October 4th – Write 31 Days – Misted Mountains

misty-mountains

The first three days of October have been misted over and rainy and the perfect start to October. Wait, just wait till I get to the James Taylor feelings. The days are coming. I love the mountains misted over. What you can’t see is that it snowed yesterday and the day before high up on the tips. A dusting at 6000 feet. Oh fall, you are here.

Beclouded

The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A traveling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.
Emily Dickinson

Side note…. I love Emily Dickinson. Like LOVE her. So finding this little one is so lovely and perfect for today.

Kate

PAD Day 17 – Haiku – A Bevy of Haikus

Lilac

Lilac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lilac blooms above
scenting the air with perfume
a moon winks his eye

Apple blossoms fall
the wind tossing pale petals
Ah spring is near gone

Apple blossoms

Apple blossoms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rushing creek waters
bubble and burst forth happy
a piney wind blows

Waxing Gibbous Moon

Waxing Gibbous Moon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The green lawn freshly cut
a sharp smell of green and new
Robins come to eat

Buzzing busy bees
go forth to buzz in flowers
the lilac sways here

Honestly, the thought of writing haikus today did not put me in a poetic mood. I go through phases where a haiku or two is on my mind. But for the most part, I have never had them capture my interest quite like CB Wentworth has been able to do. She is amazing with how she writes so many all the time. I am semi envious, other than for me, my poetic form is something else. So to each his own. I am glad that these haikus turned out so well. I was sitting out under the lilac after a walk and the almost waxing gibbous moon was visible. The smell of pines was like summer and just the way the lilacs waved overhead inspired me. Thank goodness. I was actually worried there as I was ready to put a pox on haikus.

I think walking is a great way to be inspired. If you are walking along a rushing creek with the smell of fresh mountain air blowing down on you, you get double points of inspiration. So a walk was clearly a need.

I hope others, if they are doing the PAD had luck with their haikus. I am excited to see what tomorrow’s prompt will be. It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of the 17th!

Kate

PAD Day 9 – Hide Out

Step back into that faraway corner
right there
tucked back in poetry and plays
just look
It’s darker than the rest of rows
come see
but it’s homey and safe from eyes
that watch
So I can write all undisturbed
so quiet
and read till the clocks shut down
and stop
till she says the library’s closing
up tight
but my place is mine to claim
right there
My spot is only mine to write
for now
Until I need the books to hold
me tight
for my next writing time
just there
No one else uses this place
just see
that it’s for me and only me
to have

I like to write in the library back in the non fiction because I usually don’t get disturbed there. Not that I write there often. In fact, I probably only visit my spot a couple times a year, but I know that whenever I visit, I can have the spot all to myself because it’s very unused. So I like it. It’s kind of funny to have a spot, a hide out that rarely gets used.

But then I have other hide outs….

It’s the summer sun that pulls me out
to webbed and shrouded blueberries
where the dry mulch makes my skin
tingle and electrify up
A whisper of wind in the pines
warm resin scents the air a thick perfume
And I’m supposed to be watering
Or picking those ripe blue balls
but instead I’m scribbling here
or reading on that stump
the whisperings of a Frenchman
in my ear making me sleepy
and so very unmotivated to work
And I could hang my hammock under
the whispering pine trees
living out here always with the summer heat

I take a stack of books and my notebook out to the blueberries to pick… and never get to reading or writing, but I like having the option if I want to. And usually I’m listening to The French Whisperer, having those ASMR tingles going all over my head and practically falling asleep as I pick, or water. It’s rather dangerous, but I don’t get very interrupted out there, so it’s nice. The video below is one of my favorite ones to listen to. And I have this thing for a French accent…

I actually want to create a few more hide outs, but I have yet to find one that I can really hide out in. I need a spot in the shade, by the creek. I need to find one. I really like how Robert, over at Writer’s Digest talked about a hide out in a picture. I recommend reading it HERE

Kate

Dreaming of Colorado

Buena Vista at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks

Buena Vista at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been dreaming about Colorado a lot lately.  At random moments, a John Denver song will pop into my head and I’m thinking about the Rockies and the way Colorado felt. I lived there for two years in my early teens, and while at the time I probably didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have, now I find myself missing it horribly.

