Hello February

valentine 2019

WestGate Glendale, AZ

Shows up to class late
would rather see his sweetheart
than attend English

A long time ago, when we were in college, one semester Shawn would wait for me outside of one of my classes in the English building (remember I was an English Education major). At the end of the semester, he earned a C in the English class he was enrolled in and then I had the same professor for a class. I told the professor my fiance was not happy with the C he gave him. The professor smiled and replied, well he shouldn’t have skipped class and then show up in the building to see you. LOL! The moral of the story, don’t skip a class (very often) and then show up where the professor can see you and know you were at school.

The Westgate over in Glendale had a heart display up for Valentine’s Day. Shawn and I went over there on the 8th to take a selfie. Of course Shawn added his own fingerprint to the photo later. Then on Friday the 15th, we went to the poetry festivus at Alwun House.

butterfly

Shawn’s sculpture in Erotic Show 2019

Caterpillars know
anything is possible
Butterflies emerge

Then on Saturday night we went to see the Arizona Ballet and Phoenix Symphony performance of The Firebird and La Sylphide both pieces were very interesting.

Tickets to ballet
Dancers perform La Sylphide
and then The Firebird

On top of all this, I was also busy filling out my return to work paperwork. I’ll be busy grading essays again this season. Patricia over at poetry pea included one of my haiku in her sportku podcast, please go and have a listen. Since I could not play sports due to my CP that is what I wrote about. FYI – CBS 5 news in Phoenix is holding a phone bank February 27 to raise money for UCP (United Cerebral Palsy).

 

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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!

Thumb of a Tale

Tale of painful thumb
Recount cooking incident
Yearns for sympathy

As I was cooking dinner last night, I felt a shooting pain in my right thumb. I wasn’t even using my right hand. 96% of the time it is just a forgotten appendage. I’m not sure what I did to cause the pain, life with cerebral palsy; however, most of the time it is my right foot or leg causing me pain. As I need it to walk it’s a little harder to ignore. When Shawn came home, I was telling him the story. I was prepping dinner and oh… (small pause as I tried to remember exactly what I was doing when the thumb started hurting.)

Shawn looked over, Did your thumb just fall off? I start laughing; No, I was trying to remember what I was doing when it started hurting. If my thumb fell off wouldn’t there be blood spurting about? And how would one’s thumb just fall off? Well I guess I can pause for dramatic effect well when spinning a yarn. 😉

Saturday Stuck at Home

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John and Me – Casey Moore’s Tempe AZ

Rush Hour

Driving through Phoenix

in the HOV lane
enduring rush hour traffic

Idle conversation
reminiscing on our childhood
as we travel to Tempe

 

Hello all! Just a friendly reminder tomorrow is CP Awareness Day so wear your green again. Today is the day of the new AC install so we are stuck here until it’s finished. On Thursday my friend who has a home up in Sedona came down to Phoenix; he had to drop his dad off at the airport. While he was in town, he asked if we wanted to go out for dinner and drinks. In order for Shawn to tag along, John came over to the house and then we drove out to Tempe. It is easier for Shawn to drive to a restaurant close to work than it is for him to fight the rush hour traffic all the way back to the west valley. Otherwise Shawn would have had to leave work very early. Instead John and I got to drive through the mess of Phoenix traffic. Shawn picked the restaurant as I know nothing about restaurants out in the east valley. Casey Moore’s is an Irish Pub 😉 the food was great and it was a nice evening to sit outside and enjoy it while catching up. Though John was the other friend who visited in November when Rick and Charles were in town. It hasn’t been overly long since our last visit.

Well since I’m stuck at home anyway, I thought I’d update on the poetry front. NaPoWriMo is closing in – one week from tomorrow. I got my poster from poets.org so I think I’m ready. I made a couple submissions this week, but otherwise all I’ve heard is crickets. The NaHaiWriMo Facebook page shared a submission call by Jacquie Pearce. Since we traveled by train on our honeymoon, I’m working on an entry.

 

Yes, I’m also working on other poetry forms today. I need to stretch my poetry muscle for NaPoWriMo – not sure if I’ll blog again before then, but I hope to see a lot of readers everyday in April.

Cerebral Palsy Awareness

emerald color
supports cerebral palsy
keep calm and stay strong

March is cerebral palsy awareness month and the 25th is CP awareness day. But you would never know I have not worn the Emerald Isle color in years. On St. Patrick’s Day I’ve been known to wear orange. 😉 I grew up Protestant and I enjoy poking fun at Shawn’s Catholic upbringing – not to mention his grandmother was Irish. How does a man with Irish roots spell his name Shawn and not Sean? That’s a funny story. His grandmother’s maiden name was Barry. When she was pregnant with Shawn’s dad, she wanted to name him Barry if he was a boy and Shawn for the middle name. Cele (Shawn’s grandmother) wasn’t sure about the Irish spelling for Sean. She asked her neighbor who was straight off a boat from Ireland. The neighbor told her, S-h-a-w-n. At least this is the story I’ve been told. I think the neighbor liked the anglicized spelling over the Irish.

Well I’ve known that green is the CP awareness color for a couple years now, but I haven’t gotten a green shirt until this year. It just came in the mail the other day. When I wear it, I’ll be sure to snap a photo. I have the SunDevils reward app from ASU. You can log on everyday and earn pitchforks. As the pitchforks accumulate, you can redeem them on ASU merchandise. I saw they had Pat’s Run t-shirts from a couple years ago in the reward store and they were green. It says, Live your dash. I like the message as dash doesn’t necessarily have to mean run. Just like Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – there are plenty of synonyms to pick. Okay but really for green there aren’t many I like probably another reason I don’t have much of it in my wardrobe.

#NaHaiWriMo – March On

hosking

My Buffalo Children’s Hospital Photo

Frail physique
mind like a steel trap
cerebral palsy

Hello and welcome to March – Women’s Herstory month and Cerebral Palsy Awareness month. Since I fall into both categories, this should be interesting. When I found out February was #NaHaiWriMo, I stumbled on the Facebook page; and they actually have daily prompts for haiku all year long. Finally figured out where and how to contribute my haiku. It is not one of the most user friendly pages I follow. But I saw today’s prompt was frail and thought it would make an excellent intro for #cerebralpalsyawarenessmonth

My Herstory – a long time ago in a city far, far away (40 years ago in Buffalo, NY), I was sent to the children’s hospital for physical therapy for my CP. According to my mother, the above photo was taken at the hospital as part of my patient record. I hate the picture, but it’s still here. The downfall of marrying your high school sweetheart; Shawn took a bunch of old pictures of me and made them into a collage for my high school graduation. It did offer inspiration for my Golden Pixie poem in the My Mane Memories series on Silver Birch Press.

Here are 31 Cerebral Palsy facts in an article written by Nicole Luongo

Accentuate the Positive

Welcome to #WorldCPDay. Sunday Shawn and I attended the Bare It All Expo at 9 the Gallery. It was well attended and the women who spoke about self love when confronted with impossible body ideals to live up to were quite inspirational.

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Me and My Poem 9 the Gallery

In honor of #WorldCPDay, please visit the website for the new United Cerebral Palsy center in the Garfield District, downtown Phoenix.

World CP Day

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Bare It All Hosted by Jaclyn Mo

The Bare It All Expo is this Sunday October 2nd at 9 the gallery from 4-6pm. So why is this post titled World CP day? Simple World CP Day is October 5th and my poem will be in the Bare It All Expo a few days prior.

 

 

Bare it all poem
did not try to reflect self
living with CP

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 9

Saturday morning
slow as a sloth
I

Slept past
10am
now I feel
spry

NaPoWriMo Prompt – for our prompt (optional, as always). This one sounds simple, but it can be pretty difficult. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write. This might be because it expresses something very personal that makes you uncomfortable – either because of its content (“I always hated grandma”), or because it seems too emotional or ugly or strange (“I love you so much I would eat a cockroach for you”). Or even because it sounds too boring or expected (“You know what? I like cooking noodles and going to bed at 7 p.m.”). But it should be something that you’re genuinely a little scared to say. Happy (or if not happy, brave) writing!

A line I’m afraid to write. Hmmm… I’ve done this in the past as recently as yesterday. When the prompt said, write about a flower, I didn’t want to get melancholy but looking through pictures, the blue daisies were the first to say something to me. And then there is the line, living with cerebral palsy.

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Me and Jennifer DuVal

Shawn posted this picture to Facebook, after we went to a Fred DuVal fundraiser saying, you’re going to hate me. Ugh… he knows I try to hide my hand and usually feet (as I mostly wear sneakers) in pictures.

Well now that I’ve shared something I don’t like about myself, the wonderful thing about a house with two teenagers and Saturday morning. They both sleep in too, and Rachael just finished cooking bacon…P.S. the bacon was yummy.

Laceless Sneaker

Under watchful eye
Night before kindergarten
Struggle to tie shoe

This morning as I was tying my sneakers, I was thinking about when I was 5 years old. It was the night before my first day of school and I was terrified I was going to fail on the first day of kindergarten, because I couldn’t tie my shoes. I remember sitting up in bed, a sneaker in my lap, and trying over and over to tie the laces. When my mom came in to check on me, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was finally successful and I showed my mom I could tie laces. Much to my relief I wasn’t going to fail the first day of kindergarten. Never mind the five year old logic that said inability to tie sneaker – FAIL. Inability to zip zippers gets a pass.

Day 6 of NovPAD, Robert Lee Brewer mentioned the innovations humans have created. And I was just thinking Nike needed a laceless sneaker with good ankle support 35 years ago. By the way, I am pretty good at tying laces now, but I still struggle zipping zippers. So I’m really keeping an eye on this innovation – Auto Zipper.