Goin’ SCRAPin’

I decided today that if I was going to leave the house and face the world I would treat myself to a visit to SCRAP. Housed in a little building across the street from Morrison Milling’s grain elevators, SCRAP is a unique experience in a town that prides itself on being unique.

The Denton SCRAP opened a few years ago with an all volunteer staff. I believe at least some of them are paid now. Their mission is creative reuse. They accept donations of used craft materials then they sell them to others. They measure their success in pounds of materials donated per year–17 tons last year! Anything you can imagine. In fact, sometimes it amazes me to see what people think to save and accumulate. Those measuring cups that come with cough syrup?  Yup, they’ve got ’em.  And not just a few. Somebody made a conscious choice to accumulate hundreds of them then donated them to SCRAP. It’s worth the trip if only to see what they’ve got.

I usually have something in mind when I go, but I have to look at everything. Today I was looking for a cabochon. I bought a wire wrapping class from Craftsy  a couple of weeks ago and wanted something to practice on. I ended up with a purple necklace and earrings that I can take apart and use. Not real stones, but good for practice. I also bought a roll of adding machine tape that I will use either at school or with my grandson and a small jigsaw puzzle of the 50 states (still sealed in the box). Total spent:  $2.76.

Just imagine a building full of bits and pieces of craft stuff. My own small supply often approaches chaos; so you know that this place could be a total disaster. On the contrary, everything is organized and labeled. And I do mean everything. It makes my librarian’s heart sing! Words can’t do it justice; here are some pictures:


SCRAP… it’s worth leaving home for.






Tournament of Books


The NCAA has basketball; I have books!   March in my elementary library means Tournament of Books.   We start with a bracket of eight pairs of competitors from different categories derived from American Library Association and Texas Library Association lists supplemented with some favorites of mine that I want to introduce to my school’s readers.

Our books can’t play basketball so we choose our winners by voting.

The first two weeks are spent getting to know the competitors.  I read them in the library, teachers read them to their classes, students use free moments to read them by themselves and to each other.  Our community of readers is buzzing about these books.

Friday in the library is always a crazy day.   Sometimes to the point of “remind me why I do this” crazy.  Tournament action today brought me those reminders.

I was reminded by this pair of first graders reading Cece Bell’s I Yam a Donkey with great expression and lots of giggles.


A fourth grade teacher  reminded by jokingly complaining that I didn’t warn her about Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Laurie Mattick and  admitting that she had just cried while reading it to her class.

I was also reminded by the reaction of K and 1st grade students to the suspenseful introduction of a “new pet” to the Button’s household in Chris Gall’s Dog vs. Cat. Then by their reaction to the contrast of the results of seeds of selfishness and kindness in Kadir Nelson’s gorgeous If You Plant a Seed. 

The NCAA can keep its basketball.  I’ve got books!







Red Copper Pan

Last Christmas I bought myself  a Red Copper pan. Well, it was officially a gift from my husband, but I bought it.

I don’t usually make purchases based on infomercials.  At least not since I purchased and used a Flowbee to cut my own hair in the early ’90s. But I have to admit that using that pan makes me smile every time.

First of all, the food really does slide right out of it.  Second the outside is red.  I do love red!  And tonight while I was whipping up some scrambled eggs for our supper the words Red Copper pan seemed to float through my mind to the tune of Red Rubber Ball.  Anything that brings a smile to my face and a tune to my heart while I’m cooking is worth every penny!

Tracking Habits

My younger daughter introduced me to bullet journaling.   I won’t say that it changed my life but it’s been a fun addition.  I’ve always felt a little guilty that I am not a diarist.  My mother, both grandmothers, and even my great grandmother were all very faithful diarists.   My sister is the custodian of those family treasures and if there is a question about who, what, or when she looks it up for us.  My bullet journal is not as detailed as theirs were, but if it’s a big event I can find it in there.  That makes me happy (or at least assuages my guilt).

One of the things I’ve incorporated is a habit tracker.   After reading the book Better than Before: What I Learned about Making and Breaking Habits by Gretchen Rubin I adopted her philosophy that “we manage what we monitor” and each month I make a chart of habits I want to track for that month.   I track my morning yoga and my evening walks with my husband.  Reading every day and being in bed by 10:15 are staples. Pretty mundane stuff!  Adding “make bed” one month cured me of leaving the house with an unmade bed.  In addition to Slice of Life writing, this month I’ve added “clean 15 minutes.”  So today before my daily dose of Thin Mints (a habit I need to break!) I set the timer for 15 minutes and raced the clock to see what I could get done.   The answer is: not much.  But it made it fun to race the clock and kept me from getting distracted.   And as Ms. Rubin says…it’s “better than before.”

First blog post — Sixty Seasons

My friend Mandy has been participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge for the last few years.  Every year she invites our colleagues to join her and this year I’ve decided to take the leap!  It’s February 28 and I’ve committed to sharing a slice of my life every day for the next 31 days.  Can I do it?  That remains to be seen, but here’s hoping.  Hoping for new insights.  Hoping for growth as a writer and a person.  Hoping to find my voice.  Hoping for celebration and joy in the moments

Here’s hoping…




via First blog post — Sixty Seasons