Friday, August 08, 2008

One Single Impression: Folly

The prompt this week is "folly". I usually write haiku of OSI but this week, it is a pantoum and more reflection of the Oregon Coast.

Low Tide, Agate Beach, OR

Sea garden, low tide
Ruffled kelp, the ulva taeniata* and others
Intermingle with bull kelp
Cormorants fly in, out, feeding their young

Ruffled kelp, the ulva taeniata* and others,
Slick, slippery carpet challenges trespassers
Cormorants fly in, out, feeding their young
Microscopic alien signs of existence

Slick, slippery carpet challenges trespassers
Walking at low tide, looking
Microscopic alien signs of existence
Sea stars, anemones, glistening tide pool jewels

Walking at low tide, looking
Quiet treasures reveled: Upside down chitons*
Sea stars, anemones, glistening tide pool jewels
Aware of human environmental follies?

Walking at low tide, looking
Intermingle with bull kelp
Aware of environmental follies?
Sea garden, low tide


Ulva taeniata: bright green sea algae with a ruffled edge

Chiton: a sea molluck, very primitive. Became aware of them through a college class and still have the empty shell of one, collected over 30 years ago.

Visit One Single Impression and read what follies others have written about.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It is August; I Wake Up Early/ Blogging Conference News

I abandoned the alarm clock in June at the end of school for the summer. Thing is that most days I awoke at 5 AM but did not get out until the 6-7 AM hour. My respite from the school year.
Now the calendar shows August, the alarm clock is back in my life. To build that muscle memory for the upcoming school year. To guarantee at least an hour of quiet writing time and wake up time. To resume those 6 AM workouts.

Me at last year's conference, Chicago

Last week I was panicky over the number of registrations coming in for the Second Annual Kidlit Blogging Conference. “Ye of such little faith!” I should have known that like me, July should be known as “National Everyone Go and Play Month”. I was not home for a full week, why would anyone else be home?
This week airlines are offering “fall fare travel sales” (not to the rock bottom fares I love though)

Bloggers want to see the following topics:
Beginning Blogging
Community blogging
Pod casting
Social networking to promote your blog
VLOGGING? Who will lead the session on Vlogging?

I feel a bit like the “little red hen” when I ask, “Who will help out?” Will you help?

Rumor has it that there will soon be some shirts and mugs for sale on Café Press in honor of the conference stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My Last Hurrah of Summer: My Acts of Bravery for the Week

For the past couple of weeks I have participated in the "Be Brave" project started by Jessie. This weekend I found myself being brave on two accounts. First (and silly as it may sound) I left my laptop home when we went to the coast the past weekend. It has gone everywhere with me this summer, even the Odell Hall weekend, which to my surprise everyone was grateful it was there and we used it a lot! Ha! But this past weekend, it stayed home. And I lived although, I thought about many things I wanted to look up and I had to wait to post my weekly 7-kicks at 7 Imp until returning home.

Next, on Sunday morning, I awoke and headed down to the beach. The tide was almost all the way out and was a minus tide at that. I watched the birds on the cliff, realizing they were cormorants which reminded me of a favorite childhood book, Island of the Blue Dolphins. The camera only showed them as specks. So the only thing I could do was to move in closer. This meant climbing on the massive amounts of slimy slick bull kelp, rocky uneven surfaces.

Squishy, slick bull kelp

Anyone who knows me, know that my middle name is "grace" (NOT) and so I had to be particularly brave and cautious as I moved in closer to the cliff. And although, I still wished that I had my film camera with its telephoto lens, I did get a better photo of these marvelous birds and their young.

Okay, still not the best but there they are.

Finally, after photographing the numerous starfish and anemones, I headed back to the motel.

A staircase is hiding to walk up the cliff.

What have you done to be brave?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

"Do I Have To?": My Last Hurrah of Summer, Part I

Okay, I know that summer is NOT over. However, when August rolls around, I get that itch about getting back into school combined with a "Do I Have To..." attitude. So this past weekend was like the "last hurrah" for me. My husband and I made plans to go to the coast. Hunting agate and sea glass was part of the agenda. The weather was iffy.

