True Confessions From a Part-Time, Every-Day Blogger

#SOL18 Day Twenty-One


The inner-most thoughts from a girl who loves to blog in March and then forgets about it for the next eleven months….

The minute I hit “publish” I am thinking about my next slice.

I published today’s slice and then jumped in the shower.  I already had this slice ruminating in my head and it was there under the spray of hot water where I thought of its title.

For 30+ days I don’t look at anything the same way.  Everything, I mean EVERYTHING is open season for my next slice.

This includes conversations with and observations of friends, family and strangers.  A friend said to me the other day – “I forgot, I have to be careful this month about what I say and do because it could end up on your blog!”  Yes, ma’am!

I take more pictures than ever before – they could be the inspiration for my next slice.

I do a lot of re-reading of well-loved books through the lens of a writer. I love dabbling in new and different writing structures in March.

I am more emotional during this time.  Memories flood my mind and they just keep coming…

After I hit “publish” I am checking my phone for comments – they make me a better writer.

I start to hit a wall, experience writer’s block, around the end of the second week.

Blogging in March ushers in spring which gives us all many beautiful things to write about.

I am psyched about writing on the days leading up to March 1st and totally spent by March 31st.

I start to get nervous after the first couple of slices that I publish, thinking that I have nothing to write about.  What I learn about myself every year in March is that I have so many stories inside of me and they are just waiting to be shared.





Living on the Edge

#SOL18 Day Twenty


She had been up for hours, but she had to wait and wonder.  Should she just go to work, or should she try again?  Her text from the night before, “since Lorrie is home early, I can take you home in the morning,” went unanswered.

That’s odd, she thought.  Oh well, she always looks at her phone early, practically before the sun comes up.  She went to sleep feeling confident that she’d hear back in the morning.

5:30 A.M.  She unplugged her phone and was dismayed to see there was still no response.

She texted again.


“Hello????” she clicked away at the tiny letters on her phone, this time agitated.

I don’t have all morning to wait, she knows I have to go to work.  I would think not having to take the train home would be so appealing that she would respond immediately!  Oh jeez.  I hope nothing is wrong down there.  This weekend went so well.  Almost 100% perfect.  Here we go.  Something is wrong…She began to work herself into a tizzy.

Six minutes later a ding came from her phone.

“Yes, yes!!”

A response full of excitement, tempered with a touch of concern that she had perhaps missed her opportunity for a ride from her wonderful and thoughtful sister.

Thank God, no crisis.  This time…

She gathered up her things for work and headed down the hall.


My Perfect, Ordinary Weekend

#SOL18 Day Nineteen


Nothing spectacular happened this weekend.  It was perfect.

No one needed me.

I didn’t have to be anywhere.

My bedside alarm took two days off.

I caught up on sleep, recorded T.V. shows, laundry, and time spent with family.

Coffee was sipped each morning and wine was enjoyed each night.

Grocery shopping was accomplished at an easy pace on Saturday.  A healthy dinner was made that evening with care… and more wine.  Some sale shopping for clothes fit right into the non-schedule on Sunday, followed up by a mani-pedi before heading home.  The light pink hue I chose makes me happy every time I look down at the keys as I type.

I am ready to hit this week with energy thanks to my ordinary weekend that was so very perfect.



Setting the Bait

#SOL18 Day Eighteen

slice-of-life_individualI love books.

I love to walk through the halls of my schools with a book in hand to see who might “bite.”

One day, back in the fall, I went on such an adventure.

I walked through the media center where Ms. Geijer’s 7th-grade students were working.

She (Ms. Geijer) was sitting with a group of boys and girls and she immediately focused in on the book I was holding – with laser precision.

“Oh!  Dr. Cahill, do you have a new book?!”  she asked.

“Why yes I do Ms. Geijer, have you seen this one?”

We both began to drool over my copy of Jason Reynolds’ new book, Myles Morales.  It was as if we had planned it (we did not.)  The boys took the bait -hook, line and sinker!

Alan was the first to speak up.

“I want to read it!” he said.

She and I toyed with him and the rest of his classmates for a bit longer.