Just recently I was watching a Tiny House, Big Living where a young couple converts a bus into a tiny home. The couple was out of Boulder, but they traveled to outside of Denver and Red Rocks. I watched the weather and the scenery wishing desperately that I could be there or go. Red Rocks has been one of those places I really want to go and see a concert played. Unfortunately, who I want to see play is either dead (John Denver) or won’t play the concert I want to see (Mumford & Sons version of “I Will Wait”. With all of those amazing lights strung across the stage.)

Recently I have started a story that takes place in Vail though I have never been there. In face, I have never been to Denver, Boulder, Red Rocks… I lived in the middle of the state, half an hour from Leadville (been there), an hour from Aspen (haven’t been there), and a few hours from Ryal Gorge and Canyon City (been there!). I wish I could have seen Aspen, but Mr. B didn’t want to see how it had changed from the 70s when he had seen it. I can understand that. But oh, Colorado aspens, can I rave?

English: Aspen trees near Aspen, Colorado

English: Aspen trees near Aspen, Colorado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But occasionally I dream of living where John Denver made his home. I love that he wrote songs about it, like Starwood in Aspen and his Christmas song, Aspenglow. Then there’s Rocky Mountain High. Seriously those songs sum up Colorado perfectly. (Ironically a John Denver song came on a the doctor’s while I sit here, but it’s Country Roads, so not technically about Colorado- and I wrote this two days ago and I’m just now typing it up. I’m not actually at the doctors right now)

Mount Princeton near Buena Vista, CO.

Mount Princeton near Buena Vista, CO. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not sure why Colorado is calling to me, except for lately not really feeling like I”m in the mountains. Strange since yesterday was one of those perfect stormy, mountain days. A day where the mountains were obliterated by clouds and we woke to snow all the way down. But since I live on the valley floor, I feel like I’m more in the country. Strange as well since I have to only walk fifteen to twenty minutes and I can be climbing up the mountains. I’m that close. But California mountains are different from Colorado mountains. I remember telling a boyfriend, who visited from Pennsylvania, that we did everything big out here, but our mountains are nothing compared to the amazing beauty of the Rockies. The sheer size of 14,000-foot peaks can’t be explained.

There is a wildness about Colorado. Still untamed. Still undiscovered, though I doubt that is the case. I just remember visiting Tincup and that had once been something, but was no more. Okay, there was sort of a town, but one place we stopped outside of Tincup was what you see in the pictures above. The way the wild had claimed everything again. The way the exploding brightness of the sun shone on the clear mountain streams, being so high up the air was crisp and clear. The air was so pure. So clean. So cold and brisk.

The mountains, lakes, and aspens were magic.

I love California with all of my heart. This is my state. This is where I come from. I’m a fifth generation and the Sierra Nevada mountains are my ‘home’. But there is something about colorado that just makes me want to come stay a bit and visit again. With my camera where I can take so many pictures I couldn’t possibly forget.

To visit St. Elmo where the hummingbirds take over the historical ghost town….. while across the street the chipmunks enthrall people…. that is one place I definitely want to see again.

Well, I’m dreaming of Colorado, wishing for a Rocky Mountain High…

Kate

 

Morning in Prose – Poetry

Winter DaysI’m not awake as I wait for the coffee to perk, my dog trying to make sure I love him with head-butts nd snuffles since he is why I’m up; he knows I wanted to sleep in as we now sit crashed on a sofa, him under my old baby quilt, fast asleep and cozy while I’m bleary-eyed waiting for the only thing that makes the mornings tolerable, while outside the sun shines warm, trying to beat back the cold north wind of a blustery March day, trying to be spring as winter hangs on with sharp, clutching nails, though the violets seem oblivious to the cold as their warm, sweet scent floats up, mocking the cold.

