Wednesday, November 02, 2011

More new beginnings

In my absence from this blog, I've started a new photo-a-day blog.  Join me at www.cameracuriosity.blogspot.com if you want to take a peek at my attempt to post a photo every day while learning more about my new passion for photography.

I'm also participating in NaNoWriMo again this year!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Happy (Day after) 4th of July!

Just a few shots from the fireworks at the lake.
















































And the red, white and blue cake I made from one of my old favorite Pampered Chef cookbooks.














Oldest son and his girlfriend arrived Saturday.  We've been enjoying the time together.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mia

It was two years ago today that Mia came to us in a backpack, and immediately made herself at home.  Youngest son had picked her out of a litter that a friend's cat had.  She was barely a couple months old.  Cute and curious and just as sweet as she could be.  Still is.  She's a lot of fun.  Loves to play, and curl up on you instead of beside you.

Here she is, that first day two years ago, checking out the goods.












And a more recent picture.  Asleep in the study, close to the two things she seems to love most - a window where she can look out, and me, who she follows everywhere.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Wings

This was my morning...
Arriving at D/FW airport to take my baby to his flight to Pennsylvania to see his girlfriend.













My all grown up son checking in at security. *sniff*  He hates having his picture taken, so this was the best I could do at the time.


















Spreading his wings.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

On the Other Hand

Earlier this month, there was a poetry prompt from Poetic Asides to write an "on the other hand" poem.  I had an idea, but didn't get it down on paper until this past week.

Other Handedness

She holds his
heart in her bitter
hands, clutching,
clawing, until
she squeezes the life out of
him, for one last time.

Or maybe
it'll be like all
the other
times when she
deftly avoids any real
connection to him.

Saturday

I finally finished Nikki Sixx's book this morning.  A friend asked the other day how the book was.  I could've gushed forever, but I think sad, honest, haunting and inspiring sums it up.

And I have a couple poems that I've been sitting on because I've been too busy, too tired, or both, to get to the blog and post them.

Tried to do a fibonacci with this one.  Not the best attempt I'm sure, but the moment stirred emotions and inspired words.  The picture is from two winters ago, same church, different time.












Small
church
on the
hill, nestled
away from the road,
surrounded by old trees that stand
just as proud as they are crooked, how often have I

silently admired your simple beauty without
even stepping foot inside.  I
welcome the peace as
a black charred
top bares
its
soul

to the sky.  Unfaltering faith pours through a fine mist
of rain.  Blue and red lights cut the
morning around the
tiny church
across
the
road

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Frazzled

I found this picture and thought it looked about how I feel - just a little bit frazzled.  Except instead of 'one of those days', it's one of those weeks; Tuesday when it felt like it should've been Thursday or Friday.

I've finished one poem recently, and started two others that sit in my notebook, barely an idea forming.  I wonder how I did it every day for 30 days in April because I can't seem to focus right now.  With all of the end of the year activities for school and my calendar looking like a small explosion, I'm just spinning.

Hopefully, I can come back up for some air soon.

Monday, May 02, 2011

No More Rain

It's been raining for the past two days and barely reaching the 60s.  Friday, I took a picture of the bird feeder that the husband and Youngest had bought.  This picture just makes me feel good.  I can still have sunshine and bird song even when it rains.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Poetic Bloomings

I thought I'd take a break from writing today since the Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day Challenge ended, but a new venture between two awe-inspiring poets from the same challenge sprouted, and I couldn't resist participating.  I'll be adding my meager attempts, and hopefully learn more about poetry along the way. 

I had a headache most of the day.  Managed two very small poems (only posted one) at Poetic Bloomings.  The first prompt was to write a "seed" poem.


*Forget-Me-Not

Soil under fingernails
disrupts the earthworm.
Seeds scattered and buried.
Sunshine and water brings to
life the bright blue petals
with a butter yellow center.

*This poem was a pretty simple idea because I just couldn't dig up much more, but it does hold a lot of meaning, for me anyway, because the packet of forget-me-not seeds I'd planted was a sympathy gift from our vet after our cat, Storm, died a couple years ago.

