Friday, May 29, 2009

A Poem for Two Voices

This is condensed version, only part of a poem I wrote in 2004. It is a poem to be read by two voices. I have separated the voices by color/italics, so be sure to use two voices to read this poem....

Once Upon a Page
by Lisa Balazs

Enter into the room.
There is a table, and a stool.

He has come to write.

It is a small room, a room with a window.

A room with a view.

He takes his place at the high table, and sits silently upon the stool.

He is pensive, thoughtful.
The yearnings of his heart, the wonders in his mind,
the depths of his soul, who can know it?

He smiles for a moment as he gazes beyond the window at the world. It has been a long day. The sun is going down.

He is the author.

Before him on the table,
There is a stack of paper and his pen.

He beholds the paper…

Barren. Desolate.

It is but a blank sheet of paper… …as far as the eyes can see. It is nothing but white upon white,

…or is it, black upon black?

It is a world of white....

Or is it a world of black?

Silent. Unsowed. Empty and void...

Awaiting the seeds of life from the hand of the planter.

He leans forward,

like one who sows seed

Pen in hand, he begins to write.

He works long into the night.

Consider the rhythmic breathing of the author as he transfers the life pulse in his hand...
to the page.

There is much work to do.

He is the scribe.

With his hand he pushes forth his mighty plow into a vast sea of sameness.
then, there is a speck, a line, a curve. a flair…

Life on the page will never be the same again-.

He has broken ground.
From his own hand,
a letter is made as the ink pours out it's life.

at the master’s command.

He is writing.

Hear the rhythmic sound of the pen in movement...
Black upon white...
Black upon white...
Black upon white...

White upon black....

The stroke against the grain of the paper...

a trace, a path…

Another stroke…..

...becomes a word. The first word.

...a trail of thought upon the page...

Knowledge. Wisdom. Life.

A wisp if the author’s brilliance. His thoughts, his words....

Light from light.

It wasn’t there before. It was only white...

It was only black...

Now it's black and white.

The power of the written word....

and another....

More words.

Across the page, He writes.

a landscape forms.

Mountains and valleys appear out of nothing...
but ink...

Ink...the river of life...

Ink upon the page pouring forth speech...

A rapid, flowing, living river...

A free-flowing river...flowing through the jungle of time and space.
an adventure for those who pursue the trail,
who follow His footpath through the wilderness

With eyes...
or ears....

white on black, black on white

A path

to follow,

A path for those who hearken

sounds disclosed upon the page…

Who hear the words that bubble forth,
a fountain of life.
True story....

from the one who holds the pen.

He presses forth...
and writes some more...

It is written.

Letter by letter, word upon word.


Black upon white
Black upon white,
Black upon white.

or is it white upon black?

The pen strokes the page, again and again.
A a mighty chisel in his hand.

His servant.

The the master of the tool.

It is his confidant, his friend. His right hand.

They work together as one.

He is a sculptor, sculpting.


He is a craftsman, crafting,


He is a scribe,
ascribing a moment…
a carpenter, whittling the wood.

Now paper... with ink...

An anchor to a moment in eternity,

somewhere in time.

A recollection of the past,
A rendering of the present,
A hope for the future...

His words... His story.

A promise, a trust, a will.

Captured in black and white...

To be delivered.

enveloped in time.

contained, but not imprisoned,

Fettered in ink, constrained only by him is his discourse now bejeweled upon the page.

The authors canvas.

Black upon white
Black upon white,
Black upon white.

Or is it white upon black?

He writes.
He pauses. He thinks.
He writes; he writes some more....

He pouts himself out on the paper.

Black upon white
Black upon white,
Black upon white.

Or is it white upon the black?

The contrasts speak.

Let the words themselves speak.

His heart,
his mind,
his soul.

(next line spoken simultaneously...)
Let the contrasts speak. Let the contrasts speak.

Let the contrasts speak.

Let the contrasts speak.

He sets his pen back upon its pedestal.
and gazes for a moment at the etchings he has made.

These pages now filled...

with his pulse, his presence.

With his words.

His paper, his pen, his ink, his words.

His labor of love.

Seeds he has planted...
and tended too,
with his own hand.

The leavings of his life...

Like a tree, his words will stand the test of time...
They will give their fruit in due season, even in black and white.

or is it white and black?

