Thursday, July 30, 2009

A quick post and run

Thank you to all my kind friends who left cheery and kind comments about my tumble this week, tips about icing, and reminders to slow down.
Your notes were wise and thoughtfulness much appreciated! 

Getting to bed at a decent hour and resting as much as possible have been good, really good for me.
In fact, I ought to do that more often. Rest, not tumble, of course. 

Then, there's the miracle of Charlotte, the healing dog, whose soft silky coat snuggled up against an ailing body is a wondrous thing.

I'll be blog-hopping and catching up with you all this weekend!

Happy almost-Friday!

Image of Charlotte's fluffy hair by Kathleen Kimball-Baker

Monday, July 27, 2009

Guest blogger: Charlotte speaks


Kathleen's gone and done it again. She went splat running to catch the bus home. No concussion this time, but she's going to have a sore shoulder tomorrow and some very cool bruises on her knees.

She wanted me to tell you she might not be blogging for a couple days. Oh and to be sure to thank David at authorblog for the really nice shout out for her post on her messed up pictures in Paris. She also really appreciates all the comments people left and she'll reply soon!

OK, so now I'm going to go snuggle up with her. She likes it and I get a belly rub!

Till next time --

Your friend, Charlotte

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Going with the flow

"Take a deep breath

and move into the current."

Text excerpt From Daily OM , July 23, 2009
Image :"Floral Abstract-Cornflower" by Dale Keys

You don't always get what you want, but you might get something better

Pyzahn's Jun 24 post "Unique Perspectives" reminded me of this story from many moons ago.

Soon after I graduated from college and just a couple months before I began my first job as a newspaper reporter, I had the great privilege of spending the month of March in Europe.

I toted around a Minolta SLR that my Uncle Simon had given me and I had it with me when I went to visit the Lourve. I completely exhausted myself roaming the halls of that museum and was thrilled with some of the photographs I was able to snap. I vaguely recall photography was not exactly encouraged.

But the best shot of the entire trip was one I got of a museum guard fast asleep in a pose similar to a reclining sculpture. I just beamed with pride as I went to catch the Metro to get back to the apartment where I was staying.

Unfortunately, in my stupor and distraction, I got off at the wrong stop and realized I was completely lost. I figured I'd better get my bearings by going outside, and on my way, I decided to rewind the roll of 35 mm film I had finished at the Louvre.


The sound was hideous and  horrible and I knew exactly what it meant. Somehow, the film had pulled off the spokes and had completely ripped and jammed in the camera. I found a semi-dark spot and I placed the camera under my big bulky red coat to a try to get it out without exposing it.

Didn't work--and I was devastated. Exhausted, lost, and devastated. I don't exactly have a poker face, so I'm sure I looked like a sad little urchin in a scarlet coat. I slowly climbed the stairs to get outside and sat myself down on a window ledge on a corner and hung my head, nearly in tears.

When I looked up, I was amazed to find that I was directly across the street from a magnificent structure, La Madeleine, a church dedicated to Mary Magdalene.

It was indeed a site for sore eyes and I was taking in the neoclassical beauty, when a finely dressed woman walked by, took one look at me, reached into her purse, and handed me several coins.

I understood a bit of French, and I picked up that she was giving me the money to go by myself a cup of coffee. I tried my best to refuse the handout with "No, no madame" and such, but she insisted and opened my hand and put the coins in and off she went. I must have looked a fright!

I sat there flabbergasted. It was all too much. The long day, the lost film, the lost self, the incredible view of the church, and the kind gesture of a complete stranger.

Eventually, I found my way back to my host home, still gripping those coins in my hand. I set them on the dresser and sat on the bed just staring at them. In the end, I decided that I would save them forever (I'm pretty sure in my 20s I thought I would live forever!) as a remembrance of French generosity toward a complete stranger.

And in the end, they have served as a far better memento than the photo I lost. Besides, who knows, the  photo may have gotten one tired guard in a lot of trouble!

Or ended up in Pyzahn's post!

Oh, and the SLR? Little stinker slipped out of my hands in the Notre Dame Cathedral, crashed on the stone floor, and quit working for the next week. Trouble maker! Now my little point and shoot . . .

