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Friday, July 29, 2016

I SEE RUDE PEOPLE by Amy Alkon #FridayReads

My goal of reading and reviewing 71 books between October 2015 and October 2016 is moving along quite smoothly. Well, maybe more in a jerking fashion. In the beginning, I would read as many as three books in a week. Then April brought the annual A to Z Blog Challenge. 26 straight days of blogging (with Sundays off for good behavior) tripped me up a bit. Strategic planning kept me ahead of the game, but recuperating from A-to-Z set me back. So I'm fairly even. I've read and reviewed 41 books to date (plus my own latest Pepper Bibeau mystery.) With 12 weeks to go, and 30 books to read, that means approximately three books per week. Piece of cake. Actually, lots of chocolate!

My Book Club's reading choice for June was I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society by


*Yes, it did!
How do you deal with rude people?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A MOTHER'S LOVE Poem 31 of #AnotherNewBeginning

A Mother’s Love
Photo taken in side yard of RiverEdge Galleries
Mishicot, Wisconsin
does not
release the bonds,
or lessen
the strength of
emotions experienced
at birth. 

God’s plan
for claiming His own
has no
rhyme or reason
in the minds
and hearts
of mere mortals. 

Once connected
How easy to take the suggested title from the final words of the previous poem, “experience a mother’s love” and immediately hone in on the eternal connection between mother and baby as the topic. No matter the age of the child, from prenatal to old age, one never loses the comfort of the strong tie symbolized by the life-giving umbilical cord of the womb. 

As the child matures, strong bonds are formed with other relatives and friends, also. This poem as easily highlights ties with a lifetime friend, a lover, a marriage partner. Regardless of the relationship, when God chooses to bring a member of His family home, the pain of loss for those left behind still creates an emptiness that appears to have no rhyme or reason. 

For those struggling with the loss of a loved one, regardless of the amount of time that has passed, always remember that with hearts, minds, and souls:

Once connected



Friday, July 22, 2016

#AlohaFriday - Helping Homeless Halflings - Heartwarming!

Surf Waikiki June 2016
How is reading about the homeless going to put me in a happy mood on #AlohaFriday? I debated the question with myself for some time. The last way to perk up an end-of-week sagging mood would be to discuss folks living on the street. When this story came to my attention, though, I gave a hearty "Eureka!"

Because it is published in the Star*Advertiser Hawaii newspaper, it is possible not everyone will be able to access the article. For this reason I will not only include the link, I'll do a bit of paraphrasing about the story!

June 27, 2016
Hawaii News
Homeless keiki stoked on waves
By Dominique Times
(keiki is Hawaiian for child, offspring, descendent; pronounced kay-key)

Local children living in a family shelter were given surfing lessons on Waikiki Beach. This was part of a program sponsored by the Institute for Human Services' Children's Enrichment. The program was six weeks long, packed with activities aimed at building the kids' self-esteem while also serving as an educational program.

By the time "Big Wave Dave" led the group of kids fifteen feet offshore, they were ready to catch their own waves -- riding "with big grins all the way to the shore."

I hope you can access the article for all the informative and heartwarming information provided about these beautiful people who are spending time with the kids, and the kids themselves!

Some of Gail's Personal "Aloha Off-Shore Views"

Photos on the wall at Duke's Barefoot Bar of the original
Waikiki Beach boys
Admiring the fancy surfboards (with Flat Lucy!)


Sunday, July 17, 2016


It is difficult to describe the pleasure I derived from writing the poetry that ultimately became a little book: ANOTHER NEW BEGINNING. I believe my participation in years of "April A to Z Challenge" prepared me to "stick with it" until I wrote and edited all 70 poems. This light-hearted poem reflects our unique ability to absorb emotions.



Sensing Anticipation 

She sees
Crust, a crispy shell dimpled
by miniature bubbles.
Like fragile lava, hardened

She tastes
Lemon filling, with scrapings
from the rind.
Tangy and mouth-watering

She touches
Eggs, whipped while adding
sugar to the mix.
Scooped atop the filling

She inhales
Meringue, toasted light
until peaks curl and brown.
Experience a mother’s love
*****     *****     *****
Mom always had little tricks for making foods taste a bit more special. She added small amounts of sugar to her pots of chili. She grated lemon rind and added it to her lemon pie filling to give it that extra tanginess. The back of my mouth waters just thinking about the flavor of her lemon pies.
Her meringue always came out with perfectly browned and curled peaks. I guess all of her desserts seemed perfect to me. The only “tale” we ever heard as kids was the one about the chocolate pudding. 

Dad loved to tell the story about when they were newly married. Mom attempted to make chocolate pudding for him. He said it ended up the texture of tanned horse-hide. He always got the “faux air slap” gesture for telling the tale, but I think Mom enjoyed having him tell it. She had no inadequacies in her role as homemaker. 

While Dad served in the Army during World War II, she ran the household and took care of three small children. Rosie the Riveter, doing her patriotic duty in the factory while her man protected the country’s freedom, had nothing on my mother. Housewives kept “home fires” burning during that time. When the men returned home to their families, they found strong, independent women waiting for them. 

Images of “Leave It To Beaver” moms and “I Love Lucy” wives were as much a joke to these women as to the men.