Annie and me

But first, I visited with my blogging friend, Annie, up from California. We were to meet in her town as we were traveling home earlier in July. I, unfortunately, was in need of a "chuck-a-bucket" ( my granddaughter's word for her car sick container). Needless to say, we cancelled. Thankfully she was due to visit her son and daughter-in-law, so we were able to connect. I am not sure where the 2 hours went but they flew. Rumor is that Annie and her husband will retire here. Oh, yay!

Saturday morning my husband and I loaded up the car and within 90 minutes we were at the coast. Surprise! The weather was nothing like Portland! Sunny! Beautiful! Warm! Breezy!

At Road's End, Lincoln City, OR Walking the pooches

We walked for almost 90 minutes as the tide was out and very low. Rusty and Sophie were tuckered needless to say.

Agate Beach, Oregon

Okay so I learned something about agate and beach glass hunting. See that lovely sand? A mini sand dune (and btw, Annie thinks that sand here is softer, finer). Well, that sand acts like a blanket in the summer! Which means that all the lovely agates and/or beach glass are hiding underneath. I found a few specimens but I will need to wait until the winter storms which will scour out the sand, telling the agates, "It is your time to shine!" Humph!

We thought dinner would be at the Nye Beach Hotel Newport, unfortunately all that was there when we drove by was a vacant lot. Fire? Falling Down? Well, we had to find out as it was a place we frequented in the early days of our courtship. Apparently, the person who bought it, had to tear it down as it was structurally unfit. And it had such a great restaurant overlooking the beach. We found and had a fabulous meal over looking the ocean at Georgie's instead. Fresh halibut with pineapple salsa and fresh marion berry crisp. Yum!

We hit the beach after dinner but unfortunately the wind had picked up and our two little four legged pals suffered a bit from the blowing wind. So we returned to the Agate Beach Motel, a small place with great units and a private beach area.

We all fell into bed, asleep in minutes, except me wondering, "Do I really have to return to school?"

For more on the prompt, "Do I have to?" visit Sunday Scribblings. I will post "My Last Hurrah, Part II, in which I am brave soon.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Upon Reading a Book

Odell Hall Gathering 2008

I have been on kind of a reading drought until recently. I mentioned that I found a J.A. Jance mystery to read at the recent coast vacation. I brought along Middlesex, a book long on my “must read” list.

Then my daughter said, “Put this on the top of your priority list” and handed me Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. My daughter knows me. I love historical novels and this one did not disappoint. I want to time travel and I did. The drought ended. Each night I forced myself to put the book down or I would have met the dawn sky.

This story of ultimate friendship, a way to survive a society in which women were not highly regarded is incredible. We should all be blessed in our lives with a “laotong”, an old same or kindred spirit, or to have a group of women considered as our “sworn sisters”.

“She loved you as a laotong should for everything that you were and everything you were not.”
-Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See

This line toward the end of the story resonated. I just had returned home from the annual college friends reunion. One of my friends remarked that we have know each other so well and can be amused by our shortcomings. And that is correct. To have a feeling that we are each loved for who we are and who we are not. That is how I would describe this group of friends.

These nine women have known me for 38 years. They have been partied to my escapades in choosing a mate (actually two husbands), my unorganized organization techniques, the deaths of my parents, the death of a marriage, and how I became a stepmother.

I, in return, have witnessed their marriages, love challenges, births, medical challenges, the deaths of parents, the untimely death of a friend’s son. We have laughed and cried and talked about everything under the sun.

Our group began meeting regularly seven years ago as we all reached the halfway point to becoming a centarian. The places vary and not all attend each year. (This year we were only five due to a wedding, remembering the loss of a child, moving, and work). It is a yearly reunion that fills me with great joy.

It is like going back to that moment in time when we first met. Indeed our hearts feel like we are those teenagers once again although sometimes our bodies say otherwise.

These are my sworn sisters, and to them I am thankful for loving me for who I am.

sworn sisters gather
divergent lives cross yearly
happy faces here
laughs, hugs, adventures
carry us through time
One Single Impression is featuring haiku and other poetic forms on faces this week.

One Single Impression: Faces

Granddaughters, Beach 2008

mischievous cousins
captured moment, tender love
nonverbal plans made
back to antics soon

So many wonderful faces in the world. Visit One Single Impression.

In the Pink

Team "In the Pink"

This is my good friend Randy (center) and her husband Ron with teammate, Ellie. She was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago.

