Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Day

Can there be a better view of the snowstorm, than from inside a warm house with your grandson and daughter?

I got to keep my grandson and his family here two days longer due to the snowstorm coming up the coast!  Yea!  Poem to follow....shortly.

Monday, December 24, 2012

O Christmas Trees

And now for the Christmas tree decision...well, not a decision of mine...but a decision nonetheless (don't you love that word?  "nonetheless" ... a "triple-dog-dare-you" compound word)...

My daughter and son-in-law surprised us with a tree while we were out.  It was all lit up when we came home.  It is a pretty tree and we will decorate it tonight.

My son just bought his first house on Friday, and it came furnished.  He was working through items left behind and found some Christmas tree ornaments.   So we will use them on our tree.  How interesting will that be... to use someone else's memories on your tree?

Our 16 month old grandson just used a fork, a real metal fork to eat his sweet potatoes.

It's been a big week. 

Sigh.  I'm loving this week.

I think my wrapping is done.  Almost.  That is, I almost thought "my wrapping is done".  I was wrong.  I was almost right.

I have to bake something.

Isn't that tree pretty?

Nighttime reflections

Friday, December 21, 2012

Umble Words

I don't know where this came from - some little dusty corner of my brain.  I don't know why it emerged today.  I wanted to write a Christmassy thing, but this is what happened instead.  Sorry if you were looking forward to something sentimental, sappy, soothing and sweet.  You get this instead...
Umble Words...
by me

words with umble
seem very humble
speaking poorly, one might mumble
carelessly built, a house will crumble
stepping badly leads to a stumble
which can easily mean a tumble
a lack of humor makes one grumble
a lack of food and tummies rumble
unsteady hands will likely fumble
and things will end up in a jumble
is there any word with umble
that doesn't mean we've made a bumble?

©Donna JT Smith, 2012

I know lots of people are on Blog Break.  I'll probably be off for a week, unless I see something that strikes a chord or a nerve, requiring my blogging attention (such as a runaway mitten).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Stockings


When my son was born, 
I made for him
a Christmas stocking.
When my daughter arrived, 
a second stocking was made.
And each year, on Christmas eve,
the stockings were hung with care,
and opened with delight 
in the twinkling lights
of Christmas morn.
This Christmas
there will be a new stocking,
made with love by my daughter;
a new mom's
Christmas stocking
for her son.
It will be hung with care
on Christmas eve,
And there will be delight
in the morning
once again.


© Donna JT Smith, 2012 

And here is a link back to an earlier post about the things vs people in our lives, that reminds me of Anita's post today on Learning to Be Writers. Cherish every moment this season!  Remember to tell them you love them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Deck the Hulls - The Musical



Okay, I know I used these pictures before....but then this song came into my head to go with them.  Had to do them again.  Only one person saw this post, so here we go again. This is a double deja vu.  When you are ready...click on the Deja Vu Blogfest and see some oldies but goodies reposted for reconsideration!


One more time, now...Everybody sing!


Deck the hulls with lights so jolly!
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Even trim the traps, by golly!
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Don we now our boots and oilskins,
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
While we sing of lobster boilin’s,
Fa la la la la, la lobster la!

See the rolling waves before us,
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
They delight a New York tour bus,
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Bobbers, buoys and other treasures
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Memories of seaside pleasures
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!

Fast to sea the low tide rushes,
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Now the high tide inward gushes
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
Stack the traps and buoys together
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!
We’ll withstand the lowery weather!
Fa la la la, la la lobster la!

© Donna JT Smith, 2012


And now head on over to Jama's Alphabet Soup for more great Poetry Friday links!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh, Motel Tree

Motel Tree
Short version:
I just decorated my house for Christmas.  I went to the spare room closet and got out our tree and plugged it in.  My tree is 18" tall and artificial.  We stopped using a big tree the year of our house fire.  We bought this little tree for our motel room, our home for 11 months, as we celebrated Christmas there, and now it always reminds us to take delight in the little things.  Between our basement flooding the winter before, and the smoke damage, we lost most of our pictures and memorabilia.  Our little tree reminds us that we should take notice of the little things, appreciate them, remember everyTHING you have is replaceable, but that everyONE is not. 
Merry Christmas to all. 
God bless you at this time of year, and each and every day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Longer version, with a bit more background:

A few years back, we had a house fire in our present home. The good thing was, no one was hurt.  We would have been killed that night if we'd not taken a very unexpected trip over night.  Our son, who stayed overnight to care for the pets, would have been killed that night if the tv he'd fallen asleep watching hadn't woken him as it went to static.

A TV in our unfinished basement, not turned on, not used for years, but still plugged in from when my husband had had his office in the basement, had randomly burst into flames.  Although nothing but the tv caught fire, it made enough smoke to coat everything in our house with a black plastic and electronic slime. The house required cleaning that took 11 months. 

At any rate, we took up residence in a small inn, or large motel, in town.  We had two rooms, a very tiny closet - not your regular sized ones in a motel (but we didn't have any clothes, so who cares?) - and a bath.

It was just after Thanksgiving, and we'd been told it would take two weeks to clean the house, so we'd be back in by Christmas.  Well, it didn't, and we weren't.  So we bought and set up a small tree in our motel room (see picture above) to give it that Christmassy cheer.  I sprayed some tree smell around, and voila!

Our son, our daughter and our son-in-law were coming for Christmas, but it wasn't going to be like inviting them over to our house.  Fortunately, there WAS room at this inn, so we booked rooms for them.   When my daughter and her husband arrived two days before Christmas, we decided we could have our Christmas celebration right in the third floor lobby, just down the hall from our room.  We could use the decorated tree that was right there.

As my daughter and I looked at the tree, we decided it had been decorated quickly, and that the wrapped empty boxes beneath it were getting stale.  We set about freshening up the boxes by retaping and repapering some.  Then we started rearranging decorations on the tree.  Rearranging proved to be too difficult, so before we knew it, we had taken ALL the decorations off the tree and redone the whole thing. Some of the decorations seemed excessive, so instead of putting them back on the tree, we decorated around the lamps on the end tables in the area.  As a final touch, we added candy canes to the tree, as we usually have on our own tree, and repositioned the fake gifts. It looked so nice when we were done!  And we'd had our mother daughter decorating party even though we weren't in our own home!

We met with the guys and headed downstairs to find a "kitchen"....which meant we were going out to look for a restaurant for supper!  On our way past the check-in desk the women at the desk asked my daughter and me if we'd had a good time.
"Yes?" we said a bit hesitantly.
"We were watching you decorating on the monitor!"  they laughed.
Oh, yeah.  Forgot.  Cameras everywhere.

