Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Do NOT Love Judging . . .

"Aquatic Life " Haiku Monday Winners

Thank you all for the lovely turn out on a holiday.
I almost suggested we take a sabbatical but am glad I did not.
I particularly appreciate those of you who wrote very personal Memorial Day haiku. Please accept my thanks for the contributions
to our freedom  by those you have memorialized in poetry.

Welcome to new player Miss Angie!
 Who wrote three great haiku inspired by her travels last Summer. 
She posted some of her photographs so stop by to enjoy them.

Also welcome to new player Michael
whose blog I was unable to access.
If you had great visuals
sorry I missed them.

Our top three this week are:
Show: Becca
Place: Rafael
Win:   Foamy

In truth this was closer than close.

Becca cleverly brought two concepts together 
Smile, Freedom at last
 these final five syllables in her aquatic haiku
remind us freedom is essential to all.
The smiling, soaring dolphin  seeking freedom's air
was a great visual.

My favorite lines were from Rafa
Summer's sav'ry scent
Seasoned fresh by God
These are so very  beautiful

Foamy wrote my joy with these lines

dewey morning walk
sunkissed mist rises off Pond

I start most days, barefoot, outside, 
when the sun first calls the birds to song
kisses the garden into color 
I enjoy this with tea.

It was Foamy's tribute to her
which won the day.

They called him The Kid
A gunner in The Big Red
At heart, a fisher.

This says everything doesn't it?

Thank you to all players.
Congratulations to all winners.
 I look forward to your game!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Haiku Monday; Aquatic Life

Hello Haikuers!

I am traveling and,well I just did not get this competition up early.  It is Haiku MONDAY right?
In the beginning, Troll, our founder, posted the subject on Monday morning.  Later, to accommodate time zones, international players and deep thinkers .... we began posting the subject earlier.  On Sunday!  I am not sure when the subject began being posted on Friday. Part of the challenge was to offer one ( yes just one!) smashing, classic haiku with seasonal reference and a cutting word in a limited time frame.  Looks like  this week I am a throw back to an earlier game and do most sincerely apologize if this has foiled any competitive plans of our players, new or regular.
 Get you game on and lets play!


I  am enjoying my second trip this month to wetlands, islands or shores  along the Atlantic. I have been intrigued and educated at the various Wildlife Refuge ,Preservation or, Interactive learning centers for Pimlico Sound, Albermarle Sound, The Alligator River,  and the Savannah River Basin and the lower Georgia tidal marshes. All have been grande locations for a Fish to visit. The genius  and diversity of these rare and priceless ecosystems is a present to us all. If you have not visited these areas, I would recommend them each and every one.

I gave much consideration to the importance of Memorial Day when selecting the subject for our game.
Because memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May, we have had this subject in the past. Still, it is so important we recognize those men and women who have forfeited their lives so we may all hear freedom ring. May we never take these gifts for granted.

Write as many haiku as you like, but please indicate just two for your competitive entries. Classic 5, 7, 5 format please and yes, I expect all you smart players to  write a Haiku which requires the brilliant use of kigo and kireji .  It is Haiku Monday not Poetic Monday  so lets write haiku please. As a twist, I invite you all to also include one haiku about Memorial Day. I will select  the top three entries and will then decide the
win-place-show  placements by using the Memorial Day haiku as the decider.

God Bless America

Monday, May 20, 2013

Haiku Monday: Innocent Love

Really, did I care
about braces or muscles?
No! Just happiness.

No armor needed, 
no fear,  completely trusting
Dad love is mighty

Friendly little bums
explore, experience, share
 love, on life's first beach

Blushing in his joy,
this man-boy knows  his future,
She is his only.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Three decades ago, Blowfish and I walked this "aisle" to the glass church in the woods where we  were married  on the second Tuesday in May at 6pm.  The chapel is on Siesta Key, a barrier island  on a spit of land between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.  A lovely place to make a vow of a lifetime. The location is replete with symbols of timelessness:
big skies, big ocean, endless tides, endless sunshine.
No one who marries here could fail to understand the  size of the commitment. Huge. It is probably a very good thing that word
begins with a hug.

In recognition of this event,  Blowfish and I are going forth to have some fun  on another island.

There is much to look forward to. Because it is also Mother's Day weekend and the beginning of the season for this location, there is a lot going on. There is an art festival, a music festival and taste of the islands event with participating restaurants. There are wine tastings  in interesting locations.

I sailed on one of these last Summer is Charleston Harbor so I thought taking Blowfish out
for an authentic Pirates activity ( drinking, eating, wenching) ) would, er ..... float his boat.

