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Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Thirty-One

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.

Small Stone, July 2014, Thirty-first

Stop. Listen! What's that sound?

In the early hours, as darkness cedes to light and an unseasonable chill has settled on my room, the sound of my own breathing and the hiss of water heating in the coffee maker. Putting on my slippers, I walk in my groggy fog to the kitchen and pour a cup of that magic elixir. As I settle into my recliner and pull a quilt around my shoulders, the soft footfalls hurrying down the hallway herald the arrival of my morning companions. As the cats curl up on my feet, I open the laptop and hear the soft mechanical purr of cooling fans, whispering in the stillness. Soon, the click of my fingernails on the keys is added to the morning symphony.  Another day is upon me. All is well at Little Beaver Creek.



July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Thirty-One

I shall not write the words that say
what lies upon my heart.
Locked away the teardrops stay,
nevermore to start.
Stubborn heart - refuse to weep.
Stoic in the task.
Dreadful secrets so to keep -
(determined not to ask)
Foolish girl! (whisper away
I hear it in my head)
Lest the thought will wander - stray
Or even dare be said.
I shall love you 'til I die -
Through truth and even lie.





Thirty-first Noticing, July 2014

Imperfect Ten + 3 

Day has come Night is done I lost some (Battles) Some I won

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Thirty

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.

Small Stone, July 2014, Thirtieth

With each loss I endure, I fight the fear I will become a solitary old woman who clings fiercely to her past griefs, sorrows, and failures for cold comfort in the winter of her days. 





July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Thirty

An Alliterative Airstream Activates Alternative Actions 



Winsome wind wanders wonderfully within woodland 

Lithesome lavender lightly leans lusciously left
Bored blue borage becomes broadly brighter
Petulant pink petunias preen prominently pretentious
Verdant violet verbena vacuously vibrates  
Riotous red roses rock recklessly right
Yellow yarrow's yawning yearns yearly
Green groundcover greets graceful gyrations
Delicate daffodils dance dainty duets
Weeping willows wave winged wands

Nature now notices  -  nods 






Thirtieth Noticing, July 2014 

The sun seems to shine with a wee bit less brilliance these past three days. An author who influenced me greatly, Margot Adler, passed and took a bit of it with her to the Elysian Fields. 



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty-Nine

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well. 

Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty-ninth

Cool and comfortable
Corn, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Zucchini to eat
Reasons I smile this July day 



July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty-nine

The Earth is our Mother I have often heard it said
We live upon this giver-of-life 
This cosmic womb who has no feet, no head

Gaea is an ancient name, the goddess of this globe
In my heart I see her recline
The stars her crown, the skies her robe

She cradles us always in warm security
While we allow the name of her
And her love to pass into obscurity




Twenty-ninth Noticing, July 2014 


There is truth and wisdom we ignore because the cost of knowledge is first pain, then change. Are we so weak that we are unwilling to bear the pain to be able to embrace the change?



Monday, July 28, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty-Eight

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well. 

Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty-eighth

Stop. Listen! What's that sound? 

The creek behind our house is vocal this Monday morning, busy ferrying the rain from overnight to the river. The verdant trees that cover the mountain are shaking off their cloak of fog, a silent task, 


July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty-eight

Come, take a Monday jaunt with me
Adventures we shall seek
Encounter life at every turn
At Nirvana take a peek

I know a path through yonder wood
Leads to a vale so green
Where we can make a life so good
The like you've never seen

We shall dine on fruit so sweet
Nibble on fairy cake
King of the Forest we will meet
And dew mist wine partake

Time there, you see, is not the same
No schedule made to keep
Just days to play in joyful game
Nights of peaceful sleep

I see that you are torn at heart
And listening to you head
But still the journey I must start
Before the day has fled

I shall leave you here for now
And be companion free
As you to life and work kowtow
I such restraints shall flee




Twenty-eighth Noticing, July 2014

imperfect ten

Anticipation  > disappointment. Purchased: Gourmet Chicken Salad. > Contained : Dill Potato Salad

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty-Seven

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.


Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty-seventh

Seven Word Sunday w/ Stop. Listen! What's that sound?

Horns flourish. Sunday television addiction is airing.


