I Did It! Thirty Posts in Thirty Days!

This year I participated in the NoBloPoMo and did thirty blog posts in thirty days. Usually I try to always do a post a day, but this was an incentive to be sure I did one every day. It gave me an opportunity to revisit favorite poems to post. I also found pictures I hadn't shared. I was even able to show off JEJ's talent with the camera as I posted some of his amazing photos. Where did November go? As the winds began to blow, the night temperatures grew colder, and the leaves that were left on trees turned dry and brown November slipped by. I have a feeling the same thing will happen with December!

A Love for the Works of Wislawa Szymborska

I visited and revisited many poems during my Thanksgiving break. I have so many I want to share, but one that stayed with me was the one below by Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska. I can't think of a poem she has written that I haven't loved. Every time her name is listed in an anthology, I am sure to turn to that selection first.
I read this today about the1996 Nobel Prize winner for Literature on Poets.org.  "While the Polish history from World War II through Stalinism clearly informs her poetry, Szymborska is also a deeply personal poet who explores the large truths that exist in ordinary, everyday things. "Of course, life crosses politics," Szymborska has said "but my poems are strictly not political. They are more about people and life."

That is what I like. I like the larger truths she explores in everyday things. I have thought much about the last stanza. I have often wondered if I was missing something important, but not knowing it. Enjoy "A Note".


A Note
 Life is the only way
 to get covered in leaves,
 catch your breath on the sand,
 rise on wings;
 to be a dog,
 or stroke its warm fur;
 to tell pain
 from everything it's not;
 to squeeze inside events,
 dawdle in views,
 to seek the least of all possible mistakes.
 An extraordinary chance
 to remember for a moment
 a conversation held
 with the lamp switched off;
 and if only once
 to stumble upon a stone,
 end up soaked in one downpour or another,
 mislay your keys in the grass;
 and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;
 and to keep on not knowing
 something important.
~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

A November Tour of the Greenhouse

Even when it was 26 degrees this morning, plants were thriving in the greenhouse. Here are some Thanksgiving week-end photo images.

A November Full of Surprises

As November comes to a close it is nice to reflect on the beauty of the month. I was amazed as I enjoyed sunny blue skies and temperatures above 50 degrees today. With no snow the red dogwood willow branches show up across the yard. The leaves are still exposed and showing off their fall colors even as they lay on the ground. The native grasses have dried with beautiful plumes of beauty. I even spotted some marigolds that didn't get hit with frost. November keeps surprising me this year!
We can even sit in the gazebo with a fire, but didn't squeeze that in today. I think we have more of this weather for the week-end. I can't wait!

Images of a Peaceful Thanksgiving

Images of our day include a festive bouquet, a cactus soon to be called The Thanksgiving Cactus, and a try at the Apple and Dried-Fruit Spice Pie in this month's Sunset Magazine.The recipe can be found here. I used my sister's apple pie filling that she canned here a few weeks ago instead of some of the apples and the sugar. I loved the taste of all the different dried fruits combined with apples and dark rum.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

A Classic at the Maui Invitational

The Gonzaga Bulldogs, my favorite men's college basketball team have been playing in the Maui Invitational the last three days. I have watched three nail-biting games as Gonzaga defeated Colorado Monday, Wisconsin yesterday, and just completed a 61-59 overtime victory against  Cincinnati to win the Maui Invitational Tournament in Hawaii for the first time. There were many great moments during these three games, but I have really loved the display of outstanding leadership and skilled playmanship of Matt Bouldin. Whew! I am glad I have some time to rest before this team plays again. As usual, Annie ran to her carrier when the game got really exciting and I was exhausted at the end.  You would have thought I played in the game!!

Over the River and Through the Wood To Home We Will Go

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the place I call home. We always love to go over the river and through the woods to Mom's house for Thanksgiving, but this year we are choosing to stay home. I am in need of a rest. I have projects that have piled up. JEJ and I want to spend quality time together. I have books to read and writing to do. I look forward to a quiet, peaceful Thanksgiving. We will have a full house for a our Thanksgiving feast that includes two dogs, five cats, and a rabbit. I am sure I will do some photohunting also! I can't wait!

