Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Slice of Life #21 Challenge Day 2: Vaccinated!

"Got my vaccine!" My friend texted us in a small group chat. Another friend responded with the heart ❤️reaction in her text and replied, "yeah!" 

My brother recently posted a photo of the Band-Aid on his arm and a "I got the COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker on social media. His post was flooded with likes. 👍🏻

We've all been celebrating the recent availability of the COVID-19 Vaccine. Educators in our state were just approved to receive the vaccine. When it was my turn to schedule my immunization, I was elated. Acting on a tip from a friend/colleague, I was able to schedule an immunization at one of our local pharmacies. As soon as I confirmed my first immunization was scheduled, I shared my good fortune with my mom, my boyfriend, and my friends. That night I couldn't sleep. Who would have ever thought that I would be excited about a vaccine?

Last night I received my first Covid-19 vaccination. I was so nervous that I forgot my printed consent/insurance forms for receiving the immunization. My hands were shaky as I signed my name. I almost checked that I had received the shingles shot. (I hadn't.) The pharmacy technician, who must deal with people like me all of the time, was gracious and handed me new paperwork so I didn't miss my appointment. 

As I waited for my name to be called, I sat in the cold plastic chair at Walgreens, wrapped my feet around the metal legs, and nervously scrolled through my phone. 

"Trina?" 

I nearly jumped at the sound of my name. 

"Yes," my voice was barely audible.

I was brought back into a small vaccination booth and the pharmacist gently said, "this will be similar to a flu shot. Just relax." I pulled up my left sleeve, held out my arm, and looked away. 

After one deep breath, it was over. The injection didn't even hurt. 



Unfortunately, I didn't receive a cool sticker like my brother did, but I now have a bit more relief that I am a little closer to protecting myself against getting seriously ill from Covid-19. 

I am grateful. 


Looking to connect with a positive, supportive online community? Consider sharing a slice of your life with Two Writing Teachers. All writers are welcome! 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Slice of Life #21 Challenge Day 1: Begging for Oatmeal


The spoon clinks on the side of my ceramic cereal bowl. Like a Pavlovian bell, Emma dashes into the kitchen. She nuzzles her petite face against my legs. She purrs. She meows. She nuzzles my legs again. 

I am in the middle of eating my morning oatmeal. Emma begs for a taste. As I finish the last few bites of my instant oatmeal, I save the last bit for Emma. She eagerly laps up the oats, licks her dainty lips, and saunters out of my kitchen. 

Emma's morning oatmeal

"Emma, you must be the only cat in the world who loves instant oatmeal." I chuckle to myself. What an odd thing for a cat to beg for. 





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Sunday, February 28, 2021

#sosmagic: The Power of Notebook Rereading


I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us.#sosmagic


#sosmagic: The Power of Notebook Rereading 

I'm reaching the end of my current writing notebook. Before I shelve that notebook and begin the next, one of my rituals is to look back and reread some of the things that I was thinking or noticing as I filled that book. I am almost always surprised what I discover; I forget things so easily. Remembering by rereading my writing often serves as an unexpected gift. Rereading this notebook was no exception - I was reminded of a recent surgery and my recovery period.   

In late November, I had carpal tunnel release surgery on my right wrist (my writing hand). In the first few days following my surgery, my wrist was swollen and bandaged. Although I had limited mobility in my right wrist, it was difficult to do the most simple things, like shower, put on shoes, or even open a convenience container of food. Yet I wanted to keep writing, so for a few days I wrote using my left hand. 

Below is a haiku I wrote shortly after my surgery (left-handed):

Carpal tunnel fix/
Icing, elevating hand/
Repeat new routine. 


Immediately following my surgery, I found myself full of gratitude for my body parts that worked well and didn't cause me pain. I was thankful that I could write or type using my left hand. During this time, I thought often about people who need to adapt to a sudden disability/pain and how challenging this must be. 

Three months after my surgery, I have full mobility again in my right hand and wrist. However, until I reread some of my notebook writing, I had forgotten how difficult the first few days following my recovery were. I am glad that I have a record of this time - a sharp reminder of how precious and sacred our bodies are.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

#sosmagic: For the Love of Writing


I’m joining an open community of writers over at 
Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us.#sosmagic

#sosmagic:For the Love of Writing 


Ruth's question nudged me to consider my current writerly life. In a challenging and exhausting school year, what motivates me to spend each day writing?

Ruth's writing invitation reminded me of a recent podcast I listened to - an episode on NPR's Life Kit. Poet Maggie Smith, was interviewed about finding hope in difficult times. Towards the end of the podcast, Smith offered listeners three suggestions for how to keep moving forward. Her first step especially resonated with me:
"One thing that always helps me is making time each day, even if it's a little bit of time, to do something that makes me feel like me, life my core self, apart from whatever trouble or stress of whatever else is going on in my life. And so for me, that's writing."
Since I listened to Smith's words, this thought has been spooling in my mind. What can I do every day that makes me feel like me? 

