Sunday, August 31, 2008

ripe fig haiku

fig heavy with ripeness

once green and hard:
now luscious, purple figs
softly beckoning

My fig tree is full of ripe fruit this week. I've been picking them every day. I cooked them up into jam and made fig bar cookies. The recipe is here. I am thinking about making fig ice cream and fig pancakes. Stewed with a little sugar and lemon juice they are divine. What would you do with a tree full of figs?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Poem for my son entering kindergarten

Looking for Omar
E. Ethelbert Miller

I'm in the school bathroom
washing my hands without
soap but I'm still washing my hands.

I turn the water off
and look for a paper towel
but paper towels have been gone
since the first day of school
and it's June now. the rest here.

I was looking for a poem for my son Buddy, who is starting kindergarten next Tuesday. I am thinking about how many school days he has ahead of him, and how many schools, and how glad I am that he is starting at the school where I work. It's a great school and not like the one in the poem at all. I wish every child had such a school.

I am thinking about the beginnings of school days, and the start of a new year, and all that children encounter in school. The way school interprets the world with all it's violence, hope, struggle and striving. On Sept 11, 2001 we were in our first full week of school and we didn't even know our kindergarteners very well. We had to navigate the shock of falling towers with little ones around our knees. This year we start on the surge of Olympic fever and the national political conventions full of hope and promise. My middle son starts kindergarten and I start back at graduate school in an online program. It feels like a good year to start the next part of our education.

In my search for poem for a Black boy entering kindergarten I found Maya Angelou's site Furious Flower.
In partnership with Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University, Dr. Maya Angelou, and the Target Corporation, the Poetry Foundation has developed curriculum for teaching essential African American poetry to students of all ages.
What a great resource for teaching poetry with children! There is a list there with links to a poem a day for the month of April, National Poetry Month. The above poem by E. Ethelbert Miller is listed there. Check out the others here.

The Friday Poetry roundup is over at Charlotte's Library. Enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Review: african american quilting; The warmth of tradition

by sule greg c. wilson. Rosen publishing group, inc., 1999. In my recent quest for books on how to machine quilt I found this one at the library. It's an introduction to the history of African American quilting written for middle grade and up readers. Topics include an explanation of what quilting is, the history of quilting from a world-wide perspective ("there is evidence of cotton cloth in southwestern Asia between 3000 and 2500 BC"), textile work in Africa ("there is evidence that cotton cloth was being produced in the upper Nile Valley between 500 BC and AD 300"), quilting in America, and quilting today. The illustrations are photographs of quilts from museum collections, detailed examples of West African fabric samples, clothing decoration styles, and people quilting alone or in groups.

Mention is made of the theory of quilts being signals on the underground railroad. I have heard mixed ideas about whether this is accurate or not, with experts coming down on both sides, so I am not sure of the scholarship of this point. The book mentions that certain patterns of quilts hung outside safe houses could be markers for slaves running to freedom. Harriet Tubman was a quilter as well as a conductor on the underground railroad. Other well known African American quilters from previous centuries include Harriet Powers, a famous "story quilter" born in Georgia in 1837. She is known for her "Bible quilts", which told stories from the Bible. Elizabeth Keckley is another African American quilter. She was able to earn money sewing while a slave, supporting her family and the family of her owner. She bought freedom for herself and her son in1855. She later became seamstress and quilter for Mary Todd Lincoln. Martha Ann Ricks, and American that emigrated to Liberia in the nineteenth century, made a quilt for Queen Victoria as a gift from herself and Jane Ricks, the wife of the president of Liberia in 1892.

The final section of the book focuses on quilts of today, drawing in threads from southern quilting bees to the Civil Rights movement. Did you know Rosa Parks was a quilter?

There is a glossary and further resource list at the back of the book. This book would be a good addition to a library or home.

