Monday, February 29, 2016

Light on his feet

He is a total joy to watch – music embodied in physique, gesture, movement and muscle
~Paul O’Connor (about Nic Gareiss)

I love how happy Nic Gareiss looks to be dancing. For Joyful Monday:

From the "A Taste of Friendship" Celtic Colours 2014 concert. Nic comes out around 4 minutes in.

Brittany Haas' web site

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Feeling bad about Ashley Guindon, who died on her first street shift as a police officer while she was responding to a domestic violence call.

As I have mentioned before, I am sincerely thankful for people who are willing to come help us when we are in danger, even at risk to their own lives. I'm so sorry, Ashley Guindon. And I'm so sorry about you, woman she was trying to save whose name I don't know.

From the Joyful Heart Foundation:

National Child Abuse Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Men Stopping Violence
Men Against Rape and Discrimination (India)

Use the darkness of your past to propel you to a brighter future.
~Donata Joseph

Friday, February 26, 2016

Match Grand Finale!

Watching them was like watching the sunset and the sunrise, equally beautiful in different ways.
~Shannon A. Thompson

Since this is the last Friday of my "Poem-Song Match-Up" month, I am doing a grand finale... there were more I would have liked to include, but, whew, I'm exhausted! To hear the songs, click on the song titles. The band names will take you to the band web sites.

a well-matched pair
photo by WJ van den Eijkhof

I matched Violet Nesdoly's "Mindfulness" with Hildegard of Bingen's "Spiritus Sanctus" and The Head and the Heart's "Lost in my Mind". In case you feel like you need to get out of your mind afterward (hmm...that doesn't sound quite right), here's The Indigo Girls' "Hammer and a Nail."

I matched Linda Baie's "Happy" with how a person feels after being the recipient of her giggles, smiles, grins, and guffaws: Pharrell Williams' "Happy," Katrina and the Waves' "Walkin' on Sunshine," and Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing."

I matched Catherine Flynn's "Full of Nothing" with Louis Armstrong's "I Can't Give You Anything But Love."

I matched Irene Latham's "I Could Say I Believe in the Ocean" with Camille Saint-Saƫns' "The Aquarium" and Toad the Wet Sprocket's "Walk on the Ocean."

I matched Michelle Heidenrich Barnes' "Night Whispers" with Carrie Newcomer's "A Gathering of Spirits." I also matched "Goat Gardeners" with a couple of singing goats. This next set is not a poem-song match; just a poem-video match. I paired the following two because...if you're going to be asking a Magic 8 ball for help, I think checking in with Cookie Monster is next: "What Does The Magic 8 Ball Know?" and "Cookie Monster, Life Coach."

I made what might be an unexpected match between Jone MacCullough's abandoned wedding dress haiku and Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart." I also matched Jone's "What Does the Rain Know?" with "The Rainbow Connection."

For Laura Purdie Salas, I did something a bit different. I have a question song: Queen's "Somebody to Love" and then Laura's poem holds the answer: "How To Make A Dog Live Forever." And then sort of a follow-up: "Loves Me Like A Rock."

Elizabeth Steinglass has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Liz!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Knot Gardens

If you wish to make anything grow, you must understand it, and understand it in a very real sense. 'Green fingers' are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed. But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart.
~Russell Page

What combines geometry and art and is alive? Knot gardens! The Old Farmer's Almanac explains that "a knot garden is artfully laid out and planned in order to resemble the threads of ancient Celtic knot work." They have their origins in Elizabethan England, four hundred+ years ago. I think some of these gardens are actually parterres, but I am not totally clear on the difference.

The Knot Garden at Hatfield House
photo by Jason Ballard

Knotted Beds
photo by Thomas Stanbury

Knot Garden Lollipops
photo by Jennifer de Graaf

Barockgarten Villandry in Frankreich
by Pimpinellus

The Open University Knot Garden

Knot Garden
photo by Double Down

The Knot garden at Lyme Park
photo by elleneka102

How to Plant a Herbal Knot Garden from WikiHow

Monday, February 22, 2016

On your radar

I'm kind of under the radar. Not a lot of people notice me. Which is surprising, because I'm so sexy. They're probably intimidated by my sexiness and crushability.
~Will Forte

We have "Radar" by AudioDamn! today. To be honest, I prefer the beginning and the end of this video, but the whole song is fun:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Pouring the whole of itself into each moment

Because children grow up, we think a child's purpose is to grow up. But a child's purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn't disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into each moment. We don't value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last.
~Tom Stoppard

More poem-song matches today! I used Laura Shovan's The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary as my starting point.

