March 31 – Creado for Something

March 31, 2023

Thank you all for being part of the Slice of Life Challenge of 2023 this month. It has been a joy to be here with you.  Thank you for reading my posts, making me feel seen, and sharing your beautiful slices of life. Today, I have tried one more poem in Spanish about the National Poetry Month poster above:

Todos estábamos destinados por algo










Por algo todos estábamos destinados


The Skinny is a poetry form created by Truth Thomas. Read more about the Skinny form here. Here is my English version of the poem about the NPM poster:

We were all meant for something…


to be








For something we were all meant

Happy National Poetry Month! You are invited to join us at Ethical ELA’s #Verselove starting tomorrow.

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

March 30 – Is it Possible to Read and View Critically Anymore?

March 30, 2023

Do you remember when most of us were not yet on social media? Do you remember when most of the world shared content through forwarded emails? In 2008, I got so tired of people forwarding bogus and deceitful content that I wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper:  “Let’s All Be Critics” it was called. I reread it recently, and it almost sounds quaint:

If we believed all the e-mails over the years, we’d be waiting for $10,000 from Bill Gates, printing $50 gift certificates from Applebee’s, and watching for other unexpected windfalls. Don’t you just want to shout, “C’mon, read critically before you forward those emails!”?

My 2008 Letter to the Editor asked people to read critically.

In a short 15 years, technology may have surpassed our ability to read and view critically.

It has become Tom Cruise deep fakes:

AI photos of Donald Trump being arrested,

and bots writing content better than a lot of American citizens can write.

These are all here now. Will they just keep getting better and harder to recognize the deceit? I wonder if good will come of the technology capabilities.

Is it possible to read and view critically anymore? What will it be like in 15 more years?


I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

March 29 – Joys, War, and Death

March 29, 2023

Besides making tostadas for my sister and me, taking a walk around Abel’s Mountain, and spending an hour with my grandson while he spun in circles on his tummy and ate a good dinner, I also had some difficult issues on my mind.

Because of a movie he saw recently, my husband has been thinking of the futility of war, and especially how it relates to what Putin is doing in Ukraine We had this conversation this morning:

“I can’t get All Quiet on the Western Front out of my mind. Aggression in war is so foolish. Why…? Pride…? Stupidity…? Evil…?” my husband mused.

“Yes,” I said.

“There is never a good outcome,” he said. Then he played this song for us to listen to: (lyrics here)

The other thing on my mind, of course, is gun violence. Yesterday, six more people were gunned down in school: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, each 9 years old; and Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61. May they rest in peace. I wrote a letter to my Republican representative today asking him to be brave and do the right thing. You can read a copy here, if you want to.

I can’t believe all the gaslighting that goes on for schools to keep having lockdown drills and expecting our children to plan to get shot up in school. This is ludicrous and does not happen in other countries. When are we going to demand action?

How do you interpret this cartoon? Has this phrase become an idol?
I think Congress and the Courts need to spend more time rethinking what this line means

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

March 28 – A Day in Palm Springs

March 28, 2023

Today we took a trip to Palm Springs, which is almost an hour away; it’s a trip we take about once a month. Palm Springs is a spring break tourist attraction, so I’m sure a lot of people we saw today were on vacation. We weren’t, of course; we were there because we save up our appointments and errands and do them all on the same day when we go there. We did enjoy the 75-degree spring break weather, though.

First, we went to Costco and bought gasoline for our car, sitting in the line for 10 minutes to save 25 cents a gallon. Then I went to my eye appointment, where they took fancy eye photos and scans of my eyeballs. He said I don’t have glaucoma or macular degeneration, so that was good news. I got a new prescription so I can buy new glasses on Zenni.

After the eye check, I joined my husband to finish our shopping list–produce, eggs, yogurt, and salmon. They didn’t have bird seed or a bird feeder, though.

After Costco, we went to Maracas Cantina. Here are pictures–the only ones I took today. (Why does that not surprise me?)

That was one big bowl of chips. When I took the photo, it was already half gone.
I ordered potato tacos, which I found a bit boring, so I added a lot of salsa to them.

Chips and salsa are one of my favorite things in the world. My husband is different; you can count on one hand the number of chips he’ll eat. I, on the other hand, would need his and my fingers and toes, as well as those of everyone else in the restaurant to count how many chips I ate. I feel compelled to finish the whole basket of chips when I go to Mexican restaurants. Today, I actually could not quite do it, but I did eat a lot. After lunch, we both felt like we were going into a food coma.