Words written,
Words lived,
Words aptly spoken.


to be read a thousand times,
to be remembered-

Understood forever,
from the beginning to the end.

Morning breaks across the sky, and hazy golden streams of sunlight beam in through the window and they light upon the page.
He is finished...


and it is good.

He snuffs the candle that's still burning; He is done.
His work now complete, he stands and exits the tiny room.
Gently closing the door behind him, he turns and greets the new and glorious day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spring Hiking...

Yesterday we went hiking twice!

I took George down the trails at the Waikiki Springs area. (It was really his idea... He saw the place and I told him it was were the kids like to go swimming. He had never been there so we went on a little adventure.

It was a nice day and we met a lot of nice people along the way too. It was fun seeing so many people out enjoying such lovely place and such lovely weather. I asked one lady what the place was called, (this is because it is I believe meant to be a well kept "secret" and she said she calls it Grandma's Mountain... meaning her. No doubt, it has a special place in her heart; it's a special place.

It looks as if there use to be a lot of houses or buildings of some kind down there by the river. If I were homesteading it would be the place for me, except I do not like mosquitoes. There were a lot of them when we went back there later in the day.

The kids had asked to go there, but it was late, too late to just let them go down there by themselves, so we went too. Nate and his friends gave us an even better perspective as they took us down a trail we didn't even see before and to a bridge. What a place! I don't recommend it for swimming myself, unless you like wild things. Bethany has told me she has seen a snake there every time she has been, Nate has seen them too. Besides snakes there are fish and frogs and all sorts of creatures I am sure.. especially mosquitoes! The water is also swift as the river is high, but it is a feast for the senses. I hope to travel further down the trail sometime and see what's back there.

(Probably Rattlesnakes! ...
or LockHarts...)

Might need to invest in a horse!

Kittens On The Loose!

The kittens are on the loose! (That is the first three are out and about.... the other four are just about ready to emerge from their nest.) I do not think that there is anything cuter than kittens.

These three are cute as cute can be, although I cannot really tell them apart. That is because they all look the same. I have been spending time in the garden..( or hiking... ) and not with the cats. I can tell you about the first one that I did get to know, one my oldest son named Indiana.

Indiana is so named because he is an adventurous explorer, much like the famous movie explorer, Indiana Jones. Like an Indiana Jones movie, the little guys action packed adventure life just goes on and on. We not only named him, but nominated him as possibly the first one of the bunch to get eaten by a coyote if he does not curb his adventurous spirit.

For example I watched him run to the fence, squeeze through run and greet a small dog then a big one, (and not get eaten) and then come to my feet and follow me around everywhere I went. We got some great video of him romping around. I will say that his mom does a good job of keeping an eye on the little rascal. Why yesterday he went through two fences into my garden while we were out there and prowled around the moat a bit. Mother cat squeezed in too and called him home, but he was too distracted to obey, so I squirted near him with the hose and he ran off with his momma like a good little kitten should.... and he also hopefully learned that the garden is a place he shouldn't sneak into.

This morning I could only spot two of the orange kittens and thought maybe Indiana had run off into the wilds, but later in the day I discovered he was safe and sound here at home. But now all three are romping around everywhere. They discovered under the house this morning.

Mom cat is even already teaching them about mice. There were two dead mice in the kitty hut this morning when I was looking for the kittens.... TWO! Not bad for a human-raised momma cat.... Later I found the chickens inside the hut and the mice were gone. I am thinking there might have been some foul play going on...


Now I just need to water. I also finished my garden signs... Finally!
Now I just need to put them in the garden!

I am excited about all the things that are planted, especially the sunflower house.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Yesterday a friend and I sat together to paint our wooden garden projects... we used to have happy Thursdays together where we would get together and paint weekly... but then came another season. Maybe this is the beginning of more happy days for another summer. I hope so because we have a good time and get lots of projects done, or at least started. I still need to finish the project we did today, which was painting signs to mark what things are growing in the garden.

Back at home....
I am shifting some things around a little in the beds and adding fresh dirt for topsoil. Nate helped me weed and transfer the dirt, so I was able to get a lot done. I planted some of the things that have been waiting for a place to grow roots. Peas and beans, (seeds that were soaking in water) and transplanted petunias with the beans. I also transplanted marigolds and planted nasturtiums seeds around the area I will plant tomatoes and basil. I am planning also to plant onions and leeks in with the tomatoes.

