Sep 22, 2017

The Shadow On The Stone
by Thomas Hardy

While I really enjoy Thomas Hardy’s poetry, I have to admit I’ve never read any of his novels and I don’t believe I’ve read any of his shorter fiction either. Maybe one of these days I’ll look him up on Project Gutenberg . That site has everything. ;-)

In the meantime, for today’s passion for poetry I’d like to share my favourite Thomas Hardy poem. It was written shortly after the death of his first wife, Emma. He wrote a whole series of love poems for her, regretting how much they had grown apart in the later years of their marriage.


The Shadow On The Stone

I went by the Druid stone
That broods in the garden white and lone,
And I stopped and looked at the shifting shadows
That at some moments fall thereon
From the tree hard by with a rhythmic swing,
And they shaped in my imagining
To the shade that a well-known head and shoulders
Threw there when she was gardening.

I thought her behind my back,
Yea, her I long had learned to lack,
And I said: ‘I am sure you are standing behind me,
Though how do you get into this old track?’
And there was no sound but the fall of a leaf
As a sad response; and to keep down grief
I would not turn my head to discover
That there was nothing in my belief.

Yet I wanted to look and see
That nobody stood at the back of me;
But I thought once more: ‘Nay, I’ll not unvision
A shape which, somehow, there may be.’
So I went on softly from the glade,
And left her behind me throwing her shade,
As she were indeed an apparition—
My head unturned lest my dream should fade.

Sep 18, 2017

Mockado Monday

mockado ~ inferior quality woollen fabric

So ... the blame for the return to the summer-like weather rests totally on the hubby’s shoulders. He declared summer over last weekend and closed up the pool. So naturally, in typical Canadian fashion, the days started getting warmer and soon the nights were getting warmer too.

The weekend was downright hot, and this week is supposed to be even hotter. The weather is nicer now than it was in June and July. Go figure.

The coyotes have moved on again. How do I know this? The abundance of squirrels at my bird feeder. It’s a big feeder, but the squirrels and starlings can empty it in less than a day. Which is why I’ve taken to leaving seeds out in a dish on the table on our deck, along with the peanuts for the jays. It gives the little birds a fighting chance.

Unfortunately, it looks like my sparrows and chickadees have been frightened off, but I have a pair of cardinals that visit at dusk and dawn. And one afternoon I was sitting on the desk reading and a little chipmunk climbed up on the table to check out the dish. I love chipmunks. So after that I started leaving peanuts on the deck for him when I put peanuts out for the jays.

In other news ... I have my desk.



It’s not exactly the desk I wanted, but it’s the desk I needed. Sometimes our dreams just aren’t practical and we have to let them go.

One of the reasons I want to move across the hall is for the view. My current office has a northern exposure and the other room has a southern one. I’ve often said I’m solar powered and the view from the southern exposure is more energizing than a northern one.

The dream desk is big. Too big for the room I want it for really. And there’s only one place I could put it where my back wouldn’t be to the window and at that I’d only have a partial view.

We drove up to Ajax on Wednesday night to pick up this desk and my first thought was that it wasn’t deep enough for my lap top. But the hubby was positive he could fix that, and he’s actually already done so. He took the very top off, which had some water damage to the finish, and cannibalized it to add to the depth. Now he just needs to fit a new top on it.

I don’t have as many little cubby holes as the dream desk had, but I have more drawers, which is even better. Not as many as it looks like in the picture, there’s actually only two down each side, but the ones on the bottom are deep enough to hold file folders and I’m hoping to talk my ever so handy hubby into making removable trays for the two upper ones.

It needs new drawer pulls, which means I get to go to Primitive Designs and indulge in some fancy ceramic ones. And the amazing part? It’s exactly the same height as the window sill. And the bookcase I have against the desk in my current office will fit exactly in front of the new one.

Now the search is on for a chair to go with it. ;-)

Sep 15, 2017

The Poet Tree



About four years ago I was invited to join a group of poets who were giving eulogies to a tree. Yes, that’s right, a tree. This wasn’t a protest, this was saying goodbye to the last elm tree in Victoria Park before it was cut down. The occasion was even videoed and uploaded to YouTube. Good luck finding it. ;-)

Afterwards we tucked our poems beneath a string wound around the tree so that passersby could read them. I just recently saw in our local news that the first of several benches made from the wood of the tree are ready to be placed in the park. Apparently the wood needed to season before it could be used.

At any rate, this is the poem I came up with for the occasion:


The Poet Tree's Tale

Hear my tale that you may see
The dream I dreamed beneath this tree
Whose rich enchantment captured me;
While I was sitting in its lee.

There was a sweet tranquility
Of visions that were sent to me
By this majestic poet tree
Whose life is filled with history.

Ages of serenity
Years passed by in harmony
Such innocence and purity
It caught me up, then set me free.

"But peace no more," alleged the tree,
"The world has changed, and so have we.
Life is just uncertainty -
A storm is coming, wait and see."

"Earthquakes leave behind debris,
Earth and fire, wind and sea,
The heavens weep unnaturally,
For what is past and still to be."

"The warnings come by two and three
Ignored by those too blind to see.
And you, the guardians, meant to be
Abandoned us, ignore our plea."

And when I woke, beneath the tree
I wept for what would come to be
I wept for all life's frailty
And the dream I dreamed beneath this tree.

Sep 11, 2017

Meditabund Monday

meditabund ~ absorbed in meditation

What do you think? Do you think we’ve seen the last of the summer weather? Not that we saw a whole lot of it during the summer - it was rather wet and cool. But when I woke up yesterday morning and it was only 8 C (about 45 F) I think it’s safe to say we don’t have to worry about a heat wave any time soon.

Now that all the vacations are over - mine, the brother-in-law’s (which necessitated the hubby going in to work an hour earlier), and the hubby’s - I’m slowly easing back into a routine. At least as far as the morning goes.

So naturally my subconscious is trying to throw a wrench into the spanner. I fully intend to reclaim the workroom (across the hall from my office) as my new office. Actually, that room is more a return to my office. It started out as my office pretty much from the day we bought this house.

Back then I had a big old secretary’s desk in there, very similar to what I have in my current office. But I really don’t need all that space, and a smaller desk will allow for a new bookcase under the window (like the one I have in my current office).

Here’s where it gets a little complicated.

There is a grey lounge chair in the rec room that really doesn’t fit - there’s just no room for it. Rather than give it away or throw it out, we’d like to put it in the work room. Of course at the moment there’s no room for it there, either.

What there is is a futon covered in cat hair because one of the cats has claimed it for his own. Other than that it’s in great shape. Certainly it’s in better shape than the one that followed the daughter through her university years, and now resides in her basement. Do you see where this is going?

She’s going to get rid of her futon and take ours, which gives us enough room in the workroom for the grey lounge chair and a new desk. Now despite the fact The daughter has not gotten rid of her futon yet, putting events in motion, I’ve been looking for a desk. But not just any desk, my dream desk.



On a whim I checked out Kijiji, an online buy and sell classifieds site, and I almost wish I hadn’t. Kijiji had my desk. Actually, it had several versions of my desk and they were all affordable. And some of them were within doable driving distance. So I emailed several of the most promising ones and ... I still do not have a desk, just a large dose of frustration.

