Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cat's in the Cradle

I held you
fwundle-bundled, in a
and we gazed
true love

you woke me,
multiple times
interrupting my night,
binkie search

you'd throw up
in places I'd rather
you NOT

Yesterday is gone

Today, in passing,
you toss out,
multiple times a day
for no reason,
except you're walking by

Today, you don't need
bottles or diapers or bath,
stories or cuddles or

Today, we
listen to Skrillex
Big Bang Theory

Today, you need
to vent,
spew venomous poison
of teenage angst, and
it's not the time for me
to correct your language
it's just to listen

Don't know
which stage is harder
Just that it's all over
In the blink of an eye.

It's Wednesday, so I'm heading to the poet's pub: dVerse to link up for OpenLinkNight.  Claudia is hosting tonight, so stop by, grab a beverage, and enjoy some poets.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tina's Ten Tidbits

I'm going to try this random quarter thing again. I'm trying to be as clever and entertaining as the amazingly talented, funny, snarky, always real jenn at Quirky Pickings. First time I tried? Crashed and burned after 12 items. Let's see how it goes this time.

one: bribery is a very useful parenting tool. C'mon. Admit it.

two: some towels have a very polished side, and then the other side is a bit more textured. We're not talking nice-get-for-your-wedding-gift towels. I mean those that you buy say at a beach resort or have cartoon pictures on them. Which side do you like? I like the scratchier side. It dries better.

three: you've heard YellowBoy stories and quotes. Well, maybe not. Most of them go on facebook. I love this one. We've just finished a screaming match (a very rare occasion with this child) and he says, emphatically, “You're lucky I have such a moderate temper!” Um, yeah. I am. It's just that this wasn't an example.

four: are you the kind of person who buys ziplock type bags because of their great usefulness, or are you the kind who tries to save money and buys the regular bags and curses them and wishes for ziplocks? I'm b. Trying to become an a. I now have both. The hard part is deciding if something is ziplock worthy.

five: was it just me, or were you irritated that all the water flooding the Titanic was so damn nice and clean? Why yes, I've watched it a few times. Like 20. It's what I do when I knit: watch movies I've seen already.

six: when I was in the hospital in February (asthma) for five days, I'd forgotten my comb and brush in the rush (go immediately!) to get there. So having watched The Little Mermaid countless times, I used my fork. Not kidding. Then they brought me a brush. Cheap, silly, hospital brush. Best brush I've ever had!

seven: if you drop a very sharp knife, say a Cutco knife, don't try to catch it. Just saying...

eight: my favorite quote from Bull Durham is, “The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness.” Annie Savoy. (Susan Sarandon)

nine: why do they put romaine hearts in ziplock bags and then punch circular holes in the bag? I also think wasting ziplock technology on a bag of cotton balls is ridiculous. Who spills cotton balls and makes an unrecoverable mess like chili on the handmade rug? I guess I have ziplock on the brain. Or did when I jotted all my ideas over the last two months to come up with 25 items.

ten: I know that John Hughes movies weren't the height of cinematic achievement, but I still love them. Breakfast Club was his best in my opinion.

You know what? I don't think I should do 25 items. I'm not as concise as jenn. I think I'd better stick to Tina's Ten Tidbits. Brevity is the hardest to achieve for me – remember this?

Besides, I think I was bordering on copyright infringement there...
I hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend. If you're one of those amazing men and women who have or are serving for us THANK YOU.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


once again
         t t

I love you”
He says

He loves me, but
all locked up,
in deep places,
where years hide
that once bright

Now so dim I only
dare dream, that
might one day
what he buried
God knows why

I'm still here,
and I'm still burning
brightly enough, for
a whole family
to survive

For how long?
I feel my light fading
No one can go it alone
It takes two plus
And that's on a good day
Lose any of those,
like any good boy scout knows,
there's no fire.

It's Wednesday, so I'm heading to the poet's pub: dVerse to link up for OpenLinkNight.  My buddy Brian Miller is hosting, so stop by, grab a beverage, and enjoy some poets.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

IKEA Gift Card Winner!