I am enrolled in graduate school for my Library Science degree now, in a two year online program. I've ordered my textbooks and joined the discussion boards. I am afraid I'll have to put my sewing machine away and push my interest in quilting to the back of my mind. Here's a few more pictures of what I've done the past two weeks:

orange bars quilt on the swing

Here's the orange bars quilt out in the sunshine on my porch swing. There was a nip in the air yesterday morning and we enjoyed a snuggle under it. After I washed and dried it the quilting puckered up and made it quite cozy. Here's the blue and green one:

bule green rail fence quilt on the swing

Folded up and put away:

100% cotton quilts

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 26 Haiku

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maintaining balance:
open wings and sticky toes
rising to sweetness

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Debt Proof Living Summer Olympics Medal Count

Patchwork Potholder

As the Olympic ceremonies close tonight I am I am reporting in on my two Debt Proof Living Olympic events. Mary Hunt, on her Debt Proof Living blog, challenged us to use the time of the Olympics to accomplish personal goals. I joined two events; one to quilt and make Christmas gifts from my fabric stash and one to open a new savings account for Buddy. Here's how I did:

In the Serious Craft-a-thon I earned a gold medal. By August 23 I completed six potholders, four tote bags, three lap quilts, and a wall hanging with fabric from my stash. I had a ball doing it too!

four totebags

In my Add-to-Savings Sprint I brought my six year old son to the bank on August 18th and we opened a new savings account for his college fund. The bank gave him $10 for doing his summer reading list, plus $25 just for opening the savings account. With the amount we added from his birthday money he has a nice beginning. I am kicking in a monthly contribution from my checking account on an automatic deposit. Another gold medal!! Now every time we drive past the bank he shouts "There's my bank!"

This has been a really wonderful experience for me. Now I am going to sit back and watch the show from Beijing and finish up a few hand sewing details. I'll let you know when my medals come in my email box!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Poetry: Sandra McPherson

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This is another shot of the scrap quilt I finished last week. I'm almost done another one and I'm dreaming up one more to start this weekend. The obsession lives on.

I was googling quilts and poetry and found myself a collection of breathtaking poems by Sandra McPherson, Professor of English at University of California, Davis. She's published a growing list of books of poems, many about quilts, and also published in the university journal Spark. In an interview with Spark editors she says,

Spark: I know you admire African American quilts. Do you only collect quilts made by African Americans?

SM: I've broadened out a bit. As long as a quilt is improvisational, as long it goes beyond repeating the same old pattern, it's interesting to me. I like asymmetry; I like it when they run out of cloth and have to do something else that doesn't match. Recently I bought a quilt that has all the aspects I admire about African American quilts, but it was made by a Polish woman in the 1920's. Others that are anonymous I buy because they have that aesthetic—changing the pattern, not static—I'm not the quilt fancier who says, "Oh, look at the small stitches." I appreciate everybody's quilts, but the small stitches don't interest me at all. I'm more interested in the ones quilted with string, or large stitches going across as fast as they can.

I got the Esther Mack quilt in Chicago. I eventually sold it to the University, at cost, to the African American Studies department. It's there in their quilt room in an acid free box; you can go and look at it, and it would have a little bit of history on Esther Mack—the little bit that I knew—perhaps if she had come from Mississippi, where she was born, or about how old she was when I got the quilt (in the mid or late 80's). I would sleep under every quilt that I bought, at least once. That was part of the research I did to write about them, feel their weight, their specific warmth; they really don't feel alike, the different ways that they press on you. This was one of the first quilt poems I wrote. I was certainly worried about making them [the poems] work; I didn't know if I could.

Isn't that fascinating? Here is one of the poems she wrote about that particular quilt:

Esther Mack's Utility Quilt with the
Lights in It

When Esther Mack ignited her first star
from exhausted aprons, she slept
with the weight of that star on her right foot,
just where she could kick it into space.

A pair of purer, one-color shinings
floated where her husband breathed.
The rest of the quilt she spangled with squares
to clash and keep the three big suns awake.

Always, at some hour, the tired star would say to her,
boost me up into the darkness--

read the rest here

Links to more of her work here.

Friday Poetry is being rounded up at Read. Imagine. Talk. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Goals Check In


Mary Lee at A Year of Reading is doing a check in on how we've done on our summer goals. Here's what I listed last June:

1. No pressure to blog. Do it when I have something to say.
2. Read from the box of 15 library books next to my bed.
3. Write short reviews of books read just to keep track of them.
4. Catch up on house maintenance projects listed on the kitchen blackboard.
5. Write for an hour every morning when the kids are at camp
6. Get a work out routine at the Y and do it three or four days a week
7. Enjoy lots of picnics, playground visits, beach days, the pool, and the zoo with my kids
8. Catch up with all doctor appointments, tests, follow up, etc. as recommended
9. Knit and quilt Christmas gifts
10. Slow down. Bag any and all above goals if they are stressing me out. (Except numbers 7 & 8)

I think I've done pretty good on all of them except #5. I actually did write almost every day but not for an hour. In the past two weeks I've not done much writing at all, but that's because I've been working so hard on #9. I've noticed that August usually has me engrossed in sewing projects. I guess it's part of trying to make the most of every moment of my summer before we get caught up in school again. I have gone to the Y three or four times a week, learned how to use the weight and cardio machines (first time for me), gotten in good shape and started learning Pilates. I really happy with how that is going.

