In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now approaching my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
1. Apricot cutter. My first job. I was ten and I lasted three whole days before I got sick. When I got well, Mama and Daddy said I didn't have to go back. So, I didn't. 2. Babysitter. Once, I couldn't find a kid when we played hide-and-seek because he shimmied up a tree. That seven-year-old taught me to look up. 3. Newspaper columnist. I was paid 10 cents an inch to write a weekly high school column for the hometown newspaper. Even got a byline. A friend and I started the Baling Wire in our sophomore year, and I went solo from the last half of my junior year to high school graduation. 4. Tutor. I took both paid and volunteer positions, mostly the latter. 5. Hand Pollinator. Every summer, Mama hired teenagers to hand pollinate cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, corn, and other vegetables for her seed company. She finally hired me the year I graduated from high school. I actually liked the work. 6. Office Clerk. I had several part-time jobs while goin
The White Rabbit said he was late. What was he late for? The tea party? Curious minds, such as mine, want to know. Oh my. The Husband is doubl y smart. Initially I wrote "Curious minds, such as me, want to know." That seemed off. Should it be "such as I"? Still didn't sound right, thus I asked the Husband. Neither appealed to him either. Ever the good grammar student back in the schooldays, the Husband asked, "Is it an object or a subject? My eyes crossed. "Read it again," he said. "Curious minds, such as me, want to know." "Mine." "Mind," I repeated. "Mine." "Mine?" "It's curious minds that want to know." My eyes uncrossed. I'm giving an example of a curious mind. Awwww. The Husband is a genius. Alas, he didn't know either what the important date was the White Rabbit needed to make. HOPPING BACK TO INITIAL THOUGHT I brought up the White Rabbit
At yesterday's white elephant Christmas exchange, I scored the gorgeous green, multipurpose ballpoint pen that you see in the photo. Its tip acts as a stylus. Unscrew the stylus cap to reveal a flat screwdriver head, which you can pull from its housing. . .voila, the other end is a Phillips head. Wait, there is more. Along one side of the pen is a ruler that can measure up to seven inches and the equivalent metric units. In the middle of another side, oh my gosh, is a level! Whenever we sit at a crooked table in a restaurant, I can whip out this pen so that we can wedge the right amount of napkin under the table's leg. Ooooooh. Over the last three months, I have come into possession of—count them in the photo along with me—uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque penne! All free. Heee, heee. Beneath the multi-purpose green pen is a fountain pen that I discovered in one of the Husband's parents' boxes. Technically, it belongs to the Husband but he doesn't seem to mind
Back in March , I mentioned that a poem of mine was accepted for an anthology of hay(na)ku. "Bad News" is the poem. Now that the anthology is released, I am sharing the poem with you. Hay(na)ku poems are composed of six words in three lines. What cracks me up is that my brief bio in the book is 10 times longer. Over 100 poets from around the world are featured in HAY(NA)KU 15:A Commemorative 15th Year Anniversary Anthology . Published by Paloma Press, it's edited by Eileen R. Tabios , the creator of the hay(na)ku form.
Can you find Molly the Cat? This morning's experiment: Along with my camera, keep a pen and notebook ready at all times while I deadhead daisies in the front yard. I wanted to see if it's possible for me to re-establish an old habit of carrying a journal. So, what did this old lady note this morning? Here were a few thoughts that got me to put down the scissors and write. The driveway looks cleaner than the hood of the car. The Mama would say I was stingy with the water. Proof—all the dried branches on the daisy. Must remember to clean the hairball Molly barfed early this morning on The Husband's favorite spot on the couch. The faint breeze from fog rolling back west, ahhhh. Two hummingbirds. Ruby throated guy shows Anna's hummingbird guy the sea of red flowers very near me. Don't mind that human. So, how did I like having pen and notebook on hand? The greatest advantage, of course, is recording my thoughts rather than forgetting them. The
My six-word poem is called a hay(na)ku, a poetic form created by Eileen R. Tabios. The basic format is this: First line = one word. Second line = two words. Third line = Three words. If you'd like to learn more, check out Eileen's webpage . In February I submitted three poems for the upcoming anthology, HAY(NA)KU 15 (working title). One of them was accepted. Whooo-hooo! The last time I had a poem published by someone other than me was. . .hmmmm. . .about 40 years ago.
