Journal

A Much Needed Drive

Just south of Big Sur

The sun broke through the clouds turning a dreary morning into a prelude to the perfect spring day. I knew I had to get out into nature. My husband and I have had both vaccinations, so we decided to take a drive up Hwy 1. We were 10 miles from home when we realized that neither of us had a mask. We turned around, went home and made sure we had our masks and water for our Saturday drive. What struck me the most is how much I love the beauty of the California coast. The hills seemed greener, the yellow flowers greeted us around each bend. The lighthouse seemed to signal our return. When we reached Ragged Point, we walked the path to the overlook. We were the only ones there so we removed our masks to breathe the crisp salty air. I offered a silent prayer in gratitude for simplicity and freedom.

I thought about how much our world is changing. I wondered what it would be like for my grandchildren. Would we leave a mess and trust that they would figure it out? Would they speak of us as those who made a difference? Certainly something to think about.







BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00



Buy a Retired Teacher a Coffee

Hello, If you would like to donate to my blog, please know that it is appreciated!

$4.00

Standard
Journal

Gifts From The Sea

Most or these were found on the beach here in our little town. Some are from The Shell Shop.


My granddaughter’s name, Kaia, means “Sea.” She loves all things ocean. Of all the books
I have, and two toy boxes of toys, she prefers to sort my seashells. We spent more than an hour deciding how to sort them (color, size, uniqueness). When it was bath time, she insisted on taking some shells into the tub. Why not? She extended her curiosity to include how seashells are home to some tiny creatures and how they travel from one place to another. Bonus: I even got to shampoo her hair.

After bath time there was more sorting to be done. This time she wondered about texture. So many learning opportunities inside Grandma’s box of shells!

My son and daughter-in-law know the importance of outdoor exploration. Kaia is encouraged to seek answers to questions, and check out the beautiful areas around her.

Play hard, sleep hard. That’s how she rolls!!

Donations for coffee

Creativity requires coffee…..Any donation gratefully accepted. Thanks for reading my blog.

$2.00

Standard
Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Journal

Books Anyone?


If you are like many people today you use your cell phone, Ipad or laptop to get updates on news and happenings.
I encourage you to make time for reading a book instead. The benefits are worthy of your time and attention. You have heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it.” Well, it applies to your brain. Reading stimulates your brain and allows new information to get lodged in longterm storage. The physical act of turning pages makes reading tactile, activating an area of your brain. Reading also allows you a break from stressful situations and provides an opportunity to experience places and have adventures in your mind. You gain new information that can be come in handy at some point.

Moreover, reading expands your vocabulary and helps improve critical thinking skills. There is a strong connection between reading and writing. Exposure to published, well-written work has a noted effect on one’s own writing, as observing the cadence, fluidity, and writing styles of other authors will invariably influence your own work. So next time you are inclined to grab your phone or ipad, pick up a good book and enjoy the benefits of turning the pages.

Here are some suggestions:

Set Boundaries, Find Peace presents simple-yet-powerful ways to establish healthy boundaries in all aspects of life. Rooted in the latest research and best practices used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), these techniques help us identify and express our needs clearly and without apology–and unravel a root problem behind codependency, power struggles, anxiety, depression, burnout, and more.


While there is no such thing as an “Authenticity Expert,” you now have a viable alternative. Morhaf Al Achkar obtained his Ph.D in education and is currently a practicing family physician at the University of Washington. He was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Since then, his research has focused on the experiences of patients living with cancer. His first book is based on interviews he did with 39 patients who live, like him, with advanced illness. He explored how these patients find meaning, cope, and build resilience. Using his own experiences and deep knowledge of philosophical concepts, Morhaf shares his understanding of authenticity from the perspective of someone aware of his own finitude.

◆ By following along with his fascinating life story, Morhaf invites you on a journey of dialogue and reflection to live a more authentic and purposeful life with integrity.


