Spring Daffodils #SOL22

I loved this prompt from Denise Krebs on Ethical ELA’s #verselove.

It is called a 4 X 4 poem. Below are the constraints:

  • 4 syllables in each line
  • 4 lines in each stanza
  • 4 stanzas
  • Refrain repeated four times in lines 1, 2, 3, 4 of stanzas 1, 2, 3, 4. 

Bonus: Try writing a title in four syllables

spring daffodils
just greenery
tips of sunshine
perched and ready

checking daily
spring daffodils
when will you come?
it's been four weeks

two fallen blooms
awaiting more
spring daffodils
always past due

maybe today?
I can sense it
the brink of joy
spring daffodils
P.S. now on week five

Things I Know by Heart #SOL

My poem today is inspired by Emily Yamasaki’s post Core Memories on Ethical ELA’s #verselove April poetry writing challenge.

the exact spot you turn, turn, and plop into the crook of my legs in bed
the sound of Bubba's horn from across the lake
the time needed to boil the sugar, cocoa, milk and butter to the perfect consistency
the exact location where scar tissue replaces a lump
the eight digits pressed in order to reach you
the feel of the worn three panel leather ball resting in my hand
the sound of my father's whistle in a crowd
the boards that creak as I sneak out of your room
the woody scent of your cologne
the place between your ear and nose where I nuzzle you for a furry kiss
the blended sequence of breath and movement in a chaturanga
the harsh words spoken to me 40 years ago, 28 years ago, 3 years ago

Wrapping Up Year 3 #SOL22 Day 31

Today finishes 31 days of writing with the Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge. This is my 3rd year to join this writing journey.

I find myself better after 31 days of looking at life through the lens of writing. I’m more aware of the world around me. I keep an eye open to little things that happen throughout the day that actually have a big impact when I stop and dissect them. I read others’ writing with a magnifying glass, looking for words and phrases that speak to me. I develop my craft of arranging words, shifting ideas, creating opening lines, searching for catchy titles and hooks, wrapping it up with that just right closing sentence.

I’ve perused a few blogs this morning. I will return throughout the day. I love reading how everyone has grown this month, how this writing matters, how this experience influences our teaching, how we are better humans than we were 31 days ago.

I would like to thank Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life for inviting me to #SOL writing 3 years ago. She has dedicated time each year to read my posts giving me feedback and encouragement. Janeen Pizzo at My Writing Life has been a cheerleader for me everyday of this challenge. I always look forward to reading her thoughts about my posts. I’m so thankful for these writers and the many others who have taken time to read and comment on my writing this month. I have learned so much from all of you!

I’ve been inspired to try the April challenge of a poem a day by Kim Haynes Johnson at Common Threads. In today’s post, she gives the background of Ethical ELA’s #verselove challenge. As of late, poetry has become part of my sacred hour in the morning. I love the arrangement of sparse words on a page making a big impact on the reader. I’ve dabbled a bit in writing poetry, and I think now is the time to join in writing it daily.

So as March winds down, I am looking forward to continuing my writing journey through the love of poetry!


#bookmail #SOL22 Day 30

it's the best kind of mail

as you walk up the driveway
you spot it
a box at the door

this is an unexpected package
you order a lot of #bookmail
but don't recall a recent
buy now, instant purchase
(they make it so easy, too easy)

scissors in position
you point the blade into the black tape
pull the sharp point down the seam
such a satisfying motion and sound
next the two short sides

you bend the edges back to peer at the contents
the translucent air bubbles guard your view
the shadow of a book below

removing the barrier
it appears

today's #bookmail is a sweet surprise
a book celebrating is debut in the world
This is a School by John Schu and Veronica Miller Jamison
the results of a Twitter giveaway

a smile beams from your face
you open the cover and begin to read
a lovely story of a school community
this is one to be savored
one to be read over and over
year after year

it's the best kind of mail
It’s not everyday you receive #bookmail from THE Mr. Schu!!

Dear Notebook, #SOL22 Day 28

Dear Notebook,

The end is in sight. Four more days. Four more. We can do this.

I’ve missed you this month, dear Moleskin. Your ivory colored, thick lined paper. The way the my Papermate 0.7mm pencil glides across your smooth page. The flipping and turning to read snippets from past entries.

The calm I feel after sharing my soul with you. My thoughts on the page and out of my head. The unconditional acceptance you give me. No matter what, you’ve got my back.

I even snuck back to you a few days this month to brainstorm some Slice of Life ideas. But, shhh…don’t tell my hp Chromebook. I’m sure there would be hard feelings. It’s just not the same. Tapping the keys vs. flowing the pencil across the page. It’s nothing personal, but I don’t think he would understand.

