Tag Archives: Spin Cycle

Remembering Mr. “R”

Most of the teachers I had were good teachers. My parents were very wise, and when they didn’t like one of my teachers, they didn’t let on. They taught me to respect my teachers. In a couple of situations when I had a bad teacher, I just had to work hard and try to get through the class the best I could. My parents helped me when they could, but when I almost failed trigonometry, they couldn’t do much to help me with my homework!

Fortunately, most of my teachers were very good at their job. It’s probably why I went on to become a teacher myself. Several years ago, I wrote this essay about a teacher I had in 7th grade, and I’m sharing it with you again.


I had this teacher once. Mr. “R” was not considered a “cool” teacher. He didn’t play favorites. He taught. He showed me how to find the various innards of an earthworm, taught me math and literature, and instructed me in the fine arts. I learned about pointillism and ringing handbells. He also insisted that if we didn’t get something right, we had to try again until we did get it right. When I went up to his desk to ask him a question, he would look at me as if I should already know the answer. I was probably supposed to know the answer, but I had been daydreaming when he had given us directions. Mr. “R” was a tough teacher, which made him a good teacher. Strict, yet kind.

Mr. “R” was also the church musician and so years after I had Mr. “R” as a teacher, he was my choir director. I was able to get to know him as an adult. I always had fun rehearsing with Mr. “R”!

I still play in the handbell choir at church.
I still play in the handbell choir at church.

It was during this time that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While I valued all the cards and letters I received, I especially treasured the letters Mr. “R” sent me. “The news of your health has haunted me for these past few days…” he wrote in his beautiful script, the same handwriting I had read long before on the papers he had graded. “Along with depressed moments during these dark days ‘have no anxiety about anything…’ Philippians 4:6.” His kind words encouraged me and gave me hope.

A few years ago, Mr. “R” passed away from cancer himself. I have kept his letters in my “cancer scrapbook,” and they bring back fond memories of him. I wonder, did he know how much his letters meant to me?

And so, Mr. “R”, I send you a much belated “Thank You” for so much encouragement during a dark time in my life. You are an inspiration to me as I strive to encourage other women who are in similar situations. I just hope I can be as encouraging to them as you were to me.

“But encourage one another daily…so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13


Link up your posts about teachers or teaching here! Be sure to visit our other spinners and leave a comment!

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Coming up on The Spin Cycle:

Week of May 25: Kicking Off Summer! Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer! Write your summer bucket list; tell us about a vacation you’re looking forward to; recommend some summer books to read.

Week of June 1: Summer Reruns During the summer months, most television shows are reruns. Share some of your favorite TV shows that you love watching, even in reruns OR “rerun” one of your favorite blog posts from the past!


Becoming a Mom

On Mother’s Day, I woke up to the sound of noises in the kitchen. Thank goodness it was after 7:00! With the help of their daddy, the girls were making me breakfast in bed. Just a few minutes later, they presented me with a parfait; a fancy word for yogurt with blueberries and granola! Ed presented me with my coffee; he makes it perfectly every time.

It doesn’t seem like so long ago that I woke up one morning and called my mom, asking her about the cramping feelings I kept getting in my abdomen. She suggested that perhaps I was going into labor. At my already-scheduled doctor’s appointment, he confirmed what my mom had said, and just a few hours later Lily was born.


My mom had four of her own babies, so she knew a thing or two about going into labor. I was her first born. It must have been pretty cold outside; look at all those blankets wrapped around me!

mom bringing me home

There is nothing like holding that little bundle in your arms after you have been aching for months to see your baby. Even when you are exhausted beyond belief from having that newborn to care for, there’s just something magical about a baby. From the smell of a baby’s head to their sleeping eyelashes and curled up fists, a baby is just so precious. And demanding. Let’s not forget that.

Naptime on Mommy
Naptime on Mommy

And just like me in real life, I’m late. I had started this earlier in the week, but then…life happened.

Be sure to visit our other posts about Moms and leave a comment!
Enter your All About Mom post here!

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Next week: Teachers and Teaching As many school years wind down, it’s time to write about teachers! Remember a favorite teacher; write about a teachable moment as a mom; or tell a time you learned a lesson for The Spin Cycle.



Blooming Flowers

In preschool today, we are having our Mother’s Day tea! I made a pretty butter cookie bouquet for a centerpiece. It’s so easy to make, pretty to look at, and tasty too!

To make your own butter cookie bouquet, you will need:

wooden skewers
gum drops
flower shaped butter cookies

butter cookie bouquet 3

Wooden skewer, the kind you would use for shish kebobs
gum drop
Push a gum drop on the pointy end
butter cookie
Add a butter cookie
butter cookie bouquet
Make a beautiful bouquet!

Visit our other Flower Spinners and link up your own flower posts!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming
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Favorite Poetry {Spin Cycle}

Taking a dirt trail into the middle of the wilderness; for some reason, this has always appealed to me.

Independence Mine

I like the idea of being able to disappear into nature; to take the road less traveled. My favorite poems reflect this desire.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

When I was much younger, I loved walking the trails behind my grandparents’ house by the hilly banks of a river in Iowa. Back in those woods, it was easy to forget that civilization was just around the bend.

grandparents' house

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iā€”
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost

And yet I know, if I truly disappeared into the wilderness, I would miss civilization very much.

Ode to French Fries

Oh, french fries, you’re glorious,
even though you’re calorious,
You simply are my favorite food.

Share you, I’ll never
Even though it will ever
Be said that I’m rude.

No ketchup, please,
I’d rather have cheese,
Or just sprinkle you with plenty of salt.

Although I just love your taste,
You really add to my waist,
Our love affair certainly must halt!

Skins on or nak-ed,
Fried, but not bak-ed,
Thick or thin, still I adore you.

After much consideration,
I’ll try moderation.
My love for you remains true!

~Ginny Marie

Who are your favorite poets?
Link up your poems any day this week!

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Every Day Is Earth Day

My grandparents were masters at reusing everything. My grandma used an empty coffee can as a cookie jar. She never bought ziplock bags because bread bags were perfectly good for storing food. Why buy new clothes when the old ones are fine?

I am making fun of them a little, but I also think we need a little more of my grandparents’ common sense. We really have become a throw-away society, and I’m just as guilty as everyone else. For heaven’s sake, I barely had my washing machine for 11 years when it became more expensive to repair than to just replace it, so that’s what I did. When I was a child in the 70’s, I remember my grandma washing clothes with her old wringer washing machine in her basement. To wring out the wet laundry, she put the clothes between two rollers and turned the handle. She must have had that machine for at least 30 years!

Ed and I try to do our part. At least my new washing machine is a high efficiency machine, so it uses less water and energy than the old machine. While we do buy ziplock bags, we also try to use washable containers for lunches and leftovers. I avoid buying water bottles and instead we fill washable bottles. I take reusable totes to the grocery store, although sometimes I forget to put them back in the car when I’m done unpacking them! We recycle junk mail and cardboard boxes, cans and bottles. On my countertop is a shiny silver container where my kitchen scraps go. Last summer, Ed made me a large compost bin for my garden, and I’m really excited to be able to use compost in my garden this spring!

Purple coneflowers in my garden last summer
Purple coneflowers in my garden last summer


This week on The Spin Cycle, get excited about the planet we live on! You can:

    Tell us about your favorite place on Earth!
    Share an idea using one of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse or Recycle.
    Write about anything related to Earth Day!

Link up your blog post here!

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NEXT WEEK: April is National Poetry Month, so during the last week of April, share some of your favorite poems or write your own poem!



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