A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

Friday, January 12, 2024

Poetry Friday: A Winter Poem For Reluctant Poets

 Poetry Friday is being hosted this week by Tracey at Tangles & Tails

Today there was no school as there was a snow day.  All the snow reminded me of an incident from 14 years ago when I was teaching a unit on  poetry to my children when I was homeschooling them.  The original post is found here.

Each of my children wrote a poem, but my 8 year old at the time son was originally a little reluctant to write his. Before producing the picture poem below, he recited something like Winter, winter I hate winter.

Later when I had some time to myself.  I reflected on the incident and wrote a poem as if it was written by an 8 year old who did not want to write a poem.

It reminds me of something that P.D. Eastman of Go Dog Go, or The Best Nest might write.

Winter. Winter. Winter. Winter.

Winter is no fun.
Winter. Winter. Winter Winter.
Now my poem's done.

I say it's done
but Dad say no.
Who wants to write
when you can play in the snow?

Sledding, Skiing, snow ball fighting.
Winter's really quite inviting.
It's fun outside and in the home
but do I have to write a poem?!!!

Winter. Winter. Winter. Winter.
Now, my poem's done!


I write this poem almost 14 years ago.  The youngest of the three children I was home schooling at the time is a senior now in high school.  I am working as a building substitute (a substitute teacher who works at the same building all year) at a middle school  I think of this poem from time to time when I encounter reluctant writers or winter activities.


For more Poetry Friday click here.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

National Take a Poet to Lunch Day

 January 6, 2024 is Take A Poet to Lunch Day.  It was started in 1995 making today the 20th annual celebration of this event created by Professor Arnold Adoff. This link gives some good ideas of how to celebrate poetry on this day.  A few years back I found out about this day and wrote a poem to commemorate the occasion,

I Took A Poet to Lunch Today

I took a poet to lunch today

And there amid the verse

Our flow of thought

Was free and light

Not stifled, bland or terse

I took a poet to lunch today

And traded quip for quip

She scrawled a sonnet on her check

 And left it with her tip

If you can't take a poet to lunch today

Please don't wear a frown

We all write poems in our own way

And some just write them down.

A few years later I included the poem in a holiday poetry reading on my vlog.

Best 2 Next Ten

The beginning of a new year is a time of looking back and looking forward at the same time.  In that spirit, I will be writing about the best 2 books I read for the first time in 2023, and also list ten books I am either currently reading or planning to read soon in 2024.   The best 2 books I read in 2024 were  A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and Theo of Golden by Allen Levi

In September I wrote a little about Levi here.  Levi has been many things in his career a lawyer, an independent singer song writer, a judge, a bee keeper, just to name a few.  He weaves many of those experiences into his first novel.  My favorite album of Allen's is Rivertown, a musical love letter to the history of Columbus Georgia.  Theo of Golden is also about a  river town.  The fictional southern city of Golden is an additional character among many finely developed characters.  But the characters and the setting take a back seat to the story which is about kindness, community and redemption.  Theo of Golden and is available in multiple places, including Rabbit RoomAmazon, and at Levi's website.

In preparation for the launch of his book, Levi wrote several pieces on his blog about writing.  In one, he talked about the novel A Gentlemen in Moscow by Amor Towles.  I was intrigued, so I borrowed it from my local library.  

A Gentleman in Moscow is about a man who is under house arrest for over 20 years in a Moscow Hotel.  It takes place almost entirely in the hotel, you would imagine this would make for one claustrophobic read, far from it!

Towles like Levi successfully makes the setting a pivotal character in this book.  The 2016 novel will soon be a television series on Showtime. I was sad to finish both of these books and am looking forward to rereading them again soon.  Which brings us to  our Next Ten ....

This will generally just be a list of 10 books, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I will also be entering a small update on my progress in my quest to read Fellowship Of The Ring before my 60th birthday,.

Dreyer's English - Benjamin Dreyer

Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin

Concise Theology - J.I. Packer

1984 - George Orwell

Write Better - Andrew T. Le Peau

Royko - F. Richard Ciccone

Fellowship of The Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien 
I obtained the book from my local library, although my son has since informed me that he has several copies he could lend me.  I have finished the first chapter.  

The Periodic Table of D.C. - Melanie Scott

Theo of Golden - Allen Levi

A Gentleman In Moscow - Amor Towles

Note: I have already completed one book on this list since, I started writing this post a few days back.  When I have finished reading 4 more books, I will post a new Last 5 Next Ten.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

A New Years Resolution or A Tolkien Gesture

 Today is J..R.R. Tolkien's birthday.  I have long been an admirer of his work.  It started when I went on a field trip in school to a puppet version of The Hobbit.  On the occasion of my first trip to Mackinaw Island, my parents purchased me a set of his Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.  It was never actually intended to be a trilogy, it was published in 3 parts due to it's bulk and in case it proved to be a failure.

It of course was not a failure, being one of the best selling and most loved books of all time.  I on the other hand have failed many times in my attempts to read or even listen to the entirety of Fellowship of The Rings, the first installment of the work.  This is a cause of some embarrassment for me, and also a point of friction between myself and my son, who had read all 3 installments while he was still a tween. 

I am actually a much bigger fan of his fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis and generally read all 7 books of Chronicles of Narnia every year.  I have decided in honor of Tolkien's birthday that I will attempt yet again to read this magnificent tome.  Two years ago I was successful at my attempt to finish Moby Dick, this year I hope to finish LOTR. I will start  to read it this Winter and attempt to complete it by the end of Spring.  If I still haven't finished it by the beginning of Summer, I will complete the rest by listening to an audio version.  I will give myself to September 2nd, which is the day Tolkien died.  This years it falls on my eldest daughter's 25th birthday, and  thus a easy to remember due date.  If all goes well I will repeat the process in 2025 and 2026 for the final 2 installments.  I will update my progress here with my installments of Last 5 Next Ten

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Christmas Tree

For More Wordless Wednesday click here to be redirected to Comedy Plus.

First Poem Of The Year


I have written my first poem in a while, and it turns out also to be my first poem of the new year.  


Why do I juggle?

Why Do I struggle,

with the pressure of every demand?

Why do I struggle?

Why must I juggle

When God has each ball

well in hand?

Why do I stumble?

Why do I grumble

constantly rehashing my plight?

Why do I grumble?

Why must I stumble

instead of choosing to walk

in the light?

Why can't I stop

Juggling and Stumbling

Struggling and Grumbling

Living a life based on fear?

Why cant I give up on 

Trying and Crying

Believing the lying

That I whisper into my ear?

The answers are found in the questions.

Truth is more than suggestions.

Poetry Friday is being hosted this week by Marcie Flinchum Atkins.  Click here to join the fun.  .

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip