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Showing posts from March, 2012

Done and Done

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Well, it is almost midnight...March is over.  April A to Z Challenge is about to happen!  I am doing a poem for each letter of the alphabet plus a little extra challenge has been added to it.
This is not unlike my saga with the necklace!  I finally got the little dangles done and put some super glue on the knot to keep it secure.  Guess what happens next.
Well, liquid super glue wicks down the cord gluing all the beads together...and a little of my fingers.  Fortunately I got the slow set kind, so I was able to get it off my hands before I became mitten handed.  But the beads weren't so lucky.  They stuck together, and wiggling them to see if they'd loosen up and not be stiff made the thread break in half.  So not good.
I went back to The Beadin' Path as quick as my little car could, and bought more beads and a prethreaded needle with silk thread, so the threading of the tiny beads would go more quickly.  That was a relief! 
So it wasn't easy.  Had to come up with a n…

Pearls and Shells and Beads, Oh, My!

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The necklace is almost finished.  I want to lacquer the shell with a satin finish to give it some strength and maybe a little more depth of color.  I went out to find some lacquer at WalMart, but I'm not sure I want enough to do a small yacht.  Maybe the hobby shop in town will have enough to do an average sized model of a yacht.  I'll try there next.

The most difficult part of this was the dangles from the shell.  I wanted them to have some movement and strength, so I used doubled heavy duty thread.

The beads and thread didn't want to cooperate, at all with each other.  The beads kept turning away as I prodded them with the thread, and the thread kept splitting back into its two parts as I tried jamming it into the almost big enough holes.   There was much sighing, groaning, squinting, pursing of lips, tongue biting and shaking of hands.  All of these things eventually worked when I did them just right, as I finally got the beads strung onto the thread.

Now I have to fi…

From Out of the Rubble

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I am taking time out of my day today to make a necklace.  Here's what I have to work with.  The three shells on the right are hand-picked by my grandniece in Arkansas (though I believe she picked them up off a beach in Florida when they lived there).  She is two years old, and gave the shells to her grandmother, my sister-in-law, who would like to have them made into a necklace.

I really need to clean off my table and vacuum and put in the laundry and make the bed (good grief, I didn't even do that) and go grocery shopping.

But instead I'm sitting staring at these beads and shells and pearls and wire and wondering how it is all going to go together to make something for their visit to Arkansas the day after Easter.

So I'd better stop typing and get stringing!

Oh, and now I'm hungry.  I haven't had lunch yet.  First bead something, then eat.

I will keep you posted.  Hopefully with a picture of a completed necklace tomorrow.  So far the pile of ingredients is not…

Sometimes You Just Have to Go to Sleep

I know it's time for bed when...
- the dog won't wake up when I step over her
- the cat is awake
- my eyes hesitate on the closed part of blinking
- I can't remember a thought for more than three seconds
- thoughts start to vaguely resemble dreams
- my iPad falls
- my head hits the keyboard
- my fingers type fjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj
- brushing my teeth seems too intrusive
- I can convince myself that I will get up and change into my nightgown in a minute
- I wake myself up snoring -
       but I don't snore
          that's not really snoring 
            it's just a noise I hear when I'm  asleep and it makes me wake up to go to bed
- the pillow feels like a cloud
- the bed feels like...well, like a really good place to be

And many of those things have just happened, so I'm going to take the hint!  Good night!
I didn't fall asleep at my Post!

A Visit to the Doctor

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Waiting at the doctor's office. They say the procedure should take about 2 hours. My husband will join me here shortly, most likely before the procedure is completed.

I knew there was a problem days ago but I ignored it.  Then another symptom that couldn't be ignored.  This one was getting worse as the hours went by.  It was impossible to ignore any more.  It was practically staring me in the face.  A quick call to my insurance and the doctor was approved, and the appointment was made.

Now I sit in the waiting room strewn with newspapers and magazines.  I straighten up the table.  The wait seems endless, but I know the outcome will be fine.

It will be crystal clear that this was the right thing to do.  I should have had this done before it had spread...


across my windshield.

But two hours later, just as promised, I can see clearly through this new windshield - no more growing crack across my view.
************************************************

Robin You're Robbin'

I'd seen robins somewhere last week, but not at my house.  And I didn't quite see a robin today, but I awoke to the sweet sounds of that harbinger of spring!
Yea!


Robin, you're robbin'
Me of precious sleep;
Warbling and trilling
I wake from the deep.

Warbling and trilling
And filling the air,
Trilling and spilling
His song everywhere.

Isn't it thrilling
To wake to this sound?
It's music, dear music
That falls all around.

