What I Call Life

What I call life has been slightly overwhelming lately.  Nothing bad, just a little on the crazy side in the busy department.

I helped with my favorite five-year-old’s birthday party.


Fifth grade designed reading t-shirts, which I then had to produce (print and iron on decals). Click to enlarge.









There was the sick day (cold / sinus / throat ick).  At least I had my own furry hot water bottle.


The PTO put on their annual haunted house.


Also, the usual detritus of modern life: vet visit, meeting with retirement planner, baby shower, women’s group meeting, CPR training, and parent / teacher conference day.

To conclude: as a first grader, in line at the checkout desk, said àpropos of nothing, “Why aren’t there cinnamon rolls around here?”


I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

Even though you know where the kid is going with the story, it’s usually just best to let it unfold…

4th grade boy: “Mrs. [Computer Teacher], I’ve always liked numbers and doing math. So when I was little, I kept telling my parents that I wanted to be a taxidermist because I figured the “tax” part of the word meant, like, taxes. It wasn’t until later that I meant I wanted to be an accountant. Do you know what a taxidermist does?”

Computer Teacher: “…..no. What?”

4th grade boy: “They stuff dead animals. That’s pretty different than an accountant.”

Market Day

Yesterday my friend Denise and I went to visit her daughter who is a sophomore at one of the local state colleges.

We visited the farmers’ market, which is the biggest I have ever been to.  It was a beautiful fall day, and the colors just exploded everywhere.






After we were done wandering around the market and that area of town, we had lunch at a Turkish restaurant, visited the local yarn shop, and waited in line for ice cream.

After driving home I spent the evening with my sister, who was in town for a grand total of 29 hours.  All in all, it was one of the most perfect Saturdays in a long, long time.

The Shooting Star

I was taking the 11-year-old daughter of a friend of mine home tonight from a cookout.  We were driving through the town square of our small-town county seat.  “There’s a shooting star!” she said.  It went right over the courthouse dome.

It’s the first one I can remember seeing.  Ever.

Thanks Taylor.  I’m glad I got to share it with you.

My Little Lizard Friend

I was standing in the hall taking a picture of the 2nd grade work on display.  (Please excuse the blurry photo; it’s from my phone and I was trying to be as discreet as possible.)


A little voice behind me says, “Do you like that one?  It’s mine.”

I looked around and there was only one little girl.  Although I wasn’t sure why she was out in the hall by herself, I told her I did like it and in fact that’s why I was taking pictures.  She then unfolded the following story, all in one run-on breath.

“He belonged to some people in my neighborhood who were moving to the North Pole and it was too cold for the lizard there so they were going up and down the street asking people if they wanted a lizard for free and my mom said it was okay so we got to keep him.  But he died.”

Have I mentioned that one never knows what will come out of their mouths?


Hidden Depths

I never cease to be amazed by the things I discover about my students.  Sometimes they’re frustrating, sometimes they’re sad, sometimes they’re inspiring, and sometimes they’re just unexpected.  Take the conversation I had with a seemingly typical third grader today as he was checking out his books.

Me:  You like the Knicks?  They usually put the [local team] out of the playoffs, don’t they?
Third grader (wearing a Knicks shirt):  I usually watch them with my grandpa at my house.
Me:  Is your grandpa from New York?
Third grader:  No.  He’s from here.  So’s my dad. (Walks away, but comes back.)  But he only went to Rio one time and met my mom there.
Me:  So, he was visiting Rio and he met your mom?
Third grader:  Yeah. She’s from Poland. (Walks away, but comes back.)  So am I.
Me:  You were born in Poland?
Third grader:  Yes.

His teacher confirmed this and informed me the kid actually still speaks Polish.  Who knew?

A Day in the Life of a Builder

One of my friend’s young son was playing Legos with his little sister.  His mom overheard the conversation.

Boy: I don’t want to fill in that whole spot. Just a little bit.
Sister: Why?
Boy: I just don’t. I need it to stay empty.
Sister: You are ruining my life.
Boy: What????
Sister: I said, you are ruining my life!
Boy (quietly): No I’m not.
Sister: Oh.
**Happy playing ensues.

It’s so hard to find good help these days.


Every year this small town in which I live has a sort of Founders’ Day parade and festival.  The parade goes right past my house, so I can watch from my front porch with coffee cup in hand.  This morning was no exception.

There were all the elements of a small town parade.

Fire engines.


Marching band.




Old cars and trucks.

old car



Corporate sponsorship. (Moo.)


And most importantly, kids by the dozens.  Boy scouts, girl scouts, gymnastics, cheerleaders, soccer.  It’s always fun to see and hear the exact moment when my students spot me watching them.


And today there was perfect weather to top it all off.