March 21 – My Best Colors

March 21, 2023

I remember when my kindergarten students learned The Rainbow song and sang it at our end of the year celebration. I loved their sweet voices and the parents went all out, with each little group wearing a different rainbow color. Leigh Anne Van Eck has planned a color party during the Slice of Life. (You can participate too.  Just go to her blog, let her know you are participating, and see what others have written about their best colors.)

My best red is everything in my favorite color–fire-engine-candy-apple red, my eyes are captured by the reds of a lifetime. I can’t get enough. It’s always been my favorite.

Just a few red eye-catchers in my camera roll.

My best orange is the monarch butterfly, thriving and living its best migratory life with ample milkweed.

My best yellow is lemon pie filling, made with fresh January citrus from Arizona.

My best green is the ephemeral green of a California springtime. (By summer this will all be brown.)

My best blue is that sky, always that sky, (and perhaps a blue tsunami in 2024, as well.)

My best indigo is a new pair of 501 jeans in seventh grade.

My best violet is my friendship with Vinolia.

And in honor of springtime, here is a 32123 palindrome poem (for 3-21-23) that I learned about on Kim Johnson’s Slice of Life.

whispers of
sunshined buds

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

March 20 – Open Writing Poetry with You

March 20, 2023

This week it is time for Ethical ELA’s Open Write. It’s always so joyful to spend time with this supportive writing community. (Lots of us are part of Slice of Life and the group that writes poetry at Open Write, like Maureen, Joanne, Kim, Glenda, Britt, Fran H., Barb, Margaret S., Molly, Heather, and me…Have I missed anyone else? Please tell me in the comments).

We meet five days a month and every day in April, when it’s called #Verselove. Below I’m posting a poem I wrote yesterday. You can join in on this week’s past prompts– Saturday, Sunday, and Monday–or join us Tuesday and Wednesday for more writing wonderfulness.

On Saturday, I wrote a whole post about the inconceivable junction between artificial intelligence and poetry. [On an aside: You may want to read the essay, published today, on Two Writing Teachers by Beth Moore, “We Need to Talk About AI Essays.” Fascinating.]

On Sunday, we wrote a Pile Poem on Canva, using a beautiful mentor poem by Amy Kay.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Amy Kay (@amykaypoetry)

Mocha Productivity Being with my love Making beautiful things A heart decluttered, yet full Being Grammy to my sweet Milo Recognizing the birds in our yard Having our house become our home Being able to sleep as long as I want Many ways to make a vegetarian Reuben The four subtle seasons of the Mojave desert These freshly washed, tightly-fitting flannel sheets Finding a treasure that I need in a second-hand store Sweet memories of a time when I had young children at home Eating mint chocolate chip ice cream while laughing with loved ones A masala tea soy latte from my kitchen delivered with love from Keith

And today, on Monday, we shared poetry on Flip (formerly Flipgrid.) Do come over and join the conversation. Find the link at the Ethical ELA site. (There is an invitation to give opinions about the use of AI in the poetry classroom.)

In April, we will have daily prompts. Please join us. If you are interesting, check out these Tips for Verseloving, created by our founder, Sarah Donovan.

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

March 18 – Painting and a Slice of Life Meet Up

March 18, 2023

Today I spent the morning reading posts for Poetry Friday and Slice of Life; smiling, sighing, and sometimes gasping at the effective writing and beautiful poetry; and commenting on lots of blogs. I was trying to avoid starting the painting job of the door jamb on our new door. But, alas, I finally started sanding at 1:15 p.m. (PST). About 30 minutes later my alarm went off on my watch. It was time for the Slice of Life Meet Up. Hooray! I could stop now!

Thank you, Fran McCrackin and Sally Donnelly, for hosting the meetup today. It was so nice to meet these lovelies. Today on my slice, Sally wrote in a comment, “I’d love to hear your voice and see the face that matches this lovely blog!!” This sweet comment, and the fact that I had been disappointed I didn’t get to meet Sally in person in Anaheim last November at the NCTE Conference, made me join the meeting. It was great to hear her voice and see her face, as well as Fran McCrackin. Then it was a fun surprise to see who else came and to see and hear them, as well. Now it’s even more meaningful to read their posts. We had a great discussion about writing and slicing ideas. I think everyone went away with more ideas to slice for the next two weeks.

After the Zoom meeting ended, I went back to finish the sanding and painted the primer coat. Tomorrow I’ll finish the painting.

Nice to spend an hour with you, Sally, Fran McC., Fran McV., Megan, and Alice!



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

March 17 – Truths, Beauties and Appreciations

March 17, 2023


I’ve got some green to wear.
TBA – To Be Announced:

TBA has another meaningTruths, Beauties, and Appreciations, according to Jennifer Kesler. Jennifer, at my heart is happiest when i travel. read. write. connect, makes a habit of recording TBAs when she needs “a shift in mindset.” I thought I would try it today.


  • Life is sweet, and whether I say I’m lucky or blessed or fortunate–it’s all true.
  • Another ugly truth is that I sometimes intentionally walk by people who are less so. (Like today when a man was seeking signatures on a petition for more affordable rent in our area. Did I not catch his eye and keep walking because I own my own home and don’t need to pay rent?) I would like to see this truth change; I want to stand with those who are not as privileged as I am.
  • I am much healthier and more productive now that I can get enough sleep each night.
  • Hoy me olvidé de escribir en español.


  • Mourning doves who are nesting in my yard again this spring.
  • Snow on the mountains around me.
  • My shiny polished dining room table.


