Friday, April 30, 2010

K.U.S. - Advice for Women Only

When this ol’ world starts getting you down

And things aren’t going your way.

It’s the little things that come around

To cheer you and brighten your day.

This encouragement from a blogger friend

Sent to amuse you for a short while.

Sage advice from me, you can depend

Just K.U.S. - Knockers Up, and Smile!

(Dedicated to my friend Christiane)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Sad State of Affairs

I saw this disturbing story as a video clip on local tv tonight, but cannot find anything else about it, so I am writing an eulogy for Enrique, a hero for some very lucky girl in Queens, New York. I know nothing about him, except for a short time he was very brave.

I’m above my body now and can see all the people walking by, pretending I’m not laying on the sidewalk bleeding to death. My eyes are half open and I can see the flash as someone takes my picture. Why don’t they call for help? Can’t they see I can’t help myself?

My mind goes back to last week. “I can’t keep you on. Business is flat, and I have to let you go.” My employer knew I was down to my last dime. He hasn’t been able to pay me for the last two weeks. I got evicted from my apartment last week and am now on the street hoping to survive.

Wandering tonight, I ended up at the subway. There's no one around.  Its early morning, maybe 2:00 AM. I’m not sure, I had to pawn my watch. That’s when I saw her. She was walking quickly towards the station, like she knew it was not safe to be out this late alone. The guy came out of nowhere and hurried after her. He grabbed her arm and wrestled with her for a moment. That’s when I knew there was no one else but me to help.

I ran towards them and as I reached to pull him away he turned towards me. I didn’t see the knife in his hand, but I felt it as it plunged into my gut two, or was it four times. I don’t know, it all happened so fast.

He took off, and I tried to give chase, but stumbled and collapsed to the sidewalk. Blood everywhere. What now? Footsteps. Maybe help. Pain. More footsteps. I drift off. Hope she got home safe. Thoughts come and go. Where’s help? Can’t stay awake.

I’m above myself again now, watching as person after person walks by me, ignoring my plight. I didn’t think, I just reacted. A good deed for a girl in trouble. It was second nature. Why did it go so wrong?

Losing track of time. Has it been minutes? Hours? Will anyone remember me? The good things I’ve done in my life? Why doesn’t anyone help?

Too late.

I’m gone.

The Subway station camera showed that 20 people walked by and didn' t stop to help this man laying bleeding on the sidewalk, and that it took one and one-half hours for the paramedics to arrive.  I have never been in a situation this dire, but it makes me think - what would I do?  It makes me wonder, especially watching the person that stopped long enought to take a picture, where the compassion is in this world.  This citizen, Enrique, didn't deserve to die for his good deed. It also makes me wonder about the woman he saved.  I truely hope she was the one who called for assistance.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flash 55 - Bird with Attitude

Tolerating you buddy

“Wheet-wheeo” to you

Leave my nose alone

Just chillin’ for afew

Sleepy now

"I'm a Pretty Bird”

Just go away

Don’t be absurd

Moving forward now

Don’t get too close

Just wannabe friends

Knew that, of course

Your’re really cute

You’re pretty green

Can I be your friend

And not your cuisine?


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Siren's Song

Crashing together waves of blue

Wonderful creations made anew

Pushing, shoving, nowhere to go

Upward and outward the energy flows

The simple magnificent joining together

Of waves so pure from turbulent weather

Silhouetted in colors of oranges and yellow

At sunset on an ocean far from mellow

I study and truly appreciate

An image so beautiful that it creates

The wonder of nature pure and strong

That Sirens sing its glorious song


  Photo: Clark Little
  Clark photographs the waves of Hawaii and his images are magnificant!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Poetic Asides Poem A Day Challenge

My 16 year old Grandson James and I participated each day last week in the Poetic Asides poetry challenge.  I picked our favorite entries to post.
Prompt: Pocahontas

Pocahontas (by James, age 16)

Just walking around on a fine autumn day

It was cloudy, casting a slivery sheen over the bay

She was running with the deer again

I think she prefers animals, not friends

Her graceful form, almost flying across the land

The wind flowing with her, as if giving her a hand

The deer close behind her

They ran into the woods

Running as fast as they possibly could

For nothing could stop them

Not the rain far behind

Nor the wind in her hair

And all I could do was stop, look, and stare.

