Tuesday, January 27, 2015


We're back around to #TwinTuesday.  Today, LH and I have scissors and an ice cube.  This pairing came about after Lee asked me, "Do you have Thor?"  Like, an action figure of the Avenger.  

I don't have Thor, but I do have ice.  And, there you have it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Silence So Sudden

We're back from wild hockey weekend.  On Saturday, after routing their first opponents 11-0, Shef's team won their second game in sudden death overtime.  The moms were dying with anxiety.  At one point, I had to walk around because the tension was too great for sitting still.

At the conclusion of the game, when one of our kids tipped in the winning goal, the mom next to me pumped both her fists and said, "Yes! I'm SO into youth hockey!"

That was pretty much the quote of the weekend.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


#NovelSnip is a tiny piece of my fiction writing project.  This week, it's the conclusion of Alice's highway walking incident.  I skipped a little dialogue from the middle when she first gets into the police car.  I'm not sure about that part, and I don't have time to edit right this moment at our hockey tournament, where I've gotten far less done than I planned. Anyway, here's #NovelSnip:

Alice was sure that there would be an investigation.  Perhaps charges of neglect.  Awkward questions.  An uncovering of a situation that Alice and Ethan knew wasn’t quite right.

“But, I didn’t practice,” Alice admitted, slumping down, steeling against the scenario she imagined.  “This is the exit,” she said, pointing.  “I knew how to get home,” she muttered, turning her face to the window.  It was as if to say, “It wasn’t that dangerous.  It was my fault.”

The officer, though, seemed uninterested in the details of her particular situation. His questions, after some head-shaking over Alice’s trek on the overpass, veered toward bland and neutral.  “Where do you go to school?” “What grade are you in?”   She sat wide-eyed in the car, which pulled benignly into the driveway of her well-kept suburban home.  Alice expected the man to cut the ignition and lumber out after her,  walk her to the door, ring the bell, and discover something about her father - the thing that Alice knew, but that other people didn’t, or alternatively pretended not to notice.

But, the officer merely turned his head to her, his belly still pointed casually toward the steering wheel.  His right hand resting nonchalantly on the center console.  “Take care,” he said.

“Thanks,” Alice mumbled, clicking open the passenger door and stepping out onto her asphalt driveway.  She stumbled numbly past the garage, not daring to look back at the car, arms tingling with what felt like a near miss and also a missed opportunity.

It's #NovelSnip!  Next week has a  jump to a time five years later, back to that trip to Florida Alice started a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Just a Poker Face

Heads up: We're at a hockey tournament.  Mac thinks it's a full on vacation, as we're staying at a Holiday Inn Express with TWO POOLS.

It is nice to be away.  I've got some school work to do in between the games, but I'm confident that I'll be able to get it done. Meanwhile, Shef's like, "Give me the key; I'm going to Tommy's room."


Friday, January 23, 2015

The Sun in Your Eyes

This is a video made by one of my colleagues about the Humanities sustainable development project, which resulted in the cardboard art installation I've been talking about.  I used Gawker to take time-lapse video of some of the steps, which I think is cool. But, I think the video-maker is truly awesome.

In other news, Mac announced yesterday that he did indeed have writer's workshop, and that he's writing a realistic fiction story.

"What's it about?" I asked.

"Jack loses a tooth."

"Cool," I said.  "Is that the title?"

"Yeah, but the first chapter is called Loop-de-Loop because I drew a roller coaster.  So Jack loses a tooth at the Mall of America," he continued. He went on to describe the plot in a hilariously professional way.  I can't quite re-create it here because I can't remember the many twists and turns involved in this significant dental event for Jack.  Another pal was there, and Mac incorporated theme-park elements throughout.

"How did you get this idea?" I asked.

"We had to have ideas," he said.

"But how did you come up with it?"

"If I didn't have an idea, I would have to push-ups."

"Really?!" I laughed, once again in awe of the genius that is Mac's teacher, Ms. J.

"Yes," he said.  "If you don't have an idea, you have to do push-ups."

My students are excellent idea generators this year. Now I know I can attribute this to what might be a full lower school practice of requiring push-ups until one thinks of an idea.  Let's just get the writing started.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Shef's reading a series now called The 39 Clues.  It's a mystery adventure type thing, and it keeps us turning the pages. When he finished the first book and procured the second, I noticed it had a different author.  Turns out there are like eleven different well-known children's authors who write books in the series.  It starts with Rick Riordan.

How does that work, do you think?  Do the people at Scholastic decide the story arc, and then just tell the individual book author what happens in his/her section of the story?  I met an author once who worked like this on a couple of things.  It seemed kind of fun to me.  Maybe that's what the authors think, too?

This leads me to a reading update.  I'm up to 3 books of 52 Books Plus in 2015.  The best so far?  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.  Believe it or not, this was my first Khaled Hosseini book.  The guy is a genius who speaks multiple languages and writes like a dream.  I'm a fan.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


It's that time again.  Today, we have bouncy ball and food storage container.  I also included a lamp I really like.  

I'm fired up and ready today, partly because I'm going to wear my new dress from Stitch Fix.  It has a bird print.  Although I don't really like birds,  I like bird PRINT.  It's an important distinction.