Tuesday, June 21, 2016


A phone call at 5:58 am.  I know it can’t be good news.  I think of scenarios as I stumble half asleep to pick up the phone.  It’s probably another bout with a bowel blockage.    A call from the Lifeline because she’s fallen?   
Our home phone is in the kitchen.  The first ring wakes me up.  The second makes me get up.  If my arthritis isn’t a problem I can make the 27 steps before the answering machine picks up on the fourth ring. Usually it screens calls from political parties and a persistent credit card offers.   My friends and our children question why we still have a home phone.  We rarely use it.  The reason is 92 years old.  My mother in law knows the phone number and she doesn’t need any changes to befuddle her. 
She’s hung up by the time I get to the phone.   No message!  I tried to call her back.  Busy.  I force myself to count to fifteen.  I redial.  Deep breath, trying to be calm.  “Hi, this is Lori.” 
“I’ve been awake all night.”  Her voice is so soft, with those odd little cracks.
Oh dear!  My husband is leaving on a business trip at 7:15.  He’s got a nine hour drive.  I know I’m on my own for this emergency room visit and hospital stay.
“What do you need?”  A ride to the hospital, or maybe I should just call an ambulance.  Possibly help cleaning up from the nausea?  Gosh!  I hope she hasn’t fallen!
“I forgot to tell Wayne my water softener is out of salt”  “You know how the water gets dark when it’s out.”  “Will you tell him please?”
I force a smile onto my face, hopefully in my voice too.  “Sure, I’ll stop over later and check it out for you.” 

As I stumble back down the hall to the bedroom I check my cell.  6:02 a.m.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Field Trip

Bus was late.
Content was great!
Plants, fruits and seeds
And some edible weeds.
One guy came giving mommy a hug
In spite of the Nasty tummy bug!
Called on my cell
He went home, all is well.
It started to rain,
We were inside, we felt no pain.
They provided a snack
The things I bought to school they went back!
We’ll visit again to learn by the pond
The memories we make will all be fond.
Thank heavens for the pics,

I took..... before he got sick!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


     Last week I spent two days at a conference about improving instruction.  The speaker was energizing.  She was a fun speaker with a wealth of information that I can use.  The price of writing two days of sub plans was pretty steep, but wow! What a pay off!  I returned home with concrete ideas to change my instruction.  As we made the 100 mile round trip each day we had plenty of time to debrief and yes, laugh.
     Today the learning continues, my book order was delivered a day early.  I ordered her book on Amazon and I can't wait to dig in.  The price of dusty end tables and unvacuumed  rugs is steep, but I think it will be well worth the price.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

When It Rains It Pours!

This morning I woke up to the realization that my alarm had not woke me.  The room was full of light rather than my customary dark awakening.   My i-Phone has a setting for 5:30 weekdays but it’s hard to hear an alarm when it’s in the garage.  I’d forgotten my phone in the car after shopping several stores in search of wedding decorations for our daughter’s wedding.  I don’t even have the excuse that my hands were full.  I left all the loot in the trunk.
I always arrive at school at least an hour early.  But sleeping an extra 80  minutes didn’t allow much of a morning routine. I washed up , fluffed my hair, brushed my teeth, packed a quick lunch and grabbed a portable breakfast. Unfortunately Monday night we’d had an after school meeting at a different school so I hadn’t done my usual preparations for the morning.  No Morning Message written.   No bell ringer activity on the tables. 

When the students arrived my hurriedly written message was ready, I had music playing on the sound system and my students all had puzzle choices at their tables.  As I submitted attendance and greeted my students I checked my plans.  As we finished the pledge and our morning greeting we turned to the Morning Message.  I looked up at a movement in the doorway.  In walked my principal.  My third yearly observation was about to begin.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Test Prep

Today our spring break started at noon.  Why am I home at 9:00 p.m.?  When we return from our spring break our 5th grade will start our state testing then the 4th grade and 3rd will follow.  A few weeks ago we agreed to a Star Wars theme, May the Scores Be With You!  A group of 5 teachers and later family members worked for 9 hours as we transformed our Upper Elementary hallway into an amazing galaxy.  Our students will be so impressed with the hundreds of stars, the characters and bulletin boards we’ve created.  It looks amazing!  I'm glad we have 10 days to rest up!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Big Celebration

Tomorrow is the last day of our March is Reading Month festivities.  We’re planning a little celebration in our classroom to celebrate all the great reading we’ve done this month.  I decided to make Rice Krispies Treats for my class.  No crumbs, no frosting and fast to make. 
For several years I’ve been in charge of our kitchen for Vacation Bible School.  I’ve always made over sized treats as part of our snack menu.  To feed the 200 attendees I make about 24 batches, I double the recipe and it is fun to see the kids react to the jumbo sized snack. 
I’ve found the off brand of the Rice Krispies works just as well as the real thing in this recipe.  The store brand of marshmallows is fine too.  My husband scoffed at me looking up the recipe for something I’ve probably made a hundred times. The off brand doesn't have the recipe on the box.   I wanted to avoid measuring so I did the math for the whole box of cereal.  Ooops, I guess I should have sat down and thought…my doubled recipe is now tripled! 

Oh well, I wanted to have an impressive snack! I think I’ve achieved it, now the lid won’t fit on my cake pan.  I think I’ll call these Rice Krispie Towers!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


For the past 4 years my class has watched the Eagles of Dekorah Iowa.  Well, one year the birds choose a different nest and there wasn’t a camera on the new nest, but I tried.  We check out the nest before the eggs are laid, and then when the first egg is laid we begin the 35 day countdown.  Our spring break starts on Thursday, I was really hoping for a timely hatch.  Yesterday there were signs the first egg would hatch soon.  This morning we checked the nest cam before I even took attendance.  The Smartboard on, all the lights were off when suddenly we saw those fluffy feathers as the parent moved the other two eggs. 
Squeals of joy!   Loud yells of it’s a chick! And of course multiple hugs to celebrate followed.  In a month or so we’ll make a class book about the eagles, a great way to combine science and writing.  Here’s to another hatch on Wednesday or Thursday.