Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year

Tonight is New Year’s eve and it is time to put 2021 behind us and look forward to 2022.

I wish you a happy and safe new year. May 2022 bring you lots of blessings and happiness.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

2021 End of Year Review

Last year I did this review and I thought it was a good way to review the year so I will do it again this year. 

Describe 2021 in one sentence. 

2021 seemed like a very long year with lots of ups and downs. 

  1. What’s one way your life has changed for the better? I learned to slow down and enjoy life more. 

  2. What is the biggest challenge you faced? Teaching my first online class. 

  3. What would you go back and change (under your control) and why? Decluttered more. I seemed to have accumulated more. 

  4. What major life lesson did you learn? People don’t want to really know what I think unless I am agreeing with what they think. 

  5. List your Aha moments. Teaching an online class is fun. 

  6. Did you achieve your goals this year? Most of them but I could have done better.

  7. If so, how? Reviewing my goals on a monthly basis is most effective for me.

  8. If not, why? I didn’t seem to have the willpower to eat less. 

  9. Set just one primary goal for 2022 using S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-sensitive) Lose at least 5 lbs.

How was your year? Please share. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Build Your Strength

"The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In Build Your Strength, Rushton features an ad from a mail-order pharmacy in Germany. I love how it focuses on the man’s determination to reach his goal.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“The ad is from DocMorris, a German company that is listed as the largest mail-order pharmacy in Europe. Is this an effective ad for them? Why or why not?”

I love watching this man decide that it was possible to reach his goal and we saw through the changing of the seasons, that it took time but he didn’t give up. This would be such an inspirational video to show students. Even though their goals may seem impossible, if they keep trying and work towards their goal, they will eventually get there. I think it is also important to have some reminder of why they are working towards this goal. As I continue to work on losing weight, I have a photo of what I looked like at my goal weight years ago. I look at it every morning to help me have the willpower to do what I need to do.

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Holiday Visitors

It is always fun to have holiday visitors and there is an urge to do all the things all of the time. But it is important to take a step back and include some downtime in the visit. Take time to just enjoy your visitors and relax.

Whenever I have visitors for the holidays, I’m usually bustling around trying to get the house cleaned and organized for the visit. By the time the visitors come, I’m a little worn out! I try to take an hour or two before they arrive to just rest and relax.

Once the visitors arrive, it is go, go, go, all of the time. We want to show them our favorite places and our favorite places to eat. Listening to their expectations, we also want to do the things they want to do too. Plus, it takes patience to make a whole group of people happy so making decisions can be a little challenging.

All this adrenaline rush and stress can be tiring for everyone!

By taking a little time each day to just sit and relax and visit, will help everyone recharge. Encourage those that need a little nap, to take it. I usually pull out my knitting to help me relax but others might like to read or play games on their phones,

If you are a holiday visitor, offer to do some chores for the host. It might involve taking out the trash or doing the dishes. Try to remember that you are disrupting their daily routine so try to find out what the routine is early in the visit.

I love holiday visitors but I need to remember that the time with my visitors needs to be cherished. If I’m too tired or stressed, it is hard to enjoy our time together.

How do you deal with the stress of holiday visitors? Please share.

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Monday, December 27, 2021

Music and Nature

“The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In Music, Nature, Art, and Cell Phone Company Commercials, Rushton features a video of a xylophone in nature.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Is this a good commercial for the company? Why or why not?

Did anything strike you as cool about it? Write down one or two things that stood out to you. In your group, and after others have had the chance to write something down, pass what you wrote to the person next to you so everyone gets to read someone else’s idea.

Did you learn something from what stood out to someone else?”

Watching this video was almost hypnotic and fascinating! I kept thinking about the work that went into making this xylophone and how much precision had to be involved! I think this video would inspire many different types of questions and engage students in interesting conversations!

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas! 

Tomorrow is Christmas Day so I’m taking a break today from my Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom in order to wish you a Merry Christmas.

I hope this Christmas season has brought you joy and good health.

Have a safe and joyful Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Christmas Newsletter 2021

This year has been full of lots of ups and downs. It seems like this year was longer than most because of health issues.

