February 26, 2013

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December 31, 2012

Happy Trails to You

Way back when I was just a kid one of our family's 
favorite things to do was to gather around 
the old RCA 16" console television set
 and watch the Roy Rogers Show.

The Roy Rogers Show was western television series that
 broadcast on NBC for six seasons between 
December 30, 1951 and June 9, 1957.

The show starred Roy Rogers as a ranch owner,

 Dale Evans as the proprietor of the Eureka Cafe 
in fictional Mineral City,

Pat Brady as Roy’s sidekick and Dale's cook. 
Brady's jeep Nellybelle had a mind of her own and 
often sped away driver-less with Brady in frantic pursuit on foot. 

Then, there was Roy's horse, Trigger.
and his wonder dog, Bullet.

Dale's horse was called Buttermilk.

Roy became "King of the Cowboys" 
and Dale was the  "Queen of the West"

Together the two appeared in over one hundred episodes.
Dale wrote the song "Happy Trails" in 1950,
and Roy and Dale sang it each week to close the show..

Happy Trails to You
(sing along if you know it)

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

So this is how I chose to end my blog...

Happy trails to each of you 
'till we meet again.

With a tear and a smile...Tommie 

Be sure to keep up with CTP
through Melanie.

Get "Inspired" on Melanie Ralbusky's blog where you'll find fresh ideas for creative teaching!

December 20, 2012

Let Go of the Handle

Celebrate the Season

One of our favorite “get-away” places is Salado, Texas. In the days of the old west Salado was a stop on the stagecoach line at an inn at the bend of a creek at the edge of the Texas hill country. We always stay at a rustic little two-bedroom bed and breakfast overlooking the creek.  Leonard’s favorite thing to do is to sit in the rocker on the front porch and watch the creek.  We were there just after a storm last January.  He spent two days rocking and watching men clean up the fallen trees and brush from the creek.  There is something therapeutic about watching other people work.

My favorite thing is to wonder through the little shops on Main Street.  That is where I discovered a shop called A Bird in the Hand. In the back of the store was a bin filled with my favorite…Brian Andreas’ Story People. He does funky watercolors with his thoughts recorded on them.  I can spend hours in that store just reading, laughing, reflecting, smiling, and crying as I go through the bin. So many of them remind me of specific times in my life. 

This is one of my favorites….
 Everything changed the day I figured out there
was exactly enough time for the important things in my life.

Through the years I have bought several that spoke to me. This is one of a collection of Story People that I have in one of our bathrooms.  They make for interesting some pondering.  I also bought some for gifts for people I thought of when I read the saying.  You can imagine my joy when I discovered that they also come in greeting cards….much cheaper!

Several years ago I bought this card for my friend Marilyn
when she was going through a time of transition.
If you hold on to the handle, she said,
it’s easier to maintain the illusion of control.
But it is more fun if you just let the wind carry you.

I had actually forgotten that I sent the card to her 
when last week she showed up at my door
with the card I had sent her, plus one for me, and a handle.  
Her message said “Let Go”.
I framed the card with the handle and put it with my collection in the bathroom….
for more pondering!

Soon, I will be retiring (again) after seven wonderful years with CTP. It is a bittersweet time.  I absolutely love what I have been doing, where I have gone, and all those folks that I have had the opportunity to meet.

But, it is time to give up the illusion of control and to let go of the handle. It is a little frightening to do that. I am not sure where the wind will carry me.  Leonard has promised to tie a string to my toe.  If I drift too far away in the wind he said he would pull the string and reel me back in. It is good to have someone to hold on to your string….just in case.

So, I am going to try to remember these lessons…..
There is exactly enough time for the important things in my life.
We all just have the illusion of control.
We need to let go of the handle.

May you have all the blessings, joy and love of this season.
Let go of the handle and fly!


December 17, 2012


PHOTO: Vicki Soto is shown in this undated photo.
ABC News
I spent the morning reading the stories of the brave teachers and the 20 beautiful children.  Such a tragedy.

Victoria Soto, 27
Victoria Soto, 27, one of the adult victims, loved being a teacher, her cousin, Jim Wiltsie, told ABC News' Chris Cuomo Friday. In fact, her first-grade students' safety was such a high priority that Soto reportedly lost her life protecting them.
"The family was informed that she was trying to shield, get her children into a closet and protect them from harm, and by doing that put herself between the gunman and the children," Wiltsie said. "And that's when she was tragically shot and killed.
"I'm very proud to have known Vicki," Wiltsie added. "Her life dream was to be a teacher. And her instincts kicked in when she saw there was harm coming to her students.
"It brings peace to know that Vicki was doing what she loved, protecting the children," he said. "And in our eyes, she is a hero."

PHOTO: Grace McDonnell was killed on Dec. 14, 2012, when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Courtesy of the McDonnell Family/AP Photo

This is beautiful seven year old 

What can you do but weep for the parents and love ones?

It makes no sense!

One of the mothers said....
It is important that the world knows their stories and that they are not forgotten.

May we all find grace!

December 8, 2012

My Favorite Post

Since I am so technologically challenged Kelly Murphy, the online marketing guru from Creative Teaching Press, set up my blog and posted for me for a while.
Then, in June of 2010, I boldly announced.... 
Today, I shall become a blogger.

Kelly offered me some advice…

• Keep it short and sweet.

• Use pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words!

• Don’t get too commercial.  (However, I always try to mention that my projects feature wonderful products from Creative Teaching Press.  http://www.creativeteaching.com.)

• Post often and be personable. Try to create some followers.

It seemed like good advice. I think I was pretty successful with all but the first one. I was never short, but sometimes sweet!

For 2 1/2 years I have chronicled my life.  Since I am coming to the end of by scheduled blogging I spent some time last week looking back over some of the old blogs. What impressed me most was how Trevor and Kate have grown. Hopefully, I have grown a little too. Mostly I have just gotten older.

This is one of my favorite pictures from one of the past blogs.  
Kate looks like she is basking in a ray of sunshine.  Trevor looks like he is singing.
The picture brings joy to my heart and reminds me of a song....

May There Always Be Sunshine!

May there always be sunshine.
May there always be blue skies.
May there always be children.
May there always be you.

May there always be stories.
May there always be music.
May there always be (people)
(who) care (about) you!

May there always be sunshine.
May there always be blue skies.
May there always be (teachers)
as special as you.

by Dr. Jean
(with a few adaptations by Tommie)

May you bask in sunshine and blue skies 
and enjoy all the stories and music of your life.

December 1, 2012

My Last Workshop at NAEYC

My husband once told me that I would do just fine
if I could find someone to pay me to do
all the dumb stuff I know how to do.
Well, for the last 7 years CTP has been willing to do just that.

These pictures were taken at the NAEYC convention 
in Atlanta last month.
We set up tables and had mini make and take workshops.

We made math mats using the bug cut outs.

Everyone was a Queen for a Day....

You can be one too. 
Just make your own crown from left-over border 
and proclaim yourself QUEEN!

These are some of the gals in my very last workshop.

Now it is time to hand my spot over to Melanie.
Does it look like we are fighting over who gets the microphone?

Have fun Melanie.
With CTP you are in for a great ride.

November 24, 2012

Gingerbread Man Countdown

Next Saturday is December 1.
Be ready for the countdown  to Christmas
with this Gingerbread Man.
He is simple to make with CTP 6" cut-outs.

Flip one over everyday
Christmas Day is on the way!

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Gingerbread Man 6" Designer Cut-Outs