Saturday, April 4, 2020

House bound and down


My friend Gerry is back to writing and shared his recent work with me. Would you visit his blog? Click on his name above. If you are local, you may recognize the landmarks. 


Being housebound has its benefits. I cleaned the carpets and read three books in the past two weeks. I have cooked (and eaten) more than ever before. 

Today I fiddled with poems. What do you think?  Do you have a preference, a particular style? Next week we are expecting temperatures around 80 degrees. I will be sitting in the sun, not under an apple tree! 

Spring Palette

Splash the barren earth with daffodils,
golden forsythia o'er the hills.
Smudge hedgerows purple, dark and light,
tint azalea blossoms raspberry bright.
Rouge ruby red on pansy cheeks,
daub dainty smiles that glow for weeks.
Spread winter’s lawn with sage and jade.
Paint spring on every branch, and blade. 


Housebound Locked Down


In a crook of the rippled lake 
still water cradles autumn’s 
discarded foliage, usurped 
by algae propagating 
in sunshine golden as the finch 
that flew its nest, confused 
by the absence of visitors 
missing out on nature's best.


Suburban Orchard

The newly arrived immigrant  
planted a dozen apple trees alright
there on his small front lawn,
and
painted the trunks stark white.

Flowering orchard, twelve towering trees,
uniformed sailors taking orders from the breeze.
Blossoms drifting, swirling, floating down
from 
the best-dressed apple trees in town. 

Who am I to say a spread of sweet Williams
or daffodils would be more apropos?
This man from "over there" probably doesn't know,
 
a hedge of roses in all their glory would certainly delight.

But who am I to say HIS front yard is wrong
and everyone else is right? 
Neighbors mow their grass and whack away their weeds.
While we all manicure our lawns, he tends his apple trees.


P.S.
This orchard is a few blocks from our home on a main street. 


One year we were taking a drive and came upon an entire front lawn of pink flowers,
thousands of them.


What is the darndest thing you've seen on a front lawn?  




Monday, March 30, 2020

Another Lucy moment

Picture this!

Our tax preparer's office went on lock down right before the quarantine began, one day before our scheduled appointment! So Bill dropped off the paperwork at an overpriced strip mall tax agency.

On a cold overcast, misty day, in a car bound for the strip mall, which sits down in a valley, we found a spot three car lengths from the building and went inside so we could sign the forms and see the damage.

The only employee there, an older woman sitting across the desk from us, moaned and groaned and struggled to breathe. I asked if she were alright. She said she had emphysema and would be okay, but she had walked in from the parking lot and was out of breath.

Bill and I stole glances as she shuffled around the office mumbling, "Now where did I put that? Oh no, the printer is out of ink!" She hacked and coughed and then said, "Well, here's your last document that needs a signature."

I was so happy to autograph Uncle Sams documents and bolt out of there. I beat Bill to the door and said, "Honey, I don't want you going out in this storm and pouring rain. You stay here. I'll get the car."

The door closed behind me. I gulped fresh air and ran to the car.

Drenched, I punched in the numerical code on the door panel, and then stood there like a dripping wet fool when I realized HE HAD THE KEYS.

There Bill stood in the store front window laughing his dry self silly.

These are the days of MY life.





Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Yes sir! That's my baby!

I drove to my granddaughter's to babysit while she gathered her work computer/supplies. Alex is on the couch. Liam is stopping Charlie from getting into mischief.
When the little ones went down for a nap, Liam and I cuddled on the couch. I used to see him once a week before he started kindergarten.
He snuggled and said, "I miss you, Nana. Are you starving yourself?"

I was thrilled he noticed my ten pound weight loss. I beamed at him and asked, "Why?" 
He looked at me confused. 
Then he said, "Can't you hear your own belly making all those sounds?"

I hope you are sheltering in place, eating less than I am, and reading as much as I have been.

I loved Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle.

Today I am starting The Doctor's Wife, a psychological thriller which drew me in with the first sentence. Now on to page 2.

Bye-Bye. How are you handling the confinement?

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sometimes you just have to laugh!

Guess who is social distancing?
 He did peak out to see what was going on. Oh who am I kidding? He sneaks a peek every time I walk into the kitchen. I read that his breed can't get enough food or affection. That sums up our Sassy.