We returned home to SC so we could go to a couple of doctor/dentist appointments, pay taxes, and check on the house. We only planned on staying for two weeks. At the end of the month, we caught Covid-19. I had a fever for one day but Don had one for a total of 12 days. We thought his fever might have been from the tooth he had pulled that had abscessed. After 10 days of a high fever, he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Covid. They didn’t give him anything other than to tell him to stay hydrated. 2 days later, his fever was gone.

We just spent the month recuperating. Neither one of us had any energy and very little appetite. Once we got our taste back, we ate anything we wanted. I guess it was comfort food. At the end of the month, we returned to FL.

The sun and the warmth of FL were good for recuperation. We didn’t do much other than enjoy the weather. Don attended his stamp club meetings which made him happy.

We returned to SC and were feeling better. We did go camping for a week in the Smokies. Hikes were shorter than we usually do because our energy levels and stamina were still low. The weather was perfect though the entire week.

Don had cataract surgery on both eyes. They did the surgeries 2 weeks apart and I had to administer the drops in his eyes, That was not a fun time for either of us! The 2 weeks between surgeries were really hard for Don because his vision was not clear at all so I did all of the driving.

A few days after his last surgery, we left for our trip to Minnesota. Since his vision was still not clear, I did all of the driving for 4000 miles. We had a wonderful trip and saw fabulous things. We even stayed at the Kettle Falls Hotel in the park which is only accessible by boat. We spent a week in Rochester, MN for my knitting retreat and it was wonderful to see all of my friends again.

I taught my Practicum class in person. It was so nice to have it in person instead of online. I really missed the children and my students. I had a great bunch of teachers this year and it was a fun class the whole time. During this month, Don was diagnosed with diabetes and the doctor agreed to let him lower his sugar through diet and exercise before trying medicine.

Don had surgery on his eyes to fine-tune and adjust his vision. This seemed to help. Of course, this kept us from doing anything fun the whole month since we were dealing with eye drops and warm compresses. I applied for Social Security which was exciting for me. We worked on some things that needed to be done around the house.

We went to the Apple Festival in Hendersonville. Don had his final surgery on his eyes and he was cleared by the doctor until his check-up next year. We went to a couple of Furman football games and it was so nice to be able to do this again.

We started preparing for our trip to FL. My 40th Furman homecoming was held at Furman but nothing special was planned. We did have dinner with my friend, Nan Hannah and we had a great time. I was glad to see so many of my old friends again. Our new neighbors, Molly, Trevor, and little Eloise moved in across the street. I’m glad we had some time to get to know them before heading to FL. We left for FL on Halloween.

We stayed a week in Kissimmee and just relaxed. We visited a lot of antique stores and even a yarn store. One day we went to Merritt Island and visited Carol and Becky. Their house was so lovely! When we got to our Beach House, we spent a lot of time working around the house. Don and our neighbor Bob, rescreened the front porch and it looks awesome! Don and I scrubbed the back fence and shed which was really hard work. There was a lot of mildew and lichens on both. We also trimmed the bushes, pulled all the weeds off the side fences, and did some weeding. Thanksgiving was quiet and we had an egg omelet and bacon for dinner.

We met my cousins Wayne and Lorraine for dinner and it was so nice seeing them again. We had not seen them for 2 years! We put up the Christmas tree and stockings inside. We also put Christmas lights around the dining room window. It looks very festive. I’m enjoying all the Christmas music and Christmas movies during this time of year.

It has been a roller coaster year for us but with more positives than negatives.

May you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Photo by Lynda Hinton on Unsplash

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Favorite Christmas Movies

I love Christmas because of all the decorations and the music. I also love it because I can see my favorite Christmas movies without my family thinking I’m crazy.

Here are my top 5 favorite Christmas movies: 
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • White Christmas (1954)
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  • Elf (2003)
This would be a fun activity with students. Have them list their top 5 Christmas movies. It would be fun to put this list in a spreadsheet and then see how many of the same movies were listed. From the spreadsheet, students can make a chart of the top 5 Christmas movies for the class.

