My May Goal Update

Any good goal system has to be periodically updated, which is why I revisit my goals at the end of each month. Sometimes I feel myself slipping, and sometimes I reach goals and then move away from them and have to re-establish them and strive to reach them again. Keeping them in my sight throughout the year is a dance – – whether two steps forward and one step back or one step forward and two steps back, I keep the momentum when I devote some time each month to thinking about making things happen. Because a goal without a plan, as they say, is just a dream.

Here’s what is happening this month:

CategoryGoalsMy Progress
LiteratureShift from Read Around the USA to reading with Sarah Donovan’s Ethicalela book group, which begins in August – My goal is to co-host April with Fran Haley and host next July alone, unless someone wants to join in and be a partner.

Continue to Blog Daily – I’m considering moving to a weekly blog, but I’m undecided as yet.
Signed up to host the book groups – Ada Limon’s The Hurting Kind poetry for April 2024and The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart for July 2024.

Ordered the first two books in the yearly reading series.

I have blogged daily this month.
CreativityImprove blog photos

Indulge in photo excursions
I’ve been reading tips on improving photography from websites like Audubon, and using the tips to apply to my photos.

I’ve been taking my camera on my outings, and I always keep it handy on the way up or down the driveway, since so much wildlife lives right there.
SpiritualityTune in to church
Keep OLW priority
We have tuned in to the First Baptist Church of YouTube through the month and listened to Dad as he has preached in different locations as pulpit supply.

I’ve prayed my way to work most days, and I’m keeping prayer as my priority – we have so many blessings that can never be thanked for enough.
ReflectionWrite family stories
Spend time tracking goals each month
I haven’t been writing as many family stories as I should be writing.
I have been tracking my goals, though.
Self-ImprovementReach top of weight range

Maintain Weight
I reached the top of my goal weight range and tried maintaining, but I failed to maintain. Now I’m back to needing to lose 10 pounds, and I’m going to try it with Weight Watchers instead of Optavia this time, since I find it more sustainable. Plus, I need a banana every day of my life for potassium – – not allowed on Optavia. Thankfully, a lot of weight has not been gained. I just need to reel it in.
Maintenance is the harder goal of losing and keeping it off.
GratitudeDevote blog days to counting blessingsI still devote blog days to counting my blessings. It helps to look ahead on the calendar and anticipate days like birthdays and other celebrations, like Marshall and Selena’s anniversary at the end of May and Beckham’s birthday at the beginning.
ExperienceEmbrace Slow Travel

Focus on the Outdoors

Add birding in at least three new counties for June – I currently have official counts for four Georgia counties.
We are indeed embracing slow travel as we take more camper trips. Instead of planning a cruise or a trip overseas this summer, we are opting to drive Route 66 (half of it) at an enjoyable pace, stopping to see the sights. We leave at the end of June for this with Briar’s brother and his wife, so we can share the driving and go at our own pace.

We’ve been spending more time outdoors at home and away – spiffing up the yard, savoring campsites. Spring is the ultimate time to get outdoors! I’m even trying a few new plants to see if I can keep them alive.

I have officially posted birding counts for Pike, Harris, Washington, and Cherokee counties in Georgia. My goal is to stop along the way home when we are at campsites and get at least three new counties by the end of June.

May 24 – Handwarmer Pottery Mugs

Many moons ago, I taught with a colleague who drank coffee from the most unique mug I’d ever seen. Aside from her coffee mug in the shape of a Zoom lens that proclaimed her love of photography and led to conversations about her sideline photography business, she had one even more intriguing, but she only drank from it during the winter time.

The mug had no handle. Instead, it had a nestled crook, much like a ceramic mitten. It was made of pottery, and she called it her handwarmer mug. My English classroom at the high school had erratic heating and cooling. I’d sweat and shiver in the same class period all year long, so I made a mental note to pick up a handwarmer mug the next time I saw one.

Trouble is, I never saw one.

I forgot to share it as a gift idea for all those Christmases that have come and gone.

