Tag Archives: Slice Of Life Story Challenge

Not counting down

16 May

I’m not counting down to the end of the year yet.

Really.

There are six weeks of school left. It would be absurd to start counting down now.

But my brain can’t help it. It looks for patterns and makes connections. When my last morning traffic direction duty ended two weeks ago, my brain noted that I could check it  off my list of things that I finished for the year. And so it began.

Here, then, are the end of the year stats I have been thinking about lately, looking down from 10,000 feet.

Six weeks of school left

Only one five day week of school to go

Four more Mondays

Two more Fridays

One more staff meeting

Three more PLT meetings

Two SBAC tests

12 more Enrichment classes to teach

25 more days of school

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Life’s little ironies

9 May

I placed my groceries on the conveyor belt and sighed. After a long day at work, I was almost home.

The cashier finished checking the people in front of me, but, as I pushed forward she said, “Give me a minute. I have a mess to clean.”

I looked to where she went, under the end of the conveyor, where you stashes the basket you carry by hand. The basket that had been stowed there was oozing eggs. The cashier made three trips to and fro, getting more paper towels and spray cleaner. She grumbled a little about people who don’t mention problems and leave messes for other people to clean and I commiserated.

I didn’t have many items, and I was checked out quickly, with two paper bags in the shopping cart. Portland is plastic bag free. I parked the cart and carried my bags to my car, looking back to make sure I hadn’t left anything behind. Nope. I was good to go.

When I got home, I quickly tossed the frozen berries into the freezer and the yogurt into the fridge, then took Lucy for our afternoon constitutional. I would unpack the rest of the groceries when we got home.

I fed Lucy when we got home, then started unpacking the rest. It went a little faster that I expected, then poured myself a glass of mineral water. It had reached 72ºF in Portland!

I don;t know what caused the niggle in my brain. But something called me back to the fridge. Hey, where were my lemons?  I pulled out my receipt and sure enough they were on there, but they weren’t in my fridge. Weird. I looked over the receipt once more. Holy cow!  Two other items on the receipt were missing: celery and carrots.

The grand total was just over five dollars worth of veggies, but the pain in my life was huge. I was in no mood to run back to the store (though I did check the car, just in case.) So, I took the only action I could – I sent an email using the comments form on the store’s website. A feeble effort, but I let them know that it wasn’t the value of the items, it was the value of my time that was the bigger loss.

In the aftermath, I thought about the fact that, driving home, I’d been thinking over the fact that I didn’t really have a good Slice of Life story.  Ha! I thought, too, about the cashier, who had complained about people not doing the right thing. Ha! Ha! Life sure is full of irony, isn’t it.

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Dandelion Wishes

31 Mar

The last day of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge coincides with Crayola’s announcement that it is retiring Dandelion.

The thing about dandelions is that no one loves them until, as Nabokov says, they have  “changed from suns into moons”. Once the dandelion has transformed from golden sun to soft moon, it has the power to grant wishes to anyone willing to blow on the seed head and disperse the seeds.

So, here are my seeds for the writers of #SOLSC17…a little concrete poetry to drift through the air like a dandelion seed.

 

I wish you inspiration

and the words to say what needs to be said,

the pleasure of tasting life twice,

the determination,

discipline,

 courage,

patience,

promise,

vision,

faith,

heart,

time

to

w          e          d

r              v              a

i                  e                 y

t                             r                       !

            e                                y                                  !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jumping on the Juice Bandwagon

30 Mar

For a while now, I have been concerned about my consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, I usually do a healthy meal on Sundays that I can eat during the week. It is evenings, when my energy is low, where I eat most poorly.

For a while too, I’ve been thinking about getting a juicer. I wasn’t planning on becoming a new age raw food aficionado. I just wanted to eat fresh fruits and vegetables with the minimum prep time.

I did my research and, on my way home from my mammogram on Tuesday, I bought the one I thought would best suit me.

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I also stopped at a grocery store on the way home armed with a fruit & vegetable list, to begin making my own juices.

As excited as I was, I waited until the next morning to begin. I reorganized my counter and set up the juicer.

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I got out the fruit and vegetables my first recipe called for.