Put students in small groups and give them the class list of favorite movies. Have them come up with the group’s top 5 list and share it with the class.

Students can pick one of their five and write why they liked it. Students can pick one from someone else’s list and write why it didn’t make their top 5 list.

What are your top 5 Christmas movies? Please share.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

My Favorite Christmas Songs

During this time of year, I love hearing all the Christmas songs! I realized the other day that I haven’t heard some songs at all such as Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer , The Christmas Shoes, and the one where the dogs bark out some Christmas carol. One is mean, the other depressing, and the last one seems stupid to me so it’s okay if I don’t hear them. But there are some favorites that I love to hear over and over. This would be fun to do with students and have them choose their top 10 songs. Then put them in small groups and have them come up with a group Top 10. Then have them share with the class and see if you can come up with a class Top 10.

Here are my Top 10:
What are your favorite Christmas songs? Please share.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Monday, December 20, 2021

Holiday Stress

It is about this time that used to fill me with a lot of stress. I was excited about being with family and I wanted to have everything perfect. I also had so much to do all at one time. Since I was overwhelmed, I tended to snap at my family and resent the time with friends because it kept me from doing all the things I had to do. I wanted to enjoy this time and just couldn’t seem to find the time to do it.

Then I realized I needed to take a step back and think about how I needed to enjoy the season and enjoy my time with family and friends. I had to remind myself that this was more important than things.

So what if everything wasn’t perfect? Who would remember that next year? Who decides what is perfect or not? I was putting this unrealistic expectation on myself. Early in December, I listed the things I wanted to do and wrote a schedule out to accomplish each task. Instead of doing everything all at once, I could do a little at a time and enjoy the process. This also helped me decide on what was necessary and what wasn’t needed.

If I had too much to do then I needed to simplify what needed to be done. Did I really need to do everything on my list? Could I ask others for help? I needed to talk with my family to decide what really was necessary or not. Many times I decided to do some kind of decorating that really wasn’t important to my family. Maybe I could rotate doing things each year so that I wasn’t doing everything every year.

Instead of isolating myself when dealing with gifts and wrapping, I needed to value the time I spend with others. This may mean I need to get an earlier start on buying or making gifts. I started using gift bags instead of wrapping things. During meal preparations, instead of trying to do it all myself, enlist helpers and enjoy the time together.

I also realized that I needed some downtime to rest and relax. There is so much excitement and overstimulation during the holiday season that rest is very important. I schedule at least one hour a day to just rest and relax without thinking of all the things I have to do. I might read a book or go for a walk and enjoy other people’s house decorations. I might take a nap or watch a movie. This rest time is a great way to recharge.

How do you deal with holiday stress? Please share.

Photo by Jodie Walton on Unsplash

Friday, December 17, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 12/17//21

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels: E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All


PhET Interactive Simulations - “Interactive Simulations for Science and Math” (L:G;SA:S)

Unfolding History - “Unfolding History offers readers a window into the vast manuscript holdings of the Library of Congress, whose more than 70 million items across over 12,000 collections make it one of the world’s most extensive archives related to U.S. history. Our historians, archivists, and reference librarians will share stories about exciting new discoveries and items that catch their eye, and reveal what goes on behind the scenes.” (L:G;SA:SS)

Written Realms - “build and play narrative adventure games.” (L:G;SA:LA)

6 Ways to support spatial reasoning skills online - “Though it’s preferable to do as many spatial reasoning activities as one can in the physical world, some online resources can supplement these. Here are six ways to practice spatial reasoning skills with the help of technology.” (L:G;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, December 16, 2021


In Do you have a tuner? From Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin states,

"If we have mediocre tools, why should we expect great work?"

This makes me think of a pencil that is used until the point is no longer pointy. How many times have I used a garden tool until it is no longer sharp and hacking away at weeds is difficult and miserable? I have used a knife that is no longer sharp and not only makes cutting difficult but even possibly dangerous.

Teachers tend to go forward full of energy all of the time. They tend to keep going until they are no longer sharp. When this happens it is time for a tune-up. Holiday vacations are a great time for tune-ups.