Brown Thumb

I try to coax life
from the tiny seeds,
but my fumbling brown thumb
could wilt a silk plant.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 30

Last day of the Poem-A-Day Challenge!  Today's prompt:  Write an "after leaving here" poem.  A few lines of this poem came to me as I was doing other things this morning, and I had to hurry and write them down before they disappeared into thin air as they so often do.  It took me the longest to figure out a decent title.

It's Not Goodbye

After leaving here,
I'll pack my bags and take a
road trip to uncertainty, sail on
waters of self doubt, watch the
sun rise and set over a crumpled
map with crisscrossing lines,
and fall asleep on an endless
moving dream, only to come
right back home again.

Friday, April 29, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 29

One more day to go!  I'm glad I've stuck with this challenge, but have to admit today was tough.  Not sure what it was about this prompt (write an ode) that seemed to throw me off. 

I wrote 5 odes, but only really "felt" two of them.  Here's the two that I posted at Poetic Asides:

Ode to Priorities

Dirty dishes in the sink,
and my comfy bare feet.
Laundry piled high,
reaching for the sky.
The bill that's past due,
and most of all - you.
I'm too busy writing to care
and staying in this chair.


Ode to My Muse

Muse, you are a fickle character
a fair weather friend
showing up unexpectedly
but never unwelcome.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 28

Prompt:  Write a "the world without something" poem.  Early in the challenge, there was a prompt to write a poem that "imagines the world without me".  This one imagines the world without someone or something else.

Colorful World

My two sons paint a picture of quick wit
with vibrant splashes of contagious laughter.
I can't imagine a world without them.

They might be as different as night and
day, these budding artists primed for success,
my two sons paint a picture of quick wit.

I admire our bold gallery, set
carefully with blended brush strokes and mixed
with vibrant splashes of contagious laughter.

This heart of mine would be abstract, no frame
to hold a canvas void of life.
I can't imagine a world without them.

PAD Challenge Day 27

Prompt:  Take the phrase "In the (blank) of (blank)," replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

My first attempt - a Lune:

In the Blink of an Eye

You might miss this time
if you blink
and you don't want that.


Second attempt - playing with the alphabet form:

In the Back of Ally's House

Ally's bedroom can detect every
footprint ghost hallway.  Inside,
jingling keys land mindlessly near
opaque pitchers, quietly reaching,
softly touching under various windows,
xylophones, yarn, zippers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 26

Two for Tuesday prompt:  (1) Write a leader poem, or (2) Write a follower poem.

Follow the Leader

Line up and follow the leader
was the playground rules of the game
but I wasn't much of either.
Line up and follow the leader.
I always stopped for a breather.
Can we play something that's not lame?
Line up and follow the leader
Was the playground rules of the game.

PAD Challenge Day 25

Prompt:  Write a falling poem.  This could be about the physical act of falling (like someone tying your shoelaces together), or it could be symbolic falling (such as falling in love). 

Falling for Words

I open my notebook.
The crisp pages snap
between my fingers
and then I see it -
the funny blue pen mark
on my hand that looks like
a smile with no nose or eyes,
and I smile, reminded of
why I love to write - because
I fall for words every time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 24

Prompt:  Write a prayer poem.  Your prayer poem could be religious, but it doesn't have to be.  People can pray to make it to work on time.  Or to be rich.  Or even for the rain.  It's completely up to you what your poem is about.

My Prayer (for my youngest son)

I pray that your blue eyes
always have that sparkle
and shine.
That you never give up
and your dreams align.
I pray you know how special
you are, no matter where
life takes you, no matter
how far.

PAD Challenge Day 23

Prompt:  Write a quit doing what you're doing poem.  This could be about something you need to quit doing or that someone or something else should quit doing.

"Get Out of My Head"

I left the door wide open without much
thought as to what I was getting into.
You blew in and knocked the hinges right off
my heart.  A whirlwind of emotion stirred,
drenching me in an unconscious pool of
mindless games, and wounds that flow deep within.

I wish you'd get out of my head.

Clouds formed, and there was never a reason
for us to continue on this damned path
of hopeless wonder and abandonment.
It's hard to fathom what we were thinking.
Shadows crawl out of hearts filled with deceit
and leave an ominous black mark that winds
itself around your soul.  Seek shelter from
the storm brewing.  The storm in me and you.

