Daily writing prompt
What is your career plan?

At this stage in my life, I am viewing my retirement plan. Currently, I have 24 years into teaching. One more year, and I will make the big 25-year mark, which is quite an accomplishment since I am a late bloomer. I graduated from college the same year my daughter graduated from high school.

With all the changes in teaching, I don’t know how many more years I plan to teach. One goal was to have my house paid off before I left this profession, and I will have it paid off next year. Although I have had many changes, including three curriculum changes in three years, I still enjoy my career.

Next year, I will teach reading and writing again, and I am currently working on a unit plan for the introduction to speech. My lesson plans for this unit will be fun, and I hope to make this an easy task for my eighth graders. Unfortunately, public speaking in middle school can often traumatize some students.

I enjoy the planning stage and tweaking my lessons after instruction, especially after teaching something new and different. At times, I feel like a new teacher again since I thought I would finish my teaching career in humanities. Once I made that change, I gave away most of my writing, reading, and grammar books. However, with the teacher shortage and changes in the district building, I was told I had to go back to language arts. So in some ways, I am starting over again, but it’s okay; change is a good thing. And again, I really enjoy planning and designing my lessons.

The strange thing this year is that I am taking my last professional development class, except for those mandated through the district at the beginning of the year. I have hit the wall, and I have moved up as high as I can go. It’s somewhat bittersweet, for I enjoyed most of my classes. In the next few days, I will write my last paper for this course. The book for this class is called Because of a Teacher, and it tugged at the heartstrings. This was the perfect course for my last class.

So, will I retire in a year? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on how this gramma fares, and so far, I am still having fun working with my students. They keep me young and make me smile. Plus, I get paid to read and write! Two of my favorite things!

  1. Photo by Aedrian on Unsplash


Daily writing prompt
Have you ever been camping?

Camping has always been an important activity in my life. I love being outdoors and getting away from it all. And over the years, I always set time aside so that I can go to the mountains and enjoy some time among the pines.

I was in fifth grade when I went on my first camping trip. My mom had signed me up for Girl Scouts, and our leader was given some old army tents and supplies. Since our leader did not drive, families volunteered to drive us, and some volunteered to spend the night too. We camped at Big Basin, and I will never forget my first experience of sleeping in the woods. Waking up in the redwoods was so much fun.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Music and…

Daily writing prompt
What’s the most fun way to exercise?

Okay, this was a difficult one because I have two…dancing and water aerobics. I love turning on the tunes and dancing…either on land or in the water…and I love water aerobics too, just add music! I just turn the music on my phone and use my waterproof earphones and I am good to go!

James and the Giant Peach

Daily writing prompt
What book could you read over and over again?

When I was in sixth grade, I was introduced to Roald Dahl’s book, James and the Giant Peach. My sixth-grade teacher would read it to us on Fridays after lunch. There was only one problem; I could not wait until the following Friday to discover what happened next. I went to my local library and checked out the book. All was fine until one day, she caught me reading the book in class. I tried to hide it behind my textbook. In my defense, I had finished the language arts assignment and had free time, but she was not having it. She took me to the hallway and let me have it. She wasn’t angry that I tried hiding the book, but she was angry that I had checked out the book. My teacher did not want me to read the book since it was a part of our Friday afternoon activities. But she just did not understand. I loved reading! Although I finished my book before the class, I still looked forward to Fridays and hearing about James and his adventures all over again!

Later as a mom, I shared this book with my daughter, and just recently, I bought a copy for my 12-year-old grandson, Connor. Our family has loved this book. When I taught sixth-grade reading, I also shared it with my class. And no, I am not that teacher. When a student tells me they finished the book before the rest of class, I let them know that they make my heart happy!

All in a Day’s work

Daily writing prompt
What job would you do for free?

Well, I guess I am already doing it. I write for free. I started my blog many years ago to write about family stories and family history. Over the years, I added short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. And now, I am trying my hand at writing a novel, well two actually. I started one years ago and stopped since life became too busy. The next one came to me when I started a writing challenge this year to get back into creative writing. One of the prompts sparked an idea, and I am off and running.

I slowed down in March when I got COVID. Brain fog is real! Also, my second novel is going to be a little more complicated, so I picked up my first one and started writing. It has helped me to stand back and let my historical fiction simmer at times. I have set up a writing schedule and write two to three hours before I go to work during the week. On the weekends, I am able to devote more time to my writing. What a crazy, wonderful journey!

Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

A Cup of Joe and a Case of the Zoomies

Daily writing prompt
What are your morning rituals? What does the first hour of your day look like?

During the week, I am up before the sun rises; usually, I am up by 4:00, or if I wait for my alarm clock, I jump out of bed by 4:30. I have to take thyroid meds an hour before I can have my coffee. At first, that was tough. But now, I take my meds, drink two glasses of water, and start writing. Once the time flies by, I make a healthy caramel macchiato, mocha latte, or some type of creamy concoction, depending on the season. Then it’s time to spar with my pooch, Mitzi. Once she knows I have my coffee, she likes to pretend that she wants to cuddle. In reality, the coy little bugger inches her way to my cup of Joe. One time, I made the mistake of setting my mug on the side table, and when I came back, she had lapped up most of it. I had to laugh, for she did have a major case of the zoomies. Since then, I have learned my lesson to keep my caffeine out of her reach. Having pups is kin to having toddlers in the home, but I love my pups. I enjoy my early morning ritual; it gives me time to do what I love and spend some “quality” time with my littles, Max and Mitzi.

Doxie Love

What tattoo do you want and where would you put it?

In the past, I never thought I would actually start thinking about getting a tattoo. But this grammie has been contemplating the idea. I even have a picture of what I want, and it’s saved on my phone, “just in case.” Location? Well shoulder, inner wrist, ankle…

My pups are my muse in this endeavor. Love my doxies.

When You Lose Security

What makes you most anxious?

Since the pandemic, I have sensed such a shift away from kindness and respect. Some people often seem to be angry all the time, or they feel as though they are entitled to behave in certain ways. Just this week I experienced this attitude twice in my everyday life. First, before I got my cold, yes my students got me again..lol..I went to my local YMCA to do water aerobics. The therapy pool was packed, but it had a place in the corner where I could work out. I had been working out for at least ten minutes when this lady who had been working out at the other end of the pool came swimming toward me. Her friend told her that she was about to plow into me, and her response was, “I don’t care. I was here first.”

My second occurrence happened while I was at home and resting. I felt awful. I had someone start knocking loudly on my door. The guy even tried opening my front door! When I didn’t respond, he went around to the side of the house and started banging on the garage door, and he tried opening it too. By then this granny had enough. I went to the door, told him I had called the sheriff, gave them his vehicle description and license plates, and the sheriff was on their way. He started screaming at me when I told him I called the sheriff’s department, and I told him this was his cue to leave. When he tried to intimidate me, I told him to go before I called my crazy neighbor that had an arsenal and years of combat training. That got his attention, and he finally left my property.

I hate living in a time when I no longer even feel safe in my own home. I hate that I feel uncomfortable when I go on road trips or “glamping” because I never know if I will meet a crazy person on the road. It has happened twice before on my travels. But now in my home, this latest incident has me troubled. Not sure what the answer is in a situation like this. Friends and family want me to get a handgun or at the very least a stun gun, but I don’t like that answer either. In the meantime, I am adding some security measures to my home, and I am hoping that it will provide some peace. I just want my home to feel like my haven once again.