A Quirky End SOL 31/31

This a sad attempt to a funny found poem using the titles of all 31 of my slices this month. They are in bold font. It doesn't make a lot of sense but goes from today's title to the first day's. I sliced every day I think it may be a first for me not to have missed at least one day!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. Mine will be filled with my family and I can hardly wait!

A Quirky End to
What I Learned Today
about life and My Day.
it can be funny and serious like my life and family,
I Mustache Introduce You to My Brother...He's Priceless...
but Waltzing With My Dad
and An Evening Alone are memories to cherish.

life stops for a Dog Attack and then,
Back to School as usual.
Duck? Rabbit? Spilt Milk?
who knew?

A Letter on Behalf of Oklahoma Teachers
was One Tough Cookie.
but A Memory of Monument Hill
was A Slice of History I won’t soon forget.

there is always More
and still This is Hard but
Books make it easier, and so do
Golf Carts and Go Carts.

these were my
Plans for Spring which comes from
Teaching Out of the Box...of Crackers
you must agree it is always
The Cheesiest!

I Really Enjoy Your Company
and hope I still will.
is it Karma or life that brought us here?

Lunch, Dinner, or Supper
there is always time.
And although Accountability can come from
Struggle of Small Towns
It is always wise to leave A Challenge Behind Us.

and finally I must say again
Happy Birthday Hubby!
I’m glad the Dreaded Dentist is over
You can’t go wrong with Triple Dipping.

because it all boils down to 
What do You Value?
and this amazing
Slice of Life Challenge!

Thank you Ruth and Stacey for once again hosting this amazing challenge. It never ceases to amaze me the things I learn about myself and all the other wonderful slicers out there. 

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What I Learned Today SOL 30/31

Today I learned that spring is finally here- it was seventy five degrees.
Today I learned that I am not very good at using a leaf blower to blow leaves from my patio-I blow in the wrong direction.
Today I learned that although I love warmer weather my allergies do not-everything is in bloom.
Today I learned that my husband is a machine (ok I already knew this one). He tore down one fence and almost has another one up all in a day and with a sore back.
Today I learned that the wind in Oklahoma can change three directions in one day, and when it does it doesn’t matter that I am not very good at blowing leaves off a patio.
Today I learned that slicing becomes very hard in the end-I am running low on things to slice about- and yet I still do.
Today I learned that I can find inspiration for teaching in my backyard-coming soon a fun spring unit.
Today I learned that everything tastes better from a grill-even meatloaf.
Today I learned that I am only six posts away from having 300 posts on this little ol blog, and when I do I’m throwing a party!
Today I learned that if you look close enough you can learn something new every day.   

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My Day SOL 29/31

Today was a day without school.
An early morning trip to the store.
Easter dinner supplies;
Chicken, potatoes, strawberries, cool whip too.

Home again a call from hubby
Put things away
Start to clean- floors, dishes, laundry
It’s just us two but it’s endless.

Lunch for one save a bite for my pup
Nap or continue to clean
Hang a few pictures and dust
Open windows finally a hint of spring

Put the mop away
I’ll vacuum later
The sun is calling
I have to feel its warmth it’s been too long

A nap in the sun
Nope hubby is home.

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STACHE looks to grow appreciation of facial hair | KTVQ.com | Q2 | Billings, Montana

Just one more glimpse at my now famous brother! He is as funny and loving as his mustache is wide, and more!

STACHE looks to grow appreciation of facial hair | KTVQ.com | Q2 | Billings, Montana

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I Mustache Introduce You to My Brother...He's Priceless SOL 28/31

Today I was going to slice about the fun we had in first grade with The Easter Bunny Assistant and dying Easter eggs. But then I came home booted up my lap top and checked Facebook. And this is what I found!