I'll sleep again later;
For now I'll just listen
To heavenly happiness
Before the dew glistens.

© 2012 Donna J.T. Smith

Forsythia

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yellow all-star show starts today - runs through next week in a yard near you

© 2012 Donna J.T. Smith
I saw the first forsythias at my sister-in-law's house today.  They were all in bloom in a huge bush.  I love seeing them.  It is truly spring when those balls of yellow starry blossoms appear in yards and along the roadways.  I wish they would stay longer!



Gun Show Saturdate

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"Do I look like I'm ready for a gun show?" He plops on his favorite Whitefish, Montana cap and stands there in his khaki cargo pants, rust Henley shirt with olive drab short sleeved overshirt and olive drab vest with 100 pockets. His shoulder bag with another 100 pockets is slung over his left shoulder. His blue eyes twinkle and the beard on his chin is as white as the snow. His droll mouth is even drawn up like a bow. We had to get up really early for this. We want to be there before the dealers have all bought from one another to stock their tables and upped the prices.

I am a gun owner. My husband is. My son is. My daughter doesn't own one...yet. We enjoy target shooting together. It's a fun family activity we can do together without spending too much money unless you choose to.

So when the gun show comes to town in spring, we are there...in case we choose to. But mostly we just look around, buying only when something looks like a good deal. There'…

Come Into My House

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Fox and Grouse 
by Donna Smith

“Oh, do come right in, come into my house!

We’ll have a great time,” Said fox to the grouse.
“No, thank you, dear fox,” grouse had to decline.

“I think I’ll go home, it’s ‘most time to dine.”
“Stay here for dinner; sojourn for a while!

I’ll make you dessert,” he said with a smile.
“I’ll not be dessert nor put into chowder!”

Groused grouse to old fox. “You crafty, foul fowler!”


I had to post my Fox and Grouse poem that was on Think Kid, Think.  Partly because we are getting to the time when a couple of years ago in early April, we were befriended by Gretel (though, now I believe it was Hansel really).
My husband had gotten out his .22 to sight it in just in back of our house in the woods, and as he was walking along in the damp, brown "leaved overs" of fall covering the ground, carrying the rifle in one hand and some targets in the other, up strutted a brown grouse.  The Ruffed Grouse followed him from the woods to our house.  My hu…

Demented

In case you missed it on Think Kid, Think! this was my "losing" poem (no poem is a loser, right?)...but not by THAT much... 95 to 79... and it was such fun!  My opponent for this round was a published poet - Susan Taylor Brown, Hugging the Rock - so I'm feeling ok about coming in second out of two.
Hope you like the poem...and that this isn't cheating because I didn't write it today.  Oh, but I did write this part. 
Nevermind.
You can go there again in a day and vote on some more.  I won't be writing, but I'm certainly going to jump in for reading and voting!

Demented
by Donna Smith

Demented Cement Ed just loved building walls
He mortared and bricked them, some big and some small.
Ed built a high tower with brick upon brick,
But when he had finished, Ed’s stomach was sick!
The door was omitted, there was no way out,
Demented Cement Ed is still there, no doubt.
He’s surely lamented and even repented,
But nevertheless his fate’s been cemented!

I Cannot Write It All

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It seems life has been so full lately, that I don’t know at all what to do with it.  While Linda at TeacherDance was working out things in her own life, I had a feeling that there was something wrong.  Then she revealed to us the struggles she has had, especially over the past few weeks.  I felt a sense of relief that she could at last put it into words.

I would like to write about my feelings over the past week, yet I cannot.  Maybe I will write them later and not put them up here, I guess, for family privacy.  I think there’s a book somewhere in the brain jumbles if my sister and I can get together on it.  I'm fairly exploding with the need to write it. I was thankful that the TKT poetry writing was smack dab in the middle of all the past week's events.  The competition was somewhat of a distraction while my mind was racing alongside me this week.

I guess I can say, because it is on the Internet already, that much of it revolves around the uncertainty of the 23 hours over n…

Voting at TKT

some
days
my words
drip
and
flow
like water
but today they have to be
y a n k e d
out
of
bed

Make sure you stop by to do your "required daily reading" of poetry at Think Kid, Think!  And VOTE!  It's a plethora of poetry for you today!  Enjoy!  BTW: My word is "cement"...and my opponent's is "translucent".  Voting closes tonight.  You might get your students involved and let them do some voting (you need a different IP address for each voter though) or take a class tally before you cast a vote!
This competition is lots of fun and there are lots of kid appropriate poems being created in a short time by published and unpublished poets.  Why even Jane Yolen was here!  She was out on the first round...but she was here!
All poems should be written for the 7 to 15 year old age bracket.  The poets have 36 hours to write a poem using the one word they are assigned...a form of the word is not okay.  For example, my word was cement, so the word Cement is…

