Posts Tagged ‘Postaday’

I read a book recently that talked about the speed at which things moving our Society right now. Here are the comparisons:

100 mph The company
90 mph Civil society including NGOs
60 mph The American family
30 mph Unions
25 mph Government bureaucracies and regulatory agencies
10 mph The American School System
5 mph international/intergovernmental agencies
3 mph political structures in developed countries*

See how fast “the company” is moving? Technology – a competitive market – makes it possible to do surgeries without slicing someone’s abdomen open; to complete complex surgeries and less and less time; to speed up the healing process; to use imaging techniques that allow us to see inside the body in ways we’ve never done before.

Just in the cell phone market, think about how things have changed. In 2008 I had a big heavy cell phone that called people. Period. It really didn’t even fit in my pocket. Now, I surf the net, email, and compose blog posts. I watch movies, set reminders, use Facebook, and play solitaire. I text, Skype, check the weather and actually call people. On. My. Phone.

See how fast the government moves?

Now, politics aside, should we really let a turtle be in charge of a cheetah?

*ShiftEd: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education, Houle & Cobb

This post was adapted based on a WordPress Writing Prompt: The Right to Health. I have written about political beliefs before and, in order to keep this from being a heavy, heady post, I adapted the prompt to focus specifically on government control of healthcare instead of addressing the prompt itself. I did tuck that prompt away in my memory bank and may revisit it at some point…


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My kids get along for the most part. Natalie and James make forts, do art, play cops & robbers, build sand castles, play iPad and watch movies together. They do not typically sit and play with toys together.

You see, James prefers to shoot, explode, kidnap, throw or trap action figures.

Natalie prefers to sing, dance, get married, tuck in, snuggle, kiss and be sisters with action figures.

James “ruins all the fun” while Natalie “won’t let me play.”

So, when I saw this today, it screamed unique.

This was a ten minute arrangement with Natalie convincing James that the ponies she didn’t want were super strong (in an attempt to encourage a trade). Then, the playhouses and ponies were divvied up and placed on opposite sides of the room; Natalie dictating that James lived in his city, she in hers. But, for ten minutes I enjoyed this very unique play experience.


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As promised last week, I made an attempt at a fully manual shot for this week’s photo challenge. Only I didn’t challenge myself to shoot pictures of my quick-moving, hard-to-get-in-focus kiddos. I took a picture of food. It doesn’t move until I put it on my fork!

While trying to shoot in manual, I realized that since I haven’t done that for a really long time, I didn’t know which switch on my camera changed the aperture on the lens – so I ended up having to shoot in AP, but I used manual focus. My camera has very advanced auto-focus skills – so advanced in fact that I am not yet sure which settings do what and my camera just focuses on whatever it thinks is important. Only, since it doesn’t have a brain, “thinking” should be taken lightly. And sometimes, we disagree on the area(s) of focus. So my new assignment is to review my manual for how to shoot in manual… And review the chapter on auto-focus to see how to make that more, well, manual.

When I too, photography classes in high school, I didn’t have a digital camera at all, let alone a digital SLR. And, my film camera did not have auto-focus, so I had to move slow and take multiple shots. Many digital camera courses and information suggest that you should do the same with a digital camera because we have gotten so used to shoot, shoot, shoot, check image, shoot, shoot, shoot. Instead you should focus on getting the shot you want by composing it in the camera as you go.

For this image, I wanted the focus to be on the veggies, the peppers, toward the middle of my plate. I’m not sure if that is a good composition or not, but following the rule of thirds, there is roughly one-third of my dinner in the foreground, a slice of focus in the middle and a little less than two-thirds in the background. I also white-balanced for indoor tungsten lights, but there seems to still be a bit of a yellowish cast on the photo. Please let me know what you think.

So, that brings me to my image. Not only is it a big picture of food, it also represents a big change in my life. As I eluded to in my Day In The Life post, I have been steadily making changes in my life and in my eating habits. More on that later, but for now, what you should know is that a few months ago, a dinner of herb and garlic chicken breast with 2 cups of stir fried veggies would have bored me, and intimidated me (2 cups of veggies is a lot of chewing). Unless it had cheese, and/or rice, homemade bread or biscuits, or the whole works was served over rotini noodles. But now, I quickly and easily prepare delicious low-carb dinners that leave me feeling satisfied all night. And, here is one from this week. Baked chicken breast with herbs and garlic and zucchini and red peppers stir fried with spinach in cold-pressed olive oil. Yum!


