Hidden Beauty

Not being sure what my topic would be today I mulled over the different ideas rolling around in my head. OK. I only have one idea today and I am not sure what to do with it. I guess I could read other posts to see if I am inspired, but I chose not to. So, here goes.

This morning I had some mail to send so I hopped in the car and drove to the post office, dropped off the bills, and came back home. This didn’t take long.

As I got out of the car I looked at the trees in our backyard. All summer they were filled with verdant beauty. Spring produced green lace. Summer saw lush green leaves. Early Autumn brought out vibrant yellows, reds, and oranges.

Today the leaves were all gone and all that was left was the skeletal framework of the trees. Looking closely I saw beauty here as well. This was the inspiration for today’s post.

Hidden Beauty (one)
Covering is gone.
Blowing winds have uncovered
The beauty beneath.

Hidden Beauty (two)
During the summer leaves covered the branches.
Now, gnarled limbs reach to the sky.

During the summer birds lived here,
Now, nests are abandoned.

During the summer afternoon sun was shaded from the yard.
Now, the afternoon sun shines through making patterns on the lawn.

During the summer life greeted you.
Now, life is dormant renewing its strength.


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I am not usually a winner. Most times I take chances just to help the organization running the event. Imagine my surprise last evening when I received notification that I had won not one but two prizes.

Let me go back a few weeks to how it all began. A friend of mine invited me to join a virtual Pampered Chef party that she would be hosting. Her daughter-in-law would be running it.

Why she invited me to join I don’t know. After all, it is not like I enjoy cooking or baking. It isn’t like I don’t already have a few Pampered Chef products. Anyway, I decided to join.

Throughout the weeks of the party I did end up ordering a few items that I wanted. One item I ordered was a large mix and scoop. I have one that I have been using for years, but it is showing its age. There is nothing really wrong with it, but I felt like I could use another.

I also ordered a scooper strainer. This will be great for getting shrimp or tortellini out of the pot when it is cooked.

The third thing I ordered was a cake tester. I know. Why not just use a toothpick or the spring back when touched test. Sometimes, especially with a tube or Bundt pan, those tests aren’t always accurate for me.

The last thing I ordered was a lazy susan. The description suggests using it as a way of serving cheeses. Me, I plan to use it to make icing cakes easier.

Because my order reached a certain amount, I also got a free gift, a small mixing/serving bowl.

Because I ordered some items my name would be placed in the pot for a chance to win some end of the party prizes. It would be nice to win, but I wasn’t going to hold my breath.

Throughout the party there were games where if you played you got your name added an additional time for the end of party prize drawings. I played a few and for each one I played I got another entry for the drawing. I even won one and that got me five extra entries.

The drawing was held last night I was notified that I won two prizes: a parking knife and toaster tongs.

I look forward to receiving a package with my prizes whenever it gets here. I might just have to celebrate by cooking or baking something using my new Pampered Chef items.


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How did it happen? Did it come about gradually?

Did nobody notice? Why didn’t they tell me?

In my youth I was carefree. Life held such wonders.

I was vibrant and bold.

I could bend and not break.

In my prime I was seasoned. Knowledge abounds.

I donned my bright colors.

I painted the town.

In my twilight I’ve faded. Skin wrinkled, transparent.

Blown and tossed around, no place to call home.

But I know in my heart, the cycle goes on.

I think back on the past. I think ahead to the future.

Even in my decline I see hope and prosperity.

For circle of life just goes on and on.


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Practice Makes Perfect

His arm is good

there is strength and power.

He sometimes practices

Hour after hour.

He knows his goal.

He must not miss it.

Butterflies dance

in his stomach’s pit.

If he succeeds

It will be a first.

His joy uncontained

Will simply burst.

Now is the time.

There’s no turning back.

He will now see

If he has the knack.

He winds up

with his eye on the goal.

He releases

And it starts to roll.

Over and over

on the path he has set.

Don’t be too confident.

It’s not there yet.

The end is in sight.

A smile starts to spread.

Embarrassed he’s not

Though his face

turns bright red.

With a thump it lands

Right where he wanted.

Someone may be angry

But he is undaunted.

He smiles as he leaves.

His goal being met.

Here’s hoping they find it

Before it gets wet.

Our carrier did leave another paper on our porch. If we hadn’t gone out that afternoon because of a doctor’s appointment I don’t know how long the paper would have stayed there.


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When I was teaching I found that many of my students were a bit hesitant to attempt writing poetry. As one who felt the same way as a student I understood their fear, but I wanted them to see that they can do it. One of the first forms I introduced them to was the pantoum. Since this was a simple format and they liked the fact that it looked like they wrote more lines than they had to, all my students were successful.

I hadn’t thought about this in years but somehow trying to come up with a topic for today this popped into my head. This is not very polished since I just wrote it so that I could have something to publish for today.

So, here is my pantoum.


A star filled night

No clouds to hinder the view.

Temperatures drop as the night progresses.

Come morning frost blankets the ground.

No clouds to hinder the view.

I feel one with the universe.

Come morning frost blankets the ground.

What will the day hold?

I feel one with the universe.

There is nothing holding me back.

What will the day hold?

Where will my journey begin?

There is nothing holding me back.

I can feel the power within.

Where will my journey begin?

Experiences just waiting to happen.

I can feel the power within.

Come evening what will I have accomplished?

Experiences just waiting to happen.

Will I have explored all that the day holds?

Come evening what will I have accomplished?

Temperatures drop as the night progresses.

Will I have explored all that the day holds?

