Sunday, December 30, 2007

Will They Make the Top 100?

These ten photos in this collage represent my picks for submission to Multnomah County Educational School District's "Photo of the Year" Contest. Last year this one made the top 100:

Mackey's Dahlia 2006
I will know on Sunday if any made this year's list.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry "Cough" "Ah-choo" New Years

fever, spasm, cough
week in bed, holiday fun
germs-go away now
This has been the state of affairs at my house since last Saturday. I left school on Friday, thinking, "must be all the sugar that was lurking in the school", eat light and retired to bed. Got up early on Saturday morning (5:30 AM) to finish the cards, and go out shopping EARLY before everyone else was out and about. Towards the end of shopping, I realized that my cough was more than allergies.
Came home took a nap and awoke with a fever. Left daughter and son-in-law to scramble for a last minute baby-sitter. Sunday on the couch all day. Monday, a doctor's appointment only to confirm I had a viral infection (and 9 coming for Christmas Eve dinner , an 18 pound turkey in the oven).
mom's kitchen stay out
clean-up following dinner?
you bet, thanks, let go
For the first time in many years, my china was washed not by me. I let go of the quality of wrapped presents and gave IOU's for gifts, I had planned to make. And now, I think I may be on the mend of this stupid infection which just has to run its course.
I hope you all had a great holiday. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

One Deep Breath: Yummy

I admit, I am a week behind. The idea was there but did not get to it until yesterday.

aunt lizze's shortbread
butter, powdered sugar flour
new year good luck food
chocolate, condensed
milk, nuts melded together
fudgy goodness
ginger biscotti
tricky recipe-think!
mac's ginger bars

I made the biscotti once. It does not cooperate so I call them "Mac' s Ginger Bars"

There is a new prompt at One Deep Breath but you can still read the others from last week. Head on over.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

One Deep Breath: Container

sparkly containers
homemade presents wrapped to go
joyful evening

Oh, how I love this prompt and thank you One Deep Breath for sharing it again! This week was busy but fun. On Thursday, I attended a gathering for the third in which you arrive with six gifts and leave with six gifts. The idea is to receive items that might be used for the holidays or give to friends, co-workers, or even to indulge yourself.
We eat, socialize, and then settle into a rounds of gift getting. I bring photographic cards each year to give. Many bake delectable treats.

Please visit One Deep Breath for more.

Monday, November 26, 2007

One Deep Breath: Adventure

Quiet Paths suggested "adventure" as the theme.
mr. squirrel thumps tail
eats sunflower seeds, dogs bark
glass wall separates
two granddaughters play
princess dresses make believe
adventure magic
frost whiskers on leaves
sun peeks out above mountain ridge
wind sings morning song
For more, please visit, One Deep Breath.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

One Deep Breath: Belonging

Squash, Milwaukie Famer's Market
October, 2007

"Belonging", the prompt at One Deep Breath fits the theme of this year's Thanksgiving card.

bountiful autumn
family, food, friends, blessings
love surrounds, give thanks
More on Belonging:
dark envelopes me
fire flickers, sparks pop ignite
quiet soul song heard
words, laughter, chatter
family gathers around
mirror reflects joy
For more, please visit One Deep Breath. Thank you to Glad who proposed this prompt.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Robert's Snow: An Auction to Raise Money for Cancer Research

"Let It Snow" by Annette Simon

For week's there have been many bloggers from the children's lit world (kidlitosphere) bringing awareness to a snowflake auction. This money is for cancer research. I am featuring five artists on my library blog, "Check It Out". Today's artist is Annette Simon.

Beach, sand instead of snow, growing up in Ohio without an ocean nearby and now living in Ponte Vedra , FL; those thoughts all figured into Annette Simon’s snowflake, “Let it Snow”. Her snowflake will be in the first auction, November 19-23 at Robert’s Snow.

Annette says, “The beach is a great place to make up stories about what you can see (or not).” Then look at her snowflake closely. “Do you see “that faraway boat”, the “tiny triangle”? She imagines it’s hosting a party; “on my snowflake’s boat, kids are dancing. Trust me.”

Why did she use simple shapes? Annette says that she could say it was for “purely aesthetic/design reasons or for lack of time due to the antics of a teenage son. Either sound suspicious. Both are true.”

However, the snowflake sparked a new idea for a book involving all kinds of ocean things. Annette told me she is dancing with the starfish these days and went on to say, “if the snowflake sells at all, I will consider it a success. I am truly humbled to be in the company of these artists.” It will sell I am sure.

Some random questions for my snowflake artist:

What is on your nightstand?
On my nightstand: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (embarrassed to say I've not yet read); March by Geraldine Brooks (haunting), Talk Talk by E.L. Konigsburg (she's from Ponte Vedra), Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, illustrated by Sara Fanelli, and Artist to Artist by the folks at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
Chocolate: Dark, milk, or white?
Mmmm. Dark chocolate. Dark. Dark. Dark.
Favorite childhood book?
From The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (and yes, I acted like a blithering idiot the first time I met her), E.B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan, my aunt's Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew collections. Oh, and the first book I ever truly read on my own: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. (Love love Dr. Seuss.)
Some childhood book-related trivia: My mom's maiden name is Carroll. Though we all know, Lewis Carroll was not the real name of the author of Alice in Wonderland, it was not my fault that all my elementary school friends thought we were related. Nope. Not one bit.
More trivia: In third grade, I won a poster contest for Fire Prevention Week. It was the first time I was paid for my words and artwork (five whole dollars that I promptly spent on colored pencils and chocolate), and my poster was displayed at the town's new firehouse (Grand Opening). I felt like a celebrity.
Whom would you like to meet?
George Clooney and I share the exact same birthday. And of course, one day I would like to tell him in person.
If you were not an artist, what occupation would you choose?
I can't imagine not doing art in some form. For a while, I dreamed of leaving advertising to be an art teacher. However, I've realized I simply do not have the kind of patience good teachers must have. (I bow down to teachers. No kidding.)

Annette Simon has recently made her foray into the kidlitosphere world. Her opening comment to me was, “Don't you just love the kidlitosphere?” Her book, Mocking Birdies, was a finalist for The Writers' League of Texas Teddy Awards, a pick for the American Institute of Graphic Arts' 50 Books/50 covers exhibit, and named a Best Book for Children by the Association of Booksellers for Children.

Leave a comment. Your name will be in a drawing for a copy of her book. Annette graciously donated a book to my library and a book for the drawing. I told her to let me pay for it and she said,” no way.” Therefore, I will bid on her snowflake instead. It reminds me of California winters as a child. I will draw the winner on November 19.
Please visit the other illustrators today and get ready to start bidding on these wonderful treasures of original art while helping to raise money for cancer research.