School starts for us right after Labor Day. In the next two weeks I have a couple house projects that really need to get done and I have to start going in to school to get the library shaped up. I am hoping to finish a couple more sewing projects too. The big news is that I will be in grad school again this fall. I never finished my Masters in Library Science, although I've been a librarian for eight years. I am going back to finish it. I will probably not be blogging as much, and what I do write about will probably be all library school stuff.

I am going to be in a online program taking two courses a semester. I imagine that is going to pretty much stretch me to my limit. A few things are going to have to get cut back in order to accomplish this, and I am afraid blogging is one of them. If I'm not posting or commenting as much, that why. I'll still have you in my bloglines though! How did you do on your summer goals? The round up is here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to School Haiku

late summer

crickets calling
in tall grass along the fence;
new calendar page

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Garden Tour: Butterflies and Geraniums

The best blooms in my garden right now are the geraniums on the porch.

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My buddleia (butterfly bush) is also covered with blooms. I've noticed fewer butterflies this year, however. Have you?

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I've seen this worn-looking little guy regularly in the past couple days.

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I have yellow swallowtails coming in twos and threes, but not the usual numbers. No skippers or red admirals. Where are they?

Please join in the Garden Tour if you are posting about gardens this week. Add your link in the comments and we'll come visit.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quilting Books

walking foot

In these last few weeks of summer vacation I am on a quilting binge. One of my summer goals was to make as many Christmas gifts as possible, and since I joined Mary Hunt's Debt Proof Living Olympics with a pledge to do those gifts during the Olympics, I am getting down to it. I have a new sewing machine after years of wishing and saving for one and I am hard at work learning to use it. I also bought a walking foot attachment, which makes it easier to quilt by machine because it feeds the thick quilt layers through with less stress and strain. In the past I have relied on hand quilting (which takes a lot of time) or tied the quilts with embroidery floss. I still like those methods better than machine quilting because I need a lot of practice to get the machine quilting smooth.

I've made two lap quilts, a wall hanging and six pot holders in the past week. The pot holders are layered with heat-resistant batting made specially for them. I am practicing the different types of stitches this machine can do and using the different foot attachments, including the walking foot, in the ditch quilting foot, darning foot and the embroidery foot. I've taken almost all of the fabrics from my stash and my scrap bag. I even pieced the batting together from left-overs rather than go out and buy more. I am hoping to make another lap-size quilt and some tote bags in the next two weeks, as well as practice more quilting techniques. Here are some of the books that have been a big help to me:

Magical Four-Patch and Nine-Patch Quilts by Yvonne Porcella. I have had this book on my shelf for a couple years. It is the inspiration for my scrap quilt, although I didn't follow her method exactly. She chooses eleven colors and has a formula for how to place the nine and four patches interspersed with horizontal and lateral strips of solid color fabric. I started collecting strips of fabric scraps and making nine patches a year or more ago, planing to try this method. The quilt I've been finishing in the last couple days was based on her plan but I made up the composition myself as I went along. It's purely scrappy, with no overall pattern. I picked up a few tips on how to balance the colors and composition from Porcella. This is a very helpful book.

Show Me How To Machine Quilt by Kathy Sandbach. I got this one from the library. Sandbach's book is a quick read. It's very clear and concise. She gives excellent advice on what type of tools you need, the different kinds of batting and how it effects your quilt, and the precise techniques that make for success. She has photographs of her hand positions that really helped me. She explains how to adjust the settings on your machine, which is something that always mystified me. She has extensive illustrations of the free-hand quilting designs she uses with explanations of how you can learn to do it without needing to mark your quilt top. Once you learn to use the needle and fabric like a pen and paper you can just start to doodle or sketch repeating designs. With practice it becomes smooth and it's fun. I've never had the courage to try this before. I've also never had a machine that could drop the feed dogs or a darning foot that made the movements possible. Now I am really having fun trying it out. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn to machine quilt.