A couple of the desks were already gone, a couple of emails went unanswered, and the two emails that sent me replies did not reply again when I asked for a few more details about their desk, like measurements to make sure it would fit in the back of our SUV.

The nice thing about Kijiji is that new items are always being added and you can narrow your search by item and price. I have a folder on my desktop for the desks I’ve bookmarked and sent emails to show my interest. Now that the weekend is over I’m going to delete what’s in this folder and start fresh Thursday night.

The search continues.

Sep 8, 2017

Dreaming

I was actually going to try to write something new for a change, only, well, it was late when I started this original post and my brain was not fully in gear. In fact, it took several tries before I rooted out even an old poem to use.

I’m pretty sure I was around thirty when I wrote this poem, which is kind of funny when you consider the subject matter. But just to give you a little perspective on the way my mind works ... I have a sister who’s ten years older than me, so when she turned thirty I was only twenty and I thought thirty was positively ancient. She has never forgiven me for the hard time I gave her. LOL


Dreaming

If I could live another’s life, my world their point of view
Oh, how happy I could be to do the things they do.
Instead of drab existence, a life more richly led
A wish fulfillment fantasy - another’s path to tred.

If I could have the romance that others seem to find,
The passion everlasting, the closeness so divine
The happiness I would derive from such a life as this
Seems to me the best that I could ever hope to wish.

If I could find adventure, the kind others seem to find
How exciting life would be - a mystery to unwind
Flights of fancy lead me to far exotic lands
Filled with wondrous peoples and vistas ever grand.

If I could see the dreams I dream come to life at last
The way that others seem to do then when the dreaming’s passed
I could look back upon a life and see what others see
And feel the satisfaction, that dreaming caused to be.

If I could live my life once more now that I’m at the end
I’d live a life that’s real this time instead of one pretend.
I’d do the things I dream about and when my life is gone
There’d be no regrets, as there is now, for things I’ve never done.

Sep 4, 2017

Malacoid Monday

malacoid ~ made of a soft or fleshy substance

Wow, hard to believe it’s September already. Just last week it still seemed so far away, but here we are, Labour Day weekend. The last long weekend of summer.

Not that we really had much summer this year. It was mostly wet. Sometimes it was cool and wet, sometimes it was hot and wet - and there were only a handful of days that it was hot enough to complain about. While I could have lived without the excessive rain over the summer, the cooler temperatures were quite nice.

As has been my tradition for most of my adult life, the end of summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Canadian National Exhibition. Or as most people call it, The Ex. When the daughter was little it was our mommy/daughter thing - the highlight of the summer.

I tried to take a few pictures on the way there of traffic volume and the drive along Lakeshore Blvd which is like driving through a tunnel with all the roads criss-crossing above it, but my phone updated the day before we went and my settings got all messed up. By the time I got it working again we were already at the Princess Gates.



Actually, considering it was the Friday of the holiday weekend, traffic wasn’t too bad at all. And going home the traffic was even lighter - almost unheard of when driving in Toronto. After wandering around the main building for a bit, we decided to get something to eat, and as we made our way across the top edge of the midway, who should we run into but my sister and her family. They’d already eaten so we made plans to hook up for supper (although they tired out quicker than us so by that time they'd packed it in to head for home).

Some of the sights we enjoyed were an amazing sand sculpture exhibit:



If you’re on my Facebook page there are more pictures of the sand sculptures. And there was Rock Valley:



It’s amazing watching the artist stack those rocks with such precision. Unfortunately this was his last year for it. And we got to see the impressive Quilt of Belonging:



This quilt was so big I couldn’t quite fit it all in one picture. It’s 10 ½ feet high and 120 feet long, made up of 263 quilt blocks. It was designed to portray the cultural legacy of Canada’s First Peoples, and it does so in an amazing way. If you’d like to learn more about it, go HERE .

And my personal tradition when going to the CNE is to buy one completely frivolous item. Past purchases include embroidered kimonos, a silk skirt, a witch ball, a didgeridoo, a carved wooden chest, and a large rain stick. This year’s purchase just might top them all, a plasma light dragon:



By the time supper time rolled around we’d pretty much seen everything there was to see. Sadly, the CNE just isn’t what it used to be. The International Marketplace has shrunk down so that it fits into the same building as the domestic market, along with the outlet shopping. You used to be able to walk across the avenue in the grounds to the Automotive building to see the cars on display and A Taste of Country, but that’s no longer there. And they no longer have the horse show in the indoor arena - the daughter and I loved to get our food and sit to watch the horses.

Being a week day the crowds weren’t bad, but they were bad enough, and people were rude! And the noise was pretty bad too - it was almost impossible to carry on a conversation outside of the buildings. To be honest, I don’t know how eager I am to go again, unless it’s with the grandbaby.

Maybe I’m just getting old. :-D

Sep 1, 2017

Terzanelle

Well, would you look at that, I actually remembered to repeat my poetry post this week. :-D

This form is a little ... shall we say ... challenging. It was invented by Lewis Turco in 1965, and for those of somewhat familiar with poetry forms, it combines the villanelle’s refrain with the terza rima’s end line patterning. What truly makes it challenging is the number rules for it:

1. It is a fixed form of 19 lines - five triplets and a quatrain.
2. The body is comprised of tercets that each refrain the second line of the preceding tercet for its third line.
3. The first line of each of these tercets is rhymed with its refrained line.
4. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are refrained as the second and fourth lines of the closing quatrain.
5. The closing quatrain refrains the second line of the last tercet as its third line and rhymes its first line with that refrain.
6. Lines may be in any length or meter within reason.
7. Terzanelles may be written on any subject.

Got that now? There’ll be a test later. ;-)


Dragonflight

The wind is sighing through the trees,
The warmth of summer shimmers ‘round;
Magic‘s found in days like these.

A forest pool, a wild playground,
Where water lilies are abloom,
The warmth of summer shimmers ‘round.

A wafting scent of rare perfume;
The air is soft with ambient light
Where water lilies are abloom.

Who directs your soaring flight,
Free spirit wandering where it will.
The air is soft with ambient light.

You dip and weave and fly with skill -
I’d follow if I only could,
Free spirit wandering where it will

I watch you flitter through the wood;
The wind is sighing through the trees.
I’d follow if I only could -
Magic is found in days like these.


If you’d like to learn more about the Terzanelle, try one of the following links:
Shadow Poetry 
Writer's Digest 
The Poet's Garret  
Popular Poetry Forms 

If you give it a try, I’d love to see what you come up with. If you email it to me at carolrward(at)gmail(dot)com, I’ll post it on my writing blog next Wednesday and here on Friday. And if you don’t, then you’re going to be stuck reading a couple of poems that survived junior high school.

How’s that for incentive? :-D

Aug 28, 2017

Murage Monday

murage ~ tax for the upkeep of walls

If you’re not one of my Facebook friends, then you missed my big news from last week: I finally got my tattoo.



That picture was taken by my tattoo artist just after he was done, which is why it looks a little red and swollen. I’d have taken a new one for this post but I’ve just entered the flaking and peeling stage. It’s not itchy, but I’m finding it really hard to resist peeling it like I would a healing sunburn. ;-)

Other than that it was a fairly quiet week. I spent a lot of time going through the kitchen cupboards ferreting out glassware to add to my growing pile of stuff to be donated. Despite the fact that a lot of it hadn’t been used in more than ten years, some of it even longer than that, if ever, it was surprisingly hard to part with some of it. But I put on my big girl underpants and sucked it up.

