Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Phew!

Yesterday I got part of a thought with Laura's 15 Words or Less, but didn't get back to share there.  So I'm posting today to go with her awesome image of a rescued owl.


Night mapping,
Mouse trapping,
Feather wrapping,
Talon tapping,
Beak snapping,
Wing flapping,
Day napping?


by Donna JT Smith

Yesterday they installed my countertop in the house we are in now. 
I love them!

 With the new steps we built and installed ourselves, 
 the redone driveway,

and the new countertop - it has green, white and touches of garnet -
I don't want to move now! 

Things are coming together here!  I know I'll feel better once the kitchen in Friendship starts to come together, too...another story, another day... it is a long story.

Back to Poetry Friday at Irene's place!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Good Morning, Sunshine!

When I wrote the title, it suddenly came to me that my mother used to say that to me in the morning when I awoke.  I could almost hear her happy voice saying, "Good morning, Sunshine!" to me.  I wonder if I was "sunshine" in the morning, or if she was just trying to "make it so"!  Ah, we'll never know. At any rate, I'm sitting here in the dark of morning, having just brewed some coffee atop our billowing painter's wrap countertop.  And I am going to go have me some...
Note paper cup...I don't have a sink in the kitchen, so we're minimizing the inconvenience of washing dishes when and where we can!
Okay, I had to change to a real cup...I'll go to the trouble of washing it.  Coffee is more welcoming this way!

Welcome, Fall Morning

The dark
Is so much
Later in the morning;
My coffee stares up at me
With its large unblinking brown eye
Wondering why
I would wake it up
Before the sun;
And I have No Answer,
Except that I want
To be there to greet the
New day
As it inches its way
Through the parting leaves of maples,
When it sends shafts of light
Between the birches,
To set their skin aglow;
And finally lifts the
Blackness to reveal the green
Of spruce and hemlock;
I will be there to feel it cut through the cold
Drafts of air to arrive at my
As I stand
With my
Warm welcome home
In my hands.

by Donna JT Smith

Though I don't think we will see much sun today, I'm up and waiting anyway!
Have a wonderful day!
Reflecting on a cup of coffee.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Kitchen, a Driveway, Some Steps and a Poem

I have been so time aware lately.  Aware that the time for working on the house is drawing to a close - or at least to a time when it is not as convenient to do so.

We are NOT in our new house yet.  You may remember that I said we'd had a hiccup with the first kitchen installation, and they ordered us all new cabinets with redesign in areas that needed tidying up some. Here's a photo from the first set that was returned:

So the next set of cabinets arrived in 8 weeks.  The workmanship on them was horrid this time - like they were in a huge hurry to get them here, so they skipped a few steps like: looking for cracks, making sure the cabinet sides were the same size, making sure they had all the coats of paint on, making the surface smooth, making sure no glue made huge drips at the edges, butting the mitered joints together tightly... I could continue, but you get the picture.  My contractor tried installing a few, but they weren't going together well.  I saw them and immediately cried, of course, because that's what you do when you are at the end of your rope.

We are on our third try for a kitchen.  We are not having a big box store do it this time.  We have a custom cabinet guy who is really excited about the possibilities of this house even though it is a tiny kitchen.  The very fortunate thing is that we ARE getting all our money back on the returned kitchen.  We have been waiting to see if we were going to have to take the matter to arbitration to try to get a refund, but it looks as if we won't now!

Then at the house we are in, we decided to upgrade the kitchen and take the formica countertop out and put in granite and a new sink.  So in order to template for the new granite, my husband and son took out the formica and we are going with a new look until it is installed.

The plastic is because - I think I've mentioned a long time ago that we had a house fire of sorts where a tv burned up in our basement, sending slimy, plastic soot throughout the house, coating everything.  It even came up between the showerstalls and walls, necessitating the removal of the showers.  We also had to refinish all the walls to seal in the soot.  All for me.  I got these uncontrollable coughing jags whenever I went in the house.

The plastic is because the formica countertop's under surface and the plywood on the now exposed ends of the cabinets all have soot on them.  We discovered that when I went into coughing fits again.  I couldn't believe it!  But I ran a wet paper towel across the newly exposed surfaces, and it came up with the familiar gray, black, non-particulate crud that was in the house when I couldn't live there.

The plastic seems to be working.  I'm back in the kitchen for the second time in three days.  I've been either out of the house or holed up in the bedroom with the air purifier on.
I can hardly wait for the countertop to arrive!

We took our front steps off to replace them.  That means we don't have a set of steps to get out of our house.  We never did get back steps or a deck for this house (though it was supposed to be in the works years ago - the crew never arrived to do it, and we never pursued it again).

Because it started raining on and off yesterday, we couldn't finish the job.  Ginger had to be lifted off the porch to get out...oh, so confusing to a young and very solid Yellow Lab.  She isn't used to being picked up, let alone carried off high places...we tried making a ramp for her so she could get back up on her own, but nope.   So this morning our goal is to get the steps finished very early so she can use them before breakfast!  We were able to stain them and get the stringers leveled last night, and stain the tops of the steps.  I'm going to stain the bottom sides this morning and we'll attach them still wet.