Imagine my surprise when we stopped in to have a glass of wine in Ball Ground, Georgia at the Feather’s Edge Winery, where there is an art gallery connected to the tasting room. There on a display shelf was a sign proclaiming The Original Hand-Warmer Mug, and several variations of pottery mugs to choose from – and there were mugs for right hand mug holders and left-hand mug holders. You slip your hand into the crook of the mug on the side of your handedness and nestle your other hand around the mug on the opposite side. These are made by Clay in Motion Pottery Studio.

Instant warmth! Rustic beauty! Inviting aromas, inspiring the desire to put on a sweatshirt and sit by the fire in a pair of woolen socks, watching snowflakes pile up on the windowsill of a woodland cabin.

Oh, yes. Winter has just finally finished all its antics, but already there is the promise of the next one waiting in these spectacular mugs, where visions of campfires outside the Little Guy Max are also taking center stage in my daydreams.

May 22 – 135 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in a Camper

Diamond Art, photo from

I came across a fascinating Facebook post this week on one of my camping groups. A Girl Camper member stated she needed a rainy day hobby and invited others to share what they enjoyed doing. There are currently 687 responses, but for a rainy day wish, the feedback was phenomenal. I wanted to share the ideas that were posted as a list post today. I won’t name people, since the group is private, but these ideas are completely credited to the girl campers of the world, who are a creative and adventurous bunch!

  1. read
  2. crochet
  3. knit
  4. sew
  5. plan the next camping trip
  6. macro photography
  7. watercolours
  8. embroidery
  9. draw
  10. journal
  11. listen to the wind
  12. listen to music
  13. listen to audiobooks
  14. diamond painting
  15. nap
  16. make leather items
  17. play video games
  18. adult coloring books
  19. play the ukelele
  20. color with gel pens
  21. paint rocks to leave for the next camper
  22. scrapbooking
  23. sudoku
  24. crossword
  25. dot painting on rocks
  26. color by number
  27. paint by number
  28. quilting
  29. canning
  30. people watching
  31. jigsaw puzzles
  32. cross stitch
  33. make jewelry
  34. watch old movies
  35. plastic canvas stitching
  36. make knit hats to sell
  37. write your life story
  38. loom knit
  39. make wind/sun catchers
  40. sew towel golf cart seat covers
  41. Play Yahtzee, Uno, Scrabble Go
  42. Play guitar
  43. paint notecards
  44. needlepoint
  45. board games
  46. card games
  47. fish
  48. drink and collect wine corks
  49. word finds
  50. Chuzzle on my phone
  51. bedazzle my clothes
  52. paint scenes where we are camped
  53. Bead Christmas ornaments
  54. make car air fresheners
  55. make cups, tshirts, wooden signs
  56. singing
  57. study bird identification books
  58. study flower identification books
  59. study foreign language on Duolingo
  60. play solitaire
  61. plan menus
  62. reorganize the camper, clean cabinets
  63. make mosaics with old costume jewelry
  64. listen to podcasts
  65. work on Lego sets
  66. play cribbage
  67. watch a Netflix series
  68. make a camper or log cabin from wine corks
  69. shop at local thrift stores
  70. try new makeupn techniques
  71. plein air painting
  72. cook something new
  73. meditate
  74. yoga
  75. latch hook
  76. dance
  77. walk in the rain
  78. fire writing (pyrography)
  79. go out to eat
  80. make knee blankets to donate to the nursing home
  81. zentangling
  82. neurographic art to destress from on TikTok
  83. play indoor bowling
  84. write letters to friends
  85. whittle/woodcarve
  86. organize digital photos
  87. spinning wheels (wool) with travel spinner
  88. train the dog
  89. macrame
  90. paper crafts (origami)
  91. make gel prints from leaves and flowers
  92. go to a local winery
  93. make cotton loop pot holders to give away to fellow campers
  94. catch up on work
  95. geocaching in the drizzle
  96. wire wrap stones
  97. make tinctures with essential oils
  98. Bible Study
  99. daydream
  100. pray
  101. song writing
  102. poetry writing
  103. surf the web
  104. work on Geneaolgy
  105. look for a dog to rescue
  106. English Paper Piecing
  107. Pedicure
  108. Manicure
  109. Facial
  110. stained glass
  111. make doll clothes
  112. make buntings
  113. bullet journaling
  114. rug matting
  115. clean a cupboard
  116. brush the cat or dog
  117. Tjhoko painting
  118. make tags with rubber stamps
  119. mandala painting on garden bricks
  120. update your blog
  121. visit a museum
  122. listen to the rain
  123. look at magazines
  124. crochet a temperature blanket
  125. make paper beads
  126. punch needle rugs
  127. put a wood model together
  128. brew a big pot of coffee and drink it
  129. weaving loom
  130. art abandonment – something for the next camper left behind
  131. make decals on the Silhouette machine
  132. press flowers
  133. make bookmarks
  134. call someone to talk
  135. text people to say you’re thinking of them