After the daughter added some clothes and toys, I had a full load for the car. Including, I might add, five boxes of books! Then my friend and I drove up to Peterborough to a thrift store that raises money for the Children’s Wish Foundation.

And you know that after unloading all that we naturally had to check the store out. They were having a half price sale on toys, so it’s safe to say the grandbaby made out like a bandit. I found her a large set of plastic dishes and a whole fleet of cars and trucks.

I also found a couple of pair of shoes for her (that weren’t on sale), a pair for me, a bisque dragon to paint, and - don’t judge me - a Slap Chop. I confess, I’ve wanted one for ages. My mother had a similar device she used for chopping nuts. I hate having to mince onions or garlic or whatever, so it’s going to come in handy. If nothing else, my fried egg breakfast sandwiches are going to be more interesting.

Friday the son-in-law had an emergency so he dropped the grandbaby off early. She discovered the bag of peanuts I keep for the blue jays in the kitchen and insisted on putting some out for the birds. Then she stood on the deck yelling: “Blue jays, come get peanuts!”

I tried to interest her in helping me pick up sticks in the back yard but she was more interested in moving the peanuts from the table on the deck to the table on the patio. At least I thought that’s what she was doing. The hubby later fished 16 of them out of the pool when he was cleaning it. :-D

She was having so much fun she didn’t want to go back to her house for lunch, so I bribed her with a trip to the park. We went to one of the smaller parks that had a big slide structure, two dinosaurs to sit on, and most importantly, no swings. It’s almost impossible to get her off a swing once she’s on one.



As it was, I had to bribe her with a trip to see Grappy at the office to get her away from the park. It may have been a round about route to get her home, but we did get there.

Eventually.

Aug 21, 2017

Mortiferous Monday

mortiferous ~ death-bringing; fatal

So ... when we last met over the soap opera that is my life, my vacation was a bust but my bookcases were pretty much finished. Life was beginning to return to normal. More or less.

Over the course of the week I began weeding out books and knick knacks we don’t need/use/are tired of to donate to charity, further de-cluttering the house. I gotta admit, it was nice coming home after babysitting to a tidy house.

This lasted for a week.

Late Saturday afternoon, the hubby decided to sand the kitchen ceiling in a prelude to painting it. I might not have been quite so willing to go along with this had I realized he was going to be using the electric sander. Don’t ask me why, but I had the impression there were only a couple of spots he needed to sand and he was going to do it by hand.

Anyway, he moved most of the stuff we had on the counters onto the dining room table, and then I helped him tape up plastic over the doorway, over the fridge and stove, over the shelves above the pantry, and over the passthru and doorway into the dining room.

Doesn’t matter whether you’re sanding filler, drywall, or painted walls, when you’re using an electric sander the dust is super fine and super insidious. While most of the house was spared, thanks to a six inch gap in the bottom of the plastic over the dining room opening, everything in the dining room had a fine coating of white. Inside the kitchen the plastic over everything helped somewhat, but the dust still got into the cupboards.

I might mention at this point how much I hate dusting. I would rather scrub the public toilets at a chili cook-off than dust. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. And he’s not done yet.

I’d been working in my office when this started, and at one point I was going down to the basement for something and I noticed the living room looked a little foggy. I quickly blocked the gap in the dining room with some boxes, which helped, and the living room wasn’t too badly covered.

My office came out of this the best, mainly because I worked with the door closed (which the cats really hated) and when I had to have it open I had the fan on the bookcase in front of my desk pointed towards the door. It’s still going.

Sunday morning I had to dust off the coffee maker and the stove to make breakfast, and then I discovered the dust had made its way inside the cupboards when I had to dust off my plate and coffee cup.

Going forward, I’ll dust what I have to in order to use it but I’m not going to worry about the cleanup until after the dust has settled. Again.

And if the hubby ever feels the urge to sand walls or ceilings again, he’s going to find himself wearing that electric sander where the sun don’t shine.

Fair warning.

Aug 18, 2017

Twofer

This week I made my poetry selection from my archives. Because the first one is so short I added a second to give you a two-for-one deal. :-D

This first poem was part of the Writer’s Digest PAD challenge I partook of several years ago. The idea was to write a poem a day, to their prompts, over the month of April. If nothing else, the challenge was interesting, and it introduced me to the Sestina, which set me on an exploration of other forms.

I believe the prompt I had to follow for this one was something to do with being dead, or things you'd like to say to people after you're dead, or something along those lines.


Now That I’m Dead
Now that I’m dead I can finally say
all the things burning inside me.
None to prevent me having my way,
to speak serious or blithely.
I can speak of my love without any fear
of derision of my choices.
I can speak all the words you never could hear
in a chorus of many voices.
Did you think with me gone my words would be too?
You don’t really have to answer.
Words, like money, often accrue.
My words will be here forever.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

For my second poem I thought I’d lighten things up a bit. This poem is a parody. It may surprise you to learn, considering most of my poetry is rather dark, that I love parodies. I love taking a classic poem, twisting it around, and making someone chuckle over the results.

Unless you slept through English class, you should recognize what poem I used for this particular parody. For those of you who did sleep through English class, the original poem was Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s immortal How Do I Love thee. If you’d like to read the original, check this out. And now, my version:


How Do I Procrastinate?

How do I procrastinate? Let me count the ways.
I procrastinate to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling lethargic
For the ends of Boredom and ideal Laziness.
I procrastinate to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by neon and halogen-light.
I procrastinate freely, as men strive for Progress;
I procrastinate purely, as they turn from Television.
I procrastinate with a passion put to use
In my old excuses, and with my childhood’s justification.
I procrastinate with an energy I seemed to lose
When faced with work, – I procrastinate with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if the Muse choose,
I shall continue to procrastinate until death.

Aug 14, 2017

Mittimus Monday

mittimus ~ warrant granted for sending a charged person to jail

If you’ve been reading my Monday posts for any length of time then my next statement should come as no surprise at all. My vacation last week did not go as planned.

The prospect of a whole week of free time was mind-boggling. I was going to start on the weekend (the first weekend, which was a holiday weekend) by doing some cosmetic changes to my blogs and coming up with a workable schedule for writing during the week. Maybe I would even make a list of other stuff I’d like to get done: check out my yarn stash and get started on some Christmas presents, organize my recipes with an eye to healthier eating, sit on the deck and read, check out my material stash a do a little sewing...

Yeah, none of that happened.

You heard about the beginning of The Great Bookcase Switcheroo last week. If you haven’t, go HERE. By Wednesday I was afraid it was going to turn into the Neverending Bookcase Story.

I don’t know about you, but I have found that five shelves for a six foot high bookcase is not nearly enough. And apparently they don’t sell extra shelves for that colour of bookcase (they do for the other colours) so the hubby bought a third bookcase thinking we could just use the shelves from it. Only when we got it home he said, “Why don’t we swap out this bookcase with the last one from your office so they all match?”

