The Rambling Blogger

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be switching to my new blog home next week. I’ve picked out a very summery looking header I hope you’ll like. I’ve also wondered how it would work to put some order into my blog-keeping. Maybe having a plan will keep the juices flowing.
So far I’m thinking:
Tuesday something historical
Wednesday I’ll post a poem
Thursday a fiction story
Saturday I’ll write about an interesting book or blog post I’ve read

To start my new habit, I’d like to tell you about a post I read yesterday over at Another Purple Planet. This blogger is turning thirty and sharing with us a list of the important truths she’s learned up until now. I told her in a comment that I’m more than thirty years older and can’t add much to her list. (So why is it that we human beings who consider ourselves so intelligent, spend years learning the same lessons over and over?)

Click here to read her article and see if you can add anything.

A heads-up for readers of this blog:
You won’t have to do anything. Subscribers will be moved as well as the domain, christinegoodnough.com. This current site will revert back to the pre-domain address of christinegoodnough.wordpress.com, so if you want to check out some post in these archives you’ll need to type in that address. Christine Composes will go back to christineevelynvance.wordpress.com.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

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Turn, turn, turn

Fellow blogger Stacey LePage shares her thoughts and feelings about life in general and how cancer has affected hers. When I read this uplifting post on her blog this morning I just knew my readers would find it an inspiration, too. thanks, Stacey, for letting me Reblog it.

In The Corner

“To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep”

I have always loved this song, by Pete Seeger, and well, kind of heavily inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes. The words, I remember, were read by the Minister at both my parents’ funerals.  I didn’t really hear the words during the service for my Mom – but I sure did for my Dad.  A time for everything and everything in its time.

It is time… but for what?

What I don’t like is that I never know what time it is!  What season is it?  The calendar will tell me it is winter – and…

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Of Empty Wallets and Washing Gifts

While I’m on the subject of haiku this morning, Mark Redfearn’s haiku about after-Christmas window-shopping gave me a chuckle.

And today I must tackle Mount Wash-more, as the FlyLady calls it, which brings to mind another after-Christmas scenario:
New year’s laundry
my red towel gift set
pinks hubby’s pjs

If you enjoy haiku, Mark consistently posts some of the best verses I’ve ever read. Another haikuist, Charlotte Digregorio, posts a collection and often showcases other writers on her blog. Who doesn’t love the rush and whistle of a train? Here’s a verse she’s posted that I really like, written by UK haiku poet Alan Summers.

I also follow poets Bill Bisgood at The Write Idea — here’s one of his verses I enjoyed and you will, too — and Ron Evans at Haiku Odyssey. Here’s one of his haiku. Ron moved this fall, so his site has been inactive for awhile. (Hope all went well with that, Ron?)

Though I haven’t written many this year, I’ve posted all my haiku at Treetop Haiku.

I think everyone should try their hand at haiku — or short verses of that kind. It takes mind-power to get a whole thought condensed into a few syllables without sounding thrill-less. Like:
I went for a walk
saw footprints in the snow
someone else has been here

Haiku is not just a line of words strung together. It takes skill to compose a verse with a twist, something that makes a reader think or imagine without giving them the answer. For example, here’s mine about a scarecrow – which in Japanese haiku symbolism represents an old man or old person.

Too telling, IMO:
this sorry scarecrow
grown stiff in autumn frosts
wishes for summer days

My final version:
this sorry scarecrow
grown stiff in autumn frosts
sighs for the tasseling corn

Which one do you prefer?

Boxes and Paper Mountains

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a merry Christmas, a great weekend and a happy time together with your families.  Here on the prairies things were pretty brown and bare until Dec 24th, when a fine snow began to fall. It kept coming down all night so we had a white Christmas after all.

Now it’s Boxing Day here in Canada. I’ve heard various accounts of how Boxing Day got its start, likely from making up boxes to donate to the poor in one’s community back in merry old England. However, yesterday morning at church we heard about an interesting New Year’s Day custom in Haiti that one might call “Unboxing Day.”

The man who was speaking talked of their time at the mission in Jeremie, Haiti, and how folks there would store their unneeded belongings in suitcases much like we stash things away in our closets — which are rare in poorer Haitian homes. Every year around this time the locals would open the suitcases and wash the stored clothes and hang them up to air. After a few days they’d pack them away again, maybe for another year. This custom struck me as a rather useful one to have, comparable to a lot of housewives’ spring cleaning routines.

Of course his words called up a mental picture of my own stored boxes, unopened for a LONG time. We live in a mobile home with two bedrooms, an already overcrowded office, and no basement, so I do have possessions stashed in every closet and in plastic bins under the two beds. These usually do get opened at least once a year when I’m on a hunt for something I just can’t find.

As I haul out each box and look inside, I wonder why it’s so easy to collect stuff and so hard to get rid of excess? Seems I’m always tossing stuff but more soon takes its place. “The Curse of the Packrat’s Closet.” Does anyone want to write the novel?”