A Life Without Water can be read as a standalone, but is part of an overarching three book A Life Without Water Series. It is women’s fiction that pulls at your heartstrings from your new favorite author Marci Bolden. If you are seeking awell written, heartbreaking book about forgiveness, and finding peace amidst a tragedy . . . this book is for you! 


The book looks at the most serious issues and helps the reader process them. From the instructions: ”Write about what keeps you awake at night. The emotional upheaval bothering you the most and keeping you awake at night is a good place to start writing.”


A charming, clever, and quietly moving novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.


 A revelatory look at the complexity of Gandhi’s thinking and motives, the book is a luminous portrait of not only the man himself, but also those closest to him—family, friends, and political and social leaders.


Five shots on Saturday morning change their fate forever…

Shurka is a happy young woman who lives a fairy tale life with her beloved husband and their two young children, in a pretty house in a village in Poland.

She believes that nothing can hurt them. Or so she thinks…

Then, World War II breaks out and the happy family quickly understands that their happiness has come to a brutal end. The family is forced to flee their house and find shelter in a neighboring ghetto, where they come to realized that the Gestapo is taking Jews away on trucks every night, never to be seen again.


Buy a Retired Teacher a cup of coffee

Hi. I hope you found a useful resource or inspiration. Look around my website. If you would like to buy me a cup of coffee, it is gratefully appreciated. Thank you!

$4.00


Standard
Journal, Wisdom

Quit Now

I would add smoking to this list as I watched my mother gasp for air as she died from emphysema.

The time to hit the redo button is now.



Buy a Retired Teacher a cup of coffee

I hope you found something on my blog that helped or inspired you in some way, If you want to buy me a cup of coffee, it is gratefully received. Thank you!!

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Tea Time

A child’s imagination is fueled by experiences. Play fosters all kinds of opportunities to engage in cooperative interaction. My granddaughter loves to make tea for me. She started when she was almost two. She would ask me if I wanted some tea, and I would reply that I would love it if she would add a lemon slice and a dash of cinnamon. When she would bring me my tea, she would ask me if I would like something to eat. The teacher in me thought I could slip in a culture lesson, so I told her about how people in England like to add a bit of milk to their tea, and they enjoy having a biscuit with delicious jam. She set about making all kinds of treats for me to enjoy with my tea. From that day forward she has had a keen interest in what her mother is cooking and wants to help out in the kitchen whenever there is baking involved. Such a simple thing, a cup of tea, but the lasting memories and the spark of imagination will live on.







BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Buy me a Coffee

Hello, If you would like to donate to my blog by buying me a coffee, it is appreciated!!

$4.00

Standard
Journal

My Baby Girl’s Baby Girl

Katie with Winnie

To me there are indescribable moments in a mother’s life that are forever in her memory. My daughter, Katie, is my youngest. Unlike me, she waited to have children. She was focused on college and a career. She established herself as a lecturer in anthropology and my son-in-law completed his studies as a doctor. After being in secure positions, they were blessed with Winnie. I have watched Katie sing to Winnie from the time she was born. Books and creative play have been a part of family time. My son-in-law, Steven, makes sure the house is filled with laughter. It is a joy to be in their home.

Winnie is 10 years old now, a bright, lovely, avid reader, mathematician with a caring heart and inquisitive mind. I am pleased to say that Winnie has a sister too. Josie is going to be five in August. She is a creative, lovely, inquisitive, adventurous spirit with a love of singing- just like her mum.

It is the greatest joy of my life to watch my children with their children.

It looks like a heart.




BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Buy Me a Cup of Coffee

Hello, If you would like to buy me a cup of coffee, it is greatly appreciated!

$4.00

Standard
Journal

Making Rock Towers

Who says kids need expensive toys? There’s joy and fun in nature.






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Buy a Grandma a coffee

Hello, If you would like to contribute to my efforts by buying me a coffee, it is greatly appreciated!