Pens and Pencils in Every Room! That would be my tagline if I were a candidate for political office, never mind what. Forget about a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. For me, it's pens and pencils in every room. Sure, if you'd like, paper, too. Ideally, I'd also add a dictionary on every floor in the house, along with an atlas or at least a world map and map of the United States on the walls. While I'm at it, a current set of the World Book Encyclopedia . Yes, I'm talking actual books. And, let them be in big print. Oooh-la-la, I love me the big print. Don't get me wrong. I still want an up-to-date Mac computer with decent access to the Internet. That's for research and such. But, for sudden thoughts that must be quickly written, it's very important that I have pens and pencils in every room. Every room! I thank you for your time. Giggle.
A party has been going on in my head, and it has been rather rowdy at times. We all do need to be rowdy once in a while, but within reason. Within reason. Who coined that phrase? How long did it take for others to start saying it? Before it was explained in a dictionary? In a grammar book? Is this phrase an idiom? Are idioms even taught anymore? Pshew! See what I mean? A party is going on in my head! Some of you may have thought that my idea of rowdy is making loud and happy noises, and possibly doing a silly prank or two on the Husband. That, of course. Sure. Maybe. Not telling. Giggle. Rowdy to me is also playing with words and sentences, and thoughts and concepts. Once upon a time 11 years ago I jumped out of a plane. That was not hard at all. If you freeze, like I think I did, your instructor (the professional skydiver to whom you're hooked), merely pushes you over as he falls forward. Me jumping out of the plane (from 18,000 feet up in the air, too, mind you) w
Yesterday's mail brought my royalty check. Whoo-hooo! Just in time to pay the property tax bill. Boo-hoo. I'm grateful, and fortunate, to still receive royalties on career and educational books that I wrote 10 years ago. Jo in Little Women was asked by Professor Bhaer (who Jo eventually married) why she wrote trashy stories. Her answer: The sale of that trashy story bought something for her family back home, the sale of this trashy story paid for a vacation by the sea for her ill sister who needed the fresh air, and so forth and so on. Professor Bhaer had the decency to feel bad for bringing it up to Jo, and after he apologized, he encouraged Jo to write something that is dear to her heart. I'm not saying that my books are trash. Far from it. I have been wondering lately if there is something that is dear to my heart that I want to write.
Note: I wrote this post yesterday from the iPad, then sent it to my computer by email. Perhaps one day I'll learn to cope and paste on iPad. Anyway, by evening, I was too pooped to get on the computer and publish this post. In the end, does it really matter if I had? :-) I'm taking a short writer's break from being a domestic goddess. Brief no doubt because I have been thinking about writing that first sentence for the last 10 minutes. Every so often that sentence repeated itself in my brain when I wasn't distracted by The Solid Gold Oldies music station on TV playing in the background and by the ambitious things I want to complete before dinner begging for mental attention. Sigh. I forgot. What was the intent of this post? Probably to brag about the things I have finally got to and then some. Should that be one word: then some, thensome? To my great surprise the Blenheim apricot tree gifted us—and the birdies—with many branches full of fruit. We can't eat the
What do the I 's have? I don't know. The idiom just came to me. So, let me go look it up. . . . Oh, it's not the I 's, but rather the ayes. Now, that makes sense. The ayes have it. In other words, the majority of people who voted in favor of something won. Okey-dokey. Pondering and writing about that idiom interrupted my original intention for this post. The thought started the other night. What came first: Ink or inkling? Did someone have an inkling and needed ink for her pen to write about it? Or, perhaps, hmmm, she spilled ink on herself because someone surprised her by whispering in her ear. She stood up quickly, saying with much irritation to that person, "Inkling!" She was too polite to swear, you see. This morning, while the Husband and I sat not impatiently in the doctor's office (simply a routine visit for the Husband), I wondered what came first: Imp or impossible? And, Id or idiot? Intriguing, aye? The inspiration for
Just before we turned off the lights last night, the Husband and I were talking about something that reminded of something else that I thought would be fun to write about today. I always like when that happens. This morning, I woke up thinking about what I wanted to write. But, I couldn't recall. The Husband couldn't remember either. I figure the thought would pop up by lunchtime. It didn't happen. Nor, did the thought reveal itself after lunch. Still, I wrote about something. Ha! See you tomorrow.
Klunga-langa-tank. Klunga-langa-tank. Klunga-langa-langa-langa-lagna-langa-tank! That's the Husband's and my new song, based on the sound my purple pencil makes when I push on the end of it. Over and over. And over. And, over. Words are on strike in my brain today. Or, maybe it's my brain that's on strike. The words are simply in their cubbyholes waiting to be put together into a story. So, if you please, I hope you'll come back tomorrow for my Alphabe Thursday post about the Gilroy Yamamoto Hot Springs. Ciao. And chow, I would definitely like right now.
