Oct 20, 2007

Let's Go Haiku-ku!

After doing a post on the poetry style of Nonets, I am hosting a contest called "Let's Go Haiku-ku!" This obviously pertains to the writing of Haiku which is a mode of Japanese poetry. The winner will receive a $15.00 Starbucks card! First, let's start with the basics...

Recipe for Haiku

Haiku (high-koo) is a poem written in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables each. No attention is paid to rhythm, rhyme, or length of line. It is not necessary to place a period at the end of the Haiku. It is made by writing something simple and natural, suggesting one of the four seasons– spring, summer, autumn or winter. A mood is captured and the reader fills in his or her own details. It is usually written in two parts– a physical scene followed by a mental observation.

Examples of Haiku
A crimson teapot,
steamy with first flush Sencha,
calls a thirsty soul
- Karen June Miller

A single leaf falls,
then suddenly another,
stolen by the breeze
- Ransetsu [1654-1707]

By flowering pear
and by the lamp of the moon
she reads her letter
- Buson
Contest Rules
  1. The theme is AUTUMN.
  2. You may enter as many times as you wish. For simplicity, please include only one Haiku per post.
  3. Your Haiku must be original.
  4. The winner will be selected based on adhering to the rules of Haiku and the images the poem creates. Modern Haiku bends the rules, but this contest will focus on the traditional style.
  5. The DEADLINE for entries will be Saturday, October 27th at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
  6. The winner will be selected by a panel of 2 individuals. I will be one of the judges

A Sweet Tweet!

Lilac Breasted Roller - South Africa

As many of you know, I curtailed posting during my recent blog giveaway. Well, one noteworthy item was momentarily set aside and now I have the pleasure of sharing! I received some special recognition that warmed my soul! Kathryn Bechen, of the blog Kathryn Bechen Ink Blot and the website Kathryn Bechen Ink, extended Client Kudos to me in her Wednesday October 3rd post! As I am pursuing my career as a writer, Kathryn has graciously taken me under her wings in the form of mentorship. I have already received marvelous inspiration!

For over 20 years, Kathryn has carved her niche in the non-fiction community of freelancing. Her published work encompasses home keeping, gardening, interior design, and professional organization. Kathryn's passion for these subjects is stylishly romanced in her writing. She is charmingly down to earth and she has an ear tuned to the hearts of her clients.

For additional information about Kathryn and her client services, you can link to both of the aforementioned sites on the bottom right sidebar of my blog under the heading of The Parlor.

Oct 18, 2007

Today's Bouquets

  1. Today, I mailed the Giveway goodies to DebraK of The Bunnie's Bungalow! As it happens, DebraK was one of the brave hearts who created a Nonet back around my September 29th post. (A Nonet is a style of poetry.) She rose to the challenge beautifully, as did my Mom! I had mentioned that "I might just have a little surprise," for anyone who participated. So, DebraK will find a few extras in her package! Again, congratulations on your win and for contributing a wonderful poem to my blog!
  2. I have begun to undo the chains of "mental pause!" My metabolism has slammed the brakes on my energy reserves! My fat cells have opened a new business: SELF STORAGE! So, I have taken on a personal trainer– my 20-year old daughter, Briana! She teaches dance and is in terrific shape. It does help that she lives under my own roof and that she is up and waiting for me when I return home from taking my boys to school. Of course, if she wasn't feeling up to it, I would be very understanding...
  3. My efforts to eat healthier are being aided by my new potted herb garden, resting serenely on the southern portion of my patio. I water it daily with Jake's Worm Juice made of worm castings. This might sound grotesque but my plants respond with glee!

Oct 17, 2007

Creamy Corn Chowder

Creamy Corn Chowder
From “The Kitchen Konnection”

Before the land of blogs, a friend of mine used to send out a hard copy newsletter called The Kitchen Konnection. She has since hung up her apron, but this recipe has always been a comfort food favorite among friends. No, it is not made completely from scratch, but it is fast, easy, and gratifying.

