Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The thrill of excitement

Andrew- 4th place, Pete- 2nd place, Nicholas- 1st place in their divisions!

Well, another Pinewood Derby has come and gone.  Cars have been laboriously built after hours of scrutiny and nitpicking.  Dads have returned to their inner child, sometimes showing more excitement than the children.  Moms have had to break their boys (Dads and children) from their race car mania and hypnotism, sometimes having to lure them back inside with trickery.  The boys remind me of preschoolers who are glued to their moms before school and won't let go; only it's not mom the boys are glued to, it's those cars.  Heck, some of the dads have brought their saws inside and worked at the kitchen table!   Saw, sand, paint, oil and then repeat (for those of us who have more than one boy in scouts).  If it is like this now, what will it be like when the boys near "the driving age" and start piddling around with real cars and engines?  I know Pete spent many hours with his head stuck in a hood when he was growing up.

You might be wondering how I can stand the mess, the silliness of racing homemade Matchcars all day; because it's fun!  Families come to the big event ready to race, cameras in hand.  The scouts run crazy through the church hall and around the grassy field, breaking planters and knocking down full-sized American flags.  All of this happens while the grown-ups are either setting up or cleaning up; maybe even catching up with a friend they haven't seen in awhile. 

Then when the race begins, the kids stuff themselves with pizza, chips, Coke and cookies from the snack stand because the parents are so engrossed in the standings and placement of their babies (cars, not boys).  The day is long and drawn out as each race has to be absolutely perfect and deemed 100% acceptable from the higher-ups.  Children become tired and cranky.  They have tummy aches and just want to go home and play electronics.  Some cry because they didn't get a trophy, and some even resort to violence as their limits soar.

~sigh~  Now why was it I liked this?  Oh yeah... because my boys competed (and won)!

River of Stones: 1-29-11

At the precipice
bearing peace,
a cardinal

Friday, January 28, 2011

River of Stones: 1-28-11

Puppy dog eyes and a smile from ear to ear: Are you my teacher's mom?
Shooting stars and utter nausea: No, I'm your substitute.   I'm not that old!

Big Tent Poetry: 1-28-11

I see you, boss
waiting at the dock;
your steadfast gaze
I know not where it lands.
I will follow you, boss
through this derelict ship
as we brave the winter cold.
Up and down we will climb
through the ship arrested-
hating what we love,
loving what we hate;
it’s in our blood, boss,
to devote our lives to sea.
Hunger will soon lead us
to the dusty galley
where we witness life once lived,
long forgotten memorabilia-
cards, magazines, books, CDs.
A wheel of white European cheese
hardened and moldy
sits on a table half-eaten,
whiffs of outdated ham and bologna
overcome our olfactory nerves
eating now a lost dream.
I see you, boss,
turn the other way;
your steadfast gaze landing
on a precision German sextant;
someone’s treasure now evidence.
I watch you closely, boss,
waiting to follow your lead
but you walk on by nonplused
on this cold wintery day
and I follow you
inch by inch,

This week’s prompt over at Big Tent Poetry was to write a poem about a picture from the photographer’s point of view.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

River of Stones: 1-27-11

When I look up I see the Cayman Islands,
luring me to jump into the clear ocean blue;
but when I look down I see The Congo,
filth and smog muffles my mind's view.
Thank you God for this beautiful day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

River of Stones: 1-26-11

Umm... the sun feels so good.
I could spend all day in its warmth,
roll around from side to side;
no need to fret over
skin cancer
wind-blown hair.
What's that?
I better run to the gate...
ruff, ruff, ruff!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

River of Stones: 1-25-11

Lapping up the hypnotic melody
drowning in its rapturous symphony,
I close my eyes and thank my God
for the joy of life's simplicity.

Monday, January 24, 2011

River of Stones: 1-24-11

Holding a guitar the rambunctious boy asks,
"If someone broke in and tried to attack me,
could I hit him over the head with this?"
To which his father says,
"Yes, and yell as loud as you can, too."
Taking a deep breath, the boy responds,
"Like this? AAAHH......... "

Sunday, January 23, 2011

River of Stones: 1-23-11

If you don't want to end up in the alley,
use the correct form you once were taught,
keep your eyes ahead to reach your goal,
follow the straight and narrow lane to succeed,
let go and let God.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

River of Stones: 1-22-11

Greens, greens, greens--
mustard, collard, turnip and spinach
cooked all day with a ham hock, onion and seasoning;
don't you just love a neighbor who shares?