The next morning we waved to the cameras and inspected our handiwork again. We  determined that if we moved the boxes to the back of the tree, we could set our real gifts out there in the morning, and put coffee and cups and some sugar cookies out on the end table to snack on. 

And Christmas morning, that is just what we did.  My son had the room next to ours and my daughter and son-in-law had the room directly across the hall.  It was almost like home!   When we got up, we made some coffee in the motel carafe, grabbed our cookies and presents, and still in pj's we went out to the lobby and had Christmas.  A few people passed through, and we wished them a Merry Christmas!

We moved back into our home in October of the next year.  Almost time for Christmas again!  Since then, we've had a fake tree.  And we've always put up our little motel tree to remind us that Christmas doesn't need to be at home.  It can be in a strange place.  It doesn't need to be with lots of stuff.  It can be with none of your stuff.  It doesn't even need to be with family.  Though we had our family, we also had new friends at the motel that became like family to us.

We had everything we needed...it wasn't much, but it was plenty.  This little tree reminds us that we don't need a lot.

But this year, I'm wondering.  Our grandson will be here on Christmas morning.  He's 16 months old.  Maybe we need a bigger tree, not huge, just bigger.  Maybe it needs to be real, smelly real.  Maybe it will remind me that I have a lot.

I'm torn.  What do you think?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deck the Hulls

Deck the hulls!

Tree trimmings and trappings!

Christmas in Maine... boats, traps and buoys have pretty much migrated inland for the winter months. It's time to decorate... the boats, the traps, the buoys.  Ah, the fresh smell of...hm...not evergreen...is seaweed an evergreen?  It must be!  Now that I think of it, it is green year round.  So, the fresh smell of evergreen.  Yup.  That's what it is all right.

Oh, and these were just on lawns.  Check here on the Bangor Daily News for an article about the town displays.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lost Glove #2

Lost Glove #2

On this pole I’ll stay
To show you the way -
You’ll get to the bay
A mile that a’way.

©Donna JT Smith, 2012

Now head on over to Robyn Hood Black's place, where she is hosting Poetry Friday!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

1350 Words

Hey, doesn't this look like a paper in a typewriter?

Yesterday I started "The Book".  I wrote some more today.  I now have 1350 words (besides the almost 1500 I've written prior to this).  Maybe that isn't many words to a person who has written published books, but it is to me.

I am slowly discovering my characters' characters.  As I write, they are revealing themselves.  Huh.  I'd heard others say that this happens.  I'd just never tried writing them into existence before.

It reminds me of coloring when I was a child.  I imagined that as I colored, things would come to life or become real.  They were just waiting for someone to help them out.  So I colored and all sorts of things could finally be real - grass, sky, animals, trees.

And now I am writing.  And as I write, people just come, and they are real because I wrote them.  Like a coloring page, they were always there, waiting.  But now I've written them into reality.

I can't stop in the middle, or they will be upset with me, I'm sure.  This is a very strange feeling.  I think I like it.

But they will have to wait a bit now until tonight or tomorrow.  I also have real vacuuming to do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Washers to Washer


I almost didn't check the pockets.  My husband has a cold, so I didn't want to put my hand in his pocket to see if there was anything in there.  Fortunately I didn't have to.  The weight of the jeans was enough to tell me it wasn't just the normal load.  A shake of the jeans told me I didn't want whatever the contents were to make it into my stainless steel washer tub.  Unfortunately, it meant I HAD to put my hand in that pocket that has held a snotty, virus filled handkerchief.

I carefully unloaded the jean's pocket to find 1 wheat leaf penny, 1 bullet, a scrunched up piece of packing tape, 5 screws, 4 washers, 4 wing nuts and an undefined piece of aluminum.  I washed my hands.

How do they make it into the laundry room unnoticed?  But I've asked that many times over the past 40 years.  I always "almost don't check the pockets".  But in the end, I always do. And I almost always find the treasures before I wash them.

A long time ago I should have started a list of things that have been washed that could have skipped the process.  I just didn't know it would have made a book.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pink Glove Wave


First Lost Glove of 2012

Thank you, kind stranger, for posting this glove
And lending a hand to reunite love.

Hey, look over here!
I'm up on this post.
I know you'll be sad,
'Cause you love me the most.

You've just walked away;
Abandoned me, left.
You know I am right;
You'll soon be bereft.

I'll wait right here
While you go and shop;
I'll keep on waving
These fingers flip-flop.

And when you come out
I'll still be right here
And we'll reunite
Right, glovey, my dear?


©Donna JT Smith, December 4, 2012


Monday, December 3, 2012

Lone Ranger

Today we could at last reveal who we were to the other writers in the WRiTE Club Challenge.  It was so great to be able to participate in that event.  Next year, YOU should try it, too, if you didn't this year!
If I'd gone on to one more round, I had two options...the story below, or Part 3 that I posted last week. I think I would have gone with this one to change it up a bit.
*************************************************

He strained to hear them.  His eyes were slits squinting in the direction of the sounds.  He at last spied them.  There was nothing between here and there.  Nothing but space.  And if it was done right, the gap would be quietly and quickly closed.  The opportunity for escape would be nonexistent.  He was a master -  deft, adept, agile, quick, deadly.  He’d been described in these terms by the survivors, though he’d always vanished before anyone could figure out who he really was.

He quietly approached unobserved.  Totally oblivious of the danger they were in, they just kept up their inane, incessant chattering.  He was closer than they knew.  Which would it be?  There was one who was facing away from him; that would be easy.  Or maybe the one facing him?  The one almost looking right at him, but not seeing him.  Fool.  They were all fools.  It made it easier thinking of them that way.  His eyes honed in on the one looking in his direction.  That would be the most fun - seeing the surprised look. 

Every muscle was taut in anticipation. He could feel the hairs rising.  He liked that feeling of chills crawling up his back.  He instinctively crouched even lower, although he knew he hadn’t been spied.  It would make the charge all that more powerful though.

He felt himself twitching.  It was uncontrollable and primitive, and seemed to start at the top of him and travel down, down, down to his feet until it seemed that the earth would tremble and give him away.

They were all still there, but they kept moving and changing places.  They were still engaged in whatever it was that they found interesting, but the one he’d selected had turned away. 

“Which one now?”  He paused to look them over again, finally settling on a new object of interest.

”Yes, that one will do just fine.”  He needed to be quick before they switched places again.

The twitching became barely perceptible from the outside, more of an excited vibration.  The crouching was lower.  He could feel his chest touching his legs.  Any lower and he’d be lying down. 

No more waiting.
This was the time!
Now!

“Ne-OW!”

He sprang forward, baring claws and teeth, straight into the flock, glorying in the chaos of the chickadee frenzy.