Image 1  from Wikipedia 
Image 1 from Wikipedia
Image 3 from Julie70
Image 2 from

Friday, July 24, 2009

Safe travels

This little blessing asked to be written when I learned that a dear friend was embarking on a risky fact-finding trip to another continent last December.

Since then, I've shared it with my lovely sisters at Clare's Well before they left for their annual trip to Nicaragua in January to do good work.

And today I post it for Braja of LOST and FOUND in INDIA as she continues her own journey of healing with grace and humor.

I also send it to all who take to the roads, the water, the land, and the air in the pursuit of care and compassion for themselves and for others.

May you travel safely


As you embark upon your journey

We are filled with gratitude

Grateful for your goodness

Grateful for your compassion

Grateful for your courage

Grateful for your strength


As you leave our midst

Know that we are always present with you

And you are with us


May you depart wrapped in the love of your family and friends

May you travel gently, safe in each other's company

May you do your work protected by all that you believe in,

And all that believes in you


May the sun and the moon and the stars light your path

May the earth cushion your every step

May the breath of air sustain you

May all who greet you know your kindness

And as you work, may peace be your constant companion


And then,

Return to us, for we will miss you

Return to us, for we want to know your story

Return to us, for your breathing helps our breathing

Return to us, for you are our cherished ones

Image by Kathleen Kimball-Baker 

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Long overdue

By Chris Heeter

I was long overdue for a walk in the fields,
away from whirring fans
and shades drawn against the heat.
Away from ringing phones
and minds buzzing with schedules and possibilities.
Even away from rich conversation,
and people that I love.

As I let the walk take me,
bird song awakens my spirit.
A hawk bursts forth from a nearby tree
with a whoosh of red-brown feathers.
A gentle breeze plays with leaf shadows.
My heart begins to relax.

Even the deer skull on my path
served only to speak of life and death
and the rhythms of a natural world.

And finally, thankfully,
the endless dialogue
between my own two ears
begins to slow,
quieting in the light
of this beautiful summer morning.

Chris Heeter runs the Wild Institute and posts a poem every Wednesday. You can sign up to receive Wild Thoughts weekly by e-mail. A collection of her poetry has been published by Yileen Press.

Image by arichitk2

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A little bird told her

8:03 am

She boards the bus and takes her seat in the back row

She closes her eyes and draws 3 long deep breaths, quiets her thoughts

The first prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can . . .


She's said this prayer thousands of times, but this is new


Courage to change

What is courage?


What does it mean, really?

Inhale, exhale

Stay with it, listen, just listen,  l i s t e n

Quiet now . . . 

Words coalesce into thought

Like hearing a bird's song for the first time

Its asks that you be humble and willing
 It does not mean that you summon bravado and muscle
That is something else
Some say courage is fear that has said its prayers
That is closer
Courage asks that you step forward
aware, in this moment, imperfect
Courage is not the absence of fear
But rather the presence of trust in what cannot always be known
You may feel alone, but you are not
You may feel you have not succeeded, but you have not failed
You may feel foolish, but courage comes paired with wisdom

Walk through your day with this word
in the palm of your hand,
on the tip of your tongue
Look at it, taste it when you need it
And you will need it

Quiet again . . . 

She completes the prayer

And the wisdom to know the difference

Her eyes open and the bus has almost reached her stop

How is it possible the trip went so quickly?

She leaves the bus, but the word travels all day with her


And she needs it in many little ways

Image by ravi gogte

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Note to self:

"It's what I see with my eyes closed that counts."

-- Michael, a friend

Image by g.originals

Monday, July 20, 2009

To the moon and back

Daylight and Moonlight
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In broad daylight, and at noon,
Yesterday I saw the moon
Sailing high, but faint and white
As a schoolboy's paper kite.

In broad daylight, yesterday,
I read a Poet's mystic lay;
And it seemed to me at most
As a phantom, or a ghost.

But at length the feverish day
Like a passion died away,
And the night, serene and still
Fell on village, vale, and hill.

Then the moon, in all her pride,
Like a spirit glorified
Filled and overflowed the night
With revelations of her light

And the Poet's song again
Passed like music through my brain,
Night interpreted to me
All its grace and mystery

Image by Kathleen Kimball-Baker

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Along the shores of Gitche Gumee . . .

