Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Patience Needed

This year's Memorial Day weekend had its share of sun, high temperatures, planting, and an unexpected occurrence. For a month now, my family has had trouble with our HVAC system. Moving from heat to air conditioning seemed to be a difficult transition. When the thermostat posted a note that gave me cause to be alarmed, I started a long process of trying to find out why. Of course, the problem happened on the weekend when it was challenging to find help.

I turned to the customer service office that handles emergency problems. The tech started off the conversation in a friendly tone that quickly turned to more difficult questioning. I had to run from the loft thermostat to the first floor one and then outside to my Carrier unit. I got so confused by the questioning that the tech started to repeat the question which only got me more confused. When he asked me to pull off the cover of the thermostat and look at the wires, I knew that I was in trouble. There was no way that I would ever be calm enough to start pulling out wires and joining them. My husband said definitely not and that settled everything. We were not comfortable with this virtual type of resolving the problem of no air on a very hot and sticky day. I gave up on this unusual way of solving my problem. Next, I tried the HVAC weekend office. I ended up in the hands of another tech who said he could come out to look at the problem but not until the next day. We had no choice so I asked my son to monitor the heat situation and turn on the fan at night. 

The day before Memorial Day, the tech came out and checked the thermostat upstairs. He found the same issues I told him about. Thinking back over the past month, I noticed problems on and off but especially now since the outdoor temperatures were rising. To sum up the afternoon visit, the tech found a capacitor problem and just so happened to have a new one in his truck. Unfortunately, this did not fix the problem. The unit started getting hotter so the system needed to be turned off completely. We had no choice but to make the air conditioning system downstairs cooler. Now the challenge was to stay cool as the temperatures rose. 

Today, I woke early thinking about the issue. The heat was already rising and was my stress level. My husband and I called the HVAC company but we were asked to leave a message. Then, we tried the builder's warranty department but no one responded. Another message was left. We had to wait. Patience is not our strong suit. I finally got an email saying that a part was ordered but that didn't help because we thought it was more than one part that was needed. By this afternoon the temperature outside was in the high 90s and the town next door was already at 100 degrees. 

All that was left to do was wait but waiting is not our forte. Country Living has a quote that I am now trying to live by. 

How was your Memorial Day Weekend?

I now join the Tuesday Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers

Friday, May 27, 2022

Thread of Life

It's the end of May and while contemplating summertime bliss, an unexpected, horrific event headlines the news and cuts across social media. Unbelievable scenes flash across the screen sending shockwaves across America. I break my train of thought regarding the design of a Poetryliscious Gallery and a writing challenge for the end of May from the Poetry Sisters to stare in disbelief at what I see and hear. Sheer sadness fills my space. The thread of life spun so beautifully within the lives of nineteen innocent children is cut in a cruel act of hate. The small community of Uvalde, Texas becomes a worldwide focus, a sign that hate crimes are still looming, even after 

Writing is a healer. "The mechanics of putting pen to paper to tell our story can bring immense relief. A powerful outlet for difficult emotions, the physical act of taking what’s inside us, and transferring it to paper, can help us make meaning of situations and help us cope..." (The Healing Power of Writing) 
And so I write to make sense of the Uvalde tragedy using the invitation of the Poetry Sisters to write a poem with the theme of string, thread, rope or chain.

End-of-school momentum,

a day filled with anticipation,

summertime looming,

ice cream and floating balloons

tied with string -

It should have been all of that,

yet, the echo of a rifle's reverberation

silenced childhood joy.

On Tuesday, chaos exploded

in the small community of Uvalde, Texas.

It crisscrossed classrooms.

Shockwaves of disbelief

spread like wildfire.

Law enforcers converged

on school property

hoping to ward off

a deranged young man

armed to shoot an elementary school.

Memories of Sandy Hook flashed.

The uncertainty of life

became a reiterated reality.

Within minutes,

nineteen little angels

floated to heaven.

Shots of hate

ended their thread of life.


J.R.R. Tolkien's questions may be one pondered by the parents of the Robb Elementary School slaughtred children. "How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep...that have taken hold."

Hate is infectious. It breaks the threads that hold us together. It is a major threat to humankind that we need to reckon with.


The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted this week by school librarian/poet, Linda Mitchell. She is writing from her heart about the horrific news of Uvalde, Texas. Join me there for more poetry goodness.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Covid's Everywhere!

COVID is on the upsurge.

Like a silent snake, it comes

slithering into human spaces.

