Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I am happy. Hope you all are!

My son is coming to hubs family for Christmas eve and day gatherings. And we are going out together for New Year's. Moms love their children, especially when they are hanging out together.

I am busy working for the Morris family lately. Love the girls. The younger one has a new saying "Wha happen?" She says it after everything. It may get annoying to most, but I find it funny.

My own son last night popped out a funny...he asked us what kind of wine his uncle wanted, "wasn't it a bordello." Hubs told him most men like bordellos, but they drink Barolo. Funny to us anyway!

Merry Christmas all, and a Happy New Year. Don't forget to eat your black eyed-peas!

I will be out of commission for a few weeks with the holidays and work. Peace!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Spark 18 is up!

Tell me...

tell me, have you seen it...

These two lines came out in my head more like a song, oh well.

Spark 18 is up! Each year I have participated in Amy Souza's wonderful idea of combing the arts (artists/writers/composers/etc). I do it at least twice a year. This go round my poet friend Tyson West out of Spokane, or somewhere around there, Washington and I decided to at it. He did the poetry and I did the photography. You can ARCHIVE us here, just type in our names and both our work will come up, hence our work together. As new work comes in, the day before or so goes off the main page.

I enjoyed working with him, but the whole point is to work your magic off of someone else. He was not so happy about his last partner, nor I my first. But Amy says it happens. I let others know its a good prompt, and maybe something greater will come of the piece you create. I think he and I will partner up in the future.

On that note, Dash made me realize what I should have said in the last post was 'a more experienced publisher'. The one whom has taken Pasquale and I on has had lots of experience. unBound Content is a small house, but a well known and well respected publisher. She has her work cut out for her, since we both are inexperienced in this realm.

Hope all is well and good for you all. With Christmas coming up, I know it is a busy time for us all!

(photo above fits into my theme and is my one and only hydrangea for this year. Sadly last year my bushes were taken down to low and late in year by the local yard Nazi (because if you are around she'll put you to work whether you want or not) so by the time they were ready for flowering, no sun on most of it, only at bottom where I spotted the flower. If you don't watch it she'll take you down and trim you up for the year!)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Are You Coconuts!?!

A man was asked to participate in publishing a book together with his new found friend, a female. He had already begun writing years earlier and knew which pieces he would put with anything new which came to mind. Over a years time he wrote many new pieces and added them to the former, and submitted them to his colleague.

Unfortunately time passed until it was another year before the editor was ready to deal with their book. She hired an editor to review and correct any of the two's writings, and afterward noted so to the female counterpart.

She then contacted the aging male counterpart and gave him the good news. He stated it had been over two years and was quite surprised it took so long. The female tried to reason with the male saying it was not over two years, that it had only been over a year, because they had not turned the manuscript in until a year later after discussing and agreeing to do this project.

Does a marathon runner say he has been running for months or a year rather than the three point five miles it took to finish the race, because all the former was training?

The female counter part knows the male is upset, possibly agitated at the publisher, but the female knows it takes time and the publisher has other writers to contend with.

Do people not realize you cannot build something solid so quickly.

Just because this male has published his own works three other times within a year of the writing, doesn't mean a real publishing house moves so quickly. I have heard of writers talking about publishing and working with editors and it taking years to finish something worthy of being in the readers hands.

The female is just happy her work is worthy...

(photo taken in Honolulu, HI 2012 by author- a refreshing stop along the highway)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bah Humbugers

Should I dare complain again?

I know some of you out there don't like one particular thing about Christmas.

All that gift giving BS.

Give all year because you want to make someone smile.

Random Acts of Kindness is the way to go.

I like the decorations, carols, food and family, but not the spending. Or pressure of spending.

Spend time. Like I did yesterday- it was a good day to go out and take photos for my Spark 18 project. No poetry this go round. I have photos waiting in a file I have wanted to use. Some were rejected last month, so they are back in the mix.

Okay, on with the sweet tooth (really all of them, and I heard them loud and clear) wanted multi-grain pancakes, eggs and bacon. You know, sometimes food taste better in someone else's kitchen from time to time. The waitress, after taking my order and fouling it up, seated an older person next to me. I began to feel like we were in the 'eating alone' section when she sat the third person on the other side of me. (snarky laugh)

All of us occasionally glanced at each other while we pretended to eat as if we were really alone. Part of me, the chatty E side, wanted to reach out and spark up a conversation, but I respected their privacy. Then it hit me, well when the check was laid on the table and I saw it was under priced from menu listing, I am going to buy these two people breakfast. So I did.

The waitress seemed stunned, so I explained what a Random Act of Kindness was, and told her to tell them Happy Holidays. End of story.

Christmas began as a random act of kindness that grew into a pagan Christian blended holiday.

Spread Joy and Give back to the community is what I say. As I just told Val on her blog, if you want something so badly, you could buy it for yourself, end results are the same as...

(photo above was taken on some trip, and I found it might entertain a friend of mine who writes poetry of Catholic origin)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A little of This, and

A lot of that...not my backside though!

It is cold here in Princeton. I am ready for the spring already. How about you?

I spent the weekend and a few weekdays with mom Valerie. She needed my help with some errands, she ended up sick, furniture advice, computer help, and a few other things. Most was accomplished, but with her ill we could not get all the furniture in the spare bedroom in place. I convinced her to donate the coffee table to the hurricane Sandy efforts. It was a very 70's to 80's glass piece she did not need up there. Hubs and I always felt it was in the way to pull the sofa bed out.

