Back to the old grind

Woken from sweet dream
Alarm turned back on last night
Lazy mornings gone

Good morning! It’s official both spring breaks have come and gone. The above photos are from the fun Gretchen had playing with snapchat. Also I promised my readers a photo of me in my green, Live your dash, t-shirt. So there it is. Well the first day of Gretchen’s break, she did sleep in past noon. Tuesday I woke her up at 7:30am because she had an orthodontist appointment. Then we went to the LEGO bricks & minifigs store. Believe it or not Gretchen still had some Christmas money burning a hole in her pocket.

Wednesday and Thursday we stayed home. Gretchen logged in quite a lot of time on the game Heroes of Might & Magic. I realized Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day and we did not have corn beef and cabbage. Shawn suggested we walk to the store, but we did walking on Tuesday and I can only walk so much. Friday Rachael is off so I thought we could buy the St. Paddy Day fixings then. Little did I know getting the oil change in the car would take almost 3 hours. The previous week when Rachael went to the dentist on her spring break, she texted, the engine light came on. Shawn was here because it was the day we were getting AC estimates. When Rachael got home, dad went out to the car; it’s the oil change light. Okay that we can handle – Rachael and I are old pros at oil changes now. The reason it took so long – the tire pressure light has been on for quite awhile. Shawn kept checking the pressure but even when he added air, the light did not go off. We asked them to check the tires; there was a nail in one so we had that repaired as well.

After the fun experience of our second oil change. Rachael and I went to the feed store to pick up hay for the tortoise. The look on the guy’s face when two women pulled up to load a bale of hay into a Honda Fit. They got the hay in the car; then we had to unload the hay. Guess what? ASU is #1 in innovation. They plaster it up all over so no one will forget. It took all three of us, Gretchen, Rachael and me to get the bale out of the car. Then Rachael started flipping the bale up the driveway, “Number one in innovation”. See what our tuition money is paying for. The bale was too big to push, but then I grabbed the twine and started to pull while Rachael pushed. This worked well until we ran out of sidewalk. The bale didn’t slide very well on the stones. Rachael flipped it the rest of the way onto the back porch. Oil change and tire repair done, hay for the tortoise in the backyard accomplished, now it was time to pick up Gretchen’s new frames.

We get to the eye doctor’s around 4:30pm and see the new frames have lenses in them. They were only suppose to be frames and they would switch the lenses from the broken pair to the new pair. Figured out the lenses were plain glass most likely to keep the frames in the proper shape during shipping. Well the office was very busy and they only had one tech who could switch out the lens so we had to wait. We walked over to the grocery store because Gretchen was disappointed we didn’t buy food while waiting in Wal-Mart for the oil change (still have not gotten the corn beef and cabbage). Buy some snack food and a roast chicken for dinner, walk back over to the eye store and learn it’s going to be more than a little while. It’s 5pm and we need to sign paperwork for the new AC at 6pm. I tell them we’ll pick up the new frames tomorrow.

Replace old AC
it worked well for 18 years
New one will be cool

Yes, we are all signed up to get a new AC unit. The old one is the original one stage system that came with the house. It has worked very well. One summer while we were out of town it stopped working. My cousin was coming over to check on the house, cats and tortoise and realized the house was warmer than it should have been. When we got home a good friend (who does AC repair) came over and saw we needed a new fuse. He replaced it for the cost of the fuse. Since then we have not had a problem, but the unit is 19 years old; it was made in 1999 but we bought the house new in 2000, which is why I say 18 years. And last summer was VERY HOT – the AC was chugging away all the time. Grateful it did keep chugging because during an AZ summer, you do not want to deal with no cooling.

And that brings us to Saturday. Rachael drove Gretchen and me back over to the eye doctor’s. Gretchen got her new frames and then we went over to Fry’s to get groceries for the week and the corn beef and cabbage. After we got home and put the groceries away, I had a little time to recoup before I had to start cooking the corn beef. It worked out pretty well. Then Saturday night Shawn went to the final event for the Erotic Show at Alwun House. I stayed home; I was worn out from all the adulting I did on Friday and most of Saturday. Sunday Rachael was off to work as usual and Shawn went over to help his mom. Then my cousin called to see if Shawn could help him. His mom lives down the block from my cousin, Shawn went over there to help as well. While he did that I made soup with the roasted chicken we bought on Friday. Prepped the veggies to go in and then had just enough time to get ready to go see the band, Come Back Buddy. They  were having a free concert on the lawn at the Wigwam.


First Day of Spring Break

Finally! Spring break
alarm turned off the whole week
will be back too soon

I wrote this poem yesterday for the #haikuchallenge word (back), and my children have flipped their spring breaks. Rachael went back to ASU this morning and Gretchen is still asleep at 11am this Monday. It was nice not being woken up by my alarm clock this morning, especially after our busy weekend.