Most of the tomatoes I grew from seed. My favorite are Sweet 100's. I also bought some of the bigger varieties because my tomato growing needs some perfection.

Today, I also moved the kittens out from the porches. We had one set on the front porch and one set on the back. I was beginning to feel catrophobic. I really do not want cats on the deck or the porch, it's just where they kinda ended up. I have never really thought too much about having cats as a pet, like chickens or sheep, but as I moved them out away from the house and into the chicken pen, I thought, "why not?"

Of course, maybe I was a little inspired by pictures of cat houses on the web.

Mostly I was realizing that it's about time that the one set of kittens get out and explore. (I will perhaps sometime tell the story of being a mom to cats twice now in my life. Tans and Kenya (the mother cats) are bottle fed kittens.

Besides one of the dogs spent a whole summer carting the those two off and licking them for hours until they were plum tuckered out\, or someone caught her and took them away. Maybe she wanted a baby of her own? Maybe she liked cat lollipops, I do not know, but of late she has been eyeballing them. I could see that she was tscheming how to get a hold of a kitten as they were climbing up the fenced in area they were in. Using things I found around the farm I made them a cat area inside the animal pen with a plan to move them all where they would be in their own space and out of the immediate reach of the wanna-be-a-mother-cat dog. (Maddy)

It was pretty funny to see all the animals take turns coming over to see what I was doing and check out the new set up. I kinda think it has their approval, especially the cats.

The chickens were the first to check it out, then Kenya the cat (one of the moms) then Tanzania the other mother cat, then the dogs. everyone liked it, but Buddy the dog was a little suspicious that it might have been for him.

I used some old apple bins that we once used for the goats by cutting a doorway and turning them upside down, one bin for each cat. I folded three sides of an old broken wood box into a triangle and placed it his on top to shelter the cat food and water and make a lounging area for them too. I put their beds and playthings inside the boxes and used some old picket fence parts to encircle the whole thing. Made up of things around here, it will do until someone makes a better cat house

The other kittens have just opened thier eyes and have not come out of thier nest yet, but I am sure it won't be long. This was another good reason to move them. Now they will have grass and things to climb and be semi safe inside the fenced yard, as long as the hawks or other birds leave them alone. You just never know about nature. One year we watched as ravens stole baby ducklings and carried them away.

That was a sad day.

The cats are all out there now. They are being a little territorial with each other, which I expected, because Kenya is disagreeable most of the time with her sister cat (Tans) Their new living cat quarters is the next best thing to a barn.

Now I can perhaps finish my painting project and planting... tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Collection of Garden Sayings...

Weeds, they know where to grow and how to dupe you.... and how to camoflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants....
they just know; therefore I've concluded that weeds must have brains. Diane Benson (and ME)


meant to do my work today,
but a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
and a butterfly flitted across the field,
and all the leaves were calling me.

Gardening: just another day at the plant

Give your weeds an inch and they'll take your yard

Friends are flowers in the garden of life

Kind hearts are the garden,
kind thoughts are the root,
kind words are the blossoms,
kind deeds are the fruit.

Never enough thyme

May all your weeds be wildflowers

Garden of weedin'

Compost . . . because a rind is a terrible thing to waste

The Shortest Path To Heaven Is Through The Garden Gate

Old gardeners never die . . . they just go to seed.

All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today

Bloom where you are planted

We come from the earth,
we return to the earth,
and in between we garden

To everything there is a season

The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment.

I fought the lawn and the lawn won!

Gardeners know that trees grow on money.

Thyme began in a garden

Patience in gardening is a necessity, hardly a virtue.

Between These Weeds, Flowers Grow

The grass may look greener on the other side but it still has to be mowed!

The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing over never weeded a garden.

Going to seed without a pot to peat in!

Weed it and Reap!

"If there were nothing else to trouble us,
the fate of the flowers would make us sad."
--John Lancaster Spalding,

Inch by inch
Weeding is a cinch


Life began in a garden, they say.

Then, when Adam sinned, God said unto Adam, 'Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Genesis 3:17-19 ....God cursed the ground with thorns and thistles... I think of that every time I am in the garden, pulling weeds or grass from choking the plants I like the best that grow in my garden...