He on the other hand is looking forward to this:

To be fair this is not just a big pile of sand.
it is the largest sand dune in the USA
I thought it was interesting 
I read the warnings 

Now I am trying to divert his interests here:

The Wright Brothers Museum
Nearby, he actually can book a ride on a bi-plane.
(I will take pictures and wave)

He will be less interested in visiting these
Elizabethan Gardens
but he will
for me
with a good spirit
and a kind heart

His reward will be

home to the award winning 1587 Restaurant
about which 
Frommer's said this:
"...offers the best, creative cuisine along the Outer Banks"

these are the official greeters at our accommodations

Where we will be staying in the Secret Garden Bungalow
which we will enjoy
more than we planned
if the weather
looks like this

this looks familiar
maybe walking the plank
for a different

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How Much?

Here at the Pond we need a new refrigerator. I know this sounds simple, yet it is not. There is more to this issue than just what style; French door, bottom freezer, side by side or what finish; stainless, white, panel ready?

Actually the contractor is down stairs making a lot of demolitions noise. In our 1942 vintage home the vertical space for a refrigerator is 67.75". That has been just fine for the past 70 years but now refrigerators have gotten taller. To be fair it is possible to buy a refrigerator within this height restriction but these are not our best option. Too bad because they are thousands fewer dollars than the type we do need.

What is needed is a newer counter depth refrigerator because it will give us the clearance necessary for an island. Our Kitchen is large and open with a lot of empty space in the middle. We could have put a small  freestanding butcher block in there years ago but instead have been stuck on the notion of having one that was created from a modified vintage cabinet with a marble top for pastry making. We actually do not make any kind of pastries but that has not weighed heavily on our thoughts.

Our other big issue is the cabinetry in our Kitchen was all built in place on site. These days cabinet boxes are cleated onto walls then fitted with door or drawer fronts. In our house the cabinets were built in place by carpenters which means they cannot be unmounted from the wall because they are part of the walls. Thus, it was necessary for us to hire a master finish carpenter to modify existing cabinetry in situ.

Of course, so far,  as is typical with we Pond dwellers, we have agreed on the big picture but not the details. Since we were going to have this carpenter on site we decided it was wisest to have him make some desired  corrections to a bath window and the entry transoms and ... well the list is growing by the hour.

There is the issue of the stove too. It needs replacing but the space available is 40". This was a standard appliance width in the 1940's  here and remains a standard in Europe.  Very few American made ranges  are available today. Again we will need to either modify the cabinetry or find a 40" width appliance.
 At  they have spectacular fully restored vintage stoves. This beautiful Wedgewood stove has 6 burners, 2 ovens , all new interiors and beautifully restored porcelain and chrome finishes.  Not allowing for shipping or installation, the cost  is about $8,000. A brand new cobalt blue Aga cooker is $8,000 - $14,000 also not including shipping or installation. Neither option is within budget. What Blowfish has a hankering for is a dual fuel stove with at least 5 gas burners and
a pair of electric-convection ovens. And, he wants stainless steel which I do not.  Is anyone surprised?
As it turns out there are two USA companies that still make a 40" appliance with dual fuel. Kenmore and Frigidaire. Both are made in the same factory, look identical and share the same bad reviews from unhappy cooks, bakers and remodelers. They do have a friendly price point  at less than half the restored ones or the  basic Aga.  The vintage stoves are not dually fueled. You can get a restored one as a gas or an electric unit but not both. This is not satisfactory to Blowfish. He wants  what he wants and sees no point in paying thousands for what he does not want.

Naturally I have been searching for the compromise solution.
I even researched without getting out my passport or hopping onto a plane to Italy where they know how to make appliances which speak to me. Unfortunately they are not in the budget.  Since the restored Wedgewood has been vetoed because it is an all gas appliance,  I thought this dual fuel Ilve would be a nice compromise.

 It is true the top is not beautiful  vintage chrome. It is stainless.
 But, since the enamel is available in cobalt blue  I thought I could compromise on the stainless. Unfortunately Blowfish  was not thinking this was any sort of compromise. He did not even ask about the shipping  from Italy or the installation charges before saying " No! Fishy, No!" I was hoping for a " Yes! Fishy, Yes!"

Too bad.

So far we have agreed to panel ready refrigerator and dishwasher  if we go with a stainless cooker. If  we go with a white cooker with a stainless or chrome top then we need not spend the additional thousands for the panel ready options. We would just buy white finishes which are the least expensive. I think this is reasonable but I am only one vote. I do know however, that there are three votes to be had:

(1) Fishy,
(1) Blowfish and
(1) Blowfish's stomach.
I keep thinking that last vote will land on my page after a month or two of no cooker at all.
Alas there is also the vote from "expedience".
Today, when the carpenter was leaving he said,
"I will need  the  dimensions for the new refrigerator by tomorrow."