* Mystery solved

My dearest widower has been faithfully pouring pounds of bird seed on the ground (and refilling the feeders) throughout this storm.  We’ve had birds and squirrels stuffing their little faces, but we’ve wondered how they’ve munched through so much seed AND chewed down to the ground.

Mystery solved.  This sweet fuzzy mom and her cuddly daughter have been gobbling up the extras.  As much as I complain about deer eating my plants, who could resist these beauties?

deer 4

* Color your world cerise

Many thanks to Jennifer Wells for her Color Your World challenge.  So what color is cerise?  Well, if you Google it, you’ll mostly see cherries but also several shades of reddish pinkishness.  The dictionary defines cerise as a bright or deep red color.  Here’s my tricky way around the exact color.  Cerise is SOMEWHERE in this photo, right?


* Moment by moment

Many thanks to Lizzi’s Ten Things of Thankful this week.  I am ‘borrowing’ her moment by moment theme, which means I am blatantly plagiarizing my blogging mentor.  And she doesn’t even know she’s my mentor.  Outright stealing then.  Here we go.  I am so thankful for:

  1. Many moments of sheer joy as weather forecasters predicted snow.  More joy as the snow fell.  Prayers that no one would lose their power as the sheets of ice followed.
  2. My dearest widower who has fed the birdlings throughout this storm.  He used a metal rake and hauled himself, step by step, up the treacherous icy hill to the feeder.  My dear one has poured out pounds of seed daily for the chilled ground-eating flocks (and squirrels).  What a widower!
  3. The pleasure of watching the birdlings eat and eat and eat.
  4. Our power remaining on!  And the neighbor’s giant tilting tree has not fallen!  This oak started leaning after hurricane Fran and continues to tilt a bit more every year.  Yeah, not the best photo but Cee‘s blog is helping me!tree
  5. Special texts today from special friends!  Growing up isolated and warped, I never learned how to be a friend.  I am grateful for the women who have patiently loved me into relationships.  Still learning, still stumbling, but hands are always reaching out to catch me.
  6. My sister.  She also grew up in that crushing environment where we were pitted against one another for shreds of “affection.”  My sister somehow became a remarkable woman, generous beyond words.  Her life is a living sacrifice for those who desperately need love.
  7. Stacey, whose spunky spirit makes her oblivious to the little phonological glitches of her world.  One cute glitch: Stacey has heard her sibs and others talk about Plan B.  She hears Plan V, and drew a picture of same (with help for spelling ‘plan,’ of course).  When her sibs looked at it and said “B!  B!” Stacey continued to draw V’s with great joy.  She’s a survivor.Plan V.jpg
  8. Carrot cake, which my dearest widower and I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the storm.  Not out of necessity.  Out of pure gluttony.  Oops, that’s an oxymoron.
  9. Awesome worship music.  My current favorite is Keeper of My Heart by Kari Jobe. 
  10. Chocolate.  Enough said.


* Three Things Thursday

Suzi was one of the first teachers I discovered when I started blogging. She does a LOT in the blogging world and has awesome suggestions for improving your blog. She’s hilarious, organized, and her authentic sharing has been a terrific encouragement to me. I hold Suzi responsible (!) for helping me share more personally and well, helping me enjoy blogging more than ever. This post is a cool way to start sharing yourself without TMI. Enjoy!

Suzie Speaks

imageThis was an idea I originally saw on Jenny in Neverland last year, and then a similar thing appeared on Facebook a few weeks ago. I thought it would be a fun idea to try it myself…

Three names I go by:
(Of the printable, non-offensive ones…)
1. Sue (which is odd for me, as until I’d moved to Birmingham nobody ever called me that)
2. Suzie
3. Madam (the school that I often work at insists that female staff are referred to as ‘Madam,’ instead of ‘Miss.’ Even after 4 years I still find it odd.)

Three things I blog about:
1. My daily life – almost in the form of an online journal.
2. Things that amuse me.
3. Restaurants I visit.