I wish you'd get out of my head.

Alone, a quiet stillness claims the dark,
shatters the fog that once surrounded me
and the tight grip that held my heart captive.
I open my eyes to the light and see
a new day, a new tomorrow, a breath
away from you.  I shut the door and say...

I wish you'd get out of my head.

PAD Challenge Day 22

Prompt:  Write an "only one in the world" poem.  This only one in the world might be a person, an animal, a place, or an object.  Think of someone or something unique and write.

Catching up with getting my poems onto the blog.

Singular

Girl snags ring,
runs grinning

in grass

as sun snarls
raining glass

Gulls sail,
sing in air

Sling sugar

Friday, April 22, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 21

Yesterday's prompt: Write a second thoughts poem.  You could have second thoughts about something you've done or thought in the past.  You could write about someone (or something) else having second thoughts.  Or you could even take a poem you wrote earlier in the month and flip it in a new direction.

I've had tons of second thoughts (more like regrets), so this could be wide open.  I went with another villanelle, and not a real serious idea.  Still no mastery with this form, but I keep trying.   

On Second Thought

I planned to pen a villanelle today.
Of all the forms, I had a second thought
about what I would write, what I would say.

My initial idea had gone astray
now missing from its' original spot,
I planned to pen a villanelle today.

Wouldn't it be nice if my brain obeyed?
Wouldn't it be nice if it did what sought?
About what I would write, what I would say.

However I can get the words to stay
will be the challenging part and hard fought.
I planned to pen a villanelle today.

They swirl and then blur, the images frayed.
I reach out, but they don't want to be caught
about what I would write, what I would say.

Hopefully, they will soon come out to play.
These priceless flickers of hope can't be bought.
I planned to pen a villanelle today
about what I would write, what I would say.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 20

Today's prompt:  Write a message in a bottle poem.  Imagine that your poem is being rolled up and put in a bottle for someone to read.  Or if you want to come at it in a different way, think of it as a poem left in a time capsule or hidden away in your sock drawer.

After I wrote my first acrostic poem about spring a while back, I'd tried to do a double acrostic but it was a mess.  I think I found just the right words for this one today.  I also like the idea of this prompt; the whole message in a bottle thing.

ALL BOTTLED UP

AbouT
Living WelL
Lost in paradisE
Bouncing arounD
Over at the luaU
Thanks for the tiP

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mia and PAD Challenge Day 18 & 19

Getting my Mia on Monday picture up a little late.












But all caught up with my days now.

I just finished Day 18 and 19.  The prompt for Day 18 was:  Take the phrase "Like (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title to your poem, and write your poem.  My first attempt was titled Like a Bat out of Hell.  I liked the idea of it (crazy drivers), but it's one of those 'notebook' poems.  Ya know, the ones that stay in a notebook. 

I liked my second attempt better.  Here it is:

Like Cobwebs

It's dark and dusty, holding old forgotten memories
fragmented by time.  Tucked away neatly at first
for easier retrieval, and then haphazardly as if
they're somehow less important.  And you go back
sometimes, stepping lightly so as not to stir any
pain that's clung to the deepest parts of you.  Even
as you tiptoe around all the pieces, things crumble
and fall into place.  A torn up dream, a water-stained
wish, a broken image...of you.  As you sift through the
remains, you might find something salvageable amongst
all the cobwebs your mind has weaved.

Day 19 prompt - Write a love poem, or an anti-love poem.

"Lovestruck"

I'm
not
anti-
love at all
I'm a lovestruck fool
head over heels in love with you
topsy turvy, toes curling, butterflies in stomach.

Monday, April 18, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 16 and 17

I've been fighting with the "snapshot" prompt for a couple days, trying to catch up now.  The forms are fun and challenging so I've been attempting different ones. 

On Saturday (Day 16 of the PAD challenge), I was gone most of the day.  Nikki Sixx (bassist for Motley Crue and Sixx:A.M.) was doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble in Dallas.  Event started at 3:00P.M.  I got there at 2:00, bought the book, was given a lettered wristband and then informed that they'd be calling "K" around 6:30.  I finally got to meet Nikki around 9:30 that night.  He signed my copy of his latest book This is Gonna Hurt:  Music, Photography, and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx, and I got a hug! 



