Did it!  I know, it's a mess out there still...old steps, rock pile, saw... but we're getting there!

I forgot to mention that we got in and out of the house via a ladder and crawling through a space in our railing.  Steps are still damp, so I guess Ginger gets to be carried again.  This stain is supposed to dry in 2 hours, but it seems like it's going to be more like 4 days. Good thing our railing isn't quite legal in most areas - there is just enough space to crawl through!

Oh, and then there's the driveway here.  Trying to get that all squared away before winter to ward off the mudseason that follows winter, and to get ready to sell this place.

And finally, the awareness of time left to ride is setting in.  It is almost time to park the bikes for the winter.  It has been a glorious summer for riding.  I've even been able to ride in for some of my Teacher Mentoring and Certification work this fall.  But each morning it takes longer and longer for the day to heat up enough, and it's earlier and earlier for setting sun to end the day.  
I want more days for this:

Ok, time to finish the steps!  The dog wants out!

A found poem from the above:

time aware -
aware that the time
is drawing to a close 
each morning it takes
longer for the day to heat up
it's earlier for setting sun 
to end the day
I want more

 by Donna JT Smith, 10/7/2017

Friday, October 6, 2017

15 Words and a Dozen More

These were written for Laura Purdie Salas' 15 Words or Less prompt yesterday.
I took this image posted here, but check out Laura's, too!


How many pairs of scissors do you see?

Wash Day

I strung my scissors
out to dry;
To breeze’s song they
clipped the sky.

By Donna JT Smith
Feather Flurry

Feathers will fly -
When mom’s manic,
Hens panic,
Or scissors go awry.

By Donna JT Smith

Happy Poetry Friday, all!  Our hostess today is Violet Nesdoly!
Find more poetry by checking the links on her site here.
 Tomorrow...updates on why I've been scarce and sparsely writing...
Don't read it if you are as busy as I am.  It won't help.

One more poem even though I've had 5 commenters - they will miss this one so I'll repost next Friday.  Don't the scissors seem to be cutting the leaves from the trees?


Falling leaves
Scissors shear
the way;
Happily they
A colorfall

by Donna JT Smith

This one's for Carol Varsalona's fall collection, I think.

Friday, September 29, 2017

15 Words or Less and More

As Laura, with her 15 Words or Less noticed this week, the maples are "catching on fire".  Flaming reds are starting to appear on parts of the trees.  Her picture shows a spectacular maple, with a spruce tree in the background - and it, to me, looked like the spruce was gazing in awe of the maple's colorful leaves, perhaps a bit jealously.

On our drive to the northern reaches of Maine yesterday, we saw lots of trees starting to change.  I caught one picture that showed the dark green fir trees on one side of the road, and the deciduous trees in their colorful garb on the other.  And I thought this poem could go with that picture also, and added one more.

In Her Shadow

Spruce stands in awe
Of Maple’s draw
And secretly
Desires to be
Not fir.

by Donna JT Smith

I wonder if the spruce will feel different when it is winter,
and she is the one with a bit of color...

Lost Leaves

Spruce has her day
After Maple's array:
Her sheen
Of green
So nice
With ice.

by Donna JT Smith

Now spend some time with other poets by clicking on the links back again at Laura's Writing the World for Kids where Poetry Friday is being hosted this week.

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Traded Line

Today is Poetry Friday, hosted by our Pretty Witty Ditty Lady, Michelle at Today's Little Ditty.

This year my mother's been gone for 14 years, my dad for 16.  They both died in September, so it is a sobering time. Add to it that my father's funeral was on 9/11/01.  We watched the planes as we finished dressing to go to the funeral, all the while wondering if we were safe leaving the house...or safe staying... then deciding it didn't matter.  The world was closed down that day, but I had to keep going.

Then two years later, on September 14, Mom died.  Her funeral was on 9/18/03, the day Washington, DC, was shut down for Hurricane Isabel.  My siblings and I joked about how our parents' deaths were just too much for our country to handle...everything went to pieces when they died.

Every September since 2001 there have been such mixed emotions.  Our wedding anniversary (45 this year) is September 9th.  And of course, it's also the first two weeks of school starting up.  I think it's always good to get all the special days in in a couple weeks of each other if you can arrange it!  Everything is so mixed then, there's no clear, single emotion.  I'm sure that must be good for you in some crazy way.

That is all said as background to the poem today.  When lines were offered for trade, by Linda Mitchell a few weeks ago, I left a line from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm: "full of sparkles the livelong day", and I nabbed "I met Glory after a long day and one long night."... Actually, it picked me.  I didn't use it as an opening line - it's in the middle.  So using the poetic license I hold to do such things, I used it that way.  I can't be arrested. 

So here it is - most of it - it's missing a few stanzas that I have on hold, not sure if I want them.  I'm also not sure of the order of the last three stanzas, but I guess I can switch them some other time.  I was not going to post this, but felt the need to do something with it, so here it is, in honor of Mom:

Meeting Glory

We, her grown up children,
Together all around her,
Talked of times, and laughed a lot
To lovingly surround her.