This weekend is going to be spent doing some photography. Spark 18 started and with all the photos I have taken the past four or so years, some need to get used. I partnered up with Tyson, a poet friend out of Washington State. His inspiration poem is a challenge, and would be nice if I had taken more photos on my way back from Texas, in the south.

Hope all is well, and you had a nice holiday! Peace to you all...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Looking Forward

Today is a day to give thanks for what we have, to pick up the pieces and move forward with little complaint.

It is also an American holiday that I am not crazy about.

Am I starting off with a bitch today, well, yes. I do not like turkey. I hate making it, but because the hubs family lost their home in Bluepoint, LI, New York, we are not having the usual get together. Which would still mean a bird on the table. My dad always made a ham, something I like, but because of salt it doesn't like me back (high blood pressure). So...

I am up early to get the turkey breast in oven and make the dressing. The real heirloom bird goes in around ten, and we will eat a late lunch, early dinner. I made four pies last night, and we had cocktails with a friend on the other side of our development. I will take a nap after turkey goes in, and my son and his girlfriend will cleanup and get table ready.

On the upside, I am going to LI to stay with hubs step-mom. A girls weekend. Hubs has work and would prefer to stay home. We always spend four days after Christmas with her, so she is good with that.

Peace to you all, and Happy Turkey Day, if that is what you like...

(photo above taken in Hawaii. Hubs was the shutter bug and kept taking my photos, so I give him attitude from time to time.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

So so Fabulous

Oldies out there, have you ever wondered what ever happened to Fabulous Fabian, well I found him. His name popped in my mind for a curio poem, and I kind of remember his being in movies or .something when I was a tween. He was somewhere between cute and old at that age.

He tucked himself away in Philly all these years, and with a younger woman. Never married until later, as he frequented poetry slams and back alleys until then, oh I am kidding! He still...still has his looks! An idea for a poem draft turns up fascinating things on the internet...shows you how a boy sitting on his stoup draws attention, and that they still were creating boy bands all those years ago.

Just a share moment. If you want to read the site I found, here is more about Fabulous Fabian

The photo above is off one of the beaches we stopped on Oahu, HI on our vacation. I saw a heart from the position I sat in the convertible in the tree stump, palm I presume. I see love in so many things...if you want to use the pic, email me, otherwise No Stealing please...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Human Devil

Ahhh, poetry. It is good again, to be writing. In the quiet of my home.

So I will share some lines...and it is still, almost a white draft...

The Drummers Gone Before Daylight

O’ little one can we speak
of the weak and of the lost
behind their backs
the good book tells all who will listen
tales of less wanting more
more being the lesser of two evils
before you ever entered the desert
where did it get them boys
lost and coming down from a rush

brotherly love gone wrong
one a lover
the other a killer who dreamed of being a drummer
both disguised in sheep’s clothing
cheaply made over seas
where things turn and turn
on a dime buying half a soul

in the corner of a bar
a woman sits and eyes the crowd
broad are her fingers
but true love continually slips through
red eye light fixtures
dangle and swing over head
moody and tantalizing
she can’t leave it all behind

Eve’s first mistake was declaring
her first born was a man
before he ever opened his eyes
the brother’s keeper cast out
no choice but leaving it all behind

I had a child my first born
day and night I lay by its side
asking nothing but you to save her
now I wander across the sands of time
I left the bar
I dropped my sword
reread your words and only found wisdom
where is the justice
now we write our own book of life
growing older on a worlds cheap dime
open eyes and no disguises.

Not really sure how it will all pan out. I struggle with form over writing lines...send me back to writing camp, and I won't roll my eyes again...ever.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pearl Harbor 2012 Vist

Our first three days in the islands was a visit to Oahu, Honolulu and Waikiki. We drove the whole island in a day on Wednesday, visited a museum, and had an early visit to Pearl Harbor scheduled for Thursday morning.

I had never really been a war enthusiast, a patriot yes, but when my father and brother would watch them as a child I would huff out of the room. Today war and gore bother me. I don't care for fighting and hoped my son would not ever get into those games kids play today. He has no desire.

Hubs didn't really ask if I wanted to do this, but as a loving wife who wants him to support my likes I went with a smile. During the video they present I remembered why I don't do things like this. I have never seen Schindler's List or any other award winning history filled movie. I cried. Like mood music during a two hour preaching session in a Baptist church I was moved. Not comparing the two, but they get you with that video. There is a reason I am so sensitive, always have been. But even more so now.

You then hope aboard a small boat and go over to the memorial. It is a beautiful site to see. And it is over the sunken (by the Japanese with a bomb) and left as a tomb on the bottom of the harbor.

Go visit. My favorite island of Hawaii so far.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Time to pack up and go...

A comment from Dash made me realize all good things come to an end at some point. We can't be on vacation forever. Work is calling hubs and me back to Jersey. I also want to get busy with volunteering with Hurricane Sandy this and that's. It has bothered me that many of my friends and family aren't doing so great while I am sipping pinacoladas by the beach and pool. Although we haven't been doing that everyday. Hawaii is so much more complicated than that. I will say there was a bit of disappointment when I began traveling around the big island and saw lava lava lava exposed in so many areas. But I am glad I got to experience the adventure in the first place. Grateful for all I have and experiences.

Hope peace is filling your minds and days...

