Me, spilling out all my thoughts, inner and outer, on just about anything! Lots of poetry, short stories from past experiences, anecdotes about teaching elementary school, music, relationships....garage sale type thing...Something For Everyone!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Early Spring At My Place!

Huge composter!

Last year's pots waiting to be re-born!
Here in Ontario, Canada, we're way behind all of you south of me in the US.
Well, at least our igloos have melted!

The river in my back yard that flows through town can't be seen once the foliage is out fully.

Don't know what these are!

Don't know what this is either.

The possibilities of a new garden!

Yes, it's a lot of lawn to cut!

And 480 railroad ties terracing the slope.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

A Cloudy Poetry Friday!

Mona gave us full range on the word, "clouds"

I need a title....any ideas?

joni said it all
or did she?
how many sides do clouds have?
from the ground up
overcast lower stratus
stormy cumulo-nimbus
dark and threatening
troubled and ominous
obscuring the real issues
in our minds made murky
by this cloudland
of upper haze
and evaporated
a swirling funnel-

but -
we can vault
through the vortex
and land
on light cotton balls
billowing like sails on a Clipper
blissful and elated
on cloud nine
the highest heaven
is there a cloud ten?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Have You Ever Seen....?

This was always my favourite creative expression-word play lesson to do with Gr.7's! They had to come up with an interesting, off-beat noun-verb combo such as ...

Have you ever seen ...
butter fly
milk shake
a house fly
a fire fly
a car wash
a house paint
a mouth wash
a clam bake
a waffle iron
a pin point
a cat fish
a hog wash
a lemon punch
a fork lift
a barn swallow.....
You should have seen the clever illustrations and speech bubbles! Hilarious! The students and I had so much fun.
Can you think of any more?
Mother of Invention, still thinking about what a great morning that was in my class!

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Monday, April 23, 2007

The Joys of Snack Time!

Today, I had a delightful conversation with an eight-year-old boy during our snack time at school!
I was by his desk just as I was crunching into my apple, barely missing the paper sticker label they now put on each and every piece of fruit. (That must take up a tremendous amount of time and salary for the grocery stores!)

"Yikes! I almost ate another one!" I exclaimed. "I should probably be more careful."

Said little boy offered, "I just ate one, too. I don't even look anymore, I just eat'em all now. Go ahead, they don't hurt you. I bet my stomach's way more fuller of 'em than yours is! And my stomach doesn't even hurt."

Then we spun off on a whole line of questioning and wondering what his stomach would look like, if you could see them in an x-ray, and more importantly, if you'd still be able to read what kind if apple it was!! We speculated about whether they'd all be stuck together in a heap or all stuck to the inside of his stomach....and yes, (this is a little boy!) whether he'd actually see them again!! (He hoped so!)

I was sad when the bell rang to go out for recess. I had enjoyed a simple, yet prominent highlight in my day! Best brain gym I'd had too.

We'll share snack time again soon and I'll be sure to go to his desk. Who knows what we'll ponder next?!

Mother of Invention, still wary of all the labels I've eaten!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Poetry Friday: "Slide"

Thanks to Mona's husband!

# 1. Simply Cinquain!

red landmark
inviting, exciting, climbing,
a "Whee!" moment
#2 Haiku
the new slide looms ahead
excited kids are lining up
i run to join them
#3 Free Verse
life track
two steps fast forward
engaged youth
flying full speed ahead
brakes broken
life whizzing by
barely time to look
and none to linger
we race to reach
the place
we think we want to be
and then -
the red light
whip lashed into realization
stunned with abruptness
nowhere to go
but backwards slide
sometimes a slippery slope
until we stop
at a dead end -
and then
a New Beginning
The Other Place

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Two, Too Funny!!

Socks, did I say something funny? "Feed me!" Socks screamed.

Well, Mooky, it wasn't that funny! Oh, I get it! You're reminding me of your dental appointments! Showing off those pearly fangs!

I just couldn't resist these shots. I don't know how my camera caught both these feline girls like this today...on the first try! Any more captions?

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Monday, April 16, 2007

A Winner From The Non-Cook!

I am not a good cook. You are probably surprised to see me post a am I! This is a no-fail that I made for some gals I had for lunch and they raves so I'm passing it on to you. (It's your call as to whether you use butter or margarine!!!)

Make Ahead Egg Strata

12-16 slices of white bread (You could probably use multigrain etc.)
back bacon or ham
shredded or slices of cheddar (could use Swiss etc.)
6 eggs 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp of dry mustard
1/4 cup of chopped onion (I used more)
1/2 cup red pepper
1/2 cup of green pepper
1 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
3 cups whole milk (you could probably use 2% or 1%)
few drops of Tabasco
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
Special K, Bran or Corn Flakes
Spray 9X13 pan with Pam and put enough slices of bread to cover bottom
cover bread with slices of ham or bacon
lay cheese over ham
cover with slices of bread to make it like a sandwich
in a bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper, dry mustard, onion, green and red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, milk and Tabasco. Pour over the bread, cover and put in fridge overnight
in morning, melt 1/2 cup butter and pour over top, cover with the cereal, bake uncovered 1 hour @ 350 F let set 10 min.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Butter vs Margarine

I received this e-mail and I just had to send a response to the original writer! I'm in blue.