$4.00

Standard
Journal

Grow Things you can eat

I learned many things from the pandemic. I learned that buying groceries would be a dangerous prospect if you are in a vulnerable category. Some of the online “shoppers” were not careful to check expiration dates, leaving me with food that wasn’t fit to eat. Prices were inflated. My ability to buy fresh fruits and vegetables was at the discretion of the shopper regardless of how detailed a list I created.

Coincidently, I have been reading Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. It’s a fictional story of the devastation brought about during The Great Depression when people were starving and dying. I decided to create a mini-garden on my small, and I mean small) deck to provide enough vegetables for myself and my husband. I used old unused pots, organic soil I already had, as well as slices from tomatoes, carrot tops, and celery bottoms. I Googled which plants could withstand full sun. The feeling of accomplishment helped alleviate the dread of the pandemic. I was keeping busy in a healthy way.

The end result would be a sustainable source of vegetables right outside my sliding glass door. Hopefully my efforts will yield tomatoes (several varieties), broccoli, kale, brussell sprouts, yellow peppers and snow peas. I learned that many flowers are edible. From reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah I learned that during World War II the people of Amsterdam used tulips to make flour.

I hope to extend my exploration of edible plants and types of plants will that grow in my area. I am determined not to be deterred by limited space. There are many container plants that do well with care. I hope none of us ever have to experience extreme circumstances that leave us famished or desperate. One sure way to be proactive (ok, maybe reactive) is to grow things you can eat.





BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Breakfast smoothie

Almost every morning I make a breakfast smoothie. I am not on any diet. I just love smoothies, and like to know that I am eating healthy food. One eight ounce glass is enough to give me energy and fill me until afternoon. I use my Vitamix Blender, but I have used a Ninja blender too. Any blender will do. Here’s what I do:

  • One banana
  • A handful of frozen organic cherries
  • A handful of blueberries
  • A handful of frozen strawberries
  • A generous handful of baby spinach
  • Two scoops of Orgain protein powder (I like vanilla, but there is chocolate too)
  • One scoops of chia seeds
  • Almond milk to cover

Blend until it’s smooth. With my Vitamix Blender I use Pulse first, then blend for 30 seconds.

If you try this, please let me know what you think.









BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Grandkids

For me there is no greater joy than watching my grandkids grow, learn, laugh. I love their discoveries, the belly laughs and spontaneous kisses. They remind me of how important it is to make good memories.









BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Children's Books, Journal, Literacy Resources

Free Little Library

Share the love of reading.

I’ve wanted a free library ever since I saw one a few years ago. It was conveniently placed in a yard near the entrance to the beach parking lot near my home. It inspired me to investigate the cost of making one. Inside that little library there were a variety of paperbacks and several children’s books. I even spotted one that I donated a year ago to the elementary school. I have made a few trips in my golf cart to stock that mini-library with books I have read and exchange them for one that caught my eye. This weekend I will be stocking our own! My husband found a kit online and I ordered it. He is following the directions and waiting for the stain to dry. I hope that children of all ages will stop and take a book with them to enjoy at the beach or the dog park.







BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00



Standard
About Me, Journal

To My Grandchildren


Dear Grandchildren,

I see your tiny bodies and I am grateful for every breath you take. Each of you are the greatest joy of my life. Holding you in my arms takes me back to when your parent was my baby. I had no experience or guide, but a heart full of love. I learned that you have your own personality, but love will help shape it. I learned that time with you is more important than anything that takes me away from you. I am grateful for your parents who share you with me. My hope is that I have given you good memories that you can recall at times when you think of me.

This world is in need of people of courage. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you feel you can help make a contribution for the good. Guard yourself from harm by remembering good habits of mind, body and spirit. Dance when you heart feels the urge. You will find music and muses that will make you want to dance. Don’t wait to show sincere appreciation. The time to act from your heart will always be now. Steer clear of anything and anyone who makes you feel less than the great, beautiful, treasure that you are. Instead, wish them happiness, but use your compass to regain true north. Each of us has one life on this earth, so make yours the best it can be. Know that you are loved. So loved.

