Sunday, March 31, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 31: Social Media Detox

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 31:
Social Media Detox


"I've felt so good being off Facebook," one of my friends recently confessed as we chatted over coffee. Although she did not delete her social media account, she stopped getting notifications and checking Facebook. 

As she shared this, my guilt surfaced. I was nearly late to meet her for coffee. Not because of slow traffic or in result of a conversation with one of my children. I had been mindlessly scrolling on Facebook and was late in getting ready. 

"We went to Titletown Park as a family, and I actually enjoyed the experience instead of thinking about the pictures I wanted to snap so I could post on Facebook," She continued, "I have actually felt happier and not as stressed out. It has even freed up time for me."

Oh, that would be nice. Less stress. Feeling happier. More time. 

"You should try it." 

I nodded, seriously considering this. 

This conversation has been nagging at me for the last few days - taking a hiatus from social media for an extended period of time. Truthfully, it's often hard for me to see colleagues or friends constantly posting photos of fantastic trips or adventures - something that is currently out of reach for our family. And there is that uncomfortable fear of missing out (FOMO) if I am not constantly connected. Keeping up with social media takes a lot of time from important that I could be doing instead, like being with my family or writing or reading. And so much is curated on social media - selecting the best shots when everyone is smiling and seems happy. It's often a fantasy that doesn't reflect real life for many people. Yes, it is fun to see photos of distant family and friends, but I know that social media often makes me hold unrealistic comparisons of my life to someone else's, even though I know that what is posted is only one part of that person's life.  

I think my friend is on to something. I want to enjoy living my life. I want to be more present. 

For April, I think that I am going to significantly limit (or maybe completely detox?!) social media for the month and see what happens. Anyone want to join me? 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 30: Swedish Pancakes

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers


March Slice of Life Challenge Day 30:
Swedish Pancakes 


"Trina, I need to sit in on a meeting in a few minutes. Can you take over with making the Swedish pancakes?"

Before I could protest, my uncle handed me a spatula and was instructing me how to flip Swedish pancakes - thin and lacy crepe-like pancakes. 

"First, fill the pan about 2/3 full with batter. Tip the the pan just enough so the batter covers the bottom. It won't take long before the first side is done. Check by lifting one edge of the pancake to see if you should flip it. It should flip fairly easily and be a little brown."

"Next," Uncle Rick continued, "flip and finished cooking the next side on the other pan."

Other pan? Yikes, this was already complicated.

"Um... you want me to flip when the pancake is still cooking...to another pan?" I gulped.

"Yup. Otherwise it will take you forever making one pancake at a time. This makes it faster. Relax. You'll get it. You might need to play with the heat if it starts to burn a little." My uncle reassured me. I wasn't so sure. 

"Then you start on the next pancake. The trick is having the right pans and knowing when to flip. Trust me, in time, you'll just get it. I have been working on this for forty years, and they finally look like how I want them to. Remember that they will taste good no matter how they look!" 

He scurried to his office for his virtual meeting. I was left in front of my aunt and uncle's stove top with Swedish pancake batter, two small frying pans, and a serving platter. My children and husband sat at the kitchen table, eagerly awaiting their pancakes. 

Per tradition, the table was adorned with bowls of topping: whipped cream, powdered sugar, berries, butter, and mini chocolate chips. 
The spread of toppings

My turn at flipping Swedish pancakes turned out just as difficult as I imagined. At least two were ruined as I transported from one pan to the other. Three were a bit black before I realized I needed to turn down the heat. 
Uncle Rick's sample pancakes were perfect - thin, circular, and lacy; my pancakes were misshapen, had holes in them, and looked nothing like crepes. 

Uncle Rick's pancake

My pancake 
But Uncle Rick was right, after you piled on all of the yummy toppings, the Swedish pancakes tasted fantastic.

One of my Swedish pancakes, full of toppings

I left my aunt and uncle's house in Minnesota with my uncle's coveted recipe for Swedish pancakes. Apparently you can purchase a pan just for Swedish Pancakes. As soon as I find the perfect pan(s) to cook them in, I am determined to make them for my family at our house. 

Friday, March 29, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 29: The Letter

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 29: The Letter

"Mom! You got a card or something in the mail today!" Isaac, my thirteen-year-old, announced as he brought in the mail.

I practically hurdled off the couch with excitement.

"I did?" I asked, amazed in thinking about who would have taken the time to write and mail me something. It wasn't my birthday. No one sent cards for Easter, and that was still a few weeks away.

Sure enough, it was a real letter. Not even an advertisement disguised in letter format. It was a tan envelope. My name and address were handwritten in writing I recognized but couldn't yet place. 

