Saturday, August 31, 2019

Fearless Thinking, Stress-Free Living Exercises: An Experiment

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.

I am currently reading the above book as a member of the Online Book Club review team and have decided to take part in some of the exercises and see if I find them helpful. I already like the book well enough that I feel confident in recommending that you preview it and see if you might benefit from it as well.

I have decided to participate in the first recommended exercise, which involves recording one's thoughts for a minute four times a day. I can't promise that I'll do this four times a day, but I can commit to doing it daily. I will sometimes share these thoughts.

This is not a writing exercise. It is not meant to be edited. It is a means of determining where the mind is currently focused. Here is my first entry.

Unedited thoughts, one minute
08/29/2019 16:12

The bandage on my finger is making me feel crazy.
Will this stupid wart dissolve?
My ankle hurts, my right foot hurts. 
It feels like there is something sticky on my fingers.
Will things be all right after we move?
Will we actually start eating better?
Why the hell can't I just finish packing? What's stopping me?
I'm worried about the move.

I'm not going to try to analyze this very much. Lots of worry and trepidation is the theme of the moment, and I can't say I'm surprised.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Corncockle

a flower whose name
is sure to bring a chuckle
at least if you are
the sort whose mind is often
somewhere down in the gutter


Ghost Town Grover sez: "That's it, Ornery, I'm declarin' y'all a lost cause! Y'all find one flower with a kinda silly name and yer sittin' there smirkin' like a schoolgirl! Now me, I ain't thinkin' nothin' filthy about this here flower's name. I'm thinkin' this here flower reminds me of corn and roosters, 'cause it's got corn in its name, and roosters say cock-a-doodle-doo."

Cactus Clem Sez: "Now, Grover, I don't think it's entirely Ornery's fault. Every time we invite that ole Beavis an' Butthead over fer a poker game, everything seems kinda down an' dirty to me fer a while too!"

Butthead: "Huh huh huh! You said 'cock.'"
Beavis: "Yeah! Yeah! Me too! He said 'cock!'" 

Great news! The plumbing in the Grover Hotel is mostly updated (still a little minor work to do) and the big move-in day is September 6!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Sunflower and Foxglove

at this time of year
sunflowers line the roadside
golden soldiers march

too much is toxic
but given in small doses
it can help a heart


The cardiac medication digitalis is made from the foxglove plant. Patients taking digitalis must be monitored closely for symptoms of toxicity.

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Baneberry

withstanding extremes
a plant may make its debut
within my garden


I am seeking plants suitable for Zone 5. They need to be able to withstand both heat and cold and not be too thirsty. The Baneberry seems like a possible addition.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Columbine

they say columbine
is the flower for my state
I've never seen one
growing in the wild places
on the hills or in the plains


Ghost Town Grover and Cactus Clem wanted to share their poems too!
Please understand that they wouldn't know
A Haiku from the sole of their shoe

A Columbine Poem
Ghost Town Grover

I might of seen a columbine
When I was working in the mine
Trouble is, I wouldn't know
'Cause I wasn't looking for nothing except for gold!

Cactus Clem's Columbine Poem

I might like to see a columbine
But what I really like is to drink wine
I like some beer and whiskey too
But I don't never eat no stew
Eatin' isn't in my plan
But I gotta drink 'cause I'm a Cactus Man 

To follow the adventures of Grover, Cactus Clem, and their friends, and maybe even find some good stuff to buy and support the Grover Hotel renovations, please visit the Good Stuff From Grover blog!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #98: Choka: Angels and Birds in Flight

Image by Christine Sponchia from Pixabay

soar and drift away
spread your wings and float away
flutter high in air
lifting up for bird's eye view
glide on the current
take off and rise up so high
hover overhead
levitate, luff, and then dive
flap and float about the sky


