Watercolor Splotches

I’ve been experimenting with Watercolor Splotches. The idea is that you put puddles of watercolor on the paper and blow on it through a straw. What happens next gives you the theme of your picture.  When I saw that these splotches dried holding hands, I knew it was love.

WATERCOLOR SPLOTCH FIGURES



 

Focus on Coffee – Day 5

COFFEE - CLASSIC WHITE

I have a little coffee poem for you today.
Enjoy:

LIFE’S NECESSITIES

Of life’s necessities I’ve made a list.
Coffee’s there, and at the top it sits.
Some think I would give chocolate highest place;
To their surprise that’s simply not the case.
For chocolate, though my fav’rite candy treat,
Which quite enthusiastically I greet,
Still has a drawback, for when I indulge,
It has the power to add another bulge.
Plus it makes me thirsty after all,
So then for something wet I have to call.
That’s why I put it second on my list.
And coffee gets first place, I must insist.
Besides that, coffee always smells so great,
And when it’s brewing, I can hardly wait
For that first sip — so warm and rich and pure.
For agitated life, it’s nature’s cure.


photo: courtesy of Methawee Krasaeden @ pixabay.com



 

Focus on Coffee — Day 2

COFFEE SET - SUNFLOWER -- Alexa_Foto - PX

photo: Alexa_Foto @ pixabay.com

Wow, when I saw this coffee cup and saucer, I just could not resist posting about it. It’s absolutely beautiful, and it makes me want to brew a fresh pot of coffee right now. Unfortunately, all I have is a picture of this set and not the real thing.

I do love unusual coffee mugs. I have one shaped like an owl, one of red cut-glass with a pedestal, one that’s huge clear glass with dancing snowmen all around it, another that looks like a big pink bowl and is covered in pictures of cape cod shells, a delicate white cup and saucer trimmed in gold with a raised fleur de li on the front of the cup, another rather heavy glass mug from the Smoky Mountains — tan with dark brown interior, and with a black bear hanging onto the handle. Oh, my list could go on forever. Even just my collection of Christmas coffee cups would fill an entire post.

My sister and I both love coffee cups and mugs, and almost every time we go shopping we purchase at least one. Now, that doesn’t mean we have a place to put them when we get them home. We both have cabinets full of cups and mugs, and we both say that we need to stop buying them. But — well — it’s just soooooo much fun when we come across another one that catches our eye. And it’s even more fun to fill them with coffee and sip from them.

Needless to say, I have a lot of choices when I get ready to pour my coffee. It would be great fun to use a different one for each cup of the day, but to tell the truth — since I don’t have a dishwasher — and I have so many other interesting things to spend time on besides washing dishes — I avoid soiling too many in any 24-hour period. So I confess that I generally choose one cup for the day and use it all day — for coffee or tea — whichever I’m having at the time.  Oh-oh — did I say tea?   Well, excuse me. I know this is a “Focus on Coffee” post, but sometimes — just occasionally, mind you — I do get a hankering for a cup of hot tea. But if it came to being forced to make a choice, coffee would certainly win, hands down.

Now, I need to go online and see if I can find someplace to purchase this lovely sunflower coffee set.  In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying your own coffee this evening.



 

It’s the Principle of the Thing

I was just meandering through some of my old, old flash fiction this weekend, and happened across this little story. I decided that during this unique time of absenting ourselves from routine cosmetic care, this little gem might lighten the day for a few people.


BARBER POLE - CLIPARTIT’S THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING

Albert, the town barber, whistled as he walked the few blocks to his shop, key in hand. But as he rounded the corner, he saw that he had a customer impatiently waiting at the door.

“I thought you’d never get here!” the customer said.

Albert’s eyes grew round.

“Come on,” the customer urged. “Let’s get inside.”

Albert unlocked the door and followed his customer in, returning his keys to his pocket and unfolding a clean cape, while all the time never taking his eyes off his guest.

“Well, don’t just stand there,” the customer said, now in the chair. “Quick! Get me shaved.”

“Oh … I couldn’t!  I just couldn’t!” Albert said, as he gently wrapped the cape around the customer. “Why, that’s the most perfect beard I’ve ever seen.”

“What!?!?”

“Why, it’s thick and velvety, with perfect color. Every barber longs for a customer with a beard like that to care for.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!  What’s wrong with you, man?”

“I’ll delight in trimming it for you, but I could never shave it off.”

“But you must! I’m not leaving this chair until you do!”

Albert shook his head.

“Now look here,” the customer shouted. “I’ll pay you double your normal price. But get me shaved now!”

Albert looked genuinely concerned, but continued to shake his head.

