Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Today, I Am Not Okay

March 31, 2020

Today, I filled an entire notebook page with my feelings and emotions. I am usually the who encourages everyone else to stay positive; trying to reassure people that everything is going to be okay. I guess I thought I had my own emotions in check. I am convinced that finding a way to be positive through this is important and beneficial, but today, I am not okay.

Today, I am anxious...at least, I think that's what I'm feeling. I am tense from head to toe. I want to cry. I feel so sad, and I just can't shake it. 

I know and I believe in the power of prayer, and I have and I will continue to pray.  But today, I needed to give how I am feeling a name. Today, I needed to validate for myself that I am not okay and that it is okay to not be okay.

Today, I filled an entire notebook page with words that express my feelings and emotions. I am not sure how much of it I will post in the notebooking group. But, writing it down helped...some.

Monday, March 30, 2020


March 30, 2020


Frazzled because

Frazzled because there

Frazzled because there were

Frazzled because there were so

Frazzled because there were so many

Frazzled because there were so many things

Frazzled because there were so many things to

Frazzled because there were so many things to understand

Frazzled because there were so many things to understand, plan,

Frazzled because there were so many things to understand, plan, and

Frazzled because there were so many things to understand, plan, and think

Frazzled because there were so many things to understand, plan, and think through.

Today was officially the first day of my being "essential personnel". Oh boy, was I frazzled in the beginning! It is so good to know I am not in this alone.  I am giving myself and this whole process grace, and I am ready for tomorrow.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Family Game Night

March 29, 2020

We experienced a power outage
Late last night

We hunkered down together
By candle light

We spent a great deal of time
Playing a game

We played "Heads Up"
Yeah, that its name

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Nose Blind

March 28, 2020

My husband and I are early birds. Our children, a 13 year old boy and a 21 year old girl, are not. I knew I wanted them to get some cleaning done today when they got up, so I sent them both the same text message so I wouldn't forget what to tell them.

1. Change the sheets on your beds.
2. "Fabreeze" your rooms and leave your doors open.
3. Eat, shower, get dressed.
4. Do laundry together or separately.
5. Clean and sweep your bathrooms.

My daughter finally got up around 1:00pm.
My son had to be awakened at 2:30pm.

My daughter had no issue taking care of her chores.
My son, on the other hand,...let's just say he was more than annoyed.

My husband and I had taken notice of his attitude, and my husband decided to engage him in conversation about it.  By the end, I was in tears. The conversation went something like this...

DAD: Tano, what's wrong?
SON: I just don't know why I'm cleaning.
DAD: You don't know why you're cleaning your room and bathroom that you use?
SON: NO!! I don't!
DAD: Maan, your room stinks!
SON: I don't smell anything.
DAD: That's because you've gone "Nose Blind"!!

I laughed so hard, I cried. I may have even snorted a few times. 
My husband was laughing even harder.
My son was not the least bit amused. Rolling his eyes, he walked away to finish his chores.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Transitioning to Online Learning

March 27, 2020

Most of this afternoon has been spent in training...learning about how our district will roll out Phase 2 of our distance learning plan for our Scholars and their parents.

Initially, I was flustered and anxious. But, it didn't take long for our Technology Integration Specialists to ease all my fears. They presented the information in such a way that was extremely easy to understand. They patiently answered our questions and addressed every concern. There were more than 40 teachers on this virtual training session, so there were a lot of questions and concerns. Our Technology Integration Specialists are THE best.

In my opinion, our district has done an amazing job of pacing the implementation of our transition to online learning. I believe the pacing has given most families the time needed to prepare for their new normal as "homeschooling parents"...at least, I hope.

As of Monday, March 30, we implement Phase 2, and I officially become "essential personnel".

Thursday, March 26, 2020

My Three Loves

March 26, 2020

I have three loves and they are not family members. Not husband, nor children, nor pets. My three loves are activities...what I love to do...working out, reading, and writing.