One Deep Breath: Loneliness

It is Friday. I have haiku to contribute. It has been a good week. "Loneliness" is the prompt for the week thanks to Patois.

misty fog threads city
a leaf tumbles, floats from branch
I peer from window

nose pressed on window
rain drop drips against cold pane
waits, anticipates

packages unwrapped
tree lights blink, cast shadows
unseen emotions

Please visit One Deep Breath for more.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

One Deep Breath: Change

I see a small group of students for lunch on Thursdays. We write poetry. I often use the prompts by One Deep Breath for the group as appropriate. Lots of times I write as well. Wrote this but missed the posting deadline.

scrunch, crunch, scuffle, kick
burnt sienna leaf carpet
spring recycled here

For more, visit One Deep Breath. My goal is to get posted before the comments close this week.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mrs. Halloween: You Have to Have Fun

Yesterday was Halloween. My husband and I joined our daughters and their families to take the grand babies trick or treating. It is what grandparents do, right? It morphed into the grandparents (that would be me and my husband) dressing up.

The morning started out normal. I left for school in black,white, and orange striped socks (I LOVE striped socks), a black skirt, burnt sienna top and black vest. I adorned the creepy spider postage stamp pin on the vest (more on that, later). As I was passing through the garage, I remembered a crazy hat so I grabbed it. This was about as close to dressing up as I could get without, blatantly shouting, "I have fun on Halloween even though others hate the holiday."

These days at school it is business as normal (well, in some rooms it is like that and others rooms? Let's say they have a lot of fun) We have a large part of our school population that does not acknowledge Halloween. Now there are some who don't even want their children participating in anything related to harvest activities. My second graders notices the creepy spider pin and thought it was great. Mostly the boys, the girls, not so much.

But I digress. So through out the day, the idea grew: create a little costume myself. A black wig for under the hat, dark eye make-up. I headed to the local store after school. That was a last minute mad house. And found not just a wig but a hat with a spider web and green hair! Plus besides the black lipstick, I found "tattoo sleeves" for my husband!

My three year old granddaughter referred to me as "Mrs. Halloween" after the initial fright wore off. Too funny. Her uncle (dad of our other grandchild) showed up as "Pooh".

We all started off and what a blast. The neighborhood we visited was packed with families. A cold, crisp night with crunchy leaves beneath brought back memories of when my parents took me around. Could it be a new tradition has begun?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Disclaimer about Sporatic Blog Entries

My blog entries have been sporadic of late. I am the kind of person who wants to do it all: One Deep Breath and Sunday Scribblings as well as the two new writing prompt sites: Writers' Island, and Totally Optional Prompts. I have not contributed to them even though I my intentions have been good. (And we all know where the path of good intentions leads).

I am focused right now on a different writing project. It's writing for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Very reflective yet technical writing. The volume and intensity of this focus is revving up. There is a deadline: March. Everything needs to be done by March. Then I get to take an on-line test. WooHoo.

So for now, I am putting the two new prompt sites on the back burner. I give myself permission to miss prompts from ODB and SS as needed. I may read your blog but not comment. Now I must get back to working on the NBPTS.

Sunday Scribbles: Hospital

"Hospital" is this week's prompt. Oooh, it hit a nerve deep within me. I had a previous life. A life which died close to twenty years ago.

invisible girl
stitches removed, fifteen all
black eye tells the tale

I am blessed and surrounded by love these days. For more on hospitals, click here.

One Deep Breath: Closeness

This week, One Deep Breath asks that we consider the idea of closeness.

daughters by marriage
love DNA connects us
close family ties

diagonal mountains
divide red rivers west, east

See how others wrote about closeness here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

One Deep Breath: Balance

The prompt for last week was "balance". Boy, oh, boy, did I need that prompt.

breathe inhale balance
rocks teeter totter on edge
balance exhale breath

clothing piles here, ther
recycle bags, declutter
balance returns home

mind races top speed
clear, declutter thinking
sanity returns

For more on balance, visit One Deep Breath.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

One Deep Breath: Simple Pleasures

One Deep Breath asks us about our simple pleasures this week. It is a gorgeous fall weekend and I am working in the garden today.

Simple Pleasures

steaming cuppa joe
sunlight peeking through branches
early Sunday morn

thick novel in lap
easy faraway transport
birdsong returns home

moist chocolate earth
holes dug, worms start wiggle dance
moving day for plants

What are your simple pleasures? For more, visit here.

Here I Am and a Conference

I did not mean for three weeks to pass without contributing to this blog. I wish I could say that I have been on vacation somewhere exotic. But I have been here, busy with school and working on Entry Four (National Boards), and a conference.

My husband and I took a red eye to Chicago for the First Annual Kidlitosphere Conference (for authors, book industry, bloggers who love children's literature, elementary, middle, and young adult). We explored Chicago. Went to the Field Museum, saw the Darwin exhibit and Sue, the T-Rex. Then the heat, humidity, and traveling overnight caught up to us and we returned to our hotel. After a brief nap, we joined a group of twenty for some great Chicago pizza.

Saturday was a dizzying day. Our group grew to sixty. We spend our time together talking about blogging for children's books, the CYBILS award (I am one of the judges for the poetry nominations). I learned about pod casting, promoting my library blog, and ways to improve book reviews. It had to be one of the best conferences I ever attended.

It was also an opportunity to meet some great children's authors. Esme Raj Codell hosted a "Meet the Authors" time in the afternoon. Local author and illustrators were there as well as the ones attending the conference. You should check out some of these authors:

Sara Lewis Holmes

Robin Brande

Esme Raji Codell

Ellen Klages

PJ Haarsma

Amy Timberlake

Laini Taylor

Jim Di Bartolo

If you love children and young adult books then head to Jacketflap. It is a fabulous web resource to get the latest information.

We had a grand finale dinner. The location of the next conference was announced: Seattle. For some unknown reason, my hand shot up and these words came out of my mouth," If you have it in Portland, I will organize it."

So the conference will be in Portland next year. Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo volunteered to assist. Meanwhile, my husband is thinking of all the sites in Portland that participants should visit.

Sunday, the day of the Chicago marathon, we were up at 4:30 AM to catch an early morning flight. It was a whirlwind weekend. I should have taken Monday as a sick day as I spent the week trying to catch up.

I will try not to let three weeks go by without writing on this blog. I didn't mean to not write. Most of my writing has been very technical of late.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Hi, My Name is...