I can be reached at Caysunset@gmail.com

These children are precious gifts from God. I hope that when they think of me they will smile. They make me smile all the time.





BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Carry On

There have been so many times of uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. Times when it was hard to plan for the future, or even tomorrow. One thing I told myself again and again, ” I will follow guidelines, and I will not put myself or others in danger.” I also worried if I would be able to see love ones, continue my work, plan anything at all. The dread was consuming. I wanted a way to release myself from fear that had a stronghold on me.

l focused on what was important to me. I examined my values. I read books that guided me to align my actions with what would best serve me. Keeping a journal was a valuable tool to chronicle current events as well as my responses to them. I could feel the transformation from hopelessness to resilience. I learned my own strength.

Even five minutes of focusing on a positive affirmation while being mindful of my breathing helped me stay in the moment instead of holding onto beliefs that are in opposition to the kind of life I want. Freedom from fear is not only possible, it is for each of us to choose, work toward and enjoy. I wish you all the very best.






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Make a Wish

When was the last time you picked a dandelion and blew the seeds while you made a wish? Why is it so easy for children to embrace simple joys, while adults rarely give themselves permission to engage in a nature moment for the soul?

At a friend’s house recently, I noticed a group of red flowers that I’d never seen before. I stopped to admire them and asked her what they were. She said they were poppies, yet my image of a poppy was limited to small, orange, roadside flowers. The flowers I was looking at were tall, red and majestic. I asked if she planted them and she told me the birds carried the seeds. She hadn’t planted any of them. I can’t remember the last time I was so mesmerized by a flower. I was overcome with gratitude for the beauty of the day.

On the way to my car I picked a dandelion, blew the seeds and made a wish.







BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

A Pilgrimage

All my life I have wanted to visit Lourdes. I grew up hearing of the healing waters and the little girl who saw a vision of The Virgin Mary. I had the opportunity to travel to see my daughter who lived in England, and my son-in-law treated me to a trip by car to Lourdes., France.
It truly was a pilgrimage, as we drove for ages. Just being in The Pyrenees was spectacular. When we arrived we were tired but in awe of the magnificent church built on the site near the miraculous waters. Whatever I planned to receive from going into the holy bath was replaced by an overwhelming need to go in as proxy for my mother who suffered greatly. When I witnessed the people who came with their hopes, their faith and trust that they would be healed, it created in me a deep desire to ask for their healing. For me that was the miracle.

Some might say it is foolish superstition. I respectfully disagree. Go there and see for yourself. You will be changed forever. I was.


https://www.britannica.com/place/Lourdes





BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00




Standard
Journal

Happy Birthday to me

Back Camera

Today is my birthday and I am happy and grateful to enjoy another year. Getting older would not be my first choice, but I can kick up a fuss or embrace it.

My goal this year is to eat right, show gratitude, give love more often, smile more, learn more, travel. read, sew, have adventures, and look for the good. I plan to spend lots of time with my beautiful grandchildren.

First on my agenda is breakfast at my favorite cafe, then a walk on the pier. I am off to a good start.






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

I am grateful

I have many reasons to be grateful. It’s been a tough year, but at times I see glimmers of hope that we may all be on the road to living whatever our normal was, only stronger, better, more resilient. A trip to the grocery store, then my favorite cafe took on a new ambiance. I chose to sit outdoors in the sun rather than at my usual booth tucked in the corner. I wanted to see the people walking by, the birds flying past, even the cars on the road. It was affirming to tell the waitress that I appreciate her for serving delicious food. I was happy to shop for my own groceries as I learn to smile with my eyes. Today a lady in the parking lot walked toward me, quickly distanced herself, yet all the while I was happy to be 6 feet from another person. There is no room in my life for taking things for granted. Every day is a gift. I am grateful to wake up, get up, show up, and be ready to give thanks.

