Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Been That Kind Of Day

Another day of in-service began with a lawyer telling us all the different ways we can get ourselves into trouble, facebook and e-mail heading the list.  But also don't let any bullying or misconduct go unreported, confidentiality is a must, best advice - do not text students, don't give students rides home, don't be alone with one student... Yikes, our floors are covered with egg shells.

Catered lunch.

The new evaluation tool, The Tulsa Model for Teacher and Leader Effectiveness observation and evaluation, filled our afternoon.  It has 5 domains, 17 dimensions and 2-4 criteria for meeting each dimension.  Why can't we speak English? My brain was aching long before the presentation was over.

At the end of the day, our superintendent warned us that tomorrow will be the hard day. I'm trying not to think about it.

I've discovered the cure for brain pain, a visit to the gym.  Blood pumping, oxygen flowing, endorphins bubbling...the non-physical pain melts away and you feel good again. I just wish I'd worn matching shoes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back To School Day

6:30 a.m. - The alarm rings. I don't want to get up.  I don't want to go to school.

6:50 a.m. - I get up and begin the morning routine.  I have to give it some thought since I haven't done this since last May. My favorite part is drinking coffee at my computer.

8:30 a.m. - At school. The meetings are in the library, my room. A table of fruit, cheese, bread and crackers.  A table of donuts and other sweets.  An ice chest of sodas.  An ice chest of water.  Where's the coffee? What?!?  No coffee? Get your priorities straight!

9:00 a.m. - The presentations begin. So many mandated trainings that we have to "learn" every year: Blood borne pathogens, Special Ed Confidentiality, FERPA... Because they're important, we go over them year after year.

10:15 a.m. - We hear about local programs: Speech Therapy, Study Island, School-wide Book Read (Hey, that's me!), 21st Century Grant ($1 million over 5 years).

11:30 a.m. - LUNCH.  I stay in the library and eat a ham and cheese croissant sandwich with carrots, celery and baby tomatoes followed by strawberries, grapes, pineapple chunks and a plum. Tasty.

12:30 p.m. - Principal is up. He goes over lesson plans, grade book, Common Core, pacing calendars, remediation, credit recovery, school handbook, class syllabi, State Department of Ed. website, and the new evaluation tool.

2:30 p.m. - Superintendent presents about bullying and how to eliminate it and strategies to improve our students' writing.

3:30 p.m. - Let's blow this joint.

We have homework: study the new evaluation tool and have questions to ask tomorrow.  My question is, why is this information so boring?  It doesn't have to be. With the emphasis on better writing, the challenge is to write instructions, explanations, and other tedious information creatively so that people will want to read it. The most popular non-fiction genre in current publishing is creative nonfiction.  Get with the program!

8:00 p.m. - The Closer final episode.

9:00 p.m. - Major Crimes, spin-off from The Closer.

10:15 p.m. - Finish blog post.

11:00 p.m. - Go to bed.  Tomorrow's another day.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Friends

Owen and Diego are two of the few Children who attend our church.  When church started this morning, Owen was the only child there so he and I did acolyte duty together. Owen didn't want to but he reluctantly helped his Gingie since he is the expert and I am the novice.

Before it was time for the children's sermon, Diego and his sister arrived with their Grandma. Owen was so happy that he hugged Diego and they happily danced their way to the front of the church to help Herwannah with her children's message.

After church, Diego announced that it would be OK with his mom if he came home with us after church.  He joined us for a Subway/Sonic lunch and then fun and frivolity at MeMe's and then back at our house.  These two boys can fuss like brothers and have fun like best friends. They beg to spend time together and then they spend their time in separate activities.  Diego played with toys in the living room with me while Owen was in the back with Pa on the computer.  Later they went upstairs. Diego played Mario carts on the Wii in one room while Owen played with trains in another.

Daryl (Pa) grew up in this same church going home with Herwannah after church.  Herwannah's son is like a brother to Daryl and I hope I am seeing history repeat itself.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Candy Prompts

This week was all about candy.  I don't eat much candy so I probably won't have much to say.  Which prompt could you write about?  Leave me a message with the answer to that prompt.
  • Monday, August 6, 2012 --- What was the first candy you ever tried?
Oh my gosh!  I'm 62 years old, how would I remember the first candy I ate?

  • Tuesday, August 7, 2012 --- What candy did you eat once that you wish you could get again?
I'd like to eat German chocolate in Germany again.

  • Wednesday, August 8, 2012 --- Talk about a memory tied to a certain candy, especially if it involves another person or a place.
My most memorable candy experience was being in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Beth, Owen and I were taking Mari back to college in Maryland and nipped a little out of the way to visit Hershey.  It was worth it.

Hershey, the sweetest place on earth. Lamp posts with lights like kisses line the streets. The whole town smells like chocolate. Divine. I'm sure that's what heaven will smell like. If you haven't been, you should go.  Click the link and see how fun it is in Hershey, PA.

  • Thursday, August 9, 2012 --- Are there any candies that you just can't stomach?
I don't think there are any candies I can't stomach, but there are several that I would say, "Why bother?" Candy corn tops that list. If I'm going to eat empty calories and raise my blood sugar, I want it to be something that tastes good.

  • Friday, August 10, 2012 --- What was the last piece of candy that you gave someone else?
It was at the public library.  Lee walked to the desk, placed a bag of Hershey's kisses in front of me and said, "You need to gain some weight," and walked away. Perplexing, the last thing I need to do is gain weight.

 Later that evening, Drej made his nightly appearance and started out with, "Wow! Where'd you get the bag of kisses?" I gave it to him and he became as giddy as a little kid on Christmas morning.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Some people view computers and the Internet as detrimental to connecting with other people. Spending time on facebook instead of in face-to-face real live connection building relationships by spending time, doing things and being with people.  And this is true.

But computers and the Internet can connect us with friends and family from whom we'd otherwise be separated.  My daughter lives in Baton Rouge, my sisters live in California, I'm stuck here in Oklahoma. but we connect through email, facebook and playing games like DrawSomething and Words with Friends. We  leave comments that encourage and create laughter as we play.  It's fun and it's connective.

I've connected with new friends on the Internet too.  I met Maria from India via Ireland while blogging on NaBloPoMo. Another blogging friend from Kentucky home schools her children.  She wanted to teach them Spanish so she searched for a Spanish speaking family who wanted to learn English. Connection made.