Thankful for Miracles

I wrote a speedy poem for TKT today.  Poems for this round are being put up today at various times and each has a 36 hr. window for voting.  Make sure you stop by to do your "required daily reading" there!  And VOTE!  It's a plethora of poetry for you today!  Enjoy!  BTW: My word is "cement"...and my opponent's is "translucent".  I'm thinking translucent is going to make a more delicately worded poem than cement!  We'll see!
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Thankful for Miracles
I'm thankful today, For sunshine and rain For good times that outweigh the bad.
I'm thankful for those, Who prayed up for help And prayed down the blessings we had.
For today is different Than it could have been Our heartache has been washed away.
Today is a gift You helped deliver "Thank you" is all I can say.

Read

Do you know WOOT? They have deals each day in a few categories. It's worth checking today for those of you who like to read. (there may be one or two of you.) I have the WOOT app on my phone so I can see it easily every day.out. Check WOOT Shirt today. It's a READ t-shirt! You might be interested in a fun shirt to wear. It's only available today until it sells out. Woot.com. Check it out. I have a poem to write sometime by tomorrow morning, so this is about all I can muster for a post! But it's a pretty good one!

Later, Dude

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When my son was 5 years old, he wanted to learn to ride his two-wheeler.  He had zoomed around on his green plastic three wheeled GI Joe trike for two years.  He had a blue race car with four wheels that he pushed around with his legs since he was 2.  He had a bright green and yellow John Deere tractor that he got for Christmas one year.

But now he was the proud owner of a shiny silver gray bicycle.
It was real metal.
With real pedals.
Real handlebars.
And only two (count 'em) wheels.

We had a gravel driveway that was pretty level, out in the country parts of RI, just a few miles to the right of Connecticut.  So, being the good mother that I was, I proceeded to do what I'd seen all parents do to teach their child to ride.

I held the handle bars so he could get on.

Then I held the bike up, running by his side while he pedaled madly down our driveway, over rocks and lumps of grass and into and out of holes - none of which I had ever noticed before in such detail.

I transitioned…

Journey or Sojourn?

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I am doing the Think Kid, Think poetry challenge starting yesterday.   You have to visit Ed DeCaria's site!  There are some great original poems being created in sessions of 36 hours.  Enjoy reading them, and then voting on your favorites. 
I had the word "sojourn", and wrote two poems: one I've posted here on the TKT site for the challenge/contest, and the "leftover poem" I decided to post here for my Poetry Friday and the March SOL Challenge... so it's a multipurpose poem!

This one lent itself to literacy, plus it was a giant slice of my day Wednesday, writing poetry and sitting inside on a very snowy day.  Remember how I said you had to keep an eye and ear out for the weather report?  Well, it snowed from Tuesday early evening until early Thursday morning up in Aroostook County.  All I can say is it's a good thing we didn't HAVE to leave yesterday.  We could sojourn a while longer!

So here's the poem I didn't use:

Sojourn or Journe…

The Potato House

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The Old Potato House
Russets,
Mountains,
Katahdins and
Kennebecs
picked and tossed
into wooden barrels
too large to carry
children off school
pickers for a month
to help
bring in the harvest
trucks full of
potato barrels
rumbling up
to the potato house
to drop off their
starchy treasure
white gold
in brown dirt
the barns are empty
and cave in
for lack of
need
metal and motors
do the job of
hands and wood
and I am sad
when I can’t find
the
potato house

Back in the USA

Being up here in Mapleton, Maine, has brought back another memory of a trip out here.  This time I was teaching first grade in Wisconsin.  I shared a huge room in the Library-Media Center, with a reading specialist and another first grade class.  It was back in the 70s, so the thing to do back then was to teach without walls interfering with your ability to span the curriculum across acres of kids so no one could pay attention.

Although there were no walls, teachers spent hours making sure they had the right furniture to create walls and pathways for other classes to weave through their room on the way back from Specialists.
My student teaching was done in a school in Hampden, Maine, that had 4 third grades in one huge room with room dividers that could be slid back to open 2, 3 or 4 rooms up to share a lesson.  It was a strange time, the 70’s.

The teacher I shared my space with in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, was young, as was I.  I had been married for 5 years, and she had been married for…

Way Up North

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I am up north.  Way up north.  North in Maine.  So that's north a lot.  This is potato country in Maine.  It's a land of sky and potato fields.  It's a land of hardworking people.  It's a cold, frozen land in the winter, and in much of the fall and spring.  The snows in Southern Maine have pretty much gone.  But in The County, as Aroostook is called, it is still snow covered.

Today on our way up, we could see Mount Katahdin clearly.  Often it is cloud covered and barely visible.  But today its peak was pristine white surrounded by dark spruce and pine at its base.  It put me in mind of barnacles - but then I am from the coast.  We wanted to stop for a picture, but the lookout road was snowcovered and closed.  Some footprints led up to the overlook.   Earlier someone had decided to park their car on the side of the highway and hike up to get a better look.  We decided not to risk the ticket.  We've seen the mountain before.  I still like to see it though.  It is li…

The Most Beautiful Word

The Most Beautiful Word in the English Language

I was reminded of a “word”, of sorts yesterday.  My brother asked me if I remembered the most beautiful word in the English language.  He said I had told him many years ago when we were children...so that was a lot of years ago.  He remembers everything about our childhood years.
I couldn’t remember, until he reminded me: cellardoor.  Yes, now I remember saying that.
Technically that isn’t a word; it’s two words.  But I was a kid.  We said it as one word, like football, mailbox...a compound word.  But I’d never written it, nor asked anyone how to spell it.  So if I’d written it, I’d have probably not even spelled “cellar” correctly.
Say the word softly, running the two words together.  Make sure the primary emphasis is on “door” and the secondary one is on the first syllable.  Got it.  Now do it.  Isn’t it just about the prettiest word you have ever said or heard?  Well, I thought so.  And as soon as he said it, I was brought back to a t…

I Spoke Up

I think this is what just happened.


With passion and conviction,
I spoke. 
The room held its breath,
And then I held my breath
As the cold rains came. 
I was dampened and muddied,
Chilled and saddened,
But I was not silent.
And for that I am glad.


The March Wind Doth Blow

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A couple of days ago I took a walk in our neighborhood, such as it is... and the sights and sounds were incredible.
I would say I was intrigued by them, but I think I was more enchanted.

It was such a windy day, yet warm and sunny.  In the late afternoon my husband and I took a walk down the road.  It's only a matter of time now, and the mosquitoes and ticks will be sharing the world with us.  This time between dodging snow and swatting insects, between snowshoes and flipflops, is the best time for walking - as long as you can avoid the mud.
You can pretty much walk in the middle of the road here.  We are in a small association, so there are no cars going through and you may or may not run into a neighbor walking their dog.  We saw no one.  Which is nice.  We could concentrate on just taking it all in as we walked.
I have to say, I'm not much of a walker any more.  I have a few hitches and glitches that make it uncomfortable at times, so I mostly meander.  You are not going t…

Dictionary Poem

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I noticed yesterday that in the past two posts I’ve used the word ‘intrigued’. 
(See my photo above for another intriguing moment  where a leaf melted the ice and then got blown away by the strong winds yesterday.)  I went back to my prior posts to change one of the 'intrigueds', but found I couldn’t think of a better word for it in either case.  I decided that it would be intriguing to search for other ways to say I was intrigued.
And it was. Voila! A poem for Friday.  I guess you could call it a Dictionary Poem!

My curiosity is aroused,  so I must be  intrigued, Or could I be Pulled, Drawn, Piqued, Tickled, Excited, Hooked, Riveted, Pleased, Grabbed, Charmed,
Titillated, Delighted,
Absorbed, Enchanted,
Enthralled,
Interested, Fascinated,
Stimulated, Captivated, or Entertained?
I do know, I'm  Not bored.
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How to write a "Dictionary Poem" (invented by me!):  The definition is worked in at the beginning, then a list of sy…

Spring Cookies

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As I walked from the garage to the house yesterday, I caught a glimpse of the leaves on the ground.  My hands were occupied with groceries and mail, so I had to go back after putting my stuff in the house.

I am always intrigued at this time of year when the oak trees finally relinquish their fall leaves.  The tenacious leaves finally fall, landing on snow and ice being warmed by the new rays of a sun beefing up for its full summer power.

The dark leaf absorbs the sun's rays, melting the snow below it faster than its surroundings.
The cookie cutter outline of the leaf is left in the icy dough  as it sinks into the snow. 









Have You Ever Imagined?

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As a child I imagined being able to go places that no one else could go...that were impossible for me to go.  But what's impossible for me, isn't impossible for all, and that's what made it so intriguing as I thought about things as I laid in bed, sat on logs, rowed a boat, and read books.   Enjoy the links.

Have you ever
Imagined walking
On the ceiling
Of your room?
A spider can.

Have you ever
Imagined walking
Into the room
In the mirror?
Alice can.

Have you ever
Imagined walking
On the deepest floor
Of the ocean?
A giant isopod can.

Have you ever
Imagined walking
On the tippy top
Of a very high mountain?
A mountain goat can.

When I was young
I imagined walking
Where no one could go
No one would go
Not yet.

Have you ever
Imagined walking
On the white-gray dust
Of the moon?
No one can.

And then they walked on the moon
Without me.


Baby Booty

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I was doing my book chat with my daughter yesterday and we got onto other things later.  One of those was the complaint that Mr. NoNap was still awake.

Mother - Daughter Google Chat conversation:
daughter:  I tried rocking him and closing my eyes (hoping he'd catch on).
But every time I peeked, these big blue eyes were staring right at me.
One of the times I wish my eyes had cameras.
me:  You don't have them yet?
daughter: No, does apple sell them?
daughter: iEyes
me:  There may be an app.  Oh, yes, iEyes...they come with a patch in case you only want to use one
(. . . pause . . . )
me:  Get it?  Aye, aye, Captain!  Pirates...eyepatch?
(. . . pause . . . )
daughter: Right

Our complaint is that when a mom, a dad or a grandma wants to capture a moment it would be great to have cameras in your eyes.  It is not our first conversation about this.
Every time there's something cute going on, you have to drop everything and grab the camera, which is never right beside you. Your hands a…

Book Club for 2

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I noticed some links to another challenge called It’s Monday! What Are You Reading.  I am not participating, but was reminded that I am reading a technically YA book right now...and that I have taken too many days off from reading it!  My daughter is going to be way ahead of me.  Fortunately, with an infant in the house, it slows her down some and I can keep up most of the time. We started reading The Hobbit after a conversation in Google Chat, where I said something about "my precious".  I have used that expression for years since reading The Hobbit, and thought that the creature in the caves was speaking of and to itself.  She thought the creature was referring to the ring. I was surprised that she had read the book and asked her when she had read it.  She said "No," she hadn't ever read it.  She'd just seen the movie.  I had read the book long ago, when I was in my 20's.  So we decided we'd both read the book, and find out the answer in…

Sunday, Sunday

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I don't do work on Sunday.  I don't have time to write on Sunday either.  So it's Saturday night and I'm scheduling this to post tomorrow/today.
Sunday is set aside for no work, and even when I was teaching, I made sure lessons were planned and all was set for Monday before going to bed on Saturday.
Sunday is church and family.  All morning.  All day.  All evening.
I may run to the grocery store if we need some chips and dip and dessert, but mostly it is not a day for shopping either.
Remember when stores were closed on Sundays?  Remember when people didn't need to shop on Sunday?  Didn't need to work on Sunday unless you worked at a hospital, a police station or a radio station, or were a minister?
Speaking of things closed...Does anyone out there remember gas rationing and gas stations closed on Sundays?
My husband and I were finishing college and had been married for a year when I got a job teaching in northern Maine.  He finished grad school and then got a…

Waterlogged

Waterlogged

Gray sky
Gray rooftops
Grayed out day
Rain to stay
Creating
Wet smoke
From airy ashes
Pressed down
On the the ground
Creating
Campfire memories
Of marshmallows
And burned hot dogs
And songs around logs
And doused fire.

Dog's Day Off, My Turn

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My cat is quiet and no where to be found when I wake up.  It’s a snowy, lazy day.  The dog is anxious to start her day with a quick trip outside, then a hearty bowl of Pedigree with a side of water.
No cat, until the dog goes outside.  He stretches from behind the TV stand to peer out the window and watch the dog in the snow.

I feed both cat and dog, and everything is peaceful, but not for long.  The cat has something in mind to liven up the morning.  Jump to the table, leap to the railing, squeeze through the open stair treads, bound up the stairs to the loft, run a lap around the treadmill, race down the stairs, streak through the living room, jump to the end table, hop to the half wall, sit for a second, and repeat from the beginning.

The dog is on her bed waiting invisibly for the whole thing to be over.Creak.  Ah, the dog's relieved.  It’s going to involve me today, not her.

The cat reaches to the doorknob and the door pushes open.  The bedroom door wasn’t latched.  Pretty soo…

Dusty Doilies Day

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Invisible hands Shaking doilies overhead: March snow, spring cleaning.
I was going to post on the three books that influenced my life and I even wrote some "stuff".  But then the snow was here out the window as I was writing, and I kept thinking about it.  It's hard not to think about it when you are in a house with a sliding glass door beside the kitchen table on one hand and floor to ceiling windows to the right, in the open living room.  I always get the effect of being inside an inside-out snow globe and someone has shaken the outside, or shaken something outside overhead.
So haiku it is.  No books.