Back from Buffalo

Vacation over
Housework keeps husband busy
while I supervise

 

Okay I did steam mop the bathroom floor and cleaned the shower before doing the hard work of supervising. It’s amazing how dirty floors get leaving three cats alone in a house for a week. I cleaned out the litter box yesterday before watching TV; then went down the hall to scoop out the one in the girls’ bathroom and found Rachael beat me to it. And somehow this morning Gretchen went off to 4 Paws with Rachael to clean more litter boxes. 😉 Actually Rachael says Gretchen plays with kittens more than cleaning.

Meanwhile we are still minus one dog. Nonnie worked yesterday not sure about today, trying to find out as 4 Paws is close to her house and the girls can pick her up on the way home, but haven’t heard anything from Nonnie. It’s strange not having a dog underfoot, but it has made it easier to sweep, mop and vacuum all the hair accumulated in the house by three cats.

In other news before we left on vacation, Rachael started working at the ASU research veterinary clinic and Gretchen finished her summer classes at EMCC. She got a B in Public Speaking and an A in Sociology. Well I should get back to cleaning while I’m still minus a couple children and a dog.

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Phoenix ComiCon Evolving

Today on Facebook I was reminded we attended our first ComiCon in Phoenix eight years ago. I heard Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker) was going to be there. The last time I went to see him was in 1994 up in Toronto when Shawn and I attended a con with both Frakes and Sirtis (Counselor Troi). Last year we were able to attend the Con in Phoenix because I won a contest through Bear Essential News. This past weekend was the Phoenix Comic Fest; yes the name was changed. Apparently they are in litigation over the use of ComiCon. And Saturday the fest was closed early because of a fire alarm and I learned next year they are going to be Phoenix Fan Fusion. Of course anyone who knows me, knows I’m going to get a poem out of it.

Phoenix fan fusion
found last year’s ComiCon badge
crushed name has to change

Sunday’s #haikuchallenge word was crush. Saturday’s was found. I used two in one haiku. We didn’t make it to the fest this year. The remote reading has been keeping me busy. I actually had a shift yesterday. Despite working fewer days than last year, I’ve logged in more hours. I’m not complaining and because no one else was working yesterday, we went to see Solo – A Star Wars Story when my work day was done. We did have a sci-fi weekend. Then today’s #haikuchallenge word is career and I wrote about my job once again.

Make money reading
want a career in English
grade standardized tests

Gretchen started her summer classes at EMCC today. She had a small 4 day summer break. 😉 Actually she’ll only be in summer classes until June 28th and then can enjoy freedom until her senior year starts on August 7th. The same day Rachael is signed up to take the GRE. Rachael took Gretchen over to her first day this morning and is still waiting to hear about the ASU job she interviewed for a couple weeks ago.

May Celebrations

 

Last weekend Shawn and I enjoyed the wine and jazz walk in Phoenix and the last photo is my Mother’s Day fondue dinner. Shawn made an excellent fondue though I told him I wasn’t a fan of his photo. Despite how the wine looks, it was also very good. This weekend we are celebrating someone’s birthday.

Mother’s Day dinner
give credit for excellent
fondue recipe

Celebrate birthday
credit daughter ten more years
watching Great Gatsby

Last night Rachael, Gretchen and I were watching the most recent Great Gatsby, as Gretchen was watching it at school since they read the novel earlier this year, but they did not finish the movie. Near the end, Nick realizes it’s his birthday and he’s 30 years old. I turn to Rachael and ask, “How does it feel to be ten years away from 30?” 😉 Yes, she will be 20 tomorrow. And I can now share this quote:

Sylvia Plath

“You are twenty. You are not dead, although you were dead. The girl who died. And was resurrected. Children. Witches. Magic. Symbols.”

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Rachael’s 19th Birthday at Blu Sushi Litchfield Park, AZ

Reading, Reading and Even More

Reading. 😉 Yes, it’s that time of year again. I’m doing remote reading and scoring tests. I have officially made up Rachael’s lost grant money with the hours I put in by the end of shift today. The rest of my time scoring this season is nice cushioning.

Since I’ve been reading, I haven’t really spent much time on poetry. But most years I’ve used May as a destress from writing 30 poems in thirty days in April. On the school front, Gretchen got an A in Eng 102 and Rachael got an A+ in OChem 2; she’s signed up for 20 credits this coming Fall semester. Gretchen took her AP US History test today; next Wednesday is her AP English test. The day before Rachael will be interviewing over at ASU to help out the veterinarian (one of the job opportunities I stopped waiting to hear on before I bought airplane tickets). Rachael is also signed up to take the GRE in August before the fall semester begins.

