Monday, 31 December 2018

Poetry Monday: Plans For The New Year

Hello hello hello! It's New Year's Eve AND Poetry Monday, and as we prepare to ring in a fresh new year, this week's topic is "our plans for 2019" . . .

Join Diane, Delores (I hope,) and me as we turn to a clean page in our poetry-writing books and talk about our hopes/dreams/wishes/plans for the upcoming trip around the sun.

If you'd like to write a poem too, you may leave it in the comments on any of our blogs, or post on your own blog; if you do the second, please let us know in the comments so we can come along and read and cheer you on. Use the topic, or another of your choosing.

It doesn't have to be a long poem, it doesn't have to rhyme, and it doesn't have to be filled with big words or big ideas. Experiment, make it "you," and have fun!

*****

"And For The Tenth Year In A Row, I Resolve To . . ."

This is the year I will lose fifty pounds
I'll eat all my veggies and not lie around
I'll re-find my waistline, wave Bye to one chin
In fifty-two weeks, oh THE SHAPE I'LL BE IN!

*****

Some of the reasons I need this resolution:





























*****

Thank you to everyone who commented last week. Luckily, my spot of sadness passed with the holiday, and I'm back to myself again. I appreciate the support and kind wishes, and hope you all had some good things in your holiday season.

See you next week. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

What are YOUR plans for 2019? Do you ponder and plan the year ahead or do you just dive right in and take it as it comes?



Update:  Poetry Monday will be on temporary hiatus for January as our fearless leader, Diane, takes a break.

I'll be posting at random for the month :)





Monday, 24 December 2018

Poetry Monday: That Time Of Year

Hello, everyone -- it's Poetry Monday, and the topic this week is "that time of year."

I'm going to take a pass this week, but if you feel up to the task you can join Diane (and possibly Delores) in writing a poem; and you can post it in the comments on any of our blogs, or on your own blog. If the latter, please leave a comment so we can find you and cheer you on. Use the topic or not; there are no poem police here :)

*****

I am not feeling all that Christmas-y this year. As the actual day approaches, I am getting more and more morose. I'm missing my father, who passed away a few years back. I'm missing my daughter and her family, who you might remember moved far, far away last month.

I'm hoping a few hours spent with most of the rest of my close family members and some pie will make me feel better tomorrow.

For today, I think I'll just leave you with a Walmart ad which made me all teary but at least it wasn't in a bad way. Even if it is just a clever marketing ploy on behalf of the richest company in the world, it's still sweet and heartwarming. I hope you like it as much as I did.




Wishing all you lovely people a peaceful holiday, no matter who or what you celebrate, or if you don't -- or don't want to -- celebrate at all.

A big Donkey hug to every one of you :)



Update:  Next week's topic is "plans for 2019"! . . .





Monday, 17 December 2018

Poetry Monday: Holiday Romance

It's Poetry Monday . . . and the topic this week is "holiday romance."

Join Diane and me (Delores is on temporary hiatus) as we take this topic out on a date. You can leave a poem in the comments on either of our blogs, or post on your own blog. If the latter, please leave a comment to let us know where to find you. Use the topic or not; just have fun.

*****

I may be in the minority here, but I've never had a holiday romance. So I felt a bit at sea when considering the topic.

Then I thought about romance in terms of "what," not "who," and a dim bulb finally brightened.

The thing I love to do that's connected with the holidays is to make Christmas tree ornaments. I don't know why, but making ornaments brings lightness to my heart and a sparkle to my eye. I get butterflies when I think about it. Truly I do. That may be weird, but it's how I'm wired.

A hundred points for anyone who noticed that "wired" is just "weird" with the letters rearranged.

So anyway, the last few years I've made a lot of Christmas ornaments to sell at craft sales, using stacks of buttons or thread spools. (I make other stuff, too, but that's a different topic.) You can read about them and see some pictures here, or you can take my word for it and just look at these pictures from last year:


Snowmen made from buttons. I also make Santas, Christmas trees and angels.




Thread spool ornaments . . . with buttons on top and bottom . . . and that's a hand-made tassel on the left one, people. Not so impressive when one realizes that everything was hand-made at one time, though. Why do we think machine-made is the pinnacle of beauty, I wonder?



This year I tried a couple of new things:

Little felt people,which may look familiar to Steve and his readers at Shadows & Light, modelled on an ornament given to me last Christmas, similar to the ones Steve found:


The first one off the home assembly line. A bit wonky. Kept for personal use, as is usual with my first drafts.





Angels with musical instruments:





Angels with music books:




Angels with flowers:






Angels with feather wings (my personal favourite); these are tiny, about two inches high:





And bundles of cinnamon sticks with dried orange peel stars, inspired by two things: the need to use up a bag of cinnamon sticks I inherited when our daughter moved away, and reading about crafting with orange peelings by Cherie at North Yorkshires Craft Guru -- thanks for the inspiration, Cherie!


They smell pretty good. You can't smell them? You're not close enough to the screen. Come closer. Closer . . .