How did she deal with it besides all the medical treatments? A big dose of faith and walking. The first year I joined Randy in Vancouver, B.C. for a two day walk in which we walked almost 60 miles in mostly rain. It was one of the driest summers, that 2004 summer until THAT weekend in B.C.

Since then Ron has been her walking companion in Seattle and they have raised over $40,000 for breast cancer research. Talk about a wonderful husband! They celebrate 30 years on August 12.

I know that we have lots of opportunities for donating to this research but I am asking you to consider donating to Randy's team, In the Pink, this year as a celebration of her reaching 5 years in recovery.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Reflections of a Blogging Conference

Kidlit Blogging Conference, Chicago, IL

More registrations in the mail, discovered upon returning home from my annual college women's weekend in central Oregon! I have logged them in and have added names onto the list.

It made me think back to this time last summer when I finally decided, yup! we are headed to Chicago! I believe that weekend was an "aha" moment for me because of the fun I had and the knowledge gained. (Besides the fact that I bravely raised my hand and said YES to organizing this year's event. Thank you, Laini for signing on with me.)

Friday night was a blast as we piled into the hotel van and they took us to a great pizza joint.

Friday Night Fun Chicago Pizza Style

And what great topics! From the "how to's" of kidlit blogging, podcasting, a forum about the Cybils to meeting authors in a fun hour before the dinner hour. I loved the session presented by Mother Reader on how to get your blog noticed. Anne Levy addressed issues about reviewing which was very helpful.

Mark Blevis talking about podcasting. I wrote a grant and got podcasting equipment after this inspiring session.

Anne and Kelly, co-founders of the CYBILS Award

Esme Raji Codell hosted the author and illustrator hour.

So are you in? What topics do you want to see at this year's conference. Let me know!

You can email me the registration form and send the check via email if that helps you. I am looking forward to this year's event. I hope to see you.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

One Single Impression: Rest

Butterfly. Pine Marten Lodge

butterfly at rest
high altitude nectar hunt
brief mountain visit
For more restful haiku, visit OSI

Chair Lifts

Chair Lifts

What scares you in your life? Is it the dark? Roller coaster rides? Being alone? Spiders?
I realized this summer that ski lifts are really not my cup of tea. I realized it when I politely turned down an offer to ride the ski lift to the top of Humphrey’s Peak in Arizona earlier this summer. I was reminded of three summers ago when my college friends’ group rode the ski lift at Winter Park, Colorado during our annual women’s weekend.
A double chair, bare terrain and rocks below you without a blanket of snow to break a fall, should that happen. What if I dropped my cell phone? What if my camera fell? And then the getting on, getting off dance of the chair lift? It is like a moving object that even my Rubenesque body has a hard time hitting the target. That only brought to the surface memories of my skiing days; the time I fell face first getting into the lift and the time I was afraid to get off the lift. Not my cup of tea.
So when I was in Flagstaff, I said no thank you and that was that. We found other things to do in town.
Ski lifts. Who would have thought that I would eventually end up on one this summer anyway? I am writing this during the seventh annual college friends’ weekend and we are in central Oregon. Adventures had been planned for us and one was to lunch at Pine Marten Lodge, 7800 feet above sea level. We certainly were not going to hike to the lodge or helicopter in. Yep. Ski Lift.
I took a big breath and bought the ticket. I managed to scan the ticket too many times and the turnstile would not let me go but luckily the staff showed me the secret way to get ready to sit on a moving object.
But surprise! This chair lift was moving very slowly! It was almost as at a stop as I sat. Oregon has rules and regulations about the speed of the chair lift on the off season. The ride to the top was breezy and thankfully my friend and I chatted the whole way, a welcomed distraction for me.
This was my reward for being brave:

Looking toward Three Sisters

We ate a deliciously wonderful lunch and then headed back down. The ride was scary (I prefer the up to the down) but we moved along, did not stop for any length of time, and the exit was smooth. I gladly placed the lift ticket in the recycle box. It will be a while before I head up the chair lift.
Today I write this as my friends are bicycling around the resort. Ahh, another opportunity to be brave but I did decline that adventure. One adventure per trip is quite enough for me.

Sunday Scribblings: Solace

From the SS prompt: "In what do you find solace? What place is solace for you? Where do you go in yourself or outside of yourself when you need comfort or consolation? Why do you seek solace? What does it mean for you?"