We went to Staples to laminate something and buy a 3-hole punch. We then walked down to Revival’s, a favorite thrift shop. We sat down on a beige leather sectional sofa and wondered if it would fit into our living room. It was very comfy, and we sat for a while and wished we could envision it in our living room. We decided against it, but I found a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup, which I’ve been wanting.

Then we got back in the car and headed toward Trader Joe’s. Keith saw a Dick’s Sporting Goods and wanted to stop.  I chose to walk off some of those chips, so I walked around the mall while he looked at sporting goods. I saw a See’s Candy store! (Do you know See’s? Yummy!) Keith and I grew up eating See’s candy and getting Easter eggs in our Easter baskets. So, I bought three chocolate eggs for Easter. (I also ate the sample they offered me, for I have no self-control.)

Next we went to Trader Joe’s and found a lot of fun things–Crunchy Chili Onion, root beer and ice cream for floats, tahina, Umami seasoning, some boxed soups, tempeh, soy chorizo (another meat alternative that I love) and a bottle of kombucha.

I then drove us home. On the way, I wished I could take a photo of the beautiful yellow carpet of wildflowers on the desert floor, but my husband had fallen asleep, so there is no such photo.

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!


March 27 – What Are Soy Curls? You May Ask

March 27, 2023

A lot of things happened in 2020, right? One thing for me was committing to a healthier diet. Since I still struggle with keeping my cholesterol where it should be, I have mostly given up eating meat. Here is one thing I’ve found lately that is healthier than many of the other plant-based meat alternatives: Butler Soy Curls. Now, because both Jennifer and Celia asked me about them on a post two days ago, I decided to share about Butler Soy Curls in its very own slice of life. It’s March 27, after all; ideas are slowing, so why not?

Some good news: They are made with whole GMO soybeans, grown and produced in the U.S., 11 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per serving, no trans fat, no additives or preservatives. You can buy it from Butler Foods for what I’ve found to be the best price.

The pictures below show some of the things I tried with soil curls:

A Reuben sandwich made with soy curls for the “meat”

Yesterday I made Creamy Vegan “Chick’n Satay from Lauren Hartmann at Rabbit and Wolves, one of my favorite vegan cooks. (I altered this recipe in two ways. I added peppers and mushrooms, which weren’t in the original recipe. I also used almond milk instead of coconut cream, which I often do to make recipes lower fat.)

Do they look like chicken? They taste like chicken. Or at least have the texture of chicken.
Extra soy curls I sauteed and put in the fridge for tacos, salads, and sandwiches this week.
I used some of the leftovers and added barbecue sauce for a sandwich today. Yummy!

Here are additional recipes at Butler Foods.

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

March 26 – A Hike in the Desert

March 26, 2023

Spring has come to our desert. The temperature was in the high 40s F (9 C), but it seems warmer because the sun was shining. I was happy to see more flowers and kept my phone in hand, since I had forgotten my walking stick. Here are some of the pictures.


Walking through a wash
Today’s wildflowers. They are becoming more visible each day.

When I came home a little light was shining through the skylight. It was so lovely. I put these things in the spotlight and took a photo.

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

March 25 – 5-4-3-2-1 Reflection This Week

March 25, 2023

I followed Britt’s lead today, using Canva to write a reflection on my week using this 5-4-3-2-1 format. I first saw the reflection on Heather’s post last Friday, and then I saw it more and realized it is also a popular exit ticket for students. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been on Canva, and now I’ve used it twice this week. Even without a school email any longer, I was able to do a lot using the basic account.

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

March 24 – ¡Genial!

March 24, 2023

Ahora hablo español.
Más o menos,
de todas formas.
Pero realmente
no puedo hablar español.
Puedo leer y escribir un poco.
Mucho más que antes.
Necesito aprender
en una clase,
para poder aprender mucho más.
Y necesito encontrar a una amiga para hablar en español.

Did I say what I tried to say? (I welcome any suggestions for improvement.)
Now I speak Spanish.
More or less,
But I can’t really speak Spanish.
I can read and write a little.
Much more than before.
I need to learn
in a class,
so I can learn much more.
And I need to find a friend to talk to in Spanish.

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!