nerdlutiont555I’ve been very addicted to Twitter lately — it’s almost all I do except read very important books!! ūüėČ ¬†The other day, I creeped into a conversation where some important people wanted to re-commit to personal goals. There’s a hashtag, round of blog posts, and a picture to make this all “official”! Here is one blog I read that explains #Nerdlution better than I ever could: Sharpread

I’m making a commitment that for the next 50 days, I’ll do a few things I’ve been neglecting. Here’s the short list:

1…blog each day. It can be here or maybe in my daybook, but writing is a must!

2… SOME sort of exercise. The best way to do this is to follow that blasted Fast Metabolism book!! Just do it, please!

3…have Game Night with Lily once a week. Wednesdays sound good (and with Jake when he’s home).

 

That’s probably all the resolutions I need to make. Hell, I’m already behind on the first day’s…it’s after midnight. Maybe Dec 1 will be the start date…now if I can just do the math to see when the 50 days are up! haha…

Good news is I’ve read 2 1/2 books this week: One Night That Changed Everything; a skeery book from the WL library (that I can’t remember the name of, nor can I find it!); and half finished with The Sea of Tranquility, a creepy book that Donna told me to read.

I also started another website to house my teaching “stuff” — I’m being horrible by keeping resources in a million other places, so today, I tried to put websites and ideas and documents in one spot. We’ll see how long that lasts! For now, though, I have 4 pages…but the Home page is my favorite. I’m really struggling with staying with teaching, so I added a cute WeeMe avatar (where I’m holding my old Blackberryand a Starbucks coffee),3 videos that inspire me, a poem, a quote by Ghandi (for when I’ve feeling really bad) and, a Spotify

Avatar Me2playlist of 13 songs that should definitely inspire me (or, at least, define how I feel about teaching — when I love it, not now when I’m pissed).

¬† ¬† I know…cute, huh??

That about does it for today’s episode!

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I’ve been trying to help my sophomores think about the monthly Slicing project coming up in a couple of weeks. And, as luck would have it (I’d call it serendipitous — that’s my favorite word!), Spongebob was on the TV. That silly cartoon makes me so happy. He was singing this song:

I loved it!! ¬†I told LilyBelle that I wanted to be more like Spongebob — and just like that, I had a writing topic! Lily and I kept talking about Spongebob after the song was over. She wanted to name who in the family would be which character. This is how it turned out…

Me: I’m Spongebob because I like to be happy and get other people in good moods.

Lily: Who am I? I know — I’m Gary ’cause you still have to feed me. Meow!

Me: Sounds good. Now Daddy is…

Lily: SQUIDWARD — he’s grumpy a lot

Me: (Yep, but don’t tell Kev!!) Okay…we have to work on getting him out of that, though. Jake can be Sandy because he’s gone off to college and is trying to learn new things.

Lily: And he never comes home! What about Aunt Paula?

Me: Oh, that’s easy. She’s Patrick because she is goofy and blonde and follows me around all the time (Shh…don’t tell my sister!)

Lily: And TBone (my brother-in-law) can be Mr. Crabbes because he’s cheap!

 

I busted out laughing!!! Anyway, when I got to school and shared this with my students, they first looked at me like I was weird. But then, when I told them they had to be on the lookout for writing topics even in the strangest of places, they seemed to get it. They called out different things they could write about that they hadn’t before: a little brother who’s obsessed with eating spaghetti; how to make a basketball goal every time; hazards of football; and shading techniques in art.

It was the best day ever!!

I went to the writing marathon today with my Writing Project peeps. My friend Sally texted yesterday and told me to come. I said yes, just because I think I need to get out more. We started off at Amelie’s¬†restaurant, and from there, the participants left for other cafes,¬†restaurants¬†and stores (I think IKEA was a big hit!). I wrote two pieces during the day — that I revised once I got home. Of course they both have to do with the blasted CANCER crap — because what in my life right now DOESN’T involve that??

First up: a poem….

Ode To My Ponytail¬†(You know…because I don’t have one anymore!! By the way, odes are HARD! Iambic pentameter & rhyme scheme — this was almost too much for my brain….)

Free-flowing, swinging, rhythms in mid-air

Connected to my head through magic bands;

My youth held, a fragile glass, in stylish flair.

