#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-three

Multiple Braces

My right side spastic
growing up with CP
clunky and unwieldy
my night brace
would beat up
my left leg
rolling over in bed.
Then the day brace
made of plastic
to keep my right foot
growing properly
better than the boot
easier to sleep
not good to race
or even keep pace
run, jump, or leap
no longer for me


NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for our daily (optional) prompt. Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan, whose poems tend to be short and snappy – with a lot of rhyme and soundplay. They also have a deceptive simplicity about them, like proverbs or aphorisms. Once you’ve read a few, you’ll see what I mean. Here’s her “Token Loss,” “Blue China Doorknob,” “Houdini,” and “Crustacean Island.”

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty-three of napowrimo where I fiddle with rhyme. The #HaikuChallenge word today is brace and it made me think about my old braces. I’m not sure I capture Kay Ryan’s style well. Here is a haiku I wrote last year about me and why it was a bad idea to play wearing my leg brace.

Jump rope at recess
without removing leg brace
Snaps under pressure

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#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty

#HaikuChallenge #CoffeeTime

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for today’s (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that anthropomorphizes a kind of food. It could be a favorite food of yours, or maybe one you feel conflicted about. I feel conflicted about Black Forest Cake, for example. It always looks so pretty in a bakery window, and I want to like the combination of cherries and chocolate . . . but I don’t. But how does the cake feel about it?

Good morning and welcome to day twenty of NaPoWriMo where I write in the POV of coffee. The #haikuchallenge word today is lose and my earlier version was –

Every morning
She trusts me to work magic
Lose her displeasure

I’m ambivalent over which version I like better. It’s funny because Gretchen wanted me to proofread one of her papers before she left for school yesterday, but she said I was sleeping. I told her she could have woken me up. She said I’d be grumpy (before coffee). Instead she just sent me an invite to google docs to proofread it while she was at school. Then the evil twin sent me her essay to proofread. Hey Kati, personal pronouns should not appear in formal essays! The evil twin has been long out of essay writing practice. There is no amount of coffee available for me to lose my displeasure at reading I, we, us in an essay. Coffee already has a big job in this house. 😉

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Eighteen

I beg your pardon

Inspiration wanes
in April poetry begs
me to write daily

Always reply, I
decline for secret reasons
make them beg for why
(borrowed from E.B. White)

Kiss me once, twice, thrice
Write poetry of our love
Beg for more romance

Another Monday
writing poetry in bed
chores beg to be done

Need one more answer
Laundry remains in dryer
Begs for attention

NaPoWriMo PromptLast but not least, here is today’s prompt (optional, as always). It’s based on Faisal Mohyuddin’s poem “Five Answers to the Same Question.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.

Good afternoon and welcome to day eighteen of napowrimo. I took the #haikuchallenge word for today, beg and wrote five haikuesque answers. As an extra bonus today here is a link to the haiku pea podcast. Today’s episode is punctuation.

Semicolons
Chance to catch your breath;
Before drowning

As my long time readers know, my family has been affected by suicide. I learned about the semicolon project several years ago. World semicolon day was Saturday April 16. But always remember there is more to your story. Semicolons Important Punctuation. Thank you for taking the time to read my contribution today. I appreciate all my readers.

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Ten

Soft Caress

Beauty
Fingers linger
She offers a warm smile
He breathes in her effervescence
Allure
Shawn and I recreate “The Kiss”

Napowrimo Prompt Today’s (optional) prompt is pretty simple – a love poem! If you’re having trouble getting into the right mood for a love poem, maybe you’ll find inspiration in one of my favorites, June Jordan’s “Poem for Haruko.”

Good morning and welcome to day ten. Love poem – there are quite a few on this blog. Being out on the west coast, Maureen posts the next day prompts at 9pm for me. When I checked out the prompt last night, I told Shawn; I’m not sure I’m feeling the love today. He went out to pick up some food and I get a text; Is my wallet on my nightstand? Nope, I don’t see a wallet on the nightstand. I look over on the dresser, still no wallet. I turn back to the bed and there’s the wallet on his quilt. He drives back and I meet him in the driveway with his wallet. Then he sends a group text, Dad dash will be late as mom tried to steal my wallet. SMH

For napowrimo I usually start my poems handwritten in my poetry journal, and as I was flipping through the pages this morning, I came across this poem – Pink Rose. And I still love that fourth line and appropriated it for today’s poem. I also used yesterday’s #haikuchallenge for inspiration.

Intense disquiet
Find solace wrapped in his arms
Harbor in a storm

Thank you for reading my day ten contribution even if there it was not inspired by a loving feeling.