“Panties!” the middle-aged woman exclaimed, working her way against the stream of incoming buyers and gawkers. A couple stepped aside when she grumbled, “No respect at all!” The petite woman carefully placed her estate sale purchases in the back of her prized green 1957 Chevrolet truck. She flipped open a velvet blue lace fan and cooled herself. She wondered who in her right mind would want to buy a dead lady’s panties. “Hey Midge!” shouted her friend who called herself Lara today. Midge strode over to pick up the bags and baskets beside Lara. “Lots of great stuff,” Lara said. “Did you see that Whitman copy of Spin and Marty?” “I would've bought it, if it wasn't falling apart,” said Midge. Lara nodded. “They should’ve just dumped it. Quite a lot of stuff they should’ve burned or taken to the dump.” “No kidding,” said Midge. “They were even selling. . .” “You’ll never guess what I bought!” Lara said at the same time. “Panties!" “Panties!” “What?” “W
I Want Her by Su- sieee! Mac "Mom, you're not going to ride the back roads, are you?" "Hmmm," the grey-haired woman said. "Mom!" said her son on the phone. "It's dangerous riding alone out there. Remember last year when that runner died...." "Son, you're channeling your grandmother." She laughed. "I'll be fine. I'm not riding anywhere new. And, I've got the phone." "Mom, please just ride around your neighborhood." I can feel her coming. Leave it alone. Mike's already married. She's the one I want. The woman pedaled along the shoulder of the two-lane highway. She almost heeded her son's fears. Silly. Nothing happened at all to her on the back roads. But, the highway was getting her nervous. She was riding later than usual, which meant more cars on the highway as she headed homeward. Were the big rigs speeding by faster than usual? She scooted further to t
Setting: On a late Spring Friday afternoon, two 12-year old cousins are standing on the BART train platform in El Cerrito, a small city across the bay from San Francisco. “The pony-tail lady in jeans and pink sweater," I said to my cousin who was a few months older than me. Whenever we’re in a public place, Sydney and I like to play a game of guessing what people are. “A dancer. Maybe a ballerina,” Twelve-year old Sydney said, gazing down the BART train platform. "See the old man with the silver cane behind her." “A retired guy from the government.” “The girl in overalls with a brown leather backpack.” “Easy. College student, probably UC Berkeley." Sydney lowered her voice and said, "I've got one for you, Jeannie. The tall guy with the bald head and the blond ponytail." “Where?” “Behind you.” I squatted down and pretended to tie my shoe as I glanced at the man wearing a grayish-green raincoat, the belt hanging to the ground. He
Don't Slam the Door! by Su- sieee! Mac S-L-A-M !! “ALESSA!” “I’m sorry, Ma,” said the tiny young girl. “I forgot.” “One of these days, Alessa, something terribly awful will happen when you slam that door,” said her mom. “Yes, Mom,” Alessa said, thinking that was just too silly of an idea. Still, it did frighten Alessa a little and she stopped slamming the door. Then, one day she forgot. S-L-A-M !! The building shook. Things tumbled off the shelves and walls. The trees and the houses rocked and rolled. The bridges collapsed. The roads crumbled. The cities fell apart. The water in the bay shook. The mountain tops blew off. All over the world, the crusts moved and shook and sunk and rose. The earth spun off its wobble. It bumped into the moon, next into Mars, and then into Jupiter. Earth bounced back towards the sun, sucking up all the other planets of the solar system. The sun and all the planets exploded and swirled into a swirl, swirling, swir
Ago ( Ah-go ) watched the water slowly run towards the end of the bittermelon row. When he was finished watering all the rows, maybe he would drive to the Senior Center for lunch. The food was okay. The best part was talking with his friends. Someone was bound to ask him about Song. "Have you heard from her?" "Where is she now?" Although it has been weeks since she left, a few of his compadres still shook their heads in disbelief that his single daughter was criss-crossing the United States in her small yellow car. Young, unmarried women don't do that, according to them. Not in the Philippines. Not even in the United States. "Times are different," one friend, usually Danny or Pablo, said. "Song is tough and level-headed. She can handle trouble." Level-headed, yes, thought Ago, pulling up a weed between the vegetable rows. Tough? Her mother, the Old Lady, thought Song was tough because she talked back. He didn't see it that way.