* Murder dinner party!

I can cross “host a murder dinner party” off my bucket list!  And what a fantastic event it was!  We were celebrating our daughter-in-law’s birthday; she invited a riotous group of clever-witted, hilarious suspects.  My dearest teaching widower and I never stopped laughing!  As the planner, I played Bonnie Lass, an aspiring writer but not a suspect.  The guests, dressed to kill, were outrageously clever.

We used “A Taste for Wine,” a murder mystery game set in Napa Valley, California.  I highly recommend dinner and murder!


stage is set.JPG

* Just sayin’

I have been working my patooties off, in case you’re wondering where Teachezwell has been.  What a great time, though!


My sweetest teaching widower gave me such a precious Valentine card today, despite being traditionally averse to a holiday created to sell cards!  And he was nearly showing off his patooties!  He had an x-ray of his knee and while talking to the radiologist in the hallway, realized his special x-ray pants had fallen to the floor!

I’m taking three online classes simultaneously and loving them, even as I lag two weeks behind the group.  I mostly only panic in the early hours of the morning.

Today was special because a certain kiddo I teach had a PLAYDATE!  His first ever! Eleven years old, confined to an ICU-type environment.  A dear friend introduced us to a dear family and he has friends!  He laughed and played for hours.


Do I care that I am also YEARS behind with Facebook?  Would this notification entice you or scare your patooties off?


I am too happy to worry about FB.  They cannot scare me OR my patooties.

* Moving chestnuts

Color Your World: Chestnut

This is a detail from a gorgeous antique sideboard that my dearest teaching widower and I bought way back in the days of disposable income.  We can pretend that the carvings represent chestnuts, no?

chestnut 2

Here’s the backstory of this chestnut beauty and all our other belongings in 1983.  We hired a moving company to ship everything from San Francisco to North Carolina.  The driver and his wife, both quite short and slight of build, arrived with their gigantic van on its maiden voyage.  We were their very first clients!  My husband and I helped them as much as possible, hauling everything out to the yard for them to load into the van.  Hours later, as we drove off in the icy wind and fog, those novice movers still had ALL our possessions on the lawn, uncertain about how to best organize the load.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  It seemed a long shot that we would ever see any of  our belongings again.

What a shock!  Three weeks later, the van pulled up in Chapel Hill.  Not one item was broken or missing.  We helped them unload all of it, this time in the muggy heat of the south.  They were extremely reluctant to talk about their experience.  I often wonder about them.  Were we their first and last customers?  Did their marriage survive the vicissitudes of the moving business?  To this day, I appreciate their integrity and care.

* The sweetest man

Color Your World: Indigo

My dearest teaching widower!  Wait.  No, he’s not indigo.  The wall was painted indigo, but color me in love.  After my widower had quintuple bypass surgery and 2 heart attacks, they said he’d be dead in 2 years.  That was 2011 and here we are.  Color us both delighted that the doctors were wrong, that God had other plans for us.  Sadly, this sweet man was sick during our entire trip to WIlliamsburg and is still coughing up a storm.  On the other hand, he missed my collision with a dumpster in our rental car.  But if he had been there, he definitely would have warned me.

MArk and me indigo.JPG

I think it might have gone like this:

Dearest Widower:  Be careful, Katharine.  You’re close to that dumpster.

Me:  What?

DW:  You’re getting too close to the dumpster.

Me:  Where is that guy we passed?  I don’t want to hit him.

DW:  You’re going to hit that dumpster!

Me:  What?



* Awesome almond!

Color Your World Challenge: Almond

This picture means a lot to me!  Remember that I drove a rental car into a dumpster on our vacation?  My dearest teaching widower snapped shots of the van before he returned it to Enterprise.  I chickened out.  I should call him my dearest accident widower.  Anyway, his hands created a nice almond color on the Chrysler “wings.”

Guess what?  Enterprise did not charge us for the damage!!  GO ENTERPRISE!  What an answer to prayer!


