Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tearing It Up


I am thinking that pictures might say it best this morning. My life feels like these walls look: a bit of shambles. I am sorry I ever agreed to take this paper off. While the hallway came off rather easy, the kitchen was a nightmare.

I loved this paper from day one and through 33 years. I thought it was up for life. It stuck like a cockle burr on a thick sock. It had faded not one iota! Little late now to lament the loss of my friend. Change...I don't do well with it. I am like the dog who is distressed with the moving of her food bowl! Biscuit and I both thrive on routine and habit which have flown out the window this month!

Meanwhile the truck would not start, Social Security has messed me up again, my skin has been determined to be a condition that can't be cured, the prescription did not show up at the pharmacy, the dog has an itch now too, and then there is the weather!

On the other hand, I got paid for my DX station article. It was a nice tidy sum and most welcomed. I won second place and third place in the OWL contest. I got second in the Janet Dailey Inspirational Award and third in poetry. I hope some day to have again two thoughts in a row to put down on paper!

And here we go again with another day....let's see whatt comes down the Yellow Brick Road!

Sunday, November 16, 2014


plural noun
notes in the margin of a book, manuscript, or letter  2. writing in books

I was taught early on to respect books, that they were treasures to be treated with care. I never ever tore a page or used my crayons on an inside cover. When I got to chapter books, I never folded down a page corner to mark my place. When I met DH and his family I was shocked that they not only set wet glasses on book bindings, but they also placed an open book face down risking damage to a book’s spine!

When I went to college, everyone had highlighters and made their textbooks look like rainbows. I resisted but finally found the sense in highlighting passages instead of copying them all out by hand for notes. Eventually, I got over my fear of writing in books and began to mark up pages pretty good!

While trying to read a page where someone else has written can be distracting to me, I do enjoy old books with remarks or notes by others. I like to see if I agree or disagree with a previous reader. Books borrowed from friends or family make me wonder why did they mark a word. Are they going to use it in their own writing? What fascinated them about a certain thought? Were they shocked, interested, or had they experienced the same emotion?

I used to have a great collection of book marks. I been gifted with some extraordinary ones like a turquoise studded sliver shank, an African beaded one, a piece of lace from Bruges, Belgium. But once I found the magnetic ones, I liked them best. Only problem is I forget and loan out my books with my bookmark gone traveling in it! Then there is the neat blue button mark in my Kindle that is never lost.

Recently I have accumulated a gathering of new books that sit in corners or on desk tops, but right now I have little time to read them. Sometimes I walk by, pick one up and give it a love pat, glance at pictures, or admire the cover until I’m able to sit a spell with it. I do love my books. When a package comes, DH never asks anymore WHAT is the delivery, only smiles and asks what will I be reading. A trip to a really good used book store can make me positively giddy.

Books…pages…words….divine gifts surely given for a good life.

What about you? Do you write in the margins of your books? Underline? Fold page corners?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Poetry Reading, Another World

Yesterday despite mess inside and cold outside, we stopped everything and entered a different world for a while. It was time for a PSU poetry reading and this reader was nationally known Joy Harjo. She was amazing. A Creek born in Oklahoma, Harjo’s poetry and prose carry the myths and spiritual elements of First Peoples. This means it carries memory of pain as well as bliss.

While I had never really read much Harjo, I constantly came across her name referenced in literature as a foremost American poet, specifically a Native American one. I did not know she sang, played the saxophone, and wrote music as well. At the end of her reading, she sang a last poem. Her silky yet solid voice floated through the room like soft kisses on baby cheeks.

My favorite reading of the night was “Perhaps the World Ends Here”. It is a poem that speaks of the importance of the kitchen table. “It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.”  Ironically, I had just read in the new Ted Kooser book a poem titled “At the Kitchen Table”. Both poems hit a favorite belief of mine that the habit of a family gathering at a table is precious and should not be lost. I will reread both of these poems often now.

I came home spiked with energy to write poems or at least to read more and wallow in their beauty…that is as soon as I have another chance! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Murray Tree

The wind and rain have taken many leaves and some trees are looking quite bare. Others have held tight, refused to give up anything yet to winter. The nights are cold making mornings outside too chilly until the sun wipes his eyes and comes fully awake near noon.

I have spent two days and one more to go of merely boxing up tea pots and cups preparing for  coming wall and ceiling work. I have taken pictures down, folded tablecloths, but have top of kitchen cabinets left to do. Mind you, this is not furniture moving yet, only small pieces of “stuff. It is amazing what I have accumulated. I feel strange taking down my own things, wrapping in tissue, and boxing like I am ending something. I wonder if I need these beloved things at all…would life be easier with cleared table tops?

Yesterday as I ran to town for more tissue paper, I noted the change in trees but kept moving on myself thinking that is what we all do…keep going, keep changing. I was coming down the street when I saw the Murray Tree and had to pull the car over to exalt its loveliness. Every year we watch for this tree to change as it is a beauty. This year while other trees were at their peak, this one had not even begun to change! We figured it would be a year it just did not perform. The Murrays have been dead for years and the house falls into ruin while descendants refuse to settle the estate. Yet every year, this tree flames full of color, full of a last burst of life at the end of summer. So this year was to be no different, just late.

The beauty of the Murray Tree made me think of my writing. Would it be slow and late too? Would it burst forth in the middle of a winter snow storm and astound me (and editors too!) with powerhouse words I stacked together? I can only hope this is true. No lines will be written in the next few weeks of sheetrock dust and plaster! But I can hope that like the Murray Tree I will eventually show marvelous creations even if late in the season!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It Is a November Day

November is certainly here. A hard freeze moved in mums for the night on Friday, but all else froze. Leaves fell freely in the weekend winds. We wrapped up the deck for winter all but a few pieces. We sat the mums back out, crowding them around the door so I could see them constantly for whatever time they have left. The rain began in the night—the slow easy rain of late autumn.

It was a November rain we drove to Joplin in this morning. Going for an eye appointment, we never even turned on the radio. The wipers were our music, tap-tap-taping out the rhythm of a “winter coming” song. The skies were heavy and dismal, as gray as river rock. It wasn’t too hard to imagine that soon such a rain would be freezing or turning to white flakes.

The time change makes everything darker too. Poor Biscuit, she comes to me at 4:00 today and jumps into my lap. Her eyes plead. They say she does not care WHAT the clock says, her tummy says it is 5 p.m. and her dinnertime!

Inside we begin to take down pieces on walls and tables to ready for an overhaul of ceilings and walls. Gradually the inside of the house is looking less autumn comfy and more winter desolate. The bankroll is lessened too. The eye appointment went well this morning if one considers being $1000 lighter in the wallet as a good thing, but having healthy eyes is good news after problems for a while.

We stopped at Sam’s before coming home. Mercy, was that place packed! Was it that everyone could not do anything else in the rain so they went to buy food? I will say there was a certain friendliness in people as many stopped to comment on voting, my bracelets, or to ask where the dried fruit aisle was. There was a certain comradery in folks, maybe a common dread of winter perhaps?

But with cooler air and darker days, a good thing appears—soup pots! We had Panera Kale a few nights ago…then Beefy Onion with croutons on top…a spinach bean soup is in the freezer waiting…and all afternoon a chicken has cooked with celery, onions garlic, and tarragon. It will become chicken noodle for tonight.

Yes, it is really looking like November around here!