#FMF Again


Every week I write for 5 minutes with the Friday word. It is time to set the timer and write!

Here we are again — it is Friday again and also the start of the new school year. As an educator, I have the privilege of having fresh starts to my years in January and in August. One of the best parts of the new school year is all the school supplies! It is a time to begin again with new refreshed goals and reflections.

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How to Be A Better Cook

A story about food gossip…

I can cook well but have been out of the habit lately. I do have a few signature dishes which makes it appear like I am a better cook than I actually am. Some of my recipes are ones that I have graciously stolen from friends and then made them my own. Some are fancier than others but all are delicious. Otherwise, what would be the point?

There might not be a perfect meal, but there are close to perfect recipes.

When talking to others, if you mention an unusual ingredient you have cooked with like bok choy then your cooking street cred goes way up. Having a few signature dishes makes it appear as if you are a better chef than you actually are. My husband is really good at taking what’s in the refrigerator and producing a meal out of it or taking leftovers and making it look completely different. I have not honed that particular cooking skill myself.

You can read the rest of this post on Medium!

#IWSG Wednesday

The awesome co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG are Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!

RULES: This group posts EVERY month.

Visit members. Return comments. Be respectful. And have FUN!

August 7 question — Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

I began a writing practice at the beginning of the year after rereading Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. It has given focus to my daily writing. When I begin writing every morning I use a prompt that is sent to me. The surprise is I never know where the writing will take me once I begin. I allow the words to flow, sometimes even if they do not make much sense. It always seems to loop back to a cohesive story which is also surprising. I have learned to listen to my intuition and allow all the literary input of all my poems, short stories and other readings to shape my prose within my own voice.

It is quite satisfying to reread an entry from a few weeks before and be pleased with the order of words that came out! Writers write. I cannot wait to see what surprises are in store for today!

Comment here or click here to read and clap at Medium!

When is A Wheelbarrow Just a Wheelbarrow?

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

My district is adopting a new literacy curriculum and today was the training. As a coach, I have to be able to support my teachers and help them navigate these new materials. I must say, there is a lot of buzz around this program. It is open source which means it is essentially free to use. The materials are high quality and student centered. There is dialogue and writing embedded in all the complex text.

The sample lesson from 4th grade was about poetry. I appreciate a training where we experience an actual lesson. One of the core texts is Sharon Creech’s Love that Dog. The main character in the story is supposed to write a poem and is having difficulty understanding The Red Wheelbarrow.

As a “class” we discussed what we thought the theme of the poem is. Many at the table were uncomfortable with the genre and wanted to be “right”.

“Poets are crazy,” uttered one teacher.

You can read this post here.

Weekend Coffee Share

Join me for a conversation and a cup of coffee!

First, I will say I am so glad August is here and July is OVER. Thank you for meeting with me for coffee today. I have been looking forward to our time all week. I am a bit tired today, so let’s sit and lounge in the backyard under the trees. My energy levels have been low and I am hoping to get some pep back.

I am drinking my regular dark black coffee. What would you like in addition to ice water?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went back to work this week for 2.5 days. I was able to teach my Better Conversations class on Monday and it was so much fun! I watched people having life-giving conversation and get to know each other in a low-risk environment. The occasion was our literacy academy for grades 5–8 and it was an enlightening workshop.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I published some poems and short stories on Medium and they are doing well! There were many reads and highlights and it made me happy that people are enjoying them.

Clicking and reading the Medium link directly supports my writing! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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You can also read other coffeesharers here.


Every Friday I write for 5 minutes and then share.

Today’s word is: FIVE


Get ready…get set…GO!

We are never alone. The number 5 is significant but not as the number 10 for me. I like 10. It is nice and round. It is a double-digit. It rolls off your tongue.

Five is half. Five is kindergarten and one hand. It is the money you carry around in your wallet which makes you not quite broke.

My life has changed a lot over the last 5 years.

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8 Books I Always Recommend

I am always talking about books. As a former reading specialist and currently a coach, I am constantly referencing books and recommending titles to children and adults.

I often get asked for recommendations and have a few favorites I often suggest first.

A term I was introduced to the recently is:




the use of books as therapy in the treatment of mental or psychological disorders.

I use the definition of this word loosely since I am not a medical professional but do recognize certain issues that a particular book may assist with especially in the confines of a classroom. When conversations needed to happen I would pull a book to jump start the conversation. Sometimes it was about fighting with friends, different types of families, or being kind. Narrative texts help people become empathetic. As with many techniques early in my teaching career, I just knew it worked and kept doing it.

A pattern I have learned to recognize is books come into my life when I need them most. The one title that I read at the perfect time is The Alchemist. The advice and what I gleaned helped me keep my mind right. I always recommend this book to people who have not read it. Everyone gets something different from the tale but many morsels of advice ring true for me. Reading it was life-changing for my attitude and perception. There are so many ideas that strike me in this text.

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