“Who was that foul feline?”  one chirped from the safety of a high branch.

“I don’t know, but he’s quick,”  a gasping chirp came from another.

“And bloodthirsty!” came a screech from a higher branch.

“I will add that to my list of qualities...”  He purred to himself as he shook the remaining black and white feathers from his mouth and began the long, methodical clean up.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Part 3


And here's one more part  It could have been the last, the end, that's all.  But I have started part 4, and have thoughts about part 5.  I will not be posting those.  And after a few days I will be taking these parts down.  I can't have part of "The Book" up here.  It may be time to just work on it while I post "other stuff".
Read these in order if you came here by chance.  Here are the links: Part 1, Part 2.  Let me know what you think.  Really.  Pretend you are an editor, or a reader (which shouldn't be too hard to do, given that you are reading this).  I will not be hurt so much that I can't recover, but I may be nudged just enough to become a better writer.

*********************************
Ghost traps...
That’s what they were now.
Sitting there dead on the bottom of the ocean, cut from their lifelines. 

The morning those yellow and white silent guards were freed from their watery posts above the traps, was the best morning ever.  The ocean was sparkling as we thumped across the bay.   The haul was lighter than most days, but in a day or so, when the bait in the abandoned traps was gone, things would get back to normal. 

For a while those shells of traps would be picking up some stupid lobsters; the ones that didn’t know any better than to wander into a kitchen with no food.  But, like a “timed release” cold capsule, the hinges on the traps’ escape panels would dissolve, and the traps would never steal another lobster from my grandfather.

For now, Gramp was pleased. The Cammy May would not be trolling these waters.  Gramp’s fields were his alone again.  Macy would think twice about plopping traps down in another man’s waters now.  Or one would hope.

I’m pretty sure in years to come it will still be a mystery as to who cut the lines to Macy’s traps.  I’m sure Gramp thought it was Garrison, next door.  Garrison would have seen Macy’s buoys as he made his way out past my grandfather’s to his own.  It wasn’t like Garrison hadn’t taken matters into his own hands before. You just don’t mess with people’s livelihoods here without consequences.  Sometimes it was worse than cut lines.  I’d heard of boats getting all stove up and other “accidents” along the coast where lobstermen were feuding.

Garrison and Gramp were good neighbors to each other.  Not friendly friends, like “payin’ a visit and having a cup of tea” friends; just good neighbors who would give you the shirt off their back...or cut someone’s trap lines if they were in your way.

I’m pretty sure Garrison, must have had his own ideas as to who cut the lines.  He probably thought it was Gramp himself.  But they weren’t about to ask.  It wasn’t a thing people talked about or bragged on.  It was just settled quietly, no questions, and you just went on doing what you do.

The Marine Patrol called Gramp when Macy reported his lines cut, and the matter was looked into for a couple of days - well, more like minutes. and was set aside.  It was just one of those things that happened when you didn’t play by the unwritten rules of the sea.

Most likely no one’ll ever know who cut the lines that night.  Did I say night?  Hey, it could’ve been morning.

I’m older than they think; I’m not stupid. I know the rules.  All’s fair in love and lobster wars.

I smiled to see Gramp in the dooryard painting the greens on some new buoys, humming up a storm.  I scrambled to find another paintbrush, then stood shoulder to shoulder with him, adding my low whistle to his tune.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

And More


And here is my second entry, that gives a bit more of the story from yesterday's first entry.  I have one more part I was debating about entering if I got to the final round.  Maybe I'll post that, too.  Or maybe I should keep it for "The Book"!
**********************************************

Biscuits were in the oven baking up golden as the evening sun. 

I heard the familiar chugging as I set the supper table.

“Men’ll be in any minute... Potatoes, cabbage, corned beef.  Biscuits almost ready... Butter. Salt.”   I rubbed my hands down my faded floury apron.

The scrape of their boots trudging up the steps to the porch, the screen door slamming as they entered the mudroom and hung up gear - they were as comforting as any sounds I’d ever heard. Breathing came easier when I knew they were safely returned to shore.

Silently, they went off to wash up; husband to the kitchen sink, grandson to the upstairs bath.

“Coffee or tea, Cap?”  I asked, bending to get the biscuits from the oven.

“Tea.”

They sat at the table in silence as potatoes and biscuits were handed around, and the corned beef and cabbage were dished out. 
 
“Set his traps in mine,”  Cap’s words were low and released slowly.  I barely caught them.

“What...who?  Who’d do that?  Not the new guy?” I could feel the life draining out of me.  Cutting in on another lobsterman’s fishing territory was dangerous business.

“Ayuh. Macy.”

Lost in his stormy thoughts, our “dinner conversation” was ended; I knew there’d be no drawing him back.

Pushing his plate aside, Cap picked up the newspaper and went to the living room.  Jesse quietly excused himself and retreated upstairs to listen to music or read, or whatever he did up there when it was too quiet down here. I sighed and cleared the dishes. 

In the soapy water, my fingers felt around on the sink bottom for forks or knives.  There were no little buoys attached to tell you they were submerged down there.  I laughed to myself and drained the sink.

I settled into my chair next to Cap’s, and studied his weary face.  It had been a hard day added to hard years - good years though.  I yearned to erase those worry lines and smooth the time wrinkles.

It was early, but Cap folded the paper, and pushed himself out of the chair, straightening slowly.
 
“Guess I’ll turn in.”

“I’m just going to sit up a bit,”  I reached into the sewing basket by my chair.

“ ‘Night, “ he whispered, kissing my forehead.

The stairs creaked under his weight, and then I heard the bedroom door close.  I waited until there were no more sounds from above, assured he was asleep. 

Dropping my sewing back into the basket, I headed for the door.  I grabbed my coat, and found his knife and flashlight in his gear.  I silently slipped out into the darkness, heading for the boat.

A few cuts and Macy’s buoys would be gone, and his traps dead on the ocean floor.

“No little buoys to tell you where they are...”  I laughed to myself.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Entry

I had two entries on DL Hammon's Cruising Altitude 2.0, WRiTE Club in the writing challenge over the past two months.  I made it pretty far.  Unfortunately, for me, but fortunately for others, I was out for this next round.  There are two good writings going up this week (TTh) to vote on.
But now that it is done, and since it has been online already anyway....I'm posting my first 500 word story here now.  And tomorrow I'll post the next part of it (which is what I submitted for Bout 4).  Let me know what you think.  Could I expand this into a whole book?  I think I'm shaking.  Should I try to turn from teacher to writer in my retirement?  There's that shivery, shaky thing happening again.
*************************************

I could see his jaws working, chewing on the toothpick.

