Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Old Posts are New

I was reading Michelle's post last Tuesday about having her posts compiled in a book (a Christmas gift from her parents), and I started to think about reading old posts again.  When I did, I went back to my very first three posts in 2010 and found that they had not been read.  Surprise?  No.  Who knows you are writing back then?  I wasn't a part of SOL or anything else.  I only knew me.  Not sure I'd even commented on anyone's posts back then.
Then I thought about the fact that these were new posts in that case.  Maybe they bear repeating.  On some blog I remember posting an old blog that you thought hadn't received as much attention as you thought it should have - somehow it got lost in the shuffle of other bloghops or weather or emergencies.  For whatever reason, no one had been there.  And if no one reads a post in the forest, does it really make a sound?  No.
So for that reason alone, I am copying and pasting (so you won't have to actually GO there) my first three blog posts' contents here.  You know how to find the links, but I'm going to make it super easy!
Here they are.  How I started my Bloglife!  

Tell me, have you ever had a post no one read, but you would like someone to read?  Post the link in your comment!  I'll read it!

Then head on over to Slice of Life Tuesday and read about the lives, loves and laughter in other parts of our world at Two Writing Teachers!


I started on Christmas of 2010 with this, my very first post (should have done this at Christmas!):


December 25, 2010


Hope for All

Hope for all
This Christmas Day
Hope and Joy
And Peace, I pray.

For unto us
A child was born,
A Star this darkness
To adorn.

He’s given Hope
To those adrift,
A Hope for all
Who take His gift.

So sing the hymns
And praise His name
Be thankful that
God sent, He came.

Though short His time 
Upon the earth,
Hope was given
Through His birth.

Donna J.T. Smith
7:15 pm, December 25, 2010



Then I tried my story writing with this short rewrite of Goldilocks and the Three Bears (where I retell the story from a different viewpoint):


December 27, 2010



Beverly Bear and the Blonde Creature

So today I’m up bright and early.  I made the beds and then made the oatmeal, which some prefer to call porridge, though I don’t for the life of me know why.  Porridge sounds so gruelish.
Anyway, our breakfast, no matter what it is, never turns out right for our tastes, so we’ve always just put it in the bowls on the table and left it out to see if it’s better later. 
Actually my husband, Barry, and I never have had a good breakfast.  It’s always too hot or too cold.  But for some reason little Beatrice’s is nearly always just right.  That’s important.
So this morning around 8 am, a little creature, I’ll call her Blondie, came to our house, evidently just after we left for our early morning pre-breakfast jog around the forest to get our breakfast temperatures adjusted.
When we got back to the house, the door was ajar and there was mud on the carpet.  We always wipe our paws at the door.  Don’t I just hate tracked in dirt!  There were little creature prints on the floor everywhere! We followed them into the kitchen where we saw that someone must have tried our oatmeal.  Our spoons were still in the bowls.  It appeared that she liked Beatrice’s best, because it was gone, along with most of the honey we’d put out to use on the oatmeal.  Boy, I love that stuff!  But anyway…
Beatrice wasn’t too pleased.  But neither was Barry.  He doesn’t even like it if I try a bite of his food!
From there we followed sticky fingerprints into the Library where we often sit and read our favorite books about those odd unfurred creatures that live outside of the woods.  In the Library, what do we see?  Right.  She’s been in all the chairs.  You can tell that, as the fur on your arms stick to the arms of the chairs, thanks to the honey-eater.  Now that wouldn’t be so bad, as I can clean honey off of most anything you give me. I’ve got a good strong cleaning tongue for tidying up Beatrice’s face and ears.  But I can’t fix Beatrice’s favorite rocker.  It’s been totally destroyed.  This creature must be heavier than Beatrice…but after eating all that oatmeal with honey, I’m not surprised.
It looked like she had decided to go upstairs and read some books, as there were books strewn all over the stairs.  She must have had her arms full and dropped some on the way up.  Or maybe she just didn’t think she’d be able to find her way downstairs again and was dropping “bookcrumbs”….or using “bookmarks”!  Ha! That was a good one! Beatrice calls these "Mama jokes", but she doesn't laugh, she just sighs.  
Well, we followed the books upstairs.  There was a very heavy book left on Barry’s bed.  It was his favorite book,  “Jack and the Beanstalk”.   And a very nice one called “The Little Red Hen” was still on my bed.  When we looked over at Beatrice’s bed, there was a big pile of books beside it and a little creature with very blond hair lying there holding the book,  “Little Red Riding Hood”.  Her eyes were closed though.  It appeared that she had fallen asleep while reading it.
Not being too crazy about finding a creature in our house, we yelled and waved our arms to scare her away.  It was pretty effective, as she opened her eyes very suddenly and screamed something about big bad wolves…which we aren’t, and we don’t even know any…
We were happy to see her leave, swiftly weaving her way down the stairs past the books she’d dropped and out the front door.
Beatrice says the creature was "so cute" and wants one for a pet.  Barry says we should set a trap and install an alarm system.  But I don’t think we’ll see her again. I've stopped leaving out food.  Seems to attract pests.

