#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty Seven

Past Summer Days

I am the sum of my parts
graying blonde hair and dimpled smile

Bright dimples appear on wrinkled face
Years spent under cigarette smoke

Childhood memories a smokey haze
Grandpa whistles cheery tune, Heigh-ho

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho it’s off to work we go
Construct a blanket fort in the family room

Watch TV inside cozy blanket fort
Learn kindness from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Ride bikes down to the neighborhood playground
Catch fireflies on warm summer nights

Spend carefree, warm summer days outside
I am the sum of my parts

NaPoWriMo PromptLast but not least, here’s our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first.

Good morning and welcome to day twenty seven of napowrimo where I took some of what I learned in the poetry workshop I attended last night to write my duplex poem. The workshop hosted by the Virginia G. Piper writing center at ASU was ‘Your Four Strands’ and led by Roanna (Rowie) Shebala. She had us look at our identity through four strands: Mother, Father, Maternal Grandfather and Paternal Grandfather. I started this poem by talking about both my parents and then my paternal grandfather (who I remember more clearly) and it grew from there.

Remembering summer days in Buffalo, NY. This poem was written six years ago. The #HaikuChallenge word yesterday was jar and a lot of people were tweeting about fireflies which made me nostalgic even before the workshop started. My piece yesterday:

Lightning bugs twinkle
Washed out peanut butter jars
Catch their summer dance

Then during the workshop last night, I remembered the one time my dad carried my mom upstairs because Kati and I told him to ‘bring mom upstairs’ after he tucked us in I wrote down two lines of a haiku. I finished it this morning with todays #haikuchallenge word, slice.

Girls bedtime request
Dad carries mom up the stairs
Slice of happiness

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-three

Multiple Braces

My right side spastic
growing up with CP
clunky and unwieldy
my night brace
would beat up
my left leg
rolling over in bed.
Then the day brace
made of plastic
to keep my right foot
growing properly
better than the boot
easier to sleep
not good to race
or even keep pace
run, jump, or leap
no longer for me


NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for our daily (optional) prompt. Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan, whose poems tend to be short and snappy – with a lot of rhyme and soundplay. They also have a deceptive simplicity about them, like proverbs or aphorisms. Once you’ve read a few, you’ll see what I mean. Here’s her “Token Loss,” “Blue China Doorknob,” “Houdini,” and “Crustacean Island.”

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty-three of napowrimo where I fiddle with rhyme. The #HaikuChallenge word today is brace and it made me think about my old braces. I’m not sure I capture Kay Ryan’s style well. Here is a haiku I wrote last year about me and why it was a bad idea to play wearing my leg brace.

Jump rope at recess
without removing leg brace
Snaps under pressure

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty

#HaikuChallenge #CoffeeTime

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for today’s (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that anthropomorphizes a kind of food. It could be a favorite food of yours, or maybe one you feel conflicted about. I feel conflicted about Black Forest Cake, for example. It always looks so pretty in a bakery window, and I want to like the combination of cherries and chocolate . . . but I don’t. But how does the cake feel about it?

Good morning and welcome to day twenty of NaPoWriMo where I write in the POV of coffee. The #haikuchallenge word today is lose and my earlier version was –

Every morning
She trusts me to work magic
Lose her displeasure

I’m ambivalent over which version I like better. It’s funny because Gretchen wanted me to proofread one of her papers before she left for school yesterday, but she said I was sleeping. I told her she could have woken me up. She said I’d be grumpy (before coffee). Instead she just sent me an invite to google docs to proofread it while she was at school. Then the evil twin sent me her essay to proofread. Hey Kati, personal pronouns should not appear in formal essays! The evil twin has been long out of essay writing practice. There is no amount of coffee available for me to lose my displeasure at reading I, we, us in an essay. Coffee already has a big job in this house. 😉

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Ten

Soft Caress

Beauty
Fingers linger
She offers a warm smile
He breathes in her effervescence
Allure
Shawn and I recreate “The Kiss”

Napowrimo Prompt Today’s (optional) prompt is pretty simple – a love poem! If you’re having trouble getting into the right mood for a love poem, maybe you’ll find inspiration in one of my favorites, June Jordan’s “Poem for Haruko.”

Good morning and welcome to day ten. Love poem – there are quite a few on this blog. Being out on the west coast, Maureen posts the next day prompts at 9pm for me. When I checked out the prompt last night, I told Shawn; I’m not sure I’m feeling the love today. He went out to pick up some food and I get a text; Is my wallet on my nightstand? Nope, I don’t see a wallet on the nightstand. I look over on the dresser, still no wallet. I turn back to the bed and there’s the wallet on his quilt. He drives back and I meet him in the driveway with his wallet. Then he sends a group text, Dad dash will be late as mom tried to steal my wallet. SMH

For napowrimo I usually start my poems handwritten in my poetry journal, and as I was flipping through the pages this morning, I came across this poem – Pink Rose. And I still love that fourth line and appropriated it for today’s poem. I also used yesterday’s #haikuchallenge for inspiration.

