W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, July 19, 2023
It is Wednesday, again. I am in Denver, Colorado for another baseball game. Last night’s game didn’t turn out well for my team, but they play 162 games in a season for a reason.
I arrived yesterday morning and had a full day planned, capped with walking to and from the ballpark.
My plan was to visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, lunch with a blogger, then the game. Sometimes things don’t go your way or lot of other people have the same idea. It turned out that I was not the only person who wanted to get a jump start on their day and when I arrived at the car rental facility I was well back in the line. The line moved smoothly and did get my car, but I was more than an hour behind schedule. Continue reading W^2 – bite→
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, July 12, 2023
For this week’s Wordless Wednesday, I have a closeup of one of our hummingbird feeders and a bonus, a reverse view with a hummingbird.
Today is the thirty-seventh day of summer break, almost to the halfway mark. Earlier this morning storms rolled through with lightning, thunder, and heavy rain. We need the rain after a very dry spring. The flowers came despite the lack of April showers.
The birds came, too.
Several years ago, I added a few bird feeders to our backyard. It was the summer of ’18 and I was recovering, or rehabilitating, from my first knee replacement surgery. I had been reading the a book Where the Poppies Grow by British author John Lewis-Stempel. I learned about the book while reading a blog post at From Pyrenees to Pennines in one of Margaret’s many blogposts about reading.
Both changed my life. The book and thus the bird feeders and the knee surgeries, in December ’18 I had the other knee replaced. I’ve never looked back. Continue reading W^2 – colorful→
It’s Monday, Day 21 and I wasted yesterday. Really wasted it. I spent the entire afternoon on things unimportant and certainly not urgent.
One day summer won’t be summer break, it will be life in retirement. I’ve often told folks who marvel my summer break (envy) that I think of summer break as an audition for retirement. If so, I am not going to get a call back.
In my last post I referenced the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was replying to a comment and I found a great resource from the folks at FranklinCovey, it’s an overview of the 7 Habits – click if you like. I’ve been using their products for over twenty years to plan my day and organize my daily and weekly tasks. Every year I get a little better at it learning from my failures and successes.
One of the parts of my daily routine playing the New York Times Wordle. I don’t remember how I started, but I did. It could’ve been my daughter, or the buzz on social media as folks posted their solution to the day’s Wordle. If you haven’t played it, it is a simple game. You have six guesses to guess the day’s word. The word is five letters long and with each guess you get feedback.
Green squares mean that the letter you guessed is in the correct position in the day’s word.
Yellow squares mean the letter you guessed is in the word day’s but not in that space.
Gray squares mean that the letter you guessed is not in that day’s word.
According to an article in The Ledger, there over 158,000 five-letter words in the English language, but the Official Scrabble Dictionary puts the number at about 9,000 words. Somewhere I read the Wordle game has a dictionary at just over 2,300 words and doesn’t use plurals as solutions.
I find Wordle challenging, and I find it frustrating, too. Most mornings, playing the day’s Wordle is the last thing I do before getting started on the day – showering and heading off to school. But in the summer, I have more time and less urgency (and thus more time to write and dream).
Some days, the puzzle takes five to ten minutes or as quickly as two minutes like it was this morning. And there are days when I can’t see a solution and come back later.
Last summer, I began to track my daily results and approach playing the game as a scientist. At the point, it took an average of 4.46 attempts to solve the puzzle. Since then, my average slowly declined and is currently 4.05 attempts to solve the puzzle, though the month of June has been awful with a miss and several five and six attempt days and a monthly average of 4.23. Continue reading Wordle, is it a game or a challenge?→
This morning as I stumbled through my morning routine, I noted in my reflection and gratitude app that it was Friday. Normally Friday would bring joy and be amazing, but during the summer when it is summer break, Friday is simply another day.
Fridays during the school year bring joy and anticipation of weekend plans and a less structured day. During summer break, almost every day is less structured! I try to keep that in mind as I plan and execute my day and my week. As the summer winds down, structure is what I look forward to about returning to school.
Years ago, I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Reading the book was difficult. It was full of ideas about personal management and was more of a textbook for life. I finished it and every so often, I open it, and re-read or leaf through the pages. The habit I rely on most during the unstructured summer is Habit 3: Put First Things First. Reading that book, changed my life. Continue reading Day 18 – Friday, not just another day?→
It’s Day 8 of summer break and I have completed one FULL week. Mostly it’s been catching up on the tasks that I said I’d do when school ended or working on the things that needed to be done to close out school, like packing my classroom and moving to another classroom, my twelfth classroom in twenty-two years. Moving is incomplete and I’ll finish moving later this week when I return home.
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I have spent Days 4 through 7 (and Day 9) at our lake house.
Our daughter is spending the summer by the lake working at a local veterinarian. The lake house is about a two-hour drive to where she attends university at Michigan State. When I was in middle school, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but by the time I finished high school I had changed my career path to being an engineer, and a couple of years later I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. It wasn’t until I went back to school in 1997 that I finally realized my middle school career aspiration of working with animals. Yes, there is a joke there, a dad joke, but a joke, nonetheless.