Who will you connect with today?

Thursday, August 9, 2012


NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, now part of Blogher.com) has a different writing theme for each new month. The theme for August 2012 is "Sweet." I like the expression "Sweet!" and the way teenagers use it.

Along with the theme are week-daily prompts.  In the past I've taken the prompts and "answered" all of them on Saturday.  The first Saturday of this month was moving day for one daughter and traveling day for the other daughter so I wrote about that instead.

I had wordless Wednesday on Thursday so I'll have Prompt Saturday on Thursday too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 --- Name something sweet you ate today.

As a general rule, I don't eat sugar. When you don't eat refined white sugar, the natural sugars in food taste sweeter. Even carrots are a sweet crunchy treat. Berries in Greek yogurt with Splenda. I splurged on Wednesday, August 1st and got a sugar free, frozen yogurt, vanilla milk shake at Braum's. Sweet!

Thursday, August 2, 2012 --- What is the sweetest thing someone said to you today?

I got the sweetest thank you card from a student, thanking me for a graduation gift. I wanted to post it on facebook but decided not to chance making her regret sending me the card. I think it will be less embarrassing here.
Mrs. Perry,
Thank you for being such an amazing teacher. I really enjoyed your class this year. Also, thank you for the beautiful journal and money.

We all need to share sweet words more often, making the world a nicer place one ripple at a time.

Friday, August 3, 2012 --- What is the sweetest thing someone did for you today?

My friend from the Lawton Public Library, Afzal from Pakistan, sent me an email with a story for our library blog. It was a charming episode of life at the library, you can read it here. I work very part-time at the public library so I need help keeping the library blog current.  It was so sweet of Afzal to write a guest post.

Wordless Wednesday on Thursday

I forgot to blog yesterday. Life got busy and I meant to do a post after I put the grandson to bed.  But instead I laid down with him and went to sleep. I'm going to finish the month anyway.

Mom and Dad

Nothing written on the back of the photo. I don't know where the picture was taken, when it was taken, how old they were... Any guesses?

Daddy was a handsome man. He drove me to school one day in his old pick up truck.  Some girlfriends asked me, "Who's that cute boy who brought you to school?" They thought I was keeping some big secret from them. 

"That was my dad," I answered in a 1960's incredulous teenage accent, thinking they might be embarrassed that they thought someone's father was cute.  

Instead, they said together, (translated into current teen language, "Your dad is hot!"  Yeah, he was. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Block Party

It's small town America. Mayberry was a metropolis by comparison.  We are more like Green Acres, without the talking pig. Three elected members make up the town council.  The town council decides which one of them will be Mayor. That's how I became First Lady of Indiahoma. A post office, a school, a cafe and the Indy Superette, but no police. There are six churches and no bars.

School starts next week; the Church of Christ had an idea to have a Back to School Bash, a collaboration of all the town churches. Together the Church of Christ, the Methodists, the Baptists, the Mennonites, the Assembly of God and the Peace Congregational Church planned and executed the 1st annual Backpacks of Love schools's-about-to-start-so-let's-celebrate block party.

The street that runs between the school and the Church of Christ was blocked off, making a large and safe area to party in.  Two bouncy houses, a dunking tank (in our HOT weather, people were fighting to be in the tank), water balloon volleyball, face painting, water gun and water bomb area, snow cones, hot dogs, lemonade, cupcakes, cookies and of course back packs full of school supplies. Every child got one, from pre-K to seniors.

Kids running and getting wet, laughter, chatter, meeting new people, wind blown trash deserting the party, clouds gathering in the sky (we pray for rain), a beautiful rainbow decorates the sky, people stay and stay and stay.

From my grandson's backpack:
The Indiahoma Churches...
are excited to present
Indiahoma students with
"Back Packs of Blessings"
We wish you a Blessed School Year!

Children are a gift from the Lord. ~ Psalms 127.3

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
~ 1 Timothy 4:12

Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. ~ Philippians 4:6

Monday, August 6, 2012


"Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future." Or does it?

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis explains time as a human illusion. There is no time in God's world, he sees all events at once... OK, wait, my brain is starting to hurt. C.S. Lewis is so smart and is an an artist at rhetoric. I'm sure he's right and what we know as time will be but one of the earthly things to evaporate during transformation; but for now I'll continue to appreciate time as a reality.

Babies - so sweet, so new, so fresh - everything before them. Holding a resting infant closely can bring inner peace and release tension, even heart ache.

Children, so funny as they they learn to walk and talk and develop a personality. From toddlers to pre-school to Kindergarten and elementary school, there are scholarly volumes dedicated to each stage of life. Isn't this all taking place in time?

Middle School and High School, the children transition into adults, becoming more independent and often self-absorbed. 18 years-old, you're an adult!  21 years-old, you can vote! This is a decade of being an adult on paper but in many ways, many people are still kids.

My daughters are both in their 30's now. This is the decade when a person arrives officially in adulthood. No doubt about it, in my opinion anyway.

40's, not quite over-the-hill but youth is slipping away.  Time to have a mid-life crisis? Some do, others relish the age they are. The possibilities and adventures still lurk around every corner.

A 50th birthday party.  Really?  Half a century old?  Is my life half over?  Can I live to 100? Introspection, a depth of spirit, wisdom, perspective... old things are new, life is still exciting.

I'm 60, how did this happen?  Where did the time go?  The end is closer than the beginning. This is a time to become comfortable with being old. Old is not bad, young is not good, they are just different stages of being; or are they two stages taking place simultaneously? Maybe I'll understand that on down the road.

From here I cannot speak from experience, but I see 70-something people working, being active, making a contribution, enjoying life. I don't know what's in their lives but it must be something good.

People begin to die of old age. Some are ready for death, they greet death as a friend. It is the natural culmination of life. It's not the end, it's a beginning.

I highly recommend Mere Chrstianity for clarity on a life lived in preparation for eternity and an understanding of how time might be a figment of our imaginations. No one can say it like Jack.  (AKA: C.S. Lewis)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Bell Tower

The bell shouts out praise, announcing a time of worship to all.  


