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.