There’s simply no way to be bored when you’re camping in the rain!

May 8 – Duckgazer Window

We were camping at Dames Ferry in Georgia this weekend when our 3 Schnoodles became captivated with the ducks flitting about in the waters of Lake Juliette.  The stargazer window over the bed of our Little Guy Max never fails to hold wonder - whether stars or ducks, whether night or morning.  There is always an exciting world to behold outside that window!  

Move Over, Stargazers!

duckgazer window
curious schnoodles camping
flop-eared wonderment 

#VerseLove April 19 – with Stefani Boutelier

Our host today at for Day 19 of #VerseLove is Dr. Stefani Boutelier of Michigan, who invites us to write a poem without a title and invite others to give the poem a title. You can read her full prompt, along with the poems of others, here.

Today, I've written a riddle-type poem (Haiku two lines short of a Haiku sonnet), open-ended, to invite readers to title this poem AND to add two seven-syllable lines to the end to make it a true Haiku sonnet if you wish.  I'll add my title after the photo at the bottom so you can see what my initial title was.  It's subject to change :). 

never have I met

anyone who on first taste 

liked its bitterness

sipping piping hot

aromatic wakefulness

swallowing its truth

ah, but sip by sip

its addiction is for real~

can’t live without it!
A lavender latte from my local coffee shop, where I’ll be reading poetry tonight – YAAAY!
A book of poetry

The title I initially landed on was Coffee and Poetry – original, I know! Perhaps you can figure out a better title for this poem! Leave ideas in the comments, please.

#VerseLove April 13 – with Dave Wooley

Dave Wooley is our host today at for Day 13 of #VerseLove. He inspires us to find poems on the pages of books or sheets of music or newspapers – anywhere there are words. Blackout poems are positively addictive. I could sit all day finding blackout poems and wish I could. I ripped a few pages out of a Steven King destined for a Little Free Library and found this from the pages of Blaze:
a single
what I call
a thing

Try a Blackout poem and share yours in the comments! Warning: you can’t stop after one.

#VerseLove April 10 – Whimsical Science with Brittany Saulnier

Today’s host for Day 10 of #VerseLove at is Brittany Saulnier, who inspires us to write whimsical science poems. I chose to focus on outdoor science – nature and all its discovery and wonder about the world! I have just gotten my flower presses out of the old barn over the weekend and can’t wait to gather flowers and greenery to press on a long walk one afternoon this week. So much of science is soothing, just pure medicine for the soul. Brittany’s gift of a prompt that invites peace is particularly appreciated on this Monday back to work after spring break. Today, my poem is a first-word-Golden Shovel Tanka (5-7-5-7-7) string. I took my striking line as a quote from a birding journal by Vanessa Sorensen: “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


adopt a mindset~
the practice of noticing
pace your amazement

of observing more fully
nature: less is so much more

her covert moments
secret discoveries ~ what
is our big hurry?

its blessings beckoning us
patience blooms on every stem

#VerseLove April 4 – Grammatically Ungrammatical with Jennifer Guyor Jowett

Our host today at for Day 4 of #VerseLove is Jennifer Guyor Jowett of Michigan, who invites us to write grammatically ungrammatical poems, using mixed up parts of speech in place of others and made up words without regard for rules. You can nounify verbs, verbify adjectives, or whatever you want to do to write this type of poem. Come meet Jennifer and read her poem and prompt here!