I fingered the envelope, tracing my fingers over the back, and I suddenly noticed by the return address that it was from my childhood friend and pen pal, Ellen! Quickly, I brought the envelope into the bedroom and closed the door, ensuring that this letter would only be for me. 


"Surprise! I wrote you back!" Although I followed Ellen on Facebook and Instagram, we hadn't personally connected over a year. I hadn't received a snail mail letter from her since we were in college. 

For the next small chunk of time, I savored Ellen's words from her letter - personal updates and inside jokes we created decades ago. I reread her letter twice, thinking about how special it was to get a handwritten letter from her today. 

Mail is magical. I cannot wait to write Ellen back. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 28: Child's Play

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 28: 
Child's Play 

"Olin! I'm gonna get ya!" Alaina baits. 

Two-year-old Olin cautiously peeks his head and chubby fingers from the small hallway separating my aunt's living room and entryway. He spies his ten-year-old cousin, Alaina, and shrieks. Two-year-old giggles are the best.  

"Lay...na!" He cannot quite say her name yet, but this does not matter. 

Alaina cranes her head out of the other end of the hallway, her slender fingers grasping the wall. She lunges toward his direction. Olin races around the hallway so she won't catch him. 

Stocking feet pound the hardwood floor. 

Olin hides behind the wall and peers out, expecting Alaina to be on the other side of the room. But ten-year-olds are crafty; she whips her body in the opposite direction, surprising Olin. Suddenly, she's right in front of him. He squeals in delight. 

"Gotcha, Olin!" She gently tickles him. They both erupt in loud giggles.

This variation of chase and peek-a-boo continues for most of the evening.

It's magical seeing my daughter play with my cousin's toddler son. How I wish we lived closer. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 26: The Best Creation

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers


March Slice of Life Challenge Day 26: 
The Best Creation

Each time we leave our public library, my daughter cannot wait to dig into the books she just checked out. She was engrossed in her book before I exited the parking lot. 

A few moments later, as we coasted up our driveway, Alaina shares in a wistful voice, "Books are the best creation. Especially when there's more than one book in a series. This fills me with joy." 

She holds Fairy Lies to her chest. 


One of her favorite authors, by far, is E.D. Baker and her favorite book is Fairy Wings. She cannot get enough of her books. We scour thrift shops, the library, and any book store to find E.D. Baker titles. She squeals when she finds a new-to-her title by E.D. Baker. She adores the characters, the fantasy, and especially how her imagination transports her to another world. 

I teach high school students and work especially hard to introduce them to the joy of reading again or for the first time (even as seniors in high school). Each year I am crushed when I realize how so many of them lose their enthusiasm for books and how they stop reading for an array of reasons. Alaina's nearly eleven. I do not want this to happen to her (or my son, for that matter). I pray that she always approaches books and reading with so much zest.  

Monday, March 25, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 27: Morning Spring Walk in Wisconsin

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 27: 
Morning Spring Walk in Wisconsin

Sidewalk ice patches
crackle as I pause, admire
daffodils emerge.

Geese announce presence
in overhead honks, mourning 
doves coo near snow mounds. 

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 25: Two Things I've Learned in Two Years of Slicing

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 25: 
Two Things I've Learned in Two Years of Slicing



  1. Beth Moore's post is sticky in my mind. This year I have made a conscious effort to slice about small daily moments/story. Writing a daily small moment story has been challenging, as I always feel that I have nothing worthy to write and share. Who would want to read this, my mind always asks. Yet, writing small moments/stories nudged me to notice more and write about it. I am amazed at what I notice and decide to write about. It's kind of magical. Last week I came across this quote by Jhumpa Lahiri on a Writer's Digest Daily Calendar page, and it reminded me so much of slicing: "Stories come out of living, and looking, and reacting, and observing and thinking. I can't explain what the source is...That's the experience of being alive and trying to render it coherent somehow." 
  2. I have deeply appreciated the community of bloggers in the Two Writing Teachers Online Community. Although I hadn't blogged much prior to participating in my first Slice of Life Challenge last year, it was rare to receive a comment on one of my blog posts. I seldom left any comments on anyone else's in fear that I would do it wrong. I didn't realize how great it felt when someone visited your blog, read your writing, and actually said something about it. It's so encouraging, and I did not know what a strong impact that could make. This reminds me that an authentic audience and purpose is essential for the students I teach, but it also helps me as a teacher and writer. In addition, I have continuously felt welcomed and encouraged by other slicers. So many bloggers inspire me in how they craft their posts and in their ideas.   

Sunday, March 24, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 24: Nervcited

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 24: Nervcited


"Mom, I'm nervcited," My daughter shares. We are in route to one of her dance recitals. 