Solace comes from many places: from within, from being out in nature, and sometimes from dark, dark chocolate. I love to play with haiku and after many weeks of not writing, I found solace in writing to this week’s prompt.

hummingbird perches
feathers a glisten, he feeds
sweet solace nectar

moonlight tendrils reach,
caress two spooners entwined
solace a blanket

midnight walk on sand
universe glitter found, picked up
tossed into the sea
solace discovered
returns, spirit sleeps

Find some solace reading these.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday Fun

Recycled Beach Glass

Stone Rings with Decorative Additions

Well, I spent most of the day creating. I have to locate more beach glass.

Be Brave Project. Will You Join In?

I have been spending some early morning surfing the blogs I usually read. This is a return to a practice I have not done in a while. This morning I followed bread crumbs from the 7-Imp post to this blog, Diary of a Self-Portrait. In October, Jessie began the "BE Brave" project by challenging herself to be brave in her life. She invited others to join in. In October, I was into that world of national boards for teaching so I missed it, or perhaps, I was on my own "be brave" project. So now I am going to commit to doing at least one brave thing a week.

Here are the "rules" as Jessie wrote in her post:
(most important:) MAKE YOUR OWN RULES.
Do this for yourself.
Make a commitment for the length of time that best suites YOUR needs--one day, one month, one year, one's all up to you, and you alone. ;)
The "brave" or "scary" things that you choose to do can be as big or little as you want them to be. Sometimes it's the little things that can be the most scary (and beneficial)!
(not to quote Nike, but...) Just do it.
Be on your own schedule. You don't need to make a commitment until YOU are ready.
This is your unique journey--make it whatever you want it to be.

Glad I didn't know about this last week or I would have had to rethink the decision about NOT going on the "tilt-a-whirl" ride with my granddaughter.

As I write that, it does seem so inconsequential to what some people or animals (as Monday's post at Jessie's blog shows) in the world must face on a daily basis. It makes me feel very blessed to live where I live and have the job that I have.

Will you join me?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kidlit Conference Jeopardy

The answer is:
Sara Zarr, Story of a Girl
Kirby Larson, Hattie Big Sky
Alma Alexander, Worldweavers series
Laini Taylor, Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer
Matt Holm, Babymouse
Anastasia Suen, Main Street School series
Adrienne Furness, Helping Homeschoolers in the Library
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand: Frida: Viva La Vida! Long Live Life!
Jen Robinson, “Growing Bookworms Newsletter”, guest blogger at PBS
Betsy Bird, School Library Journal book blog

“Who has registered for the Second Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, September 27, 2008?” is the question.

Will you be attending? Have you registered yet? Visit Kidlit08 for more details. If you register before August 1, 2008, you will receive a complimentary raffle ticket for the dinner raffle.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Visit Portland, Oregon

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Portland, Oregon

10. Voodoo Doughnuts where your can get married and eat your doughnut too.

9. We do not have sales tax.

8. Looking for leprechauns? They been seen at the “World’s Smallest Park”: Mill Ends Park (24 inches in size) on Naito Parkway.

7. Portland also has the largest forested city wilderness in the nation: Forest Park, 5, 000 acres in size.

6. Mt Tabor, an extinct volcano. Portland is one of two cities in the US with and extinct volcano within the city. The other one is in Bend, Oregon.

5. Portland is also known as “Beervana” for being the epicenter of micro brewing.

4. Cupcake Jones Nirvana! I will have some available at the conference.

3. Stumptown Coffee

2. Powell’s City of Books Plan to meet here on Friday night and then head to a local microbrewery for dinner

However, the Number One reason to visit Portland is:

“Bridging the Worlds of Books and Blogs”.

Great discussions about books and blogs! Great networking! Great fun!
For more information visit Kidlit 2008 or contact me at “macrush53 at yahoo dot com”.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summertime Living

I am around. I just have not been posting on my blogs much. I think it is fallout from participating in the national boards for teaching. Which, by the way, I now get to wait until around November to hear the results.

I had plans, oh big plans to blog from the road trip I just returned from last week. Nevertheless, I did not. I did not read anything of merit on the road trip. I have started reading about the behavior of dogs for a project I am working on.

