Day 25: Celebrate Health


The medical field amazes me! I am astounded by the advances made in just my lifetime against diseases, specifically cancer. It is a word that strikes fear just typing it. I don’t have a lot of cancer in my family background, but just enough to make me follow through with procedures, mostly uncomfortable, but are proven to be life saving.

This week I endured the preparation for a colonoscopy. Ugh! I’m so glad not to have this looming in my life for another ten years.

Prior to the procedure, the nurse wanted to list all my medications on the computer. I told her. She looked back at me and said with an incredulous tone to her voice, “That’s it? That’s all you take?”

I assured her I only take the one medication. Her response, “That’s really unusual! You are so lucky.”

Yes, I am lucky, I have good health (most of the time). Thank you ancestors for passing on those healthy genes to this generation. I only hope the future generations will be blessed with excellent health.

Day 11: Small Celebrations

Saturday is a day to revisit the week and recall the celebrations that pop up each and every day.

My week was bookended by taking my mother to medical offices. On Monday an abscess was treated, then Friday was a long put-off appointment. The abscess is healing, but as the doctor said,”It will take a long while for the abscess to heal.” Now that doesn’t sound like much of a celebration, but the fact that I was able to be there for her is the celebration.

The in-between days were filled with coaching teachers through guided reading lessons, developing comprehension skills, and extending teachers’ thoughts about the role of talk within their literacy block.

An added bonus to the week was family from Phoenix arrived to spend a few days with us. It’s always a treat to have them visit.

Of course that means cooking needs to be ramped up a notch. Usually there is some special dessert, but this house is under a restricted dietary rule (self imposed). What to do? The answer is a healthy brownie. Healthy? How can that be? How about a brownie that does not contain eggs or flour, but it does have a can of black beans. If that sounds intriguing, check out Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog for the recipe. They are very fudgy and gooey, not cake-like. Quite tasty!

Today is a wintery mix for weather, so we will be cooking up a crock pot of chicken corn chowder. Wish you all could stop by for a bowl of soup and brownie for dessert. Happy Saturday!

Day 8: Best Moment of Monday

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

If you read my post from yesterday, you will know that Monday kicked my plans of the day to the curb. Recalculating was the word of my morning.

However, recalculating was not an option for the afternoon. Monday was the final day of a three year literacy PD journey. I have worked with the kindergarten through fourth grade teachers to develop balanced literacy practices in their building. This involves meeting with teachers, modeling in classrooms, and coaching the teachers. I have been in their building and classrooms at least twenty days each year.

So Monday was the day I would say good-bye to this group of teachers. Third grade came ready to work/learn. We had great conversations on getting the year started in writing, revisited reading notebook options, and what kinds of conversations we need to encourage in their daily instruction.

Suddenly the door opened and another teacher came in carrying a gift bag. All of a sudden the faces of the third grade teachers brightened with their ear-to-ear grins. What? As the teacher handed me the bag, she said, “This is a little something from us.”

I was at a loss for words. I stammered out a thank you. I opened the cards and each staff member had written a kind word of thanks. There was a little tin box nestled in the bottom of the bag, a gift card to a nice steak house. What a treat! But that wasn’t all . . . they included some cash too. The teacher explained, “You can spend it however you want.” Of course you know where that money will go, books!

The day had its bumps but the best moment was working with the teachers. Every teacher in this building took on the three year journey of learning and changing/developing their skill as teachers of literacy. I will miss my monthly trips to their school next year.

P.S. My mom is healing and doing fine. 🙂


Day 4, 6 Words 6 Images

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

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

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” by Ernest Hemingway, is the most famous six word story. The concept of telling a story in six words has intrigued me for some time. My brain has played and abandoned the challenge of creating a six word story.

Last year, I attended a session by Don Goble at a conference and he revived that spark. He had videos of six words, six shots done by students that could take your breath away. However, time passed and my spark fizzled out.

This year he did a full day on the six word, six shot concept. A friend attended and came away bubbling with enthusiasm. I knew I wanted to try, but I also knew I could not put it into a video (not that savvy in the tech department).

Finally, I had a story to share. I took six photos, I selected six words. I combined them to document my work in a school.




Waterlogue 1.3.1 (72) Preset Style = Illustration Format = 8" (Large) Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = Technical Pen Drawing Weight = Light Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Medium Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces






I celebrate the choice this school made to invest in their teachers. Changing practices takes time. The teachers were given that time and support.

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.

Celebrating Time

celebrate new

Celebration 1

  • Mom had a dental appointment on Tuesday.
  • My husband had a procedure that required a driver on Wednesday.
  • Another appointment, this time an eye exam for my mom on Friday.

I became the chauffeur for the week. It was a rare week to find myself free from working or planning for work. The week flew by as I read while I waited. I celebrate that I could fill the role of chauffeur.

Some weeks, time is short. There are too many things to accomplish with the hours available. So I will savor the time I had this week with family members as I ferried them to their respective appointments.

Celebration 2

Amaryllis bulbs take time to grow and develop. My cousin sent my mom a bulb at the beginning of December. Just look at the beauty produced after allowing time for growth.



celebrate newExactly ten years ago, we experienced the worst ice storm, ever. The devastation of that ice storm looked like a tornado had swept through the land. Trees were broken bodies bent by the weight of the ice. Power lines snapped and fell to the ground. We had no power for seven days. Many were without power for over two weeks. It was a struggle to get through each day without our electricity. After a few days of cooking soup on the barbecue grill in frigid temperatures, we gave up and headed to my father-in-law’s home. He had power and the roads had been cleared of the ice.

All week, the weatherman warned that we were in the path of another ice storm. People began scrambling. Generators were sold out at the hardware stores. Gallons of water disappeared from the grocery store shelves. Schools cancelled before the first drops of rain fell. Homes prepared for the worst.

The temperatures hovered around that magic thirty-two degree mark. When it dropped, ice began to encase the trees. As the temperature climbed, icicles formed from the melting. The rain continued to fall most of the day. However, this storm did not lead to devastation. Yes, some lost power, but only for hours, not days. img_1181-1

Soon this front will pass and we can breathe easier knowing that our power lines remain attached to the poles. Life will continue on until the next storm sends everyone into panic mode.

I celebrate the people who work tirelessly to keep our power lines intact.

Celebration Week

celebrate new

Seven days . . . what can happen in seven days? It begins with a trip to the airport to welcome my friend, Kim, from California. Then . . .

  • we have a picnic dinner prior to enjoying a Tent Theater production of All Shook
    Here we are in the saloon at Silver Dollar City. Don't believe the poster behind us, or should you?

    Here we are in the saloon at Silver Dollar City. Don’t believe the poster behind us, or should you?


  • we relax, chat, and shop for groceries.
  • we spend a day living in the 1800’s at Silver Dollar City.
  • we hang out at a pool, eat Frito Pie at Caspers (requested by Kim because of this post), sample popcorn, and begin our road trip to Warsaw, IN.


    Caspers and Frito Pie

  • we study a map, plot a route, and begin the next 425 miles of our trip to Warsaw, with perhaps a few moments of “Are we on the right road?”
  • we meet up with the best people I am privileged to call friends. Friends is not even the best word for these people who have touched my heart. All year long, I anticipate the moment we are reunited. Then I relish every second I get to spend with with them.
  • we spent two days filling our minds with new ideas from incredible presenters at the All Write conference.
  • we met new friends in real life, not just through their written words. They were just as delightful in person, as we knew they would be.
  • sadly we were forced to say good-bye to all to begin the journey home, but we know that we will come back, and we will be welcomed with open arms.

Time speeds up when you are immersed in celebration and joy. What a gift friendship is.