Sunday, March 27, 2011

Monday Poetry Bus Ride is on Muse Swings

Our Poetry Bus Captain of the Fleet, TFE, has given ole Muse Swings the I mean wheel... for Monday March 28th. He just doesn't learn, does he.

I've thought of three - yes THREE (!) ways you may secure your bus ticket this week. Are you ready? Choose one for the road.

1) Write a poem with illustration. Write and draw to your heart's content, and bring it along. Here's what I have in mind:

(click to enlarge..or not)

2) Write a descriptive poem about an object/person/animal. Do not use the name of the object/person/animal in the title of the poem or in the poem. Let us guess based on your masterful visual description.

3) Write a poem about this picture. I think there may be lots of potential here.

So there you have it.

Straighten up that line, and let's all get on board with this!

All you have to do is come up with a poem, then leave a comment with your link information.

Our Riders of the Day:

Lola Mouse


The Bug


120 Socks



Peter Goulding

Enchanted Oak

I've added a linky for you - pre-linky links are listed above. Enjoy your ride!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday and Sepia Saturday 48th Reunion

9 Mile and Woodward, Ferndale Michigan 1960's

This is where it all started. Ferndale. Land of the "cruisin' Woodward" class of 1963

This is where our high school years ended. St. James High School. Okay, this is the church. Can't see the high school from here. It's off camera. To the left.

The Muse, Class of '63

Forty-eight years later the Florida contingent of displaced grads plus one Alabama grad ended up here at the Dakotah Winery in Chiefland, Florida to share fond, fonder and fondest memories over a glass of sherry, port, burgundy, ...etc. This, after a delicious lunch at the festive Fanning Springs Lighthouse Restaurant
l-r: Rita (Bennett), John (McManamon, Carol (Hinman), Dave (Carol's spouse/designated driver),Cynthia (Grocholski), Pat (Yavello), Kathy (Cherwinski)

Sound of Music Sing along: " we are 60's going on 70's..."

Look, ya'll got here by driving north, right? - you'll only get back home if you drive south. That's it. Logic at it's best. End of story.

What? Me? Oh! I'm just tryin' to stay out of this "lovebird" picture. Get a room, you two.

I'll try the last 7 again please. And gimme some more of those little crackers.

John, if you order the Osso Bucco you will get nothing on your plate. Zero. Nada. It ain't happening. This is NOT an Italian restaurant. Get the all-you-can-eat mullet, swamp cabbage, grits and hushpuppy special like everyone else. Where's your redneck? And quit asking for "pop"

The more wine we taste the better we look and the younger we feel!

48 years later we are all standing Even if we do have to hang on to the bar

Seeing double

Chardonnay - check! Port - check! Noble Red - check! Cream sherry - check! Oh heck. just box up the lot of them and don't forget my senior discount.

By 3:30 we were getting dangerously close to missing the early-bird dinner at our respective local Denny's, so off we went. (SOUTH!) into the sunset. We promise to meet up again soon. We're just not sure if we'll meet at Lee-Roy's Bull Ridin' Lessons or Slim Spatchula's Sky Diving for Seniors. It's going to be one or the other.

Stop by Beth's The Best Hearts are Crunchy for more Postcard Friendship Friday fun!

And you will find more Sepia Saturday HERE. Hosted by Alan and Kat.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Poetry Bus Seeks New Experience From Old Riders

Uiscebots is driving the bus - I've brought my own seat belt and some lunch because he has asked of us the following:

Last Friday, as part of my remit as Poetry Bus Driver in residence, I suggested visiting somewhere new and writing about it.

It's all HERE

Problem is, I've been having great success in practicing my favorite pastime: being a hermit. So, I haven't been out, seen anything new, done anything outdoors beyond bagging leaves and tree leavings. During a past ride on the poetry bus I saw something old with with new eyes, however, and being an hermetocric upstart who can't (or won't) follow the simplest directions, I submit this:

Mist Opportunity on the Bayside Bridge

Today I crossed the bridge at dawn

Amidst a daydream fog that stratified the horizon

Into a declined adjective




And pressed flat a flock of gulls

Who, I think, would rather fly than decorate the bay

Like French knots on a silver satin sheet

The morning mist smeared the sun

Into a shimmery mass

Painting out the trappings of civilization

Just for a while

Softening the periphery

Until the sun gathered in its edges

Burned the haze away

And laid out a day blue sky

And reality

Yellow lines

Do not pass

Exit right

Cynthia Ann Conciatu

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sepia Saturday - Ezra - We Hardly Know Ye!

Ezra Meeker 1830-1928

I used this photo postcard for yesterday's Postcard Friendship Friday. The subject of my post had nothing to do with the picture, but curiosity about this colorful portrait sitter got the best of me. Luckily his name, Ezra Meeker, appears on the postcard and it also turned up immediately on my search for information. Turns out Ezra was a modern day Johnnie Appleseed! In his later years he traveled along the already well established Oregon Trail sowing patriotism, remembrances of the early days on the trail and he also sought to memorialize the Oregon Trail - one of our great highways to the west.

