Friday, June 22, 2012

Poetry Friday - Bone(s)

I've got two poems for this week's Poetry Friday post.  The first is a format I like to play with now and then - the incredibly short poem.  The second is a little more my normal style.

Old Bones

Consign me to my marrow,
skinless and epitaphed forever.


Cookies and Carrots

I have the witch in me,
she whispers,
picking at bones
and needling fleshy sentiment.
She shops in her floor length cape,
wandering aisles with Jedi concentration.
Eye never meets eye.
Like a cursed innocent
she carries her basket of cookies and carrots
rustling bags to cover the resonance
of her existence.
She's more than shy.
She trembles at the register
in forced interaction,
then flees this buzzing hive
to her den of scarves and flames,
smokes her cigarette and
dreads the need to return.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What Youth is Good For

I've been thinking about when people fight aging, willing to do anything to look and feel young again, or if they can't afford those methods, simply obsess about their younger days.  I've given in to thinking this way.  I've spent countless hours wishing I could be just 10 or 15 pounds lighter, slim like I was in my 30's.  But, really, what is youth good for?

Youth is a time in life when we look great, we have energy to spare and we spend inordinate amounts of time trying to attract a mate.  Because that is what youth is for.  It is for starting life, finding someone to spend it with, and in many cases, someone to have children with.  Or, if you are not like me and marriage or children were not something you wanted, youth was a time for getting set up in life, starting a long-term career, finding yourself and your interests.

Which leads to now.  If you were successful, you've got those things.  You've had a mate, children, a career started etc.  If you haven't got those things, this is a time in life where we begin to reassess and strive to find those things we now know, with time and experience, will truly bring us happiness.

What I have overlooked is the amazing success I've achieved.  I have a marvelous husband and wonderful children.  I have figured myself out enough to know I love geeky things, electronics and writing.  And the most fulfilling part is that I get to pursue those things.  So, if I'm a little heavier than I was before, if I have a few wrinkles, does it in the end define me?  No.  In fact, why waste my time wishing for my youth back when my youth brought me the things I wanted?  I should be enjoying those things now that I have them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Gift

We need a word for Friday.

I will share another of my vignette style short stories:

This one is called The Gift.

image found at Mrs. Rogers blog

            He drove into the country to look at barns. He liked his job but he couldn't say he loved it. He liked to go looking at the barns because they reminded him of when he would paint or sculpt. He never painted landscapes or barns but just looking at the barns made him feel connected to that time when he felt artistic. Those were the days he and his wife would drive into the country together because she loved the barns. They had dignity, she would say. She would talk about how she loved the way farmers would leave a barn up till it mostly couldn't stand on its own any more and sometimes even then they would leave it there till it crumbled to the ground as though there were some deep significance in it. She would talk and talk for hours as they drove and sometimes she would grow silent, suspecting he wasn't interested. She would say she was sorry and that she knew she talked too much. But he was paying attention. He was concentrating on every single word. He wanted to memorize everything about her, all her thoughts and the funny way she could start out talking about barns and eventually come around to talking about the garden she wished to plant or the teacher she spoke with at the children's school.
           It was as though he knew she would pass away and he would need these words, these memories in tiny details. But he didn't know, couldn't have known. He had thought at the time that he would memorize these moments, all her words that she spewed out rapidly, so that when they were old he could retell them all to her one by one. That was how it was supposed to be. They were supposed to get old and go for quiet, crooked walks. They were supposed to sit together in their little house, drink wine and giggle at their younger days. It was those times he looked forward to and wished to save up all the wonders of her so that he could tell her why he loved her all these years. How each year felt as new and thrilling as the last. He wanted to tell her the story of how he watched her hair turn from the honey blonde to velvety silver. How her eyes never changed one bit, down to the little spark. He wanted to be able to hold her fragile hand and help her up the stairs. He thought they would always have this ahead of them and so much to look back on that he would remember each tiny piece of her to give back in those later years, a gift he could spread out over weeks and months and years of sharing creaky bones and thinning hair. Now he only had these things for himself and instead of a gift to her, they were a knife in his heart. He wondered if one day, when he had finally gone gray with hardly any hair to show it, if then this gift would be to himself and no longer a pain that caught in his breath.

Let's use BONE(S).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pins and Pearls Week of June 11, 2012

This past week I had a few currents grab me including geeky things, more summer activities with kids and possible Father's Day gifts.  Speaking of which, this is what he got (don't forget to click on the picture and go check out the other pins):

As for Pearls, I had less of those this week.  Let's see, how about this:

Misheard Lyrics version of Oh Fortuna! - you must watch if you haven't seen it yet.

