Archive for the ‘Poetry/Writing’ Category

Red, Plump, Juicy Cherries…No Pits Please!

I love Red, Plump, Juicy Cherries…No Pits Please!

“If Life is a Bowl of Cherries…..”

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Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.’

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The tablescape I have set up today reminded

me of the famous poem by Edgar Allen Poe

that we had to learn in High School, titled

The Raven”.

Of course, I don’t remember it to this day,

but the “Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.” quote is

constantly bandied about by everyone, especially

if they see a raven flying about near Halloween.

 

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Is There Something I Should Know?

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My dear readers….

I know, ….you are familiar with my attempt at humor, my sarcasm and my many stories to tell.  

Many of you have called (or emailed) to tell me that a particular post was so funny that you were still laughing.  

Many have said I should be writing a book, that I have a way with words…. which, unbeknownst to many, I started writing many years ago.  I have one notebook full of nothing but poems that I have written over the years.

Actually, I do have 4 books, each in various stages of writing, but mainly NONE completed or published…. stored both in paper form and tucked away on my laptop.

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Old Barns And Barn Doors….

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Just down the road… and around the bend,
Stands an old empty barn; nearing the end.

It has sheltered no animals for many years now;
no horses, no sheep, no steers or cows.

At one time the paint was a bold shade of red;
Now faded by weather and the sun overhead.

The doors swing in the wind… the hinges are loose,
Windows and siding have taken lots of abuse.

The good days are gone; forever it seems,
And that old barn now stands with sagging beams.

The stories have vanished, this old barn could tell,
just critters remain and an old dried up well.

Old, abandoned barns have become a trend,
Just down the road… and around the bend.

My dear readers….I would like to take a trip down memory lane for a bit if you don’t mind. 

I know we have made statements like….if these walls could talk, as we mused about old houses.

I also feel that way about old barns. 

I love old barns and I’ve been fortunate to have grown up on a farm and so I have been around barns as a child and as an adult.

Our ranch in New Mexico had been in my husband’s family for many, many years when we bought it from his older brother. There were many outbuildings, but one in particular was a favorite of mine.  It was an old rickety barn that creaked and groaned with the faintest wind. Some of the windows were broken and the tin roof was peeling off and we determined, with a bit of sadness, that it was time for the old barn to come down.

Luckily, the wood on the inside was almost preserved and usable.

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Soooooo, my talented spouse took boards from that old barn and built many pieces of furniture, from coffee tables, end tables, a couple hutches with glass doors and many other pieces of furniture.  It made me feel that we redeemed that old barn and brought new life with new families to that part of history. 

Which leads me to the latest project at Villa de la Luna!

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You know we have been painting and doing a make over in our living, dining and kitchen areas… and I have one more part of the project that I would like to share with you.

I love old barns and I particularly love sliding barn doors!

So, I wanted to incorporate a barn door in our home.  

Below is the before…..

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The logical place was my dish pantry…. which is actually a panic room in which the Captain built lots of lots of sturdy shelves to hold my many sets of dishes.  This room is just off the kitchen and became the perfect place for a barn door.

Yes, I dreamed up the project and the Captain made it all happen.  

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It did not come without a few mutterings under the Captain’s breath because of the solid concrete walls surrounding the panic room….but after a few times of me asking…

“….did you say something honey?”

…the mutterings seemed to stop. 🙂

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Seriously, this project turned out just as I wanted it.  So I am very pleased…and yes, I did contribute.  The Captain placed the barn door on two saw horses and I painted it…both sides…3 coats of semi gloss white paint.  Just sayin’ 🙂

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Sooooo now my kitchen has a bit of nostalgia….I may live in the city and I may not have an old barn sittin’ on the back forty.  But I do have a barn door.

Have a great week-end.

Hugs Always!

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Walk A Mile In My Shoes!

 

Walk A Mile In My Shoes….takes this old saying one step further…and a little further than that!

A friend sent me this poem and I remembered seeing it many years ago, printed in a church bulletin.  I did some research and found the poem was written by Leanne Freiberg. Perhaps you have seen it before, and it made you stop and think… as it did me.   

