Chemistry Lesson

I caught my about-to-graduate-from-college son digging in the pantry.  He had unearthed a bag of Hershey kisses leftover from Valentine’s Day.

‘If you are that desperate, why don’t you just make cookies? I have everything.’

He gave me the stink eye. I am the master cookie maker, but he is getting closer to being in my league.  He should practice. Hershey Kisses return to pantry.

Cookie mixing commences. He asks a few questions. I give him a few pointers.

‘Turn that mixer up. You need to mix the hell of that dough.’

‘Mix in one bag of chips at a time.’

‘Start with 8 minutes. Usually takes 9 but the oven is running hot these days.’

First batch goes into oven.  I test the dough. Dough has different consistency than usual. I begin quizzing him on ingredients.

‘How much heavy cream did you use? How much vanilla? How much flour?’

First batch comes out of the oven at 10 minutes.  Something isn’t right. The cookies were puffy and didn’t spread out.  Test another cookie.  They taste fine.  Actually, I really like the texture.  And the puffiness.  Test another. And another.

‘Ohhhhhhhh. I used baking powder instead of baking soda.’





Another part of the kitchen cleaned.

Long phone conversation with a good friend.

Lots of basketball games watched.

Half done with The Martian.

Errands with my girls.


Menus for the weekend.

Early evening walk in the gorgeous sunlight.

Comfort food for supper.

More basketball games.

More reading.

Huge ‘to do’ list left undone.

Fastest week ever.

Pure bliss.



Ordinary Days

My kids were all home for supper tonight.  It wasn’t a planned event but I am so very thankful for the time with them.  As we approach a new season as a family, I will take that time when it’s just the 5 of us as often as I can.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy their ‘friends’ as we call them at our house, I just know it warms my mom heart to have the 5 of us together once in a while.

It was great to hear them laugh together and tell stories of their weekend adventures.

After the kids returned to The City, I got a text message from my youngest daughter asking if I though it would be a bad idea to take a walk with a friend.

‘Why’ I asked her, ‘would it be a bad idea to take a walk?’

‘Well I have stuff I could do for class on Tuesday.’

‘Nope.  Take the walk.  It’s a gorgeous evening! Stuff will wait.’

‘You are right. Thank you.’

It made me smile.  I’m not trading this life in for anything.  Just sayin’.







Things I Don’t Do

There are just things I don’t do.  I think once I realized that it was perfectly fine not to enjoy some things, my life became more joyful.

I used to feel guilty when I said yes to things I didn’t enjoy and guilty when I said no. Basically, I was feeling guilty all the time.   That feeling had to end.  Guilt can suck the life out of me like a teacher sucks the life out of a Dr. Pepper on a Friday of a four day week (because we all know that 4 day weeks are the longest. weeks. EVER).

So when I gave up doing things that made me feel guilty, I could actually do the things that I enjoy doing.

I don’t do outside of school staff functions.  When my kids were younger and in day care, I couldn’t bear leave them with a sitter at night as well.  As my kids grew, we were busy doing their things at night.  Now?  I have to recharge.  Recharging for me is spending time with my family, a book or one of my current Netflix addictions.

I don’t do church committees. I have tried and they are not for me.

I don’t finish books. If I read 25 or 50 or even 100 pages and I am not captivated by the book, I just check it back in. I used to think if I started a book, I had to finish it. Turns out there is no law that says I must finish a book.  Life is too short to read bad books.

I don’t run.  I know plenty of people who are enamored with the high that running gives them.  Fortunately, I came to my senses early on about this one.  I don’t really enjoy all my parts shaking their groove things in different directions.  Also, running was never easy for me.  I had to be taught to run when I was 8 years old.

I don’t eat off brand meat.  By off brand meat, I mean deer, pheasant, quail, buffalo, goose, or duck. I have eaten all of those things in my lifetime and some of them, like pheasant, I actually liked.  I don’t like them enough to burn calories on them.

I don’t spend time with people who suck my energy.  This was a tough one.  When I realized that I had been teaching my kids to spend time with people who made them better people and I wasn’t walking that walk…OUCH.  This one took a lot of time to work through.  I had to say ‘no thank you’ to invitations, shift friend groups, join activities that did make me a better person–none of those things happened overnight.

None of these things happened overnight.  I had to dig deep and find what worked for me.  Just sayin’.




I got nothing.  I can just barely function.  It was a long week.  I did manage to fix supper and get some laundry done tonight.  Another busy weekend is in store.  4 school days next with kids and then it’s spring break.  My kids will be here for 10 days.

Today we had a Star Party in my classroom. We walked to our local park and played for about 90 minutes.  We had the best time! The weather was perfect and so were the kids.  A couple of moms sent snacks and drinks and a couple more showed up to play with us.  It was the best day to be a teacher.

We had a community member pass away today after a long battle with cancer.  He left behind a senior, 8th grader and a 3rd grader.  His wife is one of the nicest people I have ever met.  So sad for all.

I have a book that needs to be read. I just can’t seem to make myself read it.  Does that happen to other people?  It’s the book I chose for my Old Lady Book Club which is at my house on Monday night.  Which really means I need to clean my house.  Eek.

We have a birthday party for our sweet friends, The Sisters, on Sunday.  They will be 4 years old.  Pretty amazing!

I got a whole lot of random nothingness going on right now.

Tomorrow will be better.


When You Make Bad Choices

As I picked my kids up from the gym, I heard a number of ‘HOLY SMOKES! IT’S COLD OUT HERE!’ And you know what?  They were right.  It was cold out there.

And I had not worn any socks.  And I had a friend who had worn her flip flops.  Another had on her exercise pants which did not cover her ankles.  My good friend T pointed out that I had made a bad choice and I was going to have to live with it.

His words sounded suspiciously like my words.  OH MY.

I begged the friends not to tell my mom!  They giggled…and said, ‘MS. HAYS YOU DON’T LIVE WITH YOUR MOM!!’ More giggling.

You know what?  It was just socks.  And I am a grown-up who can make her own choices.  Forgetting my socks only affected me–for the most part. It meant that I wasn’t going to be too hip to have any extra outside recess so that affected the kids.

But what about when bad choices affect others?  Do I think about how my choices affect others?  Sometimes.  But really. Probably not.  As humans we can be very selfish.

I am human.