Monday, May 31, 2010

Z is for Zippy
by Laurie Kolp

If you have energy, you're zippy
if you are dragging, you're drippy
if you feel silly, you're drippy
if you are loose, you're flippy
if you are cold, you're nippy
if you are witty, you're quippy
if you are sassy, you're lippy
if you are snide, you're snippy.
Now let me give you a little tippy-
be a hippie, have fun and say yippee;
you will find you're life is zippy.

Z is for Zippy

According to Webster, zippy means "full of energy: brisk: lively."  I want some of that!  Lately I have been anything but zippy.  Running from here to there for end-of-the-year activities, parties, field trips and awards ceremonies has me feeling pretty drippy. School is not over yet, either.  The kids go until June 4 for some unknown reason.  I mean, we have so many unnecessary holidays throughout the year, it seems the school district could cut some of them out.  Then the kids could get out before Memorial Day like we used to.  They are so not into school anymore and I'm not either.  I could go on, but I might start sounding like a flippy hippie

We did have fun today, though (another reason I am not zippy).  Pete and I took the kids swimming at the country club's Memorial Day celebration.   Then just as we got in the car my phone rang.  It was the kid's Uncle David inviting us to swim over at his place with my nephew David and his soon-to-be wife Linda, and her sister.  We were feeling kind of dippy, so we went.  Now we are pooped and a little pink, but I wanted to finish off this alphabet challenge before I went to get some ZZZZZZs.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Y is for Yesterday, and X Stuff

Yesterday I took a two-hour self-defense class.   Muscles I didn't know I had were sore last night, like a little spot on the side of my spine (probably from the punching exercise), the middle of my calf (kicking), and stomach and legs (throwing someone off of me).  I never knew I could defend myself against someone much bigger than my wee little self.  I also did not know I would be the dummy sometimes during the class; we had partners to "try things out on."  Of course with my luck, I had a Taekwondo instructor who knew the ropes.  But, I learned as long as I do the right moves in the right spots, I can get away from anyone.  Hopefully, I will never be faced with that kind of situation.

X Marks the Spot
"X marks the spot with a dot, dot, dot and a dash, dash, dash and a big question mark."  Have you ever heard of this?  Watch the video and you will see a demonstration of this fun little trick my children like. It has a surprise ending!

xoxoxo- Hugs and kisses, or kisses and hugs?
YODEL-A-HE-HO, (Yodel-a-he-ho)
by Laurie Kolp

Peace from the mountain top,
like a boomerang, hits my ear
I breathe in fresh, clean air
and I Know that God is near.

When I ask for help from God
He responds in a quiet, still voice.
The closer I am to Him,
the sooner my answer will come;
but when I stray, far away
His message is hard to hear.

Like an echo, He will answer
in His time, in His way.
I hope to always hear Him
so I can do His will each day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

“X” Always Wins
by Laurie Kolp

“You be the X,
I’ll be the O
in a quick game
of tic-tac-toe,

let’s draw the grid
right here where you sit,
when the doctor comes in
we’ll quickly quit.”

“Can we really write
on this paper, Mommy?
Will we get in trouble
when this mess they see?”

“Don’t worry sweetie,
no need for dissent,
new paper is rolled
for each patient.”

“You can go first,
put your O right here,
my X’s are smarter,
so you better beware!”

The mom just smiled
and let her son win,
before they knew it,
the doctor was in.

Friday, May 28, 2010

W is for Weddings

Is it Christmas?  The reason I ask is because June is going to be like December for us this year.  Of course we will have our normal two birthdays (Nicholas' and mine) and Father's Day (which is on my birthday), but this year we also have two weddings in June.  They are not just weddings we have been invited to either; they are weddings of two very special people in our lives- my nephews, David and Matt.  David is getting married in Beaumont and two weeks later Matt is getting married in Dallas.  We love the women they have chosen to spend the rest of their lives with, Linda and Jen.

Katie is so excited because she gets to be in both weddings.  One of the dresses she is wearing flows down to the ground, and the other comes right to the knee.  They look funny in her room hanging side by side, one so formal and long, the other short and summer-like.  What a symbolic contrast between brothers and their brides; each unique and special.

