I've just got to share the good stuff I read.

I love to read. I read every chance I get. If I read something really good, I want to share it with my friends and co-workers. I make copies of magazine articles, read aloud to my students, tell others about good books I'm reading, and keep a book with me at all times.

I love teaching and learning new things. I need a place to share some of the lessons and what my students and I learn. Since my teaching situation is different from everyone else's in my school, I would like to tell all of you in the blog-o-sphere about these great lessons.

Feel free to share what you are reading, teaching and learning with us in the comments.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Family Stories

Mom and Liam watering the tomato plants earlier in the summer.

Do you hear family stories from family elders? It seems the same stories are told over and over. I have most of them memorized. I try to get mom to tell other stories. Don't know how much longer she will be around to tell them. I wish I had written down some of dad's stories.

This story is about my uncle Joe. I never met him because he died before I was born. I was exploring things on the internet and came across some writing about Joe on a website that catalogs graves. Someone had posted a newspaper article that ran in the local paper after Joe was reported MIA in the Philippines in WWII.

I asked mom for clarification because I thought some 'facts' in the article were incorrect. It stated Joe had graduated from high school and he had not. He finished 9th grade and was old enough to enlist so he did. It said his occupation on his enlistment papers was actor. In Jackson, MS? in 1940? Mom said he was a joker and prankster but also had a very good singing voice. He had solos in some local Christmas or church programs. I think possibly he wrote that hoping to be an entertainer in the army.
His army job was airplane mechanic.

I reminded mom that I had heard he was a boxer. She said he won the Golden Gloves for his category/weight one year but the next year he was knocked down and decided not to fight anymore.
She laughed as she said he said, "He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day."

After he was declared missing their mother Corona traveled to Washington, DC, to ask for answers to what happened to him. Her brother Wiley Smith worked at the Pentagon, so I guess he helped her as she looked for someone to answer her questions. Mom said she thought Wiley was a chemist for the War Department.

Some memories are sad but I'm glad to record them. It's part of our family history. Long before any of us were born.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


My Spanish speaking students have relatives they call prima-hermana or cousin sister. I can relate to that term. Since I was the only girl in my family I never knew what it was like to have a sister. But I had a cousin sister who was 17 days younger than me.

Virginia and Nancy

Nancy was the closest I ever got to having a sister. She is pictured above with her younger sister Virginia. Virginia is 10 years younger than Nancy. The oldest and youngest in their family. So, for 10 years we were both the only girls in our families. 

Back to me and Nancy. Our mothers were sisters. We spent weeks together in the summer. A favorite activity was putting on a show for our parents in the Miller basement and charging our parents to come see us perform songs, dances, and jokes. I remember going to VBS twice each summer. Once at our church and again at their church. Our brothers stayed busy making huts in the woods and playing army or explorer or some other outdoor doings. Nancy and I read books, talked about movies and books, and made up alternative lyrics to popular songs. I remember sharing our 'new' words to the Beatles song "She was just 17".  

When we were in elementary school we wrote letters to each other during the school year. I think we started writing in about third grade. Our subject that year was catching sight of fairies in the trees near my house. We had vivid imaginations and were sure that we saw these wee figures high in the trees above us.

I had one family advantage over Nancy. I lived in town with most of our aunts and uncles. So I spent time with them and felt very possessive of them. I remember being reluctant to share Aunt Lanora with Nancy and her brothers. Of course I couldn't stop them from meeting Aunt Lanora who was just as sweet to them as she was to me and my brothers.

Both of us were good students but Nancy always made better grades. We both read voraciously, played the piano, and liked to sew. We both wanted to be writers when we grew up. Nancy loved family stories and kept her writing going with a yearly family letter. I turned out to more of a talker than writer and have spent lots of time teaching and making presentations at conferences.

One summer I attended UGA with Nancy and met the love of her life, Terry. They married in 1972; the same year I began teaching in North Georgia. I sang at their wedding. The years went by and we both had children. We saw each other at family gatherings. One summer her daughter Mariah went to music camp at Blue Mountain College with me and the kids from my children's choir.

