Don’t Be Like My Cactus

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January 2nd – Photo of Christmas cactus

Don’t be like my cactus.

For Christmas, my sweet friend Sarah gifted me with a beautiful Christmas cactus. The bright green was a very merry addition to my holidays.

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December 24th – Photo of Christmas cactus

When I received the cactus on December 13th, it had some small fuchsia blooms. On December 22nd I noticed the blooms had gotten larger. The morning of December 24th I was pleasantly surprised to find them in full bloom. With their vibrant arrival, I found a brighter sense of the holiday spirit and shared that with my family and friends. Each time I caught a glimpse of that Christmas cactus, my heart blossomed with a new floret of holiday fervor. Continue reading “Don’t Be Like My Cactus”

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Take Note

Take Note

Professional development is a topic that makes most people groan in despair. I really have no problem with professional development. In fact, I have served on many professional development teams in the past. As a fairly new employee to State Technical College of Missouri, I have the benefit of taking part in the professional development programs offered, including the “new” teacher services. While I am not a “new” teacher in the sense of experience, I was definitely “new” to the collegiate teaching scene.

Upon completion of my first year at State Tech, I received an invite to meet with Angie, the Professional Development Coordinator. Her invite stated that she just wanted to visit with me about the successes and any concerns from my first year to form an instructional mentoring partnership. (Sounded fun and fancy to me and Angie said she was willing to have donuts at the meeting.)

When we met, Angie and I discussed what we believed to be successful about my first year and I shared my concerns (which wasn’t much). She listened, shared stories about her own experiences as an adjunct professor, and discussed ideas for addressing my concerns. (She even remembered the donuts!) To conclude our meeting, Angie thanked me for my time and presented me with a brand, new composition book to use as a journal of my teaching. She did not realize just how special that notebook was.

Take Note 2I have always had an obsession with notebooks and journals. Writing is one of my favorite outlets and I have a little bit of a list-making obsession. For the last few years, I have re-purposed the notebooks left behind by my students as they move onto the next year’s courses. I don’t mind recycling, plus some of those kids drew really great sketches for me to enjoy every time I use their discarded notebooks. When I was in grade school, my favorite notebooks were made from recycled paper. I loved the tint of the gray pages and the softness of writing on the thicker sheets. When my friend Erica gave me a journal for my birthday a few years ago, I was so excited. A new notebook just for me! I used that journal to begin the writing for my blog.

When Angie presented me with this new notebook, my joy was instantaneous and I thanked her with a huge hug. Who knows what great things I can do with those fresh, lined pages! Continue reading “Take Note”

There are 25 More Letters – Wise Words Wednesday

There are 25 more letters

“Friends” has always been a source of humor and healing for me. I own all ten seasons and LOVE to binge watch Joey, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, Ross, and Rachel at any time.

One of my favorite “Friends” quotes ever is, “I don’t even have a pla.”

Rachel had drug Monica and Phoebe into the depths of depression over her inability to get a job and they were drowning their sorrows in a gallon of frozen adult beverages. Of course by the end of the episode, they had found their way onto a new adventure but it just goes to show you don’t always have to stick to Plan “A.” (or Pla “A” in Phoebe’s case)

Like the plans in “Friends,” rarely do our own intended endeavors work the way we hope. Sometimes we don’t even have a “pla,” but we do have options.

png 1 “If Plan ‘A’ doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letter.”

Continue reading “There are 25 More Letters – Wise Words Wednesday”

Hot Girls Read and Other Boutique Lessons

Hot Girls Read

If it’s printed on a pencil case it has to be true.

Hot Girls Read!

On a recent trip with my BFF, I found this awesome pencil case. I also discovered some positive lessons from the boutiques and gift shops we visited.

  1. Hot Girls Read…I am a girl and I read, THEREFORE I am hot. (Because you read, you are hot too.) Seriously, if it’s on a pencil case, it HAS to be true.
  2. Everything has the potential to be “darling” or “gorgeous,” if you are in a shop with cute little, old ladies or a very excited, boutique sales clerk.
  3. People will put anything on a sign and sell it. One of the signs I read said, “I HATE stupid signs.” (I kind of wanted that sign.)
  4. Potpourri and scented oil stuff is EVERYWHERE! (My nose hurt after visiting all those shops) The positive here is that some of those scents have hilarious names. Poo Pourri had some of my favorite.
  5. Sometimes it’s nice to hear you are “darling” or “gorgeous” from little, old ladies and excited sales clerks. We all want to be “gorgeous” sometimes.
  6. “Darling” and “gorgeous” can be really expensive, but it feels great to find a sale and pick up a little “gorgeous” for yourself.
  7. People-watching is the best in small spaces. Seeing people try to check out prices on the sly or hold up something they would NEVER wear (but trying to do it with out anyone looking) makes for some great entertainment.
  8. I can always find something that makes my BFF cringe. The gift shops provide a tremendous selection of items she finds repulsive or obnoxious. (Love ya, BFF!) I am positive we make for some pretty funny people-watching ourselves.
  9. Daily Sign

    One of my all-time favorite birthday gifts from my BFF

    They are called “gift shops” for a reason. You can find the BEST presents in the little shops and boutiques. In fact one of my all-time favorite birthday gifts came from the Yankee Peddler, one of the shops we visited.

  10. Small businesses really do appreciate your business. As we made our way through the area, many of the shops we have visited in the past were now closed. Small businesses are the heart and soul of those that run them and their communities. The service and courtesy shown in the shops we did visit was so nice. The clerks and owners were genuinely interested in what we were looking for and sincere in their thanks when we purchased something. Support small businesses. It can make a big difference.

Continue reading “Hot Girls Read and Other Boutique Lessons”

A Daily Sign

A Daily Sign

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A few years ago my very good friend Erica gave me a sign that would provide what I needed to get going each day. I LOVE this sign!

Most of the time the sign simply stands on my dresser as decoration but there are days when I stop and rearrange the tags based on the challenges that my day holds. Sometimes I select the tags based on what I believe will help my husband through his day. Other times my children enjoy adding the tags they think we need.

There is something novel about the idea of giving yourself what you need for the day. As the sign reads, “Take what you need today,” I think it would be helpful if we each started our daily journey with the emotional tags we might need.

I know not everyone can have a cool tag sign like mine, but everyone can start each morning or job by taking a moment and in your heart and mind prepare yourself with courage, care, creativity, strength, patience, peace, or whatever virtue you need.  Continue reading “A Daily Sign”