Patchwork Skills & Techniques by Dorothy Wood is one of the first books I bought about quilting ten years ago. It is a very helpful guide to learning all the basics. From how to select fabrics, how to piece blocks together, how to layer and bind and how to do basic quilting stitches it is fabulous. I learned so much from studying this book. Clear, concise explanations, step-by-step directions and illustrative photographs show everything you need to know to make hundreds of block designs. I've made a lot of quilts from the instructions in this book.

I am so happy with the way my library lets me search the catalog and request books online, by the way. With little kids in tow I don't have time to do that in the library. It is great to be able to do it from home and then just pick up the books on the way to the children's room. Our local public library has an extensive collection of quilting books. Many of them were bought at the request of me and my sister over the years. If they don't have the book I want they get it from interlibrary loan. When I sign in to the library's web page I get a list of what books I have out and when they are due, which helps me keep track. A reader left a comment here a week or so ago tipping me off to the site Library Elf, which keeps track of multiple library cards so I can keep up with all the books my kids have out. What a great service!

Review: Who Hops?

Who Hops? by Katie Davis

My six and three year olds love this book. It's funny, surprising and entertaining. In a classic teacher question format animals are listed by how they move - except a few ringers are thrown into the mix like a blue cow that hops. Readers/listeners are brought up short in surprise and then delight when the chorus responds with loud protestations. The repetition of pattern and the twist build anticipation and make it both predictable and satisfying for young readers and listeners.

The illustrations are bold colors in wild contrasts, making it energetic and exciting. My three year old grabs it and runs away to "read" it to himself again and again. The six year old can read it for real after hearing it read by me once. This would make a delightful read aloud for 3 -6 year old groups and individuals.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blogging lite

No time to blog these days; I'm a sewing fool counting the hours till we go back to school. I'm making Christmas gifts and learning to use a new machine. This quilt is made from scraps saved over the past eight years of quilting.

constructing the scrap quilt

scraps too small to save
pieced together and pressed flat
make another quilt

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August Colors

Hanging out at my parent's garden yesterday:



bee balm

Bee Balm

zinia and bee balm

St. Francis

What's in bloom or harvest in your garden? Share a link and we'll come visit.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

August 9 Haiku

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sprite forest flower
all sweetness calling all bees -
just for today

Friday, August 08, 2008

Debt Proof Living Summer Olympics

Mary Hunt is having a Debt Proof Living Summer Olympics over at her blog. She is challenging us to take on some new spending/saving habit or activity to complete during the Summer Olympics. The metal catagories include but are not limited to:

  1. Severe Spending Halt-a-thon
  2. Organization Marathon
  3. No Eating Out-a-thon
  4. Serious Craft-a-thon
  5. Weight Control-a-thon
  6. Use-It-Up-a-Thon
  7. Create-a-Budget Event
  8. Feed a Family of _____with $_____ for 17 Days Race
  9. Add-to-Savings Sprint
  10. No-Plastic-Cash-Only Race
  11. Track-Spending-a-Thon
  12. Healthy-Living Freestyle
  13. Clean-Out-Challenge
She says:

Eligibility requirements are as follows: You must be a fan of Debt-Proof Living, Everyday Cheapskate, MRDS (this blog)—embracing the credo (which of course you know by heart … “Bringing dignity to the art of living below your means”) and be willing to challenge yourself in the Olympic spirit. It won’t hurt if you are also somewhat obsessive and willing to play along.

The rules:

1. DPL Olympians are required to begin a personal financial project during the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, and finish before the flame is extinguished.

2. Participants come up with their own events, which must require some level of sacrifice and difficulty while still being possible to attain. Suggestions: No spending for 17 days (the mother of all challenges, for sure); depositing $10 a day into a real savings account, holding a garage sale, or eating only the food you have on hand. You get the idea. (For ideas, go HERE for a current list of participants and the events they’ve selected.)

3. The DPL Gold Medal Certificate will be awarded to all who report to the group that they finished their event and reached their goal. The honor system will prevail.

I am signing up for the Serious Craft-a-thon, where I will sort my quilting stash and make two lap-size quilts for Christmas presents, and the Add-to-Savings Sprint, where I will open a new savings account for the younger boys' college fund and set up a regular monthly deposit. I am looking forward to spending my evenings and afternoon nap time quilting while watching the Olympics on TV. I am also excited about taking my boys to the bank to open a new account for them. Buddy has a summer reading challenge from a bank that promises him $10 in a savings account if he can write down ten books he's read this summer. He reads a book to me every night so that is gold! I am going to add a nice sum to get the account kicking and then make a monthly automatic deposit from my checking account. It's something I wish I had done for my oldest son Buster.