I always knew my brother was priceless but he now has it in writing!
Michael (Mike as everyone else knows him) is my second oldest brother( he's the one in the cowboy hat). Growing up he was my idol. He is funny, sweet, sincere and so easy to admire. He can tell a story or joke like no one else, and is the best cook.
I was left in his charge much of the time, after my older brother moved away. He is five years older than I am and having a little sister tag along when you are a teenager cannot be a lot of fun. But I don’t ever remember hearing him complain; although he did move away from home as soon as he was of ageI’m sure it wasn’t because of me. J
 I of course did not let that deter me! I begged my parents to move too, and low and behold we soon followed him to Oklahoma (I’m sure the fact that it was the oil boom had nothing to do with that either, sometimes I live in my own little worldit is nice here).
Once in Oklahoma and back with my brother I was happy again. And then he met Kim. His wife. I made him ask her out. I have no idea why. They soon got married and I bawled my eyes out, again. He was leaving me once more, but not too far this time, just a town away.
The next thing I knew I was married, and my priceless brother said “come live by us, there’s plenty of room.” So we did, for a while. And then I moved. He did not bawl his eyes out. We still spent many weekends together, and he still made me sour dough pancakes for Sunday morning breakfast. I was ok.
Years passed and my children arrived. They loved my brother as much as I did. He was their “Michael-Michael.” He still is.  Michael and Kim were not as lucky we were. It was sad and hard on us all. But I warned them it would happen, they would have their turn, when Kim turned 40. I now loved her as much as Michael. I forgave him for marrying her.
But then they said “we’re moving to Montana,” and I bawled. This time so did my kids. They loved them as much as I.
It’s been many years now, and I guess they’re never coming back, and I can’t talk my hubby into moving there. I still miss him and that wife, a lot. And guess what? They had a baby! A precious little girl, shortly after Kim turned 40.
Facebook has been great because it’s almost as if we are near. My priceless brother owns a hat shop. He “builds” cowboy hats. The name of the shop is Hbar Hat Works, catchy huh and very fitting.
So if you ever find yourself in Billings Montana you mustache stop in and see him. Tell him his sister misses him and is grateful for all the years he let me tag along.    

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Waltzing With My Dad SOL 27/31

I dream about my dad a lot, this time of year especially. It’s been nearly three years now since he has been gone, but really I think he left me years before.
I was not what you’d call a “daddy’s girl.” I was his girl, his only daughter but he wasn’t a dad I ran to, or confided in. He was just daddy. I loved him and I know he loved me, but we were not close.
When I was young he treated me almost as if I was insubstantial. I think it was probably the era of his youth that brought that from him. Girls were expected to pretty and sweet, but not opinionated or outspoken. I did my best to play that role, but as I grew and became older it was a struggle. It went against my genetic make-up I think, because I was much like him.
He drank, my father, and smoked. He stayed away from home, and came home late at night or not at all. It scared me when he’d drink; it scared me when I had to participate. Not in the act, but as a spectator.  
He was fun to be around, my dad. He liked to fish and hunt, camp and cook. He handed down his love of dancing (he and my mom). I loved it when he’d hold me close. I’d lay my head on his shoulder as he waltzed me across the floor. He taught me to jitterbug, twist and follow a lead. He was light on his feet and fun to be with in those moments.   
It was later that we fell apart. He thought it was because I chose sides. I thought it was because he did. He had a new family, and then another. I had a new marriage and a promise from my husband to never smoke or leave me alone in the night.
At his end we were together daddy and I, although our lives were not the same. It was the smoke that took him; it clouded his lungs and burned them away.
He missed out on the best part of me. My children never really knew him like I did, and I am sad for that. I should have done more to make it happen. I should have made him see.
I am a lot like my dad. As they say- the genetic pool runs deep. I love to dance and have my say. But I will never smoke or spend all night with a drink. In a way he taught me that too, I saw there was a better way.
I dream about my dad a lot. Sometimes I wake and think I smell smoke or hear him clear his throat. I think he is holding me close. And we are once again waltzing across the floor.  