Friday, January 21, 2011

River of Stones: 1-21-11

The lion comes in many disguises
He will lure you into his arms like a fox
Enwrap you in a bear hug
Caress your body and purr like a cat
Splash wet puppy-dog kisses everywhere
And then when you least expect it
The lion comes and squeezes the life out of you.

Big Tent Poetry Prompt: Food

Spaghetti and Waffles
by Laurie Kolp

He told me I was slurpy spaghetti
that my thoughts
wiggled and jiggled and whirled
without beginning or end
filled with saucy spicy emotions
a predictable trend--

S            h          i
   p     g     e     t
      a           t

I said he was a square waffle
with ideas  compartmentalized
cut and dry,  nothing special
sticky syrupy thickness  like
his hardhead ever refusing to
budge; square waffle- - blah.

*Although I have never read the book, a friend shared the concept with me one day over ice cream. 
Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti
By Bill and Pam Farrel

Thursday, January 20, 2011

River of Stones: 1-20-11

In the long carpool line wait, the mother observes many things.  Glad to see the sun, she tosses her jacket and rolls down the windows.  A little later, clouds appear out of nowhere like a stampede of wild hogs.  She puts the jacket back on and rolls up the windows.  Before long, the restless mom watches through the rain as other parents pull up at the last minute and park illegally.  She wonders why their time is so valuable.

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Meet the Kolp brothers:

Mark is the oldest and the biggest.  He loves his five dogs so much that he gives extra attention to them when they hurt themselves.  Mark sends us pictures of his "kids" and brags on them like any proud Dad would.  His eyes light up and voice softens at the mere mention of dogs.  Pete and he can spend hours sharing dog stories with one another.

Then there's Chris, the youngest.  Roxie and Ginger sit with him on the couch and watch TV.  Notice how he holds the dog's hand while the dog winks at the camera.  I'm surprised they're not all smoking cigars together!  Chris and Chelsea now have baby Jonathan, but Chris manages to squeeze in some time with the dogs.  The whole back part of their house is for the royalty, Roxie and Ginger.  Even though it has been gated off because of Chelsea's keen mother's instinct, those dogs have a pretty good life.  I mean, they can come and go as they please through their little doggie door.  They get treats daily.  And they get to watch TV all day.

Last, but not least, is my husband.  Now Pete, the middle child, doesn't fool around.  He gets down to the nitty-gritty, right on the floor with the dogs.  Partly because I won't let the dogs on the furniture, but mostly because he wants to.  Pete even cuddles with Snowy (the female).  She would sit in his lap all day if I let her.  I swear Pete can spend thirty minutes petting Jake and Snowy and then turn around and tell me his hands are too tired to massage my feet. 

?Sometimes I wonder what their connection with dogs really is?

Pete and his brothers are alike in many other ways. When I have the opportunity to spend time with them, I notice similar idiosyncrasies and mannerisms. Granted, they differ according to which brother it is, but they both have their own set of kindred connections with Pete.

My sister (in-law), Chelsea, and I have fun talking about things Pete and Chris do the same way, even though they haven't lived with each other in over 25 years.  One example in particular is how they deal with babies. A few weeks ago when they were visiting, Pete would pick up Jonathan and play with him the same way Chris does. I remember when my babies sometimes even mixed Chris up for Pete, they look so much alike.

I love the Kolp family - kids, dogs, and all.  Now there is a new generation of Kolp boys: Ricky, Chris' oldest, Andrew, Nicholas, and Jonathan.  I can't wait to see what comes next!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

River of Stones: 1-19-11

A mysterious shadow bleeds charcoal in the night
That through the chilly air creates an eerie void
Until a glowing pendant peeks its way
Through wispy clouds swimming in the sky
Between two branches- a meatball sandwich
An illuminating promise of eternal loyalty

PAD prompt: Serendipity

When You Called
by Laurie Kolp

You fill my mind, I hold you close
Each thought ignites a wild desire
Calling my name
Longing for the loving touch
Of your warm embrace
Calling my name
Your lips tickle my neck
Every pore in my body tingles
Calling my name
As you run your fingers
Up and down my spine
Calling my name
I breathe in and you are there
Your musky fragrance I crave
Calling my name
The ringing of the phone
Breaks my reverie
I answer and hear your voice 
Calling my name

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

River of Stones: 1-18-11

At the top of the thin naked tree
two chirping birds sway in the wind
like bards walking on stilts.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

River of Stones: 1-16-11

rain pours on raw emotion
~drip... drip... drip~
flooding the doghouse

Saturday, January 15, 2011


One word.  That's all it takes.  To change a life forever.