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I was a little nervous about starting with a beet recipe, but I figured in for a penny, in for a pound.  Besides, there was enough fruit there to balance out the earthiness of the beet. I chopped the ingredients into pieces that would fit through the feed chute and started the juicer.

My first juice was very red, but rather delicious!

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I am going to keep to fruity juices for a while, but I am interested in trying more savory, vegetable juices, too. After all, this is supposed to be a way for me to get more vegetables into my diet.

Biennially or Bust!

29 Mar

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Has it really  been two years already? I asked myself after receiving a follow-up letter to the previous week’s phone message.

I checked my health records and, indeed, my last mammogram was March 5, 2015. As much as I didn’t want to, I made my appointment.

When I checked in at the clinic, a laminated pink card was attached to my HMO card and I was sent back to the x-ray/mammography area. After handing in my card, I took a seat, and pulled out the book I’d brought to pass the time. The clinic was rather empty this Tuesday morning and I didn’t have to wait long before being called back.

I was shown to the change are and handed a gown that I was reminded to tie in the front. “Just open the curtain when you’re ready,” the pleasant mammographer told me. I assumed I’d be out in an instant, but I had trouble with the ties. I could see here the top tied, but not the waist. Weird. I looked in the mirror and couldn’t see another tie. Maybe I am only supposed to tie the top, I thought.

Just then the mammographer asked if I was ready. I pulled aside the curtain and said I;d had a little trouble with the ties. She laughed and said that happened a lot. Once we were in the room, she Untied the gown, showing me that I’d tied the top left to the bottom right. The top right tie had been way up by my neck.

And then the fun began.

I pretended it wasn’t happening. She kept up a stream of conversation. And, voilà, it was over.

As I tied the gown the right way, she told me I’d hear from the doctor within two days of the results.

As I checked out of x-ray, they offered me a reminder sticker for the back of my insurance card. Although I was hoping to put it all out of my mind, I said yes. The two years will pass before I know it.

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The Greening of Portland

28 Mar

We’ve had a lot of rain this Winter & Spring.

A local TV station posts daily rainfall updates and I like to see how much above “normal” we are. Today’s stats are as follows:

MARCH RAIN to Date: 7.01″ Departure from Normal: +3.75″

Rainfall since October 1st (water year): 41.25″ Departure from Normal: +15.33″

As I drive home over the Marquam Bridge, I look at one of the  Portland’s many other bridges, the Hawthorne Bridge. It has numbered markings on its tower foundations and I use these to help me monitor the height of the Willamette River. The markings are now under water.

One of the really funny aspects of the wet Pacific NW climate is how non-living things turn green with moss.

The asphalt in parking lots has taken on a greenish hue,

as have the back steps of my home.

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These rocks in my garden are positively fuzzy.

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But the best bit of out of place greenery is growing on my neighbor’s car.

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Seeing myself in 20 years

27 Mar

A few days ago, Maura (mlb1202)  wrote a post entitled “A Good Deed“.  It has stuck with me because, at 52, I am starting to see myself  in twenty years.

I am healthy, but my body is creaky and it has made me more sensitive to the elderly around me. Maybe I’m also more sensitive because my mother is an almost 86-year-old widow who still lives alone. I used to be impatient with old people, now I have patience for them: the old man trying to use his newly chipped ATM card for the first time, the woman counting coins out of her purse in the grocery line. You probably see them, too.

I think this is on my mind because, last week, on a day when there was little rain but a lot of wind and  puddles, I saw an elderly woman struggle. I was sitting at a stoplight and I saw her approach the crosswalk with her wire grocery cart. There was a big puddle where the sidewalk met the crosswalk. I saw her push the cart into the crosswalk as the white “walk” man turned into the flashing red “stop” hand. She’s not going to make it, I thought.

I watched her wrestle the cart as the hand continued to flash. There must have been a pothole because  was still struggling when the flashing stopped and the hand remained, commanding her to be still. And then she was walking, slowly across the road as my light turned from red to green. She looked at me for a moment and I nodded, letting her know I would wait. She was slow, but not so slow that I had to wait for another green light.

I drove off hoping that other drivers would be patient with her and others like her.

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