First Day


This week’s photo challenge on WP: Abandoned.

365 Days of Thank You

Left alone

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Abandoned

It was the first day of school and this little angel’s mom couldn’t stay because she had to rush off to work.  The look on her face captured my heart and I was lucky enough to have the camera on my phone ready to snap this picture.  I don’t know what she was thinking about, watching all the other kids with a parent or grandparent helping them to get settled into the new space.

Just a few seconds after I took this the teacher assistant, Mr. Jose, came to her rescue and made sure she was feeling safe and comfortable in her new classroom.  Within several minutes she was in the housekeeping play area making new friends.

Today’s thank you is for all the people who, on the first day of a new experience, saw that I might be feeling left out or unsure, and extended…

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First Day


Left alone

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Abandoned

It was the first day of school and this little angel’s mom couldn’t stay because she had to rush off to work.  The look on her face captured my heart and I was lucky enough to have the camera on my phone ready to snap this picture.  I don’t know what she was thinking about, watching all the other kids with a parent or grandparent helping them to get settled into the new space.

Just a few seconds after I took this the teacher assistant, Mr. Jose, came to her rescue and made sure she was feeling safe and comfortable in her new classroom.  Within several minutes she was in the housekeeping play area making new friends.

Today’s thank you is for all the people who, on the first day of a new experience, saw that I might be feeling left out or unsure, and extended their kindness to me.

Bloggers’ Views of Abandoned:

Halloween Dance 1979


Perhaps not the earliest memory of dancing, but certainly one of the most memorable was the Halloween Dance in 1979.  The music was K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Michael Jackson, Blondie, Christopher Cross, Dr. Hook, and I was there with my sisters, Judy and Nancy. 

fameI think I was dressed in a skirt, my saddle shoes, a sweet pony tail, trying to look like a bobby-socks-er from the 50’s.  I have no memory of what my sisters had dressed as, but I’m sure it was clever.  There were a couple of songs in particular that, when played, would have us quickly find each other across the cafeteria, find our way to an empty space on the dance floor and break into our “sister dance”.  It was either doing the “bump” as a three-way or “rocking” to Michael Jackson’s Rock With You, that would have us completely enjoying ourselves and others watching our moves.

So, why was the Halloween Dance that year such a memorable one?  Well, the three of us were out on the dance floor doing our thing when suddenly, my foot and ankle went in one direction and my knee when in the other.  I dropped to the floor in screaming amazing pain.  No one knew what had happened, it was such a random accident.  My sister Judy stood over me; she was yelling:  “If you don’t stop screaming, I’m not going to help you.”  I’d like to believe it was because she was as frightened as I was, we didn’t know what had happened.

Before any of the faculty chaperones come to my aid, several of the football players were by my side trying to help…gotta admit that felt kind of great!  Of course these were the jocks, the boys we all had mad crushes on and likely would never date.  Yup, that it definitely felt great. 

The result of the evening was a dislocated knee and full leg cast for a few weeks; and, newfound friend on the football team who held open doors and helped while I was on crutches.  Today’s thank you goes out to those cute and helpful football players, of course.  But I also need to thank my sisters–there was always someone to dance with!   

Let’s Dance Blog Posts:

Sweet Dreams: Daily Prompt


 

dirty harryDreams are a funny thing.  My husband can recount his dreams with such detail, vivid color and action, it amazes me.  Stories of bank robbing with Clint Eastwood, leaping tall buildings in a single bound; his dreams are usually a reflection of what we watched on television that night or what he read on Buzz Feed.  For the life of me, I cannot remember dreams at all.  I certainly have been wakened in the middle of the night by something rearing its head during my REM cycle. There have been plenty of times when Steve will gently wake me if I’m having a bad dream and ask me if I’m okay.  My usual response is, “I’m fine, why are you waking me up?”  Recalling what it is that causes him to wake me is gone as soon as my eyes open! 

dream picThe first time I heard about analyzing dreams in any formal way was in a psychology class in college.  I took the class as an elective at the recommendation of an upperclassman whose opinion I valued.  Social Psychology was the course and Dr. Bartol was the professor.  I took notes ferociously ; the one-subject, spiral bound pad was something I found myself referring back to years after I graduated.  It helped that Dr. Bartol had written the textbook we used for the class. He was one of those professors who engaged students, he didn’t talk at us, he had a conversation with us!  What I remember most from the discussions about dreams is that, dreams are a way of our psyche to relax and recover from the daily trials and tribulations we experience–to let go of the angst and replace it with peace and joy.

Even though recalling my dreams is a challenge, at best; I’m sure I dream.  I’d like to believe that most of them are uplifting and take me to a happy place, and for that I’d like to thank Dr. Bartol.

Other Dreamers in the blogosphere:

We Got the Beat!