Three places I have visited:
1. New York
2. Pompeii
3. Barcelona

Three places I would like to visit:
1. Tokyo
2. Sydney
3. Las Vegas

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* Ten Things of Thankful 136 (in small moments)

I was going to mention Lizzi’s post in my own Ten Things of Thankful (TToT), but then you would miss her writing. That would never do! How do I capture her writing? It’s a fluid river of feeling words, of delight in moments spent with others, of family, and of thankfulness. Her writing will wash over you and transform you, creating a healthy desire to treasure each moment in gratitude. And the honesty and joy of it will keep you from being frustrated that you don’t have her exact words or style, because each of us has own own gift. I believe her posts stir up a desire to use our unique gifts, our unique perspectives. I encourage you to try TToT yourself and lift up your words of thankfulness to the One who deserves all of them.


For no other reason than I seem to have had a plethora of them this week, I’m going to offer up small moments of great beauty or poignancy, which I took time to appreciate this week. I think in the grander scheme of things, we’re all so busy rushing around trying to get everything done (I know *I* am, at any rate – I won’t tar everyone with the same brush) we often forget to stop and absorb the moment, finding something within it to give thanks for – making the time to be present.

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* Questions To Ponder On A Sunday…

Steve is another funny and creative guy who must spend every waking moment creating , blogging, making music, doing radio, and more. The two videos on this post are worth seeing. I mean it! Just click play!

Steve McSteveface


Here’s a few questions that I often ask myself and have no answer…

Do aliens actually live inside the planets and they laugh at us humans living on the surface?

What’s bigger – space or the internet?

What’s the difference between a chicken and a hen?

If toast always lands butter side up and a cat always lands on its feet – what would happen if you strapped a slice of toast to a cat’s back?

Where do the missing socks go?

Where do all the extra Tupperware box lids come from?

Do sheep get bored?

Why do I always almost pee my pants when I watch stuff like this…

Why is it only your ears and nose that don’t stop growing?

What exactly is Goofy?

Why is belly button fluff always blue?

Why can I only wink with one eye?

When did monkeys stop turning into humans?

Why do…

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* Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge-16Wk-3


What a great way to start your day! Chris’ blog is chock-full of so many cool resources for writers, funny stuff, and of course, that person (or cat?) who always sticks bunny ears on your photos.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

There’s always SOMEONE…


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* Women on the Move: Stephanae McCoy

Stephanae McCoy is a hero to me and many others. She writes a wonderful blog called Bold Blind Beauty, with a blend of guest posts, fashion tips, and personal recollections. As someone who was once diagnosed with macular degeneration and told that I was on a short path to blindness, I can relate a little to Stephanae’s experiences. This post describes her journey from perfect vision to blindness.

Bold Blind Beauty

You don’t know what you can’t see when you can’t see it…

Steph McCoy Steph McCoy

The first time I put on eyeglasses was a little over 44 years ago. The feeling of seeing clearly for the first time stole my breath away. The transition was like leaving a dark movie theatre and stepping outdoors on a bright sunny day. It took time for my eyes to adjust because suddenly everything was so clear and focused as if all my senses were reborn; sound was keener, flavors more savory, smells more aromatic, touch more sensitive and sight — well, sight was indescribable. Depth perception was strange, crossing streets and walking down stairs was a little precarious as I acclimated to what is considered 20/20 vision.

For 37 years I was blessed with perfect vision provided I wore corrective lenses. That all changed 9 years ago with two words, “macular hole.” It began…

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* it’s all takin’ and no givin’.

How refreshing to hear that other teachers are concerned about educational “rigor,” which seems to be another word for “stress.” Researchers tell us that we are making our kiddos sick. Too much rigor and not enough fun (another word for appropriate, child-centered education).

welcome to grace.


Recently, I sat at a faculty meeting concerning the upcoming school year (though we’ve just reached the halfway threshold of this one), and a colleague of mine said, “Folks, we’ve got rigor.”

Yep.  There it was again.  Academic rigor.  And though it’s been an education buzzword for years, our teacher-ears perk up every time we hear it. We take it as a compliment.  We give it a positive connotation.  That’s a good school; it has a rigorous curriculum.

But after that meeting, I went back to my classroom wondering if I really knew the true definition of the word.  Because we’ve been studying so much Sylvia Plath in my classes, a copy of The American Heritage High School Dictionary sat nearby on a student desk, and out of curiosity, I took a look.

Here’s what I found.

Rigor, n:  1. Strictness or severity, as in temperament…

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