A daughter of mine on a desert hike with a peace sign
Birkenstock Peaced-Up Pipe Dreams

when we wander Birkenstocks
corkbed frolic nope to socks
camouflagely sherpa’d arch
hippiescuffle guitar’d march
bellishbottomed denimly jeans
knowexactly peaced-up means
leatherfringe’d-up gauchovest
showsly braless halter’d chest
macramae’d-up shoulderbag
carefree pet rock tail-she-wag
daisychainedup tousled locks
when we wander Birkenstocks

#VerseLove April 2 – Weekend Coffee Share Poems

I’m hosting #VerseLove today at, where we write in verse everyday throughout the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month. You can read the prompt and the poems shared by others here, or simply see the prompt below:


One of the most uplifting parts of a writing community is getting to know other writers, feeling a connection, and developing a sense of belonging as others welcome you to the group and encourage you in your writing journey. This is my fifth year writing with #VerseLove after meeting Dr. Sarah Donovan at NCTE.  Today, let’s introduce ourselves through a Weekend Coffee Share poem, which can take the form of a list poem or a prose poem – or any other structure that you choose. Pour a cup of coffee and come sit down.  You may have seen other bloggers writing as part of the Weekend Coffee Share, a powerful weekend writing topic developed by a blogger whose idea inspired this prompt.  Raising a mug to Natalie


Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and imagine being in a small coffee shop among friends.  We’ve all strolled in from the cold, damp drizzle and are eager to meet you for the first time – or to catch up with you since last time.  Pour us a cup, too, and share something about yourself with us.  Invite us into your world, friend!  Let your first line be If we were having coffee (or tea, or wine…)….

Oh – and share a picture of yourself with your cup in the comments if you wish!  

Kim’s Poem

If We Were Having Coffee 

If we were having coffee, 

  I’d tell you that #VerseLove changed my life

     because of you.  

Here, come closer and lean in.  

    Do you like light roast or bold?  

        Let me pour you a cup.  Cream? Sugar?

If we were having coffee,

  I’d ask you about your favorite poets 

    and tell you that as a child, 

      I spent hours, days, weeks, years reading

             Childcraft Volume 1 Poems and Rhymes

and was twice gifted A Child’s Garden of Verses

   for Christmas from relatives ~ in 1971 and 1972 

      and have been hooked on poetry since then.

If we were having coffee,

I’d tell you that I’m a bit of an introvert,

  so I prefer writing over talking,

     and that over the years, I have come to know

        you through our writing ~ so I call you my friend.

I’ll be talking to someone somewhere and you’ll come up.

   You always do.  

When someone tells me they like Thai food, I say,

  No way!  One of my writing friends is in Thailand right now!

And when someone hums a tune from CATS, I say,

  Girl!  One of my writing friends sent me 

       Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats last year.

And when someone says they’re going to the west coast, I say,

    Have fun! I was just there with my writing friends in November.  

If we were having coffee, 

  I’d raise my mug to you and say,

     Cheers to you, friend!  Welcome to #VerseLove 2023!

And I’d snap a picture, like this…

   and invite you to do the same! 

Slice of Life Challenge – March 31 – National Poetry Month on the Zebulon, Georgia Courthouse Square

With special thanks to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the Slice of Life Story Challenge for writers!

Earlier in the month, I mentioned that I would be planning a celebration of National Poetry Month throughout my community. As the District Literacy Specialist in my school system, I am able to tap into Literacy grant funds through my state to be able to bring interactive Literacy events to our county. Denise Krebs asked, “Will you blog it?” I assured her that I would. And I thank her for the inspiration for this post!