I was on board with the idea because a) the bookcase left in my office was just a slightly different birch colour than the new ones, and b) the permanent shelves of the new ones were in a slightly different place so cosmetically speaking it would look better. So I emptied the last bookcase - the one with the double rows of paperbacks - and we put the new one in its place. I used the adjustable shelves from it for the other two bookcases and once I had the hubby drill extra holes for the little metal thingies that hold the shelves, I was able to finish the first two bookcases.

Looked good. Or so I thought. Until I tried to use the shelves from the old bookcase in the new one and discovered a major problem - the new bookcases were an inch and a half wider than the old ones which made the shelves useless. So the next day (which would be Tuesday) I went to Walmart and picked up another bookcase, the shorter version of the big one. This gave me six extra shelves to work with (if you count cutting down the sides).

Now it was a matter of putting all the piles, boxes, and bins of stuff back on the shelves. Believe it or not, I actually weeded out three boxes of books to donate in the process, and I did a lot of rearranging of books.

Now, one of my main reasons for wanting a bookcase on the landing (aside from using up some of that wasted space) was to make it easier for the hubby to access his CDs, and maybe have a place where we could put our DVDs. The bookcase from the dining room is perfect for CDs, you’d think it had been built for that purpose.



In fact, it holds his entire CD collection in one place with room to spare (at least there’ll be room to spare until I get some of my CDs in there) Unfortunately, it did not work so great for DVDs. However ... there’s a tall, square, bookcase in the living room that was designed for paperback books that was the perfect fit for DVDs.



Of course that meant emptying it first, finding new homes for the books that were in it, and gathering up the DVDs that were kind of spread around. Once that was finished I needed to turn my attention to the bookcases now in the dining room that were only partially filled. You can sort of see them in the above picture.

It was about Thursday by this time, and while you’d think I might have carved out a little guilt free time to do something ... I don’t know, fun? for the remainder of my vacation, I had company coming for the weekend so I kind of needed to put my dining room back together.



Believe it or not, I did have the living room and dining room put back together by lunch time on Saturday (when my company arrived).



My office, on the other hand, will be a story for another day.


Aug 11, 2017

Last Dragonflight

You'd think, seeing as this is a repeat post from my other blog and pretty much all I have to do is copy it over here, that I could be on time with it. Sadly, the week got away from me. But better late than never, right?

This poem is an oldie but a goodie. In fact it’s one of my earliest poems, probably inspired by Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels. I wrote it for no particular reason other than the desire to write a poem that told a story.




Last Dragonflight

Slowly dawns the red sun
To mark a dragon’s birth -
Once master of the heavens,
Now master of the Earth

You found your beginning
In smoke, ash and flame -
Creature born of legend
Like the phoenix rise again.

Awake unfurl your wings,
Your time has come this night
Uncoil, cry out your challenge,
Then launch, at last take flight.

Wheeling silent skyward
Exhaling smoke and fire
Phosphor rains but still you’re
Soaring ever higher.

Silence marks your passing,
Envious eyes will stare.
Man would subjugate you
Creature of the air.

Cloaked in rage and silence
They’ve watched you on your flight
Blind with superstition.
Against your will you fight.

Belief dies too easily;
Myths vanish without care.
Rear up once in protest -
Death’s not always fair.

Slowly dies the red sun -
The dragon seeks his den.
Slowly dies the legend
Never to rise again.

Aug 7, 2017

Martyrium Monday

martyrium ~ shrine erected in memory of a martyr

You know, it’s really feast or famine with me lately, isn’t it? I either have nothing at all to say, or way too much. Today’s post bodes to be a long one. ;-)

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we’ll start with a picture:



This is the landing going to the upstairs of our house. It just cries out for something, doesn’t it? I figured it would be the perfect spot for a bookcase. Maybe two. Surprisingly enough, the hubby was onboard with the idea, so when we were out of town on Saturday we stopped by one of the many Walmarts around and bought a couple of those bookcases you have to put together yourself.

Unfortunately, they no longer make the 48 inch high ones. Our choices were limited to 30 inches high, or 72 inches high. Seriously, it was a no brainer. Why buy a tiny bookcase when you can buy a huge one?

What we failed to take into consideration was the depth of it. Having those bookcases along that wall would remove 12 inches of depth from the landing. *sigh* So now we’re stuck with two, six foot high bookcases that have no home. But wait!

In the dining room, against one wall, is a smaller bookcase. It’s only 42 inches high, about 48 inches wide, and more importantly it’s only 6 inches deep. However, it also doubled as a plant stand, a CD holder, and general catch all. To be honest, it was a little unhandy as part of it was tucked away behind another table/cabinet that I also had plants on top of.



This is the stuff that came out of this bookcase:



There used to be a mirror hanging above this bookcase, but when we re-did the bathroom we relocated the mirror to there, leaving an empty space above the bookcase. Two six foot high bookcases would cover up that empty space nicely, even if they were kind of pale for that room. But wait!

In my office I have three 6 foot high book cases in a darker colour. It would be a pain in the butt to swap them out, and I was okay with having mismatched bookcases in my office in the name of having the dining room look more coordinated. But wait!



When I added the third bookcase they no longer made the maple coloured ones, so I had to get a birch coloured one. My bookcases were already mismatched, what I’d be doing is make them all coordinated.

So... the two new, birch bookcases went into my office.



The two bookcases from my office went into the dining room.



And the bookcase from the dining room went up on the landing.



So. Let’s recap shall we? The bookcase from the dining room was emptied and moved to the landing. The two new bookcases went into my office and the two matching ones from my office were emptied before going into the dining room. Now I just have to re-fill them all.

Sometimes, bright ideas grow a little dimmer with the execution. ;-)

Aug 4, 2017

The Blitz

Even if you’re not into poetry, you really need to give The Blitz a try. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have with a poetry form.

The form was invented by Robert Keim. The lines are super short - just a couple of words each. There’s no punctuation and it doesn’t rhyme. The first two lines both start with the same word. Lines 3 and 4 begin with the last word of line 2. Lines 5 and 6 start with the last word of line 4, and so on until you’ve written 48 lines. Line 49 is the last word of line 48, and line 50 is the last word of line 47. The title is only three words - the first word from the 3rd line joined to the first word from the 47th line by a preposition.

When writing a Blitz poem, it helps if you write it as quickly as possible. It’s a lot like one of those word association tests psychiatrists are reported to use, only faster. Give it a try, I guarantee you’ll have lots of fun.


Red With Clouds

Rose in bloom
Rose red
Red queen
Red and white
White as snow
White wine
Wine in a glass
Wine and cheese
Cheese whiz
Cheese log
Log on
Log off
Off and on
Off and running
Running amok
Running late
Late for work
Late in life
Life mate
Life and death
Death comes
Death mask
Mask your feelings
Mask the man
Man and woman
Man alive
Alive and dead
Alive for now
Now and then
Now and again
Again with this
Again with that
This and that
This and the other
Other than that
Other wise
Wise man
Wise woman
Woman rights
Woman power
Power up
Power down
Down town
Down below
Below zero
Below the clouds
Clouds of white
Clouds of blue
Blue
White

Jul 31, 2017

Moineau Monday

moineau ~ small flat bastion that protects fortification when being built

You know, these Monday posts were much easier when I didn’t have a separate writing blog. Despite the fact I proudly proclaim myself an author on my banner, I’ve been trying not to talk too much about writing stuff because I have a whole other blog for that and I don’t want to repeat myself (although I do that with the poetry post, which I forgot to do Friday). You can, in fact, find it HERE.