Now, I'd like to report that these items were a huge hit with buyers at the several craft sales where I flog my wares and that I am now very rich because so many sold . . . but that would be lying. I sold very few of them, which was a disappointment. But I had fun making them, and I'm proud of the final product, and they will keep until next year's sale, where they will get marked down in price in order to move them along.

And I've found my new project for next year's sale: Gnomes!



One variation of many on the gnome theme. This is not my work, but I hope to replicate it. (photo: Pixabay)


Another hundred points for anyone who noticed I've managed to work a whole post about crafts into what was supposed to be a Poetry Monday post.

Thank you for your patience. To help make up for it, today's poem is another short one!


*****

Can I Interest You In Yet Another Glittery Gizmo??

Some folks would be on cloud nine if they could be on a beach with their feet in the sand
But I could die happy if I had buttons/ribbons/fabric/felt/beads and a glue gun in my hand


*****

Wishing you a week of romance or creativity -- or both!


Update:  As next Poetry Monday is Christmas Eve, the topic will be "that time of year" . . .







Monday, 10 December 2018

Poetry Monday: Decorating For The Holidays

It's Poetry Monday AGAIN ALREADY . . . and this week's topic is "decorating for the holidays."

Join Diane and me (Delores is on temporary hiatus) as we drag memories and dreams out of the closets and basements of our brains, rummage noisily through them, and create a thing of beauty from the whole dusty mess.

You are welcome to leave a poem (yours, or one you've read and liked) in the comments on either of our blogs, or on your own blog; if you do the second, please leave a comment so we can come along and applaud your creation. Use the topic or not; just have fun.

*****

I don't do a lot of decorating for the holidays, now that our kids are grown and we rarely have company. Therefore, this week's poem veered off the topic a wee bit. In fact, you might say it's more about un-decorating than decorating.

In the thirty-eight Christmases that have passed since my husband and I were married, we have always had at least one cat in the household. Most of them have been fairly well-mannered.

But there was one interesting Christmas that we had a too large tree and a too small tree stand and an athletic cat who tackled the tree three times . . .

. . . three times of hearing swooooooosh-crashhhhhh-tinkle-slosh as the tree fell over, another ornament smashed to bits, and the water in the stand escaped and ran over the floor . . .

That was the same Christmas I had a chest infection and wanted to lie on the couch twenty-three hours a day. And it was also the Christmas our kids were seven and ten, which I have found to be a very excitable age range when it comes to Christmassy things.

Ah, but if everything went as planned, how would we have any fun?

*****

Christmas With B.T.K.

That year is etched
In my mind's eye
The year the tree
Aspired to fly
Three times it fell
With wingless grace
As Big Tan Kitty
Trashed the place
Three times he tried
Its limbs to scale
Three times we saw
A major Fail
In spite of the
Resulting mess
His kitty swagger
Claimed Success



Big Tan Kitty, in later years. Slightly more sedate.



*****

How do you decorate for the holidays? Do you have to take pets into consideration?

Wishing you a good week, my people :)



Update:  Next week's topic is "holiday romance" . . .






Monday, 3 December 2018

Poetry Monday: Gifts

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is "gifts."

Join Diane and me (Delores is on hiatus for now) as we poetically wrap/unwrap our thoughts on this timely topic. You can leave a poem in the comments on either of our blogs, or post on your own blog. If you do the second, please leave a comment so we know where to find you.

*****

Around this time of year, it's not uncommon to come across a blog post about "the worst gift you've ever received" or something similar.

Well, what about gift-giving? What's the worst gift you have ever given, one that just bombed, for whatever reason?

I know what my answer would be. It was a seashell brooch I bought at a craft fair for someone who loved the beach and even used a beach theme in decorating her porch. It was always a challenge to find a gift for her, but I was SO SURE this brooch was a winner. The crafter had painted little gift boxes the blue of a tropical ocean, and had painted a beautiful backdrop for her display table in a similar blue. The actual brooch itself was peculiarly ugly, but set in its little blue box it looked nice, just like it would look on (or near) a beach. It wasn't even a complete shell, just a piece of broken shell. The crafter missed her calling; she was a marketing genius.

As soon as I got it home and looked at it again, I realized what I had done. Not only was it ugly, but I had never seen the intended recipient wear a brooch of any kind, even a pretty one.

By then, the money was spent, I had no more time to look for an alternative, and I basically gave up trying. I just wrapped it and gave it. My fears were realized when she unwrapped it and tried to find something nice to say. I still feel squirmy inside at the thought!

*****

Let's Just Laugh About It And I'll Make It Up To You Next Christmas


Did I buy the ugly brooch because
The maker marketed with flair?
Or was my good sense overwhelmed
By noisy chaos at the fair?
Perhaps I simply caved to thoughts
Of finishing my Christmas shop . . .
I'm sorry, friend; I really should
Be dragged out in the street and shot!


Can you see the shell on the right side that I have circled in blue? Imagine that with a brooch pin stuck on the back. Yes, it was that bad. Maybe worse. It was hard to find a Pixabay photo that showed an adequately unsuitable shell, because people mostly try to take pleasing photos. And there's nothing wrong with this shell in its proper setting. That setting, however, is the BEACH, not somebody's good blouse.

