Thursday, April 30, 2009

8 Great Poetry Posts from April

Thanks for celebrating National Poetry Month with me! There are a few poetry posts I'd like to share before the month is out...

Original Poems:

Of Poets and of Poetry:
Edited to add: Did I miss any? Feel free to link to your favorite poetry post from April in the comments.

Photo by me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A look at Perfectly Poetical Tuesdays

Today was scheduled to be the final of our Perfectly Poetical Tuesdays, but it seemed like a break was in order. So go ahead, take a deep breath, and sit a spell.

A look back:
You guys did a fabulous job tackling three poetic forms (one of which was made up)!

A look ahead:
What do you think of doing Perfectly Poetical Tuesdays as a monthly thing? (So just one poem per month.) Are you in?

Or should we just set a date for our epic poems and leave it at that?

Either way, thanks so much for playing along!

Monday, April 27, 2009

On the menu: week of 4/26/09

In a lot of families (not all, of course), there is a person who cooks because people need to eat and a person who cooks as a hobby. I cook because I know we'll get hungry. The Hubs cooks because he thinks it's a fun thing to do on a day off. He is really sweet about helping out when needed. But, left to his own devices, he would make a culinary masterpiece when he's in the mood and then subsist on frozen burritos/pizza/PBJs/foraging for food the rest of the time.

And, even though I'm the one that plans the menus for the week, I always end up changing things around. For example, I tried to plan this week's menu at the same time I did last week's. I've already completely changed the whole thing around.

Plan A:

Revised Plan:

  • Monday - Homemade Mac & Cheese with veggie salad
  • Tuesday - pasta with marinara sauce, green salad topped with blackberries
  • Wednesday - stir fry with almonds, tofu and veggies
  • Thursday - dijon chicken, rice, green beans
  • Friday - tortilla de patata and tomato soup

For one thing, I didn't make last week's soup until the weekend. The fact my dishwasher is full of bowls (and the cabinet is not) is due to the fact that this weekend we pretty much lived on that soup, cereal, and birthday parties. It worked out great, but it means I'm not up for chicken and rice tonight.

Instead, we're having Chanelle's Macaroni and Cheese. Which I'm really excited about. One of the Hubs Big Weekend Project Dinners is this macaroni and cheese recipe from Cooking with Cafe Pasqual's. It's amazing. But it's not quick. Whereas, Chanelle's is. And looks approximately 10 zillion times better than the stuff that comes in the box. I'm just hoping it's thick enough to serve on plates. ;)

Also, I just realized that my busy today tomorrow might get extra busy (if so, I'll catch you up on that later in the week), so, yes, we are having pasta two nights in a row. I wanted to make something I could easily make while I make tonight's dinner, and that fit the bill.

Well, I'm off to whip up some mac'n'cheese. But you can find more great menu plans at the Chive Talkin' Menu Plan Blog Roll.

Photos by me.

Perfectly Poetical UPDATE

It's been an epic month for many of us, hasn't it? Long to-do lists of deeds both heroic and quotidian. Calendars filled to the brim with our daily quests. Yes, we have tales to tell. But even bards need time to spin their stories before they can strum their songs.

On the morrow, we were to post our epic poems. But, let us not venture forth into that realm. Instead, we shall recount from whence we've come, and, in that be content.

If the pen is mightier than the sword, then surely you have already vanquished.

(So, in other words, we're not going to do the epic poem edition of Perfectly Poetic Tuesday tomorrow. You guys have done great, but I know you're busy and maybe getting burned out. There will be another poetry-related post instead. If you really wanted to do an epic poem or had already written/started it, let me know, and we'll do it another time.)


Photo by me.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quick Takes: possible poetical burnout to general awesomeness

I feel like we have some catching up to do! After Monday's menu plan, Perfectly Poetical Tuesday, Earth Day and Earth Day overflow, there's just been some things I haven't been able to get to. Good thing I have 7 of these Quick Takes!