I bet you think I forgot. Yup. I did. I do have a good excuse though. I'm on vacation at my brother's house. He and his wife just had their first kid and I'm here to do whatever needs to be done! Holding a newborn is so comforting. Much easier than having to help my teenage boys finish all their end of the year projects and study for finals...damn it goes fast though. I remember holding them like this...

Some of you however are wondering what I'm talking about. Here, let me refresh your memory. Swedish lessons! IKEA gift card drawing!

As promised, I numbered all the comments from A-Z, and the extra credit post on Flamsig (if you missed it, go read. Great, useful word. Especially if you have kids. Of any age.)

Random.org picked Andrea's comment on my G ~ gaffel = fork post. Go say hi and tell her congrats! Andrea – left a comment on your post. Let me know your preferred delivery method.

Don't know about IKEA?  Go.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Post A-to-Z Road Trip!

Well, blogger let me down. Sniff. Here's what was supposed to go up at 5am this morning...

I'm heading out for a road trip of the mind for the summer! For all the details and the creative (ahem)advertising, head over to the A-Z Challenge Blog where Shannon (The Warrior Muse) and I are introducing the Post A-to-Z Road Trip. Last year we called it the Post-Challenge Challenge, but we thought of a better name. All the info and the linky is over there. Tomorrow, the linky moves to a tab at the A-Z, and to tabs at both of our blogs.  Head on out on the open road with us!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Challenge Reflections From An Athlete's Perspective

Last year I compared my challenge experience to sex. (Why yes, actually, that was a popular post...one of the top ten here at Life is Good ;-). This year though, I'm going for a sports analogy. I tend to think in analogies, and sex and sports being two of my favorite pastimes, these analogies make sense. To this tired host at least.

When I was an athlete, I learned the benefit of not only discipline, dedication, but also teamwork. A team that works well together, supports each other, and each contributes in his or her area of expertise, can make the whole effort run like a well-oiled, smoothly running machine. I also learned that varying your work-outs leads to a better performance. All of these ideas translate easily to writing.

This year was my first time co-hosting, and boy was that fun. I felt honored to be asked, and we had a great time all getting to know each other as we worked together on this common goal. We discovered that our skill sets, though each different, really meshed in an amazing way. If we needed digital art? Jeremy. If we needed inspiration and encouragement, Jenny. Many of us aren't twitterers (not even sure that's the right term...) we had Konstanz and Damyanti. Lost your muse? Shannon. Of course with Lee being the buck-stops here guy, and Alex, Captain of the sign-in list, we sure needed our all-around awesome members who could do a bit of everything to fill in, and cheerfully. Thanks Matthew, DL, Elizabeth, Karen, and Stephen for sharing your many talents and contacts with us. (For the record, I was schedule manager and monitor of the info@ email.)

Dedication and discipline. These were obviously needed to complete this challenge. To me dedication means that since I've promised to do so something, I need to dedicate a part of the day for that task. Surprisingly, it turned out that late at night was my most productive time. The kids were all in bed, hubby occupied with one of his many engineering projects, so I could write in peace. Not to mention the fact that the deadline was staring me right in the face. At 1 am, posting at 5 am is a bit closer than comfortable for me, but it worked. I discovered the long since buried night owl in me. And consumed a LOT of popsicles.

Discipline means that it's not something to skip. If I've dedicated the time, I'd better have the discipline to follow through with what I promised. There were some times when this was harder than others. I loved mentoring new bloggers, and those bloggers who were new to the challenge. I loved getting emails and helping them through whatever difficulty they were having. It was also great to be able to forward those thorny ones to other team members with more skill in that area, as alluded to previously. I did have to learn how to balance my mentoring time with my posting time, because I knew that no matter what, skipping a post wasn't an option. So managing my time became much more crucial than when I was “only” a participant.

As to the varied work-outs, that's my take-away from this year. I came off last year's challenge super excited and rejuvenated in my blogging, but that slowly died as I went back to random posting about random topics that interested me. No cohesiveness. No order. NO SCHEDULE.