Andrew will be the ring bearer and wear a tuxedo in David's wedding, and Nicholas will do the same in Matt's wedding.  They, too, are excited about participating in the special events.

I know it will not be long before our children go down the aisle, if that is what God has planned for them.  I only hope they find the kind of everlasting love that Pete and I share.  When it is right, it works.  Merry June!
Wrong Way Sign
by Laurie Kolp

My heart melted when I first saw your eyes,
a chemistry brewed through my blood.

I fell in love as soon as we kissed,
unaware your feelings were mud.

You twisted and turned my heart around
like a cobbler who augurs through sole.

If ever you try to sneak back in my life,
read the sign and go back to your hole.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

V is for Vicarious

Sorry, but I really need a vacation so I am living vicariously through the Travel Channel tonight.  I have visited Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.  Tomorrow I have big plans for W, so please come back.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

U is for the Unique Umbrella Bird

Okay folks, I'm drawing on strings here.  Since I wrote a poem about umbrellas on my poetry blog (where I am doing the same alphabet challenge), I decided to share some interesting facts on a bird with several unique characteristics.  The umbrella bird, or umbrellabird,  is a very odd-looking bird that can be found in the South and Central America tropics.  It has a crest that can be drawn in or out resembling an umbrella.  This bird also has a long feathered wattle, which can grow up to 18 inches long.  The umbrella bird can grow up to 20 inches long.  The male is a blue-black color and the female is brown with a smaller waddle.  Another type of umbrella bird has a bare red-orange wattle.  They are definitely not as beautiful as cardinals, but unique just the same.  What do you think?

Ways to Use an Umbrella
by Laurie Kolp

big or small
short or tall
cover it all

rain or shine
doodle or line
protect just fine

swing or hit
poke or split
save lickety-split

stand or walk
sit or talk
are like a hawk

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

T is for Truth

To tell you the truth, this alphabet challenge is getting, um, challenging; I will be glad when it is over.  Honestly, I feel as if I'm reaching a stalemate.  The end of school is demanding and exhausting; I've been tired at the day's end.  As I have gotten further down the alphabet, it has been more difficult for me to think of interesting and unique topics.  I just stare at the screen like I am in a trance and the last thing I want to do is write something about the letter T, or whatever letter I am on. 

Then I have a little snack (usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or ice cream), get rejuvenated and the creative juices start to flow.  The funny thing is that I have to start typing first and then my fingers just seem to take over.  Like tonight I was going to write, "This alphabet exercise is getting tiring so I am taking a break today," but look how this is progressing.  Writing wakens my mind and energizes my soul; I cannot get enough of it.  So do not fret, because when this challenge is over I am still going to post more frequently than I had been for a while.  That's the truth and I'm sticking to it.
The Tavern
by Laurie Kolp

neon lights
yuppies gather after work
with hope of scoring big
beer and cigarettes
kick off

Monday, May 24, 2010

S is for Sadie

Sadie was our sweet yellow lab; we loved her dearly.  She was BS (before Snowy) so things were less, um, torn up in the backyard (ignore the fence in the background that was blown down in a hurricane and rigged by Pete). Sadie was great with the kids, and they loved playing with her in the kiddie pool when they were little. Sadie passed away a year-and-a-half ago, just months after Mary's death.  Sadie had a tumor in her head that was causing her to bleed through her nostrils.  Poor thing was so miserable, we had to make the difficult decision to put our beloved pet to sleep. We miss Sadie terribly, but have a nice stepping stone made with some of her ashes.  She will always be with us.
Down by the Silo
by Laurie Kolp

down by the silo
early in the morn
the cock-a-doodle plays
a song on his horn

the cow and the donkey
awake with a dance
while little oinky-oink
boogeys down by chance

all the farm animals
gather round the tune
while ole Mr. Farmer
hopes to sleep till noon

Mrs. Farmer wakens
right on time
arousing her hubby
with her own lil chime

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Q is for Quiet, R is for Recital

Katie, Andrew and Nicholas were in a piano recital today, and they performed very well.  Since my mom is the piano teacher, they are highly encouraged to participate.  Katie loves playing the piano and has played in many recitals.  Andrew has taken a few years too, but last year could not perform because of his broken arm.  Nicholas dabbles with the lessons, partaking in them when he feels like it.  At the last minute he decided to play in this year's recital. It was a fun day.

Q is for Quiet

Silence is golden
treasure its gift
be still;
the calm
before a storm
is quick.
by Laurie Kolp

I swim beneath the ocean deep
Chasing fish and ships I sweep,

The sucking disk upon my head
Helps me stick for food and bed,

A dark, blanket looms over me
Darkening all that I see,

Fear surrounds my habitat;
How will I escape combat?

Friday, May 21, 2010

by Laurie Kolp

Webster definition: quixotic(adj)-Idealistic in a romantic or practical way.

finding Mr. Right
taking flight
afternoon delight

Thursday, May 20, 2010

P is for Pete, and more...

Tonight Pete and I went on a date to a very exclusive establishment in town.  We went to a dinner/speaker function for the Propeller Club.  The food was a wonderful buffet, and the two speakers were interesting.  The first was from the Army and spoke about the ports around town.  The other speaker was from the Coast Guard and talked about the oil spill and how it will effect the shipping industry.

Now back to Pete.  We sat at a table with some other people from his work, and we were talking about the crazy hours they have.  Ships come to port 24/7, so the guys have to be available (thank goodness Pete is manager now and only goes out on emergencies). 

This story was part of tonight's conversation:  Pete and I were living in my one bedroom apartment until we found a house.  One morning I woke up and noticed Pete wasn't in bed.  I knew he was out on a ship, but he should have been home by then.  I walked out into the living area, passed right in front of the couch and straight to the phone (all before I turned on any lights or made coffee).  Back then Pete had a pager so I called it to make sure he was okay.  All of the sudden I hear a strange vibrating sound from behind.  Right as I turn around, I see Pete pop up and reach for his pager while blurting obscenities.  He had only gotten home an hour ago after working all night, and I woke him from his deep sleep.  I am so glad we can laugh about it now. 
by Laurie Kolp

She would give me pecans,
a simple plea for cookies.
“Wu-ell, these are good,”
she would say each time,
“but I want the ones you
made several years ago;
those are my favorite.
Don’t you remember?
The cookies melted in my mouth
like butter on toast,
were sweet (but not too sweet),
crispy with pecans (not too much),
a touch of vanilla and brown sugar
(or was that something else)
I’ll know the second I taste
the cookie that it’s the one.”
So I spent the rest of her life
baking a plethora of cookies,
never finding the perfect one,
enjoying them with her over coffee;
she would give me pecans.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

O is for Ode

Something about your crimson red
catches my eye when feeling blue.
How can thy not appreciate your white,
purely ethereal and heaven sent,
giving birth to promises of green?
When none other than your chirp
esteems a melody of sunny yellow;
songs that echo symphonic silver,
so that even when I cannot see you,
I feel our electric connection.
Your honor and reverie shines,
dropping splashes of pure gold-
such divine inspiration you are!
Oh, how I love your sweet purple
that ripples effervescent faith
through my hungry soul,
a myriad of pink blessings
fragrant and everlasting,
cleanses me, cures me.
My sweet red cardinal,
your rainbow of color
paints hope in my heart;
I adore my messenger
of love
from above.

@Laurie Kolp
Oil Spill
by Laurie Kolp

Beneath the iridescent ocean vast
a symphony plays music;
prelude to the Black Knight.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

N is for Nic...

No, not Nicholas;  Nicole.  Kidman, that is.  You see, she and I share the same birthday- year and all.  June 20, 1967 (sshhh, don't tell). 

Tonight (for real, tonight) Katie asked me this question: "Who is Nicole Kidman?"

I proudly looked at her and said, "Why she's an actress.  We share the same birthday- year and all."

"Really?  What does she look like?" Katie asked.

"Well, she has long red curly hair like Aunt Chelsea and speaks with an Australian accent like the Crocodile Hunter did.  Why?"

"I saw her name in the newspaper's word find today and had heard it before, that's all."  And here's the punch line...  "She's kinda old to be an actress, isn't she?"  OUCH!
by Laurie Kolp

Vanilla is the continuity
on this journey called life,
connecting all the pieces
comforting in times of strife.

Strawberry’s simple pleasure
with the boring and mundane
always cheers bad attitudes,
disappointment and disdain.

