Spring Takes a Stand #20

Here is a poem that I started working on after our one summer day which was followed by several days of spring-like weather. I thought it would be just right for the start of spring. However, old man winter is having his last laugh as we are predicted to get some measurable snow on Thursday.

 

 

 

Spring heard Summer was pushing her way in.

It wasn’t time for Summer to arrive.

Winter reached his gnarled hand out to hold on,

But Spring pushed him back.

"Did you hear? Spring is on her way!"

“Did you hear? Spring is on her way!”

“This is my time,” she declared in a voice that surprised her with its strength.

Although she knew she was a few days early,

She didn’t let that stop her arrival.

She resembles her sister, Summer, but her warmth is not quite as searing.

She brings healing rains, which will turn the faded yellow grass back to its lush and verdant state.

Her warm breezes encourages leaves to unfurl so that they may sway to the tune of the chirping birds.

Winter wear is stowed as the people embrace the coming of Spring.

Welcome back Spring!

Can you stay awhile?

*******************************************************************************************************

I don’t think spring will be arriving anytime soon at my cousin’s home in Wisconsin. He said he’s still waiting for the January thaw. I think you are out of luck cousin. How about a May thaw?

How many of you are living in a world buried under the white?

How many of you are living in a world buried under the white?

Where Did It Go? #19

I have a special coin case in my purse. It has never held coins or money of any nature. This is the pouch I use to store gift cards, discount cards, loyalty cards, punch cards, etc. At one time they fit into my wallet. As the collection grew I knew I needed to find some other way of organizing and storing them. At first I thought a rubber band would do the trick. It didn’t. Eventually I found the coin purse and it fit the bill. It held all the cards (they measure 1.5 inches thick).

Now stores have replaced the credit card sized card with the mini card that you are supposed to put on your key ring. That’s great they are smaller, but after a while they take over the key ring. All the little cards were moved to a single ring and stored in the coin purse with the larger sized cards. I’m very careful with my cards, because I like a deal or discount.

key ring

So I was perturbed when I went to Panera’s several weeks ago and reached into my coin purse for the ring of cards and it was gone. I rooted around but could not find it. Fortunately, they take your phone number and that records your purchase. I could not imagine what had happened to the ring. It was no where in my purse.

Ah yes, maybe it is on my desk. Something was stirring in my mind that I had to go on-line and enter some number from one of the cards. As soon as I got home, I went immediately to my desk. It was not in sight. I lifted papers. I moved folders. I shifted books. No ring.

It really bugged me that I could not find it. I kept returning to my purse, maybe it was in a side pocket. No ring. What happened to it? I thought about going to the grocery store to see if I dropped it there, but in my heart I knew I had not. So slowly I was going about the business of replacing the cards on the ring.

Yesterday I wore a coat that hadn’t been worn in a while. I put my hands in the pocket and felt something. My fingers explored the item as I was bringing it out. There was a ring. There were small rectangular shapes attached. Yes, it was the missing card ring!

Slowly a vague memory came back. My husband and I were going out to lunch. I didn’t want to bring my purse. I needed the loyalty card to get the discount. I dropped it into my pocket. We ate, we returned home, I hung up my coat. I didn’t wear that coat because the weather turned colder.

Mystery solved, ring returned to the coin purse. I must be more mindful (OLW) of my belongings.

My Best Part #18

Yesterday I left the post pondering what is my best part? It is so easy to pick out the parts that I’d like to change, but that’s not the task.

I could pick my hair color. I had brownish hair growing up. I didn’t think there was anything special about the color.  It was what it was. I thought I wanted it to be lighter, but this was long before highlighting hair was done. Once I sat out in the sun, at the top of a slide in a park near my home, because someone told me the sun would bleach my hair. It didn’t.

In my twenties a gray hair was discovered mixed into the browns, but I didn’t bother it. I was too poor to go to the beauty shop for color. I looked at hair color products once, but found them confusing, so I walked away. Pulling the hair was not an option, I did not need to inflict pain upon my scalp. So the only option was leave it alone.

More and more gray hairs joined the first and eventually they took over. However, when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see gray, I still saw brown. Finally I had to admit I had gray hair when the hair on the floor of the salon looked as though Jack Frost had moved indoors (although I still see brown under the gray).

I have come to appreciate my color. Once I was shopping in Walmart when a lady (stranger to me) came up to me and asked, “Who does your hair? I love that color and that’s the color I want.”