And the muse said:
Rest, my dear, rest.

So I did.

But when I was awake, here's what I saw . . . 

Silky smooth stones

Wildflowers and grass

A mama and her babies
(She had some things to teach me)

The gentle rocking of a swing

This morning's view

A heart . . .

Then I made a promise to be in bed by 11 pm.
And I almost kept it.

More to come . . . 

Friday, July 17, 2009

Heading up north for some R&R

The muse has suggested I visit
the North Shore of Lake Superior this weekend.

Who am I to argue?

May you have a lovely weekend, too!

Kats & Dawgs

This is just to say . . .

Just kidding!
In all seriousness, I am tickled pink that a blog by a human devolving into a dog could be loved by a Kat who is a poet, especially since we all know that cats are highly evolved creatures, and poetikats a notch even further up!

I speak of Kathleen Mortensen (aka Kat), author of the delightful Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes, whose  marvelous blog is a must-see and a must-hear. Thank you, Kat!

And so, to continue to spread the love, I'm going to pass this award to a few of my cherished ones:

Derrick, author of Melrose Musings, from whom I get my daily fix of lore, beauty, charm, and travels.

Pyzahn, author of Prattle . . . from the Flatlands, whose creative posts and intriguing questions have me laughing my fool head off or thinking "hmmmmm" with every visit.

Rudee, author of A Knitting Nurse, whose sass, wit, and insight are as critical to a good day as caffeine.

Distracted by Shiny Objects, author of A Tidings of Magpies, who hits the sweet spot of photo and beautiful words with each and every post -- and she's wickedly funny, too.

Oh, I could go on and on, because in all honestly, I love you all. Really!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Poet dawg writes

This Is Just to Say
by Charlotte

after William Carlos William

I have eaten
the Keens
that were by
the door

and which
you were probably
for posterity

Forgive me
they were delicious
so dreamy
and so ripe

Postscript: And now you'll have to buy a new pair. Aren't you happy?

(With apologies to William Carlos Williams)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm being shadowed

Oh, no!

It's happening again. 

Stripes everywhere -- they're driving me to abstraction!

"Trapped" at the bus stop

Budding in Mr. B's gardens

"Caught" at Hunt & Gather 

Disguising landscaping materials in the form of a tarp

Is there no end to this madness?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just married

~ With love to Cole and Jenny ~

For the Newly Wed
By Kathleen Kimball-Baker

What do you see
when your eyes lock
and nothing moves or whispers?

Do you behold yesterday 
long stretching hours
aloft like a cat’s elevator back?

Do you see tomorrow
blowing full of plans
like a sail in the Apostle Islands?

Do you glimpse this delicate moment  
now spreading out
like a feast under a swaying willow?

Are there sorrows floating
in a sweet shadow pond, sometimes
mirrored on your changing faces?

Is laughter spilling forth
unwilling to be hushed
like children in a quiet church?

Are ordinariness and silence 
such treasures that no call to serve 
could surmount what you would do to keep them?

But mostly

Are you so moved by each other
that good is enough, that to leave as is
is an act of love so rare so beautiful that

God weeps?

Oh yes, God weeps, because you are perfect
and you are beautiful and endless, but only 
the wise, the blessed, the blemished know such desire

and willingly set her free
I believe you do.

Copyright © 2009 Kathleen Kimball-Baker

Sunday, July 12, 2009

California on my mind

By Connie Wanek

I have eaten peach after peach
without hesitation or apology, and each
was a disappointment. Outwardly,
they looked ideal, smooth as a pony muzzle
or pool table felt, sunset colored,
and when I held them I sensed
either their heartbeats or my own.

I overbought, too, thinking how lovely
they looked together, a troupe of California peaches
visiting Minnesota in July, the only month
they'd find palatable. I wondered what exactly
I expected of them. Flavor, I suppose.

Or I thought the stone
might offer I can't say what,
like tea leaves or a fortune cookie,
some hint of a changed life.
Still moist, still bearing a tassel of flesh,
the stone requests a sympathetic burial;
it believes that any amicable clay, even mine,
is suitable for resurrection.

From Growing Season: A Collection of Poems by Midwestern Poets

Image by tracy out west

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Holy, holy holy

The world is holy.

We are holy.

All life is holy.