Chocolate is the succulence
flowing through each of us,
living on the high wire
the calming juice of lust.

Neapolitan ice cream
gives life a soothing dream.

Monday, May 17, 2010

M is for Moody Gardens

Although this was not preplanned for "M" day, I went with Andrew's class to Moody Gardens in Galveston today. We drove through the Boliver Peninsula and then rode the ferry to the island. It was such a beautiful day. After everyone ate lunch in the hot sun, we went inside to the refreshing IMAX theater, where we saw a 3-D film on ocean life. I was pretty dizzy after watching all the little fish swim around my face and dodging a deadly sea snake. After IMAX, we went to the Rainforest Pyramid and the Aquarium. I wish I had more to write about, but I am going to bed.  Here are some highlights, though.

by Laurie Kolp

Slow locomotion,
magical potion;
I feel.

Utter confusion,
where’s the compassion?
I reel.

Storm cloud dissipates,
life invigorates;
I heal.

by Laurie Kolp

Wash, fold, iron;
laundry’s never done.

Sort, spray, starch;
laundry’s never fun.

Cold water, hot water;
laundry is a bore.

Fragile cycle, regular;
laundry is a chore.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

L is for Library (and the time we got stuck in an elevator at one)

I have always loved the library.  When I was little, a big part of my summer was reading.  I'd come home with a big pile of books each time we went to the library.

Now my kids love the library. In the summer we always participate in the reading club and have gotten some wonderful rewards: tickets to the circus, petting zoo, magic shows and coupons to area restaurants and stores.

I have taken the kids to the library since they were very little.  We would go to story time each week, and many times to the park afterwards.  It was a weekly outing we all looked forward to.

One time I decided to vary up our routine and take them to the downtown library.  Nicholas was still in a stroller.  I can't remember exactly what ages the kids were, but they were very young.  Back then the children's section was in the basement.  Since I had the stroller, we had to take the elevator down.

I don't know if your kids do or ever did this, but when we all got into the elevator, Katie and Andrew started arguing over who was going to press the button.  They both started banging on it until we realized nothing was happening.  Had they caused it to malfunction?  We pressed the open button a few times and it eventually opened.  Andrew hopped out like he had ants in his pants or something, because the door only opened a wee bit and then it closed suddenly.  After that we could not get it to open or close.  We were stuck in the elevator.

I began to panic, feel claustrophobic and worry about Andrew getting abducted; after all, we were downtown, right?  I did not have my phone either.  The only saving grace (and I think this happened for a reason) was the conversation I had had with Pete only a few weeks ago.  My dad was having a procedure done in the hospital, and we overheard some people in the waiting room talking about how they had gotten stuck in an elevator.  Pete had told me if that ever happened, just manually open the doors by pulling them apart with my hands.  I did that and it worked.  Thank the Lord, Andrew was waiting right in front of the door.  It had seemed like ten or fifteen minutes, but in retrospect I know it was only seconds that we were separated.  It's amazing how my mind can rummage up so many scenarios in such a short amount of time.

Needless to say, we left the library immediately after the incident.  But I made sure to stop by the main desk and tell them to check the elevator.  We have not been back to the downtown library since that day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

by Laurie Kolp

brilliant colors spinning round
great designs throughout abound
turn the knob and look right through
you will see a kaleidoscope, too

J and K are for...

Just Kidding!  Eons ago, when I was in middle school, I had a friend that would say "just kidding" all the time.  She would not only say "just kidding," but she would take her right hand (as if saluting) and bang it on her chest as she said the words, then bring her hand back out quickly.  Before long all the girls in my grade were doing the same thing.  I'm sure we looked and sounded like idiots, but everyone probably just shoved it off as "that awkward stage."

As time went on, "just kidding" went from "jus kid'n" to "Ka-in" and finally simply "CAN," and the chest thump got quicker and harder.  We went from doing the "CAN" thing every once in a while to after every sentence and eventually we did the "CAN" thing after every other word.  I bet strangers must have thought I had a weird tic or something.  (Although I was not quite as bad as the more hyper kids- HA).  I remember my sister and parents laughing at me and trying to mimic the new trend, but they just didn't seem to cut it like my peers.

