Dr. Seuss Quote- Be Who You Are-Write Who You Are

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lookin' Up

Lookin' Up

By Maureen Ucles

Woke up 
this morning
with thoughts flowing
me not knowing
where my future leads 

Woke up
with a start
didn't feel so wise
not so smart
feeling  down
where's my future?
Cannot see

Woke up
need a shot
of expresso
in my life
day
moment
feeling cloudy
where my future 
can be free

Woke up
to brave the day
just gotta say
after a few 
chats
blah, blah, blah
not so bad
feeling better
even through nasty weather
future's
lookin' up

Woke up
minds a little clearer
Seeing the brighter
side
instead of the darker
slide
inside of me
things not so bad
not in the least
today, tomorrow
future's view
lookin' up


Monday, July 28, 2014

Good Morning

Good Morning


Good morning
to ya
Good morning
ya'll

Good morning
to you too
Good morning
everyone
the coffee's brewing
my juices are stewing
waiting to start my day

Good morning
to you
The suns a shining
I am pining
anxious to get this going

Good morning
y'all
The birds are singing
and sort of winging
the songs

Good morning
Buenos dias
How's it going?
I've got to hit
the road
TRAFFIC!
Music blaring
Good morning

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gritty Goddess in Galveston

I can't actually believe that I agreed to participate this obstacle run in Galveston.  It is called the Gritty Goddess.



Go to the link below:
Gritty Goddess Link

I am going to post more about this, as I receive more information about this event.

My daughter and I will be travailing these obstacles together.  I will also be trudging through these obstacles with friends.  These friends are younger than I am, but they have me convinced that I can do this.  The consolation for doing this is that I can skip the obstacles that I choose.  I think that this will be a fun day of bonding with my daughter and laughing excessively with my friends.  I am pumped and I hope that I can actually finish.  It is a 5K run/walk.  I was told that we are walking it.  That will work better for me.  I hope it is not hot that day. We are supposed to be on our way at 9:30.  I am on the team called Las Chicas!  This will be a fun day.  I am still trying to figure out how I can wear my glasses and not loose them.  I am also worried about where I can safely bring my inhaler.  I will investigate.  This will be a great challenge for me!

Sunday Post-Pointed Conversation


Pointed Conversation


I just arrived home from sharing a Sunday brunch with my daughter.  We went to Saltgrass.  Today I cashed in my points for being a member of Landry's Club.  If you spend a certain amount, then you get twenty-five dollars off your next meal.  Today was that day!  I love points!  Another reason I love to use my Landry's card is that I also get twenty-five off a meal during my birthday month.  You really can't beat it!  I like steak and they serve it up right!

Speaking of points, I checked my points from a hotel chain that I like to use.  I have enough points now for two free nights!  I just have to decide where I would like to go and when.  I was thinking about possibly going somewhere in October/November when the weather is nicer.  It will probably be in late October and early November.  Those days are so refreshing and a perfect way to drink in the Autumn air.  The only thing that would be better, would be a trip to Ohio in October/November.  Maybe someday, when I retire, I will travel in the Fall to experience the beauty of Southern Ohio.

Points rule my life.  I love the points that I can accumulate at Krogers. You get points for every dollar you spend.  You get ten cents off each gallon of gas for each one hundred that you spend.  I wait until I accumulate around four hundred points and then I drive to the Kroger gas station and pump in my gas that is forty cents less per gallon.  Love the deal!

Then there are the points that I used to use when I was a part of the New Year's Weight Loss Challenge.  I joined this group on Face Book.  I wanted to loose weight and start the year off right with healthy choices in food and lifestyle.  To help foster good habits, we were given  an excel sheet with tasks to accomplish daily and weekly.  We were given points for doing certain things.  Some of these things were simple like drinking 64 ounces of water daily, encouraging friends daily within the challenge, no eating 2 hours before bedtime, and eating at least 2 cups of fruits and veggies daily.  I could do that!  Points!  Points! Points!  I wanted to have perfect points weekly.  We reported our points and weight loss on Fridays.  Earning enough points was my motivation and it worked.  Six months later and thirty four pounds lost isn't too bad!

An offshoot of sorts is my FitBit.  This is points laden.  My FitBit is a bracelet that I wear, not for aesthetic purposes, but to measure my daily step count. It also measures my active minutes, my sleep patterns, calories burned and miles walked.  I love it.  To a person that is so obsessed with points, this FitBit can be an addiction.  Did I mention that I have friends who have FitBits too?  Yes, we are a social group and we compete against one another.  Right now, my biggest competition Marquita Neumann is ahead of me in steps for the week.  I have plans to augment my step count today.  I need to get on a treadmill to surpass her step count.  I have gone to great lengths to add more steps.  I park further away from Krogers and Target.  I didn't complain when I had to move buildings in the Summer because I knew that I would get more steps in those days.  It has made me more conscious of my overall activity. Some days I am sedentary and others I am Jillian Michaels.  It really doesn't matter, if not for the points! I want to be in the top three in the categories.  I need more steps and thus more points!

What is exactly my point in this Sunday post? Points are possible!  Points are motivating. Points are points! I haven't quite figured out where I am going with this, but there is one thing that I do know.  If you have goals and they are attainable and tangible, then that is where I reside.  Points off of a bill, points to free night stays, points for the FitBit, and behavior modification work for me.  If you want me to do something, where's my dangling carrot? Just add some points to it and I will be there. Get the point?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Advice from a Friend-Release the Shackles


Advice from a Friend-Release the Shackles


I was sharing with a group of teachers that I have been suffering terribly through my self imposed writing drought.  I have had some iteration of writer's block.  My type of writer's block came from my own desire to be perfect.  Suffering from placing myself in a dark and dreary box, I arrived at the crossroads. I believed that whatever I wrote had to be only about education.  Quite naturally this myopic thinking deterred the creative juices from flowing here and there.  I became a juice box  full of high fructose corn syrup.  My system was on overdrive and I was suddenly moving at a standstill.   I don't do well with boxes or high fructose corn syrup. I locked myself in my own prison and lost the key.  My instincts, as writer and thinker, suffered tremendously. My creativity and passion for writing atrophied in the worst way. When I thought about writing, I felt tension.  It wasn't pleasurable anymore. The stress hormone cortisol ruled and so I could not even think too much about writing. It was flight or fight.  I chose to take flight from my keyboard and this blog.

Something happened on Tuesday.  Something snapped. There was a breakthrough of sorts. I ran to my blog and just started letting my thoughts rip from my brain and flood the page in front of me.  The floodgates had been compromised and boy did that river flow and inundate everything.  The words, images and everything within me flew out of my brain and onto the screen!  FREE AT LAST!  FREE AT LAST!

The next day, I wanted to share the work of my creativity.  Opportunity presented itself.  I was able to share my blog and the most recent post from the night before.  Sweet serenity reigned me in and I was peace.
That pivotal day, I was able to share my poem  Making Lemons.  Wow!  I finally was able to share my poetry with a larger group.  I was so excited to do so.  I read my poem aloud with such pride.  That was a true blessing.  Then the teachers and I analyzed my poem using the analysis pyramid. That was an invigorating literary conversation.  Not only did we get to see and experience the analysis pyramid in action, but I was also able to see and feel how my poetry affected others.  That was huge for me.  The teachers actually liked it and I don't think they were just being polite.  Many people approached me afterward as a poet and as an educator. Loved it! Loved it cubed!  It made my day, week and quite possibly year!

The next day I was talking to a dear friend.  She mentioned to me on Face Book that I truly shouldn't have writer's block. She said, "You have so much to write about, from the many stories about your daughter and how she is growing up.  You could write about her kinder graduation, her eighth grade graduation and now her graduation into driving and adulthood."  She also mentioned that I could be writing about my healthy life style changes.  I took what she said into serious consideration.  It made sense.  I have been placing myself in writing exile because I foolishly thought that I had to write only about certain things.  I have been doing tons of writing on social media.  I needed to transfer those thoughts into writing.  No more perfection and boxing for me.  When I don't put  pressure on me, I find that my writing is smooth and then I can fly! I would like to soar above these silly restrictions that place upon myself.