This is a bell tower on top of a small Methodist church in a little village called Indiahoma.  The bell rings every Sunday morning reminding people it's time to go to worship. It reminds everyone, not just Methodists, that it is time to assemble together, wherever their place may be. I walk past my neighbors house and into the church yard. 

I invite you to visit Indiahoma United Methodist Church Blog to get a taste of how we worship at our place.

God bless you and may you find peace and harmony on this beautiful Lord's day.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sizzling Saturday

Every day is sizzling in August in Oklahoma. I don't know the high today, it's been up to 114 degrees this summer, breaking all records. It's almost 9:30 p.m. and it is a cool 98 degrees. I wish I were in Portland, or Seattle, or Canada... anywhere cooler.

The heat didn't stop us from getting Beth moved into her new house. Her friend's dad painted the living room and kitchen on Thursday - gorgeous.  Her furniture fits perfectly.  Daryl and Cliff got Beth's washer and dryer hooked up.  Ashley brought her mom's steam cleaner and Beth got to work cleaning her couch cushions and mattresses. Lee Ann lined all the cabinets and drawers with lovely shelf paper. I unpacked dishes, washed them and put them up.  I hope Beth likes where I put her things.

We were all busy working on something when the doorbell rang.  Who could that be? we're all here. It was my friend Penny, Beth's high school English teacher. She was at her daughter's house and thought she recognized my car.  Then she saw me walk out of Beth's house so she came over.  We knew Lindsey lived somewhere in the area of Beth's house but had no idea it was just three houses down the block.

Cliff needed some duct tape to finish hooking up the dryer so Lee Ann asked Penny if she brought duct tape with her, just joking.  Penny said, "I did.  I've wondered why I carry this duct tape with me. This must be why."  She gave us her duct tape, Cliff got the dryer working and Penny got a grand tour of Beth's house for her duct tape generosity.

Throughout the day I kept thinking of my other daughter, Mari.  She and her husband and my granddaughter are on their way to Berlin, Germany.  They flew from Baton Rouge to Atlanta to Paris to Berlin. They won't get there for awhile. Shawn is participating in a math research project at a university in Berlin. He's so smart. Mari & Jane, who is 9 months old on Wednesday, will be tourists and take in the German culture. I wish I could be there with them. Stupid job. Maybe next time.

It's time to kick off my shoes, enjoy the cool air conditioned temperature, and see what white Merlot tastes like.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Five Minute Friday: HERE

HERE Is one of my favorite places to be. First thing in the morning, fresh coffee, computer on, breakfast bar, a world of possibilities before me.

I usually open several tabs: email, blogger, good reads, facebook and leave the original google tab open for any searches that present themselves.

Today I am HERE on a mission to blog for five minutes without preparation or deep thought.  Just let it roll out as it will. It is one day in a month-long journey of daily blogging.

When my five minutes are up, I will return to my regular routine, open my email and see what my friends and family have to tell me.  I love the instant access to people I care about. That might lead to a trip to Amazon if someone announces a birth or a wedding or I get a birthday notification. Or if an email piques my interest and I want to know more, then I'm back to google to see what I can find out. I may be reminded of something at work so I'll open my work email to get that done.  The other day a friend wrote that a drunk driver ran into Fred's fence, breaking a telephone pole and shutting off the electricity for several blocks in town. Fred had posted it on facebook.  So, of course, I had to go look at the pictures myself and leave a comment.

You just never know what turning on the computer will lead to.  Some days (in the summer when I'm not "working" at school) I sit HERE until noon. But for now, my five minutes are almost gone. I'll still be HERE.  Send me an email.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Baby is 30

Happy Birthday Beth!

Beth's birthday is July 22nd but I just got this picture of her putting her birthday money in at church last Sunday.

Beth is...
my second child and my baby.
funny and has been for as long as I can remember.

the mother of my first grandchild, Owen.
a fabulous pre-K teacher, or any other grade she may happen to teach.
a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin...OK, she's a loving person.
a faithful friend.
dating a lovely man, Cliff.
reliable, interesting, fun,
hardworking, innovative, thoughtful, shy,
red-headed and hot tempered.
nicely nerdy and gently goofy (she's a Tompkins)...

The expression on her face (above) reveals a lot about her, as does Fred's expression of reaction.

Be afraid Beth, I think I'll develop you into a character in a story. You might be the next female Monk.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Who is This Man?

I look forward to seeing him again.  It's been a year. It won't be long now - he'll be here when my shift ends.

I remember his walk.  He moves with strength and purpose, nothing frivolous about him, always tending to business. One look and you know he's the man in charge.

Tanned and golden, sometimes too bright to look at, he even keeps things hot at night.

His name is a description of who he is: inspiring admiration, dignified, imposing, noble, commanding respect.

He approaches with long even strides.  My heart flutters, my pulse quickens.  Why does he do this to me? Me, the party girl, full of fun, food and fireworks. Him, the no nonsense man, here to do his job.

He nods his head at me. I smile and say, "Hello August." With a simple wave I add, "See you next year."

NaBloPoMo August 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Is this Mom?


The back of this picture says "Janie."
What do you think?  Is this Mom or Tookie?
Was Mom's hair ever that light?

This photograph was in a magnetic frame on my refrigerator when I made the digital reproduction. I get a better copy when the original is vertical instead of laying on a flat surface. I like how the frame looks so I didn't crop it out.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Traditional Books or e-books?

I've started a list of reasons why traditional books are better than e-books. It's a short list, but here it is:
  • You don't have to turn off a traditional book at take off or landing in an airplane. That's a good 30 minutes of reading, at least. And it's the flying time I need a distraction the most.
  • You can read a traditional book in the bathtub.
  • A traditional book's battery won't die in the middle of a chapter, because it doesn't have a battery!
  • You can easily look to see how many pages are left in a traditional book's chapter.
  • Traditional books are memory makers. You can pass on your children's books to your grandchildren.  You can get the Christmas books out each December and relive favorite stories. I think e-books will probably just fade away.
Let me know if you have ideas to add to this list.

P.S.  I love my Kindle.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Without a Doubt

I have the best job ever (sometimes...and this was one of those times).

On Thursdays, Heather does craft time for elementary age children.  I helped when we made paper plate frogs. This craft followed a morning story time about big mouthed frogs.

