THE WRITE PLACE…

to find Patti Singleton these days.


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Birthdays; Cherished Memories Revisited

Paul swinging in the sunshine. PHALL PHOTO 2008

Paul swinging in the sunshine.
PHALL PHOTO 2008

I originally posted this just after I started my blog, and again in 2013, but I wanted re-post it in honor of Paul’s birth date this year. Paul loved celebration, surprises and family. I remember this last birthday before he was diagnosed with leukemia. We lined our merged five grand daughters up on the couch and took pictures. We so loved our little girlies :>)

Paul is/was a Leo and loved being in the lime light on his special day, okay, on any day. He was very quiet about his pride of place, but if you knew him well, loved him, you could see the glow of it in his bright blue eyes and that smile…

I gave him this 3-D NASCAR card that he kept next to his chair for months; he’d never seen anything like it and I think he loved it better than his actual gift. He loved getting gifts, but that was nothing compared to how he loved finding the perfect thing for someone special. He was very into the drama of giving gifts.

We went out to eat with friends 3 times a week and one of the places was at the local casino. While waiting in line, you pass the gift shop. We’d often have our friends hold our place in line, while we looked in the display cases. I’d oooh and ah over the pretty, shiny things, then we’d move back into the line waiting to get in for dinner.

That Christmas, I had a lot of gifts in all sorts of shapes and sizes. By the time all the gifts were opened, I saw what he had done. He used his casino points and bought me every piece of jewelry I had made noise about at the gift shop during the past year! Crazy guy. Thankfully, he also bought me a jewelry armoir to put it all in.

Enjoy…

A Piece of Our Story in Poetry

This is a piece of our story; the man I knew. This was written for his birthday, 11 months before cancer entered our lives.

20 Aug 2007

Paul teased me about writing a book for him, instead I wrote this poem for his 60th birthday.

Book of Paul…

He is everything wonderful that I ever needed,

handsomely wrapped up in one big tender man.

His rolling laughter leads to coughing fits;

spitting up water and vitamins,

and then falling off the bed!

A prankster to his core,

full of special surprises for all.

A memory-maker, his camera always within reach,

he records the Kodak moments of our lives.

His cards & gifts & little notes come from the heart,

and always meet their target.

He loves easily and deeply…

his children, grandchildren, his friends & me!

He would love to be a millionaire,

but he lives well, and is generous with what he has.

His tastes and beliefs are “traditional”,

yet he has an open mind and can embrace the non-traditional,

except food, of course!

He loves Taco Time, NASCAR, animal shows,

Funniest Videos, Cops and bad sci-fi movies.

Every day he says and does funny or special things for me,

he can calm me with only a look, or a touch.

He wants us together, no matter what,

and turns every errand into a “date”.

He acts crabby sometimes,

but just below the surface is a joke or a prank or a smile.

He notices the little things,

and always says “thank you”.

For a T-shirt and jeans guy,

he sure is a clothes horse!

He gives hugs and touches often,

he sings seriously and dances with a laugh.

Happy Birthday… With All My Love,

Patti

Sorry about the quality of this photo. I snapped it on my way out the door. This is Paul’s part of a little alter I have in my beach cave, for all those we’ve lost the last few years.

P1140494


14 Comments

A Bawdy Tune For The Gypsy Moon

Foggy Moon

On July 22nd, I woke from an afternoon nap, with this in my head. May cause raised eyebrows or blushes; not for the faint of heart 🙂

A Bawdy Tune For The Gypsy Moon

When I’m in the mood for a little fun and a few spicy sips,

I head to The Mermaid Saloon and watch for the ships!

 

I muss up my hair, dab some color on my eyes and lips,

add a basket of jewelry on ears, neck and wrists!

 

I dress for laughing and drinking

and dancing for hours, for catching that look,

then reeling them in and sinking the hook!

 

After hugs and hellos and downing a few,

I like to sing with the sailors who stand at the bar all askew!

 

Then I dance a few jigs with other merry-making women who know just what to do,

and last, but not least,

I like the never-kept, but promising kiss, of a one-eyed, tattooed, peg-legged stranger or two!

Patti Hall 2014

P1030073


25 Comments

One Year on Word Press. Thanks!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Yes, it has been a year since I began blogging. Even though it was very lonely the first few months, you eventually found me and have kept me going with your support and encouragement ever since. The secret to bringing folks to your blog is so simple: Get out and visit, comment and “like” other blogs. That’s it. Go forth and make friends :>)

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Here’s how the first 6 months went for me. I didn’t know one blogger and had no idea how to blog. After a couple months of loneliness, I started searching for info about memoir and children’s writing and publishing. During my quest for info I started visiting other blogs, I made some friends. Adding photos to my posts seemed to bring more people to this little community. Popping in on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, really brought some new faces to The Write Place.