She's The Greatest Star

My sister and I have quite a few things in common. We both love good coffee, Funny Girl,chocolate chip cookies, and gardening.  If you asked us to pick a song to perform onstage, each would have "I'm the Greatest Star" from Funny Girl on a short list of favorites.

Saturday when I attended Sixth Street Theater's production of Here We Sit I had the pleasure of watching my sister Silver Valley Girl perform this showstopping number very convincingly.The play consists of sixteen scenes about attending the theater.

There were many memorable parts of the play, but I have to pick my sister's rendition of this song as my favorite. Can you tell by the number of pictures I took? Bravo to the cast and crew and two thumbs up for the hilarious performances in Here We Sit.
Here is another scene where she is discouraging a guy from putting the moves on her in the theater.

In another scene she played a member of a community theater group gathering feedback from the audience ... and back to the showstopper!

The Promise

The promise Creator gives us
Comes with every new day,
The gift of breath, the gift of life,
Opportunities in a vast array.
How do we count our blessings,
Through the choices life can bring?
Is it through joyful lessons?
Or the fears to which we cling?
Are we learning to show gratitude,
For the victories over human pain?
By honoring the feeling choices,
We grasp the will we've regained.
Can we change our focus,
With no need to defend?
Acknowledging joy and sorrow,
Without judging foe or friend?
Tomorrow promises the fullness
Of every human way to know:
How we master each challenge
Determines our balance -
reflecting how we grow.

The Promise of Tomorrow
Jamie Sams
"Earth Medicine"

Happy Birthday Cousin Cyndi

Today is the birthday of my cousin Cyndi. We have recently been reconnected on Facebook and learned that we have quite a bit in common. I don't think I was present when the picture above was taken, but I loved looking at this picture and others of Cyndi after she was born. She was the first second cousin I had ever known. For some reason I thought this picture were taken at Moscow at Aunt May's, but Mom thinks it was taken in Orofino.
Wherever it was taken she brought joy to all our lives. Have a very happy birthday Cyndi!

Garden Ghosts

November and December before the snow settles in for the winter are the two months we notice the "garden ghosts". Margaret Roach in her book A Way to Garden used this term to describe what we leave standing after the last frost. There are garden plants that add interest to the death and afterlife of the gardens.

 a lone bean which is drying on the vine

There are also plants that will self-sow, some that will feed birds, and others that just look magical. The structures left after the harvest are also called the bones of the garden. A gardener can see a clearer picture of the design of gardens and flower beds when all that is  left is the bones.

Today I caught some images of my garden ghosts and bones as I toured right before dark.

....remember the time?

 brother Raymond Pert


all he would have to say is,
remember the time I came home
with a beard and Dad didn’t know me,
and we would all laugh,

 Raymond Pert carving his first turkey

Mom would say, just by your voice,
I knew your voice, and my sister
would say, the dog kept barking, and
I would say, that was the

summer I got a camera.
it pulls around us
like a drawstring, that time,
when we come together,
awkward and older,
our frayed conversations
trying to thread some memory
of each other,
one of us will only have to say,
 remember the time you came home
from the bush with your beard,
and we were all easy again
with each other,
some will say how

 Mom knew his voice, someone
will remember how the dog barked, I
will remember my new camera,
 and we are a family again,
young and laughing on the front porch.
 -Leona Gom

Ten Places That Make me Thankful

November is a perfect time to reflect on what I am thankful for. Recently time has been spent organizing and reorganizing photos when I need a break from studying.  A reoccurring theme keeps emerging in my photos. I often return to the same places over and over again...these places of beauty.