Hmmm...maybe I'll switch back to butter...

Hmmm...I'm glad I haven't switched back!

Subject: Pass The Butter ...back to the store!~ ~ This is interesting . . . .

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, (I question this!) the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings.
Being a kid of the 50's, I remember mixing the pill...that old margarine was fun but didn't taste good! I don't doubt the original margarine had many faults!

DO YOU KNOW..the difference between margarine and butter? YES! Read on to the end...gets very interesting!

Both have the same amount of calories. Not the Light margarine....and this isn't the main issue here.

Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams.

Not today's margarines. Becel and many others have 2 g or less.

Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
What year? How many margarines? Perhaps some of the original margarines, but now it is simply not true. One can cite many studies done by Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, who teach current Cardiac rehab patients that # 1 good oil/margarine is Canola, followed by olive. (Plant sources!)

Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
Don't know about this one.

Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added!
Not mean the vitamin D they've been adding to our milk has no nutritional value?!

Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.

I mostly agree but I actually like the taste AND smell of the Becel Olive margarine!

Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.

Something has less value because it's relatively recent? So much for the value of new houses, cottages and clothes!

And now, for Margarine.. Very high in trans fatty acids.
Absolutely a Crock! Most margarines now have NO trans fats!

Triple risk of coronary heart disease.
Another gross error! The Dairy Council of Canada has had to come out with ads and questionable research results to save their failing industry. We all bought their hype in the 50's and 60's, but we all know better now!

Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol,(the good cholesterol)
So untrue! It may be true of butter actually! NO cholesterol at all in margarine now! It's plant based, people! Our cardiac program taught us, "If it has a mother, don't eat much of it"!

Margarine with added Omegas, as is the case with most margarines, promotes heart health from every angle. Also is higher in monosaturates, which is much better than butter's saturated fat.

Increases the risk of cancers up to five fold. Lowers quality of breast milk. Decreases immune response.

Don't know about the 3 above, but I'd want proof. The studies would be hard-pressed to claim increased cancer risk as there are just too many other factors at play in this biggie! And how much would you have to ingest anyway? Like the 70 cans of diet pop a day with sodium cyclamate sweetener the rats had to ingest before cancer was traced to that product?!

Decreases insulin response.

I doubt that very much!
Again, a very difficult thing to prove! You'd think all the endocrinologists in the country would be warning their patients, considering diabetes (Type 2) is reaching epidemic levels!

And here's the most disturbing fact....HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC..Hmmm...don't really get how the the canola plant gets plastic into it! PURE plant sources! Pressed oil!

This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added,changing the molecular structure of the substance).There are mostly non-hydrogenated margarines now. You can try this yourself:Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things:* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something) HELLO! The operative word is FRUIT!! And you've seen them on butter?!

* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value;
There is much nutritional value in margarine..And besides...there are tons of "Empty calorie" foods that do rot! This is no "Yardstick".
Now, cholesterol...that's a big one...Butter has a lot and margarine has none!

nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast? Share This With Your Friends....


I suggest that these comments were based on a few old studies, carried out on original versions of margarine. My husband agreed with me on all this. will probably be an age-old battle. I do like the taste of butter but it is just not the healthier choice.

Where do you stand on the butter vs margarine battle?

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Enjoying My Time Off!

I don't really post much about daily happenings in my life but there's no Poetry Friday word so I'll take a break from it.

I've been going in to my elementary school every Wednesday all year and volunteering in a Gr. 3 classroom. I love it! Just a few years ago I was in charge of a whole class and teaching from the same reading material so it is very easy for me to take a group out and guide them through the lesson. I don't have to discipline, mark, do anything for the report cards, and I can leave at noon. NO STRESS! And I still have the connection to the kids and teachers I miss. The teacher gets a big bang for her buck with me since I absolutely know what I'm doing. (I team taught Gr. 3 with this teacher for 3 years.) It's perfect.

I also go in on some other days and help judge presentations of projects in history and public speaking contests, do special poetry lessons on my own poetry or my favourite seasonal poems, or read a story to the kids in role dressed up as one of the characters. It is so much fun for me! Most teachers don't have the time or energy to do this so I know it is much appreciated and the kids find it interesting.

Right now, the Grade 3's are gearing up for the 3-day Provincial Standardized Testing and need a lot of training or practising. Most of us, including myself, don't totally believe in this battery of tests because it is just too difficult. Conceptually, the kids simply aren't there yet and it is nearly impossible to cover all the skills that are outlined in the curriculum. It follows, then, that we can't even "teach to the test" because the skills are never transferred and applied to the new test they will actually get.