Now I am going to promise  that I will soar above and allow my ideas to fly out of my head, through my keyboard and onto the page!  I need this...need to do this.  No diggity...no doubt!

What I have learned, through this writer's Siberia, is that I need to return to me.  Return to be true to myself. Now is the perfect time to let my ideas flow once again!  I am thinking that I can soar if I just allow myself to take off the shackles that bind.  Many of these shackles exist from within than without. I need to do me and not worry about the rest. Time to move onto greater horizons!
No diggity, no doubt!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Purgation

I went back to a poem that I had written a few months back.  I read it again and the revision process just took over my body.  I found myself easily returning to that dark, dark place.  This place is a prison of sorts.  So I went there and dwelt there and tried to recreate what I saw and felt along the way.  Not too bad at all!
Please let me know what you think...nothing is ever finished.

Purgation

By Maureen Ucles

I have drudged through
wicked wastelands
Transversed the
most rigid monstruous mountain peeks
Suffered
numerous gut-wrenching
deaths
For this?
 This?
Naw!  Can't be!
Must be dreaming

I have cried many tears
Shaken in and out of my fears
Lost and abandoned
For what?
Naw!  Can't cha see?

I have bent over backwards
given my all
and then some...
My feats,
My actions
No satisfaction
'cause
 There you are!
Asking for more?
Really?
Stop your game
Come on in...
Have a seat!
We need to talk!

Let me tell you something------

I am--
Tsunamied 
 by your greed
greed so
 unappealing, 
devoid of feeling

I am 
 disgusted 
overtaken
forsaken
by your domineering
hold
so
power  hungry
dominating
inundating 
while
inflating your
fragile, fragile
 ego

YOU ARE
 So hard to stomach
like rancid, withering, disgusting 
fly-filled carcasses 
on a  third world dusty clay-filled roads
 I am
riding that
 Central American
 bus 
cramped with a zillion bodies
chickens, and who knows what
 straight to nowhere
with endless stops 
Baja!  Baja! Baja! (Stop here!)
 a multitude
on the highway
suffocating in the unforgiving, tortuous Sun
middle of the day
Uggh!
Basta ya!

Mind blowing
Muscles strained
Teeth clenched
in some messed up
stinkin' 
freakin'
pain
not worthy in your eyes
no more
no how
no where
in your estimation
filled with consternation
total and complete deception
desolation awaits...
despondent me

How did it happen?
Come to fruition?
Quien sabe?
You alone
with your blind ambition
Yet
Can't seem to deter
 this sit-sit-
sit-ua-tion
Stopped... blind sided
I am
clutching to the wide, wide open
for nothin'
nothin' more
than your
 sad and sorry
face
full of idiotic disgrace
laughing, mocking,
 chuckling 
the whole way
ringing intolerably
in my ears
interminable, interminable,
interminable

Why? Why?
Did you have to come to play?
Ruin my day, 
my year,
my life?
 Your deception
sounding the bell
deafening darkness
pure hell
has
thrown me into
the abyss
into a pit of despair
where you alone
reside
piling it on
piling high
bludgeoning
 forcefully
into my gut
imploding
cayendo
onto my knees
spewing blood 
 inside me
hemorrhaging
the pain,
the suffering
just too, too much
like a constant refrain
too stinking much
to endure!
Insane!
But 
me to blame?
Hardly
I am done!
Spent!
Last breath 

Think you
have about
taken my spirit?
Nope
Never
No surrender!
Let it unfold
Cascade
into soul
I remain
I am

The Elizabeth Poem in English and Spanish-Here You Go Gretchen Bernabei!

So in the last post, I tried to capture the essence of Elizabeth from my Spanish poem to my English poem.  I am going to post the English Version and Spanish Version in one post.  Hope you enjoy!  Remember this is not a direct translation-essence only. Gretchen Bernabei suggested that I write the English form for all.  So here it is.  Thanks for the suggestion!