  1. Ok, is it just me or am I sensing some Poetical burnout? I think this poem-a-week project may be a little more challenging than we figured. There's one week left in April, and we're scheduled for an epic poem. What I want to know: are we up for the challenge? Would Perfectly Poetical work better as a monthly event (say, every second Tuesday)? If so, would you like to reschedule the epic poem for a couple weeks from now? Would you like to just say "Yay! That was fun for three weeks!" and forget about the epic altogether? I would really love your feedback on this! What sounds fun to you?
  2. Tuesday was my sweet Mom's birthday (if you're thinking didn't you just have a parent with a birthday? You're right - Dad's was just a couple weeks ago.) Happy (belated) birthday to my brilliant, beautiful, kind, loving Mom!
  3. Girl time update #1: Last week I went with my Aunt Roberta to NU at the Heard Museum - that's the monthly event where the museum (devoted to Native American art and cultures) stays open late, has live music and guest speakers, etc. We met up on the light rail (I got a few stops after she did), sat in the courtyard and had dinner, then went on a whirlwind tour of museum highlights. She knows the museum well, and it was fun to see some of her favorite exhibits.
  4. Girl time update #2: Last night my sister-in-law Liz and I went to This American Life - Live! We had a great time going, and then a great time coming back and sitting in my living room chatting, long after the Hubs had given up on us and gone to bed. She and I haven't done anything like that since...well...actually, I don't think we've ever gone out just the two of us. We'll have to do it again! Of course, it's great to have the guys and/or the fam hanging out with us too, but there's something special about one-on-one time, don't you think?
  5. I don't know if you've headed over to SortaCrunchy yet, but she's having a Bold Avenue gift certificate giveaway. And, really, you should stop on over there anyway. 'Cuz she writes a fun, thought-provoking blog that's full of insights on life and parenting and is always a delight to read. Also? In case you needed further proof of Megan's general awesomeness: when BlogHer made it so that she was no longer allowed to let me sponsor a giveaway on her blog, she generously volunteered to it on her own dime. Yeah. For reals. Just to help spread the word about my little biz. How generous is that?!! Sooo, seriously....go check it out! And best of luck to you on the giveaway!
  6. Very good, very convicting list of real priorities - Drowning in Home Management
    on Preschoolers and Peace. I had never visited that site before, but would like to check it out more. (The link came from Holy Experience.)
  7. I'm cheating here, but I just ran out of things to tell you. Who would've thought that'd happen - ever??
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our role on earth: guests, renters, stewards?

Writing about Earth Day reminded me of a blog post I read awhile back on Just Kat Stuff about Natural Responsibility. Kat was saying she thinks of us as guests here on earth. We should take what we need from the planet without trashing the place - be the best houseguests we can be. I thought it was a good metaphor.

Then the Hubs and I went out to lunch with some friends, somehow the subject came up, and I brought up what I read. They felt like the houseguest picture wasn't totally accurate, like it would leave us treading a little too lightly. No, we shouldn't trash the place. But didn't God give us the task of ruling over the earth? Aren't we free to use the planet's resources - in a responsible way? I could see what they were saying. But when I asked what metaphor they think would be more accurate, they didn't have an answer. (By the way, I'm not trying to put down Kat's post at all - just looking at different viewpoints.)

"The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it" So I don't know that we can get all "I OWN this place!" 'Cuz I don't think we do, really. Are we renters with a landlord who's cool if we paint or even do a little remodeling - just don't be destructive?

