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Showing posts from December, 2013

Spiny Pine

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We have LOTS of trees on our 5+ acres, but this little one always catches my eye from our front window.  It's my weather tree, I guess.  I can see how deep the snow is, how thick the ice is, or how sunny the day is even, just by looking at this little fellow standing out there by itself.  It probably wasn't even there when we first moved in 14 years ago, but has finally grown up tall enough for me to notice.  He's (assuming it is a "he" anyway) a cute thing that perhaps next year at Christmas would like to be decorated.  He's been the star of the past few blogs, and this morning, I thought he deserved his own poem.  So here you go Spiny Pine.  I think that is his name now.  Spiny Pine.



Shiny pine out in the cold
Waiting for spring to arrive;
Ice has bedecked you,
Snowfall beflecked you,
How do you hope to survive?

Spiny pine with needles green,
Ever to be even now,
In summer or fall
You must have a ball
Though winter weighs on each bough.

Whiny pine yielding…

Christmas is Coming Soon

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Christmas for us will not be until Monday, so yesterday was a time of baking, cleaning and listening to Christmas carols.  It finally felt like a day to get ready for Christmas! I enjoyed the day at home. I made my Christmas Cake - pistachio, pecan, almond green and yellow coffee cake.  It's only available on Christmas week - maybe a few days before Christmas and up to the new year.  Then it goes away until the next year.

Christmas Night was time for family and church.  We went to evening services.  Just because it's Christmas, doesn't mean there aren't the usual open doors on a Wednesday night.  As a matter of fact it was kind of special feeling to have a post-wrapping paper clutter get-together, even though we haven't done that yet.

Our own children weren't around us, so I got to see my nieces and nephew and their spouses and children and give them attention that I might not have given otherwise.  I could hold the newest member of our family, my brother&…

The True Christmas Trees of Maine

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We have snow in Maine, and we have ice, especially near the coast where we are.  Over the past couple of weeks, we have had plenty of both.  November through April can be a harsh time. Over the past two or three days we have had ice after two snowstorms of a foot apiece.  Most people in Maine have lost power for the past 24 to 40 hours and some still don't have it back.  For a good number of people here there will be no Christmas dinner served at their home today and there will be no Christmas lights on the tree.  Today and tonight the temperatures will be plummeting and those that have power may lose it again.  But still, in all the dangers of frigid weather, in its harshness, there is a beauty that cannot be ignored.

When I went outside yesterday and saw the ice covered landscape, I knew I was seeing the true trees of Christmas.  There was no way to capture the amazing beauty with my phone camera, but I did my best.  The one image I wish I could have gotten was the one with the…

Comfort and Joy

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I'm representing the northeast corner of the USA up here in Maine in Mark Koopmans' "50 States of Pray" where someone from each state (and some countries) will "take a moment and about 100 words - share a prayer, a thought, a memory, a hope,... a regret,... a wish for the future" on Christmas Eve.
Thank you Mark from Hawaii for this wonderful idea!  Visit the page and hear what other bloggers have to share this Christmas Eve at Aloha! Mark Koopmans Says Hi from HI.

I love this song used in the story of Christmas, sung by the animals where Jesus lay in their manger.  Not too "heavy", just a sweet tune and words.  Have a listen if you have the time this Christmas Eve!

The sheep and cow wanted to prepare him room, and they gave up their space and food for the King of Kings.  They received Him, welcoming Him in.
My prayer is "Let Earth receive her King." 
We always hear that Christmas is about giving, not receiving.
But that's not really…

Nice Day - Ice Day

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Lost power at 5:30. Posting on my iPad which for some reason won't scroll down when I'm in edit mode. Wood stove is keeping us warm. Will start the generator off and on to keep the refrigerator cold...though I thought about just filling bags with ice from outside and putting them in the refrigerators. I'm wearing my headlight and we have lanterns around the house. Good thing we finished the chicken pie for a late lunch. All 1100 houses in our island town are without power tonight, along with many people in many other towns here in Maine due to the ice storm.
Another day indoors... 


Icy icicles guard our door...
While rosebush icy canes peek in my window...

And an icy spined pine shivers and whines...

And icy-coated weeds finally succumb to the weight...


And icy oaks wish they'd rid themselves of leaves before the storm...

All is calm, all is bright...


As icy icicles guard our door...

Stormy Weather

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Well, last weekend we got a foot of snow on top of a foot of snow, and no one went anywhere.  It was even a bit much for our Golden.  Not really.  She loves snow.  She wants us to throw something so she has an excuse to dunk her head and look for it.  It's the closest thing to a pond she's ever been in.
Her face is not that white!  It's the snow from snowball diving.  She is not lying down in the snow here; she is standing waiting for me to throw her an icicle or snowball!

And today there is more stormy weather.  It has been warm enough that the precipitation has been misty rain, which freezes when it hits the ground.  We tried going in town but we turned around and came home.  It looked like wet roads up until you tried to stop.  There was no stopping.  So rather than have a Christmas in the hospital, we opted to stay home for the day.

The temperature is dropping and the pine needles are drooping under the weight of the ice.  It is going to be a long night with the possib…

All Through the Zoo

Welcome to Poetry Friday!  It's hosted today by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.  Go over for a visit and read some great poetry today!
Here is my offering today.  I am not much for Santa stories anymore, but this one seemed to just come out when I wrote the first two verses (lines).

