Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What Slicing Means 2 Me From A to Z!

A challenging work day  today for me by far and not one that I am ready to share.  I have been thinking about my last slice post. It is most fitting on the last day of the month-long Slice of Life Story Challenge to reflect and for that I use the .A to Z list! 

Audience-The SOLSC participants who post comments and those who just stop provide valuable feedback and sometimes just the acknowledgement that I hear you.  Even the larger community of friends who stop by and perhaps don't comment, but hit like on Facebook, thanks for listening. I didn't know it mattered.  

Brave-It takes courage to put your writing in a public space for other to read.

Challenge Writing is hard work and we most often demonstrate and realized the truth of it by pushing ourselves to write every day this month.  

Dedication-Demonstrated daily to ourselves, to our slice community,and to our students.

Exercise-Writing is an exercise of the mind and you get better by doing it every day, especially on the days you don't think you can.  

Friends- Virtual ones you make through your words and blog visits.

Gift- No one is paid for participating.  Thank you for the gift of your time. It is the most valuable gift you can give.  

Habit- You can find time every day to do what you value and that is what cultivates habits.

Introspection- The daily thinking required by daily writing practice.  

Juggle our lives and its demands of it, but still finding time to write.

Know- the lessons you have learned about the teaching of writing just by the practice of writing.

Labor-Writing takes work and one just never sits down and is done in the 15 minutes that you only have that day.  

Medium- I played with different mediums this SOLSC. I crafted a weekly infographic on Fridays and integrated pictures on my Eye-Spy Wednesdays.  

Novel-The ideas that I have gained from others as well as the stories! The brain seeks patterns and responds to novelty! Thanks for adding novelty to my life and my teaching practice. 

Observe-Writers check out their world. They listen. They see.  This year I added pictures.  It made me look hard for interesting images in my daily world.

Peers-My face-to-face teacher friends, Erin, Lee, LeeAnn, and Krystin who write alongside with me, I learn so much from you! Those who will write with me in the future! I can't wait for you to join. 

Quiet- The place I go to in my head when I write.  Writing isn't all collaboration. It is just the tapping of your keys and the words pouring through your fingers.  Even in a room of chaos, I can find the quiet and the words.

Routine- Open posts were hard and sometimes the routines of writing specifically about certain topics on different days lead to more freedom.  I enjoyed having a Sunday Seven, Eye-Spy, Infographic, and In the Wild posts for four of the seven days.  

Stacey-This is my fourth year participating, but the SOLSC has been alive since 2008..  Many people have vision, but few act and do and sustain!  Thanks Stacey for keeping the writing live.

Team-What it takes to pull this challenge off!  There is the SOLSC with adult writers, I think with over 260 writers and then there are the student writers in the Classroom SOLSC.  You have the site team and then the people who rose to commenting challenges, writers who helped people navigate new to them tech or slice experience and the welcome wagon as well as other organizations that provided prizes. Then there are the participants too.  The team works because we each add to the community.  

Understanding-Understanding of your writing self, your student writers, and others' experiences.

Voice-what emerges through  routine practice.

Whispers-Words that percolate in your mind throughout the day as you figure out what you want to post next.

XOXO- hugs and kisses to my readers and commenters!

Yahoo- Yeah we made it! We're done!  What will you write next?  Will you participate weekly?  How will you move forward in your writing life?

Zen- The knowing that you did it! You accomplished it!  You can write more than you thought possible!  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Want Ad:

The mentor text that inspired my writing tonight is from Kathleen Cushman's Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers From High School Students. There is a Want Ad for teachers in there crafted by student writers. I've written about many different topics. Here is mine about the learners I want! Each year when the slicing gets tough, this want ad writing is an easy way to come up with a quick piece.


Must have sense of humor; must not make other learners feel bad by cutting them down; must understand that teachers are human and make mistakes; must take responsibility for actions; must not disguise the fact that they like learning; must be tenacious when encountering “mental blocks”; must choose honesty over escapism; must not scream; must learn to tolerate others; must ask for help and recognize that the teacher is not a mind reader; must try to come to school on every day, on time and prepared; must not leave garbage for others to pick up; must be patient;  must have respect for people’s belongings; must get to know teachers and let teachers get to know them; must know that grades aren’t the only thing, but are a reflection of your academic achievement; must be flexible; must be hardworking; must not run with scissors; must play well with others; 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Seven

7. A wonderful week hanging out with my daughter. Her strength, curiosity, and spirit spur me to do better each day.

6. A husband who saves every receipt, which is really helpful come tax time.  This detail is the attention that he applies to work refinishing furniture and his art.  It is a detail lost upon me. I prefer the big picture.