I hope to add some highlights of the second half of my first year in the next few days, but for now, here is what I was up to my first six months…

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Six entries in March 2013, including things like:

I posted a quote that seemed to fit my state of mind as I began this new endeavor of public blogging, writing and (hopefully) publishing. “Do not hurry, do not rest,” by Goethe. As fast as I wanted to get started, I knew that I also wanted to take my time and not make a bunch of (public) mistakes.

I was unsure of what/how to begin, but decided to use my long dormant maiden name for my writing. I posted a poem inspired by my mother, who instilled the love of reading and humor in me. Another poem that I posted that first month reflected the pain of the sudden and unexpected loss of one of my sisters the year before.

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 3

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach, WA w/Coast Guard Tower. Phall Photo 2013  

The post, Keeper Book Synopsis, http://wp.me/p3i5jo-x tells the genesis story of the handcrafted “Keepers” that my friend (Leslee) and I created years ago. My hopes are to publish the stories that I wrote for each one. I also finished typing a 2500 word story that I wrote for my children in 1996.

The last entry of March 2013 says, in part, “I woke up this morning, well, it was really almost 11. Anyway, I was looking around and my eye caught on some star wands that I need to give my granddaughters, from a mutual friend. Soon I had a story rumbling in my head and I was off. I have been writing and editing all damn day long, and half the night! I made some coffee, finally ate a snack, packed some things for my move [home relocation] tomorrow and wrote like crazy. I completed a children’s story 10 words shy of 4000 words. Crazy. It just came out. Does it happen like that for you? And, hey, I have no illusions that this would not get whittled in half by a real editor, but I’m good with that. It is the process that is so…gripping, so addictive.”

April- 12 entries. This was my third month going to the local writer group that I joined, and I posted,  “Have been checking out and “following” several other writer blogs. Have been “invited” to join a writer site that allows us to give and receive feed-back. I am learning about the current trends in writing and publishing…” Another entry, Good Grief, A Widow Writes A Memoir, http://wp.me/p3i5jo-V explains some of the things I was learning about memoir writing and how painful it can be to write about Paul’s illness and death. Still is.

Breakfast for fawn. Across from my driveway. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Breakfast for fawn. Across from my driveway.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I posted about a writer retreat and a writer conference in Homer, Alaska, which is also home to one of my sisters and her husband. I began taking a writing class taught by a local writer, and I met several other writers there. I posted a poem that I wrote for Paul’s 60th birthday in 2007. I made an ambitious attempt at a blogging schedule. Hilarious, if you really know me; the “s” word and me are not close.

I signed onto several more social media venues and shared some sites with helpful information for writers. I touched on some newsy information in one post, about the way technology is taking away our privacy. I wrote a poem about the deaths and injuries in the Boston marathon bombing and the explosion in Texas. I posted a short story about a child molester/monster.

Kites down on beach. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Kites down on beach.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I moved Maggie (my trailer/cave/home) from the bay outside of Westport, into Westport proper and closer to the beach. The worst shock and heartache of my life happened on the 26th, when my grandson died. Still dealing with the other recent losses in my life, I stopped blogging for awhile.

May- 13 entries. I lost my mind a bit, but returned to blogging late in the month, with 2 poems on grief and loss. Lady In The Cave http://wp.me/p3i5jo-1N and Treasured Souls http://wp.me/p3i5jo-1P  were followed by a post complaining about the new parameters for the medical definition of grief. I wrote a few other poems/essays and shared some of the writing/publishing information that I was learning. Still very few visitors or followers on my blog, but I kept on. This was my first poetry/photo combo post: Beach Bird Bliss http://wp.me/p3i5jo-2c and it made me realize how much readers enjoy photos along with the words.

Fresh seed pod on tree. PHALL PHOTO 2013 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19

Fresh seed pod on tree.
PHALL PHOTO 2013
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19

June- 22 entries. This was a very busy writing month and I had some fun with the essay, Things That Go Rrrrr, Crash, and Drip In The Night http://wp.me/p3i5jo-4w. I also got better at working with photos and started posting photos for Word Press Daily Prompts and Weekly Photo Challenges. I posted quite a bit under Writing Journal as I learned about and organized for successful memoir writing. The post, New! Dedicated Memoir Page and Sneak Peek of Prologue http://wp.me/p3i5jo-3m tells the story of how I got from the house that Paul and I shared, to living at the beach. What I Would Tell You Now http://wp.me/p3i5jo-3v is a letter to my late husband, written long after he was gone. I also started writing and submitting book reviews this month.