July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty-seven 

I look at my reflection-
You look at me.
Are we expecting perfection?
Who do we really see?
I have never been a girly-girl,
Makeup I eschew.
My hair can't decide if to curl.
My feet? Just grew and grew.
Comfort over fashion,
My rally cry with passion.
Manly hands and fingers long -
Stout legs, once firm and strong.
This external inventory -
Just a fraction of my story
It shows not my heart or mind,
If I am cruel or kind.
Or how tears cloud my vision
When facing moral decision.
I am comfortable being me.
A long fought battle. You see
the end result not the how.


Twenty-seventh Noticing, July 2014

Writing is a compulsion, an obsession, an explosion of (to borrow from a frequent line from a favorite television series) the bigger on the inside into the smaller on the outside. 






Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty-Six

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well. 

Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty-sixth

Stop. Listen! What's that sound?

"I burnt my arm real bad, 'cause I wouldn't wait for Mother and retched up to the warmin' oven to get what I wanted. I reckon I was maybe 7."

I love hearing my mother speak of her childhood. She has such a beautiful Appalachian accent. The event she speaks of happened in about 1939. The "warmin' oven" was on the top of the old cast iron cookstove (not electric) my grandmother cooked on until they moved from the farm to town in about 1970.



July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty-six

This world may seem dark - vast -  forlorn
A cold and fearsome place  to be
Where trials beset from day you're born
Regardless if a "he" or "she"

This vantage rests on many soul,
A heavy burden carried there.
Rocky paths twixt here and goal.
Rests and respite are few and rare.

The world I see?  Rainbow and sun
Are always there with task begun.
And at days end when race is run?
My goal is ever - Regrets? - None!

Magic to some may seem obscure
No! Tis real and from fear a cure
Unicorns lie, replete and secure -
Safe from dragons siren lure

Thus this life we all live transforms
Light prevails with  beauty, and grace
Love triumphs o'er troubles and storms
And all are victors at end of race.




Twenty-sixth Noticing, July 2014 

Imperfect ten

Awakened. Coffee and biscuits consumed. Now sleepy. Saturday is here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twemty-Five

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.

Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty-fifth

When I think of the best part of my life, he is what I think of. Twelve years today. Happiest of anniversaries to my humble, gentle giant. You balance me so well. 

July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty-five

She:
Wild and impetuous, mercurial in mood
Insanely picky about food
He:
Measured and deliberate, stoic in pain
Always willing to try again
She:
Passionate about books, a writer at times
Capricious with dollars and dimes
He:
Artist and gardener, a charmer of creatures
Height and long hair are noticeable features
We:
Speak without words, accept without question
One another's magnificent obsession

Twenty-fifth Noticing, July 2014 

When we met, he told me we knew one another even before we were born. That we played together as angels on the clouds, and pinky swore that because he was given his parents 9 months before I was given mine that we would find each other again, It took us 43 years, and a failed first marriage each, but find each other we did! We married on July 25, 2002. His choice, so our anniversary would always be Christmas in July. I am blessed, and today celebrate that blessing for the twelfth time.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty-Four

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.



Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty-fourth

After weeks, I made the tough decision, and can rest. Truth be told, the die had been cast, it was only my stubborn refusal to read the answer that created my inner turmoil.



July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty-four 

(six lines of reflection on the now)

Life stirs early this summer day
Already outside are kittens at play
Aromatic coffee sipped from mug
Watch through the window bird and bug
News tells of murder, mayhem in mumbles
Washer swooshes and dryer tumbles

(six lines trying to answer how)

How to make a life in an age so chaotic?
Savor the daily - embrace the exotic.
Be anchored in earth - soar to the sky.
Live each day in full - mood low and high.
Love until satiated - then love some more.
Know the game is the thing - not the score.



Twenty-fourth Noticing, July 2014

I journeyed far in the night, and returned safely from my slumbers, I am more at ease in me today than I have been for a long time. I like this feeling,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty-Three

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.

Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty-third

Stop. Listen! What's that sound? 

In the night, low flying helicopter overhead. Rare here but not unheard of. Either MedFlight or the police looking for Marijuana patches growing on the mountainsides. I am guessing the latter, harvest time must be here. 



July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty-three

We wait - plan - anticipate
For a special date
Once it arrives
And impacts our lives
Do we sit and ponder
In amazement and wonder?
Or look only look ahead
By restlessness led?
Is life the destination
Or the journey?