“No, it would be a shame to do it” He said. “I’m very sorry if it upsets you, M’am.  But I will not shave off your beard.”

~~~

 

Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 7

Well, I just have to post one more video of Jeanne Robertson. And I have to be honest: I had never heard of a Pashmina until I saw this video. I thought everybody where I come from just wore shawls. But, then, lo and behold, when I told my sister about this video, I discovered that she knew all about pashminas — and even had one. Maybe I should explain that I’m not exactly a hermit, but I do tend to keep to myself a lot …… 🙂

Enjoy:



 

Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 6

 

Rarely have I laughed so hard as when I’ve listened to Jeanne Robertson. And knowing that all of her stories are true makes them even more funny. After all, life really is funny a lot of the time, and as long as we are willing to ‘let our hair down’ enough to laugh out loud at those experiences, we can glean the healing and health available to us in that laughter.

 



 

Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 5

 

ANTIQUE SIGN

 

A VESSEL OF STERLING

While browsing antique shops, I made a great find!
Unearthed a rare treasure. Never saw one in kind.

An elegant bowl, with a handle and lid;
Beneath so much tarnish, it’s true beauty hid.

Though black with the ages, I hugged it to me;
I paid the man gladly and danced home with glee.

Polished and rubbed to a radiant glow,
On party buffet my prize purchase would show.

It gleamed and it glowed, holding punch the next day,
When – horror of horrors – I heard a guest say:

“Heaven help us! Is this the best silver you’ve got?
I’ll not drink my punch from an old chamber pot!”

~~~



 

Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 3

This is one of my favorite Don Knotts scenes from the Andy Griffith Show. I’ve loved this show since I was a kid, and I have more than 200 episodes in my own collection. I just watched this segment again today, and I’ll bet you a month’s salary that you can’t watch it all the way through without laughing out loud.

Of course, I should add that since I’m a freelance writer, my salary isn’t always the same every month. Sometimes it’s a lot, and sometimes its zero. So don’t waste your time trying to win the bet. It isn’t worth it. Just go ahead and laugh out loud.  🙂

 



 

Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 2

THE FOOT TEST

FEET, CLKER.COM 2 - credits

I know in this old world, it’s sad, but true:
Emotional relationships can fail.
And marriages, though formerly ’til death,
Now change as fast as color on the nails.

But I’m convinced our troth will still endure.
I’m sure of you as you are sure of me.
I know because we’re comfortable together
When on the same footstool we prop our feet.

What better test of faithfulness and trust,
Than doffing shoes and bravely baring toes.
Our feet look comfy, happy, and complete,
And for commitment’s sake we hold our nose.