Breezes breath across my face dark-brown strands

Awakening my thoughts to your presence.

Seven months gone become seven too long–

Winter lengthens into summer’s shade tree.

Stiffened joints, age spots, and wrinkled creases

Will probably unfold before you’re strong

Again. How, I wonder, can this truth be?

**Man, I SERIOUSLY miss my flipping ponytail!! (no pun intended! haha)

————————

Next, a list for my friend Lil, who’s in the midst of her own journey:

13 Tips for Lil (aka — What I Wish I’d Known)

1. Get regular mani/pedis — You deserve to be pampered.

2. Carry a pillow

3. Feel sorry for yourself exactly 10 minutes a day then let it go ¬†— 15 minutes if you’re in the middle of a good cry

4. Read other women’s journeys when you’re ready —

5. DON’T let those women scare you (every one has her own road through treatment)

6. Eat watermelon — LOTS (and lime jello!)

7. Lifesavers (they aren’t JUST a candy) ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†

8 . When people say to let them know what they can do to help, tell them one thing — even if it’s just to get you a glass of water (it makes them feel less helpless)

9. When people notice your baldness, wig, or scarf, and say, “Oh, you’re going through cancer treatment?” say back, “Nope. My new lover is an alien and shaving your hair is the first step to true love.”

10. You’re going to miss your boobs, no matter your age. Wear pretty¬†undershirts¬†and lacy (but not underwire)¬†brassieres¬†to make it a little easier.

11. Make your sister (or best friend) be at your beck and call; You can seriously get back at her for torturing you throughout your childhood!

12.¬†There’s¬†nothing wrong¬†with¬†afternoon¬†naps. Have your oncologist write you a¬†prescription¬†if you need it.

13. Watch funny movies starring your favorite comedians. A few suggestions: Arsenic & Old Lace (Cary Grant); Elf, Stepbrothers, & Anchorman (Will Ferrell); Dumb & Dumber (Jim Carey); Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder)

————

An almost productive day!

Today begins Day 1 of Teachers Write with Kate Messner. I’m supposed to make plans — a commitment to writing this summer — something I do with regularity. Well, I make the “plans” — it’s the follow-through I usually have difficulty with (although, who wouldn’t, when a chatty almost-six-year-old WON’T STOP TALKING IN MY EAR!! haha…She’s giving me writing advice at the moment — I didn’t use a period correctly, apparently!).

Anyway, Kate asks teachers to do the following today:

1) What can I cut out of my day in order to make time to write? Definitely some TV viewing — it’s summer, so most of what I watch is in reruns anyway. But I’m bad at recording shows to watch later, and then I just veg out for a whole day. I love TV; and I love to read. So I think I just need to balance those things.

2) When and how long will I write? I’m a night-writer. I get more done after the LilyBelle and Kevo have gone to bed — and the Jakester is staying at his college apartment with an internship most of the summer. So no one will be up to ¬†talk to me or interrupt my thoughts. However, by the time Lily actually stops talking to me and goes to sleep, I’m pretty tired, too. For a while, I’m sure that getting 15 minutes of writing done each day will be the most I will do. For some reason, I write better during the school year with my students, and not so much in the summer when I’m out of work. It’s the schedule that keeps me honest, so this summer, I want to feel as if I have a schedule — and do what I tell my students: increase my writing stamina bit by bit.

3) Where will I write? I don’t have a particular place to write — no personal desk or room of my own. Most of my writing is done on the living room couch, on my bed when the LilyBelle is in the bathtub, or in bed just before I go to sleep. Sometimes I might be able to sneak out to the bookstore I love to go to when I need a break from home.

4) Who did I tell about my writing plans? Umm…no one! I’ll probably tell my teacher-friend, Somer, and make her read my stuff. She thinks I entertain her with some writing I’ve done in the past, and she’s good for my ego. I may tell my sister, but she doesn’t always give me good feedback. I have to tell the LilyBelle, because she’ll want to write with me (I’m going to have her do Jo Knowles’ kitchen prompt tomorrow!).

So, there are my plans and¬†commitments¬†to myself this summer. There will be days I won’t be able to write, especially this month (finishing up breast cancer treatments/surgeries); however, there are several pieces that I want to spend some time on. I need several example texts for my students next year, and this is as good a time as any to get them done. One of my biggest problems, though (especially with fiction), is plot and development; I can get the beginning and maybe even know how the story will/should end, but I can’t get the middle — where all the action happens. I want to work on that this summer so I can feel a sense of completion. I hope that makes sense.

