Saturday, March 31, 2007

Chiefbiscuit from as it happens has tagged me for 'What Happened on Your Birthday'? This entails going to Wikipedia to find 3 events, 2 birthdays, 1 death and 1 holiday that happened on your birth date - that is, month and date (not necessarily the same year). Then you must tag 5 other bloggers.

On my birthday: 23rd September
1884 - Herman Hollerith patents his mechanical tabulating machine.

2002 - Mozilla Firefox (Phoenix) web browser is born: version 0.1.

Shared b'days:
480 BC - Euripides, Greek playwright (d. 406 BC)
Julio Iglesias, Spanish singer

Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)

n 2006, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) fell on this day, beginning at sunset the evening before.

Tagged bloggers: lee, Robyn, M, twitches, churlita


Thursday, March 29, 2007

more image inspiration

This week’s optional assignment is to find a painting or photograph or piece of visual art and somehow describe it. But go further: be in it. Become the model or the painter. The more famous the work of art, the better, because then we know just what piece of art.
So this week, if you want, try stepping inside a work of art and writing from that perspective.

Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother
1871; Oil on canvas, 144.3 x 162.5 cm; Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Whistler, James Abbott McNeill (1834-1903). American-born painter and graphic artist, active mainly in England.

"Tis a dismal existence
For me, as here I sit,
Motionless; barely breathing,
While he looks, and looks again.
Then...dab, stroke, rub,
Look again.
Never a word uttered.
Only the sound of our breathing,
the bristles brushing canvas.

These aching bones, so stiff,
Will creak loudly when at
Last I'm allowed to stir.
How did I come to this?
Sitting still as a stone
While supper burns!


And, the winner is:

On March 14th, my friend Pea of Pea's corner, celebrated her one year blogiversary. To celebrate she gave away 3 prizes, drawing names from those who posted comments on her blog from March 8th through the 14th. She did the drawing on March 15th, and yours truly won 3rd prize!
Pea is the person who made me a blogger and has been there to encourage and support me everyday since I started. She is the warmest most outgoing, cheerful person I've ever met. Her blog is a delight to read.
Thank you my friend. As you know butterflies are a favorite of mine!

I've finished my course of antibiotics and steroids. Thankfully my respiratory system has mended and life is good once again. Went bike riding twice this week and hope to get back to running next week.
Thank you to everyone who expressed well wishes and advice!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Week #43

Short and Sweet (One Line Haiku)

Winter floes down river toward spring.

Redwing's home awaits.

Surging, rushing, washing time away.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

#52 - In the Kitchen

On the one year anniversary of Sunday Scribblings, what could be a better place to confabulate than "In the Kitchen?"

A big congratulations and thank you to Laini and Megg for their dedication, perseverance and fortitude in provide us with a place to stretch our literary wings!

A votre sante, and another year of scribbling.

I grew up in a home with a stay at home mom whose avocation was gourmet cooking. Just around the corner from our house, a block or so away, was Aunt Nellie's. Aunt Nellie was my Dad' aunt, but she was my "grandmother." She was an earthy type who loved to put meat and potatoes dishes of a French Canadian persuasion on the table. Suffice it to say that all through my growing up years, the two homes I frequented most often were always redolent with the delectable aromas of home cooking. It must be added here that both my mother and Aunt Nelle worked in kitchens so small that two people in them at the same time was a crowd.

Some of my best memories, past and present , are centered around holidays and family gatherings. The fragrances emanating from the kitchen were aroma therapy for my being. It can easily be said that I am a visual person, but I think my sense of smell is most likely the second most important sense with witch I interpret my world.

A whiff of the bouquet wafting from the Thanksgiving or Christmas kitchen to this day is a guaranteed mood elevator for me. Roast Turkey, stuffing with sage impregnated poultry seasoning, fresh baked rolls cooling on the side board, pumpkin and apple pies sending cinammony aromas to the core of my senses, and of course the aroma of fresh ground coffee beans mingle complemenarily with the attar of freshly brewed cafe. These are the smells that spell home for me.

The kitchen for all of its pungent smells, piquant aromas to be savored is more than just a food preparation center. Perhaps in many, but at least in our home, the kitchen is the nucleus around which the whole family's activities revolve.

In our house the kitchen is the gathering place. The room for food prep and eating, for reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles and staring at the weather. We talk, chat and argue in the kitchen. I listen to music in the kitchen, either from the radio or from the stereo speakers I installed to carry the sounds from the main stereo. We spend time everyday after the evening repast bonding with our two cats in the kitchen.

