Friday, November 30, 2012

#NaBloPoMo2012 End

I walked a path named #NaBloPoMo.
It was daunting--green, long, and narrow.
There was a beginning and an end,
And walk the entire way I did intend.
I had to strut a steady pace;
No stopping to admire nature's grace.
Some days I faced beautiful unknowns;
Other days I saw none but sticks and bones.
The path became easier to tread
As I closed in on the end ahead.
Behind me is the track of Experience
Marked by effort, time, and perseverance.
 And now I cross the finish line,
Ready to leave November behind.  
But I know the end is not about winning--
Rather, a new phase, another beginning.
A long road well labored and traveled,
Makes a string of work nicely unraveled.

I did it!  I did it!  Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.  No mo' writing here tonight.  No!  No mo' writing here tonight, I'm such a riot!

That's crazy me channeling Dory, if you can't tell.

I have a whole lot to say about #NaBloPoMo, and I'll be posting that on Letters of Muse at a later day (hint: NOT tomorrow).  

I tried--really tried--to make every post meaningful and relevant.  There are a few I'm not proud of, but for the most part, I did my best given the constraints of this challenge.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, if you followed along and cheered me on.  You made me feel a LOT less lonely knowing I'm not doing this alone as a crazy, secluded writer with no life.  

The LAST POST of #NaBloPoMo2012, signing off.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


She thinks it's fun to mop,
He thinks it's cool to swiffer,
They think chores are groovy,
I would beg to differ.  

So I oblige my kiddos
And delegate the work.
They laugh through their jobs,
While I enjoy my perk.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Forgetful Baker

Today's #NaBloPoMo post is over at Letters of Muse.  Please click over to read the story (Dear Classroom Treats) behind this picture:

You see a heart in the middle of the sifted flour, right?  Good.  Now go read the story of the fate of the poor cupcakes that resulted from this heart.  It has something to do with a forgetful baker, a food allergy, and a mother's attempt to make the world better. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012






When I was a child in early primary school, I was a latch-key kid.  This is what kept me entertained for many hours at home after school.  I had a pair of skillful hands with dextrous fingers.  I was obsessed with matching corners and lines.  I probably made hundreds of cranes in all different sizes during that period of time. 

Origami paper didn't reappear in my life until last year when my daughter's school held a fundraiser to raise money for Japan's devastating tsunami.  Students and families were asked to make paper cranes for spiritual and monetary purposes.  This also sparked an interest in my daughter for the art of origami. 

I recently bought a pack of brand new origami paper for for us.  We sat down and I made a few things that I still remembered how to make.  It brought back lots of memories, and it was enchanting for me to watch my daughter attempt to learn something from which I had a lot of joy doing. 

I posted this picture on Facebook, and my high school biology teacher--whose daughter I used to babysit--left a very touching comment for me.  She wrote, "Our daughter still fondly remembers when you shared your origami skills with her many years ago!"  This is something that happened about 23 years ago, and something I hadn't thought about for a long time.  It was really heartwarming for me to see her comment, and even more humbling to realize that I am now sharing my origami skills with my own daughter, 23 years later.  

Origami paper is still the same square shape.  Those cranes are still made the same exact way.  But what I feel now when I make a crane is years of life experience mucked onto my fingertips--making them less agile to make the perfect lines and corners--but the products I construct mean so much more since I am sharing them with people--people I cared for, and now, little peeps I love.  

Aged wine tops grape juice in layers and complexity, yo.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Minty Me

One of my favorite herbs to grow is mint.  Its distinctive and delicately textured leaves make me think of yummy mojitos, elegant ice teas, and pretty garnishes for a variety of foods.  This summer, I bought one Bonnie pot of mint, and mint I grew!

They say mint grow like weeds.  Chop them down to the roots and they grow right back.  They even go where no one will follow.  For mint, if there's a will, there's a way! 

Because they grew and grew, I cut them and dried them, hoping to make mint tea in the colder weather.  After about three or four batches, I had a good container full of dried mint leaves.  Today, I made myself mint tea from my own garden for the very first time! 

To dry mint, harvest mint stems--when they are just about to flower--cut to all about the same length and wash well.  Bundle them with a rubber band and hang them upside down in a cool dark place for two weeks.  Then store the dried leaves in an airtight container away from sunlight.  Drying and keeping them as whole leaves help to better keep its aromatic oils. 

