‘Mrs. Hays, do you wear pajamas?’

‘Why yes I do. Do you?’


Teeheeing ensues.


Oh my.

Pretty hard to take that dad seriously when I see him at the grocery store–or anywhere for that matter. #justsayin’


Yes, I’ll Play

On what was our 697th inside recess, this little guy approached me with the board and hopeful eyes. I waited.

‘Mrs. Hays, would you like to play with me?’

‘I would love to play with you. You know I am really bad at this game, right?’

He smiled. ‘I don’t care. ‘ And we began to play.

Soon, others joined us. I won the game. Another little guy offered to play so they could get better and beat me next time.

My goal this year was to say ‘yes’ to kids more than I said no. Just to play, paint, jump rope or push the swing when they asked me–just say yes. All they want is my time–a few minutes here and there–of me.

That I can do. #goalmet #justsayin’


I love cookies. I love to make cookies. I love to eat cookies. I love to share cookies. If cookies were a love language, they’d be mine.

It seems as though I have forgotten how something as ordinary homemade cookies can offer me a few moments of peace in a world filled with anything but peace.

For years, I made cookies every Sunday night during the school year. In the summer, we had them on Thursdays. Now I make them most Thursday nights or on Friday mornings before school–you know, because #cookiefriday.

When I started #cookiefriday with my class, I really thought it would just be that one week. Then it became a weekly tradition. Then I thought it would only be a one year gig.

This year I needed the tradition.

I needed the respite from the world that making cookies gives me. It’s methodical. And rhythmic. I am reminded of simpler times in my life–times when I took for granted that life would always be that way. At times, I am reminded of grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Of packing lunches and birthday treats. Of friends.

When I make Amish sugar cookies, I am reminded of my father-in-law and his love for his family. I miss him.

When I make snickerdoodles, I am reminded of a young mother of 3 whose heart was so sad that I didn’t even know it until much later when she told met that those random cookie deliveries meant the world to her. That they saved her.

When I make cut-out sugar cookies, I am reminded of my dad. For years, I had no idea that he loved those cookies and one Christmas I discovered his love for them. Now if I know he is coming, I make plenty for him to take home with him.

Making cookies of any kind, evokes a memory of someone for me. And offers me comfort. Although those cookies are often times a gift of love for someone, they really are about me and what I get out of making them.

Making cookies has healing powers for me. #justsayin’

Ten Thing Thursday

I borrowed this idea from this Slicer.  It was just what I needed on a long, busy day.

  1. I live about 1.5 miles from my school.
  2. Today I had on one outfit and then remembered our HS girls were going to play in a state tournament game so I changed my outfit to a school spirit outfit at 7:31 when I had wet hair, no make-up and needed to leave for school in 14 minutes.
  3. Cookies are my power pellets.
  4. I could watch basketball all day long.
  5. I can hardly stand to see kids treated unfairly.
  6. This weather has been crazy.
  7. Why are so many of our twenty-somethings addicted to crack?
  8. How many of my school kids are going home to unsafe situations?
  9. My weekend plans are to get my end of quarter grades done and 2 weeks worth of lesson plans done so that I can have a school free spring break.
  10. I have an apology to offer tomorrow to a student.


P.S. I was at school standing in my classroom at 7:55.  Pretty impressive.

On this Monday….

I am thankful for…..

a snooze button.

waking up to only one notification from Twitter about the craziness in the White House.

purple nail polish.

two little girls who magically turn 5 today.


not needing my winter coat.

the forethought to pack a week’s worth of lunches yesterday so I could write this morning.

the George Winston station on Pandora.

17 little smiling faces that I will see later this morning.  At least I hope they will be smiling.

friends who are family.

being able to walk outside with no coat, gloves or hat.  Can you tell I hate winter?

health insurance.

this Monday.  May it be a glorious and peaceful day for all.  #justsayin’


Some Days


I headed down 5th street towards my errands.  2 blocks from home, a red truck pulls out in front of me going. point. five. miles. an. hour.  Ohhhhhhhhh.  I am lucky enough to follow the red truck for about 10 blocks.

I wanted to be mad.

And yet, moving that slow allowed me to see all things that are blooming in the world. I also was able to see how beautiful the day was with the sun shining and the wind blowing.  And people were out walking.  And waving.  And smiling AT ME.

No mad feelings can happen when that much joy is in the world.

As I pull into the DG (Dollar General–I live in a small town.  We have about 3500 people in our county) there are 4 people mosey-ing out of the store.  There are no empty slots for me to pull in to–I must wait for them to find their car, unload their cart and return it to the store.  Only then do they all load into the car to leave and I can park my car.

I wanted to be mad.

And yet, waiting for them gave me time to see that this foursome was made up of 2 adult children whom had brought their aging parents to the DG.  My heart swelled with love at the sight of this foursome–they were strangers to me, and yet, in that time I saw what I hoped would be my future.  My adult children caring for me in a patient and kind way.

No mad feelings can happen when that much love is in the world.

I head to the grocery store where I was greeted by a young man who had seen me pull into the parking lot and was waiting with a cart all ready to go just for me.  He had a hearty, genuine welcome for me.  I had hope in my heart for the future of this world .

Slow down, People.  Look for the good.  It’s out there.  #justsayin’


**Update to yesterday’s slice….today when I drove by my friends house he was there!  I didn’t see him at first, but my daughter saw his little face in the window.  I was able to leave the sack of goodies with him and some homemade cookies as well.  I am pretty sure the electricity is not on–yet–but he was well.  I will check on the electricity tomorrow–it is not cold here, thank goodness.


One Little Word

I have been thinking and over thinking and thinking and over thinking about life.  Probably because the over thinking is who I am and more likely because this is the year I turn 50 years old.

50.  So many people are mortified by that number: I am not.

I am amazed by that number.  I had no idea I would live to be 50 years old. Who knew that there would be so many things that would be different from when I was a kid?  And yet, so many things are still the same.

When I was choosing my one little word, I thought about what I like to do–not what I am good at or can do at the drop of a hat….what do I like to do?


I like to write.  Nothing fancy, nothing to write home about (LOL’ing at that) or anything that I would send off for publication.  Just writing.  I like to write my name, I like to write notes, I like to copy quotes, I like to practice my handwriting, I like to write about food, I like to write about my daily life, I like to write thank you notes, I like to make lists.  I like to write.

It became clear to me that in my 50th year of life my one little word is: write.


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.




Saturday mornings are one of my favorite times of the week.  The world is quiet on Saturday mornings.  That second pot of coffee forces me to linger longer.  I can read the paper from cover to cover.  I can sort the mail from the week. I can sit.

This Saturday I had a guest helping me run errands.  She and I browsed the racks a little longer.  Her brother opted to stay home and do homework.

This afternoon looked like this:

Ordinary days are the best days.  Just sayin’.