Our kitchen is small, so during family get togethers it quickly becomes over crowded, and that's just the way we like it. There aren't enough kitchen chairs, so you either retrieve one from the dining room or you stand, lean or even sit on the floor. But you would never go to another room. A melange of conversations flow...bouncing off the 12 foot ceilings and usual appliances. All the while sipping wine, drinking beer, nibbling, sampling and just enjoying each others company.

Our kitchen serves as a repository of books and collectibles, a showcase for new and old photographs, as a reception area, an office, a central booking room, a bulletin board and a calender of everyones appointments and activities. It is a pantry, a mini wine cellar, a library of cook books, a place of traditional, slow or microwave cookery. It's basketville and a storeroom for dishes and crockery.

In past years our kitchen served as the mayor's office where many village decisions were discussed and made, as well as school board decisions, and budget building sessions. It was a place where interviews and advice sessions took place. I think I even hypnotized a client at my kitchen table more than a few times.

In our house the kitchen is a warm comfortable room where family, friends and visitors tend to congregate. A place that sparks and stimulates the senses with a bouquet garni of aromas. It is a classroom where one can learn family customs and rituals, storytelling and conversation. A place to learn table manners, how to set a table. And how to share the chores!

Viva la cuisine et bon appetite!!!!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thank you all for your well wishes and advice to see the doctor. I did take your advice.
I saw him yesterday morning and he prescribed an antibiotic and a steroid. If there is no improvement in three days he'll do more extensive tests.

My reluctance to visit the doctor is part male ego, ie: the "I can fix it myself" mentality. Also, because I work with docs, I'm reluctant to pester them with niggling complaints about seemingly picayune illnesses. Colds really do resolve themselves without "medical" intervention and I thought this would be the case here.

So here's to my wife, my physician from afar (Jelly), and all my online family!!!! Thank you for your concern and prodding. ;-)


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm feeling mighty poorly. The cold I contracted a month ago just won't release it's hold on me. I was busy on call for the weekend and it kicked my butt. My energy level is at about zero. I'm seriously considering going to my doctor for advice and testing.

So if I'm not around for a few days, you'll know why.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

#51 - Inspiration

Definition: A breathing in (inhaling).
Inspiration = life
Life = inspiration
Inspiration = inspiration


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

thursday post — defining moments

Thursday 15 March, 2007


Sleeping, waiting, waiting.
Patience curled in a ball
Like a fuzzy catapillar.
Warm shades of brown,
Peeking out; just checking
Don't want to be bamboozled.

Finding the savory sunshine
Where ever it falls, following
From space to space, opening
Opening, soaking in old Sol's rays.

The internal alarm slowly aware;
Hum, rolling, clicking
Opening, closing. "I'm home."
Up, stretch, down--- walk
Touching, scratching, rubbing.
Pure unadulterated love.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wednesday 14 march, 2007

Yesterday's spring thaw was a welcome break from last weeks frigid temps. DOAC. Worked 'til 2300 on call Mon. night. had the day off yesterday. Took the old lap top for repair...needed a new hard drive, but better than a new computer. Call for the weekend coming up. It's been a while since I had a weekend because i had first week in Feb.

Off to the gym for strength training.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Tuesday 13 march, 2007

Contemplating spring
Puddles form from winter melt.
Stand on river bank


Cross legged
thoughts quietly Cataloged
Peace, tranquility

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

'To die, to sleep ... To sleep, perchance to dream."
Hamlet's Soliloquy

Sunday Scribblings prompt # 50 for 11 march, 2007: Dream Journey
As the Plane banked to the right, Limerace looked out the window. Below was France. In particular, the city of Paris. Continuing to absorb the view an emotion, a sad exuberance as he called it, built in him, unexplained. Tears welled up in his eyes, a lump formed in his throat, and he whispered, more to himself than to anyone else; "I'm home."

Jacques met them at the taxi area and they rode to the apartment in the 16th. Quickly the bags were deposited inside and immediately , well, after mandatory visit to the salle de bain, they left to begin their excursion and become acquainted with Paris. "It is better not to give in to the desire for sleep" said Jacques. "You will adjust quicker if you accommodate to the local time."
It was 1000 Paris time, but Limerace's body thought it was 0400, 6 hours earlier.

The excitement of his dream realization pouring out before him put fatigue on the back burner. From the introduction to the Paris metro until 1600 Paris time, when he fell into stuperous sleep on Jacques's day-bed for two hours, Limerace Orgilis LeBeau was enamored of a beautiful spring day in the city of light, the country of his dreams.

