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.


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.

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

WD – Distraction Poem


Gretchen at playground Monday Afternoon

Park Distraction

Rest stop at the park

Meet 16 year old at late bus
drop off, just the two of us

walking home through neighborhood
distracted by playground equipment
brings back small slice of childhood


Robert Lee Brewer asked for a distraction poem as the 425 Wednesday Poetry Prompt. I decided to play with the cherita poetry form again. On Monday, my almost 17 year old daughter wanted me to meet her at the late bus drop off. She is getting to go see Hamilton at Gammage auditorium through her school. However the opportunity requires her to stay after school to learn more about the American Revolution before they go to the play. I honestly didn’t think she would do it, because it meant taking the late bus home and that is outside her comfort zone. Little did mom know she’d ask her to meet her at the bus stop, which is across the street from the elementary school. I haven’t made that walk in years. And yes, when I used to walk down there to pick up the girls after school (all the way back to pre-k), we would stop and play at the park. Over the years, the playground equipment has changed. They didn’t have the duck there when the girls were small.

January – Week 3

Tuesday has arrived
write cringe worthy poetry
post one blog a week

My post is a day late. I spent most of yesterday hibernating under blankets. It only made it to 60 and I’ve acclimated to the desert heat; 60 is chilly to me. I did write a haiku for the #haikuchallenge on twitter yesterday, but then I just enjoyed my peace and quiet. As it was Monday, everyone was out of the house by 7:30am, and then Gretchen had to stay after school for Hamilton and didn’t get home until 4pm, leaving me with 8 hours of heaven.

On Saturday Gretchen had her Eng 102 class at EMCC and Rachael had volunteer training at the Phoenix Zoo. The house was devoid of people on a Saturday! I did 4 loads of wash. I prefer to do laundry on the weekends because of the cheaper electricity rates though it means more in the summer when we’re running the AC. Then Shawn went over to his Mom’s house; they’re working on a piece together for the Exotic Show at the Alwun House. Opening night is February 9th this year, they have to get the artwork done.

Friday Rachael doesn’t have any classes so she and I went grocery shopping at Walmart. They had the entire freezer section emptied for cleaning and inventory. Ugh! This morning Rachael was looking for breakfast, the go to frozen waffles have been depleted and we couldn’t replenish them. Even Gretchen was asking for waffles and I had to tell her, oatmeal or cereal are choices this week.

Enjoy Sunny Days

Hello from sunny, warm Arizona, watching and hearing about the cold snowy weather back east makes me happy to be living in the southwest. A few years ago, I submitted a poem to Silver Birch Press Where I Live series. Melanie posted my poem on my mom’s birthday – the first birthday we marked without my mom.

Now they are dealing with record low temps back east. In fact in Buffalo, they’ve closed some schools tomorrow for the extreme cold. Lol! My poor child was stuck in school in August in Arizona without AC already one day this year.

AC has broken
School sends students home early
Renew cool classrooms


August 23, 2017 #haikuchallenge. On day two of broken AC, I got a phone call around noon stating they were sending the students home early. It was a Tuesday; the AC was also not working Monday and you should have seen how wilted Gretchen looked walking into the house at the normal time Monday afternoon. Hey well over 100 and no AC, school no problem. Temps dip below 0 and apparently schools close their doors.

Of course I do enjoy #haikuchallenge poems focusing on Arizona weather. The word today is snap.

Forecast bitter cold
Snap back to reality
Valley of the sun

2017 – Year in Review











For the last day of 2017, I decided to look at my yearly stats. This past year my blog views went down from 2016. The reason why, I simply have not posted as often. I noticed in March I wrote about Shawn’s 45th birthday. Wow that feels like it was more than a year ago. Still one of my favorite photos of Shawn and me; I can’t believe the canvas print has been on my wall for such a short time. Then at the end of March I started an honest to goodness job (you know something with more reliable pay than writing). Despite working in April, I finished another year of NaPoWriMo – go me!

Of course after that my posts really became sluggish, not sure where my muse went off to this year. It was a little disappointing Silver Birch Press went on hiatus and then decided to close. Melanie always came up with refreshing prompts. I did not write for all of them, but I enjoyed reading everyone’s work and recognizing names of poets who became regular contributors like me.

At the end of May, my job wrapped up and Gretchen began a new adventure, taking courses at the community college. Rachael finished her first year at ASU, working hard to maintain her 4.0 GPA. The hard work seems to be paying off as the honor society invites have rolled in this past semester. Then in July I flew up to Buffalo and then my family (Dad and three sisters) traveled to Germany. I learned about the elevenie (German elfchen) during NaPoWriMo this year and put it to good use when I got back from Germany. You know me, I like short pieces. Pecking on the keyboard with one hand, short and sweet is much easier.

And that pretty much brings us to today as my blog lacked many posts in September, October or November. At the midpoint of December I blogged about my November; I had a nice birthday dinner at the Wigwam Resort. Then we had a quiet Thanksgiving and Rachael finished her fall semester by the first week of the month. An early end means an early start, school resumes for both girls on January 8th and the routine begins over again in 2018. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. And to friends and family back East – stay warm.

Contemplate finish
Keep thrill alive; transition
See new beginning

Job Comes to a Close

Scored standardized tests
replaced grant money we lost
no lend to repay


At the start of the year, we learned Rachael did not qualify for grant money from FAFSA that she was given her first year at ASU. I also saw an article about a work at home job, remote reader for standardized tests. Well over 20 years ago I received a BS in English Secondary Education and it’s been collecting dust. So I whipped up a resume. I haven’t worked a “real” job in almost 20 years either so I asked a couple friends to be personal references and then what do you know? I qualified for the work. It was nice to be able to earn some money from home. Especially when I cannot drive. I did not have to worry about how to commute to and from.

Tuesday as Gretchen started her new adventure at EMCC, Mom wrapped up her own and did well as I earned more money than was given to Rachael in last year’s grant. We are hoping to be able to finance Rachael’s four year degree so she doesn’t have to graduate in debt. Both my parents and Shawn’s parents paid for our undergrad degrees and it’s great not having to worry about student loans when you graduate. Of course Rachael is doing her part earning her AA while she was still in high school and keeping up her GPA to earn the top academic scholarship from ASU.

Meanwhile even though I only worked for a little over two months it feels strange not to log in and read papers. I got an email from my company this morning thanking all of us for our hard work. Qualified readers will get an email at the end of this year to score for the Spring 2018 test period. I’ll definitely sign up again. It was nice to bring in a little extra money.