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My day started at about 6:20 when Riley informed me of the time. He got up to take a shower and the curly-headed little girl that I share my bed-space with stirred and cracked a smile while pumping her little hand – the sign for “milk.” I told her I had to get up, which made her cry – so I thought, as I often do in the morning darkness, 5 more minutes. She nursed and snuggled. I grabbed my phone, found You Tube and started playing Elmo’s World, holding the phone just out of her view. The bait worked. She unlatched and reached for the phone. Note to self – Elmo trumps milky in the morning. Good to know!

I snuck quietly out of the room and headed for the bathroom. I weighed myself nearly naked as has been my habit since last December. When I saw my numbers, I said a quiet, but enthusiastic “YES!” I’ve been working on losing weight and am finally in my comfort zone after having lost a total of over 35 pounds.

I did all of my bathroom stuff and headed to the closet to pick out some clothes. This has been especially fun after purging all the clothes I’ve shrunk out of and replacing them with fun, new, smaller clothes from Maurice’s.

Then as I emerged from the closet, Liberty indicated she’d like a ride upstairs with me. I started an English muffin in the toaster, hugged james, got Liberty a protein bar, got James a granola bar, consoled Natalie after she got yelled at for putzing, reminded Taylor to turn in the algebraic expressions we had worked on last night, warmed up some ham and cheese for my breakfast sandwich, consoled Liberty who realized that I was leaving, greeted the nanny, wrapped up my sandwich, grabbed my lunch and snack, shagged Natalie out to the car, kissed the kids, grabbed my shoes, shagged Natalie out to the car (again) and headed to the car. It is now 6:52 am.

We stopped at the gas station because Riley needed some food for a pot luck – he got cookies. We headed down the road and practiced Natalie’s reading words. I checked her folder and signed the papers. We dropped Riley off at work.

We arrived at Natalie’s school at 7:42. I walked her in and talked to the teacher about Natalie getting on “yellow” yesterday for too much talking. I reminded Natalie to listen and heed her teacher’s warnings so she could stay in the “green dog park” today. I gave her a kiss and headed out the door.

I realized that I was going to a speech meeting at the same building our technology director works in, who said he could map the network drives on my MacBook for me, so I zipped over to the middle school, grabbed the MacBook and headed to the meeting.

It is now 8:00 and I can “start” my day. *sigh* We met until 9:00 and then I ran up to get my MacBook set up. I then headed back to the middle school and attempted to get some of the things off my to-do list before my first group of students.

With my first group of students I worked on writing a descriptive paragraph about a birthday party using the 5 senses and a proper topic sentence.

Next, I returned a few phone calls and went to my friend Shauna’s classroom for lunch – ham and veggies. We talked about school a little but also our lives outside the brick walls of our building. Lunch doesn’t last long and then I was off to my room again.

My next group of students were two working on their /r/ sound. They are part of my action research project on generalization skills. I’m working on teaching them to be their own SLP’s so that they can monitor their own skills – and I can dismiss them. Most middle school students do not want to be in speech working on their /r/’s any more!

My next group is working on speech fluency for their stuttering. One student didn’t show up (again- frustrating!). I had the student read and record his speech and then we each listened for stutters – his count matched mine 3 out of 4 trials which is pretty darn good!

My next group was a squirrelly group of girls with learning disabilities working on expressive language. I had them work on a descriptive paragraph about a birthday party as well. They needed a lot more support and redirection than the earlier group.

My plan is to showcase everyone’s paragraphs in my room after they decorate a Keynote slide on the iPad with their written work.

I had a little time to work on my iBooks Author ebook on Social Skills that I’ll be using with a group of boys with Autism starting at the end of October. I’m writing the book from scratch, so it’s always on my to-do list. I started this week matching the lessons to the Common Core Standards that all teachers are supposed to evaluate student skills on.

Then, a boy came in who I work with 5 minutes a day on his /r/ sound. He is also part of my action research project so I did a little coaching with him on his self-monitoring.

I did some scheduling, returned a few calls and emails and got ready for my last group of girls, who also worked on descriptive paragraphs.

Throughout the day I entered data on progress for my students into Google Docs. Then the OT stopped by to consult about a few students – and it was 3:50, so it was time to go pick up Natalie from daycare. She excitedly told me about her day – she stayed in the green dog park and had a “wonderful day” according to her teacher’s note. She used the iPad in the car to create a play while I listened to the news on the way to pick up Riley. Then, I began typing this post in the car.