Ten Places That Make Me Feel Thankful

10. Bangs Mountain

9. Canyon Creek

8. Beaver Lake

7. Sherman Pass

6. my hometown

5.Lake Roosevelt

4. Priest Lake

3. The Palouse

2. our trees

1. our gazebo

A Leaf

 A Leaf

A leaf, one of the last, parts from a maple branch:
it is spinning in the transparent air of October, falls
on a heap of others, stops, fades. No one
admired its entrancing struggle with the wind,
followed its flight, no one will distringuish it now
as it lies among other leaves, no one saw
what I did. I am
the only one.

-Bronislaw Maj
translated from the Polish by Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass

Sibling Assignment #111: " So Come With Me, Where Dreams Are Born"

Silver Valley Girl gave us our sibling assignment this week. Think back to a movie you remember watching at our house in Kellogg, name the movie, what it was about, and what makes you remember watching it at the house. Raymond Pert and Silver Valley Girl will post theirs soon.

"So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!" Peter Pan

The movie I remember watching was "Peter Pan".  NBC decided to do a television version of "Peter Pan" starring Mary Martin. She had created the role on Broadway. The first telecast was in 1960. Unlike CBS and "The Wizard of Oz", NBC only showed it a few times after that debut. I think the time I remember watching it was in 1963. It was memorable.  We recognized Mary Martin from the album covers of "South Pacific" and "The Sound of Music."  I was finding it hard to picture her playing a boy named Peter Pan. Play it she did. It was taped as a life performance which was also something I remember. We didn't often view a movie on T.V. that seemed more like it was being played on a stage. I didn't even care if you could see the wires when she was flying.

We may have still had a black and white television, because I think I recall watching in black and white. What I also remember was that it seemed like we got to stay up really late to watch it There is much that is vivid in my mind about that movie.  I believed that if I went with Peter Pan dreams would be born. It appeared to be such a happy place.

I also loved the music.  I remember singing the songs, especially "I'm Flying" long after the movie was over. That magical quality of Peter Pan has stayed with me and wondered what it would be like to visit a place like Never Never Land. Were dreams really born there? Did you never grow up? Remember Peter Pan singing " I Don't Wanna Grow Up"?

I thought Mary Martin was talking just to me when she asked if I believed in fairies. How many children clapped their hands in the living rooms at home to keep Tinker Bell alive? Would I always be happy if I flew with Peter to Never Never Land? Would life be this amazing adventure? Reality hits at the end of the movie when he finds Wendy all grown up. I remember finding it hard to say good-bye after watching this movie.  I didn't want my grandmother, cousins, or new friends at camp to forget me.

"Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting."
Peter Pan. 

I went back in time for a bit tonight and enjoyed many numbers from this movie.  I will never tire of hearing Mary Martin sing "Never Never Land." Enjoy!

Sibling Assignment #110: Enjoying the Quiet

 Raymond Pert gave the sibling assignment last week:

The surprising, shocking, soaring Idaho Vandals are off to a 7-2 start and, for me, it stirs memories of Vandal football in the late 60's through the early 80's. How about you? Do you have a story to tell about a particular Vandal game and what happened that is memorable to you, either on or off the field? Write it!
Silver Valley Girl's is here and soon we can also enjoy RPs.

I attended many football games at the University of Idaho. I remember RP and  my Dad coming down for a game. I remember Boda Bags, and I remember the smell of the Kibbie Dome. Surprisingly, what I remember most are the football game days when I didn't attend games. During my college years I had a part-time job at the WHEB ( Women's Health Education Building). I worked in the The Cage in the locker room which was the place equipment and towels were handed out. The locker room led into the pool. There were three gyms within the building, plus courts for other sports. It was a perfect job.

When I worked in The Cage on Saturday game days it was peaceful. I could hear the fans cheering and the band playing faintly over at The Dome. Hardly anybody came into the WHEB on these Saturdays so I had the place to myself. I remember loving that time to revive myself. I often studied, got caught up on reading, or just enjoyed the quiet. I washed, dried, and folded many white towels on those Saturdays. I walked around the building once an hour to count the people using the facility.  After hectic weeks of college life, it was a nice break even though it was a job. I knew I was missing a fun time at the game with my friends, but most of the time I didn't mind at all. I just enjoyed the quiet.