Five More Days Until My Birthday

Me at home after cataract surgery

Good afternoon – It’s about a week and a half after my surgery. The vision in my right eye was pretty instantaneous and then they taped it closed. So yes, clear distant was immediate; the close up vision is still working itself out. I have found I can read if I put the screen or book at arm’s length; otherwise, my left eye is doing most of the reading work. I’m thankful the left eye can still see well with glasses because there were a few things no one mentioned until the final pre-op visit. 1) I can no longer drive at night. The surgeon appeared a little hesitant at the pre-op – I don’t want to tell you you are my youngest, but yeah you’re my youngest patient. This was followed by, You can’t drive at night anymore. I laughed, Well since I don’t drive at all that would probably be a good idea. Needless to say this relieved the surgeon because most of his patients have already stopped driving at night and he wasn’t looking forward to telling a 47 year old she can’t drive at night.

The second thing I found out at that visit was I could not bend over for a week. Hello, I have CP and do not have the balance to bend at the knees. I spent an entire week not being able to do anything. I’m still not allowed to do any strenuous activities, which again with CP is very restrictive because I use more energy to do things. I did empty and reload the dishwasher the other day. When Shawn came home he yelled at me; I was like I can bend over now and emptying and reloading a dishwasher isn’t that taxing. I am still not lugging around the vacuum, mop and bucket, or laundry baskets. And yes I’m going a little stir crazy just sitting around the house. Imagine if all these restrictions carried on for a month if I scheduled my left eye two weeks after my right. Since my 48th birthday is after the two week mark of my surgery, I also wanted to be able to celebrate it.

One thing I have been able to do is sit and write haiku so at least I’m not twiddling my thumbs all day.

Do not bend over
Eye needs enough time to heal
Sit and write haiku

Start new fashion trend
Extend usefulness of glasses
Right lens taken out

It’s okay to cry
But be careful not to sneeze
After surgery

Could see right away
But it was not long enough
Eye taped to go home

Stuck on couch all day
Housework falls by the wayside
While I recover

No strenuous work
Leaves almost nothing to do
Boredom rules the day

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

#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 Three

Make a deck of words
Spread around to play Go Fish
I cannot shuffle

Go Fish

Index cards
Spread across table
Coffee mug set aside
Poet seeks inspiration
Quiet meditation

Saturday morning
Cats have other plans

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day ThreeThis one is a bit involved, which is why I’m giving it to you on a Saturday. Today, I’d like to challenge you to make a “Personal Universal Deck,” and then to write a poem using it. The idea of the “Personal Universal Deck” originated with the poet and playwright Michael McClure, who gave the project of creating such decks to his students in a 1976 lecture at Naropa University. Basically, you will need 50 index cards or small pieces of paper, and on them, you will write 100 words (one on the front and one on the back of each card/paper) using the rules found here.

Don’t agonize over your word choices. Making the deck should be fun and revealing, as you generate words that sound “good” to you. The fact that the words are mainly divided among the five senses should be helpful in selecting words that you like the sound of, and that have some meaning personal to you. For example, my deck contains “harbor,” “wool,” “murmur,” “obsidian,” and “needle.”

Once you have your deck put together, shuffle it a few times. Now select a card or two, and use them as the basis for a new poem.

Good morning and welcome to day three of #NaPoWriMo where I wonder if McClure even knows the disposition of cats. Although it’s Saturday here so cats are not my only distraction. Before I sat down to work on this prompt I was on Twitter and used the #HaikuChallenge word to make my tweetku (a handy made up word I used in this post). And I shared my Escape Within poem @piper_center.

Saturday morning
Poetic meditation
Cats make other plans

The Grand Scheme

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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.

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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 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.

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).

 

#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.