I matched Tyler's "My Song" with NeedToBreathe's "Brother" featuring Gavin DeGraw. Not because they are the same, but because Tyler could really use someone to be his shelter.

October 14
Tyler La Roche

New kid, new kid,
what’s your name?
Are you cool
or are you lame?
Wild as a bear
or calm and tame?
New kid, new kid, new kid.

Big guy, sky high,
where you from?
Mansion, farm,
or city slum?
Are you smart
or are you dumb?
New kid, new kid, new kid.

Red head, white bread,
Why are you here?
Your lunch smells funny
and your accent’s weird.
How about you
New kid, new kid, new kid.


I made the next match because there was something about Ben's about-to-bust-loose rhythm in "Percussion Poem" that made me think of Moncayo's Huapango.

September 5
Ben Kidwell

Every time
I try to write a poem,
the pencil goes
scritch a scratch.

My pencils
tick a tack
on my desk.

My feet boom
the floor
like a heartbeat
always moving.

My words
take up a rhythm
like the wind
blowing outside.

Scritch a scratch
Tick a tack
Boom badoom
Outside outside

How can I write
when everything around
makes an interesting

Thank you to Laura for giving me permission to share her poems here!


Donna at Mainely Write has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Donna!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

WPA Posters

Support and encouragement are found in the most unlikely places.
~Raquel Cepeda

Have you heard of Federal Project Number One? I get a little starry-eyed thinking about it, to be honest. Any occasion when a country looks out for its artists gets me googly.

"Federal Project Number One" is the collective name for a group of projects under the New Deal. The Library of Congress says, "For 11 years, between 1933 and 1943, federal tax dollars employed artists, musicians, actors, writers, photographers, and dancers. Never before or since has our government so extensively sponsored the arts." Here are some posters that artists made to support tourism during that time:

By John Buczak, Federal Art Project
United States Library of Congress

By NYC Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, Lake Placid Olympic bobsled run, WPA poster, ca. 1937
Library of Congress, Public Domain

Sea Cliff
Works Progress Administration

By Harry Herzog for the Works Progress Administration
New York City municipal airports, WPA poster, ca. 1937, Public Domain

By Work Projects Administration Poster Collection
Library of Congress

By Work Projects Administration Poster Collection
Library of Congress Catalog

By Work Projects Administration Poster Collection
Library of Congress

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Good/Bad, Civil/Not Civil

Yesterday I told my husband and son that I should do myself a favor and stop reading the comment sections of articles since they tend to be extremely disheartening. Today I read about a company called Civil Comments, which aims to make the comment section safe to read. They have an interesting explanation of "What does 'civil' mean?"

CC: What does "civil" mean?

"Civil" does not mean necessarily mean "supportive," or even "friendly." Comments, especially on challenging topics, need room for disagreement and debate; even passionate debate. We don't all have to agree, but we must be able to disagree without personal insults, harassment, and abuse.

When reviewing other people's comments, you're asked two questions: is it "good," and is it "civil." You're likely to come across comments that you think are stupid and/or make you angry. You should rate these comments as "not good." However, if the comment isn't a personal attack, harassment, or abuse, you should still rate it as "civil." Comments can easily be both "bad" and "civil." The reverse is also true: you may find comments you like/enjoy/laugh at that are also attacks/harassment/etc. You should rate those comments as "good" and "not civil."

It's entirely possible to disagree without resorting to personal insults and attacks, and it makes for a much more interesting debate.


I like that they are trying to separate what we like and what is civil. We do tend to give people we agree with more leeway, and that doesn't help the free exchange of ideas.

Monday, February 15, 2016


You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart.
~Author Unknown

This song/video by Walter Martin with the Moscow Swing Dance Society has a high joyfulness quotient. Just right for a Monday!

Friday, February 12, 2016


What, no quote?

Hi y'all,

Everything is fine, not to worry, but I didn't have time to put together a post for today either. Fortunately, my Music Monday post can double as a Poetry Friday post (and it has a romantic song in it as well!). I probably would not have gotten a Music Monday post done either if Keri hadn't helped, so thank you, Keri!


