Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Passing It On

I got this text from my sister today as she was on the way to my house: "Mom gave me a bag with some stuff you left at her house... she put some receipts she found on the ground that you dropped and also a little twine string with a bird on it that you can maybe use for something."

Just ponder on that for awhile.  My family apparently doesn't like to throw stuff away so they pass around their junk hoping that the next person can use it. Somehow I am the one they always pass it to. I have a hard time throwing things away and they probably know this. They know their junk will be put to good use with me.

Other things I have been gifted with recently: fork packets, plastic to-go containers from restaurants, magazines, sweatshirts, hotel toiletries, trinkets that come in the mail from places that want you've donated money to 15 years ago. For example: dream catchers, stickers, pocket calendars, guardian angel pins... you know what I'm talking about.

I hope I don't end up on Hoarders one day. I'm afraid to post this because they may decide after reading to quit giving me stuff. Please don't! I am grateful for every "thing" you send my way.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Sully & Alley

Sometimes I swear children's books were written for grown ups. Last week my reading group at school was going over a story called Sully the Seal and Alley the Cat. The rest of the class is more advanced and on to novel studies, so we just keep it simple and do smaller, more understandable stories. Much more my speed anyway.

As we were reading our book, a paragraph from the story jumped out at me. Alley the Cat is the narrator of this particular story and he is describing how he and Sully the Seal became friends. The line went like this:

"But Sully and I didn't care if we were different. It was how we were alike that counted. We both really liked fish. We both loved to play. We both liked being petted and taking long naps in the sun. We'd curl up together in the afternoons and Sully's coat felt like a silk bed. So it really didn't matter that we came from different places and looked different. We learned to love eachother."

Simple, but just what I needed to hear. Some of my favorite people in the whole wide world are the ones who are very different from me. Different, but the same. They are the ones who teach me the most. Leave it to children's books. They get me every time.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I'm writing this post from my iPhone. It's a first. I can't get my thoughts out as fast as I do when I'm typing on a keyboard with both hands, but I'm babysitting tonight so I figured this is as good a time as any.

For the month of February I took a beginners ASL (American Sign Language) class & absolutely fell in love. I've been intrigued with sign language for as long as I can remember, but especially for the past 6 years or so after the deaf/hard of hearing program took up residence at the school where I teach. They only stayed for a year or two, but I learned little bits and pieces back then & I wanted to know more! I would find myself getting carried away watching the interpreters as they signed & I'd forget that I had my own students to take care of. I remember random signs like.... shoes & socks. Not sure what good that's going to do me if I ever wanted to communicate with someone who was deaf. After this class, I am proud to say that I am fluent in the alphabet. I'll finger spell anything you can imagine. I also know ALL my numbers (up to the  billions- no joke), still a little rusty on months of the year and days of the week, but I could talk to you all day long about family members or foods!

 Learning happens best by teaching, so I always go back and teach my students at school everything I learned in my sign language class the night before. Most of them loved it. The ones who I thought wouldn't pick up on it very fast were some of the best signers. Interesting how it can be an alternate form of communication even for people who are not deaf. My very favorite thing from the whole ASL class was the video we watched at the end of a girl signing a song for her college level deaf education final exam. I'm going to post it the link on here, but be warned....if you are offended by language, don't watch it. If you can get past the language, its one of the most expressively signed songs I've ever seen. I'm working on learning the whole thing just for kicks. Lets just say, I can do the first 15 or so words or so.

Here it is...