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
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
The one
By ones

 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


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 for whom
Or what I wondered
The new road is not
It passed him by
Taking travelers
Down a different
And time stood still
In this place
Until he passed.
Now time has moved on
And the building
Is passing, too;

©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
 Of Summer,
Like diamonds -
Precious and few
Guarded and hoarded,
Luxurious and glorious,
Bedazzling our lives;
Priceless summer

©2012, Donna JT Smith

Z is for Zoetic

Good Words Alphabetically: Z is for Zoetic Ah, z end of z month... I'm going to miss writing a poem and drawing every day.  Perhaps I wi...