Ezra Meeker 1921

Ezra was born in Huntsville Ohio in 1830. At age 22 he married Eliza Jane Sumner, had a son, Marian, and took off on the Oregon Trail to take advantage of land offerings in Washington. The family settled near Puget Sound and then moved inland to land where he made a good living growing hops. He platted out a townsite and named it Puyallup after the local Puyallup Indian tribes. Eventually the town grew and became incorporated,. Ezra was elected the first mayor of Puyallup.

Ezra and his ox cart on the Oregon Trail

He enjoyed a successful life and built a mansion for Eliza Jane (isn't that a lovely name!) which they enjoyed until hops aphids destroyed his crops.

"He subsequently tried a number of ventures, including dehydrating fruits and vegetables, working on packaging milk in paper containers, and four largely unsuccessful trips to the Klondike looking for gold. He also wrote a novel about his experiences on the trip west."

One of Ezra Meeker's hand made Trail markers

During Ezra's traveling years, which he began at age 76, he traveled the Oregon Trail, and made his way by oxcart all the way to Washington DC. In 1916 he drove the Trail in his 80 horsepower (60 kW) automobile with a prairie-schooner top. In 1924, at the age of 94, Meeker flew from Vancouver Washington to Dayton Ohio in an open cockpit Army plane. He met with Presidents, Coolidge and Theodore Roosevelt and eventually received the funds needed to memorialize the Oregon Trail when in 1926 the U.S. Mint issued 50 cent pieces memorializing the Trail and depicting Ezra's oz drawn wagon. The coins were issued to the Oregon Trail Memorial Association, which sold the coins to raise funds for trail markers.

The city of Puyallup still thrives with about 37,000 residents. It lies in a fertile valley in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. The town is known for their daffodils which they grow and sell worldwide!
A statue of Meeker was built in Puyallup 1926. His ox cart is housed in the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma Washington. His oxen are there too, stuffed and mounted! Ezra felt - and rightly so - that they should be properly memorialized.

More information is available at Wikipedia which is the source I used for this post and pictures.

More Sepia Saturday is available HERE!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday - Come to Florida - The Shoot 'em up State

Forget the garden hose. If one of those little varmints rides their bike on MY sidewalk I'm ready.

March 17, Tampa Bay Times: Open Carry Bills passed in respective criminal justice committees this week. SB 234 and HB 517 would let people with concealed weapons permits openly carry holstered firearms in most locations.

The Senate bill is sponsored by Greg Evers, R-Baker. The House's version is sponsored by eight Republicans including House Speaker-in-waiting, Chris Dorworth. Dorworth is nudging it along through the House despite the fact that every Sheriff in Florida is against these bills. After all, we should have the right to bear bare arms.

The bill sponsors agreed, after lengthy arguments, to remove the part of the bill that would allow open carry on college campus'. But Church is ok. And McDonald's. And Chucky Cheese. And Disney World. And the Gasparilla Parade - imagine if you will. Picture an imbibing party guest standing next to you. You notice he's packing just as you grab the beads he was reaching for. Oops.

Greetings from the Gun Totin' State

Is my gun showing?

Supporters (which, of course, includes the NRA) say the bill is meant to protect permit holders whose guns are accidentally made visible - for example, a strong wind blows a shirt up and exposes a gun. Really? Comments on blogs include whining gun toter's who complain about the Florida heat. How can they be expected to remember their "cover sweater" when its 98 degrees out. Meanwhile, Florida Sheriffs, and I, say the "accidental exposure" argument is ludicrous.

Alright, class, one more time: 9 X 8 = what?

Coming up on a crime scene how will the police be able to sort out between friend and foe. How can they concentrate on the bad guy. And do it quickly enough to avoid becoming another officer killed in the line of duty.

Look around on Youtube. You'll find a clip of a distracted packing party guest. A young boy reaches into party guest's holster - or perhaps pocket, pulls out the guy's gun and shoots him. Takes only a second.

Picture this: you are in a 7/11 looking for Cheese Doodles. Guy walks in with gun.

Picture this: you are in that same 7/11 buying Gummy Worms. Guy walks in with gun. Another guy walks in. He was just going to pay for gas for his stolen car but sees a better opportunity. Disarms guy with gun. Gun guy never took classes on how to protect himself from being disarmed. It's not required. And there you are, kissing your Gummy Worms goodbye.

I think he took someones parking space.

The whole idea of "open carry" is just asking for trouble. It is ludicrous and unnecessary. We'll look like the wild west in the deep south. Think Bubba Redneck and his single-wide neighbors at Disney for the day. Packin'.

So you wanna pack a weapon. Fine. Apparently it's your Constitutional right. At least that's how the Second Amendment is interpreted. And you think you have to keep it on you for 24/7 protection. Fine. But keep it where I don't have to see it. I don't know anything about you, so my instinct will be to scream GUN!, dive under the nearest table and dial 911. So keep your permit handy.

