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Archive for the ‘Slice of Life’ Category

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
Looking up into the old cypress tree in my backyard.

Dear Readers,
I know this Covid Quarantine is dragging on, and things look bleak if you watch the news for any length of time. So why not turn it off and come to the bayou. There is always water flowing, a breeze blowing, birds singing. Nature is something we can find solace in, and something we can count on when the world is weird.

I’ve enjoyed creating videos for my students. I can’t believe how easy it is. I bought a bendable stand for my phone that looks like an android dog. I can video straight from my phone and upload it to YouTube in no time. Voila! An instructional poetry writing video.

Share these if you want or just watch for yourself to enjoy some time outside on the Bayou Teche. If you choose to write to the prompt, please share it with me in the comments. During this time of no-direct contact, I like feeling a connection to you through your words.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

We saw from the camera in the box that the babies were restless, chirping and jumping over and under mother hen.

We set up our stations distancing ourselves from the nest box and from each other and waited.

Silent meditation. No sound except the birdsong. Gnats were circling my face. I had to touch my face. I coughed. I couldn’t sit still.

Mama wood duck peeked her head out of the hole. Was she ready to jump? An hour passed by.

We thought maybe our presence was the problem. We moved up to the deck, and occupied ourselves with crossword puzzles, Kindle books, and hot tea and muffins. Another hour.

Sunday morning boaters passed. Our neighbor began pressure washing. I worried that there was too much activity for her to feel safe to call her ducklings.

She hopped out, and like a speed boat, thrashed through the water zigzagging back and forth. Was she warding off predators? Another hour.

“I saw a jump!” Minga said in a loud whisper. And sure enough, little fuzzy black blobs were falling from the house. I clicked my camera shutter quickly. In less than two minutes, clusters of wood duck babies followed after their mamma and were gone into the cypress knees of the opposite bank.

Three hours of watching for three seconds of Joy! Best Sunday service ever.

Blur on the left is wood duck jumping.
First group of jumpers equals 7. Second bunch 5 for an even dozen.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
https://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/
Poetry Friday round-up is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.

Today I am the featured poet on Laura Shovan’s #WaterPoemProject. My prompt comes from a tanka that appears in my book Bayou Song. Hop over to Laura’s blog to see the prompt.

On Wednesday I scheduled a Zoom meeting with my students. About half of them came. I shared my prompt, and we wrote a tanka together.

Rylee points at a treasure in her pond.

Rylee started us off with an idea about see what she thought was a treasure chest in her pond.  

Treasure chest mirage
Blue cotton candy clouds float
Frosty reflection

Blueberry snowball freezing
Rylee’s lovely winter pond.

Mrs. Simon’s Sea Collaborative Poem

I need to finish up the schedule for the 2020 Progressive Poem. If you’d like to sign up, comment on this post. There are still spots open.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Jasmine tea takes me back
to our honeymoon in San Francisco
when I was falling in love with everything…
The Japanese Tea Garden
surrounded by green, blooming with
wisteria, iris, and maple blossoms.
We sampled green tea, all flavors;
jasmine was my favorite.
We walked hand in hand,
called each other Mr. and Mrs.,
and felt the hope of a new path before us.

Now in this time of quarantine,
someone said tea is good for you.
Who cares if it’s a hoax. I’ve heated the water,
dropped in a filtered circle of jasmine tea,
squeezed lemon from our backyard lemon tree,

and sip the taste of San Francisco
trying hard to remember
that love is enough.

Margaret Simon, draft
Photo by Olenka Sergienko from Pexels

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Yesterday I read Sally Donnelly’s post about choosing a color to represent this time. She quoted an artist who represented the 9/11 tragedy with the color blue. Read her post here.

I started thinking about the color I would pick, and it has to be green. This is the time of year when green appears in all its amazing shades in my backyard. The cypress trees are bursting with a bright neon green.

Looking up through the cypress trees

Live oak trees lose their leaves in the spring as new leaves emerge.

Grandmother Live Oak bursting with spring growth

I am passing my stay-at-home time on my back deck, listening to wind chimes and watching for the occasional boat. And sometimes a poem comes. Using Irene Latham’s prompt from Laura Shovan’s #Waterpoemproject, I wrote this quick ditty.

Bayou Side

Buzzing
Hovering
Fat hungry bumblebee

Roaring
Speeding
Wave-jumping motor boat

Paddling
Parting
Water-whispering canoe

Sparkling
Greening
Spring-loving cypress trees

Margaret Simon, draft
“water-whispering canoe”

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Our governor of Louisiana has made a bold, smart move to Shelter-in-Place, except for essential personnel, so I am wondering about my essentials.

  1. Green smoothie to start the day with a side of Cafe Latte.
  2. Sweep oak pollen. The live oak trees are in full bloom. The pollen falls in little wisps and gets stuck on shoes, dog fur, and such, so it must be swept every day.
  3. Yoga with Susan. My lovely yoga instructor held a free Zoom class this morning. I love her class, and I feel so much better afterwards. We all sang an Om to each other today.
  4. Staying in touch with loved ones. FaceTime and videos and pictures from daughters. FaceTime with my parents who are safely settled in a retirement home. Zoom meeting with my writing group.
Text says, “Safe distancing with a 6 month old.”
  1. Humor. Pre-COVID19 quarantine, my husband and I would go dancing. One of our dear dancing friends has an extremely talented granddaughter who made this one-woman barbershop quartet video called Quarantine. Check it out then share it. This should go viral. It’s that good!

What are your essentials? Stay safe. Stay home. Stay healthy.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
Invitation from Leigh Anne Eck.

Leigh Anne Eck is a dedicated Slicer who sent me (and all Slicers) an invitation to her Spring Fling, a virtual party for sharing ideas for self-care. At the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge, we are all teachers. We are all in this weird space of Coronavirus quarantine, fumbling around with how to continue to be who we are without face to face connection with our students. A virtual party is just what we need.

Amaryllis blooming in a circle median

My Three Self-Care Practices:

  1. Daily Walks with Spring Flowers: The weather has been perfect for a daily walk. Flowers are blooming and fragrant, wisteria, amaryllis, fruit trees, and sweet olive.
Wisteria blooming on an electric pole

2. Yoga: Did you know that Down Dog app is free to teachers until July 1? I downloaded it and did a 15 minute practice. I plan to make this a part of my daily routine. (If I can get Fancy kitty off my mat)

“What? You wanted to exercise?”

3. Facetime with my Grandbabies: Getting daily texts with pictures and video as well as FaceTime with my two grandboys is a joy that nurtures me. As every day changes our directives for sheltering, I touch base with my daughters. The boys continue to grow and do new things. Thomas, 6 months, is eating solid food. Leo at 15 months is learning a new word each day.

Facetime with Thomas

Thanks for coming to the party. You can add your post to Leigh Anne’s post here. How are you practicing self-care?

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