It’s been a dry spring in the Midwest and throughout southern Canada. Dry understates the problem.
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
Wildfires have ravaged southern Canada and for the past month the air has been filled with smoke particles. The skies, normally a brilliant sky blue, have been a grayish white with the sun’s rays scattered as they pass through the atmosphere. Last week major league baseball cancelled three games in the northeast due to wildfire smoke in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Last week Saturday, June 4th a wildfire, sparked by an untended campfire, burned over 2000 acres near our lake house. Our daughter was here, she sent photos of Forest Service fire planes scooping water from the lake’s surface and helicopters filling buckets filled with water to douse the wildfire’s flames.
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, May 31, 2023
It’s been, too long since I’ve published a post, but there have been many I’ve done in my mind. Things just get in the way of writing and posting.
Speaking of which, there are two school days remaining in this school year and I harken back to a school year gone awry and the birth of Making the Days Count dot org, at first a dot com. That was thirteen years ago; this post is the first of year fourteen.
I spent the evening marking papers, then realized I needed to run a quick errand and walked outside to discover the moon and the flag.
A lot has taken place since that first post thirteen years ago, but theirs is more to tell in the years ahead, just like the flag and moon. There’s more left and beginning Monday at noon, there are 76 days to practice for the time when I won’t be teaching.
Today was a great day, I think I got 140 sixth graders to think about energy transfer when they really wanted to think about summer break and sleeping in. Tomorrow we are on a walking field trip to a local park and Friday will be here and gone before I know it and I’ll be outside waving to school buses as the leave the parking lot one last time.
I’ve got a little formatting to do and then I’ll press publish and this will go live. The day is done, and I am headed to bed to catch some rest before it starts all over anew. Making the days Count, one day at a time, it’s all in a cycle.
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, February 8, 2023
It is Wednesday and I have written or posted in a very long while.
Birds have been visiting the feeder this winter and I looked out the kitchen window a couple of weeks ago to see a pair of cardinals feeding – a couple a male and a female. The male with his bright red plumage caught my eye and I took photos of both. I am saving the rest for a future post.
Today is going to be a great day, an amazing day, in fact. I know it and I can feel it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, enjoying the longer days and the sunshine we’ve had of late.
What do you see when you look out your kitchen window?
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, January 4, 2023
I’ve been in northern Mississippi since Monday afternoon. I flew Southwest Airlines, yes that Southwest Airlines. The airline that melted down and cancelled hundreds of flights for an entire week beginning the day after Christmas. It’s been my go-to airline since I began travelling to Mississippi to visit my stepmother or care for the house these past three years.
Yesterday, I engaged a realtor to sell the property. The day began with thunderstorms racing through the area and a tornado warning. By noon, the skies were clear. I took care of a few errands and decided to walk around her neighborhood one last time. Oxford is a beautiful town, and I understand how she and my dad came to love it.
As I finished my walk, the sun had set, and the moon was rising. I’d gotten a message from an app that the moon and mars would be in conjunction and the best viewing time would 5:06 PM. It was still light out and the moon was visible, but Mars wasn’t. I pulled a lawn chair out onto the drive and sat and watched. Within twenty minutes Mars became visible as a small dot above the moon.
I savored the moment; it was a beautiful January evening, and it was pleasant enough to sit outside without a jacket.
I’ve enjoyed my visits over the years, but I am hoping this is my last trip to Oxford.
I had entertained the idea of driving to Vicksburg and staying at the Baer House and visiting the Vicksburg battlefield one more time but decided to get home and finish up a few things before school restarts Monday.
It’s a beautiful sunny day at the Memphis airport, but it will be good to get home later this evening.
Today is already an amazing day. I got to the airport ahead of time, I am checked in, and waiting on an airplane. I know it and I can feel it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, looking forward to getting home.
W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Last night I was on my way home from purchasing a lottery ticket, two tickets, one for last night’s drawing and one for tonight’s drawing. I know, the chance of winning is minuscule, maybe even infinitesimal, but I purchased them anyway.
On the way home, I looked up to see the setting waxing crescent moon and Jupiter. A cloudless or less clouded December sky is a rarity here in northern Illinois and I suppose my four-dollar purchase of lottery tickets could be construed as an admission ticket to a Tuesday evening light show.
I pulled to the roadside and waited patiently for traffic to pass while I snapped photos of the prairie, the moon, and Jupiter; all of which are reflecting our sun’s light. It takes the sun’s light 5080.32 seconds to travel from the sun to Jupiter and reflect toward Earth so we can see it. That’s an hour, twenty-four minutes, and forty seconds.
My last post was titled ‘light’ and I almost named this post ‘light, again,’ but I decided that the title above would be better. Things take time and cloud free nights in winter are rare. This morning the sun rose, as it always does, and we welcomed a new day. Today is going to be an amazing day. I know it and I can feel it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, being patient with the universe.
When was the last time you looked up to see the light of a night sky?