Excuse Me, Ms. Jackson

3. Write a post that begins and ends with the same sentence.

I’m always saying I could write a book of stories from my teaching career.

Today I was listening to Todrick Hall’s 4 the 2000’s when I heard some songs that remind me of my first couple of years of teaching.

One of those songs was “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast.

15 years, my office was in this little hallway with other offices and the teacher’s lounge.  It was a quiet out of the way room.  The heating unit did not work in that room but that did not matter to me since I was pregnant with the Imaginative One.  It was comfortable to me.

The problem with my room was on the other side of the wall was the assistant principal’s office.  The table where we worked was against that wall since it was the only place where the table fit in the room.  (It was not very big since it had originally an office.)

Whenever the students accidentally knocked that table against the wall, they would say “Excuse Ms. Jackson.  I’m for real.”

I should have told you the assistant principal’s name was “Ms. Jackson.”

Such a sweet story of a group of students who were like family.  I had taught the majority of them for two or three years by that point of time.  This is one of many stories from this group of students.

This story is why I always say I could write a book of stories from my teaching career.

Have a magical day,

Walt Disney Elementary, Park Avenue, and the Mall (Blog Post #2)

Join me on Wednesdays for photos from my trip to Rochester, New York.

After Molly, my friend, picked me up from the airport, we went to to the Walt Disney Elementary in the Gates-Chili School District.  I wanted a photo by the sign.

I was shocked to find out the schools in New York were still in session.  The last day of school was not until the third week of June.

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After we visited the elementary, we went to Park Avenue in Rochester.  Molly wanted me to try Stever’s Chocolates.  Boy, am I glad she did.  The chocolate truffles were delicious.

stevers chocolate

My chocolate truffles – Yum!


Since I had been traveling all day, I needed some caffeine so we stopped at a place called Cafe’ Sasso.  I got The Stone Roller as my drink.  Molly got herself a smoothie.

Cafe’ Sasso was a cool place.

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Molly and I then stopped at Sweet Sammie Jane’s Pastry Shop for macarons.  Molly had never tried one so this was a new experience for her.  I had a pistachio one.  She tried the birthday cake flavored one.

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Here are some more photos from Park Avenue:

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After we finished on Park Avenue. we went to the mall so that we could get her phone fixed.



Right next to the mall is a L.L. Bean store.  We enjoyed posing next to the giant boot.

ll bean bootll bean

After checking out the store, we went back to her place for dinner.  (No photos of the dinner.)

Then after dinner, we went to Canandigua Lake for the sunset.  I’ll be sharing those photos next week.

Have a magical day,

Remembering Tanya on the One Year Anniversary of her Death

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my sister’s death.  I honored her memory by releasing a balloon at a local park.

I went to a local park to release the balloon instead of at her grave.  When I go to the Wegerzyn Gardens, I feel a lot of peace.  The gardens are absolutely gorgeous.


The forecast was for thunderstorms all day.  So I did not get the balloon until I was on my way from work.  Even though we did have some rain during the day, it was only overcast while I was at the park.  Luck was on my side.

Thank you for sharing in my special private moment.

Have a magical day,

P.S.  Tell your loved ones that you love them.  Tomorrow is not promised.

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – Week of August 27, 2017 – Plus The Wee One’s Menu

I’m traveling to Pittsburgh next weekend to celebrate what would have been Tanya’s 40th birthday.

The Wee One loves to cook so he decided he wants to cook for his dad and brother while I’m gone.  So we sat down and planned dinners for while I’m away.  They need to be easy because he is a novice cook.

Here is what he’s planned for next weekend:

  • French Toast and bacon
  • Taco Salad for the Sunday night dinner – I already have the meat cooked.  He just needs to add the taco sauce.
  • Grilled cheese or cheese quesidillas

We are going to Save A Lot to get what he needs for those 3 days.

Last week I stated that I was going to put up these next two weeks’ worth of meals.  However I changed my mind.  I’ll share this week’s menu and then schedule next week’s menu.  It will go live next Monday.

My mom and I did a HUGE grocery shopping trip on Saturday.  Sam’s Club, Aldi, and Krogers.  I also went to Fresh Thyme on Friday night.  We are stocked up for the next two weeks except for the few items we need for the Wee One’s menu.  I’m also stopping at Aldi on Friday night to get a few items for my road trip.

Onto my menu plan for the next week:

Mongolian Beef Sheet Pan, Rice

Tangy Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Roast (Sunday night dinner), Roasted PotatoesRoasted Potatoes, Brown Sugar Carrots

Hash with left over roast

Sloppy Joes, Celery or Carrots, Chips

Meatloaf Muffins, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie


Pork chops, hamburger, and roast was on sale this weekend so I utilized those three proteins in our meal plan.  Hubby enjoyed the Mongolian Beef Sheet Pan recipe from a few weeks ago so I decided we were going to have that on our menu.

My lunch plan for this week:

  • Chicken Salad
  • Potato Salad
  • Carrots and Cucumber with Hummus
  • Blue Tortilla Chips and Salsa
  • Fruit

My breakfast plan for this week:

  • Green Smoothie or Granola with Yogurt
  • Fruit – Grapes, Blueberries, or Mandarin Oranges
  • Nut Mix (Snack)

Happy Eating,



The Night My Life Changed FOREVER

Warning:  This blog post is going to be raw and real.  It’s difficult for me to type up but necessary.

