Sunday, March 13, 2022

The Sunday Seven

 Taking time to reflect on the good of the week.

7. Spring break! Need I say more!

6. My team of teachers. I know it's been a tough year for my teacher peeps near and far. But we have survived the past two years of the pandemic. We've survived together it's not been easy, but we have risen to the challenges together and that’s how we survive. 

5. My daughter's water polo coach. He's dedicated to the team and found ways for kids to swim when most pools were closed. This week is our first time off since Christmas. It’s great to have a week off, we will still swim. 

4. My carpool buddies- I've carpooled to work off and on since 2003. I've done it more religiously over the past 2 years and have even taken the train once. It pays off at the pump.

3. Access to an amazing library system- l learned that you can get tickets to events and places like the museums for free. That's aside from the magazines, books, and all the other cool library programs.

2. The slice of life writing community- I almost have 400 blog posts and it's still fun to write. It’s the community that makes it so.

1. Writing my this blog by hand today trying out the apple pen. It's a cool way to publish.  I saw my daughter using the pen and thought I would try it. There are still a few kinks to work out but it does recognize my cursive handwriting.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Spring Into Saturday: The Everglades

 One Saturday drive that’s worth taking is a trip to the Everglades. 

It’s a perfect time of year to check out the rookeries and enjoy the sea of grass. There are 6 visitor centers. We drove to the Gulf Coast Center and then to the Chokoloskee Island also host to the gateway of the 10000 islands. There we went to the Smallwood Museum that sits in the edge of the Everglades and served as a trading post then a general store and now

a National Historic site-museum.

Although this way we didn’t do any sloughing, this is a great activity to immerse yourself into the Everglades. There is also the Florida panther wildlife refuge along the roads to get there. I suggest taking the back roads to get there and just meander down taking in the sites of disappearing wild of Florida. 

Friday, March 11, 2022

Food for Thought: Breakfast in O-town

 Breakfast by far is my favorite meal and I’ve blogged about my love of eggs before, but I thought I would share some of my morning faves in Orlando. 

P is for Pie-Most people go here for the bakery items, but they do have amazing ice coffee and breakfast bowls and my favorite breakfast pie, tomato.  Their hand pies are delicious as well. I think they have the best pie dough here. A trip here after I work out ends up with me morning fuel and treats. 

Not far from here is Farm & Haus which also has my favorite breakfast bowl  I particularly like the southwest bowl here with eggs, black beans, chorizo sweet potatoes quest fresco and avocado mash. Though the bowl is not just my morning go to.

Last but not least and not a local cafe, but delicious, when you want a breakfast cocktail, is Another Broken Egg Cafe. I go for the Huevos Rancheros here, because I am a savory breakfast person. The real draw for me are the cocktails. There is something a little decadent in my mind about starting the morning with one.

Thursday, March 10, 2022


They've been counting down. We've been counting down.  But's if officially here.  Spring Break, a time to decelerate.  We often don't use this term, I propose we do it more often.  More often that we actually make time too.  The days after tomorrow will be a screen-free.   (okay...I will do my official SOLSC work...but that's it).  In a world where we are inundated with rapid-fire information, sometimes it is truly time to stop and smell the roses. Well right here, the last of the azaleas. I got to spend my evening as a judge at our Poetry Slam and laugh with and be amazed by our poets.  My grades are done. The grades I had to do for a teacher who has been out all nine weeks are done. My office is quasi clean. All good ways to head into break. Happy Friday Eve! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Water Polo & Learning

One cool thing about my blog is that I have 44 drafts saved.  This post started as a draft on March 7, 2019 when my daughter first started playing water polo.  Now its March 2, 2022 and I have spent 4 years watching my daughter learn and grow alongside her team. Since then, I've even learned how to keep score and do that as my way to "worm my way in" as my daughters says.  It’s been a powerful way to learn the game too.

What I love most aside from watching the games are the teaching reminders that I get watching poolside as she engages in this highly complex game as she only started with foundational skills-aka she can swim.  She never played a team sport before.  She didn’t  know the intricacies of the game, the nuances . She is constantly reacting and adjusting.  Her ability to make split second decisions is now keen.  She has evolved over the past four year to become a team leader. What I’ve learned from watching her are valuable teacher lessons too. Here’s a few:

1.  Her coaches see the whole pool, how players work with together.  During a game my player or learner is in her space, her field of vision and only her field of experience to rely on. We need to not become so farsighted that we forget how nearsighted our students or newbie teachers can be and stay positive as they work with us. 

2.  As teachers, we need to provide multiple opportunities of for practice and remember that context matters. Just because I practiced the same shot over and over again for 35 minutes during practice doesn't mean when I get in the game, I will be able to execute it under more stressful conditions that might include humans drowning me.  

3. Your team matters. Everyone is rooting for your team. As my daughters says, “We need everyone in the pool and the ones not in it as well.” We need everyone in the building to support teachers as much as they can as they with students. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Spring Break Plans

 In the next few weeks over 7 million visitors will land in the Orlando airport. I’m not one of them. Although I appreciate all the visitors as they fund the things here, I won’t relish the traffic. I will, however,  enjoy a quiet break here. I am looking forward to working out each day, a little pool time sans water polo, cleaning and day trips to the beach. This season is the best of Florida weather. It’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors. I will fix my computer and prep some stuff for my kiddo’s graduation party. It’s been a whirlwind of a nine weeks with two teachers out and nonstop weekends with birthdays, games and college visits. I’ll really relish the still plus I have the second book in Sarah J. Maas’s Crescent City waiting for me. What are you looking forward to for your break?

Monday, March 7, 2022

What R U Reading?