Butterfly on Flower in my friend's garden. Phall Photo 2013

Butterfly on Flower in my friend’s garden.
Phall Photo 2013

These are busy days, but I will try to post the summary of July-December 2013, in the next few days… Still not smoking and happy about it, over 2 months later!!!!!!!! Was thrilled to know that one of my sisters quit smoking 4 days ago too. So cool.

Happy Almost Spring!

Patti

Thistles PHALL PHOTO 2013

Thistles
PHALL PHOTO 2013

 


35 Comments

Heart Room

060

“It is funny how you do not miss affection until it is given, but once it is, it can never be enough; you would drown in it if possible.” Libba BrayThe Sweet Far Thing

The Heart Room Door

The heart cracked and broke into all those pieces and rolled across the floor.

Grief stricken and shaken by the mounting losses, I ran straight out of the door.

I pulled it closed behind me. “Click” went the lock, then I swallowed down the key.

Further along the hallway, I curled into a closet, to mend what little was left of me.

Years went by; I patched the leaking eyes and embroidered an acceptable smile.

Still, and even so, opening that closet door would take a good long while.

Like shiny pieces of mercury, the heart fragments rolled and bumped along the floor,

eventually, they melded together, and slipped right under the heart room door.

Down the hall, in the closet, the door opened slowly and all I could do was stare:

the heart was whole, held gently in your hands, as you pulled me in to begin the repair.

Patti Hall 2014


33 Comments

EDDD 21: Travels To Alaska Home, Tangled In Ribbons

“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” ― Rumi

It’s funny, but I think that you like the truth better than any tale I could weave, and I can weave some fanciful ones. But, surely it is the real heart and real emotion that we need the most…

Whether it’s, “Oh, my gosh, I never knew!”

or, “That’s just how I feel too!”

The best and worse of me, resounds in you. P.H. 2013

I just wrote that for you:>)

Traveling home is very different, on many levels, to each of us. It also changes with the reasons that we go home. Since 2007, there has been a different reason each time that I traveled home. My late husband, Paul, came up with the money for a ticket, and then insisted that I go that first time. The visit was initially to see my dad, who had a health scare, but then, also to make up with a family that I had distanced myself from for too many years. That was good. And hard. And it lightened my heart to have my reading, gardening, rolling- with- laughter mom back in my life.

Another visit to the north was a casual one, almost a vacation. Fishing in Homer with #1, a sister who took me everywhere when I was little, says I was HER baby! A long-time friend of hers verified the news. I made up with a sister that I hadn’t seen or spoken to in at least eight years, and made headway with another. I helped dad with his yard sales and listened raptly to tales from his childhood in Kentucky. I loved the way his faded southern accent peeked in and out of his reminiscing. Of course, mom and I reveled in working the garden together, and I, in watching her dance in front of the green house in her jammies, to the loud music coming from within. Joy.

In 2012, my visit was filled with pain and heart-ripping sorrow. My direct sorrow was laced with regret. The sister I had reunited with just eight months earlier, the sister who had been sending care packages of craft ideas and love ever since, the sister I’d been sharing texts and long-missed phone calls with, was gone. The gratefulness that we DID connect, didn’t come until much later. My secondary sorrow was the torture of witnessing how the loss hit my parents; the death of one of their seven, a crushing blow.

Then, too, the twin to my lost sister, their birthday is tomorrow, lost her literal other half. There are just no words for the pain I felt she must be suffering. Still suffers. Another sister was a close business and personal buddy with our lost one. Another sister was out of the country. The brothers stood by, strong shoulders for our tears. My heart tore in painful strips of crumpled, tear-stained ribbon. I tried to capture and identify my pain and soothe it, but the ribbons flew in all directions; my parents, our twin, each sibling, even dear friends who fed and flowered us so well. A tattered ribbon of pain from my husband’s death flew in, and tangled with the rest.

Our (now) single twin flew home, soon after the beautiful memorial, into the loving and healing arms of her husband and son in Arizona. When I flew back to my beach a few weeks later, the ribbons of pain flew behind the jet and tangled between my feet as I disembarked. They knotted in my hair as I walked the beach, searching for my lost loved ones. A little over a month later, a phone call; my mother is in the hospital, and so, I packed my ribbons of pain for another flight to Alaska.

