31 January 2008


So this week's Poetry Stretch at Mis s Rumphius Effect (click) challenged us to write a Rondel. 11 lines, ABAB BAB ABAB - lines four and 11 repeating... Hmmm... I thought. THAT shouldn't be too hard.

HA! This one really challenged me - I started about five or six times until I chose the right topic for me...

Stillness is my greatest challenge - it is my personal Holy Grail. One in a while, I find it. This poem attempts to express that.


Tentatively poised on that fine line.
My soul doing what I never will.
Everything suspended, silent, devine.
Moving in circles while standing still.

Breath exchanged, stress distilled.
Peace and tranquility my rich red wine.
Virtue and thought fade with my free will.

For just a moment what I need is mine.
Between thought and action my dream fulfilled.
With only you unbalance resigns.
Moving in circles while standing still.

30 January 2008

A Few More Eggs

Four more from this year - one is a repeat, with just a color change...

28 January 2008

Illegible? Says you!

This week's prompt from Weekend Wordsmith (clicky) prompted this essay which is a cross between a rant and an ode... Just a different perspective. Hope I am not too late!

Illegible. I can’t read this. He was only in first grade but these words boldly written in the dreaded red pen of a self-proclaimed “stickler for penmanship” shaped my young son’s opinion of school. “I HATE SCHOOL” he would yell. Daily. How on earth did this happen? He had always loved school.

I suspect that he grew weary of not being good enough. That even his best efforts were shot down as “too sloppy”. He was supposed to have reduced writing, more time – all of these accommodations. The teacher would get defensive if I asked her how she was reducing his writing. She would get angry if I offered ideas to help him concentrate – “I can’t do that in a classroom” – truly – what she should have said was “I am not willing to do that in my classroom”. Ideas I presented were those that had worked in other classrooms for other students.

The fact that she couldn’t, or more accurately WOULDN’T, read my son’s writing told me more about her weaknesses as an educator than it did about my son’s ability to do work. Afterall, if I took a few minutes to look at his paper, I could read it. Maybe it was years of practice reading the horrible penmanship of my aunt. Or maybe it was because I WANTED to know what he had to say. Apparently, his second grade teacher wants to know what he has to say too. He also takes the time to decipher his handwriting. This also tells me something of the caliber of educator he is. I can count on one hand the number of times I had to hear the dreaded “I HATE SCHOOL” this year. For this I am grateful.

So – when I see something marked “Illegible” I know that that is really a subjective term. That the right person with the right motivation or the right skill could almost certainly make out the words of the author. It really is about perspective. A page of even the most carefully scribed Mandarin Chinese would be labeled “Illegible” by an English-speaking audience. Doesn’t definitively make it “Illegible” does it?

27 January 2008

Jenny Craig... Healthy??

In what universe? How could she do it? How could Queen Latifah, beautiful, strong, confident woman that she is hop on the bandwagon with Bertinelli and Allie?

Look - before you jump all over me here, I can appreciate her concerns about diabetes and hoping that a 5-10% body weight reduction will spare her the horrors of that disease and others. I really can. And I am all about being your best you and healthy and happy. But Jenny Craig???

Haven't we all been warned about processed foods especially in excess? How can a diet composed mostly of packaged crap be any good? Do you see what is happening? The fashion/modeling industry is beginning to fail the diet industry. BMI minimums for models and people slowly opening up to the idea of being publicly honest that a size 10 or 12 woman is more appealing than a size 0. All of these things spell danger for the diet industry - an industry that sports a whopping 90% failure rate and yet we pour millions of dollars into it... when signs are starting to point to people being okay with who they are - the diet industry will start to pretend it is there to help you with your health.

I am not interested in debating weight and health issues. I believe there is no one standard out there that applies to everyone. To look at me one would think I am at least borderline diabetic, possibly with an underactive thyroid and certainly with cholesterol and heart problems. Truth is - I have none of those problems. I am healthy. And yet I am overweight. It has taken me most of my life to "get it". To understand that you don't HAVE to be fat to be unhealthy. To understand that if you ARE fat you can not automatically be considered unhealthy. I have battled poor self image my entire life and I can not afford to fall for this nonsense that I need Jenny Craig or any sort of food in boxes to make me healthy. Someone wants told me that sexiness is a feature of self-worth, not figure. Such an eye opener THAT was.

To Queen Latifah I say: "You disappoint me." I am sure she doesn't care. But I can not help but shake my head in sadness and disbelief.

