Friday, March 31, 2017

That's All, Folks!

Thirty-one days has a way of flying by.  On day 8, or 14, or 22, it seems as though day 31 will never come.  However, it always does, and reaching this day is always bittersweet.  It's difficult to believe that 31 days ago, I began my third Slice of Life adventure (or has it been the fourth?).  I'm equal parts sad that it is ending and relieved that I made it through.

This was the easiest Slice experience so far, and I wonder if each will will be easier moving forward.  I had big plans to cook fresh for 31 days, but only did for a few of those.  I had even bigger plans to renovate a bathroom and post photos of the finished product, but I only reached about the halfway point.  

I'm proud to have accomplished the goal of participating in the Slice of Life Challenge 2017.  I didn't do it perfectly, but I did it.  I was a part of something bigger than myself.  I participated in an experience shared by people like me and others nothing like me at all.  I was a member of a writing community.  It felt good, safe, and wholesome.  

Although the Slice adventure ends, life goes on.  I will continue trying to add fresh ingredients into my cooking plans.  I'll eventually get around to finishing the bathroom renovation.  Hopefully, both of those are accomplished before next year's Slice adventure. But for now, that's all, folks!

Tummy Ache

I had a terrible stomach ache last night.  When I was supposed to be writing my Slice, I was instead lying in bed coaxing my tummy to relax.  Before I knew it, I awoke at 1:45, disoriented, lights on, holding my phone tightly in my hand above my head.  I'm not sure how long I was holding it above my head.  Was it flying there, waving in the air, the entire time?   For about 5 hours?  My arm isn't sore today, so perhaps it wasn't.  Either way, I missed another entry and am making up for it now.  I'll post more tonight, the 31st, my final Slice.  Number 31 is always so bittersweet.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

10 Things I Dislike

  1. warm colors: red, orange, yellow, brown
  2. fish: the kind you eat and the kind that swim in those ponds outside of Japanese restaurants.  
  3. cigarettes: both of my parents smoked in the house and in the car when I was growing up.
  4. snow: pretty to look at, but terrible to touch
  5. honey: bee vomit?  No thank you.
  6. camel crickets, a.k.a. Jerusalem crickets, a.k.a. cave crickets: these repulsive creatures are the dinosaurs of crickets.  I like dinosaurs.  I like crickets.  I do not like a combination of both.
  7. chocolate: I just don't get why people like this stuff.  It is a mystery to me.
  8. coffee: bean water!  Again, no thank you.
  9. the mall: it's hot, loud, crowded, and the lighting is odd.  Shopping is essentially torture.
  10. scary movies: I will never understand how people can enjoy making themselves anxious.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Times Have Changed

Today I attended a training at the Department of Education in Jefferson City.  The facilitator was an English Learner when she was a child in public school about 30 years ago.  She shared some of her experiences.  The most heartbreaking experiences she mentioned are included below:

  • She and her two sisters received swats for speaking Spanish at school.  When they saw each other at recess, they had to be very careful to speak quietly and watch for the principal so that they would not get caught speaking to each other in their home language.  
  • Despite reaching academic English fluency by 3rd grade, she was placed in a special accent reduction class because her voice was deemed inappropriate.  The class focused on reading fluency, so she still hates reading to this day.  She would have to read the same sentences over and over again until she did so without any hint of her accent.
  • In all of her English classes, she was never told reading was for comprehension.  She thought reading only meant reading aloud fluently.  It wasn't until college when someone told her that reading is actually for comprehension that she realized she had never comprehended anything in her entire reading life.
  • She became a citizen while serving in our military.  When she received her naturalization documents, she discovered her first name was misspelled, her middle name was omitted, and her second last name was omitted.  Because name is so much of our identity, she essentially became a new person.  She felt it was the government's right to change her name and tell her who she was as an American, and that she could not be the old her and be an American.  She still uses the wrong name to this day, twenty some years later.  Today, she has a strong emotional reaction when Starbucks misspells her name.
  • She was made to feel so ashamed about her native language that when she became a mother, she vowed that her children would never speak Spanish.  Twenty-one years later she realizes she did her children an injustice by hiding their culture from them and keeping them from communicating with so many people.  She realizes now bilingualism is a gift and an asset.

Monday, March 27, 2017


I love helping other people.  Some of us are born to be helpful.  One example of a helpful person is Kevin, the lovely Middle School custodian and crossing guard who suddenly passed away yesterday.

Here is an acrostic poem about helping written in his honor..

H - Heart filled with love
E - Enough of me to go around
L - Lifting others up
P - Putting others before myself
I - Infusing others with my love
N - Nursing others back to health
G - Giving every spare piece of myself

Sunday, March 26, 2017

7 Day...

At the end of this spring break, I find myself feeling anxious about all of the things I did not accomplish in the past 7 days.  Knowing my list turned out to be too long to complete in 7 days, I wondered what can actually be done in 7 days.  I did a little research to see what other people are getting finished in 7 days.  I didn't see a lot of evidence that many people are doing much in 7 days aside from some odd diets and unnecessary cleanses.  Below is the top google auto complete results for "7 day..." followed by each letter of the alphabet.

7 day...

  • adventists
  • body cleanse
  • cleanse
  • detox
  • egg diet 
  • forecast
  • gm diet
  • healthy meal plan
  • Iceland itinerary
  • juice cleanse
  • keto diet
  • liquid diet
  • meal plan
  • national weather forecast
  • of Christmas
  • pill box
  • qpf (I had to google this result to see what it was!  It stands for Quantitative Precipitation Forecast)
  • rescue diet
  • soup diet
  • to die 
  • ultimate cleanse
  • vegan challenge
  • weather
  • xbox live
  • yield
  • z pack

I see that many people are searching for information about 7 day diets and cleanses.  Are we fearful of committing to healthy eating so we look for a 7 day bargain?  

I also noticed  a few grammar issues related to number (7 day of, 7 day to) which tells me that either a lot of people are confused about this element of English, or there are a lot of typos; more typos than not typos since it was result #1.

Rather than stress about not finishing the bathroom renovation, the state of my house, or going back to work, I'm instead going to spend some time reading about some of these diets and cleanses.  First on my list?  The egg diet.  Sign me up!  I love eggs!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Break From the Renovation

For Christmas, my husband bought tickets for us to see one of my favorite bands at one of my favorite venues: Shovels and Rope at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.  After cleaning up yesterday's mess, we hit the road and headed to Oklahoma.  It was a much needed break from the renovation.

We stayed at a great hotel, had dinner at a lovely local restaurant, and enjoyed an evening of dancing and singing.  Today, we explored a bit before returning to the mess at home.  As of this posting, the water is still off and the pipes are still not fixed.  I'm hopeful we will have a fix in time for me to wash my face and go to bed.  Tomorrow morning I'll get up early and work hard to make up for lost time.

The band playing on stage!  There isn't a bad spot in this venue.

Sophia with a set list.  A security guard saw her dancing and gave this to her.  Fun!

Sophia with one of the band's drumsticks!  A roadie saw her and gave it to her.  I've been to several concerts but have never been given a drum stick or a set list, and she got both!

The fam outside of Cain's Ballroom.  You need to go to a show here.  This was my fourth show here.

Sophia loves to pose with statues.  Aren't these tulips pretty?

Here Sophia is pretending to make a phone call on a pay phone.  Isn't it funny how today's kids find pay phones interesting?  Side note: I love the floors in this picture.  We were shopping at Utica Square in Tulsa.  It's such a pretty location!