Upon arriving home at 5:00, I chatted with the nanny amid shrieks of delight from the youngest two at our arrival home. I stir-fried some peppers and broccoli and cauliflower and thawed, seasoned and baked some chicken breast for dinner while Natalie and James played board games and Liberty played with cookie cutters on the floor.

Taylor and Riley arrived home from their 3-mile run and we ate dinner. Then we all flitted about picking up, cleaning and tying up loose ends. Then kids all got showers and I researched a recipe to make refrigerator oatmeal and put that together for tomorrow. We made popcorn for the kids and Natalie read half of Green Eggs and Ham to me. Then, every one retired downstairs for a cartoon or video games while I facetimed with my mom and sister.

We herded the cats -er kids – to bed and then I wrote a couple more blog posts, got some photos ready and read blogs while Liberty watched Elmo’s World.

She started to get sleepy and chose milky over Elmo’s World this time and drifted off to sleep. I am finishing my blog post, which I woke up thinking about, and will start this whole charade again tomorrow!

This week’s post challenge was to write something you wouldn’t normally write. I write about a lot if different things. I try to do the weekly photo challenge each week, write occasional opinion pieces, reviews for local events and attractions, “brags” from the kids, the weekly writing challenge and other little, random recipes and tidbits. I don’t think I usually write about the mundane details of my life and one of the suggestions was to try an A Day In The Life post. This was a time-consuming post to write – and it has allowed me to reflect and think – no wonder I’m tired at the end if the day! You frequently hear people say that there’s not enough time in a day – but I can’t say I could find the energy for a whole lot more!

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This little girl makes me happy. That’s all I have to say as far as the theme goes. But I’d like to address the photography. It’s a near-miss. I can’t tell exactly where, if anywhere, the sharp focus is. Maybe on the top of her coat? We were on an old brick sidewalk, which provided an endearing backdrop. Her hat matches her jacket and the colors are vibrant. I think I shot at an f stop of about 5.6, which provided a nice bokeh to the background – although I wish it was maybe a tad bit sharper so you could tell it was bricks without me saying so.

I do like that Liberty’s face isn’t centered in the shot. I wish I hadn’t have cut the top of her head off, but other than that I like the general composition. Well, and she’s pretty cute. I like that too.

I’ve been reading the Digital Photography School blog. One recent article recommended shooting in manual mode and bracketing the shots, or stopping up and down to adjust for lighting, instead of shooting in Portrait or Auto mode. With some of the “near-misses” I’ve been producing lately, I’m thinking bout giving that a try. The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend, so look for next week’s challenge to produce some better photography shot in manual mode. Cross your fingers. I’ll be sweating… Especially if this little mover and shaker is one of my subjects!


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On Birds In The Hand


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. It’s an idiom that means what you have is more valuable than what you don’t have or what you want.

According to a website about the origins of phrases, idioms, sayings and expressions, The Phrase Finder, this idiom dates back to at least the medieval era when the falcon at hand was more valuable than the prey, or the birds in the bush. Throughout the years since then, there have been many forms of this phrase used to demonstrate that what you have can be more valuable than what you seek.

We are all guilty of that nagging feeling of want without realizing all that we have. And I am not talking about only material possessions. For instance, local charities and organizations are always looking donations. Sometimes we think we can’t donate to charity; that we don’t have enough money; that we don’t have a lot to give.

But we do have things to give. Time, money, expertise, knowledge, wisdom, a smile, a listening ear, a gentle touch, extra food, extra clothing, toys we don’t play with anymore, technical skills, etc. Next time a charity calls or you see posters seeking donations, try to think of the birds you have at hand. If you can’t donate money, what can you give?

Check out other submissions at:


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This photo is of all three of my babies on the one single, solitary thing that scares the crap out of me at the park.

It’s very tall and I’m not too fond of heights. It’s metallic and slippery and the steps are extremely steep. And all the kids love it.

Liberty tends not to notice the steel death trap unless her siblings decide to go over. Then the magnetism is irresistible. I beg them often to repel its charm.

Occasionally I give in. And they squeal likes pigs in mud. All the way to the top. Natalie reminding me that “Liberty could slip and fall and break her head and die.”

Not sure where she got that idea…


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