Monday, January 31, 2011

Ageless Woods

January 31, 2001 (I cheated on the rules, a bit today, as this is something I wrote in the Fall of 1989, but I have always like it, so I wanted to publish it here.) Out in the ageless woods, where there is no marking of time, at least not in years, seasons appear and disappear but not much else changes. lp

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday's small stone: Creativity: Personality traits, wonderfully complex, formed in utter seclusion, formed by Deity.

Friday, January 28, 2011

(Abby's Story - part 5) Stroking Sasha's fur and grabbing her travel cup, Abby dashed out the door and headed for the truck. No sporty sedan for her, she needed a work vehicle. Some of her errands today were to pick up some replacement stock at the nursery and deliver a batch of daffodilsto the rural market stand. Then, on to Thomas House to deliver fresh peas and lettuce that Suz picked and prepared for delivery. "I had better stop at the market first, and drop off these flowers while they are still fresh. Wouldn't want them to wilt! I always spend too much time at TH! The kids there are just so cute and need an extra smiling face! Maybe I could work on puzzles with a few of them today. Thomas House is such a worthy charity." She further mused on the work and services they provided there thinking about the wording on their brochure, Immediate haven that meets the urgent and long-term needs of homeless women and their children. Activities conducted by skilled professional staff, maintaining a 5 to 1 client to staff ratio. "That's pretty good! I just don't know how they do that on their budget!" thought Abby to herself. Their. . . Transitional Service spans the range from workforce related learning and career centers and an educational children's center to life skills such as budgeting and cooking needed to be self-sufficient, along with parenting classes. There's career planning, opportunities to acquire a high school diploma, learn computer, vocational and employment skills. Their Continuation Service includes moving assistance, ongoing life skills instruction, and neighborhood orientation to make the transition to independent living. The Children's Center is a state licensed center providing early childhood education, or homeschooling for a younger children until they are ready to enter the school system. Comprehensive. "How could we not help?" This was Abby's charity; she volunteered whenever possible; the family farm operation provided TH with fresh vegetables thru the summer season, and of course, monetary donations. (Are you like Abby? There are charitable possibilities everywhere in your city to offer your time or your contributions. Local shelters, rescue missions always need coffee; mentoring services for children, court appointed volunteers for foster children; Red Cross volunteers for overnight warming shelters; agencies that provide homemade blankets for seriously ill children and hospice patients, etc. Do you have a favorite charity that you contribute to? Tell me about it. Leave a comment.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Morning Coffee

(Abby's Story part 4) "Rooster's crowing, it must be almost dawn. I better get up, so much to do today!" As Abby's feet hit the rag rug on the floor, Sasha only squirmed and repositioned herself on the bed. "Come on, Sasha, Let's go down and get your breakfast--busy day ahead." Downstairs Abby crossed the living room and entered the big country kitchen, going straight to the pantry for expresso beans and cat food. After preparing Sasha's breakfast and setting it on the floor for her, Abby set about to make the world's best (at least, Abby's best) latte to start her day! Reaching for the recipe card she said, "Now for my 'simulated' breakfast. Sasha, I really learned a ton, from Shirley, since she became a barista! Let's see now, proper grind, lighter to the finger touch than sugar grains, seven grams worth; cold whole milk for me, I need the protein; and of course, sugar free syrups, which I should always add first to prevent curdling. But not today, though. My breakfast is a Cinnamon Roll Latte. And I don't have any sugar-free Cinnamon Syrup!" Cinnamon Roll Latte Pour 1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup in your cup Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, stir Add your expresso Fill with foamed and steamed milk Top with whipped cream Dust with powered cinnamon Enjoy! Quick facts about our Coffee culture:* 1. Gourmet coffee became a social beverage in the 90s because the ten year total of teetotaloers was up by 28%. We started drinking mochas, not martinis. 2. Seattle is the expresso capital of the world with gourmet coffee sales reaching 40% of the total coffee market share. National average is about 30%. 3. Why do we say "coffee beans" when coffee comes from berries? Because each berry has two beans. *Facts from Espresso, Quick Reference Guide by Phillip Janssen (you know, an old fashioned BOOK :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Innovation feels like a soothing smooth stone when brought to fruition.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

After Dinner Project

(Abby's Story - part 3)
After dinner, Abby lit a fire in the huge stone fireplace in the sitting room. She settled into her favorite fireside wing chair with her planner and some embroidery work. Obviously no room for Sasha in her lap, the cat settled herself in the matching wing back just opposite Abby. Opening her planner, Abigail thought about tomorrows activities. Besides bringing some fresh produce to the children of Thomas House, she should stop at the co-op office to see about the projected price of blueberries.
"We need a better price, this season." she said looking at Sasha. Sasha only twitched one ear and continued lying curled up in the seat warming herself before the fire.
"I also need to sign up for some extra laborers. It's getting harder and harder for Suz and the family to do the work since we added that extra acreage year before last. Those bushes are maturing and add to the work at harvest. Well, tomorrow will hold enough work of it's own, right now, I need to finish this hoop." After jotting down a couple of more items on her list, she put the planner on the end table and picked up the sewing basket. Two projects were in the basket, the redwork hoop and one that would be for Aunt Ramona in Missouri, a gift for her birthday. Cute little tea towels with a rooster calling out the morning light. "Better finish this quickly, as tomorrow morning's light will be here all too soon."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Small Stones - Arbritrary 2

Tiny seeds flying from their source. Floating, flirting, riding the thermals. Where will the landing be? Arbitrarily random? See the inspiration for this post, see Sunday Sketches tomorrow in my other blog. (and Arbitrary 1 was here.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dinner Time!