For the rest of 2012, I'll be dedicating and committing and disciplining myself to a 3-4 times a week posting schedule. Each of the days will be different, but I hope that they will all interest you:

Mondays: I plan on continuing to teach Swedish. It will be on a by-request basis. Send me the words you'd like to know. I'll add them to the list, and get to them in order received. If I run out of requested words, I'll choose my own.

Poetry. I love writing poems, and want to experiment with different forms of poetry. I mostly write free-form, but would love to get good at some of the structured styles. I'll be linking up with a group of poets at dVerse, an online poets' pub.

Friday: Fiction. Maybe a practice scene from something I'm working on, or maybe a short, short story. Brevity is something I continually am working on (and it improved immensely during April, a good friend assured me of that, which means a lot to me.)

Saturday: This will be my bonus day where I can do anything. This day will resemble the randomness of what Life is Good has been so far.

I've decided on these varied workouts because I've been more and more contemplating my own tag line:

wanna be writer seeks place to vent, practice, and share

I think I can still do all of that, but I need some days of sprints, some days of distance running, and some days in the weight room, just building muscle. It's my wish that you join me on all my training days.

How was the challenge for you? If you weren't a participant, but ran into some of the rest of us in your journeys, what were your impressions? I'm looking forward to reading all of your thoughts.

P.S Don't forget IKEA gift card drawing on 5/12 (go back a few posts to find the details, basically: comment on the Swedish lessons). Another not-to-be-missed date is 5/14 when we introduce the 2nd Annual Post-Challenge Challenge. Stay tuned.

Here's the linky if you still need to link yours.  Enter THE exact URL for the reflections post, NOT the front page of your blog (so opposite of what we did during the challenge)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Extra Credit: Flamsig

I've spent a month teaching Swedish, rushing all over blogland meeting new people, answering a kabizillion emails, and I just realized I've left out a word I'd meant to teach. Don't quite know how this happened, but let's call this post here make-up work. Extra credit. I remember well how interested certain math students were right there at the end of the semester to get an extra boost to their grade. Never mind that had they just turned in more assignments, there would have been no need for any extra effort...But you might want extra credit – there is the drawing for the IKEA gift card...here are the details

The word is flamsig. Pronounced flum (as in plum) + see (as in look at). Flumsee. You know how late at night when you've been working hard all day on a project with either someone else or a group, and decorum starts to break down, and people get a little giddy, pretty soon laughing at every little thing that happens, which is only funny because it's late at night and you're dead tired and laughter is your body's defense against sheer exhaustion? That's flamsig.

Another example. You've been in the car all day with your siblings and it's getting late at night and you've been told to be quiet so that your younger brother will keep sleeping. All of a sudden everything is funny and being quiet is impossible because everything makes you giggle. Uncontrollable silly laughter that is unstoppable, even IF your strict father says sternly from the driver's seat, “Flamsa INTE!” I probably don't even need to translate that...it means don't be flamsig...so you put your pillow over your face to try to mask your laughter. But it's a tenuous quiet. All it takes to start the whole cycle again is one look at your sister making a goofy face and you're in trouble again.

My boys know this word. I've shared it with many of my friends who are also moms. It's a very useful word. So all you have to do when you want the lot of them to stop being silly, and giggly, and loud and disturbing the peace is to say, “FLAMSA INTE!” (in + te, as in telephone) (oh, and the verb form, flamsa, is flum, still as in plum, + a, as in I want “a” banana.)

See you Monday for reflections on the April A-Z Challenge.  Yes, I'll explain the schedule thing then.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gone Fishing

Shhh. Blogger sleeping. Will return Saturday, May 5th. Meanwhile, fire up your questions and your prompts. It's going to be a new schedule when I return. I learned a lot in the last four months of challenge-wrangling, and THE most important discovery is that this girl, a self-proclaimed Schedule-Woman, needs a schedule. Weird, huh? I'll fill you in on the new deal then. 

For now? Sweet dreams. 

P.S Don't forget the IKEA gift card give-away.  I'll be numbering all the comments from April starting from 4/1 to 4/30.  The more posts you comment on, the better your chances.  You still have time to read the whole language course.  Drawing will be 5/14 when the Reflections posts are done.  If you need more info about that, go here.