Look for it!  A divot to the right of the &…..

* New Year’s Revolutions? Got it!

That’s not a typo!  I think New Year’s Revolutions is a far better paradigm for what I typically resolve to accomplish in the twinkle of one year to the next.  A revolution means turning, circling from one thing to another.  Forget the resolutions because I am already adept at spinning my way from point A to M to Z!  In fact, I flitted merrily throughout 2017 and will most likely continue!  What a relief, knowing I am set for 2018.

For the current school year, I happily revolved through 6th grade math, ELA, science, social studies, and economics!  Whee!  I admit that sometimes I felt like teaching was me desperately spinning plates, trying to keep all of them from falling.  But in my heart, I loved the constant stimulation and creativity!


I have revolved through SO many books  this past year (three yesterday!) and will most likely continue in 2018.  I read just like I eat, greedily and wolflike.  Yum!


My primary revolution in 2017 was change through grace.  I am so grateful for every God-given reminder of selfishness, vanity, seeking approval of others, and pride.  I am spinning from grace to grace as Jesus works in my heart to complete the good work He has begun!  My dearest teaching widower is Jesus-with-skin-on, arms of love and patience and yet more grace.

Thank you, dear readers, for following my revolutions.  I will flitter my way through 2018, maybe picking up some of the threads I almost posted in 2017.  My list of unfinished drafts keeps growing, but hey, I am happily spinning along.

Happy New Year’s Revolutions to you!

* Cee’s Share Your World challenge

Before reading my responses to Cee’s Share Your World challenge, check out her favorite photos of January 2017 for a spectacular moonrise.  It’s the kind of photograph I sometimes imagine I could take.  Truly beautiful.

So here are this week’s questions:

If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?  That’s a tough one.  I am so far behind in cleaning that my dust bunnies have grandbabies.  The yard is coated with leaves.  And I often eat in the car.  Where to begin?

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain.  

  1.  I would hang on to my photo albums, with those carefully captioned pictures that have randomly turned blue   When did I have time to write all those clever captions?  Going digital certainly makes it easier to roam through past events but who has time to tag photos?  I appreciate Google’s ability to find “dogs” without tags.  On the other hand, the Google photo app and my iPhotos do NOT speak to one another.  I think the problem goes far beyond poor social skills.
  2.  All my digital “toys,” as my dearest teaching widower calls them.  Humph!  They are more than toys!
  3.  My bed bears.  ‘Nuff said.

What calms you down?  Chocolate.  Or chocolate.  Probably chocolate.  Mostly chocolate.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  This kiddo and his family continue to inspire me.  Unfortunately, I “inspired” this young man with the flu and he was perilously ill.  Oh, how grateful I am for answered prayers!

Mama and Y

* Sharing my world, 1 bug at a time

Cee has terrific blogging challenges and one of my faves is her Share Your World challenge.  If you don’t follow her site, you’re missing out on amazing photography and lots of connections with other bloggers.

Here are this week’s questions:

Do you ever sit on a park bench for more than ten minutes?  I don’t sit still outside at all.  My body is bug fodder.  Mosquitoes find me instantly.  I was bitten a few weeks ago while walking into the house with one hand exposed!  And you would not believe the number of mosquitoes that attacked me in southern Florida while I glistened with repellent.  I’ve had Lyme disease from two tick bites when I fell (only briefly) into the junipers next to our driveway; I was on crutches but got no sympathy from those critters.  I have never picked blackberries without a multitude of chigger bites, even with bug spray soaking my waist.


When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles, turn on the flashlight or use your cell phone for light?  We haven’t had a major power outage for a few years but I have stocked up on LED lanterns.  Candles are pretty but useless for finding matching clothes.  And our flashlights barely flicker, probably because the batteries and bulbs are 20 years old.  I would rather use my phone for games.