Oh and Farmlady, the goats (feral and domesticated) here are fabulous. They have had a problem with feral goats eating all the greenery and have eradicated the numbers over the years, but they are adorable if you can catch sight of them eating off the Kohala side, which we did yesterday on the way back to Hilo. There were two silver crossing the road the first few days we were here and it seemed odd to me, so I even wrote my own Hawaiian Legend after telling it on Halloween to my friends here in Hilo. So here is the first draft...

Legend of the Silver Goats of Kohala's Lava Desert

     taken down for revision and submissions...

This is just a first draft I quickly researched and wrote, will work on a 1,000 flash version for submitting.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still in Hawaii

Well, where do I begin?

A tsunami came at us in Hilo this past Saturday, but ended up being small waves.

A hurricane hit the east coast and the damage to our family's homes off Long Island was much worse than what my son went through in Princeton.

We arrived at a Halloween party Saturday night with no clue about the tsunami and was told we could not leave or go back to Jennie's place after 10 or so. It ruined it for me the whole night. I was worried and felt clueless to what was going on. My smart phone didn't help because I had less than 2G in the location we were at. The party goers seemed unaffected by the news. I survived when we got back to her house around midnight and finally fell asleep.

I spoke with all the family on the east coast and my son throughout the day yesterday. At about 11 PM Hawaii time and 5 AM eastern time my son called to say the power came back on, no cable though, and they were happy the food was not ruined. They even got out today and drove around. Minimal damage for inlanders, but the shore is destroyed. Most will rebuild, but I have a feeling this is not the end of storms of this size with weather change over the past few years.

We visited a tsunami museum here in Hilo, HI and they say the island is overdue for a BIG storm as well. The volcano is becoming more active, which we visited last night, and it seems our world is in for a big big change.

Otherwise, we are having fun. Most important, no sunburn!

hugs and peace to you all...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why Does The Chicken Cross The Road?

We tried to ask, but it just kept running away...

I was about to back up the car on Ohau and saw this chicken behind me. A funny site, since you don't find much chicken in the markets, and if you is expensive!

Food is pricey here just like we had heard for years...

I cooked dinner last night for our host Jennie, her tenant Rita and a friend Joy. Made skillet chix and steak and homemade tortillas Oaxaca style. I brought salsa from the states in a big mason jar and they all enjoyed that. Rita says she misses breakfast burritos so that will be something I make them next week when we all return from the Kona side of the big island.

Hubs and I are relaxing and having so much fun. If you are on Facebook you can see the photos I have uploaded. Many more to come. Hubs is a real shutter bug...almost over doing it!

Peace and Aloha at the same time!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bliss is...


A second honeymoon in Hawaii.

I love my husband.

Not because he takes me places, but because he was first (the cart) and I don't mind being next to him (the horse beautiful mayor).

This past two weeks I have been ill. Something brought back from Texas? Flu? Maybe, not sure, but I feel better now...

Peace to you all these few weeks to come. I have poetry to make and write...

(photo: view from Duke's in Honolulu- food was decent, and stick with seafood)

Monday, October 8, 2012

And here she is...

Jessie Carty in all her cuteness!

On my way back to New Jersey I stopped in on a few people I had wanted to meet in person. Food bloggers are on my other site. My sister in law picked a place in an area of NC called NoDa, short for North Davidson. A place where they have begun rebuilding it into an artsy fartsy area, and we ate dinner at Amelies, a French bistro. Was yummy!

Jessie saw me outside and said she wasn't sure she would know who I was, but we both squealed with delight face to face. I discovered we both were also fighting colds or whatever we have. We are truly twins in so many ways, well we say we are. She is delightful to talk with. Conversation flowed and flowed! My sis in law teaches med school, so they related to teaching period. We all did.

As for other news, and I know life doesn't always go as we hope it sister has decided not to speak with me, or has washed her hands of me as she said. She was mad because I spent two nights with her and went off with other friends for the other four days. I had picked up my (my side of the story anyways) son's truck to drive back and found it to need repairs and no AC. It was hot and not a pleasant ride for going back and forth to include her in activities. As well as a almost two hour drive to her place from my friends out north of Dallas; my sister lives way south east of Dallas. She doesn't work and could not contribute to gas if I did. Oh and no car either. She is on disability for some reason, and all her money goes into the house she shares.

I don't have time for this stuff. Negative jealousy is stupid. I love her and she can say all she wants about me, but I believe it boils down to jealousy of my happy home life and other things. I cannot wallow in what is not there. So be it. My family life growing up was not good and as a result the siblings don't speak. Now we won't. I am here if she decides to let things go. But it may be for the best we put some space in between talking. It was taxing me when she called every single day, and if I did not answer like this last time, she would call my husband at work. I don't call her boyfriend. I would never.

Sorry to add that drama to meeting Jessie. I am back in counseling and will move on.

Which brings me to something else. My book with Pasquale will be coming out soon. I got an email from the publisher. Finally. Turns out some details have to be worked out, but I am patient. Uh really.

My hubs did give me a scare. He took himself to the emergency room Saturday, about an hour from my return. I freaked, because he thought he was having a heart attack. High blood pressure and a panic attack. Thank goodness we are going on vacation (I get two!) soon- Hawaii for two weeks. He needs the rest, doctors orders. I love him and want him around longer. Giving him lots of rest and relaxation here at home. I teased him and said he just can't take me being gone anymore. He misses what we have when I am home. I am truly loved by both of my men. Yes, my son is doing so great these days, as he is maturing into the man I always knew him to be.