Circling and coiling,

it spreads its venom,

infecting all in its vicinity.


While I do not have COVID at this time, I have recently experienced unexpected stress related to it. My thoughts go back to the first breaking news of COVIDIt has been a very long two years and two months that the pandemic has raged. Research has helped medicine advance. Vaccines, boosters, and anti-viral medicine are available but the sting of COVID's slitering pathway is still felt . "Globally, as of 6:43pm CEST, 24 May 2022, there have been 523,786,368 confirmed cases  of COVID-19, including 6,279,667, deaths reported to WHO." -World Health Organization

My thoughts are with all who have experienced the stress, discomfort, and negativity of COVID-19, and the health caregivers who have worked endless hours to minimize the effect of this pandemic. We have listened and learned these past two years. "Ultimately, the greatest lesson that COVID-19 can teach humanity is that we are all in this together." -Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw 


Last week I missed slicing because I had cataract surgery of my left eye. I am still healing but am happy to be able to introduce the Poetryliscious Gallery Padlet with several slicers' artistic expressions. 


It's Slice of Life Tuesday and I end my day with the Two Writing Teachers and their reflective community of writers.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Introduction to the Poetryliscious Gallery Padlet

After days of on-off-spring rainstorms, my garden blooms with an array of perennials and some herbs that I thought perished last year, Hardened earth full of pumpkin-colored clay combined with overwatering during the humid summer led me to believe that I would not see my beautiful perennial and herb garden this spring. Little did I know that "Flowers whisper "Beauty" to the world, even as they fade, wilt, fall." (Dr. Sun Wolf) => and return!

Since Nature nurtures its world. It is up to mankind to do its part by caring for our precious Earth. Seeing my blossoms standing tall in the sun, brings new life to my gardens, and hopes for a bright end of May. 

Join me to celebrate springtime in May at my Poetryliscious Gallery Padlet by clicking here. My padlet is a repository for a variety of poetic blossoms featuring the talents of a community of reflective poets, photographers, and artists across the globe who are inspired by nature during springtime. 

Please note that I will create a Poetryliscious Gallery online soon. In the meantime, you can see archived spring galleries, spanning 2014-2018 below by clicking on each title below.






The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted this week by poet/children author, Carmelo Martino, at the blog  Teaching Authors. She has a sneak peek of STEAM Poetry and her original poem published in Imperfect II. Join me there for more poetry goodness.

I am recovering from cataract surgery on the left eye this week so I need extra time to read colleagues' work. I will work on the Poetryliscious Gallery and post all work on my blog, Beyond LiteracyLink. I will also publicize the gallery and padlet on various social media sites.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Spring Day

Yesterday, a "silly thing" thing happened to my almost 5-year-old granddaughter. She and her sister ran up and down the little hill behind my patio with a giant balloon my husband bought me for Mother's Day. As I was videotaping the event, Sierra lost hold of the balloon that went sailing into the sky. She was sad but amazed at how far it soared into the air. "That was silly," Sierra said and then, decided to write a story poem with me for this week's blog post.

My balloon was flying in the sky.

I ran and lost hold of the tie.

It floated up really high

but I didn't cry!

We all said bye-bye.

©Sierra (soon to be 5-years-old), 2022

"Grandpa made me a kite to fly tomorrow."
Spring Flight

Up into the spring blue sky
It floated:
The giant balloon
And a little girl's
©CVarsalona, 2022

I used the mentor text - Barbara Juster Esbenson's poem, "Autumn Concert"
from Swing Around the Sun. (See here)

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Rose Cappelli, author-poet, who always imagines the possibilities of verse. Join me at her website here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Mother's Day Joy

What joy Mother's Day brought this year! My family of eight enjoyed our moments together. Two generations of mothers graced our table laden with a delicious brunch featuring signature cocktails. Shirley Temple were prepared by my sister for the little grandgirls who were adorably dressed in matching outfits. We ate, played with the beautiful balloons. Grandpa bought, smelled the rose, and spring bouquets, We ate, played with the beautiful balloons Grandpa bought, smelled the roses and spring bouquets for the table, and enjoyed everyone's company. 

It was the first time I baked a lemon risotto. It reminded me of my Italian heritage and a long line of female bakers.