Now that I am a parent raising kids, I can only imagine how irritating that would be...and to teachers?  Oh my goodness!  I bet we drove them nuts. Unfortunately, this trend went on for several years until we were ready to enter high school.  Then my parents sent me to private school.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

by Laurie Kolp

smelling coffee in the morn’
sweet smiling first newborn
ocean breezes in my hair
peaceful music in the air
freshened love spreading wings
cardinal, how great it sings
season’s beauty, each unique
cool refreshment, summer’s drink
all of this and so much more
brings me joy, new hope in store

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I is for Inspiring Images

The pictures below have been taken by me through the years.  They inspire me because in these images, I see the miraculous beauty of God's power and the wonderment of His world.
I hope these photos move you as much as they move me.

by Laurie Kolp

a small irritation sets the spark
which starts to boil once again
growing hot with each vexation
volcano whirling in a spin
until another wee little thing
erupts a dangerous rage within

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

H is for Hematoma

My poor husband, Pete.  I sent him to my new doctor for a physical a few weeks ago (our old doctor had moved).  The doctor wanted to have Pete's  blood drawn, so he went back last week to have it done.  Pete came home complaining how that was the worse  experience he had ever had getting his blood drawn.  When a huge hematoma-looking thing appeared on his arm, I knew it must have been bad.  The sad thing is that when Pete went back to show them what the phlebotomist had done, nobody offered an apology whatsoever.  Instead they tried to cover their bases.  It's a sad world we live in today.
by Laurie Kolp

thunder roaring through my head
hurts so bad I stay in bed
the room spins round and round
my feet unsteady on the ground
lava bubbles up inside
nausea hits me down the slide
my pain I must sleep through
endless days in a darkened room
until the violent storm does end
I am weakened, on the mend

Monday, May 10, 2010

G is for Gratitude

As I have stated before, I try to have an attitude of gratitude.  But sometimes my busy life begins to cloud my thinking and I find myself fretting over things I can't even control.  The "what ifs"  move into my head and push back any gratitude I have.  The gratitude is still there, but gets forgotten.  I waste time and energy worrying about senseless things, but when I let go of these burdens and focus on what I am grateful for, I am at peace.

Today has been as busy as the weekend was, and I am tired.  Katie had her dance recital Saturday night after a lot of practice Friday and Saturday.  I found myself in a tizzy when I had very little time to get Katie's lunch.  Our downtown has undergone a lot of changes and I accidentally ended up rushing down a one-way street...going the wrong way, of course (no cars were out, so no need to worry, right- NOT).  Then I shuffled around and ran into a main street that is being completely dug up and is temporarily closed.  I went through the barricade and dirt anyway (the "food place" was on the other side).  By the time I had myself all worked up, I made it back to the theatre in the nick of time to eat lunch with Katie before she had to line up for her dances.  I was not thinking gratitude at this point, I was worrying and rushing.  The "what ifs" were swimming in my head, and it was all for nothing.  I made it back.  Katie ate.  The show went on.  What a waste of energy.  Maybe that is why I am so tired.

While we were busy, Pete and the boys were off having fun at a work-related crawfish boil...

Greener Grass

by Laurie Kolp
“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,”
~Erma Bombeck

She had the whole thing planned
in the back of her head
a way to escape
her unhappy mundane life.
If only she had a different job
if only she could stay at home
if only she was no longer a wife
if only the kids would grow up
if only her hair was red...or pink
if only, if only, if only.

She now sits alone in her chair
and in the back of her head
she wants a way to escape
this life- too quiet, too still;
she feels like she’s dead.
If only she had a time capsule
if only she had a magic wand
if only she had listened to them
if only she would have known
if only she could hold him again
if only she felt needed
if only, if only, if only.

The grass is always greener
on the other side.
Then why is she on the other side
and still sad?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A small break- G returns tomorrow

A Letter To Heaven
by Laurie Kolp

I saw your kids
for the first time
since that day.
I was in church
and spotted them
across the way.
They looked sad
on what must be
a very dismal
Mother’s Day.
Your daughter looks
just like you
and your son
ironically does, too;
only they
appeared small
and frail,
(not much bigger
than two years ago)
scared and pale.
I hurried through
the crowd
once mass expired.
Found amid confusion
I gave them long hugs,
told them they were loved
and they smiled.
Then on the way
back to my house
a cardinal flew
in front of my view;
so I just want to say,
my dear sweet soul-
your welcome.