 My granddaughter just posted a video of the hamster-size snowflakes coming down. Her commentary: In the midst of a pandemic, now this on the second day of spring? It's just rude!


I snipped a few daffodils and brought a little bit of spring indoors. The fragrance is wonderful.

Now picture this... I went outside in my pink fuzzy bath robe to fill the bird feeder as Bill stood at the window directing me HOW to open the contraption. He is much taller than I am, so I held the roof open with my left hand, arm fully extended, and poured a container of seed in with my right hand. When I overshot and filled my left sleeve, he laughed hysterically. I ask you. Is that a laughing matter?!

Monday, March 16, 2020

What did you say?!


Many years ago, I was a PBX telephone switchboard operator. I loved that job. But sometimes messages could get garbled, misinterpreted, or passed on until they did not even remotely resemble the original content. Sort of like PLAYING TELEPHONE.  

Alex and Charlie found our old, inoperable cell phones. They both had been fussing with each other and wanted to call mama.

Alex speaks fluently. Charlie, 19 months, chatters and babbles endlessly; every once in awhile you can make out a word. He was mad at Alex and tattling, "Unintelligible babbling (about three sentences) and Mama, Bubba jabber-jabber-jabber...mama! Blah, blah, blah!" All that jabbering and every time he said, "Bubba" Alex just held his head. I had to laugh.
It really isn't that much different from listening to all the chatter on T.V. about the Corona Virus. It is enough to overwhelm you and give you a real headache.

In these trying times (our tax preparer, scheduled for tomorrow! just canceled on us) when schools are closing, and businesses are encouraging employees to work from home, we all need to do our part to prevent the spread of this virus.

Closures are an inconvenience for many, a matter of life and death for others. Please be considerate.

I am concerned about the needy school children who will be deprived of meals. The elderly who will be deprived of visitors.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Where is it? What is it? Did you know?


Can you guess what this is? Modern art? Sculpture?

Graffiti?

 This is a section of The Berlin Wall. Winston Churchill's daughter is responsible for the cut outs and for bringing this piece of history to the college in Fulton, Missouri where granddaughter Morgan attends.









We had a wonderful time touring campus. The history lessons and artifacts were plentiful, and we could have spent an entire day touring the church/museum.



I experienced a range of emotions. The most pronounced was the fear of being separated from loved ones and homeland. Walls divide. I think we should be building bridges. Seeking peace. Sharing and caring. I could go on and on, but I won't. I will post photos and see what emotions they evoke for you.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Stuck in a bucket?


If you need writing (or life) inspiration, visit Pen and Prosper and meet Sporty King, featured on Jennifer Brown Banks' blog.

The one thing Sporty said that resonates with me is "Every word must have multiple meanings." I LOVE THIS!

For example if someone tells King, a motivational speaker, they have writer's block, he asks them to tell which block they grew up on...   Read more here: https://bit.ly/39dXGhk .



Charlie got himself stuck in a bucket. He was uncomfortable. My first thought was to rescue him. My second thought was of my late mentor Helen Rodgers. She told me if we rescue a baby every time he or she gets stuck under a table, we use OUR reasoning to ease his/her discomfort, and they can't move forward literally, or cognitively if we do their thinking. 

She did not mean we should never help. But we should first allow the child to do the reasoning.


In full disclosure, I showed Charlie how to tip the bucket, and he crawled out... and repeated the action. He leaned into the discomfort and moved forward. Does this make sense?

Brianna Wiest discusses how feeling discomfort can be a motivator. Usually we back away, rather than move toward that which makes us feel uncomfortable, and we fall back into old patterns.

Brianna Wiest claims, "If you don’t learn to tolerate discomfort, you’re going to live your life in fits and starts."

Wiest says, "You’re going to get an idea about what you want to do, or who you might want to be, and then as soon as you’re a few days into your new life, you’re going to revert to what you were. This isn’t because change is impossible. It’s because, eventually, reality kicks back in. You’ll encounter challenges, down days. You cannot coast on the high of an idea forever."

Wiest is right! 
"If you never learn to tolerate discomfort, everything— from small tasks to big-picture ideas— will end up unfinished." I urge you to check out these two prolific motivational writers.