Peace to you all and hugs....and enjoy life while you can!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


am I up too? Lots. So much in the pot, I haven't the time to share.

But fun stuff.

On my way back to New Jersey (driving); Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky,  Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, then North again, and Virginia by Friday. Home by the end of the Weekend. Two and a half weeks of pure fun!

I will post more, because I have met some more great bloggers in person, even Jessie Carty the poet mentor/teacher!

Hope all is well and great things come your way! Peace...

(photo taken at The Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Austin City Limits

Well, I am really in a small place southwest of Austin, and really San Antonio. I am at a writers retreat in the hill country. In BBQ and Tex-Mex heaven. Friend heaven too. I am also very inspired by what my classes and piers are teaching me. I was also asked to do a short talk about ezines and how reading and publishing on the internet has evolved. Big pants, and I hope to fill them some how.

Discovery is going on every minute. One is the fact that the food here isn't tasting as good as I remember it, and possibly I can live with out it. Eating here at the lodge site has me realizing being on a forced diet would benefit me. I brought a few treats, and am glad I did, because some of the food (sweets) are not to my liking. I am a picky sweet eater.  After speaking with the head kitchen guy, because he offered for us to speak up, I am checking before hand about gluten free. Gluten is all over this place. I won't starve.

My concern is because it is raining heavy and you cannot walk on the limestone wet here. I am glad it is raining because it was a hot, okay damn hot drive from Dallas to Austin area in my son's truck (daddy's truck he left me). It broke down the first day I picked it up (after being left with a mechanic for a check up). I had everything fixed and then the AC went out. I view it as a way to sweat off a few pounds. We will be sitting most of the day, although I am upstairs in my (am happy about this) no roommate quarters. Yay! A room all to myself when originally I signed on as a bunk buddy.

I have never done a retreat. Always wanted to, and recommend it. I have no problem meeting strangers, men or women, and I picked the perfect maiden retreat.

This canyon is a wonder. Just wait till I upload the photos from my phone. Oh and it is a new phone. I laundered the other smart phone a few days ago. Smart phone. Dumb user.

Hope all is well with y'all. Peace and hugs to each and every person...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

See Ya'll In Texas

Me in the sixth grade. I was stylin!

I've been so busy with work and such, no time to write or even food blog. So just a quick hello and I'm in Texas before you know it. Will write more as I settle into family and friends...

Some of my work from 'Avocado Green Kitchen With A Gold Accented Childhood' 2, 4, and 8 were published, so go on over and read it! You'll see my name under 'Poetry' link...

Peace and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Garden Party

One of my friends up north surprised me once with a garden party, and I performed some of my work. Jamie has offered to host another one in October when I return from Texas. Her studio which you see here in the photo is absolutely gorgeous, as her back spacious lawn. Over to the left is plenty of space for chairs. Behind us, if we took the photo is her home and another patio with large table and chairs to place food.

Par-taaaay! @ Studio 2Zer0 Argyle Place...

I have posted and already filled the twelve spots for poets and three musicians. She is so excited, and we have quite the audience responded. This will become a spring and fall event.

I'm tired today. My son and I did my usual fall (spring too) cleaning. We reorganized the catering room, which was an undertaking. Things don't always make it back into their place, and I hate falling boxes and containers. It is done now, and time for a glass of wine.

Peace all, and hope your weekend is a good one!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

For You

Farmlady and Thursday Poem Share (poems taken down after a week)...

True Crickets Cry For The End Of Summer

Darn the noisy bugs
out across the wild field
finding their way into the mind
into the corners of many rooms
each of us occupy

now and then mothers gift brass boxes
covered with squares and floral holes
too small for round bodies
to squeeze and wriggle out
filled with pieces of grass and twig

a bad imitation of a world outside
“are you awake” they chirp
to the end of the woods
over big cat owl and frog
woodpecker answers with series of knock

fallen limbs silently decay in their grasp
fall has peeked over a brick wall
noses begin sensing frolic a muck
once in a blue moon chances
for tide ballets and movement

toward other pond shores
scenes of cheese ripening in cellars
grapes on the vine begin bursting with flavor
persistence of the bloom clinging to sunlight
streaming through heavy green canopy

desert plants find rest in the shorter day
winter coats begin to breath
while insects have nuzzled in warmth
few find their way so sound
as a closet left unattended

humorously under broom bristles spiders wait
late summer rutting season begins
vivacious hunger songs glide off antenna and leaf
“answer females” your males are disturbing
precious human sleep!

(above picture is CD label) Cast Iron Tempo: Southern Poetry, Prose, and Song is available for sale. $8 plus shipping and handling! Music by local friend musicians/songwriters/poets has been set to 12 of my poems.

I have sold ten copies so far. Need to get out to more open mics and read before I leave for Texas this month.

Have a beautiful end of the week and weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Issac Hits New Jersey

Say goodbye to summer; it's sailing away from us-- again.

Promises of color and cool days ahead. The spiders only got bigger because of the lack of winter last year. Let's hope the bugs are in check, I can't take another itchy bite, or having to knock down a web off the patio door.

How has your summer been? Do them bugs find you tasty too?

Lots going on the home front for me- Work. Cooking up new recipes. Writing, and family fun.

New pieces accepted in magazines, and a check for 'A Summer's Kiss' poem. That was a surprise.