*****


Wishing you a lovely week, and if you are doing holiday shopping, I urge you to be smart about marketing ploys!

Me? I learned my lesson :)



Update:  Next week's topic is "holiday decorations" . . .






Monday, 26 November 2018

Poetry Monday: King Tut (It's a short poem today, I promise)

It's Poetry Monday! The topic this week is King Tut, highly relevant because November is the anniversary of the discovery of his tomb in 1922.

Join Diane and me (Delores is on hiatus for now) as we break the seal on our thoughts about this momentous event in history. If you would like to leave a poem on this or any topic, please feel free to post it in the comments on either of our blogs. Or if you prefer to post on your own blog, leave us a comment to let us know where to find you.

*****

As I suspect many of you did, I grew up with a general idea of who King Tut was. I can't remember where I first read or heard of his tomb and its dazzling treasures; it's one of those bits of information that I must have encountered in elementary school because it seems to have been in my brain for a long, long, looooooong time.

I decided to go back and re-read about the famous Boy King. If you would like a refresher, this link will take you to a Wikipedia entry. 

In reading about what is known of the young king's health in his short lifetime, I was struck by the suffering he must have endured. DNA studies and x-rays and other tests done on his mummified remains have provided evidence that he likely had some or all of the following: a cleft palate, mild scoliosis, congenital fusion of seven vertebrae in his neck, a deformed foot caused by the death of bone tissue, numerous episodes of malaria, and a compound fracture and infection in one leg.

These are serious health concerns even in today's world. Imagine what it must have been like in a time over 3,000 years ago, when there was no real help for these issues. King Tut died when he was only 18 or 19. There are numerous theories about the cause of his death, but his medical issues alone make one reflect on how fragile his health must have been.

However . . . as often seems to happen to me . . . what stayed in my brain most clearly, despite the serious matter of this young man's short life and early death, is one relatively mundane fact:  that his internal organs, like those of many other mummies, were found separate from the rest of his body. They had been removed and stored in jars (called canopic jars). Keeping the mooshy parts of the body apart from the body proper makes sense, I suppose, given the high moisture content in them, but it was one of those bits of information that seems to be now stuck in my head in a more easily accessible spot than I might have wished.

Aaaaaaand . . . that brings us to my poem. This week, a limerick!

*****

Of All The Things About Which I Could Have Excellent Recall, Why Oh Why . . .


King Tut was a very old mummy
His innards were not in his tummy
They'd been put in a jar
OMG, how bizarre
When I die, please don't take mine frummy
 

(Note: If you have a better last line for this crummy/yummy poem, please please please let me know, because the rhymes for mummy and tummy are few and far between. Thank you. Thank you very much.)


Always read the label. And if it's a question mark? Don't eat the contents.


 By the way, this is what King Tut's jars actually look like:


© Charlie Phillips - Canopic Jars of Tutankhamun (found at: https://www.ancient-egypt-online.com/king-tut.html) I believe copyright means I'm not supposed to use this photo here without permission, so if it disappears you'll know my blog has been discovered by an excellent photographer and I've been asked to take down his photo. Somehow I don't see that happening, but you never know. I just thought it was really interesting that "jar" doesn't always mean what I think of as a jar. These are beautiful.

P. S.  Yes indeed, it was a short poem. I didn't promise anything about the remainder of the post. Not short. Not short at all. Sorry about that. I have to try to do better in future.


*****

Wishing you a good week, people!

. . . Preferably a week filled with something other than trivia that will get stuck in your head and make you feel squeamish for days . . . . . . .


Update:  Next week's topic is "gifts" . . .


Monday, 19 November 2018

Poetry Monday: The Things We Build

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is "the things we build."

Join Diane and I (Delores is on hiatus for now) as we construct stuff using nails, glue, double-sided sticky tape, a deck of cards, staples, our imaginations, and/or spit. Or maybe . . . snow.

If you'd like to take part, you can leave your poem in the comments on either of our blogs, or if you prefer to post on your own blog, please leave a note in the comments to let us know where to find you.

Today my poem comes without a lot of preamble, but with a whole lot of poem. But I think once you get started it will roll along nicely.

I hope.