Daily prayers are delivered on the

lips of breaking waves,

the whisperings of grasses,

the shimmering of leaves.

-- Terry Tempest Williams

from Talking to God: Portrait of a World at Prayer (anthology)

Image by prgibbs

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One of those days


Best that I just go to bed now. Night, night . . .

Image by Sister72

Guest Blogger: Cora speaks


I'm new to this scene. My name is Cora, and I'm the beautiful sister with the brains.

Charlotte is snoring and I've sent Kathleen to bed as she has been staying up way too late.

We know who is alpha in this house, don't we now?

Yes, I know, my eyes are different colors.

Please, if you must comment on them, do say something original.

I need to get my beauty sleep, too, so I shall leave you now with one of my favorite quotes:

"To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists,

manifesting itself as the highest wisdom

and the most radiant beauty,

which our dull faculties can comprehend

only in their primitive forms - 

this knowledge, this feeling,

 is at the center of true religion."

-- Albert Einstein

From The Merging of Spirit and Science

Do live long and prosper, darling -- 


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Awesome. Feet.

So Mr. B looked down at my bare feet last night and made the following remark:

"Looks like your right foot is saying 'Live long, and prosper.' "

Yep -- same guy who calls me his bride, refers to me as Cadillac when he thinks I'm spending too much money, and to whom I've been married 29 years.

Never a dull moment here.

I have serious flat feet issues. When I buy shoes (which is worse than buying a bathing suit) and I'm asked what size I wear, my response is "square."

You get the picture.

And I bring this up for two reasons: 1) a blogger I follow posted a picture of some amazing sandals I wish I could wear and 2) my feet are not awesome and it's the only way I could work up the nerve to back my way into accepting a sweet award from Joycee at
Granny Mountain.

So . . .

1. I wish I'd never worn high heels

For a breath of fresh air, I highly recommend visiting
~ennui~ . The photography is so soft and lovely, her posts brisk and tender, and her flare for finding amazing handcrafted treasures quite impressive.

Today with a milestone 100 post, she showed a pair sandals that make me wish I could stand around having a coquettish conversation with Russell Crowe as the Gladiator (one of my all-time favorite movies).

Sandals by zuzsi

But, alas, I will have to wear goofy black go-go boots ala the original Star Trek -- or my Keens.

2. Queen of ALLL Things
The immensely creative blogger, Joycee of Granny Mountain , tagged me with the Queen of ALLL Things - Awe-SUMMM!!! Award. Thank you, my dear! Apologies for taking so long to respond. I've no idea why this has been so hard to sort out (but maybe it's because I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about 'cleaning  up my side of the street' stuff.)

But what woman in her right mind wouldn't want to be Queen of ALLL Things, especially if she could arrange a royal visit with a gladiator who's accompanied by a great soundtrack!?

So, as part of receiving this award, I am to post 7 awesome things about myself, then pass along the award to 7 awesome bloggers.

Here goes:

1. People tell me my laughter is infectious. (Is that a nice way of saying loud?)
2. I'm devolving, I think into a dog. (And I think dogs are awesome)
3. I am loved. (By Mr. B, Earth Doctor son, Precious GrrlChild daughter, RockStar son, Aunt Stella, family, and friends)
4. I am learning to let go of attachment to things (except for cool sandals and my Keens) and outcomes. 
5. I have a job.
6. I really really like my job.
7. I have B+ blood type. Besides the fact that it sounds upbeat, it's also a cool connection to a beloved grandmother, my mother, and my daughter.

So, as Queen of All Things (at least for today), I hear by pass this award to the following awesome bloggers:

1. ~ennui~ (poignant, lovely, ethereal)
2.  Freckled Writer (a sweet poet with a one-two punch)
3. Watermelon Tourmaline  (who would really appreciate some bachelorette party ideas!)
4. Gaston Studio (who tells the tales of "Indiana Jane")
5. Boomer Baby Bliss (another wonderful story teller)
6. Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes (her podcast feature is like sitting in a poetry jam!)
7. I Need A Martini Mom (oh, to have her sense of humor without the classroom of kiddies)

And I'd love to bestow this upon several male bloggers I follow, but I suspect they'd rather be Kings (or court jesters!)

And now, I shall receive the Gladiator . . . guards!


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