I'd be finished reading the book if I didn't have 50 other things going on, including this poetry challenge, but one word:  awesome!  I'll get back into it as soon as I catch up on my poeming.

So, Saturday was a big day for me.  And while I was sitting outside B&N waiting...and waiting...and waiting, I knew I wanted to write my snapshot poem about Nikki.  Well, as with most of my writing, it didn't quite go as originally planned.  I did tons of people watching that day, and this one girl was captured as my "snapshot."  I was going to write a simple poem, describing what she looked like and what she wore, but as I mentioned, I'm addicted to studying different poetic forms, and I tried a paradelle.  I think I might've butchered the form.  Still learning.

"Snapshot"

She was a tall drink of water.
She was a tall drink of water.
Oozing coolness in the liquid heat.
Oozing coolness in the liquid heat.
Drink a tall water in the liquid heat.
She was oozing of coolness.

My mouth was dry.  She quenched the thirst.
My mouth was dry.  She quenched the thirst.
Crisp refreshment on a sultry day.
Crisp refreshment on a sultry day.
On a sultry day, she was the crisp refreshment.
My dry mouth thirst quenched.

Like something out of a dream.
Like something out of a dream.
A gentle breeze lifted her soft hair.
A gentle breeze lifted her soft hair.
Dream something gentle like her soft hair
lifted out of a breeze.

My crisp refreshment was like a tall drink
of water on a sultry day.  Something in the
liquid heat quenched dry mouth thirst. 
She was oozing coolness.  The gentle breeze
lifted her soft hair out
of a dream.


Day 17:  Write a big picture poem.

Here's mine:

"Big Picture"

The fighting
over petty stuff
doesn't get
to the root
of the problem, but if we
try, we can find peace.

Let no harsh
words or thoughts be brought
to your lips,
for venom
ignites hatred and don't we
have enough of that?

Friday, April 15, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 14 & 15

Today's prompt:  write a profile poem.  Lots of possibilities.  I'll be back later with my attempt.  I'm posting this a little late, but I tried the Fibonacci form:

Just Me
Mom
Wife
Reader
Lover of
Photography and
Music that moves and stirs the soul.


Yesterday's prompt (Day 14) was to write an "ain't none of my business" poem.  I wrote a cinquain:

You
Nosy gossip
Stretching, twisting, distorting
Mind your own business
Toxic

Eh, not the best but at least I'm writing.  I had another idea that didn't make it to the blog.  Still working that one out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 11, 12 (& 13 added)

Yesterday's prompt was to take the phrase "Maybe (blank);" replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write the poem.  It was a crazy busy day (Mondays seems to be that way) and was late when I got about half of my idea written and then gave up submitting at poetic asides.

Here was the start of that idea for Day 11:

Maybe, Just Maybe

If I didn't spend so much time
waiting 'til the last minute
the last minute wouldn't
wrap its hands around my
neck and squeeze the

And that's it for yesterday.  A fine example of my procrastinating and half-finished pieces.

Today, Day 12, is the second "Two for Tuesday".  The choices were to write a form poem, or write an anti-form poem.

I went with a form poem, studying all the different ones.  So many I'd never even heard of, but it's fun and challenging.  My first ever attempt at an acrostic poem:

SPRING

String bikinis at
Poolside
Retire
Immodestly
Naked on the
Grass

Day 13 added.  I had ideas that didn't pan out, but I think I finally managed to convey an idea that was stirring (using the Blitz poem), so here's Day 13 which was to write a poem that remembers an old relationship.