Then the International Ballet Competition became a special event that we enjoyed together. Arwen was accepted to the dance school and Nancy bought tickets to all the rounds of the competition. I was happy to go with her. I had helped backstage at the first competition and always tried to see some of the rounds, even when the kids were small and money was tight.

At the last competition Nancy stayed with us for some of the rounds. We enjoyed going to eat at a couple of Jackson's long time favorite restaurants: Primos and the Mayflower. We retold stories we had heard from our parents about times they enjoyed the food at these places when they were twenty-somethings working downtown.

These aren't all the memories I have of my cousin-sister Nancy but these are all that I will share today. Nancy joined her beloved Terry in heaven today. I will miss her.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

What I'm working on

I'm working on some row-by-row strips from 2015. Yep, I got right to those rows. I have completed 3 and currently working on the one below.
I have pinned the pieces in place to check the arrangement. I'm going to machine applique them in place without using glue or fusible. I like the look and hope the work will last longer.

This row came from a shop in the St. Louis area. I didn't buy the kit so this is using up some stash.

I came across the pattern for these bowl cozies and decided to try them.

They are really quick to make if you have layer cake lying around.

I made one more but have already gifted it to my mom.

You can find the pattern and very clear instructions here.
Credit to HappyHourStitches.com.

Hope I'm not too late to link up with Amanda Jean @Crazymomquilts.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The haul from the reading conference

I got back from the reading conference late on Tuesday. 
I attended lots of sessions but most of them were concerning our state reading association.
Still, I had some time to visit the vendors and collect some books and other materials to share.

In years past I think I came back with much more but this year I couldn't hang out in line for the author signings. I will enjoy reading these and sharing them with students and teachers.

I only bought one book. The one in the middle-Struggling Readers.

I'm in the middle of reading Miss Julia books by Ann B. Ross. I recognize so many southern ladies in her books. Have you read them? They are a hoot.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reading with students

Yesterday I was helping an 8th grader with a reading assignment. He had to read "The Ransom of Red Chief" by O. Henry and answer a few questions. I remembered the story but needed to re-read the story because some of the questions were text specific.

Anyway, as I read the story silently I laughed at the descriptions and dialogue. My student asked why was I laughing as I read. I told him it was because I saw pictures in my mind and what was happening was funny. Sadly, he said he didn't get that when he read.

Wishing for pictures in my students' minds when they read.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Obsessed with a trilogy

We watched the movie Divergent recently. I had seen parts of it but never sat thru the whole movie.
There was a copy of the book in the room I share at school, so I thought I would compare the book and the movie. The book is better. Then I had to find out what happens next, so I read Insurgent. Stayed up late one night and finished it in 3 days. 

Now I'm reading the 3rd book. It is hard to put down. 

I have other books checked out but can't seem to break away from reading this series.
Have you ever had to keep reading a book? 
Looking forward to finishing but also dreading the end.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Busy Spring Break

A few random photos of flowers Mr. M. kept covering to keep from freezing. The broken sticks are to keep the covers from crushing the plants. And then it didn't get as cold as predicted.




The week has flown by. Last Friday we drove to Memphis to see Garrison Keillor at the Orpheum. Thanks Joey & Jessie for the tickets. He was joined by his pianist Mitch? and singer Heather Masse. It was an entertaining evening of stories and songs.

Then back home-time change-long list of to-do/to-sew/to-read items.
Checked off
Tax forms completed and sent
Cat Sitter book read
Turbo Twenty-three (Janet Evanovich's latest book) read
Ava's Quillow finished
David's Quillow started
Liam and David entertained
Mom's patio chairs painted-Thanks Mr. M
Fannie Flag book read
Recent photos printed and put in photo album!
Fudge made with Liam's help
Four bunny ear drawstring bags made

I think that's it. I didn't think I would get that much done. There are a few things on the list that have to wait for Sunday night-emails and school stuff.

How was your week?