Kimberly Moran has the Poetry Friday round-up!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Reaching Out

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand.
~Emily Kimbrough

I didn't have my act together enough to put together an Art Thursday post this week. But I have something nice to share.

This article:

When other riders on the train moved away from a man in mental distress, a 70-year-old woman took his hand.

The random act of kindness by the older woman was enough to calm the young man who had been cursing and moving erratically.

Read the rest here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

On the Road, In a Well

Ain't no tellin' where the wind might blow
Free and easy down the road I go
Livin' life like a Sunday stroll
Free and easy down the road I go
~Dierks Bentley

Kicking off Monday with Keri Collins Lewis' "The Morning Commute." There were a lot of choices for matching Keri's noisy nomads with a song. One of the first things I thought of was Steve Winwood's "Can't Find My Way Home." Here's Keri's poem:

The Morning Commute
by Keri Collins Lewis

Mama hissed a warning.
The speeding car beeped.
Papa Gander honked and flapped.
Goslings dashed and peeped.
Once they crossed the busy road
the family paused and then,
they changed their minds
and waddled back across the road again.

When I thought about other song matches for those traveling geese, ones with a more positive spin came to mind such as "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros ("Home is wherever I'm with you") and "Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)" by Dierks Bentley:


Keri made matches with my poems, too. She paired "The Frog Prince Tries to Catch Her Eye" with "I've Been Waiting For A Girl Like You" by Foreigner. I got such a kick out of that!

She also matched my "The Old Ship" (which seems popular for matching) with "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison (how many hundreds of times did I listen to that album?):

Isn't it fun watching all the different places these matches can go? Thanks, Keri!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cleo 1998-2016

What greater gift than the love of a cat?
~Charles Dickens

Nobody enjoyed themselves more than Cleo. Whether she was lounging around staring at a wall or letting someone use her as a pillow, Cleo was utterly content 95% of the time. As my older daughter noted, there's something special about someone who starts purring just because you walk into the room. Rest in peace, my furry friend.

Friday, February 5, 2016

At The Trumpet Flower

Gratias agimus tibi (Thank you)

Before I do today's matches, I want to let you know that I've made my dad's poetry book available as a pdf (with his permission!). Click here to get it.

The first match of the day is "Zen Garden" by Joy Acey with "In the Mood" by Robert Plant. Joy's poem is all about perspective, perception, and attitude, and "In The Mood" is flush with adaptability and a positive mindset. (This live version really shows Robert Plant in the mood, but the audio is not as clear).

Zen Garden

by Joy Acey

Some see only the gravel
and the rocks
needing raking.

See an arid land
where dust and dirt accumulates,
where nothing will grow.

Some see the same rock pile
of islands in a vast sea,

Or mountains
reaching through the clouds
striving upwards.

Today I am a rock.
Let me be an ocean island.
Let me be a misty cloud


I matched Robyn Hood Black and Vivaldi (performed excellently by the University of North Texas College of Music). They have resisted all attempts to use words to explain their connection. You will have to dip in to get a taste.

my small insights

a hummingbird

at the trumpet flower

~Robyn Hood Black


The very charming Michelle Heidenrich Barnes made a match of one of my own poems this week. Thanks, Michelle! I'm going to be sharing matches by Keri Collins Lewis on Monday (poem-song matches do double-duty for Music Monday and Poetry Friday).

Today's Poetry Friday round-up is at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Thanks, Tricia!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Art of Encouraging Nature, Contained

Don't you remember that love, like medicine, is only the art of encouraging nature?
~Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

I know other people may not be as interested in these as I am, but I'm afraid my thought process went something like this: "What would you like to see this week, Tabatha?" "Medicine chests, Tabatha!" "Great idea, Tabatha!" "Why, thank you!"

Medicine chest with glass bottles with silver lids

Terra Nova (Antarctic) Expedition med chest, 1910-1913

Medicine chest, wooden, iron-bound and brass covered, lock

'Tabloid' medicine chest in metal case used by Teddy Roosevelt

Sheraton medicine chest, Europe, 1720-1800

Genoese medicine chest (the image below is a close-up of the same chest)

Medicine chest made for Vincenzo Giustiniani (1500s)
photo by Garrett Coakley