I missed the prompt for Sunday Scribblings due to recovering from food poisoning. Found this idea at Jane Poe--Nevermore: a middle name meme

The object of the middle name game is to list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use the name you would have liked to have had!)
When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your middle name game facts.
At the end of your blog post choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

My middle name is Rush. It is a family name that has been passed down from my father's side. My grandmother and aunt have Rush in their names. My nieces all have Rush in their names.

R Reader. I love to read. I love reading aloud which lead me to being a teacher librarian.
U "U Can Do". I usually have the "U Can Do" attitude.
S Solitude. I like solidute and time to reflect.
H Hope. Most days, I am filled with hope.

I won't tag anyone but if you woukl like to play, join in. Visit Sunday Scribblings for more name posts.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One Deep Breath: Recipe

graham squares, chocolate
toast marshmallow on flames
gooey, sticky treat

Are you hungry? Read more at One Deep Breath

After School Haiku

We have a garden in the front of our school. It is in memory of a student who died tragically when he was in second grade. I walk through the garden almot every afternoon when I leave school.
Yesterday, grasshoppers were hopping around my feet. This came to mind as I drove home.

summer's last dance

hop hop - grashopper hop

zig zag garden dance floor

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One Deep Breath: Simplicity

This a better late than never. I have been thinking on this prompt and had a haiku forming all week. But the time to write on my blog, well that's another story.

red, ripe juiciness
sweet package seeds drip down chin
simple garden treat

jack frost's brush drips
red-first leaf painted
fall invitation

For more on simplicity, visit One Deep Breath.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Writing

My Writing Space

This is my space. It is located in the creativity part of the house according to feng shui principles. It is where I come to write, bead, and scrapbook.
The kachinas are from my father. He loved the southwest culture as I do. They are like angels to me. And there is one of Laini’s Ladies. I love the quote on her by James Michner: “I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”

I have attempted a consistent writing practice this past year. Prompts from Sunday Scribblings, One Deep Breath, and sadly, the now defunct Poetry Thursday ( I can't believe it is really gone)have been inspiring. There is something magical about this community of bloggers. This is what I love about technology, it has made our world smaller.

My alarm rings at 5 A.M. I roll out of bed (some days, I hit the snooze). I let the dogs and the cat out. I grab coffee, walk to into my writing space. I like the transition of this time. I must turn on the overhead light in the morning. Just weeks ago, I could work by the natural light and the light from the computer. I love this quiet space to explore through writing. I am developing a practice of morning pages.

morning writing time
benefactors look down
fledgling writer
The other piece about writing I love is re-reading my journals and old letters. My aunt has made it a practice to send me letters I wrote her as an adult. And I have letters from friends during college years. I wish I had the letters wrote as a child and teen. I wrote pages and pages to friends and a penpal.
For more on writing, visit here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Poetry Post Card Exchange

A postcard of an e.e. cummings' poem, wonderful!

And an original poem from Jan on the back.
I love the last line about her son being bigger that the imagination can hold.
January over at Poetry Mom extended an invite to send a postcard with a poem. She would send one in return. So I sent mine and this past week, hers arrived. What a joy to get.

It makes me think I may try this with my poetry club this year. If you would like to do a poetry postcard exchange, let me know.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

One Deep Breath: Grandparents

joyous grandparents
day at beach-pizza time
mischief makers all
For my own grandmother...
grandmother mentor
playful infectious laughter
still hear her, gone so long
For more grandparent haiku, visit One Deep Breath.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poetry Thursday: An Open Window

an open window
moon glow spills silver in
summer living room
pull you close
my night spoon
rise and fall of breath
lulls me asleep
my dreams
dance through
an open window

What do they say one door closes and another opens? This is the last week for Poetry Thursday. Liz and Dana have done a fabulous job. They say another poetry place is coming. I hope so. It has been such a joy to write weekly and be connected with writers.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Create a Connection: "Northwest... Take Me Away"

I have been participating in the monthly swap over at Create a Connection. Always a fun time. This month was about where in the world you would like to go. Two places stand out: Scotland and Italy. My swap partner took it from there. I received this in the mail on Saturday:

What a delight to get. I have always wanted that cd and have always put off buying it. So perfect. Then the two magazines about Scotland? Didn't realize they existed. They are a welcome break from writing for the National Boards. Thank you Tanaya, for spoiling me.

Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower
Chinese Garden, Portland, OR
Summer 2007

up from muddy pond
serene summer existence

Friday, August 24, 2007

One Deep Breath: Daybreak

dawn at Hagerman, ID, July 2007

golden orb peeks out
disaster found beauty
fires contained
daybreak coffee
outside bird songs, house sleep sounds
meditation time

For more on the stillness of morning, check out One Deep Breath.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Dear Diary

Dear Diary,
My obsession is journals. I love buying them. I just bought one yesterday to “record my thoughts, experiences, and feelings” as I go through the national boards for teaching. I wonder if I will consistently write.

You see, that is my problem, diary. I start with good intentions and then? Well, then, I forget or I am tired or I write about it on my blog.

I do not dare go to Powell’s City of Books. It is all over if I walk near the journal section. I mean, last June, I bought two purse-sized journals. Now I ask you how many purse-sized journals do I need in my purse at one time? Thankfully, I sent one to my niece. She writes in a journal. Maybe she will need one for her purse.

I have a journal for book ideas, a journal to list the books I have read, a gratitude journal, the purse journal, the cool words notebook, and I just upgrade my calendar to a larger size so I could put journal notes in it. I participated in a journal swap last spring. I write original haiku in that journal. Of course, it is not up to date.

What should I do diary? Any thoughts? I wish I could buy a quill like Rita Skeeter so that my journals would be up to date.

Obsessed Journal Collector

What do others write in their diary? Go to Sunday Scribblings.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thoughtful Thursday: Can a School Survive Without a Full Time Librarian?

I joined ALA (American Library Association) in the spring because I am going to the AASL(American Association of School Libraries) conference in the fall. ALA sends me emails almost weekly updating current events throughout the country.

This is a current event I did not want to see “Spokane schools halve K–8 librarians’ hours“. This is the second largest district in the state. My state. My district(Evergreen Public Schools) is among the largest in the state as well.

How can that be? How can Spokane Public Schools decide to cut the teacher librarian positions to half time at elementary? How can they decide that libraries are not worth maintaining in the district budget? How can a they ignore the data and research that supports that a strong library program supports student achievement? How can a district ignore that the National Board of Certification for teachers offers national certification of library media specialists?

Our district is experiencing a flat line in student enrollment. Probably for the first time since I started working in the district twenty-nine years ago. That, of course, translate into a reduction in funding. Last spring our district cut third grade swimming, driver’s education and went from an overnight out school model to a three day field trip model. There was good rationale for these cuts but in the end, it does save the district money. Our Library Advisory team and Advisory Coordinator positions were also cut. It makes one wonder, “how will the library program be affected?”