Friday we had three companies come in to give us estimates on a new AC unit. Rachael had a dentist appointment and then we picked Gretchen up early from school because she didn’t want to attend the assembly. We had Subway for dinner so no cooking for me. Then Saturday Gretchen had her Eng 102 class and Shawn and I went over to get our taxes done. Afterwards as we were pulling into the driveway, we noticed the girls getting out of the car. Apparently Gretchen’s class ended early and Rachael went over to pick her up. Sunday both Rachael and Gretchen got up early to go into 4 paws. Then when they got home, we went over to get haircuts.

Today despite sleeping in, I’ve put a nice dent in the housework; dishes, vacuuming and laundry started. Tonight Shawn and I have to go over the AC estimates and figure out who we want to go with. I’d like to get it done before I start my remote reading again (plus would be good to have a new AC before the desert really turns up the heat).

Since I blogged on Thursday last week, I haven’t sent off any new submissions was a little busy with the non writing part of life. A few weeks ago Bekah and Shannon Steimel interviewed me as part of the poet blog revival. They posted the interview yesterday. Please go over and check it out and the other great interviews they have done with poets as part of the revival. They will continue the interviews throughout the year so keep an eye on their blog.

This morning Patricia over at Poetry Pea shared a haiku I submitted to her. Yes, we do get snow in the desert. Actually just looked this up, because I knew the outskirts of the valley has gotten snow. I didn’t realize there have been measurable amounts at Sky Harbor. It was just back in February of 2013 Salt River Fields where the DBacks hold spring training had a snow day. This year it’s been pretty dry and relatively warm so no snow. Remember when I posted I wanted my heat back a few weeks ago? I thought it was good to go. I was in the backyard yesterday soaking up the warmth and today through Wednesday highs will be in the 80s. But then we’re suppose to slide back down to highs only in the 60s again. Brrr…

Well my dryer just buzzed and Rachael sent me something she wants edited, so I have to get back to work. Wonder if Gretchen will get up before noon.

International Women’s Day

In my last post I wrote about dreaming about spring break and how Rachael is on spring break this week, which has made for a slightly chaotic week. Sunday we had Shawn’s mom over for dinner to celebrate Shawn’s birthday. I thought we would go out, but he wanted to have a cook out. It was a nice meal – steak pinwheels (stuffed with cheese and spinach), scalloped potatoes and green beans. Shawn made a coffee cake and Kathy made a pineapple upside down cake so we had plenty for dessert. Monday I spent the day cleaning from all the cooking that occurred on Sunday. Tuesday Rachael and I did the grocery shopping and yesterday Gretchen had the SAT; she feels like she screwed it up. Then after the test, she broke her glasses. We had to pick her up from school and drive over to the eye doctor. Yes, they are truly broken and we had to order new frames.

Today I just want to sit and veg – tomorrow we have a few AC companies coming over to give us estimates on a new unit and Saturday is tax day – fun wow. When I logged on to WordPress this morning I saw international women’s day is celebrating with haiku. I’ve been reading some great haiku this morning. Thanks!

On twitter I’ve been going back and forth with a #haikuchain. Dawson @dathaikufool left off with:

Probes Search For New 
Boldly Goes A.I.

The last line becomes the next person’s first line and I know it’s women’s history month plus today is international women’s day, so when I saw the #haikuchallenge word today is still, of course I had to have some fun.

Boldly goes A.I.
humans face termination
Sarah still persists

Yes, we are having fun with science fiction. If you want to read some true haiku/senryu check out the Inner Voices link above. Enjoy reading poetry by women this month. On my own poetry front, I got three rejections this week 😦 but I’ve sent more submissions out as well.

6 Lessons Learned from a Year of 101 Rejections by: Natalie D-Napolean (Writer’s Digest)

I’m not aiming for so many because I don’t think I’ll hit 100 submissions this year, but I have been writing more poetry this year and trying to keep up a writing routine which is very helpful.

Dreaming of Spring Break

Sound jars me awake
Cannot sleep in Saturday
Alarm pierces dream

Well Rachael began her spring break yesterday. She got two As on midterm exams so I said we should go to Ahi Poki to celebrate. We haven’t been since the grand opening back in December about a week after her wisdom teeth extraction. We actually hit another buy one get one free with the purchase of a drink promotion. Yesterday the #haikuchallenge word was free – of course I had to haiku about our lunch.