Tomorrow is the #Urbanwinewalk in downtown Phoenix, hopefully Shawn and I will be able to spend some time over there. And of course Sunday is Mother’s Day and then Monday is back to work. Gretchen has only two weeks left for high school. Then Tuesday May 29 her ACE summer courses start – Public Speaking and Sociology!

April Survivor

 

Verse may drive her mad
Desperate poet’s story
April survivor

Good Morning! And welcome to May, aka decompress month. Yesterday was May the 4th and Shawn and I went to the party at the Arizona science center. As we were getting in the car, Shawn asked me for directions to the science center. I don’t know; it’s downtown. It’s not like we haven’t been there before. Shawn looked it up and it said, now closed. I laughed, I know it’s an after hours party for old geeks. You had to be over 21 to attend. I had the Romulan Ale (not Roman autocorrect) and Sonic Screwdriver. Shawn had a Butterscotch Wookie (I think) I can’t remember now. And we basically got to roam the science center without little beings running all over the place. Then we went over to Grand Ave. It was first Friday. That is where I printed the May the 4th be with you poster. Yes, I rolled the printing press myself.

And as you can see, the verse did not drive me mad. I wrote over 30 poems in April, counting the #haikuchallenge poems for twitter. I missed one prompt. But I did more than one poem for a couple of the prompts so over all I’d say it was a successful month. Arizona schools got back to work yesterday. Gretchen had a full day of school again. Yay! But Thursday was Rachael’s last exam for her semester, and still no word on her summer gigs. She is now home. Which will be a good thing for a little while anyway as Gretchen has to take the math placement test at EMCC for her fall ACE course. She was going to take it today after her final Eng 102 class, but she looked it up and the testing center is only open Monday – Friday. Rachael will have to bring her over one day after school. I told Gretchen she should have taken it on one of her days of no school, but did she listen to her mother?

May the 4th story
Doctor, Captain, Wookiee meet
Science with a twist

 

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty-eight

enhance

Maid of the Mist Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, NY

Hello! We enjoyed our trip to see Niagara Falls. The girls and I were adventurous and toured the Cave of the Winds. Okay, Mom didn’t make it all the way up the stairs to stand next to the falls. The girls were having fun experiencing the Falls up close. After that we went on the Maid of the Mist; I’m sending you a postcard of the boat. It’s a good thing they give you rain ponchos, because we all got wet. They bring the boat along side of Horseshoe Falls. It’s loud as the water thunders down into the river right by the boat. Our time in Buffalo is almost over be home soon.

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Following the suggestion of our craft resource, we challenge you today to draft a prose poem in the form/style of a postcard. If you need some inspiration, why not check out some images of vintage postcards? I’m particularly fond of this one.

Good Morning and welcome to day twenty-eight of #NaPoWriMo where we are suppose to write a postcard. Well since we will be going back to Buffalo this summer, a first for the whole family in over 6 years, I decided to write about our last trip to Niagara Falls. Gretchen is off to her Eng102 class this morning. They actually sent the students an email informing them classes are held as scheduled so the kids didn’t think the college professors were on walkout like their high school teachers. Gretchen thought, doh! But I thought it was a good idea if only because the kids have been sleeping in for the past two days; and teenagers, if they think they can sleep in and not have to go to school, they’ll take full advantage.

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty-Seven

The Hermit

Loner
Seeks knowledge
Climbs great heights
Happy to be invisible
Introspection

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for today’s (optional) prompt. Following Lauren Hunter’s practice of relying on tarot cards to generate ideas for poems, we challenge you to pick a card (any card) from this online guide to the tarot, and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it.

Good evening and welcome to day twenty-seven of #NaPoWriMo and I’m already starting to peter out. Gretchen was home again today and Rachael doesn’t have classes on Friday. Next week is finals and she only has to go in on Thursday! So my peace and quiet is quickly disappearing. I enjoy being a hermit during the school year. Since it is the weekend, I hope to catch up on the prompt I missed yesterday.

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty-five

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My children know I’m crazy

Beware sleep deprived
mom who will walk into walls
may trip over cats

Do not approach her
without sufficient coffee
may misinterpret

Do not approach her
if she holds a sharp object
may take fork to foot            😉

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, we challenge you to write a poem that takes the form of a warning label . . . for yourself! (Mine definitely includes the statement: “Do Not Feed More Than Four Cookies Per Hour.”
Happy writing!