Dreams Are Wishes

Dreams come true
Dreams fall short
Short life to live
Short time awake
Awake with want
Awake to plan
Plan for the future
Plan a business
Business stays afloat
Business venture ends
Ends a dream
Ends a season
Season of life
Season of drifting
Drifting into despair
Drifting into darkness
Darkness envelopes
Darkness traps
Traps you alone
Traps your soul
Soul torn apart
Soul seeking
Seeking companionship
Seeking a will
Will to you
Will to survive
Survive these times
Survive above water
Water runs through
Water covers your head
Head is confused
Head in too many places
Places of question
Places far away
Away from friends
Away from family
Family becomes distant
Family doesn't understand
Understand the ghosts
Understand the spinning
Spinning words
Spinning thoughts
Thoughts tumble
Thoughts out of control
Control is lost
Control only you
You can beat this
You can dream
Dream...
This...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mia On Monday



















Back later with my attempt at today's poetry prompt.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 10

Today's prompt:  Write a never again poem.  Maybe you'll never again fall in love or never again tell a lie...

I didn't have a lot of time today, so this is a rough haiku that I attempted:

Never

I will never lose
the love that flows from me to
you; never again

I like this prompt, and may go back and expand on it some more.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 9

Today's prompt:  Write a time of day poem.  In fact, make the title of your poem the time of day.  For instance, "5:54a.m.," "2:23p.m.," "Midnight," etc.  Then, write your poem...

I was gone most of the day - we went to the Dallas Car Show - and then I was exhausted afterward.  I wondered how in the world I was going to make today's prompt in time, but managed to sneak one in before midnight (my time).  When I sat down to write, the words came easily (thank goodness) and I was pretty happy with this attempt. 

11:30

A hush so quiet
the night places a finger
over the black velvet sky
sprinkled with tiny diamonds and
the yellow-white glow
of a street lamp
plays peek-a-boo
behind a front yard tree
while crickets chirp
and fingers tap keys

Friday, April 08, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 8

Today's prompt was to write a 'ready to celebrate' poem.  The first thing I thought of was my oldest son's upcoming graduation from high school.  He can't wait, I can't wait.  We're all excited.

Here was my effort:

Graduation

From a backpack on your shoulders
to the weight of the world,
we walked hand in hand.
From a waxy, rainbow-filled box
to a cap and gown,
your first drawing still held with a magnet.
From the first grade spelling bee winner
to National Honor Society nominee,
my heart burst with pride.
From lopsided grins in wooden frames
to a handsome young man,
nothing could be more beautiful.
From tackling playground monkey bars
to designing your own video games,
a bright future emerges.
From your first day of school
to your soon-to-be last,
I've cherished every moment.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 7

Today's prompt was to write a "what if" poem. 

And my two attempts (a haiku and a cinquain):

What If?...

What if your blue eyes
had never gazed into mine?
We wouldn't have met



Tick Tock

Time
Strange mystery
Drifting, flying, spinning
If it would just stand still
Now

PAD Challenge Day 6

I didn't submit a poem to the challenge yesterday.  Not because I didn't write, because I did.  I just didn't like what I'd written.  The prompt was:  take the phrase "Don't (blank), (blank);" replace the blanks with a word or phrase as the title of your poem, and then write your poem...

I had three different ideas for titles for most of the morning, none of which I was crazy about until I came up with one I liked, and when I finally started writing, the poem took on a life of its own.

I finished the poem late in the evening, and just wasn't sure it didn't completely blow.  It was a villanelle which I've written before with varying degrees of success, if success means they didn't make me want to bang my head on the desk.

The title that didn't get ditched was Don't Look Down, Look Up.  I might see if I can rework it somehow.















By the way, 9 times out of 10, I first type poem like this - peom - and have to retype it.  What's with that word? 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 5

Today's prompt was to write a goofy poem or a serious poem (or both).  I went with goofy, and fretted over it all day long - cutting, adding, cutting again - until I finally submitted it.  I don't think I have another one in me today, not after such spectacular dreck.  There's some really great poets over there.  I just don't think I'm one of them.

Back Home Again

My new kite got stuck in a tree
While I tried to get it down
Ouch, I was stung by a bee

When I ran for the ice cream truck
My big feet tripped
Man, I have the worst luck

The bite of a dog did make me fuss
Kicking up rocks
Mad, I might've cussed

Back at home, I picked up my cat
She yawned and, without warning,
Gross, she yakked

I think I'll just turn in to bed
All kinds of things hurt
Sigh, including my head

Monday, April 04, 2011

PAD Challenge Day 4

The prompt was to write about a type of person.  I knew I wanted to write about a musician when I saw it, but not sure I liked how this turned out.  Blah!