*****

How To Build A Snowman: A Guide For Grownups

First, get one or more kids.
Then, make it snow.
(Make sure it's sticky snow.)
(Preferably in a flat place.)
(Six inches of snow is just about perfect.)
(This is probably the hardest part of the whole thing.)
Then, dress kids in warm clothing.
Include mittens, please.
Snow is very cold.
Show kids how to pack the snow into a snowball,
Using their mittened hands.
Replace mittens on kids' hands
If they stick to the snow.
The mittens, not the kids' hands.
Then put the snowball on the snowy flat place
And push it around.
If you like to be orderly, roll in a straight line.
If you want to have fun, roll in all directions.
But not all at once.
Because that's kind of impossible.
Although it's fun to try.
Reminds me of a line from a Stephen Leacock story.
(Stephen Leacock was a funny Canadian author.)
(If you have time, read the whole story.)
(It's hilarious.)
Where was I? Oh yes.
The ball will grow quickly.
Stop when it gets too heavy to push.
Try to stop in a place where it can be seen
And admired.
While you have a rest,
Have kids make another ball of snow
Not quite as big as the first.
If time and snow permit,
Have kids make a third ball of snow
Not quite as big as the second.
Now it's your turn again, big person.
Put the medium snowball on the large snowball
And put the small snowball on the medium snowball.
I know it's complicated but you can do it.
Don't hurt your back.
Find some pieces of coal to make eyes, mouth and buttons.
Wait, people don't use coal at home anymore.
That might be tricky.
Maybe use little rocks instead.
Or twigs from a tree.
Or seed pods from the dead plants in your garden
Because all the plants will be dead
Because snow.
Where was I? Oh yes.
Or use something from your fridge
Like prunes or plum pits or peach pits.
Use your imagination.
Do I have to think of everything for you?
While you're rooting in the fridge
Find an old carrot that you don't want to eat.
A parsnip will work also.
Broccoli can be used in a pinch.
And if you ask me, it's a better use of broccoli
Than eating it.
Where was I? Oh yes.
Stick that in the snowman's head to make a nose.
If you have an old scarf and hat,
Please add those, too.
If you're feeling wild and crazy
Use a colander for a hat.
Snowmen don't get cold.
Well, they're cold to start with
But you know what I mean.
However, they like to be well-dressed.
Don't give your snowman a pipe, though.
Even though a pipe is classic snowman ornamentation,
Smoking is bad for them.
If you have enough time, and enough snow,
Build another snowman
Or a snowdog. Or a snow cat. Or a snow donkey.
Use your imagination.
But above all,
Make sure the kids have fun.
And loosen up and have fun yourself.
You big person with the kid inside.



Basic snowman for illustrative purposes.


Actual snowman in the wild.


This is what happens when the snow is too shallow. It's a snowgrassman. But fun in its own way.


Snowman with collander hat. Maybe it's a cooking pot. It's hard to tell.

Non-smoking celebratory snowman celebrates.

Littlest snowman ever. This is how you take your snowman indoors to take his picture. Put him in a foil tart pan. I love this little guy.

(Photos: Pixabay. Thanks, all you generous people who contribute free use of your awesome pictures for others to enjoy.)

 

Thanks for reading, my people. If you get the chance to make a snowman, embrace it. The chance, I mean. Heck, embrace the snowman, too. Act like a big kid. You'll be glad you did.

 

Update:  Next week's topic, as described in Diane's own words:

 "This day in 1922,

King Tut's room was brought to view!"

Well, now . . . that will be a bit of a challenge, at least for me!








Thursday, 15 November 2018

Poetry Monday on Thursday: Someplace Warm

So, it seems I owe Poetry Monday a poem . . .

The topic this week is "someplace warm" . . . Join Diane and I as we visit this subject at a time when our Canadian weather is heading for "someplace cold" . . . (Delores is on hiatus for the time being.)

Travel with us to your own warm place -- where would it be? Feel free to leave a poem in the comments on either of our blogs, or on  your own blog -- if you do that, please leave a note in the comments to let us know how to find you.

*****

Daughter and family are safely landed in their new city far, far, FAR away . . . and we had a good final visit with them before their departure. I have carefully filed away those good memories in a safe place in my head, right beside the storage spot for my name, so I'll be able to retrieve them easily. And now that the wrench of seeing them leave has come and gone, I am able to start looking ahead to the time when we will see them again.

Close to home, our weather is not just heading for someplace cold, the cold has arrived with snow and gale force winds. Just after Daughter and family flew out of Nova Scotia, we got walloped with an early snowstorm. Within twelve hours, the snow was gone again -- washed away by rain and a sudden rise in temperature. Within another twelve hours, the red line in our outdoor thermometer had dropped like a stone and the wind had come up. Result: -20C (-4F) with the wind chill factor, and it felt every degree that cold.

Boom -- winter! Boots, scarves, winter jackets and gloves -- all hauled out of the back of the closet and gratefully worn.

And along with all the winter clothing, I've got memories to keep me warm.

Read on.


*****

Warm Places

A southerly latitude would be warmer by far;
Or a day in mid-summer, whilst inside a closed car;
A fire in the stove would be cozy and roasty;
Wearing sweaters and socks would be nearly as toasty;

But the things that will keep me the warmest, somehow,
Are the memories I'm wrapping myself in right now.



Hot chocolate, and love.



 (Photo: Pixabay)


*****

 

Update:  Next week's theme is "the things we build" . . .

 

  

Monday, 12 November 2018

Poetry Monday . . . delayed this week

There will be a slight delay as Donkey waves forlornly at Daughter and family as they disappear into the wild blue yonder . . .

But here's a consolation poem:







Photo courtesy of icanhas.cheezburger.com


As Arnie in all his movie incarnations was fond of saying: "I'll be back . . ."





Monday, 5 November 2018

Poetry Monday: Common Sense

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is "common sense."

Join Diane and I as we try to make sense of common sense. (Delores is on hiatus for the time being.)