The ribbons of pain were no longer filling every space in my parents home. But as I cared for mom, cooked, cleaned and organized, the ribbons fell from every drawer, cupboard and closet; still there, but moved aside to make room for daily living. The ribbons filled pillows that we rested our heads on each night. We used them to wipe away the tears that flowed, unbidden, from our eyes. I was there for over 4 months, which allowed special time with the four siblings who live near.

Eight months after the return to my Washington beach, I lost my 3 year-old grandson and the fresh ribbons of pain, added to the others, almost smothered me. My mother’s sister died October 1st, adding still another tangle of ribbons. I feel them right now. Those ribbons of pain make it hard to open Maggie’s door; my little RV cave is packed with them. I am safe, as long as I keep them away from my nose and mouth. I’ve accidentally swallowed a few and they almost choked me.

Mom is having hip surgery January 3rd, and a brother is having a potpourri of surgeries in the next few months. I fly out on the 2nd and spend the day in Juneau, the capital city that I have never been to. I look forward to walking up to the huge Mendenhall Glacier, that presents its blueish glory, just a few miles from the airport. There are other wonders close by that I hope to explore. Are you excited to see the photos? I am too! If you have a friend in Juneau who can give me a quick tour between 2 and 6 that day, please let me know.

I’ll be back to my beach in mid-May and I’ve promised to visit Mrs. M soon after. She’s doing well, by the way, and is doing outpatient PT now. I also have a long list of family and friends to visit on my return. Those ribbons that I’ve been writing about? They have been keeping me inside the sorrow of those lost loved ones, and not allowing me room to be with the loved ones who are alive. I know that. I’ve decided to drop them out the airplane on my way back from Alaska:>)

“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”
― Charles Dickens

Here’s a beach sunset from a few days ago. Enjoy, please:>)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Peace Out,

Patti

Every Damn Day? Who’s idea was this anyway? The culprit can be found here: Every Damn Day December at http://treatmentofvisions.com/2013/11/26/evdadadec/


21 Comments

EDDD 16; Shoulding On Myself Every Damn Day

White clouds reflected in Wynoochee River, from moldy bridge. PHALL PHOTO 2013

REFLECTIONS: White clouds reflected in Wynoochee River, from rusty, moldy bridge.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Scattered Shoulds

The issue with blogging every damn day is that I am very scattered right now.

I have a thousand stories to tell,

a million poems at the tip of my imagination machine.

I have hundreds of “shout-out” candidates that are due their

name in big shiny letters, scrolled across the sky.

My fingers have surfed along the keyboard,

finding waves of information to share with one and all,

important bits for writers and grievers and technology buffs.

Rose Carter warned us years ago,

that we’ll all eventually be caregivers or carereceivers,

for the boomers and their folks,

so, much that I choose to share, is along the lines of care.

There are thousands of photos that you all must see!

I’m in and out researching what ails my laptop,

I try one thing then another, but still the damn thing fails.

And family history calls from the over flowing 3-ring binder,

voices of my ancestors hollering to be known.

Oh yes, and craft projects seep from several totes,

“Pick me! Pick me!” I hear it all the time.

The “shoulds” attack me left and right;

go see dear friends, the kids, the little grands, and the cousins too.

It’s clear to see how many things I can write about and do,

instead I sink into my chair and write this post to you:>)

 

Enjoy the day or night, and don’t be shoulding on yourselves:>)

Patti

 

Every Damn Day? Who’s idea was this anyway?

From writing challenge Every Damn Day December at http://treatmentofvisions.com/2013/11/26/evdadadec/


24 Comments

Winter Ready, In Thoughts and Photos

Fall taps Winter on the shoulder, "My colors can't get much boulder, it's time for crisp winter white, long dark day, to cold, cold night."

Fall taps Winter on the shoulder,
“My colors can’t get much bolder,
it’s time for crisp winter white,
long dark day, to cold, cold night.”

The red-headed Green Man fully agrees, "Leafs, yellow and brown are up to my knees, I've talked to the creatures; they say they're ready, They've packed their homes, slow and steady."

The red-headed Green Man fully agrees,
“Leafs, yellow and brown are up to my knees,
I’ve talked to the creatures; they say they’re ready,
They’ve packed their homes, slow and steady.”

Seed pods stand strong, ready for the cold, ready to winter-dream of being green and bold.

Seed pods stand strong, ready for the cold,
ready to winter-dream of being green and bold.