8 Ways to Practice Gratitude to Boost Your Wellbeing -

This gratitude journal makes it easy and enjoyable to develop a daily practice through insightful prompts that only take a few minutes to complete. You’ll feel inspired to notice things―big and small―that you might otherwise take for granted and pause to feel grateful for them.





BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Books Kids Would Like

A charismatic clan of chinchillas confronts everyday problems in this humorous story of family life and troubles.


Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. 


In this hilarious book, Richard T. Morris and bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld remind us to dream big and, when we do, to aim for the moon.


There’s a stinky stench in the fridge–and our favorite foodie friends must solve a smelly mystery! 


 We all know nothing rhymes with orange, but how does that make Orange feel? Well, left out, obviously! 


The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, it’s not until the very end that we begin to suspect this is a TALL tale. 
 


Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving . . . and you’re the main
course. But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?


When Henry’s beloved stuffed rabbit, Raspberry, goes missing, he enlists his whole family to help him search for the missing toy. 


From the very first GRRRRRR and ROAR of the Super Hungry Dinosaur, kids will be rooting for Hal to save his parents and his dog, Billy, from the huge beast.


Buy me a cup of coffee to fuel my creativity

Hi, Thanks for taking a look. If you care to contribute to my coffee cravings, or frozen yogurt…., it is much appreciated.

$2.00





BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

If Only

If only we saw each other’s hearts, minds, souls…… We are one race, human.  We really need to realize that love is infinitely more powerful than hate. Children are not born being prejudiced. They learn what they live. We can change the way things are by keeping mindful of the kind of life we hope for our children. It can start right now.  


Standard
Journal

Free Online Reading Sites for students

free - Miami Payroll Center
These links provide free online reading opportunities for students. The four below are read by astronauts!

http://pardot.eblireads.com/l/835013/2020-03-13/8sfm

https://pebblego.com/

https://www.justbooksreadaloud.com

https://monkeypen.com/pages/free-stories-for-kids





BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Buy a Retired Teacher a cup of Coffee

Hi, If you would like to buy me a coffee, please use PayPal. Thank you!

$4.00

**********************************************************************************

Standard
Journal

Free Online Reading Sites for students

free - Miami Payroll Center
These links provide free online reading opportunities for students. The four below are read by astronauts!

http://pardot.eblireads.com/l/835013/2020-03-13/8sfm

https://pebblego.com/

https://www.justbooksreadaloud.com

https://monkeypen.com/pages/free-stories-for-kids

**********************************************************************************

Standard
Journal

Dreaming of Paris

Paris is my kind of city. The people, the food, the sights live in my memory. When I saw all the locks on the Ponts de Arts Bridge, I thought of all the lovers whose hopes and dreams were placed there, likely with good intent. In my mind I likened the locks to graffiti. While the locks were unique in their symbolism, years later I learned that the weight of the locks caused portions of the linked fencing to collapse. Perhaps simplicity is best.






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00



Standard
Journal

Have Golf Cart, Will Travel

I saw the ad for a used golf cart in my Nextdoor app. There were two available, a red and a blue. The owner was storing them in a horse corral.
I was saving money for a golf cart (even though I don’t golf) because I live in a small beach town with one main street and gorgeous scenery. As a recent retiree, it seemed to be a good idea. I would be one of many golf cart owners in my little town.

I can’t believe I was able to convince my husband to drive out to a horse ranch to take a look. The owner was a gregarious lady who raises thoroughbreds and uses the golf carts to get around her property.
I wanted the red one, but it was out of my budget. The blue one looked like it needed a lot of care, but it was affordable. The owner even delivered it. I couldn’t wait to try it out. It gets plenty of use on weekends and on nice summer days. We have a lot of those.

