Friday, December 17, 2010

"Where Are We Going?"

She was dressed in her Christmas finery
When I picked her up in my car
“Where are we going?” she asked
To visit friends, someplace not far.

The house was gorgeously Christmas
With cookies and sweets on a platter
She ate several without hesitation
Then listened to all of us chatter.

She tried to keep up with the dialogue
But soon lost interest in that
Her attention drawn elsewhere
Her mind not where we were at.

We returned to the car calling thank you
And headed back into town
“Where are we going?” she asked
Head swiveling and looking around.

“To lunch at my house,” I answered
“To have a bowl of soup
Before our next appointment.
We need to settle, to regroup.”

As soon as we walked in the door
A sack on the counter she turned
Upside down emptying its contents
What’s in it, she wanted to learn.

We needed to eat in a hurry
So we wouldn’t be terribly late
“Where are we going?” she asked
I replied, “on to another date.”

Spotting the candy dish on the counter
Her attention to it was drawn
Soon a piece was selected and eaten
Soup for lunch forgotten and gone

To the bathroom she disappeared for a moment
As I patiently waited outside
The light switch turned on, off, then on again
Something to play with she must have decided

"We need to get ready to leave again,”
I said urging her towards the door
“Where are we going?” she asked.
Back into the car once more.

Her actions childlike in nature
With happiness in her bright eyes
She struggled with the front seatbelt
Then gave up and let me try.

She’d brought along her sunglasses
To protect her from the glare
Of sunlight gracing the sky today
“Too bright,” she said donning the pair.

To the next rendezvous we’re headed
And when we stop in the parking lot
“Where are we going?” she asked
Our weekly appointment, have you forgot?

A litany of continuous questions
Repeated one time after another
I answer as patiently as I’m able
To my sweet forgetful Mother.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus - a book review

 My friend Sandra recommended this beautifully illustrated and charming book written in 1902 by L. Frank Baum (the author of The Wizard of Oz) and illustrated by Charles Santore as a "must" to read to my Grandkids while they were here for our Christmas celebration. It was a hit, so I'm sharing it with you. Please click on each image to enlarge it.

The book tells a story of the life of Saint Nicholas.  He is found in the woods as a baby by the wood-nymph Necile who dwells in the Great Forest of Burzee, living there with the immortals, the Fairies, Knooks, Ryls, and Nymphs. She requests and is granted special permission from the Ak, the Master Woodsman of the World, to keep and raise the human child. They name him Neclaus for "Necile's little one."

Claus, as Necile calls him, grows strong and healthy and is loved by all the immortals. He knows nothing about the humans who live outside the world of the Forest. When he becomes a young man, Ak the Master Woodsman, decides Neclaus must accompany him on a journey around the world. There he is introduced to humans and understands that he is one of them and must grow old. Ak teaches him that wise humans look for ways to help the world so that their deeds live forever.

Claus is enthralled with the human children he meets and sets out to help them. He begins carving wooden toys for children who are poor and thus the legend begins. He finds flying reindeer, makes a sleigh, and travels the world on Christmas Eve leaving toys inside the children's stocking that were hung to dry by the fire. He is so loved that he is called a saint, thus earning him the name “Santa Claus.”  But because he is human, he eventually grows so old he can no longer carry out his special work.

Ak assembles all the leaders of the immortals in the ancient Forest and asks their permission to give Claus the Cloak of Immortality so he may live forever, and they agree. So for many generations to come Santa Claus continues his generous work delivering toys to children around the world on Christmas Eve.

I found the book delightful and the illustrations beautiful.  I would highly recommend it if you have kids, grandkids or greatgrandkids..

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hey - Where's the Muse-ic??

Has the well run dry

Is it all used up

Not a word to be had

Is my mind bankrupt?

Here I sit at the screen

Hands poised on the keys

But they hover just above

Could it be brain freeze?

My mind’s been used up

There’s no doubt now

November’s marathon

Done drained it and how.

NaNo’s story’s tucked away

To marinate in the drawer

Until after the New Year

Then worked on once more.

Hopefully the muse-ic will return

After holiday cheer

Surely a dose of grandkids

Will kick it in gear.

But a few words would be nice

To share with blog friends

A story or reflection

More than these odds and ends.

I’ll try again tomorrow

Maybe the muse-ic will appear

To inspire something entertaining

Or otherwise quite dear.

But for now I will send you

 Heartfelt holiday cheer

For happiness and peace

Now and in the New Year!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


After 27 days of writing fury, I crossed the finish line!  I completed the 50,000 word count for NaNoWriMo, submitted my words for verification and have been declared a winner! I have the badge to prove it proudly displayed on the right side of my blog and the certificate from the Office of Letters and Light.

Hillside the Novel, as it is called in my Word document, is 50,118 words long.  That will certainly change as I combine, delete and add more to it over the next months/years.  I have a 3 inch notebook full of chapters, history, character sketches, pictures, and landscape and garden information. It was amazing how much research I had to do to include things like seeing eye dogs, retinitis pigmentosa, gypsy history, spells and charms, antique pendants and rings, University of Connecticut Landscape and Design program, Farmington Connecticut, Miss Porters School for girls, Careers in Landscape and Design, pictures of what I thought my characters would look like, plants and animals of Connecticut, 55 Ford Pickups, how to build a Gazebo (my builder/car buff  husband helped with the last two), and most of all the awesome HillStead Museum in Farmington Connecticut.  My story takes place at the site of a Manor House turned Museum over 100 years ago and HillStead is my inspiration.  I used information and pictures from their website  to create my fictitional Hillside Museum.  It's a beautiful place that I hope to visit one day.

This month was an amazing experience, one that I will most likely attempt again.  Thanks to all my blog buddies for their encouragement and support.  I truely appreciate your friendship.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hillside NaNo Novel

The fog in her mind cleared for a moment, just long enough to remember what she needed to tell Nate.  The letters in the desk compartment.  He needed the letters.

With trembling fingers she felt for the button inside the drawer.  The back compartment wall opened forward.  Inside was a  manila envelop. She cautiously opened it and took out three letters.

"Here they are," she said to herself.  She looked at each letter, then put them back inside the envelop.  The fog was coming back. She hoped she would remember.  She returned the envelop to the compartment and closed the door.

As she rose from the desk, she heard Diesel growling from the kitchen.  Out of the corner of her eye she saw a man come through the front door.

"You're coming with me."

When Diesel came into the room barking, the man kicked at the dog, then grabbed her arm pulling her outside and shoved her into the van.  He drove them quickly out the back exit of the Museum grounds.

She heard Diesel barking and thought she saw someone watching from the Volunteer Office inside the barn as the drove away.