 

~~~
photo: clker.com

 

Laughter Is Good Medicine — Day 1

I think it’s past time for a new series from me, and in light of the heaviness weighing on people all over the world right now, I’m feeling led to offer just a touch of humor on a daily basis — for the next 7 days — in the hope it will help us laugh a little. The Word of God says, “A Merry heart does good like a medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22). And Reader’s Digest used to have a joke page with the heading “The most completely lost of all days is that on which one has not laughed.”  I agree whole-heartedly with both those sentiments. So let’s laugh a little and make ourselves feel better.

Of course, everyone has his own idea of what’s funny, but I’m going to do my best to give you a good variety of subject matter, attitude, and genre in this series. For the first installment, I’m reposting a short story from several years ago. I re-read this story myself periodically, and I have to say that I still enjoy it as much now as I did when I wrote it. I hope you do as well.

ANTHROPOLOGY 101

JUNGLE ISLAND 2

My marriage to an anthropologist was educational – and short. Herman loved his work and was really quite vain about it. He honestly believed that there was no people group that he could not figure out and eventually befriend – even when scores of others in his field had failed.

For years, he had been studying one particular tribe of natives on a tiny island in the Pacific that most ship’s captains refused as a port of call. The tribe was said to be cannibalistic, but my Herman just knew that he could convert them after explaining how much he had studied them in order to become their friend.

On looking back, I suppose that I should have put my foot down and refused when he insisted we honeymoon on the island. But he was so certain that he could convince the natives to help him with his research. So, as usual in our relationship, I acquiesced. My friends and family scolded me for my attitude. They said Herman should be treating me like a goddess rather than just ordering me around and dragging me off to some God-forsaken island to begin our marriage.

When we booked passage on the ship, we had to pay for a skiff as well because the captain told us that he would anchor far offshore, and we would have to go the rest of the way on our own. When we left the ship, he reminded us again what fools he considered us. But Herman insisted that he had everything under control.

We hadn’t been on the island more than an hour before the tribe captured us. They were quite large – both men and women – and exceedingly dark in coloring. They bound Herman immediately and tied him to a large pole at one end of their village. I was shaking like a leaf as they approached me, but they just looked at me with wide eyes and smiles, while making the most excited conversation with each other. I could understand only a very small part of what they said – mainly by their actions.

Then four of them brought a huge carrier – sort of a chair supported between two long poles and carried by the natives. One of the men – seemingly the chief – took my hand and escorted me to the chair. They then carried me ceremoniously into the center of the village and escorted me to an elevated area on which sat a throne – all inlaid with gold. I sat, still quaking inside, but almost too overcome by my curiosity to concentrate on being afraid.

Next they placed a crown of the most exquisite jewels on my head and then bowed down to the ground in front of me. Finally, I spoke and asked in my own language for an explanation. One young man came forward and spoke to me in my native tongue to explain.

Evidently my golden blond hair was a sign to them. They had been expecting the goddess of their tribe to come to them in person for many years, and the sign of her true identity was that her head would shine like the sun. So I’m to be worshiped and given every one of my heart’s desires forever. I suppose one might say that, in a way, it’s thanks to Herman that I’m being treated like a goddess.

Of course, they prepared a huge feast in celebration of my arrival, and I guess everyone would have to admit that Herman truly did give his all for the cause of getting to know this tribe of people better. Naturally, I declined any food.

I certainly miss Herman, but I have to admit that what worries me more is what will happen when my roots start to grow out.



When Violets Aren’t Violet

VIIOLETES - Anelka -- PX

Roses are red;
Violets are ———- purple!

Doesn’t it bother anyone that numerous poets for centuries have painted those innocent little violets blue?  Of course, I know that there are, indeed, some strains of violets that are more blue — and even some that are pink and white. But I have to believe that they are the exception, because, after all, the very name of these flowers is spelled  v-i-o-l-e-t.

However, I’m not really complaining about the color of violets. I just got to thinking about that particularly well-known poetic line and about how we as poets really do feel we have our own kind of literary license. What is it about poets that makes them think they can write just anything they want to write as long as it rhymes and keeps the meter smooth and uninterrupted?  Well, I’ll tell you what it is about us:

We love words — the sounds of words — the rhythm of words — the music of words. And we love playing around with lots of different numbers of syllables. We love to hear consonants repeated, vowels repeated, digraphs repeated. And if we need to turn a sentence around backwards to get the right rhythm — or leave out a couple letters replaced by an apostrophe — or go beyond the norm with hyperbole — well, it’s all part of what we see as our job —— and to be honest —— it’s part of the FUN of writing poetry.

True poets follow rules of meter and rhyme and correct use of figurative language. But we also follow rules of emotion, yearning, and imagination.  So, yes, we do believe that it’s okay if we altar reality a bit here and there or say things backwards. If it helps make the poem touch a heart, grab the imagination, take the reader to another realm, or tickle his funny-bone, we figure we’ve done our job well.

And, personally, I think that’s why a poem can speak to readers in such unique ways. People don’t always realize it when they are reading a poem, but it’s those quirky kinds of things — those little excursions away from what is generally the “accepted” pattern — that has caused many a poem to grab a place in the reader’s mind and heart and stay there.

So okay … here’s my version:

Roses are red;
Violets are blue;
We don’t always stick
With only what’s true.
We’re looking for words
With meter and rhyme,
And if we can’t find them,
We might tend to whine.
So cut us some slack;
We’re doing our best.
If a poem gives you pleasure,
It passes the test.



 

Too Old For a Valentine???

 

VALENTINE SIGN FOR OLD LADY“Please, won’t you be my valentine?”
That’s the slogan on my sign
As up and down the street I trudge,
But can’t get any hearts to budge.
It could be I’m too blatantly
Begging someone to love me.
Perhaps if I were less profuse
The guys would then be less obtuse.
But when you’re pressing 101
And haven’t much time left for fun,
It seems a shame to take it slow —
Playing hard-to-get, you know.
But I just thought of something more:
It could be at the problem’s core
Is simply there’s no hearts to win
‘Cause there’s no hundred-year-old men.


Please don’t ask me where this came from because I don’t have a clue. I’m still a long way from a hundred and one. And I know I broke some grammar rules, but that’s one of the really great things about poetry: You can get away with stuff you could never get away with in prose.  🙂
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!



 

Rain Poems

It’s been raining here for two whole days, so I thought it was only fitting that I write about rain. Since I’m in a poetic mood, I decided I’d give myself a little workout and do one haiku, one cinquain, and one simple iambic pentameter verse about that subject.

heavy-rain-tree-for-background.jpg

HAIKU

Everything is gray.
Rain hanging like a curtain.
No sun peeping in.


CINQUAIN

Raining!
Again today!
I just have to complain:
All is gray and wet and dreary!
Boring!


IAMBIC PENTAMETER VERSE

Another boring day of endless rain.
We don’t need this much water every day.
Sunshine is now a fading memory.
The birds won’t even come out now to play.

I know some tribes have dances that they do
To bring the rain when grounds are parched and bare.
I wonder if there is another dance
To end the rain and turn the weather fair.