#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Nineteen

Me and My Dad

Eighty

Birthday
Marks time
Another year older
Additional creaks and groans
Eighty

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd last but not least, our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a humorous rant. In this poem, you may excoriate to your heart’s content all the things that get on your nerves. Perhaps it’s people who tailgate when driving, or don’t put the caps back on pens after they use them. Or the raccoons who get into your garbage cans. For inspiration, perhaps you might look to this list of Shakespearean insults. Or, for all of you who grew up on cartoons from the 1980s, perhaps this compendium of Skeletor’s Best Insults might provide some insight.

Good afternoon and welcome to day nineteen of #NaPoWriMo aka my dad’s birthday. So yes I went off script and I wrote an elevenie since my dad is German it made sense. I guess you could read a small rant into the affects of aging. But other than that it’s just a silly little birthday poem. Our new fridge arrived today and reminded me I needed to call my dad. It is preprogrammed; we have yet to personalize it. And this was the home screen.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

After the delivery person left, I grabbed the phone and told my dad, Our fridge reminded me to call you. Once I talked to my dad and we got all the food into the new fridge, I tuned into the poetry pea podcast. Today is the 100th episode and Patricia read one of my haiku. I started listening to it on spotify on my iPhone and a notice popped up, we see there is a Samsung speaker near by would you like to listen from it. Umm…no thank you not quite sure I’m ready to listen and watch programs on my refrigerator. Gretchen got up and came into the kitchen and said, Mom’s listening to the weird lady reading haiku again. (Sorry Patricia.) And a couple minutes later Patricia said my name, both Shawn and Gretchen were like…OOO. Really I learned from the last public listening party to keep my poetry listening private unless there is a reason to share.

So this is how my week began. How is everyone else doing?

#PiperPoetryMonth

Grandpa and Grandma Tiger

Golden Anniversary

Have you seen walking around town
a man who looks lost and forlorn?
He is in search of a woman he thought he knew
except she may have told him one little fib.
You see the man is my husband and for years
he believed my birthday was April 29, 1911.
But in fact…
I was really born in 1910.
I had no other choice but to lie to him.
He would never marry an older woman
and I knew I was eight months older than he.

This poem is based off the true story of my grandparents courtship. They did meet in grade school and even back in the dark ages 😉 teachers would announce birthdays. Well my grandma knew my grandfather’s birthday was in December so when her birthday came around in April she told him she was born in 1911. A lie that lasted, I’ve been told, for decades. It wasn’t until my grandfather went down to the social security office (to set up retirement payments?) and he learned her true age, because they did not have a record for an Estelle Tiger born in 1911 but they did have one for the same name and birthday but in 1910.

I wrote this poem yesterday a combination of the #NaPoWriMo and @piper_center prompts. It is a funny monologue about my grandparents’ 50th anniversary portrait – not exactly what the photo sees looking outward more like what was occurring inward.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Five

Gretchen’s Birthday Cake

Twenty

More decades ahead then
behind her, she feels time
beginning to weigh on her
incessant march of age

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day FiveThis prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. If I used Roethke’s poem as my model, for example, the first line would start with “I,” the second line with “W,” and the third line with “A.” And I would try to make all my lines neither super-short nor overlong, but have about ten syllables. I would also have my poem take the form of four, seven-line stanzas. I have found this prompt particularly inspiring when I use a base poem that mixes long and short lines, or stanzas of different lengths. Any poem will do as a jumping-off point, but if you’re having trouble finding one, perhaps you might consider Mary Szybist’s “We Think We Do Not Have Medieval Eyes” or for something shorter, Natalie Shapero’s “Pennsylvania.”

Good afternoon and welcome to day five of #NaPoWriMo. April 4th aka the day before first contact went well I think. Gretchen says she feels old. Well on the “true” day before first contact she will be 62 – that’s old 😉 never mind the fact her Grandpa will be 80 in two weeks and her Poppo will be 70 later this year. Well the prompt today had me a little stumped. I wasn’t sure what poem I wanted to use; the ones I was reading over at poets.org weren’t inspiring anything creative. I decided to look at the theme of birthdays and W.B. Yeats Youth and Age seemed appropriate. Gretchen is on the cusp of youth and age – no longer a teenager but despite her protests she’s not old either.

End of Year Review

Another year ends
Strange as 2020 was
There were happy times

Good morning and welcome to the last day of 2020 and my year end review. Despite not posting very often this year, my blog visits were up from last year. I did complete #NaPoWriMo in April, thanks in part to not having to score standardized tests. This may have been a factor to the increased traffic. At the end of February, we celebrated Shawn’s 48th birthday. We had no idea at the time it would be the last time we would enjoy an evening out.