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An Evening Alone SOL 26/31

I thought it was going to be a quiet evening at home, just Kodi and I. He is home from the vet and snoring softly in his favorite spot. Donnie had a meeting at the fire department it’ll soon be fire season here and it’ll be all hands on deck.  
I thought it was going to be a quiet evening at home then my son called. We talked about his work. We talked about his girlfriend (wonder when I’ll get to say fiancé?). We talked about the fire season and Kodi, hunting, and Easter. We talked about a lot and nothing for close to an hour.
I thought it was going to be a quiet evening and then my daughter called. She called as soon as I hung up from her brother. We talked about her classes, her worries and her still sore mouth.
I thought it was going to be a quiet evening at home just Kodi and I. But it was so much better. 

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Dog Attack SOL 25/31

See this sweet little old fella? His name is Kodi. He is my baby. He is 14 years old. He can’t hear. He barely has any teeth. He loves his tummy scratched and he loves his momma. 
Last night he was attacked by five pit bulls. My husband put him out to go potty and in the next moment I heard Donnie hollering to get him his gun. They had come into the yard and attacked poor Kodi.
Kodi was lying on the porch in a pool of blood. Donnie was trying to dissuade the five dogs with a garden hose, and the dogs were barking and snarling- now at him. It was a frightening sight. The neighbor boy that owns the dogs was trying his best to round them up, but I could tell he was frightened. Whether he was more scared of the dogs or Donnie I don’t know.
I finally got the gun to Donnie. He didn’t fire at the dogs but shot a round into the ground. The dogs and boy ran home. I have never seen my husband so mad and upset. I shudder to think what he would have done had it been me or the kids in the wake of these dogs.
The boy’s dad showed up and my husband unleashed on him. I’m not sure which sounded more sinister the dog attack or my husbands.
The neighbor was contrite as he listened to the bashing of his animals, I almost felt sorry for him. I warned him to stay back with a look and hand jester as I gathered Donnie to take Kodi to a vet.  
We tenderly set him in my car and Donnie rode beside him. A six foot three 200+ man curled up beside our ball of fur and in the hatchback of my Sequoia.
We tried every vet. We drove and called every emergency number. Not a single answer or returned phone call. The craziness of a small town.
Finally a vet in a neighboring town answered and met us at his shop. He was easy and caring with our Kodi, and very interested in what kind of dog he is (we have no idea he’s just our Kodi).
He found that Kodi had a gash on his front shoulder that had hit a main artery. He had punctures on his nose, and back legs, and he was bruised and sore from being mauled. He had lost a lot of blood.
Today Donnie called to check on Kodi. He was up and moving around. He gets to come home tomorrow and for a treat he is getting a haircut before he does.
I am so glad he is ok. He greets me every morning and every day when I come home, and I miss him. I’ll be so happy when we bring him home tomorrow. 

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Back to School SOL 24/31

Call me crazy but I am actually very glad to go back to school tomorrow. I have never been a big fan of spring break; to me it’s just an interruption to my teaching before the end of the year. I would however be ok with getting out a week earlier in May if we did away with it, or going back a week later
What’s even crazier is we are only back for four days and then out four for Easter. It’s all a little messed up if you ask me, but I was not in charge of the scheduleJ. We will however have extended days for the next 19 days to make up for our missed snow time.
This week we are starting our testing crunch. In April we test for THREE weeks, yep you read that right three weeks in first grade, two tests are state mandated reading tests and one is a standardized test our principal believes is “good practice.”
To take the edge off all the bad news I have many fun things planned for my kiddos the next few weeks.  I’ll be starting with Easter this week using activities that center around the Duck! Rabbit! Book I talked about yesterday and this book
 The Easter Bunny’s Assistant by Jan Thomas. If you don’t know this book you have to check it out. It is so cute. I’ll be using it in Writer’s Workshop to review how to writing and end the week dying eggs of course! I don’t have anyone that wants to do that with me at my house any more so my kiddos get the job! 
It’ll be a short but fun week in first grade this week. I’m glad to be back

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Duck? Rabbit? Spilt Milk? SOL 23/31

I’ve been looking over my Easter things for next week and perusing the WWW for ideas. I have pulled out some of my old favorites and found some fun new ones that I think I’ll try.
Do you know about the book Duck Rabbit by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld? 
It is a cute book and a great one for using to teach point of view. Usually about this time of year I pull out It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw 
to discuss point of view along with our weather unit. But I think this year I’ll start with Duck Rabbit.
I found some cute activities to go along with this book. I am so doing the duck/rabbit activities that Michelle has at Apples and ABC’s as well as the ones on Kangarooboo-they have some cute poems to go along with the duck and rabbit.
I also made this quick little point of view page for the kiddos to write and then compare with others.
You can find these pages here for free until Easter!
While I was out cruising the net I also stopped by Kathy’s blog Art Projects for Kids. She always has the best ideas that connect to actual artists. I am so doing the Buds and Blooms tissue paper flowers and the kite journals!
We are going to have spring around here one way or another! 

