Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Getting Ready!

I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo and I will be missing from my blog for most of November.

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

I will be checking in on all your blogs daily but to achieve my goal I'll save my finger power for NaNoWriMo. I will be attempting to write a fictional autobiographical novel from four different view points of my families journey. I need cheerleaders for my strength to endure this tough but important goal. I will still post when I can but will miss my blog routine of club participation.

Manny had a stroke over the weekend but is bouncing back yet again! Who says cats only have nine lives? I'm nursing him along but did not want anyone to think I've forgotten them by slinking away. Manny's stroke and this writing venture will take up most of my November. Lynne has been my greatest encourager to write, so I thought I'd share what she emailed me. Many of you are doing this and maybe this quote and poem will inspire you. Wish me luck!

"In my family we were taught to respect excellence...anyone who was good at what they did...deserved our admiration. Moreover, we were to use the talents God had given to us in pursuit of similar excellence ourselves. There was no point in comparing ourselves with others...but only with what we might become by using the gifts God had given us. "Respect for excellence and its pursuit did not mean that you had to be excellent. You did your reasonable best. You didn't quit. Approval....was conditioned on trying. The emphasis was on effort, rather than outcome."
By Andrew Greely

A Simple Poem for Virginia Woolf

This started out as a simple poem
for Virginia Woolf you know the kind
we women writers write these days
in our own rooms
on our own time
a salute a gesture of friendship
a psychological debt
paid off
I wanted it simple
and perfect round
hard as an
egg I thought
only once I'd said egg
I thought of the smell
of bacon grease and dirty frying-pans
and whether there were enough for breakfast
I couldn't help it
I wanted the poem to be carefree and easy
like children playing in the snow
I didn't mean to mention the price of snowsuits or
how even on the most expensive ones
the zippers always snag
just when you're late for work
and trying to get the children
off to school on time
a straightforward poem
for Virginia Woolf that's all
I wanted really
not something tangled in
domestic life the way
Jane Austen's novels tangled
with her knitting her embroidery
whatever it was she hid them under

I didn't mean to go into all that
didn't intend to get confessional
and tell you how
every time I read a good poem
by a woman writer I'm always peeking
behind it trying to see
if she's still married
or has a lover at least
wanted to know what she did
with her kids while she wrote it
or whether she had any
and if she didn't if she'd chosen
not to or if she did did she
choose and why I didn't mean
to bother with that
and I certainly wasn't going
to tell you about the time
my best friend was sick in intensive care
and I went down to see her
but they wouldn't let me in
because I wasn't her husband
or her father her mother
I wasn't family
I was just her friend
and the friendship of women
wasn't mentioned
in hospital policy
or how I went out and kicked
a dent in the fender of my car
and sat there crying because
if she died I wouldn't be able
to tell her how much I loved her(though she didn't and we laugh
about it now) but that's what got me
started I suppose wanting to write
a gesture of friendship
for a woman for a woman writer
for Virginia Woolf
and thinking I could do it
easily separating the words
from the lives they come from
that's what a good poem should do
after all and I wasn't going to make excuses
for being a woman blaming years of silence
for leaving us
so much to say

This started out as a simple poem
for Virginia Woolf
it wasn't going to mention history
or choices or women's lives
the complexities of women's friendships
or the countless gritty details
of an ordinary woman's life
that never appear in poems at all
yet even as I write these words
those ordinary details intervene
between the poem I meant to write
and this one where the delicate faces
of my children faces of friends
of women I have never even seen
glow on the blank pages
and deeper than any silence
press around me
waiting their turn


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Poetry Thursday- "The Den Fish"

The Den Fish
I enter your dark domain with my coffee
to warm the chill in the air
I see you everyday
hanging there
staring with
your one

I try to ignore your enormity, looming over
my hopes of inspiration
hoping you know
I did not steal
your dignity
as silver

You were once free to swim the lake with
carefree abandon but now
you are a trophy
passed down
to be

This week we were to go into a room where we spend most our time. Latch on to the first thing you see and use it for inspiration on Poetry Thursday. My husband's very "manly" den is where I blog and to show you how "manly" I added pictures. In our next house I get a den in honey/gold and antique country white beadboard.

Goodbye ole friend hanging in the den ;)
To see other's inspirations go here

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I've Recruited Another Blogger!

I have found a gem! This lady has talent and spunk that brightens my life with every email. She was a tough nut to crack in getting her to blog. She said "at 64 I'm not sure blogging would be my thing." We share numerous funny stories over our fight with ALS but when I saw her art and poetry I knew it had to be shared. I nagged :) She is married and a mom but also enjoys her five grandkids in Vermont.
This was her art done by her beautiful hands until ALS forced her to express her art on the computer.

This is my favorite piece of her computer art :) I'm now dropping hints of "Poetry Thursdays" and "One Deep Breath." I'm so damn pushy but she is a bright light to be shared. Go give her a bloggy housewarming how do you do! Go Pam! She is at http://capeandtights.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge- "Imperfections"

I have a huge circular cowlick on the back of my head and if "Sir Dave" does not do "bed head" patrol this is how I look from the rear :) I swirl instead of swish and it works! I'm embracing I swear!

To see the other's imperfections go here

One Deep Breath - "Mystery" Yugen

"Yugen... describes a sense of mystery over the universe. [It] also deals with noticing the vastness of the universe in comparison to the minute nature of human existence...." -Kristin Boryca

Sky canvas, framed light
clouds swirl colors; day to night
portrait of brilliance

Dave took this off our back deck of our new home and even though all the pictures turned out too dark I managed to lighten this one.

To see other "Yugen" haiku go here

Monday, October 23, 2006

It's Great to Get Away!

The realtor gave us bad news on Tuesday about our current house. We have a lot more work to do on it and we still won't get what we want in price. I decided we could still have our dream of moving, but we needed to down size the dream. Dave is not yet convinced, so our trip was great timing.
I had an agenda this trip and that was to convince Dave that we can do this and throw in some fun too. Dave was a focused, all work, stress ball so I whined like a five year old to go out and play!

He loved his country fried steak and my pecan waffles at the Buttercup Pantry.

We stopped by Apple Hill for caramel apples the size of my head and fresh apple juice. That's me with the "bed head" eating my apple while watching kids catch trout :)

Nikki and Manny got to play in the lake near our new house. The little white sh** actually just watched in her warm Packer jersey:) Manny swam for the stick like he was a pup again! He looks good for having cancer!

Dave managed to get a lot done on the house despite being there with two dogs and a five year old wife. I managed to stay out of his hair by reading two FANTASTIC books ; Marley & Me and My Sister's Keeper. On our way home we took the LONG route to see Hope Valley in its Fall glory. It was stunning, but a 4hr car ride made that five year olds butt numb!

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm off to the Mountains!

My bag is packed and I'm on my way to watch Dave work his butt off. Speaking of butts, I hope I packed my long underwear ;) See ya Sunday!

Self Portrait Challenge- "Imperfections"

I had Lynne take a few shots for an updated profile picture and being a 45 year old women I found too many flaws, so I chose one and deleted the rest. When it came time to do this challenge I pulled up a deleted picture. I wanted to do the "imperfection boycott" and find the beauty in a shot I disliked. I looked real hard but I over analyzed it to the point of saying to myself, no flipping way! I saw my need for a cut and color, not to mention my "Italian" nose and I just over-analyzed myself out of the idea. Don't get me wrong I like the way I look, just not from the side in dire need of a cut and color. My real imperfection is being too analytical.

I analyzed my dilemma only to decide I needed a different picture. LOL Then with further contemplation I decided to go with it and use it as an illustration. I over think just about everything and it has been a problem throughout my life. I analyze myself out of relationships, read more into a conversation than there is and have trouble making decisions. I even over analyze the stupid word verification on blogger. Is that an "m" ? No, maybe two "n's" close together? Hmmm. I'm rarely right the first time...grrr! On the other hand, it has also helped me make many good decisions and weed out toxic people before they can suck me in. It's an imperfection I refuse to give up and embrace it as just another part of me;)

One Deep Breath - "Simple Pleasures"

Dima 20 months
Ethan 5 years

My Backward Fibs (1+1+2+3+5+8)

Laughter of children make hearts sing
smiles filled with light

Distance make grandsons grow too fast
pictures measure growth
chats on phone
so far

These are Dave's grandsons, Dimitri and Ethan, who live in Washington. The pictures and phone calls are never enough because they grow so fast! Dave can't wait to hold them on the next visit :)

For other haiku of simple pleasures visit here

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday Scribbling - "If I could stop time"

The prompt for this week has made my little finger peck at warp speed! What would you do if you could stop time? And if you could choose a super power what would it be? I’m assuming this does not mean stop time forever but for as long as it takes to catch up in our lives. Perfect timing for my temporarily out of control life.