I think to keep everyone from getting confused, I might indulge in a little housekeeping on my blogs during my vacation, which I think is mid-August. That’s right, I’m not sure when my vacation is. Technically, it’s the daughter’s vacation, but it means I’m freed up from babysitting for the week and I’ve already started making a list of things I want to get accomplished.

But in the mean time, I still live in a small town and other than babysitting I don’t get out much. Last week the hubby was on vacation which made my mornings a little easier because I didn’t have to take him to work, but it was a little disconcerting to have him hanging around when I came home from babysitting.

Okay, he wasn’t literally hanging around. He was keeping busy painting inside the house and staining the deck and a bunch of other stuff, but he had a definite presence that kind of threw me off my game. It was just plain weird. LOL

Friday I talked him into coming to the beach with the grandbaby and I, and a good time was had by all:



She was intrigued by a circle someone made of seagull feathers and insisted on playing inside it. Though you can tell one of her favorite things is to dig in the sand, she was very careful not to get any sand on the feathers, and if she accidentally knocked one over she made sure she set back up again.

Most of our time was spent playing on the beach, but she also got pushed on the swing, made Grappy go up in the pirate ship play structure with her, and we had a picnic lunch. Now that’s something I should have taken a picture of - the picnic lunch. It’s been a long time since I packed for a picnic and of course I packed way too much food. But at least no one went away from the table hungry. :-D

I’ve been watching the buds on one of my mini orchids with great anticipation for the last week or two and my patience was finally rewarded:



It’s one of the two orchids I have on my kitchen window sill, and I think it’s the only one that’s not pink and white. I have two orchids in the dining room that are just finishing a bloom run, and as per my neighbor’s advice, I am not cutting the bloom stalks. I did that on the other orchid in the kitchen and it hasn’t bloomed since, but one of the orchids in the dining room not only re-bloomed off the same stalk, it grew another one as well.

And outside my sweet peas are just starting to bloom. Just a couple of blossoms so far, so no pictures yet, but they should be in full colour when it’s time for my August garden update.

I can’t wait!

Jul 24, 2017

Misbeseem Monday

misbeseem ~ to be unsuited or unsuitable to

Last week was a week, I tell you what.

The daughter had a conference in Texas of all places, and since she was going to be in the neighborhood, more or less, decided to spend a few days visiting a friend in San Diego afterwards. This meant that the grandbaby and I got to spend some extra time together last week. Make that a lot of time. ;-)

I knew about this well in advance and made lots of plans ahead of time. But you know me and planning for things ... this was no different. *sigh* The original plan was, the son-in-law would drop the grandbaby off at our house on his way to work (early morning). I had crafts and other activities planned for us to do until we had to take the hubby to work (mid-morning). On Wednesday I was going to have hubby take the day off and we’d take grandbaby to Riverside Park, which is a park and free zoo in a city north of us.

However, that was not what happened.

First of all, I hadn’t planned on the brother-in-law taking last week off (hubby and BIL own their own business jointly). Not only did that put the kybosh on the zoo trip, it kind of screwed up the rest of the week too.

Instead of being at work for 10:30, hubby had to be there for 9:00. So instead of son-in-law dropping baby off, I went and picked her up and we came back here to pick up grappy and take him to work. From there it was pretty much a case of ‘now what?’

Monday the weather was kind of iffy, so we went back to the daughter’s house with a big bag of craft stuff. I had paper, and washable, non-toxic markers, and stickers, and all sorts of wonderful things in my bag of tricks. Grandbaby seemed to enjoy painting Hello Kitty pictures with water the best.

Tuesday we went to the drop-in play group we go to on a regular basis. I thought it would be even more fun to get there early for a change. It wasn’t. It was boring as all get out. Most of the kids we’re familiar with and the regular day care workers were all involved with the Day Camp. After an hour the grandbaby was bored enough that she was asking to leave. So we went shopping instead. :-)

Wednesday we slapped on the sun screen and went down to the beach. The nice thing about going to the beach that early was that we got one of the free parking places. Don’t get me started on residents having to pay for parking at our public park and beach.

Grandbaby got to try out her brand new bathing suit although she didn’t exactly get it wet. She slid down the pirate ship, got pushed on the swing until my arms were ready to fall off, and had a great time playing on the splash pad ... until someone turned on the water. LOL



We went down onto the sand where a couple of lovely ladies told us to help ourselves to the beach toys they’d brought for their grand kids - who were more interested in playing with their body boards in the water. We’ve got about three quarters of our beach back and the water for the first few hundred yards is extremely shallow. I tried to get the grandbaby to at least go wading with me, but she was having none of it.



Thursday the weather was kind of iffy, so we gave the play group another chance. This time we went a little later in the morning and we had a much better time. Friday the son-in-law had the day off, so that meant I did too. But of course Thursday afternoon I noticed my throat was a bit sore and my nose was a bit sniffly. Isn’t that always the way? I took some cold medicine when I got home, but it was too late.

My favourite moment of the week was when I went to leave Wednesday after the son-in-law came home and grandbaby threw her little arms around my legs and said: “No go Grammy! I keep you!”

Is it any wonder she has me wrapped around her little finger?

Jul 21, 2017

Bingo Blues

One of my jobs when I worked in the Municipal Office of our town (many years ago) was to record the bingo results from the weekend games. I was pretty surprised by the number of charities that ran bingos to raise funds. And even more surprising was how little they actually made from it.

But bingo was big business in our town, especially with the seniors. I can’t remember exactly when I visited one of the bingo halls one night - taking a message to someone, picking someone up, I have no idea. I know I wasn’t there long and I wasn’t there to play. The one thing I do remember is walking into the pervading cloud of smoke.

It was shortly after that that legislation was passed banning smoking in public places. It caused a pretty big stir at the time, but despite the artistic license in my poem, nothing stops a die-hard bingo player.


Bingo Blues

The room’s filled with fog
From the chain smoking grannies
Don’t mess with their luck
Or you’ll find yourself
Out on your ear

The concentration is fierce
Daubers flying furiously
Hearing aides at the max
Canes within reach
To snag a new card

It’s Saturday night
At the Bingo Hall
Truck on over
And don’t forget
Your pension cheque.

Then the hammer falls
In the form of a by-law
Banning the cancer sticks
Causing an uprising
Of the blue hair set.

Now it’s Saturday night
And they meet at Timmie’s
Walkers parked outside
While they reminisce
Over a cup of joe.

Jul 17, 2017

Muriform Monday

muriform ~ resembling a mouse or rat

Well folks, you dodged a bullet and don’t even realize it. LOL

When I started writing this post I was fresh from the news about the new doctor on the TV show Doctor Who. I’m not happy about their choice - I’m a die hard fan but they’ve changed the show so much I’m done with it. I was three rather lengthy paragraphs into a rant about it when I realized that in the grand scheme of things, who cares? It’s just a TV show.

