A Collaboration Haiku

Math talk, Number talks

Was inspiration today

Ideas anew


My Excitement is Building


It’s the end of March! It’s almost April! Soon, very soon I will be able to put in my garden! I can’t wait!

My garden is my sanctuary. I have a vegetable garden and several perennial gardens. We have asparagus, too. We also grow grapes and strawberries. I love to watch plants mature and grow. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also learn something new about plants, soil, and composting every summer.

Every year I experiment with something new. One year it was pole beans. Two years ago it was growing pickles on a trellis. Last year I planted eggplant and tried growing my tomatoes a new way. That didn’t work, but we found out we didn’t mind eggplant.

My garden gives me a reason to go outside every day. It saves us money on our summer food bills too. It allows us to share what we have in abundance, with our neighbors. They, in turn, share veggies with us.

Well, I have to go. I have seeds to order! I know I want lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. Any other suggestions?




Sushi, Anyone?

Less than a year ago, we decided we needed to try sushi, while on vacation, in D.C. We found an excellent restaurant not far from our hotel and walked to the location with our two boys. This meal ended up being one of our highlights of our trip. Since that trip, we have been everywhere to eat sushi in our area of Wisconsin.

Who knew that we would be enjoying sushi like we do. I started slow, with some pieces of tempura. I wanted it cooked. Not my youngest son, he went right for the nigiri, eel and squid and octopus to be exact. My husband was right along with him. My oldest son tried authentic ramen soup. We all enjoyed this new experience.

Since we have been home, we have eaten sushi several times. We have traveled to Milwaukee, DePere, and Fond du Lac so far for sushi. I have opened up my tastes a little more. I eat tuna, salmon, eel, and other fish raw now. I love the spicy sushi! If you had told me that I would be eating sushi someday, I probably would have thoroughly disagreed with you. People change. Experiences are good!

Now, if I could just master those darn chopsticks!

House Hunters

I love to watch the show House Hunters. We don’t have cable so I have to catch it on Netflix or  Hulu or Amazon. Right now I am watching House Hunter Renovations. It always amazes me how people can transform their homes into such beautiful pieces of work. It also amazes me how much people complain about the work when they buy a fixer-upper. Especially when that is what they were looking for. It makes me laugh! What did you think when you bought the short sale or the “handyman’s dream”?  Good grief!

On the show, the people want everything done at once. To me, that is unrealistic. If you don’t have the money, why would you do that to yourself? I love beautiful things too, but I am so realistic and practical. Can I pay for it? Does it have to be done right now or can I live with it until I have the money? I totally get it if it’s not livable, but still…

Sometimes these type of shows makes the couple look bad too. One of the people is almost always the selfish one, the high maintenance one. Then you have the show where the couple works really well together and you think, “Wow, they didn’t even fight once?!” That has never happened in my house while remodeling. 🙂

So why do I watch these type of shows you ask? I love transformations! I will watch the show “The Biggest Loser” for the same reason. It gives me ideas! It’s inspiration! I love to be inspired. I get great ideas for decorating from these shows. I learn from other peoples’ mistakes. It helps me realize that other people have the same struggles and that we are not alone! 🙂

Too Funny Not to Share






I am a collector of funny teaching memes and cartoons. I love laughing and love to share these funnies with my coworkers.  Don’t get me wrong. I love love my job, but I am realistic about job. I have so many memes that I have a folder on my phone marked teaching stuff. My favorites are probably the ones about any inservices we have to sit through. Am I right?



My Mom, My Hero

My mom is what you would call a “tough-old-broad”. I say it in jest. I say it to her face. I say it seriously. Over the last 13 years, she has been through a lot. No matter what she has been through she always seems to bounce back from it. I hope I am just like her in my “Golden” years of life.

My mom fell over on the street from a heart attack. She had what they call a “Widow Maker” in the fall 0f 2002. People were driving by at the time. One young man did CPR on her. A police officer happened to be in the area, he used the d-fib on her. They brought her back to life. She was 70. She was rushed to the hospital, then transferred to an even bigger hospital where they performed 5 bypasses on her. Can you imagine? She bounced back from that. She was walking about 2 miles a day at that time.

About 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with anal cancer. You know the one that Farrah Fawcett died from. We all rallied around her and she pulled out of that. She has been cancer free since then.

After that she needed a hip replacement. We decided that she would rehab at a local nursing home. She did well with the surgery, but the hospitalist put her on a medication that did not mix well with her other meds, but we didn’t know that at the time. She became combative and she acted almost like she had dementia. About a week after being in the nursing home, she fell trying to get out of bed by herself. She broke her other hip. So back to the hospital we went and then back to the nursing home. She was really getting loony now. She could hardly form any coherent sentences and she was struggling to eat. She had stroke-like symptoms, but no one said she had a stroke. After many inconclusive doctor appointments, we took her to a geriatric doctor that came highly recommended. She took my mom off of that extra medication that the hospitalist put her on. It took about 6 weeks, but we started to get our mother back. It was what we had been praying for all along. She was finally coherent and wanted to eat!

She finally was able to come home after being at the nursing home for 6 months, 4 months longer than we thought she would be. She was home for about 2 months when I got a phone call from my dad. He said that my mom was in a lot of back pain and that he wasn’t sure what he should do for her. So I called the ambulance and they hauled her to the hospital. We mom has osteoporosis really bad. Her vertebrae were basically crumbling. So we took her home, and two days later they injected a glue into her vertebrae. She is doing much better now.

The only ill-effects from her surgeries are that she now uses a walker. She was really nervous about that at first but has since gotten over that. She also has to wear those surgical stockings. Like my dad says, “Those are a real b@#$%& to put on!”

My mom is going to be 84 years old this year. Her “Golden” years haven’t been so golden, but she has been a real trooper. My parents will be married 60 years this year. That thought still blows me away! I am a very lucky person to have both of my parents still with me.

a handful of stars

Excuse my lack of capital letters, but that’s how the title is written, the book by Cynthia Lord. I have just finished this book. My collegeaus and I bought a classroom set for our students to read during our book club times. We have a social issue unit of study based on Common Core standards so we have been “book-collecting” over the last 2 years. During the last two years, I have been trying to read the books we have been purchasing. So in a way this slice is a book review.

While I was reading, I was making connections to what we already teach the students about. We discuss migrant workers, Cesar Chavez and their plight. This book shares some of the life of the blueberry migrant worker of Maine. The social issues this book highlights are friendship, losing a parent, cultural differences, moving around, love for a pet, emotions, working, and growing up.

I have really been pushing students to self-monitor their reading. I have a group that is reading this book right now. As we were discussing the book, they wondered what a blueberry rake was, so we looked it up on their iPads. We all learned what it was, because I had no idea either. We do also have some great discussions based on the three sentence starters of I think, I feel, and I wonder.

So if you are looking for a great 4th grade chapter book to read look no further than, a handful of stars. It even kept this 42 year old entertained. Enjoy!