Thursday, May 29, 2008
So, a couple things about this experience. Both teaching and readings appeal to the small portion of me that wants to have an audience and a chance to talk about a subject I am comfortable with and.or knowledgeable about. I do not typically like people staring at me, but it was okay and fun last night.
The last poem I read was one that I wrote two days ago. True, portions of it have been drifting around my head for a while, but I didn't start putting them together and filling in the connecting bits until this week. There was a particular image that so often rose in my mind while nursing Cora, and I really wanted to put it in a poem, and I finally found a way to do it.
A couple weeks ago I gathered up some poems for a chapbook, and sent that manuscript off to some competitions. That experience and then getting together poems for the reading, reading them, and hearing people's responses reminded me that I really am a poet. A good one, I think, and I should be doing more with this art I've been given and I've worked at.
So, here's a new summer resolution: send the poems out to magazines! Put the new manuscript together! Write more!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
It's fun to color yourself!
A couple weeks ago I picked up a couple seed packets while we were at Target, thinking it was a good start on my big plans for the garden. Well, it looks like that might have been it for the garden budget this year. I'd wanted to try out that newspaper-mulch-compost cover idea on one big weed-infested flowerbed, but I think instead I'd better start hoping for some pretty weeds.
A while ago I managed to clear a part of one of the many weedy, overgrown flowerbeds out back and I put in delphiniums, cosmos, and marigolds. The cosmos are coming up now. The marigold seeds were two years old; they were, I think, the tenth or eleventh generation harvest from seeds originally bought even before we bought this house. They do not seem to be coming up. I am sad about this. Also about the rosebush, a gift at Cora's birth, that seems to be well and truly dead. I planted batchelor button seeds around it, just in case it changes its mind.
Inside this little patch, separated from its weedier neighbors by a little wire fence, I also placed the little bunny statue my grandma gave me. Everytime she goes out back Cora wants to water "the bunny garden" and she was crouch next to the fence and pet and talk to the bunny. She likes to say bye-bye to the bunny when we leave by the back, too.
Today out front I put in the straw flowers, standard zinnias, and some miniature zinnias. I noticed that only one of the two coral bells is coming back, ditto for the Jacob's ladder, all the creeping phlox seem less robust than usual, the lavendar is making a valiant effort, and the stringy whatever-it-is flower is also trying very hard to look lively. There are some long patches of bare ground lining the walkway to the house, and I don't think the other packet of delphinium is going to work there.
Then I went and looked at the side yard. Wow. Two years of basic neglect and I'm actually kind of surprised to see anything at all growing over there. I can't tell yet if the clematis has survived or been replaced by a look-alike weed. The anemones are halfway through their blooming. The sedum is going bonkers. The striped creeping phlox is doing its best, as is the ground cover carnation-like flower.
Today, I think, is my transition day. Going from the idea that I will have beautiful, or at least totally mulched, gardens this year, to the reality that I will have a few really nice looking spots and a lot of spots I am totally dissatisfied with. And, I think once this transition is complete, I'll be able to come to terms with that dissatisfaction in a way that doesn't make me feel like I might run into a contagious hospital at any moment.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Is it the chorus to a country song? The title of a gardening book? A very specific Hallmark greeting card line? A line from a revernge-driven hero in a movie?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Did I mention he's a really good dad, too?
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Mary Oliver has a new book of poems out, Red Bird, that I just got from the library. This morning after putting Cora down for her nap I opened the book at random, to see what news there was for me. Here is what I found on page 45:
Watching a Documentary about Polar Bears Trying to Survive on the Melting Ice Floes
That God had a plan, I do not doubt.
But what if His plan was, that we would do better?
I've been thinking about what I should write about my Momma, and how if I actually listed all her best qualities, no one would believe she could possibly exist! (Although I do count her secret streak of deep black humor as one of her best qualities - I know not everyone would, but I do!)
My Momma is an amazing cook who loves to try new recipes and can make anything from the homiest of comfort food to extremely fancy dishes. My favorites include her special salad with warm goat cheese wheels and roasted pear halves, her prime rib, and I have some fond memories of my childhood favorites, meatballs in Yorkshire pudding and hot dog casserole! But one of my favorite childhood memories is her book of kids' cakes and how we could look through it and pick the cake we wanted for our birthdays. My brother Rob was a strict adherent to the castle cake, but I tried to pick a different one every year, with the cat cake being one of my favorites.
She's also possessed of an artist's eye for color and composition, although because she lack's an artist's giant ego (hee hee), she would deny this. We have several quilts that she has made, and each is different and beautiful and loved. I always look forward to hearing about her new projects and seeing them over Skype or in pictures. She is responsible for my own interest in quilting. And each time she branches out into something new, the result is amazing, as with Cora's yo-yo bunny (the beloved Mr Bunny).
She's musical, she's funny, she's got fashion sense and understands accessories (while I still think socks are accessory enough for me), she's a good listener and a good conversation partner, she's keeping herself healthy, she's kind, she's politic, she's a spiritual seeker, she's a good gardener, and she's one of my favorite traveling companions.
But, aside from all this, she is (in my opinion) the perfect mother for me and my fervent hope is that I can be half the mother to Cora that my Momma is to me!
Happy birthday, Momma! I love you!