by Donna J.T. Smith
12/27/2010

And then it was back to poetry (and this is for any season!):

December 28, 2010

It's All in a Year

Icy fingers
Toasty toes
Happy hearts
Chilly nose

Daffodillies
Crocus crowns
Lilacs lovely
Dandy downs

Sunny beaches
Shady elms
Picnic baskets
Sailboat helms

Geese a’flying
Leaves a’falling
Squirrels hording
Turkeys calling

Then we’re back
To toasty toes
And ways to warm
A chilly nose.

by Donna J.T. Smith
12/28/2010

I enjoyed reading my old posts.  Maybe it is time to put them in a blog book for safe-keeping.  Maybe two extra books.  The second grandchild will arrive in April.
And don't forget to look through your old posts and see if there is a treasure there you would like someone to read!  It may bear reposting!  At least leave me the link!

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Feline Poetry Friday

This has been such a busy week.  Last Friday morning we had to put our cat down.  He was only with us 10 years, but there was nothing more we could do.  And within an hour we had found our next cat from the rescue.  On Saturday morning we picked him up.  And every day has been a blessing.  Instead of moping and crying and feeling terrible, we have reason to smile.
So today instead of rehashing here, for Poetry Friday I have put up links to two poems over at Tara's A Teaching Life.  I can't believe it, but her post is a cat post, too!  Yea!  Go there and go here to see the two poems posted, one for each cat:
http://mainelywrite.blogspot.com/2014/01/i-miss-you-purrsee.html
http://inoahcat.blogspot.com/2014/01/i-noah-cat-am-here.html

Have a wonderful day... and pat a cat!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday

Yesterday I debuted Noah's website - I, Noah Cat.  (Get it?  I no-ah cat...I know a cat...clever, right?)  I don't know if I can possibly keep up blogs and life chores, but I'm going to try and do my best.  Mainely Write is my most consistently posted to blog, and hopefully, Noah's will be the same.  Noah doesn't do the typing, so I have to, and that takes time.  It may end up a weekly blog post - like a Feline Friday, or a Meow Shout Monday...something very clever, I'm sure.

If you are so inclined, and don't mind reading a cat's perspective on things, you can go there.  It is not going to be long and drawn out and will hopefully feature some interesting things from his view.  So far he has posts from yesterday and today.

I've also written my take on Laura Purdie Salas' picture with 15 words or less picture prompt.  You should try it if you haven't yet.  It's a challenge and fun!

Tomorrow is Poetry Friday, so stay tuned.  I don't have a poem written yet, unless I steal the one from Noah's blog yesterday.  We'll see what happens between now and then.

Now, for working on "Musicful".  I need to get the notated version to my illustrator, Ethan Russell, who is a local artist.  Haven't heard of him?  I think you will someday.  I hope soon!



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

OLW - TRIM

Okay, so I was not going to have a OLW - One Little Word - this year.  But I've read so many posts about it that I almost can't not do it.  So here's my word... it just came to me as I started this post:
TRIM
So how is that inspirational?  I'm glad you asked that question.

TRIM - taking off the extra
Take away extra pounds,
Extra words,
Extra stuff in my life,
Extra stuff in my house, and
Extra sugar, salt, fat in foods.

