Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Friends Bring Sunshine Day 31 of 31

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Slice of Life Challenge.  Please visit their site to read and comment on other slices.  This is the last day of the challenge.  It's been so good to get back into the habit of writing every day.

Today was a day that was made brighter by friends.

My school day ended with a friend responding to my frantic text and meeting me for coffee after school.  She listened, asked questions, threw out options and asked more questions.  I left after our chat feeling a little more hopeful and optimistic about some decisions I have to make.  Thank you Cathy!

Earlier my school day was brightened by another friend. But first, a little of the back story...

We were greeted at school on Monday morning with this amazing lemon pie.  I remembered Cheryl's Facebook post from the week before and knew right away who had brought in this wonderful dessert.  I took a sliver and deemed it a must have dessert for Easter Sunday.

When I got to Cheryl's room to tell her how much I liked the pie, I told her I was going to make it for Easter.
"You have to have Arizona lemons to make it," she told me.
"You're kidding, right?"
"No, my friend made it with regular lemons from the grocery store and the pie was bitter."

Well, darn.  I was pretty sure my principal wasn't going to let me take a few days off to fly to Arizona so I could get myself some Arizona lemons.   Maybe Meyer lemons would work.  I wasn't going to give up quite so easily.

Lucky for me, as Cheryl passed me in the hall today, she whispered, "I have a surprise for you on your desk."  I was hoping it might be one of those Arizona lemons.  

I quickly went back to my office and found not one, but two beautiful, round yellow orbs that looked more like yellow oranges than lemons.  They were huge and they smelled heavenly.  I was a happy girl!  A new fruit, a new recipe, what more could a girl want?  (Well, at least a girl like me).

So, my family will be eating Arizona Sunshine Pie for Easter Sunday, thanks to Cheryl and the Arizona sunshine.  I can't wait to share this little bit of heaven with them.  

Thank you Cheryl!

Now, I will be on the lookout for ways to pay the sunshine forward.  :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

What Would You Say? Day 30 of 31

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Slice of Life Challenge. Please visit their site to read and comment on other stories.

The Johnsons are a little nerdy, all in a good way. Every night at 7:00, whoever is home gathers to watch Jeopardy and then Wheel of Fortune at 7:30. We're all pretty good at the Wheel, but Zach is the king of Jeopardy. He knows a lot of facts about a lot of things. 

The other day I posed the following question to my family as Alex Trebek introduced the contestants, "What would be your claim to fame?  What would you want to say about yourself when you got introduced?"

For the life of me, I couldn't think of anything out of the ordinary to say about myself. I haven't traveled to 53 countries. I wasn't a Raynette (back up singer for Ray Charles).  Those people come up with the best stories. 

I think about this every time the Jeopardy jingle begins to play. So far, nothing great has come to mind, but I did find this article from NPR that might give me some ideas. 

So what would your story be?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Being Present Day 29 of 31

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Slice of Life Challenge.  Please visit their site to read and comment on other slice of Life stories.   I am also cross posting this with DigiLit Sunday.  You can visit Reflections on the Teche to read other posts about how educators are using technology in their classrooms.

I received this in my email today.  It's an important reminder that I need often.

One of the reasons I chose "Quiet" as my OLW is because there is constant chatter going on in my head.  I'm always thinking about what needs to be done next or what I should be doing to better myself...read more, study more, practice more, try new things to push myself to achieve more.  It goes on and on and to be honest, can be exhausting, because in reality, I can never accomplish everything that I feel like I must accomplish.  Sigh!

I tried to keep all three things that are mentioned above in mind as I went through the day.  It's the last day of spring break.  I didn't crowd my day with things that needed to get done.  Instead, I chose to do spend the day with the people I enjoy the most doing the things that make me happy.  Each thing got my full attention today, which felt so nice.

Tonight, as I sit in my living room, I can hear the rain tapping against the window and the chimney.  Candles are lit and it is peaceful.  I relish the quiet.  

Because I can't relinquish all of my bad habits, I decided to try Nutshell (remember the line above...try new things to push myself) to illustrate the serenity here tonight.  I am a work in progress and tomorrow is another day to remind myself to be present, open my heart, and quiet my mind.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mission Accomplished Day 28 of 31

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Slice of Life Challenge.  It's day 28 of the 31 day challenge!  We're almost to the finish line.  Please visit their site to read and comment on other slice of life stories.  

Yesterday, I lamented about the color of my kitchen.  Today ended up being very productive and I am a happy girl.  My husband and I tag teamed the job.  He cut in the corners and edges.  I rolled the large areas.  It was fun working together on a house project.  Fixing up the house and making it ours may just be the thing that becomes "our thing" (see #4 from this post).

Waiting to hang wall decor.

