Broken #Haiku Record

BLOG BADGE 2019 Poetry Blogging Network

Poetry Blogging in 2019

Snow in the desert
Need to manage staying warm
Plenty of pea soup

Hard to manage pain
Desert heat evaporates
Cold seeps down to bone

Shivering inside
Temperatures still frosty
Blood may never warm

Cold blooded tortoise
Hiding away in his home
Thinks hell froze over

 

So far so good on the poetry front of 2019. As you can see, I’m a little bit of a broken record right now, obsessing about the weather. Yesterday Phoenix was colder than Anchorage – ALASKA! I moved away from Buffalo, NY because I did not enjoy dealing with the snow AND cold. This year it will be 20 years since we left it all behind. Mother Nature really had no need to remind me what I’m missing; I still do NOT miss it. Yesterday the #haikuchallenge word was manage and today it is blood.

There was rain on the 31st and some areas of desert saw snow, but the majority of the cacti in snow didn’t get posted until yesterday. Our tortoise did not venture out of his home at all yesterday and may be hunkering down all day again. I don’t blame him; I enjoyed the batch of pea soup New Year’s Eve night, again on the 1st and again yesterday. Still as my one poem states – I’m not sure my blood will ever warm again. Thanks for reading my rant about freezing in the desert. I hope everyone is keeping warm and having a productive 2019.

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#PoetBlogRevival Part 2

BLOG BADGE 2019 Poetry Blogging Network

March also happens to be Cerebral Palsy awareness month and through the #PoetBlogRevival, I met Bekah Steimel, who was interviewing poets about their work as part of her blog. My interview appeared in March so I shared my poem Escape with her readers. And this brings us to April, National Poetry Month or better known to my readers as #NaPoWriMo where I insanely write a poem a day from the prompts at napowrimo.net

In 2017 I also got a job as a remote reader, grading the essays on standardized tests and I returned to this work in 2018, making April even more insane. Near the beginning of the month my poem. Pedernal, was published on ekphrastic.net. It was written back in 2011 when Shawn and I visited Ghost Ranch in New Mexico as part of our 15th anniversary trip. For anyone discouraged by rejections I can tell you your poetry will find a home somewhere. I actually got a rejection a couple weeks ago the same day I made the submission; and the editor said they send out quick replies so you can find the proper fit for your poetry. I know it’s meant to soften the blow of the rejection, but less than a day! Oh well, the poem went back in the queue.

Also in April, Patricia had a breakfast themed haiku podcast and despite the insanity of the month, I made a contribution. She also include a piece from my evil twin. Then we entered May and remote reading wound down for another year along with the school year. Rachael had a birthday – TWENTY; no longer a teenager and someone shared a quote by Sylvia Plath I found rather apropos. In July Patricia’s podcast focused on women; so you know me, one Sylvia Plath quote turned into haiku. The day the podcast was posted, I made my children listen to it while we were eating dinner. Hey, your mother’s a poet and you’re going to learn to like it.

AHHH… August the start of a brand new school year. Gretchen is now a senior in high school! How did that happen? It also happened to be the month I started not feeling well. One issue being the Cerebral Palsy, doing everything with one hand is catching up to me. My left arm/shoulder decided to spasm on me. I’m used to spasms on my right side due to the CP, but the left?! Come on I need that hand to work. A trip to the ER and explaining where the pain was located, the doctor swept his arm back and forth, Do you do this motion very often? Hmmm… let me think, yeah vacuuming,sweeping, mopping; chores I do everyday! So it was off to a physical therapist to learn exercises for my left hand. Ok that was new and different; I’ve only been to PT for CP related exercises.

At the end of the month three of my poems appeared in the summer issue of Unstrung. Then September, October and November were filled with doctor appointments I could have done without. I did not keep up with weekly blog posts for the poet blog revival 😦 But tomorrow begins a brand new year filled with new possibilities. And on a positive note, I do like my poetry short. It isn’t a huge strain to type out one-handed. Today’s #haikuchallenge word is place. And tying part 2 into part 1, I bring you another poem about the cold weather.

Freezing desert temps
Someone turn the sun back on
This place is too cold

My WTForecast app told me it was 31 this morning. Fortunately we had a bone-in ham for Christmas and split peas were set to soaking last night. I am off to make the split pea soup to keep us warm on the last day of 2018. Happy New Year!