If you read my blog and haven’t joined Teachers Write, just follow the link, sign up, and let’s have some fun!

**The Snoopy picture captures my feelings about writing most of the time (when I’m alone). I found it at this website:¬†http://pragmaticcompendium.com/2012/03/01/writing-is-hard/

Okay, well, I haven’t been writing this week. I’m going to play the CANCER card because I’ve felt like hell all week. Turns out, the third round of chemo does NOT do a body good! Much more tired and many more bone aches this time. I¬†know, I know….there’s no excuse, Steph…you take on a challenge, you should complete each day. All I can say is, I’m sorry — and I hope my acrostic poem brings joy! Until Tuesday, my peeps (Promise!!).

March Madness

My writing may never be the best,

And sometimes I post a little late.

Right now, though, all I

Can think is

How much fun I have:

Sharing my stories…

Or reading other bloggers’

Life-moments… and

Seeing another March

Close.

Lilybelle keeps telling me that 2012 is not a real number.( I swear, I don’t know what schools are teaching kids these days!). Kev and I argued about money again last night, only to feel bad about it, and both us us¬†apologized¬†and worked it out. And he bought stock today. And Jake has a job interview at a particular time on Saturday. I have two more chemo treatments, but three surgeries before I can go back to work. But I’ve read thirteen books since January. And it’s March Madness!

And I’ve lost a week of March –lost…it’s not there. Not on the calendar; not in my memory; not in my American Idol Tivo-ed episodes. I’m wondering what all these numbers have to do with each other. To be honest, I really don’t know. I wanted to write today about school and how much I’m missing the classroom; however, when I started typing, Lily’s voice was in my head.

Where does the time go? I sent a tweet out a few minutes ago about cheering for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers for NCAA because my high school was the RS Central Hilltoppers..and once a Hilltopper — ALWAYS a Hilltopper!! When did I go from that (sort of) carefree sixteen year-old to this heavy-hearted middle-age chick? Would I even recognize myself? (Okay, well, I don’t mean right now…I have no boobs or hair! haha). I’m pretty sure the answer is no.

So all this math reminds me of a Baby Blues cartoon is cut out the other day (I’ll probably get in trouble for copying it..but I found it at some place called The Comic Strips…maybe if I Pin it, I won’t get in too much trouble!!)

So, that’s my take…when Lily tells me that a number isn’t real, or Kev fusses at me because I really good at subtracting, but NOT adding, or when I start to feel OLD….I’m just gonna change the channel! haha…..

Who’s with me??

 

It was finally time. We watched her open the door, test the wind with a finger beside her cap, and step outside the¬†veranda, her hand just lingering. As if she’d take that step back. As if this faith was not real.

But we called — we chirrped; we who-whooed; we rustled — and she stepped down. She fiddled with the music and called her dog. They took it slowly up the driveway. Cardinal thought she looked funny in her bulky coat, black sweats, and black knit hood. Humming thought she looked grand and¬†just¬†this-side of warmed over. Toad just wished she’d make the dog stop smellng others’ behinds!

She walked on — even though it wasn’t easy. We saw her limp a few times. It worried us, but Antie said she was just dancing a little to the music. Squirrel-Ana chipped that she better not over do it. It’s a 5K Run, for goodness sake! Her little dog, Ginger, told us not to worry, that she’d get her to the back yard where it was safe.

The music was cranking, though; we heard it. Bon Jovi, and Theory of a Deadman cracked us up. But when “Jessie’s Girl” came on, we know — we knew our girl was back!.

She stayed¬†with¬†us the whole half hour even though it was tough. But Michael Jackson told her not to stop ’til she’d had enough — and boy, she didn’t!

We might not see her again for a couple of days, but we think she’ll be back soon. There’s just something about the early days of spring that make you feel young and watched over. And we will watch over her. Every little step she takes.

****My slice is based off a prompt today that said: “Start a piece with the line: It was finally time.” and the walk I took around ten-thirty. Four days after chemo-round-two seemed like a good day to walk….and I think the little animals/critters were with me!

Here are some little inspirations I saw along the way:

Vodpod videos no longer available.