“I don’t know………..” I hung on that last word, looking at Alan.

Alan and I ended up reading Myles Morales together.  It took us a quite a long time.  Partly because I couldn’t always get to the school because my mom was in the hospital and I was always afraid to schedule something with him for fear that it would have to be abruptly canceled.

I think another possible reason it took us so long was that we really enjoyed our time together and subconsciously we were trying to extend it.  We spent part of our time reading and the other talking and sharing a little bit of our selves.  Every couple of visits Alan would ask for an update on my mom’s condition.  He made me a Thanksgiving card.  He gave me a Christmas ornament as a gift in front of the rest of his classmates (Can you believe it?  A 7th-grade boy not embarrassed to give an old lady, who he likes to read with at school, a present in front of his peers???)  He told me about some of his family situations when they visited Mexico during Christmas break.

We eventually made it through Myles and Alan said, “we need to find another book!”  The day we chose our new book Alan said to me, “this time around we should schedule regular visits so we can finish this one before the year ends.”

I drove back to my office that afternoon chuckling to myself. I thought I was the one who dangled books in front of kids. To set the bait. To reel them in so they’d beg to read it.

That Alan. He’s good.




“It Has Two in the Front and Two in the Back!”

#SOL18 Day Seventeen


I walked into a conversation with my mom and her caregiver this morning and it sounded like this –

“It has two in the front and two in the back.”  My mom sounded slightly frustrated.

“I just don’t know what that could be…?”  Lorrie was trying hard to understand.

I walked in and immediately started “playing.”

Since my mom had a stroke 7 years ago her biggest struggle has been word retrieval.  I can’t imagine how difficult it is to know exactly what you want to say, in your mind, to be able to picture it…. but not be able to name it.

Yet she keeps trying.  There have been times when she will get quiet and finally say, “never mind.”  It breaks my heart.

I have always been my mom’s person – the one who could reach into her mind and help her string her thoughts together so she could communicate her needs.  To ease her frustration.  Often times seconds before she would throw in the towel.  The last thing I wanted was for her to feel so defeated that she stopped talking altogether.  When she gets quiet….that’s what scares me.

Today was the day that Lorrie figured out what my mom was trying so earnestly to say.  Lorrie.

Don’t feel bad about this.  Don’t be jealous.  Be happy that mom has more people who get her.  We are blessed…I thought to myself.

Standing Tall

#SOL18 Day Sixteen


Standing tall

Ready for dress up

The sun is shining – the sky is blue – the leaves are coming

Branches reaching up

Bare for now – buds right around the corner

The group is miles long

All in the same situation

Waiting for spring





This Redhead Kid That I Know

#SOL18 Day Fifteen

slice-of-life_individualThere’s this kid I know.  He has red hair.  He must be on my mind constantly because the minute I see a boy with red hair I’m sure it’s him.  The same goes for kids, or adults for that matter, with red hair on T.V.  He reminds me of him!  I pause in amazement and think about that devilish grin and signature mop top.  He’s been bounced around from home to home.  From a small child he lived with his mom, then his grandparents, then his mom again and then a foster mother.  I hope with all my heart that he gets to settle down with an adult who loves and cares for him and who can give him stability.  He deserves that.

There’s this kid I know.  He has red hair.  He must be on my mind constantly because whenever I see a successful adult who had a difficult childhood I think, this would be a perfect job for him when he grows up.  Chip Gaines, from the T.V. show Fixer Upper,  is a grown-up version of this kid!  I pause in amazement and think about what he has been through and how he continues to persevere.  I hope with all my heart that as a grown man he remembers where he came from and uses his gifts to make the world a better place.

There’s this kid I know.  He has red hair.  He must be on my mind constantly because even when it’s been over 6 months since I’ve seen him it’s easy to reconnect and catch up on all that I’ve missed.  I can email him a hey, how’s it going and he’ll email me back within minutes.  I pause in amazement and think about how each year he has grown more confident and mature.  I have had the chance to watch him grow into a solid young man who knows himself through and through.  I hope with all my heart that we stay in touch well into his adulthood.  Selfishly I want to see this through.  I need to see where his (success) story goes next.