He’s My Cup of Tea: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 19

“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
if you are depressed, it will cheer you;
if you are excited, it will calm you.”
― William Ewart Gladstone

He’s my cup of tea,
surprisingly mellow to a tongue
that’s only tasted bitter brews before.

Curiousity made me sip
his sweetness. I was addicted
the moment my lips drank him in.

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Tuesday Platform.

Liner Notes for this Groove: When my husband and I started dating, we agreed it was just going to be a fling. He was a senior you see, graduating in a few months, and I had another year of college to go. Plus there was a bigger concern. He came from a family of observant Jews and my family was Latin American and devoutly Catholic. Nobody saw this relationship lasting more than a couple of months, least of all us.

So this week we’re celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary. We’ve survived language barriers (he only passed high school Spanish by promising the teacher he’d never take it again), religion changes (well I did convert to being something other than Catholic), kids, and other assorted mayhem. He’s been more than my rock, he’s been my cup of tea—filled to the brim with warmth when things got cold, and encouragement when I needed to take on the world.

So Groovers talk to me about your week. What’s good in your world? If you’d like to take the conversation to your blog, make sure to include a link to your cyberspace in your comments.

Song choices: I felt I needed to pick two songs for this, one for each of us. First up, Love Will Never Do (Without You) by one of my childhood favorites, Janet Jackson. Second, is a song we both really love, Stuck like Glue by Sugarland, but a special AMV video version featuring Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable (the husband often says that I’m his Kim Possible – yes he’s as nerdy as I am).

Mazel Tov by HotRod2001

A Good Day to Work

It’s a good day to be working hard.
He rubs his hands on fabric.
Work pants, they call them.
He doesn’t have much use
for anything that doesn’t work.

His cigarette dangles at the corner
of his mouth. Like an old cowboy
on those black and white TV shows,
he likes keeping things simple.

The thump, thump, thump of a hammer
held in a hand that left behind a digit
in payment on a project paid for years ago
is all the music he needs to keep him company.

Stepping back to take a look at his work,
he notices the burn creeping over the brown
he has built up with this season’s work.
Nothing to get too concerned over,

then the neighbor-lady comes out
off to do an errand before the kids come home,
and he takes stock of his appearance
as he admires hers.

Still strong, with most of his hair,
still savvy, smarter than the young man he was.
Maybe his middle pulls on his shirt
a little more than last year.

In a voice more Romanoff than Roy Rogers
he says, “Good morning, miss. You are looking very well today.”
Doris Day’s voice answers with Rita Moreno’s smile.
“Why thank you. Though I'm more ma'am than miss.
Working on getting the house ready?”
“I’m always working,” he answers.  

Song Choice: Hard Hat and a Hammer by Alan Jackson

This poem was created for Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads Weekend Mini Challenge: Portraiture and is linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry 481.

One Seed, Ten Thousand Seeds: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 18

The shade of a blessed tree watches over the seedlings that came from one righteous act. One of six thousand good deeds seems so small against the six million lost in lightning and storms, in the showers that choked. But to see the seedlings growing strong and true to their roots, in this place where my grafted limbs have been trained to do justice to the sublime green—this sends a fresh seed into my heart for me to treasure when I am weary in the fight for the soil I’ve been planted in.

A modest hero
defined by quiet resolve
and strange defiance
inspires my jaded heart
to go and resist again.

Liner Notes for This Groove: I was so very honored to be part of a special friendship tea ritual Urasenke Philadelphia held in honor of the son of Chiune Sugihara (a Japanese diplomat who saved 6,000+ Jews during WWII) and the son of one of the people he saved, Rabbi Shimon Goldman. I’ve often had reason to agree with the quote “Where there is tea, there is hope” by Arthur Wing Pinero. But I felt especially hopeful serving tea that afternoon.

This was the set up we used for the ceremony. I know it isn't very visible but the script on the tea container translates to "One Seed, Ten Thousand Seeds." Tea tools are chosen very carefully to suit the occasion. I think that this was the perfect tea container for that day.

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads' Tuesday Platform.

