Savoring Celebrations

What can you celebrate? Share your celebrations with the world at Ruth Ayres Writes.

What can you celebrate? Share your celebrations with the world at Ruth Ayres Writes.

Reflect on the week and celebrate moments to savor. By writing them down, they linger a moment longer in your heart.

Thinking back across my week:

  • I can appreciate the mild temperatures at this point of January. Last year the weather was brutal. One storm after another kept us housebound. While there is still a small mound of snow hugging the curb, it is quickly disappearing. By tonight, it will be a memory. I know the pleasant temperatures will be replaced by cold in a few days, I choose to celebrate the sunshine and fresh air.
  • This week I spent a day with the K-2 teachers and another day with 3-5 teachers. I celebrate the engagement of the teachers and their quest to make their teaching minutes effective.
  • How could you not celebrate bringing a bit of spring into the house?
My husband brings spring home after a visit to Sam's.

My husband brings spring home after a visit to Sam’s.

Find those bits of life to celebrate. Life is a celebration!

Tastes to Tempt

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

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

You would think traveling back and forth across the country would allow us to explore a variety of cuisines. Unfortunately, we always seem to be in the same place, at the same time, with limited options for variety in dining pleasures. We prefer to by-pass the usual chain restaurants. We can eat that at home, if we wanted to, which we don’t.

So Yelp has become my friend when we are on the road. A few years ago we discovered a fabulous hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant in San Diego. We have learned not to judge a place by its exterior, but rather by the words of reviewers.

Gallup, New Mexico seems to be our stopping point for some meal no matter if we are traveling west or east. For years we have resigned ourselves to Cracker Barrel, (sigh) until Yelp told me about a burger spot. My eyes lit up when I found a place called 505 Burgers with an abundance of good reviews. I LOVE a great burger! I was not disappointed! It took a few tries to locate this place stuck in a strip shopping center.

Not much to look at, but what a treat inside!

Not much to look at, but what a treat inside!

The list of burgers was long and tempting, but finally we each decided on one. (The menu is either burgers or wings.) When the waitress brought our plates I had to push the fries aside to uncover my burger. The burgers were great and the fries incredible!


Before eating

Before eating

After eating my fill

After eating my fill, and I ate a lot, there was still a serving for two left on the plate.

I know we will be stopping here again. I just hope we don’t travel on a Saturday, they close at 5:00.

As we head east, we need a lunch spot and here we are in Gallup once again. What does Yelp recommend? The West End Donut and Deli. photo 1 (24)I must say, I agree! The six inch sandwich is more like ten to twelve inches. They are not fancy, but it hits the right spot when you are tired of fried and more fried food. One day I suppose I should try a donut.

photo 2 (25)


Snow Days Celebration

What can you celebrate? Share your celebrations with the world at Ruth Ayres Writes.

What can you celebrate? Share your celebrations with the world at Ruth Ayres Writes.

Two weeks ago, I looked at my calendar of work days and felt a sense of panic. Would I have enough time to prepare for the work ahead? Maybe, but there will be little else in my life until I was prepared. I set  goals and deadlines for myself as the days slipped away.

Diligence paid off for my first school assignment. By Tuesday, all materials were in order for the next two and a half days. However, I would need to spend long hours in the evening to complete my work for the second assignment. Then Mother Nature stepped in to give me breathing space.

Tuesday evening, a light coating of ice covered the roadways creating hazardous conditions. Wednesday there was no school for any district near me. Quickly, I took advantage of that gift of time.

Daylight on Thursday revealed a couple of inches of snow fell in the wee morning hours. This snow had not been on any weather man’s radar. Total surprise! Yet again, a gift of a day to work.

Friday loomed. I dreaded going to school. The teachers would be unhappy because they had to redo sub plans since they had not been there for two days. I resolved to make the best of it as I went to bed.

Around 3 a.m. I was awake. The schools closed were scrolling by on the TV screen (yes, the TV was on – don’t judge me 🙂 ). Was that my school’s name I just saw? I got up and checked the iPad, yes it was! A huge sigh of relief escaped as I returned to bed.

I’m still working, but I celebrate that I am no longer panicked about being prepared for the school presentation coming up. I know the work will be finished and the weather forecast looks clear for the next week. Now I just have to reschedule the days I missed. Thank you Mother Nature for the beauty of your snow and the gift of time.

A Tasty Bite

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

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

Would you eat here?


If not, you would never know the one-of-a-kind experience you are missing. This Quonset hut restaurant has been in existence in Springfield since 1909. In 1909 it was housed in another location but it has been in a Quonset hut since 1949. In 1985, the restaurant moved to this location.

What’s so special about Casper’s you wonder? It is a no frills kind of diner and they are known for chili. Actually, the only thing I’ve ever eaten here is Frito Pie. A plate of Fritos as the base, covered in a unique chili, topped with cheddar cheese. When it is delivered to your table, you are warned the plate is hot. Brave souls can add raw onions on top of the cheese. The chili is creamy and like no other chili I’ve ever tasted. This treat must be savored because we only get it once a year.


While you are waiting for your order, you are entertained by all of the bric-a-brac that adorns the curved walls. It is like a 60’s explosion from Berkeley, CA and it all landed in this hut. This is a time warp of memorabilia.



Let me know if you are in my neighborhood, I will be more than happy to let you experience Casper’s.


Here’s Casper’s today. Looks pretty much the same as the photo at the top.


Bucket List

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 bucket list contains dreams that one day I hope to do, or see, or participate in. Two weeks ago I checked off an item.

How many years have I watched the Rose Parade and marveled at the ingenuity and beauty of the floats? All my life would be the answer to that question. I’ve always wanted to attend the Rose Parade. I thought my chances got just a bit better when I married a Californian. However, we were never able to be in California for the New Year. Our schools in Missouri usually started back on January 2. This dream was relegated to the after I retire list.

Then I retired, but the parade was still elusive. The timing was never just right. Then add in the factor of getting tickets to the grandstand and facing massive crowds. It just didn’t seem likely, until my brother-in-law mentioned that they parked the floats along a few streets in Pasadena for the weekend. This sounded like a perfect solution!

We were in California to celebrate my granddaughter’s first birthday and we had a morning free before the party. The weather was sunny but still slightly cool. We headed to Pasadena. No traffic on the freeways until we exited. Slowly we made our way to the streets with the floats, joining hundreds of others. Fortunately, we found a parking place along the street, although it was a bit of a hike it was free.

A dream came true as we wandered the streets marveling at the beauty and clever use of natural materials. Photos don’t do it justice. This was better than watching the parade because I could stand there and take in every detail as long as I wanted. Plus I could see both sides, some had different designs on each side. So if you find yourself in southern California at the new year, I highly recommend taking a stroll to view the floats up close and personal.


As far as you can see there are people and floats.

Here are a few of the floats and details we saw:


Love the scales are slices of citrus and the fin has blueberries.



The animals captivated me!

The animals captivated me!


Who knew beans and peas could make a turtle?

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

A lion's face, a dragon's claw, and a sunflower

A tiger’s face, a dragon’s claw, and a sunflower