Let me give you a few examples of what I mean. 

1. Onus- This is the one word that Andrew had to spell this week to win first place in his grade level spelling bee.

2. Priest- This is the one word Nicholas used during his first confession Thursday.  He was supposed to say Father.

3. Fly- This is the one thing I would have wanted to be during Nicholas' confession.  On the wall, of course.

4. Keen- This is the one word I used to change a poem at the very last minute, and yet the very word the editor did not like.

5. Freeze- This is the one word I do NOT want to hear in the weather forecast again this year.

6. Karen- This is the name of a very special friend who came to town for a visit this weekend.

Me, Andrew, Nicholas, Karen, Katie, Orb
Good or bad, words are powerful- even just one little word.  So choose wisely.  What will yours be? 

River of Stones: 1-15-11

Says the adult writer to the teenaged aspiring writer:
"How's your writing coming along?"
Says the teenager with a big smile:
"I'm not doing that anymore... I got my driver's license!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

River of Stones: 1-14-11

Green ribbon scalloped loosely
swings between majestic columns,
mighty bows the hands that turn
adding life in winter's grey,
an invitation to jump rope--
"Come on out and play."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Big Tent Poetry prompt: 1-14-11

Big Tent Poetry's prompt this week involved brainstorming words that begin with the same letter, choosing one of the words as the title and going from there.   I love alliteration, so this is what I came up with.  I hope you enjoy!

by Laurie Kolp

The growing sound of laughter
fills the lavish bathroom
as two loquacious women enter,
dab their lustrous noses,
paint red on luscious lips,
spray lavender to luring loops-
all the while lollygagging
in hopes that the lewd men
will soon leave them alone.

Sitting cross-legged in midair
Lucifer waits in the lavatory
for his luck to arrive,
ready to dive into the liquid-
as a squirrel, he will lurk
and scare the living shit
out of those two lovely ladies
who looked the wrong way
that winter’s night so long ago.

River of Stones: 1-13-11

On the edge of her seat, the anxious mother listens carefully
as her diligent son progresses through the spelling bee;
with each passing word, her heart aching to burst
until the word "onus" lands him in first.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

River of Stones: 1-12-11

Nestled in the corner by the kitchen
and camouflaged by the cafe's greenery,
an observant writer watches
as the waiter sneaks french fries from his tray
before delivering lunch to hungry patrons.

PA Wednesday prompt: Trapped

Hurricane Ike
by Laurie Kolp

The kettle whistles
louder, higher
a tattered body
tossing, turning
her tie-dyed face
writhing, aching
grey eyes open
crying, praying
the tide surges
louder, higher
violent waves
slapping, flapping
tightened hands
shaking, breaking
frenzied anger
raging, screaming:
the wrath of Ike- unforgiving.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1-11-11: A Day of Miracles

Since today is 1-11-11(!), I thought I would write something spectacular(!), mind-boggling(!), and/or awe-inspiring(!); but the truth of the matter is I have nothing to share along those lines!

What I do have is a request.  Please pray for my friend, Carrie.  She is having a double mastectomy today.  You can LIKE this Facebook page for updates on her condition.  Carrie has two young children and has already gone through a round of chemotherapy.  Unfortunately the tumors grew back shortly after her chemo ended.  Hopefully with many prayers, God's grace, and careful doctors, 1-11-11 will go down in history as a day of miracles.

Dear God,
Please bless my friend Carrie
with your loving care and grace,
on this special day of ones*
all cancer in her body do erase.

River of Stones: 1-11-11

The child spins 'round and 'round
faster and faster 'til he falls to the ground
like a whirlybird leaf at play
on a cold winter's day.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I am not alone

Yesterday, we finally had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with Pete's brother Chris, my sister (in-law) Chelsea, and their son, Jonathan.  We had planned on getting together at Thanksgiving, but poor Jonathan was very sick and in the hospital.  Then at Christmas, my family was playing hot potato with strep throat.  So our visit was long overdue and the whole day was a true blessing.  And what happened is a blessing, too: we were not alone.  Read on to "see" what I mean...

