Monday, April 23, 2018

Spring = Research

image from

Be sure to use credible sources!

Using Google to find your sources isn't always a great idea.

Be sure to cite your sources---this includes IMAGES.
Try Creative Commons for any images you need.

Click HERE for links to the NHS digital resources and online catalog.  
*Login info shows up when you hover over the Symbaloo. 

For more detailed info on MLA format see Purdue OWL. 

Click HERE for a quick *mostly fun* refresher on plagiarism. 

Looking for more research fun? Try EXPLORING.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The curtain closes, but the band plays on {#sol18 day 6}

Old habits die hard, it's true.
I get so excited each year as March approaches. I'm filled with a desire to renew my daily writing habit, which generally has become a less-than-daily writing habit by this point.  I have participated in the Slice of Life challenge for several years now, and each year it's the same.

And then the challenge begins. I write and I write.  I dig deep and find things to slice about even on the days I have the I-don't-wannas.  I read other participant's slices, and always find new bloggers to follow--writers whom I admire and who inspire. I comment on as many as I can.  In fact, I have been a part of the Welcome Wagon multiple times now, because I know how important that feedback can be.  I have participated in the Slice of Life challenge for several years now, and each year it's the same.

Each day, after I post my slice, I check for comments. Yes, it's a bit Sally Fields "they like me, they really like me," but I can't help it.  It means something to me for someone to read my words and comment. I have always been a writer--a lover of words and a keeper of journals.  I have 2 novels in the works that may always be in-the-works-and-never-done, but still.  My point is---I write.  I blog to have some interaction with others regarding my thoughts and writing because the bulk of the writing I do is already just for me.  Often when I comment on slices, I am one of 10-20 commenters.  That is a beautiful thing for those writers.

Last year it really hit me that perhaps this isn't my tribe.  It is a GREAT group, mind you---zero shade thrown---but my posts clearly aren't meaningful enough to enough of the folks who slice to get many comments.  Should it matter?  Whatever your answer may be to that question for you, the answer for me is clearly it does. It is incredibly discouraging to see zero to two comments day in and day out.  (and for those of you who have left me comments---I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It truly means so much to me.) I have participated in the Slice of Life challenge for several years now, and each year it's the same.

And so, as a gift to my sanity I'm choosing to bow out of the remainder of slicing this month. I will still participate this year in reading and commenting on the slices of others, especially my new folks as I'm part of the Welcome Wagon.  I'll still read the daily inspirations.  I'll definitely still write.  I just won't be posting my slices regularly and most of my writing may very well be in my own journal or Google doc.  I gave it the ole college try---but honestly, life is hard enough for me at this point to feel like my voice doesn't matter.

Best to everyone as March continues onward.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Celebrating Today {#sol18 day 5}

Today I am celebrating.
My oldest made it a whole day at school.
She felt awful most of the day, but she stuck it out and we made the day.
I cannot tell you what a huge WIN this feels like.
This, after missing 3 days of our 4 day week last week,
And many more days before that.
Since the week before midterms she has missed more school than in her entire school career up to this point.
Me, too.
This, after starting new meds that make her mostly feel sickish and swimmy.
I bribed, I cajoled, I encouraged, but ultimately
SHE made the day.
She wiped away her tears at multiple points, but
SHE made the day.
And so today we celebrate. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

because I'm irritable and need to be reminded {#sol18 day 4}

Because I'm irritable and need to be reminded of all the WONDERFUL qualities my husband possesses, here's a list of some things I love about him.  I have been super inspired by all the numbered posts such as this one , and I suppose I could go with "the hubby turns 48 on Tuesday, so here are 48 things I love about him" but, like I mentioned in the opening, I'm irritable today, so we're gonna go with being happy at whatever amount of things end up on this list.

  1. He is incredibly loyal.  
  2. He is a devoted husband and father.
  3. He is willing to eat anything I cook and he is always grateful for whatever it is.  True, this is probably mostly because he cannot cook a thing without burning it, bless him, but still. 
  4. He is the most honest person I have ever known.  I really do appreciate this about him even though it means I never ask him if my pants make my butt look big.
  5. He seeks continual growth.  He is always open to learning and improving.
  6. He makes me laugh  Even days like today when I'm irritable. 
  7. He is always on my side, and always my biggest fan.
  8. He isn't intimidated by a strong woman. Did I mention I'm a first-born child & Aries?
  9. He gets me. He doesn't try to control me or change me. 
  10. More important than "getting me" is that he loves & appreciates me exactly as I am. I am always enough and never too much (even though I totally am sometimes).
  11. When he is into something (archery, running, whatever it may be) he learns everything he can about it and he becomes an absolute expert.  
  12. He has the ability to super-focus on whatever he is working on. 
  13. He'll watch chick-flicks with me.
  14. He is incredibly goofy at times.  I LOVE this! 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

If I could change just one thing {#sol18 day 3}

I have to be honest here.
It irks me when anyone replies to the questions of if you could go back in time and change something...? with the answer I wouldn't change a thing because it made me the person I am today.
Total copout of an answer.
Total and utter ridiculousness.