So ... I deleted my rant and I’m ready to carry on. You’re welcome. :-)

After an unintended hiatus, my thrift store buddy and I were back shopping on Saturday. I bought things, she bought things, and we both agreed that if we didn’t stop bringing home so much “stuff” (it’s only junk when you’re getting rid of it) our hubbies might stop letting us play together. LOL

One of the things I bought on impulse was an incomplete set of dishes:



This is the Barratts Delphatic White Ironstone Blue Roses dinnerware. I got 33 pieces for $10, including enough dinner plates with cups and saucers to use for my immediate family. It also included a platter and two serving bowls, and a set of fruit nappies.

What makes it so special is pure nostalgia. Back in the sixties, my mother began collecting these dishes. I have a vague memory of her getting them as a free gift whenever she filled up her gas tank, not sure which gas station, but she also might have got them using green stamps. Anyone remember green stamps? Yeah, me neither. ;-)

Anywho, my mother collected these dishes piece by piece until she had a whole set. They weren’t her “good” dishes, but they weren’t every day dishes either. We would use them for Sunday dinner.

After mom died my oldest sister ended up with the entire set. I’m not sure how they’ve fared over the years or even if she uses them. I suspect her set is also incomplete at this point, if it still exists at all.

But I do know that going forward I’ll be using mine on Sundays, keeping the tradition alive.

Jul 14, 2017

Caffeinated Dreams

This is a fairly new poem, written just a few weeks ago. I got the idea for it while, you guessed it, sitting on the pier sipping an iced coffee with a friend. The car was facing towards the beach and I made a comment about how nice it would be to sit under one of those trees to write.

The reality is that it wouldn’t be that all that conducive to writing. It was a weekend and there were hoards of screaming kids everywhere. Plus I’d probably do more people watching and looking at the scenery than actual writing.

But I came home and wrote the following poem:


Caffeinated Dreams

I sit on the pier
sipping my iced coffee
and I have a vision:
I sit in the park
under a tree
back against the rough bark
big floppy hat on my head
doodling, scribbling, writing in
a notebook propped up on my knees
words spilling over
right off of the page
racing away
with a shout of laughter
but I am unaware
that my story is escaping
and I keep writing
until it’s too dark
to see.
Anchored in reality
I take the last sip of my coffee
and with a wistful sigh
go home.

Jul 10, 2017

Mirador Monday

mirador ~ belvedere or watchtower; architectural feature with good view

Some weeks I sit at my lap top on Sunday night, staring at the screen, trying to figure out what I could possibly talk about in my Monday blog post. And some weeks it comes easily. This should have been an easy post to write because it occurred to me last week I’d promised back at the beginning of June to post some updated pictures of my gardens at the beginning of July.

However, as I sat at my lap top last night I realized I didn’t have any current pictures of my garden. I didn’t take any last week because of all the rain, but I’m sorry now that I didn’t at least take a picture of my petunias. They weren’t happy campers with all the rain that had been pounding down on them and had stopped blooming.

So despite it being overcast this morning, I went out to take pictures. Now the race is on to see if I can get them posted before 8 a.m., which is the time I normally schedule these posts for. :-D

Starting at the front, this is what it looked like in June:



So pretty, isn’t it? And here’s the same garden as of this morning:



Not quite as pretty, but the petunias made an amazing come back. A little TLC and a lot less rain and I’m sure they’ll fill the garden the way I intended. And the begonias in the hanging planter on the right are doing great.

Next up is Kelsey Park.



Beautiful, wasn’t it? This garden fared the best of all through the rain because it was protected somewhat by the bowl of the fountain. But remember I mentioned the pleasant surprise of the sweet peas from a couple of years ago coming up? Yeah, they’re kind of trying to take over now.



My poor pansies. I love sweet peas, gathering huge bouquets of them was a favorite occupation when I visited my aunt up in Owen Sound (they grew wild near her house). but seriously, if they don’t start blooming soon I’m pulling them up so they stop choking out everything else.

Next is a reminder of what the herb garden looked like:



While I wouldn’t exactly say it thrived with all the rain, at least it held its own. And my dill is coming up like gang-busters. As you can see, I really need to thin it out some.



In my original post about my gardens I didn’t show the patio planters because there was nothing in them. However, I planted wild flower seeds in them. And while most of the planters did really well:



Some of them didn’t do quite so good:



The difference is drainage. Some of them had plugs in the bottom and some of them the hubby had to drill holes in. I’m not sure which the four planters above had, but they weren’t able to drain fast enough for the amount of water in them. I’m out of wildflower seeds, but I got some poppy seeds from one of my brothers-in-law and I’m going to give them a try.

Last, but not least, is the hubby’s tomato plant.



Poor, sad little tomato plant. It did not like all that rain, but as a reward for hanging in there we re-planted it in a bigger pot. And look, it’s got one ripe tomato and several green ones. Now it just needs a bigger cage and maybe a shot of fertilizer.

And so ends the garden update for July. So tell me. How does your garden grow?

Jul 7, 2017

Paradelle

I remembered again! I must be on some kind of roll. :-D

After much consideration, for this month’s form I chose the Paradelle. This form was invented by Billy Collins (who was the U.S. Poet Laureate at the time) as a parody of the Villanelle. He did it as a joke, claiming it was one of the more demanding French forms. The joke was on him when people took him seriously and began writing their own Paradelles.

This form has four stanzas with six lines each. The first three stanzas have the following format: lines 1 and 2 are the same; lines 3 and 4 are the same; but lines 5 and 6 must contain all the words from the previous lines, using each word only once. And just to make things interesting, the fourth stanza uses all of the words from the previous stanzas, and again uses each word only once. Got that now?

You’d think with all that repetition this would be an easy form, but it’s not. The last two lines of each stanza were bad, but nothing compared to the final stanza. Trying to fit all the words from the previous stanza without leaving any of them out is pretty tricky. If anyone out there would like a poetry challenge, I highly recommend the Paradelle.

And I unashamedly admit that I did not create a new poem as an example, this is the one from my original poetry post.


Vampire Moon

Red moon in the sky, swollen and full
Red moon in the sky, swollen and full
Bathing the world in its ghostly light
Bathing the world in its ghostly light
Swollen in red, the full ghostly world
Bathing the moon and sky in its light

The time has come to embrace the night
The time has come to embrace the night
Rise, take your place in the mortal realm
Rise, take your place in the mortal realm
Take your place in the night rise, mortal.
Embrace the realm, the time has come to.

Soft velvet night of the vampire moon
Soft velvet night of the vampire moon
Awaits you with your heart’s desire
Awaits you with your heart’s desire
Velvet vampire desire. Soft night,
Your heart’s moon awaits with you.

In your sky, has the velvet moon come?
The night awaits with your place in
the world, swollen and full of the light.
You, bathing in its soft ghostly night.
Rise, heart’s desire, take the mortal realm;
Time to embrace the red vampire moon.


If you’d like to learn more about the Paradelle, and maybe even try one for yourself, check out one of the following links:

Shadow Poetry - Paradelle
Writer's Digest - Poetic Asides
Poets Online Archive

Jul 3, 2017

Mandarism Monday

mandarism ~ government with a large bureaucracy

If last week was rather dull, cold and damp, hot and damp, and depressing and damp, the weekend more than made up for it.

First of all ... remember all that flooding we had? Well in an effort to save the beach and/or the tourist season which traditionally kicks off on the Canada Day weekend, the Town of Cobourg had truck loads of sand brought in and dumped on what was left of our beach. After the heavy equipment finished spreading all that sand, we had a partial beach, at least down to the life guard towers.