Shawn and I at his birthday dinner

Then in April we celebrated the first birthday in quarantine, Gretchen’s 19th birthday on April 4th. Shawn picked up dinner from the very same restaurant we went to for his birthday and we decorated the backyard and had an enjoyable evening. I used the success of our first quarantine birthday as inspiration to submit a haiku to the OCMA sound collage. Also in April, Patricia posted one of my haiku on her Pea TV moment. It took some finessing as I’m not great at capturing hummingbirds on video; but as we were eating dinner one night, we saw a hummingbird enjoying the aloe out the window. And I confess, Gretchen was the one who captured the recording.

In May we were also busy, Gretchen finished her freshmen year at ASU on the Dean’s List while Robin graduated from ASU Summa Cum Laude.

Gretchen’s 1st year of college
Robin in cap & gown

Of course we had another quarantine birthday to celebrate on May 20, Robin turned 22. Near the beginning of the month, our internet went down for A WEEK. The only plus it happened after the last final was taken since everything went virtual in March, it would have been a hassle to figure out how to get finals completed without internet. For June and July we were alone together. Shawn has a great job and has continued working; Robin finished employment at ASU in May since he graduated. He was still going to work at 4 paws but it was not every day. Then on August 1st we packed up the van Shawn dragged me over to the dealership at the end of May to buy and we took a road trip up to Oregon. Robin started his first year at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine in September.

Gretchen and Robin in Corvallis

In October Shawn and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary in quarantine. There was one good thing to come from having all these celebrations at home. Shawn learned how to cook a proper steak. We had filet mignon medium rare. Then the following weekend Shawn talked me into an overnight camping trip at White Tanks. In November I celebrated my birthday in quarantine. Once again Shawn cooked an excellent steak and we had lobster tails to make it surf and turf. Then in December Robin and Gretchen wrapped up their second semester of virtual learning. Robin earned a 3.7 his first semester of veterinary school and Gretchen has a 3.6! Both are doing very well in this mixed up year of schooling. And as you can see, I’ve stopped adding links to my review since most everything can now be found on my blog’s home page as I really sloughed off updating the blog after May.

#NaPoWriMo Dream Talk at Dinner

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Gretchen Hosking in the Backyard

Middle of the street
Call out Jennifer Lawrence
Mystique walks away

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Our prompt for the day (optional as always) takes its cue from our gently odd resources, and asks you to write a poem based on an image from a dream. We don’t always remember our dreams, but images or ideas from them often stick with us for a very long time. I definitely have some nightmares I haven’t been able to forget, but I’ve also witnessed very lovely things in dreams (like snow falling on a flood-lit field bordered by fir trees, as seen through a plate glass window in a very warm and inviting kitchen). Need an example of a poem rooted in dream-based imagery? Try this one by Michael Collier.

Good morning readers and welcome to day four of NaPoWriMo. First thing’s first – Happy 19th birthday, Gretchen! Today’s prompt seems rather apropos as Gretchen told me about the strange dream she had at dinner last night. Of course I reminded her what time of year it was; anything you tell mom in April is fair game to be used as poetry inspiration. Then I see write a dream-based poem. May be the fastest turn around from discussion to poem I’ve had. Gretchen said she didn’t care as she knew tomorrow’s poem would be about her anyway. She sooooo enjoys having a birthday in April – not.

Dinner discussion
Mom front and center in dream
Serendipity

Apparently Gretchen and I were in the middle of a busy street with one of our cats, Chase, and we were supposed to be some kind of undercover agents. Gretchen said it was a miracle I didn’t blow our cover because I kept calling out Jennifer Lawrence. I said, I’m shocked I even recognized Jennifer Lawrence, because knowing me if I just ran into a celebrity on the street I would have no clue. Then I was told she was actually dressed as Mystique which I found even funnier, because I’m sure I would recognize an X-men easier than an actor; and why was I calling her by her real name if she looked like Mystique? Gretchen had no idea she was just trying to get me not to blow our cover and it sounded like I wasn’t giving her an easy job.

Well we have a birthday to celebrate somehow in these strange times. If any of you have the opportunity please go over to Gretchen’s Tumblr and wish her Happy Birthday!
Thank you

#NaPoWriMo Self Portrait

hosking

Self Portrait

Hopeless
Tied up in knots
Little girl in despair
Cannot coax bunny through the hole
Failure

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our (optional) prompt, which also deals with metaphors! Forrest Gump famously said that “life is like a box of chocolates.” And there are any number of poems out there that compare or equate the speaker’s life with a specific object. (For example, this poem of Emily Dickinson’s). Today, however, I’d like to challenge you to write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes.

Good morning readers and welcome to the first day of NaPoWriMo. I know my self portrait is bleak, but a long time ago a five year old girl thought she was a kindergarten failure before kindergarten even began. I still flashback to the feeling of dread at my inability to tie shoelaces. So when the prompt mentioned tying shoes…

Let’s focus on a happy note. I did coax someone to give me the link to her Tumblr. Mom does not use the platform and I know thing two does not use Twitter nor does she go on Facebook very often. Saturday is the big day – 19 years old! Please go wish her a happy birthday. By the way, for those curious mom was also successful at teaching thing one and thing two to tie shoelaces. One would think I’d be over the dread of life’s early failure maybe someday.