How's your week been dear Groovers? Anything making you feel a little hopeful? Catch me up with your world in the comments section. And feel free to work in a link in your comments if you want to take the discussion onto your cyberhome.


We live in trying times.
Who cannot help but feel overwhelmed
by the vast array of wine options
we can pair with the intake of news?

Thank goodness for versatility.
We have eighteen noble grapes
disposable to work overtime
for eighteen million ignoble news items.

Pair a pale Pinot Noir
for stories of crime where the true villain is obvious
but the law doesn’t care.

Gew├╝rztraminer’s ginger spice
is the right sort of exotic
to assimilate with stories of foreign pain.

The floral notes of a Viognier
covers up the stench of diseases
left untreated by destitute workers 
so that the shareholders can congratulate themselves.

Learn to love the ripe, chocolatey finish of a Malbec,
so well suited to ladies’ nights after work
to help them pretend its heart red hue
won’t be the only color they’re allowed to wear someday.

And don't forget a dry Chardonnay
for when the waters start rising
and kill off vast numbers of the population,
thus reducing the number of troubles we have to drink to.

Song Choice: Here Comes a Regular by The Replacements

Liners Notes For This Groove: This poem was created for the Weekend Mini Prompt: Oh, the (Poetic) Irony over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads. It is also linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry 480. I tried to incorporate bits of all three comics provided, but the main inspiration came from this last one:
"Remember when we drank coffee with the paper?"

I actually am not much of a wine drinker at all (tea's my thing) but I picked up a thing or two from friends and relatives, and got a lot of help from this article about the eighteen noble grapes.

Ant Cthulu: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 17

I always joke about my black thumb, but I happen to have two orchids that I’ve kept alive and in relative good health for years. They’re actually not too bad to care for. Just let them soak in a sink full of water once a week for at least 10 minutes and make sure they get fed a little too. So when I left for my vacation I figured the orchids would be OK while I was gone.


So when I went to give the smaller of my two orchids its weekly soak, I was completely unprepared for a swarm of ants to emerge from the recesses of the potting mix and start going everywhere looking for drier ground.

Good thing for me, I don’t squick out over bugs easily. And it wasn’t like they could go anywhere, surrounded on all sides by water. Truth be told, I felt a little bad for the suckers. They had no idea they would face an apocalyptic deluge when they got up that morning. Victoria Schwab once wrote, “The bodies in my floor all trusted someone. Now I walk on them to tea.” I’m sorry they felt my samurai orchid was a safe place to camp. But they had to go.

Although I wasn’t scared of them, I also had no desire to have them immediately race up my hands and fingers when I picked up the pot. First I made sure the front door was open. Then I grabbed one of the husband’s t-shirts in water, dunked it in another sink until it was sopping wet, and used that to airlift the pot to the outside, while I shouted “Leeeeeroy Jenkins!

I don’t know if there was a smarter way to do it, but not too many ants were willing to make the crossing onto the wet t-shirt during the space of time it took me to get the pot out. Once I put it down on a grassy spot in my yard, the survivors streamed out the side. I gave them all night to clear off. In the morning I poured off all the water, carefully wiped the outer pot with vinegar, and moved it to a sunny spot near my computer so I could keep an eye on it. So far, so good. I hope they find a better home. But it better not be in my other orchid.

Ants keep to the dark
knowing that the large don’t care.
The small step lightly
to reach safety in the loam
where some control is achievable.

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads' Tuesday Platform.

Art work by Gina Morely, hostess of Daydream Believer
She created it as part of an on-line class she took (Beautiful Bugs) through Willowing Arts.

Patience's Price

I knew before I left
that I might not find you easily
in a kaleidoscope world

that only doles out little teases of you
refracted then spread out in the open…

the mischief in your eye,
the way your hair falls just so
waiting for my hand
to push a rebel strand back into place…

fragments of you everywhere
making me yearn all the harder
for the whole of you,

though I had resigned myself
to patience. I grit my teeth
enduring counterfeit shades
and the tedium in between false glimpses.

Those will never satisfy me
when I know the true taste of you
will be savored when the time is right.