“Nerve a’ him.” 

He spat in the water.

Daylight was just spilling on the waves as we came into open waters.  There among the red of my grandfather’s buoys were yellow ones indicating traps below; unwelcome traps set alongside my grandfather’s.

Many had seen Mark Macy as he arrived to register the “Cammy May”.  His questions about the best places to set traps had gone unanswered.  Who in his right mind would tell him that?  Besides, if it was good, it was taken.  Someone finally told him a possible location - not the best, not even a good one.  It hadn’t been fished for the past five years for a reason. Macy’d have to earn and learn his way into good fishing, just like everyone else.

But now the newcomer to Springer’s cove had invaded Gramp’s traps.  Somehow he must have “learned” that the other location was dry.  Had he sensed their amusement?  Had he overheard talk down at Hershel’s Bait?

My grandfather pulled his traps, edging his boat around the yellow infestation.  The haul was good, but not as good as most days.  Our live-tank was three quarters of the normal haul, enough to pay bills, I was pretty sure, but not enough to have some aside for winter.

Finished, Gramp steered homeward, moving fast, cutting through the caps.  He was quiet, staring straight ahead, no familiar tune from his grim lips as we turned into the cove.  The gutteral chugging of the slowing engine almost calmed my pounding heart.  Pulling up alongside the pier, I spied light from the kitchen window.  My grandmother would be setting the table for evening meal.

“Set his traps in mine,” was all he said as he sat down.

“What?  Who?  Who’d do that?  Not the new guy?” Grandma’s face grayed.

“Ayuh. Macy.”

Picking at my food, I tried to make myself eat.  I understood the seriousness of Macy’s actions, but at fourteen, I couldn’t think of anything helpful to say or do.  After supper, I escaped to my room.

The sound of the phone gave me a jolt.  Had I fallen asleep?  Breakfast smells told me I had.

I heard my grandfather’s voice low and steady.

“You sure?”

Pause.

“No, don’t know.”

I tossed the covers back, slid into clothes and scrambled downstairs.  With breakfast remains still on the table, Gramp was getting gear ready to go earlier than usual.  I grabbed bacon and toast and followed him out to the pier.  No words were exchanged as we untied the lines and shoved off.

Slicing silvery calm, we made our way out of the cove.  Gramp’s face was emotionless, and I held my breath as we neared his spot. 

No yellows.  I exhaled slowly in relief.

“Been weeded,” was all he said, his blue eyes dancing like sunlight on waves.

Macy’s lines had been severed, leaving ghosts traps to rot on the ocean floor.  But somewhere yellow buoys were floating free.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is It Tuesday Already?

I have been cleaning out junk and dusting spots that haven't known the unfiltered sun for their whole life in my home.  I have just a bit more to do.

On Thursday, we are having the largest Thanksgiving group we've had in a long time...  19 people...maybe 20.   Children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, great grammie, friends...our two newest relatives will be there...Felix and Zeta.  Everyone ranging from 5 months to 85 years.  And we are going to have the best time ever! 

A new coffee carafe arrived yesterday for our coffee maker.  Now we can make lots of coffee. I just bought extra flatwear so we have enough extra for company.  My son gets it when we are through using it.  He's buying his first house in a few weeks, so he needs more than two forks now!

My daughter and her husband will be here late tomorrow, as far as I know.  They will be sleeping in the loft.  So they need a bed. The new mattress will be delivery by UPS any minute. On Friday the new mattress pad for it arrived. They need curtains up there, too.  There haven't been curtains there until today... 14 years it's taken to do that.

My mother-in-law will be sleeping in the guest room.  That is all set with fresh sheets, candies, tissues, cozy comforter....  My husband just left for the bus station about 45 minutes away to pick her up.

I'm so excited.  I have to get back to tidying and cleaning.  Tomorrow is pie baking day!

Everyone in Bloggerville...have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  And even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving where you are, I'm sure you are still thankful about something...so celebrate your family and the blessings you have been given in your own special way anyway!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sharing the Sun

Sharing the Sun


Two friends,
Happy friends
Lying in the sun;
Sharing in its warmth
Till the day is done.

Best friends,
Warm friends
Dozing in the glow
Of a wood stove fire
When the sun is low.

Fuzzy friends,
Forever friends
Blanketed in fur;
One gives a sigh,
One returns a purr.

Donna JT Smith

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Burrito

Gramps is a purchased puppet for our Junior Church programs.  We needed a donkey for Christmas.  And we needed two really.  One for the puppets to introduce the Christmas program and one for the program that is big enough for Mary to "wear" when traveling to Bethlehem.

So here he is - Burrito, the transformer donkey.  He's really two pieces (cleverly concealing the two parts with his blanket.  The puppets can ride on him on Sunday to get the kids revved up for the next program.

Then for the actual program there will be a wider blanket covering the front to back on one side and some fake "Mary legs" on the other side.  Mary will be able to stand in the middle, belly area, to walk down the church aisle with Joseph leading him.  I haven't finished the actual joining of the two parts and adding the shoulder straps to keep him up, but those are definitely the easiest parts.

With no pattern and never having made one before, it was a challenge to cut and sew this into being.  He was totally from scratch and cut freehand.

From head...
yarn mane

to tail...
yarn tail
I'm pretty pleased with how he turned out!

I'll try to remember to post a picture of him in his "Mary costume" when I'm done.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting at WRiTE Club

Speaking of voting...

If you haven't been to DL Hammon's WRiTE Club yet, there's still time and plenty of good writing to read and vote on!  The first round consisted of 72 writing pieces of 500 words or less, 2 writers pitted against each other, until it was down to 36.  Then those 36 winners of the first bout were rematched down to 18.  The remaining 18 were allowed to edit their pieces if they cared to before the third bout.

So this is a good place to jump in if you haven't before.  These pieces will be up until Sunday on three websites (to spread the traffic around).  After that the 9 winning writers (plus the entry that didn't make it, but got the most votes) will submit a new story for the next round.

You can always go back and read the original entries if you care to.

BUT - Before you vote, you must sign up on the Linky here or it won't count as a vote:
Cruising Altitude 2.0

Then go on to the bouts and VOTE for the one that knocks your socks off!  Or at least tickles you somehow.
Today you can vote on Bouts 1 through 6.