In particular I have two boxes and a bunch of notebooks that might delight Pandora: the boxes where I store all the miscellaneous scraps of paper destined to become verses of poetry or articles — when I find time to work on them. Will they ever or will they never? Will I ever rein in my ADD muse or will she always be a wild child?

My paper mountain
of brilliant ideas,
sheet by sheet it amasses
in boxes under my bed until
one day it raises the roof.

Then it all tumbles down
suffocates me in soppy scraps,
buries me in muddy musings.
And my sad children,
upon my demise, bring in

a paper shredder.
Next year I’m getting them
a sharp one for Christmas
so they’ll be prepared
when that time comes.

— C.G.

P.S.:
I think I’ll begin by opening my DropBox. That’s easier. 🙂

So Much To Discover!

When I saw the Word Press prompt word of the day is Discover, it sent a meteor shower of ideas through my brain. So many things are just waiting to be discovered, and finding them is usually so exciting and inspiring!

Unless it’s discovering a mouse nest in your cupboard. Or you forgot your best friend’s birthday. Or discovering that this promising new book you downloaded is full of stuff you don’t want to hear about. TMI. Not long ago I discovered that TMI (too much information) is now listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, along with a lot of other new ones I’ve never heard.

In the past six months I’ve discovered so many new things. I could make a dozen blog posts just telling you about:
new bloggers I’ve met
talented poets I’ve followed
new writers and characters
interesting and inspiring books
Amazon’s “100 Free books” list
how to become a ferocious self-editor
a great story idea for my grandson’s Christmas present

Discovering how to do something you’ve never done before is empowering. (When is that word going to appear as a daily prompt?) A few days ago I got a handle on how to text on my new phone. ‘Old hat’ for most of you, I’m sure, but I’m technologically challenged so it takes me awhile to learn the ropes of these new gadgets. (I’ve had the phone for over a year now.☺) Next my husband added a Kindle reading app to my phone, so now I can read books while I travel &/or wait.

Now if only I could discover how to remember everything I’ve learned! 🙂

Anyway, here’s a bit about one terrific book I discovered last month:
Of Moose and Men: Lost and Found in Alaska
by Torry Martin and Doug Peterson
Published by Harvest House Press. Available in print or as an e-book.

Actor Torry Martin leaves his unsatisfying party lifestyle in LA and heads for Alaska to escape from the kind of society he has known heretofore. Not really sure what he’s looking for in the wilderness of Alaska. And there he meets God — or rather, God finds him and sets him back on his feet again.

In this book he shares his and his friend Rob’s experiences working as directors in various summer camps in Alaska and their encounters with various wildlife —and churches. Later he describes their move to TN and a few of their experiences while living there. In addition to the humorous way he relates what happened he also shares inspiring spiritual lessons God was able to teach him through these incidents. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who likes outdoor & wildlife stories with a Christian flavour.

Maddening: the Perfect Example

Our Word Press daily prompt today is maddening. Does that mean we’re allowed to rant on our posts today?

This morning I got an e-mail from myself — sort of. Right name; wrong carrier. No subject; no text. All it contained was a link. Grrrr…. As if!

This is a perfect example of maddening. And it reminded me of a little campaign I wanted to launch about a year ago to try and get hackers declared a menace to mankind.

Hacking Is A Crime Against Humanity

I’d received four e-mails from contacts with no message included, only a link. I suspect if I’d clicked on any of those links my own contact list would have been “harvested” and forwarded to certain individuals or companies who would then send out ad e-mails, in my name, to all my contacts. And slurp the address book of whoever clicked on the link.

And now it’s happened. Imagine getting an e-mail from yourself and knowing someone is now using your e-mail ID to hack others! The good part is that it showed cc’s to only three or four others, odd addresses, unfamiliar carriers. No one I know has been affected by this so far. I’ve had friends have to change their e-mail address completely, so I’m lucky so far.

For years people considered hacking as irritating and disruptive — though maybe a bit amusing, too. Like, “Did you hear about that thirteen-year old whiz kid who hacked IBM?” Let’s get serious about this and view hacking as a crime against us all. In public estimation hackers should drop to the level of axe murderers. Hacking is a plague to the average Joe, and no one can compute the cost to each of us when multinational companies are hacked and personal data stolen. It’s not a lark, “just to see if I can” and “see how clever I am” sort of thing. It’s a crime.

Companies that try selling products through generally broadcast e-mail ads need to be reported as SPAM and shut down ASAP. And those that hack into individual address books need to be prosecuted. It’s one thing to send ads by e-mail to personal contacts, but to steal someone’s contact list and send e-mails in that person’s name for commercial purposes ought to be considered a serious crime. (Hopefully it is.)

There needs to be an easy way of reporting these URLs to our e-mail carriers so they can be checked out and zapped. This has gotten easier; some years back I tried to report a site to my internet carrier when I discovered this site was a front for e-mail “harvesting” but ended up in a merry-go-round of “click here…go there…click here”.

I’ve felt strongly about this for awhile, now I’m doing my own little grassroots protest against hackers. “Hacking is a CRIME against humanity — an injustice against us all.” Pass it on.

And if you get an e-mail from me with no subject, no text — only a link — I didn’t send it.