Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Poetry: e. e. cummings

lil pinks 2

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes the rest here.

Good friends of mine brought dinner for the family last night. Tucked in with the fragrent, delicious food was this poem. Life is good!

Read more poetry on this lovely Friday in the roundup over at Suzanne's Adventures in Daily Living.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

jan 20 019

44 Words on Inauguration Day 2009

Mookie got back
from the police station
& told us the woman said
“I just know they were black
and there was a lot of them.”
The patrol car picked up
the first black men they saw.
Mookie didn't live to see this day.

...............-Andromeda Jazmon

Mookie is a friend of mine who died ten years ago. I used to live across the street from him. He was kind, smart, wise, responsible and funny. I hope one of his jobs in heaven is to look after me and my boys. I hope he & a host of angels are looking after the Obamas. I am full of joy and thanksgiving for this day but I am also sober in reflecting on the price we have paid to get here.

Over at the Peapods blog there is going to be a round up of inauguration posts. Write 44 words about what this day means to you & post a photo. If you want to join go let her know in the comments.

Monday, January 19, 2009






Somebody Stop Me!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rumi: The Guest House

jan 12 017

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

... read the rest here.

I'm on a Rumi kick this month.

This one is my all time favorites. I'm facing some health challenges now and this poem is really inspiring me to "
meet them at the door laughing".

I had a biopsy come back with a precancerous result last month and I am going to go into the hospital for surgery on Wednesday, Jan. 21. I have been rushing around trying to prepare my family and my job for my downtime so I haven't been blogging or Twittering as much lately. I'll probably continue to be blogging lite for a while but I'll be back to full strength eventually!

I've had so many friends offer help and encouragement I really want to say how much that means to me and how much I appreciate it. My family is close and they will be taking care of us along with so many friends that have offered help. I want to thank all my online friends as well for all the kind words and offers of support. You really make a difference and cheer me to the heart!

Friday Poetry is over at Karen Edmisten's blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Invitation from Michelle Obama in my inbox!!

Email from Michelle Obama:

Dear Cloudscome,

One week from today, on January 19th, Barack and I will join thousands of people all across the country for an extraordinary day of service.I recorded a short video to tell you more about this important effort. Please take a minute to watch it and sign up to host or attend a service event near you.

Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are committing to renew America together, one community at a time.Whatever service activity you organize or take part in -- cleaning up a park, giving blood, volunteering at a homeless shelter, or mentoring an at-risk youth -- you can help start this important journey. But this is about more than just a single day of service, it's the beginning of an ongoing commitment to your community.

Monday, January 19th, is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King taught us to live a life of service, and he led by example. He once said:
"If you want to be important -- wonderful. If you want to be recognized --
wonderful. If you want to be great -- wonderful. But, recognize that he who is
greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness."

Barack and I will be volunteering in Washington, D.C., our new home. I hope you'll join us by taking part in this national call to service in your community:

It will take ordinary citizens working together with a common purpose to get this country back on track. This national day of service is an important first step in our continuing commitment.

Now is the time to remind all Americans what ordinary people can accomplish when we stand together.

Thank you,


Dear Michelle,

I'm there. Thanks for the invite!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Butterfly Award!

Way back last December I got this fabulously exciting Butterfly Award for a wrung sponge from Jennifer Knoblock's Ink for Lit blog. I was really tickled and I wanted to put it up here right away but then I realized I'd have to chose ten other blogs to pass it on to and I couldn't make up my mind. So I put it on my To Do list and it got pushed down passed the holiday stuff. But I haven't forgotten it! I just was saving it for a rainy, miserable day when I don't have any good photos and I need cheering up. Isn't is the cutest?

Now to pass it on. Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Award up to 10 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your awardees on their blogs.

Many of you know I also have a photo blog where I post from my Project 365. I've been doing it now for over two years and I look forward to daily visiting all the other fabulous 365ers. I'm giving the award to these photo blogs I adore:

Spring Tree Road
Sandie 365
Sherwood Island 365
Gina Marie 365
Gawdess's Viewfinder 365
A Likeness of Beauty

Sit back and enjoy some gorgeous, dramatic, funny, and clever photos from these bloggers!

Friday, January 09, 2009


lavendar iced

This short, powerful poem by 13thc. Persian poet Rumi is running through my head over and over.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and
frightened. Don't open the door to the study

read the rest here and listen to Unjay's performance of this and other Rumi poems here.

More Rumi poetry is here.

Go on over to Picture Book of the Day for the Friday Poetry round up. Enjoy!

dec 16 020

"Let the beauty we love be what we do."