Would you rather be given $10,000 for your own use or $100,000 to give anonymously to strangers?  Hmm.  I’d like to get out of debt- and my dearest teaching widower and I do our best to be generous.  The question reminds me of past prayers to win the lottery, which wasn’t in God’s plans.  We have been blessed in MANY ways and I hope we would do His will in either scenario.  My widower says maybe I have too many toys.  Come on!!  Is that even possible?  In this era of digital goodies?

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.  My dearest teaching widower, who works day and night on his training and research, is my inspiration.  I may be in here reading or playing and he’s in the sunroom, pacing, writing, and leaving piles of eraser shavings on the floor.  He’s an amazing guy, funny and faithful.  Always there for me, with his wise and gentle ways.  I adore him!

* The Wonder of Procrastination

What, me procrastinate???  On the Wonder League mission, of all things???  I blame some part of my brain that simply cannot measure or draw a straight line.  OK, here’s the deal: The Wonder League has a cool programming mission using the robot, Dash.  I’m good with programming.  I’m good with the fascinating mission.  But you have to create a mat, a 5 x 8 grid.  And since my student works from a fixed position in a special chair, I had to create a sturdy platform to hold that mat.  Hence my procrastination.

I did make a foam platform but I thought it was supposed to be 5 x 7 (click on the link to take a look).  I am not sure how that happened, because I triple-checked the dimensions.  Ha!  I also thought it would be safer to make the platform larger, so it became 7 x 7.   Oh dear!  I had bought shower curtains and miles of black tape to create the mat; to my chagrin (thankfully before I started fastening the plastic mat together), I discovered that it was to be 5 x 8.   I spent a couple of weeks re-cutting and re-gluing the foam platform, making several key errors which required MORE glue and Contac paper.

After the platform debacle, I was loathe to start the mat.  My dearest widower assured me I don’t have Alzheimer’s and that he would help me measure it.  I cried a few tears about my visual-spatial glitches but with my teaching widower’s faithful help, it’s all finished!  Woohoo!


Yeah, that’s the robot Cue, not Dash.  Cue the Cleverbot is AWESOME!  But let HIM try to make a mat….

* Looking down

Bad Things have been happening outside.  I am losing the battle.

First, the deer continue to use our yard as a feeding and parking station.  They leave raisins to mark their path up the driveway.

deer poop

You might wonder why the driveway looks so, um, marbled.  (Trust me, this is relevant.)  It’s because my dearest widower asked the pressure washer guys to remove the mulch stains.  Remember I tossed hundreds of pounds of mulch into our “natural area?”  Well, it might have improved the appearance of that natural area for a day or so, but it also triggered a vole invasion.  What’s not to love in soft, moist mulch?


So, the voles.  They have ruined one-third of our front yard, as of today.  Tomorrow- one half?  Everyday, there are new raised tunnels and piles of soil.  I bought these pellets that supposedly irritate their sinuses, but I feel too discouraged to use the stuff.  Plus, I have an aversion to watering (see below), which is necessary to activate the pellets.  Voles are quite admirable diggers, I have to admit.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of soil they’ve rumbled through.

As if voles weren’t bad enough, AT&T has been supposedly laying a new cable in the back yard.  All I can see is spray paint, wires, and more tunnels.  Perhaps AT&T hires voles.  I have a work crew ready and willing in the front yard, if need be.

The beautiful meadow sage, which is deer resistant, has not withstood the heat and relative drought.  Yes, I should have watered them, but the bloody mosquitoes attack me through my shirt and hair as soon as I step outside.

Vance, the Venus Flytrap, has given up the ghost.  I did accidentally spray him with insect repellent as I was venturing out, so that didn’t help.  The bug spray didn’t help me either, for that matter.

Overall, I’d say I’m a bit discouraged in my attempts to fashion a lawn.  No one else on our street has voles (I’ve looked).  Other folks sit outside in chairs without mosquito netting and clouds of repellent.  At least the deer are equal opportunity invaders.  Go deer!  Please.