Like Maggie Smithwriting makes me feel like me. Although I publicly share a small fraction of my writing, carving out a time for writing every day centers me. 

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 
William Wordsworth

I often fill my notebook with messy thoughts. Writing helps me sort through my myriad of issues using a healthy outlet. The act of writing calms me. Rereading my writing often reminds me how hard I am on myself. 

I love that writing helps me notice small moments.
I love that writing helps me practice gratitude.
I love that writing helps me show up as a more generous, kind person.
But mostly...I love that writing makes me feel like Trina.

What do you love about writing? 




Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Slice of Life Challenge: Cat Envy


"I am so jealous of the cats today. They have this wintering thing figured out," I remark.

"All I want to do is crawl back in bed," My teenage son replies. 

"Me too."

We both sigh. 

It's 7:30 on a chilly Wisconsin morning. The current temperature outside is -8 degrees Fahrenheit, not including the wind chill ranging from -20 to -30 degrees. I am freezing just thinking about getting into the car to head into school. 

My elderly cats have already burrowed in the fleece blanket on my queen bed. As usual, their bodies are nestled next to each other. Emma covers her petite face with her paws. I can distinctly hear Victor, my fourteen-year-old cranky domestic shorthair, loudly purring. As an over-active groomer, he has a soft, red sweater on to prevent him from further damaging his skin. My cats don't even pick up their heads as we turn off the lights and exit the bedroom. Their eyes are closed. Their tales are tucked in. They look so warm and comfortable. 

I yearn to crawl back into bed and snuggle in my warm covers, emerging when it is at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside. 

Instead, donned in wool socks, multiple layers of warm clothing, stocking hat and upcycled sweater mittens, I step outside to begin a new day.  



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Saturday, February 6, 2021

#sosmagic:The Kindness of Neighbors

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us.#sosmagic

                                                            #sosmagic:The Kindness of Neighbors

"Thank you so much," I said, my voice muffled by my scarf, winter hat, and hood. "I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this."

"No problem. It feels good to help someone else," my neighbor responded. 

On Thursday we were pounded with over six inches of heavy snow. As a single mom on a night when my kids were at their dad's house, the amount of snow that I needed to clear away was daunting. I had been working on shoveling my driveway. At that point I had been shoveling and sweating for forty-five minutes, and I was only about 1/3 of the way finished. 

"Thank you. Thank you. You will save me so much time," I said. 

He smiled, "I have had help from others at times, too. I am more than happy to help you out." He turned towards his blower.

"Wait..."

My neighbor faced me.

"I must confess. I feel a little guilty. I have a snow blower that a friend gave me last winter. It's been sitting in my garage because I am not sure how to use it. I am intimidated by mixing the oil and how to get it started. My friend mentioned that I can get a special kind of extension chord to make it easier to use. Seriously, I meant to try to get it figured out soon, but it just hasn't happened yet. I don't want to take advantage of your kindness." I looked sheepishly at my neighbor that I had only met once before.

My neighbor smiled again. "Ah! I can help you figure that out some time. Just ask." 

"That would be great."

He continued with his snow blower and finished clearing out my snowy sidewalks and apron. His thick mitten waved as he ventured back home.

My heart warmed with gratitude. Once again, I am humbled at how kind and generous people can be


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Slice of Life Challenge: Navagating Change

Slice of Life Tuesday Challenge: Change 

To say that this has been a year of change would be an understatement. In this past year (not even considering COVID or distance learning), my life has looked radically different than in past years. Some major events included (but are not necessarily listed in order of importance):

  • I moved out and rented a house. 
  • I adjusted to longer periods of time on my own, without my children.
  • I went through a divorce.
  • I legally changed my last name.
  • I started dating again.
  • I rescued two older cats, who now live with me.
  • I bought a house.
Looking back, it seems like every time I started getting a little bit comfortable with a new normal, some big change occurred. Some changes were positive and welcome. Yet, many changes were incredibly painful. I constantly felt paralyzed with fear and overcome with intense emotion. I wanted everything to be perfect, something so unattainable, even in the best of times. I wanted to hide any perceived weakness. Fellow readers, my life has felt really messy for most of this last year. All tangled in knots.

A few days ago I was journaling and suddenly realized that navagating change has been my constant this year. I reread some of my writing from this year with curiosity. It turns out that I learned a lot about myself. It turns out that I am stronger than I thought.  

Without a doubt, I will continue to navigate change this year. May I continue to learn from it and embrace it in the most positive way possible. 



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Consider sharing a slice of your life with Two Writing Teachers
All writers are welcome!

Slice of Life #21 Challenge Day 2: Vaccinated!

"Got my vaccine!" My friend texted us in a small group chat. Another friend responded with the heart ❤️reaction in her text and re...