On my way to work this morning, I heard a story on the radio about an incandescent light bulb that was lit in 1901 and is still burning.

A photo of the Centennial Light Bulb pendant light in Livermore, California. This photo was taken in 2016.

In 1901, my maternal grandmother was 5 years old. My paternal grandfather hadn’t been born, and wouldn’t be for another 2 years.

However, here’s something contemporaneous with that 1901 light bulb: Walt Disney was born.

Can’t you picture a cartoon light bulb appearing over Walt Disney’s head time and time and time and time again over the course of his life as he had one idea after another? I think that light bulb would look remarkably like this light bulb that was born the same time he was.


Over the Town (a poem for two voices)

Come fly with me!

(a leery look)

Come fly with me!

(nose in book)

Come fly with me!

(a heavy sigh)

We’ll go up high
And see the town from the sky!

I’m dubious.

I’ll keep you safe,

I’m dubious.

My darling waif.

I’m dubious.

Come now! Make haste!

Your hope is quite displaced.
My feet on earth are firmly based.

We’re going up!

I’m not a bird!

We’re going up!

This is absurd!

We’re going up!

Cannot look down.

Oh! Look around!
You’ll see our lovely little town.

Oh me! Oh my!

Look at the trees!

Oh me! Oh my!

Feel that breeze!

Oh me! Oh my!

It’s charming, yes?
And you would never guess!

I was blinded by my stress.

This is in response to this week’s W3 prompt — a choice of two Marc Chagall paintings for inspiration. Initially I was going to use the other painting — The Big Wheel — and try to write something about my trip to Paris in 2017, but I kept going back to the other painting, Over the Town, which I ultimately used.

I’ve never written a poem in two voices before. I wanted to tell a story. This is what came out.


Almost Lost

True story: A little over a week ago, I did the high ropes course with my daughter Mary. I had done it two years ago with friend/co-worker and had a lot of fun. This go-round, I was definitely weaker. My upper body muscle soreness in the days that followed bore witness to that.

Anyway, I had this one little serendipitous moment while on the course the other night. Mary and I were unclipping and clipping our carabineers from one cable to another after we had completed one element and were getting ready to start another. Suddenly I realized that my necklace was gone.

Now this necklace had been given to me over 8 years ago by one of my daughters. I have worn it nearly every day since. To say that it’s a favorite piece of jewelry would be a gross understatement. Stamped on those discs are the names of all my children.

So Mary and I are standing I-don’t-know-how-many feet above the ground and I realized my necklace was gone. I held my hand against my chest, just below my throat, right about where the pendant would have rested and tried to calm myself.

Breathe…. Breathe…. It’s okay…. it’s just a necklace….. it’s okay….. breathe…..

Then I looked down. See that kind of flat surface with cables and stuff screwed into it?

Yeah, well, my necklace was there. All neat and tidy like someone had gently placed it on the wooden “shelf”. The chain wasn’t broken. The clasp wasn’t broken it. It was just waiting for me.

I can’t explain it and I’m not even going to try to. I’m just grateful.

I found an art challenge today called Tic-Tac-Toe. The idea is that one of the artists sets up a grid with nine art elements and over the course of a week, you create a piece using three of those elements that appear in a row.

Here’s this week’s grid:

I decided to give it a try using Green-Metallic Elements-Use Shapes.

  • Green — that was the easy part.
  • I had a broken chain from my necklace that I had saved to use someday in a collage. A necklace is metallic, right?
  • The artist for the tree I cut out had drawn star-shaped leaves so I cut out some more star-shaped leaves covering over hers.

Thus I created a riff on the story of losing a necklace in a precarious place.

What do you think?


Sink, Sank, Sunk

Saturday has become my favorite day for blogging. Last week, one of my readers told me that reading the Saturday post was “like we were sitting together having a chat and a cuppa.” That’s such a huge compliment!

On Saturdays I’ve given myself permission to blather using the Stream of Consciousness prompt given by Linda Hill. This week that prompt is: sink/sank/sunk

So let me update you on my kitchen sink. I called the plumber a few months ago. He came. He saw. He fixed. Sort of. A slow drip still exists. It’s not leaking behind or under the sink. It’s just drip…………………….drip………………………….dripping. Should I call the plumber again? Let’s just say it isn’t annoying enough for me to do that. Yet.

My heart sank one day at work this week when I learned of a mistake I had made. It wasn’t a clerical error or something that involved money or something silly like that. It involved feelings. I had hurt someone’s feelings in a terrible way. I apologized — twice — but the damage is done. As unfeeling as some people may think I am — I mean, I DO operate in a logic brain most of the time, and hold my feelings pretty close to me — I also care INTENSELY about feelings.

AND, as unfeeling as some people may think I am, on this occasion, I turned to a co-worker and literally cried on her shoulder. When I first went to her office and started crying, she said, “I can’t tell if you are kidding or if these are real tears.” I don’t think she had seen me cry before.

I assured her the tears were real.

After about half an hour of listening to me, she grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s take a walk outside.”

It’s amazing what fresh air and sunshine can do for the soul — especially the hurting soul.

While I was apologizing to the person I had hurt, she said to me, “I don’t even want to come to work anymore.”

Same, sister, same.