Working out have brought me a sense routine and calm if you will. I like to eat, and making healthy choices is not always my forte. But, knowing that I have moved my body in some way makes me feel like I am choosing something healthy for myself.

Writing has given me a way to put on paper what my mind needs to process and what my heart may not understand. It gives me a sense of purpose in these uncertain times.

Reading had always been my first love. I have enjoyed reading ever since I discovered my grandmother's shelves of novels...Agatha Christie, Danielle Steel, V.C. Andrews. Nowadays, I mostly enjoy reading books about teaching. I am currently reading "Get Out of Your Own Way" by Dave Hollis. It's a very insightful book. I don't spend as much time reading as I do writing. I think writing may be taking reading's place in my heart.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Three Haikus: Poetry with Training Wheels

March 25, 2020

I am beginning to think that all I have to write about is the woes associated with the Coronavirus 
and how it has interrupted my routine.

It hit me last night as I was telling Jennifer, in my weekly TeachWrite writing group,
my writing plans for the next week.

Sharon, an amazing writer in the group, mentioned an IG poetry group, and I checked it out.
I didn't feel knowledgeable enough about poetry to try their activities.
But, I was moved to try some different styles of poetry on my own.

Wanna hear it? Here it go!

The Ocean
High tide and low tides
Currents fluxing to and fro
Large billowing waves

Budding new plant life
Sprouting through fresh, moist soil
Spring is beginning

A Tree
To see the forest
For the greenery abounds
From the timber-filled woodlands

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The New Normal

March 24, 2020

Before all the changes occurred due to the Coronavirus, my days were filled with activity, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed.

I started my day at 3:45 in the morning. I worked out at 5:00. I left for work at 7:00, and left for home at 5:00. My day usually ended around 8:30-9:00, depending on if I actually followed the bedtime alarm set in my phone.

In the early stages of the change, when our schools closed, I tried to maintain the early morning part of my daily routine. I still got up at 3:45, and I still worked out at 5:00. But I had to figure out what to do the rest of each day. I ended up filling many of them with reading, writing, and napping.

Eventually, it became harder and harder to get up at 3:45 when, for all intents and purposes, I really didn't have to anymore. I realized I needed a new normal, but what would that look like? Honestly, not much different than the old. I just needed to adjust the times.

Now, I get up at 7:00 in the morning. I do my virtual workout at 8:30, since I can no longer meet with my Camp Gladiator trainer (shelter in place ordered for our area announced today). I walk one mile from 9:30-10:00. Then, I prepare breakfast and "monitor" my 7th grader while he completes his distance learning for the day. After my shower, I still fill the rest of the day with reading, writing, and a lot of napping.

Monday, March 23, 2020

I Made Myself Laugh: A Poem

March 23, 2020

Today was "a" Monday
It started off real well
An argument with hubby
Almost shot the day to hell

Early AM workout
Wendy gave us all no slack
If I keep pushing hard
I'll be looking like a snack

Homeschooling a 7th grader
Who does not want to study
I am totally over saying,
"You better get it together buddy!"

Virtual staff meeting
The usual, there was no hype
Except one of our members
Thought the meeting was on Skype

My daughter made the drive
To come home for a spree
I think she's only here because,
To her, our food is free

Prior to this writing
My day was far from sunny
I feel a little better now
Cuz some of this is funny!

Sunday, March 22, 2020


March 22, 2020

I went for a walk this morning. Something I try to do every Sunday. Through my earbuds played a song that made me think of my writing friends and others who have expressed fear, worry, concern, and anxiety during these times.

You're Gonna Be Ok

Jenn Johnson

Some of the lyrics:  
"I know it's all that you've got to just be strong
And it's a fight just to keep it together
I know you think that you are too far gone
But hope is never lost
Hold on don't let go
Just take one step closer
Put on foot in front of the other
You'll get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You're gonna be okay"

Please don't think that I am in any way making light of a person's mental health or ability to endure hard times.  The words of this song brought me comfort and I had hoped they would do the same for you. 

My faith and trust in God helps me believe...we are going to be okay. I pray you will begin to believe it as well.