Now the mountains are shrouded in mist and cold, a wild needle-like wind bites and sinks into the skin, and I feel like I’m back in January while the calendar says spring is moments away, or years, or just days…. Only the weather seems to know what the mornings shall bring…..

 

Just a bit of prose, I think.

Kate

Transporting Myself and You to Where I Love

Anywhere but here?  Where would I go?

I read the topic for the assignment on Writing 101 and my first thought was to my grandparent’s cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountain. Up the creek to where the water tanks are. To a world where the water tumbles down pink granite into eddies and pools and fountains of slippery, cold mountain water. Where the water has worn away the granite so perfectly it looks like a fine stone mason has been smoothing and carving away to make perfect dips and holes in the rock for the water to slide over in a constant rippling, tumbling motion. Where moss grows on the water’s edge and long stringy and slimy strands of green algae make its home.  Where caddis fly ‘shells’ are buried in the sand and water skeeters (striders) skip across tranquil ponds.  Where the sun shines down bright and hot from a sky so blue it could only be made up. Where the heat bakes the Jeffrey, Ponderosa, and Sugar Pines till all you can smell is cold water and hot, hot, sweet resin. Burning to a bright red in the sun, but cooling off in icy mountain water. A water feature that could never be created by man.

I can smell the pine and mountain air that is only caught high up there. The smell is burned into my mind and I miss it every year.

But I would also go to my favorite bookstore.  Bookends is a small town bookstore where the owner Mia Brooks has a bell above the door that jangles the moment you step inside. Then you hear the music she has playing and you see her standing at her large wood counter right there in front of you. And she has gorgeous wood shelves behind her filled with her store supplies. On the counter she has an antique cash register she only uses for the most important clientele (the children). To the left is an L-shaped staircase that leads up to her office and the adult books, and you can see this as there is this balcony slash gallery above the shop; open to the store below.  Also to the left is the way to the coffee shop next door that is accessed by french doors. and in the L-shape to the right of the stairs is her wood stove with a gold screen around it to keep little hands from burning themselves.

To the right is a large opening to her reading room, which is elegant and all Mia since this room houses Mia’s private collection of books. You can’t buy the books from here, but you can ‘borrow’ them, pulling them off the shelves to read while you sit back in one of her leather arm chairs, though I prefer the Queen Anne chair covered in antique rose brocade. The wood floor is covered in gorgeous Persian rugs and all the shelves are built in walnut. Dark and full of old and new books, but mostly old. The chairs sit next to large windows looking out on the small town.

Travel back from the main counter, behind the wall of her shelves, you find the rest of the store filled with sections of books.  And you can’t forget the room she has behind the wall of the front. This room is where she stores her music. A small room that has a very high end stereo system, including a record player.  You can play anything you like and the music will be piped into the store. She listens to everything, though her tastes match the seasons. She loves to play The Nutcracker Ballet in December.

Her store is a world unto itself…. Partly because her store isn’t real. Well, it’s real in my mind. This store is created for Mia as I try to write her story. Since I can’t seem to get her story written, at least she has her store to continue working in while I figure out what I want to say about her.

Bookends; a store that is real but unreal.

Those two places are where I would go if I could.

Kate

I Smell Snow

Tonight, it smells like snow.  Or December.  I think December has a very distinct smell that reminds me of The Carpenters, John Denver‘s “Aspenglow” song, Columbia, California  and clearly Christmas.  It’s this woodsmoke and cold, mountain air. It’s misty cold from the pines. It’s pines.  It’s the smell of Christmas trees and old candy canes.