While the paint dried, we went to look at hardwood flooring.  We both love hardwood floors and we knew it would be one of the first things we did to update our house.  We found something we both liked quickly (and it was on clearance!!).  The salesman asked us if we would be putting it in ourselves.  We looked at each other and laughed.  18 years ago, we laid hardwood floors in our then brand new house.  We swore we'd never do it again. We made an appointment with the installer to come out to the house to measure.

Bamboo flooring we ordered.  

But then...as soon as we got into the car, Keith said to me, "Maybe we could put the flooring in ourselves."  A few minutes later he said, "How about if we install it in the upstairs.  If it's too hard, we can have the pros do the downstairs."  We then came home and watched YouTube videos on how to install bamboo flooring.

I have a feeling that I know what our next home improvement project will be.  :)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Making up my Mind Day 27 of 31

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Slice of Life challenge.  Please visit their site to read and comment on other slice of life stories.

The kitchen was the color of a bright yellow tennis ball.  It was one of the first things I wanted to change.  I LOVE green, but decided that I wanted to start afresh with this house and thought I'd try a different color palette.

Sitting among unpacked boxes, Molly, Annie and I studied Pinterest, pinning colors we thought we'd like.  We finally decided on some blues, salmons and tans.  It looked good on paper.  We were on a mission...get the kitchen and bathroom painted while Molly was still home to help.

Keith cautioned me, "Are you sure you want to paint so quickly?  Why don't we live with this for a bit and see if you really want to go with blue."

Molly and I were confident in our choice.  "No, we want to get this done."

He returned, "Don't you want to paint some samples on the wall to make sure you like the color?"

We stood firm.  We were the color was going to be perfect.  I was excited about trying something new.

So, 3 days after moving, we were painting.  We still had boxes to unpack, but we thought it was more important to paint.

As the walls were covered, I felt a twinge of uneasiness in the pit of my stomach.  Hmmm...it looked a little more like a baby boy blue instead of the blue gray I thought it would be.  I didn't dare say anything to Keith.

I lived with the blue for a month or so, before I broached the subject that maybe I really am a green kind of girl.  Blue is not for me.

Keith didn't say a word.

A month later, I told him that I thought maybe we should repaint the kitchen.

He just looked at me.

Two weeks ago, I got some samples of green that I thought I'd like.

He shook his head, knowing that my mind was made up.

This time, I didn't start blindly slapping paint on the wall.  I painted sections so that I could make an intelligent decision.

Jajoba...too blue
Sage...too dark
Flora...a little better
Feng Shui...perfect!

Tomorrow, my kitchen will be green and I will be a much happier girl.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lifelong Friends Day 26 of 31

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Please visit their site to read and comment on other slice of life stories.  

We met each other as freshmen in high school.  There was a group of 7 of us who hung out together, but Marlene and I had a special bond.  She is the friend I've had the longest (almost 40 years)!  As teenagers, we drove around the town square on Friday nights, often going out for pizza.  There was the night we stalked the boy she had a crush on when he took one of our friends to the school dance.  (That boy is now her husband of over 30 years).  She was the one I cried to when I found out that I was moving across the state when I was a senior in high school.  We visited each other in college and then were in each other's weddings after graduation.  Before our kids were born, we'd take turns bringing craft ideas that we could do together each time we visited.  After the kids were born, our visits were consumed with kids and sharing the ups and downs that come with parenting.  It never mattered how long between our visits, we could always fill our time together with conversation, picking up as if we had just seen each other.

Today was one of those days filled with stories, laughter, and good food.  I drove to visit Marlene and we spent the day filling each other in on our kids and husbands.  She shared all the preparations for her son's wedding, and as always, we shared titles of good books we're reading.  Our afternoon together ended all too quickly.  As we hugged good-bye, she reminded me that the next time I hugged her would be at her son's wedding.  How does that happen?  It seems like it was just yesterday that I was standing next to her when she married Chris and then a year later, she was standing next to me when I married Keith.

As Oprah would say, What I know for sure is that taking the time to nurture these lifelong friendships is one of the most important things you can do.  Life throws lots of curve balls and there's nothing like having that special friend who loves you no matter what.   They help you through the hard times and celebrate the good times.

I am so glad that Marlene has been in my life.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Family Day 25 of 31

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Please visit their site to read and comment on other slices.

I was on the road by 9:00 am today, excited to see some of the most important people in my life.  You see, I grew  up in a family where not only did I have a mom and dad, but also aunts and uncles who were just like my parents too.  In fact, my cousins, sisters and I didn't stand a chance when all the aunts and uncles were together.  If we stepped out of line, someone was there to correct us.  If we had trouble, there were always open arms to fall into with an ear ready to listen.  Time to celebrate? We had our own cheering section.  To this day, I know that I can count on any of them for any kind of support I need.  Who could ask for anything more?

Lunch with Mom and Aunt Janey

Visit with Uncle Jack