(okay, sidebar to say that the person who really irks me the VERY MOST that said this publicly was my starter husband.  we are friendly-ish with each other now after 25ish years, but buddy....he sure could have answered this better.  if he needed help making a list I coulda got that bad boy started for him...)

I mean, clearly we are, in part, the sum of what our choices has made us, but....if I could change something, if I could right some wrong, if I could be a kinder, gentler version of myself in multiple instances I totally would.

  • I wouldn't make that neighbor boy eat dirt.  I was heady with power at the age of 4 and it made me an awful despot.
  • I wouldn't have ever made my mama cry from my attitude towards her as a teen.
  • I wouldn't have tucked those mean words from that boy I thought was so cute into my heart and felt less-than for YEARS because of it.
  • I would have let my weirdo flag fly much sooner without worrying so dang much about the judgement of others
  • I would have spent much more time with my grandparents
  • I would have bought the red shoes
  • I would have listened more and talked less
  • I would have loved myself enough to leave situations that made me feel icky instead of trying to be cool
  • I would have stressed less over the small stuff.
  • I would never ever have answered this question with the dumb lame-o answer of "um...nothing...because it made me the person I am today." ever.
These are just a smattering of the things I could go back and change if such things were allowed in the space-time continuum.  

Friday, March 2, 2018

Hurry Slowly {#sol18 day 2}

I don't think anyone in my younger years would have described me as a patient person. Antsy? yes. Wanting, no NEEDING answers RIGHT NOW?  yes.
But patient?
Not even close.

I'm learning. The Universe has giving me many opportunties to learn.
I first heard the term Festina Lente in a book.  (imagine that! you can read a blog post about it here.)
It resonated with me immediately.  I knew I needed more of this ability in my life.
Recently I heard about the Hurry Slowly podcast. Again, I was drawn in immediately and am now a regular listener.

I learned some level of patience when I first started teaching.  Kindergarten babies require it, but they are so darn cute and made from pure spun sugar, so its easy to be patient (well, mostly.)
Then, I learned a bit more while working at a middle school.
Not so much spun sugar, but I so totally empathized with the sheer heinousness of being a middle schooler that I found some more patience way down deep inside me.

I thought I had arrived.
I thought wrong.
I am learning the true meaning of patience, and of what it means to hurry slowly right now.
Much of it isn't my story to tell.
Well, it is, but mostly I can't tell my story without spilling tea that isn't mine.
I will say this...
Being the mom of a chronically ill kiddo is not easy.
We got used to the lovely ease that is remission and this autoimmune flare-up has hit us all hard.
I often don't know exactly what to do.
What's best.
What the right thing is.
I'm flying by the seat of my pants here.
I've missed more work this year than I ever have before. I'm totally out of days.
My kiddo looks perfectly normal.
She doesn't look sick.
Most folks find this difficult to wrap their heads around.
We have had the coldest, most rainy season on record in my area.
We've had summer band with intense Texas August heat and too little water allowed.
We've had starting high school with all it's stressors.
We've had folks we thought were friends show their true colors.
We've had hard, hard things.

I'm learning it is often best for me to not force it.
The Universe is teaching me to breathe and take a moment before jumping to conclusions or decisions or a new gallon of Blue Bell's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

I'm a work in progress, y'all, but I'm learning to hurry slowly.

Festina Lente. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Roll with it, baby {#sol18 Day 1}

This week has been a roller coaster of a ride, y'all.
Lots of changes.
And we are currently having rain.  Again.
(seriously, it's like living in the Amazon.  or Seattle. except in small-town Texas.)

My February was pretty brutal in many ways, and I couldn't be happier to see it go.
Despite this, and my joy at seeing March arrive at last, one thing remains the same.
The library is the happiest place on earth.
When everything else is falling apart, helping a kid find just the right book, or helping them locate digital resources for a paper, or talking with a teacher to plan a breakout EDU event soothes the soul.
It is my place, and my joy to make it so for others, as well.

Despite all the shifts, all the negative you hear in the world, all the chaos we've been going through personally with some health issues in our family....the library remains a haven.

When everything feels like a crapshoot, being in my library still feels like I've hit the bigtime winner table, and I'm so very thankful.

I'll roll with the changes---whatever will be, will be, right?
I'll roll with the weather---what else can we do? (although growing gills feels like it may be a thing)
Whatever comes I'll roll with it, baby---as long as I've got the ability to breathe the rare air in my library.