I recently posed that question to our superintendent. He assured me that “libraries should be the hub of literacy and research.”

I cannot be like Chicken Little, waiting for the sky to fall. I will work this year (as I do every year) to make certain that our library is the hub of activity. I will make certain that I am available to support students and staff when I am not teaching classes. I will be doing my part to support the “$21-million state-budget request to fully fund school library media programs in every K–12 school…. $20 per K–8 student and $25 per high-schooler to provide an acceptable level of school-library resources for Washington’s school-age children.”
I hope our district will see the value that the library program provides for its students and staff.

Poetry Thursday: Summer

Like the moderators of Poetry Thursday, I have been taking a break from writing a poem each Thursday. Yesterday, a poem came knocking as I sat in the backyard to read.


Fresh air living space
I sit, rest, and watch
Spotted towhees flit here, there
Scrounging the next meal

I sit, rest, and watch
A warm breeze caresses
Wind chimes lull me asleep
My book falls to the ground

A warm breeze caresses
Whirring wings of the hummingbirds
As they send Morse code messages
To each other

The whirring wings of the hummingbirds
Am I dreaming?
A petite energy warehouse
Cupped in my hands and released

Am I dreaming?
Short rapid barks startled me
I awaken. Pick up my book
Surrounded by fresh air living space

Yikes. Sad news. I visited Poetry Thursday to leave my link and found out that Poetry Thursday will be ending in August. Hopefully, someone will pick it up. It is such a cool web page for poetry prompts.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One Deep Breath: Haiku Train

This week a "haiku train" is running over at One Deep Breath . the idea is to take the last line of the haiku in the previous comment and create a haiku. Here is mine:

tuck them neat away
havested garden treasures
rainy day surprise
Now the next person to comment will use my line: "rainy day surprise" to start their haiku.
Will it be you?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thoughtful Thursday: National Boards

I met with the district coordinator for the support group for the National Board Candidates yesterday.

Writing. I will be doing a lot of writing this year. Technical writing about my teaching practice. That is why I am excited about this adventure. I will be writing about how my teaching has an impact on student learning along with demonstrating knowledge about the following:

What Library Media Specialists Know
Knowledge of Learners
Knowledge of Teaching and Learning
Knowledge of Library and Information Studies
What Library Media Specialists Do
Integrating Instruction
Leading Innovation through the Library Media Program
Administering the Library Media Program
How Library Media Specialists Grow as Professionals
Reflective Practice
Professional Growth
Ethics, Equity, and Diversity
Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Partnerships

I read these standards and think to myself, I should be able to articulate what I believe, what I practice, and what I know.

To obtain certification, I will show evidence through lessons and student work how I do the above. A videotaped lesson with a pan of my library is another requirement. I will write about a maximum of eight accomplishments in the last five years as it relates to student learning. Finally after all that is sent away for review, I take a writing assessment with scenarios given.

The conversation began yesterday with the statement that the design of the National Boards is exactly for a teacher like me. One with experience and one reflective in their practice. That was encouraging to hear. I know I would not be interested if I had to take a multiple-choice exam to be certified.

So we meet six hours a month as a large group to work, get tips, check to see if we are on pace. It is rigorous and the expectation is not to miss meetings. Meeting with other candidates weekly is a recommendation.

I feel much supported in this process. I understand that Washington State has a high rate of success. That the district provides an opportunity for teachers to gather and work is fabulous.

Going off to organize my notebooks. I promise to update along the way. I am sure that not all posts as cheery as this one. Please remind me to re-read this post.

Thank you for the words of support in my Sunday Scribbling's post.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

One Deep Breath: Evening

evening dragonfly, Hagerman, Idaho, 2007

evening serenity
a brief life

I continually am amazed at the brevity in the adult life of a dragonfly. Must savor the moment.
"Evening" is the theme at One Deep Breath this week. Enoy what others write about evening here.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Decision for a New Year

Did you know that August first marks a new year? It does for me. You see, as a teacher, the school switch turns itself on. This is a good thing. I believe the year the switch doesn't go on is the year to retire.

August is about new ideas, and goals. My good friends have been instructed to get a shepherds’s hook and pull me aside the year I return to school without new ideas and goals for the year.

This is my thirty-fourth year of teaching. I am watching friends and colleagues retire. It is expected that I teach until sixty-five on my retirement plan in the state of Washington. That means about eleven more years. I want to stay fresh, I want to avoid "retirement envy". So I made a decision.

I am pursuing the National Board Certification for Library Media. A friend in Idaho planted a seed (probably unknowingly) followed by a conversation with another library media specialist who is on board to take it. She is taking it and another library media specialist is taking it. Our district has developed a wonderful support process for those seeking National Board Certification.

It means putting my beliefs, my teaching style and knowledge about students out there for review. It means six hours a month with my peers in a cadre to prepare for the certification. I have to produce a portfolio, sample student work, and videos of my teaching. And come spring 2008, I will take an exam.

I couldn't fall asleep the day I made the decision to do this. My mind would not turn off with excitement of a challenge. I knew it was the right decision for me. I guess the switch hasn't turned off yet nor do I need the shepherd's hook to pull me away.

What decision have you made lately? To read about more deciders, click here.

Friday, August 03, 2007

One Deep Breath: Compare and Contrast

From my patio today.... lots and lots of bird activity.

tiny pilots zoom
fight over territory
hummingbird nectar

towhee juvenile
fearless adventurer
naive about the world

feline lounges near
opportunity awaits
prefers mice to birds

This is the scene in my yard. So much fun to watch. My goal is to get a shot of the fighting hummingbirds. Quite entertaining the way their tails flare. And the juvenile towhee did not have a clue about what he/she was to do. Allowed me to get very close. Got a scolding from dad when he went back into the boxwood.

For more compare and contract, visit Haiku: One Deep Breath.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Bloggers' Meme

I recieved an apologetic comment from deb. "I am afraid I have tagged you...". I understand, sometimes you do know how people will react. But this is a fun meme with tips for bloggers. Join us with tips even if you were not tagged.

-Start Copy-
It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)
Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers.
Try to make your tip general.
After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!
Just think- if 10 people start this, the 10 people pass it onto another 10 people, you have 100 links already!
1. Look, read, and learn. *****-

2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other. ***-

3. Don’t let money change ya! *-

4. Always reply to your comments. *******-

5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. ****

6. Don’t give up - persistence is fertile. ***-

7. Give link credit where credit is due. *******-

8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post.*****-

9. Participating in ‘memes’ is a destructive habit and should be avoided at all costs. **-

10. Don’t hold back.*-

11. Short Fiction is the bomb!*-

12. Redesign your site often. Visual boredom breeds textual complacency. **

13. Labels--not too many, not too few--help your readers browse.*

14. Try something new like participate in poetry or writing prompts: One Deep Breath or Sunday Scribblings.

-End Copy-

I tag Tammy, Rose DK, Patois, Remiman, and Regina. Please play along if you wish.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Things That Make You Go Hmmm....