Friday, May 7, 2010

F is for Firecrackers

My childhood in New Orleans is full of happy memories playing with neighborhood friends.  I loved riding my bike and roller skating up and down the sidewalks of our quiet street.  Our neighbors would have huge block parties several times a year. Barriers would block our street so cars could not drive down it. The grown-ups cooked a smorgasbord of various kinds of food. My mom, a piano teacher, would roll our piano out into the street and provide music for everyone. Lawn chairs would be sprawled out to sit in and picnic tables set up to eat on. The children spent days practicing for the talent show we put on for the adults. Our next door neighbor’s mom was a seamstress and would help with costumes. We had so much fun prancing around our parents and making them laugh.

One particular block party was always around the Fourth of July. The heat and mosquitoes never stopped us from having fun, though. We always stayed up way too late so we could set off fireworks.

I was watching the explosion in the sky when all of the sudden I heard screaming. I looked up to find people hovered around an older boy I did not know very well. I ran over to see what all the commotion was about when my mom stopped me.

“Don’t go over there, honey,” she said.

“Why not? What happened?” I asked.

“That teenager had a firework explode in his hand and burn it. We’re going in now.”

I couldn’t believe that had happened. I was always overly concerned when it came to accidents, so I reluctantly followed my family inside, turning around several times to sneak a peek. The boy was taken to the hospital and the next time I saw him, his hand was all bandaged up. Since then, I have stayed away from firecrackers.
Flattened Heart
by Laurie Kolp

A forewarning said it’s fragile
precautions should be taken,
this forgotten treasure
old memories long forsaken.

Finally found betwixt the mess
of scattered dreams intangible,
how long it was furloughed
formed an icicle, frangible.

When did the fabric of life
become a fictitious fa├žade,
this fathomless front
with fear the firing squad?

Like a furrowed relic,
her once flattened heart
began to flitter gradually;
effervescent love restarts.

by Laurie Kolp

“Plan for the worse,
and hope for the best,”
an old friend used to say;
I thought he was cursed
with pessimism
to think that way.

Yet who was I to judge-
fantasized optimism
constantly let me down;
false expectations,
imagined outcomes
shattered my crown.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

E is for Equipment

Tonight my wonderful, loving husband, Pete, is going to blog about some equipment I think is fascinating.  I know nothing about it so Pete, who works in the shipping industry, is stepping in for me.  One of the surveyors in his company took this picture as it was being loaded on a ship to go out to the site of the drilling rig accident.  Thank you Pete.

"Equipment" describes the man-made machines that make modern life possible from the cars we drive and the ships that bring our oil to the cranes and bull dozers that allow our society to grow. The picture included is a huge hydraulic shear that is the size of a large SUV and the same weight as three of the same SUV's. It is basically a giant pair of scissors capable of biting through a 3 ft. diameter steel pipe in one bite. It can be and may be dropped to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico on the end of a crane wire to cut apart the steel debris from the recent drilling rig accident. I love "equipment" and all of the benefits we receive as a society from it.
D is for Dear
by Laurie Kolp

It all begins with
in devotion
for love
and adoration;
follow it with
in glory
our creator
the almighty;
next comes the
in reverence,
with gratitude
and praise;
when all is said and done
it ends with
in peace
and serenity
an everlasting promise;
on this Day of Prayer.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

D is for Deadline

Sorry, I have a deadline to meet.

Please come back tomorrow
C is for Chance
by Laurie Kolp

a whim
that was all it was
a chance to be heard
after merciless years
of changing diapers
cleaning spit-up
and crazy choppy nights

a contest
that was all it was
a chance for me to write again
like I did until fear
conquered my creativity
and I did not think
I had a chance
at success

winning first place
was all that it took
the poem my fingers wrote
awakened a craving
a continuous calling
to write, write, write

that was all it was
a chance

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

C is for Celestial

Are you surprised that I chose celestial instead of cardinals?  That's because, to me, they go hand in hand.  You see, celestial means heavenly or spiritual, and cardinals serve as reminders to me of God's love.  So whenever I see a cardinal, I feel connected with God.