Then I started thinking about the word steward. Kind of a funny word. Other than people saying you should "be a good steward" of our stuff, natural resources, etc., we don't use that word a lot. In fact, I couldn't really link of another context we would use that word nowadays. When I was a kid, there were stewards and stewardesses on airplanes. (Not sure why they were called that.) But now they're all flight attendants. Which is simpler. As I searched my memory for modern uses of the word, what kept interrupting my thoughts was "the Steward of Gondor" from final movie in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Do you need a recap? The kingdom of Gondor has a steward instead of a king. I didn't read the books (started the first one, didnt' make it through. Sorry.), so I don't really know why. But, I think that had gone on for generations - steward after steward while they wait for The Return of the King (hence the title of the movie). Anyway, the steward can make decisions, build cities, send troops to war, be a really sloppy eater without anyone saying anything, etc. But he's just in power until the king comes back, so he reeeally shouldn't abusing that power.

My question is - do you think we're something like that? OK, not like the guy in the movie, who was definitely a bad steward. Is our role as steward something like that? We're in charge, but we're not the true King, so let's rule in a way he would approve of. If we need to build something - a campfire or a city - let's take only what we need to do it. There's no reason to clear cut whole forests, especially creepy old ones where trees have minds of their own, right? Are you following me still?

How do you think of our relationship to the earth? Are we guests or renters or something else? I'm still mulling this one over, and I'd love to know what you think.


Photos by me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Save money, go green, do good

It's Earth Day, and I know that doesn't mean the same thing for everyone reading this. But, if you read on, you'll find links to tips for saving money, enjoying nature, helping others and sharing your opinion. In fact, I think there's something here for just about everyone. So, read on, explore, and let me know what you think!

Saving the planet some cash

Organic clothing

Nature photos by me.

Gardening Organic Cotton Tee.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Perfectly Poetical: Dr. Seuss

Thanks for joining us for another Perfectly Poetical Tuesday! This week's style is Dr. Seuss, so I hope you're ready with some fun, Seuss-esque poetry!

If you're just tuning in, here's the deal:
Here's how to play today:
  • Blog in "Dr. Seuss" style. (Something that reminds us of Dr. Seuss - you can define exactly what that means. Have fun with it!)
  • Link from your post to this post. (Buttons are optional. But cool.)
  • Leave your link and a comment here.
Style for next week - the final week of April: Epic. (This doesn't have to be pages long - just longer than a limerick. Tell us a tale of adventure and bravery in your every day life!)

Also, today...
  • Starts a sweet contest over at SortaCrunchy (or so I hear) - you'd better go check it out!
  • Is my mom's birthday. (Which is somewhat relevant because of the amazing children's literature she introduced me to. But mostly I just wanted to say "happy birthday, Mom!")
  • Since every life writes a poem, tell us what yours says - Dr. Seuss style!
[Mine was inspired by Fox in Sox. And by hanging out with hubby's family this weekend.]

Kids in Pics


Kids with pics.
Tricks with kicks.
Kids take pics.
Kids do tricks.

Grown ups chit.
Grown ups chat.
All they do is sit, sit, sit.

Sitting and chatting makes kids sick.

I don't like to sit, sir.
I don't like chit chat, sir.
All this sitting and chitting makes me sick, sir.

I like to do kicks.
I like to do tricks.
I like taking pics of tricky kicks!

Kids do tricks with kicks for pics.
Kids take tricky pics for kicks.

Taking pics and making tricks, tricky kids don't sit and chat.


Photos by me. But they were the kids' ideas. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

On the menu: week of 4/19/09

Thus another week begins and another menu plan is posted.

I have the handwriting of a doctor sometimes, don't I?

So. On to what we're eating (or planning to eat) this week:

  • Monday - Spaghetti with marinara sauce, veggies on the side
  • Tuesday - Stir fry with tofu
  • Wednesday - Spicy chicken pinto bean soup
  • Thursday - Pizza for the Hubs (Steph out with Liz)
  • Friday - Baked potatoes with chili (if we're not at the parents' house)

Yes, I'm leaving the Hubs at home alone again.This time to go out with his sister. She's taking me to This American Life—Live!, because 1) she's awesome. (I really lucked out in the sister-in-law department!) 2) as you may have guessed, we're both total NPR nerds. (And I'm sure she's totally ok with me saying that.) Anyway, the Hubs knew about all this girl time in advance, and I think he's happy to indulge his introvert side with some quiet time at home - especially during a couple of very social weeks like the last two have been!