Today’s writing challenge:  Have you ever played in a band? Tell us all about that experience of making music with friends.

jazzTechnically,  I’ve never “played” in a band, unless you count the voice as an instrument; in which case we can count singing with the jazz band in high school.  I was part of a small group of girls who, if you look in our yearbook, will find us listed as the Jazz Singers.  Not particularly an original name but it was the Jazz Band after all.    

I don’t think I could remember who those other girls were unless I dig out my “Legend” from 1981 and look it up.  I sang with the group for 3 years, and each year there were a few more or few less girls depending on whether it fit into our class schedules; it was an elective.  Our teacher for the class was also the conductor for the band, Mr. Garceau.  Typically, he would choose the music, some of it contemporary and some more traditional.  Popular at the time were songs by Chicago:  Saturday in the Park, Wishing You Were Here, If You Leave Me Now.  We sang many of them.album cover

There is one piece of music that I always loved to hear the band play.  If you’re even only remotely familiar with jazz music it won’t surprise you:  Birdland.  I loved watching the percussionist in the band go at it on the xylophone.   To this day, when I hear it, I break out into a big smile and my head begins to bob up and down to the beat.  It’s wonderful music.  (Check out this performance of it by a high school jazz band on YouTube)

Today’s thanks goes out to Mr. Garceau and to the other girls who sang with the Jazz Singers at Toll Gate High School, the music still fills me up!

Who Else’s Got the Beat?

The Hangover


hangover cureEvery Sunday or Monday morning I read on Facebook about many of my “friends” who are suffering from a hangover.  It really shouldn’t surprise me all that much; although frankly, it gets me a little sad.  Now, I will be the first to admit to a dozen or so mornings when the drinking from the night before contributed to lost time in my life.  My hangovers have the gamut from the mild, one-Advil-cup-of-coffee recovery, to a whopper where going to the dining hall would have made me feel a million times worse.

Seeing more than a half-dozen posts picturing cups of coffee, cans of Red Bull, bottles of Tylenol, and pints of Gatorade, reminded me that there were indeed, a few folks in my life who helped me through some of those hangovers, specifically in college. 

coffee milkI’d felt fine when I got up and was going to be on time for my 9:00 am class.  I decided that a breakfast sandwich and a big plastic cup of coffee milk would be the best way to start the day. Rather than go to the dining hall I made a pit stop at the campus center on the way across campus .  I felt fine when I got up and on the walk down the path through the dorms, I felt just a little upset stomach.  I chalked it up to hunger and carried on to get some breakfast.  The lady at the snack bar dutifully placed my order on the counter and I sat down to enjoy it.

overallsAs I stood up from my meal to head to class, I had an overwhelming sense that something was about to happen.  You guessed it, I had to duck into the campus center ladies room, and, well, you get the idea.  By the time I made it back to my dorm room, the outfit I’d chosen to wear to class was tossed into the laundry hamper; I’d have to dig out my overalls and a turtleneck to wear instead.  I knocked on my friend Karen’s door, we were both RA’s so had our own rooms.  I asked her if she’dbraids braid my hair to keep it out of my face for the rest of the day.  She obliged by making two pretty braids of my, gave me something to settle my stomach–I think she even took my “on-duty” night.

Today’s thank you goes to Karen, for taking such good care of me; and for anyone else who, over the years, gave me tips on how to manage a hangover.

Giant Step: Kelly’s Cheesecakes and Cookies


Daily prompt:  What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?

I don’t consider myself much of a risk taker, although I imagine every day we get out of bed is something of a risk.  About thirteen or so years ago, I took a pretty big risk when I set about trying to sell my cheesecakes and cookies. 

I’d been baking for years with great success for friends, family, and co-workers; the encouragement to get paid for what I love to do prompted this:

 business card cookies

The first year I took orders from co-workers and family, who either didn’t have the time or inclination, to do their own holiday baking.  I’d made an attractive brochure that included some pictures and an order form.  Of course there was an “order by” to insure delivery for the holidays, but invariably someone would want something and I would do my best to oblige.

My kitchen would become a factory setting for mixing, baking and creatively packaging all the goodies.  I would work full days at “real job” and every night and weekend from the day after Thanksgiving until December 25th, my kitchen was in a constant state of production.

For three consecutive years I took orders in October and November in preparation for the season.  Baskets of cookies and biscotti; cheesecakes, milky way cakes, sour cream coffee cakes filled my freezer.  Mind you I didn’t have a very big freezer, so the front hallway and second floor balcony porch doubled as cold storage for the inventory needed to fill my orders.

Since then some of the tools of the trade have improved, as have several of my recipes and techniques.  With the exception of the holiday season I found myself unemployed, I haven’t baked for profit in about eight years.  There were times I thought “I could be the next Mrs. Fields”.   However, the idea of the risk involved in truly branching out to run my own business, is not a risk I can take right now.   

I [almost] always find a great deal of joy in the process of  baking.  Today, I want to thank all those friends, family members and co-workers, who placed orders; and, more importantly, continue to believe in my baking talents!

Risk Takers: