Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chasing Dreams

Regret shoved me into dusty corners
a shadow trapped in sticky cobwebs
where I dwelt on what might have been
if only I'd followed my heart.

Past mistakes made me homesick
left me crying like a freshman in August
after being abandoned at the college dorm
feeling like a mismatched china plate

and although home wasn't the most stable place for me
I longed for it because it was better than where I was
alone in a golden castle writing letters I never sent
reading them over and over while listening to our song.

I had watched you drive away without a backward glance
after drawing a map leading south and cramming it down your throat.
Now I'm sitting in the corner chasing homemade apple pie dreams
hoping for a scoop of vanilla to melt away the pain.

@laurie kolp

Poem inspired by Michael Buble's song, Home. Click here to view the You Tube video.

Prompt inspiration: Poetry Jam

Breaking Free

I'm tired of this wall protecting my heart
A stockade guarding against friendship
Keeping you an arm's length away

From me

I'm sure there must be someone
Who won't leave
Or die

So here's some TNT
Go ahead... demolish the fences
Help my resolution give birth to brighter days
Bring those defenses down

But let the transformation be
As gentle as a butterfly
Breaking free from dormancy
And flying into your arms

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW ( demolish, resolution, transformation)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Beauty Makes No Distinction

Bert Stern image

Diamonds and pearls
glitter and shine
putting on the Ritz,
a glitzy design.

Do blondes have more fun?
Look at Marilyn, Anna Nicole
caught by the bright lights
sucked into a static bowl

of drugs and promiscuity
big hair, bigger smiles abreast
slowly dying on the inside,
painful childhoods do attest

to the fact that beauty-
platinum hair and plastic knives-
makes no class distinction;
addiction kills lives.

@laurie kolp

Picture inspiration: Magpie Tales

Also, accidentally linked to dVerse Open Link Night. Click here to read the poem I meant to link.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Sneak Peek

The kids had been awake since five o'clock
until six they gathered in the boys' room;
it was a chuckle that awakened me

or was that a squeak in the floor,
a little let's-get-a-sneak-peek-squeak?
I pop up and run out and whew... the coast is clear!

I decide to hurry up and turn the coffee pot on
since the deluge to begin needs caffeine squared
and the late night left me feeling like I need some.

That's when I see it, the bike standing there
(the last one I had he traded for a car and all I
really want is something to get around on)

I become a cheerleading mime, snap a picture
slap on the coffee then dive into bed with the kids
until he wakes up five minutes later
goes to see if Santa came.

@laurie kolp

Shared at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Open Link Monday

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Born, Within You

Be not afraid

for He will bring you peace
a heart filled with love and joy
within yourself an eternal manger

where He dwells

at times, appears as an angel
in the people you meet
a decree for life
tidings of goodness

haven’t you heard?

Be still, without haste
He whispers to you and me


Be not afraid-
where He dwells
haven't you heard?

@laurie kolp

**Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays to all of you!

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (heart, decree, afraid, heard, manger, shepherds, tidings, pondered, joy, angel, peace, haste)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hearts of Gold

My children (ages 2, 6 mos and 4) Christmas 2003

It's in the eyes of children everywhere
the ecstasy a rainbow to their soul
filled with awe and wonder on this eve
when miracles give birth to hearts of gold.

@laurie kolp

Thanks to all of you for the gift of joy you've given me this year. I hope you have a golden weekend full of miracles and ecstasy!

Prompt inspiration: A Word with Laurie at Imaginary Gardens (use ecstasy in 5 minutes or less)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

National Haiku Day: December 22

cuddling by the fire
children wait in merriment
for Santa's entrance


red noses
shining through the night
cold season

@laurie kolp

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry and The Purple Treehouse

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A "Rumple of Paper" Mess

His (non)festive imagination
left no room for cross-examination
a belief he held strong
(and he was never to be wrong)--
the holidays were but a symbol of greed
a "rumple of paper" mess for those (not) in need.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (belief, festive, rumple)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Too Many

One solitary moment is all it takes
one too many drinks at one more bar
just this one time behind the wheel
because home is one mile away.

Today I saw a bumper sticker, said
"A drunk driver killed
my daughter and I'm MADD!"
Well I would be, wouldn't you?

Last week one drove around a school bus
hit two sisters and their grandfather
life will be forever changed
from that one mistake.

And a bond hearing yesterday
to lower bail for that "poor man"
a dozen people spoke on his good character;
after all, he only messed up once.

So here's to all the ones
whose lives have been lost
either in the ground or behind bars
to one too many drinks.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetry Jam (Solitary)

Hot off the press...

More holiday gift ideas!

Literary enthusiasts, take note!

The wisdom and wit of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens is offered in two separate titles as a part of Thomas Nelson's new Devotional Classics series: A Charles Dickens Devotional and A Jane Austen Devotional, both in a beautiful cloth hardcover.

A Charles Dickens Devotional features some of Dickens' brightest gems: Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, and A Christmas Carol, all of which are richly woven stories brimming with the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness andself-control. Add in the topical devotional thoughts and you have an abundance of insight and guidance for faithful readers.

Short excerpts from Austen's classics are featured in A Jane Austen Devotional: Northanger Abbey, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Emma. Austen's devotional also includes a daily thought and Scripture that meaningfully translates to women's everyday lives. Time and time again, Austen shows us through her words what love truly is; built on action, character, and honor.

While these authors may have lived hundreds of years ago, their stories still translate meaningfully to modern life.

A Charles Dickens and A Jane Austen Devotional are available in stores in January 2012.

Want to check out more? Sample a few days of each book, view the video, and see where you can buy the books:


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Surprises of the Season

Imagine this:

All are gathered for the Christmas program. It's a packed cafeteria. Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends; the whole shebang is there. Curtain rises and a garden of feisty red and green peppers appear with mouths opened wide filling the air with Christmas music. On the stage sits your child ready to say his part (he is one of the chosen ones). It's a mock classroom of antsy kids, with risers of carolers on either side. The time finally comes and he steps up to the microphone.

"For nearly every teacher thinks these last days should be tough," he says with perfect diction and expression, thank you very much.

The next two kids say their part, and then all of a sudden there is a distinct noise coming from the top riser followed by screams and a deluge of kids darting out to the center of the floor like a mob of fans at a teeny bopper concert. sigh. At first I think it's part of the program, but then I hear the recognizable sound again. Someone is throwing up, poor thing!

Everyone watches in silence as they remove the sick child and cover up/clear away the... you know. My child and all the others stay on stage. The carolers all congregate on the other side, jam into the risers like Christmas sardines. Ten minutes later, the show picks up where it left off, and you get to hear your son say his part again.

Can you believe it? This time of year is SO full of surprises.

Undelivered Letter to Santa (Burns Stanza, or Standard Habbie)

Dear Santa,

This time of year threads worry so
I cringe upon the season's glow
Fear of presents lost in spacial flow
High expectation's plight
With dreams of pricey "Apple" -oh!
Flying doubt through the night

That money will appear in time
To fill the tree with gifts sublime
And satisfy the kids' dreamtime
Won't you help me, Santa?
Or I might find myself in grime
To fill your shoes, Santa.

With love,
laurie kolp


Prompt inspiration: Kerry's Mini-Challenge for Sunday at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Gift of Words

Prompted: An International Collection of Poems is now available through Amazon and Barnes&Noble. You can also purchase it as an e-book for your Kindle here.

The idea was conceived by an international group of poets that met at Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides, and with the permission granted from Writer's Digest, were able to choose previous prompts from the site to use in the book. Edited by Pearl Ketover Prilik and published by Really Love Your Book , the project was completed in six months. The anthology includes a forward by Robert Lee Brewer.

Among the "prompts" included: type of person, inverted pyramid, prayer, location, love/anti-love poem, all I want, message in a bottle, water, time of day, and after leaving here.

All proceeds go to the non-profit organization Lit World, whose main goal is to "cultivate literacy leaders worldwide."

With just one purchase of this fine book you can help advocate literacy and the "redemptive power of story" throughout the world.

Won't you join me in spreading the word?

The poets:

Daniel Ari
Michele Brenton
Salvatore Buttaci
Anders Bylund
Janet Rice Carnahan
Diana Terrill Clark
RJ Clarken
Barbara Ehrentreu
Hannah Gosselin
Michael Grove
Jacqueline Hallenbeck
Patricia A. Hawkenson
Michelle Hed
Linda Hofke
Cara Holman
Jane Penland Hoover
Khara House
S.E. Ingraham
De Jackson
Elizabeth Johnson
Iain Douglas Kemp
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Kim King
Laurie Kolp
Andrew Kreider
Catherine Lee
Amy Barlow Liberatore
Shannon Bo Lockard
mike Maher 
Nikki Markle
Buddah Moskowitz
Bruce Niedt
Connie L. Peters
Nancy Posey
Jane Shlensky
Jay Sizemore
Sara Vinas
Paula Wanken
Claudette J. Young

{Quotes from LitWorld's Facebook page.}

Thursday, December 15, 2011

JOY- Off the Cuff

Poets United Thursday Think Tank wants us to write "off the cuff" today. Anything goes, just write. Here's what I came up with after receiving this treat in the mail today from my dear friend, Jeni.

spreading joy
one little red chirp at a time~
heavenly inspiration

@laurie kolp

Click here for daily hope

A Kidney for Christmas

Kristal and Katie March of 2000

I was still teaching school when Katie was born, so I was faced with the dilemma of who would care for her while I worked. My mother was happy to help out for the first few months, but then I needed to find someone who could alternate days with her. Our church recommended college student Kristal Manley. My parents knew her parents and after meeting her just once, we knew we could trust Kristal with our child. She and my mom came up with a workable schedule and everything was perfect... for awhile. Then Kristal was continually put in the hospital for her worsening diabetes. She became too sick to continue babysitting.

Flash forward twelve years. After numerous close calls and with a new kidney and pancreas as of April 2007, the now wife and mother Kristal Peese is a seemingly healthy woman living a Christian life. But there's one HUGE problem. Her body is now rejecting the kidney. She has to have another kidney transplant as soon as possible.

Kristal says, "After my first transplant my body developed antibodies that have limited my options as far as a matching donor. 80% of the worlds population will not match me correctly, but there are so many options available."

Would you consider either donating to this expensive life-saving procedure or being tested as a possible donor? HelpHOPELive (National Transplant Assistance Fund & Catastrophic Injury Program) is the place where you can do just that. She has a page with all the information on how to donate here. Please call the Houston Donor line at 713-441-8900 to answer a few simple questions which will determine whether or not you are eligible to donate. What better gift for Christmas than the gift of life?

Kristal has written her inspiring story (11-17-11) here.

You can also click here for more information on Kristal from a news story aired on 12-14-11.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Protest for the Season

It’s the twinkling stars lighting up the tree
leaving those immobile in close proximity

the silence and the glory cradled gently to our heart
warming each sensation, joining relatives apart

the wonder of the season and each joyous song
that hushes retribution, forgives every wrong.

Let’s all join together with peace and love on earth
so our only protestation is of Jesus and His birth.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspirations: 3WW (immobile, proximity, retribution) and Poetry Jam (occupy)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Me, a Redhead?

Here I am as a redhead wearing one of my mom's very old wigs

Can you believe that after tomorrow's final at 8:00 p.m., Pete will be half-way through with his graduate degree? Well, I can! Especially tonight since some red-headed girl has been calling him every five minutes with a question, but that's a different story we'll discuss later. It's been one hectic year. At times I've felt like a single mom, but knowing that we're on the downward slope makes it easier to approach another year of the crazies.

Just watching my husband pore over the books and work problems that must come from Mars reminds me of my college days. Life was so ME then. I wish I knew how easy I had it; scheduling classes when I wanted, going out almost every night, and working at a stress-free job I adored. I had time to work out at the gym daily, although it was at 6:00 a.m. because of classes and working. On weekends I could take little trips or go to football games (that's when the Aggies were good). I had no idea what people meant when they told me to "enjoy it now because when you get in the real world it's a different story."

Well, I embraced that next stage of my life with the enthusiasm of a middle school cheerleader with ADHD. I acquired a great job before I even graduated (which this month has been ~gulp~ 22 years) and enjoyed my teaching career for twelve years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom.

Now I barely have enough time to do all I need to do, and I'm not working outside the house, I don't go to the gym and I definitely don't "party" anymore. With my writing, mothering, cooking, grocery shopping, laundering, cleaning (kind of), chauffeuring, nursing and everything else I find myself almost dreaming of those college days again. Don't get me wrong- I love my life. It's just... I always wanted to be a redhead working on her MBA.


image by Mostafa Habibi

Stranded and sinking
salacious scuttlebutt
settled in quicksand;
such a slanderous rut.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Magpie Tales

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fort Me

~ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom~

It’s rapid fire, my heartbeat
sending rare pulsations to my fingertips
a grip I lose within this burning spasm
tumbling down the stairs a broken doll.

These shards of icy glass blowing
feel like prickly penetration poking
a downpour on my clammy skin

or bark from the sequoia rasped upon
defiled and released upon, this staunch enigma
spacious as it seems and weightless
yet confined within earthly walls reaching
to the sky, these elements I’ve built around Fort Me.

~ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom~

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (rapid, glass, spacious, pulsations, weightless, elements, tumbling, grip, enigma, spasm, rare, released)

Also posted @ Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Open Link Monday 12-12-11

Friday, December 9, 2011


a trail of seagulls
marks the ocean map spreading
hope for brighter days

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Fireblossom Fridays on Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (Arrivals and Departures)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

At the Mall

A woman was waving a flag
at shoppers caught up in phone tag.
With all of her might
and for passive delight
she distracted those gabbers, that hag.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (flag, might, passive)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Boy Scout
popcorn is divine.
Buttery, caramel or cheese
if you please
kernels or popped and bagged air tight;
it came in today, we are

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads/ cameo poetry form

The Missile

Lunch, George Tooker, 1964, Columbus Museum of Art
In December they gather at the mission
genuflect and take a seat on pine needles
and bark, a meeting of sorts among the
villagers. The women bake goodies and
pies crusted with subtle ingredients
that include vanilla and pecans, so divine
they melt in your mouth and leave you
wanting for more. This particular night
two amorous preteens sit in the dark
corner kissing and laughing without an
inkling of the developing uproar. A man
laden with problems too heavy to carry alone-
unemployment and addiction, loss of family
and home- reaches insanity’s precipice,
grabs the first thing he can find and hurls
it across the room like a shot put. The
trivet flies by the lovers and shatters
around them. They stand up faster than
popping corn and run to their parents
thinking they’re in trouble and ashamed
while the man scatters in the woods.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration:
Magpie Tales (photo)
The Sunday Whirl (A wordle~ amorous, subtle, inkling, laden, genuflect, vanilla, mission, bark, crusted, precipice, December, trivet)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

By the Minute

The sign!

I go through my life minute by minute because anything could change in a few seconds. Today was the perfect example. It was my book signing for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times, but it was also Katie's SAT test (she's only in 7th grade but she had the opportunity to take it); both of which were scheduled in advance. I thought Pete could help with the kids, but then he had to go out of town on business. So I made arrangements for the boys and prepared to pick up Katie and her friend at Lamar University. I got there early so that no time would be wasted. I waited outside and admired the mild day, grateful that if for some bizarre reason I didn't have time to go home and change, at least I had body spray, water and a cute hat in the car. The girls were supposed to be finished around lunchtime and I had to be clear across town by 1:45. I knew it would be close, but I never imagined how close. Something happened that almost made me miss my own event.

It's really very stupid. When I found out the test wouldn't be over until around 1:15, I went back to my van to get my crossword puzzles... and I locked my keys inside. BUT I didn't realize it until the girls were done. It was 1:20. After wasting five minutes trying to pry the door open, break through the trunk and pop the window, I called the father of Katie's friend. It would take him at least 15 minutes to get there. The girls tried to unlock the door with anything they could find. We bounced the van up and down (as if that would change anything). Where was Superman when we needed him? I'm sure they enjoyed the drama, but I didn't. Everything I had prepared for the book signing was inside my vehicle. I would be going as is, with nothing but me.
Sylvia and me

I called my friend, Sylvia Ney, who was also part of the book signing. She has a story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens. I told her I'd be there a little late. I finally arrived at 2:05.
Can you tell I took this picture of Jake and me?

I ended up having a great time. Sylvia and I caught up with each other and signed some books. The highlight of the event was finally meeting a fellow writer, Jake Chambers. We took an online writing class a few years ago and have kept up with each other ever since.

After the signing, my dad (my forever superhero) took me to get my car. Thank goodness it was still there without a ticket or dent. What college student wants an old van anyway? I don't know what I was thinking.


Click on dVerse Poets for more on this weeks topic, comics.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Lighthouse

Bell Rock Lighthouse

A beacon in the murky night
a sign of hope, a guiding light
that shines within profundity
puts on course those lost at sea.

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bad Gas?

I'm chugging down the darkened street at 6:45 (and I mean a' chug-chug-ing) with the boys in tow. A red light that looks like a genie bottle is glowing on the dash and all I can think is get moving dear most reliable van whom I have adored for eight plus years.

I resist the chug-a-lug, put the pedal to the medal. Chug-chug... it picks up... spit-spat. We look like we're being jerked front, then back in a roller coaster.

"Come on, move!" I say.

The boys are freaking out.

"What's wrong with the car?"

"Are we going to break down?"

We are in front of the house, so I think not; but we have to get Andrew to karate and then cross town to pick up Katie from dancing after his class is over. Of course, Pete's out of town. I can't afford to have the van go cuckoo on me right now. Keep your fingers crossed. I think it's bad gas.

It coughs a bit, spits up and moves on like normal. Whew.


Soul's Whisper by Ella's Edge

like a sentinel in the woods
still as a deer
calm and gentle
as I whisper in your ear
words of comfort and peace
how to act in your life.
Don't dart away in fear
have faith in me and listen
lean on me in strife
I'm whispering in your ear.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank (Soul's Whisper by Ella's Edge)

The Foxhole

Within those plush layers
of froufrou and fluff
cheek-to-cheek gobbledygook
and compliments you puff

hides a scaredy bear banded
                 with verdant envy
                            waiting to lash out, slash
                                            eyes, hoping we won't see

behind the fancy greenery
all the froufrou and the fluff;
you're just an Average Joe
in a foxhole full of stuff.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Theme Thursday (Inside)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I think I've written this poem before
so correct me if I'm wrong,
the one about the quaint cafe;
a lover's tryst amidst the throng

or should I say a mob it was
of eavesdropping ears
trying to hear three words
that could melt away the years

of relationships cheating
the signs don't always behave
one double-crosses the other
breaks promises they gave

and all at once commitment
jettisons from the heart,
all because two lusty souls
were uncommitted from the start.

Does this sound familiar?
I'm sure I've said these words
in perhaps another voice,
a common theme not unheard.

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (behave, jettison, mob)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Backwards Story

A path of golden bricks did not appear
nor did their love survive each passing year

like irksome weeds grave complications grew
outside the rain an omen with “I do.”

One Friday night a t-shirt contest wet
when through the crowds their eyes imploring met

her aspirations as a wife to be
while a wild cougar on the prowl was he.

Two clashing hearts can’t force a jointed climb
not once upon a lonely wayward time.

@laurie kolp

Poetic inspirations: Poetic Asides PAD Challenge- _____ Story, With Real Toads Open Link Monday

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Christmas Story to Share with Children

At Christmas, Christians celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. It is a festive season of joy and merriment typically associated with the image of Santa Claus bearing gifts for all.

What if there was a real connection between Jesus and Santa?

Mary's Son by Darryl Nyznyk does just that. It's as if God has sent Santa to do His will today like He sent Jesus to do the same so long ago. It is the delightful tale of two confused children - one a rich spoiled brat, the other a poor gang leader - and how they learn to love selflessly after Santa Claus takes them back to the first Christmas to witness the birth of Jesus. They discover God's encompassing love and return forever changed.

Mary's Son is an inspirational story reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas. I can see why it has received three Gold awards as Mom's Choice Awards: Inspirational/Motivational book. I can't wait to read it to my children this holiday season.

Signs of Life

a ruddy imprint on the bricked underpass
one tobacco-tainted sofa, sans cushions
deemed passe haute couture for some
while others spring on the posh decor

@laurie kolp

Picture inspiration: Magpie Tales

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

God’s love
Radiates when
Attitudes of gratitude
Take over all thoughts
Instantly replacing
Tense nonsense;
Underlying worries
Disappear and
Eternal peace reigns

@laurie kolp

Read more poems on gratitude at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads' A Word with Laurie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratitude A-Z

A- Apples, although Pete would disagree. You'll have to ask him why.
B- Boys. My boys are the best.
C- CARDINALS, of course. And caramel, coffee, chocolate...
D- Dogs. My dogs, Jake and Snowy, or as I sometimes call them Joey and Snake.
E- Exercise, even though I don't do it much. I've already exercised for a lifetime.
F- Family and friends. They're the same.
G- Girls, giggly girls... especially my wonderful daughter.
H- Husband. How did I get such a good one?
I- Inspiration. What inspires you?
J- Justin Bieber (just joking)
K- Kids; they see everything with unbiased innocence, and live in the moment.
L- LOVE always. Love is GOD.
M- Music, music, more music.
N- Nephews and nieces. You know who you are.
O- Oak trees, cloud dreams, summer days and moonbeams.
P- Poetry, of course.
Q- Quip; Keep It Simple, Stupid
R- Relaxation on a sandy beach.
S- Sunshine; it makes me smile.
T- Treading water.
U- Utopia. I wish!
V- Vegetables, but not Brussels Sprouts!
W- Windows and wishes
X- Xmas, although I prefer Christmas.
Y- Yellow; I love the color, plus I couldn't come up with anything else.
Z- Zoos, especially zebras. Black on white or white on black? Who cares? Remember love!

Scandalous Supposition

Misery lies within the hollow depths of nothingness
a spiraling void wrought through shallow minds
obsessing on circumstantial myths
situations miffed

(what-if next year my lover leaps from a cliff?)

leading to complete hysteria
in a bottomless pit
while the present moment flies away
a dove in search of inner peace.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (hollow, misery, shallow)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

He's the Best (Strophe form)

From the Ukraine or Korea to Cajun Country
he takes on their accents unconsciously;
my husband globally communicates.
His coworkers and friends delight in the fun
to hear him speak in native tongue
like a movie star, he punctuates.
Once on a Polish ship, speaking like they do
a Coon-Ass called on the phone, too.
He ping-ponged back and forth in hot debate
from one slang to the other with such ease
others begged for tips from their knees
while he said, “Hurry up we can’t be late,
my family needs me now, let’s go.
They’re number one on priority’s row.”
Yes, one of many reasons why my husband is just great.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: With Real Toads (Strophe form) & PAD

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fleeting Moments (Puente form)

a planet in the night sky
a spark in crackling fires
an ice cube clinking crystal
a whiff of sweets the nose acquires

~pay attention to the little things ~

a stranger trapped in silence
an adult drowned in alcohol
a mindless one oblivious
a smolder brewing in the hall

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (diamond, mindless, spark, fires, ice, smolder, oblivious, sky, silence, planet, trapped, drowned, fleeting)

*Click here to learn more about the Puente form

Friday, November 18, 2011

Leaving the Pit

I used to think that I
Was but a bothersome fly,

And perhaps less important
Than a crack in cement.

That what I said didn't matter,
So why mouth it?
That if I left I'd be forgotten,
So why visit?

I felt guilty with each gift or praise
Each accolade my doubt did raise.

Could it be that I
Was nothing more than shy?

Perhaps a little fearful
Of your discriminating eye?

Today I'm still working on it
Thanks to you I'm leaving the pit.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Words

A Circle of Love

A rainbow of hands
multi-sized, clasped
like a jeweled necklace
grasped, together as one
in an impetus circle of love,
a vindication to God's testament
of inner peace and acceptance
utter tolerance and truth;
solace from above.

Once Upon a Prayer

a false accusation
of indecent exposure--

(when everyone relieves
themselves on the roadside,
so why should it matter
at the Boy Scout camp out?)

the impetus to prayer
for complete vindication
which after awhile worked,
and as a full moon
on a clear, starry night
spread solace within

(mooned ya!)

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (impetus, solace, vindication), Poetic Asides PAD (Once upon a _____)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Falling Leaves

Whew. After fearing for days that I was indeed succumbing to the falling leaves within my mind swirling piles of scattered memories, I can now bag those piles of rubbish thoughts and move on with my life. You see, last weekend we went out to eat and when Pete realized he had forgotten his wallet, he asked me for my debit card. I was in the middle of a serious conversation with my mother when he said, "What's your password?"

All of the sudden my mind became as blank as a winter tree. My password? I thought about it for a minute and tried to recall the pattern I so effortlessly typed into keypads too many times a day; but I could not remember those five digits.

I covered up the blank I drew. "Uh, can't you see I'm in the middle of something? Can you just charge it?"

The fear of rejection kept my debit card pocketed for the next day. If I punched in the wrong ID number, I might get accused of stealing my own card! I over-thought about what the PIN could be with no luck whatsoever, while at the same time scheming like an identity thief; if I try it there, they'll confiscate my card and handcuff me, but if I try it here I might be able to get away with it.

I tried to use it when I filled up with gas, but it was incorrect. What was I going to do? Go into the bank and tell them I'm losing my mind?

Yesterday I'd had enough. I psyched myself up and when the time came to give my debit card a try, I swiped it, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I then let my fingers do the typing. Guess what? I got it right!

Sometimes I think my fingers know more than I do. After all, they are the ones who take off writing and leave me running behind falling face first in the crunchy leaves.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Danger on the Other Side

Beyond the hedge danger lurks
Burdens hide as leaves take fall
Mayhem in the murky ditch
Aroused by swirls of black mold
Algae morphing into asps
Ready to strike its victims--
Stay on this side of the fence

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: With Real Toads (Orion poetry form), Poetic Asides PAD (Deadly/dangerous)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Mama Left Out

Mama had told her about the birds and the bees
long before boys rendered her motionless, made
her heart swivel, like August of last year at the
country club when Lifeguard Sean rapidly pulled

that poor kid to safety and she saw the ripples
in his golden six-pack abs, the strength in his
Popeye arms. All rationale lost balance to her
fluttering heart, made her giggly and embarrassed
when he was cleaning the pool. She wore a coral

bikini, tried to point her finger and invite him
over to her lounge chair, but he never took notice
to her eloquent sentiments because he was too busy
flirting with Fred. Mama hadn’t mentioned that.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (bees, balance, cleaning, coral, finger, eloquent, motionless, safety, rapidly, point, strength, swivel)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Faithful Flight

When you wish upon a blackbird
spread your wings in golden sky,
dreams take flight, faith guides you
a magic silhouette on which to fly.

@laurie kolp

* I know, mine's not dark, but it's what I saw in the picture.

Picture prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mustered Strength

He lived through his hitch
made a toast to victory and
drank a pitcher with his buds

and then another and another

so he could muster up
the strength to go home

wheelchair bound.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (drank, hitch, muster)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Through Thick and Thin with... Peanut Butter?

When I married Pete and promised to stick with him through thick and thin, I never imagined that peanut butter would be the adhesive. When I sit down and analyze our relationship, how it's grown and changed through the years, I can easily see that peanut butter has molded us into contentment.

Pete loves it. He told me stories while we were dating of how his mom bought the institutional size spread and left it on the counter with fresh white bread so that Pete could swoosh it down whenever he wanted. Pete was rail thin and always on the go, and she practically begged him to snack on it.

I'd had my share of PB&Js growing up and was of the attitude that it would put five pounds on my hips if I dared a mere sniff; but shortly after we married, Pete proved me wrong. He reawakened my love for the stuff while I was pregnant (which occurred three months after marriage) by making toasted peanut butter sandwiches for me. When he spread the creamy concoction on the warm bread, it melted. That was sheer ecstasy for my cravings, and I took advantage of eating as much of the fattening goo as I could since I was already gaining weight.

By the time I had Katie, I was already addicted to nighttime foldovers with peanut butter and grape jelly. The healthy, protein-packed snack gave me a lift during those sleep-deprived months. I made it through the next four years of birthing three and having foot surgery in between on the delectable snack. It was quick, filling and good. I discovered I didn't have to run five miles a day and eat salads all the time to stay fit and trim. And as happens in most marriages when partners take on each other's habits and idiosyncrasies, Pete had converted me to a peanut butter lush. At least I lured him over to the wheat bread side. I mean, as long as it's fresh enough to melt in your mouth, who cares?

Through the years our taste has changed a bit. Variety is the spice of life, right? We started out as Peter Pan lovers (of course, I love Peter!), but quickly converted to my childhood favorite, Jif, after the salmonella scare years ago. Pete's gone from peanut butter and jam to just peanut butter to crunchy with black raspberry. He's now back to smooth and jam. I always try out his new love, but revert back to dependable smooth and grape jelly with an ice cold glass of milk.

And at the end of the day, after the kids are tucked in bed, we cuddle on the couch with our treat. There's nut-n-butter than that.

Maybe we should invest in peanut butter stock... what do you think?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time Won’t Wait

Time doesn’t sit by the back
door like a hungry dog, it
can’t be retrieved from the
marshes or chased up a tree

rather time runs as fast as
a greyhound, packs a trail
of conditioned modalities
until you let go, break free.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: PAD Challenge
Also shared at With Real Toad's Open Link Monday

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Animalistic Love

a piercing strident boom flew through the air
when your delirium set in and suddenly I was
a dappled monster trying to eat you up

with the drooling swish of a rabid wolf and
Herculean strength you stopped in mid-step
ripped your pleated clothes off then dug
your fingernails in my clammy skin

all the while screaming at perfect
shatter-crystal pitch, the demon living
within your shell emitting words that always
seem to reignite my desire for you

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (dappled, piercing, shell, air, strident, reignite, delirium, emit, pleat, pitch, swish, seem) & Poets United Poetry Pantry


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Implosion on Highway 105

Do you remember that spontaneous
road trip when, like shards of glass,
your cutting words crashed in my lap,
shattered our happily-ever-after dreams?

Everything I thought we had
now engorged in lies, glazed over
that scarring day our future
imploded on Highway 105.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetry Jam, PAD challenge

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hope O-O-Os

They passed the calumet
around the campfire
a ceremonial rite of passage
marked with peace.
To the heavens smoke rings
lifted O-O-Os
hoping disharmony
in the world to cease.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Click here for more on today's world blog-blast for peace

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lessons with Food on Peace and Acceptance


When I taught children with the reading disorder dyslexia, we broke down syllables and studied word origins. It was easier for them to understand the words if they could be dissected and analyzed. With every new group of students the same question arose; why is the English language so complicated?

I'd explain to the children that America was like a big pot of spicy stew. Through the years different countries have added special ingredients, or words, to create the language we know today. For some reason that metaphor was good enough for them, especially after we made our own special olla. Each student would bring a certain item to add to the mix: meat, chicken, sausage, potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, seasoning. Whatever they chose to bring we'd mix in. We'd listen to the crock pot making funny gurgling noises as we coded words using colored markers. And at the end of the day, when we were able to taste our delectable creation, all was good.

I used food a lot when I taught in a regular second grade classroom. It was like fish bait for learning. I mean, what better way to teach kids how to write "How To Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich" than by having them make one using their first draft as their guide? They quickly learned that if the sandwich was going to turn out right, not one step could be omitted or they'd have a sticky mess. After they succeeded with the sandwich we moved on to banana splits; and I had a classroom full of enthusiastic writers mixing vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream with caramel, chocolate and whipped cream. Everyone's dish looked different, but each child loved his/her unique sprinkled-to-goodness treat.

From last year's garden (we're in a drought)

Each year when we reached the not-so-beloved vegetable study, we had a sampling at the unit's culmination. Students would bring in raw carrots, mushrooms, radishes, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and more. I would bring a big bottle of Ranch dressing or other type of dip. They mostly drank up the dressing and nibbled on the "oh, my gosh, this came from the ground" and "gag me with a spoon" vegetables; but they were being exposed to a palette of healthy food they might not have been willing to try at home. The children also learned that the vegetables weren't as bad as their preconceived notions had built them up to be once they gave them a try.

Of course, at Thanksgiving we had the infamous pilgrim/Indian feast. We talked about how the two came together in peace and gave thanks for their bountiful harvest and many blessings. Half of the kids dressed up as pilgrims and the other half as Indians. We all sat together around the bulletin paper table and enjoyed the meal.

At Christmas, we studied holidays around the world and sampled food from each country. The kids were able to dress like the culture they represented and travel from table to table (country to country). Never was a word uttered about disgusting tastes or flavors; rather, a greater appreciation for different ethnicities was garnered. Each country was represented in that one room. There was no fighting or name-calling. A good time was had by all, and the common denominator was food.

Wouldn't it be nice if all the countries in the world could gather in one room and celebrate each other's heritage like children do at school? We sure could learn a lot from our nonjudgmental innocent kids.

Exposure to different kinds of food not only enriches our cultural awareness, but it also brings us together for a bigger purpose; peace.
A magnet my daughter created when she was in preschool


Read more on food in the 12th issue (November-December 2011) of language/place blog carnival hosted by Linda Hofke here.


Seeds of fall~
a taste of orange
juice on sun-dried lips

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Ears Are Killing Me

"Listening looks easy, but it's not simple. Every head is a world."
— Cuban Proverb

cymbals echo in my ringing ears
a cacophony, a cry for clarity
!crash! permanent hearing loss
!ping! it might be a tumor, a tumor, a tumor
colliding my world suddenly
all thoughts and words go back to that
!crash! permanent hearing loss
!ping! it might be a tumor, a tumor, a tumor
November’s debut symphony
instead of music from my muse
my ears are killing me

@laurie kolp

Written for PAD Challenge, Day 2

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


While sweeping remnants of Halloween’s
ruckus I find a candy bar wrapper which
leads me to last night’s treat bags where
a breakfast of champions awaits. Of course
now I need some milk which leads me to the
fridge where I notice fingerprints and
crumbs, outdated food and limp lettuce
which I must throw away. I remember today
is garbage day and we forgot, so I hurry
through the house and gather trash where
I find my daughter’s clothes piled up on
the floor which leads me to the laundry
room which I notice is a slipshod excuse
for cleanliness. While I’m at it I dust,
vacuum, mop, scrub toilets, shower, shave
my legs, finally get around to that pile
of someone else’s treasure for Goodwill
which leads me to my computer to look
up locations where I find the blank page:
Poetic Asides Poem-a-Day Challenge 2011.
Oh, yeah… that’s where I started.

@laurie kolp

Click here to find out more about the Poetic Asides November PAD Challenge. Come and join the fun!

How to Journey Through Life with Christ-like Friendships

The Girlfriend's Guidebook by best-selling author Marian Jordan is an excellent resource for women striving to achieve more meaningful Christian friendships with one another. In this vade mecum, Jordan uses examples of real life traveling abroad experiences with girlfriends to demonstrate some of the obstacles women face in their female relationships, and she maps out a plan for overcoming these difficulties. Below is a list of what I found to be the highlights of her book.

1. No friendship should be more important than your relationship with God. Jordan says, "When you and I hand over the power to make ourselves feel secure to another person, we make an idol of that person." Relational idolatry leads to dysfunctional friendships with negative characteristics of "guilt, fear, manipulation, exhausting demands, and general lack of freedom." No person should be used as a means of boosting our feelings of self-worth and value. People always let us down because we are not perfect. God will never let us down.

2. Emotional baggage can block us off from God's true intention of friendship in our lives. "Unhealed wounds ring alarm bells, triggering our internal flight or fight mechanism, otherwise known as fear," states Jordan. In the book, a list of roles women take on as ways of dealing with their past helps us identify our behavior in relationships (drama queen, center of attention, victim, fake, etc). Since we all have some degree of baggage, Jordan invites us to own our baggage and seek healing from Jesus. Then we will be rewarded with Christian friendships.

3. Characteristics of a true Christian friend can be found in the Bible; Jordan gives us a list of the top ten. They include loyalty, trustworthiness, encouragement, genuineness, connectedness, integrity, compassion, kindness, grace/forgiveness and love/selflessness. Love is "seeking the best for others" which could mean confronting a friend when she has a problem rather than ignoring it because you don't want to hurt her feelings. True friends want the best for one another.

I highly recommend this book for all women seeking more meaningful Christ-like friendships in their lives. Marian Jordan is an excellent writer who uses her own experience mixed in with Bible versus and notable quotes to support her purpose. You can learn more about her at Redeemed Girl Ministries which she founded, or on her website.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skip Dessert

me there
I will
pounce on you
a cat
clawing, hiss.
I feel your tongue
tease me
creamy pie;
urge to

@laurie kolp

I can't believe you have such a dirty mind! Come on now...  pies, dieting...

Prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads where Kerry challenged us to try out the Waltz Wave form.

Spooked Spirits

Key by key, letter to letter
the ghostwriter types away
spooky untold tales long buried,
while a player piano in the corner
key by key, note to note
booms low bass clef chords
incense burning, lights dimming;
spirits chase scary folk away.

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Magpie Tales

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ghost Gutter Inn

Flickering… a mélange of sidewalk signs
that in a second flashes ‘orange’ and ‘red
neon lights carved too bright to really see
{mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha, mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha}
the hungry thing… lurking… in the shadows
twitched in time the demons in your mind
caught unaware inside Ghost Gutter Inn.

The air of night a bloody gurgle in its throat
that if you listen close enough you’ll hear
a THUMP followed by a crooked laugh
{mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha, mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha}
like a genie… possessed… in a bottle…
twitched in time the demons in your mind
vanished inside Ghost Gutter Inn.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (twitched, crooked, bloody, sidewalk, bottle, flickering, gutter, gurgle, thump, vanished, carved, caught)

Also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Halloween share

Friday, October 28, 2011

Balancing Billy

Billy the Penguin slid through the ice
bumped his head and fell down twice,
until his wife knit five colorful bands
to wear on his tail, fins and "hands"
for balance with magnets inside--
and now Billy the Penguin can glide.

@laurie kolp

Picture/prompt inspiration: In Tandem

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This thing we call time...

"I can't believe how long it's been since we last talked!"

Haven't you ever said that to a loved one or a friend after too much time has gone by since you last talked to them or even saw them? I sure have, and I'm saying that to you now. I can't believe how much I've slacked on this blog. I do have some very justifiable reasons as we all do when our defense mechanism kicks in: the kids are keeping me busy, Pete's night classes are taking a toll on me, I've been concentrating on my poetry, the dog ate my homework... oops, that's an excuse for something else. Anyway, you get the drift.

I remember when the kids were little. People would tell me to enjoy this time because once they start school, it will fly faster than a flight to New York. It was a little hard for me to believe them as I was consumed by poopy diapers, fitful nights, mysterious illnesses, trips to the ER and the list goes on. All I could think was, "Is this ever going to end?"

And now they are well into school and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone.

Yesterday I went to my ENT for a checkup (remember my Meniere's Disease?). It had been two years since my last visit and I am happy to say I've been dizzy-free (except for those blonde moments). He has me on a daily regimen of Zyrtec and Astepro nasal spray to control the fluid build-up in my ears.  Time has been good to me in that respect.

Until I mentioned to the specialist how my hearing in my left ear seems to be weakening at which they proceeded to give me a hearing test. It showed a definite decrease in the hearing in my left ear since the last test.

"You're too young for that," Doc said. "We need to find out what the problem is. It can be a virus or perhaps a tumor (malignant)."

Tumor? Oh my, God how I 'awful-ize' things. I went from little tumor in my middle ear, malignant at that, to an inoperable brain tumor in a matter of seconds. The rest was just a whirl: heavy-duty steroids, come back for an ABR test, then maybe an MRI... blah, blah, blah.

And I'm thinking about my jumbled speech, headaches, saggy left eye, the problems I've had with my left shoulder (of course, I'm a little dramatic at this point). The time I need to live, please dear God.

{Today I started my steroids so I WILL be a writer/poet on steroids for a week or two.}

Time, time, time... I have to wait for you now. In the meantime, I'll try to catch up with those (friends, loved ones) who have snuck by because of... well, because of me.

Upon Receiving the News

to prepare for
the worse but hope
for the best, she felt as
vulnerable as a child on the
playground. cornered by a ruthless
bully. hoping this was all just a figment
of her overactive imagination; let the battle
begin... she was prepared ... to fight... and win.

@laurie kolp

Poetry inspiration: 3WW (figment, inclined, vulnerable)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Natural Engagement

We rode our bikes into verdant fields
of tomorrow, our future as bright as
the diamond on my left hand, then

at night we made love under a starry
sky and cuddled in our tent like
bears hibernating in winter's frost.

@laurie kolp

Inspiration: Open link at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Sunday, October 23, 2011

After (Hours of) Going Nowhere

"Slow down. I'm asking him
for directions since you're too
proud to admit defeat," said
the disgruntled wife, panting

~after (hours of) going nowhere~

a trip to the city nit-picked down
to every last detail, suitcases
packed, tickets hot and wild plans lost
to self-will; she'd finally had enough. 

