte Raab: “Why do snails carry houses on their backs? Because they love to go camping! No! The shell of a snail protects it from predators and from the hot sun.” How fun would it be to make up a silly answer, but then follow up with the facts you’ve researched.

teethTeeth by Sneed B. Collard: Teeth are not just for eating. You will learn that some animals attract a mate by displaying their teeth. Another interesting fact is that some animals have teeth on their tongue or in their throat.

markle teethWhat If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle: What if is always a powerful question to pose. What a great follow up to the previous book!

throw toothThrow Your Tooth on the Roof, Tooth Traditions from Around the World by Selby B. Beeler: Not everyone believes in a Tooth Fairy. There are many places where a mouse takes it and leaves money. So many interesting traditions with teeth are explored in this book.

poles apartPoles Apart, Life at the Ends of the Earth by Dr. Mark Norman: I love the layout of this book. It opens top to bottom. Facts of the North Pole are on the top with the South Pole matching information on the bottom page. What a great way to compare and contrast!

animals waitingWhat the Animals Were Waiting For by Jonathan London: This book tells the story, in verse, the cycle of life on the African savanna. Photos are intermingled with paintings.

troutTrout Are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre: This book is a fun way to look at the food chain.

noseWho Needs That Nose? by Karen Clemens Warrick: This entire book is one question after another, but you learn a lot of information about noses. Here is a sample: “Who needs a nose to attract a mate, an enormous nose that droops down to his chin? Do you suppose it hides a grin? Who needs that nose?” (see bottom of post to check your answer)

allen sayDrawing From Memory by Allen Say: This book is part graphic novel, part narrative history, and part memoir as Allen Say tells his story. As a child, he loved to draw, but this was not acceptable to his father. He lived on his own from the time he was twelve. What an interesting story he shares!

spidersNic Bishop: Any book by Nic Bishop is a must have. The photos are stunning, but then the information is fascinating. Check out his website for books, http://www.nicbishop.com

*Who needs a nose like that? A monkey. Were you right?

I hope I’ve piqued your interest in one or two titles. Nonfiction has come a long way! For more titles check out this link.

Thank you Cathy Mere, Reflect and Refine: Building A Learning Community and Mandy Robek, Enjoy and Embrace Learning for letting us share books.



A Most Magnificent Friend

Sometimes you doubt yourself. Sometimes you just need a little confirmation that you are on the right track. Sometimes you think too long inside your head and you wonder, “Does this make sense? Is this information useful?”

I was there, doubting, wondering, needing confirmation. S.O.S in the form of a text went out to my friend: “I could use some feedback on my presentation. Could we meet soon?” Thankfully she was able to make time to meet the next day at a Panera Bread after school.

We talked through the presentation, tweaked a few slides, discussed the handout. She approved. My thinking was confirmed and a sigh of relief settled over me.

On the way out, she casually asked if I had the book, The Most Magnificent Thing. I reminded her I had not yet had a chance to see it, but wanted to find it. She reached into her car and handed me the book. “This is for you, because you are always there to help me when I call.”

What a magnificent friend she is! That’s what friends do, they are there for support in the good times and tough times. They can also surprise you with a most magnificent book. Thank you my most magnificent friend!

magnif thing

“Not On Our Pole!”

Saturday morning found me sipping coffee, scrolling through emails on the iPad, wondering how the day would unfold when suddenly out of the corner of my eye, a movement in the backyard made me dash to the window to verify my suspicions. I think I saw a squirrel!

Side note: I know many you are thinking, what’s the big deal? We have squirrels and they are annoying. Let me explain, we moved to this house about ten years ago, and we have never had a squirrel in our yard or trees. Our house was built on a farm field, so there were no trees, therefore, there would be no squirrels.

I caught a glimpse, but quickly moved to another window to get a better view. I could not find it. I looked for any motion, but all was still. In my fuzzy pink bathrobe, I went out to the patio hoping to discover where it went. I was just curious to see what the squirrel would do. No luck. I returned to the house.

A few minutes later I glanced out the window to discover the squirrel was checking out the bird bath. This time I had my camera ready, but it quickly scampered from the bird bath to the viburnum bush. I watched the bush, zooming in, but could not find the rascal.

Suddenly it leaped to the top of the fence and headed across the green space behind our house. Sadly I thought there would be no picture of this fuzzy fellow, but wait! It is climbing the power pole! Up, up, up it climbed. What will it do when it reaches the top?

Up, up, up, it continued until it passed a bar where two birds were resting. The birds immediately attacked the squirrel. The squirrel didn’t know what was happening! The birds flew and screeched. I’m sure the message was loud and clear, “You are not climbing our pole!”

Immediately the squirrel retreated, scampering down about six feet. There it froze, head down, spread eagle on the power pole. It stayed in that position for at least ten minutes. It got the courage to try again, but the birds fought it off. More birds came to help the original two. The chatter was quite loud, I can only imagine the language they were using.


Finally, the defeated squirrel abandoned its idea of climbing the pole. It scooted down the pole, shook its tail, and scampered off to the neighbor’s pine tree. The squirrel’s attitude said, “I didn’t really want to climb that pole anyway.”

Close up of the squirrel trying to decide what to do.

Close up of the squirrel trying to decide what to do.


Staying Connected

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

My phone dings. A text message waits. I glance at the message. I smile.

There is one message that always brings a smile to my face. I bet you can guess what the message might be. Here’s an example:

Clara is growing up fast, already at 9 pounds!

Clara is growing up fast, already at 9 pounds!

Now didn’t you smile too? Let me help you smile a bit longer.

Daddy said it's hard being a baby during the Super Bowl.

Daddy said it’s hard being a baby during the Super Bowl.

Yeah! Football is over!

Yeah! Football is over!









Being 1,600 miles away from my son and his family is difficult, but thankfully technology makes it easier to stay connected.