Ahi Poki bowls
Delicious lunch promotion
Buy one get one free

Unfortunately Rachael and Gretchen are on different schedules, and Gretchen’s spring break doesn’t start until March 11. Since Gretchen has a Saturday class at EMCC the alarm goes off on Saturdays, too. Last night Gretchen came into my bedroom with her chromebook and her US history textbook. Yes, she was doing homework on a Friday night! I said, Really you think your mother knows US history? Well it turned out she couldn’t find the answers because she was looking in the wrong chapter. There is one thing mom does know how to do is read. 😉 And it’s hard to answer questions for chapter 21 when you’re looking in chapter 20. It turns out she really didn’t need my help.

Next week Gretchen gets to take the SAT and she’s all signed up to take the ACT April 14. There was something that took a lot of texting yesterday.

What is our zip code?

What is the school code?

Do you want ACT updates?

  1. You’re almost 17, really you need to know our zip code by now.
  2. I don’t go to your school so how would I know its code for the ACT.
  3. I already get email updates from when Rachael signed up for the ACT. Some reason once on the mailing list, you’re not off it.

And this is why parents dream of spring break, too. And after that I should be starting up as a remote reader again. Already filled out the intent to return paperwork. So #NaPoWriMo should be another busy month this year.

Happy Birthday, Old Man


Happy 45! Shawn and me at PF Chang’s Goodyear AZ


Time stops for no man
Birthday marks another year
Succeeding at life


The above photo was taken last year so the old man 😉 is now 46. The #haikuchallenge word today is time so it works out well to finish #NaHaiWriMo with a birthday poem. And I have successfully written at least one haiku-esque poem a day. 😀

This was not the first time I used the #haikuchallenge to write Shawn’s birthday poem. A couple years ago, I even included photos from the Exotic Show at the Alwun House.

#Tanka Tuesday – Senryu


Bicycle race

Learn to ride a bike
Invigorating moment
Free to venture far


Last night Gretchen and I worked on bike haiku together (more just line and syllable count than traditional haiku). She needed to write poetry for her psychology class. She said she tried to compose a sonnet, but it was too difficult. Yeah, tell me about it. I told her to write a haiku after all it is #NaHaiWriMo (national haiku write month). Her teacher said they would have to write more than one haiku if they chose haiku because it was too easy. Easy?! Has he ever written a haiku? I shouldn’t complain; we had mother daughter bonding time writing poetry.

Then this morning I see the #haikuchallenge word today is sad and I was still thinking of the bicycle haiku and wrote –

Child’s happy moment
First time taking off on bike
Parent somewhat sad

Everyone should keep in mind, my children accomplished something their mother never did – one needs balance to ride a bike and because of my cerebral palsy balance is something I don’t have and I never learned how to ride.

The first senryu was inspired by Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday No. 73. After reading the responses of a couple other poets I follow on WordPress, I decided to give this week’s challenge a try – the words this week are energy and knowledge.

Phoenix Garden

Garden at Cosanti in Phoenix, AZ

Empty chairs preserve
memory of those we’ve lost
okay to feel sad

Another #haikuchallenge poem to honor Leonard Nimoy.

Tomorrow is the last day of February and Shawn’s birthday. I really should get on writing his birthday poem. Has everyone been keeping up with #NaHaiWriMo? One more day to go.


Weekend Happenings

Friday was the big day for Gretchen, she was off to see Hamilton with her school. We saw Wicked at Gammage auditorium a few years ago; I don’t remember the playbill being called gammbill. (Okay it was March 10, 2012) more than a few years ago. Gretchen loved her second Broadway musical at Gammage. Mom was a little jealous but not overly when I saw the balcony seating. We had balcony tickets for Wicked and the height really got to me. Then Saturday Gretchen went to a friend’s birthday party, they sat together at the play, so I asked her if everyone was talking about Hamilton at the party. She said yeah, and we were all talking about it in class, too. This one confused me because the play was Friday and they left at 7:30am and didn’t get back to school until 6pm. I totally forgot about her Saturday morning Eng 102 – doh! So Hamilton inspired haiku 😉

Burr Hamilton duel
honor called into question
count ten, turn and solve

Bus ride to Gammage
Spend day watching Hamilton
Bring Mom back play bill

Hamilton, a fool
not throwing away his shot
was killed in the end

The one below is a kimo. You can read about the form at Writer’s Digest.

Two men stand back to back, pistols ready
when honor is in question
after ten, turn to solve

Then on Sunday, Rachael was back to work. She did get over to the medical clinic on campus and was officially diagnosed with the flu, but there wasn’t any other problems so she was told ibuprofen and rest. She actually stayed home on Wednesday and she and I watched the second half of season one of Star Trek Discovery. I’ll make my children into full fledged trekkies come hell or high water. When Rachael came home from work, she had term papers to write. The one thing about being sick for more than a week, very little homework was done. And of course, after she wrote Mom gets to proofread. Oy vey! One of the dullest papers I have read yet. Then we went to see Black Panther so my weekly blog update for the poet blog revival is a day late.

