"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

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Sestina for Easter Season

I wrote this sestina during Holy Week, about the same time I assigned this form of poetry writing to a class of Comp 2 students.  

Their results and responses inspired me, and their struggles did as well. Someone would come to class and say, This is hard or I really had to think on this. One student told another: Man, don’t wait til the last minute. This thing takes some time.

So, I decided to experience again what I often ask my students to do. The attention to the form was a discipline. The words came though. And, as often happens in life and writing and art, a simple action spurs us on to a new creation. 

Easter Sestina:


Friday’s Five

I didn’t post the past couple of Fridays, but not because there wasn’t anything good to say. On the contrary, I found myself mentally cataloging gift after gift.
I’ve spent some precious time on the beach since the last time I wrote, met some interesting people along the way–in my travels as well as in a new class I’m teaching at the local college, learned a new stitch with my wonderful knitting group, literally stopped to smell some August flowers, and today–I’m taking note of the pumpkin patch that decided to spring to life in the backyard from the jack-o- lantern Sam carved for us last October. Guess those discarded seeds took hold.
Glad for nature and good people and the memories we get to keep.
Whatever is good for you… I hope you are always able to find it.
Blessings and peace.

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Friday’s Five

Dear Readers,
I present…
the most recent blessing:

What a day to remember…
Christmas music and tree lights with Sam before I left for my last workday…
Laughter and dancing in the hallways…
Texts and calls and messages throughout the day…
A surprise coffee delivery and request for a puppy…
And our newest addition, a rescue from the shelter: Ava.

Oh my…that’s five from just today…
Blessings of this life! Home for the holidays and forever…as long as I want forever to be.
Beautiful feeling.


Friday’s Five

I’ve always liked countdowns. I’m on a big one right now, counting the days until I can be home full time with my husband. It’s not long now, so I’m counting that as #1 of my Friday’s Five blessings posts tonight. I plan to work 1/2 day Monday, then I’ll be off until after Thanksgiving and then there are only three weeks of teaching days in December.

Sam will have surgery next week to remove a bad appendix (that ruptured during chemo #3) and two benign tumors. It’ll be a relief to have that over. He will need to follow up with a local surgeon for post op related matters, and his nurse gave me her personal cell phone number. I know you won’t use it unless you need it. We don’t want you worrying about appointments. Call me and we’ll get everything set.
That is huge in this day and age. At least it is to me.

The CEO of our local hospital is joining in our insurance fight. It is a big blessing to have people who have insight into the workings of these policies advocating. Grateful.

Michael writes a short poem and reminds me that even in these few short months, I’ve helped him:
“You’re the best
You get me ready for the test
Sometimes I’m good
Sometimes I’m bad
But let’s not be sad.”
Indeed, Michael. Let’s not be sad…
but I want you to remember more than those goofy tests…poetry is good. 🙂

Finally, the blessing of memory. My mom died seven years ago today. I held her hand and watched angels come take her home. The ones of us who witnessed it will never forget it. Keep your eyes open to the wonders of this world, for there are many.

Always seek the good. It is there…
and please pray for my family.


Friday’s Five

Sam feels pretty good. That, of course, is the biggest blessing on my list this week. I’m not a mushy blogger, but I’m going to say he is a keeper.
Cancer changes so many things, but it doesn’t change our love for one another.
It does change how I see things. Clearer.
In this, the month of Thanksgiving, I’m so glad I make an effort to keep track of the positives. The sweet memories. The good days. The reminders.

Five of the very best blessings this week, dear readers:

a jack-o-lantern carved and waiting on our porch when I got home from work this week, courtesy of above keeper husband…

lunch out with my beautiful daughter; she’s working from home and freelance writing about freedom of speech issues–we have parental pride…

30 year old bulletin board decorations that make me just as happy today as when I bought and/or made them–it was fun taping up those fall leaves and turkeys today…

Starbucks is serving ventis in holiday cups–that makes me smile…

turning in a well earned retirement letter. I hope to post it here one day. I have walked lighter ever since delivering it…my place is home for awhile soon–I pray…

And let’s add #6 tonight…
Standing up for myself. Always have. Always will. This reminds me of something my husband said long ago:
I always treat people with respect until I see how they decide they wish to be treated.
Sometimes, people cross a line. You have no choice then, dear reader. You must maintain self respect. Always. You have to show them how you will be treated.
So. I always will. I hope you will, too.

Happy November. Find something or someone to give thanks for, and share with me if you like.


Tuesday’s Lesson: Confidence

Be assured in this world you are smarter than many of the people you meet.
It is time to stop assuming that just because someone is in a position of authority, they might be smarter.
Now, there is a fine line between cocky and confident. Try not to cross it.
Do, however, insist upon excellence. Question everyone and everything.
Smile a lot.
You’ll come out ahead every time.

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Know Your Stuff

“No one cares about your business as much as you do.”

These words from a friend replay in my mind from time to time, and lately, quite often.

I’m truly amazed at the level of ignorance present in this world. Truly.

Is it ignorance or just lack of dedication? Maybe both. Maybe something else entirely. I’m not sure.

What’s troubling is that the rest of us are starting to get the attitude of Well, that’s just the way it is…
Cases in point:
Case 1: My ER bill came today, a duplicate from when I was seen a month ago. I have a notification it was paid. Today I have a bill showing nothing was paid.
Sigh. I know it’s paid, but now I’ll have to call and deal with this. You know there’s an hour gone…

Case 2: Technology is only as good as the people entering the info. I cannot stress this enough: BE IN CHARGE of your information. Check and double check everything. Do NOT expect the information to be correct from visit to visit.
Know every medicine you or a loved one take. Know dates of every procedure, every visit, every single event. Do not rely on others to know, to sync information, to be on the ball.

You really cannot operate with the expectation that people are smarter than you.
People are just that: people.
In our humanness lies our potential for error.
Nothing bad has happened. I just see on a daily basis through this journey these truths:
It is critical to write it all down: every call, medication, direction, consultation.
Do not expect one doctor to consult with another. Inform them. Over and over.
Remember that surgeons may be spectacular, but their receptionists may not be. Take names.
Make friends fast…with pharmacists, home health folks, nurses, lab techs. You’ll be glad you did.
Question everything.
You’ll be known as that “knowledgable woman” (or man) and sadly, you’ll be in the minority.

Once again, my past has prepared me.
I’m thankful for the experiences that taught me how to keep track, to document, to organize, to communicate.
You MUST know your stuff when entering a clinic door. Or any door. Lord knows, I learned that from thirty years of teaching. But that my friends, is a different book, yet to be written…