Friday, January 28, 2022

Bundle Up, It's Cold Outside!

The theme for this weekend is Brrrr Cold!  Did I mention that this season in Virginia is looking like a New York winter? It is cozy indoors right now but late this afternoon snowstorm #4 or is it 5 comes my way? To prepare for another white blast, I join the Poetry Sisters' challenge, “poetry inspired by something overheard.” 

Since most people are not out and about in this very cold weather, I turn to the internet for quotes and thoughts about winter in preparation for my Winter's Embrace 2022 Gallery of Artistic Expressions. I also read a mentor text by Susan Thomsen who created several found poems based on overheard conversations. Check out Susan's link here.

Photos of the Week for #WintersEmbrace2022 Gallery

Bundle Up, It's Cold Outside

Baby, it's cold outside.
Snow flurries swirl around
people's legs like house cats.
Nothing burns like the cold.  It's
cold and cruel, to begin with,
but it's somehow beautiful,
sparkling like a million little suns
making our feet and fingers glow.
I wonder if the snow
loves the trees and fields
that it kisses them so gently?
Winter is the time for comfort.
Take the cold seriously.
The snow is coming!
©CVarsalona, 2022
Found poem, #PoetryPals


Send offerings to my Padlet, Winter's Embrace 2022 Gallery of Artistic Expressions at:
and or cvarsalona at

My Poetry Postcards are being sent out today.
I am truly enjoying reading the postcards received from poet friends.

It's time to visit the imaginative and creative host for today's Poetry Friday, Irene Latham, here. Irene's post is filled with welcome and wisdom, her latest ArtSpeak poem, and other poetic goodness. 
Image collaged by Linda Mitchell

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Appreciate Snowfall Hush!

As the snow settles, I sit by the fire listening to the silence of winter hush. Trees dipped in snow-like crystals and candlelights aglow add a cozy ambiance to the indoor scene I created.  Looking outward through the dual fireplace, I revel in the beauty of fallen snow asleep in hiemal slumber. I search YouTube and find a soothing video, Winter Solace, that adds to the ambiance. Meditative music floats through the air as I read a thought to ponder: 

"It's time to appreciate the simple, yet profound beauty of a snowy landscape.

I wonder and write, calling up my 2022 one little word, appreciate.

seasonal solace
powdered confection and frost
stilled apricity
feel the gentle warmth of sun
appreciate winter's peace
©CVarsalona, 2022

Have you thought about the soundless pattern of falling snow? May Novala Takemoto's beautiful quote, "Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity," bring you solace. 

My Slice of Life

Friday, January 21, 2022

Snowfall Moments

After each winter storm, I am struck by the tranquility of the night. Frosted panes add their glow to the stillness of the night. Candlelight flickers and animal tracks stretch across untouched snow. It is a magical sight to watch winter gather its crystals and dust earth quietly. 

After seeing a photo of my two little granddaughters sinking into the snow, I decided to digitize a picture to give winter credit for its undeniably inspiring beauty. 

freshly-formed snowflakes fall
snowflakes, freshly-formed, fall
©CVarsalona, 2022


holds delight
for little skiers

into snow
toddlers stand still

magic fills
the quiet air
©CV, 2022, hay(nu)ka series


quietude exists in winter hush
quietude exists in winter hush
©CVarsalona, 2022


Since I am intrigued by the beauty of the snow in woods here in Virginia, I invite you to join me in creating any type of artistic expression in word, art, or music for Winter's Embrace Gallery. Tabatha Yeatts, our gracious Poetry Friday Roundup host this week, sent me some winter photos that are just lovely for the gallery. Thank you Tabatha for allowing my mind to wander in word wonder. 

frosted berries iced
dipped in winter white crystals
seasonal sweet
©CVarsalona, 2022

Several years ago, Tabatha sent me this hauntingly beautiful painting from 1880 by Louise Abbema.

Winter Walk

wrapped in winter peace
she pensively ponders life
iced thoughts surface
©CVarsalona, 2022


It's time to visit Tabatha Yeatts at Opposite of Indifference for her thoughts on pieces of a puzzle. She opens her site not only for her poetry goodness but for so many other poet friends.

Image collaged by Linda Mitchell

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Embracing Winter Sunsets

 “Anne came dancing home in the purple winter twilight across the snowy places.” - LM Montgomery

Moving from Long Island to New York has been a shift in setting and an interesting experience. In Long Island, I was awed by the ocean but here, in my Virginia community, the woods in front of my house look serene when nightfall comes. Sunsets are remarkable paintings of beautiful, muted scenes or fiery, colored markings in the sky. 

