Two Weeks and Counting

Good afternoon two weeks from today is my cataract surgery, and it seems even Twitter wants to remind me. Yesterday @SpaceLiminalBot posted a photo from an eye test. Back in April I discovered the Liminal Space account on Twitter for a #NaPoWriMo prompt and I followed the page. This was a photo they tweeted yesterday.

@SpaceLiminalBot photo Twitter 10/18/2021

Cataracts cloud lens
My right eye has vision loss
Hard pressed to see house

Today I used the #HaikuChallenge word – press to write a poem about my vision experience. I’ve been doing quite well with the challenge since returning from our trip. Of course I’ve been using photos from the trip as inspiration for my haiku, starting on my actual anniversary.

Just married
25 years pass
What happened?

Weekend getaway
Hotel room mirror selfies
My super hot bod

Celebrate love
Twenty five years of marriage
Does it really show?

Repurpose glass box
Old phone booth experiment
Dial a poem

Anniversary
Soft cries encourage him on
Wine and strawberries

Long four day weekend
Start celebrating early
And carry on late

Press grapes to make juice
Then ferment inside barrels
Enjoy wine tasting

Friday I get to go have more testing done on my right eye so they can make the best artificial lens to fit the eye. They try to get it as close to 20/20 as possible. Three weeks after the surgery I go back to have my eyesight tested and get new glasses. Since I’m not sure how well things will go between the surgery and vision check, I’m pretty sure my computer screen time will be limited. Even if my right eye will be able to see well there is the fact my left eye still needs corrective lenses. So my eyesight will still be catawampus until I get new glasses.

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

Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years ago Shawn worked 6am-2pm so he woke up and left for work before anyone else started to stir. Then I was awoken to the phone ringing, Shawn called to tell me to turn on the TV a plane crashed into one of the twin towers in NYC. I watched in disbelief, working on autopilot. I woke up Robin and Gretchen, got Robin dressed and fed and ready for preschool and off we went. In the classroom several moms came up to me asking if I was alright and did I know anyone. I smiled and said, I’m fine I didn’t know anyone who worked in the city. My mom was born and raised outside New York City (in Pompton Plains New Jersey), and eleven years after 9-11 Robin asked my Uncle Jim to take us into the city for his 8th grade promotion. We flew to Buffalo and drove over to my other aunt and uncle’s in Warwick, NY before driving into the city for a couple days.

I’m not sure if Robin’s apple print he made in preschool all those years ago was still hanging on our front door. I do know it decorated the door for years because the teachers wrote the date on it and I did not have the heart to take it down. Despite the number of years it was up, I had a hard time finding a picture of the print on the door. This was the best I could do.

Robin’s 9-11 apple print

Preschool apple print
Masterpiece made years ago
Decorates front door

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

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Eight

My Nightstand

I Question Living with Cats

What can be found on my nightstand
Why must the cats walk across it
in the middle of the night; then
wake me up, jumping on my head
Do they enjoy prowling at night
interrupting my beauty sleep
Why am I tired all day as cats
sleep soundly anywhere they lay
How do they accomplish the same
feat night after night and deftly
keep everything on my nightstand

NaPoWriMo Prompt Our prompt today (optional, as always), is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. The questions could be a mix of the serious (“What is the meaning of life?”) and humorous (“What’s the deal with cats knocking things off tables?”), the interruptive (“Could you repeat that?”) and the conversational (“Are those peanuts? Can I have some?”). You can choose to answer them – or just let the questions keep building up, creating a poem that asks the reader to come up with their own answer(s).

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty eight of #NaPoWriMo where I question living with cats. They woke Shawn and I up before 6am this morning. I’m a little tired today. Two more poems to go before another poetry month is in the books.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Seven

Scar on Right Hand Surrounded by artwork by Mr. Tookles

Initial V

Scar
Between right thumb
And forefinger

After surgery
Giving hand ability
To grasp
Scabulous!

NaPoWriMo Prompt In today’s (optional) prompt, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem inspired by an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. The entries are very vivid – maybe too vivid! But perhaps one of the sorrows will strike a chord with you, or even get you thinking about defining an in-between, minor, haunting feeling that you have, and that does not yet have a name.

Good Afternoon and welcome to day twenty seven of #NaPoWriMo. I’m feeling much better today; boy the second shot really does pack a punch. Yesterday I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Thankfully Gretchen was here to keep my water glass full and my cooling towel damp. She even made me soup while FaceTiming with Robin and I heard her ask, When it says lower heat to a simmer, how low do they mean? However it was accomplished, the soup was yummy. It may have been because it was the only thing I ate yesterday though. But after finishing one bowl I actually had enough energy to get up and serve myself a second bowl.

This morning I busied myself with all the chores that were not touched yesterday and so I started the prompt a little later than usual.

scabulous

adj. proud of a scar on your body, which is an autograph signed to you by a world grateful for your continued willingness to play with her, even when you don’t feel like it.