Twenty-third Noticing, July 2014

imperfect ten 

transitioning from one life phase to another is painful - inevitable

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty-Two

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well. 

Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty-second

The Rose of Sharon bushes are in full bloom, the flowers spaced like musical notes on a score. I wonder if the early birdsong this morning was playing a newly penned symphony by Gaea?

July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty-two 


That which 
separates 
mankind
From other life - 
our words, our mind
Does not 
automatically 
make us 
more than
better than
or less than...
Just 
different than.
I am reminded 
when a cat stares
a dog wriggles
and they 
appear 
(to me)
to be trying to 
understand - cooperate
whilst we
dominate


Twenty-second Noticing, July 2014 

There are days that, despite my best efforts, the less than savory side of my fellow-men seems to be permeating life at every turn.


Monday, July 21, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty-One

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well. 

Small Stone, July 2014, Twenty First

Stop. Listen! What's that sound?

Early morning fog eases me into Monday, muffling the sounds of traffic.

July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty One


Dragonfly, out one summer day,
Hard at work – easy at play
Lit upon a milkweed pod
High above the soggy sod

Watching a man, so very tall,
But really not that scary at all
Sitting there he forgot his wings -
(they are gossamer things)

Intending to get them nice and dry
For when next he took a whim to fly
He let them droop he let them drop
Before he knew the sap they did sop

Oh right away he knew the danger
Having been told since babe in manger
Wings are a gift from the kind fairy queen
They have to always, always be kept clean

Being distracted - forgetting just once
Truth be told, he felt like a dunce
Hoping to keep looming disaster away
He lifted them up towards Sun's ray

He flexed - he strained - and finally took off
Narrowly avoided- Barn! Eave! Trough!
A gentle breeze had sent him awry
As with heavy wings he could not fly

The man by the creek (really no squatter)
Friend to snake, bird, and otter
Dragonfly with his last burst of strength
Landed upon the mans great length

Who saw right away Dragonfly's plight
Dried sap that was preventing his flight
Gently held out finger, strong as an oak
With creek water droplets, began to stroke

The sap, now dry, began to dissolve
And just like that - problem solved!
Dragonfly soon able to fly away
Gratefully resumed his work that day



Twenty First Noticing, July 2014

In the gloaming, bird songs begin - trying to keep dark away? Or calling down the night, welcoming a time of rest?



  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Twenty

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.

Small Stone, July 2014, Twentieth

(Stop. Listen. What's that sound?)
(Seven Word Sunday)

Sacred Silence: electronics and television turned off.

July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Twenty

Mother cat and kittens - two
Lying atop the porch rail
Grooming as cats are wont to do
Every time without fail
There are new kittens around
They gravitate to house from yard
Enticed by humans, held by sound

(this lazy and to the writer, peaceful, recounting 
of the joy of being owned by cats is 
halted
abruptly
by yet another "free kittens"
Internet plea
joy is now pierced by sadness
three sets of eyes
pleading from the pictures
rob the moment)

This poem shall not be finished




Twentieth Noticing, July 2014

(imperfect ten + seven word Sunday)

{10} connections in person occur better with eye contact by both
{7} people really appreciate being noticed, in general 


Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Nineteen

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well. 

Small Stone, July 2014, Nineteenth

Stop. Listen. What's that sound? (in conjunction with six word Saturday)

rain saturated flowers excess drips pools


July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Nineteen 

As days turn to weeks  
months  
years
I wonder the weight of
worries
sorrows
fears
Have not engulfed
spirit
breath
dreams
The magic of being
flows
sustains
streams
Tribulations are my
lessons
detours
dark
That illuminate the
release
elation
spark
That nugget of the
Divine
Which resides in
Mankind

Nineteenth Noticing, July 2014

imperfect ten

raindrops cling to spider web glistening diamond orbs in sunbeam

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Eighteen

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.

Small Stone, July 2014, Eighteenth

A stone from the roadside, bone from an animal carcass tossed in the trash, a broken bit of glass - and the dream of what could be. 