Intense disquiet
Find solace wrapped in his arms
Harbor in a storm

Thank you for reading my day ten contribution even if there it was not inspired by a loving feeling.

Happy New Year!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. At my three week post-op, they found the new lens was clouding over so I got a free laser treatment to break up the calcification on the lens. Yay to my overactive immune system, my antibodies were attacking the foreign body in my eye. The laser treatment was on December 22 – they were pretty booked up and that was the soonest I could be seen. Well the calcification on the lens made it hard for my eye to focus well which is why I haven’t spent much time on the computer or reading. Hoping I can start enjoying books again in 2022.

At the end of 2021, we were all in quarantine. My mother-in-law came over on Christmas, not feeling well, and two days later tested positive for Covid. We were so careful for almost two years and then it walked right through the front door. Needless to say no one was very pleased with Nonnie but after 5 days no one in this house showed any symptoms and Robin was able to fly back to Oregon on the first. Gretchen has started her spring semester. She just looked at her major map yesterday and told me it looks like all my requirements are completed or in progress (this semester’s courses) what does that mean? I told her if she doesn’t have anything in red it should mean you’re eligible for graduation. She may be able to graduate early. She retorted, It doesn’t say I’m eligible for graduation. It won’t you can still take classes. Robin took some extra classes because he fulfilled his requirements early but wanted to take all four years. He had a full scholarship and mom and dad covered the extra expenses. A full scholarship does not cover all fees as different degrees accrue different costs. Science classes are more expensive than humanities courses.

The other thing Gretchen looked at last night was her GPA she’s only earned Magna Cum Laude. I told her there’s nothing wrong with that (mom graduated magna cum laude), but she told me she’s going to steal Robin’s summa cum laude. The rest of the night we were regaled with how Gretchen was chasing Robin and Robin kept evading her efforts. Then Gretchen said, I’ll kidnap Burke. I laughed and told her, I think you’re a proud new parent then because I don’t see Robin giving up the summa for the return of his cat.

My muse lies quiet
Writing haiku – a reflex
Long out of practice

Five More Days Until My Birthday

Me at home after cataract surgery

Good afternoon – It’s about a week and a half after my surgery. The vision in my right eye was pretty instantaneous and then they taped it closed. So yes, clear distant was immediate; the close up vision is still working itself out. I have found I can read if I put the screen or book at arm’s length; otherwise, my left eye is doing most of the reading work. I’m thankful the left eye can still see well with glasses because there were a few things no one mentioned until the final pre-op visit. 1) I can no longer drive at night. The surgeon appeared a little hesitant at the pre-op – I don’t want to tell you you are my youngest, but yeah you’re my youngest patient. This was followed by, You can’t drive at night anymore. I laughed, Well since I don’t drive at all that would probably be a good idea. Needless to say this relieved the surgeon because most of his patients have already stopped driving at night and he wasn’t looking forward to telling a 47 year old she can’t drive at night.

The second thing I found out at that visit was I could not bend over for a week. Hello, I have CP and do not have the balance to bend at the knees. I spent an entire week not being able to do anything. I’m still not allowed to do any strenuous activities, which again with CP is very restrictive because I use more energy to do things. I did empty and reload the dishwasher the other day. When Shawn came home he yelled at me; I was like I can bend over now and emptying and reloading a dishwasher isn’t that taxing. I am still not lugging around the vacuum, mop and bucket, or laundry baskets. And yes I’m going a little stir crazy just sitting around the house. Imagine if all these restrictions carried on for a month if I scheduled my left eye two weeks after my right. Since my 48th birthday is after the two week mark of my surgery, I also wanted to be able to celebrate it.

One thing I have been able to do is sit and write haiku so at least I’m not twiddling my thumbs all day.

