Friday, December 30, 2011

Poetry Friday: Resolutions

I'm not making a long list of resolutions this year. Okay, I'll probably come up with a few. At least I'll take a look at what I want to achieve in the new year. But that's sort of my issue with resolutions right now. I'm not sure I want to achieve anything other than recapture my joy in my writing journey. So I have a few tentative ideas, but I don't even want to call them resolutions. Want to know why? Read on...

On New Year's Day
by Kenn Nesbitt
On New Year's Day a year ago,
I started off the year
by making resolutions
that were probably severe.

I said I'd save my money,
as this seemed so very wise.
I vowed I would improve my health.
I swore I'd exercise.

I stated I would do my homework
every single day.
I'd brush my teeth religiously
to ward off tooth decay.

I'd eat my fruits and vegetables
and keep my bedroom clean.
I'd treat my sister kindly
though she's often very mean.

My resolutions lasted me
about a half a day.
I promised I would keep them
but I broke them anyway.

So now I'm fat and penniless.
My homework's overdue.
My sister's mad. My teeth are bad.
My room is messy too.

And yet I think I may have found
the best of all solutions,
and this year I've resolved
to not make ANY resolutions.
Copyright © 2004 Kenn Nesbitt
All Rights Reserved

Julie Larios is hosting Poetry Friday over at the Drift Record.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Closing out the Old

The grandchildren have gone home. They left this morning. No more pillow fights or toys in the floor.

Fortunately they helped un-decorate and get everything Christmas back in the boxes for next year. Now on to getting myself ready for the new year. 

First challenge is reducing the piles on my desk,


the clutter in my office,

and weed some books from my shelves.

I hope you're having as much fun as I am!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Poetry Friday

I am delighted to host Poetry Friday this week. With only days left before Christmas, I'm finished with shopping--thanks to my sweet husband who can out shop me any day of the year. The presents are all wrapped and stuffed under the tree or in boxes and mailed to family far away. There's still a bit of grocery shopping to do and bed making for the grand kids, coming in the wee hours of Christmas morning. They'll probably pass Santa somewhere on the road between Minnesota and Georgia.

 I stopped in the local bookstore this week just to see what was left of holiday books in the children's department. With that in mind, I thought I would wish you a Merry Poetry Friday with some of the titles I found.

Wishing you a rollicking good time with friends and family as you countdown the days.

Wishing you a bit of silliness, songs to sing, and stories to tell.

Wishing you some peace and quiet. Some silent nights...
with only drama of the Nutcracker type.

Something to celebrate.

Something to sing about.

Something to share.

And joyous blessings to you and your house.

The Wassail Song
Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wand'ring,
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to your wassail too,
And God bless you and send you a happy new year
and God send you a happy new year.
Merry Poetry Friday. Leave you link below.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Poetry Friday: Lord Alfred Tennyson

It's been a gray week around here. Aside from the cold and the rain, I spent hours with my father gathering all the necessary documents for financial assistance for my mother in the nursing home. Tennyson's lines match my state of mind today. 

From "In Memoriam"
Lord Alfred Tennyson

To-night the winds begin to rise
And roar from yonder dropping day:
The last red leaf is whirl'd away,
The rooks are blown about the skies;

The forest crack'd, the waters curl'd,
The cattle huddled on the lea;
And wildly dash'd on tower and tree
The sunbeam strikes along the world:

And but for fancies, which aver
That all thy motions gently pass
Athwart a plane of molten glass,
I scarce could brook the strain and stir

That makes the barren branches loud;
And but for fear it is not so,
The wild unrest that lives in woe
Would dote and pore on yonder cloud

That rises upward always higher,
And onward drags a labouring breast,
And topples round the dreary west,
A looming bastion fringed with fire.

More Poetry Friday with Robyn Hood Black at Read, Write, Howl.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Poetry Friday: Robert Louis Stevenson in Hawaii

The hotel where we stayed in Hawaii claimed bragging rights to Robert Louis Stevenson's visit to the island. The Hau Tree Lanai is situated beneath the trees where Stevenson is said to have lounged and written. In a letter to a friend, he described a lanai as “an open room or summer parlour, partly surrounded with venetian shutters, in part quite open, which is the living room.”

Today this spot is an open patio with the Hau Tree as a roof. You have to watch your head. In fact some low branches had been wrapped to keep folks from doing any damage if they accidentally banged into one.

“If anyone desires such old fashion things such as lovely scenery, quiet pure air, clear sea water, good food and heavenly sunsets hung out before his eyes over the Pacific and the distant hills of Wai’anae, I recommend him cordially to the Sans Souci.”

It was a good recommendation.

We always decorate for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, since we had no children or grands nearby, we borrowed some.

Our Christmas lights were bad, so Lauren, Leah, Abby, and I piled into the car and headed to the store for replacements. The girls decorated the tree and wrapped presents. What a big help!

For Poetry Friday, in honor of Christmas decorating and Robert Louis Stevenson, here is Christmas at Sea. Stop by Carol's Corner for the roundup. 

Christmas at Sea
The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seamen scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessed Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china-plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
"All hands to loose topgallant sails," I heard the captain call.
"By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate Jackson, cried.
..."It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

By Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94).

Stop by Carol's Corner for more Poetry Friday.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Aloha Vacation

One of the benefits of working for Delaney Educational is that when you work hard, it pays off. Not only have I  made a lot of wonderful friends who are media specialists and literacy coaches, but I earned a trip to Hawaii. Six other Delaney reps, along with their spouse or friend, Tom and Nancy Delaney traveled to Oahu the week before Thanksgiving for a fabulous Hawaiian vacation. And it was a true vacation. No work. No writing. Nothing but fun.

 Here are some highlights.

1. We stayed at the New Otani Hotel, a few blocks east of Waikiki. Close enough to walk to all the hoopla, but far enough away to be peaceful. Right on the beach, all beaches in Hawaii are public, by the way. The Hau Tree Lanai served the most wonderful Eggs Benedict and Coconut Macadamia Nut French Toast.

2. We hiked Diamond Head. Now I know where they take all those beautiful pictures of Honolulu.

3. At Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial is a very moving experience. Names of all the sailors fill a white marble wall lit by sunlight streaming through the branches of the Tree of Life Sculpture. The ship leaks two quarts of oil a day. They call it the black tears of the Arizona.

4. One of the highlights of the tour around the island was the sea turtles. These guys swim ashore, spend the morning eating vegetation, then find a comfy spot on the sand and sleep off their big meal.

This is Isabella. She's recognizable because of the barnacles on her shell.

Kuhina is a 260 pound adult male. He's 35 years old.

5. Wild chickens make themselves at home just about anywhere on the island. These are at Pali lookout where Kamehameha tossed rival warriors off a very steep cliff.

6. Okay, we crashed the Luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. We didn't plan to, but hey, nobody said we couldn't sit on the sofa and watch.

My friend Janice and I managed to get pictures with the Somoan Fire Dancer.
We had a wonderful time. I'm finally getting over two ten hour flights (hard on the body) and jet lag. Back to working. Back to writing. Lots of good memories.