Number of times in my 66 years that I've said "Golly, I sure could use a gun right about now" = zero
If I had a gun, chances of it even being in the same room with me if I needed it = zero (It would be in some other room next to my cell phone.)

Chances of my avoiding places where I might be subjected to folks packing visible weapons = 100%

Chance of a pistol packer finding a reason to use his/her weapon: high. You read about it every day in the news.

Chance of any scenario requiring the use of a weapon for protection being in favor of the "good" guy: 2%

Don't leave home without it

Today's PFF post is more of a rant - sorry- but Open Carry is just another eye-roller of an idea that someone and their best buds are trying to turn into legislation for some self serving purpose that will be unveiled only after the bill passes.

Visit Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for some unarmed Postcard Friendship Friday.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday - Goth History

American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930

Grant Wood painted this American icon using a home described as "carpenter Gothic" and the people he fancied would live in this house. His models are his daughter, and his dentist. The couple in the picture are meant to be a farmer and - not his wife - but his spinster daughter. The term, spinster was originally used to describe a woman who spins to make her own living and therefore does not require a man to provide for her.

This is the house shown in Wood's picture. He painted each character and the house separately. They never stood together, and neither stood in front of the house as he painted.

The person who wrote on the postcard has unintelligible handwriting and other than a reference to Christmas, something wonderful and a church, I have no idea what he/she is saying. He must be a product of a public school Education . Or - okay - perhaps he was a Catholic school student who got smacked with a ruler so many times he lost the use of his fingers and therefore was never able to achieve the lovely script of a parochial educated person

What I really intended to do here is write about This Day In History. That would be the siege of Rome that began on March 11, 357 by the Ostrogoths. ( Ostro: think Austria) A Germanic people, who like the Visigoths (Latin for visi =Teutonic and Goth = west), were a subgroup of the Goths. What happened, was the Goths took over Rome in the 5th century and had their own little country right in the middle of Italy. When their leader died the Romans told them to take a hike. So, on the way out of the city the Goths tweeted their posse and lay siege to Rome. A little over a year later, they gave up and left. No known postcards survived the siege, so I used the American Gothic picture instead. It's my blog. That's why.


These are some of the Goths who lay siege. Four of them appear to be standing, and the other two aren't laying at all, they are sitting. Sitting is more accurate , however, because the word siege comes from the Latin word sedere, which means sit as in sedentary, my favorite exercise. Which is what the Goths did. They sat around outside of Rome, disconnected the water supply, kept the Romans inside the city walls and away from food sources and waited for the Romans to die from thirst, starvation, disease, and attacks by the Goths.

This lovely Goth appears to be writing a postcard, but it was probably destroyed during the siege.

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!

Stop by Beth's The Best Hearts Are Crunchy for more Postcard Friendship Friday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Poetry Bus - Bender Defender

I'm hopping on board - late - even later than usual. Our host is The Stammering Poet, Peter Goulding, and he has given us these prompts:

In a nutshell, I am looking for
1) An ode to pancakes in the persona of a poet of your choice
2) Something (or things) I did while drunk, or
3) A rondeau.

Prompts one and three would have caused brain stem damage or worse, so I dove for number 2 - even though I've laid off the drink of my youth. Which wasn't much to begin with. So I had to use my poetic license - the one that isn't suspended. Bottoms up:

Bender Defender

I Thought that I would be just fine

If I drove right on the middle line

Down the empty two-way country road

I was toolin’ right along at 50

And thought I was being nifty

Feeling very happy and quite bold

Then I saw the flashing blue light bar

Catching up to my ole car

Bidding me to pull aside

So I parked right at the gutter

While thinking what lie I could utter

To gain an un-ticketed ride

I saw his name tag, Pat O’Brien

He asked - little lady where you flyin?

And what’s causing you to drive so badly?

I said, to church, uhm, that’s the thing

So I can pray and I can sing

But I’ll be late now I sighed, sadly

Ah, Me dear mother Brigitte

Would think of me an eedjit

If I made you miss your Sunday Mass

Go! Take the bread, but NO more wine

And thank the Lord that you are fine

Cuz it’s Friday but I’ll let you take a pass

Cynthia Ann Conciatu

Happy Paczki Day!

Today, the Tuesday before Lent, is celebrated by those of Polish heritage as Paczki day. These are wonderful dense doughnuts filled with good thick homemade preserves. The word translates to "packet" and is pronounced "punch-key". You'll find faxcimiles at your local grocery store, but they pale in comparison.

If you want the authentic taste you will have to make them yourself, adopt a Polish grandmother, or search out a Polish bakery, arrive early and stand in a long line with the Babusha's to wait your turn at the counter.

The preserves are centered in the middle of the doughnut halves before frying. The authentic Warsaw variety of these delicious treats are made with egg yolks, butter, whipping cream and a little brandy along with the usual salt, sugar, yeast, flour and water. They are hefty and about half as sweet as store-bought.

Covered with a sweet glaze

And properly served on a pretty polish pottery plate.

M-m-m-m-m-m Find some!