Strong winds will sail them far and wide, A blanket of snow will give them places to hide.

Strong winds will sail them far and wide,
A blanket of snow will give them places to hide.

Patti Hall 2013

PHALL PHOTOS 2013


10 Comments

This One Is For Leslee; The Silk Ribbons of Friendship

Fall = Pumpkins and Corn=Leslee Phall Photo 2013

Fall = Pumpkins and Corn and…
Phall Photo 2013

Fall’s magic and joy

shines from her heart to her eyes

corn stalks and pumpkins

Of all the people on this planet that I know, no one brings the magic and joy of each holiday to life, as Leslee does. Halloween and Christmas are her yearly pedestal projects, but oh, her Valentine and birthday creations are also grand. She beckons the inner child from anyone in her orbit, and sings the fairies from their hiding places.

Sadly, Leslee has been out of my orbit for too many years. She’s getting closer though, and once I knew that she was back in…I began to feel a girlish giggle and a fairy’s impish grin emerge from somewhere deep within. They swim up through the pain and loss that I have experienced in her absence. What wonders will now be unleashed?

Within about 18 months, 25 years ago, I met four incredibly strong and supportive women. Leslee was one of them. The other three, Gwen, Vickie and Roxanne, each have special ribbons that bond us together. If I had to pick one word for the ribbon that connects me to each, it would be humor for Gwen, strength for Vickie, and spirit for Roxanne. Of course, they are all a mixture of those, and many other beautiful silk ribbons.

This writing inspires me to remind us all to write a love/friendship letter to those that we share that special ribbon with. Have I ever told Gwen how much her laughter means to me, or Vickie, how her steadfast strength has always helped keep my feet on the ground, or Roxanne, how her gentle spirit soothes me like a babe in arms? And Leslee, how the fairies welcome me into their circle when she is in my life? She sets my imagination free.

Peace,

Patti


23 Comments

Poetry Post Inspired by Some Facebook Friends

Molokai, Hawaii  I wonder... PHALL PHOTO 2013

Molokai, Hawaii
I wonder…
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Had a lively conversation on FB last night, in which we all offered up some of our favorite poets. I volunteered to post our list, so others might add to it.

Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary OliverNew and Selected Poems

Rainer Marie Rilke: “Do not assume that he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, he would never have been able to find these words.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Antonio Machado: “In order to write poetry, you must first invent a poet who will write it.”
― Antonio Machado

Francis Ponge: “My mother was an admirer of a little-known French writer whose name was Francis Ponge, a sort of parody name. Ponge was a man after my mother’s own heart. Ponge wrote in minute detail about the appearance of such things as sand and mimosa and soap. Soap particularly fascinated him. Ponge wrote long essays on the appearance of soap, page after page of descriptions of soap. He wrote a novel titled Soap. My mother translated some of his poetry. This also concerned soap.” – Jonathan Miller, in ‘Among Chickens’, Granta (159)

Rumi: “I want to see you.

Know your voice.

Recognize you when you
first come ’round the corner.

Sense your scent when I come
into a room you’ve just left.

Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.

Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.

I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
“more”
― Rumi

William Stafford: “I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.”
― William Edgar Stafford

Emerson: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Naomi Shihab Nye:  Elaine Mansfield and her late husband, Vic, opened (E) and closed (V) their books with the exceptional poem, “Kindness.”

Here is another special Nye poem that I love:

“I’m like the weather, never really can predict when this rain cloud’s gonna burst; when it’s the high or it’s the low, when you might need a light jacket.

Sometimes I’m the slush that sticks to the bottom of your work pants, but I can easily be the melting snowflakes clinging to your long lashes.

I know that some people like:

sunny and seventy-five,
sunny and seventy-five,
sunny and seventy-five,

but you take me as I am and never
forget to pack an umbrella.”
― Naomi Shihab NyeTime You Let Me In: 25 Poets under 25

Neruda: “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
― Pablo Neruda100 Love Sonnets

Sharon Olds: 

”… to a poet, the human community is like the community of birds to a bird, singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons we are singing to one another, love of language itself, love of sound, love of singing itself, and love of the other birds.”

Sharon Olds (b. 1942), U.S. poet. As quoted in Listen to Their Voices, ch. 18 (1993). On why writing poetry, though “always difficult,” is easier than not writing it.

