Showing posts from 2015

So Close...and Yet...

Well, I almost made my goal of $750...just $185 short. On the other hand, I wrote 37 new poems!  I am now working on selecting the ones I want to publish.  

As I go through them, I realize I have a couple of different themes that have run throughout the 30 days.  The most common one is teaching English as a second language and immigrants.  This is followed by love. Then, there are a few that have to do with grandchildren.  Interestingly, I did get on the old soapbox and write a poem that is an open letter to the world about doing what needs to be done and not simply talking about it.

Maybe there will be a couple of books in this mix!

Above is one of my favorite poems.  Hope you enjoy it as well.  Oh, and while 30 Poems in November is over, as far as the poem-ing goes, donations are still being collected.  

If you want to help gift literacy to adults, please visit Donations are tax deductible.  Thanks for your help!!!


Nearing the Finish Line!

The 30 Poems in November Challenge is coming to an end. I can see the finish line as I prepare to write the last of this month's poems.  However, I am not going to finish at the top of the pack unless more donations come in during the last few days.  

I had hoped to raise $750 dollars.  At this moment, I am at $ close, yet so far.  

If all my friends and family donated $10, I would quadruple the amount I have pledged!  

Let me share some of what this money will do.  First, it goes to help fund the programs that the Center for New Americans provides to enable refugees and immigrants to be able to grasp the English language in order to fully participate in their communities. Second, it is used to provide the supplies needed for the students. Third, it helps pay for the training we give tutors. Finally, it covers various costs that don't fall under government or other grants. 

The poem I wrote yesterday is dedicated to my students.  Their struggle is great, yet they remain op…

30 Poems in November

The 30 Poems in November Challenge has begun!

My first poem is dedicated to my newest grandchild.  The prompt was to write a "day after" poem, which came from the Poetic Asides website. So many great poets share their work there.

The 30 Poems in November Challenge is a fundraiser for the Center for New Americans, at which I teach.  This is a non-profit organization with a mission that "provides the under-served immigrant, refugee and migrant communities of Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley with education and resources to learn English, become involved community members and obtain tools necessary to maintain economic independence and stability.

If you are interested in supporting my efforts, please visit my Razoo site: All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you in advance for all your support in whatever form it takes.  


Find The Good by Heather Lende

Roger often brings me home "treats" from the library.  He knows that I seldom have time to peruse the stacks.  In fact, I usually only go to the library if I know what I need. So, his frequent "findings" are always a delight!

Last week, he came home with a real treasure of a book, Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-town Obituary Writer, by Heather Lende. Yes, you read correctly, "obituary writer!"  I was intrigued and delighted from get-go.

Heather writes about how being the obituary writer for her small town in Alaska brought her wisdom, which she lovingly shares in this book.  These are great life-lessons like, "Be sure your dog walks you, or Put on a costume now and then, and, one of my favorites, "Listen to your mother," to name a few.

In her telling of the lives of the people she knows, loves and respects, she finds the lessons that she relates to her own life.  She tells her tales as one would if they were sitting across…

Review of Deranged by Nora L. Jamieson

When I was first asked to read Deranged, by Nora L. Jamieson, I was drawn by the fact that the promo for it said it was a book with three stories about three woman. "Each woman wrestles with forces, both personal and ancestral..." the letter read.  I was hooked.

Nora Jamieson takes the reader on a journey where paths cross, lives change, time merges and magic abounds. Her characters - Anna, Sophie and Louise - are alive and vibrant.  I know these women! 

I connected immediately with the use of "deranged" within the stories.  Not sure if this is a New England term or not (Nora lives in Connecticut; I live in Massachusetts.) but I have heard the word used many times over the years in the same context as her stories.

Nora's descriptions of the natural world are alive with color, motion, sound, smell and even the bitter/sweet taste of life.  The reader can get lost in the woods along with the characters, yet feel that they know the way home.  There is such beauty in h…

Thoughts of Vincent

Tomorrow, we will go to the Clark Museum to see the special exhibit they have on Van Gogh and Nature.  I am so excited! Vincent has long been my favorite painter of all time.  His Starry Night (pictured above) is "my" picture!  When I was little, I truly thought he had painted it for me.

At the beginning of this year, I picked the word "light" to meditate upon and use as a creative prompt.  When I think of Vincent's paintings, I think of his use of light and dark.  I haven't seen one in which he hasn't played with both the brilliant, bright colors along with the dark, and sometimes, broody ones. Vincent knew how to paint "light."

Over the years, I have honored my favorite artist with a poem or two.  Here, in celebration of seeing his work, in celebration of Light and Dark, in celebration of Vincent Van Gogh, are my poems.

Vincent’s Sky 

In a life, long before now, 
you painted swirling lines of fire, 
scattered across a landscape 
of purple and blue.…

Circle of Life

My girls and Mom many moons ago
Many years ago, a very wise person told me to cherish the days of my young motherhood, for, she said, they will go by in a flash.  Sure enough, here I am four daughters and soon-to-be nine grandchildren later!  Where has the time gone?  

Holding my grandchildren always reminds me of being a young mother.  I loved mothering!  Being a stay at home mom during the 80's and 90's was like swimming up stream.  Women's Lib was raging around me, but I didn't care.  I was so grateful to be home with my girls, to be the parent on the street that everyone could come to, to be the mom who drove everyone to school events and to be the mom who would stop everything to hold a hand, wipe a tear or make a cup of tea.

My own dear Mom once said, "Any child within arm reach is mine until they go."  I had thought her a bit crazy at the time, but after rearing my own girls along with hundreds of others who happened by for a day, a week, a month or even …

Changing the World with Waves of Loving-Kindness

Back in May, I began an event on Facebook - Changing the World with Waves of Loving-Kindness.  My thoughts were, that if we do just one act of loving-kindness a day, the ripple effect of it will change the world.  

Since I have been busy with that, I have neglected my blog, here.  But, today, I have decided that my act of loving-kindness would be to tell those I love - whether near or far - thank you for being in my life!  What better mode of communication to you all, than my blog?!

When I first thought of doing this event, I wondered if I could actually come up with examples of how the ripple effect works.  Silly me!  Creator led me to this wonderful video that shows exactly what I was thinking about.

I love this story, because it reminds me of the hundreds of kindnesses done to me over many, many years (more than half a century, now!).  I have done my best to live by the example of those who have blessed me - giving what I can, when I can.  How awesome to realize that each act continue…

Taste of Spring