Oak, no!

clear blue skies
popping wildflowers
grass awakening 
from winter's slumber
thick and green
twittering birds
gentle breezes
air perfumed with
blooming jasmine

March means
oak trees 
doing what oak trees do
their spiky little 
pollen nuggets
littering the ground
my headspace
tickling my throat
choking me up
making my nose
that evening walk
Monday, March 27, 2023

Non-Road Trip

It was a good day for a road trip. I didn’t take one, but it was a good day for one. Where would I go? Another book shop? A hike. An hour long drive on a hilly, winding road, dotted with bluebonnets to get to Sweet Berry Farms for strawberry picking and homemade ice cream? Around here, summer already flirts with spring and it’s only been a week. Would I go to a new to me barbecue joint, those that make the best-of lists I tend to ignore? Do I go north or south or east or west?

Instead, I stay put because it’s Sunday. I clean out one corner of the garage, emptying out a box of old books I’m finally able to part with, except for a yearbook. I thumb through it. Do I keep it? The clock reminds me it’s time to pick up my teen from our neighborhood pool. “Can you give K a ride home?”

I take the short drive to drop of the friend. Pull into a tidier garage, shut the door behind me, and get on with my Sunday, because there isn’t much of it left. It was a good day for a road trip if Monday didn’t hover nearby.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Bench Warmer

Saturday, March 25, 2023

I figured out I was a bench warmer as a third grader, before I knew there was a term for it. My parents allowed me to join Little Dribblers, our local kid’s basketball organization. All my friends joined, and they were the cool kids. I don’t remember how I ever got to the practices, I probably walked to most of them, but my parents weren’t always in the stands cheering me on. Usually, they dropped me off, picked me up, and that was that. Typical 80’s kid doing her own thing. Their work schedules often conflicted with extracurricular activities and there were two other younger kids at home. Later it would become three.

During practice I tried to keep up, watching the others with envy as their basketballs obeyed and bounced back to their fingertips for another forceful tap. I spent most of my time chasing my basketball. If a coach intercepted it and passed it back to me, I moved out of the way so it wouldn’t hit me in the head. I like to think I have a metal plate in my head that attracts moving objects. It’s still there and it still works. I was never good at catching.

My dad watched some games, but I rarely played. I learned that you have to be good to play, otherwise you sit and wait for the team to win. Or lose. Sometimes I’d go in and it seemed that just as I got warmed up, a buzzer went off or a whistle blew and there was a switcharoo. Back to the bench. Cheer the team from there.

The following year, the sign up form went home again. I looked at it, but I knew better. I wouldn’t bother. We didn’t have a smooth driveway with a basketball goal for me to practice. I didn’t get any better. I wanted to play because my friend played, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as they did. I preferred to spend my time in different ways. After all, if I was going to sit on a bench, I’d rather sit there reading a book, not wishing to dribble basketball.

Declutter E-Clutter

I’ve zombified my eyes and my back is hunched. It’s everywhere. Google drive. Work email. My own email. All of my pictures on my camera. Over 7,000 of them. Why so many screenshots? I rarely go back to them. This is ridiculous. This is in addition to the regular clutter I’m constantly working to clear out of my house. I start looking at pictures and start deleting like a champ. Until I start looking at them and reminiscing.

I tried deleting some folder from my Google drive at work. However, I’m afraid I’ll delete something I may have shared or has been shared with me. It appears that I can delete a shortcut to a folder that was shared with me without accidentally deleting the entire folder. See what happens when you start sharing too much? I’m sure that happened frequently. If other people’s Google drives are like mine, they may not notice anything is missing.

With emails, I gave up. No sense in trying. Those bots keep it chock full of junk. I’ve unsubscribed multiple times to the same addresses. Mark it as spam and it still shows up. Can I start with a fresh account? The work account is the one I want to clear out. Every summer I sign up for a decluttering challenge, a letter a day for each letter of the alphabet. I’ve only made it to letter E, I think. It takes about an hour per day and it works great, in theory. I have the directions buried somewhere in the depths of my email. I didn’t delete them. Saving them for, what? A rainy day?

I’m trying to delete as I go. Set aside time to focus on it, even if it’s ten minutes a day. The problem is it’s hard to find those few little minutes. Looks like I’m an e-hoarder.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Allow Me to Introduce You…

Say hi to my Pinkie Toe. We have this thing. It’s attached, of course, but it’s also, electric? Magical? Possessed? Implanted with a microchip put there by an extra-terrestrial being when I was three? It has lots of stories to tell.

Here’s the back story. I have a reputation. Good? Bad? Well, maybe not that kind, but of the kind that breaks things. Specifically, technology type things. Like the Internet. A VCR/DVD combo from back in the day. The school’s network. Electrical wires and power outlets. My laptop. Printers. Cameras. Phones. Important things.

I’m not sure when it started, but I made sure our ITS on campus was on-call any time I planned for my students to use the laptops. He knew he’d earn his keep with popping in throughout the day to troubleshoot. These weren’t ordinary troubleshooting issues, either. A brand new cart of computers? There was always something wrong with them.