Although I empathize with my colleagues, I am just as glad that I do not have to contend with the politics and pressure to have kids achieve high scores. After saying my good-byes, I walk home and meet a friend for a stress-free pleasant lunch!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Is Divorce For The Birds?

two lovebirds

mated for life

she dies

captured by a curious cat

he pines for her

but soon enough for another

is this allowed?

exceptions are made

he dons the cloak of a robin

and boldly woos

the red-breasted young one

singing softly and sweetly

suspecting nothing

in her loneliness -

for her mate has left her

with her brood

to lure another with his lust

the delicate robin is fooled

by her new friend's facade

falsely chirping his cheerful lies

his chest puffed up with confidence

she does not see the hawk

hidden deep within

where dishonesty dwells

beneath disguise

he hovers and swoops down -

a well practised predator

he offers her nothing

but will take everything

and no one can warn her

We all know people to which some or all of this has happened or is happening. We can see what they can not, and it simply leaves us feeling sad and sorry that their judgement is so poor.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

6-Word Stories

I think this meme originated from Nancy at, " Life Among The Never-Winged" and I also saw it at Maggie's, "Mind Moss".

Here are a few. Maybe they're supposed to stand alone and not connect to each other....??

1. Who knew aged carbon was valuable?
2. Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
3. But they can be worst enemies.

4. Out of the shadows comes light.

5. Easter chocolate is deadly for diabetics!
(But sometimes I can't resist it!)

6. Mist rises and clears up "misteries".

7. I call my protruding belly, "Menopot"!

8. Today, my husband "skieth" his LAST!
(Quietly, I shout, "It's about time!")

9. Think lines 5 and 7 connect?!

10. My life is a long mini-series.

11. Discard all fools' gold you see.
(All that glitters is not gold
Why not save yourself the bother?)

12. Things aren't always what we see....
13. Sometimes we need a new prescription.

14. Words take on their own life.
(In my mind they are published!)

15. How these memes do go on!

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Recollection For Good Friday

When I was eight years old, I committed my first act of poetry. (At least the first decent piece!)
Our Gr. 3 teacher read us the Easter Story from the King James version of The Bible, (they were allowed to back then) and we were instructed to tell it in our own words in the form of a rhyming poem. Now, I have been a Gr. 2/3 teacher for several years and realize that this is no easy task for kids this age.

I very quickly came up with a very succinct, bare bones Reader’s Digest version of the whole elaborate story, but somehow, I still think the 4-liner basically works!

Jesus died at Easter time
And they hung him very late
But then he rose up from the dead
And now we celebrate!

Well, probably she hadn’t done the lesson yet about adding details! I was so proud of getting a gold star and having my piece put up on the top of the bulletin board, a very prestigious placement as I remember.

That teacher encouraged me to write many other poems and stories, and to be proud of my unique ideas.
Thanks, Mrs. Cummings! You helped launch, cultivate and nurture my life long interest in writing.
I’m giving YOU a Gold Star!

Oh, and have a Happy Easter!

Mother of Invention

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What I Am And What I'm Not

I wrote this a few years ago when I was trying to pick myself up after a few unfortunate experiences with people who tried to tear me down in spite of my kind treatment of them. At first, they made me feel just so inadequate compared to others, and then I thought, "No! That's utter crap and I'm not letting them make me feel bad about who I am!" Since then they have all proved themselves to be unworthy of my friendship and I have lost much respect for them. What goes around usually comes around.
I may not have ten books published,
I may not read all the latest best-sellers,
(I may not have even read today's paper)
I may not belong to the Mensa group,
I may not win the duathlons or ski races,
(In fact, I may even have trouble walking around the block now)
My body's shell God created may not be the healthiest,
nor the most gorgeous-looking,
I may not have children who win "All Round Kid" awards
or who are in the enrichment class
or who will become doctors and lawyers,
I may not have the title,
"Top Volunteer of The Town"
bestowed upon me,
I may not be the key person sitting in a church congregation,
(Indeed, I may not even occupy a seat very often at all)
I may not have the fattest billfold from a bursting bank account
and my house may not be the newest, fanciest or cleanest,
my fingers may not be able to fly over
the ivories on a Heinzman
or effortlessly pluck the strings of a Martin,
and I may not always sing in perfect pitch
or write the most melodious songs.......
I have a voice,
albeit quiet and small,
seemingly insignificant,
sometimes unheard,
this voice sings
its own perfect sweet harmony
with the world and all who share it.
I have a brain,
a mind that thinks and ponders,
about many important things to me,
a mind that puts ideas and feelings
to pen and paper,
poems and songs,
living deep inside me.
I have a heart
that is honest,
open and inclusive,
and caring of others,
a heart that is kind,
generous and giving,
true to myself
and all my beliefs,
truest to my family and friends
with whom I share all I have,
a heart that pumps in overdrive,
compassionately synchronizing
its strong rhythm
with all else -
the internal rhyme and reason
many search for and never find...
this voice, mind and heart
are so alive with spirit
that they have taken on a life of their own....
and so even if all this life spirit
is not recognized and celebrated
by a single soul...
I do believe
in a place far beyond
my earthly existence,
it will not go unnoticed
and this spirit shall live on.....
Mother of Invention, feeling way better about myself these days!

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