How did this come to be?  If you have been following my blog since the beginning, then you know the answer to this.  For those of you who are new, I will give you a run-down on why cardinals mean so much to me, and why I named this blog Conversations With A Cardinal.

I had a very dear friend, Mary, who committed suicide two years ago.  It was unexpected and I was very shaken up by it. At her funeral I met Mary's sister, Jeni who lives in New York but is now a dear friend of mine (click here to read her blog and learn more about Mary).  Both of us began spotting cardinals at great times of sorrow and when thinking of Mary.  For me, it happened all over the place at the lowest of times...but always when I was sad about Mary's death.  A warm and fuzzy feeling would come over me, as if an "energy" was pouring into my body.  I knew Mary was okay, and that God would get me through.  It was the most amazing, life-changing occurrence I have ever experienced.

Now, two years later, my cardinal still appears to me.  When Jeni and I talk on the phone, a cardinal appears; when I gave Jeni the "Sisterhood" blog award, my backyard was filled with dozens of cardinals; a cardinal led me to a 94-year-old friend who was bleeding to death.  Cardinals are all over now, and they serve as reminders of spirituality and heaven.  I have shared these miracles and many more on this blog, which originated because of my cardinal encounters.

Sometimes I hear the cardinal singing his lovely tune or chirping his distinct chirp, and even though I cannot see the cardinal, I know he is there...just like God.  Other times I see the cardinal after being led to him by the songs or chirps (or sometimes without any sound- I just KNOW he's there).  I am overcome with joy and hope; joy that comes from knowing without a doubt that God and an afterlife exists, and hope that everything will be okay.  I always say a prayer when I hear or see a cardinal and can happily say that today I know that God is near.
The Back-Booty-Bump
by Laurie Kolp

If I never see those dancing booties again,
I will be as happy as a kid in summer.
I cannot stand those “dancing moms,”
who pop up all over the place
and try to lure me back to college-
I’d rather become a plumber.
These “moms” swing their arms up in the air
as they do the back-booty-bump,
appearing all over, out of nowhere,
they make me want to gag.
If Obama wants me back in school
Chippendale dancers he should send
not only would they tantalize me,
in college I’d be by week’s end.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


by Laurie Kolp

Pardon me if I seem aloof
I’m really just quite shy
My phobia holds me prisoner
When I see others passing by
All I really want to do
Is approach them and say “Hi”
Instead I turn the other way
And pretend I’m occupied
But the truth of the matter is
I’m tremendously gun-shy

A for Attitude

This month I will be blogging according to the letters of the alphabet.  Each letter will have a chosen topic for me to write about.  I want to begin with A for Attitude.

I have been stuck in attitude many times in my life; negative attitude that tells me I am not good enough or will never make it, and positive attitude that says I can do anything I put my mind to.  Of course there is attitude which comes from having kids, but I am not talking about that right now. 

We can choose love over selfishness, acceptance over hate, humility instead of boastfulness; so the list goes on.  I know for me, I would much rather love, accept and be humble.  When I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, an attitude of gratitude helps me find my way back to peace.  As I see all the things I am grateful for, I forget about all the things I do not have. 

Someone once said, "It is better to want less than you have than to want more than you need."  I could not agree more (maybe one day I'll get there).  If I act as if I'm happy, chances are I will become happy.  In closing, I would like to share this poem with you:

You've got to get up every morning with a smile on you face,
And show the world all the love in your heart,
Then people gonna treat you better,
You're gonna find, yes, you will,
That you're as beautiful as you feel.
~Carole King 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A movie and bedtime stories

We just got finished watching "Fantastic Mr. Fox," and I have some good news and bad news.  The bad news is that this movie, which is a cartoon made for kids, is full of lying, stealing, smoking and drinking.  Since when have PG rated movies become bad for young children?  I highly do NOT recommend this movie.

The good news is that "Fantastic Mr. Fox" reminded me of bedtime stories my dad used to tell me when I was a child.  The tales were always about a fox and a weasel and all of the mischief they would get into trying to catch one another.  I always looked forward to hearing my father's imaginary stories.  Hmmm...maybe I will start my own fox and weasel books.  What do you think?

*I have made it easier for you to comment.  I sure would love to hear from you!