Before my vacation, I like to have some idea of the things I want to do to recharge or tune up. Here are some suggestions:
  • Read a book for enjoyment.
  • Spend some time with a hobby that I don’t usually make time for.
  • Spend time with family and friends and put away my phone.
  • Go for a walk in the neighborhood and notice changes or improvements.
  • Go for a hike in the woods.
  • Do something special with a loved one.
  • Cook/Bake something you don’t usually have time for.
  • Create something new.
  • Pamper yourself and don’t feel guilty.
What would you suggest for tuning up over a vacation? Please share.

Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Vocabulary Video Challenge

When I saw this, I just knew that some students would really enjoy this!

9th Annual 15 second Vocabulary Video Challenge

December 1, 2021 - January 12, 2022

“We invite middle and high school students to create a 15- second video that defines or teaches any of the words in our Word of the Day collection. Your video should help viewers understand and learn your word. You can act the word out, animate it, use puppets, draw, sing a song, create a dance, incorporate photographs, create a Claymation, or anything else. Make sure you pronounce your word aloud, define it and give its part of speech.”

Here is an announcement you can post in your class:

Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Having a Heart

“The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In Acting on Your Heart, Rushton features a man named David who was on a cruise when he finds a malnourished abandoned dog on a deserted island.

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“Can you imagine ways that acting on your heart could get you into trouble? Or perhaps cause problems for the person, dog, etc., you want to help?”

When I saw this video, it almost had me in tears. I hate seeing any abused animal and I can’t imagine how scared and hungry it must have been. I’m not sure I would have done all that this man did to save this dog and I feel guilty for feeling this way. This would be a great introduction for a discussion with students on things they wish they had done but had not or things they can do in the future if given the opportunity.

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.

Monday, December 13, 2021

12 Days of Christmas

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I loved hearing it whenever it is on the radio or I hear Christmas carolers singing it.

Recently I found that someone had a great activity involving this song and I encourage you to check it out.
12 Days of Christmas - Guided Math Activity in Google Sheets

Once you make a copy and go through the activity, you will there are clear instructions, help, and even answers so students can self-check their work.

What a fun activity this is!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 12/10//21

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels: E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Reading Progress - “Reading Progress is a free tool designed to help students build confidence and reading fluency through personalized reading experiences built into Assignments in Microsoft Teams. Navigating time constraints while also managing a class full of students is no small undertaking. Educators need time to connect with students on an individual level, analyze their performance, and identify opportunities for differentiated instruction. With assignment review that collects valuable data, Education Insights dashboards that help visualize class and individual performance and growth, and increased flexibility to empower students to practice reading fluency independently, Reading Progress in Teams ensures educators have more time to do what they do best - teach!” (L:T;SA:A)

Jetson One - “Jetson ONE is an ultralight and extremely fun to fly recreational all-electric personal vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.” (L:H;SA:S)

BrainTeasers and Puzzles - “Resources for teachers to use with students. Curated by Terri Eichholz.” L:T;SA:A)

Why do some people snore so loudly? - a TEDEd lesson; “A leather mask that clamps the mouth shut. A cannonball sewn into a soldier’s uniform. A machine that delivers sudden electrical pulses. These were all treatments for a problem that has haunted humanity for millennia: snoring. It might seem harmless, but snoring can be a sign of something more dangerous. So, what exactly causes snoring? Alayna Vaughan digs into the troublesome sleep disorder.” (L:M,H;SA:S)

NBA Math Hoops - “Sharpen your math with NBA Math Hoops: Skills & Drills, as you play through a series of basketball challenges! Can you unlock all of your favorite NBA and WNBA teams, collect all trophies, and set a new high score?With NBA Math Hoops: Skills & Drills, math has never been this fun! You can work on number identification and definitions, basic operations, absolute value, square roots, and more. As you advance, you’ll unlock NBA and WNBA team jerseys for your avatar, and each team’s court to play on.” (L:M;SA:M)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, December 9, 2021

December Activities

It is December and the holiday season is upon us. Students are excited and it is hard to get them to focus during these times. I find the best way to control them is to give them smaller assignments and allow them to make choices. Of course, this means a lot of prep work in advance but once everything is prepared, I can enjoy watching students explore and learn.