This post has been deleted. My apologies, I was a little quick to post it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Phenomenon


I think the phenomenon that has me most going “huh?” is technology. A post at my school library blog, “Check It Out” really started the “huh?”

Technology is changing our world in such a rapid fire way. I personally ran to the bookstore and bought Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows to read. I sequestered myself for a day and a half to get it read. Why? (Besides the fact that it is an engrossing read? ) Because I did not want the Internet and/or the television to spoil it by telling me whether Snape was good or evil and who all dies. Use to be that we did not have to worry about getting unwanted information given to us. I feel sorry for those awaiting the public library copy. I mean, how long can you go avoiding the media? And actually in the end, a person spilled the beans to me about Harry, confirming what I thought would happen.

My eighty-seven year old aunt visited two weeks ago. When she arrived, she pulled out her cell phone to let me know that her plane had landed. Both of us remarked about what would we do without cell phones. I think back to 1992 when my stepdaughters (then 12 and 10) arrived to live with their father and I. The biggest technological decision we had then was whether to get a second phone line installed so that the girls could call their mother. A “teen line” it was called. We had a family meeting over this decision and in a way felt a bit indulgent. If they were coming to live with us today, fifteen years later, we would be handing them cell phones.

Finally, this blogging thing is a technological “huh?”. I cannot believe in a year’s time how many people I have be acquainted with, read their stories, and how the world become a tad bit smaller. The fact that I can write to a prompt each week and people from around the world can read what I have written is truly amazing and exciting. Just please, if you have read some good books, tell me the title but not what happens on the inside. I still want to find out the old fashion way by reading for myself.

For more read Sunday Scribblings.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Be Present in this Day

I was enjoying dinner last night with my niece (who was visiting from California) and my husband. It was a lovely day so we were eating outside. My cell phone had a message on it which I retrieved following dinner. My college friend said she had some news and to please call her. Hmm, I thought. Since she wasn't at the annual college girls' weekend,maybe she decided to come out after all. (She lives in Colorado)
No, it wasn't that. It wasn't that one of her parents had passed on or that another college friend's dad lost his battle with cancer. No, it was to inform me that my college friend's son (age 30)had died suddenly yesterday morning. It is unclear why but he awoke to not being able to breathe.
It is surreal. Our children are all reaching the stage of marriages and babies. We are becoming in-laws and grandparents. We are not suppose to be preparing for a memorial service.
And Vicki will be doing that. On the eve of her first grand child (due in three weeks). A child coming into the world, who will not know his father's voice, touch, or laugh. How can this be?
It just brings me to that place to remember to be present in this day. My hear and prayers go to Vicki and her family. Such a loss. It also reminds me of this benediction.
Life is short
We do not have too much time
To gladden the hearts of those
Who walk with us
So be swift to love
Make haste to be kind
And may the blessings of God always be with you.
--13th Century Benediction
So today, be present. Give those you love hugs and tell them they are to be loved.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One Deep Breath: Comfort

Water Lily, Oregon Garden, July 2007

memory filled light
comfort held in blossom's heart
tranquil surrender

Jennifer (co-facilitator of One Deep Breath) lost her father to cancer. In his memory. Be surrounded by love and the comfort of words and memories. My heart feels this sad time.

For more go here.

What Type of Blogger are You?

Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate

You're a well liked, though underrated, blogger.
You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.
You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!
A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Matters: Harry Potter

I am cheating and cross posting this on both my blogs.

I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday. This was after picking up my book on Saturday morning. I literally spent Saturday either napping or reading. I got up and went to Sunday service, where someone kindly informed me about Harry. It only confirmed the feeling I had after reading the first half of the book. But still, I hate when people do that.

I parked myself outside in my favorite reading chair and read until the finish. It was overcast so I didn’t realize until later that afternoon that my shins were sunburned.

I am pleased with the final chapter of the Harry Potter series. It was intense and filled with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The thing I am most pleased about is that it will be on the library shelf for my school. I always worried that the last installment might be too old for elementary school. But Rowling has written a story which can be enjoyed on many different levels. I was really struct with the message on love and tolerance.

I am so glad that this summer I have listened to almost all the previous books. (I skipped book 5 and saw the movie instead). I was reminded of many things I had forgotten over the years, particularly the complexity of the Tri Wizard tournament in book four. I will be finishing book six and then listen to book seven. I really like Jim Dale’s reading of the series. I highly recommend listening to any of the books.

My niece arrived last night. She has grown up with Harry Potter, starting at age 14-15. She attended the midnight release in Simi, CA. But waited until getting on a plane to savor the last installment. Me, I needed to get it read and fast before details were leaked.

My aunt was visiting just before the release. We discussed the impact that this series has had on kids and reading. Kids age eight when first starting to read Harry Potter, are now the same age as Harry. They are on the brink of adulthood. For many, this is the book that made a significant impact on their reading life. Island of the Blue Dolphins and the Tolkein trilogy did that for me.
What books have had an impact on you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One Deep Breath: Bodies of Water

Snake River, Hagerman Valley, Idaho
July 2007

river water flows
arid desert life blood
next fighting ground

Lots of talk of water restriction for the farmers in Idaho when visiting there a few weeks ago. There was a threat of turning off the water, ruining many crops. A tug of war exists between those with long standing water rights and those wanting to use more water for irrigation than there exists in the aquifer.
Just before leaving the state said they would not turn off the water.

Cool off. dip into the water haiku. Visit One Deep Breath.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Hair

Just got back into town and saw the prompt for Sunday Scribblings. I colored my hair recently and thought about my mother. She went to the hair salon each week until too sick, she had someone come to her.
This is a revised poem.

Mother’s dark hair
Up in a French twist
Practical easy care
Her weekly ritual

Beauty parlour on Main Street
Big eyelids for awnings and
Alien head ladies in a row
Drying hair, gossiping, taking a break.

Mother, French twist lady
Practical easy care
No daily primping needed
For the nurse who tended others

Looked up one day
Watch a platinum short hair
Woman descend stairs
Mom? “needed a change

I do my own hair
Wonder about her weekly ritual
Fingers plying the hair, tending her
A modest practical respite.