Live life and laugh a lot. Not much else to do. Oh, Love all you can. I am.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For Those Of You

Who request I post a poem or two, now and again...

Always the Chef Poet
I always and still do
want a goat
to make my own cheese...but
it is easier to buy goats milk at the market
come with it cheese cloth and an additive
to help separate

taste the green grass on the meadow
as it bends
bowing to the clouds
pouring down in late summer weakness
over rocky landscape-- what hooves conquer

wetness for appetites rolling down dirt paths
picket fences leave dents near the elbow
moving on the breeze dies down
leaving cotton dresses to rest
around hips and thighs
matching shirt made of hemp
growing just down the road

is unbuttoned to accommodate heat rising
the sweater around her shoulders
soft angora with paisley patterns
a gift always worn with lots of thought

brings around an arm
in turn it gently nudges urgency
time for a picnic lunch in a coming meadow
in the distance a rushing brook turns
and whispers wildly

underfoot pebbles screech on a sudden twist
a surprise lingering summer's kiss
velvety texture always welcome
as chèvre is on the tongue.

This was an email to a poet foodie friend in the PNW. Turns out I kept going and it became long enough for another purpose.

How are things? Busy with me, how about you...

We did Six Flags Monday. My son and his girlfriend. We had a storm hit, BOOM! They closed the rides, but we made our own fun. Eventually they opened back up and it was non stop roller coaster heaven for my son. He hadn't been since before Anelisa passed away twelve or so years ago. I realized it was fun to remember, but I'm too old for those bumps and bangs. The ole mule just ain't what she used to be. So I'll take a goat!

Peace friends and family, we love you large chunks!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


...just really never know someone right?

This is my friend/poet/singer song writer Andrea. Love her style. Free thinker. Fellow Cherokee sister. Mother. And so much more.

We took a trip into Philly on Sunday to explore the burbs and starting a Storytelling and writers group between her south Jersey and my central Jersey digs.

Her and I have been friends for about five years. We met at an open mic her hubs hosted in Collingswood, after being invited by Vito, a singer/songwriter who came all the way up my way for my open mic at the coffee house. Her and I hit it off from the get go. I love her way of thinking.

We had to drag her son along with us, as well as my own kid, but they entertained each other in the back seat. Boys never really grow up you know. After taking Joyel, my son's Liberian African co-worker to have a cheese steak, we were all amused by the local park. Andrea especially. I thought this was an interesting photo op.

During our discussions she challenged me to write a boast. We are exploring ideas to get the group going once we meet. She had wanted to do a photography retreat a few years back, but we discussed how not everyone has the equipment and the cost to cover her time. I think this will be much better and she is always talking about our heritage and old native practices or oral storytelling.

Here is my boast draft-

I, Elizabeth Ann of the Akin clan,
born in the land of sandy loam, pecan, and sage brush
descendants of Scottish poets and Cherokee warriors
 tender of pots and child of food and fire stoking women
I daughter of old west pioneers, stand before you,
a modern-day culinarian poet preserving kitchen tradition; orally and fireside feast.

Oceans grow shallow for this earth-stepper
as my feet travel distant lands
by soil of Ireland, Holland, Spain, Korea, and Italy have a I also trodden
through gypsy dances, pagodas, canal drifters, and castles
jewels of experience to turn over in the light of memory
daily I dream of other destinations to feed my desire
to see and know this mystical world is my destiny

I have made mighty music with my fingers on the page
rode bareback and walked rocky trails along great rivers
pursued the prize of motherhood bearing great heirs
taught my native tongue to those in my new north east home
claimed my gold in poetry competitions
won the heart of a mighty king upon third times charm
and returned to tell the tale to those who have ears to hear

Now, I will face the fierce crowd before me
offering up my wit and words
I will take care of what and who are mine
unwilling to be ambushed and backed into a corner by buffoons
or waste my time slinging rattlesnakes across thresholds
I’ll make good on my boast and talk all the louder –
poets will celebrate my actions with rousing cries
shaping my deeds into timeless songs.

 I looked up boast and found a few examples to follow...most are my own, a few are not...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Time Bandits

Who is stealing all of our time?

Two weeks go by so fast these days. Its not summer's fault, because of the rain I find days do go by faster. I'm not outside as much due to my asthma, but we have been running here and there.

What's up folks?

I was published again, and will be again September 1st and will post the link when they let me know. Last night I was honored at a reception for fiction writers and poets. A bunch of nice people. Many of whom I know or have seen on the writing circles in Princeton. I got up and read my poem 'A Summer's Kiss' from memory. It is a piece written almost five years ago. Glad everyone enjoyed the surprise ending. I dedicated it to my mammaw who taught me to love home grown tomatoes.

My son loves tomatoes. We go through them like crazy! Above you see him in his usual white t-shirt which I cringe. I often tell him to go put another shirt on over his wife beater shirt and then both hubs and him bark at me about how it is not a wife beater shirt and blah blah blah. I know it's not, but he is so handsome, I'd prefer him to show off in another shirt. Oh well, gotta love'em anyway...

He starts full-time college classes pretty soon. We are all excited he will finally get it all behind him. The sad thing is, the college here is not taking many of his credits from St. Louis. Sucks, but he will be fine.  We teased him and said it was practice. No smile though, just a look.

