Celebrating National Poetry Month #17: Cure for Puppy Fever

Annie right after we brought her home.Shelby about three months old exploring the old galvanized tub.

Cure for Puppy Fever

Place two rawhides in a

dog dish and stir.

Next add four puppy kisses.

Take two tiny Milkbones,

a squeaky ball, and

a cute little bark.

Wrap them up in

a soft blanket.

Place them close to

my heart.

Add warm, soft fur and a sweet whimper.

Blend with devotion and

unconditional love.

Enjoy with a puppy chin resting in your lap.

inlandempiregirl, 2005

Shelby's herding her new little sister.Shelby showing Annie the ropes on her first camping trip. Shelby is a little over a year older than Annie.

Celebrating National Poetry Month: The Silver Star

Lake Chelan, spring 2008

The end of my favorite poetry month is almost upon me. I have other poems I wrote, but found it difficult to find the time this month to revise and revise again. The following poem was not one I had read of William Stafford's even though I have read many of his verses and am drawn to his words over and over again. I love the way he honors a mountain in this poem. I can also imagine many people in my life that could be the Silver Star.

Silver Star
To be a mountain you have to climb alone
and accept all that rain and snow. You have to look
far away when evening comes. If a forest
grows, you care; you stand there leaning against
the wind, waiting for someone with faith enough
to ask you to move. Great stones will tumble
against each other and gouge your sides. A storm
will live somewhere in your canyons hoarding its lightning.

If you are lucky, people will give you a dignified
name and bring crowds to admire how sturdy you are,
how long you can hold still for the camera. And some time,
they say, if you last long enough you will hear God;
a voice will roll down from the sky and all your patience
will be rewarded. The whole world will hear it: "Well done".
-William Stafford

Celebrating National Poetry Month: Lovely Words from Robert Louis Stevenson

Flower God, God Of The Spring
by Robert Louis Stevenson
FLOWER god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,
Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,
Here I wander in April
Cold, grey-headed; and still to my
Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,
Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;
Spring, flower-planter in meadows,
Child-conductor in willowy
Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses:
Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity:
O child, happy are children!
She still smiles on their innocence,
She, dear mother in God, fostering violets,
Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins:
Thus one cunning in music
Wakes old chords in the memory:
Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances.
One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal
Green - one more, and my bosom
Feels new life with an ecstasy.

Celebrating National Poetry Month...Some Like Poetry

Some Like Poetry

by Wisława Szymborska

Some –
thus not all. Not even the majority of all but the minority.
Not counting schools, where one has to,
and the poets themselves,
there might be two people per thousand.

Like –
but one also likes chicken soup with noodles,
one likes compliments and the color blue,
one likes an old scarf,
one likes having the upper hand,
one likes stroking a dog.

Poetry –
but what is poetry.
Many shaky answers
have been given to this question.
But I don't know and don't know and hold on to it
like to a sustaining railing.

Home to a Spring Bouquet

When I arrived home today the first thing I did was pick a bouquet. JEJ was gracious enough to pose with the beautiful mix of flowers.

Sibling Assignment# 95: A Visit to the Rainforest

Silver Valley Girl gave our most recent sibling assignment.
Write about a journey, trip, or place you would like to visit this summer, and why.
You will find her post about yearning to travel the chain lakes of northern Idaho here. As our brother heals we hope he will join us soon also.I have always wanted to take a camping trip to the Olympic National Park in the northwest corner of Washington state. From the pictures I have seen and the people I have talked to that have visited this park, it sounds like a perfect place for a camping trip. This national park would be such a contrast compared to the places I usually visit on the eastern part of the state.As I imagine hiking through the rainforest snapping photos in the middle of the hot summer I can just feel cool air, see green moss and blue water, and smell the woodsy, moist forest.I would also enjoy taking the drive to the Pacific Ocean and experiencing a sunset at this northern corner of the state of Washington. I have been to the southern end of the Washington coast and the Oregon coast, but this corner of the state has always held my interest. We already have plans for an Oregon coast trip this summer, but maybe this will be scheduled for another time.

Frozen in Time

Thursday afternoon I experienced one of those frozen in time episodes. I was back on campus at the University of Idaho for a series of meetings for the Northwest Inland Writing Project and as I stood between the Women's Gym and the Education Building snapping pictures I felt like it was the spring of 1976 and I was leaving my job at the gym to walk back over to the Ed building for an afternoon class. The weather had that windy, cold feeling of late spring that I remembered well. The spring flowers were just beginning to bloom. The odd shaped KIVA was still jutting out the side of the second floor of the building that was my second home during college.Shadowed by the afternoon sun the Memorial Gym may be covered with more ivy, but looked exactly the same also. There was one significant change. From that vantage point in front of the gym the trees had grown tall enough to hide most of the famous I Tower that stands high on a hill as a landmark of the university.