5. Reading time this past week.  Many books were finished this week for my work on the Elizabeth Amelia Walden committee.  By summer I will get back to my regularly scheduled reading list.

4. Lingering at lunch and breakfast with friends and family during break. Rather than a 20 minute quick bite at the desk or table near the window (sometimes).  The company was a welcome respite from my daily lunch regime.

3. Being okay forgetting to post yesterday.  This is my fourth year slicing and I haven't posted with the urgency that I felt year 1 and 2.  I had my post for Saturday. I just didn't upload. It slipped my mind.  I remembered once.  It slipped my mind.  I know I can write and post every day if needed.  It's ok not too!

2. The season finale of The Walking Dead.  My husband and child, mostly my child, are obsessed.  He introduced her to the comics when she was in 2nd grade and then they started watching together.  Her favorite books are the two compendiums, $60 dollar books.  I started watching briefly with them and enjoyed zombies for what the show was about...to me the question, what makes us human and civilized?    I love the show, but despite my daughters urging have not read the comics.  I decided to let them watch it together this season knowing that they can share the moments and I can catch the reruns.

1. Going back to work and colleagues that I love.  I do love the break, but the routines and rhythm of work is good for me!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tarpon Springs

Last Sunday, I had an opportunity to continue to explore Florida's west coast.  I grew up on the east coast of Florida and prefer the cold Atlantic ocean and the waves it brings.  The Gulf of Mexico feels like bath water in the summer and it's too hot to enjoy!  I have, however, always wanted to go see Tarpon Springs, the Greek isle of Florida.  So after camping in the Withlacoochie and floating down the Weeki Wachee River, we headed to Tarpon Springs for the day.

Immediately we were inundated with the blaring of Greek music and the blue and white flag of Greece.  We happened upon the parade to celebrate Greek independence.  I felt a little conspicuous in my Rick Riordan purple and gold Camp Jupiter shirt with my SPQR blatantly displayed. I wouldn't know if I was being disparaged as the streets were filled with Greek.  Everyone young and old was speaking it.  I was awash in the language. I don't know if that would happen on any other day in Tarpon Springs, but that glorious spring afternoon, the streets were filled with the language, songs, and costumes of  Greece.

You can enjoy the many Greek dishes as cafes line the main street, but what I always want when I am on the coast is fresh fish.  We skipped the many restaurants for one on the docks.  We sat outside and watched the ships sail into the tiny port.  After a delicious meal, we wandered like tourists and purchased some sponges as that is what the city was settled for in the early 1800s. To learn more about how Tarpon Springs was settled, learn more in this Florida Frontiers story here: Greek Culture Flourishes

Friday, March 27, 2015

My Writing Journey

This week I used Piktochart to document my instructional writing journey.  The titles I shared last week about my teaching reading instructional journey helped me uncover how to become a better teacher of reading.  Thinking about my instructional journey as a teacher of writing, I figured out that writing more was one of the ways that I became a better teacher of writing and my infographic this week is reflective of that journey. Yes, there were more books that I could have included, but piktochart limits the number of images that you can upload for your free account!  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

So You Want to Run an edCamp?

Attended an edCamp and want to run one yourself?  Yes, you can! I thought that I would share some ideas and tools that helped our team co-organize edCamp Orange this past winter! Know this for sure...You can't do it alone!  Give yourself at least four-six months out to plan, organize, and advertise with a team of 2-6 people.  You need people with all types of talents.  They just need to be willing to donate the time! (If you have no idea what an edCamp is, check out my post earlier this year  edCamp edspiration!)

1. Location! Location! Location!  Find a location! One that is big enough to grow in case your camp does.  Your school site is best!  It can be readily available and affordable, most often free. Be sure to check to see if you need some type of insurance.  You will need a large meeting room to convene in the am, at lunch, and at the end of the day.  You will need classrooms.  It helps if they are tech enhanced with a projector and computer, but that isn't a necessity.

2. Be Smart about Choosing a Date!  Honestly people go away for three day weekends!  We are pooped at the end of a marking period.  We deliberately tagged our event at the end of a tech conference, but you want to be sure that there are no looming holidays and people are fresh.  I suggest 1-2 weeks in from the beginning of a grading period. The beginning of the school year is hard and rushed for many people.