Some of the details are going to be a little blurry.

August 28, 2016 was a regular Sunday.  I had church in the morning.  Then we were going to eat dinner at my mother-in-law’s house.  I had cooked balsamic pork roast for our dinner.  After dinner, the boys and I were going to go to see a Weird Al concert.  The Wee One had been to his first concert.  This was going to be the Imaginative One’s first concert.

My phone rang.  When I saw it was my mom, I decided to wait to call her back since we were going to sit down and eat.  Then my phone rang for a second time.  It was her.  I knew it must be important since she immediately called me for a second time.

I answered it.  That’s when she told me that Tanya had died.  I remember walking into my mother-in-law’s family room and sinking into her maroon chair after getting off the phone.  My body was numb and I might have yelled No.  No.  Hubby ran into the living room to comfort me as I tried to say the words that Tanya had died.

I was so numb.

My niece walked in from a Christian concert so bubbly and talking a mile a minute.  I remember someone telling her that what had happened.

I remember sitting on my mother-in-law’s rocking couch calling my best friend, Angie, to tell her that Tanya had died.  Then I went outside to the front area of the house to call my friend Molly.  While I was on the phone, the police from where my mother and sister lived called me.  They told me to get over to my mother’s house as soon as possible.

I remember sitting down and attempting to eat some of the dinner I cooked but not being able to.  I know I took a roll with me since I had to drive to their town.

Before I left, I wrote a vague Facebook update asking for prayers.  I didn’t want to put it out that Tanya had died until I got a hold of my aunt.

I took the longest way possible to my mom’s house.  It should have taken 45 minutes at the most.  Instead it took me close to an hour or longer to get there.

One of my co-workers kept in contact with me to make sure I had support while I was driving to my mom’s.

Once I got there, my mom looked as though she had aged 20 years.  She seemed so frail and fragile.  It was so sad.

(There is more to the story from the time I was at her apartment.  I don’t want to share it now.  Maybe I will share the rest of the story later.)

Mom was going to go home with me and stay with me until we could get her a new place that was closer to my house.

We went and got gas from the local Speedway.  I called my mother-in-law when I went inside to go to the bathroom.  She went to get some new clothes for my mom to make sure she was comfortable after the events from the day.

We drove home.  Suddenly I noticed rain clouds so we got off the highway and drove the side streets the rest of the way.  We needed to stop twice because it was raining so hard that I could not see the road.  In my grief stricken mood, I should not be driving when it was raining so hard.

After we stopped the second time, we drove through Wright State University’s campus.  I remember seeing a doe while we were stopped at the stop sign.

Finally we got home.  My mother-in-law showed up with the clothes.  Mom took a bath.

I walked into my garage and tried to call my aunt.  I was finally able to get a hold of her.  She made plans to come to Ohio to help support us.

I never ate that roll.  My blood sugar ended up tanking out in the middle of the night.

That night began the daily can’t sleep all night for the majority of the month of September.  I had to sleep with my stuffed Pumbaa from the Disney College Programs so that I could get any sleep.

My life changed that night.  For almost 39 years, I was a big sister.  Now I am an only child.

Tanya now visits me as a Monarch butterfly instead of me calling her on the phone.  I will forever miss her.

Dear God,

Please grant me peace as I remember Tanya’s life on Monday.  Grant me peace when I go and celebrate her 40th birthday next week.

In Jesus’ name,


P.S.  The boys did go to the concert.  In my haze, I got a hold of one of their friends.  We offered my ticket to him for free.  It ended up being his 14th birthday present from us.  He became a Weird Al fan after the concert.

Jellyfish and Interactive Walls – Day 2 Part 4

Join me on Saturdays for posts about our South Carolina trip.

Today is our last post from the Greensboro Science Center.

Before we left for the day, we decided to walk through the aquarium. Boy are we glad that we did that walk through because we found the coolest room.

It had various tanks with fish divided into different ecosystems such as coral reefs. The jellyfish display were in this room. The neatest part of the room was the interactive walls.

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This is the computer animated fish at the beginning of the cool room.


The jelly fish

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The lionfish – They had another area that you could climb into to get closer to the lionfish. The Wee One thought it was cool.


This was from that cool room.

Front top left to middle left, clockwise

Top Left – The wall that was the entrance to the room

Middle – A seahorse sculpture

Top Right – An interactive wall about coral reefs

Middle Right – Another interactive wall – This one is about adaptations.

Bottom Right – The sign listing all of the fish that were located in one of the tanks.

Bottom Left – Hubby trying out another interactive wall.

Middle Right – A light display on the floor.


More photos of the octopus

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The Wee One and Imaginative One wanted to touch the manta rays once again before we left for the day.

Here are some shots of the various fish, stingrays, eels, seahorses, and sharks that we saw in the aquarium.

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The fishing cat – We did not get to see him earlier in the day. We were so happy that we got to see him that afternoon.


The penguin and golden lion tamarin


Some of the signs

Join me next Saturday as we explore the Greensboro Arboretum.

Have a magical day,

South Carolina Travel Blog Posts

South Carolina – Day 1 (Trip down to North Carolina)

South Carolina – Day 2 (Greensboro Science Center – Aquarium and Zoo) Part 1

South Carolina – Day 2 (Greensboro Science Center – Ropes Course and Zoo) Part 2

South Carolina – Day 2 (Greensboro Science Center – Museum) Part 3