Daily life Part 5 – My Tuesday

When my blogging colleague and fellow writer Luanne Castle recently published a piece entitled “Typical Tuesday with Luanne Castle” on the blog Modern Creative Life, I thought it was a great idea.  What a nice way to get to know a fellow blogger!  Since then, it’s had me thinking about  a “typical Tuesday,” and this Tuesday I decided to write about my day.

The thing is, it was not “typical” in terms of events and activities, although it was “typical” in terms of being many different things.  Sometimes our lives are such that our typical days are atypical.  Do you know what I mean?  – Especially those of us who are managing multiple efforts, who are supporting children or family in their endeavors, who are caring for cats and neighbors and elders and . . . so, here is my Tuesday.  – Along with some recent sketches!

My Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017

Breakfast and puzzles, 7:00-8:00 am, ablutions (brush teeth, shower, etc.), 8:00-8:30.  First email catch-up: 8:30-9:00 (watch out, don’t get sucked into the abyss of endless-email-responses!).  Whew. On to breakfast.

Make breakfast (a waffle) for Alec (my son), finish loading dishwasher and turn on, go get clean laundry out of dryer in the basement and put in bedroom to fold,  9:00-9:30.  Second email catch-up (a quick check before leaving the house), gather materials and implements to teach a one-time creative writing workshop at Mom’s Assisted Living Residence, 9:30-10:30.  It’s been a while since I taught senior residents, but I always bring along 1) paper name tags (“Hello My Name Is …”), and 2) extra paper and pens, since many don’t come to the class with anything to write on or with.

The workshop went fairly well; my mom leads the workshop on a weekly basis at her residence, but she is new to this residence, and I offered to lead the first workshop to help provide her credibility as an instructor.  And, because, it’s important to set the tone in that first workshop.  Sometimes in senior residences people come to an activity just because they don’t have anything else to do.  And for a creative writing class, you really want people who are, at least, interested in writing either about memories or stories (or poems).  If they are there just to pass time, it’s okay up to a point – but if they are there to be disruptive or negative, then it’s important to deal with that up front, so that other residents don’t get discouraged and give up.

Which is what happened yesterday – a resident was wheeled into the room, and proceeded to argue with everyone and everything.  I finally asked her why she was here (“I don’t know!”) and then I said, “Well, everyone else is here to learn creative writing.  Do you want to learn creative writing?” and she said, “No!  I already know how to do creative writing!” – and so I said, “Well, everyone else is here to learn, so I think you need to leave.”  – Which she did.  Mission accomplished, everyone else seemed to enjoy the class after that, and my mom will be starting to lead the class next week.  Yay!

Eroding, sketch by Theresa Barker.

Teach creative writing workshop, 10:30-12:00.  Meet Alec and my husband at the car service place where they have dropped off the car, so we can all go get lunch together before Alec starts school again today,  12:00-12:30. Lunch with Alec and my husband at Panera near the car place, 12:30-1:30 pm.

After lunch:  take “hazardous materials” from last weekend’s garage clean-out project (e.g, old paint, home repair fluids, etc.) to the city’s hazardous waste drop-off site, 1:30-2:00.  Then, drop off Alec at home, go to the library to pick up books on hold, go to drugstore to pick up a prescription refill forgotten for a couple of days, 2:00-2:30.

. . . Normally I would have had a walk with Alec here, but during last weekend’s garage clean-out project I dropped a heavy object on my toe, and I’m off walking until it heals … bleah . . . so, instead:  Brew a hot cup of tea and do the Sudoku puzzle in today’s paper, 2:30-3:00.

Third email catch-up, including organizing details for a neighborhood activism meeting on Friday, a neighborhood dinner party next month, a family reunion gathering at the end of October, announcement for a college alum writing conference in February (exhausted), 3:00-4:30.  Longer than I had hoped!  But at least it’s all done, for now.

Writing tasks (finally!) – annotations for my personal blog of Lucky by Gabrielle Bell (below) and Beloved Dog by Maira Kalman, 4:30-6:00.  I am trying a new way to do annotations, instead of typing up a mini-report like I used to , why not experiment with drawing and hand-lettering my thoughts and observations on reading the book?  This is my first attempt:


Lucky - Bell
“I don’t know how to do this.” – Gabrielle Bell, Lucky (sketch by Theresa Barker).

I liked the result.  I’m sure it’s hard to read as an illustration, sorry!  But, it makes me feel more creative than a straight typed-out description would have.  Perhaps even stimulating the right-brain creative side of me to synthesize what I’ve learned better.  Who knows?

Suddenly:  Oops!  I realize I should have kept my foot elevated more today, so I lie down on the couch and put my foot up on a pillow.  Then I skim the new library books to see which ones I’ll actually keep to read, 6:00-7:00.

Time to make dinner!  We microwave-bake sweet potatoes for zucchini and black beans stuffed potatoes (recipe here), 7:00-7:15-plus.

Oh no!  I’m supposed to meet my friend Kyra for writing at the local alehouse tonight!  But I’m in the middle of dinner-making and dinner-eating!  I text Kyra – who, luckily for me is the most patient and understanding person – and we arrange to postpone our meeting for 1/2 hour while Jim and I finish making and eating dinner, 7:30.

Write with Kyra at Wedgwood Ale House, 8:00-9:00.  We each wrote a story about an article of clothing – she wrote about an administrator who wears yoga pants to work so she can seem “younger,” and I wrote about a woman who finds out her husband is having an affair by discovering the wrong-color bra in her bed.  Hah!

Home & finish today’s NY Times Crossword puzzle, 9:30.  Bed, 10:00.  With a bit of Pickles’s company, her insistence.