Then it rained again

This is what the “beach” looked like on June 30 (Friday):



Well, that was certainly worth it, wasn’t it?

Despite the lack of beach, the weather was actually better than predicted. Friday was wet and miserable, but Saturday, which was supposed to be filled with thunderstorms and rain, was pretty hot and humid. Frankly I’d rather have a good honest rain than high humidity, but the sky was clear enough for the fireworks to celebrate Canada Day, and the water had actually receded enough that we could sit on the beach to watch them.

But even better than the fireworks was something we stumbled across on the way home. We passed a small group of people carrying large paper lanterns and torches, headed to a more secluded area of the beach. Once on the shore they fired up the flame sources inside the lanterns and once they were buoyant set them free to drift away.



That’s not an actual picture of what we saw, that’s just to give you an idea. But as awesome as it was to watch, I have to admit we had to wonder about the wisdom of letting the lanterns loose from this narrow stretch of beach. Between the tall trees and the houses so close to the shore, I think it was just dumb luck that nothing else caught fire.

I don’t usually check out the Waterfront Festival that’s held over the holiday weekend, but I did this year. The dampness didn’t seem to discourage attendance, it was pretty crowded when we were down there. And I don’t think the vendors had too much to complain about, business must have been good - even I bought something.



It’s my new writing bag. Big enough to hold note books, pens, and even my Alphasmart Neo. It’s from Guatemala and I was told it was made from material repurposed from native dresses. The embroidery is from the top part of the dress, the rest from the skirt. I’m not sure how much of the sales pitch I believe, but I’m going to enjoy using it.

Belated Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians, and an early Happy Fourth of July to my American friends. I’ll have to remember to dig out my Independence Day movies to watch on Tuesday in your honour. :-D

Jun 30, 2017

Silent Sentinel

Oh, look! I actually remembered to repost my poem of the week here. :-D

Okay, so it’s a little late. But better late than never, eh? And considering it’s another uber damp (it was actually pouring rain when I went grocery shopping), headache inducing, coolish kind of day, you’re lucky you got it at all. Readers of my writing blog are still waiting for this month’s picture prompt story. (It’s coming, it’s coming!)

This week’s poem is just a random one I chose from my files. It was written in 2013 and I believe it was “poemwork” for a poetry group I was a member of. As I recall, the assignment was to write a poem from the point of view of an inanimate object. In case you can’t guess from the poem itself, the point of view is from a stone that was carved into a gargoyle.


Silent Sentinel

I remember my birth
torn from the quarry
then found to be unfit for the stone circle.

I remember the superstitions,
the Wild Hunt's ride, sacrifices to beg a boon
the dancing and the Green Man's bride.

I remember the poets,
who spent years perfecting the faultless rhyme
that would make of them heroes

I remember the old gods
no longer worshipped, not knowing why,
turning their backs on man.

I have felt the passage of time
felt the reshaping of my limestone form
awakened in my new home atop the cathedral

I have watched the world turn
the pleasure and the sorrow of man
the life and the death. Oh, so much death.

I have watched the city rise and fall
the new replacing the old until only I remain
keeping your secrets carved in stone.

Jun 26, 2017

Mulism Monday

mulism ~ obstinate quirk or habit

You know, one of these days I’m going to get my sh*t together and do amazing things. Last week had none of those days. This week doesn’t look promising either.

Once again I missed the poetry post on Friday, which is ridiculous when you think pretty much all I have to do is just re-post it from my writing blog. However, last week was a little busier than the previous week.

Tuesday, I took the grandbaby to visit her great grandparents, which meant I picked her up an hour early. Then Wednesday was our regular play group day, which also means picking her up an hour early. I had actually planned on blowing off the play group and taking her to the park instead (it’s been a while since we’ve been there) but it was cool and overcast, and it turned out I made the right decision because it started to rain.

I might mention that I woke up with a sore throat and the sniffles Wednesday morning and it was a full fledged cold by Thursday, the day I got to babysit from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. The daughter had a work thing - and by work thing I mean she got waited on hand and foot at a spa, dinner included.

The trade off was that I got Friday off, which would have been great except I was so sick from my cold I didn’t get any of the things I’d planned on doing done. I pretty much read, napped, watched X-Men Apocalypse, and napped some more.

It rained off and on during the week, but Thursday night it started a steady down pour that kept up until about supper time on Friday. As you may recall, last time it rained like this we lost our beach, which is still more water than sand. This time we had more flooding inland.

This is a picture of Elgin Street, which runs east/west, early on Friday.



Now, see the traffic lights in that picture? This picture is taken at that intersection, sitting on Elgin and looking north up Division Street later in the day.



For the curious, you can find a slide show of photos HERE

And lest you think the sky gods are done with us, they’re calling for thunderstorms to start this afternoon and continue into this evening, with rain every day except Wednesday for the rest of the week.

Anybody got blue prints for an ark?

Jun 19, 2017

Malaxage Monday

malaxage ~ softening of clay by kneading it

It’s Monday. Here we are again.

*Looks around aimlessly*

So...how was your week? What about your weekend?

I have to say, last week was a pretty slow news week in my little corner of the world. So slow in fact I forgot about posting my poem on Friday. Oops!

And yet I made several rather lengthy entries in my journal - mostly mundane stuff about housework and babysitting and taking the grandbaby to play group. And of course there was the requisite whining, mostly about housework and babysitting and taking the grandbaby to play group. LOL

No matter how well or how often you do housework, there’s always more to do. It’s like getting rid of junk that collects in your closet - more junk always seems to take its place. So while I knocked off a few things, like cleaning the corner of the dining room where the cats have been misbehaving and dusting the corner cabinet, there’s always more tasks left to do.

The grandbaby was in full mischief mode last week. Not bad or bratty, just full of energy and getting into things. Like Friday. After play group we went to Walmart to get some cupcakes to take to Grappy at his office, one of her favorite things to do. And because by that time Grammy’s energy was flagging, I picked myself up an iced coffee. Which got dumped all over the floor of the kitchen when I nipped outside to look for my phone.

And there were a couple of completely unrelated journal entries, like the one I made about the daughter’s baby robins. She has a small ornamental tree outside her living room window and every year a robin builds a nest in it. The eggs always hatch, but usually the cat across the street gets the babies before they can fly off. This year, however, the daughter caught the cat in the attempt and chased him away with a broom. I would have paid good money to see a video of that! ;-)



Anyway, I checked the nest last Monday and there was only one baby left. There’d been three altogether and two of them flew away on the weekend. The last one was too scared to leave the nest, poor guy. So after the grandbaby went down for her nap, I stood at the open window and gave him a pep talk.

I guess he must have listened to me because the next time I checked he had left the nest and had made it as far as one of the branches beside it. He looked at me a little accusingly, and I think he was trying to get back into the nest but he couldn’t get turned around. At any rate, he did eventually fly away.

When I thought about it, I realized he was a braver bird than me. I went straight from my father’s house to my husband’s. So technically I never did leave my nest.

Something to think about.

Jun 12, 2017

Misosophy Monday

misosophy ~ hatred of knowledge or wisdom

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a giant light bulb. It’s the apocalypse! No, it’s ... the sun!!