I’m not sure I am exactly on point with the definition of scabulous, but the word spoke to me especially after how I felt yesterday. I really do adhere to the idea that scars need not define us so I’m not sure if I’m particularly proud of my scar or have just learned to live with it.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Six

Tuck, tuck, tuck yourself gently into bed

Shivering, shivering, shivering, shivering wishing you were dead

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a parody. Besides being fun, writing parodies can be a great way to hone your poetic skills – particularly your sense of rhyme and sound, as you try to mimic the form of an existing poem while changing the content. Just find a poem – or a song – that has always annoyed you, and write an altered, silly version of it. Or, alternatively, find a poem with a very particular rhyme scheme or form, and use that scheme/form as the basis for a poem that mocks something else.

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty six of #NaPoWriMo where I can assure Spock we are not having a good time. Last night Gretchen wanted to watch TOS Wrath of Khan. And I made it through the movie, but about four hours after my shot about 8:30, 9 pm I started feeling miserable. Then this morning I woke up with Row, Row, Row Your Boat stuck in my head. Don’t ask me how I jumped from Star Trek II to Star Trek V; I don’t know. Since the song wouldn’t shut up I rewrote it to match how I feel today.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Five

Masked and Ready to Go

Second Shot

My shot
Stop virus spread
Auspicious occasion
Help create herd immunity
Vaccine

NaPoWriMo Prompt Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is to write an “occasional” poem. What’s that? Well, it’s a poem suited to, or written for, a particular occasion. This past January, lots of people who usually don’t encounter poetry got a dose when Amanda Gorman read a poem at President Biden’s inauguration. And then she followed it up with a poem at the Superbowl (not traditionally an event associated with verse!) The poem you write can be for an occasion in the past or the future, one important to you and your family (a wedding, a birth) or for an occasion in the public eye (the Olympics, perhaps?).

Good morning and welcome to day twenty five of #NaPoWriMo. Today’s special occasion – this afternoon I’m off to get my 2nd shot of the Moderna vaccine. It’s an auspicious occasion worthy of a poem.

Other occasion poems – 8th grade graduation

Twentieth Wedding Anniversary

My Dad’s 70th Birthday

And last week marked thirty years since Shawn and I started dating and in less than six months we’ll be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary another occasion I’m sure I’ll commemorate in a poem. But for now I’ll be headed off to my local grocery store pharmacy for shot number 2 and if you don’t see a poem from me tomorrow you’ll know I’m probably not feeling well.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Four

Bee photo by Gretchen Hosking

Pollinators

Ground nesting
Insects
Bees
Burrow in dirt

NaPoWriMo PromptToday’s (optional) prompt is a fun one. Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.

Good Afternoon and welcome to day twenty four of #NaPoWriMo where I did not follow the prompt strictly. I did read an article on ground nesting bees. We have had them in our backyard as far back as I remember. They are attracted to the flowers Shawn grows out there and the fact we never laid down grass or gravel. There is plenty of south facing bare soil in our backyard. Well last weekend Shawn was putting in new brick to finish off the look of the new patio we had put in in February and the ground bees were not happy with him. He was disturbing their homes. Since then we have noticed one bee flying in and out of the topsoil bag left from Shawn’s gardening in the spring of 2020. Poor bee did not chose a wise relocation; he’s going to be disturbed again if Shawn uses the soil for more planting.

Backyard Seating Area

Photo of the brick work Shawn did on what is now Speedy’s side of the yard. We now have brick at the back of the new patio to match. And some of our lovely flowers the bees and hummingbirds love to frequent. And for those curious my poem today is a Teacup dictionary poem. Another short poetry I enjoy writing. Ostentatious

#NaPoWriMo – My History of Participation

The first year I participated in #NaPoWriMo was in 2010. One of the poems I wrote that year can be found in the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Anthology (September 2010). Tea Time was one of my first concrete poems, I wrote about the memory of my mom making us tea. I skipped 2011 – MaMaZinA was publishing its final issue that spring and I also went back to Buffalo for my dad’s 70th birthday. Shutterfly sent me my photo memories from 10 years ago. My dad’s photo collage for his 70th birthday was among them and one of the photos is his kindergarten portrait.

My Dad 1946

Father has gray hair
Frame kindergarten photo
Towhead little boy

When I was little, I actually thought my dad had gray hair as a kid not really knowing much about black and white photos. I used today’s #haikuchallenge word frame to write the poem. Then I looked up my kindergarten photo in my yearbook. Yes, I have my yearbook from kindergarten.

Kindergarten 1980

Man has four daughters
Frame kindergarten photo
Third born his junior

I added to my #haikuchallenge thread with my kindergarten photo and of course I had to include the fact I’m Ron jr. I skipped #NaPoWriMo in 2011 but ever since 2012, I’ve been writing poems every April. Unfortunately in 2012 and ’13 my poems were posted on gather.com so I don’t have all of them. I do have some as I do write a lot of my poems long hand in journals, but they are not available online to read. But as of 2014 all my April musings can be found on this blog. And as for 2021 there is one week to go. So far I’ve been writing at least one poem a day something I haven’t done the last couple of years. We’ll see how well I keep up my writing come May 1st.