Yesterday…

I took part in a virtual tour of Auschwitz and its sister camps. The history fiend in me was fascinated, and I feel that I came away with a more solid view of the experience when I teach the subject, but I know what you are going to say…

HOW is THIS a way to find the angels that live among us? HOW can I choose the most DEPRESSING of subjects to start this project with?

I get that, but I thought that I would start big and work my way to the little things as I progress. To do this, I am going to hand you a few names that you can research if you don’t know who they are, but the first will tip you off to the goal.

  1. Oskar Schindler
  2. Irena Sendler
  3. Johan Van Hulst
  4. Raoul Wallenburg
  5. Sir Nicholas Winton
  6. Meip Gies
  7. Chiune Sugihara
  8. Albert Goering

Yup. That’s right. Goering. The Luftwaffe Commander’s brother. In fact, I just came across information that Hitler’s own nephew petitioned the US to allow him to fight against Germany with them. That is a new path I must research, but the eight above I have already spent a fair amount of time revisiting.

Angels are among us, and even differ in the views of their families as has been documented often throughout history. In my efforts to find a more positive view of life’s battles, I find quite a few of these characters. Characters that feel compelled to act in spite of how they feel. How they are treated.

We can only hope to recognize them when we meet them.

We can only hope to emulate them when our opportunity to act is thrust upon us.

If you know of others that must be shared, let me know and I will begin projects including their stories. Don’t forget the elder who quietly lives down the street, or the grocer who is home from a tour. They are among us often in the smallest of roles.

In the meantime, stay creative, stay positive and keep on keepin’ on!

Good morning, goodnight wherever you are!

Kath

Ah… Summer Scorch Has Begun

How are we all doing? I have made it through yet another school year. Easy to say, the most unusual of the last 31 years since I started teaching (admittedly, only 25 in the classroom, 21 fulltime), but it was not the worst year.

With that in mind, I have decided to add an angle to this page… in my random way of posting. I favor those moments that it seems like an angel has dropped in to say hi at just the right moment. It may be the neighbor who stops in and lends a hand, or a stranger who steps up. Either way, a positive moment is had by all.

I am going to start looking for more of those little reported positive experiences… or maybe a bunch of kitten or puppy videos to lighten the day. In the meantime while I find my first chosen article (and please do send suggestions if you find any) I want to share one of the funniest pairs I have seen in ages. Positivity is their thing and I have laughed hard enough that my ribs hurt since I found their page. *** This may not be child friendly – depending upon your parenting styles.***

Hope you all are keeping a happy heart and staying creative!

Good morning goodnight wherever you are!

Kath

Almost Made It…

The end of the school year is within 2 weeks from completion with the kids, and just a few more days as far as scheduled meetings are concerned. Sad thing is, I am already stressing over activities and needs for change for the next year, rather than reveling in our current success. We really need to step back and find better stress management. Alright. I. I need to find better tools. I need to apply my tools rather than hang out and be a bum.

My issue at work, is not that I am not communicating, but rather that I need to wait for better timing to happen before I address things. Soon as we talk, things will even out, but good gravy. Sticking up for others is wearing me out and this delay is another way of doing just that.

One thing I came across recently is compassion fatigue. This is often attributed to caregivers and emergency personnel. The last presentation I watched discussed teachers and how we contend with PTS in our students, but we often don’t have the right tools to properly help them. With that stress, the kids can’t focus, and we don’t know how to positively redirect them. That coupled with Covid… oy.

What about you? Do you have ideas that could help the greater good? I am all ears if you do.

Now that I have taken a turn and unloaded on you. Admitted my lack of coping tool application on top of it. How are you?

I hope you are better than I. Moving forward and finding work settings to even out and be better.

Keep rocking your hard work and personal focus!

Good morning goodnight wherever you are!

Kath

The Weird World We Live In…

Day by day I feel like life may be scrambling back into solid footholds slightly resembling normality. The hardest part is that I’m not certain I’m prepared for normal. I know I’ve said it before… I don’t want to rush into it and have us end up in more troubles… but more than that? I want to stay here. Writing. Foreverrrrr…. Even if it is sitting in my chair… being more bum than creative human. And yet, being a bum leads to creativity more often than not for me.

On that happy little note, I have stalled somewhat in my story, partly because editing is a daunting task. More so, I think is that I have a wonderful knack of viewing my world and plot with more and more questions as I stew on it. I need a tool to help bring it back around to a solid tale. I just to find find a tool that will be fix my focus, without breaking the bank in the process … if you have any ideas… I am open as can be to them. More than likely I have it all, I just don’t realize it. If it is computer based, though, I do know I am resistant to it partly because we are still in a cold world (gotta be curled up with heat you know), but partly also because I spend waaaay too much time on the computer as part of work. I want old school workbooks or journals (… I have an over abundance of the later.)

Now that I have shared about me.. how are you? Are you creative? Safe? Getting by?

Any and all are acceptable. Just keep keepin on.

Hope you find your magical weapon for tolerating our Wild and Weird World.

Good morning, goodnight wherever you are!