Also, on Caregroup nights (two Wednesdays out of the month), I'm trying to stick with things that can be ready to eat as soon as the Hubs gets home - soup, salad, etc. He already gets off work too late for us to ever make it there on time, but at least we can be less late.

So I think that's that.

Stop by the Chive Talkin' Menu Plan Blog Roll for more menu plannin' goodness!

Photo by me. Liz with niece Dana yesterday.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetically Seussical

Or would it be Seussically Poetical? You decide.

Either way, since the theme for week's Perfectly Poetical Tuesday is Dr. Seuss, I thought I'd offer a few sources inspiration:

Remember, this is about celebrating National Poetry Month. No need to sweat the details - meter, schmeter. Just enjoy creating your own little piece of poeticism.


Photo by

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I could use a laugh.

How about you? Are you having a crazybusy week, too? Well, take a little break. Here are a coupla baby humor items. Hope they make you smile too!

1. Pregnancy Q & A (didn't make this up. I think someone emailed it to me.)

Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?

A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q : Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

2. Ever wish babies came with instructions? Well, now there is such a thing as The baby owner's manual, and you can preview it here.


by sean dreilinger

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter baskets

My parents are so sweet. Mom still makes us Easter baskets each year (without peeps, of course). This year she came up with a creative - and calorie-free - new twist: hanging baskets filled with lovely plants.

She even took into consideration where we would hang them. With the help of a nursery owner we know, she chose plants for the Hubs and I that would do well on our east-facing balcony: sweet alyssum, hanging lantana and vinca. They'll fill in the gaps, hang down and look even more fabulous in no time. Also, those are all hearty plants that should be able to survive our scorching summers!

E and Christine got a completely different set of plants that would thrive in northern exposure.

Because hanging plants require extra water - especially in Arizona with so much sun and evaporation - she also got us those Aqua Globes to help keep them watered.

The Hubs hung our basket up, and it makes me smile every time I look out our bedroom window.


Photos by me. Ignore the keys clipped to our basket - that's the hubby's system for making sure we don't forget anything. The funny thing is that we remembered the basket, but somehow left without our Aqua Globe. Sigh. Good thing my parents don't live far away.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Perfectly Poetical: Limerick

You're just in time for the limerick edition of Perfectly Poetical Tuesdays!

If you're just tuning in, here's the deal:
Here's how to play today:
  • Blog in limerick form.
  • Link from your post to this post. (Buttons are optional. But cool.)
  • Leave your link and a comment here.
Next week's style: Dr. Seuss (ok, that's not a real style, but we're going with it! Lots of rhyming, whimsy, simple language and nonsense words. Have fun with it!)

Every life writes a poem. What does yours say this week? Let me know, and I'll stop by and visit your posts (but later in the day - meetings, etc. this morning).

[what mine says...]

Easter Candy Gone Wrong

There's one kind of candy that gives me the creeps.
I don't know how its inventor even sleeps.
Made of stale marshmallow,
Nastiness dyed pink or yellow
Why does anyone ever, ever eat peeps?

Photos: 1) eclipse_etc 2) psilver (silverph)

Monday, April 13, 2009

On the menu: week of 4/12/09

Good morning! Hope everyone had a beautiful Easter!

This is one of those weeks that I feel like I'm forgetting something that's going on. Ugh.

For now, though, here's the plan:

I know, I'm getting a bit sloppy. Ooh...that reminds me...we haven't had sloppy joes in awhile. I'll have to keep that in mind. But anyway.