Elizabeth

I hear chuckles and laughter 
Laughter that fills my soul
The smells of candles
Candles lit with fragrances
fragrances
fill the air
 Aromas of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie
Delicious smells of sugar cookies
fresh from the oven

Content
No...
Overjoyed
Just to be at your side
chilling 
catching some flicks
talking until late into the night
listening to your stories
about your day...
life

I think about days gone by
when you were little
with your sweet inviting smile
contented
just playing, playing, playing
Now you have transformed
into an elegant and beautiful young lady
a young lady full of promise, promise, promise
How did you grow up so fast?
Like a weed--
before my eyes
So very fast?

You take great pride out of
making me laugh
until my stomach hurts and
I am all out of breath
with your jokes
and crazy antics
 the faces
Oh the faces you make!
What length you will take
just to make
 me smile
and laugh!


My dream is for you 
to be happy
That you all your dreams
become a reality--
even though
you
may not know
what they are...
right now

I believe 
 whatever you do
you will be fine 
as you go forth
your path will illuminate
the love that you carry 
inside
inside 
your enormous, caring heart
that beautiful, compassionate
heart

I believe in you
my dear child
what pride 
you instill within me
with your creativity,
resilience and determination 
there is no one
who can compare
to you
in all this world
remember that--
NO ONE!

I am one insanely happy mother
supremely blessed
my life changed forever
by you
thank you baby
thank you

Spanish Elizabeth Below

Elizabeth

Oigo risas y carcajadas
Percibo el olor de velas de fragancia
de calabazas y galletitas de azúcar
calentitas del horno

Me siento bien contenta
más que nada
estar a tu lado
viendo los programas de
la tele o
hablando muy de noche
de lo que pasaste
durante tú día…
tú vida

Sufro mucho pensando en ayer
como estabas tan chiquita
con una sonrisa tan grande
jugando, jugando, jugando
Ahorita te quedas tan elegante
Eres una muchachita llena de promesas
¿Cómo creciste tan, pero, tan rápido?

Te gusta hacerme reír
con tus chistes y locuras
Sueño verte tan feliz
en tu futuro seguro
realizarás tus propios sueños
que todavía no sabes
por completo

Me magino que tu saldrás adelante
y alumbrarás tu camino con
caridad y buen corazón
siempre... con su buen corazón

Creo en ti mijita
que orgullo
me das
con tu creatividad y determinación
no hay nadie
nadie 


en este mundo
como tú

Soy una madre súper feliz
bendecida siempre
mi vida cambiada
por tí
gracías chiquita
gracías

Elizabeth Poem-Translated from Spanish

I shared a poem that was near and dear to my heart.  The nearness and dearness had to do with my sweet daughter Elizabeth.  I wrote the poem in March during a mini writer's workshop with Alma Flor Ada.  I couldn't believe it!  I was actually in a taller or workshop with the great Alma Flor Ada.  The writer's workshop was completely in Spanish.  She did a great job in her presentation. I was hooked and hyper focused on this poem that I started in her workshop.  We had time to eat lunch and then proceeded to go to the next session.  That session was conducted in Spanish too.  I am amazed, after all these years, that I can still hold my own in Spanish presentations.  I am a bilingual teacher, after all right?  Why would this be so incredible?  The only Spanish I spoke poorly was in high school.  I took one Spanish class in college.  I learned real Spanish in Honduras, as a Peace Corp Volunteer.  Then I used and added to my Spanish for the last 20 plus years as a bilingual 3-5 grade teacher.  If I think back to the Spanish classes as a freshman in high school with me llamo Marina, I start to chuckle. Boy I have come a long, long way.  Mas alla! ( Please forgive me for no adding accents to mas, but I haven't figured out how to do this in Blogger.  The normal way to provide accent marks and the n will not work.) So now I am a bilingual and I am glad that translanguaging is acceptable.  I translanguage all the time with my bilingual peeps.  It is natural and a part of us bilinguals.  Now, more than ever,  I want to tap into my bilingualism.  I want to go back to my times in Honduras and to my roots as a bilingual teacher.  I am bilingual and proud!  Bilingue y orgullosa!  So I am going to try my best to capture the essence of the poem that I wrote for my beloved Elizabeth in Spanish. This is not a direct translation.  I just want you to be able, if you cannot read in Spanish, to capture the essence.  Elizabeth means the world to me! So without further adieu- here is my attempt at Elizabeth.  I can't promise you that there won't be any tears shed.   I will have my Kleenex next to me!