Weeding certainly gives one a lot of opportunity to think.

I have officially started work in the garden. I have some raised beds where I grow some food stuff, mostly just the kids of things you go out and eat off the plants... herbs, chives, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes peas, green beans. I have never had success with carrots or zucchini or cucumbers, but I may try some of those as well as some squash this year. I like to grow green beans and flowers the best. (However, I like to grow the beans that that are puple and then they turn green when you cook them.) With some new garden soil to refill the beds, I am ready to get to work.

Last's years garden was fun, but the blueberries we transplanted died. I was also frustrated because everyone keep disconnecting my hoses which were on a timer, so watering didn;t go as well as it could have. I will have to come up with a new system this year.... and I need a mowing system too. the grass between the beds need to get mowed or cut, unless we come up with a better system.

Last year I dug a moat around the place where my little greenhouse used to be and made it into a sort of SUnflower House. (I have done a sunflower house every year for a while.) This one was small. I wish I could perfect the moat though. It makes a great place to grow worms.... so I will have to think more about what to do with it all....

I was thinking of just filling it in with dirt... but I kinda like the castle feel to the sunflower garden.

This year I will also have a whimsical "flower bed." One day last year some people were throwing away a bed frame that looked like a fence. Geo and I brought it home from the kids, but no one took a liking to it in particular... (not into the garden theme I guess.) Anyhow, I have been looking at it thinking I might use it in the garden, since it looks like a fence and all. Today I weeded one part of the flower garden and put the headboard and foot board in the ground so it looks like a bed. I think I will make a sign that says something like, "Shhhhhh... flowers sleeping (or something...) and hang it on the end.

I hope to soon transplant all the little seedlings that I have growing in the kitchen, they are taking over. That will be my project for tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Poem- Summer Day

Summer Day

Nothing moves
In the thick of the summer heat,
nothing moves-
except the earth ...
and it moves slowly,
So as not to disrupt the sleeping breezes
that might blow across my face
and cool my restless spirit.

It’s a heated issue.
On the one side of the story there is something to be said for acting fast-
got to make things happen...
achieve the best outcome...
change the circumstances within our control.
On the other side...
It feels like hell.

“There is something to be said for patience.” I think
The sweat rolls down my face.
It's too hot to move
too painful to decide-
which side I am on.
I listen to the grass sizzle
Green life evaporates into hot air.
and the world turns slowly.

No one sees or hears,
They do not move.
They just lay...
maybe they are sleeping.
Meanwhile the world continues to spin slowly in the heat.
and nothing moves.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's Shocking... really

Tonight we had a shocking experience. No injuries, but it was a notable event, so I will tell you about it.

There I was minding my own business, sitting at the desk talking to Geo on the phone about life, the universe, and everything, especially his mom, (who is slowly getting better... and is moved now to a rehabilitation center! yeah) Anyhow, as I looked across the hallway, past the washer and dryer to the living room, I saw lightning-like bursts of of light in the living room. Dropping the phone with dh on the line, I sprang from my chair to see what it was.

At first I though it was some weird nuclear fall out from the two waring teens who had been arguing for the last half hour, until I realized that it came from the vicinity of the television. I quickly detected the putrid odor of something electrical burning and Beth holding the DVD player. I now knew that she had something to do with it.

Thankfully she was fine, although more startled than me at the explosions which she said flashed green around her and then directly in her face. She had been getting the DVD player out when suddenly it sparked.

Well, the circuit breaker didn't trip. and the cord on the DVD player was missing a plug. Conclusion: be careful, there's a live wire somewhere.

Nate, who came out to see the commotion, moved the TV stand, I cut the power on the power cord and we removed the plug. Tada... mission accomplished. All Clear.

It was a cord that had been repaired after being chewed upon by the dog at one time and Bethany was pulling on it to see which cord to remove, however, this was a good reminder to be sure to disconnect PLUGS by holding on to the plug. It was also a reminder that repaired cords do have some drawback, one being that it's really easy to pull apart the connected parts.

Electricity is dangerous. Use it with care and caution. After all, it's shocking.... REALLY!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Eyes to See

I finally found my glasses. I had to go without them all day, but at last I discovered the place I had not looked.
: )

The world definitely is different from this perspective. I can actually see now. I could see without them, but not well enough. The view is better from this perspective.