John O’Donohue:  “If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.”
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

David Whyte: “The poet lives and writes at the frontier between deep internal experience and the revelations of the outer world. There is no going back for the poet once this frontier has been reached; a new territory is visible and what has been said cannot be unsaid. The discipline of poetry is in overhearing yourself say difficult truths from which it is impossible to retreat. Poetry is a break for freedom. In a sense all poems are good; all poems are an emblem of courage and the attempt to say the unsayable; but only a few are able to speak to something universal yet personal and distinct at the same time; to create a door through which others can walk into what previously seemed unobtainable realms, in the passage of a few short lines.”
― David Whyte

Contributors to our list: Elaine Mansfield, Joseph Anthony, KåyMä-rie Liå, & Mary Friedel-Hunt.

We would love to add your poets to our growing list. Oh, and add a note about why you love your poet/s.


16 Comments

Happy Birthday Haiku, Libra! Do You Know These Librans?

Peaceful Pond. Kauai, Hawaii PHALL PHOTO 2012

Peaceful Pond. Kauai, Hawaii
PHALL PHOTO 2012

Sept 23- Oct 22

“Libra has a sense of justice that can lead to non-violent political activism as expressed by Mohandas Gandhi, Lech Walesa, Jimmy Carter, Eleanor Roosevelt or Jesse Jackson. Other Librans, ranging from Oscar Wilde, John Lennon and Lenny Bruce to Janeane Garofalo, Eminem and Snoop Dogg.

Famous Libra singer-songwriters are Sting, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Paul Simon and Will Smith. Many Libra actresses, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jenna Elfman, Mira Sorvino, Neve Campbell, Alicia Silverstone, Joan Cusack and Kate Winslet. Matt Damon is another Libra who is prospering in the movie business. There are even two double Libra movie couples: Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas and Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.

The world of sports has Librans Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Mark McGwire and Evander Holyfield. Barbara Walters, Anne Rice, Sarah Ferguson and Luciano Pavarotti are other celebrities born under this sign.” From http://www.tarot.com

My favorite Libra babies;

Cousins & sisters, Heather K. & Elizabeth B.(goofed that one up!)  and Uncle Smitty, Mark M. and Sylas B. And in loving memory of our Tommy M.

Libra Haiku

Listen and discern,

rise above heavy burdens,

balance universe.

by Patti Hall 2013

Are you a Libra, or would you like to add your Libra to our list? Just type your name/blog name & their first name and the initial of their last name.

Peace Out, Friends


5 Comments

Community Storyboard Weekly Prompt; Autumn

My Community Storyboard friends are having some issues with the fall season. I decided it was time to bring out one of my Season’s Keepers and Wonders to cheer them up a bit. I hope Fallina helps. Please excuse the lack of formatting…grrr.

Fallina; Keeper of the Leaves

Fallina, Fallina she paints away the green;

her pallet of colors is from red to brown,

and every shade between.

Long ago, she used to pout up a storm, when the leaves fell from the branches,

but now Fallina, with her pallet and brushes, has leaf-painting dances!

Others in the forest were unhappy with the changes too,

they simply had no idea of what they could do.

There was no place to hide when the birds found the need,

and the chipmunks and squirrels found no nuts and no seeds.

Then along came Fallina with her paint dances to cheer up their day.

They had fun splashing colors; they could now wait for May.

With everyone happy The Gatherer came out with a smile,

Putting twigs for the birds, and nuts for squirrels into a humongous pile!

Fallina, Fallina she paints away the green.

Now, everywhere you turn smiles can be seen.

Patti Hall 1998-2013


19 Comments

Book Review: Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

 

Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
Dog Songs
by Mary Oliver

Patti Hall‘s review

Sep 22, 13
Recommended for: Lovers of dogs, pets, poetry and nature.
Read from September 20 to 22, 2013, read count: 2

I won an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Dog Songs through a Goodreads and publisher book giveaway.

One of my best friends turned me on to Mary Oliver several years ago, and I have been hooked ever since. Mary’s poetry is clear, concise and loving to the small things in this world that many of the rest of us simply overlook. If there is any uncertainty in her writing, it is about something that she notices and then questions. Otherwise, you will find no ambiguity in her words.

About Dog Songs? You are going to love it! Mary’s new book begins with a puppy, of course, and then we learn all the things that she (and most of us) love about dogs. She says that the thing these furry friends have that we humans just don’t, their secret ingredient, if you will, is steadfastness.

There are so many places in this book that I smiled, laughed and teared-up. While Mary shows the many nuances of these animals, she also shines light and love on their connection to our own species. She adds word to word, sentence to sentence, to offer up another poem that shows our bonds; dog to human, bound in pure love.

Mary doesn’t hide reality under the rug either. Dogs aren’t always that cute, they have gross and annoying habits, and they (sadly) have relatively short life-spans. While you read, please notice the way Mary touches her dogs. It is subtle, but do you feel the reverence?

It’s all here, in this little white book. The beautiful pen and ink illustrations by John Burgoyne are as clear and concise as Mary’s words. There’s nothing overly sweet, silly or gushy in her words, yet the dog songs may make you feel that way.

I am surrounded by gushy dog-lovers. Almost every person in my circle is a gushy dog-lover. I am not. I am a plant-animal-bug-tree-sky-water-lover. And not gushy at all. I do hear all of their songs though.


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Summer In Alaska; A Fishy Tale

Patti fishing in Alaska
Patti fishing in Alaska
This was written for a story prompt at The Community Storyboard here. It combines experiences from several summer trips to Homer, Alaska. Need to study up on formatting poetry on WP…Also, since I wrote this off the cuff and in a hurry, let’s just call it a draft? :>)

It’s a promising morn, as I see from Outhouse Hill,

I rock in the swing and sip coffee to ward off the chill.

All is sunrise quiet on little Peterson Bay.

There’s Marie at the oyster farm unpacking to stay.

I take the lush green path slowly to make the morning last,

Then detour to pick blueberries for my impromptu breakfast.

We bundle up, grab cameras, snacks and bait,

Captain Honey calls, “Hurry, it’s getting late!”

He goes first to the shore and pulls in the skiff.

I climb down the steep metal stairs, feeling old and stiff.

From skiff, to dock and onto their boat;

This procedure is new for me, for them it is rote.

Captain throttles down and away we go!

Goodbye Peterson’s Bay and Halibut Cove.

The boat, she’s made special, out of stainless steel,

Loaded with all we need, including more than one rod and reel.

The co-pilot, The Mrs. (my sis), is a long time veteran of this—

how far, how deep, how many and what kind of fish.

On the far shore we see a baby bear and perched eagles.

Then Gull Island; cormorants, puffins and a million sea gulls.

I sit in back and watch the rooster tail as the boat splits the water,

I see all kinds of birds diving or floating and, every so often, a playful otter.

Soon I see the Homer Spit and Land’s End as we speed by,

I’ve never deep sea fished and I’m anxious to give it a try.

The loud noise of the engine and the wind in my hair,

My butt is freezing on the cold metal box that I use as a chair.

I’m excited and happy after so many months of grief,

And I’m determined to have fun, no matter how brief.

The engine finally stops and here comes Captain Honey,

He tosses the anchor, as the day begins to turn sunny.

Thirty miles out and I have beginner’s luck,

I catch the biggest and the most; at least that’s the story that stuck!

At one point, we were moving to a new spot and off flew my hat,

Mrs. Captain Honey reversed and the Captain netted it—imagine that!

Sis is a pro at this fishing stuff and also stronger than me;

She helped hold my rod, while I reeled in a fish…or three.

I’m giddy as we reel in halibut and cod,

And even a clown fish, which looks really really odd.

Sis and I are reeling them in left and right and I hook a big skate with wings,

Captain stopped fishing to gaff our catches, cut bait and do other important things.

Out of nowhere, in the middle of all that the blue,

There’s a spout of water…then two!

After that we soon spot the tails,

In no time at all we’re surrounded by whales!

I can’t get over it; I watch until they swim out of sight.

Now we’ve caught our limit and we’ll feast tonight!

Settling in for the long ride back to the cabin,

I’m sorry my visit will soon come to an end.

The boat points to Katchemak Bay as we go,

I’m in the back looking in amazement at an active volcano.

There’s a huge white plume, against the blue,

Over to my right are the other two.

Volcanoes and glaciers make this a special place to be,

But better than that, is the time I get to spend with my family.

Patti Hall 2013


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Birthdays; Cherished Memories Revisited

Paul swinging in the sunshine. PHALL PHOTO 2008

Paul swinging in the sunshine.
PHALL PHOTO 2008

I originally posted this just after I started my blog, and again in 2013, but I wanted re-post it in honor of Paul’s birth date this year. Paul loved celebration, surprises and family. I remember this last birthday before he was diagnosed with leukemia. We lined our merged five grand daughters up on the couch and took pictures. We so loved our little girlies :>)

Paul is/was a Leo and loved being in the lime light on his special day, okay, on any day. He was very quiet about his pride of place, but if you knew him well, loved him, you could see the glow of it in his bright blue eyes and that smile…

I gave him this 3-D NASCAR card that he kept next to his chair for months; he’d never seen anything like it and I think he loved it better than his actual gift. He loved getting gifts, but that was nothing compared to how he loved finding the perfect thing for someone special. He was very into the drama of giving gifts.