Contact by MagicLoveCrow
See more of her enchanting art at her blog and her Etsy shop.

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Weekend Mini-Challenge - Just One Word: Apart. I've also linked it to Poets United Poetry Pantry 479.

I Brought My Heart to San Francisco: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 16

Hello Groovers! This post is being birthed at 30,000 feet in the air, somewhere over South Dakota. My husband and I are just getting back from our vacation to San Francisco. This is the first time we’ve been on a plane without our kids since our honeymoon!

To say we’re a bit different from the twenty-somethings we were back then is an understatement. While the hubs is still very much a foodie, we’ve had to plan meals very carefully around his diabetes. And though my city-walking skills are still pretty strong (thanks to skills honed when I visit a certain Marine in her NYC home), those San Francisco hills are no joke. Also my right shoulder gets achy if I try carrying anything on it for too long.

This picture does not do the insane angle of this street justice, but you get the idea.

But one thing we still do pretty well is respect each other’s needs and compromise where we can. My husband’s shoulders were well equipped to carry some of the fun stuff we bought when my shoulder was screaming “Uncle!” His legs got tired more easily than mine, which meant we had to scrap some of our more ambitious walking trips this time around. But since our hotel was in the heart of Japantown, we made plenty of visits to the local shops (I got some nifty tea dogu).

The door to our room at Hotel Kabuki

He got to have what he called the best cup of coffee he’s had in his life at Caf├ę Trieste after we paid a visit to the famous City Lights bookstore (of course I got a book of poetry). Dodie Smith once wrote, “I shouldn't think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than new bread and real butter and honey for tea.” It wasn’t the poshest Saturday night ever, but it was a really pleasant one, topped off with good conversation with friends we met up with while there. With such lovely simple pleasures to enjoy, in such good company, what more could I ask for?

So how was your week dear Groovers? What’s exciting in your world? Talk to me a little bit about it in the comments section. And do drop in a link to your cyberhome if you’d like to elaborate upon it there.

In the meanwhile here’s a bit of San Fran inspired poetic thoughts I’ll be sharing at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads’ TuesdayPlatform.

I’ll bumble my way
buzzing over flowers
I’ve never seen before.

But those can wait for me
to stop and share nectar I've found
from my lips to yours.  

The stripes on my socks made me think of bumble bees.
Of course that could be the jet-lag talking. 
Thankfully I bought a lot of tea to help me through it.

The Cuteness of Corg (Resistance was Futile)

Figures, I thought, staring at the door. He’d use my love of anime to get me to face up to my worst fear. “Well, let’s get this over with,” I said.

Eric attempted to rope in his giddiness, but his glee came out in his voice. “I swear we’ll leave if you get too uncomfortable. It’s not like we’re getting a dog today. What’re the chances there’s a corgi here?” He held the door open for me to walk into the dog rescue center.

When we first started dating, I thought the differences in our religions would be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. Nope. Eric was a dog lover. A raised-one-from-a-pup, had-wholesome-adventures-together, hard-core, unabashed dog lover.

Me? Well, a neighbor dog jumped on me when I was 4. I knew now that the face licking meant he was happy to see me, not taking a taste test. But you couldn’t tell 4-year-old me that. Since then, I had a hard time not running in the other direction, screaming as if Cerberus himself were about to drag me into the netherworld, if I saw so much as a chihuahua.  

But Eric was persistent. I got to be comfortable with a dog walking on the same street as me. When I said the dog on the anime Cowboy Bebop looked cute, he claimed victory, researching that type of dog and extolling their virtues with all the zeal of an infomercial spokesman.

I walked through the doors, ready to bolt if it became too much. And there, in a cage right in front of me was a tiny corgi pup, shivering next to a St. Bernard. The attendant put her on my lap, we both looked at each other and stopped shaking.

“We are not leaving here without her,” I said.

“What are we naming her?” Eric grinned.

“Faye Valentine, like the anime.”

This was my Faye. We had twelve really great years together. 
Thanks for making a dog lover, sweet girl.

Liner Notes for this Groove: This non-fiction prose piece was created for Pantry of Prose over at Poets United.