Exiting the metro to the world famous boulevard, Champ de Elise, L.O.L was enveloped, as if by a comfortable cloak of contentment and was completely absorbed with every minute detail he encountered. He was captivated by the width of the boulevard, by the width of the sidewalk, the trees in early spring bud, the sidewalk cafés beginning to be filled with early partakers of le déjeuner, or the patrons sipping their café express. They strolled leisurely up to and past the massive Arc de Triomphe and stopped at cafe Le Cristal on avenue des Grand Armees for lunch and
their first glass of authentic in country full bodied red French wine.

Delirious with sensory overload, so began day one of the dream journey.

"voir Paris et mourir"

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Friday, March 09, 2007

I Remember.........................

April 1982. Vacation, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Saturday the 3rd of April 1982 our family embarked on a vacation trip from our home in northern N.Y. State to Myrtle beach S.C. We traveled in a mini caravan with two other families. the temperature at our 4 AM departure time was 34 degrees F.

The plans were all in place (Mary Catherine had every detail worked out to the second). We'd drive the first day as far a Emporia, Va., spend the night there, leave early the next morning and arrive at our pre-rented condos on the beach shortly after noon on Sunday 4 April.

Michelle was 14 , Bobby 9, and Jacob was 4 years old. They moved around between cars when we would stop for gas except for Jacob who's car seat was in our vehicle.

The weather was horrendous until we got into Virgina. There was dense heavy fog all through Pennsylvania, then thru Maryland and Washington D.C. we encountered heavy wind and rain. At one point on the beltway it was raining so hard I couldn't see the front of my car. I was driving a Volkswagen bus! Of course every body was driving 60+ mph. The three cars were staying in touch by CB radio since we could no longer see each other. Mary was the only one familiar with the route and had to keep us appraised of which exit we were to get off at. I remember radioing Jim and saying maybe we should get off the road and wait out this toad choker. It was definitely touch and go for too many minutes to suit me. Finally and unexplainably we got through D.C. and the rain, intact and no accidents.

The temp was now 70 F. and humid due to the rain. Spring was a couple weeks ahead of home, anyway, and it was good to see some lush greenery.

We were running a little behind schedule and everyone was tired , edgy, hungry and anxious to get to our intermediate destination of the Day's Inn in Emporia Va. We had driven 669 miles in unfriendly conditions and we were ready for a meal and a bed.

Jacob was voicing his desire to eat, from his car seat in the rear. It was around 6:30 pm and well past his supper time and we couldn't access the snack box in the rear compartment. It was probably another 1/2 hour before we'd be at the restaurant. I suggested to him that he could draw pictures of cheese burgers on his magic slate and pretend that every time he lifted the sheet to erase the slate, that he ate the burger.

He took my advice and was quiet and well occupied drawing and eating his imaginary cheese burgers. Shortly thereafter, we arrived at the motel, checked in, unloaded our luggage, and made our way over to the restaurant. When the waitress asked Jacob what he wanted to eat he declined to order anything, saying he was too full from eating too many cheese burgers, and could he just have a glass of Pepsi. He was dead serious and in fact did not eat anything.

Now that is the power of suggestion to the max.

Another cute incident involving Jacob occurred a few days later. It was Thursday the 8th of April.
After a long day of shopping and sightseeing, we stopped at an Italian restaurant for Pizza. During the course of the meal our waitress told Jacob that he was cute and wanted to take him home. Jacob looked at her with his most serious face and told her that "I cry everyday and everyday I say naughty things." That was the end of that conversation.
4 yr. old Jacob in Myrtle Beach

Next Friday I think I'll remember the time we ate at Pizzeria Uno in Boston. ;-)


Thursday, March 08, 2007

RED sky in the Morning.

Thursday 8 March, 2007
Prompt: colors in your world: red

Red comes the morn
Chasing winter's chill
tinting red the white and blue.
The frigid air seems warm.

Red comes the morn.
Robin puffs and listens.
Red wrigglers wiggle
Ready for Red-Breast's beak.

Red comes the morn
From the east to warn.
Many rainbows
Portend spring rain.

Red comes the morn
Igniting red reflex,
retina ablaze
Day returns.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tuesday 6 March, 2007

Prompt: #40 Earth/Dirt/Mud

Compost, humus, loam
Water, sun; life stirs anew.
Nature recycling

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Superstition, prompt # 49

Sunday 4 march, 2007

I'm a non-believer! There I said it. No regrets...I'm not superstitious. I can't think of one superstition, common or obscure, that holds any validity. Does that make me abnormal? (Don't answer that.) It certainly separates me from the majority. There are enough superstitions floating around in our collective consciousness to fill a Great Lake. Some are considered blatantly absurd, but others; well, let's not chance it!