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large cans creamed corn
  • 2 large cans evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, place cut potatoes in water to cover. Cook until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to saucepan.
  2. In frying pan, sauté onions in butter until transparent but not brown. Put into pan with potatoes. Add creamed corn, evaporated milk and pepper and heat on low, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let chowder cool down. Refrigerate in bowl and allow flavors to “marry” overnight. Serve with warm rolls or oyster crackers.
  3. This can also be put in a crock-pot on low for a few hours.

Oct 16, 2007



I love to share the wealth, so here are some neat activities you might wish to check out...
  1. Jennifer at PEAR STREET STUDIOS has been hosting weekly Giveaways! She is currently giving away a set of 10 Stacked Pumpkin Invitations– just in time for Thanksgiving. All you have to do is post a comment. She is accepting referrals so be sure to tell her KJ from eye-dyllic sent you.
  2. THE FEATHERED NEST is having a delightful Giveaway that ends this Friday, October 19th at Midnight. She lists the goodies as: "A transferware plate in nice autumn colors, a little hand painted tole tray, some ribbon from the French General, a postcard and stickers from the French General, and some pumpkin spice votive candles." Once you are done posting a comment, be sure to click on the top banner or "Main" to see the rest of her blog. It is a wonderful place to spend some time!
  3. MARTHA STEWART featured Jennifer Murphy on her show this week. Jennifer demonstrated the production process of her whimsical Felt Pumpkin People! Click on the Martha Stewart link to see a list of materials and instructions. You can also go to the JENNIFER MURPHY website to view a charming photo layout of the materials and instructions. [A Spring Pom Pom Bunny is featured on this page as well.] Jennifer attributes her abilities to her talented mother who has a website called MURPHY'S BEARS.
  4. The October COUNTRY LIVING includes a special section on page 145 called All About Autumn, by Susan Branch. Her whimsy and fanciful watercolor artwork are playfully displayed. If you've never visited her website, you are in for a treat! There is plenty to take in! If you scroll down to the "You're going to love this" section, you will find some FREE SUSAN BRANCH WALLPAPER for your computer.
  5. Having just completed a Giveaway, UNDER THE RED ROOF apparently isn't through giving things away. Prepare for an instant repeat! Again, she is giving away over 100 sheets of vintage wallpaper. Papercrafters unite!
  6. My latest article, "HARVEST," is directly below this post.

Oct 15, 2007


Golden bales of hay against a satin skyline.

Harvest can never exist without the preliminaries: good seed, prepared soil, watering, and reaping. If any of these components are left out, harvest is only a dream... This photo affirms the principles of sowing and reaping, and serves as a reminder of its applications to our own lives.

Sowing is a form of giving. When we plant seeds in prepared soil we are essentially giving back to the earth, thus enabling it to return the favor. One definition in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary is "to set something in motion: begin an enterprise." This cyclical exchange has mutual benefit.

I place great value on how these principles apply to life, especially since I love to give. The Bible tells us in Luke 6:38 (NKJ), "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” The Message Bible expresses the same scripture as, "Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."

God encourages us to test Him, largely because we cannot out give Him. I have personally tested this principle many times in my life and I have yet to be disappointed. In fact, it's much like conducting an experiment where the results have already been proven and documented. As an example, directly after conducting my recent blog giveaway, I found an envelope in my in-box at work that contained an unexpected monetary gift of $40.00!

The field also represents our individual lives. What are we sowing into our own lives? Is our soil prepared to receive it? Are we investing the time needed to water, feed, and nurture what is being produced? Perhaps we’re doing all of the cultivating but allowing the fruit of our efforts to die in the field? For me, the greatest seed that I can plant in my field is the Word of God. This is combined with my pursuit of knowledge, skills, and my desire to be continuously experiencing growth.

Giving begins with the Kingdom of God; however, reciprocity spills over into every aspect of our lives. Whether I am sowing into my local church, missions projects, integral charities, or giving to family and friends, I will reap again . . . somewhere.

You are here...

If you aren't here on purpose, I do hope that you'll stay for a bit. And while we're on the subject, has anything happened to you lately that wasn't on purpose? We all know how LIFE happens on the way to something else. Perhaps you stumbled upon a person, place, or thing that turned out to be a moment of significance? Did it become a treasure, a time of healing, or an event that created a bridge to a dream or an answered prayer? Why not take a couple of minutes to share that with me. After all, you are here...