#NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 3

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Gretchen wearing #RedInstead April 2, 2019

Life’s Journey

Simmer for nine months
Celebrate milestones
First tooth
Learning to crawl
Stand and walk
Potty training
Send off to kindergarten
Move up to middle school
Graduate from high school
Eighteen years old
Off to college
Study hard
Earn a degree
Life has just begun

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day 3 – And now for today’s prompt (optional as always). Today’s prompt is based in a poem by Larry Levis called “The Two Trees.” It is a poem that seems to meander, full of little digressions, odd bits of information, but fundamentally, it is a poem that takes time. It takes its time getting where it’s going, and the action of the poem itself takes place over months. Today, I’d like to challenge you to similarly write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time. Perhaps, as you do, you can focus on imagery, or sound, or emotional content (or all three!)

Good morning and welcome to day 3 of NaPoWriMo. Yesterday I made an error and linked to the participant’s blog for day 2 instead of the prompt page. When I clicked on it to get back to the Shakespeare Sonnet in German video, I realized the mistake. It is now fixed. I wanted the link to the poetry video to share on Facebook with my poem from yesterday as my blog is in Facebook jail at the moment and I am unable to share links to my poetry posts.

As my long time readers should know, Gretchen has a birthday in April. Tomorrow she will be 18! Wow where did that time go; she’ll be graduating from high school next month. It seems like we were celebrating Rachael’s high school graduation only yesterday, but it was three years ago. I figured a poem about growing up would cover an appreciable length of time plus it’s still going. The #haikuchallenge word today is not. I worked that into the theme as well.

Meander through life
Eighteen years she walks the Earth
Direction not set

And yes I was able to take a picture of the elusive Gretchen yesterday. The cat distraction was helpful.

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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).

 

I’m with Cap – as Seen on Twitter

@ChrisEvans – “Dear All Technology, Remember the 90’s when you just WORKED??? I don’t need a ‘smart’ feature on my TV, thermostat, lights, music, refrigerator, security cameras, and f-ing car. You’re a major pain in all of our asses. You’re not worth it. Signed, Everyone”

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Notification on Smart Thermostat

Last Friday I walked by the thermostat and saw this, snapped a photo to send Shawn as a reminder to put on his weekend to-do list. This was the first time the thermostat gave us this notification. In the summer, when it’s hot and the system is running all the time, I keep track to change out the filter every other month. I had no idea our new thermostat was this smart. But as my readers know, I’ll find a way to make a haiku from the mundane. So when the #haikuchallenge word was snap –

New message pops up
smart thermostat instructs us
snap in new filter

So Shawn changed out the filter on Saturday and then yesterday I turned off the system to open windows to let the glorious sun and warmth in – highs in the 70s 😀 I’m a happy desert tortoise again.

Climb out of cold snap
Cannot wait for seventies
Hope for tomorrow

Sun shining again
Current high temperature
70 degrees

I turn it off, walk over and open windows and as I walk past the thermostat again, I notice another yellow notification. Huh? Shawn replaced the filter so I stop and read, Control Board Replaced. What the hell does that mean? I google it and only come up with when thermostat “control board” loses power. No, my thermostat is on and working. Hmm… so I set up an appointment with the HVAC tech. Turned the system back on last night as I knew the heat would kick on over night. After Gretchen left for school, turned it off, thinking the notification would pop back up for the tech to see. It didn’t, but when he arrived and clicked to view previous notifications the entire screen went blank. When it rebooted up popped, Control Board Replaced. Yep that’s not right. So he went up into the attic and changed some wiring. Came back down and messed around with the controls to see if it would blank out again, everything was good so it appears to be fixed.

No offense to the HVAC techs because they have all been pleasant and did their job well, but we had an old AC unit and stone age thermostat for 18 years and NEVER once had an issue. This new system is driving me crazy – First 110 Degree Day after the first visit, another tech had to come out and reboot the AC and he told me there was a circuit board recall so a third tech came out to replace the circuit board before we left for Buffalo at the end of June. I’m just getting a little tired of having to call out techs to maintain the new “smart” system.

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.

#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

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#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. 😉

Cold December Days

Cold being relative but highs in the 60s is cold to me – though we have gotten into the low 70s on some days. It’s been slow moving most mornings. We had a nice Thanksgiving. Shawn’s Aunt and Uncle were in town and so was one of his cousins and his family; so our long weekend was spent hanging out with family. I started taking pictures of the sunset from by bedroom window. Our bedroom is in the front of the house and the window faces southwest which is perfect for sunset pictures.

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Attempt to capture
view of deluxe sunsets I
see every day.

Colleen’s weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry challenge N0.114

12/11/18: Try & Life

I also used today’s #haikuchallenge word – deluxe

 

Young couple engaged
waiting for better option
grow old together

The first picture of Shawn and me was taken in April of 1992 after we got engaged and the picture next to it is us on Thanksgiving this year. The haiku is the weirdness that follows after watching The Lobster over the weekend. Sunday’s #haikuchallenge word was option which I feel could work as a synonym for try and the combination of young and old works for life, right?

The Misadventure of 45

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My 45th birthday was on Saturday and my Uncle Pete was in town staying with my cousin Russell and wanted to see everyone and take us out to dinner. We arranged to meet at Red Lobster over near my cousin’s house. On a normal day, it should only take about half an hour to get over there. But 45 has a bad connotation and it proved to be accurate for my birthday. The I10 was a parking lot with an accident around 107th ave. We got caught right on the on ramp at Dysart Road. Stuck in traffic going nowhere; it took us 2 hours just to get to the next exit at Avondale Boulevard. Needless to say, I sent a text to my cousin telling him we’d be late. At that time he said the restaurant gave them a 50 min wait. We figured that shouldn’t be too bad; we didn’t think it would take two hours to make it up one exit on the thruway. Ha-Ha what did we know.

Driving to dinner
Standstill traffic a burden
Birthday goes awry

My Uncle and cousin were seated long before we even got off the highway. Then there was an 8 car pile-up on Avondale Blvd, slowing that street down. After getting past all that, Shawn backtracked to Dysart to head north before going east. FINALLY almost 3 hours from when we left the house, we made it to the restaurant. My birthday dinner and the conversation and company was very nice. And we do have quite a story to share about our commute.

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Trapped in car for hours
Will not crush my birthday plans
Family dinner

Crushed cars on thruway
Traffic going nowhere fast
Birthday adventure

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!