I looked at her confused. What did she mean I thought. I replied, “I guess you could say God does my hair, because I don’t color it.” She walked off disappointed.

It's hard to take a picture of yourself.

It’s hard to take a picture of yourself.

But although my hair color is a great part, it is not the part I think is the best.

I have always loved the color of my eyes. They are green. Sometimes they are green-ish. But they are never blue or brown. My brothers and sister  have brown eyes. I have green. I am different from them. This is something that makes me unique in the family.

I love the flecks of amber that appear mixed in with the green. Maybe there are times they are hazel colored. But they are never blue or brown.

Green has always been my favorite color. I think it started with my eyes. The best part of me is my green eyes.

You can't really see the color, but they are green. Not blue or brown.

You can’t really see the color, but they are green. Not blue or brown.

The Best Part of Me #17

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

Do you know this book?

The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald

The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald

A photographer asked children  “What is the best part of you?” Each child wrote a short essay explaining their best part and it was compiled into a book.

I discovered this book several years ago and introduced it to teachers as a possible writing lesson. They oohed and ahhed as they looked at the book, but that’s as far as it has ever gone. I have never seen evidence that anyone tried it with their class.

This week I walked into a school, hustling down the hall to the room where I would meet with the teachers and stopped in my tracks. On the wall was a small display of black and white photos of body parts and writings below. I didn’t have time to stop at that moment, but knew I would revisit to study the pictures and read the writing. And take photos of their work.

mouth ear mouth 2

I had not introduced the book to this school. I was curious if someone had this book. What I discovered was this writing was from a special education class. The teacher had no clue there was a book . She had seen something on Pinterest and that had prompted her project. She said the kids had loved doing this.

Here are two of them (original spelling retained):

The Best Part of Mehands

My hands are the best part of me. They hlp me turn pages in books so I can read. My hands hlp me lift wood for the fire. I use my hands to blld presnts for my sisters.

feetThe Best Part of Me

My feet are the best prt of me. I can wok inewher with my feet. I can run at reses with my feet. I can stand up with my feet.

 

So now I must ponder, what is the best part of me?

 

An Offer I Won’t Refuse #15

An email popped up in my inbox from our insurance company. I thought it would be a reminder that we had a payment due. But no that is not what it was. It was an offer to complete a survey. Hmmm . . . I think boring, but wait what is that extra sentence. Do I spot a favorite word in that sentence? Yes, Amazon is mentioned and they are not talking about the river. If you complete this survey we will send you an Amazon gift card for $10. Heck, I’d have done it for $5 (but don’t tell them).

A few quick questions and about eight minutes later I have completed the survey. Woo hoo! I’m getting an Amazon gift card! (Picture me doing a happy dance.)  Oh, what do you mean it might take 7-10 days to get it to me? Okay, I can wait, but mentally I start thinking of all the new books I’ve been reading about. What will I pick? I’m giddy with excitement anticipating the new book (s).

A few days later Amazon sends me an email with a list of book ideas they think are best picks for the month of March. (Wasn’t that kind of them? :-))  As I wait for my gift card code, I peruse the choices. Three catch my eye.

matchbox red sloth

You know if you spend $25 there will be free shipping, so . . .

Or do you have suggestions? I have the certificate now and it is burning a hole in my pocket.

A Sign #14

sign

Are you thinking “What is this all about?” That’s exactly what I thought the first time I encountered this sign.

It is sitting on the guest registration desk of a motel where I stay at when I work with one school district. The first time I was startled by the message. Have you ever planned to clean fish in a motel room? I can honestly say I have never had even the slightest desire to clean a fish, let alone in a motel room.  What prompted this motel to plant this thought in the guest’s head?

Obviously I was unaware of the landscape in the surrounding area. When it was revealed to me that there was a lake nearby I started to grasp the meaning and purpose of this sign. So what you are telling me is that this is a lake that has fish in it. Apparently it is used by fishermen who do not live nearby. These fishing folk must find lodging because they fish for more than a single day.

Now I see the reason for this sign. Once the fish are caught, they must be cleaned. But do it elsewhere this motel says. The maid does not want to find fish guts in the trash tomorrow.

This leads me to question the fishermen. What do you do to keep the fish fresh? There are no refrigerators in the room. Are you draining the ice machine for your cooler? How long can you keep them that way? Doesn’t the room reek of fish? Why do you think I would want to breathe fish after you leave?

So thank you management for preventing this problem. I have never had a hint of fish in any of the rooms I have occupied. I hope this sign was a result of being proactive and not reactive.