Kath

As the Saying Goes…

A new day, a new dollar…
Or is it a penny right now?

Lately we have been hit with our own dilemma locking down temporarily, at least part of the community, to protect us from a local wave of Covid. Our luck has it, that we will be back full force on Monday, if it holds.
In the meantime I did manage to get more meetings in with a few students, and kept up paperwork that I needed managed during this time. Whew… but that sense of needing a home based job keeps nagging at me. I know this is a bad idea for 2 reasons though. I am too comfortable at home, for one, and being around others really is healthy, even though my personality loves the quiet.

On the flip side, I have been lightly, but at least I have been, editing my book. I also have set up plans to write stories with my elementary specials class. They love being creative so my artistic activities have gone very well. I also have created a few rewards to win, though I really need to come up with enough for everyone. Just need more supplies but that can easily be fixed if I ask.

So, enough about me. How are you? Are you painting, drawing, getting good and greasy in an engine that you love working on? I hope so. Life is too weird and crazy right now to stay locked up completely, and being involved in some activity helps. If nothing else, we could do a Masterclass binge watch in our respective spaces… OR… Skillshare. Love those sights for additional learning opportunities. (My next goal is to finish Steve Martin’s Humor class….-mc platform)

I hope you all are well. Keep plugging along in your own way, and stay as healthy as possible.

Good morning, goodnight wherever you are!

Kath

Off We Go…

Into the wild blue yonder…

Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

The new year is a chance for all manner of new beginnings. Each month a chapter. Each day a page.

Today, I have begun to draft my new novel of a year, with 3 pages nearly done. I have no excitement to share. No dilemmas to worry about, nor any to fix.

Tomorrow we will begin our new teaching semester and I am determined to use the evenings to get more of my novel written, (actual novel this time), and keep my eye on the prize for my students’ learning year.

I hope you each of you has a plan, however minor (book read, new job, smile for each day), that you wish to achieve. Remember to keep your eye on the prize, and find joy in each effort you put into the work you do.

Be safe. Be happy. Find joy.

Good morning, goodnight wherever you are.

Kath

Whew… Tis that time Again

Santa, I mean.

Fast as I wanted this year to go, it seemed to sluggishly move, then whip right past me. Twice I have drafted a post, and twice I opted to sit where I was warm rather than take on posting the thoughts of the day, so here goes nothing in an attempt to recap them.

End of November came and I had posted 25,000 words on the 21st and 35,000 by the 30th for NaNoWriMo. Efforts toward improving the Borealveldt saga are going well… Alright. They will be when I get off my duff and choose to fully dive in to editing, not just considering what needs changing. I did manage to lay out a better possible 3rd act but I can also see it being written four more times and never be the same. Sooo.. what do I know there. My fingers tend to randomly wander off into parts unknown when writing.

The next point is that I have taken on a new challenge, informally at this point, but the efforts to understand first Vietnam, 9/11, and Pearl Harbor have now morphed into a deep dive into Midway. I look forward to this adventure and pick apart the pieces of that puzzle. Sharing the story has been part of a hard and fast hit on World War 2, some of which I know extremely well, and some I need to do heavy duty research yet. I am getting better, but my kids will know something of the times, before I am done.

And lastly… I am at Christmas break. No issues thus far other than this insanity on the world and political levels. How I hope we all fall into a routine by March. I don’t think my need for peace can take much more drama. Sheesh. At least I am still deeply entrenched in my crafts and I have a new arrangement for my office/living space so there is less overlap and more dedicated focus. I also am making a sloppy mess and trying my hand at acrylic paint pouring. With patience and the right mediums, I do well, but I also do mud well. 😀

So… now that you are all caught up on my little crazy self. How are you? I hope well. I hope you are finding outlets to keep you focused and active. As you can tell, I am, though lately it has been mostly on a digital level (found a few games I love), and my critters, but peace is found all the same. Other than that, life is simply plugging along.

I shall call it good for now, and I will hopefully find a theme for next go round rather than bombard you with anything and everything I can think of.

Stay safe! Stay creative!

Good morning, goodnight wherever you are!

Kath

15,000+ in 13 Days!

Whooo! NaNoWriMo and I are getting on famously so far. I set a basic goal of 25,000 with the intention of editing my work. I also added a goal of 35,000 in DabbleWriter where I post my progress keeping the ideas connected in chapter form.

My editing goal is more of a ‘fill in the blanks’ kinda of progress, but it is working rather well as I have had some very good thoughts flowing. Now will they stay intact? Doubtful. In spite of that, the ideas are flowing more reasonably than I expected.

So World. My life had been good here, rather off kilter same as it was before, but somehow I am managing to remain healthy. How are you all? I hope well if not very well…. dare I ask for awesome?!

All the same, I hope that you keep plugging away, being creative and finding a path toward the light at the end of this wild ride.

Take care one and all.

Good morning, goodnight wherever you are!

Kath

I Found the Edge of the World!

… and forgot to turn back.

My consistency has gone right out the window in spite of my best intentions.