I just returned from the public library. This has become a renewed love affair because I can be more “green” through purchasing less. I went to the library as a child and through my teen years. It was a time when big corporate books stores did not exist and very few independent ones as well.

I participated in the summer reading programs and worked to get my chart filled up faster than “Jack Snap”, whoever he might be. I returned to a library habit this spring because I needed to listen to books on tape or cd in preparation for the national board’s exam.

Today, I cruised by the “Twice Sold Tales”, a perpetual used book sale that the library has. A five-dollar bill provided me with The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Art of French Kissing, and a J.A. Jance: Web of Evil. Nothing like Jance to interrupt a reading vacation.

We leave for the coast tomorrow the week. I am hoping (again) to blog from our location. It will be because of J.A. Jance if I do not.

Happy Reading.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Year 34 Completed

"The Blue Box": my four completed portfolios.

I completed my 34th year of teaching last week and what a year it has been for me. On June 14, I took my three hour exam, the last segment of the national boards and now the long wait until I find out in November. It was a wild year as I was hesitant to leave, a little teary and holding back.
But I am done and now headed out to see friends. Over the next few weeks, I will be in and out of town. I am looking forward to:
*meeting my new critique group which is forming
*meeting up with Annie in California
* planning the fall Kidlitosphere conference
*hanging out with family

Thursday, May 29, 2008

One Single Impression: Reflecting

which direction, toes?
the safe, predictable way
or new adventure
dip toe in water
mysterious path

I awoke yesterday morning from a dream which gave me the gift of direction. It was all about the upcoming Kidlit Blogging Conference in Portland.
Based on the dream I created a registration for for the conference. But more important, I took a step, a baby step, down a path I have been thinking about for awhile: I joined the Oregon chapter of the Society for Children's Book Writers ad Illustrators.

Do you know how many times I have looked them up on the Internet (and got information in the mail from them before the days of home computers) and did nothing but look? Like that person peering into the window wishing to join the event occurring inside.

But I did it.
For more information about SCBWI Oregon, click here.
For more information about the Kidlit Blogging Conference, click here.

One Single Impression is here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You are Invited: Kidlit Portland 2008

It is time to think about attending the Second Annual Kidlitosphere Conference held in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, September 27, 2008.

What is it, you wonder. Just a chance to meet with both children’s authors, young adult authors and anyone who blogs about children/young adult literature. Last year we met in Chicago for a weekend of discussing books and blogs.

Laini and I are planning this year’s festivities and you can find all the information at the new Portland Kidlit blog.

Our first big question is who is definitely attending? This will help us decide the size of the meeting space. Please visit the new blog and chime in.

We are looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new folks. Click over to the Portland Kidlit blog and let us know.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One Single Impression: Warm

grandmother's hands talk
infectious laugh, hold me close
warm dream memory

For more haiku on "warm", visit One Single Impression.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One Single Impression: Deserted

I am a week behind. Last week's prompt was "deserted".

deserted swings now
once laughter swung back and forth
childhood left behind

Thursday, May 01, 2008

NaPoWriMo:30 Days = 30 Poems Recap

I suppose 26 out of 30 poems is not bad. It is probably good for that little perfectionist voice I hear in my head. I recognize why. In a word, fatigue. I have spent the last 3 months writing for the National Boards of Professional Teaching Standards. A totally different kind of writing. And that last week in March was brutal. (another post, another day).

So I am going to be gentle and try not to beat myself up too much.

My favorite poem of the month: "For My Granddaughter" and Poems 23, 24, 25, and 26
The poem that eluded me: A prompt using "ring, blanket, and drum".

I am looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NaPoWriMo: Poems 23, 24, 25, 26

back road rock sentry ignored
highway spirits walk, gossip
empty whispers heard

dividing line here
north, south, confederate, union
stand between two worlds

grandmother's Sundays spent
here, walk the path toward church
her distinct voice sings

neglected graves lean
limestone names, dates eroded
seldom visited

In early April, my aunt and I visited the childhood town of my Grandmother, Catawissa, PA. As photos indicate; the day was dreary, gray, drizzling rain, and cold. It cast an eerie feel as I walked around photographing the places where my grandmother walked and lived as a child. I was surprised by the dedication of part of the cemetery to the Confederate Army. I had relatives who fought on both sides during the Civil War. I also got a sense of place as describe in the Jack Gantos book, The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs, although that story takes place in western Pennsylvania.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

