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

Desert Heats Up (Language)

7CFF5FFD-037C-4A3B-ADC0-E8D94B9F738A

WTForecast for Wednesday July 8

Too hot to think straight
Does this verse have any chance
Inspiration wilts

Yesterday my evil twin posted the WTForecast for Buffalo, NY, complaining of the heat. Before I checked it for Arizona I wrote the verse for the #haikuchallenge word chance and then had a good laugh – I think I did describe the hot weather in words. I also told Kati she cannot complain about heat to me; and she returned with, but it’s hot and humid here. Yes, I enjoy my dry heat it is nice to step outside and not have your clothes stick to your body. It’s also nice to not have my knee ache nonstop.

Arizona is going to really heat up this weekend we are on a heat advisory through the weekend which is nothing new for the summertime. Most summers we are able to escape the heat for a little while. Last July we were able to go up to the Grand Canyon.

A2C51FDF-003B-4AB1-A7B3-E69F426B760F

Photo by Gretchen Hosking July 2019

Drive along Canyon
Chance encounter with wildlife
Brings cars to a halt

This year we have to wait until August before we can escape the desert heat. Hopefully we’ll have a smooth trip up to Oregon to drop Robin off at school.

The Grand Scheme

20841094_10155652198842421_7089370836031206546_n

The Colour of Poetry

Good afternoon everyone. I spent my morning playing with the #haikuchallenge on Twitter. I learned yesterday that July is disability pride month as it coincides with when the ADA became law (July 1990). And since most of us have been forced to slow things down thanks to the coronavirus, I thought I’d share my view of things; as I have learned it is best to work slow and steady. It takes me longer to do everyday tasks, but they get done just the same.

One step at a time
Do not fret how long it takes
Picture the grand scheme

My husband was working on a photo this morning and I told him it looks like a corona. Well as it turns out, when you google corona theses days you are inundated with news on the virus, but I finally found the definition for corona and used it for another haiku about Shawn’s photo.

E5C4DA0D-E191-407E-833A-59357206F656

Corona Areola 2020 Shawn Hosking

Play with color scheme
Irregular pearly glow
Set nipples ablaze

Yes, Shawn has a strange idea about art. And since my blog is still in Facebook jail, I can share this here as no one will see it on Facebook to lodge another complaint about my blog. Also this post is brought to you by the sound of children building their minecraft world. I did have some peace and quiet yesterday since Gretchen accompanied Robin to Liberty Wildlife to play with bunnies. Less than a month we should be off to deliver Robin to Oregon. Apparently the coronavirus has made them move the white coat ceremony to Zoom. 😦 At least we don’t have to figure out how to get back up there in September.

Scheme for alone time
Everyone stuck at home
My solitude lost

#NaPoWriMo Homemade Gifts

811A1698-323F-41C8-930F-EF3005588DDC

Living Room Shelf

Homemade gifts like the ones children make in school. Throughout the years both Robin and Gretchen would come home and give me something they made in school. I still have the horseshoe Robin used to display miniature ceramic horses he made for the art show at The Art Institute of Phoenix, winning in the most creative category.

5D935710-1448-4946-BAF4-0315BFC99935

Program from Art Show

This morning on Facebook one of the varied ceramic pieces Gretchen has made over the years popped up in my memories, and I realized a number of them are displayed on the shelf in our living room. Before our world was turned upside down, she was taking a ceramics class this semester. She’s still in it but since everything has moved online the focus of the class has changed not many students have a pottery wheel sitting in their backyard. Just one of the numerous items my husband has acquired over the years.

Look over my shelves
at vast collection of stuff
homemade ceramics

 

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, in gratitude for making it to Day 20, our (optional) prompt asks you to write a poem about a handmade or homemade gift that you have received. It could be a friendship bracelet made for you by a grade-school classmate, an itchy sweater from your Aunt Louisa, a plateful of cinnamon toast from your grandmother, a mix-tape from an old girlfriend. And whatever gift you choose, we wish you happy writing!