Good morning and welcome to another installment of #NaPoWriMo a day late. This morning I already accomplished buying airline tickets. 😀 WooHoo! All four of us will be shuffling off to Buffalo at the end of June. Gretchen’s last day of summer classes is June 28th but I’ve been waiting to hear about Rachael’s summer schedule – which is still up in the air. Whatever she ends up doing, she will just need the 4th of July week off, because she’s going on vacation.

I did start working on this prompt yesterday, but then Rachael made pancakes for breakfast; Shawn went grocery shopping (I had to put food away); and Gretchen found out her ACT score – 24. I told her it is a very good score, but she was all moody because it isn’t a great score and she felt like she did really well when she took the test. Her SAT is 1160 and everything I looked up yesterday said 24 ACT is comparable to 1180 SAT. I told her at least you are consistent. Still did not help. I looked up ASU stats; she doesn’t want to go far from home. Their website said any ACT score 22 and above is accepted. They will take as low as a 19. She is good, improving her score will help with more scholarship money but she doesn’t have to worry about being accepted especially if she keeps up her GPA. Still none of this improved her mood yesterday.

This morning there is no sleep deprived mom to deal with because I slept in – first day of teacher walkout. The high school campus is open for half the day, they’re dismissing students at 10:15, but do to the low number of teachers expected to show up; they are having a big tutoring, extra help session. Gretchen’s last day of Eng 102 is May 5th and she has a paper to write for that class and figured it would be good to stay home and work on it without being penalized with an absence. This afternoon after I’m done working, it’s back to the orthodontist to pick up her new retainer. And at some point I hope to get to today’s poetry prompt.

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty-one

Gaze at reflection
too enamored by beauty
vanity takes hold

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now for our (optional) prompt. In her interview, Brim provides us with several suggestions for generative writing exercises, and we’d like to challenge to today to tackle her third one, which is based in the myth of Narcissus. After reading the myth, try writing a poem that plays with the myth in some way. For example, you could imagine that imagine the water is speaking to you, the narcissus flower. Or you could write a poem in which the narcissus berates the Kardashians for stealing their neurosis. Or a poem that comments on the narcissism of our time, i.e. beauty and body obsession, etc.

Good morning! And welcome to day twenty-one of #NaPoWriMo where we are suppose to write about narcissism and I’m a little sleepy as I stayed up to finish watching Lost in Space last night. As I was mulling over where to take my poem I headed over to twitter to see what the #haikuchallenge word today is and it’s hold. Ahhh… shouldn’t be too difficult to turn a haiku with hold into a vanity senryu and there you have it. Yesterday the word was retort and I posted a clever retort to go with my #redfored poem until I realized my syllable count was off – oops.

Schools rank near bottom
Governor offers pay raise
Teachers retort – strike

There it is fixed because I had with strike for my original tweet. Here is an article on CNN about the Arizona teacher walk out. I got an email from the high school district informing us schools will begin early dismissals on Thursday. We will get a follow up email on the 25th with greater detail, but if too many teachers walk out, they may close campuses completely. And all this on Gretchen’s “April break” she didn’t really have because her AP History teacher wanted all the students taking the AP test in May to come in for a practice test. Shawn drove her to school because no school meant no bussing. And he asked, Are you and Rachael going to pick her up? Well I know Rachael is no school also meant she could leave campus at any time without a parent signature, but she may need a pick up when I’m working. Sure enough the practice test ended while I was working, but Rachael had no problem picking her up by herself.

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty

#RedforEd

Teachers
Walk out
Demand better future
Students deserve higher quality
Education

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Our prompt for the day (optional as always) takes its cue from Notley’s rebelliousness, and asks you to write a poem that involves rebellion in some way. The speaker or subject of the poem could defy a rule or stricture that’s been placed on them, or the poem could begin by obeying a rule and then proceed to break it (for example, a poem that starts out in iambic pentameter, and then breaks into sprawling, unmetered lines). Or if you tend to write funny poems, you could rebel against yourself, and write something serious (or vice versa). Whatever approach you take, your poem hopefully will open a path beyond the standard, hum-drum ruts that every poet sometimes falls into.
Happy writing!

Good morning and welcome to day twenty of #NaPoWriMo two-thirds complete today. And guess what, last night teachers in Arizona voted to walk out; they’re not allowed to strike, but it is pretty much the same thing. The walk out will start on Thursday the 26th, giving the governor a chance to respond. Ducey did promise teachers a 20% pay raise by the 2020 school year. When other people looked at his math they said it wasn’t feasible and even though the governor said he would increase teacher pay without moving or decreasing school support money (support staff, building, bussing, etc) teachers and other school officials have no idea if he’ll hold true to that statement. The teachers know they can’t do their job well without support staff, quality buildings, busses and educational materials. The last month of this school year maybe interesting.