You can leave your poem in the comments on either of our blogs, or if you want to post it on your own blog, please leave us a comment so we can find you and cheer you on. Use the topic or not; the objective is just to exercise our brains and have fun.


*****

I had a whole long meandering post written about how I'm not really sure what common sense is, and whether you're born with it or if you can acquire it through actively seeking knowledge and experience, and how I've never, ever been accused of having it (which feels like it's probably a bad thing,) and how some things that come easily to me don't come easily to other people, and vice versa, and I wasn't really getting anywhere with the post except making myself so bored my eyes were rolling around in my head, and I figured in the interest of not driving everyone away I'd better get right to the poem.

So I did. Here it is. It's the same thing I just wrote except the lines are shorter and there is punctuation. I hope your eyes don't roll around in your head.

*****

Common Sense

What is common sense?
Is it something
We are born with?
Or do we acquire it
Through experience?
I am curious
Because I feel I lack it
And I've been trying
My entire adult life
To develop it.
Tell me.
Tell me what you think.





Is it something you're born with?




Or can you learn it?




*****

Thank you for reading. Apologies for a rather lacklustre poetry effort. My mind has been very occupied with our daughter's impending move to the USA. The leaving date is one week and one day away. I'm feeling pretty bleak as the date gets closer.



Wishing you a good week, my friends.



Update:  Next week's topic is . . . "someplace warm" . . .





Monday, 29 October 2018

Poetry Monday: Halloween

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is Halloween. Join Diane, Delores, and me as we knock on all the doors in our brains and yell "trick or treat!" and see what happens . . .

You can leave your Halloween treats poem in the comments on any of our doorsteps blogs, or post on your own blog, in which case please leave a hairy eyeball comment so we can find you and eat your brains cheer you on! I don't know how those extra words keep finding their way in, but trust me, you're about to be frightened out of your wits safe here with me! Mwahahaha . . .

* * * * *

Well, the craft sale is over, and I am mostly recovered. All four fingers on my left hand fell victim to hot glue, and I burned my arm brushing against a hot oven wall, but on the plus side I didn't burn a single one of the fifteen dozen oatcakes that I made to sell, so the whole "luck" thing balanced out. I spent almost everything I made on products from the other vendors (to give for Christmas and birthday gifts), so the whole "money" thing balanced out, too.

And then, just like that, it was Sunday night, and I had nary a line of poetry written.

But I had been thinking about it, in between hot gluing my fingers ornaments and baking my arm oatcakes.

And here's what I was thinking: after falling down the basement stairs last Halloween, that date is inextricably linked to the concept of "hurt" in my brain. When I think "Halloween," I think "pain." Isn't it strange how the mind works?

My back, which took a hard hit on the corner of a stair, took a couple of months to "come right" as they say, but I also hurt the last two fingers on my right hand, and they are almost back to normal one year later.

How did I hurt my fingers by falling on my back? I was letting our cat up from the basement, and going down the stairs to get her food and water, incidentally also carrying a small fake pumpkin to put into storage for another year. This was the pumpkin . . .

Has a mean look to it, doesn't it?

 . . . and because it was awkward to hold, I had my index and middle fingers through the eye holes. When I fell, I must have whacked the pumpkin (and my hand) against the stairs, too, although I didn't feel it at first because my back hurt like crazy. I'm assuming that hurt cancelled out the other hurt.

I'm also assuming the pumpkin put a spell on me to make my fingers take so long to get better, as payback for sticking my fingers in its eye holes, and also for cracking it in half when I fell. I used my trusty glue gun to fix it after about eight months, because I was tired of seeing it on the kitchen counter and being reminded of my Halloween trip (haha, pun intended), but the damage to me and the damage to Mr. Pumpkin clearly balanced out, just like the crafting burns and the oatcakes and the money in and money out at the craft sale.

Anyhow, I actually went for an x-ray at about the six month mark, because it was still hard to write and carry things, there was still pain and limited flexibility in those fingers, and I wanted to know if there was any damage to the bones before I went for physio. It took so long to get the x-ray taken and then get the results back that my fingers had improved some more by then and so I said to heck with physio and just kept using my fingers as best I could for housework and so on. Home style physio, if you will.

So . . . that's the long preamble over with; here's the poem.

* * * * *

Pumpkin's Revenge

Halloween was finally over for another year.
Pumpkin Head had done his best to fill the kids with fear.
Donkey headed down the stairs to store him in a trunk,
Fingers in his eyes -- and then she landed with a thunk.

Mr. Pumpkin split in half, and thought that he would die.
He said, "My life is over, and I've never made a pie!" (haha, another dreadful pun)
His pride had suffered, too, from being carried by his eyes;
"That's no way to treat a friend!" he thought -- a silent cry.

He listened to the Donkey's moans, and grinned a bit in spite.
"I guess she's hurting too," he said. "It serves her bloody right!
"She thinks it's just her back that hurts but I've a clever plan:
"I'll put a hex upon the frailest fingers on her hand!"