On the positive side, I think all the cleaning I’ve been doing paid off. Rachael got sick over a week ago and no one else in the house has shown any symptoms. And last week I had two haiku published outside of my own website and twitter.

I want my heat

I see my breath fog
brisk February morning
Canada geese honk

Okay this isn’t funny; I had to turn my heat on this morning. The jet stream has dipped and we’re only suppose to have a high of 60! I got Gretchen off to school and crawled under my bedsheets again. Then she texts me, I’m cold. My nose is runny. I ask, You have tissues, right? Ya, but I’m using my jacket sleeve. On her fortunate side, mom is still doing a ton of laundry to keep the germs from spreading so it won’t be too difficult to add her jacket to a load, but she still may get beaten.

Rachael did go to school yesterday and today. I asked her if she could skip today, but she has lab and if she misses it there goes her A in the class. She’s not going to mess that up so off to school she went. I did tell her to get her butt into the medical clinic. She doesn’t think they can help, but on the off chance she has a bacterial infection, they can at least give her antibiotics. While she was gone yesterday, I washed her bedding. She came home and wanted to know where it was. I told her it was decontaminated. Today I’m running the air filter as well.

While I was getting warm under my blankets this morning, I heard some Canada geese fly over. I told them to fly back to Canada and bring the cold air with them. I think it will work, right? The #haikuchallenge word is see today. And since Rachael had me venture outside to feed the cats, I may have seen my breath. Well the cats were fed; the coffee made; and I’m back under my blankets with a cup of hot coffee to help warm me up. Busy wasting time online and thinking about all the housework on my agenda today.

Before I go check out purehaiku 2-20. Freya posted my haiku for her ocean series today. Thanks! I’m glad to be included with all the other great ocean haiku.

Weekend Chores

Hello readers here we are as another week has passed. I’ve written at least one haiku for the #haikuchallenge on Twitter this week, but nothing else on the poetry front. Thursday Rachael came home from school complaining of a headache. It blew up to a full migraine and fever and chills so she didn’t get any sleep Thursday night. As I’ve mentioned she doesn’t have school on Fridays; she was fortunate there.

Friday morning I get Gretchen out the door to school and go back to bed. Rachael not getting any sleep Thursday night meant I got very little, too. She actually fell asleep Friday afternoon so I texted Gretchen to be quiet when she got home from school. Friday night was the Erotic Poetry reading at Alwun House. I was going to go, but the plan was for Rachael to drive me over to Nonnie’s so she could get her new scrub and then Nonnie and I were going to go to the reading. Oh well. Shawn didn’t get home until 3am! I waited up for him. Of course Saturday no one did anything, besides getting Gretchen to and from her college course.

Saturday night Rachael wanted hot & sour soup from PF Chang’s (Pei Wei is just down the street) but she wanted the really good soup. As I was putting the order in online, Shawn asked for the Japanese Beef; I showed him the steak selections and said PF Chang’s not Pei Wei and he said, I have to go all the way down there (it’s only 3 miles from the house). You’re the one who agreed to your child’s soup request. Came home with dinner and red fortune cookies – a first for us. Now do you think they are red for Valentine’s Day or Chinese New Year or maybe both?

Then this morning Rachael got up bright and early, dressed and went off to work. I didn’t start to stir until around 11am and I hear her voice. I look out the window and sure enough the car was in the driveway. I get up and and ask, You’re feeling too bad to go in and get a paycheck? She said, No I went in and they sent me home. Apparently her father gave her a strange look when she walked back in the door only about two hours after she left. I was so tired I didn’t even hear her leave or come home. She’s spending a third day zoning out on the couch. Gretchen has tomorrow off for President’s Day, but ASU does not and knowing Rachael she’ll be off to school tomorrow.

And today I’m busy catching up on chores, making sure the sick germs do not travel. When I got up to see Rachael this morning, I thought she was talking to her dad, but he wasn’t around. He went out early to get the grocery shopping done. Apparently he has a full schedule of helping out a bunch of people today and since it’s been over a week since we’ve done grocery shopping, we were number one on his list. I’ve gotten groceries put away; changed cat litter; started laundry; emptied and reloaded the dishwasher; and now I’m taking a break.

Sunday has arrived
do laundry over again
cycle never ends

Happy Valentine’s Day


I heard Shawn playing this clip this morning. I thought I would give him a Valentine’s day poem to match.

Men read poems and duck
women release heavy objects

Honestly it’s not my fault, the #haikuchallenge word is release. My tweet was –

Tangled between sheets
beast with two backs in search of
climactic release

Actually these are not far off of previous Valentine’s Day poetry.

Penis Envy

Jackass Artist

Don’t you just feel the love between us. 😉 Shawn did make me a nice cup of coffee before he left for work today. ❤