Prompt:  Tool

Needle and Thread (by Parrot, older)

It’s really so very easy, she said

Just start with the prettiest color of thread

Then fill the bobbin all the way to full

And set it in the bottom well to pull.

Up through the needle from below

With thread from the top it will flow

Joining all together at the seam

The two thicknesses of fabric in between.

Turn one dial to this, the other just past

Push down on the pedal, oh no, not so fast.

She takes over and guides it all just so

I watch as she makes even stitches flow.

What seems such a simple task to so many

Is to me, a nightmare and just about any

Excuse I can possibly think of to use

I will do to avoid taking its abuse.

I thank her, then put it away with care

And know in my closet, it will remain there.

Just give me a hand-held needle and thread

Because this tool serves me much better instead.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flash 55 Introducing "Hole Shot"

Months of hard work and many hours in the shop have resulted in “Hole Shot”, a motorcycle designed and built by my husband. His creation has been accepted into the Portland Roadster Show this weekend, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s turned his creativity from building awesome houses to building awesome motorcycles.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Trials and Tribulations of Nod Vineyards

They started as small sticks, cut from our friend’s vineyard in Dundee, Oregon. They were nurtured in 1 gallon pots for 2 years before they found their permanent home in our back field. These Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir starts are now producing beautiful grapes that are the starting point for Nod Vineyard’s wine.

That sounds much better than the wine actually tastes. We are still working out details to make the perfect wine, and learn by making mistakes along the way. September 2009 was our fifth harvest. The books say it takes that long for the vines to mature to make a good wine and our results seem to corroborate that. The 2009 Pinot Gris, bottled in February this year is the best so far. The 2009 Pinot Noir is still in the 5 gallon glass carboys aging, waiting until fall to be bottled.

Along the way we have purchased the supplies to turn the grapes into wine. A stemmer-crusher, a press, 30 gallon commercial grade garbage cans, 5 gallon glass carboys, and all the testing and treating supplies. It takes Cris and I two days to harvest and crush the Nod Vineyard grapes, one day for each variety.

Cris is the maintenance man for the field, in charge of pruning and spraying. He made his own contraption using a spray apparatus hooked up to his leaf blower. It’s pretty comical to watch. He sprays with a weak solution of organic sulfur to prevent botrytis (or grape rot) just until the grapes have reached a certain sugar content.

My job is as the chemist. I test the grapes for sugar content, pH, and acidity to determine the perfect time to harvest. I mix and add sulfite and yeast to the must to turn the sugar into alcohol. It’s a major process for the first couple of weeks until the primary yeast has finished its job. I also am the recorder and historian, keeping track of what we did each day in an effort to create the perfect system.

It takes both of us to rack the carboys, which we do every several months to get rid of the sediment (lees) on the bottom. We love watching the color get clearer as the wine ages. And of course we have to test it along the way.

We set up shop in our kitchen to do the bottling. Getting the bottles ready is a big process that has to start several days ahead of time in order to get the bottles clean and dry before we use them.

We made a storage area into a wine cellar.  I painted and Cris designed and welded the wine racks that cover two full walls.

One day we will have a vintage that we can proudly serve to friends and family. One day soon, I hope.  Because.......

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Flash 55 My Girls

Maya and Bella Sharing

Bella turns 17 in July, that’s 84 in human years. Her passions are lap sitting and tuna. If no lap is available, she settles for her “Kitty” heating pad on the rocker. Sweet and soulful, she holds her own in a battle for the best sleeping spot against Maya, 16, who outweighs her by double.

Bella and Maya In their younger years

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Future of Publishing

Wanted to share this bit of creative writing with you.  Sorry I can't seem to figure out how to send you directly to this clip, so you will need to cut and paste.  Trust me, its worth it!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flash 55 x 2 Tough Service

One Sunday morning, the preacher noticed little Tyler standing in the church foyer staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and had small flags mounted on either side of it. The preacher walked over, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, “Good morning, Tyler.”

“Good Morning Preacher,” he replied, still gazing at the plaque.

“Preacher, what is this?”

“Well, son, it’s a memorial to all the young women and men who died in the service.”  Soberly they stood together, focused on the large plaque, Tyler occasionally looking at him sideways. Finally, Tyler’s voice, barely audible and slightly trembling asked,

“Which service, the 9:30 or the 10:30?”

(Usurped and modified from From House To House /Heart To Heart, original author unknown)