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?