A slice of a blow dry

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

I blew my hair dry this morning
using my mom’s hair dryer
I find blowing my hair so boring
It takes forever
So I thought –
Because thinking –
Is one of my super powers

I thought about how my mom used to blow my hair dry for me
I thought about how when my hair is short it takes so much less time to blow dry
I wondered why my hair looks so good when the hair stylist blows it dry
I wondered how anyone ever has time for this sort of thing every day
I mean, why do I feel a need to blow dry my hair ever?
Yes, it looks better, blonder
Feels softer, smoother
But like, so what?

My first year teaching I used to arrive to school with dripping wet hair
(as if my mornings were so busy before I had kids)
(what the heck was I doing with my time?)
I would walk down the hallway, sometimes drying my soaking hair with school paper towels
You do know school paper towels, right?
Even slower to dry than a hair dryer
My principal would give me a little side eye if she passed me
She was a very proper woman
I was a very young second-grade teacher
I’m sure my dripping wet hair made her shudder

Deep in thought
The hair dryer switched to a quieter sound
It smelled even burnier than usual
My hair was almost all dry
But not quite
My goal had been totally dry hair
Laugh if you want, but this is a big goal for me
But the smell got worse, and the sound got weirder
So I had to turn it off

At least I tried

Anyone have a hair dryer recommendation?

Have I Ever told you?

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

Have I ever told you how my memories are like blurs of pictures and sounds and feelings? I remember the same things over and over, but not too many things. Thank goodness for childhood friends who fill in the gaps. And even then the memories aren’t crisp enough for actual articulation. But even a slice of a memory makes me feel like I’ve caught it.

Have I ever told you about the boy in preschool who dumped a cup of water on me – on my pretty new white sweater with flowers? We were at the water table, and I was so mad when it happened. I don’t remember why I thought water on a sweater was the worst thing in the world, but it was. It really was.

Have I ever told you about how my friends and I were so obsessed with robbers, that we made robber stew in potholes after it rained. Our imaginations were so powerful that we thought, for sure, a robber would be so hungry on the prowl that they would definitely eat the stew we made with the poisonous berries, twigs, mud and stones. We even wrapped the rope swing around the swingset, making sure we would confuse the robbers if they tried anything with that swingset. Did we think they were going to steal it or maybe play on it? I don’t know. It’s fuzzy.

Have I ever told you about how my friend and I would stare out the window into the dark during a sleepover? We would convince ourselves that there were robbers out there. Robbers! The scariest thing ever when I was 7. My mom would come in and sigh, “You are scaring yourselves!” and threaten to separate us for the rest of the sleepover if we continued. Separating from my best friend – even scarier than robbers. We stepped away from the dark window, and held hands until we fell asleep.

Have I ever told you about how one day I heard my mom and dad whispering. They told me to go back in my room. I couldn’t hear them at all, but I could tell they were making a plan. Some sort of surprise. When they called me back out, I said “Are we going miniature golfing?” and they were so confused – how did I know the plan?

Have I ever told you about the day that we were having a big picnic and my best friend and her family and the German family they had staying with then were there. The four of us, all around 8 or 9, I think, we went in to dress up, including stuffing rolls of socks in our shirts. All was fun and games until we emerged back outside, lumpy fake breasts sticking out. Embarrassing. Oh, I remember the embarrassment. (Somewhere there is a picture of us, and if I had it, I’d share it, because now it is only hilarious.)

Have I ever told you about going across country when I was 10? We stopped at a Mexican restaurant and I ordered chicken enchiladas. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t good. I sat there looking at my plate wondering why I was eating chicken. We didn’t eat much meat, but still. I made the real connection at that table. “This chicken was once walking around as a chicken.” I said, or thought, who knows – the memory is blurry. And I decided then and there to be a vegetarian.

Have I ever told you that later when we drove back from Mexico, I leaned on the dozen or more Mexican blankets my mom had bought. I rested in the backseat and read Archie comics maybe the whole way. An early vegetarian, before carsickness got ahold of me, reading instead of looking out the window at the glorious landscape. How odd.

Memories are strange things, how they blur and fuzz and repeat. I’m trying to live in the present though, after all – the present is when all those memories happened, right?