It was a sweet day of happiness, a Mother's Day I will never forget.

family day wrapped in love
smiles tell a sweet tale
©CV, 2022

It's Slice of Life Tuesday and I end my day with the Two Writing Teachers and their reflective community of writers.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Nature's Spring Love Notes

May is here revealing its celebration of springtime. It gently enters with a sprinkling of April showers. Daybreak streams radiant light through shutters. Dazzling dewdrops splash over fallen pink buds. Fragrant, budding florals parade. My senses are awakened with subtle hues and fragrant, budding florals perfume the walkways. Nature, like a master artist, paints a joyous tapestry of abundance flowing from living art.

nature pens its love note

earth replies with radiance

abundant blessings flow

©CV, 2022

The fastest way to bring more wonderful examples of abundance into your personal experience is to take constant notice of the wonderful things that are already there. -Esther Hicks

Please visit my Poetryliscious Gallery Padlet here. Notice each poetic offering from Poetry Friday poets, who joined me in paying tribute to springtime ==> Marcie Flinchum Atkins, Linda Baie, Rose Cappelli, Tanita Davis, Leigh Anne Eck, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Molly Hogan, Michelle Kogan, Michelle Kogan, Denise Krebs, Carol Labuzzetti, Jone Rush MacCulloch, JoAnn Early Macken, Bridget Magee, Sally Murphy. Tim Gels is working on his piece and hopefully, other poets will join with their short image poems or photograph prompts. 

Thank you for joining me for another Poetry Friday Roundup at Jama Rattigan's website, one of my favorite bloggers. I honor springtime with a tribute to its flagship month. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Spiritual Abundance-Spiritual Journey Thursday

Today, six weeks since my first cataract surgery, I eagerly returned to my yoga practice. Upon entering the session, I felt energized and knew the experience would be a renewal of mind, body, and spirit. As soon as the teacher started the session, I settled into a sacred space of quiet and peace. I listened to the soft music, the sound of my breath, and the instructor's voice. She invited us to think about the concept of abundance as we arrived on the mat. I paused to indulge in the moment. Returning to the mat was a gift, an appreciation of life. 

 Abundance Upon Arrival
Come to the mat, a sacred place of tranquility.
Feel the energy. Indulge in self-love upon arrival.
Listen to each breath and be filled with appreciation.
©CVarsalona, 2022
(Sijo poem)

Click on Enhance Self Love Healing Music and meditate.

With much appreciation for the gift of abundance upon arrival, I offer the following scripture verse from 2 Corinthians 9:8 to close my day. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Abundance from above graces earth and all its being. Let us become aware of abundance as a heavenly gift. I am grateful and appreciative that the spirit of abundance fell upon me this morning in a serendipitous manner.

May all my readers and the Spiritual Journey Thursday community find an abundance of love this weekend. Happy Mother's Day!


Thank you author-educator Susan Koehler for hosting Spiritual Journey Thursday today and offering her thoughts in prose and poetry. You can join me at Susan's blog, Susan Koehler Writes

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Weathered Conversations

Are there some topics that are not for family discussions? Perhaps, they belong in a debate forum or are kept for like-minded individuals. In my house, there is one topic that becomes a heated conversation every time the news or a political event is viewed. It rises like storms. Needless to say, as far as I am concerned, some conversations are part of a great divide.

While planning to join Taylor Mali's Golden Die Contest + Anthology challenge, I searched all over my house for my Metaphor Dice kit that I purchased from Taylor Mali at an NCTE Convention several years ago. It was hard to believe that I have been in the new build for a year and I still cannot find some items. (Cluttered boxes are still scattered around.) In order to play along with Taylor Mali and my poetry friends, I needed to find a substitute for my dice. I uploaded the app and then found the official list of words for the contest. In case you are not familiar with Taylor's writing tool, he states that his metaphor dice "randomly group CONCEPTS, ADJECTIVES, and OBJECTS together to form metaphors and similies worthy of consideration and exploration." My choices for a metaphor poem were politics (concept), looming (adjective), and tsunami (object). I stretched my thoughts about politics within my house to deal with the world. 

Each month, I follow and join the Poetry Sisters' challenge under the hashtag, #PoetryPals. This month's challenge was to write poems in imitation of Taylor Mali. Since my mind was thinking in terms of shorter poems, not longer ones like Taylor writes, I created an image poem. The skinny poem was not one that I submitted to the contest. 


Thank you to Janet Fagal, for chairing a Zoom workshop with Taylor Mali and emailing me about the Metaphor Dice poetry contest. 


It's Slice of Life Tuesday so I am heading over to Two Writing Teachers to celebrate writing with a reflective community of writers.

Slicers, there is still time to add your image poem to my Poetryliscious Gallery here.