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A Letter on Behalf of Oklahoma Teachers SOL 22/31

Dear Mother Nature,

I am writing this on behalf of myself and all teachers in Oklahoma. It is not my intention to complain about your work, but lately those of us here in Oklahoma have had a few items of contention we’d like to discuss with you.

First of all did you not receive the memo that this week is the first week of spring and spring break for many in Oklahoma? Teachers and parents alike were in great hopes of spring weather for us and the children who want to play outside. Old man winter is tired. He is old. He would like to have time to rest up before December when is supposed to make his appearance. Once more the snow and cold wind is in itself becoming a point of disharmony.

Next is the ugliness of it all. The trees and yards are begging to be set free. They have had their rest and they, like the sun are ready to show what they are made of and let their true colors shine. Your icy hands of control need a bit of loosening and warming up. We are ready for the much needed change and enhancement to our work area as well as our home life. We believe it will give us the boost we need in morale and spirits for our return to school on Monday.

Finally we would just like to ask that this drought be ended. We understand that there are other areas of the country that are above their quota in rainfall and just feel that if you could share the rewards of a much needed rain you would see a spike in production in all of your employees including the flowers and trees.  One idea is to have the rain come in for the night shift soak the area liberally and then the sun will be able to do his job to his best ability during the day shift.

In closing we would just like to say we appreciate all you have done for us here in Oklahoma and believe you are an important part of our corporation. But if you could please lighten your load by allocating job responsibilities we believe this would be a much more cohesive establishment and the teachers of Oklahoma would thank you.


The Oklahoma Teachers     

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One Tough Cookie SOL 21/31

Today my baby had her wisdom teeth pulled out. It was scary for mom and daughter alike. She was in the room quite a while. Many went in. Many came out. We waited. It was cold in the waiting room. We and the others kept coats and sweaters on. More came in, more came out.
Finally they called “someone for Hadley.” Up popped her daddy and I. She was standing at the door, gauze stuffed mouth, eyes a bit watery.
“Are you ok?” We ask. She nods and tries to smile, impossible with all that gauze.
I look at the dental assistant. She was sweating. I was still cold. She was the size of Hadley when she was maybe ten. She was very small. She laughs and says “I am burning up, she was a workout.” We laugh not sure what she means.
She goes on to explain one tooth gave them some trouble. The top left tooth had roots that spread in four different directions. The dentist told her it was one for the textbooks. She went on to explain it took six shots to numb the tooth, and if she’d been Hadley she’d said ENOUGH, but Hadley endured. She is one tough cookie!
She is now home, one pain killer down and a few bites of KFC mashed potatoes. I hope the next few days are easy for her. She deserves it!   

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A Memory of Monument Hill SOL 20/31