Snow smells. People that don’t get snow wouldn’t understand, but snow has this metallic, slightly dirty smell. Like damp dust.  Only it’s cleaner and fresher. And colder.  I know it sounds strange to say snow smells like dust, but every snowflake is made from a speck of dust.  you would not have snow unless you had dirt.  Sounds even stranger.  But seriously, melt snow and the water isn’t very clean at the bottom.  And it tastes weird.  Definitely dirty.  I like to eat snow, but even it doesn’t taste like clean water. Yet you think it is because it’s white.

So, tonight, it smells like metallic cold pines and woodsmoke.

Tonight I smell snow.

That being said, I don’t know if it’s going to snow, but it might be in the mountains. All of California is getting much needed precipitation of some sort.

Kate

Summer Nights And Summer Films

From the front porchI’m sitting out on our front porch, which is almost de rigur  in the country, watching a tree swallows attempt to fit a too large feather into the hole of the birdhouse the swallows claimed months ago.  They should have had a nest built and babies there already.  Now he, or she, is poking its head out after succeeding in shoving the feather into the hole.

The sun is minutes from setting on this hot, June evening.  Clouds of gnats hover and congregate over the tall weeds.  The mountain air smells more like cow manure and a tractor just went down the highway.  Everyday things in the country.  In the field next door is a tractor waiting to cut the long grass tomorrow.

The days have been viciously hot, if you can call the low nineties vicious, but June evenings are magical.  When everything is still vibrant green and lush, not dried from the summer baking.  The air is filled with the golden flashes of flying insects and there is an ever present sound of birds singing. Or fighting, as I just heard that sound.  Crickets abound and mosquitoes are typical.

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to watch certain films that seem to scream summer.  Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Paris When It Sizzles, Sabrina, (yes, those are all Audrey Hepburn films), The Seven Year Itch, and old westerns like Once Upon a Time in the West.  There’s something kind of sexy about all those films.  The Audrey ones are probably my favorite, but I am an Audrey Hepburn fan.  For years I was a Marilyn Monroe fan, but since I only like 3 or 4 of her films, and her life wasn’t as admirable, I’ve changed my likes.  I adore Audrey Hepburn and I’m in a mood for summer films.

Like films, my music tastes change come summer.  I love pulling out Carole King’s Tapestry album because it should only be played in the hot summer months. Or America, Loggins and Messina, Seals and Crofts, and various other bands from the seventies.

And now the sun sets and the air is scented by the hot, spicy scent of pine resins that float down the mountains.  I’d love to stay on the porch reading and enjoying my cup of coffee, but I’m sure to be slapping mosquitoes soon, and I can’t bear that.  Besides, I spent this time writing out this post in my journal and I’ll need to type it up and post it with the picture I took of a view from the porch.  Also, after a day of watering and burning out in the sun, a shower is definitely in order.  too bad we don’t have an outdoor shower or a cattle trough bathtub.  I would love something like that.

So here’s to summer, sun, and sexy heatwave movies.  What are some of your summer must watch films?

Signing off

~Kate

I Come From

I come from the highlands

where the wind whistles and

blows through the sweet grass

I come from forests ancient and dark

where emerald moss pads the stoic

boulders and hidden streams gurgle and bubble

I come from the crashing ocean

salt spray and stinging mists

where soft sand and waves tickle your toes

I come from the mountains

where resinous pines and firs

are my incense and perfume

I come from the meadows at night

where you look up to see

millions of lights twinkling down

The stars are my friends

The trees whisper their kinship

The streams  tinkle my name

The ocean calls me home

My home is my family

safe and warm

where I can be me

But I come from. . .

I was reading Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge and one section was on where I come from. Not actually come from, since that was the Bay Area, but where I felt I belonged.  I think that is a broad answer, where I’m from, since I feel like I’m from a lot of places. Or I just happen to like a lot of places.  I wonder if they are one and the same.

I hope you all enjoy. I spit this one out today while eating lunch and scribbling with my fountain pen in my journal.

Writing on

~Kate