When ready to make tea, first separate the leaves from the stems.  Then crush the leaves with your fingers and place them in a tea bag or a tea strainer.  Seep for about five minutes and enjoy!  Mint tea is caffeine-free, refreshing, and great on a chilly winter night.


Sunday, November 25, 2012


Like reuniting with old friends--
hearts dance with revelry.
Like hearing a favorite childhood song--
emotions drown words.
Like flipping through an old photo album--
breaths draw in deeply.
Like chatting about memories past--
words spill like chirps of songbirds.

* * *

Unraveling and winding a skein of yarn; 
Casting on stitches on a circular needle;
Knitting and purling in pattern and repetition;
I reacquainted with this hobby so very special.

* * * 

It's in the feel of the fiber and gauge of the yarn;
It's in the process of the growing pieces I see.
It's in the neat rows and rows of perfect stitches,
That does it for someone with OCD like me.

It's been almost two years since I've knitted something.  Before I stopped cold turkey, I knitted continuously for a decade.  It was a hobby bordering on obsession.   At one point the yarn got expensive, and I picked up a free hobby--writing.  To me, it's a zero-sum world, so since I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person, I started writing.  But I have a stash of leftover yarn in my closet, and every time I see them--or the wooden needles I have--my heart skips a beat.  This weekend, I picked up a skein of yarn that I've had for over a decade and decided to make something with it.  It was fascinating how much I had forgotten in just two years, yet how much I remembered just by touching the needles and yarn again.

What I need to do now is find some sort of balance and be able to love both knitting and writing, which, in fact, is kind of a ridiculous thought since I now have a new option for work--as in making some real money.  But just look at those rows and rows of neat, perfect stitching!  How can any-non-OCD one's heart not flutter from seeing the beauty of that continuous flawlessness?!  (I know...  I have issues.)

What a joy it is to touch the smooth wooden needles, to run the woolen fibers through my fingers, and weave them into a piece of fabric for wear or use once again!

Looks like the damn just broke.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Say Nothing

“If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.”

If you think I’m quiet, you can probably guess why.
Should I contain or voice my anger?  Resign or defy? 
I’ve tried various options in the past—have no doubt;
They are all glorified dead ends—there’s no way out.
Like driving in the dark, you can only see so far.
You’re limited to the distance of the lighted tar.
So enter not the obscure to be potentially mislead,
I’ll stay on familiar grounds and be mute instead.
I can no longer give you my heart on a platter
But keep it close to me because I know I matter. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Favorite Things

For this weekend's Trifextra Challenge:

In 1959, Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote the music for the Broadway production, The Sound of Music.  One of the most famous songs from the musical is "My Favorite Things."  Since its inception, the song has been covered by countless artists, and we're asking you to follow suit.  Give us a few of your favorite things, in whichever form you want, in 33 words exactly.  (Link above will bring you to the song's lyrics, if you're not familiar with the tune.)

Favorite Things

Good friends in company and nice glasses of red,
The smell of brewed coffee and freshly baked bread.
Crisp notes of music from violin strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving!  In the spirit of giving thanks, today's NaBloPoMo post is on Letters of Muse titled Small Things.  Please click here to hop over and read my Top Ten list of Thanks-Giving in Small Things.

BTW, I have one more item to add to that list.  In my rush to post before midnight, I lost wi-fi connection for a few short moments that seemed like forever.  Of course it had to happen just before the clock strikes twelve, but I got it back.  So wi-fi connection definitely makes it on my list of Small Things I am thankful for.  Now, today, and everyday. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On the Rocks

The echoing ice cubes
Chime melodiously as I
Swirl the enticing liquid
Around and around.
A methodical, clockwise
Twirl swishes the elixir
Just ever so threatening
To spill over the top.

How I wish to submerge
In the liquor beneath
The floating rocks,
Beneath those floating rocks.
But I am perpetually forced to
Stay strictly on the rocks,
On the rocks.
I am always forced to
Stay firmly on the rocks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Breaking Silence

I pitter-patter forward
In the shallow water
Making sploshes and splashes
As I write my story.
To see where I came from,
Read the ripples behind me.
To see where I'm going,
Follow where my feet take me
Into still water up ahead.
The motionless surface is my paper.
The cascading wave is my pen.
Its unquiet, my voice.
I break the calm water
In front of me as I embrace
The soft coolness between my toes.
I have stories to tell.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Germ Fest

Ketchup With UsKetchup With Us -- Writing Prompts from Mel (@According to Mags) and Michele (@Old Dog New Tits) on the 1st and 15th of each month (links open for 7 days)!  (Click here to link yours!)