Other areas of the country share the glow of winter sunsets, too. 

Oregon coast in winter- Rita Wirtz

Pink clouds hover.
Provide a backdrop
For bare winter limbs.
Serenity surrounds life.
-Faige Miller, Los Angeles


purple winter sunset serenity
winter sunset-purple serenity
©CVarsalona, 2022, skinny poem


I appreciate the pause in life each week where I can slice my thoughts with Two Writing Teachers.

Friday, January 14, 2022

What Birthday Girl Knows

Excitement was in the air last Sunday. My little grandgirl turned two years old. Our family gathered at her house to decorate with a Frozen theme while the little sisters slept.  A jeweled princess crown and presents were laid out. A blue foil-streamer walkthrough was set up for the princesses' entrance to the party and a beautiful cake embellished with dripped icings on a raised, tiered cake platter awaited. Frosted silver sprinkles glistened around a blue sparkle castle. We were all excited to see our little granddaughter's expressions. 

The question of the day was, Does Aurora really understand what a two-year-old birthday means? Of course, my thoughts went straight to poetry and digital art.

What Does the Birthday Girl Know

How to
Make an entrance
With a gown of royal semblance.
Wear a crown, dance around.
Share a smile, not a frown.
Find her royal toddler seat.
Pray with grace; begin to eat.
Search for a birthday sweet.
Stick a finger in the treat.
Make a delicious mess.
On her face and fancy dress
Clean her hands and face with ease.
Open her gifts with expertise.
Respond to age-related questions.
"Two" with a number of finger suggestions.
©CV, 2022

If you look back at my September 2021 post you will see another poem for Aurora when we still thought of her as a baby. Now, she is the big girl.

I take a few more steps backward to share my latest published poem in my wonderful poet-publisher friend, Bridget Magee's newest anthology 10*10.

I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by Bridget. The following poem was written with Aurora in mind. I like to sing it instead of just reading it to her. We laugh when I sing because I use gestures and movements to make Aurora giggle.

Today is the Poetry Friday Roundup at the community's poet-author and recently retired keeper of the schedule, Mary Lee Hahn. Mary Lee has a succulent poem about a pomegranate, one of my favorite holiday treats. Thanks, Mary Lee for sharing your poem, What the Pomegranate Knows, and for giving me a format for my own poem today. Did I mention that I appreciate this weekly roundup because I get to savor all the poetic posts?

I also appreciate Linda Mitchell's star logo and the beautiful winter poem swap that she sent me. It lit up my holiday. I will share her work after I send mine out.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Decluttering After Christmas

It's the second week of January. I wake to declutter the great room after a well-spent Christmas with family. It looks like a typical after-Christmas scene except for scattered masks that remind me of the existence of COVID-19. Placing that thought aside, I start to systematically take down decorations.

I move from the great room to the study gathering items to pack away for next year. As I sit at the computer ready to continue writing, I search for a photo and find old computer files that I have not looked at all year. The 3-second rule shared by a colleague year ago pops up as a reminder. Open a file or an item in the room. If you have not touched it in months or years, it is time to discard it. Whew! Within 45 minutes, I quickly trash dozens of old files. Decluttering makes me smile. I feel energized. “Time spent minimizing possessions is never wasted.” (Joshua Becker) I go off to my Stretch and Pump class knowing that within a few days the boxes of decorations will be stored away and I will have time to reorganize. 

Join me as I sit comfortably on the vintage upholstered chair that now sits in the space where the Christmas tree stood waiting for new memories to be made. (Of course, it will take at least a month to accomplish that.)

It's Slice of Life Tuesday at Two Writing Teachers, a meeting place for a world of reflective writers. 
remove my mess
stand back assess
feel instant peace
quick stress relief
©CV, 2022

I appreciate the pause in life each week where I can slice my thoughts.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Appreciate OLW: Winter Thoughts

      Welcome to the First Poetry Friday of 2022!        
 “Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental     journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”     -Attributed to John Boswell 

Happy New Year to my fellow poets, authors, friends, and guests!

This is the week when my one little word is revealed every year. There were a series of experiences that helped me choose my one word that was officially posted iyesterday. You can find out more information at my post,  Connecting with My One Little Word - SJT 2020, here. I chose appreciate as my one little word but more importantly, I think it chose me too. One line from a TEDx talk by Mike Robbins helped me recognize the importance of my one word as a healing word. "Appreciation is an important element in effectively dealing with the stress of challenges and uncertainty that so many of us are facing these days." Appreciate revolves around the concept of positivity so as I walk through each day, I am ready to find items or events that are small, ordinary, or big to bring a measure of joy into life.

