Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Weapons of Mass Wackiness

At first I thought it was an errant Cheeto puff, but the ping-pong sized orange ball rolled across the sidewalk when I nudged it with my toe.  It stood out not only because of the color, but because it was a disruption to my morning routine of walking my dog.  I bent over to pick it up, curious as to its textured surface: pockmarked and squishy.  

Now that I was holding it, it reminded me less of a Cheeto puff or a ping-pong ball and more of a rubber bouncy ball.  The kind commonly found in quarter machines or in dentist office treasure chests.  A reward for proper brushing dropped carelessly by a child as they headed inside yesterday?  Maybe. 

I threw it down, watched it bounce high once, and then -- roll away.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Hurlyburly Hurricane

I woke not to the sound of the storms outside, but to my dog barking.  Surprising, considering just how hard the wind was blowing the rain against the windows. But, Cooper decided he HAD to go out.  

I joke that he is an old man and one of the many reasons for that slight is the fact that he always seems to need to get up in the middle of the night to pee.  There are many nights where I am awoken by the slight jingle of his collar as he gets down from the bed to go drink from his bowl and then wake me up to let me know he has to go outside to relieve himself.  

That's on a good night when he actually bothers to wake me up of course.  All things considered though -- I'll take a wake up to having to spray the carpet.

This time, however, I tried to convince him otherwise.  Especially when I walked past my sliding glass door and saw just how violent the weather outside was.  It wasn't tornado level (thankfully), but it looked like the kind of weather that one should stay in bed as opposed to stepping outside and immediately getting soaked or worse.  I said as much to Cooper but, being a dog, he barked his insistence for the outdoors.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Secret Connoisseur of Stickers

I love when I can have a piece of writing serve more than one purpose.  

This past month I have been spending much of my writing energy -- at least the writing energy that isn't dedicated to noveling -- on poetry.  After all, it IS national poetry month.  Most of my poetry writing has been inspired by the daily prompts over at Ethical ELA.  Today's prompt (using the idea of "secret connoisseurs") not only captures a slice of one of my favorite classroom habits, but also just one of my favorite things in general: stickers.

Monday, April 26, 2021

IMWAYR! Three At Once

Am I the only one that begins multiple books on a staggered schedule and then still somehow winds up finishing them all at the same time?  That's what happened this weekend when I finished not one, not two, but three books!  Okay, so two books and one I decided to bail on, but still that's not too shabby of a reading practice.

Also, apparently this past weekend (Saturday) was National Independent Bookstore Day?  I was lucky enough to find out before it was too late and I made an intentional stop to a semi-local independent bookstore to pick up some new reads and a few stickers (they told me I could have as many stickers as I wanted -- but I restrained myself to only three).

Did I need to buy books?  No, but this seemed like a good excuse to pick some up and support a local business.  For now, these books are being added to my TBR pile.  

Let's get into the books I finished though.  As a reminder, here is my key for books:

Pick 👍    So-So ✔️    Pan ⏭️    Bail 💀

Friday, April 16, 2021

#NPM | Playing with Poetry This Month part 2

I didn't make it to last week's poetry Friday, but I assure you that I have been working on a number of poems the past few days.  Some of them never made it out of my notebook or past a bit of brainstorming (Do they really count as poems then?). The others wound up posted on any given day's ethicalELA challenge.  I've made an effort to start collecting them all in one Google Doc that I may share at the end of the month.  However, for now, I will post one of my favorites that I wrote this past Sunday.

The prompt, share with us courtesy of Scott McCloskey, was "Day Poem."  He invited us to consider the various holidays/celebrations throughout the year -- things like "National Pet Day" or "National Eight Track Tape Day" -- and then to compose a poem celebrating it, perhaps even composing an ode. 

I absolutely love observing obscure holidays and even making up my own.  I was more than happy and ready to play this game.  Almost immediately I knew what I wanted to write about: the days I have spent so far taking my notebook outside.  Thus "Take Your Notebook Outside Day" was born...though I haven't picked an official date to throw on the calendar yet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Of Wasps and Hummingbirds

Now that my patio is spruced up for spring, I have been making an effort to get outside and enjoy it more while the weather is pleasant.  All too soon I know it will get unbearably hot -- likely to the point where being indoors in the air conditioning will outweigh my desire for peaceful patio surroundings. While the view is quite nice, there is one problem with my new writing retreat even without the heat: I cannot stand bugs.  

Specifically I cannot stand wasps.  It's not that I'm allergic or anything, but after getting stung too many times as a kid by vindictive yellow jackets, I'd rather not repeat the experience with their distant cousins.  I know it is unlikely that they will come after me and will likely leave me alone if I leave them alone; however, that is difficult to do when they insist on dropping out of the air to check out my current reading.  It's reached the point where I tense up and jerk away when I hear the tell-tale buzzing.  I just want to be left alone!

However, as I have recently learned from experience, they are not the only creatures to buzz as they move about.

The other day while curled up with a book and my dog, I heard the loudest buzzing to date.  I jerked up in attention, completely on edge, only to spy not a giant wasp, but a curious hummingbird.  Maybe it's been too long since I've been close to a hummingbird.  Usually I only spy them briefly at a distance from my window: there and gone.  However, thanks to my new hummingbird feeder I have noticed a pair of them popping by the past few days.

Sadly, they were just as quick to leave as they were to arrive, but I'm confident they'll find their way back to the feeder.  They're certainly more welcome around here than the wasps.

Update: I have decided to name one of them Aldrin...as in Buzz Aldrin, due to the sound he makes.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Weekend Coffee Share | Patio Make Over

Welcome back, friend.  

I'm glad you could stop by and visit.  Did you notice something new?  Well, my parents were by this morning and we were able to spruce up my apartment patio area with flowers, plants, and a new set of windchimes.  Best of all, my mother gifted me a cafe table and chair that she had originally found by the side of the road.  I had mentioned how I wanted to write outside more, but my furnishings at the time were less than ideal for it.  

Cue my mother saying "Oh.  I have a table out back that might work for that."  

And, sure enough, it fits perfectly on the patio and is the right size to hold my laptop, a cup of coffee, and allow me to actually sit up in the chair instead of slouching over my portable lap desk.  

My dad contributed to my patio make over by putting up some mesh wire so that my dog could not slip out between the bars and as of this writing he's currently lounging out here and enjoying the view with us.