I am holding my nine-month-old praying nephew, Jonathan.  As you can see by the spirit orbs surrounding my crosses and the big one on the curtain, we are not alone. 
Chelsea helps Jonathan open presents while another spirit orb (see her ankle) delights in joy.

Katie and her Aunt Chelsea strike a pose after having a fun "hair war."  Again, they are not alone (see upper right-hand corner).

Ever since Mary's death, and then Ms. Angelle's, orbs have shown up in my pictures at some time or another.  People have differing opinions about these round mysterious balls, but I strongly believe they are spiritual.  They appear in times of joy and celebration.

Do you remember my post A Letter to Heaven?  I was happily reminiscing about my special times with Ms. Angelle.  When I uncovered the two evening gowns she had given me and took a picture for the post, an orb showed up on one of the dresses.

Here are just a few of the many pictures I have with spiritual orbs in them:

Here you can see the spirit orbs in my friend Heather's meditation room.  I can feel the chi in that peaceful room!

If you look closely on my hair, you can see orbs by my ear and my dad's head.  I am opening birthday presents at my parent's home.

The orb is by my mom's head.  Do you see it?

It looks like someone is partaking in Andrew's birthday celebration.  Perhaps Ms. Angelle, Andrew's godmother, sits beside Nicholas.

And here again, Andrew has an orb with him on Christmas Eve.

Need I say more?  The proof is in the puddin'!

River of Stones: 1-9-11

Like a persistent child pulling on a grown-up's shirt,
the Java update throbs orange on my nerves.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

River of Stones: 1-8-11

"M-O-M, (older sibling) won't let me borrow the Pokemon Heart Gold DS game," cries (younger sibling).

"Did you ask nicely?" Mom says.

"Just a minute."

Younger sibling runs to older sibling and asks if he asked nicely. Then rushes back to Mom.

"I think I did!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

River of Stones: 1-7-11

Clop! Clop! Clop!
Ms. Busybody
in search of fresh fodder
to share with the herd.

Big Tent poetry prompt: Feet

Virgin Feet at a Hoe-Down
by Laurie Kolp

Hungry eyes followed
     hot pink Ropers,
        skin-tight Wranglers
           and a mid-riff shirt
with honks, grins and “How-DEE!”
   The crowd was a’roarin’and music a’blarin’
“Welcome to the barefoot hoedown”
    Sue’s heart began racing
her palms became sweaty

wiggling      dotted     red
         toes        in

smarted at the stinging of the hay
          needles piercing silky pillows
each step of the way...

"Grab your padner, DO-Si-Do!" 

Sue          her      out      the
     danced      way       of       pain.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

River of Stones: 1-6-11

Waiting in the carpool line,
a cool breeze drifts through the window. 
Hmm... where's the bacon?

My "Jack-of-All-Trades" Husband

Pete while in Panama during Operation Just Cause
A typical scenario at our house involves the five of us sitting around the kitchen table eating and talking.  We might be chatting about pigs because we are eating pork chops.  Then the conversation will veer off into pig pens, and Pete will say proudly, "I used to work in a pig sty.  I was even a super-duper-pooper-scooper in a fifteen horse barn."  I'm sure you don't want to know the details. He also worked as a cowpoke, horse trainer, tractor driver, firewood cutter and fence line fixer; all while in high school because he wanted to earn money.

Or we might be rehashing the dance recital when Katie had to do quick changes behind the stage because her performances were so close together.  The gabfest will take a sharp turn to the left after Pete confesses, "When I was a stage hand for the Ziegfeld Follies, I got to help the dancers change.  You’d be amazed at how fast we changed them."  I bet he did!  Any college male would die for that kind of job.

Sometimes we have problems around the house, as most home owners do.  I call "P-e-te," and here he comes.

"What's wrong?" He asks.

"The toilet is about to overFLOW... oh, no!" I step out of the bathroom.

"Oh, don't worry.  I used to be a plumber.  I can fix this." 

Just like Pete can fix garbage disposals, faucets, washing machines and dryers.  He can remodel rooms, build furniture, carve wood and paint.  He acquired these skills while putting himself through college as the campus handyman.

While Pete was at Texas A&M/ Galveston, he also loved to scuba dive and sail.  He was on the sailing team and turned into a boat mechanic, deck hand and boat cleaner; all for extra moola.