And the Portal Gun Video to content any geeky heart.

And lastly, this cartoon depicting what Phil Plait says about science.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

To My Father

Dads are often the single most influential person in our lives as a role model.  (Not to leave Mom's out of course).  As children growing up, we learn what a man is through our fathers so that we see what kind of men we will strive to be (if we are boys), or what kind of men we will seek as partners and friends.

My father taught me above all the value of hard work.  He rarely ever missed a day.  If he did a job he did it right.  I'll never forget the day my father told me to go wash the family van.  A formidable task for a ten to twelve year old.  Vacuuming, washing windows, and finally washing the outside took a long time and a lot of effort.  I was not happy about this and complained.  But my father was adamant.  So I marched outside and started my arduous task.  When I was done I showed my father.  I was still in a pouty mood about it.  He walked around the van and said, "No.  There are spots all over the place.  You did a shoddy job.  Do it again.  If you're going to do a job, do it right the first time."  I was so mad I stomped my feet as I got out my supplies and started again.  I steamed through the job the second time around.  As I steamed, I worked hard, checked and double checked my results so I wouldn't get caught doing it over again.  When I had finished the second round, my father walked around the van and smiled, "See, I knew you could do it!"  I never felt so proud as I did that day standing next to a gleaming van and my smiling father.

So to my father who gave me the fortitude to be a hard worker and showed me what pride in my work could feel like: Happy Father's Day Dad!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Poetry Friday - Chap

It's Friday and that means it's time for another poem.  This time the prompt was chap.  Here's mine:

His Chapped Pride

He lingers in the hardware store
staring at forsaken screws,
picks some up
sets them back
rubs his stubble
attempts a philosophical stance
to show how fitting it is,
and asks himself what might plug the hole
in the leak of his days.
Retired sounded better when
there was too much work to do.
Searching for the minutes to fill
had a glamorous sheen
until the minutes turned on him,
ticking away at everything.
He licks the wound of his chapped pride,
buys ¾ inch wood and ½ inch drywall,
which won't work at all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Coming in the near future...

I am excited today because I have an announcement.  It's more like a preliminary announcement.  I have begun working on two chapbooks of poetry which I will be publishing in the near future.  Each book will have poems that are or were here at one time, plus new poems, and some extra fun surprises too.  They should be ready in the next couple of weeks.  When they are, I will make the big, official announcement and hopefully they will be available from here, Amazon and possibly Barnes and Nobles.  So be sure to check back frequently!

In other news I've started using my Arduino I received for Christmas and have been finally moving forward in learning electronics.  So far, I've made one LED light blink (Hello, world!), and then a line of lights blink in succession, then blink in any order I futz it to.  Coming up next: making a spin motor spin!  Woot.  Anyone who wants to start learning electronics I would say that Arduino is an excellent starting choice for microcontrollers, but if you want something even less pricey, you could try Texas Instrument's Launchpad

for under $5.  Also, some other great stuff to start you out are:  a bread board, generic wires, basic 560 ohm resistors, LED lights and the Make Magazine's book Make: Electronics.  Arduino has a 'Getting Started' kit that comes with a pamphlet of learning projects which are the ones I'm working through.  An excellent primer.

And lastly, since it is Tuesday, we need a word for Poetry Friday.  How about CHAP?  I love this word.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pins and Pearls Week of June 4, 2012

With summer on my mind, the pins this week range from Etsy art that reminds me of the ocean to camper vans. Also, there are quite a few great geeky pictures in this week's board.  Check them all out:
Image: Tammy Bowden Photography as found on Etsy

In this week's Pearls, a couple of fun sites for the geek at heart and two summer recipes I'm excited to try:

Website for learning wondrous things: Wonderopolis

Retronaut - a cool site filled with retro photos and stuff

A recipe for Blueberry Vodka Lemonade

and a recipe for Mexican Grilled Corn

Happy Pinning and Pearling!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Poetry Friday: Plate


“This is my mother's bubble,” she said.
I just couldn't see it.
“Look at all this dust
I can't get enough of the stuff!”
This is his Atlas existence,
I just couldn't bear it.
“Look at all this work
I've got no plate of my father's.”
This is my graydom,
somewhere I could leave it.
I'd run like hell
and don my ribbons
till my heart had no more gravity
to bear it under.
This is her torture,
she tries to give it.
I wouldn't take any more.
I've planted feet in gardens
of bodyguards.
These are my feathers
my barbs, my quills of ink
I spill out all over the place
and gather inward again.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


