Thursday, February 27, 2014

Made my Feb 28 postmark for the Montco College Contest - submitted "In Pursuit of Happiness" and "Straying," a poem

Hello, Readers! Note the GRAY SPEAKER in the middle. When I watch Netflix, I turn on the speaker b/c my laptop is afraid to raise its voice. Something about its childhood. Its parents were alcoholics and always arguing.

This is me getting ready to blog. What a verb! Verbs, you know, are the heart of writing, moving the story forward. I used a lotta good verbs in the story I FINALLY mailed to Montgomery County Community College.

I delayed b/c it was tuff deciding what to mail in. I decided to write FLASH FICTION, which is usually 1000 words or less. And to enter my story in Flash Fiction journals.

Wrote the story IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS last nite. Great title, n'est-ce pas? I heard it somewhere and employed it.

The title page you send in takes concentration. Here's a facsimile:

Ruth Z Deming
204 Cowbell Road
Willow Grove PA 19090
215 659 2142  (I put in the hyphens, but it's too time-consuming here)


Poem:  Straying

Yesterday morning, I looked out my backyard window and saw Boots, the neighborhood cat, strolling atop the snow.

That's it, I said. I'm gonna concoct a story about Boots. And did.

My first draft was almost perfect. Had to check some words - aerialist - yes, I'd gotten it right. I did not check De temps en temps which began a sentence.

Students are reading the entries, so I did skew the writing toward young people. I do plan, however, to write stories about infighting in the old age homes.

Ran over Scott's this morning while he was still conscious and read the story to him. He really liked it, tho I made some minor corrections while reading it.

With my short story and poem in a huge white envelope, I thought, What's the closest PO to me. Since I can't get to the Bryn Athyn, zipcode 19009 - show off! - b/c the chainlink bridge is out, I went to the Abington PO, whose parking lot is always mobbed.

I always back in, hearing my back crack as I do so.

Listen to this! As soon as I mailed the thing, I realized I should've written "roasted alive" instead of simply "roasted." So I corrected it for when I submit it online. 

Then I shopped at the Giant, picking up

When you send in your entries, you must use TIMES NEW ROMAN. I do not like that font at all, no sirree, but of course I followed the rules.

Deluxe Vegetable Soup. Used Campara Tomatoes from Mexico for the liquid, yellow squash, mushrooms, spinach, green beans, and other veggies. Scott had a big spoonful and said, "It needs salt."

"Just kidding," he said.

I actually believed him.

Devoured one and a half bowls. Dee-lish.

My Everything Salad. See the PECANS on top? It's got cut-up apple and frozen blubberies.

Diabetes! I take it seriously. Don't wanna get none of them awful complications.

Before I blogged I did the tedious operation of updating the New Directions Website for the merry month of March on Saturday. 

It's now 9:53. May I have your permission to relax?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Homemade cream of mushroom soup leads to disaster - Poem: The Phlebotomist at Quest Diagnostics

Cream of Mushroom Soup, made with soy milk (or almond milk). I stepped away from the gas range for no more than two minutes. When I returned the soup had bubbled over and an inch of soup, mushrooms and vegetables were down in the guts of the gas range.


I'm not gonna complain about my lack of money or how I detest spending money, but I bought an electric cooktop from my friend Joe Moore at Gerhard's Appliance, done over the phone.

It's on order. My electrician Mike will install it. Mike always undercharges me. I said to Scott, he'll charge me $20 and I'll give him an $80 tip.

Movies! I've seen a few. Gods and Monsters - 1998 - with Shakespearean actor Ian McKellen, who plays the director of Frankenstein and other films. As an aging homosexual, he is attracted to Brendan Fraser

Above is photo of Cousin Lloyd, who I thought resembled Ian McClellan.

Back to my gas range.

I had the cleaning job of my life ahead of me, lifting up the white panel and using every towel I had to sop up the soup

 Old Caloric gas range. I packed up the knobs and burners and put em in a plastic bag for Trash Day the morrow.
Kept one burner alive to cook on. Eggs, my fave.

Reviewed the Compass proofs last nite, brewing a cuppa decaf. You know what? It doesn't really keep me awake, but I sure love the taste.

Bedtime reading included

Despair (novel) 1st edition coverart.jpgWritten in 1930, Eng. translation 1934. Gotta finish in a week for my Book Club.

Anything else you wanna bore your readers with Ruthie?

Yes! Certainly.


"Your Red Cross Supporter Card enclosed." TRASH

Request for more money from WHYY - TRASH

Credit Card bill - HANDLE WITH CARE - am eligible for dividend check of $50 which will help offset new cooktop

Huge cache of junk mail - TRASH. Will help my township make park benches from it.


She walks on silent feet
draped in a floor-length
blue scrub
let’s call it a ball gown, as she glides
from room to room
attending patients
who take to her
curious about a Muslim
in our midst
her black headdress
only accentuating
an expectant face and
wide eyes that scream
with tenderness and
love of humanity

We say nothing about
Muslim atrocities
that wound our world
or revenge-seekers
doling out meanness and
killings and a made-up
code of ethics suitable
for a diaper-wearing

I tap my book
The only time I get to read I say
She, too, is a reader,
as I surrender my left arm
and hold it out
the silver needle
penetrates then probes
quickly finding gold
or shall I say dark rivers

I watch her, Hagar,
mother of Ishmael,
and all of Islam
as she fills four clear tubes
with long deft
sparrow fingers
and unvarnished nails

We sit, afterward, as she
writes out the order
and asks for my signature
I sign slowly to prolong
our encounter
my mid-day meditation
with Naya the Phlebotomist.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Coffeeshop Quartet - I follow the teachings of Mary Ann Moylan - Poem: Shopping Before the Ice Storm

Yep, eating my nut mix now. Dessert.