Watch and see people - watch and see... you will start to see diets peddled focused not on inches and pounds lost, but to make you "healthy". Before you sign up for the madness - think. That's all I am asking. Think. try the simple things first - make sure you are drinking enough water. Make sure you are eating only when hungry and stopping when you are full (sounds simple- but it is SO not). Make sure that you take steps to love your body. Right now - the way it is. If you don't you will find it very hard to take care of it. Listen to your body - if you suffer from things like Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia try cutting mack on preservatives. Everyone, add a dash of Tai Chi on the side - you will be all the better for it.


25 January 2008

Some Early '08 Eggs

Just thought I would share some early pysanky eggs of the 2008 season. The first one shows my three early designs and the second picture shows William's first effort of the season.

We each had one casualty last night during the emptying proccess. That is so heart breaking. Sometimes it happens that the egg shells have cracks that we can not see so after all that work, when you empty the eggs (using this (clicky) german-engineered egg blower) the shells can not take the pressure and they crack - very difficult to throw out all that work - but it is all part of pysanky.

I won!!

YAY! I won something! I hardly ever win things and this is such a cool thing to win:

Quick Count Football Game

This is good to help William (and me) sharpen math skills and at the same time have fun. I am sure it will be handy to have in my "bag of tricks" next year when I sub too.

A big hug and thank you to Mommy Doodles for the giveaway. Have you visited her blog yet? If not - get going! She has super-cool giveaways all the time!

YAY! I won! :D

23 January 2008

Poetry Stretch - Macaronic Verse

Okay - all of a sudden I feel like I am in fifth grade. Wildly insecure without any idea if I have grasped the concept or not. Typically a very concrete, visual, tactile learner, this sort of "do it wrong" assignment messes with my mind which craves order like a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream. So I offer my attempt at the Poetry Stretch Challenge this week at Miss Rumphius Effect (clicky) and I hold my breath while I wait to see if I got it right or not... Anyway - here is my effort: (EDIT: OOPS!!! I forgot to mention that I used Latin in a way that would make poor Sister Donatus just about pass out... Today's dose of latin vocabulary: Ubi = where, Sub = under, Semper = always, Nunquam = never, est = is, meum = my)

Sub Ubi

Ubi O ubi est meum sub ubi?

Sub Ubi pink
Sub Ubi green
Sub Ubi any color in between.

Sub Ubi boxer
Sub Ubi brief
Perhaps you prefer Sub Ubi fig leaf?

Sub Ubi silk
Sub Ubi cotton
Sub Ubi thong - not soon forgotten.

Sub Ubi grande
Sub Ubi petite
It all depends on how much you eat.

Semper ubi sub ubi
Nunquam ubi sub ubi
It's all up to you.
Just do whatever is most natural to you!

22 January 2008

Okay - I'll bite...

I need for someone to explain what this means. Mostly I am looking at any guys (but I am willing to admit some women may be able to decipher this one for me at well, so jump right in please!)who might be reading to please clarify, or surmise, or completely refute this little nugget of "advise" I read earlier today:

Men love a challenging woman, someone who keeps them on their toes. Men are generally lazy in relationships once they feel they're in secure territory. When a man is challenged so he does something about it. If you want to keep your man interested, keep him challenged.

Challenged? Keep them on their toes? What - crossword puzzles and chess? Math facts? This paragraph was interestingly juxtaposed with information about being supportive, warm and trustworthy - all that. So - I am left wondering what they might mean by keeping someone challenged...

Can anyone tell me??

18 January 2008

Who do I think I am anyway??

All this poetry writing... I think it is getting to me, LOL...

So I found this blog called Weekend Wordsmith (clicky) and this poem, oddly enough, sort of spilled out of my head - I had to type quickly to catch it. Weird.

Here is my Weekend Wordsmith effort. Thank you, Bonnie, for the inspiration...

Endless Enigma

You puzzle me.
I twist
You turn
I see one side
But never more.

Sometimes I walk away
I see you
from the corner of my eye
And I wonder...

So I try again.
I think I have it...
You puzzle me.

What my blog "looks" like...

This is pretty cool. It is a graphic representation of the html used to make any page on the web... this picture rpresents this blog. Have a favorite site you want to "see"? Go here (clicky) and enter the URL... Thanks to Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for the idea!

16 January 2008

This part never gets old...