The frog in the lower right-hand corner was made by our professional craft sample maker, Sara. I made the one in the lower left-hand corner and teens made the ones on top. The kids took theirs home.

Heather's frog began to look like a turtle tummy so we put our plates together and created this turtle.

Turtle top
(His head was the frog's tongue. Eyes, arms and legs also belong to the frog template. Turtle tail was hand drawn.) 

Turtle Tummy

For a person who loves crafts, kids, teens and spending time with Heather, I was in work heaven.

My reference boss asked me to give him a break at the Reference desk.  When he returned, he told me, "You can go back and play now."

When do you love your job?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

What would I do without Fridays?

Here are three more pictures of Mom.
All three just say "Janie" on the back.
I put the original photos in magnetic frames and hung them on the refrigerator. Then I built a tower, set the camera on a tripod atop the tower and clicked three photos of each original.  None are very sharp.  The originals aren't either.


Friday, July 6, 2012

FPF Enlargement

I'm obviously enjoying the Flashback Photo Friday. 

I blog during the week on Owen's blog and the church blog. I always intend to blog here, have many ideas floating through my head, but I'm just too darn busy drawing and playing "words" on my phone.

Today's flashback photo is an enlargement of one from last week.  Beemer requested seeing the pictures individually. So here's the first one.

(from the back of the photo)
Janie & Tookie
Xmas PJ's
from Gma Queal


Friday, June 29, 2012

Is it Friday Again Already?

These are pictures of my mom & dad sent to me by my Aunt Tookie.
circa 1930's (top left) and 1940's (the rest)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Photo Flashback

 I stumbled across Friday Photo Flashback while looking up the Proverbs verse about a nagging wife being like a dripping faucet.  Go figure. 

What a fabulous idea, sharing old photos. Something fun to do on Fridays.  Today is Friday and I'm always looking for ways to use alliteration.

Why would I share this horrible picture of the whole family? Because whenever we look at it, we break into sidesplitting laughter. 

Laughter is good for you. If you can't laugh with us, laugh at us. Be happy and well.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Black Box

It turns out the black box came from a blog post in April.  I copied and pasted html that did not show anything in the blog post but forced the picture of the black box to remain at the top of my blog. Deleted the blog post, black box gone.

Can anyone tell me how to get this black box off my Blog?

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Addicted to Stuff

I stole this title from Robin Dugall's Homeword devotional Blogpost.

Click here to read Robin's original post.

The title caught my attention.  I love stuff, I have stuff, I'm always looking for more stuff...but am I addicted? I opened the email and read on.

His Scripture verse: Then he said, "This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods." Luke 12:18

Ouch. But really, tear down perfectly good barns just to build bigger ones?  Why not just build a storage barn for your excess? But then I guess the point is the excess.  Do we really need so much stuff that there isn't room to keep it?

My friend Cheryl in Oregon wrote to me about purging some of her stuff.  She said it was painful to get rid of her stuff, but afterwards it was liberating. It made me think I might like to be liberated.

Robin's article is about moving his family across the country and watching as his family's stuff was loaded onto the moving van. It took a group of workers several hours to complete the job. How could he have so much stuff? And in stark contrast, how can so many have so little?

What kind of stuff do you have?  I have a giraffe room and I love to add new giraffes to it. I have pears in my kitchen (Perry) and there's always room for one more. I am a coffee drinker and have an extensive coffee mug collection. My great-grandma's blue willow dishes are on display in my husband's grandma's china closet. Technology toys, I love them.  Bargain hunting for clothing and home decor. My goodness, will my list never end?

Following the example set forth by AA, "I am a consumer." I will publish this post and then start boxing up my excess for a trip to Goodwill, after I unpack my mug from New Orleans and put it in the dishwasher, that is.

Seriously, it is better to give than to receive. And it's not just giving stuff, but more importantly giving time, helping out, and being available to others.

Robin closes his devotional with this scripture: Jesus said, ... "Freely you have received. Freely give." Matthew 10:8

Friday, June 8, 2012

Girl Fun

I'm on my way to Baton Rouge to spend a week with my daughter, my granddaughter and my sister. My son-in-law is going on a business trip to Germany.

Check in at the Lawton air port is EASY. There's one gate, one plane so no waiting and no body scan.  I love it.

A 27 minute flight to Dallas.  I have a two hour layover.  I wanted to leave plenty of time to find my connection gate.  I got off at B12; the flight to Baton Rouge leaves from B12. Can it get easier?

First stop, Starbucks.  Then power up the laptop.  What?!?  No wifi? But they have these funny little stations where you can charge and/or plug in your laptop; but who thinks to bring an ethernet cord?  Luckily there are also these funny built in computers.  The browser doesn't support the new blogger but at least it works. 

It's an hour to take off.  Guess I"ll get back to B12 and maybe buy another Vente Latte. Next stop, Baton Rouge.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Funeral on Holy Saturday

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Christ and is followed by Holy Saturday, the time when Christ's followers were feeling helpless and hopeless. I'm sure Gayla's family was feeling like this too.  How will Blake and Jennie go on without their mother?  What will Alfred do without his wife? Friends, co-workers, students and family felling empty.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my hope come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. --Psalm 121:1-2

And then on Sunday, Jesus came back to life, resurrected. New life, joy, problem solved. Gayla has entered into that resurrected life but those left behind will continue to grieve, for now.

Friday, April 6, 2012

E-mail to Website to Blog Post

An email from Focus on the Family titled "Have You Ever Caught a Glimpse of Heaven?" led to reading more on their website. Jim Daly shared about when his mom died (he was only nine-years-old). At the cemetery he saw a cloud formation that looked like stair steps leading into heaven. His soul was comforted. These clouds had a similar affect on others who were there.

Readers left a multitude of comments with similar stories of being close to God during death. Through tears I remembered a story I was told when my Grandma Queal died. The details are fuzzy, she died in 1982. My mom told me about it, seeming to dismiss it as the hallucinations of her dying mom. But maybe it was more, or why would she have told me?

Grandma was in the hospital dying. My mom and her sister, Tookie, were there with her. Grandma kept saying, "When is Sydney going to get here?" Sydney is my aunt's name, as well as mine.  She died when she was 21-years-old of polio. I was named after her. I'm not sure what the sisters said to their mom in response to her question but a time came when Grandma smiled and said, "Here she is. Sydney is here. All my girls together." She closed her eyes and soon took her last breath.