OSI: Flowering

pink chiffon dogwood
tutus spin, branches dance
toe shoes optional

peppermint tulip
umbrella protects creatures
unseen by the eye

tango dancer skirt
fiery tulip ruffles
click, click across floor

What a lovely prompt today, especially since out weekend has warmed in comparison to Friday's post. Thank you One Single Impression.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Poems 18 and 19

peppermint tulip
no umbrella to protect
defiant protest

Japanese maple
curled arthritic fingers reach
toward warming sun

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Poems 15,16,17: COLOR

daffodil bucket

tissue thin, delicate show

lemon peach sorbet

asparagus heads

sniff open, brisk market air

edible creatures

tangerine lemon
beauty pageant of tulips
ablaze in color

One Single Impression suggestions the word COLOR this week. I was in Seattle and went to Pike Street Marke this past weekend so this is a perfect prompt. More colorful haiku here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

NaPoWriMo: Poems 13 and 14

Glad that I left this year's challenge to 30 Days = 30 Poems. Writing every day is difficult right now.

Poem 13

words stumble over
cyberspace, misinterpret
meet me for coffee
talk, cry, laugh, respond
value of friendship

Poem 14

birds on a wire
gossipers all in a row
I walk unnoticed

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Poem 12: A Poem Regarding My Absence at a Book Challenge Hearing

This is a cross post with my school blog "Check It Out".

There was a book challenge hearing last night in my district. The book, Feed by MT Anderson, was the challenged book. I read it last year on the recommendation of a workshop presenter. Not my cup of tea but I can see how the book could resonate with teenagers, especially boys. The book had been at all but one middle school library as well as the high school libraries. The challenge came from a middle school parent. I did not go to the hearing. I am now sorry that I did not attend. I do not know that it would have changed the outcome. I was told that I would not be able to testify because I was elementary and the book was not in the elementary level. But I should have been there to support a colleague and I was not.

In the spirit of National Poetry Month(and thank you once again William Carlos Williams for your stunning idea of a poem of apology):

This is Just to Say

I did not attend
the book challenge meeting
which you probably
were wanting the support
from colleagues
and which the
audience was void.
It would have been great
to have
people present
who understand
the need
to have books
that engage
readers in higher level
thinking skills
the language
which can be heard
via a varietyof media formats;
despite the notion
that we may come
to live in a dystopia
one day
instead of a

Forgive me
I promise
next time
(and hopefully there
will not be a next time)
you will look out into the
I will be there.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Poem 11: Fearless

Mister Squirrel hangs

upside down, his suet feast

dog barks, no avail

winter's fearless thief

birds grateful for left overs

Sunday Scribblings offer the prompt "fearless". Mister Squirrel is our fearless visitor despite our Rusty dog ferocious guarding. For more visit here.

Poem 11: For My Granddaughter

Yesterday was my son-in-law's birthday and we celebrated it here. My granddaughter, 2, and he were reaching for the moon. Then she asked us all to reach for the moon, so this is for her.

Grab the Moon

Moonrise, turquoise sky
Pollen glitters around us
“Grab the moon, daddy.”
Cheerful child laughs

Pollen glitters around us
Red, yellow tulip blooms burst
Cheerful child laughs
“Grab the moon, mommy.”

Red, yellow tulip blooms burst
Cheerful child sings
“Grab the moon, mommy.”
Birds join the chorus

Cheerful child sings
Hands stretch above reaching
Birds join the chorus
Child dances round and round

Hands stretch above reaching
“Grab the moon, daddy.”
Child dances round and round
Moonrise, turquoise sky

Poems 9 and 10: Glory

forest trillium
quiet trinity shepherd
abundant glory

lone garden tulip

unexpected gift from squirrel

sunlight glory here

"Glory" is the prompt for One Single Impression this week. It was the suggestion of Guatami Tripathy, Visit to see how others wrote about glory.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

NaPoWriMo: Poem 8

I think I really love the haiku form. As Reichhold in Writing and Enjoying Haiku states, "it is a snapshot of everyday life."