And sure enough, within the day, how Donkey's misery grew.
Her fingers pained and swelled and then they turned all black and blue.
A year went by and it was nearly Halloween  again --
A year with Pumpkin's awful curse: The Double-Finger-Sprain.

We shouldn't judge the Pumpkin for his lack of empathy --
His head is filled with empty air; his eyes, they cannot see.
But you can bet the Donkey will be handling him with care,
Not poking fingers through his eyes when taking him downstairs!

*****

Have a Happy Halloween! Please don't take any unexpected trips!

. . . And be careful with your decorations . . .  😈

 

Update:  Next week's topic is . . . common sense . . .




Monday, 22 October 2018

Poetry Monday: The Grandma/Grandpa Club

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is The Grandma (or Grandpa) Club.

Diane, Delores and I are all Grandmas, but if you're a Grandpa -- or if you're neither -- you can still join us in crafting a poem. Leave your offerings in the comments of any of our blogs, or if you post on your own blog, please leave a comment telling us how to find you. The point of this challenge is to exercise our brains and have fun.

*****

I've been a grandma for a bit less than four years. We have two grandsons, who live within driving distance, but only just close enough for a day trip. With two cats requiring a lot of care at home, our trips are all day trips.

Something is about to change, though. In a big way -- and not in a good way.

In less than one month, our daughter and her husband, with our two little grandsons in tow, are moving very, very far away; on the opposite side of our continent and out of our country. They are moving so our son-in-law can take a new job. The current plan is to work "away" for five years and then move back to Nova Scotia.

As you might imagine, I am pretty sad about the moving away part. I am sad for our daughter, who would rather live in NS (although she has come a long way in accepting and even starting to be excited about some aspects of the move). I am sad for me, and for my husband, and for our moms, who are both elderly. A lot can happen in five years. And a return to our province is not guaranteed.

But.

It can't be changed, so it must be endured.

And, in some ways, even embraced.

I am happy for them that they have this opportunity -- to earn, to travel, to have new experiences and to meet new people.

I am also very grateful for the internet -- email and videoconferencing, especially. We aren't the first grandparents who will keep in touch in those ways, and we won't be the last. Many, many young families from our province have moved west (mostly to Alberta) for work, and if you're out of easy driving range, it doesn't matter if your loved ones are in Alberta or on the west coast of the USA, as ours will be. Face to face visits will be few and far between, and if we want our grandchildren to recognize us when we see them in person, Skype (video) is a great help.

(And I am a terrible traveller, so Skype is good in another way -- no worries about food issues, bathroom issues, sleep issues, motion sickness, or finding a cat-sitter!)

Anyway, all of that is the background for my poem today. It's another short and simple haiku, because I keep getting emotional and can't see the screen for the tears.

*****

Two Little Boys

Such tiny humans
To have so captivated
Your families' hearts


The Donkey's grandsons. In real life they are not donkeys, of course. But the Awww factor is the same.

*****

Before I go mop up my face, may I just wish you a good week, my friends -- one where, if necessary, you endure and even embrace change, as hard as that may be.



Update:  Next week's topic is (unsurprisingly!) . . . HALLOWEEN-N-N-N-N . . . Mwahahahaha  😈





Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Poetry Monday on Tuesday: Doors

It's Poetry Monday, a day late, but all the better for marinating an extra day (she said hopefully), and this week's topic is "doors" . . . join Diane, Delores, and me as we fling open all the doors in our brains to see what drops out.

If you'd like to write along with us, feel free to leave your poem in a comment on any of our blogs. If you'd prefer to post on your own blog, please leave a comment to let us know where to find you, so we can come along and cheer you on. Use the topic, or write about something else -- it's up to you. The object is to work our brains and have fun!

*****

The topic of "doors" brings to mind my reliance on those hinged wonders to keep my warring cats separate and safe. About a year ago, my husband installed French doors throughout our living/dining area so that we can close off one or two rooms at a time.  I like this arrangement better than putting one cat in the basement while the other one is with us. I think they like it better, too. They can see us even if they can't be with us every minute.

The other side of this is that they can see each other.

Here is a picture of Lulu, our warrior cat, looking through the little windows, trying to see Missy, our lame cat.





I don't know if she is thinking that she'd like to make a meal of Missy, or if she's afraid Missy is ready to come after her, but she likes to keep an eye on things all the time. It's a good thing the windows go all the way to the bottom of the door. Otherwise we'd have to install a set of stairs and a viewing platform. Oh, Lulu. I know what it's like to be short. Maybe I need to write a post about that. 😜


Anyway, today's poem is written from Lulu's point of view.


*****

Haiku For Doors

Doors. They keep me out.
Or maybe they keep me in.
Either way, I'm safe. And bored.


(Yes, there are too many syllables in that last line. Not all cats know the rules about haiku. Or maybe they do, but -- as usual -- they don't care.)


