Several Billboards Near Ardmore, Oklahoma- Day 14- #SOL18

As I traveled the highway of I35 heading south from Oklahoma City, I pondered what I would write about when I got home.  My choices were attending an eye doctor appointment with my mom, shopping for a warm coat, or staying up too late watching the special election returns.  None of these really interested me, so I doubted they would interest any readers.  As I drove, I noticed the variety of billboards adorning the sides of the highway.  It wasn’t’ so much the billboards themselves, but the variety of messages they conveyed.  This reminded me of the movie, 3 Movies Outside Billings, Missouri, which I thought presented such a novel way to exercise First Amendment rights.  So, here’s a little analysis of the billboards I saw and the ideas they elicited.  And it’s nothing as deep as the movie.

Category 1: Basic advertisement for services-

Comfort Inn, LaQuinta Inn, Braum’s, Chick Fil A, Christie’s Toybox, Starbucks, I-Hop, Huddle, Valero, Shell, Motel 8, Love’s Country Store…you get the idea.  The goal of these was pretty obvious- to let travelers know what products were available along their journey.  There were not cute slogans or thoughtful phrases; it was just the product and logo.

Category 2: Oklahoma-related advertisements:  These locations boast a taste of Oklahoma.  Whether it’s a place to eat or grab some snacks, these are staples of the Okie state.

Winstar- World’s Biggest Casino, Lake Texoma State Park, Blackbeard Marina, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Headquarters,  Step-It-Out, Justin Boot Warehouse, Cotton Patch- Join the chicken fried road trip, If it’s against beavers, we’re against it.  Buckee’s

Category 3- Ads for Ads

I had never really noticed these before: the ads for the billboards.  In about 20 miles, I noticed 3 different companies trying to sell 8 billboards.  Bid ad, small price; AVAILABLE by Lyndmark Outdoor Media; Get some sleep, We’ll work your day job. 

Category 4- More locations- Black Gold Casino, Mercy Hospital, Greater Southwest Historical Museum, Hidden Lake RV Park, Hardy Murphy Coliseum, Blackbeard Marina, Check Our Spots- the Ardmore Zoo.  I wonder besides who can pay for the big billboards, how they decide what do put on the smaller signs by the side of the road that look like state signs.  Is this about cost too?

Category 5- My personal favorite- the billboards that call us to action.  Most I understood; a couple I wasn’t so sure about, but they all made me picture people in these situations. Specialist Michael Phillips Memorial Highway; Rethink Medicare; Stay Food Safe from; Adopt an Interchange, Michelan; In the beginning, God Created; 2 absences per  month = likely to fail math from; donate a boat or a car today- 1-800-carangel; Don’t wait, communicate; Quit smoking from; Domestic violence is not the traditional style.



Packing for the Big Trip- Day 13- #SOL18

I’ve tried not to talk too much about our upcoming trip to NYC because I know I’ll want to write about it once we get there.  But since packing for it has been on my mind all week, I decided to let you in on what I am thinking.

  1. What will the weather be? I’ve had The Weather Channel app up for a week now, trying to determine the degree of cold to expect.  The good news is that we won’t be there with freezing snow and ice that shut the city down a year ago at this time.  Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how much coat I will need and finding layers to include.
  2. What about my shoes?  I know we will be walking tons, so I am worried that I will not have flats that will keep my tootsies comfortable.  Of course, this choice also depends on my clothing choice, so back to square one.
  3. How do I plan dressy enough for the three shows we are seeing without having to go back to the hotel in between sight-seeing and the performances.  I know these theaters are more casual than I am used to, but just how casual?
  4. Should I throw in a hat and gloves?  I am so bad about losing those types of accessories.
  5. I never want to be without something to read, but am I really going to need to lug a book or my Kindle along?  Should I just focus on enjoying every minute of what’s around me and not worry about what I will read?
  6. Do I have all my tickets available?  I made so many of these plans months ago.  Hopefully, I can access them quickly before the end of the week.  I keep saying I’ll do it today, and yet I haven’t.  I need to make sure everything is in order.
  7. One thing I have already packed is my excitement about sharing one of my favorite places with my daughter.  She graduates from college in May and has never been to this glorious city.  I can hardly wait to share my favorites with her!

Random Thoughts- I Am…Day 12-#SOL18

I am such a lazy soul.  I work hard most of the time, but when I get home, I also love my relaxation.

I keep all the notes from former students and co-workers in my “Time To Smile” folder.

I wish I could still dance on pointe.  That was such a great feeling when I was younger.  I can still survive a ballet class, but that’s as close as I can get.

I love movies.  Reminds me of my dad.  Inspires me to me to think outside the box too.

I sing musical lyrics ALL THE TIME.  Hamilton is still my favorite, but almost any one will do.

I think grapefruit beer is delicious- especially on a hot afternoon.

I really don’t understand our country’s values.