I found comfort in returning to those college haunts for a few days. When I return to the Ed. building I always peek around the corner to the University kindergarten on the first floor where I enjoyed my first experience working with students. I love to wander around the College of Education library recalling delightful hours of immersing myself in children's literature collections. The walls are still covered with bright, cheerful projects from the Art Methods class.

Yes, there are new computers that await you when you enter the building now. You can get Vandal Air wifi or try out a Smart Board in many classrooms. Starbucks is close by and you don't have to use the pay phone in the basement anymore, but the bones of the building are still there to remind me of where I began this long and rewarding journey of teaching and learning. I paused and relished that frozen in time experience a few more minutes.

Tulips Two

The tulips are now in full bloom outside at our house. We purchased this new type of bulb last fall. I love the color and shape. What I don't love is the cold temperature this morning. I am glad tulips are hardy flowers! Happy Friday.

Happy Earth Day:Thou'st Made the World Too Beautiful This Year

A view of Kellogg Peak and Haystack Peak in Kellogg, Idaho from Mom's front yard.

God's World
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me, let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.The late afternoon sky by Kettle Falls, WashingtonA view of the sunrise from my deck.Driving north on Highway 395 by Colville, Washington

Nature's Artwork in the Afternoon Light

We have been waiting for these tulips for days and weeks and months!

Being Away

I am away from home today, but got reports that the spring bulbs continue to bloom, the dogs keep watching for me to drive down the road, and the forsythia bush is bursting with color.It is hard to be away from home. I love catching those spring moments in the country.
I tried to catch different images while away like shelves of dishes I rummaged through to find the right one to take home and my digs for the night as I headed to bed.

Artful Blogging, Life Images, and an Evening With a Friend

I reconnected today with a lifelong friend and she came bearing incredible gifts. I guess I have lived under a rock because I had never heard of Somerset Studio publications. They have two amazing magazines called Artful Blogging: Visually Inspiring Online Journals and Life Images: A Collection of Captured Moments and Inspired Journaling. She gave me back issues of both of these publications. I am so excited to dig into these beautiful publications or go see if I can find even more issues tomorrow!
Don't these look inviting?

Celebrating National Poetry Month #16: from the Archives: Memory

by Ted Kooser

Spinning up dust and cornshucks
as it crossed the chalky, exhausted fields,
it sucked up into its heart
hot work, cold work, lunch buckets,
good horses, bad horses, their names
and the names of mules that were
better or worse than the horses,
then rattled the dented tin sides
of the threshing machine, shook
the manure spreader, cranked
the tractor’s crank that broke
the uncle’s arm, then swept on
through the windbreak, taking
the treehouse and dirty magazines,
turning its fury on the barn
where cows kicked over buckets
and the gray cat sat for a squirt
of thick milk in its whiskers, crossed
the chicken pen, undid the hook,
plucked a warm brown egg
from the meanest hen, then turned
toward the house, where threshers
were having dinner, peeled back
the roof and the kitchen ceiling,
reached down and snatched up
uncles and cousins, grandma, grandpa,
parents and children one by one,
held them like dolls, looked
long and longingly into their faces,
then set them back in their chairs
with blue and white platters of chicken
and ham and mashed potatoes
still steaming before them, with
boats of gravy and bowls of peas
and three kinds of pie, and suddenly,
with a sound like a sigh, drew up
its crowded, roaring, dusty funnel,
and there at its tip was the nib of a pen.

Celebrating National Poetry Month #15; A Rose by Any Other Name

A Rose by Any Other Name

Will Sound As Sweet

Elizabeth Harkness, Lady Hillingdon,

Queen Elizabeth, Betty Prior.

Grandpa Dickson, Royal William,

Don Juan, Whisky Mac.

Livin’ Easy, Nearly Wild,

Double Delight, Carefree Beauty.

Unforgettable, Honey Perfume,

Fragrant Delight, Golden Showers.

Timeless, Angel Face,Peppermint Twist,

America, Olympiad, Brigadoon, Chicago Peace, Fourth of July.

Rio Samba, Moon Shadow, and Peace were the first to be found,

With Piccadilly and Climbing Cecile Brunner to complete the sound.

By Inland Empire Girl

Celebrating National Poetry Month #14: The First Chapter

The First Chapter

to my sister

Silver Valley Girl

Reflecting on the beginnings of

her historical fiction,

her hands fluttered in excitement as

she shared her revisions.

She is surrounded by

The women writers at The Swallow’s Nest,

Her mind journeyed back as Mother Earth,

embracing the Cataldo Mission.

Through her prose she introduced

the Coeur d’Alene Indian, the

Italian immigrant, and the

girl named Elizabeth.

Gentle suggestions, questions for clarification

and praise spilled out over coffee and warm cake.

“Who is telling this story?

What about the point of view?”

Her thoughts drifted far away to a place long ago.

“Oh… the view… when standing atop the hill by the Mission it is breathtaking,”

she replied

as she closed her journal and smiled.

by Inland Empire Girl, 2006