Day 30: Encounters of the Phone Kind

Encounter #1: The first time it happened, I was taken aback. I was getting into my car after a day of working, and thought I’d better check to see if I had any texts. My ringer had been on silence during the day.

How did my phone know I was going home? That freaked me out a little. Then when it happened again and again, I assumed this was something built into the phone that always told you how long it would take you to get home. Hmmm, is someone tracking my movements?

One morning I got into the car, looked at my phone, but this time it was telling me how long it would take me to get to one of my schools. What? I wasn’t going to that school. The three days before I had gone to that school. Apparently it had been tracking my movements and assumed I would be returning to that school. This was getting a little creepy.

Now I look at my phone just to see where it thinks I’m going. Sometimes it’s right.

Encounter #2: As I climbed out of my car, I heard a voice talking to me from my front left pocket. Had I pocket dialed someone? Quickly I pulled the phone from my pocket. Apparently, Siri thought I was talking to her. I must have bumped something because I certainly don’t talk to her. When I have actually tried to use her, she never understands me. I was not about to engage in a conversation now.  I quickly turned her off. She must have gotten her feelings hurt because she remained silent until. . .

Encounter #3: I was sitting at my desk, talking to my mother on the house phone. My cell phone was sitting on my desk, when all of a sudden Siri began talking. My mother heard the voice and asked if someone was with me? I laughed and said no, it’s just my cell phone. Once again, Siri didn’t make any sense.

Have you had any surprises from your phone?

Side note: elsie is my blogging name, my real name is LeAnn. 🙂 At least she knew how to spell my name right.



Day 29: Spine Poetry

Yesterday, Ramona shared a few writing quotes. My favorite one is, “Catch emerging words and begin to guide them into form, or not.” Susan Branch.

Here are some emerging words guided into the form of a spine poem. Thanks, Ramona!

The secret project

in the best interest of students,

59 reasons to write

a river of words,

wondrous words.

Write like this.

Write beside them,

writing toward home.

I received several new professional books last week. As I contemplated which one I would read first, I had an inkling of a spine poem tickling my brain. I added a few titles that were already on my shelf to create the above poem.

Getting teachers inspired to teach writing is a secret project that love to tackle. Often times many are resistant, but eventually they come around and end up say, “This is my favorite thing to teach.” or “Writing is my class’s favorite subject.” Then I smile because I knew it would happen.

Day 28: A New Soundtrack

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

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

Last year, I wrote a post inspired by Kate Messner’s book, 59 Reasons to Write. It was a lesson encouraging the writer to listen to the sounds surrounding them. I sat on my patio and listened. Then I wrote this post. Many new homes were being built in our neighborhood, construction sounds dominated. Heavy trucks rumbled by for a new road. Those were the sounds on that day.

Have the sounds changed in a year? Let’s find out, I close my eyes and listen to . . .

A muffled r-r-r-r in the distance, from traffic a mile away. The motorcycle revs its engine to sound like an angry wasp. A train blasts its horn as it passes through an intersection, since its quite distance it is more melodious than not.

Wind sounds in the trees reminds has me visualizing a wave coming to shore. Gently the water laps at your feet, building in intensity until the wave wants to topple me. The wind begins with a whisper, sliding through the evergreen trees, building in speed creates rustling, until it reaches a brisk crescendo. It drops and there is silence for a moment as it draws its breath to repeat. Wind chimes from patios tinkle as they are not in the thrust of the wind.

Chirps, cheeps, coo-coos, trills of birds fill the air. A conversation, not meant for me to understand, ensues. I lose the bird-speak as the wind builds in intensity, but when it dies down the chatter of the feathered friends has not lessened.

Sharp nails on metal cause me to open my eyes and search for the source. A robin has landed in the curved crook of the downspout. It gives me one exasperated chirp as if to say, “What are you doing here?” before taking flight.

The landscape of sounds have changed in a year. I prefer the sounds of nature surrounding me on my patio.


