X is for Roman Numeral Ten

X is for Roman Numeral Ten

I will use this blog post to share ten things I would like ten of. Ready? Here we go.

  1. Fluffy kittens (I’m not a crazy cat lady—yet)
  2. Huckleberry pies (I can always freeze them)
  3. Extra days added to this month so I can finish my current editing job before May
  4. Wooded acres in Montana
  5. Pints of gelato
  6. Round-trip tickets to Scotland or Ireland
  7. Hummingbird feeders
  8. Nicely painted toenails
  9. Uninterrupted days to write
  10. Giant oak trees in my yard

Thanks for stopping by and reading my meaningless drivel!

W is for What?

W is for What?

I know “what” is very broad, so I’ll specify.

W is for what can happen in a year.

I used the “See Your Memories” feature on Facebook this morning and this is what came up: Fullscreen capture 4272015 20539 PM.bmp

Between that and the Blogging from A-Z Challenge, which I did last year too, I’ve been thinking about how much things can change in the span of a year. Apparently, a lot!

When I posted that Oxycodone comment, I didn’t know then that my dad would die only a few days later. I didn’t know I’d lose my teaching job about a month after his memorial service.

Those were very difficult things, but there has been a lot of good that has happened in course of the year. I made a lot of new friends. I started writing for real and published a few stories. I am doing something I love, which is editing and helping indie authors promote their work. I’m homeschooling my kids and it’s a perfect match for our family. I’ve grown in ways I won’t get in to, but the growth has been positive.

A year ago, I would never have dreamed I’d be doing what I’m doing now. I miss my dad, I miss teaching, but all in all, things are great!

V is for Villanelle

A Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem. The rhyming scheme is aba aba aba aba aba abaa.

The first and the third lines in the first stanza repeat throughout the poem. Both lines appear in the last two lines.
(Source: Shadow Poetry http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/villanelle.html)

**After writing this, I decided I don’t like this style poem. Maybe it’s that I’m not doing it right, but it’s very cumbersome to me**

We All Fall Down

We all fall down, our souls to bare
We sang of ashes and hit the ground
Take my hand; I’ll meet you there

A child’s game we used to share
But ashes fall and they make no sound
We all fall down, our souls to bare

What must I do to show I care?
For in the ashes I, too, have drowned
Take my hand; I’ll meet you there

We played with songs of ladies fair
Along with ashes, bridges are bound
We all fall down, our souls to bare

When you need to come up for air
From ashes and rubble all around
Take my hand; I’ll meet you there

You look for peace upon your lair
Among these ashes I will be found
We all fall down, our souls to bare
Take my hand; I’ll meet you there

*****

Ring around the rosie
a pocket full of posie
ashes, ashes
we all fall down.

*****

London Bridge is falling down
falling down
falling down
London Bridge is falling down
My fair lady

S is for Scrapbooking

S is for Scrapbooking

People sometimes act surprised when I tell them I like to scrapbook. To be honest, I don’t scrapbook as often as I used to or as often as I should. I do like to go to scrapbooking getaways though. Scrapbooking getaways are when a group of scrapbookers get away from home, sometimes overnight, and scrapbook.  I like to go with my cousin, which makes it more fun. I usually do just a little scrapbooking while I’m at these getaways. I spend more time writing, reading, and editing. It’s just nice to get away from the house and have time devoted to my creative interests, whether that includes writing or scrapbooking or just hanging out.

As I write this, I am at one of these getaways. There are lots of women here. All kinds of women… younger, older, loud, quiet (I fall in the “quiet” category), night owls, early risers, some who snore loudly, and some who bring earplugs so they can sleep. I bring earplugs. DSC_0421[1]

There’s always good food and, of course, wine. That makes the less quiet women more likable in my book.

This weekend has been mostly an editing weekend for me, but I did manage to put a few cards together. They turned out looking decent and best of all, I can give them away.

And look. On my computer, you can see that I am writing this very blog post. Crazy, isn’t it?

Anyway. That’s all I have for the letter S. On to T.

R is for Reconciliation

R is for Reconciliation

Reconcile (verb)= to restore to friendship, compatibility, or harmony

Reconciliation (noun)=  the action of reconciling or state of being reconciled

Source: Merriam-Webster Unabridged

The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.
~Nhat Hanh

The overall purpose of human communication is – or should be – reconciliation. It should ultimately serve to lower or remove the walls of misunderstanding which unduly separate us human beings, one from another.
~M. Scott Peck, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace

Chimps are very quick to have a sudden fight or aggressive episode, but they’re equally as good at reconciliation.
~Jane Goodall

Q is for Quetzal

Q is for Quetzal

A Quetzal is a type of bird found in Central America and Mexico. They have beautiful feathers. I don’t want to use someone else’s copyrighted image of a Quetzal; that would be wrong. I also can’t take my own photo of a Quetzal because I don’t live in Central America or Mexico. But don’t worry! Luckily for you, I have a paint program on my computer, and with it, I can “paint” Quetzals. Without further ado, I present to you my very own rendition of a Queztal.

Untitled
Not going to quit my day job. And this took up way too much of my time.

P is for Planning

P is for Planning

PI am the first to admit, I am horrible at planning. It’s not that I don’t have goals. It’s not that I’m lazy… okay, sometimes it is. I guess it’s not a priority to me. I’m sure those who are reading this who are planners have a hard time understanding that concept.

I don’t remember dates, so if I plan too far ahead, I will absolutely forget. For example, hair appointments. Instead of scheduling my next appointment while I’m still at the salon, I just wait until my hair is unbearable and then call to schedule an appointment… preferably for that day.

Sometimes plans change, so I take a proactive stance and wait to see if an event is really going to happen before I commit to it.

I’m not going to lie. Life would be simpler if I took some time to plan ahead and being open to improving my life, I plan to plan more. One area I will start planning more faithfully is in figuring out ahead of time what my kids need to do for their school work that day. Then I can write it down and they don’t have to keep asking, “What should I do next?” I used to plan a week at a time when I was teaching, and that worked pretty well. I should try it with homeschooling.

Okay, now I plan to finish this so I can go ahead and plan something for the letter Q.

Thanks for stopping by!

O is for Oak Trees

IMG_8763I love trees. I admit, I hug trees—literally. I always have. We moved a lot when I was growing up, but I remember one house we lived in had a great climbing tree in the front yard. I spent hours in that tree; I would read on its branches, think, and conjure up stories I hoped to one day write.

Even my pen name, Eila Oakes, is a product of my love for trees… especially oak trees. One of the meanings of Eila is tree, or oak tree. Oakes, well, I don’t need to explain that.

The only trees I don’t like are palm trees. But that’s just because they are invasive to the natural landscape where I live. Palm trees in their native environment are lovely. It bothers me when I’m hiking, surrounded by beautiful, old, knobby oaks… then all of a sudden, there is a massive palm tree growing in the middle of it all. Go home, palm tree. You’re drunk.

Anyway, this is supposed to be be about oak trees because I’m on the letter O. I guess I can continue my gripes about palm trees when I write for the letter P, but I probably won’t.

I live in southern California, and I’m sure most people know that the state is in the middle of a drought. The drought, along with a deadly pest from Guatemala, called the Gold-Spotted Borer, has been taking out many of our beautiful, native oaks. This makes me sad. As it is, I don’t want to live in California. Being here would be unbearable to me without the option to get away and be surrounded by the trees I love so much.

What is your favorite tree?