Something to Celebrate

celebrate new

Monday my mom calls, “Can you take me to the doctor this week?”

“I’m working Wednesday and Thursday,” I replied. “What’s the matter?” She had not complained of any ailments the last time I talked to her, so I am puzzled about needing to go to the doctor.

“I fell at church. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t trip or slip. I just went down. Jackie (a neighbor) thinks maybe it has to do with an inner ear thing,” she responds.

She calls the doctor and gets an appointment for Tuesday. We go to the appointment. She brings a cane for extra support. The doctor listens. I listen and learn this fall did not happen on Sunday, but on the previous Thursday. What?! Why didn’t you tell me before today? The doctor instructs her to perform a variety of actions. He is not concerned, she has passed the neural systems test. Perhaps she has a bit of  vertigo. Perhaps it could be some fluid in her inner ear. We will monitor her and see if there is improvement within ten days.

This photo was taken on her 85th birthday in February.

This photo was taken on her 85th birthday in February.

I celebrate how quickly she was able to get into her doctor. I celebrate that the doctor is not very concerned. I celebrate that I was able to take my mom to the doctor. I celebrate that I still have my mom and she is only twelve minutes away.

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

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

Celebrate a Day

celebrate new

A day arrives where nothing is required. No chores to complete. No meals to prepare. Freedom to meander as one pleases. These days are rare, but Friday was such a day.

Destination of the day St. Louis. We did have an agenda of places to visit, but there was no rush to get to any single place. The pace was leisurely.

First on our list was the botanical gardens. An orchid show was the draw, but the mild temperatures took us on a stroll through the gardens first. Although it’s not quite blooming season, we were not disappointed.

Crocuses have popped through the grass.


A few early blooming trees had bees buzzing in and out of the blossoms.


Bare tree branches intrigue me with their complicated network of limbs.


A few more glimpses of nature’s beauty on a lovely March day. The top two are a Star Magnolia. The bud of the Star Magnolia is fuzzy like a pussy willow. The second row has an early crab apple, a contorted Filburt, and Hellebore. Final row: Only a few daffodils were open, more will be blooming in a few weeks. The spiky yellow bloom is Witch Hazel.IMG_1925

After strolling around the outside gardens, we returned inside to view the orchids (that post will come tomorrow).

The next portion of our day involved shopping. I know that does not sound appealing to some, but the stores we visited are not in our city, so we take advantage every time we come to St. Louis. Costco was first on our list. They had several items on sale we needed. Of course we had to try a few of the samples offered. Chocolate gummy bears have never appealed to me, and they still don’t. Jelly bellys left an unpleasant taste which was removed by trying a giant green olive. Surprisingly, we walked out with only the items from our list. Trader Joe’s was next to be visited. Only a few items needed there too.

Finally, it was time for dinner. We had a gift card for a new-to-us restaurant. We had a delightful waiter, who shared his favorites from the menu. Fortunately we were early enough to take part in the price break from happy hour on a glass of wine and an appetizer. Every bite was delicious! I meant to take pictures, but I forgot until the food was mostly consumed. Sorry!

A fantastic Friday filled with flowers, food, and finds doesn’t come along every day, so I celebrate my good fortune on this day.

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

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


Celebrating Passion

celebrate new

As I am driving home from the Write to Learn conference, thoughts ricochet through my brain like a pinball on speed. I’ve just spent the last three days listening to speakers who are passionate literacy learners. Jennifer Richards Jacobson spent an entire day sharing her passion for writing workshop. What can I say about Taylor Mali’s passion? For an hour I listened as he read and recited poetry that speaks to the heart, particularly the heart of a teacher. A standing ovation completed his sharing. Inferring and metacognition were points of passion from Tanny McGregor. John Schumacher (Mr. Schu) exuded passion for books, libraries, apps/websites, but most of all for Kate DiCamillo, I hope every person who attended one of his three sessions, walked away with fire in their hearts for books. If they didn’t, they should not be allowed in schools near children.

Ron Clark was the keynote Saturday morning. Passion does not aptly describe, perhaps fervor or zeal fit this educator. As he moved about the ballroom, jumping on chairs, stepping onto table tops. he relayed his stories of the good, bad, ugly, but also joy of being a teacher. One story told, led to another story, then another until two hours passed. Passion for teaching has taken this man on a journey from North Carolina to Harlem in New York to developing his own academy in Atlanta, Georgia. His life is an example of what can happen when you live your passion.

One of my last sessions sent my brain into overdrive. Six word stories have always intrigued me. This took it to another level. Don Goble presented Six-Word Story, Six Unique Shots: Enhancing Writing Through Multimedia. He has created a free book that can be downloaded on iTunes. High school students created 18-30 second videos for their six word stories. Here is a link to several. Let me recommend you viewing Told one lie, trust was broken. Be prepared to be in awe. I was. But this isn’t just for high school. Click here to find a six word story video from a student from Kristin Ziemke’s first grade class. Scroll down until you see PT 6 word story: This Is School. If you have watched these videos, you will know why my brain was on fire as I drove home. I want to try creating this six word story, but I don’t have the video skill knowledge, yet. (Bonnie, I need you!) Stay tuned one day there may be a six word video celebration.

