Day 266 – Stars Not in the Sky

Stars Not in the Sky

Day 266

Night by Sidney Lanier

Fair is the wedded reign of Night and Day.
Each rules a half of earth with different sway,
Exchanging kingdoms, East and West, alway.

Like the round pearl that Egypt drunk in wine,
The sun half sinks i’ the brimming, rosy brine:
The wild Night drinks all up: how her eyes shine!

Now the swift sail of straining life is furled,
And through the stillness of my soul is whirled
The throbbing of the hearts of half the world.

I hear the cries that follow Birth and Death.
I hear huge Pestilence draw his vaporous breath:
“Beware, prepare, or else ye die,” he saith.

I hear a haggard student turn and sigh:
I hear men begging Heaven to let them die:
And, drowning all, a wild-eyed woman’s cry.

So Night takes toll of Wisdom as of Sin.
The student’s and the drunkard’s cheek is thin:
But flesh is not the prize we strive to win.

Now airy swarms of fluttering dreams descend
On souls, like birds on trees, and have no end.
O God, from vulture-dreams my soul defend!

Let fall on Her a rose-leaf rain of dreams,
All passionate-sweet, as are the loving beams
Of starlight on the glimmering woods and streams.

No real time to do a proper post because I have the dregs of one of those free “jobs” (isn’t that a contradiction in terms?) to finish up – if I don’t get it done quickly, I might not get paid!  Do these people NOT realize that this is MY time that they are taking from me?  And yes, I was just turned down for another job because my work is not worth paying for unless it is free.  I give up!!!!


Day 260 – I Want to Ride My Bicycle

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Day 260

Going down Hill on a Bicycle, A Boy’s SongBy Henry Charles Beeching


With lifted feet, hands still,
I am poised, and down the hill
Dart, with heedful mind;
The air goes by in a wind.

Swifter and yet more swift,
Till the heart with a mighty lift
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry:–
‘O bird, see; see, bird, I fly.

‘Is this, is this your joy?
O bird, then I, though a boy
For a golden moment share
Your feathery life in air!’

Say, heart, is there aught like this
In a world that is full of bliss?
‘Tis more than skating, bound
Steel-shod to the level ground.

Speed slackens now, I float
Awhile in my airy boat;
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.

Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe’er,
Shall find wings waiting there.

I was delighted to open an email tonight to find that I have been awarded, by Pablo Buitrago,  that much coveted award:  The Versatile Blogger Award!

I would like to thank the Academy...

What surprised me is that I was awarded this once before by the Lovely Kathryn back in November and never, ever responded!  Fie on me, but as I always say, better to respond late than never!  A big thank you to two very thoughtful friends! And so without further procrastination and obliteration we will start with The Rules:

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1. Add the Versatile Award photo on a blog post

2. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.

3. Share 7 things about myself.

4. Pass the award along to 5 favorite bloggers.

5. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Since I have taken care of the first part of The Rules, I am now in a sharing mood and I will treat you to 7 tidbits of information to let you get to know me better and I will even give you time to run away screaming…

  1. Since you all know by now that I am a compulsive counter, you should also know something completely irrelevant to that fact:  I read 98 books last year.  It was not a banner year for reading as I usually take on at least twice that many.  My favorite of those  98? The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin.  My least favorite, you ask?  Renata by Angelina Elias (juvenile talent at best and poor, poor editing).
  2. My favorite drink is a nice tall glass of ice water.  I keep a bag of ice at work so that my glass is always cold and the moment I get home from work, I have a new one prepared.
  3. My cuticles are ragged and I tear the skin away leaving my fingers looking pretty….  awful.
  4. My clothing is arranged in the closet by color then sleeve length and is only allowed to hang on wooden hangers.  My husband’s side of the closet drives me crazy.  I have tried to get my daughter’s closet organized properly, however within an hour it was a disorganized mess of pants, shirts, skirts and jackets.
  5. I used to have nightmares about Kukla, Fran and Ollie and would run crying to sleep in between my mom and dad.  I hope I don’t dream about them tonight!!!
  6. If asked the question, “Would you rather itch all of the time or have the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom all of the time, which would you choose?”, having experienced both, the former all of the time and the latter during pregnancy, I will pick the constant wish to use the bathroom. My hands are itching terribly right now and it drives me to distraction.  Itching – just say NO!
  7. I used to be a “punk rock girl.”  A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away I wore black on the outside because black is how I felt on the inside, my hair was an inch long and I had an “attitude.”  I seemed a little strange, because I was.