Elizabeth

I hear chuckles and laughter 
Laughter that fills my soul
The smells of candles
Candles lit with fragrances
fragrances
fill the air
 Aromas of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie
Delicious smells of sugar cookies
fresh from the oven

Content
No...
Overjoyed
Just to be at your side
chilling 
catching some flicks
talking until late into the night
listening to your stories
about your day...
life

I think about days gone by
when you were little
with your sweet inviting smile
contented
just playing, playing, playing
Now you have transformed
into an elegant and beautiful young lady
a young lady full of promise, promise, promise
How did you grow up so fast?
Like a weed--
before my eyes
So very fast?

You take great pride out of
making me laugh
until my stomach hurts and
I am all out of breath
with your jokes
and crazy antics
 the faces
Oh the faces you make!
What length you will take
just to make
 me smile
and laugh!


My dream is for you 
to be happy
That you all your dreams
become a reality--
even though
you
may not know
what they are...
right now

I believe 
 whatever you do
you will be fine 
as you go forth
your path will illuminate
the love that you carry 
inside
inside 
your enormous, caring heart
that beautiful, compassionate
heart

I believe in you
my dear child
what pride 
you instill within me
with your creativity,
resilience and determination 
there is no one
who can compare
to you
in all this world
remember that--
NO ONE!

I am one insanely happy mother
supremely blessed
my life changed forever
by you
thank you baby
thank you











Thursday, July 24, 2014

Same Ole Same

Same Ole Same

By Maureen Ucles

Same ole
Same ole
Same ole thing
Ten years gone
Down the weary,
crickety 
ole musty
dusty
fussy
ole road

Same ole song
lost in the sixties
seventies
eighties 
nineties?
Something from
Seals and Crofts
Summer Breeze makes me feel fine...
same ole, same ole
jukebox--
jukebox that requires
a hearty slap on the side
skippin the 45s
or maybe a kick or two
with my green lush
crock shoes
same ole

Same ole
same ole
same ole
thing
cobwebs
fill my head,
my brain
going in circles
feeling insane
restless
thoughts, memories
flying  all over tarnation
my salvation 
or not...
 painful, migrainelike
 connotations
blasts from the past
same ole
same ole
here we go again
same ole
same

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lemonade

Making Lemons
by Maureen Ucles

Lemonade 
sitting by the stand
please come forth
with your acidity
ph factor
so sour, sour, sourful

Lemonade sitting in the sunlight
not too tart
not too sweet
better than Country Time
Hand made
over time
squeezed, squeezed
guts and all
juiced and filled
with zest

Lemonade, Lemonade
how many lemons are you?
Replete with a few seeds
that escaped the squeeze
ice chilling
almost ready
to freeze
while you juice
I muse
peer into...

Lemonade, Lemonade
was it worth it all?
you are gone 
spent
peels thrown in the trash
the blood, sweat and tears?
So many years
yet...
impaled
torn
breached
yet
so
sweet


Lemonade, Lemonade
can you make it here?
Can you make it there?
Does anyone ever
seem to care?
Winds blowing
Breeze showing
Me knowing...
I
like you,
making
Lemonade

Lemonade
giving it up--
releasing the fear
hey,
never know
new frontier
prancing and dancing
seeing 
through crystal prisms
 different 
views
doors, window
closed, opened
my
souls  a searching
me perching
lookin' in
Ain't no sin
Just drinking it up
my life
my lemonade
Ahhh!
Hits the spot!