*****

October is always busier than normal for me. It starts with Thanksgiving, morphs into two weeks of deadlines at work, and ends up with a double bang -- my annual craft show and Hallowe'en. The craft show is the thing I am least prepared for. So I'm busy sewing and stuffing and gluing and sequining and burning/stabbing my fingers -- trying to do in one month what I should have been doing all year. Procrastination strikes again. 😬

The upside? Short poems!! Enjoy it while it lasts! 😝

And I've just discovered the Blogger emojis, if you hadn't already noticed. 😵

Feel free to leave me your thoughts on doors. Or even The Doors. Speaking of which, here's Light My Fire to take you waaaaaay back:







Now I shall go light a fire under myself and get some more crafting done. Wishing you a good week, people!


Update:  Next week's topic is . . . "The Grandma Club" . . . (or "The Grandpa Club" if appropriate)





Monday, 15 October 2018

Poetry Monday . . . Delayed by a day at the Donkey blog

Poetry Monday at Procrastinating Donkey will be held on Tuesday for this week only.

Check out Diane and Delores for their take on "doors," the topic for this week's poetry challenge.

Sorry for the delay, and see you tomorrow!

Here's a lolcat to tide you over until then:


I hear you, kitty. Let's have a nap, okay?

Photo credit: icanhas.cheezburger.com

Monday, 8 October 2018

Poetry Monday: Giving Thanks

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is "giving thanks" -- which is no accident, really, because today is Thanksgiving in Canada, and all three of our hosting bloggers are Canadians. That would be Diane, Delores, and me!

You can join us: use the topic or write on anything else you like. You can post in the comments on any of our blogs, or if you'd prefer to post on your own blog, leave a comment to let us know where to find you. It's easy, it's fun, it's calorie-free, it's good for your brain. How many things can do all that?

*****

While it's entirely appropriate that we should be writing about giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day, it is also true that I had an unusually busy week and then we had company on Sunday and then it was sometime late Sunday evening when it occurred to me that I hadn't yet written my poem. Eeeek!

This will be one of the shortest poems ever to come from long-winded me: three lines of fifteen syllables each.

*****

I Give Thanks

Of all the things in the world for which thanks I could be giving
Simply I am grateful to be in the land of the living
Because relentlessly the march of time is unforgiving



The river doubles the Autumn colours as time marches on.



What is one thing you are thankful for today, my people?

(Please don't say "short poems" ha ha)



Update:  Next week's topic is "doors" . . . interesting! Thank you, Diane, for your bottomless supply of ideas!




Monday, 1 October 2018

Poetry Monday: Harvest

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is "harvest."

Join Diane, Delores and me as we gather words from our thought gardens and preserve them in our verse.

If you'd like, feel free to leave a poem in the comments on any of our blogs, or if you prefer to post on your blog, leave us a comment so we can find you and cheer you on. Use the topic, or not. Have fun!

*****

The equinox has passed, and here in Nova Scotia we are officially in Fall/Autumn. The summer heat I was whining about recently has suddenly left us -- probably in a huff at not being appreciated -- and has been replaced by moderate days and some very cold nights, including one that dipped below freezing and left frost in its wake.

In my little corner of the world, I've been doing seasonal jobs like cleaning the cat hair out of the electric baseboard heaters, which I thought were already cleaned out until I turned one on and smelled the singed fur. I've started wearing socks again so I can continue to enjoy having feeling in the parts of my legs below my knees. A few trees here and there have started to turn red and yellow, Thanksgiving (in Canada) is one week away, and the Halloween costumes and decorations are crowding out the rest of the wares in our thrift stores and dollar stores.

These are the signs of the harvest season to me. We are not a farming family, we don't even live in a farming community, and I don't preserve fruits or vegetables. And because I have GI issues, my diet is fairly restricted, so I don't get to enjoy many seasonal fruits or berries. In its traditional sense, harvest time doesn't register very high on the Aware-O-Meter with me.

So what's an amateur poet to do with the topic this week?

Why, go off on another tangent, of course.

One harvest I have enjoyed the past few Autumns is gathering used books at the annual book sale in our town. The prices can't be beat, and although most books are a few years old, there are many I haven't read, and I choose mostly fiction, which tends to age well.

This year I wasn't able to visit the sale as often as usual, but I did end up with thirty-six books, all priced at either $1 or $2, and managed to donate six grocery sacks of books from previous years back to the sale. A moderate success on both fronts!

So today's poem is going to be about harvesting books -- how I choose from the vast array at the sale when the tables and tables of books tend to be overwhelming.

You will probably notice how this poem is very prose-y in style. I do feel like I'm cheating somehow, but, wow, I'm so tired of trying to find good meter and rhyme after the last few poems. I'm taking a break :)

*****

Harvesting Books


Preparation begins at home.
I keep a running list of authors I enjoy
And the books they've written that I have already read.
I keep another list of books I've heard about
And have been too cheap frugal smart cheap to buy at full price.

With my list and cash in hand,
I bravely enter the sales venue.
(A curling rink in winter;
Cavernous, concrete, and cool
In fall, even with the ice out).

I wear comfortable clothes
And extra-comfortable footwear
And leave the handbag at home.
Buying at the used book sale
Is not for sissies
Or the fashion-conscious.

The books are four rows deep
On both sides of long, long, long tables;
Alphabetized (thank goodness).

