Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Poem and Winter Chair

Ginger is in a duplicate of my chair.  She likes it, too.

I sat awake in my winter chair all night, unless I was pacing or going elsewhere...  for the second night this week, and it's only Tuesday.  I am going to be ultra careful of what I put in my stomach today.  I'll wait until something has been in there for at least an hour before I try something light and new.  And I'll nap.  Lots.

The thing I am struck with though, is that a number of lines came to me that were supposed to be written down in a poem.  They just suddenly showed up and flowed through my brain, but I had nowhere to write and nothing to write with, and I just didn't have the sense to hold onto it for long at all.  I had to just let it go.  But I know it was, well, I remember feeling like it was good at the time.  But it was somewhere between 2 am and 3:30 am I believe and my mind wasn't holding onto much.  I wish I'd been able to write it down to keep, but at the same time I am strangely happy that it at least came to me for a little while.

Ending this strange post today.  Needing a nap and some ginger.  Reversed order.

life started
frivolously heeled,
then grounded
became the norm.
Who walks on forest paths
in heels?
Who runs on beaches
drilling into sand?
Who climbs a mountain,
pushes a swing, jumps rope,
or wades in puddles
on tiptoes of patent leather?
Who sits any taller
curled in a beanbag
with goodnight story?
frivolously heeled
is for our tea party.

by Donna JT Smith

I used some of the thoughts I think I had and added to them.  Or I created this from scratch.  I really don't know.  Either way, I hope it makes you smile.  It is noon.  Naptime.  It is snowing.  Winter chair is waiting.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter Chair

It is Monday and there is snow on the ground.  It is cold.  I have been sick again.  Feeling quite a bit better this afternoon.  Tired from staying up all night Saturday into Sunday.  Slept well last night though.  Still catching up on sleep and may take a nap in just a bit.  The sun is beautiful today.  I like how it is warm through the windows.

Haiku to the winter: its sun and my chair:
Winter Chair

Blanketed in sun
Winter chair fits to a tea
Warming words and heart. 

It is not yet winter, and not yet 2018.  I had a year to write a poem a day, and I got off track.  I am going to go back over the year and see how much I got off track, and how much I actually did write.  Oh, I should count all the poems I did for the two books I wrote.  That is a fair number right there.  And I need to remember what I wrote and put on other blogs throughout the year.  So maybe I'm not terribly, horribly awful at keeping my resolution of a poem a day.  It may not have been a poem a day, but some times there were a number of poems in one day!

I am going to look back by Dec. 31 and see what the count is.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday's Found Poem: Haiku

Psalm 139

Thou knowest my thought
Made in secret, unperfect;
Precious are thy thoughts!

by Donna JT Smith

Found poem: a haiku from Psalm 139, KJV Bible.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Poetry Friday

The moon is gorgeous tonight. I'm feeling better. So good day all around.

A lemon haiku for today:

lemony moon rose
tonight's journey well crafted
across starry maze

by Donna JT Smith

I had a package from my Winter Exchange in the mail when I returned from PA!  Michelle Kogan sent me a too-cute package which I meant to take a picture of before ripping it open.  It was red tissue with straw raffia ribbon.  I set it aside to take a picture at least with the wrapping, but before I could do that, my cat discovered it and ate half the straw.  Then he threw it up on the basement stairs for me since it didn't settle well he said.  So I didn't get a picture of the wrapping.  It was gross by the time I got to it.

But the insides are still wonderful!

So I took two pictures...

Inside was a small handstitched journal with a beautiful picture by Michelle on the cover.  I am going to have to decide carefully what it is that I want to write in it.  I don't know that it feels enough like a "draft" book!  I may have to save it and carry it around for "fancy lines" that come to  me on the go, or "done deals" that I just want all in one place.  Decisions!
Thank you, Michelle, for the beautiful journal!

And then there is the colorfully illustrated poem, An Ode for a Northeastern Wood Turtle:

My favorite lines:
"If you see me in the wild, take my pic,
draw my portrait, my vivid neck - quick!"
A great warning plea from the turtle...scram!

We have wood turtles around here, and I always feel bad for them as I see them crossing the road.  Most people are pretty careful though and they are slow enough to avoid, so you hardly ever find one hit by a car!  We have local handpainted signs up along the road warning people from away about the turtles.  We even have a welcome turtle who greets visitors to our town.  Many a picture has been taken beside the turtle, who also gets dressed up on occasion for weddings, birthdays and new babies in town!