Saturday, March 21, 2020


March 21, 2020

My husband and I rearranged my office this morning in order to make access to our printer more feasible.

When we finished, I began organizing that which had gotten disorganized during the transition, as well as that which had been disorganized for months.

This past summer, I had participated in a number of writing opportunities. In the rearranging and organizing today, I found two of the notebooks I had used to record my writing.

Summer Writing Notebooks 2019
50 Writing Prompts Inspired by Summer! - Bryn Donovan
Teachers Write Summer Camp 2019 - Kate Messner

Naturally, I began reading some of my early recordings; all of them responses to prompts provided. Some of what I wrote was pretty good. Some of what I wrote was totally off topic (probably because I was still unsure of myself as a writer then).

I couldn't help but think, "I can write this so much better now."

I think I see some revisions in my future.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Random Thoughts

March 20, 2020

Today, as I disinfected my kitchen, I happened to glance over at the stacks of books and notebooks in my living room.

At that moment, I had the randomest thought...

I am okay with not being artistically creative. But, I'm not okay with not being able to create through writing.

I don't always drink the recommended 64+ ounces of water in a day. But when I do...just kidding. 

I don't, because I'm a teacher and I don't have the luxury of going to the bathroom when I want or have to. 

But now that I am home, I have really been trying to get it in. And it's actually nice being able to use the bathroom whenever.

But now, I feel like I'm spending more time in the bathroom than in other rooms in the house. 

Okay, I'm not really, but it seems like it.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Spring: Poetry with Training Wheels

March 19, 2020

My first couple of attempts at writing a poem about Spring.


Newness emerges.

Nature awakens.

The sun shines bright.

Animal babies are born.

Plants begin to bud.

Flowers bloom bright colors.

Spring has sprung.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Mid-Morning Observations

March 18, 2020

I went for a run/walk today. It was hard, because I really pushed myself. Afterwards, I decided to just walk. I took out my phone and started recording my observations.

so many birds singing their morning songs
the sun peeking through floating clouds
a gentle breeze cools the air

rushing rivers of water flow along the curbs
waters collected during last night's storm
piles of brittle tree limbs litter the pavement

the neighborhood is quiet
only the sounds of nature can be heard
a far cry from the early morning crackles of thunder and lightning

the air smells fresh, almost like "newness"
a warm smile from a contractor busy about his work
the trees shake off showers of rain left behind

the sun shines through a little bit more
present longer as the clouds thin out
this gentle breeze cools me so

I needed to get out today...be off my normal routine in good way...being present in this moment...seeing, hearing, feeling the beauty all around me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Ocean: Poetry with Training Wheels

March 17, 2020

I always write my thoughts out by hand first.

I decided to stretch my-writing-self by dabbling in poetry.
I call it "Poetry with Training Wheels", because of the "Word Associations" support in the margin.

The Ocean

The ocean possesses waters so deep
Billowing waves that never sleep
The currents flux with the changing tide
Providing surfers the smoothest ride

Monday, March 16, 2020

A Positive Spin on Hysteria

March 16, 2020

Today my husband and I went grocery shopping for the fourth time in about four or five days. I hate to have to admit that may have reacted to the hysteria, just a little bit. Ok, maybe a lot. We just want to be safe rather than sorry.

Plus, our daughter is coming home from college for a few days.  She gotta eat, right? I mean, she did recently tell me that lately she has been living off of just pancakes.

It is our parental duty (teehee, I said duty!) to ensure she eats well while at home, right?

Yeah, that sounds good. I'm going with that.
(No hysteria shopping here folks.)

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Routineless with Too Much Time

March 15, 2020

I have gotten so off my routine being on Spring Break. I'm sleeping longer and staying up later. I love having a break from school. It is very much needed, and it is completely well-deserved. But, I was actually looking forward to starting back on Monday, March 16, because I keep a specific routine during most of the school year. Being on break makes it too easy to get off a routine, and now I have a longer break. I guess it's time for some new routines.

