Slice of Life Travels

26 April 2022 Slice of Life at

In the last week I’ve traveled through nine states. California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota. Here’s my route:

We weren’t on a tour of the beauty of our country as we were on transporting ourselves across the country, but here are a few photos I’ve taken along the way.

California Desert
Utah Desert
Dinner in the park in Beaver, Utah
Beaver, Utah (I wish every park had a Musical Park)

What adults asked “Generation V”
if it was ok if they invented
something so deadly for them?

After two hot and humid days and a bit of green growth, we then had snow in Iowa. Will the tulips make it for the tulip festival in three weeks?


Slice of Life and Ethical ELA Open Write – Paint Chip Poetry

Today’s Slice of Life at, 18 January 2022

Today, Dr. Kim Johnson has introduced us to paint chip poetry at the Ethical ELA Open Write.  I found some beautiful paint names and gave it a try about the view from my window. I used Sherwin-Williams Color Sample Chart to choose my colors. I highlighted the 16 paint chip names I wrote with today.

There’s s a full moon shining tonight
So cold, the stardew has fallen and gathered on the sand
Moth wings glimmer, their free spirit soars sky high
Thinking they are keeping the moon in sight
They actually frolic just around my porch light
blushing in their undignified beating, their alabaster
pollen powder sprinkling the air as they dream big
Billowy breezes, cheerful and undercool make me
Think of the heartfelt delight I carry in this earthen jug

Slice of Life – Simplify

Today’s Slice of Life at, 11 January 2022

It’s been almost a month since I even attempted to record slices of my life. So much has happened since my last post.  We finished saying goodbye and flew from Bahrain on 31 December. We began the new year in California.

I thought a lot about clutter while I cleaned and packed my old house and got ready to move into my new (to us) 1000-square-foot home. I chose a word for 2022 thanks to some great comments on this November post. My one word for 2022 will be Simplify, with some monthly “helper” words like Erika did last year.

So my helper word for January is “purge.” That’s what had to happen with this house, which over the past six years has been at various times empty, occupied, and used as storage. We are so happy to claim it again as our own.

Some items ready for the dumpster — do you see the beast back there?
Giant-sized dumpster
More things removed from our house

We have been purging. The house was full to overflowing with furniture and supplies. It probably could have outfitted three homes with all the multiples of appliances, blankets, space heaters, furniture and more furniture. We have had lots to choose from, which we are thankful for and we are keeping, but so much extra is going out into the front yard for giveaways and dumping.

We have been here a week and a half now, and we haven’t only been cleaning. We’ve…

Watched my daughter and son-in-law perform their redecorating magic in our bedroom (click to see more of their work)
Shared some family meals
Taken a fun and strenuous hike
Enjoyed watching some sunsets
Created my 2022 temperature quilt key. I’ll be using found yarns to create a quilt of the temperatures in our first year.

And one of the highlights of the season has been the news that my eldest daughter is going to have a baby in June.

The package with these mugs was the first mail we got at our new address.

So, here we go on another adventure. I’m hoping to simplify as I enjoy each new day I’m given.

Slice of Life – Saying Goodbye

Today’s Slice of Life at, 14 December 2021

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written anything here. I came today just because I don’t want to fall completely out of practice.

I’m emotionally exhausted these days because, after eight years living in Bahrain, we are leaving soon to go back to the U.S.

Though we have some things we are looking forward to in California, every day left here I see so many people and experiences that I will miss. I’m trying to enjoy every moment, like these from today and yesterday:

yesterday’s going away lunch for my husband at his hospital
this gift from a former fifth grader, now in high school (complete with my favorite Bahrain building in the center)
these beautiful church school teachers who sang together at church last evening
this gift from Sushma (because we forgot to take a picture at breakfast this morning)
learning to make appam this afternoon with a friend

Slice of Life – Guessing Game

Today’s Slice of Life at, 30 November 2021

It is fun for me to see the students, now in grades 7 and 8. I first taught them when they were in Kindergarten, and then I got to again in grade 5.

After a year and a half of the pandemic, I am starting to lose track of them. They have grown in stature and maturity and for the guys, depth of voice and facial hair.  Now with our busy and conflicting schedules in different departments at school, I don’t see them often.

Today I did, though. They were at recess. They always play the guessing game with me.