I decided to read a poem a day for 2022. I had two collections picked out and my friend gave me an anthology as well. I decided to read a poem a day since it is an area that I am not well read. I also decided it should be contemporary poets as again, I am not well versed in the poets of my time. I am currently reading How to Love the World which was given to me by my friend and fellow blogger, Lee Ann. It should take me through April. I picked up the Living Nations collection edited by our current US Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. I became fascinated with her work after I heard her speak at NCTE. This collection is part of her work as Poet Lauureate. Check it out here. My final choice is a collection that I have been eyeing for awhile and when I saw a signed copy, I couldn’t resist. I have read Kingsolver’s fiction and nonfiction, so now it’s time for her poems. These titles should keep me busy through the summer. What collections or poets do you suggest I add to my 2022 poetry quest.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

The Sunday Seven

 Celebrating the goodness of the week.

7.  Gorgeous back-to-back water weekends.  Spring weather in Florida is amazing. Last weekend my daughter celebrated her 18th birthday by primitive camping on Bissel Bay and this weekend we celebrated my mom's 75th birthday with a day at the springs, Rock Springs at Kelly Park.  We were able to kayak, paddleboard and swim and just enjoy the day. I love being outdoors and disconnected from the world. 

6. My colleagues-anyone in education knows how tough it has been this past year. I am lucky to have colleagues near and far who show up and do their best.  

5. My district and principal for supporting student activists and letting students have space to share their voice.

4. For the many opportunities to connect with students.

3. Eyes toward spring break. 4 days more..

2. Opportunities to create family memories. See number 7.  

1. Joining the writing challenge again. After a hiatus, it's great to be back.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Spring into Saturdays

 My Saturdays used to consist of trips to the my favorite outdoor Florida attractions, the springs, but since 2019 when I last participated in the Slice of Life Saturday challenge, I now spend more time poolside on weekends.  Don't be fooled, I've not been swimming, but cheering for my water polo player who swims.  This is the last spring that I will be able to do so as she will be graduating in May.  We spent today at a tournament.  I have loved watching every minute of the evolution of my dancer into an attacker (name of the position she plays).  Having never played an organized sport before at age 15, she has had to work hard to develop into her catching and throwing skills, learning how to move and communicate as a team. If you have never watched water polo before, I encourage you to enjoy this clip by Leslie Jones.  It's funny and informative and it highlights the USA Olympic Women's Water polo team who have won the Olympic gold the last three times. Check it out here.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Student Walkout Today

  I am a Florida native. I love the weather! I love the springs. I love the people. I love my job. I love my school. I love our students. I love being a parent of a teenager. I love that our student activists and across the state led student walkouts with courage and conviction regardless of the political minefield that our legislature is creating with HB 1577, the Don’t Say Gay bill. I love that my principal was by their side. I love that teachers and students chose to participate en masse. It’s days like these that remind me how kids thrive when they have support. It’s days like today that reinforce why teaching matters despite the state of education. I loved today. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Favorite Things

Favorite Things or How I Have Been Keeping It Together Lately

Ascics Gel Nimbus-Walking in these running shoes. I seem to have a few pair on hand at all times. I love to wear them to work when I know I will be putting on the miles and I love to wear them working out.  I only like to keep two pairs on hand, because I hate shoe clutter.  

Bodum milk frother/heater has been a morning game changer. UPSIDE- save money & ease of use DOWNSIDE- cleaning

Crushed Ice- Did you know that you can buy bags of crushed ice from Sonic?  

Eggs my favorite scrambled for dinner, on a hamburger for lunch or over easy/poached for breakfast.  The most versatile food that I can whip up at any time in any way.

Going to a new restaurant- what I love about Orlando is the diversity of our food culture. (My Friday posts will feature some of these outings picking up takeout. 

Hanging out or going on an adventure with our kid. Most recently with her -padding in Bissel Bay. More to come about this adventure. 

Ice cream- To be fair, I am a chip monster, but what I will miss most next year are the ice cream trips with my kid.  I've been making the most of it with her by checking out the new places.

Kayaking/paddle boarding down a spring-fed river, the lake or the intercostal.  I recently bought my daughter an inflatable paddleboard. I'll be buying one for myself. Floating helps me disconnect.

One a day-I decided to read a poem a day in 2022, because it's a gap for me. Look for a post on a Monday about the collections I've been reading or will be reading. 

Playing disc golf- I saved this hobby for my old age because I can't really run and play ultimate Frisbee any more, but I do love playing rounds with my bf and my husband.  Right before sunset is my favorite time.  When I can't throw anymore, I'll take up birdwatching. 

Reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. Love the people in your life who you reconnect with easily regardless of your time apart.  

Watching water polo- really a game I knew nothing about four years ago until my daughter started playing and it's one of the most exciting live games to watch. It ousted boy volleyball from my number one.  

eXercising at outdoors preferably with a blend of weights and cardio.

Yoga class-outdoors preferably- if you are ever in Orlando I suggest attending Yoga in Lake Eola Park or any other session hosted by Miriam Reh. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

I’m Back

 It’s tough to see that my last post was March 31, 2019. I’m not sure what lead me to skip 2020, but I know why I skipped 2021. Teaching hybrid was hard. This year I honestly decided less than five hours ago to do this challenge. It was a serendipitous moment where a teacher/friend sent me a poem she wrote for her student. It is amazing, but it took bravery on her part to share it. I’ve read some of her blogs before and I told her about this challenge and she was in. Check out her blog and first slice here. I committed to writing this month with her because this is an amazing community to write in.

Teaching is still hard.  I see that I’ve had different teaching hard times, but writing in the SOLSC provides a great space to process that! It will be my ninth year. We will see where else the writing leads me.