Sunrise #13

The good thing about the time change is once and awhile I can catch a sunrise.

The day is dark as I begin my daily task in March. My robe is wrapped tightly to warm me in the early hour of the day as the heat slowly brings the cooled house to a warmer temperature. Coffee is brewing as I settle into the couch with the computer on my lap. I must get today’s post finalized and published. One last check of the written words before clicking on Publish. Copy and paste the link and my coffee is ready.

Once again, I settle back into the couch, quick sip from the steaming cup while I click to find a plethora of slices to read. There are some seriously early posters. After reading/commenting on a few, I happen to look up. On a diagonal line from my perch, there is a window facing the east. A sphere of pink has crept into my line of vision.

I read another slice. I glance at the window, wondering what will have changed in the last two minutes. The pinks have radiated out and purple stripes are floating across the sky. Slowly blue begins to filter between the pinks and purples,  claiming its piece of the sky.

Quickly I grab the phone, head out into the back yard to preserve the colors. Just in those few moments, the colors are dissolving as the daylight enters. Nature has a way of waking one up with a smile.

sun

sunrise

The Last One #12

After my culinary disappointment last week, I decided I needed to have a success story. Something to prove that my cooking skill had not died (the pizza from yesterday’s post was still days away). What could I make that would redeem my esteem? I know, chocolate chip cookies would be tasty and I have not made them for a long time (actually years, I can’t remember the last batch I made).

There was a time in my marriage (young and foolish) that you would find some kind of dessert item in my kitchen. Every week I made some kind of sugar loaded treat to feed my husband and friends as we sat around playing cards. Then my son came along and the brownies, cookies, cakes, pies continued to reside in my kitchen. However, there came a time when there wasn’t anyone to eat the treats except my husband and me, so the baking came to an end, except when we would have guests for dinner.

Imagine my husband’s surprise and delight when he discovered I had whipped up a batch of Consumer Reports Practically Perfect Chocolate Chip  Cookies. Of course we had to eat one still warm from the oven that first night. As I pulled the last pan out, I knew that I had to have a really hot one, just to savor in that warm soft dough mixed with the melty chips. Mmmm!

For the next few days I would have one with my last cup of coffee, one for dessert after lunch, and dinner. I know I was not alone in consuming these cookies. Now there is only one left in the container. It does not belong to me. I had mine. It is so sad lying there all alone. My taste buds are weeping that there will be no more . . .

All alone :-(

All alone 😦

Unless I get the portion out of the freezer that I put away. 🙂

Recipes: Highs and Lows #11

Do you read recipes? New recipes push me to expand my culinary collection of recipes and techniques. An email from All Recipes will tempt me to check out their offerings every once in awhile. However,  I always read the reviews to see what others think before I commit to trying a new recipe.

I thought I had a winner when I saw Coconut Chicken Stir Fry. The creator of the recipe said, “Creamy coconut milk and chicken kicked up with a strong assortment of spices. Serve over rice or pasta,” made me smack my lips in anticipation. I was envisioning something similar to a dish I get at the Thai restaurant we love. The reviews were glowing. They all said it was wonderful, but maybe you could add more curry. I checked my cabinets and had all the assorted spices the recipe called for. I printed out the recipe and kept it close at hand as I followed each step. It was with a bit of trepidation that I put in two teaspoons of crushed pepper flakes, one teaspoon ground cumin, and half a teaspoon of curry. I decided to omit the pepper, which was to taste (I thought there was enough heat in it already). As I simmered this mixture I took a taste of the sauce hoping for the coconut flavor I loved, but all I tasted was hot. Finally it was time to serve it, crossing my fingers I took my first bite. Disappointing was the only way I could describe it. It was spicy, too spicy and that took away the flavor. I didn’t taste the coconut at all. We finished dinner and the recipe went into the trash. The remainder of the dish went down the disposal. Bummer! This would be a low.

I won’t let one disappointment this week deter me from trying something else this week. I had a recipe for a pizza that intrigued me. Would you consider a pizza with spinach, apples, and blue cheese? Those are the ingredients in the Bistro Apple Pizza. I made the crust, then began the process to create this pizza. My husband commented it smelled good. He was smelling the sauteing garlic and the chopped spinach. In the oven the pizza went. As it baked I wondered if we’d be calling Dominoes or eating a Lean Cuisine for dinner. It smelled great, so I anxiously took the first bite. The verdict: YUM! This recipe went back into the cabinet to be made another day, a cooking high!