Thanks, Michelle, for your thoughtful gift, and amazing ode that reminds us of the wood turtle's plight!  Thanks to Tabatha Yeatts for creating and organizing this fun winter sport!

My winter exchange partner will be waiting for a package for just a tiny bit longer... so if you don't have anything yet, it could be me for whom you are waiting!  It's coming! I haven't forgotten!

And on a side note:

I got a copy of the book of poems I wrote for my grandson this Christmas. It needed a few edits, which I did and reordered for him.  He doesn't read my blog, so I'm safe saying it!  I received the book I made for my grand daughter a couple of weeks ago.  Both are books of poems which I hope they will enjoy over the years.  I have made my "photo" book into "trade" versions and ebooks.  The picture books are large, and relatively expensive, so the trade books are the way to go it appears.  The kids got the "photo" books, since they were a special gift.  You can take peek at the book "It's in Our Nature" here, and It's All About the Little Things here. I have to talk with Amazon Kindle and get the ebook for Kindle straightened out, but the iBook transferred just right for my iPad!


Please visit Lisa at Steps and Staircases for more links to poetry today and all week!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Spiritual First Thursday

Today's hostess, Irene Latham, is gathering us to reflect on our OLW for this year.  Mine is REACH.
It was a "stretch" for me to pick this word.  I don't see myself as a "REACHER".  And now looking at that word - with the er - it reminds me of the word "TEACHER", and perhaps I am wrong.  Perhaps I've always been a reacher, at least as soon as I became a teacher.

This past Sunday at church a boy, about 10 years old, sat next to me.  He had intended to sit in the pew in front of us as he usually does, but it was filled.  He is one that sometimes comes to church with another family, and he has energy to spare, and not many boundaries in his life.  When he comes to church, he sits in the pew with two other boys right in front of us.  Having him sit in front of me is always a challenge, to me - he's fine with it.  I want to tell him to sit still, be quiet, stop poking others, etc.  But I resist. I'm always quiet and try to focus on the message instead, despite the flurry of activity in my peripheral, and not so peripheral, vision.

But this afternoon, as he came in, he unexpectedly plunked down beside me, disappointed that he wasn't sitting in the pew ahead of me that was already filled with three boys his age.  He stretched a few times, and wiggled a bit, but for the most part was able to sit pretty still.

At the end of the service, as he was getting up, I asked him if sometimes he had trouble in school sitting still.  He said he did.  I told him some "grounding" techniques and asked if he'd heard of doing those before.  He had.  I suggested that he try them at church and told him how I appreciated how still he had been beside me and that sometimes when he is laughing and moving around during church, it is hard for me to pay attention.  He appeared to be listening.  I smiled and thanked him again and he smiled back.  Then I asked him if he had any trouble with eating chocolate.  His grin got wide, "No.  No, I don't have ANY problems with chocolate!"  Ah, he WAS listening.

I repeated my thanks for sitting so still during the service, reached into my bag and handed him the chocolate mini M & M's I had stashed in my bag for months - I guess for just this occasion!  And I told him he was welcome to sit with us any time.

He probably never will. And it may even take a few years for him to reach into the recesses of his memories and pull out this event again.  But maybe he will someday, and he will understand that someone reached out to him and tried to help.  Sometimes your reach isn't felt immediately.  Sometimes it is cumulative reaches.  Sometimes it is a delayed realization that you were reached for.

Sometimes I'm not even sure when I've reached or touched.  And I don't need to.

I've found since I had the word REACH, when in doubt about whether or not I should REACH OUT, I've begun to default to REACH.  And it feels good.  It goes well with the word BOLD from the year before, and both are beginning to mold my life into more active, fun and unexpectedly rewarding days.


When you try
to touch the sky,
sometimes you do,
but even if you don't,
you are happy that you
slowed down and stretched
up high and smiled
with the sun or rain
on your face. 

by Donna JT Smith, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday's Poetry Friday

I know it is not Friday.  It is Saturday.  But all day yesterday I was driving back from PA alone, and could neither post nor write.  I did write these two poems to go with Laura's 15 words or less on Thursday with the picture of the empty bike rack.  I was busy that day too, so never got to put them on her site.  And I'm kind of sick today, so this is getting late in the day.   It's hard to concentrate.

First thought was of why a bike rack would be empty in summer...
then fall..