Have you had a close encounter with heaven?


Friday, March 16, 2012

A Compliment

"Mrs. Perry, you are not one of the most boring teachers at this school."

And people wonder why I enjoy teaching teenagers.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Farewell February

Random thoughts at the end of my favorite month.

Leap Day, our county workers celebrated it with the day off. Made me think, it is an extra day that doesn't exist in three out of four years. Why spend your extra day at work? Does your employer really want to pay you to work an extra day this year? Why not make it an obligatory holiday?

Do you save the extra button that comes with many new clothes purchases? I just bought a pair of Ralph Lauren pants at Dillards on clearance sale with 40% extra off. I like getting a good deal. The extra button was stapled to the tag on the pants. What a great idea. From now on I'm going to staple the button bag onto the tag that has the name of the garment and how much I paid. It's always fun to look back and say either "I paid that much?!?" or "Wow, that was a bargain." And I'll always know which piece of clothing each button belongs to.

It's been a long day - 8:00am-3:30pm at school then 5:00pm to 9:00pm at the public library. I'm going to pour a glass of wine, watch a TV show and then go to bed.

A fond farewell to the month of February and nablopomo blogging.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Running Schools Like a Business

The problem as I see it is that children are not products. Each child is a unique individual who enters the school system with all the baggage and support of his/her experiences. There is no one perfect way to transform four-year-old pre-K students into graduating seniors of equal performance.

Praise the Lord that no one has ever considered athletic ability to be something every student must master before graduation. I wouldn't have made it out of high school. I think the idea that every single child can and should master all of the same subjects to a superior level is just as unattainable.

We have high school students who are disruptive in classes because they have no interest in academic subjects like advanced mathematics, Shakespeare, chemistry, foreign language, etc. They want to be welding, working on cars, learning a trade...so why don't we give them that opportunity? Why do we force everyone into a cookie cutter college bound future?

It's just my opinion, but then who else's would it be?

Monday, February 27, 2012

What Are You Reading?

I'm in the middle of two wonderful series: The Hunger Games (Catching Fire, book 2) by Suzanne Collins and Dean Koontz's Frankenstein (Lost Souls, book 4). Both series are so captivating that I want to gobble them up, but then I slow down to savor every morsel. I don't want it to be over.

I remember the end of the Harry Potter series. I had a student tell me that he didn't know what he would read next because nothing could be as good as Harry Potter. I had to agree.

I read that J K Rowling is writing a new book, for adults. No mention of title, subject or projected publication date. But I know when it comes out, I will be reading it.

What are your suggestions for my next good book?

Read on!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday at my Church

The Sermon Title: A Forgiveness Beyond Compare

This story sums it up.

There was a priest who was guilt ridden by something he had done in seminary. He confessed his sin and was forgiven but could not forgive himself. One day a parishioner told him that she had physical visitations from Jesus. They talked often (Jesus and the woman). The priest was skeptical. He told the woman to ask Jesus, the next time they spoke, about the sin that had her priest in such despair. She agreed to do so. The priest didn't see the woman again for quite a while but when he did, he asked her if she spoke to Jesus about the sin that he had committed. She said she did. "And what did Jesus tell you?" asked the Priest. The woman told him, "Jesus said he didn't remember it."

The message was good, the first in a series on "24 Hours that Changed the World," the last 24 hours of Jesus' life on earth. We'll continue the theme at our Lenten Bible Study this evening.

But God gave me a different message as well. Not in the same way as the woman in the story but through a song we sang. Verse 4 of "It is Well with my Soul" was an aha! moment for me. "And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll..."

My continually changing, growing, morphing faith will one day be like a solid object that I can see. The clouds will roll back like a scroll...a scroll that contains the truth as it really is.

In the meantime I need to do the best that I can. I'll have questions, new ideas and new experiences all combining to bring my faith into focus. It's an exciting journey and I look forward to knowing "the rest of the story."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dental Health & the Tooth Fairy

From the Book about Beth

Six-years-old, 1989 - You were so thrilled about finally losing a baby tooth that when "the tooth fairy" left 50 cents under your pillow, you wouldn't take it because, as you said, "I want to keep my tooth." I gave you a little pill box to keep it in and you'd take it out every day and brush it!

Sometime later in March of an unknown year, I had my wisdom teeth pulled (the bottom two). The dentist would not give me my teeth saying it was some OSHA regulation or something.

When I got home I made the comment, "I left my teeth at the dentist's and now the tooth fairy won't bring me anything." You disappeared and came back a moment later, handed me a nickle and said, "Here, the tooth fairy told me to give you this."

If you have little kids, write down the funny things they say and do. It will bring you laughter and entertainment for years to come.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Week of Holidays

The Week in Review

Monday: Presidents Day
It was a federal holiday; people celebrated it everywhere, except in Indiahoma. We had school as usual. It was a fun day at school doing out-of-the-ordinary presidents related activities. My service learning class made Wordles about different presidents. It was amazing how each of the word pictures prominently displayed the president's name and a description of who he was.

Tuesday: Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras
It isn't a federal holiday but it is a big deal holiday in Baton Rouge (all of Louisiana?) where my daughter lives. It was also another excuse to do fun activities at school. The 8th graders created Mardi Gras Wordles and made them the desktop background on the library computers. Sweet.

Wednesday: Ash Wednesday & George Washington's actual birthday
Ash Wednesday is a religious holiday. It seemed appropriate to mention it since Ash Wednesday is the reason we have Fat Tuesday.
George Washington's birthday brought up good discussion on how we used to get days off for both George and Abe's birthdays and what were the reasons for making a single day to celebrate all of our presidents.

Enough said?

Friday: In-Service Teacher Training
This was a day off from school for the students and support staff so, to me, that qualifies it as a holiday. It's a good break for the teachers too, doing something a little different from the usual.

This was a good week for those of us who like to celebrate.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Today is my Birthday

And it's time for some great birthday music!

by the Beatles

photo labeled for reuse with modification
google image advanced search

Put Another Candle on my Birthday Cake
by Sheriff John (AKA: Birthday Cake Polka)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Big Middle Bit, HELP!

I'm seeking your advice. How does one lose belly fat?