Hours passed and still we sat
Engaged in reminiscing,
A glorious day till evening came
Then one by one dismissing;

She waved us to our roads back home
With her promise of tomorrow,
But there was no more time to spend
And no more time to borrow.

She waved herself on down the road,
Declaring "I met Glory!"
After a long day and one long night,
She'd started her new story.

No more our mother’s hand to hold,
No more a long, dark night;
Glory holds her hand instead,
And blessedly in Light.

She’d vowed not to be carried
Up the stairs again to church;
True to her word, that Sunday morn
She watched from Glory’s perch.

By Donna JT Smith
July 28, 2017 revised Aug. 15, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017


Our 45th Anniversary Today

I will sit in this swing with you
and my feet still will not touch
the ground.
They have not touched the ground
since we met.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Theophrastus on Time

It's a good time for poetry!

I took a Greek philosopher again this week - the suggestion of Irene Latham. 

Last week I did an eclipse/dandelion poem from a quote by Odysseus Elytis: "You'll come to learn a great deal if you study the Insignificant in depth".

This time I have the quote from Theophrastus (370 BC - 285 BC Greek philosopher):
"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend."

And with this quote, I wrote a form of "Golden Shovel", though with a quote instead of a line of poetry.   Each word in the quote is used in order and placed as the last word in each line of the poem.


Ahead, shiny time;
Behind, each withered moment is
Slipped into the
Memory banks, most
Foolish; valuable
Time used for a flighty thing,
Slight remembrances of a
Time past, acquired by man
Who can
Never save, but might wisely spend.

by Donna JT Smith, 8/14/2017

As I read this a couple of days later, I thought - hey, how about an acrostic?  Hey, how about an acrostic Golden Shovel?  Ok.  Let's try it.
So I did, with a few changes, too.  The title is the T (Time), and the last letter I had to use my last name (Smith) as the last letter.  The quote wasn't quite long enough.  But I'm going with it even though it doesn't quite fit for an acrostic.
So, it is an Acrosti-Shovel or a Golden Acrostic or a Goldstic Acroshovel or Acrogold Shovelstic....Oh, this is almost as much fun as writing a poem!


Hastening ahead through shiny time;
Escaping behind, each withered moment is
Over, and slipped into the
Purse of memories, most
Hasty and foolish; valuable,
Rare time spent on a flighty thing,
Acquired recollections of a
Single man:
Time he can
Ultimately never save, but only more wisely spend.

Smith, Donna JT, author

Spend your time today wisely.  Spend your week wisely.
Spend a little, get a lot!
Read poetry!
Start with Jone at Check it Out who is hosting Poetry Friday today. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hit the Showers

Instigated by Laura's 15 Words or Less today with her picture of a beetle on a dew laden petunia...

Hit the Showers

Hail, hairy flower,
Beautiful shower
Where dew and feet
Scrubbing power;
Polished neat -

by Donna JT Smith, Aug. 24, 2017

Have a sweet day!
I'm off to a meeting and then the dentist...a great day to take the motorcycle.
Catch you tomorrow for Poetry Friday, where I'll have a quote by Theophrastus that I've poemized as a Golden Acroshovelstic.  I made that name up, so don't Google it; it will only get you Golden Retrievers.  I'll explain it tomorrow.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Study the Insignificant

As the years have slipped by in the past 5 or 6 years I've been blogging, I've noticed that the  Poetry Friday offerings and Tabatha's Poem Swaps have matured and grown in depth and beauty - as I guess they would.

Wouldn't it be fun one of these Friday's to repost one of our earlier works with a new one - side by side, to see the growth?  Maybe that will be a post for another week.

Today, I have a poem in response to Irene Latham, who last Friday, inspired me to look at the Greek philosophers and use a quote as the basis for a poem.  I settled on a quote by Odysseus Elytis: "You'll come to learn a great deal if you study the Insignificant in depth".

Thanks, Irene, for inspiring me to squeeze out another bit of a poem!  It started out, just a study of a dandelion - that insignificant flowering weed.  I was going describe parts of it, but its small voice spoke to me.  It did not see itself as insignificant, nor a weed.  Perhaps we need to put ourselves in a better light, too.

The Small Sun

When I looked at the dandelion
Its sun sparkled countenance
Returned my gaze;
Its small rays reached toward the heavens
To touch the sun’s own outstretched
burly beams.
“Pick me and see
I am the twin
Of that orb in the blue,”
I held up the radiant blossom
By its pale hollow stem
and eclipsed the sun
With its grin.

by Donna JT Smith, 8/13/2017

My OLW "reach(ed)" is here, too!

Today I am in PA for tonight's production of "Jonah" at Sight and Sound!  So excited to see it later tonight.  We've seen "In the Beginning God" and "Samson" in other years.  It is such an impressive production.  If you ever have the chance to go - go!  It is amazing and you will not be disappointed.