Bout 1
Bout 2
Bout 3
Bout 4
Bout 5
Bout 6

As it gets down to the wire and more people are eliminated, a fresh batch of eyes to read entries would be wonderful!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Coffee or Cat Food



I hate when I wake up and need coffee.  But I need coffee.  Because I'm not really awake.  Got on the computer as soon as I physically got up.  Stared at it a while.  Realized it was Monday, so I clicked on the WRiTE Club button to vote on the next round of stories.  The cat yelled at me for not getting him food yet.  Now he's on the table right in back of my laptop screen, looking at me.  He's been rubbing on the stack of papers on the table and thinking about pushing them onto the floor.  That always gets my attention.  Sometimes I've rewarded him with food when he has done that.  Because he's persistent.  And he doesn't need coffee to be awake.
I think I will stop staring at this computer, and start the coffee and feed the cat.  Or maybe feed the cat, then start the coffee.  That's probably safer, though it delays my coffee...I think I need to go with safer.
I should set the coffee to come on automatically tomorrow morning, so I can vote at the polls (corrected spelling from poles - is anyone actually AT the poles' polls?)  with a better mind than I have right now (see previous parenthetical remark).  I'm sleepy.  I need cat food.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Poetry Friday! Yay!

Welcome to Poetry Friday from Coastal Maine!  I'm so excited to be hosting my first Poetry Friday.  You may link directly below by clicking "Add Your Link".  You may comment in comments also, if you like, but I won't be putting up links from there.  Just click on the links to go to the poetry site and let them know you read their post!
Did I mention that I'm excited?  Never tried this before.  This is up early, so if you need to post earlier than Friday...feel free!

November

October is gone and
Summer's long past
It's not yet December
With winter's white cast
It's plain old November
No leaves and no snow
Don't want it to stay
Just want it to go.
No sandals, no beach 
The sun isn't bright;
No snowmen, no boots
The time isn't right.
It's too cold for one,
Too hot for the other;
No wonder November
Is so much a bother.
I so wish November
Could be more like spring
And we could be happy
With what it would bring.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tagxedo Fun!

I made a Tagxedo for our church's Sunday School program we are just finishing up...Puppets in Space...
The puppets are traveling to other planets, and I put words from their travels in the Tagxedo. Then I decided to try out Zazzle, where they print those Tagxedos onto items for sale.  I had a mug printed for our pastor...and it came out beautifully!
I drew the space ship to use as the Tagxedo image, but there are lots to choose from on Tagxedo, of course. 


You should try it with a Tagxedo you like especially well. 

It makes a wonderful keepsake/gift.  The mug ends up costing just under $20 when you get the colored inside.  If you choose no coloring inside, it costs less.

I placed my order late on the 22nd and it arrived yesterday, the 30th, by UPS, very well packaged.  It is excellent quality and just beautiful!

No, I do not own stock in Tagxedo or Zazzle.  I just love how it came out and think you should know!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Monday in Maine

Hurry, hurricane,
Pass on quickly through;
I'm sitting inside
With nothing to do.

The rain's in buckets,
The wind is howling,
The lights just flickered,
The cat is scowling.

When the morning comes
There'll be branches to clear,
Puddles to wade in,
And stories to hear -

Tales of the night spent
With Hurricane Sandy,
And how that hand bailer
Came in pretty handy.

©2012, Donna JT Smith

Hope everyone made it through the night okay.  Lot of power outages and flooding.  The full moon has made the tide pretty high. Surf was wild today.
I guess in the light of day, I'll be able to see if I can get off the island.  The water's pretty high in places, so it floods over the road off...only one way in and one way out, unless you have a boat.
I hope we don't have to move any trees before we can go somewhere either.  We only had our lights go on and off a few times during the day, so I'm thinking that trees may not be an issue in the morning.  We'll see, though.  It could have been much worse.
It's still pretty noisy out there with the wind howling.  But I love that sound.

Morning note:
Looks fine out there.  Gray and wet, but only a few branches to move out of the way before I head into town.  I think we weathered that quite nicely.
Prayers for my niece and her in-laws who lost all in DE though.  Flooding was pretty bad there.




Friday, October 26, 2012

A Poem for Today

Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday, Linda!

Sweet Days of October

My favorite time
Since I was a child
Were the days of October
Because they were wild.

Colors once hidden
Now spring to the fore
The leaves begin talking
And rustling for "more".

More coolness of days,
Less sun and more night,
More acorns for squirrels,
More chatter and flight;

In the clearest blue skies
The geese form a V
Flapping their wings
As southward they flee.

Trees once soft edged
Become sparse and thin
Baring their arms just
When coldness sets in.

Tree fingers stretch out
They shiver and creak,
The wind howls and sighs
As it brushes my cheek.

But that only makes
Days that much sweeter
As here on the edge of
Winter we teeter.

Donna JT Smith
© Oct. 26, 2012


Today is my birthday (the 26th)...I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of winter...and days are sweeter.





Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What Not to Wear...Maine Mannequin


Orthopedic boots with fake buckles & fake fur.
Big stitch gray and ivory hat and scarf.




















I warned them.
This is the second time I've gone into Cabela's in Maine and seen perfect examples of what not to wear.  This time I took pictures.
I'm wondering if the person who dresses the mannequins in Cabela's is from away and thinks this is the way we dress here, so our mannequins should reflect our actual style, or if he/she is making fun of the way we dress here.  Or perhaps they are trying to make us feel good about the way we dress and are encouraging us in our fashion attempts.  I'm not sure.  Because we do dress this way here.  It's just not the fashionable way to dress.  But we know it.  We just choose to ignore fashion, siding with function and comfort most of the time.  Given the need, we could dress up... for the most part, anyway.
We choose to dress this way, but please, not our mannequins.  We like our mannequins well dressed, fashionable and trendy...the way life could be - even if we dress...the way life should be.

Lightweight broom skirt, cable knit belted cardigan, white tee shirt. Slightly patriotic theme going?  The hat does look a little like a battle helmet...



Friday, October 19, 2012

Deceptive Reflectives

Shades of
Browns and grays
Deflected by
Reflections
Where shades of
Reds and oranges
Flutter to the ground
Now covering
The unfluttering
Deceived
By unnatural
Reflection.


And here's the correct answer:
Andromeda Jazmon Sibley
"I would guess it's about birds knocking into windows that reflect the autumn leaves falling, and leaves falling on the fallen birds...? "
Yup.  Now read it again, and see if you can see....