What joy it brings to take in the often overlooked sights on the way into town. Feeling the air on my face and smelling the salt air while going 22 miles per hour helps me appreciate that I am alive during a pandemic. I realize that a walk would very likely achieve the same results. Yet there was something about saving for a goal, visualizing me riding in it, and then actually finding one.

I know how important it is to slow down. My brain needed to disconnect from the bombardment of negative thoughts that don’t serve me. If a golf cart can remind me to get outdoors, it was worth my small savings. I call it The Bluebird of Happiness.

No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy the sunlight today, mix good cheer with friends today, enjoy it and bless God for it. Do not look back on happiness-or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today; do not let yourself be cheated out of it. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Image result for quotes about golf carts


Latest Posts:

Early Morning Turtle Watching

Here are some of the best places to take your kids or grandkids to see sea turtles on the island of Kauai: Poipu Beach — Great for kids because even waders can spot sea turtles hanging in the reef shallows while snorkelers can see them swimming in the clearer depths. Kuhio Shores — Though a […]

Wanderlust

When I was a little girl I wanted to be an airline stewardess so I could travel all over the world. As it turned out, I became an elementary teacher with travel limited to summers and books, where I can let my imagination take me away. I’ve had incredible trips to England, France, Spain, Italy, […]

Adventuring

This year I decided to join my daughter’s family in Wales for Christmas. Yes, during a pandemic, with a new variant waiting for its next host. I am triple dosed with the vaccine, have a pile of masks and will do may best to avoid crowds (in an airport?) I decided to reframe my thinking, […]





BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Dreaming of Costa Rica

The pandemic has made me a shut- in and I hate it. I am a traveler forced to travel only in my mind. Lately I have been dreaming of Costa Rica. I’ve only been there once, but it left such an impression that I find myself daydreaming of being there. I went with 22 avid surfers as part of a travel package. I was a wife tagalong (not an avid or even mediocre surfer), but happy to join the group. I did attempt to surf, but my board flew up and hit me on the nose so hard I thought it was broken (my nose, not my board). I spent the rest of the day laying in a hammock looking up at a sloth in a tree. No complaints at all. A trip to Manual Antonio Nature Reserve taught me about the native plants used to cure a variety of ailments. Our guide warned us of the Howler Monkeys who enjoy warning tourists to keep out of their territory by flinging excrement. Luckily they must have sensed our respect for their space, or they relieved themselves on the previous group. It was almost sunset and I decided to take a raft into a lagoon. The colors of the water were surreal, dark emerald and teal. The sky was on fire. I wanted to stop time. I was certain that this was what heaven looks like. On the way back to our hotel our guide told us about the crocodiles who use this part of the ocean to return to the estuary. I was grateful that I didn’t know that when my nose was gushing blood from my surfboard mishap. Costa Rica is teeming with life, what the natives call “pura vida.” The sunset lagoon is etched in my memory. I revisit it when I need to get away to a place of peace, even if it’s in my mind.






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Neighborhood Library box

I am a book lover. I wish I had a library next door. My dream is to someday own a bookstore, or work in one. While driving in my golf cart I passed by a little library box next to the parking lot for the beach. I had to take a look. Some thoughtful person, probably the creator of this mini-library, placed books that would appeal to all interests. There were several children’s books too. I also noticed a knitted scarf that was either found in the sand or placed for someone who might be in need of warmth. I asked my retired husband if he would consider building a library box for our block. I am not sure if he nodded to quiet me or if he will build one, but either way, I found some plans online. Hopefully it will be a place where fellow book lovers will find a book that appeals to them. My other hope is that it will be inspiration to others to make their own neighborhood library box.