I’ve lost almost 60 pounds in the past several years, way over 100 pounds if you count the 5-10 pounds that I continually lose and then gain back again.

The worst part of this weight loss/weight gain cycle is that the weight changes places. I have the skinniest face and my legs can fit into skinny jeans, it’s just that the big middle part of me can’t. When weight comes off, I lose it in my legs and face; but the weight returns to my waist and stomach. I have pants that fit when I was heavier but I can’t get the waistband to button now.

I go to the gym 2-4 times a week, depending on work schedule and attitude. I even do that twisty machine where you sit and move weights side to side with your abs. I don't eat sugar and am careful about the fats I eat. I creatively follow the SouthBeach diet because it is a healthy way to eat.

So my question to you is: How can I lose this big middle bit? Has anyone been successful? Please share your stories and advice.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


My friend's husband, David, is a professor of theater arts at Cameron University. He is retiring this year and has just finished his last production at Cameron as a faculty member. You might have guessed the play was Tartuffe.

When Susanna told me that David was doing Tartuffe as his last show, I told her that Tartuffe was the first college production I ever saw, probably in 1969, when I was going to Stanislaus State College in Turlock, California (I am not making this up). My dear friend, Tommy DeGomez, (Tommy, are you out there somewhere?) played one of the parts. Tartuffe was once a first and now it's a last. I would've gone no matter what the play.

I messed around not knowing which performance to attend, when all of the sudden it was the last performance day. It was Sunday and no one answered at the ticket office. Without reserved tickets, my daughter and I headed to Cameron hoping for the best. When we got to the ticket window we were told that there were no more tickets but we could be on the waiting list. If the reserved tickets were not claimed by 5 minutes before showtime, then they would be sold to those on waiting list.

It was kind of exciting waiting for the time to pass, hoping no one else would claim their tickets. Then when they started calling names of people to come up and get tickets, it was like waiting to hear if you'd won the lottery. When I heard my name, I did a little victory dance on the way to the ticket window and then found out they didn't take credit or debit cards and the lady didn't want to make change for my $50 bill. But she did and we got in.

It was a good, solid, theater-in-the-round college production. The audience was eclectic with college professors and kids from Job Corps, teenagers and retirees, ladies in pearls and kids in jeans. We all stood at the end for one final standing O, watched as students and friends bid Dr. Fennema adieu and then a 70 something women in front of me put the icing on the cake with her final comment, "I think it's the 18th century wordology that just exhausts me."


Monday, February 20, 2012

My Baby has a Job

It doesn't pay anything but it's what she was born to do.

Over a year ago we got this beautiful Great Pyrenees puppy. We didn't need another dog, the one we had was more than enough. But we also have goats and it seemed everyone with livestock had a few Pyrenees to guard them. So when my boss was looking for homes for his puppies, we jumped at the chance to have one. We even got pick of the litter and we named her Lola Bear.

We did not raise her according to the book. She lived in our backyard until last week. She got lots of kisses and hugs but had no one to guard.

About a month ago, my husband's goats started having babies. After he lost 4 babies to renegade dogs, he decided it was time to introduce Lola to the goats and see if she was up for the job of guarding them.

I miss my little Bear when I get home and she is
nowhere to be found. But it's good to know she's taking care of the goats and has something worthwhile to do with her time.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday at my Church

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Our pastor told us an interesting story about James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. James was the captain of his college tennis team. He worked hard for years training to get to that position. One year he received a trophy honoring him as the top men's tennis player in his college division. All his hard work paid off.

As you probably know, God had a higher calling for James Dobson. It wouldn't surprise me if he kept playing tennis, but most of his energies went into following the path of servanthood that God laid before him.

We are finite. We are here for just a period of time. What will you do with that time? What do you want your life to stand for when it is finally over? In Christian imagery, when you stand before God or sit at Jesus' feet, what do you want to hear said about the quality of the life you led?

Have a wonderful Sunday. Be blessed and be a blessing.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

What NOT to Post

As promised from yesterday, today I will share about how teachers can lose their jobs due to off-campus conduct and speech. Doesn't sound fair, does it? I can do whatever I want on "my time." It's nobody's business but my own. Apparently that isn't so in the eyes of the law.

A teacher was moonlighting as an entertainer (use your imagination). Parents complained, school was disrupted, and the teacher was fired. The teacher sued, the school won.

A teacher posted on facebook a picture of herself in bed with a bottle of tequila and commented about her past life as a drug addict. This teacher was also fired and the school won the lawsuit.

ADVICE: Act like everything you post will be seen by your boss.

Teachers are public employees and all public employees have an exception to Freedom of Speech. Teachers are considered to be agents of their school district and must behave in speech and action according to the policies of said district.

#1 Rule = Don't be stupid.

Use good judgement. Social Media is not the best place to complain about your school. If there's something going on that deserves complaint, take it to your principal or appropriate person, follow the chain of command and perhaps you can get the situation resolved.

These are not personal comments, but rather notes taken at a Social Media and Cyber Bullying workshop presented by an attorney and sponsored by Professional Oklahoma Educators.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Social Media & Cyber Bullying

From a Cyber Bullying workshop I went to today.

We learned what a bully is, how the problem is escalating and that the worst thing you can do in a bullying situation is nothing. Law suits are rampant and kids are killing themselves and each other because of bullying.

Facebook is currently the most popular social medium and the place where a lot of cyber bullying takes place. There are other cyber bullying hot spots, blogs being one of them. The examples of what kids do to each other are heartbreaking.

For instance, a cheerleader in West Virginia created a fake myspace page for another student. It was called "SASH" (Students Against Sluts & Herpes). It was all negative, hurtful words and images about the other student. The cheerleader wrote about SASH on her blog and invited other students to view the myspace page and leave hateful comments.

The other student's mom told the school about it. The school administrator suspended the cheerleader and kicked her off the cheer squad. She was also banned from all extracurricular activities for a semester.

The cheerleader's mother sued the school for violating her daughter's rights. The court found in the school's favor because the bullying caused a disruption at school even though it was all posted from home. The things she wrote also violated the school's bullying policy. The judge was shocked that the cheerleader's mother pursued a lawsuit against the school instead of disciplining her daughter.

With the Taliban and a world of terrorists breathing down our backs, why do we need to terrorize each other?