The Musician
(haiku)

A soulful voice spills
rhyme, rhythm and harmony
from the radio

PAD Challenge Day 3

I love how these prompts spark a general idea, but then I can go in a completely unexpected direction.  Fun stuff! This one, "a poem in which you imagine the world without you" was tough because given my recent health issues, I've been in this place enough.

Here was my attempt:

Alive

I'm there in the gentle breeze
that caresses your skin.
I'm there in the sunshine
that warms your heart.
I'm there in the birds
that sing words of praise.
I'm there in the rainbow
that colors your world.
All you have to do is look
and you'll see.
I'm there,
In a world without me.

PAD Challenge Day 2

I had several ideas for the 'postcard poem' and couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I submitted all three.  Here they are:

Spring In Texas

We've traveled rough terrain
to get where we are now.
Time slips through our fingertips.
We hold on
for another breath,
another moment,
riding out the storms.
Leaving clear, blue skies
and whispering winds
as a reminder.

The Storm

Woke up to a nasty rainstorm early this morning.
As if it were only a dream,
the skies are blue, but
the wind draws its long branches
around my quiet comfort
making the house
creak and pop

What Not To Wear

If you wear a skirt today,
hold onto it because
the wind is waiting
to whistle and howl
and send leaves clapping
against each other
in applause of the show.

2011 April PAD Challenge

I got an email the other day about the 2011 April Poem-a-Day Challenge and decided to participate.  This is great for the poetry bug that's hit again recently.  I'm already late to the party and will be catching up with several posts today.  Here's my poem for Day 1 and the 'what got you here' prompt:

Lost and Found

I didn't like what I saw
beneath the quiet
whispering conscience
silenced by boredom
and reckless searching

Until I found my place
right here where I belong
and my heart
opened up
giving way to a richer
fuller
content
life

Mia on Monday












Older picture of Mia, doing what she does best - taking a cat nap.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paws for Reading















I didn't do a post for Mia on Monday, so here she is, or part of her anyway, sleeping under a blanket.  She loves to wiggle her way under a fuzzy blanket.  I'm with her on that one and plan to do just that in support of National Sit Your Ass On Your Couch Day.  I have three new books, one of them being The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis, and can't wait to dig into them.

It's nice to feel well enough to want to read again.

The past several days have been cold and gloomy.  Mother Nature seemed to be teasing us with the sunshine and 80 degree temperatures before that.  Today it's back to sunny, blue skies and a warmth that makes you want to lift your face to the sky, close your eyes and sigh contentedly. 

Before I knew we were going to be hit with a cold front, I'd bought some forget-me-not seeds and put them in a planter on the front porch, only to have to bring them back in again until today.  I just hope they grow this time.  I tried the pack our vet sent us a couple of years ago, but they didn't do much other than sprout a tiny, leafy little bit and then nothing else.

I love all things green and flowery, but don't have much of a green thumb.  More like a brown thumb.  I can - and have - killed a cactus before.  Yeah.  I don't even know how that happens.

The youngest currently has two plants in the window over the back door.  One is a mint plant, and I'm not sure what the other one is.  He likes me to water them because I have "the magic touch."  Oh, dear.  Was he not paying attention when I unintentionally killed the cactus?

Anyway, now that I've spent more time on here than I meant to, I'm off to enjoy some good reading!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mia on Monday















 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

I haven't been feeling 100% lately.  Not enough energy to even get online much less commit to keeping up the blog.  I'm slowly gaining my strength and energy back which is much needed to maintain things around here.  As for the writing, I've done more in the past few weeks than I have all year.  There's an urgency with the desire.  Something I don't always feel when it seems all is well.  But let me worry about my health, and my muse kicks into high gear.  Everyday things turn into poems (I've been writing some haiku and cinquain - two of my favorite forms of poetry), people turn into characters.  Life is just richer.

My reading has been minimal, especially when all I felt like doing was lying on the couch and watching TV just because the sound of the characters' voices kept me company.  Speaking of television, House is my latest favorite show.  I didn't watch it when it first came out years ago, but caught a marathon one afternoon and fell in love with all of the characters.