Do not bend over
Eye needs enough time to heal
Sit and write haiku

Start new fashion trend
Extend usefulness of glasses
Right lens taken out

It’s okay to cry
But be careful not to sneeze
After surgery

Could see right away
But it was not long enough
Eye taped to go home

Stuck on couch all day
Housework falls by the wayside
While I recover

No strenuous work
Leaves almost nothing to do
Boredom rules the day

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Welcome to world cerebral palsy day! I reminded Gretchen this morning to wear green and she loves her mother and went off to school donning green. Shawn, on the other hand… “I am wearing green, black is the presence of all colors”. So yeah, I said some not so nice things about his sense of humor and then I told him he better go to work to earn the money to pay for his wife’s acute late-stage cerebral palsy eye surgery. In less than a month (November 2), I’m scheduled for cataract surgery. Back at the end of May, early June, I noticed I couldn’t see out of my right eye. Of course I put off going to the eye doctor until August. He was quite surprised when he saw I had cataracts, telling me I’m 15-20 years too young for this to be age related. Thanks – I’m pretty sure it’s the lovely premature aging they say comes with cerebral palsy. Of course after watching The Sum of All Fears anything CP related is now referred to as my acute late-stage cerebral palsy. And I told Shawn this was going to bite us in the wallet. He went to the consultation visit with me and yeah the price tag gave him sticker shock. I also learned there is cataracts developing in my left eye as well and they wanted to do surgery two weeks after the right eye. But we’re holding off on that one – 1) because the surgery would be on my birthday and I don’t want to have surgery then and 2) they can correct the vision in my left eye to 20/20 with glasses so I don’t see doubling the price tag to see again when we don’t have to. I’m also curious as to how effective artificial lenses will be. Right now everything I see in my right eye is either a big white blur or a big black blur, depending on the ambient lighting.

Wear green to support
Cerebral palsy research
Help make lives better

Accentuate the Positive

Summer Disappearing

Robin finished his first year at the Carlson School of Veterinary Medicine in June. We had a small staycation over at the Talking Stick Resort and the Arizona Boardwalk. We had a lovely time seeing the butterflies and the aquarium.

At the beginning of July, I reconnected with an old friend. She is selling color street dry nail polish and had a few patriotic sets. I asked if she could be my manicurist if I bought a set. It’s a little difficult for me to do my own nails. Of course she agreed, we had a nice time catching up while I got my nails done. Then I actually took a photo of my left hand to show it off.

4th of July nails with engagement wedding rings next to my new 25th wedding anniversary band.

After I had my nails done, Gretchen asked to see my wedding rings. Well the engagement ring came off without a problem, but the wedding band was a different story had to enlist Shawn to help me get it off. I thought since our 25th wedding anniversary is coming up a new ring would be nice. I saw the infinity knot on glityjewels.com not that long after writing a haiku for the haiku challenge.

Recall our first date
Young man in search of prom date
Finds forever ♾ love 

I think Shawn likes my new band. He did acknowledge it fits better. There is no mystery there; when I saw how tight my wedding band was I ordered a bigger ring size. This past April, Shawn and I had our first date anniversary. We have been an official couple for thirty years now. Then we got engaged in April 1992 since I was still a senior in high school, we had a long engagement while I finished high school and college. Of course I wrote about it during #NaPoWriMo.

After our staycation and while Robin was on vacation up in Yellowstone with a friend, Shawn and I were planning our 25th wedding anniversary trip in October. And so my haiku challenge tweets have been focused on us.

Before our first date
Watch him run around the track
Surreptitiously

Young couple in love
Settle into married life
Twenty five years pass

2020 Drags On

Sunset to sunrise
Various photos taken
Reflect passing time

Pandemic highlights
Graduation and then white
Coat ceremony

Cook dinner at home
Celebrate 24 years
Steak medium rare

Then to now challenge
Twenty nine years together
Highlight of my life

Carve cat on pumpkin
Veterinary student
Highlights skeleton

Couple canoodles
on overnight camping trip
down the road a bend

Quite a lot has transpired since my last post about our haircut outing. The summer in Phoenix dragged on; what else would one expect in 2020. We broke a record of 100+ degree days – 146! It finally dropped below 100 (barely) last weekend and Shawn talked me into an overnight camping trip to test out the van. Unfortunately because of the hot, dry summer, we could not have a campfire. The van does have a DVD player; so we whiled away the evening watching a movie instead.

I spent most of the hot summer hunkered down in the AC except in August when we took a family road trip to drop Robin off in Corvallis to attend the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. Then in September we were able to watch the white coat ceremony over zoom. This month Shawn and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. Shawn bought some filet mignon and learned how to cook it to medium rare; he always preferred steak char-char and that was never my preference. And up in Oregon, Robin has already gone to a pumpkin patch and carved his jack-o-lantern.

Haircuts

During #NaPoWriMo I made myself a guinea pig and let Robin cut my hair. It wasn’t a complete disaster as I was able to get a poem out of it; however, my children did not want to partake in the home cut experience. This morning we ventured out to Great Clips. I have used the check in app for quite a few years. And I have always been amazed at how many clients walk in without using the online check in. When we walked in today, one customer was paying for their cut and we were the next three people. While we were there, three more people walked in who had not checked in, and because of the social distancing guidelines there were only two hairdressers working. Since we were three people, the wait time for each ensuing client kept growing, and they all checked in and sat down to wait!

Take advantage of
online check in so there is
no wait for haircuts