Well have a great weekend, and hope you are all fine and well. I'm going to Texas soon and am pretty excited about my visit with friends and family, and then its onto a writing retreat on beautiful Lake Travis in Austin. Then back home, and...hubs surprised me with a trip to Hawaii! My poet and musician open mic friend Jennie lives on the big island. She is an observatory operator, a degree in Astronomy, and has offered us her house for two weeks. Oh the fun and the about the time bandits hitting me hard...POW!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Desolation Row

I'm listening to some Bob Dylan (a borrowed lyric). Head pressure is trying to keep me down a few notches, otherwise I'm fine (hands in the air mom Val).

Not much to catch you up on. Quiet writing weekend. Did have an interview with a monthly music, arts, and poetry magazine, 'Lamplighter' email sent to me from June this year. The PDF file, which included page 26 where Annmarie Lockhart and another interviewed me. Not the whole thing, but parts of it. It turned out pretty good. No link though, you just have to believe me.

My son begins his studies at Rutgers University in a few weeks. He could only do a few years of on-line classes, and he had to switch, since his major requires what they offer. Sadly he lost quite a few of the credits from St. Louis University, but he will manage. He will live with us until he completes it all. We have given him the chance to be free of rent and etc. He has to help around the house and cook and other errands we need.

Other than that things are fine. Hope you are all fine. I'm going back to my writing, talk to you all later!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Tough Skin Rhinocerous Wrangler Company

There is a new sheriff in town, and his name is Jack. He is no ordinary peacekeeper of the old west; not the kind that rules his territory with fear and power of a tin star, heck you don't even see him flash a gun, but Jack is a 21st century kind of law who keeps things in check with creative thinking. He could be 5, maybe 10, and he could be as old as we feel at the moment.

At one time or another we have all put on our favorite 'tackle the world' suit. When we do we can accomplish many things and feel quite good about ourselves. Jack does this when he puts on his rhinoceros costume. His favorite place is the zoo. Hanging with the rhinoceros is his favorite thing to do. Eventually others realize the power he has over them. They call upon him to wrangle up a few.

They can do the silliest things in Jack's world, and only a super rhino wrangler like this can use his imagination to make the worst circumstance into a fun adventure!

Thomas L. Vaultonburg and Jenny Mathews conspire together to bring Jack and his Rhinoceros friends to life. It is a fun book for kids of all ages. I enjoyed exploring the poetry and the artwork. I can't wait to read it to my clients children and see what fun Jack will bring to our day. Thomas is a poet/writer whom can be found at Zombie Logic Press. Jenny Mathews is a talented, and I should say VERY talented artist, and she can be found at Tiny Drawings.

Follow them on Facebook, and buy the book on their site- The Toughskin Rhinoceros Wrangler Company

There are a few changes I would have made before releasing this book, minor cosmetics here and there that I have spoken with Jenny about, but otherwise I recommend you giving this book to your favorite 'Jack' along with a marching CD, because I guarantee you will be dancing with the rhinoceros!

I was not paid a fee to review this book, first of all it was my idea for gifting me the book via artist Jenny Mathews, as we are friends and working together on other ventures.

Did I mention they offer two poster choices to hang on your children's wall? How fun!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whoot Hoot to Feathers

I'm feeling better. I have had a lot of distractions from writing lately, so I decided to go to a dark place, like many artist in history have done. Actually, many people call it resting.

This week I had some tests done, still waiting for the results, and figure it all boils down to resting. I was sick with kidney stones two weeks ago, took a heavy duty antibiotic...we all know what they can do...kill anthrax. This time it almost killed me. Not really, but felt like it. I'm fine.

What really lightened up my drab day...hubs walking in with this weeks Wednesday's US1 filled will Summer Edition 2012 Poetry, Prose, and Flash Fiction. And one was moi!

'A Summer's Kiss', Annmarie Lockhart's favorite! Well, she has tried to submit it for me via some venue's she is part of. I also submitted it to a few. Should have known the ...Jersey kiss line would get'm in the ole puss. Uh huh.

Take a look in US 1- Page 33

NOTE: This was not my fav and one of nine poems submitted, two files, one five and the other four poems. Funny how after you go back to a file and see what they chose, you realize the others just really didn't fit the editors taste. You know, just don't ask me how.

(title relates to: another feather in my cap)

Monday, July 23, 2012


 the saddle again...(Aerosmith lyrics, but..)

A mini vaca on Long Island. Tired. Extremely. Sore. Tummy issues, maybe from food poisoning, but not sure yet.

More to come, after I rest up a few days. The boating got me. Issues with vertigo maybe. The running around with Mom Val and siblings Jim and Angela. And the boat whose name shall remain un-named. Could it be the teenager they let drive it that scared me a bit? Well, more than a bit.

Have a fantastic week everyone that visits here. And Peace.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Fine

Matter of fact, I'm freaking great,

and looking for a good time!


Oh you didn't hear me?

The corn is ready, and I'm taking as much as I can carry!

My son and I have been talking about invading a corn field. He wants to drive through, but I want to run. Does anyone else think about this when they pass corn fields? Is it the inner child in us that calls out?

So, I pulled over and went for it...

Have a great week. I will be reviewing a few books this week, so sit back and enjoy your own ride...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


is the month heat takes hold
sweeping down
across Continental Divides
things begin to die

things are reborn
       in time
hopes take flight
hanging on
the tiniest of threads
cottonwoods shake
from the slightest breeze
sending catskin
        to dance

weeping willow hanging so dread
wrapping those lost in its arms

a mother misses
        more ground
than time left 
faces seem blank
        as eyes close to dream
as small hands reach
for new life
on winds of chance.

Anelisa Diane Dillion
March 1st, 1986 - July 14th, 2000

She was my chance to dance on the stage of beauty...

(BTW, this poem is evolving over the course of days; until Saturday, then I move on. Moving on is what it's all about in healing.)

James father adored parents, already heavily aging from a rough life really had little time (also, their own request) with her. It was too emotional for my mother with her mental illness to handle the idea her granddaughter was not going to live with heart disease. Anelisa was like a porcelain doll until the age of five, after her second and third surgery, Dr. Nikado had her more oxygen to grow with the new shunts; it allowed her to walk and explore more. 

We take breathing for granted...having Asthma all my life and my own heart disease, I never will.

The tale of the purse...she carried one everywhere she went, and would ask me for lipstick so she would have something in there. At this time she had grown in height, but her body was still somewhat baby like in form. I miss her hugs...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Just Beautiful

Hydrangea heaven has begun on my patio this week.

I've noticed blogs with photos of their gardens and farms get lots of hits, and I feel if there was a remote possibility of me even getting a farm of place with space for a garden, I might not post at all! There is a small space around my patio that allows for some gardening, but unfortunately the work is more than I can bare when it gets the tinniest bit hot. Also my neighbor and I noticed years ago the cement floor of the patio is way under the level of dirt they brought in, so the minute it rains we have muddy black patios period. Lots of work to keep this clean, and we have had lots of rain lately.

However! I have the best hydrangea bushes around the hood. Last year neighbors began asking me what I did to them. Hmmm what has to be done to produce such great ph balance. I know you can go from pink to blue, but hardly ever go blue (purple) to pink. Nor can you go white to pink or blue. Mine are the pinkest of any that grow around the buildings here. I compost the soil in the winter, and turn it over regularly. This is the first bloom of my two bushes out back, and I'm a proud mom.

My son stopped by a flower shop a few weeks ago and bought his girlfriend hydrangea stems. I laughed as they ohhhd and ahhhd over them. Then I told them in a few weeks they will be all over the back yard for free!

Whats your favorite flower? Mine are Dahlia, origami orange.

I wish there was space for growing those, they would do well here, but my sun is limited to late summer. It is the reason I cannot grow container vegetables and tomatoes. I have the divider walls to do it now, but observing the sun over the course of the years, there is limited sun. This bud above is on the bottom of the bush. I'm afraid it is because the sunlight leaks through the great pines out back in afternoon. I'm hoping more pop up soon.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I normally don't care one way or another whether it is Friday, but today is different. We are visiting a friend Michelle and her hubs William in Center Valley again tomorrow.  They head back to Texas in a few days and a big north eastern BBQ is taking place in their honor, and his family has invited us. We were told they very rarely invite outsiders into their home. I wonder if it has to do with being from NYC. The neighborhood they were brought up in? My mom was the say way.

My family moved from the trailer out back of my father's parents in Fort Worth, and into a duplex (one bedroom) neighborhood. My sister had not been born yet, and our house was next to a church. Much of the neighborhood was mixed with twenty percent Caucasian, forty percent Hispanic, and forty percent African American family's, and the elderly of all three. I don't remember it being a dirty or trashy place, but remember the night our neighbor called late at night to tell my mom someone was coming through the window over my sister's and I's bed. Crime had began to grow all over.

It was summer. Today I read that the rising heat is causing crime to go up (Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20). People will grow increasingly irritated and angry, mixed with heat, it may cause people to become violent. That fall my parents moved into a safe ticky tacky suburb where it took thirty years for crime to find them again. You can move, but it finds you. Crime crime crime.

The memory moves me to 1979, when I was robbed at gunpoint, and by a man wearing a ski mask and dressed all in black. I remember the gun he used to rob the 7-11 I worked during college. The cops were curious how I was so sure. My father had all sorts of guns to protect us, and for his own hunting pleasure. We also enjoyed firing them at the river bottom. We as in my sister and brother and I when given the opportunity. In some way we are all criminals to others. But the difference to the violent of other human beings, the ability to respect others property and lives. I've killed fish, insects, and a tree limb or two, but robbing another of their respect is not on my to-do list.

At times I wish there were funds for fire arms and target practice, but honestly I would not want one in my home. That is what concealed paring knives are for. Joking, but if there was a chance at a circus job throwing them, I might run away and join.

My sister often shares her fears of the same topic. Her boyfriend slash common law husband owns a house in a very up and coming rough gang infested neighborhood. She hears guns pop off, night after night. She too has been robbed, but only when they are away. Recently a window was smashed in, and the police were told by a neighbor who did it, but they have not even tried to question the locals. Alfonzo owns guns, but she too doesn't feel safe from knowing they are loaded and ready, and laying about the house. It's hotter in Texas than it is here in the north east where I now live, but crime exist all over. People what shall we do it is only July and the heat is only going to go up!

Thank God It's (this post) Over! you are saying about now, right? Thoughts can go array, just like bullets.

I'll be arriving at my friends family house with loaded pans, and tons of respect.  The only thing I plan on killing any time soon is a pitcher of lemonade...with a splash of vodka! I'm on my way out to look for some really good water guns to pass out at the party.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Okay, I will stop yelling, but we did have a nice relaxing weekend away from home. Hubs has been taking computer (programming/language) classes the past months. He begins another one next weekend, so he felt it was due to get away and give me some belated birthday attention.

