Thursday, February 26, 2009


What is it about the term grindstone? What does 'back to the grindstone' really mean? Hmmmm.

I don't know why these random things come into my head, but I truly was wondering about this as I thought about coming back from LTUE and having to go back to work on Monday. Teaching fifth graders. Chatty fifth graders. So, I looked it up. Here's what I found.

* Merriam Webster says that it's a flat circular stone of natural sandstone that revolves on an axle and is used for grinding.

* Keep your nose to the grindstone means to apply yourself conscientiously to your work.

* Some think that the phrase came from millers checking the stones to make sure they weren't getting too hot and burning the flour, but those were millstones, not grindstones.

* Others think that it came from knife sharpeners who had to bend over close to the grindstone as they sharpened the knives. (I must agree that this would be hard work.)

* In regards to the knife sharpeners, a writer named John Frith said, "[They] holdeth their noses so hard to the grindstone, that it clean disfigureth their faces."

So, apparently, getting back to the grindstone means to get back to work. And that is what I had to do Monday. Go back to work ... er ... the grindstone.

Hope it doesn't disfigure my face.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Well, Miss Rachel and I are home from LTUE. We had a fabulous time together. I like spending time with her. She is a very talented and sweet person.

We hung out with our fantabulous writer friends and talked and laughed and laughed some more. Thanks Karen, James, Julie, Melinda and Kristi. These are amazing people and I am so grateful to count them as friends.

I even got a surprise visit from my sister. She provided our entertainment. It was a riot.

I didn't take any pictures, although I packed my camera with me everywhere I went. Figures.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Note Number Fourteen

I love my husband.

He is a sensitive, smart, hardworking, handsome, thoughtful and kind man. His eyes sparkle when he smiles and makes my heart melt. He is my very best friend. He listens to me. He supports me in all of the crazy things I want to do. He holds my hand when we walk down the street. He opens doors for me when we go into a building or get in the car. He remembers things like Valentines Day, our anniversary and my birthday. He gives me beautiful cards that make me cry tears of happiness. He is a great father to our children. He is an excellent example to them of how one should live. He is supportive of them and their talents.

He is an amazing man and I am so lucky that he chose me to be his wife.

I love you, sweetheart.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love Note Number Thirteen

I love art.

I love looking at art, learning about art, even doing a little bit of art. I'm not good and what I do is crafty art, not serious art, but I love it just the same. Here's one of mine. I call it "Birdie in the Garden."

One of my favorite artists is James C. Christensen. He is amazing. Thanks to my sister for introducing me to him. I love so much of his work, but here is my favorite piece called "A Place of Her Own."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Note Number Twelve

I love Spring.

The buds forming on the trees and plants. The blooms on the flowers. The colors. The life that breathes into everything after winter's death. The beginning of summer's warmth. The soft downy chicks. The little fuzzy bunnies. All the baby animals that are just so darn cute. The trimmed yards and flower beds. Planting seeds in our vegetable garden and watching them grow. I can taste the fresh tomatoes now. Ooo, and the creamy peas and potatoes with corn on the cob. Yum! Yum!

It's a new beginning. A beginning of new life.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Number Eleven Love

Boyds Bears.

Who can resist those cute little fuzzy animals. They each have their own unique personality. Miss Macintosh stands with apple in hand ready to teach her class. Jeannine De Bearvoire sits with purple hat tilted to one side and seems to say "Hello Dah-ling." Little Bear-Peep holds her sheep 'cause gratefully she found them.

I love them all. All I have to do is walk in to my office and I smile. They make me so very happy.

Love Number 10


What isn't to love about them? They allow you to travel to exotic places, meet new amazing people, find out that your life isn't so bad after all. It can be a learning experience or an escape.

I love devouring a good book. I just love a good story.

I can't go into a bookstore without purchasing at least one. I love that I have a teacher discount at Barnes and Noble and I love our children's bookstore, The Purple Cow. I like the people who work there and I'm surrounded by children's literature.

Hmmm. I think I'll go there now!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love Note Number Nine

I love music.

All kinds. I love to listen to it. I love to sing it and I love to play it. I can't even begin to say which are my favorites. I love broadway music, new age, country, pop, oldies, classical, the list goes on and on.

I love piano music. I like to just sit down at the piano and play and play and play. It calms and relaxes me. Ahhhh . . .

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Number Eight Love

I love my friends.

I have had many friendships over the years. I am grateful for each one and all that they have taught me. Most I don't keep in touch with any more, but the memories I have of them will stay with me forever.

I am especially grateful for the writing friends that I have made. I love keeping in touch with them through blogging.