All Through the Zoo

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the zoo,
Not a creature was sleeping;
They all were too blue.

They’d heard of a Santa;
A real old Saint Nick.
They’d learned he brought presents,
And that made them sick.

They never got gifts!
They didn’t have socks!
They couldn’t use them
In pools or on rocks!

They didn’t have trees
With bright lights and stars;
There were no presents
Behind the zoo bars.

The penguins were sad.
They had just one wish -
That Santa would come
And not bring them fish.

They wanted new scarves
To wrap ‘round their necks.
The bears wanted shoes -
No more "bear" foot treks!

But how to make Santa
Come over this way?
How to steer reind…

A Train to Christmas

(350 words)
A Train to Christmas

“A twain?  Yea!” Milly’s eyes twinkled.
Light snow was falling. I wished we’d worn boots.  I’d have to carry her to the train station.

I scooped Milly, then my bag from the car. The flakes were getting bigger, the station harder to see.

We boarded the hissing train.  I put Milly by the window and sat down beside her.
“I can see ow-ah cah!”  The window fogged immediately.  She made an S with her finger.

The train lurched forward.  First stop Chicago, then on to Boston. We settled in with crayons and paper.  We would get there the day before Christmas, and she’d experience that special Christmas Eve and morning like the ones I’d known as a child.

Eat, bathroom, nap, color, read...repeat.  The train slowed to a crawl.  "Frozen tracks," they announced.  We inched our way to Chicago.

When we finally arrived at the Chicago station, it was midnight; there were no more trains that night.  Weary, we got a motel room for the rest of the night, but needed to …

Christmas Story Challenge

Yesterday I started reading blogs and came across the Christmas 350 words or fewer story challenge from Susanna Leonard Hill, and then "Poof!" it was hours later.  But how can you pass up an opportunity to write and potentially be rewarded for your efforts? 
I wrote a different story yesterday, but decided to save that for Christmas Eve posting on Aloha! Mark Koopmans Says Hi from HIbecause it seemed like it would appeal more to an older audience and fits the Christmas wish/regret/prayer type style, though it was also a mishap at Christmas.  You will have to wait for December 24th to read that one, though.  It's a true story.
And today I wrote this poem for Susanna's challenge as my offering of a Christmas mishap, accident, potential disaster type story.  It is actually a true story, too, except for donkeys lying.
Does anyone else see the Christmas story as a mishap/potential disaster story? 
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A King on a Donkey  (2…

I Am Doing It? I AM Doing It.

I have not yet finished my A to Z book.  I am stalling.  Procrastinating.  Scared.  One of those things or a combination.
But now that's okay. I can continue to procrastinate and work through my scared on that one because, instead, I have taken a baby step with my Musicful poem becoming a picture book.  I am proceeding. I am making a final decision on the press. I am about to push the button to get my ISBNs and bar code.
I have an illustrator.
I am making time.
I-yi-yi.
Preparations.
Process.
Pondering.
Proceeding.
Press.
Push.
Pictures.
Palpitations.
I have to get a cup of coffee.
I am editing and revising today.
And making cookies to take a break.
I am going to need cookies.
Coffee + Cookies + Courage + Commitment = Completion.
.......ok.  Got the coffee... where's the flour?

Musicfully Inclined

Thanks to Robyn Hood Black for hosting this week's Poetry Friday!

This must be because of the bells yesterday.  I really like those bells.  I want to start a bell choir now.

Musicful

Joyful jamming
Sounds abound
Lilting, twinkling
Melodies found

Gleeful scales
Notes so light
Laughing, dancing
In their flight

Jostling jive
Twitch of toes
Jumping, sliding
Anything goes

Cheerful chant
Ropes a’swing
Salting, peppering
Beat’s the thing

Caller calls
Dosey doe
Circling, bowing
Heel and toe

Soulful song
Echos remain
Aching, longing
Heart's refrain

Prayerful hymn
Voices raise
Worshipping, carolling 
Him to praise

Loving lullaby
Momma’s tune
Soothing, drifting
Sweet dreams soon

Music soothes
and gives us peace
Makes us dance
and hop to beats

Gives us joy
and makes us cry
Gives us wings and
lets us fly

The Bells

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Last week I got the crazy idea that we should have bell ringing for our children's Christmas program at church.  Hey, there's plenty of time.  We have two Sundays before the Christmas program.
So I ordered some color coded bells for kids from Kids Play online.  I wasn't too hopeful for quality, as they were fairly inexpensive.  I got my bells yesterday, and are they sweet!  I had to try them out right away.  I found "Joy to the World" for playing on an 8-note kalimba.  And if you don't know what a kalimba is, well, shame on you. 
I know what it is... 
now... 
You can look it up like I did.
I set out to play "Joy to the World" right away.  I found it to be difficult to maneuver the bells to ring them on the right beat without getting tangled in my own arms.
But then I found a wonderful tutorial on YouTube by Rod Lloyd.  And what a help! 

Now I can teach a brother and sister pair and let them take the bells home for two weeks and practice to thei…