#PoetBlogRevival

BLOG BADGE 2019 Poetry Blogging Network.jpg

#PoetBlogRevival 2019

At the beginning of 2018, a bunch of poets came together and decided it would be great to blog at least once a week about poetry, life, writing acceptances and rejections. The previous year my poetry writing hit a slump so I thought this would be a great way to revive it. For most of the past year, my poetry moved ahead well. Since the start of 2018, AZ Matsuri Ebook I had a haiku chosen as honorable mention and published in the ebook (FYI to AZ haiku writers 2019 contest is now open). Another haiku of mine appeared on the pure haiku website in February as well.

If you click on the link above and notice the post’s title, I want my heat back; the end of 2018 is no different than its beginning. The last weekend of the year we have had freeze warnings and with the possibility of rain in the forecast on the 31st, if it starts early enough it may deliver SNOW! So today I had fun with the #haikuchallenge word – sense and the forecast.

Phoenix may get snow
Precipitation likely
Forecast makes no sense

Temperatures plunge
Makes sense to stay warm in bed
Do not mention snow

Continuing through 2018, Patricia over at Poetry Pea included several of my haiku in her haiku podcast, beginning in March where I talk about snow in the desert. Yes, dear readers on rare occasions snow has been seen in my hot desert. Shawn just came home with groceries and tonight’s dinner, so my #PoetBlogRevival 2018 review will have to be continued later. Thanks for reading and joining me on this strange trip through life with poetry.

Winter Solstice

 

Sunrise too early
Take photos of sun setting
Nice end to the day

Yes, I am still taking photos of the evening sunset. The evil twin has complained I do not take any sunrise photos. Well Gretchen took the sunrise picture when she arrived at school this morning for her last day before winter break. Meanwhile, I was still in bed and Shawn brought me coffee this morning. ❤ I took my own “sunrise” photo as it was a lovely view from bed (I told Katryn my window faces Southwest and doesn’t have a view of the sunrise), but this morning’s view was also a good opportunity to tease my sister. As my coffee mug was placed down by a righty and offered the opposite side of my ASU Mom mug.

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Teasing my sister
Remember to fear the fork
There’s no end in sight

Of course this is not the first time I have mentioned forks in poetry. I do have to remind the twin how she “took a fork to the foot” every once in a while. 😉

October Disappearing Fast

 

Days dissolve quickly
First blog post in October
Busy holiday

The second week of October was fall break. Rachael had no school Monday and Tuesday; Gretchen had off the entire week. Saturday October 6th, Poppo flew down for the vacation time. Sunday we went over to Barnes & Noble – a tradition for this family of readers. Then we had dinner at Claim Jumpers. Monday we drove out to Scottsdale to visit with Caitlin. The first picture is me at P.F.Chang’s – the one in Scottsdale has an art sculpture kaleidoscope. Then Tuesday Rachael had work; we had to take Gretchen over to the orthodontist to fix her permanent retainer. We picked up some breakfast at McDonald’s and then went back out to Scottsdale in the afternoon. We picked up Caitlin and drove over to Tempe to see Rachael’s apartment. Shawn came over from work and we all ate at Oregano’s. Gretchen got the boneless Buffalo chicken. Then she treated everyone to StarBuck’s with her gift cards from the orthodontist.

Wednesday Shawn took Gretchen’s leftovers from Claim Jumpers to work for lunch. Rachael was back to school. Poppo, Gretchen and I spent the day at home until Gretchen’s eye appointment and then we went to Yogurtini. Thursday Gretchen wanted to go to the butterfly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens. The three of us spent a couple hours there; Gretchen and I even got to release new butterflies into the garden. Then we went back to ASU to get Rachael for lunch. The three of us at Dilly’s Deli in Tempe. Thursday was the day Shawn took Gretchen’s Buffalo chicken to work.

First leftovers snatched
Rachael buys more on Friday
Dad strikes second time

On Friday Gretchen asked how to heat up her chicken. Umm… what chicken? My leftovers from Oregano’s. You don’t have any leftovers; Dad took them to work. Later I tell Rachael about the incident and she goes over to Oregano’s and gets more chicken before heading home. So Gretchen got more chicken. Everyone was raving about it; I had to try a bite. They are delicious. Rachael and Gretchen shared the order Friday night and there were a few leftover. Saturday Rachael had some for lunch and left a couple for Gretchen once she got home from school. Well Dad saw them in the fridge and ate them AGAIN! I told him we’re going to tape a big – Dad, Do NOT touch! on the next order!

August Almost Over

Last day of August
Prime time to get off my butt
Not feeling well sucks

 

Long time and nothing new from me. Sorry to all my followers, but I’ve been under the weather most of this month and everyone else in the family has been busy with school and work. And as it was the start of the school year, it also meant Mom got homework, too. Gretchen’s final walk through registration went well. Then we had all the start of the school year syllabuses to sign and there was the online health class to register for and it got off to a good start this past Monday.