July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Eighteen


My spirit longs to soar to heights
before just a dream
To travel to a distant land
discover sights unseen
My body here at home does toil
firm on native soil
Some may think me foolish - naive 
when fantasies I weave
I care not for their view of me
for just a shell they see
The miracle of who we are 
is written on a star
And scatters down like fairy dust
across Earth's fragile crust
'Tis our quest, our lot, in life
when mundane things are rife
To make a choice you know
which seeds to plant and grow
I just opt to add a bit 
of magic and not quit


Eighteenth Noticing, July 2014

we, the human race, are diminished 
by hate daily - I weep


Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Seventeen

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well.

Small Stone, July 2014, Seventeenth

Oh, to be able to sooth away the pain, the sorrow I see and replace it with joy and hope.


July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Seventeen

My mother's eyes
Were once the same blue
As I view the world through
Now they are clouded 
I wonder at times
If her ability to focus has 
Turned inward, as she strains
So often for a word
A name
A special day so long spent
Then joy and relief 
Light her as if from within
And lines of concern 
Ease
As those elusive joys
Are reclaimed


Seventeenth Noticing, July 2014 

We sleep in shifts, because the cats are so ... catlike

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Halfway There

I am sixteen days into my personal poem a day challenge, and have actually written sixteen poems, all of which are on my blog. Now I wonder, when I have 31, what then? Will I have developed a habit of daily writing, which was my goal, or will I gleefully close the book on a difficult task? Noticing the world around me, processing it through my beliefs, ethics, prejudices, preconceptions, then fashioning all those images into a collection of words that hopefully shares what is in my heart and mind at that moment ... this is so much more a chore than I could ever have imagined.

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Sixteen

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well. 

Small Stone, July 2014, Sixteenth

Stop. Listen. What's that Sound? 

The crunch of my shoes on gravel, a bass line to the syncopated chirrup of insects going about their day. 


July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Sixteen

A gift was offered without string attached
One whose intrinsic value was unmatched
The donor did not count effort or cost
When giving it freely nothing was lost

The recipient saw only the result that day
And selfishly not even Thank You! would say
Scheming, you see, and quickly it was sold -
A priceless gift was callously traded for gold 

Day turned to night, and month turned to year
And youthful enthusiasm morphed into fear
Money was squandered - life became hard
Hope soon lost and dreams?  Broken and scarred

Bitter the miser now sits - hungry and cold
No family or friend to lovingly enfold
Ranting and raving - still unwilling to accept
The true cost paid for what was sold and not kept








Sixteenth Noticing, July 2014

A polar vortex (?) has presented us with "fall-like" temperatures for mid-July. *** I wonder at the terminology of weather professionals sometimes. *** Walking to the mailbox to retrieve a lone piece of mail, the only sounds are the crunch of my shoes on the gravel of our drive and the rhythmic chirrup of insects by the creek. Lovely day here on my mountain. 64 F (18 C) Slight breeze, mostly sunny, low humidity. The campaign advertisement  for a politician I have never even heard of does not even rankle.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tomato Free Sloppy Joes and Homemade Potato Salad

The following is a post I copied and pasted back in January from a friends Facebook feed. I have no idea who the originator of the recipe was - that is the thing about Facebook - things get forwarded and copied so much ... (This is as it was posted, I have not corrected any errors)

Philly Cheese steak Sloppy Joes 1 lb ground beef 1 small sweet onion chopped 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped 1/4 cup steak sauce (like A1) 1 cup beef broth provolone cheese buns Crumble the ground beef into a skillet and add the chopped onion and pepper. Begin to cook, when the beef is about half cooked, add the broth and steak sauce. Cook until all items are done and allow to simmer and cook down/thicken. I used hoggie buns from the bakery. Slice them open and filled 6 with the meat mixture. Then each was topped with a slice of provolone cheese. This was placed under the broiler for 3 minutes.
I  kept going back and looking at the recipe, wondering how it would taste. I save a great many recipes on the computer, and actually prepare very few of them. I make sloppy joes from scratch often, I call it Betty's Barbecue ( That is a tale for another day!) but there are times I do not want a real strong tomato/vinegar presence in my food. I work with a woman named Melissa who recently told me that Lee & Perrins Steak Sauce was her favorite, and that our regional grocery store chain, Food City, had begun to sell it again. I am fond of A-1, but Roger is not enthusiastic, so I thought, why not try the Lee & Perrins, using this recipe?