What can you initiate to reduce your debt, increase your savings and bring your budget into line with your life goals? "it is never too late, unless you don’t start now." Go sign up and join the fun!

Poem for a Summer Afternoon

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August is one of my favorite months. I've finally sunk deep into summer, slowed down to a whisper, stopped trying to get my TO DO list done. I've given up on painting the boys room, shrugged my shoulders at the overgrown hedge, refuse to think about back to school shopping. I'm content to take my boys to the park and sit under the shade of tall trees while they throw rocks in the creek.

Aug. 7 021

I'm in the mood for Mary Oliver:


We enter
the green river,
heron harbor,
mud-basin lined
with snagheaps, where turtles
sun themselves--we push
through the falling
silky weight
striped warm and cold
bounding down
through the black flanks
of wet rocks--we wade

... read the rest here. Scroll down to near the bottom of the page. Take your time and read some of her other lovely poems on the way.)

The Friday Poetry round up is at Becky's Book Reviews today. Slow down and enjoy the ride!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Review: The Glory Fields

by Walter Dean Myers. Scholastic, 1994. Library paperback. This is a family saga telling the story of the Lewis family in South Carolina, Chicago and Harlem from 1753 to the 1970s. The first section starts out with the story of eleven year old Muhammad Bilal off the coast of Sierra Leone, West Africa, when he is captured by slavers and brought across the sea to the Caribbean. The story skips ahead to his granddaughter's life on Curry Island, South Carolina, during the Civil War in the second section. The format continues from here, skipping generations in this African American family, but always moving forward. There is a family tree highlighting the players of each section on the opening pages.

Here's a section of The Glory Field from Lizzy's life, in 1864:
"What should I do?" Lizzy looked around as the soldiers and wagons started moving out. "What am I going to do?"

"Girl, you can go on with some folks who gonna try to make it North," a woman said. "Or you can stay with the soldiers and help them do what they want. They always need somebody to cook and mend."

Lizzy looked to where the black soldiers had gone down a road, seeing them turn and disappear around a bend. She couldn't see around the bend, or know what she was going to find when she got around it, but she knew she had to find out.

She ran as fast as she could, her feet slapping against the hard road. When she got around the bend, the men were still in sight, tall and proud. She followed them, never looking back."

This is my favorite kind of historical fiction, one that follows one family through all the generations, showing their hopes and fears, challenges and dreams. I am always fascinated to see how things are carried through the family and what each age passes on to the next. Myers does an admirable job of including historic events and showing how each one effects individual lives and families. I come away from this book with a deeper knowledge of how slavery is embedded in our history, a greater respect for the strength and power of families, and wishing my African American adopted sons knew the full history and depth of the entire range of their families, including all of their birth families.


Becky's Book Reviews
Google Book preview

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

August 6 Haiku

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my tomato pot
just outside the kitchen door;
better bush joy juice

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


This summer I've used my free time to explore all the benefits of my YMCA membership. I upgraded from one son's program membership, which just let him take youth sports classes, to a Full family membership, saving us quite a bit over the course of the year if we all use it. Since I'm paying for it I decided to take advantage of it. I have managed to work out at least three times a week for the past two months and I am in better shape than I've been in for probably 20 years.

It happens that they have a beginner Pilates class at 8:30 am on Saturday. Because my boys' swimming class is also on Saturday morning it's not that difficult to get us up and out early. I've been to the Pilates class three weeks in a row. It is the hardest exercise program I've ever tried but I love it. I've never been a big sports buff. I've never been on a team or had a coach. My idea of exercise is usually taking a walk through the woods. I have done Tai Chi for years, although not much lately. Pilates is the perfect combination of stretching, flexibility, and strength. The music my class listens to is old skool R&B from the teacher's iPod. It's very relaxing and challenging at the same time.

So I'm hooked. I come out of each class relaxed, happy, and a little sore. I decided in order to really get the program I need more than just one class a week, but I can't manage to get babysitters for more than that. I resisted the urge to run out and buy a bunch of Pilates equipment, videos and books, and instead I went to the library to see what resources I could round up.