Summer Bike Rack

Feet pumping
Heart thumping
Tangled hair
Without a care -
Empty rack
Till they're back!

Fall Bike Rack

Empty rack,
Winter's back!
Sled replaces,
Bike races;
Leaves swirling
No whirling
And steel!

Well, let's see who's hosting today.  I just have to hold it together for a few more minutes, and I'll have a  post.
Okay, got it!  Mary Lee Hahn is hosting the roundup at A Year of Reading.  Please treat yourself to some tea and poetry today and all week!
Now I'm going to lie down.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Found Poem: Psalm 116

Psalm 116

I love the Lord
He heard my voice;
Gracious, merciful Lord,
I offer thanksgiving.
Praise ye the Lord!

by Donna JT Smith

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday's Found Poem

Today's found poem is from Psalm 100: 1-5 in the KJV Bible.  It developed nicely into a Haiku today.

 Psalm 100: 1-5
Make a joyful noise,

Serve with gladness, Come singing:
His truth endureth.

I hope you have a wonderful day!  Do something good or fun, or both, that you have fond memories of for a long time - perhaps for even longer than the winter!

Saturday, November 18, 2017


I told you I'd tell you about the Metaphor workshop today, but unfortunately I was only able to attend for about an hour.  I kept hearing an insistent buzz from my cell phone across the room, and finally went to see what was up.  We had a family emergency that I couldn't deal with there.  It would require extended time out of the class, so I had to excuse myself.  Rachel said she would send me the comments on my poem, as well as the comments on the other participants' poems.  So I am awaiting those in snail mail.

Meanwhile this week I helped a friend compile a book in Blurb, and because I was going to help her, I refreshed my skills in Blurbify by writing and assembling the book I was going to make for my 3 year old grand daughter for Christmas.  Here's a page from it:

Just a little while ago
Some eggs were slowly hatching
Now you see chicks everywhere
Pecking, eating, scratching!

I am now editing out the dedication page and making it available for sale on Blurb by the end of the day today.  Of course the pictures and text are clearer in real life, since I've pixeled it down some for a web page.  Each page has an image, a short poem, and a question for young reader "audience".  I'm excited to give it to her, and will have to think about ways to separate it from the hubbub of some glittery toy so she notices it!  I should have added a princess page - that was a mistake

Michelle Barnes is celebrating the availability of her second amazing anthology of poems from her Today's Little Ditty blog challenges.  You can pick up a copy here:

The Best of Today's Little Ditty 2016 is available 

 in paperback for $9.95 or as a Kindle ebook for $5.95.

Click HERE to purchase at Amazon.com
It is beautifully illustrated by Teresa Robeson. Read her interview with Teresa here.
Today of course, is Saturday, but because I MEANT this to be posted on Friday, I'm linking it to Poetry Friday where it is being hosted by Jane Whittingham at Raincity Librarian. Go there to connect with lots of great links to poetry and poets!

My Five Word Thankful thought for today:

Brought to You By the Letters

Alphabet's versatility =
messages for posterity

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Acts 1: 4-11

Acts 1: 4-11

wait for the promise
it is not for you
to know the times
ye shall receive power
and be witnesses
unto the uttermost part of the earth.
he was taken up
out of their sight
they looked stedfastly toward heaven
two men in white apparel said
“why stand ye gazing 
up into heaven?
Jesus shall come
as ye have seen him go”

This was an answer to prayer this morning.  I love when that happens.

THIS morning (Monday), I looked at it again, and decided to tweak some more, just for fun and see if I could condense further.  And I like it better now.

Acts 1: 4-11
wait for the promise -
it is not
for us to know
the times -
receive power,
be witnesses
unto the earth;
Jesus shall come
as seen go 

And He is still a help to me.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Metaphor for Today

Today I have a metaphor workshop. As preparation prior to the workshop, this past week we were sent some readings to do about the topic, and copies of all 12 participants' poems.  We are to find positives in each poem, making note of rhythm, line breaks, word usage, etc.

As I read, I am getting a better handle on what they are talking about in writing poems of metaphor.  As I read the other poems, I am getting scared.  Mine is nothing like the others.  The others are more "grown up", more sophisticated; and some I just don't understand.  I feel like the Grandma Moses in a group of Rembrandts!

I'm already thinking of edits to my poem, not Rembrandt quality, but at least more to the point of the workshop!  I have written a couple or three short poems using metaphors that I think may be closer to what I should be trying for.

