Special Person: Molly

Molly thinks she is a person… Molly is my silly, sassy, stubborn dog!  She is a beagle-ish hound we rescued from a shelter 12 years ago.  I thought I would share a collection of micro stories to show who she is.

Molly is a silly dog.  She hides her favorite baby, Hedgie, in our brown couch.  Whenever I take it out and put it in her toy basket, she takes him out and buries him in the same corner of the couch every… single… time.  Sometimes she runs around the couch in circles.  I don’t know why she does that but it is silly.

Molly likes to play the cookie game and no one else does.  This is how the game goes… Molly asks to go out.  We let her out.  Just when we get comfortable she comes in and stands in the kitchen until she gets a cookie.  We get comfortable again  She asks to go out. We let her out. We get comfortable.  She asks to come in and demands a cookie.  Repeat… Repeat… I have tried to skip right to the cookie… no deal… she still wants to go out.

Sometimes she goes out and HOWLS her head off!!!  It is so frustrating when she does this she doesn’t come in when I call her… and call her… and call her…  When this happens I have to go out and drag her in and I don’t give her cookie.  Then she paces around the kitchen wanting a cookie.  But, I refuse!  She asks to go out but I say no because she is naughty.  I can’t just let her go out and howl because one of my neighbors called animal control because she is so loud! Ugh!

When I am around Molly I have to be careful not to say the word w-a-l-k.  If I say it she expects to go on one immediately.  If she has any idea I might be going for a walk she stares at me until we go.  Sometimes I don’t tell her or she will howl at me and get in the way until we go out.  When I go for a run I sometimes I need to go without Molly because she can’t go in a straight line because she follows ALL the smells.  When this is the case I have to sneak out.  I quietly go in my room and put on my running clothes under my PJs.  I hide my hat in my pocket and go into the mudroom like I am doing laundry.  Then I quietly slip out the door and slip of my PJ costume, put on my running shoes and head out.  Erin tells me Molly figures it out instantly.  I feel bad but I make it up to her with a good walk!

The best thing about Molly is she is always willing to curl up with me and watch a movie, read a book or take a nap.


Special Place: In The Woods

Today the sun was out so there were no more excuses… time to go for a run!  Last week I got into the Beach to Beacon 10K that means I have three big races!  The Tri for a Cure in July, Beach to Beacon in August and the Maine 1/2 Marathon in October.  The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step…

My last time in the woods was on December 31st… that’s right skiing on new fallen snow.  I wrote about this in another blog post.  Since then we have had snow, rain and ice so I have stuck to the sidewalks.  I sneak into the mudroom,  slip on my sneakers without Molly knowing what I am up to. I don’t have time to have her drag me around sniffing after every smell she comes across.

I step out of my garage door and the warm sunshine hits me and fuels me with hopeful energy.  I fire up all my apps… running isn’t a simple task for me.  First my “Get Pumped” play list on Spotify, next the Map My Run app to track my route and my interval timer with its combination of horns and whistles that tell me when to run and walk.  I hit the pavement as I start with a fast walking warm up.

The horn blares on my app to tell me to start running just as I enter the woods… it figures, I think, that my first running steps are in the woods.  Hope I don’t trip on a root and hurt myself.  Instantly the air is cooler under the canopy of pine trees.  I run over wet decaying leaves trying not to slip or trip over a hidden branch.  Pretty soon I am back to a walk.

The little rough trail of woods ends at a chain link fence that one of my neighbors cut an opening into.  This trail connects to the trails on base that are now open to the public.  I step onto the base trail where it is much wider, flatter and clear of debris.  I pick up a run again and get into my running zone, listening to the music, walking and running when my app tells me to.

The trails are so different since that winter day months ago.  The snow is mostly gone and has been replaced with mud and puddles.  All evidence of winter is not completely gone as I have to gingerly cross large patches of packed down frozen snow tucked into shady parts of the trail.

The fresh air feels so good and refreshing after being cooped up inside yesterday.  It smells so clean with the occasional scent of damp leaves.  As I make my way through the woods I see turkey tracks, big dog tracks (hope it’s not the coyote), foot prints and bike tracks.  Other people are out in the woods but I don’t see them.

For a few minutes I pop out my ear buds to listen.  I hear some birds singing and some rustling in the underbrush.  Other than that it is so quiet.

After about 30 minutes, I am back where I started.  My legs feel strong and my lungs are clear.  It was a successful first run with  many more to go!  I know these woods will be waiting for me.


Learning From Home

Working as a teacher from home is a whole new concept for me… I am so glad our class has a way of connecting online so we don’t lose touch!  It is so much better to read and write where we can share our work rather than doing it all alone!  Today’s prompt says to write about our thinking about learning from home.  I have been thinking about teaching from home… I have actually been thinking about this for a few weeks because I suspected that we might need to shift school to home to keep everyone healthy.

