Monday, 14 August 2017

Mod Cons

It's Poetry Monday! I want to thank Diane from On the Alberta/Montana Border for the BEST THEME EVER: modern conveniences, also known as "mod cons" if you are British.

Diane, who started Poetry Monday, and Delores from Mumblings, and I are the three musketeers of this poetry challenge. But you can join us! You can post on your blog; if you do, please leave a link in the comments at any of our three blogs to allow readers to find you.

Or you can post a poem in the comments section of any of our blogs. It doesn't have to be original, and it doesn't have to follow the theme.

I like using the theme as a starting point because it narrows my focus enough to let ideas surface. Otherwise, there are just so many possible topics that I am overwhelmed.

Readers who have consumed much of Ogden Nash's poetry may recognize his style in this poem. I've been re-reading his works and they definitely influenced my writing this week. Sincere and abject apologies to Mr. Nash.

*****

I Heart My Toilet, Even If The Cat DID Fall In It Last Week*


There is one mod con in our house I cannot do without.
I have been places where there was none but those were dreadful times beyond any doubt.
The item in question is a flush toilet and it is the greatest invention ever --
Much better than a toaster or a furnace or a TV or even a coffee maker.
For when we need to "go" there is nothing better than "going"
In comfort, and even at times in style, with a lack of breeze blowing.
On occasion I have had to make do with an old-fashioned outhouse
With an indescribable ambience and the exciting possibility of a stray mouse.
There have also been a time or two when I have visited a Porta-Potty
But only out of sheer necessity, and I dearly hope that does not sound too snotty.
This modern convenience is so extremely important to me that
My nightmares involve looking and looking for one and not ever finding it.

You may wonder why I am so consumed with all things toilet and flushable.
Well, it is my "storage capacity" that is in fact both the culprit and culpable.
Whereas other people drink a glass of water and produce less than a glass of wee,
I drink a glass of water and inevitably produce three.
And if by chance I know there will be no flush toilet for me to access,
Then my one glass of water will somehow magically be transformed into six.
It has always been thus, and thus I think will ever be,
And that is why the flush toilet is the mod con dearest to me.

*****

(*If you missed that post, you can read it HERE. Check my replies to the comments to get some of the missing story.)

*****

The sign I most like to see when I am away from home.


Okay folks, time to spill the beans: what's the fanciest/strangest/most memorable toilet you've ever used? Don't be shy! Procrastinating Donkey would be fascinated to hear about it.



Friday, 11 August 2017

Frazzled On Friday, Part 2 Of Probably Many Parts

A short post today, because I'm frazzled, just like last Friday.

Yesterday started off on a different kind of note, with a cat falling in the toilet.

Then the smoke detectors started beeping and there was no fire.

Then I drove two hours to see my son and my ex-cat, another half an hour to see my daughter and her family (including two little grandsons!), and two hours home.

I'm pooped.

So icanhascheezburger.com is rescuing me AGAIN. Enjoy :)


Some of the best pictures happen by accident. Or course, some OTHER best pictures happen because the photographer has skills and talent ... but this is in the first category.




Maybe this is the photographer in the first photo.








Darn cats.




Yes. Sigh.




Husky has sarcasm down pat.




This little guy is "splooting" - right, Steve? (Steve introduced us to this word on his blog Shadows & Light, not long ago. It's what you call it when a dog lies with its back legs stretched out and belly on the ground. I couldn't wait to use this word!)




Better not let Mike near a credit card, either, or Poof!! goes the magnetic strip. Ask me how I know ...




This is me with my husband. I finish the page well before he does. But guess who remembers stuff better? That's right - HE DOES.




This joke never gets old for me. Or maybe I just keep forgetting it ...




These look suspiciously like the "two left cats" in the box from last week's Frazzled On Friday" post!


I hope everyone has a restful weekend, even if you have to sploot to really enjoy it.

And I REALLY SUPER EXTRA HOPE YOUR CAT (IF YOU HAVE ONE) DOESN'T FALL IN THE TOILET. Because it's very traumatic. And it's no fun for the cat either.





Monday, 7 August 2017

Irony Is Funny Too, Right?

Poetry Monday comes around faster than any other day of the week, did you know that? It's true! Especially when the urge to write poetry is elusive, as it was this week for me. As it seems to be a lot of weeks for me, come to think of it.

This week's theme, as suggested by Diane of On the Alberta/Montana Border, is HUMOUR. Or if you're American, the theme is HUMOR.

A little humour/humor there.

Diane was responsible for starting Poetry Monday to begin with; then Delores of Mumblings joined in, and so did I. You can, too! If you post your poem on your blog, leave us a link to it in the comments. Or you can leave a poem right in the comments at Diane's, Delores' or my blog.

Humour as a theme, eh? Piece of cake, I thought.

As my mother is prone to say, "She had another think coming ..."