In 57 words or less, tell us about something you're NOT thankful for.

Germ Fest

Fall is in full swing,
There's no time to spare.
Didja get your flu shot?
Cuz germs are in the air!

Hacking coughs,
Green booger-pillars;
Projectile sneezes,
Mucus-y thrillers.

Little hands and fingers,
Shower me with affection.
I don't want the germs--
So I must take some action!

Hand sanitizer and soap:
You are my cold-weather dope.   


Didja get your flu shot yet?  I am so NOT thankful for the germy season of the year.  It's no thrill to be in a school setting in the cold winter months.  I love kids, but not so much the germs they host and spread.  My own kiddos are coming home with strep alert notices already.  And no flu shot is going to help with those.  Sigh.  Cross my fingers and knock on wood?


Sunday, November 18, 2012


Hoarse from too much talking,
Elevated with a restless high.
A few hours with my BFF
And our family peeps nearby.

A thousand facial expressions,
Words exchanged in turn.
Like rushing to make a deadline,
We chat until we adjourn.

The husbands may not understand
What all we can talk about.
But little do they know,
The words of a friend devout.

The things that make us break,
The moments that make us proud.  
About the kids, about our lives,
We pour our hearts out-loud.

These few precious hours
I replay when night's quiet.
I'm deeply grateful and blessed
For my dear kindred spirit.  

Most thoughtful gifts from BFF

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Orange: Orange you glad I didn't say 'banana'?
Banana: I'd love it if you said 'banana'.
Orange: Why?
Banana: Knock-knock.
Orange: I'm here. 

Um, I know it's not, but this is about how my brain is functioning just about now.   Pardon my mush-for-brains, but I today I really like the color orange.  Orange you glad?

I'm linking up with Cee's Fun Foto Challenge.  Please click the link to join yourself!

Friday, November 16, 2012

We've Come a Long Way

For today's #NaBloPoMo post, I invite you to hop over to Letters of Muse to read "Remember When": my Top Ten list of Things My Kiddos Will Likely Never Experience by clicking here.  Our kids will never realize how lucky they are--probably much like how we were clueless when we were kids--in regards to the advancement of technology and its associated entertainment and benefits. 

It's Friday, and I'm celebrating it by writing one long post over at Letters of Muse instead of one short one here.  Fair's fair; it's still a-post-a-day.  This way, I can actually not be at my computer an hour before midnight trying to crank out a meaningful post.  I may even be able to do movie night and a glass of wine if all goes well, yay!  As for whether or not I'll stay up and watch the entire movie, well, that is TBA.

In the meantime, happy reading, and HAPPY FRIDAY!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pearly Whites Frights

Bright light in my eyes,
Two feet in the air.
Lone mouth open wide,
Death-grip on the chair.

Pointy, curvy tools,
Spraying cold water.
Scraping, tugging force,
Hello plaque slaughter.

Yucky numbing gel,
Giant needle, ouch.
Grinding, buzzing sound,
Damn right I'm a grouch.

Cannot feel my cheek.
Drooling on one side.
Come back in six months,
Just shoot me, I sighed.

Guess whom I visited today?  Worse, it was not for just your ordinary semi-annual cleaning, but a deep cleaning.  Shots, numbness, and ultrasonic cleaning deep below the gum line.  Are you wincing yet?  Apparently I have significant bone loss from grinding and clenching my jaws during sleep.  It has been slowed down from wearing a mouth guard, but x-ray shows continued bone loss.  Cleaning the bacteria between the gum and teeth is supposed to prevent further bone loss and/or stimulate bone and gum regrowth.  I white-knuckled it all the way through.  It has got to be one of the most uncomfortable places to be and most unpleasant experiences to have. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Viva Violin

Curved pinkie.
Bent thumb.
Hum tune.
Keep rhythm.
Relax shoulders.
Straight bow.
Extend arm.
Still elbow.
Up bow.
Down bow
Lift bow.
Crawl bow.



