Day by Day, Learning Continues

Day 8 – I learned long ago about author and poet, Mary Oliver and how her poetry resonates with me. This poem, titled
Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End? is simply beautiful.snow daisy3-sm

Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.

But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?

Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.dew rose1-sm

When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking to the center of everything:
the seed, the egg, the idea that was also there, beautiful as a thumb curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,

as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?

Day 9 –I learned that I can quiet a class of 28 students within seconds because they know that in order to play a game, they have to be silent. The guessing game, is often played during those few moments when the librarian is out of the room. “Ok, I’m thinking of a letter of the alphabet …”  I have one student next to me who gets to hear the answer. Then with each guess, I lean down and ask the student, “Was that the correct answer?” The student is my “proof” that I am not changing the answer. It’s quick, fun and a change of pace for these first graders. And, it’s a blast for me!

Day 10 – I learned that our elementary students need to know how to use the keyboard in order to succeed. I learned the keyboard in the 11th grade of school.

School based testing is completed on computers. No more fill in the bubbles using 2# pencils. Instead, they read the computer test online and answer online. If it’s a math test, they are allowed to use paper to solve problem, however, they are required to enter their work on the computer. Any stories they write or sentences they complete – all entered on the computer.

So, let’s imagine a third grader taking required school based tests. The stress involved with reading and understanding the passage is only one of the issues. When asked to write what they thought of the story or characters, now they have to know how to use a keyboard in an efficient manner. These kids are 9 years old. They are struggling with test taking and now, they need to know the basics of keyboarding. Heck, we’re not asking too much, right? Geesh!

Please understand that I think it’s great for my grandson to learn keyboarding as a first grader – I think it’s beyond great – however, for those that struggle with the keyboard should not have to deal with it during testing as well. Like many things in the school system, this isn’t about the student. It’s a money saving issue.  Alas…

Day 11 –

Found some great youtube videos – Sometimes, it’s just good to laugh. Check out the video on Donnalou Stevens website for a giggle or two!


Books, Presentations, & Windows 10 stuff

What else have I learned you ask?

Day 5 –  I learned that several people can read the same book and have such different opinions about it. The book in particular is The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood. Some readers felt so creeped out by it they put it aside with no desire to finish it. Others got past the creep factor and made it to the last page. Others, yes, I am one of those others – actually got into the book and enjoyed the way it unfolded. At first the story line was disturbing but by sticking with it, I was able to enjoy the ride.

I have often been the person who was totally turned off by books that my friends enjoyed. They loved the plot, they loved the characters – whereas I was visibly upset by the story or unhappy with the characters.

It’s amazing how the same words can affect people so differently. Perhaps it’s because of the qualities of each unique self and what they bring to the table. Perhaps it’s just an ‘in the moment’ kind of attitude.  There are some books that I’ve read years ago that can make me angry, sad or squirm when I think of them today. Others make me want to reread them and get that glow or rush or inspiration. And yet, when I read books now they often have a different flavor from when I last read them. I’ve grown and changed over time and my attitude about subject matter changes with me.

Day 6 –  I learned not to trust the Ms Windows 10 upgrade. It was a really bad idea. The keyboard stopped working. My tracking stopped working. Browser tabs froze or closed. There was no way to fix it so I went online to see if others had this issue as well. Oh my!

There were TONS of pages of people with the same issue. I figured out that I had to uninstall and return to Windows 8. Sigh …LEARN FROM ME, stay far away from Windows 10 if you can help it! Ugh!

Day 7 – I attended a Rotary assembly today and listened to the Keynote Nurse Kelly speaks at Rotary Assembly in Cheyenne, WYSpeaker, Miss Colorado Kelly Johnson. I learned that she altered the culture of the Miss America contest by using her nursing talent as her ‘talent.’ She created a monologue about a nurse/ patient conversation and shined the spotlight on her profession.  Afterwards when her ‘talent’ was mocked, nurses across the nation stood up with united voices and fired back. In my opinion, nurses are the force that get us well again, not doctors. See the interview on

My friend Cee is a nurse and she told me if I ever hear a nurse say these words, “… you know, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion” then you turn and RUN out the door as fast as possible. Those ‘code words’ are insider knowledge about the doctor. Nurses KNOW things they could never tell the public. However, they are also there to serve you. Heed their casual suggestion.

Well, it’s been a week – are we having fun yet? I know I am. See you again on Thursday!


100 Days of Learning Begins!

Day 1 – I learned the value of coconut oil. I’ve heard all the good things it can do but I actually used in on my face and hair (hey, it was a snow day and I had LOTS of time to spend on me!) The coconut oil, once melted and rubbed into the ends of my hair and then left for 30 mapril 2016inutes or so was the
perfect thing for my dry hair. The warm oil I rubbed on my face felt so smooth and my skin felt so soft afterwards. The only drawback was getting the oil on my eye lashes.

I know some people who swallow teaspoons of coconut oil or brush their teeth with it. I haven’t tried that yet but if there’s another snow day, I’ll let you know!

Day 2 – I learned about the circle of fifths. I listened to Surprisingly Awesome podcast and the topic of Circle of Fifths was discussed. If you are into music, this is nothing new. If music is like a foreign language, like it is to me, the circle of fifths is a whole new concept. Check out this link to learn more:

Day 3 – I learned that I am a better person when I exercise. Whether it’s movement on a treadmill, lifting weights or walking – my body, mind, and soul feel stronger and healthier.

Day 4 – I learned that laughter is healthy and makes me feel connected. This image did the trick for me.­­­­­­­­­­­­


Surprisingly Awesome podcast

100 Days of Learning

I love challenges and I’ve created one for myself that will take me through July 27. It’s about learning something every day. Discovering, reading, learning, understanding, asking, wandering, wondering and growing with each lesson.

During this exercise I won’t blog every day due to circumstances like … life, travel, activities, adventures and other things that keep my fingers from the keyboard. I will record what I learned each day when I do blog.

I hope you take this trip with me or better yet – join me and we can learn from each other.

The fun begins today, Monday April 18. I’ll post every Monday and Thursday during these 14 weeks. Stop by and follow me, laugh with me, invite me to write on your blog, dance with me, and most of all – learn with me.

Related pages:

Wild White Morning Snow

Colorado Spring Snow

I woke this morning to about 7 inches of heavy wet snow on the ground. The budding lilac bushes were weighed down and stressed out. The tulips disappeared and the evergreens were supremely white.

My venture out the door was at 6:30 am. I had to clear the branches, flowers and trees and set them free. And while I was at it, I might as well to shovel the driveway. The snow was so wet I struggled to get it off the sidewalk. I had to take it in slow and tiny bites or else whack my back.

While I was outside (and the rest of the world was sleeping), I picked up the Sunday paper for neighbors and laid them outside their front doors. Just a friendly gift from me to them. They never need to know who that little elf was … shhhhhh!

april snow

Coming back in the house was quite an ordeal.  The hood of my sweatshirt was loaded with snow and my coat was soaking wet. Knocking down the snow using a garden rake not only cleared the branches but woke me up the way no cup of tea could ever do!

Spring snowfall is not that unique. Most of the snow accumulation occurs in March and April in Colorado. The snowfall totals from this past storm dumped up to 40 inches in the mountain towns and even more in the high mountain peaks. Snow sometimes falls in May like it did last year on Mother’s Day and there are those rare June snowfalls. They happen… They come and the entire world changes for a day or two then the sun reappears, melts the snow and everything turns green again.

Mother Nature likes to have her way with us.