We kick off on April 1 with our big celebration. I sought a poet to write a poem on the theme of Bloom! Clayton Moon was my choice, because he has a true gift of writing about place. The rural countryside of Pike County, Georgia is his jam. He calls himself a dirt road mystic.

And he is. Not only did he write our featured poem, The Kiss of a Flutter’s Eye, he also added to the collection and published a book of poems about our county and its rural setting.

We sectioned his poem onto twelve pages, and I asked a recent Pike County graduate who was on Spring Break from ABAC College to illustrate the poem. She drew amazing blooms to match the words in the poem. I purchased 12 poster stands and asked 12 businesses on our courthouse square if they would allow us to place a stand with a stanza outside their door. They agreed, and merchants will add flowers at the base of the stands (Bloom!). On Friday (today as you read this), we will take these to the square and put them out for folks to come and take a progressive poetry walk, beginning at our Chamber of Commerce on the west side of the square and ending at Prosperity Real Estate on the south side of the square.

Progressive Poetry Walk Stands

On each stanza, there is a QR Code to give L4GA credit for funding the project and to let readers know which numbered stanza it is, in case they begin reading in the middle (they’ll know to go back to the Chamber to start with Stanza 1).

One of our libraries will host a paint chip poetry writing workshop. Come join me as we write!

We are also having pop-up poetry writing opportunities in several businesses, along with writing workshops. I’ll lead those in our libraries, but I prepared magnetic boards and baskets with instructional videos to help folks understand what to do in each station if they want to write poems before or after the workshops. They can scan the QR Code to watch a short How To video. I also created a Community Padlet for each poet to upload their poetry if they’d like.

Our local bookstore is hosting a Cento writing board, where shoppers can read the directions or scan a QR Code to watch an instructional video before writing their poem and sharing it on a community Padlet.
I’ve framed QR Codes with poets reading their poetry so folks can scan them and listen!

I’m also featuring poets reading their poetry in random QR Codes scattered around the square. I’ve hidden them in Easter Eggs, framed them and placed them on shelves in businesses, and even put them on bookmarks and doorknob hanger signs. If you’re interested in sharing a YouTube video of yourself reading a poem that you have written, please let me know in the comments and I’ll share where to send the YouTube link so that you can come virtually to Pike County and read your poetry! When someone scans your QR Code, there you’ll be – reading to us right here. Click here to hear me read Paint Chips, or click here to hear Clayton Moon read The Kiss of a Flutter’s Eye.

One of our local libraries is hosting a Jenga Block poetry basket, a Haikubes basket, a Found and Blackout Poetry basket, and a Paint Chip Poetry board.

We’re looking forward to an amazing celebration of National Poetry Month, and if you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to check out the progressive poetry walk and holler out for me to meet you at the 1828 Coffee Company on the Zebulon square, where we can sip a lavender latte – or my other favorite, a medicine ball tea. We’ll be having an Open Mic Night with Ethan Jacobs and other local poets on April 19th, and Clayton Moon will be signing his book on the sidewalk outside the bookstore earlier that week.

Come join us! And if you can’t make it to Georgia, come join us at #VerseLove at, starting April 1. We’ll be writing poetry every day. Glenda Funk will kick off the party on April 1, and I’ll take the reins on April 2 before passing them on to another host on the 3rd. Several of us in the Slice of Life group will be hosting on a day in April – Denise Krebs, Margaret Simon, Barb Edler, and others. Don’t forget Leigh Anne Eck’s new blog group, too, that begins April 1 and focuses on topics of nature.

Thanks for a great month of writing, friends! Now we can all celebrate by wearing our Slice of Life t-shirts. I got the baseball shirt with the black sleeves, because I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my first post this month, being a lost slicer wandering the streets of Anaheim looking for a meet-up. I’ll be wearing my t-shirt at NCTE this year, so if I look lost, please come help me find my way!