Plan in plain English:

  • Monday - ribs (either barbecue, oriental or both kinds) with rice and salad (didn't get to those last week, and I still haven't decided what kind I'm making.)
  • Tuesday - clean out the fridge salad (yes, you heard that right - tossing hard boiled eggs, veggies and whatever else I decide needs to get used with some red leaf lettuce and calling it dinner!)
  • Wednesday - chicken pasta with marinara sauce
  • Thursday - pinto beans and rice
  • Friday - soup and sandwiches
On Friday, I'm planning to go to NU at the Heard Museum with my Aunt Roberta. We'll probably head over before the Hubs is off work, so he can either meet up with us or just stay home and chill if he's tired. (Yeah, I actually switched Thursday and Friday from when I wrote out and scanned in my plan. I had thought about putting the beans in the crockpot, but then I decided that a soup-and-sammy kinda dinner would keep things even more flexible.)

Oh! I almost forgot! I have hobo dinner pics for you (by request).

Again, I did this with mini pre-cooked burgers because that was in my freezer, but I normally use form raw ground beef into patties and then cook a longer time.

I might do a more in-depth how-to post next time I cook these the normal way, but this should give you the basic idea of how we pile everything up and wrap it in foil.

Happy meal planning/eating this week, and stop by the Chive Talkin' Menu Plan Blog Roll for more delicious ideas!


P.S. Don't forget to type up your limericks for tomorrow's Perfectly Poetical Tuesday! Stop back by to link up and check out everyone's poetical creations!

Photos by me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Quick Takes: Putting the "good" back in Friday to furry fun

My quick takes on this week:

Happy Good Friday! I was looking around for a good summary of what Good Friday is (for someone who may not be familiar with it), and do you know where I found one? Wikipedia.

Conversion Diary is actually not hosting Quick Takes this week, since it's Good Friday. But this is such a good format for me to tell you lots of different things that I'm quick takin' anyway!

We still aren't sure what we're doing for Easter. Something. With some part of the family. And probably some church mixed in. (Although I'm really not sure which church at this point, since our family goes to all different churches.) There's just been so much to figure out lately, that we just haven't quite gotten to that one yet.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our first Perfectly Poetical Tuesday! You guys are brilliant! Such beautiful poems (and such kind shout outs on your blogs)! I can't wait to see what kind of limericks you come up with next week!

Speaking of limerick week on Perfectly Poetical Tuesday, this is a great one to get the kids involved in! Heather and I were talking about how even pre-readers could join in. Just make up a "template" and have them fill in the blanks. Here's a sample (which you don't have to follow):

There once was a _____ from ____ (A)
Who loved to ___________ (A)
Until __________ (B)
When __________ (B)
And then ______ was ________ (A)

You can help them come up with rhyming words (all the "A" lines should rhyme with each other and all the "B" lines should rhyme with each other but not the "A lines) (but don't tell them that or they'll just get confused), or, if they don't get that concept yet, you can come up with all the rhyming words and have them fill in what comes before.

I'd like to do a roundup of fabulous posts about poetry before the month is out, so I'm on the lookout for those. If you happen to write or read something poetry-related that you'd like to share, feel free to email me at stephanie [at] boldavenue [dot] com to make sure I don't miss it! :)

Kitten update: We were kind of concerned about the kittens' new digs on the patio of an unoccupied unit that's getting remodeled. But we weren't sure what - if anything - we should do about it. Then our neighbor talked to this couple across the street, and they arranged to take in mama cat AND the kittens. They will probably keep Mama and a kitten or two and adopt out the rest, once they're old enough. If you're local and looking for a bundle of adorable furry fun, let me know.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hands-on learning about Easter

Abstract concepts are especially hard for children to grasp. That's why it's so important to take big ideas and make them more concrete. Kids need to move, to touch, to color, to play in order to learn the best.

Here are three fabulous sites with activities to help your little ones learn about what Easter means:


Photo by - luz - .

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Camping in


Photos by me. | For the story, see my acrostic poem from Perfectly Poetical Tuesday. | For more Wordless Wednesday, visit