This growing is painful, or exciting...I'm not sure.  Ha!  I think I had those emotions in childbirth, too!  Now there's the beginning of a metaphor for you.

The Birth of a Poem

She thought she knew
Before it grew;
Excitement brewing,
Thoughts all stewing,
Then came the clue
There'd be pain, too!
Sometimes a flow,
Then times more slow;
But this she knew,
There was joy, too.

Donna JT Smith

I'll let you know how Grandma Moses felt or did next Friday.
Until then, keep perusing the list of poems at Jama's Alphabet Soup for Poetry Friday this week!  Jama's serving some delicious doughnuts!


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Found Poem 2 Peter 3: 1-28

Sunday's Found Poem from the KJV Bible:

2 Peter 3: 1-28

I stir up 
The Lord will come
as a thief in the night;
heavens shall pass,
earth burned.
What ought ye to be?
Diligent, without spot,
Grow in grace,
and the knowledge 
of Christ - 
to him be glory
for ever. 

By Donna JT Smith, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017

Friday, November 3, 2017


It is Poetry Friday.
It is Poetry Friday whether you have electricity or not.
(Update:  WE HAVE POWER!)  Ours went out at 2:30 am on Monday...see yesterday's post.
The storm we had was called a bomb cyclone.  They are caused by a sudden drop in atmospheric pressure.  I guess it was instigated by Tropical Storm Philippe that merged with a cold front (I'd call it  collision, not a merging...but hey, I'm not a weather expert) right over Maine.
But it is still Poetry Friday.  And on Wednesday, I had time to be at Starbucks with lots of other cravers of WiFi and coffee. I had time at LL Bean's coffee shop on the first day of no power.  They had WiFi and iced coffee and iced tea.  No lights.  Just the essentials.

Here's my storm poem.  It's been fun hanging out watching people starving for the Internet and coffee.


We are tethered
to the wall,
Power surges
feeding all;
Lifeblood's concourse,
should it fall,
As a leach minds
nature's call,
So we'll wander
and we'll crawl
Seeking outlets
in the mall
Ere our iPad
starts to stall
With no power
All's a pall.

by Donna JT Smith

Visit more Poetry Friday offerings with the electric Linda Baie at Teacher Dance!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Spiritual Journey First Thursday


Fourth day with no power.  Still have to be careful of trees resting on wires, closed roads, etc.
I am so sorry for making this long, but I started writing it when I found out the topic, and it so nicely coincided with the storm, and all the things that happened that, though on the surface seemed difficulties, were actually blessings and true reasons for deep gratitude.

Colossians 3:15 - And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
This should be an easy one.  On the first Thursday of each month Irene Latham has arranged for us to post and be hosted about a topic selected by the host of the day.
Today's hostess is Karen and our topic is Gratitude, the roundup is Here on Irene's site.

This week has been full of reasons to be grateful, to have a heart filled with gratitude.  We started off the week, on Sunday, at church, where people were talking about preparing for the storm.  "What storm?"  I had no idea there was a storm coming.  That is mostly because we don't get much in the way of news or weather now.  We mostly watch Netflix.  There's not fast Internet where we live and we don't get cable.  We had a dish, but there are so many trees and leaves, it wasn't reliable.  So basically we don't get TV, and news is only if we remember to look online.

We checked the Weather Channel on our phones.  And yes, there was a storm coming with hurricane force winds and plenty of rain.  My, my, yes.  Plenty of rain.  Just look at that band of green, yellow, orange and red coming at us enmasse.
I was so grateful people had warned us of the coming storm.  I was grateful for being able to easily check the Weather Channel.

When we got home, we took all items off our porch and tucked the Weber grill in the garage, where it was time for it to go anyway.  Then we waited.  Our generator was on the porch ready, and I asked my husband if it still worked.  He assured me it did and it had gas in it.  We'd used it last winter.  No, we hadn't.  But okay.  It works.

That night, early morning...2:30 am....I awoke to the wind howling and the shuddering of the house as it tried to die.  Off, on, off, on, off...beep (I think the smoke alarms were protesting).  Then on, off, on, off...beep...repeat, repeat, dead.

And it has remained dead.  Four days and counting.

When it was real morning, my husband got up and started the generator...not.  It was dead.  It had gasoline, it started, but it wouldn't continue running.  Hmmm.  Not so grateful about that... but not to worry.  Let's just focus on what we CAN do.