  • The wood burning stove in our home.
  • My sister and all her expertise in helping us remodel parts of our home.
  • Poetry and art
  • My husband and his calming sense of humor.
  • We’re having a St. Patrick’s Day dinner at our house on Saturday.

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

March 16 – That Summer

March 16, 2023

I would like to draw attention to two bloggers I read yesterday: Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life and Cathy at Doodads and Doodles.

When I read their blogs, I found inspiration for today’s post. I used Leigh Anne’s Rememory game card draw and Cathy’s Fortunately/Unfortunately post.

Here are the cards Leigh Anne chose:

a brother, sister or friend; summer; and speaking in front of people

So, I would think in this kind of game, you can get away with changing it up a little. (Especially since it’s my slice of life, I can definitely change it up a bit.) I didn’t really speak much (one word) and not in front of people, but in front of one unknown person. This was the story that came when I thought about those three cards.


“So when do you think we can get to the beach?” I asked Christine, my high school friend from across town.

“I think I can use Phil’s car tomorrow after he gets home from work. I’ll let you know what he says.”

“That would be gr…Wait! Oh, weird! There’s a strange man that just ran through our house,” I said.


“Yeah, I don’t know who it was. I better go see what’s happening,” I bravely said, as I hung up the phone.

I hurried down the hall and saw my mom, brother, sisters, and this guy, apparently from down the street, all scurrying around, very disorganized-like. I heard, “Fire.”

“Fire?” I repeated.

We eventually (quickly) made it outside and looked up at the smoke pouring off the roof.

I can’t remember what happened exactly, but there was a garden hose and fire truck involved.

Fortunately, our quick-witted and keen-eyed neighbor was proactively saving the day.

Unfortunately, someone’s fireworks (midday? post July 4?) flew onto our roof and started a fire.

Fortunately, it was during the day, so we weren’t asleep at night when the fire could have burned disastrously longer before discovery.

Unfortunately, it started on old, dry wooden shingles.

Fortunately, it was caught early and only burned a small patch, which made an unwanted skylight that lit up our attic.

Unfortunately, we would probably need to replace the whole roof, according to the firefighter.

Fortunately, my mom had a slew of kids and sons-in-law to help with the labor.

Unfortunately (and fortunately), within the week, we were up on the roof learning how to nail down shingles.


Here are two unrelated photos for today:

It’s been a weather event kind of day today.
This is how our skylight looks with direct sunlight. Kind of like an eclipse; you don’t want to look up into it.


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


March 15 – Dining Room Woodworking, Part 3

March 15, 2023

Today was hinge day on our new storage benches. I laid awake last night from 2-4 a.m. thinking about hinges. Why? Who knows? I wasn’t in charge; I trust my sister to do the thinking and brainwork, so I really didn’t need to worry. It was cold today, so we mostly worked inside.

We put regular hinges on, which we had to Dremel out a half inch section of wood to make them fit. (I would not have known to do that.)

Then we had some special hinges that needed to be added to keep the lid from slamming down. Those were really confusing. It took both of us to watch the video several times, read and reread the confusing instruction book, discuss and figure out how to get a little doo-hickey turned around, and some trial and error.

I don’t even know why we tried to read this! The video was much more helpful.
Success, finally

Now, I was finally able to put these storage benches at my table.

I plan to store tablecloths, placemats, and large serving pieces in one of them, and extra blankets in the other.

That little stink bug was hanging around when we worked outside. It was the third time we’ve seen him lately. I think he’s bored and enjoys the company.

Now about that table. I thought it would be all finished, but after the last sanding and polishing, it was cloudy. My sister suggested one more coat of varnish. Look what I did–gunked it up in too many places. I’ve learned finishing is the hard part of woodwork. I’m now going to take it outside and sand it again, and let my sister add the last coat of varnish.


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

March 14 – White Women, Join Me

March 14, 2023

Ron Desantis’ General Counsel Ryan Newman gave this description of WOKE: “it would be the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.” And Ron Desantis wants woke-ism to die in Florida (and in the U.S., if God-forbid, he becomes president).

That is the backlash our nation is up against. People, many of them in positions of authority, are denying that there are systemic injustices in America and that we need to address them. It is so frightening. We need to speak up, so our nation becomes more perfect, not less.

I’ve known all along about the powerful book Saira Rao and Regina Jackson wrote and was published by Penguin Books last fall:

White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better

However, it took me until last month to finally purchase it. I don’t know why. Here is a great taste of their book in a article.

Are you a white woman? I would invite you to buy the book, read it, and discuss it with a small group. You are invited to join in this free Race2Dinner book club. After you access the book club, register, and then RSVP for one of the small groups. The first group met today, and three more are starting this week. Go and check it out. At the first meeting, the group will discuss the preface of the book. Then they will talk about one chapter a month after that.

I hope to see you in the Race2Dinner community. Do let me know if you join, please.


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

March 13 – Six-Word Memoirs about Me

March 13, 2023

Jennifer Kessler wrote a fun post yesterday called “Six-Word Memoirs About Me.” Now, I’m following her lead and telling you a bit about me in six-word memoirs.

  • Grew up loving and playing softball.
  • I love to eat (and fast).
  • Taught in California, Iowa, Arizona, Bahrain.
  • I’m chief learner in life’s adventure.
  • Two daughters who make me proud.
  • Married for 40 years in June.
  • Hobbies: reading, writing, cooking, crocheting, biking.
  • Good in technology, daring to click.
  • Cook vegan recipes and bake bread.
  • My beloved grandson is almost one.
  • This, first year I’ve enjoyed homeownership.
  • Retired and enjoying every sweet moment.


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