Tomorrow...why teachers have to filter what they put on Facebook. (not a bad idea for everyone)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parenting & the Joys of Being a Grandma

My daughter and her son have temporarily moved in with us since they found mold growing almost everywhere in their apartment. We have an uninhabited 2nd floor with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom and a sitting area. It's temporarily perfect for them.

This morning, the above young boy, was whining about going to school. He had a snow day on Monday, he came home from school sick on Tuesday, he made it through an entire day on Wednesday and thought it was time for another day off on Thursday.

His mother scolded him and told him to get dressed. "I don't wanna." A disagreement ensued with Owen being grounded from the computer and being helped into his school clothes.

Beth went back to her preschool preparations and Owen came in to see me and get some comforting. So fun to get cuddles from a sad little boy. He thought his clothes were stupid, his shoes were too small, his socks were too big and school is absolutely unnecessary. I gave him a pep talk saying school is like a job. I go to work every day, he goes to school everyday. His reply, "But you can quit your job. I can't quit school."

Beth and Owen were both in better moods when it was time to leave for school and I was feeling good about bonding with my favorite grandson. Being a grandma is a lot less work than being a mom. I thank God that Owen has a mom who disciplines him in love leaving me to just enjoy him.

From Beth's past:
First day of Kindergarten, August 1987 - "You told me that you said a prayer the night before school started: 'I pray, I pray, I pray - please make me sick for school tomorrow.'"

Then in September of 1989 - "You're already getting tired of going to school. It's mostly going to bed early so you can get up early and doing homework. You told me, 'When I grow up I'm going to be President and I'll make a law that kids only have to go to school one day a week." You still looked disgruntled and shook your head and said, "No, only one day a year!"

Owen comes by his love of school naturally.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hunger Games

Hunger Games was the Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award winner last year, from both the Intermediate and the High School lists. Kids have been reading it and loving it since it was published in September of 2008. I was never interested.

Then a couple of weeks ago I saw the book on CD at the public library and decided to give it a try. I was hooked from the very beginning. The writing is wonderful and the reader is the perfect voice of Katniss.

Cleverly contrived plot line, stunning details, every chapter end a cliff hanger, love and terror, injustice, human spirit, suspense, reality TV...what doesn't this book have? Boring ho-hum parts.

Since I was listening to it in my car, I became a very friendly driver. I saved money on gas driving slower (very green of me) so it would take me longer to get places (more listening time). I hoped for red lights instead of green. Detour? Great! It's a 20 mile drive to my gym and I went every chance I got.

I'm not divulging anything specific about the story. I want you to read it for yourself, preferably before the movie comes out on March 23. Better get started soon! Let me know what you think of it.

P.S.---If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can read Hunger Games for FREE.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Snow

We finally got some snow in Southwest Oklahoma. When I was leaving for school this morning, my grandson asked me, "Do you want to see me make a snow angel?"

I told him, "No, I'll just take a picture of my snow angel."


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday at my Church

2 Kings 5:1-14

Beth & Owen were gone cub scout polar bear camping, Daryl in the choir leaving my mother-in-law and me to hold down the pew. The sermon was about spiritual wholeness.

Let me remind you about the story these verses tell. The cast of characters are the king of Aram, Naaman his general who had leprosy, Naaman's wife, Naaman's wife's Jewish servant girl, the king of Israel and the prophet Elisha.

The servant girl told her mistress that if Naaman would go to the prophet Elisha, he would be healed. The mistress told her husband and Naaman told the king.

The king did a funny thing. Instead of sending Naaman to see the prophet, he sent him to see the king of Israel with a letter and a lot of expensive gifts for the king. The letter told the king of Israel to heal Naaman. That just made the king angry.

Elisha heard about this and told the king to send Naaman to him so he would know there is a prophet in Israel.

Namaan showed up at Elisha's house with his horse and chariot. Elisha told Naaman to go immerse himself in the Jordan River and he would be healed. This time Naaman got angry. He thought that was an idiot plan and he stomped off.

Naaman's servant convinced him to try it. What did he have to lose? So Namaan did what Elisha told him to do and his skin became young and healthy.

Our preacher spoke for 20 minutes or so about spiritual wholeness. We need to delve into our "Jewish" roots, observe a Sabbath of rest devoted to God, disciplining ourselves to daily devotion and meaningful prayer. His message was good but I'm not sure how he got it from these verses.

I was struck with the fact that Naaman only had to do a very simple thing to be healed. He was insulted by that. He wanted to do something big and grand and noteworthy; but the only thing that would heal him was simply washing in the Jordan River.

Is our salvation, our spiritual healing, just as simple? Just one simple thing. No need to worry or work or wonder if what we are doing is enough. The one simple thing took care of it.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

My youngest daughter was always saying and doing funny things. At some point I decided to start writing them down. I share the first one with you here.

August, 1986, Beth was four-years-old.

Beth, you are always saying and doing funny things. I think I should begin recording some of them so they will continue to amuse us for years to come.

One day this month, you and I drove to Frederick to go to the health department and then visit Aunt Norma Lee. We finished our health business and tried to leave for Norma Lee's but the pickup wouldn't start. I asked if you would say a prayer with me that God would fix the truck. We prayed, I tried the key, the truck still wouldn't start. I said to you, "Come on, let's go call Norma Lee and have her come pick us up."

You looked up to the sky and said, "Never mind God, we're going to call Norma Lee instead."


Friday, February 10, 2012


This is a funny picture, almost an optical illusion. The bottom part is a book, made just for me, that is propped up in front of my computer, the top part of the picture. The book is less than a third the size of the computer monitor but it looks bigger. Camera magic.

My grandaughter, Jane, fills the monitor desktop. My mother-in-law has a digital photo frame and she spends hours enjoying pictures of Jane on it. She told me that she looks at the pictures and has conversations with Jane. She's 87-years-old so I let that explain the conversations. Sweet. But I understand better now. With Jane on my home and school computer desktops, I find myself talking to her all the time. "Good morning precious. I love you." And on it goes. It must be a grandma thing that has nothing to do with age.

That explains the computer desktop part of the picture. The book is a gift I received in the mail today from my daughter and granddaughter. It's called Jane Loves Gingie. I became known as Gingie when my grandson babbled the word before he spoke any real words. I was holding him and he said "Gingie." I insist that he gave me that name and it stuck. Mari called me last week to tell me that Jane had just said, "Gingie." Incredible, my name is her first word too.