Your days?

Mittens blending into the black electronic keyboard – not!

Thanks for visiting! What are your days like?  Predictable or unpredictable?  Structured or improvisational?  Solo or with others?


Daily Life Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

22 thoughts on “Daily life Part 5 – My Tuesday

  1. Wow, what a day! OWIE on your toe! Yes, definitely elevate! So much here I’ve already forgotten all the little thoughts back to you I had as I was reading! May I should for a sec? I LOVE YOUR ILLUSTRATION! Wowsa! Very creative. And I love the teaching senior writing. My friend does that. Have you read this book? https://www.amazon.com/never-Told-Anybody-Teaching-Writing/dp/0915924536 Anyway, I was thinking what a good idea and then that you had some guts to tell that woman to leave (and so good of you for the benefit of the other students and of your mother). But I remembered when we were having a meeting at the nursing home for my father and us to learn about his impending hospice, a lady with dementia wheeled herself into our very private meeting. It was distracting at an emotional time. I went up to her and chatted with her a moment and persuaded her she needed to go for a walk down the hall with me where I met someone working there and “turned her over.” She had been quite insistent about staying, but I couldn’t allow it. I don’t usually have that much guts, I don’t think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right, Luanne, I think this woman was not mean on purpose, I think she had some cognitive stuff going on. But still we would have struggled if she had been allowed to stay. … and good for you for finessing the situation wit this impaired woman who sat in on your dad’s meeting. Aurgh!

      THANKS for your encouragement on my illustration … it’s a new skill, kind of amazing what you can do if you keep at it. A neighbor teaches art at the community college, and he was the one who told (when I confessed to tracing pictures) – “just draw! just draw what you see, keep drawing, and soon you’ll improve. That’s what I tell my students!” So he sort of shamed me into striking out into drawing it freehand. Hah!

      And I really enjoyed my seniors class at the local residence, but after 2 years it got a little stale – for them and for me – attendance dropped, and even though I kept bringing in new exercises each week, they seemed to start taking it for granted and stopped coming. So I turned it over to another writing colleague, who had a slightly different approach, and I think they probably started getting more out of it, too. 🙂 Some of those seniors’ writing was really amazing. I had one participant who WAS a poet and had been a poetry translater (German to English) during her lifetime. She wrote stunning stuff! – Thanks for commenting – and thanks for being the inspiration for my post!


      1. You sound like my friend who teaches senior writing. She has told me many times how great some of the work is, and how wonderful it is when there is a real poet, for instance, in the class. I’d love to teach a class like that if only I could clone myself. I am looking into having myself cloned into about five different bodies. Or is that a story? Or wasn’t that a movie?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great idea, having oneself cloned. I think that is a story – and it has been a movie at least once (Multiplicity?). I really enjoyed the class for the 2 years I taught it, we always did generative writing and I would get something out of it every time. But I’m also glad to be done with it. 🙂


  2. Goodness how many things you are able to fit into your day?! I doff my new newsboy beret to your multi-tasking inner goddess. Btw I hope your toe gets better soon…it must be an awkward injury.
    I like the illustration with its graphic novel sort of layout. I have always had a weakness for them since Persepolis. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you, Dippy-Dotty Girl, for your nice message about my illustration. I really appreciate it, and I like them too!

      I’m glad you mentioned how busy my day seemed. It has made me think about relishing “down time” yesterday and today. For instance, I had a 15-minute unexpected wait for the bus today, and normally I’d get out a book or listen to a podcast on my iphone. Instead, I thought, I’ll just stand here and enjoy not having to rush somewhere. Birds were singing, I could enjoy them since I didn’t have my earbuds in. Thank you for the insight! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds just like what I felt yesterday evening when I went out for a few chores. I did not stick earphones and the world of difference it made, Theresa. It was like being awake to the beauty of living. A down time is so important to give yourself breathing time and enjoy life alongside working hard. And if you think of it, you have earned it. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s fascinating to read and see how another writer handles their day. I enjoyed spending my morning coffee break with you.

    We have a local writers’ meeting on Wednesday night and a woman staying at the hotel where we meet wandered into the conference room. She was very disruptive because she didn’t quietly sit and absorb the process before speaking. She started talking about her day like it was a social hour. When I asked her if she wrote, she replied heavens no. I asked her why she joined our writers’ meeting. She said because there was nothing else to do at the hotel. I asked her to please leave so we could continue our meeting and she refused. So needless to say my co-leader got hotel management to escort her out. So I totally can relate to how easily one person can change the tone of a gathering.

    I love doing suduko’s too! Opens my mind up in different ways.

    Thank you for sharing you crazy Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! Lyn, good for you for getting hotel management’s intervention. I’m sure they did not want a guest disrupting your meeting either. For some reason we sometimes think we can’t speak up when a person decides to barge in. Everyone goes along, hoping the person will either stop being disruptive or will leave. Good for you!!!!

      Thanks for spending your coffee time with me!


    1. Thanks, Yvette! I was talking with a writer-friend last week about how linear writing can be – sentence by sentence by sentence – and how the visual non-linearity of sketching is a welcome contrast to that linearity. Hoping some of that non-linearity amps up my writing as well! – and, thanks for the good wishes about my toe. It is healing, which is great, though it will probably be a while, longer than I’d like. Isn’t that the way? 🙂 Have a good Monday!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow that is a very packed day!! I feel almost sloth-like when I think about what I did on my typical Tuesday!!
    I really enjoyed the illustration. It didn’t matter if I could read all of it because there was such a strong FEELING of “Can you do this? I can try” – much more so than if it was a typed paragraph!!


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