3:45am - wake up, Spanish Lesson, Bible Reading and Prayer

4:45am - get ready / leave for CG or YMCA (?)

6:15am - return home to prepare breakfast and eat

This is actually part of my normal morning routine.

I tried writing out a schedule/routine for rest of the day. I got up to about 9:00am. Then, I quit and erased it. I got overwhelmed.

It is so hard to plan an entire day that is usually filled with constants, sureties, and normalcy.

What am I supposed to do with all this time?

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Stranger Things

March 14, 2020

Saturday, March 14...today should be the Saturday before the Monday that I return to school after Spring Break. But, it's not. It is actually, so far, the first of three Saturdays I will be out of school until we go back on Monday, March 30.

During my official week of Spring Break, I seemed to have no energy to do much of anything. I spend a lot of time lounging on the couch, thinking, "It's only a week. I need to be rested and recuperated before going back to finish the year strong." (To be fair, I did a lot of writing and working out, too.)

But, for some reason, once I got the notification that our "break" would be extended two more weeks, I seemed to suddenly possess some supernatural amount of energy to clean my entire house today (with my husband's help, of course).

I personally find this to be strange, and I wonder if others have experienced this.

Maybe it's just mental...knowing that I now have a lot more time to do a lot more things and still be rested and recuperated by the time we go back.

I don't know! It's just strange, to me.

Friday, March 13, 2020

All I Got is FAITH!

March 13, 2020

There is so much uncertainty and fear in the world right now. COVID-19/Coronavirus, slanderous talk, lies, attacks, school closings, event cancellations, spring break extensions.

On the surface, it would be easy to, as many already have, give in to fear, panic, and hysteria.

But, I choose to trust that God in complete control. None of this a surprise to him.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Watching Golf

March 12, 2020

My husband has been trying to get me to come out and watch him play golf. Yep, you are reading correctly...watch. him. play. golf. 

For a long time my answer was an emphatic, "NO!" But, I had also been wanting him to come out and try a Camp Gladiator workout. His response was always an emphatic,"NO!"

So, I made a deal with him. "You do a CG workout with me, and I'll go watch you play golf."

During my Winter Break, he did a CG workout. So here I am today, during my Spring Break, watching him play 18 holes of golf.

Here's how I'm feeling...

1. I'm glad I went and got this over with.

2. Golf takes a really long time, what seems like forever. He started playing around 9:15am and finished around 1:00pm.

3. The excitement on my sweetie's face and the elation in his voice as I watched each shot and he explained "his why" was totally worth it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Snacking Choices

March 11, 2020

One of my 2020 goals is to stop snacking. Initially, I had intended to stop snacking altogether, because I tend to choose the least healthy snacks. I have since accepted that I will snack, but that I will do a better job of choosing snacks that are good for me.

I recently saw a commercial in which a devil-like character tries to entice the snackers in the commercial with unhealthy snack choices like donuts, sugary cereals, and chips. In the commercial, the snackers are not phased by his antics and they each continue to enjoy their "Chobani Flips Greek Yogurt".

You're probably thinking, "Okay, where is this going?", or maybe you already see exactly where this is headed.

Because this commercial reminded me of my own struggles with poor snack temptation, I decided I must try this yogurt...and I did. I bought eight different flavors - s'mores, peanut butter crunch, and hazelnut, to name a few.

When I say these yogurts are delicious, I mean they are so very d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! There is just the right amount of Greek yogurt and the sweet, crunchy goodness that gets "flipped" in. It is so satisfying, that I almost think it's wrong. The sugar content is higher than I'd like, but they are still a healthier choice than my usual selections. For now, I will enjoy the ones I have. I may even decide to buy more. That is, unless I decide to try something else that catches my eye.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Writing Revelations

March 10, 2020

I reflected on my writing experience up to this point with the #100daysofnotebooking group, the Slice of Life Story Challenge group, and the Teach Write Academy Course group.