I need conversation with my loved ones.  Friends and family.  Connection.

I should reach out to my oldest son more often.  Just because he doesn’t live with us anymore, doesn’t mean I can’t bug him a little.

I can make a mean roast, especially because it is so fattening- made with a stick of butter.  Yummmm.

I like the feeling of warm sunshine coating my body as I read in my backyard in early spring.

I make myself sick eating Mint Milano cookies.

I always want to be remembered as someone who put others’ needs before mine.

These Are the People on my Run Today- Day 11- SOL#18

My husband and I have begun running as our means of exercise and are beginning those long (to me) runs of over an hour.  We live in a neighborhood that can accommodate shorter runs, but I grow weary sooner on these familiar paths.  I suggested we take a 30-minute drive to a nearby lake, popular for bikers, runners, walkers, and dog-walkers.  A beautiful day with mild temperatures proved to be ideal for our running adventure.

As we wound around the lake, several different people became part of the landscape, taking my attention away from my aching legs for just a moment:

Two middle-aged men walked their mid-sized brown furry dog.  They appeared to be in no hurry, chatting with each other as I passed, then as they passed me, several times throughout the run.  Always cordial, their sweet pet never flinched as we swapped the lead.

One especially dedicated and focused young man, complete with several running tattoos on his legs, drew my attention.  He passed me rather quickly, but I was still able to glimpse his beautiful calf muscles, working seamlessly to propel his body forward.  He paid me no mind as he dashed past.

A group of young teen boys was a little less patient with me, weaving back and forth, in front of me and then behind me.  Because I had my music in, I was often startled as they whizzed by.  My favorite wore a shirt touting “Oh, the places you’ll go.”  Seus on the go!

My husband took off ahead of me in his lime green running shirt.  Since he’s so much faster than I am, he turns around and joins me once he finishes his distance.  Then, of course, he passes me.  It’s always encouraging to see him far ahead, chugging along.  His legs are so much longer than mine are that his distances always beat mine.  But knowing he’ll always circle around to meet me reminds me of his kind, thoughtful heart.

Several families, kids in tow, passed me on the rented yellow bikes, smiling and shouting as they navigated around me.  I was but a minor player in their afternoon adventure.

And yes, there were a couple women I encountered–one stopping often to take pictures of the lake, another trudging through, head down.  I do believe I was the oldest of the women I saw running my part of the lake.  At almost 55, that made me feel a bit proud.  Even though I may not be the fastest runner, or the one with the best form, I did finish the “race” today.

Today I…from a Different Perspective- Day #10- SOL#18

I sorta feel like I’m cheating, writing a Today I entry for a second time this challenge.  It just struck me that my day today is sooooo different from the one I wrote about last week.  Spring break started today, so instead of writing Today I….I’m writing about what I DIDN’T do.

Today I didn’t wake to an alarm, extending my time in bed well into the morning.

Today I didn’t feel guilty binge-watching four long-ago-episodes of Project Runway.

Today I didn’t cook a meal.

Today I didn’t do any school work or household chores.

Today I didn’t ignore my mom’s request to not travel to visit her in the hospital until Tuesday.

Today I didn’t shower until we made dinner plans with friends.

Today I didn’t put on make-up, even when I went to church.

Today I didn’t worry about when I would write my slice.

Today I didn’t get to share the beginning-of-spring-break ritual of scrapbooking with my friends.

Today I DID enjoy every selfish moment of this day.

Today I… Day 8- #SOL18

slice of life_individual

The Thursday before spring break starts, which everyone thought was Friday…

Today I overslept just a bit and didn’t get to floss.

Today I rushed through my daily devotional to have time for breakfast.

Today I treated myself to drive-through McDonalds.

Today I shared prayers with our faculty Sonshine club before school.

Today I learned about our new, shall we say, revolutionary, special education reporting system at the morning faculty meeting.

Today I got to plan for the week after spring break with my fabulous 7th grade ELA team.

Today I chatted with my principal about CBA data and what our next steps would be fill in the learning gaps.

Today I helped a teacher conference with her students as they worked on an expository essay.

Today I double-checked TELPAS writing sample ratings to make sure all was in order.

Today I helped another teacher as she unveiled the blogging unit to her students.

Today I briefly covered a class so the Spirit Club sponsor could be in the group picture for the yearbook.

Today I figured out how to create a Goosechase scavenger hunt for our students to revisit what they missed on their last CBA.

Today I nibbled on leftovers from the school refrigerator for lunch, because I, of course, didn’t have time to make a lunch before I left.

Today I enjoyed Kona Ice from a snow cone truck that came to our school for an after-school fundraiser.

Today I shoved the writing camp supplies and lessons that were strewn across my office floor into a tattered cardboard box to deal with another day.

Today I dined on a Pay Day and coffee before my evening gig at Region 10 Learning Center.

And now I leave to go home…fulfilled from another day doing the things I love.