It's funny how sometimes in a day like today you just don't know what will happen. I know I didn't expect to loose my glasses today and if I did not, it would have been a pretty normal kind of day, at least in my own mind. However things were not what I expected. I expected to find them and go about life as usual.... no such thing.

There were a lot of variables besides finding or not finding, having or or not having my glasses and so, I just put one foot in front of the other and did the next thing there was to do, most of which for me ,was either to look somewhere else I could think of looking for my glasses, or to try to think of another obscure place that they may be.

I spent the day away from my house, with the grandkids... which was fun, but I was always thinking, "Where's my glasses?"This is not only because I was trying to figure out how they had escaped my hunting for them, but also because I had little inclinations that I needed them to see this or that a little better. You can only imagine my relief when I found them--- in an obscure little tucked away place that I obviously missed in my search. As usual, they were in the last place I looked! (That always happens!)

Life is much better from this perspective. It was a good adventure though, teaching me not only to be more careful with my glasses... (they had fallen off the bookshelf onto another shelf and under a smaller shelf in the night) but to better understand that sometimes we are not in so much control as we would like to think we are in this life. There are things we cannot and do not see, unless we have the things we need, and while we plan our days, and our lives, the truth is that we can only ever simply put one foot in front of the other and do the next thing there is to do. There is a greater lesson too I think.... that is, some things are just worth searching for,,, even if it takes a long time and much persistence, especially if it helps you have the right perspective.

8 )

Saturday, May 2, 2009


My friend Erma is 100 years old and until just recently has been as spry as a young chicken, even in her old age! Seriously, she is an incredible woman. I decided 16 years ago when I first met her, that I wanted to be like her when I grew up.

Born in 1908 she had two children of her own and raised about 100 others as foster kids. Some were only with her a short while, others just in their teens, but she has told me story after story of people "in the olden days" dropping off babies and children at her doorstep, simply because they knew she would take them in , and she did. The thing about Erma is she takes people into her heart.

Erma is an artist. She paints in oils. Now to tell you how incredible she is.... In a recent visit, she took me down stairs to see her latest project which she had just completed, a picture of trees and a stream that she painted with a sponge and Q-tips. Now this may not seem too unusual for an artist, even at 100 years of age, but the thing is, she has been struggling with the loss of her eyesight for a while now, and can barely see, which is why she had to abandon the brush.

To make matters worse, she has been wearing contact lenses to help her vision in the one eye that still works enough to help her get around and some problem with it gave her a terrible infection which, thankfully seems to be getting better.

She is not just an artist though, she is a woman of many talents, including gardening. She has been a hard worker all of her life, and hasn't stopped yet. Up till this year, you would often find her outside on her knees pulling weeds or putting out manure, which she says is more valuable than a diamond ring. She a farm girl transplanted to the city and she loves her flowers, and vegetables.

When I met Erma she had just moved to town a few months before me, and just happened to become my neighbor. She told me the story of how on the day she moved into the house her husband had a heart attack. The ambulance came, the firetruck too, and they took her husband to the hospital, but he died. She was new in the neighborhood. no one knew her, and no one came to call after the fact to see how things were. She said she thought city folk were a bit odd that way.

Last autumn, Erma took a fall, or more precisely, she was pushed over by a car door and hit the cement hard, hard enough to break her thigh is three places. She recovered nicely though and is now back home, in her house where she lives alone. She tells me stories of how the nursing home tried to keep her there, but she was not about to let them!

She also tells me stories of how the younger generation treats old people badly, how they think old folks are from another planet or something. She says she is amazed how far people will actually go to treat her as if she is dumb, funny, she is probably one of the wisest people I know, and one of the nicest too.

Tonight I went to visit Erma, and listened to more stories. I love her sense of humor. She makes me laugh. She can and has done a lot in her life and is a dear sweet little old lady, and when I grow up, I wanna be like Erma.

Friday Night Fight

Fencing Foil
I do not fence, but I know people who do and it's a sport I enjoy watching. Tonight was the foil fencing competitions at the club. Here are some Fencing photos for your enjoyment... not necessarily of the Friday Night Fights...
Just fencing related stuff.