For more on hair, click here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

One Deep Breath: Feathered Friends

One Deep Breath asks to consider our feathered friends. I have many that visit our outdoor feeders. But I have very special companion, Caruso. He will be ten next month.

morning opera
stars Caruso Canary
feathered friend
dark winter days
arias lift spirits
big voice, tiny body
For more, visit here.

What's New Wednesday: Things I do to Avoid the Heat

I have touched home for a few days before I leave for "Camp Odell", the yearly summer reunion of my college dormies. This year we meet on Vashon Island.

I was in Hagerman, Idaho last week and the temps there hit 109 degrees. In Portland, it hit 102 degrees yesterday. We have air conditioning but hot is hot!

I am surviving the heat by:

1. Discovering fascinating quizzes. Annie's blog showed me "Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse".

I hope we aren't in for a zombie attack anytime soon. And there is this quiz:

Free Online Dating

2. Beading. At my author party for Laini, I met Kim, another Portland area blogger, She had a very cool bookmark. When my husband and I reached Bend, OR on Saturday, I headed to the local bead store to find beads. I have been playing with the concept to take up to my friends.

I head from another friend that the memory wire is fun to use. I got some and she's right! My first attempt:
3. Made tabbouleh for dinner. Love it. Simple, yet hearty and cold.
4. Napped.
5. Organized photos in my computer.
6. Made mental notes as for my next posts.
7. Read a little. (very little, those eyes kept slamming shut)
It is really too hot to do much. I have a list of things to be done with little motivation. I leave Thursday. Come back Saturday night and get ready for my aunt's visit followed by my niece's visit. Hopefully, the weather will be slightly cooler.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

One Deep Breath: Bugs & Creepy Crawlies Poetry

breakfast at dawn
edible delights before

ladybug dancer
flamenco style, red wings swirl
-fly away home

CaC Swap: Colour Month

I received a fabulous package from Jennifer in Michigan.

It was a color swap by the gals at Create a Connection. I particularly like the colors turquoise, green, and brown. So guess what was in this gorgeous box?

Yummy stuff. Blue, green and brown Jelly Belly jelly beans. These will be used for tomorrow's soiree in honor of new author, Laini Taylor.(If you live in Portland and would like to attend, let me know). Lovely note cards and pens to write with. We can't write enough notes. But wait, there's more: luscious liquid soap and shower gel. This I could use today after about six hours of gardening.

On top of putting this box toogether, Jennifer and some friends did a bedroom make over for a friend recovering from surgery. What a wonderful person.

Next month's swap is themed Summer in my City. How fun.

Country Meme

Annie tagged me for this meme. It was fun and interesting to do.

Take a country whose name begins with the last letter of your surname. (a) Jane Doe would take Ecuador, for example, or Egypt. England (like the USA and Ireland) does not qualify. Wole Soyinka would take Angola, or Afghanistan. If you can't find a country with that letter (and only then), move back a step. (b) Jane Doe would take Oman, in that case. And as for Wole Soyinka, he would go for Kazakhstan, or Korea. And so on. See?

Tell us what the capital city of the country is.

Say how many inhabitants that country has.

Find and share with us a poem in English of not more than 20 lines from that country. If it's longer, cut it to twenty lines or less.Tell us something you particularly like about the poem you've chosen.Add a line anywhere in the poem (beginning, middle or end), and clearly show which line is yours to avoid confusion and/or ambiguity.

Thank you. Please tag two people

Haiti is the country first to my mind for the last letter of my name. There have been books about Haiti I have wanted to read. The first is Mountains Beyond Mountains.
I was struck by Haiti's poverty and their pandemic of HIV/AIDs. Their median age is only 18.4? Incredible. We take so much for granted in the United States.

My country is Republic of Haiti
Capital: Port-au-Prince
Population: 8,706,497

The poem I found:

Whenever I have nightmares
It's the tonton macoutes I'm dreaming about

The other night I dreamed

They made me carry my coffin on my back
Everyone on all the Port-au-Prince streets was laughing at me

There were 2 or 3 boys not laughing

The other night I dreamed

They made me dig my grave in the cemetery
Everyone on television was laughing at me

There were 2 or 3 girls not laughing

The other night I dreamed

A macoute squad was getting ready to shoot me
Everyone was laughing

There was an old woman who wasn't laughing

Those little boys and girls there -
If I say more the devil will steal my voice

I'd rather that God would steal my voice
let me sing with angels, watch over the old woman and the children

The old woman
Is Shooshoon Fandal
They brought her to see the macoutes shoot
Her 5 sons on a street in Grand Gosier.

-translated from Haitian Creole by Jack Hirschman and Boadiba

This poem is a snapshot of the Haiti's past. It is the era of Duvalier's Touton Macoutes, the "bogeymen". It made me think of another book I have long wanted to read, The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat. I dream a lot. Dreams are powerful. I dreamet about nuclear war about being invaded as a child. The Bay of Pigs situation with the IS and Cuba had that affect on me.

I tag Julie and Regina Clare Jane. Actually anyone can join in. A great meme.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: I Have a Secret...

Sing a morning song
make it up, ask birds to join
sun bids welcome back
I love to sing. I sing alone, creating tunes, usually without words. I sing to my grand daughters and I hum as well. I don't usually do this when others are present (except around children). I am terrible at remembering words to a song. I usually can do the first line and then hum. That's my secret.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Meeting Annie at Powell's Bookstore

If you come to Portland, Oregon, let's meet at Powell's Bookstore. That's what I wrote to Annie. And we did on Monday.
I felt as though I was just re-connecting with someone I had know a long while. Annie is like that, a person whom you connect and laugh and show photos of the family. I got to see first hand Annie's reason for travelling to the northwest; photos of her son's wedding. What a treat and what a beautiful event for her family.
Annie asked me a question about my writing practice. I have thought about this all week. When did I start writing? For me it began early in letters. Boy, do I wish I had them still. Letters to a pen pal, my grandmother, and my aunt. Poems here and there. My writing has been like the ocean ebbing and flowing. This month the tide is out and low. Not much writing this month. School is out (except for a couple of days of finish up work). So I hope to rejoin in the weekly prompt writing.
Having a blogging community is like having pen pals. However, it feels like the topics we connect on run deeper and closer to our hearts. It reminds me of questions I asked earlier this year:
How is your sense of electronic connectedness through blogging deeper and more fulfilling? Or is it?
Could it be that serious bloggers are truly redefining "community?"
I do think we are redefining community. I think of the people whose blogs I read regularly and my world is smaller for that. Through this electronic connectedness, Rethabile, checked in, passing greetings through Annie.
If we would have had a laptop at Powell's, we could have been on-line chatting as Portland is totally wired.
I am thinking about my trip this fall to Reno, NV. I hope to meet up with other bloggers then. It was so good to meet Annie. I look forward to sharing time again with her.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Not Lost

I am not lost or missing. School ends next week. It has been crazy. Will post in a few days.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

One Deep Breath: Architecture

peony fountain
playground miniature
golden fairy dust

pink mountains
ants - crevasse explorers
need no equipment

Peonies from my yard. For more on architecture, visit One Deep Breath.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Country Mouse or Town Mouse

I would say probably more country mouse than city mouse. Especially since I just finished a day of planting a vegetable garden and other plants as well as reading and napping. There is something very grounding to me when it comes to playing in the dirt. I get lost, time flies, I forget what I may have been worrying about.