I start off by thinking about my goals and objectives. Once I know what I want my students to achieve, I think about activities that they can do to learn the material and practice the skill. These activities usually involve making or drawing something if possible. Different activities may vary according to difficulty. Some activities may be duplicated so that students don’t have to wait for someone else to complete an activity so they can do it. I like to use little baskets for each activity and all the materials go into the basket along with the instructions in a plastic sleeve. I number each activity basket. These baskets are placed around the room.

Then I look at each student and their ability level before giving them a choice board. I like to give students no more than 4 choices for the day. For example, Student 1 may choose two activities from activities 1, 3, 4, or 7. Student 2 may choose from activities 2, 6, 8, or 9. Student 3 may choose from 1, 5, 8, or 10.

Students seem to enjoy having a choice and this allows the students to move around the room. The activity is interesting enough to keep them engaged and focused.

I allow 10 minutes at the end of class for everyone to gather and reflect on the activities. I ask the students to share why they liked the activity they chose. This might motivate others to try that activity the next day if given that choice.

Do you do something like this? If so, please share.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Rocket Launch

Yesterday there was a rocket launch at 5:19am ET. I love our Florida house for the reason that we can usually see this in the sky from our front yard and it is exciting. Many times it is cloudy and we don’t see anything but on that morning, while all my neighbors were asleep, I went outside to watch the rocket soar through the sky. It always feels like a miracle that an object over 1.3 million pounds can be launched through the sky. My grandparents would never have imagined something like this could happen. I wonder what my grandchildren will see that I can’t imagine. I would encourage you to have your students watch videos of recent rocket launches and discuss the amazing feat that happens. Seeing rockets launched into space is such a delight! I will share my video with you and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

My Father’s Birthday

My father is celebrating his birthday in heaven today. I hope he is looking down and smiling on us as we think about him today.

My dad was over 100 years old when he passed away and this had me thinking about how many changes he had experienced in his whole life.

Here are some events and technological advances that he had lived through:
  • The Great Depression
  • WWII
  • The Polio epidemic
  • The Korean War
  • The Vietnam War
  • HIV and Aids
  • The Iraq War
  • War in Afghanistan
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a wife in 1989
  • Death of a wife in 2019
  • Black and White Television
  • Television in color
  • Telephones
  • Cell phones
  • Smart phones
  • Computers
  • Burglar alarms
  • Automatic driving cars
  • Electric doors and windows in cars
  • GPS in cars
  • GPS on phones
  • Clothes dryers in the home
  • Microwaves
  • Automatic Icemakers in the freezer
  • Bread Makers
  • Radios in the home
  • Car radios
  • Cassette tapes and Cassette tape players
  • CDs and CD players
  • VCRs
  • DVDs and DVD players
A lot had happened just in his lifetime! It makes me wonder what my lists will be like.

Happy birthday Pa! We miss you!

Original photos by Pat Hensley

Monday, December 6, 2021


“The NVIV (Next Vista Inspiring Video) series of posts are written by Rushton Hurley and designed to provide students and teachers with fascinating discussion prompts.”

In A Pound(ing) of Mochi, Rushton features Mitsuo Nakatani, a mochi master. We watch him turn sticky rice into mochi. At one point, he is mixing the mochi while another hits it with a giant wooden hammer and this is done is almost warp speed!

He gives the following prompts to accompany this video:

“What do you trust that others will do each day to keep you safe? What do others trust that you will do?”

When I saw this video, I immediately thought that this guy is either very stupid or very trusting. I don’t think I want to be the one trusting the hammer guy. I want to be the hammer guy! It reminded me how much teaching and learning involve a lot of trust. As a teacher, I am probably seen as the hammer guy so it is no wonder that many students are very tentative when learning something new. I want my students to feel safe and know that I would not purposefully hurt them or ridicule them when they make mistakes. This would be a great video to show students and talk about the trust between teachers and learners.

