Slice of Life Cats

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In the morning, the cats are antsy. They don’t want us to leave. The black and white one meows incessantly, following my husband around where ever he wanders: starting the coffee pot, cutting the vegetables and fruit for our morning smoothie, fetching the paper. Stella follows around talking the whole time, sometimes running through his feet almost tripping him.

Our other cat, a tabby named Abby, watches the whole display and waits at the back slider, hoping to wander outside to check the messages the neighborhood cats have left, yet quickly ready to dart back inside if any of them are actually in our yard.

We deeply miss having our white lab Pooka around to chase away wandering neighborhood cats, especially Bad Cat, a ferrel black one with specks of grey, torn ears, scars, and one bad eye. Bad Cat terrorizes every one, and has survived the hottest and coldest of weather for probably five years now.  Neighbors have tried to trap him; others have scared him away with pellet guns. But that Bad Cat just keeps tramping through his neighborhood territory.

And, as I step outside this morning, there is the neighbor’s cat, Thunder: black as night and most definitely the spawn of Bad Cat. I leave the antics of my own cats to be greeted by the patiently waiting [and very soft] Thunder. I had to take a picture and pause to pet him before leaving as he sits on the steps waiting for attention.

Cats. They’re just there to help us slow down and enjoy small moments, because we don’t have nine lives.

classroomsliceoflife


 

Writing Strategies

Strong verb forms: meows, following, cutting, fetching, watches, wats, waner, dart, chase, survived trap, scared, tramping

Description: a ferrel black one with specks of grey, torn ears, scars, and one bad eye.

Assonance:  tabby named Abby

Alliteration: [p] take a picture and pause to pet him

Slice of Life The Cow

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As I drove by a field with fresh greenery spreading out for miles, I glanced at the fenced-in area on hillside below the road. It was filled with white cows, not the usual “dairy cows” of black and white [above] but white cows and brown cows, all munching and moseying at their slow and gentle pace.

 

Two white cows were separated by a large basalt boulder, a haystack rock the size of a large dump trpublic domain800px-Yeager-Rock-Erractic-PB110039uck that was dropped by a glacier twenty thousand plus years ago.

I slowed down to see the cow behind the rock lift its head to as if moo-ing.

The cow on my side of the rock looked at the boulder as if to say, “I hear you. Are you there, somewhere?”

The first cow repeated, and as I passed by above them, the cow near me seemed to twist its head as if learning that mystery of knowing something is there though it can’t be seen. Its brown eyes staring, questioning.

Learning. Knowing about the world. Even cows learn.


Writing Strategies

Description [sights]  field with fresh greenery spreading out for miles,

Alliteration: munching and moseying

 


 

Images: Public Domain

 

 

 

 

Slice of Life Cats

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What is it about cats? The day is hectic. You’re up and down and in and out with chores around the house and outside. As soon as the basket is empty, the cat jumps in. And as soon as it’s full, the cat curls up on top of fresh laundry for a nap.

As you’re in and out and up and down with all the chores unfinished throughout the school week, the cats are underfoot, dancing with your steps, almost tripping you.

They’ve got food and water and their own places and spaces. But —  they’re with you, stepping with you or standing right in your path staring at you, batting at your leg as you pass by.

My black and white noisy cat meows and meows, wandering back and forth from the hall way to the couch, the hallway to the couch.

Finally, I concede, sit down, and enjoy the purr of the cat in my lap, saying, “Just take a break, would you? Pet me. I missed you all day.”

Who says cats aren’t social creatures?

classroomsliceoflife

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Writing Strategies:

Repetition: up and down and in and out; hallway to the couch

Details: what the cats do [laundry basket, underfoot, staring, batting, meowing

Description: underfoot, dancing with your steps

Slice of Life #sol16 Elevation

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Tuesday, the sun shone brightly on the hills around the school. The snow blanketing the highest points sparkled like diamonds while the brown of the lower elevations looked like a fur coat, keeping the earth warm on the brisk day while holding in the green of spring soon to burst from within.

