Something about a Note

Dakota's letter 3

I found a surprise last night.  It wasn’t money, but it was a gift.  I found this beautiful note on my nightstand last night.  It wasn’t handed to me, it was just there.. so sweet. It means a lot to me that I have this handwritten note that I can read whenever I want to.  I don’t have to go online to look in my email.  This note will go some place where I can read it……

Whenever I’m feeling that I don’t make a difference,

Whenever I wonder, what’s wrong with kids these days,

Whenever I’m feeling down,

Whenever I’m feeling happy,

I can’t wait to see what this young lady does with her life.

Perhaps I need to write a note… thanking her.

Inclusion vs. Not Inclusion

Inclusion:   Students are a part of the classroom for both the fun times and the work times.

Not Inclusion:   Students coming to the classroom for drive by “fun” activities and then go back to a self contained classroom because the work is too hard.

Inclusion:  Students have support, accommodations or modifications needed to be successful.

Not Inclusion:  Students are thrown into a classroom to sink or swim.

Inclusion:  Students sit with peers and engage with peers.

Not Inclusion:  Students sit in the back of the room with an adult doing a totally different assignment.

Inclusion:  Takes a lot of teamwork by teachers, therapists and families working together to co -ordinate what’s best for each individual child.

Not Inclusion:  General Educator does all the work or Special Educator does all the work.

Inclusion:  Students feel welcome and an important part of the classroom.

Not Inclusion:  Students feel they have to “prove” or “earn” the privilege of being with their peers.

Inclusion:  Can be so very rewarding and beneficial for students, teachers and families.


When?  At what age? Is it gradual or sudden?  When do our students or own children become accountable and responsible?  How does that happen and how can I help it along?  These are some questions raised after listening to a conversation on a  2 hour car ride between my daughter and my 5th grade granddaughter.

My granddaughter has great difficulty with spelling and has been receiving poor grades. So, my daughter convinces the teacher to give her the 12 page spelling/vocabulary packet (don’t even get me started on that) on Friday so they could get a head start over the weekend working and studying the words for the week.

It worked perfectly that first week.  She completed 2 pages a night, studied and received a 100% on the spelling test.  So this is what happened the next week.

Daughter:  “Get out your spelling packet so we can start studying your spelling words for the week.”

Granddaughter:  “I don’t have them, I forgot them.”

Daughter:  “I specifically told you to leave your backpack in the car so that we could work on them.”

Granddaughter:  (sarcastically) “Sorry Mom, sorry I can’t do anything right, sorry I forgot already!”

Me:  (thinking) Being accountable,  respectful and responsible are the skills that need to be taught here.. not spelling.

Sewing Machine

My sewing machine calls to me…..

or is it the unfinished projects

the half done pillowcase

the t shirt quilt that has all the t shirts cut and ready to go

but then….

another more interesting project or

emergency project takes precedence

and the unfinished projects


a bit longer


Campsite Story…

Well a lost gas cap was not the worst to happen to us on this camping trip.  We also had a flat tire on our Dualie Ford Van Camper. Steve was a little crazy trying to figure out how to fix it in the middle of nowhere and I was busy staying out of his way.  But while waiting for Steve to get things figured out, I had the opportunity to visit with people that worked, volunteered and were visiting the park.

Big Bend National Park.  It’s been on my list of places to see for a few years now. I’m loving it! But more about that later… back to my story….

As I was waiting, eating dried apples and drinking vitamin water, an older gentleman approached me and asked me the best way to get to the river (Rio Grande).  We had just gotten there that morning and so I told him I wasn’t sure.

He wandered around looking for help and I chatted with his wife that was eating an ice cream cone. I noticed she was holding the cone in a way that reminded me of my friend that has rheumatoid arthritis.  Her fingers were scrunched together and awkward, but it was a fleeting thought and we continued talking.

Pretty soon, her husband came back with directions and they were ready to head out.  His wife walked to the trash can to throw away her trash, but she could barely walk.  Her feet shuffled along and then she struggled with opening the trash, you know those bear proof kind, her husband watched but didn’t intervene.  I wanted to run over and help but I didn’t.  He watched her with such patience, love and compassion in his eyes and I wondered if they had talked about him letting her do things herself or if he just didn’t want to take a shred of her independence from her. I could feel their sweet love and watched them as they made their way to their…. car? not car… a Honda Shadow 750, a motorcycle.  What?  Now I really did feel inspired and impressed with this couple.  Again, he waited patiently, as it took a long time for her to get on the bike.

Then off they went to find the river.  Have a good trip she hollered at me as they zoomed by.. yes.. have a good trip yourself.

#SOL Day 28



Spring Break

I’m traveling with sketchy internet and not able to post everyday as I’d like to, but will share as I can.  This post shows a bit of our driving 9 hours in one day adventures.

Setting the scene.

Traveling in a new to us camper van for the very first time, we inspect and learn all we can about the generator, sewer hose (ugh, but so glad to have a bathroom), water, stove and awning. Then off we go.  It’s so great, I can walk to the back and get a drink and make sandwiches.

I fill the gas tank at one stop. It’s tricky because you have to use a key to unlock it, then take the gas cap off, fill it up, gas cap back on and lock it back up.

At the next stop…… Steve asks where the gas cap is…. and asks did I forget to put the gas cap back on after I filled up.. gulp…. yes.. yes I think I did.

So mad at myself!

#SOL18 Day  25

Dear Night

Dear Night,

I need to open up and be totally honest with you.  I have this love, hate relationship with you and it’s time I told you.  As a child, I never liked you unless I was outside playing red light, green light by moonlight or catching fireflies in a jar.  Once it became bedtime, I never wanted to go to bed.  You would tease me by changing my closet into a hiding place for monsters and you would hide alligators underneath my bed.  I never had morning or day treat me like that.

Night, sometimes we have a grand time together eating popcorn and watching movies until late.  Other times, your darkness makes me feel the depths of loneliness with only the radio to keep me company. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for those middle of the night phone calls that make me jump, and my heart race with fear. But, during the day, it’s different.  I have a multitude of people around me, sharing, talking, supporting me and me them.

I welcome you night, when I’m tired and am so grateful for my snug bed and the darkness that gives my mind and body rest.  But then, there are those other nights, when you won’t let me sleep because the quiet darkness makes my mind relive and wish for a redo when I really just need a recharge.  As the day dawns and the sun promises a new beginning, my mind is busy with the clutter and noise that helps me forget.

And so night, now you know my true feelings.  I love you and I hate you.  At the end of the day,  I’m sure we can work things out.  Let’s talk.

Yours nocturnally,


#SOL18  Day 22