As a child, my friends and I taunted and challenged the common superstitions of the day. My mother never did suffer any back problems. We were never able to find the end of the rainbow so we never found the pot of gold...don't know anybody who did. I've been able to blow all the candles out on my birthday cake since the age of three....never got what I wished for. Anytime I got the longer end of the wish bone didn't bring me my wish. The first time I played poker I lost my whole much for beginners luck. I don't recall ever taking a superstition seriously.

Currently we harbor a black cat. He was feral when my wife took care of him and finally made him a house cat. He's more afraid when I cross his path than I am when he crosses mine. Our first black cat ran out in the street and was hit by a car. He only had one life.

Every year on the vernal equinox (on or about March 21st), one of the two days per year in which the length of day and night are the same, we hear about the magical quality of this day which allows eggs to be balanced on end.Rarely does a year go by in which a local TV news station doesn't send a reporter out to a neighborhood park to capture images of people delightedly placing eggs on the ground and watching in amazement as the eggs stand on end.Rarely do we see any new stories reporting that this same feat can be achieved every other day of the year as well.

© R.E. LaRock

Several years ago (15-20) I read in the newspaper about this phenomenon of standing an egg on end on the spring equinox. In front of my children I did infact stand an egg on end on the smooooooooooooth kitchen the utter amazement of my children and their friends. They all tried to do it but were unsuccessful. In fact, I repeated the act numerous times that day and took the above photo of the achievement. I also did this at other times of the year. Does that mean I'm always well balanced and will have good luck 'til the end of my days? No? I didn't think so.
Earlier today, my friend Jellyhead asked about whether I had had any hospital superstitions (Jelly is a physician in Australia):
Jellyhead said...
"As for superstitions, don't you have ANY? Being medical, surely you believe in not uttering the Q word? (you know, never say 'Gee it's been *quiet*', because for one everyone else will howl you down, and for another thing, 108 patients will suddenly hurtle in the door"

Jelly is right on the mark with that one. I have, much to my chagrin and the entire ER staff, said outloud when leaving the hospital through the ER; "everything looks quiet here tonight." If they get busy, which ER's are wont to do, then rel is a shit head. If they don't get busy then rel is still a shit-head.

I don't believe more women deliver at night or during the full moon. The records tell the story, but the superstition persists.

Out of a sense of self preservation I no longer utter the "Q" word. ;-)

Some people close to me, ie: wife, children, believe that if they say a test was easy, or say "I think I did well on that exam" will jinx themselves and the opposite will out.

I've predicted outcomes and been wrong, or right, but I don't believe in jinxes.

A true story about superstitions in our house: I observed with interested amusement and without comment when my children would have an exceptional game or if the team won the game. From that point on the participants (team members/parents) had to wear the same clothes, ie; shoes, socks, shirts etc. etc. to every succeeding game. Interestingly all three of my children, 4 and 5 years apart played on State championship teams. I could say coincidence, but instead I'll say talent. Oh, and the odor kept the opposition at bay.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Good night and good luck. ;-)


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday 3 march, 2007

Saturday's loquacious musings:

Be fore-warned!!!

Spurge, common name for the family Euphorbiaceae, herbs, shrubs, and trees of greatly varied structure and almost cosmopolitan distribution, although most species are tropical. The spurges are of great economic importance; the sap of most species is a milky latex, and that of the PARA RUBBER TREE is the source of much of the world's natural RUBBER. The genus Manihot includes CASSAVA, the source of tapioca and the most important tropical root crop after the SWEET POTATO. The cactus like euphorbias (genus Euphorbia) are among the most common Old World desert SUCCULENTS and comprise most of the species commonly called spurge. Many are cultivated for their often colorful foliage and the showy bracts enclosing their "naked flowers" (i.e., FLOWERS lacking petals and sometimes sepals). The poinsettia, native to Central America and sometimes classed in a separate genus (Poinsettia), is a popular Christmas plant with large rosettes of usually bright red bracts.

In the comments to the poem I submitted for Poetry Thursday (March 1st, 2007) Clockworkchris said...

..."Is 20 or 30 minutes quick for a poem? Just curious. I think I will keep my mouth shut about the average time it takes me to write a poem cause it might make you guys feel bad. Maybe that is why yours are always better?"