We just moved to this house two years ago. It is heaven; a quarter acre and the yard is such that it is a breeze when it comes to care. Today my daughter and granddaughter were over to help with the gardening. We looked up and there was a raccoon out, in the midday. Of course, I hope he wasn't sick perhaps his sleep was disturbed. We watched a swallowtail and the birds were flitting about.

Later, the hummingbirds buzzed in for afternoon feeding. The whir of their wings annoy my dogs. The crows chattering late this afternoon tells me that rain is eminent. And after supper, Rusty, my red doxie, assisted in gardening by digging holes for me and chewing roots.

I didn't have this when I live in SE Portland, almost dead center of the city. It was fun to live there. Fun to walk to the bakery and some good eateries. But I love the space I am in now. There is something about the serenity I find here. I look forward to coming home this time of year and spending time on the patio swing.

Country mouse, that's me. What are you? Find out what others are at Sunday Scribblings.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blue Heron

Last night, I got to do something I absolutely love about this time of year. I spent time on our patio swing and watch the sky.

blue heron
glides across evening sky
homeward bound

What a lovely sight.

Monday, May 28, 2007

One Deep Breath: Finding Common Ground

This is a prayer for my brother.
family abyss
long bridge--meet halfway
common ground awaits
Said daily.

Save the Date: June 18, 2007

Annieelf from "Scenes from a Slow-moving Train" blog, will be in town. Here is her post of a recent meet up in California: Scenes from a slow-moving train: The Chocolate Triplets.
So fellow bloggers if you would like to meet up with Annie in Portland, save June 18th. It will be in the early evening and I am still thinking of a place to meet. Suggestions are welcomed.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Book Review: Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer

I don't usually do book reviews on this blog. That's for my school library blog. BUT! I just finished the advanced copy of Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor.

One word: WOW!!

I am a historical fiction type girl. I always want to know about the spark, the event that led the author down the path to write the story. This is funny because I was all about the faeries, fairy tales, and make believe worlds as a child. I read and re-read Tolkein. Then I switched to a more eclectic approach in my book choices and fantasy got left behind for the most part.

Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer brings me back to the world of fantasy. I thought that I would read it lickity-split (and I wonder if Laini has been thinking, why is she taking so long to read it). It is a book to savor. And that is exactly what I did. Savor. I didn't allow myself to rush my reading.

Magpie Windwitch, the faerie, chases after devils that "mannies"or humans have released from bottles. She travels with crows who are both funny and protective of their Magpie. The troop heads to the forest of Dreamdark when the fiercest of the devils, the Blackbringer, must be caught. He really is creepy. I have to tell you, I was at the edge of my seat as I finished the book this afternoon.

Laini's writing is tight, flowing, and the language rich. From the prologue, when baby Magpie, is blessed by the animals to the end as she and her family of crows and other friends head to the next adventure (can't wait for the sequel), you, the reader, are mesmerized.

As I have an advanced copy, I can't wait to get my own hardback. I will be putting it in my library next year. (It will be available at book stores the day school gets out).

Thank you, Laini, for making Dreamdark such a fabulous world to be a part of for a while.

The Play: "Finding Aesop"

Sunday Scribblings is about the word, "simple". So here it is, a plain and simple collage about last week's play. We try to keep it simple at elementary school. Simple and fun.

Please visit Sunday Scribblings.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Mask

All in places
Hiding faces
Behind the masks
Roles earned
Lines learned
Transport viewers to
New places

This is for the students I am directing in the school play. We perform tomorrow. I have been consumed by this event this past week. For more masks, click here.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What's in the Box?

This is the second month I have participated in the "swap" at Create a Connection. Quite fun. What was even funner was the person who sent me the beautiful journal last month, got my name again this month. You could also say poor her, I suppose.
Last week was a horrid week for me. Lots of stress upcoming school play, crummy stuff at work, and just a genuine funk. I haven't wanted school to end like this in a long time but I am ready for summer.

So Thursday I came home to a box, which I am sorry to say, I didn't photo before opening. But look at the goodies. They all made me smile. I especially love the cool bookmark pen. I have thank yous to write and so the notes are just perfect. Thank you, Cheeky, for making my week a better one.

I must mail my box off to Colorado tomorrow. This is really fun. It inspires me to random things for others. It is a great way to lift the spirit. Now I am off to sew on the tortoise costume for the play.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Flower Are You?:

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You have a shy personality. You tend to hesitate before trying new things or meeting new people. But once people get to know you, you open up and show the world what you are really all about."

I don't know about the hestiating to try new things. I do know that as I get older, I am more selective about what I tell. I hate making idle chit chat so in that sense, going to parties where I don't know many is not fun.
My school persona is different that my at home persona. At school, I am a leader, I talk to everyone but I am also quite content to be home and not talk much.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Humor

We have been invited to write a humorous poem for Poetry Thursday. I have been dealing with annoying allergies this spring. This popped into my head. To be honest, I don't do rhyming much so I am a bit surprised.

Sunny day, pollen count
Runny nose makes me pout
Flowers grin at the bees
Would someone pass
Me Kleenex, please
Wonder why my eyes must cry
Allergies the bees reply
Stay inside, instead of out
Sunny day, pollen count

To smile or laugh out loud, visit Poetry Thursday.

RX for Stress: Grandchildren

I am not having a good week. Decisions are being made at the district level that impact my job. I can't change it. My attitude has been less than pleasant.

Yesterday I took care of my two granddaughters. Together, at the same time for the first time. What a blast. One is two and a half year and the other is 16 months old. The best part about watching them is they self entertain. You take their lead.

In Portland, it was gloriously warm. In fact, the warmest day of the year so far. So we spent time in the yard. My daughter placed a tub of water on the lawn. The girls splashed around with the toys, got all wet, and cared less. When they got tired of the water (evidenced by drinking it instead of playing in it), we changed focus.

