30 Word Associations for March 30

Slice of Life 2020: Day 30

  • morning prayer with incense
  • cooking dinner for the 30th consecutive day
  • schooling outside today
  • dinner at home again with the fam
  • Peeling potatoes & chopping onions
  • vegetable broth
  • dueling laptops
  • pollen on my pillow
  • hydrate or die-drate
  • chicken poop
  • we got no bananas
  • holy oil on our door post
  • write it down on the grocery list
  • did you wash your hands?
  • Face Book is a rant fest now
  • did you practice your instrument?
  • Is today a wine day?
  • growth mindset
  • neighbors talking on the curb
  • a little tennis in the driveway
  • are ya’ll doing okay?
  • let’s go for a walk
  • you’re going to tell your kids about this one day
  • Bob Marley Playlist on Spotify
  • truck’s still in the garage
  • the AP exam is still on
  • We’d better cancel that subscription
  • have you checked on your mom today?
  • evening prayer with incense

Cheap Entertainment

Slice of Life 2020: Day 29

Today, my daughter talked me into going roller blading with her in the neighborhood. Of course, the trails where we usually skate were closed. And, the tennis park was closed, so those options were off.

Instead, we skated our way slowly through the streets of our little community. Right when we started our journey, some older folks were sitting outside, appropriately 6 feet apart, listening to music. As we passed they said, “Don’t get hurt. Ya don’t want to end up in the hospital.” Not liking irony, I took heed to their words and skated extra cautiously.

For me, skating cautiously is an understatment. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t figure out how to stop on a hill and had a nasty crash resulting in unsightly scrapes and bruises. Since I’m still experiencing PTSD from that experience, I move slowly and awkwardly. Needless to say, as we shambled along the streets, we provided cheap entertainment for the bored and the amused alike.

Why? Because I was hunched on my skates like a freakish scientist looking over his lab results. I was holding onto trees, fences and telephone poles to keep from going down. I was using the grass as speed control on the hill.

Everyone who passed by looked on with smiles and some with downright laughter. People with dogs, crossed to the other side of the street, “Looks like yall are having fun,” they said. Another man kept his window rolled up, but I could see his teeth through the laughter. Yep! It was cheap entertainment for all the neighbor folks.

Yet, it was my daughter who was having the most fun. She knows I’m also prone to spew expletives as I struggle to maintain control on the skates. I think she asked me out just to get a few laughs herself. Right when we made it to the bottom of the “killer” hill, she took this photo and we practically rolled on the ground laughing.

Even though I was the actual laughing stock of the neighborhood, I’m glad we went. It was a fun way to pass the time on a weird kind of spring day.


Today we picked up our baby Silkie chickens. This is a photo looking into the chick nursery at our local feed and seed. Everything was so normal there. Nobody was wearing a mask or gloves. Instead, folks were focused on loading giant bags of seed into trucks and picking out pullets and roosters from the nursery! It was a nice break from the intensity.

We’ve been waiting for spring to add to our flock! And we’ve been waiting for months to add silkies. You can only get Silkies here in the spring and summer months.

Silkies are a smaller breed of chicken with feathered feet and a tufted crown. They are known for their sweet disposition and make wonderful pets.

This white one stole our heart with her big black eyes!

Look at this cute black one too!

And a gold one.

These beauties are so much fun right now. 😊 🐓


Slice of Life 2020: Day 27

My creative writing students begin the study of writing by looking at Langston Hughes’ poem, “Negro.” It is a powerful poem with a powerful message about overcoming obstacles, growing strong in the face of adversity, and being comfortable in one’s own skin. We look at how the poet uses repetition, punctuation, allusion, metaphor, and place to establish the tone and theme of this piece.

Then, I ask each student to write a poem in this same style. Each student becomes the speaker, “I am…”

Everybody comes from somewhere and each of us has a unique reference point from our histories that guides, to some extent, where we are going. This is one of their favorite writing exercises each year.

I always share my poem, from the perspective of a mom who is now comfortable with that role and how it has shaped my life for years.


I am a mother:
distinctive in the products I make,
traditional in the methods I use.

I’ve made children:
my brush has combed five heads,
my face has carried the wrinkles of many sleepless nights.

I’ve made food:
my stove has rocked five burners,
my breasts have nourished five mouths.

I’ve made beauty:
my hands have braided locks of hair,
my mouth has delivered devoted direction.

I’ve made a home:
I’ve clothed my inhabitants with love,
my paycheck is made from smiles.

I am a mother:
distinctive in the products I make,
traditional in the methods I use.

Once the students see and understand the structure, they are usually very excited to begin.

Here is a link to Hughes’ poem: http://amandafa.blogspot.com/2007/12/negro-by-langston-hughes.html

Grocery Shopping

Slice of Life 2020: Day 26

Grocery shopping is not what it used to be. Not three three weeks ago, we could find a cart, fondle the fruit, stare at the selection of granola in the health foods department, visit with neighbors in the aisles, find manager’s specials, place elbows on the customer service counter, and get toilet paper.

Those days are all gone now.

Tonight I went up to the local Publix. Someone had to wipe my cart down before I could use it. There was no lingering in the produce section long enough to investigate a fruit as people were near. You can’t be too near people in the grocery stores any more.

If I saw someone I knew, I’d move right along, keeping that pace to get out of there as quickly as possible. The manager’s specials were all bought up. Placing elbows on any surface, much less a hand, meant personal contact which was strictly prohibited. I kept my elbows inside my sweater. Toilet paper was being restocked as I strode past with my buggy.

Times have changed.

Now, people have panic in their eyes. They are spooked that they must enter the store at all, but do so out of necessity. There are new faces running the place: new managers and bag boys. Folks are wearing gloves and masks. As I went to the truck with my load of goods, I noticed a pair of latex gloves that had been hastily ripped off and discarded by my passenger door. Their appearance is symbolic of this crisis in which we find ourselves. No one picked the gloves up.

I opened the back of my truck and began to put my groceries inside when I heard, “Can I help you with that, Ma’m?” I turned around. It was a small woman who kept the appropriate 6 feet distance.

“Thank you,” I said. And she leaned in and helped me with my load. She wasn’t wearing gloves or a mask.

“A lot of folks don’t want no help right now, and I just wanted to ask before I came over,” she said. Then she began to tell me about her day and the crowds and the parking lot and the shelves. The grocery store has changed for her too.

After saying goodbye, I stepped into my truck, squirted two pumps of sanitizer on my hands, and rode away.