This is my short little ode to a violin written in the time constraint of #NaBloPoMo.  Being the violin mom of two children, I have utterly and completely fallen in love with this beautiful instrument as an adult.  The second time around with a child learning to play this instrument has been a much easier experience for me, since I now know a thing or two about it.  Hearing the sound of a vibrating violin string ringing within itself and out into the air is one of the most beautiful auditory sensations to me.  And when these sound are produced by little fingers and hands of your own children, they make your heart dance a little.  And you know the collective effort to have made that happen is a nothing short of a miracle. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


There once was a turtle named Tucker,
Whose owner was a a well-known sucker.
   She'd spent a pretty penny,
   To keep him happy as any,
And once a month she'd surely wear a pucker.

Four years ago, we illegally bought a baby turtle because Daddy couldn't say no to his little princess as a pet.  It was about one-and-a-half inches long and came home in a 4" x 6" little plastic carrier.  Little did we know that it probably carries salmonella so the kids cannot handle it, nor that it would grow up quickly and require a massive tank, a basking lamp, a UV lamp, a water filter, and a water heater, among other things.  Hundreds of dollars later, the only assumed "owner" of the turtle spends over an hour each month cleaning out the tank.  The only interaction she gets from the turtle?  Constant pleading for food.  Did I mention that she's a sucker? 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cleaning Woes

Stubbed toes and bruised feet--
The price I pay to be neat.
Leaky gloves, one side each,
Make my hands smell like bleach.
Toilet scrubber gone a-wry
Flings the liquid in my eye.
Vacuum canister misses the can,
It's now dirtier than when I began.
Mildew buildup and soap scum,
Both are beyond just irksome.
Dust that multiplies in the air,
Endless piles of bathroom hair.
Today's incident is the worse,
Clearly a part of my cleaning curse.
Missing the glass door in a daze,
Scrubbing Bubbles mists my face.
Such is the life of this here Mama,
Her cleaning filled with so much drama.
It never stops; it never ends.
Next time how will it offend?

Do I seem a little desperate?  It's getting so hard, this #NaBloPoMo!  The bulk of my day today was spent cleaning, so this was on my mind.  Pardon my silliness; I just needed to post something before midnight.  <sheepish smile>.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Music Box

"What's that, Mama?"
"It's a music box, son."
"What does it do?"
"Come and listen, hon.

Pinch this little arm
And gently turn.
See, it makes music
As you slowly churn.

These tiny pins pluck
The teeth on the wheel.
Here, you try it--
Give it a feel."

His tiny fingers
Grasp the lever,
He turns and hears
The purest sounds ever.

"Listen, Mama!
What song is it?
It sounds so pretty,
Sing it a little bit!"

In this intimate moment,
She breathes in deeply.
The boy, the music,
She etches in memory.

"I see trees of green,
Red roses, too.
I see them bloom,
For me and you..."

And she thinks to herself:
What a wonderful world.


I'm linking this post with Memories Captured at Alison Lee's Writing, Wishing November Linkup!  Click on the Memories Captured button below to join us! 

(BTW, #NaBloPoMo is KILLING ME!  A post a day has been very hard, but worth it.  I'm losing sleep, losing time to read blogs, and stressing out.  But all in a good way, I supposed?) 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gray Skies

It was an unusually warm November day, so we took advantage of the weather and went on a local nature walk.  Sadly, this year, we missed the beautiful fall foliage here.  Contrasting autumn's red, orange, and yellow colors, today's walk featured gray skies and monotone hues.

In my favorite fall shoes, we began the earth-tone trail.
Brown leaves covered the path, soggy from the rain that fell just hours ago.
We came upon a tree that thought "across" might be better than "up."
There were only splashes of green left on patches of grass and scattered bushes.

 Rolling clouds of gray and white smeared the sky,
As if fury had spoken and taken over calm. 
Because the absence of blue skies blurred the layers of gray, 
Branches decorated the sky view to help provide a focal point for depth perception. 

Gray skies hovered gray water.
Bare trees complemented gray skies.
Although it seemed like the dead of colorless winter,
The air was warm and inviting, and the walk was surprisingly pleasant.

We decided that we should hike this nature trail during every season so that we can experience the differences throughout the year.  I can imagine a snowy white winter, a flowery spring, a green summer, and a colorful fall.  We would be able to see, smell, hear, taste, and feel the differences nature has to offer us, if we could just take an hour from our busy days to embrace it.  So... until winter!