🌲 #GirlsRock: An interview with educator/organizer/naturalist/graduate degree candidate Chelsea Sloggy

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Photo by Hayden Pacheco

I met Chelsea Sloggy in a coffee shop.

That might sound odd to those who know me and my Coke Zero ways, but I’ve been in a lot of coffee shops in the past year or so. That’s where realtors like to meet, and I meet realtors to write freelance stories for a local magazine.

I’d just wrapped up an interview and stopped to sugar up my cup – and 30 minutes later, I had a new friend after an intriguing conversation.

Chelsea is an enthusiastic environmental educator, community organizer, and naturalist. I stole that from her LinkedIn profile because I struggled to categorize her with any semblance of brevity. She cares a lot, she does a lot, and she teaches.

Continue reading “🌲 #GirlsRock: An interview with educator/organizer/naturalist/graduate degree candidate Chelsea Sloggy”

👩‍🏫 #GirlsRock: An interview with publisher Elizabeth Denham

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How many ideas – GREAT ideas – are milling around in your head?

I’ll wait … okay, so it’s not important to count them. But, why are they still ideas? I’m not passing judgment. I’ve got many crammed in my cranium too (and some aren’t so great.) When you can put an idea into motion, though …

That’s exactly what today’s guest on #GirlsRock did.

Meet Elizabeth Denham. Life has taken her on quite a ride, from the classroom and a first marriage to rediscovery, a second marriage and a new career. but it’s all led to her role as publisher of Franchise Woman magazine. Please give her a warm CD welcome.

Continue reading “👩‍🏫 #GirlsRock: An interview with publisher Elizabeth Denham”

👩🏻‍🏫 #AtoZChallenge: T is for teacher book review – Schooled, by Stephanie Jankowski

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I’m not even kidding … this is a book review! And I read it all by myself.

Book review:

Schooled: A Love Letter to the Exhausting, Infuriating, Occasionally Excruciating Yet Somehow Completely Wonderful Profession of Teaching

By Stephanie Jankowski

T2020Stephanie, the loveable voice of the blog When Crazy meets Exhaustion, has written a book! She’s a long-time blogging friend of mine and I’ve loved her work for years.

Schooled is a collection of stories from the field. Her essays are humorous, sincere, and beckon to every crush on a teacher I ever had. As a dad of three kids, it gave me insight into what life is like on the other side of the desk.

Continue reading “👩🏻‍🏫 #AtoZChallenge: T is for teacher book review – Schooled, by Stephanie Jankowski”

🏈 #AtoZChallenge: Q is for quarterback

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I didn’t always dream of becoming a writer.

Q2020I was going to become an NFL quarterback. I could throw a perfect spiral in fourth grade – with a plastic ball OR a Nerf. Talk about versatility. I had all the tools.

Except the talent and physical gifts.

But if dreams were those things, I’d be giving a Hall of Fame speech at some point. As early as I can remember, I had a love affair with the game of football.

Continue reading “🏈 #AtoZChallenge: Q is for quarterback”

📗 #AtoZChallenge: L is for learn

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My friend Brittany gave me a book called 300 Writing Prompts

L2020 (1)I take it with me on flights. If it isn’t too wacky (or sometimes even if it is), I’ll ask the person next to me to pick a prompt for me to write about while we’re flying. Sometimes, I just pick one.

The one I’ll use today is one I picked.

It’s about stuff we should learn in school. I feel like there are some things we learn (or struggle to learn, often in my case) that would be better serve being replaced. There are things I’d like to have learned, but didn’t.

Continue reading “📗 #AtoZChallenge: L is for learn”

✊🏻 #AtoZChallenge: H is for haiku (my quarantine journal)

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At first, I titled this photo “stormtrooper fortnite.” Yeah. It’s 1:05 a.m. and I’m 48 years old.

What a month this week has been.

H2020The pessimist in me wonders what not wearing jeans for four weeks has done to me physically. The optimist in me feels as if this quarantine has at least kept the Colorado Rockies from the dredge of the NL West for now.

The artist in me has documented, for better or worse, my thoughts each day in the pandemic – as daily haikus.

Some are flippant, some sad, some confused. Like any other March that I could have done this, but only this March is historically significant. Not just because there was no Final Four, but because when has the entire world ever has so much in common?

I just started hacking away, inspired each day by Twitter or TV news (I’ve cut way back) or just what was going on that day.

Let me know how the quarantine has been for you, and which of these, if any, resonated with you. A college today said she can’t just go day to day anymore, and I get that. So I’m hoping to get to the ballpark soon and the beach even sooner.

Just as soon as we get the all-clear.

COVID haiku journal

March 18

Overreacting?
I’m honestly not too sure.
I’ll just stay in place.

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EJP

 

March 19

My people, our house
Not a big house, but enough
I can’t hear anyone

March 20

The big Pop Tart box
Seems like the best choice right now
One tart at a time

March 21

No solicitors
No Jehovah’s Witnesses
Was that Amazon?

March 22

Don’t you miss hugging?
I know it has just started.
Just looking ahead.