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

My English roses

When my daughter asked me if she could be a summer camp counselor in the hills of Santa Cruz, at first I said no. The distance from our house to the camp was too far and I was not keen on letting her go by herself. She approached me again, this time she had a plan to recruit her brother who was in college. I relented because her brother could watch over her and that seemed like a good bonding time for the two of them. My daughter, Katie, met a young medical student, Steven, from England who was curious about California and looking for a summer adventure. That summer Katie and Steven fell in love. Then my daughter decided to go to college in England. She and Steven married and began their busy professional lives. Katie gave birth to my granddaughter on a snowy January. Then four years later she had another daughter in the summer. I travel to see My English Roses as often as I can. When the pandemic is over and it’s safe to travel, we all plan to have a grand reunion. Every day I give thanks for FaceTime so I can see their beautiful faces and stay connected. I miss my loved ones across “the pond.”



So true … | Grandaughter quotes, Granddaughter quotes, Quotes about  grandchildren





BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

After The Rain

There were 60mph winds and torrential rains in our little beach town. Tree limbs blocked roads, lawn chairs flew to a neighboring yard, and birds found refuge anywhere they could. I know the thirsty earth needed the rain, but it made the pandemic isolation even lonelier. Today the sun is out and the birds are drying off on the telephone lines. I will have my morning meditation outdoors today so I can give thanks that, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 50:5b






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Living in a Beach Town

I am one of the lucky ones who has a view of the Pacific Ocean from my living room window. Our home was purchased 24 years ago when it was doable on teacher salaries. I sit out on my upstairs deck and watch the waves curl angrily on windy days and gently on mild spring and summer days. The year the whales came through and put on a show caused drivers to pull over to watch the majestic scene. The sunsets are as if the sky spilled out orange, red and yellow paint while the sun creates the light show. Often it brings me to tears of gratitude for this little tropical haven.

Sunsets here are amazing.




BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Reflections

The day I became a grandmother I began evaluating my life, or I should say reevaluating it. I realized that this beautiful child is not mine and I am a part of a much bigger picture, yet only a part. What part do I play? As a retired elementary teacher I know the joy of teaching young children. I have learned things I never knew about when raising my own three. Will I have any credibility when I suggest ideas for my grandchild to learn to read or learn to navigate technology when I left it up to teachers to provide literacy instruction for my own children? Is it my place to offer any suggestions? I know best practices and I have learned to lean on researched methods with proven results, yet this little one is not mine and I have to realize that I am an eager grandmother, one with hopes and dreams, but this child is the child of my child. “Take a deep breath and slow down,” I tell myself, “Enjoy the moment, and let the parents have their shot at raising their own child.” I am going to listen to that not so quiet voice. I will read aloud when I get opportunities and rejoice in my child’s journey with his child. Now if I am asked for advice, well, that’s another story.

The Hike

My son called to ask if we could celebrate my husband’s birthday by hiking near the coast. He has two small children; a two year old daughter and a 3 1/2 month old son. The hike is 4 miles total, and seemed at first to be a bad idea. We met at our favorite cafe for breakfast and then drove to the headlands to begin our hike. I marveled at how much gear my son had for the children. My daughter-in-law wrapped the 3 month old around her stomach as my son put the largest kid seat I’d ever seen on his back. This contraption even had stirrups and a cup holder. My granddaughter had other ideas. She insisted on walking. Her parents went ahead as my husband, the birthday boy, and I walked with Kaia. She walked along dodging dog poop and refused to hold my hand. Other hikers smiled as they passed my independent granddaughter so determined to make the hike on her own. All I wanted was to hold her hand until I realized that this tiny human is giving us all a glimpse of the future. She will make her own way someday. She walked a mile before getting tired and reluctantly got into her 21st century backpack seat to let her daddy carry her. It was so much more than a beautiful long hike.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Exercise

The numbers on my bathroom scale made me dizzy. How can it be that
I weigh that much? When and where did I lose control of my weight? How can I get back to my old self? How soon?

One of the side effects of the medication I take is weight gain, but geez, this much? Being the clothes horse that I am this is unacceptable.