There is one friend in particular that I am extremely grateful for. She has been a tremendous support to me. She listens to me rant, but never judges me. When I have faced disappointments, she was there encouraging me. She is happy for me when success finds me.

If it weren't for her, I would still be a closet writer. After reading all the "puked on" pages, she has offered positive encouragement. Not one negative word escapes from her. She is thoughtful, always bringing me yummy things she makes. She makes me veggie sandwiches and I sit and watch her because I know if I help they just won't be as good.

She is extremely talented. She writes beautifully, cooks tremendously, plays the flute amazingly, sings angelically and even builds rooms and shelves carpenteringly. (Okay that wasn't a word, but I had to continue the sentence with an adverb, right?)

She loves and accepts my children and puts up with their silliness. She puts up with our truck putting holes in her lawn. She puts up with the strip of dirt and weeds that we have said for years we would put nice rock in.

I am so grateful to have met her and have her such an integral part of my life.

I love you, Karen.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Love Note -- Day Seven

I love my fairy door.

It just reminds me of cute little fairies with iridescent wings, fluttering around. It sits on my shelf with some beautiful fairies waiting for their friends to come out in the middle of the night to play. I've posted about my door before, but I'm doing it again, because it's one of my loves.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Sixth Love Note

I love my parents.

They have done more for me than I could even describe. They taught me righteous principles, integrity, hard work, patience, humor, and faith. Basically, what a functional family looks like.

I was encouraged to do my best in all that I did, to not be a quitter, that life is hard, but perseverance is key. They taught me that when times get tough, "This too shall pass," so get get up and keep moving.

I have the best time with my parents. We don't have to be entertained. All we have to do is sit and visit and that is all the entertainment we need. They are amazing people. They taught me well. They have supported, encouraged and guided me throughout my life. I am so grateful for them.

I love you, Mom and Dad!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Love Note -- Day Five

I love my children. They are each amazing in their own way.

My oldest is 16, has her drivers permit, loves life, gets excited over the simple things, is an amazing writer and will graduate from high school with her associates degree. (She's way smarter than me).

My second daughter is 14, a high school freshman, an animal lover, has an amazingly sweet disposition, is a talented dancer, clarinet and bassoon player, a villager, a sheep and teacup in the upcoming high school musical "Beauty and the Beast."

My oldest son is 12. He is a talented author and illustrator, a great hugger, a boy scout, basketball player and comedian.

My second son is 8. He is a basketball player, scout, has an amazing smile and cleans his room without being asked. (Why couldn't he have been the oldest?)

They bring lots of joy and laughter into my laugh. I am who I am today because of them.

I love you, my sweeties!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Fourth Day Love Note

Another love of mine is heavenly hot fudge.

Oooo, the chocolatey goo melts in my mouth. All I have to do is close my eyes and enjoy the creamy cocoa-flavored sensations. I can eat it on ice cream, cake or just plain out of the jar. What more can I say? I love the stuff.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love Note -- Day Three

Teaching -- and Learning. These are my loves of day three. And they so go together.

I love teaching. I love seeing the light go on in the eyes of a student. I love finding different ways of teaching that make a topic meaningful. I love making school subjects approachable and inviting. I love researching a topic and finding better ways to teach. I love igniting sparks and sharing my enthusiasm.

I loved going to school and learning new things. I love reading. I learn something every time I pick up a book. I love the things I learn as I study topics I am preparing to teach. I love being involved in a classroom discussion and having the students make comments that teach me.

They both are so rewarding. I just . . . LOVE it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Second Day Love

Something else I love -- hanging out with my sister.

I have great memories of staying up late, reading Deep Thoughts and laughing until I cried and my stomach muscles ached. Hearing her voice tell me the latest thing her three-year-old daughter just said. Shopping 'til we run out of money. Sharing our frustrations on the phone as we watch the weigh-ins on The Biggest Loser. Sharing books. Brainstorming manuscript ideas together. Singing "In His Eyes" together (as well as other music from great broadway musicals) (I'll give you my heart, if you give me your face). And laughing. We always, always laugh when we are together.

I just love her. I might be the big sister, but she is the one I look up to. She is the most talented, fun, beautiful person.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Love Note -- Day One

I loved this idea that I saw on Rachelle and Karen's blogs. Every day until February 15th I'll be blogging about something I love.

There are so many things that I love. It's hard to pick which one to start with.

I love writing. It allows me to create. It has given me countless new friends (both living and non-living). It gives me time for introspection. It lets me play with words. It is satisfying and rewarding. It's also a lot of work, but work that is worth it. It makes me happy.