But about my reading...if I'm keeping up with my reading challenge, I'm still on a book from February.  The book itself is slow at times, but I'm giving it a chance.

Hopefully, I'll be back again soon.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Thawing Out

Saturday was the first time in days that I even left the house.  Sure, I got out and played in the snow with the youngest but that was about it since the roads were too bad to drive on.  So, Saturday night we went out to eat at our favorite cajun restaurant, Razzoo's.  I've always loved the atmosphere and good food.

Fried pickles as an appetizer.  I've had other fried pickles and these are the best. (horrible cell phone camera pic)














Fried gator tail.  Yum!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snowblind

It's snowed another 4-6 inches since last night.  Here's the youngest playing in the snow today.  We tried to build a snowman but the snow was too dry and wouldn't stay together well enough.  We did manage a snowball fight.  Had to really pack the snow to get it to form into balls.  Fun stuff.

Snow Man's Land

Ice on the front porch yesterday.














Looked out the window at 1:30 this morning and there was more snow falling.  If it wasn't so damn cold, I could stand there and watch it all night.  The quiet, the peacefulness, the way it sparkles like tiny diamonds.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Winter Wonderland

Tomorrow will be the fourth day in a row that the schools have been closed due to ice/snow.  We're supposed to get more snow tomorrow and Sunday.  It's been nice having the kids home with me all day.  Youngest and I have slipped around on the ice, watched TV together while sitting by a warm fire, drank hot cocoa with marshmallows, and even cleaned out old junk from closets.  Oldest has had some friends over, brave souls who ventured out on foot in the freezing temperatures.

I also managed to finish my first book of the year yesterday.  It was The Burying Place by Brian Freeman.  Took me longer to read than usual.  Not because it wasn't good - his books are always good! - but just because finding enough quiet moments to get any real reading in is difficult at times.  Loved the book!  There were so many twists and turns that left me guessing right up until the very end.

For the reading challenge, the February book I chose to start with is The Trouble with Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson.  My BFF read this one and another of Gibson's books, and after all the gushing she did, I had to check out the author myself.  Of course, I've had the book in my TBR pile for a while now, so it's about time I read it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stuff
















My new find! 

Those who know me know that I love mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Ah, the cool, crisp mintiness combined with the chocolate chips.  Heaven.  When I saw a commercial for mint chocolate chip gum the other day, my first thought was, 'Hmmm, I wonder what that's like.'  And then, 'How soon can I find some?'

I went to 7-Eleven for a bag of ice on Monday and remembered to look for the gum while I was at it.  I have to say the gum is good, no funny aftertaste like I thought there might be.  Not sure the flavor lasts all that long, but it's still yummy.  Simple pleasures...

Here's Mia watching the snowfall in the backyard last weekend.  It's no surprise just how psycho cats are, but this morning I watched her eat from her bowl, casually walk just a few steps away, lie down as if exhausted, and then take off at full speed into my bedroom, across the bed and up onto the window sill.  She's clearly nuts, but very lovable.


















As for the snow, it's all gone, but the cold temperatures are sticking around.  I'm so ready for spring!








Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More new beginnings

I wanted a new look for the blog and found this cute argyle template.  Something fun with what I still consider a dark edge.  Most of the templates I came across were nice, but too girly for my tastes.

Last night was the husband's birthday.  He wanted to eat at Chili's because they have the best chicken fried steak (his words), so that's where we went.  There's only one thing I eat at Chili's and that's the quesadilla.  We don't go there often, and they've changed the menu since the last time.  The quesadilla I always got before was just chicken and cheese I think.  Now it's bacon ranch chicken.  Guacamole on the side.  Love the guacamole!

My quesadilla.


















Skillet queso & chips and salsa for an appetizer.













Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert.






Monday, January 17, 2011

Reading Challenge

As usual, I'm late to my own party.

In years past, I’ve participated in the e-harlequin 100 book reading challenge where the goal is to read 100 books in a year. I lost focus halfway through one of those challenges, and decided to do my own personal reading challenge for 2011.