Okay, this one went through so, so, so many revisions.  Wish I'd done it in Google Doc's and kept the history, just so I could easily see its morphing.  I think this is the best I can do with it.  But really, wow.  I'm so strangely impressed with its development.  I guess, actually my bravery in cutting whole lines and groups of words...cutting way back from what I started with, to leave the essence (I hope.)  I don't know if it will make sense to anyone else in its simplest form.  Can you tell me what it is about?
I really wanted to try to write something that people would understand but that wouldn't be as straightforward as using the actual words/things I was talking about in it.  When I read it, I can tell what I'm talking about, but can you?
I don't think I'm being too obtuse, but then again...how does someone know that about themselves.
If you're obtuse, wouldn't you be too obtuse to know it?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dog and Toad

Dog and Toad

He was here
A couple of days ago;
The dog found him
Galumphing along
Slowly,
Slowly enough to be caught,
Carried in her mouth
For a short while before
Being dropped back into
The soft cool of the grass
And fallen leaves.
I wiped her chin
Where the toad had been.
Gone is the toad
Must be too cold
Time for making
A home down deep
A place of rest and sleep
Until spring arrives
And warms him
Back to alive
And puts a jounce back
In his bounce.

©Donna JT Smith, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Look! Look! See Lab Fetch!

On our way to the beach at Friendship yesterday, we spotted a few people out walking their dogs. It was a beautiful afternoon for walking. There's a leash law in Maine, so when you walk your dog they have to be on a leash or under your voice command, and, of course, you need to bring little baggies with you, in case your dog drops little treats anywhere.

So it was a bit of a surprise to round a hill and have this huge black lab meandering down the middle of the road and crossing in front of our car. We slowed down so as not to hit him, and then saw the owner, a woman, up ahead about 20 yards calling the dog, who was essentially ignoring her. So much for voice control, let alone leash. Often people from away come up here and think we don't have rules or laws. We're the wilderness, after all. It's amazing what we've seen people from away do that they wouldn't think to do at home. Anyway, that's another day.

So we avoided her dog and went on down to the beach where I walked on the beach, and my husband relaxed. We stayed probably only 15 minutes, before deciding it was time for supper at Moody's Diner.

As we headed back up the road, we encountered the woman first, no dog in sight. She was waving her arms a bit and telling us to be careful, as her dog was somewhere up ahead around the bend where she couldn't see him. We could hear her calling him as we slowly proceeded down the road.

Oh, it was near 100 yards down the road, around another bend, out of sight and sound (for us anyway) of the woman, when we saw the lab trotting at a slow pace up the middle of the road toward us. It looked like he had a white MacDonald's bag or bakery bag swinging from his mouth. Something in his trot told of his happiness with himself. Must have found someone's lunch, I thought.

But as he got closer, I saw something red sticking out to one side and two yellow sticks protruding out the opposite way from the bag. Nope, not a bag of snacks had he retrieved. It was a chicken! He had found a neighbor's nice plump white hen, and he was proudly bringing it to his unaware owner.

We stopped the car in the middle of the road - because everyone knows you don't have to follow the rules in Maine - to watch the proceedings.

The dog continued past our car to happily trot up the road, petrified chicken in his gentle mouth. If you can imagine a cartoon chicken in a dog's mouth with the chicken's eyes wide and bugging out and two stick drawn legs with toes sticking straight out like snowman stick arms, well, then you have the picture. I was concerned for the hen somewhat, but knowing how our retriever carries things around I really was only concerned for how freaked out the hen was, and that it might have a heart attack before she was released from the slobbery lips of Lumbering Lab.

MY dog, with her bag o' chicken!
Really, it did look like this to me.
Soon the owner came into sight as we watched through our rear view mirrors. She called to the dog who didn't change his pace in the slightest. The owner hadn't moved much either. Since she had the dog in sight, she just called to him.  She must not have noticed that huge white thing stuffed in his mouth yet.
She called some more and walked closer toward him when he slowed his pace a bit. Suddenly I heard her cry out and start running toward 'Ole Lumbering Lab.  Aha, she must have finally seen it!

This was confusing to him, and he stopped in his tracks.
"What? She seems upset! Why is she scolding me? I brought her a chicken. She loves chicken. I love chicken. We can share it."

Now the dog seemed a little ashamed of the perfectly natural thing he had done, and had been so proud of just a few minutes before. He put the hen down gently on the ground in front of him in the road as the woman came running up to him.

Of course, at this point the hen had begun to come to her senses and suddenly realized that it was her opportunity to exit stage left. She scrambled to right herself onto her stiff legs and ran into the bushes off to the side of the road.

Problem! Now the prize was leaving and the dog, forgetting to remain ashamed and in one spot, had to charge off into the bushes, followed closely by his master - which, by the way,  I'm not really sure you could call her at this point.

Obviously neither one of them listens to orders. And that is where we left them.

Thought about helping. We could have told her - "He's a bird dog. That's what he does. Tell the dog "Good boy!" and grab his collar (he does have one, right?). Then he'll drop the chicken and you can take the dog back in control to your cottage you're renting down the road." But it would be like aiding and abetting, or enabling, or something. How would anyone learn if it was too easy?

Note to summer folk: Our chickens are free range, but your dog shouldn't be. This is not the wilderness. I shouldn't have to watch out for your dog, and neither should the chickens. Next time wear your leash...both of you.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Warp and Weft

Yesterday was the 9 year mark for my mother's departure for Heaven.  She had surmised in her head that she would be leaving about the same time my father passed away two years prior.  She had her hair ready a few days before she died.  Her affairs were all in order.  She was ready to meet her Maker and see my dad.  Her passing was two years, a week and a day after my father's.  She was ready...not sure we were.  But this is for her.  It was supposed to be yesterday's blog.  I wasn't ready.

Two years after
his death
you left
With worldly reason
We mourned the theft
Bereft
Throwing off
Chain's heft
Now deft
Two soul mates
Once cleft
Again warp and weft
Two years after
He passed
At last
Heaven's Heavenly
Enmeshed
Flawlessly fleshed

I like to think of it that way, not sure God does it that way though. 
I guess I'll know later.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Anniversary Sunday


Today my husband woke up with a cough that started yesterday morning just before church.  In spite of that, we had a fun afternoon at my brother's and sister-in-law's house.  My sister came over and joined us for dinner.  Tim and I had run to the grocery store after church to pick up dessert.  We chose Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream and strawberry cheesecake - without really thinking of the color scheme - ruby.
So when my sister said, "Good colors for today," it struck me that they indeed were good colors for a ruby anniversary dessert!

Then she brought out the presents.  Wow!  I didn't think we'd get presents!  But we did.  There was a basket of small presents wrapped in red tissue paper and a large red box with batteries stuck under red ribbons.

We decided to open the basket presents first, trying to guess what each could be before opening them.  Well, the first was a bottle of barbecue sauce - red, of course.  The next was a can of beets - um, red (Who gets beets for their 40th wedding anniversary besides someone in our family?)  Then a strawberry-rhubarb scented candle - an obvious choice for a red present.  After that came a strawberry-rhubarb jam.  And last, we felt a strangely tapered can inside the red tissue.  We had some trouble guessing that until my sister said sometimes it was pink and sometimes red.  A can of salmon!  Yum!