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The Shoes, a poem by Leanne Freiberg.

I showered and shaved…I adjusted my tie..
I got there and sat…In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer…As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me…Touching my own. I sighed.
With plenty of room on either side…I thought, “Why must our soles
touch?”
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine…But it didn’t bother him much.
A prayer began: “Our Father”…I thought, “This man with the shoes…has
no pride.
They’re dusty, worn, and scratched. Even worse, there are holes on the
side!”
“Thank You for blessings,” the prayer went on.
The shoe man said…a quiet “Amen.”
I tried to focus on the prayer…But my thoughts were on his shoes
again.
Aren’t we supposed to look our best…When walking through that door?
“Well, this certainly isn’t it,” I thought, Glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended…And the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud…Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters…His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear…The shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering…And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached…Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out…What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft “clink”…as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me…To tears, and that’s no lie.
It was the same for the shoe man…For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service…As is the custom here.
We must greet new visitors…And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow…And wanted to meet the shoe man.
So after the closing prayer…I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark…And his hair was truly a mess.
But I thanked him for coming…For being our guest.
He said, “My names’ Charlie…I’m glad to meet you, my friend.”
There were tears in his eyes…But he had a large, wide grin.
“Let me explain,” he said…Wiping tears from his eyes.
“I’ve been coming here for months…And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.'”
“I know that my appearance…”Is not like all the rest.
“But I really do try…” To always look my best.”
“I always clean and polish my shoes…”Before my very long walk.
“But by the time I get here…”They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.”
My heart filled with pain…and I swallowed to hide my tears.
As he continued to apologize…For daring to sit so near.
He said, “When I get here…”I know I must look a sight.
“But I thought if I could touch you…”Then maybe our souls might
unite.”
I was silent for a moment…Knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison…I spoke from my heart, not my head.
“Oh, you’ve touched me,” I said…”And taught me, in part;
“That the best of any man…”Is what is found in his heart.”
The rest, I thought,…This shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am…That his dirty old shoe touched my
soul.

Have a great beginning to your week, my dear readers!

Hugs Always….:)

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Beyond All Dreams….Book Review!

Beyond All Dreams.…Book Review!

As most of you know, the Captain and I recently went back to Kansas for the wedding of  our grandson!  

Click on the following link if you would like to see that post: Winter Weddings….And The Color Purple!

Flying to Kansas in February means lots of snow and certainly cold and blowing winds….and this trip was no exception.

Bad weather also means delayed flights or re-routed flights and flight cancellations…and the Captain and I experienced all of the above.

I only tell you that to say this…..I had plenty of time to catch up on my reading.

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This book is called “Beyond All Dreams” written by Elizabeth Camden and the below synopsis is from the publisher.

“Sweeping and Romantic Historical Drama from an Award-Winning Author
Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. She is thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, but her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.
Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen until his promising career became shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship.
Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of Congress.
From the gilded halls of the Capitol, where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for themselves?”

I really liked this book.

The fact that Anna, the main character, works in the Library of Congress attending to maps and surrounded by all kinds of books and architecture fascinated me.  There was mystery and romance and the book kept me “reading just one more page”.  

I liked the historical references and the descriptions of fashion and culture of that time period, as well as the descriptions of the all female boarding house and the foods they prepared. (you knew I would have to talk about food didn’t you?) 

Elizabeth Camden has a way of showing the intricate and well structured cast of characters, making them personable, as well as showing their imperfections. Her characters are portrayed so well…that I could visualize them vividly. I also found it interesting to learn about the movers and shakers in Washington DC and the “inside work” used to extract votes for popular and unpopular causes.

Anna belongs to a group of only 6 women, who were on a trial basis to see if they would “work out” in the Library of Congress. Anna was determined to not allow anything to jeopardize the positions of these women.  She took her work seriously…and then along came Luke, a congressman from Maine… who not only challenges her but frightens her also. 

There are many political dynamics at play that stand in the way of Anna’s search for the truth about her Father and the mysterious disappearance of the lost ship. The story line grows more intense as loyalty and trust is threatened and priorities are tested in the face of the impending Spanish-American war.

