Thursday, January 31, 2013

Update on Java and Guest Bloggers

Thank you all for your concern and kind wishes about Java. Steve and I thought that we were not
going to bring her home, but thankfully, we did. She is resting comfortably upstairs on the bed.
We will keep you updated. So far, so good. (Keeping fingers crossed.)

One of my friends and loyal blog followers recently launched her own blog, called My Three Crabs.
E. invited me to be a guest on her blog, and so I am going to do the same. It should be an exciting adventure!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Our stoic little lady cat is holding her own. We discussed euthanasia. The vet advised that we give Java one more chance. We agreed:Java is worth it. Java's kidney levels were actually good; we are suspecting something is going on in her GI tract, her stomach, or her pancreas. However, Steve and I do not want to put Java through unnecessary diagnostics or painful blood tests. We all concurred that if this round of medicine does not last and she ends up vomiting and dehydrated again, then we will have to have her put to sleep. The vet gave Java another subcutaneous IV, another dose of anti-nausea medication, and a shot of steroids. She has a water lump on her back that resembles a camel.

Thank you for your emails, messages, and posts of support. Steve and I appreciate you! xoxo

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Java is lying down on a white towel draped across our cream comforter with her gold eyes staring listlessly at the wall. Steve and I changed the bedding at 1:00 a.m. because Java had vomited on the quilt; she vomited in several other places in the house; we have lost count. This is unlike her, who is usually meticulous, and always uses the litter box. We can't bring ourselves to sequester her like a prisoner to one room, so we clean up where she has been ill.

Steve and I took Java in earlier last week; the vet was optimistic. A subcutaneous IV and a round of antibiotics later, Java was sent on her way. We understand that at this point we are maintaining her, as our fourteen-year-old Java is experiencing late stages of kidney disease along with arthritis and a sprained left paw, yet like a wounded warrior, Java manages to hobble downstairs to eat and drink, and hobble down one more flight of stairs to use the litter box. We have medications to alleviate Java's discomfort and nausea, and a couple of short stools strategically placed to assist her with logistics such as climbing onto the couch and bed. A friend told me once that animals have a way of conforming to whatever life deals them. Observing Java, I agree with her.

"Hey, Princess, can I give you some fresh water?" Steve kindly greets Java as she clambers gingerly down the stairs into the dining room, and heads into the kitchen. Steve freshens the water in her bowl.
"Does the water feel better?" Steve asks.
"Mrow," Java responds with a chirp.

Java's persistence and resilience will make tomorrow's decision--under the advisement of the vet-- even more difficult.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Poetic Weekend

(Photograph courtesy of Kay Westhues.)

I know it's Wednesday, but wanted to write and share about this weekend. On Sunday, I attended a poetry group meeting for the first time and met new poets and artists. We swilled wine, ate cheese, and read our own poems, and poems by a few favorites, including Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Richard Brautigan. It's nice to delve into poetry for awhile.

The poetic Sunday spilled over to Monday, which was Martin Luther King Jr's. birthday. There were celebrations all around town. J. asked me to participate with the poetry reading at a space for gatherings and conventions called The Century Center. I didn't know that the poetry reading would took place in the large open space. There were booths and people were walking around. As I glanced upstairs, there were people lined up around the balcony and watching from above. My legs were bit wobbly and my throat tightened. It's been awhile since performing in front of a large crowd. What happened? I wonder. I used to love performing in front of large groups, and it was disconcerting at how nervous I was. Perhaps because becoming a character is easier than presenting as myself.

I purchased a book from one of my favorite local poets. Her name is Zorina Frey. The book is called Sticks & Stones: Conquering Haters...withe Poetry. I love her style of presentation, and she inspires me to jazz up my style a little more.

Have a good week... and stay warm!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Salsa Friday in the Greenhouse

This is an image of one of the flowers during a field trip to the Potawatomi Conservatory.

Tonight I went salsa dancing in the Greenhouse for a dance lesson, good cardio, and funds to help the conservatory. I danced with my South Bend friends. D.S., you are an amazing dance instructor! There are advantages to living in a small city, as I run into cool people all the time. My apologies to the sweet lady behind me. I'm sorry I kept stepping on your toes, and bumping into you. Thank you for being so gracious. It was dark, but the plants and lights are amazing at night. I have ADD, so I cannot count dance steps very well and am prone to clumsiness. Apparently, I'm better at keeping rhythm than dancing to it.(Perhaps that is why the dancing was in darkness with twinkle lights.) If there were conga drums there tonight, this chica would be playing them! What an awesome way to end the week!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Banana Pancakes and a Good Book: First Edits on Novel

Today, Steve and I printed out a first copy of The SeaLake. I was really apprehensive. Is it because of what will happen next? What if and when it will be out in the world for people to read? Perhaps teaching--as well as taking--one class in January is for a valid purpose.

I do love having input and reader buy-in on names. That has been a lot of fun for all parties involved. Right now, I am looking for a name of an eccentric old wizard who is obsessed wit rats. So far, I am getting a couple of responses.

Quarter to Midnight

Sitting in bed,
listening to rain
surprised with a balmy
Saturday in January,
listening to jazz
on public radio, playing
"Tokyo Cosmopolitan"
and the techno jazz,
with saxophones and
annoy me, so I turn
off the radio,

and then there is silence.

The time says
quarter to midnight,
fifteen minutes shy
of four painful years plus
since hearing the lilt
of my mother's voice,
on one of the coldest days
in my life,

and then there is silence.

The rain stops momentarily,
and then the rain
starts again, inside, painfully,
as I lie in bed, and then,
when the rains stop
and then I retreat, sorrowfully,
to dream,

and then there is silence.

LCS 1.13.2013

Monday, January 07, 2013

Insomnia, Haiku Society, and Five Random Tips About Poetry

It's 2:00 a.m. and I can't sleep, so I am making productive use of sleeplessness and writing a new post.

After perusing the 2013 Poet's Market book, I decided to join the Haiku Society of America:

After reading excerpts from Poets Market and Modern Haiku (another haiku magazine), I picked up the following tips:

1.) Most of the poetry publications that I read in Poet's Market want to view unpublished works. The magazines and journals want to be the first to feature your work.

2.) Poetry that is published on a blog or other personal website can be considered published, so if you have a poem that you want to send to a publication, don't publish it on your blog, as a facebook post, or as a tweet. (Oops.)

3.) If you feature your name in your blog title, there will be more hits on your blog.I may consider doing this for Marimba and Ice.

4.) According to Modern Haiku, contemporary haiku does not have to adhere to a strict 5-7-5 structure, and many poems that follow the formal structure are awkward.

5.) Another book on haiku is entitled How to Haiku: A Writer's Guide to Haiku and Related Forms by Bruce Ross. This book lives on the bookshelf next to my bed.

I hope these tips are interesting and useful for you.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Banana Pancakes and Good Books: Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird

"Writing a first draft is much like watching a Polaroid develop. You can't--and in fact you're not supposed to-- know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing." -Anne Lamott.

Late Sunday mornings are always good for banana pancakes and good books. Yesterday I visited the 'bary and picked up a few reads. (Almost made it to 100 books in 2012. Will try again this year. You csn sign up for a reading challenge on

I enjoy books about writing, especially at the start of another year, so I picked up an old-fashioned paperback copy of Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Lifeby Anne Lamott. This Wednesday I will be taking a non-fiction writing class, so hopefully I will have this book finished by then.

Saturday Chez Sigety

It's a quiet Saturday afternoon chez Sigety. I'm curled up on a wicker couch on the front porch, surrounded by books and comfy p...