The elevation around the school is 1841 feet above sea level, just enough to keep the snow caps shining and the temperature ten degrees colder than my home twenty miles away. Snow, rain, or shine– the drive to school is meditation, a nature journey to enjoy before the business and messiness of learning begins.

When I left home, the sun’s light on the clear blue sky seemed to say, “Welcome. This day is glorious. Don’t miss it.”

And I know the daffodils just off the front porch listened and lifted its buds higher:

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Our town’s elevation is 1145 feet above sea level.  That 700 feet makes such a difference. I didn’t feel I needed a jacket, and the johnny jump ups within the daffodils agreed. But knowing the drive up to school, I donned my winter coat because I knew the dust of snow and drop of temperature would greet me, but that the sunshine would elevate my spirits and that of my students. We wouldn’t miss this.

It would not matter that blades of frost would cover the sand-filled tires on the playground.

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The students would still bring the orange bounce in their lives and dance to the beat of it’s dribble on the court.

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Elevation makes a difference, but the sun makes a smile.  For me, it was a meditation from its brilliance, for my students, it was, “Play ball” even in its briskness.

What elevates your spirits, especially in the early spring?

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Writing Strategies

Theme: Elevation in geography and in spirits

Consonance:

[s] Elevation makes a difference, but the sun makes a smile.

[l] listened and lifted

Dialogue:  Sun — the sun’s light on the clear blue sky seemed to say, “Welcome. This day is glorious. Don’t miss it.”

Description [sights]: he snow blanketing the highest points sparkled like diamonds while the brown of the lower elevations looked like a fur coat, keeping the earth warm on the brisk day while holding in the green of spring soon to burst from within.

SOL Buttercups Spring Memories

March 2nd Buttercups

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With every Spring

Creator brings

A yellow bright

Chasing fright

as petals of hopefulness

bring smiles of happiness

Signs of Spring

Joy will bring.

 

Every year when the warm weather and bright sunny days beckon each of us outside, I walk through the hillsides around our area, missing our companion, now gone, whose nose to the ground led us in circles as she sniffed for messages left by the wild creatures.

Our little Pooka dog left us with many memories, and the spring brings them back in full force. When the white Rezmut [reservation mutt] was young, she would prance ahead of us, searching for the new in the world.  My husband and I would dart into the meadow and duck beneath and behind the thickly branched sagebrush, and, barely breathing, we hid from Pooka.

Pooka would run back past us and then turn around, sniffing the ground, letting her nose find us, and wagging her tail with delight in the game.

So much fun.

Spring is joy again.

classroomsliceoflife

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Writing Strategies

Details: I walk through the hillsides around our area, missing our companion, now gone, whose nose to the ground led us in circles as she sniffed for messages left by the wild creatures.

Description: the thickly branched sagebrush

Assonance:  turn around, sniffing the ground

Strong Verbs:   dart into the meadow and duck

Image Source:

By Laura Brolis – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26180729

 

SOL Sun Beams

Tired after work, I needed a walk. I walked with my head down, kicking at the dust as the shadows darkened beneath the fir trees lining the road. I sighed. Suddenly, the dust beneath my feet transformed into a yellow as bold as gold. I stood up straight, looking forward and up at the turn in the road where the beams of light thrown from the setting sun engulfed the forest, creating a haloed glow against the black of evening. A mourning dove cooed behind me. I hurried forward, hoping to find something special, something left by the sun. I jogged up into the light and found it: the hope of a better day in the setting sun and a smile to return home as I remembered its beauty.

sol

 


Writing Strategies

 

Description [sight]: the setting sun engulfed the forest, creating a haloed glow against the black of evening.

Description [sound]:  A mourning dove cooed behind me.

Details: Tired after work, I needed a walk. I walked with my head down, kicking at the dust

Emotions:  the hope of a better day in the setting sun and a smile to return home as I remembered its beauty
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2015/11/07/11/30/sunbeam-1031201_960_720.jpg