Lessons in giving and taking. Lessons in figuring out how to stand your ground. Lessons in being kind. Lessons in being independent(the 16 month old would not let me put a tee shirt on her. She wanted to put is on herself. Never could get it on) Lessons in playing and laughing. They were all there yesterday with these two little ones.

My daughter and son-in-law were grateful for being able to go house hunting without daughter and niece in tow. I am grateful to have this powerful medicine; spending time with my granddaughters. Reminding me of what is important. I think I can go to work with joy in my heart today.

Monday, May 14, 2007

One Deep Breath: Nuture

Outdoor garden planted
breeze songs, bird songs-listen
uplifted soul dances

child dog speaks- woof!
imagination runs free
hug the moment
My two year old granddaughter in our dog's kennel.

For more about nuture, visit One Deep Breath.

Hitting a Wall

I have been a diligent writer of this blog for months. I have written a minimum of three times a week. I wrote everyday in April.

I hit a wall last week. I wrote a haiku last Monday and that was that. Wow. I am surprised. How do you go from writing every day to not writing?

I have allergies. They have been flaring. I am co-directing the school play and it doesn't seem ready for our performances next week. I feel like I am eating too much sugar along with dairy products, food items that are sensitive to me. I want school to be out and we still have more than a month.

So there you have it. I hope this week it better.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Seven Random Things/ Habits about Me

At Mimmsical Creations, Tammy tagged anyone who would play. I want to play so here are seven random things/habits about me.

1. I am left-handed. I always make sure I sit where being left-handed doesn't interfere with eating.
2. I walked the Portland Marathon in 2000 and did the two day walk for breast cancer in Vancouver, BC in 2004. I don't walk so much these days.
3. I hum a lot.
4. Memorizing poems and passages are very difficult for me.
5. I daydream and love taking naps. If I could I would make it so we would have to have a nap at school.
6. I wake up early, even on the weekends.
7. I am guilty of having clutter piles of paper. Lord knows, I try to be neat.

So technically, I should tagged seven people. But I am not. However, if you wish to play, let me know that you did in the comments. Thanks.

One Deep Breath: Sleep

I love sleep. I love naps more. So I am happy with today's prompt: sleep.

nap requirement
sun rays, couch, good book, sniggy*
dogs' snuggle time
*"sniggy" is a comfortable blanket
sleep dream time
synchronize breath, pull close
love energy
Am having trouble with spacing. Grrr...
For more, please visit One Deep Breath.


Early morning
Waves splash, crash upon the rocks
Seagull skims surface
Just spent the weekend at the coast. It's funny. In California, I always went to the "beach". I arrived in Oregon and found out we visit the "coast" and in New Jersey they go to the "shore". No matter, there is something restorative about time at the beach.
It is restorative even if daily walks on the beach aren't taken. My weekend was that kind of weekend, our college women's weekend. The five of us have had a beach weekend for almost twenty years. It is the "no children, no men, no dogs" weekend. We are friends, the kind that our roots are deep. Yet, we collectively don't see much of each other on a weekly or daily basis throughout the rest of the year.
The early days consisted of wine and chocolate, our main staple it seemed. Shop, eat, drink, talk, repeat. Stay up late. These days, wine and chocolate in moderation. I nod off on the couch as the four other women converse.
We have raised our children, taken on parenting roles as our parents have aged, and experienced the death of a parent. Sometimes dogs are invited. It seems we are more content to be sitting more, sleeping in more, and listening more.
Women's weekend fun
laugh, share in each other's presence
restorative time

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Reflections

Poetry Thursday is giving a free week. A week to do as we wish. Perhaps a poem will surface and/or perhaps those participating in NaPoWriMo need a break or a time to reflect.

Hi, I am Jone and I am a poet. I wrote 30 poems in 30 days. It sounds somewhat of a recovery group.

NaPoWriMo pushed me to write every day. I have not ever written for that many days in a row. I only missed one day of actual writing of a poem. I feel pretty proud of myself.

I walked around a little lost on Tuesday. I didn't have to write so I didn't. I took a break. The break led into Wednesday. So how does one keep up the practice? I am trying to form the habit of writing in daily pages. Can I do a page a day for thirty days?

I wrote a lot of haiku. Sometimes I feel like that's cheating. They are so short but they are also so in the moment. I try to stay in the moment. I wrote some pantoums, a style I was introduced to and like quite a bit. I was glad for the daily prompts from the women of PT. Some days, it was the seed I needed.

I didn't comment on other people's writing as much. No time. Some days after teaching all day, after schools activities, and other commitments if was enough to get a poem written. I feel bad when I don't get around to the blogs to comment. It is this little neighborhood community and I missed the conversation. I do appreciate the comments and visit by others.

How do you choose a favorite poem over your other poems? They are your little creations. But I have a few I think about. Two are haiku, two are pantoums and one is free verse.

Day Five
Broken threads, dried up little cloth worms
Discovered while cleaning the garage, looking at theremains of your library. Rest here.

Day Fifteen
Mother’s pearl necklace in hand
Her last gift
Offered as peace and understanding
Son receives it graciously
(Rest here.)

Day Seventeen and Day Twenty Written after the news of Virginia Tech. My cousins go to school there.

Day Twenty-one
Garden Tips
In the dead of winter
read seed catalogs, poems for the
garden (rest here)

Also on Day 21
Uprooted my roots at seventeen
Transplanted to Oregon, a college girl
Roots needed fresh soil
Good growing environment (rest here)

It was a good month. I feel a like I have sowed many poetry seeds this month. I can tend to them like my garden.

If you read any of my poetry for April, I would love to know which, if any spoke to you. For more Poetry Thursday responses, go here.

Monday, April 30, 2007

NaPoWriMo, Day 30: Poetry of the Sea

The prompt from One Deep Breath is "poetry of the sea". I like ending National Poetry Month with the sea.

Foamy ocean waves
Lace pattern on wet sand
Crab scuttles alone.

Head on over to see more at One Deep Breath.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

NaPoWriMo, Day 29: Wings

Dragonfly cathedral window
Beveled wings glisten
Sits, waits
Dances in dusk’s light
Transformation invitation
The prompt at Sunday Scribbling is "wings", in honor of Laini Taylor's soon-to-be-available-in- bookstores, Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer. It is a fine example of making a dream a reality.
Are you dreaming of flying yet? Visit here.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

NaPoWriMo, Day 28

What a glorious day in Oregon today; warm and sunny. It causes this to happens:

Spring. Garage sales
Your cast-offs, my treasures
Reuse. Walk lightly.

And another joyful event:

Mom, dad fly in, out
Yellow beaks open wide waiting
Morsels nourishing

The purple finches' eggs have hatched!!