We went out to eat with friends 3 times a week and one of the places was at the local casino. While waiting in line, you pass the gift shop. We’d often have our friends hold our place in line, while we looked in the display cases. I’d oooh and ah over the pretty, shiny things, then we’d move back into the line waiting to get in for dinner.

That Christmas, I had a lot of gifts in all sorts of shapes and sizes. By the time all the gifts were opened, I saw what he had done. He used his casino points and bought me every piece of jewelry I had made noise about at the gift shop during the past year! Crazy guy. Thankfully, he also bought me a jewelry armoir to put it all in.

Enjoy…

A Piece of Our Story in Poetry

This is a piece of our story; the man I knew. This was written for his birthday, 11 months before cancer entered our lives.

20 Aug 2007

Paul teased me about writing a book for him, instead I wrote this poem for his 60th birthday.

Book of Paul…

He is everything wonderful that I ever needed,

handsomely wrapped up in one big tender man.

His rolling laughter leads to coughing fits;

spitting up water and vitamins,

and then falling off the bed!

A prankster to his core,

full of special surprises for all.

A memory-maker, his camera always within reach,

he records the Kodak moments of our lives.

His cards & gifts & little notes come from the heart,

and always meet their target.

He loves easily and deeply…

his children, grandchildren, his friends & me!

He would love to be a millionaire,

but he lives well, and is generous with what he has.

His tastes and beliefs are “traditional”,

yet he has an open mind and can embrace the non-traditional,

except food, of course!

He loves Taco Time, NASCAR, animal shows,

Funniest Videos, Cops and bad sci-fi movies.

Every day he says and does funny or special things for me,

he can calm me with only a look, or a touch.

He wants us together, no matter what,

and turns every errand into a “date”.

He acts crabby sometimes,

but just below the surface is a joke or a prank or a smile.

He notices the little things,

and always says “thank you”.

For a T-shirt and jeans guy,

he sure is a clothes horse!

He gives hugs and touches often,

he sings seriously and dances with a laugh.

Happy Birthday… With All My Love,

Patti

Sorry about the quality of this photo. I snapped it on my way out the door. This is Paul’s part of a little alter I have in my beach cave, for all those we’ve lost the last few years.

P1140494


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The Measure of a Man; In Memory of Paul, Aug 20,1947-Aug 9, 2009

Paul 2008 PHALL PHOTO 2008

Paul 2008
PHALL PHOTO 2008

 

The Measure of a Man

What if a man lives his life full of purpose, reason, and love?

He makes it through childhood, the teenage years, and young adulthood honoring his parents, serving his country, and with loyal friendships still intact.

He carries these tenets of honor, service and loyalty as he falls in love and makes a family; joining her children with theirs.

He takes fatherhood seriously and works hard to build a home, hold down a good job, and then they form a business of their own.

He serves his community as a firefighter; 24/7, one emergency call at a time, for 30 years.

He remains conscientious, believes in hard work and big dreams, he has friends from every walk of life; for he is no judge of others.

He is quick with a joke or a prank, which surprises those who are fooled by the grumbly, growly side of him.

He appreciates beauty, whether in nature or man-made. He is an inventor, thinker, builder and mechanic.

He thinks 5 steps ahead of the game; always planning the next move cautiously.

He grieves deeply his losses; viscerally shaken by the pain of losing his wife, the mother of his children. Though he will carry this pain to his own death, after a time, he rallies his forces to continue on the way.

He is set in his ways and has something in common with mules, though love can bend him her way if she tries.

He forms a new love, which quickly becomes an unbreakable bond.

He spends several years living, loving, and laughing with his new love; they have grand babies together! They make dreamy plans to retire on the Snake River and ride their jet boat!

What if they spend a year fighting for his life? They spend precious moments beach combing, laughing, crying and adjusting their plans for his illness, then for his recovery; and also hazily planning for the worst, while stridently hoping for the best.

Then the day still comes when the doctors tell them that nothing more can be done to save his life.

All she asks is one more miracle—he’s been tossing them around all year long—just one more, please.

During his last weeks, tucked into their own bed, we hear story after story about how his courage and strength this past year has changed so many lives.

What if a man lives his life, and even his dying, full of purpose, reason and love?

Shouldn’t he then be called, not perfect, but a king among men?

Patti

Poem written July 2009,