TRIM - adding extras
Adorn, embellish, beautify

So I'm going to trim things down and add some fancy extras.  Doesn't that sound interesting?
Before I do something, I guess I'll have to ask myself, What kind of trimming are you doing here?
In writing, am I trimming by adding fancy stuff or trimming by taking out the unnecessary?
In my closet, I can trim by taking out the stuff I don't use, and adding that hook on the door to hang up bathrobes.

I don't know.  Maybe it won't work that well.  But I am intrigued by the possibilities of having it as my focus.

 Trig
 Reduce
 Improve
 Minify

It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out in real life.  And yes, trig and minify are real words, even though minify keeps getting a red "you aren't spelling a real word" line warning under it, and I'm sure it's just letting me do trig because of trigonometry...

There are other meanings out there that I will be using as well.  Like trim the sails and trim an airplane and trim the ship.  I will be seeking a balance as I clean out the clutter, reduce my weight and add needed adornments and embellishments!  It will work in my writing as well as my daily life.

So let's give it a go.  First step is to give my self some kind of a daily reminder to use my word.

Wallpaper on my devices.  A card for the refrigerator.  A spot on the side of my blog.   I think I just got an idea.  When I have it done, I will show you.  Wait.  How can you "think" you "just got" an idea?  Trim that.  "I have an idea!"   
It's working already!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Back and Forth

It's Slice of Life, Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers.  What's happening in your life?  Here's a slice of mine; let's share!

I tried this poetry because of our recently moved in cat and a lyric that I used in a comment on Average Poet a couple of days ago.  The lyrics were from the song "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" by Chicago.  I had never really seen the lyrics written out, and only then did I realize that the chorus had a back and forth type conversation - really two sets of lyrics alternating or with parts inserted.  So I decided to try it - kind of like it, but with rhymes alternating.  Can you see what I was doing?

"I can still see you."  "No, you can't."  "Uh, yes, I think I can."

                              Come take a peek
                                         Let's see what it's got
                              Go on and seek
                                         There's a spot
                              A spot of your own
                                         For sitting upon
                              To rest your bones
                                         There’s a bed
                              Beyond these doors
                                         To rest my head
                              Our house is yours -
                                         Where's the bonbon?

                                                     © Donna JT Smith, 2014

On Saturday, Noah, the new cat came home with us.  It's been the most relaxed move and adjustment I think an animal has ever made to new surroundings.  One day he wasn't here, the next day he was, and it was like he'd always been here talking to us.  And he is a talker, too!  I speak, he answers....he speaks, I answer.  He was made for our home.
Loving Pippi!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Noah Has Landed - a New Home!



On Friday morning, after having our cat, Purrsee, put down, we went to Pet Quarters on our way to the Humane Society to just look at cats... maybe start the process of thinking about a cat... at least to stop thinking about what had just occurred.
As soon as we walked through the door, we headed to the left where they sometimes have a cage with rescue cats up for adoption.  We could see the cage, but before we got there to read the big "My Name is Noah" sign with a cat's history, we saw this rather large white cat with a gray skullcap lounging on a climbing tower.  I stopped to pat him.  Very friendly.  The same markings as two other cats we'd had in the long ago past.  "This must be the store mascot", I thought. "He's out loose and he is so beautiful and friendly.  I wish he was up for adoption."
We went over to the cage, but there was no cat inside.  I called over to the sales person at the register and asked (in a doubtful voice) if this white cat was Noah, to which she replied, "Yes, it is.  Don't be surprised if he is a bit shy."  But he wasn't.  He was purring and rubbing against my hand.
I asked my husband to pick him up (he was too high and looked like he might be too heavy for me at that angle), so he did.  The sales lady came over and warned that we shouldn't be offended if he wanted to get down.  He didn't usually like being held very long, especially by men.  But he was fine.  He enjoyed the attention again.
We just looked at each other.  What was happening?  Weren't we just looking and leaving? Then we went over to his sign to read up on this cat that was capturing our hearts - this cat who had seemed to pick us when we entered the store.
He was a stray who had tried numerous times to belong to families by hanging out at their house, only to be chased away.  He was finally brought to A Paw in the Door, a cat rescue, where he was brought in dirty, scrawny and with a sore paw.  They cleaned him up, had him checked by the vet, and then put him up for adoption.  He had been at Pet Quarters for a month with no one interested in him.  No one had looked at him, no one had filled out papers, no interest - until we came in.  I knew this was our next cat.  I filled out paperwork right there as he watched from his perch.  I did not know he was watching, but my husband was watching him watching me.
We sadly had to leave him there while the paperwork was checked and vet references were checked.  It would be 24 hours before we would know if we could pick him up.
I could not stay away though, and late in the day, before closing, we went again to Pet Quarters to say good night to him and to take a picture...or two, or three...okay, maybe more.
At the store testing the dog beds.
Wondering if I'm going to keep patting him or let him go back to sleep.
Trying to get back to what he was doing.
On Saturday morning we went out to breakfast with our son, and after breakfast my husband had to go somewhere, so my son and I took a trip to the pet supply store so I could show him the cat we were interested in adopting.  He liked Noah also.  When we entered the store there were 3 clerks in the front who all grinned and said "Hi!", and wanted to know if we'd heard from the rescue person, Joanne, yet.  I said I hadn't yet, we had just come in to say good morning to Noah.
We found him sacked out on bags of dog food in the back area, and he came out to play for a bit when enticed with a feather toy.  I decided to look around and see if there was a toy I could buy sometime later for him, and as I was browsing, my cell phone rang.  It was Joanne saying I could go to the store and pick up Noah.  I'd been approved to adopt this gorgeous guy.  I had to admit to her that I was already at the store to say good morning to him!
Joanne, the adoption consultant, then came to the store to bring me some vet paperwork. A sales person was called to let her know Noah was leaving in case she wanted to come in and say good-bye to Noah.  It was her day off, but she was attached to Noah and wanted to be able to say good-bye before he left.  I'm sure she will fall in love with another cat soon!  We did.
I loved Purrsee, and though at first it felt like it was a betrayal to fall in love with another cat so soon, I don't think it is.  I think it is testimony to the fact that we loved him enough to need another cat to fill the void left by him.
BTW  Our dog, Pippi, and Noah have already touched noses and have agreed that they will become fast friends.  I think Pippi's relieved that Noah doesn't seem to be a Ninja cat, like Purrsee was.  However, the ability to teleport does not seem to be beyond his capabilities.  He had a collar with a bell on it at Pet Quarters.  Now I know why.  He moves around so quietly, and finds the nicest places into which to tuck his not-that-small body.  He seems to just disappear at will.  He isn't really hiding in fright, just seems to be testing spots to see if they work out for him.  I may have to get him a bell, too.  At least for the first few days, so I can learn where his favorite spots are going to be.

Look! He has his feet tucked contentedly underneath himself already!

And he chills well.
Look!  He thinks he owns our bed!  When he comes untucked he gets pretty long.
Welcome, Noah!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I Miss You, Purrsee



Well, Friday didn't turn out to be a regular day.  Actually the whole week got messed up right from the beginning.  I was sick, and then my Maine Coon cat, Purrsee, got sick.  I recovered; he did not.  In spite of a number of calls and multiple visits to the vet, giving fluids, doing exploratory surgery, and receiving antibiotics and painkillers, Purrsee had to be put down Friday morning at 8:30.  I am so sad; I thought we could help him.  I don't know what happened and neither do the veterinarians.  He just suddenly stopped eating and moving around.  He stopped closing his eyes to sleep.  He was in pain and nothing could be done for him.  He was our friend for the past 10 years.  He was a quite a character.  I truly miss him.

Wrestling with the dog.

Moving day: in the frying pan in the sun - doesn't get better than this.

I thought I’d take time to write of my cat,
The one who so recently by my side sat,
He gazed out the window and looked so content;
For ten years he was here, and then he just went.
He wasn’t the easiest cat to befriend,
But he loved us well, right up to the end.
He opened the cupboards when he wanted food.
If you didn’t do it, he’d get downright rude;
Yelling and slamming the doors till he got
Food and some water - Pronto! On the dot!
It had to be fresh, no food that was stale -
Grading morsels and mortals alike: pass or FAIL.
His best friend, the dog, was his loyal sidekick,
Sharing her bed, her fire and her stick.
One time as a kitten he latched onto dog's lip,
And held on steadfastly till we ended his trip.
He often would watch me as I sat to write
Peer over computer until late at night.
And given a chance to tap on the keys
I'd find he had written a whole lot of e's.
I’ll miss all the glares that turned into purrs,
The long silky locks and the gray, tangly furs,
One renegade whisker, the big tufted paws,
The twitchy tailed warning of razor sharp claws.
I’ll miss you, my cat, for though you were rough,
And your independence translated as tough,
You melted my heart succumbing to purring
Tail curled over nose, cozy and alluring.
If cats go to heaven, I hope you’ll be there.
But a cat's true repentance is really so rare.

©Donna JT Smith
His last picture, his last night at home.  Nice eyes.  Not happy.

Here are some other posts where you will hear of Purrsee:
Dog and Cat
Reigning Cat and Dog
Goldie Locks and the Cat Hairs
Purrsee
My Winter Window
Static Cat

Friday, January 17, 2014

January Thaw

It's Poetry Friday!  Yea!  A day for poems to ring in my ears!
If you head on over to Keri's place at Keri Recommends, you, too, can enjoy poetry all day today.  And while you are there have a cookie and sing Happy Birthday to her!

After low, low temperatures - actually so low they owed us some degrees - now it is above freezing and raining and the 2+ feet of snow we had is nowhere to be seen in some spots.  I can feel the mud dragging my tires into ruts in our driveway.  Never fear.  The snow and cold will be back.  This happens in January a lot.  Just warning those who haven't lived here long enough to know this little seasonal trick that January likes to play on the unsuspecting.


January thaw
The ice melts
And gives a taste of spring - it
Isn't over
Don't be fooled
By this fickle thing - it
Waits around for
The right time
To get more snow and fling it.

©Donna JT Smith 2014




Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Winter Window

For the past few days, as I am sitting at the kitchen table writing, I have seen 5 deer that are making my backyard theirs.  I can watch them as I sit here.


I sit quietly writing
When the cat walks past me
His movement attracts my attention
And I look up
My eyes are drawn along with his
Past the glass
To the woods
I see winter trees and
Bare branches
Tree limbs move
Becoming legs
And the deer silently appear
They walk quietly
Stopping to nibble rain soaked lichen
Pawing at dead leaves
Uncovering tiny greens
In winter's black and white
I stare as they walk past
Limbs blending with limbs
Until they disappear.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Aesthetes, Poeters and Poetrinas Welcome here!

Welcome!  Welcome!  It is so nice to have you come and visit for a bit here on the coast of Maine!  We'll build a snowman and then get some cocoa and a cookie.
It's Poetry Friday day! (Posted early for all you who need to post Thursday night.)
What have you to offer our avid aesthetes who come to visit, dear poeters and poetrinas?
Please link below in the InLinkz provided and visit other like-minded haikuists, limerickers, acrosticians, clerihewns, rondeauleers, odeifiers, etc.

Yea, for Friday!  It's Poetday!

Bring forth all your rhyming words
All inclined poetic nerds
Put your wondrous words in order
Use a rhymie rhythmic sorter
Pour them through a spellcheck spout
Squeeze imagistic verses out
Shuffle and snippet every line
Polish them until they shine
Toss the extras in a pile
Use them in a little while
Lasso lines and round them up
Herd them in a measured cup
March them out each to their meter;
To their greeter, poem-eater.



Words to verse, and stanza to poem
If you've a rhyme, InLinkz it to show 'em!
Then visit others and leave a note
To say that you've read what they wrote...


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Puzzling

Over the past week, my daughter and I did 4 jigsaw puzzles.  I gave my grandson (28 months old) a Curious George 24 piece puzzle.  It was done with help from parents and he was excited when he saw George on the finished picture.  But he had his sights on bigger and better things - the 500 and 1000 piece puzzles we were doing.  For a while we told him "no" and guarded the pieces from being taken from the table either on purpose, or by accident as they stuck to his shirt sleeves.
Finally, I decided, why not let him in on the fun?  He likes to sit and color for long periods, maybe he really would like doing this, too.  And what's the worst thing that could happen?  We can't finish a puzzle?  So we offered him a seat and a pile of puzzle pieces to assemble.  And assemble he did.
So careful, so thoughtful - so young!
Those pudgy little fingers picked up pieces and maneuvered them around until he found a fit.  No matter that the colors didn't match.

He loved the "sun" pieces.
It occupied him for quite some time and allowed us to be entertained both by the puzzle and watching this little guy working so diligently alongside us.  He was thrilled with what he'd done...and so were we!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Make It Good

I can't help but write about my grandson today. But in writing about him, I am really writing about every child at any age really. My grandson is 28 months old, and I am astounded at what he knows.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could always make sure good stuff was going in brains?

His eyes
watch.
His ears
hear.

His fingers wrap around the blue crayon.
He does not look up.
He studies the lines he has made.
“Blue!”

His blue eyes twinkle.
He sees everything.
He hears everything.

Say something.
Listen.
It will echo back to you,
In a tiny voice,
Sometimes behind you,
Sometimes almost underfoot.

Do something.
Watch.
He is your mirror.
You did not see him,
But he saw you;
He heard you.

“Blue”
He saw it.
He heard it.
He knows it,
now.
What else will he hear
and learn
from you?

Make it
Good.

His eyes shine,
His ears hear
everything.

And
wouldn’t it be
nice
if it was always
Good?
His eyes sparkle.
He grips the brown crayon.
“Brown!”

You did not think he knew that one.
But he’s been watching,
And listening to
you.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Quiet in the House



It is now officially Christmas "Passed" or Past.  Either works.  Saturday morning we got up and went out to breakfast - me, my husband, our son, our daughter, our son-in-law, our grandson and our grandbaby-yet-to-be-born (sharing French Toast and sausage with Mom).
And after breakfast, we bid everyone a car-side farewell.  It was going home time.  I hate saying good-bye for now see you soon times.  The good thing about them is you are pretty sure you will see them again soon, barring some unforeseen plan God has for you or others.  Worst are the ones where you know it will be a long time between visits, and you don't know when it will happen again.  But we know we will see our daughter and grandson again in February and then in April when the baby is born.  And our son lives close by, so we have the advantage of being able to see him often.
After breakfast, we came home to a quiet house.  It had been the play yard of our grandson for days.  Our cat and dog were relaxing.  The cat especially.
So quiet.  We picked up remnants of the visit.  I won't need the red truck that makes back up beeping noises again until February.  I can throw away those egg cartons and paper towels tubes now.  They've done their jobs as rattly containers for little toys and as pirate telescopes. I can toss the plastic wrap that entertained with each pop as it was squeezed.
I'm sure I'll accumulate more before he returns.
I can hang my work of art on the refrigerator - the one done in pen on my optometrist's receipt - the one with holes poked in it where the pen "pop"ped through when it hit the edge of the leaf in the table.  My daughter gets the one done with crayon where he made a square that came out slanted and declared with delight "Kite!"
Yes, the house is quiet now.  Only "old people" noises now.  How nice to have it back for a bit.  Re-unite with our old routines, let the animals relax some, put things in place again.  But how precious it was to have that break from the ordinary, and how exciting to know it will happen again.  And next Christmas there will be a new set of bright eyes looking at our little tree.  I'm looking forward to a Christmas Future with another break from quiet in the house.



Friday, January 3, 2014

Static Cat

Thanks, Betsy, at I Think in Poems, for hosting this week's Poetry Friday!  Happy New Year!

A busy Christmas week for us....
finally family is all together.  Some items were packed in styrofoam that was a bit brittle and seemed to go everywhere.  The cat was interested in the box it came in.  I picked off most of the pieces of stray styrofoam before taking the picture.
Then I wrote a Static Cat Styrofoam Poem to go with it.  Static poems really don't need to rhyme.

Static Cat

Standing still
Stuff sticks
Styrofoam stays
Stunningly stippled
Staticky strands
Starry stalks
Stern stare