Summer haiku

Originally posted on nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings:

Having finished up working on Adam’s memoir, My Life in the Cleveland Zoo, Rob and I have gotten back to checking out our garden. What we have found is a few ripe buttercup squash, cucumbers aplenty, small and large, and our ripening cherry tomatoes. Lots of cherry tomatoes, that is. My parents would gasp that I have taken to eating them as voraciously as I have since I avoided those they grew in their garden. My mother thought nothing of making tomato sandwiches and serving slices of them with meals. They canned them, and I loved the spaghetti sauce that I made with them, but fresh ones, not so much. In memory of my parents, this haiku:

cherry tomatoes
straight from the garden
with salt

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The Castle of Translators

Originally posted on Scribe Doll's Musings:

Seneffe.  H. is beaming as we walk into the courtyard.  It is girdled by a horseshoe of former 18th century stables, now turned into guest rooms.  In front of us, beyond the railings, are the tall trees belonging to the domaine.  He points beyond the fountain,  in the centre of the courtyard.  “That’s the room where I stayed in ’96.  It was the first year they had the Collège des Traducteurs here.  They pulled out all the stops – we were driven here from Brussels, waiters in white jackets serving dinner, the Directrice getting all the translators to tell a joke at the table, to break the ice.”

Seneffe Commons

H. has been on a translator’s retreat in Seneffe half a dozen times.  There are photos of him in that first-year album.  Darker hair.  Slimmer build.  The same dreaming expression hidden by the glasses.

Seneffe Chateau

The château of Seneffe has been turned into…

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Summer Shower

Originally posted on In Transition:

Heat rises from the concrete,

waves shimmer as I watch a lone black cloud

slowly cover the sun,

fat drops of warm rain

splash on my head,

I turn my face to catch

the summer shower~

the sweet smell rising off the parched earth,

I want to dance as my skin

is drenched in soft pearls~

Nature’s Baptism

©annettealaine 2014

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The Death Salon is coming to San Francisco

Originally posted on Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World:

This is lifted from the Death Salon events page:

We’re bringing our first ever one-day Death Salon event to San Francisco October 11, 2014. Deathlings will be taking over the Fleet Room at the Fort Mason Center. Just like our other Death Salon events, we’ll have speakers and performers from various disciplines informing and entertaining you all day and evening on diverse topics related to the culture of mortality and mourning. There are three ticket options:

Combo ticket for day & night sessions (best price, limited quantity)
Day Session only ticket
Night Session only ticket


Please Note: This event will be filmed, upon purchasing a ticket, you are consenting to being filmed. Questions? Email us at info at deathsalon dot org. Below is the tentative lineup of speakers and performers.


DAY SESSION emceed by Death Salon co-founder, mortician Caitlin Doughty of The…

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Pictures of the Past: A Review

Originally posted on nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings:

I have been fortunate to read some of the newest books available through giveaways sponsored by Shelf Awareness and Goodreads. The latest one that I have finished reading is Deby Eisenberg’s Pictures of the Past. Here is my extended review of the novel.

Pictures of the Past
By Deby Eisenberg
Published by Studio House Literary, 2011
ISBN: 978-0615483122

Deby Esisenberg’s Pictures of the Past is a historical novel centered around a fictional Henri Lebasque painting. While Henri Lebasque was a real French impressionist, this particular painting called Jeune Fille ala Plage is not. At its heart, this is a saga of three generations that begins with the period prior to World War II and ends in the modern era.

Taylor Woodmere reluctantly leaves his spoiled,rich girlfriend Emily in Chicago to go to Paris to meet with his father’s business partner, Emanuel Berger. Through his association with Emanuel, Taylor…

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The Pedometer Geek’s Book Reviews

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The Pedometer Geek’s Book Reviews

The Pedometer Geek’s Book Reviews.

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Originally posted on Scrambled, Not Fried:

One Door Closes—Career Change Ahead


Two days short of my 10th anniversary at Northeast Kingdom Human Services, I’m heading back to the classroom on Monday.



However you earn your daily bread, be sure to visit Call Me Cate atSHOW MY FACE


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What Happens to Your Identity When You Don’t Speak to Anyone for 27 Years

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Anyone who reveals what he?s learned, Chris told me, is not by his definition a true hermit. Chris had come around on the idea of himself as a hermit, and eventually embraced it. When I mentioned Thoreau, who spent two years at Walden, Chris dismissed him with a single word: ?dilettante.?

True hermits, according to Chris, do not write books, do not have friends, and do not answer questions. I asked why he didn?t at least keep a journal in the woods. Chris scoffed. ?I expected to die out there. Who would read my journal? You? I?d rather take it to my grave.? The only reason he was talking to me now, he said, is because he was locked in jail and needed practice interacting with others.

?But you must have thought about things,? I said. ?About your life, about the human condition.?

Chris became surprisingly introspective. ?I did examine…

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The Act of Counting

Originally posted on Raven's Wing Poetry:

To be black in America is to at times commune with the unnaturally dead.
— Cornell W. Brooks

Should I count my blessings:
that I don’t have bullets
buried in my back,

or that among the worst things
I’ve seen while
wearing this brown skin

are a drooling, satin-doll fetish
for my “high-yellow” skin

or the occasional “nigger”
hurled in my direction?

Mike Brown can’t count
anything anymore, not even
bullets in his body –

unless you consider crisp stars
like scattered salt in a black sky sea,
or glassy Empyrean gates,
or imagined angel wings.

I could count ropes,
rapes, bullets, chains,
accusations, catcalls;

white boys unwilling
to introduce me
to their parents;

the assumptions about
how I got my job or education.

I’ve ran out of fingers
and I’m tired of numbering sins
no one asks us to forgive;

I only say
that no one should count

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