I wanted to read 100 books, but also wanted themes for each month. I was a little overly enthusiastic as I went about creating my list, ending up with 5 books a month. When I was reading my theme ideas to my oldest son, he said, “You’re going to read five books a month?” I stopped and thought. My reading bubble had been burst. I decided to narrow it down to 4 books since that’s a book a week and I can manage that.  At least that's the plan.

Some of the months have the same authors in them, but most of those books are ones that my mom gave me and they've been sitting around here for years, so it's about time to read them and move them out to make more room.


As for the themes and the books I’ll be reading:


January – A place in the title
The Burying Place by Brian Freeman
50 Harbor Street by Debbie Macomber
The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
Texas! Lucky by Sandra Brown


February – Books with ‘love’ or ‘Valentine’s’ in the title
I Love You to Death by Amy Garvey
Ready for Love by Debbie Macomber
Be My Valentine by Debbie Macomber
The Trouble with Valentine’s Day by Rachel Gibson


March – Young Adult titles
Night Star by Alyson Noel
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
Need by Carrie Jones


April – Spring
Rainwater by Sandra Brown
Stormwatch by Jill Shalvis
Texas Rain by Jodi Thomas
Mum’s the Word by Kate Collins

May – The Elements
Dead Air by Mary Kennedy
Oceans of Fire by Christine Feehan
Dark Water by Sharon Sala
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


June – Summer in the title
The Forever Summer by Suzanne Macpherson
The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux
Summer Pleasures by Nora Roberts
One Reckless Summer by Toni Blake


July – Things you see in the summer time
Sail – James Patterson
Lifeguard – James Patterson
Code Name: Bikini – Christina Skye
Swimsuit – James Patterson

August – Titles with numbers in them
One For the Money by Janet Evanovich
Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
Nine Lives by Sharon Sala
Just One Look by Harlan Coben


September – Titles with male character names
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
Martin Misunderstood by Karin Slaughter
Say No To Joe? by Lori Foster
Simon Says by Lori Foster


October – Vampires
Over My Dead Body by Michele Bardsley
Undead and Unworthy by Mary Janice Davidson
The Ultimate Bite by Crystal Green
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris


November – Food
Cherry Bomb by J.A. Konrath
Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams
Delicious by Susan Mallery
Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay


December – Christmas titles
The Twilight Before Christmas by Christine Feehan
A Very Merry Christmas by Lori Foster
Better Naughty Than Nice by Jill Shalvis (anthology)
Christmas Getaway by Anne Stuart (anthology)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Best of 2010

1.  Seeing KISS live in concert for the first time!
2.  Discovering new-to-me authors (Wendy Lyn Watson, Sheila Lowe).
3.  Taking my first college course (General Psychology)
4.  Discovering Adventure Bookshop.
5.  Meeting Sandra Brown for the second time.
6.  Going to my first and second Farmer's Market.
7.  Discovering Painting with a Twist, and a new passion for painting.
8.  Teaching myself to crochet.
9.  Reading more from my TBR pile.
10. The Good Guys.

What were your favorite things of 2010?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

So, here we are, a new year.  I've yet to make any resolutions, and not sure I will other than to maybe write more. I was already looking at a literary fiction mag as a place to submit some work this morning.  I've considered the mag for a while now, but always put it off.  I think I'll stop procrastinating.

Yesterday for dinner we ate at this new sushi restaurant called Big Tree Sushi and Grill.  As an appetizer, we had edamame (soybeans in a pod).  We also ordered sushi and california rolls.  I only like the california rolls.  The husband and Youngest fussed at me for taking out the middle part of the roll, but I say that's where the good stuff is.  The avocado, crab meat, cucumber.  I don't much care for the sticky rice and seaweed it's wrapped in.  Okay, so I eat like a child taking out my favorite part and leaving the rest.  So what?

Sushi and california rolls.


















My dinner.  Shrimp fried rice.


















The complimentary, and very yummy dessert our waitress brought us.  Youngest had already claimed one for himself before I could get a picture of all three pieces.  I'm not even sure what it was, some kind of flaky pastry type thing with a whipped topping and chocolate sauce.  It had a slight banana taste.