With sympathy

Drapeau de la France
To everyone in France after yesterday’s horrifying attacks.

Ah, the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week, they’re requesting that we go completely over the top with the most ornate picture we can find…

ChineseFriendshipGatePhiladelphiaAnd here we are: the Chinese Friendship Gate at 10th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia.

It’s definitely ornate; but it’s hard to grasp how complex the patterns are unless you concentrate

ChineseGateDetail02on a few

ChineseGateDetail01areas of



Wordless Mountain Wednesday

Approaching the Rocky Mountains

Cloudy and at sea

PacificCoast2007That’s kind of how things have been here for the last several weeks.

Well, my father in law’s funeral is over now, and the out-of-state relative we’ve been hosting has gone home. Time to start getting things done again. How  have all of you been lately?

An Apology

I never like to fill my posts
with tales of woe. We all have those,
and most are worse than mine. It feels
like telling all of you to marvel
that weeds have sprouted in my garden
when your house, maybe, just burned down.

And yet, sometimes, some times like these,
I start to think I ought to say what’s kept
me silent more days than I speak.
So, here’s the problem: two weeks in
the hospital – no, no, not me,
my husband’s father’s sick. Today,
a gift: he hasn’t gotten worse.

And so, today, I write.

(Poetry 201: Write a poem containing a simile and the word “gift”; make an acrostic with the first letters of the lines, which I haven’t done.

But Dad really is hospitalized, and it’s difficult for everyone.)

Watching the battlefield

OldWavyGlassAntietamShielded from the world –
so strangely squiggly – we’re safe,
screened by solid glass.

(This is – at last – Day 5 of Five Photos, Five Stories. And at the same time, it’s Day 1 of Poetry 201; an alliterative haiku. Also, as asked, it has the word “screen” shoehorned within the syllables.

And, oh yes, about the title for the post: this photo was taken through the wavy old glass of a window that looks out over the site of the Battle of Antietam. On one bad day a bit over a century and a half ago, this wasn’t a screened, shielded, safe place at all.)


5 Steps to Becoming Very, Very Frustrated

UPSwamp(Plus 2 things to do next, and 5 steps to actually deal with the problem.)

1. Decide it’s time to clean things up.

2. Realize you’ve got a lot of old papers with information that could be useful for ID theft; get a shredder.

(Step one and step two can be done weeks or months ahead of time.)

3. Shred and shred and shred and shred until the shredder bag is full.

4. Take the bag out of the shredder.

5. Spill a small mountain of paper shreds out of the bottom of the bag. Realize the bag is torn wide open.


What to do next:

1. Stare at the ripped bag in horror. State at the pile of shredded paper in more horror. Stare at the bag – you know, the torn one with equally large holes top and bottom; that bag – some more.

2. Take yourself off to look at email and funny cat pictures for half an hour, until you cheer up and your sinuses recover from the dust of sixty-year-old paper.

And finally,

1. Come back and stuff the torn bag into another nice big bag.

2. Scoop handsfuls of shredded paper into the new bag until you can’t pick up any more.

3. Tie the bag shut and put it with the recycling.

4. Get a broom and a dust pan (because you already know a vacuum cleaner won’t do a good job picking up shredded paper; you’ve tried) and sweep up the rest of the mess.

5. Grumble as needed throughout this process.


(This is Day 4 of Five Photos, Five Stories – also, it’s part of the Hundred Day Cleanup.)