2. Amplify with Tech Tools: Start with the wonderful resources at The edCamp Foundation.   .  I actually got to phone conference with Kristie Swanson the founder.  She said the key is that you have a place and time to meet and to  not worry about the frills. Next steps use google. Also you can check out  the edCamp Wikispaces. Create an event email and use google drive to share documents to co-create with your committee and check over letters sent out and to keep track of what's going on and who is doing what.  Google Hangouts is also an amazing tool to plan virtually rather than face to face.  Use eventbrite as a tool for registration. Later you will find this handy to communicate to your participants, help them sign-in, and create name badges. It is free and easy to learn.  Even if it is a paid event, you will be able to use this tool.

3.  People-Power;  You need a crew for set-up the day before.  You need a crew for morning sign-in and room check.  You need someone(s) available all day in the main room.  Tasks like checking in late arrivals, picking up garbage, setting up food, breaking down food, or just answering questions, or being a host to people who take a break for sessions are reasons that the main room should be manned.  It should be manned in a way that each organizer\volunteer gets to enjoy or present sessions.  You need a crew to stay after and clean up.  You need a crew the day or days after to return items to their proper places, especially if you are at a school site.

4.  Food\Beverage Power:  Do you need it? No!  Is it nice to have? Yes! Food and beverages aren't a must, but it is nice to linger over lunch and continue the learning.    At the very least a coffee service in the am is nice.  Even athletic coolers filled with water and ice are nice!  At the edCamp I attended and the edCamp I co-organized lunch was provided for teachers.  It was quite simply pizza and a salad.  You just need to let people know...should they brown bag it?

5. Other Thoughts:  The rule of thumb is that you will have half the number of people who register actually show up!  Things happen. Prizes or swag! It is nice and it doesn't hurt to ask!  You never know who might be happy to donate to your cause.  It is a worthy one, grassroots participant driven teacher professional learning.  Use social media! Schedule tweets and write blogs and tap into your learning community.

Maybe you just want to attend one first?  Check out what's happening here: http://edcamp.wikispaces.com/

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Eye-Spy Visits to Springs Past

Juniper Springs, a shaded pool where kids love to flip off the deck.

In seven days, March 31st this challenge will be over.  Just four days ago, I uploaded my 200th post! I meant to celebrate that.  I am also hoping as I do at the end of every challenge to continue the weekly slicing.  I haven't been able to sustain that yet.  I did, however, pick up posting weekly in fall. I spend most of my day off today commenting on all my students' posts.  I haven't been so good at taking pictures of nature this week although I spent most of the weekend camping and hiking.  I do tend to disconnect when I am in the wild.  Here are some images from springs that are worth visiting! I won't get there during spring break as I am always looking to hop into a new undiscovered by me spring.

Ginnie Springs- a private spring located in north central Florida!  You can float down the Sante Fe River.Timing is everything here as it can get rowdy with college students

De Leon Springs- a good swimming hole, but the highlight is the pancake breakfast at the grist mill.
Rock Springs at Kelly Park- a beginner spring with two run's and rarely is the water over most 6-8 year olds heads.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I Know For Sure

Another slice inspired this post today.  Writing today about what I know for sure and in reality there is little that I know for sure, but here are a few nuggets.

  • Where we put our energy, we will see growth.
  • We will always be able to find the time for what matters or what we value.
  • You will be surprised by what you can accomplish when you focus and work.  
  • I don't like to reread books or watch movies again, but I will listen to a song I love over and over and over.
  • My mind and my thinking can hold me back.
  • I am living a charmed life
  • I am privileged to have the quality of medical insurance that I have.  
  • People matter
  • Count the small wins each day. They add up.
  • Time is the most valuable gift you can give.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Things that Make Me Happy!