The book is precious with lots of pictures of Jane and me. It leaves no doubt that Jane's Gingie is a big dork. I'm OK with that. As long as my children and grandchildren love me, it's all good.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Evaluation Day

At your job, does your boss pick a day to come visit you and watch you perform? That's how teaching works. My school is small so the principal walks through often. He knows what's going on but still has to do a formal evaluation once a year (more if you're a new teacher).

I always get stage fright. I'm not bothered at all when he pops in unscheduled, but knowing he will come on a specific day at a specific time makes me nervous.

My evaluation was yesterday. My principal came to watch my high school Pre-Teaching students teach lessons to pre-Kindergarten students. This is a first for me, that my students performance directly affected my performance evaluation. They were great, did a wonderful job and afterward talked about it like they were professionals with sense.

Today I had a post-evaluation meeting. It was mostly good, with one "needs improvement" box checked under "CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT: Discipline: The teacher clearly defines expected behavior (encourages positive behavior and controls negative behavior)." I need improvement because I didn't have my rules posted. I have a different opinion about the need for posted rules but he's the boss so I'll get some on display for all to see.

But what rules do I want to post? I accept all suggestions. I think humorous rules would be good. Is that appropriate? I like my daughter's Pre-K rules:
  • Eyes on the Teacher
  • Have listening ears
  • Use your inside voice
  • Keep hands and feet to yourself
I would add my #1 rule "No Airborne Objects in the Library."

My students know what behavior I expect of them, I encourage positive behavior and I very rarely send anyone to the office for negative behavior. But if posted rules are a requirement then posted rules we will have.

Help me if you can.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Public Library

Do you value your public library? Why or why not?

I have always used and loved libraries. I read and they've got all the books for free. I like free.

In college I decided to get a masters degree after being unable to discover a job I could get with a double major BA in German and Linguistics. I wanted to get a Masters of Library Science but the counselor at Cal State Fullerton discouraged me because there were no librarian jobs available. If he'd known I was going to move to Oklahoma and have a librarian job dropped in my lap, maybe he would have let me get the degree I wanted. So instead, I got a Masters Degree in Linguistics. They don't even have any jobs you can get with degrees in linguistics.

Now I am happily a full-time school librarian and a part-time public librarian. The two jobs compliment each other and I feel very fortunate to have work that I enjoy.

Do you remember Arsenio Hall? He did a funny bit every show about "things that make you go Hmmm..." I went to work tonight and thought I was back in the early '90's in the middle of an Arsenio Hall Show. The city has decided not to replace the two aide jobs that are open. Hmmm... The city is going to have the library open fewer hours to save on electricity. Hmmm... Some of the options are particularly peculiar. And they are still looking for a new library director at 70 K. But they can't replace 2 minimum wage jobs? Hmmm...

Things are up in the air and crazy. I guess I'll just hold on and see what happens.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Flexibility and a Sense of Humor

My pre-teaching class began their lessons teaching Pre-K students letter recognition and how to print their names. We were all set up, four centers for 11 kids.

At the long table was Dylan and his clay ready to help the kids form the clay into the letters of their names. At the other end of the long table was K'monica with cans of shaving cream to spray on the table. The kids could write their names in the foam and clean their hands at the same time. After writing in shaving cream, the students move to the floor where Lacey had letter flashcards laid out. The mission was to pick up a capital letter and find its corresponding lower case letter. Last but not least was Mark, set up in the library office. His lesson was sorting plastic letters by color and shape. Yes, letters are shapes.

I made lists for each station telling which kids would be there at what time. We would rotate every ten minutes. Kids' names were taped to the long table in their groups. Then we waited for the kids to get there.

Lisa, the pre-K assistant, was supposed to bring the pre-K kids to the library before my pre-teaching kids got there. After the pre-teaching students arrived and we'd waited for a few minutes, I sent two girls to go get the pre-Kers. The girls came back empty handed but with news that the pre-K class went into the special ed classroom, it looked like maybe they were going to get their eyes checked. Really?

It was unclear if they would come or not. I wondered why we weren't told there was a change in plans. Here's where flexibility comes in handy. We'll wait and hope for the best. It wasn't long till Lisa came in with three kids. Of course they were all from different groups. An impromptu new group was created for them and they started the clay activity. Then one more kid came in...sent him to Mark followed by the next two kids when they arrived. It kept going that way until we had all 11 pre-K kids in the library, plus one. Yeah, we got a new kid today. Eventually, all the pre-K students got to spend some time at each center and everyone had a good time.

The pre-k students were escorted back to their classroom and cleanup began. Did I mention a sense of humor? Instead of cleaning up, Mark got the shaving cream and transformed himself into Santa Claus. I'm quite sure these high school stuents had more fun playing with the shaving cream than the four-year-olds did.


Monday, February 6, 2012


Stephen King told me in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft that one of the most important things a person can do to be a good writer is to read a lot.

I've always been a reader and a writer. My parents bought me comic book subscriptions and books and took me to the library. I also always had a diary and I wrote a lot of letters.

I'm still reading and writing. I always have a book on CD in my car. I was listening to Hunger Games in my car when I drove home from school today. It was such a good part that I sat in my driveway for ten minutes before going in the house. Even then I wanted to hear what would happen next so I changed clothes and headed to the gym (a 20 minute drive away, which isn't a bad thing when you've got a good book to listen to).

At the gym I listen to a book while walking on the treadmill. Currently I'm listening to Fire Sale (V.I. Warshawski) by Sara Paretsky on Playaway. Other times I listen to a downloaded book on my iphone.

More Hunger Games on the way home from the gym. I'd been told over and over again that it's a great book. I now know for myself what everyone else has been raving about.

I have a book that I read in the bathtub. Right Now it's J.D. Robb's Innocent in Death (a Lawton Public Library Adult Book Club selection).

When I go to bed I'll read The Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner that by daughter gave me for Christmas. I once had the Rockford Files theme song as my cell phone ring tone. Love Jimbo.

Is reading four books at once too many? Sometimes the plots of my multiple books get intertwined, which can be interesting. However, these four are different enough that they don't blend together.

What are you reading?