“Do you remember me?”

“Of course, how could I forget you, Nawar.”

“Who am I?” one asks with her mask covering most of her face.

“Hmmm, give me a sec. I need to figure out by your eyes. Oh, yes, Noor.”

“How about me? Do you remember me?”

“Yes,” I say, tentatively, racking my brain, trying to figure out how she has changed and then to remember her name.

“Ah, I’m new! So you don’t know me!”


Slice of Life – What is My One Word for 2022?

Today’s Slice of Life at, 23 November 2021

Resourceful, inventive, unwasteful, prudent?

Careful, judicious, protective, astute?

Simplicity or stewardship?

What is my goal and focus for 2022? I am in the process of considering what the right word is for my one little word for next year.

It is becoming clearer, but I need a word for it. If there is one.

These past weeks I’ve been sorting through accumulated possessions–too many that we have gathered over eight years. I’m giving things away daily, whenever someone is nearby I hand them an empty bag to fill. We came to this country with nine suitcases, and we are going home with eight. Most of our possessions won’t be traveling to California with us.

So, this process has reminded me that it would have been better to have not accumulated in the first place. I want to be careful, mindful, wise in my next chapter when I will be setting up another home.

Not only that, I want to be resourceful and frugal for the sake of the planet. Instead of buying a new thing, I want to use up, make do, do without, and wear out or repurpose what I already have.

I work hard to do this with food in my kitchen. For instance, when I went to some friends house for breakfast the other day, I ended up with dried pita bread leftovers. I cut them into triangles, baked them and served them yesterday to guests with homemade hummus. It saves money and the planet to eat without wasting and without buying processed foods. I want to continue to get even better. (Have you seen Carleigh Bodrug do this @plantyou?)

Another example…I had saved a new canvas for my 2022 word painting. However, what if, instead of opening another plastic-wrapped package, I use Nawaf’s Dot Day painting from years ago as my canvas? I can write my one word onto the red dot, perhaps? Is it disrespectful of the original artist? Or is it a legit art form?

Anyway, any ideas for a suitable word for 2022 for me?
A new canvas or a revitalized dot painting one of my students made for Dot Day years ago.

I Learned, Didn’t I?

Today’s Slice of Life at, 9 November 2021.

You knew a few letters last year; the only one you said with loud confidence was the initial letter of your first name. I wondered what had prevented you from learning your English sounds and letters during your first two and a half years of school. How clever and smart you were, noticing patterns in the words on the test, and sharing your interest in life and all the little happenings around you. However, you weren’t able to do the activities I asked you to read and respond to. You were distracted and took a bathroom break during the screening.

Today I saw you again, and you have made such prodigious progress. You know your letters now, spouted the sounds in the phonemic awareness screening, read nonsense words, and even a few sight words.  I told you how proud I was of the progress you have made in the last few months. “I learned, didn’t I?” you said.

marvel of learning
your hard work is paying off
yes, indeed, you did

Thankful For This Time

Today’s Slice of Life at, 2 November 2021.

We now have nine weeks before we leave Bahrain, and I’m realizing how very fast the days fly by. By day, DIBELS screening at school and cleaning out cupboards and closets are two tasks that are keeping me busy. I’m so thankful I am not teaching this year, so I have time to do what needs to be done to make this a good move. I remember one move we made when my children were in middle school, I was teaching full time, and we moved to another state the week after school was out. Fortunately, we had professional movers, but when we got to our new home and I had to look through and sort the boxes that should have been done before. There was one junk drawer that had just been poured into a box and shipped across country, complete with the sticky gum sticks, broken rubber bands, random staples and paper clips, bits of Blue Tack. Yuck!

This time of course it’s a different kind of move. There are no professional movers with semi-trucks picking up the houseful of furniture and belongings for four people. We hope to get our eight years worth of Bahrain belongings into eight suitcases; that means we have a lot to give away. I’m trying to sort things to make them handy to look through. Now, I’m starting to invite people over to go through and pick things they would like to have.

Thankfully as we close this chapter, Covid numbers are low and the country is open for gathering. A few times a week, we have fun in the evenings and weekends being with people. I’m starting to feel like the goodbye is really coming, and it’s not going to be easy.

Filling up boxes
Expanding to the living room now