We waited for a few hours before venturing out to see if there was power anywhere else. The dog ran out in the rain, then we wiped her feet and back and fed her.  She was so wiggly grateful!  It would be nice to have coffee and breakfast.  I'd be wiggly grateful, too!

We left the house unprepared for the massive outages, powerlines down and trees crossing the roads.  Our one McDonald's in the area was on generator power, and was open!  Its usually colorful screens were displaying the LG emblem on a black background... and it was packed.  Surrounding towns had discovered our little haven of hashbrowns.

Though it was shoulder to shoulder packed with people waiting for food, everyone was in good spirits.  We thought our son was coming to join us, so we ordered two extra sandwiches.  But he was already trying to weave his way through wires and trees to make it to work, so didn't show.  We gave our sandwiches away, to someone waiting.  How fun it that?  I was thankful to be able to do that.  The recipient was thankful to have them.

Then we began our search for a generator.   We gradually headed inland and north a ways where the storm didn't seem as devastating. Still there were none to be had; others had already been there before us.

Oh the second morning, I happened to text my brother to see how he'd fared and let him know that we had no power and our generator had chosen this time to stop working.  We live on an island with basically one main road that ends literally on a dock into the ocean (and yes, people have driven off the end accidentally in the fog), so when they are looking to restore power, we are not top on the list, since heading our way is a dead end - not on the way to another town until you hit London.

Anyway, he had a generator he was getting rid of!  I should have texted him the day before!  But if I had, I wouldn't have seen my sister at a McDonald's and had a nice breakfast chat with her.  We are only about 45 minutes away from each other, but don't see each other as much as we should.  On our way to get the generator (about an hour south of us), my sister came in one side door, as we came in the opposite side, and we met at the counter.   We both grinned in surprise!  This was neither of our local McD's, and neither of us frequented this one.  So it was a chance meeting, and I was grateful for the opportunity to touch base with her.  She had no power either, and was out in search of food, as we were.

Got our generator...

Then we discovered that the connector we had on the house was an OLD four prong one, and this generator was the newer style four pong.  We could, however, still use an extension cord and directly connect our refrigerator to the generator through our kitchen window.  Sweet!  Our food was all spoiled, BUT we could accommodate our son's freezer full of meat after emptying ours!  I was grateful we could save what he had.  It was a LOT of frozen meat.

The search for an adapter continued.

On Wednesday morning I had an idea - maybe our contractor would have some idea of an out of the way place that would sell generator supplies.  He came up with a local and lesser known place than Lowe's or HD to check. We scurried off to see if they had the part!  But when we got there we were told that the last one had just been sold.  We sat in the parking lot looking on our phones for another option.  Suddenly we had a knock on the window and were asked to come back in the supply store, they'd just found one.  Someone who worked there had evidently set one aside for himself to purchase.  I am so grateful to him.  I hope he has a working generator or power - he probably does, but wanted to make sure he was ready for the next storm. What a blessing!

So much to be thankful for - we got a generator just in time to save all the frozen meat my son had in his freezer, in spite of all odds.  We got a part we needed when it looked pretty bleak.  We were able to keep warm, find gas, find food, talk to strangers as friends.

Being without power does not mean we are powerless.  In some ways it gives us more power than we knew we had.  We call on reserves we had forgotten existed.  We call on friends.  We depend on others.  They call on us.  

Again, I'm sorry this is so long.
Oh, I forgot.  I'm thankful that we bought some remote controlled LED puck lights to try under the cabinet lighting a few days before the storm.  Boy, did they come in handy, and you can carry them to any room for light!  Simple blessings, little things that still give me a grateful heart.


Philippians 4:11 - Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I am content.
Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday's Found Poem

Sunday's Found Poem from the KJV Bible:

Deuteronomy 31: 6-13
Fear not,
       will not fail thee.
Be of good courage,
       The Lord
       will be with thee
As long as ye live.

     by Donna JT Smith

Friday, October 27, 2017

Metaphor for My Life

In November I will be going to a writing workshop given by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.  It is over an hour away, but (or should that be "and"?) I think it will be fun.
The workshop is called "The Magic of Metaphor" and is being given by Rachel Contreni Flynn.
For the workshop, each participant must submit one poem for critique, a week before the class.  So here's mine.  Started yesterday, tweaked and expanded this morning.  I think I'm done.  I hope so.  I'm at least finished.