I decided to enlist the help of a trainer at a local fitness center. My trainer came highly recommended and her smile put me at ease immediately. She asked the standard questions and I shared about my personal illness and my goals to gain strength and lose weight. We went to work setting up a routine. My end of the deal is work out on my own 2-3 days a week and meet with her on Friday afternoons. She showed me how to set up and properly use the machines.

I was self-conscious at first, but kept telling myself that there isn’t a soul in the gym that cares if I am a newbie. They are there for their own health and well being. There were lots of smiles and people around me were more focused on their own goals.

I am either committed or not. My trainer could sense that I have a lazy streak, so she told me to think of it as my job to show up for work. Tomorrow I will travel 4 hours to Stanford Hospital for a medical procedure and allow myself a day or two to rest, then I plan to show up and get to work.

Update1 : The pandemic has put a halt to any gym activity. I purchased an eliptical and some stretch bands. I live at the beach where taking a walk is not a chore. I also bought a membership to Body Groove and dance myself silly in the living room. I am going to stick with my commitment.

Update 2: Down 6 pounds in one week. Woohoo!

Update 3: I joined an online group that gathers on Zoom to discuss healthy lifestyle choices. They are a great group of local women and I am happy to be on the same journey.

Update 4: Down 10 pounds. Woohoo!!

Update 5: I make my own granola and morning muffins– healthy and delicious

Update 6: I am able to go back to the gym!!!






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00





Standard
Journal

Resources For Early Literacy

Phonemic Awareness

A child may be able to recite the alphabet, but they need to first learn SOUNDS. Most of reading problems come from a lack of phonemic awareness (knowledge of sounds). When teaching this skill you would not introduce letters yet. Sounds first! There are many ways to do that. The following items will help you. Phonics (combining letters and sounds would come once a student knows sounds.

Here is a Powtoon on Phonemic Awareness:

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/top-10-resources-phonological-and-phonemic-awareness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3hfgRXegAk



MAKE IT FUN. ASK FOR THE SOUND.

teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bll/reggie/index.htm

Rhyming bingo

AVYbbmbd1EtoVmnwVSilKJTLEOIEwgqPoVgdLUiDFPiSNrk5DektWpQ

Rhyming game

283586107764547504

Another rhyming game

linkthemeasuredmom.com.       






BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal

Sight Words

Sight words comprise close to 70 of the words we read. For a child to be a fluent reader, it is important that sight words are stored in long term memory. That requires practice through games and engaging activities that activate various parts of the brain. Sight words are often words that cannot be sounded out. For example said.
I have collected resources to help:



******Make it Multi-Sensory: Use salt or sand. Student finger spells the words.


Click to access Sight-Word-Assessment.pdf







BuyMe a Coffee

My blog is fueled by coffee. If you’d like to buy me a cup, it is appreciated.

$4.00


Standard
Journal, Literacy Resources

The Joy of Read Alouds

Children that are read to learn that symbols on the page hold meaning. They learn to hold a book, care for a book, how to read from left to right, and how to turn pages. Most importantly they associate books with pleasure.

For struggling readers the anxiety of having to decode is eliminated. They can relax and enjoy being read to. It sparks imagination and visualization.

Children that are read to begin to learn Concepts of Print and equate reading with comfort as well as enjoyment. Read aloud to your child every opportunity you get.

Concepts of Print refers to the awareness of ‘how print works’. This includes the knowledge of the concept of what books, print, and written language are, and how they function. It encompasses a number of understandings that allow the reading process to take place including: understanding that print conveys a message.

Concepts of print include: 

  • Reading from left to right (Different languages have different concepts of print. For example, Arabic and Hebrew read from right to left while English, Spanish and French all read left to right).
  • Reading from top to bottom
  • The fact that letters and words convey a message.  
  • Print is what we read.
  • The “return sweep”, to move from one line to the next
  • Illustrations in a book correspond to the print
  • Every book as a front, back, and an author

Research tells us that students who are read to are more successful in early literacy skills. For students who lack this support, it is essential that teachers provide read aloud in the classroom.

Standard