Pilates for Every Body by Denise Austin is a great introduction. She gives background history of how the program was developed, encouraging descriptions of what the program can do for you no matter what body type you have, detailed discussions of the principles and why they work, and several levels of work out plans you can mix and match. There are numerous clear photos showing exactly how the exercises should be done and summery chart pages one could copy and post in a useful place near your mat. She has a "3 week total body makeover" that I am planning to start with. It's cool that I have the book out of the library for exactly three weeks, giving me a greater incentive to finish the program on time.

POWER PILATES by Dianne Daniels is another useful, easy to follow guide. She starts out explaining how Pilates is good for everyone, no matter where you are starting. She gives an in depth explanation of how Pilates changes your body if you really work the whole program.
"Pilates changes the body from the inside out. The key to success is using your mind as well as your body. In Pilates you won't tune out. Instead, every movement, every repetition, is performed with concentration and mental control. You will learn to tune in to exactly what your body is doing and not doing, what is moving and what is not moving.

Your body will gain new wisdom. What begins as a thought or visualization in your mind is relayed via new neuromuscular connections that trigger your muscles to respond. Sometimes the muscles are called upon to make movements that, though almost imperceptible to the eye, are the very essence of the work."

She goes on to explain that the main focus of Pilates is the "core" muscles of your midsection. Even when you are stretching or moving your legs and arms you are focusing on holding the abdomen muscles taut and working your strength from there. I found this book easy to read and follow. It's a very good introduction to the program with helpful charts, photos, and explanations. The main section of the book is a catalog of the exercises carefully described and illustrated.

I've also borrowed a DVD that I haven't had time to watch yet. If you are doing Pilates, what have you done to learn it? Do you have a class, a book or a DVD to recommend? Are there any useful tips you can share with a newbie?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Kindergarten seedlings in bloom

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Last May my kindergartner brought home a paper cup filled with dirt and a few scraggly seedlings. Now we have flowers. Thank you Mrs. H., for all you gave us.

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My parents gave him a bug box for his birthday. Look what he caught yesterday! Anyone know what this is called?

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What's blooming or fruiting or buzzing in your garden this week? Leave us a link please.

ETA: I posted a question about identifying that bug on an insect forum and was told right away that it is a Giant Ichneumon Wasp, a parasitic type of wasp that lays eggs in larva deep within dead wood. The long tail is for boring into the wood and laying eggs. Here's a link to more information.

The garden roundup:

Alkelda's got sunflowers, including a really fabulous Chocolate Cherry blossom closeup.

Suzanne's got adorable photos of her bunny Bliss wandering the garden trails. And check out her super cool Wordle header!

Janet has photos of the gardens outside her library and several great poems about gardens of books.

Charlotte is rebuilding an area in her garden to make a pleasant sitting place. Take a look at her photos of the reconstruction. In my mind I am already lounging in her shade.

Thanks to everyone for participating this week.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

August 2 Haiku

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tidal pool
sand crabs have fled in terror -
my son in goggles

Friday, August 01, 2008

Gathering courage and taking names

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One of my summer goals was to do a lot of writing and to submit it on a regular basis. Well I've been doing the writing but have taken the lazy route and not looked for places to submit. That is always the hardest part of writing for me. I tend to go through cycles of writing a lot, researching contests, publishers and journals, submitting in a flurry for a couple months, and then sitting back to wait for results. Most of the time that means collecting rejections and getting discouraged enough to go back into hiding. I was cleaning out some book shelves last week and found a 1999 copy of the Writer's & Illustrator's Guide to Children's Book Publishing and Agents. That's how long it's been since I did any serious research.

A couple weeks ago Sara challenged me to be submitting my work for print publication. I realize that if I have posted a poem here for Friday Poetry I probably can't circulate it for print publication. A long time ago I did have some things in print... before I discovered how much fun it is to publish it myself on a blog. But I really want to be in print. On paper. Edited and published by professionals.

So I've had to make a tough decision. I am going to keep up writing at least one finished poem a week but I am not going to post them anymore for Friday Poetry. I'm going to work on them till they are polished and I am going to find places to submit. Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to tell you where you can find them if you want to read them.

I going to get down on my knees and beg you to tell me where you think I could submit. Help me out and tell me where you think you would run across poems like mine. What's your favorite poetry journal that is open to unsolicited submissions?

And that's my Friday Poetry post and my One Brave Thing all rolled into one. Big breath.

Read the poetry others have shared this weekend at The Well Read Child. And now I'm off to the beach with the kiddos. Enjoy your weekend!