This as I arrived home last night:

Crystal raindrops hang
From Japanese maple branch
Frogs volley “ribbets”
Back, forth nighttime serenade
Dogs join the chorus

NaPoWriMo: Catching Up

I have been writing almost everyday but not posting each day. I am using the William Carlos Williams poem, "This is Just to Say" with my students to get them to write a poem of apology.

Here's my take:

This is just to say
Forgive me for
Grabbing the last copy
Of the poetry book
Which you were
Longing to read
And saving for a
Warm spring day
The cover looked
I could not resist
I am sorry
I will return it.
I promise

NaPoWriMo: A Pantoum

After reading Joyce Sidman's book Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow last year, I explored the pantoum form. I love it. The late spring provides much to write about.

Slow spring awakening
Daffodils glance sideways
While snowflakes fall
However, vanish soon

Daffodils glance sideways
Mourning doves call
However, vanish soon
As cold rain plop plops

Mourning doves call
Frogs hoppity hip in mud puddles
As cold rain plop plops
Mason bees sleep in the hive

Frogs hoppity hip in mud puddles
A sliver of sun plays peek-a boo
Mason bees sleep in the hive
Daphne perfumes the air

A sliver of sun plays peek-a boo
While snowflakes fall
Daphne perfumes the air
Slow spring awakening

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

NaPoWriMo: Stranded

The prompt from One Single Impression is "stranded". Our cold spring provides inspiration.

tulip cups capture
snowflakes for afternoon tea
welcome stranded souls

weary visitors
surprised by early spring snow
sip tulip tea

For more, please visit One Single Impression

Friday, April 04, 2008

NaPoWriMo: Days Two, Three, and Four

Just returned from New Jersey last night. No access to the Internet, thus no postings but here are three poems for days two through four.

April 2, 2008

spring ballet-mill creek
windy day, leaves pirouette
delighted cat purrs

April 3, 2008

nestled in blankets
husband, dogs, cat welcome me
blissful sleep tonight

April 4, 2008

spring rain awakened
the soul who slept on tulips
left a verse behind

Monday, March 31, 2008

National Poetry Writing Month

My goal: 30 days, 30 poems. To begin:

journey back a time
ancestors walked these dirt roads
one room school house speaks

Susquehanna River
grandmother fished along banks
sings songs to nature

I am traveling with my aunt to rural Pennsylvania. We are spending time look at where my grandmother's family lived.

I may not have access to the computer again until Friday but I will be writing in my journal.

How about you? A poem a day for 30 days?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Haiku: Laughter

Today's prompt is "laughter" at One Single Impression. In honor of having my portfolios sent off to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards on Thursday evening last.

laughter gone many months
brow furrowed in reflection
box gone-chuckle

spring day daffodils
giggle, lift heads toward sun
feet tap, dance a jig

More on the NBPTS soon.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

One Single Impression: Change

There is a new blog for weekly haiku: One Single Impression. Two contributors of One Deep Breath decided to take up where it the blog ended. Thank you, Sandy and Andree for stepping up.
The first prompt, "change" is so appropriate.

constant chaos: change
wind shifts, leaves scatter, branches
burst into color

rain pounds windowpane
fingers pound computer keys
words splatter change

Please visit our new online community, One Single Impression.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

One Deep Breath: Ink

I looked at ODB this morning, shocked to find another weekly prompt generator is closing up, moving on. I haven't been consistent in my postings and probably won't until the end of March. All my concentration is on the national board writing for teaching. I must send everything off by March 31st.
Last week, the day after Valentine's Day, my computer crashed. My husband and I had been talking about a laptop. Suddenly, we were forced into action. So today, I am typing on my new computer. It feels decadent. In the meantime, we had the computer looked at and it was a monitor issue (so now we will get a flat screen)and it will also return with 1 gig of memory(it had way less than that) this has I believe, 2 gigs.

The prompt was "ink"

keys click, thoughts race
printer spits another draft
out, revision

entry completed
more straw in the mind waits to
become golden words

For more, please visit here.

It has been so much fun to get the prompts from the One Deep Breath site. I so appreciate their dedication over the last year and a half. Their prompt in October 2006 inspired me to set up this blog. Thank you for that Jennifer and Susan, the women who created the blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day: My Heart Sings

I love Valentine's Day. As a child whose birthday was so close to Valentine's Day, my mother often made me a heart shaped cake. Then the giving and receiving of Valentines as school and the excitement leading up to it. That has not changed at school, students have been wild with excitement this week. A kindergartener told me "Tomorrow's Thanksgiving!"she was so filled with anticipation. Her classmates quickly corrected her.