IF you are so kind as to keep up with me, I hope to share at least a bit of my NaNoWriMo tale this month and will make it a weekly adventure at minimum.

NaNoWriMo. I need that to be NaNoWriLi – National Novel Writing Life… only way to keep my accountablity in place.

With that in mind, Life has plugged along taking me with it even if it is by the collar of my shirt. Still being creative every moment I can.

Hope that you are all well and keeping keepin’ on too.

Take care and meet me here whenever you can.

Good morning, goodnight wherever you are!

Kathleen

Revisiting 9/11

7/29/2020

Today marks, not a date of significance, but the re-watching of a Blue Bloods episode linked to 9/11. So, with that thought in mind I am going to post my thoughts on the day. Hopefully, not having the actual anniversary in play will allow it to have a softer tone for those of you who are still angry or hurt after all this time.

one point – even nearly two decades, the thoughts are scattered so forgive the execution.

9/11/2001

I was in my home in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. I was married and he was off on a job in Pittsburgh working on a power plant that was working at a diminished level which goes with off season use. 

That morning I got up like any other day. As we all know, it was a Tuesday that was bright, crisp and easy to remember as one of the good ones. Or at least, it could have been. After washing up, I put on my uniform for work, and went downstairs. I was a clerk at a local hardware store, and often was on the ten to closing shift since I have experience working with banking. The first thing I did after grabbing a cup of coffee was sit down at the computer and to log into my email. I never got that far.

The photo of a plane in flight heading toward the tower with the headline of a crash was only post I saw. Jumping up, I grabbed the remote and turned on the TV just in time to miss the second collision. 

The sense of utter disbelief and possible explanations that we all felt at the time were flying through my mind as I took in what the news report was sharing. Had I been on the west coast, where I am now, I may have missed it all. Had I not taken my time getting ready and grabbed coffee first, I may have seen every moment. As it was, I spent the day looking for more information, seeking out every nugget I could find in an attempt to explain away the horror.

Even at work I listened to the radio as loud and long as they would allow me to. Of course, the morning anchor had to make mention that, had this truly been a terrorist attack, the power plants would have been a more destructive way to share their message. Fortunately, I was able to express my displeasure about that via email, and because of it, I spent the day stressed that it would become a possible threat. That is until a couple of my ex’s coworkers came into work and allayed my fears. After United 93 crashed within 30 miles of us, it was a significant moment that brought a little relief to the day.

That night we went out for dinner and, of course, we spent the night watching the news, filling in the blanks that the audio from the radio didn’t fill that morning. 

I learned of a small aircraft that was redirected after nearly being hit by Flight 93… to the airport 2 miles down the road that I lived on. I saw people who unified on the streets of New York, caring not who those near them were, but rather that they all were shocked and feeling the same helpless sensation I felt from a state away.

I began to track the emergency personnel lost in the towers, and followed every prediction and detail I could get my hands on. 

To this day, nearly 19 years later, I am still seeking information. I have read books from the family members, and solid news sources, placing them within easy reach to use in the classroom every year. In all this time, I still connect more to the 93 symbolism, than 911. My birthday is September 3rd. It was also Jeremy Glick’s, a man who helped fight back on Flight 93 and kept one more building from falling under attack.

My mission is to bring an awareness to my students and any around me, to the fact that hundreds… thousands… of people walked away from jobs to join the service. To help sift through the rubble of ground zero. To provide services to those individuals unable to leave The Pile without having found every person possible.

A favorite movie that I hunt for every year around this time is called “The Guys” with Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia. The two of them drive the narrative as he is trying to find the words to share with families so there is a proper memorial service for six of his coworkers, even if no remains can be found. Sigourney provides the words by interviewing him allowing the shock, anger, and sadness, even joy at the men’s personalities, to wash over them. Riding that wave takes me back, but it also supplied one thing that took a good four years for me to do. 

I always find a way to put emotions into poetry. It took me until March of 2005 to find those words. To know how to encapsulate the day into a few short stanzas expressing my appreciation for the men and women who leave home every day striving to do nothing more than keep their cities and towns as safe as possible.

For me, teaching of the day is a mission that I must do so no one is forgotten. The writing is a plus that helps me keep my mind focused. Weed out all of the details that overwhelm rather than support the cause. It also helps me create new lessons for my crew to do regarding the towers, but I still fall back to the same favored lesson. 

It came from a history buff who had a degree, but chose, instead to leave a drawing on my chalkboard, when he worked as one of our maintenance staff. He depicts the impact zones on the towers and asks, how could the buildings have been built allowing everyone a chance to escape? The favorite is to equip every desk with a parachute. Ingenious, and quite interesting that three different schools worth of students have chosen the same answer.

I wish I could say that I was one who had moved past the event, but I may be one that processes September 11 for the rest of their life.  I hope whatever trials you have faced, are facing, or will face, can be encapsulated into their own bubble of art or activity that will help you process faster and more effectively.

Thank you for listening to me ramble yet one more time.

Hope you are well and taking care.

Good morning, goodnight wherever you are!

Kath