The box was opened last.  No guessing would have worked for this one.  Our best guess was electronic something, as the batteries attached to the outside by ribbon seemed to cry out "Use us!"

It was a pillow universal remote.  Now when I go to bed with the remote, it can't fall off the bed and pop open the battery compartment.  I will however, have to be careful not to fall asleep on it and change the channels.  It was not red though.  I think they ran out of red remotes.

After dinner and conversation, we went back to church for evening service.  It was followed by a surprise fellowship time with cake and sherbet punch and sandwiches and other wonderful treats supplied by ladies at the church.  I can't tell you how special it felt.  It was just like our wedding reception, only with a mostly new cast of characters.

Our wedding, 40 years ago, was held in a little church in the middle of Maine.  I made my wedding gown and veil.  My bridesmaids made their gowns.  I made candles for the women and myself to carry down the aisle in our evening service.  My husband and I ordered three different size round marble cakes with white frosting from a local bakery. We stacked our cakes largest to smallest, and I decorated them with some yellow frosting I had made.  I hand wrote 100 invitations with rsvp's.  My brother (who is now the pastor of the church I attend) was our very inexpensive (like free) photographer.  The ladies at the church made sandwiches and other hors d'oeuvres, and some punch to serve our guests.

It was a cozy, homespun event, and our celebration this day was another cozy, homespun event.  My favorite!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

40th Anniversary Ride

Tomorrow is our fortieth anniversary and we are taking a week of  vacation to travel around the state taking pictures and doing things we either haven't done before or going places we haven't gone before or doing and going to places we've experienced before and want to do again.
Today we are taking the Maine Eastern train up to Rockland for the day. Never been on this train and always said we were going to do this someday!  Today is someday! We chose the Parlor Car though it was a bit more expensive. Quiet and roomy!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lessons from Dad's Baseball Games

Today is the day my dad went to be with the Lord eleven years ago.  I miss him, but I can still see his twinkling eyes as he fashioned something out of nothing.  That was his life.


Lessons from Baseball

My father loved to play baseball,
And on Sunday afternoons
We would file out one and all
Ditching paper with cartoons.

We’d head off to our big backyard
With a Wiffle ball and bat
And even though he could not play,
Along came George, our cat.

The stately elm was our first base
Apple trees would make two more
The plum tree was the perfect spot
For the youngest's on-base chore

The plum tree spot was tucked away
Behind grapevine home plate
Where you could still be in the game
But safely watch and wait.

When we were very young and small
We’d get to swing and swing
He wouldn’t let us quit or stop
Till the plastic bat would ring

We always got a hit off Dad
From tree to tree we’d run
You might get tagged and make an out
But the running made it fun.

As we grew up and moved away
And found someone to marry
We’d still come home for our at bat,
Though base and team would vary.

With energy the baseball games
Were eagerly played anew,
Each soul would take a special place
As our young families grew.

When apple trees were hard to find
And Dutch Elm took first base
Still we could play the family game
Any time and any place

A Frisbee or a heel of bread
As targets for our feet
A vacuum cleaner tube for bat,
Rolled sock for baseball - sweet!

We learned you'd never go without
As long as you could see
Potential in the little things
Nudged to be what they could be.

I try to live by Dad’s wise ways
Whether bread or apple tree
I’m blessed to have the life I have
And that is all I need.

Love you, Dad!
©2012, Donna JT Smith

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reading One by One


She opens a book
And turns its pages
One by one
And you
Delight in each picture.

But it was not always
This way.
In the beginning
You twisted
And turned
And looked
Around,
You grabbed
And chattered
And laughed at the dog,
While mom kept reading,
Savoring each picture,
Softly laughing,
Turning pages
One by one.

Though you played, 
You stayed on her lap,
And the little
By littles
Captivated;
The one
By ones
Enwrapped.

Now
 When mom reads
You melt into her lap,
Sinking into each word
Your mother whispers,
Savoring books
One by one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When I visited my daughter and son-in-law for our grandson's first birthday last week, we were treated to the vision of our birthday boy snuggled in his mom's lap listening to her read a book.  His attention was intense.  He studied every picture, though he was relaxed and leaning back on her in her lap.  She reads 2 books to him every night before he goes to bed, and books "on demand" throughout the day.  He has a stack of board books on the bottom shelf of the coffee table, so that even though he is low to the ground, he can get a book any time he wants to.  Books are an important thing for him.  But I wonder if they would be if he hadn't had them from a very early age...like from day one.  
The day after his birthday, his mom looked over to see him sitting in the Pack n Play with one of his new birthday books open in front of him. He was turning pages, front to back, one at a time, looking at each picture.  When he got to the end, he looked at the back of the book as if to say (as we adults will do with a good book) "What?  That's all?  You're just going to stop the story here?"  Then he turned back a page and lingered on that picture as if savoring the "story" a bit longer.
My daughter is growing a reader.  She started little by little, one by one...here a book, there a book...EVERYWHERE a book, book!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In the Heat of the Moment

We've been out for a cooling drive in the air-conditioned car.  Getting out of the car, the warm, humid air hits me.  Pushing open the door to the house, there is very little temperature difference.

The dog greets me saying she needs to go out and then maybe have a little bit more water. The cat is yelling something about the dog pushing past the chair barricade and eating all the cat food in his bowl and, that being said, I'd better do something about it, or else.

The cat food is in the laundry room where I suddenly remember that load of clothes in the wash that have to be put in the dryer before they begin to sprout, OR having already missed the window of opportunity, either have to be washed again or taken outside and set free. Ah, they are still sweet smelling.  I grab more clothes and start another load of wash while they dry.

With those chores done, I towel off, grab a half dozen ice cubes and throw them in a glass with water post haste, before I give in to the inclination to toss them down my shirt instead.   I sit down for a few minutes with my iPad and tap Words With Friends to find that it's my turn again. My husband has played on all three games that we have going, and he is ahead of me by 150 points on a game that is really stupid, and by 58 points on one that is being played under protest. On the third game I am ahead by 15.  This is a very good game, and has been my favorite in fact.  But now with 6 vowels (e,e,e,i,i,o) and a q. I am thinking this game is losing some of its appeal, and I'm feeling too warm again.

Too bad, warm or not, it is time to Swiffer the house.  A Golden Retriever and a Maine Coon create a nest-like environment in short order.  So chasing dust bunnies is a frequent occurrence.  If I vacuum, the hair hares (they are not cute like "dust bunnies" would imply) scatter all over the place.  The Roomba we tried once stopped working immediately after sensing that there would be actual work to do here.  So it was back to me.