(Here's a little short short story I wrote recently.  I've been playing with this very short format and am enjoying the way it forces me to use words conservatively, to make them count.)
Image used courtesy of Sylwia77 at
     She lay in bed. More like she tossed in bed. But she didn't want to wake her husband, so when she tossed, she did it slowly, deliberately. She would turn, then pull the covers up to her chin and try again. Sleep had never been her ally. She often felt a deep suspicion she would miss out on something important. Her mind would flit from one thought to another like a hummingbird in search of sugar. She would do this dance, this thinking and turning and resettling until the words in her head would fracture and jumble together, tangled into a mess. If she allowed herself to be fully aware of the incongruity of a dozing thought, she would wake too much and have to start from the beginning. If she were lucky, she could play with the weird mixture of ideas without waking her mind and fall into strange, comforting dreams that frightened her. Dreams about horses that teach her to fly and how she would fly and lose control and crash into an ocean where unknown creatures waited for the sweetness of her flesh. It must be terrifying to be a mermaid and grow up among such immense and grotesque creatures, she would think. I will write a story about mermaids, one that doesn't involve a princess and a handsome man. 
     All the next day she will have an image of a fierce mermaid in her mind and it will plague her. She will sit to write her story and then cower away from the chair because the mermaid in her head will come out impotent and flimsy on the paper. She wishes she had the right words to make the mermaid alive and chilling like the one she imagines. She will try again. She sits and swings back and forth on the swivel of her chair, staring at the expectant screen. She writes four words: hair, piercing, fangs, spikes. She sees the word spikes which has jumped out of her fingers and immediately the mermaid in her head has punk rock hair in a mohawk and a studded leather collar around its neck. She shakes her head to loose the image from it. She reaches into herself to find what the spikes mean. She closes her eyes and pictures the terror of the mermaid and sees that when she peers close enough, the scales on the mermaid's lower body each have a sharp point in the middle, like artichoke scales. She keeps her eyes closed and tries to know the mermaid better. In the back of her mind she thinks, this is the only time I enjoy closing my eyes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Poetry Friday Word

One of my favorite things about summer is having fresh things.  Fresh from gardens, public markets and straight to the pot or oven.  I have a rhubarb patch I put in six years ago.  I've had some good crops but this year is the first bumper crop I've enjoyed.  I harvested my first time this year and I'm hoping to get another harvest in.  They are gorgeous, thick stems of sour goodness.  I made a strawberry rhubarb pie and it was to die for.  No talent of mine, pure nature made deliciousness.

The children and I have started our plot at the community garden.  So far we've planted the ubiquitous tomatoes along with some flowers, banana peppers, celery and herbs.  We've got seeds for potatoes, year-long strawberries, salad greens, radishes, more flowers and green bean bushes.  I love harvesting fresh from the garden, bringing it home and making a meal based on the basket full of vegetables.  It's so great for the kids to see food from seed to plate.

Are you growing a summer garden?  What are you growing in it?

On Friday, if you want to join Poetry Friday, the word is plate.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Pins and Pearls Week of May 28, 2012

Apparently last week I was in a bathroom renovation mood because my pins have several photos of bathrooms.  But my favorite pins from this past week were the 'summer activity idea' pins.  Check them out:

And for some Pearls:
I found quite a few great recipes and food ideas this week:
Like this cupcake bouquet and the Neopolitan Rose Cake:
Photo and Idea from

Photo and Idea from

Plus I heard about a great Youtube channel called Geek and Sundry:
See Whil Wheaton play board games and more:

And lastly, I started using a book swapping site called Book Mooch:

Friday, June 01, 2012

Poetry Friday for Last Week's Word: Enough


Balancing on the ball of your heel
the heel of your ball
the ball, the balance. The toe that wavers.
To dip in the water without diving too deep.
Obsessing over the lethargy of snails.
'She's moony' they said.
What is she? Baring her ass? Overly in love?
It's not enough to say 'dazed' or 'listless'.
Who falls in love with a still breeze?
The logic of derivation:
If listless is spiritless, then list is spirit.
Imagine the church of list-makers,
'And unto the Great Lister
we supplicate and list our vengeances'.
Supine. Gazy. In the lunar realm
and out again.
I hear noises in the small of my heart,
smell the fog that weighs there.
I try again to balance on the ball of your heel
and exhale.