Have you heard about silver linings?  When things are tough we look for the positive… as in gray clouds have silver linings.  I think a silver lining to this situation is we can really get into our blogs.  Many of you mentioned this during your conferences.  Here we go… we have a chance to write our blogs and I am excited about it!

So for your first post, write about what parts of learning from home you are excited about, worried about or other parts maybe you hadn’t thought about!

I am excited because Mr. Marc-Aurele and Erin are home!  Another silver lining of our current situation is that it is bringing families together.  I hope you will find some time to do something fun with your family.

I am worried because I won’t get to see my students and learning just won’t be the same as if we were in school.  But, I can help through google classroom. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

I have a true confession… I think I need to follow the schedule in the packet.  It is 3:00 on Tuesday afternoon and I am still in my pajamas!?!  Part of the trouble is that it is raining so I never went out for a run… I have just been plinking away all day sending emails, responding to emails and checking on Google Classroom.  Oh and I also read a few more books and wrote the reviews!  I have been productive but I do need a schedule!

I know this has been a rambling post but I want you to see your posts don’t have to be perfect!  For right now, this is a place to share our ideas and stories.  Just go for it!  I can’t wait to read your posts!


My Corner… My View of the World…

Do you ever wonder what your teacher’s house looks like?  When I was in 1st grade I through my teacher lived at school and slept on the tables.  I thought I would share my favorite corner with my view of the world…

Last Thursday we had a snow day and it was a perfect day.  No place to go and nothing I HAD to do… except read.  A day for me to snuggle into my corner in my comfortable gray chair, put my feet up and read the day away. I brewed a pot of very strong coffee and poured it into my favorite purplish-blue mug given to me by a student several years ago.  I had Molly curled at my feet and my fuzzy blanket to keep me warm.

I propped my current book, The Guinevere Deception, on to my lap desk and traveled off to Camelot the land of the fictional realm of King Arthur and his court.  The lap desk with yellow flowered fabric is old and not my style but it is a relic from when I was in high school that has traveled with me to every home I have lived in. It is a launching pad for stories I have both read and written through letters and journal entries.

From my gray chair I have traveled the world through books.  In the past week I have not only been to Camelot. I have also been on a sled dog race through Canada, in the Polish ghetto during World War II, I have been on a remote island with strange creatures, lost on a mountain in upstate New York, running through woods searching for a meteor while evading a band of criminals and I have dealt with the trials of being in middle school.  So much happens in my imagination while I turn the pages of my current book.

But, I also get to look out the front window and watch life in my little neighborhood go by.  I see my neighbors walking their dogs.  The kids on my street run back and forth rolling in the snow banks.  I also monitor the weather so I know when it is time to get out and start snow blowing or get out and take Molly for a walk.  On a nice day, the sun comes in and warms my body and spirit.

This is truly my favorite place.  Well… until the weather turns warm and I bring out my deck furniture.  Then, all of my writing, reading and imaginative travel operations shift outside and is accompanied by the chirping of birds and the scurry of squirrels.



Cross Country Ski Adventure

On Monday, December 30, 2019, I went to bed worried that I would miss the ideal time to go out and clear my driveway.  The forecast said that the snow would be changing to rain around 3 AM.  The best time to clear snow is before is changes over to rain but there was no way I was going out at 3 AM.

Early Tuesday morning, I peeked out my window and I was shocked and happy to see that it was STILL snowing… no rain!  I kept watching and eventually the snow just stopped.  I went out to snow blow and shovel and get everything cleaned up.  I like to play in the snow so I don’t mind cleaning up.  As I went about my snow clearing project I had an a-ha moment… I should be popping into my skis and getting out into the woods… ASAP!

Last winter I never got out on my skis because the snow changed to rain and froze every single storm we had.  I scrambled around my house looking for equipment that hadn’t been used in two years and gathered up my skis, poles and boots.  I dusted off my boots, slipped into them and headed outside.  I clicked into my skis and headed down the road… that’s right the road.  The plows hadn’t been through yet so I could ski to the trail head on the other side of my neighborhood.

When I got to the trail, I popped off my skis and followed someone else’s snow shoe tracks. The first part of the trail is to steep and risky to cross country ski.  In a few minutes I was at the access point for the trails on the old Navy base.  These trails are perfect for cross country skiing because they are wide and flat.

I was the first person out on the trails so I had to break the trail.  That is hard work so pretty soon I had worked up a sweat.  About a quarter of a mile in, I bumped into some other cross country skiers coming from the other direction.  We chatted a bit about how wonderful it was to be out skiing and shared information about trail conditions. As we moved on in our respective directions, my job got easier.  The other skiers had broken the trail and I could follow their tracks and get more of a glide going.

It was so beautiful kicking and gliding down the trail.  The trees were bent down with fresh snow which made the woods look like a winter wonderland.  Before I knew it, it was time to head back home.  I was exhilarated from the exercise, the cold and the beauty of the woods.