One thing I've taught the dog to do to help me out some is to shake before she comes in the house.  A cloud of excess hairs fly off into the all outdoors where true nest builders can use them.  Ever helpful in controlling the hair hare population, the dog also allows me to vacuum her.  She now will track you down if the vacuum is running and get under the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner.  We haven't tried the beater bar, but I'm picturing that as even more efficient. 

While the dog loves being vacuumed, the cat does not.  The cat tolerates brushing for a short while and only on particular days.  You will know if it's gone on too long or if it's not the right day.  The cat never makes you guess.

So my routine is: Swiffer the house, vacuum the dog, brush the cat, apply band aides, vacuum the house. 

And now, I think I hear something growing in the washing machine. I must be going. Towel down, throw laundry in dryer, towel down, get ice cubes, throw them down my shirt.  Forget the glass with water.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yesterday

Tickled pink Phlox last week.
Well, yesterday they dug up around the house in Friendship to put in the new drainage, hook up the septic, take out the bulkhead and kill some flowers.
We lost our lilac bush in the process.  We were going to try to save it, but it seemed too difficult.  We may try sticking it back in the ground, but for now I'm going to try not to mourn the loss of it.  It wasn't very large anyway.
The forsythia got to be spared.  As the lawn was ripped up beside it, the poor, little, defenseless forsythia was probably shaking in it's roots...probably soiled itself...... but how would you know?
Forsythia is to the left of the ditch in front of house.
Flummoxed Phlox this week.
I took cuttings of the old fashioned rosebush and brought them home in case that didn't survive the upheaval.  But when we got out there, it looked as if they had potted the rosebush and quite a few of the Phlox, so we may have saved some of the original flowers and plants around the house.  I hope so.  They were so pretty.  But a wet basement has to come first...or a dry one that is.

Look, Ma, no bulkhead.
The bulkhead looks nice not there.  So I guess that would be the house looks nice without the bulkhead.  My husband often criticizes me for speaking backwards like that.  When I'm writing I can fix it.  When I'm talking, it's too late.
Today I think they are pouring the section of wall where the opening to the basement is.  Then the basement will be tarred and tiling placed around the perimeter.  And THEN the siding will go on shortly after it is all backfilled!
Yippee!!  I so want to see how the house will look on the outside.  The inside will happen after that...and that is when the real mostest fun will begin for me.
I have to still pick out a lot of things like colors, cabinets, sink, dishwasher, lighting, flooring...and probably other things that I'm not remembering that I need in a house but will notice when they are not there when I go to use them.
We bought a new table for the house at my brother's auction.  One of my brothers - oh, the one who had the ear removal and reattachment done - is an auctioneer, having taken over the business when my parents died.  We (the other 3 of us) work the auctions with him.  But I digress.  That may be something to write about on another day.
So the table is a gateleg so it can be up against the wall in the living room in our small space and pulled out when we have company.  It is a good thought, but we rarely have company.  Maybe life will change when we move there.  But that's another topic for another day, too.
Also bought a chair for the living room and a beautiful oak stand.  You would think we didn't have furniture in our house now.  We already have too much furniture here.  I have two kitchen tables in my kitchen now.  I'm counting the chairs we have in here.  10.  10 kitchen chairs.  Who does that?  When I inherited mom and dad's table I just added it to the room.  One pretty much serves as a regular table for everyday, and the other is like a dining room table for special occasions and for the cat to lie down on or sit on since I don't want him on the one we use all the time.  Maybe that's why we don't have company.
I guess that's enough rambling for today.
The recap is:
The house is on its way to being dry.
Some flowers may make it.
The forsythia is fortunate to have been spared.
We may get some friends someday when the cat lets us....but that's another story for another day.
Purrsee in the frying pan.




Friday, August 3, 2012

Walter Reed's Gulf Station

Today's Poetry Friday is being hosted by Rena J. Traxel at On the Way to Somewhere .  Head on over and click on links to some other great poetry sites.  She is also hosting a contest that you may be interested in.  Have a wonderful day wherever you are!
***********************

On Wednesday, I took a drive out to the area in which I grew up.  Many days over my ten years there were spent in front of Walter Reed's store waiting for the school bus.  I was able to stop and talk with the current owner of the property and reminisce some about growing up nearby.  The building won't be standing much longer it appears.  The front is being propped up now.  If you look closely you will see that the top is not a pitched roof, but one of those facades that goes straight up and has a step up kind of side.  It used to be a Gulf station with pumps out front.  But the inside is what I loved the most!

Walter Reed's Gulf Station and General Store, Woolwich, Maine

Walter Reed's Gulf Station and General Store

We’d be there every morning
And wait in a straight line
The bus would be there promptly
At seven twenty-nine.

Sometimes if it was raining
Or snow made us too chilly,
We’d go inside to wait awhile
Quietly, not silly.

The gas pumps out in front
Where cars could make a stop
Were not what I remember most;
Inside was where I’d shop.

Coke and orange soda,
Root beer and ginger ale,
Potato chips and French horns
Were always there for sale.

Some days we’d have some money
To spend on our lunch treat
A nickel was enough to buy
A whoopie pie to eat.

In summer we’d get bottles
And turn them in for cash
With two cents in our pockets
We’d buy a candy stash.

It took quite a few minutes
As we tried to wisely choose,
But Walter was so patient -
I'm sure we did amuse.

Two pieces for a penny
So two cents would be four;
And we were so delighted
As we skipped out the door.

No more candy here at Reed's;
It’s been emptied of all sweet,
But I can still remember
Being two-cents-rich elite.

©Donna JT Smith, 2012

And then there's this one that just came to me:

Crumbling sweetness,
Windows wide
If you could only
Go inside
You’d see treasures
Days gone by
Penny candy
Two for ones
Walter sitting quietly
Waiting
Waiting for whom
Or what I wondered
The new road is not
Stopping
It passed him by
Taking travelers
Faster
Down a different
Road
And time stood still
In this place
Until he passed.
Now time has moved on
And the building
Is passing, too;
Crumbling
Sweetness.

©Donna JT Smith, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

15 Words or Less Thursday

I visited Laura Salas' 15 Words or Less Thursday, and wrote this bit to go with her posted picture.  Go there if you would like to read others, try it yourself or just see the picture.

Monkey chased by T
Fell into the mud,
Mired, now history,
Making crude in crud.

©Donna JT Smith

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Relax and Enjoy

Found at the Kittery Trading Post
*
******************************************
Days
 Of Summer,
Like diamonds -
Precious and few
Guarded and hoarded,
Luxurious and glorious,
Bedazzling our lives;
Priceless summer
Days!
******************************************

©2012, Donna JT Smith