Did I say I really enjoyed this read? 🙂

I certainly did!

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this book!

“The Secret of Pembrooke Park”…Book Review

“The Secret of Pembrooke Park”…Book Review 

As many of you know I like to review restaurants, movies, and books …. as well as give you my daily musings and recipes on this Blog.

“The Secret of Pembrooke Park”…was written by Julie Klassen and this book turned out to be a real page turner.

I love the way Julie Klassen writes so vividly of 1800’s England, that one can not help but feel you are actually there.

This book is full of intrigue and mysterious secrets, as Abigail Foster (and her father) are forced to move to an abandoned, country manor home in Pembrooke Park. 

The family has financial issues and of course there is the pretty little sister who garners all the attention, so Abigail takes on the task of preparing the manor for the arrival of her mother and sister.

The manor house, which has been abandoned for 18 years is full of mysteries and surprises as the Fosters are startled to find the home entombed, as it was abruptly left.

There are moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play and tea cups encrusted with dried tea.

In Abigail’s explorations, she discovers a small church on the grounds…where she finds a curate named William and his family.

She decides to attend church services, which she confesses as been sporadic at best….in an effort to learn more about Pembrooke Park.

I like the way Klassen slowly unveils the many layers of the secrets of Pembrooke Park Manor….which really kept my interest.

Even more revealing were the twists and suspense right up until the last page of the book.

As you can surmise, I like mysteries… and this book with its richly detailed cast of characters, coupled with the abandoned manor house, challenged me to examine each character’s true identity.

Thanks to Julie Klassen for not disappointing in her creation of a wonderful story set against the charm of England’s countryside. 

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this book!

Today….!

Today…! I would like to share with you a poem that I have on the wall near my computer. 

I read it out loud every single day.

I just think it says it all and I understand the person who wrote this poem passed away in 2002 of ALS disease at the age of 50.

His name was Kenny M. Fullington.

Isn’t it interesting that the ALS water bucket challenge has been going on for the last few months…making more people aware of this debilitating disease. 

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Today

Outside my window, a new day I see

and only I can determine what kind of day it will be.

It can be busy and sunny, laughing and gay,

Today2Or boring and cold, unhappy and gray.

My own state of mind, is the determining key, 

for I am only the person I let myself be.

I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help,

or be selfish and think just of myself.

I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun,

or gripe and complain and make it hard on someone.

I can be patient with those who may not understandToday

or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.

But I have faith in myself and believe what I say,

and I personally intend to make the best of each day!

 

 

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Have a blessed day and a  wonderful week! 🙂

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Kitty Kat Black….and White Returns!

Kitty Kat Black….and White Returns!

 Good Morning my dear readers.

Perhaps you remember a while back I wrote a poem… and posted about a black and white cat visiting me in my Secret Garden.

The title of that post was: Pharaohs and Kings, dated February 7, 2014 and in that post, I wrote a poem about this beautiful cat.

And then in June,…our “Kitty Rescuer” friends rescued a very small black and white kitty, perilously close to a canal and Boat Ramp.

(you know how I give pet names to people). 😉 

I posted about this rescue briefly in my post…..Pharaohs and Kings Revisited dated June 17, 2014 and then I gave an update on July 8, titled Kitten, Gecko and Jesse Update!

And now, I wrote another poem….because the black and white cat visited me again this morning … while I was having my daily devotions, kitten in my lap…AND before the monsoon rain started pouring. 🙂 

Below is the poem I scratched this morning on the back of yesterday’s Church Bulletin insert.

 

 Kitty Kat Black…and White!

So you are back…my shy little friend,

got stories to tell… of where you’ve been?

lets catch up, do tell, cuz I 

haven’t seen you for quite a spell.

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Nothing has changed, in your haughty manner

you wear your aloofness,  just like a banner!

Are you eating right? You look a bit thin

who knows of all the places you’ve been?

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Not long after you left….this little kitten appeared

Rescued by Bud, this sweet tiny dear.

Her colors are black with white, just like you.

She was so small, she could fit in a  shoe.