The final step in crafting a pysanky egg is melting the wax off. It is one of the finest examples of instant gratification one can experience. In the first picture you see the egg after it's final dye bath in the darkest color - in this case, black. Next I show how the egg looks in the middle of the process, and finally - the finished egg.

I remember why I love to do this now...

My Cheeky Son

I don't know how he comes up with this stuff. It seriously boggles my mind.

Yesterday he was playing with his trucks - one of which is an ice cream truck.

Mommy: What about this truck, William? Why is it parked here?
William: Because he is in court.
Mommy: Why is he in court - he IS an ice cream man, right?
William: Yes - but his ice cream is too good.
Mommy: You can get in trouble for selling ice cream that is too good?
William: Yes - his customers ate too much so their bellies exploded and they need new hearts.
Mommy: (trying really hard not to wet myself laughing) Did he make them eat the ice cream, William?
William: No- but they couldn't help it. It is too good so they ate too much. Now he only sells ice cream that is a little good.

I know he says he wants to be a veterinarian - but it sound like he is going to be a lawyer, doesn't it? It also would seem that all my lessons on personal responsibility have fallen on deaf ears.

There is a flaw in his logic - there is no such thing as "too good" ice cream... YUM!

14 January 2008

Who knew?

Who knew Nerds were actually classifiable into different categories?? I am, apparently, a social nerd. I think I can live with that... What kind of nerd are you?

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Social Nerd

You're interested in things such as politics, psychology, child care, and peace. I wouldn't go so far as to call you a hippie, but some of you may be tree-huggers. You're the type of people who are interested in bettering the world. You're possible the least nerdy of them all; unless you participate in other activies that paled your nerdiness compared to your involvement in social activities. Whatever the case, we could still use more of you around. ^_^

Literature Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Drama Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

12 January 2008

The last time...

There is a first time and a last time for everything. A beginning and an end. Usually we don't recognize the last time when we see it - but once in a while we have the gift of knowing and we can appreciate it fully.

This morning was the last time the 2007 version of our Christmas tree would greet me. I always feel so sad to see the large puddle of ornaments on the dining room table awaiting sorting and wrapping and safe storage until next year... I take my time and put everything away carefully so that next year (It is really only later this year though, isn't it?!?) the process of decorating will be easier. The me of today does this as a gift for the me of November...

Anyway - probably a bit sentimental for a day spent putting away holiday decorations, but I enjoyed the holidays this year for the first time in a VERY long time so it was indeed a day full of mixed emotions...

Looking forward to spring though - the first pysanky of the season is completed - about ten more to go... I will share pics at a later date...

Peace, my friends!

08 January 2008

A brave attempt...

You will remember that I promised to be brave. Well - I stumbled upon this sort of poetry challenge at The Miss Rumphius Effect (clicky) and thought I would give it a go. This is so far out of my comfort zone - you have no idea.

Here we go... Comment carefully. Don't make me hurt you. ;)

Between a rock
And a hard place
Beauty lives.

Where you don't expect.

When your head denies.

Comfort and pleasure.

Out of nothing,
Will come something.
Beauty lives.

06 January 2008

It's that time already!

Do you know how my family knows Spring is just around the corner? They see me regularly poised at the kitchen counter, egg in hand, candle lit and a rainbow of colored dyes in little mason jars nearby. It is Pysanky Egg time! Easter is early this year and I have quite a few to make, so I best get moving... If you want to learn more about this Ukranian Folk Art you can read at Wikipedia (clicky). If you are local to me and want me to share what I know, I would be happy to do so - just say the word! I am by no means an expert - but I can show you the basics...

If you want to order supplies I can tell you that the folks at All Things Ukranian (clicky) are great - they ship fast and are very friendly... I have ordered from them for two years now.

Spring is coming!!!

05 January 2008

Anger ruins happiness...

I have decided that being angry is just not something I want to do. After last night's verbal beating and all the tossing and turning that followed I ended up realizing that how I react to something is COMPLETELY my decision. If I get angry it steals my joy - changes my mind, my heart - takes away what makes me good. BUT - when I get past anger, I have the peace of mind that comes with having no regrets. I want that. No regrets. Joy. Happiness.

But I have to choose it.

I spent some time reading an email from a friend who reminded me that I am "marvelous" (my friend's word - not mine). Woah. THAT is the kind of compliment I can get serious mileage out of. It is the very thing that spared me from regret today. The very thing that helped me keep my joy.

Thank you, friend. You know who you are. :)