A star filled night.


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I Won’t Go

“I am telling you that I will not step into that. I don’t care what you say. I know what happens every time I am put in that thing.”

They think they are being smart telling me we’re going out to look at the pretty Fall foliage. Maybe they will look at the changing leaves but all I ever see is the back of the car seat or maybe the back of their heads. Not at all an exciting view.

Let me go back and explain how this started and what I am talking about. One day last week after going out to the mailbox for the mail, my houseman came in, looked at me and said, “Oh look. You received an invitation. How nice.” Then he showed me the card that came. I saw my name there, a truly distinguished name at that, but I didn’t care. I am not going to accept.

Now, just so you know, I never accept invitations . I don’t want to go anywhere. I have no need to leave the house. My staff takes care of all of my wants. Why else do you think I let them live here with me?

Back to the present. My servant is saying, “They can’t wait to see you. You know they always make such a big fuss over you every time you go. Dr. Sara loves when you come to visit.”

Well, I am lovable. That’s the truth. And who wouldn’t be happy to see me? I do deserve adulation. No, that doesn’t change my mind.

Dr Sara loves seeing me. Really? Then why does she scratch my head and fawn over me and then proceed to probe, prod, and stick me. I ask you, is that the sign of someone who is happy to see you? The indignity of it all.

Wait! What are you doing? Put me down. I told you I am not going in that thing.

Stop. Don’t you dare close gate. Help. I am a prisoner. I demand you put this thing down immediately and let me out. Oh no. There is the car. I am doomed. Poor me.

Well, if they think I am going to sit here quietly and take this they had better think again. I know it’s a 40 minute ride. My voice is strong. Time to make my displeasure known.


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40 And Counting

On Sunday Kathy and I celebrity 40th wedding anniversary. Forty years since we walked down the aisle as man and wife.

Looking at our wedding album we were thinking about all of the people in the pictures who are no longer with us. We miss them, but remember good times with them.

As with all married couples we have had our happy times as well as our sad times. We have weathered whatever came out way.

The one thing that was constant throughout those 40 years was that on our anniversary we always went out to eat. This year we did not. We talked about it but with Covid cases on the rise in PA we decided against it.

The question then became what will we have for dinner here at home? The answer was found when we went grocery shopping last week. Back in the meat section we saw a 2 pound boneless pork tenderloin. Suddenly I had an idea for our anniversary dinner.

I have a recipe for a pork tenderloin made in the crock pot. I knew I had all of the ingredients at home – soy sauce, red cooking wine, dry onion soup mix, and minced garlic.

The perfect side dish was a pan of roasted vegetables. We had potatoes, turnips, yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, and broccoli. Mixed with spices, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar , then popped into the oven to roast it complimented the pork beautifully.

Of course, since it was a celebratory dinner we had to have a glass of wine with dinner. A bottle of Vidal Blanc from our favorite winery, Armstrong Valley, was just the ticket. And no, we did not polish off the bottle. We had one glass each.

The only thing I did not think about was something special for dessert. I had made a pan of M & M blondies the other day so they along with a cup of coffee were dessert.

Although we did not go out for dinner this year, we still celebrated. And, we now have some good leftovers.


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Let’s Celebrate

It is a kind of gloomy day here today, so let’s celebrate.

It is gray and cloudy, so let’s celebrate.

The sun will not shine through today, so let’s celebrate.

Some much needed rain is in the forecast, so let’s celebrate.

There is no place I need to go today, except for a haircut later, so let’s celebrate.

There are no pressing matter today, except to post, so let’s celebrate.

Open the cupboard and there it is, so let’s celebrate.

Fill the container and get what I need; let’s celebrate.

Filter in place, coffee measured, water in place, so let’s celebrate.

If I can’t wait a single cup is faster, so let’s celebrate.

In three minutes it will be ready to be enjoyed, so let’s celebrate.

Happy National Coffee Day! LET’S CELEBRATE!


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A cup of hot chocolate or tea enjoyed while sitting

Under a cozy throw or quilt.

Trees sporting colorful leaves. Leaves that get caught up and carried by the wind

Unrivaled in their grace as they dance toward the ground.

Meanwhile, birds continue their southern migration

Northbound once again when Spring arrives.


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An Unexpected Turn of Events

I was counting the months until until my term as president of the Dauphin County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (DCPASR) ended. I was sworn in back in November of 2018 with my term running for two years, January 2019 -December 2020.

That means that I only need to prepare for two more monthly meetings, October and November. We don’t typically hold a meeting in December. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being president. I have a great Board who support me and jump in to do whatever I ask of them. I don’t mind planning general membership meetings and getting guest speakers for our group. That being said I am ready to pass on the gavel to out president elect.

Then this pandemic hit. All in-person meetings were canceled. Zoom meetings became the standard. I admit it is difficult to get some seniors willing to try this newfangled way of communicating.

This morning we had a Region meeting via zoom. Dauphin is part of region IV. Our executive director joined our zoom meeting today. He had some news to share with us.

He is making a recommendation to the Board of Directors that all leaders stay in place until July 1, 2021. Because chapters can’t meet in person to elect and install new leadership he feels it is best to keep things as they are in order to keep things running more smoothly.

What? Does that mean I can’t pass things on in November? I am in this position for another six months until July 1, 2021? Well, this is not what I was expecting as I counted down the remaining days of my term.

I don’t mind doing it, but I need to let my board know of this development and see if they are OK with me staying on for six more months. Luckily we have a board meeting scheduled for tomorrow. I will see what they have to say.


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