Please check out the video and think of other prompts you might come up with. Please share.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 12/03/21

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels: E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Scribble Maps - “Build custom maps and identify insights across real estate, engineering, research, business, exploration, construction, manufacturing - and so much more.” (L:T;SA:A)

Coding with Poetry - “In the Coding with Poetry module in CS Connections, students will be able to see two subjects - computer science and poetry - in a new way. Over the course of five lessons, 4-8th-grade students build a poem-generating program to recite different versions of a poem they wrote. Then, students test their programs with their classmates and complete the project by sharing their user-generated poems in a poetry circle.” (L:E,M;SA:LA,C)

Blended Play - “You bring the content. We bring the ​games. Games for the classroom using your content.” (L:T;SA:A)

World Cover - “accurate, timely and high-resolution information on land use/land cover and its changes” (L:H;SA:SS)

ClassPoint - “Go interactive today with your PowerPoint and become a superhero. Designed for every teacher.” (L:T;SA:A) Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, December 2, 2021


In So many accidents from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth states,

“So many things to be thankful for. Accidents included.”

The media focuses on negative things like robbery, assaults, and murders. Newspapers do the same thing because negative sells better than positive things. Entertainment magazines can’t wait to share the bad luck that celebrities are experiencing. People seem more interested in hearing about accidents and bad things rather than good things.

But sometimes accidents can result in positive things.

We accidentally bumped into friends on a cruise and we didn’t know they were taking the same cruise we were on.

On a recent road trip, we were looking for a place to eat dinner. We had to leave 2 places due to a lack of servers. As we started to leave the last place, the manager stopped us. She had been my former student 600 miles away from where I taught her and she recognized me. We were so excited to reconnect!

One time our basement flooded because our sump pump died. City workers were at our house checking out some problem flooding in the yard when we opened the basement and found the flood there too. One of the men just happened to have a brand new sump pump at home so he offered to sell it to us at a very reasonable price. When he came by after work with the pump, he even installed it for us! We insisted on paying him for the work too and he said we were an answer to his prayers because he had been out of work due to sickness and was low on money. He wasn’t sure how he was going to feed his family that week. We were the answer to each other’s prayers!

I believe that sometimes we don’t know the positive things that can happen because of some accidents.

Sometimes I have had to cancel a meeting with a friend due to unforeseen circumstances. Later I find out that there was a major accident on the highway and I could have been involved if I had gone to that meeting.

One time my husband twisted his back and we couldn’t go to an event only to find out later that some of the food there gave some people food poisoning.

On Thanksgiving, I heard of a story where a lady thought she was texting her grandson about Thanksgiving dinner and texted a young stranger. He was invited to dinner too and over the years, they have become friends and he comes to Thanksgiving dinner every year.

These are happy accidents. Even when we are lamenting about our bad luck, we should be thinking about what our bad luck has helped us avoid. Maybe our luck could have turned out worse.

What happy accident has happened to you? Please share.

Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

2021 Goals Review for November

We have moved to our Beach House for the winter and haven’t had a lot of exercise but we have been working on the house. I have been trying to eat fewer calories which has helped.

1. Lose 5 lbs. – I am up 1 lb. from the beginning of the year so I have one more month to lose 6 lbs. in order to meet this goal.
2. Knit 12 squares on my national park blanket. (There are 60 squares in the pattern and this is year 4 of the project.) – 57 squares complete. I’ve knit a total of 18 squares this year. This goal is complete.

3. Knit a sweater. – I finished 6 sweaters this year: the Nesting Cardigan, The Rocket Tee, Bright Axis, 2 Recalibrates, and the Staple Linen Top. – This goal is completed

4. Design 3 new patterns – I completed three designs: The Chinese New Year Cowl and the Double Happiness Sock, and Graveyard Field Socks.

5. Read 12 nonfiction books. – goal completed.
  • Counting by Deborah Stone
  • My Paddle to the Sea by John Lane
  • Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl
  • Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan
  • The Body by Bill Bryson
  • Kiss Me Like a Stranger by Gene Wilder
  • The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron
  • Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France by Adin Dobkin
  • There’s a Hole in my Bucket: A Journey of Two Brothers by Royd Tolkien
  • Know My Name by Chanel Miller
How is your progress towards your goals? Please share.