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I always love hearing about a new site that is dedicated to getting the very best books in the hands of children and young adults. That is why I was so excited to be part of the MotherTalk blog tour for James Patterson's ReadKiddoRead site. Patterson is dedicating it to helping parents, teachers and librarians find the books that kids latch onto and can't put down.

The books are listed in categories divided by age: 0-8, 6 & up, 8 & up, and 10 & up. Patterson has hand picked the best books he could find in each section and has added author interviews, reviews and a community ning with forums. In the "transitional" books for age 6 & up, for example, there are genre selections for fantasy, real world fiction, action and mysteries, and "just the facts', or nonfiction. In every category there are books that will grab kids and not let go.

The one thing I am wishing for on this site is a more diverse ethnic representation in the authors and books. I am not seeing much color on the book lists and I wonder why. There is an opportunity in the community ning to post one's own favorite book lists to share and I am working on making a list on my page there. I'm wondering how much influence members of the ning have over Patterson's lists? It will be interesting to watch how this relatively new social network community develops as folks join. How about you? What books would you recommend for a favorites list?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

January 4 Haiku

jan 3 sunrise

awake in the quiet
empty streets before dawn -
breakfast without you

We rose at 4 the other day to take my oldest son to the train to the airport. He's going on a skiing vacation. My younger sons and I were back in the house and all wide awake before the sun rose. My little guys were amazed at how quiet and empty the streets are so early in the morning when the street lights are still flashing red.

We never eat breakfast with him but for some reason this morning we missed him more. How is the house emptier when he is thousands of miles away than when he is just at work or out with friends?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday Poetry: Rumi

At the turning of the year I am in the mood for Rumi:

moss among silver

look at love
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love

look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life

why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend more of the Life & Death poems here.

The Friday Poetry roundup is over at A Year of Reading. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Diversity Rocks Challenge

Ali, over at the blog Diversity Rocks! is organizing a challenge to help us diversify our reading this year. I am committed to reading at least 12 books by authors of diverse culture/ethnicity/nationalities, preferably authors new to me. She's letting us define "diversity" however that is meaningful to us. I am looking forward to digging in to these books on my GoodReads "to read" list:

Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1967 to the Present (Paperback) Naylor, Gloria

Black American Short Stories (American Century Series) Clarke, John Henrik

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution (trade paperback) Jiang, Ji-li

Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography--The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa (Paperback) Mathabane, Mark

When the Emperor Was Divine (Paperback) Otsuka, Julie

Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree (Paperback) Ali, Tariq

The Twentieth Wife: A Novel (Paperback) Sundaresan, Indu

Song Yet Sung (Hardcover) McBride, James

The Known World (Paperback) Jones, Edward P.

Thank You, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. ! (Library Binding) Tate, Eleanora E.

The Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street (Hardcover) Flake, Sharon G.

Ali is compiling lists of recommended books, including historical fiction, memoirs, short stories, YA, children's, and many other genres. Check out her blog and see if you can join this challenge. Even if you only add a few diverse titles to what you usually read it will be a rich and satisfying experience!

Terry over at Scrub a Dub Tub is doing a Mr. Linky round up of reading/literacy/blogging plans for the new year. Go check it out and add to it if you can!

new year's resolutions: 2009

dec.30 003

I can not for the life of me remember where I posted my new year's resolutions last January. I know I had some. I think I put them in the comments to some one's blog. Was it yours?

The only one I remember is to get in the habit of using cloth shopping bags instead of plastic grocery bags. I've got a collection of big, strong bags in the trunk of my car and we use them 90% of the time. Good habit!

This year I am looking at some pretty serious health issues in January, so my resolutions are back to basics. I had a biopsy that came back with a bad report and I am going to have to have surgery this month. It will mean a very difficult winter for me and my family. In the best case I'll be back full strength by spring. In the worst case.... I'm counting my blessings.

I'm taking my resolutions from my source of deepest strength:

  1. Be anxious for nothing. Philippians 4:5-8
  2. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. Philippians 4:4 (Bible search results in 124 citations, listed over five pages. Rejoice must be a strong theme, no?)
  3. Trust in the Lord Psalm 91:2-4
The way I am going to renew these resolutions day by day is to spend more time in prayer and Bible study. I am joining Becky's read the Bible challenge and I am adding evening prayer time to my routine of morning Quiet Time. I am following the American Bible Society's Daily Bible reading schedule, which I have on a calendar they sent me. I have a stack of devotional books received as Christmas books that I am going to be reading while recuperating. I think it could be a fruitful time of retreat and healing.

How about you? What are you resolved to do this year?