Passion drives us to heights we can’t even imagine. I celebrate passion for learning!


Simple Celebrations

celebrate new

How awesome is it to have days in February that are sunny and warm! I celebrate the temperature from the past few days. We have reached the seventies! Unfortunately, there were also 40-50 mph winds to accompany the warmth. Those fierce winds made me appreciate my haircut on Monday. There was less hair to blow. 🙂

The mornings were frosty, but not unbearable. The backyard sparkled in the sunshine. What a joy to step out but not be chilled to the bone! The hurricane lantern on the picnic table was quickly losing its frosted appearance in the rays. As I moved from one plant to another, a new sound made me scan the yard for the source. High up in the maple tree, I spied a red-headed woodpecker. Pecking on the tree was not the mission, it simply wanted to sing the song of a bird’s eye view of the glistening landscape. Immediately other birds joined in and began a dance of flight. What a sight!

Frosty morning beauty

Frosty morning beauty

When I went to download the backyard photos, I discovered more photos from our January trip to California. What?! I had forgotten the photos on the camera from our last night there. Each one put a smile on my face.

jGranddaughters on the last night of a visit

Granddaughters on the last night of a visit

This week I celebrate photos, frost, and not freezing in February. I hope your week brought you simple celebrations too.

Birthday Celebrations Abound!

celebrate new

It’s been a week of birthday celebrations!

On Wednesday, my mother celebrated her 85th birthday! But she was not the only one celebrating. One year ago, my great-nephew, sweet Asher, came into the world to share his special day with his great-grandmother. They were able to celebrate their shared

Two birthdays on one day. Happy 85th mom and 1st Asher!

Two birthdays on one day. Happy 85th mom and 1st Asher!

birthday at my brother’s home, but today I get to celebrate with them at Chuck E Cheese. I can’t say I celebrate the location, but I know I will enjoy the company. Celebrating two birthdays of special people on one day!

My friend, Tiffany,  had a birthday in January, but circumstances prevented the annual girlfriend celebration of her birthday until this week. The stars aligned and we were able to meet up for a delicious burger and shake dinner in a new restaurant.

I arrived first (after spending fifteen minutes looking for a parking place 😦 ). I could barely get in the door, it was so packed. This did not bode well for our plans. Forty-five minutes to an hour was the wait time. The girl at the desk asked if that was all right. She was surprised by my answer, I told her no that wasn’t all right (I was hungry!). I spied three seats at the counter bar, could I take those? Yes, they were available. My friends arrived and we began the celebration.

This restaurant serves interesting burgers. My burger was called Jamaican Me Crazy (jerk seasoning, ghost pepper jack cheese, jalapeno date mayo). Tiffany went with Hippie Jen (spinach lemon quinoa patties as buns, filled with cucumber, avocado, onion, basil, and hummus). Janet opted for the Ugly Cheeseburger (a typical burger with white cheddar cheese). Not only are they known for the burgers, but shakes also. These shakes are made with frozen custard from a local stand. Yum, yum, and more yum! Several times during our meal the bartender would plop down a sample of the the shakes he was making. Wise choice is seating! This will be a birthday celebration to savor!

One final celebration (although not birthday related) .  . . I finally got to see Wicked! I loved the show!

What a week filled with celebrations! I hope your week was filled with celebrations too.




Small Celebrations of the Everyday

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.

What have I witnessed or created that deserves celebration this week? Hmmm, not much has happened. My life was pretty quiet. Each day looked a lot like the previous day.

I would get up, make coffee, sip it while watching the Today Show and enjoy the sunrise colors crawling up the sky. Eventually I made my way back to the bedroom to shower and dress for the day. Warm fleece, stretchy knit pants, cushy socks, and slippers were the uniform of the day, every day. Next stop, my office. Flip on the computer, reread the notes from the previous day and begin clacking the keys to plan for the working days coming up. Watch the world outside my window. Oh look, the chihuahua has escaped and running free with a buddy! Hmmm, FedEx is delivering a box across the street. Wonder what they ordered? Breaks from the computer involve wandering into the kitchen for lunch, or perhaps a snack. Soon it’s time to turn off the computer and turn my attention to dinner. After dinner, I read on the computer, listen to what’s on the TV, chat with my husband while being warmed by the fireplace. Soon it’s time for bed and the day is over.

  • I celebrate the ordinary-ness of these days. No frantic rushing about, no panicking that time has run out for preparing my PD days. Each day settles into a comfortable rhythm.
  • I celebrate that I have warm, comfy clothing to wear when it is cold.
  • I celebrate my home that is warm when temperatures dip low and it is cool when the sun shines a bit too long.
  • I celebrate that I have enough to eat and it is not an arduous task to find food or prepare it.
  • I celebrate that when I lay my head down to sleep, I can rest. Evil is not sitting outside my door.
Same flowers but the pink turned into purple as the days went by.

Same flowers but the pink turned into purple as the days went by.

Remember the flowers from last week? As they aged, their color changed. It was like having two different sets of flowers. Flowers are always  a celebration.

Today, it is the small things I am celebrating.

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!