Now, I know that you are all wanting to know even more, but all in moderation!  So, I will move on to the next portion of The Rules by nominating 5 more talented and wonderful people (in no particular order):

  1. Jennifer Mendez Photography
  2. Neil at The Dassler Effect
  3. Karen Sue Ballou
  4. Happiness to be Had
  5. Mallery at Improvisations

Should any of you choose to accept this assignment, I look forward to seeing your responses.  You are all very versatile and oh, so interesting!

Day 259 – Casting Silver Light

Casting Silver Light

Day 259

Mrs Moon by Roger McGough

Mrs Moon
sitting up in the sky
little old lady
with a ball of fading light
and silvery needles
knitting the night
Sleep?  SLEEP?!  What is this “sleep” you speak of ?  Sleep and I seem not to be too familiar with each other.  Too much to do and to see and to think about.  And don’t get me started on the books that simply MUST be read!  But tonight, sleep and I are going to get to know each other….  And on that note, I am going to bed!

Day 258 – It Depends on What You Choose

It Depends on What You Choose

Day 258

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Choices. It is all about choices.  I have made one or two of those in my life:  Moving to this area with my parents as a young woman, taking a job at a department store, not pursuing a higher degree in favor of moving up the ladder in retail, living with a man who was unsuited to me, going to a bar with a friend on a cold winter night.  Had I not made those choices, where would I be now, I wonder?  Would I be living the life young Cyndi had hoped for in a large city pursuing the artistic dream?  Would I be jobless and homeless far from the family who loves me?  Would I be happy?  Would I even be alive?
One decision:  To move to a small town in 1990 brought me to this place – to a job that I love, to a relationship with God that I never dreamed possible, to two children whose love overwhelms me and a man who I hope to grow very old with.
I like to think I made the best choice in the world.

Day 229 – Pulling the Plank

Pulling the Plank

Day 229

The Judgement by Robert William Service

The Judge looked down, his face was grim,
He scratched his ear;
The gangster’s moll looked up at him
With eyes of fear.
She thought: ‘This guy in velvet gown,
With balding pate,
Who now on me is looking down,
Can seal my fate.’

The Judge thought: ‘Fifteen years or ten
I might decree.
Just let me say the word and then
Go home to tea.
But then this poor wretch might not be
So long alive . . .’
So with surprise he heard that he
Was saying ‘Five’.

The Judge went home. His daughter’s child
Was five that day;
And with sweet gifts around her piled
She laughed in play.
Then mused the Judge: ‘Life oft bestows
Such evil odds.
May he who human mercy shows
Not count on God’s?’

My friend, Tammy, posted the following status tonight:
You know what drives me crazy? People who claim to be devout Christians, go to church, etc,and yet they talk about people behind their backs, hold grudges, etc. Hypocrites!

Now, I am not perfect and neither are you.  Which leads me into a different tangent on the Judgement scale:  Self-judgement and how I judge others based on how I judge myself.  It can be a pretty prideful pickle for me.

Among the questions about pride, these are my questions about my pride:
♦ Are my ideas better than others’ ideas?
♦ Do I have feelings of unworthiness?
♦ Am I a people pleaser rather than a God pleaser?
♦ Are MY needs more important than the needs of those around me and is MY time so important that I can’t do even simple things for others?

Among the prejudices that are common to people, these are the prejudices I have concerning me and others:
♦ Intellect – Am I smarter than you and therefore better or vice versa?
♦ Personality – Am I more outgoing than you and better or too loud and worse; am I quieter than you – more introverted and who is better than the other?
♦ Hygiene – Am I willing to smile at or hug someone in need because they don’t meet my personal standards?
♦ Body image – Am I inferior to you because my body and my face do not meet society’s standards?