Good morning readers and welcome to day twenty of napowrimo. I was having a difficult time deciding on a homemade gift. At first I thought, Whoever has given me a homemade gift? Then I realized my husband has painted pictures for me throughout the years and has written me poetry (I’m still waiting for a new poem this year) and the poetry made me think of all the poems Gretchen has sent me. Then I went on Facebook and one of the ceramic pieces she made in high school popped up in my memories. I realized there are homemade gifts a plenty in this house and I took a picture of a shelf where three of Gretchen’s pieces are displayed. As my dad’s 79th birthday was yesterday I like the fact the photo of him and my mom are also there on the shelf.

Today’s #haikuchallenge word is stuff so I used it in my poem. One person’s stuff is another person’s junk. When I asked Shawn where he got his latest item now in the backyard, he told me, I made more space. Just because the backyard has been cleaned up and rearranged doesn’t mean you can collect more junk. He obviously disagrees.

#NaPoWriMo Poetic Inspiration

Merry Go Round

In search of poetic inspiration, I found
A hexameter line has six feet to spellbound
Will readers climb onboard this strange merry go round
Or am I just a fool to think my words are sound?

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s optional prompt asks you, like Alice Notley, to think about your own inspirations and forebears (whether literary or otherwise). Specifically, I challenge you today to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. These could be poems/poets/poepl that you strive to be like, or even poems, poets, and people that you strive not to be like. There are as many ways to go with this prompt as there are ways to be inspired.

Good morning readers and welcome to day fourteen of NaPoWriMo where we contemplate the inspiration that convinced us to take this thirty day journey. Mine began back in 2010 but I skipped 2011 between working as a poetry editor and flying back to Buffalo that April, it seemed to be a stretch to also write my own poetry. But after that one year break, I did pretty well on the napowrimo front. And in 2013 I actually started submitting my own work to be published.

Then last year inspiration started to wane. When I posted my poem yesterday, WordPress informed me I made my 500 post! Wow I started this blog back in the summer of 2013; it only took close to 7 years to make the 500th post. Most days when I feel uninspired, I go on twitter and see what the #haikuchallenge word is until napowrimo started up this year I haven’t even kept up my haiku tweets. Today’s word is hello so I wrote this –

When you say hello
keep at least six feet away
a hexameter

And then I thought, well since I looked up hexameter to see what the poetic term for six feet is, I might as well try to write something in a hexameter. Don’t blame me if you think it’s a disaster; I put words down on the screen and that’s what counts.

Wax poetically
A single word or person
Sparks inspiration

#NaPoWriMo First Contact Day

Keep a safe distance
First time greeting aliens
Live long and prosper

Star Trek: First Contact 1996

Captain Jean-Luc Picard : The date. Data, I need to know the exact date.
Lieutenant Commander Data : April 4th, 2063.
Cmdr. William Riker : April 4th, the day before first contact.
Lieutenant Commander Data : Precisely.

 

Hello readers and welcome to day five of NaPoWriMo – aka First Contact Day. Sorry for the interruption of your regularly scheduled prompt.
NaPoWriMo Prompt Our (optional) prompt for today is one that we have used in past years, but which I love to come back to, because it so often takes me to new and unusual places, and results in fantastic poems. It’s called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the following in the same poem. Of course,  if you can’t fit all twenty projects into your poem, or a few of them get your poem going, that is just fine too!

In other news, we pulled off a very successful birthday celebration yesterday (the day before first contact).

 

Festive ambiance
Wish many happy returns
Casa de Hosking

Decorate backyard
She does not reveal her wish
Quarantine party

The dinner portion of last night’s celebration was a bit tricky. We all went to Hayashi Hibachi for Shawn’s birthday at the end of February and Gretchen actually ate and enjoyed the sushi. She wanted to make a return trip for her birthday and then the stay at home order came. Well even before then, restaurants weren’t offering dine-in services, but I told her there is no problem ordering take-out. Mom was wrong Hayashi Hibachi has virtually no online presence and we could not find a menu to view. Shawn actually drove over to the restaurant; yes management is aware of the sucky online presence but they’re a chain and don’t have much of a say. Dad took pictures of the sushi options and we made our selection here at home; Dad placed the order and then went over to Total Wine to wait. He actually took a picture of the parking lot as no one was around except for the wine store. Yes folks if you have to be stuck indoors with your family for a month and more we all need alcoholic beverages to cope. Of course in my opinion, a little bit of poetry doesn’t hurt. Hope every has a safe and happy first contact day!

#NaPoWriMo Early Bird Prompt

39356F88-2725-468B-85AC-325BD9131457

Wikipedia Photo Credit

Flowers are in bloom
Hear the pyrrhuloxia sing
Signs of spring abound

NaPoWriMo Early Bird Prompt – And now, in the spirit of an early-bird prompt, I’d like to invite you to write a poem about your favorite bird. As this collection of snippets from longer poems suggests, birds have been inspiring poets for a very long time indeed!

Good Afternoon readers! I thought I would introduce you to the pyrrhuloxia more commonly called the desert cardinal as in actuality the cardinal is my favorite bird, but since living in the desert for over 20 years now; I’ve grown to appreciate the beauty of my desert cardinal. And for those, who like me, look at the word pyrrhuloxia and wonder how in the world do I pronounce it.

Shawn has been busy working in the backyard cleaning and planting. This morning I went out there to enjoy my morning coffee and watch him work. The #haikuchallenge word today is channel. Of course, I used my morning as inspiration.

Enjoy morning sun
Stop flipping TV channels
Excuse the bed head

Gardner hard at work
Channeling his green thumb to
Grow vegetables

And since April begins tomorrow, there is a birthday to celebrate on Saturday. Poor Gretchen already feels her birthday gets a bum wrap. She never had any luck with birthday parties as so often her birthday falls near or on Easter and then when she was in high school she learned it was the day MLK was assassinated. Arizona will be on a stay at home order as of 5pm today; so yeah Gretchen gets to celebrate another year #ForeverAlone (as she puts it). I’m hoping she will get a wonderful social distancing surprise this Saturday through social media and turn her frown upside.

Birthday approaching
Channel positivity
Over doom and gloom

Well if you’ll excuse me, I’ve whittled my morning away writing and daydreaming in my backyard. I best be off to do something productive today. I’ll see everyone again tomorrow for the official kick off of NaPoWriMo.

 

Advice from An Expert

29101257_10156239970497421_1955572659399950336_n

Good Afternoon, readers! I ventured outside today to walk down the street to the mailbox. Alas, it was mostly junk mail and a couple bills.  I thought I’d share my National Poetry Month poster from a couple years ago to get everyone excited for next month. I did not get a poster last year, but I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of this year’s poster.

In the meantime, I wrote a few haiku for today’s #haikuchallenge word – crazy. This first one was inspired by the very cool weather we have been experiencing in Phoenix.

Wake up feeling hot
Heat kicks on at end of March
Crazy time of year

The next two are about an introvert being stuck at home with too many people underfoot.

House is too crowded
Introvert driven crazy
Without solitude

Advice from expert –
Conversations with yourself
Staves off stir crazy

To pass the time I’ve been on Twitter way too much, but I have been enjoying William Shatner’s Captain’s Log tweets about sheltering place; as well as Patrick Stewart’s daily sonnet readings. Of course I watched the season finale of Picard yesterday, twice. Shhh.. don’t tell Gretchen. Since she’s stuck at home with online classes, I told her we would watch the two part finale together. But after Jonathan Frakes tweeted a picture of Captain Riker back in uniform very early yesterday morning, I wasn’t going to wait for someone to wake up and attend her online classes before I watched. Don’t worry when I told her Captain Riker shows up again, I promptly blamed Frakes for the spoiler. She had no idea I watched the episode at the beginning of my day before doing housework. And of course I used the episode to inspire my #haikuchallenge tweet yesterday. It’s a good thing Gretchen does not use Twitter or reads my blog. 😉

Picard finale
Believe in human spirit
Live by example

So my life is pretty much continuing on as usual even with the lack of privacy. Unfortunately it seems that may be a constant until school starts up in August again, keeping my fingers crossed we return to normal by then.