When I return to you on Friday it will be glorious! Hang tight! Four more days. We’ve got this!


One thing I look forward to every Sunday #SOL22 Day 27

I look forward to it every Sunday: The New York Times Book Review. I pull it out of the stack of papers without regard to the other sections; I can catch up on those parts later. It’s like eating your dessert first; no saving the best for last in regards to this.

I enjoy checking out new books that are coming out, noticing which books are at the top of the best-seller list (Can you say Colleen Hoover?), looking at the artistic last page (often a panel of interesting book quips).

But by far, my favorite part is the section called “By the Book.” In this section, they ask a different author the same set of questions each week. I chose a few of those questions to answer today.

What books are on your nightstand? Love By the Glass: Tasting Notes from a Marriage by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

What is the last great book you read? A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time? Call of the Wild; Harry Potter…still working on it.

Describe your ideal reading experience. On a beach with my feet in the soft white sand, a gentle breeze blowing, looking out over the ocean, sipping a yummy drink

You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite? Mary Oliver, Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson

What do you plan to read next? It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (from before mentioned best-seller list)

I would love to hear your answers to these questions!


Yoga Lingo #SOL22 Day 26

I am participating in a training course called Breathe for Change. This 200 hour PD will equip me to teach yoga, meditation, and Social Emotional Learning to teachers and students.

My home yoga studio

I have been drawn to yoga for many reasons: the calm it brings, the centering and focus, the strength, and the words.

I find that yogis are masters of word choice. They can find the right combination of words to help you feel grounded, to reduce stress, and to bring intention into your practice.

Today was a training day. I was online from 12-6 (with breaks) to learn more yoga, share in breakout rooms, and grow with my community group.

Training days involve lots of tech and several notebooks

I took a special notice of the words that were used today in the asana portion:

  • Grow your roots down
  • Feel your foundation
  • Gather all your energy
  • Push the earth away
  • Grow out in all directions
  • Pause and feel
  • Plants seeds
  • Allow change over time
  • Accept and honor the gift of this practice

As I gather these nuggets of wisdom from others’ practice, I look forward to incorporating my own words and using the rhythm of my language to help others experience the gift of yoga.


My Happy Place #SOL22 Day 25

the invitation came after breakfast
coffee date after school?
a proposition I rarely turn down

a perfect parking spot found
one block from our favorite downtown coffee shop
a quick chilly and misty walk

the hand lettered chalkboard menu
with many options, but
I always stick with my love 
a rich, creamy latte 
in a "real" cup and saucer
with the signature seafoam Lucabe color

just enough left on our gift card
the tall table we favor open
settled in for an hour of
sipping and reading

easing into the weekend


Willingness to Help #SOL22 Day 24

She’s always there–rain, shine, wind, snow, sleet, sun. Dressed for the weather, which has been rain boots, a rain suit, and an umbrella most of this week. She hustles out to the road with her lit up stop sign to usher me across the street busy with morning school traffic. She is Peg, my crossing guard.

I live right across the street from my school, hence the blog name “oneblessedblock.” Much of my life takes place in the block that is my home and school. I enjoy the ease of my morning commute. Peg and I exchange pleasantries every day. We talk about weekend plans and the weather. We gasp at beautiful sunrises and complain about ice cold temperatures.

Yesterday, she stopped me to let me know she would be gone for the next ten weeks. By the time she returns we will be out of school for the summer. Peg is hopeful she will be assigned to my cross streets again next year, and we can resume our casual friendship arranged by our daily circumstances.

She went on to tell me the reason for her absence. She is traveling to Poland. In Poland is a school she helped start which now holds 150 Ukrainian refugees. A need has arisen and she is risking her own safety to go help. As we parted ways for the morning, I offered her positive thoughts and prayers for safe travels and that her actions will make a difference. We both acknowledged that she will be blessed just as much as she blesses others.

I walked the remaining steps to school with a tear in my eye. I was so touched at her kindness and her willingness to be available to help those in need. I will continue to pray for Peg and hope to hear more of her work in Poland.


Rain [Magnetic Poetry] #SOL22 Day 23

Thank you to Abigail Lund for her magnetic poetry inspiration.

We have endured two days of rain and have more in the forecast for tonight.

rain falls with no end in sight
but you say, it helps the grass grow

wet shoes, wet pants, wet bag, wet hair
but you say, this too shall pass

clouds hang overhead with no hint of brightness
but you say, there is sunshine in your heart

the wind is wicked and ruthless and angry
but you say, gentle days are ahead

the cycle of spring involves extremes
one can't exist without the other
one causes you to appreciate the other