"That means nervous and excited," Alaina quickly explains.

"I get it. I would be too!"

It isn't her first recital, but I know she wants to do well. Each show will include a packed auditorium full of friends, strangers, and family. A professional videographer and photographer will be there. My ten-year-old has been working since September to prepare for recital weekend, and it is here. She has three costume changes, three different routines to keep straight, and grandparents who drove nearly four hours to see her dance.

"You have been great in recitals before. You will be fantastic in this one, too. I am sure of it."

"I guess," She quietly responds.

After a few moments of quiet I add, "Nervcited a fun word. Did you make it up?"

"Me and my friends did."

"That's a super word. I like how you experiment with words and come up with such playful ones!" 

She beams as we pile out of the van, gather her garment bags, and walk toward the building. 

I am nervcited for her. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 23: Hot Water

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 23: Hot Water

It was a typical early Monday morning marathon. As usual, I had pushed snooze on my alarm far too many times, resulting in a later, stressful start.

I just needed a quick shower. I turned on our faucet, heard the water pelt the porcelain, and I stepped in the bathtub.

A blast of ice water stunned me. 

My body dripping, I immediately stepped on the bath mat and found solace in a nearby body towel. Although I was the first person in the shower that morning and never needed to let the water warm, I let the faucet run for a few moments. 

Come on, warm up. 

My arm tested the water. Still ice.

Ugh.

I turned off the water, turned it back on again, as if somehow I had forgotten how to make the shower work right. 

No hot water.

"Joel! I think there's something wrong with our water heater!" I bellowed to my groggy husband, who had just rolled out of bed. Joel headed to the basement.

Impatiently, I glanced at the clock. How were we going to get ready in time for school? 

Quickly, I gave myself what my mom called a "spit bath" - soap, water, washcloth. Soon, I instructed my teenage son and tween daughter to do the same. They both balked at the absence of hot water and cleaning themselves in this archaic manner. 

"Put on extra deodorant today. You don't want to be stinky" I nagged my kids. I could almost feel their eye rolls. 

Soon my husband emerged from the basement, "Yup, definitely the water heater. It leaked all over. I guess I will need to call a repairmen and work from home today."

I sighed. Joel sighed. Basement water clean up. A maintenance call. New water heater. We didn't need any of it.  

In the end, we all made it to school on time. I felt grimy and dirty all day. The water heater was replaced the same day. 

As soon as I returned home and the new water heater was installed, I took a long, hot shower. I felt each droplet hit my body, spent several moments savoring the instant hot water on my skin, and whispered several prayers of gratitude for that shower. 

I couldn't have been more thankful for our instant hot water that evening. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 22: American Robin

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 22: American Robin

American Robin

Loud robins return
cheerily-cheerio song: 
"Get up neighborhood!"

Thursday, March 21, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 21: Dare to Lead

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 21: Dare to Lead


Over coffee, pancakes, and omelets at a popular local eatery, I met two friends to discuss research professor BrenĂ© Brown's newest book, Dare to Lead

Good food, hanging out with friends, talking about books. This is my happy place.

Over two hours passed while my friends and I dug in discussing BrenĂ©'s work; her current research embraces the following three big ideas in brave leadership:
  1. You can't get to courage without rumbling in vulnerability. Embrace the suck.
  2. Self-awareness and self-love matter. Who we are is how we lead. 
  3. Courage is contagious. 
I believe that there is so much value in studying (and practicing) courage and vulnerability. Even at work (and yes, sometimes that can feel really terrifying). Following the three above big ideas, I can intentionally work on showing up each day as a better human being. 

Shortly after I returned from my book study, I wrote. A few days later, I circled back to my thoughts in my writer's notebook and penned this ABC Poem:

Taking time to
Understand how
Vulnerability 
Works

Requires conversation, connection, and reflection. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 20: Fifth Grade Reflection

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 20: Fifth Grade Reflection


"Mom, I admit I did a stupid thing," my ten-year-old daughter suddenly announced as I folded a t-shirt at our dining room table. She was in the middle of straightening up her room.

"Oh?" I inquired as I placed a pair of folded jeans on my son's laundry pile, unsure where this conversation was leading. 

"I think that I was maybe in second or third grade. You know, when I was really little. You told me not to bring toys, but I just couldn't stop myself. I always hid them in my backpack."

This was not news to me. Since kindergarten she stuffed pockets of her Jansport backpack with little trinkets and toys.

"At recess I would get in a circle with my friends. I always threw up my toys in the air and my friends and I would gather them as they scattered on the playground. Whoever collected the most toys in the least amount of time won." 