We, well I decided to go visit Hershey, PA; we have wanted to visit and I found out my sous chef Michelle and her hubs William were coming up from Texas. I hadn't seen her in over four years, since my last long visit to Texas. William was our handyman for a few years, so we feel really close to the both of them. Our catering and wine company in Dallas used to employ Michelle. She was great in the kitchen and it gave me a chance to council her off campus as a friend. I met her when I worked for Karen Musa, the director of culinary and hospitality over ten years ago.

The four of us went out for lunch. We picked them up at his sisters house, and a beautiful house I must say! And then we went for ice cream. We weren't so crazy for the 'scoop' place we ate, but it was fun visiting. They are talking again about moving up here. They both can find jobs in their fields, and with his family living in PA, they want to spend more time. She is not so close with her own. I understand that one.

It was nice to see she lost some weight. Yes, she was much bigger. Her mother is Philippine, but her father is Caucasian and is over weight. Her mom rides her about weight, always has since she has always been chubby, and I have told her she will do it when she is ready. It is a life choice to eat right and stay away from fast food like she enjoys. I also have gone back to no or little carbs again. You can't see me, because we decided hubs moved over after we posed, but I have begun to lose more weight. A hard thing to do, but I am going to do it one way or the other.

We enjoyed meeting their family, and were invited to a BBQ; it is an hour and half drive to go back, but hubs said yes. He wants to spend the whole time in their media room. Crazy men, but William I am sure will be right their with him. And a cooler full of wine and beer at their sides! Heh!

William and his family are Puerto Rican, or Newyoricans (NYC Puerto Rican), since he and they have lived in the Bronx most of their lives. Willian moved to Texas thirteen years ago, and the sister moved out here (PA) to get the kids away from the city, and his parents moved with them. Okay way over the TMI limit here...

Check out my poem chosen for the Contributor 11 Series in Vox Poetica ''I Came In With My Eyes Wide Open''

The editor has brought in a new editor, Patrick Stevens, so that they only pick some of the best works, rather than put up all poems from their book authors. Still not sure when Pasquale and my book will be published. Sigh. I hate the waiting game. I did get some good feedback on this poem...

Ooops! I almost forgot the photo submissions! Two to be exact ''Referential Magazine''

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Once Upon A Plane

This is Dani. We met on the plane to Madrid. We keep in touch via social network.

He is a theater student, is trying to quit cigarettes, and came to the states to visit. He dated a girl from Montreal for a while, but now is seeing a local Madrid girl. He is funny, interesting, and has the funniest pics on his profile.

I have been playing with writing a series of poems about people I meet along the road of life. Like taking a photograph and laying it out in words. So far its working, but I have to add some more characters to the story. I am thinking about adding Dani, but he is so young. Many of the people are older, and actually have passed away. Hmmm what to do.

Hope your having a fabulous day, and enjoy Dani's pic as I do.

PS- my new laptop is up and running. I almost expect it to clean house and cook our meals, since hubs said they are faster and can do so many things. Yeah, like that is going to happen right? Hmmm...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Patrons Of The Arts

Last year I met a woman. Her name is Jamie S. She was at the Kia dealership, you know when my van broke down in the Meadow Lands in August. We began talking while they were looking over the cars, about this and that. She asked me what I was doing up north when the van broke down, and about what I did in life. We hit it off. So much that we have kept up with each other over the past year via social network and texting.

She had been asking me over and over when I was coming up that way to read again, or even to NYC. She lives just outside in Jersey suburbs, but I had not had the opportunity yet; until this past Friday night. Jamie and her daughter came out to the cafe in Jersey City. My son came with me as well to video tape the performance. It was a great night. I have to say I read with more confidence than I ever had before.

Very strong. I had looked over the work a few times to make sure there were no places I might stumble. I have at times read and messed up a few words, then you stumble more by apologizing and people will loose focus, and it falls apart. The message of the work. Jamie and C.D. (a poet mentor) felt it was a fantastic night for me, so much they said I was the best reader, and my content was the strongest. Success. Ahhh.

So much that Jamie invited me to her home (which meant I had to drive up north again, an hour one way). I said yes. The photo above is part of her back yard. She threw a garden party for me and told everyone I was giving them a performance. And I did. What she did not tell me was that they all were published writers. I got questions right and left about my publisher...and other topics.

Turns out one of the fellows host a and performs in NYC and locally (his neighborhood, and Jamie's). He suggested I join him in a improv , play writing, and a monologue class. He felt my work was worthy to take to a different venue other than open mic and poetry readings. It was a lot to absorb. I was in speech and drama in high school, and wrote plays. I so enjoyed the interaction, yesterday and when I was younger.

I realize it's a dog eat dog world out there when it comes to these kinds of things. I have to decide if I am up for it. My writing has become important to me, so why not see if others can find something in my writing that might make them think, remember, or find healing. Raphael suggested I tell the story of my experience raising a terminally ill daughter. Jessie and Bryan encouraged me to do this two years ago. My manuscript is still why not. This whole experience is liberating me from my own demise...

Oh and did I say how beautiful the houses were up north in Jamie's neighborhood. Her backyard was HUGE. Great garden party. I was glad I stopped off at Trader Joe's for some treat gifts for her. They ate the double chocolate chip cake up in a flash! Talking about food was a good ice breaker, and they started it. I felt at home.