I ignore the weird smell in the building --
A faint odour of manure or outhouses:
Why?
I have no idea
Nor do I wish to know
Because I might not return --
And I need my books
Like a fish needs water
Like a bird needs airspace
Like a dog needs a bone
Like a cat needs naps
Like . . .
Okay, okay. You get it. I got it.

I look methodically at the spines . . .
How to choose, if I don't know the author?

It mostly comes down to the title.
(Any with 'vampire', 'knights', or 'murder'
Are passed over without another glance.)
A good title pulls me in like the smell of cookies baking.

Next, a quick read of the jacket
To get a sense of the story.

Finally, reading a paragraph or two within,
To judge the quality of writing.

Keep or reject.

Repeat until:
(1) feet get sore
(2) back gets sore
(3) time runs out
(4) money runs out

That's it.
That's my method.
What's yours?


Lulu, pretending to be a stack of books among the other stacks of books, and failing. The ears give her away every time. Points for trying, though.


*****

Today's question is the last line of the poem, but you already knew that, didn't you?

To recap, how do you choose books (used or new)?

And more questions:
If you're not a book lover, how do you choose your weakness purchases, be it clothing, music, restaurants to try, etc.? Do you keep a list of what you'd like to have or try? Do you impulse buy? Do you ask for recommendations? Do you ever end up with duplicates? So many questions. Such a nosy Donkey! (These are just suggestions! Pick one or none!)



Update:  Next week's topic is "Thanksgiving", or, in lower case but just as important, "giving thanks" :)









  

Monday, 24 September 2018

Poetry Monday: Games

It's Poetry Monday, and today's topic is "games we liked to play."

Join Diane, Delore and me as we play "the poetry game" and reminisce about other games we have enjoyed. If you'd like, you can leave a poem in the comments, or, if you prefer to post on your own blog, please let us know in the comments so we can come along and cheer you on. You can use the topic, or veer off course, as I ended up doing today. The object is to write and to have fun.

*****

When I was a kid we didn't have computers or video games. I had a wind-up doll with a music box inside, but that was as advanced as toys got at that time. I'm sure there are a few of you who can relate to that quieter time in life.

And so we had to occupy ourselves in other ways. Among those ways were indoor games.

I liked board games all right, but I rarely had anyone to play with except my only sibling. My brother was four years my senior, but not old enough to have a particle of empathy or sympathy or any other mpathy for his little sister. His favourite game was Monopoly, he was always the Banker, and I always lost. I might still have Monopoly Resentment. (Blogging as therapy! Boo yah!)

We also played a lot of card games. In those I had a much better chance to win. Go Fish depended mostly on luck, as did Crazy Eights, and even Solitaire. (So why did my brother still beat me most of the time?)

Then one summer a cousin introduced us to the card game Cheat. The objective of this game is to be the first to get rid of all your cards, which usually requires you to cheat blatantly and get away with it.

The rules, as I remember them, were: cards were dealt face down equally to all players until the deck was gone; players took turns placing cards from their hand face down on the table; the first person said/played aces, the next player said/played twos, the next, threes, etc.; if you didn't have the card you needed you had to cheat (use a different card); if you wanted to get rid of cards quickly, you needed to cheat (play cards that weren't what you said they were). Other players could call "cheat" if they suspected  cheating was going on. If they called it right, the player who cheated had to pick up all the cards on the table. If they called it wrong, the player who incorrectly called "cheat" had to pick them all up.

Amazingly, I was very good at this game. Maybe I had a poker face, or an innocent face, or maybe my brother was exceptionally bad at reading faces. I don't know. But being able to win often at this game made me feel very good indeed.

Never mind that it meant I was good at cheating, something I knew was bad and unfair the rest of the time. It was heady fun to have a game where the forbidden was not only allowed, it was encouraged.

I've pretty well explained in prose about the game I liked to play, so for my poem this week I'm heading off on a tangent inspired by my memories, to talk about growing up with an older sibling. (One explanation: our parents both worked, thus the reference to the sitter. It was somewhat uncommon for the 1950's and early 1960's, at least in our community.)


* * * * *

Dear Brother

Oh Brother of mine - who'll always be
The oldest and best and ahead of me -
You were first to the sitter and first to school;
First to have teachers and first to have rules;
First to be tapped to do chores in our home;
First to find work and have cash of your own;
First with a license to drive, and a car;
First to move out and first to move far;
First to get married and first to have kids -
Blazing the trail for your younger sib.
The four years between us so often seemed more.
The things that I liked, you had aged to abhor.
I was too young for you, you were too old for me.
At times we did nothing but fight constantly.

But now we are older and do not compete;
We've both had our share of life's joys and defeats.
We do not live close to each other, it's true,
And emails and telephone calls are too few.
But I know I can count on you having my back,
And sharing the load when life's on the attack.
Our outlooks and interests still seem far apart,
And yet we've found ways to be closer in heart.
So here's to my big bro, a friend like no other,
The one person on earth to share my dad and mother.




Looks innocent enough, doesn't he?



*****

What games did you play when you were young?


Update:  Next week's topic is "harvest" . . .