Looking for a little writing inspiration today so I borrowed this idea from another slicer   She posted about what makes her happy and I did the same.
  • Hanging out with my daughter be it reading with her every night or swimming with her or just watching Modern Family with her.  She won't always want to do those things with me but it makes me happy that she does right now.
  • Being outdoors at a spring, the beach, the mountains, hiking or camping. I love it and I love that I have friends and family who enjoy it too.  I love and need to disconnect on a regular basis.
  • Working out with my Camp Gladiator family.  I love the positivity and the encouragement.  I love the challenge.  I love being and feeling physically strong.  I love sweating.  I love my trainers.  
  • Throwing a frisbee
  • Reading
  • Random acts of book giving! I think I have given away at 300 books away to students and other people over the past year. I love the surprise and joy that I see.
  • Cooking and being able to cook what I want and cooking for friends and cooking with my daughter
  • Driving my car  
  • Purging stuff.
  • My job and my colleagues
  • My husband
  • Making memories with my family and friends
  • Days unfettered by bells and schedule

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Seven

7. Finally got my car back after the accident where luckily only the car got hurt. I knew we should have stayed at the Magic Kingdom until 1 am rather than leaving early.

6. Spring break!

5. Having friends  and family who like to camp and swim.

4. Having friends who will caretake my cats while I camp and swim.

3. Having access to the bountiful wilds of Florida in the spring.

2. Fresh Florida strawberries and the opportunity to pick some this week.

1. Time to catch up.

Friday, March 20, 2015

In the Wild

             Weeki Wachee River
Withlacootchie State Forest and Weeki Wachee River are part of my Florida adventure today. Camping in Florida is best done October through May. It is in the late eighties here now which bodes well for a day in the water and in the sixties at night which makes it ideal sleeping in a tent. 

Our campsite is on the Big Withlacoochee River in the Crooked River section. It is 8 dollars a night. It takes no reservations and if you have ever camped in Florida right now most state parks are full. This site is a great last minute camping pick. There is potable water and there are also real restrooms. The sites are spacious.  The Florida Trail hooks up here for those interested in hiking. A biking traill starts here as well. You can kayak the tannic river.  You could spend your time exploring all the activities available in this state forest. Thirty minutes away, however, is one of my favorites parts of Florida, a natural spring,   Weeki Wachee.

You could spend the day at the park, but for those more adventurous, your day is week spent on the Weekei Wachi River where you can kayak and snorkel down the crystal clear white sandy bottomed riverbed. Deep blue bends and shallow sandy areas make this a fun space to explore for kids, teens, and adults. The almost 6 mile paddle is a good four hours. If you want to rent a kayak, be sure to reserve and come early.  Although it seems that hundreds of people are trying to get into the water via the ramp, you will quickly find solitude on the water under the live oaks and stands of cypress. You will find peace and real Florida wild. It might also go down as your favorite days in Florida as it did for me.

Reading Teachers

I've been wanting to construct this infographic for about two years now.  I wanted to really examine my professional reading history to consider how what I learned shaped my teaching.  It all started with Nancie Atwell for me in 1992 when I was assigned to read In the Middle in the English Education graduate program at the University of Florida.   This version of Atwell's text was published in 1988 and was exciting as it was reshaping reading and writing instruction.  Her words introduced to the reading and writing workshop. I find it fitting that I do finally celebrate my journey this week as Atwell has been recently honored as the first winner of a global education prize.  Her book is now in 3rd edition.  I have never taught middle school, but I have spent the last 22 years at a high school cultivating readers and writers and it started with Atwell. I did separate out my reading and writing professional readings because my journey for each is distinct yet in the end they have merged together.  You might argue that I have left out some books that you would have included.  I have many many shelves of books.  I included the books that helped me evolved as a teacher.  Each teacher's journey is unique and this is a snapshot into mine. Next week, I will examine my writing instruction journey.  Also this week I created my piktochart from scratch.  It took longer, but I didn't need the scaffolding that templates provided any more.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Break Plans

Spring Break! Woo hoos echo down the halls  I am not sure whose screams are louder...the teachers or the students.  I kicked off my spring break by taking time to watch my daughter and her class at field day. Her last at elementary school. Her class won the sportsmanship award.   Here are my plans in no particular order:

1. Camp at the Withlacoochee a Florid state park.
2. Kayak and swim the Weeki Wachi River.
3. Spend a day at Tarpon Springs.
4. Spend a day or two at Cape Canaveral National Seashore.
5. Attend Camp Gladiator workouts in the am rather than pm.
6.  Finish my taxes.
7. Clean my daughter's room. (neglected since Christmas)
8. Catch up on my students' blog posts.
9.  Blog here and comment more on others.
10. Hang out with friends.
11. Read.
12. Rest. 

I hope you are well on your way to spring break or getting some great weather soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Make way for ducklings! 