#NaPoWriMo Early Bird Prompt

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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.

 

#NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 3

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Gretchen wearing #RedInstead April 2, 2019

Life’s Journey

Simmer for nine months
Celebrate milestones
First tooth
Learning to crawl
Stand and walk
Potty training
Send off to kindergarten
Move up to middle school
Graduate from high school
Eighteen years old
Off to college
Study hard
Earn a degree
Life has just begun

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 3 – And now for today’s prompt (optional as always). Today’s prompt is based in a poem by Larry Levis called “The Two Trees.” It is a poem that seems to meander, full of little digressions, odd bits of information, but fundamentally, it is a poem that takes time. It takes its time getting where it’s going, and the action of the poem itself takes place over months. Today, I’d like to challenge you to similarly write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time. Perhaps, as you do, you can focus on imagery, or sound, or emotional content (or all three!)

Good morning and welcome to day 3 of NaPoWriMo. Yesterday I made an error and linked to the participant’s blog for day 2 instead of the prompt page. When I clicked on it to get back to the Shakespeare Sonnet in German video, I realized the mistake. It is now fixed. I wanted the link to the poetry video to share on Facebook with my poem from yesterday as my blog is in Facebook jail at the moment and I am unable to share links to my poetry posts.

As my long time readers should know, Gretchen has a birthday in April. Tomorrow she will be 18! Wow where did that time go; she’ll be graduating from high school next month. It seems like we were celebrating Rachael’s high school graduation only yesterday, but it was three years ago. I figured a poem about growing up would cover an appreciable length of time plus it’s still going. The #haikuchallenge word today is not. I worked that into the theme as well.

Meander through life
Eighteen years she walks the Earth
Direction not set

And yes I was able to take a picture of the elusive Gretchen yesterday. The cat distraction was helpful.

Haiku Winner

 

No one answers door
rely on neighbor to send
bouquet across street

Since Rachael’s birthday is on a Sunday and she works at 4 paws, she wanted her birthday celebration yesterday. Well yesterday also happened to be graduation day for the high school and the delivery person came when the neighbors were at the ceremony. We got to hold onto the flowers. Of course I had to take a picture of Rachael’s birthday present by all the nice flowers. The flowers behind the present are my Mother’s Day roses and the bouquet in the forefront with the balloons is the neighbor’s. Rachael wanted to have sushi for her birthday, but we found out Friday night trying to make reservations that Blu Sushi is closed. The picture I shared yesterday of Rachael’s 19th birthday was the last time we ate at Blu Sushi without knowing it would be the last time. Rachael decided on Nakama Sushi restaurant. After dinner the gang came over to our house. Shawn was able to go across the street and deliver the bouquet; he came home with a piece of cake for his troubles. The rest of us played Cards Against Humanity. It was the first time we went through the entire deck. Rachael won with 24! cards. It was close though because Karolena got 23. I ended up with 16; Gretchen 15 and Emmett got 12. The poor guy was playing too nice of cards the game is titled against humanity for a reason.

I did win the haiku card 😉

The Big Bang
Some god damn peace and quiet
Geese

The #haikuchallenge word on twitter today is rely so of course I had to tout my victory.

Rely on nature
Cards Against Humanity
End haiku with geese

I found out this morning Shawn is having a solo show at Alwun House later in the summer – August 24-29. Since his brother’s birthday is the opening date, I thought he was doing it as a memorial for Scott; he said no. But now he may include a piece dedicated to his brother. This summer will be Shawn’s first trip back to Buffalo since Scott’s funeral. Maybe he’ll get a chance to photograph some places that remind him of Scott to put in the show. Okay and now that I’ve slipped down a sad road on Rachael’s birthday, I think I’m going to stop typing.

May Celebrations

 

Last weekend Shawn and I enjoyed the wine and jazz walk in Phoenix and the last photo is my Mother’s Day fondue dinner. Shawn made an excellent fondue though I told him I wasn’t a fan of his photo. Despite how the wine looks, it was also very good. This weekend we are celebrating someone’s birthday.

Mother’s Day dinner
give credit for excellent
fondue recipe

Celebrate birthday
credit daughter ten more years
watching Great Gatsby

Last night Rachael, Gretchen and I were watching the most recent Great Gatsby, as Gretchen was watching it at school since they read the novel earlier this year, but they did not finish the movie. Near the end, Nick realizes it’s his birthday and he’s 30 years old. I turn to Rachael and ask, “How does it feel to be ten years away from 30?” 😉 Yes, she will be 20 tomorrow. And I can now share this quote:

Sylvia Plath

“You are twenty. You are not dead, although you were dead. The girl who died. And was resurrected. Children. Witches. Magic. Symbols.”

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Rachael’s 19th Birthday at Blu Sushi Litchfield Park, AZ