Among the rejections that are common to people, these are the rejections that have influenced how I feel about myself and how I live:
♦ You are not that pretty.
♦ You look like a boy.
♦ You are not good enough to be friends with us.
♦ You are weird.
♦ Bookworm.
♦ You are a follower. You will never lead.
♦ Your faith is stupid and I do not want you in my life. You sicken me.

These rejections have led me to build walls around myself so that I won’t get hurt. I try to fix it by myself and still don’t feel any better.

I have soul ties. A soul tie was defined as an attachment of mind or emotions that affects your will. There are good (Godly) soul ties and there are bad (ungodly) soul ties. The bad ties can be defined as an unhealthy fascination with someone or something and plagues your mind.
My good soul ties: God, my husband, my children, family and friends.
My bad soul ties: Obsessing over what people think of me and what I am doing, obsessing over bad past relationships with people, obsessing over things I have done in the past, my body image.

Pride, rejection and those soul ties all come together as one and affect how I treat my family, my friends, acquaintances and people I pass by on the street. Those rejections, I find, are being passed to my children through me as I reject them for some of the same things I was rejected for.

It is continual work to let them go. But I can because I am good enough. If I do not measure up to another person’s standard, that is his or her problem. It is not my problem. I forgave every single one of those rejections. A wise young man I know puts it like this:  Forgiveness is not denial, not pretending it is okay, repressing how it makes me feel, forgetting. It is letting the offender off the hook – MY hook. It is putting the offender on God’s hook. When we refuse to forgive, we have given part of ourselves to another person and given him or her power. In this, you end up carrying THEIR sins and THEIR burdens. Revenge is not our job; it is our job to love.

And this post has been brought to you by Tammy “Howling Mad” Campbell and Kathryn “Magpie Extraordinaire” Sparks with a very appropriate photo of the LaGrange County courthouse.



Day 227 – Sweet Solitude

Sweet Solitude

Day 227

Alone by Deborah Ager

Over the fence, the dead settle in
for a journey. Nine o’clock.
You are alone for the first time
today. Boys asleep. Husband out.

A beer bottle sweats in your hand,
and sea lavender clogs the air
with perfume. Think of yourself.
Your arms rest with nothing to do

after weeks spent attending to others.
Your thoughts turn to whether
butter will last the week, how much
longer the car can run on its partial tank of gas.

The television is turned off.  The bedroom doors are shut.  The front door is locked.  The dog has just come in from her ‘nightly’ and is settled onto her princess pillow.  I can see one cat who is grooming as she gets ready to dream whatever cats dream about.  And I am surrounded by just the sound of appliances humming in the kitchen, the sound of my fingers tapping on my keyboard and the lap top fan blowing.  I am not wearing my green glasses tonight and all is well.

Day 224 – Its Season Has Passed

Its Season Has Passed

Day 224

Winter Scenes by Karen Stephens

I have

               seen Winter; its cold, grey mornings,

Its frozen mist-drops clinging to yielding tree branches,

Its glass-like tears sparkling in the short noon sun,

I have seen Winter.

I have

               heard Winter; its fast-moving wind noises,

Its sharp voice piercing the solemn quietness of the day,

Its crunch where the crusty snow gives way,

I have heard Winter.

I have

               touched Winter; its frosty whispers on my face,

Its white, wet iciness in my boots,

Its fresh, clean air, breathed in deep draughts,

I have touched Winter.

I have

               known Winter; in its most violent tempers,

Through its placid dreamings,

In its soothing vastness,

I have known Winter.

 I am de-Christmased.  The ornaments are tissued and boxed.  The lights are rolled and bagged.  The tree branches are sorted, bundled and packed away.  My home has a certain strangeness to it now that the clutter and bright lights of Christmas are gone.  It looks naked.  I like the nakedness of the house now, though it could certainly use a bit more stripping.  Now the bleak cold of January can take over.  And that means that Spring is inching ever closer!

(today’s poem is brought to you by my lovely friend, Karen Stephens)

January Will Have its Way...