Things I’d like more time for is to read, write my story, have more time with Manny (my sick Lab) and travel. My days are wide open and I’m alone from 4:00am until 5:30pm. I even have a housekeeper every other week, so why would I need time? Why do I choose strength as my super power? Simple tasks are time consuming for me, like straightening up, making the bed, blogging and taking a shower fill an average day. Blogging and showering takes up most of my day and energy but it’s important to push myself. Reading can tire the eye muscles but I have prisms in my reading glasses to help. I lift weights when Dave gets home for safety and because I can rest in bed afterwards. Strength would allow me to get more of what I love done and time stopping would allow me to delay the pain of losing a special friend and keep my grandson on my lap a little longer. I need strength and time for just seven more months and then check back :)
When Dave and I married we knew our journey would be a roller coaster of emotional and physical ups and downs. We had a simple game plan that in theory would make our journey a less bumpy ride. After we married, we sold his house to pay off mine, signed up for a better medical plan and paid off all debt. It was an essential plan so Dave could retire early and we could have more time together. With ALS time is not taken for granted and his 4-hour commute is very unhealthy. When you retire at fifty you do not get full retirement income so we were saving for a safe, stress free life.

Then one day we were feeling a bit over confidant and decided to buy our dream house, by a lake, in the mountains while prices were still in our price range. We thought we could sell mine for what we paid for the new one, pay on two mortgages(one for the down payment) and fix them both up in two years. The gamble has us stressed because the housing market stayed level and the price of my house did not go up. Dave has been fixing one house to sell, the other to live in, maintaining two yards, savings are dwindling and time’s running out! If time stood still and I had my strength back I could help him. Instead I watch the stress eat away at his spirit. We can’t help thinking we wanted too much and gave up two years of quality time on a gamble. Time is up in 7mos and we might have to cut our losses and sell the new house. Our thoughts are if it’s meant to be it will happen.

I guess the best use of time is being present when we are together and do the best we can.

Friday, October 13, 2006

This Week's Updates

Busy week filled with really great things and really bad things! I need a vacation so Dave, my dogs, a few good books and I will be sneaking off to the new house. I'll be gone Wed. thru Sat. relaxing and supervising Daves painting. LOL

Manny, my 17yr old lab's spider bite turned out to be cancer after all. I once again prepared to say goodbye to my best friend. Manny, however had a different plan. He does not want to leave me until God calls him home. The tumor has shrunk yet again and the vet said he is one tough pup! It was touch and go over the weekend trying to keep food down (thank you Dave) but he's rallied back. He will enjoy the lake :)

My gym cancelled PT in the pool and I am pissed! Money and politics will keep the elderly at home instead of using their bodies and socializing. I am moving but what will happen to my pool buddies? Dave has taken over as my trainer with weights at home. He doesn't trust me to not procrastinate :) Moi?

This is a computer painting done by my friend Pam. I met her through the ALS site and she has ALS. Before ALS struck her hands she used brushes to create beautiful art and now she has the computer. I will be keeping Pam's art at the top of my sidebar from now on because beauty is meant to be shared. I'm nagging her to blog because she is also a poet and has so much spunk and wisdom to share :)

TK Thursday's are becoming quite the workout :) At 9mos he is much more animated and heavy. He shakes his head no, he wants to patty cake constantly and likes grabbing my honker :) When he is on the ground he's off to the races looking for a place to pull up and stand. He now has two teeth and says mama and dada, but no gramy yet :(
Thank goodness for bottle time! My daughter and I are even bonding through these visits. She sees me differently as I pour my love onto TK. She brings me lunch and keeps my toes cut, a job Dave hates. We watch Tivo chick dramas and talk while watching TK.

This time he wore me out so all three of us went down for a nap. As I drifted off to sleep, I felt my daughter watching us, then she joined us putting her hand on mine. Hanky please!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Poetry Thursday

I live in an area called "The Motherlode" which is rich in California history. The motherlode is a country life full of rivers, lakes and streams. Gold miners struck it rich here.

I read about a book of poetry in the motherlode newsletter that was a compilation of poetry and prose of the motherlode and sierra. I had to have it and finally found a copy yesterday. This one jumped out at me right away.

"I am one of you," the poet called back,
though he was dressed like the wind,
though he looked like
a waterfall."
Mary Oliver


Nobody could figure out what I was
for Halloween.
I wanted to say Poet, though I didn't;
I was a waterfall.

I'm Lying.
I was a tsunami.
Later, I read a poem
saying orgasms were tidal waves-women's.

I just wanted to be a natural disaster.
When I told Daryl about the costume
as we canoed the boundary waters'
rainy lakes, he said:

You weren't a natural disaster; you were a natural process.
He's an ecologist.
His comment flushed me with ire.
Who wants to be a process for Halloween?

My companions dressed as a wildfire and a tornado;
we were a triumvirate;
forces of heat and wind and water
--we were disasters.

As for Daryl: Kissing him was a natural process.
How else could we have canoed together, how else could our storm-
battered bodies have brushed against each other at night;
no forces to hold back the tides?

By Andrea Ross from the book Manzanita.

To check out other poetry stop by here

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge- "Imperfections"

Procrastinator is an imperfection that is so ingrained into the fabric of my life that I don't even try and change it. When I was a girl, if mom gave me a list of chores I always completed the list however it was usually in warp drive 15 minutes before she got home. In high school I NEVER did a report early and I always studied the night before a test, or even the morning of. My grades were just good enough to retain my cheerleader status with the folks. . . priorities!

I stayed in my first marriage way too long and kept putting off moving up the corporate ladder. I succeeded at both, but due to my procrastination I wasted valuable time I would come to need. I will come up with the lamest excuses as to why I can't workout, drink more fluids or eat during the day. I put off taking my pills until I have forgotten them altogether. I let my hair get really long and grey before I'll get it cut and colored. I could go on and on but you get the picture. That's just me!

In blogging I do each post the day it's due and that is why I'm not a great poet/ writer, but this is my 200th post since November 2005. Not too shabby for a one finger gal who never wrote a creative word until 2005 :) I even signed up to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. LOL Now that will take a lot of persistence over procrastination!

Monday, October 09, 2006

One Deep Breath- "Countryside"

Fields in Autumn
beautiful in its vastness
wondrous sight to see.

gentle rain
to cleanse earth's soil
heartland's bounty given respite.

Black, brown or spotted
God's gentle giants relax
across countryside.

See others Here

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Favorites

This is my blog station with my favorite things. A Mary Oliver book, a current book called Marley & Me, beef jerky and the best gift ever, my digital picture frame. It displays a slide show of all my pictures while playing my favorite tunes. It's the best!
Every Thursday is "TK Thursday" and I got to see his Halloween costume last Thursday. This Thursday he finally fit in a bear velour sweat suit I bought him before he was born. He's 9mos and the outfit is 3-6 mos. He has short little legs :) Both at Wal-Mart. Fridays I check out all the pictures I've taken. LOL
It has little bears on the feet too!
Puppies always make me smile :)
A funny for the weekend :) Have a great one!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Poetry Thursday- "Body"

My gramy is
full of funny faces,
smiles and kisses.

She's soft and squishy
and knows my tickle

I crawl and I climb
making her laugh
with praise.

I love my visits
with gramy cuz
she loves to play.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge- "Imperfections"

This month's challenge is way too easy for me so I promise to be more creative in the coming weeks. I need to rack my brain on how to photograph procrastination and being too analytical :) This is my entry but I have added the next two just to explain "See Through Hands"

Loss of muscle is hard to show but I find it fascinating in my hands. I have a good grip but I have no pinchers. If you feel the muscle pad between your pointer and your thumb you can feel the muscle. In my hands you can't feel much muscle so it is odd to me I can still grip. So why I can drive a car but pulling up my pants or zipping a jacket is tough? It's a mystery to me:) My tongue muscles are also shrinking and that's why I speak with a margarita accent. When you look at my tongue it looks like it is full of Mexican jumping beans and kids think it's the coolest thing. When muscles shrink they do a rumba on their way out! That does not photograph well :(

I use left pointer to shift and middle finger to type. Blogger needs to work out their kinks because I'm having to put my ID & password on most of my comments not to mention wiping them off altogether...grrrr. I try and say what I think but if you get a short comment my muscles have begun a revolt! I wish I could respond to everyone in a timely fashion but I eventually catch up :)

To see other blogger imperfections go here

Monday, October 02, 2006

One Deep Breath- "Books"

Books are my escape
voyeur in another world

relaxing travel