If you're not familiar with that phrase, here is the definition from the online Cambridge Dictionary:

     have another think coming

      to need to consider something again, because you are wrong
 
     Example: If you think I'm going to pay for everything, you've got another think coming.

In other words, this was not a piece of cake after all. It was not even a piece of bread. It was not a piece of anything, except maybe a piece of hand-wringing and weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I thought about it all week. I Googled "funny poems." I racked my brain.

Finally, with my posting deadline past (horrors!), I pinned my brain to the mat, put it in a chokehold, and forced it to write this:


Oh, The Irony Of Not Being Able To Write A Funny Poem About Humour/Humor


A little shot of humo(u)r
Is a lovely useful thing
It can make a bad day better
It can make a good day sing

Less fattening than chocolate
Less costly than a shrink
A little bit of funny
Can cure most things, I think

A cartoon or a silly rhyme
A limerick or a pun
A meme or gif or clever quote
So many kinds of fun

This poem doesn't have those.
Bothered? No, not me
Because my poem's filled with
Perfect irony

*****

My brain is exhausted from that wrestling match. It's okay, brain. You can go have some warm milk and some light reading now.

How my brain feels today.

An update on our cat situation: I probably should have given more details on Friday about where our cat was going to live. But I was trying to keep it short and simple. Here's the story: Kitty has been delivered to our son, who lives about two hours away. We got one fellow (the cat) when the other fellow (our son) was still living at home, and they are good with and for each other. Son was ready for a cat; cat needed more time and attention than we could give. The transfer went much more smoothly than I ever expected, and according to our son's emailed reports, kitty is settling in okay so far. I'm so relieved. I was so worried that being in a strange environment would stress our furry guy beyond his capacity to adapt, but it appears I might be wrong. (Imagine that!)

Maybe all that worrying had something to do with my brain not cooperating in the humour/humor department.

That, and procrastinating until I hit full-blown panic mode. That, too.

I hope you all have plenty of humour/humor in your lives this week, even if you have to wrestle your brain to the ground to create it!







Friday, 4 August 2017

Frazzled on Friday

The week has been a blur, with heavier than usual work commitments, summer visitors, and the fact that I am writing an owner's manual for one of our cats.

Yes, an owner's manual. One of our furry babies is going to live with someone else. It was not a hard decision to make, back when it was all just a concept, but as the time approaches for him to leave, it is becoming a hard decision to carry out. I think he will get more attention and have more fun at his new home, and I'll be able to visit him regularly, but ... he is ten years old, easily frightened, and I worry about his ability to adjust.

That will be happening this weekend. Wah.

But we will go forward, one foot after the other.

*****

To celebrate Frazzled Friday and keep my mind off cats, here are a few funnies, courtesy of icanhascheezburger.com, in random order to match my disorderly mind:







This actually works, doesn't it?


































I will get through this weekend. I will get through this weekend. I will, I will, I WILL ...

Hope you have a good one, folks.


Monday, 31 July 2017

Kindness



It's Poetry Monday, and this week's suggested theme is "kindness."

Don't forget to check out Diane's and Delores' blogs for their poems; and feel free to leave a poem of any kind on any topic in the comments section at their blogs or at mine, or on your own (in which case, please leave us a link to your blog in the comments).

Kindness is a wonderful theme, dear to my heart, and I thought I would have no problem coming up with an original piece of writing on the topic.

Hoo boy. I was so very, very wrong. I just couldn't seem to do justice to what I feel is the most important quality - bar none - in a person. My words felt inadequate and weak for such an important concept.

I felt like I had the vocabulary of a five-year-old, when I need the vocabulary of an ancient, wizened, wise person. I admit to being wizened, but one out of three wasn't enough.

I felt like anything I could say was inadequate and repetitious and shallow.

So I did what I generally do when I can't write my own poem; I go looking for what other people have written, using Google search.

I struck it lucky with the following poem. The author is the daughter of an American mother and a Palestinian father. You can read more about her HERE. In the video below the poem, the author explains how she came to write it, which helps to put the piece in context. Even before I heard her story, though, the rich imagery she used appealed to me.
  

Kindness
by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.



*****
Thanks for reading, my kind friends.

*****
Notes on the video, added August 1, 2017:
The author explains that she wrote the poem after she and her husband - one week into their honeymoon, travelling by bus in South America - were robbed of everything, and one person on that bus was murdered. She was understandably upset, but in the midst of those feelings, the poem came to her "from a female voice" and she wrote it down in pencil in a small notebook, one of the few things she had left. By the time she was finished, she had gathered herself enough to plan how to proceed with no money, passport or belongings. She also says that sometimes a person can write something they believe to be true, and grow into it - that we can write things that we may not understand fully but they can guide us in the future when we go back and read them again. Several times she stresses that she was only a conduit - "a secretary" for the poem - she felt it came to her from somewhere outside of herself.