Sunday, October 31, 2010


I haven't checked in often, partly because of traveling and cat recovery, and partly because I've been blogging (almost) daily at The Sun Hunters.

On to the gratitude...

I'm thankful for this gorgeous Sunday, and the way some unexpected sun lights up the trees that are still holding onto their leaves.

I'm grateful the cat is back in the family and that I've made progress on cat-proofing the house (in the case of Gilbert, harder than you'd think).

I'm thankful I had all three kids here for dinner tonight. Schedules aligned. It was wonderful, punctuated by running to the door to hand out candy.

I love the colors this time of year. And I can remember a time (in the '80s) when I looked at the trees turning and thought, "I wish I could just enjoy them, but I have so much to do and I have to finish it first."

I'm thankful that I now take the time to enjoy things--at least, some things, like little dots and leaves changing into their new colors. If I think of all the other chores, I remind myself that they are not more important than this now. They belong to a new now. I'll get there, after I'm here.

Best wishes for the week.

Open the door. Open my heart.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A problem with prose poems

They look short.

Not in a book or a publication, but when I print one of my prose poems out on my 8 1/2 x 11-inch sheet of paper with 1-inch margins, it just looks short. So much of the page is left.

(I'm typing this with one hand while I sit on the basement bathroom floor and hold my cat. This makes him happy and provides plenty of time to ponder things.)

It's not that I want to write longer prose poems. I just feel a little sheepish about all that left-over space.

Do you write in more compressed forms? (Haiku and haibun come to mind.)

Do you ever feel that, visually, the page should look fuller?

Monday, October 18, 2010

After the basement bathroom flloor...

That's where I've been hanging out since this afternoon.

Gilbert the cat found some more watch parts. He ate them. That's his bad habit: Eat everything.

I was in Pasadena when he began to show signs of being seriously ill.

Thus begins the gratitude journal:

I am extremely grateful to my Mom and to my daughter, who acted as point person with the emergency vets while I was down in Pasadena. (The cell phone got a workout.)

I'm also grateful to the emergency vet people. They don't like my cat, because when he's there, he's very unlikeable. Scary, even. But as soon as he gets home, he returns to the "I love you, cuddle with me now" side of his personality.

And that's where I've been--cuddling with Gilbert the cat, who will spend the next two weeks mostly living inside a renovated (especially for him) shower stall, so that he doesn't jump around.

Then, I might have to take the stitches out myself, because he's such a freak at the vet's.

But he's okay, and my daughter and mom are okay.

Yes, I'm grateful.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gratitude on a blue gray Sunday

It's one of those days, a little stressed and a little blue and feeling out of sorts. It's hard to feel grateful on these days, but it's also important.

Today, I feel grateful for a dry refuge from the fall showers.

I feel grateful for my cat, who just now decided that cuddling purring is in order.

I feel grateful that my daughter has become a good driver (and a good parallel parker).

I'm grateful for the Internet, so that I can do research while I'm cuddling with my cat.

I'm grateful for time.

I'm still a little stressed out (last-minute car-repair stuff, work stuff), but it helps to take a few moments for all the good things.

Open the door. Open my heart.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dipping my toes into prose

I've started a serial blogging project (I think that's what it is). Maybe I'm trying to nurture my inner novelist, but really because I want to follow this idea of sun hunters.

My own antidote to the gray months ahead.

The story starts here.

Poetry + technology, in video

Recently, my colleagues at my Microsoft job asked me whether I'd be interested in talking, on camera, about how I use OneNote to write poetry.

Would I ever!

This was a real grown-up video, with a professional make-up artist (thank you so much) and a big heavy camera and a lot of planning and an interview (a little scary).

But what a great opportunity to bring poetry and writing center stage.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Pleiades

When the wine is fermenting, Tom leaves the house before the crack of early. I try to tag along when I can get up that early (we're talking out the door by 5:45 AM).

On the short way to the car, I've seen some amazing stars. I think I've even seen the Pleiades. I'm not sure. It's early. And it's lovely.

Then I hang out at the shop while Tom measures things and punches down the cap on the Merlot.

This morning, I managed to remember my camera.

Barrels of the Sauvingon Blanc we crushed and pressed the first weekend.

Barrels of Chardonnay that we crushed and pressed on Sunday.

Merlot from the first crush fermenting. The skins rise to the top and form a hard cap. That's what gets punched down.

The Merlot cap up close.

The smell is wonderful, too. But it's a long day. And Tom just called to say that he's pressing Merlot and won't be home for a while.

Now we await the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Gratitude Journal: Pressed

What? No pictures?

This morning, I was up and making homemade banh mi for today's crush. I remembered the bread, and the grilled chicken, and the tofu cooked in coconut milk, and the pickled vegetables, and the red pepper (I just wanted some), and the spicy mayonnaise, and the cilantro, and the sesame noodle salad, and the beer, and the potato chips--but I forgot my purse! And that's where my camera was.

Today, we crushed and pressed one and a half tons of Chardonnay grapes. And it went pretty quickly, but it was still a long day.

I am very grateful to the people who came to help. And for all their hard work. I am especially grateful to my daughter, who spent her Sunday loading grapes and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. She also made the noodle salad.

I am grateful that it didn't rain.

I am grateful for inspiration.

I am grateful for the Internet, which makes research possible from the sofa.

I'm grateful for my friend Angela, who did bring her camera on Friday and took some author photos for me.

I'm grateful for poems and for the desire to write, the chance at unlocking something.

I'm grateful for the cat curling up on my legs.

I am grateful, and I am kind of tired. Open the door. Open my heart.