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Showing posts from January, 2018

A Few of my Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses . . . I love getting presents, but I love giving them more.  While shopping if I see something that reminds me of someone, I buy it and give it to them the next time I see them.  I seldom wait for a birthday or any other special day. With ten grandchildren, I am on the constant look out for things they might enjoy – books, toys, clothing.  I love to shower them with presents, but come September, as much as it hurts, I stop doling out goodies and start hoarding for their Christmas stash. Brown paper packages tied up with string. . . My blog turns seven years old this April.  It needs a revamp, a rebrand, a rejuvenation, so I decided to celebrate its anniversary with my followers, those dedicated few who have stuck it out with me throughout the journey finding my “voice” and all.  Hey, we celebrate birthdays with presents and cake, right? But there will be no cake. Sorry. To be eligible to win the end-of-the-month giveaway, a reader has to follow on my blog page (and, s…

My Most Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World

My father taught me to read long before I went to school.  There were few children’s books in our house, so he opted for the encyclopedia set displayed in the living room.            Volume 1: Aa-Az.           He loved nonfiction and probably wanted a return on his investment since the set was so expensive.  He thought it was a good place to start.           I know everything there is to know about aardvarks.           I have been in love with reading and writing all my life. I remember playing in my mother’s flowerbeds and scratching letters into the dirt with a stick when I was barely out of diapers. I spent seven years in a Catholic elementary school with a library so small that all the books were my friends. By the time I graduated, I had read every book twice, sometimes three times.           At home, my mother bought provocative, pulp, best sellers, and my father collected graphic, historical, nonfiction, but both were strictly off limits to us kids. Since they both wor…

Why a Wordsmith Should Read Poetry

My father was a poet.  He wrote amazing, long, rhymed poetry for all occasions – birthdays, weddings, holidays – and gave them away as presents.  He read Shakespearian iambic pentameter and Neruda’s long, laborious odes (in the original Spanish) to me before I knew who these poets were.      During the day my dad was an accountant, but his real love included music and poetry.  I did not inherit his musical ability (you do not want to hear me sing or play the kazoo), but I did inherit his admiration of poetry. My own poetry is forgettable so I prefer to relish in the poetry that isn’t.  My Catholic elementary school had a tiny library.  It fit in what used to be the janitor’s closet, but right there tucked among the hundreds of books on the saints and martyrs was Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  She was neither a saint nor a martyr. Her Sonnets to the Portuguese made me break outin goosebumps. Her profession of love to Robert Browning made me wonder if something so bold did not break a Comm…

Finding My Zen in Writing

One of the perks of spending more than half of my life teaching secondary school was the amount of reading I had to do to keep up with the students’ curriculum.  The secondary reading list (grades 6 -12) had been vetted on so many levels that by the time it got to me, it was a guaranteed must-read. I read hundreds and hundreds of books. Some authors were not my favorites, but then others changed my life. Ray Bradbury was one of those. “All Summer in a Day,” “A Sound of Thunder,” “The Small Assassin,” Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451.  All deliciously creepy, sad, or shocking. “To keep a muse, you must offer it food.” He wrote and read daily from childhood until his death – poems, essays, anything and everything - especially other authors who did not think or write like he did. “Not to write,” he states in his book Zen in the Art of Writing, “is to die.” Truth in those words. He perfected a writing process that worked for him, making daily lists of word associations.  He …

Reap What You Sow

When I walk into a grocery store, I avoid what does not appeal to me – the pet food aisle, the baby goods, the canned foods.  When I walk into a department store, I have no use for the men’s department, the petites, the evening gowns. When I go to a craft show or an antique sale, I avoid any and all that doesn’t appeal to me – jewelry, pottery, paintings. Likewise, with social media. I have no tolerance for foul language, graphic videos, and opinionated slander. I have no use for hate, anger, and bullying. Social media “sells” to me, so I have the choice to avoid them, “unfriend” or “block” them, or erase them all together from my feed. “Persons reap what they sow,” so I will feed my soul and mind what I aspire to be. I refuse to be bullied into accepting what others (who are no better than I) think is cool, trendy, or viral.
I keep abreast of the news, I check sources, I keep an open mind, but I also want to live a healthy, happy, hospitable life.  And that is how I will start 2018. I…