Earlier this month, I had a few poems published in Unstrung Magazine.

Poetry vibrates
across bridge supporting strings
Unstrung magazine

Today’s #haikuchallenge word is prime. The one above was written a couple weeks ago for the #haikuchallenge on twitter and to share the link to the magazine. I haven’t even been keeping up with the daily words. Hopefully now that I’m on the mend and with the start of a new month tomorrow, I can start daily poetry writing again.

 

Last High School Registration Walk Through

It’s finally here, the last time we will have to go to Gretchen’s school for walk through registration is tomorrow. So this morning I filled out all the paperwork in an attempt to get through the process more quickly. Rachael has been officially added as a pick up person; mom no longer has to go with her if she needs to pick Gretchen up during school hours. 😀 She could have been added last year, but I was in Germany during walk through and apparently Dad was a deer in the headlights. Gretchen is happy Mom is available to go this year.  Mom isn’t these things are a mad house.

Survived Walk Through Registration

Fill out paperwork
Go over everything
Last year of high school

And speaking of madness, I’m currently filling out high school paperwork times two. Because Gretchen needs her health requirement to graduate and it’s incorporated into Agua Fria’s PE class Gretchen cannot take; she needs to take the health portion online. I thought this meant through her school, but no she has to registration as a concurrent student with an online high school for one half credit course! Hopefully once the school year starts, Mom will get some peace again. I have fallen off of weekly updates for the poet blog revival. While we’re on the subject of poetry – Fellowship applications for writers to teach at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference at the Virginia G. Piper Center at ASU are due Monday July 30th. I know the poetry community in Phoenix would love to see some poetry workshops at the conference. Sorry for the short notice, but I have a link to the website.

Back from Buffalo

Vacation over
Housework keeps husband busy
while I supervise

 

Okay I did steam mop the bathroom floor and cleaned the shower before doing the hard work of supervising. It’s amazing how dirty floors get leaving three cats alone in a house for a week. I cleaned out the litter box yesterday before watching TV; then went down the hall to scoop out the one in the girls’ bathroom and found Rachael beat me to it. And somehow this morning Gretchen went off to 4 Paws with Rachael to clean more litter boxes. 😉 Actually Rachael says Gretchen plays with kittens more than cleaning.

Meanwhile we are still minus one dog. Nonnie worked yesterday not sure about today, trying to find out as 4 Paws is close to her house and the girls can pick her up on the way home, but haven’t heard anything from Nonnie. It’s strange not having a dog underfoot, but it has made it easier to sweep, mop and vacuum all the hair accumulated in the house by three cats.

In other news before we left on vacation, Rachael started working at the ASU research veterinary clinic and Gretchen finished her summer classes at EMCC. She got a B in Public Speaking and an A in Sociology. Well I should get back to cleaning while I’m still minus a couple children and a dog.

Phoenix ComiCon Evolving

Today on Facebook I was reminded we attended our first ComiCon in Phoenix eight years ago. I heard Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker) was going to be there. The last time I went to see him was in 1994 up in Toronto when Shawn and I attended a con with both Frakes and Sirtis (Counselor Troi). Last year we were able to attend the Con in Phoenix because I won a contest through Bear Essential News. This past weekend was the Phoenix Comic Fest; yes the name was changed. Apparently they are in litigation over the use of ComiCon. And Saturday the fest was closed early because of a fire alarm and I learned next year they are going to be Phoenix Fan Fusion. Of course anyone who knows me, knows I’m going to get a poem out of it.

Phoenix fan fusion
found last year’s ComiCon badge
crushed name has to change

Sunday’s #haikuchallenge word was crush. Saturday’s was found. I used two in one haiku. We didn’t make it to the fest this year. The remote reading has been keeping me busy. I actually had a shift yesterday. Despite working fewer days than last year, I’ve logged in more hours. I’m not complaining and because no one else was working yesterday, we went to see Solo – A Star Wars Story when my work day was done. We did have a sci-fi weekend. Then today’s #haikuchallenge word is career and I wrote about my job once again.

Make money reading
want a career in English
grade standardized tests

Gretchen started her summer classes at EMCC today. She had a small 4 day summer break. 😉 Actually she’ll only be in summer classes until June 28th and then can enjoy freedom until her senior year starts on August 7th. The same day Rachael is signed up to take the GRE. Rachael took Gretchen over to her first day this morning and is still waiting to hear about the ASU job she interviewed for a couple weeks ago.

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