So today here are two other reasons my heart sings:

It is my 16th wedding anniversary. You might have thought my anniversary was two days ago. I arrived home to a wonderful bouquet of roses. I was told that he was worried they would run out of them. I think maybe he caught the some of the kindergartener's anticipation.

Today the CYBILS Awards were announced. These are the top books in children's and young adult literature as determined by a dedicated community of kidlitosphere bloggers.
To find out who won in a variety of categories, visit here. I sat on the poetry committee for the second year. What fun books to read and them choose as the best in poetry. The finalists are all winners in my book. Here is the list of the finalists.

So capture that child like spirit and let your heart sing today. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis

I came across a post about The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis last winter. I raced out, bought the book and consumed it in two evenings. It is a taut, suspenseful psychological mystery.

Through Sunday Scribblings and other blogs about writing and books, I met Laini. She hosted an author's party for Patry as she made her way through down the west coast promoting her book. What a great evening meeting a very funny and sweet Patry. Meeting Laini and Jim, being in the presence of a writing and literate community.

The Liar's Diary comes out in paperback today. I have to let my reading club know. It would a great read for a book club. I hope it does well.

More importantly, I hope Patry does well in fighting her life threatening health issues. (I just learned of her challenge Sunday). I keep coming back to that spring evening where she laughed and talked about being on the book tour and looked forward to traveling the Oregon coast. What a difference a year makes. Today, as I turn 55, I am reminded life is precious. Positive thoughts coming your way, Patry.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


"Miscellaneous" is the prompt at Sunday Scribblings. I love the reason for the prompt "Because it is a delicious word with unlimited possibilities". Many miscellaneous photos this week and I draw my inspiration to share them from Inland Empire Girl.

It has been bitter cold in Portland this week.

So cold that I wanted to capture this little hummingbird and warm him up for awhile on Thursday. He sat on this perch for a good ten minutes and allowed me to get close. I love watching them, "chipparosas", my father would call them. So entertaining but this week, My heart went out to them.

Anna's Hummingbird,
Dusk 2008

Anna's Hummingbirds winter here in the Portland area. They are dependent on the feeders. I brought the feeders in each night this week in order that they would not freeze.

Bob's Red Mill, Portland, OR 2008

I stopped in at Bob's Red Mill store yesterday. They have a fabulous water wheel which the weather affected this week. Their vegetarian split soup warmed the soul yesterday.

Moon, Front yard, 2008

And the moon, the moon was incredible this week as I left to go to work. It took all I had not to dilly dally on my way to work. I have my camera with me most days and if the opportunity presents, I will shoot.

There are many wonderful interpretations of "miscellaneous" here.


shadow light
harmony among people
vision dream
luminescent eyes
walls tumble down, hearts open
acceptance seeds sowed

This week's prompt at One Deep Breath was this quote from Dr. Martin Luther Kine, Jr.:

"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see." Many takes on this quote. Visit here to read more.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Robert Burns

Frontpiece, Volume Two
Etching of Ayr, Scotland
Birthplace of my grandfather

In honor of Robert Burns birthday, today, January 25, 1759:

The Book-Worms

Through and through th' inspir'd leaves,
Ye maggots, make your windings;
But O respect his lordship's taste,
And spare his golden bindings.

Beneath the poem (or epigram as stated in the book):?
"(On visiting a nobleman in Edinburgh (it is said), Burns was shewn into the library, where stood a Shakespeare splendidly bound, but time-worn, and unaired by occasional use. He found the leaves sadly worm-eaten, and wrote the about epigram on the ample margin of its pages. Long after our poet's death, some one happened to oppent the book and found the lines in the unmistakeable handwriting of Burns.)"

This is from my grandfather's set of The Complete Works of Robert Burns. It was published in 1886. He must have bought the set in the states as the publisher was Gebbie and Publishers Company and Philadelphia is listed as the publishing city. I have volumes two through six. I don't know what happened to volume one. But I have yet to see any "book-worms".

For more Poetry Friday, visit: Mentor Texts, Read Alouds, and More.