Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Menus & Memories

What y'all cooking for New Year's?
Here's some recipes & menus
- from The Median Sib
- from Georgia On My Mind

Here's to a couple of special babies:

Larisa is number 5 on the list below. This is how she is s'posed to look. Instead she is a grown-up chasing these (below) around.

And this new graduate:

Sam should be about three or four. The world has gone mad.

Heritage Re-Post from January 1, 2006

Counting down my favorite New Year memories

10. Guy Lombardo, Dick Clark, Ball Drops, the TV thing.

9. Illegal fireworks when I was a kid

8. Waking little girls to see in the new year

7. Watch night services when I was a kid

6. 1970-71 (Central Time) “All night singing” at Blountstown FL.

5. 1974-75 Seeing one-day old baby Larisa

4. (many times) Watching the new year in with my in-laws in Tallahassee

3. (several times) Watching the New Year in with our friends the Craws on their farm

2. New Year outdoor family reunions for (Annie Brannon Snell) Grannie’s Dec. 31 birthdays.

1. 1970-71 Kissing a certain girl and telling her, for the first time, that I loved her. I still do by the way. I have been with her to see in that new year and 34 more so far!


2008 update

• We saw 2007 in with a great group of friends and a fun celebration that would have to be included in this list.

• Now we can add two joint New Year's Eves to the total above.

• This is our second "empty nest" new year.

PTSW : Ode to Things

On Christmas, my daughter, Lillian, gave me a volume of poetry by Nobel laureate, Pablo Neruda. It is a group of Odes to Common Things, translated by Ken Krabbenhoft, and selected and illustrated by Ferris Cook. Each left page contains the original Spanish text, each right page the English translation. So for our Poem to Start the Week here is the an example: "Ode to things". (Added 1-03-08: Hear me read this poem in a podcast here.)

Ode to things

I have a crazy,
crazy love of things.
I like pliers,
and scissors.
I love
and bowls –
not to speak, or course,
of hats.
I love
all things,
not just
the grandest,
small –
and flower vases.

Oh yes,
the planet
is sublime!
It’s full of pipes
through tobacco smoke,
and keys
and salt shakers –
I mean,
that is made
by the hand of man, every little thing:
shapely shoes,
and fabric,
and each new
bloodless birth
of gold,
carpenter’s nails,
clocks, compasses,
coins, and the so-soft
softness of chairs.

Mankind has
oh so many
Built them of wool
and of wood,
of glass and
of rope:
ships, and stairways.

I love
not because they are
or sweet-smelling
but because,
I don’t know,
this ocean is yours,
and mine;
these buttons
and wheels
and little
fans upon
whose feathers
love has scattered
its blossoms,
glasses, knives and
scissors –
all bear
the trace
of someone’s fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand
in the depths of forgetfulness.

I pause in houses,
streets and
touching things,
identifying objects
that I secretly covet;
this one because it rings,
that one because
it’s as soft
as the softness of a woman’s hip,
that one there for its deep-sea color,
and that one for its velvet feel.

O irrevocable
of things:
no one can say
that I loved
or the plants of the jungle and the field,
that I loved
those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
It’s not true:
many things conspired
to tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touched them:
they were
so close
that they were a part
of my being,
they were so alive with me
that they lived half my life
and will die half my death.
-- Pablo Neruda


The series of posts, A Poem to Start the Week, is my little anthology of poetry, many of which I have used with my students in elementary schools during 27 years of teaching.

Previous Poems to Start the Week:

Ode to Things
A Visit from St. NicholasMiceAll In a WordThe SpiderThe Eagle

Some PeopleCustard the Dragon
Statistics 101The Spider and the Fly
Back to SchoolThe Inchcape RockOgden NashTrash
Hearts, Like DoorsCasey at the BatAlways a RoseHome at Last
Bag of ToolsCarpe DiemPoems About PoetryMan's Best Friend
Spelling is Tough Stough!Blue MarbleTacks, Splinters, Apples and Stars
Oh, Captain, My Captain!MetaphorIntroducion to Poetry
Loveliest of TreesFlax-Golden TalesThe Dinosaurs Are Not All Dead
Owl PelletsMummy Slept LateJust My Size
The Kindest Things I KnowMiles to GoLove that Brother
Oh, Frabjous Day!

Other Posts about Children's Literature:

The Lion's Paw top kid's OOP book!
Aslan is Dead!
Multiplying People, Rice, and Readers
A Teacher's Life

You can read some of my own efforts at poetry here.
And then there's Alien Invasion.

A weblog dedicated to Poetry for Children.
Watch Sonja Cole's reviews of children's books at
The PBS series Favorite Poem Project