Cooking with Chef Michelle Bernstein

First off I’d like everyone to know I will be participating in NaPoWriMo once again next month. However my in-laws will be in town this weekend to celebrate Gretchen’s 21st birthday so the first few prompts may be late.

All this month I was writing my #haikuchallenge pieces about cerebral palsy. I managed it every day through Friday March 25 – National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. But this past weekend I was busy enjoying an online cooking experience with Chef Michelle Bernstein offered by Cocina Corona. It was a fun experience and we made some excellent food, but it was draining. I’m glad it was Saturday so Shawn was here to help with all the prep work and cooking. It even wore him out as he took a nap afterwards before sitting down to enjoy the feast.

First photo is the glass of sangria with the queso dip prep behind the computer. Second photo is Shawn starting on the chicken thighs. The third photo is the queso dip we doubled the chorizo since we bought a package that was 9 oz and I didn’t have anything else planned for chorizo so we cooked it all and added it. Everyone enjoyed it and I was pleasantly surprised it reheated well the next day too. Shawn with his sangria watching over the tomatoes and peppers sauteing. The chicken is finished and ready to serve. They had a plating comparison, but for obvious reasons my plating has never been artistic. Thankfully my children don’t care how their food is presented. Now that they’ve started cooking and see how difficult plating can be, we joke about it. But none of us are overly concerned about presentation as long as the food tastes great. Chef Bernstein and the moderator check out one of the participant’s plate presentation. Selfie after all the hard work. Last but not least serving the chocolate pudding. Yeah we were worn out and not everything was cleaned up yet.

So Sunday was recuperation day. I did get to the clean up too, and we had great leftovers for lunch. Then today I used the #HaikuChallenge word to talk about my fun weekend.

Pudding skin debate
The piece de resistance
Love it or hate it

Okay growing up my mom did not cover pudding while it set. As we were making the pudding Saturday night Chef Bernstein told us to cover it with parchment paper before putting it in the fridge. I was not a fan of pudding skin growing up, so I had no problem letting my sisters grab pudding first. They took the skin and I had the good pudding. As Shawn was covering the pudding, I laughed and told him, You know that’s going to prevent a pudding skin? Thankfully he still covered it. He never told me which way he fell on the pudding skin debate.

Herstory – Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

This March I have decided to try to focus on cerebral palsy for the #haikuchallenge word on Twitter. So far I’ve been able to – granted they are not the greatest poems but they’ve all used the daily @baffled word and the correct syllable count.

Learning how to walk
Life with cerebral palsy
Limbs bend awkwardly

March photo contest
Cerebral palsy spotlight
Thank you for voting

Hollywood Star

Make a difference
This month brings awareness to
Cerebral palsy

March – official month
Focus on brain injuries
Cerebral palsy

Those are the four thus far. And yes, I snuck in my photo for the cerebral palsy alliance research foundation contest. Any long time readers will recognize it is the photo of me I used for the silver birch press Same Name series.

Happy New Year!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. At my three week post-op, they found the new lens was clouding over so I got a free laser treatment to break up the calcification on the lens. Yay to my overactive immune system, my antibodies were attacking the foreign body in my eye. The laser treatment was on December 22 – they were pretty booked up and that was the soonest I could be seen. Well the calcification on the lens made it hard for my eye to focus well which is why I haven’t spent much time on the computer or reading. Hoping I can start enjoying books again in 2022.

At the end of 2021, we were all in quarantine. My mother-in-law came over on Christmas, not feeling well, and two days later tested positive for Covid. We were so careful for almost two years and then it walked right through the front door. Needless to say no one was very pleased with Nonnie but after 5 days no one in this house showed any symptoms and Robin was able to fly back to Oregon on the first. Gretchen has started her spring semester. She just looked at her major map yesterday and told me it looks like all my requirements are completed or in progress (this semester’s courses) what does that mean? I told her if she doesn’t have anything in red it should mean you’re eligible for graduation. She may be able to graduate early. She retorted, It doesn’t say I’m eligible for graduation. It won’t you can still take classes. Robin took some extra classes because he fulfilled his requirements early but wanted to take all four years. He had a full scholarship and mom and dad covered the extra expenses. A full scholarship does not cover all fees as different degrees accrue different costs. Science classes are more expensive than humanities courses.

The other thing Gretchen looked at last night was her GPA she’s only earned Magna Cum Laude. I told her there’s nothing wrong with that (mom graduated magna cum laude), but she told me she’s going to steal Robin’s summa cum laude. The rest of the night we were regaled with how Gretchen was chasing Robin and Robin kept evading her efforts. Then Gretchen said, I’ll kidnap Burke. I laughed and told her, I think you’re a proud new parent then because I don’t see Robin giving up the summa for the return of his cat.

My muse lies quiet
Writing haiku – a reflex
Long out of practice

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