@laurie kolp

Picture inspiration: Magpie Tales

Prompt inspiration: Kerry at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asked us to write a puente poem. You can find out more at the site.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Osculating Fire

The tattered t-shirt a dying
ember within his tentative


was stamped forever
in a heart long frozen, how

she wore it like a yule log 
glowing merriment and joy;

a breach of judgement
ignited concupiscence,

he touched her crimson lips
with his, probed further

until she pulled back,
slapped him like a grease
fire on the stove.

@laurie kolp

   {osculating~ kissing; concupiscence~ strong sexual desire, lust}

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (breach, ember, tentative)

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Stronghold

Cinquain Form:

Ever reaching
I carved my heart on you
Will you take me in your branches?

@laurie kolp


Tanka form:

A heart carved with love
Reaching out I long for your
Everlasting warmth
With strong arms titillating;
Leaves me satisfied

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspirations: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Isabel Doyle's Tree-Hugger

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Lucky Ducks

The young girl breaks
from the working line
looks into my camera
with a thoughtful stare

a bit perplexed
... or so she seems.

I ask her what's wrong
read her red heart lips
exaggerating each syllable,

"These ducks aren't lucky!"

and we roll over in laughter
to mask the sadness we feel.

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Magpie Tales

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dancing at the Ocean's Edge

In the shallows of the ocean deep
where broken shells are gathered
and sea foam cotton is a mirage
that fools the young at heart,
causes feet to drop on textured sand

a burst of pain settles in the toes
now dancing through hoops of fire;
one shoulder twists and then the other
like a bolt of Charo shimmying
rolling tongues until she topples,
forgives the waves for cutting in the fun.

@laurie kolp

Poetry inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (forgive, shoulder, topples, shallows, bolt, broken, gathered, dancing, drop, burst, causes, feet, hoops)

Also linked to Imaginary Garden With Real Toads Open Link Monday

Friday, October 14, 2011

Recycling Red

A sore thumb amid a green thumb
Hitchhikes through life unnoticed
Until a bright light picks him up
Plants him in a thriving garden
Filled with books to be shared and

@laurie kolp

You can read more about book boxes here (thank you Kerry).

Picture prompt inspiration: Kerry @ Real Toads

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Famished by the Sun

The dying grass crunches beneath bare feet
that walk a path each passing rainless week
back and forth to the yellow sprinkler hose,
in hopes at least a bit survives this drought.

Trees and shrubs blanched white begin to wilt,
a frown it seems as if they've given up
craving autumn's shades of orange and red;
blind hunger lost in sun's unending heat.

@laurie kolp

Poetry inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank (hunger)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Patience with a little umph (and how to make eraser earrings)

Have you ever heard the saying, "Patience is a virtue?" I used to hate it when adults told me that as a child, but now I understand what they meant. I do have patience in most cases, but I know when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to bark. But my voice is like a whisper in the library, even when I'm mad. Speaking up can be challenging for me.

Twice this week I have been put to the test and it's only Wednesday.

Start with this kind of eraser to make the earrings (they come in all colors)
Monday morning Nicholas stuck a piece of an eraser in his ear. Some of the boys had been making earring hoops out of the ends of those pointy pink erasers. They cut a bit of the circular end and then slit each O; voila- perfect fit. Nicholas came out of school last Friday wearing them. I thought, "How cute!"

I'm trying out the newest fashion trend- eraser hoops.

The "cuteness" of eraser earrings was the furthest thing from my mind when I found out what had happened. I was not very happy.

My anger quickly turned to panic. Nicholas had tubes in his ear as a baby. He's prone to ear infections. I wanted that sucker out and fast. I picked him up from school and we zoomed over to the neighborhood walk-in clinic. Had I called the pediatrician, we would have had to drive clear across town and wait for hours WHILE exposing ourselves to yucky kid germs. Surely this was the easier, softer way.

Guess what? It wasn't. We had to wait for an hour anyway and the doctor completely missed the mark. He looked inside Nicholas' ear and said all he could see was wax. Then he proceeded to wash his ear out, which caused a few winces from my poor sweet boy. After all that rigmarole, the Quack Shack said he had an ear infection and that his ear drum would probably bleed. I looked deep in his ear and saw the drum, but I still wasn't satisfied. Nicholas, on the other hand, was ecstatic because the doctor had gotten him off the hook.

When we went to pick up Andrew (it was a half-day), the nurse and I peeked in Nicholas' ear once again. I felt like Nancy Drew looking for a clue. And we found one. There in plain view was the pink gob.

What the ENT pulled out of Nicholas' ear

I was able to get Nicholas in with the ENT who took the eraser out with no problem. He doesn't even have an infection; just irritation. Talk about patience. Monday required a lot.

Today I went to the post office to mail a friend a signed copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Troubled Times. I gloated as I weighed the package and printed out the postage while the others waited in lunch-hour lines. I knew I had finally figured out how to make the postal system workable. Before Christmas, too! That is until I discovered I couldn't just slip the package through the self-serve slot; it was too big. The Flustered Blonde Lady behind the counter, who I think was quite rude, told me I had to get in the back of the line so she could approve it. I'm so sure! No wonder the post office is in trouble. It certainly was with me.

Feeling impatient and miffed, I left and ran an errand. When I went back, two ladies were now behind the counter. I waited behind the five people in front of me (which was nothing compared to earlier) and walked over to the Much Nicer Lady when it was my turn. I noticed Flustered Blonde Lady glance my way as I shared my negative experience with Much Nicer Lady. She told me that sometimes they get bombarded with so many customers at once that... blah, blah, blah. I still don't think I should have to go through the line if I do it myself. It's like going through the check-out line at a grocery store to make sure you rang up your items correctly at the self-service. Don't you think?

In both incidents, I felt like I had to say something. On Monday I called the Quack Shack and told them they had been wrong, that the doctor wasted our time and money. They promised to credit our card for the co-pay. Of course, you already know I spoke up today. Sometimes you have to, but I always feel a little guilty. Patience IS a virtue after all; and so is defending what is right.