 

Look how she sits, on my lap so content

not like you, hid in that fauna-like tent.

You are missing out, with your superior gaze

my petting and cooing and relaxing ways.

 

Now she is growing with loving care

Reminds me of you, …sitting up there

Could it be? I muse… as I stroke her hair

that you knew her somehow…somewhere, out there?

 

 Wait! what’s that?…a breeze in your eyes

making them water to look like a cry

I know you see her…your eyes tell the tale

I saw a very brief switch of your tail. 

 

Oh you are leaving? oh,  much too soon

perhaps you’ll come back before the full moon

I’ll still be here, in my favorite chair

with you on the fence, … way over there.

 

When it thunders and lightning dots the skies...Kitty Kitty wants in her play pen! :)

When it thunders and lightning dots the skies…Kitty Kitty wants in her play pen! 🙂

 

 By the way….it is still raining and the normally blue skies have turned gray….a good day to read a book! 🙂

Have a great start to your week!

New Mexico Baked Pasta Shells

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 PS…by the way, if you would like to read the other poem and posts for more background on this Kitty Kaper…put the post title in the search bar on the home page. 🙂

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

This post is going to be about College Basketball, not just any team, but the Kansas Jayhawks!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

If you have read any of my sports posts to this Blog, you will know that I am a big Jayhawk fan.

Monday evening, February 10… the Kansas Jayhawks played their in-state rival, the Kansas State Wildcats and after a really tight game, going into overtime…Kansas lost.

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It was a hard defeat to take… as Kansas University (KU) has won 48 of the last 51 games in this rivalry. In fact, the Kansas State Wildcats had not beaten Kansas since a meeting on Feb 14, 2011 and yes, Kansas lost that game too. As I watched the hundreds of students flood the court when the final buzzer sounded, it reminded me of that other lost game in February 2011. 

After losing to K-State, Kansas went on to finish the regular season 26–5, earned their 8th consecutive Big 12 title, and advanced to their 14th Final Four in school history.  No small feat!

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The Jayhawks did well at the 2011-2012 NCAA Tournament (what the sports world refers to as “The Dance”) …Kansas advanced all the way to the Final Four (Teams) of the tournament.

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 The Final Four was down to the Final two teams. The Kansas Jayhawks and the Kentucky Wildcats. …another Wildcat team 🙂  and they would face off in the Championship Game! 

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It was a great game but in the end…the Kansas Jayhawks ..would fall to the Kentucky Wildcats, 67–59.

Coach Calipari on the left and Coach Self on the right

Coach Calipari on the left and Coach Self on the right

The Kentucky Wildcats are a good team, coached by John Calipari, but each year most of the players on this team of talented players, do what the collegiate world calls “one and done”!  

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Coach Calipari recruits some of the best players in the nation and they go to University of Kentucky (UK) for one year and then they move on to the professional world of basketball, where all the money is.  

You will find the college sports world divided on which is the best for the players and the school.  I say that, to say this…when you read the poem I wrote in 2012 (below)…you will see the term “one and done” and you will understand its meaning….  If you didn’t already 😉 

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The Championship Game and KU’s loss to UK, inspired me to write a poem right after that game,… a parody of the 1888 poem “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest L. Thayer.  I resurrected that poem for this post.

I took the liberty of using the first 3 lines of Mr. Thayer’s famous poem and added more of my own prose!  

I am hoping the loss last night to Kansas State can be turned into a positive with KU returning to their winning streak and going on to the Final Four again this year… right up to winning the Championship Game in the March Madness.  It is time, KU…It is time! 

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My Ode to the Jayhawks!

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

There is no joy in Lawrence — the mighty Jayhawks have struck out.

 

“They” say UK was better with their stars who will move on 

We’ll see how these will do …these college one and done

There is honor in education and years of working as a team

The KU guys are “Self” taught, now headed for their dreams.

 

BUT We made it to the BIG Dance when no one said we would

We danced with different partners…winning like we knew we could

We danced amidst the jeers and shouts…this team from Kansas U

So there is a joy in Lawrence…we are so very proud of you! 

 

Kari        April 2012                                                          

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