Reflection pond

A spray of spring flowers

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Green Day!

My Slovenian grandmother, dad, and mom!
Artichokes, leeks, cabbage...my frig looks really green this week!  Many people will be eating cabbage tonight for many different reasons and it may be the only time they eat it unless they have it in coleslaw.  I just finished making unstuffed cabbage rolls in homage to my Slovenia heritage.
Most of my life I was under the delusion of being an Irish American. In my late twenties I uncovered our hidden Slovenia history.

It turned out to be why my dad's favorite meal was halukis, a version of stuffed cabbage rolls made with sauerkraut not tomatoes. It explained why sometimes I would come home and my dad would have a pot of cabbage and tomatoes stewing on the stove.

Tonight I could have made what my mom called a New England boiled dinner with corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes in honor of my Irish American heritage.  Then corned beef hash, my mom's favorite leftover would appear as another meal later in the week. I think, however, the cabbage on my stove serves as a tribute to both those cultures--Irish and Slovenian.   My friend with Polish roots will appreciate the whatever reason I made it when I bring her lunch tomorrow.

I was inspired by a recipe on Pinterest that I repurposed to have the flavors found in my grandmother's recipe and the bounty of green at the Clemon's this weekend.  I left out the rice for a more carb-friendly aka T1 friendly meal. I can't really post the recipe because there isn't one.  It is quite simply ground pork, onions, sauerkraut, cabbage, a little vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds.  Just items that I had in the frig and the pantry.  Dinner still had the comforting goodness of a meal once shared by the hands of the past and made by the hands in the present. My next task will to figure out what to do with an artichoke!

Monday, March 16, 2015

More Than Halfway There

A gift from a fellow slicer!
Today is a day to celebrate!  Whether you are in the midst of your 1st SOLSC, 2nd, 3rd, 4th year or more participating in the SOLSC, today is a day to celebrate! If you are still writing, you have passed the halfway point, day 16. I find that this is a good day to take stock about how the challenge is going for you as a writer.

I am in the midst of my fourth year posting daily in March for this challenge. As I look back over the past five years since the creation of my blog, the number of posts that I have made has grown exponentially.  Before participating in the SOLSC, I made exactly one post on my entire blog. This past year, 2014 I posted 67 times which means that I doubled my writing this year. In fact, each year, I write more.

One thing that is different for me this year is that I have open post days like today, Tuesday, Thursday while the other days I have a dedicated topic or content--- Wednesdays-photos of my week, Fridays-an infographic documenting my reading journeys, Saturdays-a Central Florida adventure, and Sunday- a celebration of my gratitude from the week. I like this. I have the freedom to post what is on my mind, but also a purpose in my writing and in my world---planning an adventure, figuring out how to present information, gathering photos in the wild, and reflecting about my week.  It brings me a little balance with a writing routine and a little freedom too.

I continue to be inspired by strangers and friends writing near and far. This fall was the first time that I meet some of the writers from the virtual writing community that springs up from participating SOLSC.  I loved seeing the faces.  Their words have been inspiration and matter.  They are writing and teaching role models. I love that this community leads us to that.   I am still surprised by what posts people comment upon. Timing is everything, a late post has less feedback typically.  Mostly I am just happy to get it done.  I find this year unlike my first and even second year, that I get it done. Not early, but less close to the midnight deadline. Sometimes I was pushing it!

I also want to thank Stacey and her team for committing to keeping this slice of writing going.  It matters for teachers and their students everywhere!  Happy Made It More Than Halfway Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Seven

7. Camp Gladiator workouts on Friday afternoons!  The very best happy hour for me! A way to destress the work week and put my best healthy foot forward for the weekend!  Thanks Chris for making this happen!

6. Quality time with my girlie.  While the dad's away, the girls will play dolls, watch movies, swim, and work out!

5. Weekend pool time with friends and the good weather to enjoy it! We went from 72 degrees last Saturday to 88 degrees this Saturday.

4. Acclimating to the time change quickly.

3. One week closer to spring break.

2. Actually finally finding the things that I need in my office after the move that I made in December.

1. A team of committed teachers and guidance counselors who got juniors and seniors registered for the ACT as well as finishing all the accompanying paperwork work for the special circumstances many of our students are in.  It's a big deal, an important step for these kids, and a valuable opportunity for their futures.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Girl's Day Out

I would be remiss today if I didn't share my adventure with my daughter at the American Girl Bistro. My daughter got the AG fever after playing with her friend's dolls t his past year. It has been her most expensive interest to date as a kid.  We researched for months looking on eBay and Craig's list.  She had her heart set on Kit, the intrepid young investigative reporter from the 1920's.  She is one of the Be Forever dolls, each of whom has a historical back-story including a book and a movie.