My Thoughts:
  • What I write is written for the purposes of all 3 groups. My notebooking pages can be, and are, blogged for the Slice of Life Challenge; and writing with the Teach Write Academy Course gives me set-aside time to work on writing.
  • Keeping two notebooks works for me, but I enjoy writing in one over the other.
  • I really like to write (putting words on a page), but I don't necessarily enjoy the effort it takes to make it creative in one of the notebooks I keep...something I have imposed upon myself.
  • Writing with colorful pens makes me happy.
  • Publishing my writing on my blogs, after hand-writing what I want to say, leaves me with a sense of satisfaction and pride.
  • Posting pictures of my notebook on FB, Twitter, and IG give me the same feeling.
  • I hope that some of what I write touches others in some way.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Please Be You, and Write!

As a participant in the #100daysofnotebooking group, I have the pleasure of reading some really good notebook pages. Most are written with colorful ink. Some are created with cut out words from other print media. Many include some kind of art. All are thoughtfully written, in my opinion.

As I scroll through some of the posts, I have noticed some writers expressing, what sounds like, disappointment with their writing, or the lack thereof. They are saying they have stopped participating (writing and/or posting) because they feel their writing isn't good enough (i.e. comparing their work to the work of others).

I feel some kind of way about this, and I hope I can write the right words that will effectively express myself, and bring encouragement to my fellow writers who are experiencing these feelings.

From my heart to yours: "Writers, you don't have to write like anyone else, except you. Your words have value and are needed in the universe. Please write! Please share! Maybe what you have to say and share is for someone other than you."

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Explaining 5 Random Things About Me

1. I workout at 5am daily.

I started running in 2013 when I lived in Hawaii. I don't remember why I developed the habit of running before the sun, but I did. For whatever reason, I feel I'm at my best in morning. I guess that makes me a morning person. When I trading weight training for running, it just seem natural to keep the routine. I will tell you a little secret, though. I sleep in my workout clothes, which makes it easier to have to get up so early.

2. I run one 5k per month.

I used to be an avid runner. I ran all the time and all the races. I have run countless 5ks and 10ks, as well as one half marathon and one full marathon. When we moved to Texas from Hawaii, I was introduced to Camp Gladiator and, as previous mentioned, I started weight training more and running less. You probably are wondering why I could do both...time. I run 5ks because I don't have to train any more than I already do to be successful. I run per month because races can be expensive.

3. I live in Hawaii.

My family is Army Retired; well, actually my husband it. Hawaii was our last duty station. Beautiful island, amazing food, stunning beaches, deeply-rooted culture, and welcoming people (most of whom are not Hawaiian). If you ever have the opportunity to experience a Hawaiian sunrise or sunset, you will be blown away. I loved driving home from work with the mountains in the horizon. Such an amazing site.

4. I started writing in the summer of 2019.

I took advantage of three writing opportunities during this summer. One opportunity was writing with the #100DOSW19 group. I wrote most of the 100 days, but once school started, it was hard to keep up. Actually, I just didn't make it a priority. The second opportunity came when  I participated in Kate Messner's Teachers Write Summer Camp. It was so much fun reading the mentor texts, imitating writing styles and trying poetry. I also participated in a Teach Write Academy online course. I wrote along side some very talented writers. 

5. I love apples and peanut butter.

Gala, Fuji, and Honeycrisp apples are my favorite. I eat natural peanut butter, packaged in glass jars and with the layer of oil on top. My two favorites brands in a particular order are Smucker's Natural Chunky and Laura Scudder's Old Fashion Peanut Butter - Nutty.


March 7

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

Finally getting a package you have waited patiently for is so exciting!!

My package arrived!!!

I just so happen to be a book lover and look for ways to inspire my Scholars to love books and reading, too.

So the contents of this particular package makes my heart skip a beat.

What do you think?

Friday, March 6, 2020

5 Random Things

March 6, 2020

5 Random Things about Me
Inspired by a post by hollysqrd on Wordpress.

1. I enjoy working out at 5am daily.

2. I run one 5k per month.

3. I lived in Hawaii for 3 years.

4. My writing journey began in the summer of 2019.

5. I love apples with peanut butter.

Thursday, March 5, 2020


March 5, 2020

There will never be an end to the amount of things teachers have to do.