March 23

Lots of people out
When I pick up our groceries
Am I a chump too?

March 24

Finding time to write
Should not be so difficult
Work days are so long

March 25

My back feels so sore
My ass is getting flattened
Always pajamas

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March 26

Four rolls left in here
TP is greater than gold
We are middle class

March 27

I’ve lost track of days
And how long since I’ve worn pants?
At least we have cheese.

March 28

Out of cat litter
The shit might hit the fan now
Is this our world now?

March 29

Uncle Frank is ill
His test comes back in 3 days
Favorite uncle

March 30

Grocery order?
It’s canceled after 5 days
Instacart on strike

March 31

Totino’s pizza
Three of them to sustain me
For three days at least

April 1

It’s April Fools Day
I wish someone would play tricks
We could use the laugh

April 2

It’s my dad’s birthday
He would have been 68
I miss him so much!

April 3

Social distancing
Not happening in the parks
Bunch of dumb asses.

April 4

Was yesterday harsh?
My bad. I should be more kind.
Cover your damn mouth

April 5

Steaks on my new grill
Make happiness if you can
Steak is a good way.

April 6

Pray for my uncle
He’s fighting this thing so strong
Grant him all my strength

stormtrooper rey bojangles (2)April 7

Girls want fried chicken
Who am I to argue that?
Food is everything

April 8

Uncle Frank update
He had a good day Tuesday
Let’s keep on praying

April 9

When this is over
Oh, how we will celebrate
Hug and kiss for days!

-30-

#AtoZChallenge

A is for Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Adam and Avril, and Amidala

B is for Bonnie Marie Williams, voiceover superhero, a #GirlsRock interview

C is for Conversations, Camdyn and cookies (#GratitudeAndShit) 

D is for Dorsey Standish, yoga teacher and mindfulness coach, for #GirlsRock

E is for End-of-your-career awards

F is for Frank, my uncle

G is for 💇🏽‍♂️ Go Ask Daddy about what you GET to keep on Flea Market Flip, if I’m GOING to sit in a racecar next time I get my hair cut, and how high basketball scores GO

-3

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📅 Calendar convergences and driving Ms. Hayden (and Mr. Allistair)

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Even when you ain’t writing, you’re writing.

Kinda like the Rockies’ bats lately, my words have ground to a crawl. When this happens, you churn on. There are no timeouts in soccer or life. Your life GPS won’t direct you around it. No, the only way is through.

So when the calendar ambles along for an intersection for your kid to move to college and it’s also the 19th anniversary of the day your dad died, well, there are stories.

Even if you don’t have time right away to write them. Or maybe you try and get seven graphs in and realize you’re so not doing the feelings justice. It’s like getting Frosted Flakes but pouring them into skim milk. WHO DOES THAT?

Continue reading “📅 Calendar convergences and driving Ms. Hayden (and Mr. Allistair)”

🧿 #IBelieve IX: On enchilada sauce, life, and timeless cravings

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You gotta believe.

It’s an essential part of being a parent. Or a blogger. Especially a Colorado Rockies fan. There isn’t much in this world that doesn’t get a bit sweeter with belief. In fact, the lack of it is grotesque, like those Poptarts without frosting.

Blech.

In the course of my discourse and my writing, I say stuff. Sometimes, it’s about Ingrid Michaelson or enchiladas. Other times, it’s about beliefs. Not just in Jesus or Buddha or the power of the changeup pitch, but sometimes.

Continue reading “🧿 #IBelieve IX: On enchilada sauce, life, and timeless cravings”

🧳 Guest post | Traveling through Literature: An Interactive Worldly Map of Books

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Finally.

Camdyn’s reading To Kill a Mockingbird in school. This, after a litany of less-than-stellar books that have dominated not only hers but also her sisters’ syllabi for semesters and semesters. Finally a good book!

Today’s guest post is unique.

It’s not a sponsored post, but it’s something I was approached with. After I took a look at this interactive book map, I was hooked. You will be too. Read on, and then discover how you can find relevant books for every nation on earth.

Continue reading “🧳 Guest post | Traveling through Literature: An Interactive Worldly Map of Books”

⚽ 10 Things Grateful, plus extra soccer #gratitudeandshit

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We made it!

After a season of grit and a whoopin’ or two, we made the state playoffs. They assigned us in Round 1 to a remote outpost: East Wilkes. That’s in Ronda, N.C. That’s not a lady, that’s a town, although there was probably a handful of women named Ronda about.

We lost 8-4 in a crazy match that included eight goals from one player – and a view into the valley so breathtaking that I said, Damn, son, that’s a helluva view you guys have up here to the kid serving as ball-boy for the match.

I was grateful for one last game. I was grateful Remmi made it, hobbling in on crutches but in good spirits. I was grateful we fought back to within three, twice. I was grateful for the annoying siren they turn on when they score only rang out … well, eight times.

I was grateful that when it was over, the girls seemed pretty pissed. Continue reading “⚽ 10 Things Grateful, plus extra soccer #gratitudeandshit”