 What I like most about the dolls is that they allows my daughter to play creatively and use her imagination. My most favorite time is to watch the dolls prepare for the zombie horde.  You want more and more of your child to stay young and play as your child ages because the adult world isn't as fun and they so want to be grown-up sooner than you are ready for them to be. Hence my indulgence in the American Doll.  Grandma, Gauntie, and auntie, and godmom have also been helpful.   My daughter also understands the cost of things and does appreciate Our Generation stuff from Target.  I wish I could sew.  Her dad and other grandmother are making furniture.

The American Girl Bistro leaves no detail to chance.  I had to make reservations for four a month in advance. Weekend dates are hard to come by.  I was pleased by how amenable the hostess was when I had a last minute addition.  They easily accommodated the five of us and our three dolls who sit right at the table with a high chair and are served tea in a sauce and cup which are souvenirs.  The napkins are wrapped with a hair tie and bow which is also a souvenir.  The servers were attentive and treated the girls like young adults rather than talking down to them.  AG also provided conversation cards as part of the table decor.

I was surprised by how reasonably priced the food was and I wasn't expecting it to be amazing, but it well-made and fun.  The portions were appropriately sized.  Interestingly adult beverages were even an option for  the adults in the party.  We didn't partake however. Each girl ordered cheese quesadillas and drink.  I ordered the grill cheese and tomato soup. Each girl then ordered a flowerpot dessert, chocolate mouse topped with chocolate cookie crumbles serviced in a flowerpot.  We lingered and laughed and practice our table manners.  Then it was over.

Would I go back?  As a special occasion for my daughter's birthday, yes!  Did she have fun! Yes! Did we add to our memory book? Yes!  Did I get out of the building with my wallet intake? Yes!  All in all it was an afternoon well-spent as Saturday afternoons should.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sci-Fi for Strong Girls

Again, pushing myself to learn a new tech tool.  This week, I explored the sci-fi titles with strong girls.  My first sci-fi novel was A Wrinkle in Time in elementary school, my second Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale in my twenties.  My daughter has so much more access to the heroines under these covers than I did growing up.  Right now she is into Divergent.  I hope to move her up into other titles as she grows ready for them.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Summer Plans

Spring Hopping an major summer activity for me!

It's right around the corner! Summer!  What are you dreaming about doing? Two of my summer plans have been over a year in the making. The first is a family cruise with the the aunts and sisters and the grandchildren--no adult gents allowed.  Research says that the simple act of planning a vacation reaps benefits. The cruise will be my third and my daughter's second.  We went on an Alaskan cruise 5 summers ago. It was amazing.  The sites of this cruise will be a little different, but I let my daughter pick the excursions because she too should get the benefits of vacation planning.

The second vacay is a camping in the Shenandoah Valley and a 22 mile hike on the Appalachian trail. I did section of the AT in 2003 with my best friend and we decided to hike a section in each state. Here we are over ten years later me are ready to hit the AT again. The trip will be different this time, not just due to the location. This time, my husband, step-dad and other friends will join us while my daughter hangs out with my mom at the campsite.  Every summer I head out into nature. It is part of my rejuvenation.  We hike. We raft. We hang out in our hammock. We read. We listen to the naturalists and historians who volunteer their time. Last summer we learned how to retire a flag after attending a ceremony hosted by the Boy Scouts. I try to camp more often than not throughout the year, but it is a prerequisite for me to totally disconnect during the summer this way before I head back to work in the fall.

Other days in the summer will be spend spring hopping, a trip down the Rainbow River and a 24 hour Spring Hop into as many springs a possible. It is something I have also been thinking about for the past year. Perhaps it is the proximity of spring break that has me heading down summer lane tonight. What are you planning?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Eye-Spy II

 On Wednesdays, I like to share images that I have collected throughout the week.  Here are traces of spring that I spied on my Sunday morning venture. Enjoy!

Sunny wildflowers!
Food for Butterflies!
Peter Cottontail
A cocoon!

A Wood Stork

The feathery new leaves of a cypress tree.