We actually got a couple of days of sun last week. And the temperature rose enough that I was able to have the deck doors open during the day and we could leave the windows open at night. Yesterday we even had dinner out on the patio.

Thanks to all the rain we had earlier in the week, my garden was totally rocking the sunshine and all my seeds are starting to come up - the wildflowers in the planter boxes and even the dill in the top of the herb pot.

And of course along with the nicer weather came the “changing of the closets.” I put away some (not all) of my heavier clothing and brought out the lighter stuff. It’s always fun discovering clothes you forgot you had. Not so much fun trying to make room for them in the closet. LOL

Of course I didn’t start out with the intention of switching the closets over. I went digging through the storage closet looking for what little we kept of the daughter’s old Barbie stuff for the grandbaby. When we were at playgroup on Friday she spent the whole time playing with Barbies and I promised her I’d find her mother’s old stuff. Sadly, I gave most of it away long before the grandbaby was born - her mother didn’t want it and I didn’t want to keep storing it.

While I had the storage closet open I found my summer clothes and filled a couple of boxes with junk to donate. It’s amazing the way junk breeds, isn’t it? No matter how much you get rid of, there’s always more to take its place.

And of course along with the changing of the clothes goes the changing of the shoes. Up until Saturday I was wearing socks and shoes. I’m not sure where all my summer shoes went, I checked the shoe closet and only found one pair of sandals. Obviously I put them somewhere to get them out of the way in the fall. I just have to figure out where. LOL

The daughter and I went to see Wonder Woman on the weekend - it was pretty awesome. I’ve never been a particular fan of this super hero, so I went with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised. There are so many ways they could have ruined the movie - turning it into a jiggle-fest, having the man taking charge - but they didn’t.

The casting was perfect (Gal Gadot rocks!) and I loved the back-story of her growing up. And the Amazons were totally bad ass! I’m not going to say too much more because I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t already seen it. And if you haven’t, why not? Go see it!

Right now!

Jun 9, 2017

Poetry Anyone?

A few years ago I used to have a separate poetry blog and I would repeat the weekly post on this blog, just to share my love of poetry. But then I got away from poetry for a while (you can read the story about why HERE.

I’ve written a few poems over the last few years but haven’t shared many until Jamie and I did our poem a day challenge in April. It brought back fond memories of poetry, and gave me the urge to do more with my poetry going forward.

I decided I’d start including a poetry post once a week on Writing Blog and then I thought, why not repeat it here like I was doing before? Therefore, the first Friday of the month (Wednesday on the writing blog) will feature a poetry form, the following Fridays will be just random poems - some new, some old, some of my old favorites.

So... without further ado, I’d like to share this month’s form, the sestina.

The sestina was one of the most challenging forms I’ve ever encountered. It has 39 lines in total, divided into six verses of six lines each, and a three line envoi at the end. Sounds easy enough, right? Especially since it doesn’t have to rhyme. But here’s the thing. You start off by coming up with six words, and each of these words is used as a end word of one line in each of the six verses and the order changes in each verse.

For my sestina, I used the words: truth, grave, life, night, death, and stone.

Night Dweller’s Truth

In every breath there is a truth
that overshadows every grave,
a truth not found within a life
that shines its beacon into night,
a knowledge brought about by death
and graven into hardest stone.

A thought that’s carved in precious stone
contains what we perceive as truth,
unsuppressed by certain death,
as cold and alien as the grave,
deep and dark as empty night
just before it bursts to life.

If I’d but know how sweet is life,
not just a pathway strewn with stone,
perhaps I’d not embraced the night
that fills me with its awful truth
and takes me far beyond the grave
out of reach of even death.

And what is that which we call death?
Perhaps another way of life,
the end is more than just the grave,
a fresh turned mound that’s capped with stone.
Perhaps we’ll never know the truth
before we pass into the night.

Come and share this sweetest night
where we can stand abreast of death,
and we will seek the perfect truth
of what is that which we call life
that gathers round us like a stone
and leads us blindly to the grave.

You look at me with visage grave -
accept my words, accept the night,
accept that fate’s not carved in stone.
Turn away from Lady Death,
her promise of the afterlife,
and know what’s in my heart is truth.

We’ll find our truth without the grave
and make our life within the night,
then vanquish death with shattered stone.



If you’d like to learn more or better yet, try your hand at your own sestina, here are a couple of sites that I’ve found helpful in the past:

Baymoon
The Poetry Foundation
Shmoop

Jun 5, 2017

Monoousian Monday

monoousian ~ having the same substance

Warning: Picture intensive post!

I’ll give you three guesses what I was doing this weekend... Gardening!

We bought our plants on Friday night and I was appalled at how much we paid - to the point where I even suggested to the hubby that we could forget plants in the front garden and just fill it in with decorative wood chips instead. I think I’ll be buying a lot of seeds next year. Maybe some bulbs this fall.

But before I get to my garden pictures, a couple of people asked me about the christening gown I made last weekend. I know it’s kind of hard to picture it from my description (you can click on it to see a bigger version), so here it is in all its glory:



Not bad considering I was working without a pattern, eh? My friend was thrilled, her daughter was thrilled, but I have no idea how the baby boy felt about it. LOL

Now, on to my gardens. First we have the front garden, always a treat because it’s so long.



As you can see, I lost both of my dogwoods and one of my sand cherries over the winter. Not sure how that happened considering the winter wasn’t all that bad and they’re right up next to the house. These are the same shrubs that made it unscathed through the ice storm a few years ago.

Anyway, here’s what the garden looks like now:



I added a pink begonia hanging from the shepherd’s crook yesterday, but didn’t take a new picture because it was raining.

The other major planting I did was in Kelsey Park. Kelsey Park, for those of you who are new, is a small round garden with a fountain in the center, under which our border collie Kelsey is buried. There are also three cats buried in various spots around it - only the hubby knows for sure where, and he also knows where the others will be going when their time comes. Our own little pet cemetery. :-)

This is what it looked like before:



The after picture kind of looks like I just planted my plants amongst the weeds, and in a way that’s exactly what I did. When I bought all those bedding plants, I did not realize that the sweet pea seeds that I planted last year and didn’t come up came up this year. So now as well as pansies, marigolds, and tufted things, I have sweet peas growing around the edge of the garden.



And last but not least, a few years ago I lucked into a terra cotta strawberry pot. That was the same year I found a variety of mint plants - spearmint, chocolate mint, lemon mint, pineapple mint... I can’t remember what store had them, but I thought it would be really cool to do an all mint indoor herb garden in the pot. And I’m sure under the care of someone else it would have been. But for me the plants died rather quickly and the pot has been empty ever since.



So this year I started thinking about what went wrong and I wondered if maybe I should have had the mint garden outside for the summer to let the plants get well established before bringing it in for the winter. This year I only found two kinds of mint, but I found some thyme, chives, and sage for it and I bought some dill seeds to plant in the top. Now it’s sitting on the deck where it will get lots of sun, if the sun every comes out for any length of time.



According to the 14-day forecast on the weather network, it’s going to be another week before we see any significant sun. While I’m sure the plants in my gardens will enjoy the good soaking, I’m not so sure about the wildflower seeds I planted in the boxes bordering the patio.

Guess I’ll have to post more pictures at the beginning of July to show you how my garden is growing. :-D