Caught in Cotton

My life, a quilt,
With coffee spilt,
Hand stitched, it holds,
Pieced new and old
Some thinning parts
And softer spots
A mix of hues
And scattered knots.
Most threads are taut
Though some uncaught.
Uneven seams
That capture dreams.
And over there
A little tear.
Or was that a tear?
A tear or tear; it isn’t clear
Unless you hear.

True blue, blood red,
In layers spread.
I wrap myself in
Undone frays,
But shed
Each thread
When comes the day.
Then handed down
In measured folds
Caught in cotton -
Memories told
Pieced together
Daughters to sons
In new quilts spun
But all the while
My fabric’s there;
My life, a quilt,
Had much to share.

Donna JT Smith, October 26, 2017

Enjoy more Poetry Friday with our hostess, Brenda, at Friendly Fairy Tales today.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


It's Sunday 2 of my "Found Poems" in the Bible - a bit of experimental poetry from verses of the KJV - snippets in order as found in those verses.

Genesis 1: 9-16

God made
Land, Seas;
Grass, herb,
And tree
Day and night
Signs for seasons,
Two great lights

By Donna JT Smith

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oh, Pumpkin!

Last week we drove through Damariscotta, where they were having their annual pumpkin fest...
There was a huge crane hoisting a giant pumpkin for a weigh-in and a huge crowd was gathered - well, huge for Maine anyway.  There were a few hundred people there and more roaming the main road to view decorated pumpkins on the sidewalk.

These are not your run of the mill giant Jack-o-Lanterns - these are huge, unglobal fruits that take on personalities.  And the grower of each pumpkin goes with whatever the pumpkin is calling out to them as they decorate it and turn it into the something grand it was yearning to be!
Here are a few examples:

We usually see the Regatta, where they have carved out the inside of the pumpkin to make a boat.  Then they attach a motor and try to ride around the bay with it.  Some work quite well.  We missed that this year, unfortunately.  But if you ever get a chance to see it, I highly recommend this Fest and Regatta!

Oh, Pumpkin!

Oh pumpkin, oh, pumpkin
you're such a fine fellow
a whole lot of orange 
a little bit yellow
sometimes with some green
and tinges of brown
and all will make way
when you roll into town! 
you may be a mermaid
an owl or otter
a tooth with a brush
just ready to totter,
but inside you're all pulp
with some seeds and some goop
and I want to have you
perched out on my stoop
for you are a pumpkin -
finest gourd of the fall
and I like you bestest of 
any and all.

Donna JT Smith
Time for more poetry at A Day in the Life, with Leigh Ann who is hosting Poetry Friday today!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Phew!

Yesterday I got part of a thought with Laura's 15 Words or Less, but didn't get back to share there.  So I'm posting today to go with her awesome image of a rescued owl.


Night mapping,
Mouse trapping,
Feather wrapping,
Talon tapping,
Beak snapping,
Wing flapping,
Day napping?


by Donna JT Smith

Yesterday they installed my countertop in the house we are in now. 
I love them!

 With the new steps we built and installed ourselves, 
 the redone driveway,

and the new countertop - it has green, white and touches of garnet -
I don't want to move now! 

Things are coming together here!  I know I'll feel better once the kitchen in Friendship starts to come together, too...another story, another day... it is a long story.

Back to Poetry Friday at Irene's place!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Good Morning, Sunshine!

When I wrote the title, it suddenly came to me that my mother used to say that to me in the morning when I awoke.  I could almost hear her happy voice saying, "Good morning, Sunshine!" to me.  I wonder if I was "sunshine" in the morning, or if she was just trying to "make it so"!  Ah, we'll never know. At any rate, I'm sitting here in the dark of morning, having just brewed some coffee atop our billowing painter's wrap countertop.  And I am going to go have me some...
Note paper cup...I don't have a sink in the kitchen, so we're minimizing the inconvenience of washing dishes when and where we can!
Okay, I had to change to a real cup...I'll go to the trouble of washing it.  Coffee is more welcoming this way!

Welcome, Fall Morning

The dark
Is so much
Later in the morning;
My coffee stares up at me
With its large unblinking brown eye
Wondering why
I would wake it up
Before the sun;
And I have No Answer,
Except that I want
To be there to greet the
New day
As it inches its way
Through the parting leaves of maples,
When it sends shafts of light
Between the birches,
To set their skin aglow;
And finally lifts the
Blackness to reveal the green
Of spruce and hemlock;
I will be there to feel it cut through the cold
Drafts of air to arrive at my
As I stand
With my
Warm welcome home
In my hands.

by Donna JT Smith

Though I don't think we will see much sun today, I'm up and waiting anyway!
Have a wonderful day!
Reflecting on a cup of coffee.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Kitchen, a Driveway, Some Steps and a Poem

I have been so time aware lately.  Aware that the time for working on the house is drawing to a close - or at least to a time when it is not as convenient to do so.