Yesterday, we were offline due to a broken server. I didn’t do it. Today, I taught a lesson on paraphrasing. Kids used Pear Deck to practice. For the last class, I scheduled my observation and evaluation lesson with my director. She came in, set up, and the students logged in, entered the correct code, and

a light flickered. My ginormous computer panel board shut down. Completely. I had set the Pear Deck to teacher led because, well, I had to teach stuff. There was no way to continue with the lesson. All of the other lights were fine. The other flat panel, where I had my March Madness Tournament of Books presentation going on loop was fine. My computer at my station was fine. This was the same lesson I had to complete at home last night because our server was down yesterday.

Seems Pinkie Toe needs an update, but I don’t know how to submit a tech support ticket. Perhaps watching E.T. will help.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Time Out

Today, the internet went down for our entire district. I couldn’t work on the lesson I have scheduled for tomorrow. My observation is for this specific lesson. Sigh…

It also happened during one of our busiest times. Most kids pop in to the library not to read books, but to play video games or watch YouTube videos. Got to sites they shouldn’t visit. What must we do to pry the devices out of their hands? We’re 1:1, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing. In theory it works, but there are so many important steps that were missed when the Big C forced it on us.

What did the teachers do? Some turned on a movie. (Yawn.) Some had students read. Others allowed students to play board games. Whip out real paper and writing sticks. What do we do with these?

Our group of regulars who come in every day during lunch skipped their usual comfy spots and made their way to the tables. Instead of taking out their Chromebooks, they sat there and talked. They made eye contact with one another. They spoke about favorite uncles. Not so favorite aunts. Getting in trouble. Bed times. Finishing a journal. I’m actually almost finished writing on every page! Wondering what they’ll do in the next class after the bell rings. Will the bell even ring? Mentioning all types of crafts they like to make.

They spoke with one another. They were smiling. It was glorious.

Thursday, March 22, 2023

Twenty One

years ago 
I wondered why 
eating dinner
made me queasy

twenty one 
years ago 
we drove around
looked at an empty lot
paid for it and
at each other

did we just purchase
a new home?

twenty one 
years ago 
we found out
there's a baby
on the way to 
help us occupy it

so much expectation
in those
twenty one years


lucky number
three times over
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Frozen Broccoli

“Someday I’m going to be a grown-up like you and I’ll have to use that fork thing when I eat. So let me be a kid and eat my broccoli however I want, even if it’s with my fingers.”

She’s not wrong. I mean, she is eating the broccoli, I observe as she kicks her legs back and forth in her seat at the kitchen table. Her seat since she turned one. Same spot. No one sits there. If they do, she reminds them there are other places to sit.

I’m the one who gave her frozen broccoli florets when she was three. I thought it was odd, but that’s what her home daycare sitter did. She’d give all the kids florets of frozen broccoli on hot afternoons. Any time I took some out to add the obligatory green vegetable side dish to our dinner, she asked for a piece. In my curiosity, I gave her one, expecting her to toss it aside. She ate the whole thing and asked for more. Then she ate more at dinner.

Okay, so broccoli is a thing. She likes it, so why fight it? Now, it only gets eaten with seasoned salt. Small pieces. Warm, not frozen. Sometimes she’ll stab a fork into it, but I still see her occasionally get some with her fingers. I don’t argue anymore, because yes, sooner than I’d like, she’s going to be a grown-up like me and have to use that fork thing when she eats.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Mid-Day Sunday Coffee

Summer Moon
my favorite coffee shop
oldies on

espresso machine hisses 
and steams everyone's orders
stair-stepped mini-bleachers
hold a single to-go
order because
Sundays are for sitting
and sipping a steaming
mid-day cup 
on a cold, sunny
spring day
waiting for warm weather 
to pounce
and stay
soon warm drinks
will be ordered
over ice
cups dripping with

it's noisy
people catching up
winding down
sipping away the weekend,
a week-long break,
a few more hours until tomorrow
where we all wake up
and do it all over again,
with a quick
home-brewed coffee
to chase the sleep away
Sunday, March 19, 2023


I've perched at the end
of the kitchen
in front of the back porch
facing the 

It became my 
grad school homework
for three years.

I nested there
awaiting my possibilities
adding to the space
making it as cozy
as one can make 
a kitchen table
competing with 
family meals
kids' homework
craft projects
during down time
and breaks
junk mail
wine glasses
coffee mugs
papers waiting 
to be graded

Time passed,
yet I still perch
at the end 
of the kitchen 
in front of the back porch window
facing the 
front door

It has become my
morning pages,
three of them
every day (mostly)
for over four years
flanked on the right
with a writing
wine glasses
and unopened bottles
of wine occupy the 
top shelf 
to be sipped

This morning,
I changed my seat
and now I perch
on the long side
of the kitchen 
to the right of the back porch
next to my son's 
favorite seat, 
occupied only when
he visits,
leaving the front door 
a better 
Saturday, March 18, 2023