I am ready to appreciate more of life this year. For today's appreciation thought I want to send warm greetings to the Poetry Friday community who have become more than a virtual grouping of writers, authors, and poets. You are all closely knit as a cohesive group of supportive friends. I value your friendship, your critiques, and your encouragement. Enjoy your walk through winter this year and if you are so inclined, send me an image poem, drawing, quote, song, playlist, or any other artistic expression to share the beauty of winter for a new poetic gallery to send around the globe. 

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.-John Burroughs

May the crispness of winter fill your soul. Thank you for sharing your posts tonight and tomorrow. I am sorry that this posting comes late. My gathering with my family came later than expected. Now that the little grandgirls have finally stopped talking and closed their eyes for the night, I will post this blog. Click on Mr. Linky below. Thank you for joining my Welcome to 2022 with the Poetry Friday Community. 


Connecting with My One Little Word - SJT 2022

As the glow from Christmas lights retire and the new year is blanketed in winter magic. I reflect on my previous one words. Opennesslistenbelievejoyhopeembrace, and balance were great guides on my journey from 2014 to 2020. Since last year was a transition time for the family. I chose the word beginIt honored my pathway to a new life in Virginia. This year, I desire to find one word that recognizes a need for wellness, peace, and quiet. It should be a word that awakens my spirit and opens channels of joy for the gift of life. 

As I write this post in concert with my fellow Spiritual Journey Thursday community, I  ponder words I gathered for this month's topic, One Little Word. Our host, Margaret Gibsonchose this prompt to start the new year with a powerful word that guides our journeys. I realize that my one word does not appear readily as it has in the past. What I start with is a full page of words on my desk, a recent dream that ends with appreciating life, and a short piece by Mike Robbins with a burning question that pops out at me.

But what if we took the time not only to appreciate but also acknowledge the simple things in our lives all the time in an authentic way?

I experience an aha moment! My one word appears:-APPRECIATE the small, simple, and ordinary aspects of life in an authentic way. I listen to Mike Robbins' TEDx video, The Power of Appreciation. One line speaks to me. "Appreciation is also an important element in effectively dealing with the stress of challenges and uncertainty that so many of us are facing these days." 

With my new one word, I commit to pause and appreciate the small, simple, and ordinary aspects of life. I hope to awaken my spirit to see life through a clearer lens this year, focus on the positives of each situation, and be filled with the spirit of abounding joy for the gifts of life, family, faith, and friends.

one word tip-toes
through winter's quiet hush
new year greetings
©CV, 2022

 "Life is full of delightful treasures if we take a moment to appreciate them." - Oprah Winfrey


I am grateful that my one word, appreciate, is my guide this year. I plan on finding the ahhh moments as Oprah says. Join me at Poetry Friday this week. I am hosting this week at my blog with extended thoughts on my one word. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Serenity of Snow

"The silence of peaceful slumber blankets the garden." 

Yesterday, as I entered the great room, I noticed a white setting peering at me through the dual fireplace and windows. Were my eyes deceiving me? In my haste to answer that question, I dropped my pillbox and many multi-colored little objects fell across the floor. A magical snow scene caught me by surprise, much like many winter pasts on Long Island, New York. 

Upon a closer look, a snowglobe winter lay before me. Astonished that the weather changed in a day's time from 60ish-degree, springlike temperatures to a freezing chill, I moved to the door and was greeted by a rush of cold breeze sweeping across the patio. Several inches of snow stood tall in the space surrounding the door.

Off of the front door entrance lay a pristine, Hallmark moment. The beauty of nature dusted in white confetti was serene. Appreciation for nature's gift of snow wrapped in winter flowed. I listened in the stillness and breathed in a silent moment of peace.


"To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake,
it is necessary to stand outside in the cold."


Winter Morn

my door to 
winter's magic in 
a domed, snowglobe world.
Glitter etched in untrodden snow, 
blankets earth. Sparkles from leftover
stardust settle like white confetti while flocked
boughs remain still as life wakens from a deep sleep.
I breathe in stilled-serenity,
like doses of medicinal bliss
cleansing my being,  and linger in 
the quiet of gray-sky blessings
to appreciate winter's embrace.
©CV, 2022

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly  hand, and for talk beside the fireplace: it is a time for home." -Edith Sitwell, British poet

Gather with me at Two Writing Teachers,
a meeting place for a world of reflective writers who offer their Slice of Life.