(Abby's Story part 2) Reading finished, the kitchen garden called. Weeding always needed to be done and of course, the watering. "Chicken wire fencing kept the chickens out, but not the moles!"Abby said to herself as she crept around on her hands and knees pulling weeds. She thought about all the work a few years ago preparing the raised beds. Raised beds were the only answer to the moles and the clay soil pervasive in the area. It helped the family keep the soil aerated and lighter, especially for the carrots that needed to grow deeper into loose soil. The wire mesh installed in the bottom of the beds provided protection from the varmints! A little tired after weeding and watering, her afternoon nerly over, Abby picked a few lettuce springs for her evening salad. It was dinner preparation time. Opening the wood-framed screen door and stepping up onto the enclosed porch, Sasha jumped from the wicker chair pad where she'd had her afternoon nap and began to purr while brushing the side of Abby's leg. Abby set the lettuce on the sideboard and sat for a moment to rest. Sasha jumped immediately to the newly formed lap and curled up, still purring. Looking over at the little wicker table beside her chair, Abby noticed a foil covered package shaped like a loaf. It was still warm. Remembering that Suzanne promised to bring over some cornbread, she looked up to watch her daughter returning to her house, across the acre between their homes. She waved as she entered her back door. While stroking Sasha's back, Abby thought about dinner: Hamburger pie, fresh salad and, now, homemade--from scratch--Sweet Corn Bread!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Abby's Story

I will be continuing my Abby story here in this new blog. It's about Abigail, called Abby for short. I originally started writing about her last year, but didn't finish. To give an opportunity for everyone to catch up, I will be re-printing the first few posts here.
When I first thought of Abigail, I saw her sitting at a small round patio table covered with a romantic patchwork and lace table cloth. Abby sat there with the table set with a vase of flowers, one lone tea cup, it's saucer and a book. The book was romance, but a mystery, where hours could be wiled away in the pursuit of an answer. A huge oak tree branched out over the patio's grape arbor providing shade and coolness for the afternoon. A few short steps away, was Abby's kitchen garden, waiting for attention after the reading is over.
And the story begins . . .

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Small Stone

Small Stone for Wednesday: Over the fence lies the stillness of an empty lawn. No giggles, no "revs", no arfs; just the lonely caw of a jay.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Who am I?

(This is actually a repost from a previous entry in my other blog, but since I'm starting this new creative writing blog, I wanted to reprint it. I believe it will be self explanatory.) Who am I? On this new journey, I will start by asking the question: "Who am I?" It depends on who is asking, what that answer will be. My kids will say that I am 'MOM'. My grandchildren will say that I am 'Grammy' or even 'Grandma'. But, one thing I am sure, my grand kids, will not know who I am inside, most of the time and I want them to know. Ever had an alter ego? Once my youngest did. Everything that she wrote was not from her, but from her pseudonym 'Jane'. Well, I have a pseudonym, of sorts. It's the persona where my wishes and dreams are kept safe. She didn't have a name, but she's real, none-the-less, in my thoughts and dreams. I am a city dweller, but my other ego is a country farm girl/mama. I have no animals, but my other ego has chickens, a cat, and, on some days, a horse. I love the outdoors and nature, but am much too familiar with asphalt and concrete. I love tramping thru the woods to see what is over the next hill, but I rarely go out. I love recipes, but am all too acquainted with chicken nuggets and hamburgers. So, who is my other person and will she ever take over the circumstances of my current existence? For now, and for the sake of dreaming, let's call her Abigail (or Abby) after a character that I once admired for her courage and boldness. And let's let her "become" in the pages of this blog. In so doing, I will be true to myself and my quote from my January 2nd blog post:"I want to wander about my mind for creativeness that has been hidden. I want to journey around the despair and disappointment that stifles, and be completely surprised by inspiration that lies dormant. I want to present a beautiful blog that is an inspiration to others, that's not just common place. It will take some effort, I know, but it is an adventure worth taking." So, onward we go . . . .

Tuesday's Small Stone:

Feeling the cool freshness of the new day invigorates my body and mind to innovation.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Small Stones 3 - Need Exercise?

Park out farther so you walk down the road past the neighbour's tree,
split rail and breathe fresh air. lp

What's this? See the earlier post.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Small Stones

I was cruising the blogs, the other day, when I found one that had a challenge to write little short passages about a polished moment of paying proper attention, called 'small stones'. Reason for the exercise was to choose something to write about every day, to help you to connect, to help you to love everything you see - the light and the dark, the happy and the sad, the beautiful and the ugly. The PROCESS of paying attention is what's important.
I originally did this first post in my other blog. I am repeating it here, along with today's new little stone:

Blades . . . emerald blades . . . arbitrarily random . . . soft, velvety and verdant . . . with the weight of the morning. Weight not hard to bear, not a millstone but life's vitality "a vapor that appeareth for a little while and then vanishes away". lp

Saturday's small stone:
Living in crowded conditions brings a need for order and restrictions--on you and them. Rather than forfeit independence, I'd druther have space. lp

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Best Friends

I have two best friends. One on my left and the other on my right. They are not flesh and blood, just paper and ink. In them they contain a world of possibilities! A world where I can explore and dream. A world that could be . . . and is---in my mind.
As I reflect in my attic, I invite them both to enter. They help me clear away the cobwebs and the shadows and bring precision to my thoughts. I love to be in the attic with them. There names are Webster and Roget. I can't be without them for flavor, inspiration and appropriate articulation.
It's a world I invite you to explore with us, here in this blog. I hope you will want to become a follower. It will be a great journey together!