We will never have enough time to get it ALL done.

Contractually, we are owed certain pockets of time.

But, there are times when being flexible must override what is due you. (in my opinion)

Being flexible in situations that are out of others' control shows a willingness to support.

It helps entire system, which is more important than getting what you're owed. (in my opinion)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020


March 4, 2020

promises made
cannot be kept
when the promiser
is no longer present

others have 
no obligation 
to keep promises made
by promisers long gone

i guess
it was rather
naive of me 
to expect promises 
to be kept
by those who never
made the promises

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Slicing and Notebooking

Slicing and Notebooking
March 3, 2020

On January 1 of this year, I embarked on a writing journey that not only tested my mental and creative fortitude, it challenged my commitment and dedication to stick with something longer than a minute - #100daysofnotebooking.  

In February, some of my wonderful notebooking friends mentioned the Slice of Life March Writing Challenge. I had never heard of it and once I learned more about it (31 days of writing/blogging/commenting), I wasn't sure I could handle two challenges at once. After all, my mental and creative fortitude were already being stretched. But, I took the plunge, and on March 1, I started posting my little Slice of Life.

One thing that is important is that I produce quality work for both. I like to be creative with my notebook as often as I can, but it requires dedicated time and I'm a perfectionist-ish.  Writing a slice could be quick and easy, but I'm a perfectionist-ish. 

It pains me to admit that I can't give my all to both. So, for now, I get the words on the page in my take-everywhere notebook and I type my blog to post my slice. I will be able to spend more time writing and creating in a few days, for a few days during Spring Break. I will take that time to do the quality work of notebooking and slicing that I really want to do.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Teacher of The Year 2019-2020

Teacher of The Year
March 2, 2020

On January 21, 2020, the announcement was made, in front of my entire class, that I had been nominated and voted Teacher of the Year for our school. 

Ten days later, our staff received some devastating news regarding one of our beloved colleagues. Not long after, we received more heart-breaking news. Over the next couple of weeks, the bad news would keep dropping like bombs over Baghdad.

Needless to say, the excitement and joy of being chosen as Teacher of The Year quickly waned. It seemed insignificant compared to what our school was going through. Of more importance was letting the people I cared about know I cared about them; for no one is promised tomorrow.

In the meantime, I completed my Teacher of The Year application, submitted it to the district office, and continued to plan and teach what I knew my Scholars needed everyday. I had resolved to "just keep swimming" until Spring Break, then on to Summer Vacation.

But, today, a thing happened. 
Today, my school, my administration, my people celebrated their Teacher of The Year.


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Reflecting On My 2020 Goals

Reflecting On My 2020 Goals
March 1, 2020

I went back and read my goals for 2020 that I had written on December 31, 2019. I also thought about my #OneWord2020. I decided it was time to evaluate my progress so far.

My Goals:
  • Write Everyday
  • Stop Snacking
I am writing everyday thanks to the #100daysofnotebooking group. I even started keeping two notebooks to help meet this goal. I keep one for random thoughts, ideas and reflections. The other notebook I use to flex my creative muscle. I sometime just write in this notebook, but I also play around with colors, shapes and drawings as way to creatively publish my writing, as well.

As for the goal of not snacking, I can't say I have been successful. I have had to accept that I am going to snack. I can, however, make wise choices that will help me achieve the why behind making this particular goal. In my mind, snacks are salty and sweet treats and desserts, i.e. unhealthy. I really just wanted a way to avoid the negative effects these foods have on my body, and my mental state, as I always regret making these food choices. So, going forward, rather than trying not to snack, I simply have to choose to eat healthy snacks that are a benefit to my body.

My #OneWord2020:
All in all, I am very please with myself and my progress toward meeting the goals I have set for 2020. I remain DETERMINED to continue putting forth my very best effort toward successfully making them a STANDARD in my life beyond 2020.