March 7, 2015

The Frog Thing

I often get asked the same question over and over.  “So when did you get into the frog thing?”

Well, it all started with a special pair of earrings that I bought while on vacation.  They were silver and, well, frog shaped.  I received so many compliments on them, that I started looking for another pair of “frog” earrings.  As will happen with collections begun innocently enough like this, the proverbial snowball rolled forth and we are where we are today.  My classroom, my home and my garden decor are all hopping with frog happiness.

My students know exactly what I will like as a gift.  And I love the smiles that accompany the stuffed frogs, or even better, the handmade frogs I have received over the years.  I have received several made of clay, one from toilet paper rolls, and even one painted on a rock which was then glued onto a paper plate that was painted to resemble a lily pad.  A gift you had fun making because of who it was for is the best kind of gift to receive!  The faces and hugs tell it all.


A while ago I repainted my kitchen walls.  I used a sponge and a mix of colors to create a faux brick look.  I couldn’t resist adding two fake windows and of course the frogs from David Wiesner’s book ‘Tuesday’.  My daughter drew them in pencil and I painted them.  What fun we had!

My favorite part about being known for liking everything frog?  People will stop me to say, “I saw the cutest frog thing yesterday, and I thought of you.”  Yes.  Think of me.  I’m alright with that.

March 6, 2015

Comfortable Surroundings

I’m sitting here at my computer in the bedroom that used to be my daughter’s.  My trusty dog Fido snores at my feet.  I can hear the heat turning on, but the warmth hasn’t reached me yet.  I should really get up and bathe the dogs, but Fido’s snoring is calm and rhythmic.  Teddy bears and hearts are still stenciled on the wall up near the ceiling.  Actually there are lots of pieces of my daughter’s life left behind.  For instance, straight ahead of me on the wall is an old bulletin board that still holds ticket stubs from “Les Miserables”, “Rent”, “Chicago”, and “The Phantom of the Opera”.  On another wall, above her bed, are a collection of pictures from her dance class days.  And on yet another wall are pictures she painted while in high school.  Hanging in the closet are a few prom dresses and a few bridesmaid dresses.

Since she’s been married I’ve been meaning to clear the room out and make it a more functional office for me.  But then again there’s something so comforting about being here with her things.  This has been her room since she was born.  I can so clearly picture her sitting at her little girl vanity with makeup smeared all over her face, or laying on the top bunk with her feet resting on the ceiling, reading a book. As is, this room keeps all of her ages alive for me.  There is plenty that has been forever removed from the dresser drawers and under the bed, but the stuff on the walls is probably going to stay a bit longer.  My choice.


March 3, 2015

Slice of Life -March 2nd

Thirty days of writing.  I’m really going to do it.

The question posed in my classroom today was, “Are you more like a thinker or a doer?  I’m much more of a thinker.  I love to come up with great ideas.  Great big original awesome ideas.  They have to be related to what else I’m doing in just the right way.  They have to be out of the ordinary and not expected by those around me.  There’s got to be the anticipation of everyone loving it.

And that takes more thinking.  And planning.  And thinking some more.  The more well thought out my idea is, the easier the doing of it is.  See?  I’m a thinker AND a doer.  But I spend days, weeks, and months sometimes visualizing and imagining before I’m ready to begin.

But that’s not always true.  There are also those times when I hear of an idea that makes perfect sense to my way of thinking.  I want to just start immediately and think it through later.  Sometimes this works for me and sometimes it creates bumps in the road.  Manageable bumps, but bumps nonetheless.  Nothing that discourages me from diving right in the next time!