A Slice of Morning

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

H wanted to wake up early and start the day with a walk
I was proud of myself for going to bed before 11:30

I was up at 4:00
Downstairs making coffee, tired of trying to fall back to sleep by 5:00
Resting on the couch with the cats when H came down at 6:00
Falling asleep with a mug of coffee in my hands by 6:15
Finally out the door for a walk at 6:30
The dog was happy, but also confused
He likes his mornings slow

Pink sunrise
Crisp spring air
Birds chirping
“So good to start the day with movement”
“We should do this more often”

There are neighbors running up the hill by our house
Then down the hill
Then up the hill

“That will be us one day”
I say, as we shuffle towards them
“We start with a morning walk, but one day we’ll be running up the hill”

I’m drinking my coffee still
And hoping nobody notices I’m still in my pajamas

The neighbors stop at the bottom of the hill one by one to do push ups
“Should we sing to them?” I ask my 14 year old
You’re my inspiration . . .

But then the last man gets down in the middle of the street for his push ups
“That’s called testosterone,” I say
“There’s no reason on God’s green earth that you need to do push ups in the middle of the street”

We’re home now
For more coffee
It was a short walk
Pushups not included
But it was a good way
to start the day –

A Slice of Tuesday

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Tuesday!

I don’t really have anything to say to you
But you’re here
So I guess you heard
It’s Tuesday
And I write on Tuesdays.

I didn’t have anywhere to go, or really any time
But I did take a walk
It’s a sunny day
It’s Tuesday
And it’s April and it feels like spring.

I don’t know any answers to your questions
But I am thinking
I am overthinking, I mean
It’s Tuesday
And I live way too deep in my head.

I didn’t really have anything to say to you
But you stopped by
And it’s the First Tuesday of April
It’s Tuesday!
And sometimes, sometimes I write on Tuesdays.

#sol21 March 31 Writers

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

I did it.

31 days.

and even though today
Like even these words, friends. Even these thoughts-
Interrupted by people I love needing me
calling my name,
telling me things, asking me things, fighting in the other room…

I did it.
Even today.

7 Marches, now 8 Marches.

March 2014 March 2015 March 2016 March2017 March 2018 March 2019 March 2020

March 2021

And this year I finally convinced a group of teachers to write with me.
I’m so proud of them!
Some wrote a handful of times, others wrote each of the 31 days.
Some are “my teachers” I coach
Some are teachers across town
One’s a librarian
One’s an intern
One’s a principal
All of us are

And my coach heart and my writing heart and my teacher heart
are so very very proud.

#sol21 March 30 I’ve run out of metaphors

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

(Warning, this slice includes an expletive.)

I’ve run out of ways to express the metaphors
for the things I can’t tell you


Someone spilled chocolate ice cream on the tablecloth yesterday
The tablecloths is one of those pretty ones from Home Goods
It has birds and flowers, lavender and periwinkle and the perfect spring green
And now it has a splotch of chocolate ice cream
I’m writing this while staring at that splotch
Listen, it was an accident
An overzealous lover of vegan ice cream tipped a little out of his bowl
And I think that it will wash out with a little bit of the right detergent
I mean, it might not be exactly stain-free, but it would be splotch free
It would be good, the stain would tell a story like tablecloth stains do
That splotch doesn’t have to stay there, rotting the tablecloth
But first I’d have to stop writing
Clear the table
And decide to put the tablecloth
in the f#$%^N washing machine

I’ve run out of ways to express the metaphors
for the things I can’t tell you

But I’m still writing

#sol21 March 29 Pajamas

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

“What are we going to do now?” E asks after dinner and then adds “Do you have like a bunch of work to do?”

“Not too much,” I start saying “I just want to -“

“Put your pajamas on?” He interrupts.

It’s a good guess, but I was going to say write.

“Well, that, and slice,” I explain as I laugh to myself about how my kids know me so well. They probably think it’s odd that I didn’t already have my pajamas on at dinner.

I’m sure I complained about pajama time when I was a kid, but now it’s my favorite time.

And that’s saying something, since I work from home and wear fuzzy socks all day.