Saw Mary Ann Moylen, the Giant nutritionist, and asked her a question. Our guest speaker thother nite, Wendy R, told me that the frozen blubberies I put in my salad, were not as fresh as the real live ones.

I was pretty sure Wendy was wrong and Mary Ann confirmed it. They're frozen very quickly and retain their nutrients. Kay Redfield Jamison is a big proponent of blubberies. Let's see how she's doing. Well-wrin account of THE most influential woman on manic depressive illness, which she has.

I asked Mary Ann

about my NEW evening snack.

Is this healthy, I asked.

Celery and cream cheese w chives n onions. I know it's salty, I said.

It IS healthy, she said, but you need to combine it w a protein.

Okay, I said, how bout a scoop of peanut butter?

Perfect, she said.

Isn't your mouth watering now? OH, DO TELL! You're allergic to peanuts and would choke if you ate it.

So, I brewed some hazelnut coffee this morning in my new $5 coffeepot.

Beautiful, isn't it!

Dmitri plugged it in yesterday when I bot it and the light went on. Here's what happened when I brewed the coffee, which I find as inexplicable as what makes the universe run.

Altho there were plenty of coffee grounds, the 'coffee' was the color of water AND it was not hot. It was room temperature. I cleaned it up, put it in my car, and returned it to the A to Z Thrift Shop, near the PO on York Road in Hatboro,

Ilona Igolkin gave me my money back, as I knew she would.

Scuse me a moment, I'm gonna like the store on FB.

 Hatboro, PA. There's my printer's office, Bux-Mont Stationers.The Compass may be all printed up by next Friday.

Beatriz wrote her first book review on Short n sweet and informative. If I were ambitious I'd load the review right here. Let's see if I am. It's 7:49 pm. B hasn't loaded it yet.

I've done lotsa reviews myself. Try it!

Beatriz was kind enuf to print out my poem Death and the Bedroom (needs revising). Moments before, I'd printed out about 25 pages of other things.

Suddenly, the smart-aleck printer is telling me "You're out of black ink." I'd bought new ink - the generic brand from Officemax - about a month ago.

Tonite, Scott said, Go buy new ink.

I raced down to Staples - can't see to drive in the dark due to my cataracts - but did just fine. With nervous fingers, I changed the cartridge - and lo! - it prints. No way I can live w/o my printer, which,as an object, is equivalent to a vital organ.

Martha wrote a short story about a marriage gone wrong. She emphasized it was not based on her own marriage. I think it takes guts to write well about bad things, esp. a marriage, when your own is so good.

Well-done, Martha!

All of us are still jockeying to get our best work into the Montgomery County Community College Writers' Contest, postmark deadline Feb. 28.

One year, Scott and I drove all the way down there to submit my work. It's a long way and cold as hell when you get outa the car and get into the everpresent wind-tunnel to find Parkhouse Building. Hey! I remembered the name.

There you are, Carly, holding up your "punch needlework" of two jolly snowmen.

Altho Carly is a beauty today - yes, you are, Darlin' - she and husband Charlie wanna lose weight. They see a hypnotist

who told them to bring in photos of when they were younger and slimmer.

You should have seen that gorgeous couple!

Carlana told us about the evolution of the piece she brought in.

First, she was gonna write about SILENCE - a wonderful topic - but then decided to write about WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE QUIT OVER-SCHEDULING OUR CHILDREN.

Well-done, Carlana!

Okay, next victim!

Mary Brucker, accompanied by her guide dog Garland, read two wonderful poems. One, written a decade ago, was about being on the beach in the wee hours of the night. She was both thrilled to be there and frightened. But, then, the call of nature had her leaving, and finding her way to the railing.

The second was how humans are destroying our beautiful highly evolved animals such as the Siberian Tiger - aka Amur tiger -

not to mention the

glorious gorilla!

Attention People! What IS the matter with you! God created the heavens and the earth AND you have no respect for his creations.


When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour.
 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

Best poetry ever written, those psalms.

VISITED Mom and Ellen after the Group. We talked about how therapist Sharon Katz helped one of mom's friends.  

Mom was making her delicious pea soup. She and Ellen have an agreement: Mom can't cook until Ellen is home. Ever heard of the essay, Dissertation Upon a Roast Pig? by Charles Lamb.

By burning down the house, it was discovered how delicious roast pig was.

Byberry Road was mobbed as I inched toward Mom's house.

Here's some pix I took:

 Stopped in the Hatboro PO so I could check the New Directions' Box 181 and throw away an ad from Comcast.
 Nice Mediterranean-style house on Byberry Road. Different! But, living on Byberry? With all the fumes!
 One of the big houses on my way home. Click to enlarge. Took the back roads home, which were pockmarked with deep pits.  


I, too, am prone to panic
loading up my cart with
nothing essential, Goya
artichokes bathed in
greasy olive oil.

Departing, the electric eye
shoots me an impassive, nosy
glance, as I exit into the vast
parking lot and inhale the
smell of cigarettes and
long lonely nights.

At home, I step out of my
car, groceries slung across
one arm, pocketbook on
the other
Lean against the car,
leg hurting from sciatica
come back
and stare silently, breath
rising in smoke rings
drop my bags on the driveway
and walk down Cowbell, marveling,
like van Gogh in Arles,
at the starry night.

Have you ever eaten artichokes
while walking down the street
bundled up like a Russian?
This is your life and you
must try all things.
Promise me.
Take up my dare.
Soup or a chocolate bar
will do.