Another random evening we may be chewing the fat when Pete admits he castrated twenty hogs and became a llama mid-wife while he lived in Iowa.  He even worked as a vet tech for a while, which is why he knows so much about animals. 

Sometimes Pete and I share stories with the kids about when we were dating.  One story in particular always cracks me up.  I was having a problem with my car.  Pete took a look at the engine, got a hammer from my apartment and banged on something in there.  The nerve of him!

"Don't worry," he said.  "It's just the throttle linkage."

"Okay, dear."

Whatever that is.  I just smiled real big and batted my eyelashes, like any other Southern Belle would do.

I later found out he was a Porter car dealer, an auto-parts store clerk, a welder and pipe fitter.  In the Marines, Pete was a nuclear weapons security guard, rifle range coach and machine gun squad leader.  Oh, what fun!

In his career, Pete has been a Marine sergeant, diesel truck manager, area manager for a marine surveying/ appraisal office. 

I asked Pete what he had to say about his well-rounded work history.  This is what he said:

“It took me a while to find my calling; I didn’t rush into anything.”

But he sure gained a lot of experience!

And guess what?  Pete is about to embark on another adventure.  He will soon have another feather for his cap.  My husband is starting on his MBA next week. ~sigh~  I am so proud of him!

Talking about all the jobs Pete has had in the past, you must remember his very first one as newspaper carrier.  You can read about it here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PA Wednesday prompt: Celebration

Life’s Short, Be Glad

by Laurie Kolp

Without trepidation
or thoughts of necrosis,
the squirrel heads out
on a frenzied neurosis.

He hustles and bustles,
runs this way and that
while dodging four wheels
like a star acrobat.

One day thick fog
catches him unaware,
squirrel is blinded
from this way and there.

So he darts to the street
hears a bass clef,
fear freezes him solid
his ears are now deaf.

At last he escapes
not a minute too soon,
the Hummer whooshes by
like a flying loon.

A big celebration
with his family he has
for learning a lesson-
life’s short, be glad.

River of Stones: 1-5-11

If red, white and blue stand for freedom,
why do those eyes show such pain?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How I roll...

I know I have been somewhat incognito the past several weeks, but it's all been for good reason.  First, the kids were out of school for the holidays, and we were busy enjoying each other in between the petty sibling quarrels.  Now that they have been back in school for two days, I'm trying to catch up on the sundry projects I have going on all over the place: editing and revising my novel, polishing and submitting work, and participating in a River of Stones.  In what little spare time I do have I eat, pray and love.  Seriously, I try to eat healthy and drink plenty of water, I pray constantly for guidance and patience (some other things, too), and I strive for love in everything I do.

That's why when something that happened yesterday happens, it really irritates me.  What, might you ask, could that be?  Well, I received an email from a disgruntled employee who was fired before Christmas.  She worked at a place that one of my children attends for extracurricular activities.  Apparently she somehow managed to get the entire email list of every parent and student, and sent out a very unethical letter.  It was three pages long, single spaced; and it went on and on about how she was mistreated and betrayed. 

I was angry that she sent this for my child to read, and therefore possibly form a skewed opinion toward the leader of the pack, per se.  My child is not even in any of the letter writer's "classes"  anyway, so why bother us?  I thought it was inappropriate and tacky.  And I also felt sorry for the other person, the one who fired this lady.  There are always two sides to every story.  A friend once told me something very wise: when you point one finger at someone just remember- three are pointing back at you. 

This morning I woke up and I wanted to retaliate.  I wanted to reply to the nasty-gram and tell that venegeful woman to leave us out of her conflict, but I didn't.  I prayed for her instead.  And guess what?  The feeling passed. 

I think it's funny how I can let something so unimportant waste time running rent-free through my head (the email), and the big things I can ease on through (the kid's arguments).  I guess that's how I roll.  What about you?

River of Stones: 1-4-11

Cardinals on a wire
Singing and swinging in the misty rain--
Women love to talk.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

River of Stones: 1-2-11

Up, down, up, down
To the rhythm of We Three Kings
She chews her gum fervently

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!
Rather than bore you with a list of things I probably won't do, aka New Year's Resolutions, I will share my dreams and aspirations for 2011:
*That my family remains happy, healthy and strong the year through
*That I publish my book, and some poetry, too
...and that's all for now.  I'm too busy exercising and organizing to write much more.

River of Stones: 1-1-11

Branches dancing in the wind
Happy New Year