Day 27: Reaping Rewards

Background information: My husband loves cars. He especially loves a clean shiny car. Washing a car is not a chore to him. He finds it relaxing and when he is finished, the product is something to be admired because it looks so darn great! It’s not just the outside that gets tender loving care, but also the inside. He works hard to keep his cars looking great. So once in a while he gets a request from someone to make their car look like his. . .

Once upon a sweltering August day, my husband performed his car magic for his father’s neighbor. He told her no compensation needed, because she keeps an eye out for dad when we are not around. She didn’t listen to him. A gift card to Spiro’s Greek restaurant arrived in the mail. Unfortunately, we were unable to get to St. Louis to check out Spiro’s until recently.

We walked into a time warp, we were transported back to the seventies. The decor was the seventies but the clientele was in their eighties and even nineties. This dining room was beginning to look a lot like a cruise ship dining room. I said, “At least no one is pushing a walker.” I spoke too soon. Walker after walker came rolling through. I thought to myself, at least there’s no motorized scooter. Yes, you guessed it, one came rolling in. Perhaps it had something to do with the time of day. It was the early bird special hour.

Greek custard with honey and cinnamon sauce

We couldn’t complain about the food. We had more than enough and it all tasted great. Since it was the early bird special time, we still have cash on the gift card. So a return visit will be in our future. Perhaps we should try a different time slot to see if a younger crowd shows up.

I love reaping the rewards of my husband’s hard work!


Day 26: Have You Ever Seen . . .

Have you ever seen . . .

A gathering of exotic blooms?

Sepals, petals, stigma, anther,

Oh my!

Linear lines, polka dotted?

Bundled bouquet, solitary singleton?

Frilly edges, sleek form?

Have you ever seen . . .

Furry flowers?

Alphabet branches?

Have you ever seen . . .

A palm frond wall?

A living variegated carpet?

I have.

I have seen it all.

I have seen it all at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

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 24: I Have an Itch

Reach, scratch

Can’t reach

This itch is driving me crazy!

Don’t scratch,

Once you start

You can’t stop

This itch is driving me crazy!

What will reach that itch?

Arms don’t bend

Or reach

Far enough

This itch is driving me crazy!

Oh yeah,

That’s the tool!



Scratching bliss!

The telescoping back scratching tool was found at Kohls after Christmas for a very low price. So far, it has done its job.

Day 23: Composted Yard

Right now you would not want to walk around a portion of our backyard. Right now it is not lush and green. Right now bagged compost rests on top of the grass. To be specific seventy-five bags (each weighing forty pounds) blankets the ground. Right now you may be wondering WHY?

That is not dirt, but compost.

Over time our trees and shrubs have grown and grown, just like we wanted them to grow. However, they are now blocking the sun for the grass to grow. The grass is sparse, no longer thick and luxurious to a bare foot.

The man who fertilizes our yard suggested covering the thin areas of the yard with compost. He assured us, grass will grow up through the compost. We did it last summer, and just as he predicted, the grass grew in thicker. So before the tree foliage unfurls, my husband set out to give the ground a head start on nutrients.

Twelve days later, with a little sun, a little rain, a little snow, a little more sun, voilĂ , lovely grass is peeking through!

Day 22: Booked It!

August is hot. August is humid. August is the start of school.

But, I’ve got a plan. I’m not staying home. Can you guess where I’m going? Here are a few hints:

  • “City of Lights”
  • Joan of Arc’s childhood home
  • Château de Chambord and Château Chenonceau
  • Place des Quinconces in Bordeaux
  • Garonne River to Cadillac

Did you guess? I’m heading to France with my husband. It will be a double celebration, our 40th anniversary and an early birthday celebration for me.

We are doing a pre-river cruise extension, four days in the Loire Valley. Then we will board a riverboat to explore the Bordeaux region on the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. The cruise is named Châteaux, Rivers, and Wine, now that’s the way to finish off the summer.

Guess I need to lose some weight so I can find it in the pâtisseries we will visit at every turn of the rivers. I booked it and I can’t wait!