It was the first time I’d had him out since we’d moved to our new home. He was still just green broke but I knew, like me, he was ready to let go.
I took him to the field where my hubby was picking up hay bales for my uncle. I was there to give him some much needed ride time and maybe for me to show off a little for my hubby, we were newlyweds after all.
I took a few laps around the field first a walk then a slow trot. Each time passing my cute hubby in the tractor and waving.
I was so proud of him. He was doing well on his first outing away from the barn. We’d had a few jaunts close to home that hadn’t turned out so well. He was headstrong and young, still not sure of that bit in his mouth. He often lived up to his name “Rebel.” He had been a rebel from the first day I laid a saddle on him. But he was doing better and today we were out for a “real run.”
As my hubby dipped out of view below the hill I was on, I decided it was time.
I gave his neck a pat and said “let’s go.” And go we did. Man could he run. We flew across the hay field. I remember smiling and feeling as if I was on top of the world, on top of that hill.
And that’s the last thing I remembered until I saw my new hubby on the road below talking to a woman in a truck with MY horse. I looked around and saw that I was in the cab of the tractor. Boy was I mad! I climbed out of that tractor and went out to hubby and that lady. I started yelling at them wanting to know just what they thought they were doing with MY horse and in the middle of the highway no less!
They looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. Donnie yelled at ME to get back in the tractor and the lady took off with my horse.
Once back in the tractor hubby was shaking and almost crying and I was wondering what the heck was going on. Why was he yelling at me? Why did he have my horse out? Who was that lady? Where was my horse’s saddle?  
He pulled the rear view mirror toward me and said, “Look.” My face was full of dirt, my hair was a mess, and my teeth and lips were swollen and bleeding.
Huh? I wondered how that happened, and then the pain set in.
I discovered later we had been in a full gallop when the cinch broke on the saddle. I hit the ground face first out cold, and my poor green broke horse was as terrified as my new hubby when he found us.
This is a picture of the hay field we were in that day twenty sevenish years ago. Yesterday as I was taking pictures with my daughter I told her the story of that day. I told her although Bill Picket the first African American rodeo cowboy was buried there, her mother had her own rodeo memories made there!  

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A Slice of History SOL 19/31

Two days into spring break and two days below 60 degrees, and it’s going down from here. We didn’t have plans for the break other than my kiddo having her wisdom teeth pulled on Thursday. 
After a morning of doldrums yesterday Hadley asked if I’d like to help with her geography homework that is due soon after the break.
“Sure” I said, “nothing else to do.” “What do I need to do?”
“Take my picture” she replied.
Well of course I am always up for that.
She explained we needed to drive around and find different areas of “geographic cultures” and she had to be in each picture.
We've had a good time traveling around our area looking for specific areas. We are lucky in that our area is rich in Native American, oil boom, wild-west, and rodeo heritage. But what was really fun was the stories the areas conjured up from her childhood and mine.  
I’ll leave you today with a few  ok many photos of our travels, and hint that in the next few days I’ll have some slices of history (hers and mine) to go with them. 

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More SOL 18/31

Yesterday I sliced about how hard it is to slice at times. I was met with understanding, encouragement and gentle pushes from my wonderful slicing family. I expected no less. They are a valuable part of this experience, this writing family, and they make it more, make me more.  I am so appreciative.
Today I woke with new determination. In my sleepless hours last I thought back to my college days (really not that long ago even though my age say otherwise) and I remember fondly learning that I love writing. I love putting words on paper and then playing with their placement, flow, feeling. I like having others reading what I’ve written and reading what others have written.
One of my most favorite parts of that college class was the “quick writes” the teacher would have us do. We were asked to just write without thought of convictions, grammar, spelling or approval.  I liked having a word or a topic to write about and then listening (or reading) how each of us took a different approach to the same topic. This must be why I enjoy slicing so much.
So today’s slice is an ode of sorts to the quick write, and my inspiration comes from your comments. Thank you!

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This is Hard SOL 17/31

It’s hard this writing thing. Hard to know what to write. Hard to come up with something to write. And hard to know if anyone cares what you are writing.
I read Michelle’s slice from the Literacy Zone and I see that she too is struggling with the words to harvest day after day.
I better understand after just a few years of doing this how hard it is to put in the effort day after day, and I am in awe of those that do it for a living.
My brother has a friend who is a writer. You may have heard of him Craig Johnson. He writes the Longmire stories, the ones that the Longmire series is based on- on A and E.
My brother asked him once how he became a writer. He told him it’s all he does. He has quit his day job, and just- writes.
It’s a scary thought giving up all you have just for the joy of writing. How do you pay the bills? What if no one likes what you write? What if you never publish anything you write.what if you fail.
I think that is my struggle down deep, not having the words to write, but instead what if nobody likes, comments, reads what it is I have written. What if I fail.  

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