#sol21 March 28 Mindful Meditation Practice

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

I’m trying to put myself first, or at least as one of many top priorities. You’d think this would be easy work, but alas, it is not. One thing I’m working on is my mindfulness and meditation practice. I am not a natural at this.

Last night while L was out and the boys were busy with a minecraft build, I downloaded a new meditation app to try: A free trial of special mindscapes. You have to listen with earbuds or headphones because it’s 3D sound. I settled into a nook in the couch, put my airpods in and started.

I looked at my clock and realized my newly licensed daughter hadn’t contacted me for over 2 hours. And I had forgotten to give her a curfew even. I don’t know what kind of mom just doesn’t even think to give her 17 year old a time to come home, but I just didn’t. There’s one rule that I did remind her of though – you have to text when you arrive somewhere, and text when you leave somewhere. (Thanks, Mardi for this rule idea.) She hadn’t called or texted since letting me know she had “arrived on the mountain.” It’s a hard rule to remember, I think. But, we can do hard things. Right?

So I paused the meditation after it told me I’d need 20 minutes of distraction free time. I texted L, I called her, I left a message. Mr. Thought did the same. Even though I knew that it was most likely that she had forgotten to text when she left, and her phone was dutifully put away in her bag and she was driving. . . I can jump from mindfulness to full blown worry pretty quickly. (This is why I need the app, friends)

Finally (and by finally I mean less than 10 minutes later) she called to tell me that she was on her way home, and that she hadn’t seen my texts or calls because her phone was dutifully put away in her bag and she was driving.

I started the introduction meditation again, but realized that it would totally freak me out to be jolted out of meditation when she arrived home and the dog started barking. So, I paused it again.

She got home, the boys came upstairs, I sent them all up to get ready for bed.

“I’ll be up soon, after I do this meditation,” I told them. “Please don’t yell for me.” I was feeling pretty desperate for mindfulness.

I settled into another nook of the couch, with my airpods in – noise cancelation on and started the meditation for a third time.

It’s a neat app, but the voice at first sounds a little freaky in a dystopian-robot-mind-control sort of way. So I texted Mr. Thought to warn him not to startle me because it will freak me out. I laughed at myself for not trusting the meditation app, for letting the mindfulness app freak me out, and I started to settle in. I reminded myself I was safe, in my house and had taken care of things that would startle me. I started to relax into the soundscape.

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder.

That’s not a hand I told my brain. It is a cat, here to snuggle.

Then I opened my eyes and it was a hand.

I startled, friends. I may have jumped a bit.

It was E. My 11 year old thought I was sleeping and gently put his hand on my shoulder so that he wouldn’t startle me. But I wasn’t sleeping, and I did startle. Of course he felt terrible, and I told him it was okay, while taking some deep breaths to calm myself down.

I laughed to myself about my attempts at mindfulness and invited him to sit next to me. He snuggled in, I finished my meditation session, and he fell asleep.

I guess that’s why they call it a meditation practice. Because, I for one, still need a lot of practice.

#Sol21 March 27 Saturday

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

I’ve brought my laptop to the deck. My laptop, my to do list and my dog.
The birds are chirping and there’s just a hint of green – Not really in my backyard that is basically a yard of mud and sticks and moss and trees. But out there, somewhere, there is green.

“Did you notice how suddenly the grass is green?” H asked me this morning. And I looked at the front yard and that is when I noticed.

“I love hearing the birds chirping through the phone” my friends said to me this morning. And I listened and that is when I noticed.

Now I’m sitting on my deck, with my laptop and my dog.
I’m thinking about my to do list. I really have a lot of work to do, no joke.
And I love the work that I have to do, no joke.

But did I mention that the birds are chirping and calling?
Did you know my dog is snoozing in the sun?
I can hear kids playing a few yards away.

This must be how procrastination starts. I feel like I’ve paused time for a moment to examine it – that moment of decision: Work or sit back and listen to the birds, maybe read a book? I still don’t know what I’ll decide. Maybe make a cup of tea. Should I go inside and get my notebook, or to the garage to get my favorite deck chair?

I haven’t even mentioned the laundry that is waiting for me inside.