May 27, 2008

Fun with Translation

This past weekend I participated in a haiku invitational sponsored by Olga Hooper, a haijin who generously translated all English submissions into Russian and vice versa.

So check it out, here are my haiku on the invited theme (blue heron and lotus pond), in English and in Russian!

lotus pond and heron
locked in a staring contest —
each open, each still

пруд лотосов и цапля
кто кого переглядит
оба раскрыты, оба неподвижны


still from the neck down,
blue heron waits for the fish
to forget

застыв с головы до пят,
голубая цапля караулит
рассеянную рыбку


blue on blue on blue —
even knowing where to look
I lose the heron

голубое на голубом в голубом
даже зная, куда смотреть
потеряла из вида цаплю

(A warm thank you to Olga Hooper, aka Origa, for her
kind invitation and careful translation work!)

May 25, 2008

5 Things Meme

I've been tagged by Cloudscome at a wrung sponge to do the Five Things meme. Here's how it goes:
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning of the post.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
What were you doing five years ago?

First I need to say that I am somewhat chronologically impaired, so this kind of question is hard for me. Happily, my son Mr. D now provides a kind of "built in" temporal measuring stick, so within the last six years I have something to pin my memories to. Five years ago I was a stay-at-home mom, still very much down in the "baby submarine." I was just starting to think about writing haiku. I had no idea what kind of work I would do when our financial situation required me to head back into waged work. And I was four months away from becoming a blogger.

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?

Call two friends of Mr. D's to set up some playdate action.
Go for a bike ride.
See if I can catch some Golf Channel replay action of Leta Lindley's amazing LPGA win yesterday.
Keep checking Olga's site to see if the haiku translations have been posted yet.

What are five snacks you enjoy?

just-picked strawberries
Green Mountain Gringo tortilla strips
Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey
cheddar cheese on crackers
hummus on pita bread

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?

This is a hard one. I have no clear idea of how much money a billion dollars really repesents. But here goes...

Give a bunch of money to the Carter Center.
Support candidates committed to instituting universal access to healthcare in the US.
Buy earth-friendly vehicles, look into going geo-thermal here in our home, work to lessen our carbon footprint.
Investigate existing foundations and involve my son and his cousins in determining where the rest of the money should go.
Travel (sustainably).

What are five of your bad habits?

barrelling on ahead (metaphorically, not physically)
staying up too late working on blog posts
forgetting to take my Synthroid
giving my son less than my full attention

Where are five places you've lived?

Albion, MI
Big Flats, NY
Providence, RI
Blackwood, NJ
Philadelphia, PA

What are five jobs you've held?

lifeguard (at a hotel pool)
bookseller (B. Dalton's)
lens blocker (Winchester Optical)
dishline worker (college)
juggling instructor (post-college)

Who do I tag?

Sadly, I don't have that many blogging friends. Plus, I don't like assigning homework. So let's leave it like this... if you see this post and feel moved to complete the meme, go for it!

(Next up: Kelley's request for randomitude.)

May 24, 2008

Headless Handyman

We needed to replace some of the pipes in our upstairs bathroom, but didn't want to sacrifice the 1947 black-and-white tiled bathroom floor to do it. So our guy went up through the kitchen ceiling.

It's all fixed now. But man, this homeowner thing isn't for sissies!

(Thinking about my meme assignments.
Kelley wants me to go random, which is harder than it sounds.
Also, have you taken the Stephen Colbert Puppet Challenge?
Just askin'.)

May 23, 2008

He Cares

Some mornings are a little bit slower than others.

Recently, Mr. D reprimanded me as I tried to urge a final sartorial decision on him. "Sweetie, it's getting late. Please, just pick a shirt!" I begged.

"Mommy," he said with 6 year-old sternness as he considered his options one more time, "I care about what I look like."

Okay then.

Here's some more evidence of the young gentleman's personal grooming instincts. Because he certainly didn't learn about the care and feeding of a baby mohawk from us!

(Can't wait to see Grandpa and Nana.
Also looking forward to Wendy's pictures of Satch's party.)

waiting for the birds
to sing day into being

sleepless night

(Much to look forward to this weekend.)

May 22, 2008

Uninvited Guest

At some point during the meeting I heard a noise.

I covertly glanced around the room. No one else seemed to have noticed anything out of the ordinary. But there it was again.

We've been having new phones installed, and the sound could have been made by someone pulling a wire through an opening in the next room over.

Or maybe not.

Increasingly convinced that the sound I was hearing was not human in origin, I hosted an internal debate about what to do. I didn't want to interrupt the meeting; what if it was nothing after all? But I felt like I had to do something.

Finally I sent out an email to my colleagues in the next room:

"Could one of you please ask someone from maintenance to stop by my office? I think I have a visitor and it's creeping me out."

No response.

Finally, once we'd all taken notes and thanked each other and finished up our work together, I was alone again in my office.

Well... not quite alone, as it turned out.

I spent some time explaining to this creature the difference between "going green" through recycling and the actual green of the great outdoors, and then, with the help of someone with experience in such things, sent it on its merry way.

What would you have done?

(Up next: I still have mohawk pics to share!)

May 16, 2008

Up Next

Missing more regular blog posts? Sorry 'bout that. I'm working on spending a little less time glued to my computer screen, at least during the hours that our small person is awake. Because look at how great simple hangout time can be.

In other news, this post by one of my new favorite mom-bloggers has got me all fired up; I'm DEFINITELY going to start working on a personalized family calendar. Stay tuned, friends and family folk... I'm going to need your help!

May 12, 2008

Just Like That

Mr. D and I spent our weekend celebrating our Quaker community at the by-now traditional gathering at Blairstown. While in Blairstown, we played lots of Dutch Blitz:

and our Mr. D climbed every possible tree:

Meanwhile, disaster relief workers continued to struggle to get aid to the devastated people of Myanmar (Burma), and a huge earthquake struck China, killing thousands of people instantly and trapping many others. Just like that.

On my way to work today, I passed the house of our down-the-street neighbors, as I do every workday. About ten minutes later, a giant old tree on their property came crashing down, and just like that, they became a no-car family. No one was hurt.

All of which is to say, life has lately been full of reminders for me to be grateful for the things in my life that are whole. As well as reasons to consider supporting the work of those who will try to help speed the healing in those places that are broken.

As my friend Nancy's email signature said a while back:

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." ~ Helen Keller

(Several folks commented worriedly
about the gap in my posts here.
Thanks for noticing & asking;
I got a little tied up in a work-related project.)

May 05, 2008

Breaking Habits and Starting New Ones

This weekend I spent some time thinking about Rwanda. I am in the sorry habit of thinking that Africa has little to do with me, and I am trying to break that habit. I thank Jen Lemen for living into her gifts, and for giving me an opportunity to make a personal connection to Rwandese girls. Thanks, too, to my friend C, who helped gather together some creative spirits (and markers!) in our mission to grow a little hope, HopeRevo style. (Thanks to you, too, Krystyn!) Cards from our work together are headed your way...

And I'm bookmarking Ode magazine and All Africa for further reading. Any additional suggestions?

~ ~ ~

In other news, we have officially discovered the joy of soccer. Saturday morning soccer is our new habit. And we will apparently be needing to work at keeping the soccer duds clean:

I hope everyone else had as wonderful a weekend as I did.

(Want to try your hand at the monthly haiku contest
I've talked about here? The new call for submissions
is up over at
On another note, there's also still time to share
your thoughts about educators managing their online identities
over here, as well.)