How long does it take to write a poem? That depends on what kind of poem I am writing, an ode, a sonnet, a haiku, a fib, a tanka or free verse, etc.. Sometimes I've written a verse in a few minutes, another time It might have taken three days. Often I mull a prompt over in my mind for days before any concrete inspiration strikes me. If it is a new form, (at this point, in my "writing" endeavors, every form is new),.It takes me awhile to research the rules that may or may not apply. I wrote a free form poem about my daughter's and my time in different wars. I wrote it in a very few minutes. However it must be noted that I pondered the prompt for many days and I slept on the question for two nights before awakening with the poem presenting itself to me immediately and at which moment I sprang from my bed to capture the words as quickly as possible before they faded in wakefulness. So depending how you look at it, I wrote that poem in 3 days or 5 minutes.

In the same comment section my friend Lee from the Kitchen connection had this to say:

Lee said...

"Whoever your muse is, Rel, she must be quite wonderful!"

First, Thank you to everyone who was gracious enough to comment! All your comments were well received and taken to heart. They are encouragement enough for me to continue to write.
All nine Muses together or individually have sat on my bed and inspired me at one time or another. When they take a hiatus I'm forlorn, when they visit I'm uplifted.

Muses, in Greek mythology, nine goddesses, daughters of the god Zeus, king of the gods, and of Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The Muses were believed to inspire all artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians. By late Roman times (3rd century to 5th century), each Muse was believed to preside over a particular art: Calliope was the muse of epic poetry; Clio of history; Euterpe of lyric poetry sung to the accompaniment of the flute; Melpomene of tragedy; Terpsichore of choral songs and the dance; Erato of love poetry sung to the accompaniment of the lyre; Polyhymnia of sacred poetry; Urania of astronomy; and Thalia of comedy.
The Muses were said to be the companions of the Graces and of Apollo, the god of music. They sat near the throne of Zeus and sang of his greatness and of the origin of the world and its inhabitants and the glorious deeds of the great heroes. The Muses were worshiped throughout ancient Greece, especially at Helicon in Boeotia and at Pieria in Macedonia.

I hesitate to call myself a poet, a writer, a musician, an artist or a philosopher. With some degree of certainty I can call myself a man, a husband, a father, a sibling and a nurse anesthetist. I earn a living administering anesthetics. I'm paid to to this. I love to sing, and have been told I have a nice voice. I've been paid to sing in my past, so i guess I can call myself a singer. I love to draw (I'd paint too if I wasn't colorblind) but I've never published or sold any drawings, so I don't call myself an artist. I have taken a few hundred thousand photographs, some have been published, so I feel comfortable calling myself an amateur photographer. I've run two half marathons and one marathon and I still hesitate to call myself a runner. I write, I write prose and most recently some poetry. Do I consider myself a writer/poet? Not yet! The muses are coming to visit more regularly these days and I see a new door opening for me and It is thrilling.

The folks I've encountered here in the blogsphere are a super group of kindred souls who are encouraging and kind to each other. This is a magnificent neighborhood to live in. As we grow and prosper perhaps the larger world will take note and realize that divergent peoples can get along, get along peacefully.


Tomorrow's prompt for Sunday scribblings is superstition . My mind is a blank. Oh don't mistake that to mean I don't know what superstition is. I just haven't got a clue as to what to write about it. I'm not superstitious at all and at the same time I don't want to dis anybody else's beliefs. The Greeks had plenty of superstitions, so maybe the muses will visit my dreams tonight and plant a seed that will grow and bloom in my mind by morning.

Maybe they will bring along the three graces to assist in prodding my imagination.

Graces (Greek goddesses), in Greek mythology, the three goddesses of joy, charm, and beauty. The daughters of the god Zeus and the nymph Eurynome, they were named Aglaia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer). The Graces presided over banquets, dances, and all other pleasurable social events, and brought joy and goodwill to both gods and mortals. They were the special attendants of the divinities of love, Aphrodite and Eros, and together with companions, the Muses, they sang to the gods on Mount Olympus, and danced to beautiful music that the god Apollo made upon his lyre. In some legends Aglaia was wed to Hephaestus, the craftsman among the gods. Their marriage explains the traditional association of the Graces with the arts; like the Muses, they were believed to endow artists and poets with the ability to create beautiful works of art. The Graces were rarely treated as individuals, but always together as a kind of triple embodiment of grace and beauty. In art they are usually represented as lithe young maidens, dancing in a circle