She showed me a small Minecraft miniature, "like this one!" 


"But I guess sometimes I got too excited and threw them up too high. Then they flew over the fence onto the street. And then the supervisors got mad," She added and then continued in a soft voice, "Especially the cranky one. She blew the whistle and warned that we would have to stand against the wall if we kept doing it." 

"Sometimes my toys got stolen too. I lost a lot of them." I nodded my head as I folded a towel.

"Mom, I would never do this now. That's just dumb." 

"Well, it sounds like you have really thought about this." I said and then asked, "so now that you are almost done with fifth grade, you don't still sneak stuff to school anymore, right?" 

"No Mom," She replied and then quickly added, "But you aren't going to check my backpack, right?" 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 19: Daily Gratitude

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 19: 
Daily Gratitude


It's easy for me to get discouraged by challenges I face. Sometimes these challenges turn into disconnection, withdrawal, fear, and pain. Then I find myself in a not-so-healthy space, and I do not show up how I want to. In an effort to be a more mentally healthy person, I make room for daily gratitude.

Each night before I fall asleep, I write at least three things I am grateful for from that day. For example, on Sunday night here are a few things that I wrote about:

  1. My thirteen-year-old son had a great weekend at camp with his Boy Scout troop. He got to spend the weekend outside with friends and exploring -unstructured play. He came back exhausted but excited to tell me all about his adventures. I am thankful he experiences weekends like this, and it makes me happy that he still shares this with me.
  2. In church this morning my wonderful friend Bonnie reminded me of the positive connections I have in our congregation. As a seasoned grandma and great-grandma, I appreciate the wisdom and care Bonnie shares with me. This morning I felt anxious and feeling unsettles, but being at church for just an hour helped ease that. 
  3. We found our missing library book. For the past month, even time I have received an overdue notice in my email or have walked into the library, I have felt full of guilt. I am not sure where this book has been, but I am glad that it finally showed up and we only have a fine instead of paying to replace the whole book.
  4. I have some generous, kind friends who I was able to spend time with over the weekend. I appreciate how my friends show me unconditional love and make me laugh.  
Gratitude, unfortunately, doesn't just happen. It needs to be an intentional, daily act. Some days I will write one or two full pages on what I am grateful for that day, and it gives me a sense of peace before I sleep. 

For the past three years I have been in a daily habit of recording daily gratitude. If I am going through a particularly rough spot, I also begin my day with expressing gratitude. Sometimes I share out loud what I am grateful for with my dog on an early morning walk. Other times I have a conversation with one of my children on the way to school or over breakfast about what I am thankful for that day. If I have time, I take out my writer's notebook and write more gratitude. Noticing and sharing gratitude (through writing or conversation) makes a huge difference for me. 

I believe that noticing gratitude brings more joy, and I want to lead a life filled with more joy. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 18: Overdue!

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 18: 
Overdue! 

November checkout. 
December: missing. Renew.
Look under beds, van.

By January - 
second renew. Return search 
through backpacks, bookcase.

And February - 
third renew. "Can you please check
again at school?" Sigh.

March notice arrives.
MATERIALS OVERDUE. 
Library guilt keeps.

Sunday afternoon
it appeared - casually placed
on top of book stack.

No one could explain
how it got there, where it had
been. Return. Pay fine. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 17:Pickle Power

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 17: 
Pickle Power

"Mom, have you ever heard that eating a pickle after taking medicine gets rid of that yucky taste?"

"No. It might though. Pickles have a powerful, distinctive taste. Where did you hear that?" I replied.

"Nat told me I should eat a pickle after I take my medicine. Can I?" My daughter pleaded as I got her dose of amoxicillin ready.  

It wasn't even nine in the morning. My kid wanted to eat pickles. This wasn't the worst thing that she could eat before breakfast. 

"Sure. Try it." I handed her the plastic syringe.

Alaina shot the Pepto-Bismol colored medication into her mouth, threw the syringe into the sink, and grabbed the pickle jar from the refrigerator. 

She fished for just the right pickle with a fork and proceeds to eat a dill.

"Nat was right! I can't taste the medication anymore!" She grins.

"Whadda you know," I comment.

"Pickles make everything better!" My daughter exclaims.

Friday, March 15, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 16: Recommendation Request

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 16: 
Recommendation Request

"Mrs. Haase, can I ask you a super big favor?" *Ellie shyly approached me in the hallway.

"Of course. What do you need?"

"Well, um...I was wondering...um....I need a recommendation letter written for me. It's for a scholarship."

"Sure, Ellie. I am glad you are seeking out opportunities! What would you like for me to highlight?"

"Oh. Um, I don't know. Good stuff about me?" Ellie replied. 

There was an awkward silence. 

"Well, when is it due?" I asked, praying I would have at least a few days to work on this one.

"Oh, um, tomorrow. You can still get it done today, right?" Her brown eyes flashed me a quick look of panic, "I didn't realize it was due so quickly. I could really use as many scholarships as possible."

Fourth hour - my prep hour already had a meeting scheduled. That meant the only time I would have today to fill out Ellie's form would be during my lunch today, and that was supposed to be time that I was making out sub plans for the next day's field trip. Yet, I knew that Ellie was likely the first person in her family to attend college. She was probably navigating scholarship information with little assistance. I had to find time to write this for her. 

"I'll do my best to get it done in time, Ellie." 

"Thanks, Mrs. Haase. You're the best."

Later in the day, after I wrote Ellie's letter, Ellie wrote me a kind email expressing her gratitude. In my experience, not all students take the time to write a thank you, even through email. Her heartfelt message made writing her recommendation worth it.

*pseudonym    

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 15: Picture Prompts

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 15: 
Picture Prompts


One of the best parts of my job is that I get to service ninth and tenth grade students who need more opportunities to develop literacy skills beyond their core high school courses. Writing is often an area that many of my students have not experienced a lot of success with yet, so I try to provide students with as many low-risk writing opportunities as I can. 

As I was paging through Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's Poems are Teachers this week, I was reminded of the technique called Jotting from a Photograph. The Learning Network of The New York Times regularly publishes Picture Prompts, so using the New York Times Picture Prompts: Walking Down the Street, my class and I wrote based on the image (see below). 


"Walking Down the Street"
Since my students were new to the technique, we began by making lists first. Using VanDerwater's suggestion, I instructed students to make columns with the headings, "What I See/What I Think...Wonder....Feel" first. 

My columns and lists
After students jotted down ideas for each column, they used turn and talk to generate more thinking, and I invited them to add to their lists following partner conversations. Finally, I invited students to write for three minutes based on the image. Students had the option to write based on their lists, answering the question from the prompt, a poem or story, or whatever came to their minds as they wrote. 

I've found that many of my students are paralyzed to even try to write a few sentences. After all, for so long they have been given the message that they are always doing it wrong. This is the joy of low-risk writing like this - you can't do it wrong. You just need to show up as a writer. 

As I wrote with my students and listened to their smart discussions and read their insightful writing, I wrote this free verse poem using the document camera: 

Among people, 
she is an orb-
glowing in curiosity, 
connection.
Thriving.
Yet, as time passes
she becomes inundated
by noise and stimulation. 
She retreats - 
sliding below 
humanity.
Her halo 
plummets.
She is ash. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 14: Ukulele Lessons

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 14: Ukulele Lessons


After reading Beth Moore's thought-provoking slice about the difference between Storytelling and Band-aids, I've been thinking of how I can create better stories in this Slice of Life Challenge. For me, zooming into a small moment is really challenging. Lately, I have been struggling to find seed ideas - ones I feel are worthy of developing and sharing. 

When I get stuck at anything, I frequently turn to books. This was no exception. I spied Amy Ludvig VanDerwater's Poems Are Teachers resting on my professional book shelf; I paged through it, searching for some guidance.



Turning to the section called Tell A Story, and using the poem called "My Heart" as a mentor text, I created a free verse poem about beginning ukulele lessons:


Ukulele Lessons
"Do something for yourself"
Her words spooled in my mind.
I needed to find 
something meaningful,
yet manageable. 

Spending two evenings each week
waiting while my children took 
their music lessons, 
I cherished listening to lovely tones  
as I sat outside practice rooms.
Once I overheard a music instructor say,
"Feel the rhythm in your bones." 
And I recalled how I adored 
making music when I was young.
I longed for inspiration again.

An unexpected gift of Christmas money,
a neglected ukulele,
and group lessons became available
on my only open night of the week.
It's meant to be, I thought 
and signed up. 
At last, something for me.

In mid-January, 
warmly greeted by two passionate ukulele teachers,
I learned about frets, finger placement
tuning strings, and basic chords.
"Return home, practice what you learned tonight 
for at least five minutes," Ms. Katie recommended,
"and then reserve fifteen minutes to practice daily."
That evening, when I returned home, 
with clumsy fingers like a newborn foal,
I began practicing the ukulele,
knowing that I could only get better.

Daily practicing became a retreat - 
fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time:
just me and the ukulele.


Haiku-A-Day December Challenge #15: Self-Care

For the last three years, I've intentionally spent time writing and sharing a  Haiku-A-Day for the month of December . The first two yea...