We are NOT in our new house yet.  You may remember that I said we'd had a hiccup with the first kitchen installation, and they ordered us all new cabinets with redesign in areas that needed tidying up some. Here's a photo from the first set that was returned:

So the next set of cabinets arrived in 8 weeks.  The workmanship on them was horrid this time - like they were in a huge hurry to get them here, so they skipped a few steps like: looking for cracks, making sure the cabinet sides were the same size, making sure they had all the coats of paint on, making the surface smooth, making sure no glue made huge drips at the edges, butting the mitered joints together tightly... I could continue, but you get the picture.  My contractor tried installing a few, but they weren't going together well.  I saw them and immediately cried, of course, because that's what you do when you are at the end of your rope.

We are on our third try for a kitchen.  We are not having a big box store do it this time.  We have a custom cabinet guy who is really excited about the possibilities of this house even though it is a tiny kitchen.  The very fortunate thing is that we ARE getting all our money back on the returned kitchen.  We have been waiting to see if we were going to have to take the matter to arbitration to try to get a refund, but it looks as if we won't now!

Then at the house we are in, we decided to upgrade the kitchen and take the formica countertop out and put in granite and a new sink.  So in order to template for the new granite, my husband and son took out the formica and we are going with a new look until it is installed.

The plastic is because - I think I've mentioned a long time ago that we had a house fire of sorts where a tv burned up in our basement, sending slimy, plastic soot throughout the house, coating everything.  It even came up between the showerstalls and walls, necessitating the removal of the showers.  We also had to refinish all the walls to seal in the soot.  All for me.  I got these uncontrollable coughing jags whenever I went in the house.

The plastic is because the formica countertop's under surface and the plywood on the now exposed ends of the cabinets all have soot on them.  We discovered that when I went into coughing fits again.  I couldn't believe it!  But I ran a wet paper towel across the newly exposed surfaces, and it came up with the familiar gray, black, non-particulate crud that was in the house when I couldn't live there.

The plastic seems to be working.  I'm back in the kitchen for the second time in three days.  I've been either out of the house or holed up in the bedroom with the air purifier on.
I can hardly wait for the countertop to arrive!

We took our front steps off to replace them.  That means we don't have a set of steps to get out of our house.  We never did get back steps or a deck for this house (though it was supposed to be in the works years ago - the crew never arrived to do it, and we never pursued it again).

Because it started raining on and off yesterday, we couldn't finish the job.  Ginger had to be lifted off the porch to get out...oh, so confusing to a young and very solid Yellow Lab.  She isn't used to being picked up, let alone carried off high places...we tried making a ramp for her so she could get back up on her own, but nope.   So this morning our goal is to get the steps finished very early so she can use them before breakfast!  We were able to stain them and get the stringers leveled last night, and stain the tops of the steps.  I'm going to stain the bottom sides this morning and we'll attach them still wet.

Did it!  I know, it's a mess out there still...old steps, rock pile, saw... but we're getting there!

I forgot to mention that we got in and out of the house via a ladder and crawling through a space in our railing.  Steps are still damp, so I guess Ginger gets to be carried again.  This stain is supposed to dry in 2 hours, but it seems like it's going to be more like 4 days. Good thing our railing isn't quite legal in most areas - there is just enough space to crawl through!

Oh, and then there's the driveway here.  Trying to get that all squared away before winter to ward off the mudseason that follows winter, and to get ready to sell this place.

And finally, the awareness of time left to ride is setting in.  It is almost time to park the bikes for the winter.  It has been a glorious summer for riding.  I've even been able to ride in for some of my Teacher Mentoring and Certification work this fall.  But each morning it takes longer and longer for the day to heat up enough, and it's earlier and earlier for setting sun to end the day.  
I want more days for this:

Ok, time to finish the steps!  The dog wants out!

A found poem from the above:

time aware -
aware that the time
is drawing to a close 
each morning it takes
longer for the day to heat up
it's earlier for setting sun 
to end the day
I want more

 by Donna JT Smith, 10/7/2017