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Peony

dainty peony
a garden's painted lady
makes a home for ants

dainty peony
ants climbing in the petals
seeking space to rest

a garden's painted lady
something from another time
and at once timeless

makes a home for ants
petals form a cozy bed
hidden from the sun


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Honeysuckle

I can remember
the smell of honeysuckle
New Mexico night


I recently completed and am about to submit my manuscript for the Insecure Writers' Support Group anthology contest. The genre is middle-grade historical fantasy/action.
I normally write for adults. I find writing for youth extremely challenging. I ended up opting to write a lightly fictionalized autobiography of myself between childhood and my pre-teen years which centered around my imagination and the fantastical fiction genres which inspired me. In writing about myself I ended up opening a lot of pockets of unresolved grief.
The place I lived between the ages of four and nine was a semi-rural pocket in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where people could have small farms and keep chickens and such. We had a very large yard, a half-acre. Unfortunately, the house was in rather a shoddy condition and cockroaches the size of school buses had a tendency to get inside. The bugs are huge in New Mexico, and I was not keen on that. But I did love the little skinks and horned toads and such. We also had many beautiful plants around such as the honeysuckle vines, and the cicadas would sing us to sleep.
I was a very shy child and did not have many friends. The characters I met in fantasy worlds were my friends, as were my pets and the animals in our yard.
Although I was born in the Western United States and raised in the Southwest for a number of years, my parents were both from New York. When certain relatives would visit, they would ridicule my accent. A New Mexico accent is a bit of an off-Texas drawl. To this day, I bristle whenever anyone askes the seemingly innocent question: "where are you from?" To me, that question is loaded.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #97: Depth of a Flower


windy weather
calling the flowers by name
each nods

windy weather
inspiring too much thinking 
melancholy thoughts

calling the flowers by name
the flowers in a graveyard
have names of the lost

each nods
no fight when the time has come
blowing away home


depth of a flower
flying away with the bee
some mystery

depth of a flower
what hides deep inside beauty
mystery within

flying away with the bee
nectar feeds tomorrow's child
hope for the future

some mystery
can spark curiosity
or can drive one mad

Jane & Cie

The "sleighs" of these two Troiku were created by Jane Reichhold (1937 - 2016). The Six Horses of the Apocalypse escaped from my unstable stables.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: Pretty Posies, Putrid Puns, Silly Scots, and Good Stuff from Grover

I canna say I
have seen a Canna Lily
I hope that I can


I'm sorry! Don't PUNish me too severely!

This post inspired by several things silly and/or Scottish in origin.

All three of these bad good boys were born in Scotland. 
Sadly, two out of three of them are no longer of this world.

It wouldnae be Star Trek without Scotty
This really cute fan art was found on Tumblr. I havenae been able to discover the creator. It wasnae me. I can hardly draw stick figures.

Admit it, Lads and Lassies.
School would have been better if Willie had been your school's groundskeeper.

This post made Grover groan

"Y'all will never make me admit that I found anything funny about this punny poetry!"

And Cactus Clem chuckle.
"Grover, ole pal, y'all can't pull the wool over my eyes. I heard ya chucklin' behind yer hat!"

For more Ornery Poetry, visit the Ornery Old Lady's Poetry site!

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers 2019: Zinnia

I have a feeling
that zinnias will appear
in my new garden
a dainty-looking flower
which thrives in harsh places


Those of you who are only interested in the poetry can hop off the bus here.
Those who enjoy trivia and my Grover updates, keep on truckin' with me.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that zinnias thrive in harsh climates. (Wikipedia entry here.) Another fun fact: they are native to scrub and dry grasslands.
Colorado has notoriously awful soil, but I remember my mother growing zinnias in her garden. I have a bad reputation as a plant murderer with a serious black thumb. Zinnias, however, seem like they might be able to withstand me.
Here are some recent images from the Grover Hotel renovation. The awful extension has been successfully removed, along with the back porch which was rotting and barely attached to the house. Our thanks to Northern Colorado Excavating for the assistance in removing this strange structure, which was serving as housing for wasps. Fortunately, no-one got stung.

If you purchase a product using one of the links below, I earn a small commission.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Carpe Diem Field of Flowers: A Million Poppies

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

strolling through a field
a million sleepy poppies
call me to join them


Ghost Town Grover sez:
I swear, I ain't ever followin' Cactus Clem nowhere again! This time he leaded me out on the Lone Prairie, an' when a tornado came along, we went into an ole abandoned farmhouse fer shelter. When we woke up, the house was settin' on top of an ole witch, an' man, was she angry. There was a bunch of dwarves hangin' around, an' they told us to go to the Emerald City to hitch a ride back home with the Odd Wizard in his balloon. The witch told us where to go too.

Visit the Artist

Cactus Clem sez:
Y'all, that Land of Oz is a real hostile place! I was expectin' kangaroos an' wallabies, 'cause the other day I met this ghost who told me that he came from the land down under, an' that land is called Oz. He told me an' Grover all about the kangaroos an' wallabies and koala bears an' stuff. But I think that feller might of been confused, 'cause when me an' Grover ended up in the land of Oz, the only thing that didn't try to kill us was the dwarves. 
Them dwarves sent me an' Grover down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, an' we ended up fallin' asleep in a poppy field. The worst part of the whole mess was them dang flyin' monkeys. They kept tryin' to tear pieces outta me fer a snack! And then there was grouchy ole witches everyplace. 
I'm shore glad to be back in Grover with Grover. The only witch around here is the Ornery Old Lady, an' there ain't no flyin' monkeys.