But I have a co-worker who has my back. She understands what happened and why. That’s worth a WHOLE LOT.

And I have tulips at my desk at work.

So when I walk through the door going through the sink-sank-sunk emotions of I-don’t-want-to-be-here, I see the tulips and they lift my heart.

poetry · swimming

How I Relax

Dive into coolness
Catch, pull, release, recover
Stroke, flutter kick, stroke
Exhale into the water
Turn my head to catch a breath

The W3 prompt for this week is:

The more I read about haikus and tankas, the more I realize that something is lost in translation. A tanka is more than 5-7-5-7-7 syllable counts. It’s actually not syllable counts, it’s kana.

What’s a kana, you ask? I’m not 100% sure because it’s something in Japanese. And Japanese “uses a combination of logographic kanji, which are adopted Chinese characters, and syllabic kana.” (according to Wikipedia) English is phonetic. These two language systems aren’t the same. How can we adapt something like poetry from system to the other. I don’t know.

But I know how I relax. A pool is my happy place and swimming laps helps me unwind.

So here’s my tanka-ish whatever.



Underneath the sparkles and glitter —
No — lose that shiny excess litter —
I see strength — such strength that must be chained
Chained, crown around its neck, constrained,
Or is it? No, no — not a quitter–
Rugged, royal, powerful, proud,
Not subdued. No knee is bowed.

Unicorn was one of the prompt words for Tanka Tuesday. The challenge was to write an acrostic poem.

Honestly, I looked at the list of words and none of them struck me. I’m not a sparkly, glittery sort of person — especially in this chapter of my life. But, man oh man oh man, do I love that Scotland has the unicorn as its national animal. Fiercely independent and untamable, he is the heart of Scotland.

collage · poetry


My mind’s a scattered mess
Errant thoughts I cannot catch
Direct result of stress
I deeply breathe — attach
This diffuse excess
As if herding butterflies
To scented blooms of peace
I deeply breathe — and sighs
Open me — I cease
Needing order. Chaos dies.

This was much harder than I thought!

The challenge was to write an acrostic poem using one of five words: Discipline, Meditation, Enthusiasm, Tumult, or Trouble.

My poetry muscles are weak.

I just started working out with weights again at the gym. Some of my flesh-and-blood muscles are SO SORE. Thank goodness my brain doesn’t hurt the same way 🙂

I realize this collage is not terribly meditative, but I was looking through my photos for one of a butterfly and found this collage that I made years ago. It made me laugh.

Blather · family · Life

Saturday Blather

I should have taken pictures last weekend — at the very least, a photograph of the big stick we moved into the storage unit.

Yep, we stored a stick. It’s actually a tall dried stalk of bamboo.

“It’s a staff,” Mary said.

Someone had given it to her. It was cool. She said all that, too.

I agree. It was kind of cool. But when I saw the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday — stick — it hit me that we had stored a stick.

I’m sure there are worse things out there in storage units. I don’t even want to think about that.

But photographs from my road trip last week were limited to one, which I’ll share in a sec.

I drove to Virginia to pick up her from college. Last year, when it came to moving out, there had been tears. Not the I’m-sad-that-I’m-leaving-school variety. More the I’m-overwhelmed-with-this-process variety.

Packing up and moving is a tough business, don’t you think?

But we successfully emptied the dorm room, stored some stuff in a shared storage unit (including a stick/staff), loaded up the car, and headed home. Without any tears.

I didn’t take a single picture of that process. In fact, I only took one photo — I promise, I’ll share it soon, but it’s really nothing great so don’t build up your hopes.

I wish I had taken a picture of the view from the stables. The school has a riding program, and one of the storage unit sharers was up at the stable when we went to get the key.

First, I love horses. Such beautiful animals. We visited some of the horses in the barn, then Mary’s friend walked us out and pointed out some in the pastures. Beautiful, beautiful animals out grazing in beautiful Virginia fields. The fields were dotted with trees leafing out, flowers blooming, and horse nibbling at the grass while swishing away the flies with their long beautiful tails. I really should have taken a photograph.

Here’s a photograph (nope, still not the one) documenting my early love of horses. I think I was three years old.

And here’s another one (still not the one) showing my continued love of horses. I was maybe ten years old?

Without further ado, I should just show you the picture I took last weekend. Honestly, this is the problem with Stream of Consciousness writing. You start off thinking that you’re going one place and then you end up in another place entirely.

We had just loaded up the car and Mary had run in for one check. I was waiting outside the dorm and started to read the plaque there. It was from 1955 when the dorm was built. The reason I took the picture was to remind me of how far we’ve come. At this all women’s college in 1955, all the married women on the plaque are swallowed up by their husbands’ names. The unmarried women still have their first names. The married ones do not.

To me, that feels sad — that namelessness.

But we’re making progress, aren’t we?

I have a name — and I like it when people call me by name. Most of the time.

Sometimes it’s unnerving when people know my name and I don’t know theirs.

A woman stopped me the other day when I was getting ice cream with Mary. She said, “You’re Sally, aren’t you?”

I have no idea who she was. She knew me from my work with the senior programming I’ve been doing.

But this has nothing to do with sticks. Or horses.

Not that it has to, of course. I’m just blathering at this point.

I should end now.