The beef broth I bought contained 2 cups, so I used two pounds of ground chuck. I like mushrooms, and Food City had sliced baby bellas on special for 99 cents, so I bought a carton. I used a very small amount of green pepper, because I find that too much green pepper in cooked dishes can be overpowering. The steak sauce I bought was labeled "bold", and when I tasted a drop, I found it had a very pleasant hot punch, but not too hot. I did purchase some hoagie rolls and provolone cheese, but tested the final result on toast with a slice of American cheese. It is my understanding that Philly Cheesesteaks traditionally use Cheez Whiz, so the American probably gives a more authentic taste. This is a very loose meat filling, so I would recommend eating it with a fork and knife regardless of your bread or cheese choice. Our accompaniments tonight will be mild banana pepper rings and homemade potato salad. I am also sharing my basic, bare-bones homemade potato salad method - which is short on exact measurements, because that is the way I cook most of the time

So here is my final ingredient list and instructions. 


  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup Lee & Perrins Bold Steak Sauce
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, large dice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips

Heat skillet over medium heat and crumble beef into pan, breaking up with a fork (Oh, I use one of those hard plastic pasta servers to do this step. They work great.) Once the meat has begun to cook, add mushrooms, onion, and pepper. Stir frequently to make sure the meat is in small uniform pieces. Once the meat has released all of the fat and the vegetables have softened, drain the juices and return to the stove. Add the beef broth and steak sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes, this will reduce the broth and thicken the mixture. 


Tomato Free Sloppy Joes



  • 8 to 10 medium redskin potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
  • about 2 cups mayonnaise
  • one healthy squirt French's yellow mustard
  • about 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • sweet paprika for garnish

Place whole, unpeeled potatoes and eggs in a saucepan. Cover with water and add about one tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. After about five minutes remove the eggs and set aside to cool. After ten minutes, test the potatoes to see if tender using a paring knife. If the knife easily slides through the potatoes, they are done. Drain the water and set aside to cool. I usually let the potatoes cool for about 20 minutes. While they are cooling, I peel and chop the eggs and dice the onion. Put the mayonnaise, mustard, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the eggs, onion, and pickle relish. Peel the cooled potatoes and cut into whatever size is your preference. I prefer chunks (or a dice) that are less than 1 inch in size. Add the potatoes to the mixing bowl and stir. At this point, taste test for salt, pepper, and mayonnaise. Adjust to suit your preference. Transfer to a storage/serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika. Chill in refrigerator, or if you are like me, have a bite or two first! You can tell where I sampled by the smear on the left side of the bowl.


Homemade Potato Salad

A Post a Day July 2014 Number Fifteen

Three Facebook pages on writing, a post a day on each for the month of July, combined and posted here as well

Small Stone, July 2014, Fifteenth

Stop. Listen. What's That Sound?

We have had storms, rolling and flashing and pushing through. The calico cat, resting (as is her habit) on my lap, snaps to attention. She hears the next wave of thunder before we do, and starts to growl, as if to say to the thunder, "Stay away! Enough already!" Then she darts off to hide, not being a fan of summer storms. I think the thunder hurts her ears. 



July Writing Project - A Poem a Day - Day Fifteen


Messages abound in life you know
Signposts along the way
Pointing out the direction one can go
When traveling - night or day

Each arrives in varied guise and hue
Be they Mineral - Animal – Vegetable
Though not lined up in visible queue
Be assured their guidance is tenable

Because life is not all neat and tidy
(Some have called it a real hot mess)
The cipher can call for one to be wily
Toiling hard yet with a finesse

Life is hard I have heard it said
Most often by the elderly
Yet living will trump being dead
(Life still contains lethargy)

Messages are at each twist and turn
But they are quite benign
Trick or truth we each must learn
It's part of the grand design

We cannot go back and choose another
Action or word or deed
The path we travel with sister and brother
Only one way does lead

The burden we carry accumulates then eases
Another of life's curiosities
Time marches on - neither pauses or freezes -
Not for joys or atrocities







Fifteenth Noticing, July 2014

Imperfect Ten

striving to be more in the moment is not easy

(This effort at daily noticings, practicing mindfulness, is a noble quest, and not without challenge. I am learning much about myself, and more about the people I cross paths with.)